Dogs are known as man’s best friends for a reason. They’re loyal, loving, and always happy to see us. And one of the best ways we can show our appreciation is by taking care of them, including feeding them the best dry dog food there is out there. Their loyalty and companionship make them a part of the family, so it’s only natural we want to give them the best of everything.
But with so many different brands and formulas on the market, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to finding the best dry dog food. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 best dry dog foods, along with some factors to help you weed out the good ones from the bad ones.
Factors to Consider When Looking for a Dry Dog Food
Prized for its protein-rich kibble, dry dog food is popular among pet parents. While there are different types of dry food formulas, they have one thing in common: they’re made with a high percentage of carbohydrates. This means that the dry food you choose for your pup should be packed with nutrients and not fillers. Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re on the hunt for the best dry dog food:
Dogs are carnivores by nature, so their diet should be based on animal protein. Look for dry dog food with real meat as the first ingredient, such as beef, chicken, or lamb. Avoid formulas that contain by-products, fillers, or artificial ingredients. Quality ingredients will not only provide your pup with the nutrients they need, but they will also make the food more palatable.
Some dog foods have fillers to make it appear like there’s more meat in the formula. However, these fillers are usually made from plant proteins, which are not as easily digestible for dogs. As a result, your pup may end up with an upset stomach or other digestive problems.
When a particular brand of dry dog food contains quality ingredients, the feedings are often smaller than those that contain fillers. This is because quality ingredients are more nutrient-dense and provide your pup with more energy. As a result, you may find that you don’t have to feed your dog as much of a quality dry food formula to achieve the same results. With that being said, this also means that while some quality dog foods may seem more expensive, in the long run, they may actually end up costing you less.
Protein is an essential part of a dog’s diet, so you’ll want to make sure that the dry food you choose has a high protein content. Adult dogs need at least 18% protein in their diet, while puppies and senior dogs need even more. The best dry dog foods will have 18-30% protein content.
When it comes to dry dog food, nutrition is critical. Make sure the formula you choose is complete and balanced, meaning it meets all the nutritional needs of your dog or pup. It should also be fortified with vitamins and minerals to keep them healthy and happy. A balanced meal with complete minerals will have the proper ratio of calcium to phosphorus and will contain all the essential vitamins, such as A, D, and E. All these quality ingredients, combined, not only help make a dog’s coat shiny but also strengthens their immune system.
The best dry dog food should also have a high-fat content. Fat is an essential part of a dog’s diet because it provides them with energy and helps absorb vitamins. Look for formulas that have at least 8% fat.
Top 10 Best Dry Dog Foods
Now that you know what to look for in dry dog food, here are the top 10 best products on the market, according to pet parents:
Senior dogs have different nutritional needs than young dogs, so it’s crucial to find a specifically designed formula for them. The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Life Protection dry food is made with high-quality ingredients and contains no artificial flavors or preservatives. It is a high-quality protein diet made with chicken, turkey, and fish meals to help maintain lean muscle mass and joint health. It also includes omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.
It also contains chondroitin and glucosamine to support healthy joints. As we all know, senior dogs can be more prone to joint problems, and supporting and supplementing them with the proper ingredients can make a world of difference.
2) Wellness Core Natural Grain Free (For Dogs with Allergies)
If your dog has allergies or sensitivities, it’s essential to find a food that doesn’t contain any potential allergens. The Wellness Core Natural Grain Free dry food is a premium grain-free formula made with high-quality protein sources like chicken and turkey as its primary ingredients. It is also supplemented with fruits and vegetables for added vitamins and minerals, such as blueberries, peas, and cranberries, to name a few.
The protein content found in chicken and turkey helps support strong muscles, while the fruits and vegetables add essential antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, promoting a healthier-looking coat. This formula is also free of common allergens such as corn, soy, wheat, and artificial colors or flavors.
3) Royal Canin Health Nutrition (For Small Breeds)
Small breed dogs have unique nutritional needs, which is why Royal Canin has created a specialized diet just for them. This dry dog food is designed to help maintain your small dog’s healthy weight while providing them with the energy they need to play and explore. Plus, the kibble is adapted for miniature jaws, making it easier for your pup to eat.
This kibble is also adapted for your dog’s small body, which contains optimal levels of fatty acids to support skin and coat health. While some small breeds can be prone to developing dental problems, this formula also helps reduce tartar build-up.
