The 15 Most Expensive Dog Foods

By Kevin Myers | 2020 Update

Most of us love to splurge on our precious furry pets, especially when it comes to food.

Dog owners often buy the most expensive dog food to ensure their pets get the absolute best that keeps them happy and healthy. Since most dog owners are always willing to shell out a lot of money for their furry friends, the pet industry sees it as an opportunity to make bigger profits year-round. This means that not every expensive dog meal guarantees the quality you’re looking for.

Expensive food is a great choice if the quality and ingredients justify the price. Keeping this in mind, we have compiled for you the best, most expensive dog foods available for your dog. If you’re willing to spend more on dog food, it’s important that you get your hands on the most promising one.

Many factors would help you make the right choice. So read it till the end and make an informed decision.

Let’s buckle it down!  

The Most Expensive Dog Foods

Top ProductsRatingWhat We Like About This FoodPrice
1. Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Lamb Dog Food4.7Limited Ingredient Diet, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Grain-Free, Pea-Free, Non-GMO, High-Protein, GMO-Free, Natural$144.99 for 8.8lb bag
2. Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Tripe & Lamb Dog Food4.8Limited Ingredient Diet, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Grain-Free, Pea-Free, Non-GMO, High-Protein, GMO-Free, Natural$104.99 for 5.5lb bag
3. Lotus Oven-Baked Lamb & Turkey Liver Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food4.3Grain-Free, Chicken-Free, GMO-Free$85.59 for 20lb bag
4. Annamaet Grain-Free Manitok Red Meat Formula Dry Dog Food4.7Grain-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Non-GMO, High-Protein, Sensitive Digestion, GMO-Free, Chicken-Free$94.99 for 25lb bag
5. Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken & Freeze-Dried Raw Pieces Dry Dog Food4.5High-Protein, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Raw, Natural$69.98 for 21lb bag
6. The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Chicken Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food4.5Low-Protein, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Human-Grade, Pea-Free, Non-GMO$88.19 for 10lb box
7. CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Ancestral Red Meat Formula Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Dog Food4.2Grain-Free, Limited Ingredient Diet, High-Protein, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Raw, Chicken-Free$79.99 for 20lb bag

1. Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Lamb Dog Food

Protein (min.) 35% | Fat (min.) 33% | Fiber (max.) 2% | Moisture (max.) 14%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Lamb, 2. Lamb Heart, 3. Lamb Tripe, 4. Lamb Liver, 5. Lamb Kidney

Honestly, I can list many Ziwi Products in this guide because it is a great but overall expensive brand. Only 1lb of this meal would cost you around $22.99. But when it comes to providing the best nutrition to your dog, this is an excellent choice, hands down!

This is a farm-to-bowl food loaded with complete nutrition for your pup. The air-dried formula is simple and pure and gives your dog the best of meat, bones, organs, and green mussels. It is a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin, which is essential for great joint health. 

The naturally-preserved recipe goes through a twin-stage air-drying process, which locks in more moisture than regular dry kibble. And there are no added sugar, preservatives, fillers, and artificial ingredients in a Ziwi meal that makes the food safe, clean, and perfect for your dog.


2. Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Tripe & Lamb Dog Food

Protein (min.) 36% | Fat (min.) 32% | Fiber (max.) 2% | Moisture (max.) 14%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Lamb Tripe, 2. Lamb, 3. Lamb Heart, 4. Lamb Liver, 5. Lamb Lung

Slightly pricier than the previous Ziwi dog food, this is another favorite that I highly recommend. If you can afford expensive food, this air-dried Trip and Lamb meal is an excellent choice. This nutritious food is also highly digestible, making it a complete diet for your dog’s great health. The naturally-preserved recipe is based on a single source, high-quality protein.

Give your dog the best of New Zealand with a Ziwi diet that contains grass-fed, free-range lamb. The added green tripe makes it more palatable and improves digestibility. This Ziwi diet is made of 96% fresh meat, bones, and organs of lamb and contains limited ingredients to ingredients that are handpicked to ensure maximum health benefits. The protein-rich diet is free of grains, peas, GMO, soy, wheat, corn, fillers, sugar, rice, and preservatives.


