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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

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Our Take
  Best Overall

Wellness

Core

Overall Take

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

  Also Consider

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.

  Also Great

Blue Buffalo

Life Protection Formula

Overall Take

Essential NutrientsA high-quality dog food made with lamb that contains omega 3 & 6 fatty acids.

  Best Value

Nature's Recipe

Overall Take

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

Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, Simplemost 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.

145,121

User Opinions Analyzed

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

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.


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.

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.

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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.

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Taste of the Wild Grain Free

What We Liked: Taste of the Wild earns praise for a high percentage of high-quality protein and highly digestible grain-free carbs, which makes it a great option for dogs with sensitive stomachs. The real roasted meat is sure to satisfy your dog’s taste buds, too.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Simplemost 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

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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.