The Best Dry Dog Food in 2021

Dry dog food is a staple product in the industry that millions of pet parents feed to their dogs every day. But not all food is created equal, and there are hundreds of products and brands to choose from. This makes it exceptionally difficult to find the best option that offers a balanced diet!

We have so many dogs among our team that we use dozens of foods ourselves. So, we’ve done the research for you and picked out our 10 favorites among all the high-quality choices from different brands.

Let’s get into it!

Our Top 10 List

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1. Purina Limited Ingredient Recipe

Purina Beyond Limited Ingredient, Natural Dry Dog Food, Simply 9 White Meat Chicken & Barley Recipe - 24 lb. Bag

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This limited ingredient dog food comes with either lamb or chicken as the protein source as the first ingredient, and the formula contains barley a healthy carbohydrate option for your dog. There are no potatoes, lentils, peas, wheat, corn, or soy in this formula to prevent it from triggering allergies. The food comes crafted in the United States using trusted ingredients to very strict quality control standards.


  • Carbohydrates – Barley
  • Protein – Chicken or lamb
  • Size – Seven choices


  • Has meat as the first ingredient
  • Less likely to trigger allergies
  • No poultry by-product meals
  • Has triangular kibble


  • Might leave a greasy residue

2. Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Food

Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Natural Dry Dog Food, Grain Free Turkey & Potato Recipe, 28 Lbs

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This food comes in turkey and potato or chicken and sweet potato for the formula, and the protein source comes sourced from the United States to ensure you’re getting the highest quality. The protein-packed formula has meat as the first ingredient on the label, and this is a grain and gluten-free recipe that is excellent for dogs with sensitivities. There are no fillers, by-product meals, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives in the formula either.


  • Carbohydrates – Potato or sweet potato
  • Protein – Turkey or chicken
  • Size – Three


  • Has healthy potato or sweet potato carbohydrates
  • Nourishes your dog’s skin and coat
  • Support immune health
  • Has a smaller kibble


  • May be too hard for older dogs

3. Nature’s Recipe Original

Nature's Recipe Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food for Adult Dogs, 30 Pounds

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Your dog will enjoy this protein rich dry dog food because it helps them stay full between meals while promoting lean muscle growth, and this dog food allows you to choose between lamb or chicken meal and rice. The brown rice in this formula is an excellent source of fiber that promotes digestive health, and there is a host of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. There is no corn, soy, wheat, by-product meal, artificial flavoring, colors, or preservatives.


  • Carbohydrates – Brown rice
  • Protein – Lamb or chicken meal
  • Size – Three


  • Helps maintain excellent muscle strength
  • Formulated with antioxidants
  • Supports coat and skin health
  • Boosts immune health


  • Has a crumbly texture

4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Dog Food - Natural Dry Dog Food for Adult Dogs - Chicken and Brown Rice - 15 lb. Bag

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Blue Buffalo is always a good choice. Chicken, fish, or lamb make up the lean protein sources for this food, and the protein is on the food’s label to ensure your dog gets a protein-packed diet. There are essential vitamins, nutrients, and fatty acids in this food to support your dog’s skin, coat, digestive, heart, and immune system function while the antioxidants repair any previous damage. The LifeSource Bits add a boost of minerals, and holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists formulate this food for balance.


  • Carbohydrates – Brown rice
  • Protein – Chicken, lamb, or fish
  • Size – Three


  • Real meat is the first ingredient
  • Uses natural ingredients
  • Fatty acids protect skin and coat
  • Formulated with LifeSource Bits


  • Kibble may be too hard
  • Protein content may be too high

5. “I and love and you” Naked Essentials

"I and love and you" Naked Essentials Dry Dog Food - Natural Grain Free Kibble, Lamb + Bison, 11-Pound Bag

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This grain-free dog food comes with salmon and trout, lamb and bison, or chicken and duck mixes as the protein source, and the formula contains no by-product meals, fillers, or artificial ingredients that can bring the nutritional quality down. The first three ingredients contain the protein source in each bag, and this kibble size works well for dogs in all of their life stages. The probiotics and flaxseed promotes digestive health, and the fatty acids help improve your dog’s skin and coat condition.


