If you’re looking for good food for your pet, you’ve probably heard of Merrick. This dog food brand gets a lot of good press, and you might be wondering if it lives up to the hype. We put together this Merrick dog food review to take a good look at the brand, including its extensive product line, and whether or not it earned its excellent reputation. Let’s take a closer look at the brand to learn why it gets such great customer reviews in our dog food review.
- About the Brand
- Merrick Dog Food Reviews
- Dry Lil’ Plates Recipes
- What Dogs Should Eat Merrick Dog Food?
- What Dogs Should Not Eat Merrick Dog Food?
- How Does Merrick Dog Food Measure Up?
About the Brand
Merrick dog food was founded over 30 years ago in a family kitchen in Hereford, Texas in the United States. Garth Merrick began cooking meals for his dog, Gracie, because he wanted to make sure she was eating food that was as nutritious and wholesome as possible.
The Merrick pet care brand has come a long way since then, but it still holds true to the original vision: creating nutritionally balanced food that’s healthy and wholesome. Merrick’s kitchen is a Safe Quality Food Level 3 facility, the highest possible rating. The brand uses high-quality ingredients to create recipes with industry-leading amounts of protein, minerals, vitamins, and healthy fats. All those nutritious ingredients are sourced from farmers they trust.
Read the labels carefully, and do your research for anything you don’t recognize. For example, some ingredients like lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried lactobacillus plantarum fermentation, or enterococcus faecium fermentation product may seem out of place, but they appear on the ingredients lists of most well-known pet foods.
Merrick Dog Food Reviews
Merrick has an extensive product line that features multiple types of dry and wet dog foods, and treats. Let’s take a closer look at what they have to offer.
Merrick Grain Free Real Dog Food
Merrick s grain free real dog food recipes are crafted for taste and nutrition. Each Merrick grain free dog food recipe starts with real de-boned meat with up to 84 percent meat content from animal sources. Other ingredients in this grain free dog food include whole foods like blueberries and sweet potato to deliver balanced nutrition that includes vitamins, minerals, and guaranteed levels of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat, and glucosamine and chondroitin to maintain hip and joint function. Some recipes also gave zinc amino acid complex, manganese amino acid complex, copper amino acid complex, vitamin B12 supplement, and other nutritious additions. Some have pork fat, salmon meal, lamb meal, potato protein, buffalo, and more.
One of the best things about Merrick grain free dog food is that it has a recipe for just about any breed. There are a lot of flavors to choose from, and all of them are free of corn, wheat, soy, preservatives, or fillers. Let’s take a deeper look at each in our dog food review.
Grain Free Dry Dog Food
If you’re interested in this line of Merrick grain free real dry dog food, here are the available recipes from one of the most popular dog food brands with high meat content:
- Grain-Free Real Buffalo/Bison, Beef + Sweet Potato Recipe
- Grain Free Real Chicken + Sweet Potato Recipe
- Grain Free Real Duck + Sweet Potato Recipe
- Grain Free Real Lamb + Sweet Potato Recipe
- Grain Free Real Rabbit + Sweet Potato Recipe
- Grain Free Real Salmon Sweet Potato Recipe
- Grain Free Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato Recipe
- Grain Free Real Turkey + Sweet Potato Recipe
- Grain Free Real Venison + Sweet Potato Recipe
- Grain Free Large Breed Real Chicken + Sweet Potato Recipe
- Grain Free Real Chicken + Sweet Potato Puppy Recipe
- Grain Free Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato Puppy Recipe
- Grain Free Senior Real Chicken + Sweet Potato Recipe
- Grain Free Healthy Weight Recipe
Grain Free Bone Broths
Merrick also offers grain-free bone broth. These Merrick grain free broths are human-grade. They make an excellent topper for dry pet foods, adding a boost of flavor and nutrients. Bone broths are available in the following flavors:
Grain Free Wet Foods
There are plenty of varieties of Merrick grain free wet dog foods too, including multiple product lines.
