Merrick Dog Food

Merrick Dog Food Review

About Merrick

Our Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Having been in operation since 1988, Merrick believes every pet parent wants to give their dog the best. Rightly so, and this philosophy is what got them started. Their story begins over 30 years ago, in Garth Merrick’s own kitchen. To make sure his dog, Gracie, gets the best nutrition, Garth inadvertently began the company we know today as Merrick Pet Care.

This company has come a long way since then but still holds to some of the core values they have established more than 30 years ago. They are still coming up with and putting every recipe to the test right in Garth’s original kitchen.

They are still sticking to the best ingredients without resorting to the use of preservatives, fillers or artificial additives. Merrick is a company that gives back to the pet community. They partner with organizations throughout the USA to help pets in need.

About Merrick Dog Food

Merrick delivers a 5-star promise. Each star represents a guaranteed aspect of their dog food.

1. Merrick always uses real whole foods in each of their recipes. Only high-quality protein from animals and fish, and real fruits and vegetables go into their formulas. They also pride themselves in not putting anything artificial into the mix.

2. Ingredients are only sourced from trustworthy sources that Merrick has built a strong relationship with over the years. The freshness and safety of said ingredients meet their stringent quality standards

3. You will be able to see the difference in your pet from consuming Merrick dog food. Regulated weight, healthy skin and coat, better digestion and joint support are all indicators of a healthy diet.

4. The quality is guaranteed. All recipes are initially crafted and tested in the original kitchen. Merrick’s manufacturing facilities all meet FDA safety standards. Consume quality food manufactured with safety in mind.

5. Last but definitely not least, Merrick gives back to the canine community. They partner with organizations across America to help dogs find a home.

Each of the recipes has its own AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials) nutrient profile. Please refer to the information on their website for more details.

The rankings are G – Growth, M-Maintenance, A-All Life Stages, S-Supplemental, U-Unspecified.

The rankings are more for consideration. For a more accurate diagnosis on which is best for your pet, consult your trusted veterinarian.

Merrick Food Lines


Merrick Backcountry Great Plains

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Abiding by the philosophy of the ancestral diet, Backcountry takes your dog back to its roots. The all-natural recipe is grain-free with rich protein and high levels of nutrients. In the dry kibble, you will find tender and juicy pieces of real meat to add a new texture for your pet’s palette. Added omega fatty acids derived from salmon oil will give your pet’s coat a healthy shine. As for muscles, you can find protein from animals such as rabbit, venison, and salmon for the amino acids to build healthy muscles.


Merrick Classic Real Beef

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The classic blend recipe offers healthy whole grains for those pet parents who do not exclude grain from their pup’s diet. Other than the grains, you will find the perfect balance of protein, vegetables, fruits with added levels of omega fatty acids and a dash of glucosamine and chondroitin. The classic recipe is recommended for puppies and adult dogs. The brown rice, barley, and quinoa give the optimal levels of fiber to aid in digestion.


Merrick Grain-free Chicken and Potato

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For pet parents who like a grain-free diet for their fur babies, Merrick has the product you are looking for. Crafted with nothing but whole foods, the deboned red meat for protein is paired with vegetables and fruits for a well-rounded meal.

Recommended for all dogs in any life stage of any breed, the grain-free blend supports healthy skin and coats with the added levels of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Bones and joints are not neglected with leading levels of both chondroitin and glucosamine.

Related Review; Grain-Free Food for Puppies.

Lil’ Plates

Merrick Lil’ Plates Real Texas Beef

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The Lil’ Plates recipe is created for smaller dogs. Made just for them, this is a grain-free recipe with even more nutrition for their small little bodies. Recommended for small fur babies of all life stages, the smaller sized kibble will help with dental hygiene.

To help with potential digestive issues, Lil’ Plates includes probiotics and prebiotics to help with gut health. Smaller fur babies need even more nutrition, the deboned meat supplemented by other whole foods will give them everything they need.

Limited Ingredient Diet

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Real Turkey

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Merrick didn’t forget about the needs of sensitive fur babies. Recipes that only include a few key ingredients are best for these pooches. The Limited Ingredient Diet recipe only utilizes eight key ingredients plus all the necessary vitamins and minerals to strengthen your pup, especially if they require a dog food suitable for sensitive stomachs.

