15 Best Dog Food for Medium Breed Dogs 2021

In a lot of ways, medium breed dogs make perfect companions. No matter the particular breed, medium-sized dogs give you all of the advantages of a large dog, but in a smaller, easier to manage package–which means even if you don’t have a super-active lifestyle, you can still handle a medium breed dog.

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On the other hand, toy dogs are fun to have at home, but they aren’t the best dogs for going on outdoor adventures. Your medium breed dog provides you with the best of both worlds, a dog you can go out with and a dog you can stay in with.

That said, nutrition is key for any dog to live a happy and healthy life. For medium breed dogs, you might think it’s okay to feed them just any old food. However, to maintain energy levels, performance, and a smooth and healthy coat, medium breed dogs need the right dog food.

In this article, we’ll discuss the general dietary needs of medium breed dogs. Then, we’ll offer our recommendations for the 15 best dog foods for medium breed dogs. Let’s get started!

What are the Best Dog Foods for Medium Breed Dogs?

If you’re in a hurry, here’s an abbreviated list of some of the best dog food and dog food delivery services we’ve found. For most medium breed dogs, any of the following are good options to consider.

As you can see just from this starter list, we’re fans of fresh food delivery services. They offer top-notch nutrition combined with the convenience of home delivery. However, we understand that these types of plans don’t work for everyone. Budget and delivery constraints make these types of services out of reach for some of us, so we like to recommend products that can be ordered easily from Chewy.com.

6 Key Nutritional Needs of Medium Breed Dogs

Medium breed dogs require a balanced diet that includes a healthy mix of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. It’s critical to strike the proper balance for your dog to ensure their nutritional needs are met to maintain activity, a healthy coat, and avoid digestive discomfort.

That said, there are several factors to consider when looking at dog food for your medium breed dog. The six essential nutrients that every dog needs are water, protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

Dogs as a species have evolved over millennia to a diet provided by humans. This means that although they have descended from carnivores that live on a primarily meat-based diet, domesticated dogs require a richer diet. While protein and fat provide basic energy, dogs produce enzymes specifically to digest starches and sugars, making them omnivores just like us.

With this information in mind, let’s take a deeper look into these nutrient requirements. This knowledge will help us understand what to look for when considering different types of dog food.

Water

While this may seem obvious, it’s a critical part of your dog’s diet that can be overlooked. Fresh and clean water should always be available for your pup. After all, your dog can’t always let you know that they’re thirsty.

In truth, the reason to even bring up the importance of water is that your dog can get used to not drinking enough. Just like humans, your dog can adapt and may not drink enough fluids, thereby leading to a number of health problems, including slowing digestion and damaging the kidneys. However, if your dog is used to always having access to water to drink, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Protein

Protein provides long-lasting energy for your dog. It also is a significant factor in the development of bones and muscle. For this reason, it’s crucial to feed your dog the right kind of food with enough protein to sustain growth and development. Of course, this is especially needed for puppies, but all dogs should have a high-protein diet.

When considering dog food, look for those that contain at least 18 to 22% protein. This percentage may vary depending on your dog’s breed, but it’s best to stick to this general guideline. It’s also critical to ensure the dog food sources most of its protein from animals. Many will include things like pea protein as a cheap means to boost the amount in their foods. While some protein from plants is okay, these should not be the only available sources.

Fat

Fat is naturally dense in calories, and so many dog owners regulate the amount of fat their dog consumes to keep them from becoming overweight. While in some cases, lowering fat may be a good idea (talk to your veterinarian), fat is a crucial source of energy for your dog.

In general, the more active your dog, the more fat they need in their diet. On the other hand, less active dogs should not be fed too much to prevent obesity. Nevertheless, fat content should be no less than 8% for puppies, and for adult dogs, no less than 5%.

Most medium breed dogs should get a healthy portion of fat with every meal. In addition, like protein, fats should be sourced from animals whenever possible, as it is more bioavailable and easier for your dog to digest. Look for dog food with a main source of fat from animals such as chicken, salmon, and beef.

