Dry Dog Foods Your Pup (And Your Wallet) Will Love.When you first get a new pooch, it may take time finding a brand and type that both you, your wallet and your pup love. Still, it’s nice to have a place to start from. That’s why we’ve rounded up ten of our favorite dog food brands for you and your furry friend to try out.
In an effort to stay fair (and prevent heart attacks), we tried to find a variety of foods at different price points. But as you likely already know, any super affordable dog food brand (you know the ones) are not always great health-wise for your pup.
What’s the best dog food?
The answer to that question depends on what kind of food you’re looking for.
Do you prefer a dry kibble? Or a canned dog food?
Are you feeding a new puppy? Or an adult?
Thinking about going grain-free?
With thousands of commercial products on the U.S. and Canadian markets, we set out to answer one critically important question:
What’s the Best Dog Foods?
After considering dozens of criteria, we determined that the best dog foods should contain:
- No controversial chemical preservatives
- No anonymous meat ingredients
- No artificial coloring agents
- No generic animal fats
- Substantial amounts of meat-based protein
- Fat-to-protein ratio 75% or lower
- Modest carbohydrate content
So, after reviewing hundreds of dog food brands representing more than 4,300 different recipes, we narrowed our choices down to a few shorter lists.
But, an easy way to check out the 411 on whatever dog food you’ve been using is to search for it on DogFoodAdvisor.com. The insanely awesome site has cataloged and reviewed over 3,000 pet food products, including both wet and dry dog food options. They break down each food with a star rating and go into great detail to explain their rating, including picking apart ingredients and how the food is made. To ensure we were picking right by you and your pup, we confirmed that all of our choices meet the five star approval rating on the site.
None of this info will shock you. Just like humans do best when they eat real food, your dog’s system won’t do well over time on a heavily processed diet. We know you love real ingredients and care about what treats you dog gets. Just think, most pups eat the same thing everyday, sometimes twice a day. If you make it something awesome, they’ll enjoy eating and feel good too. That means a shinier coat, more energy and an increased lifespan!
Without further ado, here’s our top ten picks for dry dog food:
1. Wellness Core
The Wellness Core product line includes seven dry dog foods, six which claim to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance. This above-average dry product has a dry matter protein reading of 38%, a fat level of 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 41%. What does this mean? The brand is way above-average with protein, near-average with fat and below-average with carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food. As you might have guessed, these are all very good things. Plus, tons of flaxseed. Yum!
Best shopping bet: (1)…… $53.95 for a 26 lb bag
Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food Original Turkey & Chicken Recipe is healthy, 100% natural grain free dog food for adult dogs made with turkey, chicken, salmon oil and fruits and vegetables to help support your dog’s optimal health and fortified with antioxidents, probiotics, vitamins and minerals, including fish and flax omega blend for healthy skin and coat. Wellness CORE grain free dog food formulas are based on the nutritional philosophy that dogs thrive on a diet mainly comprised of meat. Each grain free, nutrient-rich formula provides high quality protein for your dog with no meat by-products or fillers, grain, corn, soy, wheat-gluten or artificial preservatives, colors or flavors.
Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas, Potatoes, Dried Ground Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato Pomace, Chicken Liver, Natural Chicken Flavor, Flaxseed, Salmon Oil, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Broccoli, Spinach, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Beta-Carotene, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Biotin, Folic Acid], Minerals [Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate], Choline Chloride, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Taurine, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract.This is a naturally preserved product.
Wellness CORE recipes are for dogs 1 year and olderTransitioning to WellnessIt is important to slowly transition your pet from his/her current diet as it takes a few days for the body to adapt to the new nutrient levels. To transition, gradually mix in the new food over a 5-7 day period, increasing the amount of Wellness each day, so that you are feeding 100% Wellness by day 7. Combination Feeding:Keep a clean bowl of fresh water available at all times. Wellness believes in feeding dry and wet food in combination whenever possible to help increase the level of water in your dog’s diet.
2. Taste of the Wild
The Taste of the Wild product line includes seven dry dog foods, and they’re all pretty great. Our top pick is Taste of the Wild High Prairie Formula, which reached it’s five star rating on DogFoodAdvisor (note: not all of their products did, though none were less than 3.5). The food has a protein-boosting effect through its pea protein, peas and flaxseed, as well as a potato protein and garbanzo beans. It’s grain free, made with purified water, and suitable for pups of all ages.
