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The Best Dry Dog Food

Last updated on September 5, 2019

We looked at the top 18 Dry Dog Food and dug through the reviews from 121 of the most popular review sites including Dog Food Advisor, Petsumer Report, Dog Food Guru, Labrador Training HQ, Business Insider, BestReviews and more. The result is a ranking of the best Dry Dog Food.

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Our Picks For The Top Dry Dog Food

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Wellness

Core

Overall Take

Healthy ProteinA healthy, grain-free dog food with lots of protein.

Experts Included
DWYM Pets Experts plus Dog Food Advisor, Petsumer Report, Dog Food Guru, Business Insider, BestReviews and 3 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Petco and Petsmart.
Pros
" First, we find pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog."
Cons
"Minus: - This food does not appear to contain probiotics (friendly bacteria that benefits the intestinal system and in turn the immune system of the pet). - Supplements can be sourced from China; risk of poor quality control. - Many..."
Overall Take

High-Quality IngredientsA grain-free dog food with fruits, veggies and protein.

Experts Included
DWYM Pets Experts plus Dog Food Advisor, Petsumer Report, Dog Food Guru, Labrador Training HQ, Business Insider and 4 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Orijen (USA) is a grain-free meat-based dry dog food using an abundance of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars. Enthusiastically recommended."
Cons
"Minus: - This food does include probiotics (friendly bacteria that benefits the intestinal system and in turn the immune system of the pet), however they are not listed in the Guaranteed Analysis (no company guarantee bacteria is viable). - Contains..."

Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food

Taste of the Wild

Grain Free

Overall Take

Digestible FoodAn easily digestible, grain-free food with high-quality protein.

Experts Included
DWYM Pets Experts plus Dog Food Advisor, Dog Food Guru, Petsumer Report, Business Insider, Labrador Training HQ and 3 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Petco.
Pros
" Taste of the Wild is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars. Highly recommended."
Cons
"Minus: Supplements can be sourced from China; risk of poor quality control. - Many mineral listings do not read to be chelated or proteinated (for better mineral absorption). - Contains copper sulfate, supplement recently linked to liver disease. - Contains..."
Overall Take

Grain-Free FoodA grain-free dog food made for dogs of all ages.

Experts Included
DWYM Pets Experts plus Petsumer Report, Labrador Training HQ, Dog Food Advisor, Dog Food Guru and 4 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Walmart, Petco and Petsmart.
Pros
" Plus: - Most mineral listings read to be chelated or proteinated (for better mineral absorption)."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
27

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the dry dog food available to purchase.
18

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

121

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Dog Food Advisor, Petsumer Report, Dog Food Guru, Labrador Training HQ, Business Insider.

145,121

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Petco, Petsmart, Walmart, Target, Google Express.

Our experts reviewed the top 18 Dry Dog Food and also dug through the reviews from 121 of the most popular review sites including Dog Food Advisor, Petsumer Report, Dog Food Guru, Labrador Training HQ, Business Insider, BestReviews and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Dry Dog Food.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Wellness Core

Our Expert Score
9.7
8 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.3
1,801 user reviews
Our Take

Wellness Core has lots of protein plus other super-healthy ingredients, such as flaxseed. This grain-free food is generally well-tolerated, and they offer special formulas for different dietary needs.

What other experts liked
First, we find pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.
- Dog Food Advisor
This is basically what you’d expect out of a top notch company. Tons of animal sources, high protein percentage, and all quality ingredients. No fillers, no by-products, nothing you wouldn’t feed your dog personally. Not only that, but it is...
- PetFoodRatings.org
Plus: - Contains flaxseed – health promoting ingredient. - This pet food contains several animal protein sources – chicken, turkey, salmon.
- Petsumer Report
The CORE line of foods is grain free, high in protein, and low carb. This line of foods includes seven recipes including a reduced fat formula for dogs that need to lose weight or who can’t tolerate a lot of...
- Dog Food Guru
Made with fresh chicken and chicken meal, includes whole grains for digestibility, fresh fruits and veggies for natural sources of vitamins and minerals, supplemented with chelated minerals and probiotics, free from meat by-products and artificial additives, added sources of glucosamine...
- Business Insider
August 28, 2018 | Full review
Free from preservatives, additives, and fillers, this is what clean eating for dogs look like. Contains impressive meat content with high levels, healthy carbohydrates from vegetables and fruit, and a balanaced profile of vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. Live probiotics...
- BestReviews
October 1, 2018 | Full review
This is a grain free food and it’s also gluten-free. It does contain several sources of carbs. The next three ingredients are Peas, Potatoes, and Dried Ground Potatoes. Potatoes (and dried ground potatoes) are frequently used in grain free foods...
- Dog Food Insider
December 12, 2014 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
Minus: - This food does not appear to contain probiotics (friendly bacteria that benefits the intestinal system and in turn the immune system of the pet). - Supplements can be sourced from China; risk of poor quality control. - Many...
- Petsumer Report
And while Wellness uses high-quality ingredients for the most part, in some recipes, they use peas as a carb/protein substitute for grains, which we are not a fan of. We also do not recommend another ingredient Wellness uses – flaxseed....
- Dog Food Guru
May trigger allergies in dogs sensitive to grains, some dogs are allergic to chicken, some dogs developed gas or upset stomach
- Business Insider
August 28, 2018 | Full review
A bit pricey, but most owners the overall health benefits are well worth it.
- BestReviews
October 1, 2018 | Full review

