Best Dry Dog Food: Updated for 2022

Updated: May 28, 2022

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Feeding your dog the best dry dog food is just one of the ways you can help it enjoy a long and healthy life. When you select the best dry dog food for your pet, you’re contributing to the health of its kidneys, heart, lungs, brain, and other organs. Furthermore, a dog’s coat, skin, and nails all benefit from feeding it the best available options.

When updating our top choice for 2022 we replaced prior top pick Blue Buffalo wilderness high protein with a new choice from the same company, the adult large breed grain free dry dog food. We advocate for going grain free when you can, and found our prior choice to be almost too high in calories and caused unnecessary weight gain. If you do want a high calorie dog food to help your pup put on pounds, we recommend a variety of high calorie dog food options.

Some of the best brands offer a variety of choices that suit the size, breed, age, and even the tastes of a dog. You no longer have to settle for a one size fits all option. You can buy vet-recommended, dry dog food tailored to meet the specific needs of your pooch.

  1. Hill's Science Diet Adult Chicken & Barley Recipe
  2. Hill's Science Diet Adult Chicken & Barley Recipe
    • Contains high-quality protein to support an adult dog’s muscles
    • Contains omega-6s and Vitamin E for a dog’s coat and skin health
    • Comes in a variety of flavors
    • Contains fiber for a healthy gut
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Hill's Science Diet Adult Small Paws Chicken Meal
  4. Hill's Science Diet Adult Small Paws Chicken Meal
    • Smaller kibble bites are easier to consume and digest
    • Omega-6 fatty acids are a good choice for longer coats
    • Includes antioxidants, as well as vitamins C and E for a robust immune system
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe
  6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe
    • High quality bison is the first ingredient
    • Contains no chicken
    • Contains antioxidants, peas, and fish meal for Omega 3's
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  7. Iams ProActive Health Healthy Aging Senior Dry Dog Food
  8. Iams ProActive Health Healthy Aging Senior Dry Dog Food
    • Additional ingredients to support joint and bone health in older dogs
    • First ingredient is high protein chicken
    • Contains B12, vitamin E, vitamin B2, and D3 supplements
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  9. Bundle: Purina Pro Plan Puppy Lamb & Rice
  10. Bundle: Purina Pro Plan Puppy Lamb & Rice
    • Large 34lb bag lasts longer than other 22lb options
    • DHA from fish oil for better coat, and brain development
    • Protein rich lamb and rice are two of the first three ingredients
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

Verified Review: Hands-On Experience

At A-Z Animals, we evaluated several brands that offer dry dog food. We looked for products with quality ingredients without fillers as well as dry food formulas designed for dogs of different ages, sizes, and breeds. We searched for foods that support the overall health of dogs from head to tail. We even looked at foods made for picky eaters! Read on to find out which selections made our list.

The Top Picks for Best Dry Dog Food: Ranked

#1 Healthiest Overall Dry Dog Food: Hill’s Science Diet Adult, Large Breed Dog Dry Food Perfect Digestion

After careful evaluation of various brands, we recommend Hill’s Science Diet Adult, Large Breed Dog Dry Food Perfect Digestion. This company combines rigorous testing, research, and feedback from veterinarians to create high-quality dog food for all breeds. It all comes down to the ingredients.

Protein is essential in the diet of a dog. This dry dog food has protein in the form of chicken, barley, rice, and whole-grain oats. Protein builds and maintains strong muscles and healthy tissue.

Another reason why we recommend this particular food as the healthiest option is its prebiotics. These aid in a dog’s digestion, so it enjoys all of the nutritious value in this food without stomach upset.

Vitamins C and E along with antioxidants help to make this the healthiest option for an adult, large breed dog. These nutrients support a dog’s immune system so it can avoid illness or recover from common ailments more quickly.

If you’re looking for the best veterinarian-recommended dry dog food we recommend Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult 1-6.

The main reason why veterinarians recommend this food is its ingredients. It contains high-quality protein to support an adult dog’s muscles. Plus, it has Omega-6s and Vitamin E for a dog’s coat and skin health.

The variety of flavors offered is another feature that makes this a vet-recommended food. In short, dogs find this dry food delicious! Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult 1-6 is available in chicken and barley as well as lamb meal and brown rice.

Veterinarians recommend this food because it’s easily digestible. Specifically, this formula contains natural fiber. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult 1-6 is designed to provide the proper amount of nutrients in a good-tasting, easy-to-digest formula.

The Top Vet-Recommended
Hill's Science Diet Adult Chicken & Barley Recipe
  • Contains high-quality protein to support an adult dog’s muscles
  • Contains omega-6s and Vitamin E for a dog’s coat and skin health
  • Comes in a variety of flavors
  • Contains fiber for a healthy gut
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Best Dry Dog Food for Small Dogs: Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Small Paws 1-6

We chose Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Small Paws 1-6 as our pick for the best dry dog food for small dogs.

