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Every day we make a very important decision for the long term health of our dog. Proper diet can lead to significant benefits and a long happy life. Overall health and longevity are linked to proper diet. Luckily, the dog food market is pretty big and there are many great dog food brands in the UK that provide high-quality food.
With that in mind, I will review some of the best dog food brands you can find in the UK and explain how to choose the best dog food for your canine friend.
Why Is a Dog’s Diet Important?
A proper diet is as important for dogs as it is for humans. Your dog’s diet has an enormous impact on his health and happiness. A wrong, imbalanced diet can lead to various health issues, especially obesity and diabetes.
The best way to ensure that your dog is eating properly is to consult with your vet. Your vet can help you understand how much your dog should eat, whether he needs to gain or lose weight and let you know if he has any food allergies that may limit his choices.
A Dog’s Diet – A Few Basic Tips
Before I explain how to choose the best dog food for your dog, I want to, quickly, cover some of the basic things about a dog’s diet.
How to Properly Feed Your Dog
Your dog should eat high-quality, complete dog food. A complete diet contains all the necessary nutrients that your dog needs, in proper amounts. With that in mind, look for dog foods that are labelled “complete” since they have all the nutrients that your dog needs. Also, dog food brands that are a part of the Pet Food Manufacturer’s Association (PFMA) are often the right choice since they usually meet extra requirements.
There are many claims that commercial or homemade meals are better but there is no hard scientific evidence to support one is better than the other. What experts do agree on is that it is vital your dog get a balanced diet. Whole ingredient-based diets are best in the long term. Some of us just don’t have the time. So we have done the work for you and vetted the best dog food brands in the UK.
How Much and How Often Should You Feed Your Dog
How much food your dog needs depends on a few factors – his age, activity level, weight and the number of calories and nutrients in his food. In general, the best thing to do is to follow the feeding guidelines on the food package but you can also use this dog food calculator or consult your vet.
When it comes to frequency of feeding, most people feed their dogs twice a day and most vets agree that this is the optimal frequency since feeding your dog once per day means that he will have to go too long between meals. Meanwhile, puppies should be fed more often, 3-6 times per day. Also, dogs who struggle to keep a healthy weight or have problems with absorbing nutrients may benefit from being fed more often in smaller meals.
How to Change Your Dog’s Diet
If you want or need to change your dog’s diet, remember to do it gradually and carefully. Sudden diet changes can upset your dog’s stomach.
Some dogs have to be on special diets for medical reasons and if that’s the case with your pooch, you need to listen to your vet’s instructions about any necessary diet changes.
Should You Give Human Food to Your Dog?
Giving human food to your pooch is not the best idea, although you may occasionally treat your pooch to some of it. However, when you do, stick to unprocessed food low in salt, sugar and fat. Also, stick to small portions like you would with treats.
Some human foods you may give to your pooch include lean meats like chicken, turkey or beef, as well as fruits and vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, apples, bananas, etc. Peanut butter is also fine and it is probably one of the favourite human foods for most dogs.
Be careful since some human foods can be harmful to dogs, like onions, grapes, chocolate, caffeinated foods and drinks, alcohol, various types of nuts, etc.
Dry Dog Foods vs. Wet Dog Foods
One of the most common questions I receive from dog owners is whether they should go with dry or wet dog food. As usual, both options have their advantages. In fact, if you are interested we had veterinarian, Dr. Jennifer Adolphe PhD, on our podcast, Theory of Pets, discussing the benefits of both here.
Wet dog foods are more palatable for dogs due to their smell and consistency. Also, wet dog food is less processed than dry dog food and contains more water. This can be very helpful if your pooch is prone to dehydration or he simply isn’t drinking enough water.
On the downside, wet dog foods are more expensive and have a shorter shelf life. They spoil pretty quickly when opened so remember to refrigerate any leftovers right away. Also, if you have a messy eater wet foods may not be the best choice or you may end up cleaning it all the time.
Dry dog food is more convenient since it has a longer shelf life and it is usually a more affordable option as well. You can store kibble much easier than wet foods – you can bring it and leave it anywhere. This type of dog food is also good for your dog’s dental hygiene due to the hard texture. It is also more energy-dense.
However, dry dog foods often come with more preservatives and artificial flavours but you can find high-quality kibble as well. Dry dog food is not the best choice if you have a puppy or a small dog since it can be difficult for them to eat it because of the hard texture.
