Discover The Best Dry Dog Food for Your Dog Breed

Last Updated on September 3, 2021 by adrienne hardwick

Dry dog food is a popular feeding option for dogs. It is relatively affordable, it is good for their teeth, and it’s easy to store in the home.

It can be a fantastic way to keep your dog full, happy, and healthy, but you do need to make sure that it’s balanced and has the right ingredients.

After all, you want your dog to thrive on their dog food.

10-Best-Dry-Dog-Food-UK-Brands-Reviewed

Dry dog food critics will say that you shouldn’t be giving your dog kibble. Are they correct? The answer is no, you just need to find the right one for your pup. That’s where we come in, the dog food connoisseurs that will help find the best dry dog food that your dog won’t be able to resist.

1. Editors Pick

2. Budget Pick

Key Things to Look for

Before you decide on the perfect dry dog food for your dog, there are a few things that you will need to keep in mind. These are vital aspects and traits that will determine the type of dog food that your pup needs.

Age. The dog food needs to be suitable for the age of your dog. This is because of nutritional and calorie needs, an example being that an adult dog needs more calories than a senior one and a puppy requiring different nutrients to an adult.

Feeding age-appropriate adult dry dog food or puppy dry dog food ensures healthy growth as well as general good health.

Size. With dogs, size does matter. The size of your dog can determine their nutritional needs, but it also dictates the shape of the dog food they eat.

For example, dry dog food that is designed for large breeds usually consists of big pieces of kibble, but the dog food made for small breeds is very petite so that it is easy for them to crunch and eat.

Activity Level. This plays a major role in the dog food that your dog should be eating. Dogs that are working or very active will need more fat and calories to maintain a healthy weight and stay in shape.

On the other hand, dogs that are couch potatoes will benefit from fewer calories and low levels of fat to prevent obesity.

Wheat/Grains. These are often used as filler ingredients to help a dog feel fuller without needing to use more meat and protein. It also drives the price down, with many wheat and grain dog foods coming in at low prices.

For some dogs, this isn’t an issue, but for many, it can cause gas and an upset stomach to have dog food that is packed with wheat and grains.

Meat Content. In an ideal situation, meat will be the number one ingredient and it should be actual meat as opposed to meat meal. When dog food has meat meal in it, this is the bottom of the barrel stuff that can’t be used for human consumption.

It’s cooked and pressed at high temperatures, but it’s not the same as ensuring they get real meat in their kibble.

Protein Levels. Ideally, you want a high protein count so that your dog is getting the energy they need and is able to remain healthy. A good protein level means that the dog food isn’t being packed with filler ingredients, and you are instead getting something more complete.

Nutritional Needs. Your dog will have their own nutritional needs, just like people do. If they have allergies or special requirements, you will need to keep this in mind when you are browsing through dry dog foods.


Beco Complete Dry Food

1. Beco Complete Dry Dog Food

Editor’s Pick

This is one of the best dog food out there, with at least 40% human-grade meat in every pack. The shape and size of the kibble makes it suitable for all sizes of dog, and it contains an excellent 22% protein for a healthy diet, as well as 10% and a very low 3.5% crude ash.

All of the ingredients are organic, supporting ethical farming. Made in the UK and packed with nutrition for your pup, it’s delicious and full of all the good stuff.

  • Key Ingredients: Freshly Prepared MSC Cod & Haddock, Potato, Peas, Chickpeas, Potato Protein
  • Texture: Dry
  • Type: Grain free, organic, MSC certified
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable For: all-rounder

Should You Buy it?

Yes, this grain free dog food is absolutely worth buying. The quality is excellent, dogs love it, and it is packed with the kind of nutrition you want them to have.

Sample Buyer Review

sample review Beco Complete Dry Food

— Trusted Customer


Burgess Supadog Complete

2. Burgess Supadog Complete

Budget Pick

This puppy food is very affordable, which is perfect for those who are on a budget but have a hungry puppy to feed.

It has a great protein content at 28%, giving them the calories and strength they need for good development as they grow. It contains 13% fat, and the ash count is a little high at 8%.

However, the kibble is a good size and easy for puppies to eat and it is packed with nutrients to promote healthy growth.

  • Key Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Naked Oats, Wheat, Herring Meal, Maize
  • Texture: Dry
  • Type: Grain-inclusive
  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable For: Budget Pick

Should You Buy it?

Yes, you should buy this if you are on a budget. It doesn’t have the fanciest ingredients in the world, but it is still good quality and will help your puppy to grow strong and healthy.

Sample Buyer Review

sample review Burgess Supadog Complete

— Ryan Mc Fall


Barking Heads Chicken

3. Barking Heads Chicken

Best All-Rounder

This is the best dog food brands for adult dry dog food, providing your dog with the nutrition they need to keep fit and healthy, while also providing them with a kibble they are sure to love. It contains 26% protein, which is very impressive, as well as a low 3.5% ash.

