Living with a happy dog who’s also fit and healthy is such a pleasure because you can the difference eating the right food can make.
There are dozens of dry dog food options at your pet store, and it can be a dizzying experience standing in the aisle trying to choose which one will go into Fido’s bowl tonight at dinner.
So, we’ve done the hard work for you and found the top five best dry dog foods you can buy for your four-legged buddy. These are top rated by real dog owners just like you, who’ve seen how enthusiastically their own pets gobble these up.
Here are the best dry dog foods of 2018!
Best Dry Dog Food Reviews
1.Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Dry Dog Food
Give your dog the amazing and natural Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Dry Dog Food, which comes in four great flavors and three bag sizes. You’ll definitely notice a difference in your four-legged friend’s mental alertness, strength, coat, skin, and overall health.
Four different flavors means your dog will always love being served this Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Recipe Dry Dog Food. It comes in Chicken & Turkey, Pork, Beef & Lamb, Salmon & Whitefish, or Turkey & Duck. Even a picky pooch will enjoy such a great flavor selection. As a bonus, all four flavors are formulated for all life stages, so from a one-year-old puppy up to a ten-year-old senior, any aged dog can eat this.
Did you know that many carbohydrates like rice, oats, or barley, can cause skin irritation and issues like ‘hot spots’? That’s one of the first signs of a gluten intolerance or carbohydrate allergy. Try this Whole Earth Farms food instead. So many pet owners have relieved their dogs of skin allergies and itching by switching to this food.
Each bag of this dry dog food is packed with wholesome ingredients like two real proteins, veggies, good carbs like sweet potatoes, fruits, healthy oils, and the great herb alfalfa. The proteins are the number one ingredient, so you know this is an excellent food for your dogs. There’s no protein by-products, either, and the protein percentage is 26%. The addition of salmon oil adds plenty of heart healthy Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.
This dry dog food also comes in three bag sizes – 4 lb., 12 lb., or 25 lb., so you can get as much as you need for your pet.
- This Whole Earth Farms Grain Free dog food recipe is crafted to support the nutritional needs throughout all life stages of your dog
- This natural dog food recipe with added vitamins and minerals features protein-rich real pork, beef and lamb
- A grain free dry dog food recipe that provides all-natural goodness
- No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, No Poultry By-Products, No Artificial Flavors, No Artificial Colors and No Artificial Preservatives
- With multiple protein sources, vitamins and minerals, Whole Earth Farms provides your dog with the best the earth has to offer. Cooked in the USA with earth's best ingredients
What's to like about the Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Dry Dog Food
One of the best things about this Whole Earth Farms Dry Dog Food is that it is made in the USA, where all ingredients meet the highest quality standard. The company prides itself on not sourcing or using any ingredients from China.
It’s also an excellent benefit that all four of these dog food flavors are free of all grains, including corn, wheat, soy, tapioca, barley, oats, or rice. Only the best, most nutritious carbohydrates like white potatoes and sweet potatoes are used. That makes these recipes much easier to digest, giving your dog’s sensitive stomach fewer upsets.
What's not to like about the Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Dry Dog Food
Most of the customer reviews on this Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Dry Dog Food are good, but there have been some complaints. A lot of them have to do with shipping, how pet owners are receiving bags with tears or punctures in them that are then taped over. If you get a complete bag, that doesn’t seem to be an issue.
Also, some dog owners have reported this dry food gives their dog stomach issues, including diarrhea, gas, vomiting, and constipation. That can happen even if the foods are switched over slowly, so be aware of that. Or, simply, your dog might not like this brand of food.
Whole Earth Farms was originally owned by Merrick, but was then switched to Purina, so some dog owners have noticed a change in the kibble difference and their dogs’ tolerance for it.
2. SPORTMiX Wholesomes Dry Dog Food
Calling all active dogs! If your pup needs a high impact food packed with protein, then this SPORTMiX Wholesomes Dry Dog Food fits the bill. With plenty of tasty, nutritious ingredients, this kibble is a popular canine favorite.
With all the correct amounts of protein, good carbohydrates, good fats, vitamins, and minerals, this SPORTMiX Wholesomes Dry Dog Food is an excellent choice for your dog. It comes in three flavors, so you can either pick one or rotate them through.
