This is our review of the best dog food for Chow Chows in 2021.
Chow Chows are big fluffballs that were bred to work, but these days, these happy pups would rather cuddle on the couch.
The best dog food for Chow Chows will support their build and often troublesome thick double coat without causing excessive weight gain or stress on the joints.
With this in mind, Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream dog food is my top choice. It offers plenty of protein and healthy fats for joint support without too many calories and carbs — so your Chow Chow can stay trim.
However, there are other food options too. From puppy food to a formula that supports healthy joints, you’ll find something on this list that fits your dog’s needs.
Our Best Dog Food for Chow Chows
- Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best for Adult Chow Chows)
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Puppy Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best for Chow Chow Puppies)
- Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Senior Dry Dog Food (Best for Senior Chow Chows)
- Solid Gold Barking at the Moon High Protein Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best for Highly Active Chow Chows)
- Zignature Limited Ingredient Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best for Chow Chows with Allergies)
- Purina Beyond Grain-Free Canned Dog Food (Best Wet Food for Chow Chows)
- Nom Nom Customized Dog Food (Best Fresh Dog Food for Chow Chows)
- American Journey Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best Budget Dog Food for Chow Chows)
- Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Dry Dog Food (Best for Weight Loss)
- Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best for Joint Health)
10 Best Dog Foods for Chow Chows Reviewed
The dog formulas listed below follow the AAFCO nutrient profile guidelines. Before switching your Chow Chow’s food, first consult with your veterinarian and make a plan to change it slowly over time.
- First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Ocean Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Peas
- Guaranteed Analysis: 25% Crude Protein, 15% Crude Fat, 3.0% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 360 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: High protein and grain-free dry dog food for adult Chow Chows
Your Chow Chow needs fuel for their daily activities and larger bodies. Because of this, a high protein and fat diet is essential — especially if they’re highly active.
Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream offers 25% protein and 15% fat for all-day energy and joint health.
It features real smoked salmon as its first ingredient. This provides your dog with DHA and healthy fats for healthy brain function, heart health, and skin health.
This formula also includes peas, potatoes, and sweet potatoes for easy-to-digest carbs — all of which also provide a boost of energy. Plus, blueberries and raspberries offer antioxidants for immune support.
Last but not least, dried chicory root provides prebiotics for gut health and regular stools.
Taste of the Wild is made in the US by a family-owned brand that produces its food without corn, wheat, artificial flavors, or colors.
- First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Pea Protein, Tapioca Starch
- Guaranteed Analysis: 35% Crude Protein, 14% Crude Fat, 6.0% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 411 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: High protein puppy food with DHA for cognitive development
Chow Chow puppies need slightly more calories per pound than their adult counterparts — due to their abundance of energy and growth needs — and they also need food that will support muscle growth and joint health.
That’s where Blue Buffalo Wilderness comes in. This formula provides protein-rich kibble that helps support both healthy muscles and bone growth, and it’s made for large breed puppies.
Real chicken is the first ingredient, along with chicken meal and chicken fat. These offer protein as well as taurine and DHA for both heart and brain health.
Fish oil and flaxseeds offer omega-3 essential acids for joint support and to nourish a healthy coat.
This formula also supplements ARA, a fatty acid found in mother’s milk, to help support kidney health.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness dog food doesn’t contain poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives.
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Split Peas
- Guaranteed Analysis: 22% Crude Protein, 10% Crude Fat, 4.0% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 304 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: Non-GMO dry dog food with glucosamine and chondroitin for your senior Chow Chow
Your Chow Chow’s weight and health should be monitored throughout their life, but it’s especially important once they reach their senior years, at around ages 5 to 6.
As a large breed, your dog will need additional support and vitamins to keep up with aging bones and less supple joints.
Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed senior food can help your senior feel like a puppy again. And, it will provide them with the nutrition they need for day-to-day living.
The formula starts with real deboned chicken as the very first ingredient. This provides 22% protein and has glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints and muscle retention.
Brown rice and split peas provide energy and low glycemic index carbohydrates. These ingredients aid in healthier digestion and keep blood sugar from spiking. Plus, both pumpkin and kale offer natural antioxidants to support a healthy immune system.
This formula is also non-GMO with no chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat, or soy.
