Choosing the right food for your dog is a difficult decision. There are so many brands on the market making claims to be the best. Of course, not all dog foods are made equal. This leaves you, as a loving pet parent, trying to navigate through the good and bad the world of dog food has to offer in an attempt to keep your pooch fed and healthy. We’re here to help. We’ve spent lots of time working with our veterinarians to determine 8 of the best dog foods this year. Take a look at these reviews and you will find the perfect dog food for your canine companion.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2024
|Farmer’s Dog Fresh Chicken Recipe
|Click to Save 50% + Get Free Shipping
|Purina Pro Plan Complete Essentials Beef & Rice Entrée
|Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic Dry Dog Food
|Best for Puppies
|Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food
|ACANA Singles + Wholesome Grains Dry Dog Food
The 8 Best Vet-Recommended Dog Foods
1. Farmer’s Dog Fresh Chicken Recipe – Best Overall
|Chicken, Brussels sprouts, chicken liver, bok choy, and broccoli
|590 per pound
Our choice for the overall best vet-recommended dog food this year is Farmer’s Dog Chicken Recipe. If your dog is healthy and free of food allergies, Farmer’s Dog Chicken Recipe is an excellent choice for their mealtimes. Packed with nutrients, this food features only the finest ingredients and essentials to keep your dog healthy. The chicken, which is the 1st ingredient, is USDA human-grade. You’ll also find chicken liver, healthy veggies like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, and fish oil to ensure your pet receives a balanced meal. Even better, Farmer’s Dog takes your dog’s needs into account and sends pre-packaged meals to make your life easier.
The only issue we have with Farmer’s Dog is that you must order a subscription to access this food. This may seem troubling to some pet parents, but the serving convenience outweighs this issue in our opinion.
2. Purina Pro Plan Complete Essentials Beef & Rice Entrée – Budget Buy
|Beef, water, liver, meat by-product, and chicken
|431 kcal per can
The best vet-recommended dog food for the money is Purina Pro Plan Complete Essentials Beef & Rice Entrée. This wet food recipe is considered complete and balanced for adult dogs. Beef is the primary ingredient but Purina makes sure to include healthy grains, vitamins, and minerals so your dog gets what they need. Although this dog food is less expensive than many others on the market, the recipes are still overseen by a veterinarian nutritionist to ensure they are healthy and well-balanced. You’ll even find that the food’s texture is ground. This means your pooch can’t pick and choose what they eat and gets all their nutrition when eating their food.
It’s important to know your dog’s reactions to foods before you invest in a lot of new products. If your dog has a sensitive stomach or is a picky eater, it may have issues with this recipe. Luckily, Purina offers lots of others to try. In addition, this food is intended for adult dogs. It is not considered a complete diet for puppies, pregnant dogs, or working dogs.
3. Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic + Mobility Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food
|Chicken meal, brewers rice, flaxseed, soybean meal, and whole grain corn
|292 kcal per cup
When it comes to giving your dog the best and helping them lose a little weight in the process, a prescription diet is the answer. Unfortunately, when a dog is overweight, mobility issues often pop up as well. If money is no issue, turning to Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic + Mobility Chicken Flavor Dry Food is a great choice. This food takes on the idea of being higher in fiber to keep dogs feeling fuller longer. It also contains a unique blend to help boost your dog’s metabolism, which will help them burn more calories, even when at rest. Following this plan is better than reducing the amount of food you normally feed your dog as this prescription food ensures they are still getting the vitamins, minerals, and nutrition they need. Keep in mind, this food does require a veterinarian prescription to purchase.
Unfortunately, you’ll find many pet parents reporting their pooch doesn’t like the flavor of this food. Another concern is the size of the food pieces for smaller dog breeds.
4. Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food – Best for Puppies
|Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, and oatmeal
|406 kcal per cup
Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Puppy Recipe Dry Dog Food is ideal for daily use. The deboned chicken inside is rich in protein and can help your pup develop strong bones and muscles. You’ll also find that there are lots of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in this recipe to provide a well-balanced meal. Your pup will also enjoy the bite-size pieces that are easy for most to chew.
The only issue we’ve found with this puppy food is that it does have the potential to cause loose stools. In such a scenario, you may need to speak to your veterinarian or try another food.
