While there are various types of food products for your pet, dry dog food remains one of the most preferred, not only by pet owners but also by veterinarians. Sadly, not all canine kibbles are formulated with your pet’s optimum nutrition and health in mind. That’s why choosing healthy dog food is a must if we want our furry 4-legged friends to grow to reach their optimal fitness and well-being. The team at MyPetNeedsThat.com gathered some of the best dry dog food brands for your consideration.

The 11 Top-Rated Dog Kibble

Editor's PickProduct NamePriceRating
Best High-ProteinTaste Of The Wild High Prairie Dry Dog FoodCheck Price on Amazon4.7
Best With GrainsWellness Complete Health Adult Deboned ChickenCheck Price on Chewy4.4
Best For Healthy Immune SystemBlue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Dry Dog FoodCheck Price on PetSmart4.7
Best For Large Breeds Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Adult Dry FoodCheck Price on Chewy4.6
Best HypoallergenicNatural Balance L.I.D. Lamb & Brown Rice FormulaCheck Price on Amazon4.7
Best For Multiple DogsCANIDAE All Life Stages Chicken, Turkey, Lamb, and Fish Meal FormulaCheck Price on Chewy4.5
Best BudgetIams ProActive Health Adult MiniChunks Dry Dog FoodCheck Price on PetSmart4.6
Best For Healthy DigestionDiamond Naturals Beef Meal & Rice FormulaCheck Price on Amazon4.6
Best Grain-Free I And Love And You Naked Essentials Dry Dog FoodCheck Price on Chewy4.6
Best For Senior DogsHill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken Meal Dry Dog FoodCheck Price on PetSmart4.7
Best For Small BreedsWellness CORE Small Breed Turkey & Chicken Dry FoodCheck Price on Chewy4.6
*Ratings are from Amazon, Chewy, and PetSmart at the time of publication and can change

1 Best High-Protein: Taste of the Wild High Prairie Dry Dog Food

Best High-Protein: Taste of the Wild High Prairie Dry Dog Food
Key features:
  • Brand: Taste of the Wild
  • First 5 ingredients: Water Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
  • Primary Protein Source: Beef & Lamb
  • Calories: 370 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Beef, Venison, Lamb Meat
  • Life Stage: Adult

Providing your pooch with a variety of novel yet protein-packed ingredients such as bison, venison, wild fowl, salmon, lamb, and boar, in addition to the usual sources of meat proteins for doggies, the Taste of the Wild is one of the best when it comes to total dog nutrition. It is perfect for doggies that may have already grown hypersensitive to the usual sources of protein like beef and chicken. And if that is not enough, this healthy dog food is also grain-free. Instead, other healthier sources of carbs have been included. Taste of the Wild High Prairie  is one of 7 dog food recipes mentioned in our Taste of The Wild Dog Food Review.

 

Ingredients:

Water Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Potatoes, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Egg Product, Roasted Bison, Roasted Venison, Beef, Natural Flavor, Tomato Pomace, Potato Protein, Pea Protein, Ocean Fish Meal, Salt, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, Tomatoes, Blueberries, Raspberries, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D Supplement, Folic Acid. Contains A Source Of Live (Viable), Naturally Occurring Microorganisms.

What others say about it:
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This is a great food for my dogs. I did extensive research on what would be the best food for my two Australian cattle dogs. This is perfect for them. There are no grains, which for my dogs is what they need. My suggestion to people who are looking for the best dog food is to research your breed and see what fits for your dog. Do your homework before you commit to a food. This is the only food I will feed my ACD’s. We also have a Doberman Pinscher, who has to be on a different food.

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2 Best With Grains: Wellness Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken

Best With Grains: Wellness Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken
Key features:
  • Brand: Wellness
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Barley, Peas
  • Primary Protein Source: Chicken
  • Calories: 434 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Chicken & Oatmeal
  • Life Stage: Adult

Available only in preparations of chicken and lamb, the Wellness Complete is one of those healthy dog food preparations that don’t do away with grains. At least what it’s included in its formulation are healthier wholesome whole grains like barley and oatmeal, giving your pooch added health benefits. The Wellness Complete also prides itself of using only the finest all-natural ingredients.

You may also like our review of Wellness Core Dog Food.

Ingredients:

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Barley, Peas, Ground Brown Rice, Chicken Fat, Tomato Pomace, Ground Flaxseed, Tomatoes, Carrots, Natural Chicken Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Spinach, Vitamin E Supplement, Taurine, Zinc Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Sweet Potatoes, Apples, Blueberries, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Chicory Root Extract, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Garlic Powder, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract. This is a naturally preserved product.

What others say about it:
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I’ve been feeding my dog this food since I switched her to adult food about a year and a half ago. She loves it, goes at it with enthusiasm! I like the ingredients. It doesn’t have an offending odor, it’s not greasy, and it’s a great value for the quality it seems to have. My dog is a husky, high energy but can be lazy when need-be. This food seems to suit her well. Kibble size is great for her, they are a 3-D triangle shape. She licks the bowl after every meal. The only thing I’d like to see is for them to use a closable bag. I like to buy the largest bag because it’s the best value, and lasts about almost 2 months. But you can’t seal or keep it closed on its own after opening.

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3 Best for Healthy Immune System: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Dry Dog Food

Best for Healthy Immune System: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Dry Dog Food
Key features:
  • Brand: Blue Buffalo
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal
  • Primary Protein Source: Chicken
  • Calories: 378 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Chicken & Brown Rice
  • Life Stage: Adult

The Blue Life Protection Formula offers a good blend of rich meat-based proteins and fats with antioxidant-rich whole grain in the form of brown rice. It also has an exceptional ratio of protein and fat content to fiber and moisture for a more well-balanced canine nutrition. It comes in a variety of protein sources such as fish, lamb, and chicken to provide you with amazing choices, although not that too many compared to the Taste of the Wild.

For more information on the brand, check out our Blue Buffalo Dog Food Reviews.

Ingredients:

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Pea Starch, Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Tomato Pomace, Natural Flavor, Peas, Pea Protein, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Potatoes, Dried Chicory Root, Pea Fiber, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Dicalcium Phosphate, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Garlic, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vegetable Juice for color, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Copper Sulfate, Biotin (Vitamin B7), L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), L-Lysine, L-Carnitine, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Sulfate, Taurine, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary.

What others say about it:
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Upon acquiring our son’s full blood female Blue Pit, we’re now a two dog household and the breeds couldn’t be different. Initially I fed her the same food as I’d given our male Min-Pin for several years then decided to research some more breed specific dietary needs and they each have their own food now. I found several that met the criteria I’d laid out and went with this variation of Blue Buffalo when I could simply read no longer. She truly loves it and even with cutting back (my husband was way over feeding her) to the recommended serving size and schedule, she stays full. Whereas before, even with too much food at a sitting, she acted as though she were famished when the next mealtime rolled around. She’s lost the few extra pounds, isn’t gulping down the bits without even chewing and is much calmer when given her morning and evening servings. I will definitely continue to order the Blue Buffalo brand as I truly believe it is meeting all of her needs and I feel good about giving it to her.

