The 12 Best Dog Foods for English Setters

By Kevin Myers | 2020 Update

This updated guide lists all of the best dog foods for english setters.

A rare breed and mostly confused with long-haired Dalmatian, the English Setters have been man’s best friend since Tudor times. They are called “setter” because of their low crouching posture while hunting for birds. English setter and gamekeepers used to work together to capture game-birds. These dogs are still called English setters but, now the hunters’ fire over them to hunt their birds. English setter digs are good with commands; they learn tricks pretty quick and easy.

There are as many as 340 breeds of dogs in the world that are known and recognized. To be the most loveable and adored among this many breeds isn’t an easy fiat, but English setter does it effortlessly. They are graceful and amiable dogs that are easy to train and work well with family and kids. Originally, in 1800s these dogs were used for hunting or working, but it’s apparent that they are great domestic dogs that love to be a part of the family.

English setter may not be a high maintenance dog, but it does have some nutrition needs that an average dog food can’t fulfill. So, to get the perfect nutrition, what is the premium diet, English Setters? Read more to understand what your dog food is lacking and what should you start your English Setter on to get him full nutrition.

Best Dog Foods for English Setters – My Top 4 Picks

On average, an adult English Setter weighs around 60 pounds by weight measurement. The dog will need a caloric intake of 1504 kcal on average every day to keep up a healthy body. So what are some of the best dog foods for English Setters who have entered adult life stage? Let’s discuss:

1. Royal Canin — Setter Adult Dry Dog Food

Our Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Medium and Large Breeds
  • Caloric Content: 3923 kcal/kg, 416 kcal/cup
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude protein 25.0% (min.), crude fat 18.0% (min.), crude fiber 3.9% (max.), and moisture 10.0% (max.)
  • Form: Dry
  • First 5 ingredients: 1. Brewers Rice, 2. Chicken By-Product Meal, 3. Chicken Fat, 4. Soy Protein Isolate, 5. Corn
  • Long, Jaw-Shaped Kibbles
  • Additional L.I.P Protein

This balanced and nutrition filled diet has been formulated specially for adult English Setters aging over 12 months. The food is provided in the form of long, jaw shaped kibbles which makes it easier for your pet to pick and eat food while thoroughly chewing each kibble. The formula contains L.I.P (Liver-Enriched Inhibitory protein), which makes it highly digestible. The essential fats obtained from chicken meal contribute to maintaining healthy skin and coat of your dog. The DHA and EPA support healthy digestion and offer a precise mix of probiotics with prebiotics. The recipe also includes chondroitin and glucosamine, which essential support mobility and overall immune system of your canine companion.

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2. Instinct — Nature’s Variety Raw Boost Skin & Coat Health Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Adult Dry Dog Food

Our Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium and Large Breeds
  • Caloric Content: 4,615 kcal/kg, 529 kcal/cup
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude protein 32.0% (min.), crude fat 20.0% (min.), crude fiber 4.0% (max.), and moisture 9.0% (max.)
  • Form: Dry, Freeze-dried
  • First 5 ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Menhaden Fish Meal, 3. Chicken Meal, 4. Peas, 5. Tapioca
  • Grain-Free, Gluten-Free
  • No Corn, Wheat, or Soy
  • High-Protein

This all-natural ingredients’ recipe offers nutrient-filled kibbles in the form of freeze-dried chicken along with menhaden fish meal. The meat protein obtained from raw chicken and fish is excellent for your adult English Setter’s overall immune system. The essential fats derived from chia seeds and fish oil, act as a great source of omega 3 and 6, which contribute to maintaining healthy skin and coat of your furry pet. This delicious recipe is free of corn, wheat or soy and thus, is very easily digestible.

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3. Sportsman’s Pride — Maintenance 21/12 Formula Adult Dog Food

Our Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium and Large Breeds
  • Caloric Content: 3580 kcal/kg, 365 kcal/cup
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude protein 21.0% (min.), crude fat 12.0% (min.), crude fiber 3.0% (max.), and moisture 12.0% (max.)
  • Form: Dry
  • First 5 ingredients: 1. Chicken By-Product Meal, 2. Corn Meal, 3. Ground Wheat, 4. Rice, 5. Chicken Fat
  • Pea-Free
  • High-Protein

With this Sportsman’s Pride formula, you can feed protein-rich delicious food to your adult dog. Using real chicken as its first ingredient, this delicious recipe offers high-quality proteins that contribute to maintaining the overall immune system of your pet. Flaxseeds act as a rich source of essential fatty acids that support the skin and coat health of your pet. This recipe includes no artificial preservatives, which makes it easily digestible. This delicious, balanced diet includes all essential minerals and vitamins that contribute to supporting the overall health of your dog.