Carbohydrates

As we mentioned earlier, domesticated dogs have an enzyme specifically designed to digest carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are a source of immediate energy. For this reason, most dog foods contain carbohydrates that come from grains or other plant sources, including potatoes and peas.

Ingredients that contain carbohydrates can also be a good source of fiber. Fiber helps with proper digestion and may be a critical factor when it comes to selecting the food that’s best for your dog. However, too much fiber can upset your dog’s stomach, so dietary fiber should be no more than 5% of your dog’s food intake.

Vitamins

Like us humans, dogs benefit from a variety of vitamins and electrolytes to maintain their health and boost the immune system. Vitamins are essential nutrients commonly found in fruits and vegetables. The right mixture of vitamins can have a significant effect on your dog’s health, the texture of their coat, and energy levels.

While it’s best to get vitamins from plant sources, they can also be added to your dog’s food in the form of supplements. Many dog foods already supplement vitamin levels, but there are also liquids and sprays that you can purchase to add to the food if necessary.

Minerals

For bone and joint health, minerals are another essential part of your dog’s diet that are often supplemented in many dog foods. However, added minerals are difficult to absorb and can pass through the digestive system without benefit.

Because of this, always make sure that whatever minerals are added are chelated, which means they are bound to protein molecules to make them more bioavailable.

Minerals are particularly essential as your dog ages. Some dogs experience joint pain and weakened bones, which can be improved with the right supplements, such as glucosamine and chondroitin. Although many dog foods have already added these nutrients, you may wish to supplement your dog’s diet with additional minerals. If you think your dog is not getting enough minerals, be sure to talk to your veterinarian.

Balancing Nutritional Needs and Feeding Schedules

The truth is, the nutritional needs of your dog depend mainly on their stage of life. For instance, puppies need a diet high in fat and protein. For those under six months, you may need to feed them six to eight times a day. Puppy food also usually has higher levels of calcium, which is vital for bone growth.

The general guideline for adult dogs is to feed them twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. You should find an adult dog food that provides all of the necessary nutrition and has a formula that works best for your dog’s breed and individuality. In many cases, this will take a little research and some trial and error, which is exactly why we’ve written this article.

Nutritional needs change as your dog gets older. Senior dogs are more likely to develop health problems if they are not properly fed. Their diets should be lower in calories and higher in protein.

You should be sure to keep sodium and carbohydrate levels to a minimum, while probiotics can be beneficial. What’s more, increased omega-3 fatty acids and other antioxidants can help with digestion, and glucosamine promotes joint health.

When in doubt, you can always check the nutritional guidelines put in place by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). The purpose of the organization is to regulate the distribution and sale of animal food, including for dogs. They also ensure that drug remedies are safe and effective.

5 Common Health Concerns for Medium Breed Dogs

We all want our dogs to be healthy, but there are always potential concerns. Medium breed dogs tend to be robust, but, depending on the breed and the individual, they can still suffer from a number of afflictions. The good news is that many health issues can be avoided or reversed through proper nutrition.

Allergies

Some dogs are either born with or develop allergies. One common allergy to an ingredient found in some types of dog food is corn. Corn is often used as a cheap filler for second-rate dog food. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with your dog eating corn, it doesn’t provide much nutritional value and may cause digestive distress and other issues in certain dogs.

Other common allergies that medium-breed dogs can have include soy, dairy, eggs, and beef. Allergies can cause a number of symptoms, such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Ear infections
  • Hair loss
  • Eye discharge
  • Skin issues

If you think your dog has an allergy, you need to find a dog food free from this allergen.

Allergies can be a genetically inherited trait. They can start at any age but typically begin in young adulthood. The most common signs of an allergy are rubbing the face, excessively licking paws, and frequent ear infections. The good news is that they can be treated by providing your dog with the proper diet for them.

Dental Disease

Dental disease is common in all sizes and dog breeds. It typically begins by age two due to excessive tartar buildup on the teeth. This buildup can lead to infections that spread to the root of your dog’s teeth. What’s more, infections in the mouth can spread to other parts of the body, damaging kidneys, joints, liver, and heart.

