Dog Food

Top 5 Best Dog Food for Medium Dogs

labrador eating dog food for medium breeds
Written by Eva Jones
Quick Picks
Most Affordable Quality Dog Food: Pedigree Adult Dry Dog Food – The proof that even people on a budget can feed their pets high-quality foods and meet their nutritional requirements. The chicken- and whole grain-based recipe also contains essential vitamins and minerals so that every meal promotes health in your dog.

Best Dog Food for Medium Breed Pets: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula – Packed with meat as the first ingredient and essential nutrients. A well-rounded chicken-based recipe with all the nutrients a medium canine breed needs to live a healthy and long life. It contains no meat by-products or preservatives.

Best Grain-Free Recipe for Medium Canines: Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream – If your dog is allergic to grains, this is your go-to recipe. Pacific Stream contains real smoked salmon and a blend of all nutrients necessary for your pet’s wellbeing. It contains absolutely no grains or artificial ingredients.

Best Quality Chicken: NUTRO Wholesome Essentials – Wholesome Essentials contains only farm-raised chicken meat. Based on farm-raised chicken, brown rice, and sweet potato, this food is not only calorie-dense but also rich in all important minerals, nutrients, and antioxidants.

Best for Building Lean Muscle: Hill’s Science Diet –  The high amount of protein and the optimal amount of fat meet the necessary nutritional requirements and will help your dog lose weight and build muscle. Diet formula contains easy to digest ingredients. Based on chicken and barley, this food will keep your dog active and ready to go out whenever you want.

Medium breed dogs are active and famous for their limitless energy, often keeping their proud owners up and engaged for hours at a time. Some medium-sized canines will take pride in guarding you and your home – some will make the best friends to your children, while others will be perfect companions for long walks.

To perform these roles, they need to eat healthily. A healthy diet is based on real ingredients only found in the best dog food for medium dogs. The best foods support high energy levels and are high-protein, calorie-dense foods. These formulas also contain ingredients to support your dog’s bone, skin, coat, joints, and vision health and are by-product and preservative-free.

My best furry friend and I have tested plenty of medium dog kibble recipes coming from various brands, and here are the 5 I’ve found to be the best.

Common Medium Dog Health Problems

Medium dog breeds seem to be predisposed to a variety of health issues. These health problems range from autoimmune disorders that affect the skin and hip dysplasia to weight problems and skin allergies.

Feeding your dog a nutrient-rich and well-balanced recipe that contains antioxidants, beneficial oils, minerals, and vitamins can help you prevent most of these issues from developing.

According to the British Veterinary Association, the most common health issue in medium dog breeds is elbow dysplasia. Elbow dysplasia affects the development of the elbow joint and may severely limit the joint function, thus seriously disrupting the welfare of the dog.

Common symptoms include the inability to walk correctly (limping, decreased range of motion), pain (groaning when moving), and an unwillingness to exercise. To help your dog with elbow dysplasia, you have to introduce weight restriction.

In other words, you will have to feed your dog a balanced formula that provides all the nutrients essential for its wellbeing.

Pedigree Roasted Chicken, Rice & Vegetable

Description: Crunchy Roasted Chicken With Rice and Vegetables for Tasty Flavor. Pedigree is a brand with a long-standing good reputation among dog owners. The company’s Adult Dry Dog Food is a complete recipe based on roasted muscle chicken meat, with added rice and vegetables to complete the taste. The added fish-oil, minerals, and antioxidants promote good health.

AAFCO: Maintenance
Type: Dry food
Flavor: Chicken, Rice & Vegetable

Key Benefits:

  • Optimal levels of omega-6 to promote healthy skin and coat
  • High-quality chicken protein
  • Delicious flavor even the pickiest of dogs won’t resist
  • Essential Minerals, Vitamins, and Antioxidants to maintain a healthy life
  • Fiber blend to support digestion and alleviate digestion problems
  • High-quality whole grains


  • Perfect protein, fat, fiber (21%, 10%, 4%) ratio for active medium dog breeds
  • Contains whole grains and the finest ingredients
  • No added sugar, artificial flavors, high fructose syrup


  • Contains corn and some medium dog breeds are allergic to it
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Blue Buffalo Delicious Chicken and Brown Rice

Description: Life Protection Formula comes from Blue Buffalo. This food product features real meat from chicken and a blend of nutrients selected by veterinarians. A calorie-dense formula to provide active medium canine with everything they need to thrive with a powerful oxidative hit.

AAFCO: Maintenance
Type: Dry food
Flavor: Chicken & Brown Rice

Key Benefits:

  • High-quality protein from deboned chicken
  • Whole grains from oatmeal, barley, and brown rice for easy digestion
  • Healthy fruits and vegetables
  • Exclusive blend of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants improve immune system health, support healthy oxidative balance, and life stage requirements
  • Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids to support healthy skin and a shiny coat


  • Lean protein from real chicken
  • Contains high-quality garden veggies and fruit
  • Good balance of essential proteins and carbs to meet energy needs
  • No meat by-products, soy, wheat, corn, artificial flavors or preservatives


  • Slightly more expensive than typical medium dog food
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Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Real Smoked Salmon with Superfoods

Description: A product based on smoked salmon that comes from one of the most famous brands – Taste of the Wild. Pacific Stream is grain-free with smoked salmon as the first ingredient. Probiotics, fatty acids, and minerals and vitamins blend to help you keep your dog playful and energetic.

