Finding the perfect dog food is not an easy task, but every dog owner can agree that providing nutritious and tasty food is essential for the well-being of our pets.
A Sneak Peek at the Winner
|Best Overall||Victor Hi-Pro Plus||
|Runner-Up||Taste of the Wild High Prairie||
Victor has received the blue ribbon for this comparison review. Both foods have advantages and disadvantages, but Victor offers more diversity and specialized diets to cater to a wider variety of dogs. Our favorite Victor recipe is the Classic Hi-Pro Plus. Keep reading to find out what makes Victor Dog Food the top pick.
About Victor Dog Food
Victor is a small company based out of Mt. Pleasant, Texas. It produces its products on-site in its facility. It has been making dog food since 2007, but the Victor brand began in the 1940s. It tries to source its ingredients locally — within its state — but it does outsource hard-to-find ingredients.
It focuses on producing food that is high in protein and ideal for active and performance dogs. It uses amino acid complex minerals from Zinpro Corporation because it feels that its minerals are better absorbed, so you won’t see too many whole vegetables and fruits added to its recipes. It has nutritionists on staff to ensure that its products continue to meet its high standards.
Victor Dog Food Varieties
Victor offers a wide variety of formulas within its three lines of dry dog food and one line of canned food. Each recipe has a specific purpose, and many are appropriate for all life stages. You can find grain-free varieties too. Let’s look closer at what each line offers.
Classic: The Classic line offers high levels of quality protein, with all ingredients working together to promote sustained energy for your dog. Four recipes are offered through this line, with two formulated for active dogs, one for all life stages, and one for normally active dogs. All are nutrient-dense and scientifically advanced to provide optimal nutrition.
Select: The select line is ideal for large and small dogs in all life stages who suffer from allergies to specific proteins. There are seven recipes within the Select line — three of which are grain-free — and they are catered to normally active dogs, with the total protein less than the classic line.
Purpose: The Victor Purpose line is for dogs who require a specialized diet for joint health, low-carb, or weight management. There are six recipes, half of which are grain-free and one for senior healthy weight and two for active dogs and puppies.
Canned food: If you have a dog who needs wet food, this is ideal for adults and puppies because it is formulated with added vitamins and minerals. The two pâté flavors include rice, and the other three “stew” flavors are grain-free options. There are no artificial preservatives or flavors within this line, which is a great feature for those who don’t want carrageenan added to their dog’s food.
Primary Ingredients in Victor Dog Food
This company prefers to use meat meal, which adds a higher amount of protein to the food, so you will see fats such as salmon and canola oil added. Potatoes and legumes are seen in the grain-free versions. Victory includes four core ingredients in every bag of dry dog food:
- Selenium yeast: It is easily absorbed in the bloodstream and stored in the body to be used in times of stress for metabolism and cellular regeneration.
- Mineral complexes: Zinc, manganese, and iron work on the cellular level to promote metabolic function and support a strong immune system, paw pad integrity, and healthy skin and coat. These mineral complexes are also necessary for skeletal growth, joint cartilage health, and reproductive system integrity.
- Prebiotics: These are labeled as yeast culture and promote healthy digestion and immune response for overall well-being and growth.
- Probiotics: Another beneficial metabolite that feeds the good bacteria in your dog’s gut, which in turn, creates a strong immune system.
- Liver: This is a debatable ingredient because even though it is good for dogs if consumed in high amounts, it can cause vitamin A toxicity, and some sources of liver are questionable.
- Tomato Pomace: You will find this in many dog food recipes, as some companies use it as a source of fiber, while others will use it as a filler. If it is further down the ingredient list, then it is more likely a source of fiber.
- Blood meal: This is used to add protein and amino acids to the food and can be a safe and nutritious ingredient — when sourced from a quality supplier. Only four of Victor’s recipes do not contain blood meal.
About Taste of the Wild Dog Food
Taste of the Wild is owned and operated by one family in the United States. It uses locally and globally sourced ingredients of exceptional quality.
It strives to make sure its food is safe, and it has high testing standards. Each recipe is designed by veterinarians and nutritionists employed by Taste of the Wild. One great feature of this company is it has developed a K9 Strain Probiotics that is formulated especially for dogs to keep their digestive tracts healthy. Its food is made with ingredients that a dog’s ancestor, the wolf, would have eaten.