3. Lotus Oven-Baked Lamb & Turkey Liver Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 23% | Fat (min.) 14% | Fiber (max.) 6.5% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Lamb, 2. Chickpeas, 3. Peas, 4. Turkey Liver, 5. Tapioca Flour

Provide your furry friend the nutrition he deserves in flavors he can’t resist. The super scrumptious oven-baked lamb and turkey meal includes real lamb, turkey liver, and a variety of vegetables and fruits to make a balanced food for your big fella. It is also a grain-free diet that works well for sensitive dogs.  

In addition to perfectly balanced, high-quality ingredients, the recipe also contains a beneficial blend of salmon oil and olive oil to provide adequate levels of essential fatty acids to your dog to support a great coat and skin health. Rich in vitamins and antioxidants, this delicious lamb and turkey kibble is excellent for your pooch’s overall health and will keep them hooked to the flavors.  


4. Annamaet Grain-Free Manitok Red Meat Formula Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 30% | Fat (min.) 16% | Fiber (max.) 3.5% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Lamb, 2. Lamb Meal, 3. Lentils, 4. Field Peas, 5. Herring Meal

While Annamaet is not a very common brand amongst dog owners, you will be pleased to know that it is one of the best brands that offer the highest quality dog food. Founded in 1986, Annamaet is a family-owned and operated brand in the United States and offers products that feature premium ingredients only.

The grain-free recipe is rich in protein and aids with sensitive digestion. Dog owners often turn to this option to help their dog with skin, ear, coat problems, and chronic digestive issues. Additionally, the formula contains chelated minerals and prebiotics that help strengthen the immune system and improve the utilization of nutrients. The crunchy kibble suits all dog breeds and supports the overall health of your dog. If you pay attention to the ingredients and nutrient profile, it is easier to see why this option worth it for the price.


5. Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken & Freeze-Dried Raw Pieces Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 37% | Fat (min.) 20.5% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 9%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), 5. Tapioca

Feed your dog a meal that’s both delicious and nutritious. This complete and balanced meal contains high-protein kibble and freeze-dried raw chunks to give your pup the instant boost of energy, nutrition, and overall great health. Rich in animal protein, the Instinct diet offers excellent flavors packed with nutrition with each bite. The recipe is created to unlock your dog’s maximum potential and help them live a happy and healthy life. Loaded with the finest ingredients and cage-free chicken, the formula is rich in probiotics, higher levels of essential omegas, and antioxidants for stronger immune health.

Instinct’s dry food for adult all-breed dogs is made from the best combination of ingredients from around the world. This makes the food option a little hefty on the pockets, but compared to the richness of the recipe, it is worth splurging on for your dog.


6. The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Chicken Recipe Dehydrated Dog Food

Protein (min.) 24% | Fat (min.) 15% | Fiber (max.) 6.5% | Moisture (max.) 8.5%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Dehydrated Chicken, 2. Organic Flaxseed, 3. Dehydrated Potatoes, 4. Dehydrated Sweet Potatoes, 5. Dried Apples

If you’re looking for dog food that’s made with a variety of ingredients, including animal protein, fruits, and vegetables, this meal by The Honest Kitchen is your best bet. Designed for adult dogs of all breeds and sizes, this dehydrated recipe is a delicious meal your dog would thrive on. It has a grain and gluten-free formula prepared with a variety of ingredients including 100% free-range chicken and various fruits and veggies including pumpkin, de-cored apples, bananas, sweet potatoes, green beans, and more.

In addition to providing all the nutrition for your furry friend, this dog food is splurged on for another big reason: the ease of preparing it! It has a dehydrated formula that’s loaded with all the essential nutrients – just add water. The natural recipe has low-protein content and is suitable for dogs that are on restricted protein. Also, it doesn’t contain peas, soy, wheat, corn, or other common allergens.


7. CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Ancestral Red Meat Formula Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 28% | Fat (min.) 13.5% | Fiber (max.) 5% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Lamb, 2. Pork Meal, 3. Goat Meal, 4. Carrots, 5. Lentils

If you want to spend money on a protein-rich diet that can also cater to dogs with food sensitivities, this unique formula by Canidae is the one for you. The limited ingredient diet contains six regionally sourced red meat ingredients, including goat, lamb, pork, wild boar, venison, and bison. The freeze-dried kibble has many other features that make it such a great option as expensive dog food. In addition to fulfilling your dog’s nutritional needs, the kibble is made without common allergens, including soy, fish, chicken, wheat, corn, and grains. It also contains HealthPLUS Solution, a nutritional trio of essential omegas, antioxidants, and probiotics.

The recipe boasts an excellent nutrition profile to support your dog’s lustrous coat, healthy skin, strong immune system, healthy digestion, and great overall health. To top it off, the raw-coated kibble has an irresistible taste that would keep even the pickiest eater wag his tail for more.


8. Stella & Chewy’s SuperBlends Cage-Free Duck Duck Goose Recipe Meal Mixers Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food Topper

Protein (min.) 41% | Fat (min.) 34% | Fiber (max.) 5% | Moisture (max.) 5%

Price: $39.99 for 16oz. bag

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Duck With Ground Bone, 2. Turkey, 3. Turkey Liver, 4. Goose, 5. Turkey Gizzard

You will find many meal mixers and dog food toppers in the market. But the one that’s really worth spending on is this one by Stella & Chewy. Add real raw nutrition to any meal with this freeze-dried food topper that can also be used as dog treats. Referring to the concept that dogs thrive on a similar diet they would eat in the wild, this Stella & Chewy food is prepared with cage-free poultry and the highest quality, organic-certified fruits, and vegetables, including bananas, strawberries, and blueberries.

Adding this to your dog’s regular diet will result in improved appetite, stronger immune system, better digestion, improved oral health, and even help relieve allergies. The recipe doesn’t contain grains, fillers, gluten, artificial colorings, or preservatives.


9. Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Great Plains Red Recipe with Beef, Lamb & Rabbit Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 38% | Fat (min.) 17% | Fiber (max.) 3.5% | Moisture (max.) 11%

Price: $69.99 for 20lb bag

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Beef, 2. Lamb Meal, 3. Salmon Meal, 4. Sweet Potatoes, 5. Potatoes

This is another worthy bag of dry kibble and freeze-dried raw chunks. Available for 69.99 for a 20lb bag, this Merrick recipe is a personal favorite and for many reasons. First, it contains beef as the primary protein source, making it a rich option that’s excellent for most dogs. Second, it is a highly-digestible formula that doesn’t contain grain or gluten. The recipe supports sensitive digestion by eliminating possible allergens, including soy, wheat, and corn. It features real and high-quality ingredients only and offers the goodness of pure nutrition with every bite.

Give your buddy all the benefits of a raw diet, help your dog build healthy muscle, maintain a shiny coat, and deliver high energy levels throughout the day. Other than beef, the recipe also contains rabbit and lamb, making it a highly digestible, weight control formula for your dog.  


10. Nulo Freestyle Lamb & Chickpeas Recipe Grain-Free Adult Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 31% | Fat (min.) 17% | Fiber (max.) 4.5% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Price: $75.99 for 26lb bag

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Lamb, Turkey Meal, Salmon Meal, Yellow Peas, Chickpeas

Rich in nutrients and advanced probiotics, this high-protein recipe contains wholesome ingredients to provide your beloved pooch with the best nutrition to thrive on. The recipe is loaded with phosphorous and calcium too, which helps your dog maintain stronger bones and oral health. The wholesome fruits and vegetables in the blend support optimal immune system.

The grain-free adult dog formula has a low glycemic index and is free from egg and chicken protein. Additionally, it contains essential vitamins and supplements that support energy production. Suitable for dogs with sensitive digestion, this healthy recipe is worth every penny.


11. K9 Natural Grass-Fed Lamb Feast Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

Protein (min.) 8.8% | Fat (min.) 9% | Fiber (max.) 0.7% | Moisture (max.) 77.5%

Price: $86.16 for case of 24 cans

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Lamb, 2. Lamb Liver, 3. Lamb Heart, 4. Lamb Tripe, 5. Lamb Blood

If your dog prefers canned food over dry kibble, this one is a rich option that’s worth your money. The K9 Natural lamb feast is a grain-free option that’s suitable for all dogs and life stages. It is prepared using the best variety of ingredients sourced from New Zealand. The recipe guarantees wholefood ingredients, which can be traced all the way to the farm.

