This (updated) guide lists all of the best dog foods for chow chows this year.
Independent, loyal, and super-cuddly; Chow chows are truly one of the most unique dogs you’ll ever meet.
The chow is a strong and sturdy dog that needs a good diet to keep it healthy.
So what’s the best dog food for your chow? And what exactly should you feed them?
Find out in our list and special buyer’s guide for chow chows just below!
The Best Dog Foods For Chow Chows
|Top Picks||Lifestage||Top Ingredients|
|1. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Dog Food||Adult||Salmon, Ocean Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes|
|2. Zignature Lamb Limited Ingredient Dog Food||Adult||Deboned Beef, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal|
|3. American Journey Beef & Sweet Potato Dog Food||Adult||Lamb, Lamb Meal, Chickpeas|
|4. Merrick Backcountry Great Plains Red Dog Food||Adult||Deboned Beef, Lamb Meal, Salmon Meal|
|5. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Dog Food||Adult||Water Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Sweet Potatoes|
How to Switch Dog Food Without Getting Your Pup Sick
1. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Salmon, 2. Ocean Fish Meal, 3. Sweet Potatoes, 4. Potatoes, 5. Peas,
Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream is inspired by a raw oceanic diet, full of proteins and micronutrients. The formula contains real salmon meat and features a minimum protein content of 25%, which is very beneficial for your dog’s muscle growth and weight management.
This food also focuses on high digestibility and contains light carbs like peas and sweet potatoes. The recipe is chock-full of fruit and vegetables that play an essential role in delivering vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants required for healthy digestive and immune systems. Also, if you have a sensitive chow chow, this formula is an excellent match since it’s free from grains, fillers, wheat, corn, and all sorts of artificial ingredients.
2. Zignature Lamb Limited Ingredient Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Beef, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Turkey Meal, 4. Peas, 5. Sweet Potatoes
Zignature Lamb LID Formula features a highly-reduced recipe to provide sensitive and allergic dogs with a fulfilling and easily digestible diet. Amongst the ingredients is real, farm-raised lamb meat that provides high-quality protein that supports lean muscle growth and nourishment.
Because some dogs can be allergic to even common ingredients, the dog food eliminates grains, corn, wheat, soy, dairy, and even chicken from their formula. But aside from that, the food is rich in various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to offer your dog an all-around nutritious diet.
3. American Journey Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Lamb, 2. Lamb Meal, 3. Chickpeas, 4. Peas, 5. Sunflower Oil
American journey Beef and Sweet Potato is an excellent high-protein food that fulfills your dog’s instinctual cravings for real meat. It features a massive 32% minimum protein content made primarily from real deboned beef. The red meat delivers all the essential amino acids required to nourish your chow chow’s muscles and help them stay energetic.
Many nutrients in this formula come from vegetables and fruits like sweet potatoes, blueberries, and carrots. Sweet potatoes and peas are a great source of easily digestible carbs, while fruits provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to encourage cell repair and immunity. The recipe is enriched with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that support your chow chow’s skin and coat health, and make it soft and shiny.
4. Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Great Plains Red Recipe Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Beef, 2. Lamb Meal, 3. Salmon Meal, 4. Sweet Potatoes, 5. Peas
Merricks Backcountry Great Plains Red Recipe Dog Food offers a protein-dense diet with the benefits of both raw and dry food. It contains special kibble coated with freeze-dried meat powder, along with freeze-dried pieces of raw meat, which significantly boosts the dog food’s protein composition. And unlike other formulas, this one sources proteins from beef, lamb, and rabbit meat, which helps keep your chow’s body muscular and active.
Apart from that, the formula is also rich in omega fatty acids, which nourish your chow’s coat and make it softer and shinier. It also contains glucosamine and chondroitin to supports your dog’s joint and bone health, especially in the senior life stage.
5. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Water Buffalo, 2. Lamb Meal, 3. Sweet Potatoes, 4. Egg Product, 5. Chicken Fat
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula promotes the well-being and active lifestyle of puppies with an ancestral diet. It features a protein-dense nutrient profile with meat sourced from premium proteins like buffalo, bison, and venison to promote muscle growth. The recipe also sources carbs from peas and potatoes instead of grains to meet your puppy’s energy needs without taxing their stomach.
