Our dogs do so much for us, so it’s only fair that we reward them with the best adult dog food — or puppy food, to help their development — that we can buy.
The options include hypoallergenic, grain-free, non-GMO, dry, wet, or even freeze-dried and raw. For the newbie dog owner, it can be a little daunting! These reviews are our choices for the best dog foods, for puppies and adult dogs alike, so you can choose the brand that your best friend will adore.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites – 2022 Update
The 20 Best Dog Foods
1. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Dog Food — Best Overall
|Flavor:||Roasted bison and venison|
|Special Diet:||Grain-free, gluten-free, high-protein|
With omega fatty acids and 32% protein, the Taste of the Wild High Prairie Dog Food supports your dog’s bones, muscles, and joints. The roasted bison and venison flavors are created using real meat to encourage your canine’s appetite, making Taste of the Wild the best overall dog food.
To ensure that the recipe is as healthy as possible, the formula contains prebiotics, probiotics, and antioxidants from real fruit and vegetables. It also doesn’t use common allergens that your dog might react to, like grain, gluten, corn, and wheat products.
While Taste of the Wild is packed with nutrition for your best friend, it’s an expensive kibble and might not be suited for all budgets.
2. Blue Buffalo Divine Delights Variety Pack — Best Value
|Flavor:||Filet mignon and NY strips|
|Special Diet:||No corn, wheat, or soy; grain-free|
Designed with small dog breeds in mind, the Blue Buffalo Divine Delights Variety Pack comes in ready-made portions and two flavors in gravy: New York strips and filet mignon. Sold in a pack of 12, Blue Buffalo is the best dog food for the money. Focused on using natural ingredients, Blue Buffalo doesn’t use corn, wheat, or soy products in either recipe and avoids poultry by-products.
As this option is formulated for small dog breeds, the portions are too small for large breeds and may not contain the nutrients that they need to stay healthy. The pre-portioned trays are also difficult to open, especially for dog owners with arthritis.
3. Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe — Premium Choice
|Special Diet:||Grain-free, gluten-free, high-protein, no corn, no wheat, no soy|
Sold in 4-pound, 10-pound, or 21-pound bags, the Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe uses a blend of kibble and real chicken to give your dog a break from processed dog foods. With raw chicken to mimic the diet of your dog’s wild ancestors, the recipe is grain- and gluten-free.
Alongside the high-protein kibble, the formula contains omega fatty acids 3 and 6, probiotics, and antioxidants to support both your dog’s immune and digestive systems and their coat health.
Do know that raw food can carry more bad bacteria than fully cooked foods and might not last as long as some other options.
4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula — Best for Puppies
|Flavor:||Chicken and brown rice|
|Special Diet:||No corn, wheat, or soy|
The Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula is designed specifically to support the growth of your puppy. It uses DHA and ARA to promote healthy brain and eye development, along with high-quality protein and omega fatty acids for muscle growth and healthy skin and fur. Blue Buffalo also contains antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to boost your puppy’s immune health.
Unlike other kibbles that may be too big for your puppy to manage, this Life Protection formula is packed into “puppy-size” pieces to make it easy to eat. The kibble also helps prevent the build-up of tartar on teeth.
Due to the puppy-age formula, this Blue Buffalo option doesn’t contain the nutrients that adult and senior dogs require.
5. American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe
|Flavor:||Salmon and sweet potato|
|Special Diet:||Grain-free, high-protein, no corn, no wheat, no soy|
Made with real salmon, sweet potato, fruits, and vegetables, the American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe is grain-free and suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs. The high protein content, amino acids, omega oils, and antioxidants work to promote lean muscles, skin, and coat health, along with strong immune and digestive systems.
Each of the three bag sizes — 4, 12, or 24 pounds — also contains DHA to help the development of the brain and eyes in younger dogs.
With its focus on real ingredients, American Journey is one of the more expensive dog foods out there. Some owners have also reported their dogs suffered from stomach upset while eating it.