Free from gluten, grain, rice, fillers, potato, dairy, and GMO, the hearty meal has a pate texture that your dog can’t resist. The recipe is packed with 90% high-quality ranch-raised, grass-fed lamb for the best flavors, and excellent nutrition. Available for $86.16 for a case of 25 6oz. cans, the flavorful recipe is fortified with the goodness of the best ingredients, minerals, and vitamins. Just pop up a can and see your doggo jump up and down with excitement.


12. Farmina N&D Ocean Codfish & Orange Ancestral Grain Medium & Maxi Adult Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 30% | Fat (min.) 18% | Fiber (max.) 2.9% | Moisture (max.) 9%

Price: $79.95 for 26.4lb bag

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Cod, Dehydrated Cod, Herring Oil, Whole Spelt, Whole Oats

Serve a flavorful recipe to your picky eater with cod as the primary ingredient. The blend includes only the best ingredients, which translates to a bigger price tag. However, the product is worth the money for all the benefits it has to offer your beloved pooch.

The recipe contains low-glycemic ingredients and is rich in protein. 90% of the protein is derived from quality animal sources. The formula also has limited carbohydrates; if that’s one of the boxes you have to check for the best food for your dog. You will not find any by-products, meals, legumes, or whole peas in the recipe. It is also free from wheat, soy, corn, and peas.  


13. Nature’s Logic Canine Rabbit Meal Feast All Life Stages Dry Dog Food

Protein (min.) 36% | Fat (min.) 8% | Fiber (max.) 5% | Moisture (max.) 9%

Price: $90.24 for 25lb bag

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Rabbit Meal, Turkey Meal, Millet, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Pumpkin Seed

This nutrient-dense meal by Nature’s Logic is worth splurging on. If you’re looking for a 100% natural formula made with the best ingredient and free of chemically synthesized amino acids, minerals, and vitamins, this recipe won’t disappoint you. This one is a highly palatable formula, so if you have a picky eater at home, this recipe could be just right for you.

The formula features rabbit meal as the primary ingredient, making it a protein-rich option that ensures building and maintaining strong muscle. It is minimally processed and contains various ingredients without soy, rice, wheat, or corn.  


14. Hound & Gatos 98% Paleolithic Meat Grain-Free Dog Food

Protein (min.) 10% | Fat (min.) 6% | Fiber (max.) 1.5% | Moisture (max.) 78%

Price: $61.60 for case of 12 cans

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Beef, 2. Pork, 3. Lamb Broth, 4. Lamb, 5. Red Deer

If you had a Paleolithic diet in your mind for your dog, this natural recipe by Hound & Gatos is what you need. Provide your dog with a diet that mimics what nature intended for them in the wild. The flavorful nutrition is a wet food option and comes in pate texture. It packs a powerful and healthy punch with all the essential nutrients your pooch would thrive on while eliminating all the artificial additives and fillers your dog doesn’t need.

Additionally, the meaty diet features 98% animal protein, using only the highest quality ingredients. The gluten-free meal is a limited ingredient that provides balanced nutrition for dogs of every age, breed, and size. Use it as a standalone meal or serve it as a food topper. The pricey dog food is worth every penny.


15. Instinct Original Grain-Free Real Rabbit Recipe Natural Wet Canned Dog Food

Protein (min.) 10% | Fat (min.) 3% | Fiber (max.) 1.5% | Moisture (max.) 78%

Price: $29.94 for case of 6 cans

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Rabbit, 2. Pork, 3. Pork Liver, 4. Pork Broth, 5. Ground Flaxseed

Made with 95% rabbit and pork liver, the savory recipe is packed with animal protein for strong, lean muscle building for your dog. The natural wet canned dog food is free of grain, corn, potato, soy, wheat, artificial colors, artificial preservatives, and by-product meal. It also contains vegetables, fruits, and other wholesome ingredients to offer complete and balanced nutrition to your pooch.

Crafted within the USA, the recipe includes the finest ingredients from all around the world. Definitely worth a try!


