Buying Guide For Best Dry Dog Food
Your dog is a member of your family, so of course you want to do your best for him. Part of keeping him happy and healthy is feeding him quality meals, which is why you need to find a decent dry dog food. With so many options on the market, selecting the best dry dog food can seem overwhelming. The good news is, we can teach you how to differentiate quality foods from those that leave a lot to be desired. Armed with this knowledge, picking a dry food for your dog is simple!
If you’re ready to buy some dry dog food, see above for our top recommendations. If you want to learn more about dry dog food and how to pick the best formulas, read on for our full guide.
How To Read A Pet Food Label
Dog food packages feature attractive images and targeted descriptions intended to sell you on the quality and healthfulness of the food, but if you really want to know whether a dog food is high quality and a good choice for your dog, learn what to look for on the label.
A great place to start is this handy reference from the WSAVA about interpreting food labels. The most important information to look for on a label is the AAFCO complete and balanced statement, the guaranteed analysis , and the calorie content statement.
The ingredients list is also important, but it can be difficult for the average pet owner to know how well their dog will do on a diet just based off the ingredients.
“Although many pet owners make their decision based largely on the ingredient panel, it is only one of many considerations,” Swanson says. “Without knowing the exact formula and percentage of each ingredient, it is not too useful. What is more important is that the dietary formula is complete and balanced.”
If you find reading pet food labels confusing, your veterinarian can talk to you about your dog’s individual needs, help you choose an appropriate food, and advise how much to feed.
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
Top Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Brown Rice, 4. Barley, 5. Oatmeal
- No corn, wheat, or soy protein
- Fiber-rich content ensures healthy digestion
- Free of unhealthy fillers, artificial colors, and preservatives
This recipe by Blue Buffalo is another excellent blend that I am personally fond of. It has an interesting combination of meat-based protein, antioxidant-rich whole grain, and healthy fats.
And thats why this blue buffalo formula is one of the healthiest dog food with an impressive nutrient profile flaunts a great ratio of protein and fat that guarantees well-balanced nutrition for your four-legged canine friend.
What Is The Best Dog Food Brand
Are these the absolute best dog food brands for our pets, then?
There’s no such thing. The correct answer is, it depends.
Anybody that tell you otherwise are lying.
With so many variables to account for, it’s impossible to pick the absolute best dog food brands that would be the optimal choice for all dogs. Instead, you have to consider your personal situation, several dog food criteria, and several organizational requirements.
Here’s the formula I recommend using :
Personalize + Critical Assessment + Requirements = Best Dog Food
I’ve already mentioned above how to pick the best dog food for your specific dog. Now, you also need to consider several criteria of good quality dog food that I’ll mention below.
Kal Kan Complete Adult
This dog food makes the list because of questionable ingredient quality that is not nutritional and is somewhat harmful to dogs.
The primary ingredient is corn, which we just mentioned does not provide the proper nutrition your dog needs.
The second ingredient is meat and bone meal which is a dry product from the mammal tissues, including bones, exclusive of any added hair, blood, hoof, hide trimmings, horn, manure, rumen contents, and stomach.
Meat and bone meal may have a lower digestibility than most of the other meat meals.
Scientists believe that this decreased absorption may be because of the lower essential amino acid and higher ash content in the ingredient.
The meat itself can come from any mixture of cattle, pigs, goats or sheep, making classifying impossible for particular food allergens.
Although meat and bone meals are still considered meat concentrates rich in protein, a generic ingredient like this cannot be considered a quality item.
Kal Kans third ingredient is a soybean meal which a by-product or leftover of soybean oil production more often found in farm animal feed.
Although soybean meal comprises about 48% of protein, this ingredient would be estimated to have a lower biological value than meat.
Inexpensive plant-based ingredients like this can boost the total protein, an element that must be considered while judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
I think you get the point that these types of ingredients are not ideal for your furry friend.
Don’t Miss: Can Puppies Eat Adult Dog Food
Best Wet: Hills Science Diet
Given the brands name, its no surprise that Hills Science Diet puts science at the heart of their products. They also rely on expert input: Hundreds of veterinarians and pet nutritionists are involved in the food development process, according to Hills.
Hills Science Diet offers wet food options based on the dogs size and age, and also offers options for dogs that need help with weight management, have limited mobility, and other lifestyle factors and health conditions.
Best For Seniors: Purina Pro Plan Adult 7+ Bright Mind
Just like puppies need a diet that promotes their growth and development, senior dogs can benefit from a diet that supports their bodies and minds as they age. The Purina Pro Plan Adult 7+ Bright Mind Chicken and Rice Formula is a dry food designed specifically to promote alertness and mental sharpness in older dogs.