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4 Best for Large Breeds: Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Adult Dry Food

Best for Large Breeds: Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Adult Dry Food
Key features:
  • Brand: Nutro
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Sorghum, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal
  • Primary Protein Source: Chicken
  • Calories: 335 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Chicken & Brown Rice
  • Life Stage: Adult 18+ Months

Nutro Natural Choice provides you with dry food that perfectly suits your larger dog’s needs. Not only is it packed with protein and fiber, but it’s also an excellent source of glucosamine and chondroitin to support healthy joints. Rest assured, this company uses all-natural products, from reliable sources, that will help strengthen your dog’s immune. They don’t use soy, by-products, or wheat in this delicious recipe, which makes it the ideal choice for sensitive stomachs. The densely packed fiber in chicken also promotes a healthy digestive system. So not only is this food specially formulated to keep them healthy, but it is also full of flavor to keep your pooch happy and fighting fit.

Read our in-depth Nutro Dog Food Review.

Ingredients:

Chicken, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Sorghum, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Split Peas, Whole Grain Oatmeal, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Whole Flaxseed, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Whole Grain Barley, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, Salt, Citric Acid (preservative), Mixed Tocopherols (preservative), Chia Seed, Dried Coconut, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Egg Product, Dried Pumpkin, Dried Kale, Dried Spinach, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.

What others say about it:
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Been using this brand for 2 years now…no complaints from the pup…we add the salmon flavored supplement and even though he’s an Akita and they are prone to excessive shedding…his coat is fantastic and very little shedding.

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5 Best Hypoallergenic: Natural Balance L.I.D. Lamb & Brown Rice Formula

Best Hypoallergenic: Natural Balance L.I.D. Lamb & Brown Rice Formula
Key features:
  • Brand: Natural Balance
  • First 5 ingredients: Lamb, Brown Rice, Lamb Meal, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran
  • Primary Protein Source: Lamb
  • Calories: 370 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Lamb & Brown Rice
  • Life Stage: Adult

The Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets is a great choice for pet parents who may have hounds that have food allergies. These dogs will typically require an elimination diet whereby protein and not-easily-digestible food molecules are excluded from the dog’s diet. Nature’s Balance contains lamb as a novel protein which should help dogs’ digestive systems not to react to it.

The addition of brown rice helps provide for the energy needs of dogs while eliminating the allergenic nature of gluten from wheat and other ingredients. Natural Balance is the perfect choice not only for those who have dogs with allergies, but also pet parents who want a well-balanced diet for their hounds that contain novel and equally-nutritious proteins, fats, and carbs.

Read our full brand review.

Ingredients:

Lamb, Brown Rice, Lamb Meal, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran, Brewers Dried Yeast, Sunflower Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, Taurine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, D-calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.

What others say about it:
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This is the only brand I purchase for my Dogs. I have Great Danes and you feed them like champion race horses…So I am cautious about what they eat. My dogs do not eat chicken …do you know how hard it is to find food for a dog with chicken allergies? hidden chicken everywhere. This food doesn’t have chicken unless you purchase the chicken line of foods. I only give my dogs Natural Balance and I am a free feeder and my dogs are sleek and beautiful. Champions.

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6 Best for Multiple Dogs: CANIDAE All Life Stages Chicken, Turkey, Lamb, and Fish Meal Formula

Best for Multiple Dogs: CANIDAE All Life Stages Chicken, Turkey, Lamb, and Fish Meal Formula
Key features:
  • Brand: CANIDAE
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Lamb Meal, Brown Rice, White Rice
  • Primary Protein Source: Chicken, Lamb & Turkey
  • Calories: 468 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Chicken, Turkey, Lamb, Fish Meal
  • Life Stage: Adult Puppy & Senior

Designed specifically for households with multiple dogs at various ages, the CANIDAE Life Stages is a healthy dog food option that provides complete and well-balanced nutrition for everyone in the pack from the pup all the way to the senior canine. It doesn’t have wheat but has incorporated wholesome healthy whole grains into its formulation for added health benefits.

Read here our detailed review of CANIDAE Dog Food.

Ingredients:

Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Lamb Meal, Brown Rice, White Rice, Rice Bran, Peas, Potatoes, Oatmeal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Chicken Fat, Millet, Tomato Pomace, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Oceanfish Meal, Salmon Oil, Choline Chloride, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Suncured Alfalfa, Inulin (From Chicory Root), Lecithin, Sage Extract, Cranberries, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract, Sunflower Oil, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Minerals (Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite), Mixed Tocopherols (A Preservative), Papaya, Pineapple. Contains A Source Of Live Naturally Occurring Microorganisms.

What others say about it:
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I recently switched my two dogs (one is around 3 and the other is almost 10) to this food and have been happy so far. It has good ratings on the dog food advisor website, and the dogs have transitioned well. My vet wanted to make sure it wasn’t grain free as that has been causing heart issues in dogs, and this food has rice and barley in it. I am also happy that it has several sources of protein and good for all ages and sizes of dogs. I feel like it will be an easy food to continue them on without having to switch up the type of protein or worry about their age difference. I also like that this type comes in a big bag as both my dogs are 70-ish lbs.

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7 Best Budget: Iams ProActive Health Adult MiniChunks Dry Dog Food

Best Budget: Iams ProActive Health Adult MiniChunks Dry Dog Food
Key features:
  • Brand: Iams
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken By-Product Meal, Dried Plain Beet Pulp
  • Primary Protein Source: Chicken
  • Calories: 380 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Life Stage: Adult 1+

The IAMS Proactive Health Minichunks is especially formulated with protein-rich chicken that are guaranteed to be farm-raised. The blend is enriched with l-carnitine which can aid in your dog’s metabolism, an important aspect of maintaining a healthy weight. IAMS is especially known for its well-balanced formulation of dog foods, using only the finest ingredients, and blending them in a unique kibble that dogs will have no problems chewing and eating. The nutrients afforded by wholesome grains, vegetables, and fruits are what can keep your pet’s coat and skin as healthy as they possibly can be. These nutrients also support the immune system as well as cardiovascular and neuromuscular functioning.

Ingredients:

Chicken, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken By-Product Meal, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Dried Egg Product, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Caramel Color, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement (source of Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide), Potassium Chloride, Carrot, Choline Chloride, Fructooligosaccharides, Calcium Carbonate, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Rosemary Extract.

What others say about it:
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I love this food! It so good that my master even lets me have it as a snack! He also says I can have it if I go get the ball. Only thing that I don’t understand is that he keeps throwing the ball across the yard and then giving me more food! What an idiot….humans. Anyway, I have always eaten this food since I was I little pup and it keeps me regular, gives me a nice thick coat nice with a little bit of a shine. I highly recommend that canine friends out there beg that their masters get some!

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8 Best for Healthy Digestion: Diamond Naturals Beef Meal & Rice Formula

Best for Healthy Digestion: Diamond Naturals Beef Meal & Rice Formula
Key features:
  • Brand: Diamond
  • First 5 ingredients: Beef Meal, Grain Sorghum, Ground White Rice, Dried Yeast, Egg Product
  • Primary Protein Source: Beef
  • Calories: 329 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Beef
  • Life Stage: Adult

For pet parents who are looking to improve their pets’ digestion, Diamond Naturals Real Meat Recipe follows a very simple formula to give your dog food that has a nutrient profile that is as close to its ancestral diet as possible. Perhaps what is worth noting is the inclusion of 80 million colony-forming units of lactobacillus strains that help promote healthier digestion by maintaining the delicate balance between good and bad bacteria in the dog’s gut. More importantly is the role of probiotics in boosting the dog’s immune system which can be further enhanced by the high protein content of the Diamond Naturals.

