Best Dry Dog Foods

 Best Dry Dog Foods

The Top 10 Best Dry Dog Foods

 Best Dry Dog Foods

Pet parents like to ask… “What’s the best dry dog food on the market?”

Unfortunately…

Conflicting advice, deceptive marketing, and thousands of dry dog food options can make finding the best brands a challenge.

So… we combined the top picks with those of the many pet food designers, nutritionists, and veterinarians.

On this page… we’ll share the best dry dog foods on the market.


The Best Dry Dog Foods 2020


Wellness Complete Health Kibble

Wellness Complete Health Dry Dog Food

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Wellness Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken and Oatmeal is one of 14 dry recipes.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, oatmeal, ground barley, peas
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (oatmeal, barley, brown rice)
  • Other recipes: Senior, puppy, large breed, small breed, whitefish and sweet potato, lamb and barley, turkey and oatmeal and more
  • Price: $$

This Wellness Complete Health formula derives the bulk of its meat protein from chicken and chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the product contains 27% protein, 13% fat and 52% estimated carbs… creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

One of the best grain-inclusive kibbles on the market. Highly recommended.

Sample buyer review… “I have three dogs, all different breeds and sizes. They all love this food; it has caused absolutely no stomach issues… After discussing this with our awesome Veterinarian she recommended Wellness and our Goldendoodle hasn’t had any stomach issues in 5 years. The stomach issues brought us to Wellness, but the quality ingredients kept us loyal.”

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Instinct Original Dry Dog Food

Instinct Original Grain-Free Dry

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Instinct Original with Real Beef is one of 6 dry recipes.

  • First 5 ingredients: Beef, chicken meal, white fish meal, peas, chicken fat
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Other recipes: Small breed, chicken, duck, rabbit, salmon and more
  • Price: $$

This Instinct example derives the majority of its animal protein from beef and chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 40% protein, 23% fat and 29% estimated carbs… which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.

With multiple “flavor” options, Instinct makes an ideal choice for feeding picky eaters. Highly recommended.

Sample buyer review… “Our rescued English Bulldog has been eating this product since she arrived. She has no allergy issues and seems to be doing well with this formula. She is eager to eat. She’s digesting the product well and her flatulence is now non-existent. Happy dog, happy home!”

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Nature's Logic Dry Dog Food

Nature’s Logic Dry Dog Food

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Nature’s Logic Canine Chicken Meal Feast is one of 9 dry recipes.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, millet, chicken fat, pumpkin seed, yeast culture
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (millet)
  • Other recipes: Venison, beef, pork, rabbit, sardine, turkey, lamb, duck and more
  • Price: $$

This Nature’s Logic example recipe derives the bulk of its meat protein from chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the product contains 40% protein, 17% fat, and 36% estimated carbs… yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 42%.

Nature’s Logic is one of the few dry brands meeting AAFCO nutrient standards by using live feeding trials. Highly recommended.

Sample buyer review… “I have been feeding this for 3 months now and their skin and coats have cleared up nicely. No more greasy smelly fur babies. Plus no more pills on a daily basis. Yes it’s a little more expensive but I’m saving in vet bills. Trying to find a grain and potato free kibble is nearly impossible but I hit a home run here.”

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Taste of the Wild Dog Food

Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

High Prairie is one of 9 dry recipes.

  • First 5 ingredients: Buffalo, lamb meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, peas
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Other recipes: Puppy, small breed, salmon, venison and more
  • Price: $

High Prairie derives the majority of its meat protein from fresh buffalo, as well as both chicken and lamb meals. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 36% protein, 20% fat, and 36% estimated carbs… producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

Taste of the Wild provides a top-rated, nutrient-balanced formula at an affordable price. Highly recommended.

Sample buyer review… “We have had a tough run with our sensitive GSD with diarrhea, itchy butt and ears. After trying multiple types of foods leading to severe enteritis, we gave TOW high prairie a try. Within days, solid poop and no itching! We are so relieved!”

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Blue Buffalo Life Protection Kibble

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Chicken and Rice is one of 23 kibble recipes.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, oatmeal
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (brown rice, barley, oatmeal)
  • Other recipes: Puppy, large breed, small breed, senior, lamb, fish and more
  • Price: $

This Life Protection example derives the majority of its animal protein from chicken and chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 27% protein, 16% fat, and 50% estimated carbs… creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.

A top-rated, grain-inclusive kibble. One of the most popular recommendations.

Sample buyer review… “My dog is a very picky eater with a sensitive stomach (he is a chocolate heeler) and this food has done wonders for him. He’s finally eating as much as he should without stomach issues and it’s made him almost a brand new dog. I tried a few different foods with him but this seemed to give me the best results…”

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Canidae Pure Dry Dog Food

Canidae Grain-Free Pure Dry Dog Food

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Canidae Pure Real Salmon and Sweet Potato are one of 11 dry kibble recipes.

  • First 5 ingredients: Salmon, salmon meal, menhaden fish meal, sweet potatoes, peas
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Other recipes: Puppy, senior, bison, lamb, duck, small breed, large breed, limited ingredient and more
  • Price: $$$

This Canidae Grain-Free product derives the majority of its meat protein from fresh salmon, as well as salmon and menhaden fish meals. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 36% protein, 20% fat, and 36% estimated carbs… which produces a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

An exceptional, dry recipe, free of corn, wheat, or soy. A top recommendation.

Sample buyer review… “After switching dog foods several times due to my girl having a very sensitive stomach we tried this on a recommendation. No more issues and she LOVES the food. What more could you ask for?”

