US Vet picks the 9 Best Dog Foods Made in USA in 2022

While US-made dog food is usually safer, some brands source certain ingredients from undeveloped countries with lower quality standards. That’s why to achieve maximum safety and provide all the essential nutrients, it’s necessary to review the sources of the most critical ingredients.

I used my 12 years of Veterinary experience to review over 100 dog food products to find the best dog food made in the USA.

After evaluating over 100 American dog food recipes, I found that “Steve’s Real Food Freeze-Dried Raw Nuggets” has the best overall combination of nutrients and quality sources. 

But I understand that no two pups are alike, and your doggie might have a different life stage or have different needs, such as a sensitive stomach or an active lifestyle. That’s why I prepared a shortlist of the best American dog foods that address these common conditions.

I explained why it’s recommended to consider feeding Fido dog food made in the USA, and the risks of food produced overseas. 

After you decide that a dog food made in the USA is right for your doggie, you can check out these 10 American foods that I shortlisted for you

If my shortlist doesn’t cover your doggie’s needs for some reason, I prepared a quick checklist that would assist you in finding the best American dog food for her. I wrote the checklist in plain & simple English so that you can follow it easily.

Finally, I answered popular questions patients have asked me regarding american foods.

Always remember that the recommendations in this review are not intended to replace a doctor-patient relationship. Always consult your veterinarian before making significant adjustments to your furbaby’s diet.

Let’s get started.

The Risk With Dog Food Produced Overseas

dog smiling to camera after learning about food produced outside the USA

In March 2007, Canadian-based Menu Foods alerted the FDA that 14 dogs and cats developed kidney failure and died after eating one of their products. They also issued a voluntary recall. In the ensuing months, more companion animal deaths that were potentially linked to eating pet food occurred. 

Investigation of the deaths revealed a common link. According to the FDA’s findings, the culprit was food that was contaminated with melamine and other related compounds. In each case, they traced the melamine to imported vegetable protein products incorrectly labeled as wheat gluten and rice protein. These ingredients originated in China.

Sadly, thousands of pets probably died from dog food contaminated with melamine. However, the tragedy prompted Congress to draft the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act (FDAAA). This piece of legislation required the FDA to:

  • Improve the reporting system for pet food adverse events
  • Improve the definitions and standards for pet food ingredients
  • Improve pet food labeling to better inform consumers 

As of 2017, only the first of the above bullet points was completed. That means there is a reporting system in place when someone suspects dog food has become contaminated or adulterated with dangerous substances. While it’s a good first step, your pup could still be at risk…

Not all American Dog Foods Created Equal

2 dogs siblings wearing USA flag bows studying about american dog food brands

If you think a product labeled “Made in the USA” is always safe, think again. The label may not be telling the whole story.

  • Understanding the Term “Made in the USA” – Sadly, no regulations require pet food manufacturers to label their products as “Made in the USA”. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) only requires that products labeled “Made in the USA” are all or virtually all made in the USA. However, the “virtually all” qualification allows some wiggle room, and that could spell trouble. 
  • Has Your Dog’s Food Taken the Pledge? – The Association for Truth in Pet Food (ATPF) encourages pet food and treat manufacturers to provide a pledge of quality and origin for the ingredients in their products. This document, signed by the president or CEO, indicates all the ingredients in each pet food and/or treat and the company name, address, and website. The origin and quality statement for each ingredient are listed in appropriate columns. Participating companies and links to their pledges are listed on the ATPFs website.
  • What Role Does the AAFCO Play? – Regulatory oversight of dog food production falls to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but they don’t have enough manpower to develop and enforce the rules. Therefore, the FDA maintains a cooperative relationship with the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). This volunteer organization provides recommended regulations for pet foods that cover labeling, ingredient definitions, and nutritional requirements. However, AAFCO has no power to enforce the regulations. That authority falls to each state.

The nutritional guidelines and ingredient definitions set forth by the AAFCO do not differentiate acceptable from unacceptable sources of essential ingredients such as protein. As long as the manufacturer can list the ingredient as an approved ingredient by AAFCO, it meets the standard. That means there’s a potential for unsafe materials to be included in your dog’s kibble.

