In this day and age, when it comes to dog food there’s an endless array. There’s raw food, canned food, freeze-dried raw and kibble among a few others. One of the best options still remains kibble, which is essentially dry dog food. Altogether, its benefits are numerous and the convenience is unparalleled. So, dry dog food is great, that should make the search easier, right? Unfortunately, that is not the case, finding the healthiest dry dog food for your pet can be quite a hassle. In some cases, reading the labels ends up leaving you more confused than you were earlier. We understand your plight and for that reason, we have below a compilation of some of the best dry dog food options out there.
The Best Dry Dog Food
It goes without saying, one of the most crucial things to look out for when it comes to dog food is the ingredients. If you can find one with high-quality ingredients then you are pretty much good to go. That’s why the Diamond Natural Adult Premium Dry Dog food is the way to go. If there is one thing you can count on, it’s the fact that the ingredients here are topnotch. The first ingredient used here is made completely of real beef so your pet gets that authentic meal experience.
There’s also the fact that this natural dry dog food contains superfoods that contribute a very high nutrient value to the whole mix. Using chia seeds, blueberries, kale, and pumpkin, this dry dog food delivers antioxidants, fatty acids, proteins and so much more. This formula also makes use of proprietary probiotic technology which in turn supports your pet’s immune and digestive system. All in all, this is practically one of the best choices you can find on the market.
Made using real beef
Reinforced with superfoods
- BrandDIAMOND NATURALS
- Weight40.9 pounds
It tastes like chicken is a statement that just doesn’t fly here, mostly because this is the real deal. This on its own is sure to satisfy your dog’s need for meat as well as ensure that muscle development and all-around growth are on point. With the Blue Buffalo Wilderness, Natural Adult Dry Dog is not all just meat though, this is a balanced meal. This grain-free formula contains high-quality carbohydrates such as peas and sweet potatoes which ensure that your dog gets all the fuel they need to enjoy an active life. There’s also some omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which makes the skin and coat look and feel great. The Blue Buffalo dry dog food also contains a very particular blend of both vitamins and minerals that go a long way to build up a strong immune system. Even better is the fact that food aversions and allergies are totally off the table here. That’s all thanks to the fact that there’s no poultry by-meals, wheat, soy, preservatives or corn included in the mix.
Made using real chicken
Does not contain grain
Reinforced with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
Vet recommended dog food
- BrandBlue Buffalo
- Weight11.2 pounds
We have come to expect a certain quality from Amazon-branded products these days, they really do put out a top-notch selection. As such, it is no surprise that the Amazon Brand – Wag Dry Dog Food made its way on to this list. Here, authentic American beef happens to be the first ingredient and as such you know that your dog is getting a tasty mouthful. In addition to the beef, there’s also a selection of highly nutritious vegetables such as lentils and peas thrown in the mix. All these will work hand in hand to ensure that your fur baby gets an adequate share of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Even more, the addition of salmon oil here ensures that your pet gets its fair share of omega-fatty acids as well as long-chain DHA. To crown it all up, there’s no atom of grain wheat or corn in this formula.
First ingredient authentic American beef
Contains long-chain DHA
Contains 35% protein
- Weight30.5 pounds
Whether you are looking for the best dry puppy food or adult dog food, this right here is a viable choice. As far as dry dog food brands go Candidae is one of the most holistic out there and that’s one of the numerous reasons this particular formula has piqued our interest. A major selling point of the Candidae All Life Stages, Premium Dry Dog Food is the fact that it makes life easier if yours is a multiple dog household. Mealtimes no longer have to be chaos seeing as every kibble here is tailored to benefit all canine breeds, sizes and life stages. The protein level here is off the charts and best believe that’s in a very good way.
There’s also no corn, wheat or soy in this formula, but you can count on Candidae to offer up some much-needed probiotics and antioxidants. There’s so much to gain with this grain-free dry dog food and practically nothing to lose.
Wheat, corn, and grain-free
Has 5 different flavors
Made with real ingredients
- Weight30.9 pounds
Here’s another vet recommended dog food that will resonate well with both you and your pet. With real ingredients at their forefront, Iams Proactive Health Adult Minichunks Dry Dog Food is one of the best choices out there. All the meat used here is farm-raised and the grains and vegetables included are wholesome. So, you see, there’s really no losing here at all.
