Top 10 Best Dog Foods at Petco
When it comes to buying dog food, Petco is a great place to start. They carry a wide variety of brands and flavors so that you can find the perfect food for your pup. They also have a variety of price points, so you can find something that fits your budget.
One thing to keep in mind when shopping at Petco is that they do not sell prescription dog food. If your dog has special dietary needs, you’ll need to talk to your veterinarian about the best food for your pup.
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But when it comes to picking the best dog food, there are a lot of things to consider. But with so many products on the market, how do you know which one is right for your pup? It sure can be tough to decide, but don’t worry—we’re here to help. In this post, we’ll take a look at the 10 best dog foods (and their reviews) available at Petco in 2022.
The 10 Best Dog Foods at Petco
Acana Wholesome Grains Sea to Stream Dry Food
|Main ingredients:||Whole Atlantic herring, whole mackerel, whole catfish, herring meal, mackerel meal|
For a high-protein, seafood-based option, you can turn to Acana Wholesome Grains Sea to Stream Dry Food. A high-protein diet is often recommended for very active or muscular dogs. With three types of raw fish as the first ingredients, this recipe’s protein comes straight from the source. Fish are also high in omega fatty acids, which aid digestion, are great for a healthy skin and coat, and help support immune function. Wholesome grains support a well-balanced diet with additional nutrition and fiber for optimal digestion. Vegetables and fruits are also included to provide essential vitamins and minerals.
Natural probiotics, high levels of omega fatty acids, and supportive antioxidants work together to keep your pup feeling its best. Acana’s kitchens are located in Kentucky and work closely with trusted farmers and fishers to ensure their ingredients are of the highest quality. While fish is highly nutritious, not every dog finds it appetizing.
- Not every dog enjoys the taste of fish
- Has a strong smell
- High-protein food ideal for working or athletic dogs
- Thoughtfully sourced ingredients from a trusted network
- More nutritious grains like millet and sorghum
Rachel Ray Nutrish with Real Beef – Best Value
|Main ingredients:||Beef, beef meal, dried peas, soybean meal, whole ground corn|
If you have a pup that prefers beef, Rachel Ray Nutrish with Real Beef is the best dog food at Petco for the money. There are no artificial flavors or preservatives, no poultry by-products, and no fillers. However, it has plenty of natural prebiotics that may help your dog digest their meals more effectively and comfortably. Rachel Ray Nutrish is prepared and packaged in the US for the highest quality food products you can offer your pet.
Even with transitioning, picky eaters may not take to the mostly beef flavor profile of this dog food. Vegetables, like peas, are nutritious but not always appetizing to all pups. It does not have a very high protein to calorie ratio, which is suggested for active dogs. However, you can turn to Rachel Ray for dogs with average activity levels that need high-quality, nutritious, and affordable food. Every bag helps support the Rachel Ray Foundation, dedicated to helping animals in need.
- Kibble size may be too big for smaller breeds
- Picky pups might not like vegetable ingredients
- An affordable option in large bag sizes
- Fortified with chicken fat for natural fatty acids
- US farm-raised beef is the #1 ingredient
ORIJEN Original High Protein Fresh & Raw – Best Overall
|Main ingredients:||Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, Atlantic flounder, whole eggs|
Our best overall dog food at Petco is ORIJEN Original Grain-Free High Protein. Poultry and fish make up the first five ingredients, and 85% of the food is derived from animal protein for a protein-packed and highly nutritious meal that dogs love. Much of the protein is raw and freeze-dried to preserve the wholesome vitamins and minerals. If your vet has suggested a grain-free diet, this is a fantastic, high-quality option. Be sure to discuss choosing a grain-free dog food before making the switch, as grains can benefit most dogs.
Because ORIJEN Original has more protein and includes raw ingredients that aren’t in most other kibbles, it may take longer for your pup to transition. Be sure to take it slow as you move to this new dog food, so their tummy has a chance to adjust. Many dogs love the meaty flavor of this food, but some pickier pups may find it too strong. You may notice the pungent scent as well.
