The Best Dog Foods You Can Buy at Walmart

Our favorite is Rachael Ray Nutrish Premium Dry Dog Food

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The Spruce / Sabrina Jiang

Reviewed & Approved

Our best overall dry dog food is Rachael Ray Nutrish Premium Dry Dog Food, which uses high quality ingredients, including real chicken. For a wet food alternative, check out Purina's Beneful Medleys.

We have made many different dog food recommendations on The Spruce Pets, but there's no guarantee that you'll find one of our favorite picks available at your preferred retailer. If you need a brand that's reliably available at Walmart, we've done the research to make sure it's a product that you can trust.

We looked for dog food brands available at Walmart that combine high quality ingredients, nutritionist-balanced formulas, and great flavors your dog will love.

Here are the best dog foods you can buy at Walmart.

Our Top Picks
In This Article

Best Dry Food: Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Premium Dry Dog Food Real Chicken & Veggies Recipe

4.8
Rachel Ray

 Courtesy of Walmart 

Finding a great dry food for your dog can be surprisingly tricky. Many of them include meat and poultry by-products and artificial flavors, colors and preservatives—none of which are ideal for your pup’s diet. We love Rachael Ray’s Nutrish brand—yes, she makes food for dogs too—because its first ingredient is real chicken, and it also includes a variety of vegetables and added vitamins. Free of artificial flavors and preservatives (as well as by-products of any kind), it’s earned rave reviews from customers who say it sends their dog into their “happy dance” every time.

The recipe is made for dogs of all sizes and consists of 26% protein, 14% fat, 4% fiber and 10% moisture. The ingredients also feature natural prebiotics to aid with digestion, making it a good pick for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Rachael Nutrish Premium Dry Dog Food is available in a number of convenient packaging sizes, ranging from 6-pounds to bulk 40-pound orders. And while our favorite flavor is the "Real Chicken & Veggies Recipe," Walmart also has four other flavors available, including "Real Beef, Pea & Brown Rice Recipe" and "Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe."

Best Wet Food: Purina Beneful Wet Dog Food Medleys Romana Style With Chicken in Sauce

Purina

Courtesy of Walmart

Our pick for wet food does double-duty: It can either be used as a food topper with kibble to encourage picky eaters or serve as a meal unto itself. Made with real chicken, vegetables and whole grains in a savory sauce, it’s a great source of nutrition in a convenient single-serving container. It’s made up of 9% protein, 2% fat, 1.5% fiber and 82% moisture, and sold in packs of three. When using it as a topper, bear in mind that one can replaces approximately 1/4 cup of kibble.

Customers have had great success using Purina Beneful Medleys to get their choosy dogs excited about mealtime—if you have one of those dogs that only wants to eat treats, this is one way to potentially reduce your stress over feeding. Reviewers have also noted reduced gas and upset stomachs for dogs who struggle with digestion issues.

Best Grain-Free: Pure Balance Wild & Free Grain Free Formula Salmon & Pea Recipe Food

Pure Balance

Courtesy of Walmart

True to its description, grain-free foods do away with the cereal grains commonly used in other types of dog food. Since some dogs struggle to digest these ingredients, a grain-free diet is a simple way to cut to get them the nutrition they need without the bits that result in upset stomachs or itchy skin. Pure Balance Grain-Free food features salmon as its first ingredient, while peas and carrots deliver fiber and beta-carotene. Most importantly, the recipe is entirely free of corn, wheat and soy.

Customers say they wish they’d discovered Pure Balance’s grain-free dog food earlier, noting that their dogs’ coats are shinier, their stomachs are settled and their skin is itch-free. The food is high protein at 24%, and also consists of 15% fat, 5% fiber and 10% moisture.

Best for Puppies: Purina Puppy Chow Complete With Real Chicken

Purina

Courtesy of Walmart

Puppies have different dietary needs from fully-grown dogs. Puppy food should be higher in calories than adult food to compensate for their higher energy levels and support tissue growth and development. Purina Puppy Chow is specifically formulated for puppies, with a recipe that supports strong bones and teeth while building muscle. The food is 27% protein, 12% fat, 5% fiber and 12% moisture. It includes all of the essential vitamins and minerals as well as DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that aids with brain development.

Customers call Purina Puppy Chow “unbeatable,” and say it provides the nutritional support their dogs need as they grow. It’s also a fairly affordable option. At their vet’s recommendation, some owners also use it with older dogs who need some extra help reaching a healthy weight. Think of it as the dog equivalent of Ensure.

Best for Allergies: IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Dry Dog Food Grain Free Recipe with Real Chicken and Peas

iams

Courtesy of Walmart

Food allergies are no fun. For your pup, sensitivities to certain ingredients or processed foods can result in ear infections, stomach issues, and itchy, uncomfortable skin. If you’ve noticed your dog suffering from these symptoms, try transitioning him to a sensitive skin and stomach recipe like this one from Iams. It’s made only with easy-to-digest ingredients like chicken (the first ingredient here), peas and beet pulp. It’s also grain-free and doesn’t include fillers like poultry by-products. Meanwhile, the texture of the food works to give your dog’s teeth a scrub, and the inclusion of Omega 6 and 3 fatty acids help to keep their coat shiny and their skin itch-free.

