Which Dog Foods To Avoid?

Not all dog foods have the same content and quality, and these are the dog foods to avoid. Some are low-quality dog food manufacturers that have a few things in common. Some of the worst dog food brands available on the market load up their products with inexpensive fillers like corn and corn products. Let’s take a look at the nine worst dog food brands.

10 Dog Foods To Avoid

We love feeding our pets with the foods that we eat, but there are some dog foods that you have to avoid. So, here are the 10 dog foods that you shouldn’t give to your canines.


First dog foods to avoid is corn. It is another commonly used ingredient to keep prices down that are very cheap to raise and harvest. They’re a filler substitute to organic meat protein. Unfortunately, dogs are not made to consume corn regularly. While it can look nice at first, a life of eating corn can be damaging to a dog’s health.


Much like corn, grains are often thrown into the mixture to benefit production costs. Wheat, rice, and other grains could be hard for dogs to digest. Dogs don’t have molars to grind up grains. Additionally, these grains are often treated with numerous substances before harvesting. These compounds can transfer in the pet food formula and gradually cause issues as the years’ progress.


Everyone almost loves it, but it is one of the dog foods to avoid. At the peak of the record of bad foods for dogs, you’ve likely heard of chocolate most frequently. Theobromine isn’t harmful to people, but it is the toxic portion of chocolate for dogs. It is found in all kinds of chocolate, but particularly in dark chocolate and coconut oil. It can cause a dog to vomit, have diarrhea, and be too thirsty, but on the more extreme side, it can cause abnormal heart rhythms, seizures, tremors, or death. Save the sweets for yourself.

4.Bacon And Fatty Meat

Wait, your dog can’t have bacon? That is perfect! High-fat foods like ham, bacon, or meat trimmings can cause pancreatitis in dogs. And since these meats tend to be high in salt content, too, they can cause upset stomachs and, in extreme cases, can cause visitors to drink an excessive amount of water, resulting in bloat, which can be deadly. Save the fatty acids for yourself and stick to leaner choices for your dog.

5.Salty Foods

You may have discovered that popcorn and pretzels are bad for dogs, but that is usually only the case if these foods are salted. Salt may cause a condition called sodium ion poisoning, not to mention excessive thirst or urination. Symptoms of overeating salt might include vomiting, diarrhea, higher body temperature, migraines, and bloat, as is the case with bacon. Salt can be deadly, so keep it to a minimum in the foods you share with your puppy.

6.Garlic And Onions

Total frame, overhead view, of garlic and onions on farmer’s market. This one-two combo of meals doesn’t just give you dragon breath and also repel vampires. These pungent ingredients are bad news for dogs. They could ruin a dog’s red blood cells, leading to anemia, even if consumed in high quantities. It can be a tricky one as a little dose might not do much harm. However, a large dose or regular tiny doses may lead to poisoning. Symptoms might include fatigue, nausea, breathlessness, and a loss of interest. Maintain the bad breath on yourself.

7.Milk, Cheese, Ice Cream, And Other Dairy Products

You might have slipped your dog a pill in a slice of cheese, but puppies aren’t built to process cow milk products. They lack the enzyme to break down milk sugar, and while some dogs are more able to handle dairy than others, many dogs are lactose intolerant. Dairy can cause dogs to vomit, have diarrhea, or create gastrointestinal ailments. The high-fat content can result in pancreatitis, as is the case with fatty meats. Do not share your milk with your dog. It ay sound safe and yummy, but it is one of the dog foods to avoid.

8.Raw Meat, Fish, And Eggs

It is a subject of controversy, as most vets are seeing health benefits from their patients switching to raw meat diets, such as healthier skin and coats, cleaner teeth, and easier digestion. Many vets recommend cooking raw foods to kill off parasites and bacteria, which could be harmful to puppies. Nearly all vets and the FDA still dissuade feeding raw cats, and salmonella and e. coli infections do occur in canines. 

Most of these infections occur to dogs whose immune systems are already compromised, but it could be hard to tell if your pet’s immune system is healthy. Raw eggs have enzymes that may cause skin conditions in dogs, and fresh fish may hide parasites that cause fatal diseases. There are dangers to your raw diet that you will need to weigh against the benefits before choosing to try it. These risks can be decreased through freezing and suitable preparation, but you need to learn how to correctly manage raw food before you feed it to your pet.

The key thing to understand is that it’s not safe to simply run to the grocery store, buy raw meat, toss it into your dog’s bowl, or allow your dog to sneak unprepared meat away from the counter or out of the garbage. Research and understand the dangers and remain informed. If you don’t, your dog can become sick.

9.Candy, Gum, Peanut Butter, And Baked Goods

The real culprit in regards to these sweets is a component known as xylitol. It induces an insulin spike through your pet’s body, which can lead to a drop in blood glucose and liver failure. Symptoms include lethargy, nausea, lack of coordination, seizures, and finally, death. A few of these foods, especially peanut butter, are occasionally made without xylitol, so check the listing of components on your foods until you share them with your pet.

