best natural dog food
Education, Food Truth, Just for Fun!, The Daily Kale

The Best Natural Dog Food Brands

Labrador Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy

Hi! I’m Bailey!

 

About one month ago we adopted the cutest shelter puppy ever and named her Bailey. Bailey is a little mix pup, most likely a Labrador, Rhodesian Ridgeback and Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross, and we couldn’t be more in love.

The first, and most important thing was to find the best natural dog food for her. Now I will tell you, this was not easy. It took me about three weeks to go through most of the “natural” dog food brands only to find many were not as “natural” as they claimed. I learned a lot about what standards were set for dog food, what to look for, and what made one dog food healthier than another. I emailed, called and sat on hold for endless hours in order to find out what was really happening behind the scenes of dog food manufacturing.

To begin, there are no dog foods (that I have found) that are 100% certified organic. There are many that use animal meat that is raised without hormones and antibiotics, chickens that are cage-free, and beef that is grass-fed. There are a couple that use organic produce, both fruits and vegetables, fish that are wild (not farm raised) and are free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). There are also a few that use a diversity of animal meats, include organs and cartilage, are gluten-free, and use no products from China.

 

Labrador Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy

 

The good news is that there are brands out there that care about their product. They hold themselves responsible for creating a dog food that is as healthy, nutrient-rich and free of toxic ingredients, as a health food prepared for humans. They know what is most important to the health of a dog and maximize those ingredients in their dog food.

The bad news is that there are many larger brands that pretend to uphold these values of producing a healthy, natural dog food, but in fact are not. They use genetically modified corn and soy, include ingredients that are not natural to a dog’s diet, use animal products that are raised with hormones and antibiotics, low-grade oils, filler carbohydrates and fiber, and rely on added synthetic vitamins and minerals for the nutrition of the food. The most surprising fact to learn was that many of these so-called healthy dog food brands did not even know what was in the dog food that they were selling. More than one company that I contacted had NO answer to whether their meat was hormone-free, or what the animal’s were fed. Now that was shocking. Suffice to say, there are quite a few ingredients to avoid when purchasing a dog food.

Here is a list of ingredients to AVOID at all costs when purchasing dog food:

 

  • Toxic Preservatives: avoid the toxic preservatives BHT/BHA, ethoxyquin, and propylene glycol
  • Chemical Ingredients + Toxic Food-like Ingredients: avoid chemical ingredients like artificial colors (Blue 2 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Blue 1, Yellow 6), or food-like ingredients such as corn syrup
  • Cheap Grains, Legumes + Fillers: avoid cheap grains like corn, wheat gluten, soy and fillers like potato starch
  • Animal by-products: avoid animal “by-products” such as beef & bone meal and chicken by-product meal.
  • Meat as Primary Ingredient: avoid dog foods that do not have meat as their primary ingredients

 

Here is an example of a dog food ingredient list that you want to AVOID at all costs:

 

worst dog food brand

Worst dog food ingredient list

 

Take a close look at that list of ingredients to avoid, and allow it to guide you when shopping for dog food. This will help to identify the worst dog food brands on the market. The next step, and more difficult one, is to pinpoint the best dog food among the “natural” brands. This is where it gets trickier. Always read the ingredient label and look for the key terms that helps you to identify the real-deal healthy dog food brands from the fakes. Remember, just because it has the word “natural,” and has pictures of wild animals and fresh fruits and vegetables does NOT mean that it is the healthiest dog food.

To help you unravel what to look for when purchasing natural dog food brands I have organized a checklist to follow. I have listed them based on importance although some are interchangeable based on your viewpoint or dog’s needs.

