Best Dog Food For Belgian Malinois: For Every Need [2024]

Best Dog Food For Belgian Malinois

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This content was reviewed and fact-checked by veterinarian Dr. Aukse Caraite, DVM.

Belgian Malinois, often praised for its intelligence and agility, is a breed that demands special attention regarding its nutrition. Selecting the optimal dog food for this dynamic breed is not a mere task of convenience but a critical aspect that significantly influences their overall health and longevity. This comprehensive review recommends the best dog food for Belgian Malinois, considering breed-specific nutritional requirements, life stage, and health conditions. Let’s dive right in!

Best Dog Food For Belgian Malinois — At A Glance

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What Is The Best Food For Belgian Malinois?

As a medium-sized and high-energy breed, Belgian Malinois have distinct nutritional needs that require careful consideration. The best food for a Belgian Malinois is balanced and appropriate for their life stage, health, activity levels (energy needs) and weight (size). This will ensure your Belgian Malinois is healthy, develops appropriately, and can sustain daily activities and bodily functions.

When deciding the best diet for a Belgian Malinois], it’s essential also to consider individual preferences such as taste or food type. Some Belgian Malinois may thrive on high-quality commercial kibble, while others may do better on a human-grade fresh diet or a professionally formulated home-cooked diet.

How to Pick The Best Dog Food For Belgian Malinois

1. Consider The Belgian Malinois’ Nutritional Requirements

The optimal Belgian Malinois diet for nutrition typically includes a combination of the six nutrients they need to thrive: High-quality protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats (fatty acids and omegas), vitamins, minerals, and water.

Protein plays a vital role in your Belgian Malinois diet, providing essential amino acids necessary for bodily processes, including the creation of blood glucose for energy. Protein also helps build and repair muscles and other body tissues. It’s needed to make new skin cells and grow hair, hormones, and enzymes. The proteins in your dog’s diet must have a balanced amino acid profile and be provided in appropriate amounts.

Protein dietary recommendations for Belgian Malinois food:

  • Adult Belgian Malinois. 18% dry matter protein (45.0g for every 1,000 kcal ME).
  • Puppies & Pregnant or Lactating Belgian Malinois. 22.5% dry matter protein (56.3g for every 1,000 kcal ME).

Protein sources for Belgian Malinois food include:

Fats play a crucial, multifaceted role in a Belgian Malinois diet. Fats come in two forms: saturated and unsaturated. Both are important in a Belgian Malinois diet, but it’s essential to maintain the right balance. Saturated fats, derived from animal sources, enhance the palatability, flavor and texture of your dog’s food and facilitate the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. On the other hand, essential fatty acids, which are unsaturated fats, include Omega-3 (EPA, DHA, and ALA) and Omega-6+9 (LA and AA). These fats are crucial for the body’s cells’ development, structure, and function.

When balanced correctly, they promote healthy skin and coat, support eye health and the nervous system function, regulate hormones, fuel the brain and learning processes, help reduce inflammation, offer insulation and organ protection, support reproductive health, and serve as a reserve for energy storage. Fats are a dense energy source.

Fat dietary recommendations for Belgian Malinois food:

  • Adult Belgian Malinois. 5.5% dry matter fat (13.8g for every 1,000 kcal ME).
  • Puppies & Pregnant or Lactating Belgian Malinois. 8.5% dry matter fat (21.3g for every 1,000 kcal ME).

Fat sources for Belgian Malinois food include:

  • Meats fats
  • Fish oils
  • Olive
  • Sunflower oil
  • Canola oils

Dogs need energy for daily activities, growth, pregnancy, lactation, and exercise. This energy, measured in calories, comes from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Omnivorous animals, including dogs, derive some energy from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates supply glucose needed by the brain, nervous system, and other critical organs for normal function in dogs. Carbohydrates should also include 2.5-4.5% fiber. You can use our dog calorie calculator to find the exact caloric needs of your dog based on his weight. Ensure you follow the 10% rule if feeding treats to your dog. Food would equal 90% of the total calories and treats the remaining 10%.

