Best Dog Food Brands – Top 50 Dry Food
These days, you can find a huge variety of dog foods, both canned and dry, available in stores and online. Choosing the best dog food brands for your pup is a job and takes some extra research in order to find the best pet food for his needs.
Why is Quality, Healthy Dog Food Important?
Why can’t you feed your fur baby just any old dog food? Just like we need proper nutrition to stay healthy, so does your dog. He’s completely dependent on you for all of his needs, including his food. In the wild, he would hunt his own food; however, while he may still have the urge to hunt, most dogs have become accustomed to their humans providing all their meals. Everything your dog eats goes into his body. Without the proper nutrition, your dog won’t be able to develop and maintain strong bones and muscles, maintain important cognitive functions, formulate a strong immune system and could develop serious health problems.
Poor nutrition can lead to many health problems, including:
- Excessive shedding/hair loss
- Dull coat, itchy sensitive skin
- Bad breath
- Digestive problems (stomach and bowel issues)
- Weight loss
- Body odor
These are only a few of the health issues your dog could suffer from lack of proper nutrition. He could also develop serious diseases such as congestive heart failure, kidney problems, etc. Your precious baby could also run the risk of becoming home to parasites such as tapeworms, etc. We don’t mean to alarm you, but proper nutrition is essential for your dog. He’s dependent on you and what you feed him. He deserves to have a happy, long life with you and your family. Without proper nutrition, you’re likely to lose your companion at an early age to health issues that are preventable with a good diet.
Top 50 Kibble Dog Food Brands
Fromm is a family-owned company that’s been in business since 1904. This company has been active in many aspects of health care for pets, including development of the first canine distemper vaccine back in the 1930s. This company owns and operates two dry food manufacturing facilities in Wisconsin (where the company is based). They endeavor to quality control each and every aspect of creating their pet foods, while ensuring every product is safe for your dog. They have implemented HACCP (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points) programs in their plants, which is a preventative program to establish controls and identify problems during each step in the manufacturing process.
Fromm does not use any ingredients from China and their pet foods are manufactured in the USA. The company offers a line of kibble for dogs—everything from puppy food to weight loss management kibble. Each of their kibble formulas meets the AAFCO dog food nutritional values.
1. Fromm Gold Adult Small Breed
Developed especially for small breeds, this food offers natural ingredients including duck, chicken meal, chicken, oatmeal, and more. It also includes taurine to support healthy eyes and heart, along with chicory root to reduce the risk of worms. This kibble is wheat-free.
2. Fromm Heartland Puppy Gold
Grain-free red meat recipe for puppies and pregnant or nursing mothers. The ingredients include beef, pork and lamb, along with probiotics for good digestion. This kibble contains no wheat or corn.
3. Fromm Reduced Activity & Senior Gold
This formula is for less active adult and senior dogs. The ingredients are healthy and include duck, chicken, whole eggs, lamb and even Wisconsin cheese. This kibble also contains probiotics to help with digestion and salmon oil for a healthy coat.
Merrick is another brand that offers healthy kibble for your pup. This company is based near Amarillo, Texas, and they’re dedicated to providing your pup with the most healthy and best tasting dog food out there. The company only uses local growers—they don’t use any products from China in their pet foods. They only buy real ingredients: real chicken, beef, etc. Their kibble recipes also include omegas 3 & 6 fatty acids, fresh fruits, added vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They use only whole grains for fiber and nutrients, too.
Not only do they offer healthy pet food, but you’ll also find selections of kibble for dogs with food allergies and sensitivities, along with grain-free kibble options. In addition, they have many recipes to choose from, so you’ll be sure to find just what your pup loves! Merrick pet foods come with a guarantee, too. If you and your dog are not 100% satisfied with the dog food, you can return it and get your money back.
4. Merrick Backcountry Big Game Raw Infused Recipe
This all-natural recipe is grain free and is packed with protein from rabbit, venison, and salmon. It also includes yummy vegetables and contains all the nutrients you dog needs each day. This recipe is formulated to provide all the benefits of a raw, wild diet. It’s grain-free and the meat is raw, freeze-dried—giving your dog that taste of the wild he craves.
5. Merrick Grain Free Senior Real Chicken + Sweet Potato Kibble Recipe
Especially formulated for senior dogs, with a focus on providing hip and joint support, along with promoting a healthy metabolism. The ingredients include deboned chicken, glucosamine & condrointin (for joint & hip support), L-carnitine (for metabolism), along with sweet potatoes and other healthy ingredients. This product is grain free and contains no corn, soy or gluten.
6. Merrick Lil’ Plates Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato Recipe
Merrick has developed a special kibble just for small breed dogs—called Lil’ Plates. The Lil’ Plates Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato recipe is one your fur baby will love! This recipe includes deboned beef lamb meal, sweet potatoes and more. What’s more, you won’t find grains or gluten included in this formula. This is just right for your small pup if he has a big hankering for beef!
Acana is another popular choice when it comes to kibble dog foods. This company uses a concept they call “biologically appropriate.” Their dog food is made to “mirror the quantity, freshness and variety of meats that nature evolved dogs to eat.” Their recipes provide your pup with all his daily nutritional requirements.
This Canadian-based company is dedicated to providing fresh regional ingredients including cage-free poultry, ranch-raised meats, wild-caught fish and fresh fruits and vegetables. All ingredients are raised locally and are preservative-free. All Acana products are made in their own kitchens and are never outsourced. Acana offers a wide variety of kibble, so you’re sure to find just the perfection option for your precious canine companion.
7. Acana Duck and Pear Dry Dog Food
This recipe includes free-run ducks, meaning they weren’t raised in cages, but allowed to roam. It includes duck meat, giblets and cartilage, along with whole peas, whole red lentils, Bartlett pears, whole garbanzo beans and more. There are no artificial preservatives, in fact, the preservatives are natural: vitamin E and rosemary oil. This recipe is great for dogs that have sensitive digestive systems and is made for all dogs and life stages.
8. Acana Pacifica
Filled with wonderful fresh fish from the Canadian Pacific, which is wild-caught (using sustainable methods). Ingredients include whole Pacific herring, pilchard, flounder, hake, and rockfish. This recipe provides daily nutritional requirements for all dogs, breeds and life stages. This formula is also grain free and contains about 40% fresh fruits and veggies.