  • Organic ingredients: does the dog food include organic meat, poultry or produce?
  • Free of Hormones/Antibiotics: is the meat and poultry free of hormones and antibiotics?
  • Genetically Modified Ingredients: is the dog food free of GMOs? Free of GMO corn and soy? Animals raised on GMO grain?
  • Meat Diversity: does it have a diversity of types of meat in one formula such as duck, bison and chicken, thus mimicking their natural diet in the wild?
  • Fruits + Vegetables: does the dog food include real fruits and vegetables as a source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants? Are those fruits and vegetables primary ingredients?
  • Healthy Oils: does the dog food include healthy oil sources such as animal fat, flax and chia seed, salmon, and sunflower oil? Is it free of lesser oils such as canola and soybean?
  • Organs + Cartilage: does the dog food include meat organs and cartilage to provide added nutrition to the diet and to support joint health?
  • Grain-free: is the dog food grain-free? If not, does it only use the highest quality, non-allergenic grains such as oats, quinoa, and rice?
  • Low-glycemic: does the dog food include carbohydrates that are low-glycemic? Does it have limited amounts of starchy carbohydrates such as pea, potato and tapioca?
  • Botanicals: does the dog food include botanicals such as rosemary, peppermint, parsley, basil and sage to help support natural cleansing, immunity, and gut and oral health?
  • Probiotics: does the dog food include probiotics to help improve digestion and assimilation of nutrients, and overall digestive/gut health?
  • Food Manufacturing: is the dog food highly heated thus destroying nutrients? Is it raw and dehydrated (the best case), cold or low-temperature baked through extrusion (second best case)?
  • Mercury-testing: is the fish tested for mercury? Does it guarantee that no toxic levels of mercury are present, which can cause neurological and kidney issues?
  • Made in the USA + China-free: is the dog food free of ingredients sourced from China? Is the food sourced locally and domestically to protect against tainted food from China and other countries that are not FDA/USDA regulated?
  • Iodine: does the dog food have iodine-rich ingredients such as seaweed which are important for thyroid health and radiation protection?

 

The best natural dog food

The best natural dog food, Orijen

 

Now I know this was a HUGE list. It took me a long time to figure out what the most important aspects are that determine what the best natural dog food brand would be for Bailey. After considering all of the above, I personally decided that ORIJEN was the best natural dog food brand for us. That does not mean that there were not a lot of other great options, but Orijen is what taught me what it meant to be a healthy dog food. Orijen exceeds the standards in almost every way. They are diligent about how their food is made, they understand what ingredients are important for a dog’s health, and they go above and beyond to ensure that their dog food is the healthiest, cleanest and of the highest quality.

Here is a list of what I think are the best dry dog food brands based on their ability to meet the standards listed above. There are many listed below that are pretty comparable, so I did my best to review them. Hopefully these reviews will help you to decide what is best for you and your pup!

 

the best natural puppy food

Only the Best Natural Puppy Food for Bailey!

 

The Best Natural Dog Food Brands and Dog Food Reviews

 

#1. Orijen Dog Food

 

Meat/Fish Quality: the animal meat is free of hormones and antibiotics. Meat is grass-fed, chickens are cage-free, turkey is free-run, and their fish are wild caught. Ingredients are all sourced locally throughout the Canadian region.

Meat/Fish Diversity: each formula includes a wide range of animal meat and fish such as turkey, walleye, herring, wild boar, lamb, bison, salmon and white fish

Organs/Cartilage Included: yes, such as liver, heart, tripe and cartilage

Whole Fruits/Vegetables Included: yes, such as spinach greens, carrots, Red Delicious apples, Bartlett pears, cranberries, blueberries, spinach and pumpkin

Grain-free: yes, uses chickpeas, yellow peas and lentils as a carbohydrate source

GMO-free: yes

Low-glycemic: yes

Cooking Method: low-temperature, freeze-dried

Botanicals included: yes, such as licorice root, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile, dandelion, summer savory, and rosemary

Probiotics included: yes, Enterococcus faecium

Oils/Fats used: food-based oils/fats such as chicken liver oil, fish, eggs and chicken fat

Iodine source: yes, added seaweed

China-free: yes

Mercury-testing: yes

Other notes: Locally sourced animals and produce. Exceptionally high inclusions of fresh whole and diverse meats, plus richly nourishing liver, tripe, cartilage and marrow — all in ratios that mirror the natural diet, while excluding high-glycemic carbohydrates and plant proteins. A great reflection of a wild diet. Relies more on food-based vitamins/minerals than additives. Contains cartilage for glucosamine and chondroitin – extremely important for bone and joint health.

Grab your pup a bag of Orijen!

the best natural dog food orijen

Orijen Six Fish Dog Food

 

#2. Acana Dog Food

 

Meat/Fish Quality: the animal meat is free of hormones and antibiotics. Meat is grass-fed, chickens are cage-free, turkey is free-run, and the fish are wild caught.

