The Vizsla is a lively, active dog. He loves to walk, run, and exercise with his owner, and owners will attest that his energy and stamina levels are virtually unmatched. He will keep going for hours.
Weighing between 40 and 65 pounds, they are medium to large dogs, and they need a diet that matches their combination of size and lifestyle. You should also consider the age and stage of life of your dog to make sure they get the right levels of protein, fat, carbs, and fiber. What’s more, some dogs may be sensitive to grains or some meat proteins.
Although Vizslas don’t tend to be picky, different foods use different primary ingredients and offer a host of different flavors.
Getting the right food for your hunting dog can be tricky, which is why we’ve compiled a list of reviews of the best dog foods for Vizslas.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2022
The 8 Best Dog Foods for Vizslas
1. Ollie Dog Food — Best Overall
When you’re shopping for dog food for your Vizsla, you want the best of the best, and there’s no doubt that Ollie is the way to go.
When you sign up, you put in your dog’s information, including their weight and any allergies that they might have, and Ollie does the rest. It builds a meal plan for your dog based on these details and even pre-portions out all the meals when they are sent to you.
Ollie only uses the highest quality ingredients and offers baked, fresh, and mixed meal plans to suit your budget. Ollie is more expensive than traditional kibble recipes, but the quality of food that you’re getting is much higher.
If you want what’s best for your dog, you want Ollie.
2. American Journey Grain-Free Dry Dog Food – Best Value
American Journey Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is suitable for dogs that are sensitive to grains. It is well priced and its primary ingredients are deboned salmon, chicken meal, and turkey meal. It also contains additional salmon oil, menhaden fish meal, and flaxseed, giving a good ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and a protein ratio of 32%, which will help maintain your Vizsla’s muscles and joints.
Popular with picky dogs, the only lower quality ingredients found in this food are dried plain beet pulp and pea protein. These ingredients are cheap and bulk up protein levels but they do not offer much nutritional value. The good-quality ingredients, high protein level, wholesome ingredients, and price make this the best dog food for Vizslas for the money.
3. Solid Gold Wolf Cub Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food – Best for Puppies
Solid Gold Wolf Cub Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food is a puppy food that combines bison and ocean fish meal with natural ingredients to provide 26% protein and 12% fat. Although there are a few ingredients that are considered low-quality filler, there is nothing that is considered dangerous and truly controversial. The price is higher than a lot of other foods, but this is to be expected from a puppy formula.
The ingredients contain probiotics. These good bacteria fight off bad bacteria and they aid digestion. They can also improve heart health and even benefit weight loss. You must keep your Vizsla puppy at a healthy weight. Although they can be expected to have a little “puppy fat”, they should not be overweight, because shedding pounds takes a lot more effort.
The Wolf Cub range is aimed at large breed dogs and contains roughly 350 calories per cup, so it allows you to feed a little more volume to your dog without him putting weight on.
4. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Taste of the Wild dog food is designed to mimic the diet of wild dogs. The High Prairie formula does not include grains, which makes it suitable if you’re looking to feed a grain-free diet. It uses buffalo, lamb, and chicken as the primary meat ingredients, and combines these with sweet potatoes, potatoes, and peas, as well as a list of other natural ingredients.
It is suitable for dogs of any size and is best for adult dogs aged 1-year or older. With 32% protein, it has a good amount of protein for an active dog like a Vizsla. It contains chelated minerals, which attach to the protein and are better absorbed by the body, and the dried fermentation products in the ingredients help with digestion.
Ocean fish meal introduces omega fatty acids, while additional B vitamins further fortify this food. The only controversial ingredient in this food is tomato pomace, which has little nutritional value aside from the plant-based protein that it delivers.
5. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Dry Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Dry Dog Food is a chicken-based dry food. It also contains barley, oatmeal, and brown rice ingredients. It contains 24% protein, which is a little on the low side but should still provide enough for your Vizsla.
It does contain several ingredients that are considered low-quality and low-cost. These ingredients include dehydrated alfalfa meal and alfalfa nutrient concentrate. Alfalfa is from the hay family and is commonly used as horse feed. It has a lower biological value than meat content. Dried tomato pomace, pea fiber, and pea protein are also included, and these are similarly low quality.
Further down the list of ingredients is garlic. Garlic is a controversial addition to dog food. It may have some health benefits, although its apparent ability to deter fleas and worms has not been proven. However, garlic is considered toxic for dogs, even in small quantities.
Dried yeast is the final controversial ingredient. Some people claim that it increases the chances of dogs contracting bloat. The science doesn’t bear this out, but your dog may be allergic to the yeast. In which case, it should be avoided.
6. Diamond Naturals All Life Stages Dry Dog Food
Diamond Naturals All Life Stages Dry Dog Food is an inexpensive food with chicken and chicken meal as its primary ingredients. It also contains whole grain brown rice. Chicken fat is listed high in the ingredients and while this may not sound appetizing, it is a very good source of omega fatty acids and is considered a good addition to dog food.
Dried beet pulp, on the other hand, is a somewhat controversial ingredient. Proponents claim that it offers blood sugar benefits, but opponents state that it is nothing more than cheap filler. In either case, it isn’t unhealthy or dangerous for your dog so its inclusion is not considered too negative.
