8 Best Dog Foods at PetSmart in 2022 – Reviews & Top Picks


Having a dog is a daunting task. There are so many factors to consider when taking care of your new dog. Your dog is just one facet of dog ownership, but it’s one of the most important; after all, dogs die if they don’t eat.

Prospective pet parents want food that is accessible and convenient to buy. So, finding food at a local pet store like PetSmart is vital to many dog parents. Here are our ten favorite foods that you can find a PetSmart today.

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A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2022

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The 8 Best Dog Foods at PetSmart

1. Wellness CORE – Best Overall

Wellness CORE Grain-Free turkey dry dog food

Food Type: Kibble & Canned
Weight Options: 26 lbs (bag), 12.5 oz (can)
Special Diet Options: Grain-Free, High-Protein

Our choice for the best overall dog food available in PetSmart is Wellness CORE! Wellness CORE features a grain-free and high-protein formula with several flavor options that pet parents can choose from. One of the best things about Wellness CORE is it’s readily available at most commonly found pet stores, including PetSmart.

Wellness CORE has options for large and small-breed dogs and is highly recommended by veterinarians everywhere. It comes in bagged kibble and canned forms, which gives great versatility for any pet parents who want to give their dog, a mixture of wet and dry food.

The Wellness CORE lineup also includes treats and a raw infused food choice for pet parents who want to try feeding their dog raw food for the nutritional benefits.

Pros

  • Wide variety of flavors and breed-specific shapes
  • High-protein and grain-free
  • Readily available at most pet stores

Cons

  • It might be a little bit expensive for some pet parents

2. Merrick Adult Dry Dog Food– Best Value

Merrick Adult Dry Dog Food

Food Type: Kibble & Canned
Weight Options: 4 lbs, 10 lbs, 22 lbs, 30 lbs (bag); 12.5 oz (can)
Special Diet Options: Grain-Free, High-Protein

Merrick is our choice for the best dog food at PetSmart for the money. Merrick has been a darling brand of the pet food industry for several years now; they have taken the world of dogs by storm with their holistic and affordable grain-free options for pet parents everywhere. Their foods feature a wide variety of flavors and breed-specific shapes that means that you can find the perfect food for just about any dog in their lineup.

Pet parents can rest assured that they will be able to find something within Merrick’s lineup for their dog, whether you want to feed your dog exclusively kibble or provide them a mix of kibble and canned food. There are options for any dietary needs that your dog may encounter.

Pros

  • Affordable and available in large bag sizes
  • Wide variety of options for flavor and sizes
  • Holistic approach to animal diet

Cons

  • The company was purchased by Purina, which may leave some pet parents feeling wary

3. Instinct Raw Boost – Premium Choice

Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe

Food Type: Kibble
Weight Options: 4 lbs, 10 lbs, 21 lbs
Special Diet Options: High-Protein, Grain-Free, Raw

Our choice for the best premium dog food at PetSmart is Instinct’s Raw Boost. Raw boost includes standard kibble and freeze-dried real bits that can easily hold your dog to reach its nutritional benchmarks. The inclusion of freeze-dried real food drives the price up a little bit but is well worth it when it comes to the nutrition that your dog needs to get.

Unfortunately, though, Raw Boost food only comes in dry kibble form. This is not ideal for pet parents whose dogs won’t eat kibble foods. However, for pet parents whose dogs enjoy the texture of kibble. Nothing you can get that is better on the market than the Instincts Raw Boost.

Pros

  • A good way to add raw food to your dog’s diet
  • Includes high-quality meats as the first ingredient
  • Kibble and freeze-dried real bits

Cons

  • It may be cost-prohibitive for pet parents on a budget

4. Solid Gold

Solid Gold Leaping Waters Sensitive Stomach Grain Free Cold Water Salmon Vegetable Dry Dog Food

Food Type: Kibble & Canned
Weight Options: 4 lbs & 22 lbs (bag), 13.2 oz (can)
Special Diet Options: High-Protein, Grain-Free, Sensitive Stomach

Solid gold is a great option for pet parents who are on a budget but still want to give their pets the best they possibly can. While they don’t offer as cheap an option as Merrick, their food is affordable and comes in relatively high weights. Solid gold has great formulas and recipes backed by science and contains mostly real meats.

Solid Gold makes various foods for all different dietary needs, including limited ingredients and sensitive stomach formulas. They produce both kibble and canned foods, so pet parents who want to be their dog is a mixture of the two types of foods will be able to purchase both at their local PetSmart location.

