Merrick Dog Food
Merrick is a premium natural dog food brand that features real ingredients that are fit for human consumption. It is manufactured by Merrick Pet Care Inc, a family-owned company based in Texas. The manufacturer takes pride in the fact that they don’t use imported ingredients from China and they handcraft their dog food in their own kitchen in Hereford, Texas.
Merrick is an all natural dog food made from locally-sourced ingredients. The focus of the recipes are high quality ingredients, with no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. The main ingredients are USDA-inspected deboned meat and fresh produce, with the aim of providing dogs with optimum levels of protein, glucosamine and chondroitin.
What makes Merrick the “best food ever”?
On its website, the manufacturer claims to make the “best food ever”, but what evidence do they offer to show that Merrick is one of the best dog foods?
Local Growers – The fresh ingredients in Merrick dog food, including chicken, beef and sweet potatoes, come from family farms in the US and never from China. So dog owners can be reassured that the manufacturer knows the origin of its ingredients.
Real Whole Foods – Merrick products are made from whole foods that they believe tastes better and are more nutritious for dogs. Merrick kibble is made from real meat and fresh fish, to provide dogs with protein and omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables for vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Merrick’s Classic range includes whole grains for fiber.
Handcrafted – Merrick cooks its pet food in its own kitchen, so each bag and can is cooked and packaged in the same place. Each batch of dog food is handcrafted and the finished product is tested to make sure it exceeds food and safety standards and provides a guaranteed balance of nutrients.
Balanced Nutrition – For peak health dogs need to eat a diet rich in protein and healthy fats. To provide this, the main ingredient in Merrick dog food is deboned meat. Merrick dry dog foods contain 60-70% meat, poultry and fish and deliver protein levels of 30-38% per bowl. Vegetables, fruits and whole grains are also added to provide additional nourishment. Merrick also offers a range of dog foods for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities. None of the Merrick canned dog food contains grain and the grain free dry dog food contains high levels of protein from meat and fish, such as duck, beef and salmon.
Health Benefits – According to the manufacturer’s website, the health benefits of its dog food include optimum weight and increased energy, healthy skin and coat, healthy bones and joints, and a healthy digestive tract.
The Merrick Dog Food Range
There are a wide variety of different products in the Merrick dog food range to suit dogs of any breed or age, and with special dietary requirements.
Backcountry – Merrick Backcountry includes protein rich kibble and freeze-dried raw food made from real pieces of raw meat. The recipes are based on a natural ancestral canine diet that is rich in protein and free from grain, wheat, corn and gluten.
The kibble and Backcountry Raw products are designed for active dogs and attempt to mirror the nutritional balance of the type of raw diet dogs would eat in the wild. The main ingredient in the kibble is deboned meat. The freeze-dried raw dog food is made from real bite size chunks of protein rich meat, poultry or fish, for easier digestion and the flavour of real meat. Backcountry Raw dog food can be fed to dogs as a complete meal or as a mixer with kibble, or just as a treat.
Also in the Backcountry range are grain free stews made from a mix of animal proteins such as rabbit, venison and salmon, fresh vegetable and gravy.
Limited Ingredient Diet – As the name suggest, the dog food in this range has been developed especially for dogs with food sensitivities. It provides balanced nutrition from animal protein and carbohydrates, is gluten free and contains no dairy, wheat, corn or soy.
Grain Free – Merrick Grain Free dog food is made with deboned meat for protein mixed with fresh fruits and vegetables such as blueberries and peas. Included in the Grain Free range is Lil’ Plates, which is a selection of smaller portions of bite sized food for small dog breeds, made from salon, chicken or beef with sweet potato.
Classic – Merrick Classic is a high-fiber blend of real deboned meat, whole grains (including ancient grains such as quinoa), fruits and vegetables, but is free from corn, wheat and soy.
Treats – Merrick also offers a selection of doggie treats, including Jerky Chip Treats, Kitchen Bites, Power Bites, Dental Chews and Natural Bones.
How expensive is Merrick?
As is to be expected with a dog food made from real whole food ingredients, Merrick isn’t cheap. But it is certainly not as expensive as some premium dog foods brands. Given the quality of the ingredients, it is reasonably priced. For instance, at the time of writing, Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food is available to purchase onlone at Chewy.com for $53.98 for a 25lb bag, which is equivalent of $2.16/lb.
So, is Merrick the Best Dog Food?
The main selling point of Merrick dog food is that it is made entirely in the USA from locally produced ingredients, which gives dog owners the peace of mind that the ingredients are all natural. The recipes concentrate on a few simple but nutritious ingredients.
Dog owners who feed their dogs Merrick have reported a number of perceived benefits – their dogs look healthier, have shiny coats, enjoy their food more, have more energy, are being more active and losing weight. Some people have found that their dogs don’t seem to like the taste of the products containing ancient grains and aren’t interested in eating it.
For dogs with food allergies or sensitivities, Merrick offers a selection of specially formulated products in a variety of flavors, which gives owners a good choice of dog food that will suit their pet’s needs.
The only way to know for sure if Merrick really is the “best food ever” is to give it to your dog to try. Given the quality ingredients and reasonable price, it is worth giving it a go!