6. Purina Pro Plan Salmon & Rice Formula
|Flavor:||Salmon and rice|
|Special Diet:||High-protein, no corn, no wheat, no soy|
For dogs with sensitive stomachs, the Purina Pro Plan Salmon & Rice Formula is easy to digest and avoids ingredients known to cause allergic reactions in some dogs, like corn, wheat, and soy. Using a careful blend of omega fatty acids, prebiotics, and probiotics, Purina Pro Plan supports your dog’s skin, coat, immune, and digestive health. The recipe is made with real salmon to utilize the natural omega-3 and -6 oils.
Although the 30-pound bag size will last a long time and is suitable for multi-dog households, some fussy canines may grow tired of the salmon and rice flavor and eventually refuse to eat it.
7. American Journey Variety Pack Canned Dog Food
|Flavor:||Chicken and beef|
|Special Diet:||Grain-free, no corn, no soy, no wheat, high-protein|
American Journey Variety Pack Canned Dog Food is sold in packs of 12 12.5-ounce cans. The flavors include an equal selection of chicken or beef stew, both of which contain plenty of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and omega fatty acids to support your dog’s overall health — from their bone and joints to their immune systems and their skin and coat.
Formulated with simple recipes that don’t contain corn, wheat, soy, by-products, or grain, this high-protein food is gentle on sensitive stomachs and doesn’t exacerbate allergies.
Some owners have mentioned that the cans that they ordered arrived dented. A few fussy canines may dislike the taste of this American Journey wet food and refuse to eat it.
8. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Dry Food
|Flavor:||Chicken and brown rice|
|Special Diet:||No corn, no wheat, no soy|
Puppies that enjoyed the puppy-oriented version of Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Dry Food will enjoy the adult version when they grow up. Containing high-quality protein and glucosamine, Blue Buffalo promotes bone and dental health, while supporting your dog’s joints. The antioxidants also work to ensure that your favorite canine’s immune system stays strong.
To help your dog maintain a healthy diet, Purina Pro Plan doesn’t use corn, wheat, soy, or poultry by-products. It’s also available in five bag sizes — 3, 6, 15, 24, and 30 pounds — for a range of household sizes.
Despite sharing a name with the puppy formula, this recipe is only suitable for adult dogs and doesn’t contain the nutrients needed for puppies. The larger bags are also expensive and the kibble crumbles easily.
9. Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Formula
|Flavor:||Chicken and rice|
Sold in four bag sizes, the Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Formula is suitable for single- or multi-dog homes. The recipe uses real chicken and is easy to digest to ensure that your dog receives the nutrition that they need to remain healthy. Omega fatty acids, vitamins A and E, and included glucosamine keep your canine’s skin, coat, immune system, heart, and joints in top shape.
Some owners have complained about the strong “off” smell of this product, and others mentioned that they received a torn bag. A few fussy dogs may also refuse to eat this SmartBlend option, particularly if they get bored with the flavor when you use the larger bags.
10. Rachael Ray Nutrish Real Beef, Pea, & Brown Rice Recipe
|Flavor:||Beef, pea, and brown rice|
|Special Diet:||Gluten-free, no wheat|
The Rachael Ray Nutrish Real Beef, Pea, & Brown Rice Recipe helps boost your dog’s energy levels with a tasty mix of real meat and vegetables. Omega fatty acids support your four-legged friend’s skin and coat health, while the fiber and protein content promotes organ, muscle, and digestive health.
Sold in 6-, 14-, 28-, or 40-pound bags, Rachael Ray suits canines that are trying out new food or multi-dog households.
Some owners have complained about the greasiness of this kibble, and the bag has been known to break during the shipping process. Rachael Ray Nutrish also includes peas in the recipe, and some dogs may be allergic to the ingredient.