Meat/Fish Diversity: each formula includes a wide range of animal meat and fish such as turkey, walleye, herring, wild boar, lamb, bison, salmon and white fish

Organs/Cartilage Included: yes, such as liver, heart and cartilage

Whole Fruits/Vegetables Included: yes, such as spinach greens, carrots, Red Delicious apples, Bartlett pears, cranberries, blueberries, green peas and red lentils

Grain-free: yes + no (oats included in some formulas)

GMO-free: yes

Low-glycemic: yes

Cooking Method: low-temperature

Botanicals included: yes, such as licorice root, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile, dandelion, summer savory, and rosemary

Probiotics included: yes, Enterococcus faecium

Oils/Fats used: food-based oils/fats such as chicken liver oil, fish, eggs and chicken fat

Iodine source: yes, added seaweed

China-free: yes

Mercury-testing: yes

Other notes: Acana is made by the same company as Orijen. Acana is slightly lower in protein then Orijen. Orijen is 75-80% meat, while Acana has between 40 to 65%, depending on the formula. Orijen is made with up to 50% of fresh meats, compared with Acana which ranges from 9-30% of fresh meats. Acana uses 3 different meats compared to Orijen which uses 6 different meats. Overall it is an extremely high quality dog food brand that is more affordable than Orijen. They do have a single meat formula which is well suited for dogs with allergies.

 Grab your pup a bag of Acana!

Acana Ranchlands Dog Food

Acana Ranchlands Dog Food

 

#3. Fromm Dog Food

 

Meat/Fish Quality: the animal meat is free of hormones and antibiotics.

Meat/Fish Diversity: each formula includes a wide range of animal meat and fish such as beef, pork, chicken, herring, duck, quail, rabbit and lamb.

Organs/Cartilage Included: yes, includes cartilage

Whole Fruits/Vegetables Included: yes, fruits and vegetables included such as alfalfa meal, carrots, lettuce, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and sweet potato

Grain-free: yes + no (oats, barley, and rice are included in some formulas)

GMO-free: GMO-free except for the Classic formula

Low-glycemic: no, some formulas contain higher glycemic ingredients such as sweet potatoes, rice, potatoes + applesauce

Cooking Method: extrusion – steam heat and dried

Botanicals included: yes, chicory root, yucca, parsley

Probiotics included: yes

Oils/Fats used: food based oils/fats such as flax seed, chicken fat and salmon oil

Iodine source: synthetic

China-free: yes

Mercury-testing: yes

Other notes: Fromm is a family owned dog food company that pays close attention to their manufacturing and production. Fromm uses cheese in their dog food formulas which may or may not be beneficial to your dog’s health. Some dogs can be lactose intolerant, leading to digestive trouble and allergies. On the other hand cheese is low in lactose so the chances of intolerance is low. Has many single meat formulas which are great for dogs with allergies. I would recommend the Four-Star Recipe and the Gold Recipes.

Grab your pup a bag of Fromm!

The best natural dog food Fromm

Fromm Surf and Turf Dog Food

 

#4. The Honest Kitchen Dog Food

 

Meat/Fish Quality: the animal meat is free of hormones and antibiotics. Meat is grass-fed, free-range turkey and cage-free chicken.

Meat/Fish Diversity: no. Single meat and fish formulas.

Organs/Cartilage Included: no.

Whole Fruits/Vegetables Included: yes, whole fruits and vegetables are included such as parsnip, pumpkin, coconut, chard, papaya and spinach.

Grain-free: yes and no. Some formulas contain buckwheat and oats.

GMO-free: free of GMO products like corn, wheat and soy. Not guaranteed GMO-free.

Low-glycemic: yes

Cooking Method: dehydrated (all nutrients remain intact).

Botanicals included: yes, such as parsley and basil.

Probiotics included: no

Oils/Fats used: food-based oils/fats such as flaxseed and chia seed

Iodine source: yes and no. Some formulas contain seaweed.