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Nature’s Recipe

Expert Summarized Score
6.4
8 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.5
1,188 user reviews
Our Take

Nature's Recipe is a great value for its price point and offers a variety of products for different dietary needs. This grain-free food contains chicken as the first ingredient, followed by sweet potato and pumpkin. It's made for dogs of all ages, too, so your dog can keep growing with it.

What other experts liked
Plus: - Most mineral listings read to be chelated or proteinated (for better mineral absorption).
- Petsumer Report
Salmon is the first ingredient and cheap grain free alternative.
- Pet Foodio
I switched my dog to Nature’s Choice and have seen a huge improvement in him. He’s much more active, he’s now at a healthy weight and not all skin and bones. His fur us more shiny and he doesn’t stink like he used to.
- Dog Food Guru
November 20, 2014 | Full review
Nature’s Recipe has a wide range of products featuring chicken, salmon, turkey, beef, venison, and lamb. They also have vegetarian and grain-free dog foods. They produce foods for puppies, seniors, adult dogs, large breed puppies, and for many dogs with special needs such as skin conditions, digestion problems, small breeds,...
- Dog Food Insider
January 20, 2016 | Full review
Overall, this is a decent brand that you can feed your dog, and they’ll live a relatively healthy life. It's not the best dog food around, but it is a great dog food. Other Natures Recipe reviews agree.
- Here Pup
What other experts didn't like
Minus: - This food does not appear to contain probiotics (friendly bacteria that benefits the intestinal system and in turn the immune system of the pet). - Contains Sodium Selenite – potential risk form of selenium. - Contains Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (source of Vitamin K activity); a controversial synthetic...
- Petsumer Report
Too many controversial ingredients used.
- Pet Foodio
For some reason our dog found this food undigestable, began to vomit her dinner every morning. One could still see the chunks of the food.
- Dog Food Advisor
Nature’s Choice is much more expensive than what I was paying for Pedigree
- Dog Food Guru
November 20, 2014 | Full review
Consider Nature’s Recipe for your next affordable dog food brand option.
- Here Pup

Overall Product Rankings

1. Wellness Core

Overall Score: 9.6
Reviews Included: 12

2. Orijen Tundra

Overall Score: 9.6
Reviews Included: 11

Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food

3. Taste of the Wild Grain Free

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 12

4. CANIDAE All Life Stages

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 12

5. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 13

6. American Journey

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 6

7. Blue Buffalo Wilderness

Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 12

8. Fromm Classic

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 11

9. Horizon Dog Food

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 7

10. Natural Balance Dog Food

Overall Score: 7.7
Reviews Included: 12

11. Nature’s Recipe

Overall Score: 7.4
Reviews Included: 13

12. Iams ProActive Health

Overall Score: 6.2
Reviews Included: 11

13. Royal Canin

Overall Score: 6.0
Reviews Included: 12

14. Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Adult Dog

Overall Score: 5.8
Reviews Included: 11

15. Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Formula

Overall Score: 5.6
Reviews Included: 13

16. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive

Overall Score: 5.5
Reviews Included: 9

17. Pedigree Adult Complete

Overall Score: 5.3
Reviews Included: 12

Our Findings

Wellness Core

Best Overall

Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Original Turkey & Chicken, 26-Pound Bag (Misc.)


List Price: $64.99 USD
New From: $64.99 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

What We Liked: Wellness Core has lots of protein plus other super-healthy ingredients, such as flaxseed. This grain-free food is generally well-tolerated, and they offer special formulas for different dietary needs.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Nature’s Recipe

What We Liked: Nature’s Recipe is a great value for its price point and offers a variety of products for different dietary needs. This grain-free food contains chicken as the first ingredient, followed by sweet potato and pumpkin. It’s made for dogs of all ages, too, so your dog can keep growing with it.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Orijen Tundra

Also Consider

Orijen Tundra Dry Dog Food, 13.2 lbs (Misc.)


