Choosing the right chow for your pup can be an overwhelming process — from dry to wet, fresh to frozen or dehydrated, raw to cooked, and whole grains to grain-free, the offerings are broad. Although there are many variables at play when looking for food (your dog's age, weight, breed, pre-existing health conditions, or dietary restrictions), there's one common factor that owners can use as a basic guideline for starting their search: the ingredients.
According to the experts at Chewy, aka the destination for all things pets, "it’s important to read the entire package, not just the front of the bag or can, to really understand what’s in the food." Dr. Laurie Coger, an integrative and functional-medicine veterinarian who runs The Healthy Dog Workshop, points out that the useful information is listed on the back of your pet's food under, "ingredients and nutritional analysis," where you should look for items that are free of preservatives, artificial colors, or low-quality proteins.
We sniffed out a few top-dog brands on the market that are producing high-quality food for your favorite four-legged companion — breaking each down by type and budget, from fresh new meal-subscription services to more affordable bagged kibble classics. Although it's ultimately best to consult your veterinarian on the right choice for your pup's needs, you can still get the [tennis] ball rolling with the popular options using premium ingredients ahead.
In celebration of our animal better halves, Refinery29 is hosting a week's worth of pet-dedicated content — featuring everything from dog-approved chew toys to top-rated travel carriers and other totally drool-worthy finds.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. The product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.