9. Acana Singles Limited Ingredient Diet Lamb and Apple Formula Dry Dog Food
This recipe is recommended for dogs that have food allergies, sensitivities or who have sensitive digestive systems. The limited ingredients help your pup avoid an allergic reaction, while still providing him with the nutrients he needs every day. Ingredients include raw grass-fed lamb, lamb meat meal, whole peas, whole red lentils, raw lamb liver, lamb fat, red delicious apples, whole garbanzo beans, etc. The formula also includes added vitamins to ensure your pup has a healthy diet. This product is free of grain, potato and tapioca.
Orijen is another company that uses “biologically appropriate” formulas for it’s pet foods. Each recipe is developed to “mirror the quantity, freshness, and variety of meats that dogs are evolved to eat.” The company is committed to providing fresh, local ingredients and their foods are never outsourced. They don’t use any ingredients from China. In addition, Orijen doesn’t use BHA/BHT or other chemical preservatives. Instead, they use natural preservatives, including vitamin E and botanical extracts.
You’ll find a wide range of kibble available for your dog, developed for all dogs from puppies to seniors.
10. Orijen Puppy
Specifically formulated for your puppy and will meet your pup’s daily nutritional requirements. This grain free puppy food offers limited ingredients from a single-source protein. This is a free-dried recipe that offers the benefits of a raw diet for your puppy. All ingredients are natural, with no artificial anything—a healthy option for your puppy. This is a grain free recipe.
11. Orijen Six Fish
This recipe includes fresh fish, with no preservatives. Fish has been refrigerated, flash frozen to preserve precious nutrients. Ingredients include: whole Pacific pilchard, Pacific mackerel, Pacific hake, flounder, rockfish, sole, Alaskan cod, whole red lentils, green lentils, lentil fiber and more. This recipe will meet your adult dog’s daily nutritional needs.
12. Orijen Fit & Trim
Especially made for dogs who need to maintain their weight or even to lose a little weight. Your dog will receive all the nutrition he needs each day, without the added calories. This formula offers limited amounts of fat and carbohydrates, and offers plenty of fiber to help your dog feel full and satisfied after each meal. Ingredients include chicken meal, whole eggs, whole herring, turkey, chicken liver and more.
13. Origen Original
This grain free recipe is made for dogs who may be less active than they used to be. If your pup’s less active, he may not need as many calories as younger dogs. This recipe was created to help senior pups control their weight and to promote lean muscle. Ingredients include: chicken, whole eggs, turkey, turkey liver, chicken liver, flounder, and more.
Wellness is a popular brand when it comes to healthy kibble dog food. This company uses natural ingredients, which will meet your canine companion’s daily nutritional needs. You’ll find a wide variety of recipes to choose from—formulas for puppies, adult and senior dogs. All of their products are made completely in the USA and are backed with the Wellness Guarantee. They use premium meats and fresh veggies in each recipe and include Omegas 3 & 6 along with probiotics for your pup’s optimal health.
14. Complete Health Chicken & Oatmeal
This recipe offers complete nutrition for your pup, with added ingredients such as antioxidants to build a strong immune system, whole grains and premium proteins. Ingredients include deboned chicken, tomatoes (for vitamin C and lycopene), flaxseed (rich in omega-3), and more.
15. Complete Health Grain Free
Wellness offers this recipe in different flavors, including chicken, Whitefish & Menhaden Fish Meal, Lamb & lamb meal, for puppies and small breeds. As the name states, this is a grain free product that contains note wheat, corn, soy, meat-by-products, artificial flavors or colors or preservatives.
16. Complete Health Small Breed
This formula is especially made with small breed dogs in mind. This recipe will meet all of your small dog’s daily nutrition requirements and comes in a smaller kibble just right for smaller breeds. This is an all-natural product that’s free of wheat, corn, soy, meat-by-products, artificial colors and flavors and contains no preservatives.
17. Core Natural Grain Free
Wellness offers several flavors of their Core recipes. These recipes have been created with a canine’s natural wild diet in mind. These recipes are high in protein and come in a variety of flavors, including: original, puppy, Ocean, Wild Game, Lamb, Reduced Fat, Senior and more. Each recipe if free of wheat, corn, soy, meat-by-products, artificial colors and flavors, as well as preservative-free.
Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dog Food
Rachael Ray is known for her excellent, tasty recipes. She brings her cooking experience and expertise to pet foods, too. You’ll find a wide range of dry dog foods just right for your pup! This brand features dog food recipes inspired from Rachael’s kitchen. You’ll find each recipe made from the finest ingredients such as whole meat and whole veggies, along with necessary vitamins and minerals. What you won’t find is artificial flavors, meat-by-products or artificial preservatives. The company offers a wide range of recipes, so you’re sure to find the one your dog will love.
18. Rachael Ray Nutrish Real Beef & Brown Rice Recipe
This recipe features all US farm-raised beef as the main ingredient. In addition, it includes healthy veggies and natural prebiotics for health digestion. The formula doesn’t include meal by-products, fillers, wheat or wheat gluten ingredients.
19. Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe
This formula is grain free, and contains natural ingredients including US farm-raised chicken, sweet potatoes, tapioca, peas, cranberries and more.
20. Rachael Ray Nutrish Bright Puppy Natural Dog Food
This formula uses all-natural, simple ingredients to provide all the nutrition your growing puppy needs. Ingredients include chicken, brown rice, fruits and vegetables. This is a grain free product.
21. Rachael Ray Nutrish Peak Dog Food
This recipe is based on dog’s natural, wild diet and comes in a variety of flavors. Ingredients include farm-raised beef, chicken or turkey as the first ingredients on the label. Recipes may also include venison, lamb, duck or quail. These protein-rich recipes come with added vitamins and minerals to ensure your furry pal gets all his necessary daily nutrients.
Blue Buffalo is a highly respected and popular brand of healthy pet foods. They pride themselves on only using the finest natural ingredients, with a precise mix of antioxidants and nutrients. Your dog will get all the nutrients he needs with Blue Buffalo’s recipes. All Blue Buffalo products are completely made in the USA, and their recipes contain no corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. In addition, Blue Buffalo provides a wide range of products for each step of your dog’s life stage and health needs.
