The Best Dog Foods

With so many dog food options available these days, you may find choosing the right one for your dog to be challenging. How do you know which foods are the best for seniors, or whether or not you should be using a breed specific food. More importantly, how do you know which foods your dog will actually enjoy?

We reviewed dozens of dog foods in order to find the best one for your dog, based on budget, quality, ingredients, and dietary needs by Amazon ratings, customer reviews, and other considerations. If you’re looking for more all-natural, organic options, we’ve also reviewed the best organic dog foods in a separate post.

Top Pick
Wag Dry Dog Food
Delight your dog with a perfect balance of vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, and 35% protein in this delicious offering. Special Offer: 40% off first purchase

Wag Dry Dog Food clearly leads the pack when it comes to dog food. Dog parent approved, this product impresses with its 35% protein content and ultra-nutritious ingredients.

The 5 Top-Rated Dog Foods

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallWag Dry Dog Food4.1
Runner UpRachel Ray Nutrish Zero Grain4.2
Best Budget BuyPedigree Adult Dry Dog Food4.3
Best Senior Dog FoodBlue Buffalo Life Protection Formula4.3
Best Moist Dog FoodCesar Gourmet Wet Dog Food4.6

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: Wag Dry Dog Food

Whether your dog has special dietary needs, or you just want to make sure they are eating a well-balanced meal, Wag Dry Dog Food is the food to buy. This very reasonably priced option comes in a variety of five flavors –  including one just for pups.

It’s worth noting that you can currently get 40% off your first purchase. Be quick, as this promotion won’t last for long!

Unlike many other dog foods, Wag Dry Dog Food features real poultry, fish, or meat as the number one ingredient, meaning that less unsavory ingredients go into your dog’s diet. You can also expect this product to provide an ideal amount of protein for your pooch too, with 35% protein in the adult varieties, and 36% in the puppy variety.

The recipe is also rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Your dog will also benefit from the salmon oil and flaxseed in it, which provides omega-3 fatty acids, including long-chain DHA to your dog. Another tidbit you may be interested to learn about is that Wag manufactures this line of dog food in California at a family-owned facility.

Wag Dry Dog Food Key Features:

  • Available in 3 sizes: 5 lb (trial size), 15 lb, and 30 lb
  • Contains on the highest-quality proteins, including real poultry, fish, or meat
  • 4 adult flavor varieties and 1 exclusively for puppies
  • Made with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants

For more on WAG, check out the full Wag Dog Food Review by our resident veterinarian, Dr. Chyrle Bonk.

Our Runner Up Pick: Rachel Ray Nutrish Zero Grain

Runner Up
Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain
Made with simple, natural ingredients.

This gluten free dog food wins the second spot on our list because it offers many of the same great ingredients and health benefits of the top-rated dog food, but with a slightly higher price tag. You’ll pay a little more for Rachel Ray Nutrish Zero Grain, but fans of the product say that you’ll get plenty of befits in return. Many fans of the product first heard about it at their veterinarian’s office while looking for help with dietary sensitivities and allergies.

The dog food comes in many flavors, and can be purchased in sizes ranging from 3.5 to 23-pounds. Each bag comes with a high-quality protein listed as the number one ingredient, providing more real-meat tastes that your dog loves, and less filler that can cause stomach upset and weight gain. You will never find any grains, gluten, or fillers in the zero-grain products.

In addition to being a product your dogs will love, you can rest easy knowing the a portion of the proceeds from every purchase goes towards the Rachel Ray Foundation, a charity that helps provide food and services to animals in need.

Rachel Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Key Features: 

  • Always contains real proteins as the  number one ingredient
  • Never contains any grains or gluten
  • Contains no poultry by-product meal, artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors
  • All natural with added vitamins and minerals

Best Budget Pick: Pedigree Adult Dry Dog Food

Best for Budget
Pedigree Adult Dry Dog Food
Formulated to give dogs all of the energy and nourishment they need.

If you want a dog food that is sure to please both your dog and your wallet, then look no further than Pedigree Adult Dry Dog Food. Priced at under $20 for a 33-pound bag, Pedigree Adult is one of the more affordable dog foods on the market that doesn’t contain any added sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or artificial flavors.

