• Smart Bark

The Best Dog Foods UK for 2022 : Tested & Reviewed

Updated: 3 hours ago

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The most asked question by dog lovers everywhere - 'Which is the best dog food ?'

Clearly there isn't a simple answer. With so many factors to consider, it's impossible to pick one dog food brand that would be the best choice for all dogs.

It will depend on your preferences as much as your dog's. Many dog lovers swear by a raw diet, others love the convenience of kibble, whilst dogs with allergies and sensitive stomachs can benefit from tailored dog food.

There are also new options to consider including insect-based dog food, cold pressed and air-dried foods.

Dog eating dog food

What is undeniable, is that the dog food market is changing rapidly and we as customers are the ultimate winners.

When was the last time you went to a Travel Agent to book a holiday ? Bought a music CD to listen to one song or waited for a film to come out on DVD ?

You no longer need to trudge back to your car with a 15kg bag of kibble. There's a whole range of companies revolutionising the face of dog food in the UK, and we've included the best of canine cuisine in our round up.



How to Buy the Best Food for Your Dog

Our Picks of the The Best Dog Food 2022

1. Best Raw Dog Food - Paleo Ridge

2. Best Dry Food - Forthglade Cold Pressed

3. Best Air Dried Dog Food - Pure Pet Food

4. Best Fresh Dog Food - Butternut Box

5. Best Wet Dog Food - Forthglade

6. Best Insect Dog Food - Percuro

How We Chose

How to Buy the Best Food For Your Dog

The most important thing to consider is your dog's eating habits. Do they have allergies ? Are they a picky eater ? How much do they eat ?

The second thing you need to decide is what type of food would YOU prefer to serve ? When you know this, it becomes easier to decide which brand will fit best.

Your home storage and the size of your pocket will also play a part in ultimately determining which food will suit your dog and you best.

Bear in mind all these answers as you look through our recommended brands.

6 dogs with their tongues out

We've done all the ground work for you. We've tested their products with the help of a whole variety of dogs from easy-to-please Labradors to fussy & downright difficult Cockapoos and their patient, dog loving owners.

We've researched their nutritional content and health claims to curate a shortlist. It's worth noting, as non-scientists, we've used ratings from All About Dog Food for our nutritional comparisons.

We evaluate some more traditional dog food companies alongside a host of on-line brands powered by digital technology to deliver their innovative and often customised dog food directly to your door.

With money saving subscriptions, excellent customer service, intuitive websites and great offers - what's not to love ?

Only the best of the best made it to our list.

Our Picks of the The Best Dog Foods 2022

1. Best Raw Dog Food

Paleo Ridge

Reasons to Buy :

+ Best for fussy dogs

+ Ideal for sensitive tummies

+ Great for dogs with allergies

+ Suits dog lovers with freezer space

Reasons to Avoid :

- If you have a lack of freezer space

Behind the Brand: Multi-award winning raw dog food business.

Range: Classic, Paleo Plus, Classic Mini, DIY, Hampers, Supplements & Treats

Variety: Classic -16, Paleo Plus - 9 recipes

Price: £- Classic, £££ - Paleo Plus

One of the reasons that Paleo Ridge is our top pick is because they are the most accredited raw dog food manufacturer in an expanding market.

Paleo Ridge raw dog food

Voted Best Raw Dog Food in the UK, their range offers complete alongside complementary raw dog foods for both experienced and those of you new to raw feeding.

All their ingredients are human grade and this is reflected in their exceptionally high All About Dog Food nutritional rating of 91-99%.

Their website is friendly and intuitive, removing the stress from changing dog food.

It's worth noting that for beginners, Paleo Ridge take the guesswork out of the move to raw. A well thought through 'Switch to Raw Hamper' contains everything you need.

Their simple online 'Dog Food Calculator' suggests how much to feed based on your dog's weight. You have a choice to either purchase the food in a variety bundle (hamper) or select recipes individually.

The bonus of buying a hamper (or bundle of products) instead of individual trays, is the benefit of free delivery, so they work out great value for money.

You can select from their original Classic range or opt for the Paleo Plus range which includes 5% natural superfoods, but the price reflects this.