Thanks to the quality of protein used in Iams dry dog food, you can rest assured that your pet will grow well and equally develop strong muscles. The addition of fiber and probiotics here further ensures that digestion is a breeze every single time. The cherry on the top here is the fact that each kibble is designed to give your pet’s teeth a nice scrub. The result is reduced plaque build-up and fresher breath.
The first ingredient is real chicken
Contains high-quality protein
Reinforced with antioxidants
A balanced blend of fiber and probiotics
- Weight7.2 pounds
Sometimes raising a small dog can be confusing especially when it comes to dietary requirements. You see, they are adults, but most of them are pup sized. So, what are you meant to feed them exactly? You can start with the Hill’s Science Diet Small Paws for Small Breed Dogs Dry Dog Food. It will deliver all your little one needs and more. This is one of the best dry dog food for small dogs because it is made using ingredients that are quite easy to digest. All this can be owed to the fact that it is specifically made for your dog’s small stomach. Even the kibble sizes here are small enough for your furry little friend to enjoy conveniently. Now, for your dog’s immune system, there’s a blend of antioxidants that will contribute towards them living a long and healthy life.
Made for adult dogs
Contains high-quality proteins
- BrandHill’s Science Diet
- Weight4.6 pounds
Whether it’s dry dog food or its canned counterpart, one thing is certain, this brand sure knows how to make them. This dry dog food is not just well-made, it’s positively tasty and balanced. What you can expect to find in the Whole Earth Farms Natural Dry Dog is a number of protein sources as well as minerals. That’s not all, each recipe here contains high-quality lamb, beef or pork which definitely makes for a more mouth-watering experience. Making it even better is the addition of condiments such as sage, thyme, dried blueberries, and rosemary. Grains in dog food are usually frowned upon but this brand finds a way to make it work. All grains used here are wholesome, so expect to see ingredients like brown rice and whole barley listed.
Contains real pork, lamb and beef
Contains high-quality protein
Void of corn, wheat, and soy
- BrandWhole Earth Farms
- Weight25.2 pounds
A dog is a dog and you can’t change that. Thanks to their innate nature, all canines have certain diets they naturally lean-to. We may have domesticated them, but the food they would have thrived on in the wild still speaks to them. That’s the gap that Taste of the Wild Premium Dry Dog Food is looking to fill. No, this dry dog food will not feed your pet food sourced directly from the wild, but it will provide a more refined, modern take on what your pup craves. This particular option has roasted bison and venison at its forefront. This high-quality protein is sure to provide the much-needed boost that the muscles need. Now, here’s the interesting part, this dry dog food contains a blend of ancient whole grains armed with very high protein content. Even better is the fact that you can recognize all of these. There’s sorghum, quinoa, chia seed and millet thrown in the mix.
Real meat is the first ingredient
Contains whole grains
AAFCO and FDA compliant
Contains proprietary probiotics
- BrandTaste of the Wild
- Weight28.3 pounds
Straight from the kitchen of world-renowned Chef, Rachel Ray, this dry dog food option is brought to you. So, if there’s one thing you can be sure about when it comes to Rachel Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Dry Dog Food, it’s the fact that it’s delicious. It’s not all about taste and flavors here though, every single ingredient and condiment has a purpose. At the forefront here, there’s high-quality turkey which constitutes the first ingredient. Apart from the fact that turkey is tasty and healthy, it is equally less likely to spark any food aversions. There is a poultry meal used here, but best believe it’s the good kind. With turkey meal thrown in the mix, there’s no shortage of amino acids and B vitamins. As such, your dog’s muscles and organs are sure to thrive. It’s not all meat though, there are potatoes, peas tapioca and beets included in order to improve and maintain digestive health.
Turkey is the first ingredient
Grain and gluten-free
Does not contain by-products
- BrandRachael Ray Nutrish
- Weight28.3 pounds
Turkey is really catching on as the main ingredient in dry dog food and it’s for the best of reasons. This lean, tasty meat will not only entice your pet but ensure that they experience adequate muscle development and all-around growth. Apart from turkey, the Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food contains chicken and an array of ingredients that will undoubtedly nourish your pet. One thing to be noted here is that this formula is specifically meant for adult small breed dogs. The salmon oil, fruits, and veggies included here are sure to keep your little one’s health in check. The kibbles here are also quite small which makes for a more convenient eating experience. As an added plus, there are no grains, corn, soy, wheat, preservatives or even gluten included here. It’s all safe and healthy.