(2)…. $48.99 for a 30 lb bag.
Buffalo, lamb meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, canola oil, egg product, roasted bison, roasted venison, beef, natural flavor, tomato pomace, potato protein, pea protein, ocean ¬fish meal, salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animals fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus reuteri fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid. Contains a source of live, naturally occurring microorganisms
Bison, venison, lamb meal, chicken meal, egg product, sweat potatoes, peas, potatoes, canola oil, roasted bison, roasted venison, natural flavor, tomato pomace, ocean fish meal, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Saccharomyces cerevesiae fermentation solubles, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.
Feed your adult dog 1/3 to 1/2 cup per 3 to 5 pounds of body weight per day; 1/2 to 3/4 cup per 5 to 10 pounds of body weight per day; 3/4 to 1-1/2 cups per 10 to 20 pounds of body weight per day; 1-1/2 to 2 cups per 20 to 30 pounds of body weight per day; 2 to 2-1/3 cups per 30 to 40 pounds of body weight per day; 2-1/3 to 3 cups per 40 to 60 pounds of body weight per day; 3 to 3-3/4 cups per 60 to 80 pounds of body weight per day; 3-3/4 to 4-1/3 cups per 80 to 100 pounds of body weight per day; 4-1/3 to 5 cups per 100 to 125 pounds of body weight per day; 5 to 5-3/4 cups per 125 to 150 pounds of body weight per day; 5-3/4 to 6-1/2 cups per 150 to 175 pounds of body weight per day.
3.Solid Gold Holistic Weight Control Dog Food
Solid Gold Barking at the Moon has been designed for performance dogs (that of course doesn’t mean that your pup’s gotta be training for the doggie olympics to eat it) and meets AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance. The first ingredient here is ocean fish meal, which may sound disgusting but is actually awesome because it’s considered a meat concentrate. That means it contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself! Plus, unlike most fish meals, this one is ethoxyquin-free – big ups! If nothing else, the name and bag design are truly glorious.
Best shopping bet: (3)…….. $56.99 for a 24 lb bag.3
Chunky dogs may be cute, but extra weight is no laughing matter when it comes to your dog’s health. Designed specifically for weight control, this low-fat, low-calorie formula is both nutritious and delicious, crafted with our unique blend of 20 nutritious superfoods and fresh caught, omega-rich Alaskan Pollock to support the immune system as well as skin and coat health. Ditch the waddling, and watch them strut their stuff with confidence!
Pollock, Pollock Meal, Pea Fiber, Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Peas, Pearled Barley, Turkey Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavors, Dried Eggs, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, Salt, Salmon Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), DL-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Carrots, Pumpkin, Parsley, Apples, Cranberries, Blueberries, Lettuce, Celery, Beets, Watercress, Spinach, Dried Chicory Root, Broccoli, Spearmint, Almond Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Sesame Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Kelp, Thyme, Lentils, L-Carnitine, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Sulfate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Manganese Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Folic Acid, Calcium Iodate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Rosemary Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product.
Feeding instructions by weight of pet: 5-15 lbs. feed ½ to 1 ¼ cups/day; 16-30 lbs. feed 1 ¼-2 ¼ cups/day; 31-45 lbs. feed 2 ¼- 3 cups/day; 46-60 lbs. feed 3- 3 ¾ cups/day; 61-75 lbs. feed 3 ¾-4 ½ cups/day; 76-100 lbs. feed 4 ½ -5 ½ cups/day; over 100 lbs. feed 5 ½ cups/day plus 1/2 cup per 10 lbs. of body weight. Serve dry or with some water to increase aroma for your dog. We recommend splitting these daily guidelines into two meals. Feeding amounts are guidelines only and may vary based on activity level, health condition, life stage and temperature. It is important to adjust food intake to maintain or help improve your pet’s body condition for their long-term health. The extra fiber in the food will help promote satiety while you reduce calories in the overall dietary regime to help maintain your pet’s weight or help your pet lose weight.
