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.
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.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2024
|Purina Pro Plan Sport Performance
|Nature's Recipe Original
|ORIJEN Original Recipe Freeze Dried
|Best for Puppies
|Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy
|Hill's Science Diet Adult Dry Dog Food
The 10 Best Dog Foods at Petco
1. Purina Pro Plan Sport Performance Formula Dog Food – Best Overall
|Beef, rice, poultry meal, corn gluten meal
If you’re looking for a dog food that will give your pup the energy they need to perform their best, then you’ll want to check out Purina Pro Plan Sport Performance Beef & Bison Formula.
This food is fortified with live probiotics and is high in protein and fat, making it perfect for dogs with high energy requirements. It’s also rich in antioxidants and glucosamine, and EPA supports joint health, so you can rest assured that your dog will be able to handle any level of activity.
The only downside is that the nutrition may not be well suited for dogs with low activity levels, but if your dog is a couch potato, then this probably isn’t the best food for them anyway.
2. Nature’s Recipe Original Dog Food – Best Value
|Chicken, chicken meal, brewers rice, barley
Nature’s Recipe Original Chicken & Rice Recipe is one of the best value foods at Petco. You get a lot of quality for a very affordable price. However, some long-time customers are disgruntled with the recent price hikes. Increased prices—even in the most affordable products—are common across the board.
Chicken is the number one ingredient, and it is full of healthy grains such as barley, oats, and bran. This food also does not have any artificial colors, flavors, or additives.
3. ORIJEN Original Grain-Free High Protein Dog Food – Premium Choice
|Chicken ground with bone, chicken liver, turkey, whole herring
ORIJEN Original Recipe Grain-Free High Protein Raw Poultry Freeze Dried is a premium food that is perfect for dogs who need a high-protein diet.
The freeze-dried formula means that it has a long shelf life for a raw diet, and the limited ingredients make it highly digestible. However, grain-free diets are not suitable for all dogs, and this food can be costly.
If you are considering a grain-free diet for your dog, ensure that you speak to your veterinarian first.
4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy Food – Best for Puppies
|Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, oatmeal
Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection Formula Puppy is a complete and balanced food designed to support the growth and development of puppies. The food contains proprietary “Life Source Bits” – a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants – which help to support the immune system.
The small kibble size is perfect for small puppies, and the food provides total nutrition for growth and development. However, the food may not have enough calories to support the growth of giant dog breeds in their later puppy years, when energy demand is at its highest.
5. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food
|Chicken, whole grain wheat, cracked pearled barley, whole grain sorghum
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed Chicken & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food is a high-quality food designed specifically for large breeds. The chicken and barley recipe provides the energy these dogs need, and the quality proteins help to build and repair muscle. The food is made in the USA, so you can be sure of its quality.
However, it is on the expensive side, and it is not suitable for smaller breeds. Overall, Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed Chicken & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food is a good choice for large breeds, as long as you don’t mind the price tag.
6. Eukanuba Adult Wet Dog Food
|Chicken, pork Liver, chicken liver, pork broth
Eukanuba Chicken, Rice & Vegetables Dinner Adult Wet Dog Food is a great option for pups who need a little extra moisture in their diet. It can be fed as a complete meal or as a kibble topper.
The wet food is packed with flavorful chicken, rice and veggies that dogs love. Plus, it helps support healthy fluid intake. However, it can be messy to serve and requires refrigeration after opening.
7. Taste of the Wild Small Breed Dry Dog Food
|Venison, lamb meal, garbanzo beans, peas
Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free Roasted Venison Dry Dog Food is good food for small dogs who can’t have chicken or who do well on a grain-free diet.
The recipe is made with novel proteins like venison, lamb, and duck, and it’s high in protein. The kibble is also small, which is great for little mouths. However, grain-free diets are not right for all dogs, as grains are beneficial to most dogs. Consult your vet before making the switch.
8. ACANA Wholesome Grains Dry Dog Food
|Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, chicken meal, oat groats
ACANA Wholesome Grains Free-Run Poultry & Grains Recipe Dry Dog Food has some great features that are worth mentioning. For starters, wholesome grains like oats, sorghum, and millet provide a nutritious and balanced diet for your dog.