Carbohydrate sources for Belgian Malinois food include:

  • Oats
  • Brown rice
  • Potatoes
  • Quinoa
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Whole wheat

Minerals in a dog’s diet are indispensable for bone and dental health, nerve function, enzymatic reactions, fluid balance, oxygen transport, and maintaining the body’s pH level, making them essential for overall health and metabolic processes. Proper mineral balance is crucial and should be carefully managed to avoid deficiencies or excesses.

These 12 minerals are known to be essential nutrients for dogs:

  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Magnesium
  • Iodine
  • Chlorine
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Selenium
  • Manganese
  • Zinc
  • Phosphorus

Mineral sources for Belgian Malinois food include:

  • Sweet potatoes and pumpkin (Magnesium)
  • Fish (Iodine)
  • Beef, eggs, and liver (Zinc)
  • Poultry, nuts, and legumes (Copper)
  • Bananas and carrots (Potassium)
  • Chicken and duck (Iron)

Vitamins in a dog’s diet are integral for maintaining overall health and bodily functions. They support vision, immune health, aid in energy metabolism and nervous system function, provide antioxidant benefits, reduce inflammation, prevent diseases and ailments and more. Dogs require vitamins, but only in small amounts, and excessive doses of specific vitamins, like vitamin D, can harm them.

These 12 vitamins are known to be essential nutrients for dogs:

  • Vitamins A, B1, B6, B12, D, E & K
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Folic Acid
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Choline

Vitamin sources for Belgian Malinois food include:

  • Sweet potatoes and spinach (Vitamin A)
  • Eggs, chicken, and beef (Vitamin B)
  • Broccoli (Vitamin C)
  • Kale and parsley (Vitamin K)
  • Vegetables (Vitamin E)
  • Meats and fish (Vitamin D)

Water is vital in a dog’s diet to maintain hydration, support body functions such as digestion, nutrient absorption, and waste excretion, lubricate joints, regulate body temperature, ensure proper organ function, and facilitate metabolic processes. Continuous access to clean water is as crucial as providing nutritious food for overall health and well-being. Generally, Belgian Malinois should drink 2 to 3 times the amount of their dry food intake daily. However, if water is readily available from various sources, Belgian Malinois can naturally regulate water consumption daily.

2. Consider Your Belgian Malinois Health Conditions

Nutrition is crucial in managing and preventing common health issues in Belgian Malinois. Talk to a veterinarian if your Belgian Malinois has a health condition. They can recommend the most suitable diet for them. Below are some general dietary tips to help you choose the best dog food or supplement for addressing the most common Belgian Malinois health problems.

Food allergies

Certain ingredients in their food can cause allergies in Belgian Malinois. This occurs when a dog’s immune system identifies a specific protein, carbohydrate, or other ingredients in their diet as foreign and reacts to it as if it were a harmful substance. Food allergies in Belgian Malinois may present as dry, itchy skin, ears, or paws. It’s important to note that food intolerances can also occur. However, intolerances do not involve the immune system but can lead to vomiting or diarrhea.

To manage or prevent food allergies in Belgian Malinois, consider these diet tips:

  • Avoid common allergens such as corn, wheat, chicken, and beef.
  • Conducting a dog food allergy test or at-home dog food allergy tests like the 5Strands kit (test for up to 255 ingredients) may help determine food allergies or intolerance in your dog. Use the results to avoid food formulas that contain potential allergens.

Sensitive stomach

Belgian Malinois can have sensitive digestive systems, a condition where a dog has difficulty digesting certain foods or experiences frequent digestive upset. This can manifest in various symptoms and may be caused by various factors.

To manage or prevent sensitive stomachs in Belgian Malinois, consider these diet tips:


Belgian Malinois are susceptible to various types of cancer, including fibrosarcoma, melanoma, osteosarcoma, and lymphosarcoma.

