Merrick Information

Merrick was founded in 1988 by Garth Merrick and is one of the largest players in the United States dog food market. Merrick is owned by Merrick Pet Care. Merrick Pet Care also produces brands such as Castor and Pollux and Whole Earth Farms.

However, Merrick Pet Care was bought by Nestle Purina Petcare in 2015. Nestle Purina Petcare owns brands such as Purina Pro Plan, Beneful, and Fancy Feast. While Purina was adamant that Merrick would continue to run independently, it is not clear what effect this purchase has had on Merrick’s products.

Garth Merrick founded Merrick in Hereford Texas and produced their first products there. Merrick continues to be produced in Texas but now in a 195,000 square feet facility that is much more advanced and sophisticated.

Merrick Product Range

Dog Food

Merrick has an extremely large product range. This product range can be split into a number of distinct categories. These include Grain Free dog food, Semi Raw, dog food, Raw dog food, Limited Ingredient dog food, traditional non-grain-free dry dog food, canned dog food, and dog treats. This huge variety covers almost all of the dog food niches and there is bound to be a number of recipes that Merrick produces that are suitable for every dog.

Merrick’s Grain Free range is probably their most popular and is the one that we are the biggest fan of. What makes the range fantastic is that there is a huge range of meat and fish ingredients offered. This means that there is bound to be an ingredient that appeals to almost any dog. In addition, the proportion of protein and fat in the Grain Free range is very satisfactory and significantly above average.

Raw & Semi Raw dog food is a growing niche and one that is being pounced upon by many of Merrick’s competitors. Merrick however, has been established in this niche for a number of years which could give it an advantage.

The Limited Ingredient Range from Merrick is also large and contains a variety of formulas. While these formulas aren’t quite as restrictive and specialized as some other brands, they do contain a fairly short ingredient list. The variety of meat and fish ingredients means those dogs with sensitivities to most meat and fish ingredients could find a viable option within this range.

While Canned Dog Food is often shunned by many, it is extremely nutritious and could offer dogs some much-needed variety and enjoyment. What makes Merrick’s range of canned dog food different from others is that they have some specialty and novelty formulas. This includes formulas that mimic Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner. In addition to these specialty formulas, the sheer quantity of Merrick canned recipes available is staggering and you’d need a pack of dogs to try them all.

Cat Food

Merrick’s range of cat food is significantly smaller than their range of dog food but it is still quite expansive. There are similar categories available such as dry cat food, limited ingredient cat food, raw infused cat food, and canned cat food.

Merrick Nutrition

Given the huge range of products produced and sold by Merrick, the nutrition provided varies significantly. That being said, the average nutrition provided by Merrick recipes is above average and contains a satisfactory proportion of protein and fat.

Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food Average Calorie Breakdown Chart

Above is the average calorie breakdown of Merrick’s Grain Free dog food range. As you can see the proportion of protein and fat is significantly above average and would be suitable for dogs of all activity levels, including those who are very active. The proportion of carbohydrates is slightly above ideal but is still satisfactory and significantly below average.

It is important to note that even within the grain free range, the nutrition provided varies significantly. Therefore it is important to investigate the particular formula you are considering to fully understand its nutrition.

Merrick Ingredients

High-Quality Ingredients

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Buffalo
  • Turkey
  • Salmon
  • Duck
  • Rabbit
  • Venison

Due to Merrick’s huge product range, they make use of a tremendous number of meat and fish ingredients. Some of these are listed above. All of these meat and fish ingredients are either whole meat ingredients or named meat meals. These are the two preferred varieties and Merrick does not use unnamed meat by-products like Meat Meal or Poultry Meal.

Some of these ingredients such as Venison or Rabbit could be considered to be exotic or novel meats. These are often used in food aimed at dogs with severe allergies as they are less likely to be have been exposed to them in the past.

Low-Quality Ingredients

  • Pea Protein
  • Potato Protein

Sadly, Merrick, alongside many of its competitors, makes extensive use of Pea Protein, Potato Protein, and other vegetable by-products. These are low-quality ingredients that are often included to inflate the overall level of protein in dog food formulas. In addition, they can also be used in a sinister technique known as Ingredient Splitting. This involves splitting a less desirable ingredient into sub ingredients to make it appear further down the ingredient list.

