The 14 Best Dry Dog Foods

By Kevin Myers | 2021 Update

✓ Reviewed by Dr. Sara Redding Ochoa, DVM

Understanding pet food labels

Most buyers have little to no knowledge of how to read pet food labels. Unfortunately, that’s the section that contains the most important information.

Before buying any dog food, examine three things in the food label; guaranteed analysis, AAFCO statement, and the calorie count.

Once you understand how to evaluate this information, you’ll always be able to pick an option that’s more suited for your dog. But if you can’t, take the help of your vet in understanding the label.

Calorie count of dog food

Feeding the right number of calories is essential to help your dog stay active and maintain a healthy weight.

Your dog’s caloric requirement can differ greatly depending on their breed, activity level, weight, and other factors.

To get the most accurate estimate, consult your veterinarian or manually calculate the recommended intake.

Related Questions

Is fish a food source of protein in dog food?

Fortunately, the dog food brands available today gives a lot of choices for your dog’s diet. Fish and fish meal are a rich source of protein and also include amino acids that help with building a strong immune system. They are indeed a great source of protein for your dog.

Can I feed eggs to my dog?

Eggs are a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, but are also dense in calories. While it is okay to feed eggs to your dog, it is best to keep it in moderation.

Can my dog eat wheat?

Yes, dogs can eat wheat. However, there’s no nutritional requirement for this ingredient in your pooch’s diet. If your dog is not sensitive to wheat and has a strong digestive system, wheat-based meals can be fed at various life stages. Moderation is the key. For dogs with a sensitive gut, steer clear of this ingredient.

What fruits and vegetables can I feed my dog?

Most dry food kibbles are rich in minerals and vitamins that come from a wholesome variety of fruits and vegetables. You can also feed raw versions to your pooch. Some of the best options include apples, oranges, carrots, watermelon, and broccoli.

What fruits and vegetables should I avoid feeding my dog?

Some ingredients fruits and vegetables can be very toxic to dogs. Avoid feeding them raisins, grapes, garlic, onion, and a range of fruits with pits.

Is it dangerous to feed the wrong diet to my pet?

Yes, it can be dangerous for your pet if their diet is not formulated according to their specific breed or stage of life. The nutrient balance of different diet varies and feeding a small-breed growing puppy a diet that’s suitable for adult large-breed dogs can result in health problems, including obesity. Stick to a diet formulated for your specific dog.

What to feed my overweight dog?

Dogs are highly susceptible to obesity. And excessive weight can lead to a host of health problems like heart diseases, arthritis, diabetes, and cancer. Be mindful when feeding your overweight dog. Feed them regular meals with controlled portion sizes. Do not keep food available to your dog all the time. Also, reduce or eliminate regular treats and avoid additional food. In addition to the specialized diet for weight control, make sure your pet is getting enough exercise to stay active and healthy. Consult a vet to get a diet plan to address your pooch’s weight loss goals.


More Top-Rated Dry Dog Food Options

14. Diamond Naturals — Beef Meal & Rice Formula Adult Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: Beef Meal, Grain Sorghum, Ground White Rice, Dried Yeast, Egg Product

If you are very specific about your dog’s diet, this interesting blend with a simple formula that supports your pet’s digestion is surely going to surprise you. Despite the simple recipe, the dry kibble formula boasts a nutrient profile that impressively matches that of your dog’s natural diet.

The formula strikes a perfect balance between bad and good bacteria to promote a healthy digestion of your hound while improving their immune system and overall health through a great nutritional balance.


Merrick — Grain-Free Real Duck + Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: Deboned Duck, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Peas

If you are looking for a formula that offers a range of novel proteins, this blend by Merrick won’t disappoint you. The exotic flavors are a blend of deboned duck, salmon meal, turkey meal, and various other fruits and vegetables. With protein content as high as 38%, it is one of my favorite picks for my super active dogs to support their energetic nature and high activity levels.


Castor & Pollux — Organix Grain-Free Organic Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

The organic blend of handpicked ingredients is what sets this dry dog food option apart. With enhanced nutrition that’s essential for a dog’s optimal health, the recipe boasts grain-free organic chicken and organic sweet potatoes are primary ingredients. The additional nutrients are extracted from coconut oil, blueberries, flaxseeds, and a variety of other healthy ingredients that delivers great health benefits for your pooch in this complete and balanced meal.