In conclusion, both dry and wet dog foods have certain advantages and the choice depends on your and your dog’s preference and diet.
How to Choose the Best Dog Food
When you look for the right dog food brand for your canine friend, there are a few important factors you need to consider.
Your Dog’s Age and Health
Your dog’s age is perhaps the most important thing to take into account when you choose his food. Depending on his age, your dog will need a different combination of nutrients and minerals.
For example, puppies need smaller chunks of food filled with all the necessary nutrients. Meanwhile, senior dogs will benefit from getting more calcium and essential oils in their diet to help them with joint and bone health.
In addition to his age, you should also consider your dog’s health. Some dog’s need a special diet because of certain health conditions, like being overweight or underweight.
In addition to your dog’s unique needs, the other important factor to consider when you buy dog food are ingredients. The best dog foods have high-quality, all-natural ingredients from genuine sources. Usually, dog foods are based on one type of meat that serves as a protein source mixed with multiple healthy vegetables that together provide all the necessary nutrients and minerals.
Avoid dog foods made of meat by-products that are full of preservatives, artificial flavours and colours. Grain-free foods also better for dogs in general, although it is not necessary to go grain-free unless your dog has food allergies and other digestive issues.
Since dog food is an essential product that has to be bought in perpetuity, the price of dog food brands also plays a big role. High-quality dog food is often pretty expensive, although that doesn’t have to always be the case, especially since dog foods come in a huge range of prices.
Best Dog Food Brands in the UK
I have covered the basics of appropriate diets for dogs – now it’s time for me to review some of the best dog food brands you can find in the UK.
Harrington’s Complete Dog Food
Harrington’s dry dog food is one of the best-selling brands in the UK for a long time now. This dog food comes in five different flavours – beef with brown rice, chicken with rice, lamb and rice, turkey and veg, salmon and potato. You can also choose between multiple package sizes ranging from 2kg to 18kg.
Regardless of the flavour you choose, each pack of this dry dog food comes with 20% of protein, 10% of fat and 3% of fibre contents. In addition to this, Harrington’s dog food is free of any artificial colours and flavours and doesn’t contain any wheat, sugar or soy products. Some of the basic ingredients in this product include meat, rice, yucca, linseed and yeast but the ingredients may vary depending on the flavour you choose.
Harrington’s dog food provides a good balance of nutrients necessary for adult dogs and my furry friend really enjoys the taste. On the downside, I have received a damaged package the second time I ordered this dog food, which is one of the more common complaints of other dog owners as well. Some people also wrote that their dog had stomach issues after eating this food but that could have been a result of a sudden change in diet.
Pros: Available in Many Sizes and 5 Different Flavours, No Preservatives, Artificial Colours and Flavours, Free of Wheat, Soy and Sugar, High-Quality Ingredients, Balanced Formula with All Necessary Nutrients and Minerals
Cons: A Bit Expensive, Some Reports of Food Causing Stomach Issues, Some Reports of Receiving a Damaged Package
James Wellbeloved Complete Dry Adult Dog Food
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This dog food is probably the single most popular dry dog food in the UK, with a good reason. The food is available in 4k and 15kg packages. You can also choose one of three flavours – lamb and rice, fish and rice, and turkey and rice.
All of the ingredients are hypo-allergenic and the food is made without the use of additives, bulking agents or artificial flavours. The formula contains all the necessary nutrients and minerals, as well as various antioxidants, fatty acids, and essential vitamins. Keep in mind that this dog food is formulated for adult dogs older than 12 months.
Like most of the premium dog food brands, James Wellbeloved dry food is also a bit expensive. However, the food is balanced and healthy and my dog always eats it with gusto. And while most of the reviews for this food are positive, some dog owners have received damaged packages and some have complained about the strong smell.
Pros: Available in Two Sizes and Three Different Flavours, No Preservatives, Artificial Colours and Flavours, High-Quality Ingredients, Balanced Formula with All Necessary Nutrients and Minerals, Rich in Fatty Acids for Coat Health
Cons: Expensive, Some Reports of Receiving a Damaged Package, Some Complains of Strong Smell
Lily’s Kitchen Adult Complete Dry Dog Food
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This is another highly rated product in the UK, with six different flavours you can choose from. This dry dog food is also available in five different package sizes, ranging from 1kg to 14kg. This product has a formula for adult dogs over 4 months of age.
