8 Dog Food Brands to Avoid [+ 5 You Should Buy]

You need to take special care when buying food for your dog. Because there are a large number of dog food brands available in the market. And many of them do not provide quality food for your pup. So you should know which dog food brands to avoid before shopping for them. It will ensure the proper nutrition for the furred member of your family. And you can avoid feeding your dog any unhealthy diet that may lead to health issues for them.

Your four-legged kid is no different than a human kid when the concern is nutrition. So you need to gather knowledge about dog nutrition. It means you should know which elements are necessary for their growth. Also, it is important to identify the allergic ingredients that their body cannot absorb or digest. Suppose a particular brand says their products include chicken. Then it is also important to know which part of the chicken has been used because this confirms whether the food contains real protein sources or some cheap leftovers.

Dog food brands offer both dry and wet food. And all of them claim to include healthy protein in their products. Our job is to carefully check the ingredient list and know the source of these elements. Also, you can research a particular dog food brand. Thus you will learn about their production factory, how they source the ingredients, and reviews about their products. But this is a complex and time-consuming task. And we are here to do all this additional work for you.

In this article, we have listed the dog food brands to avoid. We have also listed the best brands to buy from. So sit peacefully and read out this article before you go shopping for your beloved pup.

Wellness Dog Food• It include high quality protein with wholesome grains like oatmeal
• Made in the USA using only the finest globally sourced ingredients
• selected ingredients and added nutrients support immune health
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Solid Gold Dog Food• Nutrition for lifelong health & longevity.
• Ideal for sensitive stomachs
• Tiny kibble piece size
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Eagle Pack Natural Dog Food• PERFORMANCE NUTRITION
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Acana Dog Food• ACANA Puppy & Junior dog food is nutrient-dense and high in protein
• nourishes dogs according to their natural, biological needs
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How To Define The Bad Dog Food Brands?

How to identify which food brands are not suitable for your dog is a big question. Because every brand claims to supply healthy protein-rich food for your dog. The simple way is by analyzing the ingredients used in the products. Make sure that the food products do not contain fillers and additives that are harmful to dogs. Also, some brands do not specify the source of protein in clear words. You should avoid those brands too. We have compiled our list based on the below points:

1. Presence Of Meat by-products In The Food

Meat and meat by-products are two different things. While meat is the flesh, including the bone of an animal, meat by-products are the waste and leftovers at a slaughterhouse. Though it is said that meat by-products contain protein, they are not a healthy source of protein. It is not as healthy and tasty as real meat. Another awful meat by-product is 4-D meat. It includes the meat of dead animals, which may be roadkill or sick animal. And you won’t feed your dog an ill animal’s meat.

2. Dog Foods Containing Fillers 

Some ingredients have no nutritional value and are only empty calories. We call them fillers which provide the dogs a feeling of a full stomach after eating. These fillers include corn, soy, wheat, etc., which are easy to harvest and thus cost-effective for the manufacturer. But the presence of these fillers in the food may cause allergy, digestive issues, tenderness, etc for your dog.

3. Chemical Additives In The Dog Food 

What pleases your dog is protein and fat-rich simple meat. And they never care about what the food looks like. So it is unnecessary to add artificial color to dog food which is harmful to them. Also, artificial preservatives are not suitable for dogs. So opt for a brand that uses natural solutions to preserve dog food.

List Of Dog Food Brands to Avoid 

Dog food brands to avoid

Now we know how to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy dog food. So it is easier for us to define good brands of dog food and the brands to avoid. Here is the list of dog food brands to avoid.

#1. IAMS – Proactive Dry Dog Food Minichunks 

IAMS - Proactive Dry Dog Food Minichunks

It is a chicken-based food that is the primary source of protein of this product. Also, several vitamins, minerals, and amino acids make this dog food undoubtedly healthy. But the problem arises from the presence of whole grain corn and sorghum, chicken by-product, and caramel color. As we have discussed above, these ingredients are harmful to dogs. So it is not considered good quality dog food.

#2. Twin Pet – Adult Dog Food

Twin Pet - Adult Dog Food

The first ingredient of this food is yellow corn that makes it a plant-based food. This cheap ingredient reduces the manufacturing cost but increases the health risk of your dog. Also, it includes wheat middlings, which is a by-product of wheat. It contains little carbohydrates and acts as a harmful filler. The second bad thing about the product is, no information about the protein content is given. What kind of meat and in what proportion is used is not mentioned. So it is not a reliable food product for your dog.