The limited amount of ingredients doesn’t restrict the nutrients your dog will be getting. This diet is best for adult dogs. Due to sensitivity issues, this recipe is also free of grains to prevent further irritating your pooch.

Merrick Dog Food Recall History

Merrick Dog Food has had recalls, but only in the dog treats department. In July and August of 2010, they recalled their Beef Filet Squares for Dogs and Texas Hold’ems. In January and August of the following year, Merrick recalled their Doggie Wishbone and Jr. Texas Taffy pet treats. All of the above recalls were due to potential salmonella contamination, although there have been no illnesses reported.

The latest recall happened in May of 2018. Elevated levels of beef thyroid hormone were discovered, and an assortment of Merrick Backcountry Great Plains beef dog treats was recalled along with Castor & Pollux beef treats.

Which Dogs Can Merrick Dog Food?

With every line, Merrick has a recommendation for specific dogs. Since the Backcountry line is raw meat infused to simulate the ancestral diet, it is optimal for all sized dogs in all life stages. However, we would advise against feeding this line to puppies before 1 year of age. The Classic Recipe contains grains, so we’d recommend it to puppies and/or adult dogs without sensitivities.

The Grain-Free blend is great for dogs who cannot digest grains easily or are prone to allergies. If your dog fits this description, feel free to feed this to him/her at any stage in life. With the Lil’ Plates, it is specially formulated for small breeds at any life stage. If you have a fur baby under 20 pounds, this is the recipe for you. Lastly, the Limited Ingredient recipe is great for dogs who have special dietary needs and have issues related to bloating or digestion.

We do not see any recipe for senior dogs, overweight pups, or large breeds. If your dog falls under one of these categories, we’d suggest turning to another brand with specific recipes for them.

Best Merrick Dog Foods

1. Merrick Backcountry Great Plains Red Recipe

Merrick Backcountry Great Plains Red Recipe

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The deboned beef appeals to your canine’s inner wild side with freeze-dried raw meat infused into every bowl for extra texture. This grain-free option allows for better digestibility. Cooked in the USA, this formula is packed with rich protein and healthy levels of omega fatty acids along with added glucosamine and chondroitin. Bring your dog back to basics with this recipe.

2. Merrick Classic Real Beef

Merrick Classic Real Beef

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Centered around deboned beef, this recipe includes grains and fresh produce in the mix. Also including healthy levels of omega fatty acids and glucosamine and chondroitin, your pooch will be getting a balanced meal in every bowl. All the ingredients come from trusted sources with no preservatives, color, artificial flavor or additives.

3. Merrick Grain-free Chicken and Potato

Merrick Grain-free Chicken and Potato

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Grain-free means the blend less irritable for your pooch. No grains and no gluten equals higher digestibility, less bloating and firmer stool. Every single one of Merrick’s recipes includes optimal levels of glucosamine and chondroitin with omega fatty acids for extra support. Great for dogs of all breeds and life stages, guarantee your dog a shiny coat, healthy skin and strong muscles.

4. Merrick Lil’ Plates Real Texas Beef

Merrick Lil’ Plates Real Texas Beef

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Small fur babies have big needs. They need high amounts of protein, carbs, and fats to fuel their energy output. Packed with enough nutrition for smaller breeds, Merrick also caters to their little mouths by shrinking the kibble. This grain-free recipe includes fruits like apples and blueberries for antioxidants that support a healthy immune system. Vegetables like peas and sweet potatoes introduce natural and healthy amounts of fiber into their diet.

5. Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Real Turkey

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Real Turkey

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We start off the ingredients list with deboned turkey followed by healthy levels of chondroitin, glucosamine, omega fatty acids, and sufficient fruit and vegetables to round out the recipe. If your dog has allergies and sensitivities, turn to Merrick’s limited ingredients diet that rids the recipe of less than ideal ingredients but keeps the savory flavor.

Merrick Discount Coupons & Promo Deals

You can clip coupons the old fashioned way or click around online and browse coupon websites, and even off of their website. Sometimes Amazon will also offer some buy one get one free deal or large discounts. Make sure you type in the month and year as keywords if you decide to search through Google. Shopping around on Amazon and other such websites could reveal some amazing hidden deals. Happy shopping!


Merrick dog food is a highly recommended brand that puts care into selecting high-quality ingredients from trusted sources and cooked in the USA. The well-balanced recipes earn this brand a 4.5-star stamp of approval.

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