It’s important that we give our dogs the nutrition they deserve. That starts with the food, but with so many different varieties on the shelves, how do we know the best and worst dog food brands?
There’s some variation in opinion when it comes to picking a good dog food, but bad dog food? That’s easy. There are some ingredients that are just plain bad for your dog to ingest, and unfortunately, several commercial brands are loaded with them. These can lead to problems, including dental and health.
Ready to jump in and find out what not to feed your dog? We’ve got the ten worst right here.
Worst dog food brands to feed your pet
- Purina One Smart Blend. Purina does something good here: they start their ingredients list off with chicken. Chicken’s a great protein found in some of the best dog food brands. However, Purina’s dog food quickly goes south. While they may start off with strong footing, they load up their food with fillers like corn, rice, and soybean meal. This food also includes high amounts of animal fat. In fact, a good percentage of this food’s calories come from fat.
- Science Diet. Science diet doesn’t necessarily reach the top of the worst dog food brands. Still, for a brand with science right there in its name, this food comes up short when all is said and done. The first ingredient is chicken, but it’s still pretty difficult to determine the ultimate protein ratio in this food. It’s packed with other fillers such as wheat and corn as well.
- Grreat Choice. While Grreat Choice offers consumers various different options with their food (they have 4 different products in their line for different types and ages of dogs), this rates far below other dog food brands. When it comes to carbs, Grreat Choice is ahead of the game with its level of grains. The first ingredient on the list is corn. Not protein, not anything of any real nutritional value. Corn. The first ingredient is a filler. If that doesn’t tip you off to horrible things to come, who knows what will? In fact, protein doesn’t make an appearance on the list until the seventh ingredient, chicken by-product meal.
- Beneful. Here we have Purina again, trying to escape the bad reputation they’ve earned for themselves. While Beneful claims to be full of real meat, the majority of the food is made up of plant proteins. That doesn’t even begin to touch the artificial flavors and colors loaded into this food.
- Alpo. Do you really want to feed your dog from a dog food brand that’s been recalled as often as Alpo has? One of their most recent recalls was issued due to concerns regarding melamine contamination. Alpo’s foods are full of low-quality, artificial additives, and ingredients. This is in spite of the fact that they claim to be nutritious and meat-rich. Their dry food contains a very heavy-handed use of fillers such as ground yellow corn and soybean meal.
- Hill’s Science Diet. This is one of the dog food brands that’s found success in marketing itself as a vet’s choice. However, that doesn’t mean the quality is all that great. While Hill’s Science Diet has an option for dogs at all stages of life, a quick look at the ingredients will tell you that it’s not all that different from other commercial brands. For instance, most of their food includes corn, wheat, and soy, all classic fillers when it comes to dog food. Just because it’s shipped to your vet’s office doesn’t mean it’s as nutritious as it claims to be.
- Kibbles ‘n Bits. Who knew that the fifth largest of the dog food brands in America would be so downright bad for your pet? While Kibbles ‘n Bits boasts the flavorful, roasted meat content in their food, corn is usually the first ingredient. In case we need to reiterate, corn is a terrible filler lacking in nutritional content for your dog. Unfortunately, this doesn’t only stop at their dry food. Their wet food is also jam packed with more carbs and wheat content than you’d ever want to fill your pet with.
- Diamond. Diamond Pet Food includes three different lines: Diamond, Diamond Naturals, and Diamond Naturals Grain-Free. The latter two are actually a great improvement from the first, which is a terrible choice when it comes to your dog’s health. While it pretends to be a bargain brand that still remains healthy, that doesn’t mean you should cast a blind eye to a number of additives and lack of nutrition found in the standard Diamond line. While they don’t use as many artificial colors or flavors, they’re still very heavy on the grains. This means that your dog isn’t getting the nutrition that they ultimately need.
- Pedigree. Pedigree offers your pet an array of different foods to try, and they keep their marketing simple: “Really good food.” However, when it comes down to ingredients, Pedigree’s foods are usually close to identical. There may be a stray set of ingredients here and there, but their formulas are typically the same. Not only that, but Pedigree usually lists corn as their first ingredient. Pedigree is heavy on carbs and low on the protein, meaning it’s not a healthy choice when it comes to dog food brands.
- Royal Canin. While Royal Canin has a ton to boast when it comes to variety and breed-specific recipes, they’re another culprit when it comes to bad dog food brands. While they have a lot of variety, there’s not much variation in the ingredients between different lines. Also, while they market their products as containing high amounts of animal protein and meat, usually a filler like corn is their first ingredient.
When it comes to giving your dog the nutrition they deserve, you don’t want to skimp. After all, your dog can’t feed itself, and it relies on you to give keep it healthy.
The easiest way to do that is to start at the food.
If you’re feeding your dog one of the brands above, or you’re considering making a switch, take a deeper dive into your dog’s current food brand. Make sure the ingredients line up with their nutritional needs!