For owners of picky eaters, shopping for dog food is no easy feat. You want to make sure what they eat is just as healthy as it is tasty, as well as cost-effective for you.
Or, maybe you just want your dog to have the best food possible! Either way, let us take out the guesswork, by reading our list of the tastiest dog foods currently on the market. Keep reading for everything you need to know.
Dog Food Basics
A dog’s daily diet should consist of dog foods containing real, natural ingredients that are fortified to be nutritionally complete and balanced. Along with high-quality, lean protein sources such as chicken and fish, and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables.
The amount of food your dog eats will depend on their age, size, and activity level. Use the feeding instructions on your dog’s food packaging to determine how much they should eat every day. Most dogs do well on two daily meals that are evenly spaced out.
Nutrition & Taste
Thankfully, good taste and good nutrition go hand in hand when it comes to dog food. However, many commercial pet foods contain ingredients known as ‘fillers‘. This includes things like gluten and artificial additives, which are unnatural, unhealthy, bad tasting, and are hard for dogs to digest.
Most dogs who eat these foods won’t be noticeably affected by it, but over time, they won’t be as healthy and energetic as they could be. Others can become unwell quite quickly, especially if they have sensitive stomachs or allergies. Eating will also just be a less enjoyable, fulfilling experience as filler foods are often tasteless or artificial tasting.
Although it may sound counterintuitive, lots of pet food contain filler ingredients because they’re so much cheaper to manufacture than good, wholesome ingredients. However, thankfully, as holistic health grows in popularity, more brands are starting to shift their approach, and new, holistic brands are appearing more and more.
Foods containing real meat and real fruits and vegetables are super tasty and satisfying for dogs, as well as healthy and nutritious, so you don’t have to worry about sacrificing one for the other! They can be more expensive than low-quality foods, but it is worth the price to enrich and lengthen your dog’s life. That said, they are becoming more affordable as they become more mainstream.
Cooking & Taste
The method of preparation can also affect the taste (and quality) of the food. There are several ways that dog food companies cook their products, but one of the most common ways is through extrusion.
This is when all of the raw ingredients are collected, ground down, mixed, and pressed together into kibble with extreme heat. The problem is, this extreme heat often kills off a lot of the food’s nutritional value and taste, so they end up using artificial additives to put flavor back into the food.
It’s best to look for foods that have been slow-cooked or freeze-dried, which lock in both the flavor and nutrition.
Dogs & Picky Eating
Although dogs are often thought of as greedy creatures, there are plenty of picky eaters in the canine world. Picky eating is not the same thing as lack of appetite, which may come as a result of stress, illness, or a dental problem. Fussy eating does not affect a dog’s appetite, it just means they have a small list of strong food preferences that they don’t like to venture out of. For owners of fussy eaters, it’s essential to find things your dog likes.
Dogs can be fussy eaters for a few different reasons; it could be temporary following an illness, the result of abuse or mistrust, or it could just be your dog’s personality. Certain breeds are also more prone to being picky eaters, such as Greyhounds. That said, any dog can be a fussy eater.
Sometimes it can also appear that your dog is being fussy when they are actually just bored. If your dog suddenly becomes picky, try to vary their food. If you’ve found a kibble that they like, try a different flavor by the same brand and alternate between them. Or, if they like a particular flavor, try a similar flavor from a different brand. Try varying the texture, too. Add warm water to their meals sometimes to create a tasty gravy and make it more interesting to eat.
You could also try changing up their protein source and adding different vegetables, for example, give them chicken and carrots or green beans on weekdays and tuna with cucumber or leafy greens on the weekends. And don’t forget treats! Always buy healthy, filler-free dog treats containing natural, tasty ingredients or make your own at home!
Sometimes, it appears that older dogs have gone off their meals when they are actually just finding it hard to eat. If you have an older dog, try elevating their dinner bowl using a bowl stand and adding warm water to dry food to make it easier to eat.
What To Look For In Dry Dog Food
When looking for dog food, you may want to consider the following things:
- Food tailored to your dog’s size
- Age appropriate food
- Natural ingredients
- No filler ingredients
- 100% complete nutrition
- Food that caters to specific needs such as allergies
- Trusted brands
- Poducts approved by official bodies
- Positive reviews
- Bag size
- Ethically sourced ingredients
12 Best Tasting Dry Foods For Dogs
These are the tastiest dry foods for dogs!