  • The Truth About Products Labeled “Made in the USA” – We indicated above that manufacturer don’t have to include “made in the USA” on the product label. They also don’t have to show how much of the ingredients are sourced in the country. However, many producers choose to place the American Flag or a statement “proudly made in the USA” to attract customers. 

Because the “all or virtually all” standard is a vague term, products can contain negligible amounts of foreign content and meet the labeling standard. In the case of food adulteration, this can be a serious problem. With some contaminants, even a small amount is all you need to cause health issues or death. 

If a product label claims the contents are made in the United States and adulteration is suspected, the FTC will determine if there’s a labeling violation. This is done on a case-by-case basis. To avoid investigation by the FTC, some manufacturers use the qualification, “Made in the USA with imported ingredients”. 

The bottom line here is that “Made in the USA” or an American flag on the label may not guarantee that all the ingredients were sourced domestically.

Provide all the Nutrients with Dog Food Made in the USA

dog wearing a USA bandana and smiling after eating a USA based dog food

Nowadays, you can find various dog food brands based in the US. You can choose from various recipes, formulations for different life stages, and special health conditions. So how do you know which food is the right choice for your dog? 

For your convenience, we’ve created a rule of thumb checklist to make it easier for you to choose the right American dog food formulation that fits best for your doggie:  

  • Life Stage Appropriate – Put simply, puppy food is for puppies and adult food is for adults. Your furbaby will have different nutrient needs at different stages of life. Purchase a product that supplies him with suitable nutrition for his needs.
  • Formulated to Meet Individual Dietary Needs – If your furbaby has special dietary needs, check the label to make sure it contains helpful supplements and important nutrients. For example:
    • Glucosamine and chondroitin for hips and other joints
    • Beta-carotene from orange and yellow vegetables for the eyes
    • Prebiotic fiber and probiotics to soothe the gut and aid digestion
  • Protein is the Top Ingredient – Dogs are carnivores and descendants of wolves. They need a protein-rich diet to support their lean muscle mass. Check the label to make sure the first ingredient is an animal-based protein source like chicken, beef, or fish.
  • Complete and Balanced Nutrition – The AAFCO provides guidelines for the minimum nutrient requirements of pets. Look for a statement on the label that indicates the formula meets the basic nutritional requirements established by the AAFCO for complete and balanced nutrition.
  • Includes Omega Fatty Acids – Healthy fats that include essential fatty acids help to provide energy for activity. Look for ingredients like fish oil, salmon, and flaxseed that are rich sources of omega fatty acids. These macronutrients support the brain, coat, and skin.
  • Fiber-rich – It’s important to look for fiber-rich ingredients such as fruits and vegetables. These materials support healthy digestion and help provide a sense of fullness.
  • Contains No Unidentified Meat Meals or Byproducts – Vague or generic ingredients like meat meal and animal byproducts may include parts like beaks and feathers. Check the label to make sure these materials are not listed.
  • Manufactured in a Country With Rigorous Safety Protocols – Naturally, your first choice is a product made and sourced in the USA. However, there are other nations like Canada, Australia, and many western European countries that also follow rigorous standards for food safety.

Our 2022 Review For 10 Best Dog Food Made In The USA

dog waiting to review dog food recipes that was sourced in the USA

We reviewed over 100 products by following the mentioned above process and classified the best for your doggie’s everyday essential nutrient needs. 

We considered each pick’s life stage and common health issues and ensured it has the best nutrient sources. Those brands are Sourced, Manufactured, and Packaged in the US. 

Steve’s Real Food Freeze-Dried Raw Nuggets

  • First 5 ingredients: Ground Turkey, Turkey Liver, Turkey Hearts, Broccoli, Spinach
  • Key feature: Raw ingredients
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 49.5%; Crude Fat 35.1%; Crude Fiber 2.4%; Moisture 4.8%
  • Caloric Content: 153 kcal/ounce, dry
  • Type of Product: Freeze-dried 
  • Life Stage: All Ages
  • Best for: Overall Pick 
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for all life stages 

Featuring readily digestible protein sources from turkey in the top three ingredients, this product from Steve’s offers the amino acids that your furbaby needs to power strong muscles. Healthy sources of essential and omega fatty acids provide key macronutrients to support the skin, coat, brain, and other body systems. 

