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Top 10 Best Dry Dog Foods in 2021

Right nutrition is essential for your pet dog for an active and healthy lifestyle. With so many dog foods brands in the market, it’s quite complicated to find a dog food product that fulfills the nutritional value completely.

Reasons to look for good dry dog food

Since food is health’s greatest determinant, a healthy balanced diet is important for everyone including pets. We all love our pet dogs like family so it’s crucial to feed them healthy. Plus, you must be aware of what you’re feeding them. A balanced healthy dog food keeps your dog healthy, happy, active, and with no veterinary bills. Food does the job of keeping a pet healthy, shiny coat, stable weight, responsive, and active.

Since some of the things we eat can be toxic to a dog, it’s better to stick to dog food. As most dog owners that dog can really eat anything. However, some human foods might cause some serious health problems. According to FDA, foods such as onions, garlic, chives, nuts, fried chicken, fatty foods, grapes, chocolates, and much more can make your dog sick. Not all dogs react to human foods the same way; small dogs are more sensitive than larger ones. To keep your pooch totally safe yet healthy and energetic, it’s better to go with dog food.

The right nutrition for your dog

First and foremost, you must incorporate proteins into your dog’s diet. Breakdown of proteins makes amino acids make hormones, build lean muscles, and prevent infections. Dogs require 10 essential amino acids to come from the food they eat. The protein requirements differ from dog to dog depending on age and activity level. Not just proteins, your dog requires an optimum amount of fat and carbohydrates for healthy living.

Best overall

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula dry dog food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula dry dog food

The kibble is ideal if you are looking for a natural product that has chicken as its main ingredient. It further has substances like blueberries, flaxseed, brown rice, and peas that help to improve your dog’s overall health.

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Formulated for the finest natural ingredients, the Blue Buffalo offers complete nutrition to your dog with all the vital minerals and vitamins. Deboned Chicken and chicken meal as their main ingredient, the recipe also contains the right blend of wholesome whole grains, fruits, and veggies to fulfill all nutritional needs. Then there are cold-formed LifeSource Bits that provide powerful antioxidants; this ensures your dog doesn’t fall sick because it supports the immune system’s health. Good thing is that it’s an all-natural formula without any artificial additives. The Blue Buffalo adult dog food formula is free from chicken by-products, corn, and soy. The key benefits include stronger muscles, bones, teeth, shiny coats, and better overall health.

Best for allergies

Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat dry dog food

Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat dry dog food

If your dogs like salmon and potato then this kibble is best for you! It has real salmon pieces and the best thing is that it is for dogs of all ages. So whether you have a puppy or an adult dog, they will love this dry food!

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When it comes to giving something healthy with all-natural organic ingredients, Diamond Naturals dog food is the best option. It uses exceptional quality ingredients for complete holistic nutrition. This dry formula entails probiotics and superfoods for best digestive support and optimum nutrition. Formulated to maintain a healthy coat and skin, the recipe contains real salmon rich in omega and fatty acids as their first ingredient. Then there’s the perfect combination of vegetables and fruits like carrots, papaya, berries, etc. Your dog will get an excellent spectrum of antioxidants and phytonutrients.

Best for golden retrievers

Pedigree Complete Nutrition Adult dry dog food

Pedigree Complete Nutrition Adult dry dog food

The dry food is best for dogs that like the taste of grilled steak and vegetable flavor. It is rich in taste and provides all of the required nutrients that your dog needs in his/her diet.

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For the complete nutrition of an adult dog, there’s no best option than Pedigree Adult dry food. It not only provides 100% complete and balanced food, but it’s also a great-tasting recipe that has grilled steak and vegetable flavor. Made in the USA, this Pedigree dog food is formulated with whole grains, proteins, and vegetable accents. Enriched with zinc, omega 6 fatty acids, and other essential vitamins, this adult dog food help nourish skin and coat, oral care, boosts immunity, and digestion.

Best for pitbulls

Rachael Ray Nutrish Premium dry dog food

Rachael Ray Nutrish Premium dry dog food

If your dog likes a chicken-y flavored kibble then he/she will love this one! It contains real chicken pieces so that your dog loves the flavor. For nutrition, it has several vegetables, whole grains, antioxidants, and other nutrients.

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If you’re looking for super-premium food for your dog, Rachael Ray Nutrish is your right pick. What’s makes it so premium is the use of U.S. farm-raised chicken as their main ingredient. This real chicken and vegetable recipe combines real chicken, brown rice, peas, carrots, beet pulp, and chicken fat. Wholesome whole grains are added for fiber and vital nutrients to support healthy digestion, immune health, and muscles.

Best affordable

IAMS Minichunks dry dog food

IAMS Minichunks dry dog food

If you have an adult dog that loves chicken, then this dry food will be ideal for you. It has chicken and whole grains as its main ingredients and has an assortment of other nutrients as well to provide your dog with a complete holistic meal.