China-free: yes

Mercury-testing: yes

Other notes: The Honest Kitchen is one of the few dog food products that is dehydrated. This ensures that the maximum amount of nutrients remain present in the dog food. The Honest Kitchen formulas do not contain added vitamins and minerals unlike most other brands. Their formulas also contain unique and nutrient-dense ingredients like chia seed. They also offer a great vegetable base product for those that want to make their own dog food at home.

Grab your pup a bag of The Honest Kitchen!

The best natural dog food the honest kitchen

The Honest Kitchen Dog Food

 

#5. I and Love and You “In the Raw” Dog Food

 

Meat/Fish Quality: the meat found in the formula “In the Raw” is free of antibiotics, and hormones. The meat is grass-fed, the chicken is cage-free, the fish is both wild and farmed. The meat found in the other formulas, “Nude” and “Naked” is conventional and not raised without antibiotics and hormones.

Meat/Fish Diversity: “In the Raw” is a single meat formula while “Nude” and “Naked” have more than one meat.

Organs/Cartilage Included: the “Nude” formula has organ meat additions. “Naked” and “In the Raw” do not have organ meat included.

Whole Fruits/Vegetables Included: yes, fresh fruits and vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, banana, alfalfa and spinach are included.

Grain-free: yes

GMO-free: not guaranteed

Low-glycemic: no

Cooking Method: “In the Raw” is dehydrated, “Nude” and “Naked” use extrusion.

Botanicals included: yes, botanicals are included such as turmeric, yucca, ginger and chicory

Probiotics included: yes

Oils/Fats used: Food-based oils/fats are included such as flaxseed, whole fish, chicken fat and canola oil

Iodine source: “In the Raw” contains seaweed

China-free: yes

Mercury-testing: yes

Other notes: I recommend the “In the Raw” formula when choosing the I and Love and You dog food brand although it does not have meat diversity nor does it contain probiotics. The natural flavors included in the formulas are glycine and vegetable broth. It contains the cheaper oil, canola. But I do love that it is raw and dehydrated, therefore maintaining the maximum amount of nutrients of the food.

Grab your pup a bag of I and Love and You!

The best natural dog food i and love and you

I and Love and You Dog Food

 

#6. Stella & Chewy’s Dog Food

 

Meat/Fish Quality: animal meat is free of hormones and antibiotics. The meat is grass-fed, chicken is cage-free, fish is wild-caught and produce is certified organic.

Meat/Fish Diversity: up to 2 meat sources in one formula.

Organs/Cartilage Included: organs included such as spleen, liver, heart and kidney

Whole Fruits/Vegetables Included: yes, whole fruits and vegetables are included such as spinach, broccoli, beets, blueberries, squash and carrots

Grain-free: yes

GMO-free: does not contain GMO crops like corn, wheat and soy, but GMO-free is not guaranteed

Low-glycemic: yes, for most but not all formulas

Cooking Method: cold-pressed, freeze-dried

Botanicals included: no

Probiotics included: yes, such as pediococcus acidilactici, lactobacillus acidophilus, and bifidobacterium longum

Oils/Fats used: food-based oils/fats such as bone, olive oil and whole salmon

Iodine source: no

China-free: yes

Mercury-testing: yes

Other notes: Stella & Chewy’s has a really good range of animal meat parts including organ meat which is rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients important for a dog’s overall health. It has a great range of whole fruits and vegetables and healthy oils and fats.

Grab your pup a bag of Stella & Chewy’s!

The best natural dog food stella & chewys

Stella & Chewy’s Dog Food

 

#7. Halo Dog Food

 

Meat/Fish Quality: the animal meat is free of hormones and antibiotics. The poultry is not free range. The meat is both grain and grass-fed.

Meat/Fish Diversity: 2-3 animal meat diversity in formulas.

Organs/Cartilage Included: liver is the only organ included

Whole Fruits/Vegetables Included: yes, whole fruits and vegetables are included such as apples, sweet potatoes, spinach, blueberry and cranberry

Grain-free: yes and no. Some formulas contain oats, millet and barley.

