Dr. Rainey’s Favorite Healthy Dog Food Recommendations

Veterinarian Katie Rainey and Michelle Roache, authors of the Complete Dog Food Reference Guide and owners and operators of Metro Pet Spa, share the following recommendations for dog food.   The list is in random order, except the first three foods are Dr. Rainey’s personal preference, but all on the list are good.

Off the shelf:

  1.  Nature’s Logic
  2.  ZiwiPeak
  3.  Canine Caviar
  4.  Small Batch
  5.  Open Farm
  6.  Spring Naturals
  7.  OSO Pure
  8.  Orijen
  9.  Natural Balance (grain-free)
  10.  AvoDerm (grain-free)
  11.  Good Life
  12.  Artemis Company
  13.  Victor Super Premium Dog Food
  14.  Canidae
  15.  Halo Dog Food
  16.  Solid Gold
  17.  Merrick – especially if Dr. Rainey wants the pet to gain weight.  Merrick is what we feed Xuma and Orson.  A can each in the morning and dry food in the evening.
  18.  Evanger’s Meat Lovers – also recommended if Dr. Rainey wants the pet to gain weight.
  19.  The Honest Kitchen – if you cook your dog’s food, add some of this dog food to provide a balanced diet.
  20.  Costco Kirkland Brand

1.   Just Food 4 Dogs
2.  Fresh Pets


The most important ingredients to avoid are synthetic ingredients which have been linked to causing cancer.   Examples of synthetic ingredients are:

•Ethoxyquin (regularly found in fish meals and not listed on the label)
•Vitamin K (sometimes listed in other names such as Sodium Bisulfite Complex)
•Propylene glycol
•Propyl gallate
•Blue 1
•Blue 2
•Yellow 6
•Red 3
•Green 3
•Titanium dioxide
•Copper sulfate
•Calcium Propionate
•Zinc sulfate

This is true for dogs, cats, and humans.  These additives simply are not good for man or beast.

Cute after a bath

Cute after a bath

Should you decide to change your dog’s food, it is important to do so gradually, to prevent diet transitory diarrhea and, of course, we want to keep our dogs happy, not feeling bad with a tummy ache.  Dr. Rainey recommends this regime over two weeks.

    1.   Days 1 to 4 feed ¾ old food and ¼ new food.
    2.   Days 5 to 8 feed ½ old food and ½ new food.
    3.   Days 9 to 12 feed ¼ old food to ¾ new food.
    4.   Day 13 switch entirely to the new food.

During the transition consider including 1-2 tablespoons of canned pumpkin to the food or as a separate treat twice daily. Pumpkin is a high fiber source that is very gentle and beneficial to the digestion.  We feed Xuma and Orson pumpkin every day.  They love it!  Be careful not to mistakenly buy canned pumpkin pie mix, as it contains spices that may not be so good for your dog.

Metro Pet Spa

Metro Pet Spa

Fortunately, we have a lot of healthy dog food choices.  Sometimes, admittedly, it is overwhelming.  Please do not hesitate to comment or ask questions regarding dog food, which I will be happy to respond too.  You can also reach Dr. Rainey and Michelle Roache directly at Metro Pet Spa.

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