Over the last two decades, Canadian pet food manufacturers have been developing high quality, human grade, and innovative pet foods to supply both Canada and the world. We have carefully considered them all, looking at every aspect of the manufacturer and their recipe. Here are just a few of the things we consider:

  • Quality and source of ingredients, including how fresh the ingredients are, where they’re sourced from, whether they include antibiotics or hormones, if they’re GMO free and organic, and more.
  • Manufacturing practices and transparency. We believe that manufacturers of the foods we feed our beloved pets should be accountable for every step of the manufacturing process.
  • Innovation and sustainability. As we move towards a more eco-friendly world, the foods our pets eat should come from earth-friendly, sustainable sources, too.

Here are the top 20 best Canadian made dog foods for 2020:

#1: Smack

Smack is a Canadian company making absolutely outstanding dehydrated superfoods for pets. And for many reasons, Smack is our top-ranked dog food for 2020. Since 2008, Smack Pet Foods have been proudly producing high quality pet products out of their Winnipeg, Manitoba facility. The Smack team are committed to providing pets with the healthiest, and most convenient foods in today’s pet food marketplace. 

Their foods are backed by food engineering, biochemistry, holistic medicine, and a deep love of animals. These are the tools that allow Smack to develop an innovative, industry-leading approach to pet food manufacturing. Best of all, their foods are dehydrated in their raw form, ensuring they retain all of their natural nutrient content.

That’s why Smack Pet Foods has taken the number one spot in our 2020 Top 10 Canadian Dog Food Rankings. This is one of the highest quality pet foods in the world. Smack’s recipes are made mostly from certified organic ingredients, including the best quality cuts of human-grade meat (like whole, bone-in chicken), and a carefully chosen range of organic produce. 

Because of their high meat content, Smack is highly palatable; perfect for fussy eaters. There are five unique Smack dog formulas to choose from: Prairie Harvest Pork, Caribbean-Salmon Fusion, Rockin’ Rockfish, Chunky Chicken, and Very Berry Chicken. Smack’s recipes are loaded with wholesome, nutritiously-dense superfoods, and don’t require any synthetic supplementation. Read our full review of Smack Pet Foods here.

Highlights of Smack Pet Foods:

  • Synthetic-free
  • 5 formulas: Prairie Harvest Pork, Caribbean-Salmon Fusion, Rockin’ Rockfish, Chunky Chicken, and Very Berry Chicken
  • Made mostly with certified-organic, human-grade ingredients
  • Loaded with superfood ingredients
  • Highly palatable; perfect for finicky dogs
  • Manufactured in Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Self-manufactured
  • Food type: dehydrated raw
  • Size options: 250g, 2.5kg bags
  • Price: $$$

#2: Carna4

Carna4 was our top recommendation for 2019, and for good reason; Carna4 is one of the few foods on this list containing absolutely no synthetics of any kind. Carna4 is a unique brand, and this year ranks a close second in our 2020 Top 10 Canadian Dog Food Rankings.

Carna4 began in 2010 when a team of nutritionists, food scientists and engineers set out to create a completely synthetic-free dog food. They achieved this goal by harnessing the nutritional power of superfoods. While almost every kibble on the market requires manufactured vitamin premixes, Carna4 does not. Using organic sprouted seeds – one of the most nutrient-dense foods on Earth – combined with 100% fresh, table-grade meats, and whole produce, Carna4 is loaded with nutrition and flavour. Among other things, organic sprouted seeds are an outstanding source of antioxidants, enzymes, and probiotics. All Carna4 formulas are free from hormones, antibiotics and GMO’s.

Carna4 offers three dog food recipes: chicken, duck, and fish. These formulas are perfectly suitable for dogs of all sizes, shapes, and life stages. They set rigorous testing standards for their products, and every batch is tested for safety by a third-party research and laboratory testing firm. This firm specializes in testing foods and health products for major consumer goods companies in Canada. Carna4 is also a big supporter of sustainable ingredient sourcing and humane farming practices. 

Highlights of Carna4 Pet Food:

  • Synthetic-free
  • 3 formulas: chicken, duck, and fish 
  • Made with superfood organic sprouted seeds
  • Made in: Quebec, Canada
  • Food type: gently-baked kibble
  • Size options 
    • Fish: 1kg, 2kg, 4.54kg
    • Chicken 3lb, 6lb, 13lb, 22lb
    • Duck: 3lb, 6lb, 13lb, 22lb
  • Price: $$$

#3: Zeal

Zeal is new to the market, and has already made a big impact on the Canadian pet food industry. This interesting brand of gently air-dried dog food focuses on simple recipes that incorporate human-grade whole organs; nutrient powerhouses that provide your dog with a boost of protein, iron, zinc, and more. Zeal even includes some rather unique ingredients, like whole Canadian hemp seeds and bamboo. 

Every batch of Zeal is carefully air-dried at 80°C, resulting in a consistency similar to beef jerky or artisanal meats. They heavily on locally sourced, human-grade ingredients, without the use of any artificial binders, fillers, preservatives, or dyes. Best of all, this is a more affordable option than most freeze-dried or frozen raw brands.

Zeal comes with a high meat inclusion, making it another excellent option for non-food-motivated dogs. Their formulas are made with 96% pure meat and organs, making it one of the tastiest products on the market today. Zeal offers two lines of dog food: gently air-dried, and gently air-dried with freeze-dried. There are 3 formulas in each line. The gently air-dried line consists of salmon, beef, and turkey, whereas the gently air-dried with freeze-dried recipes include beef with salmon and pumpkin, turkey with salmon and pumpkin, and beef with 3% hemp. 

Highlights of Zeal Dog Food:

  • Made in: British Columbia
  • High-quality dehydrated raw
  • More affordable than other air-dried raw dog foods
  • Food type: gently air-dried, and freeze-dried raw
  • Size options: 454g, 1kg
  • Price: $$-$$$ 

#4: Gutsy

Gutsy is made by Crump’s Naturals in Caledon, Ontario. Gutsy’s dehydrated raw dog foods are more akin to a beef-jerky than to a kibble, making it exceptionally palatable. Gutsy’s formulas are highly focused on using prebiotics, probiotics, low-glycemic carbohydrates, and easily digestible ingredients to promote and improve gut health. Gutsy is available in two formulas: chicken dinner, and salmon & trout dinner. In addition to their high-quality meats, Gutsy also includes highly nutritious plant-based ingredients like sweet potatoes, chickpeas, lentils, chia seeds, organic blueberries, organic broccoli, and more.

Since 2014, Crumps’ Naturals has been granted certification by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), which promotes the continuous improvement of food safety to consumers. All ingredients, packaging, and finished products are fully traceable, among other quality-control standards.

Highlights of Gutsy by Crumps:

  • Made in Caledon, Ontario
  • Family owned
  • Self-manufactured
  • Highly palatable, ideal for fussy dogs
  • Low glycemic
  • Two formula options: chicken, salmon & trout
  • Food type: dehydrated raw
  • Size options: 1.5lb, 6.6lb
  • Price $$$

#5: Orijen

In an industry with so many high-quality dog food options, Orijen remains as one of the best Canadian-made brands on the market.

The manufacturer of Orijen (Champion Pet Foods) has earned an international reputation for their food, manufacturing, and sourcing practices. Champion Pet Foods believes firmly in sourcing from fresh, local farms. In fact, virtually all ingredients found in Orijen dog food recipes are sourced within one-hundred kilometres from their manufacturing facility. As a result, Champion Pet Foods have won more awards than any other pet food maker in the world.

Made with some of the highest meat inclusion among all commercial pet foods, Orijen is modeled off of the natural diet of whole prey animals, like wolves. Orijen’s high protein content not only results in an irresistible food choice for fussy dogs, it also packs plenty of nutrient-dense ingredients to give high-energy canines the fuel they need for maximum performance.

There are several unique formulations to choose from; poultry, fish, red meat, and more. Thinking of trying a unique flavour combination for your pooch? Consider Orijen Tundra, with fresh goat, wild boar, venison, arctic char, free-run duck, and more – all in one kibble! Many Orijen formulas are available in freeze-dried raw, too. 

Highlights of Orijen Dog Food:

  • Made in Alberta
  • Self-manufactured
  • Whole-prey, high meat inclusion
  • Grain-free, all-life stage formulas
  • Fresh ingredients sourced from local farms
  • Food type: dry kibble, dehydrated raw
  • Size options:
    • Dry kibble: 2kg, 6kg, 11.4kg
    • Dehydrated raw: 170g, 454g
  • Price: $$$  

#6: v-Planet

v-Planet dog food has been available in Canada for just over one year, making their debut in November of 2018. v-Planet’s parent company, v-dog, has consistently produced high quality, human-grade dog foods in California since 2005, and is one of the best selling plant-based dog foods in the USA. v-Planet is the only vegan dog food to make our 2020 Top Canadian Dog Foods List.

So what makes the v-Planet brand unique? Their foods are entirely plant based. This means that there are no meat, eggs, dairy, or animal products in any of their recipes. Instead, v-Planet is made from highly nutritious plant-based ingredients like peas, whole oats, brown rice, and quinoa. v-Planet is the most complete plant-based commercial dog food in Canada. 

Plant-based and vegan dog foods have been a popular choice for dogs suffering from meat-protein allergies, and are often recommended by veterinarians. In addition, recent trends towards cruelty-free, eco-friendly pet ownership have resulted in a surge in demand for plant-based dog foods. v-Planet is meeting that demand with their innovative formula, available in regular-sized kibbles and mini bites. 

v-Planet is complete and balanced to meet the unique nutritional needs of adult dogs of all shapes and sizes, and is more affordable than other Canadian-made vegan dog foods. 

Highlights of v-planet dog food:

  • Made in Ontario
  • Completely plant-based; no animal ingredients
  • Great hypoallergenic option for allergy-prone dogs
  • Regular bites, and small bites
  • Food type: dry kibble
  • Size options: 4.4lb, 15lb
  • Price $$

#7: Acana

Acana, the sister brand to Orijen, is also made in Alberta by Champion Pet Foods. Using the same quality ingredients, and the same award-winning manufacturing practices, Acana is among the most popular health-food brands for dogs today. So what is the difference between Acana and Orijen? Simply put, the difference is meat inclusion. Acana’s formulas are made with up to 70% meat, whereas Orijen’s meat content can tip the scales at around 85%.

What really makes Acana stand out is their unmatched selection of formulas. For dogs needing limited-protein options, the Acana Singles line offers single-protein, all-life-stage foods in lamb, duck, pork, and pilchard. There are also several multi-protein formulas in the Acana Regionals line; poultry, fish, and red meat blends.  This is all in addition to the impressive whole fruit and vegetable medleys found in all Acana dog foods.

Considering the multitude of formulas available, it’s no wonder Acana is a popular option for rotation-based diets. There are so many unique flavours to switch between!

Highlights of Acana Dog Food:

  • Made in Alberta
  • Self-manufactured
  • Numerous formulas to choose from; single-protein, and multi-protein options
  • Fresh, whole ingredients sourced from local farms
  • Grain-free and grain-friendly options
  • Food type: dry kibble
  • Size options: 2kg, 6kg, 11.4kg, 17kg
  • Price: $$

 #8: FirstMate

The history of British Columbia-based FirstMate is a rich and interesting one with its beginnings in commercial fishing. Decades later, FirstMate is still a family owned and operated company, taking great pride in the quality, safety and performance of their products. FirstMate’s Executive Vice President is a Veterinarian and Pet Nutritionist, reinforcing their commitment to quality and nutritional excellence.  