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#3. Cesar – Filets Dog Food Trays

Cesar - Filets Dog Food Trays

The owner of this brand Cesar Felipe Millan has immense canine experience. And he knows well what dogs prefer to eat. So he produced this meat-based fillet dog food. But it is a business, after all, and the manufacturer has to take care of the cost-effectiveness. So, use as many fillers as possible. This product contains wheat flour that has gluten. Also, there are meat by-products and artificial colors that make this food unhealthy for your dog.

#4. Purina Dog Chow

Purina Dog Chow

I know you have raised your eyebrows seeing Purina’s name in this list. But what can I do if they use fillers like whole grain corn, wheat, and soy in their product as the main ingredients? You may be impressed seeing real chicken written on the front of the package. But the ingredients list contains poultry by-products without mentioning the exact proportion. So it is justified to include Purina in the list of dog food brands to avoid.

#5. Kal Kan – Complete Adult Dog Food

Kal Kan - Complete Adult Dog Food

The prime ingredient in this dog food is yellow corn. Also, there are soybean meal, ground wheat, wheat middlings, corn gluten meal, etc. They are all low-cost fillers that offer zero nutrition to your dog. The presence of meat and bone meal and chicken by-product meal is again a controversial matter. Because the proportion and the condition of the meat used are not mentioned, and such products cannot be suitable for your dog.

#6. Gravy Train – Dog Food 

Gravy Train - Dog Food 

This is again a corn-based food and also includes soy meal, wheat middlings, and Wheat Flour. It includes meat & bone meal which is a source of protein but is not easily digestive for dogs. The main issue with this product is the artificial beef flavor and red 40, which are useless and harmful ingredients for dog food. So we decided to include it in the list of dog food brands to avoid.

#7. SPORTMiX – Wholesomes Medium Variety Dog Food

SPORTMiX - Wholesomes Medium Variety Dog Food

This dog food product is based on pea flour and includes comparatively better pea protein. Also, it contains chicken fat and pork meal as a good source of protein. But it is higher in carbs in proportion to protein. And the main issue is again the use of artificial color. The product contains Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Blue 1. There is so much added color which is unnecessary and harmful.

#8. Pedigree Dog Food

Pedigree Dog Food

This is a well-known and popular dog food brand. But their products contain fillers, artificial colors, and meat by-products. You will find wheat flour, wheat gluten, added color, and meat by-products in the ingredient list of their products. So we have included Pedigree in our list of dog food brands to avoid.

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Best Dog Food Brands For Healthy Products

Best Dog Food Brands For Healthy Products

We have discussed the harmful ingredients used in dog food. And the bad dog food brands that supply unhealthy products. But it doesn’t mean that healthy dog food is not available in the market. Many dog food brands supply healthy and nutritious food for your dog. Here is the list:

#1. Wellness Dog Food

Wellness Dog Food
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It is one of the best dog food brands producing healthy and nutritious food for your dog. They offer protein-based dog food. And the products ensure a healthy source of protein from chicken, turkey, etc. Besides, products of this brand contain fruits and vegetables, ensuring the presence of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids in the food. They use gluten-free grains as a source of carbohydrates. Also, the products do not include any artificial colors and preservatives.

#2. Solid Gold Dog Food

Solid Gold Dog Food
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This brand uses premium quality protein sources in its products. Also, they ensure a natural source of vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables. They offer a well-balanced food product for your dog that does not contain any artificial color and preservatives.

#3. Eagle Pack Natural Dog Food

Eagle Pack Natural Dog Food
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They produce flaxseed-based dog food, which is an excellent source of fatty acid, omega acid, and high-quality carbohydrates. This provides a healthy effect on your dog’s skin and hair. Also, this brand uses high-quality protein sources that make the food easily digestible for your dog. And the ingredient list doesn’t include any artificial color and preservatives.

#4. The Honest Kitchen

The Honest Kitchen
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This brand produces real meat-based food for your dog. And they offer grain and gluten-free products that offer pure nutrition to your dog. They also use fruits and vegetables to make a balanced diet for the dog. The special healthy recipe of this brand earned them a place among the top dog food brands.

#5. Acana Dog Food

Acana Dog Food
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The best thing about this brand is that they disclose everything in their ingredients list and recipe. You will know the name of the meat and the proportion that the product contains. They include a high-quality source of protein from real meat in the food. Also, they use a natural source of vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables.


Now you have a clear idea about what kind of food is good for your dog and what is bad. In the article, we have included a list of dog food brands to avoid because they produce unhealthy products. We have also compiled a list of top dog food brands that offer healthy food for your dog. And we also have discussed in detail what makes a dog food product good or bad. So, now you can easily decide which dog food brand is the best for buying food for your canine friend.