PetSmart is one of, if not the largest, pet retailers in the United States and Canada. It markets a wide range of pet food products, as well as toys and pet equipment. PetSmart also often has pets within its stores that visitors can adopt.
However, for many pet owners, PetSmart represents the commercialization of the modern pet food market and should be avoided at all costs.
But for those who support you and appreciate your wide range of products, what is the best formula to feed your precious puppy? We'll break down all the facts about PetSmart, then highlight our favorite formulas.
Acquisition of Chewy.com by PetSmart
What many consumers don't know is that PetSmart recently acquired the popular online pet store Chewy.
While that might not seem like a big note, it had a pretty significant impact on the range of products stocked and sold byMail.
For those unfamiliar with Chewy, it is a fully online retailer and provides a means for consumers to purchase a wide variety of pet foods individually or as part of a subscription. Before Chewy, delivering pet food to your doorstep was an unfamiliar concept for most.
Getting back to the point at hand, several of the pet food brands previously sold at Chewy withdrew their product lines after the PetSmart acquisition, claiming they wanted to support smaller, independent pet food store chains rather than the giants. from mass retailers like PetSmart.
An example of a brand that has departed from Chewy is Champion Pet Foods, which produces products under the Orijen and Acana brands.
They cited that after PetSmart's acquisition of Chewy, they were no longer a "specialty" retailer for pets and that they were disappointed with the sale.
This is a strong statement from Champion Pet Foods and one that certainly had financial repercussions for them. However, they were willing to take this step to consolidate their position and champion independent and specialty pet food stores.
Other examples of brands that have pulled their products from Chewy includeDisdainysource of nutrients.
While PetSmart and Chewy were likely to be disappointed by this decision, it could be argued that the vast majority of their customers would likely not purchase these premium products and the impact could be minimal.
Does PetSmart sell high quality dog food?
Despite several well-known high quality and premium brands boycotting or shunning PetSmart as a distributor, there are still some brands that produce high quality dog food.
As a result, whether you shop at PetSmart online or at one of their retail stores, there should be a selection of dog food brands and recipes available for purchase that we consider to be of high quality.
The main characteristics that define a high quality dog food are its nutritional profile and its ingredients.
High quality dog foods will contain a proper balance of the three basic nutrients, protein, fat and carbohydrates.
A formula with excessive levels of carbohydrates and unsatisfactory levels of protein and fat should not be considered high quality.
Additionally, formulas must use named meat and fish ingredients. These must be easily recognizable and understandable to the average consumer. The best examples of this are whole meat ingredients such as chicken, beef, salmon and pork.
It is highly recommended that you take a look at the guaranteed review and ingredient list of a dog food formula before you consider purchasing it.
If you're not sure about any of the ingredients, just do a quick Google search and you're sure to find information about that ingredient on a site like ours.
What dog food should I avoid at PetSmart?
PetSmart stocks a wide range of products, including some that are in the very low end of the market.
As a consequence, many of these cheap brands and recipes are less favourable. With that said, these products are likely a step up from many found in supermarkets.
These brands tend to contain low-quality ingredients and are unlikely to provide your dog with adequate nutrition.
There is a strong correlation between price and quality, and it goes without saying that any product sold at PetSmart that is extremely affordable is likely to contain low-quality filler ingredients such as grains and plant by-products.
While we won't name and shame brands in this article, we will provide some key tips to keep in mind when evaluating a potential dog food formula.
Avoid dog food recipes that contain specified or unnamed meat ingredients, such as meat by-products or meat meal. This is a vague and extremely unreliable description, and the meat is almost certainly of low quality and may even be from sick or roadkill animals.
Make sure meat is prominent in the first five ingredients, and ideally there is a meat or fish ingredient as the first ingredient listed.
Formulas that list multiple vegetable, starch, or grain ingredients at the top of their ingredient list are almost certainly too high in carbohydrates, which is not proper nutrition for a dog.
Below is an example of what a low-quality ingredient list might look like.
