The next time you head to Walmart on a shopping trip, you can also add great dog food to your cart. While there are plenty of boutiques and online sites that sell premium foods, there are lots of highly recommended dog foods you can buy at Walmart.
With more than 4,700 Walmart stores in the United States alone, it’s easy to find a convenient store nearby. And a recent search found more than 1,000 dog food options available at Walmart online.
For example, you can find Hill’s Science Diet Small Bites, our overall pick for best dry dog food. It comes in many formulas, is vet recommended, and contains no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.
But that’s just one great choice. Here’s a look at just a handful of the super dog foods you can buy at Walmart.
Best Overall, Dry Food
Hill’s Science Diet Small Bites
No artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors
Lots of formulas
Can cost more than some foods
A long-time pet nutrition company, Hill’s Science Diet is a favorite dog food recommended by many veterinarians. It comes in many flavors and formulas, with recipes for puppies and seniors, large dogs and small dogs. There are special recipes for weight management, digestion issues, oral care, and other health concerns.
This small bites food comes in easy-to-eat tiny crunchy, kibble with chicken as the first ingredient. The tiny size is for little dogs or even big dogs that don’t love munching big chunks. Most recipes include chicken or lamb meal, as well as brown rice and whole grain wheat to aid with digestion. You’ll find no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. It has added nutrients like vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids to support a healthy coat and skin. It’s made in the U.S. with globally sourced ingredients.
Each Hill’s Science Diet recipe comes in several different sizes starting around 5 pounds and going up. The food is packaged in easily resealable bags to help keep the kibble fresh.
Price at time of publish: $70/15 lbs
Life Stage: Adult (puppy and senior formulas also available) | Available Flavors: Chicken, lamb | Primary Ingredients: Chicken, cracked barley, whole grain wheat
Best Overall, Wet Food
Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Adult Wet Dog Food
First ingredient is chicken or beef
No artificial flavors or preservatives, byproduct meal, or corn or wheat
More affordable than some other canned foods
Not available in small cans
Dogs think they’ve won the jackpot when they get canned food for dinner. You may offer your dog wet food if they’re picky or if they have dental issues that make hard kibble difficult to eat. You may also mix a little into dry kibble to make your pet’s dinner more exciting. Feeding canned food is typically more expensive than dry, so it helps that this is an affordable option.
Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe is a great all-around canned choice. The primary ingredients in the homestyle version are chicken or beef, followed by chicken or beef broth, chicken or beef liver, and lots of vegetables like carrots, peas, and sweet potatoes. There are no artificial flavors or preservatives, as well as no by-product meal or corn or wheat. The Blue Wilderness brand, also by Blue Buffalo, has additional flavors like trout and chicken or salmon and chicken..
Price at time of publish: $18/6 cans
Life Stage: Adult (puppy and senior recipes also available) | Available Flavors: Chicken, beef, turkey, salmon | Primary Ingredients: Chicken or beef, chicken or beef broth and liver, carrots, peas, sweet potatoes
Best for Puppies
Purina Pro Plan Puppy
High protein (28 percent) for puppies
Lots of added nutrients for developing puppies
Chicken is main ingredient
Formulas for large breed, small breed, and puppies with sensitive skin and stomachs
Costs more than some puppy foods
Good nutrition is important for all dogs, but it’s really critical for puppies that are growing. You should feed a puppy-specific food until your dog is at least a year old. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), which sets standards for the safety and quality of pet food and animal feed, recommends that dry food for puppies contain a minimum of 22 percent protein. That’s compared to 18 percent protein for adult dog foods. With 28 percent protein, Purina Pro Plan Puppy is a great option.
The recipe has real chicken as the primary ingredient, contains the omega-3 fatty acid DHA for brain and vision, calcium for developing bones and teeth, and antioxidants for a growing immune system. Pro Plan costs a little more than some other Purina foods, but it’s highly recommended by veterinarians. The bag has a feeding chart that helps you figure out how much to offer as your puppy grows, but always check with your vet if you have questions.
In addition to the regular puppy recipe, there are formulas for large breed, small breed, and sensitive skin and stomach. There are no artificial colors or flavorings.
Price at time of publish: $55/18 lbs.
Life Stage: Puppy | Available Flavors: Chicken and rice, lamb and rice | Primary Ingredients: Chicken or lamb, rice, poultry by-product meal
Best for Sensitive Stomachs
Solid Gold Leaping Waters Sensitive Stomach Grain-Free Gluten Free Dry Dog Food
No artificial flavors or colors
No corn, wheat, or soy
Salmon is first ingredient
Filled with probiotics, superfoods, and omegas
Only one flavor
If your pup has lots of gas, loose stools, or vomiting, it may be because they have a sensitive stomach and a special diet might be able to help. Before you make the switch, we always suggest you talk to your veterinarian about what’s best for your pet—and to make sure stomach upset isn’t a sign of something more serious.
