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Meridian Dog Food Review 2023: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Melissa Gunter

By Melissa Gunter

meridian Dog Food Review

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give Meridian dog food a rating of 3 out of 5 stars.

Meridian dog food isn’t the easiest dog food to find for your pet, but it is one of the more affordable options on the market today. This food is advertised to be nutritious, tasty, and safe for your dogs. But is it? In our opinion, Meridian dog food isn’t top-of-the-line food for your pet. Yes, it offers nutrition and certain ingredients that are great for your pet, but it also has its issues. Let’s take a more in-depth look at Meridian dog food, the recipe options they offer, and why we feel this is a mediocre dog food choice for your fur baby.

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At a Glance: The Best Meridian Dog Food Recipes

Rating Image Product Details
Our Favorite
Winner
Meridian Daybreak Chicken Meal Meridian Daybreak Chicken Meal
  • A strong source of protein
  • Packed with nutrients dogs need
  • Real chicken meat included
  • Second place
    Meridian Westward Beef Meal & Potato Meridian Westward Beef Meal & Potato
  • Lean red meat meal is the main source of protein
  • Provides healthy veggies for your dog
  • Promotes good digestion for healthy immune system
  • Third place
    Meridian Riverbend Whitefish Meal Meridian Riverbend Whitefish Meal
  • Whitefish meal is the main ingredient
  • Uses superfoods for well-balanced nutrition
  • Packed with vitamins and minerals
  • Meridian Twilight Lamb Meal & Potato Meridian Twilight Lamb Meal & Potato
  • Grain-free
  • Real premium lamb meal as the first ingredient
  • Complete and balanced nutrition
  • Meridian Dog Food Reviewed

    Now that we’ve shown you Meridian’s 4 recipes of dog food and where you can buy them, let’s take a deeper dive into where this food is made, by who, and whether this dog food is suitable for your best friend.

    Who Makes Meridian and Where Is It Produced?

    Meridian Food for Pets is made by the Nunn Milling Company. The Nunn Milling Company was founded by Charles Nunn in 1926. The business is now in its 4th generation and is still considered a family-run company. For those 4 generations, the company has been working hard to provide pet foods made with the best ingredients possible. The company has 4 main factories throughout the United States and sources all its ingredients holistically and locally.

    According to the company’s website, they wish to balance the nutrition pets need with the taste they want. They do this with the top quality ingredients they use along with ensuring a great balance of nutritional needs such as omega fatty acids and essential vitamins and minerals.

    dog eating from bowl in kitchen
    Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

    Which Type of Dog Is Meridian Best Suited For?

    Meridian offers four dog food recipes. Each of their recipes is grain-free. If you have a dog who has sensitivities to grains or digestive issues, this food would be ideal for them. Keep in mind, however, if your dog isn’t suffering from these types of stomach problems when it comes to grains, that most veterinarians feel that whole grains are an important part of a dog’s diet.

    Another thing we noticed about Meridian dog food is that it doesn’t have a specific formula for puppies. One of their recipes, Riverbend White Fish Recipe, reads that it can be fed to adult dogs, nursing and lactating females, and even puppies. We aren’t exactly thrilled with this and feel that puppies and adult dogs shouldn’t share the same formulas as dogs have different nutritional needs at different ages.

    Which Type of Dog Might Do Better with a Different Brand?

    As we mentioned above, puppies may thrive better if they are on a formula specified for them. This will ensure they are receiving the nutrition they need to grow up healthy and strong. One of our favorites is Blue Buffalo Baby Blue Healthy Growth Formula.

    Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)

    Now it’s time to discuss the ingredients in Meridian. One thing we noticed is that most of their recipes stick with a standard design. The only difference is the type of protein meal used for each. Let’s take a look at the 2 ingredients in these dog foods that we feel deserve to be discussed. This will help you better determine whether Meridian is right for your dog.

    senior beagle dog eating food from the bowl
    Image By: Przemek Iciak, Shutterstock

    The Primary Source of Protein

    One thing you may notice when looking at the ingredients list on Meridian’s dog food recipes is the use of chicken meal, whitefish meal, lamb meal, and beef meal as the primary sources of protein. For some pet owners, seeing this is a deal breaker. Fortunately, however, using meals as the primary source of protein isn’t what most people think it is. When using real chicken and other sources of meat in dog food, you’ll find that a large portion is water. When making the meal, the meat is dehydrated and the water is removed. This provides more protein in many cases than using fresh chicken, beef, or other protein sources.