GMO-free: no

Low-glycemic: no, but some formulas are lower glycemic than others

Cooking Method: low temperature extrusion, and dehydration

Botanicals included: no

Probiotics included: yes, such as lactobacillus acidophilus, bifidobacterium longum, enteroccus faecium, lactobacillus plantarum, aspergillus oryzae, and trichoderma reesei

Oils/Fats used: food-based oils/fats used such as chicken fat, salmon oil and flaxseed

Iodine source: no

China-free: yes

Mercury-testing: yes

Other notes: Halo makes a couple different dry formulas. I think that the Halo Vigor, the grain-free formulas are the best choices. They do seem to rely a little more heavily on added vitamins and minerals, and carbohydrates like pea protein, whole peas and pea fiber than other brands.

Grab your pup a bag of Halo!

The best natural dog food halo

Halo Vigor Dog Food

 

 #8. Organix Dog Food by Castor and Pollux

 

Meat/Fish Quality: the animal meat is hormone and antibiotic free. Chickens are organic and free-range, lamb is not organic and fish is both wild and farm-caught.

Meat/Fish Diversity: Limited diversity. Formulas only use chicken, lamb and salmon.

Organs/Cartilage Included: only liver is included

Whole Fruits/Vegetables Included: yes and no. No whole fruits and vegetables are included in the adult dog food, the small breed formula does contains carrots, apples, broccoli, pumpkin, and pears. Most formulas do not contain fruits and vegetables.

Grain-free: yes and no. Grain-free formula contains potato, tapioca, and soybean. Grain formula contains brown rice, millet, oats and quinoa.

GMO-free: yes and no. Produce is GMO-free, animal protein is not GMO-free.

Low-glycemic: no

Cooking Method: extrusion

Botanicals included: some such as rosemary and parsley

Probiotics included: yes such as enterococcus faecium, lactobacillus acidophilus, aspergillus niger (although a questionable additive), trichoderma longibrachiatum and bacillus subtilis

Oils/Fats used: whole-food oils/fats are included such as flaxseed, chicken fat, whole salmon and canola oil

Iodine source: no

China-free: yes

Mercury-testing: yes

Other notes: These formulas contain lesser primary ingredients such as tapioca, soybean and potato instead of meat. The formulas are not heavily weighted on food-sourced vitamins and minerals. There is not a wide range of animal meat and fish limiting the diversity of nutrients in formulas. The Organix Adult Dog Food formula (not grain-free) seems to be the best. It feels like they are relying on their “organic” label (although not all ingredients are organic) rather than the diversity of whole foods in their products. Their formulas contain the cheaper oil, canola.

Grab your pup a bag of Organix!

The best natural dog food organix

Organix Dog Food

 

#9. Natural Planet Dog Food

 

Meat/Fish Quality: the animal meat is free of hormones and antibiotics. Produce is free of pesticides and mostly organic. The turkey is organic. Wild caught fish. Duck and rabbit not organic.

Meat/Fish Diversity: 1-3 meat and fish sources in a couple of the formulas.

Organs/Cartilage Included: no

Whole Fruits/Vegetables Included: yes, such as apples, cranberries and blueberries

Grain-free: yes, uses potato, tapioca and pea flour

GMO-free: yes

Low-glycemic: no

Cooking Method: extrusion

Botanicals included: some, sage and yucca

Probiotics included: yes, such as enterococcus faecium, lactobacillus acidophilus, aspergillus niger (although a questionable additive), trichoderma longibrachiatum, bacillus subtillis and aspergillus oryzae

Oils/Fats used: flaxseed, canola oil, sunflower oil and lecithin

Iodine source: yes, seaweed

China-free: no, various synthetic nutrients come from China

Mercury-testing: no, but no fish included in formula

Other notes: there are only a few formulas in the Natural Planet line. They seems to rely on added vitamins and minerals, and carbohydrates for the majority of the formula. They contain the cheaper oil, canola.

Grab your pup a bag of Natural Planet!

The best natural dog food Natural Planet

Natural Planet Rabbit & Salmon

 

#10. Blue Buffalo Dog Food

 

Meat/Fish Quality: the animal meat is free of hormones and antibiotics. Chickens are cage-free. Beef is unknown to what they are fed (from the customer service representatives). Fish is both wild and farm-caught. The other animal meat (turkey, rabbit, bison etc.) are a variation of farm and free-range raised.