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IAMS MiniChunks is a dry adult dog food that gives proper nutrition and energy for bringing out your dog’s best. Recommended by veterinarians, this IAMS dry food supports whole-body health with essential nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants. Prebiotics and natural fiber help with digestion while it’s free from artificial flavors and preservatives. Thanks to the small kibble size, dogs can chew easily. Farm-raised chickens comprise the main ingredient with wholegrain, veggies, and oils to provide a complete and balanced diet for adult maintenance. High-quality proteins promote strong muscles while other premium ingredients improve overall well-being.

Best for a sensitive stomach

Purina Pro Plan High Protein dry dog food

Purina Pro Plan High Protein dry dog food

If you have a very active, playful, and energized dog then this particular dry dog food is perfect for you. It contains real beef pieces which is an exceptional source of protein and energy as well.

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Looking for a protein-rich diet for your canine friend, the Purina Pro Plan has the high protein formula with real beef as their 1st ingredient. The tender shredded pieces of crunchy kibble have a delicious taste and texture. Plus, the recipe is fortified with live probiotics to give your dog a better digestive and immune system. Thanks to the natural prebiotic fiber, this helps improve digestion health as it nourishes intestinal good bacteria. To give your dog an ideal body condition and lean muscle mass, maintain the protein-to-fat ratio optimally.

Best for senior dogs

Purina ONE Natural dry dog food

Purina ONE Natural dry dog food

If your dog likes a chicken and rice flavor then you need to buy this particular kibble. It is best for adult dogs and provides them with many health benefits such as strong teeth and gums, healthy muscles and joints, and sharp vision.

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Tender meaty morsels with great taste that all dogs love; this Purina One SmartBlend dog food has real chicken as the main ingredient. All the ingredients are smartly mix-up to provide high-quality nutrition for whole-body health. This adult dry dog food contains 0% fillers and 100% natural nutrition that are fortified with essential vitamins and nutrients. A delicious taste of the crunchy bites helps keep your dog coming back meal after meal. The SmartBlend recipe is highly digestible and aims to build a strong immune system, heart, muscles, eye, and skin.

Best grain-free

Nature’s Recipe dry dog food

Nature’s Recipe dry dog food

If your dog does not like the chicken or beef-rich recipes then they will surely love this one. Nature’s Recipe Dry Dog Food contains salmon, sweet potato, and pumpkin as its main ingredients which provide a unique but appetizing kibble that your dog will adore.

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Nature’s Recipe dry dog food embraces ingredients like salmon, sweet potato, and pumpkin. Salmon as their 1st ingredient, this grain-free dog food is suitable for all life stages and easy to digest. No wheat, corn, or any chicken byproducts; Nature’s Recipe dog food is 100% natural and nutritious. It has nutrient-dense formula! The food incorporates the optimum blend of fats, carbohydrates, fiber, fatty acids, calcium, phosphorus, and delicious proteins so your dog doesn’t miss out on any vital nutrient.

Best for small dogs

Hill’s Science Diet dry dog food

Hill’s Science Diet dry dog food

The dry food is perfect for dogs that have a sensitive stomach and you need to be very careful while selecting their kibble. This one is ideal for small and mini adult dogs and contains a highly digestible chicken recipe.

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Having trouble digesting food? The Hill’s Science Diet dry food is especially for dogs with sensitive stomachs. However, there’s no compromise on taste and nutrition. Real chicken is their main ingredient to support strong muscle and bones, it also has prebiotic fiber. It fuels beneficial gut bacteria and supports a balanced microbiome. With their very small kibble size, the key benefit is high digestibility for better nutrient absorption and stool pick-up. It’s fortified with Omega fatty acids and vitamin E so your dog gets all skin nourishment.

Best for puppies

Wag dry dog food

Wag dry dog food

If you have a dog that likes lamb flavored kibble and treats then this product is best for you. It does not have any grain and contains 35% protein.

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If you a reasonably-priced pack of dry dog food that’s high in nutrition, the Amazon Brand wag dry food is the best option. Made in the USA, it contains 35% proteins with real lamb as their 1st ingredient with other ingredients like lentils and peas. This high protein value keeps your canine strong and active. Formulated with the help of veterinarians, it contains the right blend of fats and proteins without any grains.

What to look for in good dog food

When you walk down the food aisle of pet’s mart, you see so many different dog foods.

Before you pick any random dog food brand, it’s very vital to do your research for the best decision. Most pet owners select dog food with attractive colorful packaging without checking ingredients and nutritional value. Keep in mind that not all dog foods are the same to offer prime nutrition for growth. Here at owl ratings, we recommend you to shop at independent pet supply stores. Supermarkets and superstores rarely carry quality foods.

Ingredients

Many cheap dog food manufacturers use fillers and artificial preservatives which lead to obesity, allergies, swelling, itchy skin, vomiting, diarrhea, repeated biting, or even excessive hair loss. Therefore, you must check the ingredients list on the backside. Look for top-quality real food ingredients. We strictly suggest avoiding dog foods that contain animal fats and proteins from unnamed species. A quality dog food would have animal proteins that come from duck meal, chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, salmon, and so on. Look for whole grains and unprocessed carbohydrates sources like wheat, sweet potatoes, barley, and quinoa.

