Gone are the days of limited dog food choices. As owners have become more attuned to canine nutritional requirements and have access to a wealth of information on ingredients, both good and bad, the range of dog food has expanded massively.
As well as dry and wet dog foods, you can access freeze-dried, fresh food, and air-dried foods. There are also foods that are tailored to the size of your dog, its activity levels, and whether it has any food sensitivities or other dietary requirements. While this varied selection means that you can find suitable food for any dog, even the most finicky, it also makes the choice overwhelming.
Below, you will find reviews of the best dog foods in the UK to help you find one that best meets your dog’s requirements.
A Quick Glance at Our Favourites in 2023
|Best Overall||James Wellbeloved Adult Dog Food||
|Best Value||Skinner’s Field & Trial Dry Dog Food||
|Royal Canin Digestive Care Wet Dog Food||
|Best For Puppies||Lily’s Kitchen Puppy Recipe Dog Food||
|Best For Seniors||IAMS For Vitality Senior Dry Dog Food||
The 10 Best Dog Foods in the UK
1. James Wellbeloved Adult Dog Food – Best Overall
|Flavor:||Turkey & Rice|
James Wellbeloved Adult Turkey dog food is a completely dry dog food for adult dogs. Its main ingredients are turkey meal, brown rice, and white rice. As well as being free from artificial colors, flavors, and antioxidants, it does not contain any common allergens like beef, pork, soya, or dairy. It is suitable for dogs with sensitivities. Because it uses a single animal protein source, it can also be beneficial for dogs with allergies on an elimination diet.
Additional ingredients include yucca to improve stool smell, linseed as a source of omega-3, and chicory extract, a prebiotic that helps encourage good gut health.
The James Wellbeloved food is very competitively priced and is not only a good food choice for adult dogs with sensitive stomachs but for any adult dog. Its natural ingredients and lack of artificial additives also make it our choice as the best overall dog food in the UK. The only real downside is that the kibble is quite large when compared to other dog foods.
2. Skinner’s Field & Trial Dog Food – Best Value
|Flavor:||Chicken & Rice|
Skinner’s Field & Trial Chicken And Rice is a complete dry dog food that is designed for sensitive stomachs but suitable for all appetites. The brand primarily targets working dogs, but if your dog is active and healthy and especially enjoys spending a lot of time outdoors, this food will help maintain good energy levels without putting on excess weight.
The main ingredients are brown rice, poultry meat meal, and naked oats. Yucca has been added to help reduce bad stool odors, while seaweed acts as a probiotic to maintain good gut flora.
The quality ingredients and a low price make this our choice as the best dog food in the UK for the money. However, the main meat protein could be better quality as poultry meat meal can include all parts of the bird, so you can’t be sure of the quality of the protein that your dog is getting.
3. Royal Canin Digestive Care Wet Dog Food
|Food Type:||Wet Food|
Royal Canin has a wide variety of dog foods, especially targeting those with special dietary requirements. The Royal Canin Digestive Care Wet Dog Food is expensive, but it is especially beneficial for those dogs with digestive problems and sensitive stomachs. If your dog suffers diarrhea or struggles to keep wet food down, this food contains a good amount of soluble and insoluble fiber, as well as prebiotics and probiotics to help settle stomachs and maintain good digestive health.
The food is expensive and doesn’t list the specific meats. Instead, they are listed as meat and animal derivatives. Also, the texture of the food may not be appealing to all dogs. However, if you are looking for something to help solidify poop and settle stomachs, this could be a good choice for you and your canine friend.
4. Lily’s Kitchen Puppy Recipe Dog Food – Best For Puppies
|Flavor:||Chicken & Salmon|
Puppies have different dietary requirements than adult dogs. They are active and growing, which means they need more protein and can benefit from a higher fat content. They also need higher levels of calcium and phosphorus to ensure good bone growth and support. Lily’s Kitchen Puppy Recipe With Chicken & Salmon consists of 29% protein and 16% fat and meets the recommended required levels of calcium and phosphate. Its primary ingredients are fresh chicken, freshly prepared salmon, and chicken liver, and it has a high meat content when compared to a lot of other foods on the market.
