10 Best Dog Food for Catahoula Leopard Dogs (2020)

Mike PowellEdited by: Mike Powell
Abby TexasReviewed by: Abby Texas

Last Update:

There aren’t many dogs out there as striking as the Catahoula Leopard dog breed. They’re high-energy, spirited pups, also known as the Catahoula Cur.

They’re unique to the United States and were bred in the state of Louisiana as working dogs in a variety of disciplines. 

If you want your Cur to have the happiest, fittest life they can, you should be feeding them the best dog food for Catahoula Leopard dogs. 

Product Name
Best For Catahoula With Allergies
Rank
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
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ORIJEN Dry Dog Food, Original, Biologically Appropriate & Grain Free
ACANA Singles Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food, Duck & Pear, Biologically Appropriate & Grain Free
Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Real Meat Recipe High Protein Dry Dog Food With Real Cage Free Chicken Protein 40Lb
Rating
Our Rating 93 / 100
Our Rating 90 / 100
Our Rating 90 / 100
Pro 1
Biologically appropriate ingredient list, great quality
Variety of flavours, which is unusual for L.I.D foods
Extremely affordable for its fantastic quality
Pro 2
Super protein and fat counts for a Catahoula
Good levels of protein and fat for the average Catahoula
High fat count which is awesome for an active working dog
Best Overall
Rank
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
ORIJEN Dry Dog Food, Original, Biologically Appropriate & Grain Free
Rating
Our Rating 93 / 100
Pro 1
Biologically appropriate ingredient list, great quality
Pro 2
Super protein and fat counts for a Catahoula
Best For Catahoula With Allergies
Product Name
Rank
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
ACANA Singles Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food, Duck & Pear, Biologically Appropriate & Grain Free
Rating
Our Rating 90 / 100
Pro 1
Variety of flavours, which is unusual for L.I.D foods
Pro 2
Good levels of protein and fat for the average Catahoula
Best Budget Option
Rank
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Real Meat Recipe High Protein Dry Dog Food With Real Cage Free Chicken Protein 40Lb
Rating
Our Rating 90 / 100
Pro 1
Extremely affordable for its fantastic quality
Pro 2
High fat count which is awesome for an active working dog
Sources researched
16
Sources researched
Customer reviews
18,436
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
17
Hours spent testing
Products tested
10
Products tested

Best Dog Food for Catahoula

Orijen Original Dry Dog Food

Premium Option

Overall Rating93%
Ingredient Quality95%
Fat Count95%
Omega Fatty Acids90%
Joint Supplements90%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Biologically appropriate ingredient list, great quality 
  • Super protein and fat counts for a Catahoula 
  • All the necessary supplements, including DHA and EPA 
  • Very nutrient-dense formula 

CONS

  • May not be suitable if dogs  have food allergies or intolerances 
  • Might not be affordable to every customer

We highly recommend this nutrient-packed, supplement-loaded dog food from Orijen for owners of a Catahoula Leopard Dog. Orijen is known to be “biologically-appropriate”, which means lots of meat, easy to digest vegetables, antioxidant-packed fruits, and some botanical inclusions which help boost the immune system. 

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Biologically Appropriate

You’ll find a multitude of proteins on this list, beginning with chicken, turkey, and flounder. There are also plenty of organ meats, such as chicken liver, turkey liver, chicken heart, and chicken kidney. These are rich in amino acids, so you don’t need to worry – they add taste, texture, and an extra bit of immune strength. 

Everything your dog needs to boost its health is in this dog food. Joint supplements, high levels of Omega fatty acids, and the surprising but welcomed addition of DHA and EPA ensure that your pooch will stay both physically and mentally tough. 

Acana Singles Range Dry Dog Food

Best Limited Ingredient

ACANA Singles Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food, Duck & Pear, Biologically Appropriate & Grain Free
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Overall Rating90%
Ingredient Quality95%
Fat Count90%
Omega Fatty Acids90%
Joint Supplements90%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Variety of flavors, which is unusual for L.I.D dog foods 
  • Good levels of protein and fat for the average Catahoula 
  • Varying Omega levels, but all high 
  • Grain free

CONS

  • Somewhat pricey, but not unusual for L.I.D kibble  

If your Catahoula Leopard Dog happens to have a sensitive tummy, a limited ingredient diet could be a good idea. You won’t find a better range than this, both in terms of flavors and quality.

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Unusual Flavor Variety

Limited ingredient diets are often limited in terms of flavors too, but this range surprises us with their recipe choices. All recipes contain the same protein and fat counts, as well as joint supplements and great fatty acids. 

Choose from Beef & Pumpkin, Turkey & Greens, Duck & Pear, Pork & Squash, and Lamb & Apple to give your pet some tastebud-tingling food experiences. Limited ingredient dog food doesn’t have to be boring and tasteless! 

Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Dry Dog Food

Best Value For Money

Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Real Meat Recipe High Protein Dry Dog Food With Real Cage Free Chicken Protein 40Lb
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Overall Rating90%
Ingredient Quality90%
Fat Count95%
Omega Fatty Acids90%
Joint Supplements90%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • Extremely affordable for its fantastic quality 
  • High fat count which is awesome for an active working dog 
  • Contains superfood ingredients for added vitamins and minerals 
  • Some of the highest Omega fatty acid levels  

CONS

  • May not be suitable if dogs are sensitive to chicken or eggs 
  • Fat count may be too high for pups who aren’t very active

We love this offering from Diamond Naturals. If you’re on a budget, there’s no need to worry that you won’t be able to feed your dog the highest quality dog food, because this kibble is both affordable and superbly healthy. It’s loaded with high-quality ingredients, including chicken, chicken meal, rice, barley, and superfoods like kale, quinoa, chia seeds, blueberries, and kelp.

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High In Fat 

This dog food has one of the highest fat counts around, at 25%. This is superb if your pet is the typical high-energy Catahoula, and they will thrive on the easy-access energy. If your fluff is a little less active, they may start to get a little pudgy. You can remedy this by adding some more daily exercise into their routine.

Not only does this dog food contain premium quality ingredients, but it’s also packed with helpful supplements. Glucosamine and chondroitin help keep your bouncy dog’s joints strong and supple, L-carnitine helps with metabolism and energy regulation, and this recipe also has some of the highest Omega fatty acid numbers we’ve seen.

Pupford Freeze-Dried Training Treats

Top Training Treat

Freeze-Dried Training Treats from Pupford - 475+ Treats Per Bag, Low Calorie, The Perfect High Value Training Reward (Comes in Beef Liver & Sweet Potato) (Chicken)
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Overall Rating91.6%
Ingredient Quality95%
Fat Count90%
Omega Fatty Acids95%
Joint Supplements90%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • 450 or more in one bag 
  • Comes in three different flavors 
  • Low in calories, perfect during prolonged training sessions 
  • Limited ingredient and naturally preserved 

CONS

  • Some pieces might be too small for your pet to chew comfortably 

The Catahoula Leopard Dog does supremely well with a bit of training, and it’s a great idea to keep training treats handy so you can reward them when they do something right. These treats fit the bill perfectly. They’re made of just two or three ingredients (including the natural preservatives), which means they’re chock-full of protein (the meaty flavors, at least!), and have nothing artificial in them at all.

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Low-Calorie

Because these little health nuggets are made up of only one freeze-dried ingredient, they come in at less than one calorie per treat. This is fantastic if owners are doing a lot of training with their pet but don’t want him getting pudgy from the amount of good-boy treats you’re handing out! 

Each meat flavor contains around 35% protein. They’re also fairly high in fat, which gives your pet a little energy boost. The sweet potato option is much lower in both protein and fat (7% and 0%) but makes for a great-tasting alternative to the meaty ones. 

Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Dinner Morsels 

Best Wet Food/Kibble Topper

Stella & Chewy's Stella's Solutions Hip & Joint Boost Cage-Free Chicken Dinner Morsels Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food, 13 oz
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Overall Rating89%
Ingredient Quality90%
Fat Count90%
Omega Fatty Acids90%
Joint Supplements95%
Affordability80%

PROS

  • Raw, nutrient-rich nutrition 
  • Adds extra taste and texture to your dog’s meal 
  • Contains joint supplements 
  • High in fat and Omega fatty acids 

CONS

  • A little pricey, especially in addition to normal kibble 

Feeding your Catahoula Leopard Dog dog a dry dog food is good for their teeth, but sometimes (especially if they’re a picky eater), you’ll need a tasty (and nutritious) kibble topper to pique their interest.

This raw kibble topper from Stella and Chewy ticks all the boxes—it’s healthy, nutrient-rich, and (unlike most others) contains a dose of glucosamine to reduce chances of hip dysplasia.

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Stella’s Solutions

Chicken is the hip and joint formula, Lamb is an immune-boosting recipe, and Lamb & Salmon is formulated to improve skin and coat health. Whichever you choose, simply add to their dry food and your pet will get a lot of benefits from it! 

These morsels are raw meat, which is great as they’re minimally processed and filled to the brim with nutrition. Be aware, they also contain liver, ground bone, and cartilage. While this may sound awful to us owners, dogs love it and will put it to good use in their bodies. They’re also freeze-dried, which means there’s no need for any artificial preservatives.