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Orijen Dry Dog Food

Orijen Dry Dog Food

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Orijen Original is one of 8 dry recipes.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, Atlantic flounder, cage-free eggs, whole Atlantic mackerel
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Other recipes: Puppy, fish, venison, duck, senior and more
  • Price: $$$

This Orijen product derives the majority of its animal protein from chicken, turkey, and fish. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 43% protein, 21% fat, and 28% estimated carbs… which produces a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.

Meat-rich, dry dog food made by a quality company… known for its superior, biologically appropriate designs. Not cheap… but worthy of serious consideration.

Sample buyer review… “This is the first food my dog will actually eat without me having to add boiled chicken, veggies or anything. The ingredients are all easy to understand and it’s not just a list of words I can’t pronounce. He’s only been eating it for a week now, but I already see a difference in his hair, eye clarity and his energy. Great food!”

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Diamond Naturals Dry Kibble

Diamond Naturals Dry Kibble

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete is one of 13 kibble recipes.

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, chicken, ground white rice, chicken fat, cracked pearled barley
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (ground white rice, cracked pearled barley)
  • Other recipes: Large breed, small breed, puppy, senior, lamb, beef and more
  • Price: $

This Diamond Naturals formula derives most of its animal protein from chicken meal and fresh chicken. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 36% protein, 28% fat, and 29% estimated carbs… which yields a fat-to-protein ratio of about 78%.

Diamond Naturals was recently selected as one of our most affordable dog foods. Highly recommended.

Sample buyer review… “I own competitive English setter females. I’m always looking for the best value per pound in what I feed my dogs. Over the past 25 years I’ve tried many different foods and found that 30/20 or higher works best based upon the condition, looks, stamina, palatability and stool size, consistency and frequency. I’ve fed this food before and found it is very close to, if not better than the Sport/Performance food it competes with!”

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Nulo Freestyle Dog Food

Nulo Freestyle Dry Dog Food

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Nulo Freestyle Adult Turkey and Sweet Potato are one of 8 dry kibble recipes.

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned turkey, turkey meal, salmon meal, chickpeas, chicken fat
  • Type: Grain-free
  • Other recipes: Salmon, trout, lamb, cod, small breed, large breed, puppy, senior and more
  • Price: $$$

This Nulo Freestyle recipe derives the bulk of its meat protein from turkey, as well as turkey and salmon meals. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 37% protein, 20% fat, and 35% estimated carbs… which produces a fat-to-protein ratio of about 55%.

A superior, grain-free kibble, offering balanced nutrition… for a wide range of dogs. Recommended with confidence.

Sample buyer review… “My dogs have been on this food for about a year now. After switching around a bit due to food allergies and wanting what was best for the dogs I found Nulo. Their coats have never been shinier and they love love love this food! No more dryness in their coats in the colder winter months just shine healthy coats and happy dogs. There’s a variety of food flavors to choose from and the dogs love them all.”

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Nutro Ultra Dry Formula

Nutro Ultra Dry Dog Food

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, whole brown rice, brewers rice, rice bran
  • Type: Grain-inclusive (whole brown rice, brewers rice, rice bran, whole grain oatmeal)
  • Other recipes: Beef, duck, lamb, fish, small breed, large breed, puppy, senior and more
  • Price: $$

This Nutro formula derives most of its meat protein from chicken and chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 28% protein, 16% fat and 49% estimated carbs… which creates a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

Available in a wide range of flavor and recipe options.

Sample buyer review… “I have 5 dogs…ranging in different sizes and breeds. This is the ONE food I can get them all to eat without having to buy a bunch of different brands or formulas. Thank you Nutro!”

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How much dry food should I feed my dog?

Since it’s impossible to predict the exact serving size that’s “perfect” for each dog when feeding a specific brand of food…

It’s best to start with the amount of kibble suggested by the feeding instructions on the bag… like this example:

Wellness Dry Dog Food Feeding Instructions

Then, over time…

Adjust that serving size up or down… to keep your dog at an ideal weight.


What’s the safest way to switch my dog to a new dry food?

It’s best to transition to a new dry dog food gradually.

Start by mixing about 25% “new” and 75% old food together. Then, slowly increase that amount to a full 100%… over the next 7 days… like this:

Transition Schedule Old Food New Food
Days 1 and 2 75% 25%
Days 3 and 4 50% 50%
Days 5 and 6 25% 75%
Day 7 0% 100%

Don’t rush the process. Take your time to lower the risk of stomach upset.


What risky ingredients should I avoid when buying dry dog food?

Here are 8 of the most controversial ingredients found in many popular dry dog foods… and the health danger to which each may be linked:

Ingredient Type Linked To
BHA Preservative Cancer
BHT Preservative Cancer
TBHQ Preservative Cancer
Ethoxyquin Preservative Liver pigmentation
Menadione Synthetic vitamin Hemolytic anemia
Artificial dyes Colorant Cancer
Propylene glycol Moisturizer Heinz body anemia
Generic “meat” Unknown source Food allergies

To be sure you never unknowingly feed YOUR dog a dry kibble that contains any of these high-risk ingredients… be sure to favor recipes rated 4 stars or higher.


When should I switch my dog to senior dog food?

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association…

“…small dogs are generally considered senior at 7 years of age. Larger breed dogs tend to have shorter life spans… and are often considered senior when they are 5 to 6 years of age.”

If your dog is healthy and eating a quality, balanced diet, you may not need to switch your pet to senior food.

A Final Word

We do not accept money, gifts, samples, or other incentives in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews.

However, we do receive a referral fee from online retailers (like Amazon) when readers click over to their website from ours. This policy helps support the operation of our blog and keeps access to all our content free to the public.

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