- Strong odor from the real-meat ingredients
- It takes longer to transition from a standard kibble diet
- High protein and fat content
- Made in the USA with high-quality ingredients
- Ideal for all life stages
The Honest Kitchen Whole Food Clusters – Premium Choice
|Main ingredients:||Beef, oats, barley, turkey, beef liver|
While all the top dog food choices on our list are of the highest quality, The Honest Kitchen Whole Food Clusters has gone further to include human-grade ingredients. They take care to include a relatively short list of power-packed ingredients that pass the same strict quality standards as required for your pets and the safety standards you’d expect for the food at your dinner table. The Honest Kitchen uses the process of pressing and dehydrating the ingredients. Reducing the number of steps taken in preparing food helps preserve its taste and nutrition.
The Beef and Oat Recipe is ideal for adult and senior dogs of any breed. The Honest Kitchen offers a complete lineup that gives your pup a diverse menu and complete, balanced nutrition. Because it has minimally processed meat protein ingredients, it has a vibrant flavor profile. If your dog is not used to savory meals, they may not find it appetizing or take longer to transition.
- A more expensive option, especially for larger dogs
- Kibble can crumble inside the bag during shipping
- Meets strict quality standards, including FDA and USDA
- Minimally processed to preserve nutrition and taste
- Improved digestion, energy, and appearance
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Dog Food
|Main ingredients:||Deboned beef, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, oatmeal|
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula is made with a well-balanced recipe that includes real meat as the first ingredient and a variety of other high-quality meats, vegetables, and fruits. On top of carefully selected ingredients, the Life Protection Formula is fortified with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help your dog’s body digest effectively, maintain healthy muscle, keep a strong immune response, and produce a beautiful, shiny coat. The recipe was created by animal nutritionists and backed by veterinarians.
For premium-quality dog food that you can feel good about feeding your pup throughout their adult years, you can turn to Blue Buffalo. No by-products, artificial flavors, or artificial preservatives are used in their recipes, and their products are manufactured in the US. The kibble is a size appropriate for most dog breeds, even small dogs. However, the pieces may be too hard for some, especially those with dental issues.
- Kibble can be too hard for some dogs
- Chicken is a primary ingredient in the Beef and Rice recipe
- Appeals to most dogs, even picky eaters
- Designed for overall health and wellbeing
- Excellent source of antioxidants
Purina Pro Plan High Protein with Probiotics – Vet’s Choice
|Main ingredients:||beef, rice, whole grain wheat, corn gluten meal, poultry by-product meal|
Working dogs or those with high energy may benefit from a high protein diet. Purina Pro Plan High Protein offers just that, along with live probiotics to support healthy digestion and improved immunity. Real beef is the number one ingredient, and you’ll see hard kibble and shredded beef mixed throughout the food. If your pup gets bored of their food often or just loves a protein-packed, real beef dinner, this could be just the meal for them. You can supplement this dry food with the complementary Pro Plan wet food for more variety but the same balanced nutrition.
In addition to probiotics, this high-protein dry food is fortified with Vitamin A and fatty acids to support a healthy coat. The Purina Pro Plan High Protein formula will have your pup feeling and looking their best. This recipe was previously called “Savor” and was reformulated in 2021. Whole grain wheat and corn gluten meal can be very beneficial for most dogs, but if you suspect a food allergy to either ingredient, be sure to contact your dog’s vet for proper diagnosis and food recommendation.
- Picky dogs may prefer a different Pro Plan recipe
- Fewer shredded pieces since the formula change
- Kibble and shredded beef pieces for food variety
- It contains probiotics for healthy digestion and immune system
- High protein for working or athletic dogs
Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Dry Food – Best for Puppies
|Main ingredients:||Chicken meal, whole grain wheat, cracked pearled barley, whole grain sorghum|
Hill’s Science Diet Dry Puppy Food, Chicken Meal and Barley Recipe is specially formulated for growing puppies. Complete and balanced nutrition helps to support a puppy’s fast growth in its first year. Higher levels of DHA, also found in a mother’s milk, stimulate the healthy brain and eye development while optimal protein content promotes strong muscle growth. As your puppy grows, veterinarian-approved vitamins and minerals support solid bones and teeth, joint health, and a strong immune system.
