17 Best Dog Foods for Working Dogs (Practical Task Dogs)

Best Dog Foods for Working Dogs (Practical Task Dogs)

Working dogs are those who have been trained to carry out specific activities. These activities include military work, herding, searching, rescuing, and guiding. Working dogs, therefore, require the best food that meets their nutritional needs. These needs depend on the type of job the dogs are doing, the breed type, and their body size. 

Working dogs are more energetic than other dogs hence need foods rich in fats and calories to boost their energy levels. Consequently, working dogs need strong muscles for support so their food should be formulated with high protein values and the protein sources should be real meat. Artificial preservatives add no value to the nutritional needs of working dogs, so the best dog food for working dogs should be naturally preserved with no fillers.

Carbs also provide energy and should come from wholesome ingredients that are easy to digest. Choosing the right format for working dogs lowers the risks of allergic reactions, unhealthy weight gain, and promotes digestive health thus boosting your dog’s mood. Eukanuba, Solid Gold, Victor, Diamond, and Wellness are among the top-rated brands for the best dog food for working dogs.

Below are our top 5 best picks working dogs: 

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best Overall
Solid Gold  Barking at The Moon with Real Beef

Solid Gold Barking at The Moon with Real Beef

  • Made from responsibly sourced, premium beef
  • Eggs provide essential amino acids
  • Proprietary probiotics help maintain a healthy digestive tract
10
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Best Value
VICTOR Super Premium Dog Food Hi-Pro Plus

VICTOR Super Premium Dog Food Hi-Pro Plus

  • Suitable for pregnant or lactating dogs & dogs in all life stages
  • Proprietary blend of vitamins and minerals for overall nutrition
  • Protein blend of beef, chicken and fish meal
9.9
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Best Grain-Free
Grandma Lucy's Pureformance Grain Free Chicken Food for Dogs

Grandma Lucy's Pureformance Grain Free Chicken Food for Dogs

  • Grain-free formula is easy-to-digest
  • Nutritionally complete recipe with fruits and vegetables
  • Freeze-dried lamb makes for a great tasting meal 
9.7
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Best for Sensitive Stomach
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Salmon & Brown Rice

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Salmon & Brown Rice

  • Salmon provides essential omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
  • Contains amino acids to help build lean muscle
  • Whole grains support healthy digestion
9.6
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Best for Active Dogs
Elite Series Herding Dog Buffalo Formula

Elite Series Herding Dog Buffalo Formula

  • Protein-rich recipe from lean buffalo meal
  • Contains guaranteed levels of taurine
  • Trumune to manage stress and inflammation
9.5
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Best Overall
1. Solid Gold High-Protein Dry Dog Food 

Solid Gold Pet Food Company manufactures this tasty meal for highly active dogs of all breeds.

Solid Gold  Barking at The Moon with Real Beef
10
  • Made from responsibly sourced, premium beef
  • Eggs provide essential amino acids
  • Proprietary probiotics help maintain a healthy digestive tract

 It was first introduced to the market on November 6th, 2014. Real beef is the first ingredient to boost the protein value to 41% for strong muscles to sustain high-energy activities. Other ingredients are Ocean Fish Meal, Pea Protein, Potatoes, and Dried eggs. 

The fat, fiber, and moisture values are 18%, 4%, and 10%, respectively. Each cup of this highly-rated meal contains 415 calories to boost the energy levels of working dogs. It boosts heart health with taurine and DHA. Probiotics and prebiotics promote digestive health, while antioxidants keep infections at bay. In addition, omega fatty acids give your working dog a shiny coat and smooth skin.

Dogs weighing 5-15 lbs need ½ to 1 cup, while those weighing 16-30 lbs need 1 to 1 ¾ cups per day. The heavier your working dog, the more cups are needed.  You should strictly adhere to the feeding guidelines as too much causes obesity resulting from the high-fat value, while too little does not meet your dog’s nutritional and health needs. This meal is best for dogs with grain allergies and sensitive stomachs. 

Best Value
2. Victor Dog Food Classic – Hi-Pro Plus Dry Dog Food 

This mouth-watering, high-protein recipe is the American Pet Food LLC product targeting all dog breeds and was first introduced to pet parents on April 27th, 2013.

