The 13 Best Dry Dog Foods in 2023

By Kevin Myers | 2023 Update

This updated guide reviews all of the best dry dog foods this year.

Choosing the right diet for your furry friend is one of the most significant decisions you’ll make as a pet parent. It’s more than just filling a bowl with kibble—it’s about providing nutrition that will nourish your dog’s body, keep their tail wagging, and ultimately, ensure a long, happy, and healthy life.

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the Best Dry Dog Foods. Whether you’re a seasoned dog owner or have just welcomed a new pup into your home, this article will help you navigate the vast world of dry dog foods. We’ll delve into the key nutrients, the importance of quality ingredients, and the top brands that prioritize your pet’s health.

Armed with this knowledge, you’ll confidently choose a diet that satisfies your dog’s taste buds while meeting their nutritional needs. After all, our dogs are more than just pets—they’re family. They deserve a mealtime that’s not just routine, but a delightful and nutritious event.

To help you choose wisely, we’ve compiled a list of the best dog foods using our 40-point inspection list. We think that any one of these top-quality dog foods will be a perfect pick for your dog. Let’s find the perfect bowl of kibble to keep those tails wagging!

The Best Dry Dog Foods

Top 5 PicksMain Ingredients
1. Wellness Complete Health Chicken Dog Food
(Best Overall)
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Barley, Peas
2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy Chicken Dog FoodDeboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein, Peas, Tapioca Starch
3. Nutro Natural Choice Senior Chicken Dog FoodChicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Barley, Split Peas, Brewers Rice
4. ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Chicken, Turkey, Flounder, Whole Mackerel, Chicken Liver
5. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Dog FoodWater Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas

1. Wellness Complete Health Deboned Chicken & Oatmeal Dog Food

Top Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Oatmeal, 4. Ground Barley, 5. Peas 


  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium, Large Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,619 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 24% | Fat (min.) 12% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry

This recipe is, without a doubt, one of the best dry dog foods on the market right now and most frequently recommended by veterinary and breeders. Prepared with an interesting combination of deboned chicken and whitefish, the formula is a complete and balanced diet for your pooch. 

The special mixture gives your dog full-body nutritional support they need for health maintenance and activity. The other mix of ingredients is loaded with antioxidants and other high-quality nutrients to support cognitive health and keep the immune system strong. The flavors will keep your dog hooked too! 

Sample buyer review… “My dogs have been eating this for almost 9 years now. I’ve tried other foods but always come back to this formula. Both dogs do well on it, even with the bigger pieces.”

2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy Chicken Recipe Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Pea Protein, 3. Chicken Meal, 4. Chicken Fat, 5. Flaxseed


  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,662 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 36% | Fat min. 16%, | Fiber max. 5% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

Puppies require more nutrients and protein than adults to support their growing bodies. So if there’s one food we recommend for all puppies, it would be Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dog Food. It’s made to replicate the diet of wolves and contains real foods like deboned chicken, peas, fish oil, and sweet potatoes.

Muscle growth is also at its peak during puppyhood, which is why the food has a 36% crude protein content to supply essential amino acids. The recipe also features taurine to promote heart health and reduce the risk of DCM, as well as DHA and ARA to support vision and brain development. Owners of sensitive or allergic breeds can also feed their pups Blue Buffalo Wilderness as it’s completely free from grains, wheat, corn, and soy.

3. Nutro Natural Choice Senior Chicken & Brown Rice Dog Food

Top Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Whole Grain Barley, 4. Split Peas, 5. Brewers Rice

  • Life Stage: Senior
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium, Large Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,569 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 24% | Fat (min.) 12% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry

Help your dog smoothly transition into old age with the human-grade Nutro Natural Choice Senior Dry Dog Food. It’s specifically formulated to keep senior dogs lean and active while preventing a host of health issues. Chicken meat and brown rice are the primary ingredients in the food to support muscle repair and keep your dog full of energy.

Moreover, the food is enriched with glucosamine and chondroitin, which builds cartilage and prevents hip/elbow dysplasia and arthritis in canines. Dogs also become vulnerable to diseases in their senior years, which is why the food contains antioxidants that strengthen immunity. Your dog will also receive loads of fiber from whole grains that will keep their gastrointestinal system operating smoothly.

4. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Deboned Turkey Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Turkey, 2. Chicken meal, 3. Potatoes, 4. Chicken Liver, 5. Salmon Oil


  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,698 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 34% | Fat min. 16%, | Fiber max. 4% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

The special grain-free formula is a blend of deboned turkey, turkey meal, and chicken meal to give your little darling the much-needed protein boost that dogs need to maintain great health.

