For some of us, dogs have become an integral part of our lives. Better put, we refer to some of them as part of the family. When we are down, or we need someone to cuddle, they are readily available. So, to give them the best life, we must consider their nutrition as important as ours. Giving your beloved dog series of a nutritious diet, ensures they remain around for a very long time.
You can decide to give them dry or canned dog foods, but you need to ensure it is nutritious and it meets their dietary requirements for growth and development. In this best dog food review, we have researched various dry dog foods that will be great for your dogs.
Also, we have listed factors you should consider when you want to buy the best dry dog food. Also, you need to know what to avoid when you want to feed them dry dog food and these factors are also listed here.
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Best Overall: ORIJEN Premium Quality Meat, Dry Dog Food
You want your dog’s diet to contain a huge chunk of nutrients, ORIJEN original dog food is the best choice. This dog food does not contain grain; rather, it envelops a mix of animal ingredients, both raw and fresh. ORIJEN food also contains adequate bits of turkey, chicken, eggs, flounder and herrings.
These ingredients give a peculiar meat-rich regimen that makes your dogs develop in line with their biological and evolutionary requirements. ORIJEN original dog food was carefully prepared to satisfy the appropriate nutritional needs of your dog. There are no synthetic extracts, plant proteins and ingredients that were never intended for a dog.
Around 2/3 of the entire animal ingredients are either raw or fresh, which gives nutrients in their most nutritious form. Taking ORIJEN foods helps your dog to meet its meat and eventually, protein diet.
- Contains animal ingredients of around 85% rating
- ORIJEN food is biologically suitable and does not contain grain
- Contains fresh ingredients from trusted suppliers
- Contains fresh veggies and fruits
- Rich in meat protein
- Brand: Orijen
- Model Name: DOR4410-25
- Weight: 24.9 pounds
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Best Value: CANIDAE Grain-Free Premium Dry Dog Food
CANIDAE dry dog food is manufactured with real food ingredients that have a nutritious formulation for all dogs, including those with extra sensitivities. With around 7-10 ingredients in this dry dog food, your dog receives a balanced meal that puts their well-being and health first.
Typically, CANIDAE food recipes comprise real fish or meat combined with whole foods such as chickpeas, peas, sweet potatoes and lentils. For each recipe, there are premium quality protein ingredients that allow for strong and lean muscles, and probiotics for ease of digestion. Also, CANIDAE dry dog food contains antioxidants, vitamins and minerals for the overall state of health. Then, there are fatty acid blends that promote a healthy coat and skin.
Dog owners need to be aware that the CANIDAE dry dog food is formulated for dogs at all life stages and most sizes of the breed. The CANIDAE dry dog food comes with six various proteins (Bison, Chicken, Lamb, Salmon, Boar and Duck), so there is no dog food product from CANIDAE that your dog will not love.
For dogs that have a sensitive stomach, the CANIDAE dry dog food is great for them. The food is free of grains, so you would not find soy, corn or wheat. Your dog is promised a healthy immune system with the CANIDAE Grain Free Premium Dry Dog Food.
- No artificial flavors, additives and fillers
- Added Probiotics and Antioxidants
- Formulated with real and simple food ingredients
- Brand: CANIDAE
- Model Name: Not listed
- Weight: 23.9 pounds
Best Pick: Royal Canin Health Nutrition Medium Adult Dry Dog Food
No matter the size of your dog, Royal Canin dry dog food has got you covered. This food comes with a suitable quantity of nutrients that make up a wholesome diet for your dog. Also, for each life stage, they get to, Royal Canin dry dog food suffices for them. Royal Canin dry dog food provides your dog with ample boost of energy that makes them physically active, so they are always on the go.
In addition, the Royal Canin Medium Adult dry dog food is a diet that is personally formulated to match the lifestyle of your dog. What’s more, there is an appropriate mix of prebiotics and antioxidants that augment the natural defenses of your dog so that they remain healthy.
There is also a good balance of fibers and highly digestible proteins that assist your dog to digest and take in nutrients. The Royal Canin Nutrition Medium Adult dry food is very palatable, and it keeps your dog coming back for more. This dry dog food was precisely produced for dogs between the ages of 1-7 years and weight between 23-55 pounds.