The standard Merrick grain free real wet dog food line uses high-protein recipes with meat content like buffalo, duck, and venison that are packed with vitamins and minerals. They contain no grain, corn, soy, or wheat, and pets love the taste and aroma of the pate-style meals. Merrick offers multiple flavors to choose from, like:
- Grain Free Real Beef, Lamb + Buffalo/Bison
- Grain Free Real Chicken
- Grain Free Real Duck
- Grain Free Real Texas Beef sweet
- Grain Free Brauts – N – Tots, with beef sausage links, carrots, peas, and Yukon gold potatoes
- Grain Free Cowboy Cookout with beef, carrots, green beans, and Granny Smith apples
- Grain-Free Grammy’s Pot Pie with chicken, Red Jacket potatoes, carrots, peas, and Red Delicious apples
- Grain-free Smothered Comfort with edible bone-in chicken thighs, sweet potato, carrots, and Red Delicious apples
- Grain Free Wilderness Blend with duck, venison, peas, Yukon gold potatoes, and carrots
- Grain Free Wingaling with edible bone-in chicken wings, carrots, red delicious apples, and peas
- Grain Free Puppy Plate with de-boned beef, carrots, sweet potato, and Granny Smith apples
- Grain Free Puppy Plate with chicken, turkey, sweet potatoes, carrots, Granny Smith apples, and peas
- Grain Free Sweater Weather Supper with bison/buffalo, green beans sweet potato, turkey, and cranberries
- Grain-Free Thanksgiving Dinner with turkey, chicken, sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, and Granny Smith apples
- Grain-Free Turducken with turkey, duck, chicken, sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, and Granny Smith apples
- Grain-Free Special Occasion Birthday Paw-ty with de-boned beef, salmon, green beans, and Yukon Gold potatoes
- Grain-Free Venison Holiday Stew with venison, duck, carrots, peas, and Red Jacket new potatoes
- Grain Free Christmas Dinner with chicken, duck, sweet potatoes, and peas
- Grain Free Howl-o-ween Stew with chicken peas, dried pumpkin, and sweet potatoes
- Grain Free Kiss Me I’m Irish Stew with de-boned beef, peas, Yukon gold potatoes, and carrots
- Grain Free New Year’s Eve Paw-ty with turkey, carrots, green beans, and Yukon gold potatoes
- Grain Free Pawlicious Picnic with chicken, green beans, carrots, and sweet potatoes
- Grain Free Sizzlin’ Summer Supper with turkey, peas, carrots, and Granny Smith apples
- Grain Free Star Spangled Supper with beef, sweet potatoes, and Yukon gold potatoes
Merrick grain free Slow-Cooker wet dog foods are inspired by some of the most popular American BBQ recipes. Each includes real de-boned meat and whole vegetables to deliver a taste your pet will love. Flavors include:
- Slow-Cooked BBQ Kansas Style with Chopped Pork
- Slow-Cooked BBQ Memphis Style with Glazed Chicken
- Slow-Cooked BBQ Texas Style with Braised Beef
- Slow-Cooked BBQ Carolina BBQ withe De-boned Beef and Green Peppers
The Merrick grain free Chunky wet dog food from Merrick uses big chunks of meat with savory broth and makes an excellent topper to any of their wet dog foods. These Merrick grain free real recipes contain no artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors and no meat by-products. Choose from the following flavors:
- Chunky Grain-Free Big Texas Steak Tips Dinner in Gravy
- Chunky Grain Free Carver’s Delight with turkey, Yukon gold potatoes, and carrots
- Chunky Grain-Free Colossal Chicken Dinner with chicken, carrots, and peas
- Chunky Grain-Free Pappy’s Pot Roast Dinner with beef, red jacket new potatoes, and carrots
We should note that Merrick offers many other grain-free options in addition to the Merrick Grain Free line we just mentioned. One of the things that stands out the most about this brand is just how extensive its product line is, and grain-free options of just about every type of Merrick product are available.