Ingredients:

Beef Meal, Grain Sorghum, Ground White Rice, Dried Yeast, Egg Product, Rice Bran, Cracked Pearled Barley, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Dl-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Kale, Chia Seed, Pumpkin, Blueberries, Oranges, Quinoa, Dried Kelp, Coconut, Spinach, Carrots, Papaya, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Beta Carotene, Chondroitin Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid. Contains A Source Of Live (Viable), Naturally Occurring Microorganisms. The Facility In Which This Food Is Made Also Makes Food That May Contain Other Ingredients.

What others say about it:
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Great food and good size(Larger kibble), chicken and lamb are also amazing but they are smaller kibble. Diamond naturals has amazing quality food at an extremely affordable price(compared to other top quality dog foods). If youre on a budget and care for your dog, get this! Anything lower priced is seriously questionable quality.

Highly recommend the beef since its too big for my dog to swallow whole, so she chews them, while for chicken and lamb those are just inhaled sometimes

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9 Best Grain-Free: I and Love and You Naked Essentials Dry Dog Food

Best Grain-Free: I and Love and You Naked Essentials Dry Dog Food
Key features:
  • Brand: I and Love and You
  • First 5 ingredients: Lamb, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Garbanzo Beans, Ground Peas
  • Primary Protein Source: Lamb & Chicken
  • Calories: 361 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Lamb & Bison
  • Life Stage: All Ages

One of the greatest strengths of Naked Essentials is its use of lamb and bison as animal proteins. While more and more products are now including lamb in their formulations because of its low potential for causing allergies, only a few products ever put bison in their formulations. What’s more, Naked Essentials comes with both probiotics and prebiotics to help enhance canine immune functioning and digestion. Its grain-free formulation builds on the hypoallergenic potential of its novel protein content, making the Naked Essentials a worthy replacement for other types of dry dog food.

Ingredients:

Lamb, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Garbanzo Beans, Ground Peas, Pea Starch, Lentils, Brewers Dried Yeast, Flaxseeds, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Bison, Dried Sweet Potatoes, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Natural Chicken Flavor, Pea Protein, Salt, Potassium Chloride, DL-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, Fish Oil, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source Of Vitamin B6), Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid), Minerals (Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Mixed Tocopherols (A Preservative), Rosemary Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Reuteri Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product

What others say about it:
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I discovered this wonderful dog food last fall and have fed both my Lab and Golden Retriever this product ever since. Not only do both dogs love this, but it has been very helpful in regard to allergies and digestive issues. I will continue to use and recommend this very high quality dog food.

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10 Best for Senior Dogs: Hill’s Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken Meal Dry Dog Food

Best for Senior Dogs: Hill's Science Diet Adult 7+ Chicken Meal Dry Dog Food
Key features:
  • Brand: Hill’s Science Diet
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Corn
  • Primary Protein Source: Chicken
  • Calories: 353 kcal/8-oz cup
  • Flavor: Chicken Meal, Rice & Barley
  • Life Stage: Adult 7+

Hill’s Science’s Active Longevity healthy dog food combines premium quality chicken protein with the wholesomeness of whole grains to give you a well-balanced diet for your adult mutt. It is packed with immune system-boosting antioxidants as well as body-building amino acids for greater health. It doesn’t contain any artificial ingredients in its formulation.

Ingredients:

Chicken Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Corn, Whole Grain Sorghum, Whole Grain Oats, Chicken Fat, Dried Beet Pulp, Soybean Meal, Chicken Liver Flavor, Soybean Oil, Lactic Acid, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Iodized Salt, Choline Chloride, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), L-Lysine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, DL-Methionine, Oat Fiber, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Natural Flavors, L-Carnitine, Beta-Carotene, Apples, Broccoli, Carrots, Cranberries, Green Peas.

What others say about it:
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Recently switched after my vet’s office recommended this brand. Been a week buy so far my 13 old dog seems to really enjoy it. She took to it right away and seems to be agreeing with her. I’ve noticed she also does not eat grass as much.

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11 Best for Small Breeds: Wellness CORE Small Breed Turkey & Chicken Dry Food

Best for Small Breeds: Wellness CORE Small Breed Turkey & Chicken Dry Food
Key features:
  • Brand: Wellness CORE
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Lentils, Peas
  • Primary Protein Source: Turkey & Chicken
  • Calories: 412 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Turkey
  • Life Stage: Adult

Available in a blend of whitefish, salmon, and herring to give your pooch exceptional omega-3 fatty acids, Wellness Core is a healthy dog food that may be a bit pricier than most of the products in this list. It is also available in turkey and chicken as well as a blend of wild duck, rabbit, boar, and turkey. Wellness Core comes with high protein content without artificial ingredients, wheat, soy, and corn.

Ingredients:

Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal (source of Glucosamine), Chicken Meal (source of Chondroitin Sulfate), Lentils, Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato Pomace, Ground Flaxseed, Natural Chicken Flavor, Salmon Oil, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Spinach, Broccoli, Carrots, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Kale, Spearmint, Zinc Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.

What others say about it:
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A great adult food for small fur babies! Had our little pug on the Wellness Core puppy food until a month ago. She loves her adult food! Small enough pieces for her little 16lb self, and her coat is so soft! She is very active and this definitely helps fuel her days full of play, keeping her trim and healthy!

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12 Eagle Pack Chicken & Pork Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Eagle Pack Chicken & Pork Large Breed Dry Dog Food
Key features:
  • Brand: Eagle Pack
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken Meal, Pork Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Rice
  • Primary Protein Source: Chicken & Pork
  • Calories: 340 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Chicken, Poultry
  • Life Stage: Adult

Containing only premium ingredients including chicken, lamb, and pork with the addition of healthy carbohydrates, the Eagle Pack is designed primarily to support optimum growth and development in dogs. This healthy dog food also comes with joint-friendly substances to support articulations and allow for greater mobility. The Eagle Pack doesn’t contain any artificial ingredients and is priced just right.

Ingredients:

Chicken Meal, Pork Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Rice, Dehulled Barley, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato Pomace, Flaxseed, Brewers Dried Yeast, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Vitamin A Supplement, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid], Minerals [Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate], Taurine, Calcium Carbonate, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Inulin, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus licheniformis Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus oryzae Fermentation Product, Dried Trichoderma reesei Fermentation Product, Dried Rhizopus oryzae Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.

What others say about it:
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My 70lb rescue dog Max who looks like a black golden retriever but too barrel chested and fluffy to be flat coat retriever (maybe a combination of retriever and Newfie? Bernese Mountain Dog? Border Collie? Aussie?) has a long history of ear infections. The vet suggested changing his diet. We’ve tried all sorts of food from the vet’s brand to the organic store brand to raw food. The raw food worked well but was too expensive and time-consuming. Then I read online about Eagle Brand. Max loves it! And no ear infections! And no more grass eating!

