Best Dog Food: Reviewed for 2021

Published: August 9, 2021

This post may contain affiliate links to our partners. Purchasing through these helps us further the A-Z Animals mission to help us educate about the world’s species so we can all better care for them.

Every discerning dog owner knows the importance of selecting a quality dog food for your pup. But with all of the options on the market — from grain-free options to formulas that are specially designed for senior dogs — it can be overwhelming. But has you covered! We have tested the options on our own dogs and selected the best of the best so your dog is not only satiated, but they will be benefiting from the quality of the food they’re being fed. Here are the best dog foods on the market for any dog’s dietary needs.

CRAVE Grain Free Adult High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food with Protein from Salmon and Ocean Fish, 22 lb. Bag
  • Contains one (1) 22 lb. bag of CRAVE High Protein Adult Grain Free With Protein from White Fish and Salmon All Natural Dog Food Plus Vitamins, Minerals, and Other Nutrients
  • Inspired by the diets of their wolf ancestors, CRAVE adult dog food is made with real ingredients including high-quality animal protein and the full meaty flavor dogs love
  • Satisfies a dog's natural desire for animal protein with real white fish as the first ingredient
  • Supports a strong, lean body with 34% high protein
  • Dry grain free dog food recipe formulated with no corn, wheat, or soy and no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives and zero grain
  • A Flavor That Dogs Love: Do you want a food with a flavor that dogs just love? Prefer to avoid ingredients your dog doesn’t enjoy? This grain-free food is a flavor that your dog is certain to love!
  • Let Your Dog Eat Like a Wolf: This dog food has the ingredients that are closest to what your dog’s wolf ancestors would have eaten
  • High Protein For Your Dog’s Needs: Contains 34% protein to keep your dog healthy and strong
  • A Quality List of Ingredients: Besides being grain-free, this food is free from artificial flavors and colors, as well as preservatives. Grain-free carbohydrate sources like pea flour give your dog energy.
  • Complete Nutritional Needs for All Sizes: This food has complete nutrition for dogs of all sizes

CRAVE Grain Free High Protein has earned A-Z Animals #1 position for overall grain-free dog food.

Grain-free dog food real meat as an ingredient is often more satisfying for dogs. Dogs will have varying food needs as they age, and various life circumstances or health issues may impact how much your dog eats. We recommend CRAVE Grain Free High Protein for that reason.

In testing, dogs of all ages and sizes readily ate this food and enjoyed it. Knowing that your dog will enjoy healthy food should give you greater peace of mind about your choice.

CRAVE Grain Free High Protein has some of the healthier ingredients available in dry food. These ingredients include:

  • White Fish
  • Salmon Meal
  • Lentils
  • Split Peas
  • Pea Starch

CRAVE Grain Free High Protein is free of grains that many prefer not to have in dog food, including:

  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Soy

CRAVE products also use sustainable packaging that uses a more efficient shape, less water, and allows less air inside the bag. Fewer carbon emissions because the packaging helps make the company more responsible. Very few customers have had complaints about this food. We think that dog owners have a greater appreciation for the high-quality ingredients that this food contains that leads to satisfaction.

In short, CRAVE Grain Free High Protein has earned our #1 spot for:

  • High-quality ingredients that include salmon and white fish
  • A high protein content that meets your dog’s nutritional needs
  • Well-rounded to meet the needs of dogs of different sizes
  • Free from grains like corn, soy, and wheat
  • Suitable for large breeds, for puppies, and for senior dogs

Click here to check out CRAVE Grain Free High Protein.

RELATED: The Best Dog Bowl Stands: Reviewed for 2021

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Senior Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 30-Lb
  • REAL MEAT FIRST: Blue Buffalo foods always feature real meat as the first ingredient; High-quality protein from real chicken helps your dog build and maintain healthy muscles; Plus they contain wholesome whole grains, garden veggies and fruit
  • FOR SENIOR DOGS: Blue Life Protection Formula senior dog food contains glucosamine and chondroitin to help support joint health and overall mobility with essential proteins and carbohydrates to help maintain energy requirements for a healthy lifestyle
  • ANTIOXIDANT-RICH LIFESOURCE BITS: A precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals carefully selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists to support immune system health, life stage needs and a healthy oxidative balance
  • A NATURAL DOG FOOD: Blue dry dog food is made with the finest natural ingredients enhanced with vitamins and minerals; Blue contains No chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Contains one (1) 30 lb Bag of Blue Life Protection Formula Senior Dry Dog Food Chicken and Brown Rice

While we recommend all of the senior foods on this list, the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula for Seniors is our top recommendation. Real wholesome chicken is the first ingredient in this chicken and brown rice formula that seniors are sure to enjoy. The high-quality protein from the chicken will help seniors maintain their muscle mass while building new muscles.

In addition to the chicken in the formula, some other healthy ingredients in this food include garden vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. There are no poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives in this food; it is made using all-natural ingredients along with added vitamins and minerals to help senior dogs stay healthy.

This formula also includes glucosamine and chondroitin to help seniors maintain their joint health and mobility. The essential proteins and carbohydrates are also targeted to meet the specific needs of a senior dog. Additionally, Blue Buffalo added their signature Lifesource bits to this formula. These anti-oxidant-rich bits are designed to support a dog’s immune system and promote a healthy oxidative balance.

