Best Dry Dog Foods For 2022

best dry dog food
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Searching for a safe and healthy dry dog food can be a challenge! Dog food labels are confusing and leave important details out. So we did the legwork for you and compiled our list of Best Dry Dog Foods For 2022.

DOG FOOD REVIEW CRITERIA

Each food in this list has been evaluated based on the ingredient quality and ingredient safety by DogFoodReviews.com. It’s fine to look at how much protein and fat is in a food, but at the end of the day, the food needs to be safe for your dog to eat (and many foods contain ingredients that are quite unsafe). So each food’s score is an average of the ingredient quality and the ingredient safety.

Here are some of the criteria we look for:

DOG FOOD INGREDIENT QUALITY

  • Does the food contain too much carbohydrate?
  • Are plant sources used to boost protein content?
  • Does it contain unnamed animal protein?
  • Are there excessive vitamins and minerals added?
  • Are free amino acids added to balance poor quality proteins?
  • Does it contain processed or seed oils?

DOG FOOD INGREDIENT SAFETY

  • How much processing is involved in making the food?
  • Does the food contain rice?
  • Does the food contain known genetically modified foods?
  • Does the food contain foods known to be high in pesticides?
  • Does the food contain natural flavor?

Each food is objectively evaluated using these criteria. You can view the full Evaluation Criteria used to review the dog foods.

This is NOT a paid list and there are no affiliate links. We’ve partnered with Dog Food Reviews to make sure dog owners have unbiased, objective criteria to help them choose the best dry dog food on the market.

Now that you know how we evaluate the foods, let’s find the best dry dog food for 2022. The foods evaluated include air-dried, cold-pressed and baked foods, in addition to more conventional kibbles.

#1: THE NEW ZEALAND NATURAL PET FOOD CO. WOOF AIR-DRIED

best dry dog food
WILD VENISON RECIPE INGREDIENTS: Venison, Lamb, Lamb Green Tripe, Lamb Heart, Lamb Liver, Lamb Kidney, Ground Lamb Bone, Bok Choy, Carrot, Blueberries, Cranberries, Kelp, New Zealand Green Mussel, Honey, Rosemary, Coconut Oil, Hoki Oil, Vitamin D3, Salt, Choline Chloride, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Complex

The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. offers 3 air-dried dog food recipes with an average score of 9/10. The Wild Venison and Beef score 9.5/10, while the Chicken weighs in at 9/10. Each food loses an ingredient safety point for moderate processing, but this applies to all air-dried foods. On the whole, air-dried and baked foods may be less processed than kibble, which is considered an ultra-processed food.

The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. Air-Dried food line averages 47% protein and 11% carbohydrate, as calculated. Foods that contain less than 15% carbohydrate will not lose points for excessive carbohydrate content. Most kibbles feature a minimum of 30% starchy carbohydrate. The Air-Dried line averages 25% fat, which is fairly high for a food of this type.

When it comes to ingredient quality, the source of carbohydrate comes from foods like bok choy and carrots, which are low in starch and are not high-pesticide or GMO crops. This is certainly preferable to the grains and legumes typically found in dry foods. The food also contains a variety of meats and organ meats, which provide naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. There are some added minerals, but they are high quality and there are fewer than 5 added, giving this food a perfect score for ingredient quality. The exception is the Chicken Recipe, which contains 5 added vitamins. This gives it a score of 9/10.

Although there are no lost points for this, coconut oil is added to this food. It’s worth noting that coconut oil has been linked to increased gut permeability and inflammation in dogs in some studies.

The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. is a small company that uses ingredients that are locally sourced from New Zealand. The company also offers freeze-dried foods and treats.

At the time of writing, The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. has not been recalled.

