The 11 Best Dog Foods on PetSmart - Pet Food Reviewer (2023)

PetSmart is one of, if not the, most important pet retailer in the United States and Canada. It sells a wide range of pet food products, as well as pet toys and equipment. PetSmart also often has pets in its stores for visitors to 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 him and enjoy his wide range of products, what is the best formula to feed your precious pup? We'll break down all the facts about PetSmart and highlight our favorite formulas.

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PetSmart acquires

What many consumers don't know is that PetSmart recently acquired popular online pet store Chewy.

While this does not appear to be an important observation, it has had a very significant impact on the range of products we stock and sellTough.

For those unfamiliar with Chewy, it's an online-only retailer that offers consumers the ability to purchase a wide variety of pet foods individually or as part of a subscription. Before Chewy, pet food delivery was an unfamiliar concept to most.

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Coming back to the point at hand, several pet food brands previously sold by Chewy withdrew their product lines after the PetSmart acquisition -- claiming they wanted to support smaller, independent pet food businesses, not big giants. Retailers like PetSmart.

An example of a brand that has bid farewell to Chewy is Champion Pet Foods, which makes products under the Orijen and Acana brands.

They stated that after PetSmart acquired Chewy, they were no longer a specialty pet supply retailer and that they were disappointed with the sale.

This is a strong statement from Champion Pet Foods that has almost certainly had a financial impact on the company. However, they were willing to take this action to consolidate their position and defend independent and specialty pet food businesses.

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Other examples of brands that have adopted their products from Chewy include:Vonenutrient source.

While PetSmart and Chewy would likely be disappointed by this decision, one could argue that the vast majority of their customers would likely not buy these premium products and that the impact could be minimal.

Does PetSmart sell quality dog ​​food?

Although many high-quality premium and well-known brands boycott or avoid PetSmart as distributors, there are still some brands that produce quality dog ​​food.

Therefore, whether you shop from PetSmart online or from one of their retail stores, there should be a selection of dog food brands and recipes available for purchase that we believe are of high quality.

The main characteristics that make up a high-quality dog ​​food are its nutritional profile and its ingredients.

High-quality dog ​​food contains a balanced ratio of the three main nutrients protein, fat and carbohydrates.

A formula with excessive carbohydrate content and unsatisfactory protein and fat content should not be considered high quality.

In addition, recipes should use named meat and fish ingredients. These must be easily recognizable and understandable for the average consumer. The best example of this is whole meat ingredients like chicken, beef, salmon and pork.

It is highly recommended that you take a look at a dog food formula's guaranteed review and ingredient list before even considering purchasing.

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.

Which dog food should I avoid at PetSmart?

PetSmart carries a wide range of products, including some that are in the very affordable end of the market.

As a result, many of these cheap brands and recipes are less affordable. However, these products are probably an evolution of many products found in supermarkets.

These brands tend to contain inferior 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 on PetSmart that is extremely affordable is likely to contain inferior bulking ingredients like grains and vegetable by-products.

While we're not naming and shaming brands in this article, we do offer some important tips to consider when evaluating a potential dog food formula.

Avoid dog food recipes that contain unnamed or specified meat ingredients, such as meat by-products or meat meal. This is an extremely vague and unreliable description and the meat is almost certainly of poor quality and may even have come from animals that were sick or killed on the road.

Make sure meat is prominent in the first five ingredients. Ideally, the first ingredient listed is a meat or fish ingredient.

Recipes that list various vegetable, starch, or grain ingredients at the top of the ingredient list almost certainly contain too many carbohydrates, which is not proper nutrition for a dog.

Below is an example of what a list of inferior ingredients might look like.

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Beware of several similar-sounding ingredients. This could be an attempt to break down ingredients.

This technique involves deceiving the consumer by splitting a single ingredient into multiple by-products or sub-ingredients to trick consumers into thinking it is less plentiful and further down the ingredients list.

Learn more about this concept atBreakdown of ingredients in pet food - disclosed.

Should I buy my dog ​​food from PetSmart?

This question is difficult to answer and there are countless answers. There is a sizeable 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 hopeless approach as the dominance and strength of large online retailers like PetSmart continues to grow.

Just as Amazon has come to dominate the literary industry, online retailers will continue to drive the pet food industry.

Then there is the average consumer who wants to buy high-quality pet food quickly and cheaply.

While many would be willing to buy their pet food from a specialty store, larger stores like PetSmart offer convenience and reliability.

A study by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention provides an interesting infographic on where pet owners most often buy their pet food.

