If anyone asks, ‘which are the ‘best’ dog food brands in Canada?’

The right response should be, ‘It depends on what do you mean by ‘best’?’ It’s important to have a set criterion because there are many dog food brands proudly manufactured and sold in Canada. So, it’s difficult to say which ones are the best since each brand has its own unique qualities.

Here are some properties of high-quality dog food, along with the particular Canadian brands that may be said to represent those qualities the most.

  1. Quality Meat Content

Dogs are by nature carnivorous, so some doggies may be picky eaters in this regard. Some dog food brands have more meat content compared to others. The reason for this is the dog food manufacturer wants doggies to savor the taste of meat in every meal. Dogs also need quite a lot of protein in their diet, since their puppy days to their mature years. So, for meat content, you may get a good brand such as Smack Pet Food. The company prides itself on using only human-grade ingredients for its dog food products.

Sources of Animal Meat of Dog Food Canada, Brands

Though not all of the dog food brands made in Canada contain meat, many of them do. If you’re wondering about the source of meat offered in the dog food brands, here’s a list of meat sources that made it to the recipes of the top dog food brands in Canada.

  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Duck
  • Beef
  • Turkey
  • Goat
  • Wild Boar
  • Venison
  • Lamb
  • Bison
  • Egg (considered as meat due to high protein content)

Since many dog food brands deliberately hike up the meat content of their product, you may want to check the labels on the packaging for the list of ingredients. Then, you may consult your pet dog’s veterinarian to recommend the best-suited food brand for your dog.

If your dog has some health issues such as allergy to certain meats, you now even have the option of letting your dog go vegan. The important thing is to make sure your dog won’t be harmed by your choice of dog food. To check if the food suits your dog, you can buy a small pack at the start, just to see your dog’s reaction to it. If you have fed your dog a few meals based on that brand and there are no side effects or dangerous reactions, then you can probably buy that brand and variant. Be sure to update your vet regularly about the performance of the dog food in an actual doggie taste test as well.

  1. Vegan Choice

You may be surprised that there’s vegan dog food. Yes, there’s and its name is v-Planet. The company doesn’t add ingredients such as animal meat, dairy products, and eggs to their dog food. Rather, v-Planet uses purely plant-based ingredients in their products. The company prides itself on having the most nutritionally complete and vegan commercial dog food recipes. The reason it uses plant-based ingredients is because some dogs are actually allergic to some forms of meat. It’s nice that v-Planet sells vegan dog food options, amidst a market that heavily relies on meat-based dog food.

Fruit and Vegetable Ingredients of Canadian Dog Food Brands

The reason your preferred dog food brand from Canada has fruits and vegetables is to give your pet fiber and additional nutrients. Dogs can’t live on meat alone so adding these fruits and veggies will prevent constipation in your dog and helps in keeping it healthy. Here are some of the most popularly used fruit and vegetable ingredients in dog food from Canada.

  • Organic Sprouted Seeds
  • Canadian Hemp Seeds
  • Bamboo
  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Chia Seeds
  • Flaxseed
  • Organic Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Raspberries
  • Juniper Berries
  • Organic Broccoli
  • Whole Oats (Grains)
  • Rice (Grains)
  • Brown Rice (Grains)
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Barley
  1. Tripe Content

Have you heard of tripe? The Canadian dog food company PetKind makes dog food products that are all somehow based on tripe. They believe that tripe has multiple nutrients that are good for dogs so, they make sure to add tripe in each of their dog food variant. One way this company deviates a bit is that not all their ingredients are sourced from Canada. For example, they import their lamb tripe from New Zealand. But the quality of the end-product is good enough to get your dog’s attention, especially if your pet is quite finicky with its meals.

  1. Relieves Specific Dog Health Issues

Some dogs face health problems stemming from being very sensitive to the ingredients of their dog food. If you’re worried about your pet being allergic to popular dog food ingredients, you might want to try out your doggie on Go! Solutions products. These products have no grains, potatoes, antibiotics, hormones or even artificial preservatives. Of special importance are the balance of protein, carbs and fats within each product.