View The Entire Review on Dog Food Reviews

#2: ZIWI PEAK ORIGINAL AIR-DRIED

ziwipeak dog food review
CHICKEN RECIPE INGREDIENTS: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Chicken Heart, New Zealand Green Mussel, Chicken Bone, Lecithin, Inulin from Chicory, Dried Kelp, Minerals (Dipotassium Phosphate, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Selenium Yeast), Salt, Parsley, Preservative (Citric Acid, Mixed Tocopherols), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid)

Ziwi Peak offers 6 air-dried dog food recipes in their Original line, with an average score of 9/10. Each food loses an ingredient safety point for moderate processing, but this applies to all air-dried foods. On the whole, air-dried and baked foods may be less processed than kibble, which is considered an ultra-processed food.

Ziwi Peak’s Provenance Air-Dried food line averages 33% protein and 4% carbohydrate, as calculated. Foods that contain less than 15% carbohydrate will not lose points for excessive carbohydrate content and this food certainly is low in carbs. However, the Original line is fairly high in fat with an average of 24%, and it’s a bit lower in protein than some competing brands.

When it comes to ingredient quality, the carbohydrate source comes from low-starch and high quality ingredients like inulin from chicory and kelp. Both are low in starch and are not high pesticide or GMO crops. Both are healthy additions. The food also contains a variety of meats and organ meats, which provides naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. With that said, there are a handful of added vitamins and several added minerals, which costs the food an ingredient quality point. However, the added minerals are high quality and organic.

Ziwi Peak originated as a smaller brand but has been acquired by FountainVest Partners, a large private equity firm based in China. Although this is not directly related to product quality, larger companies tend to have more of an obligation to their investors and product quality tends to decline in larger companies.

Ziwi Peak has not been recalled at the time of writing.

View The Entire Review on Dog Food Reviews

#3: ZIWI PEAK PROVENANCE AIR-DRIED

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CHICKEN RECIPE INGREDIENTS: Chicken, Whole Kahawai, Duck, Chicken Heart, Turkey, Chicken Necks, Chicken Liver, Whole Eggs, New Zealand Green Mussel, Chicken Bone, Lecithin, Duck Bone, Inulin from Chicory, Dried Kelp, Dried Apple Pomace, Minerals (Dipotassium Phosphate, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Selenium Yeast), Turkey Gizzard, Turkey Liver, Turkey Bone, Salt, Parsley, Preservative (Citric Acid, Mixed Tocopherols), Turkey heart, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid)

Ziwi Peak offers 3 air-dried dog food recipes in their Provenance line, with an average score of 8/10. The Provenance line averages 38% protein and 1% carbohydrate, as calculated. The fat content averages 32%, which is on the high end. Ideally, there should be twice as much protein as fat but there are no points lost here.

When it comes to ingredient quality, Provenance loses points for a large number of added vitamins and minerals, which are inferior to food-based micronutrients and could indicate lower quality ingredients. With that said, the added minerals are are organic and high quality.

When it comes to ingredient safety, air-dried foods are moderately processed, so there will be a small penalty there. Some known high-pesticide crop ingredients like apples also make an appearance, but further down the ingredient panel so they’re less of a concern.

Overall, this is a high fat/low carbohydrate food with good quality ingredients.

View The Entire Review on Dog Food Reviews

#4: ZEAL CANADA AIR-DRIED

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CHICKEN RECIPE INGREDIENTS: Chicken , Chicken tender, Chicken liver, Bamboo fiber, Dicalcium phosphate, Pumpkin Powder, Salt, Coconut oil, Yeast extract, Yucca Schidigera extract , Parsley, Calcium Carbonate, Green lipped mussel, Magnesium Sulphate, Rosemary extract, Choline, Zinc proteinate, Riboflavin, Selenium yeast, Manganese Proteinate, Copper proteinate, Potassium chloride, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Thiamine, Pantothenic acid, Niacin, Folic acid, Vitamin B12, Pyridoxine, Calcium iodate

Zeal Canada offers 5 air-dried dog food recipes, with an average score of 7.8/10. Like all air-dried foods, each food loses an ingredient safety point for moderate processing. While air-dried and baked foods may be less processed than kibble, which is considered an ultra-processed food, there is still processing and a probable subsequent loss of phytonutrients.

