10 Best Dog Food for Active Breeds in 2022

There are some breeds that struggle to maintain their body weight, particularly young dogs. If your dog is active, you may have found that you have a difficult time maintaining their weight, no matter how much you feed him.

Our list of the ten best dog foods for active breeds can help you find the right food for your active dog without breaking the bank by overfeeding it lower-energy dog food.

A Quick Comparison of Our Top Picks

The 10 Best Dog Foods for Active Breeds

1. Ollie Fresh Dog Food Lamb with Cranberries Recipe

Ollie Fresh Dog Food Lamb with Cranberries Recipe

For active dogs, Ollie Fresh Lamb with Cranberries is the best overall dog food. Contains nutrient-dense ingredients like lamb, lamb liver, kale, butternut squash, green beans, and cranberries that may support urinary tract health. The dry matter content of this food is 36.7% protein and 30% fat, making it ideal for dogs with active lifestyles.

There are a number of wet food recipes available for dogs on a subscription basis, and if you’d like your dog to have more variety, you can add additional recipes to your subscription. Many of the other wet food recipes have similar fat and protein content to the lamb recipe. Since this product is a subscription-based food, it retails at a premium price.

Pros

  • Nutrient-dense wet food
  • May support urinary tract health
  • 36.7% protein and 30% fat on a dry matter basis
  • Subscription-based food
  • Your subscription can be customized as desired
  • Other recipes contain similar nutrient profiles

Cons

  • Premium price

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2. Diamond Hi-Energy

Diamond Hi-Energy

You can’t go wrong with Diamond Hi-Energy for your active dog. In comparison to some of the other active dog foods, this food has 24% protein and 20% fat, but it still provides adequate nutrition for your active dog. Although chicken by-product meal has a bad reputation, it is actually a nutrient-dense ingredient in your dog’s food.

It contains omega fatty acids to support skin, coat, joints, and heart health as well as probiotics to support digestion. Despite being a great option for your typical active dog, active working dogs may not receive enough nutrients from this food. Vitamin B12 is also a good source of energy.

Pros

  • Adequate nutrients for most active dogs
  • Contains nutrient-dense ingredients
  • Supports digestive health
  • Vitamin B12 supports healthy energy levels
  • Good source of omega fatty acids

Cons

  • Less fat and protein than other options
  • Not ideal for active working dogs

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3. Purina Pro Plan Performance 30/20

Purina Pro Plan Performance 30/20

We recommend Purina Pro Plan Performance 30/20 food for active dogs. It contains 30% salmon protein and 20% fat in a 527-calorie serving.

With this food, your dog will be able to maintain high levels of endurance and energy because oxygen metabolism has been optimized. Live probiotics and amino acids support digestive health, while omega fatty acids and glucosamine support joint health. This food retails for a premium price. It contains omega fatty acids and glucosamine.

Pros

  • 30% protein and 20% fat content
  • 527 kcal per cup
  • Formulated to optimize oxygen metabolism
  • Supports digestive health
  • Amino acids support muscle recovery
  • Omega fatty acids and glucosamine for joint health

Cons

  • Premium price

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4. Eukanuba Premium Performance Puppy Pro

Eukanuba Premium Performance Puppy Pro

The Eukanuba Premium Performance Puppy Pro food is ideal for active puppies, which has a high protein content of 28% and a low fat content of 18%.

As well as DHA, glucosamine and chondroitin, this product contains a tailored antioxidant complex to protect against the negative effects of exercise, as well as amino acids to promote muscle growth and healing.

A premium price may be out of reach for some people since these cylinder-shaped kibbles are designed to slow your puppy’s eating speed.

Pros

  • Designed for active puppies
  • 28% protein and 18% fat content
  • DHA supports brain development
  • Supports joint and muscle growth and health
  • Cylinder shape slows eating speed

Cons

  • Premium price

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5. Tiki Dog Wildz Lamb Recipe

Tiki Dog Wildz Lamb Recipe

The Tiki Dog Wildz Lamb Recipe canned food is our vet’s choice food for active dogs. It contains lamb muscle and organ meats. This wet food contains 34.5% protein and 37.9% fat on a dry matter basis, which makes it exceptionally high in nutrition for active dogs. It contains ethically sourced ingredients, making it a responsible food. In fact, 91% of the dry matter content of this food is made from animal protein sources.

It’s a grain-free food that may not be appropriate for all dogs, so make sure to consult your vet before using this food as your dog’s primary food source.

Pros

  • Vet’s pick
  • 34.5% protein and 37.9% fat on a dry matter basis
  • Very high in nutrients for active dogs
  • 91% animal protein dry matter content
  • Ethically sourced ingredients

Cons

  • Grain-free
  • Premium price

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6. Purina One True Instinct

Purina One True Instinct

Purina One True Instinct is a great food for active dogs who need a lower fat diet, as it contains real turkey as the first ingredient, and it has a 30% protein content and 17% fat content. It has fewer calories per cup than most active dog foods.

Among the budget-friendly picks we reviewed, this food is a good source of omega fatty acids, which support skin, coat, joints, and heart health. It also contains antioxidants to support immune health. Some people find that their picky eaters don’t like this food because it is designed to be highly palatable.