VICTOR Super Premium Dog Food Hi-Pro Plus
9.9
  • Suitable for pregnant or lactating dogs & dogs in all life stages
  • Proprietary blend of vitamins and minerals for overall nutrition
  • Protein blend of beef, chicken and fish meal

The primary ingredients are Beef Meal, Grain Sorghum, Chicken Fat, Pork Meal. and Chicken Meal. It boosts muscle health with amino acids and L-Carnitine. The value of proteins is 30%, while the fat value is 20% which is suitable for working dogs to promote lean muscle mass and high energy levels. This tasty meal has 406 calories to add to the energy values. Fiber and moisture values are 3.8% and % respectively.

Consuming this food gives your dog a healthy appearance as it has omega fatty acids that provide a protective layer for the skin, keeping it shiny and lustrous.  It also boosts cardiovascular well-being with taurine and DHA. Furthermore, it has antioxidants, including vitamin E that protect working dogs from free radicals that cause cancer. This meal is best for sporting dogs and those with high activity levels.

The daily consumption varies depending on the weight of your dog, with dogs weighing 5-10 lbs needing ½ to ⅞ cups while tose weighing 10-15 lbs need ⅞ to 1 ¼ cups.

Best Grain-Free
3. Grandma Lucy’s PUREformance Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Grandma Lucy’s Company produces this high-quality diet for all dog breeds.

GRANDMA LUCY'S 844212 Pureformance Grain Free Chicken Food for Dogs, 10-Pound
9.7
  • Grain-free formula is easy-to-digest
  • Nutritionally complete recipe with fruits and vegetables
  • Freeze-dried lamb makes for a great tasting meal 

 The first production date was on January 13th, 2012,, and pet parents cannot get enough of it. With real chicken as the first ingredient, this formula provides high-quality proteins for strong muscles. Other primary ingredients are Chickpeas, Flax, Carrots, and Celery, with a caloric content of 492 Kcal/cup to fuel your dog’s energy levels. The protein value is 34%, while the fat value is 14%. Fiber and moisture values are 6.5% and 6.1%, respectively. 

Consuming this meal strengthens bones, muscles, and teeth by containing calcium and phosphorus. Beta-carotene from carrots promotes vision, while antioxidants from real fruits like cranberries protect from inflammatory diseases. It is also crafted with healthy fats for omega fatty acids, which support the skin and coat health. Being low glycemic, this meal is safe for dogs with diabetes.

For every cup of this meal, you should add 1-2 cups of warm water, stir well and wait for 3-5 minutes before serving. Transitioning to Grandma Lucy’s can take 7-10 days as you start with smaller portions and increase them gradually. This meal suits dogs with sensitive digestion and grain allergies.

Best for Sensitive Stomachs
4. Natural Balance Food for Medium Dogs Limited Ingredients Salmon Dry Dog Food

This meal features salmon as the first ingredient for high-quality proteins for healthy muscles.

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Salmon & Brown Rice
9.6
  • Salmon provides essential omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
  • Contains amino acids to help build lean muscle
  • Whole grains support healthy digestion

 It suits dogs with sensitive digestion and grain allergies. Working dogs are well-suited for this meal as one cup has 373 calories for highly-powered stamina. It is a limited ingredient diet hence safe for dogs with chicken intolerance.

Best for Active Dogs
5. Sport Dog Food Elite Grain-Free Dry Dog Food 

Sport Dog Food manufactures this superfood that targets medium and large dog breeds.

Elite Series Herding Dog Buffalo Formula, Grain, Peas and Poultry Free Dry Dog Food, 30 lb. bag
9.5
  • Protein-rich recipe from lean buffalo meal
  • Contains guaranteed levels of taurine
  • Trumune to manage stress and inflammation

The first production dates back to February 1st, 2016, and it has gained popularity among pet parents as it is crafted with high-quality ingredients to fuel your dog’s energy levels. Atlantic Whitefish is the number one ingredient and the only source of protein to boost muscle health and lower allergic reactions. 