To manage or prevent cancer in Belgian Malinois, consider these diet tips:

Hip dysplasia

This is a common condition in Belgian Malinois, which occurs when the joints don’t develop properly and the hip ball does not fit squarely within the socket, resulting in the rubbing of bone against bone, causing pain and lameness.

To manage or prevent hip dysplasia in Belgian Malinois, consider these diet tips:

  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • Omega-3 fatty
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Maintain a healthy weight, as excess weight puts additional stress on the joints

Elbow dysplasia

Like hip dysplasia, this condition affects the elbow joint and can lead to pain and mobility issues.

To manage or prevent elbow dysplasia in Belgian Malinois, consider these diet tips:

  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • Methylsulfonylmethane
  • Weight management
  • Omega-3 fatty

Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV)

GDV, also known as bloat, is a life-threatening condition when the stomach fills with gas and twists. Belgian Malinois, like many deep-chested breeds, are predisposed to GDV.

To manage or prevent bloating in Belgian Malinois, consider these diet tips:

  • Small size kibble
  • Multiple meals per day
  • Slow feeding (slow-feeder bowl or puzzle)
  • Limit exercise around mealtime

Eye conditions

Belgian Malinois are prone to several eye conditions, including Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), a genetic disorder leading to progressive vision loss and eventual blindness; Cataracts, which cause opacity in the lens of the eye, leading to decreased vision and potential blindness if not treated. Other problems include Glaucoma and Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA).

To manage or prevent eye problems in Belgian Malinois, consider these diet tips:

  • Vitamin A, C & E
  • Beta-carotene
  • Lutein
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Omega-3 fatty acids


This condition affects the dog’s ability to regulate its blood sugar levels. Symptoms can include excessive thirst and urination, weight loss, and changes in appetite.

To manage or prevent diabetes in Belgian Malinois, consider these diet tips:

  • Low-glycemic food
  • Limit table scraps
  • Limit treats
  • Consistent feeding schedule
  • Weight management


Cryptorchidism in dogs, including Belgian Malinois, is a condition where one or both of the testicles fail to descend into the scrotum. It’s important to note that diet alone cannot correct or prevent cryptorchidism, as the condition is primarily genetic and developmental. However, maintaining overall health through diet can support a dog’s general well-being and may aid in optimal development, potentially influencing factors related to conditions like cryptorchidism.

Autoimmune disorders

Autoimmune disorders in Belgian Malinois, as in other breeds, occur when the dog’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own body tissues. These conditions can affect various parts of the body, including the skin, blood, joints, and internal organs.

To manage or prevent autoimmune disorders in Belgian Malinois, consider these diet tips:

  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamin K
  • Avoid artificial additives
  • Probiotics
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

3. Consider Your Belgian Malinois Activity Level

Provide a diet that suits your Belgian Malinois activity level. This is crucial in maintaining overall health, energy levels, and quality of life.


Inactive Belgian Malinois may be older, have mobility issues, or have a naturally low energy level. They require a diet lower in fat and calories to avoid weight gain. Excess weight can lead to health issues such as diabetes, joint problems, and more.

Moderate Activity

These Belgian Malinois enjoy daily walks, regular playtime and occasional vigorous activities. They need a balanced proportion of calories, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Recipes for “adult maintenance” are usually appropriate.

High Activity

These are working dogs (herding), sports dogs (competition), or those with high energy engaging in strenuous daily activities. They require higher calories and a diet higher in proteins, fats & carbs for muscle recovery & sustained energy.

4. Consider Your Belgian Malinois Life Stage

Belgian Malinois have specific nutritional needs at different stages of their life. Provide a diet that meets their life stage.

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Best Dog Food For Belgian Malinois

Best Overall Dog Food For Belgian Malinois


Nom Nom

Who It’s For: Ideal for those who want the most optimal nutrition and potential health benefits.

