The best dry dog ​​food in 2022

Dogs are a gift to the world – always ready to greet you, wagging their tails and licking your hand (or face, if you allow it), even if you’ve only gone out to get the mail. That’s why your loyal companion deserves the best of everything, from the most comfortable dog bed to luxury pet accessories and, of course, the best dry dog ​​food on the market. But deciphering nutrition labels to find healthy dog ​​foods can be tricky. Well, let’s be honest, unless you went to vet school, that’s downright impossible. That’s why we spoke with experts for recommendations.

Ruairi White, DVM, MPH, associate veterinarian at Glastonbury Animal Hospital in Connecticut, points out that there is no single answer. “As with humans, the nutritional needs of dogs vary widely depending on size, life stage, and underlying disease or condition,” he says. “When evaluating a diet, I recommend that my clients first look for a statement from the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) on the bag or box of food that the food has been evaluated independently and deemed nutritionally adequate.” He adds that he usually directs his customers to well-known brands like Hills Science Diet, Purina Pro Plan and Royal Canin.

Dr. Angie Krause, DVM, CVA, CCRT, a holistic veterinarian based in Boulder, Colorado, agrees that finding a food that meets AAFCO standards is crucial. “It’s important that the company have their formulas nutritionally balanced by a licensed animal nutritionist or veterinary nutritionist,” she explains. Her favorite brands include Wellness, Stella & Chewy and I And Love And You.

Ultimately, you should always consult your own veterinarian to find the best dry dog ​​food for your pup’s individual needs, but if you need a starting point, here are some great all-around options.

Best Budget Dry Dog Food

An affordable option with tender bits mixed in

Purina Pro Plan Adult Shredded Blend Dry Dog Food (35 lbs.)


With real chicken as the first ingredient, Purina Pro Plan Adult Shredded Blend dry dog ​​food contains 26% protein and the ideal protein to fat ratio to keep your adult dog in peak condition. It also contains added probiotics, as well as prebiotics (the fiber that feeds probiotics and helps them thrive) to support your dog’s digestive and immune health and vitamin A and omega-6 fatty acids to improve your puppy’s coat. And unlike other dog foods which are all kibble, it combines dry food with tender, shredded bits that keep your pup interested and satisfied without the need for any additional mixing on your part. Plus, at $50 for a 35-pound bag, it won’t break the bank.

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Best Ethically Sourced Dry Dog Food

Good for dogs and the environment


Best Dry Dog Food for Puppies

Dog food that promotes healthy development

Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Small Bites Dry Dog Food (15.5 lbs.)


Formulated to support brain, eye and skeletal development, as well as a healthy immune system, this Puppy Healthy Development Small Bites dry dog ​​food from Hill’s Science Diet has everything your growing (too fast) pup needs. need. It’s made with wholesome ingredients like chicken and barley and fortified with antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin E and DHA to support organ development and learning ability. Plus, kibble is smaller than normal and easier to digest than other dog foods, so if you have a pup that gets a little too impatient at mealtime, this food will be easier for his system to handle. developing digestive system.


Best dry food for senior dogs

Antioxidants and omega fatty acids support senior puppies

American Journey Active Life Formula Senior Dry Dog Food (28 lbs.)


Older dogs may spend more time in their beds than younger puppies, but that makes good nutrition even more important. This American Journey Active Life Formula senior dry dog ​​food has everything your aging companion needs (and nothing more). It combines real chicken with antioxidant-rich ingredients, like sweet potatoes, blueberries and seaweed to help promote healthy aging. It also contains a handful of specially selected nutrients, like glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health and mobility, vitamin A for healthy vision, and omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.


Best Dry Dog Food for Large Breeds

A recipe for healthy muscles and joints

Purina Pro Plan Shredded Dry Food for Large Breed Adult Dogs (34 lbs.)


If you have a budding companion dog that weighs over 50 pounds, you need a specialized dog food formula designed to maintain lean muscle, healthy joints, and peak body condition. Enter Purina Pro Plan Adult Large Breed Shredded Blend dry dog ​​food. With chicken as the first ingredient, it combines tough kibble with tender, meaty shreds that will keep your big boy coming back for more. It’s also fortified with probiotics, prebiotic fiber, glucosamine, and EPA to support digestive, immune, and joint health and overall mobility. And if you like to alternate between dry and wet food, you can also opt for the bundle, which includes a 34-pound bag of dry dog ​​food and 12 cans of wet dog food.


Best dry food for small dogs

Designed to meet the energy needs of small breeds

Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Dry Food for Small Adult Dogs (14 lbs.)


If you have a real A companion dog weighing between 9 and 22 pounds, Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Small Adult Formula Dog Dry Food has everything you need to support a small dog’s boundless energy. Small dogs have a shorter, more intense grow period than larger dogs, and they also have higher calorie needs (to keep up with all the bouncing they do). This dog food supports both, plus it contains L-carnitine for healthy fat metabolism and EPA and DHA to support brain and skin health.


Best Dry Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs

An easily digestible kibble filled with probiotics

Wellness Core Digestive Health Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe (24 lbs.)


Dr. Krause recommends the Wellness brand because it “has longevity and a wide selection of flavors and formulations.” This includes its Core Digestive Health line, which features protein and brown rice recipes. To promote a healthy gut, these kibbles are highly digestible, coated with probiotics and combined with digestive enzymes. Also worth noting are Wellness’ other health-focused varieties, including puppy, senior, raw, and low-fat formulas.


Best Grain Free Dry Dog Food

An affordable, high-quality, grain-free option

I And Love And You Naked Essentials Grain-Free Chicken & Duck Dog Food (23 lbs.)


There are many grain-free dog foods out there, but if you’re looking for a quality brand with plenty of grain-free options, Dr. Krause recommends I And Love And You. “This brand is great because it uses clean ingredients in its formulas and it’s available in grocery stores and online,” she says, adding, “I trust the quality of its ingredients and the extensive safety testing [the company] executed. The Naked Essentials line is high in protein, includes digestion-friendly prebiotics and probiotics, and is free of corn, wheat, soy, and rice. On the price side, it’s also easy on the wallet.


Best Raw Alternative Dry Dog Food

The croquettes coated with freeze-dried raw meat are very tasty

Stella And Chewy’s Wild Red Grain-Free Kibble (21 lbs.)


Combining the convenience of kibble with the taste of freeze-dried raw meat, Dr. Krause shares that Stella & Chewy’s coated raw kibble is a favorite of his four-legged patients. This protein-rich formula contains beef, pork, lamb, bison, venison and goat to satisfy your companion’s carnivorous appetite. The brand only uses responsibly sourced ingredients and never adds harmful chemicals, hormones, antibiotics or anything artificial. You can also get varieties with grains or without grains or legumes, like this red meat recipe.


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