The Best Dog Food in Canada
Our top picks
It can be stressful trying to figure out what works best for you dog and if you’re looking for new food to try, reviews on a brand you’re curious about, or anything else before making your next purchase, our team has got you covered below.
When it comes to feeding your furry best friend and their food, you want the best without breaking the bank or sacrificing time. Our buying guide below was chosen for ingredients, availability, and cost.
How to choose the best dog food
While looking for a quality dog food for your canine friend, it’s important to follow the advice of your veterinarian first and foremost, but that being said – Be sure to keep these in mind while shopping:
Ingredients: First and foremost is obviously the ingredients that your dog will be eating. Look for brands that have a minimum of 18% protein, 5% fat, and maximum percentages of moisture and crude fiber. Some may also indicate that they have a guaranteed minimum percentage of calcium, phosphorus, linoleic acid, and sodium – which are incredibly important for puppies while growing.
Fillers: When it comes to fillers for pet food, a lot aren’t necessarily harmful, but they can affect your pups digestion, high blood sugars, or overall health over the years if fed nothing else. Some cheaper brands have an abundance of soy and grains over proteins, and while dogs can eat things other than meat – it can impact them overall if they’re not getting enough protein and meat in their diets.
Fillers are a necessity and when done right are fantastic, such as including potatoes, sweet potatoes, fiber from beans, beet pulp, chickpeas, and other vegetables.
Price: While we all wish that we could feed our dogs the best money has to offer – sometimes the price and cost can be out of reach. Be sure that the food you’re splurging for is a good brand and is worth the purchase. Some have mediocre ingredients that could have been bought for much cheaper.
Best dog food overall
Orijen Regional Red
Orijen is known for being one of the best high quality pet foods available on the market. The Regional Red variety delivers red meat with whole animal ingredients, varied and rich in proteins and vitamins.
38% protein and 20% carbohydrates makes this a perfect dry food for your furry companion, as the protein content is higher than most other dog foods available and they offer a rich diversity. 85% meat inclusions, 15% vegetables and fruits, and 0% grains, tapioca, or plant protein concentrates. The proteins are also Wholeprey – meaning that the ratios of fresh meat, organs, bones, or cartilage supply and help give your dog virtually every nutrient they need.
Orijen is a pricier brand, but they are worth the cost for keeping your four-legged friend happy and healthy for years.
- Fantastic quality.
- Great for all dogs.
- The first five ingredients are fresh or raw.
Best dry dog food
With no artificial ingredients, colours, or preservatives and only natural ingredients – Beyond dry dog food is a great choice for any dog owner.
Crude protein is at a minimum of 26%, with salmon as the starring main ingredient (in this flavour combination) The natural ingredients combined with vitamins and minerals to ensure that your dog gets the best for its skin, coat, and eyesight makes this a good food to try.
No poultry by-products are included, and the kibble is nutrient dense. Recognizable ingredients you can trust and while Purina might have a questionable reputation from some pet owners – their Beyond ingredients and standards are all AAFCO qualified and have raving reviews from pet owners on Amazon and elsewhere online.
Picky eaters seem to love this food according to reviews, so if you have a pooch that snubs their nose at certain flavours or types – give this salmon and sweet potato a try, if not, there are also other flavours available.
- Perfect for picky eaters.
- Quality ingredients made without corn, soy, or wheat.
- Crude protein minimum of 26%.
- Price can fluctuate.
Best natural dog food
Nutro Natural Choice
If you want natural dry food for your dog, Nutro’s Natural Choice is a wonderful companion.
Great for picky eaters and dogs that might have sensitive stomachs to other foods, including skin itching from allergies – Nutro might be worth a shot. Most reviews have stated that their dogs were looking better after a few weeks of switching to Nutro, including itchy skin and overly shedding.
Chicken or lamb is the main ingredient, followed by whole grain brown rice, and chicken meal. All ingredients are natural and are all non-GMO. Real, recognizable ingredients are the star of the show.
The price can fluctuate, but overall, it’s a decently priced dry dog food with ingredients that you can trust, even for picky eaters. The kibbles are a good size without being too large or small for any dog breed and you can rest assured knowing that they’re eating well.
- Good for sensitive stomachs or picky eaters.
- Quality ingredients.
- Price can fluctuate.
- Some dogs may have an upset stomach if not mixed in with other foods first.
Best wet dog food for puppies
Hill’s Science Wet Food
A great canned wet food made specifically for puppies is Hill’s Science canned wet food. They’re vet recommended and great for a growing furry friend.
It provides DHA from fish oil for a healthy brain and eye development, and a shiny coat to match. A balanced set of minerals supports strong bones and teeth in young dogs while they’re developing. Every ingredient was chosen purposefully with easy to digest ingredients that most pups will love, even if they’re picky eaters.
High quality proteins such as chicken, liver, and pork plasma are fantastic for dogs that need it, while the beet pulp, carrots, and spinach make for great carbohydrates to accompany what your dog needs.
- Easily digestible and perfect for small puppies.
- Not ideal as long-term dog food.
- It can be pricey if used as the main dog food.
Best dog food for senior dogs
IAMS Mature Formula dog food
If you have an aging dog, you want to ensure that they’re getting what they need from food as well, even as their metabolism and energy levels slow down.