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13 Nature’s Recipe Adult Lamb & Rice Recipe Dry Food

Nature's Recipe Adult Lamb & Rice Recipe Dry Food
Key features:
  • Brand: Nature’s Recipe
  • First 5 ingredients: Lamb, Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice, Barley, Oatmeal
  • Primary Protein Source: Lamb & Chicken
  • Calories: 345 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Lamb & Rice
  • Life Stage: Adult

If you’re concerned about dog foods that contain corn, soy, or wheat that can be allergenic for your pet, then Nature’s Recipe should be a fantastic option. In addition to the use of healthier and more wholesome grains instead of those that contain gluten, Nature’s Recipe also contains barley and oatmeal that not only provide modest amounts of carbohydrates for energy, but also fiber for improved digestion. At any rate Nature’s Recipe’s moderate protein, low fat formulation should be perfect for keeping your pet healthy and lean.

Ingredients:

Lamb, Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Canola Meal, Rice Bran, Poultry Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Brown Rice, Turkey Meal, Natural Flavor, Salt, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Dl-Methionine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Ascorbic Acid (Source Of Vitamin C), Thiamine Mononitrate, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Iodate), Choline Chloride, Brewers Dried Yeast, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid (Used As A Preservative), Yucca Schidigera Extract, Rosemary Extract.

What others say about it:
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Our two mixed beed pitts seem to love this dogfood. Their bowls are always empty after feeding time. The female has been treated in the past for repeated UTI infections. Her case has significantly improved after changing her to this brand of food. We’re sold on it.

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14 Purina Beyond Simply White Meat Chicken

Purina Beyond Simply White Meat Chicken
Key features:
  • Brand: Purina Beyond
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Rice, Whole Barley, Canola Meal, Chicken Meal, Whole Oat Meal
  • Primary Protein Source: Chicken
  • Calories: 411 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Chicken & Whole Barley
  • Life Stage: Adult

Purina’s Beyond Simply 9 is somewhat similar to a limited ingredient diet since there is only one animal protein source – chicken. This is in addition to the use of wholesome grains like oatmeal, barley, and rice which are all known to be highly digestible and provide exceptional fiber for better digestion. However, given that chicken is in itself allergenic, this cannot really be considered as a part of an elimination diet. Instead, the use of only white meat of chicken underscores the dog food’s focus on a high-protein diet for dogs. This makes it exceptional for growing dogs as well as elderly hounds that may have an increased need for proteins, barring problems in the kidneys.

Ingredients:

Chicken, Rice, Whole Barley, Canola Meal, Chicken Meal, Whole Oat Meal, Beef Fat Preserved With Mixed-Tocopherols, Natural Flavor, Sunflower Oil, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Dried Carrots, VITAMINS [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B-7)], MINERALS [Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], Choline Chloride, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product. J428020.

What others say about it:
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I like this so far. I like to give her variety and like the sourcing. She seems to easily go between this and her other purina pro food…I like that there don’t seem to be peas in it.

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15 Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Natural Turkey & Potato

Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Natural Turkey & Potato
Key features:
  • Brand: Rachael Ray Nutrish
  • First 5 ingredients: Turkey, Chicken Meal, Whole Dried Potato, Sunflower Meal, Dried Peas
  • Primary Protein Source: Turkey
  • Calories: 345 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Turkey & Potato
  • Life Stage: Adult

Fans of Rachael Ray will love giving the Nutrish Zero Grain Natural Dry Dog Food to their respective pets. The ingredients included in the preparation come from natural sources. However, this should not be confused for organic. It is nevertheless, safe since it contains no artificial ingredients. Its grain- and gluten- free formulation should also appeal to those who are wary of pet allergies. While most dry dog foods only contain at most 10% moisture, the Nutrish comes with a slightly higher 11%.

Ingredients:

Turkey, Chicken Meal, Whole Dried Potato, Sunflower Meal, Dried Peas, Pea Starch, Turkey Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Whole Flaxseed, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Menhaden Fish Meal, Salt, Natural Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid (Source of Vitamin C), Niacin, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Iodate), Zinc Sulfate, Choline Chloride, Citric Acid (Preservative), Rosemary Extract.

What others say about it:
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I am fur mommy to the pickiest husky is the world, and a cocker-spaniel plagued by chronic ear infections. My vet recently recommended that we switch to a grain-free food, as food-bourn allergies can sometimes be linked to recurring ear infections. So, I picked up a bag of Nutrish and started the process of switching foods. What I noticed immediately wasn’t my spaniels reaction, though. I know that will take time. It was the way my husky reacted. At three years old, i dont think he’s eaten more than 2 consecutive meals in his life. He’s an incredibly picky eater. But as soon as i opened the box, he was all over the bag of food, sniffing and wagging. When I mixed it with the old food to help them adjust, he picked through his bowl and only ate the Nutrish kibbles, leaving the old food until eventually i just had to throw it out. I’m so excited to have a food he will reliably eat. Its such a change to go from a dog who may or may not bother to eat for days at a time to a dog who waits by his bowl at meal times. I’ve tried 6 different foods in the last 3 years to try and get my husky interested, and had constant vet supervision and even calorie paste to increase his intake. If you have a picky eater, please, try this. It could save you a lot of time and worry!

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16 Merrick Grain-Free Duck + Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food

Merrick Grain-Free Duck + Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food
Key features:
  • Brand: Merrick
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Duck, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes
  • Primary Protein Source: Duck
  • Calories: 389 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Duck
  • Life Stage: Adult

Priced substantially higher than competition, Merrick’s Grain Free healthy dog food prides itself of using various novel proteins in its formulations like the Taste of the Wild products. Merrick comes in buffalo, duck, turkey, salmon, Texas beef, rabbit, venison, and chicken for your choosing. It also boasts of the highest protein and fat content in a dry kibble while also providing your pet with exceptional blend of antioxidants. What’s remarkable is that it also contains chondroitin and glucosamine for healthier joints.

See our round-up of the Merrick Dog Food.

Ingredients:

Deboned Duck, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Peas, Chicken Fat, Whitefish Meal, Potato Protein, Deboned Chicken, Pea Protein, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Sunflower Oil, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Organic Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Choline Chloride, Apples, Blueberries, Minerals (Iron Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Proteinate, Cobalt Carbonate), Taurine, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Mixed Tocopherols for Freshness, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Niacin, Biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement) Citric Acid for Freshness, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product.

What others say about it:
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I went to a pet store and the store owner said she had visited the factory and they served her a plate full of food and said this is a a sample of the food before we make it into Dog food. She said it was delicious! So I tried it and my dog eats it and seems healthy and not fat! I have been using it for a few years. I babysit other dogs and they bring their dog food like gold and other good brands and they all love Merrick the best. Unless you feed them freeze dried and that is crazy expensive.. Freeze dried makes a good treat, but a bit pricey for Dog Food, so this seems great!

