Americans alone spent over 33 billion dollars in dog food in 2018 and the numbers are expected to rise even more in the coming year. There is a myriad of brands to choose from, not to mention all the varieties each individual brand carries.
It can be overwhelming for pet parents to choose between them. You want a nutritious, trustworthy dog food but premium dog food prices can bite.
We’ve put together a comprehensive list of the top 24 best dry dog foods to help you narrow down your search so you can feed your four-legged friend good food on a budget you can afford.
The Terrible Truth about Dog Food
Dog food recalls have been in the news a lot lately. Even more frightening is the fact that they have become so commonplace, many recalls don’t even make the news or get posted on the internet. You actually have to look for them yourself.
The reasons for dog food recalls have been many. Some had toxic levels of Vitamin D which had to potential to cause serious implications like severed vomiting, kidney failure, and even death. Others were called back because batches were contaminated with salmonella.
Even at the best, dog foods that are shelf-worthy are of questionable qualities. An astounding 46% of all dog deaths now are cancer-related.
Just as with humans, dogs are what they eat. You can’t feed him toxins and byproduct waste and expect him to be healthy.
Still, dog companies can be deceitful. That picture of an adorable, healthy puppy on the label and the claim that byproducts have been added as if it’s a good thing can send the message that even the worst brands are good.
Now more than ever, it’s imperative to make wise choices when it comes to feeding your beloved dog.
Our Top 24 Favorites
Along with the bad news about dog food is some great news too. Pet parents are paving the way for healthier trends in dog food.
You can now find practically any kind of specialty dry dog food you are wanting (or needing) like grain-free, organic, and wild meat varieties and you can do so in a variety of price ranges too.
Here are some of our favorite dry dog foods on the market:
Instinct Be Natural (Real Lamb and Oatmeal)
There are actually four flavor varieties in this line. While dogs seem to find them all quite tasty, they tend to go absolutely wild over the lamb and oatmeal one.
The lamb is grass fed (a huge plus) and animal protein is the first and the second ingredient.
There are omegas, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables in the mix too. What this dog food doesn’t contain is equally, if not more, important.
There’s no by-product meal, corn, wheat, soy or fillers much fewer toxins, artificial flavors, colorants, or chemicals.
Each kibble is lovingly coated in freeze-dried raw form. This food is good for adults of most sizes.
What we love about this brand is that it is healthy and natural but also that dogs love it so.
It doesn’t do much good to get a great dog food if your dog won’t eat it but that’s not something you’ll have to worry about with this one.*
Earthborn Holistic Adult Vantage Natural
This is a dry dog food even pet parents might be tempted to try. It consists of high-quality fish and animal proteins like whitefish and chicken.
There are high levels of antioxidants, such as Vitamin E and beta-carotene, which we know are vital for your dog’s health.
A nutrient-rich blend of veggies and fruit make this recipe come alive with delicious varieties like apples, carrots, blueberries, and spinach that boost the immune system and add a healthy dose of fiber which will keep Fido in an optimal state of health.
Fully cooked brown rice, rye, oatmeal, and barley are wholesome ingredients you’ll also find.
They are easily tolerated and digested well by most dogs. This one won* our vote because it’s an all-around great food that suits most adult dogs.
Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health
You might be surprised how many dogs don’t tolerate gluten well. Even if it’s not yet come to your attention, did you know your dog may be suffering from it?
This fine doggie dry contains no gluten but it’s loaded with extra yummy and super nutritious other things. Chicken is the main ingredient.
Every single kibble is packed with proteins plus it has manganese for hip and joint support, zinc, oat fiber, and plenty of antioxidants from spinach, blueberries, and cranberries. And that’s not all!
This flavorful food is overflowing with extras such as flaxseed, rosemary extract, duck meal, pea fiber, dried kelp, dried yucca, and so much more it’s unbelievable.
One big perk of this brand* is that it is excellent for puppies through seniors of most all sizes and breeds.
It focuses on nutrients for the entire body from the brain on down. If only human foods were so healthy!
Nature’s Variety Prairie Beef and Barley
Jam-packed with excellent, top-quality ingredients, this dry dog food* easily makes the mark. It has an ample amount of real beef and turkey too.
Whole grains, fruits that are oozing with antioxidants, and vitamin-rich veggies are in the formula too.
Turkey meal is added to boost the flavor and the protein while freeze-dried beef liver and beef heart adds even more appeal.