Fortification with garden vegetables and fruits provides rich sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Watermelon is an excellent source of the antioxidant lycopene, which neutralizes free-radicals. The formula includes raw goat’s milk to soothe the gut and aid digestion. 

Relying on all-natural sources of essential nutrients, this formula requires no added supplementation. Turkey and liver hearts provide sources of taurine. Flaxseed, chia seed, salmon oil, and other ingredients add omega fatty acids. This food has a balanced blend of essential nutrients to keep your pooch happy and healthy.

Steve’s Real Food pledges that their ingredients are sourced in the Pacific Northwest. This product is made in the USA. 

The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: Dehydrated Chicken, Organic Barley, Dehydrated Potatoes, Organic Flaxseed, Organic Oats
  • Key feature: Whole grains
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 24.5%; Crude Fat 14%; Crude Fiber 4%; Moisture 8%
  • Caloric Content: 485 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Dehydrated Dog Food
  • Life Stage: All Ages
  • Best for: Puppies
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for all life stages including the growth of large breed dogs

Starting with dehydrated chicken, this formula has the protein your pal needs for healthy muscle development and maintenance. The formula includes healthy sources of omega fatty acids and other essential nutrients for healthy skin and coat. 

Whole grains provide digestible fiber along with essential minerals and vitamins to support growth and development. There are also fruits and garden vegetables that provide antioxidants and other macronutrients for complete and balanced nutrition. With high caloric density, this food provides the energy needed to support your puppy’s growth and activity level. It’s also suitable for active adult dogs.

The formula is made in the USA with minimally processed ingredients. None of the materials are sourced from China according to the company’s signed pledge

Open Farm Grain-Free Humanely and Sustainably Sourced Dog Food Senior Recipe

  • First 5 ingredients: Turkey, Chicken, Sweet Potato, Ocean Whitefish Meal, Peas
  • Key feature: Grain Free
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 31%; Crude Fat 12.5%; Crude Fiber 4.5%; Moisture 10%
  • Caloric Content: 436 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Dry Dog Food
  • Life Stage: Senior
  • Best for: Seniors
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for maintenance

Starting with readily digestible turkey and chicken that’s grown on American farms using humane practices, this formula has the amino acids your aging pooch needs to maintain lean muscle mass. Natural sources of fat from coconut and salmon oil provide essential and omega fatty acids to boost your pal’s immunity and keep the skin and coat healthy.

Locally sourced fruits and vegetables provide phytonutrients and antioxidants to help combat free radicals and promote cellular health. Prebiotic fiber encourages digestion.

The formula includes glucosamine and chondroitin supplements for joint mobility and repair. There’s also taurine to support the heart. All ingredients are sourced from trusted suppliers and fully traceable. Open Farm asserts that almost all ingredients are from the USA, and no materials come from China.

Nature’s Logic Canine Beef Meal Feast All Life Stages Dry Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: Beef Meal, Millet, Chicken Fat, Pumpkin Seed, Yeast Culture
  • Key feature: All-natural ingredients
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 34%; Crude Fat 15%; Crude Fiber 5%; Moisture 9%
  • Caloric Content: 375 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Dry kibble
  • Life Stage: All Ages
  • Best for: sensitive stomach
  • AAFCO Statement: provides complete and balanced nutrition for all life stages and is comparable in nutritional adequacy to a product that has been substantiated using AAFCO food tests

Starting with beef meal, this protein-rich formula provides essential amino acids to support your dog’s muscles. It includes healthy sources of essential and omega fatty acids to keep the skin supple and the coat shiny and soft and to manage inflammation. 

The formula includes digestible garden vegetables and fruits for rich sources of antioxidants fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Digestive enzymes, prebiotic fiber and probiotic microorganisms support healthy digestion and soothe the gut.   

This product is made in the USA using ingredients mostly sourced in the USA. The company has a signed pledge that indicates no materials come from China.

K9 Natural Beef Feast Raw Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: Beef, Beef Liver, Beef Tripe, Beef Kidney, Beef Heart
  • Key feature: High Meat
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein35%; Crude Fat 37%; Crude Fiber 2%; Moisture 8%
  • Caloric Content: 237 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Raw, freeze-dried dog food
  • Life Stage: All Ages
  • Best for: allergies
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for all life stages including the growth of large breed dogs

Packed with beef organs, this freeze-dried product from K9 has the amino acids and essential fatty acids your pal needs to stay active. 90% of the ingredients come from meat, organs, and bones to provide a tasty meal for your carnivore. 