It’s crucial to have your dog’s teeth cleaned and to practice proper dental care at home. Diet is another crucial factor when it comes to dental disease. Some dog foods are overly high in simple carbohydrates and sugars that can hasten tooth decay, so you should keep this in mind when selecting dog food. Some dog foods are made into particular textures that help keep your dog’s teeth clean.

Obesity

Obesity can be a serious problem for medium breed dogs. It can lead to back pain, digestive disorders, heart disease, and joint problems. Getting plenty of exercise plays a crucial role in the prevention of obesity, and so does their diet.

Dogs can also become obese if they have too many treats or table scraps. Many treats bought at the store are made from wheat and high in simple carbohydrates, which are not very good for your dog.

As for table scraps, these should be given sparingly, if at all. Keeping your dog active and feeding them the best dog food possible should prevent obesity and the health problems associated with it.

Eye Problems

Eye problems can be inherited genetically or develop over time. Although there are many different issues involving the eyes, several of them can lead to blindness when left untreated. Nonetheless, even mild eye problems can cause severe pain and have a significant impact on your dog’s quality of life.

Two of the most common eye problems in dogs are cataracts and glaucoma. Cataracts are a condition usually developed in older dogs in which the lens of the eyes begins to look cloudy and can lead to blindness. Glaucoma is a serious disease in which the eyes become red and puffy, and extremely painful. In both cases, you should see your veterinarian immediately.

Fortunately, most eye problems are easy to diagnose. While some, such as glaucoma, may require surgery, others are more easily treated. Either way, a healthy diet is the first step in preventing eye problems in your dog.

Omega fatty acids are particularly effective for maintaining eye health, so look for them in your dog’s food, especially when sourced from an animal such as salmon.

Joint Problems

Another issue common in medium breed dogs is joint problems. There are many reasons your dog might develop joint problems, including genetics. Inherited issues are the most common, such as hip dysplasia and patellar luxation.In both cases, they can lead to arthritis, as well as difficulties in:

  • Running
  • Walking
  • Getting on or off of things
  • Going up or down stairs

One of the best things you can do to prevent joint problems is to ensure your dog is eating a healthy diet and taking supplements to strengthen their bones and joints. If the food your dog is eating does not already have glucosamine, chondroitin, and chelated minerals, you may want to consider adding a supplement to your dog’s routine.

The Best Dog Food for Medium Breed Dogs: Our Top 15 Picks for 2021

Below you will find our top 15 dog food picks. We’ve done careful research to ensure that each one features wholesome, natural ingredients rich in animal protein and fats. Let’s take a look.

Our Top 5 2021 Dry Dog Food for Medium Breed Dogs

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dog Food

Taste of the Wild is an excellent overall good choice for dog food. It’s reasonably priced while still being made from wholesome and natural ingredients. It’s grain-free, making it highly digestible, with carbohydrates from sweet potatoes and peas for fast energy.

Pros

  • Grain-free
  • Lots of added vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids
  • Contains premium animal proteins

Cons

  • The main source of fat is canola oil, which is plant-based
  • Has plant proteins from potatoes and peas

American Journey Active Life Formula

American Journey is a budget-friendly dog food that contains digestible whole grains and vegetables. It provides 25% protein, 15% fat, and 6% fiber. Plus, it’s free from common allergens such as wheat, soy, and corn. Overall, it provides a stable balance for medium breed dogs, offering balanced nutrition for active dogs.

Pros

  • Includes several sources of animal protein
  • Rich in essential fatty acids
  • Contains digestible carbohydrates
  • Supplemented with chelated minerals

Cons

  • Contains some plant protein from peas
  • May be too high in fiber for some dogs

Holistic Select Adult Health Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

In general, a holistic approach is a beneficial way to ensure your dog is getting the nutrition needed for everyday activities. This dog food contains 25% protein and 15% fat, with additional nutrients provided by a variety of fruits and vegetables. It’s also rich in omega fatty acids.

