One of the biggest factors in how we choose a good dog food is the cost. The quality of less expensive dog foods often reflect the price. They are full of harmful chemical coloring, flavoring, preservatives, and other dog food ingredients to stay away from. They rarely use real meat ingredients, instead relying on nasty meat byproducts. So we know that we need to invest a little more for the health of our dogs. However, do we really need to buy the most expensive dog food brands in order to provide our pups with the best quality nutrition?
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Why Does Expensive Dog Food Cost So Much?
The reason expensive dog foods cost so much money is because of the quality of their ingredients and type of processing they use. Most expensive dog foods use natural whole meat as their primary ingredient. They use complex processing methods like freeze drying or dehydration to maintain the nutritional integrity of the food. Also, they are usually scientifically formulated and update their ingredients as new nutritional information is discovered by researchers. When you buy the most expensive food, you are getting nutrition that you can trust.
The Four Most Expensive Brands Of Dog Food
Here is a list of the most expensive dog food brands on the market and why they cost so much:
ZiwiPeak Air Dried Dog Food is a prime example of an expensive dog food using a unique processing method and high quality ingredients. They use only whole meat ingredients like fresh cuts of lamb, beef, and venison, along with organs and bones for the most biologically appropriate food. Beyond just offering a formula that resembles what dogs would eat in the wild, they air dry their kibble to protect against nutrient loss from processing. Ziwipeak Air Dried is a limited ingredient food that does not contain any less expensive or filler ingredients. When you buy Ziwipeak Air Dried, you are only paying for meat ingredients.
Merrick Backcountry is a high protein kibble. that also contains freeze-dried raw food bits. The primary ingredient is USDA-inspected, human grade deboned chicken paired an exotic game meat like rabbit, salmon, and venison. These high-quality ingredients are the primary reason Merrick Backcountry is an expensive dog food brand. Merrick Backcountry is also holistically formulated with whole fruits and vegetables but contains no fillers or additives and is completely grain-free. Merrick Backcountry also uses high-quality preservation methods to lock in the nutritional value of their food.
Orjen is another expensive dog food. It is made with 80% human-grade, natural and organic, meat ingredients including free-range chicken and turkey, wild-caught fish, Angus beef, Yorkshire pork, and locally hunted game meats like wild boar, bison, elk, and quail. Their meat ingredients are delivered fresh everyday, so they are never processed or frozen. Orjen is also made with locally-sourced organic whole fruits, vegetables, and botanicals to enhance the nutritional density of the food. Orjen is freeze-dried to preserve all the flavors and nutrients of these high-quality ingredients. They also constantly update their formulas to improve the quality and nutritional density.
EVO Red Meat dry dog food is made with 78% whole animal products like beef, pork, lamb, bison, venison, and eggs. Every serving contains ⅓ of a pound of animal proteins. All their ingredients are sourced locally from both human-grade producers and the wild. It is also balanced with 22% whole fruits and vegetables and contains no grains, gluten, or starchy carbohydrates. EVO was designed specifically to mimic the qualities of a homemade, raw foods diet. Offering an easy to digest blend of nutrients formulated for maximum absorption. The high quality ingredients and complex formulation are why EVO Red Meat dry dog food is one of the most expensive brands on the market.
Affordable Comparable Brands
Ultimately, the price of expensive foods is worth it. Between their high-quality ingredients, scientifically designed formulas, and preservation methods, you are really getting a valuable product. However, if some of these foods are a little more than you are willing to pay, there are some comparable brands that cost less money:
- If you are interested in ZiwiPeak, consider Wellness CORE Air Dried Grain Free Natural Dry Dog Food. Wellness CORE is made just like Ziwipeak and contains similar ingredients. The key difference is that Wellness CORE contains 70% meat ingredients and 30% healthy fruits and vegetables.
- If you are interested in Merrick Backcountry, consider Nature’s Variety Instinct with Raw Boost. Nature’s Variety also contains freeze-dried raw food pieces to add a dense burst of nutrition. However, the difference between Merrick Backcountry and Nature’s Variety is that Nature’s Variety uses chicken meal instead of deboned chicken.
- If you are interested in Orjen Adult, consider Wild Calling Dog Food. Wild Calling is also made grain-free primarily with a blend of farm and game meats, as well as, whole fruits and vegetables. The primary difference between Orjen Adult and Wild Calling is the meat is not organic or human-grade and the food is processed using the traditional drying method of extrusion.
- If you are interested in EVO Red Meat, consider Natural Balance L.I.D Limited Ingredient Diets dog food. Like EVO, Natural Balance is made to mimic a raw foods diet. The primary difference between Natural Balance L.I.D. and EVO, is that Natural Balance uses less variety of meat sources in each formula and contains more carbohydrates.
The high price of the most expensive dogs foods is worth it because they are made with the finest ingredients, up-to-date scientific formulas, and modern preservation methods. However, there are some very comparable, more affordable brands to consider before spending the big bucks. In the end, as long as the dog food you choose has all the nutrition your dog needs, price is really the secondary factor.