Taste of the Wild Dog Food Varieties
This company offers 16 varieties of dry dog food and four varieties of wet dog food. Every one of its recipes includes its K9 Strain Probiotics to support healthy skin and coat.
Traditional formulas: There are nine varieties that range in flavor profile from lamb to bison and venison. There are fish formulas and formulas specific for small breeds and puppies. These are high in protein, and you will find that the majority are grain-free.
Prey: The Prey line is limited-ingredient formulas catered to dogs who need something easy to digest. It uses either beef, turkey, or trout as the main ingredient, followed by lentils. This line is suited for adult dogs for all life stages.
Ancient Grains: This line offers four recipes, each with a different flavor. There is lamb, bison and venison, smoked salmon, and fowl. The meat is combined with ancient grains — grain sorghum, millet, quinoa, and chia seed — to provide food that is full of protein, fiber, and plenty of vitamins and minerals. This line is appropriate for every breed and all life stages.
Canned food: Taste of the Wild advertises this line as a tasty complement to the dry formulas that will satisfy your pet’s taste for wet food, and it can be fed solely. It uses plenty of meat or fish protein and fruits and veggies to create a well-balanced formula. You will find four varieties within this line.
Primary Ingredients in Taste of the Wild Dog Food
- Protein: Its formulas are high in protein, with an average of 32%, and it typically uses more than one source of protein within a formula. Other added proteins include peas, garbanzo beans, eggs, and brewer’s yeast.
- Fats: Common fats that are used include turkey liver, salmon, canola, and sunflower oil.
- Carbohydrates: You will see plenty of fruits and vegetables within Taste of the Wild’s recipes, and it prefers to use whole foods whenever possible. The exception would be the limited-ingredient diets that reduce exposure to potential allergens.
- Tomato Pomace: Depending on whom you talk to, this ingredient can be considered a filler or added fiber. If it is farther down the list, it is more than likely added for its fiber benefits.
- Canola oil: This controversial ingredient has advantages and disadvantages. It can help increase circulation, but it is also a highly processed oil, so it may not be a healthy fat source.
The 3 Most Popular Victor Dog Food Recipes
1. Victor Classic — Hi-Pro Plus Dry Dog Food (Our Favorite)
Hi-Pro Plus is one of its most popular recipes because it is nutrient dense and contains a high amount of meat protein. It is ideal for growing puppies and pregnant or lactating dogs because it contains 30% protein in each serving. It is highly digestible and made from gluten-free grains. If you have a high-energy dog, this recipe will supply them with plenty of energy.
The flavor comes from beef, chicken, pork, and fish meals, so many dogs love the taste of this food. It is not ideal for dogs who have food sensitivities, because of the four different meat sources, and it isn’t grain-free. It is an affordable option and suitable for all life stages and dog breeds. On the downside, it contains a controversial ingredient, blood meal.
2. Victor Purpose — Grain-Free Active Dog and Puppy Dry Food
This grain-free option is perfect for dogs with allergies or sensitivities, specifically to grain. It still contains beef, pork, and fish meal, so it is high in protein and best to feed to active dogs. Victor fortifies it with vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids, so it can be fed throughout your dog’s life from puppy to senior.
The sweet potato is a favorite flavor among dogs, and there are other vegetables and legumes within this recipe. Unfortunately, blood meal is also added, which may be a negative aspect for some individuals. It meets the nutritional requirements and contains the four core ingredients: prebiotics, probiotics, selenium yeast, and mineral complexes.
3. Victor Select — Grain-Free Yukon River Canine Dry Dog Food
An option that is grain-free and contains one single animal protein is the Yukon River Canine. The fish meal provides plenty of protein, and this recipe is ideal for normal activity levels because it contains 16% fat and 390 calories per cup of food. We recommend that it not be fed to low-energy dogs.
The four core ingredients are included, so it has the number of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and amino acids to keep your dog healthy and happy. It is appropriate for small and large breeds during all life stages. However, it wouldn’t be ideal for pregnant or lactating females. On the downside, it is a pricey product and contains blood meal, but it is a good option for dogs with multiple sensitivities and who are allergy-prone.
