Dry dog food comes in a huge range of flavors. Some are even designed for specific breeds, sizes, and ages.
The best kibble dog food will provide the perfect balance of nutrition. But, it will also be tasty enough that your dog will look forward to every mealtime.
Dry dog food can be stored for longer periods than wet food, and is a great tool for dog training.
But, it’s important to make sure you’re getting one of the best dry dog food brands. So, let’s take a look at what’s on offer.
Best Dry Dog Food Quick Links
There’s a lot of choice out there for dry kibble foods. So, we’ve split the best options into categories to help you choose the right one for your puppy.
- Best dry dog food for small breeds
- Best dry dog food for large breeds
- Dry dog food for puppies
- Best choices for adult dogs
- Dry dog food for seniors
- Grain free options
- Dry dog food for itchy skin
Click the links above to jump straight to one of these categories. Or, if you want to see everything on offer, just keep reading!
Choosing the Best Dry Dog Food
Kibble is one of the most popular ways to feed our pet dogs. So, naturally, there are a lot of competing brands out there.
But, not all of these are on the same level of quality.
When choosing, there are several things you can look out for. See if there are any foods designed for your breed specifically, at first!
Think About Age and Health
You can also get dry food designed for different age groups. Puppies have very different nutritional needs to adult dogs, and seniors can benefit from additional supplements to help joints and other problems.
Alternatively, your dog may suffer from allergies or sensitivities. So, a grain free or sensitive skin and stomach food might be best.
Luckily, we will cover each of these categories in this guide.
Pros and Cons of Dry Dog Food
Like any type of dog food, there are some pros and cons to weigh up. Here are the main points to consider when choosing kibble.
- Lots of competing brands can be confusing to choose from
- Some brands use cheap filler ingredients
- Low moisture content in food
- Many brands have recalled food in the past due to contamination concerns
- Lots of competition drives up quality among the best brands
- Easy to use as a training tool
- Can be stored for a longer time than canned or fresh food
- Can bulk buy large amounts to save money
- Offers a complete balance of nutrition
- Convenient option
- Texture mechanically cleans teeth as dogs eat
- Lots of dogs love the crunch of kibble!
Can you think of any other pros and cons we could add to this list?
Best Dry Dog Food for Small Breeds
Small dog breeds can benefit from food options that have smaller kibble, which is easier for them to eat.
The majority of brands also have a small breed feeding chart on the back of their kibble. So, you’ll know exactly how much of each food your dog should be having.
Here are our top 3 choices for small dogs.
Pedigree Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
The Pedigree Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food comes in three tasty protein flavors. So, if your dog doesn’t like one, you can offer him a different taste.
This recipe contains vitamin E to support your dog’s immune system, as well as omega 6 fatty acids and zinc to promote a healthy coat.
The complete balance of nutrients will ensure your dog is getting everything it needs.
There are no artificial flavours, no added sugar, and no high fructose corn syrup. So, your dog will be getting the best natural ingredients.
You can also buy this food in two bag sizes, in case you’re looking to bulk buy and store your food.
Purina Pro Plan Small Breed Dry Dog Food
Another great option is the Purina Pro Plan recipe designed for small breeds.
This chicken flavored recipe contains a blend of crunchy kibble bites and more tender, meaty pieces.
Real chicken is the first ingredient of this food. But, it also contains live probiotics to support digestion, and omega fatty acids and vitamin A for a healthy coat.
This recipe is designed to be nutrient dense, so your small breed is getting all of the energy it needs.
Rachael Ray Nutrish Little Bites
Our third favorite dry dog food for small dogs is Rachael Ray Nutrish Little Bites.
This food also contains chicken as its first ingredient. It contains no poultry by-product meal, no artificial flavors, and no artificial preservatives.
The recipe contains antioxidants and a balance of nutrients to support high energy needs. It is also made in the USA.
Best Dry Dog Food for Large Breeds
Now, let’s head to the other end of the spectrum! We’ve found the best options for small dogs, but what about our large dog breeds?
Here are some great brands that provide a balanced diet for large and giant dogs.
Iams Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
First up, we have the Iams Large Breed Adult dry dog food.