This Solid Gold Leaping Waters food features cold water salmon as the sole protein and main ingredient. There’s no wheat, soy, corn, potatoes, or any artificial preservatives. It’s packed with probiotics for gut health and omega fatty acids for skin and coat. There are also superfoods like pumpkins, carrots, and blueberries that offer fiber, antioxidants, and nutrients. The food only comes in one flavor (salmon) and is made in the U.S.
Price at time of publish: $17/4 lbs.
Life Stage: Adult | Available Flavors: Salmon | Primary Ingredients: Salmon, ocean fish meal, chickpeas, lentils
Best for Senior Dogs
Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+
Supplements for mental sharpness, digestion, mobility, immune system, and skin and coat
Available in adult, large breed, and small breed formulas
Real chicken is the main ingredient
Only available in one flavor
As pets age, they can have health problems requiring specialized care, including arthritis, weight gain, and decreased cognitive function. Food specially made for senior dogs may help with some of those age-related issues. Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind senior formula if filled with supplements to target senior well-being. It has fish oil, antioxidants, arginine, and B vitamins for mental sharpness.
The recipe also includes probiotics to help with digestion, omega-6 fatty acids for skin and coat health, glucosamine for mobility, and antioxidants to support a healthy immune system.
It features real chicken as the main ingredient, along with poultry by-product meal, rice, and whole grain corn. The food comes in adult, large, and small breed kibble formulas.
Price at time of publish: $60/16 lbs.
Life Stage: Senior (7-plus) | Available Flavors: Chicken and rice | Primary Ingredients: Chicken, poultry by-product meal, rice
Purina ONE Smartblend Natural Dog Food
More affordable than many
Lots of formulations for various ages, sizes, and health concerns
Fewer nutrients and natural ingredients than some
You don’t have to spend a ton on premium dog food in order to feed your dog a healthy dinner. There are all sorts of nutritionally balanced pet foods even when you’re shopping on a budget. The affordable product line from Purina, called Purina One, includes dry kibble and canned food in formulations for puppies, adults, seniors, large breeds and small breeds, and dogs with digestive health, joint health, or other concerns.
The first ingredient is always real meat like chicken or lamb and there are no unnecessary fillers. The food includes prebiotic fiber for gut health, omega-6 fatty acids for skin and coat, and antioxidants to support a healthy immune system. The kibble comes in several sizes, typically ranging from 4 pounds to 40 pounds. This formulation has an appealing mix of crunchy bites and chewy morsels.
Price at time of publish: $31/16.5 lbs.
Life Stage: Adult (many other formulas available) | Available Flavors: Chicken and rice, lamb and rice, other blends | Primary Ingredients: Chicken or lamb, rice flour, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn
Best for Weight Management
Purina Pro Plan Adult Weight Management Dog Food Chicken & Rice Formula
Has 15 percent less fat than similar Purina recipes
Has crunchy recipe and crunchy and chewy recipe
Formulas for large and small breeds
Often recommended by vets
Only chicken and rice flavor
More than half of dogs in the U.S. are overweight, which means they are 10 to 20 percent heavier than their ideal weight. Although the problem is so prevalent, many pet owners don’t even realize their dogs weigh more than they should. Too many treats and an overflowing food bowl can be linked to problems like arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes. Talk to your vet, who may suggest switching your dog to a weight management food like this one from Purina Pro Plan.
This has 15 percent less fat than other similar formulas from Purina. It comes in a chicken and rice recipe as well as a shredded blend which has crunchy kibble with some chewier chicken pieces. There are also formulas for large and small breeds. The feeding chart suggests how much food to offer daily based on weight as well as how much to feed if you’d like your dog to lose about 25 percent of their weight.
Price at time of publish: $55/18 lbs.
Life Stage: Adult | Available Flavors: Chicken and rice, shredded chicken and rice | Primary Ingredients: Chicken, rice, poultry by-product meal
Zuke's Mini Naturals
Great small size for training
Lots of flavors
No fillers or artificial ingredients
Soft treats can harden if bag isn’t sealed well
These soft training dog treats are quite enticing to pups. They come in all sorts of interesting flavors, so if your dog doesn’t like chicken, try salmon or peanut butter and oats. There are also three recipes just for puppies that are smaller and have added omega-3 DHA and EPA to support brain development. Each flavor has some type of meat protein or peanut butter as the main ingredient.
