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What is the best Dry Dog Food?

I am asked this question constantly - ‘Which dry dog food do you recommend?’ Well, that is a very tricky question to answer - as for those who know me know not to ask this question! I usually skirt around the answer, then inevitably the next question will be - ‘What do you feed your dogs?’ And my answer to this is: ‘All my dog’s are fed a species appropriate diet’. And then the third question usually is ‘Oh so you feed dog food, so which one is best for my dog?’

I thought I’d let my fingers do the walking and I simply Googled ‘what is the best dry dog food in Australia’. I scanned the first 20 suggestions served to me - all different brands and products. And all of them claimed to be the very best option for my dog! All promised my dog would love the taste & that their products were all he would ever need to eat. How incredibly confusing! No wonder this is one of the most common questions people ask me because there is so much marketing, so many claims & promises that make it virtually impossible to cut through all that noise and make an informed choice!

So, that’s the burning question I am going to try to answer in this blog. Just to be clear -this Blog is NOT sponsored by any company or brand -This is NOT a paid list and there are no affiliate links - it’s just my (educated!) opinion!

Three Categories of Dry Dog Food

Category One - Freeze Dried Dog Food (the best option but the most expensive)

Category Two - Dehydrated Dry Dog food (the next best option but expensive)

Category Three - Ultra Processed Extruded Dog Food (Kibble) (the lowest nutritional option but the cheapest)

Freeze Dried Dog Food

Freeze-dried food is made by removing moisture from the food in a freeze dryer. As the name suggests … the freeze dryer works by sucking the moisture out at very cold temperatures. In fact, it’s really more of a vacuum process than a drying process.

First the food is frozen, so the water turns to ice. Then, in the vacuum chamber, the right combination of cold and pressure turns the ice directly into water vapor (or gas). This process removes the moisture … but the structure of the food remains intact. In other words, the food is still raw … but with one big difference – almost no moisture. Most freeze-dried dog foods show around 5%-7% moisture in the Guaranteed Analysis. That compares to 70% or more in frozen raw food.

Dehydrated Dry Dog Food

The biggest difference is that when you buy freeze-dried food, it’s still raw. That’s not really true of dehydrated or air-dried foods. Freeze drying may sound the same as air drying, drum drying or dehydrating, but they’re different.

The non freeze-drying technologies are similar ways of removing moisture from food … but they all use heat. The manufacturers claim the food isn’t technically cooked, because they use low temperatures. But it does get slightly cooked. So the structure of the food changes … and there is more nutrient loss.

Dehydrated foods are still much better than kibble. They’re less processed and cooked at lower temperatures so they suffer less nutrient loss. If freeze-dried isn’t in your budget, dehydrated or air-dried foods can be a decent option.

Ultra Processed Extruded Kibble

This style of food production uses predominantly carbohydrates in some form or other (yup! Grain Free Kibble uses carbs too!) to make up the majority of ingredients. The mix of cheap carbs, low quality meat meals and meat digest is ground into a mushy paste and extruded into the nugget shapes we recognise as ‘dog food’. They are then cooked at really high temperatures to kill pathogens and bacteria.

I’m not really going to go into these types of products here -please reference some other Blogs - needless to say we are not advocates for ANY brand of Dry Kibble but we have listed two of the brands that are (in our opinion) better than the majority out there.

If you would like to learn how to read the ingredient panels on your dogs’ foods, we have created this short Online course which goes in depth into the convoluted labeling laws. it covers everything from understanding how much of an ingredient is in the product, right through to Prescription and Breed Specific product labeling.

Freeze Dried Dog Food - Our Top Two Picks


Approximate Price (in Australia) $80 for 1 kg

When rehydrated, 1kg makes 4kg (no info on website about re-hydration ratios, so logic says it’s a 1:4 ratio!


Approximate Price (in Australia) $80 for 1 kg

Dehydrated - Our Top Three Picks


Approximate Price (in Australia) $99 for 1 kg

To serve Rehydrate 1/4 cup of water to 1/4 cup of WOOF


Approximate Price (in Australia) $69 for 1 kg

To serve Rehydrate 1/4 cup of water to 1/4 cup of ZIWI


Approximate Price (in Australia) $63 for 1 kg

To serve Rehydrate 1/4 cup of water to 1/4 cup of EUREKA

Ultra Processed Extruded Kibble


Approximate Price (in Australia) $79 for 1 kg


Approximate Price (in Australia) $32 for 1 kg

So, there you have our top rated Dry Dogs foods in the three categories - Freeze Dried, Air Dried and Extruded Kibble. Check out our Reading Pet Food Labels course and learn how you can make better choices no matter what type of food or style of feeding you choose for your dog!

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