If you’re searching for the best natural dog food, then we need to bring a few important things to your attention before you read our guide.
Pet food manufacturers are all in the same race to win you over, and with more pet owners on the lookout for “natural” choices, that word is slapped on labels in order to convince you that they truly offer the best choice.
Before you have a look at our top picks, let’s discuss what the term “natural” means in the dog food world.
Natural: What It Does Not Mean
Here are a few things we’d like to point out before you head down to the table.
- Natural Does Not Mean Organic. Remember that natural and organic are two separate terms.
Pet foods that have the official USDA organic certification achieved it because the manufacturer has adhered to the rules and regulations set by the USDA’s National Organic Program. The way the ingredients are sourced, handled, manufactured and then labeled are closely monitored in order to deem a product “Organic” or not.
- Natural Does Not Mean Healthy. Well, yes and no.
Obviously natural ingredients used in a formula are better than chemicals, but that doesn’t mean that all natural ingredients are good.
Think “meal”, which could be a mixture of many natural things: the hooves (which may have manure on them), stomach (with who knows what inside), etc.
Top 10 Natural Dog Foods Table
Natural: What It Does Mean
Here is AAFCO’s definition of “natural” (AAFCO is the Association of American Feed Control Officials):
In a nutshell, it means that the ingredients in the food were not chemically whipped up in a lab somewhere or subject to chemical processing.
Natural dog food may still contain small amounts of additives or processing aids that are chemically synthetic (as stated above), so basically what we wanted you to understand from this is that natural dog food does exist…
You just have to understand what the term actually means.
So How Do I Choose?
Now that you know what it means, how do you choose?
Some of the brands we chose fit the “natural” description and some of them are organic, so you know that you have a good selection in front of you.
Here are a few things to take into consideration so that you can narrow down the choices:
- Your Dog’s Age. Do you need a puppy formula, adult formula or senior formula?
- Your Dog’s Health. Does your dog have food allergies or are you trying to pinpoint an allergen? Does your dog have a condition (diabetes, etc.) that requires a special diet?
If you’re welcoming a new dog to your home, then you should always make the food switch a gradual process, as a sudden change in diet can be quite devastating to a dog’s digestive system!
We’d recommend having a very small bag of the food they’ve been eating on hand and then another small bag of the new food.
Just because you like a certain food brand based on what you’ve read and studied doesn’t mean your dog will like it (or that it will agree with them).
Avoid wasting money by getting small quantities of food and once you are certain that the product is OK for your dog, then you can begin purchasing it in large quantities.
Check Out Farmina
One of the best natural dog food brands that we like is Farmina (number 5 on our list), but since it is an Italian brand, it’s less popular in the US due to the high cost.
Their grain-free formulas are excellent:
You should definitely check them out! They definitely fit the description of “natural” dog food.
Top 3 Best Natural Dog Food Reviews
[easyazon_link asin=”B00CHCOMX0″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”senappblo-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]1. Victor Yukon River Canine Formula[/easyazon_link]
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If you’re in need of a hypoallergenic formula for dogs that are allergic to proteins such as beef, lamb or chicken and you’re looking for a grain-free recipe, as well, then Victor’s Yukon River Formula is an excellent natural food choice.
All of their formulas are made with natural, plant-based preservatives and they never use artificial preservatives. They use mixed tocopherols (these are in the Vitamin E family and found naturally in vegetable oils, fish, nuts and leafy greens) and botanically sourced antioxidants to prevent oxidative damage on the kibble.
Here is a list of their ingredients:
This is an excellent food but not the right choice for every dog.
Have a look at our other top choices if this one isn’t right!
[easyazon_link asin=”B000LURXOK” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”senappblo-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]2. Fromm Family Gold Nutritionals[/easyazon_link]
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Fromm has many excellent formulas to choose from and this one is probably their most popular since it’s recommended for adult dogs with normal activity levels.
They made the list because they don’t use artificial preservatives in their food (no ethoxyquin, BHT, BHA or other synthetic preservatives). Instead, they use natural antioxidants (mixed tocopherols, for example).
Here is a list of their ingredients for this formula:
Their “Gold” line is made with a holistic approach and they offer it in grain-free red meat and grain-free ocean fish if your dog doesn’t do well with poultry.
[easyazon_link asin=”B00UHZ8A8W” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”senappblo-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]3. TruDog Feed Me[/easyazon_link]
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TruDog is one of the most unique formulas out there: similar to The Honest Kitchen (which is number 9 in our table).
This is a freeze-dried superfood and all you need to do is add water. This is about as natural as they come. Just look at the ingredients:
And more specifically the beef formula:
This is a very particular food and it’s not right for every dog. It does have a very high fat content, which could be useful for underweight dogs, but not for overweight dogs.
Speak with your vet about this one first to make sure it’s the right fit for your dog. In terms of natural dog food, well, this is definitely one of the best choices on our list!