With an impressive lineup of eight grain-free formulas, FirstMate has a recipe suitable for dogs of all life stages. In addition to using only wild-caught fish, FirstMate never uses ingredients with hormones, antibiotics, or GMO’s. FirstMate’s grain-free recipes include: pacific ocean fish large breed, chicken with blueberries, chicken with blueberries small bites, pacific ocean fish weight control, pacific ocean fish puppy, Australian lamb, Australian lamb small bites, pacific ocean fish original, and pacific ocean fish original small bites. Considering a less-expensive, high-quality food for your dog? Go with FirstMate’s grain-inclusive line: chicken, lamb, or fish. These formulas are complemented with whole oats, one of the healthiest grains on the planet.

Highlights of FirstMate Dog Foods:

  • Made in British Columbia
  • Family owned
  • Self-manufactured
  • Eight grain-free and three grain-friendly options
  • Value-priced, grain-inclusive options
  • Food type: dry kibble, cans
  • Size options: 2.3kg, 6.6kg, 13kg
  • Price $-$$

#9: GO! Solutions

GO! Solutions is one of three brands made by British Columbia-based Petcurean. 

With higher than average meat inclusion, Go! Solutions is a super-palatable option for even the fussiest canines. A higher meat content comes with a slightly higher price tag, but it is well worth it for picky pups. Go! Solutions’ nutrient-dense, grain-free, and potato-free diets are made without hormones, antibiotics, or artificial preservatives. The limited-ingredient nature of Go! Solutions’ formulas make them a wonderful choice for dogs with food allergies and sensitivities.

Go! Solutions’ five lines offer the following recipes:

  • Carnivore: salmon & cod, lamb & wild boar, turkey & duck puppy, turkey & duck adult, turkey & duck senior.
  • Sensitivities: duck, salmon, venison, turkey, pollock, and lamb. 
  • Skin + Coat Care: salmon, lamb, and chicken. 
  • Sensitivity + Shine: duck.

All Go! Solutions formulas are uniquely designed to help pet owners manage their pet’s protein, fat, and carbohydrate intake. With multiple mouth-watering recipes to choose from, Go! Solutions dog foods will satisfy your dog’s inner carnivore.

Petcurean is also an environmentally-progressive company. They are currently in the process of developing 100% recyclable bags. This can be a complicated process, as the plastic interior lining is essential to keeping their products fresh and safe. Many of the other products that Petcurean makes are completely recyclable, too. On staff, Petcurean has the backing of their Senior Nutritionist; a Ph.D. in companion animal nutrition, with a master’s degree in human nutrition. 

Highlights of GO! Dog Foods:

  • Made in Fraser Valley, British Columbia.
  • Self-manufactured.
  • Limited-ingredients.
  • High meat content. 
  • Great choice for fussy dogs.
  • Environmentally-conscious ethics. 
  • Size options: 3.5lb, 12lb, 22lb. 
  • Price $$-$$$

#10: PetKind

The Canadian kings of tripe for dogs. PetKind has built their brand on the backbone of tripe, and it’s numerous nutritional benefits for our canine friends. Whether it’s their foods or treats, tripe remains a focal point of all PetKind products. The result is an excellent line of dogs foods made with the highest-quality, human-grade ingredients for maximum nutrition. 

From sourcing to production, PetKind is Canadian-minded company. All ingredients are sourced within Canada except the Lamb Tripe (New Zealand), Quinoa (Canada and Peru), and fruits and veggies (USA).

PetKind’s dog food line consists of seven grain-free formulas – all containing tripe: green beef tripe, green tripe & wild salmon, green tripe & bison, and green lamb tripe. 

PetKind also offers three poultry-free formulas to suit the hypoallergenic needs of dogs with allergies: venison tripe, lamb & lamb tripe, and green tripe & read meat. 

Highlights of Petkind Dog Foods:

  • Made in Surrey, British Columbia
  • Made with nutrient-rich tripe
  • 7 grain-free formulas
  • Potato-free
  • Ingredients sourced from Canada, USA, and New Zealand
  • Food type: dry kibble, cans
  • Size options: 6lb, 14lb, 25lb
  • Price $$

#11: Holistic Blend

Holistic Blend is made by My Healthy Pet, a family-owned Canadian company in business since 1993. All ingredients used in Holistic Blend exceed FDA guidelines for human consumption, meaning they are of the highest quality available. Their ingredients are sources from Canada, USA, and New Zealand. Holistic Blend is manufactured in Boucherville, Quebec. 

Holistic Blend consists of three lines of food: grain-free, grain-inclusive, and phytoextrogen-free recipes. The Holistic Blend grain-free line has two formulations: turkey and salmon, and marine 5 fish. Both formulas contain an impressive number of fruits and veggies. The Holistic Blend grain-inclusive diets consist of chicken and rice, and lamb and rice. 

The new Holistic Blend Phytoestrogen-Free formula is unique in the sense that it does not contain ingredients believed to compromise reproductive functions in dogs, like lentils. This formula is often used by breeders to ensure their breeding dogs have the highest fertility levels possible. 

Highlights of Holistic Blend Dog Foods:

  • Made in Boucherville, Quebec
  • Family-owned
  • Ingredients sourced from Canada, USA, and New Zealand 
  • Grain-free, and grain-inclusive options
  • Breeder-friendly phytoestrogen-free formula.
  • Food type: dry kibble
  • Size options: 
  • Grain-inclusive: 2.5lb, 8lb, 30lb
  • Grain-free: 3lb, 7lb, 25lb
  • Phytoestrogen-free: 11lb, 35lb
  • Price $$

#12: Horizon

Authentic. Regional. Affordable. That’s Horizon’s mantra.

Independently owned by two Saskatchewan-based families, Horizon have been producing top-quality pet foods for over a decade. Being experts in agriculture, Horizon strongly believes in being a transparent company. From everything from ingredient sourcing, to manufacturing, to food in your pet’s bowl, Horizon wants you to know they have nothing to hide. They offer five formulas made with human-grade meats, without the use of GMO’s, hormones, steroids, by-products or artificial preservatives. Many of Horizon’s ingredients are locally sourced, and are processed in their two state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Rosthern, Saskatchewan. 

Horizon’s five grain-free lines offer the following recipes:

  • Taiga: chicken, and pork
  • Amicus: chicken, salmon, lamb, and tri-protein (turkey, chicken, salmon)
  • Complete: all life stage chicken, large breed adult, large breed puppy, and senior/weight management
  • Legacy: adult chicken and turkey, fish, and puppy
  • Pulsar: chicken, turkey, fish, lamb, and pork

Highlights of Horizon Dog Foods:

  • Made in Saskatchewan
  • Family owned
  • Self-manufactured
  • Plenty of recipes to choose from, great for rotation diets
  • Grain-free and grain-friendly options
  • Made with fresh, local ingredients
  • Size Options 4kg, 11.4kg
  • Price $-$$

#13: Now Fresh

Now Fresh is the sister brand to Go! Solutions, made by Petcurean. With thirteen dog food formulas, Now Fresh has one of the largest selections of any super-premium Canadian brand. All Now Fresh formulas are free from grain, gluten, and chicken, and use the highest quality market-fresh ingredients available. 

Due to it’s modest meat inclusion when compared to Go! Solutions, Now Fresh is a more affordable dog food option, as it is the meat content that largely dictates the price. With a multitude of formulas available, many dog owners choose to rotate among them to get the best of each formula. Now Fresh is available in the following grain-free recipes: puppy chicken, adult chicken, senior chicken, adult fish, adult red meat, small breed fish, small breed senior, large breed puppy, large breed adult, and large breed senior. 

Highlights of NOW Fresh Dog Foods:

  • Made in Fraser Valley, British Columbia
  • Wide variety of formulas
  • More affordable than other high-meat inclusion dog foods
  • Great choice for rotation diets
  • Self-manufactured
  • Environmentally-conscious ethics
  • Food type: dry kibble, cans
  • Size options: 6lb, 12lb, 25lb 
  • Price $$

#14: Boréal

After more than twenty years of manufacturing high-quality pet foods, Boréal has consistently been among the top dog food brands in Canada. Boréal’s approach to canine health focuses on grain-free formulas with high-quality meats, and using nutritious low-glycemic carbohydrates like peas and beans. Boréal’s recipes are modeled after the diets of ancient canines that lived in the wilds of the Boréal forests in North America. They offer three lines of dog food: Boréal Original, Boréal Vital, and Boréal Proper. 

Boréal Original is available in the following formulations: salmon, turkey, lamb, and small breed duck. Boréal Vital is available in: chicken, whitefish, red meat, and large breed chicken. Boréal Proper proper is available in: chicken, ocean fish, large breed red meat, and large breed chicken. All formulas are potato free, and utilize a limited ingredient philosophy. This is great for dogs with food allergies and sensitivities. 

Highlights of Boreal Dog Foods:

  • Made in Ontario
  • Most ingredients sourced from Canada; Lamb imported from New Zealand
  • Affordable, healthy options for the price-conscious consumer
  • Limited ingredient, potato free
  • Food type: dry kibble, canned
  • Size options: 2kg, 4kg, 11kg
  • Price $-$$

#15: Kasiks

Kasiks is another wonderful brand by family-owned Taplow Ventures, and is the sister brand to FirstMate. Like FirstMate, Kasiks is also manufactured in their production plant in British Columbia. Just like FirstMate, all Kasiks products are held to the same high standard of ingredient sourcing and state of the art manufacturing processes. The Kasiks line consists of three grain-free formulas: free-run chicken, free-range lamb, and wild pacific ocean fish. These recipes are low-glycemic, potato free, gluten free, and use single meat proteins. Kasiks is also very competitively priced, providing great value and high quality nutrition at the same time. Kasiks foods are highly digestible, as they are high in dietary fibre; a great choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs. In addition, all Kasiks formulas contain antioxidant ingredients like blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries.

Highlights of Kasiks Dog Foods:

  • Family owned
  • Self-manufactured
  • Single meat proteins
  • Low glycemic
  • Very affordable
  • Food type: dry kibble
  • Size options: 5lb, 25lb
  • Price $

#16: Pronature

With three main lines, Pronature Original, Pronature Life, and Pronature Holistic, there are a whopping nineteen recipes to choose from. Many of Pronature’s formulas contain nutrient-dense superfood ingredients like chia, kale, cranberries, juniper berries, and more. Pronature was founded in Quebec in 1969, by PLB International; a family owned business. Pronature has been making high-quality pet foods ever since. All Pronature products are manufactured in their Boucherville, Quebec facility. 

Starting with Pronature Originals, this line of grain-inclusive dog foods uses whole barley and oatmeal as a means of keeping nutrition high and costs low. The Pronature Originals line is a good value for dog owners on a budget. Pronature Life is another line of four grain-inclusive formulas, free from corn, wheat, and soy. Kale, spinach, broccoli and other healthy plant-based ingredients compliment a tasty selection of meat proteins; chicken, salmon, and turkey. Pronature Holistic includes a healthy selection of ten grain-inclusive formulas. From limited-ingredient options for allergy-prone dogs, to small and mini-bite kibbles, Pronature Holistic has you covered. Meat offerings include chicken, duck, turkey, and fish.

Highlights of Pronature Dog Foods:

  • Made in Boucherville, Quebec
  • Three unique dog food lines to pick from
  • Wide selection, great for rotation-diets
  • Affordable options
  • Family-owned
  • Food type: Dry kibble
  • Size options: 2.27kg, 11.33kg, 18kg.
  • Price $$


#17: 1st Choice

Just like Pronature, 1st Choice is family-owned by PLB International. As an innovative company, 1st Choice was created in 1990, and was the first premium pet food to use fresh chicken in their recipes. Fast forward to today, 1st Choice now manufactures 18 unique recipes for dogs of all ages, breeds, and conditions. 

