The Shar-Pei is an instantly recognizable dog breed with its wrinkled face and pig-like curly tail. Since these dogs are so unique, it’s natural to wonder what’s the healthiest food for them. There are many brands available, and there’s an increasing number of specialized foods like grain-free, senior, and toy breed foods that can make choosing a brand difficult.
We’ve chosen eight popular brands to review for you. We’ll tell you the pros and cons of each as well as what our dogs thought of them. We’ve also included a short buyer’s guide where we talked about the sharpie needs and requirements in a daily diet and what you should look for in a brand of food.
Join us while we discuss protein, antioxidants, fatty acids, chemical preservatives, and more to help you make an educated purchase.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites (Updated 2022)
The 8 Best Dog Foods for Shar-Peis
1. Taste of the Wild Wetlands Grain-Free Dry Dog Food – Best Overall
Taste of the Wild Wetlands Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is our pick as the best overall dog food for Shar-Peis. It’s a high protein food, and protein count can reach as high as 32%. It features duck as its first ingredient, but there is also quail and turkey among the meats. There are also plenty of real fruits and vegetables listed among the ingredients, including blueberries, raspberries, and tomatoes. These high-quality ingredients lead to a diet rich in valuable nutrients like antioxidants and omega fatty acids. There is no soy or corn in the ingredients, and it’s free of chemical preservatives as well.
The only negative thing we could say about Taste of the Wild Wetlands is that some of our dogs wouldn’t eat it. Overall, we think this is the best dog food for Shar-Peis that we’ve seen this year.
2. American Journey Active Life Formula Dry Dog Food – Best Value
American Journey Active Life Formula Dry Dog Food is our pick for the best dog food for Shar-Peis for the money. It has beef listed as its first ingredient, and it contains a minimum of 25% protein. Real fruit like blueberries and cranberries provide powerful antioxidants while flaxseed and fish oil provide helpful fatty acids that help your Shar-Pei remain rash free. Sweet potatoes and brown rice provide complex carbs and other nutrients your pet needs for energy.
We like the ingredients in American Journey, and it smells good when you put it in the bowl. Unfortunately, not all our dogs found it very tasty and would hold out until we put out something else.
3. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food – Best for Puppies
Wellness CORE Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food is our pick as best for puppies. It contains up to 36% protein and has chicken listed as its top ingredient. It also contains plenty of fruits and vegetables like broccoli, spinach, kale, carrots, apple, blueberries, and more. These high-quality ingredients provide your pet with antioxidants to help boost their immune system as well as fatty acids that help with a puppy’s brain and eye development. There are no harmful preservatives or artificial colors.
We felt good about serving Wellness CORE to our puppy despite the high cost. The only thing we didn’t like is the bag doesn’t have a reseal feature, and one of our dogs wouldn’t eat it.
4. VICTOR Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog Food
VICTOR Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog Food has a minimum of 30% protein to supply your pet with strong building blocks for muscle development. All ingredients come from the U.S.A., with 80% sourced within 200 miles. It features their unique Victor Core ingredients, which fortify the food with prebiotics and probiotics as well as selenium yeast and mineral complexes. It also has omega fats and amino acids to help nourish the skin.
VICTOR has a lot of great ingredients, but the kibble is a little large for smaller dogs, and there’s only meat meal, there’s no whole meat. While that doesn’t necessarily make the food bad, we prefer foods that have at least one whole meat in the ingredients.
5. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food has chicken listed as its first ingredient. At 21%, the protein is a low little lower than some of the other brands, but it’s still acceptable for medium size dog like the Shar-Pei. The ingredients also include sweet potatoes and brown rice, which are complex carbs that help provide energy and keep your pet feeling full. It also contains glucosamine, which could help with joint pain in older dogs, and flaxseed provides omega fats.
We thought our dogs we’re going to like Nutro Wholesome Essentials, but after a few weeks, they stopped eating it. We also found quite a bit of dust left in the bag when it was empty.
6. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Is a limited ingredient food that contains turkey as its top ingredient. Limited ingredients reduce the risk your pet will have an allergic reaction, and 26% protein provides plenty of energy and helps develop strong muscles. Probiotics and prebiotics help balance and maintain a healthy digestive system, and ground flaxseed provides the omega fats.
Like many of these healthier foods, some of our dogs wouldn’t eat the Wellness brand. Others would eat it for a while and then stop. We felt that the kibble was a little large, especially for our smaller dog, and it had a bad smell to it.
7. Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is a high protein dog food that contains 34% protein by volume. Beef is listed as the first ingredient, and it also contains lamb, salmon, pork, and whitefish, which helps increase the protein level. It’s not on meat, though, and it contains sweet potatoes, blueberries, and other fruits and vegetables to help provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to keep your pet healthy.
Both of our dogs would eat Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, but they tended to take longer to finish their food, and while we’re not complaining, we feel it’s because they didn’t like it as much as their regular brand. It’s also expensive compared to many other brands on this list, and the kibble is quite small, so you might not like it if you have larger dogs.
8. CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Senior Dry Dog Food
CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Senior Dry Dog Food contains 28% protein and contains chicken as its top ingredient. There are only nine ingredients in this food to help reduce the risk that your pet will have an allergic reaction. Sweet potatoes in garbanzo beans provide complex carbs for energy and fiber that will help your pet stay full longer. It adds a unique blend of probiotics, antioxidants, and omega fats to help your pet stay healthy, and there is no corn, wheat, or soy in the ingredients that can upset your dog’s delicate digestive tract.
Unfortunately, CANIDAE is the food our dogs liked least of the brands on this list. Only one of our dogs will eat it, and the one that did would get bad breath and occasional gas. The kibble is very tiny, and we weren’t sure if it was contributing to cleaning teeth, and it left quite a bit of dust in the bag when it was empty.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Dog Food For Shar-Peis
Here are some of the important things to consider when choosing a brand of dog food for your Shar-Pei. The Shar-Pei Is a medium-sized dog that doesn’t have any special nutritional requirements, besides a balanced meal made from high-quality ingredients.
Wet vs Dry Dog Food
One of the first things you’ll need to consider when choosing a brand of dog food to feed your Shar-Pei is whether you want to use wet food or dry food. Both types provide your pet with a complete meal, but there are some pros and cons associated with each.
Wet food usually comes in a can and is more expensive than dry dog food. It’s considered richer than dry food and usually contains more fat and more calories per serving, which means it’s easier for your pets again weight using wet food. Dogs often like it better, it’s nutrient-dense, and it adds moisture to their diet, but it doesn’t help clean their teeth, it’s harder to store, and you need to refrigerate it once you open it.
Dry dog food is a baked dough sprayed with nutrients. Dry food usually doesn’t have as much flavor as wet food, so dogs don’t like it as much. However, it still provides a complete meal and is much less expensive than wet food. It comes in larger packages, is easier to store, and you could leave it in the bowl for several hours without worrying about refrigeration or spoiling. One of the biggest advantages of using dry dog food is that it helps clean their teeth. Crunchy kibble helps to scrape away tartar and plaque that can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
Once you have decided on a type of food, you can start to look at the ingredients. Limited ingredient foods keep the ingredients to one source of meat protein and one vegetable protein to help reduce the chance your pet will have an allergic reaction to the food. It also makes it easier to narrow down the cause if your pet does react negatively to the food.
Protein is going to be one of your biggest concern while looking for dog food for Shar-Peis because while dogs are not strictly carnivores, they require a lot of protein. Most experts recommend 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, so getting food with a high concentration of protein means your dog will need to eat less. Protein needs can increase while your dog is a puppy, if it’s very active, or if it’s nursing a litter.
We recommend looking for brands that provide protein in the form of a whole meat, like chicken, turkey, or beef, and you should see it listed as the first ingredient. Meat meal and meat byproduct are a dried, ground meat, and while they are not necessarily bad ingredients, they’re not as high quality as real beef or chicken and should be further down the list if used at all.
Fruits and Vegetables
There are plenty of fruits and vegetables your pet can eat, and it can be very beneficial to the health of your dog. Mini berries like blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries provide vitamins as well as antioxidants that will help boost your pet’s immune system. A strong immune system will not only keep illness away. It will help them recover faster. Vegetables like kale, broccoli, sweet potato, and spinach also provide vitamins and minerals as well as fiber to help stabilize your pet’s sensitive digestive tract. Fiber can help prevent and eliminate constipation and diarrhea.
Most Omega fats come from fish oil, but they also come from ground flax and other ingredients. Omega fats are important for brain and eye development while your dog is still a puppy. Omega fats also help adult dogs keep a soft, shiny coat, and there’s evidence they help reduce skin rashes, reduce inflammation, and help with arthritis pain.
What to Avoid
Here are some of the ingredients we recommend avoiding in any brand of dog food you are considering.
- We recommend avoiding foods but do not have a whole meat like chicken, beef, turkey, or lamb listed as the first ingredient.
- We recommend avoiding foods where ingredients come from other countries with lower pet food standards.
- Avoid foods that use artificial dyes because they can cause an allergic reaction in some dogs.
- Avoid foods that have meat dogs don’t normally eat, like a kangaroo, listed as the first ingredient, because there’s some evidence these protein sources may not be good for your dog.
- Avoid foods that use chemical preservatives like BHA.
When choosing a brand of dog food for your Shar-Pei, we highly recommend our choice for the best overall. Taste of the Wild Wetlands Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Is packed with protein and contains duck as the top ingredient. It contains real fruit and vegetables, omega fats, and antioxidants. For those on a budget, we recommend our best value. American Journey Active Life Formula Dry Dog Food contains all the high-quality ingredients as our top brand with slightly less protein. This food also strangely smells good like someone’s cooking beef Stew while it’s in the bowl.
We hope you enjoyed reading over these reviews, and they’ve helped you find the perfect food for your Shar-Pei. If you learn something new from our buyer’s guide and you think it can help others, please share this guy to the best dog food for Shar-Peis on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured Image Credit: christels, Pixabay