Many people want to eat organic, natural, and holistic foods to help nourish their bodies. And for dog owners, we want to feed our pets the same way — offering them the best dog food that money can buy.
But is buying holistic dog food a good choice? And if the answer is yes, what are the best options out there?
After doing my own research, I’ve learned that holistic dog food is a great step forward in healthier and more nutritious dog foods.
Not only do holistic brands focus more on the overall health of your dog — they formulate their dog foods with simple ingredients that make digestion easy, as well as enrich your dog’s energy, heart health, and more.
I’ve compiled a list of the seven best holistic dog food brands, what they offer, and how they can make a difference in your dog’s diet.
All of these brands meet the AAFCO nutrient profile guidelines, so you can feel good about providing your furry friend with wholesome and nutritious food.
Of course, before switching your dog’s food, remember to consult with your veterinarian.
Our Best Holistic Dog Food Brands
7 Best Holistic Dog Food Brands Reviewed
Ready to switch your pup to a holistic dog food? Here are the best brands and what they can provide.
Earthborn Holistic includes seven formulas in their holistic line — large breed, small breed, weight control, puppy, original adult, ocean recipe, and primitive recipe.
If you’re looking for a high-protein holistic brand, Earthborn Holistic is one of the top options. All of the formulas in their line have at least 25% Crude Protein, which is an essential building block for highly active dogs. Their food is also free of corn, wheat, and soy, due to the ingredients being common allergens amongst dogs.
If you need a grain-free option, many Earthborn Holistic dog food formulas use limited ingredients that don’t include grains.
If your dog is picky, they have the choice of canned wet food as well — a more enticing and tasty option with all the same high-quality ingredients.
As an added bonus, this dog food is made without peas, which have a potential link to heart disease in dogs. It’s also free of lentils or legumes for dogs that may have sensitivities to these ingredients.
Their dog food is made in family-owned kitchens in the USA. And for the entire brand, all of the ingredients are sourced sustainably so you can feel good about feeding your dog more wholesome options.
This is a high-protein formula that’s made with chicken and whitefish to support lean muscle mass.
It includes fruits, vegetables, easily-digested grains, and sources of high protein to provide lasting energy and fatty acids for a healthy coat and skin.
Holistic Select is a dog food brand that includes both grain-inclusive and grain-free formulas, as well as offers recipes for all breed sizes.
They require all suppliers to meet stringent requirements — exceeding even the strictest requirements from the FDA — in order to provide the most wholesome nutrients for their foods.
They also follow rigid manufacturing procedures and other protocols, ensuring quality at every step to make sure their foods are always safe to feed dogs.
Each of their formulas include a single protein source, which is great if your dog is sensitive to certain proteins or needs a more limited diet. And, to help your dog keep a healthy stomach, they include 100 million active probiotics in every pound of food to support digestion and boost immune systems.
They also don’t believe in adding harsh chemicals or artificial preservatives to their dog food. Instead, they only use natural preservatives that come with benefits beyond preservation.
These include vitamin C and vitamin E, which — besides preserving the food — provide additional antioxidants that scavenge free radicals and prevent cell damage. This helps keep your dog’s immune system healthy, and can help prevent cancer.
The most interesting food in this line is their anchovy formula. Did you know that anchovies provide omega-3 fatty acids that protect heart health, and vitamin B3 which turns food into energy? These small fish are also a more sustainable protein source.
On top of that, specially chosen ingredients are added for extra nutrition — salmon oil for weight maintenance and to promote brain health; beet pulp, pumpkin, and pomegranates to offer probiotics and antioxidants for healthy skin and digestive health; and glucosamine and taurine to boost joint health.
Holistic Select is a high-protein formula made with real meat and iodine-rich ingredients for metabolism support.
This wheat, corn, and soy free dog food includes anchovies and salmon as primary proteins, and live yogurt cultures to provide prebiotics and probiotics.
Halo Holistic provides a more affordable holistic dog food, with both wet and dry options. Their recipes include grain-free and grain-inclusive formulas, and all have a great balance of protein, fat, and carbs.
This company began when a pet owner worked with a nutritionist to help her dog recover from multiple health issues. It was found that, after switching him to a more whole and raw diet, his condition improved significantly.
Since then, Halo Holistic has made it their mission to provide the same nutrition for more dogs and cats.
They reject the factory farm model of animals raised in close confinement with antibiotics and genetically modified feeds. Instead, they support naturally raised animals, regenerative soils, and environmental balance — so your dog can have the highest quality protein available, just like you.
Though ingredients like peas, chickpeas, and soy are seen as somewhat controversial, they can provide extra protein for active dogs. Be sure to check with your vet to see if your canine is sensitive to any of these before switching their food.
This line includes seven dry formulas for just about any dog — Adult (recipes include lamb, chicken, and salmon), Vegan, Puppy, Large Breed, and Small Breed.
Dried egg product is one of the main sources of animal protein, which is great for dogs that are allergic to ingredients like beef or pork. And non-GMO fruits and vegetables like carrots, peas, and blueberries offer antioxidants and vitamins to boost immune health.