22. Blue Life Protection Formula Chicken and Brown Rice Formula
This recipe features protein-rich deboned chicken, whole grains, veggies and fruits. You won’t find chicken or poultry by-product meals in this (or any of Blue Buffalo’s recipes). This recipe also contains glucosamine for healthy joint function and mobility.
23. Blue Basics Limited-Ingredient Formula Adult Dry Dog Food
Here you’ll find a variety of recipe flavors created especially for dogs who are allergic or sensitive to certain foods. The limited-ingredient recipes ensure you know exactly what’s in your dog’s food. These formulas are made without wheat, corn, dairy, soy or eggs. Even with the limited ingredients, your pup will receive all the nutrition he needs each day.
24. Blue Life Protection Formula for Puppies Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
Here’s one of Blue Buffalo’s puppy foods, made with all-natural ingredients including deboned, protein-rich chicken, whole grains, veggies and fruit. This formula doesn’t contain corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. These recipes are made to help your puppy grow up healthy and strong by promoting healthy muscles, strong teeth and bones, healthy skin and coat, a healthy immune system and more.
25. Blue Freedom Grain-Free Chicken Recipe for Senior Dogs
This product is for your senior fur baby! The recipe is free from grains and glutens, corn, wheat, soy and contains no artificial colorings, flavors or preservatives. Blue Freedom for Seniors is made especially for older dogs and your pup to maintain his energy and activity levels, while supporting a health immune system with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and much more.
Hill’s Science Diet
Hill’s has been in the pet food business since 1939 and its products have been developed with veterinarians, scientists and pet nutritionists to bring your pup the highest-quality of dog food possible. You’ll find a wide range of diets available—from puppy and adult dog foods to weight loss recipes and formulas for senior dogs. All of Hill’s products come with a money-back guarantee if you and your dog aren’t satisfied with their products.
26. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Healthy Mobility Large Breed Dog Food
This recipe is made precisely to help improve your dog’s mobility and support health joint function, especially for large breed dogs. This formula is made to improve your dog’s mobility in 30 days, contains fish oil and natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin. You won’t find any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives in this recipe.
27. Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Healthy Development Small Bites
Hill’s created this healthy development formula especially for puppies—it provides all the essential nutrition your small fur baby needs to grow up healthy and strong. This formula supports healthy eyes, bones and brain with DHA from fish oil and minerals. Your puppy’s immune system is also supported with a blend of vitamins C & E. This easily digestible formula comes in small pieces—just perfect for your puppy!
29. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dog Food
This recipe is especially for dogs that have sensitive stomachs and skin. This easily digested kibble provides your pup with complete and balance nutrition. It contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. You dog’s skin will be healthy and his coat will be nice and shiny with this diet.
30. Hill’s Science Diet Youthful Vitality Adult 7+ Dry Dog Food
Hill’s created this formula especially for dogs over 7 years of age. The benefits your pup will receive from this diet are nutrients to support healthy brain function, protein and L-carnitine for energy and vitality, vitamins C & E for strong immune system support, and a healthy digestive system. All ingredients are natural and work to keep your senior dog happy and active.
Up next on our list of 50 of the top kibble food for dogs is Natural Balance. This company is based in Burbank, California and was founded in 1989. Their dog food recipes are based on science and they offer a wide selection of dog foods—you’ll be sure to find just what your dog loves! Natural Balance’s recipes feature healthy proteins, complex carbohydrates and fresh fruits and vegetables. They were one of the first pet food companies to promote a limited ingredient diet category for pets. Natural Balance thoroughly tests each of their products before they’re distributed, so you can rest assured their food is safe when it lands in your dog’s bowl.
31. Natural Balance LID Limited Ingredient Diet Sweet Potato & Bison Dry Dog Food
This recipe is based on bison, a high-protein meat, and includes sweet potatoes, salmon oil, minerals and vitamins your dog needs each day. This formula contains no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives and is grain free.
32. Natural Balance Vegetarian Dry Dog Food Formula
This recipe provides your dog with a meat-free diet, while providing all the daily essential nutrition your pup needs. This product contains no meat or dairy products. Instead, protein and other nutrients are provided by brown rice, oatmeal, pearled barley, peas (an excellent protein source), tomatoes and more. The recipe includes Omegas 3 & 6 fatty acids to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy and you’ll find no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives in this kibble.
33. Natural Balance Fat Dogs Low Calorie Dry Dog Food Formula
This recipe holds nothing back in the name! It’s especially formulated for overweight or obese dogs. This low-calorie recipe provides your dog with all the nutrients he needs, but with fewer calories. Ingredients includes chicken meal, salmon meal, garbanzo beans, peas, barley, oats, along with other fruits and veggies. It’s also fortified with all the vitamins and minerals your pup needs every day.
35. Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health Puppy Food Chicken, Brown Rice & Duck Meal Formula
Works to promote your puppy’s health by providing all the essential nutrition he needs each day as he grows. This recipe provides the right balance of proteins and nutrients to support strong heart, eyes, bones and teeth. Not only that, but your puppy will also have healthy skin and a beautiful coat. Ingredients include chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, pea protein, chicken fat, duck meal, carrots, etc. along with the necessary vitamins and minerals for your puppy’s overall health.
Castor & Pollux
Castor & Pollux pet food company was started about 18 years ago and set out with the goal of creating the best dry dog food organically. Their Organix recipes contain only organic ingredients such as free-range chicken and turkey, pro- and prebiotics and Omega-3 fatty acids to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. Their food ingredients are produced without the use of chemical pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, artificial preservatives, added growth hormones or antibiotics. Organix recipes contain no corn, wheat or soy and all ingredients are non-GMO. All of their dog foods are cooked in an organically certified kitchen in the USA. Castor & Pollux brands include Organix and Pristine, with various formulas to fit your dog’s needs and life stage.
36. Organix Grain Free Organic Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe
This recipe is made with organic chicken and is grain free. Ingredients include organic flaxseed, blueberries, coconut oil and Omega-6 fatty acids for healthy coat and skin.