With higher levels of DHA, this high-quality puppy food can also be fed to pregnant dogs to ensure healthy puppies. Hill’s Science Diet is made in the USA and offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Discuss your puppy’s diet with their vet or breeder, especially when first adopting them. They may have been given a particular food, and you’ll need to transition to a new brand or formula slowly. You should also discuss the proper age to start transitioning to an adult formula.
- May cause wet or soft stools
- More expensive compared to some puppy foods
- Resealable bag using Velcro, keeping food fresh
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Very popular, even with picky pups
Nutro Natural Choice Small Bites Dry Food
|Main ingredients:||Deboned lamb, chicken meal, brewers rice, whole grain brown rice|
Nutro Natural Choice Small Bites Dry Food is a full lineup of premium dog foods with recipes that focus on wholesome ingredients that support a healthy pup. It all starts with healthy digestion with natural fiber. If your dog is prone to loose stools, they may benefit from a diet with more fiber, such as the Lamb & Brown Rice recipe. Pasture-fed lamb is the #1 ingredient for the high-quality source of protein that your dog needs to maintain strong muscles and energy levels as they run and play.
Smaller dogs, or pups that prefer smaller kibble, will enjoy the tiny pieces. It still has the same crunch as other Nutro Natural Choice foods and the same great lamb and brown rice recipe they love in smaller pieces that are easier to chew.
- The formula may have been updated with the new packaging
- Not as popular with picky pups
- High in natural fiber to combat loose stools
- Supports immune function with antioxidants
- Small bite kibble for small breeds
Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food
|Main ingredients:||Deboned beef, pork meal, brown rice, barley, oatmeal|
Merrick Classic Healthy Grains, Real Beef and Brown Rice Recipe contains many healthy grains that dogs can use to feel their best every day. Quinoa, considered an ancient grain, is high in iron and magnesium. It is also an excellent source of fiber. Flaxseed, chia, and other grains offer unique benefits, including optimal nutrition for overall wellness plus added glucosamine for joint support. This is especially beneficial for large breeds or those prone to hip and joint problems. With high-quality protein for muscle health and omega-fatty acids for a healthy coat, your dog will look as healthy as they feel.
Merrick offers a complementary lineup of wet food to add variety to your pup’s diet and treats, including those designed for dental health. All their products are produced in the USA, with strict quality standards for their ingredients and production methods. The kibble is on the smaller side but is ideal for most breed sizes, including larger dogs. Because the food includes more grains and vegetable ingredients, it may take longer to transition.
- Picky pups may not like the unique ingredient profile
- The previous formula contained peas
- Smaller-sized kibble is perfect for most breeds
- A variety of grains offer optimal nutrition
- Designed for hip and joint support
Solid Gold Hund N Flocken Dry Dog Food
|Main ingredients:||Lamb, lamb meal, brown rice, pearled barley, oatmeal|
With real lamb as the first ingredient, Solid Gold Hund N Flocken offers plenty of protein for a healthy pup. However, it’s the nutrient-rich whole grains and a long list of superfoods like eggs, carrots, and pumpkin, that not only meet but exceed the nutritional needs of your adult dog. This brand is not one of the most well-known on the shelf but has been around since the 1970s, offering superior nutrition and the highest quality natural ingredients in holistic and well-balanced dog food recipes.
Living probiotics support healthy digestion, especially for dogs with sensitive tummies, and omega fatty acids help absorb the many vitamins and minerals in the Solid Gold Hund N Flocken recipe. This recipe is formulated without potatoes for those with a food allergy. Solid Gold foods are produced in the USA to strict quality standards and are backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Because Solid Gold is not one of the more prominent brands, it can be somewhat challenging to find, but Petco regularly carries it.