It’s all topped off with some ultra-nutritional perks like alfalfa sprouts, rosemary, sage, clove, persimmons, parsley, honey, salmon oil, dried kelp, lettuce, butternut squash, and broccoli. Wow! Just...wow!
Nutro Ultra Adult Dry Dog Food
Dogs seem to know when their food is better for them. They shy away from those that are laden with chemicals and go for those that offer the gusto and good taste of high protein and quality ingredients.
This Nutro Ultra Adult Dry Dog Food packs a punch, delivering the main ingredient - real chicken that is U.S. farm raised.
Protein is needed to build healthy bones and for the maintaining of an optimal metabolism.
The natural food also has whole grains, like oatmeal, that aid in digestion and help dogs’ bodies absorb nutrients.
What we love, love, love about this brand is that there is zero artificial flavors or colors and neither are there any harmful preservatives.
Your dog will get plenty of blueberries, dried pumpkin, dried coconut, rosemary extract, dried kale, and a host of other prime ingredients.
When only the best will do, we certainly recommend this dry food* in our top 24 best.
Victor Nutra Pro Select
If your dog is highly active or is a working dog, this dry dog food is a must-have.
It’s got gobs of protein to supply his demand for energy and in fact, 90% of the protein comes from fresh fish, poultry, and meat which we appreciate because many brands advertise the amount of protein in their formula but don’t readily disclose the source of it.
The kibbles are delicious (we asked the dogs themselves) and only have 22% carbohydrates in them so they don’t have to eat a ton to get all the protein their bodies need.
This is an easily digested mix too, perfect for all ages of pooches. If you want a dog food your active dog will dig, we suggest trying this one.*
Orijen Original Biologically Appropriate Dog Food
This premium blend is freeze-dried to lock the flavors and the nutrients in. It’s grain free for pups that have issues with grain allergies or have problems digesting it.
The limited ingredients on the list mean you’ll not be thrown off by a lot of things you don’t even know how to pronounce. The protein is single sourced and is made from fresh regional ingredients.
Because this formula is freeze-dried, it’s a runner-up to a raw diet just without the fuss it takes to make homemade raw dishes.
There are miraculous testimonials of the wonders this dog food has enabled on dogs with serious issues including skin problems from allergies and malnutrition as well.
We are pretty sure Mother Nature is smiling down on this select, natural dry dog food* and think you and your dog will wholeheartedly agree.
Canidae All Life Stages Dry Dog Food with Lamb Meal and Rice
Canidae is a veterinarian formulated dog food that is comprised of all-natural, premium ingredients that work synergistically together for your pet’s optimal health. It contains absolutely no wheat, soy, or corn.
Neither does it have chicken by-products in it. It does contain brown rice, sage, and a number of beneficial and tasty ingredients.
We liked the fact that it’s a nutritionally dense formula of protein from lamb meal because it packs in the protein so your dog doesn’t have to eat a bucket load to get what he needs.
Often times dogs, especially dogs that are too busy doing other things, don’t eat enough to supply their nutritional requirements.
This is especially true in hot summer months when dogs tend to eat less. That’s one less thing you have to worry about when you turn to Canidae though.
This formula* is vet formulated for all breeds, sizes, and ages which is ideal if you have a multi-dog household.
Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Adult Dogs Beef and Rice Formula
Talk about meaty! This Diamond Natural Dry Food is perfect for adult dogs. It contains pasture-raised beef protein which is excellent for building muscle and promoting energy so your dog will stay active and strong.
It includes plenty of fiber from chia seed, kale, blueberries, and pumpkin to aid in digestion.
Selenium and Vitamin E are part of the formulation for antioxidant support and Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids help keep their skin and coats healthy and shiny.
This one made our cut because it also contains acidophilus which aids in digestion and does a whole lot more besides.
For a great dry dog food that won’t break the bank, this one is a good option.*
Blue Buffalo Chicken and Brown Rice
Blue Buffalo is one of the leading brands for trustworthy dog food. It was formulated for holistic health and well-being.
Real meat is always the key ingredient. There’s no corn, soy, or chicken by-products in this meal.
Then garden vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and LifeSource Bits are added in then enhance the recipe even more with a Super 7 pack of antioxidants.
Authentic deboned chicken graces the ingredients of this blend and there are other flavors to choose from as well.
