Good Friends Dog Food Review: Read First

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Good Friends dog food is a premium dog food that claims to use high-quality ingredients to give your pet an exceptional diet.

It is formulated with high proteins and carbohydrates for your dog to enjoy and fulfill its nutritional requirements.

This review will cover everything you need to know about Good Friends dog food, including who makes it, where to buy it, and if they are really as good as they claim.

By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll have all the information needed to decide if Good Friends is right for your furry friend!

QUICK VERDICT: Good Friends dog food is a decent and very low-cost dog food option, but I find that it lacks the nutrients my dogs need for a healthy diet. For that, I recommend Purina One Natural Dry Dog Food instead, which is more nutrient-dense and does not break the bank.

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What is Good Friends Dog Food?

Good Friends Dog Food is a brand of natural dog food that is made by the company Nutrena.

It comes in several different types including:

  • Good Friends Dry Dog Food
  • Good Friends Grain Free Dog Food
  • Good Friends Senior Dry Dog Food

Within each type of dog food, there are different formulas that cater to different needs such as Healthy Weight and High Protein.

Doggy says, read this next: Canidae vs Natural Balance Dog Food: Which to Choose?

What Company Makes Good Friends Dog Food?

Good Friends Dog Food is made by Nutrena, a subsidiary of Cargill, and it seems to be made for the retailer Rural Kings specifically.

As you may know, Cargill is a large private company that has businesses across a wide range of industries.

They are leaders in the dog food business and own several brands including Nutrena and Purina.

The company was founded in 1865 by William Cargill who became a proprietor of a grain warehouse in Conover, Iowa.

Over the course of several decades, it has grown into a leader in many industries all over the United States.

Today, Good Friends Dog Food is simply a very small brand that has its products manufactured by Nutrena.

Doggy says, you might like this too: Heritage Ranch Dog Food Review [In-depth Guide]

Is Good Friends a Good Dog Food Brand?

Is Good Friends a Good Dog Food Brand?

To answer the question, we will take a closer look at the nutritional value, ingredients used, and price of Good Friends dog food to have a better understanding.

We will also pitch it against Purina One, a regular dry dog food range from one of the industry leaders, Purina.

Key Nutritional Values

According to guidelines from AAFCO, all pet food labels must include a guaranteed analysis of the nutrients included.

Here is an overview of Good Friends Crunchy Bites Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food vs Purina ONE Natural SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food.

Key NutrientsGood FriendsPurina One
Crude Protein18.0% min26.0% min
Crude Fat6.0% min16.0% min
Crude Fiber6.0%3.0% max
Moisture10.0% max12.0% max


Here are the listed ingredients of the 2 different dog food in our comparison.

Good FriendsWheat Middling’s, Ground Corn, Dehulled Soybean Meal, Meat and Bone Meal, Animal Fat (preserved with BHA), Natural Chicken Flavor ,Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B 1 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid), Minerals (Manganese Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide, Sodium Selenite), Calcium Propionate (a preservative), Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine.
Purina OneChicken (Source of Glucosamine), Rice Flour, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal (Source of Glucosamine), Whole Grain Wheat, Soybean Meal, Beef Fat Naturally Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols, Glycerin, Liver Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Mono and Dicalcium Phosphate, Salt, Caramel Color, Dried Carrots, Dried Peas, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B-7)], Minerals [Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], Choline Chloride, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, Sulfur. X-4154.

The ingredients used in both brands are often seen in good quality dog food, but it can be seen that Purina One contains a fair amount more nutrients than Good Friend.

The range from Purina One has important nutrients added to it such as Vitamin B-2, B-12, E, Folic acid, and Biotin, amongst others.


Both brands are generally catered to the mass market, but Good Friends does position itself as a budget dog food brand, and it can be seen in the pricing differences between the two.

BrandPrice per pound
Good Friend$0.37/pound (based on 40 lb bag)
Purina One$1.39/pound (based on 31.1 lb bag)

The difference in pricing is vast, and it could very well be down to the ingredients used as well as the abundance of nutrients found in Purina One.

How much you spend on dog food is subjective, but I would personally go for Purina One for a more comprehensive diet, and there is no need to buy supplements down the road.

Doggy says, read this next: Is Canine Prime good for dogs?

Is Good Friends Dog Food Healthy?

Good Friends dog food seems to produce healthy food for dogs.

It does contain proteins that your dog needs, vitamins and minerals to keep him healthy, fiber to help with digestion, and antioxidants to fight free radicals in his body.

You would need to learn more about the dietary requirements of your dog (since each breed will have different needs), and check the ingredient list of Good Friends to determine if they are a good fit.

Doggy says, read this too: Is Ollie Dog Food Good for Dogs? [Reviewed]

Is Good Friends Dog Food Grain Free?

Is Good Friends Dog Food Grain Free?

Yes! Good Friends does have a range of grain-free dog food that includes the Grain-Free Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe Dog Food.

There are no grains of any kind in this formula: no corn, wheat or soy proteins are included in the recipe.

This is great news for dogs that suffer from certain allergies or digestive issues because many people believe these ingredients can be problematic for some dogs.

It’s also important to note that if your dog has skin issues (or you just want him to look his best), making sure he’s eating a high-quality grain-free diet will help keep his coat shiny and healthy.