You can get it in Chicken Meal and Rice, Fish Meal and Rice, or Lamb Meal and Rice. The protein meal is listed as the first ingredient, making that the primary source of top quality nutrition for your dog. Extra protein also comes from the addition of the dried egg product.
There’s also no corn, wheat, or soy, which are common ingredients that could cause bad gastrointestinal issues and allergy symptoms. There are balanced Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids as part of each flavor and which come from the addition of flaxseed, which aids in a healthy heart and overall health.
This food is ideal for dogs that are active and need a lot of protein, especially for larger breeds and working dogs. It also has a good fiber content from the dried beet pulp, the rice flour, and the rice bran, helping to keep your dog’s digestive tract running smoothly with no diarrhea or constipation.
- Formulated For Dogs Needing A High Energy Food From A Single Source Chicken Protein
- No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
- Nutritionally Balanced Omega-6 And Omega-3 Fatty Acids To Promote Good Skin And Hair Coat
- Naturally Preserved
- 100% Guaranteed For Taste And Nutrition
What's to like about the SPORTMiX Wholesomes Dry Dog Food
It’s always going to be a good thing when your dog’s food is manufactured in the USA. It’s made by Midwestern Pet Foods and Nunn-Better, which are located in Indiana. The ingredients are not from China, which means they’re of high quality and there’s also quality control.
This is one of those all-around great foods that is excellent for so many breeds, but especially medium to larger dogs that need plenty of protein. That gives your dog the energy they need to run, jump, play, and work beside you.
What's not to like about the SPORTMiX Wholesomes Dry Dog Food
While this is an excellent food, it’s not for every breed. Due to the high protein content, it’s not recommended for less active dogs that are more for companions than working. The kibble size has been noted by some larger breed owners to be small, so it takes more cups to fill the bowl for their bigger dogs.
Another negative that some dog owners have noticed, as with many dry foods, is that the first ingredient is protein meal, not actual protein. While this isn’t as bad as a protein by-product, it’s still not the actual protein in a non-concentrated form.
3. Kibbles ‘n Bits Bistro Dry Dog Food
Hearty, nutritious, and delicious are all three excellent descriptions of this top rated and highly ranked dog food. Kibbles ‘n Bits has updated their classic formulas to be healthier and with higher quality ingredients, so that you can feel great about feeding your dog!
Are you a loyal fan of Kibbles ‘n Bits? This popular and beloved pet food brand has been around for years, and these dry dog food recipes are sure to satisfy your dog. You get your choice of three flavors: Roasted Beef & Vegetables, Grilled Chicken & Vegetables, or Small Breed Mini Bits. You can rotate out flavors to give your dog more complete and balanced nutritional options, too.
Having a small breed option is especially helpful, since those small teeth and jaws will find it easier to eat littler kibble bites. Small doesn’t mean less active, though; so, for your active small breeds like terriers and hounds, this is a perfect choice.
Both the Roasted Beef and Grilled Chicken flavors also come with spring vegetables of peas, carrots, and green beans, as well as apple for flavor and fiber. It’s like giving your dog a complete meal on a plate.
In addition to the main ingredients, you’ll also find 23 essential vitamins and minerals in these foods. We like seeing lots of B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin D3, and calcium listed on the ingredients label. Those are excellent for maintaining a dog’s skeletal system, eyesight, and for converting the food into fuel.
These Kibbles ‘n Bits dry dog foods come in four bag sizes: 4.2 pounds, 31 pounds, 34.1 pounds, or 50 pounds.
- Contains 1 - 34.1 Lb Bag
- Oven Roasted Beef Flavor + Spring Vegetable & Apple Flavors
- 100% Complete And Balanced Nutrition For All Life Stages
- 23 Essential Vitamins And Minerals & Antioxidant Rich
- Made In The Usa
What's to like about the Kibbles ‘n Bits Bistro Dry Dog Food
When you look at this dog food, you know that you’re giving a complete and balanced meal to your beloved best friend! The kibble size is nice and large, extra crunchy, and well suited to give your dog pleasure while eating it. This is excellent dry dog food for larger, more muscular breeds that need plenty of protein, because it has 19% crude protein per serving.
This dog food is also very inexpensive, so it’s perfect for pet owners who are watching their wallets. Many dog foods are upwards of $40 per 30 pounds, while this bag of Kibbles n’ Bits is nowhere near that pricey. You’ll get to keep more dollars in your wallet, while still giving Fido all the protein and nutrients he needs to eat well.
