There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing dry dog food. First, make sure you choose a food that is appropriate for your dog’s age, size, and activity level. Puppies and adult dogs have different nutritional needs, so it’s important to find food that is specially formulated for your dog’s stage of life. Second, take a look at the ingredients list and make sure the food contains high-quality proteins and nutrients. Avoid foods that contain fillers or artificial preservatives.

If you’re like most dog owners, you want to give your furry friend the best of everything. That includes the best food to keep them healthy and happy.

But with so many choices on the market, it can be hard to know where to start.

Luckily, we’ve done the research for you. We’ve put together a list of the best dog foods using our 40-point inspection list. So you can be sure you’re giving your pup the nutrition they need to thrive.

The Best Dry Dog Foods

Top Picks Rating Top Ingredients
1. Wellness Complete Health Chicken Dog Food
(Best For Adults)
4.9 Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Barley, Peas
2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy Chicken Dog Food
(Best For Puppies)
4.9 Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein, Peas, Tapioca Starch
3. Nutro Natural Choice Senior Chicken Dog Food
(Best For Seniors)
4.8 Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Barley, Split Peas, Brewers Rice
4. ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food 
(Best Premium Pick)
4.8 Chicken, Turkey, Flounder, Whole Mackerel, Chicken Liver
5. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Dog Food
(High-Quality, Budget Pick)
4.7 Water Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas

How to Switch Dog Food Without Getting Your Pup SickWatch this important video to know how:

Top Dog Food Reviews in 2023

Wellness Complete Health Deboned Chicken & Oatmeal Dog Food

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Top Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Oatmeal, 4. Ground Barley, 5. Peas

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium, and Large Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,619 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 24% | Fat (min.) 12% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry

If you’re looking for top-quality dry dog food, you can’t go wrong with Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula. This recipe is prepared with deboned chicken and whitefish, providing your pooch with complete and balanced nutrition. The other ingredients in the formula are loaded with antioxidants and other nutrients to support cognitive health and immunity. Plus, the delicious flavors will keep your dog coming back for more!

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy Chicken Recipe Dog Food

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Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Pea Protein, 3. Chicken Meal, 4. Chicken Fat, 5. Flaxseed

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,662 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 36% | Fat min. 16%, | Fiber max. 5% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

Puppies have specific nutritional needs that differ from those of adult dogs. For example, they require more protein to support their growing bodies. That’s why we recommend Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dog Food for all puppies. This food is made to replicate the diet of wolves and contains real foods like deboned chicken, peas, fish oil, and sweet potatoes.

The food also has a 36% crude protein content to supply essential amino acids. In addition, the recipe features taurine to promote heart health and reduce the risk of DCM, as well as DHA and ARA to support vision and brain development.

Nutro Natural Choice Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Dog Food

 

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Top Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Whole Grain Barley, 4. Split Peas, 5. Brewers Rice

  • Life Stage: Senior
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium, and Large Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,569 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 24% | Fat (min.) 12% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry

As your dog enters their senior years, it’s important to make sure they are getting the nutrition they need to stay healthy and active. Nutro Natural Choice Senior Dry Dog Food is specifically formulated to meet the needs of older dogs. Chicken meat and brown rice are the primary ingredients in the food, providing protein for muscle repair and energy. The food is also enriched with glucosamine and chondroitin, which builds cartilage and prevents hip/elbow dysplasia and arthritis. Additionally, the antioxidants in the food help protect against diseases common in older dogs. Feeding your senior dog Nutro Natural Choice Senior Dry Dog Food will help them stay healthy and happy into their golden years.

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Deboned Turkey Dog Food

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Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Turkey, 2. Chicken meal, 3. Potatoes, 4. Chicken Liver, 5. Salmon Oil

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,698 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 34% | Fat min. 16%, | Fiber max. 4% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

If you’re looking for a high-protein food option for your dog, the Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Turkey & Potato Formula is a great choice. The deboned turkey, turkey meal, and chicken meal in the formula provide plenty of protein to keep your pup healthy, and the recipe is made from natural ingredients without any artificial flavors or colors. This food is also grain-free, making it a good option for dogs with sensitivities or allergies.

Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Chicken & Barley Dog Food

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Top Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Cracked Pearled Barley, 3. Whole Grain Wheat, 4. Whole Grain Corn, 5. Brewers Rice

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Large, Giant Breeds
  • Caloric content (per cup): 363 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 20% | Fat (min.) 11.5% | Fiber (max.) 4.5% | Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry

Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Recipe is created especially for large breeds of dogs, with support for joint health and enough calories to last a full day. It features chicken meat and whole grains that provide amino acids and fiber to keep your dog muscular and full of energy.