  • Carbohydrates – Sweet potato, chickpeas, and lentils
  • Protein – Chicken and duck, lamb and bison, or trout and salmon
  • Size – Four


  • Each formula has a mix of two protein sources
  • Probiotics promote digestive health
  • Has a 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • No by-product meals or soy


  • May be too strong for sensitive stomachs

6. Pedigree Adult Dry Canine Food

Pedigree Complete Nutrition Adult Dry Dog Food Roasted Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Flavor, 30 Lb. Bag

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This dog food has a flavor combination of dried chicken, vegetables, and rice to keep your dog interested in their food at meal time, and the fatty acid content helps to promote nourished skin and a shiny coat. There is a high amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in each serving to help support your dog both inside and out. There is a special fiber blend in this food to support healthy digestion, and the food comes made in the United States to strict quality control standards.


  • Carbohydrates – Brown rice
  • Protein – Roasted chicken
  • Size – Six


  • Ingredients sourced in the United States
  • Has fiber to support healthy digestion
  • Smaller kibble is easier to eat
  • No added sugar


  • Might be too hard for older dogs
  • Bag is very thin

7. Wellness Complete Health

Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Dog Food, Chicken & Oatmeal, 5-Pound Bag

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This food works to support a healthy weight by containing a precision calorie measurement in each meal, and the deboned chicken and pea recipe helps to keep your dog feeling full throughout the day. There are only premium, all-natural ingredients in this dog food that promotes digestive health, and you won’t find any corn, soy, wheat, by-product meals, or artificial ingredients. The food comes backed by the Wellness Guarantee, and they company comes based in the United States.


  • Carbohydrates – Peas
  • Protein – Deboned chicken
  • Size – Three


  • Backed by the Wellness Guarantee
  • Formulated to support a healthy weight
  • Has blueberries and spinach in the recipe
  • Packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants


  • Can cause loose stools
  • Chicken is a known allergen in many dogs

8. Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct

Purina One Smartblend True Instinct Natural With Real Salmon & Tuna Adult Dry Dog Food - 3.8 Lb. Bag

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Real salmon and tuna chunks make up the protein in this dog food, and fish is an excellent source of fatty acids and antioxidants that promote skin health, coat health, and immune health. Meat is the first ingredient on the label, and your dog will enjoy meaty morsels alongside their kibble. There are no by-product meals from poultry or artificial ingredients in this food, and you get the choice of four different sizes.


  • Carbohydrates – Whole grains
  • Protein – Tuna and salmon
  • Size – Four


  • Comes packed with 30% protein
  • Has kibble and meaty morsels
  • Antioxidants support your dog internally and externally
  • Fatty acids support skin and coat health


  • Might not be good for dogs with allergies
  • Contains beef

9. Iams Proactive Health Minichunks

Iams Proactive Health Adult Minichunks Dry Dog Food Chicken, 7 Lb. Bag

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Iams dog food uses farm-raised chicken as the lean protein source and the first ingredient on the label, and there is an exclusive blend of probiotics and fiber that help to support digestive health while building lean muscles. The L Carnitine in this formula boost your dog’s metabolism to help them stay at a healthy weight. You’ll get the choice of seven different sizes, and the formula contains a healthy amount of antioxidants to boost your dog’s immune system.