1. Bil-Jac Picky No More Dog Food
Bil-Jac’s ‘Picky No More’ dog food is specially designed for picky eaters. It comes in options for small, medium, and large dogs, and contains real chicken and Omega-3 & 6 fatty acids for immune system support. It’s slow-cooked to ensure none of the taste or nutrients are lost and it’s available to buy in 6, 15, and 27 lb bags. Reviews are overwhelmingly positive, with several buyers calling it a life-saver!
2. Crave Dry Dog Food
Crave‘s dry dog food is a popular favorite among owners. They design their products to be as natural and delicious as possible, with 36% protein from 60% meat and 40% vegetable sources. The high protein content also means that it is ideal for super active pets, performing dogs, and working dogs.
It’s free from grains, soy, and dairy, and comes in helpful resealable bags. It’s an Amazon’s Choice product and it’s available to buy in four flavor options; beef, chicken, lamb, and salmon. You can buy the food in 4, 12, and 22 lb bags and they’re super affordable. Reviews rave about the product!
3. The Honest Kitchen Whole Food Clusters
The Honest Kitchen prides themselves on being the world’s first pet brand to create human-grade dog food. Their dry dog food is made with 100% human-grade ingredients and is produced in a human food facility. It’s also suitable for puppies and adult dogs, including pregnant and lactating mothers, and provides complete and balanced nutrition.
The food contains muscle meat and liver, low glycemic carbs, beneficial fats, and live probiotics. It’s also free from meat meals, fillers, GMOs, and artificial preservatives. It undergoes minimal processing through cold-pressing, slow-roasting, and dehydrating to retain its nutritional value and rich flavor.
THK’s dry food is available to buy in 1lb, 5lb, and 20lb bags and comes in beef, chicken, and turkey flavors, all of which are grain-free. There is, however, an option to buy a whole-grain beef and oat version of the food. Reviews cannot recommend this product highly enough and say it works wonders with fussy eaters.
4. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Formula
This dry food by Taste Of The Wild is available to buy in 5 lb bags, 14 lb bags, and 28 lb bags and is suitable for all sizes and breeds. TOTW pride themselves on using all-natural and real meat in all of their foods whilst providing good value for money.
This particular food is nutritiously complete and chock full of protein-rich ingredients like bison, roast venison, and beef to support strong muscles. It also has added vitamins, minerals, and powerful antioxidants from real fruits and vegetables to support overall health. Plus, omega-3 and 6 fatty acids for healthy skin, bones, and coats.
It is completely free from grains and filler ingredients, making it easy to digest and great for dogs with sensitive stomachs. The brand also states that all of their ingredients are ethically and sustainably sourced and reviews highly recommend the product.
5. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet
Blue Buffalo’s turkey and potato flavor puppy food is perfect for youngsters. It contains real turkey, peas, and pumpkin, and is fortified with LifeSource Bits; a special blend of essential vitamins and minerals chosen by vets and animal nutritionists, with antioxidants to support a strong immune system and developing bones.
It also contains DHA to support kidney function and cognitive development, great for all that learning and training. The small bites are perfect for puppy mouths, and the shape and texture of the kibble bits themselves scrape plaque and tartar from the teeth, promoting good dental health. It is available in a 4 lb bag, an 11 lb bag, and a 24 lb bag. Reviews call the product great value for money.
6. Oriijen Senior Dog Food
This food for older dogs by ORIJEN is available to buy in in a 2-kilogram bag. It contains 85% fresh animal ingredients like free-run chicken, turkey, wild-caught fish, and cage-free eggs. The kibble is slow-cooked, biologically appropriate, nutritionally complete, and tailored to older dogs.
It’s an Amazon’s Choice product and can be eaten by dogs of all breeds and sizes. Although it’s a little on the expensive side, buyers love it and reviews praise the quality of the food.
7. Acanaa Singles LI Dry Dog Food
Acana’s limited ingredient dry dog food is suitable for dogs of all breeds and sizes. It comes in several flavor combinations including duck & pear, lamb & apple, pork & squash, beef & pumpkin, and turkey & pumpkin. It’s also available to buy in several bag sizes ranging from 0.75 lb bags to 25 lb bags and all of their protein sources come from free-roaming farms in the USA.
65% of the food comes from meat sources and it contains no filler ingredients. It’s also fortified with key vitamins to be nutritionally complete and support all aspects of doggie health. Buyers love all of the different flavor choices and say it stops their dogs from getting bored.
8. VICTOR Elite Canine Dry Dog Food For Large Breeds
This food by Victor contains 25% protein, 70% of which comes from premium quality chicken and fish, 17% from gluten-free grains, and 13% from plants and veggies. The recipe is super tasty and specifically designed to meet the nutritional needs of large dogs.