10.Grapes And Raisins

This can be a sneaky case of dangerous foods, as your puppy has probably eaten some grapes or raisins without difficulty. Nevertheless, it’s insecure. Grapes and raisins are known to cause renal failure. Your dog’s kidneys may start to shut down, causing vomiting and lethargy and eventually leading to death. It’s ideal for maintaining the grapes and raisins from the reach of your puppy.


Avocados feature in their leaves, bark, seeds, and fruit. Persin can be toxic in high doses. Nevertheless, dogs are relatively immune to a person, and it might take plenty of avocados for the person to cause injury. After avocados are ripe, the persin levels fall, too. So what is the problem with avocados?

But in case you have an avocado in your house or your yard, your puppy may overindulge in unripened fruit and persin. However, the actual danger comes in the seeds, stems, and pits, and all of which are difficult to digest and can cause choking or gastrointestinal blockages, which can be fatal. In case you have an avocado tree, as many folks do in specific areas of the United States and elsewhere, ensure that your puppy can not get anywhere close to the fruit which falls to the floor. 

Prepare avocados for your dog by removing the damaging components, particularly the pits, and utilizing avos that are mature. If you do, then it is very likely that your dog can safely enjoy avocados, but as always, you should ask your vet before sharing human food with your dog.

12.Sugary Food

Sugary food is not good for people, and it’s not suitable for dogs. In reality, it can result in similar issues for dogs as it does for people. Obesity, dental health difficulties, and diabetes can result from overeating foods with high sugar content. Don’t feed your dog sugar, and it is definitely one of the dog foods to avoid.

9 Worst Dog Food Brands To Avoid

Here is a list of some of the most controversial dog food that you need to avoid buying in the market. We are not saying that you shouldn’t but these products, but be sure to know the risks and ingredients beforehand.


First of the list of dog foods to avoid is Alpo. It started nearly 80 years ago to produce flavorful, meat-rich pet foods. Alpo is one of many pet foods that fall beneath the Purina umbrella, which includes other low-quality brands. It includes Beneful, Mighty Dog, Purina Dog Chow, T-Bonz, and Waggin’ Train.

The Alpo brand promotes meat-rich dog foods, but these products come with artificial additives and low-fat components. Alpo wet foods come in many different flavors. They claim that it is fresh and “cooked in citrus juices.” However, a quick overview of the components reveals the use of meat by-products and artificial flavors.

In its 80 years of existence, the Alpo manufacturer has been affected by several recalls. In the past ten years, there has been one major recall affecting over a dozen products due to melamine contamination.

2.Grreat Choice

The Grreat Choice brand of pet food is made by PetSmart, among the leading pet retailers in the United States. This dog food manufacturer offers an unlimited choice of dry dog food products. Grreat Choice isn’t only easily accessible, but it is also highly economical. This information alone should be enough to raise a red flag but also the problems don’t stop there.

A quick review of Grreat Choice pet food shows the use of corn, wheat, and soy components. Moreover, there are unnamed ingredients such as bone meal and poultry fat. The sad truth is they are not anything more than low-quality goods loaded with fillers and artificial additives.

Grreat Choice dog foods adhere to the minimum for protein and fat while being a little bit heavy on the carbs. However, there were numerous recalls in recent years. In 2007 there were claims of possible melamine contamination. Then, possible salmonella contamination in 2009.

3.Purina Dog Chow

Puring has been excellent for some products, but some include on the dog foods to avoid. The Purina name applies to several pet food manufacturers produced and made from the Nestle Purina PetCare Company. The business began as the Ralston Purina Company in 1893. It currently comprises over half a dozen distinct product lines. Purina Dog Chow is one of Purina’s earliest products and, sadly, among the worst outcomes.

Purina Dog Chow provides an assortment of recipes for dogs with natural formulations and recipes for weight management. The timeless Dog Chow recipe is from whole grain corn, meat, and bone meal. Moreover, it also has corn gluten meal, soybean meal, and chicken by-product.

Purina Dog Chow utilizes many low-fat fillers and non-nutritive ingredients like corn, wheat, and soy products. Their dog foods also come with artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Unfortunately, many pet owners still buy these products. It is because they are cheap and sound like the right products based on printed details on the package. The Purina brand as a whole has been subject to numerous recalls over recent years. Some of its ingredients with issues were the following.

  • Whole grain corn
  • Meat and bone meal
  • Corn gluten meal
  • Soybean meal
  • Poultry by-product meal
  • Whole grain wheat
  • Animal digest
  • Artificial colors, flavors, preservatives


Beneful is just another product line that falls under the Purina umbrella of manufacturers. Beneful delivers several dry food and moist food products that supposedly contain “real meats” like steak, chicken, and salmon.

The Beneful’s Originals come with real beef dry, but followed by five salts or by-products. Sometimes, it also has numerous artificial flavors and colors. Beneful’s wet food products are from corn, wheat, soy ingredients, and artificial additives.

Several recalls have influenced the Purina family of brands over the past ten years. However, only one major recall has affected the Beneful line particularly. This event occurred in 2016 when Beneful moist food products had insufficient levels of essential minerals and vitamins. Beneful has also become the subject of many customer complaints, though Purina asserts that these offenses are “baseless.”


