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The best Merrick dog food

Which Merrick dog food is best?

Choosing the right food for your dog can improve their health and well-being, but with so many options out there, which do you choose? Merrick dog food is known for its high-quality ingredients, with extras such as probiotics for digestive health and glucosamine for joints.

Considerations when choosing Merrick dog food

Merrick dog food lines

The first step is to consider which of Merrick's dog food lines is right for your faithful friend. Foods from the Classic Healthy Grains line are the best choice for most dogs because they're perfectly balanced for the average dog and contain a blend of quality meats and heart-healthy whole grains.

The Grain-Free line is best for dogs with diagnosed grain allergies only, since recent studies suggest grain-free dog foods may be detrimental to heart health and lead to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

The Backcountry line is high in protein, which is perfect for active dogs, but since it's grain-free, you may need to add some additional grains to your dog's diet.

Foods in the Limited Ingredient diet line are designed for dogs with allergies and digestive issues, while the Lil’ Plates line is formulated for small breed dogs.

Wet vs. dry

Wet food tends to contain more meat and fewer fillers than dry food, but it costs significantly more and can be prohibitively expensive if you have a large dog or multiple dogs to feed. Dry food tends to be less palatable to dogs, though many will eat it consistently. It's convenient for free feeding and stays fresh for a long time. If you're unsure which way to go, you can feed a mix of wet and dry foods.

Merrick dog food features

Package size

Dry food comes in packs between four and 25 pounds, so choose according to how much food your dog gets through. Wet food generally comes in packs of 12 cans, but the size of the cans varies.


Merrick dog food toppers are designed to be added to dry dog food to boost nutrition and make them more palatable.

Merrick dog food price

Merrick dog food varies in price depending on the line or formula and package size. You can pay anywhere from $20-$80.

Merrick dog food FAQ

Q. How much food does my dog need?

A. All dogs need different amounts of food depending on factors such as their size, age, weight, and activity level. On the packaging of your Merrick dog food is a feeding chart that tells you how much to feed your dog according to their weight. This is just a guideline, however, since other factors influence the exact amount of food your dog needs. Keep a close eye on your dog's weight for a few months after switching foods, so you can increase portions if they lose weight or decrease portions if they gain weight.

Q. What's the best process for switching from one dog food to another?

A. If you simply switch your dog's food from one brand to another overnight, it's likely they'll experience digestive distress — unless you want to spend a few days clearing up vomit and diarrhea, you must make a gradual switch. Start by replacing about a quarter of your dog's old food with new food on day one, then increase this to 50% old and 50% new on day three, move to 75% new, 25% old on day five, and finally to 100% new on day seven.

Merrick dog foods we recommend

Best of the best

Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Big-Game Recipe Dry Dog Food

Our take: A high-protein food consisting of raw-coated kibble and freeze-dried raw pieces.

What we like: Contains omega-3 and -6 fatty acids for skin and coat health. The high glucosamine and chondroitin levels are great for joints. Three bag sizes.

What we dislike: Best to mix with some grain-containing food unless your dog is allergic.

Where to buy: Sold by Chewy

Best bang for your buck

Merrick Lil’ Plates Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Our take: An affordable food designed with the needs of small dogs in mind, available in both grain-free and grain-containing options.

What we like: The smaller kibble pieces are ideal for little mouths. Great for skin, coat, and joints. Minimal filler ingredients. Added probiotics for digestive health.

What we dislike: Not for medium and large dogs.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Real Beef + Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Our take: We love that this food is made with a blend of heart-healthy whole grains.

What we like: The high fiber content and added probiotics are great for the digestive system. Deboned beef is the first ingredient. Added extras for joint health.

What we dislike: Some buyers would prefer a resealable bag design.

Where to buy:  Sold by Chewy


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Lauren Corona  writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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