Top 10 Best Dog Food For Active Dogs- 2024 Updated

Fuel your furry friend’s active lifestyle with the best dog food for active dogs. Maintaining the weight of an active dog can pose a challenge, irrespective of the quantity of food provided. Certain breeds, especially younger ones, may struggle to maintain a consistent weight. To ensure stability and promote muscle development in your energetic canine, opt for a diet tailored for active dogs. You can achieve this without overspending on high-energy dog food. We’ve examined the top 10 foods suitable for active dogs to assist you in selecting the best option for your lively four-legged companion.

Discover nutrition-packed formulas designed to support energy, joint health, and overall vitality. Keep your pup happy, healthy, and ready for every adventure with our top-rated dog food selections tailored for the most active companions.

Top 15 Products For Best Dog Food For Active Dogs

1. American Journey Active Life Formula Dry Dog Food

Best Dog Food For Active Dogs

For those seeking a budget-friendly yet nutritious dog food for active puppies, American Journey stands out. This brand caters to canines leading adventurous lives, ready for the next thrilling challenge. Their recipes, including the Active Life Formula, offer a healthy diet with deboned salmon as the primary high-quality protein.

Filled with fruits and vegetables rich in nutrients, each bite aims to provide energy, boost the immune system, and enhance overall health. The recipe also includes fatty omegas for skin and coat health, while brown rice and barley serve as sources of carbs and fiber. Not containing wheat, corn, soy, or artificial ingredients, this formula is devoid of fillers, ensuring lasting endurance. Although available in various sizes, it’s worth noting that smaller bags may not suffice for multiple dogs.

  • Deboned salmon as the first ingredient
  • Affordable menu option
  • Easily digestible fibers and grains from brown rice and barley
  • Smaller bags may not be suitable for households with multiple dogs

2. Dry Dog Food Dr. Tim’s Active Dog Pursuit Formula

Best Dog Food For Active Dogs

For premium dog food, consider Dr. Tim’s Active Dog Pursuit Formula. Vet-approved and developed specifically for working and active dogs, this food prioritizes easily absorbed proteins to sustain a dog’s health throughout their daily activities. It aims to meet nutritional needs consistently rather than serving as an occasional filler. The formula includes all-natural, slow-cooked meals with a balance of essential nutrients, proprietary BC30 probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, and a high animal protein content (86%). However, the quality ingredients come with a higher price tag compared to similar products.

  • Kibble designed to balance metabolic dietary needs
  • Features BC30 probiotics and a unique fiber blend
  • Contains 86% animal protein for hardworking dogs
  • Higher price compared to similar products

3. Purina Pro Plan Puppy Large Breed Dog Food 

Best Dog Food For Active Dogs

Recognizing that the best food for active dogs depends on factors like age, energy level, and exercise, Purina Pro Plan Puppy Large Breed Dog Food is tailored for the growth needs of puppies. This chicken and rice formula includes probiotics for easier digestion and is suitable for large breed dogs weighing over 50 pounds in adulthood. With added DHA crucial for brain and vision development, it caters specifically to the needs of growing pups. However, there is debate over controversial ingredients such as poultry by-product meals and corn gluten meals.

  • Designed primarily for giant breed puppies
  • Abundant probiotics for easier digestion, with added DHA for brain and vision development
  • Controversial ingredients like poultry by-product meal and corn gluten meal

4. Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Best Dog Food For Active Dogs

Taste of the Wild is renowned for its healthful dog foods, using a formula inspired by wolves, the ancestors of domestic dogs. The High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, influenced by the high-energy nature of wolves, incorporates unique proteins from bison, venison, and buffalo. While some dogs may adore these proteins, others might find them unfamiliar. The grain-free recipe avoids corn and wheat, utilizing sweet potatoes and peas as alternative sources of carbohydrates.

The primary source of fat in this formula is identified as chicken, providing excellent availability and nutritional content. Natural fruits and vegetables contribute a wealth of vitamins and nutrients for a balanced diet. The inclusion of dried chicory root aids in digestion as a prebiotic support.