Take note, however, that this dry dog food may also contain corn, soy, and wheat which can be potential allergens for some dogs.
4) IAMS Proactive Health Dog Food Minichunks
This dog food from IAMS offers complete and balanced nutrition for small adult dogs. It contains high-quality animal protein from chicken – and it’s not just some extracts. It’s made with real chicken listed as the 1st ingredient for strong muscles. It also includes 7% fat for healthy energy needs and 10% fiber to promote healthy digestion.
With high levels of antioxidants for supporting a strong and healthy immune system, IAMS Proactive Health Minichunks are also made with 0% fillers and contain no artificial flavors or preservatives. Small adult dogs will love the taste of IAMS dry food, and you’ll love seeing the visible differences it makes.
It contains DHA Omega-3 fatty acids made from natural sources such as flaxseed to support healthy joints. This formula is also enriched with vitamins E and C for a healthy immune system and healthy skin and coat.
4) Hill’s Science Chicken Recipe for Small and Toy Breeds
Hill’s Science is acclaimed for its use of high-quality ingredients and science-based formulas, and their chicken recipe for small and toy breeds is no different. With chicken as the main ingredient, this dry dog food is specifically formulated for small breeds that are sensitive to specific ingredients. It uses prebiotic fiber to promote digestive health while also being easy on your dog’s stomach.
The recipe is complete and balanced with all the essential nutrients your small dog needs for a healthy and active life. It also includes antioxidants, vitamins C and E, to help support a strong immune system. While this formula does not contain any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, it does use chicken fat which can be an allergen for some dogs.
Made in the USA and with globally sourced ingredients, you can be sure you’re feeding your dog only the best with Hill’s Science. Veterinarians highly approve and recommend this brand, so you can rest assured knowing your small dog is getting top-quality nutrition.
5) Hill’s Science Diet for Small Breed Adult Dogs
Similar to above, this Hill’s Science dog food is specially formulated for small adult dog breeds, with highly digestible ingredients to promote a healthy weight and digestive system while keeping in mind your pooch’s tiny stomach. With vitamin E and omega 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat, this dry dog food is complete and balanced with all the nutrients your small adult dog needs.
However, it’s worth noting that this formula does use chicken by-product meals which some pet owners prefer to avoid. It also contains artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives which may not be ideal for all dogs.
(For dogs with particular sensitivities, choose the Hill’s Science Chicken Recipe dog food)
6) Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken and Rice
Highly rated by pet parents, Purina ONE SmartBlend dry dog food is made with real chicken – and this is the first ingredient on the list! It also contains rice for the extra energy your pup needs to stay active. Equipped with glucosamine sources, this formula aids in joint health and mobility.
Approved by vets and fur parents, this crunchy kibble is made with high amounts of protein, essential vitamins, and minerals – everything your pooch needs to stay strong and healthy! Comes in a 40-lb bag.
7) Natural Balance Salmon and Sweet Potato Dog Food
Looking for a delicious, nutritious dog food that will keep your furry friend healthy and happy? Look no further than Natural Balance’s Salmon and Sweet Potato Dog Food! This top-quality dry dog food is made with salmon as the main ingredient and is supported by Natural Balance’s ‘Buy With Confidence’ guarantee. This ensures that only the best ingredients are used and that your pet gets the nutrients they need.
The recipe also includes sweet potatoes as an added source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It is free from artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. This dry dog food is made in the USA, and comes in a 4-lb or 28-lb bag.
8) Royal Canin Shih Tzu Adult Breed Specific Formula
As the name suggests, this Royal Canin dry dog food is made specifically for Shih Tzus. It contains all the nutrients your adult Shih Tzu needs to stay healthy and active. The kibble is designed to be easy for small mouths to pick up and chew and is also packed with flavor to keep your Shih Tzu wanting more.
9) Nutro Natural Dry Dog Food for Adults
With chicken and brown rice as the first two ingredients, this Nutro dry dog food is perfect for adult dogs one year and older who need high-quality, nutritious food. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep your dog’s coat and skin healthy, and it is made without artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. This food is also free from chicken by-product meals and contains no corn, wheat, or soy.
The right dry dog food for your pup depends on their individual needs and preferences. However, all of the brands and formulas on this list are top-quality and provide complete and balanced nutrition for your dog. Carefully analyze the ingredients list and choose the food that is best for your furry friend!