Pros

  • Real chicken is the main ingredient
  • Carbohydrates are from whole grains
  • Contains fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Rich in omega fatty acids

Cons

  • May be too high in fat for some dogs
  • Some dogs may develop a sensitivity to the grains in this diet

Go! SENSITIVITIES Limited Ingredient Duck Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

If your dog has allergies and sensitivities, this dry dog food may be just what you need. It features duck as its primary protein source and limited ingredients. It’s also grain-free, with digestible carbohydrates. What’s more, it’s supplemented with chelated minerals for healthy joints, skin, and coat, and prebiotic fibers to support beneficial gut bacteria.

Pros

  • Duck is the primary source of protein
  • A limited number of ingredients for sensitive dogs
  • Omega fatty acids
  • Chelated minerals

Cons

  • The main source of fat is canola oil, which is plant-based
  • Low in fat for active dogs

CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Ancestral Avian Formula Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Dog Food

Canidae offers a freeze-dried dog food recipe that’s ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs and an excellent alternative to fresh food diets. It has an impressive 35% protein from chicken and several other sources. Also, it is grain-free and contains high-quality natural ingredients.

Pros

  • Several novel animal protein sources
  • Digestible grain-free carbohydrates
  • Freeze-dried
  • Protein rich

Cons

  • Too high in fat for some dogs
  • Not formulated for dogs sensitive to chicken

Our Top 4 2021 Fresh Dog Food Delivery Services

NomNom Fresh Food Delivery Service

For premium dog food that delivers ideal nutrition for your dog, NomNom is an excellent service. Fresh food is prepared based on your dog’s specific requirements and delivered to your door each month. The food is fresh, nutritionally balanced, and can be customized for your dog’s dietary needs.

Pros

  • Fresh food perfectly portioned
  • Automatically delivered to your door each month
  • Portioned for your medium breed dog
  • Customized for your dog’s nutritional needs

Cons

  • Premium food at a premium cost
  • A limited number of recipes
  • Some delivery restrictions

A Pup Above Fresh Food Delivery

A Pup Above is another fresh food delivery service that customizes meals depending on your dog’s nutritional needs and delivers them monthly. What makes this service unique is that the meals are prepared using a sous-vide method that seals the fresh ingredients inside a BPA-free bag that provides 72% more protein than other methods and more flavor for your dog.

Pros

  • The sous-vide cooking method makes food quality top-notch
  • Ethically-conscious company
  • Fresh food delivered to your door monthly
  • Ideal nutrition for medium breed dogs

Cons

  • Expensive compared to traditional dog food
  • Food is not pre-portioned like other fresh food delivery services

Ollie Fresh Food Delivery

Ollie packs quality fresh food in pre-portioned containers customized specifically for your medium breed dog. The recipes are high-quality, with meat as the main ingredient, lots of protein, fat, and carbohydrates from fresh vegetables. Plus, each meal is balanced with vitamins and minerals for nutritional balance.

Pros

  • The convenient home delivery model
  • Fresh food formulated depending on the needs of your medium breed dog
  • Balanced and nutritious fresh meals

Cons

  • Expensive service

The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Food Delivery

The Farmer’s Dog is the last fresh food delivery service featured on this list. Like the others, it delivers fresh food, portioned in bags that are never frozen and as nutritionally balanced as you can get. Meals can be pre-portioned for your dog’s calorie needs, and ingredients are sourced from small farms across the United States.

Pros

  • Simple meals and customized plans
  • Three healthy recipes
  • No preservatives or fillers
  • Delivered to your door monthly

Cons

  • Spoils quickly, so you may need to freeze some of it to last the month
  • Costly

3 Top-Rated Puppy Food for Medium Breed Dogs

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Lamb & Oatmeal Recipe Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula is a great way to provide balanced nutrition for your growing puppy. It is affordable and highly recommended, with lamb as its primary protein source, digestible whole grains, and omega fatty acids. What’s more, it’s rich in DHA for brain development and contains chelated minerals for nutritional absorption.

