Dry Dog Food

The Best Dry Dog Food Formulas Reviewed

Katelyn Son
By Katelyn Son
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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What is the Best Dry Dog Food?

The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Beef Clusters
  • PREMIUM NUTRITION: Clusters are thoughtfully prepared using human-grade muscle meat & liver, low glycemic carbs, beneficial fats & live probiotics; cold pressed into delicious, bite-size, ready-to-eat pieces.
  • MINIMALLY PROCESSED: Clusters are made by mixing small batches of fresh ingredients, cold pressing them into bite-sized clusters, and then gently slow roasting and dehydrating them to maintain the nutrients, aroma, and taste of whole foods.
  • WE SAY NO TO: This recipe contains no feed-grade ingredients, meat meals, fillers, GMO ingredients, artificial flavors or artificial preservatives.

Is Dry Dog Food Better than Wet Dog Food?

It depends. Dry dog food is more convenient for busy pet owners because it is mess-free and has a very long shelf life. Plus, compared to wet dog food, it is usually less expensive and more nutrient-dense.

However, if your dog is a picky eater, even the best dry dog food may not serve its purpose. Which food option is best, also depends on the dog‘s overall health. For example, dogs with health issues like kidney disease or heart disease require specific meal plans.

What are the Benefits of Dry Dog Food?

Many dog owners prefer dry dog food because it’s convenient and easy to store. It usually comes in a bag or canister that fits easily into cabinets or cupboards. This makes it easy to track how much you have left and when it’s time to buy more.

Dry dog food also has other benefits:

  • Long Shelf-Life. It can be stored in your pantry or countertop without spoiling quickly. This makes it easier to feed your pet at certain times or nights when you’re not home.
  • Easy Use. Measuring wet food and managing portion control can be tricky. Luckily, when it comes to dry dog food, it is simple – just scoop the kibble and pour it into the dog bowl.
  • Mess-Free. Wet foods are more likely to spill on carpets and furniture, which can cause stains and odors over time. Dry foods don’t spill as easily, so there’s less cleanup required afterward.
  • Training. You can put kibble in a treat dispenser, which will keep your dog busy. You can also use the kibble while training your dog and teaching tricks.

The Best Dry Dog Food Formulas Reviewed

From grain-free dog food to limited ingredient dog food to human-grade dog food – dry formulas come in different recipes. Here is a review of some of the best dry dog food options you can easily find on Amazon and Chewy.

The Honest Kitchen Whole Food Clusters Grain Free Beef

The Honest Kitchen Whole Food Clusters Grain Free Beef

     Get it on The Honest Kitchen     Get it on Amazon

Summary: The Honest Kitchen Beef Recipe is grain-free dog food made with human-grade foods. The main ingredient, ranch-raised beef, is combined with low-glycemic carbohydrates, and several superfood fruits and vegetables. Then, the ingredients are minimally processed – cold-pressed, roasted, and dehydrated to retain most of the nutrients and natural flavors. The recipe is enriched with live probiotics to ensure healthy digestion. It comes in the form of small, easily chewable, and bite-sized clusters. 

Type: Dry dog food 

Best for: Puppies and adult dogs 

Flavor Options: Beef; Chicken; Turkey; Beef & Turkey 

Price: $6.99 per pound 

Pros

  • Made with nutrient-dense, human-grade foods
  • Ranch-raised beef is the first ingredient 
  • Rich in healthy fats, antioxidants, and probiotics 
  • Bite-sized and easy-to-chew cluster pieces
  • No fillers, rendered meals, and artificial additives 

Cons

  • No significant cons 

Ingredient Analysis

  • Great Ingredients: Beef, potatoes, peas, beef liver, lentils, carrots, ground flaxseed, eggs, broccoli, pumpkin, apples, salmon oil, natural beef flavor, coconut oil, kale, chia seed, taurine, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, turmeric, and rosemary extract 
  • Not-so-Great Ingredients: None 

Review: Pet owners are delighted with this Beef Recipe and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. They say their dogs love it, and some even describe the food as a “lifesaver.” Customers also love the fact the food comes recommended by veterinarians

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dog Food

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Summary: Life Protection Formula is an adult dog food that provides complete and balanced dog nutrition. It contains high-quality protein sources and essential vitamins and minerals to help keep your dog healthy. This ingredient list features real chicken as the primary source of protein, which is easily digestible and ideal for dogs with allergies. It contains antioxidants, omega fatty acids, and other nutrients to promote a robust immune system and healthy skin and coats.