37. Organix Healthy Weight Recipe
This is USDA organic and contains about 20% less fat than their chicken and oatmeal recipe. The main ingredients include organic chicken, peas, brown rice and salmon meal. This recipe supplies all of your dog’s every day nutritional needs without all the extra calories.
38. Pristine Grain Free Grass-Fed Lamb & Lentil Recipe
The meat in this product comes from responsibly sourced ingredients, including grass-fed lamb raised without antibiotics or hormones. This product is grain free and contains no corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives. No ingredients come from China.
39. Pristine Grain Free Freeze-Dried Raw Grass-Fed Beef Recipe
This is the perfect choice if you’d like to feed your dog a raw diet. The meat in these recipes comes from responsibly sourced ingredients, including grass-fed beef. These animals were raised without the use of hormones or antibiotics. The recipe is grain free and contains no corn, soy, wheat, or gluten. This food is dry kibble that’s been freeze-dried, rather than cooked.
Tender & True
Tender and True, launched in 2014, has actually been in the pet food business for over 30 years. They believe in providing pet food made with only organic ingredients, providing your dog with all the nutrients he needs every day. Their recipes contain 95% organically certified ingredients, with sustainably sourced animal protein as the first ingredient on their pet food labels. None of their recipes contain wheat, soy or corn and they don’t use artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. All of their chicken and turkey recipes contain only certified organic meat that’s sourced from farmers in the US. Their seafood recipes only contain fish that’s been sustainably caught. They offer a wide variety of recipes for your dog.
40. Tender & True Organic Chicken & Liver Dry Dog Food
The first ingredient on the label is USDA organic chicken, along with other organic ingredients. The chickens used are certified humanely raised. Other ingredients include organic chicken meal, tapioca starch, dried peas, chickpea, flaxseed meal and more. Your canine companion will receive all the nutrition he needs every day, while enjoying a tasty recipe.
41. Tender & True Ocean Whitefish and Potato Dry Dog Food
This recipe starts off with ocean-caught whitefish listed first on the ingredient label. The fish was caught using sustainable fishing methods. In addition, you’ll find a blend of tasty organic ingredients including chicken meal, dried potato, tapioca starch, dried beet pulp, flaxseed meal and more. This recipe contains no wheat, soy, corn, artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. Your dog will receive all his essential daily nutrients while enjoying this whitefish meal.
Newman’s Own Dog Food
Newman’s Own pet food company is not only known for their organic pet foods, but for their charitable work, as well. 100% of the company’s profits are given to charity. Sales of all their dog foods and treats go to support animal rescue organizations. So, when you buy these products for your dog, you’re also helping other dogs and pet organizations in need.
42. Newman’s Own Advanced Formula High Protein for Active & Senior Dogs & Puppies
This advanced formula is high in protein and is the perfect choice for active dogs, senior dogs and puppies. The recipe meets the AAFCO Nutrient profiles for dogs of all life stages and contains no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, wheat or corn. Your pup will love this tasty recipe!
43. Newman’s Own Organic Adult Dry Dog Food
This recipe is low calorie and made with organic ingredients including chicken, organic barley, oats, peas, chicken meal and more. You’ll also find healthy omega fatty acids to support healthy skin and coat, along with probiotics for a healthy digestive system. Your pup will receive all the nutrients he needs every day with this formula.
Solid Gold was started back in 1974 and they specialize in pet foods that contain no preservatives and are made with USDA Choice meats. The company believes that all dogs deserve healthy, happy lives that start with excellent nutrition and natural products. They use unique ingredients in their recipes based on sustainable sources. Solid Gold’s dry recipes are completely produced in the US and contain no wheat, corn, soy, sugar, meat by-product meal, artificial preservatives or flavors.
44. Solid Gold Love at First Bark
This recipe, with the adorable name, is nutrient-dense, contains lean chicken protein, DHA for cognitive development and balanced Omega fatty acids. You’ll also find other essential vitamins and minerals including calcium for strong bones and teeth, potatoes, apples and more. This product is free of fillers—it contains no wheat, corn, soy and is made completely in the USA. Your puppy will receive all his daily nutrients when he eats this yummy recipe every day!
45. Solid Gold Hund-N-Flocken with Lamb
This Solid Gold recipe is based on grass-fed lamb, healthy whole grains and a unique blend of vitamins and minerals. Other ingredients include: lamb meal, brown rice, pearled barley, oatmeal, peas, chickpeas, rice bran, ocean fish, and more along with essential vitamins and minerals. This product is potato free, and also contains no wheat, corn, soy, artificial preservatives. It’s completely made in the US.
46. Solid Gold Holistique Blendz with Ocean Fish Meal
This nutrient-rich recipe is especially for less active, mature dogs. This holistic blend includes ocean fish as the single meat protein source, Omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat, natural vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for overall and immune health. You’ll also find prebiotics and live probiotics that support healthy digestion. Your older dog will love the fish flavor and may even need to fight off his feline friends for this tasty dish!
Iams was established back in 1946, with focus of enhancing the health of dogs and cats through nutrition. Then in the 1950s, the company was the first to use animal-based proteins as the primary protein in pet foods. Iams first developed natural pet foods in the 90s that included omega fatty acids. Iams continues to be dedicated to innovation and improvement of their products, with the ultimate goal of improving your pet’s health. They offer a wide variety of products, so you’re sure to find just the right one for your fur baby! You’ll find various dog foods for puppies, adults and senior dogs. They also offer products for dogs with certain health issues such as weight control needs, sensitive skin & stomach, etc.
47. Iams Proactive Health Adult Minichunks
This recipe helps to build strong muscles, support heart health, healthy skin and coat and provides your dog with the energy he needs to enjoy the day. Ingredients include chicken, corn meal, ground whole grain sorghum, chicken by-product meal, dried beet pulp, along with essential vitamins and minerals. This product contains no wheat, soy or artificial preservatives.
48. Iams Healthy Naturals Farm-Raised Chicken and Barley Recipe
This yummy recipe is sure to tempt your canine companion’s taste buds! This recipe is made with farm-raised chicken as the first ingredient on the label. It also contains farm-grown veggies and fruits. You won’t find any artificial preservatives, colors of flavors, but you will find healthy goodness packed into each food bag.