The Orijen product line includes six dry dog foods, all of them puptastic. We love that it contains herring (a fatty marine fish naturally high in protein), as well as omega-3 fatty acids and essential oils. These are things needed by every dog to sustain life. It’s got tons of great proteins (including eggs, which are super easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value) and – a personal favorite – probiotics. Just like they do for us, probiotics work to enhance a dog’s digestive and immune functions.
Best shopping bet: (4)…….., $94.99 for a 15 lb bag.
Orijen Regional Red is a new dog food by the brand Orijen. nbsp; Orijen is a brand renowned for its premium dog and cat foods, which concentrate on high quality proteins, vegetables, fruits and grasses to provide a balanced and nutritious diet that is very similar to what they would eat in the wild. Regional Red is a special blend of Orijen’s premium brand that focuses on nutritious and wholesome red meats.
This superb dog food is packed with delicious nutrition that is derived from red meat sources that have not been tainted with antibiotics or hormones. Wild boar, lamb, beef, bison and pork are all featured substantially in Orijen Regional Red dog food, which rounds out its protein base with fresh, wild caught fish.
Fatty acids included within this dog food will help your dog get a luxurious and beautiful coat, as well as encourage skin health.
The antioxidants provided by the vegetables and fruit in this blend will boost your dog’s immune system while natural grasses will aid in a dog’s digestion. Sea vegetables, juniper berries and other similar plants satisfy a dog’s natural urge to graze, as dogs are naturally omnivorous with a high emphasis on proteins. Key Features: High quality red meat sources: wild boar, beef, bison, lamb, pork and much more Includes absolutely everything that any dog needs to thrive Contains no fillers, chemical additives, hormones or antibiotics All food is shipped ground delivery. Please allow 7 to 12 days for your delivery to arrive. Please note, we do not ship pet food internationally. For more shipping info click here.
5. Nature’s Variety Instinct Duck Meal and Turkey Meal
The Nature’s Variety Instinct product line includes five dry dog foods, and while all of them are great (and five star rated), we especially love this formula. Lots of good protein (from concentrate) and a few interesting and great ingredients (tapioca, canola oil, pumpkin seeds and alfalfa meal). We also love the use of inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root. It’s both a natural source of soluble dietary fiber and a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.
Best shopping bet: (5)…….. $72.95 for a 5.1 lb bag
High-protein, grain-free kibble plus freeze dried raw pieces provides a nutrient rich diet and pure nutrition for digestive health;Natural ingredients with added vitamins and minerals, No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives;Grain-free and gluten-free nutrition, no corn, no wheat, no soy, no fillers;Healthy Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids for a soft and shiny coat, Probiotics to support healthy digestion, Antioxidants for immune health;Complete and balanced for all life stages (including kittens and adult) and all lifestyles – including indoor cats;Instinct is the official pet food partner of Best Friends Animal Society and provides over 1 million meals of Instinct to their adoption centers
6. Natural Balance Synergy
Synergy is a good word, right? Aside from the obvious good meat ingredients, this food has beet pulp (for intestinal health and blood sugar benefits), oatmeal (naturally rich in B-vitamins and dietary fiber), flaxseed and brewers yeast (which repels fleas and supports the immune system). It’s topped off with salmon oil, which is naturally rich in the EPA and DHA types of omega-3 fatty acids. All in all, super good stuff for pups!
Best shopping bet: (6)……. $50.99 for a 28 lb bag
Synergy Dry Dog Formula offers complete & balanced nutrition for all breeds and life stages from puppies to adults. For your extraordinary dog, a synergistic diet combines the benefits of healthy digestion, excellent skin & coat support, and superior stool quality.
Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 28.0% minimum Crude Fat 16.0% minimum Crude Fiber 5.0% maximum Moisture 10.0% maximum Omega-6 Fatty Acids* 3.0% minimum Omega-3 Fatty Acids* 0.5% minimum *Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles. Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance SYNERGY Ultra Dog Food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for all life stages.