Conclusively, there are appropriate levels of DHA and EPA which preserve their coat and healthy skin too. Digestion also becomes seamless and healthy for your dogs because the proteins provided are easy-to-digest, and there is a balanced amount of fiber.
- Omega 3: DHA and EPA
- An appropriate mix of dry and wet food
- Easily digestible proteins and fiber
- Brand: Royal Canin
- Model Name: Medium Adult Dry Dog Food
- Weight: 30 pounds
Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Chicken Recipemach
For your dog to feel good as they appear, it is best to give them a nutritious diet, the Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food is perfectly suited for this purpose. The Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food is great for dogs with sensitive stomachs, and it contains prebiotic fiber to boost the efficacy of gut bacteria and squared microbiome.
Also, the Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food is produced with natural ingredients that give ample Omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E. These nutrients provide nourishment to the skin of your dog and helps them sustain a shiny and healthy coat.
Moreso, this dry dog food is specially formulated with years of top-research, which greatly appeals to dogs. One advantage of using this dry dog food for your dog is the formulation which allows for superb nutrient absorption and prevention of watery stools.
- Availability of clinically-verified antioxidants
- Natural and palatable ingredients
- Absence of artificial ingredients and preservatives
- Brand: Hill’s Science Diet
- Model Name: Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach and Skin Dog Food Chicken Meal and Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food, 30 Lb Bag
- Weight: 30 pounds
Blue Buffalo High Protein Grain Free, Dry Dog Food
To bring out the wolf spirit in your dog, the Blue Buffalo Dry Dog Food is all you need because it is packed with sufficient meat that your dog will love. This grain-free food comes with a suitable composition of calories and carbohydrates that match the daily dietary requirements of your dog. The Blue Buffalo Dry Dog Food comes with real chicken that provides satisfaction for your dog’s natural preference for meat.
With this food composition, your dog is very likely to build and preserve its lean muscle mass. This dry dog food comes with healthy carbohydrates such as peas and sweet potatoes. These carbohydrates provide a boost to the active lifestyle of your dog.
If you need the coat of your dog to be shiny and its skin healthy, using the Blue Buffalo Dry Dog Food helps to achieve this purpose because it also comes with Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
Dog owners would be glad to know that the Blue Buffalo Dry Dog Food has a perfect blend of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that were cautiously picked by animal nutritionists and veterinarians. These nutrients help to boost their immune system and fulfill their life stage obligations and an overall healthy oxidative system.
Another cherry on the icing is the additional component of calcium and phosphorus for strong teeth and bones.
- Availability of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants
- Grain-free dry dog food
- Comes with Real chicken
- Brand: Blue Buffalo
- Model Name: Chicken
- Weight: 24 pounds
Natural Balance Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
The Natural Balance Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is formulated with premium carbohydrate and protein sources. This grain-free dry dog food is tailored to give your dog profound digestive health alongside making their coat shiny and their skin, healthy.
In addition, this dry dog food comes with simple ingredients for an optimum state of health. For example, it contains salmon that gives essential amino acids which help to preserve their strong muscle tone. Also, sweet potatoes are present, and they are a valid source of high-quality carbohydrate that comprises an ample quantity of potassium.
For all breeds of adult dogs, the Natural Balance Grain food is formulated to meet their dietary needs. One of the reasons why this dry dog food is superb is because it provides owners with a credible source of nutrients, especially those who want alternative ingredients for their dogs.
You do not have to be worried about food sensitivities in your dog; the Natural Balance Grain food comes with a Limited Ingredient diet that prevents sensitivities. Although, if your dog experiences stomach complications, you need to see your veterinarian. Lastly, this Natural Balance Grain-Free Dry Dog food comes with no colors, preservative and artificial flavors.
