best dog food for mixed-breed dogs

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Is there dog food specifically intended for mixed-breed dogs?

As dog owners, we are presented with an astounding variety of products, each claiming to be the best dog food available.

Given these options on the market, finding a dog food brand that is nutritious, affordable, and appealing to your pet can be difficult.

It gets even worse when there are conflicting bits of advice, especially regarding owning a mixed-breed Fido!

So, to help you decide, we’ve narrowed your search to the best dog food for mixed-breed dogs to get your pooch off to a good start by feeding him the right food.

What Makes a Dog Food “Good”?

Dogs are typically fed dry kibble or wet food in cans.

Although we may not find these processed foods appetizing, dogs can get all the nutrients they require to stay healthy in these diets.

High-quality commercial dog meals are strictly regulated and have undergone extensive testing by veterinary professionals.

So, what precisely are these dog foods made of, then?

Dogs aren't strictly carnivores as cats are. Although meat makes up the majority of their diet, domestic dogs can also obtain nutrition from grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Vegan meals are not only fillers but can be a valuable source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Thus, meat, fruits, grains, and vegetables comprise a good dog diet.

High-quality dog foods have healthy amounts of these components suitable for your dog's digestive system.

Dog Food for Mixed Breed Dogs

Is There a Dog Food for Mixed-Breed Dogs?

Aisle after aisle, pet stores are filled with different dog brands, each claiming that their products will make your pet live a longer and healthier life.

Some companies have even developed breed-specific dog foods to satisfy the health requirements of your particular breed of dog.

Understandably, dog owners would favor a diet that says it was formulated specifically for their dog's genetic makeup, but is it the right choice?

Unfortunately, breed-specific dog foods lack a solid nutritional science foundation and are little more than a marketing gimmick.

We do not yet have a study that identifies the differences in dietary needs among various distinct dog breeds.

Consider a puppy of a large breed, such as a Golden Retriever. He can develop major joint problems if fed a diet that is excessively heavy in calories or calcium.

Golden Retriever puppies must grow on a suitable diet to develop their bones properly.

Feeding a puppy meal made specifically for Golden Retrievers instead of any other premium large breed puppy food, however, has no advantages.

The essential nutritional elements of the diets are the same when comparing Labrador Retriever puppy food to Golden Retriever puppy food.

Another notable example is food designed specifically for Dachshunds.

They claim that their diets include components that support lean body mass, which will help avoid back disease.

This might sound like a good idea because Dachshunds are prone to back problems that can cause paralysis, but these diets contain nothing special to achieve this purpose.

Dachshund owners will be just as successful in preventing back illness as long as they feed their dogs a high-quality small-breed diet and don't allow them to gain weight.

So, to answer your question if there’s a need for breed-specific dog food, no, there isn’t.

Choosing the Best Dog Food for Mixed-Breed Dogs

Focus on choosing a high-quality diet from a reputable brand that suits your dog's life stage, size, and lifestyle needs when making your pet food selection.

His nutritional requirements depend more on these three factors than on his breed.

Don't know where to begin?

You can choose a diet that works best for your dog with the help of your vet.

He can also make food recommendations if your pooch has a particular health issue or a hereditary condition that has to be resolved.

That way, you can guarantee that your dog lives the long, fulfilling, and healthy life he deserves.

Dry Dog Food

Dry dog food is the most readily accessible and reasonably priced option.

Since it includes roughly 90% dry matter and 10% water, dry dog food has one major advantage over wet dog food: it doesn't need to be refrigerated, making it easy to store.

Combining and cooking materials like meat and grains results in dry dog food.

In addition to eliminating contaminants and instantly sterilizing the components, this process transforms the food's starches into a form that is easy to digest.

Dry dog chow comes in a wide range of kinds. Your dog's dietary needs will determine the finest dry food for him.

Wellness CORE is a known brand of dry dog food.


Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Original Turkey & Chicken, 26-Pound BagGrain-Free, Protein-Rich Food

Find on Amazon: $79.99 ($3.08/lb)

Their team of animal lovers, nutritionists, and vets believe that a diet heavy on meat will make your dog thrive.

CORE’s grain-free formulas are free of fillers, packed with high-quality animal protein, and come with extra vitamins and minerals for added nutrition.


Wellness CORE Wholesome Grains Dry Dog Food, Original Recipe, 24 Pound BagWholesome Grains Formulas

Find on Amazon: $72.98

The original CORE's protein-rich nutrition, balanced with wholesome grains that are easy to digest, is a winning formula that supports a strong heart, muscles, and immune system.