Meat/Fish Diversity: some, up to 2 meat sources

Organs/Cartilage Included: no

Whole Fruits/Vegetables Included: some whole fruits and vegetables are included such as sweet potatoes, carrots, blueberries and cranberries

Grain-free: yes and no, some formulas include oats, barley and rice. Grain-free includes potato, potato starch, tapioca, pea fiber and pea protein.

GMO-free: yes

Low-glycemic: no

Cooking Method: extrusion

Botanicals included: yes, some such as rosemary and parsley

Probiotics included: yes, includes enterococcus faecium, lactobacillus acidophilus, aspergillus niger (although a questionable additive), trichoderma longibrachiatum and bacillus subtilis

Oils/Fats used: canola oil, chicken fat, flaxseed, sunflower oil and whole fish

Iodine source: yes, seaweed

China-free: yes

Mercury-testing: no

Other notes: Blue Wilderness is the formula I recommend of the Blue Buffalo line. The Blue Buffalo line includes some lesser quality ingredients such as canola oil, tapioca and potato starch, and natural flavor. They seem to rely more on added vitamins and minerals than whole foods (the vitamins come before the whole produce in the ingredient list) and a diversity of meat protein sources. Another point of concern was that they were not sure about the conditions in which their animals were raised.

Grab your pup a bag of Blue Buffalo!

The best natural dog food blue buffalo

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dog Food

 

#11. Wellness Dog Food

 

Meat/Fish Quality: the animal meat is free of hormones and antibiotics. Beef is grass-fed, the chicken and turkey are cage-free, not free-range. Fish is wild caught with about 4% farm raised.

Meat/Fish Diversity: 1-4 animal proteins used

Organs/Cartilage Included: liver only

Whole Fruits/Vegetables Included: yes, whole fruits and vegetables are included such as tomatoes, carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, blueberries and apples

Grain-free: yes and no. Grains such as oatmeal, barley, rye and millet are used.

GMO-free: not guaranteed

Low-glycemic: yes and no. Some formulas such as CORE as lower glycemic.

Cooking Method: extrusion. CORE now offers an air-dried formula.

Botanicals included: yes, green tea, spearmint and peppermint extract included

Probiotics included: yes and no. Some formulas include lactobacillus plantarum, enterococcus faecium, lactobacillus casei and lactobacillus acidophilus.

Oils/Fats used: canola oil, chicken fat and flaxseed

Iodine source: none

China-free: no, green tea and tocopherols are from China

Mercury-testing: yes

Other notes: Wellness contains some ingredients that seem to be lesser quality such as gelatin, vegetable glycerin, natural flavors and canola oil. They have a good blend of whole fruits and vegetables, and a diversity of animal proteins in certain formulas. They do lack a diversity in terms of organ meats. The CORE line seems to be the best of the formulas.

Grab your pup a bag of Wellness!

The best natural dog food Wellness

Wellness CORE dog food

 

 

#12. Natural Balance Dog Food

 

Meat/Fish Quality: the animal meat is free of hormones and antibiotics. The chicken is not free-range but not raised in cages, fish is both wild and farmed, and the beef, venison and lamb are pasture raised. It is not known to whether the animals are also supplemented with a grain diet.

Meat/Fish Diversity: yes, 1-3 meat sources

Organs/Cartilage Included: liver only

Whole Fruits/Vegetables Included: limited. Some whole fruits and vegetables are included such as beet pulp, dried carrots and tomato pomace. The Wild Pursuit includes the most such as cranberries, blueberries, zucchini and apples.

Grain-free: yes and no. Some formulas contain oats.

GMO-free: not guaranteed

Low-glycemic: yes and no, potato included in some formulas

Cooking Method: baked

Botanicals included: limited, rosemary included

Probiotics included: no

Oils/Fats used: canola oil, whole fish, chicken fat, coconut oil, menhaden oil and flax seed

Iodine source: yes, seaweed

China-free: no, certain synthetic nutrients are sourced from China

Mercury-testing: no

Other notes: Wild Pursuit seems to be the best formula of the line. They seem to rely more on added vitamins and minerals than whole fruits and vegetables than other brands. They include certain lesser quality ingredients such as canola oil, and natural flavors. In most of their formulas the whole fruits and vegetables are in minimal amounts. I did not love that they did not know if the beef was finished on grain.

Grab your pup a bag of Natural Balance!