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4. Meat Mates — Beef Dinner Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Our Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium and Large Breeds
  • Caloric Content: 5008 kcal/kg, 175 kcal/cup
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude protein 41.0% (min.), crude fat 37.0% (min.), crude fiber 1.5% (max.), and moisture 8.0% (max.)
  • Form: Dry, Freeze-dried
  • First 5 ingredients: 1. Beef, 2. Beef Tripe, 3. Beef Heart, 4. Beef Kidney, 5. Beef Spleen
  • Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, GMO-Free
  • High Protein
  • Pea-Free

This limited ingredient recipe offers meaty goodness attained from grass-fed beef. The recipe includes 97% protein meal obtained from beef which contributes to providing the fuel that your pet’s muscles require. This balanced and 100% natural diet is best to support your English Setter’s overall well-being and health. The fatty acids obtained from fish oil contribute to maintaining a healthy coat of your furry pet. Each bite of this delicious recipe is grain and gluten-free, which makes it great for dogs with stomach sensitivities.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I feed my English Setter homemade food?

English Setters are very docile eaters; they will eat almost anything. So you have an advantage there. Homemade food isn’t a bad choice for the English Setter breed only if it contains all the right ingredients like chicken protein, fat, etc.

How many calories should the English Setter pup have in a day?

English Setter puppies are still in their early stage of development (4-12 months), this means they need more calories than the adult English Setters. They may need about 1800 kcal per day. They will also need feeding more than adult English Setters.

What’s the best feed for Senior English Setters?

Mature and senior English Setter can have food sensitivities, avoid feeding them wheat, soy, and corn. Keep their diet steady with chicken, beef, and lamb protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids. Also, keep an eye on the daily intake, senior English Setter gain weight quicker than puppy due to lack of exercise.

Can I feed my English Setter Chicken Eggs?

Yes, you can feed your English Setter chicken eggs. Protein consumed from chicken is easy for English Setters to digest compared to plant protein. You can also take guidance from your Vet about how many chicken eggs to feed your English Setter daily.

Does my English Setter need a high-fiber diet?

A moderate fiber diet is suggested for all age English setters. Fibers that are both soluble and insoluble are a must ingredient for your English Setters diet. Soluble fiber includes inulin, beet pulp, and chicory. Loose stool is the indication of too much fiber; keep that in mind while feeding your English setter a high fiber diet.

What should I feed my hunting English Setter?

Weight and level of activity matters when it comes to feeding your English Setter. An active English setter like a hunting English Setter will need more energy to cope with its hunting routine. On average English setters need 1300 calories per day; you can adjust the count according to the activity level of your dog.

How many times should I feed my English setter in a day?

It’s important that you feed your English setter twice a day, but you will need to adjust the timing according to the age of your dog, a puppy needs more than an adult English Setter, while a senior English Setter needs less or he might start gaining weight.

Do English setters gain weight easily?

Yes, English Setters are prone to weight gain if they do not workout daily. Especially the senior English Setter. If you observe weight gain in your English Setter, you should talk to your Vet and put your English setter on a proper diet, or he will become pudgy.

Can I feed vegetable protein to my English Setter?

Compared to meat protein vegetable protein is hard to digest for English Setter breed. They have food sensitivities, hard to digest food may lead to allergies or an upset stomach. Always go for brands that have meat protein as their key ingredient as then it would have more meat protein than plant protein.

Which type of protein should I feed my English Setter?

Protein is the key ingredient for all English Setter’s diet. Meat protein should be on top of your list; protein from, chicken, beef, and lamb is the suggested form of protein you should give your English Setter. Avoid going for brands that have high percentage of plant protein as that is hard to digest for the English Setter.

Can I feed human food to my English Setter?

You can feed DIY food to your English Setter. All you need is to remember the percentage of protein fat etc. Human diet should include 18 percent protein, 5 percent fat, a healthy level of carbs, 3 to 6 percent fiber, Probiotics /prebiotics Vitamins, and minerals.