Orijen Puppy Large Dry Dog Food

Best For Catahoula Puppies

ORIJEN Dry Dog Food, Puppy Large, Biologically Appropriate & Grain Free
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Overall Rating89%
Ingredient Quality90%
Fat Count90%
Omega Fatty Acids90%
Joint Supplements90%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Nutrient-rich, wholesome kibble 
  • Good protein and fat levels for puppies 
  • Perfect calcium/phosphorus level for growing bones 
  • Puppy-specific supplements such as glucosamine and DHA 

CONS

  • Somewhat pricey 

Although the Catahoula Leopard Dog is classified as a medium-sized breed, this large-breed puppy formula dry food works for them because of their high-energy, working dog lifestyles (even as puppies). This dog food is high in protein to help the little ones build strong muscle, and has a great calcium/phosphorus ratio to make sure their bones grow steadily. 

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Biologically Appropriate

Your little guy or girl will be off to a good nutritional start when eating this combo of ingredients—they’ll be getting high-quality proteins, a mix of slow and fast-burning carbs, and beneficial fats, with some supplements thrown in too. 

DHA is an important supplement for puppies. Joint-fortifying supplements are also great to start with at a young age as hip dysplasia can happen at any age.

Orijen Senior Dry Dog Food

Best For Catahoula Seniors

ORIJEN Dry Dog Food, Senior, Biologically Appropriate & Grain Free
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Overall Rating89%
Ingredient Quality90%
Fat Count90%
Omega Fatty Acids90%
Joint Supplements90%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Formulated specifically for senior dogs  
  • Retains a decent fat count for still-active seniors 
  • Contains DHA and EPA
  • Premium quality ingredients

CONS

  • Seniors who have food sensitivities may struggle with this 
  • Somewhat pricey 

This senior-specific dog food from Orijen looks much the same as our Premium Option, just with a slightly lowered fat count to help prevent less-active older pups from putting on weight. 

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Senior Dog Nutrients

A reduced fat count is the norm in most senior dog foods, but when you have an aging working dog, sometimes they don’t slow down as much as expected! The fat content in this dog food is slightly reduced but remains decent for a fairly active senior, at 15%. 

Glucosamine will also become more important as your pet gets older, and this dog food contains a good dose of it. It also has the wonderful addition of DHA and EPA, which are fatty acids that help keep your pup’s brain firing like a young one. 

Merrick Dry Dog Food Recipes

Runner-Up Option

Merrick Grain Free with Real Meat + Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food
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Overall Rating89%
Ingredient Quality90%
Fat Count90%
Omega Fatty Acids95%
Joint Supplements90%
Affordability80%

PROS

  • Great nutritional values for Catahoulas 
  • A variety of flavors available 
  • Contains all the supplements an active dog needs 
  • Free from grain, corn, and other allergens

CONS

  • Slightly pricey

The Merrick grain-free dry food range comes a close second to our first choice, Orijen. They too are loaded with superior quality ingredients and contain just about perfect nutritional numbers to nourish an active Catahoula Leopard Dog.

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High-Quality Ingredients

Chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, and salmon meal are the proteins you’ll find in this dog food. These are complemented by super healthy ingredients like sweet potatoes, blueberries, and apples which add taste, texture, and vitamins and minerals. 

As well as the chicken flavor, you can choose from Texas Beef & Sweet Potato, and Real Salmon & Sweet Potato. The beef recipe is comparable to the chicken in terms of nutrition, while the salmon is slightly lower in both protein and fat (34 and 14%). 

Stella & Chewy’s Dinner Patties

Best Raw Food Option

Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Raw Stella's Super Beef Dinner Patties Dog Food, 14 oz. Bag, Freeze-Dried Raw Dinner Patties
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Overall Rating88%
Ingredient Quality95%
Fat Count95%
Omega Fatty Acids85%
Joint Supplements80%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Very high in protein and fat, great for active working dogs 
  • High-quality proteins and organic fruits and veggies 
  • Variety of flavors to choose from 
  • Raw, minimally processed 

CONS

  • Can be expensive depending on how many patties are recommended per meal for your pup

A raw diet is one of the best dog food options for highly active dogs. The ingredients are minimally processed, making them quicker and easier to digest. Also, the use of organ meats such as liver, kidney, and heart, as well as bone and cartilage, gives a very well-rounded amino acid profile.

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Flavors & Nutrients 

There are 11 flavor options for adult dogs, and two choices specifically for puppies (Beef & Salmon, and Chicken & Salmon). Each has different nutrient values which means you can choose something suitable for your pet while still having a bit of choice in case they get bored. 

Acana Light & Fit Dry Dog Food

Best for Weight Management

ACANA Heritage Dry Dog Food, Light & Fit, Biologically Appropriate & Grain Free
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Overall Rating87%
Ingredient Quality90%
Fat Count85%
Omega Fatty Acids85%
Joint Supplements90%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Lower fat count to help shed weight 
  • Addition of glucosamine
  • 60% quality animal ingredients, 40% veggies, fruit, & botanicals 
  • Contains DHA and EPA in addition to normal Omegas 

CONS

  • Fat count may be too low for some and result in fatigue 
  • Somewhat pricey 

If your Catahoula Leopard Dog has some pounds to lose, we recommend this dog food to help them along the way. 60% of this kibble is made up of high-quality animal ingredients, making it protein-rich and full of healthy fats. The remaining 40% is packed with veggies, fruits, and healthy botanical inclusions.