The final controversial ingredient is dried yeast. Some owners claim that it can increase the chances of dogs getting bloat, but this has not been proven. If your dog is allergic to yeast, however, then it should be avoided.
Diamond Naturals is 26% protein, which is around average but could be higher. It is suitable for Vizslas of any age except puppies. Puppies should be on puppy food until they are approximately 12 months old.
7. Iams ProActive Health Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food
Iams ProActive Health Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food contains 22.5% protein and lists chicken as its primary ingredient. Other major ingredients include barley, corn, and sorghum. Corn is considered a poor quality ingredient for a premium food because it is cheap and offers very little nutrition to dogs. Sorghum is similar to corn, except that it has a better blood sugar action. Beet pulp is also found in the ingredients and this also courts some controversy. It is a cheap ingredient. Some claim that it offers blood sugar benefits, but this is disputed by others.
Brewers yeast should be fine unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, and the Iams contains caramel coloring, which is an artificial coloring that is deemed entirely unnecessary in dog food. It has even been found to cause cancer in lab animals. With that said, the FDA does consider it safe for inclusion in dog food.
The minerals in this food are not listed as chelated. Chelated minerals are easier for your dog to absorb and are considered more beneficial.
8. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food is designed for adult large breed dogs. It lists chicken as its main ingredient, followed by barley, wheat, corn, and sorghum. The food only contains 20% protein, which is not considered enough for most breeds.
The ingredients contain a lot of cheap fillers and rely on meat flavors like pork flavor and chicken liver flavor. Your dog might enjoy the taste of the food, but it is not delivering the healthy benefits that real meats would provide.
The food also contains soybean oil. There are unfounded rumors that this is linked to food allergies, but a better quality animal or even flaxseed oil would be preferred because they have a better ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Despite the low-quality fillers, it is far from the cheapest option on our list.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Dog Food for Vizslas
An adult Vizsla will eat between 3-4 cups of food a day. This should be fed in two or three meals, to avoid over-feeding and to minimize the risk of conditions like bloat. Large-breed foods are considered beneficial because they tend to offer the right ratios of protein to fat and carbs, but you should still check the nutritional values to ensure that this is the case.
When choosing the best dog food for your Vizsla, consider the following:
Dog food allergies are more common than many people think. They can cause symptoms like itching and chewing, as well as head shaking. They may prevent your dog from getting the rest they require and could lead to gastrointestinal complaints.
To determine whether your dog has a food allergy, you will need to adopt an elimination diet. This means removing all known allergens from their food and then gradually reintroducing them one at a time. If your dog shows signs of an allergic reaction, this means that they have an allergy to the most recently added food.
You might be interested in: Best Dog Foods for Dogs With Allergies
However, it is worth noting that most allergic dogs have allergies to more than one food, so you shouldn’t stop testing once you identify the first allergen. Keep going until you have added or specifically removed all known allergens. This will leave you with a clear picture of what you can and cannot feed your dog.
This testing is important because food allergies only account for a small portion of allergic reactions in dogs. Most allergies are environmental, so your pooch is more likely to be allergic to a particular plant or something else that they pass when out walking than the food they eat.
Fortunately, there are plenty of high-quality foods out there with different ingredients. Whether your dog is allergic to eggs and fish or lamb and chicken, you can find an alternative to feed them.
Grain-Free vs Grain-Inclusive
Food sensitivities are not as extreme as allergies, but they can cause uncomfortable symptoms including itching and flaking skin. As well as sensitivities to the foods mentioned above, it is common for some dogs to suffer from grain sensitivity.
Many of these ingredients are considered beneficial to dogs. Whole grains like corn include essential nutrients such as linoleic acid. However, if that particular ingredient gives your dog symptoms like diarrhea, they should be avoided. Find a grain-free formula that offers a fully balanced diet and that includes all of the essential vitamins and minerals that he needs.
There are some ingredients found in dog food that have caused controversial debate. Unless they are considered toxic, you may want to make your own mind up and then look for those foods that do or do not contain that particular ingredient. Three of the most controversial ingredients commonly found in dog food are:
Some dog foods boast of chelated minerals and, in all honesty, this is a justifiable boast. The minerals have been combined with amino acids and these bond naturally to the protein in the food. This means that your dog will naturally absorb the minerals, and they will get all of the benefits. If minerals are non chelated, they should absorb some, but will not receive the full payload.
Probiotics are good gut bacteria that fight off bad bacteria. They improve gut health and make it easier for your dog to digest food and the nutritional goodness in that food.
There is a huge variety of choice when it comes to dog food. Your Vizsla will demand plenty of protein, and will likely enjoy his food, especially if he also enjoys getting out and about for a walk or run with you. You should ensure that your dog has good quality food, that it does not contain any harmful ingredients, and ideally it should offer nutritional benefits beyond the protein and calories that it offers. Hopefully, our reviews have helped you find a food that is ideal for your active pooch.
While compiling the reviews, we found that Ollie Dog Food uses high-quality and natural ingredients and offers a great range of recipes and food types. If you’re looking for something on a tighter budget, the American Journey Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is another food that is free from grain allergens and is extremely affordable.
Featured Image Credit: AndrasKiss, Shutterstock