We really like that glucosamine is added to the recipe to promote mobility and optimal joint and hip health. For a healthy choice every time, you can count on Blue Buffalo.*
It does run a little higher than the average brands but certainly not much compared to what all you get.
Life’s Abundance All Stage Dog Food
It’s really nice when an all-state dog product works well, especially when you have more than one pooch. This dog formula seems to have it down pat.
It’s a holistically balanced recipe that strives for overall optimal health over the course of a dog’s life.
The ingredients are top quality with high protein from the chicken meal for strong muscles and Vitamins C and E for antioxidant support.
Prebiotic fiber and guaranteed probiotics are among the ingredients in the extensive list of extras as are omega-3 fatty acids and added calcium.
There’s never any fillers, corn, wheat, or wheat glutens nor are there artificial flavors or colors.
This company is adamant about monitoring every ingredient that goes into their foods and safety measures are always in place to assure your pup gets the best of the best,* guaranteed.
Crave with Protein from Salmon and Ocean Fish
What dog doesn’t crave flavors like salmon and ocean fish? It’s his instinct to love such things.
This is a fine brand that packs the protein in and leaves out all of the unwanted ingredients.
Suitable for all breed and sizes, this food is super rich in protein so it supplies energy and helps lean body development. Real salmon is the first and main ingredient.
It accounts for 34% of the formulation. There are no artificial colors or preservatives, no corn, soy, or wheat, and no chicken by-products either.
Furthermore, it’s cooked and processed in the United States which is a huge plus.
We like this brand* because it’s super healthy and because you’d be hard pressed to find a dog who didn’t like it which means they’ll eat it down to the last kibble.
We also like that this is good for all ages, sizes, and breeds of dogs.
Merrick Real Texas Beef and Sweet Potato
Brought to you straight from the state of Texas, this dog food* is full of juicy beef and has sweet potatoes too which are high in Vitamin A.
The beef is overflowing with protein which dogs need in abundance.
Since it’s grain free, it is allergy friendly. There are apples, peas, blueberries, and so much more that make this a very well balanced formulation.
It contains healthy doses of chondroitin to promote mobility and glucosamine for healthy joints and hips. Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids are added in for Fido’s fluffy and shiny coat.
We are impressed that the first ingredient is deboned beef and like that it is proudly made in Texas. As the Texans would say, “Y’alls dogs will love it!”
Rachel Ray Nutrish Peak Grain-Free Natural Open Range Recipe with Beef, Venison, and Lamb Dry Dog Food
If Rachel Ray makes it, it’s bound to be good. This natural dog food will delight your dog and you too because it’s made up of 30% high-quality, top of the line protein that will promote your pooch’s optimal health and satisfy his craving for it too.
There are essential nutrients in the blend to meet all of your dog’s needs and then some.
Also included are omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for shiny, healthy skin and coats provided by flaxseed and menhaden fish meal.
This dog food is one that dogs wolf down so you never have to worry they aren’t getting their protein and nutrients.
Rachel Ray easily made our cut with her entire line of dry dog foods but we found this one to be one that dogs liked the very best.
Gary’s Best Breed Holistic Field Dry Dog Food
This blend is a nutritionally dense mix of holistic formulation for active dogs, field dogs, and working dogs.
It is packed full of premium chicken protein so it provides the energy they need to get the job done.
It is especially great for hounds, setters, retrievers, and labs who tend to burn off calories faster than they can put them back on.
This prize recipe adds a lot of beneficial nutrients into the food like glucosamine and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
It has no gluten meal, artificial preservatives, artificial flavors or colors, or corn in it. We especially like that it has green-lipped sea mussels which support joint health.
This is a dog food that doesn’t just claim to be holistic, it proves it. If you’re looking for a fine find in dry dog food and meets all your active dog’s needs, look no further.
FEED ME Raw Dog Food - Crunchy Beef Real Meat Super Food
Especially if you have a dog with medical issues, like raw or itchy skin or a multitude of other conditions, you will appreciate this dog food as much as we do.
It’s a perfect way to give your dog a raw diet without the time-consuming efforts homemade plans involve.
You don’t even have to cook it but your dog will get the same great benefits. It’s got flavor dogs devour so even your picky eater will dive right in.
Made from beef sourced in the United States, this meal is raw frozen and freeze-dried to bring you freshness in every bite.