For dogs with reactive, or hypersensitive skin, consider 1st Choice Derma; it is specially formulated to reduce skin inflammation, itching, and irritation. 1st Choice also makes dental health, performance, hypoallergenic, and grain-free formulations for puppies, adult, and senior dogs. 1st Choice is progessive-minded company, committed to reducing their ecological footprint. When it comes to sourcing their ingredients, priority is given to Quebec and Canadian suppliers where available. The fish used in 1st Choice products come from fisheries belonging to Ocean Trust; an organization committed to improving sustainability and environmentally-responsible fishing practices.  

Highlights of 1st Choice Dog Foods:

  • Made in Boucherville, Quebec.
  • Eighteen formulas to choose from.
  • Many specialized formulas: dental health, hypoallergenic, high-energy, etc. 
  • Food type: dry kibble.
  • Size options: 2kg, 12kg.
  • Price $$

#18: Canadian Naturals

Based out of British Columbia and Alberta, Canadian Supreme Pet Foods has roots in the pet industry for more than thirty years, making high-quality pet foods. With four unique lines, spanning fifteen recipes, Canadian Naturals has a product to meet any dog’s special dietary needs. 

The Canadian Naturals Original line is all turkey-based, with healthy plant-based ingredients like brown rice, oatmeal, broccoli, spinach, and blueberries. In addition to their flagship all-life-stage formula, the Canadian Naturals Original line has both large-breed, and small-breed specific formulas.For dogs in need of a more simplified food, Canadian Naturals offers a line of grain-free, limited-ingredient diets. These foods use less-common meat sources like duck, venison, salmon, and pork. Canadian Naturals also offers two value-priced lines: one is grain-free, and the other is grain-inclusive. These options are smart choices for the health conscious pet owner on a tight budget. Flavours include chicken, whitefish, red meat, and pork for the grain-free value series, and lamb, chicken, and pork for the grain-inclusive value series. 

Highlights of Canadian Naturals Dog Foods:

  • Made in British Columbia/Alberta
  • Four distinct lines of dog food
  • Healthy, whole grains
  • Value-priced, affordable options
  • Food type: dry kibble
  • Size options: 5lb, 15lb, 30lb
  • Price $-$$

#19: Summit

In addition to Go! Solutions and Now Fresh, Petcurean also manufactures Summit. Summit is made in Fraser Valley, British Columbia, and is made to the same high standards as all Petcurean products. 

All Summit formulas come as a three-meat recipe, containing chicken, lamb, and salmon. Summit has 4 formula options: puppy, adult, large breed, and reduced calorie. In addition to their palatable meat medleys, Summit formulas also include oatmeal, brown rice, barely, flaxseed, egg, and other wholesome, nutrient-dense ingredients. Aside from the quality, the biggest benefit to Summit is the value. Summit is an excellent option for dog owners looking to feed a high-quality dog food on a budget. 

Highlights of Summit Dog Foods:

  • Made in Fraser Valley, British Columbia
  • Self-manufactured
  • Value priced
  • Multiple-meat formulations
  • Food type: dry kibble 
  • Size options: 28lb
  • Price $

#20 Rollover

Rollover is a small, family-oriented company, and has been in the pet industry for decades. Rollover’s dog foods are made as a semi-soft roll-style product, making it the only product of its kind on the 2020 Top 10 Canadian Dog Food Rankings

Manufactured in their High River, Alberta facility, Rollover strives to only source their raw materials from human-grade, CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) approved suppliers.  Rollover prides themselves on not mass-producing their product, instead focusing on smaller batches with greater attentive care. Rollover dog foods come in three lines: grain-free, premium, and super premium recipes. 

Rollover’s grain-free line consists of beef or salmon. Rollover’s premium line consists of beef, lamb, chicken, and turkey. And finally, Rollover’s super premium line consists of wild pacific salmon, beef, lamb, and turkey. 

Highlights of Rollover Dog Foods:

  • Made in High River, Alberta. 
  • Self-manufactured.
  • 3 unique lines of dog food.
  • Very palatable, great for fussy dogs, or as a food topper.
  • Food type: semi-soft roll.
  • Size options: 454g, 800g, 908g.
  • Price: $$

About Brandon Forder

Brandon holds multiple certifications in pet nutrition, and has more than twenty-five years experience specializing in pet nutrition, behaviour, and healthy pet lifestyles. He has a passion for helping people become great pet parents. Brandon has written hundreds of informative pet-related articles for newspapers, magazines, web, and radio.

153 Responses

  1. Hi, extremely interesting reviews. I have a question though.. Our 30+Kg black lab girl has always been fed Akana Grassland kibble for her 6 years of life. But now I am becoming aware of taurine deficiency and DCM all at once, and decided to inquire on other brands and their recalls. Needless to say I am close to lost. Reading your comments I was wondering why you don’t mention this in your reviews.
    Thanks for your advice,
    Caterina Lunghis

    1. Hi Caterina, we have an article dedicated to addressing pet-related DCM concerns. You can find that article by clicking here. I hope this helps. I am here if you have any questions. Thank you for reading!

  2. In reading the above 20 brands of dog food, I am slightly baffled that they all seem to come in small bag weights.
    We have a one year old German Shepherd That would finish most of these bags in a couple of meals. Is there a reason for this sizing ?

    1. Hi Alan, thank you for your comment.

      The brands that I assume you are referring to are the dehydrated raw foods. There are a few reasons why these brands do not come in large bags as one would expect in kibble. The primary reason is price. For example, a 5.5lb bag of Smack dehydrated dog food is made from 27lbs of raw ingredients. For Smack to make a 25lb bag of Chicken, it would be very cost prohibitive to consumers as it would sell for in excess of $400.

      All the brands of kibble (not dehydrated foods) on this list come in large bags suitable for big dogs like German Shepherds.

  3. Hello!
    Our breeder recommended «4StrongPaws » made in Ontario. Just curious why it wasn’t reviewed? Thoughts ?

    Thank you !

    1. Hi Isa, thank you for reading. As I’m sure you can imagine, the pet food industry is utterly massive. And while we do our best to learn about as many brands as we can, nobody can know about every single brand out there. This is the case with 4StrongPaws; we have never heard of them until now. After a quick visit to their website, it looks like 4StrongPaws is a good quality product, however I will have to spend some time doing my homework on this company before I can give a balanced opinion. Who knows, 4StrongPaws may very well make our 2021 list!

  4. I am looking into lightly cooked foods for my dog…such as Kabo or TomandSawyer. Do you have an opinion on these types of foods? Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Lucy, thanks for reading. I have not had the opportunity to deal with Kabo or TomandSawyer personally. Kabo is an online subscription-based model, wheras TomandSawyer appear to sell direct and through certain pet retailers. Both look like good quality brands from what I can tell from the information provided on their website. One concern I have about TomandSawyer is the inclusion of corn in some of their formulas, which is not a desirable ingredient in pet food.

  5. Hi, I have just come from the vets as my 6 yr old Bichon is experiencing tummy troubles, I have been sent home with Hills digestive care to feed him for the next 4 days then he is to gradually return to his regular diet. I have been researching for a good kibble, but I find vets push Hills or Royal canine, I think there must be better options and better prices. I appreciate your input.

    1. Hi Marie, thank you for your comments!

      Yes it is true that vets will almost always recommend their exclusive products first, and even though these brands do perform mostly as intended, the quality is not up to standard in my opinion; too many fillers, fractions, and non-desirable ingredients for my liking. Check out our article “The Truth about Prescription Pet Foods”; I’m sure you’ll find it an interesting read.

      When we are looking for a gentle food for sensitive dogs, my best recommendations include FirstMate’s Grain-Friendly Chicken, FirstMate’s Grain-Friendly Lamb, or FirstMate’s Grain-Friendly Wild Caught Fish. They are Canadian made, wholesome, and would be the perfect human-grade alternative to Hill’s digestive care. There are plenty of non-veterinary exclusive options out there!

      1. Thanks for your info its appreciated, I am finding that pet food stores in small communities are limited to what they stock, it is so frustrating. Researching on line is putting my head in a spin. I never realized there are so many out there to complicate things. Marie

        1. Thanks for reading, Marie! Finding the right pet food is an overwhelming task for many pet owners; so many brands, so many opinions, right? I am here if you need any help finding the right food(s) for your pooch 🙂

  6. Hi Brandon. I have a 3 yr. old Morkie and he is a fussy eater. After trying so many foods for him, I tried Kabo. He absolutely loves the food and finishes his meals everytime. The problem is the cost. I pay $46. every 2 weeks and it’s too much for me. I also buy him chew sticks and soft chew treats which total around $200. a month all together. Could you recommend another nutritious heathy food that I can afford.

    1. Hi Sabina, thank you for reading! I am happy to help with your questions.

      If you are looking for a completely human-grade dog food at a reasonable price, consider First Mate’s Grain-Friendly line of Chicken, Lamb, and Wild Caught Fish. 25lb bags are $43.49. There are plenty of other options to consider, so have a look at these options and please let me know if I can help with any other questions.

  7. Hello, Brandon!
    Although I very much liked this article, it is not clear if any of the above mentioned
    companies are using NON GMO or even organic ingredients. To me that would be very
    important. I feed a commercially prepared raw diet for my 9 year old poodle and very happy
    with it. Your list do not include raw meat companies, is there a reason for that?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Beata, thank you for reading!

      While this top 20 list contains some dehydrated raw diets, it does not include frozen raw diets – that is another article I am currently working on. I am a big supporter of raw diets in all forms providing the ingredient sourcing and quality are among the best available. Thank you for bringing GMO ingredients to my attention; this was a simple oversight on my part. I will be sure to comb through the brands on my list to determine which ones use non-GMO ingredients. The majority of the brands on this list do not use GMO ingredients, however I will edit the article to reflect this important consideration. Thanks again!

  8. Hi Brandon; thank you for this article. I am now more lost than I was before. I was once hung up on grain-free diets but have recently learned that this is not a healthy option for a dog so I prefer foods with grains in them. I noticed most of these foods only come in small sizes and I have two Golden retrievers. I’d like a food that is mild like lamb and rice. My goldens are on the Royal canin from the vet but I have noticed that several of my dogs suddenly will go through a vomiting spree when eating this food and this gives me red flags. Which one of these diets would work best for two large dogs, grain included? Cost is not an object and I’ve gone through the raw diet but one of them does absolutely terrible on the raw diet so I’m not going there again. It’s just that there are too many and it’s confusing.

  9. Hello Brandon,

    Thank you for this article and for all of your great replies.
    I have a 7-year-old American cocker spaniel who we almost lost a week ago to what we now know as IMHA. The vet is also suspecting possible DCM.
    He has allergies and is prone to skin infections so after many long trials, we finally ended up with PULSAR Pork non-grain food a couple of years ago. In the past, we have tried various protein types through Horizon, Holistic, Go, Blue, and Acana. The vet just emailed me today about DCM and non-grain foods…please help.
    Could you recommend some healthy dog food choices? He seems to be ok with Pork… but I will try anything.

    1. Hi Rebecca, thank you for reading! I am sorry to hear about your dog’s diagnosis of IMHA. I understand how scary these conditions can be, however I am not a veterinarian and cannot make comments or recommendations on the subject. It is best to follow the advise from your vet on these matters.

      With regards to DCM. After almost two years, the FDA has still not found any conclusive evidence proving grain-free dog foods cause DCM. I would recommend reading my article Everything You Need to Know About DCM. I hope this helps give you a better understanding of the FDA’s ongoing investigation.

      In the meantime, I understand you want to stick with grain-friendly, or grain-inclusive dog foods. No problem there, I am happy to make some recommendations. You have been feeding Pulsar’s grain-friendly pork, which is a great food. Alternatively, you may want to consider other grain-friendly options like Carna4, Acana Classics, FirstMate Grain-Friendly.

      I am here to help if you have any questions 🙂

  10. My 7 year old Chihuahua is being sent to a cardiologist for suspected DCM. He has never eaten anything besides Acana Small Breed Formula and prior to discussing with my vet today, I had no idea that a grain-free diet may be linked. Upon further research, I have also discovered that Acana is high on the list of possible suspects which is disheartening as we have two other chihuahuas who have been raised on the same.