This recipe contains real chicken as its first, main ingredient. It also contains glucosamine and chondroitin to improve joint health and problems like osteoarthritis.
There are no artificial preservatives or flavors, and no fillers to bulk out the food.
As a large, reputable brand, Iams also offer wet options that you can mix with your kibble.
Diamond Naturals Premium Large Breed Formula
The Diamond Naturals Premium Large Breed Formula comes in two main proteins – chicken and lamb. There is also an option available for large breed puppies.
Real, cage-free chicken is the number one ingredient of the chicken protein recipe. It contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
The recipe includes antioxidants, fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin. So, it aims to support healthy skin, coat, and joints in large breeds, as well as the best digestive health.
It also contains no corn or wheat filler ingredients.
Eukanuba Adult Dry Dog Food
Our third favorite option for larger dog breeds is the Eukanuba Adult Dry Dog Food.
This recipe is designed to support healthy digestion, and to promote the best dental health.
It is catered to suit dogs that weigh over 55 pounds as adults. This recipe also contains glucosamine and chondroitin to support your dog’s joints.
Best Dry Dog Food for Puppies
The food options we’ve looked at so far is aimed at adult dogs, despite differences in breed size.
Puppies grow quickly, so they need a very different nutritional balance to adult dogs. Make sure to give your puppy a dry food aimed at puppies until they are fully grown.
Here are our top 3.
Purina Pro Plan Dry Puppy Food
The Purina Pro Plan Dry puppy food is designed for puppies that are under a year old.
The kibble itself is a smaller size than dog food for adults. So, your puppy should have no problems chewing and eating it.
The lamb and rice recipe contains real lamb as its main ingredient.
It also contains omega-rich fish oil to promote healthy brain and vision development in growing puppies.
Pedigree Complete Nutrition Puppy Food
The Pedigree Complete Nutrition puppy food recipe comes in two main flavors – chicken and beef.
It is suitable for small breed puppies to giant breed puppies. But, large breed puppies will need to stay on this recipe for up to 24 months.
This is a great balance of nutrients for puppies, containing calcium and phosphorus for strong teeth and bones, as well as various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
The recipe has no artificial flavors, added sugar, or high fructose corn syrup.
Purina One Natural Dry Puppy Food
The Purina One Natural dry puppy food contains 28% protein to support growing puppy muscles.
It contains no fillers, but does have DHA – a nutrient that improves vision and brain development.
This manufacturers promise that owners will see an improvement in their puppy’s eyes, coat, and energy levels in only 28 days of eating this food.
Best Dry Dog Food for Adults
Once your puppy is fully grown, they will need to progress to adult food. Lots of adult dog foods are breed specific, or size specific.
But, if you’re looking for something to suit medium sized adult dogs, here are some great options.
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
The Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula is an adult dry dog food with plenty of different flavors that your dog will love.
It’s available in 3 different sizes, so you can try it out in a smaller package before buying it in bulk.
This food contains a blend of nutrients and vitamins designed to promote healthy skin, joints, and strong bones and teeth.
It aims to provide plenty of energy, healthy muscle development, and promote the best digestive health.
Wag Dry Dog Food
The Wag dry dog food comes in 5 different flavors – chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, and salmon. So, there’s something every dog will love.
It comes in 3 different sizes, so you can try it before buying a bulk size.
Each recipe contains 35% protein. It also contains a number of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.
There are no added flavors, colours, or preservatives. There’s also no additional grain or corn fillers.
Kibbles N’ Bits Original Dry Dog Food
Another great option is the Kibbles N’ Bits Original dry dog food.
This food is available in 8 different sized bags, so you can buy what you need for now, or stock up for the next few meals.
There’s a mixture of crunchy kibble pieces and softer meaty chunks to offer your dog a tasty variety of textures.
Best Dry Dog Food for Seniors
As our dogs get older, they can require supplements designed to help with aching joints and other health problems.
The best senior dry dog food is designed to keep your dog healthy and comfortable as he ages.
Take a look at our top picks.
Nature’s Recipe Senior Dry Dog Food
Nature’s Recipe Senior dry dog food contains added vitamins, minerals, and nutrients designed to help older dogs live comfortably.
