Best Dog Food & Cat Food Options for Your Healthy Pet!

Last Modified on Jul 15, 2014

Pet food recalls and warnings about what is in dog food making you nervous? Get pet food reviews and advice from real pet owners, including the raw food diet!

Pet food can be confusing. There are so many brands of cat food and dog food out there, some of them very expensive, all of them with wild claims about being the best and healthiest for your dog, cat, or other pet. So how do you choose? Join in on the conversation on Earth Clinic to help decide what you should be feeding your pet. Is a raw food diet best? Have you missed a pet food recall? Is the expensive pet food brand really worth it?

Pet Food Reviews and Dietary Advice

The raw food diet and grain-free dog food are two feeding options gaining in popularity over the past several years. Get advice on whether these options are right for your pet and how to change your pet over to the new diet in the posts listed below!

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Raw Food Diet5 YEAS

User Reviews



Barf Diet

Approval Ratings
YEA (1)
100%

02/06/2012: Bob from Beijing, China: "Love your site. Would suggest added a topic in the pets for dogs at least for raw, 'barf', bones natural diets.

Researched this for a long time, tried home cooked and slowly but finally, fully converted our two 7yr old schnauzers...Absolutely amazed at the effects!

Realized that my biggest obstacle was human psychology about 'raw' and 'bones'. Must say the first few tens of times prepping the raw foodstuffs took getting used to and the watching of swallowing of bones well made me hold my breath many times initially! But, once over the prepping, and getting the raw bones to the right size for our kids..... It has been absolutely wonderful for all of us!

1 dog year is said to be 7 human year ratio, so now our in the '50's mid to older age adult dogs look and feel like they are teenagers again!

Wish I had tried sooner... Both had already lost several teeth over the years.... So now stemming that problem and hope to share our good experiences with others!

Cheers"

Replies
[YEA]  06/09/2012: Lisa from Vancouver, WA replies: "I put my ShihTzu & LhasaTzu on the BARF diet about 9 months ago. Best 3 Benefits of BARF:

My LhasaTzu was always afraid of loud noises like fireworks or gun shots.... She has way MELLOWED OUT

She NO LONGER has FLEAS (she is light colored fleas love light colored dogs)

Both dogs' teeth have less tarter & good breath."

06/12/2012: Jr from Coloma, Mi replies: "Are you feeding bones? If so, what kind."

04/14/2011: Happyboy from Singapore: "My 5 y.o. dog fungal problem. He used to smell even a day after a shower. My remedy for him was:

1) Every night, I 'painted' his affected areas, mainly his legs/hands, with cocnut oil.

2) I gave him 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, together with his RAW blended veggies/RAW meat.

He has fully recovered from his fungal problem and can go 2 weeks without a shower and not stink. As his fungal problem was rather severe, it took 4 months for him to fylly recover from this. I adopted him when he was 3 y.o. and was kibble fed. I changed him to BARF diet when I adopted him."

Replies
04/14/2011: Jr from Coloma, Mi replies: "Are you feeding raw bones? If so, what kind."

07/25/2007: Judy from Fairfax, VA: "I started my two adopted dogs (12lbs each) on BARF right after the dog food scare. Initially I was mixing, cutting, measuring. I found Aunt Jeni's at a local feed store (frozen). My younger adoptee eats all RAW. My senior eats a mix of healthier canned and raw. Harley LOVES raw chicken wings. Eating the chewing has cleaned his teeth and breath. Buddy won't touch raw chicken but loves chunks of organic beef and lamb. Side affect: weight gain. I have yet to "draw the line" on how much food and treats to give. But I believe they are much healthier. Also I feed Harley blue-green algae and he loves it."

Beef Liver

01/19/2010: Pumkin from Hemet, Ca, Usa: "I have a puppy whose about 5 months and I just started feeding him a homemadefood puppy food and I would like to know how much beef liver is safe for a small dog?"

Replies
11/02/2010: Jb from Atlanta, Ga replies: "I feed my dogs raw & have for many years. I add grass-fed organ meats to their diet. I typically add 10-15% organ mixture to ground beef. I usually buy veal heart, beef liver & beef kidneys & freeze them separately. Then I partially defrost & cut up into small cubes/pieces or grind. It's easier to handle & grind when it is partially frozen. Then I use unbleached wax paper bags inside of a plastic deli container & refreeze. When it's time to feed I defrost the organs & ground beef & mix together, 10-15% organs to 85-90% ground beef. I also mix in some veggies. I use greens, carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, beets, squash, cucumber. Or some nights I do some fruit, blueberries, apple, banana. Sometimes I grind some flax seeds or add chia seeds. Adding a good digestive enzyme mix & probiotic is a good idea. Hope this helps."

