Pet owners want only the best for their furry friends. This includes choosing food that is healthy and nutritious. With so many dog and cat food brands available, though, it can be difficult to wade through the myriad choices and truly determine the best option.
Pet parents may find themselves pondering what certain ingredients are, where foods were made, whether they may cause an adverse health reaction and if their pets will truly eat the food if they have never tried it before. Without considerable research, it can be tricky for even the savviest of pet owners to discern the difference between natural, raw and organic pet foods, for instance, or to understand pet food industry terms such as “by-product”, “co-product” and “limited ingredient.” For many, trusting the advice of veterinary professionals provides peace of mind. The following dog and cat food brands are commonly recommended by many veterinarians as trusted choices for furry family members.
1 – Royal Canin
This premium pet food brand prides itself on being science-based, maintaining a mission to avoid pet food industry trends and, instead, remain committed to making healthy food that contains a mix of nutrients necessary for pet health. Each option in the Royal Canin brand is said to contain more than 50 nutrients essential to keeping pets happy and healthy. Many pet owners also champion this brand for pets who are picky eaters or who struggle to keep weight on. Royal Canin undertakes a rigorous testing process and is known to take caution in selecting both suppliers and manufacturing facilities.
2 – Eukanuba
This pet food brand focuses on feeding cats and dogs as carnivores, as is their inherent nature. Eukanuba offers an array of food formulas based on a pet’s needs at various phases of life, but they all feature animal protein as the number one ingredient, rather than being plant-based as many pet foods are. This brand also boasts a customized blend of carbohydrates meant to sustain a pet’s energy throughout the day. Omega three ingredients mean that pets benefit from fatty acids essential for bone growth in younger pets and continued joint health as they age.
3 – Hill’s Science Diet
This brand models their food safety standards after those used by human food manufacturers, meaning consumers can expect consistent ingredients that are biology-based. This means Hill’s Science Diet cat and dog foods use recipes that are meant to optimize a pet’s health at every life stage, based on scientific research about pet biology. Their array of options mean consumers can often target their pet’s specific needs, like joint health and mobility concerns for senior dogs or digestive health for cats with a history of developing hairballs.
4 – Iams
Iams brand touts itself as the most easily digestible dog and cat food, due to its use of many natural ingredients. This is important because when food is easy to digest, pets can better absorb nutrients. This brand also believes pet nutrition isn’t simply about balanced meals, but should include things like boosting immunity to disease and preventing tartar and other dental health concerns. This means pet owners can find a diverse range of options in the Iams product line, including Iams Proactive Health for pets struggling to maintain a healthy weight. Many Iams products also contain no wheat or soy, making them ideal for dogs or cats with food allergies.
5 – Purina
This company prides itself on producing 99 percent of its ingredients in the United States, meaning they can keep a close eye on production facilities and sourcing of ingredients. They are known to undertake thousands of quality checks each day in their facilities, and they prefer environmentally safe practices as well as healthy livestock management. The Purina Pro Plan and Purina One formulas are particularly touted by veterinarians and pet owners alike for their use of limited, quality ingredients, rather than fillers with little nutritional value. Purina is also focused on innovation, especially with regard to healthy aging, and they produce new formulas often.
6 – Nature’s Variety
This brand focuses on “raw” nutrition, using natural and holistic ingredients found in nature. Essentially, the Nature’s Variety brand believes in feeding pets in accordance with their original diet, rather than using fillers and unnatural ingredients. Their popular Instinct formula is grain-free and high in protein, with ingredients featuring as little processing as possible in order to maintain natural nutritional value. Another popular formula is Prairie, which features fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to pure animal proteins. All Nature’s Variety formulas are free of artificial colors and flavors and contain no corn, soy or wheat products.