Pros

  • 30% protein and 17% fat content
  • Lower in fat and calories than most active dog foods
  • Good source of omega fatty acids
  • Contains antioxidants to support immune health
  • Budget-friendly option

Cons

  • May not work for picky eaters

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7. Inukshuk 32/32

Inukshuk 32/32

The Inukshuk 32/32 food contains 720 calories per cup of food, so it is the best choice for dogs who are extremely active. This extremely nutrient-dense food contains 32% protein and 32% fat. It contains omega fatty acids that support skin, coats, and joints. It also contains prebiotics that help promote digestion.

It requires less food and produces less waste since this food is a concentrated formula, making backyard cleanup easier. This is one of the more premium-priced foods we reviewed, but you’ll only need to feed a lot less of it than most other foods. Some people report that transitioning their dogs to this food without diarrhea is difficult due to its richness.

Pros

  • 720 kcal per cup
  • 32% protein and 32% fat content
  • Good source of omega fatty acids
  • Supports digestive health
  • Concentrated formula produces less waste

Cons

  • Premium price
  • May be difficult to transition dogs to this food

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8. Victor Purpose Performance

Victor Purpose Performance

This Victor Purpose Performance food contains only 18% fat, but has 26% protein, which is lower than most active dog foods. On a dry matter basis, this food contains 81% meat protein, and it is nutrient-dense. VPRO Blend supports digestive and immune health in this food.

The omega fatty acids and amino acids in it are excellent. Additionally, it contains glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support. For the amount of food you receive, this is one of the more affordable options. It is less nutrient-dense than some of the other options. It is one of the more affordable options.

These kibbles are too small for large dogs, making it difficult for them to eat.

Pros

  • Lower in fat and calories than most active dog foods
  • 81% meat protein on a dry matter basis
  • Supports digestive, immune, and joint health
  • Good source of omega fatty acids and amino acids
  • Budget-friendly option

Cons

  • Not ideal for active working dogs
  • Small kibbles may be difficult to eat

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9. Merrick Grain Free Real Duck Dinner

Merrick Grain Free Real Duck Dinner

Merrick Grain Free Real Duck Dinner canned dog food has a dry matter content of 36.4% protein and 31.8% fat. Because it has less calories than most other active dog foods, it may not be ideal for extremely active working dogs. Because it’s grain-free, it’s not suitable for all dogs, so speak to your veterinarian about it.

It is a highly palatable food with a soft texture, making it a good choice for dogs with eating difficulties. It can be fed as a primary food source or as a food topper, although it retails for a premium price if used as a primary food source.

Pros

  • 36.4% protein and 31.8% fat on a dry matter basis
  • Lower in calories than most active dog foods
  • Can be fed as a primary food or as a topper
  • Highly palatable
  • Good option for dogs with eating difficulties

Cons

  • Grain-free food
  • Premium price

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10. Zignature Select Cuts Trout & Salmon Meal

Zignature Select Cuts Trout & Salmon Meal

A great option for active dogs with food sensitivities and restrictions is Zignature Select Cuts Trout & Salmon Meal. This food contains 28% protein, but only 15% fat, making it ideal for dogs that need a low-fat diet. Omega fatty acids support the health of your dog’s skin, coat, joints, and heart.

It contains oats, which provide healthy fiber to maintain your dog’s digestive health. It retails for a premium price, and many people report finding this food exceptionally smelly due to the fish proteins in it. Additionally, the kibble pieces are very small and may not be appropriate for large dogs.

Pros

  • Good option for dogs with food sensitivities
  • Lower in fat and calories than most active dog foods
  • Good source of omega fatty acids
  • Healthy fiber sources support digestive health

Cons

  • Premium price
  • May be smelly
  • Small kibbles may be difficult to eat

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Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Dog Food for Active Breeds

Why Do Some Dogs Need Active Dog Food?

Your dog probably doesn’t need food for active dogs if he or she walks once or twice a day. This ensures that these foods are able to meet the needs of dogs which burn more calories than the average pet dog. Active dog food contains more calories, fat, and protein than your average dog food.

In order for dogs to be able to maintain their muscle and joint health, as well as heal after strenuous activity, they need food that not only provides them with energy, but also supports their muscle and joint health. Runners, hikers, bikejorers, swimmers, and sledderers need more energy-dense foods for long distances, hiking, and biking (mush). Active dog food may be necessary for dogs with jobs, such as police dogs, and for dogs who have difficulty maintaining their body weight.

A pregnant or nursing dog may need active food to provide the nutrients necessary for the development, birth, and feeding of puppies. Ask your dog’s vet for recommendations if you think he or she needs active dog food. Before switching your dog to an active diet, make sure your vet rules out any medical reasons. These foods are not appropriate for all dogs.

Conclusion

It’s important to feed your active dog high-quality dog food. These reviews include our favorite high-quality foods designed specifically for active dogs.

A subscription-based food containing nutrient-dense ingredients, Ollie Fresh Lamb with Cranberries is the best food for active dogs. In terms of cost-effectiveness, Diamond Hi-Energy is a great option for dogs who are active, but it is slightly lower in fat and protein than some of the other options.

A third choice is the Purina Pro Plan Performance 30/20 food, which is high in calories. For puppies, we recommend Eukanuba Premium Performance Puppy Pro. Check out the Tiki Dog Wildz Lamb Recipe if veterinarian recommendations are important to you.

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