What's not to like about the Kibbles ‘n Bits Bistro Dry Dog Food
One check of the ingredients list, and you can start to see some of the ‘bad’ about this dry dog food. The first ingredient listed is corn, which has been known to cause gastrointestinal issues in dogs and is a common carbohydrate for dogs to be allergic to.
Soybean meal and ground wheat are also included within the first five ingredients. Again, please be aware these are grains that plenty of dogs won’t be able to digest properly. They are nicknamed ‘filler’ carbs in the industry.
You’ll also see corn syrup listed as an ingredient, which is actually a sugar. While that can provide a quick dose of energy, it can just as easily provide a sugar crash and, over time, wreak havoc on your dog’s immune system.
More and more dogs are diagnoses with diabetes due to corn syrup and other sugars present in their foods. Dogs should only eat proteins, carbohydrates, vegetables, good fats like flaxseed or salmon oil, and occasionally fruits.
4. Only Natural Pet Puppy Power Feast Canine PowerFood
Start your little doggie off on the right paw by feeding them the all natural, delicious, and healthy Only Natural Pet Puppy Power Feast Canine PowerFood. This dry dog food is one of the best for puppies and will give them plenty of nutrition as they learn, run, jump, play, and grow into healthy, happy adults.
This excellent Only Natural Pet Puppy Power Feast is called a Canine PowerFood, and they aren’t kidding. With its perfect rating of 5/5 stars, it’s the top rated puppy food, and that’s because the ingredients label serves up such a complete, balanced, and amazingly nutritious meal for growing puppies.
There are four major proteins in this puppy food – turkey, chicken, salmon, and dried egg – as well as pea protein, for a combined total of 35% crude protein count. It is totally grain free, and instead of bad carbohydrates, you’ll find only good ones: garbanzo beans (chickpeas), field peas, lentils, and navy bean flour.
This makes your puppy feel fuller longer, giving them energy, too. Probiotics help make digestion easier, while plenty of vitamins and minerals support all your puppy’s body systems.
Better food equals a healthier puppy and less trips to the vet. Their eyes will be bright and clear, their coat shiny, their digestive system working great, and you won’t have problems with vomiting, gas, bloating, lethargy, diarrhea, or constipation. This food gives any puppy an excellent start in life.
It comes available in one size only, a 4.5 pound bag.
- HOLISTIC DOG FOOD FORMULA - To start the newest member of your family off on the right paw. Made with high quality poultry blends that guarantee 35% protein, Puppy Power Feast supports healthy growth and development in puppies up to 8 months old.
- LOW GLYCEMIC STARCHES - including field peas and lentils, offer sustained energy that won't spike blood sugar and full spectrum fruits and vegetables are a rich source of important nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
- PROMOTES HEALTHY BRAIN AND EYE DEVELOPMENT - Added DHA, balanced calcium and phosphorous support bone growth; and added omega 3 essential fatty acids encourage a healthy skin and coat.
- GRAIN FREE - Made with the finest ingredients and no artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors. NO grain, soy, corn, wheat or oats. Formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profile for Growth.
- SATISFACTION GUARANTEE - Only Natural Pet products always include a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Only Natural Pet uses only the highest quality materials in our dog beds. Providing you & your puppy the highest quality products is our top priority.
What's to like about the Only Natural Pet Puppy Power Feast Canine PowerFood
One quick glance at the ingredients label, and you’ll see all kinds of good things to love about this dry puppy food. The first three ingredients are protein, including real deboned turkey, and there are no grains or filler carbohydrates like corn, wheat, soybeans, white potatoes, or white rice.
You’ll also see plenty of added supplements like flaxseed for its Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, probiotics for better digestion, and added DHA, balanced calcium, and phosphorous for supporting bone growth as your puppy gets older.
In addition to no grains, you won’t find any harmful substances like artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors. Oh, and it’s also made in the USA, so you can rest assured there’s high quality control and attention to detail as far as ingredient sourcing is concerned.
It’s just an excellent, wholesome, and extremely nutritious food you could happily feed to any puppy.
What's not to like about the Only Natural Pet Puppy Power Feast Canine PowerFood
While this food has a perfect rating and is excellent for puppies, it has a couple of cons. For one, it is definitely the most expensive dry dog food on this list. It’s over $20 for a 4.5 pound bag, which is very pricey. It’s a good thing dogs don’t stay puppies for long, due to how expensive this dog food is! For that reason, we heartily recommend it but with a word of caution.