Pros

  • High-quality meat and vegetable ingredients
  • Good weight options and a wide variety of flavors
  • Science-backed formula

Cons

  • Expensive for the weight option provided

5. Blue Buffalo Wilderness

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed

Food Type: Kibble & Canned
Weight Options: 4.5 lbs, 11 lbs, 24 lbs (bag); 12.5 oz (can)
Special Diet Options: High-Protein, Grain-Free

Blue Buffalo Wilderness is the high-protein form of blue Buffalo’s main food. Blue Buffalo is a long, trusted brand for dog and cat nutrition, and their wilderness formulas do not disappoint. They offer an affordable way for pet parents to introduce a high-protein recipe into their dog’s diet. Blue Buffalo uses high-quality ingredients in real meets as the primary source of nutrients in their foods.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness comes in both kibble and canned forms. Both the Wilderness kibble and Wolf’s Creek Stew cans are backed by veterinarians and pet care professionals worldwide. However, some have concerns about the high concentration of carbohydrates in their recipes.

Pros

  • Well trusted pet brand
  • High-protein and grain-free
  • Real meats as primary ingredient

Cons

  • Higher carbohydrate content than some people want to see

6. Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free

Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free

Food Type: Kibble & Canned
Weight Options: 4 lbs, 12 lbs, 24 lbs (bag); 12.5 oz (can)
Special Diet Options: Grain-Free

Wellness Complete Health is a great choice for pet parents who want the quality of Wellness CORE but don’t need or don’t want the high protein index of the CORE line. Wellness Complete Health features all the same high-quality ingredients as the CORE line with different health indexes for more comprehensive dietary options.

The Wellness Complete Health line features several different sizes and flavors; there’s truly a Wellness food for any dog! They also feature several lines of canned food in addition to their dry kibble for pet parents who want to feed their dogs a mixture of food types.

Pros

  • Same ingredient quality as Wellness Core
  • Options for dogs of all sizes
  • More comprehensive dietary options

Cons

  • Lower protein index than CORE

7. Blue Buffalo Freedom

Blue Buffalo Freedom Adult Chicken Recipe

Food Type: Kibble & Canned
Weight Options: 4 lbs, 11 lbs, 24 lbs (bag); 12.5 oz (can)
Special Diet Options: Grain-Free

Blue Buffalo’s Freedom is Blue Buffalo’s original grain-free recipe. While they’ve added several other grain-free options in recent years, Freedom is where it all started with this family favorite. Freedom comes in multiple flavors; even the pickiest dog will find something they can love here!

Blue Buffalo Freedom also comes in both canned and kibble form so pet parents don’t have to worry about having to find a new canned food to go with their dogs’ kibble. The variety of weight options for Blue Freedom mean that you can fit it into just about any budget too!

Pros

  • Grain-Free
  • Trusted by pet parents and vets

Cons

  • Options may seem kind of limited compared to other brands

8. Blue Buffalo Basics

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient

Food Type: Kibble & Canned
Weight Options: 4.5 lbs, 11 lbs, 24 lbs (bag); 12.5 oz (can)
Special Diet Options: Grain-Free

Blue Buffalo’s Basics line is Blue Buffalo’s limited-ingredient diet. Limited-Ingredient diets are mainly aimed at pet parents of dogs who have food allergies; the limited ingredient pool allows them to freely feed their dogs without worry of allergens or cross-contamination in their foods bowls.

Basics comes in a wide variety of kibble and canned options so that pet parents can find something for their specific dog’s needs. Blue Buffalo is one of the most popular options amongst pet parents for a reason: they bring amazing quality to every bite!

Pros

  • Limited-ingredient diet is excellent for pets with food allergies

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Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Dog Food at Petsmart

Getting a new dog is a huge responsibility. One of the significant responsibilities that prospective parents will have to contend with is feeding their dogs. When choosing dog food is essential to identify what kind of food you need for your dog. There are many dog foods on the market, and it can seem daunting to choose the correct one, but there are a few significant factors you want to consider before purchasing dog food.

Food Size

The size of your dog’s food is essential. Large breed food may be too big for small breed dogs for their mouths to chew comfortably. However, small breed food might be so small that they inhale and choke for a large breed dog. You want to consider whether or not your dog will be able to eat the food properly.

It’s also important to consider your dog’s life stage when considering the size of your dog’s food. Puppies tend to eat faster than adult dogs, and food that is too small for them might also get inhaled, just like with a larger breed dog.

