10 Dog Food Brands to Avoid

When it comes to feeding your furry friend, not all dog food brands are trustworthy. Some may sneak in harmful ingredients that can impact your dog’s health. Since they are such cherished members of the family, it is essential to know which brands to steer clear of to keep them happy and healthy.


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Purina, a longstanding pet food company founded in 1894, initially targeted farm animals but later expanded to include food for pets as well. Despite its history, the brand has faced numerous recalls in recent years.

According to the FDA, Purina has been cited for mislabeling and elevated Vitamin D levels. A high level of Vitamin D poses significant risks as it is toxic to dogs and can lead to kidney failure and other health problems. Pet owners must remain vigilant and prioritize ingredient scrutiny to ensure their furry friends receive safe and nutritious meals. This helps them avoid brands with quality control issues.


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IAMS is a well-known brand established in the 1940s. The brand has faced scrutiny for its dog food quality. Despite a reputation for high standards, the brand’s products have come under fire for continuous recipe changes and past controversies regarding animal cruelty in 2002 and 2003.

Salmonella contamination and mold growth further eroded confidence in the brand’s reliability in 2013. This underscores the importance of ongoing consumer awareness and advocacy for transparent pet food manufacturing practices.


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Pedigree, while convenient in a pinch, falls short of providing optimal nutrition for your furry companions. With ground whole grain corn as its primary ingredient, it lacks the meat content essential for a dog’s diet. High levels of corn, wheat, and soy can lead to digestive issues. It also results in allergies which makes this brand one of the top dog food brands to avoid. Pet owners must prioritize their dog’s health by opting for brands with meat-rich formulations and minimal filler ingredients.


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Despite a rebranding effort, Cesar’s dog food recipes still lack nutritious value. Laden with cheap fillers, the brand’s products contribute to weight gain and obesity in dogs due to their high-fat content. Opting for healthier alternatives is crucial to ensuring your pet’s long-term well-being. Pet owners should educate themselves on label reading and choose dog foods with wholesome ingredients. It should support your dog’s overall health and vitality.


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Alpo, notorious for causing digestive issues in dogs, fails to meet quality standards for sensitive stomachs. With reports of diarrhea, vomiting, and excessive gas among consumers, its dry food formulations are deemed unsuitable for consumption. Trusted by many, this brand often disappoints pet owners selling reliable nutrition for their beloved companions. Pet owners should focus on digestive health by selecting easily digestible dog food options free from potential allergens and fillers.

Gravy Train

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Gravy Trains’s inclusion of low-quality ingredients like meat by-products, corn, and soy poses digestion challenges for dogs. Linked to cases of Vitamin D toxicity, this brand compromises canine health and well-being. It can lead to kidney failure and even death in some instances. This brand’s food was also identified to have a fatal amount of animal euthanasia drugs. Opting for nutritionally balanced alternatives ensures your furry friend receives the care they deserve. Pet owners must remain vigilant about product recalls. You must prioritize your pet’s health by choosing reputable brands with transparent ingredient sourcing practices.

Kibbles ‘n Bits

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Once a trusted brand, Kibbles ‘n Bits fell from grace after a recall due to the discovery of the euthanasia drug pentobarbital in its products. High doses of pentobarbital can lead to coma and death. Moreover, laden with fillers and artificial additives, this brand compromises pet health and safety. Pets who consume this food experience drowsiness, excitement, dizziness, loss of balance, as well an inability to stand properly. Reports of Vitamin D toxicity further emphasize its unsuitability for canine consumption. Pet parents must choose their dog’s well-being. You can do so by choosing dog food brands with rigorous quality control measures and transparent sourcing practices.

Kal Kan

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Founded in 1936, Kal Kan faces customer dissatisfaction and health concerns due to its inferior quality ingredients. Ground whole corn as the primary ingredient raises red flags for pet owners seeking nutritious options. Moreover, the use of large quantities of artificial colors, flavors, and preservations adds to the degraded quality of the food. Reports of kidney failures in dogs further highlight the risk associated with this brand. Pet owners should focus on their furry friend’s health by selecting food options free from potential allergens and fillers by reputable veterinary endorsements.

Great Choice

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Sold exclusively at PetSmart, Great Choice dog food’s affordability comes at the expense of ingredient quality. Recurrent recalls due to metal contamination underscore concerns regarding product safety. This brand’s dog food also poses a choking hazard for pets. Opting for reputable brands ensures your pet’s nutritional needs are met without compromising their health. Pet parents should choose dog food brands with transparent ingredient sourcing practices and a track record of safety and reliability.


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Despite its marketing as a healthy option, Beneful dog food contains artificial additives and fillers like corn and soy. Linked to cases of kidney failures in dogs, this brand falls short of meeting nutritional standards. With lawsuits filed against the company for harmful ingredients like propylene glycol, this brand’s food makes your furry friends sick. The need for selecting a brand with transparent ingredient sourcing practices becomes crucial in such a case.

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