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Lower Fat Count

Fat is the most easily accessible source of energy, so when looking for a weight management dog food you’ll want to be looking at something lower in fat, rather than low in carbohydrates. 

This dog food has a fat level of 10%, which is quite low. The bonus is that it retains a high protein count, which helps keep your dog full. The addition of glucosamine is wonderful to see, as it will keep those joints supported while your dog is working off their extra weight. 


Catahoula Leopard Dog

Testing Protocol & Criteria Used For Evaluation

Criteria 1 – Ingredient Quality

Although the Catahoula Leopard Dog doesn’t tend to suffer from food allergies or sensitivities, the quality of the ingredients in dog foods is still of huge importance. 

You want to choose a dog food that has a premium quality animal protein as the first ingredient, great quality slow-burning carbs (grains are okay too, as long as they’re gluten-free, but starchy veggies are preferred), and natural preservatives. 

Criteria 2 – High Fat Count

Fat is the component of dog food that gives your pooch the energy they need for their day. A fat count of around 20% is super for a Catahoula Leopard Dog, although anything with 15% or more should be adequate.

If your fluff is very energetic, he may need a couple of high-fat treats in between meals to see him through. We’ve made sure all the dog food brands we’ve reviewed contain high-quality fat sources that are identifiable and easy to digest. 

Criteria 3 – Omega Fatty Acids

While the crude fat count in dog foods is what your pup uses as quick energy, Omega fatty acids do something a little different. Your pup’s body will use these to nourish their skin and coat, so they’re also an essential part of your dog’s diet. 

We’ve reviewed dog food that contains great levels of Omega fatty acids. Your Catahoula Leopard Dog’s coat is one of his most striking features, and making sure he has a supply of high-grade Omega fatty acids in his diet will keep that coat shiny, soft, and healthy. 

Criteria 4 – Joint Supplements

The best dog food for Leopard Dogs should contain supplements that fortify their joints. Glucosamine and chondroitin are fantastic for this purpose and should be on every dog food label on this list. 

If the food you choose happens to have no glucosamine in it, it’s not the biggest deal—you can find separate glucosamine supplements just about anywhere. Whichever option you select, we’ve checked out the glucosamine and chondroitin levels of each food on this list. 

Criteria 5 – Affordability

Part of having a happy dog is being a happy dog parent! Your pup picks up on your stress levels far more easily than you realize, and this criterion is meant to help alleviate the stress of the pet parent just a little. 

There’s something for every budget on this list, and we’ve made sure that all options are of the highest quality, no matter their price. Check out our Best Value For Money option to find the best for less, but if you’re cool to pay a little more, every choice here is going to be a fantastic option for your pooch.


Questions & Answers

What are the common health problems Catahoulas suffer from? 

These beautiful guys and girls are one of the healthiest dog breeds around. They don’t often struggle with allergies or food intolerances, and they’re tough hardy dogs. Some of the health issues they do deal with are:

  • Knee & hip dysplasia
  • Deafness
  • Bloat

What are the characteristics of the best dog food for Catahoula Leopard Dogs?

These dogs were bred to do hard work in many disciplines, and as such, need a superior-quality dog food to help them keep up. The best dog food for Catahoula dogs should contain all-natural, wholesome ingredients. A named animal protein should be the first ingredient on the list, followed by slow-burning carbohydrates like potatoes, sweet potatoes, or pumpkin. Grain free or with whole grains is all right.

Other veggies and fruits are awesome additions and will add vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Raw food is a great diet option. You’ll want to see high levels of Omega fatty acids and a dose of glucosamine and chondroitin to keep your dog’s joints stable and supported. 

What can I do to help my Catahoula Leopard Dog get enough exercise? 

The Catahoula Leopard Dog is super energetic! They need a good bit of exercise every day, and they’ll be far happier getting that energy out in a constructive way. 

Taking your Leopard Dog for a daily run is a good start. It’s advisable to have more than one dog because Curs are super sociable and will be miserable (and possibly destructive) if left alone all day. 

These guys are also amazing swimmers, so playing some swimming games with him will help get rid of that energy and keep him cool at the same time. If you’re an avid outdoors person, taking your dog along on hikes and outings will make him the happiest Leopard Dog around! 

It’s also a great idea to take your Cur to obedience training. They’re highly intelligent and this combined with their restlessness can be a recipe for disaster unless your dog is well-trained. Training will be great physical and mental stimulation and help him or her to become well-socialized as well!