Also, and this isn’t a negative for all dogs, but be aware this formula does contain chicken. Chicken is a common food for dog allergies. In addition to chicken, the ingredients list also contains carbohydrates like garbanzo beans, lentils, and pea protein. Too much fiber can give your puppy constipation and other digestive issues.
5. Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food
Celebrity cook and TV personality Rachael Ray loves her pet pit bull, Isaboo, and back in July 2008, launched her Nutrish line of high quality dog foods. Her brand only continues to grow in popularity with each great new review and satisfied customer. Join thousands of happy four-footed customers who eat this food and enjoy good health each day.
Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food comes in three tasty flavors that your dog will love: Turkey, Brown Rice & Venison, Real Beef & Brown Rice, or Chicken & Veggies. As a bonus, the featured protein is listed as the first ingredient in each of the three flavors, so you know you’re not feeding your dog meat by-products.
All three flavors also feature brown rice as the number one carbohydrate, which is a great starch for releasing energy slowly and being easier to digest than other carbs. Each flavor also is packed with good veggies, like carrots and peas, that provide essential vitamins and minerals.
These dry dog food recipes are simple, which means you won’t find a lot of the artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives often present in dog foods. Also, these are wheat and gluten free, helping your dog digest them easier.
If your pup has skin issues, rashes, yeast in their ears, or itchy paws, that’s usually a sign of a wheat allergy, so switching them to this food is excellent. Also good for digestion is the addition of natural probiotics, which aid in a healthy gut flora and eliminate diarrhea, constipation, or gas.
The minimal ingredient list means that you know exactly what’s in this food. You also get a wide range of bag sizes to choose from, including 5.5 lb., 6 lb., 13 lb., 14 lb., 26 lb., 28 lb., or 40 lb., depending on which flavor you choose.
- Contains 1 - 14 Pound Bag of Dry Dog Food
- U.S. farm-raised chicken is the #1 ingredient
- Natural prebiotics help support healthy digestion
- No poultry by-product meal, fillers, wheat, or wheat gluten ingredients
- No artificial flavors or artificial preservatives
What's to like about the Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food
With over 2,000 reviews and most of them 5-star, you know there’s plenty of love in Rachael Ray’s Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food! Most dogs really love the flavors and will eat them right up.
Even if you have a picky eater or one with a sensitive stomach in the family, give this a try. The food also has a great, crunchy texture, is not greasy, has a good smell, and the kibble size is perfect for toy breeds all the way up to very large dogs.
Pet parents also appreciate that this is a great, high quality dog food with plenty of good ingredients that is also cost friendly and affordable. You don’t have to break the bank to find great dry dog foods that your four-pawed friend will eat with happiness and gusto.
Rachael Ray’s dog foods are also made and distributed by Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, Inc., which is located in Pennsylvania. So, these foods are made the USA. That’s definitely a bonus when purchasing pet foods, so that the ingredients are quality controlled, safe, and healthy for your dogs.
What's not to like about the Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food
One negative that has stood out for us on the ingredients list is that this Nutrish Natural Dry Dog Food contains soybean meal. Soy is a common food for dogs to be allergic to, and many grain-free or gluten-free dog foods don’t include it at all.
We also spied corn meal listed on the label for each flavor, too. Corn is not easily digestible by dogs and can contribute to gastrointestinal issues.
Corn also, just like in humans, is an ‘empty’ carb, meaning that it aids in weight gain. If you’re struggling to keep your dog’s weight down, then adding food with corn in it is a source of empty calories.
Walking into a pet store to choosing a bag of dry dog food offers you dozens of options. There’s plenty of flavors, ingredients, bag sizes, brands, and price points. Not to mention dog food manufacturers try to entice you with cute dog pictures on their bags!
Yes, we know the struggle. So, we’ve put together this buyer’s guide to narrow down the top three features to look for when dry dog food shopping. Hint: it’s not always about the front of the bag!
The First Ingredient Should Be Protein
If you’ve ever taken a close look inside your dog’s mouth, you’ll see plenty of sharp teeth – and those teeth were designed to eat meat. Your dog is a protein eating machine, who needs lots of it to function naturally. Yes, even if they’re a lap dog, they still need the dominant ingredient in their food to be meat.