    The trio are very fussy eaters and the small kibble size afforded by the small breed formula up until now was perfect. Where do I turn to now?

    1. Hi Tracy, thank you for reading, and thank you for questions. I am happy to help!

      I understand you are concerned about DCM. After almost two years of investigations, the FDA has still not been able to prove a link between DCM and grain-free dog foods. I suggest reading my article Everything You Need to Know about DCM. Hopefully you find this information helpful. I do not have any concerns about feeding Acana products at this point in time. Until the FDA can show proof of cause, correlation is not causation.

      With that said, there is no shortage of high-quality of grain-friendly dog foods on the market. My top Canadian-made recommendations include FirstMate, Acana Classics, and Carna4.

      Have a look at those and let me know what you think 🙂

  11. Thank you for posting this,
    I’m curious on the number of grain-free options you have listed.
    With the controversy surrounding grain-free diets, do you have any foods with whole grains that you would recommend?

    1. Hi Nathan, thank you for reading, and thanks for your question. I am happy to help you you with this.

      Grain-free foods dominate the pet food marketplace, however there is no shortage of high quality grain-inclusive dog foods. Many manufacturers provide both grain-free and grain-friendly options.

      With regards to the controversy surrounding grain-free diets and their possible connection to DCM in dogs, the FDA has yet to find any conclusive evidence to back up these claims. Remember, correlation is not causation. The grain-free/DCM issue is a complicated, multi-layered issue. I recommend reading my article Everything You Need to Know About DCM; hopefully this information helps provide a balanced perspective of the investigation to date. At this point in time, there is no reason to avoid grain-free dog foods until there is proof of cause.

      With that said, my top Canadian grain-friendly dog foods include FirstMate Grain-Friendly, Acana Classics, and Carna4.

      Please have a look at those and let me know if you have any questions, Nathan. I am happy to help!

  12. Hi Brandon, I have a 7 yr old Yorkie that was diagnosed with lymphangiactasia at age two. We have gradually weaned her off all medications and she is doing well on Hill’s precription ID digestive low-fat diet (canned & kibble). Can you recommend a different, high-quality low fat diet?

    1. Hi Lynne, thank you for your questions. I am happy to help!

      I am sorry to hear about your dog’s diagnosis. I am not a veterinarian, so I cannot make any comments with regards to medical conditions like these. However, if you are looking for recommendations for high-quality, low fat dog foods, I would recommend checking out our Diet and Weight Management page. Please check that out and let me know if you have any questions 🙂

  13. Hello — So glad that I landed on your page and that you are online often enough, thanks! Our 50lb active dog is ready to switch to adult food. Our previous dog ate Orijen then Acana. I, too, was scared from continuing to feed this to our current dog so I switched him to PPP. At this crossroad, I am deciding between PPP Sport or Canadian :> I see that earlier today you recommended Acana Red…would you advise me to drop PPP and go back to Acana (or Orijen)? Thank you

    1. Hi Sarah, thank you for reading!

      I understand your concern about feeding Acana/Orijen with regards to DCM. However, until the FDA finds conclusive proof linking grain-free diets to dilated cardiomyopathy, there is no reason to avoid these brands. While most of Acana’s formulas are grain-free, they offer three wonderful grain-inclusive options, too. I highly recommend both Orijen and Acana, among other brands mentioned in my top 20 list. With regards to what food to feed going forward for your pooch, consider rotating diets regularly. Rotating diets offers many benefits.

      Ultimately, there is no one best dog food to feed. There are many options, thus rotating diets allows you to experiment with different brands/formulas to determine which ones perform best for your individual dog. I would most certainly suggest to get off PPP and focus on healthier alternatives.

      I am here to help if you have any questions, Sarah! 🙂

  14. Hi Brandon,
    I have a 4.5 yr old male Australian Shepherd who was recently diagnosed with lymphoma. He is currently taking prednisone which has increased his appetite. Fearing we were losing him soon, he got whatever he wanted. Now he’s lost his trim waistline but, thankfully, he is still here and seems to be doing well. He currently eats Now Fresh dog food and no complaints. Due to his health and that we’re all staying at home, we are expecting another Aussie puppy in a couple of weeks. Would you recommend any other food for our older Aussie to eat? The freeze-dried dog food seems appealing however, I’m not sure if good for a puppy? What do you recommend for raw food?

    1. Hi Christine, thank you for reading.

      I am sorry to hear about your dog’s diagnosis, however I am glad to hear that he is doing well. Now Fresh is a wonderful Canadian brand, so from a nutritional perspective there would be no need to change diets. With that said, I am a firm believer in the benefits of rotating diets regularly. Every few bags or so, think about switching up the food; maybe a different formula from Now Fresh, or going to a completely different brand of the same quality. Lots of options to think about.

      With regards to your puppy, you can feed any of the dehydrated raw diets on this list. Just follow the puppy feeding guidelines and you’re all set! If you want to simplify things in the home and feed both dogs the same food, you can certainly do that with any of the all-life-stage formulas on the market. Many of Now Fresh’s formulas are suitable for all life stages, as well as many of the other top brands on the market. Providing you are feeding a wholesome, high-quality all-life-stage food, all you have to do is feed the correct amount for each dog depending on their individual lifestyle requirements. I am happy to help you if you have any questions 🙂

  15. Hi Brandon,
    Another question for you. Is the feeding ratio between freeze-dried and kibble the same or would you reduce the amount for freeze-dried? For example, mu Aussie has 2 scoops of kibble/day (1 cup each). Would I feed the same amount with freeze-dried?

    1. Hi Christine, thank you for your questions.

      Every dog food has different caloric densities, so it really depends on which brands we are comparing. It is best to compare brands by looking at their individual feeding guidelines. I am happy to help you with this if you like!

  16. Hi Brandon,

    Thank you for this extensive reviews. My 12-year old Shetland, female, has a heart murmur, grade 4, hip dysplasia and other health issues. She was on Hill’s Metabolic and Joint, but she hates it now. So I’ve started cooking for her, but find it quite challenging. I see that most compagnies do not have specialty foods and my vet recommends of course a diet low in sodium. From your review, I was thinking of trying Now Fresh Grain Free Small Breed Senior Recipe or Horizon Complete Senior Weight management. What do you think? Any other suggestion would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Line

    1. Thank you for your questions, Line. I am happy to help to the best of my ability.

      Most high-quality dog foods will be naturally low in sodium, as they only consist of fresh, whole foods, and do not add additional sodium. Unfortunately, sodium content is not required for pet food labels, so the only way to compare brands is to contact brands of interest directly and request that information. I am happy to help you with this if you like. In terms of quality, both Now Fresh and Horizon are excellent choices. I think you are on the right track!

  17. HI Brandon,
    Thanks for your reviews. I’m still learning a lot as a first time dog owner. Charlie who is a 6 month, mini goldendoodle has been eating Acana and seems to like it very much. I recently started using some GO! freeze dried food toppers… I’ve been using the Salmon blend for Skin + Coat. There are also some powder/spice type blends on the market that you sprinkle on top. Is it ok and recommended to do this? I read that it provides variety to every meal and is also very healthy. Charlie loves the toppers and is excited for every meal…to the point of licking his bowl clean without fail.
    Also, I keep reading a lot about TLC – which is also pushed by a lot of breeders in Canada. Do you have any insight on this brand?

    1. Hi Lara, thank you for your questions.

      With regards to food toppers, there are a lot of options on the market with varying degrees of quality. Providing you are selecting a high-quality food topper (Go! is a great brand), there is indeed significant nutritional value here. I’m not sure what specific brand you are referring to by saying “powder/spice type blends”, however if you are considering a powdered health and wellness supplement, my top recommendation is Flora4.

      With regards to TLC, I do not have any personal experience with this brand as it is not sold in pet retail stores. This is an online-based business that is generally marketed by breeders who may or may not earn a commission on referral sales. If you are given a referral code for someone recommending TLC, odds are they are earning a commission. From what I can learn about them from their website, they seem to produce a quality product.

      Thank you for reading! Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance 🙂

  18. Hey Brandon,

    I was wondering what your top 5 would be for an adult large breed (100 lbs Shepard mix).
    He’s currently on the Acana large breed and loving the food. I like Horizon based on production being family owned, locally sourced, and next door in SK but is 5 spots down the list.

    Greatly appreciated,

    1. Hi Adam, thank you for your message. I am happy to help.

      You don’t necessarily have to focus on a dog food that is large-breed specific. There are a ton of all-life-stage foods that are perfectly suitable for large breed dogs, they simply don’t come with an exclusive large-breed label. All the foods on this list are wonderful considerations for your big Shepherd. With that said, my top large-breed-specific adult dog foods (in no particular order) include: Acana Large Breed Adult, FirstMate Large Breed Pacific Ocean Fish, Boreal Proper Large Breed, Holistic Select Large Breed, and more.

      I hope that answers your questions, Adam. I am at your service!

  19. Really appreciate you sharing your knowledge and timely response to my question. I’ve been trying to research but so much information out there to navigate and major brands all seem to under conglomerates making sub-par food with lots of filler ingredit

  20. Hello,
    My Sharpei babies have been on Go- Venison and Zigniture- Venison and Kangaroo. The “Go” has been the best but they are getting bored of it or not enjoying it. I’m aware of the diseases with “Grain-free diets” which scares me. Do you have any suggestions on new food?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Jess, thank you for your questions. I am happy to help!

      With regards to your concerns about grain-free dog foods and the possible connection with DCM, please read my article Everything You Need to Know About DCM. Hopefully this will give you a better understanding of the situation. The FDA has not found any proof linking grain-free dog foods to dilated cardiomyopathy.

      With that said, if you prefer to stick with grain-inclusive dog foods, there are plenty of wonderful options to consider. I would suggest looking at brands like FirstMate’s grain-friendly line.

      Please feel free to email me at [email protected] if you would like to further discuss this. Thanks, Jess!

  21. Hi I have a 23 pound yorkie ( I am sure she was cross breading) that has been tremendously huge from the time I got her. She had been on a diet most of her adult life and she has allergies like folliculitis and r skin conditions. I need to find the right food for her for weight loss and allergy issues. Please help

    1. Hi Janice, thank you for your questions. I am happy to help!

      Providing your dog does not have a thyroid issue (for example), weight loss is a pretty straight forward approach; your dog needs to be running a calorie deficit, not a surplus. Feeding the correct amount of calories with plenty of consistent exercise, you should be able to safely bring your dog’s weight to a healthy level. You can browse the many healthy diet and weight loss dog foods we carry by clicking here.

      With regards to allergies, that is a little bit of a longer conversation. Please email me [email protected], or call me directly at 905-464-0563, and I will be happy to help you find long-term solutions to your dog’s allergic symptoms.

      Thanks, Janice. I look forward to hearing from you!

  22. I have always had super healthy and happy dogs feeding Norman’s Naturals dog food. I find it a good value for money as well. It is made in Elmira, Ontario for a company in Wellesley Ontario. Have you heard of it before or can you add it to your studies?

    1. Hi Rose, thank you for reading. I am not familiar with Norman’s Naturals. I will look into this brand, thank you!

  23. Hello,

    I’ve been in the search of a good high quality food for my dogs that is fish free (It is more of an environmental concern, as we are currently overfishing the oceans) Adding flax seed oil to dog food is a great substitute and I have found a few in the US, but they don’t ship to Canada. . Do you have any suggestion?


    1. Hi Dan, thank you for your questions. I can certainly help you find a high-quality, fish-free dog food. There are many options to consider; some of the more popular fish-free dog foods include Acana Duck, Acana Lamb, and Acana Pork.