Purina has been around for a long time and is a well-known brand among pet owners. The company states it’s “committed to innovations that improve the lives of pets every day, like we have been for over 90 years and counting.” The company offers a wide range of products for dogs of all ages, along with products for dogs with certain health issues. They also have a few natural products geared toward improving your dog’s health. Each of Purina’s products is manufactured in the US where they can watch over every step of the pet food process. They even use a special near-infrared technology (NIR) to “fingerprint” specific ingredients for purity and quality before the products make it to your home.
49. Purina Chicken & Rice Formula Natural Adult Dog Food
The first ingredient for this recipe is chicken, which is a rich protein source that dogs love. This yummy recipe also contains Purina’s Dual-defense antioxidant blend to help support a strong immune system. This antioxidant blend consists of vitamins E & A, along with zinc and selenium. Not only do these antioxidants support a healthy immune system, they also help to make your dog’s coat and skin more healthy. Additional ingredients include brewer’s rice, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, poultry by-product meal (glucosamine source), whole grain wheat and more. This recipe provides all your dog’s daily nutritional requirements, according to the AAFCO.
50. Purina Beneful Originals with Real Beef
Your dog will love this beefy, protein-rich recipe! The first ingredient on the label is farm-raised beef. The recipe also includes a blend of whole grains and vegetables to ensure your dog gets the nutrition he needs every day. Some of the veggies in this recipe include dried spinach, dried peas and carrots—all healthy options for your fur baby. Along with this special blend of protein and veggies, the recipe includes all the vitamins and minerals that are essential to your dog’s daily health—all in a tasty, beefy recipe he’s sure to love.
Summing it Up
Nutritional Differences for Small, Medium and Large Dog Breeds
Another thing to keep in mind when researching the right food for your pup is his size. Not only do his nutritional requirements vary with age and breed, but also by size. Large and small breeds (don’t forget medium-sized breeds!) all have different metabolic rates. In other words, they need different amounts of calories based on their size. For instance, a small dog won’t need as many calories as a St. Bernard. The small dog may only need 400 calories a day, while the larger dog may require 2,000 calories a day to stay healthy.
Not only that, but you’ll also find differences as each dog ages. Small dogs can have quite lengthy lives; in this case, you may extend your pet’s life by feeding him antioxidant-rich dog foods. Antioxidant work to rid the body of free radicals that can cause cancer and other diseases. Larger dogs, on the other hand, are more prone to developing arthritis and joint problems as they age. To help a larger dog, it would be helpful to feed him foods that contain glucosamine and chondroitin, two ingredients that promote joint health and mobility. Other health issues for small dogs—they’re more prone to obesity and dental problems, especially in certain breeds where obesity is congenital. So, don’t forget to keep your dog’s size in mind when looking for the right foods for him.
You can even look for foods made especially for small, medium and large breeds of dogs
Know Your Dog’s Basic Health Information & Nutritional Requirements
Before buying food for your dog, it’s a good idea to compile some basic information about your dog’s nutritional requirements, the best ingredients, etc. We’re here to help. This kibble dog food guide has been created to help you find the best food for your furry canine companion. We’ve put together information about your pup’s daily nutritional requirements, the best and worst ingredients, foods for senior dogs and more. We’ve also included information on some of the best kibble dog food brands and the best dry dog foods they have to offer. Let’s get started!
What is Kibble Dog Food?
This may seem obvious, but not everyone is familiar with the term “kibble,” especially new pet owners. So, just what is kibble dog food? Kibble is dry dog food pellets, generally consisting of ground up food ingredients such as meat, vegetables, grains, etc. During the manufacturing process, an extruder (a machine) takes this mixture and compresses all the ground ingredients together. After this process, the kibble pellets are then cooked—it can be baked, freeze dried, etc. The result is dry dog food kibble.
The Debate: Kibble or Canned Food
There is some debate about which is best for your dog—kibble or canned dog food. How do you choose which is best for your pup? Some people decide to stay with the type of food their dog was eating when they got him. Others might base their choice on their veterinarian’s recommendations, whilesome pet owners may choose a type of food based on their budget and the price of the dog food. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of kibble or canned dog foods.
Kibble is easy and convenient to feed. Being a dry food, it won’t slop onto the floor when your dog eats. Not only that, but dry dog food lasts longer—it doesn’t spoil as fast as wet foods. Dry dog food is easily found in stores and online, and you have many types of formulas and recipes to choose from. You can choose a dog food based specifically on your pet’s health needs, such as allergies and food sensitivities. Dry dog food is not only good for meals—you can also use it as treats! Use kibble to train your dog and give him a treat when he’s been good. He’ll be happy to have these extra snacks! Kibble is also easy to transport—not only from the store to your home, but also when you travel. You don’t have to worry about keeping it refrigerated, etc. Dry dog food is generally cheaper per ounce than canned food, too.
Certain brands of dry dog food don’t use healthy ingredients. This is why it’s important to read all dog food labels carefully, especially the ingredient and nutrition lists. Some kibble contains grains and cereals (and/or other ingredients) that may cause your fur baby to have digestive problems. This may be especially true if he suffers from a sensitive stomach or has food allergies and sensitivities. Cheaper kibble dog food may contain ingredients such as unspecified animal parts, include parts of sick or dying animals, roadkill, harmful chemicals, artificial preservatives, and more. Kibble may have more carbs than canned food, which may be a problem for dogs that are overweight or obese. Now that we’ve taken at look at the pros and cons of dry dog food, let’s review some of the pros and cons of canned dog foods.
Canned Dog Food Pros
Canned dog food has a long shelf-life before it’s opened. Most canned foods are good from 1-3 years before they expire. Not only that, but canned foods are softer than kibble, and can be a better choice for dogs with dental problems such as missing or loose teeth, etc. Canned foods can be a healthier option for dogs with kidney problems. The kidneys work to remove toxins from the body and can use the extra hydration found in canned dog food. The extra hydration provided helps the kidneys work more efficiently to remove waste and avoid the buildup of harmful waste (including phosphorus) in a dog’s blood. One note—canned foods for dogs with kidney problems should be low in sodium. Talk to your veterinarian for specific recommendations if your dog has kidney issues.