In addition, the lack of legume ingredients makes this food ideal for those waiting for more research to come out on the safety of these foods in dog diets.
Finally, the proprietary heart-healthy vitamin blend helps to keep your dog’s heart healthy and strong. However, there are a few potential drawbacks to this food as well.
For example, poultry is a common source of allergies, so if your dog is allergic to chicken or turkey, this food may not be the best option.
9. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Small Breed
|Potatoes, duck meal, duck, dried potato products
Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Duck & Potato Formula Small Breed is a great option for dogs with allergies. The single protein source makes it easy to identify any potential allergens, and the food is produced in the USA, which is important for many pet owners.
However, the diet can be costly for regular use, and some dogs may not be able to tolerate the duck protein. Overall, Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Duck & Potato Formula Small Breed is a good option for dogs with allergies or sensitivities, but it may not be suitable for all pets.
10. Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein Wet Dog Food
|Water, pea starch, hydrolyzed chicken liver, hydrolyzed soy protein
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein Wet Dog Food is a great option for dogs with sensitivities to proteins. The hydrolyzed protein is easier to digest, and the food also minimizes the risk of adverse reactions to proteins.
In addition, the food supports a healthy skin barrier to reduce irritation. The only downside is that it is expensive for regular feeding. However, if your dog has sensitivities to proteins, this food is definitely worth the investment.
Buyer’s Guide: What to Look for When Buying Dog Food at Petco
When it comes to picking the right food for your dog, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, consider your dog’s age, activity level, and any health conditions they may have.
Ingredients like proteins, fats, and carbohydrates all play a role in your dog’s health, so you’ll need to choose a food that provides the right balance of nutrients.
Next, take a look at the ingredients list. Avoid foods with fillers like corn or wheat, as well as artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
Instead, opt for a food that contains whole, natural ingredients. And make sure to pick a protein source that your dog can tolerate.
Finally, make sure the food you choose is made by a reputable company. Do some research on the company’s manufacturing process and standards to make sure they’re up to par.
Price is always a concern when it comes to pet ownership, but don’t let it be the only factor you consider when picking food. In general, you get what you pay for when it comes to dog food.
So, while the most expensive food isn’t necessarily the best, the cheapest food probably isn’t the best either. Instead, look for food that’s priced reasonably and provides your dog with the nutrients they need.
Lifestage and Activity Levels
When it comes to choosing the right food, it’s important to consider your dog’s life stage. Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs, and senior dogs have different needs than younger dogs.
So, make sure you pick a food that’s appropriate for your dog’s age.
In addition, consider your dog’s activity level. If they’re very active, they may need food that’s higher in calories and fat. On the other hand, if they’re relatively inactive, they may do better on a food that’s lower in calories.
If your dog has any health conditions, you’ll need to choose a food that’s formulated for their needs. For example, dogs with allergies may need hypoallergenic food, and dogs with joint problems may need food that’s rich in glucosamine and chondroitin.
Ask your veterinarian for recommendations on the best food for your dog’s specific needs.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to choosing the best food for your dog, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, you’ll need to consider your dog’s individual needs and preferences.
Keep the factors in this buyer’s guide in mind, and you’ll be sure to find a food that’s perfect for your pup.
Our overall favorite was Purina Pro Plan Sport Performance for the unique formulation for active dogs as it contains a blend of proteins and fats to support their high energy needs. For best value, Nature’s Recipe grain-free was our top pick; it’s a well-rounded food at a fraction of the cost of some other brands.
If you want the premium taste and nutrition of a raw diet without the mess and time, Orijen’s Freeze Dried. This food contains a blend of fresh meat, organs, and cartilage with no grain, potatoes, or plant proteins.
Raw diets are not for everyone, though, so if you are still undecided, you can rest easy knowing that Hill’s Science Diet Chicken and Barley recipe comes with a vet seal of approval.
And last but not least, for your growing puppy, Blue Buffalo has a great recipe in their Life Protection Formula.
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Featured Image Credit: Anastasiya Tsiasemnikava, Shutterstock