Label

Dog food is regulated at both federal and state-level while a list of ingredients is always required on every food type. Many states base their regulations on the Association of American Feed Control Officials or AAFCO for pet food. These regulations include label requirements for complete ingredients of the product. Make sure it’s a completely balanced diet for your dog and approved by AAFCO.

Another secret tip for choosing a high-quality pet food is to look for a ‘tested’ label or animal feeding test. This indicates that the dog food recipe has gone through various food trails and is free from contaminants like Salmonella.

Always check the date codes on the bag or tin can. Ideally, the code lists both the manufacture and the best buy date. Each manufacturer sets the date by which they believe that the dog food will wholesome, full of vitamins and minerals that degrade over time, and fats that haven’t gone rancid. We advise you not to buy a dog food product that’s naturally preserved but suggests 1-year freshness. Look for one that’s manufactured recently as possible.

Specialized diet

Just like humans, animals can also benefit from a specialized diet. Some of the specialized diets are geared towards some diseases that your pet dog might have. Whether it’s a renal disease, pancreatitis, obesity, arthritis, or any other issues, there are dog foods in the market that delay the onset of these health problems.

Dietary requirements

Keep in mind that a dog’s age, breed, health status, and activity are major factors in choosing the food. Not all dogs call for the same dietary requirements. Look for a dog food product that best matches your dog’s protein, fat, and calorie needs. If the dog is a very thin or hard keeper, it’s better to choose for a higher protein and fat content. If your dog is obese and inactive, look for dog food with high-quality protein sources but a lower fat percentage.

There are 4 life stages of dogs; puppy, adult, mature adult, and senior. If the dog food says ‘all life stages, it’s appropriate for all ages and is also a code for puppy food. It’s best to feed a food that is specific to the life stage that your dog is currently in.  

Price

Dog food prices vary drastically; some cost as much as 10 times more than others. Paying a higher price might get you good quality ingredients and better-quality control standards, but you might also be paying just for pretty packaging or a fancy-sounding name.

Fractions

Unlike the processed fractions or other remnants from the food industry like wheat mill run, brewers rice, or rice hulls, dog food formulators use one or 2 food fractions. These food fractions are used for a specific purpose; tomato pumice and beet pulp are included as a fiber source to improve the dog’s stool quality. On the other hand, if the entire ingredient list comprises one food fraction after another, you’re likely buying an overly processed dog food.

Wet or dry

A lot of dog owners get confused about whether to feed their dogs wet or dry food. There are pros and cons to both! The dry dog food is very easy to deal with; it’s highly compressed and can contain a lot of calories. With the wet food, it might lose some flavor when put in a refrigerator after opening. Using a combination of dry and wet food is great. Dry food helps prevent tartar, teeth abrasion, and other dental issues. Wet food has a lot more moisture content and more flavorful that entices your dog to eat better.

On the other hand, dry food is very economical and easy to store. So many people like the convenience of low-cost dry food. However, dry food does contain higher carbohydrate content than canned wet food. Since it’s loaded in carbohydrates, dry food tends to have fewer proteins. Canned food has more protein and fat; that’s why it’s tastier and dogs readily eat it.

FAQ

How often you ought to feed the dog?

As a general rule, dogs in the growing age should eat greater as compared to aged dogs. Puppies should be fed a small portion of solid foods. If you’re planning to give dry feed, it’s better to moisten it with water for softness. 2-3 months of a puppy requires food 4 to 5 times a day. However, the number of servings also depends on the dog’s breed. Smaller breed dogs require fewer servings than large-breed dogs. For 3-6 months, the daily ration for puppies is 3 times. Further, as the development slows, the ideal feeding amount is 2 servings. Don’t switch your dog’s food too quickly as this may result in stomach upset.

What to avoid in a packaged dog food?

The truth about most cheap dog food is that majority of it is highly processed with low nutritional content that’s not healthy at all. Avoid dog foods that contain byproducts as these low-quality animal meats can cause series of infections and even cancer. Don’t buy dog foods that contain artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives.

Dogs tend to love the sweet taste, thanks to their sweet receptors on the tongue. Sweeteners are added to dog foods to increase palatability but if the quality is there, dogs don’t need the sugar. Although natural preservatives don’t preserve food for longer than artificial preservatives, natural ones are way better when it comes to your dog’s health.

You can also use past experience; avoid ingredients that didn’t work well for your dog. If lamb makes your dog itchy or rice gives gas, stay away from dog food that contains lamb meat or rice.

How to prevent your dog from becoming overweight or obese?

One of the easiest ways to prevent obesity in dogs is to measure their every feeding. So when you have the food bag or can of dog food, always look for feeding guidelines mentioned at the backside. Also, you can look for the number of calories per cup feeding.

Final verdict

Feeding the right food that contains all the nutrition your dog needs is necessary. Your dog’s well-being is important to you. Be the best dog owner possible! Food really has the power to do that. Choose your dog food wisely and watch your dog grow healthy, happy, and full of energy.

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