There are no chemicals whatsoever, no fillers, no grains, not chemicals or toxins and there are no ingredient splittings or unpronounceable ingredients.
You’ll get a nutritionally balanced meal each and every time that is great for all dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds which we love for multi-dog households.
Most of all we appreciate that this fine food* meets all the AAFCO guidelines for a nutritionally balanced, complete formulation.
You’ll find lots of great ingredients like beef liver and beef blood in the mix. It’s the model doggie diet and is even recommended for pregnant and nursing dogs and dogs with serious illnesses like cancer.
It can be coupled with a nutritious gravy that is also made by FEED ME Raw. The company insists that you’ll see a noticeable difference in your dog in just a few weeks and...we believe!
Sportmix Wholesomes Chicken Meal and Rice
This formula is excellent for dogs on the move like those who do a lot of running, agility training, hunting, or any other form of activity. It’s a great blend of naturally preserved chicken with no by-products.
It is bursting with protein from the rice and chicken and also has omega 3 and omega 6 for the health of his skin and to promote a healthy, shiny coat too.
There are natural vegetable fibers gracing each and every bowl full too so his digestion will be regular and healthy.
There is no soy, wheat, or corn in this formulation* and it is naturally preserved so your dog isn’t getting a bunch of artificial preservatives or chemicals.
With all the pure protein packed in, your dog will have plenty to fuel his energy.
Purina Pro Plan Sport All Life Stages Performance 30/20 Dog Food
This dry dog food made our list because it’s from a trusted brand, Purina, and also because it is an excellent food for all stages of an athletic dog’s life.
It is a good source of protein so it allows your pooch to reach the potential he was designed to.
It helps combat obesity too because it is formulated to give him bounding energy and because it promoted good metabolism.
EPA and glucosamine are added in the blend to support joint and hip health which is very important to all dogs but especially to the more athletic ones who use their joints so much.
Real chicken is the first and main ingredient on the list at 30% and also included is 20% good fat which is vital to a dog’s health as well.
This super food* for athletic dogs is one we couldn’t pass up from putting on our top 24 list.
Victor Professional Formula Dry Dog Food
We are in love with this dry dog food by Victor. It is great for digestive health, joint health, and is good for dogs of all ages.
It is comprised of beef as the first and main ingredient and has plenty of protein in it.
Extra vitamins and minerals are added into the blend as well for ultimate nutrition in every bowl.
There is no soy, wheat, or glutens and our favorite part is that this formulation* is GMO-free.
The nutrients in the food all work together in order to provide your dog with all he needs and then some.
American Journey Salmon and Sweet Potato Grain Free Dry Dog Food
This formulation is an absolute hands-down when it comes to our list. It is crafted with real salmon which is reason enough to love it because it will give your dog a healthy dose of protein.
The sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamins and there are amino acids in the mix as well.
Your pooch will go wild over the flavor that satisfies his cravings for the things dogs were designed to eat.
Chickpeas are also included for vitamins and minerals and to give him the energy that lasts and lasts.
Dried kelp, blueberries, and carrots add to the superfoods and DHA is a part of the blend as well which is excellent for longevity.
Phytonutrients, antioxidants, and beneficial fibers make this dog food superb in our opinion. Omegas 3 and 6 promote brain and eye health.
This is a natural blend that seems to have all the right things and none of the bad things which is certainly something we highly recommend.*
Newman’s Own Organic Advanced Adult Formula Dry Food
Newman’s is a brand of dog food we have grown to love. We love it for organic human food and now, for dog food too.
Newman’s Own dog food* is one you can feel great about giving your best friend.
Meat is always the first ingredient and supplies an ample amount of protein. The premium ingredients in this mix include plenty of protein, vitamins, and minerals but have no artificial colors, artificial preservatives, or artificial flavorings.
It is organic and even boasts organic grains and veggies too. It contains absolutely no corn or wheat which is awesome for dogs who are sensitive to those things.
This high protein dog food is 70% organic and s natural as well. It is proudly made in the United States of America.
Brother’s Complete Chicken Meal and Egg Formula Grain Free Dry Dog Food
While this one may seem a little pricey, you’ve got to look at all you and your dog gets from it.
Number one, dog food can be perfect in every way but if the packaging allows all the freshness and nutrients to be let out, it’s of zero value.
The packaging on this dry food is only one of the many things that are superb. This formulation provides your four-legged friend a complete balanced diet that closely mimics the diet dogs naturally had before man intervened (or interfered, you might say).