Find out more about Pea Protein in our article Peas, Pea Protein, Pea Flour and Pea Fiber in Dog Food.

Find out more about Potato Protein in our article Potatoes, Potato Protein & Potato Starch in Dog Food.

Find out more about Ingredient Splitting in our article Ingredient Splitting in Pet Food – Exposed.

Merrick Animal Testing

While it is not clear whether Merrick directly participates in Animal Testing, it is known that its parent company, Purina Pet Care, has and continues to do so. This could and likely does involve invasive and stressful testing which could cause the animals involved serious distress.

Animal Testing for pet food is a cruel and outdated practice and one which we believe should be heavily reduced or eliminated.

Merrick Recalls

As you can see below Merrick has had a number of recalls which is not a good sign. If any dog food brand has multiple recalls within a short period this should trigger alarm bells.

However, if you look more closely all these recalls are for dog treats. While this is still very concerning, dog treats are recalled more often than traditional dry dog food. The majority of these recalls were for potential risk of Salmonella contamination.

Salmonella is a serious concern and effects both humans and pets. It is most commonly found in Eggs, Meat, and Poultry. In serious cases, Salmonella can cause death. Learn more about the risks of Salmonella in pet food in this article by Banfield Pet Hospital.

The only good sign from this is that Merrick’s dry and wet food ranges have yet to be recalled, which shows they take the production of those products more seriously.

It also appears that since this period of multiple recalls, Merrick has cleaned up its act and has had no recalls in the last five years. Nevertheless, it is very important to be cautious and stay vigilant for any future recalls that could affect the health of your dog.

August 2012 – All-Natural Beef Chew dog treats withdrawal.

August 2011 –  Doggie Wishbone pet treats withdrawal – possible Salmonella contamination.

January 2011 – Junior Texas Taffy dog treats withdrawal – possible Salmonella contamination.

January 2010 & July 2010 – Beef Filet Squares – possible Salmonella contamination.

Merrick Featured Articles

Merrick features in many of our articles and for good reason. Not only do they produce high-quality and nutritious formulas but they also have an extremely large product range. This allows them to fill in many of the niche specialties that we like to showcase in our articles.

Alfalfa In Dog Food – Alfalfa is a supplement added to dog food recipes from select brands. It contains a number of vitamins and minerals and can have beneficial qualities, although this is disputed by some. Merrick is highlighted in this article as one of the brands that regularly use Alfalfa.

Best Senior Dog Food – Many dog owners choose not to transition their elderly dogs to Senior Dog Food, but in this article we go in-depth on what makes Senior Dog Food tick and explain why you should consider it. Merrick’s Grain Free Senior dog food earns its place in our recommendations thanks to its ingredient and nutritional quality.

Best Dog Food For Great Danes –

Best Puppy Food –

Best Canned Dog Food –

Tapioca In Dog Food –

Best Dog Food For Dalmatians –

Best Dog Foods With Venison –

Best Dog Food for Rhodesian Ridgebacks –

Ingredient Splitting in Pet Food – Exposed –

Best of Merrick

Real Rabbit + Chickpeas Review

Merrick Grain Free Real Rabbit + Chickpeas Packaging

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As we mentioned earlier, Merrick’s grain free range is probably our favorite and is self-explanatory. It only uses vegetable ingredients like Peas and Chickpeas with high-quality meat and fish ingredients. One of the most notable advantages of Merrick’s grain free range is that it contains a vast range and variety of formulas so there is almost always one that would appeal to your dog.

The grain-free range also includes small portions of fruit ingredients like Apples and Blueberries. Fruit such as Blueberries can provide beneficial antioxidants and vitamins to aid your health.

Merrick’s Rabbit recipe is somewhat unique in that it uses Chickpeas as its primary source of carbohydrates rather than the vast majority of grain-free recipes from Merrick that make use of Peas and Sweet Potatoes. Pea allergies are a growing problem so having alternatives such as this is advantageous.