- Sometimes difficult to find
- Not as appetizing for picky eaters
- Formulated without potato for dogs with allergies
- Includes a long list of high-quality superfoods
- Ideal for pups with sensitive tummies
Buyer’s Guide: How to Select the Best Dog Food at Petco
Do you have some questions as you shop for the best dog foods at Petco? That’s okay! In fact, most people do, so let’s try to answer some of the most common questions we hear.
How do I transition my dog to a new food?
The new food may have a suggested transition timeline from 7 days to 2 weeks. The AKC recommends mixing 25% of the new food with 75% of the previous food for a few days, then 50% of each. After a few more days, you can transition to a mix of 75% of the new food and 25% of the old, and eventually to a diet consisting of only the new food. This is only a guideline, however. If you notice your pup has an upset tummy, it’s okay to return to a previous mix or give them more time to adjust.
What is diet rotation? Should I change my dog’s food often?
Every dog food offers slightly different nutrition. Some dog owners prefer to switch up their dog’s diet every so often so they can benefit from the nutritional advantages of another formula or brand for a while and then switch again. Remember that a picky dog may find a food they like and not want to switch, while another dog may get bored of their food and love trying something new. When changing foods, you’ll need to transition slowly to prevent an upset stomach.
How much should I feed my dog? How often should I feed them?
The feeding instructions for each dog food offer a rough estimate when feeding your pup. However, these instructions are only a guide. If you find that your dog doesn’t finish all of their food but seems happy and healthy, they may just be full. If they are still hungry after their meal, they may need additional calories than the food provides, so feeding a little extra may be necessary. You may also need to adjust the feeding amounts if you offer wet food or treats throughout the day. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), adult dogs should be fed twice daily.
How do I know if my dog has a food allergy?
Food allergies can cause many symptoms that may be overlooked as something completely different. If you’ve changed your pet’s food in the last several weeks or months and they’ve started experiencing symptoms like itching or infections, try transitioning to a different food to see if symptoms improve. Your vet or veterinary nutritionist can order lab tests to confirm a food allergy or intolerance.
Is a grain-free diet better for my dog?
No, not necessarily. Not all dogs require a grain-free diet, and some dogs benefit from a food that contains more grains or certain types of grains. If your pet isn’t thriving on their current diet, you may want to try the elimination diet. Be sure to discuss your concerns about your dog’s diet with your vet and get their approval and guidance before choosing to exclude certain foods. However, this can help determine if a grain-free diet would be beneficial.
How much protein does my dog need?
A high-protein diet is recommended for muscular breeds, athletic canines, and working dogs. If your pet is energetic and seems to eat quite a bit, a high-protein diet with more healthy fats and calories may keep them satisfied longer. However, too much protein for a dog that doesn’t get enough exercise can lead to weight gain.
When deciding on new dog food, it’s essential to consider the breed, age, and activity level.
Does the age of my dog matter when choosing dog food?
Yes! Dog foods are specially formulated for the age of your dog. For example, the Hill’s Science Diet Puppy formula reviewed above contains higher amounts of DHA. DHA is found in a mother’s milk and helps puppies grow strong physically as well as supporting healthy brain and eye development. Once they reach adulthood, they no longer need as much DHA, and it’s safe to transition to a food formulated for adult dogs or “all life stages.” Similarly, a senior dog will need food that helps support their joint and brain health as they age.
If you aren’t sure when it’s time for your pet to graduate to the next step in nutrition, talk to your vet. They will keep your dog’s breed and overall health in mind when deciding the best diet.
We hope you found these reviews helpful as you shop for your pet. Remember, it’s all about their health and wellness! For the best overall dog food at Petco, check out ORIJEN Original for active pups. For the best dog food at Petco for the money, go with Rachel Ray Nutrish. It features real beef as the #1 ingredient. The Honest Kitchen Whole Food Clusters is our premium choice, while Hill’s Science Diet Chicken Meal & Barley Recipe is great for puppies. Our vet’s choice is Purina Pro Plan High Protein with Probiotics.