River Run Dog Food: An In-Depth Review

River Run dog food review
When you have a kennel full of working dogs to feed, or your family pets include a pack of Coonhounds, you need food that can provide plenty of protein and carbohydrates to give them the energy to keep working all day. You also need food affordable enough so that you can keep feeding your entire pack. Does River Run Dog Food offer high-quality and high-protein food that will keep your high-octane dog going strong all day? You’ll find out in this article – River Run Dog Food: An In-Depth Review.

Considerations in Working Dog Chow


A balance of protein and carbohydrates gives your dog the muscles and energy that they need to keep going all day. Protein is also essential for any large breed or working dog because strong muscles help to support the joints, delaying issues that may result in joint problems such as hip dysplasia or luxating patella.


You want to choose a brand of dog food for your home or kennel that you can stick with for all of your dogs throughout their lives. The brand you choose should have formulas developed specifically for puppies, working dogs, lower-energy dogs, and dogs as they get older. It’s a good idea to also keep an eye out for formulas that avoid certain ingredients that may cause allergies,  such as soy.


If you need to feed your dogs throughout their long lives, especially if you have a good number of canine mouths to feed, you’ll want to choose a quality dog food that doesn’t cost too much. Carefully balance the value of ingredients versus the cost of the formula. Don’t be scared off by so-called fillers like corn, soy, wheat, and meat byproducts unless you have a good medical reason to avoid these things for your dog. According to the  AKC, corn has nutritional value for dogs. Reputable and veterinary-recommended pet foods such as Hils defend the use of ingredients such as corn and soybeans in their diets. Therefore, think twice before paying a lot more for foods that avoid products that may not actually be dangerous for your dog.

River Run Dog Food: An In-Depth Review

River Run Dog Food is an affordable high-protein option for working dogs. Whether you have hunting dogs, dogs who compete in agility or other dog sports, or very energetic pets, you need a diet that offers plenty of protein for their needs. River Run offers food at a great cost, but is it good enough for your pet? Here’s what you need to know. 


  • Affordable, high-protein diet for working dogs and active pets
  • Meat and bone meal is the first ingredient for most recipes
  • Formulas for all stages of your dog’s life


  • Corn and wheat feature high on the ingredient list for all recipes
  • Unspecified source of meat makes it difficult to avoid food allergies
  • Might include too much protein for many pet dogs

Features of River Run Dog Food


You need a dog food that gives your dog the nutrients they need but doesn’t make you reconsider whether you can afford to have a pet. River Run produces high-quality food that you can afford to buy. Their foods offer very high protein for working dogs at a fraction of the cost of other high-protein diets. If your working dog needs plenty of energy or you want to give your growing puppy the nutrients they need to become a high-octane working dog, this is a good diet to choose. 

Nutritionally balanced

These foods are balanced to meet the requirements of the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance. Sufficient protein and fat are provided to meet the needs of energetic working dogs while fiber is offered for good digestion.


River Run offers a range of protein balances in order to meet the needs of various dogs. Here are some of the options you have to choose from.

River Run Adult Formula 21-10 Dog Food

This food is an excellent choice for the average working dog, even as they slow down in older age. The 21% crude protein against a minimal 10% fat gives your dog all of the protein they need to build strong muscles without extra fat to put on the pounds. If your energetic pet or working dog is prone to weight gain, this is a good choice.  It is essential that you don’t give dogs that are prone to obesity too much fat, as any extra weight can put too much strain on the joints and result in the early development of hip or elbow problems.

River Run Hi-Pro No-Soy Dog Food

Does your working, sporting, or field dog need a high protein diet but demonstrates an allergic reaction to soy? This high-protein no-soy dog food may be perfect for their needs. This formula is completely free of soy, relying instead on whole ground corn, wheat middlings, and rice to provide your dog with the carbohydrates and fiber that they need. Meat and bone meal is the first ingredient, so you can feel confident that your dog is getting plenty of protein and calcium from animal products. 

River Run Hi-Energy 24-20 Dog Food

For the high-energy sporting or working dog (or the pet that just won’t slow down), this high-energy mix gives a great combination of both protein and fat. Lots of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from the fat content will not only give your dog energy but a beautiful shiny coat and good mental health.  For the dog that seems to burn fat without even trying, a high-fat diet is required just to maintain optimal weight while supporting energy levels. If your dog won’t slow down or keep weight on, this might be the perfect food for them. You can feel good about the protein source, knowing that meat and bone meal is the first ingredient, followed by whole ground corn for sustained energy, and animal fat for weight maintenance.