11. Tylee’s Human-Grade Frozen Dog Food
|Special Diet:||Grain-free, pea-free, human-grade, no corn, no wheat, no soy|
If you’re worried about the type of food that your dog is ingesting or don’t want to feed your best friend something that you wouldn’t eat yourself, Tylee’s Human-Grade Frozen Dog Food is suitable for human consumption. Frozen in 30- or 96-pound bags for extra longevity, Tylee’s is made with USDA beef and can be used as a complete meal or a food topper.
To properly support your canine’s health and balanced diet, the recipe contains natural fiber, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids. Tylee’s also takes pride in avoiding common allergens like corn, wheat, soy, and by-products.
Tylee’s must be kept in the freezer until ready to defrost and use. While it lasts a long time, both available bag sizes are on the large side and may go to waste if your dog doesn’t like the flavor. Also, depending on the time taken during shipping, the product may arrive defrosted.
12. Iams Adult MiniChunks High Protein Dog Food
|Special Diet:||High protein|
While Iams Adult MiniChunks High Protein Dog Food can be given to all sizes of dogs, the kibble is designed to be easy to eat for small breeds. The five bag sizes give you plenty of options for single- or multi-dog homes or just to try out a new brand.
Protein from real chicken, antioxidants, fibers, and prebiotics all support the health of your canine’s digestive and immune systems.
While the kibble is designed with small breeds in mind, some owners have said that it’s still too big for their dog. There are also reports of this dry food causing stomach upsets and allergic reactions due to the recipe not being hypoallergenic.
13. Cesar Classic Loaf in Sauce Beef Recipe
|Flavor:||Beef, filet mignon, grilled chicken, porterhouse steak|
|Special Diet:||Grain-free, pea-free|
Beef, filet mignon, grilled chicken, and porterhouse steak are all included in the Cesar Classic Loaf in Sauce Beef Recipe variety pack. With 24 ready-made portions, there is plenty of selection to keep fussy dogs entertained and for multi-dog homes.
The trays are sealed for freshness and easy to open, and the grain-free portions can be used as food toppers for kibble or as meals on their own.
Since it’s formulated for adult dogs, Cesar doesn’t contain the nutrients that puppies need to support their growth. The portions might also be too small for large dog breeds. Some owners have complained about the bad smell of this dog food.
14. Nature’s Recipe Salmon, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe
|Flavor:||Salmon, sweet potato, and pumpkin|
|Special Diet:||Grain-free, no corn, no wheat, no soy|
Nature’s Recipe Salmon, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe supports your best friend’s digestion and immune health with real salmon and fiber-rich pumpkin. The salmon content ensures that your dog receives a healthy dose of omega oils to help keep their joints lubricated and their skin and coat healthy. There are also no poultry by-products, corn, wheat, or soy used in this grain-free formula.
Some owners found the strong fishy smell of this brand unpleasant, and the kibble itself can crumble easily, especially during shipping. Despite the three bag sizes — 4, 12, and 24 pounds — Nature’s Recipe is one of the more expensive options available. Some dogs refuse to eat salmon-flavored food.
15. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe
|Flavor:||Beef, garden vegetables, and sweet potatoes|
|Special Diet:||No corn, no wheat, no soy|
The Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe is sold in a pack of 12 cans. Formulated for adult dogs, it supports your canine’s immune, skin, and coat health with a careful mix of real beef, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids. Blue Buffalo avoids common allergens — wheat, corn, and soy products — and doesn’t use poultry by-products, all to ensure that your dog’s diet is healthy, nutritional, and balanced.
This 12-pack option is long-lasting but might not be suitable for fussy dogs that get bored easily due to the single flavor. Despite the lack of other allergens, the Homestyle Recipe does contain peas, which some dogs can be allergic to. The formula doesn’t contain the right nutrition for puppies.
16. Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Big Game Recipe
|Flavor:||Lamb, wild-boar, and venison|
|Special Diet:||Grain-free, gluten-free, no corn, no wheat, no soy|
High in protein and omega fatty acids, Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Big Game Recipe is easy to digest for sensitive stomachs and supports fur and skin health. Made with real lamb, wild boar, and venison, this grain-, wheat-, corn-, and soy-free recipe doesn’t exacerbate allergies.