Beware of multiple similar sounding ingredients. This may be an attempt to divide the ingredients.
This technique involves deceiving the consumer by splitting a single ingredient into multiple by-products or sub-ingredients in an effort to trick consumers into thinking it is less plentiful and further down the ingredient list.
Learn more about this concept atSeparation of ingredients in pet food: exposed.
Should I buy dog food from PetSmart?
This is a tough question to answer and can have a multitude of answers. There is a significant minority of consumers who believe that large chain pet stores like PetSmart are the enemy and should be avoided at all costs.
Unfortunately, this can be a futile approach as the dominance and strength of large online retailers such as PetSmart continues to grow.
Just as Amazon now dominates the literature industry, online retailers will continue to advance the pet food industry.
In addition, there is the average consumer who wants to buy high-quality pet food quickly and inexpensively.
While many would be willing to purchase their pet food from a specialty store, larger stores like PetSmart offer convenience and reliability.
A study by the Association for the Prevention of Pet Obesity has an interesting infographic on where pet owners buy their pet food most often..
This study shows that 20.1% buy from large retailers such as PetSmart, but 23% choose to buy from specialized pet stores, demonstrating their robustness.
The percentage of consumers who buy online leads with a slippage of 23.7%. That's almost certainly thanks to the success of online retailers like Chewy.
If price is particularly important to you, we recommend that you consult ourbest cheap dog foodguide to the best affordable recipes available on the market from Petsmart and other retailers.
Ultimately, the bottom line is that PetSmart has many high-quality brands that we are about to explore.
Your dog's health and happiness must come first, and if you have to shop at PetSmart to achieve that, it's a small price to pay.
The best dry dog food from PetSmart
Nature's Variety Instinct Original Salmon Review
Nature's Variety Instinct is one of the most trusted brands in the industry, and their recipes are suitable for the vast majority of dogs, regardless of activity level.
Instinct is best known among dog owners for its variety of raw and semi-raw dog food recipes. While there is no conclusive evidence that raw food is better for dogs, many find it extremely appealing compared to traditional dry dog food.
You can learn more about these raw and semi-raw recipes in ourNature's Variety Instinct Brand Review.
Nature's Variety features prominently in many PetSmart stores, and they often stock most, if not all, of their products on the shelves.
While the brand is best known for its selection of raw and semi-raw formulas, its traditional dry food recipes still provide great nutrition at an affordable price.
The Original range offers a satisfactory balance of different meat and fish ingredients, and we have given particular importance to the Salmon Recipe due to the high levels of Omega Fatty Acids it contains.
These high levels of omega fatty acids are due to a large serving of salmon paired with smaller servings of white fish meal, Menhaden fish meal and herring meal.
Omega fatty acids are a fantastic nutrient for dogs that can help reduce the risk of heart disease, as well as maintain a dog's skin and coat.
Finally, these fish ingredients are combined with a small portion of vegetables such as peas and tapioca. Although peas are well known to everyone, tapioca is a starchy ingredient that many are less well versed with.
Outside of its popular inclusion in beverages, tapioca is a staple food in non-Western areas of the world such as South America, providing nutrition similar to that of the white potato.
You can learn more about tapioca and what nutrients it can provide in our article.Tapioca in dog food.
Performance review of all life stages 30/20 chicken and rice
While there is often controversy, Purina and its parent brand, Purina Pro Plan, are giants in the industry and one of the biggest brands for large pet food stores like PetSmart.
Purina prides itself on the mountain of research and development they do, and they strongly believe this puts their revenue above most of their competitors.
Their product range is really huge and includes dry food, wet food, food for specific health problems and recipes for dogs of different sizes, such as small breeds, large breeds and puppies.
You can learn all about Purina Pro Plan, including its full recall history, its standing in animal testing and its choice of ingredients in ourPurina Pro Plan Brand Review.
The Performance Chicken and Rice recipe above is one of the most popular and is designed for dogs with higher activity levels who need more protein and fat than others.
The healthiest ingredient in the recipe is chicken, which can provide a large serving of high-quality protein and animal fat.