These all-natural recipes will provide your dog with the energy he needs to live his best life.

Wet Dog Food

Dry dog food can be substituted quite well with wet or canned dog food.

Even though it is usually a little more expensive, wet dog food is more appetizing than dry food and can help fussy eaters stimulate their appetite.

Although not in the same quantities, wet dog food has many of the same ingredients as dry dog food.

It provides higher amounts of fresh meat, poultry, fish, and animal byproducts, along with more textured proteins made from grains.

A popular brand of wet dog food is Purina ONE.


Purina ONE Natural Gravy Wet Dog Food, SmartBlend True Instinct Tender Cuts With Real Beef & Salmon - (12) 13 oz. CansSmartBlend True Instinct Tender Cuts in Gravy with Real Beef & Wild-Caught Salmon

Find on Amazon: $17.88 ($1.82/lb)

This Purina ONE wet dog food is made with real beef, wild-caught salmon, and other premium ingredients in every serving.

The savory gravy adds a mouthwatering finishing touch, and the soft, meaty pieces provide a tempting texture to enhance your pup’s dining experience.


Purina ONE Natural, High Protein Gravy Wet Dog Food, SmartBlend Tender Cuts in Gravy Beef & BarleySmartBlend Tender Cuts Beef and Barley Entree in Gravy

Find on Amazon: $18.52 ($1.90/lb)

Every portion of this canned food has real beef and barley to give your dog the flavor he craves, and the soft cuts give him something mouthwatering to sink his teeth into.

You can feel good about feeding him this Purina ONE recipe every time you open a can since it contains 100% complete and balanced nutrition for adult dogs, supporting his lifelong whole-body health.

Dog Food for Mixed Breed Dogs

Suggested Mixed Breed Nutritional Needs

While most commercial dog food brands are designed to meet at least the bare minimum of a dog's nutritional demands, it's vital to keep in mind that not every dog has the same dietary requirements.

Over the course of their lives, dogs need a variety of nutrients in various amounts.

Giving your young dog baby formula or “all life stages” food is smart because a puppy's nutritional demands differ from those of an older dog.

Adult dogs need to eat a balanced diet with fewer calories if they start to gain too much weight.

To avoid hypoglycemia, a dangerous condition to which very young puppies are prone, tiny puppies should be fed frequently.

High protein, fat, and complex carbohydrate meals may potentially serve as a preventative measure for this disease.

Large-breed growth food should be given to puppies who are expected to be large or giant-sized adults since it slows their pace of growth but does not affect their final size.

By doing this, hip dysplasia in adulthood may become less common or severe.

In case you are uncertain of the differences in dietary requirements between puppies and adults, the Merck Veterinary Manual contains the essential nutrients for dogs and the suggested amounts by weight and age.

Finding the Right Dog Food by Breed Size

Best Dog Food for Small Mixed Breeds

Small dogs often have faster metabolisms and more energy than larger dogs.

Consider these little creatures as being like long-distance marathon runners who are constantly on the go.

Their meals must contain more calories and essential nutrients to support their happy, healthy lives.

CESAR is a known brand of dog food for small breeds.


CESAR Small Breed Dry Dog Food Filet Mignon Flavor with Spring Vegetables Garnish Dog Kibble, 12 lb. BagFilet Mignon Flavor and Spring Vegetables Garnish Dry Dog Food

Find on Amazon: $15.98 ($1.33/lb)

This premium dog chow, which uses real beef as its first ingredient, has soft portions that will cause your dog to waltz around the bowl.

Additionally, CESAR Food for Dogs is delectably made with the 26 nutrients tiny dogs require to remain healthy.


CESAR Soft Wet Dog Food Classic Loaf in Sauce Chicken & Liver Recipe, (24) 3.5 oz. Easy Peel TraysChicken & Liver Recipe Classic Loaf in Sauce Wet Dog Food

Find on Amazon: $30.96 ($5.90/lb)

This wet dog meal, made without grains and featuring US Chicken as its first ingredient, will surely entice even the pickiest eater.

With the taste and variety they can’t resist, CESAR Canine Cuisine offers the complete and balanced nutrition your dog needs.

Best Dog Food for Medium Mixed Breeds

Among the most popular breeds of dogs in the United States today are those classified as medium or mid-size.

This is primarily because adult dogs between 20 and 50 pounds are considered to be “mid-size,” which is a wide range of weight requirements applied to them.