The fat content can be considered a little high at 17%, but as long as you exercise your dog regularly you shouldn’t need to worry about this. It promotes strong joints and healthy digestion, while also being completely free from anything artificial.

  • Key Ingredients: Chicken, Brown Rice, Oats, White Rice, Trout
  • Texture: Dry
  • Type: Free from artificial nasties
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable For: All-rounder

Should You Buy it?

Yes, this dog food is fantastic as well as reasonably priced. It contains loads of great ingredients to make healthy and delicious dog food for your dog.

Sample Buyer Review

sample review Barking Heads Chicken

— Chester

Have a questions? Ask in the comments below


4. AATU Free Run Chicken

Best Working Dog Pick

This is the perfect dog food for working dogs, providing them with the extra energy they need thanks to the 32% protein content coupled with 16% fat. It will give them additional calories so that they can maintain their health and energy levels day after day at work.

It even includes omega 3 for a healthy coat as well as one of the lowest ash contents we have seen at 3%. The meat used is fresh, human-grade, and every serving is packed with it for optimum nutrition and taste.

  • Key Ingredients: Chicken, Sweet Potato, Chickpeas, Peas, Lucerne
  • Texture: Dry
  • Type: High in protein, grain free
  • Life Stage: Adults
  • Suitable For: Working dogs, pregnant dogs

Should You Buy it?

Absolutely, this adult dry dog food is worth the money for dogs who are out working all day and need the extra calories so that they can continue to perform to the best of their ability.

Sample Buyer Review

sample review AATU Free Run Chicken

— Rachel Hurford


Canagan Senior Light

5. Canagan Senior Light

For Senior Pups

One of the most popular dog foods on the market, Canagan provides senior pups with 60% meat in every bag.

The protein content is exceptional at 33%, and the fat is relatively low at 14%. The ash it a little high at 9%, but it does contain omega 3 for healthy coats and eyes. The kibble is a nice size, and it is easy for elderly dogs to crunch and digest. It’s highly nutritious, packed with all the good things your dog needs to maintain healthy joints and organs in the twilight years of their life.

  • Key Ingredients: Fresh Chicken, Dried Chicken, Sweet Potato, Potato, Peas
  • Texture: Dry
  • Type: Low fat, nutritional
  • Life Stage: Senior
  • Suitable For: Mature dogs

Should You Buy it?

Yes, it is a fantastic dog food for senior dogs and provides them with all the nutrients they need to lead a happy and healthy life.

Sample Buyer Review

sample review Canagan Senior Light

— Julia Grant


Arden Grange

6. Arden Grange

Best Dog Food For Growing Pups

The key thing with this puppy food is that it is slow release, providing them with energy throughout the day so that they can keep playing and running.

It’s naturally hypoallergenic to keep allergies away and allow them to enjoy their dog food, and it is packed with fresh meat. It contains an impressive 29% protein for energy, alongside 18% fat.

The ash level is a little higher than what we like to see at 7%, but this is balanced by the nutritional excellence of this dog food.

  • Key Ingredients: Chicken, rice, maize, refined chicken oil, whole dried egg
  • Texture: Dry
  • Type: Hypoallergenic
  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable For: Allergies, puppy all-rounder

Should You Buy it?

Definitely, it is a great puppy food that they will love and thrive on. Plus, it is hypoallergenic to help pups with allergies feel more comfortable and allow them to enjoy their dog food.

Sample Buyer Review

sample review Arden Grange

— Trusted Customer

Have a questions? Ask in the comments below


Pooch and Mutt

7. Pooch and Mutt

Low Fat Goodness

This tasty kibble is perfect for pups who are a little chubby and need to get back in shape. It’s packed with good quality meat, but also ingredients like sweet potato that are low in fat but wonderfully filling so that your dog doesn’t feel hungry after dinner.

It’s grain free and other nasties, and boasts 10% fat in addition to 25% protein. Even the ask content is low at 4%, and it contains omega 3 to help promote a healthy, shiny, coat and good eyesight.

  • Key Ingredients: Chicken, sweet potato, potato, peas, pea pulp
  • Texture: Dry
  • Type: Low fat, grain free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable For: Dieting and weight loss

Should You Buy it?

Yes, this dog food is fantastic for those chunky pooches that could stand to lose a few pounds. It’s packed with nutrition and meaty goodness, but low in fat for their health.

Sample Buyer Review

sample review Pooch and Mutt

— Trusted Customer


Forthglade Cold Pressed

8. Forthglade Cold Pressed

Best Dog Food Pick for Sensitive Bellies

This delicious and nutritious dog food is rich in protein at 26%, and has a low fat content of 12%.
Even the ash is quite good at 6.6%, but all of this is dwarfed by the fact that this particular pet food is perfect for sensitive stomachs because of the natural ingredients and the fact that it is completely grain free.