As Merrick says, Full Source dog food goes full nose to tail. Merrick dog food is packed with protein across all its lines, but Merrick utilizes even more of meat content to make this food as nutrient-rich and sustainable as possible. Each full source Merrick recipe gets more than 85 percent of its protein from an animal source, including cartilage and organ meats, which are packed with all-natural sources of minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and healthy fats. Merrick also adds a high-protein coating to each piece of kibble to help the food stay fresh and nutritious while providing delicious autocomplete results.
The Merrick Full Source line of dry dog food has both regular and grain-free options available. The regular recipes use a healthy blend of oatmeal, brown rice, and quinoa to deliver enough fiber and help maintain a healthy digestive system. Grain-free options from Merrick get their fiber from sweet potatoes, which also deliver healthy carbs to help support high energy levels. Merrick never uses any peas or lentils.
Dry dog food flavors include:
- Full Source Grain Free Raw-Coated Kibble with Real Beef & Bison/Buffalo
- Full Source Grain Free Raw-Coated Kibble with Real Chicken & Duck
- Full Source with Healthy Grains Raw-Coated Kibble with Real Lamb & Venison
- Merrick Full Source with Healthy Grains Raw-Coated Kibble with Real Salmon & Whitefish
- Full Source with Healthy Grains Raw-Coated Kibble Large Breed Recipe
- Full Source with Healthy Grains Raw-Coated Kibble Puppy Recipe
If you’re looking for high-protein dry dog food, take a look at Merrick’s Backcountry raw recipes. This product line uses a wide range of exotic proteins to create ancestral-inspired dog foods with a unique mix of freeze dried raw infused meat and raw-coated kibble. Merrick Backcountry is available with healthy grains, like oatmeal, barely, and brown rice, or grain-free options with fiber-rich sweet potatoes. None of these recipes contain any corn or soy.
Each recipe has leading levels of high-quality proteins as well as guaranteed levels of omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids for skin and coat health as glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint function.
Merrick Dry Backcountry formulas include:
- Backcountry Great Plains Red Meat Recipe + Grains with real de-boned beef
- Backcountry Pacific Catch Recipe with real de-boned salmon
- Backcountry Puppy + Grains with real de-boned chicken
- Backcountry Big Game Recipe with real de-boned lamb
- Backcountry Game Bird Recipe with real de-boned turkey
- Grain-Free Backcountry Raw Infused Great Plains Red Meat Recipe with real de-boned beef
- Grain-Free Backcountry Hero’s Banquet with real de-boned beef
- Backcountry Raw Infused Large Breed Recipe with real de-boned chicken
- Grain Free Backcountry Raw Infused Pacific Catch Recipe with real de-boned salmon
- Grain Free Backcountry Raw Infused Puppy Recipe with real de-boned chicken
- Grain Free Backcountry Raw Infused High Plains Recipe with real de-boned beef
- Grain Free Backcountry Raw Infused Wild Fields Recipe with real de-boned duck
The Merrick Backcountry product line also has a variety of meal mixers. These recipes can be served as a meal on their own, added to other foods, or used as a special treat. Each adds a taste of raw, freeze-dried food loaded that’s nutritionally dense and made with high-quality protein. Flavors include:
There are multiple wet foods in the Merrick Backcountry line, too. Chunky meals include large pieces of real de-boned meat and real vegetables in hearty gravies, and all are grain-free.