Although the bags are sold in 4- or 40-pound sizes, Merrick Backcountry is one of the more expensive options out there. The raw nature of this freeze-dried food means it can carry more harmful bacteria, and the kibble itself can crumble easily.
Merrick Backcountry is suitable for all breed sizes, but some older dogs with fewer teeth or toy breeds may find the pieces difficult to eat.
17. Annamaet 25% Medium & Large Breed Dog Food
|Flavor:||Chicken meal and brown rice|
|Special Diet:||No corn, no wheat, no soy, human-grade, high-protein, non-GMO|
The Annamaet 25% Medium & Large Breed Dog Food is formulated with big dogs in mind. With non-GMO ingredients and no corn, wheat, or soy, the recipe is allergen-free and human-grade. The high protein content, prebiotics, probiotics, and omega fatty acids benefit your dog by boosting the health of their muscles, digestive system, skin, and fur.
Unlike many other dry foods, the Annamaet isn’t designed for small dog breeds, and the pieces may be too big for them to manage comfortably. It’s also incredibly expensive despite the four bag sizes, and none of the options are resealable to maintain freshness.
18. True Acre Foods Chicken & Vegetable Dog Food
|Flavor:||Chicken and vegetable|
|Special Diet:||Grain-free, gluten-free, no wheat or corn|
True Acre Foods Chicken & Vegetable Dog Food uses U.S.A.-raised chicken in a grain- and gluten-free recipe to support your best friend’s digestive system. Omega fatty acids and antioxidants work together to keep your dog’s joints, skin, fur, and immune system healthy, while the lack of corn and wheat products avoids common canine allergies.
This option by True Acre is available in three sizes to suit single- or multi-dog households.
The formula does contain peas, which can cause allergic reactions in some dogs, and poultry by-products. While True Acre Foods is designed with all dog breeds in mind, the size of the kibble might be too big for small dog breeds.
19. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dog Food
|Flavor:||Turkey and rice stew|
|Special Diet:||Sensitive digestion|
Formulated to be easy to digest and gentle on sensitive stomachs, the Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dog Food can be used on its own or mixed with kibble. This 12-pack uses natural ingredients, including slow-cooked turkey, and is recommended by veterinarians.
The contained vitamin E and omega oils support your dog’s immune and digestive systems, along with their skin and coat.
While the recipe is easy to digest, Hill’s Science Diet does contain allergens and may exacerbate sensitivity caused by allergies. The pull-tabs on the cans can be difficult to use, and leftover food needs to be refrigerated. Along with the unpleasant smell, some dogs dislike the gel-like texture.
20. Instinct Frozen Raw Bites
|Special Diet:||Grain-free, pea-free, raw, no corn, no wheat, no soy|
To mimic our favorite canines’ wild ancestors, Instinct Frozen Raw Bites freeze-dries real beef and vegetables to make a grain-free recipe without corn, wheat, soy, or GMOs. It’s formulated to support the health of your dog’s muscles, teeth, gums, and digestive system and help maintain their energy.
Instinct is only sold in 3- or 6-pound bags and is incredibly expensive. Raw food can also carry more harmful bacteria that your dog can be affected by.
The freeze-dried nature of this product requires it to be kept frozen, and it tends to become mushy when left outside for too long. It has been known to defrost during the shipping process.
Conclusion: Best Dog Food
Overall, the best adult dog food is Taste of the Wild High Prairie Dog Food. It’s packed with nutrition, omega oils, and fiber to ease digestion for sensitive stomachs. A more affordable option is the Blue Buffalo Divine Delights Variety Pack, with a range of flavors to stop fussy dogs from getting bored.
Whether you’re a new dog owner or a seasoned canine friend, knowing which dog food your dog will enjoy the most is a challenge. Hopefully, these reviews will help you choose your dog’s next favorite brand.
Featured Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.