The 3 Most Popular Taste of the Wild Dog Food Recipes
1. Taste of the Wild — High Prairie Dry Dog Food
This popular formula uses roasted bison and venison to provide a unique flavor combination that dogs love. The protein amount is 32%, making it ideal for maintaining the health of adult dogs. This is a grain-free option that boasts sweet potatoes, peas, and potatoes in place of the grains.
High Prairie has other vegetables and fruits to add antioxidants that support the immune system and dried chicory root for the digestive system. Taste of the Wild uses its proprietary K9 Strain Probiotics that is specifically developed for dogs and supports a healthy digestive and immune system. The omega fatty acid blend works to produce healthy skin and coat. On the downside, this formula includes tomato pomace and dried yeast, which are both controversial ingredients.
2. Taste of the Wild — Smoked Salmon with Ancient Grains
The number-one ingredient for this formula is sustainably sourced salmon, followed by nutrient-dense ancient grains. It is considered an all-life-stages food that provides essential nutrients to your dog throughout their life. The ancient grains used are sorghum, millet, quinoa, and chia seeds, all of which are high in fiber and protein, and they also provide many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids.
The K9 Strain Probiotics provide 80 million live active cultures that support healthy immune and digestive systems, and antioxidants in the form of tomatoes, blueberries, and raspberries also maintain overall well-being. On the downside, this recipe contains tomato pomace and dried yeast, both of which are controversial ingredients. Thus, this formula is not the best for dogs with allergies to grains.
3. Taste of the Wild — Grain-Free High Protein Small Breed Dry Dog Food
The Appalachian Valley is a popular small breed formula geared toward using highly digestible venison and producing a small kibble that is easy to eat. The primary ingredient is pasture-raised venison because it is easy to digest protein. This formula also includes K9 Strain Probiotics to support a healthy digestive and immune system.
Garbanzo beans add fiber, protein, and other vitamins and minerals. The included fruits and vegetables help round out a recipe that provides the energy that active small breed dogs need. This is not an ideal formula for small breed puppies, but it is good for small dogs who have allergies to grains because it is grain-free. On the downside, it includes tomato pomace, a debatable ingredient.
Victor and Taste of the Wild Comparison
Now that we’ve looked at each brand in detail, let’s compare them side by side to easily see the differences.
They both use quality ingredients that offer high amounts of protein. Each offers grain-free varieties, but Victor is more suited for high-energy and performance dogs. Taste of the Wild prefers to use more whole foods — meat, whole-grains, vegetables, and fruit.
Taste of the Wild offers an ingredient glossary so you know exactly what each ingredient is for. This is a great feature to keep upfront to the customers. Victor has its four Core ingredients that are used with every recipe, and Taste of the Wild has its probiotic formula.
Overall, Taste of the wild is the pricier of the two. However, they are both premium dog foods that offer some formulas that are cheaper than others.
If you want a wider variety to choose from, then Victor is the winner, because it has a more specialized line geared toward weight maintenance and joint health. Taste of the Wild is found in mainstream pet supply stores, while Victor can be a little more difficult to find.
There is no pressing issue regarding customer services between both companies, both offer ways to be reached and are responsive to questions and concerns.
Recall History of Victor and Taste of the Wild Dog Food
Victor has never had any recalls, and Taste of the Wild was recalled once in 2012 for concerns of salmonella contamination. Taste of the Wild has claims against them that its dog food may cause heart disease. This is a huge negative factor when considering healthy dog food. The long-term use of Taste of Wild is in question by many.
Victor vs Taste of the Wild Dog Food: Which Should You Choose?
Victor is the winner because it offers a premium, high-quality food with plenty of recipes to fit the many needs of each dog. We like that it hasn’t had any recalls, it manufactures its food, and it hasn’t been named by the FDA as a brand that may be linked to fatal heart disease in dogs. Still, Taste of the Wild uses many whole-food ingredients, and its formulas meet nutritional standards.
We know that it can be a chore to find a dog food that is healthy and safe, which is why we developed this comparison between two highly-rated brands.