This study shows that 20.1% buy from major retailers like PetSmart, but 23% choose to buy from specialty pet stores, proving their strength.

The proportion of consumers who shop online leads the way, down 23.7%. This is almost certainly due to the success of online retailers like Chewy.

If price is particularly important to you, we encourage you to take a look at oursBest cheap dog foodGuide to see the best affordable recipes available in the market from Petsmart and other retailers.

Ultimately, the bottom line is that PetSmart has many quality brands that we're about to explore.

Your dog's health and happiness should come first, and if that means shopping from PetSmart, it's a small price to pay.

Best dry dog ​​food at PetSmart

Nature's Variety Instinct Original Salmon Review

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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 kibble recipes. While there is no conclusive evidence that raw dog food is better, many find it extremely attractive when compared to conventional dry dog ​​food.

You can learn more about these raw and semi-raw recipes in ourNature's Variety Instinct Brand Rating.

Nature's Variety features prominently in many PetSmart stores and they often have most, if not all, of the products on their shelves.

While the brand is best known for their range of raw and semi-raw recipes, their traditional dry food recipes still offer excellent nutrition at an affordable price.

The Original range offers a satisfying balance of different meat and fish ingredients and we gave special mention to the salmon recipe for its high omega content.

This high omega fatty acid content is due to a large portion of salmon accompanied by smaller portions 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 and help 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 familiar to everyone, tapioca is a starchy ingredient that many are less familiar with.

Aside from its popular use in beverages, tapioca is a staple in non-Western regions of the world like South America, and offers similar nutrients to the white potato.

Check out our article to learn more about tapioca and the nutrients it can provide.Tapioca in dog food.

Analysis of chicken and rice at all life stages 30/20

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While often controversial, Purina and its flagship brand, Purina Pro Plan, are an industry giant and one of the most important brands for large pet food stores like PetSmart.

Purina prides itself on the tremendous amount of research and development that the company undertakes and believes that this enables its sales to far exceed those of most of its competitors.

Their product range is really huge and includes dry dog ​​food, wet dog food, food for specific health conditions and recipes for dogs of different sizes such as small breeds, large breeds and puppies.

Read our to learn all about Purina Pro Plan, including its full recall history, animal testing record and ingredient choicesPurina Pro Plan Brand Rating.

The performance chicken and rice recipe above is one of the most popular and is designed for dogs with higher activity levels who require more protein and fat than others.

The most common ingredient in the recipe is chicken, which can provide a large proportion of high-quality animal proteins and fats.

Thanks to this chicken, the overall ratio of protein and fat in the recipe is at least 30% and 20%, which is well above average.

The other main ingredients in the recipe are a mix 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 are good for dogs' digestive systems.

They would argue that corn is a nutrient-dense ingredient that can provide carbohydrates, plant-based proteins, and select vitamins and minerals for dogs.

While some of the other Purina Pro Plan prescriptions are very competitively priced, their performance prescriptions are more expensive, costing 30-40% more than others in the Purina Pro Plan. For many, however, this extra cost is worth the additional food provided.

Crave Beef Review Protein

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Many dog ​​owners are unfamiliar with the Crave dog food brand. The brand was launched in 2017 by Mars Petcare, which owns some better-known pet food brands such asfamily treeewhiskeys.

Crave is a perfect example of dog food companies creating a new brand to appeal to savvy consumers who demand quality ingredients and better nutrition for their dogs.

While Crave didn't hit PetSmart shelves immediately after launch, it did gain traction and is now a staple, especially in the larger stores.

Find out more about Crave, including the ingredients that add such impressive nutritional value to your recipes, in ourWould you like a brand evaluation?.

Crave dog food formulas almost always contain a very satisfactory protein to fat ratio with no excess carbohydrates.

This nutritional profile can be compared to other brands that are much more expensive, which is one of the reasons Crave is quickly becoming popular.

Most of this protein and fat is provided by quality meat ingredients such as lamb, beef, chicken and venison. For the above beef recipe, this includes a mixture of beef and chicken meal and pork meal.

Unfortunately, Crave's dog food has a downside: the recipes often contain plant by-products such as:potato proteinorpea protein.

These by-products are used to increase the overall protein content 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 can learn more about).Here).

Despite the presence of these ingredients, we don't think you should worry too much. There is no appreciable amount and overall the quality of the ingredient is still high.

Nulo Freestyle Salmon and Peas Recipe Review

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Nulo is a younger brand than many of the others mentioned here, as it was only established in 2009.