How many calories should I feed my senior English Setter?

Compared to Adult and pup, senior English Setters need fewer calories per day. As senior English Setter get lazy and aren’t as active as adult English Setter, it’s better to feed them fewer calories per day. The suggested calorie intake for senior English Setter is about 1100Kcal per day.

Are English Setters picky eaters?

English setters are not picky eaters usually so you will not face any trouble in getting your pet to eat food. However, some English setters suffer from hypothyroidism that can result in different food allergies. In such scenarios, allergens include dairy products, beef, corn, soy, and wheat.

How many meals should I feed my adult English Setter daily?

It is important to keep careful on how much you feed adult English setter since they are prone to gaining extra weight. Ideally, two meals a day are perfect. So, avoid free-feeding these pets since they can happily eat all day long.

Can I feed whole meat to my English Setter dog?

Both meat meals and whole meat are a great sources of protein. You can feed whole meats such as beef, chicken, lamb or fish to your ES occasionally. Mostly, meats can be used as the first ingredients in high-quality dog food products.

Can I feed peas and lentils to me, English Setter?

When it comes to English Setters, peas and lentils are a great source of providing plant proteins. It is essential to go through a guaranteed analysis of dog food products and check the amount of proteins being obtained from meat as well as plants. Although both are good but your dog may be able to digest meat protein more convenient than plant protein.

Best Dog Foods for Senior English Setters

Food for the medium-large or large breed will suffice of English Setters, as the breed is medium-large. Some of the best dog foods for this breed are:

5. Blue Buffalo — Wilderness Senior Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Our Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Senior
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium and Large Breeds
  • Caloric Content: 3,464 kcal/kg, 387 kcal/cup
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude protein 30.0% (min.), crude fat 12.0% (min.), crude fiber 7.0% (max.), and moisture 10.0% (max.)
  • Form: Dry
  • First 5 ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Pea Protein, 5. Pea Starch
  • High-Protein
  • No Corn, Soy or Wheat
  • Grain-Free

This recipe has been formulated especially for omnivorous breeds such as English Setters. The grain-free diet ensures easier digestion along with side delicious chicken flavor, which provides high protein meals. The formula includes chicken and turkey meals which offer great amounts of essential fats and vitamins. It includes sweet potatoes which are a great source of complex carbohydrates. Moreover, the blend of carrots, cranberries, and blueberries offers antioxidant enrichment that your senior english setter.

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6. Nutro — Wholesome Essentials Senior Lamb & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Our Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Senior
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium and Large Breeds
  • Caloric Content: 3445 kcal/kg, 303 kcal/cup
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude protein 23.0% (min.), crude fat 12.0% (min.), crude fiber 4.0% (max.), and moisture 10.0% (max.)
  • Form: Dry
  • First 5 ingredients: 1. Deboned Lamb, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Brewers Rice, 4. Split Peas, 5. Rice Bran
  • GMO-Free
  • No Artificial Colors or Preservatives

Formulated with grass-fed lamb meat as its first ingredient, this recipe delivers all necessary vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that your senior English Setter’s body needs. The recipe includes glucosamine and chondroitin, which help in maintaining hip and joint health. No artificial color or preservatives are used in this product which makes it easily digestible. Moreover, whole brown rice is one of the leading ingredients, which helps in delivering essential proteins while ensuring easier digestion.

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7. Iams — ProActive Health Senior With Slow Cooked Chicken & Rice Canned Dog Food

Our Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Senior
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium and Large Breeds
  • Caloric Content: 1,202 kcal/kg, 430 kcal/13-oz can
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude protein 7.0% (min.), crude fat 3.0% (min.), crude fiber 1.0% (max.), and moisture 84.0% (max.)
  • Form: Wet
  • First 5 ingredients: 1. Sufficient Water for Processing, 2. Meat By-Products, 3. Chicken, 4. Chicken By-Products, 5. Brewers Rice
  • Omega 3 and 6 to Support Healthy Skin
  • All-Natural Ingredients

Iams Proactive recipe is formulated with all-natural ingredients that provide all minerals and vitamins that your senior English Setter requires. The recipe includes slow-cooked chicken as its first ingredients, with rice alongside. The whole delicious diet is offered with a sauce that contains omega fatty acids to promote a healthy coat and shiny skin. The Flax Seeds provide antioxidants that support your pet’s overall health and fitness.

