The Best Dry Dog Food In 2022

Dogs are a gift to the world—always ready to greet you with wagging tails and licks to your hand (or face, if you’ll let ’em), even if you’ve only stepped out to get the mail. That’s why your loyal companion deserves the best of everything, from the comfiest dog bed to luxe pet accessories and, of course, the best dry dog ​​food on the market. But deciphering nutrition labels to find healthy dog ​​food can be difficult. Okay, let’s be honest, unless you went to a veterinary school, it’s downright impossible. That’s why we talked with experts to get some recommendations.

Ruairi White, DVM, MPH, an associate veterinarian at Glastonbury Animal Hospital in Connecticut, points out there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. “As with humans, canine nutritional needs vary greatly by size, life stage and underlying disease or condition,” he says. “When evaluating a diet, I first recommend my clients look for an AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) statement on the bag or can of food indicating that the food has been independently evaluated and found nutritionally adequate.” He adds that he generally steers his clients toward well-known brands like Hills Science Diet, Purina Pro Plan and Royal Canin.

Dr. Angie Krause, DVM, CVA, CCRT, a holistic veterinarian based in Boulder, Colorado, agrees that it’s crucial to find a food that adheres to AAFCO standards. “It’s important that the company has its formulas nutritionally balanced by an animal nutritionist or a board-certified veterinary nutritionist,” she explains. Her go-to brands include Wellness, Stella & Chewy and I And Love And You.

When it comes down to it, you should always consult with your own veterinarian to find the best dry dog ​​food for your pup’s individual needs, but if you need a place to start, here are some good all-around options.

Best Budget-Friendly Dry Dog Food

An Affordable Option With Tender Morsels Mixed In

Purina Pro Plan Adult Shredded Blend Dry Dog Food (35 Pounds)


With real chicken as the first ingredient, the Purina Pro Plan Adult Shredded Blend Dry Dog Food contains 26% protein and the ideal protein-to-fat ratio to keep your healthy adult dog in tip-top shape. It also has added probiotics—plus prebiotics (the fibers that feed probiotics and help them flourish)—to support your dog’s digestive and enhance immune health and vitamin A and omega-6 fatty acids to your pup’s coat. And unlike other dog foods that are all kibble, it combines dry food with tender, shredded morsels that keep your pup interested and satisfied without the need for extra mixing on your part. Further, at $50 for a 35-pound bag, it won’t break the bank.

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Best Ethically Sourced Dry Dog Food

Good For Dogs And The Environment


Best Dry Dog Food For Puppies

Dog Food That Promotes Healthy Development

Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Small Bites Dry Dog Food (15.5 Pounds)


Formulated to support brain, eye and skeletal development, as well as a healthy immune system, this Puppy Healthy Development Small Bites Dry Dog Food from Hill’s Science Diet has everything your growing (way too fast) pup needs. It’s made with wholesome ingredients like chicken and barley and enhanced with antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin E and DHA to support developing organs and learning ability. Plus, the kibble is smaller than normal and easier to digest than other dog foods, so if you have a puppy who gets a little over-eager at meal times, this food will be easier for its developing digestive system to handle.


Best Dry Dog Food For Senior Dogs

Antioxidants And Omega Fatty Acids Support Senior Pups

American Journey Active Life Formula Senior Dry Dog Food (28 Pounds)


Senior dogs may spend more time in their dog beds than younger pups, but this makes proper nutrition even more important. This American Journey Active Life Formula Senior Dry Dog Food has everything your aging companion needs (and nothing it doesn’t). It combines real chicken with antioxidant-rich ingredients, like sweet potatoes, blueberries and marine algae to help support healthy aging. It also has a handful of specially selected nutrients, like glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health and mobility, vitamin A for healthy vision and omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.


Best Dry Dog Food For Large Breeds

A Recipe For Healthy Muscles And Joints

Purina Pro Plan Adult Large Breed Shredded Dry Dog Food (34 Pounds)


If you have a wannabe lap dog that’s over 50 pounds, you need a specialized dog food formula that’s designed to maintain lean muscles, healthy joints and optimal body condition. Enter the Purina Pro Plan Adult Large Breed Shredded Blend Dry Dog Food. Featuring chicken as the first ingredient, it combines hard kibble with tender, meaty shreds that keep your big boy coming back for more. It’s also fortified with probiotics, prebiotic fiber, glucosamine and EPA to support digestive, immune and joint health and overall mobility. And if you like to switch off between dry and wet food, you can also opt for the bundle, which includes a 34-pound bag of dry dog ​​food and 12 cans of wet dog food.


Best Dry Dog Food For Small Dogs

Made To Fuel The Energy Needs Of Small Breeds

Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Small Adult Formula Dog Dry Food (14 Pounds)


If you have an actual lap dog that weighs between nine and 22 pounds, the Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Small Adult Formula Dog Dry Food has everything needed to support a small dog’s boundless energy. Small dogs have a shorter, more intense growth period than larger dogs, and they also have higher calorie needs (to keep up with all of the bouncing around they do). This dog food supports both, plus it contains L-carnitine for healthy fat metabolism and EPA and DHA to support brain and skin health.


Best Dry Dog Food For Sensitive Stomachs

An Easy Digestible Kibble Packed With Probiotics

Wellness Core Digestive Health Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe (24 Pounds)


Dr. Krause recommends the brand Wellness because it “has longevity and a wide selection of flavors and formulations.” That includes its Core Digestive Health line, which features protein and brown rice recipes. In order to promote a healthy gut, these kibbles are highly digestible, coated with probiotics and are combined with digestive enzymes. Also worth noting is Wellness’ other health-focused varieties, including puppy, senior, raw and low-fat formulas.


Best Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

An Accessible Option That’s High-Quality And Grain-Free

I And Love And You Naked Essentials Chicken And Duck Grain-Free Dog Food (23 Pounds)


There are lots of grain-free dog foods out there, but if you’re looking for a quality brand with plenty of grain-free options, Dr. Krause recommends I And Love And You. “This brand is great because it uses clean ingredients in its formulas and it is available at grocery stores and online,” she says, adding, “I trust the quality of its ingredients and the extensive safety testing [the company] performs.” The Naked Essentials line is protein-rich, includes digestion-friendly prebiotics and probiotics and is free of corn, wheat, soy and rice. Price-wise, it’s also easy on the wallet.


Best Raw Alternative Dry Dog Food

Kibble Coated In Raw Freeze-Dried Meat Is Extra Tasty

Stella And Chewy’s Wild Red Raw-Coated Grain-Free Kibble (21 Pounds)


Combining the convenience of kibble with the taste of raw freeze-dried meat, Dr. Krause shares that Stella & Chewy’s Raw Coated Kibble is a favorite among her four-legged patients. This high-protein formula is packed with beef, pork, lamb, bison, venison and goat to cater to your companion’s carnivorous appetite. The brand only uses responsibly sourced ingredients and never adds harmful chemicals, hormones, antibiotics or anything artificial. You can also get grain-inclusive or grain- and legume-free varieties, like this Red Meat Recipe.

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