The best natural dog food Natural Balance

Natural Balance Wild Pursuit

 

#13. Taste of the Wild Dog Food

 

Meat/Fish Quality: the animal meat is free of hormones and antibiotics. Salmon is both wild and farm-raised. Customer service does not know if the chicken is cage-free, or if the bison is grass-fed.

Meat/Fish Diversity: some single meat variety, other formulas have a good diversity with up to 4-5 types of animal proteins.

Organs/Cartilage Included: no

Whole Fruits/Vegetables Included: yes, some whole fruits and vegetables are included such as tomatoes, raspberries, and blueberries.

Grain-free: yes, includes pea protein, pea fiber, potato and potato fiber

GMO-free: no

Low-glycemic: no

Cooking Method: extrusion with purified water

Botanicals included: no

Probiotics included: yes, lactobacillus acidophilus, bifidobacterium animalis, and lactobacillus reuteri

Oils/Fats used: flax seed, salmon oil, canola oil and whole fish

Iodine source: no

China-free: yes

Mercury-testing: yes

Other notes: Some of the Taste of the Wild formulas have a good range of animal proteins, offering proteins such as bison, venison, and lamb. They do use more carbohydrates like pea fiber and potatoes than other brands. They use lesser ingredients like canola oil and natural flavors. I did not feel comfortable that the customer service did not know the details of how their meat is raised.

Buy your pup a bag of Taste of the Wild!

The best natural dog food taste of the wild

Taste of the Wild Dog Food Venison and Bison

 

#14. Science Diet Dog Food

 

Meat/Fish Quality: no hormones used in the poultry, customer service is unsure about the beef. Chicken are not cage-free, beef is not grass-fed. Customer service is unsure whether the salmon is wild or farm-raised.

Meat/Fish Diversity: 1-2 protein sources

Organs/Cartilage Included: no

Whole Fruits/Vegetables Included: some, whole fruits and vegetables are included but in small amounts (last on ingredient lists) in certain formulas. This includes apples, broccoli, carrots, cranberries, and green peas.

Grain-free: no. Formulas include barley, oat fiber, wheat, sorghum, and corn gluten

GMO-free: no, contains GMO corn and GMO soy

Low-glycemic: no

Cooking Method: baked

Botanicals included: no

Probiotics included: no

Oils/Fats used: fish oil, flax seed, chicken fat, coconut oil and soybean oil

Iodine source: no

China-free: no, taurine and carnitine are from China

Mercury-testing: customer service did not know

Other notes: Overall I do not recommend the Science Diet food. They use GMO, genetically modified foods such as soy and wheat, cheaper filler ingredients, and ingredients that may cause allergies in dogs. They use natural flavors rather than real ingredients, iodized salt (not sea salt), and have carbohydrate focused formulas, not meat protein focused formulas. I also felt very disappointed that their customer service did not seem to know a lot about the treatment of the animals and fish used in their formulas. In fact, they were very curious to why I even cared about the hormones used in the animal used in their formulas, and how they were raised.

science diet dog food review

The Science Diet

 

Final Thoughts

 

Phewwww! That was a lot I know. So the big question is, “Why is it so important to feed your dog (and puppy!) the best natural dog food available?”

Dogs, just like us humans, rely on the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats and antioxidants that we get from food in order to fuel and rebuild the body. Unfortunately, many dog food companies take that for granted, and think that just because they are dogs we can feed them lesser quality, nutrient-deprived food. This is one of the main reasons that so many dogs are suffering from various diseases that plague humans such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, kidney disease, arthritis, allergies, dental disease and obesity.

The dog food that we feed our pups should mimic what they would be eating in the wild – a diversity of animal proteins (fish, bison, chicken, eggs etc.), organ meats, bones, whole fruits and vegetables, and herbs. Just because they have become accustomed to sleeping in the bed, and being fed out of a porcelain bowl does not mean that their basic physiology has changed.

The diet is just as important for dogs as it is for us, and while the best natural dog food brands are quite pricey, I think it is worth it. While you pay extra upfront, you are ensuring that your dog is healthy – soft coat, pain-free movement, good energy, calm mood, plaque-free teeth, normal stools, and has non-itchy skin. Furthermore, you are preventing any diseases that may arise in the future. And honestly, who could bear seeing their puppy sick! In terms of finances, paying more upfront will save you money in the long run because pain-management, pharmaceutical treatment and surgery if far more expensive than feeding your pup the best natural dog food.

