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12 Best Dry Dog Food Brands (Updated 2020)

12 Best Dry Dog Food Brands (Updated 2020)

You’re in the dog food aisle surrounded by bags and bags of dog food. Do you reach for the bag with vibrant colors or the bag that says natural? Is it better for your dog to have grain or grain-free food? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. There are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing the best dry dog food for your furry friend. Sit back because we have done the research for you. 


Boar, bison, lamb, and chicken all sound like a great option to feed your dog. Just make sure to check the other ingredients as well. Fillers in dog foods can contain great nutrients when they are made correctly. Other times fillers like corn syrup can lead to obesity and diabetes. The AAFCO established a standard for manufacturers to follow regarding ingredients and nutritional formula. If dog food brands want to be labeled as “complete and balanced” it must contain the key nutrients dogs will need on a daily basis. When comparing dry food brands for your dog, complete and balanced is something to keep an eye out for. To save you the hassle of googling, the brands we mention below meet these criteria. 


Now that we filtered out dog food brands that do not meet your dog’s nutritional needs, where do we look next? Well, your 22 inches 60 pound 4-year-old Siberian Husky should not be eating puppy food. Your neighbor's 10 pounds Shih Tzu should not be eating dog food for large dogs. What I mean is that dogs come in different heights, weights and have dietary issues. It would be unfair to narrow down the top dry dog food without considering these aspects. Instead of one list outlining the top dog food, we broke it down into categories. 


Top Adult Dry Dog Food Brands for Large Breeds

Did you ever wonder what the difference is between dog food for a small dog, large dog or even a senior dog? Well, for the most part, the food is the same. Every dog food should have the right combination of carbohydrates, fats, protein, fiber, minerals, and vitamins that are easily digestible. However, the main difference is the nutrients. Your adult large breed dog is, of course, heavier which puts pressure on their bones and joints. Hip Dysplasia is a big concern for larger breeds which is why choosing a food high in omega-3 fatty acids will help with joint pain and inflammation. Larger dogs also need a lower calorie count per cup of food since they do not burn as many calories as smaller breeds do. Obesity can be dangerous for larger breeds so following the feeding guide is important. These two brands seem to be doing it right!

 Grain Free Large Breed Real Chicken + Sweet Potato RecipeGrain Free Large Breed Real Chicken + Sweet Potato Recipe Grain Free Large Breed Real Chicken + Sweet Potato Recipe

Merrick Large Breed

  • Does not add fillers or preservatives, made in the USA and uses high-quality proteins. 
Grain Free Sweet Potato & Fish Dry Dog Formula

    Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets

    • No use of by-product meal, artificial colors or flavors.

     

    Top Adult Dry Dog Food Brands for Small Breeds

    Ideally, this group is for dogs who are under 20 pounds. That’s because small breeds need to consume a lot more calories due to their higher metabolism and size. Since small breeds eat a lot less food, their tiny kibble is packed with higher amounts of nutrients. It is recommended to choose a dog food that is high in antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent free radical damage over the years and also strengthens their immune system resulting in a longer, healthier lifespan. Treat your small dog to these brands. 

    WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS™ HEALTHY WEIGHT SMALL BREED ADULT DRY DOG FOOD FARM-RAISED CHICKEN, BROWN RICE & SWEET POTATO RECIPE

    Nutro for Small Breed Dogs

    • Made with non-GMO ingredients and can support a healthy weight loss. 
    Instinct® Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken for Small Breed Dogs

      Instinct Original for Small Breed Dogs

      • The first ingredient is cage-free chicken and uses live probiotics. 

       

      Top Dry Dog Food Brands for Puppies

      Puppies are growing constantly so their nutritional needs are extremely important. The percentage of protein and fat should be much higher when compared to adult food. Protein is important in the growth of muscle tissues and fats are in charge of energy and development. Just like humans, puppies need all the vitamins and minerals they can get to grow strong bones and teeth! At this point, it is crucial to feed puppies based on their adult size. Small breed dogs are prone to the condition hypoglycemia so they will need more calorie-dense food starting as puppies. Choosing the wrong puppy food could potentially lead to issues when they become adults. Below are two dry food options for a small and large breed puppy.

       purina pro plan focus puppy small breed chicken & rice formula dry puppy food

      Purina Pro Plan for Puppies Small Breed

      • Contains DHA which supports vision and brain development.
      Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Puppy Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, 24-lb bag

        Blue Wilderness for Puppies Large Breed 

        • Does not use wheat, soy or corn.

         

        Top Dry Dog Food Brands for Senior Dogs

        As dogs age, their bodies go through many internal changes. Their metabolism tends to slow and the way their body uses energy changes. Instead of consuming nutrients to build muscle and grow, they now need the nutrients to maintain their bodies. Since senior dogs are prone to muscle atrophy it is important that they consume more protein to make up for the loss of muscle mass. On the other hand, their calorie intake should be less since they are not as active anymore. We found that these brands are ideal for your aging senior.

        Wellness CORE Senior

        Wellness CORE Senior

        • Added support for hip and joint health. 

        orijen senior

        Orijen Senior

        • ⅔ of their meat ingredients are raw or fresh and they only use cage-free eggs. 

        Top Dry Dog Food Brands for Sensitive Stomach

        Is your dog displaying signs of food sensitivity? This may be caused by a food allergy, food intolerance, or their current food may be lacking in an important ingredient. Before considering changing your dog's food, it is crucial to visit your veterinarian to rule out a more serious medical condition. Dogs with sensitive stomachs need food that is easily digestible so a lower fat percentage is ideal. Probiotics and Prebiotics are essential for sensitive stomachs since they aid in digestion. Below are the best brands to help your dog’s upset tummy!

        GO! SOLUTIONS SENSITIVITIES LIMITED INGREDIENT GRAIN FREE LAMB RECIPE

        GO! Solutions Sensitivities 

        • A limited ingredient diet and only uses grass-fed lambs. 
        Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dog Food

          Hills Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin

          • Caters to many dietary issues and conditions by providing quality food and treats. 

           

          Top Dog Food Brands With Grain

          More recently, dog owners seem to dread the word “grain”. Almost all dog food brands now have twice as many grain-free options than they do food with grains. What is so bad about grains? People may argue that grains can cause allergies but it is actually more common for dogs to have an intolerance to beef. There is also the theory that dogs are domesticated wolves so they should be eating a diet high in meat like their ancestors. Dogs were domesticated around 15-40,000 years ago and since then their diet has significantly evolved to require more nutrients. Dog owners may be projecting their own ideas of health onto their dogs more than they should. Grains like barley, rice, corn, and sorghum can actually give your dog considerable health benefits. If your dog has a food intolerance to grains or has specific dietary requirements, a grain-free diet may be the best option. However, if your dog seems to be doing just fine on a grain-based diet, then no need to switch!

           Ancient Prairie Canine Recipe with Roasted Bison & Roasted Venison

          Taste of the Wild Ancient Grains 

          • Made with ancient grains that are high in fiber and are made in the USA.

          DIAMOND NATURALS ALL LIFE STAGES DOG CHICKEN & RICE FORMULA

          Diamond Naturals 

          • Made with superfoods and probiotics.

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          • Kelsie Mertz