Best Nutrition for Dogs

09/06/2013: Diana from Plainview, New York: "I just wanted to jump in and encourage you to do some research on nutrition for dogs. Dogs ARE NOT vegetarians. Their whole anatomy is designed to eat meat. They are CARNIVORES. Look at their teeth, they were designed to rip meat. They also have a short digestive tract that is designed to digest meat. IT IS TOO SHORT to digest vegetables or fruits properly. And grain is DEFINITELY NOT GOOD FOR DOGS!! In fact, it is VERY BAD for them. This could very well be why they are having health issues. I feed my dogs a raw meaty bones diet and they are EXTREMELY healthy. My oldest dog is almost 9, and everyone thinks she is 4. Their teeth are perfectly clean, no need for cleanings EVER at the vet. Their coats are very glossy. Their eyes are very clear and sparkly. I do feed them some vegetables, but I put it in my blender first so they can digest it a lot more easily. You can easily do a google search online to verify what I have said. Good luck to you and wish you and your dogs the very best :-)"

Replies
09/08/2013: Sue from St Joseph, Mi replies: "Diana, could you be a little bit more specific about the raw meaty bones? How large is your dog and how much do you feed. What meats do you feed and do you feed pork?"

Brand Comparisons

Approval Ratings
YEA (1)
25%
NAY (2)
50%
WARNING! (1)
25%

[YEA]  06/02/2012: Swhit from Los Angeles, Ca: "After going through all the trouble of making our own organic dog food for years I finally gave in and researched on line. I found Blue Mountain for our 7wk old Border Collie and have fed her that for the past 1/2 yrs. Her eyes are bright, teeth are white, she shines from head to paw and sorry to say too alert ( more than a normal BC). The vet complimented us on how good she looks and wanted to know what we had been doing. She will eat all (organic) fruits and veggies except raw zucchini for some reason but she loves orange juice of all things."

05/27/2012: Katmjef from Gaylesville, Alabama: "I have been reading this site because I have two Great Pyrenese and I am treating them for their hot spots, fleas and after effects of vet treatment of mange. I just tried the ACV today and will update later.

The reason for my comment is that several people are on here arguing for diffferent brands of dog food and slamming purina. I have been feeding my dogs purina for years and have had no problems. I did go to http://www.dogfoodscoop.com/dog-food-recalls.html and am reporting back to all of you who want people to change dog foods that every single one you have suggested has or is being recalled for ecoli or salmonella or just poor ingredients/ practices in production. NOWHERE on this site is there one thing about PURINA. I do pay a little more for purina than some foods, but I am not going to feed my dogs human food because, and I don't mean to shock anyone but, they are not human.

Thank you for the advise for the uses of ACV."

Replies
12/12/2012: Rev. Dr. Mayo from Alva, Florida, United States replies: "If you say you are feeding your dog human food, are you claiming animal products are human food? Humans are herbavores, they should eat only a fruit and vegetable based diet. Dogs are omnivores and should eat food from animals and fruits and vegetables. If you are eating food from animals and you feed your dog your food, then you would feeding them the proper diet and feeding yourself the wrong diet.

All kibble dog food is not a natural dogs food, where would they find it in nature? There are a few acceptable kibble dog foods, but very expensive and not nearly as good as raw meat and vegetables/fruit added for your dogs health. Most all kibble contain grains, fillers and by products, all very bad for you dogs health."

[NAY]  09/07/2011: Eeej from Mesa, Az: "I see you wanted to make a list of culprit foods.

Purina Dog Chow. A green bag that says "Healthy Life Nutrition". I bought it because we are out of jobs and money. Halfway through the bag, she has a horrible allergy induced hot spot on her cheek."

06/08/2010: Sharon from Harrison, Oh, United States Of America: "I know you have made exceptions for listing the dog food brands in the past due to the poisonings that took place. So I hope I am not wrong in including it here. If I am, please just omit it or cancel the listing.

I am having problems with the new Purina One Smart Blend of Lamb and Rice. My dog refuses to eat it. He took 2 or 3 bites and hasn't eaten for two days since. He has never been a picky eater even when we had to change brands or types of food. He has even been on a diet that included the previous version of lamb and rice from the same manufacturer. He has always eaten whatever we feed him without problem.