Type: Dry dog food

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Chicken & Brown Rice; Beef & Brown Rice; Healthy Weight Chicken & Brown Rice; Lamb & Brown Rice; Fish & Brown Rice; Small Bite Chicken & Brown Rice

Price: $1.82 per pound

Pros

  • High in premium quality protein and fiber
  • Supports digestion, weight control, skin & coat health
  • Cholesterol free and with less than 10% fat content
  • No artificial colors, fillers, flavors, or preservatives
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Contains fish meal and chicken meal

Ingredient Analysis

  • Great Ingredients: Carrots, brown rice, barley, oatmeal, pea starch, zinc, taurine, manganese, deboned chicken, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, calcium carbonate, choline chloride
  • Not-so-Great Ingredients: Fish & chicken meal

Review: With 4.7 out of 5 stars, pet parents love this dog food’s high-quality ingredients. It contains no soy, corn, or wheat and uses blueberries, cranberries, carrots, and peas to promote healthy skin and a shiny coat.

Amazon Brand Wag Wholesome Grains Dry Dog Food

Amazon Brand Wag Wholesome Grains Dry Dog Food

Get it on Amazon

Summary: Wag Wholesome Grains is made with real proteins and grains and is balanced to help meet your dog’s daily nutritional needs. This formula contains no soy, corn, or wheat products, so it’s ideal for dogs with food sensitivities. Plus, it has added vitamins and minerals to keep your dog healthy and happy. The kibble size is small enough for most breeds of dogs to enjoy eating and helps clean teeth while your pet chews for dogs of all ages.

Type: Dry dog food

Best for: Adult dogs and puppies

Flavor Options: Beef; Chicken; Lamb; Salmon

Price: $3.07 per pound

Pros

  • Has a good amount of protein
  • Enriched with healthy, whole grains
  • With live probiotics for gut health
  • Antioxidants, glucosamine & DHA supplements
  • Made in the USA with high-quality ingredients

Cons

  • Chicken meal as the fourth ingredient

Ingredient Analysis

  • Great Ingredients: Salmon, whole grain brown rice, barley, rice bran, millet, dried beet pulp, salmon oil, flaxseed, blueberries, raspberries, tomatoes, ginger, copper sulfate, iron proteinate, potassium iodide, niacin, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A, live probiotics
  • Not-so-Great Ingredients: Chicken meal

Review: Dog parents love this dog kibble, with over 7 000 positive reviews on Amazon. It’s made with real chicken, salmon, beef, and lamb — not meat by-products — and a whole-grain blend of brown rice, oats, and barley. The kibble is also free of corn, soy, or wheat.

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food

Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food

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Summary: This highly digestible food helps reduce stool odor and soften stool. The formula contains natural fiber to help reduce stool odor. A high percentage of protein in this dog’s diet supports lean muscle growth. This dry dog food also offers omega fatty acids from fish oil, which help promote healthy skin and coat conditions. Your dog will love the taste of this delicious kibble made with high-quality chicken as the first ingredient.

Type: Dry dog food

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Chicken & Barley; Chicken & Potato

Price: $4.87 per pound

Pros

  • Contains added probiotics for nutrient absorption
  • Low-fat formula without corn, wheat, and soy ingredients
  • Fiber sources for optimal stool quality
  • Easy to chew, small-sized kibble
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives

Cons

  • Contains chicken meal and soybean oil

Ingredient Analysis

  • Great Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, yellow peas, cracked pearled barley, brown rice, brewers rice, egg product, liver flavor, flaxseed, beta-carotene, potassium chloride, iodized salt, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement, dried beet pulp, manganous oxide, calcium iodate
  • Not-so-Great Ingredients: Chicken meal, soybean oil

Review: With a global review of 4.7 stars on Amazon, this dog food brand is highly recommended by pet owners who have used it for years. The formula is designed to reduce the number of trips your dog has to the vet and keep him healthy.

Canidae All Life Stages Dry Dog Food

Canidae All Life Stages Dry Dog Food

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Summary: This premium life stages dog kibble is made to meet the nutritional needs of all dogs. It is formulated to give your dog the nutrients it needs to grow and maintain a healthy body and mind. This dog food contains no synthetic colors or flavors. It also has no wheat, corn, or soy. Instead, this dry dog food is made with organic ingredients that are good for your dog’s health.