  • Well-known and reputable brand
  • Easily digestible proteins and fats
  • Grain-free recipe
  • Some dogs may not react well to the unique protein sources

5. VICTOR Professional Formula Dry Dog Food

Best Dog Food For Active Dogs

VICTOR’s Professional Formula utilizes beef, chicken, and pork meals to create a nutrient-dense blend. This formula avoids the use of unknown meat sources commonly found in some “meal” products. While it contains grains, it is gluten-free, with alfalfa meal being one of the grains used. The high protein content, with 81% derived from meat, makes it suitable for all life stages, including puppies and pregnant or nursing females.

  • High beef protein content (81%)
  • Gluten-free recipe
  • Suitable for all life stages
  • Some dog owners may be cautious of the ingredient alfalfa meal

6. Purina Pro Plan Sport Dry Dog Food for All Life Stages

Best Dog Food For Active Dogs

Purina offers another option for dog owners with the Pro Plan Sport Dry Dog Food. Tailored to support strength and lasting stamina, it features a 30/20 protein-to-fat blend. Real chicken is the primary protein source, contributing 30% of the food’s protein, while 20% comes from beef-derived fat. The inclusion of minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, and other nutrients aims to provide a well-balanced diet. The formula also contains glucosamine for joint health and essential DHA supplements for puppies.

  • Positive 30/20 protein-to-fat ratio
  • Enriched with minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids
  • Includes DHA for puppies
  • Some individuals may prefer all-natural diets without preservatives in fat sources

7. Rachel Ray Natural Dry Dog Food (Best Dog Food For Active Dogs)

Best Dog Food For Active Dogs

Rachael Ray’s line of dog food is known for being nutritious, tasty, and well-balanced. The main protein sources in this formula are brown rice, venison, and farm-raised turkey, with turkey as the primary ingredient. Brown rice replaces controversial additions like maize and wheat, offering a protein-rich and readily available source of venison.

To enhance antioxidant content and strengthen the immune system, cranberries and other fruits are added. L-carnitine is also included to support metabolism regulation and weight maintenance, providing assistance to active dogs. The formula excludes fillers, wheat, wheat gluten products, and chicken by-product meal but does contain corn.

  • L-carnitine for metabolism support
  • Distinctive venison flavor
  • Natural fruits for antioxidant benefits
  • Contains corn
  • Some dogs may not appreciate the distinct flavor of venison

8. Eukanuba Adult Dry Premium Performance Dog Food

Best Dog Food For Active Dogs

Eukanuba focuses on creating premium dog food to support the optimal development of adult dogs leading active lifestyles. The high-performance kibble is designed for dogs engaged in sports, providing necessary nutrients without unnecessary fillers. The formula boasts a higher protein content (28% more than the adult maintenance diet) while maintaining a consistent fat content of 18%.

The 3D DentaDefense System included in the formula helps reduce tartar accumulation on teeth.

  • Tailored for active dogs
  • High protein and fat content
  • 3D DentaDefense System for dental health
  • Some dogs may not consistently enjoy the flavor

9. AvoDerm Dry Dog Food Natural Triple Protein Formula

Best Dog Food For Active Dogs

AvoDerm ensures a balanced diet for dogs with its Natural Triple Protein Formula. The primary ingredients include chicken meal, ground brown rice, ground white rice, ground lamb meal, and ground turkey meal. The inclusion of avocado and its oil contributes to maintaining healthy skin and coats. However, the use of alfalfa meal, a somewhat controversial ingredient, is a point of debate.

  • Balanced protein sources
  • Omega-3s and -6s for skin and coat health
  • Several preservatives in fat sources
  • Controversial ingredient: alfalfa meal

10. Working Dog Grain-Free Dry Dog Food from Sport Dog Food

Best Dog Food For Active Dogs

Sport Dog Food Elite Series employs turkey as its sole protein source, catering to dogs with active lifestyles and dietary sensitivities. The formula excludes artificial flavors, preservatives, fillers, and by-products, offering only organic products made in America. The absence of flax, white potatoes, legumes, and hard-to-digest cereals is a notable feature, providing trace minerals for optimal absorption.

