Top 5 Best Dry Dog Food Brands

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As I mentioned in my Halloween costumes for dogs post, I have a seven-year-old pitbull/shar pei mix named Diesel. He’s about 60 pounds and a little bit of a picky eater. He’s also allergic to potatoes, which is a fairly common filler in grain-free dog food. Dog lovers everywhere know the struggle of trying to find a food that’s healthy, free of junk, and meets your dog’s specific needs. Fortunately, the last few years have seen a proliferation in high-quality, grain free dog foods entering the market.

In our previous list of grain-free dog foods, we consulted Dog Food Advisor to ensure that our choices were at least above-average. On this list, we’ve complied the remainder of that site’s best dog foods list that did not appear on our first post. These are all highly recommended dog foods according to the experts, so shop confidently.

I generally feed my dog dry food, augmented here and there with the odd treat. However, if your dog happens to be a bit overweight, you might consider mixing in wet food. By weight, dry food has four times the calories of wet food due to the removal of water. If you’re looking to stretch meals so your dieting dog isn’t sniffing around for more, consider browsing some wet food options in addition to our list.

Since these finer foods tend to be a bit pricey, you could also ponder our best cheap dry dog foods post for comparison.

Here are the top five dry dog food brands to help you choose the perfect grain free kibble for your pet.


1. Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost

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(Nature’s Variety)

This is Diesel’s favorite. It’s grain free, potato free, and the added freeze-dried raw bits put it a step above other brands with similar qualities. He’s partial to the chicken variety, but it also comes in Beef & Lamb, Duck & Turkey, Lamb & Salmon, and Venison. I’ve been feeding this for awhile now and he still isn’t sick of it. Even better, he’s maintained a healthy weight without going hungry.

Price: $62.74 for a 23.5-pound bag (10 percent off MSRP)

Buy Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost here.



First Six Ingredients (Chicken variety):

  • Chicken meal
  • Chicken
  • Chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid)
  • Chicken eggs
  • Chickpeas
  • Peas

Dog Food Advisor score: Five stars (Enthusiastically Recommended)
Amazon rating: 4.4 out of five stars

Find more Nature’s Variety Instinct flavors here.


2. Horizon Legacy Salmon Dry Dog Food

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(Horizon)

Horizon Legacy is noted for its significant use of meat proteins even as a dried product. As with the Raw Boost above, this is formulated as a raw diet, freeze dried for maximum convenience. Added bonuses to this product include glucosamine and chondroitin, as well as fructooligosaccharide, used as a prebiotic. Good as a complete diet for all life stages.

Price: $69.99 for a 25.1-pound bag.

Buy Horizon Legacy Salmon Dry Dog Food here.



First Six Ingredients (Salmon variety):

  • Salmon
  • Salmon meal
  • Peas
  • Pea starch
  • Menhadon meal
  • Salmon Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols)

Dog Food Advisor’s score: Five stars (Enthusiastically Recommended)
Amazon rating: 4.6 out of five stars

Find more Horizon Legacy flavors here.


3. Acana Regionals Grasslands Dry Dog Food

(Acana)

(Acana)

The first six ingredients in this top-shelf dog food are animal-based meat proteins, making this a heavily meat-based product. The ingredients that follow are legumes offering even more protein in an easy-to-digest format that supports canine health. This is a food even my dog could eat, as it doesn’t use potatoes as a filler for the missing grains. In addition to the meats listed below, this recipe also contains rainbow trout, duck, and quail — high-quality meats that provide a well-rounded palette of animal proteins. Yes, the price is higher, but at least with this product, it’s easy to understand why.

Price: $79.99 for a 25-pound bag

Buy Acana Regionals Grasslands Dry Dog Food here.



First Six Ingredients (Grasslands variety):

  • Deboned lamb
  • Deboned duck
  • Whole eggs
  • Lamb meal
  • Goat meal
  • Catfish meal

Dog Food Advisor’s score: Five stars (Enthusiastically Recommended)
Amazon rating: 4.5 out of five stars (as gathered from the 15-pound bag listing)

Find more Acana Regionals flavors here.


4. Pinnacle Peak Protein Grain-Free Formula Dog Food

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(Pinnacle)

This Pinnacle product boasts many qualities that are likely to be found in very high-end dog foods. These include chelated minerals, which are easier to absorb and therefore use, and dried bacillus subtilis fermentation product, which is a digestive aid. To set it apart from other brands, Pinnacle relies on quinoa seed meal as opposed to a variety of legumes to boost the non-meat protein content. Although we consider quinoa to be a grain, it’s not a cereal grain and is therefore unlikely to cause any of the same problems you would see with wheat-based fillers. Of the first six ingredients, three are chicken, so this is solidly meat-based. The salmon oil provides readily digestible fatty acids necessary for life.

Price: $68.98 for a 30-pound bag

Buy Pinnacle Peak Protein Grain-Free Formula Dog Food here.


First Six Ingredients (Chicken variety):

  • Chicken meal
  • Chicken
  • Potatoes
  • Chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid)
  • Tomato pomace
  • Salmon oil

Dog Food Advisor’s score: Five stars (Enthusiastically Recommended)
Amazon rating: 3.7 out of five stars

Find more Pinnacle Peak Protein flavors here.


5. Victor Grain-Free Hero Canine Formula Dry Dog Food

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(Victor)

The final item on our list of the top five best grain free dog food brands is Victor, which makes a variety of excellent options for your pup. The guaranteed 33 percent protein comes from the animal sources of beef, chicken, pork, and fish meals, which are perfectly acceptable meat concentrates seen in many pet food products. By combining these with flaxseed, which contributes both protein and Omega-3 fatty acids, they’ve created a dog food focused on supporting primarily adult dog health. The Hero formula in particular is good for protecting against joint issues. One notable ingredient that might look odd is montmorillonite relatively high up the list, but this is just a clay that adds beneficial minerals and may help calm digestive issues.

Price: $69.92 for a 30-pound bag

Buy Victor Grain-Free Hero Canine Formula Dry Dog Food here.



First Six Ingredients (Hero Canine variety):

  • Beef meal
  • Sweet potato
  • Chicken meal
  • Peas
  • Chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols)
  • Menhaden fish meal

Dog Food Advisor’s score: Five stars (Enthusiastically Recommended)
Amazon rating: 4.6 out of five stars

Find more Victor Grain-Free flavors here.

Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.
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2 Comments

Nostalrius

Amazing post. I read your posts fairly often and you always do
a good job explaining the whatever topic you’re writing about.
Btw, I shared this on Twitter and my followers loved it.
Keep up the great work!

petrelif

Chicken carcasses, rabbit, partridge, quail, chicken wings, necks, giblets, chicken thighs, lamb, pork, organ meats, liver, tail, white rice, minced meat, table scraps, etc.

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