Pedigree offers an extensive range of dry foods, wet foods, and dog treats promoted as “excellent food”. If you check the ingredients list for the majority of these goods, you will find they don’t vary significantly regarding their formulation. Not only is this fixing a common food allergen for dogs, but it offers quite limited nutritional value. Most of Pedigree’s products are carb-heavy and loaded with low-quality fillers in addition to artificial additives.

The Pedigree brand was affected by numerous recalls lately. In fact, the most recent recall of August 2014 involved reports of metal fragments from the food. Another recall in 2012 included descriptions of plastic bits in the meals. Other recalls have been issued concerning potential salmonella contamination.

6.Royal Canin

The Royal Canin manufacturer was set in 1968, and it has grown into one of the greatest pet food brands in the country concerning variety. However, there are some dog foods to avoid from this brand. Royal Canin offers hundreds of goods which are divided into various product lines based on life period, breed size, lifestyle, and health condition. Moreover, it is particularly famous for offering breed-specific recipes. 

Unfortunately, these formulations are not very distinct from one another, and, like nearly all of Royal Canin’s products, they are substantial in low carb carbohydrates and by-products. Lots of Royal Canin’s pet food products list an animal by-product as the primary source of protein, even though it is not always the main ingredient — several recipes containing corn or wheat first.

Royal Canin does use several chelated minerals in their recipes, but it’s challenging to cancel out so many other low-quality ingredients. Overall, Royal Canin isn’t a high-quality brand of pet food. The Royal Canin manufacturer has been affected by several recalls in recent history, primarily due to melamine contamination issues. There were just two recalls in 2007 and recall in February issued because of elevated levels of vitamin D3.

7. Hill’s Science Diet

Even though Hill’s Science Diet is marketed as a great choice by many veterinarians, these guidelines are made in error. While Hill’s might be among the most prominent brands of pet food in terms of product variety, it is by no means among the better brands concerning quality.

The Hill’s Science Diet brand is made by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc., and it’s available in pet shops and vet offices across the country. Hill’s Science Diet offers a massive variety of dog food products for puppies, adults, and mature dogs, as well as small-breed and large-breed dogs.

They also offer recipes formulated for specific health issues. If you review the ingredients listing for all Hill’s Science Diet goods, you will find that they aren’t all that distinct and that many ingredients are low-quality. By way of example, many Science Diet merchandise list carbohydrates as the primary ingredient, and many recipes include corn, wheat, and soy products.

The Hill’s Science Diet brand of pet food has been remembered a range of times, and it had been voluntarily withdrawn by the company once in 2015 due to labeling issues. There were two recalls in 2007 related to melamine issues and one in 2014, which was issued due to possible salmonella contamination.

8.Kibbles ‘N Bits

This brand of dog food is easily among the most well-known brands available on the market, but it is also one of those dog foods to avoid. This dog food brand is produced and fabricated by Big Heart Pet Brands. Also, it includes a variety of dry food and wet food products.

The Kibbles N Bits brand guarantees “joy in every bite,” but a brief review of their dog food formulas shows that not merely is joy missing from the components list, but so are many high-quality ingredients. Although Kibblesn’ Bits uses many different low-fat components and non-nutritive fillers within their goods, there aren’t any product recalls in recent history.

9.Ol’ Roy

The Ol’ Roy brand of pet food is produced and manufactured by the Mars Group available in Walmart stores. Though this brand certainly belongs on the list for the worst brands of all time, it is still one of the USA’s most popular brands.

The most important reason behind this is that it is highly inexpensive and easy to find — Walmart doesn’t advertise this product at all. Ol’ Roy dog food claims to provide “great meaty flavor to promote wholesome appetite,” and also, the package proposes comparing this product to Purina Dog Chow. 

An overview of the ingredients list for several Ol’ Roy products shows the use of several kinds of wheat, corn, soy, and low-quality meat products and synthetic additives. Hence, it is one of the dog foods to avoid.

Frequently Asked Questions

Finally, let us answer some of the most commonly asked questions about dog foods to avoid.

Is Grain Free Dog Food Better? 

Dogs have been found to have trouble digesting grains, and therefore, grain-free dog food can help digestion. A grain-free diet for your dog will also mean that you are likely buying dog food with higher levels of vegetables, fiber, and proteins. It will help the development of your dog’s coat and skin, as well as provide your dog with more energy. A grain-free diet has, however, recently been linked to a small increase in canine heart disease.

What is the best vet recommended dog food? 

The truth is, there is no real consensus among vets on which dog food is the best. It is because all dogs are different and unique. There is no one catch-all formula that would be perfect for any dog. Therefore, we would recommend searching for a well-regarded dog food that is high in protein and fat, and that your dog likes the taste of it!

What dog food is killing dogs?

Hill’s Pet Nutrition faces the wrath of dog owners who say their pets became ill or died after eating canned food recalled nationwide for elevated levels of vitamin D that can poison a pooch.

Selecting what you feed your pet is one of the most significant decisions a dog proprietor makes. Knowing the difference between positive and negative formulas will go a long way in making sure your pet leads a long and happy life. We expect to have given you the capacity to spot a high dog food formulation. 

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