Dry Dog Food

Usually sold in large bags, dry kibble is the original and still most commonly recommended type of dog food. The raw ingredients of dry dog food are meat, fat, and grain, which are mixed together, ground down, and cooked into pellet form. Unlike wet food, which must be refrigerated once it's opened, you can keep dry food out in your dog's bowl (storing the rest in its original bag in a cool, dry place), so it's the most convenient type of food from the owner's perspective.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for dry food.

A Super Selection: There are, by far, many more varieties of dry food than any other category. Kibbles come in many shapes and sizes, and even more formulations. Brands like Blue Buffalo, Wellness, and Nutro have a large number of offerings based on the dog's age, size, and health needs. Traditionally, dry dog food has less animal-based protein and more grains than other types of food, but there are now grain-free options on the market. Be sure to look on the label to see the breakdown of the particular food you're considering.

Size Matters: Choose the shape and size of the kibble based on your dog's age and teeth size. Older dogs (and puppies, for that matter) may have trouble breaking down bigger pieces. Some dry kibble is made to help clean dogs' teeth when chewed. Because they come in small pieces, dry food is also an ideal snack or treat to use in training your dog.

Keep it Consistent: Though you probably couldn't imagine having to eat the same thing every day, food variety is not necessarily a good thing for dogs. In fact, veterinarians say that switching foods may lead to digestive issues and diarrhea. There's no reason not to stick with one kind of food every day until your dog's health or age requires you to change things up. And when you do switch food, do it gradually and keep an eye out for abnormal behavior or if they experience diarrhea, vomiting, or excessive gas.

  1. OWNER TIP: How do you know if the dog food you're giving your pet is the right one? The proof can be seen in your dog's appearance and behavior: shiny coat, bright eyes, good weight, and healthy energy. If your dog is sluggish or is acting out of character, take a closer look at their diet.

    Wag.com shopper Toby saw the difference when he changed his dog's food to Taste of the Wild Canine Formula:

    "My dog's diarrhea and weight loss did a 180 degree turn after a few weeks on the grain-free food. The money I was pouring into Vet bills to find the root cause (in search of elusive parasites) is now put into a quality, healthy diet. Due to the change of food, he's a much healthier dog. Clean up is much easier, too!"