Additionally, the food is fortified with omega fatty acids to make your dog’s coat lustrous and skin healthier. Giant breeds are also prone to arthritis and joint problems, which the food prevents with glucosamine and chondroitin. The food also contains vitamin E to support immunity, calcium for strong bones, and taurine for a healthy heart.

Iams ProActive Health Adult MiniChunks Dog Food

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Top Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Ground Whole Grain Corn, 3. Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, 4. Chicken By-Product Meal, 5. Dried Beet Pulp

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,646 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 25% | Fat (min.) 14% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry

If you’re looking for a nutritious and delicious way to keep your adult hound happy and healthy, look no further than our protein-rich mini-chunk formula. Farm-raised, high-quality chicken provides all the protein your pup needs, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables offer additional minerals, vitamins, and acids. This recipe is sure to improve your dog’s skin conditions and coat!

ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

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Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Turkey, 3. Flounder, 4. Whole Mackerel, 5. Chicken Liver

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,940 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 38% | Fat min. 18%, | Fiber max. 4% | Moisture max. 12%
  • Form: Dry

If you’re looking for the best dry dog food money can buy, Orijen Original Grain-Free Recipe is a great option. Made from 85% animal ingredients, this food is based on the ancestral diet of canines and features whole foods like chicken, turkey, flounder, and mackerel meat, as well as lentils, cranberries, and various fruits and veggies.

Each of these whole foods offers a range of nutrients and tons of protein to boost muscle growth and energy levels. The recipe also contains 473 calories per cup, making it ideal for athletic and underweight dogs. Plus, with no artificial flavors or preservatives, you can be sure your pup is getting the best possible nutrition.

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dog Food

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Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Buffalo, 2. Lamb Meal, 3. Chicken Meal, 4. Sweet Potatoes, 5. Peas

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,719 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 32% | Fat min. 18%, | Fiber max. 4% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

As a dog owner, you want what’s best for your furry friend. You want them to be healthy, happy and have shiny coats. But with so many different dog food brands and recipes on the market, it can be hard to know where to start.

If you’re looking for a high-quality, nutrient-rich dog food recipe, look no further than this venison and bison recipe. Packed with protein and essential omega acids, your pooch is sure to love it.

The top animal-based protein in this recipe comes from venison, bison, boar, lamb, salmon, and wildfowl. But that’s not all.

Go! Solutions Carnivore Grain-Free Chicken, Turkey + Duck Dog Food

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Top 5 Ingredients:  1. Chicken Meal, 2. Turkey Meal, 3. Salmon Meal, 4. De-Boned Chicken, 5. De-Boned Turkey

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, and large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,951 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 32% | Fat min. 16%, | Fiber max. 3% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

The grain and gluten-free formula is an excellent example of a premium quality meal for your dog and is, therefore, one of the best dry dog foods you can give your little one. Suitable for all breed types, the multi-protein-rich formula is crafted from grain-free chicken, turkey, trout, salmon, and duck to offer complete and balanced nutrition for your pooch’s optimal health. With no fillers or artificial flavors, this food provides everything your dog needs for a healthy and delicious mealtime experience. Ordering this food in bulk is a great way to save money and ensure that you always have enough on hand to keep your furry friend happy and healthy.

 

FAQs

Is Dry Dog Food the Best Option for my dog?

Kibble food or dry dog food is indeed the best diet, provided you pay attention to the ingredients before choosing a brand for your pup. It is not only a more commercial option but has a long shelf-life, does not need to be refrigerated and the chewable consistency ensures your dog’s healthy teeth.

How to store dry dog food?

Fortunately, it doesn’t require a lot of effort to store dry dog food. The best way to prolong the freshness of dry food is to keep it in its original packing and remove only what you’re feeding your dog. You can also use airtight containers to store the kibble.

Is dry dog food better compared to wet food?

There are definite benefits associated with dry dog food. These options are not only nutritionally balanced for your dog but also easier to serve and store. The food has less odor and is less likely to go bad if left in the bowl for too long. On the other hand, wet food options are also beneficial for dogs, especially for dogs who need to increase water consumption, but dry food indeed has more benefits.

What’s a ‘balanced food’ for dogs?