Choose from a 6-pound bag, 15-pound bag, or a 30-pound bag. Compared to many other more expensive brands, Blue Buffalo is a budget friendly option that doesn’t skimp on quality.

Click here to check out Blue Buffalo Life Protection Senior Dry Dog Food

Canidae PURE Grain Free, Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food, Salmon and Sweet Potato, 24lbs
  • Limited ingredient dog food filled with ingredients you recognize
  • 10 Key ingredients or less
  • Packed with the goodness of premium, clean proteins
  • #1 Ingredient real meat, poultry or fish
  • Beautiful skin & coat supported by Omega 6 & 3 fatty acids

Our overall pick for the best allergy-friendly dog food is the Canidae Pure Real Salmon and Sweet Potato Recipe. This limited ingredient dry food is made using only 8 safe and natural ingredients. These ingredients are salmon, salmon meal, menhaden fish meal, sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, canola oil, and sun-cured alfalfa. Additional natural flavors vitamins, minerals, and probiotics are also added to the recipe to make it more appealing and healthier for dogs.

The limited number of ingredients in this food can help when you’re trying to identify an allergen for your pup. It can also be a good choice if they’re allergic to some of the most common allergens, like chicken, beef, dairy, or eggs since the formula for this food does not contain any of those ingredients.

The formula is rich in omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids that will help improve your dog’s skin and enhance the shine on their coat. This can be especially beneficial if they have been dealing with skin allergies. Additionally, this formula is also antioxidant-rich to support a dog’s immune system.

Canidae offers other limited ingredient recipes including Duck & Sweet Potato, Chicken, Lentil, & Pea, Healthy Weight Chicken, Lamb & Pea, and Lamb, Goat, & Venison.

Click here to check out Canidae PURE Grain Free, Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food

Purina ONE Grain Free, Natural Pate Wet Dog Food, SmartBlend True Instinct With Beef & Wild Caught Salmon - (12) 13 oz. Cans
  • Twelve (12) 13 Oz. Cans - Purina One Smart Blend True Instinct Natural Grain-Free Classic Ground With Beef & Wild Caught Salmon Adult Wet Dog Food
  • Real Beef Is The #1 Ingredient
  • No Poultry By-Products
  • Sources Of Antioxidants Help Support His Healthy Immune System
  • Omega Fatty Acids Help Support His Healthy Skin And Coat

After testing and comparing multiple wet dog foods, we selected the Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct Dog Food as our number one overall pick. This food is available in a variety of delectable flavors including Grain Free Beef & Wild-Caught Salmon, Grain Free Chicken & Duck, Grain Free Game Bird, Beef & Wild-Caught Salmon, Chicken & Duck, and Turkey & Venison. The availability of both grain-free and grain versions means that individuals looking for good food for allergies to help their pup may find that this is a great option.

Each can of wet food features real meat or poultry as the first ingredient, meaning these are high-protein options to help keep your dog healthy. In fact, this food contains 30% protein to help dogs grow strong and healthy. The recipe includes healthy and safe ingredients and is free of fillers like wheat, corn, or soy.

This canned dog food is also made without the use of any artificial flavors, artificial preservatives, or artificial colors to help you feel confident you’re offering your dog the best possible nutrition. Purina challenges users to take the Purina ONE 28-day challenge. They say that after 28 days numerous dogs see an improvement in their coat, teeth, gums, eyes, and energy level.

The Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct wet food is sold in packs of 12 13-ounce cans. Compared to other more expensive foods, this food is a better value for those looking to save money without compromising nutrition.

Click here to check out Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Adult Canned Wet Dog Food

Castor & Pollux ORGANIX Organic Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe Dry Dog Food - 4 lb. Bag (35062)
  • One (1) 4.0 lb Bag - Castor & Pollux ORGANIX Organic Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe Dry Dog Food
  • USDA organic certified chicken dog food that contains no artificial preservatives, flavors or colors
  • Nutrient packed with a blend of superfoods, including organic flaxseed, organic blueberries and organic coconut oil
  • Dog food with grain contains organic oatmeal and organic barley to help support healthy digestion
  • This organic dog food is corn, wheat and soy free and contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives

After comparing a number of different organic dog foods, we selected the Castor & Pollux Organix Dry Dog Food as our overall top pick. This food is made using organic ingredients and does not contain any artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors, so you can rest easy knowing your dog is eating a healthy meal. The first ingredient on the list is organic chicken, followed by organic chicken meal, oatmeal, barley, brown rice, and peas. Your dog will absolutely love the delicious chicken and oatmeal formula.

The ingredient list includes a blend of fresh, superfoods such as organic blueberries, coconut oil, and flaxseed. The grains, such as oatmeal, barley, and brown rice, are designed to aid in digestion, making this a good option to try for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

As a company that complies with the USDA Natural Organic Program Regulations, Castor & Pollux can face reviews by independent, USDA-accredited experts. This means that their foods could be tested for compliance and should provide you with additional peace of mind that the ingredients listed on the bag are a true representation of what is inside.

This food is formulated for use with an adult dog. The amount of food you’ll want to feed your dog will vary based on his or her weight. You can use the daily feeding guide on the bag, along with recommendations from your veterinarian, to determine the right daily portion.

In addition to this 4-pound bag of the Chicken & Oatmeal formula, you may also choose:

Click here to check out Castor & Pollux Organix Dry Dog Food: Organic Chicken Recipe


Last update on 2021-09-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Latest Product Reviews