With fruits and vegetables, the formula includes antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals for whole-body health. New Zealand green mussels and flaxseed provide omega fatty acids for a healthy coat and skin. 

This product is made in New Zealand with materials sourced within the nation according to the company’s pledge. The country offers rigorous food safety standards of production. 

Vital Essentials Beef Entree Mini Nibs Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: Beef, Beef Lung, Beef Liver, Beef Stomach, Beef Heart
  • Key feature: Limited ingredient
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 51%; Crude Fat 23%; Crude Fiber 2.2%; Moisture 7%
  • Caloric Content: 272 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Freeze-dried 
  • Life Stage: All Ages
  • Best for: Adults
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for all life stages including the growth of large breed dogs

Beef and beef organs are the top ingredients in this formula, and that supplies the amino acids your pooch needs for strong, healthy muscles. Healthy sources of fat offer essential fatty acids and omegas to keep the skin soft and the coat shiny. 

With no grains or fillers, this product is readily digestible and packed with essential nutrients for your pooch. The freeze-drying process locks in important vitamins and minerals. The mini-nibs are a perfect size for small breeds, but any pooch can eat them. 

In their pledge, Vital Essentials asserts that all the ingredients used to make this food are sourced in the USA. The food is processed and packaged in the midwest United States. 

Dr. Harvey’s Canine Health The Miracle Dog Food Pre-Mix

  • First 5 ingredients: Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Barley, Organic Triticale, Organic Spelt, Organic Brown Rice
  • Key feature: Organic Ingredients
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 12%; Crude Fat 3%; Crude Fiber 5%; Moisture 12%
  • Caloric Content: not listed
  • Type of Product: Dog Food pre-mix
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Supplemental Mix
  • AAFCO Statement: by itself, this product is intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding only

This blend of whole grains, vegetables, herms, vitamins, and minerals offers a balanced pre-mix for pet parents. By following the package guidelines, you can add protein and oil to prepare a fresh meal at home for your furbaby. 

The product is made in the USA with traceable ingredients. According to the company’s pledge, some substances originate from other countries, but no materials come from China. There are no by-products, corn, wheat, or soy in the formula. 

With a blend of digestible ingredients that provide sources of fiber and omega fatty acids, this pre-mix is made to support healthy digestion, skin, and coat. 

TruDog Feed Me Crunchy Munchy Beef Bonanza Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: Beef, Beef Tripe, Beef Lung, Ground Beef Bone, Beef Liver
  • Key feature: Raw diet
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 41%; Crude Fat 28%; Crude Fiber 4%; Moisture 5%
  • Caloric Content: 286.59 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Freeze-dried 
  • Life Stage: All Ages
  • Best for: grain-free
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for all life stages including the growth of large breed dogs

This raw food from TruDog starts with beef and beef organs to provide a protein-rich diet that supports lean muscle mass. The natural sources of essential fatty acids offer healthy fuel for daily activity. Herring oil adds omega fatty acids to support the skin and coat.

With freeze-dried ingredients, the nutrients are preserved for your furbaby. This formula offers complete and balanced nutrition. It contains no artificial ingredients or chemical preservatives. 

TruDog pledges that the food is made in the USA using ingredients sourced from within the country. There are no fillers or by-products in the formula.

Farmina N&D Ancestral Grain Lamb & Blueberry Medium & Maxi Adult Dry Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: Lamb, Dehydrated Lamb, Whole Spelt, Whole Oats, Dried Whole Eggs
  • Key feature: Grain and Gluten-Free
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 28%; Crude Fat 18%; Crude Fiber 2.9%; Moisture 9%
  • Caloric Content: 394 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Freeze-Dried Dog Food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Healthy weight
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for adult dogs

The top 2 ingredients in this food are lamb to provide rich sources of essential amino acids for your pal’s muscles. Herring and other ingredients offer essential and omega fatty acids to promote healthy skin, coat, and brain. 

With whole food ingredients that include garden vegetables and fruit, the formula is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals for balanced nutrition. Prebiotic fibers and L-carnitine support healthy digestion and metabolism to prevent unwanted weight gain. The product also has taurine supplements for heart health.