While Rabbit may be the primary meat source present, other meat ingredients are also present. Examples of some of these ingredients include Pork, Lamb, and Turkey. These additional meat ingredients alongside Rabbit are all ideally suited to a dog’s diet and are highly digestible. However, the large number and variety of meat ingredients present may make this formula unsuitable for those looking to counter severe allergies or sensitivities.

Limited Ingredient Diet – Chicken Review

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Chicken Packaging

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While Merrick’s limited ingredient range isn’t quite as nutritious as some of their other ranges, the Chicken formula is by far the best within the range and comes pretty close.

This recipe follows the limited ingredient mold and contains a very select number of ingredients that can be easily split into two categories. Firstly a number of Chicken ingredients are present including Chicken, Chicken Meal, and Chicken Fat. Secondly vegetable ingredients, in particular, legumes. This includes Peas, Chickpeas, and Flaxseed.

What makes the Chicken formula stand out in comparison to the other limited ingredient formulas offered by Merrick is the much more satisfactory nutrition it provides. This nutritional profile includes a more than satisfactory portion of protein and fat without an excessive portion of carbohydrates. This balance of nutrition closely matches a dog’s ancestral diet.

Grain Free 96% Real Beef + Lamb + Buffalo Review

Merrick Grain Free 96% Real Beef + Lamb + Buffalo Can

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Canned dog food tends to contain far fewer vegetable ingredients such as Peas and other legumes which can make it an appealing option. This lack of vegetable ingredients in canned dog food often means there is a greater variety of formulas available that could be suitable for your dog’s unique allergies and sensitivities.

The reason that Merrick is one of our favorite canned dog food brands is that they produce an enormous range of canned dog food formulas that utilize a variety of meat and fish ingredients such as Buffalo, Lamb, Duck, Salmon, and many more. They also produce unique holiday-themed recipes including Christmas and Thanksgiving formulas.

While not holiday themed, the Real Beef + Lamb + Buffalo formula contains a core of highly nutritious red meat ingredients which provide a very healthy portion of protein and fat. While a little obvious, these include Beef, Lamb, and Buffalo. The only other ingredients in the recipe are a small number of gums and minerals.

Backcountry Raw Infused Pacific Catch Recipe Review

Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Pacific Catch Recipe Packaging

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Limited Ingredient Diet – Real Salmon Recipe Review

Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Salmon Recipe Can

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Merrick Full Product Range

Dry Dog Food

Grain Free Range

Real Buffalo + Sweet Potato

Real Buffalo, Beef + Sweet Potato

Real Chicken + Sweet Potato

Real Duck + Sweet Potato

Real Lamb + Sweet Potato

Real Rabbit + Chickpeas

Real Salmon + Sweet Potato

Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato

Real Turkey + Sweet Potato

Real Venison + Chickpeas

Large Breed With Real Chicken + Sweet Potato

Healthy Weight

Senior With Real Chicken + Sweet Potato

Grain Free Puppy Range

Real Chicken + Sweet Potato Puppy

Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato Puppy

Lil Plates Range

Lil’ Plates Real Chicken + Sweet Potato With Raw Bites

Lil’ Plates Real Chicken + Sweet Potato

Lil’ Plates Real Lamb + Sweet Potato

Lil’ Plates Real Salmon + Sweet Potato

Lil’ Plates Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato

Lil’ Plates Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato With Raw Bites