Some dogs who are usually classified as small or large breeds may fall into the medium category due to the wide weight range, particularly if they are mixed breeds.

A popular brand of dog food for medium breeds is Taste of the Wild.


Taste of the Wild with Ancient Grains, Ancient Prairie Canine Recipe with Roasted Bison and Venison Dry Dog Food, Made wit...

High Prairie Canine Recipe with Roasted Bison & Roasted Venison Dry Dog Food

Find on Amazon: $58.99 ($2.11/lb)

This formula is made to offer adequate nourishment and support in maintaining your dog’s healthy appearance.

While vegetables, beans, and fruits offer potent antioxidants to support maintaining general vigor, 32% of this formula is protein, providing dogs with the highly digestible energy they need to stay active.


Taste Of The Wild Grain Free Real Meat Recipe Premium Wet Canned Stew Dog Food (12) 13.2 oz. CansWetlands Canine Formula Grain-Free Recipe

Find on Amazon: $43.13

This premium wet canned stew dog food gives a taste sensation unlike any other because it is made with poultry – consisting of duck, quail, and turkey to offer the best amino acid nutrition.

It also contains fruits and vegetables to provide antioxidants in supporting your furry friend's healthy lifestyle.

Best Dog Food for Large Mixed Breeds

The risk of overfeeding is a common issue for pet parents of larger breed puppies.

Larger dogs gain weight far more quickly than smaller dogs, with some reaching weights of more than 100 pounds in a year or less.

Due to their rapid rate of growth, they are more vulnerable to dangers that smaller breeds are less concerned about.

Their diets must be carefully supervised because they may suffer from nutritional and calorie deficiencies.

IAMS is a known brand of dog food for large breeds.


IAMS Adult High Protein Large Breed Dry Dog Food with Real Chicken, 30 lb. BagHigh Protein Large Breed Dry Dog Food with Real Chicken

Find on Amazon: $46.98 ($1.57/lb)

By using real, farm-raised chicken as its first ingredient, this recipe is designed to support large-breed active dogs as it preserves bone and joint health.

A specially formulated combination of nourishing fibers and prebiotics also helps to boost immunity and a healthy digestive system.


IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Wet Dog Food Classic Ground with Chicken and Whole Grain Rice, 12-Pack of 13 oz. CansPROACTIVE HEALTH Wet Dog Food Classic Ground with Chicken and Whole Grain Rice

Find on Amazon: $32.28

This healthy, wet dog food is made up of premium ingredients like real chicken and rice for a delightful flavor that dogs can't get enough of.

IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH is made with omega fatty acids to support healthy skin and a softer coat. It also contains whole grains to supply the carbs required for everyday play.

Best Dog Food for Mixed Breed Puppies

As dogs age, their dietary requirements change. In addition to elderly dogs' unique nutritional needs, puppies' nutritional demands differ from those of adult dogs.

To help you narrow down your options, most dog food manufacturers sell specially-made puppy diets for every stage of a dog's life.

A popular brand of dog food for puppies is Blue Buffalo.


Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 5-lb Trial Size BagLife Protection Formula Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice

Find on Amazon: $14.89

BLUE Life Protection Formula for pups combines the finest natural components supplemented with vitamins and minerals.

This formula helps your puppy's brain and visual development by supplying vital fatty acids that are present in a mother's milk.


Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Natural Puppy Wet Dog Food, Chicken 12.5-oz can (Pack of 12)Homestyle Recipe Natural Puppy Wet Dog Food, Chicken

Find on Amazon: $35.76

This formula is loaded with the finest natural ingredients and boosted with vitamins and minerals.

It is made with real chicken first, along with garden fruits and vegetables.

Furthermore, it is designed to support the particular requirements of developing puppies.

To aid with their brain and vision development, this recipe contains DHA, a critical fatty acid found in breast milk.

Best Dog Food for Senior Mixed Breeds

Senior dogs, often those 7 years or older, have different dietary requirements.

There is such a wide range because younger senior dogs may suffer from obesity, and older senior dogs may struggle with being underweight.

It may come down to what your dog enjoys when selecting the best senior dog food.

While many older dogs like wet food, some may require warming their meal to bring out the flavors.

Hill’s Science Diet is a known brand of dog food for senior breeds.


Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult 11+ for Senior Dogs, Small Paws, Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe, 4.5 lb BagAdult 11+ for Senior Dogs, Small Paws, Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Find on Amazon: $20.49 ($4.55/lb)

This senior dog food uses a balanced mix of minerals to maintain a healthy heart, healthy kidneys, and a healthy bladder in toy breed dogs, while the omega-6s and vitamin E nourish the skin and coat.