Pedigree’s products are made in the US and come in a variety of flavors and sizes. You can purchase bags of dog food ranging in size from 3.5 to 33-pounds. Each bag of Pedigree Adult Dry Dog Food contains antioxidants and vitamin E, which will keep your dog’s immune system in peak condition, and uses a special blend of fibers to promote healthy digestion.

Many reviewers say that they originally tried this product due to the lower price point and were pleasantly surprised by the overall quality of the dog food. Their dogs seem to agree, too, since several of them preferred Pedigree to its more expensive counterparts.

Pedigree Adult Dry Dog Food Key Features: 

  • Keep your dog’s coat healthy and shiny with optimal levels of Omega-6 Fatty acids
  • An inciting chicken flavor an antioxidants, vitamins and minerals
  • Contains whole grains and a special fiber blend
  • No high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, or added sugar

Best Senior Dog Food: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula

Best Senior
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Dog Food
Because the nutritional requirements for senior dogs are different from other life stages.

Your senior dog has different dietary needs, and Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Dog Food can provide for them in a way that other dog foods cannot. Affordably priced at about $50 for a 30-pound bag, this chicken and brown rice recipe will be sure to please your older dog.

Made with aging dogs in mind, the food comes in smaller bite sizes. The tiny portions are easier for dogs who may be missing teeth or have a hard time chewing. Reviewers believe that this food has helped their dogs with everything from digestive issues to age-related skin conditions.

Blue Buffalo only uses natural ingredients in their dog food and relies on natural ingredients when it comes to enhancing the flavor and nutritional content. With ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin for joint and mobility support, you will know that your older dog is getting all of her age-specific nutritional needs met. Based in the US, Blue Buffalo products all contain real meats, fruits, and vegetables.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Key Features:

  • Made with real meat
  • Contains essential proteins, carbohydrates, and supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin to help maintain energy and support joint health
  • Includes lifesource bits, a special formula containing antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals specially selected to support a senior pup’s special needs
  • All-natural ingredients that contain no poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives

Best Moist Dog Food: Cesar Gourmet Wet Dog Food

Best Moist
Cesar Gourmet Wet Dog Food
Dogs with sophisticated palates will enjoy a rich culinary experience.

Dogs of all breeds and sizes will enjoy Cesar Wet Dog Food. This wet dog food comes in 5 different flavor packs, including the classics, classics and home delights, poultry lovers, steak lovers, and a mix of steak and poultry lovers. A value at under $30 for 36 3.5 ounce trays, your dog will be eager to see the delivery truck show up each month.

Each package of Cesar Wet Dog Food will provide your dog with increased energy thanks to fortified vitamins and minerals. Many reviewers said that their dog loved the wet food pouches on their own, but many dogs especially enjoyed them when they were added as a topping to their regular dry food. Some reviewers even say that the wet food is the perfect place to hide pills and other medications that your pooch may be too stubborn to take on their own.

The only complaint many reviewers have is about how spoiled their dogs have gotten since beginning to eat Cesar’s Gourmet Wet Dog Food.

Cesar Wet Dog Food Key Features:

  • Made with real meat that even the pickiest pup will enjoy
  • No muss, no fuss, easy single-serve trays with freshness seals
  • Complete with vitamins and minerals that are perfect for dogs of all sizes

Who Should Buy Dog Food

If you have a dog in your care, you are going to need to make sure you have access to quality dog food products that will meet all of your pup’s dietary needs. While many dogs are content to eat whatever dog food you bring home, some will need more specialized products due to allergies or dietary restrictions. Senior dogs and puppies will also need to be fed food that is specially formulated for their age and activity levels.

Top Pick
Wag Dry Dog Food
Delight your dog with a perfect balance of vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, and 35% protein in this delicious offering. Special Offer: 40% off first purchase

Important Features to Consider

A dog food should should provide nutrition and sustenance to your dog, while not breaking the bank. Here’s what to consider when selecting your dog’s food:

  • Nutritients your dog needs. Dogs have different dietary needs than other animals. They need a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates in order to stay fit and healthy. A good dog food should be made of high quality ingredients and not rely on filler ingredients to offset costs.
  • A taste your dog will enjoy. Dogs have flavor preferences, and each dog’s palate will be as unique as they are. You are going to want a dog food that your dog will happily eat, instead of one that he will constantly turn his nose up at, causing you to have to add unhealthy (and sometimes costly) additives to their food in order to get them to eat it.
  • Priced within your budget. Not all dog foods are created equal, but you do not need to buy the most expensive dog food you can find in order to ensure quality. Many reasonably priced dog foods are just as good as their more expensive counterparts. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How much and how often should I feed my dog?