The high protein content is one of the main reasons why most dog parents pick this option, especially for growing pups and dog breeds that require an additional punch of protein for growth and maintenance. In addition to the novel protein sources, the recipe is made from wholesome, natural ingredients without any artificial flavors or colors.

5. Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Chicken & Barley Dog Food

Top Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Cracked Pearled Barley, 3. Whole Grain Wheat, 4. Whole Grain Corn, 5. Brewers Rice

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Large, Giant Breeds
  • Caloric content (per cup): 363 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 20% | Fat (min.) 11.5% | Fiber (max.) 4.5% | Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry

Big dogs need different nutrients and more calories than the average canine. Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Recipe is created especially for such dogs with support for joint health and enough calories to last a full day. It features chicken meat and whole grains that provide amino acids and fiber to keep your dog muscular and full of energy.

Additionally, the food is fortified with omega-fatty acids to make your dog’s coat lustrous and skin healthier. Giant breeds are also prone to arthritis and joint problems, which the food prevents with glucosamine and chondroitin. The food also contains vitamin C and E for immunity strengthening, and is free from artificial colors and preservatives.

6. Iams ProActive Health Adult MiniChunks Dog Food

Top Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Ground Whole Grain Corn, 3. Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, 4. Chicken By-Product Meal, 5. Dried Beet Pulp

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,646 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 25% | Fat (min.) 14% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry

The protein-rich mini chunk formula is made from farm-raised, high-quality chicken to ensure your adult hound gets all the protein he needs.

The recipe is based on other wholesome ingredients including grains, fruits, and vegetables for the additional minerals, vitamins, and acids to guarantee improved skin conditions and a shinier coat.

7. ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Turkey, 3. Flounder, 4. Whole Mackerel, 5. Chicken Liver


  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,940 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 38% | Fat min. 18%, | Fiber max. 4% | Moisture max. 12%
  • Form: Dry

Made from 85% animal ingredients and featuring tons of calories — Orijen Original Grain-Free Recipe is the best dry dog food for buyers with no budget restrictions. It’s based on the ancestral diet of canines and features whole foods like chicken, turkey, flounder, and mackerel meat, as well as lentils, cranberries, and various fruits and veggies.

Each of these whole foods offers a range of nutrients and tons of protein to boost muscle growth and energy levels. The recipe also contains 473 calories per cup, making it ideal for athletic and underweight dogs. All of these ingredients give the food a meaty and delicious taste, which is further enhanced by a coating of freeze-dried meat.

8. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Buffalo, 2. Lamb Meal, 3. Chicken Meal, 4. Sweet Potatoes, 5. Peas


  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,719 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 32% | Fat min. 18%, | Fiber max. 4% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

Rich in essential omega acids, your pooch’s going to love the variety of protein-packed ingredients this recipe has for them.

The top animal-based protein is extracted from venison, bison, boar, lamb, salmon, and wildfowl. But it doesn’t end here. This particular recipe is my personal favorite for the excellent nutrient profile that it boasts, which I feel is ideal for different dog breeds.

Sample buyer review… “I have tried several kibble brands. Expensive and non expensive but this one has been the one my dogs have loved and eat it without any wet food along with it.. ” 

9. Go! Solutions Carnivore Grain-Free Chicken, Turkey + Duck Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients:  1. Chicken Meal, 2. Turkey Meal, 3. Salmon Meal, 4. De-Boned Chicken, 5. De-Boned Turkey


  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,951 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 32% | Fat min. 16%, | Fiber max. 3% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

The grain and gluten-free formula is an excellent example of a premium quality meal for your dog and is, therefore, one of the best dry dog foods you can give your little one.

Suitable for all breed types, the multi-protein rich formula is crafted from grain-free chicken, turkey, trout, salmon, and duck to offer complete and balanced nutrition for your pooch’s optimal health.

10. Nutro Ultra Adult Weight Management Chicken, Lamb & Salmon Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Whole Grain 4. Brown Rice, 5. Whole Grain Sorghum

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,346 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 26% | Fat min. 9%, | Fiber max. 12% | Moisture max. 4%
  • Form: Dry

Losing weight can make your dog more active, improve joint health, and significantly increase their lifespan. And the best diet for this purpose is Nutro Ultra Adult Weight Management. It has fewer calories than the average dry food, which kickstarts fat metabolization and makes your dog leaner and slimmer than before.

However, the best part about this food is that it’s made completely from non-GMO ingredients like chicken meat, whole brown rice, and beet pulp. These nutrient-rich foods are easy on the stomach and simultaneously promote muscle growth and high energy levels. The food is also free from artificial additives and fillers like corn, wheat, and soy.