Many dog owners look to ZD and its alternatives for pooches with special needs.

Are Good Friends Dog Treats Good for Dogs?

Good Friends dog treats come in a wide variety of flavors and is well priced, making them very wallet-friendly for dog owners.

You should expect similar quality to its regular range of dry dog food.

Good Friends dog treats are made in the USA with US ingredients only.

This is important because we know that there are many companies that make their pet food overseas and some dog owners do not necessarily want that.

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Switching from grain free dog food to regular

Is Good Friends Naturals a Good Dog Food?

Good Friends Naturals is a range of dry dog food from the same company that is suitable for dogs of all age groups (except large-size dogs).

It is grain-free, uses more protein than the regular range, and has fewer carbohydrates.

This is good for weight control in your pups, plus it can help prevent diabetes later in life.

Good Friends Naturals is also made with simple ingredients so you don’t have to worry about your pup getting an upset stomach or experiencing other health issues caused by artificial chemicals.

Is Good Friends Dog Food Healthy for a Puppy?

Yes, Good Friends makes dog food for puppies as well.

Taking a closer look at the ingredients list and nutritional values, they are healthy for puppies to consume.

If your puppy requires a special diet or you believe it’s lacking certain nutrients, you should speak to your vet about it.

Doggy says, read this next: Is Canine Prime Good for Dogs? All Around Supplement Reviewed

Where to Buy Good Friends Dog Food?

They are available online at Rural King, or you can pop into one of their stores to check it out.

My Opinion of Good Friends Dog Food

Nutrena is a subsidiary of Cargill and it is a quality company that has been around for a long time, so you know it has the experience to make quality products.

Another good thing is that there has been no recall by the manufacturer to date, which does say something about food safety.

Unfortunately, there seems to be too little else information about the company to show its credentials and learn more about them to fully trust them.

I am quite picky when it comes to the things I am feeding my dog, and although I want to keep things budget-friendly, I would not sacrifice quality just to save money.

Also, when you consider all the additional benefits and nutrients that your dog will get from some other leading brands, the price is actually quite justified and well spent.

All of which is to say that I would not choose Good Friends for my dogs, but rather go for a “safer” choice such as Purina One.

If you do go for Good Friends, you might need to add a supplement to your dog’s diet too such as the Zesty Paws Mobility Bites.

Doggy says, read this too: Can dogs eat hamster treats? Read before you try!

In Conclusion: Is Good Friends Dog Food a Good Brand?

Good Friends does seem like a decent product and the pricing certainly is attractive.

However, I would rather choose a dog food product such as Purina One that has higher amounts of nutrients to ensure my dog grows well and will suffer from a lack of nutrition.

It might be worth checking out, but I would advise you to be sure to read through all the information on the website and read through the reviews before making a decision.

A chat with your vet might be useful too.

Choosing the right food can be a tricky affair for any dog owner, that is why we have written many articles about dog diet and different brands such as the best z/d dog food alternative, Blue Buffalo vs Fromm, Purina Pro Plan vs Acana, and many more.

Be sure to check them out too!

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!


  1. You are comparing apples to oranges; you cannot compare brands with one being a lower and other higher protein/fat formula. You will see Good Friends High Energy 30/20c and their High Protein 27/10 formulas that the major difference is that they DON’T have chicken-by-products and Pro-Plan DOES. Chicken-by-products is a cheap protein that includes chicken guts which includes food that is fed chickens that contains chemicals used to make chickens grow faster, plumper, tenderer, that may affect your dog’s growth, health, and even fertility. I believe this is why so many dogs are having many early health and breeding issues today. JMO

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this matter and I think you do make a valid point. The thing is though, different owners will have dogs that have different requirements, which is why it’s still important to point those information out. Regarding chicken by-products, while they can be of concern to some owners, we should still know that they can be a valuable source of nutrition for dogs, and their inclusion in dog food is approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). In fact, dogs will happily lap up all the “spare parts” of an animal they killed if they were in the wild, so they are definitely not opposed to meat by-products. Growth-promoting substances in chicken farming is regulated by the FDA and is required to be safe for both animals and humans. Well, again, thanks for sharing!

    • Mike, you are spot on, chicken by products is nasty and in most dog food. Certainly not what I am feeding my dogs (read short putt). More specifically, the Good Friends hi energy product has high protein and fat plus omega 3 and 6 oils, and meets the “all life stages” AAFCO standards. Including nursing mothers and puppies. Perfect for my very active bird dog and new puppy too.

  2. I really enjoyed reading your blog post about dog food. I have a 10-year-old Golden Retriever, and I’ve been struggling to find food that he likes and that’s also good for him. I’ve tried a few different commercial dog foods, but he’s always been picky. I’m thinking about trying a home-cooked diet, but I’m not sure where to start.

    I appreciate the tips you provided in your blog post. I’m definitely going to read the food label carefully and choose a food that is high in protein and low in fat. I’m also going to avoid foods with artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

    I’m not sure if I’m ready to commit to a full-blown home-cooked diet, but I’m going to start by adding some fresh fruits and vegetables to his food. I’m also going to try to give him more whole grains.

    Thanks for your helpful blog post!

    • I think you’re on a sound strategy and I wish you the best of luck! Let me know if you have any specific questions too.

      Thanks for sharing!

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