Its kibble-sized pieces is specially designed for the mouths of small dogs. Not only is it easy for small dogs to consume, but it’s also easy for them to digest.

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Small Paws is available in delicious flavors like chicken meal and rice, lamb meal, and brown rice to suit the tastes of your small dog.

The special formula of Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Small Paws 1-6 supports the muscles and bones of small dog breeds. It features high-quality protein as well as antioxidants to strengthen the immune systems of small dog breeds. The Omega-6 and Vitamin E in this formula contribute to healthy skin and fur.

Best For Small Dogs
Hill's Science Diet Adult Small Paws Chicken Meal
  • Smaller kibble bites are easier to consume and digest
  • Omega-6 fatty acids are a good choice for longer coats
  • Includes antioxidants, as well as vitamins C and E for a robust immune system
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Best for Picky Eaters: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe

Is your dog a picky eater? If so, we recommend Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe, Natural Adult Dry Dog Food. This dog food is designed to please the palate of the pickiest eaters. Like most Blue Buffalo products, this top choice also includes antioxidants for a healthier dog. With ratios reviewed by veterinarians and pet nutritionists. There is no chicken or chicken by product in this recipe, but it does contain fish meal and peas. Both high quality ingredients we like to see in dog food.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe has no artificial flavors or preservatives that can adversely affect a dog’s health. The pieces are cooked perfectly to retain their nutrients.

Best For Picky Eaters
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe
  • High quality bison is the first ingredient
  • Contains no chicken
  • Contains antioxidants, peas, and fish meal for Omega 3's
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Best for Senior Dogs: IAMS Senior Dry Dog Food, Chicken, All Breed Sizes

Senior dogs need certain types and amounts of nutrients to keep them vital. This is why we highly recommend IAMS Senior Dry Dog Food, Chicken, All Breed Sizes.

IAMS Senior Dry Dog Food, Chicken, All Breed Sizes contains high-quality protein in the form of chicken. Chicken is the first ingredient listed on this senior food. It contains zero fillers that can add weight to a senior dog of any breed.

This recipe serves the nutritional needs of senior dogs by adding DHA Gold to their diet. DHA Gold supports the brain and vision health of a dog that’s getting up in years. Factor in a supply of antioxidants along with beta carotene and Vitamin E and you have an excellent dry option for seniors.

As a dog gets older, its digestive system becomes less efficient. IAMS Senior Dry Dog Food, Chicken, All Breed Sizes has natural fibers and prebiotics to help aid efficient digestion for seniors. These must-have nutrients are included in the form of delicious carrots and beet pulp.

Best For Seniors
Iams ProActive Health Healthy Aging Senior Dry Dog Food
  • Additional ingredients to support joint and bone health in older dogs
  • First ingredient is high protein chicken
  • Contains B12, vitamin E, vitamin B2, and D3 supplements
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Best for Puppies: Purina Pro Plan Puppy Lamb & Rice Dry Dog Food

Puppies need the right type of nutrients so they can grow up to be healthy, strong adult dogs. That’s why we recommend Purina Pro Plan Puppy Lamb & Rice Dry Dog Food for puppies. This particular food is designed for puppies under one year old.

A puppy’s teeth and bones are gaining strength as the canine approaches one year. Purina Pro Plan Puppy Lamb & Rice Dry Dog Food has the right amount of calcium and phosphorus to support the growing teeth and bones. This recipe from Purina also contains fish oil which nourishes a puppy’s developing vision as well as its brain health.

This option is easy for puppies to digest. It contains the fiber a puppy needs to maintain a healthy digestive system as it goes through a day of energetic explorations!

Purina Pro Plan Puppy Lamb & Rice Dry Dog Food is available for a toy breed, small breed, and large breed puppies. This makes it easy to find the formula you need for the puppy in your household. Plus, there’s a helpful chart on the back of each bag that guides how much to feed a puppy based on its weight. This ensures the puppy gets the nutrients and energy it needs for its size.

Top Pick For Puppies
Bundle: Purina Pro Plan Puppy Lamb & Rice
  • Large 34lb bag lasts longer than other 22lb options
  • DHA from fish oil for better coat, and brain development
  • Protein rich lamb and rice are two of the first three ingredients
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Dry Dog Food Tested For This Review

About the Author

AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

Best Dry Dog Food: Updated for 2022 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is the healthiest dry dog food to feed your dog?

At A-Z Animals, we recommend Hill’s Science Diet Adult, Large Breed Dog Dry Food Perfect Digestion as the healthiest option available. It supplies a dog with all of the nutrients it needs in an easy-to-digest formula.

What amount of dry dog food should I feed my canine?

Most dog food companies include a chart on each bag of dry dog food. Oftentimes, the weight of a dog is what dictates how much dry food it needs. So, it’s best to go by the weight chart on the back of a dry dog food bag to ensure you’re giving your dog the proper amount of nourishment.

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