11. Natural Balance LID Grain-Free Salmon & Sweet Potato Dog Food

Top Ingredients: 1. Salmon, 2. Menhaden Fish Meal, 3. Sweet Potatoes, 4. Tapioca Starch, 5. Canola Oil

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium, Large Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,450 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 24% | Fat (min.) 10% | Fiber (max.) 4.5% | Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry

Put an end to itchy skin and ear infections with the allergen-free Natural Balance LID Salmon & Sweet Potato Dog Food. It’s made from a single protein, namely salmon, which promotes muscle nourishment and repair. For carbs, the food uses sweet potatoes and tapioca due to their excellent digestibility and fiber content.

Since the food contains such few ingredients, it’s perfect for dogs with all kinds of food allergies. You will find zero grains, dairy, red meat, poultry, corn, wheat, or soy in the recipe, most of which trigger allergic reactions in dogs. The diet is still fully balanced and with nutrients to strengthen immunity and make your dog’s coat healthy and full.

12. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Brown Rice, 4. Barley, 5. Oatmeal


  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,618 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 24% | Fat min. 14%, | Fiber max. 5% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

This recipe by Blue Buffalo is another excellent blend that I am personally fond of. It has an interesting combination of meat-based protein, antioxidant-rich whole grain, and healthy fats.

And that’s why this blue buffalo formula is one of the healthiest dog food with an impressive nutrient profile flaunts a great ratio of protein and fat that guarantees well-balanced nutrition for your four-legged canine friend.

13. Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Rice, 3. Whole Grain Wheat, 4. Soybean Meal, 5. Beef Fat


  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 4,038 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 26% | Fat (min.) 16% | Fiber (max.) 3% | Moisture (max.) 12%
  • Form: Dry

Just like athletes need a custom diet, active breeds also require a special dog food that can fuel their daily adventures. Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend Dog Food is built exactly for that purpose with boosted calories and an incredible meaty taste to support the most energetic dogs out there. The primary ingredients in the food are chicken meat and rice, both of which are necessary for muscle maintenance and energy to perform various activities.

Active dogs also burn through calories quickly, which is why the food features 387 calories per cup sourced from whole grains. It’s also fortified with probiotics that promote gut health and enhance nutrient absorption. Omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin A are also added to keep your dog’s coat shiny and soft. Apart from regular kibbles, the food also contains shredded chicken meat to enhance flavor and entice your dog for every meal.

How to Switch Dog Food Without Getting Your Pup Sick.

Watch this important video to know how.


1. What are the key nutrients to look for in dry dog food?

The essential nutrients for dogs include proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. The AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) provides guidelines for these nutrients.

2. How can I tell if a brand of dry dog food is high quality?

Look for dog food brands that have undergone feeding trials, meet AAFCO standards, and have a statement of nutritional adequacy. Also, the first ingredient should be a specific type of meat, not a meat by-product or grain.

3. How much dry food should I feed my dog?

The amount depends on your dog’s age, size, breed, and activity level. Check the feeding guidelines on the dog food package and consult with your vet to determine the appropriate amount.

4. How often should I feed my dog dry food?

Most adult dogs should be fed once or twice a day, while puppies may require more frequent feedings. Always follow your vet’s advice on feeding frequency.

5. Can dry dog food go bad?

Yes, dry dog food can go bad, especially if it’s not stored properly. Keep it in a cool, dry place and use it before the expiration date.

6. Is grain-free dry dog food better for my dog?

Not necessarily. Grain-free diets are essential for dogs with specific allergies, but most dogs benefit from the nutrients found in grains. Consult your vet before switching your dog to a grain-free diet.

7. What is the difference between ‘meal’ and ‘by-product’ in dry dog food ingredients?

‘Meal’ refers to a concentrated source of animal protein that’s been rendered (cooked down), while ‘by-product’ is what’s left of a slaughtered animal after the edible parts have been used, such as organs and bones. While ‘meal’ is typically considered higher quality, some ‘by-products’ can provide valuable nutrients.

8. How can I transition my dog to a new brand or type of dry food?

It’s best to transition gradually over a week or so, mixing increasing amounts of the new food with the old, to prevent digestive upset.

9. Is it okay to mix wet and dry dog food?

Yes, many dogs enjoy the combination of wet and dry food. It can also help increase the overall hydration of your dog.

10. Why does my dog seem to prefer one brand of dry food over another?

Dogs have individual preferences, just like humans. These can be based on the taste, texture, or smell of the food. If your dog consistently refuses a certain brand or type of food, it may not be appealing to them.