Most dogs, even picky eaters, will eat canned dog food. You can even mix kibble with canned food to get your dog to eat better
Canned Dog Food Cons
Canned food is easier for dogs to eat and digest than some kibble foods. However, it’s usually more expensive than dry dog food. Wet dog food must be used quickly once it’s been opened, to keep it from spoiling. If your dog doesn’t eat the whole can at one meal, it’s necessary to keep the remainder in the fridge until his next meal. Canned food may not be as filling as kibble for some dogs. They may remain hungry in between meals. As you can see, there are pros and cons to both canned dog food and kibble dog food. If you’re still unsure which is best for your dog, then it’s a good idea to check with your dog’s breeder and/or veterinarian for some specific advice. They’ll know and understand your dog, be familiar with his health issues, age, lifestyle, etc. If they recommend kibble food, then read on to learn how to find the right kibble for your fur baby!
Choosing the Best Dog Food Brands and the Right Kibble Diet for Your Dog
1). Consider your pup’s age: puppies and young dogs will need more calories than an adult or senior dog. Senior dogs require fewer calories to maintain their ideal weight and health, because they’re typically less active then their younger canine friends.
2). Overall health: dogs that are pregnant, nursing or sick require more nutrition and calories. Pregnant or nursing momma dogs need the proper nutrition for their developing puppies, while sick dogs may need enhanced nutrition to support their immune response. In addition, your pup may have food allergies or sensitivities that require a specific type of diet, such as grain-free or a diet for diabetic dogs. And don’t forget to include your dog’s activity levels when assessing the best kibble for his needs. More active dogs will require more calories per day than a dog that’s not as active.
3). Overweight and obese dogs: just as we humans, dogs are increasingly becoming overweight or even obese. Being overweight or obese not only puts more stress on joints and bones, but it can lead to cardiovascular and/or respiratory conditions. It’s a good idea to look for a kibble made for dogs who need to reduce their weight.
4). Dental and oral health: when choosing foods for your dog, be sure to keep his dental and oral health in mind. Dogs can develop some of the same dental problems their humans have, including bad breath, broke/loose/missing teeth, bleeding gums, pain in or around the mouth, difficulty chewing, etc. Also, smaller dogs may need smaller sizes of kibble than their larger canine companions. Their mouths are smaller and chewing big, hard pieces of kibble can be a struggle.
Reading Kibble Dog Food Labels
Learning to read the labels on your pet’s food is an important part of ensuring his food is safe and offers healthy ingredients that meet his daily nutritional requirements. The United States Food and Drug Administration has established rules that pet food manufacturers must follow when it comes to pet food labels. All pet food labels are required to have the following information:
- Proper identification of the product (product name)
- Net quality statement (net weight—how much food is in the container or bag)
- Manufacturer’s name and address (also known as the statement of responsibility)
- Ingredient list (with ingredients listed according to decreasing weight)
- Statement of purpose (the packaging must say the food is specifically for dogs)
- Nutritional adequacy statement (tells you what age/lifestyle/life state the dog food is for; ex. puppies, adults or senior dogs)
- Guaranteed analysis (tells you the minimum or maximum amount of protein, fat, fiber, etc.)
- Feeding directions (required on most pet food products that claim to they’re balanced and complete)
- Expiration date (the date when the product is no longer safe to feed your dog)
When reading your dog’s food labels, be sure all of this information is included on whatever type dog food you choose. Each of these points must be included on all dog food containers—whether dry kibble or wet canned food.
Reading Ingredient Labels – Healthy Ingredients vs. Ingredients to Avoid
Next, you’ll need to read the dog food label to ensure the ingredients are safe and healthy for your precious fur baby. This is where it’s necessary to pay close attention to the ingredient list and know what ingredients should be included and what ingredients to avoid when it comes to your canine companion’s food and his health. Here are some tips to help guide you through the maze of the most common dog food ingredients.
Healthy ingredients that may be included in your pet’s food include:
- Protein: usually some type of meat. Meat is a good source of protein, iron, some B vitamins and essential fatty acids. In addition, they make foods taste better to your pup. The most common sources of protein used in quality dog foods come from lamb, beef, poultry, pork, fish, rabbit and game animals (for ex. venison).
- Fruits & Vegetables: are a good source of many nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and fiber. Healthy ingredients for dogs include beets, beans, carrots, corn, potatoes, peas, spinach, etc.
- Cereals: these are an excellent source of energy, protein, thiamine and niacin. Any cereal ingredients should include the whole grains or be grain-free.
- Fats & oils: provide energy and essential fatty acids. They’re important for keeping kidneys healthy, reproduction and a shiny coat. Essential fatty acids may include sources of omega 3 & 6.
- Vitamin and mineral supplements: these are usually added to ensure your fur baby receives all his daily nutrient requirements.
- Sugars: are sometimes added to dog food to help brown the meat during the cooking process. It not only improves the color of the food, but also improves the taste.
- Additives: include everything from vitamins (see above), flavorings, antioxidants, coloring, and preservatives. Did you know that most dog foods contain the same additives as our food? Additives can help your pup’s food taste better, have higher nutritive value and help keep it from spoiling. Look for natural preservatives, rather than artificial. Natural preservatives include: ascorbic acid (vitamin C), plant extracts (such as rosemary), etc.
Ingredients to avoid that may be included in some kibble dog food:
Artificial preservatives: these include BHT and/or BHA, ethoxyquin, etc. Some artificial preservatives have been shown to be carcinogens (can cause cancer), and they can be responsible for behavioral problems (such as increased aggression), etc.
White flour: can cause blood sugar to spike and then quickly drop, which can lead to your dog feeling hungry again soon after eating. Too much white flour is known to cause weight gain, obesity and diabetes.
“Meat” and meat meal: these are generic terms that could mean the main source of protein comes from bone meal, is derived from sick or disease animals, etc. Instead, look for labels that name the source of protein. For example, look for labels listing beef, lamb, deboned chicken or even meals of these meats.
