Merrick Dog Food Reviews

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Founded in 1988 at a family ranch in Texas, Merrick has been a staple in the dog food industry for a number of decades now with good reason. Merrick produces nothing but the best dog food from handcrafted, all-natural recipes that have the highest-quality ingredients with absolutely no fillers or preservatives.

Merrick now not only has a wide range of impressive dog foods, but they keep coming up with new wonderful alternatives for your furry little friends. They offer, among many other options, grain-free and limited ingredient diet recipes as well as something called “Lil’ Plates,” a grain-free food specifically geared towards small breed dogs.

To say that Merrick takes the health of your furry best friend seriously would be to understate the matter. Today, we are going to review some of their best dog foods on the market to help you find the one that is just right for your dog. But first…

A Small History of Merrick Dog Food

Merrick dog food is manufactured by a company called “Merrick Pet Care, Inc. In 2015, it was bought out by Nestle Purina Pet Company, but Merrick still operates as an independent arm.

All the ingredients used in Merrick dog food are locally sourced, fresh, and the facilities all adhere to strict FDA standards. Merrick tends to produce all the different foods in small batches to ensure that the quality is high and that there are no contaminants in the batches. Despite all this, the company has had a number of recalls in the past between 2010 and 2011.

The concern at the time was that there was potential salmonella contamination of some of the small batches released into the market. However, throughout the recalls, there were no pet illnesses reported which goes to show just how careful Merrick is about your pet’s health.

The Different Formulas Used by Merrick

Merrick has well over 200 recipes they use to make the array of dog foods in the market today. The following list categorizes the formulas that they use to bring you and your dog the best dog food:

  • Merrick Grain-Free
  • Merrick Classic – potato free with the addition of glucosamine and chondroitin to help the support the joints
  • Merrick Treats
  • Merrick Backcountry – High-protein with the addition of glucosamine and chondroitin to help with joint support
  • Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet
  • Merrick Backcountry Raw – includes freeze-dried raw bits of meat, poultry, or fish

While all these categories are quite nutritious for dogs, this review will focus on Merrick Grain-free recipes and Merrick Classic since those seem to be the most popular with dog lover across the country.

Merrick Grain-Free Healthy Weight Recipe

Merrick Grain-Free Healthy Weight Recipe is one of the most popular with customers across the U.S. One of the main reasons for that is because it’s high in omega fatty acids which not only makes it perfect for most dogs but particularly so for dogs with long coats.

Some of the nutritious goodies found in the recipe include:

  • Chicken
  • Deboned Buffalo
  • Salmon
  • Lamb
  • Turkey
  • Chicken fat
  • Salmon oil
  • Flaxseed oil

It also has a host of other high-quality proteins that not only make this recipe tasty but very healthy for your dog.


  • Excellent for active and working dogs that suffer from joint conditions.
  • Perfect for dogs with long coats


  • May not be exactly perfect for typical active dogs without joint issues

Because it has high levels of fat and protein, this recipe is perfect for working dogs or dogs that are quite active and exercise for over an hour each day. Additionally, it is excellent for dogs that suffer from joint conditions since it includes high levels of chondroitin and glucosamine (1200 mg/kg each).

Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe

We mentioned earlier that this was one of the many highly innovative dog food options that Merrick has out on the market today. The Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe was specifically designed for small or toy dogs that are active such as Beagles and Yorkshire Terriers.

The recipe contains a high level of omega fatty acids which makes it good for long-coated dogs. It also has high levels of chondroitin and glucosamine (1200 mg/kg each) which makes it good for dogs that already have joint problems since it can help repair cartilage and relieve pain.


  • Specifically formulated for toy or small dogs
  • Good for dogs with long coats
  • Can help with digestive problems as well as prevent them in dogs


  • It might not be suitable for typically active dogs

Within its formula, Merrick includes a probiotic bacteria known as Bacillus coagulants that plays a big role in helping dogs with diarrhea and prevent issues such as irritable bowel syndrome as well as ulcerative colitis.

Merrick Grain-Free Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Puppy Recipe

The Merrick Grain-Free Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Puppy Recipe was specially formulated for puppies because they need a different macronutrient balance than adult dogs.

Because this recipe is quite low on the fat-content front, it’s good for short-coated breeds of puppies as well as those that are typically very active.


  • It’s good for active puppies
  • It’s excellent for puppies that are prone to joint issues


  • It’s not exactly suitable for puppies that have long coats
  • It may not be very suitable for puppies that are hyperactive

Because it contains chondroitin and glucosamine (600 mg/kg each), this recipe is good for puppies that are typically prone to having joint problems. The recipe will help support your pup’s joints and prevent potential damage to cartilage.

Merrick tends to produce dog foods using recipes that take into account the fact that your dog might suffer from joint problems or could be prone to suffering from joint issues in the future. Because of that, their recipes are not only nutritious and healthy, but they also have therapeutic and preventive properties that could be beneficial to a vast number of dog breeds.

The company is committed to producing high-quality dog food at very affordable prices. If you have a dog or a puppy that falls into any of the above-mentioned categories or one that could use some nutritious loving, then buying them a bag of Merrick Dog Food could be the best way to go.

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