Merrick Backcountry loaf dinners also come in a variety of flavors. All are grain-free and include real de-boned meat. Flavors include:
Merrick Backcountry Stews feature real de-boned meat and vegetables in hearty gravy. They use high-quality protein in each recipe, and there are even some novel protein options to choose from, including:
- Alpine Rabbit Stew
- Hearty Beef Stew
- Hearty Chicken Thigh Stew
- Hearty Duck and Venison Stew
- Hero’s Banquet Stew
Another option in the extensive Merrick Backcountry line is biscuits, perfect for when you want to reward your dog for a job well done. These treats use real de-boned meat as the first ingredient and are grain-free with no peas, soy, corn, or lentils. Flavors include:
- Freeze-Dried Raw-Coated Biscuits Real Beef and Bison/Buffalo
- Freeze-Dried Raw-Coated Biscuits Real Lamb and Venison
- Freeze-Dried Raw-Coated Biscuits Real Salmon and Whitefish
- Freeze-Dried Raw-Coated Biscuits Real Turkey and Duck
Merrick Backcountry Treats come in recipes inspired by the diets of ancient canines and are made with limited ingredients. They’re grain-free, meaty morsels that are an ideal treat or reward. Recipes include:
- Big Game Real Lamb and Buffalo Sausage Cuts
- Big Game Real Lamb and Venison Jerky
- Game Bird Real Duck Sausage Cuts
- Great Plains Real Beef Jerky
- Great Plains Real Beef Sausage
- Great Plains Real Steak Patties
- Hero’s Banquet Treats
- Wild Fields Real Chicken Jerky
- Wild Fields Real Chicken Sausage Cuts
- Wild Fields Real Turkey and Sweet Potato Patties
Lil’ Plates are Merrick’s small breed recipes, and just like its other product lines, there are a lot of options to choose from, including dry and wet foods. These recipes use real de-boned meat as the number one ingredient and contain leading levels of protein in smaller-sized kibble that’s easier for small dogs to chew. Lil’ Plates also have plenty of pre and probiotics so they’re easy to digest, and they are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids obtained from flax seed to support skin and coat health.
Dry Lil’ Plates Recipes
These dry dog foods from Merrick contain real meat as the first ingredient. Some also feature real pieces of freeze-dried meat. Merrick also use real whole foods, like potatoes, peas, blueberries, sunflower oil, and apples to add the antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals your dog needs to stay healthy. There are Lil Plates grain free options and those with ancient grains. Recipes include:
- Grain Free Real Chicken and Sweet Potato
- Grain Free Real Lamb and Sweet Potato
- Grain Free Real Salmon Sweet Potato
- Grain Free Real Texas Beef Sweet Potato
- Real Texas Beef and Sweet Potatoes with Raw Bites
- Real Lamb and Brown Rice with Ancient Grains
- Grain Free Puppy Real Chicken and Sweet Potato
- Grain Free Senior Real Chicken and Sweet Potato Protein
Wet Lil’ Plates Recipes
Lil’ Plates wet dog food comes in convenient single-serving trays, and feature real pieces of meat and veggies that you can see. They’re the perfect portion for your little pets, and the soft texture and rich aroma are sure to satisfy their appetite. Again, there are some Lil Plates grain free options. Flavors include:
- Grain Free Dainty Duck Medley
- Grain Free Itsy Bitsy Beef Stew
- Grain Free Little Lamb Chop Stew
- Grain Free Petite Pot Pie
- Grain Free Teensy Turducken
- Grain Free Tiny Thanksgiving Day Dinner
- Rascally Rabbit Stew
- Small Surfin’ and Turfin’ Supper in Gravy
- Teeny Texas Strip Steaks in Gravy
- Grain Free Pint-Sized Puppy Plate in Gravy
Lil’ Bites Tasty Treats
Merrick also makes treats especially for little dogs under this product line. They’re perfectly sized for little mouths and are loaded with wholesome vegetables, prebiotics, and omega fatty acids. Real de-boned meat is the first ingredient, and these Lil Plates. grain free treats have no artificial flavors, preservatives, or colors. There are multiple flavors available, including:
A limited ingredient diet is ideal for dogs with food allergies and sensitivities. Each recipe in the A Merrick limited ingredient diet dog food uses 10 key ingredients or less and incorporates a single source protein. There are healthy grain formulas that use whole grains like barley, oatmeal, and brown rice, grain-free options are available, too. These Merrick recipes contain no chickpeas, lentils, wheat, corn, or soy. There are no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, and they are supplemented with amino acid complex zinc, amino acid complex copper, sunflower oil, vitamins vitamin e supplement, DL-methionine, and taurine for a balanced diet.