Zeal Canada’s Air-Dried food line averages 38% protein and 12% carbohydrate, as calculated. Foods that contain less than 15% carbohydrate will not lose points for excessive carbohydrate content. However both the Salmon and Turkey recipes contain a bit more than 15% carbohydrate, which will bring their scores down a bit. This is still much better than most kibbles, which average more than double this amount.

When it comes to ingredient quality, the carbohydrate source is low in starches like grains, potatoes and legumes, which is desirable. But this food does contain bamboo fiber, which is likely a lower quality source of fiber. The foods also contain lecithin from sunflower, which is a high-pesticide crop – but with that said, it amounts to a small percentage of the food. Some foods also contain a variety of organ meats, which provides naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. With that said, there are several added vitamins and minerals, which costs the food ingredient quality points. However, the added minerals are high quality and organic.

Zeal is a relative newcomer to the pet food market and claims their foods are locally sourced. The food is manufactured in Canada.

Zeal has not been recalled at the time of writing.

View The Entire Review on Dog Food Reviews

#5: SUNDAYS FOR DOGS

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CHICKEN RECIPE INGREDIENTS: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Eggs, Millet, Oat, Pumpkin, Kale, Ground Bone, Fish Oil, Sea Salt, Flaxseed, Parsley, Turmeric, Chicory Root, Kelp, Mixed Tocopherols, Ginger, Blueberries, Carrots, Apples, Tomatoes, Shiitake Mushrooms, Broccoli, Oranges, Cranberries, Spinach, Beets, Tart Cherries, Strawberries

Sundays offers 2 air-dried dog food recipes: chicken and beef. The brand offers an average score of 7.5/10. The Sundays foods average 36% protein and 22% carbohydrate, as calculated. Foods that contain more than 15% carbohydrate but less than 30% are considered moderately high in carbohydrate content and will lose a point. The food averages 17% fat, which makes it lower in fat compared to other air-dried foods.

When it comes to ingredient quality, the carbohydrate source for the Beef Recipe is quinoa. This is not a high pesticide crop, although it is high in starch and protein. However, the Chicken Recipe features two known high-pesticide foods in the top 5 ingredients: millet and oats. Both of these crops are typically spray-dried with Roundup right before harvest, which makes the pesticide content of the food potentially very high. Significant ingredient safety points will be lost for the top 5 ingredients in the Chicken Recipe.

Rounding out ingredient quality, the Beef Recipe contains fish oil but the type and species of fish is not named – and this will cost a point. Protein sources should always be named and not generic, otherwise it can be assumed the ingredient is lower quality. And when it comes to fish oil, quality is important since it easily oxidizes. And finally, the Chicken Recipe contains sunflower oil, which is a highly processed oil that is high in omega-6 fats and can cause gut inflammation.

What we do like is that the food contains no added vitamins or minerals, which implies the ingredients are otherwise high quality.

Apart from the high-pesticide foods in the Chicken Recipe, there are no additional points lost, except for the moderate amount of processing for air-dried foods.

Although there are no lost points for this, it should be noted that Sundays contains glam ingredients. While it’s desirable to have added foods like blueberries, broccoli and mushrooms, these ingredients all appear after salt on the label, which makes it very likely that they are only present in trace amounts.

Sundays is a small, boutique brand that’s owned and formulated by veterinarian Tory Waxman. The food is made in a USDA monitored kitchen in Ohio.

Sundays has not been recalled at the time of writing.

View The Entire Review on Dog Food Reviews

#6: CARNA4 BAKED AIR-DRIED

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Carna4 offers 6 foods in their Baked Air-Dried line. The line offers an average score of 7.3/10.

Carna4 averages 28% protein and 35% carbohydrate, which is considered fairly high in carbohydrate content and costs the food some ingredient quality points. The food averages 15% fat.

The carbohydrate source for Carna4 comes from organic sprouted barley seed. While barley is a high pesticide crop, the barley is sprouted and organic so it will not be spray-dried with Roundup like most barley crops are. Sprouted grains are also more digestible for dogs and arguably a higher quality ingredient. Some of the recipes do include organic rice, which can be high in arsenic. Non-organic potatoes also make an appearance and are a high-pesticide, genetically modified crop. Non-organic, high-pesticide apples also appear in some of the foods. However, both of these foods are further down the ingredient list and there are no genetically modified or high-pesticide foods in the top 5 ingredients.