These treats are meaty and tempting, which makes them perfect for getting your dog’s attention. They are small and only about 3 calories per treat, but they are soft enough that you can tear them into even smaller pieces for tiny pets. They’re so soft that they are easy for senior dogs with dental issues.
Zuke’s treats have no fillers, by-products, or artificial ingredients. They’re made in the U.S. with no corn, wheat, or soy.
Price at time of publish: $17/16 ounces
Life Stage: All | Available Flavors: Chicken, peanut butter & oats, salmon, beef, duck, rabbit, lamb and chickpea (puppy), pork and bacon (puppy), salmon and sweet potato (puppy) | Primary Ingredients: Meat protein, rice, vegetables, fruit
Our best overall pick is Hill’s Science Diet Small Bites, which comes in many formulas, is vet recommended, and contains no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. For canned foods, we like Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe which features chicken or beef as the main ingredient.
What to Look for in Dog Food
AAFCO Nutritional Adequacy Statement
When shopping for dog food, look for the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) statement that indicates the food is nutritionally complete and balanced. The AAPCO statement indicates that those foods have had feeding trials and lab testing to ensure they offer substantial nutrition for the life stage of the pet.
Check the label when choosing a dog food. The first ingredient should ideally be protein with lots of whole foods and added nutrients to support the health needs of your pet. Ask your vet which added nutrients and ingredients would be a good choice for your dog.
- Protein – some sort of meat (chicken, beef, lamb) as the main ingredient
- Whole foods – for overall nutrition (Fruits and vegetables can include carrots, pumpkins, and blueberries)
- Fiber – for easier digestion
- Glucosamine and chondroitin – for joint health
- Omega-3 fatty acids – for healthy skin and coat
- Antioxidants – for healthy immune system
- Byproducts — can be a combination of liver, blood, brains, bones, and cleaned intestines
Is wet food or dry food healthier for dogs?
Since dogs have teeth meant to chew and crunch, dry food is the healthier option when it comes to dental care. However, some dogs with specific medical conditions may benefit from the increased moisture content that is in wet food. The food that is healthiest for your dog may not be the healthiest food for another dog. Ask your veterinarian if they recommend a specific type of food for your specific dog.
How often should I feed my dog?
Small, toy breed, and very young dogs may benefit from several feedings during the day to help stabilize their blood sugar. Larger and adult dogs are usually fine with one or two feedings per day but some may need more. Very active dogs and those with certain medical conditions may need three or four feedings each day
Is grain-free food healthier?
There is a lot of discussion regarding grain-free diets in dogs, but most experts agree that dogs should eat some grains. Dogs are omnivores so rice, barley, corn, and other grains are actually important to their daily diet. Excluding grains from a dog's diet may be linked to serious heart disease, so grain-free foods are not recommended unless your dog has specific sensitivities, allergies, or other reasons why it cannot consume grains.
How long does dog food last?
Dog food does not last forever, so you will want to pay attention to the expiration date on the packaging. Additionally, if you do not store the food properly, it may spoil or the ingredients like vitamins may lose their potency prior to the expiration date. Wet foods need to be used within a few days of being opened but dry kibbles will usually be good for several months or even a year or more if they are stored in their original packaging and in an airtight container. Once you reach the expiration date of the food, it should be disposed of and not fed to your dog.
Should I change up the dog food I feed my dog?
No, it is best to remain consistent with the food you feed your dog. Changing flavors can result in your dog becoming selective or picky and drastic changes in foods can cause diarrhea and vomiting. Variety in what is eaten is not necessary in our dog's lives, despite the fact that not many people want to eat the same thing every day.
Why We Don’t Recommend Grain-Free Dog Foods
Grain-free diets have become very popular, but there is some question about potential health concerns. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating a possible connection between heart disease in dogs and certain diets, specifically grain-free foods. From 2014 through April 2019, the FDA received 524 reports of a heart condition called canine dilated cardiomyopathy. When the FDA was able to study the dog’s diet, researchers found that more than 90 percent of diagnosed cases involved dogs that ate grain-free food, and 93 percent ate grain-free recipes with peas and/or lentils. Until this research is complete and clear, we don’t recommend grain-free dog foods.
Why Trust The Spruce Pets
To find the best dog foods you can buy at Walmart, we consulted our “best of” roundups for all sorts of pet foods, including meals for puppies, seniors, overweight dogs, and our overall best picks. We researched to see which of those top contenders were available at Walmart and checked customer reviews and availability.