  • Organic and non-GMO components
  • Excludes fillers, grains, and legumes
  • Trace minerals for enhanced absorption
  • Available only in larger, more expensive bags
  • Limited flavor options

11. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Formula

If you’re uncertain about which dog food brand to choose, the well-known Taste of the Wild is a reliable option. The High Prairie formula is excellent for energetic dogs, boasting 32% protein, 18% fat, and 4% fiber. The protein sources include fresh buffalo, lamb meal, and chicken meal, supplemented by roasted bison and venison for added variety. The formula maintains a balanced ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, utilizing healthy animal fats like chicken fat and ocean fish meal. Fruits, vegetables, chelated minerals, probiotic supplements, and prebiotic fibers contribute to a complete and wholesome nourishment.

  • High-quality animal proteins
  • Balanced omega fatty acids
  • Rich in fruits and vegetables
  • Chelated minerals, probiotics, and prebiotics
  • Fat content (18%) could be slightly higher
  • Not grain-free, which may not suit all dogs

12. American Journey Landmark Plateau Blend with Angus Beef and Pork

For those seeking a cost-effective high-protein option, American Journey Landmark Plateau Blend is a standout choice. With an impressive 40% protein content, derived from a premium blend of USA Angus beef and pasture-raised, antibiotic-free pork, this formula provides excellent nutritional value. It excludes grains, glutens, wheat, maize, soy, by-products, fillers, and artificial ingredients. However, caution is advised for dogs with grain sensitivities due to the use of lentils and peas as primary grain-free carbohydrates.

  • Exceptionally high protein content (40%)
  • Quality animal sources
  • Grain-free
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Higher in fat
  • Contains a significant amount of legumes (lentils and peas)

13. Sport Dog Food Active Series Cub Buffalo & Oatmeal Formula

Tailored for active puppies, Sport Dog Food Active Series Cub Formula provides a potent protein punch with 30% crude protein from high-quality ingredients like catfish, buffalo, and hog meal. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids support skin and coat health, while complex carbohydrates such as oats and sweet potatoes offer sustained energy. The formula includes prebiotics, probiotics, chelated minerals, and essential vitamin supplements for digestion and overall nutrition. With 526 calories per cup, it offers 30% crude protein and 20% crude fat.

  • High protein and fat content
  • Omega fatty acids for skin and coat health
  • Prebiotics, probiotics, and essential vitamins
  • Relatively expensive compared to standard dog food

14. Victor Hi-Pro Plus Formula (Best Dog Food For Active Dogs)

Victor Hi-Pro Plus offers a calorie-dense and nutritionally packed option for active dogs, featuring premium animal proteins from pork, chicken, beef meal, and menhaden fish. Complex carbohydrates like sorghum and whole-grain millet provide quick-burning energy, while probiotics and fiber supplements support digestion. With 30% protein and 20% crude fat, the formula includes an abundance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for skin and coat health. Despite the benefits, some users may be cautious about the presence of blood meal.

  • Multiple sources of animal protein
  • Balanced omega fatty acids
  • Highly digestible carbohydrates
  • Prebiotics and probiotics
  • Presence of blood meal

15. Diamond Hi-Energy Formula (Top-rated Dog Food for Active Canines)

Diamond Hi-Energy offers a budget-friendly option for energetic dogs, providing sufficient nutrition with slightly lower protein and fat content compared to some alternatives. Featuring chicken by-product meal, the formula includes probiotics for digestive health and omega fatty acids for skin, coat, joint, and heart health. With ample vitamin B12 to support normal energy levels, it’s a suitable choice for typical active dogs but may not meet the specific needs of working dogs.

  • Best price
  • Adequate nutrition for most active dogs
  • Supports gastrointestinal health
  • Rich in omega fatty acids
  • Vitamin B12 for energy
  • Lower protein and fat content
  • Not ideal for highly active working dogs

Buyer’s Guide For The Best Dog Food For Active Dogs

When embarking on the quest for the best dog food for your furry companion, it is crucial to first understand the unique requirements of your dog’s breed and activity level. To begin, discerning whether your canine friend falls into the category of an active dog is paramount.