This food contains a proprietary blend of brain-supporting nutrients, including DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, B vitamins, and arginine. It also includes glucosamine, which is great for promoting joint health and mobility in senior dogs.
Chicken is the first ingredient in the Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind dry dog food, followed by poultry by-product meal, rice, and whole-grain corn. This Purina recipe also includes probiotics for digestive health, as well as vitamin A and omega-6 fatty acids that nourish the skin and coat.
And, though this is the standard Bright Mind formula, Purina does offer this senior dog food in other varieties, including wet food, large breed formula, and small breed formula.
Read Also: Where Is Eukanuba Dog Food Made
Wellness Complete Health Senior Dry Food
Best Senior Dog Food As your dog gets older, his body and his metabolism will start to slow down which means that the food of his younger years may not work as well in his older years. This Wellness Complete Health Senior Dry Food is specially formulated to meet your senior dogs nutritional needs, made with plenty of protein to support lean muscle mass with moderate fat content to prevent obesity. This recipe features high-quality proteins like deboned chicken with digestible carbohydrates like oatmeal and brown rice. It also features glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support as well as probiotics for healthy digestion.
- Pros: Formulated for senior dogs, high-quality protein for lean muscle mass, moderate fat to control calories, digestible carbohydrates, glucosamine and chondroitin for joints, probiotics for digestion.
- Cons: Some dogs are sensitive to chicken, first source of fat is plant-based
Q: Do I Need To Feed My Specific Breed Of Dog A Specific Food
While not absolutely necessary, its recommended to feed your specific breed pet with a breed-specific food because these recipes are specially formulated to satisfy the needs of particular dog breeds. Small breed dogs have different metabolisms than large breed dogs and vice-versa, so they may require different diets.
Read Also: How Much Food For 70 Lb Dog
Ollie Human Grade Dog Food
Best Human-Grade Dog Food Another fresh pet food service, Ollie delivers fresh food right to your door. Easily some of the best dog food out there, Ollies fresh food comes in four different recipes which are sent in perfectly portioned packages according to your dogs needs. You simply create a profile and choose a recipe then youll receive fresh, ready-to-serve meals that you can store in your fridge or freezer. In addition to sending the food, youll also receive a special scoop to help you measure out the precise amount as well as a lid to keep the food fresh in your fridge until feeding time.
- Pros: Fresh dog food delivered to your door, perfect portions catered to your dogs needs, several recipes to choose from, automatic shipping for convenience
- Cons: Very expensive, only four set recipes to choose from
Tips To Determine A Good Dog Food By The Label
Now that you have a better understanding of the difference between the worst and the best dog food, here is a list of quick tips to help you identify a good food simply by glancing at the label:
Recommended Reading: Is Crave Dog Food Grain Free
Best For Weight Loss: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Healthy Weight
For dogs that need a food designed for weight management, Blue Buffalo offers their healthy and holistic Life Protection formula. This recipe is formulated without extra calories from fat to help your dog maintain a healthy weight.
The Life Protection Formula for Healthy Weight starts with deboned chicken that supports muscle development and energy and follows with whole grains, fruits, and veggies. This recipe contains barley and brown rice for B-vitamins and minerals, as well as high-quality carbohydrates for energy and fiber. It also contains cranberries, blueberries, and carrots for vitamins and antioxidants.
In addition, Blue Buffalos Life Protection formula includesL-carnitine, an amino acid that helps support a healthy weight. This food has no chicken by-product meals, no artificial flavors or preservatives, and no corn, wheat, or soy. Plus, the kibble is specially formulated to retain the potency of its ingredients.
The Health Status And Medical History
As I mentioned in the introduction, certain dogs can have food allergies and/or stomach sensitivities. Some ingredients in dog food, such as corn or wheat, may trigger these problems. But there is good news as well: some brands prepare foods specifically designed for dogs with allergy or stomach sensitivity. However, you have to be careful while making a choice, because some dog food brands arent exactly truthful while selling their products.
Don’t Miss: Can I Make My Own Dog Food
Stella & Chewy’s Freeze
Absolute Best Freeze-Dried Dog Food!
Stella & Chewys has made it to the top of the list for being the #1 bestselling freeze-dried dog food on todays market. Appropriately labeled Only the Good Stuff!, these beef dinner patties made for your dog supply a whopping 95% grass-fed beef along with bones, organs and organic veggies and fruits for maximum nutrition and strength. This organic blend, made in the US, has been enhanced with antioxidants and probiotics. Minimally processed, it contains no added hormones or antibiotics.