But, it still contains no corn or wheat, as well as no artificial colors and flavors.
This recipe has high quality protein to support muscle strength, beet pulp fiber to support healthy digestion, and omega-3 fatty acids to promote good joints.
So, it has everything an older dog will need.
Iams Proactive Health Senior Dry Dog Food
The Iams Proactive Health Senior dry dog food is available for medium, small, and large breeds.
The first ingredient is real chicken. But, the recipe also contains DHA, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
These ingredients are designed to give your older dog the best mental health, and to support their joints in old age.
It has no artificial flavors or preservatives, as well as no filler ingredients.
Hill’s Science Senior Dry Dog Food
Our final favorite option for senior dogs is the Hill’s Science dry dog food recipe.
This is aimed at dogs over 7 years of age. Not only does it support a healthy immune system and coat, but it also provides the optimal energy levels, and supports your dog’s heart and kidneys.
This recipe has a medium kibble size, so older dogs won’t struggle to pick it up.
Best Grain Free Dry Dog Food
In 2018, the FDA raised concerns about a link between grain free dog foods and the disease dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).
So, many dog owners naturally became concerned about this type of food. However, studies have yet to find a causal link between the two.
Grain free food is better for some dogs that suffer from allergies. But, if you’re concerned, make sure to speak to your vet about the most recent findings on this issue.
Here are some grain free options to consider if you’ve decided to give your dog this food.
Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Natural Dog Food
The Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Natural dog food comes in four different flavors.
This recipe contains no corn, wheat, or soy. On top of this, there are no by-products, artificial colors, or artificial preservatives.
It is made up of 26% protein, which comes in the form of multiple meat sources.
Plus, it contains omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
Crave Grain Free High Protein Adult Dog Food
The Crave Grain Free High Protein Adult dog food is another great option for dogs who need a grain free formula.
This food is high in protein, with real white fish as its first ingredient.
There is no chicken by-product meal, no corn, wheat or soy, no artificial colors or flavors, and no artificial preservatives.
This recipe has been inspired by the natural diet of our modern dogs’ ancestors.
Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Dry Dog Food
A third popular grain free dog food option is the Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain dry dog food.
This recipe boasts zero grain, gluten, or filler ingredients. Instead, protein is the number one ingredient.
It comes in the flavor turkey and potato, but turkey protein is the number one ingredient.
Best Dry Dog Food for Itchy Skin
A common problem in dogs is sensitive skin. But, choosing the right food can really help to minimize and control this issue.
So, if your dog is suffering from sensitive, or itchy skin, try one of these foods.
Hill’s Science Sensitive Stomach and Skin Recipe
The Hill’s Science Sensitive Stomach and Skin Recipe aims to nourish your dog’s skin and digestive health at the same time.
This recipe includes ingredients such as vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids. These target healthy skin and fur in your dog.
It has a small kibble size to make it easy for dogs of all sizes to eat.
So, no matter what breed you have, this food may be perfect.
Diamond Naturals Skin and Coat Recipe
The Diamond Naturals Skin and Coat Recipe comes in the flavor salmon and potato.
It contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants designed to promote healthy skin and fur.
The recipe also contains probiotics and no grains to support your dog’s digestion.
With no grains, this dog food could be better for dogs who suffer from allergies to grains.
Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach
The Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach dry dog food has a main ingredient of protein.
It contains omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids to promote healthy skin and fur.
This recipe also contains no wheat, soy, or corn. So, if your dog is suffering from allergies to grains, this recipe will be perfect.
It’s available in a number of sizes, so you don’t need to buy a large bag of food until you’re sure your dog loves it.
Best Dry Dog Food
The best dry dog food will be different for every dog. It depends on your dog’s size, age, and specific health needs.
What brands has your dog loved? If you’ve used any of the foods in our list, make sure to tell us what your dog thought!
References and Resources
- ‘FDA Investigates into Potential Link Between Certain Diets and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy’, FDA (2019)
- Freeman, L. (et al), ‘Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy in Dogs: What do we Know?’, Journal of the American Medical Veterinary Association (2018)