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5 Best Tasting Dry Dog Foods

In this guide we’ll take a look at the best tasting dry dog foods.
We’ve compared quality of ingredients, nutritional information, and value for money
to give you our top recommendations below.

Breed Advisor only recommends products that we’ve tested, or significantly researched . This page contains affiliate links, that at no additional cost to you, may earn a small commission for the site. Find out more here.

What is the Best Tasting Dry Dog Food?

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Vet’s Advice

There could be several reasons why you are looking for a very tasty dry dog food for your pet. It may be because your dog is a bit fussy or picky with their food, or perhaps it’s because they have a generally low appetite. You may also just want to make sure that your dog really enjoys their dry kibble, especially if you are keen to avoid potentially messier and smellier wet food diets. There are some key things you should look out for when looking for tasty dry food for your dog.

Make sure the diet you pick has the AAFCO statement

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) creates guidelines for pet food based on a compilation of years of research. Choosing a diet with the correct AAFCO statement for your dog’s life stage will ensure that it is nutritionally balanced for your dog. The AAFCO statement can be ‘won’ either by proving the formulation meets the requirements or by feeding trials – it’s thought that feeding trials are the more accurate method, so choose one of these if you can.

Look for a diet that contains healthy animal fats

Healthy fats from an animal origin, such as chicken or fish oils can make a diet tastier. Dogs often seem to prefer the flavor of these ingredients over vegetable oils or other plant-derived ingredients.

Choose a diet with a palatability guarantee

Some manufacturers offer a palatability guarantee, such that if your dog doesn’t enjoy the food they will offer you your money back. This can be useful when deciding whether to experiment with a new diet for your pet.

Choose a diet with a high dry matter protein content

Protein is often highly palatable, so pick a diet with a high protein content – but don’t forget to convert it to dry matter basis before comparing the back of the packets!

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Compare Our Recommended Dog Foods

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that’s most important to you.

  • Top 5 Ingredients
  • Type
  • Lifestage
  • Calories
  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Fiber
  • Cost
  • Our score

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Best Tasting Dry Dog Food Reviews

Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Turkey & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Deboned Turkey
    2. Turkey Meal
    3. Salmon Meal
    4. Chickpeas
    5. Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols & Citric Acid)

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 441 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 33%
  • Fat: 18%
  • Fiber: 4%

Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free is an exceptional quality food that packs a powerhouse punch when it comes to flavor, making it a tasty meal solution dogs can enjoy. This diet is high in protein content from excellent sources, listing several highly flavorful meats as its primary ingredients including deboned turkey, turkey meal, and salmon meal.

Nulo Freestyle contains no grains and bases its carbohydrates on highly digestible fruits and vegetables. Each item selected is also rich in antioxidants to support a healthy immune system. Probiotics have also been included in this recipe to promote excellent digestion.

The addition of fish-based proteins enriches this diet with the omega 3 and 6 fatty acids required to encourage good skin and coat health.

When it comes to flavor and optimized nutrition, you cannot beat Nulo Freestyle, one of the best tasting dry dog foods around.

Pros

  • Dogs that regularly struggled with dry and itchy skin found complete relief when fed Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free on an ongoing basis. Their skin healed and became well-hydrated and soft.
  • This diet is exceptionally flavorful. Even very picky eaters look forward to their meals and lick their bowls clean.
  • Dogs with sensitive stomachs saw a return to good digestion when fed a steady diet of Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free.
  • Owners are pleased this diet is grain-free, particularly those with dogs with allergies to grains.
  • Several owners shared that their dogs saw a big reduction in flatulence when fed this diet consistently.

Cons

  • A few owners noted this food has a very strong smell. They found it to be quite off putting.
  • Some dogs dislike the taste of this food and will not eat it. A different Nulo offering with another protein source may be a better option for these dogs.
  • Some owners prefer to feed a diet that includes some whole grains in its recipe, believing these ingredients are important for good digestion.
  • A few owners felt this diet was a little on the pricey side.
  • Owners of large breeds indicated the kibble pieces were too small for their dogs and expressed concern they may pose a choking hazard.

