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
Best Ethically Sourced Dry Dog Food
Good For Dogs And The Environment
Best Dry Dog Food For Puppies
Dog Food That Promotes Healthy Development
Best Dry Dog Food For Senior Dogs
Antioxidants And Omega Fatty Acids Support Senior Pups
Best Dry Dog Food For Large Breeds
A Recipe For Healthy Muscles And Joints
Best Dry Dog Food For Small Dogs
Made To Fuel The Energy Needs Of Small Breeds
Best Dry Dog Food For Sensitive Stomachs
An Easy Digestible Kibble Packed With Probiotics
Best Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
An Accessible Option That’s High-Quality And Grain-Free
Best Raw Alternative Dry Dog Food
Kibble Coated In Raw Freeze-Dried Meat Is Extra Tasty