The search for the right food for your dog can be exhausting. With so many choices and factors that go into your dog’s health, it’s tough to make a decision. We did the research to help simplify that decision and find all of the dog food made in the USA. Several of the large manufacturers cut corners and source their mysterious ingredients from China and other locations. We set out to find the companies that are producing the highest quality dog food with local U.S. ingredients that are going to keep your dog feeling great for years to come. Below are all the brands making dog food in the USA and additional details on each one.
Full List of Dog Food Brands Made in the USA
Going for over 30 years, Merrick Pet Care has been committed to making premium pet food from the best ingredients possible that offer great taste and super nutrition. They don’t use any fillers, preservatives, or anything artificial. Most of their ingredients are sourced locally from farmers in the Texas area where they operate. Occasionally, some ingredients are sourced outside of the U.S, but they get absolutely zero ingredients from China.
All of their recipes have zero poultry by-products, artificial preservatives, corn, wheat, soy, or gluten. They also include Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, which are great for helping your keep a healthy skin and coat.
Merrick’s range of dog food includes full source, backcountry, grain-free, healthy grains, lil’ plates, limited ingredient diet, puppy, slow-cooked BBQ, wet, toppers, fresh kissers, and treats. They also release seasonal flavors, meaning you can mix up your dog food meals regularly.
For more, read our full breakdown on Merrick dog food.
Castor & Pollux’s dog food range is broken down into two categories – ORGANIX and PRISTINE.
The ORGANIX range is a USDA organically-certified range of dog food. These products are always made from organic free-range chicken or turkey. They include superfood blends that are packed with nutrients like probiotics and prebiotic fiber (for healthy digestion) and Omega-3 fatty acids (for healthy skin and fur). They are non-GMO, contain no wheat, corn, or soy, and are produced without chemicals, preservatives, fertilizers, added growth hormones or antibiotics.
PRISTINE is Castor & Pollux’s range of dog food that includes ingredients that are responsibly raised, caught, or grown. Meat used is always free-range and grass-fed and fish is always caught in the wild. Similar to the ORGANIX range, these recipes don’t include gluten, corn, grain, soy, or wheat and there is nothing artificial included.
With over 75 years in business, Bil-Jac sells dry dog food, wet dog food, treats, health enhancers, and frozen food.
Their products are made using selected wholesome grains containing antioxidants. They make sure to include the highest-quality ingredients so that your dog gets the most nutrition it can. Their priority is using fresh, never-frozen chicken. In each 30lb bag, they include 25lbs of fresh chicken. Because they use this quantity, they don’t add any fillers, fat, or taste enhancers to their products.
Bil-Jac also slow-cooks their dog food in small batches to lock in more nutrition and to make the food tastier and less dry. You can browse their site by filtering depending on your dog breed size and dog age to find a food type most suited to your pet.
Check out our full breakdown of where Bil-Jac food is made.
Health Extension makes sure that their recipes have the vitamins that your dog needs to stay healthy, especially when it comes to large breeds that have an increased risk of joint problems.
All of their recipes meet the requirements of the AAFCO Dog Food Nutritional Program, which basically means that their food is okay for dogs at all stages of life. Their products contain absolutely zero by-products, rendered animal fats, corn, gluten, soy, artificial preservatives, wheat, added sugar, or other artificial flavors. Health Extension has a function on their site where you can see where all of their ingredients are sourced from across the USA, which makes it more reassuring knowing they’re using US-sourced products.
Health Extension makes dry and wet dog food for all sizes and stages of life and has an extensive line of vitamins and supplements for your pet. Check out our full breakdown of where Holistic Health Extension is made.
Tender & True is all about creating organic dog food. These guys start all of their recipes out with the first USDA-certified organic chicken (literally – it’s the #1 ingredient), just like you would get from your local butcher. All of their chicken has been certified humanely raised by the Global Animal Partnership. They also have the first GAP humanely raised and MSC sustainably fished certifications.
Their product range includes dry food, wet food, freeze-dried food, and treats. They ensure their dog food is non-GMO, doesn’t use antibiotics and is truly farm to fork. Tender & True looks to keep innovating to provide the best quality dog food whilst being more sustainable and responsible.
Why Does it Matter Where Your Dog Food is Made?
Simply put, there are more regulations in the U.S. than abroad when it comes to pet food production. This allows overseas manufacturers to cut corners with more heavily processed ingredients and other low-quality ingredients like propylene glycol, which is commonly found in antifreeze. Simply put: dog food made in the USA is a safer bet more often than not. My best advice is to check the ingredients list and call the brand to verify sourcing. I really like Dog Food Advisor for their ingredients list breakdowns, so make sure to check them out too. Here are some other factors to consider.
Meat quality is super important, and some larger dog food manufacturers cut the corners here. For starters, you want your first ingredient to be de-boned meat of some kind. Look out for unnamed meats or meals in their ingredients list.
A meal is essentially just concentrated meat. However, manufacturers aren’t required to tell you the specific breakdown of the meal itself. Therefore, we flagged any foods with a generic “meat meal” description that typically is a tip-off that they used something unnatural as a filler.