- First 5 Ingredients: Beef, Ocean Fish Meal, Pea Protein, Potatoes, Dried Eggs
- Guaranteed Analysis: 41% Crude Protein, 18% Crude Fat, 4.0% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 415 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: Grain-free and high protein dry dog food for highly active Chow Chows
Although Chow Chows can be lap dogs, they’re usually highly playful pups. In fact, this breed worked for years as sled dogs in the cold mountainous terrain of northern China.
Due to their energetic nature, they need higher protein dog food to sustain their daily activities.
The Solid Gold Barking At The Moon formula offers natural USA beef as the first ingredient. Beef has higher sources of iron, B vitamins, and potassium. These work together to provide energy that lasts all day, as well as bone and heart support.
Ocean fish meal and chicken fat give high sources of omega fatty acids for joint and skin health. Chicken fat has also been shown to reduce the risk of brittle joints and arthritis.
Pumpkins, cranberries, carrots, and even blueberries are added, which supply antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins like vitamin A for immune support.
Supplemented prebiotics and probiotics also aid in healthy digestion. This is especially important for Chow Chows since they’re prone to digestive problems.
This grain-free diet is free of gluten, and is made in a US facility that is third-party tested for cleanliness.
- First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Salmon Meal, Pea Flour, Chickpeas, Peas
- Guaranteed Analysis: 29% Crude Protein, 16% Crude Fat, 5.0% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 415 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: Limited ingredient dog food made for Chow Chows with allergies
Chow Chows typically don’t have food allergies, but every dog is different. If your pup is sensitive to certain ingredients, like chicken or wheat, a limited ingredient diet can be beneficial.
Zignature Limited Ingredient dry dog food is all-natural, and contains high-quality ingredients to keep allergy symptoms at bay.
Salmon caught in the northwest United States offers a novel protein, which makes it a good option for dogs with allergies to poultry. Salmon meal adds extra protein and essential fatty acids.
Chickpeas and peas offer dietary fiber and grain-free carbohydrates. They also supply iron and magnesium for digestion and urinary health.
Sunflower oil is also added for fatty acids that can improve your dog’s coat and skin. Plus, this oil can help reduce inflammation as well — which can help when dealing with food sensitivities.
This formula is free of corn, wheat, soy, beef, dairy, and poultry. This makes it ideal for sensitive tummies and even dogs that are picky eaters.
- First 5 Ingredients: Cod, Chicken, Fish Broth, Turkey, Liver
- Guaranteed Analysis: 8% Crude Protein, 5% Crude Fat, 1.5% Crude Fiber78% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 411 kcal/can
- Key Feature: Wet dog food made with real animal proteins for picky eaters
Picky eaters love wet food. And, high moisture content can also help dogs regulate their digestion and maintain a healthy weight.
Chow Chows will most likely need to mix wet food with kibble to get enough calories, but they can still enjoy Purina Beyond canned food.
The food starts with high-quality animal proteins — including cod, deboned chicken, chicken liver, and turkey. They offer essential vitamins like omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine, and B vitamins. These boost energy and help with muscle retention.
The only carb source in this food is sweet potatoes — which is beneficial for dogs with sensitive stomachs or food allergies. They offer healthy fiber as well as vitamin D for bone health.
Purina Beyond contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, and the canning process naturally preserves the meats for maximum nutrient absorption. It’s also free of corn, wheat, or soy.
- First 5 Ingredients: Ground Beef, Russet Potatoes, Eggs, Carrots, Peas
- Guaranteed Analysis: 8% Crude Protein, 4% Crude Fat, 1% Crude Fiber, 77% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 1239 kcal/kg
- Key Feature: Minimally processed, human-grade dog food that’s high in protein
What if you could get customized, minimally processed, and high-protein dog food delivered right to your door?
Nom Nom creates recipes that your Chow Chow will want to eat — with vitamins and minerals that keep them healthy. Plus, the food is free of any fillers and additives that you as a pet owner don’t want.
The recipes all start with ingredients like ground beef, potatoes, and fresh fruits and vegetables. The food is fully customized to fit your dog’s caloric, protein, and fat needs, and is also individually portioned — so all you have to do is call your pup for mealtimes.