Thanks to this Chicken, the total ratio of protein to fat in the recipe is at least 30-20%, which is significantly above average.
The other main ingredients in the recipe are a mixture of grain ingredients like corn, rice and some by-products.
While some in the industry frown on ingredients like these, Purina Pro Plan fans believe they work well for dogs' digestive systems.
They would argue that corn is a nutritionally dense ingredient that can provide carbohydrates, plant proteins and select vitamins and minerals for dogs.
While some of the other Purina Pro Plan recipes are very competitively priced, their performance recipes are more expensive, 30-40% more than other Purina Pro Plan recipes. However, for many, this extra cost is worth it for the extra nutrition provided.
Crave with Beef Review Protein
Many dog owners are not familiar with the Crave brand of dog food. The brand was launched in 2017 by Mars Petcare, owner of some of the best known pet food brands such asGenealogyywhiskeys.
Crave is a perfect example of dog food manufacturers creating a new brand to appeal to more informed consumers who demand higher quality ingredients and better nutrition for their dogs.
Embora o Crave não tenha aparecido nas prateleiras do PetSmart imediatamente após o lançamento, ele começou a ganhar destaque e agora é um recurso regular, especialmente em lojas maiores.
You can learn more about Crave, including the ingredients that provide its recipes with such impressive nutrition, in ourCrave brand review.
Crave dog food formulas almost always contain a very satisfying ratio of protein to fat without excess carbohydrates.
This type of nutritional profile can be compared to other, much more expensive brands, which is one of the reasons why Crave is rapidly gaining popularity.
Most of that protein and fat comes from high-quality meat ingredients like lamb, beef, chicken, and venison. For the beef recipe above, this includes a mix of beef and chicken flour and pork flour.
Unfortunately, there is a downside to Crave's pet food in that their recipes often contain plant by-products such aspotato proteinopea protein.
These by-products are used to increase the total protein ratio in dog food recipes without spending on more expensive meat or fish ingredients.
Some nastier brands also use these ingredients in a technique known as ingredient splitting (which you should knowhere).
Despite the presence of these ingredients, we don't think you should worry too much. There isn't a significant amount present, and overall the quality of the ingredients is still high.
Nulo Freestyle Salmon and Peas Recipe Review
Nulo is a younger brand than many of the others mentioned here, having only been founded in 2009.
Despite this relatively young age, they have made great progress and have a wide and varied offer of high quality recipes.
Their cat food line, especially their wet cat food line, is very popular with cat owners, and on the canine front, they have several niche recipes that are sought after. This includes recipes for senior dogs, limited ingredient formulas, and recipes for small breeds.
You can find out more about Nulo, including their full range of products and their withdrawal history, in ournull tag review.
The formula shown above belongs to the freestyle range and is designed for adult dogs without specific problems. Its main meat or fish ingredient is salmon, which is an excellent choice.
As we regularly mention, salmon is one of the best fish ingredients to find in dog food, thanks to its high levels of omega 3 fatty acids.
Plus, the recipe also contains Menhaden and turkey fishmeal, which complement the salmon for an impressive total.
Unsurprisingly, these named meat and fish ingredients are highly nutritious, providing valuable protein and fat to help your dog maintain their bodies and provide energy.
As it is a grain-free recipe, the usual peas, sweet potatoes and chickpeas are present in reasonable proportions.
These legume and starch ingredients provide a fair proportion of carbohydrates and dietary fiber in line with other similar formulas.
Royal Merrick Chicken + Sweet Potato Review
Merrick is one of the largest pet food brands in the United States and was founded in 1988 by Garth Merrick.
For most of its life, Merrick was independent, also operating other brands such as Castor and Pollux and Whole Earth Farms.
However, in 2015, Merrick was acquired by Purina, which is probably the largest pet food group in the world.
While some were not happy with this merger, it meant that Merrick could build on Purina's decades of research and development.
You can learn more about this acquisition and other important information relevant to Merrick in ourMerrick brand review.