A ‘balanced’ diet refers to the optimum nutrient profile associated with a food blend. If a brand claims to be both complete and optimally balanced for your pooch, it guarantees to provide all essential nutrients that are closest to the natural canine’s diet.

What does ‘wholesome’ dog food mean?

A diet is considered wholesome if it contains unprocessed, real, bioavailable, and nutrient-rich ingredients. The ingredients are also USDA-inspected and approved.

Does the size of kibble matter?

You will find dry dog food in an array of kibble sizes. And picking the right size matters because younger and small-breed dogs may find it difficult to eat larger pieces of food. There’s a risk of choking if you give your smaller dogs large kibbles to eat. Larger dogs, on the other hand, can comfortably eat kibbles of all sizes.

Can dry dog food go bad in the heat?

While dry dog food stays fresh for longer as compared to other options, exposing it to heat, humidity, and air can speed up the degradation process. It is best to store dry dog food in a cool, dry place.

Are grains in dry dog food bad for my dog’s diet?

Grain-free diets are an excellent option for dogs with sensitive gut. The allergen-free recipe does not trigger food-related sensitivities in dogs. However, whole grains contribute valuable nutrients including minerals, vitamins, fiber, and essential fatty acids. They are not fillers and can have beneficial health implications.

Can my puppy easily chew dry dog food?

Most puppies can easily chew small-sized dry dog food. However, some young ones may find it difficult and require you to soften the dog food before eating. To soften, add a few tablespoons of warm water to the bowl and set aside for a few minutes to allow the food to soften. If your dog is not allergic to chicken or beef, you can also add warm broth for softening the food for your precious pups.

What’s the role of moisture in dry dog food?

The moisture content can have a significant effect on the overall percentage of other ingredients in a dry dog formula, including protein, carbs, and fats. Being aware of the moisture content will help you determine the nutrient composition of the food.

Why is it important to check the fiber content in dry dog food?

Fiber is a crucial component of a dog’s diet and it is important to ensure a certain amount of fiber in their daily meal. The presence of fiber improves stool, promotes weight maintenance or weight loss, improves colon health, and helps with digestion issues. It adds to the overall health benefits of your dog.

How important is fat in a dog’s diet?

All dogs require a certain amount of fat in their diets to maintain health and strength. In fact, a dog’s fat requirement is much more than humans, and since dogs do not suffer from the hardening of arteries or atherosclerosis, the fat content doesn’t pose threats to your dog’s health. They need fat to gain the energy they require to run and play.

Do I need to feed my dog a varied diet?

While variety can have some advantages, especially for picky eaters, there’s no solid evidence to support how a variety in the diet can be healthier. However, if your dog likes transitioning between different flavors and recipes, you can introduce varieties.

What kind of food is best for my dog?

This is a subjective question. You must take different factors such as breed, age, gender, body composition, activity level, and temperament of your dog into account before picking up the right option available. But generally, a diet that offers a blend made from quality ingredients is considered healthy and beneficial for your dog.

Which protein sources are best for dogs?

It is important to understand that not all proteins are made equally. Dogs need higher protein content with great digestibility. Meat-based protein is the best source of providing this essential nutrient to your dog.

Are raw food diets safe for my pet?

There are potential drawbacks to giving your dog just a raw food diet. Failure to keep up with nutritional standards causes deficiencies and imbalances and can lead to various infectious diseases. You can give certain raw foods like fruits and vegetables in addition to a balanced nutritional diet as supplements.

Buyer’s Guide

What to Avoid Feeding Your Pooch

It is very important to stick to quality when it comes to your dog’s diet. This is one of the fundamental factors that I always keep in mind before finalizing my top list of dog foods. I don’t compromise on quality and neither, should you? Look for options that use quality poultry, meat, and fish as their foundation ingredient. Opting for dog food with a great animal protein source as the first ingredient is essential unless your pooch has kidney issues.

Here are a few things you should stay away from when narrowing down your list of the best dry dog foods.

1. Artificial additives, preservatives, colors, and flavoring

Avoid anything that has the word ‘artificial’ on it. These things compromise the quality of dog food and are also detrimental to your canine’s health. Additives and artificial ingredients can also trigger allergies and sensitivities in some dogs. Low-quality grain-based diets usually have a list of these artificial ingredients and should be avoided completely.