Despite this relatively young age, they have made great strides and have a wide and varied range of quality recipes.

Their cat food line, particularly their wet cat food line, is very popular with cat owners, and there are a number of sought-after niche recipes in the dog space. These include recipes for older dogs, recipes with limited ingredients, and recipes for small breeds.

You can find out more about Nulo, including their full range and collection history, in ourBrand rating zero.

The formula shown above is from the Freestyle line and is designed for adult dogs with no particular problems. The main ingredient for meat or fish is salmon, an excellent choice.

As we regularly mention, salmon is one of the best fish ingredients in dog food due to its high omega-3 fatty acid content.

In addition, the recipe also includes menhaden fish and turkey flour to complement the salmon for an impressive overall result.

As expected, these meat and fish ingredients mentioned are highly nutritious and provide valuable proteins and fats that help your dog maintain their body and provide energy.

Since this is a grain-free recipe, the usual peas, sweet potatoes, and chickpeas are included in reasonable proportions.

These legume and starchy ingredients provide a reasonable level of carbohydrates and fiber consistent with other similar formulas.

Review of Royal Merrick Chicken + Sweet Potato

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Merrick is one of the largest pet food brands in the United States and was founded in 1988 by Garth Merrick.

Independent for most of its existence, Merrick also operated other brands such as Castor and Pollux and Whole Earth Farms.

However, in 2015, Merrick was acquired by Purina, arguably the largest pet food company in the world.

While some were not happy with this merger, it meant Merrick could build on Purina's decades of research and development.

For more information on this acquisition and other important information about Merrick, please visit ourReview of the Merrick brand.

Those of you who've read some of our other best articles know that Merrick's Grain Free line is one of our favorites. Most of the formulas in this range provide excellent nutrition from a variety of high quality ingredients.

The ingredients used in this range include common meat and fish ingredients such as chicken or beef, but also less common meats such as rabbit or venison.

Their chicken formula is one of the best, containing a mix of chicken and turkey ingredients. Both poultry ingredients meet industry standards and can provide an ample serving of quality proteins and fats.

These poultry ingredients are then combined with sweet potatoes, potatoes and peas. The ratio of potatoes and sweet potatoes is much higher than the ratio of legumes and makes up most of the satiating carbohydrate ratio.

Sweet potatoes in particular are considered the best starchy ingredient in dog food and can provide a variety of micronutrients that traditional white potatoes cannot.

Wellness Center – Ocean Formula Review

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Wellness is a respected brand that has been on store shelves for decades, and while many competing brands are moving away from major retailers like PetSmart, Wellness has stayed, reaping the benefits of PetSmart's millions of customers.

Founded in 1997, Wellness is owned by WellPet LLC, which also owns several other smaller brands e.gEagle-PackageeHolistic choice.

You can find out more about the background of the wellness brand and further information such as ingredients and nutritional values ​​in ourWellness brand rating.

The Wellness Core line is one of the most popular, offering 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 whitefish, salmon meal, herring meal, and menhaden fishmeal.

These fish ingredients combine to provide an ample serving of fish-based proteins and fats, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, which many believe may have a number of health benefits for dogs, such as: B. an improvement in skin and coat condition, as well as the improvement of cognitive function.

Many of you may not be familiar with Menhaden fishmeal and have no fear, you are not alone.

Menhaden is a small oily fish native to 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, inferior, and inexpensive plant by-products such as pea protein.

If you want to learn more about Menhaden, including concerns about overfishing and what the oil is for, see our article:Menhaden fish meal in dog food.

Solid gold wild heart with quail

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Solid Gold is a brand that doesn't feature in our articles as regularly as the others mentioned here. However, they are among the best brands on PetSmart and have many high-quality formulas.

The brand was first launched in 1974 and has long held its own in the industry compared to some newcomers.

The brand is best known to consumers for some of its quirky and unique recipe names, such as Barking At The Moon, Love At First Bark and Fit and Fabulous.

For the full range of unconventional recipe names, as well as recall and animal testing information, visit our siteSolid Gold Mark rating.

While some might find Solid Gold's naming conventions a bit confusing, there's nothing confusing about the Wild Heart with Quail formula.

Quail is a rather uncommon ingredient in the diet of dogs or humans, but they are very similar to chicken and provide excellent nutrition.

The formula also uses smaller proportions of turkey and pork, which when combined with quail provide a satisfying ratio of protein and animal-derived fat.

The formula also uses a significant number of herbal ingredients and starches of varying quality.

