Natural dog food contains ingredients that have not been subject to a chemically synthetic process, or that are in a completely unprocessed state.
Natural dog food shouldn’t be confused with organic dog food.
All natural dog food can come in a wet canned state, or as a dry kibble. So, you can choose a brand that suits your dog and lifestyle best.
But, bear in mind that puppies, adult, and senior dogs each have different nutritional needs. So, you should choose an option that is tailored to your dog’s age and breed size.
Let’s take a look at the best all natural dog food options that we have found for you.
Top 5 Natural Dog Foods for 2020
Here are the top 5 natural dog food options for 2020.
- Best wet option: Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Canned Food
- Best dry option: Diamond Naturals Adult Natural Dog Food
- Organic option: Open Farm Grain Free Food
- Grain free option: Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Food
- High protein choice: Taste of the Wild High Protein Natural Food
Click on the links above to jump straight to these food options. Or, keep reading to find out a little more about how natural food can fit into your dog’s diet.
Natural Dog Diet
Before we take a look at some all natural dog food brands, it’s important to understand our dogs’ nutritional needs.
Dogs are primarily classed as carnivores, meaning they get the nutrients they need from meat. However, they are able, and willing, to eat a much wider variety of foods, unlike other carnivores, such as cats.
Early domestic dogs were often allowed to forage for their food – which means they would get quite a variety in their diets.
So where and how does natural dog food fit in?
What is Natural Dog Food?
This type of food can help to replicate this early domestic dog natural diet, because it doesn’t use any ingredients that have been processed using chemicals, or any unnatural additives.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) reinforces that ‘natural’ is a “liberal term”. This means that natural dog foods can include a huge variety of ingredients.
And, just because an ingredient isn’t chemically processed, it can be processed in different ways.
An ingredient can even have trace amounts of chemical compounds and still fall under this umbrella term of ‘natural’.
So, what implication does this have on the health of natural diets? Is natural dog food healthier for our animals?
Is Natural Dog Food Healthier?
If dog food is labelled ‘natural’ and doesn’t go through any chemical processes, you might think it is automatically healthier than other types of dog food.
But, according to the AAFCO, natural ingredients are not required to be any safer than other ingredients in non-natural dog foods.
Just like people, each dog has individual needs. So, the healthiest food for one might not be the best for another.
Dogs can have allergies, and different breeds mature at different speeds! So, the best way to find the healthiest dog food for your pup is to speak with your vet.
They may suggest natural dog food as the best way forward.
Features to Consider
There are some aspects to consider when you’re buying the best all natural dog food. Let’s take a closer look at a few of those now.
Natural vs Organic
As we mentioned earlier, you shouldn’t confuse natural and organic food, because there is a difference!
Natural dog food, as we’ve seen, is food that has been through no chemically induced processes, or that hasn’t been processed at all.
The AAFCO defines organic food, on the other hand, as animal feed meeting the production and handling requirements of the National Organic Program by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
This states that organic products are made by cycling resources, conserving biodiversity, and promoting ecological balance.
Just like natural food, organic dog food isn’t necessarily healthier or safer than other types of food available for your dog.
Natural vs Raw
Are you wondering what the difference is between natural dog food and a raw diet?
Raw feeding is an increasingly popular choice for many dog owners. It involves preparing your dog’s food at home, and often means feeding your dog raw unprocessed meat and bones.
It can be hard to achieve the right balance of nutrients when you first start a raw diet. So make sure to speak to your vet if you are going to try this.
If you want your dog to have unprocessed, or non-chemically processed food, natural dog food can be an easier option.
It is especially easier if you don’t have a lot of time to prepare your dog’s food every single day. Or, if you aren’t in a home where handling raw meat is feasible – such as with lots of young children around.
Dog Size and Age
The size and age of your dog is another factor that you should think about before buying natural dog food.
Large dog breeds mature at a much slower rate than small dog breeds. So, their nutritional needs are different.
If you’re unsure about what age your dog should have puppy food, adult food, and senior food, speak to your vet.
They will be able to tell you exactly what type of food your dog needs.
Some other factors that you consider will relate to any type of dog food that you might buy your puppy.
You’ll need to consider price. If you choose a dog food that doesn’t fit in with your budget, you won’t be able to afford to keep up with this diet.
Grain free foods are becoming popular too, especially for animals allergic to grain. But, there are concerns that grain free diets are related to the heart disease dilated cardiomyopathy.
You might also want to consider the source of your dog food’s ingredients. Some foods are made with only USA ingredients, but others will import them from across the world.