2. Unnecessary fillers

While whole grains make great ingredients in dog foods, refined grains are nothing but low-quality fillers that your pooch’s tummy isn’t going to appreciate. To stick to the best doggie food option, avoid anything that includes unnecessary fillers and look for options with more meat-based formulations, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy oils, and seeds.

What To Look For In The Best Dog Food

You are pretty much clear on that part now, but let’s dig into this deeper:

  • Complete nutrition: Your dog’s daily diet should be loaded with ingredients that provide all of the essential nutrients they need. Pay special attention to protein, fat, and fiber. To compare, check the nutritional adequacy standards set by AAFCO and match the label to see if the dog food you are picking meets or exceeds the standard.
  • Whole or specified meat meal: For high-quality protein sources and amino acids, it is important to have meat, bone meals, meat meals, and specified meat by-products as your primary ingredients.
  • Avoid low-quality fillers and grains: If you don’t mind feeding grains to your dog, make sure they are whole-grain options only. Avoid anything that’s processed or includes gluten. Barley and rice are comparatively better than wheat and corn.
  • Stick to natural preservatives only or none at all: Having strict rules about preservatives can assure a healthier and longer life for your dog. The best kind of dog food is that with either no preservatives at all or only natural sources of preservatives such as ascorbate (vitamin c) or tocopherols (vitamin E). Avoid foods that mention BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin.

When it comes to getting your hands on the best healthy dog food available out there, there are various considerations you cannot miss. With the variety and qualities readily available in the market today, it becomes highly challenging to pick the most suitable brand that you think will be perfect for your pooch.

While the debate of what exactly you should be feeding your dog will remain a constant, I will try to highlight the most important factors to help you choose a diet that is complete, nutritionally balanced, and perfect according to your dog’s requirements.

So before we go ahead, the first thing you need to understand is your dog’s breed, life stage, and digestive system. Once you are through this step, it will become easier to figure out your tail-wagger’s specific dietary needs.

With this primary information in hand, you can instantly eliminate all the options that according to you are not suitable for your dog. This leaves you with fewer options in hand and therefore, makes it easier for you to compare and decide. So without further ado, let’s jump in and learn more!

Dog Food Standard Nutrition

First things first, you should always ensure that your canine companion’s nutritional needs are perfectly fulfilled by the blend you choose for them. The factors mentioned above will help you determine the specific nutritional needs of your dog.

Dogs require different ranges of nutrients in varying quantities over different life stages. What you must feed your puppy will be distinctive from what your adult canine needs. Similarly, your super-active working dog will have a different nutrient profile requirement so you need to be very specific about what you feed your senior dog. The best part is that you get a handful of options where the formula is suitable for ‘all life stages and different breeds. This is particularly a great benefit for parents of several different kinds of dogs.

Things to Consider

Now that you have the primary information in hand, focus on your dog’s current health. The dietary requirement of a super active dog is different from a dog dealing with obesity. For instance, if your dog is allergic to certain ingredients, you should definitely read the label in detail to steer clear of any option that includes those ingredients. Similarly, if your dog is overweight, you should opt for an option with fewer calories and lesser calorie-dense proteins to control weight.

Here are a few more things you need to consider:

Can I easily identify the ingredients?

A reliable pet food manufacturer will try making label reading easy. Look for options that list real meat and meat by-products. However, make sure the source of the by-product is clearly mentioned so you know if it is healthy for your dog or not. Properly identifiable ingredients help you become more aware of what you’re feeding your dog. Unspecified ingredients can put your dog’s health at risk and therefore, this factor should never be ignored.

Check for the ‘balanced and complete’ label

This label can further simplify your hunt for the best dry dog food. Complete and balanced nutrition means that the diet contains everything your four-legged friend needs to be fit, healthy, and happy. It contains enough protein, carbs, fats, and other micronutrients such as minerals and vitamins that could help your dog maintain optimal health. To earn this badge and to flaunt it off as a label, the manufacturing companies must match the AAFCO standard nutrient profiles. These standards are set by the canine nutrition authorities and the badge guarantees that it has passed the set feeding trial.

If the nutrient profile of a certain brand is higher than the set standard by AAFCO, it is considered even better. So make sure you cross-check for this label.

Choosing Only the Best

Don’t forget to check out the entire list that I have shortlisted for you to make this process easier. The best dry dog food for your four-legged friend is ultimately going to be your choice. As a pet parent, you are responsible for what you feed your little one. So make sure you take this decision wisely and with great responsibility. Use the information shared in this article in the best interest of your dog.

Categories: Dogs

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