This is especially important when you have larger and more active dogs.
You should see real beef, turkey, chicken, lamb, salmon, or duck as the first ingredient listed on the label. It shouldn’t be a meat by-product or a meat ‘meal’ either.
Meat meal is the protein in a concentrated form. Instead, you’re looking for regular protein as the first ingredient. That tells you this is a high quality dog food.
Beware of ‘Filler’ Carbohydrates
Plenty of modern dog food brands have finally gotten on the health food bandwagon and are no longer offering foods full of ‘filler’ carbohydrates. These carbs cause all kinds of gastrointestinal issues because your dog can’t properly digest them. When scanning the ingredients list, make sure it doesn’t include white rice, corn, wheat or ground wheat, soy, or soybean.
Lesser carbs like white potatoes, oats, or barley still aren’t superb, but they’re much better than the ‘filler’ carbs. Ideally, listed in the ingredients should be the best carbohydrates, like sweet potatoes, lentils, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), or brown rice. Those give your dog plenty of long lasting energy that won’t spike and crash or interfere with his/her digestive system. Plenty of dogs are allergic to wheat and gluten as well.
Packed with Vitamins and Minerals
Your dog’s canine body is powered by many of the same vitamins and minerals that benefit humans, such as all of the B vitamins, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and calcium. These vitamins and minerals fortify and enrich your dog’s health by providing plenty of nutrients.
That, in turn, helps strengthen their immune system, build strong bones and teeth, improve mental alertness, make their coat shiny, and prevent plenty of health problems, too. The more vitamins and minerals your dog consumes through their food, the less trips to the vet you’ll make and the better off they’ll be.
Dry Dog Food FAQs
How much dry dog food should I feed my dog?
This answer does vary considerably from brand to brand. On the back of each bag, you’ll see the suggested serving sizes, which go by weight. In general, it’s around one cup per 15 pounds of dog body weight per day.
Many dog owners like to split their dog’s serving size into smaller ‘meals’ throughout the day or reduce the amount by combining it with canned wet food as well. You don’t want your dog to take in too many calories, so check with a veterinarian about recommended serving amounts.
How do I switch dog foods to a new kind?
A dog’s digestive system isn’t as adaptable as a human’s, so many owners unintentionally make the mistake of switching their dog’s diet too quickly. You want to slowly assimilate the new food into the existing dry dog food.
Start with a ratio of 10% new food to 90% old food. Keep adding 10% more new food, decreasing the old food by 10% at the same time. In this way, it would take approximately ten days to switch foods. Many dogs can’t handle a quicker food switch and may vomit or get constipation or diarrhea if the change is made too quickly.
How long does it take to start seeing a difference in my dog’s health?
Provided you’ve successfully switched your dog’s food to the new brand and he/she seems to be keeping it down without vomiting or health problems, then it takes around two to three months to see a definite improvement in your dog’s health. Some owners report that the change is much sooner, but give it some time.
Is it okay to exclusively feed dry food?
Yes, it is perfectly fine to only feed dogs a dry food. The crunching kibble is good for their teeth, and these top rated dog food brands provide all the daily nutrition they need. Always let your vet know what you’re feeding your dog, to keep track of their health.
Should I introduce a variety of flavors to my dogs?
Yes, you can give your dog a flavor switch-up every now and then. Some dogs do get bored from eating the same thing. Introduce the new flavor slowly, only 10% at a time, to make sure it doesn’t cause any adverse stomach effects.
Don’t switch flavors too often. About once every three or four bags is a good guideline. Some owners purchase two or three flavors within one brand, then mix them together. That is a great way to give your dog a tasty variety of foods.
You’ve learned plenty about the different flavors and ingredients in all of these wonderful and popular dry dog foods! It’s important to find the best food for your dog, so that you can give them the happiest, healthiest life imaginable. Many owners call their dogs their ‘fur babies,’ and want to give them the very best.
The Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Recipe Dry Dog Food is the best dry dog food you can give to your four-legged furry friend. While the Only Natural Pet Dry Dog Food Power Feast is the top rated, that’s only for puppies.
The Whole Earth Farms is such an excellent dog food that your pet will love eating each day. They’re dependent on you to pick the right kibble for them, so read the ingredients labels and fill their bowls each day with yummy, healthy food!