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8. Nutro Max — Senior Recipe with Farm-Raised Chicken Dry Dog Food

Our Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Senior
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium and Large Breeds
  • Caloric Content: 3,650 kcal/kg, 354 kcal/cup
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude protein 34.0% (min.), crude fat 14.0% (min.), crude fiber 3.5% (max.), and moisture 10.0% (max.)
  • Form: Dry
  • First 5 ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal, 2. Whole Grain Sorghum, 3. Brewers Rice, 4. Peas, 5. Chicken Fat
  • No Artificial Flavors or Preservatives
  • All-Natural Ingredients

This delicious recipe is formulated with farm-raised chicken as its first ingredient along with whole grains. The formula offers a premium natural diet to your senior English Setter and contributes to maintaining its metabolism. No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives are used which makes this recipe easily digestible. This balanced diet includes chondroitin and glucosamine, which help in maintaining joint and muscle health.

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Buyer’s Guide

This breed was meant to work and hunt, which means the energy they possess, is impeccable. For such a highly active dog, the diet needs to be loaded with high protein as well as high-calorie. The best dog foods for English Setters should, therefore, contain enough level of protein and calories to keep their energies intact.

Nutritional Requirements of English Setters

It may seem like a lot, but high quality and balanced food are necessary to keep the dog active and healthy.

  • Protein – As the best dog foods for English Setters should contain high protein, you can easily DIY the kibble. You will need 50% of protein to start with. If you are looking for commercial dog food, go for high protein but digestible food. Look for meat protein and not vegetable protein as grain and vegetable protein is hard to digest. How can you be sure about this, look for the first ingredient, if its meat then great if not switch to another brand for good. Lamb, chicken or beef this is where at least 30% of the food’s protein should come from.
  • Fats – Apart from protein, fat is very crucial ingredient as well. Sufficient amount of fat is needed to keep the coat from drying out and stay gleaming. Fat is also required to absorb vitamins like A, D, E, and K. the best dog foods for English setters should have 18% fat at the very least. The best fat sources are Salmon Oil, Pork Fat chicken fat, and Beef Fat.
  • No Corn, Wheat or Soy – Best dog foods for English setters stay away from ingredients like wheat and corn. The reason is that allergic reactions from these ingredients have been reported in some dogs. Apart from all this, these dogs need to have glucosamine that is great for joint health. The kibble also needs antioxidants for proper immune support.

Caloric Requirements

Albeit the fact that they don’t need a strict diet, English Setters flourish well if they follow a daily feeding routine. As they are an active breed, their calorie intake is higher than average dogs.

  • On average, an adult English setter weighs around 60 to 65 pounds; according to that, the estimated calorie intake should be about 1300 Kcal/cup.
  • For senior English Setter reduce this to 1100 Kcal/cup.
  • A caloric intake of 2000 Kcal/cup is recommended for puppy English Setters since they tend to be more active.

As these are estimated and average counts, you should always consider the weight, height, activity level as well as age of your dog before deciding on the daily calorie intake.

Ingredients to Look for and Some to Avoid

Understanding ingredients and their reactions will help you understand your English setter’s diet a lot. Protein and fat are important, that’s been established before, but how much? Whole chicken, lamb, fish, or beef takes care of the protein. Best dog foods for English setters may also have meat meals as the initial ingredient, and that acceptable.

There are different kinds of protein, one that comes from meat and one that come from plants and lentils. Dogs digest meat protein better than plant protein, so always check out the measure of both protein sources and decide for yourself which one to go for.

Other than protein, fat is another key ingredient that your dog needs to have in the diet. The best form of fat is chicken fat that will keep the coat gleaming and keep it from drying out. The next best source of fat is fish oil. Loaded with omega-3 fatty acid, you not only get a healthy dog but also a shiny and healthy coat plus skin. Moreover, the DHA in omega-3 fatty acid helps will promote the vision development as well as the brain development of English Setter puppies. The (MCFAs) medium-chain fatty acids help senior dogs feel active and younger. Go for barley or oats if you want to avoid other grains altogether.

Grain-free is another option for low glycemic; sweet potatoes are a good alternative. With high protein, a good mix of moderate to low carb percentage will help to balance the diet.

