Dry dog food causes less mess than canned. It has a long shelf life, and it can be left in the bowl for longer. It is typically more convenient and less pricey than canned and especially fresh food. But, convenience shouldn’t come at the cost of quality or nutrition. Complete dry dog food should be nutritionally balanced to meet all of your dog’s dietary requirements. It should also be tasty, otherwise, your dog will ignore it or pick at its favourite bites and leave the rest. While every dog’s tastes are different, and so too is every dog’s specific requirement, some foods stand out as offering everything our beloved canines require.
Below, you will find reviews of 10 of the best dry dog foods in the UK, including some specifically formulated for puppies as well as those for adults. And, if your dog has a sensitive stomach or you have been specifically told your dog needs a grain-free diet, you can find convenient and high-quality dry food options too.
A Quick Look at Our Favourites of 2023
|Best Overall||Burns Pet Original Complete Adult and Senior||
|Best Value||Skinner’s Field & Trial Working 26||
|Premium Choice||Arden Grange Sensitive Adult Dry Dog Food||
|Best for Puppies||Royal Canin Medium Puppy Dry Dog Food||
|Farmina Natural and Delicious Ancestral||
The 10 Best Dry Dog Foods in the UK
1. Burns Pet Original Adult & Senior Dog Food – Best Overall
|Primary Ingredients:||Brown rice, chicken meal, oats|
Burns Pet Original Complete Adult and Senior Dry Dog Food is an adult dog food that is also classed as suitable for senior dogs. Its main ingredients are brown rice, chicken meal, and oats. Its ingredient list is refreshingly short with no questionable ingredients and it is, like all the foods on this list, a complete food, which means it meets the dietary requirements of dogs. Burns is reasonably priced: there are cheaper, but it certainly isn’t the most expensive, and while this is brown rice and chicken flavour there are other ingredient options available to buyers.
Burns Pet Original is our choice as the best overall dry dog food in the UK because it is reasonably priced and has a good ingredient list, but it does have an 18.5% protein ratio and 62% carbs. Typically, we would be looking for something with a little more protein and less carbs.
2. Skinner’s Field & Trial Working 26 – Best Value
|Primary Ingredients:||Poultry meat meal, wheat, maize|
Skinner’s does a range of Field & Trial dog foods that are designed primarily for working dogs. Working dogs tend to be very active dogs, running around fields all day long. They also have to use their brain. This combination means that the dog benefits from a higher protein ratio and can also enjoy some extra carbs and calories because they will be able to burn them off over the working day.
Skinner’s range includes a variety of flavours, including muesli mix for picky eaters, but our choice as the best dry dog food in the UK for the money is Skinner’s Field & Trial Working 26 which uses poultry meat meal, wheat, and maize as the main ingredients. It is cheap, its ingredient list is short and recognizable, and 26% protein not only gives the food the 26 in the name but also gives working dogs plenty of high-quality protein to help maintain and build muscle. The food can be mixed with a little warm water to make it more appealing.
The higher protein ratio and carbs that make this a working dog food mean it won’t be suitable for dogs that get less exercise and it may take some getting used to.
3. Arden Grange Sensitive Adult Dry Dog Food – Premium Choice
|Primary Ingredients:||Fresh Ocean white fish, sweet potato, ocean white fish meal|
Arden Grange Sensitive Adult Dry Dog Food is formulated for dogs with sensitive stomachs. It uses white fish as its main protein source, which tends to be gentler on dogs’ stomachs than red meat and even poultry. It also contains prebiotics and probiotics, which can help improve and support good gut health and general health, and its ingredient list also includes fruit and vegetables. What it doesn’t include are grains as this is a grain-free diet. Unless your vet has specifically said to avoid grains, there isn’t really any need to adopt a grain-free diet, but some owners use grain-free foods as a way to try and combat upset stomachs.
The food is expensive but it has a desirable 25% protein ratio and its ingredients are sensitive to stomachs. However, the food does have a strong smell, as you might expect considering the amount of fish in the ingredients. While this food does cost a little more than most, it could do a very effective job of shoring up your dog’s stools and preventing upset stomachs.
4. Royal Canin Medium Puppy Dry Dog Food – Best for Puppies
|Primary Ingredients:||Dehydrated poultry protein, maize, animal fats|
Royal Canin dry dog foods are available in breed-specific formulae as well as those that are based on the size of the breed. They also do foods that are formulated for puppies, like this Royal Canin Medium Puppy Dry Dog Food. Puppies expend a lot more energy than adult dogs, and they need extra protein to build and strengthen their muscles. Therefore, puppy food should have a higher protein ratio than adult food.
Royal Canin has 32% protein which is a very good ratio for puppy diets. It also has smaller kibble so that puppies can easily get it in their mouth and chew it properly. And there’s a host of added vitamins and minerals that aid with growth and development.