Smaller sized kibble
High-quality protein content
- BrandWELLNESS CORE
- Weight12.2 pounds
Never underestimate the efficacy of giving your dog a biologically appropriate diet. There are just certain types of food that your dog’s body craves on its own. You can rest assured that worn the ORIJEN High-Protein Dry Dog Food, your pet will be getting exactly what they need, exactly when they need it. As a whole, this formula contains fresh and raw animal ingredients that are derived from five sources. They ethically sourced from chicken and turkey, their eggs, herring, as well as flounder. These choices are probably what your pet would go for if they were out there in the wild. There’s also a blend of vegetables that are included to nourish your pet and keep the digestive system in order. All these work together to ensure that your pet doesn’t miss out on the right diet.
Uses whole real animal ingredients
Contains fresh raw ingredients
85% meat and 15% vegetables
- Weight13.4 pounds
It doesn’t get more upscale and tasty than salmon and tuna. Whoever had the idea of putting these two together must have experienced an epiphany. Altogether, Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Natural Adult Dry Dog Food is as delicious as it is nutritious. At the forefront here is real salmon with tuna as well included in every serving. You can rest assured that there are no fillers here and as such each and every ingredient featured here serves a purpose. For instance, that salmon, tuna and all the other sources of protein here ensure that your pet gets all their body needs for adequate muscle development. There are also sources of Omega-3 fatty acids as well as 4 sources of antioxidants here which ensure that your canine companion has an airtight immune system. Altogether, this is an easy to digest choice that will have your pet looking forward to mealtimes.
Number one ingredient is real salmon
30% of protein content
4 antioxidant sourced
Contains real tuna
- BrandPurina ONE
- Weight7.6 pounds
Once you get your dog started on this, best believe that you will see tangible changes. Everything from your pet’s energy levels to their skin and coat will experience a significant upgrade. With the first ingredient in the Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food being deboned meat, fish or poultry, the precedence has already been set for excellence. Their muscle mass and all-around growth will benefit greatly from the ingredients mentioned above. That’s not all, thanks to the fact that this option contains leading levels of Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids their skin and coat will look as vibrant as ever. Add this to the fact that the glucosamine and chondroitin levels here are off the charts and you have the makings of the perfect dry dog food. The above-mentioned additives ensure that joints and hip function remain at an optimum level.
Contains real wholefood
Contains high-quality protein
The first ingredient is meat, fish or poultry
- Weight25 pounds
Say what you may, but ethically sourced food tastes a lot better, especially since it comes with a side of peace of mind. It is for that reason, among an array of others that the NUTRO Wholesome Essentials Natural Adult Dry Dog Food is such a good pick. The first ingredient used here happens to be farm-raised chicken, which is not just tasty but quite beneficial when it comes to muscle growth and development. Working hand-in-hand with the chicken are ingredients such as brown rice and sweet potato. So, you can rest assured that your pet is getting healthy carbs as well as an adequate amount of fiber. To further give you peace of mind, this option is equally void of GMOs, corn, wheat, soy, and preservatives. Altogether, this is a great choice for your pet’s health and all-around development.
The number one ingredient is far, raised chicken
Contains essential antioxidants
Carefully sourced ingredients
- Weight30.5 pounds
If you’re going to go for a dry dog food option that contains by-product meals, it might as well be this one. Especially since the addition of herring and salmon meal to the Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is one of the things that really make it stand out. These two are high sources of protein which ensure that your pet’s energy levels are up and their all-around growth isn’t stunted. There’s also the addition of fruits and vegetables that are quite rich in antioxidants. Some of these are carrots, cranberries, apples, peas, and spinach. There’s also the addition of L-carnitine which goes a long way when it comes to converting fat to energy and muscle mass. Your dog is sure to be in tip-top shape with this dog food option in the picture.
Grain and gluten-free
BPA free packaging
Comes in a resealable bag
Made using whole foods
- BrandEarthborn Holistic
- Weight5.2 pounds
Best Dry Dog Food Buying Guide & FAQ
The fact that there are thousands of choices to select from does not exactly make getting the best dry food for your dog easy, it does give you options though. Eating the same meal every day can become monotonous, even for your furry fellow. But since sticking to one choice is usually the way to go, the least you can do as a pet parent is to make the food worth their while by making an informed choice. Luckily, this buying guide has been put together for that exact purpose, and after reading through this, getting the best dog kibble should be as easier than ever.