Type: Dry dog food

Best for: Dogs of all life stages

Flavor Options: Chicken, Turkey, and Lamb Meals; Chicken Meal and Rice; Lamb Meal and Rice; Turkey Meal and Brown Rice

Price: $1.70 per pound

Pros

  • Grain-free and affordable formula
  • Made with real chicken
  • Probiotics to support the digestive system
  • Rich in antioxidants, taurine, and omega-fatty acids
  • No artificial colors and harmful additives

Cons

  • Not be ideal for puppies with sensitive stomachs

Ingredient Analysis

  • Great Ingredients: Brown rice, barley, peas, oatmeal, whole grain sorghum, flaxseed, white rice, salmon oil, live probiotic strains
  • Not-so-Great Ingredients: Meat meals

Review: With a rating of 4.5 stars, pet lovers love this premium dry dog food for all breeds. They are happy with the food’s affordability and suitability for dogs of different life stages.

Royal Canin Dry Dog Food

Royal Canin Medium Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

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Summary: A balanced meal formulated to meet the nutritional needs of medium-sized adult dogs between 1-7 years old. It provides a balanced diet that supports joint health and mobility. The food contains L-carnitine to reduce the build-up of fat in the bloodstream and boost fat metabolism. It is also rich in omega-3 & 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat, plus glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health.

Type: Dry dog food

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Vegetable

Price: $3.12/ per pound

Pros

  • Nutritional balanced for adult dogs
  • Helps support the immune system and digestion
  • Adapted kibble size, shape, texture, aroma, and flavor
  • Prebiotics and probiotics to support digestive health
  • Promotes lean muscle tissue growth

Cons

  • Only one flavor is available

Ingredient Analysis

  • Great Ingredients: Brewer rice, oat groats, hydrolyzed yeast, vitamin B12, magnesium oxide, rosemary extract, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, natural flavors, dried plain beet pulp, fish oil.
  • Not-so-Great Ingredients: Corn gluten meal, chicken by-product meal

Review: With over 2,500 positive reviews and 4.7 out of 5 stars, dog owners are happy with this kibble. This food is made for dogs that are between one and seven years old, and it’s made to keep your dog healthy and happy.

Purina Pro Plan Dry Dog Food With Probiotics

Purina Pro Plan Dog Food

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Summary: A unique blend of high protein chicken and healthy rice that help dogs maintain a healthy weight. The food features high-quality protein sources, fatty acids, and antioxidants. It is designed to provide nutrients that can help dogs stay active and healthy throughout their life. Fortified with guaranteed live probiotics, the formula is easy to digest and supports gut health.

Type: Dry dog food

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Chicken & Rice

Price: $1.78 per pound

Pros

  • The food is made from natural ingredients
  • Contains prebiotics for digestive health
  • Promotes healthy weight & lean muscles
  • Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
  • Mix of hard kibble & tender meat chunks

Cons

  • Contain meat meals and plant-based meals

Ingredient Analysis

  • Great Ingredients: Chicken, rice, whole grain wheat, whole grain corn, dried egg product, dried Bacillus coagulans fermentation product, vitamins, and minerals
  • Not-so-Great Ingredients: Corn gluten meal, poultry by-product meal, soybean meal

Review: Pet owners are raving about Purina Pro Plan With Probiotics for Dogs. This dog food is a winner with 4.7 out of 5 stars from over 7,000 reviews. This formula is made with chicken as the number one ingredient and has added probiotics for digestive health.

IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Kibble Dry Dog Food

IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Kibble Dry Dog Food

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Summary: This whole grain formula by IAMS provides the nutrition your adult dog needs to be healthy and strong. The formula is designed for adult dogs one year of age or older. It also contains DHA for healthy brain development in puppies and kittens. This dry dog kibble is made with real chicken as the first ingredient. It supports digestive health by featuring natural prebiotics and dietary fiber from veggies like carrots.

Type: Dry dog food

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Chicken & Whole Grains

Price: $1.20 per pound

Pros

  • Real chicken is the first ingredient
  • Excellent source of protein
  • Antioxidants for a healthy immune system
  • Small-sized kibble makes it easier on the teeth
  • Vet-recommended pet food brand

Cons

  • Often out of stock on online retailers

Ingredient Analysis

  • Great Ingredients: Chicken, ground whole grain corn, ground whole grain sorghum, dried plain beet pulp, flaxseed, dried egg product, vitamin A, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, biotin, thiamine mononitrate
  • Not-so-Great Ingredients: Chicken by-product meal

Review: With over 20 000 positive reviews and a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon, pet parents are raving about this food. They say their dogs love it; it helps keep their coats shiny and soft and reduces shedding. They also report that their dogs have fewer digestive issues since switching from other brands to IAMS Minichunks.