I finally broke down tonight and made him some chicken broth and rice and he is eating it just fine. The store bought lamb and rice is still in his bowl. He just goes up and smells it then walks away.

I'm wondering if anyone else is having problems with the brand. (I didn't know where else to look and since I get most of my health related info for me and my dog from Earthclinic I just came here looking for answers.)"

Replies
06/10/2010: Rainman from Central, Vt, Usa replies: "Kibble is one of the worse things you can feed a dog... I know that is harsh. But, it is the truth. Purina is probably one of the worse brands out there. It is full of fillers, poison, and not balanced. Dogs need raw food. Look up Raw Meaty Bone (RMB), BARF, Prey Model, and simply RAW diet for dogs. You will get overloaded with information. Simply put, your dog is telling you that the food you put in front of him/her is not food at all. Dogs will eat good food. If RAW is not going to work for you... then look into better hollistic brands of kibble. Or try cooking for the dog. Left-overs and anything food you would eat yourself is going to be healthier for your dog."
[WARNING!]  07/10/2010: Bellalinda88 from Columbus, Ga replies: "Regarding PurineONE Smartblend. I bought chicken and rice formula. One of my dogs would not touch it all and the other had diarrhea after eating it. I am going to trash the whole bag (cost $18), but something obviousy is not right with it. Bellalinda"

12/21/2009: Mia from Appleton, Wi: "I'm so confused what to feed my 8 year old boxer. He has had skin problems due to allergies his whole life. For a while I was feeding him California's Natural and then had to switch to Candidae due to the only store in my area discontinued their contract. Candidea worked with him not itching/scratching so much but gave him bacterial build up that caused severe diarrhea that would not go away until I put him on a bland diet and bought medication from the vet to bring his digestive bacteria levels to normal. This went on for about a year (having the diarrhia cases about every 3 months) and talked to the vet one more time about what I could do. Her suggestion was to get him on a low-residue food. My dog is allergic to potatoes, beets and eggs. There are not many low residual dog foods on the market that avoid these 3. Any suggestions as to what I could feed my dog? Currently he is on Pro Plan - sensetive stomach and skin and seemed to do okay at first but now after 3 months he has been scratching himself so much he has numerous scaps all over his body (ecspecially by his ears and neck). His ears tend to get very dirty easily and I have to clean them at least once a week as well. I'm startding to lose all hope."

Replies
01/18/2010: Jenn from New York, Ny replies: "I have a 5 yr old pug....when he was a puppy and had his routine vacc's, he had an allergic reaction and almost died..so traditional vet pumped him with drugs to stop swelling. When he was 4 1/2 the same thing happend, but alot worse. 4 months after the vaccinosis(drug(vacc overdose)... he started having seizures, licking the air, itching, losing consciousness.. then one day.... his hind legs went and he refused to go on our daily walk.

I freaked out and took him to nyc, the hamptons to our local primary to manhattans best anim hosp to chinese med meets traditional med vet and last.... homeopath! he changed his diet to home cooked duck, barley, oats carrots(a few other ingredients) diet... he's detoxing from the toxicity in his body and we both sleep at night now...he saved and changed our lives

Until i found this homeopath, i didnt sleep for a whole month because my dog was having cluster seizures and spasms every single time he would SIT or sleep...he kept falling into deeper sleeps..back to back seizures....biting and violently barking at strangers(out of nowhere)worst experience of my life about 3 days later on homeopathic remedies and a new diet, i fell asleep because he was able to sleep peacefully....

check out some wellness/holistic vets in your area...

i almost lost my best friend....im not going to lose him now....gluck my email is modqru@hotmail.com"

02/25/2009: Earth Clinic : "Interested to know where your dog food is manufactured? We just came across this website while looking for more information on the brand we feed our dogs. From reviewing the site, we discovered that the brand we buy (Blackwood) does not manufacture their own food. In fact, the wet food and dry food is manufactured in 2 different places! This appears to be the case with many small companies.

Unfortunately, the page is not a complete list and the website administrators haven't updated it since May of 2007, but you might still find it interesting: http://www.thepetfoodlist.com/manufacturers.htm"

Replies
02/26/2009: Andre from New York City, USA replies: "I had the same question about catfood and found out one such ethical and *very* good small company that manufactures healthy dog food and human foods as well.