It’s nutritionally balanced to promote healthy joints, coats, and an active lifestyle where they can keep going no matter what is thrown at them.

  • Key Ingredients: Fresh Chicken, sweet potatoes, peas, chicken fat, dried fruit
  • Texture: Dry
  • Type: Sensitive, grain free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable For: Sensitive stomachs

Should You Buy it?

Absolutely, as this is a brilliant complete dry dog food for dogs who have sensitive stomachs and need something that is gentle on their guts while also remaining nutritious.

Sample Buyer Review

sample review Forthglade Cold Pressed

— Alison Taylor Barnes


Lily’s Kitchen Organic Chicken and Duck

9. Lily’s Kitchen Organic Chicken and Ducke

Best Natural Dog Food

A popular and tasty pet food that dogs love, this is perfect for owners who want their pups to benefit from a natural diet in kibble form. It has an excellent 21% protein per pack, as well as a mere 8% fat.

Additionally, the ash content is very low at only 3%. Only fresh and organic meat is used – the kind of stuff that humans would eat as opposed to meat meal. It’s hypoallergenic for dogs who have a hard time finding adult dry dog food that they can eat, and it is highly nutritious.

  • Key Ingredients: Fresh Chicken, Rice, Barley, Oats, Rice Protein, Fishmeal
  • Texture: Dry
  • Type: Grain free, Natural
  • Life Stage: Adults
  • Suitable For: Fussy eaters, hypoallergenic

Should You Buy it?

Certainly, as Lily’s Kitchen is one of the most reputable best dog food brands on the market. Not to mention that in addition to being natural, it is also low in fat to help dogs stay healthy and in shape.

Sample Buyer Review

sample review Lily’s Kitchen Organic Chicken and Duck

— Ann Adams

Have a questions? Ask in the comments below


Orijen

10. Orijen

Best Dog Food for Chunky Seniors

Rich in meat and good ingredients, this pet food promotes the growth and maintenance of muscle mass in senior dogs. It contains an incredible 38% protein, keeping your dog healthy and full of life even as they get older.

Additionally, it only has 15% fat and is packed with nutrition as well as omega 3 for a healthy coat and eyes. The ash content is a little high at 8%, but this is overshadowed by how exceptional this complete dry dog food is in terms of nutritious value.

  • Key Ingredients: Fresh chicken meat, fresh whole eggs, fresh turkey meat, fresh whole herring, fresh chicken liver
  • Texture: Dry
  • Type: Low-fat
  • Life Stage: Senior
  • Suitable For: Weight Loss and dieting

Should You Buy it?

Absolutely. Senior dogs need to have extra protein and nutrition in their diets so that they can live a long and happy life. This dog food gives them everything they need to truly thrive.

Sample Buyer Review

sample review Orijen

— Vera Figueiredo 

Benefits Of Dry Food For Your Dog

Dry dog food doesn’t deserve the hatred that it gets in the modern world. It’s a pretty spectacular creation, one that allows you to ensure that your dog is enjoying a healthy and balanced diet without breaking your bank account. 

Many dry dog foods are labelled as complete which means there is no need for nutritional supplementation – something that you don’t often find on a raw or purely wet diet. Let’s dig a little deeper into that and see what actually makes a dog food complete. 

Protein30-40%
Carbs20-30%
Fat30-40%
Vitamins and Minerals5-8%

This is how the average dog food should be broken down in terms of basic nutrition – ensuring that they get everything they need in one meal. Since dry dog food is made using the extrusion method, it is a lot easier to get all of these nutrients into one giant dough for kibble. 

Leading on from this, the extrusion method also makes it a really cost-effective option as dry food is highly affordable and accessible. You can also buy kibble in bulk to save even more money because its long shelf life keeps it going for years when kept correctly. 

It’s a highly digestible option as well, with strict regulations ensuring that bulking ingredients that are potentially harmful cannot be used in the food. This means that nutrients are easily absorbed by the body, and the ingredients in the pet food continue to be strictly regulated. 

Furthermore, it keeps those gnashers sharp and clean – exactly what we want for our pups. Kibble is crunchy, which means it is giving teeth and jaws the workout they need while also helping to keep them clean. Much lower risk of food getting stuck between the teeth as well. 

There is so much more variety with dry food as well, it really is quite impressive. You can buy food that caters to specific stages of life, size, breed, and type of dog. Special formulas for working dogs, pups with digestive issues, and other health conditions make life easier. 

Many of them cater to specific pet food allergies, nutritional deficiencies, whatever you need there is probably a food for it. This means even the pickiest eaters are sure to find a kibble that they absolutely fall in love with (and that’s good for them as well). 