AAFCO:  Maintenance
Type: Dry Food
Flavor: Smoked Salmon

Key Benefits:

  • Rich with amino acids and protein for strong muscles
  • Essential vitamins and minerals to meet medium dog nutritive needs
  • Natural superfoods provide plenty of antioxidants to support a healthy immune system
  • No grains, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives
  • Contains only superior ingredients from trusted and sustainable sources
  • Highly digestible die to proprietary probiotics


  • Made with the cutting-edge food safety protocols
  • Very rich in protein
  • The optimal amino acid profile
  • Contains no grain fillers whatsoever


  • Contains peas & lentils which some dogs have a problem digesting
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NUTRO Wholesome Essentials Farm-Raised Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe

Description: NUTRO’s Wholesome Essentials is a completely natural dog food product formulated to meet the dietary requirements of medium dogs. Farm-raised chicken as the first ingredient ensures your pet will get a tasty and nutritious bite. Wholesome Essentials is also packed with all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

AAFCO: Maintenance
Type: Dry Food
Flavor: Chicken & Sweet Potato

Key Benefits:

  • Just the right amount of natural fiber for good digestion
  • Powerful antioxidants for consistent immunity through adult and senior life stages
  • Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for healthy coat and skin
  • Calorie-dense food with the optimal balance of protein, fat, and fiber (22%, 14%, 3,50%)


  • No chicken by-product meat
  • Artificial flavor- and color-free
  • All-natural ingredients for your pet
  • Sourced from trusted farmers and suppliers


  • It can contain GMO in trace amounts
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Hill’s Science Deboned Chicken and Barley Blend

Description: Every meal out of Hill’s Science Diet pack provides all the essential nutrients to your dog: protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. This easy to digest formula will keep your pet happy, as it meets all nutritional requirements for Lean Muscle and Healthy Digestion.

AAFCO: Maintenance
Type: Dry Food
Flavor: Chicken and Barley

Key Benefits:

  • High-quality chicken protein for building lean muscles
  • All-natural fibers for fast and healthy digestion
  • Vitamin E and Omega-6 for a beautiful coat and healthy skin
  • Developed to fuel the specific energy needs of medium breeds


  • The product manufacturer uses only natural ingredients
  • Premium source of high-quality protein
  • Comes in 5, 15, and 35 lb packaging
  • Examined and recommended by veterinarians


  • Price significantly higher other medium dog foods

So, what is the best dog food for medium-sized dogs?

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream is recommended by 79% of actual buyers on and makes it a top pick for medium breed dogs.

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What to Look For in Dog Food for Medium Dogs?

According to American Kennel Club, medium dogs and puppies have different nutritional requirements than small and large breed dogs and puppies. To be considered good, the food for medium dogs has to meet minimum requirements as specified by the Association of American Feed Control Officials.

Next time you are out shopping or ordering medium dog food online, don’t just pay attention to brands but also look for the following things:

  • The food contains only natural preservatives – these preservatives are Vitamin C and Vitamin E. The high-quality medium dog food contains no preservatives at all.
  • No grains (grain-free) or high-quality grains – grains should not be just a filler. This ingredient should be rich in fibers to support easier digestion and alleviate problems in dogs with digestion difficulties.
  • High-quality lean protein– the best protein comes from muscle meat such as deboned poultry, lamb, fish, and so on. It’s easy to digest and helps meet the nutritional needs of your dog. Avoid foods with pieces and parts of meat.
  • Sufficient dose of EPA/DHA – dogs need to consume fish oil regularly. This oil contains omega-3 fatty acids that not only provide dogs with energy but promote cardiovascular, coat, and skin health.
  • Amino acids – dogs use amino acids to create various enzymes and hormones required for normal functioning. According to petMD, the additional amino acids complement the ones found in the meat to deliver a complete set of amino acids for protein synthesis.
  • Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants – good dog food for medium dogs contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants required for a dogs’ wellbeing. These also promote long and healthy life.

How Much Should Medium-Sized Dog Eat?

Unfortunately, there is no one answer to this question, as it depends on the life stage of your dog. The rule of thumb is to follow the meal instructions as specified on the dog food package. If you have any doubts, it’s best to consult your veterinarian. Most often, an adult medium-sized dog eats 1 to 2 cups of dry food per day.

Is it OK to feed a dog once a day?

It is not recommended to feed your dog once a day. In fact, experts recommend feeding it twice a day – one meal in the morning and one in the evening.

Keep in mind that medium breed puppies under five months of age have higher nutritional needs and need to eat at least three times a day. If you have any doubt, the best thing to do is to consult your veterinarian.

Can I Give a Medium Dog Large Breed Food?

Large breed food is formulated to answer the specific nutritional requirements of large breeds due to their size and metabolic rate. Giving a medium dog large breed food is not advised for several reasons. First of all, it’s not as calorie-dense as food for medium breeds.

Medium breeds need extra calories because they are active. Feeding them large breed food can cause them to sleep more, be lethargic, or generally be less active than usual.

There is also the problem of the calcium-to-phosphorus ratio. See, large dog breeds have very specific calcium and phosphorus nutritional requirements due to their size, which are different than those of medium breeds. Giving your medium dog large breed food will lead to an imbalance in mineral absorption, which can cause serious skeletal problems.

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