      With regards to flax oils, I am happy to help you find something more readily available. Please email me [email protected]. Thanks, Dan!

  24. Hi,
    Wanted to make a comment on Senior dog formulas. We originally had our mini Schnauzer on Acana as a puppy, switched to First Mate for the adult breed. Great food & did very well on it. Last year his blood results came back with high cholesterol levels (normal for this breed) so we switched to a senior formula ‘NOW’. Loved the food but not the price vs.the size bag. Switched back to First Mate senior formula. Dog had extreme increase in daily water consumption. I looked into the sodium levels in the senior formulas with help from my amazing local pet supply store. As a result of finding out the higher sodium levels we are switching back to the NOW brand & staying with it. He’s a bit more hungry on the senior formula so we may have to increase the serving a wee bit.

  25. Great article!
    I have a 8+ yr old Shiloh Shepherd. I’ve fed him Royal Canin large breed weight control for many years. I have tried Orijen and Acana but find they cause stomach issues…too much protein maybe? Anyway, what would you recommend for a senior? Thank you

    1. Hi Barb, thank you for your questions. I am happy to help!

      Is your dog overweight? For the most part, senior-specific dog foods are low-calorie versions of their adult (or all-life-stage) foods. Many older dogs may not need a senior dog food if they are at a healthy weight. All life stage foods may be the way to go in this case.

      With that said, we carry the best quality senior dog foods on the market. Have a look at that link and let me know your thoughts.

      Thanks again, Barb. I look forward to hearing from you 🙂

  26. Hi Brandon, thanks for this extensive review! I have a 4 yo large mixed breed who has doggie IBD. He had terrible diarrhea until we figured it out and put him on Royal Canin hypoallergenic. He does great on it ( only occasional flare-ups, no meds needed yet), but it’s so expensive! I’ve tried to find an alternative to no avail. Do you have any suggestions? (He’ll stay on it if needed, because it really does help). Thank you!

    1. Hello, Lise. Thank you for reading, and thanks for your questions.

      Have you tried any digestive supplements for your dog’s IBD? We have great success with products like Flora4 for optimizing digestive/gut health. Canned pumpkin may also be another consideration. In many cases these supplements can do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to digestive health.

      With regards to dog foods that are IBD-friendly, I would recommend brands like FirstMate’s grain-friendly line. The inclusion of healthy whole grains like oatmeal and brown rice can help with stool consistency. FirstMate will also cost about half of what you are currently paying for Royal Canin. I am happy to provide other options for your consideration; feel free to email me at [email protected], or you may contact me directly at 905-464-0563. Thanks, Lise!

  27. Hi! What a great article!

    We are looking for a Canadian made, more natural (less fillers and crap) dog food for our boxer puppy (8 weeks). So many options on here! Do you have a recommendation for the Boxer breed?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Stephanie, thank you for reading!

      If you are feeding any food on this list, then you are making a good choice for your dog’s long-term health and wellness. There is no bad choice to make here. You may want to rotate and experiment with several of the brands on this list to determine which ones your individual dog performs best on. Whether it’s taste, digestion, allergies, or skin and coat health, every dog is unique.

      You may want to ask yourself what your dog food criteria are: price, quality, raw/kibble/can, etc. I am happy to help you with this process if you would like to email me [email protected], or call me directly 905-464-0563.

  28. Great article. What would be considered good options for a sturdy 16 year old Maltese with itchy skin issues? He’s a total foody and is currently on Canadian Naturals, seniors formula. Thank you.

    1. Hi Darla, thank you for reading!

      There are many great food options to consider for your 16 year old pooch. Providing he’s not overweight, he doesn’t necessarily need a senior-specific diet. To expand your options, you may want to consider looking at all-life-stage foods. I am a big believer in rotating foods regularly, so there isn’t one best food to pick, there are several! What type of food are you looking to feed: kibble, canned, raw (frozen or dehydrated)? I am happy to help you find a new food for your dog, please email me at [email protected]. In the meantime, I would start at the top of this list and work your way down. Thanks, Darla!

  29. Thank you for this amazing review. I am thrilled to find so much detail and to find information on Canadian made dog foods!
    My Tibetan Terrier, who turned 1 years old in April, has suffered from ear infections since she was 4 months old old. We have been to the vet and treatment is always successful, but the ear infections always returns, even clearing up on its own sometimes. The ear has been cultured twice. Once it came back as yeast and another time as MRSA. We tried food trials to see if it was food allergies related, but it did seem to yield definite results. My vet believes it is an environmental allergy and has recommended Hills Derm Defense. I am concerned about the quality of this food as opposed to other foods, such as the ones in this review that appear to have more whole and healthy ingredients. Before I switch her food again I wanted to research the best kind for her. She is presently eating a salmon and sweet potato kibble that has been fine and resulted in a better, but not resolved issue with her ears. (Significantly better than when on a chicken based diet, so may be some allergy there). She is otherwise very healthy, active and doing well. Thank you so much for any information you can provide!

    1. Hi Jacqueline, thank you for reading, and thank you for your questions! I am happy to help solve your dog’s ear problems. This is definitely a conversation we should have over the phone, please feel free to contact me directly at 905-464-0563, or toll free at 1-844-799-PETS(7387).

      Thanks, Jacqueline. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

  30. Hi Brandon,

    Thanks for writing this very informative article. I have two Bernese aged 7 and 8 and the vet has suggested I switch over to RC mobility support. They have lived on Canadian Naturals large breed mixed with CN limited ingredient. Can you recommend a good senior / mobility food for my big boys.

    1. Hi Lynn, thank you for your questions. I am happy to help!

      With regards to dog foods helping with joint and mobility, food alone is not going to be the solution. Proper supplementation will make all the difference in the world. Please have a look at my favourite Joint & Mobility Supplements. When you have the proper supplement in place, you won’t need to factor joint and mobility health in your dogs’ food. Dog food, and joint and mobility health should be two separate criteria. Instead, try to focus on wholesome and healthy dog foods, and a separate high-quality joint and mobility supplement like Tri-Acta Maximum Strength.

      I hope that helps, Lynn.

  31. Why are all these bands grain free? I need a salmon or fish recipe that does not contain chicken. I have been advised to add grains back into my dog’s diet due to DCM risks. I also read an article on the New York Times listing many of the above brands in a lawsuit regarding DMC and their limited ingredients in their food. I’m totally at a loss as to what food to give my sweet dog. Help!

    1. Hello, Daniela. Thank you for you questions. I am happy to help you!

      While the majority of the foods on this list are indeed grain-free, there are several grain-friendly options included as well.

      With regards to your concerns about grain-free diets and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), it has been almost 2 years now and the FDA has still not found any proof of cause. Remember, correlation is not causation, and DCM is a multi-layered problem; it is not as simple as saying grain-free diets cause heart disease. I feel you would benefit from reading my article Everything You Need to Know About DCM. Until there is conclusive evidence linking grain-free diets to heart disease, I would not abandon all grain-free diets (they are not all the same). With that said, I am a believer in rotation-based feeding, so perhaps you consider feeding your dog both grain-free and grain-inclusive dog foods over time.

      If you are looking for a fish-based grain-friendly dog food with no chicken, consider FirstMate’s Grain-Friendly Wild Caught Fish.

      Please let me know your thoughts, Daniela. I am here to help if you have any questions!

  32. Hi, I just adopted a 3 yr old rough collie (rescue) who lost his older owner. I am having a heck of a time getting him to eat. I was given no information on past history. The owners family provided a bag of food (low quality) that he wasn’t eating. I tried buying the costco brand dog food, he didn’t want that. I have since tried several other brands to see if any peak his curiosity. I am aware that rescues can go through a rough time in a new home, but to not eat at all and to have zero interest concerned me. The brand I am currently trying him with is Nutrience Sub Zero. It came highly recommended at the independent pet food store I was at. They were telling me that the first 10 to 14 ingredients is meat and all the rest of the ingredients were of high quality as well. Have you ever reviewed this brand? If so, I would like to hear your opinion please. I am actually wondering if my new family member was on a raw diet as he didn’t seem to know what a dog biscuit was either and he seems to be very gentle in chewing. Is there such a thing as a softer kibble?

    1. Hi Robin, thank you for your questions.

      As you indicated, stress and anxiety due to re-homing can affect many things, especially appetite. All dogs adjust at different rates, so just continue to be patient, loving, and supportive and he should hopefully come around.

      It is a frustrating ordeal as the owner of a new rescue dog that will not eat. When it comes to taste appeal, meat content is commonly the motivator. To maximize flavour, it doesn’t get any better than dehydrated/freeze-dried foods. Products like Smack, Zeal, and Orijen Freeze-Dried are among the most popular foods for pets needing extra motivation in their bowl. In terms of kibble, the most popular high-meat-inclusion dog foods include Orijen, Go!, and Essence.

      Nutrience is not a brand we carry, so I have limited first-hand experience with this brand. However, from the information provided on their website, the Sub Zero line appears to be a good quality combination of dry kibble and freeze-dried nuggets.

      You may have to experiment with several foods before you find one your dog will willingly accept. We guarantee our products 100%. His fussy behaviour may remedy itself as he settles into his new life, it may not be due unappealing food options. I am happy to discuss this at your convenience [email protected].

      Thank you, Robin!

  33. Hi I have 2 young Cavaliers and I have been feeding them Royal Canine dental. We have to cut it in 2 because they swallow it instead of crunching it. I am looking for another brand for them. But I am training them to be therapy dogs so they can’t eat raw. Any suggestions for dogs that tend to have heart problems?

    1. Hi Monique, thank you for your email. I am happy to help you with your questions.

      A great alternative to Royal Canin Dental would be FirstMate’s Grain-Friendly Chicken formula. While Royal Canin uses chicken by-products, FirstMate uses whole, human-grade chicken. FirstMate is Canadian made, family owned, and makers of some of the healthiest pet foods in Canada. Best of all, FirstMate will cost significantly less than Royal Canin.

      With regards to heart problems, I am not a veterinarian, so I cannot comment on medical conditions like these.

      There are many wonderful, wholesome pet foods on the market today, so I am happy to provide other options if you are interested. Please let me know.

  34. Hello,

    I was looking for some recommendations on some new food. I have an aussie and he will be 5 next week. He has been on RAW food for 4 years now. I was looking to possibly be switching him back to kibble or even freeze dried and was wondering what would be the best kind. He is a bit overweight so I have been trying to cut him back but I think he might actually have a Thyroid issue which the vet had mentioned yesterday. He does have an allergy to chicken so I would need something that does not have chicken as part of a base.

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Hailie, thank you for your questions. I am happy to help you find a new food for your pooch.

      The first thing to do here is confirm with your vet whether or not your dog has a thyroid issue.

      Next, we look at food. I understand you have been feeding raw (I assume you mean frozen raw). Raw doesn’t always have to be frozen. Dehydrated raw foods are among the most popular products on the market today. There are plenty of high-quality options on the market like Smack, Zeal, Orijen Freeze Dried, and more. If you prefer to continue feeding raw, these would be among your best options in Canada. Alternatively, consider a kibble like Carna4; it is one of the only synthetic-free dry foods on the market.

      Have a look at those options and please let me know if you have any further questions. I hope that helps, Hailie!

      1. Hi Brandon,

        Thank you for replying. Yes, they said to keep an eye on him for now to see if he does lose weight and if not within the month then to go get him tested. Yes, he was on frozen raw food that I would get from a local shop.
        I have never actually realized that there are dehydrated raw foods, would those just be kept on a shelf or in a fridge? I would like to possibly keep him on raw because he does the best with that. I am just a little concerned with excepting a baby and having the possible chance of salmonella so I am currently trying to figure out the best options.

        Thank you!