- No preservatives, artificial colors and flavors
- A limited list of quality protein and carbohydrate sources
- Brand: Natural Balance
- Model Name: Not listed
- Weight: 26 pounds
Purina Pro Plan Probiotics Adult Dry Dog Food
One way to get your dog excited about eating is by giving her the Purina Pro Plan Dry Dog Food. The number one ingredient in this food is real chicken, and it is a great idea for you to add rice which is a profound source of energy. Altogether, you would be allowing your dog to feast on a meal with an awesome flavor. This dry dog food comes with tough kibble and soft sliced pieces which gives a texture that keeps your dog involved.
With this dry dog food, you rest assured of giving your dog full and balanced nutrition for as long as he lives. The Purina Pro Plan Dry Dog Food also comprises sufficient levels of fat and proteins that allow for a healthy body state. Do not be surprised when the coat of your dog glows and his skin is healthy, this dry dog food has Linoleic acid, Vitamin A and an Omega 6 fatty acid committed to this purpose.
Say goodbye to digestion problems because this dry dog food is highly digestible, and it aids to enhance the availability and absorption of nutrients. With the premium quality protein and other vital nutrients, your dog will have an optimal state of health.
- Comes with real beef, poultry or salmon
- It has natural prebiotic fiber
- A shredded blend of crunchy kibble and tender pieces of meat
- Brand: Purina Pro Plan
- Model Name: PRPN AdltShBlnd Dog Chkn Ri
- Weight: 18.5 pounds
Whole Earth Farms Natural Dry Dog Food
With an entirely natural food recipe, Whole Earth Farms provides your dog with dry food containing premium while grains that meet the nutritional requirements of your dog. Whole Earth Farms is notable for the production of naturally nutritious dog and also cat food that gives them all the Earth’s goodness.
The dry recipes used to produce this dog food are prepared in the USA with top quality and natural ingredients that give wholesome and complete nutrition. These natural recipes are contained in the grain-free dry food for dogs. The Whole Earth Farms Natural Dry Dog food is specifically suited to provide your dogs with their appropriate nutritional needs.
Also, this variety of natural dry dog food comes with vitamins and minerals for good health. There are no artificial colors, preservatives and flavors; every component of this dry dog food are 100% natural. In addition, there are no poultry by-products, no wheat, no corn and no soy.
Your dog deserves the best of natural goodness in a nutritious diet, and this is what the Whole Earth Farms Natural Dry Dog Food provides.
- Several protein sources, minerals and vitamins
- No artificial preservatives, no artificial colors and no by-products
- Healthy whole grain dry dog food
- Brand: Whole Earth Farms
- Model Name: Whole Earth Farms Natural Dry Dog Food; Adult Recipes and Puppy Recipes
- Weight: 25 pounds
Blue Buffalo Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food
The Blue Buffalo Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog food is specially formulated for the health of your dog. This dry dog food comprises the finest ingredients integrated with vitamins and minerals. Also, it comes with the ingredients your dog would love feasting on. The first ingredient in this food is real meat. This meat contains premium quality protein from lamb source that gives your dog strong and healthy muscles. Also, it contains fruit, garden veggies, and whole grains.
This dry dog food also comes in handy for adult dogs as it includes carbohydrates and essential proteins that meet the energy requirements of adult dogs. In addition to this, the Blue Buffalo Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog food has Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids that make the skin of your dog shine better and impacts a healthy skin to them.
Your dog also stands the chance of a healthy immune system because of the accurate blend of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants selected by animal nutritionists and veterinarians. Also, the life stage requirements of your dog are met. Conclusively, this dry dog food is what your dog needs for vitality.
- Contains Vitamins, Minerals, Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids
- Availability of antioxidant-rich ingredients
- Real meat is the first ingredients
- Brand: Blue Buffalo
- Model Name: Lamb and Brown Rice
- Weight: 30 pounds
Pedigree Dry Dog Food- Grilled Steak and Vegetable Flavor
Pedigree dry dog food containing roasted chicken, vegetable flavor and rice is formulated to provide your dogs with nourishment and energy they need for a better life. This dry dog food contains Vitamin B, omega-6 fatty acid and zinc that ensures dogs are at their very best. This dry dog food is devoid of flavors, preservatives and sugar.
In addition to this, the Pedigree Dry Dog Food comes with vitamin E and antioxidant that ensures the immune system of your dog is strong. You will be amazed to hear that this dry dog food has a special blend of fiber that helps their digestive system to function proficiently.
