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8 Best Dog Foods at Target in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

Written by: Chelsea Mortensen

Last Updated on May 16, 2024 by Dogster Team

8 Best Dog Foods at Target in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

dog eating wet foodChoosing the right food for your dog can be tough. Every dog has different tastes and health needs. And on top of that, you need to find a food that fits into your budget and daily routine. With so much to juggle, buying food from someplace inconvenient can be just one more choice to make.

If there’s a good food choice available somewhere you already shop at regularly, that’s one less hurdle between your pup and dinner. With that in mind, here are some of our favorite food choices available at Target right now for your dog along with our reviews of each one.

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A Glance at Our Winners in 2024

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Food Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Food
  • High in meat protein
  • Rich in fatty acids and chelated minerals
  • Healthy whole grains
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Iams Proactive Health Iams Proactive Health
  • Smaller kibble size
  • High in prebiotics and antioxidants
  • Great value
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Blue Wilderness Wolf Creek Stew Blue Wilderness Wolf Creek Stew
  • High in protein
  • Hydrating
  • Delicious beef base
  • Nutro Natural Choice Puppy Recipe Nutro Natural Choice Puppy Recipe
  • Digestible grain and protein
  • Formulated for growing puppies
  • Lots of wholesome added veggies
  • Purina One Smartblend Tender Cuts in Gravy Purina One Smartblend Tender Cuts in Gravy
  • High in Protein
  • Ideal for weight management
  • Supports healthy digestion and muscle growth
  • The 8 Best Dog Foods at Target

    1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Food — Best Overall

    Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice

    Main ingredients Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, oatmeal
    Protein content 24%
    Fat content 14%

    There isn’t one perfect dog food, but it’s hard to beat Blue Buffalo Life Protection Chicken & Brown Rice Food. This dry dog food is our best overall pick for dog food at Target because it has excellent nutrition that will fuel your dog all day. It is a good diet for adult dogs of any size, with a meat-first diet supported by healthy, easy-to-digest whole grains like brown rice. This food is high in antioxidants, chelated minerals, and fatty acids, which make it a great choice for most dogs. It does contain some plant-based protein, but since it is an overall high-protein food the impact is minimal. Although it’s on the pricier end of the foods on this list, it is well worth the price.

    Pros
    • High in meat protein
    • Rich in fatty acids and chelated minerals
    • Healthy whole grains
    Cons
    • Some protein from plant sources
    • More expensive dry food

    2. Iams Proactive Health Chicken and Whole Grains — Best Value

    Iams Proactive Health Chicken and Whole Grains

    Main ingredients Chicken, ground whole grain corn, ground whole grain sorghum, chicken by-product meal, dried plain beet pulp
    Protein content 25%
    Fat content 14%

    If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, Iams Proactive Health Chicken and Whole Grains is the way to go. This healthy dry food is high in prebiotics and antioxidants that help your dog stay in tip-top shape. It is formulated to support bone, joint, immune system, and coat health and comes in a smaller kibble size that makes it easier for smaller dogs to eat.

    There are some things we don’t like about this food, like added ingredients that are there for color and flavor, but it is much healthier than the average food at its price point. One thing to be aware of is the low moisture content—while dry food ideally is at about 10% max moisture, this is only 1.5%, so it’s not the best choice if your dog struggles with hydration already. However, we think it’s the best dog food at Target for the money.

    Pros
    • Smaller kibble size
    • High in prebiotics and antioxidants
    • Great value
    Cons
    • Low moisture
    • Contains added colors or flavors

    3. Blue Wilderness Wolf Creek Stew — Premium Choice

    Blue Wilderness Wolf Creek Stew

    Main ingredients Beef, beef broth, water, chicken liver, chicken
    Protein content 8.5% (47% DMB)
    Fat content 3% (16.5% DMB)

    Wet food can get pricey, but sometimes it is the best choice for your dog. Blue Wilderness Wolf Creek Stew canned food is our premium choice because of its delicious chicken-and-beef base that will keep dogs begging for more. It is high in protein, with nearly 50% protein content by dry matter basis, making it ideal for active dogs. It works well as a main food source or mixed in with a different dry food to add flavor and moisture.

    Although we love this overall, it is grain-free, which isn’t ideal for many dogs. Recent research suggests that grain-free diets can contribute to certain health problems, so you should research to decide if it is right for you.

    Pros
    • High in protein
    • Hydrating
    • Delicious beef base
    Cons
    • No grains
    • Expensive

    4. Nutro Natural Choice Puppy Recipe

    Nutro Natural Choice Puppy Recipe

    Main ingredients Chicken, whole brown rice, chicken meal, split peas, chicken fat
    Protein content 27%
    Fat content 16%

    Puppies are growing fast, and Nutro Natural Choice Puppy Food is our pick for the best puppy food at Target because it’s designed to give them everything they need nutritionally to grow up healthy. It is high in protein and fat, with highly digestible ingredients like chicken and brown rice that are perfect for developing tummies. It also has lots of wholesome added fruits and vegetables that add vitamins to the food, including apples, blueberries, and carrots.

    Unfortunately, along with the wholesome ingredients, there is one ingredient that recent research suggests is not as dog-perfect as we once thought: dried peas. Although these were once a staple in dog food, a recent FDA warning shows a potential link between peas and increased heart troubles that is being investigated. Because of this, some pet parents might consider a different brand.