In addition, the formula contains a range of vitamins and minerals sourced from real fruits and vegetables. It also contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to promote skin nourishment and make your chow’s coat softer and more lustrous. The dog food also strengthens your puppy’s digestive health and improves nutrient absorption with K9 probiotics.
6. Ziwi Peak Beef Grain-Free Air-Dried Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Beef, 2. Beef Heart, 3. Beef Liver, 4. New Zealand Green Mussel, 5. Dried Kelp
Ziwi Peak Beef Air-Dried Dog Food combines a limited selection of ingredients with a unique air-drying preservation method to provide your dog with wholesome nutrition. The recipe comprises the finest quality beef meat, organs, and bones, which provides a dietary balance similar to the chow chow’s ancestors. It also contains a special ingredient called green mussel, which acts as a source of glucosamine and chondroitin and promotes good joint and bone health.
Because the dog food is air-dried, it has a better nutrition profile than conventional dog foods and contains zero preservatives. It is also free from grains, corn, wheat, soy, potatoes, sugar, and all sorts of artificial ingredients, making it an excellent and highly digestible option for sensitive and allergic dogs.
7. Nutro Natural Choice Senior Lamb & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Lamb, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Split Peas, 4. Brewers Rice, 5. Chicken Fat
Nutro Natural Choice Senior Formula caters to the needs of senior dogs with a nutritious and wholesome recipe. It contains easily digestible ingredients like lamb meat, promoting muscle management while helping your dog maintain a healthy weight. The diet has natural fibers like brown rice that support the weak digestive system of senior dogs.
It’s also worth noting that the formula is free from foods like corn, wheat, and soy, which may irritate an older dog’s stomach. The food is enriched with antioxidants to strengthen the immune system and calcium to make your dog’s bones stronger.
8. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Brown Rice, 3. Oatmeal, 4. Chicken Meal, 5. Peas
Blue buffalo life protection formula uses quality ingredients and a nutrient balance specifically for the well-being of senior dogs. The recipe consists of premium quality deboned chicken meat to nourish and maintain your chow’s muscles. It is also enriched with L-carnitine to efficiently convert carbs into energy and prevent your dog from becoming obese.
Moreover, the dog food contains LifeSource Bits that are full of various micronutrients, including glucosamine and chondroitin that support bone and joint health, as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that nourish your dog’s skin and coat. The formula is also free from corn, wheat, soy, and byproduct meals to deliver quality nutrients.
9. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Grain-Free Sweet Potato & Venison Formula Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Sweet Potato, 2. Venison, 3. Pea Protein, 4. Potato Protein, 5. Menhaden Fish Oil
Natural Balance LID sweet potato and venison formula is an excellent pick for chows with sensitivities and allergies. The formula features are a very cut-down ingredient list that mainly comprises venison meat and sweet potatoes. Both of these foods are easy to digest, non-allergenic, and help keep your dog muscular and active.
Aside from that, the formula also consists of omega-3 fatty acids that make your dog’s coat and skin healthier and more lustrous. The dog food is 100% grain-free, contains one protein source, and has zero artificial ingredients so your dog can enjoy a nutritious meal without getting diarrhea or itchy skin.
10. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe with Red Meat Large Breed Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Beef, 2. Fish Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Beef Meal, 5. Dried Tomato Pomace
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe is inspired by the diet of wolves and aims to keep your dog in lean and active shape. The formula contains deboned beef, venison, and lamb meat which provides tons of protein and helps chow chows maintain a muscular physique.
In addition, the dog food has omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that allow this furry breed to maintain a shiny and healthy coat. It also contains different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for strong immunity and good overall health. And like a true instinctual diet, the dog food is free from grains, byproduct meals, corn, wheat, and soy.