He will have all the protein he needs with this blend and many other perks too like dried whole eggs and low-glycemic carbs which discourage obesity issues and are super healthy for him.
There are no grains in this mix so he won’t be itching or having tummy troubles.
There are 23 amino acids which include the 9 essential amino acids that are not produced by a dog naturally.
In addition, digestive enzymes in this food increase the absorption of nutrients, boost his immune levels, and help diminish the risk of allergies.
Probiotics give him live, healthy bacteria to combat illness.
This is one of our absolute favorite dog foods and part of the reason lies in the fact it delivers freshness through natural preservatives and good packaging rather than through the use of BHT, BHA, or ethoxyquin.
Wysong Epigen 90 Starch Free Grain Free Dry Dog and Cat Food
Now this dog (and cat) food is just what the vet ordered! It is ideal for dogs with medical issues but is excellent to help prevent conditions too.
Great for dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds, this food is designed to optimize wellness and promote all-around excellent health.
It has also been known to restore good health. It is grain free and starch free too though a patent-pending process that makes it the first dry kibble diet that can claim to be free of starch.
It’s fantastic for pre-diabetic dogs and cats due to the fact it has no starches since starches turn to sugar.
This is another formulation that closely mimics the diets dogs originally had before they were fed out of cans and packages.
It boasts 63% protein through high-quality sources and 16% healthy fasts. It also has superfoods included like apple pectin, chicory root, and chia seeds. And there’s more besides.
There are plenty of vitamins, minerals, probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes, and antioxidants too. Even the chicken is organic.
This formulation is so nutrient dense, it can be sprinkled atop your dog’s regular food as a health booster.
It is not right, especially in full strength, for all dogs since it does contains so much protein and nutrients.
Check with your vet first to see if it’s a good match for your furry one. The product is fully made within the United States and is one that we highly, highly recommend.*
I and Love and You Nude Super Food Poultry Palooza Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
If you like to shop out of the box for your dog’s food, this one might just be the right mix for you.
This super-formula is made with whole, deboned meat and real veggies and fruit too.
It sports high protein from all natural sources and is completely free of any kind of grain.
The omega 3 and 6 fatty acids will have his coat shining in no time and his skin will be healthy too.
The formula is excellent for puppies, senior dogs, and all dogs in between which is something we love.
It’s also for dogs of all breeds and sizes, perfect for multiple dog households.
The kibbles are shaped like hearts which is adorable but even better is the fact that it has digestive enzymes, prebiotics, probiotics, and real meat is the very first ingredient.
The superfood mix is coconut oil, turmeric, flaxseeds, and so much more. Each of the superfoods plays a vital role in your pup’s nutrition. This doggie food is proudly made in the USA.
This brand* easily caught our eye and earned a spot on our top 24 dry dog food list because it’s a fun food but very, very nutritious as well.
Putting the Delish and Nutrish in the Dish
There once was a day that all pet parents had to do was to choose between a few dog foods. Those days are gone though.
Now, there are dog food dangers lurking on every aisle and, on the flip side, there is a multitude of excellent varieties to pick from too.
You want to beware of the greedy dog food manufacturers who don’t care what they have to put in their formulations as long as they can make a quick buck.
They also don’t give a second thought to the fact that they are putting your dog and thousands of others at risk.
By-products, fillers, artificial flavors, artificial colorings, artificial this and that and so many other toxic and dangerous chemicals make it into dog foods.
And those aren’t even including the ones that are recalled.
Pet parents have to be proactive these days indeed. Yet, buying premium blend dry dog foods can totally be out of reach for the average pet parent.
Somewhere, there’s got to be a balance. That is where our exhaustive research comes in.
We included some of the top ones that are a bit costly because we felt they are well worth the price tag if, and only if, you can afford them.
There are others on the list at the lower end that are made with good ingredients but cost about the same as all the rest on the dog food aisle,
Then, we included many that are in the middle as far as price but that made our list because of what they have and don’t have in them.
Our ultimate intention was to give you a comprehensive list of a good variety of foods so you can find which meet your personal expectations and need and match up with your budget as well.
With this top 24 best dry dog foods list, you are sure to find at least one that meets your requirements and sets your furry friend’s tail a-waggin' too.
* Links will bring you to the most appropriate product page and Pet Crates Direct may receive a small commission.