Artificial colors and flavors: these are added to the food to make it look and taste better. However, these chemicals can cause your pup health problems. Colors to watch for include Blue No. 2 (linked to tumor development in male mice), Red No. 40, Yellow No 5. (the second most commonly used dye—has been known to cause mild allergic reactions), Yellow No 6. (can cause kidney and adrenal gland tumors), animal digest (boiled down broth of unnamed animal parts—could be roadkill, euthanized animals from shelters, diseased or dying animals, etc.). Flavorings (including spices and extracts) are used to add flavor; however, little to no information is given (on some products) as to what the flavoring is made of or from what it’s been derived).
Rendered fat: can be derived from almost any animal, including those that are disabled or sick. Look for labels that include fat from named sources and avoid terms such as “poultry fat,” “animal fat,” “vegetable oil.” Instead choose kibble that includes “salmon oil,” “chicken fat”, “beef fat,” etc.
Cellulose: is sometimes added as fiber to some pet foods. The problem with cellulose compared to other fiber sources is that your dog will have problems digesting it. Cellulose is made from wood and plant fibers and is used in place of real fiber sources due to being cheaper. It also acts as a binder, emulsifier, and anti-caking agent. Healthy sources of fiber on a label include whole foods and grains such as carrots, oats, beet pulp, legumes and flaxseed.
These are a few of the ingredients that you should watch for and avoid in your pet’s food. By choosing foods with healthy, whole ingredients, your pup will receive nothing but healthy nutrients. You’ll have a happy, active fur baby on your hands by choosing the healthiest kibble for him!
Daily Nutritional and Vitamin Requirements for Dogs
Now that we’ve covered ingredients to watch for and to avoid, it’s time to take a look at your pup’s daily nutritional requirements. Any pet food you serve your dog should provide enough nutrients to meet his daily needs, so your fur baby is able to maintain a shiny coat, excellent overall health and maintain activity levels for his age.
Here’s a table of what your pup needs daily in order to stay healthy*:
|Nutrients||Daily Requirement (Amount)|
|Vitamin K||0.41 mg|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.56 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.4 mg|
|Pantothenic Acid||4 mg|
|Vitamin B12||9 μg|
|Folic Acid||68 μg|
*Daily needs for an adult dog weighing 33 pounds, consuming 1,000 calories per day.
The table (above) shows the nutrition a typical adult dog needs each day. This will vary depending on your pup’s age, life stage (puppy/adult/senior), his overall health (including pregnancy and lactating females, illness, etc.) and activity levels. For pets with special needs, your veterinarian will be the best guide about the specific nutritional requirements your dog needs from his food. Additional nutritional requirements for your adult dog (for a 30 lb dog) include 25 grams of protein, 14 grams of fat. Caloric intake for active dogs (getting lots of exercise) is 350-400 per ten pounds of body weight. For inactive dogs, calories should be about 200-300 calories per ten pounds of body weight. And pregnant or nursing dogs will require more calories. When shopping for dry dog food, be sure to read the ingredient list and make sure the kibble provides these minimum daily nutritional requirements. Your fur baby deserves a healthy, active and happy life. This starts with good nutrition.
Other Considerations for Your Pet’s Food
Now that we’ve covered how to read pet food labels, there are a few more considerations when it comes to your canine companion’s food:
a). AAFCO certification: the Association of American Feed Control Officials develops and promotes nutritional standards for animal feeds (for ex. farm animals) and pet foods. Be aware that this is not a regulatory body, but they do work to ensure a baseline nutritional standard is met by all pet foods. If you see the AAFCO certification on the label, rest assured this food provides all the nutrition your fur buddy needs ni his busy day.
b). “Organic” or “Natural”: these two terms can be confusing. “Organic” refers to how a food ingredient has been grown and processed, while “natural” means there are not artificial flavors or colors in the pet food. Shopping for organic dog food can have several benefits, including lower probably of allergies and itchy skin, fewer digestive problems (including diarrhea and/or constipation), better overall health and a stronger immune system, better quality of life and even a longer life.
c). Food allergies and/or sensitivities: just like us, our canine friends can have food sensitivities or allergies. According to PetMD, about 10% of all allergies in dogs are food allergies; the most common allergens are beef, dairy, wheat, chicken, egg, lamb, soy, pork, fish and rabbit. If your fur baby has a known food allergy or sensitivity, be sure to read all dog food labels thoroughly so your pup won’t have to deal with an allergy flare-up.
d). Breed-specific kibble: when you’re out shopping for kibble dog food, you’ll more than likely come across pet food labels that include the words “breed-specific.” These foods are developed for different breeds of dogs—the reasoning is that a small dog, such as a Chihuahua, has different nutritional needs that another breed, such as a Great Dane. If you’re unsure if your dog needs a breed-specific dog food, check with your veterinarian to see what they recommend. Most healthy adult dogs will do just fine on a regular kibble dog food diet.
What about kibble for puppies? Let’s take a quick look at puppies and their special nutritional requirements.
Kibble Puppy Food
Puppy kibble is created to meet all the nutritional requirements for puppies and dogs that are still growing (until they reach their adult years). Adult dog foods don’t provide your puppy with the right amount of nutrition to stay healthy as he grows. In fact, puppies require about twice as many nutrients compared to an adult dog. Their little bodies are growing and developing at a fast rate and they need the proper nutrients to develop strong bones and teeth, muscles, joints, develop a strong immune system and to maintain their organs. Look for puppy kibble with the AAFCO certification to ensure the pet food meets his baseline daily nutritional requirements. Also check to make sure the puppy kibble contains at least 30% protein, along with high fat content to keep him active as he grows.
It’s generally recommended that puppies’ first food is kibble; this is because kibble typically contains the most protein derived from meat sources. Kibble is also cheaper and good for your puppy’s developing teeth and it easier for him to digest. However, you can give your puppy a mix of kibble and moist canned food if he prefers that to just dry kibble. Puppies should be fed about three times a day until they’re 8-10 weeks old; however, check with your vet to make sure, as some puppies may require three feedings a day until they’re a little older. At this age, it may be necessary to cut his meals down to twice a day, as he won’t need as many calories as when he was smaller. Twice a day feedings are generally in the morning and in the evening.