11. Merrick Grain Free Wet Puppy Food Puppy Plate Chicken Recipe
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Broth, 3. Deboned Turkey, 4. Sweet Potatoes, 5. Carrots
Merrick’s Grain-Free Wet Puppy Food features a simple yet highly nutritious formula that promotes growth and keeps your puppy active and fulfilled. It has real deboned chicken to encourages muscle growth through various amino acids and helps your puppy grow at a steady rate.
The recipe also includes apples, sweet potatoes, and carrots to provide your puppy with vitamins and minerals for good overall health. Its delicious gravy makes it a great choice for picky eaters. It also contains DHA, which promotes good vision and brain health.
12. Stella & Chewy’s Chewy’s Chicken Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken With Ground Bone, 2. Chicken Liver, 3. Chicken Gizzard, 4. Pumpkin Seed, 5. Organic Cranberries
Stella and Chewy’s chicken dinner patties offer the nutrients and flavor of a raw diet with the convenience of dry food. It’s inspired by the instinctual diet of canines and uses freeze-drying for preservation that locks in the nutrients found in raw meat and ingredients.
The food’s protein is sourced from real chicken meat, organs, and bones to provide a diet similar to wolves. It also contains several organic fruits and vegetables that act as sources of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You can serve the patties as it is or rehydrate them for a meal full of raw flavor and texture.
13. Solid Gold Fit & Fabulous Weight Control Grain-Free Chicken, Sweet Potato & Green Bean Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Sweet Potatoes, 4. Pea Fiber, 5. Potatoes
Solid gold fit and fabulous weight control dog food offers a low-calorie and low-fat holistic diet that keeps your chow chow in lean and energetic condition. The formula contains wholesome and natural ingredients like real chicken and sweet potatoes to keep your dog’s muscles are nourished and fueled for adventure.
In addition, the recipe delivers a blend of vitamins and minerals, as well as probiotics and antioxidants to support your dog’s digestive and immune health. The dog food is also completely free from grains, gluten, corn, wheat, and soy, making it perfect for dogs that suffer from allergies and sensitivities.
14. AvoDerm Senior Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal, 2. Ground Brown Rice, 3. Ground White Rice, 4. Oatmeal, 5. Chicken Fat
AvoDerm senior chicken dog food is tailor-made for older chows to help them smoothly transition into seniors. The recipe keeps in mind the delicate stomach of older dogs. It contains milder ingredients like chicken and brown rice with enough protein to support muscle nourishment and carbs to let your dog stay energetic and fulfilled.
Moreover, it has micronutrients that dogs specifically need in older age. These include glucosamine and chondroitin for joint and bone health and various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for overall well-being. The dog food also contains omega fatty acids for good coat health and is completely free from corn, wheat, soy, and all kinds of artificial ingredients.
BONUS: American Journey Active Life Formula Chicken, Brown Rice & Vegetables Dry Dog Food
Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Brown Rice, 4. Peas, 5. Natural Flavor
American Journey Active Life Formula supports the dietary needs and daily adventures of active and playful canines. It is made with wholesome and nutrient-packed foods such as real deboned chicken and sweet potatoes to nourish your dog’s muscles and keep them fueled throughout the day.
Aside from that, the food also contains multiple vitamins and minerals to ensure good overall health and a strong immune system. The recipe also uses various vegetables as a source of antioxidants and dietary fiber. In addition, the formula is enriched with omega fatty acids to ensure that your chow chow’s skin and coat remain in optimal condition.
Chow chows are a very distinctive-looking breed with unique dietary needs. Originally, they had to survive and eat in the rough environment of Norther China, so their diet slightly differs compared to other dogs. So what exactly should you feed your chow for them to thrive?
Here is a complete guide on how to feed your chow chow the best diet:
The Basic diet of chow chows
Like every other dog, a chow chow’s basic diet also consists of three nutrient groups: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. However, the proportion and source of these nutrients can greatly impact your dog’s overall health in several ways. Here is a detailed explanation of what these macronutrients are and what you should look for when choosing a dog food:
1. High-quality proteins in good quantities
Proteins are the most essential and dominant part of a dog’s diet. They are responsible for repairing muscle tissue, supporting hair growth, producing hormones, and other important bodily functions. That’s why every dog food should contain a healthy amount of protein sourced from real meat.
