The 13 Best Dry Dog Foods in 2023

By Kevin Myers | 2023 Update

While the debate of what exactly you should be feeding your dog will remain a constant, I will try to highlight the most important factors to help you choose a diet that is complete, nutritionally balanced, and perfect according to your dog’s requirements.

So before we go ahead, the first thing you need to understand is your dog’s breed, life stage, and their digestive system. Once you are through this step, it will become easier to figure out your tail-wagger’s specific dietary needs.

With this primary information in hand, you can instantly eliminate all the options that according to you are not suitable for your dog. This leaves you with fewer options in hand and therefore, makes it easier for you to compare and decide. So without further ado, let’s jump in and learn more!

What to Avoid Feeding Your Pooch

It is very important to stick to quality when it comes to your dog’s diet. This is one of the fundamental factors that I always keep in mind before finalizing my top lists of dog foods. I don’t compromise on quality and neither, should you. Look for options that use quality poultry, meat, and fish as their foundation ingredient. Opting for dog food with a great animal protein source as the first ingredient is essential unless your pooch has kidney issues.

Here are a few things you should stay away from when narrowing down your list of best dry dog foods.

1. Artificial additives, preservatives, colors, and flavoring

Avoid anything that has the word ‘artificial’ on it. These things compromise on the quality of dog food and are also detrimental to your canine’s health. Additives and artificial ingredients can also trigger allergies and sensitivities in some dogs. Low-quality grain-based diets usually have a list of these artificial ingredients and should be avoided completely.

2. Unnecessary fillers

While whole grains make great ingredients in dog foods, refined grains are nothing but low-quality fillers that your pooch’s tummy isn’t going to appreciate. To stick to the best doggies food option, avoid anything that includes unnecessary fillers and look for options with more meat-based formulations, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy oils, and seeds.

Dog Food Standard Nutrition

First thing first, you should always ensure that your canine companion’s nutritional needs are perfectly fulfilled by the blend you choose for them. The factors mentioned above will help you determine the specific nutritional needs of your dog.

Dogs require different ranges of nutrients in varying quantities over different life-stages. What you must feed your puppy will be distinctive from what your adult canine needs. Similarly, your super-active working dog will have a different nutrient profile requirement while you need to be very specific about what you feed your senior dog. The best part is that you get a handful of options where the formula is suitable for ‘all life stages’ and different breeds. This is particularly a great benefit for parents of several different kinds of dogs.

Things to Consider

Now that you have the primary information in hand, focus on your dog’s current health. The dietary requirement of a super active dog is different from a dog dealing with obesity. For instance, if your dog is allergic to certain ingredients, you should definitely read the label in detail to steer clear of any option that includes those ingredients. Similarly, if your dog is overweight, you should opt for an option with fewer calories and lesser calorie-dense proteins to control weight.

Here are a few more things you need to consider:

Can I easily identify the ingredients?

A reliable pet food manufacturer will try making label reading easy. Look for options that list down real meat and meat by-products. However, make sure the source of the by-product is clearly mentioned so you know if it is healthy for your dog or not. Properly identifiable ingredients help you become more aware of what you’re feeding your dog. Unspecified ingredients can put your dog’s health at risk and therefore, this factor should never be ignored.

Check for ‘balanced and complete’ label

This label can further simplify your hunt for the best dry dog food. Complete and balanced nutrition means that the diet contains everything your four-legged friend needs to be fit, healthy, and happy. It contains enough protein, carbs, fats, and other micronutrients such as minerals and vitamins that could help your dog maintain optimal health. To earn this badge and to flaunt it off as a label, the manufacturing companies must match the AAFCO standard nutrient profiles. These standards are set by the canine nutrition authorities and the badge guarantees that it has passed the set feeding trial.

If the nutrient profile of a certain brand is higher than the set standard by AAFCO, it is considered even better. So make sure you cross-check for this label.

Choosing Only the Best

Don’t forget to check out the entire list that I have shortlisted for you to make this process easier. The best dry dog food for your four-legged friend is ultimately going to be your choice. As a pet parent, you are responsible for what you feed your little one. So make sure you take this decision wisely and with great responsibility. Use the information shared in this article in the best interest of your dog.