If you’re curious, you’re not alone! We surveyed our international team of trainers here at Off Leash K9 Training to see what the top brands are among them. We found out what our trainers prefer and recommend, and we want to share that info with you!

When food plays such an important role in our dogs lives, from preventing allergies/skin conditions to prolonging life, it’s critical to know what you’re feeding. When asked, I always recommend looking for an affordable 4-5 Star brand for your pack.

*A note on grain-free dog food: Unless your dog has an allergy or sensitivity to grain, or you have strong feelings against feeding foods containing grain, I don’t feel grain-free is better or worse than any other formulas. That’s just my two cents though 😉

These are the top 9 brands/methods from our OLK9 Trainer poll:

# 9. Freeze Dried Dog Food – Freeze dried variations of dog food are available from brands like Stella & Chewy, Primal and Sojos. They’re a great balance between the health and nutritional benefits of raw diet and the ease of handling/storage of an off-the-shelf food. Most formulas are mixed with water prior to serving to re-hydrate. When comparing pricing to other raw or conventional foods remember that freeze dried foods expand – an 8-10 lb bag often makes 20-30 lbs of food once re-hydrated. All three of the brands mentioned received 4-4.5 Star ratings.

# 8. 4Health – 4Health and 4Health Grain Free earned 4-Stars from DogFoodAdvisor.com. The brand offers a great value for the price, which is typically around $1 per pound. It’s generally found at Tractor Supply Company, if you have one nearby.

# 7. Orijen – Orijen is one of the 5-Star rated brands that made our list. Pound for pound, it’s pricey…but it’s a high protein kibble with a history of zero recalls. Orijen is biologically appropriate and made with fresh, regionally sourced ingredients, according to their website.

# 6. Nutro – Nutro offers an Ultra line that is rated 4-Stars at DogFoodAdvisor.com. The Nutro Max line is also rated 4-Stars. It’s a popular choice among our trainers for quality of ingredients and affordability.

# 5. Zignature – Zignature dog food scored well in our poll, and earned a 4.5-star rating from DogFoodAdvisor.com. They offer a variety of flavors (some available here). The Zignature line is a little on the pricey side, but you know what they say…you get what you pay for!

# 4. Kirkland – Kirkland brand is a popular choice among our training team, with no surprise. It’s an affordable 4-Star brand at about $1 per pound, with plenty of options including Healthy Weight formulas for dogs that need a few less calories. This brand is available at Costco and other major retailers.

# 3. Diamond Naturals – Diamond Naturals Grain Free was my personal dog food of choice, for quality of ingredients and price. They also have great options for those that don’t need the grain free formula. Diamond Naturals earned a surprisingly low 3.5-Star rating…which goes to show that you can’t get comfortable with a brand. When I started feeding it years ago it was a 4-5 Star brand!

# 2. Victor – Victor brand’s line of Grain Free dog food is rated 5-stars by DogFoodAdvisor.com. It’s the most popular dry kibble brand among OLK9 Trainers, and offers a variety of flavors. When ingredients are your primary factor for choosing a food brand, 5-star brands offer the best options. All VICTOR formulas are free from corn, wheat, soy, gluten, and any other processed grain by-products.

# 1. Raw Diet – The most popular dog food with our trainers isn’t conventional dog food at all! There are countless, COUNTLESS resources out there for owners interested in feeding their dog a raw diet. One of the highest rated books on the subject on Amazon is Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs, Revised Edition: The Definitive Guide to Homemade Meals by Lew Olson and Christie Keith. The book and some Google searching are a great place to start your journey to raw, if the health and other benefits of the diet intrigue you. Looking for a ready-made, complete diet? Find a 5-Star rated Primal retailer near you.

Now…what do our readers feed their dogs?

Join the survey here or comment below to weigh in on what you feed your pack! Don’t worry, you don’t have to provide any personal info 😉 Check back for the results of our survey – we’ll post them soon!