  • Carbohydrates – Whole grains
  • Protein – Chicken
  • Size – Six


  • Has chicken fat, beet pulp, and carrots
  • Promotes clean and healthy teeth
  • Boosts your dog’s metabolism
  • Kibble is slightly smaller


  • Can leave a greasy residue
  • May cause a rash or itching

10. Diamond Naturals Real Meat Recipe

Diamond Naturals Adult Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food With Grain and Real Pasture Raised Beef Protein 40Lb

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Your dog will get great levels of selenium and vitamin E each time they eat this food to improve their skin health, coat health, and heal any previous damage, and beef is the protein source. The formula has antioxidants and a blend of superfoods to enhance multiple systems in your dog’s body to promote a healthy life, and there is no filler or artificial ingredients. The food has a flat kibble shape that is easy for your dog to pick up and eat.


  • Carbohydrates – White rice and whole grains
  • Protein – Beef
  • Size – One


  • Protein source is pasture-raised beef
  • Has a blend of superfoods
  • Uses whole grains and rice for carbohydrates
  • Enriched with fatty acids


  • Recent price hike
  • Concerns about a recent formula change

Verdict & Review

Purina Dry Dog Food








Test-Dog Approval



  • Meat is the first ingredient
  • Unlikely to trigger allergies
  • No poultry by-product meals
  • Has triangular kibble


  • Might leave a greasy residue

Our top pick is the Purina food because it has a limited ingredient formula that makes it appropriate for dogs with allergies and sensitivities. The manufacturer sources the ingredients from trusted sources around the United States for strict quality control as well.

We encourage you to take a look at our 10 different dry dog food options and compare them side by side. You can use our buyer’s guide to get a good idea of what you want to see in your dog’s food to ensure you make a healthy choice.

Buying Guide

Dry dog food is a convenient food type because it has all of the nutrition your dog needs packed into a dry form that is often not as messy as wet food. The food can last for weeks after you open it, and you get the choice of different protein and carbohydrates, as well as other formulas.


There are several important factors you want to keep in mind when you shop for your dry dog food. This can help ensure you get the most nutritionally-sound food for your dog. It also reduces the chances of allergies or developing sensitivities.


You want to pick out a dog food brand that has a reputation for using the best ingredients possible with strict quality control standards. Many brands have their base in the United States with manufacturing plants all over the country. Consider the brand’s history, and take a look and see if there have been recalls or concerns about the particular food you want to get.


The protein source should be one of the first three ingredients on the label if it isn’t the first one. Common protein sources include tuna, salmon, whitefish, beef, chicken, lamb, duck, or turkey. Chicken is a common allergen for many dogs, so you may want to avoid poultry or poultry by-products if your dog is having problems.

Kibble Size

The kibble size will dictate whether or not your dog has trouble picking up and eating the food. Take a look at the kibble’s shape and size and compare your findings to your dog’s size. Smaller or older dogs may need smaller kibble, while larger dogs do fine with bigger kibble pieces.

Supporting Ingredients

Ideally, your dog’s food will have a host of healthy supporting ingredients like fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. These ingredients help support healthy skin, shiny coats, digestive health, and immune health. Beet pulp, blueberries, spinach, and other vegetables are good to see on the label.

Natural Ingredients

You don’t want to see filler or by-products in your dog’s food, and artificial ingredients are also something you want to avoid. Instead, go for natural ingredients like peas, lentils, protein, sweet potatoes, and potatoes. These things are easier for your dog to digest.

Grain or Grain-Free

Many dogs develop an intolerance to grains, so you may want to look for a food that has a grain-free formula. These types of food will substitute common corn, soy, or wheat for whole grains, sweet potato, potatoes, white rice, brown rice, barley, or lentils. These carbohydrates are easier than traditional grains for your dog’s system to break down and use.

No Fillers

Fillers are ingredients dog food companies put into dog food formulas to help bulk it up, and these filler agents don’t add any nutritional value for your dog. Instead, these agents can be triggers for allergies or reactions.

Life Stages

As your dog goes through their life stages, their food will go through the various life stages with them. Dogs need different nutritional requirements throughout their life, and their food has to match it. Make sure you pick a food that is nutritionally appropriate for their age.

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