With the high-quality ingredients and the omega-6 fatty acids that this dry dog food contains, the skin and coat of your dog are nourished. Ultimately, it can be said that the Pedigree Dry Dog Food helps your dog to attain its highest potential.
The major elements which are the Roasted Chicken, Rice and Vegetable Flavor are properly prepared in a palatable manner that your dog will love.
- No artificial flavors, sugar and high fructose corn syrup
- Majorly contains roasted chicken, vegetable flavor and rice
- Contains whole grains and a fine blend of fiber
- Brand: Pedigree
- Model Name: Not listed
- Weight: 30 pounds
Best Dry Dog Food Buying Guide
One of the best things you can do when purchasing foodstuff for your dog is to observe critically. A good part of the information to be assessed can be seen in the product’s label. What’s left for you to do is to put into consideration some factors that would assist you in knowing if you are making the right choice or not for your pet.
It is vital to consider the factors below when you want to buy dry dog food
- Health condition and age of your dog: Most owners do not have a good understanding of the nutritional requirements of their dogs, and this is wrong. Prior to selecting any product from a pet food store, you need to know what is needed for your dog. One false belief that most owners have is, if the ribs of their dogs cannot be felt, then they are healthy.
In deciding the type of food to give to your dog, it is crucial to seek the guidance of your veterinarian. You should also be aware that, at different life phases, they have different nutritional requirements. If your dog has a health problem, the type of food it would eat might be noticeably different for that period.
- A sequence of nutrients intake- Proteins, fats and carbs in that order: It is okay to give your dog carbs and grains. Wheat gluten is also great because it contains much protein. Unlike Cats that are obligate carnivores, dogs are not.
It is essential to include greater quantities of proteins and fats in their diets. The reason for this inclusion is these nutrients offer the vital building blocks for the endless development of tissues and organs. In addition, these nutrients improve the health of the integumentary and nervous systems.
Based on statistics from the wild, Canids take around 65% of protein and 305 of fats, and the remaining 5% comprises carbs and added nutrients. With these statistics, it does not imply that you stick to these nutrient fractions. What we advise is to get a product that has near-perfect quantities of proteins, fats and carbs.
- Easy to identify ingredients: The entire nutritional information of a product is vital and being able to identify the printed ingredients on the label clearly is equally essential. If “real meat” is the only term stated, you might want to self-inquiry if it is Deer, Turkey or Chicken. The important feature to note here is, these purchased products must clearly show the ingredients present in each foodstuff.
- Best-before dates: For some manufacturers of dry dog foods, they use “best by.” Now, what these terms mean is, you can use the product till it reaches the stipulated dates. During this period, the entire flavors and premium-quality goodness in the foodstuff are still retained.
When you are aware of the best-before date, you have a knowledge of the shelf life of the product without eluding its quality.
The moment a dry dog food exceeds the best-before date, the quality of the food starts to drop. For the expiration date, be it for animals or man, it is the period when the product is declared not fit for consumption by the manufacturer.
So, in this case, the manufacturer warns that you should not give your dogs to feast when it reaches the expiration date. If you give it to your dog and an unpleasant medical condition pops up, you cannot hold the company liable.
Some food experts have opined that, even if the product is around 10 to 11 months before the best before date, it is still ideal. Sometimes, it means that the foodstuff was produced of late.
Things to avoid with Dry Dog Food
Previously, we mentioned some important things to include in the healthy diet of a dog meal mandatorily. Also, it would interest you to know that there are some things you need to avoid.
- Inferior meat and poultry byproducts: It is not entirely bad to include byproducts; however, you need to inquire into the nature of byproducts that were added critically. This act of inquiring is what separates a careful dog owner from a careless one. If the meat or poultry byproducts source is low-quality, it should best be avoided.
- Fat source and Generic Protein: When you see labels like “whole proteins” or “healthy fats”, you need to be careful. Some of these labels do not exactly state the protein’s source. You might think it is whole protein and you may be wrong, the micronutrient can have any source. So, if the labeling is not explanatory enough, leave the product and check the next one on the shelf.