There is also no meat meal or artificial ingredients, and each one used is sustainably sourced and not from factory farms.
With a high-fat formula that provides joint support and energy for fast-metabolism working dogs, this could be a great choice for your canine.
This dog food includes cage-free chicken and chicken liver for high iron and long-lasting energy, protein to help maintain lean muscles, and non-GMO produce for vitamins and nutrients.
Fromm’s Gold line is their most holistic option available for dogs. It’s also the most inclusive line on this list, with both a senior recipe and a weight management option — and that’s in addition to their regular, large breed, and small breed formulas.
Fromm Family Foods is a fifth generation family-owned-and-operated pet food company. All of their recipes are produced at Fromm’s family owned and operated facility.
Their foods are also third party pathogenic bacteria tested, so you can feel safe offering their food to your pup.
Fromm dry dog food is made with human-grade ingredients, and includes things like real chicken and fish for protein. Their recipes also offer selenium — a vitamin that helps prevent cardiovascular disease.
Barley, oat groats, and brown rice are added for gentle carbohydrates that will keep your dog satiated, while at the same time offering fiber for healthy digestion.
Many of their recipes also include celery, which offers vitamin K, and potassium which regulates your dog’s nervous system (this ingredient also helps regulate their blood sugar, which is great for overweight dogs or dogs suffering from diabetes).
Solid Gold offers mostly grain-free formulas that are lower in fat for dog’s that need to maintain lean muscles. They have many different recipes that can fit just about any dietary need, like limited ingredient, and meats that are less likely to trigger allergies, like venison and salmon — just to name a few.
Solid Gold offers many of their grain-free recipes in both wet and dry dog food options, for even the pickiest eaters. You’ll have no shortage of great recipes to try for your pup.
The high-protein dog formulas include real chicken and eggs. Salmon oil is also added for healthy fats, and turmeric helps to reduce inflammation in the joints.
Many of the recipes also replace grains with quinoa, which offers protein and complex carbohydrates. Plus, it’s high in fiber and magnesium which can lower blood pressure and reduce stress.
Living probiotics are supplemented for gut health and overall immune support. And the food is also free of fillers like corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors and colors, and preservatives.
Solid Gold Sun Dancer is grain-free, gluten-free, and made with real meat as the first ingredient.
This formula includes cage-free chicken for a high-protein option, and 20 nutrient rich superfoods like pumpkin, cranberries, carrots, kelp, and lentils — maintaining the perfect balance of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to support immune system function and aid in digestion.
Bench & Field
Bench & Field is a simple brand that offers one great dog food recipe for dogs of all sizes, shapes, and breeds — Holistic Natural Canine Formula dry dog food.
Bench & Field is known for formulating holistic pet foods made with protein-rich meats and ethically sourced ingredients. Every ingredient they select is to benefit and provide overall health and wellness of your pet. Plus, they’re only sourced from trusted suppliers who refuse to compromise on quality.
They’ve made holistic dog food for almost 100 years, starting in 1926. Their philosophy is based on the simple, enduring principles of good nutrition.
Real chicken, chicken fat, and eggs provide protein and unsaturated fat to boost heart health.
Oatmeal and quinoa offer complex carbs that are easy on the tummy.
Fresh fruits and vegetables like papaya, carrots, peas, and sweet potatoes are added for vitamins A and C to reduce inflammation, lower heart disease risk, and provide overall immune support.
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids protect your dog’s skin and help create a shinier coat. Plus, added antioxidants like beta-carotene aid in eye health and healthy mucous membranes.
The recipe doesn’t include any corn, soy, or wheat and is certified gluten-free. And, while there isn’t a wet food option, the kibble is small and easy to chew for smaller breeds, senior dogs, and even picky eaters.
This is an ethically and sustainably sourced holistic dog food.
It’s also gluten-free, includes chicken as the main protein source, and oatmeal and quinoa for easily digestible carbohydrates.
The Honest Kitchen
The Honest Kitchen provides both grain-free and whole grain dehydrated food products. And they include limited ingredient diets for dogs with allergies and food sensitivities.
If you’re looking for a raw food or fresh food alternative, The Honest Kitchen provides a shelf-stable and human grade option that’s also affordable. And because of its shelf stable nature, you can purchase this food and portion it out for your dog on your terms — which means no waste, and more money in your pocket.
Just a few of their formulas include fish, beef, turkey, and duck — you can find these flavors from their grain-free, whole grain, and limited ingredient lines.
This dehydrated food is mixed together with water to offer a flavorful and easy to eat meal. It includes 100% real free-range meats, like chicken, for protein that is free of hormones and antibiotics.
Added flaxseeds offer omega-3 fatty acids for joint and heart health, and fruits and vegetables — like sweet potatoes, cabbage, and bananas — offer potassium and beta-carotene to help reduce inflammation and regulate fluid balance, keeping your dog pain and arthritis free.
The only negative to note is that some recipes may include garlic. While small amounts of this won’t harm your dog, there may be cause for consideration.
After eating it, some dogs have been known to develop anemia, based on a study completed in 2005. However, there is no conclusive evidence that garlic is problematic in small doses — like in this grain-free chicken recipe.