Recipes: Beef, chicken & more

Nutrition: AAFCO

Life stage: All ages

Manufactured: USA

Ingredients: Human-grade

Why we picked and recommended it: Nom Nom fresh dog food recipes win the spot for the best dog food for Belgian Malinois. This brand uses human-grade ingredients to craft pre-portion recipes delivered directly to your doorstep. Feeding your dog Nom Nom comes with numerous scientifically-supported health benefits of fresh dog food, including longer lifespans, better digestibility, higher energy levels, and more. Fresh recipes are also ideal for dogs with food allergies, sensitive stomachs, or other dietary concerns because they avoid cheap fillers, additives, and harmful chemicals. Unlike traditional kibble, Nom Nom is gently cooked from scratch, ensuring all nutritional integrity is retained — this means that your Belgian Malinois will receive the healthiest and most nutritious meal with every serving.

What sets it apart from competitors: Nom Nom stands out from other dog food brands by taking a personalized approach to nutrition. Many dog food brands offer one-size-fits-all recipes, but Nom Nom takes the time to create a custom formula for each dog, considering factors like age, health, weight, and activity level to ensure your dog gets the perfect balance of nutrients for their unique needs.

Key Features

  • Caters to health-specific. Recipes are formulated to address your dog’s health concerns, such as food allergies, tear stains, bad breath, joint issues and more.
  • Vet-designed. Formulated by board-certified veterinary nutritionists that comply with AAFCO standards.
  • Excellent sourcing. Ingredients are sourced from reputable food suppliers, local farms, and other human food purveyors that meet USDA standards.


  • The level of customization is unmatched
  • Packaged as daily portions for easy serving
  • Never use feed-grade ingredients
  • Cooked in human-grade kitchens


  • It’s on the expensive side

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Best Dry Dog Food For Belgian Malinois


A Pup Above

Who It’s For: For those who want to provide the benefit of fresh dog diet with the convenience of kibble.

Recipes: Beef, chicken, pork & turkey

Nutrition: AAFCO

Life Stage: Adult

Manufactured: USA

Ingredients: Premium

Why we picked and recommended it: A Pup Above Food Cubies dog formula is our top pick for the best dry dog food for Belgian Malinois. Unlike traditional dry dog food, Unkibble is less processed and has half the cost of fresh dog food. Think of Unkibble as freshly homemade dog food with the convenience of kibble without the nasty preservatives, additives, and cheap fillers. It’s perfect for Belgian Malinois because it’s been formulated to surpass the specific nutritional requirements of most dry dog foods.

What sets it apart from competitors: UnKibble recipes are gently dried using our unique process, which gently dries out whole foods to preserve nutrients and flavor and maximize nutritional integrity. Some recipes use organ meats, one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can give your dog. In fact, entrails contain as many (or more) vitamins, minerals, and other valuable nutrients as lean muscle meat.

Key Features

  • Limited ingredients. Use radically simple ingredients ideal for a picky eater or dog with food allergies.
  • Superherbs. Boosted with super herbs for join, immunity, digestive support and more.


  • Exceeds industry standards
  • Cheaper than fresh dog food
  • Crunchy texture
  • GMO and hormone-free
  • Custom plans and scoops


  • It’s a bit more expensive than traditional kibble. NUTRO Ultra dry dog food is another great alternative if you want a more traditional dry dog food that’s less expensive.

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Best Belgian Malinois Puppy Food


Open Farm

Who It’s For: Explicitly made for Belgian Malinois puppies. It has all the nutrients for proper puppy development.

Recipes: Blend of chicken, pork & salmon

Nutrition: AAFCO

Life Stage: Puppies

Manufactured: USA

Ingredients: Human-grade

Why we picked and recommended it: The Gently Cooked Open Farm puppy recipe is the best dog food for Belgian Malinois. This puppy-specific formula provides the necessary nutrients for the optimal growth and development of Belgian Malinois puppies, including prebiotic fiber like pumpkin and chicory root, supports healthy digestion and calcium iodate as a source of energy production, and also promotes muscular and cognitive development in puppies.

