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9 Best Dog Foods for All Life Stages in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

Dog Eating

When you pick a dog food for your pooch, it’s a normal part of the process to change it over time due to health, age, and other circumstances. But wouldn’t it be nice if a food delivered top-notch nutrition for all aspects of your dog’s life?

As dog food companies continue to evolve, they craft recipes to tailor to the particular needs of our canine friends. If you are looking for a bountiful feast for your sensitive adult, pregnant dame, or growing pup — but don’t want to go through the hassle of switching foods later — read our reviews of the best dog foods for all life stages.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Purina Pro Plan All Life Stages Performance Dry Dog Food Purina Pro Plan All Life Stages Performance Dry Dog Food
  • Feature iconNutrient-rich
  • Feature iconHigh calories
  • Feature iconLive probiotics 
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Diamond Naturals All Life Stages Dry Dog Food Diamond Naturals All Life Stages Dry Dog Food
  • Feature iconAffordable price
  • Feature iconNo fillers 
  • Feature iconWell-balanced nutritional content
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Canine Caviar LID All Life Stages Dog Food Canine Caviar LID All Life Stages Dog Food
  • Feature iconDehydrated chicken 
  • Feature iconNo harmful additives
  • Feature iconNatural
  • CANIDAE All Life Stages Multi-Protein Formula Dry Dog Food CANIDAE All Life Stages Multi-Protein Formula Dry Dog Food
  • Feature iconVeterinary formulated 
  • Feature iconBalanced caloric value
  • Feature iconMeat source variety
  • Dr. Tim's All Life Stages Kinesis Formula Dry Dog Food Dr. Tim's All Life Stages Kinesis Formula Dry Dog Food
  • Feature iconPatented BC30 probiotics 
  • Feature iconBuilds strong immunity
  • Feature iconCrafted by experts 
  • The 9 Best Dog Foods for All-life-Stages – Reviews 2021

    1. Purina Pro Plan All Life Stages Performance Dry Dog Food – Best Overall

    1Purina Pro Plan All Life Stages Performance 3020 Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

    We think the best all-life-stages dog food goes to Purina Pro Plan All Life Stages Performance 30/20 Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food. Purina has been in the dog food game for a long time, so it’s no surprise how much their recipes continue to meet the needs of all dogs.

    This food is packed with antioxidants, DHA and EPA omega-3 and 6, and amino acids for optimal health. These additives support brain development and immunity. There are also live probiotics to aid in gut health.

    The 30/20 stands for 30% protein and 20% fat. The combination is designed to heighten endurance and improve metabolism. The recipe has 541 calories per cup.

    There is a specific guideline on the back on how much to give your dog at their current state. This food is relatively high in calories, so you’ll want to follow the food chart to a tee. Obesity is possible with over-feeding.

    This food is geared towards pooches with an active lifestyle. Dogs who enjoy a more sedentary life may quickly become overweight. However, generally speaking, this recipe is a terrific choice for all ages, from weaning puppies to expecting mothers.

    • Nutrient-rich
    • High calories
    • Live probiotics
    • High in calories
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    2. Diamond Naturals All Life Stages Dry Dog Food – Best Value

    2Diamond Naturals Chicken & Rice Formula All Life Stages Dry Dog Food

    When it comes to the biggest bang for your buck, Diamond Naturals Chicken & Rice Formula All Life Stages Dry Dog Food is the best all-life-stages dog food for the money. Don’t let the friendly price tag concern you — Diamonds didn’t skimp on nutrition.

    This food is loaded with premium cage-free chicken, superfoods, and fatty acids. This recipe caters to healthy bone, skin, and coat growth. It includes a probiotic blend to smooth gastrointestinal function.

    There are 368 calories per cup and is made up of 26% crude protein, 16% crude fat, and 2.5% crude fiber. It also has added DHA for brain function and development.

    There are no corn, wheat, or soy fillers added. They left out any artificial colors and preservatives, too. It only includes natural additives that your dog deserves.

