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8 Best Foods for Irish Setters – 2024 Reviews & Top Picks 

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Irish setter eating from a bowl

With so many dog food options on the market, it can be difficult to choose the best option for your pet. This is especially true when you’re catering to a specific breed’s needs, such as the active Irish Setter.

Irish Setters are known for their beautiful red coats, exceptional athleticism, and boundless energy. They need quality nutrition from puppyhood to their senior years to stay healthy, especially if they have allergies or skin issues.

Here are the eight best foods for Irish Setters, based on reviews from pet owners like you.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Winners in 2024

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Purina Pro Plan Sport All Life Stages Purina Pro Plan Sport All Life Stages
  • Active formula
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Complete and balanced nutrition
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Pedigree Complete Nutrition Dog Food Pedigree Complete Nutrition Dog Food
  • Complete and balanced
  • Crunchy texture
  • Whole grains and special fiber
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    VICTOR Select Lamb Meal & Brown Rice VICTOR Select Lamb Meal & Brown Rice
  • Lamb meal as first ingredient
  • VPRO Blend for digestion and immunity
  • Added nutrients
  • Best for Puppies
    Purina ONE + Plus Natural High Protein Healthy Puppy Purina ONE + Plus Natural High Protein Healthy Puppy
  • Real chicken as first ingredient
  • Rice and oatmeal for digestion
  • Unique texture
  • Wellness Complete Health Whitefish & Sweet Potato Wellness Complete Health Whitefish & Sweet Potato
  • Whitefish and sweet potato
  • Well-rounded nutrition
  • No GMOs, meat byproducts, fillers, or artificial preservatives
  • The 8 Best Foods for Irish Setters

    1. Purina Pro Plan Sport High-Protein Active 26/16 Formula Dry Dog Food – Best Overall

    Purina Pro Plan Sport All Life Stages

    Main ingredients: Chicken, brewer’s rice, whole grain wheat, poultry byproduct meal, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn
    Protein content: 26%
    Fat content: 16%
    Calories: 439 kcal/cup

    Purina Pro Plan Sport All Life Stages High-Protein Active 26/16 Formula Dry Dog Food is the best overall food for Irish Setters. Formulated for active breeds and canine competitors, this dog food offers plenty of muscle-building protein and fat for energy. It also has essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and glucosamine for healthy joints and mobility.

    Made in the USA with no added artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, this dog food formula provides a complete and balanced diet for dogs of all ages and activity levels. Though reviewers saw good results, some experienced issues with quality control.

    Pros
    • Active formula
    • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
    • Complete and balanced nutrition
    Cons
    • Quality control issues

    2. Pedigree Complete Nutrition Steak & Vegetable Adult Dry Dog Food – Best Value

    Pedigree Complete Nutrition Grilled Steak & Vegetable Flavor Dog Kibble

    Main ingredients: Ground whole grain corn, meat and bone meal, corn gluten meal, animal fat, omega 6 fatty acids, soybean meal, natural flavor
    Protein content: 21%
    Fat content: 10%
    Calories: 309 kcal/cup

    Pedigree Complete Nutrition Grilled Steak & Vegetable Flavor Dog Kibble Adult Dry Dog Food is the best food for Irish Setters for the money. With succulent steak and hearty vegetables, this food provides complete and balanced nutrition for active dogs. The crunchy texture of the kibble helps your dog’s dental health as well. There’s also whole grains and a special fiber blend to support healthy digestion.

    This food is made in the US with high-quality ingredients and no artificial flavors or sugar. Some reviewers had issues with the kibble being ground into dust or odd smells.

    Pros
    • Complete and balanced
    • Crunchy texture
    • Whole grains and special fiber
    Cons
    • Quality control issues

    3. VICTOR Select Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food – Premium Choice

    Victor Select Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food

     

    Main ingredients: Lamb meal, whole grain brown rice, whole grain millet, chicken fat, peas, grain sorghum, blood meal, yeast culture
    Protein content: 24%
    Fat content: 12%
    Calories: 372 kcal/cup

    VICTOR Select Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food is the premium choice for active Irish Setters. The formula features premium-quality lamb meal as the first ingredient and added vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, protein, and amino acids for complete and balanced nutrition. It’s also gluten-free for dogs with allergies to meat proteins and includes the VPRO Blend, a proprietary blend for superior digestibility and immune system function.

    All ingredients are sourced and made in the US without wheat or soy. This food is expensive, however, and some reviewers had issues with moldy kibble.

    Pros
    • Lamb meal as first ingredient
    • VPRO Blend for digestion and immunity
    • Added nutrients
    Cons
    • Mold/poor quality control
    • Expensive

    4. Purina ONE + Natural Healthy Puppy Formula Dry Puppy Food – Best for Puppies

    Purina ONE Plus Healthy Puppy Formula High Protein Natural Dry Puppy Food

    Main ingredients: Chicken, rice flour, corn gluten meal, chicken byproduct meal, whole grain corn, soybean meal, oat meal, beef fat
    Protein content: 28%
    Fat content: 17%
    Calories: 307 kcal/cup

    Purina ONE + Plus Natural High Protein Healthy Puppy Formula Dry Puppy Food is the best food for Irish Setter puppies. Real chicken is the first ingredient to give your puppy plenty of protein to support growing muscles. Rice and oatmeal are included for healthy digestion, as well as antioxidant sources to help promote a strong immune system. There are crunchy bites and tender meaty morsels to appeal to your pup’s appetite.

    Purina ONE foods are crafted by a veterinarian-recommended brand and produced in Purina-owned US facilities with no artificial flavors or preservatives. Some reviewers’ dogs didn’t like the food or had digestive issues.