Things to Consider When Buying Dry Dog Food
- Activity level
There are different kinds of kibble, each best suited to the needs of dogs at different stages of their lives. Puppies, for instance, generally have a higher activity level compared to older dogs. When buying for active dogs, go for calorie-intensive dry dog food with ample nutrients.
The ingredients contained are usually written on the food package label. Ensure whatever you are buying does not contain ingredients your dog may be allergic to such as wheat or yeast. Since a balanced diet is also essential, go for a product made with protein-rich ingredients like meat. Also look out for other required nutrients such as carbs, healthy fats, and vitamins, based on your dog’s specific needs.
- Veterinarian’s recommendation
If you are having any difficulty with the aforementioned factors, then you should consult your vet for their recommendation. Based on energy level and dietary requirements, your vet is in a better position to make the right choice of kibble for your dog. Poor digestion and allergy issues can also be avoided if you get what a good vet recommends.
- Added preservatives
Be sure to look for added preservatives before making a purchase, whether artificial or natural. Artificial preservatives like BHA and Ethoxyquin are not good for your dog’s health in the long run, but they make dry food last longer. If you are going for natural preservatives like Vitamins C & E and rosemary, check the production date and make sure it doesn’t expire for another six months, at least.
What Ingredients to Avoid in Dry Dog Food
- Wheat Gluten
Many dogs react to grains such as wheat, corn, soy, etc. Glutens are meat-based protein substituents that are less rich in nutrients. Since dogs are carnivorous by nature, they require nutrients derived from meat. If you must feed your dog supplements, let it be whole grain.
- Unspecified meat By-Products
Dry dog food containing unspecified meat by-products should be avoided. Instead go for specific ones like buffalo meal, duck fat, beef or lamb. That way, you can keep track of what you are feeding your dog and any reaction can be easily traced to the animal source.
- Artificial preservatives
Artificial preservatives make use of harmful chemicals such as Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA), and Ethoxyquin. These chemicals are carcinogenic and have been linked with serious health problems such as kidney, liver and reproductive damages in mammals.
Tips for Storing Dry Dog Food
- Use the bag it came in
The companies that make these foods put a lot of thought into making it viable for as long as possible, so it is always a safe bet to store your dry dog food in the container it came in. However, it is important to keep it airtight so always keep the container tightly sealed after use.
- Store in a cool, dark place
Store in a cool place, away from light. You have probably heard this a thousand times but it is not a cliché. The presence of light hastens the oxidation process and this will result in your kibbles getting spoilt quickly.
- Use of Storage bins
There are storage bins specially designed for keeping dry pet food fresh. The best types to get are non-transparent containers made of materials that pests like rodents can’t eat through. They should also be air and moisture tight as these can enhance the growth of mold and bacteria on the food, hence rendering it unhealthy.
Best Dry Dog Food FAQ:
Q: How is dry dog food made?
A: The making of kibbles is a complex process. The basic gist is that ingredients such as meat, fats, vegetables, grains, etc are cooked or baked. They are then ground, shaped into pellets and dried.
Q: How long does dry dog food stay fresh?
A: Depending on added preservatives, dry dog food can stay fresh for over a year if it is unopened. Once the seal is broken, it can stay fresh for up to 6 weeks if properly stored.
Q: How to get a dog to eat dry food?
A: If your dog isn’t used to dry food, try mixing it with what it is used to for a while. Then gradually wean it off the mixture. You can also try feeding it by hand.
Q: What can I mix with dry dog food?
A: Wet dog food, chopped vegetables, and fruits, human foods such as chicken, steak, eggs, and broth. No matter what you mix with the food, be sure that kibbles are a major part of every meal.
Our Top Pick
Diamond Naturals Adult Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food
Made with a perfect blend of grain and beef protein derived from pasture raised-cows and enhanced with probiotics and superfood, this Premium Dry Dog Food offers more than a great taste, but superior nutrition as well. The Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids comprised in it will perform wonders on your dog’s coat and skin. It also contains levels of selenium and Vitamin E. The formula includes rice grains and no wheat, corn or soy so you don’t have to worry about problematic allergies. This premium dry dog food by Diamond Naturals is what your dog needs.