Lily’s Kitchen is a well-known brand in the UK and you can also find various wet foods and treats in their assortment. This particular product is made of real meat and other high-quality ingredients complemented with prebiotics for healthy digestion and glucosamine for bone and joint support. The food is made without any fillers or preservatives, with only natural ingredients.
Despite the fact that the majority of reviews are positive, there were some negative reviews as well. Some dog owners have received open packages and some of them also complained that the food caused digestive distress to their dogs.
Pros: Available in Multiple Sizes and Flavours, No Preservatives or Fillers, High-Quality Natural Ingredients, Balanced Formula with All Necessary Nutrients and Minerals, Good for Joint and Bone Health
Cons: Expensive, Some Reports of Receiving a Damaged Package, Some Complaints of Causing Digestive Issues
Naturediet Feel Good Complete Wet Food
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If you are looking for a wet food brand you can rely on, Naturediet is one of the best choices. Their wet food comes in a package of 7kg, divided into eighteen smaller packages for easier storage. In addition to this, you can choose between 6 different flavours and 2 special formulas for puppies and senior dogs. Naturediet also lets you choose between the grain-free and the “feel good” version of their wet food.
This wet food is made completely without any preservatives, artificial flavour and colours. It is a complete dog food that provides a balanced diet rich with the necessary nutrients and minerals. The food is also hypoallergenic and made with holistic principles in mind, with a lot of healthy herbs.
While my dog usually gobbles up this food without a second thought, some users reported that their dogs didn’t find it very palatable. Also, some dog owners complained about the strong smell, which is something I noticed as well but my dog didn’t mind it.
Pros: Available in Multiple Flavours, No Preservatives, Artificial Colours and Flavours, Grain-Free, High-Quality Ingredients, Balanced Formula with All Necessary Nutrients and Minerals
Cons: A Bit Expensive, Comes in One Size Only, Has a Strong Smell, Some Dogs May Not Like It
Royal Canin Adult Dog Food
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Royal Canin dog food is specially formulated for medium and large breeds and comes in four different package sizes and three different flavours. This dog food has a lot of great ingredients which are meant to promote your dog’s immune system.
Among the necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals that your dog needs, this particular dry dog food contains plenty of Vitamin A, zinc, biotin, etc. It also contains Vitamins C and E for cell vitality, as well as fatty acids to maintain the health of your dog’s coat. However, keep in mind that this product is not grain-free since it contains wheat flour. On the other hand, there are no artificial colours and flavours included in the formula.
My dog liked the taste and smell and I didn’t notice that the food has a strong smell like some others on my list. However, some dog owners reported that their dogs felt sick after eating this food, although those are just a small minority.
Pros: Available in Multiple Flavours and Sizes, No Artificial Colours and Flavours, High-Quality Ingredients, Balanced Formula with All Necessary Nutrients and Minerals
Cons: A Bit Expensive, Not for Small Breeds, Some Reports of Causing Digestive Problems
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This is another high-quality wet dog food on my list and it is one of the most unique foods as well since it is based on raw dog diets. In addition to this, you can get this dog food in seven different flavours, including the multi-flavour package that gives you a chance to try all the flavours out and see how your dog likes them. The food is available in packages of 8x300g.
Since Natures Menu is not your typical dog food, meat and other ingredients used in it are only gently cooked. This dog food, regardless of the taste you choose, contains at least 60% of high-quality meat, while the other ingredients include various vegetables that provide all the required nutrients.
This product is made without preservatives or meat derivatives, as well as any artificial colours and flavours. My dog liked the food, although he didn’t really gobble it up like some other foods from my list. However, some dog owners reported that their dogs didn’t like the food and some even complained that the food led to an upset stomach.
Pros: Available in Many Flavours, No Preservatives, Artificial Colours and Flavours, High-Quality Ingredients, Balanced Formula with All Necessary Nutrients and Minerals
Cons: Only Comes in One Size, A Bit Expensive, Some Reports of Causing Digestive Problems, Some Dogs Don’t Like It
Wagg Complete Worker Dry Mix Dog Food
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You can feed your dog high-quality food even if you don’t have a big budget. Wagg dry dog food is one of the most affordable complete dog food brands in the UK and comes with many positive reviews. The food is available in two package sizes and two flavours – beef and vegetables or chicken and vegetables.