        1. Dehydrated raw dog foods do not require any freezing or refrigeration. They are intended to be stable at room temperature. With a new baby on the way, it is understandable you are concerned about the health hazards that come with frozen raw foods. Dehydrated foods would be a much safer option in this situation. Dehydrated raw foods offer all the health benefits of frozen raw, without the hassle!

          1. Hi Brandon,

            Thank you for the reply.I like the without the hassle because it for sure is a hassle with the raw food we get and having to portion it and bag it all, it is a messy job lol. Do you also roughly know costs for dehydrated raw food and where you can usually buy it from?

            Thank you

          2. We sell many options for dehydrated raw dog food. Here, you will be able to find product information, including pricing. We ship Canada-wide.

            Check that out and let me know your thoughts. I am happy to help if you have any questions.

            Thanks, Hailie!

  35. Hi Brandon,
    This list is great – but I’m still lost. My 2 mini bernedoodles are now 11 weeks old and I’m looking to switch their food. They were fed Blue Buffalo when I picked them up at 8 weeks old. Just wondering what you would recommend? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Nicci, thank you for reading! I am happy to help with your questions.

      For your mini bernedoodles, there are plenty of excellent food choices to consider, it simply depends on what your individual criteria are. As reflected in this Top 20 list, I am a big fan of dehydrated raw diets for pets, however these foods can be cost prohibitive. However, you can always use dehydrated raw foods as a topper to compliment a high quality, lower cost kibble. This seems to be a popular choice for many pet owners. If you can provide me some information with regards to what your dog food criteria are, I will be delighted to help you find some product options.

  36. Hey Brandon,
    This was super insightful – as I’ve been doing a lot of research on what foods may be best to feed my two dogs (Goldendoodle- 4 yrs & Sheepadoodle -1 yr). I had my Goldendoodle on Acana/ Orijen – but she seemed to not be extremely interested in it after a while & I found there may have been too much protein as she would have really runny poops.. It took a long time to get her re-interested in eating it. I then switched her to GO – but I have found that her beard (lol) is discoloured – and her teeth are starting to plaque more (with daily brushing). I wondered if you recommended a different food for this – or a rotation of GO foods – as she is mainly on the lamb formula.

    I was thinking of switching to raw – but I have no idea on where to start or if this is better than dry food… I also don’t know what cost is like and how I would maintain a healthy raw diet. Also – is there a difference between raw and dehydrated raw? Is one better?
    I like GO, but I want to do what is most healthy for them…

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Brittany, thanks for reading! I am happy to help answer your questions.

      With regards to Go!, it is odd that you have noticed discolouration in your dog’s beard, along with plaque build up. I do not believe that diet alone is a remedy for dental health, so in addition to brushing, you may want to consider adding a dental supplement like Plaque Off. No matter what food you are feeding, I recommend rotating healthy diets regularly.

      With regards to raw. Nutritionally, there is no fundamental difference between frozen raw and dehydrated raw; one product simply has the water removed whereas the other has not. Dehydrated raw certainly has the edge in terms of convenience and portability, but it does come at a higher cost compared to frozen raw. Many of my clients feed both frozen and dehydrated raw, others feed kibble and use dehydrated raw as a food topper. There are many applications to consider.

      As far as kibbles go, Go! is among the best brands in the market today, so you are certainly in good nutritional hands with this brand. Of course, there are gobs of alternative brands to consider if you are looking for something different.

      I hope this helps answer your questions. Please feel free to contact me directly at 905-464-0563 if you would like to have a conversation about your pets’ health and well being. Thanks, Brittany! 🙂

  37. Hi,
    What are your thoughts on Performatrim Ultra Grain Free?
    It is Canadian made. Your input would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Erin, thank you for your question.

      Performatrin is made exclusively for PetValu, so I do not have any personal experience with this brand as Canadian Pet Connection is an independent. Aside from the odd controversial ingredient (like tomato pomace) the ingredients in Performatrin Ultra seem comparable to many high quality brands on the market today. One of the downsides of an exclusive brands like this is the consumer can only purchase it from one place, so those who wish to support independent pet supply retailers (like us) may want to consider another brand.

      I am happy to help if you would like to explore your options! Thanks, Erin 🙂

  38. Hi Brandon,

    Thank you for an insightful list of dog food brands. It is difficult to see what brands are good because there are so many variations of them. I just needed some guidance for my 6 year old miniature pinscher, he has not officially been diagnosed but his IDEEX SDMA shows 15 in his last blood test last week and everything else is within the normal range. My vet stated he is prone to kidney disease and need to obtain low protein, phosphorous, and sodium diet. My vet highly recommended the prescription food even though he said it not necessary yet. Unfortunately, they unable to help me further than that because other commercial dog food is not veterinary formulated so they cannot say much on other food brands. Do you know what would be a suitable dog diet at this stage (specifically the dog formula or even brand to explore)? I am planning to mix his kibble with homemade food as well because he is a picky eater. I was looking at the Now Fresh Senior dog recipe as well as Endless Valley Gather (organic vegan recipe) just because were planning to mix homemade boil chicken, rice, and veggies. But I am not 100% I am on the right track or not. I apologize this might be a sensitive topic to respond on because you do not know the dog’s full history but I just do not know who to go.

    Kind regards,

    Kirishnan S

    1. Hi Kirishnan, thank you for reading, and thanks for your questions.

      Dealing with kidney issues are a complicated matter as there are many factors that need to be considered. I am happy to help you to the best of my ability, however I am not a veterinarian. I suggest following your veterinarian’s advice with regards to developing a long-term plan for optimal kidney health. With that said, the biggest concern with regards to kidney issues and diet is controlling phosphorous and sodium content and increasing water content and omega fatty acids (among other things).

      The Now Fresh Senior dog formula and Gather Endless Valley are both excellent choices for high-quality, non-prescription diets that are low in phosphorous at 0.4%. Anything under 0.6% is considered ideal. FirstMate Pacific Ocean Fish Senior is another great option at 0.5% phosphorous.

      I hope this helps answer your questions, Kirishnan. Please let me know if you have any other questions, I am happy to help!

  39. Hello, I have really been struggling looking for a great quality kibble for my 7 month old MAS. I prefer grain friendly and without peas. After much debate I have chosen Open Farms Ancient Grains Puppy recipe. Prior to that she was on Farmina grain friendly (very high protein and rich). As I live in B.C. I have a lot of choice. I am wondering why Open Farms didn’t make your list? It appears to be an extremely high quality food!!
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Deb, thank you for reading!

      I am a big fan of Open Farm. While their head office is located in Toronto, their products are manufactured in Minnesota. This list pertains exclusively to Canadian-made dog foods.

      If you are curious about Canadian-made grain-friendly dog foods without peas, please consider FirstMate’s Grain-Friendly line.

      I hope that helps, Deb! I am happy to help if you have any further questions 🙂

  40. Hi Brandon. Thank you for an excellent article. We will be welcoming an 8 week old small breed puppy to our family next week and we want to start him out on a high quality grain-inclusive puppy food (next stop is your DCM article as this is my concern with feeding a grain-free formula to small breeds). Many of the brands on your list are for all sizes, all life stages. What would be your best recommendation for our very young, small breed pup (he will likely be in the 15lb range fully grown).

    1. Hi Lisa, thanks for reading.

      Congratulations on your new puppy! Getting a new puppy is such an exciting time. I understand you are looking for a high quality grain-friendly diet suitable for your little pup. One of my top recommendations is FirstMate’s grain-friendly line; it is suitable for all life stages, which certainly includes puppies. Another wonderful option is the Acana Classics line.

      I am always happy to help if you have any questions going forward. Thanks, Lisa! 🙂

  41. Hi Brandon,
    My vet recommended to switch off from grain free (DCM scare?) so we did. We have 3 small dogs 16, 14, and about to be 3 year old the 16 and 14 year old lived the majority of their lives on Riplees Ranch grain inclusive food switched to earth Options by pets first grain free superfood, since the vet recommendation, all 3 of the dogs have now experienced yeast problems. I read an article (can’t remember where you know surfing you can drift far from your original start) that suggested that food with grains may be causing the yeast infections my 14 year old suffers from, the latest bout has lasted 7 weeks even though she has had several prescribed medications, this article also taked about feet chewing…. well the connection for me hit like a brick. I am wondering if in fact I’m correct in thinking all 3 dogs that are frantic at chewing their feet and the 14 yr old with the ear infection which now includes both eyes to have infections, are or could be related to the grains in their food. Chicken meal, oatmeal, whole brown rice, barley, these grains seemed safer to me. Thanks for any opinion and or recommendations you may have.

    1. Hi Cheryl, thank you for reading. I am happy to help answer your questions.

      With regards to yeast problems in the ears, chewing the feet, etc, those symptoms could very well by the result of a food allergy or intolerance. There are many factors to consider here. It is important to simplify the diet in an effort to eliminate whatever foods may be causing these symptoms. Limited ingredient diets are very popular for this purpose.

      In order to figure out a plan for your dogs, it would be best to speak over the phone as there is much to discuss. Please feel free to call my direct line at 905-464-0563, or our Pet Health & Wellness Centre at 1-844-799-PETS(7387).

      Thank you, Cheryl. I look forward to speaking with you soon!

  42. Hi. It’s my understanding that “My Healthy Pet” has been bought by a Chinese company. I’ve been feeding their chicken blend to my doodle for 4 years and now I’m looking for something truly Canadian that is similar.
    Can you suggest a new food for me that would be comparable?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Nancy, thank you for your question. I am happy to help.

      With regards to finding a comparable alternative, consider looking at brands like FirstMate, Acana, Boreal, and more.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions! 🙂

  43. In one of your responses you recommend First Mate Fish for a dog that cannot have chicken, but it does have chicken fat listed as one of the ingredients.

    1. Hi Julie, great observation! This is a question I get often. Here is the exact wordage from FirstMate’s website regarding chicken fat and chicken allergies:

      “Our bodies and our pet’s bodies react differently with proteins and fats. An allergy is caused by the bodies reaction with the protein of what we’ve come in contact with. Our chicken fat is free of chicken protein and will therefore not cause a reaction for those animals with a chicken allergy.”

      I hope this helps with your concerns. Please let me know if I can help with anything else 🙂

  44. I have a 5 year old rescue dog, a Chihuahua/Terrier mix to the best of our knowledge. He has become quite overweight in the 3.5 years he has been with us. What would you recommend for weight control. He generally eats can food, and is not terribly interested in dry food.

    1. Hi Dawne, thank you for reaching out! I am happy to help you.

      With regards to weight loss, it is all about running a caloric defect regardless of the food you are feeding. While there are certain low calorie canned foods on the market, the majority of canned dog foods are made for all life stages. This is largely due to the high water content in canned foods; you will find many more low calorie options in dry kibble than wet canned. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend a specific brand for the purpose of weight loss , rather, I would advise to simply adjust the amount of (high quality) food you are feeding him as it is conducive to his lifestyle. It’s as simple as that (providing there are no underlying health issues, like hypo thyroid for example). More exercise, fewer calories. Be consistent and his weight will come down, I promise. If you need any help figuring out the correct amount of food to feed your pooch, I am happy to help you with that.

      Thank you, Dawne 🙂

  45. Hi Brandon,
    I have a 13 week labradoodle on raw food. I’d like to switch her to kibble just for convenience as we go camping a lot. I’m deciding between Orijen and Acana. I realize Orijen is the better product but is it so much better to warrant the extra cost?

    1. Hi Tara, thank you for reading!

      Orijen is not necessarily a better product than Acana, however it does have a higher meat inclusion, which is why it is more expensive than Acana. If you are looking for a dry food that is closest to a raw diet in terms of meat content, then Orijen would be the better choice. Nutritionally, both Acana and Orijen are equivalent, and I am confident your dog will do very well on either brand. Consider rotating between these brands and see which formulas your dog performs best on. I hope that helps!