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17 Whole Earth Farms Pork, Beef & Lamb Dry Dog Food

Whole Earth Farms Pork, Beef & Lamb Dry Dog Food
Key features:
  • Brand: Whole Earth Farms
  • First 5 ingredients: Pork Meal, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Canola Meal
  • Primary Protein Source: Beef & Lamb
  • Calories: 378 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Pork, Beef & Lamb
  • Life Stage: Adult

Merrick returns with its Whole Earth Farms preparation of healthy dog food that is available in turkey and duck, salmon and whitefish, turkey and chicken, and a mixture of beef, pork, and lamb. It provides healthy options of fruits and veggies in addition to its high meat-sourced protein and fat content. All ingredients are deemed natural.

Ingredients:

Pork Meal, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Canola Meal, Pork Fat, Pork, Beef, Lamb, Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Apples, Carrots, Dried Beet Pulp, Dried Yeast, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Riboflavin Supplement, Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Choline Chloride, Minerals (Iron Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide), Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols For Freshness, Citric Acid For Freshness, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product. 2C85524

What others say about it:
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So happy to have found this brand, recommended by a friend whose dog is also allergic/sensitive to chicken and grain.

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18 Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Dry Dog Food
Key features:
  • Brand: Blue Buffalo
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Pea Protein, Tapioca Starch
  • Primary Protein Source: Chicken
  • Calories: 409 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Life Stage: Adult

The BLUE Wilderness comes as a single-ingredient healthy dog food that is mixed with wholesome fruits and vegetables without allergenic grains. It is available in single ingredient formulations of chicken, salmon, and duck so you have a choice on which to give to your pet. It also comes packed with minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins for improved health.

Ingredients:

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine), Peas, Pea Protein, Tapioca Starch, Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Dried Tomato Pomace, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Pea Starch, Natural Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Direct Dehydrated Alfalfa Pellets, DL-Methionine, Potatoes, Dried Chicory Root, Pea Fiber, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vegetable Juice for color, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), L-Carnitine, Copper Sulfate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), L-Lysine, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Sulfate, Taurine, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary.

What others say about it:
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My husband and I have a beautiful 60 lb lab mix (we’re reaching her 8-month birthday soon since we adopted her). We tried feeding her different brands of dog food (3 brands), but noticed she started to develop a rash on her belly after the 2nd brand. We couldn’t afford the first brand we had ($80/bag) for long (it was a temporary vet recommended food). We did some heavy research on good dog foods and this was near the top of the list due to the ingredients. Our dog loved it AND her rash went away within the first week to week and a half of switching.

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19 Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct with Real Salmon

Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct with Real Salmon
Key features:
  • Brand: Purina ONE
  • First 5 ingredients: Salmon, Chicken Meal, Soy Flour, Whole Grain Wheat, Beef Fat Preserved With Mixed-Tocopherols
  • Primary Protein Source: Salmon
  • Calories: 340 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Salmon & Tuna
  • Life Stage: Adult

When it comes to DHA and EPA, 2 of the most clinically-important essential fatty acids, two of the best sources are salmon and tuna. That is why when Purina decided to include real salmon and tuna in its SmartBlend True Instinct formulation one can truly understand why a lot of pet parents consider it as one of the best dry dog foods around. Containing a minimum of 30% protein that is sourced from real tuna and salmon, SmartBlend contains a bevy of other ingredients that supply dogs with essential fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and glucosamine. It is the latter that dogs with joint problems, elderly dogs, and even dogs that are prone to developing articular problems can truly benefit from. For a wider selection of choices, check out our salmon dog food guide.

Ingredients:

Salmon, Chicken Meal, Soy Flour, Whole Grain Wheat, Beef Fat Preserved With Mixed-Tocopherols, Whole Grain Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, Soy Flakes, Corn Germ Meal, Rice Flour, Tuna, Oat Meal, Glycerin, Natural Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Soybean Oil, Caramel Color, Mono And Dicalcium Phosphate, Fish Oil, VITAMINS [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K), Biotin (Vitamin B-7)], Potassium Chloride, MINERALS [Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], Choline Chloride. C417319.

What others say about it:
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My two year old pup has had every kind of food under the sun and had recently developed seasonal skin allergies and I wanted to try one more affordable brand before I went to the expensive vet brand of food.. in just 2 weeks his skin is completely cleared! I couldn’t believe it. Starting to think his allergy is also food related. So pleased with this brand. Also still eats it right up and it’s been over a month of using. (He’s also picky!) other pup loves it also.

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20 Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Roasted Chicken

Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Roasted Chicken
Key features:
  • Brand: Pedigree
  • First 5 ingredients: Ground Whole Grain Corn, Meat And Bone Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Animal Fat , Soybean Meal
  • Primary Protein Source: Chicken & Poultry
  • Calories: 309 kcal/cup
  • Flavor: Chicken, Poultry, Fruits & Vegetables
  • Life Stage: Adult

Pedigree is one of those pet food manufacturers that have been in existence for many years, offering great quality products at affordable prices. Its Complete Nutrition is no exception. It is available in chicken, steak, and lamb formulations and completed with healthy whole grains and veggies making it a good option if you want a healthy dog food. It’s also packed with antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins for better canine health. It also has more moisture content at 12%.

Find out more about Pedigree Dog Food.

Ingredients:

Ground Whole Grain Corn, Meat And Bone Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Animal Fat (Source Of Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Preserved With BHA & Citric Acid]), Soybean Meal, Natural Flavor, Chicken By-Product Meal, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Brewers Rice, Ground Whole Grain Wheat, Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Dried Peas, Dl-Methionine, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Monocalcium Phosphate, L-Tryptophan, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Dried Carrots, Blue 2, Niacin [Vitamin B3], Red 40, D-Calcium Pantothenate [Source Of Vitamin B5], Copper Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement [Vitamin B2], Vitamin B12 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [Vitamin B6], Folic Acid.

What others say about it:
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i have been buying dog food for years. Pedigree is a good brand and it always makes the dogs coat shiny.. It seems to be just what is marked on the bags.. I dont have any doubt that what is in the bag is just exactly what it says on the label. There are alot of dog food companys that sell dry dog food made in china and that is the type you need to watch. The preferred diet for dogs is not dry dog food. Dry dog food has alot of corn in it (grain). Everybody knows the dog is related to the wolf .. the preferred food is raw meat.. i buy canned food that is just gravy and some chunks of meat and dump that over this. Especially in the winter months. I highly recommend this brand.

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Best Dry Dog Food: Buying Guide & FAQs

It is so easy to tell someone to feed his or her dog with only the best, healthiest, well-balanced, and high-quality dog food. Unfortunately, knowing where and how to start can often be intimidating especially among newbies. While everyone knows that optimum canine nutrition can lead to healthier, shinier, and smoother coats, a stronger immune system, and a more efficient digestive system, not many actually know how to buy high-quality dog food. We’ve collected tips and pieces of advice from leading canine nutrition experts to let you in on their secrets when it comes to buying healthy dog food.

dog eating

Learn as Мuch as You Can About the Contents of a Healthy Dry Dog Food

Different canine kibbles come with a variety of ingredients. Some provide what is labeled as ‘real meat’ while others will put in ‘meat-flavored’ ingredients. Regardless, one of the surest ways you’ll find the best kibble for your canine is by learning what healthy dog food should contain.