Pets enjoy the flavor and buyers can appreciate the fact that this dog food contains no gluten or grains for dogs who suffer from food sensitivities. This brand even supports a vibrant coat and skin, as well as healthy gums and teeth. Users like how the patties are versatile such as, they can be crumbled, mixed, or soaked in water. One buyer, however, complained of finding bone shards in the bag so it may only have been a bad batch.
Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry
Real Beef and Brown Rice is one of five recipes included in our review of the Merrick Classic dry product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Deboned beef, pork meal, brown rice, barley, oatmeal
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Price: $$
Merrick Classic Healthy Grains derives the bulk of its animal protein from fresh deboned beef and pork meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 29% protein, 17% fat and 46% estimated carbs resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.
This fully balanced formula contains zinc amino acid complex and 4 other chelated minerals, superior nutritional supplements typically found in higher quality dog foods. Reasonably priced. Highly recommended.
Sample buyer reviewAfter adopting animals that had been dropped off at my property I thought it was easy to buy cheap dogfood to keep them all nourished. Bad deal! I was contributing to poor health and obesity. I switched over to Merrick and within weeks noticed a change in weight and energy in all my pets.
You May Like: What Is Small Breed Dog Food
Pooch And Mutt Functional Grain
Best for: dogs on a diet
Dogs on a diet, much like their human counterparts, can be somewhat grumpy but Pooch & Mutts Slim and Slender dry dog food has kept our grandmothers beloved pooch satisfied as it reduced.
45 per cent chicken, and bulked out with sweet potato and pea protein, its nutrient dense but designed to ensure canine satiety .
A complete food, its all your dog needs at each meal. It also contains a supplement – nutra-bionic – designed to help keep your dogs skin and coat glossy, their stools less smelly, and their digestive system healthy.
Sportmix Premium High Energy 26/18
This makes the top of our worst dog foods list because of the sheer number of dogs that were affected by the aflatoxin levels found in several Sportsmix products, including this one.
Many pets have died and many more were left ill.
But even without the aflatoxin situation, this recipe was not a particularly good one to begin with. We normally like dog foods that start with a meat ingredient because that shows that meat makes up the most volume in the recipe. However, we arent sold on byproducts, and this recipe starts with one.
When byproducts are mentioned, it means this is what is leftover after the meat is removed. So a chicken byproduct meal is essentially dried out chicken leftovers that may include organs but also other stuff like hide, hair, or intestinal contents .
Are these harmful to your dogs? No. Are these nutritious? They can be. But are these high-quality ingredients? Definitely not.
Aside from the byproduct meal ingredient, this recipe also contains meat meal. But that ingredient is ambiguous. What animal was used? Which part/s?
The thing about unnamed ingredients is that it could mean anything. The meat could be sourced from one animal or it could be sourced from several. Its not a quality ingredient, thats for sure.
The recall involved 50- and 44-pound bags of Premium High Energy with an expiration of either March 2 or 3, 2022. The recall was later expanded to include more recipes and the updated toll numbered over 70 dogs dead and at least 80 more ill.
Read Also: When To Switch Your Dog Off Puppy Food
Whats The Best Dog Food
Our list includes 10 of the best dog food brands available on the market right now. Of course, not every dog needs the same, and there arent any universal products. You should always bear in mind your pets specific needs, health, and requirements, plus, stay in contact with your veterinarian who knows your dogs medical history and all his health issues then, you are the one who knows your canines preferences. With all that in mind, you will be able to find the best possible option vet recommended dog food. Our list is only suggestions, or inspiration, for you to learn all about the dog food and to start looking.
Stella & Chewys Freeze
Stella & Chewys Freeze-Dried Raw Dinner Patties
Stella & Chewy dont lie when they advertise their dog foods as only the good stuff. All recipes are crafted with care to provide your dog with high-quality, cage-free turkey , organs and bones, and 100% organic fruits and vegetables just like your dog would eat if he was still living in the wild. This is one of the best choices when it comes to raw dog food, with ingredients as close to their natural state as possible. It will improve your dogs appetite and digestion while reducing the risk of allergies.
Read Also: How To Moisten Dog Food
Lilys Kitchen World Dishes 24 X 150g Multipack
Best for: variety
Lilys Kitchen are wildly popular purveyors of nutritionally rich dog food. Their World Dishes multipack is ideal if you want your canine to enjoy a varied, delectable diet.
All wet food, the multipack is made up of dog-friendly versions of international dishes – from Coronation Chicken, to Hungarian Goulash and Moroccan Tagine. Ideal for dogs with gourmand tastes – with 10 per cent protein in each serving, these are best suited for dogs in the prime of their life.