    Pros
    • Digestible grain and protein
    • Formulated for growing puppies
    • Lots of wholesome added veggies
    Cons
    • Contains peas

    5. Purina One SmartBlend Tender Cuts in Gravy

    Purina One SmartBlend Tender Cuts in Gravy

    Main ingredients Lamb and chicken broth, liver, lamb, wheat gluten, pork lungs
    Protein content 10% (50% DMB)
    Fat content 3% (15% DMB)

    Standard dog food isn’t right for every dog. If your dog is a bit on the flabby side or struggles with food regulation, we recommend Purina One SmartBlend Tender Cuts in Gravy. This food is ideal for weight management because it is high in protein and lower in fat and carbs. It isn’t a grain-free diet, instead using a small amount of brown rice, a healthy grain, alongside wheat flour. Its formula helps meet your dog’s nutritional needs and supports healthy digestion and muscle growth while cutting back slightly on calories. Although this isn’t ideal for all dogs, it might be perfect for yours.

    Pros
    • Ideal for weight management
    • Supports healthy digestion and muscle growth
    • High in Protein
    Cons
    • Not ideal for all dogs

    6. Kindfull All Life Stages Dog Food

    Kindfull All Life Stages Dog Food

    Main ingredients Lamb, lamb meal, brown rice, Brewers rice, pea protein,
    Protein content 23%
    Fat content 15%

    Part of Target’s exclusive line of pet products, Kindfull All Life Stages Dog Food is another great choice, and their lamb and brown rice dog food is a high-quality, meat-first food that dogs will love. If your dog struggles with the most common proteins, this lamb and brown rice meal is a good alternative that is easy to digest and healthy. With a 23% protein content and a 15% fat content, it contains a healthy balance of macronutrients. It also contains lots of great vitamins and minerals including omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil.

    Kindfull’s biggest drawback is that their foods contain peas, which new research suggests aren’t the safest vegetable addition to dog foods as they have been linked to a higher risk of some heart conditions. Despite that, it is an overall healthy and reasonably priced dog food option.

    Pros
    • Novel protein flavor
    • Contains omega-3 fatty acids
    • High-quality ingredients
    Cons
    • Contains peas

    7. Cesar Rotisserie Chicken Flavor Gourmet Food

    Cesar Rotisserie Chicken Flavor Gourmet Food

    Main ingredients Chicken, whole grain corn, ground wheat, meat and bone meal, Brewers rice
    Protein content 26%
    Fat content 12.50%

    Cesar Rotisserie Chicken Flavor Gourmet Food is a great lower-cost option for small dogs. Formulated with smaller-sized kibble and lots of healthy ingredients, this food is high in protein and comes in at 4.5% fiber, much higher than the average dog food. It uses whole grains including milled corn and wheat and brewer’s rice to fill in the dog food and has all the ingredients your dog needs for a healthy nutritional balance.

    Although this is a good option overall, there are lots of additives we are a little less enthusiastic about, including lots of artificial colors and added flavors that don’t do much for your pup’s health.

    Pros
    • High in fiber
    • Good for small dogs
    • Lower cost option
    Cons
    • Contains artificial colors and flavors

    8. Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct

    Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct

    Main ingredients Turkey, corn gluten meal, soy flour, beef fat, chicken meal
    Protein content 30%
    Fat content 17%

    Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct Real Turkey & Venison food is a delicious alternative flavor if your dog doesn’t like the most common dog food flavors. It is nutritionally balanced and full of omega-6 fatty acids that support healthy skin and heart and in your dogs as well as antioxidants that are ideal for your dog’s immune system. The primary protein source, turkey, has many health benefits that make it a great choice for some dogs.

    This food is quite high in protein, with about a 30% overall protein content, but it does get some of that protein from plant-based sources like soy, which are less digestible than meat for dogs.

    Pros
    • High in protein
    • Full of omega-6 fatty acids
    • High in antioxidants
    Cons
    • Contains soy protein

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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Pick the Best Dog Food at Target

    There are lots of options available out there for dog food and picking the right food for your dog can be tricky. Here are some of the things to consider.

    Ingredients

    Just like any food, you need good ingredients to make good dog food. Dogs need a mix of meat and plant-based food, but heavy on the meat. Most healthy dog foods will have meat as the first ingredient. There are lots of healthy meat sources, with chicken and beef being the most common.

    Grains are another important part of dog food. Whole grains such as whole wheat, brown rice, and whole corn are all great options. Other whole grains include oats or oatmeal, sorghum, and millet. Processed grains such as white flour or rice aren’t ideal for dog food because they leave out essential nutrients. Some dogs require a grain-free diet; however, if your dog can process grains, it is recommended because many grain-free diets are linked to heart health problems. Some vegetable ingredients such as lentils and legumes are also linked to heart health problems.

    Fat and Protein

    Because dogs need a high-meat diet, it stands to reason that they need fat and protein too. Protein should always be a primary calorie source for dogs. Most dog food should be about 15–30% protein by weight—wet foods might show a significantly lower protein content on the can because of the high water content. They should also have somewhere between 5–20% fat, roughly. More active dogs need higher amounts of fat and protein, while less active dogs might do better with less dense food.

    Health/Size/Breed

    Every dog is different, and different types of dogs need different food. Puppies need specially formulated food that is heavy in fat, protein, and specific nutrients they need to grow. Most adult dogs can eat any adult or maintenance-formulated dog food, but there are also foods tweaked for specific purposes. This includes foods optimized for older dogs, for various breed sizes, and for weight loss or gain. In addition, some dogs might have food intolerances or medical conditions that require specialty diets.

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    Final Thoughts

    With so many great options, Target is a good place to shop for your dog’s food. Our best overall pick is the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Chicken & Brown Rice food because of its all-around health and quality. For a low-cost, high-value choice, we picked Iams Proactive Health Chicken and Whole Grains, which is packed with grains and full of prebiotics and antioxidants. The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wolf Creek Stew is a premium wet food that will have your dog salivating over every meal. Nutro Natural Choice Puppy Recipe is our pick for puppy food because it is perfectly balanced for growing dogs.


    Featured Image Credit: Irina Kozorog, Shutterstock

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