7. Merrick Classic Beef, Barley and Carrot
The Merrick Classic product line includes seven dry dog foods and all are pretty great (though the lamb, brown rice and apple combo did get a four star rating). This one boasts sweet potatoes, which is a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates and a naturally rich way to get dietary fiber and beta carotene. It also has pork fat, which may sound gross but is great for flavoring while being high in essential omega-6 fatty acids. Lastly, it contains chelated minerals, which are minerals that have been chemically attached to protein, making them easier to absorb. If you want a quick way to see if a dog food is high grade, check for this ingredient. Almost all super healthy, above-the-line dog food will have it.
Best shopping bet: (7)………..$50.19 for a 30 lb bag
Merrick Classic has long provided dogs best-in-class natural nutrition from a wholesome balance of protein, whole grains and fruits and vegetables. Merrick Classic recipes now have been improved to offer an even more palatable and easily digestible mealtime experience for the Best Dog Ever – plus refreshed premium packaging at an attractive value for pet parents.
Merrick Classic dry recipes start with real deboned meat as the first ingredient to provide leading levels of quality protein, and also include farm-fresh fruits and vegetables like carrots, apples, blueberries, peas and more. Recipes also feature a healthy blend of whole grains – now with ancient grains like quinoa. Powerful levels of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids aid in a healthy skin and coat for dogs, and leading levels of glucosamine and chondroitin foster healthy hips and joints.
Merrick Classic recipes are made in the USA in our own kitchens, with no ingredients from China. Recipes contain no potatoes, corn, wheat or soy ingredients. • Improved recipes, now with ancient grains: Improved Classic recipes will provide dogs even better taste and easy digestion, and now also will feature a healthy blend of grains, including ancient grains. o Brown Rice: Easily digestible complex carbohydrate, an excellent source of manganese and fiber o Barley: Great source of fiber and other key vitamins and minerals o Oatmeal: High in protein, fiber and B vitamins o NEW Quinoa: Complete protein source + rich in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients o NEW Chia Seeds: High in fiber, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients o Potato has also been removed from the new & improved Merrick Classic recipes.
8. Honest Kitchen Embark
The Honest Kitchen product line includes seven dehydrated dog foods, three of which got high marks on DogFoodAdvisor. Our favorite is Embark (teehee), an insanely wholesome food for pups. Embark is a gluten-free dog food recipe made with cage-free turkey, as well as produce such as celery, spinach and apples. It is a higher protein, higher fat natural human grade dog food that works for all ages. It’s obviously great for dogs who need a diet without gluten, but is also good for those who need a low carbohydrate dog food, and those who do better without beef or fish. Mix with water and serve!
Best shopping bet: (8)…….. $95.05 for a 10 lb box (which makes 40 lbs of food)
ABOUT EMBARK DEHYDRATED DOG FOOD:
The Honest Kitchen Embark dog food was created for more active canines. Each low-carb batch of Embark is made with good, healthy stuff like cage-free turkey and antioxidant-rich produce. So, it’s the perfect meal for pups, adult dogs and adult dogs about to have pups.
Embark is a dehydrated dog food that is AAFCO complete and balanced for all life stages and breeds. Embark is higher in protein and fat than other Honest Kitchen recipes so it’s perfect for puppies and active adult dogs, especially agility dogs who need a performance dog food. Because Embark is a grain free dog food, it’s great for pups who have dog food allergies or sensitivities to grains & gluten or those who need a low carbohydrate dog food.
This dog food is 100% human-grade dog food (an important quality distinction!) and contains no red flag pet food ingredients like corn, soy, rice, beet pulp or wheat. Just add warm water, wait 3 minutes and serve a delicious & healthy meal!
ABOUT THE HONEST KITCHEN:
The Honest Kitchen started in Lucy Postin’s kitchen in 2002 when she started making her dog’s meals from scratch to help combat his ear infections. The physical difference from his new diet was spectacular but her kitchen was a mess.
Lucy then realized that dehydrating whole foods made mealtimes much simpler while maintaining the natural health benefits of the ingredients. From there, The Honest Kitchen was born – and her kitchen stayed much cleaner!
Today, The Honest Kitchen is on a mission to revolutionize the pet food industry through their obsession with product integrity and commitment to help as many pets as possible get on the road to good health through natural, wholesome proper food.