River Run Professional Formula 30-20 Dog Food

For the working dog that thinks an eight-hour day is child’s play, this high-protein and high-fat diet is ideal. The 30% protein provides extremely high protein content, which will give your dog both the energy and muscle they need to get the job done day in and day out for years to come.  Meat and bone meal is the first ingredient, followed by whole ground corn and corn gluten meal. This provides a great balance of protein and carbohydrates from meat and from grain. Animal fat is the fourth ingredient to give your dog a burst of fat and energy to keep them going and help them maintain weight. 

River Run Puppy Food

River Run puppy food is designed to give your high-energy breed the building blocks that they need in order to grow into a healthy adult. A soy-free product is provided just in case your puppy has a tendency to be allergic to soy. Its 28% protein provides plenty of muscle-building material while 18% fat is low enough that your puppy won’t gain weight too quickly; it is high enough, however, to give them plenty of energy and sufficient amino acids.  Meat and bone meal is the first ingredient in the puppy food, followed by ground corn and corn gluten meal. Animal fat is the fourth ingredient, to provide a natural source of amino acids, followed by Brewers rice and rice bran for carbohydrates and fiber.

What Do Users Think?

Users of River Run seem to be happy with the quality of the food, especially for kennel programs. Some users complain about the content of corn and wheat in the food, while others are happy with high-quality ingredients. A wide variety of breeds from large and small dogs and working and non-working individuals seem to be satisfied with this food. 

Alternatives to River Run

Do you want to consider some other options besides River Run? Here are two choices of a similar price range that may offer ingredients you’re happier with for a price you can still afford, as well as a high-end grain-free option for comparison.

Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

This high-quality food uses real chicken as the first ingredient, followed by rice flour, before using corn gluten meal and whole-grain corn. You’re not avoiding corn or wheat entirely in this diet, but at least you know that whole chicken is the first ingredient.  It is worth mentioning that, since whole chicken has a lower protein content than chicken meal, it is probable that a significant source of protein for this diet is actually the corn, especially the corn gluten meal. Chicken by-product meal is also a source of protein as well as glucosamine. A crude protein of 26% means that this is a fairly high protein option for your high-energy dog.
  • Whole chicken is the first ingredient
  • Slightly more expensive than River Run
  • Meaty morsels may tempt dogs who are not attracted to kibble alone 
Try Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

Pedigree Adult Dry Dog Food – Grilled Steak & Vegetable Flavor

Do you want an extremely affordable food for your dog that provides a protein level more appropriate for dogs of average energy levels? Pedigree produces an affordable diet with kibble that varies in shape and size to provide interest as well as being good for your dog’s dental health.  Ground whole corn is the first ingredient, followed by meat and bone meal, for a balanced source of protein and energy. Crude protein at 21% is enough for the average dog to enjoy lounging on the couch and going for a run when you get home from work while 10% fat is low enough to keep your dog from gaining weight too easily.
  • More affordable in most cases than River Run
  • Corn is the first ingredient
  • Varying size and shape of kibble is attractive to dogs and good for dental health 
Try Pedigree Adult Dry Dog Food – Grilled Steak & Vegetable Flavor

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

Are you sick of recipes that use grain and you don’t care if it costs more to get your dog a quality grain-free diet? Most dogs do better on recipes that use grain, but if you have a good reason for seeking out a grain-free diet for your dog, this recipe by Blue Buffalo is a good option.  Deboned chicken is the first ingredient, followed by chicken meal. Carbohydrates are provided by peas and pea protein as well as tapioca starch. Menhaden fish meal is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. These recipes have a lot of protein, on average 34%. This is plenty of protein to keep your working dog in good condition and provide plenty of energy all day.
  • Significantly more expensive than River Run
  • The grain-free recipe relies on pea protein instead of grains as a source of carbohydrates
  • Deboned chicken is the first ingredient, followed by chicken meal
Try Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry Dog Food


River Run Dog Food has been an ideal choice for breeders, kennels, and pet owners for generations. If you don’t mind the grain content, you’ll appreciate these high-protein diets that provide a balanced nutritional profile for your dog from puppyhood to old age. Working dogs need protein as well as plenty of carbohydrates to keep them going. All of these diets are formulated to keep working dogs in good shape. Learn More About River Run Dog Foods

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Coral Dawn Drake

My fiance, Justin, and I live with our two little dogs, Sofie and Lisa, and three chickens in Gainesville, Florida. Justin and I are homebodies who occasionally enjoy a good adventure. I love living in Gainesville, and I love Florida. I can’t imagine anywhere more beautiful or strange than this hot, marshy place where people are guaranteed to be nothing other than themselves. Justin is always reminding me to relax. Relaxing doesn’t come naturally to me. I’m always busy. Making art or editing photos, digging in the yard or trying to grow some new moss or plant. There never seems to be enough time to do everything that I want to do. Life is so, so full and I want to plunge into every second of it.

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