Every dog is different, and their size, breed, age, and activity level can all play a part in determining how much and how often they should be fed. On average, a mature adult dog should be fed twice a day. Once in the morning and then again in the evening. A puppy will need to eat more often, between 3 – 4 times a day, unless otherwise directed by your veterinarian. When determining how much you will need to feed your dog each day, you will need to know their approximate weight and the calorie count in each serving of the dog food you are serving them. Dog foods with a higher caloric count will have a smaller serving size. A 25-pound dog with a typical activity level will need approximately 2.5 cups of dog food a day.

Is wet or dry food better for dogs?

When deciding on whether to feed your dog a diet of strictly wet food or dog food, you need to understand your dog’s precise dietary needs. For many dogs, a diet made up solely of wet food will be too rich to maintain digestive health. However, that does not mean that there are not dogs out there that will require a diet of wet food. Especially for smaller dogs and dogs with some dental conditions, wet food can be the ideal food. Typically, your dog will benefit in a diet of dry food with the occasional wet food mixed in as a treat.

What time of day should I feed my dog?

Usually, you will want to feed your adult dog twice a day: once in the morning and once in the evening. What time you put their bowl out will depend entirely on your schedule, but it should be a time where your dog will be able to routinely rely on you to feed them. Consistency is very important with meal time, both in what type of food is served and when it is served. The constant changing of dog food brands or the time of day that your dog eats can lead to stomach upset and meal time aversions. It is recommended that once you find a food and a meal time that works best for you and your pooch, you stick to it.

How long will a picky dog go without eating?

Many dogs can go long stretches of time without eating, some going as long as 7 days between meals. While your picky pup can make a long stretch of time between feedings work, it is not recommended. Veterinarians recommend that you call to let them know if your dog is on a hunger strike after the second day. Your veterinarian can rule out any other reasons for the change in eating habits and also tell you what to watch out for. The main concern when your pup stops eating, though, is dehydration. Talk to your veterinarian about ways to make sure you picky pooch stays well hydrated.

Other Dog Foods We Reviewed

Top Pick
Wag Dry Dog Food
Delight your dog with a perfect balance of vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, and 35% protein in this delicious offering. Special Offer: 40% off first purchase

We looked at 21 other dog foods. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best dog foods list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your dog. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Moist Dog Foods

Inception Dog Food Chicken with Pork Recipe

Inception Dog Food Chicken with Pork Recipe

This is a highly nutritious, meat-first moist dog food option. It’s bound with healthy ingredients such as oats, millet, and milo, and is a grain-in, legume-free solution.

Key Features:

  • Free of legumes, corn, wheat, soy and potatoes
  • Available at a great price point
  • No artificial colors and flavors

Cost: $23.88 for 12 cans

Pedigree Choice Cuts

Pedigree Choice Cuts

Perfect for mixing into dry food to give you pup a treat. Can also be used as a stand alone meal or a treat.

Key Features:

  • Comes in a variety of flavors
  • Contains real chicken or beef in gravy for a taste dogs cannot resist
  • A complete and balanced food
  • Made in the US
  • Soft textured juicy, meaty, bites add variety and flavor to any food

Cost: $8

Purina Pro Plan SAVOR Canned

Purina Pro Plan Savor Canned

A wet adult dog food perfect for active healthy dogs who are looking for a great savory taste. Many reviewers said it was an affordable alternative to some of the more expensive wet foods on the market.

Key Features:

  • Contains real beef and other high-quality ingredients
  • Provides 23 essential vitamins and minerals including omega-6 fatty acids that help promote a healthy skin and coat
  • Helps your dog achieve optimal protein and fate levels to maintain an ideal body condition

Cost: $19

Dog Foods for Seniors

Eukanuba Senior Dry Dog Food

Eukanuba

This highly rate senior dog food is perfect for small breeds. With more petite sized bites, this dog food is perfect for small dogs over the age of 7.