- Artificial Ingredients: To formulate healthy dog food, it is advisable to use only natural ingredients. If you need superb preservatives, there are natural ingredients to suit this purpose. So, it is important as a dog owner to know the usual artificial sweeteners, preservatives, flavorings and colorings used in lots of food products. You need to ensure that they are not in the dog food you are purchasing, if they are, buy another one.
- Fillers and low-quality grains: If you check the products in this buying guide, you will discover that a good number of them come with nutritious and nourishing whole grains like oatmeal, barley and brown rice. These foods give amazing health benefits. Dog owners need to watch out for fillers and avoid them because they do not contribute nutritionally to their dog’s food. In addition, low-quality grains must be avoided.
You need to know that, giving your dog, premium quality of dry dog food is vital to certifying their peak health and wellness. So, by checking the labels on these food products carefully and knowing what the information and statements on print mean, you will get the appropriate choice for your dog. Always bear in mind to check for natural and top-quality healthy ingredients.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What’s the best way to start giving my dog fresh dry food?A: The safest and the best way to do this is to start giving your dog, dry dog food steadily. You can mix around 75% of the old food and 25% of the new food. Then, progressively, increase the amount until it gets to an entire 100%. This process can be done and concluded in a week. It is advisable not to speed up the process in order to avert the chances of your dog having stomach complications.
Q: How long can dry dog food remain fresh?A: There is one vital thing you need to check-in product labels which is the best-by or best-before date. You need to opt for a product that has a best-before date that is far from your proposed date of purchase. For example, if a food item has a best-before date of January 2019 and another has April 2019, it is more suitable to go for the second product. The second product has a farther best-by date than the first product.
However, one crucial point to note is, the best-before date does not imply that it remains fresh till that date when the bad is opened. For dry dog foods, once the bag is opened, deterioration sets in gradually, thereby affecting its nutrient content and composition.
Some food researchers have opined that dry dog food can still be utilized six weeks after being opened. While others believe that the appropriate average shelf-life after being opened should be two weeks at maximum.
The best way to work around this is, ensuring your dog food is not unnecessarily exposed to humidity, light, air and hot temperatures. Once you put these measures in place, your dog food will last for six weeks after the bag has been opened. However, if you do not apply these measures, then your dry dog food should be exhausted within two weeks of opening the bag.
Q: How to store dry dog food best?A: As we have stated above, dry dog food can remain fresh for as little as two weeks and maximally, six weeks. Staying fresh hinges on how well it is kept safe from the above-mentioned elements of weather. Now, let us look at the necessity of using the appropriate storage containers for your dry dog food.
Under normal circumstances, your dry dog food should not be removed from their initial packaging. The reason for this is, the manufacturers have structured the package’s design to protect the dry dog food amply. This design is the primary dry dog food’s defense against prompt deterioration.
Therefore, it is vital to carefully open the dry dog food’s bag so that all of its entirety would not be exposed to the unfavorable elements at once. Also, it is necessary to reseal the bag and if there is no means to reseal the bag, then roll the top and use a clip to secure it firmly. In order to increase the shelf-life of your dog’s dry food that has been opened, you can place the bag inside glass, metal or plastic containers with impermeable seals.
Still, bear in mind that the dry dog food should not be removed from its packaging. Lastly, the containers containing the food should be kept in cool and dry areas in your home.
Q: How is dry dog food produced?A: The entire process of making dry dog food is a simple one. If you have baked a snack with an oven before, the entire process would be seamless for you. The only major disparity is that dry dog food manufacturers have large industrial mixers, bigger ovens and prep tables. This equipment allows them to prepare more quantities of dog food at once.
For you, a dog owner, the first step is to choose the appropriate ingredients. One vital point you need to remember is, manufacturers of dog food have to stick to a certain standard authorized by AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials). So, all dry dog food should be nutritionally complete and balanced, and it is up to manufacturers to search ingredients that meet the conditions.
So, when coming up with your recipe, you need to bear in mind that your dog is not the only beneficiary but other dogs. When the ingredients have been selected, they are mixed with other ingredients to form something similar to cookie dough. Then, you place the dough into a machine to cook under high temperatures and pressure.