9. EVO Turkey and Chicken Meal Formula
EVO Dog Food is grain-free and hits the spot with the three major areas of importance. It’s fortified with minerals, easily digestible and high in protein content. It’s also low in carbohydrates, with a mix of ingredients that promote healthy skin and coats. High in nutrients and energy dense, this food will help keep your pooch active. Plus, it’s amino acids and essential minerals will keep pups’ strong muscles and bones intact!
Best shopping bet: (9)…….., $31.06 for a 13.2 lb bag
EVO Turkey & Chicken Formula Small Bites Dry Dog Food is grain–free, minimizes starch or carbohydrate intake while maximizing the concentration of protein. In fact, EVO provides high-quality protein at a level that is among the highest available anywhere. In addition, EVO also contains a source of viable, naturally occurring microorganisms and has both linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) and omega-3 fatty acids.
Grain-free Lowest Carbohydrates Guaranteed Analysis Crude Protein 42.0% (Min) Crude Fat 22.0% (Min) Crude Fiber 2.5% (Max) Moisture 10.0% (Max) Carbohydrate NFE* 12.0% (Max) Linoleic Acid (an Omega-6 Fatty Acid) 4.2% (Min) Vitamin E 300 IU/kg (Min) Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)* 500 mg/kg (Min) Omega-3 Fatty Acids* 0.5% (Min) Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)* plusElcosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)* 0.1% (Min) Total Microorganisms* 90,000,000 CFU/lb (Min) (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Enterococcus faecium in equal parts.) *Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles. Calorie Content: (Metabolize Energy—Calculated) 4,243 kcal/kg; 537 kcal/cup 1 cup = 4.40 oz (124 g) All food is shipped ground delivery. Please allow 7 to 12 days for your delivery to arrive. Please note, we do not ship pet food internationally.For more shipping info click here.
10. Canidae Single Grain Protein Plus
This is our favorite of the many awesome Canidae food products. Why do we love it? Made in the U.S.A., all of the company’s products are made without corn, wheat, soy, grain fractions, or fillers and are all naturally preserved. Released in 2010, the nutritional focus of Canidae Single Grain Protein Plus is to offer 29% total protein, while restricting its food’s grain source to rice (exclusively using a wholesome combination of both brown and white rice). Additionally, it offers five high quality protein sources in total, beginning with fresh chicken as the first ingredient, followed by chicken, turkey, lamb, and fish meals.
CANIDAE All Life Stages recipes are vet formulated for dogs of all ages, breeds, and sizes. That makes mealtimes for multiple dog households much simpler than dealing with multiple bags of different foods. Single dog households will also enjoy the beneﬁts of one bag for all dogs—no more guessing or switching based on your dog’s age, breed, or size. Formulated speciﬁcally for all life stages with premium ingredients and optimum protein for nutritionally dense formulas—never corn, wheat, or soy.
One Formula for All Ages, Breeds and Sizes
From puppies, to adults, to senior dogs mealtimes in multiple dog households can be quite complicated. With CANIDAE Life Stages – All Life Stages Formula, mealtimes are made easy. It’s formulated with all the vitamins and minerals appropriate for every life stage, breed, and size. There’s no need to juggle different foods for all the dogs in your family. It’s also a great choice for single dog households because you’ll never have to transition from puppy to adult or adult to senior. You can simply keep feeding the same food for all life stages!
Balanced Nutrition from Quality Ingredients
Our CANIDAE Life Stages – All Life Stages Formula is packed with protein from high quality, natural chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb meal, and fish meal. Our other healthy ingredients include wholesome brown rice, peas, papaya, and sage to provide your dog with a great tasting, perfectly balanced meal. We never use ingredients like wheat, corn or soy. You won’t find fillers, antibiotics, hormones, preservatives, artificial flavors, artificial colors, or artificial anything in any of our foods. All of our pet food formulas are made in the U. S.A.
HealthPLUS Solutions In Every Bite
Our unique HealthPLUS Solutions is a powerful trio of great nutrition. We apply this key trio to every kibble after the cooking process to ensure guaranteed levels of live probiotics for healthy digestion, powerful antioxidants for a healthy immune system, and omega 6 and 3 for beautiful skin and coat.
Best shopping bet: (10)…….$56.99.