Dry Limited Ingredient Dog Foods
- Grain Free Real Chicken and Sweet Potato
- Grain Free Real Lamb and Sweet Potato
- Grain Free Real Salmon Sweet Potato
- Real Chicken and Brown Rice
- Real Salmon and Brown Rice
Wet Limited Ingredient Dog Food
- Real Beef
- Real Chicken Stew
- Real Duck
- Real Lamb
- Real Turkey
- Healthy Grains Real Chicken
- Healthy Grains Real Turkey
Merrick Classic Healthy Grains
Merrick’s Classic Healthy Grains dog food include a blend of quinoa, brown rice, and barley for high levels of fiber to encourage optimal digestion. The first Merrick Classic ingredient is always real de-boned meat, and Merrick Classic never uses any potatoes, lentils, peas, corn, soy, preservatives, or fillers. With whole food ingredients, like carrots and apples, these recipes deliver guaranteed levels of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and glucosamine and chondroitin to support healthy joints.
There are five Merrick Classic Healthy Grains recipes available, including:
- Real Beef and Brown Rice with Ancient Grains
- Real Chicken and Brown Rice with Ancient Grains
- Real Lamb and Brown Rice with Ancient Grains
- Small Breed
Fresh Kisses Treats
Fresh Kisses are a dog treat that uses all-natural ingredients to help improve your dog’s dental health. The double-brush design cleans teeth as it’s freshening your dog’s breath. These Merrick treats are grain-free, potato-free, and use 14 ingredients or less so they’re easy to digest. They come in four sizes, too, so you can choose the one that’s appropriate for your dog.
- Coconut Oil for Extra Small, Small, Medium, and Large Dogs
- Mint Breath Strips for Extra Small, Small, Medium, and Large Dogs
Merrick’s Oven Baked Treats are crunchy, fun-shaped biscuits that are hand-crafted in small batches and made with seven ingredients or less. These dog food treat recipes use natural ingredients with no corn, wheat, soy, or artificial flavors or colors. There are multiple flavors available, including:
- Cowboy Cookout with Real Beef and Bison/Buffalo
- Grammy’s Pot Pie with Real Chicken, Carrots, and Peas
- Peanut Butter with Real Peanut Butter
- Pumpkin Patch with Real Pumpkin
- Turducken with Real Turkey, Duck, and Chicken
Power Bites Treats
These Merrick dog treats are made with real de-boned meat, fruits, and vegetables. The soft and chewy bite-sized pieces are great for training adult dogs, and they are packed with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to help support a healthy coat and skin. There are a few flavors to choose from, including:
- Real Beef
- Real Chicken
- Real Rabbit and Sweet Potato
- Real Salmon
- Big Bites Real Beef
- Big Bites Real Chicken
What Dogs Should Eat Merrick Dog Food?
Merrick has a lot of dog food options to choose from, but they are more accommodating to some types of dogs over others.
Merrick has an abundance of options for adult dogs and a handful of options for puppies. It’s a good option for adult dogs, and transitioning a puppy from one of the puppy formulas to the adult version should be pretty straightforward.
Allergies and Sensitivities
There are a lot of Merrick grain free options and recipes that satisfy a limited ingredient diet if your dog is sensitive to grains. As far as allergies go, most true food allergies are due to proteins, and the best approach for avoiding a reaction is to switch to a food with a novel protein. Merrick doesn’t have a huge variety of novel proteins available, but there are some options with duck, rabbit, buffalo, salmon, and turkey that might do the trick.
Merrick is a great brand for picky eaters. There are so many options to choose from, including multiple toppers, broths, and mixers that can help entice a picky dog to try something new or try a limited ingredient diet if your dog doesn’t seem to like anything. Or, try something with a protein other than chicken meal, like buffalo, salmon meal, or fish ingredients to entice them to eat.