Nutro Ultra Dry Dog Food

Nutro ULTRA Adult High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food

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Summary: This unique flavor is made with high-quality ingredients such as lamb meal, chicken meal, and salmon meal. This product also contains DHA, EPA, and omega-3 fatty acids in salmon and other seafood. These fatty acids are essential for the healthy development of your dog’s skin and coat. This product also contains prebiotics which help improve your dog’s gastrointestinal health.

Type: Dry dog food

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Chicken, Lamb & Salmon

Price: $2.33 per pound

Pros

  • Trio of proteins from chicken, lamb & salmon
  • Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids for skin & coat health
  • With natural fiber from fruits and veggies
  • Antioxidants from superfoods for immune system support
  • Healthy and easily digestible whole grains

Cons

  • Only one flavor is available

Ingredient Analysis

  • Great Ingredients: Chicken, whole grain sorghum, whole grain barley, whole grain oats, whole grain brown rice, brewer‘s rice, flaxseed, chia seeds, dried coconut, dried egg product, tomato pomace, kale, pumpkin, spinach, blueberries, apples, carrots, rosemary extract, vitamins, minerals
  • Not-so-Great Ingredients: Chicken meal, lamb meal, salmon meal

Review: With a global review of 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon, NUTRO ULTRA Adult Dry Dog Food is a top choice among dog parents. This dog food offers a blend of salmon and chicken that’s high in protein and low in fat.

What is the Best Quality Dog Dry Food?

Blue Buffalo Life Protection is the best dry dog food. It is made with deboned chicken and brown rice while being enriched with BLUE’s hallmark LifeSource Bits.

This tasty food meets the nutritional requirements established by the association of American feed control officials (AAFCO) Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all dog life stages, including the growth of toy breed, small breed, and large breed dogs (65 lbs. or more as an adult).

What Should I Look for in Dry Dog Food?

When you’re searching for the best dry dog food, there are a few things you need to consider:

  • Protein Sources. Look for a high-quality protein such as beef, lamb, or chicken, which will provide your pup with essential amino acids and other nutrients. This is important if your dog has any food allergies or sensitivities.
  • Carbohydrates. The carbohydrates you’re looking for will come from complex sources such as brown rice and oatmeal, rather than simple sugars like corn syrup and wheat flour – which can lead to digestive upset in some dogs and may even cause allergies over time.
  • Grains. Grains like wheat can be problematic for many dogs because they contain gluten – an ingredient that some dogs have trouble digesting due to an intolerance or allergy. If your pup suffers from digestive issues or has other health problems like inflammatory bowel disease or pancreatitis, then he may benefit from switching to grain-free dry dog food.
  • Prebiotics & Probiotics. Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that are beneficial to your pup’s gut health and immune system because they promote the growth of good bacteria in his digestive tract. Probiotics are live bacteria cultures added to foods that can promote healthy digestion, improve nutrient absorption and boost immunity by helping fight off harmful bacteria in the gut.
  • Fruits & Veggies. Dry dog foods often contain lots of vegetables and fruits that give your pup added nutrients without adding too many calories – but only if they’re included in moderation. Too many sweets can cause weight gain and digestive problems over time, so look for formulas that don’t have more than 5% fruit or vegetable content per serving.

How Much Dry Food Should I Feed My Dog?

The amount of food to feed your dog depends on various factors, including their sex and age, how active they are, and the food quality.

The manufacturer will always have its guidelines. The best thing is to check the label on the bag or can before serving it. You can also ask your veterinarian for advice on how much food is right for your dog. A few general rules can help you figure out how much to feed.

Smaller dogs need less food than larger dogs – up to twice as much for every 10 pounds (4.5 kg). The reason is simple: A 100-pound (45 kilograms) Labrador Retriever needs more calories than a 20-pound (9 kg) Shih Tzu because it takes more energy to move around all that extra weight.

On average, small dogs need around 1 cup (250 ml) per day, while large dogs may require up to 2 cups (500 ml).