 

Your dog deserves the best!

Your dog deserves the best!

 

Your puppy deserves the best in the world so I hope that this has helped you to make the best decision!

Lots of love and puppy kisses,

Lauren and Bailey!

 

Disclaimer: All information presented above is from the dog food brand’s website and through their customer service team. I was not paid by any dog food company, nor endorsed in any way.

Save

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like

8 Comments

  • Reply Cathy December 16, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    Thanks for a Great Article! We use Orijen and Fromm! But will be checking out some of these others.

    • Lauren The Holy Kale
      Reply Lauren The Holy Kale December 23, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      Great choices!! LOVING the Orijen, but a few others like the Honest Kitchen have great dog treats. I personally give Bailey their “Beams” Fish skins.. she LOVES them!

    • Reply Jolie November 14, 2016 at 4:08 pm

      Acana has canola oil in it. Canola oil is a red flag ingredient. Also some of these foods have yeast sich brewers yeast- a controversial ingedient because of allergies. But thanks for the info

      • Lauren The Holy Kale
        Reply Lauren The Holy Kale November 15, 2016 at 2:39 pm

        Hi Jolie, yes I am not a huge fan of canola oil either. Unfortunately sometimes it is hard to get everything perfect, so I still recommend it over the majority of other brands since its positives outweigh the negatives in my eyes. I personally feed my dog Orijen, which does not have canola. I have not heard of the brewers yeast issue with allergies, but will look into it. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

  • Reply Gina Brown February 9, 2016 at 3:04 am

    I don’t know who told you that Aspergillus Niger or any species is a “probiotic” — it is not!!! It is one of the most toxic molds! Look on the label of Lysol or any disinfectant. Our family is still sick – a year later- after being hit with molds from a water-damaged structure that produced toxins that we inhaled for months. Aspergillus Niger is associated with hearing loss. There are tons of medical journal abstracts and full articles detailing how adult and child patients with cancer or liver failure underwent surgery and doctors discovered they had a systemic fungal infection and Aspergillus was the culprit. When a body is opened, the fungal spores are released and Big Pharma and the American Medical Machine will tell you that it is MRSA and you “catch” it in the hospital setting…Lie after lie. The USDA, FDA, EPA, CDC, Health Insurance, AMA, WHO and BIG PHARMA are all a part of the lie. Systemic fungal infection is what causes disease. Vets, PetSmart, makers of dog food either don’t care about animals or they are believing the lies. Aspergillus was not on dog food labels last year. Symptoms of fungal infection are insomnia, high anxiety, paranoia, systemic inflammation and every neurological dysfunction known to man. Depression is simply brain inflammation. When the immune system is alerted to the pathogen an entire cascade of events will occur. On my journey with this, I have learned so much. Never were we EVER supposed to put fungus in our bodies (penicillin). Now we have dogs with autism. We have dogs that have to wear braces for anxiety – just so someone can deepen their pockets. No one is listening.

    • Lauren The Holy Kale
      Reply Lauren The Holy Kale February 29, 2016 at 4:59 pm

      Hi Gina, thank you so much for your input. This is a topic that I have been researching quite intensively, and have found similar research to what you have mentioned. I have found that Aspergillus niger contains toxins that can make people with weak immune systems become very sick and can sometimes result in death. My next step has been to research it through the dog food companies and why they are using it in the food. I will update once I get that information all together. THANK YOU!

  • Reply Shea September 11, 2016 at 12:31 am

    I just started my dog on Natures Logic. Would this be a good food to add on your list? It contains no synthetic vitamins or minerals just whole foods.

    • Lauren The Holy Kale
      Reply Lauren The Holy Kale September 13, 2016 at 8:43 pm

      Hi Shea – thanks for the recommendation. Overall it looks pretty good – no synthetics, corn, gluten, by products etc. I would just call to see what spray dried means, and to see if their animal proteins are raised on hormones and with antibiotics. I couldn’t find that information anywhere on their site. Other than that looks good!

    Leave a Reply

    Content Protected Using Blog Protector By: PcDrome.