It contains natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints and is fortified with essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids. It also contains Victor’s unique, clinically tested VPRO Blend of ingredients that promote superior digestion, immune system function, and healthy skin and coat. The food is available in 5lb, 40lb, and 50lb bags and reviews cannot rate the product highly enough.
9. Canidae Grain-Free Pure Limited Ingredient Recipe
This food by Canidae has a simple, delicious, all-natural recipe of only eight ingredients with no additives or fillers. It contains salmon, salmon meal, menhaden fish meal, sweet potatoes, peas, canola oil, sun-cured alfalfa, potatoes. The food is available to buy in 4 lb, 12 lb, and 24 lb bags. It is suitable for dogs of all breeds and sizes and is ideal for those with allergies of all kinds.
It’s also fortified after cooking with Canidae’s HealthPLUS blend of probiotics, antioxidants, and omega-3 and 6 fatty acids and buyers seem to love the product as it has hardly any negative reviews.
10. Zignature Duck Limited Ingredient Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Zignature’s limited ingredient formula contains a handful of clean ingredients, including its sole protein source, duck from western France. The recipe is rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, creating a complete source of nutrition for your dog, and it is also free from fillers, additives, and common allergens.
This limited ingredient dog food is available to buy in 4lb bags, 12.5 lb bags, and 25 lb bags, and it’s suitable for all adult dogs. Reviews are overwhelmingly positive and a lot of buyers say that the tasty, natural recipe is successful with even the fussiest of dogs.
11. Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Small Breed Dog Food
Wellness’ dry dog food for small breeds comes in 4lb and 12lb bags. It contains complete and balanced nutrition that is specifically tailored to smaller dogs and promotes complete health. The food supports skin, coat, digestive, eye, and oral health, whilst boosting the immune system, and keeping energy levels high. The main ingredient is turkey, and it also contains wholesome oats, flaxseed, blueberries, and spinach.
The crunchy kibble contains no by-products, fillers, or artificial preservatives and is made in the USA. Reviews are highly complimentary of the product, with several buyers calling it their dog’s favorite food.
12. Instinct Be Natural Dry Dog Food
This food by Instinct is made with responsibly sourced animal protein, which is listed as the #1 and #2 ingredients, plus whole grains, fruits & vegetables, and Omegas for overall health support. The kibble comes in 4.5lb, 12lb, 24lb, and 25lb bags.
It’s is available to buy in beef, chicken, lamb, and salmon flavors and is free from all fillers and preservatives. The freeze-drying process retains all of the taste and nutrients and the raw coating makes it even healthier and tastier.
It’s an Amazon’s Choice product and made in the USA. Reviews absolutely love it and several say it works well with picky eaters and dogs with sensitive tummies.
Tasty Dry Dog Food: FAQ
Just like humans, dogs can get bored of their food if they are eating the same thing every day. Sometimes it can appear that your dog is being fussy when they are actually just bored. Try to vary their food by buying different flavors of kibble every other month, changing up their protein sources, and adding different vegetables. You can try varying the texture by adding water, too. It’s important that dogs don’t get bored as it can cause distress and result in destructive behaviors.
If your dog won’t try something new, try mixing it with something he likes. If he still won’t eat it, chances are, he just doesn’t like the smell of it. Or, if there’s a particular brand of food he likes, try buying another flavor from that brand, or if there’s a particular flavor he likes, try a similar flavor from another brand.
Generally, puppies should eat 20g of food per 1kg of their body weight, and they should eat 3-6 small meals per day depending on their size. Most adult dogs, on the other hand, do well on 2 meals a day, unless they are miniature. In which case, they should eat little and often to prevent blood sugar drops.
According to Purina, dogs that weigh between 3 – 12 lbs should eat 1/3 to 1 cup of food per day, 13 to 20 lb dogs 1 to 1-1/3 cups, 21 to 35 lb dogs 1-1/3 to 2 cups, 26 to 50 lb dogs 2 to 2-2/3 cups, 51 to 75 lb dogs, 2-2/3 to 3-1/3, 76 to 100 lb dogs 3-1/3 to 4-1/4 cups, and 100+ lb dogs 4-1/4 plus 1/4 cup for every 10 lbs of body weight.
Those are the best tasting dry foods for dogs. Remember that food is fuel – but it’s meant to be enjoyed too! Try out one of our recommendations and remember to change it up every once in a while to keep it interesting.