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Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Deboned Chicken
    2. Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine)
    3. Peas
    4. Pea Protein
    5. Tapioca Starch

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 409 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 34%
  • Fat: 15%
  • Fiber: 6%

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free is a highly flavorful and well-balanced food designed to meet the nutritional needs of adult dogs. This diet contains no grains and has been enriched with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to provide vital energy to support an active lifestyle as well as encourage excellent quality skin and coat.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free includes LifeSource Bits in its recipe, a proprietary blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to boost the dog’s disease-fighting capabilities.

This food contains no by-products, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives; all low-quality ingredients that have been linked to skin and stomach sensitivities in some dogs.

This diet’s main ingredient is whole deboned chicken, a meat that is exceptionally tasty and that dogs love. This emphasis on high value, exceptionally delicious, single-origin protein, makes Blue Buffalo Wilderness one of the best tasting dry foods for dogs on the market today.

Pros

  • Dogs love the taste of this food. Even dogs that are notoriously picky look forward to their meals and consume each piece of kibble with hearty gusto.
  • Owners like that this diet is grain-free, feeling it is a great choice for dogs that struggle with allergies to grains.
  • Owners feel the price of this food is very reasonable. They like that Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free offers them great nutrition for an affordable cost.
  • Dogs that regularly suffered with excess gas saw an end to this problem when transitioned to Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free.
  • Owners commented that they like that this diet comes in several different flavors. This allows them to switch up their dogs’ diet to provide some diversity without sacrificing any nutritional quality.

Cons

  • A few dogs struggled with upset stomachs when fed this diet. This may be the result of too quick a change from the old diet to the new.
  • Some dogs disliked the LifeSource Bits in this food. Owners reported they would pick them out and refuse to eat them.
  • This diet contains peas, pea protein, pea fiber, pea starch, potatoes, and flaxseed. All of these ingredients are the subject of some controversy and are of questionable nutritional value for dogs.
  • Some owners feel this diet is a little on the pricey side.
  • Though glucosamine and chondroitin appear organically in this diet, there are no added supplements to boost joint health in dogs.

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Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Salmon
    2. Ocean Fish Meal
    3. Sweet Potatoes
    4. Potatoes
    5. Peas

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 360 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 25%
  • Fat: 15%
  • Fiber: 3%

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream offers adult dogs all the flavor and nutrition they are looking for in their daily meals. A diet of premium quality and available at a reasonable price point, Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream is a fish-based diet with its main ingredients being salmon and ocean fish meal. This formulation is high in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to support good joint health, primed energy levels, and excellent coat and skin health.

A grain-free diet, Taste of the Wild’s fruits and vegetables were selected for their ease of digestibility and powerhouse punch of antioxidants to encourage a strong immune system. This food contains no grains, corn, wheat, fillers, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream’s focus on fish-based proteins makes it not only extremely appealing to dogs but also easy to digest, two qualities that have earned it high praise as one of the best tasting dry foods for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Pros

  • Dogs suffering from recurring itchiness found permanent relief from this problem when fed a consistent diet of Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream.
  • Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream’s formula is based on highly flavorful and easily digestible proteins. Dogs find this food very tasty, licking their bowls clean at every meal.
  • Owners of dogs with poor digestion noted their dogs’ bowel movements were regular and their stool quality was normal when fed this diet on an ongoing basis.
  • The coat quality of dogs fed this diet regularly was excellent. Their skin was well-hydrated and free from dandruff, and their fur was soft, healthy, and shiny.
  • Owners are pleased by the price of this food. They feel it offers top tier nutrition at cost that doesn’t break the bank.

Cons

  • Some dogs are disinterested in this food and are reluctant to eat it. Taste of the Wild has many different formulations with other protein bases. One of these options may yield better results.
  • A few people feel this diet is a little bit expensive.
  • Some owners expressed they prefer to feed a diet that includes nutritious whole grains in its recipe, feeling these ingredients are a great help in achieving optimal digestion.
  • Several owners indicated their dogs’ breath was very fishy when fed this diet on a consistent basis.
  • Potatoes, peas, and lentils are all included in this diet. These ingredients are of questionable nutritional quality for dogs.