    Pros
    • Real chicken as first ingredient
    • Rice and oatmeal for digestion
    • Unique texture
    Cons
    • Some dogs don’t like it
    • Some dogs had digestive issues

    5. Wellness Complete Health Whitefish & Sweet Potato

    Wellness Complete Health Adult Whitefish & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Whitefish, ground barley, peas, menhaden fish meal, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, canola oil, tomato pomace, ground flaxseed
    Protein content: 22%
    Fat content: 12%
    Calories: 435 kcal ME/cup

    Wellness Complete Health Whitefish & Sweet Potato is specially formulated to provide whole-body nutrition support with premium proteins and wholesome grains. This balanced food promotes strong immune health and energy levels with omega fatty acids, antioxidants, glucosamine, probiotics, and taurine.

    The recipe contains no GMOs, meat byproducts, fillers, or artificial preservatives. It’s made in the USA using globally sourced ingredients. Though some reviewers liked this food, others commented on a recipe change and said their dogs wouldn’t eat it.

    Pros
    • Whitefish and sweet potato
    • Well-rounded nutrition
    • No GMOs, meat byproducts, fillers, or artificial preservatives
    Cons
    • Possible recipe change
    • Some dogs won’t eat it

    6. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

    Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior

    Main ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, oatmeal, pea starch, flaxseed, chicken fat, natural flavor, dried tomato pomace
    Protein content: 24%
    Fat content: 14%
    Calories: 377 kcal /cup

    Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food is formulated for adult dogs with real meat, whole grains, garden veggies and fruit. It also has LifeSource Bits, a precise blend of nutrients that have been enhanced with a Super 7 package of antioxidant-rich ingredients, as well as calcium, phosphorus, and essential vitamins and minerals.

    This recipe has no wheat, soy or chicken byproduct meals. Some reviewers experienced issues with their dogs’ digestion, breath, and stool quality. There are quality control issues as well.

    Pros
    • High-quality meat and grains
    • Antioxidant-rich ingredients
    • LifeSource Bits
    Cons
    • May cause digestive issues
    • Poor quality control

    7. Diamond Naturals Beef Meal & Rice Formula Adult Dry Dog Food

    Diamond Naturals Beef Meal & Rice Formula Adult Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Beef meal, grain sorghum, ground white rice, dried yeast, egg product, rice bran, cracked pearl barley, chicken fat
    Protein content: 25%
    Fat content: 15%
    Calories: 399 kcal /cup

    Diamond Naturals Beef Meal & Rice Formula Adult Dry Dog Food provides high-quality nutrition with superfoods, probiotics, and a combination of real beef protein, fish protein, and fruits and vegetables. Omega fatty acids and antioxidants are also added for a healthy coat, skin, and immunity.

    Like other Diamond Naturals formulas, this food is made in the USA by a family-owned company using quality ingredients from trusted domestic and global sources. Several reviewers’ dogs had digestive issues after eating, such as diarrhea or gas.

    Pros
    • Beef and fish protein
    • Added superfoods and probiotics
    • Made in the US
    Cons
    • May cause digestive issues

    8. ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Chicken, turkey, salmon, whole herring, chicken liver, dehydrated chicken, dehydrated turkey, dehydrated chicken liver, dehydrated egg, dehydrated sardine
    Protein content: 38%
    Fat content: 18%
    Calories: 473 kcal /cup

    ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is a high-quality kibble packed with antioxidant-rich ingredients and fatty acids to support overall health. It features free-run chicken and turkey, flounder, mackerel, and chicken liver. Fiber, prebiotics, and probiotics support digestive health.

    All ORIJEN foods are made in the USA with quality ingredients from global sources. There are concerns around grain-free diets, however, and you should speak to your vet to ensure that a grain-free diet is appropriate for your dog.

    Pros
    • Real poultry and fish
    • Fiber, prebiotics, and probiotics
    Cons
    • Grain-free

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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Select the Best Dog Food for an Irish Setter

    Irish Setters are a type of gundog bred for hunting purposes. They are lean, energetic dogs and may be prone to skin issues, so it’s important to provide them with complete and balanced nutrition to support their health.

    Here’s what you should look for in food for an Irish Setter:

    Portrait of cute blonde girl playing with Irish Setter dog on floor in cozy home interior
    Image Credit: SeventyFour, Shutterstock

    AAFO Standards

    Most commercial dog food meets or exceeds the standards set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Dog food with the AAFCO seal is considered to be complete and balanced for adult dogs, specific breeds, sizes, or life stages.

    Size, Activity Level, and Life Stage

    Irish Setter puppies should be on puppy food for at least the first year of their lives. This food has the appropriate balance of protein, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to promote healthy development. Once they reach adulthood, they need an adult maintenance formula, possibly one formulated for active breeds.

    Brand Reputation

    With the FDA releasing a statement regarding grain-free diets and the possible link to diet-related canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and brand recalls for potentially toxic ingredients, it’s important to consider the dog food brand and reputation. While all brands can have recalls, a brand that’s committed to science-based nutrition and quality control is important for your dog’s health.

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    Conclusion

    The best overall choice for dog food for Irish Setters is Purina Pro Plan Sport All Life Stages High-Protein Active 26/16 Formula Dry Dog Food, which is formulated for active breeds and canine competitors. If you’re on a budget, Pedigree Complete Nutrition Grilled Steak & Vegetable Flavor Dog Kibble Adult Dry Dog Food offers complete nutrition and plenty of value. VICTOR Select Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food is the premium choice for active Irish Setters. For puppies, Purina ONE + Plus Natural High Protein Healthy Puppy Formula Dry Puppy Food has quality nutrition for growing dogs. Wellness Complete Health Whitefish & Sweet Potato is another option for quality nutrition from premium proteins and wholesome grains. Happy shopping!

    +Sources


    Featured Image Credit: SeventyFour, Shutterstock

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