For those of you who have read some of our other best articles, you will know that Merrick's Grain-Free line is one of our favorites. Most formulas in this range provide excellent nutrition from a variety of high quality ingredients.
Ingredients used in this range include common meat and fish ingredients such as chicken or beef, but also include less common meats such as rabbit or venison.
Their chicken formula is one of the best and includes a blend of chicken and turkey ingredients. Both poultry ingredients are industry standards and can provide an ample serving of high quality protein and fat.
These poultry ingredients are then combined with sweet potatoes, potatoes and peas. Potato and sweet potato ratios are much higher than legumes and make up most of the satisfying carbohydrate ratio.
Sweet potatoes in particular are considered the best starch ingredient to use in dog food and can provide several micronutrients that traditional white potatoes cannot.
Wellness Core: Ocean Formula Review
Wellness is a reputable brand that has been on shelves for decades, and despite many of the competing brands moving away from larger retailers like PetSmart, Wellness has stuck and as a result benefits from PetSmart's millions of customers.
Wellness was founded in 1997 and is owned by WellPet LLC, which owns several other smaller brands such asEagle Packageyholistic selection.
You can learn more about the Wellness brand's history and other information, such as its ingredients and nutrition, in ourwellness brand review.
The Wellness' Core range is one of the most popular, featuring a variety of formulas for adult dogs and puppies.
Their Core Ocean formula is one of our favorites and features a variety of fish ingredients. This variety includes white fish, salmon meal, herring meal and Menhaden fish meal.
These fish ingredients combine to provide an ample serving of fish-based proteins and fats, particularly omega 3 fatty acids, which many believe provide a number of health benefits for dogs, such as better skin and coat condition, as well as improved cognitive function. .
Many of you may not be familiar with Menhaden Fish Meal and fear not, as you are not alone.
Menhaden is a small blue fish from the Atlantic Ocean that is inexpensive but high in protein and is regularly used by manufacturers to boost protein levels in lieu of the alternative, low-quality, low-cost plant by-products such as fish protein. .
If you would like more information about Menhaden, including concerns about overfishing and what its oil is used for, you can find that in our article,Menhaden fish meal in dog food.
Solid gold wild heart with quail patch
Solid Gold is a brand that doesn't appear as regularly in our articles as the others mentioned here. However, they are one of the best brands available on PetSmart and they have many high quality formulas.
The brand was first launched in 1974, making it a long stay in the industry compared to some newcomers.
The brand is best known to consumers for some of its quirky and unique recipe names, including Barking At The Moon, Love At First Bark and Fit and Fabulous.
You can find the full range of unconventional recipe names along with information about recalls and animal testing on ourSolid Gold Mark Rating.
While some might find Solid Gold's naming conventions a bit confusing, nothing is confusing about its Wild Heart formula with Quail.
Quail is a rather unusual ingredient to see in dog or human food, but it is very similar to chicken and provides excellent nutrition.
The formula also uses smaller portions of turkey and pork, which, when combined with quail, provide a satisfying ratio of animal protein to fat.
The formula also uses a substantial amount of vegetable ingredients and starch of varying quality.
While some ingredients, such as peas and chickpeas, are standard inclusions in grain-free dog foods, others, such as plant by-products like pea protein, are considered by many to be of lower quality.
Finally, the formula also uses pumpkin as a secondary ingredient. Pumpkin is an especially beneficial ingredient, especially for those with digestive issues, as it provides a blend of fiber, carbohydrates and vitamins.
You can learn more about the use of Pumpkin and its benefits in our articleThe best pumpkin dog food.
The best canned dog food from PetSmart
Crave Chicken Pate Review
As we discussed earlier in this article, Crave is relatively new to the pet food market and is owned by Mars Petcare, which owns brands such ascanino real,Eukanuba, youPotatoes.
The brand was launched to serve the higher quality or more nutritious pet food market driven by smarter, more aware consumers.
Crave is commonly available at large retail stores like PetSmart and Walmart, along with other smaller pet food stores.