Carna4 is one of a handful of dry foods that does not contain any added vitamins or minerals, which indicates higher quality ingredients and less processing.

There are no additional points lost, except for the moderate amount of processing for air-dried foods.

Carna4 is another small, boutique brand and it’s the second Canadian company on our list. Carna4 is manufactured in an EU certified human bakery in Quebec.

Carna4 has not been recalled at the time of writing.

View The Entire Review on Dog Food Reviews

#7: NATURE’S LOGIC DISTINCTION GRAIN-FREE

best dry dog food
BEEF RECIPE INGREDIENTS: Beef, Beef Meal, Millet, Pork Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Menhaden Fish Meal, Spray Dried Pork Liver, Pumpkin Seeds, Yeast Culture, Montmorillonite Clay, Dried Kale, Dried Kelp, Spray Dried Porcine Plasma, Dried Tomato, Dried Chicory Root, Dried Apple, Dried Carrot, Dried Pumpkin, Dried Blueberry, Dried Apricot, Dried Spinach, Dried Broccoli, Dried Parsley, Dried Cranberry, Dried Artichoke, Dried Mushrooms, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium bifidum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus coagulans Fermentation Product, Dried Pineapple Extract, Dried Aspergillus niger Fermentation Extract, Dried Aspergillus oryzae Fermentation Extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract

Nature’s Logic is the highest ranked kibble n our Top Dry Dog Food list. Their Distinction Grain-Free line offers 3 foods with an average score of 7.3/10.

Nature’s Logic Distinction Grain-Free averages 32% protein and 29% carbohydrate, which is considered higher in carbohydrate content and costs the food an ingredient quality point. The food averages 15% fat.

When it comes to ingredient quality, the carbohydrate source is tapioca root, which is not a high-pesticide crop. Nature’s Logic is unique for a kibble in that it contains no added vitamins or minerals, which keeps its ingredient quality score quite high. However, it should also be noted that it is formulated using feeding trials and not formulated to meet AAFCO minimum requirements.

When it comes to ingredient safety, this is a kibble and contains meals, making it an ultra-processed food. Extruded foods are heated four separate times during production, which will cause major losses in some active enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients. Studies also show that ultra-processed foods are linked to a higher rate of all-cause mortality in humans, so the food does lose some safety points here.

There are also some high-pesticide ingredients in the food (kale and spinach), but they appear further down the label and are not in the top 5 ingredients.

Overall, this is our highest ranking kibble and the only truly ultra-processed kibble that’s free of added vitamins and minerals.

Nature’s Logic started as a small company win Lincoln, Nebraska and was acquired in 2021 by Mid America Pet Food, which manufactures Victor, Wayne Feeds and Eagle Mountain. MAPF manufactures their product in Mt. Pleasant, Texas and it’s assumed Nature’s Logic is currently manufactured in that plant..

Nature’s Logic has not been recalled at the time of writing.

View The Entire Review on Dog Food Reviews

#8: NATURE’S LOGIC DISTINCTION

best dry dog food
BEEF RECIPE INGREDIENTS: Beef, Beef Meal, Millet, Pork Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Menhaden Fish Meal, Spray Dried Pork Liver, Pumpkin Seeds, Yeast Culture, Montmorillonite Clay, Dried Kale, Dried Kelp, Spray Dried Porcine Plasma, Dried Tomato, Dried Chicory Root, Dried Apple, Dried Carrot, Dried Pumpkin, Dried Blueberry, Dried Apricot, Dried Spinach, Dried Broccoli, Dried Parsley, Dried Cranberry, Dried Artichoke, Dried Mushrooms, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium bifidum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus coagulans Fermentation Product, Dried Pineapple Extract, Dried Aspergillus niger Fermentation Extract, Dried Aspergillus oryzae Fermentation Extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract

With 4 dry foods, Nature’s Logic’s Distinction line has an average score of 6.9. The foods in this line are similar to the Distinction Grain-Free line, with an average of 32% protein, 30% carbohydrate and 13% fat.