Prebiotic fiber is specifically included in the little kibble to aid with your small, elderly dog's digestion, and omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil help to maintain joint health.


Hill's Science Diet Senior 7+ Wet Dog Food, Savory Stew With Chicken & Vegetables, 12.8 oz. Cans, 12-PackSenior 7+ Wet Dog Food, Savory Stew with Chicken & Vegetables

Find on Amazon: $38.04

With this delectable senior dog food, you can provide your pet with a perfectly balanced diet to improve his general health and well-being.

It is cooked with real chicken, brown rice, and a mix of scrumptious vegetables like peas and carrots, all coated in a delightful sauce.

Best Dog Food for Mixed Breeds with Special Dietary Needs

Perhaps you’ve noticed Royal Canin Dog Food is sold in the waiting area of your veterinarian's office.

Royal Canin Dog Food

This is because the business has worked closely with veterinarians worldwide to develop therapeutic formulas that are excellent for dogs with certain dietary requirements.

You might find the ideal solution with one of Royal Canin's prescription formulations if your dog has a specific medical condition and needs to adhere to a special diet.

The business has created several various recipes to treat the following conditions that our dogs may encounter:

  • Allergies
  • Digestive Problems
  • Diabetes
  • Bone and Joint Conditions
  • Urinary Tract Issues
  • Liver Problems
  • Weight Management
  • Cardiac Disorders
  • Surgical Recovery

While not breed-specific, veterinarians prescribe these diets to treat dog food-related issues.

Medi-Cal, Royal Canin’s vet line, often intends to be temporarily fed to alleviate a particular issue.

You may be able to switch back to your regular dog food once the underlying issue has been identified and treated – that is if your veterinarian recommends it.

Dog Food for Mixed Breed Dogs

The Right Amount of Dog Food for Mixed Breed Dogs

Instead of leaving food out all the time, make sure your mixed-breed dog is getting enough food by feeding him twice a day.

Your adult dog's caloric needs will vary depending on his size, age, build, metabolism, and level of activity.

You can roughly calculate his daily requirements based on how much he weighs:

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup – less than 10 pounds
  • 1/2 to 1 cup – 10 to 15 pounds
  • 3/4 to 1.5 cups – 20 to 30 pounds
  • 5 to 2 cups – 30 to 40 pounds
  • 5 to 2.5 cups – 40 to 60 pounds
  • 5 to 3 cups – 60 to 70 pounds
  • 3 to 4 cups – 80 to 90 pounds
  • 4 to 5 cups – 100 to 150 pounds
  • 5 to 6 cups – more than 150 pounds

Undoubtedly, just like people, dogs are unique individuals with different dietary needs. An active dog will obviously require more than a dog that prefers to lounge around.

The brand of dog food you select matters as well. The higher the quality of the food, the more it will nourish your dog and require less shaking in the bowl.

When to Consult with Your Vet

Dog obesity has been associated with numerous health issues in dogs, raising concerns in the veterinary profession.

It can be difficult to determine how much food to give your mixed-breed dog and what a healthy weight should be.

Many pet owners unintentionally overfeed their pets, which is why it's crucial to take your pup in for routine examinations and discuss portion sizes with your veterinarian.

If you're unsure whether or not your pup is overweight, give him the eye and hands-on tests.

Look at him first from below. There must be a waist visible.

Then, lay your hands on his back with your fingers stretched out and your thumbs along his spine.

Without exerting much pressure, you should be able to feel but not see his ribs. If you can't, he has to eat less and exercise more.

Hungry Doggo

Dog Food for Mixed Breed Dogs: Final Thoughts

In choosing food for your pooch, you should take into account his activity level, age, size, and food allergies.

It also depends on your lifestyle if you have the time to spend preparing or shopping.

So, what should you feed your dog?

The best dog food for mixed-breed dogs is up to you to decide.

Dogs don’t get to pick what they eat, so as owners, we make decisions based on what we believe is best for their health.

Your dog's food is probably working fine if your little furball has a healthy appetite, is active and in good shape, and produces firm, healthy stools.

Of course, this does not serve as a substitute for medical advice.

Your vet will be your valuable resource since they can access information that average owners don’t have, making them more knowledgeable about pet nutrition.

A consultation guarantees that you are feeding your mixed-breed dog high-quality food that will provide the complete and balanced nutrition it needs to thrive, giving you peace of mind.

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