Currently, some guidelines have been formulated by the Association of American Feed Control Officials designed to regulate what doggie food manufacturers can and cannot put into their respective labels. This is important as failure to comply with these so-called nutrition ‘standards’ should always be considered as a red flag and should be avoided at all costs.

For example, if you are considering a particular doggie food item and it is labeled as a ‘single ingredient’ pet food, then it should contain not less than 95 percent of that particular ingredient. For instance, if you bought a dry kibble whose sole ingredient is chicken, then it should contain 95% chicken. Likewise, if the product contains a variety of ingredients, the bulk of these ingredients should amount to not less than 95 percent of its weight.

If the kibble labeling includes words or phrases such as ‘entrée’, ‘platter’, or even ‘dinner’, then these foodstuffs should contain not less than a quarter of the identified ingredient. For instance, you may read ‘chicken platter’ or ‘turkey dinner’; then these products should contain not less than 25% of chicken or turkey, respectively.

Likewise, if the product label reads “with” a certain ingredient, then the composition of this ‘ingredient’ should only contain no more than 3 percent of the foodstuff. For example, if the label reads “chicken with peas”, then you know that its composition should be at least 95% chicken and at most 3 percent peas.

For kibbles that say they contain specific “flavors”, it is important that these “flavors” only comprise a detectable, almost negligible, amount. Let’s say a product that comes with the labeling “with beef flavors” should only have a very minute, yet detectable, amount of this “beef flavoring”.

So, before you start digging deeper into the different ingredients of your pet’s doggie food, make sure you understand what these “labels” should really mean.

Read and Understand the Product’s Nutrition Standard Statement

The first step in the selection of healthy dog food is determining the “nutrition standards” observed by the pet food manufacturer in relation to the guidelines set by the AAFCO. Always remember that the ingredients that are listed on any product’s label correspond to their weight and are mostly expressed as a percentage of a particular serving size. The ingredients are often listed in order of decreasing weight so you can expect ‘heavier’ ingredients to be at the top of such a list.

Regrettably, this is where some issues arise, especially in dry kibble formulations. The weight of these “heavy” ingredients is typically measured before dehydrating the product. Once the ingredient has already been dehydrated, its weight may no longer be equal to what is actually printed on the label. The reason is quite simple. Meats like poultry, fish, and livestock typically contain 70 percent water. When they are prepared, they are mixed with other ingredients to make up the batch of doggie food. Once all the mixing and cooking has been completed, the entire mixture is dehydrated or its water content is removed. Now, if this happens with moisture-rich food items, you can imagine what will happen to the key nutrients that are often found at the bottom of the list.

That being said, it pays to know that what the packaging says it contains is more a reflection of its pre-dehydration measurements.

See our round-up of the Best Dehydrated Dog Food.

Consider Wholesome Grains and Glutens Included in the Kibble

A lot of health-conscious folks are shying away from grains and glutens in dry kibbles. Don’t believe us? Just look at all the amazing products in the market today and you’ll see a lot of labeling such as “gluten-free” and “grain-free” as if these food items are evil.

In an article written by the American Kennel Club entitled “Can Dogs Eat Wheat and Other Grains?” several misconceptions about grains and glutens for canines were eventually refuted. For starters, dogs need carbohydrates as an energy source; well, at least not as much as humans do. While it is true that their canid cousins in the wild thrive on meat-based proteins, our domesticated pooches have evolved to allow the digestibility of certain types of carbs. And the carbs that are often used in dog food are specially designed to be digestible.

Folks are also wary of allergies to such ingredients. However, studies show that allergies due to grains and gluten are not any higher than allergies to other types of food such as chicken, poultry, and even beef. By the way, did you know that 4 of the 5 top allergens present in food are actually from animal sources including beef, dairy, chicken, and eggs? Wheat gluten is considered an allergen primarily because of its high protein content. But given the fact that it ranks number 3 in the top allergenic food items such as the ones we’ve already mentioned, it should still be considered as a great food product for doggies for its amino acids and 99% digestibility. Here’s another trivia: gluten allergies are very rare in pooches.

Take a look at our latest review of the Best Dog Food for Allergies

It should also be understood that contaminated grains, such as those that have been infested with mites, may produce allergies to susceptible dogs. However, getting a product with good manufacturing practices should give you peace of mind related to the safety of their ingredients.

So, it’s perfectly alright to give your pet kibbles that contain gluten and grains. It’s also perfectly alright if you choose not to give these to them. It’s your choice.

Check out our review of Grain Free Dog Food.

Understand What ‘Byproducts’ Really Mean in These Pet Foods

There is this popular notion that byproducts, like gluten and grains, are bad for your pooch. We’re not saying that it’s good, either. Just like what we have already said in the beginning, it is important to read and research the different ingredients that you encounter. Just because you see the word “byproducts” you should already stay away from it.

If said “byproducts” happen to behoove, hair, or even horns, as many advertisers and marketers want you to believe, then these products should be avoided at all cost. However, if the “byproducts” are actually internal organs like lungs, heart, kidneys, and liver, then, by all means, get this product. Why? These internal organ meats are composed of nutrients that your pooch can utilize for a variety of reasons. These are nutritious meats that have been included in the final mixture of the dog food to give it its exceptional nutritional profile.

We know that not all of us actually love to eat internal organ meats. And if you’re a fan of Fear Factor, you know what we’re talking about. We often consider these meats as gross and unhygienic. But in many cultures, these are either valued delicacies or are part of their daily diet. And here’s the good thing: they don’t get sick eating these things.

And if you firmly believe that dogs should eat what their ancestors in the wild eat, you should ask yourself this – do wild canids deliberately leave the internal organs of the prey they are devouring? Do they feast only on the flesh? If your answer is “no”, then why should our domesticated canids eat any different?

The thing is that we are simply projecting our fears onto our canine friends. Because we are morbidly afraid to try out these internal organ meats, we also tend to think that our pets will also be fully grossed out by it.

Furthermore, reputable manufacturers of dry dog food only use high-quality byproducts. So, if you’re not really sure about the ingredients, particularly byproducts, then, by all means, try to research some more. Also, it would help if you will choose only trustworthy and highly reputable companies.

dog food bowl

Read and Understand the Statement of Nutritional Adequacy

Here’s another tip for you when buying healthy dog food. Always read the label and try to understand the nutritional adequacy statement of the product. Some products are designed to be given to all dogs regardless of breed and size. Some are specifically for growth and reproduction. Some products are also formulated especially for puppies, sick dogs, elderly dogs, and even pregnant pooches and lactating mutts. The point we’re trying to make is that you have to understand what type of dog the kibble is specially designed for. Is it for a canine with an arthritis problem? How about a pooch with severe skin itching and hair-shedding? There is a reason why manufacturers put these ‘statements’ in their labels. It is so you will be guided properly on whether such a product is appropriate for your mutt or not.

Look for Information About any Feeding Trials

Reputable manufacturers of doggie foodstuff always include some paragraph about the feeding trials that they or a third-party organization has conducted in relation to the generation of a conclusion that led to the formulation of the nutritional adequacy statement. That being said, if the product states that it has a well-balanced formula for dogs that are suffering from joint problems, then it should also contain a paragraph about what tests or feeding trials were done to justify this claim. More importantly, however, is the validity of their tests. If they conducted the feeding trials on healthy pooches without joint problems, do you think it’s right to say that their product is good for dogs with arthritis and other problems of the joints?