See Wysong and a picture of my healthy cat who agrees ;-)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nycandre/3269424506/

Kal the cat was also successfully treated of ear mite with Ted dog mange cure adapted for cats in 2007 - he has been w/o mites since - see him there
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nycandre/1459080973/"
10/29/2009: Carla from Grand Rapids, Mi replies: "I stopped feeding my cats dry food because they were addicted and getting fat. It isn't a natural diet for them. I switched to a natural wet cat food that is made without chemicals and by-products called Pet Guard. The thing to fear is ethoxyguin which is a known carcinogen and propylene glycol, a chemical used in anti-freeze and a solvent in brake fluids also used as a preservative and flavor enhancer in pet foods. Into the Pet Guard food for each cat, I mix one Nu-Cat soft multivitamin and 3 drops of flax seed oil. My girl with herpes has had gunk in her eyes and nose and this is clearing. Even my 16 year old with renal failure is thriving."

11/07/2008: David from Jacksonville , FL: "Taste of The Wild : This food is grain free and fairly good on price. My golden has been on it for two years and we love it. Because there are no grains, there are no allergies or skin problems. Unfortunately i cant afford to feed my dog strictly raw diet food, but we do supplement some raw food each month. Taste of the wild provides your dog with exotic sources of protein, so he doesn't get bored. Quail, duck, turnkey, venison, bison, real salmon and a few other meats are the basic sources of protein. This along with feeding him raw bones and some raw food assure me that my dog is healthy and isn't experiencing any discomfort."

Replies
02/25/2009: Tricia from Denver, CO replies: "I'm glad that you posted a comment on Taste of the Wild. I too switched to this brand from another equally good brand. I switched because my newly adopted pet was consistently having runny/loose stools. Once I switched my two dogs over to Taste of the Wild they are both more regular. I have recently implemented raw food into their diet also; a small portion with every meal. I wish you the best of luck with your dogs health."
[NAY]  10/20/2010: J from Atlanta, Ga Usa replies: "I tried Taste of the Wild, Bison & Fish diets. Both made my 2 dogs sick. When I called the company they did not seem to care."

10/05/2008: Terese from Long Beach, CA: "At 7 months old my purebreed German Shephard was given 2-3 years to live due to extreme allergies. Although she looked fine on the outside, Her hair was flaky, skin under her armpits was blackened. She was underwieght (not a terrible thing for GSD), and refused to eat. Prior to us picking her up her old owner were told by the vet to switch her to "Science Diet" This is what made her worse...they returned her to the breeder. Thank God the breeder immediatly switched her to Natural balance Duck or Lamb....this did a little good. When we got her at 6 1/2 months she refused to eat...barely eating when coaxed. She had plenty of energy, but wasnt putting on wieght. From 6 month to 1 1/2 years she weighed 51-55 pounds! The vets all said she probably was allergic to Cow, Chicken etc....no one had answers.

Well my husband spent 3 weeks on the internet researching and came up with Honest Kitchen a dehydrated barf diet (we cant feed full barf without a yard...too messy....problem is our finicky eater didnt eat it. Then we stumbled on a VERY reasonable and excellent brand "Flint River Ranch".

Within 6 months she was given a clean bill of health (although not as good, I think Natural Balance helped in this process). Since then we have also fed Wellness brand (she need loads of protein) because of the added vitamins and minerals, but with shipping it is alot more, where Flint River includes shipping and can be ordered from a distributor out of state to avoid sales tax (We order from Arizonia and it ships from Southern Cal that day!) Now at 2 1/2 she is healthy and beautiful, weighing in at 70+. She also can eat Chicken brand (vets told us to avoid it), but loves the trout and Lamb.

At ALL cost do NOT feed Science Diet, purina or any other national brands...always go for smaller healthier alternatives. I believe the extra cost will be saved in vet bills later....pay more now, or a lot more later."

EC: Haven't tried it yet, but we've heard good things about Flint River!

Replies
10/28/2008: Shirley from Missouri replies: "Thank you, Terese from Long Beach, Ca.

After reading your post, I have purchased some dog food from Flint River Ranch. I have 2 Toy Poodles. The female is 5 years old. She is smaller with shorter legs and body. The male is about 3 years old. He is taller with longer thin body. (Yes they are spayed and neutered). The female has allergies of some kind. We haven't found out what she's allergic too.