IAMS Mature formula dry dog food is a great accompaniment for aging seniors. With chicken and chicken by-product as the main top ingredients and antioxidants to help provide for a strong and health immune system, the blend of carefully chosen ingredients makes maintenance of bone and joint health with key ingredients specifically for seniors.
The price can’t be beat as it’s relatively cheap for dry dog food and is readily available in most places where pet food can be found. All ingredients are easy to understand and it’s a balanced and complete mix with zero fillers.
- Easy to digest ingredients for older dogs.
- Quality ingredients.
- Great price point.
- No small bags available.
Best dog food for allergies
Purina ONE Lamb & Rice formula
For some dogs that may have allergies to other proteins such as poultry or beef, Purina ONE’s Lamb and Rice formula contains Lamb as their top ingredient, that can usually help with sensitive allergens.
High-quality protein sources and Lamb being the #1 ingredient, this dry dog food is budget friendly and is complete and balanced for all sizes of dogs. Omega-6 fatty acids, minerals and vitamins help with supporting a healthy coat and skin.
It meets AAFCO standards, and a dual-defense antioxidant blend supports a healthy immune system. Tender meat morsels are mixed into the kibble have a great taste and texture that your dogs will love. Large chunks of real meat are great, and zero fillers makes it a healthy choice.
- Great substitute for any poultry, etc. allergies.
- Budget friendly cost.
- Ingredients and price can fluctuate.
Best dog food for puppies
Blue Buffalo Puppy
A balanced and specially formulated dry dog food for puppies is Blue Buffalo’s Puppy food with Life Protection formula.
Real meat first – chicken and natural ingredients are blended to make a high protein staple for your new puppies health and livelihood. Specially formulated, the Blue life protection food contains DHA and ARA, which are important fatty acids found in their mother’s milk, that can support and help maintain and grow healthy cognitive function and retinal health.
The lifesource bits are a blend of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins that support immune system health, oxidative balance, and life stage requirements that are more geared towards puppies that still have growing to do as opposed to older dogs.
Blue contains no chicken or poultry byproducts and corn, wheat, and soy, or any other artificial flavours.
- Real meat proteins.
- Specially formulated for puppies.
- No artificial flavours or preservatives.
- Can cause upset stomach in some dogs, according to some reviewers on Amazon.
Best dog food for small dogs
Zoe Small Dog
Formulated for small dogs that need a balanced sourced protein, including chicken and poultry and eggs.
The healthy grains quinoa, oats and barley are blended in with the high proteins, including fish oil, chia seeds, and flax seeds that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. No animal by-products, gluten meals, corn, wheat, soy, or artificial flavours and preservations.
Recommended for small breeds of dogs.
- Made in Canada.
- Natural ingredients.
- Recommended for small dogs.
- Budget friendly.
- Not many reviews available; less than 100 ratings on Amazon as of late 2021 (compared to other brands.)
Why trust this buying guide
For this buying guide, we chose the best dog foods in Canada that fit a standard for healthy ingredients, different price points, and overall ratings across the board from top-rated Amazon reviews to other trusted peer-review sources online, such as Dog Food Advisor.
Common questions about dog food
How much raw food can you feed your dog?
2-3% of your dogs body weight per day, split between two meals – Such as breakfast and dinner. Also be sure that when you’re feeding your dog a raw diet to be absolutely sure that everything is coming from a source that is made specifically for raw pet food and that you sanitize and clean everything. You don’t want to get yourself or your best friend sick accidentally.
How to make your own dog food/ how to make homemade dog food?
There are many recipes online to make your own homemade dog food but be sure to take each with a grain of salt and do your own research into what may or may not be good for your particular dog – and as always, keep in mind where you get your ingredients and etc., as not everything is meant for canine consumption even though it’s okay for us humans.
What is chicken meal in dog food?
Chicken meal as an ingredient listed in dog food is a dry rendered product from a combination of chicken flesh and skin that is with and without any of the accompanying bone. Most often it is the leftovers from the meat used for human consumption.
How much dog food do I feed my dog?
Most adult dogs should be fed twice a day, while puppies should be fed three times a day. How much you should feed your dogs will depend on their body weight and activity.
When to switch to adult dog food?
Six to twelve months is the general time when you’d switch your puppy to dog food, as they’re reaching their adult size and since spaying/neutering is also done around this time, it’s usually the right time to make the switch for your pup.
How is dog food made?
Dry dog kibble is made from mixing wet and dry ingredients into a dough that is then dried and put into a machine that will cut it all up into kibble sized bits. Kibble sizes, shapes, and ingredients are all different depending on brand and how they make theirs.
What can I feed my dog besides dog food?
Dogs are capable of having some ‘human food’ as treats or on special occasions but it’s easier to list what you SHOULDN’T give your four-legged friend:
Garlic, onions, chives, etc. as the entire onion family is poisonous to dogs.
Grapes and raisins can harm a dog’s kidneys for unknown reasons, so they should be avoided too.
Chocolate, macadamia nuts, corn on the cob, avocado, artificial sweeteners, cooked bones – as they can splinter off and be a choking hazard.
Food that you can feed your dogs besides dog food are carrots, fish, chicken, peanut butter, and plain popcorn. Peanut butter in particular can be good for getting your dogs to take their medication, and plain white rice with bland chicken can be great for any dog that has an upset stomach.
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