Finally, there is the calorie content to consider as well. Dry food means that your pup is getting a higher concentration of calories in a smaller serving. Therefore, they don’t need to eat as much as they would on a wet food diet and it’s easier to watch their weight as a result. 

dog eating food to quickly

Special Terms Used With Dry Dog Food

There are some special terms that you might notice in our listed ingredients across our dog food review guides. To help you make the best choice for your dog, we’ve taken a moment to list them all here alongside their definitions

Meat Meal. While meat meal is commonly seen as the slop off the floor, that’s not actually what the term means. Meat meal is what you get when you overcook the meat to the point that it turns into a powder – creating something that is high in protein and low in moisture. 

While this concentrated mix does create something that is less natural, it does make balancing the nutrients in pet food a lot easier. Most foods contain meat meal of some kind, and you will find there are some dog food brands that combine fresh meat and meal to create a balanced blend. 

Beet Pulp. Beets are packed with fibre, but they are also loaded with sugar, and beet pulp is what you’re left with once the sugar has been extracted. It’s a very common ingredient in dry dog food because it adds fibre to the kibble and boots the nutritional value

Linseed. This contains omega 3 fatty acids, which are commonly found in fish such as salmon. It’s great for the immune system and your dog’s coat to keep it nice and silky soft. You’ll find most meat contains omega 6 fatty acids which are also fantastic for their health. 

Lucerne. Also known as alfalfa, it is a low-cost ingredient that can be used to boost the protein content in food. While it’s fine to have a little lucerne in dog food, too much means they are likely to be missing out on some of the essential nutrients that come with meat protein. 

Yucca Extract. This powerful antioxidant is completely natural and really good for gut health. It keeps things moving smoothly, and can help to reduce flatulence as well as the room-emptying odour that comes with them. 

Refined Oil. This can be a form of vegetable oil, or a meat oil such as refined chicken oil. Despite a lot of scare stories circulating online, it is a natural and harmless ingredient that is completely safe for your dog to eat and is part of the cooking process. 

Grains. This can be a complicated issue as grains have had a lot of bad press in recent years. They are a filler ingredient with no real nutritional value – they just help your dog feel fuller after each meal. However, you don’t need to avoid them unless your dog is allergic. 

Grain allergies and intolerances are more common than you might think. If your dog is bloated, gassy, and has an upset stomach (or vomiting) after eating foods with grains, you might want to switch them over to another food and get them an allergy test at the vet. 

Prebiotics. These are tasty non-digestible nutrients that are used to feed the bacteria in your gut. They can be found in many dog foods because they have the same effect on our furry friends, boosting the immune system and keeping digestion running smoothly


FAQs

How is Dry Dog Food Made?


Dry dog food is made in a similar way to cookies and biscuits. The ingredients are made into a dough (wet and dry) before going through the extrusion process.

It is during this that the dough is heated at an extremely high temperature before being cut into chunks of kibble. Some dry dog foods are made through baking as opposed to extrusion.

How Do I Transition My Dog to a New Food?


Transitioning your dog to a new dry dog food should be done by mixing the old and new food together. You start with a large amount of their current pet food and a small amount of the new stuff, and over time you increase the amount of new pet food while decreasing the old one.

This should help to avoid upset stomachs and illness as a result of switching foods too fast.

How Do I Soften Dry Food?


In order to soften dry food, soak it in some boiling water. The kibble will absorb the water and expand, making the biscuits a lot larger and softer to eat. This is the best way to feed young puppies and elderly dogs, but it can also help those that are on a diet to feel fuller after each meal.

How Long Does Dry Dog Food Stay Fresh?


How long dry dog food can stay fresh really depends on the use-by date on the packaging. It can easily last a few years, but you will have to check the packaging of individual dog food brands if you want something more specific.

Is Dry Dog Food Safe?


Absolutely, dry dog food is safe. There is a lot of contention between the raw and dry food crowd, but there are risks and benefits to both options. Dry food does come with a potential risk of bacteria and certain moulds, but the bacterial risk is also prevalent in raw food. 

How long can it be stored?


You can store dry dog food for six weeks once it has been opened. If you leave your dog to graze, it should not be in the bowl for more than 24 hours before being replaced. Unopened dry dog food can be left for an easy two years, but always check the date on the bag.

Final Thoughts

It’s hard to choose the best dry dog foods for your dog. You want to make sure you are making the right decision, and that your choice is going to be beneficial to them as well as help them thrive and remain healthy. That’s part of why we are so careful about the brands we choose.

Each of the dry dog food brands we have selected has good ingredients and comes at a range of prices to ensure that there is something affordable for everyone.

Choosing one food above the rest is pretty much impossible, but you can’t go wrong with a bag of Beco or Barking Heads – both of which offer quality ingredients.

What did you think of our guide to the best dry dog food? Were you able to find the perfect food, or are you still looking? We love hearing from you, so leave us a message in the comments below.

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