Thereafter, the dough is placed into an extruder machine where the dough is sliced into grain sizes. The next step is to dry the dough to eliminate any additional moisture. During this phase and prior to packaging, it is vital to spray the kibbles with vitamins, minerals, fats and oils. Manufacturers need to be swift when they are packaging so that fats and oils do not spoil during the period of adding the final ingredients.
Q: How can I soften dry dog food?A: It is convenient for dog owners to give dry foods. All you need do is put the kibbles in your dog’s bowl, and that’s all. Although, there are some dogs that cannot conveniently bite these kibbles like older dogs without teeth and puppies. Hence, it becomes imperative to soften the dry dog food before feeding them.
You can achieve this by adding warm water to the dry dog food with few tablespoons. If you want it to be mushier and softer, you should add more warm water. If your dog is the picky type that does not savor the aroma of the food, then you can add chicken or beef with low sodium content.
Q: Can dry dog food become bad in the heat?A: As we mentioned earlier in this piece, when your dry dog food is exposed to humidity and air, the speed of deterioration will increase. In addition to this, environmental conditions increase the chances of contamination by Salmonella bacteria. So, yes, dry dog food can become bad in the heat. A dry dog food product that is properly stored would be able to retain its freshness for around six weeks after opening the bag.
If the process of storage were not thoroughly done, then the dry dog food would last for an average of 2 weeks or less.
Q: Dry or wet dog food, which is better?A: This question depends on some factors, and it would be easier to understand if you have given both types a try. It all depends on your dog so as the owner, observe closely and see the one your dog prefers and enjoys. When you give your dog, dry dog food, its chewing action increases, and it is great for its dental health.
In storage also, it is easier to store dry dog food than the wet variety. You have to eat wet food quickly or refrigerate it if you are not ready to. The reason for this is, wet food can spoil within a short period of time. However, for dry dog food, you can leave it in their bowl, and they will eat it when they are ready. Also, if you store dry dog food in a container that is airtight, it would not spoil.
To wrap this answer up, dry dog food is more economical; you can get large amounts for an affordable price.
Q: Can dry and wet dog food be mixed?A: Mixing dry and wet dog food comes with a truckload of benefits for dogs. First, for older dogs whose olfactory sensors are quite dysfunctional, they will be able to have a better scent of their food when wet and dry dog foods are mixed. Your older dogs will find their food more appealing to eat.
In addition, mixing dry and wet dog foods for your dogs has a way of spicing up their routine because they experiment with various tastes and textures. Although you are giving your dog a specialized diet, avoid mixing dry and wet dog food. For dogs on regular diets, you are good to go.
Before putting all these into consideration, you need to discuss with your veterinarian.
Q: Is it safe to put dry dog food out for dogs?A: It all depends on your dog, but it is entirely safe. The only exception is, if the dog has not touched the food within 24 hours, then reduce the amount of food you give to your dog.
Q: Why do dogs eat grass?One of the common reasons why dogs eat grass is to help with their digestive processes. Other similar reasons are to treat intestinal worms or meet a nutritional need, fiber intake, for example.
Q: Is it good to give dogs peanut butter?A: Peanut butter is great for dogs provided; it does not include chocolate or xylitol. It would interest you to know that peanut butter is a great source of healthy fat and protein for your dog. There is some peanut butter that provides more nutrition than others, and you can get them for your dog.
Q: What fruits are poisonous for dogs?A: Fruits are great for dogs, but there are some that contain some chemicals unsuitable for your dog. Fruits like cherries should be avoided. Also, grapes and raisins, which cause kidney damage, should not be given to dogs. Grapefruits, limes and lemons, which are citrus fruits, can cause stomach complications for your dog.
Having read this review, you should have a good idea of what is great for your dog and what is not so pleasant as well. Irrespective of the dry dog food you opt for, you need to reach out to your veterinarian for approval. Not all dogs are the same; some might react to the dry dog food at first while others would get used to it instantly.
All the dry dog foods listed above are great and would be good for your dogs. As a dog owner, you need to play your part by ensuring the food remains fresh for consumption.