Active dogs encompass breeds with a penchant for work and hunting. While working and hunting dogs may be less prevalent in urban environments, other breeds still engage in regular exercise and similar activities. For example, a dog that accompanies its owner on morning jogs is considered an active companion.

It is essential to recognize that, beyond breed considerations, lifestyle and training play pivotal roles in determining your dog’s nutritional needs. External factors such as temperature also influence your dog’s energy levels.

Fueling Active Lifestyles

Contrary to assumptions, active dogs don’t always have insatiable appetites, and their food intake should be regulated. Although an energetic dog may exhibit a desire for more food, responsible pet parents must set reasonable limits. Providing the correct balance of calories from a dog food rich in essential components is crucial for a well-rounded diet, preventing allergies and related issues. While active dogs require more calories, this does not necessarily translate to increased food quantity. Opt for a high-quality product with the appropriate protein-to-fat ratio.

The Role of Proteins and Fats

Proteins and fats are integral components of an active dog’s diet. Proteins aid in muscle building, while fats are converted into energy. Veterinarians recommend an ideal protein-to-fat ratio of 30:20 or 30 percent proteins and 20 percent fat. Alternatively, a ratio of 28:7 is also suitable. Insufficient protein levels can strain muscles under increased activity, affecting joints and bones. Adequate fat intake ensures your dog remains sufficiently energized for desired activities, preventing potential feelings of sadness and depression due to restricted playtime.

Beyond Proteins and Fats

To maintain your dog’s overall health and happiness, additional nutrients are essential. Fruits and vegetables offer vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, supporting a well-functioning immune system. Grains, while generally acceptable, may be avoided if your dog has a sensitive stomach.

Crafting the Ideal Diet for Your Active Dog

Providing the right nutrition for your active dog is a straightforward task, but understanding key considerations is essential when choosing the optimal dog food. Highly active dogs necessitate high-performance nutrition that matches their energy output.

It is imperative that the dog food is composed of premium, all-natural ingredients with a high level of bioavailability. Bioavailability refers to the ease with which the body can absorb and utilize substances. Notably, animal proteins are more readily absorbed by dogs compared to plant proteins.

Outlined below are the key nutritional requirements for a dog’s diet:
  • Minimum crude protein content of 18% (22% for puppies).
  • Minimum 5% crude fat (8% for puppies).
  • Limited complex carbohydrates.
  • Maximum 5% dietary fiber.

These values represent the bare minimum for an average dog; however, active dogs have distinct requirements. Protein plays a vital role in developing and maintaining lean muscle mass in dogs. Inadequate protein in the diet may lead the body to utilize muscle protein to compensate.

While higher protein levels are generally beneficial for all dogs, it is crucial for active dogs to derive their protein from sources with high bioavailability, such as meat, poultry, and fish.

The fat content in the diet for active dogs differs significantly from that in typical dog food. With 9 calories per gram, compared to 4 for protein and carbohydrates, fat is the most concentrated energy source for dogs. Adding more fat to your dog’s diet is the quickest way to increase calorie intake, but the fat should still come from bioavailable sources. Once again, animal products are more biologically valuable to dogs than plant-based sources.

Distinguishing Characteristics Between Active and Passive Dogs

Identifying whether your dog falls into the category of an active or passive breed can pose challenges, as various factors contribute to their individual tendencies. While breed plays a significant role, other elements, such as the season, location, the dog’s purpose, age, and daily routine, also influence their activity levels.


Consider the distinct traits of breeds like the German Shepherd and English Bulldog. The German Shepherd tends to be more active, seeking constant engagement, while the English Bulldog may prefer a more leisurely lifestyle. However, individual variations exist, and not all dogs of a specific breed share the same level of activity. It’s essential to align their activity level with their living conditions.