A special health issue that some dogs have is a sensitive gut. Dog food manufacturer Horizon has its Legacy line of dog food that addresses this (for puppies, adults and seniors). Since the Legacy line has sufficient fiber content, your dog will no longer be constipated. This fiber (as well as the prebiotics and probiotics added to each bag of dog food) will foster nourishment of your dog’s good bacteria within their gut. The same is true for the enzymes that each bag of dog food contains–your dog will no longer have frustrating and sometimes painful indigestion. In turn, this allows your dog to absorb most, if not all, of the nutrients from its pet food.

Be aware that your dog still requires some fat in its diet. One reason it needs fat is to assure growth of a sleek and shiny coat. Horizon assures pet owners that there’s sufficient fat in their Legacy products to help your dog look at its best, due to adequate nutrition. One source of fat is chicken. There are also Omega-3 fats, sourced from flaxseed and salmon oil in the Legacy series.

  1. Non-GMO Formulas

GMO stands for genetically-modified organism, meaning some of the dog food ingredients may have been created by scientists in the laboratory. GMO processes are necessary to amplify a particular trait of the organism. Some consumers are leery of GMOs since they’re afraid of the side effects, should their pet dogs consume GMO-laden dog food. One brand that’s GMO-free is Horizon. Incidentally, Horizon also doesn’t use steroids, hormones, artificial preservatives and by-products in the ingredients of dog food.

  1. Option for Sensitive Dogs

If your dog has some kind of skin health issue, you can consult the vet if your dog can try 1st Choice dog food. Of particular relevance is their 1st Choice Derma, which may help your dog if it has hypersensitive or reactive skin. The symptoms of this skin condition are:

  • Skin Itching
  • Skin Inflammation
  • Skin Irritation

They also make dog food specifically for puppies, adult dogs, and seniors who may need attention for their:

  • Allergies
  • Dental Health

If your dog is allergic to grains and wheat products, there are also grain-free options for these dogs.

  1. Comes in Environmentally Friendly Packaging

Petcurean is the manufacturer of Go! Solutions brand and two other dog food brands. They try to be environmentally friendly in their manufacturing and retail processes. For one thing, they’re currently attempting to make dog food bags that can be 100% recyclable. This is a bit complicated because each bag has a plastic lining that keeps the dog food free from contaminants. If they succeed in their bag recyclability project, though, that would be a major accomplishment; hopefully, other pet food makers will follow their example.

  1. Competitive Pricing and Affordability

Pricing is really a major consideration among many consumers, especially when the economy is down and money is tight. If you’re on a tight budget, you may want to rely on dog food brand Now Fresh. Now Fresh has less meat than some other popular dog food brands, which explains the lower price tag. However, the brand doesn’t scrimp on variety since there are presently 13 formulas of their dog food products. Now Fresh also avoids the use of grains, chicken and gluten in their formulas.

  1. Option for Senior Dogs

Now Fresh also has some formulas ideal for adult and senior dogs. This includes the following variants:

  • Adult Chicken
  • Senior Chicken
  • Adult Red Meat
  • Adult Fish
  • Small Breed Senior
  • Large Breed Adult
  • Large Breed Senior

The dog food for senior dogs has its own formulation since senior dogs may have special nutritional needs. One reason of separate formula could be is that the senior dogs may have already lost their teeth. This makes chewing on hard dog food pellets out of the question. Senior dogs may have also developed some illnesses that can be managed with the right formula for senior dog food.

Final Takeaway

Your pet dog is a valuable member of your family. Not only will the dogs help keep your home safe from intruders, but they’ll serve as your companions for a lifetime. It’s only fair that you select the best kind of dog food for your pet dog’s meals. With the right ingredients in the right proportion, your dog will be able to satisfy its flavor cravings and appetite, while staying healthy at the same time.