Consider Checking the Guaranteed Analysis

Another piece of information that should be present in all healthy dog food products is the guaranteed analysis of its ingredients. This is often expressed as a percentage of proteins, fats, moisture, and fiber. Both proteins and fats are expressed in the minimum while fiber and moisture are printed in their maximum. For example, you may get a product with a minimum of 40 percent protein, and 20 percent fat, and a maximum of 8 percent moisture, and 10 percent fiber.

Understand that this is a very rough estimate of the nutritional profile of the doggie recipe. Why? Well, how do you know the actual percentage of ‘minimum 40 percent protein”? Is it 41% or 45% or maybe 40.1%? The same is true with fibers and moisture. If it says “maximum 8 percent moisture”, does it mean 7%, 6%, or 1%? So, there really is no telling the ‘actual’ percentage composition of the nutrient being described.

Additionally, the guaranteed analysis doesn’t give you information on the digestibility of the ingredients, nor will it give you information about its quality. Again, it only gives you a rough idea of what you’re giving to your pooch. If you want a high protein diet for your pooch, then knowing that it contains at least 40% of proteins should be enough.

Don’t Forget to Seek the Advice of Your Veterinarian When Buying Dog Food

Most of us only consult our veterinarian if our pets fall ill, or are scheduled for their regular immunizations or vaccinations. The thing is, your veterinarian is actually more than capable of providing you insight on what food to give to your pet. It is crucial to be aware of the fact that the type and quantity of food that your pet should consume are actually dependent on your pet’s genes, age, reproductive status, and lifestyle. In many cases, your veterinarian will be performing a comprehensive canine body condition evaluation to determine the right kinds and amounts of food your pet should be taking. You can then use this information to tailor-fit your search for the best dry dog foods.

Dig Deeper Into Your Chosen Pet Food

If you’ve narrowed your choice of the best possible doggie food, do everything you can to find out more about the company or companies that manufacture them. Highly reputable companies manufacture their products in their own facilities rather than having these sourced elsewhere. This is important as companies that manufacture their own products are bound to observe very strict rules and regulations related to the safety of their products. Why would you want to know the quality control and sourcing information of pet food companies? Well, they are not legally mandated to put these pieces of information on their product labels. So, you have to really dig deeper into their manufacturing practices to get an idea of the quality control activities that they employ. This gives you an idea of whether the product you’ve chosen is true of the highest possible quality and safe for your pet or not.

The different points we have just shared with you may look tedious to accomplish. However, all of these pieces of information should already be present in the packaging itself. You can use the knowledge you have gained so far to help you buy the best possible healthy dog food in your area. 

What to Consider When Buying the Best Dry Dog Food

In the preceding section, we talked about some of the things you may need to observe when buying food for your pet, especially dry kibbles. Since almost all the information you will be evaluating is already found in the label of the product, you may now have to consider some other things that will help you determine whether your choice is actually the most appropriate for your pet or not. Here are a few things you may need to consider when buying dry food.

Age and Health Condition of Your Pet

Even before you start picking a product from the shelf of your favorite pet supplies store, make sure you have a very clear understanding of the nutritional needs of your pooch. Most of us have this idea that, if we cannot feel the ribs in our pooch’s chest, then they can be considered as ‘healthy’. We already mentioned above that seeking the advice of your veterinarian is crucial to helping you decide on what kind of food you need to give to your pooch. Remember, too, that different dogs in various life stages have different nutritional needs. And if they happen to have a medical or health condition, this can also significantly affect the type of food that they can eat.

Proteins and Fats First, Carbs Last

We did mention in the preceding section that it is perfectly alright to give our pet dogs carbs. We even said that it’s okay to give them grains as well as wheat gluten primarily for its high protein content especially amino acids. Hopefully, we did not leave the impression that you should choose a dog food that is rich in carbohydrates.

Dogs are not restricted to a carnivore diet, unlike cats. Members of the Canidae family are now known to be omnivores – fully capable of eating both animal and plant types of foods. However, they do require higher amounts of protein and fats in their diets as these provide the necessary building blocks for continuous tissue and organ development as well as for healthier nervous and integumentary systems. In the wild, canids are known to consume as much as 65% protein and 30% fats with the remainder divided among carbs and other nutrients.

This does not mean that you have to strictly adhere to these nutrient proportions. What we strongly recommend is to look for a product that has an excellent proportion of proteins and fats in relation to carbs. Recall what we said about the minimum-maximum percentages in dry food nutrient compositions where proteins and fats are presented in the minimum while fiber and moisture are presented in the maximum? This is where you’re going to use this information.

Clearly Identifiable Ingredients

Just as the complete nutritional information of a product is important, it is also essential that the ingredients printed on the label are clearly identifiable. If it only says “real meat”, you might be inclined to ask yourself “meat from what”? Is it chicken? Turkey? Deer? Wild Boar? The thing is that these products should clearly state the ingredients that are contained in each bag of these doggie foodstuffs.

Best-by Dates

Even dry dog foods have their expiration dates or “best-by” dates. Some manufacturers may put this as the “best before” date. Now don’t be confused with these forms of labeling as we’ll try to explain them to you. A product that has a “best by” date means that it can be consumed until that date, retaining the full spectrum of flavors and high-quality goodness that are embedded into the food product. This means that a “best by” date will give you an idea of a product’s shelf life without losing its quality. Beyond the “best by” date, the quality of the food already starts to diminish.

On the other hand, the expiration date of a food product, be it for human or canine consumption, reflects that point in time when consumption of the product is no longer recommended by the company. Technically, the manufacturer is telling you not to feed your dogs with it once the expiration date has been reached. If you decided to give it to your pooch nonetheless, and something went wrong, then you are actually freeing the company of any liability. They told you so.

There are no standard rules as to the minimum best-by date that you should consider getting. Experts suggest that a product that has a best-by date which is still about 10 or even 11 months away can be considered as ideal as it usually means the food product was manufactured just recently. 

What to Avoid with Dry Dog Food

Just as there are things you need to look for that are important in healthy dog food, there are also things that you simply have to avoid. We have already discussed some of these in our preceding discussions, although it wouldn’t hurt to specify what ingredients to avoid with dry dog food.

Low-Quality Meat and/or Poultry Byproducts

We already said that byproducts are not essentially bad. However, it is crucial for you to really dig deeper into the kind of byproducts that have been included. This is where your due diligence pays off. Anything that comes from a low-quality source or from questionable blends of byproducts should thus, be avoided.

Generic Protein and Fat Source

Be very careful about labels such as “whole proteins” or even “healthy fats” as these do not really identify the source of the protein. You may think that it is “whole protein” but this macronutrient can actually come from anywhere. As such, if the labeling is vague, skip it and get the next product on the shelf.

Artificial Ingredients – Sweeteners, Preservatives, Coloring

Only natural ingredients should be used in the formulation of healthy dog food. There are also natural ingredients that can serve as excellent preservatives. That being said, it is important to be familiar with the most common artificial sweeteners, coloring, flavorings, and preservatives that are often used in many food products. Make sure that these are not present in the dog food that you’re buying, otherwise get another product.