Let’s move on to some examples of the best natural dog food brands you might want to choose from.
Wet Natural Dog Food
Wet natural dog food is most often found in cans or tins. This type may not last as long as dry kibble.
So, if you want an option that you can buy in bulk, you might not want to choose wet food.
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Canned Food
The Natural Balance Limited Ingredient natural dog food is a canned wet dog food option. It comes in a huge variety of different flavors, in case your dog is fussy!
This food is high in fiber to promote healthy digestion, and uses a high quality protein for your dog’s best health.
Natural Balance food includes a helpful feeding guide on the side of their tins too. So you’ll know exactly how much you should be giving your dog.
And, this is grain free, so can be a good option if your dog has a sensitive stomach.
Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Chicken Dinner
The Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Chicken Dinner natural dog food is a great option for dogs who love chicken!
This food uses real protein, and contains no added artificial preservatives, corn, wheat, or soy.
It also has a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to promote the healthiest possible digestion for your dog.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wet Dog Food
Another great natural dog food from Blue Buffalo is their Wilderness Wet Dog Food.
This food comes in the flavor turkey and chicken. It is a high protein, grain free option.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness food contains no poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, or artificial preservatives and flavors.
Dry Natural Dog Food
Dry food often comes in large bags of kibble. This type of food is a great option because you can also use small bits of kibble as training treats.
Diamond Naturals Adult Natural Dog Food
The Diamond Naturals Adult food is specially designed for large dog breeds, and comes in a tasty lamb flavor.
This brand of food contains no corn, wheat filler, or artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. It is a family run brand that chooses ingredients from trusted global sources.
The recipe includes superfoods and probiotics to optimise your dog’s health and digestion.
Plus, it has a helpful feeding guide on the back of the bag to help you know exactly how much food your dog will need.
Purina Beyond Natural Adult Dog Food
The Purina Beyond Natural Adult dog food is a grain free choice that comes in four different flavors. So, if your dog is fussy about his protein, you have some options!
Real protein is the main ingredient of this food, but it is also gluten free. It contains no soy, wheat, corn, poultry by-product meal, and has no artificial colors or preservatives.
The packaging has a useful recommended feeding guide, plus information on how best to transition your dog from his old food.
Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Food
Another great option by Purina is the ONE SmartBlend True Instinct food. This is a high protein option that comes in three different flavors.
The recipe is made up of 32% real protein to encourage strong muscles and a healthy heart.
It has no poultry by-product meal, no artificial flavors, and no preservatives. This food is made in America, and uses a dog’s natural diet as inspiration for its recipe.
Purina also offers a money back guarantee if this food doesn’t meet your expectations.
Organic Dog Food
We spoke a little earlier about the differences between natural dog food and organic dog food. But, you may be interested in taking a look at some organic choices too.
Open Farm Grain Free Food
The Open Farm Grain Free recipe comes in two popular flavors. It contains real, ethically sourced protein, topped up with non-GMO vegetables.
There are no artificial flavors or preservatives in this recipe. Plus, it is made and sourced in Canada and the USA.
This brand focuses on choosing ingredients from sustainable sources, such as humanely raised animals.
Earthborn Holistic Venture Grain Free Food
The Earthborn Holistics Venture Grain Free dog food is another great option that comes in six different flavors.
These recipes include no grain, gluten, potato, egg, colorants, fillers, by products, or artificial preservatives.
And, the packaging for the bag is recyclable. So, if you’re looking for a sustainable brand, this is a great one to go for.
Grain Free Natural Dog Food
Grain free options can be a good idea for dogs that suffer from allergies. Your vet may suggest a grain free diet if your dog has a sensitive stomach.
There has been some debate over whether grain free diets are linked to dilated cardiomyopathy, heart disease in dogs. But, if you are concerned, you can discuss it with your vet, who will be able to give you the most up to date information.
Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Food
The Whole Earth Farms grain free natural dog food is an American recipe that comes in four main protein flavors.
Thanks to its grain free formula, this recipe contains no wheat, corn, soy, by products, artificial colors, or artificial preservatives.
It is cooked in America, and is also designed to encourage healthier fur and skin.
AvoDerm Revolving Menu Natural Dog Food
The AvoDerm Revolving Menu natural dog food is perfectly designed for small dog breeds, and those that may suffer from food intolerances.
This food has three main flavors, where protein is the main ingredient of each. It contains all natural ingredients in a blend designed for healthy skin and coats.
There is a helpful feeding chart on the back. And, this food has a small kibble size, perfectly designed for small breeds.
Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Food
The Wellness Core Natural Grain Free dog food is another great grain free option. This comes in the protein flavor turkey and chicken.
It is made of 44% high quality protein and contains no meat by-products, fillers, artificial flavorings, or artificial preservatives.
The packaging for this food is recyclable. Plus, it has a unique blend of superfoods and nutrients to encourage the best health in your dog.
High Protein Natural Dog Food
Protein is an important part of any dog’s diet. Most dogs get the protein they need through the meat in their foods.
There are plenty of high protein foods out there that are also natural.
Taste of the Wild High Protein Natural Food
Real meat is the number one ingredient of Taste of the Wild high protein dog food.
This is another family-owned brand that makes all of its food in America with globally sourced ingredients.
It includes probiotics and omega fatty acids to encourage the best digestive health, and a shiny coat.
Grizzly Superfoods All Natural Dog Food
Grizzly Superfoods All Natural dog food is a great high protein option. The recipe for this food is made up of 75% Alaskan Wild Salmon.
This food contains no synthetic ingredients, and has no artificial flavorings. It is grain and gluten free, including no peas, potatoes, or starches.
It also has a useful feeding chart for puppies and adult dogs, based on their weight.
Natural Dog Food for Puppies
Puppies have different nutritional needs to adult and senior dogs because they have a lot of growing to do in quite a short amount of time!
So, here are some natural dog food options that are designed for young dogs and puppies.
Hill’s Science Dry Puppy Food
The Hill’s Science Natural dry puppy food recipe has no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.
This recipe uses all natural ingredients and contains no chicken by-product meal.
It contains fish oil for healthy brain and eye development, real meat protein for the best muscle development, and balanced minerals for strong bones and teeth.
Farmina Natural & Delicious Puppy Formula
The Farmina Natural & Delicious dry dog food is a natural recipe for puppies from miniature and medium sized breeds.
It contains a high level of protein to encourage healthy muscles, paired with a low level of carbohydrates.
This recipe only uses fresh ingredients, and contains 70% animal products. It also has a useful feeding chart to help you work out how much to give your puppy.
Orijen Puppy Dry Dog Food
If you’re looking for a natural puppy food for large breed dogs, you may be interested in the Orijen Puppy dry dog food.
This recipe has 85% high quality animal ingredients. It uses fresh, regional ingredients, and never outsources.
The formula for this food is specifically designed to help large breed puppies grow to their healthiest size.
Natural Dog Food for Seniors
Older dogs can also have different nutritional needs to adult dogs and puppies. So, choosing the best natural dog food for your senior dog can be tough too!
Here are some great options that you might want to look at.
Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food for Seniors
The Hill’s Science Diet dry dog food is designed for small and miniature dogs over the age of 7.
It has no artificial preservatives, no artificial flavors, and no synthetic colors. It contains all natural ingredients, with chicken as the main protein.
The blend of ingredients is designed to support dogs as they grow older, and encourage natural energy.
Diamond Naturals Senior Dog Formula
The Diamond Naturals Senior Dog Formula comes in the flavor chicken for your older dogs.
This recipe is designed to fully support your dog’s digestive health and encourage him to grow old gracefully.
It contains probiotics to help with this, as well as omega fatty acids.
Canidae Pure Limited Ingredient Senior Food
The Canidae Pure limited ingredient dry dog food is a natural option aimed at senior dogs.
It contains 9 ingredients, with chicken as the main one. So, it can be a great choice for older dogs who are suffering from sensitivities and allergies as they grow.
It also contains no corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, artificial colors, or artificial preservatives.
Natural Dog Food Summary
So, natural dog food can be a great way to help replicate a more natural diet in your pup. Plus, it can be perfect for dogs who suffer from food sensitivities.
Have you tried any of the brands we have looked at in this guide? Or are there any that we have missed off that your dog has loved?
Make sure to tell us about your dog’s experiences with natural food in the comments!
More Dog Feeding Guides
There are plenty of other types of food you might be interested in feeding your dog. Here are some other guides you might enjoy.
References and Resources
- Association of American Feed Control Officials, Accessed March 2020.
- Craig, J. M. ‘Raw Feeding in Dogs and Cats’, Companion Animal (2019)
- Di Cerbo, A. (et al), ‘Functional Foods in Pet Nutrition: Focus on Dogs and Cats’, Research in Veterinary Science (2017)
- Wales, A. (et al), ‘How to Advise Clients About Raw Feeding in Dogs and Cats’, Companion (2019)
- Freeman, L. (et al), ‘Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy in Dogs: What do we Know?’, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (2018)