While the minimum protein requirement for dog food is 20%, we advise you to pick a more protein-dense formula of at least 25% protein. Chow chows can be couch potatoes and can quickly put on weight if fed too many carbs. A diet rich in protein will ensure that they maintain a lean and muscular physique, particularly during adulthood and seniority.
Another important thing to consider is the source of protein. Most manufacturers use chicken, turkey, beef, fish, or lamb as the primary protein source. All of these are excellent options considering two things; your chow chow isn’t allergic to them, and they come from actual meat instead of byproducts. Real meat is the preferred choice since it contains the highest protein and is easiest to digest. In contrast, byproducts contain rejected or leftover organs and pieces without much nutritional value.
2. Moderate amount of easily digestible carbohydrates
Carbohydrates and grains were a vital part of chow’s diet while they lived in their natural habitat of Northern China. These carbs were an important energy source and fueled the bodies of chow chows as they dragged heavy weights in sub-zero mountainous terrains. But now that most domesticated chow chows don’t get nearly as much physical activity, their carbohydrate requirements have dropped significantly.
When purchasing dog food for this breed, you need to be very careful about the formula’s carbohydrate content. If you feed your chow chow too many carbs, their body will start converting it into fat and they will become obese.
You must also check the source of carbohydrates. Most domesticated chow chows have trouble digesting grains or get allergies from consuming them. So look for a formula that uses sweet potatoes and peas as the primary source of carbohydrates.
3. Healthy fats and oils
Like protein, fats also play a very crucial role in a dog’s diet, particularly when it comes to chow chows. They are responsible for nourishing your dog’s skin and coat, supporting their brain, and keeping their joints in optimal condition. Fats are also the best source of energy compared to proteins and carbohydrates.
When choosing a dog food, make sure that it contains a minimum of 10 – 15% fat for your chow to thrive. This breed has a lot of fur on its body which needs regular nourishment to look and feel healthy. Remember, a poor and fat-deficient diet will automatically show in the form of bald patches and rough coats.
Factors To Consider For Chow Chows
Although the basic diet of chow chows is nearly the same as most breeds, there are some certain factors that you need to look after when choosing dog food. Here is a list of the most important factors to consider regarding the diet of chow chows:
1. Prevent your dog from becoming obese
Obesity is a major issue with chow chows for two reasons; one is that they’re lazy, and the second is that it’s difficult to know if they’re obese. Chow chows are naturally a very hard-working breed. They have been used for hunting animals, pulling sleds, and looking after herds for centuries. But surprisingly, this dog is the complete opposite of that in domestic households. Chow chows may be of the laziest breeds in America!
Because these dogs don’t get much activity, they are at an extremely high risk of becoming obese. What makes this problem even worse is that it’s very tough to identify when your chow is becoming overweight. These dogs are covered in densely packed fur, so any extra weight they put on goes unnoticed until they have become too obese.
That’s why it is best to avoid a dog food that contains too many carbs or fillers. If your chow chow is already obese, consider choosing a high protein or weight management formula for some time.
2. Consider limited ingredient diet and grain-free foods
Some chow chows suffer from allergies and sensitive stomachs which greatly affects their health and appearance. An allergy can make your dog’s skin itchy and will cost bald patches to develop in the long term.
To prevent this, get your dog tested for allergies and switch to a grain-free or limited ingredient diet. Also, look for dog food that contains omega-3 fatty acids since they have anti-inflammatory properties.
3. Choose a diet rich in glucosamine and chondroitin
Many chow chows are predisposed to a painful condition called dysplasia. Dogs that suffer from this condition have malformed elbow and hip joints that can dislocate. A diet rich in glucosamine and chondroitin can help alleviate some of the problems associated with this condition.
These two nutrients are crucial for proper bone and joint function in dogs. They can also prevent other bone disorders like arthritis from developing and worsening dysplasia. Glucosamine and chondroitin are especially important during puppyhood and seniority but should be present in your chow’s diet through all life stages.