The food consists of 24% protein, 14% fat, 4% fiber, and 10% moisture. Reviewers say it’s also great for gas issues, and that they’ve successfully used it as a less expensive alternative to prescription dog food.

Best for Small Dogs: Nature’s Recipe Nature’s Recipe Small Breed Grain Free Chicken Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe

Natures recipe

Courtesy of Walmart

Small breeds have faster metabolisms than larger breeds, so their dietary needs are slightly different. Unsurprisingly, they also do much better with small-bite foods they can easily chomp down. Nature’s Recipe small breed food is another grain-free, easy-to-digest offering, featuring real chicken and nutrient-rich sweet potatoes. Formulated for dogs under 25 pounds, it’s free of artificial flavors and preservatives and tiny enough for smaller mouths.

The food is 25% protein, 15% fat, 4% fiber and 10% moisture, and also features minerals like copper and zinc to promote healthy skin and coat. Customers say Nature’s Recipe small breed food is a winner even with picky eaters, with the added benefits of being both affordable and healthy.

Best for Large Dogs: NUTRO NATURAL CHOICE Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

Nutro

Courtesy of Walmart

How about the needs of larger breeds? Big dogs need to be fed a diet that promotes strong muscles and healthy joints, helping to relieve some of the common issues they experience as they age. Nutro Wholesome Essentials is made with ingredients that serve as natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin, nutrients that contribute to joint health, and also includes antioxidants like vitamin E to support their immune system. The first ingredient is chicken, and the recipe also features brown rice and sweet potato.

Consisting of 21% protein, 13% fat, 3.5% fiber, and 10% moisture, Nutro Wholesome Essentials offers a complete and healthy meal for large breeds. While it’s on the expensive side, customers say the natural-ingredient recipe is ideal for their labs and Great Danes, who can experience bloat when they eat foods that aren’t as protein-forward and feature additional fillers.

Best Treats: Nudges Health and Wellness Chicken Jerky Dog Treats

Nudges

Courtesy of Walmart

Treats don’t have to be an unhealthy splurge. In fact, there are plenty of options out there that are made with the same whole-ingredient of the best dog foods. These treats from Nudges feature real chicken as the first ingredient—they’re protein-packed and full of nutrients for strong bones and healthy joints. They’re also free of artificial flavors, preservatives, and animal by-products, so you can give your dog a guilt-free treat.

These treats are 30% protein, 9% fat, 1% fiber and 28% moisture. They’re tender and easy to chew and can be torn by hand so you can control the portion. Customers say their dogs come running when they so much as ruffle the bag, and love that the treats are free of artificial flavors and fillers—but still get tails wagging every time.​​​​

Final Verdict

Dog foods formulated by veterinary nutritionists are the best for your dog so brands that employ these experts usually produce the best foods. Nutro Natural Choice offers a great dry food that has been formulated by nutritionists to ensure your dog is receiving the nutritients it needs. It is manufactured in American facilities, contains no wheat, and costs less than $2 per pound. If you're looking for a wet food, another great option would be Purina's Beneful Medley's. These packages are formulated by veterinary nutritionists, contain chicken broth and chicken as the first two ingredients, and contain tasty items like pasta and vegetables.

What to Look for in a Dog Food

Kibble size

You should take the size of the kibble into consideration prior to purchasing a dog food. Smaller dogs may not be able to easily chew large kibbles but if your dog is known to swallow its food very quickly without chewing it, larger kibble may force it to have to slow down. Alternatively, dogs with missing teeth or who are weak, elderly, and experiencing mouth pain may not be able to chew hard kibble; a wet food may be a better option for them.

Flavor

If your dog is a picky eater or has food sensitivities or allergies, the flavor of dog food you choose can be very important. Most flavoring is supplied from the meats that are used in the dog food but salt, sugar, yeast, artificial flavorings, and other ingredients can also improve dog food palatability. Make sure you read the ingredient list to avoid items your dog may not be able to tolerate and stay consistent in the flavor to avoid any unnecessary diarrhea or pickiness from changing things up.

Price per pound

If you have a toy or small breed dog, the price of dog food may not matter to you, but larger dogs consume a lot more food on a daily basis. You may want to take the price per pound into consideration. Foods can vary greatly in their price and it doesn't always reflect quality. Pay attention to how many pounds of food a bag of dog food contains. To find out what the price per pound is, divide the price by the number of pounds to give you a better idea of what each food costs. Buying larger bags of food will often result in cost savings but you want to make sure it stays fresh and doesn't expire before your dog can finish the whole bag.

FAQ
  • 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.

Updated by
Adrienne Kruzer
Adrienne Kruzer, RVT, LVT
Adrienne Kruzer is a veterinary technician with more than 15 years of experience providing healthcare to domestic and exotic animals. She is trained as a Fear Free Certified Professional to prevent and alleviate fear, anxiety, and stress in pets.
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  1. Kaplan JL, Stern JA, Fascetti AJ, Larsen JA, Skolnik H, et al. (2018) Taurine deficiency and dilated cardiomyopathy in golden retrievers fed commercial diets. PLOS ONE 13(12): e0209112. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0209112