While some ingredients like peas and chickpeas are standard in grain-free dog food, others, such as plant by-products like pea protein, are viewed by many as inferior.

Finally, the formula also uses pumpkin as a side ingredient. A particularly beneficial ingredient, especially for those with digestive issues, pumpkin provides a mix of fiber, carbohydrates and vitamins.

You can read more about the use of pumpkin and its benefits in our articleBest Pumpkin Dog Food.

Best Canned Dog Food at PetSmart

Crave Chicken Pate Review

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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 likeRoyal Canin,Eukanuba, zsweet potato.

The brand was founded to serve the market for higher quality or more nutritious pet food, operated by smarter and more aware consumers.

Crave is commonly available at large retail stores like PetSmart and Walmart, as well as other smaller pet food stores.

While we've praised Crave's dry food line before, Crave's Pate line is also worth mentioning. Each formula in the Pate range contains traditional cuts of meat as well as offal.

For the recipe above, the chicken pie contains a generous mixture of chicken, chicken liver, and chicken heart.

While the addition of chicken has been standard, this offal meat is not and can help provide beneficial vitamins and minerals that are lacking in traditional cuts of meat.

This combination of meat ingredients offers fantastic nutrition, rich in proteins and fats of animal origin with a total of 12% and 5% respectively.

After all, none of their pie recipes contain a significant amount of plant-based ingredients, let alone by-products or frowned upon grains. The only other notable inclusions are minor amounts of some binders such asguar gum.

Nature's Variety Instinct – Original Real Meat Review

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Nature's Variety Instinct is another brand that features twice in this article, and with good reason.

Due to the high quality of ingredients and impressive nutritional values, you'd be hard pressed to find a single formula that could be considered inferior in the extensive product range.

Their wet dog food line shares many of the characteristics of their dry dog ​​food line that we discussed earlier. The very satisfactory ratio of proteins and fats of animal origin in their wet dog food recipes closely reflects a dog's natural diet.

In the Real Beef formula above, this equates to a minimum of 11.5% protein and 7.5% fat, well above most other canned recipes.

The carbohydrate content in this Real Beef recipe is so low that we would call it negligible. This lack of carbohydrates and botanicals will likely make this formula extremely appealing to a hungry dog, and it probably won't last more than a few minutes.

While far from cheap, Instincts Wet Dog is not out of this world, especially given its nutritional value, and should be considered by anyone looking to provide their dogs with an excellent quality formula.

Wellness Core Review 95% Turkey with Spinach

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In addition to the more traditional dry food recipes, Wellness also make a range of high quality wet foods.

This range of wet dog food includes limited ingredient recipes, small breed recipes, stews and pies, but we're sticking with the Core 95 range.

You can find out more about our wellness product lines and their selection of ingredients in ourWellness brand rating.

While some other wet dog food formulas contain only 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 above turkey formula, spinach is included as a side 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 recipes in the Core 95 line use vegetables like broccoli and carrots, and all three varieties are completely free of peas and legumes, which can be beneficial for dogs with legume allergies.

Now is a good time to reiterate that wet food is significantly more expensive than dry food. Such is the case with this wellness recipe and the other formulas above.

However, some dog owners choose to mix dry and wet food to make it more affordable due to the higher price. This mixed media can give your four-legged friend the best of both worlds without spending a lot of money.

Purina Beyond Recipe Review for Chicken, Carrots and Peas

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Purina Beyond is one of many brands from pet food giant Purina that almost everyone can relate to.

While many of the Purina brands have been around for decades, Purina Beyond is a more recent addition and appeals to savvy consumers in much the same way as other newer brands like Crave. However, Purina Beyond still offers competitive pricing, making it a great low-end option.

Visit our to learn more about Purina Beyond, including its full line of products, and look back at the storyPurina Beyond brand rating.

The formula above caught our attention and is a fantastic option for anyone looking to offer canned dog food on a tight budget. The chicken, carrots and peas recipe is extremely simple with a concise list of ingredients.

It's no surprise that chicken is the recipe's main ingredient, providing most of the protein and fat.

In addition to the three ingredients mentioned in the recipe's name, there is liver, which can provide additional animal proteins and fats, as well as selected minerals and vitamins that traditional cuts of meat lack.

While peas can be found in almost any dog ​​food recipe, carrots certainly aren't, and they're much less common, making this formula all the more unique.

Although carrots offer nothing revolutionary nutritionally, they can be considered a beneficial supplement, providing a mix of carbohydrates, fiber and some vitamins and minerals.


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