4. Carefully plan out meal times to prevent bloating
Dog breeds with a deep chest like the chow chow are prone to an acute condition called gastric dilatation-volvulus or GDV. It’s similar to bloating and occurs when a lot of gas enters your dog’s stomach. But on some occasions, the stomach twists or rotates due to this gas buildup.
GDV can quickly become a life-threatening situation as the stomach starts placing pressure on other organs. It can block blood flow to the heart and make it difficult for your dog to breathe. In such cases, you need to rush your dog straight to the ER, or they could die.
While there is no cure for this condition, you can prevent bloating by spacing out your dog’s meals. Chow chow puppies should be feed 3 to 4 meals a day, while adults and seniors require 2-3 meals a day if they suffer from bloat. Purchase a slow feeder if your dog has a habit of eating fast, which will reduce gas buildup while they eat.
Feeding Guide For Chow Chows By Age
As chow chows pass through different life stages, their caloric requirements and diet change. It’s important to know what and how to feed your chow chow at every age to help them grow steadily and stretch out their lifespan. Here is a short guide on how to feed chow chows based on their age:
During puppyhood, a chow chows’ body is changing and growing rapidly. They are also slightly more energetic during this particular age. That’s why the best diet for them at this stage would be a puppy or adult formula with moderate amounts of protein, some easily digestible carbs, loads of vitamins and micronutrients, and a healthy portion of fats.
Puppies need fueling more frequently, so feed them 3 to 4 meals a day. An average chow of 7 to 10 months age and 25 to 40 lbs weight will require around 1600 to 2000 calories in a single day. However, we recommend setting an appointment with your vet to get the most accurate estimate of your puppy’s caloric requirement.
Adult chow chows prefer to live a more sedentary life than puppies. They still need lots of quality nutrition to stay healthy and safe from health disorders that plague this breed.
Your goal should be to feed them a quality diet that can help them maintain a healthy weight. An average chow chow that weighs between 40 to 60 lbs should eat around 1400 calories a day. Once again, we strongly recommend that you discuss your dog’s food options and intake with your vet to get the best estimate.
Apart from that, try to avoid free feeding as this can quickly lead to weight gain and create several issues for your chow chow, such as arthritis and joint issues.
The diet of a senior chow isn’t much different from that of an adult. However, older dogs do tend to become susceptible to diseases and medical conditions. Their digestive systems also weaken and can become irritated by dense foods or allergens like grains. Chow chows are vulnerable to joint and bone disorders at an older age, so glucosamine and chondroitin are essential to their diet.
You can find a bunch of dog foods designed specifically to meet the dietary needs of senior dogs. Try to look for higher proportions of proteins to carbs as senior chow chows are more likely to put on weight. Also, check the dog food’s micronutrient content and ensure that it contains antioxidants, omega fats, and minerals.
How much should a chow chow weigh?
An average male adult chow chow should weigh between 55 – 66 lbs. (25 – 30 kg), while a female chow chow should weigh between 44 – 59 lbs. (20 – 27 kg) to be considered healthy.
Which foods should chow chows not eat?
Grapes, chocolate, avocadoes, mushrooms, onions, garlic, and nutmeg are all foods that can be harmful or even lethal to dogs. Always store these foods in a safe location and never leave them out in the open.
Can chow chows eat cheese?
Yes, most chow chows can eat cheese, but that doesn’t mean you should feed it to them. Cheese contains a lot of fat that can make your dog obese and might irritate the stomach of dogs sensitive to lactose.
Should you feed your chow chow pork?
No, pork can be dangerous for chow chows as it can lead to parasitic infection, especially if fed undercooked. Instead, you can provide your dog with boneless chicken or turkey meat in specific quantities.
Can chow chows eat eggs?
Yes, chow chows can eat eggs without facing any trouble. We recommend serving scrambled, boiled eggs as they make an excellent topper. Do consult with your vet first to ensure that you don’t go overboard with your dog’s protein intake.