What sets it apart from competitors: This formula is designed specifically for Belgian Malinois puppies and has a purposeful blend of three proteins to help prevent allergies. It also has added collagen for healthy joint development.

Key Features

  • Human-grade meats. High-quality meats are raised without antibiotics or added hormones.
  • Superfoods. Boosted with chia seeds, kale, flaxseed and other wholesome ingredients.


  • Made with non-GMO fruits and veggies
  • No potatoes, rendered poultry or meals
  • Serve as a topper or complete meal


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Cheapest Dog Food For Belgian Malinois


Blue Buffalo

Who It’s For: Great if you are looking for the most affordable dog food for Belgian Malinois.

Recipes: Beef, chicken, lamb & fish

Nutrition: AAFCO

Life Stage: Adult

Manufactured: USA

Ingredients: Natural

Why we picked and recommended it: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula has a slightly lower price than other brands. It’s formulated to provide your Belgian Malinois pup with sustained healthy energy from high-quality animal-based proteins. This dog food helps build strong, lean muscles and maintain optimal body conditions. It is made with real meat, brown rice, and sweet potatoes, which are easily digestible and provide a balanced diet for adult dogs.

What sets it apart from competitors: Blue Buffalo’s exclusive LifeSource Bits are a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to support your dog’s immune system and overall health. It is made with real meat as the first ingredient, rare in most affordable dog food brands.

Key Features

  • Omegas. This dog food is also packed with omega-6 and -3 fatty acids to promote healthy skin and a radiant coat.
  • Muscle support. L-Carnitine to help burn fat while preserving lean muscles
  • Bone and joint health. It also contains Glucosamine and chondroitin for strong bones and joint development. 


  • No chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives


  • It may not be suitable for dogs with severe food allergies or sensitivities, as it is not specifically designed for these conditions
  • The inclusion of brown rice and sweet potatoes may be higher in carbohydrates than some dogs need, which could be a concern for overweight or diabetic dogs

Best Food For Senior Belgian Malinois



Who It’s For: Great senior Belgian Malinois who need the appropriate nutrients to support them through their older years.

Recipes: Chicken, turkey & fish

Nutrition: AAFCO

Life Stage: Senior

Manufactured: USA

Ingredients: Fresh

Why we picked and recommended it: Most veterinarians consider a dog a senior once it reaches seven years old. If your Belgian Malinois is in that stage of his life, it might be time to switch to a high-quality senior dog food diet. If you’re concerned about keeping your Belgian Malinois healthy during his older years, Orijin Senior dog food will support long-life vitality. It’s crafted specifically for your senior Belgian Malinois to help them stay healthy by supporting lean muscle mass and weight maintenance.

What sets it apart from competitors: With rich inclusions of a whole prey diet, ORIJEN dog food is made with the most nutrient-dense, succulent parts of the prey to deliver the nutrition dogs need.

Key Features

  • Wholeprey diet inclusions. It uses fresh and raw animal ingredients, including meat, organs, cartilage, and bone, nourishing dogs according to their natural and biological needs. Note“ “r”w” in this context means that the ingredients are super-fresh when they arrive at the factory/kitchen. The kibble is cooked by the time it is in the bag. This is high-quality cooked pet food, not raw food.
  • Bones and joint support. Enhanced with Glucosamine to aid with cartilage wear and tear as your pet ages.


  • Protein, including poultry, fish and organs
  • Freeze-dried coated for a burst of raw flavor
  • 85% quality animal ingredients
  • Great feedback from senior dog parent 


  • A bit expensive

Raw Food For Belgian Malinois



Who It’s For: Good for those seeking to provide a more biologically appropriate, natural dog diet that offers several health benefits.

Recipes: Chicken, lamb & beef

Nutrition: AAFCO

Life Stage: All ages

Manufactured: USA

Ingredients: Raw

Why we picked and recommended it: As more dog parents opt to raw feed their dogs, it’s essential to understand the ins and outs of a raw diet for dogs. If you are in the Belgian Malinois market for raw dog food, Instinct Frozen Raw Bites Real Beef Recipe formula is one of our top picks for the best raw dog food delivery brands. This formula is protein-packed with 85% meat and organs and 15% wholesome non-GMO fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals to give your Belgian Malinois a complete BARF diet. It’s minimally processed, never cooked, pure, natural nutrition to keep your best friend strong. 