The food is higher in carbohydrate than we would like to see, but still lower than many comparable kibbles. Like all Nature’s Logic foods, this line sports whole food nutrition with no added vitamins or minerals.

Like the Distinction Grain-Free Line, Distinction is a kibble and is ultra-processed. It’s also worth noting that it contains meal as its second ingredient, which is another ultra-processed ingredient. But for kibble shoppers that can’t afford air-dried, Nature’s Logic is at the top of our list.

Apart from the processing, the food safety score is significantly impacted by the inclusion of millet as the carbohydrate source. Like most grains, millet is typically spray-dried with Roundup before harvest, making this a very high pesticide (herbicide) food. Organic millet would significantly boost the score of this food.

View The Entire Review on Dog Food Reviews

#9: ORIJEN ORIGINAL DRY DOG FOOD

best dry dog food
REGIONAL RED INGREDIENTS: Beef, Wild Boar, Goat, Lamb, Lamb Liver, Beef Liver, Beef Tripe, Wild Boar Liver, Mutton, Whole Mackerel, Pork, Goat Meal, Beef Meal, Lamb Meal, Mackerel Meal, Whole Red Lentils, Whole Pinto Beans, Beef Kidney, Pork Liver, Herring Meal, Mutton Meal, Whole Green Peas, Whole Green Lentils, Whole Navy Beans, Whole Chickpeas, Natural Pork Flavor, Beef Fat, Pollock Oil, Pork Kidney, Lentil Fiber, Pea Starch, Whole Yellow Peas, Lamb Tripe, Wild Boar Heart, Dried Kelp, Whole Pumpkin, Whole Butternut Squash, Collard Greens, Whole Apples, Whole Pears, Zinc Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Dried Chicory Root, Turmeric, Sarsaparilla Root, Althea Root, Rosehips, Juniper Berries, Citric Acid (Preservative), Rosemary Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product

Orijen offers 9 dry foods in their original line. The line has an average score of 6.9 and averages 38% protein, 20% carbohydrate and 17% fat.

When it comes to ingredient quality, this food scores reasonably high because of its lower carbohydrate content. There are a SMALL number of added vitamins and minerals, but the minerals are high quality and organic. The food also features a nice variety of proteins and liver.

Like every kibble, Orijen is ultra-processed. Extruded kibbles are heated four separate times during production, which will cause major losses in some active enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients. Studies also show that ultra-processed foods are linked to a higher rate of all-cause mortality in humans, so the food does lose some safety points here.

There are multiple high-pesticide ingredients in the food, including lentils, peas, apples and chickpeas and this reduces the ingredient safety score. The food also contains natural flavor, which is often animal digest or MSG. Natural flavor is a low quality ingredient with limited safety studies..

Although Orijen has the same average score as Nature’s Logic Distinction, it’s bumped into 9th place due to the natural flavor. This is unfortunate since the food is lower in carbohydrate and higher in protein. However both are reasonable choices for a kibble.

Orijen is manufactured by Canadian company, Champion Petfoods. It’s manufactured in-house in both Canada and the US. It offers mainly ultra-processed kibble, but also has a freeze-dried and canned line.

To date, Orijen dog food has not been recalled in Canada or the United States. 

It is worth nothing that their parent company, Champion Petfoods had two lawsuits filed against it.

In 2020, Animal Equality questioned Champion’s claim that the trout in the ACANA line was wild caught when it was identified by the AE organization as farmed fish. The suit was resolved with Champion Petfoods changing their marketing claims and promising better transparency in its fish sourcing. 

Also in 2020, the Organic Consumers Association sued Champion Petfoods for deceptive marketing under both the ACANA and Orijen brand names. The association alleged that statements such as “free-run” chicken were misleading. This case has also been resolved with Champion Petfoods making changes to their packaging and marketing. 

View The Entire Review on Dog Food Reviews

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