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Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal & Chicken Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Deboned Turkey
    2. Turkey Meal (source of Glucosamine)
    3. Chicken Meal (source of Chondroitin Sulfate)
    4. Peas
    5. Dried Ground Potatoes

  • Type: Dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 417 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 34%
  • Fat: 16%
  • Fiber: 4%

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original is rich in flavorful proteins to encourage eating satisfaction in adult dogs. A grain-free recipe, Wellness CORE lists deboned turkey, turkey meal, and chicken meal as its primary ingredients, ensuring a generous serving of vital amino acids to support strong muscles.

This diet, rated one of the best tasting dry dog foods, has been fortified with glucosamine and chondroitin to promote vital joint health and help to stave off arthritis. The addition of salmon oil enriches this food with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to assist with coat and skin health as well as every dog’s daily energy levels.

Each piece of kibble has been treated with a probiotic supplement to encourage excellent digestion. Wellness CORE is free from by-products, wheat, corn, soy, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

Pros

  • Owners are pleased that this diet is completely free from fillers and by-products, giving them confidence this food is of excellent quality.
  • Dogs love the taste of this food. Even the pickiest of eaters looks forward to their meals, eating each morsel with hearty gusto.
  • Dogs with recurring food-related allergies found relief from their symptoms when fed an ongoing diet of Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original.
  • The coat and skin quality of dogs fed this diet was excellent. Their skin was well-hydrated, soft, and dandruff free, and their fur was thick, lustrous, and shiny.
  • Owners shared that their dogs’ stool quality was excellent when fed this diet regularly.

Cons

  • A few owners felt this diet was expensive.
  • Some dogs found this diet bland and were uninterested in eating it. A different Wellness offering may be more appealing for these dogs.
  • Several owners indicated they felt the kibble pieces in this diet were too big for small breed dogs to break down well.
  • Some owners prefer to feed a diet that is grain-inclusive, sharing they feel a food with whole grains assists their dogs with achieving ideal digestion.
  • In rare cases, some dogs became very gassy after eating this food. Most often, this can be attributed to a food sensitivity or too rapid a dietary change.

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Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Dog Food review

At a Glance

  • Top 5 Ingredients:
    1. Chicken
    2. Chicken Meal
    3. Peas
    4. Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid)
    5. Tapioca

  • Type: Freeze-dried raw and dry food
  • Lifestage: Adult
  • Calories: 518 kcal/cup
  • Protein: 37%
  • Fat: 20%
  • Fiber: 3%

Instinct Original Grain-Free is a high-quality diet that has been specifically formulated to appeal to dogs that are known to be picky eaters. This food lists free range chicken as its primary ingredient, a meat that is highly flavorful and full of vital amino acids to support a dog’s health needs.

A grain-free diet, fruits and vegetables are the main carbohydrates and have been included for their high fiber and antioxidant-rich properties. This diet is free from potato, corn, wheat, soy, by-products, artificial colors, and preservatives. It has been supplemented with a probiotic to encourage excellent digestion.

With its excellent nutritional composition and emphasis on incredible flavor, it’s not hard to see why dogs and their owners think Instinct Original Grain-Free is one of the best tasting dry dog foods.

Pros

  • Owners are very pleased with the price of this food. They feel it provides them with excellent nutrition for their dogs and great value.
  • Owners like that this food is very calorie dense. Dogs need smaller portions to achieve full eating satisfaction.
  • Dogs digest this food very well. They have fewer bowel movements, and their stool quality is excellent.
  • Dogs really enjoy the taste of this food. Even very picky eaters look forward to their every meal.
  • Dogs regularly fed this diet saw an increase in energy levels and a return of their playful nature.

Cons

  • A few dogs developed recurring flatulence when fed this diet on a consistent basis. This may be from too rapid a dietary change and may resolve with time.
  • A few owners indicated that they noticed some inconsistencies with this product. Kibble pieces varied in size from bag to bag.
  • Some dogs don’t like this food and won’t eat it. A different Instinct recipe may be a better option for those dogs.
  • Several owners indicated that they found this diet to be a little on the costly side.
  • This diet contains no prebiotics or probiotics to help with digestion.

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How to Choose a Dry Dog Food with the Best Taste

Some dogs that are fed a dry kibble diet can appear to be picky eaters, leaving their bowl of food untouched morning and evening and causing their loving owners great concern over their dog’s seeming disinterest in food. When a dog will not eat its food, there may be a number of reasons to blame.