Pros

  • High in protein and fat
  • No wheat, corn, or soy
  • Lots of added supplements

Cons

  • Dry dog food can be difficult for teething puppies to chew

Adirondack High-Fat Recipe Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Puppy Dog Food

Puppies require a high-fat diet to support the development of their brains, muscles, and bones. Plus, they need the added energy to keep up with the activity level of most medium breed dogs. Adirondack provides 30% protein and 20% fat, with plenty of added supplements for overall health.

Pros

  • A healthy balance of nutrients
  • Contains omega fatty acids
  • 30% protein and 20% fat

Cons

  • Too fatty for some dogs

Instinct Raw Boost Puppy Grain-Free Dog Food

For your medium breed puppy, this food provides the perfect balance of nutrients. It strikes a balance with high-quality kibble and freeze-dried bits packed with protein and flavor. Plus, it has digestible grain-free carbohydrates, omega fatty acids and is free from artificial additives.

Pros

  • High in protein for developing puppies
  • Free from common allergens like wheat, soy, and corn
  • Balance mix of fish, poultry, and other meats

Cons

  • More expensive than some dog food

3 More Top-Rated Dog Food for Adult Medium Breed Dogs

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Adult Dry Dog Food

Nutro provides essential nutrition for your medium breed dog, with protein sourced from chicken and carbohydrates from brown rice and sweet potatoes. It contains plenty of antioxidants like Vitamin E and omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. Plus, it’s a natural recipe free from artificial ingredients and common allergens.

Pros

  • Contain glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
  • No artificial ingredients

Cons

  • May not contain enough protein and fat for some dogs

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Lamb & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo is affordable dog food made from natural and healthy ingredients. It’s formulated with antioxidant-rich nutrients, omega fatty acids, and glucosamine. Plus, it’s free from corn, wheat, and soy that can cause some dogs sensitivities.

Pros

  • Chelated minerals and antioxidants for immune system support
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Free from common allergens

Cons

  • A one-size-fits-all approach that may not be ideal for all dogs

VICTOR Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog Food

For nutrient-dense dog food for active medium breed dogs, this formula from Victor is an excellent choice. It is composed of 88% meat protein from chicken, beef, and pork. All in all, it is formulated for sporting pups and dogs with high physical demands.

Pros

  • 88% meat protein from a variety of sources
  • Fortified with vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids
  • Ideal for active medium breed dogs

Cons

  • Not for inactive dogs
  • May cause certain dogs to gain weight

Frequently Asked Questions

If you still are torn between which food is the best for your medium breed, we have put together a list of the most frequently asked questions. Hopefully, this can help you find your answer:

How much should I feed my medium breed dog?

Ideally, you should feed your dog according to their ideal lean weight. However, because this method requires constant weighing and adjustment, you can follow some general guidelines. For adult medium breed dogs that live inside the home, get moderate exercise, and are spayed or neutered, calculate daily food intake using this formula:

Weight in pounds / 2.2 + 70 = daily caloric needs

Is dry or wet food better for my dog?

The truth is, when it comes to nutrition and digestibility, there’s very little difference between dry dog food and wet dog food. While some dogs need to consume more water or have specific needs, most dogs will do just fine on dry dog food. Dry dog food is also generally better for your dog’s teeth than wet food.

That said, if you can afford fresh food for your medium breed dog, these plans provide ideal nutritional requirements. On top of that, fresh food delivery services are convenient and often customized for your dog’s specific needs.

Do different breeds have different nutritional requirements?

Different breeds do have varying metabolism and nutritional requirements. In some cases, particular breeds that developed in specific locations have adapted to diets particular to their region of origin.

Nevertheless, most medium breeds can be fed depending on their general lifestyle. Active dogs need higher levels of protein and fat than lap dogs and sedentary house dogs.

A Final Word

If you’re struggling to find the right meal for your pup, you can’t go wrong with any of our top 15 dog food picks from this article. Nonetheless, it’s critical to remember to look for wholesome and natural ingredients in any dog food you’re shopping for, ensuring it’s rich in animal protein and fat, and contains supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin for the overall well being of your furry friend.

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