Senior Dogs and Kibble
As dogs age, their bodies go through many changes, just as ours do. Older dogs are prone to being overweight or obese, may face heart problems, diabetes, arthritis and more. Dogs are also living longer these days, due to healthier diets and life styles. With these things in mind, it’s important to make sure your pup receives the nutrition he needs in his senior years. You can find kibble diets especially for older dogs—these foods are generally lower in calories. Kibble for elderly fur babies may also be higher in fiber, as some dogs can have issues with constipation as they age.
Rather than become obese, your pup may be the opposite—too thin. This often comes from not eating well, which may due to a lack of interest in his food. If you notice your pup getting thinner as he ages, be sure to make an appointment with the veterinarian. Your dog should have a complete physical exam to make sure he’s not suffering from other health issues. If he checks out fine, there are something you can do to get him interested in eating again:
1). Feed him moistened kibble: you might try mixing kibble with canned food or adding broth to his kibble. This will make the food smell better (some older dogs lose their sense of smell), while adding flavor and making the dry dog food easier to eat. If you add broth, make sure it’s slightly warmed—but not boiling—before you add it to the kibble. This enhances the flavor and the smell for your pup.
2). Add milk or eggs: if your dog doesn’t have milk or egg allergies, he might enjoy these added to his kibble. You can make a scrambled egg and add to his food or add a little bit of milk to moisten the kibble.
If your fur baby continues to have feeding issues, be sure to check with your veterinarian or breeder for advice on how to entice your senior dog to healthy eating once again.
Mixed Feedings: Mixing Wet and Dry Dog Foods
Many pet owners are confused when it comes to mixing or not mixing kibble and wet dog foods. You may be in this situation and wondering if it’s OK to mix dry and wet dog food together. The short answer is yes—it’s definitely OK!
In fact, there are some benefits to feeding your dog a mixed diet:
1). You’ll ensure your pup gets all the nutrients he needs for each life stage
2). Gives your dog more variety and will keep his interest, rather than eating only one type of food every day.
3). Wet food can be heated, which increases the smell and the flavor—both of which can entice even a picky eater
4). Increases the water in dry food
5). It’s beneficial for your dog’s oral health to eat a mixed meal.
When mixing kibble and wet dog food, make sure to read the labels to see how many calories are in each serving. You’ll need to make sure that you’re not adding unnecessary calories, as this could make your pup gain weight.
If your dog’s on a special prescription diet, be sure to check with your veterinarian before mixing foods together. Some dogs need to stay on a dry only diet—adding canned food could unknowingly cause a health problem to worsen. So, check with your vet before mixing and if you have any questions about mixing wet dog food with kibble.
How Often to Feed Your Dog Every Day
How much and how often to feed your dog each day depends on his age, life style, size, and breed. Each pet food label should include information on recommended serving sizes. This is a baseline guide for what your dog needs each day. Most puppies will need 2-3 meals a day (possibly even 4), while healthy adult dogs do well with two feedings a day—once in the morning and again in the evening. You can adjust the amount of food as necessary; for instance, if you notice your adult dog is gaining weight, then give him a little less food at each feeding. If he’s losing weight, give him more food to gain the weight back and find the best measure to keep him at his optimal weight. (Note: if your dog continues to lose weight, then it’s time to see the veterinarian to check for possible health issues causing that could be causing the weight loss).
How to Measure Dry Dog Food
When it comes to measuring our dog’s food each day, most of us just reach for any old glass, cup or bowl. However, this is not the right way to ensure your dog’s getting the right amount of food at each meal. In fact, by not using the right type of measuring cup, you could accidentally be underfeeding or overfeeding your dog, both of which could have serious health consequences. You canine companion could end up weak and thin, or obese and not able to keep up normal activity levels for his age. So, what is the right way to measure out your dog’s food for each meal? There are a couple of options. The first is get an inexpensive set of measuring cups—like the ones you use for cooking and baking your own food. If a dog food label specifies one or two cups of food per day, then you know exactly how much your dog should get—just use the one-cup measuring cup from the set you just bought.
Another option is to buy a small kitchen scale. These weigh the amount of food usually based on grams. These are also inexpensive and easy to find at brick and mortar stores or online. A third option is an automatic pet feeder that doles out specific amounts of food. These are great not only for measuring out your pup’s food, but they also work when you’re gone for the day. You can set up the device to feed your dog specific amounts of time at pre-programmed times of the day. An automatic feeder also allows you to manage your dog’s weight by providing more frequent, smaller meals throughout the day. And your pup will have a fresh meal every time! Not only that, but you can set the automatic feeder to feed your dog while you’re still sleeping in the morning. No more early morning wakeups to a hungry, demanding dog! These are some options you can choose to help properly measure out your dog’s food. Your dog needs the right amount of food for every meal, in order to remain healthy and happy. Not only that, but measuring his food will help your dog stay at his optimal weight—he won’t be too thin or too heavy.
Which Kibble is the Best Dry Dog Food?
After reading this far, you may still have questions as to which kibble is the best for your dog. The best advice will come directly from your pup’s breeder or veterinarian. They’ll know your dog the best—all of his health issues, his life stage, lifestyle and activity level, etc. Your vet will be able to advise you about the best food for your dog and may be able to recommend specific brands and where to shop, etc. Now that we’ve covered everything from food labels to nutrition, it’s time to take a look at the 50 best kibble foods for your canine fur baby!
We’ve covered quite a bit of territory in this article! Everything from proper nutrition to best dog food brands of kibble for your pup. When it comes to any type of dog food, including kibble, be sure to keep your dog’s overall age, lifestyle, size and activity level in mind. In addition, nutritional requirements vary with size and more, so be sure to find foods specifically created for him and any health issues he has.Remember to read the labels of each food you research. Look for healthy ingredients and stay away from kibble that includes artificial anything—preservatives, colors, flavorings, etc. Also look for foods that offer a single animal protein as the first ingredient, you can also choose kibble that uses organic and sustainable ingredients.
Don’t forget to read other customers’ reviews when researching kibble for your pup. Even negative reviews can point to problems and issues other dogs have had with the food. We hope this kibble dog food guide helps you to find the best dry dog food for your fur baby! If you still have questions, remember to ask your vet if you have any questions about what dog food is best for your dog.