Dogs, in general, often exhibit increased activity during spring and summer, while some may become more subdued in the winter. Breeds adapted to colder climates, like the Siberian Husky, might display heightened activity during winter months and reduced activity in the summer.


Geography, both macro and micro, plays a role. Dogs in urban or apartment settings may be less active compared to those in open rural environments. Climate also factors in, with certain breeds thriving in specific weather conditions.


The dog’s role in your life, whether as a companion, working dog, or show dog, influences their activity level. It’s crucial to tailor their diet to their specific needs, ensuring they receive appropriate nutrition for their lifestyle.


Dogs undergo changes in energy levels as they age. While a once lively dog may become less active over time, transitioning to senior dog food provides joint support and aids in weight management.

Daily Schedule:

The dog’s daily activities significantly impact their energy requirements. Dogs engaged in activities like herding, agility, or sports may need a higher-calorie diet to meet their energy demands.

Understanding these factors helps tailor your dog’s diet to their unique needs. It’s important not to assume that all active dogs require the same type or quantity of food; individual variations must be considered for optimal health and well-being. Adjusting their diet based on their characteristics ensures a balanced and suitable nutritional intake for your canine companion.

FAQs on The Best Dog Food For Active Dogs

Do energetic dogs require extra food?

Not necessarily. The breed and size of your dog play a significant role in its food requirements. While an active dog’s appetite may be influenced by its energy levels, nutritional needs are primarily determined by factors like nutrients and calories in its diet.

How much food should I give my energetic dog?

Adult dogs typically require two meals a day, but for active dogs, these should be high-calorie premium meals with increased protein and fat content. Some vets suggest smaller, more frequent meals for athletic dogs.

What qualities in dog food should I look for in my active dog?

Look for dog food with protein and lipids as primary ingredients. These nutrients support muscle health and provide the necessary energy for an active lifestyle.

Do active dogs need more carbohydrates?

No, dogs derive energy mainly from fat, not carbohydrates. Carbohydrates do not contribute significantly to their nutritional needs.

Why do energetic dogs require extra fat?

Fat serves as a vital fuel source for active dogs, supporting their stamina and overall agility. Adjust the fat content based on the dog’s activity level to prevent weight gain.

Why do active dogs need extra proteins?

Proteins are crucial for building strong muscles that can withstand the demands of an active lifestyle. Insufficient protein intake may lead to mobility issues and joint-related concerns.

Do dogs need to eat before or after a workout?

It’s recommended not to feed dogs right before or after vigorous activity to avoid potential bloating. Allow at least an hour before and after engaging in such activities.

How many calories do active dogs need?

Caloric needs vary, but experts suggest around 30 calories per pound of body weight for medium-sized adult dogs. Active breeds may require at least 40 calories per pound daily.

Can I give my active dog whey protein?

Yes, whey protein is a suitable option, especially if the dog’s regular food falls short of nutritional needs. Whey protein contains essential amino acids and is quickly absorbed.

Can Energetic Dogs Consume Raw Food?

For high-energy dogs, a raw food diet is a suitable option as it closely mirrors the eating habits of their wild ancestors. This type of diet is tailored to meet the specific nutritional needs of active and athletic dogs, making it a logical choice.

Do Grains Benefit Active Dogs?

Whole grains are not inherently harmful to dogs, some canines may be allergic or sensitive to them. However, grains offer more than just carbohydrates; they also provide essential fiber and protein. Grains can be a healthy part of an active dog’s diet unless there are known sensitivities or allergies.

What Grains are Best for Active Dogs?

While many dogs can tolerate grains, it’s wise to avoid those that are more likely to cause allergies or digestive issues. Opt for whole grains like oatmeal or brown rice instead of common grains such as white rice or wheat.

Which Dog Breeds are Known for Being Active?

Breeds historically used for work and hunting are typically more active. Examples include Dalmatians, German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, Siberian Huskies, and Beagles. The level of activity in dogs varies across sizes, ranging from small breeds to giant ones.

Closing Statement: Best Dog Food For Active Dogs

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