Dogs, like their human counterparts, have their own unique tastes. For dogs that turn up their nose at their food, it is possible that the food is not appealing to the dog or that something within it doesn’t agree with their system. If a dog experiences discomfort or an unpleasant side effect such as inflammation or gas from eating a certain food or an ingredient in a kibble, they may simply try to avoid eating their meals until they are overwhelmed with hunger and absolutely must eat to survive.

However, taste and sensitivities to certain foods are not always the culprit behind picky eating. If owners supplement a dog’s meals with human food when the dog will not eat, it can establish a pattern that the dog will then exploit to get to eat something it much prefers. To prevent this from happening, dogs who refuse their meals should not be offered any treats or table scraps of human food until they have eaten the kibble that was offered to them.

Sometimes, failure to eat is a result of a more serious medical condition. This is typically noted when a normally hearty eater is no longer interested in their meals. Should an owner suspect a physical problem, it is best to schedule an appointment with a veterinarian for a wellness exam and assessment. One of the common symptoms seen in dogs with loss of appetite that may be experiencing more serious health problems include tooth pain.

If a veterinarian has ruled out any physical problems that could be leading to a dog refusing to eat its food, it may be time to consider switching its diet to something that will pique the dog’s interest more. The first step in this process is reading the label on the bag of dog food the dog is currently receiving to analyze the quality of the food.

Foods that are high in fillers, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives are poor quality. For some dogs, these kibbles are similar to junk food, and they eagerly lap them up. Others have little interest in them because they lack real nutritional value.

The best tasting dry foods for dogs that are picky eaters are always based on highly flavorful meat proteins. Select a diet that includes whole meats if possible, but meat meals are also a good choice. Carefully avoid any food that contains by-products or plant-based proteins.

Another important consideration is how much activity the dog receives. Dogs that are largely sedentary simply aren’t hungry, and unless their food is extremely tempting, they will not always eat at regularly scheduled mealtimes.

Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Dry Dog Foods with the Best Taste

Correct portions are vitally important to encourage picky eaters to consume their meals. Overfeeding is the number one reason dogs reject their food.

To determine how much of the best tasting dry dog food to feed a dog, use the suggested serving size on the bag as a starting point. For dogs that have not been eating their kibble for some time, it may be wise to include a little bit less in the dog’s dish to whet the dog’s appetite, adding a little bit more to the next meal to ensure the proper amount of calories.

A dog’s weight, appetite, and activity level will serve as helpful guides in determining correct portion sizes. In dogs with poor eating habits, weight gain is not an issue.

Dietary Requirements for the Best Tasting Dry Dog Foods

When considering a new diet for a picky eater, the most important thing to look for is flavor. However, not all food flavors are created equally.

The best tasting dry dog foods base their foundation on meats that are known to have intense flavors such as poultry, beef, or fish. These types of proteins are extremely attractive to dogs, thus stimulating their appetites. They are also nutritionally complete, providing dogs with many of the vitamins and nutrients they need to remain healthy and well.

By comparison, artificial flavors simulate the taste of meat through the inclusion of chemical agents. They are low in quality and can include such items as by-products. Though the taste of a high-quality protein may be implied, none of the actual benefits of eating a food that contains real meat are present. Always select a food with natural flavors from real meat over a food that is meat-flavored.

Some dogs do resist eating because of digestive discomfort. This is where dietary fiber can greatly help. Foods that list high-fiber fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in their ingredients list are primed to support fluid digestive processes, thus reducing the potential for gastrointestinal distress in dogs. Probiotics can also provide a great help by encouraging the development of healthy gut flora.

Healthy fats are also a critical component of any diet, providing dogs with energy and ensuring good coat and skin health. The best fats are sourced from animal origins and include chicken fat and salmon oil.

Any dry dog food for adult dogs should contain a minimum of 18 percent protein and 5 percent fat.

Things to Look for in the Best Tasting Dry Dog Food

Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in a good tasting dry dog food:

  • Whole meat or meat meal proteins heading up the ingredients list
  • Prepared without the addition of chemicals, flavorings, fillers, or mystery ingredients
  • Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
  • Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
  • Contains highly flavorful ingredients to encourage a hearty appetite

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