    While this food is for most life stages, there are no feeding portion suggestions for pregnant or nursing dogs. Also, since it’s lower in calories than others, you will want to make sure your dog gets as much as possible.

    • Affordable price
    • No fillers
    • Well-balanced nutritional content
    • No specific instruction for nursing or pregnant dogs
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    3. Canine Caviar LID All Life Stages Dog Food – Premium Choice

    Canine Caviar Limited Ingredient

    Canine Caviar Limited Ingredient Diet Free Spirit Holistic Entrée All Life Stages Dry Dog Food is perfect for dogs who require single source proteins. This limited ingredient diet uses only the essential ingredients without lowering nutritional quality.

    This recipe is geared toward medium to large breed puppies, crafting the additive necessary for optimal growth. It also supports mothers from conception through the nursing stage.

    Rather than ground meat, this product has dehydrated chicken as the main protein source. In the bag, there is 27% crude protein, 17% crude fat, and 5.7% crude fiber. There are 599 calories per cup, which is quite a lot, so make sure you follow the exact of the suggested servings.

    This recipe is free of gluten, GMOs, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene

    (BHT), and animal by-products. By reducing all of these potentially harmful additives, you get only the basic goodness your puppy or adult dog needs.

    • Dehydrated chicken
    • No harmful additives
    • Natural
    • Calorie-dense
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    4. CANIDAE All Life Stages Multi-Protein Formula Dry Dog Food

    4CANIDAE All Life Stages Multi-Protein Formula Dry Dog Food

    Keep it simple with CANIDAE All Life Stages Multi-Protein Formula Dry Dog Food. The focal point of this recipe is to deliver multiple protein sources to heighten nutrition and flavor. Canidae uses turkey, chicken, and lamb as the main sources.

    This brand offers its signature HelathPlus solutions, which is a trio of antioxidants, probiotics, and fatty acids. There are also added vitamins and minerals to aid in ultimate health.

    This food has 468 calories per cup. It contains 24% crude protein, 14.5% crude fat, and 4% crude fiber.

    Like all Canidae recipes, this was formulated by a team of veterinary professionals. It’s free of common allergens like corn, wheat, and soy. There are no by-products or fillers that can cause health issues later in life.

    This recipe is designed for all ages and sizes — but not all sensitivities. Using multiple protein sources can trigger food intolerances in some dogs. Keep an eye out for bad reactions.

    • Veterinary formulated
    • Balanced caloric value
    • Meat source variety
    • Not suitable for specific food intolerances
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    5. Dr. Tim’s All Life Stages Kinesis Formula Dry Dog Food

    5Dr. Tim's All Life Stages Kinesis Formula Dry Dog Food

    When it comes to overall pet health, trust Dr. Tim’s All Life Stages Kinesis Formula Dry Dog Food. This food is specially formulated by veterinarians and nutritionists so that every recipe is crafted with excellence.

    There is a unique blend of complex carbohydrates, probiotics, prebiotics, and antioxidants. Your dog can have an ever-strong immunity and digestive tract. There is also a patented BC30 probiotic to target gut health.

    There are 413 calories per cup and this blend consists of 26% crude protein, 16% crude fat, and 3% crude fiber.

    Chicken meal and brown rice are the first two ingredients, so you know it’s full of filling protein and healthy carbs. They remove the sugar in the beet pulp to cut back on excessive sugar content.

    This recipe is very well-rounded, but it won’t work for all dogs. If your dog has a gluten allergy, this kibble is a no-go.

    • Patented BC30 probiotics
    • Builds strong immunity
    • Crafted by experts
    • Not grain-free
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    6. Nature’s Logic Canine All Life Stages Dry Dog Food

    6Nature's Logic Canine Beef Meal Feast All Life Stages Dry Dog Food

    Nature’s Logic Canine All Life Stages Dry Dog Food is made explicitly for every stage of life and crafted to be all-natural for your pooch. Something special about this kibble is the brand-specific coating with enzymes and plasma protein that do the most for your dog’s system.