5. ACANA Singles + Wholesome Grains Limited Ingredient Diet Lamb & Pumpkin Recipe Dry Dog Food – Vet’s Choice
|Deboned lamb, lamb meal, oat groats, whole sorghum, and lamb liver
|371 kcal per cup
Our vet’s choice is ACANA Singles + Wholesome Grains Lamb & Pumpkin Recipe Dry Dog Food. This food provides your pooch with a nutrient-dense diet appropriate for all life stages. Inside you will find heart-healthy vitamins to support the circulatory systems. This healthy food is also free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids also promote healthy skin and coats.
Unfortunately, owners with picky eaters report that many dogs will not eat this food. If you have a picky eater, definitely opt for the 4 lb bag over the 22.5 lb bag to assess your dog’s preference.
6. Purina Pro Plan Adult Weight Management Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
|Chicken, rice, whole grain corn, poultry by-product meal, and corn germ meal
|330 kcal per cup
For adult dogs that are on a weight loss program suggested by their veterinarian, Purina Pro Plan Adult Weight Management is a great option to choose. The recipe is designed to have 15% less fat (when compared to other recipes from the same brand) to help reduce calorie intake. Chicken is the main ingredient and source of protein. This helps your dog maintain their muscle while they lose any extra pounds they need to drop. They’ll even enjoy the taste as Purina has mixed in meaty pieces for dogs to love.
Unfortunately, this dog food is quite expensive. This can leave owners with overweight pooches struggling to fit this food into tight budgets.
7. Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Wet Dog Food
|Water, rice, pork liver, turkey giblets, and pork by-products
|349 kcal per can
Unfortunately, some dogs deal with difficult digestive issues. Thanks to Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Wet Food, your dog can still enjoy a great meal without all the discomfort. Often used by veterinarians for post-surgery care, this food is rich in both soluble and insoluble fibers. This is great for a dog’s gut health, especially those that deal with acute or chronic diarrhea. You’ll also find this food easy to digest and full of B vitamins to replace those lost during diarrhea.
The biggest downside to this food is that it is a prescription diet only meant as a temporary option for dogs in recovery from a surgical procedure, dogs dealing with digestive system issues, or dogs with some pancreatic disorders.
8. Purina Pro Plan Adult Large Breed Shredded Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
|Chicken, rice, whole grain wheat, poultry by-product meal, and, soybean meal
|353 kcal per cup
We’ve already discussed a couple of Purina foods, but if you’re the pet parent of a larger dog breed, this one is designed specifically for you and your pet. Purina Pro Plan Adult Large Breed Shredded Chicken & Rice Formula is a dry food that offers a high-protein diet rich in probiotics and prebiotics.
The biggest issue we found with this dog food was the texture upon arrival. Unfortunately, several of the kibble pieces get pulverized and with the texture already being a bit mushy, this can make feeding difficult.
Now that we’ve taken a look at our favorite, vet-recommended dog foods, let’s discuss what you should keep in mind when choosing your favorite.
Possibly the most important aspect to keep in mind when choosing dog food for your dog is the ingredients. Our pets are family. Just like ourselves or our children, we want them to eat the best. This means food that is crafted with high-quality proteins and fibers. You’ll also want vitamins, minerals, and nutrients included to help keep your pooch healthier.
Unfortunately, with the cost of everything in the world on the rise, dog food is becoming more expensive. Honestly, if you want your pooch to have the best, you’ll find yourself having to pay for it. However, if you’re on a budget, we have included a best-value option to help you stay on budget while still offering your pet vet-recommended dog food.
Your Dog’s Needs
You can’t simply go out and grab puppy food for your large breed dog. It’s important that when you choose dog food you keep your dog’s individual needs in mind. Foods should be age-appropriate, designed for the breed of dog you own, and even adhere to specific dietary requirements suggested by your veterinarian.
By choosing one of the foods in this review, you’ll be on the right track with a good diet for your pet. For the best overall vet-recommended dog food, we suggest giving Farmer’s Dog Fresh Chicken Recipe a shot. This food is designed for your dog’s feeding needs and provides all the nutrition your pet requires for a healthy diet. If you’re on a budget, Purina Pro Plan Complete Beef & Rice wet dog food is a great option. Not only is this food beneficial and healthy for your dog but it is more affordable than many others on our list. Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic is ideal for dogs who need a bit of help with losing weight while Merrick Health Grains is a healthy, balanced dog food for growing puppies. ACANA Singles + Wholesome Grains is another solid choice that is nutrient-dense and packed with essentials for your pet.
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