Featuring high protein and low carb ingredients, this food has a low glycemic index that’s suitable for weight loss and maintenance. It contains no legumes, peas, meals, or by-products. Lamb ingredients in the formula offer natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint mobility and repair. 

Featuring high protein and low carb ingredients, this food has a low glycemic index that’s suitable for weight loss and maintenance. It contains no legumes, peas, meals, or by-products. Based on the company’s pledge, most of the ingredients originate in Italy or European Union nations. There are no source materials from China. This food is made in Italy under food safety standards that are equivalent to the USA.

Primal Turkey Liver Munchies Freeze-Dried Dog & Cat Treats

  • First 5 ingredients: Turkey Liver
  • Key feature: Single ingredient
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 76%; Crude Fat 11%; Crude Fiber 1%; Moisture 7%
  • Caloric Content: not listed
  • Type of Product: Freeze-dried treats
  • Life Stage: All Ages
  • Best for: treats
  • AAFCO Statement: intended as a treat only; not a complete diet

These tasty tidbits from Primal are sourced and packaged in the USA. Made from raw turkey liver, the product provides a protein-rich treat that you can use for training or rewards for good behavior. They’re delicious and healthy. 

Primal’s pledge indicates that the turkey livers used to make these freeze-dried goodies come from the United States. They’re antibiotic and hormone-free. 

Caru Daily Dish Turkey with Lamb Stew Grain-Free Wet Dog Food

  • First 5 ingredients: Water sufficient for processing, turkey, turkey broth, lamb, chickpeas
  • Key feature: Grain-free
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 5%; Crude Fat 3.5%; Crude Fiber 2%; Moisture 82%
  • Caloric Content: 291 kcal/pack
  • Type of Product: Wet Dog Food
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: wet food
  • AAFCO Statement: formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for maintenance

After water, turkey is the first ingredient in this wet dog food. The animal protein ingredients provide the building blocks to help maintain lean muscle mass. Healthy sources of essential and omega fatty acids include flaxseed. These ingredients support the skin, coat, and brain. 

With limited ingredients and no corn, wheat, or soy, this product is made to be gentle on the stomach. In addition to turkey and lamb, the formula includes whole fruits and vegetables that provide antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Caru is manufactured in the USA using human-grade food ingredients. There are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives in the formula. Food substances are sources in the United States. According to the company’s pledge, some of the vitamin and mineral mixes are imported from other nations. There are no ingredients from China.

Frequently Asked Questions

corgi wearing a USA flag and staring at his while feeling curious to taste his new american food

What is melamine in dog food?

Melamine is an organic compound that can be used to make durable plastics. They have been added to food to increase the protein content, but they’re toxic.

What is the best dog food in the US?

Read our review below to find our top pick for dog food made in the USA.

What Pet Foods Are Made In The USA?

If a product has “Made in the USA” or a comparable statement on the label, it was manufactured in the country. But that doesn’t guarantee all the ingredients come from US-based sources. The best place to check for information on ingredients is with the ATPF

Is Purina dog food made in the USA?

Purina dog foods are made in USA-based facilities, but some of the ingredients may be sourced from other countries. There are also a few treats that are made in China. 

Is Blue Buffalo Dog Food Made In The USA?

Blue Buffalo Dog Foods are manufactured in the USA, but some minor ingredients may be sourced from other countries.

What Dog Food Is Not Made In China?

According to Dog Food Advisor, you may be hard-pressed to find a dog food that can guarantee it has no ingredients or premixes that were made in China.

The Final Woof

dog celebrating with his owner after eating a delicious USA dog food on 4th of July

One way to have the assurance that you’re getting the product quality that you pay for is to buy a product made in the USA. But, as we shared above, it’s not always as easy as reading the label. 

After evaluating over 100 products on the market and comparing them to our criteria and key considerations for the best dog food made in the USA, we recommend Steve’s Real Food Freeze-Dried Raw Nuggets as the Best overall pick.

Not only is this food made in the USA, it only uses materials that are sourced within the country. As for product quality, this formula starts with protein and features natural materials.

There are no artificial ingredients or harmful chemicals in Steve’s Real Food. The blend of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables helps to ensure a complete and balanced nutritional blend. It also includes omega fatty acids and the macronutrients your pooch needs for total health. 

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