Key Features:

  • Provides an ideal balance of fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and proteins that help maintain a health weight and sustainable energy
  • Contains a specialized fiber system that is made from natural beet pulp and prebiotic fos, which promote nutrient absorption and healthy digestion
  • Optimizes metabolism to keep small dogs lean and active
  • Promotes a strong immune system through antioxidants

Cost: $31

Hill’s Science Diet Senior

Hill's Science Diet Senior

A senior dog food made specifically with small dogs in mind, this product contains age defying chicken meal rice and barley. All Hill’s products are mad with only the finest of ingredients. The company is so confident in your satisfaction that they offer a 100% money-back guarantee.

Key Features:

  • Specially designed for senior dogs over 11 years of age and under 25-pounds
  • Contains an exclusive blend of Omega-6 Fatty Acids, Vitamin E, and other nutrients that support an active and youthful lifestyle
  • Clinically proven antioxidant blend of Vitamins C and E that help support a healthy immune system
  • NO artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Made in the US

Cost: $14

Purina ONE SmartBlend Vibrant Maturity

Purina ONE SmartBlend Vibrant Maturity

A senior dog formula created to keep your older dogs feeling young at heart. Designed for seniors aged 7 and up, this dry dog food offers ingredients that reviewers swear by.

Key Features:

  • Veterinarian recommended
  • Made with high-quality proteins that include real chicken for heart and muscle support
  • Rich in proteins, tender, meaty morsels and crunch kibble for a taste dogs love
  • Helps promote mental agility and healthy energy

Cost: $34

Other Dog Foods

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Denali Dinner High Protein Grain Free 

Blue Buffalo

A grain free, natural dry dog food that contains wild salmon, venison, and halibut. This food is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.

Key Features:

  • Real meat, high quality proteins, and wholesome fruits and vegetables in every bite.
  • Contains the essential proteins and carbohydrates your dog needs for a healthy lifestyle.
  • Grain free, high-protein, and enhanced with vitamins and minerals.
  • There are no poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives.

Cost: $59

Dr. Harvey’s Canine Health Miracle Dog Food

Dr. Harvey

An organic whole grain and vegetable based dog food that contains human grade dehydrated ingredients. Meant to serve as a base for adding fresh the fresh proteins of your choice, ensuring that every meal consists of only the highest quality ingredients.

Key Features:

  • 6 organic grains and 9 dehydrated vegetables
  • Add meat and a homemade meal is ready in just 8 minutes
  • Puts you in control of your dog’s diet
  • All-natural, no dyes, chemicals, or preservatives

Cost: $40

Hill’s Ideal Balance Adult Dry Dog Food

Hills Ideal Balance

Fans of this dry dog food say the all-natural ingredients have improved their dog’s coat and skin. The dog food boats real chicken as its number 1 ingredient.

Key Features:

  • Made with natural ingredients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids
  • Contains fruits and vegetables to help boost natural defense and increase energy
  • Ingredients like brown rice and natural fiber promote healthy digestion and flax seed improves skin and coat health
  • No corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives

Cost: $47

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Advance Fitness

Hills Small Dog

Designed with small dogs in mind, this food is perfect for miniature or petite breeds. The bites are sized more appropriately for small mouths, and the nutrients are perfect for dogs that may have skin conditions.

Key Features:

  • Skin and coat health improves within 30 days
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Clinically proven benefits
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Comes in a variety of flavors and product types

Cost: $78

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Small Paws

Hills small paws

Created specifically for small and toy breeds, this product contains all of the ingredients the tiniest pooches need in order to stay happy and healthy.  Made with chicken meal and rice, this food is clinically proven to help transform your dog’s life.

Key Features:

  • Made for small dogs aged 1 – 6 and under 25-pounds
  • Contains calcium and high-quality protein that supports bone and muscle strength
  • Made in the US
  • Clinically proven antioxidant benefits, vitamins C and E for enhanced immunity and supports long life expectancy

Cost: $14

Holistic Select Natural

Holistic Select

A grain free dry dog food. This product uses a recipe that is specifically designed for digestive health, and includes pre and probiotics. Reviewers say that this is specifically good for breeds like Bulldogs who are prone to allergies.

Key Features:

  • Grain free
  • Quality ingredients that include salmon, anchovy, and sardines
  • All natural, contains no meat by-products, wheat, wheat-gluten, artificial colors, flavors, or fillers
  • Made in the US

Cost: $63

Natural Balance Original Ultra Reduced Calorie

Natural Balance Original

A reduced calorie dog food for overweight, inactive, and senior dogs. Reviewers rave that their overweight dogs were able to lose weight and become more active once they switched them to this food.