Earthborn Holistic — Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog Food

The delicious and holistic meal by Earthborn is a natural diet that your pooch’s going to love. The grain-free recipe prepared with bison meal delivers high-quality protein and other nutrients that your dog needs to build a strong foundation for great health maintenance. The formula also boasts an appropriate ratio of essential omegas, vitamins, and minerals to take care of your dog’s skin and coat as well as help build a stronger immune system.


Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Salmon, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: 1. Salmon, 2. Garbanzo Beans, 3. Peas, 4. Pea Protein, 5. Salmon Meal

The protein in this recipe comes from salmon, which guarantees high-quality nutrition to support muscle development of your canine.

The other two main sources of nutrition are pumpkin and sweet potatoes that not only contribute to healthy digestion but also ensures sustainable energy for your little darling. If your dog isn’t sensitive to grains, he’s surely going to love the combination of healthy oatmeal and barley present in this formula.


Chicken Soup for the Soul Chicken, Turkey, & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Top Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Turkey, 3. Chicken Meal, 4. Turkey Meal, 5. Cracked Pearled Barley

The nutritious kibble recipe is a premium quality dry dog formula primarily made from chicken, turkey, and brown rice. The filler-free diet contains no by-product meal, soy, corn, or wheat, which makes it a wonderful recipe for any dog with a sensitive gut.

The formula contains high-quality protein to support the maintenance of lean muscle. Also, the rich-antioxidant ingredients such as spinach, blueberries, and apples help with building a healthy immune system for any dog.


Natural Balance — L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Fish Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

If you want to give your precious pooch a formula that’s free from chicken and other possible allergens, this limited-ingredient diet by Natural Balance is an excellent option. This one’s a special sweet potato and fish formula with both salmon and menhaden fish meal as primary ingredients. The grain-free formula works with dogs with the most sensitive digestive systems while other high-quality ingredients ensure your dog gets all the energy they need to stay healthy and active.


Zignature Zssential Multi-Protein Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

This multi-protein, grain-free recipe is a great way to add balanced nutrition to your pooch’s diet. The high levels of supreme-quality ingredients with a moderate level of saturated fats offer the nutritionally appropriate ratio that suits different breed dogs. Also, the recipe is a limited-ingredient formula and does not include any ingredients that could trigger sensitivities, including chicken, potatoes, soy, corn, and wheat. This holistic meal by Zignature can be fed to the most sensitive dogs without any trouble.


Hill’s Science Diet — Adult 7+ Chicken Meal, Barley & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Your hunt for the best dry dog food for your senior dog will come to an end with this amazing option by Hill’s Science Diet. The special 7+ formula is crafted keeping the nutritional requirements of senior dogs in mind and therefore includes a variety of wholesome ingredients to support your dog’s health. Give your beloved hound a savory meal prepared with chicken, barley, and rice, and provide them nutrition above industry standards.


Eagle Pack — Large & Giant Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

It is important to understand the special dietary needs of large and giant breed dogs and offer them the nutrition that supports their big structure. This nutrition-packed diet is specially crafted for dogs above 50 pounds and boasts a nutrient profile that ensures maximum health benefits to your dog. The filler-free recipe delivers the perfect balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats to promote the daily nutrition requirements without failing.


VICTOR — Select Nutra Pro Active Dog & Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food

This is undoubtedly one of the best dry dog foods you can give your super active pooch! It is one of my personal favorites too – thanks to the dense protein content. Prepared under expert supervision, the ingredients are handpicked to ensure the best quality to make the blend suitable for dogs in all stages of life. With 38% protein, the recipe is excellent for large and active dogs. The scientifically advanced formula by Victor is rich in essential omegas to support great skin and coat.


CANIDAE — All Life Stages Multi-Protein Formula Dry Dog Food

If you have more than one pup of different ages and breeds and you are looking for a complete and nutritionally balanced diet for all of your babies, this option by CANIDAE is one of the best options you can rely on. Also suitable for dogs from different life stages, the nutritionally rich recipe is loaded with wholesome ingredients and whole grains for tons of additional health benefits.


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