If you want to avoid feeding your dog garlic entirely, the beef and duck recipes don’t contain the ingredient.
A human-grade dog food that doesn’t include any byproducts, preservatives, GMO ingredients, hormones, or antibiotics.
This dehydrated dog food is made with the best ingredients to provide a well balanced meal that supports dogs with added vitamins, minerals, fiber, and moisture.
What Does “Holistic” Mean on Dog Food Labels?
When a dog food brand labels their product as “holistic”, what does that really mean? Here’s what I’ve found.
What Does Holistic Mean?
The term holistic itself means “in consideration of the whole”. In other words, how does everything come together as a whole?
Well, the definition of “holistic food” is a food made with natural ingredients that are high quality (including human-grade), without byproducts or fillers, chemicals, or fertilizers. Because of this, the quality of ingredients supports whole health.
Holistic dog food brands focus on providing proper nutrition for your dog, without any ingredients that could compromise their wellness, activity level, or nutritional needs. And, many go through their own 3rd party testing to ensure that the food you receive is free of chemicals, contaminants, and hormones.
In the pet food industry, “holistic” as a term isn’t regulated or overseen by the FDA, AAFCO, or the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
When choosing a better food for your pet, always read the ingredient list. Cheaper dog food usually contains fillers and inexpensive ingredients such as corn or wheat gluten.
What Is Holistic Dog Food?
Now, what exactly is holistic dog food? Is it better than dog food with cheaper ingredient alternatives like corn, soy, wheat, and artificial flavors?
After my research, I would say yes — for a few different reasons.
Designed for a Balanced Diet
First, holistic dog food was created to offer a balanced diet with high-quality ingredients.
And, just like commercial dog foods, holistic brands meet regulations and laws that dog foods must meet in order to be sold.
Supports Overall Well-Being
Of course, one of the biggest benefits of holistic dog food is that it supports your pet’s overall well-being.
With healthy and wholesome ingredients — many of which are organic — your dog will be getting quality food that supports their nutritional needs.
Includes High Quality Ingredients With Purpose
Not all dog food is created equal, even when they all meet regulations.
Holistic pet food is made with high-quality and fresh animal sourced proteins, complex and easily digestible carbs, and natural fats — usually animal based for maximum absorption.
All of these ingredients combine to create a dog food with a purpose, supporting your dog with the best possible food to enrich their day to day living and provide the best vitamins and minerals.
When looking at holistic food, there are a few specific ingredients to look for.
For protein, focus on wild caught, farm-raised, or even organic animal protein. And, of course, animals free of hormones and fillers.
Fats like chicken fat and salmon oil will provide natural energy, as well as fatty acids and vitamins to support skin, brain, and joint health. And they can even help keep your pet warm.
For carbohydrates, look for complex carbs in ingredients like sweet potatoes, chickpeas, oatmeal, and pumpkin. If your dog has allergies or sensitivities, you can also choose a grain-free formula that includes safer options, like quinoa.
Doesn’t Include Fillers or By-Products
Another benefit to holistic dog food is that it doesn’t include any extra ingredients that aren’t essential to your dog’s health. There are no artificial flavors, chemicals, or colors. They’re also free from hormones, antibiotics, and usually GMOs.
What does this mean for your dog? These artificial ingredients and fillers can make allergy symptoms worse, cause weight gain, and — in the worst case scenarios — even cancer. By eliminating these ingredients, you can feel better about your dog’s food.
And remember, holistic doesn’t always mean human grade, and that’s okay. As long as the ingredients are naturally derived and the food doesn’t include fillers, it is considered holistic.
However, human grade and even organic isn’t a bad thing. There are human grade options on this list if that is important to you.
Benefits of Holistic Dog Food
There are many benefits of holistic dog food. If you’re looking to switch your dog’s food, here are just a few:
- Improved skin and coat health
- Sharpened eye health
- Stronger and healthier heart
- Improved digestion and bowel movements
- More energy
- Easing of allergy symptoms
Plus, there are many other benefits that may affect your dog depending on their breed, size, and lifestyle.
Holistic dog food can make a huge and positive difference in your dog’s health.
Is Holistic Dog Food Better?
After researching holistic dog food, I believe it is better to feed your dog as natural as possible.
All of the brands on this list offer high-quality ingredients and essential vitamins and nutrients that can benefit your dog’s health, activity levels, and happiness.
Many of these holistic foods are also free of grains, soy, corn, and other fillers that can affect how your dog feels. And, if your dog has allergies or sensitivities, a holistic dog food can help ease the symptoms that they have.
This doesn’t mean that the other dog food brands out there are unhealthy. It just means that holistic dog food was created to provide your dog with the best of the best — just like they deserve.
Best Holistic Dog Food Options
As you can see, there are many holistic dog food brands that can help your dog thrive. And, to sweeten the pot even more, none of these options have meat by-products or other fillers that decrease nutrition absorption.
Your dog deserves high-quality and nutritious dog food that focuses on their health and wellness, not just their caloric needs. Holistic brands can provide that.