While we have previously praised Crave's range of dry foods, Crave's range of spreads is also worth noting. Each formula in the Pate line contains traditional cuts of meat and offal.
For the chicken pâté recipe above, a generous mix of chicken, chicken liver and chicken heart is included.
While the inclusion of chicken is standard at this point, this organ meat is not and can help provide beneficial vitamins and minerals that standard cuts of meat lack.
This combination of meat ingredients offers fantastic nutrition, rich in animal protein and fat with an overall ratio of 12% to 5%.
Finally, none of her pâté recipes contain a significant amount of plant ingredients, let alone by-products or frowned upon grains. The only other notable inclusions are minor portions of some binding agents such asguar gum.
Nature's Variety Instinct - Real Meat Original Review
Nature's Variety Instinct is another brand that appears twice in this article, and for good reason.
It would be difficult to find a single formula in their wide range of products that could be classified as low quality, thanks to the high quality of its ingredients and impressive nutrition.
Their wet dog food range shares many of the qualities of their dry food range that we discussed above. The very satisfying ratio of animal protein to fat present in their wet dog food recipes closely mimics a dog's natural diet.
In the real meat formula above, this equates to a minimum of 11.5% protein and 7.5% fat, respectively, which is well above most other canned recipes.
The percentage of carbohydrates in this Real Beef formula is so low that we would consider it negligible. This lack of carbohydrates and plant matter is likely to make this formula extremely appealing to a hungry dog and is unlikely to last more than a few minutes.
While Wet Dog Instincts is far from cheap, it's not out of this world, especially given its nutritional value, and should be considered by those looking to provide their dogs with an excellent quality formula.
Wellness Core 95% Turkey with Spinach Review
Wellness also produces a range of high quality wet dog foods alongside their more traditional dry food recipes.
This wet dog food range includes recipes with limited ingredients, recipes for small breeds, casseroles and pâtés, but we will stick with the Core 95 range.
You can obtain information about other Wellness product ranges and their selection of ingredients in ourwellness brand review.
While other wet dog food formulas only contain meat ingredients, these Wellness Core 95 formulas also contain a small amount of a less commonly used plant-based ingredient.
In the case of the turkey formula above, it includes spinach as a secondary ingredient. Spinach can provide dogs with a wide range of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B, C, and K, as well as high levels of iron.
Other formulas in the Core 95 line use vegetables such as broccoli and carrots, and all three varieties are free of peas and legumes, which can be advantageous for dogs with vegetable allergies.
Now is a good time to reiterate that wet food is significantly more expensive than dry food. This is the case with this Wellness recipe and the other formulas mentioned above.
However, some dog owners choose to use a dry and wet kibble mix due to the higher price tag in an attempt to make it more affordable. This blending technique can give your canine friend the best of both worlds without breaking the bank.
Purina Beyond Chicken, Carrot and Pea recipe review
Purina Beyond is one of many brands associated with pet food giant Purina that almost everyone will identify with.
While many of Purina's brands have been around for decades, Purina Beyond is a more recent addition to the mix and appeals to more informed consumers in the same way as other newer brands like Crave. However, Purina Beyond still maintains competitive pricing, making it a great low-end option.
You can learn more about Purina Beyond, including its full line of products, and look back on history in ourPurina Beyond Brand Review.
The above formula caught our eye and is a fantastic option for anyone looking to provide canned dog food on a budget. The Chicken, Carrot and Peas recipe is extremely simple and contains a concise list of ingredients.
Not surprisingly, chicken is the main ingredient in the recipe, providing most of the protein and fat.
All three ingredients mentioned in the name of the recipe are accompanied by liver, which can provide additional animal-derived protein and fat, along with selected minerals and vitamins that regular cuts of meat lack.
While peas can appear in almost any dog food recipe, carrots certainly don't and are much rarer, making this formula all the more unique.
While carrots don't provide anything nutritionally groundbreaking, they can be considered a beneficial addition and provide a combination of carbohydrates, fiber, and some vitamins and minerals.