To find what your dog needs, you’ll start with a quiz. It will ask you questions about your Chow Chow’s weight, body type, activity level, and potential allergies.
Once you’ve completed the quiz and picked a recipe, the food is shipped directly to your door. And, you can get new shipments as often as you need them.
- First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas, Sweet Potatoes
- Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Crude Protein, 14% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 390 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: Grain-free and high protein budget-friendly dog food
Being budget-conscious doesn’t mean you have to feed your dog boring, bland, or filler filled food. American Journey Grain-Free kibble is full of value and healthy ingredients for your pup.
High-quality salmon and chicken meal have amino acids to maintain leaner muscles, and they provide DHA for coat health and better brain function.
Sweet potatoes, peas, and chickpeas supplement natural fiber. Plus, they provide essential nutrients like phosphorus and B vitamins for healthy bones and extra energy.
Next, blueberries, carrots, and dried kelp provide extra fiber, with the first of these offering antioxidants to protect the immune system.
For Chow Chows, joint support is essential. American Journey includes salmon oil — which provides healthy fats, DHA, and glucosamine. These nutrients nourish the joints and help with brain and eye development.
This formula is grain-free and gluten-free. It also doesn’t include corn, wheat, and soy.
- First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Cracked Pearled Barley, Brown Rice, Pea Fiber, Corn Gluten Meal
- Guaranteed Analysis: 24% Crude Protein, 9% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 291 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: High protein and low-calorie dog food for overweight Chow Chows
Chow Chows are prone to weight gain and obesity. Because of this, weight management can seem like a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be.
There are plenty of dog foods that offer low-calorie formulas for weight loss.
Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight offers all of the vitamins and minerals that other dog foods do — but without the extra fat and calories. It’s also high in protein at 24%, with chicken as the primary source.
This formula is high in fiber-rich carbohydrates like brown rice, barley, and pea fiber. These regulate digestion and provide magnesium to reduce inflammation.
Coconut oil then adds healthy saturated fats. These can help lower blood pressure and boost metabolism. This in turn helps encourage weight loss and healthy muscle maintenance.
Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight is made in the US with quality and ethically sourced ingredients.
- First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Beef, Lamb Meal, Salmon Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes
- Guaranteed Analysis: 38% Crude Protein, 17% Crude Fat, 3.5% Crude Fiber, 11% Moisture
- Caloric Content: 392 kcal/cup
- Key Feature: Grain-free dog food high in taurine and omega fatty acids for joint health
Joint health is vital in large breeds, including Chow Chows. Because of this, offering a dog food high in amino acids can be beneficial.
Merrick’s Backcountry Raw Infused Grain-Free formula includes vitamins and minerals to support your dog’s joints.
First, it starts with real deboned beef — a meat source filled with B vitamins for energy. Other animal proteins include lamb and rabbit, making this a poultry-free formula.
Beef and lamb both have natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin. These strengthen joints and muscles, and help provide cushion for joints that may be deteriorating.
Freeze-dried raw beef liver also offers omega fatty acids and taurine, which promote healthy skin and a shiny coat, as well as aid in a healthy heart.
Apples and blueberries support digestion with healthy fiber and prebiotics. They offer antioxidants for immune support and lower the chance of diseases like cancer.
How to Choose Dog Food for Your Chow Chow
Chow Chows are large and need more of everything — including proteins, fats, and calories. Here’s how to choose the best food for yours.
High-quality protein is essential to your dog’s diet. Proteins help support and maintain lean muscles, produce hormones, and even protect joints.
The minimum protein requirement for dog food is 20%. But your Chow Chow will need at least 25% due to their size and activity level.
Also, pay attention to the source of the proteins. Real meats like chicken, fish, and lamb should be the preferred choice over meat by-products, as they contain the highest protein levels and are the easiest to digest.
Fats also play a crucial role in a dog’s diet, especially when it comes to Chow Chows. They nourish your dog’s skin, provide a shiny coat, support heart health, and keep joints lubricated.
Dog food with 10% to 15% fat is optimal. This will help provide energy for your Chow Chow without causing excessive weight gain.
Look for healthier fats like coconut oil, salmon or fish oil, and even flaxseeds.
Easy to Digest Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates provide a sustainable energy source for dogs. But, it’s essential to not give your Chow Chow too many carbohydrates, or they can gain extra weight.