I was already using Wellness Brand Super 5 Mix. But the problem with it was they wouldn't eat it unless I added something to it. So after I read your post, I was happy to look into this Flint River brand. I loved what I read on the reviews of this food. So I ordered the lamb meal from them. They do eat this food without anything added and I think it's helping her with her skin problems.

She doesn't scratch as much as before. She seems much more content and I think maybe with changing her food; she will eventually be cured of the constant scratching. Our other dog has no allergies and does well on any food if it's one they will eat. We have always tried to get a quality brand dog food without any bad ingredients, to keep them healthy.

I do have some of the Wellness food left. I started with adding the new brand with this one so they could adjust. I was surprised to see them eating both brands. I only put them in the pan side by side and did not mix them. So I wonder why with having both brands that they would eat the one they wouldn't eat before. That was puzzling to me.

Both these foods in my opinion are healthy foods and I know there are others out there. I have no interest in any brands, except looking to keep my babies healthy and happy."

12/15/2009: Terese from Long Beach, Ca replies: "UPDATE: Im am so thrilled to see others get results. Our GS dog is doing AMAZING. We have continued to research and try other brands. We now routinely feed our dog Chicken and beef (our old vet said not too).

The following brands have been cleared by our dog with fantastic results;-)All have vitamins and NO by products or unhealthy ingredients...

Flint River- when gas skyrocketed they were forced to raise prices because of shipping being included.
Wellness- Core has been amazing for our dog and helped keep on wieght.
Blue Buffalo Company- Probably the best priced for what you get if buying from store.
Orijeen- Probably one of the highest quality kibbles, but also the most expensive.
The Honest Kitchen- Dehydrated raw food for those who want to feed raw without the hastle.
Nature's Variety- Another great product, but again its pricey..
Innova- All lines are very good.
Eagle Pack Holistic- Another excellent product
Timberwolf Organics Bison- Very strong protien with all the nutrients.

Also recommended is, Dick Van Pattens, Royal Canin,Solid Gold and Authority.

And for the SHOCKER for those on a budget: Costco's
Kirkland Signature brand (Chicken rice and veggie)!! I know I was shocked too, but check out the ingredients.

Please, please please please avoid these brands at ALL cost, especially if your dog isnt in perfect health:

Iams
Science Diet
Nutro
Pet Gold
Pro Plan
Ol Roy- Lowest rated food out of 100
Eukanuba
Purina- 2nd lowest rating
Pedigree

Finally we always put a teaspoon of ACV and Food Grade only Diatemacious earth, which is a natural dewormer, in our dogs food daily.

If you have ANY health problems, START with their food. Also if you have a food processor grind up some organic veggies (must break the cell wall of the veggie for your dog)and put in food. Also a good plain yogurt and vitamin C (caplets)is recommended. I guarantee if you do this you will get results :-)
I hope this helps saves some dogs like it did mine!"

09/22/2008: Katharine from Charleston, SC: "I would like to comment on the Whole Foods 365 brand of pet food. It is easy to think that all products carried at Whole Foods are great and natural...I used to. I looked at the ingredients in their 365 brand pet food. Their adult dog kibble contains the following:

Chicken by-product meal, rice, corn meal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and rosemary extract), corn gluten meal, ground wheat, beet pulp, natural flavors, flax seed, dried egg product, canola oil, brewers dried yeast, salt potassium chloride, taurine, l-lysine, rosemary extract, l-carnitine. Vitamins: choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), vitamin D3 supplement, niacin, calcium pantothenate, thiamin mononitrate (vitamin B1), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement. Minerals: zinc, polysaccharide complex, iron, polysaccharide complex, manganese polysaccharide complex and polysaccharide complex, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, calcium, iodate, cobalt carbonate, sodium selenite.

Among the first ingredients are by-products, corn, wheat, beet pulp and so on. NOT GOOD INGREDIENTS! Not only are they not good sources of protein, but they cause a number of problems. I caution everyone to stay far away from corn, wheat, soy, or by-products with your pets!"

09/11/2008: Akeela from Bloomfield, Ct: "Newman's Own Organics: Does anyone have any feedback on this brand of dog food. My senior lab/shepard regained vitality and finally healed her elbow sores on this diet. I now feed this to my rescued pitbull terrier along with 1/2 boiled egg in the morning and give blueberries, broccoli and chicken as "treats". She's got a glossy coat and tons of energy. But, you never know. It's still dog food from a bag."


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DISCLAIMER: Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.

 

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