As much as we love our pets and want them to be healthy, we sometimes forget that one of the best things we can do for them is to make sure we’re giving them food that provides optimum nutrients, minimal fillers and the least amount of artificial ingredients.
It’s easy to grab whatever name-brand dog or cat food is handy, because pet food is pet food, right? Well, not really. It turns out that what we feed our beloved pets can have a direct impact on their overall health.
Here’s a roundup of the 10 healthiest dog and cat foods on the market.
The Blue Buffalo brand produces several different varieties of dog food, each geared to meet specific health needs for dogs. One of the more reputable dog foods around, Blue Buffalo is a grain-free brand that uses a fair amount of meat as its main source of protein, with more than 30 percent protein per serving. With no corn, wheat or soy in its recipes, that’s good news for dogs with food allergies. Plus, Blue Buffalo doesn’t use artificial colors, flavors or prerervatives.
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Castor & Pollux Organix
Castor & Pollux Organix dog food line was the first certified brand to meet all the requirements of the USDA’s National Organic Program. Its number one ingredient is free-range chicken, along with chicken meal, organic brown rice and organic peas. With 26 percent protein, 14 percent fat and 4.5 percent crude fiber, this is a healthy option for those pet parents who want to keep it organic.
Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Organic
Costco’s Kirkland brand has become a big name player in the grocery market, and dog food is no exception. Their Nature’s Domain Organic dog food contains certified organic ingredients, including chicken, peas, sweet potatoes and lentils. It is grain-free and contains an omega fatty acid blend for optimum health.
Taste of the Wild
Real meat is the number one ingredient in Taste of the Wild brand dog foods, which come in more wide-ranging varieties than other brands, including wild boar, bison and roasted venison, roasted lamb, roasted fowl, smoked salmon and more. Their grain-free foods include the “Prey” line, which is GMO-free with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
Natural Planet dog foods come in several varieties, including rabbit and salmon, chicken and oats, and duck and whitefish. All feature organic, non-GMO ingredients and most have more than 25 percent protein per serving.
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets
For cats with allergies or other health issues, Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets cat food sticks to simple formulas for optimum nutrition. With high quality chicken, green pea protein and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, Natural Balance supports healthy digestion and overall nutrition. Each serving has 30 percent protein, 14 percent fat and 4 percent fiber.
Castor & Pollux Organix
In addition to their dog food line, Organix also makes the list for healthy cat food. Made from premium certified, non-GMO organic ingredients, they have both grain-free and natural-grain foods. Organic chicken is their first ingredient, along with a blend of superfoods such as flaxseed, cranberries and coconut oil. Each serving has a hefty 32 percent protein, 14 percent fat and 3.5 percent fiber.
Nutro Grain Free
Made with no grains or glutens, Nutro Grain Free cat food is another good option for cats with digestion issues or food sensitivities. With essential antioxidants like vitamin E, Omega 6 fatty acids and vitamins B and C, as well as plenty of natural meat and vegetable products, Nutro promotes heart health and strong immunities. Nutro is also a winner when it comes to protein, with 33 percent protein in each serving.
Inspired by the Kentucky region they hail from, Acana Meadowland cat food features free-run poultry, whole nest-laid eggs and freshwater fish. Free of any plant proteins, Acana is 75 percent meat-based, with 50 percent of their ingredients consisting of fresh or raw meats. They also incorporate organs and cartilage in ratios set to mirror those in nature, which provides extra calcium, vitamins and minerals.
The Instinct line focuses on raw food for pets, and their Instinct Original cat food contains more than 70 percent real animal ingredients along with vegetables, fruits, and natural oils.
It is grain-free and prepared using a freeze-dry method that avoids any kind of heat or cooking, which is said to preserve nutrients and keep the food as close to its original form as possible. Instinct also offers a frozen raw variety that can be served as a meal or added to kibble as a supplement.