There are a lot of ingredients out there that are not safe for dogs. Many people know about stuff like chocolate, avocado, and grapes, but ingredients like onions and garlic are also harmful to dogs. Here are some of the things to look out for and avoid.
- Specific proteins (chicken, beef, lamb, etc.)
- Natural preservatives like vitamin E and vitamin C
- Certifications from health organizations like the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials)
- Omega 3 and 6 acids for healthy skin and coats
- Calcium and phosphorus for healthy bone and teeth development
- DHA for brain development in puppy mixes
- Unnatural preservatives (BHT, BHA, TBHQ, etc.)
- Non-specific proteins (just “meat” or “animal meal”)
- Toxic foods like chocolate, garlic, or onions
- Artificial colors or flavoring (can potentially be labeled as a “natural flavor” additive)
- The ingredient mix is very heavy on plant-based proteins
- “Gravy” ingredient
If you feel like your pup isn’t getting the nutrients they need, consider supplements. We did the research to find dog supplements made in the USA as well.
How To Find Dog Food Made in The USA
As a dog owner, you want to ensure your pup is as healthy and happy as possible. This means feeding them food that isn’t full of nasty chemicals, hormones, and preservatives. Unfortunately, most dog food is made abroad, often with cheaper ingredients with lower nutrients.
To ensure the dog food you’re buying meets the strict safety and quality standards set by the USA, buy dog food made domestically. But how do you find these products? Here are some helpful tips on how to find dog food made in the USA.
What Does “Made in the USA” Mean?
First, let’s define what it means for something to be made in the USA. According to the FTC, “made in the USA” means “all or virtually all” of the product is made in the United States. This includes all parts of the manufacturing – including the raw ingredients to the packaging. In other words, this means that the dog food should contain no, or only a negligible amount of, foreign content.
To learn more about the FTC’s requirements, look at our “made in the USA” labeling guide.
The first thing to look for when searching for American-made dog food is the ingredients. Dog food should ideally be made with ingredients easily sourced from the USA. For example, dog food that contains ingredients like chicken, beef, and fish are easily sourced from the USA. However, it definitely doesn’t hurt to double-check the country of origin, as these meats can just as easily be sourced from overseas – especially for those companies looking to cut costs and go with cheaper cuts of meat.
However, meats like lamb are not often sourced from the USA. Instead, lamb is typically sourced from Australia or New Zealand. So, you’re less likely to find lamb-based dog food that is made in the USA.
Vitamins and Minerals
Another important thing many pet owners look for in dog food is the vitamins and minerals provided in the food. For example, vitamin C is commonly found in many dog foods because it reduces inflammation and supports healthy aging.
Unfortunately, vitamin C supplements are not made in the USA, so they must be imported. So the chances of your dog food with added vitamin C being made in the USA are pretty low.
Typically, dog food loaded with added vitamins and minerals means that the meat used is cheaper cuts with fewer nutrients, so they add the supplements. However, good quality meats and ingredients already have the vitamins and nutrients a dog needs. So, ensure that the dog food you get has the vitamins and minerals from whole foods instead of a supplement.
The FTC has guidelines that dictate whether a product can use the “made in the USA” label. In addition, Title 19 Chapter 4 Section 1304 of the United States Code states that all products made abroad must be appropriately labeled as such. So, when looking for dog food made in the USA, the labeling on the products can be a huge help.
While the “made in the USA” label is protected, it’s not as simple as it seems. First, there is no pre-approval process for the label, so it’s up to the individual companies to determine whether or not their products meet the requirements. And ultimately, it’s up to the consumers to report any false usage of the label to the FTC.
Another thing to keep in mind is the wording used on the label. Companies often use similar words and phrases to confuse consumers into thinking their products are made in the USA. For example, labels like “manufactured in the USA”, “packaged in the USA”, or “made in the USA with foreign ingredients” are quite popular. But neither of these labels actually means the entire product is made in the USA.
“Made in America” is another commonly used label that doesn’t necessarily mean the product is made in the United States. “Made in America” can refer to the product being made in North America which includes Canada or Mexico.
A final thing to watch out for is the usage of the American flag on labels. Just because a product has an American flag on it does not automatically mean it is made in the United States.
Here are some additional tips for finding dog food made in the USA.
Check The Company’s Website
Do some additional research by visiting the company’s website. Usually, you will find more information about their manufacturing under the “About Us” section. Products made in the USA are a great selling point, so you should see them advertising this on their site.
Check Social Media
Another great place to check is social media. Check out the company’s social media handles to see if they have ever posted anything regarding the country of origin of their products. As mentioned, since “made in the USA” is a huge selling point, companies should be vocal about advertising this if this is the case.
Ask for Recommendations
Ask your veterinarian or your friends and family for recommendations. They may have some great suggestions for US-made dog food for you – especially if they’re as passionate as you about feeding their dogs the right food. Another great source is to check customer reviews online.
Call the Company
If you cannot find the information on their website, simply call the company and ask. Ask where their ingredients come from (make sure to ask specifically about any added vitamins and minerals!) and where the dog food is packaged. A representative should be able to answer your questions.