The ingredients do not contain any added sugar, and Lily’s Kitchen doesn’t use cheap fillers. This means that your puppy is getting a healthy and nutritional diet, but it also means that the food is expensive compared to other dry foods. The high concentration of meat ingredients and relatively high protein ratio can cause an upset stomach, so you may need to introduce the food gradually to ensure a healthy, happy pup.
5. IAMS For Vitality Senior Dry Dog Food – Best For Seniors
In the same way that puppies have specific dietary requirements, so do senior dogs. As a dog ages, it becomes less active and is unable to burn off as many calories. These dogs don’t require as much protein as an adult or puppy. Older dogs can also suffer from sensitive stomachs that cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal complaints.
IAMS For Vitality Small/Medium Breed Senior Dry Dog Food consists of 27% protein and 12% fat. It has primary ingredients of dried chicken and turkey, maize, and maize grits. The kibble is designed to improve and maintain good dental health, while antioxidants and vitamin E offer good immune system support.
The food is reasonably priced, but you do need to make sure that you buy the right food for the right breed size, or the kibble pieces might be too large or too small for your dog, and the protein and fat content can be a little high for senior dogs with sensitive stomachs.
6. Ziwipeak Daily Dog Air Dried Dog Food
|Food Type:||Air dried|
Ziwipeak Daily Dog Air Dried Cuisine Lamb is a premium dog food with very high meat content and contains mussels and a superfood mix to ensure that your dog gets the required vitamins and minerals. The food is very rich with 35% protein and 33% fat, but the air-drying process means that the ingredients retain more of their nutritional ingredients while also staying fresh and tasty. Because the food is highly concentrated, you won’t need to feed as much as you would with dry kibble or even wet food, but the artisanal air-drying approach does still come with a heavy price tag.
This food is a good choice for those that want to feed a raw diet but lack the time to prepare it and its single protein source means that it is also a good choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs or dogs that suffer from food allergies.
7. Nature’s Menu Canned Dog Food
|Food Type:||Wet Food|
|Flavor:||Chicken & Salmon|
Nature’s Menu Dog Food is a wet food that comes in cans and has a good protein ratio for wet food, ranging from 10.2% to 12.3%, depending on the flavor of the food and its primary ingredients. The multi-flavored pack is good for those dogs that can eat anything as it offers variety in their diet thanks to a selection of appealing ingredients. The ingredients typically contain a minimum of 50% meat with minimal added ingredients, all of which are natural.
The food has been gently cooked so that it retains nutrients and flavor. Designed as a more convenient alternative to raw feeding, the food is more expensive than basic wet food alternatives. It comes in cans, which are convenient, and its ingredients are high quality.
8. Harrington’s Grain Free Mixed Flavor Wet Dog Food
|Food Type:||Wet Food|
|Volume:||16 x 400g|
|Flavor:||Chicken, salmon, turkey, or duck|
Harrington’s Grain Free Mixed Flavor Wet Dog Food is a multi-pack of wet foods containing a variety of chicken, turkey, salmon, and duck-based ingredients. The ingredients do differ according to flavor but consist of 65% meat content with added vegetables, fruits, and ingredients like mussels, seaweed, and chicory. There are also vitamin and mineral additives. The food is reasonably priced for wet dog food and its ingredients are grain-free, so it can be fed to dogs with sensitive stomachs and gastrointestinal issues.
However, it does have a strong smell, and the high meat content can prove too rich for some dogs. If you are moving from another meat brand, you should gradually make the change by introducing the food over the course of two weeks to give your dog’s stomach time to get used to the new food.
9. Pooch & Mutt Complete Adult Dry Dog Food
|Food Type:||Dry Food|
Pooch & Mutt Complete Adult Dry Dog Food is a dry kibble that contains 26% dried chicken as its main ingredient. It also contains superfoods like sweet potato, salmon oil, chamomile, and cranberries.
Probiotics are designed to maintain good gut health and a healthy digestive system, while omega-3 fatty acids help alleviate joint pain and protect the joints. Chamomile is added as a calming ingredient. The food is free from grains, cereals, gluten, and artificial additives.
