Editor's Note
  • December 6, 2017 - To keep up with new brands and changing formulas, we've completely revamped our dry dog food review from 2016. We've also updated our methodology so that it's consistent with current nutrition research. Our new top picks feature the 11 best dog food brands with dry food lines that meet our criteria.

The best dry dog food doesn’t cut corners. It’s high in protein, low in carbs, and made with high-quality meats that keep your dog drooling every time you open the bag. We spent two months researching ingredients, reaching out to over 40 vets and vet nutritionists, and putting over 1,600 dog food formulas through the wringer to find the very best that’s out there.

The Best Dry Dog Food

Our 11 Favorite Dry Dog Food Brands & Lines

  1. Fromm Classic
  2. Fromm Gold
  3. Holistic Health Extension
  4. Horizon Amicus
  5. Horizon Legacy
  6. Nutri Life Gold
  7. Nutri Life Grain Free
  8. Orijen Tundra
  9. Signature Pet Products: Leonard Powell Signature
  10. Tender & True
  11. Ziwi Peak

Our Picks for the Best Dry Dog Food

Dog Food Number of Formulas Main Protein Sources Price per Pound
Fromm Classic
2

Chicken, Fish

$1.13–$1.20
Fromm Gold
8

Duck, Beef, Turkey Liver, Whitefish

$1.52–$2.39

Holistic Health Extension
12
Chicken, Lamb, Venison, Buffalo, Duck, Salmon

$1.70–$2.67
Horizon Amicus
2
Turkey

$3.00
Horizon Legacy
2

Chicken, Salmon

$2.55–$2.80

Nutri Life Gold
2

Duck

$1.47–$1.65

Nutri Life Grain Free
2

Chicken, Whitefish
$1.65–$1.75

Orijen Tundra
5

Chicken, Mackerel, Beef, Goat

$3.16–$4.49

Signature Pet Products: Leonard Powell Signature
6

Chicken, Pork, Bison, Duck, Lamb
$2.04–$4.17

Tender & True
5

Chicken, Turkey, Whitefish

$2.83–$3.90

Ziwi Peak
5
Mackerel, Beef, Venison, Lamb, Tripe

$13.25–$23.19

Runners-Up for Best Dry Dog Food

Born Free: All of its formulas passed our cuts, but It’s only available at specialty pet food stores in the Midwest. Approved formulas: any. Comes in 26-pound bags, and costs $2.20/pound.
Dynamite: Only offers one dry dog food formula, called Super Premium Dog Food available directly from its website. It comes in a huge 40-pound bag and is priced affordably at $1.50/pound.
Only Natural Pet: Only available on its website. Approved formulas: MaxMeat Air-Dried. It comes in small 7.5-pound bags, and is one of our priciest picks at $10–11.33/pound.
Redpaw X-Series: Only available on its website. Approved lines: X-Series. Comes in 12-pound and 26-pound bags, and ranges from $1.84-$2.19/pound.
Timberwolf: Currently unavailable due to stocking issues, but typically found at specialty pet stores. Approved formulas: all.

Dog Food: A Feeding Guide

Labels Infographic for Dog Food

Did You Know?

Dry doesn’t always mean more protein.

Every dog food comes with a guaranteed analysis label, which lists the formula’s minimum percentage of protein and fat, and maximum percentage of fiber and moisture. The guaranteed analysis doesn’t list carbs — but you can figure it out by adding up all the percentages listed, and subtracting from 100.

If you’re just skimming through guaranteed analyses on different dog foods, you may be struck at how different the numbers are between dry and wet dog foods: most wet dog foods average between 8-17% protein, while dry dog foods have a whopping range of 30-50% protein. Wet food almost always has a lower listed protein percentage, but when you factor in the extra space taken up by water, wet food actually tends to have more protein. If you want to calculate the differences yourself, we show you how to do it in our review of the best dog food.

Don’t buy too much food at once.

Expiration dates on dry food bags indicate how long the food will last if unopened. Even if the expiration date is a year into the future, once you open the bag, the food will only last between 4-6 weeks. To make sure your dog’s dry food stays fresh, avoid buying more than he can eat in a month or so, and seal up the food by clamping or tying the bag shut when it’s not feeding time.

When, and how often, should you feed your dog?

Dog food labels include feeding suggestions that recommend serving sizes per day depending on your dog’s current weight. Feed your dog about two times each day at 8-12 hour intervals, making sure not to overfeed him. Dogs that need to eat more than the average adult dogs — such as puppies, nursing mothers, very active dogs, dogs in very cold environments, and dogs recovering from surgery or illness — may benefit from free feeding or more frequent meals. Don’t leave dry food out for more than 24 hours, and wash bowls used for dry food at least once per week.