Key Features:

  • Formulated for less active, senior, and over weight dogs
  • Contains quality meats
  • No artificial flavors or colors
  • Balance of proteins and key nutrients designed by expert nutritionists

Cost: $16

Natural Balance Original Ultra

Natural Balance Original

This dog food was designed by nutritionists to nourish your dog’s entire body. Designed to feed all breeds and life stages, this food is one stop shopping for all your dogs lifelong needs.

Key Features:

  • Balance of premium proteins and key nutrients
  • Good for a strong immune system
  • Supports strong heart, eyes, bones, and teeth
  • Maintains skin and coat health

Cost: $16

Purina ONE SmartBlend

Purina ONE

A wet food designed specifically to give puppies the nutrients their growing bodies need. Contains zero fillers and poultry by-products, making it a high-quality meal for your little one.

Key Features:

  • Contains lamb
  • Made with Omega Fatty Acids to support healthy skin and coat development
  • Includes antioxidants to help build and support a healthy immune system

Cost: $18

Purina Pro Plan SAVOR With Probiotics

Purina Pro Plan Shredded

A probiotics enriched dry food with shredded chicken that helps promote digestive health. The combination of hard and soft food makes this a good choice for dogs who who trouble chewing hard dry food.

Key Features:

  • Contains high-quality proteins like real chicken
  • Guaranteed live probiotics that support digestive health
  • Made with rice, an easily digestible source of carbohydrates for energy
  • All ingredients cater to the health and wellness of adult dogs

Cost: $46

Purina Pro Plan SAVOR With Probiotics

Purina Pro Plan Savor Shredded beef

A probiotics enriched dry food with shredded beef that helps promote digestive health. The combination of hard and soft food makes this a good choice for dogs who who trouble chewing hard dry food.

Key Features:

  • Contains high-quality proteins like real beef
  • Guaranteed live probiotics that support digestive health
  • Made with rice, an easily digestible source of carbohydrates for energy
  • All ingredients cater to the health and wellness of adult dogs

Cost: $46

Rachel Ray Just 6

Rachel Ray Just 6

A limited ingredient grain free recipe for dogs that who have dietary restrictions or food sensitivities. Rachel Ray’s unique 6 ingredient dry dog food is considered, by some, to be a cheaper alternative to the more expensive prescription limited ingredient dog foods you may find in your veterinarian’s office.

Key Features:

  • Made with turkey meal
  • Contains no grain, gluten, filler ingredients, dairy, egg, beef,, or potato ingredients
  • Added vitamins and minerals to promote a healthy diet

Cost: $30

Rachel Ray Nutrish Dish Natural

Nutrish Delish

The television host and chef has created her own dog food line that promises to be as delicious as the meals she whips up on TV. Each bag of dry dog food contains healthy and natural ingredients to help keep you pups happy and active.

Key Features:

  • Contains US born and raised farm fresh chicken
  • Never contains any poultry by-product meal, fillers, artificial preservatives, colors, artificial flavors, corn, wheat, soy, or gluten
  • Made with real meat, veggies, and fruit that you can see
  • All natural with added vitamins and minerals

Cost: $42

Rachel Ray Nutrish PEAK

Rachel Ray Peak

Made with a combination of real beef, venison, and lamb, this dry dog food is jam packed with heavy duty proteins that your active dog will love. Although it is advertised for all dogs, it may be more appropriate for larger dogs who need more protein in their diets.

Key Features:

  • Packed with nutrient-dense foods that satisfy your dog’s primal cravings
  • Made with US farm raised beef
  • Contains 30% high-quality protein
  • No grain, gluten, filler ingredients, poultry by-product meal, artificial flavors, colors, or artificial preservatives

Cost: $43

Whole Earth Farms

Whole Earth Farms

Created for small dog breeds, this dry dog food is made up of all-natural ingredients combined specifically to support the needs of smaller dogs. Users of this product have said that their dogs exhibited less shedding and skin issues once they switched their food to Whole Earth Farms.

Key Features:

  • High-quality proteins
  • A grain free recipe that makes for easier digestion
  • No poultry by-productions, corn, soy, wheat, artificial flavors, colors, or other preservatvies
  • Cooked in the US

Cost: $29

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