Instead, focus on offering more fat and protein and feeding your dog easier to digest carbs. A few great options are sweet potatoes, peas, oats, and even kale.
Vitamins and Minerals
If your dog is eating commercial dog food (like those on this list), it won’t need additional nutrients. Manufacturers follow national regulations about what to supplement.
However, some vitamins and minerals are extra beneficial for Chow Chows. Those nutrients include glucosamine and chondroitin, which help strengthen bones and joints and provide a shiny coat.
Your dog can benefit from these nutrients their whole life, so choose dog foods that naturally offer them.
Ingredients to Avoid
Fillers aren’t always completely avoidable, but there are a few that should be avoided at all costs. These additives include artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors.
Ingredients like BHT, BHA, and FD&C colors (red, yellow, blue) should be bypassed. These additives have been shown to cause adverse effects, like cancer.
Chow Chow Feeding Guide
Chow Chows are a large breed. This means that they need more healthy proteins and fats to keep their muscle mass.
Here’s what you need to know about feeding them.
Chow Chow puppies will grow for about 12 to 15 months. To encourage healthy growth and protect their joints and bones, they’ll need plenty of protein and fats. If your dog is neutered or starts gaining weight, you can usually switch them to adult food earlier.
Your pup will also need quite a few calories to perform its best. As puppies, they’ll need around 30 calories per pound of weight, so a 20-pound puppy will need about 500 calories.
Additionally, choose a dog food that’s formulated for puppies. These formulas include DHA, glucosamine, and vitamins and minerals for puppies to grow. And, be sure to feed your pup 2 to 3 times a day.
Once Chow Chows reach adulthood, they’ll need fewer calories than other dogs their size. In fact, they’ll only need about 20 to 25 calories per pound.
In adulthood, they are an average of 70 pounds, so 1400 to 1700 calories a day should suffice. These calories should be split across two meals a day — helping to reduce bloat.
However, don’t skimp on protein and healthy fats. Adult Chow Chows still need about 25% protein (at least) and 10% to 15% fat.
Senior Chow Chows will need significantly fewer calories than during their puppy and adult years. Your pal will only need about 20 calories per pound of weight. But, you can stick with their daily feeding schedule of twice a day.
Water and vitamins, like glucosamine and chondroitin, are important as well. These will help keep your dog’s joints healthy and protect their bodily functions.
Common Chow Chow Health Issues
Chow Chows aren’t prone to many health problems, and can live up to 15 years. The only possible issues you’ll need to keep an eye out involve their weight and digestive system.
Here’s what you need to know about your pup’s health.
Chow Chows were highly active dogs hundreds of years ago. But, with changes in recent society, they’ve become more like lap dogs. Because of this, it’s easy for them to overeat and gain a lot of weight.
To prevent obesity, be sure to feed them a lower-calorie diet. And it’s essential to limit the food that your dog eats and not to leave extra food in their bowl during the day.
Higher protein and fat formulas also keep your pup satiated longer, keeping them from overeating.
Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV) is commonly known as bloat. When bloat occurs, a dog’s stomach fills up with air or fluid. In severe cases, it will twist itself, causing an extremely bloated belly and even death.
While there isn’t necessarily a cure for bloat (besides invasive surgery), there are ways to reduce it.
Feed your Chow Chow larger kibble to encourage chewing, and provide them with smaller and more frequent meals to keep them from overeating.
Hip dysplasia, a joint disorder, affects the development of the hip joint. This can cause irritation, inflammation, and a loss of joint function over time.
In larger dogs like Chow Chows, both shoulder and hip dysplasia are expected due to their size and the stress their weight puts on their joints.
To help prevent hip dysplasia or ease the symptoms, make sure your dog is a healthy weight. Also, give them food that’s filled with restorative omega fatty acids for joint and bone support.
Your Chow Chow deserves high-quality food filled with animal proteins and amino acids for their joint health.
Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream is the best dog food, with high-protein and healthy nutrients like omega fatty acids and DHA. These ingredients will keep your Chow Chow happy and fit from head to toe.
However, the other dog food options on this list were all chosen for your dog’s needs, too — so you can’t go wrong with any of them.
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