This dog food is full of B vitamins for energy, which is why it is a great choice for active and working dogs. It also has all the necessary nutrients for a balanced and healthy diet, without any artificial colours or flavours and without added sugar. However, this dog food does include some animal derivatives, although most of the protein comes from meat.
My dog liked the taste and ate the entire portion without a problem. However, the food seems to have given my pooch a bad case of flatulence. Some dog owners also complained that it gave their dogs diarrhoea, so it’s obvious that this food may not sit well with all dogs. Despite this, its worth to try it out since it’s pretty affordable and will make a huge difference in your budget.
Pros: Affordable, No Artificial Colours and Flavours, High-Quality Ingredients, Balanced Formula with All Necessary Nutrients and Minerals
Cons: May Contain Some Animal Derivatives, Only Two Sizes and Two Flavours, May Cause Flatulence, Some Reports of Causing Stomach Distress and Diarrhea
Pooch & Mutt – Complete Dry Dog Food
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Pooch & Mutt is a well-known company in the UK and they make all types of dog foods and treats. Their complete dry dog food comes in packages of 2kg and 10kg but it is available in four different versions that are not only different in flavour but also in other ingredients that serve a specific health purpose. You can choose between Calm & Relaxed, Joint Care, Health & Digestion and Slim & Slender blends.
All blends of dry dog foods from Pooch & Mutt are grain-free and made without any preservatives and artificial flavours and colours. All the ingredients are from natural sources and the food is pretty palatable as well, although it does have a pretty strong smell.
I have tried the Health & Digestion blend that uses salmon as the main source of protein, so it is also rich in fatty acids. This blend also includes prebiotics to aid your dog’s digestion. The package that I received was a bit damaged, although it didn’t seem to affect the food thankfully. However, a few other dog owners also reported this issue.
Pros: Available in Two Sizes and Four Different Blends, No Preservatives, Artificial Colours and Flavours, Grain-Free, High-Quality Ingredients, Balanced Formula with All Necessary Nutrients and Minerals
Cons: A Bit Expensive, A Strong Smell, Some Reports of Receiving a Damaged Package
Arden Grange Adult Dry Dog Food
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This dog food brand is actually a family business that produces high-quality dog food for over 20 years now. This dry dog food comes in three different flavours but I have only tried the one with fresh lamb and rice. The other two are made of chicken and fresh salmon, both of which are complemented by rice as the secondary ingredient. This food is available in three different package sizes.
In addition to different protein sources and white rice, this dog food also contains other high-quality, all-natural ingredients. It also includes prebiotics for better digestion and it is hypoallergenic as well. The food comes free of any wheat gluten, soy products, artificial colours and flavours, and preservatives.
My dog was a little hesitant to try this food at first but when he finally started to eat it, he loved it. However, some dog owners were left disappointed because their dogs would not try the food at all, while others did try it and did not like it.
Pros: Available in Multiple Sizes and Flavours, No Preservatives, Artificial Colours and Flavours, High-Quality Ingredients, Balanced Formula with All Necessary Nutrients and Minerals
Cons: A Bit Expensive, Some Dogs May Not Like It
Wellness CORE Dry Dog Food
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This dry dog food comes in two package sizes – 1.8kg and 10kg. It is also available in four different blends – Ocean, Senior, Healthy Weight and Original. The main ingredient is meat protein in each of them and the kibble consists of 32-37 % of protein.
Wellness Core dry dog food is grain-free and hypoallergenic. It is made without any artificial colours, flavours and preservatives – all the ingredients come from natural sources. The Ocean blend uses fish as the main protein source, which means that it is rich in fatty acids that contribute to the health of your dog’s coat.
The food is palatable and my dog seemed to like it. However, the pieces were a bit big for him and he had to struggle a bit to break them down. Some dog owners also reported that the food didn’t sit well with their furry friends and caused stomach upset.
Pros: Comes in Four Different Blends, No Preservatives, Artificial Colours and Flavours, High-Quality Ingredients, Balanced Formula with All Necessary Nutrients and Minerals
Cons: Only Available in Two Sizes, Food Pieces Big for Small Breeds, Some Reports of Causing Stomach Distress
Making sure that your dog has a healthy diet is one of the most important things to focus on as a dog owner. Luckily, there are many dog food brands that provide balanced diets to dogs without special dietary needs.
I hope that you have found my reviews helpful and that you have found the right dog food brand for your furry friend.
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