What sets it apart from competitors: Raw dog food may benefit your dog with a shinier coat and skin, cleaner teeth, more energy, smaller stools and more. Instinct Raw states that raw dog nutrition can promote strong, lean muscles and energize your pup.


  • Helps with allergies and weight management
  • Ingredients are frozen to maintain the highest nutritional profile
  • Cold-pressure processing to keep the nutrients and taste intact


  • Needs to be kept frozen until it’s your pet’s mealtime
  • Not as convenient as feeding dry dog food. Open Farm freeze-dried raw dog food is an excellent alternative for a more convenient way to feed raw
  • It’s slightly more expensive than traditional kibble, but you can buy raw food budget

Best Food For Belgian Malinois With Sensitive Stomach



Who It’s For: If you are looking for the best food for Belgian Malinois with sensitive stomachs.

Recipes: Chicken & Barley

Nutrition: AAFCO

Life Stage: Adult

Manufactured: USA

Ingredients: Natural

Why we picked and recommended it: Hill’s Science Diet For Sensitive Stomach & Skin is formulated to protect Belgian Malinois with sensitive tummies and skin. It’s made with easily digestible ingredients, including barley, beet pulp, and brown rice, and contains no soy, wheat, or artificial ingredients that can cause upsets or skin flare-ups on your Belgian Malinois. 

What sets it apart from competitors: Specialized formula fortified with prebiotics fiber for healthy digestion, sensitive stomachs, and immune health. Prebiotic fiber nourishes healthy intestinal bacteria.

Key Features

  • Omega-6. Excellent source of omega-6 fatty acids to nourish your dog’s skin and help maintain a healthy, shiny coat. 
  • Highly digestible. The food is gentle on the stomach.


  • Supports a balanced gut microbiome in your grown dog
  • No artificially colored, flavored, or preserved


  • Not recommended for puppies and pregnant or nursing dogs
  • 15% may still be sensitive to this diet. Another option is going fresh with a more premium option like JustFoodForDogs Balanced Remedy. Its plain composition of a single protein source, single starch source, and low-fat levels make it perfect for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Best Food For Belgian Malinois With Allergies


Royal Canin

Who It’s For: Excellent for Belgian Malinois suffering from skin allergies, food allergies, or food intolerance.

Recipes: Natural

Nutrition: AAFCO

Life Stage: All ages

Manufactured: USA

Ingredients: Hypoallergenic

Why we picked and recommended it: Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hydrolyzed Protein is the best hypoallergenic dog formula you feed an allergic Belgian Malinois. This vet-exclusive prescription formula helps dogs with itching, hair loss, skin allergies and digestive upset. It’s also highly digestible and supports gastrointestinal and dermatological health.

What sets it apart from competitors: This formula uses hydrolyzed soy protein (non-animal protein). Hydrolyzed protein is made by a process known as hybridization, which breaks down proteins to a size less likely to be recognized by the immune system, effectively stopping allergic reactions.

Key Features

  • Limited ingredients. Its limited ingredients also make it great against allergies. They use one single source of carbohydrates.
  • Supports GI health. Contains a special blend of fibers and prebiotics.


  • Specially designed for canines with food intolerances or allergies
  • Helps to reduce skin and GI reactions caused by proteins
  • Support healthy skin and help reduce inflammation


  • A bit expensive
  • Requires vet authorization. While we recommend Royal Canine Veterinary for the best results, unfortunately, it requires a prescription. If you can’t wait to visit your vet or don’t have the budget to afford it, ACANA Lamb & Pumpkin Limited Ingredient Diet can also help with allergies and does not require a prescription.

Best Grain-Free Food For Belgian Malinois