  46. Hi Brandon,
    I happened across your article and it was very informative reading. We are very interested in providing our mini Goldendoodle with a raw diet. After speaking with our local pet store that sells raw, he recommended Red Dog Deli with gradually moving to IrRawsistable. Milo is currently eating TLC kibble which his breeder recommended. I learned that there is also partially cooked and frozen raw kibble that can be used in conjunction with the raw diet. Is there any chance that you can let us know when you are publishing your article on raw food as I am very interested in learning more. Thanks!

    1. Hi Candace, thank you for reading! My team are working on many projects at the moment, and our top raw foods in Canada is one of them. It is in the works, but is not finished yet.

      In the meantime, I am happy to help you with any questions you have regarding raw foods for pets. Feel free to email me at your convenience ([email protected]). I am at your service!

  47. Hi Brandon, excellent reviews. I have a 9 yr old Bichon, who has been diagnosed with Pancreatitis, and she also needs a low protein food. And to top it off she has an allergy to chicken. She is currently eating Royal Canin Gastrointestinal low fat wet food, but we want to switch her. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Diane, thank you for your questions. I am happy to help you.

      Having a dog with a chicken allergy automatically limits your low protein options; the vast majority of low protein commercial dog foods are chicken based, including Royal Canin’s gastrointestinal low fat diets. However, you can consider something like Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Venison formula; it has the same protein content as the Royal Canin Gastro Dry (20%).

      I am happy to help you find other options if you need. Please feel free to email me [email protected], or call me directly 905-464-0563, or toll free 1-844-799-PETS(7387). Thank you, Diane!

  48. Hi Brandon
    I have an 11 month old standard poodle who is healthy and active who I have been feeding Costco lamb based kibble as that was what the breeder said she feeds her dogs. I’m not sure if Costco food is as nutritious as I would like and I am struggling to find a good quality Canadian made food. I would prefer kibble but I am also looking at home
    cooking dog food as well. Would it be ok to feed kibble as well as home
    cooked? Do you have any recommendations on home cooked recipes?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Shelley, thank you for your questions. I am happy to help you.

      I would recommend upgrading from the Costco brand in lieu of something higher quality. With regards to feeding a home cooked diet with dry kibble, yes, you can certainly do that, providing you are conscious of proper portion control. I currently do not have any articles with DIY recipes for home cooking, however there are many great recipes to be found online. Just be careful you are getting a recipe from a qualified, trusted source.

      Going forward, I am at your service if you have any questions. Thanks, Shelley!

  49. Hello Brandon….your reviews are so interesting, but I wish a price was beside those dollar
    I favour the Smack Brand for my so far problem free 7 yr. old black Lab, but I’m wondering how I measure her food to be an adequate meal….Smack comes in such a small quantity it seems to be more of a ‘treat’ than an actual food! Would I weigh or measure wet or dry?
    Also, when they say the whole chicken is used are the feathers included? I also am using Costco kibble (Chicken and Vegetable) but have been ‘boosting’ it with fresh food. To my horror I’ve just noticed that all meats are ‘meal’…don’t know how I missed that after a lot of label reading. My son’s ‘Blue Heeler’ lived to 17yrs. on it so can’t be all that bad. It also has taurine added if lack of, turns out to be the cause of DCM. I lost my last Lab to it so I worry. I would like to get away from all the additives so am on the hunt for better food, but so hard to choose!

    1. Hi Joan, thank you for your questions. I am happy to help you!

      With regards to Smack’s feeding guidelines, you can find their chart here. Measurements are based on the dry food itself with no water added. For example, an average 70lb active lab would require approximately 2½ cups of dry product per day. Feathers will not be found in any Smack formulas.

      With regards to “meal” ingredients in other pet foods, not all “meals” are created equal. The term “meal” refers to one or more ingredients that have been cooked to a highly concentrated protein powder. “Meal” does not infer any kind of quality, it simply refers to the processing of the ingredient itself. The negative association with “meal” comes from the fact that many brands use low-quality non-specific meats in meal form: meat meal, meat byproduct meal, chicken byproduct meal, etc. Unfortunately, none of these terms reflect the quality of the ingredient itself. There are high quality forms of meal, and there are low quality forms of meal.

      This list represents the best quality Canadian brands on the market today. If you are thinking of upgrading your dry food, then look no further than the many wonderful brands on this list. If you need help narrowing down your search, I am happy to assist.

      I hope this helps answer your questions, Joan. I am at your service if you need anything else 🙂

  50. Hi Brandon
    Wow! Your article is amazingly informative and now I am completely confused. We have a 4yr. old rottweiler male who is 120lbs. He has become a service dog for me. Who would have guessed? He likes to graze as he wants all day long. What do you recommend for my big boy?

    1. Hi Marilyn, thank you for your kind words!

      If you are looking for the best quality diet for your pooch, then my advise is to start at the top of this list and work your way down. However, if you have any specific purchasing criteria (formula, bag size, price, etc), please let me know and I will be happy to help you find the perfect food for your Rottweiler. I look forward to hearing from you!

  51. Hey Brandon, My dog is an elderly, but agile and active, Husky/Shepherd. I recently switched his food due to location and availability and ended up going with the Taiga brand Pork 35lb bag. I’d never seen it before but it seemed healthy and was a decent price. It’s only been a few days but he seems to enjoy it but eats more than he ever has, he will stand at his bowl, which he has never done before.

    Any thoughts on that brand or articles I could read? I find it hard to understand what is decent food at a pet store vs something that’s put in a fancy bag, has a happy dog on the front, and called something ridiculous like “Pack Leader of the Wild Land” etc..

    Any pointers would be great. Thanks!

    1. Hi Saul, thank you for your comments and questions. I am happy to help.

      While I don’t have any articles specifically pertaining to Taiga, I can personally attest to the quality of Horizon pet foods. Not only are they family owned, they are among the most accountable and transparent pet food manufacturers in Canada. Horizon does not use any third party contractors; they source, produce, package, and ship all in house. When it comes to ingredient sourcing, Horizon is well known for supporting local growers. Canadian Pet Connection has proudly sold Horizon pet foods for well over a decade, with overwhelming success.

      I hope this gives you confidence in the Horizon brand, Saul. I am here to help if you have any further questions. Have a great day!

  52. Great article, we have a shepherd cross and it seems like we have tried every brand and protien out there but cant seem to find away to control her yeast issues and was wondering if you recommend a certain brand or other options out there, currently we are looking into the vet diets but we have never really agreed with their ingredients. Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated thank you

    1. Hi David, thank you for your questions. I am happy to help!

      When it comes to solving yeast issues in dogs, the conversation would be best held over the phone as I will need some information about your dog and his diet history. Please feel free to call my direct line at your convenience 905-464-0563. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks!

  53. Hi Brandon

    We’ve just moved to Canada from overseas where we have been using ZiwiPeaks air dried chicken recipe. What would be the best, most comparable option in Alberta/Canada to this brand as it appears very costly to purchase here.


    1. Hi Danielle, welcome to Canada! If you are looking for a Canadian equivalent to Ziwi Peak, look no further than Zeal. It is one of our most popular dehydrated raw foods.

      Please look at that and let me know if you have any further questions. Thank you!

  54. Hi Brandon, thank you for this great article. Could you comment on Canisource Grand Cru? This is a high quality dehydrated food for pets produced in Quebec. The owner of the animal food store in Magog highly recommended that product. I have a new puppy and after reading many articles about pet food, I decided it was best to move away from Royal Canin since it contains too much filler (low value ingredients). Thank you for your feedback.

    1. Hi Sylvain, thank you for your comments.

      Canisource Grand Cru is an exceptionally high quality product. Grand Cru is minimally processed, meaning the majority of original nutrients are preserved, which means no synthetic nutrients needed! Great choice, Sylvain.

  55. Hi thanks for the article. I am feeding my pomerian/keeshond a US food, Victor Senior Healthy Weight. It is grain friendly and includes taurine. She does well on it. However due to the pandenic I doubt that I will be going to Florida this winter and I need to source a Canadian available food for her. I have looked at the ingredient lists of some of the grain friendly weight management foods and no where do I see taurine. To be safe even though there has been no conclusive evidence of the cause of DCM I would like to have a grain friendly food which includes taurine. What do you recommend? Thanks

    1. Hi Ben, great questions! I can certainly help you find what you’re looking for.

      With regards to finding a high quality, grain-inclusive dog food with added taurine, I would suggest looking at Pure Vita Duck & Oatmeal, and several products made by The Honest Kitchen like Chicken Tasty Whole Food Clusters, and Beef Tasty Whole Food Clusters (among others).

      I hope this helps you find what you’re looking for. I am at your service if you need any help!

  56. Thanks for this great list. Wondering if there is/or perhaps in the works, a list for The Top 20 Cat Foods in Canada for 2020? I would love to know about Canadian sustainable, healthy, organic options for cats.

    1. Hi Ainsley, thank you for posting. We are currently working on a Top 20 Canadian Cat Foods list for 2021, so stay tuned!

  57. Hi Brandon, wow such a great article thank you. And even after publishing months ago it is great to see that you continue to reply to the comments too. I recently adopted a beautiful 1 year old female short haired pointer/chocolate lab mix and we are coming to the end of the Canadian Natural dry food that the fosters gave us. So I am looking to invest in a food good for her breed – she is very active by nature so needs all of the right nutrients and healthy ingredients to keep her sprinting after that ball during Fetch lol.
    If you have any recommendations for her breed, I would love to hear from you 🙂 Thanks!

    1. Hi Louise, thank you for taking the time to comment on this article!

      With regards to a new food for your pooch, I can certainly help you find some options providing you can help me with some basic criteria. If you are looking for best overall quality, then my advice is to start at the top of this list and work your way down. Alternatively, if you are looking for the best balance between quality and affordability, you may want to consider products like FirstMate’s grain-friendly line. Any information you can give me is helpful.

      I look forward to hearing from you, Louise.

  58. Hi Brandon we have a 13-year-old miniature schnauzer who is prone to bladder stones.She has been on royal Canin weight control wet and dry since her first operation.
    After watching videos we realize that royal Canin is mostly filler we would like to switch her to a better diet however apprehensive about a raw diet and after reading your article we are also concerned about grain-free.

    Do you have a better option for us.

    1. Hi Kathleen, thank you for your comments and questions.

      In order for me to help you to the best of my ability, this is a conversation best held over the phone. Please feel free to contact me directly at your convenience 905-464-0563.

      I look forward to hearing from you!


  59. Very informative article, thank you! I have been trying to decide which food to try for our dog. She seems to have a sensitive stomach and often has loose stool, and sometimes diarrhea. I’m wondering if you can clarify something for me- I’ve read that dogs with sensitive stomachs tend to do best with a single protein source, limited ingredients, grain-free etc. but I see that you’ve recommended the First Mate grain-friendly dog foods to several people in the comments. Is it just specific grains that are problematic or why am I seeing mixed messages on grains for dogs with tummy issues? Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Laura, great questions! Thank you for taking the time to post.

      When it comes to digestive issues, the solution is largely dependent on the individual. There is no one-step solution for solving digestive issues in every dog, which may explain why you have come across multiple opinions during your research. There are many things that can cause stomach problems in dogs, so in order to find a healthy long-term remedy, it is important to first identify the cause.

      As a general rule, it is wise to simplify a dog’s diet to reduce the burden on the digestive system. This would include feeding a single protein, or a limited ingredient diet. In order to correct digestive issues (providing there are no underlying health problems), you need to address the problem at it’s source by providing the body what it needs for optimal digestive health, specifically dietary fibre, pre and probiotics, and digestive enzymes.

      To overwhelming success, I recommend FirstMate’s grain-friendly line of dog food for dogs with digestive issues because of it’s simplicity, and the inclusion of whole oats, however this may not be a solution for every dog. Another consideration to help improve digestive health is Flora4 supplement. This simple supplement is made from organic sprouted seeds and provides the body with everything it needs for optimal gut health, among other things.