11. How to store dry dog food?

Fortunately, it doesn’t require a lot of effort to store dry dog food. The best way to prolong the freshness of dry food is to keep it in its original packing and remove only what you’re feeding your dog. You can also use airtight containers to store the kibble.

12. Is dry dog food better compared to wet food?

There are definite benefits associated with dry dog food. These options are not only nutritionally balanced for your dog but also easier to serve and store. The food has less odor and is less likely to go bad if left in the bowl for too long. On the other hand, wet food options are also beneficial for dogs, especially for dogs who need to increase water consumption, but dry food indeed has more benefits.

13. What’s a ‘balanced food’ for dogs?

A ‘balanced’ diet refers to the optimum nutrient profile associated with a food blend. If a brand claims to be both complete and optimally balanced for your pooch, it guarantees to provide all essential nutrients that are closest to the natural canine’s diet.

14. What does ‘wholesome’ dog food mean?

A diet is considered wholesome if it contains unprocessed, real, bioavailable, and nutrient-rich ingredients. The ingredients are also USDA inspected and approved.

15. Does the size of the kibble matter?

You will find dry dog food in an array of kibble sizes. And picking the right size matters because younger and small-breed dogs may find it difficult to eat larger pieces of food. There’s a risk of choking if you give your smaller dogs large kibbles to eat. Larger dogs, on the other hand, can comfortably eat kibbles of all sizes.

16. Can dry dog food go bad in the heat?

While dry dog food stays fresh for longer as compared to other options, exposing it to heat, humidity, and air can speed up the degradation process. It is best to store dry dog food in a cool, dry place.

17. What’s the role of moisture in dry dog food?

The moisture content can have a significant effect on the overall percentage of other ingredients in a dry dog formula, including protein, carbs, and fats. Being aware of the moisture content will help you determine the nutrient composition of the food.

18. Why is it important to check the fiber content in dry dog food?

Fiber is a crucial component of a dog’s diet and it is important to ensure a certain amount of fiber in their daily meal. The presence of fiber improves stool, promotes weight maintenance or weight loss, improves colon health, and helps with digestion issues. It adds to the overall health benefits to your dog.

19. How important is fat in a dog’s diet?

All dogs require a certain amount of fat in their diets to maintain health and strength. In fact, a dog’s fat requirement is much more than humans, and since dogs do not suffer from the hardening of arteries or atherosclerosis, the fat content doesn’t pose threats to your dog’s health. They need fat to gain the energy they require to run and play.

20. Do I need to feed my dog a varied diet?

While variety can have some advantages, especially for picky eaters, there’s no solid evidence to support how a variety in the diet can be healthier. However, if your dog likes transitioning between different flavors and recipes, you can introduce varieties.

21. What kind of food is best for my dog?

This is a subjective question. You must take different factors such as breed, age, gender, body composition, activity level, and temperament of your dog into account before picking up the right option available. But generally, a diet that offers a blend made from quality ingredients is considered healthy and beneficial for your dog.

22. Which protein sources are best for dogs?

It is important to understand that not all proteins are made equally. Dogs need higher protein content with great digestibility. Meat-based protein is the best source of providing this essential nutrient to your dog.

Buyer’s Guide

What To Look For In The Best Dog Food

You are pretty much clear on that part now, but let’s dig into this deeper:

  • Complete nutrition: Your dog’s daily diet should be loaded with ingredients that provide all of the essential nutrients they need. Pay special attention to protein, fat, and fiber. To compare, check the nutritional adequacy standards set by AAFCO and match the label to see if the dog food you are picking meets or exceeds the standard.
  • Whole or specified meat meal: For high-quality protein sources and amino acids, it is important to have meat, bone meals, meat meals, and specified meat by-products as your primary ingredients.
  • Avoid low-quality fillers and grains: If you don’t mind feeding grains to your dog, make sure they are whole grain options only. Avoid anything that’s processed or includes gluten. Barley and rice are comparatively better than wheat and corn.
  • Stick to natural preservatives only or none at all: Having strict rules about preservatives can assure a healthier and longer life for your dog. The best kind of dog food is that with either no preservatives at all or only natural sources of preservatives such as ascorbate (vitamin c) or tocopherols (vitamin E). Avoid foods that mention BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin.

When it comes to getting your hands on the best healthy dog food available out there, there are various considerations you cannot miss. With the variety and qualities readily available in the market today, it becomes highly challenging to pick the most suitable brand that you think will be perfect for your pooch.