    Rather than having chemically altered vitamins and minerals, this food offers completely organic ingredients so your dog can get the most out of their meal. It’s MSG-free with no corn, wheat, or soy fillers.

    This recipe has prime nutritional value, offering 34% crude protein, 15% crude fat, and 5% crude fiber. In each cup, there are 375 calories. That’s brilliant, considering the generous protein portions and moderate caloric intake levels.

    Millet, in place of potato and other harsh starches, gives the recipe a lower sugar content. This recipe offers lots of superfoods like kale and blueberries to give a power-punch of antioxidant power.

    If your dog shows sensitivity to beef or chicken protein, this isn’t the dog food for them. There is also pork content, so do be mindful of the multiple meat sources before purchase.

    • Lower sugar content
    • High protein, moderate calories
    • MSG and filler-free
    • Common proteins may cause sensitivities
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    7. AvoDerm Natural Grain-Free All Life Stages Dry Dog Food

    7AvoDerm Natural Grain-Free Salmon & Vegetables Formula All Life Stages Dry Dog Food

    If you have a gluten-sensitive pup, consider AvoDerm Natural Grain-Free All Life Stages Dry Dog Food. It is completely free of wheat, corn, soy, by-products, and fillers. Plus, it has an interesting recipe, including avocado for an easy-to-digest edge.

    Deboned salmon is the first ingredient, so your dog will reap the benefits of wholesome animal protein. Also, salmon is a good alternative to more common proteins — like chicken and beef. Between the omega-rich avocado and salmon, your pup is sure to have a luxurious coat.

    Each cup of this food contains 400 calories per cup. This recipe has 23% crude protein, 13% crude fat, and 4.5% crude fiber.

    AvoDerm Natural Grain-Free is best for dogs with a sensitivity to grain and common proteins. There is no need to get a healthy, capable dog on a grain-free diet. If your dog is not gluten-intolerant, please consult with your veterinarian before switching.

    • For gluten-sensitive dogs
    • Avocado for extra omegas
    • Salmon as a first ingredient
    • Not every dog needs a grain-free diet
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    8. Taste of the Wild Ancient Wetlands with Ancient Grains Dry Dog Food

    8Taste of the Wild Ancient Wetlands with Ancient Grains Dry Dog Food

    Nothing gives your dog a feel for their ancestors like Taste of the Wild Ancient Wetlands with Ancient Grains Dry Dog Food. The entire mission of Taste of the Wild focuses on giving dogs a replica diet that they would have in nature. In this recipe, you’ll find exotic protein like roasted quail, duck, and turkey. The number one ingredient is cage-free duck, so it’s humane. The protein trio is easier to digest than, say, chicken or beef. It also contains species-specific K9 Strain Probiotics providing over 80 million active cultures to aid in digestion and immune health.

    There are 404 calories per cup made up of 32% crude protein, 18% crude fat, and 3% crude fiber. It’s also packed with other attractive ingredients like zinc, fatty acids, taurine, and glucosamine.

    This recipe is perfect for very active adults, pregnant or lactating mothers, or puppies. If you have an adult who is less of a go-getter, it could cause weight gain due to extra calories. Be mindful when you measure out your dog’s portions.

    • Wholesome grains
    • Exotic meat trio
    • K9 Strain Probiotics
    • Could cause weight gain
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    9. Horizon Legacy All Life Stages Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    9Horizon Legacy with Salmon All Life Stages Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    Horizon Legacy with Salmon All Life Stages Grain-Free Dry Dog Food takes a different approach to others of its kind. The company has tried to hold onto the raw diet value in kibble form. It’s perfect for the gluten-sensitive dogs who would benefit from a range of wholesome sustenance.

    It has salmon and salmon meal for the first two ingredients, so optimal protein is ensured. It has antioxidants, probiotics, and prebiotics for well-balanced nutrition.

    There are 422 calories in one cup. It offers 34% crude protein, 14% crude fat, and 4.8% crude fiber.