    One thing to keep in mind when you see a protein meal on an ingredient list is where ingredients are sourced. You want to ensure the company you’re buying from doesn’t use meal and animal by-products from diseased or unhealthy animals.

    Peas in Dog Food

    Unfortunately, each of Meridian dog food’s recipes has peas listed as one of their first four ingredients. You may love peas, but recent studies conducted by Tufts University1 show significant concern when it comes to peas and canine heart disease in dogs. While research is still being conducted in regards to this link, many dog food companies are still including peas in their recipes. Many of these foods are those labeled as grain-free, like those made by the Meridian company. If you have concerns with canine heart disease or have a breed with a disposition for it, keep the link between peas and this disease in mind when choosing food for your pet.

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    A Quick Look at Meridian Dog Food

    Pros
    • Made in the USA
    • Features protein meal as the primary ingredient in each formula
    • Provides essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients dogs need
    • Affordable
    Cons
    • Each recipe includes peas
    • No options that are not grain-free
    • Not readily available in stores

    Recall History

    On May 26, 2021, all four recipes of Meridian dog food manufactured at the company’s Monmouth, Illinois facility were recalled due to potential salmonella poisoning.

    While this is the only recent recall of Meridian products in the past few years, the parent company has seen several of its other brands recalled recently.

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    Reviews of the 3 Best Meridian Dog Food Recipes

    Let’s take an in-depth look at our 3 favorite Meridian dog food recipes.

    1. Meridian Daybreak Chicken Meal and Potato Recipe

    Meridian Daybreak Chicken Meal & Potato

    Like most of Meridian’s formulas, Meridian Daybreak Chicken Meal and Potato Recipe features chicken meal as the main source of protein. You’ll also find a healthy mix of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your pet needs. The included amino acids are ideal for building muscle and promoting a healthier coat. The guaranteed analysis of this food reads Crude Protein 24%, Crude Fat 14%, Crude Fiber 5%, and Moisture 10%.

    Our biggest concern with this recipe is, like with all of Meridian’s foods, peas are at the top of the list when it comes to primary ingredients.

    Pros
    • A strong source of protein
    • Packed with nutrients dogs need
    • Real chicken meat included
    Cons
    • Peas are considered one of the main ingredients

    2. Meridian Westward Beef Meal and Potato Recipe

    Meridian Westward Beef Meal & Potato

    Unfortunately, there isn’t much difference to be found between the different Meridian formulas. Each features the same ingredients with the only change being the protein meal used. Meridian Westward Beef Meal and Potato Recipe features red meat as the main source of protein. You’ll even find some yummy veggies your dog is sure to love in this recipe. The guaranteed analysis of this food reads Crude Protein 23%, Crude Fat 12%, Crude Fiber 5%, and Moisture 10%.

    The use of peas as the main ingredient in this dog food is concerning. It is also unfortunate that as of now it can only be bought online through the website’s link.

    Pros
    • Lean red meat meal is the main source of protein
    • Provides healthy veggies for your dog
    • Promotes good digestion for healthy immune system
    Cons
    • Not readily available in stores or online

    3. Meridian Riverbend Whitefish Meal and Potato Recipe

    Meridian Riverbend Whitefish Meal & Potato

    If your dog enjoys fish, Meridian Riverbend Whitefish Meal and Potato Recipe could be the Meridian recipe for them. Whitefish meal is used to give your dog the protein they need while a mixture of superfoods like cranberries work together to provide the additional nutrition they need for a healthy lifestyle. The guaranteed analysis of this food reads Crude Protein 23%, Crude Fat 14%, Crude Fiber 4%, and Moisture 10%.

    This recipe and all Meridian’s offerings are grain-free. Unless your dog has sensitivities to grains or troubles with their digestion, grains should be considered an important part of their diet.

    Pros
    • Whitefish meal is the main ingredient
    • Uses superfoods for well-balanced nutrition
    • Packed with vitamins and minerals
    Cons
    • Does not include any healthy grains

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    Conclusion

    As you can see, Meridian dog food is a mediocre option when it comes to ensuring your dog is getting what it needs from the food you choose. Yes, it uses protein meal as the main ingredient in each of its recipes, which is good for your pet. The issue comes into play when you look at other ingredients they are choosing to use, or not use in some cases. Peas are being investigated as a danger to our pets. The inclusion of them, and pea fiber, in every recipe is very concerning. The lack of healthy grains is also a bit troublesome. While the food is affordable and offers balanced nutrition, if you want your dog to have the best, we’d suggest taking a look at a few other brands before you decide on this one.


    Featured Image Credit: Meridian

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