Lil’ Plates Puppy Real Chicken + Sweet Potato

Limited Ingredient Diet

Real Chicken Recipe

Real Chicken Recipe

Real Lamb + Chickpeas Recipe

Real Lamb and Sweet Potato Recipe

Real Salmon and Chickpeas Recipe

Real Salmon and Sweet Potato Recipe

Real Turkey and Chickpeas Recipe

Real Turkey and Sweet Potato Recipe

Real Duck and Chickpeas Recipe

Real Duck and Sweet Potato Recipe

Backcountry Raw Infused Range

Big Game Recipe

Game Bird Recipe

Grain Plains Red Recipe

Hero’s Banquet Recipe

Large Breed Recipe

Pacific Catch Recipe

Puppy Recipe

Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Meal Mixer Range

Real Chicken Recipe

Real Beef Recipe

Real Salmon Recipe

Classic Recipe Range

Real Beef + Green Peas Recipe With Ancient Grains

Real Chicken + Green Peas Recipe With Ancient Grains

Real Lamb + Green Peas Recipe With Ancient Grains

Classic Puppy Recipe

Classic Small Breed Recipe

Canned Dog Food

Grain Free Range

Real Beef + Lamb + Buffalo

96% Real Beef + Lamb + Buffalo

Real Chicken

96% Real Chicken

Real Duck

96% Real Duck

Real Texas Beef

96% Real Texas Beef

Brauts-N-Tots

Brauts-N-Tots Classic Recipe

Cowboy Cookout In Gravy

Cowboy Cookout Classic Recipe

Gracies Favourite Stew Classic Recipe

Grammys Pot Pie In Gravy

Grammys Pot Pie Classic Recipe

Smothered Comfort In Gravy

Smothered Comfort Classic Recipe

Thanksgiving Day Dinner In Gravy

Thanksgiving Day Dinner Classic Recipe

Turducken In Gravy

Turducken Classic Recipe

Venison Holiday Stew In Gravy

Venison Holiday Stew Classic Recipe

Wilderness Blend In Gravy

Wilderness Blend Classic Recipe

Wingaling In Gravy

Wingaling Classic Recipe

Puppy Plate Beef Recipe In Gravy

Puppy Plate Beef Recipe

Puppy Plate Chicken Recipe In Gravy

Puppy Plate Classic Recipe

Christmas Day Dinner Seasonal Recipe In Gravy

Howl O’ Ween Stew Seasonal Recipe

New Years Eve Paw-ty Seasonal Recipe

Speciality Occasion Birthday Paw-ty

Chunky Big Texas Steak Tips In Gravy

Chunky Big Texas Steak Tips

Chunky Carvers Delight Dinner In Gravy

Chunky Carners Delight Dinner

Chunky Colossal Chicken Dinner In Gravy

Chunky Colossal Chicken Dinner

Pappys Pot Roast Dinner In Gravy

Pappys Pot Roast Dinner

Earth Day Delight Seasonal Recipe

Easter Brunch Seasonal Recipe

Forever Home Holiday Recipe

Hero’s Banquet Classic Recipe In Gravy

Holly Jolly Pot Roast Seasonal Recipe

Kiss Me I’m Irish Stew Seasonal Recipe

Pawlicious Picnic Seasonal Recipe

Pugs N’ Kisses Seasonal Recipe

Sizzlin’ Summer Supper In Gravy Seasonal Recipe

Star Spangled Supper Seasonal Recipe

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner Seasonal Recipe

Presidential Platter Seasonal Recipe In Gravy

Lil’ Plates Grain Free

Lil’ Plates Dainty Duck Medley

Lil’ Plates Itsy Bitsy Beef Stew

Lil’ Plates Lil Lamb Chop Stew

Lil’ Plates Petite Pot Pie

Lil’ Plates Pint-Sized Puppy Plate In Gravy

Lil’ Plates Teensy Turducken

Lil’ Plates Tiny Thanksgiving Day Dinner

Lil’ Plates Rascally Rabbit Stew

Lil’ Plates Small Surfin + Turfin Supper In Gravy

Lil’ Plates Teeny Texas Steak Tips Dinner In Gravy

Limited Ingredient Range

Real Chicken Stew

Real Chicken Stew

Real Duck Recipe

Real Duck Recipe

Real Lamb Recipe

Real Lamb Recipe

Real Turkey Recipe

Real Turkey Recipe

Real Beef Recipe

Real Salmon Recipe