    This works for small to large breed dogs at all stages. It is a bit toward the expensive end of the dog food spectrum. Also, this diet isn’t necessary for every dog, as not all dogs won’t benefit from a grain-free diet. Also, peas are the third ingredient, which some dogs may be reactive to.

    • 80% inclusion rate
    • Raw diet value in kibble form
    • High protein
    • Some dogs may be sensitive to peas
    • Not all dogs are great candidates for grain-free
    • Not for fish allergies
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    Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Dog Food for All Life Stages

    When you finally find a brand and recipe of dog food your pooch loves, it’s hard to make a switch later. Changing a dog’s diet can disrupt their normal digestion, causing stomach upset and other minor irritations. All-life-stages food is a concept many manufacturers have adapted, crafted to serve as a nutritional foundation for any timeline.

    What is All-Life-Stages Dog Food?

    All-life-stages dog food serves as a nutritionally balanced diet for dogs of various points along their journey. It provides a formula fit to suit the needs of most dog diet requirements.

    It aims to provide adequate nutrition for:
    • Puppies
    • Adults
    • Pregnant/Lactating Mothers

    While this seems like these various stages would require different recipes, this isn’t true. The formula stays the same, the feeding schedule changes. So, your dog will get the exact helping of nutrition when they need it.

    Is All-Life-Stages Food Suitable for Seniors?

    Many companies don’t offer information on senior servings for all-life-stages food. This may put into question whether seniors will benefit from this type of diet.

    Generally, it is acceptable for seniors. However, a lot of issues can come to light when dogs begin to age. Knowing the health changes or particular sensitivities in your senior will make the decision easier.

    All-life-stages dog food is usually very high in calories. Active adults, pregnant or nursing mothers, and puppies benefit immensely from this boost in caloric intake. But many seniors are less active, so they can become obese quite quickly.

    Also, with age comes the possibility of various health issues. Your senior may need a more specialized diet to fit their special needs.

    If you doubt, always consult with your veterinarian to develop a tailored diet plan for your senior.

    What Ingredients Are Vital for All-Life-Stages Dog Food?

    • DHA—Docosahexaenoic acid, DHA is an absolutely essential omega-3 fatty acid that helps form different components of the brain. So, puppies need this fatty acid to grow appropriately in terms of brain development. It can also improve heart health, prevent cancers, and inflammatory conditions.
    • Omega-3 & 6—Omega-3 acids are “polyunsaturated”, meaning they have double bonds. Dog’s don’t produce omega-3’s naturally, so they must obtain these required nutrients through their diet. DHA is an omega-3, but there are also EPA and ALA, which contribute to energy and reduce depression.
    • Omega-6 fatty acids, such as GLA reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
    • Antioxidants—Antioxidants essential vitamins and minerals that feed the body and reduce free radicals. Offering an antioxidant-packed dog food will ensure your pet has high immunity.
    • Whole Proteins—A whole, or complete, protein is when there is an adequate portion of nine essential amino acids. A protein-rich diet is one of the most critical aspects of your dog’s overall diet.

    Protein makes necessary enzymes, levels out hormones, and produces proper chemicals in the body. It also builds muscle, strengthens bones, and promotes healthy cartilage and skin.

    Divider 2Conclusion

    Overall, the Purina Pro Plan All Life Stages Performance Dry Dog Food tops our list of best dog food for all life stages. It delivers high calories and high percentages of nutrients to cater to baby, adult, pregnant, and nursing dogs.

    If you want to give your dog a food that will grow them, but wish to stay frugal — consider Diamond Naturals All Life Stages Dry Dog Food. It’s easy on the pocketbook but full of valuable ingredients. So, you can cater to your dog’s ever-changing needs on a budget.

    All of these selections are worthwhile picks for an all life stage dog food depending on necessity and preferences. Hopefully, these reviews helped you find the best all-life-stages dog food for your pooch.

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    Featured image credit: Pexels