Other ingredients are Dried Sweet Potato, Chicken Fat, Coconut Meal, and Cassava Root. One cup of this tasty meal contains 490 calories to promote energy levels in working dogs. This formula has a protein content of 27% and a fat value of 16%. The fiber and moisture values are 3.9% and 9%, respectively. It has taurine and yucca schidigera for proper heart function and reduced stool odor. It protects dogs from oxidative damage with antioxidants, including vitamin E. 

The daily consumption depends on your dog’s weight and the frequency of exercise. Working dogs that are off-season and weigh 25 lbs need one cup, while those who exercise 1-2  times per week require 1 ¼ cups, with those who exercise 3-4 times per week needing 1 ½ cups. You should not serve your dog immediately after exercising.

6. Eukanuba Premium Active Dog Food 

This food is a product of Mars Incorporated Pet Food Company and it is specifically formulated for tracking, sporting, and working dogs for high performance during physical activity.

The production date is July 15th, 2020 and it has never been recalled. Although Chicken-By-Product Meal is the first ingredient, this meal has a protein value of 30% for muscle power. Other ingredients are Corn, Brewers Rice, Chicken Fat, and Wheat Gluten.

The fat value of 20% with the calorie value of 447 kcal/cup suits the energy needs of working dogs. The fiber and moisture contents are 4.1% and 10% for an ideal digestive environment that promotes the proper absorption of essential nutrients. This meal boosts cognitive function with  DHA. It further contains glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health and mobility. Prebiotics support bowel health.

The feeding suggestions depend on your dog’s poundage with dogs weighing 33 pounds requiring 2-3 ¼ cups while those weighing 44 pounds need 2 ½ to 4 cups per day. This meal suits dogs with sensitive digestion. Transition to Eukanuba formula should be gradual to allow your dog’s digestive system to adapt well to the new food. Avoid this meal in dogs with grain allergies as it is grain-inclusive.

7. Bully Max 30/20 High Protein & Fat Dog Food 

Bully Max Dog Food Company manufactures this high-performance meal for highly active dogs for sustained and improved physical activity.

The first production date is May 17th, 2016, and it has never been recalled. The main ingredients are Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Chicken Fat, Dried Beet Pulp, and Ground Grain Sorghum. The fat and protein contents are 20% and 30%, respectively, while the caloric content is 535 Kcal/cup to boost muscle strength and provide sufficient energy for working dogs.

It is crafted from all-natural ingredients and is highly digestible to lower the frequencies of stomach problems. The high caloric value means your dog needs less to be actively engaged, thus saving money. Slow cooking preserves potency, ensuring maximum nutritional benefits for your dog. Serving this meal to your dog promotes skin and coat health with omega fatty acids. 

Bully Max High-performance Formula is crafted with antioxidants like vitamin E to boost immunity. Dietary fiber from grains like pearled barley aids the digestion process and helps in maintaining a healthy weight. Chelated minerals promote maximum absorption of essential minerals. The daily consumption is dictated by your dog’s weight, with heavier dogs requiring more cups than lighter dogs. It is best for highly active dogs.

8. Annamaet Original Ultra Formula Dry Dog Food

This formula is a product of Annamaet Petfoods, a company that has been in the pet food industry since 1986.

The first production date for this meal is May 13th, 2009, targeting highly active and working dogs of all breeds. The main ingredients are Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Chicken Fat, Whole Dry Eggs, and Herring Meal with a caloric value of 480 Kcal/cup to power your working dog’s energy levels. 

The protein value of 32% gives dogs firm muscles to aid in their high-energy activities, while the fat value of 20% adds to the energy levels. Omega fatty acids and DHA promote skin, vision, and brain health, while yucca schidigera lowers stool smell. L-Carnitine supports fat metabolism and lean muscle mass, while taurine promotes heart health. 

This meal is best for dogs with sensitive digestion and diabetic dogs as it is free from fillers and is also low glycemic. The feeding guidelines depend on your fur baby’s poundage, with dogs weighing up to 14 pounds requiring ⅓ to 1 cup while those with weight ranging from 15-30 pounds need 1 to 1 ½ cups. It is advisable to switch to a new food gradually to lower the rates of allergic reactions and stomach upsets.

9. Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Adult Dog, Beef, and Rice 

Diamond Pet Foods manufactures this premium food to suit the needs of highly active dogs of all breeds.

Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Adult Dog, Beef and Rice Formula
9.1
  • Source of Vitamin E and selenium
  • Pasture-raised beef is the first ingredient
  • Made with a variety of vegetables and fruits that provide essential nutrients

This meal first became available in the market on May 13th, 2009. The first five ingredients are Beef Meal, Grain Sorghum, Ground White Rice, Dried Yeast, and Egg Product. The caloric value of 399 Kcal/cup is suitable for working dogs to supply sufficient energy. The protein content is 25%, while the fat value is 15%. The fiber and moisture values are 3.5% and 10%. 

Consuming this diet promotes healthy hips and joints with glucosamine and chondroitin. Yucca schidigera boosts gut health and lowers stool odor. The high-quality protein supports strong bones, teeth, joints, and muscles. This diet is also packed with probiotics and antioxidants for digestive health and proper immunity. Antioxidants also protect your dog from infections, thus lowering vet visits.

Dogs weighing 5-10 lbs need ½  to ¾ cups daily while those weighing 10-20 lbs need ¾ to 1 ½ cups. Weights ranging from 20-100 lbs need 1 ½ to 5 cups. For dogs above 100 lbs, add 1⁄2 cup for every 10 additional lbs. Avoid This meal in dogs with gain intolerance as it is grain-inclusive. 

10. Wellness Natural Pet Food CORE Natural Wet Grain-Free Canned Dog Food 

Wellness Pet Foods manufactures this premium food for all breed sizes.

It was first made available on May 13th, 2009. The major ingredients are Beef, Beef Broth, Beef Liver, Pork Liver, and Venison. The Caloric value is 520 Kcal/can to boost the energy levels, while the protein and fat values are 12% and 8%, respectively. The fiber and moisture contents are 0.5% and 78%.

The high water content promotes digestive health and flushes toxins from the body. It is crafted with carrots for beta-carotene, which promotes vision health. His meal uses real fruits and vegetables for antioxidants and dietary fiber, boosting immunity and proper digestion. The use of yucca schidigera reduces stool smell and boosts gut health.

The daily feeding depends on the dog’s weight. For every 8 lbs, ½ a cup is required for adults, while puppies need 1 cup for every 8 lbs. Lactating dogs require 1 ½ cups for every 8 lbs of body weight. If mixing with dry food, reduce the dry food by ⅓  cup for every ½ cup of canned food. Always serve your dog at room temperature. This meal is best for dogs with grain allergies and sensitive tummies.  

11. Taste Of The Wild High Prairie Dry Dog Food 

This meal is a product of the Taste of the Wild company, and it mimics wild dog food to appeal to your dog’s taste buds.

 The production date is December 11th, 2018. Water Buffalo is the number one ingredient for high-quality proteins to boost muscle power. The other major ingredients are Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet potatoes, and  Peas. This diet suits working dogs as each cup contains 422 calories to provide enough energy with a fat value of 18%, which boosts energy levels. 

The protein, fiber, and moisture values are 32%, 4%, and 10%, respectively. Serving this meal to your dog boosts the skin and coat health and ensures a healthy heart with omega fatty acids and taurine.it also supports digestion and reduces stool odor with fiber and yucca schidigera. Probiotics, prebiotics, and antioxidants work together to promote bowel health and immunity.

Dogs weighing 3-5 lbs need ⅓ to ½ cups daily, while those weighing 10-20 lbs require ¾ to 1 ⅓ cups. Dogs with weights ranging from 30-100 lbs need 1 ⅓ to 4 ⅔ cups. This meal is perfect for dogs with grain allergies and stomach sensitivities as it has no grains or wheat.

12. EUKANUBA Premium Sports Active Adult Dry Dog Food

Mars Pet Foods Company manufactures this classic meal, and it was first produced on July 15th, 2020, for all dog breeds.

 The main ingredients are Chicken-By-Product Meal, Corn, Brewers Rice, Chicken Fat, and Wheat Gluten. The caloric value of 447 Kcal/cup meets the energy requirements of working dogs.