Best Dog Foods for English Setters Puppies

It’s pretty evident that young puppies will need more calories than adult ones. The young ones need about 1233 kcal per day, owing to their average weight of 40 pounds. Know that it’s important to understand the daily activity of your English setter to adjust it’s per day calorie count.

9. Nutro — Wholesome Essentials Puppy Lamb & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Our Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium and Large Breeds
  • Caloric Content: 3672 kcal/kg, 345 kcal/cup
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude protein 27.0% (min.), crude fat 16.0% (min.), crude fiber 3.0% (max.), and moisture 10.0% (max.)
  • Form: Dry
  • First 5 ingredients: 1. Deboned Lamb, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Brewers Rice, 4. Rice Bran, 5. Whole Brown Rice
  • GMO-Free

The Nutro Wholesome Diet includes whole brown rice along with lamb meat as its primary ingredients. The delicious combination provides high quality proteins and essential fatty acids which contribute to healthy growth and development of your healthy English Setter. This formula includes perfect blend of nutrients in form of GMO-free ingredients, which support easier digestion. The delicious Barley and Beet Pulp combination offers antioxidants that are necessary for maintaining healthy immune system in your little fur pet.

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10. Rachael Ray Nutrish — Bright Puppy Natural Real Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Our Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium and Large Breeds
  • Caloric Content: 3,672 kcal.kg or 390 kcal/cup as fed
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude protein 28.0% (min.), crude fat 16.0% (min.), crude fiber 5.0% (max.), and moisture 10.0% (max.)
  • Form: Dry
  • First 5 ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Brown Rice, 4. Dried Peas, 5. Soybean Meal
  • Highly Digestible
  • Supports Brain Development

Give your English Setter Pup, this delicious, nutrient-filled diet which includes Real chicken as its first ingredients. Paired with brown rice, this recipe offers all the delicious flavors with high quality proteins that are necessary for lean muscle development of your pup. The delicious recipe includes GMO-free fruits and vegetables such as carrots and beet pulp which support easier digestion. Moreover, fruits like cranberries are a great source of vitamin C, which strengthens your pet’s bones.

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11. Sportsman’s Pride — Premium 32/21 Formula Puppy Food

Our Rating: 3.7 out of 5 stars (3.7 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium and Large Breeds
  • Caloric Content: 3979 kcal/mg, 406 kcal/cup
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude protein 32.0% (min.), crude fat 21.0% (min.), crude fiber 3.0% (max.), and moisture 12.0% (max.)
  • Form: Dry
  • First 5 ingredients: 1. Chicken By-Product Meal, 2. Ground Brown Rice, 3. Ground Oats, 4. Pearled Barley, 5. Yellow Peas
  • No Wheat, Corn or Soy
  • High-Protein

This premium, nutrient-filled diet includes high protein chicken as its first ingredient for growing pups. The delicious recipe includes flaxseeds which are a great source of mineral and essential fatty acids. The recipe includes no corn, wheat or soy, which is why it is highly digestible. It also includes Dried Beet Pulp which is an excellent source of antioxidants. Altogether, the ingredients offer essential vitamins and minerals that will support overall health, growth and development of your English Setter during its early life stage.

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12. Purina ONE — SmartBlend Healthy Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food

Our Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Key Facts:

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium and Large Breeds
  • Caloric Content: 4,135 kcal/kg, 397 kcal/cup
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude protein 28.0% (min.), crude fat 17.0% (min.), crude fiber 3.0% (max.), and moisture 12.0% (max.)
  • Form: Dry
  • First 5 ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Rice Flour, 3. Corn Gluten Meal, 4. Chicken By-Product Meal, 5. Whole Grain Corn
  • High-Quality Protein
  • Promotes Healthy Immune System

Featuring real chicken as its primary ingredient, this delicious recipe offers high quality meat protein which is essential for your pup’s growth. The recipe includes a combination of rice and oatmeal which act as great sources of DHA that supports healthy eye and brain development. Chicken meal is natural source of glucosamine which also contributes to maintaining a healthy immune system of your dog. This recipe is easily digestible and is made with zero fillers so as to provide your puppy English Setter everything it needs.

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Final Words…

When choosing the best dog foods for English setters, make sure you check and understand the ingredients. If you have just acquired an English setter, check out relative information about their diet before going for any brand. Go for brands that have real meat as well as all-natural ingredients on their pack. Avoid brands that have corn or wheat among the ingredients as these may trigger allergies in your English setter.