Dietary Restrictions

You’ll also want to consider if your dog has any dietary restrictions when choosing its food. While prospective parents of the new puppy may not know their dog has any allergies, they may find that their dog is intolerant or allergic to many common ingredients and dog food. If this is the case, you’ll need to purchase food. Based on these dietary restrictions.

Nutritional Profile

Ginger dog eating
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Many people are misinformed about the nutritional needs of dogs. Most people think that dogs are carnivores, but scientific observation has shown that they are, in fact, omnivores. This means dogs are designed to break down the nutrients in plant material and animal proteins.

Dogs can derive nutrients from several sources, including fruits and vegetables. A quality dog food will contain both meats and vegetables to provide the most holistic and well-rounded nutritional profile to the dogs eating their food.

Despite this, grains are not recommended for a dog’s nutritional profile. Grains are a high source of carbohydrates that are not suitable for animal consumption — they’re not even perfect for human consumption! While dogs can consume animal proteins and plant matter, their primary food source should be animal proteins. A high-protein diet can help your dog achieve good health outcomes and should be encouraged.

However, not all dogs can handle a protein-rich diet. Some health concerns can require reducing the amount of protein in a dog’s diet. Dogs at risk of kidney disease, liver disease, or some specific types of bladder stones will want to reduce the amount of protein in their diet.

Additionally, you want to consider the differences between puppy and adult formula. At the same time, it may seem like a hassle to get your dog puppy food. It’s essential to do so during the stages during which there. A dog is considered a puppy for the first 12 months of its life; during this time, it will do the most of its growing and change size very rapidly. This amount of growth takes a lot of energy, and thus puppy foods have a higher concentration of calories that they can consume to turn into new muscle and bone growth.

However, once a dog reaches the adult stage at 12 months of age, these extra calories are no longer necessary and can cause your dog to gain weight rapidly if you continue to feed them puppy formulated food. After 12 months, you want to switch your dog slowly to an adult formula food with a profile more geared towards a dog that is no longer growing.

Ingredient List

white boxer dog eating
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The big thing pet parents want to look at is the ingredient list for the few purchasing. If the company publishes a comprehensive list of ingredients, parents can ensure that their purchasing is high quality and contains the necessary nutrients for their dogs.

The first ingredient in every ingredient list should be real meat. Dogs need a protein-rich diet filled with high-quality protein sources like real meat. You don’t want to see high concentrations of low quality for their ingredients, such as meat by-products or meat meals.

You don’t want to see many synthetic or unnamed products in the ingredient list. These are signs that the food is low quality and may contain toxic things for dogs in high quantities.

Kibble Vs. Canned Food

There are many debates on whether kibble or canned food is better for dogs. If the nutritional profile of kibble is appropriate, then kibble is an excellent food source for dogs; kibble even has dental benefits for dogs as the crunchy texture helps clean the plaque off their teeth.

However, canned food offers a higher moisture content for your dog, which can help keep them from getting dehydrated. Canned food is also often more palatable for dogs, and many dogs prefer the textures of canned food to their kibble.

There is no definitive better or worse between the two; most parents feed their dogs a mixture of canned and kibble foods. Some pet parents will mix their dog’s canned and kibble food to increase their dog’s appetite and encourage them to either kibble. However, some pet parents prefer to feed their dog canned and kibble foods separately as separate meals. There is no right or wrong way to feed your dog their food so long as they eat a nutritious species-appropriate diet and stay well hydrated.

Food Availability

shih tzu dog eating outdoors
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Another critical factor that had parents consider is the availability of food near their homes. They do want to be able to not only purchase food online. If necessary, but also buy food at stores nearby to their homes. PetSmart is one of the most widely trusted pet stores in the United States.

With locations all over the United States is under had parents want to know what the best foods they can buy at pet Smart are being able to pick up food on your way home from work is an incredibly convenient option.

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Conclusion

Switching your dog’s food is no easy task. There are lots of things to consider and lots of options to peruse. Our choice for the best overall dog food at PetSmart was Wellness CORE. Pet parents on a budget will love Merrick‘s wide variety and affordable prices. For those who are looking to spend a little bit more, PetSmart carries Instinct Raw Boost is a fantastic premium option. If you have concerns about your dog’s dietary needs, contact your dog’s veterinarian so they can guide you towards a food that satisfies their specific needs.


Featured Image Credit: Olena Yakobchuk, Shutterstock

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