Fillers and/or Low-Quality Grains

We also mentioned that grains should not be excluded from your pet’s diet. As you may have already noticed some of our selection of the best dry dog foods actually contain wholesome and healthy whole grains such as brown rice, barley, and oatmeal. These provide great health benefits. What you really should avoid are fillers that do not add to the nutritional profile of the dog food. Additionally, low-quality grains should also be avoided.

Giving our pooches only the highest quality of dry dog food is crucial to ensuring their optimum health and wellness. By looking closely at the labels of these products and understanding what those statements and information printed on the label mean, you can also arrive at the best possible choice for your pooch. Just remember to always look for natural and wholesome or high-quality, healthy ingredients.

dog with food

FAQs:

Manufacturers of dog food have their own way of transitioning from a different brand of dog food to their brand. While they may differ in the length of time needed to make the transition, they all follow the same basic principle. Whenever making a transition from one brand of dog food to another, it is best to do it on a gradual basis.

For instance, if you are giving your pet 2 cups of dog food for every feeding, you may want to replace ½ cup with the new dog food. You’re essentially giving 1.5 cups of the current dog food and ½ cup of the new one for every feeding. You can give this for the first 3 to 5 days, carefully watching for any signs of allergies or perhaps your dog not liking the taste of the new one. If your pet munches on the mixture, you can increase the proportion of current and new dog food to 1:1. So you’ll give 1 cup each of the current and new dog food. Again, give this for 3 to 5 days. If there are no reactions, you can increase the percentage of new food in its meal to 75%. This means you’ll give 1.5 cups of the new dog food and ½ cup of the current food. Feed this mixture for another 3 to 5 days. If your dog is taking its new meal quite heartily, you can then switch to the new dog food.

Remember, it is important to do it slowly and gradually. It is equally crucial to monitor your pet for any untoward reaction or even signs that it doesn’t like the new dog food.

This is trickier than it sounds. There is one thing you need to look for in product labels: e best-before date or the best-by date. It is important to choose a product with a best-before date that is the farthest from your intended date of purchase. For instance, if product A has a best-before date of December 2021 and product B has March 2022, then you should pick product B because it has a farther best-before date than product A.

Now, just because it has the best-before date doesn’t mean that it stays fresh up to that date once the bag has already been opened. On the contrary, dry foods undergo massive deterioration in their composition and nutrient content once the bag has already been opened. Some literature says that dry dog food can still be used 6 weeks after it has been opened while others put the average shelf-life once-opened to be 14 days or merely 2 weeks.

The trick is this. If a dry dog food is adequately protected against light, humidity, hot temperatures, and air, then it should last a good 6 weeks after opening the bag. However, if adequate and appropriate measures are not taken to protect dog kibbles from the elements, you’d have to have your dog consume the whole bag within 2 weeks.

As we have mentioned above, dog kibbles can stay fresh as short as 2 weeks to as long as 6 weeks, depending on how well it has been stored and protected against the elements. This underscores the importance of choosing the right storage containers for your dog’s kibbles.

Ideally, dog kibbles should never be removed from their original packaging. This is because manufacturers have designed the packaging to be highly protective of dry dog food. This is the kibbles’ principal defense against rapid degradation. As such, you must open the bag of dry dog food very carefully so that you do not expose all of its contents to the elements at the same time. It is also important to reseal the bag. If there is no resealing mechanism, then you should carefully roll the top and secure it with a clip.

To increase the shelf-life of an opened bag of dry food, this can be placed inside metal, glass, or plastic containers that have airtight seals. Do not remove the kibbles from the packaging. You store dry dog food in the container with the kibbles still inside its original packaging. Also, store these containers in dry and cool areas of your home.

The process of making dry food is technically a very easy one. If you’ve ever baked a cookie or any other delicacy that you finished in the oven, the principle is essentially the same. The only difference, of course, is that manufacturers will have very large mixers, prep tables, and oven-like equipment to cook larger volumes of dog food at any one time.

Everything starts with choosing the right ingredients. An important thing to remember is that dog food manufacturers have to adhere to a set of rules or standards mandated by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. All dog food should be nutritionally balanced and complete. That being said, manufacturers have to look for ingredients that meet these requirements. It’s basically coming up with your very own recipe except that this is going to be eaten not only by your dog but the dogs of everyone else.

Once the ingredients have been chosen, these are combined with other ingredients to form a dough, much like your cookie dough. This is then placed into a machine to cook the dough. As the dough is being cooked in high temperatures and under extreme pressure, it is pushed into another machine known as an extruder where the dough is cut into kibble sizes.

These pieces of dough are dried to remove any remaining moisture. During this stage and just before packaging, vitamins, minerals, oils, and fats are sprayed onto the kibbles. Manufacturers have to be very quick in the packaging since any delay in the time between the addition of final ingredients and the packaging can lead to spoilage of the fats and oils.

Dry foods are very convenient. Simply pour the kibbles onto your dog’s bowl and you’re done. Nothing can be more convenient than that. Unfortunately, some dogs cannot really bite into the hardened consistency of kibbles such as puppies and elderly dogs that may no longer have teeth. That’s why it is important to soften your dog’s dry food first before giving it to them.

A good way to start is by adding a few tablespoons of warm water onto the dry dog food and waiting until they soften. If you prefer a much softer, mushier consistency, you can always add some more warm water. If you have a really picky eater that doesn’t really like the aroma of dry dog food, you can add low-sodium beef or chicken broth or even the broth from a can of tuna. Use this as your softening agent to help improve the palatability of your dry dog food.

It is a known fact that exposing your dry dog food to air and humidity can hasten the speed at which they undergo degradation. Not only that, but such environmental conditions also increase the risk of dry dog food contamination especially by the bacteria Salmonella. The same is true with an increase in environmental temperatures because doing so can also potentially increase the level of humidity in the air. So, can dry food go bad in heat? The answer is yes. How fast? That depends.

As we have already noted above, properly stored dry dog food should be able to maintain its freshness for up to 6 weeks post-bag opening. However, if the manner of storage was done haphazardly this 6-week period can be substantially shortened to just 2 weeks or maybe even less.

We tackled the idea of transitioning your pet from the current dog food to a new brand of dry dog food. We also tackled the notion of having to moisten dry dog food to address certain issues related to dog feeding. While a different brand of dog food, water, milk, and the broth of chicken, beef, or tuna can be added or mixed with dry food, these are not the only things that you can mix.

Adding wet or canned dog food to dog kibbles is also advisable, especially if you have a hound that’s a really picky eater. If you want to mix different brands of dry dog food, you can go with different textures, colors, shapes, and flavors to make it more interesting for your pet. Technically, you can mix almost anything with dry dog food except old dog food already present in your pet’s food bowl and special formulations of dog food or diets that have therapeutic indications. If you are not really sure, you should always consult your veterinarian.

Eloise Hands

Eloise is the owner of a Malamute/Akita cross, a first-time mum, and an animal enthusiast from England. She comes from a family which has never gone a day without a pet (or 3!), and over the years has learned all the best tips and tricks to raising a difficult pet. A knowledge that she has put to good use, to help others navigate the limitless world of pet care.

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