      I am happy to help you find solutions to your dog’s digestive issues. Please feel free to contact me directly at 905-464-0563 if you would like to speak over the phone.

      I hope you find this information helpful, Laura.


  60. Hi! I am so thankful to find this article! I literally read every single word including the comments and replies. I am expecting a Aussidoodle and golden doodle before end of year and looking into what to feed these puppies best. First time pet owner so really nervous.

    I am hoping to work with a wet food mix with dehydrated raw food diet. Is this something that is good for the puppies? I am considering first mate with smack or zeal. Alternative, I read a few people mixing GO! Kibbles with dehydrated raw food as toppers – is this better than wet food? I was under the assumption wet food is easier for digestion over kibbles. With the mix breed dogs, I hope to provide the best food to avoid adult life illness in advance. Also for dogs, is chicken always the healthier choice as I notice more popluar and advised flavor are always chicken… I thought dogs should eat fish more for omega -3.

    Would you also have articles on supplements for dogs at all stages of life?
    Thank you very much!!!!!

    1. Hi Rita, thank you for reading! I appreciate you taking time time to comment. Let’s dive right into your questions, shall we?

      With regards to combining wet food with dehydrated raw, that is a very good combination, and brands like Zeal and Smack will provide your pups with excellent nutrition.

      When it comes to comparing wet food or dehydrated raw food as a topper, raw may have the edge as they are less processed foods, however, if you like certain wet foods, why not consider rotating and offering the best of both?

      With regards to wet food being more easily digestible than kibble, this is true and is largely due to the high moisture content in wet foods.

      With regards to chicken being a healthier choice for dogs, that is not universally true. Just like humans, dogs are all unique individuals and may do better on certain foods than others. Chicken is by far the most common protein found in pet foods because it is less expensive compared to all other meat sources. I would recommend rotating among various meat proteins to determine which one(s) work best for your pups.

      With regards to supplements for dogs, there are many wonderful options depending on what your goals are. If you are looking for an overall health and wellness supplement, my best recommendation is Flora4.

      I hope this helps answer your questions, Rita. I am at your service if you need anything else 🙂

  61. What would you recommand for a labrador pup? we will be getting him at 8 weeks of age.
    we currently have a 2 year old mix dog eating purina pro plan.
    Wondering if this is a good dog food or not…



    1. Hi Michael, congrats on your new puppy! Such an exciting time.

      I do not recommend any products made by Purina. I can certainly help find you an alternative food providing you can give me some basic purchasing criteria (quality, affordability, flavour, etc), otherwise I would start at the top of this list and work your way down – that’s what this list is for! 🙂

      I am at your service if you have any other questions. Have a wonderful day, Michael.

      1. Hello Brandon,

        Indeed, your help would be appreciated.

        We went to different stores and many suggested Grand Cru or Hurraw (ends up being the same company from what I understand). It’s some raw dehydrated food. The company is in Quebec, we like the idea of buying local in this pandemic period. It can be in other Canadian provinces as well, but we would like to keep it within Canada.

        I live in Quebec, and we want to give some good food to our dogs. The price for the Hurraw runs around 150$ (tx included) for a 10kg. This would last a little over 2 months for our current dog according to it’s weight (38 lbs). This price range is ok for us, it’s a step up from our current food source, but we want better for our dogs.

        Have you heard of this company? Is raw dehydrated food a good choice for dogs? We get different answers from vets, pet stores and online searches.

        What brands do you recommand, and what types of food would you suggest considering our dogs spend a lot of time outside with us (family with 4 kids) going to the lake and taking walks in the woods. We are active, but not trail runners like some 😉



        1. Hi Michael, thank you for your comments and questions. I am happy to help!

          Grand Cru and Hurraw are different manufacturers. While I haven’t had any personal experience with Hurraw, it seems to be a very high quality product. Grand Cru is a brand we have carried for a while now, and it is a popular product.

          Dehydrated raw diets are among the absolute best dog foods on the market, which explains why many of the top products on this list are dehydrated. One of the biggest benefits with dehydrated raw diets is the minimal amount of processing compared to commercial kibbles, which are highly processed, and resultantly, need to be fortified with synthetic vitamins and minerals. Generally, just like with our own diets, the less processed our foods are, the better.

          All of the brands on this list are recommended brands, which is why they are on this list – they are the best of the best! If you are looking to start with the healthiest options, my advice is to start at the top of the list and work your way down. If you would like more specific recommendations, I am happy to help.

          Thank you, Michael. I look forward to hearing from you.

  62. Hello Brandon,
    We have two Golden Retrievers, a 6 yr old male and a 14 yr old female who is experiencing some stiffness in her hips. (We have started a high concentration CBD regimen and have seen very noticeable improvement with it). We had been feeding them big box store kibble, first Nutro Feed Clean and then Nutrience because we wanted a Canadian manufacturer. However we’ve been doing some research and have become aware of the disadvantages of foods with grains, filler, preservatives and meat meals. We’d like to switch to a better grade of Canadian made dog food but with two Goldens it can get very expensive. Could you recommend a reasonably priced good quality Canadian dog food that could work for both of our dogs?

    1. Hi Kevin, thank you for your questions. I am happy to help!

      One of my top recommendations for an affordable, Canadian-made dog food are the FirstMate Grain Friendly Chicken, Lamb, or Ocean Fish. Grains are perfectly fine for dogs, providing they are whole, high-quality grains. Please have a look at my suggestion and let me know your thoughts. I am happy to provide other options for your consideration as well.

  63. Hello Brandon.

    Thank you for an interesting article. Nice to have something for Canadian pet owners! I have a rescued mill stud Wheaten, 4.5 yrs old. He is extremely anxious and afraid of just about everything. After two months, I am making some progress, but his stomach is still very sensitive. He often vomits after meals and suffers from gulpies. He was prescribed RC RX food, but had the same issue.

    Any suggestions for a food to try? FirstMate looks appealing, and I have two others to feed as well, so it is handy if everyone can eat the same, so budget friendly is a plus!


    1. Hi Sue, thank you for taking the time to comment.

      If your dog is vomiting after meals, it sounds like the issue is more of a rate-of-consumption problem. When a dog consumes their food too quickly, they often swallow kibble whole and air at the same time. This is recipe that often leads to regurgitation of undigested food.

      While certain dog foods may be better suited for dogs with sensitive stomachs than others, from the information you provided I don’t think changing the food is the solution. Instead, I would recommend using a slow-feed bowl to slow down your dog’s rate of consumption, or feed smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. To further back up my assumption, it makes sense that your dog is consuming food too quickly because you are having the same vomiting issues on different foods – even foods made for sensitive dogs.

      I am confident that providing your dog has no underlying health issues, the vomiting will be easily remedied by slowing down meal time.

      With regards to food, FirstMate is definitely a great choice for an affordable high-quality food.

      I am happy to help you if you have any further questions, please keep me posted!

  64. I currently feed my 14 year old Border Collie Acana Senior formula. She was recently diagnosed with Mitral Valve disease which my vet says isn’t related to her diet. The vet suggested however switching her to Royal Canin Mature Consult. I looked up the ingredients and I’m not impressed. First ingredient is corn. I don’t know if I should be changing her diet and if so, to what? Should I change to something with less animal protein? Maybe grain-friendly? Any advice is appreciated.

    1. I am not a veterinarian, so I cannot comment on Mitral Valve disease as it is not my area of expertise. With that said, from my understanding, there are no proven dietary interventions that will slow or delay the progression of Mitral Valve disease. Some of the research I have done suggests that limiting sodium intake and increasing omega fatty acids may be beneficial, but it is uncertain to what degree. Again, this is not my area of expertise.

      With regards to diet and Mitral Valve disease, I do not believe Royal Canin Mature Consult offers any significant benefits over a product like Acana Senior. Acana is certainly the higher quality brand.

      I hope you find this information helpful, Diane. Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance.

  65. I will be picking up my new puppy, a toy poodle] on Oct. 21st. He was born a singleton and is very overweight. What food would you suggest for him? Do I need to be concerned about tying to help him loose weight? I live in B.C. Thank you.

    1. Hi Anna, thank you for posting. I am happy to help answer your questions.

      First of all, congratulations on your new puppy!

      How old is your puppy?

      Dealing with an overweight dog is not so much about the quality food itself (although that is important!), but rather feeding the correct amount of food in combination with exercise. All of the brands on this list come with feeding guidelines for puppies, so you simply follow the chart, and you should be good to go. Just be careful to not overdue it on treats, people food, etc. Controlling weight is about controlling total calories.

      If you have any other questions, I am at your service!

  66. Hi Brandon, this is great information, thank you for sharing it. We just brought home our french bulldog puppy a couple of days ago and would like your expert opinion on what to feed him now as a puppy and later on as an adult? He is currently on Royal Canine puppy kibble for French bulldogs, but I do not feel that this is the best quality food for him. Your advise would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    1. Hi Susie, thank you for taking the time to post your questions. I am happy to help.

      I would most definitely suggest an alternate food to Royal Canin as it does not meet my criteria for a super-premium pet food. The majority of the foods on the list are suitable for all life stages, so they are ideal for puppies and adult dogs alike. When it comes to finding the best quality food options for your pooch, I advise starting at the top of this list and working your way down. These brands are among the absolute best dog foods on the market today, so you really cannot go wrong with any of them.

      If you have any sort of criteria for a new dog food, please let me know and I will be happy to make some recommendations. Thank you!

  67. Hi Brandon
    I have a Labrador puppy who is 14 weeks old, he is on now fresh diet and is doing ok…but now that I read about grain free kibbles it worries me. Plz suggest an alternate option, cost is not a concern but he down not do good with lamb or other heavy protein
    Thank you

    1. Hi Nikita, thank you for your post. I am happy to help answer your questions.

      Firstly, I would not have any concerns about feeding a grain-free diet. I assume your concerns about grain-free diets pertain to the FDA’s ongoing investigation into the possible connection between grain-free diets and dilated cardiomyopathy. The FDA has not found any conclusive evidence in this regard. In order to better understand the situation, I kindly refer you to the following articles:

      Everything You Need To Know About Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) And Grain Free Dog Food
      The Pet Expert: Yet Another Study Finds No Link Between Grain-Free Diets & Canine Heart Disease

      I am here to help answer any questions you may have regarding grain-free diets and canine heart disease.

      Now, if you are still considering a switch to a wholesome, grain-friendly food for your puppy, I would recommend brands like Carna4, Acana Classics, and FirstMate Grain Friendly.

      Please review this information and let me know if you have any questions. I am at your service! Thank you, Nikita.

  68. I have been feeding my 10 year old cockapoo Royal Canin Vegetarian for many years due to numerous allergies but would love to be able to find a alternative to this brand because it is very inconvenient to buy. I also have a 1 year old golden doodle that is on the skinny side so would like a recommendation on what I should be feeding him.

  69. Dear Brandon,
    I will join the other readers in thanking You for the great and informative article. I have a 4 year old Cavalier King Charles spaniel with some pancreas problems, but no alergies that I know of. I am looking for appropriate food for her on the market. Could You advise me on that? We have just arrived in Canada and we are still looking around. Any help would be appreciated. Thank You, Krzysztof

    1. Hi Krzysztof, thank you for posting.

      I am sorry to hear your pooch has pancreatic problems. Unfortunately, Cavaliers do have a genetic predisposition for pancreatitis and other pancreatic-related health conditions.

      I am not a veterinarian, so I cannot give any advice on managing your dog’s pancreatic health. As far as pancreatic-friendly diets go, the key here is to feed a diet low in fat. While we sell several low fat dog foods, I cannot make any recommendations as I am not qualified to diagnose or treat health problems like these.

      Thank you for your understanding, and good luck, Krzysztof.

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