The food is expensive and there aren’t specific flavours, although this puppy food’s primary ingredient is dehydrated poultry protein and it contains animal fats for flavour and additional animal proteins. The food is recommended for puppies aged between 2 and 12 months and medium-sized breeds.
5. Farmina Natural & Delicious Ancestral Grain
|Primary Ingredients:||Lamb meat, dehydrated lamb meat, whole spelt|
Large and giant breed dogs need more protein, as well as more calories and nutrients, to help support and maintain their large body size. It is generally recommended that such breeds get at least between 22% and 25% protein in their diet. Ideally, this protein should come from high-quality sources, primarily from meat with some protein from plant-based sources and grains.
Farmina Natural and Delicious Ancestral Low-Grain Formula Dry Dog Food is targeted at large and giant breeds. It has 28% protein, which is a really good level for dogs of this size, and its ingredients are 60% meat, 20% fruit and vegetables, and 20% ancestral or ancient grains. Its main ingredients are lamb meat, dehydrated lamb meat, and whole spelt.
Farmina is on the expensive side but that’s primarily because it doesn’t contain fillers. It could do with being in a bigger bag for large breed dogs, however.
6. James Wellbeloved Adult Turkey and Rice
|Primary Ingredients:||Turkey meal, brown rice, white rice|
James Wellbeloved Adult Turkey and Rice is a dry kibble that consists of 23.5% protein, which is suitable for adult and senior dogs of all sizes. Its primary ingredients are turkey meal, brown rice, and white rice and the food contains linseed as a source of Omega 3, yucca that can help improve the smell of your dog’s stools, and chicory extract which is a prebiotic that helps to maintain good gut health and immune system health. Other vitamins and minerals are included to maintain the coat, skin, and general health.
James Wellbeloved is average-priced food with decent quality ingredients. While turkey meal is listed as the first ingredient, brown rice and white rice aren’t far behind and when these two are combined they do make up the bulk of the food. Although the ingredients and nutritional makeup are suitable for all breeds, the kibble may be too large for smaller breeds of dogs.
7. Lily’s Kitchen Wild Woodland Walk Dog Food
|Primary Ingredients:||Duck, Salmon, Venison|
Lily’s Kitchen Duck, Salmon, and Venison Natural Grain Free Complete Adult Dry Dog Food is a dry kibble that contains natural ingredients with its main ingredients being duck, salmon, and venison. These three meat proteins make up over a third of the total ingredients. Other ingredients include fruit and vegetables, as well as additional ingredients like linseed and lentils. The food is fortified with vitamins and minerals to ensure it meets your dog’s dietary requirements.
This is a grain-free recipe. Dogs are omnivores so they don’t need a grain-free diet, and very few dogs are intolerant or allergic to grains. However, if your vet has recommended you try a grain-free diet, Lily’s Kitchen is a good choice thanks to its high-quality ingredients. It is an expensive food but has a high meat content which means that the protein in the food comes from beneficial sources. The protein ratio of 22% could be higher but is certainly high enough for most adult dogs and breeds.
8. Bakers Adult Dry Dog Food Beef and Veg
|Primary Ingredients:||Cereals, meat and animal derivatives, derivatives of vegetable origin|
Bakers Adult Dry Dog Food Beef and Veg is one of the lowest-priced complete dog foods on this list. The food is beef and vegetable flavoured and contains superfoods including spirulina, as well as additional vitamins and minerals. The kibble itself also comes in a variety of shapes and flavours, which does bring some variety to your dog’s meal, but it also enables very picky eaters to be able to choose which pieces they eat and which they leave.
The food is inexpensive and a complete diet, but the listed ingredients are somewhat vague and despite being labelled as beef, only 20% of the food is meat derivatives, and only 4% of this is beef, which means less than 1% of the food is beef. The protein ratio of 21% is reasonable but it would benefit from being a little higher, especially if yours is a large or giant breed of dog.
9. Harringtons Complete Dry Dog Food Lamb & Rice
|Primary Ingredients:||Lamb and meat meals, maize, barley|
Harringtons Complete Dry Dog Food Lamb is an inexpensive complete dry dog food with the main ingredients of lamb and meat meals, maize, and barley. Other ingredients include linseed, which is a good source of Omega 3, as well as yucca extract, which can help improve the smell of your dog’s poop.
The protein ratio of the food is 21%, which would benefit from being a little higher but is still reasonable for most breeds and sizes. The fibre content of 2% would benefit from being a little higher, but the food is inexpensive and will suit a lot of dogs.
10. Wellness CORE Large Breed Original Dog Food Dry
|Primary Ingredients:||Chicken, peas, dried potatoes|
Most dry foods are formulated to meet the needs of most dog breeds and dog sizes. This means that they tend to be ideal for medium dogs but could be better for toy and large breeds. Large breeds generally require more calories and more protein to help strengthen muscles and ensure that they can carry their size so while a standard food might contain 22% to 25%, a large breed benefits from 25% to 28% or more.