Buyer’s Guide

Is Expensive Food Really Better?

In most cases, foods that contain high-quality ingredients often cost more than low or average-quality dog foods.

And even though it’s impossible to give a verdict about the quality of dog foods based on the price factor alone, expensive dog foods are usually better than cheap or budget-priced options.

However, it is also important to understand that putting a big price tag on a low or average-quality product is a common marketing technique.

Some manufacturers do this to increase the perceived value of their products. Therefore, it is important to look at other factors instead of just the premium price tag when buying expensive dog food.

Here’s a relief:

In this article we’ve steered clear of all the possible imposters.

So instead of worrying about identifying the right product, all you need to do is compare your options and pick the best one based on your dog’s preferences.

What Expensive Dog Food Can Offer Your Dog

Spending more on quality dog foods promises bigger returns in terms of your dog’s well being and overall health. Here’s what you can expect:

Increased Protein Levels

Protein is often the most expensive ingredient in dog food. Animal protein, for example, is costlier than corn, rice, or potatoes.

Premium dog food will exclusively include animal protein. Different animal sources for protein also cost different. For instance:

  • Cheapest protein source: Chicken
  • Mid-priced protein sources: Pork, beef, turkey
  • High-end protein sources: Duck, seafood, salmon
  • Premium Proteins: Kangaroo, Bison, Emu, Quail

The cost depends on how rare the meat protein is. So if you’re looking for something very exclusive, be ready to pay a higher price.

Added Food Supplements

Most expensive dog foods are fortified with essential supplements for maximum benefits for your dogs. These include:

  • Chondroitin and glucosamine
  • Probiotics
  • Prebiotics
  • Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids

Higher Quality Ingredients

This is a very important factor. Besides protein, most high-priced dog food contains high-quality ingredients. These premium options contain more real meat, a variety of antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits, and even wholesome grains (in grain-inclusive options).  This eventually translates into a higher price.

Few or No Harmful Additives

Not all additives are equal. Elements such as added mineral and vitamin supplements, natural preservatives, and probiotics are healthy for your dog. But it is best to choose food that contains as few additives as possible.

A costly diet should never contain unnecessary fillers, artificial colors, flavoring, or unnatural preservatives.  

Things to Look For When Investing in an Expensive Premium Dog Food

Even at a higher price tag, some brands provide better nutrition, value, and taste as compared to others. Here are a few important things to look for:

List of Protein on Top of the List

The primary source of protein should be the first thing on the ingredient list. And this simply means looking for animal sources like pork, beef, whole chicken, or salmon.

Protein listed on top of the label is a good sign and indicates better value and nutrition. Moreover, dogs often find these options more delicious.  

High Quality Whole Grains

If you’re choosing a grain-inclusive diet, you need to be very cautious about the quality of grains in the food. Some manufacturers opt for cheaper options such as rice, wheat, corn while others opt for more wholesome options. Make sure of the quality of the carb content in the diet before making your final decision.

Safety Standards

Manufacturing dog food is a complex process. Therefore, it is important to pick an option that’s made in a country that implements maximum safety protocols and mechanisms. Here’s a list to help you:

  • USA
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • Other Western European Countries

You know so much about most expensive dog food now. But do you also know about the most expensive dog breeds in the world? Check out this entertaining video:


FAQs

Can I rely on the nutrition profile of premium food for my dog?

Compared to some cheaper brands, most premium brands use expensive and higher quality ingredients such as protein, animal fat, and fish oil. These diets offer higher digestibility and other health benefits. Also, premium dog foods may offer better ratios of essential nutrients above the required minimums.

It’s best to check the labels and compare your options first.

Why are some dog foods so expensive?

In most cases, high-quality ingredients mean higher prices. Some brands also offer limited ingredient diets or fulfill special dietary requirements such as improved palatability for picky eaters or better digestibility for sensitive tummies and are worth the cost.

Does quality of dog food matter?

Of course!

If you want your dog healthy and thriving, it is crucial to provide a balanced and complete diet composed of high-quality protein, fats, minerals, vitamins, healthy carbs, and adequate water. As dog owners, it is our responsibility to enrich the lives of our beloved furry friends.