13. Purina Beta Adult Dog Chicken Dry Dog Food 

This meal targets active dogs and has prebiotics that promotes healthy bacteria for a healthy gut.

The dual-shaped kibbles and essential vitamins are perfect for dental health. Protein from chicken promotes strong musculature to keep dogs active and energetic. Omega fatty acids boost the skin and coat health.

14. Natural Balance Dry Dog Food 

Natural Balance Dry Food Formulas are crafted with the needs of working dogs in mind.

 One of their dry foods targets active dogs and is crafted with pollock for maximum proteins for healthy muscle. The caloric content of 367 Kcal/cup promotes stamina for working dogs. It has DHA and EPA for brain health and mobility.

15. Whole Earth Farms Dry Dog Food Grain Free Beef and Lamb Dry Dog Food 

The high caloric content of 378 Kcal/cup is perfect for working dogs, while the protein value of 24% ensures dogs maintain strong muscles for endurance during physical activity.

It promotes skin health and protects from inflammatory diseases containing omega fatty acids and antioxidants. Dietary fiber promotes digestion.

16. Dr. Tim’s Grain Free Kinesis Premium Dry Dog Food

This meal is an excellent choice as it has a caloric value of 415 Kcal/cup with a protein value of 32% and a fat value of 18% to boost your dog’s stamina and ensure their muscles can endure high-energy activities.

 It has DHA and omega fatty acids for brain and skin wellness. 

17. ORIJEN Dog Original Recipe Dry Dog Food 

This high-protein formula is crafted with high-quality ingredients, including Chicken, Turkey, Flounder, Whole Mackerel, and Chicken Liver which contribute to a protein content of 38% for lean muscles.

The caloric content of 473 Kcal/cup is perfect for working dogs. freeze-Drying adds to the flavor to tempt poor feeders.

What are the facts you should know about dog foods for working dogs? 

Here are the facts that you should know about the best dog food for working dogs:

  • Working dogs need lots of energy to perform their tasks hence the best dog food  should have high caloric and fat content
  • Working dogs need strong muscles to carry out their duties. The best dog food for working dogs should,, therefore, have a high protein value, 28% for dry foods and 7% for wet foods.
  • Working dogs should have healthy joints to boost mobility so the best dog food for working dogs should have glucosamine and chondroitin. 
  • Carbohydrates provide energy for working dogs. However, the sources of carbs should be wholesome ingredients like oats.
  • The best dog food for working dogs should be free from artificial preservatives and additives which slow down your working dog. 
  • Working dogs should have maximum immunity to lower the frequencies of infections. The best dog food for these dogs should, therefore, have antioxidants.

What are the best working dog foods according to dog sizes?

What are the best working dog foods for small-sized dogs?

Here are the best working dog foods for small-sized dogs:

What are the best working dog foods for medium-sized dogs?

Below are the best working dog foods for medium-sized dogs:

What are the best working dog foods for large dogs?

Here are the best working dog foods for large dogs:

What are the best working dog foods for different health conditions? 

What are the best working dog foods for itchy skin?

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What are the best working dog foods with glucosamine?

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What are the best working dog foods for picky eater dogs?

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What are the best working dog foods for dogs with pancreatitis?

Here are the best working dog foods for dogs with pancreatitis:

What are the best working dog foods for dogs with sensitive stomachs?

Below are the best working dog foods for dogs with sensitive stomachs:

What are the best working dog foods for dogs with allergies?

Below are the best working dog foods for dogs with allergies:

What are the best working dogs with different ingredients? 

What are the best working dog foods with pumpkin?

Here are the best working dog foods with pumpkin:

What is the best chicken-free dog food for working dogs?

Here are the best working dog foods without chicken:

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Sarah Brady

Sarah Brady is an animal lover and the proud dog-mom of a Golden Retriever named Brody and an Italian Greyhound named Jessup. Unfortunately, Jessup developed serious allergies to many different types of dog foods and ingredients when she was just a puppy. Meanwhile, Brody could eat seemingly anything and carry on as healthy as could be. Sarah spent hours of time researching and testing different foods and brands before finding something that worked for little Jessup. She wants Dog Food Care to simplify this experience for future dog-parents who face food allergy or tolerance issues of their own.