Backcountry Range

Chunky Beef Dinner In Gravy

Chunky Chicken Dinner In Gravy

Chunky Lamb Dinner In Gravy

Chunky Venison + Beef Dinner In Gravy

Hero’s Banquet Stew

96% Real Beef

96% Real Chicken

Alpine Rabbit Stew

Hearty Beef Stew

Hearty Chicken Thigh Stew

Hearty Duck + Venison Stew

Hearty Salmon Stew

Dog Treats

Fresh Kisses

Coconut Oil For Extra Small Dogs

Mint Breath Strips For Extra Small Dogs

Coconut Oil For Small Dogs

Mint Breath Strips For Small Dogs

Coconut Oil For Medium Dogs

Mint Breath Strips For Medium Dogs

Coconut Oil For Large Dogs

Mint Breath Strips For Large Dogs

Lil’ Plates

Bitty Beef Recipe

Lil’ Chunky Chicken Recipe

Small Salmon Recipe

Teensy Turducken Recipe

Backcountry Freeze Dried Raw Treats

Real Beef Recipe

Real Chicken Recipe

Real Salmon Recipe

Hero’s Banquet

Pacific Catch Salmon Jerky

Wild Fields Real Chicken Jerky

Great Plains Real Beef Sausage Cuts

Wild Fields Real Chicken Sausage Cuts

Great Plains Real Steak Patties

Wild Fields Real Turkey + Sweet Potato Patties

Jerky Chip Treats

Real Beef Recipe

Real Chicken Recipe

Real Salmon Recipe

Kitchen Bites

Brauts-N-Tots

Cowboy Cookout

Grammy’s Pot Pie

Turducken

Wingalings Applewood Bacon

Big Bites

Real Beef

Real Chicken

Power Bites

Real Beef

Real Chicken

Real Rabbit + Sweet Potato

Real Salmon

Turducken Recipe

Dry Cat Food

Purrfect Bistro Grain Free Range

Complete Care Sensitive Stomach Recipe

Complete Care Weight Control Recipe

Indoor Adult Recipe

Indoor Senior Recipe

Real Chicken Recipe

Real Salmon Recipe

Real Turkey + Duck Recipe

Healthy Kitten Recipe

Healthy Senior Recipe

Healthy Weight Recipe

Limited Ingredient Range

Real Chicken Recipe

Real Salmon Recipe

Real Turkey Recipe

Real Tuna + Chickpeas Recipe

Backcountry Raw-Infused Range

Game Bird Recipe

Kitten Recipe

Mature Recipe

Pacific Catch Recipe

Canned Cat Food

Purrfect Bistro

Gourmet Shreds Braised Beef Recipe

Gourmet Shreds Ocean Whitefish + Tuna Recipe

Gourmet Shreds Oven Roasted Chicken Recipe

Gourmet Shreds Savoury Duck Recipe

Gourmet Shreds Tender Turkey Recipe

Indoor Adult Pate

Indoor Senior Pate

Chicken & Vegetables Recipe

Grilled Beef & Vegetables Recipe

Grilled Mixed Seafood Recipe

Grilled Salmon & Vegetables Recipe

Beef Pate

Chicken Pate

Duck Pate

Minced Grammys Pot Pie

Minced Thanksgiving Day Dinner

Minced Turducken

Morsels Beef Wellington

Morsels Chicken Casserole

Morsels Chicken Divan

Morsels Cowboy Cookout

Morsels In Gravy – Savoury Trout Dinner

Morsels Tuna Nicoise

Rabbit Pate

Salmon Pate

Surf + Turf Pate

Tuna + Tilapia Pate

Tuna Pate

Turkey Pate

Kitten Dinner Pate

Limited Ingredient Range

Real Chicken Recipe Pate

Real Duck Recipe Pate

Real Salmon Recipe Pate

Real Tuna Recipe Pate

Real Turkey Recipe Pate

Real Duck Recipe

Real Salmon Recipe

Real Turkey Recipe

Real Chicken Recipe

Backcountry Range

Kitten Chicken Recipe Pate

Mature Chicken Recipe Pate

Real Beef Recipe Pate

Real Chicken Recipe Pate

Real Duck Recipe Pate

Real Rabbit Recipe Pate

Real Salmon Recipe Pate

Real Turkey Recipe Pate

Real Beef Recipe Cuts

Real Chicken + Trout Recipe Cuts

Real Duck Recipe Cuts

Real Rabbit Recipe Cuts

Real Turkey Recipe Cuts

Real Whitefish Recipe Cuts

Real Chicken Recipe Cuts

Kitten Recipe Cuts