Merrick’s Lil’ Plates dog food line is specifically made for small breeds, so there is a lot to pick from for anyone with a little dog.
Although large breeds don’t have as many options as small breeds, there are quite a few recipes across the extensive Merrick line for large breeds.
What Dogs Should Not Eat Merrick Dog Food?
Although Merrick is a great brand with a wide selection, we found a few areas where they fell a little short.
Merrick has two recipes for senior dogs, but considering how many product lines they have, we didn’t feel like this was enough. That said, one of the big problems with older dogs is they lose their sense of smell and taste, which means they don’t enjoy eating as much. Choosing a food with a novel protein like buffalo, real Texas beef, salmon meal, or something that’s raw infused may help older dogs get things like the folic acid, acid complex copper amino acids, amino. acid complex zinc, vitamin D3 supplement, and vitamin B12 supplement they are missing out on by not eating enough of their regular foods.
Merrick dog food does have one healthy weight formula, but, again, their product line is so extensive, we wish they had a few more options to choose from in this regard.
How Does Merrick Dog Food Measure Up?
Overall, we have to say that we’re impressed with Merrick dog food as one of the best dog food brands. Merrick creates recipes with quality in mind, using only natural ingredients and working with trusted local farmers to find wholesome ingredients. We also like that Merrick partners with local and national charities that help pets.
Merrick also has an extremely vast selection of products and flavors to choose from, and though they missed the mark a bit with overweight dogs and seniors, most dogs will find a variety of this high-quality dog food that keeps them happy and healthy.
We recommend taking a good look at the ingredients list before buying any food. Items like lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried lactobacillus plantarum fermentation, copper complex amino acid, citric acid, lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, enterococcus faecium fermentation product, or iron amino acid complex may seem odd, but they are typical and healthy ingredients in this and most other dog foods.
While ingredients vary from one Merrick pet care food to the next, here are some of the common ingredients you might see: zinc amino acid complex, fermentation product dried lactobacillus, manganese amino acid complex, amino acid complex zinc, copper amino acid complex, amino acid complex copper, iron amino acid complex, complex copper amino acid, and citric acid. Again, these products aren’t unusual, but they don’t look like things you might expect in pet food.
You’ll also find ingredients like pork fat, salmon meal, sunflower oil, lamb meal, potato protein, chicken meal, vitamin D3 supplement, and other things that some customers might be skeptical about, but these are all nutritionally sound ingredients that will help you dog stay healthy.
If you as a customer ever have a question about any ingredient, contact the company or ask your vet for advice. You might look at an ingredient like buffalo or real Texas beef and think, yeah, that’s something my dog needs. But something like vitamins vitamin e supplement, folic acid, or lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product might make you question what you’re feeding to your dog. Don’t worry. Just ask.
Customer reviews for Merrick are pretty impressive across the board. Overall, we think this is a great brand and we highly recommend it.
I grew up in a household that was filled with animals. I believe that my fate as a dog-loving person was sealed in early childhood since my parents owned several dogs of varying sizes and breeds. There was no choice but to take care of and learn about dog habits and the best animal care practices — otherwise, I’d be clueless about how to go about the creatures I was surrounded by day and night.
As a life-long puppy lover, I know a thing or two about dogs and how to go about caring for them in the best way possible. Although I’m not a professionally trained dog behaviorist, trainer, or veterinarian, all of my knowledge and experience with canines comes from a place of love and a deep-rooted passion for dogs and animals in general.
Seeing as dogs kept me company throughout every stage of my life, I decided to follow a different path in my academic life and obtained a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Marketing Management and Digital Advertising, which ultimately allowed me to combine my professional training and personal experience by creating the ultimate dog lover’s resource website! Along with my husband, Dave, I run MySweetPuppy for like-minded dog lovers who want to have a single, clear, and reliable information source about anything and everything related to dogs and their well-being.