10. Lily’s Kitchen World Dishes Multipack Dog Food
|Food Type:||Wet Food|
The Lily’s Kitchen World Dishes Multipack contains 6 trays of wet food. All of the trays contain 60%– 65% meat content and additional vegetables, vitamins, botanicals, and herbs to ensure a healthy amount of nutrients and macronutrients. The food is considered suitable for dogs aged 4 months and older, and all the recipes are made with proper protein—no meal and no rendered meat.
The food is expensive but there are a good variety of flavors in the multipack, all of which have high meat content and nutritional ingredients.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Pick the Best Dog Food in the UK
We all want what’s best for our dogs. This means giving them plenty of love, ensuring that they get the right amount of exercise, and that they’re fit and healthy. Food plays a critical role in the health of your dog in the same way that a good diet can ensure a healthier life for you.
Modern dog food can take many forms, from freeze-dried raw food to dry kibble, and each has its own merits and pitfalls. The main types of dog food available are:
Dry food is food where the ingredients have been mixed together before extruding the food into small, biscuit-like kibble pieces. This type of food tends to be the least expensive and has the longest shelf life. The hard kibble also offers some dental benefits because chewing the biscuits can remove tartar build-up.
Dry food forms the basis of a lot of dogs’ diets. However, it is, as the name suggests, dry. You have to ensure that your dog has access to fresh drinking water at mealtimes, and some dogs may not be excited by the prospect of eating biscuits.
Wet food contains many of the same ingredients as dry food but does not undergo the same drying process. It is served in broth, gravy, or jelly and tends to be more appetizing to our canine friends.
It does not dehydrate dogs, but because the ingredients are wet and fresher than in dry food, they have a shorter shelf-life and cannot be left out for your dog to graze on if they don’t eat everything at mealtimes. Wet food also tends to be more expensive than dry food.
Air-dried food is, at least in some regards, a dry food. However, rather than undergoing an extrusion process, the food is left to dry naturally. This removes pathogens but retains more nutrients. The process is also slower and more work, which means that the cost of this type of food will usually exceed both dry kibble and wet food. Air-dried food is a more convenient alternative to a raw food or fresh food diet.
Dogs of different ages have different health and dietary requirements. A young puppy is active and growing, which means that it needs protein and calories. Calcium and phosphorus are also essential at this stage in a dog’s life because they help ensure good bone health and development.
A senior dog will usually have less energy, so it is unlikely to be able to burn off excess calories. Older dogs can also suffer from bad teeth and poor digestive health.
Dog Breed Size
Different breeds also have varying dietary requirements. Some companies do offer foods for specific breeds, but most offer food according to the size of the breed. While larger dogs obviously have bigger appetites, they may not burn off as many calories as smaller dogs.
In dry food, kibble size is also an important factor to consider. Small dogs will struggle with large pieces of kibble, while large dogs will find small kibble inconvenient and may end up choking on the food if they attempt to wolf it down too quickly.
As well as life stage and dog size, there are foods that cater to specific dietary requirements. Some of the most common dietary requirements are due to allergies and sensitivities. Some dogs do better on a grain-free diet, while others might need to avoid gluten or dairy. Food manufacturers also make foods targeted at dogs with sensitive stomachs or those with poor skin health or coat condition.
How to Introduce a New Food
Introducing a new dog food too fast can result in an upset stomach and other digestive problems in dogs. As such, it is recommended that you make the introduction gradually over the course of 2 weeks or more. This means initially feeding 75% old food and 25% of the new food. Give your dog a few days to get used to this balance, and then increase to 50% of the new food. Again, wait a few days before increasing to 75% of the new food. Finally, after 3–4 more days, you can feed 100% of the new food.
Getting the right food for your dog not only encourages good general health but it provides them with the protein and nutrients they need to be active. The wrong dog food can cause gastrointestinal upset and may even lead to poor coat and skin health.
Above, we have listed 10 of the best dog foods in the UK so that you can choose the one that meets your requirements, and those of your dog. We believe James Wellbeloved Adult Dog Food offers the best combination of value for money and quality ingredients, while Skinners Field & Trial Sensitive is a good, low-cost alternative that is especially suited to working dogs but also suitable for dogs of all activity levels.
Featured Image Credit: chaoss, Shutterstock