Wellness CORE Large Breed Original Dog Food Dry is targeted at large and giant breed dogs. It has 31% protein and also contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which help with joint and bone strength. Joint conditions like hip and elbow dysplasia are more common in large breeds and getting the right ingredients in the dog’s food can help stave these off.
Wellness CORE is a premium food, with the primary ingredients being chicken, peas, and dried potatoes. 57% of the food ingredients are chicken, which is an impressively high ratio. The food is also naturally free of allergens. However, the premium label means it carries a premium price tag.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Dry Dog Food in UK
Feeding your dog the right food, in the right quantity, is important. It doesn’t just ensure that your dog feels full and satisfied but it meets their nutritional and dietary requirements. Good food can provide the energy your dog needs, and certain foods can even help with problems like upset stomachs or sensitive skin. Dry food is one option when it comes to choosing the type of food, with wet food and raw food being other options.
Dry food buyers typically choose it because it has a longer shelf-life, can be left in the bowl longer, is cheaper, and can meet all of a dog’s daily dietary needs.
Dogs are omnivores. This means that they can eat meat and plant-based foods. Their teeth and their digestive system can benefit from the consumption of all types of food. While a dog could survive and thrive on a well-balanced vegetarian diet with no meat products whatsoever, it would not be able to thrive on a meat-only diet. Generally, however, it is easier to ensure a well-balanced diet through a combination of meat and plant ingredients.
Dog Food Options
Dry food is just one type of food available for dogs. The ingredients are prepared and mixed. Usually, the mixture is then heated and cut into the kibble shape. This leaves dry food. The extrusion of moisture not only makes a biscuit but it means that the food can be stored for longer. Dry foods can usually be kept, unopened, for months, or even years. Once opened, they can be kept for several weeks, compared to the day or two that most open wet food can be kept. Dry food typically creates less mess than wet food, too, but some dogs may not find dry food to be palatable or appealing. And, because it is dry, you need to ensure that your dog consumes enough water daily.
Wet food combines similar ingredients to those used in the production of dry food, but rather than heating and removing the water, additional water or a broth is added to the food and it is stored in tins or pouches. The food doesn’t keep as long and can cost more than dry food, but a lot of dogs do prefer the texture, aroma, and taste of wet food. It also contains plenty of moisture, which helps ensure that your dog is adequately hydrated.
Raw food has become increasingly popular. Owners buy all the constituent ingredients directly from stores and prepare the food themselves. This can be a good way to manage exactly what your dog is eating, but it does require research to ensure that you’re meeting the dietary and nutritional requirements of your dog. It also tends to be more expensive and because you will be handling raw meat, there is some danger of contamination, although this is true when handling raw meat for your own consumption.
It is also possible to combine food types. It is common to leave dry food down and to feed wet food for one or two meals a day. This gives your dog a more palatable and appealing diet and affords you the convenience and affordability of dry food. You can also add some raw food toppers to the dry food. If you do combine food types, you will have to ensure that you aren’t overfeeding your dog and it can be more difficult to track protein and other levels.
Not all dry foods are equal, and one way in which they can differ significantly is in the ingredients used. Some dry foods use high-quality and clearly labelled ingredients, with meat as the primary protein source along with nutritional and beneficial fruit and vegetables. Some food labels are a lot less clear and can be somewhat opaque.
Some ingredients commonly found in dry dog food include:
Most dog foods are geared towards adult dogs, and many of these are also considered suitable for senior dogs, but you should look for puppy-specific food if your dog is under 12 months. Puppies have different dietary requirements to adult dogs and a specially formulated food will meet these requirements. Don’t feed puppy food to adult dogs, however, because it usually has more protein and calories and this can cause an adult dog to put on excess weight.
Dog Breed Size
In the same way that dogs have different requirements at different stages of their lives, so do dogs of different sizes and breeds. There are some food brands, such as Royal Canin, that offer foods for specific breeds, while other companies formulate their foods according to breed size. If yours is a medium dog, a standard food will usually be OK, but if you have a very small or very large breed, you should consider a specialist food to meet your dog’s dietary needs.
Dry dog food is convenient and affordable, and with the right food, you can meet your dog’s dietary requirements and satisfy their hunger. But, there are a lot of food options on the market. With the reviews above, you can find one that best suits your dog.
We found Burns Pet Original Complete Adult and Senior Dry Dog Food to be the best overall, although its lower protein ratio means that it is best suited to smaller breeds. Skinner’s Field & Trial Working 26 is a really affordable food and its higher protein ratio means it is better suited to large breeds and working dogs.
Although expensive, Arden Grange Sensitive Adult Dry Dog Food is good for sensitive stomachs and uses good quality ingredients. Royal Canin Medium Puppy Dry Dog Food is formulated specifically for puppies and is one of Royal Canin’s brands targeted at specific breed sizes.