List Price: $28.99 USD
New From: $78.00 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

What We Liked: Orijen Tundra boasts a grain-free formula with a variety of high-quality proteins as well as fruit and veggies. It has no preservatives or anything artificial. It’s on the pricey side, but in terms of nutrition, it leaves little to be improved upon.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula

What We Liked: Made with high-quality protein from lamb as the first ingredient, Blue Buffalo also contains essential omega 3 & 6 fatty acids to keep your dog’s coat shiny and his skin healthy. This tasty food also contains garden veggies, fruit and whole grains.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Our Dry Dog Food Buying Guide

Dogs are like members of our families, so of course, we want to keep them as healthy and happy as possible. The foundation for that is proper nutrition. A consistent, high-quality diet is the key to keeping your dog looking and feeling great. Feeding your dog the best dog food will keep them functioning at their best and can ward off chronic diseases, leading to a longer life. Dry dog food is very common and convenient, as it does not require refrigeration.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

There’s a ton of different types of dry dog food out there, so the choices can be overwhelming.  You should look for dog food that is labeled as “complete and balanced,” which means the food contains the minimum amount of all the nutrients necessary for dogs. This standard is regulated by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. Keep in mind that buzzwords like “premium” and “immune supporting” are not regulated and should not carry much weight in your choice.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Just as with human food, you want to make sure your dog is eating a diet with real, whole foods and one that is free from artificial preservatives and additives. Make sure your dog’s food contains a high-quality animal protein source, like lamb, chicken or turkey. Leading brands, such as Orijen Tundra, contain multiple protein sources, including chicken, turkey, flounder and egg.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Many veterinarians recommend avoiding dog food that contains grains like corn, wheat and soy, as dogs do not need these starches. Although many healthy dog foods contain carbohydrates in the form of fruit and vegetables, brands like Taste of the Wild tout their grain-free recipe.

Other healthy ingredients include probiotics, which benefit the intestinal and immune systems, and minerals. Minerals should be chelated or proteinated for maximum absorption.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Some dogs need special diets, and diets should be adjusted for puppies and senior dogs. The right dog food for your pet will meet all of their needs and come at an affordable price.

DWYM Fun Fact

Dogs have been humans’ companions for more than 30,000 years. In the beginning, man’s best friend’s diet did not get the consideration it does today. Dogs generally ate the scraps that were left over from their humans. Around 1860, businessman James Spratt introduced the first commercially prepared dog food. Official nutritional requirements for dogs and cats were established in the mid-1980s. Dry dog food, or “kibble” as we know it today, became popular in the 1950s.

As of 2017, commercial pet food was a $26 billion industry. These days, a lot of pet parents are turning to online retailers to get their dog food delivered straight to their door.

The Dry Dog Food Tips and Advice

  • Make sure to feed your dog the proper amount. Overfeeding your dog ups their risk of obesity and associated health problems. There are some formulas to determine how much you should be feeding your dog depending on their size and breed, and your veterinarian can also provide you with guidance.
  • Puppies need small, frequent meals, while adult dogs can eat just one to two meals per day. Some dogs are grazers, meaning that they will eat small amounts throughout the day, but many more will eat all the food that is given to them at a time, which is why it’s important not to overfeed them.
  • Price is an important factor in dog food, as it’s one of the major ongoing expenses associated with being a pet owner. A higher price tag does not necessarily translate to a superior product. A moderately priced brand such as Nature’s Recipe scores high marks for its quality.
  • To keep your dog’s food fresh, make sure it is sealed. Some brands come with resealable tops, or you can put it in an airtight container, preferably made of glass or stainless steel. Make sure you keep your dog food in a cool, dry place. Moisture and heat can compromise the food’s safety and quality.
  • Just like human food, dog food has an expiration date. Dry dog food is generally good for one year. Never give your dog food that smells or looks spoiled.
  • It’s important that the food you choose is a good fit for your dog. If your dog rejects a food or it makes them sick, it may not be the optimal choice for them. Consult with your veterinarian to find the type of food that’s best for your pet.
  • Make sure you wash the bowls your dog eats and drinks from regularly, ideally every day. Once a week, they should be sanitized with a bleach solution. Stainless steel bowls are the easiest to keep clean.

About The Author

Avatar
Kate Streit 

Kate Streit is a professional writer based in Chicago. Kate loves her German Shepard-Golden Retriever mix, Luna. She and her husband adopted her in 2014, and to care for the most important member of the family, they strive to find the best products to pamper their pooch.