We would recommend Paleo Ridge based on their high quality and nutritious raw food, transition bundles for those new to raw, wide range of proteins, ease of ordering, customer service and of course their reviews and industry awards.

If you would like more information about Paleo Ridge - checkout our deep-dive into raw dog food where we test and analyse Paleo Ridge, Bella & Duke, ProDog Raw and Natures Menu - Best Raw Dog Food Review


2. Best Dry Dog Food

Forthglade Natural Dry Cold Pressed Dog Food

Reasons to Buy :

+ Best for Convenience

+ Long shelf life

+ Kind to your pocket

+ No fridge/freezer space required

Reasons to Avoid :

- Picky dogs tend to prefer wet foods

Behind the Brand: 50 years worth of expertise in Pet Nutrition

Range: Dry & wet food, treats & dental chews

Variety: Turkey, Duck & Chicken

Price: £

Kibble is still an extremely popular choice with many dog lovers. There's no denying that it is the king of convenience.

If you are going to feed kibble, can we suggest choosing the best you can afford and while you're at it - get it delivered!

Cold pressed kibbles are still relatively new on the scene but growing in popularity rapidly. They have all the advantages of more conventional dry foods but without the potentially damaging high temperatures associated with the extrusion methods.

Forthglade cold pressed dog food

Forthglade's cold pressed dog food is grain free and available in several sizes from a 'try it and see' 1kg bag , to a big 'bumper value' 18kg.

All About Dog Food rate Forthglade Cold Pressed at 82% which is an excellent nutritional rating for a dried dog food.

This compares to around the 70% mark for popular dry brands such as Wainwrights, James Wellbeloved, Harringtons and Lily's Kitchen.

The beauty of choosing a dry food from Forthglade is not only are they a very experienced brand but their extensive range of complementary wet foods make tasty toppers (although this will bump up the price of course).

We loved the option of a 1kg trial size (nobody wants a 18kg bag left if your dog turns their nose up at it).

Labrador testing forthglade dried dog food

Our Labrador Taste Tester Otis (nose & paw pictured), definitely preferred Forthglade to his existing brand when offered both.

Our tester found transition straightforward with no issues, but did comment that the individual pieces were quite large and crunchy compared to their usual brand so wondered how puppies would manage.

We know it's a small point but out of all the dry foods we've tested, we found the Forthglade bags the easiest to reseal and keep their food fresh.

Each bag has a durable velcro strip which our testers loved especially and this could be an important consideration, especially if you're buying a 18kg bag!

The only downside we could see when testing was the limited range of recipes, only three proteins - turkey, duck and chicken. But this is a fairly minor point.

Forthglade offer a Subscribe and Save option on-line, so you can have your dog food delivered to your door regularly with a 10% saving and free deliveries (on orders over £30) - we simply love this stress free option.

Forthglade are one of the most premium, but affordable dog food brands on the market. So if you're looking for a high quality kibble from a UK company, which is easy on the pocket, we would recommend Forthglade's Cold Pressed food.

For 15% off the entire Forthglade range (excluding taster packs) enter SMARTBARK15 at checkout.


3. Best Air Dried Dog Food

Pure Pet Food

Reasons to Buy :

+ Ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs

+ Great if you have limited freezer space

+ Long shelf life

+ Customised for your dog

Reasons to Avoid :

- If you're looking for fresh dog food

Behind the Brand: Innovative air-dried food customised for your dog

Range: On-line tailored food and a capsule range in Pets at Home

Recipes: 7 recipes

Price: £

Pure Pet Food, dog food packaging

We think that Pure offers a healthier alternative to kibble for those dog lovers who don’t necessarily want to switch their dog to pricier fresh, raw or home cooked food.

Pure is air dried dog food which is some seriously clever stuff.

The air drying process acts as a natural form of preservation meaning that no preservatives or harmful high temperatures are needed.

All the Pure recipes are minimally processed and each ingredient is finely chopped to ensure they're super digestible.

The food is then gently air-dried at a low temperature so the moisture is removed but the food retains it's all important nutrients.

Pure Pet Food in a bowl

You simply add water, stir and serve!

It’s widely understood that wet dog food is generally more appetising, so if you have a picky pup, chances are Pure will be more appealing than kibble.

Pure's recipes rank at the top of their nutritional scale with an All About Dog Food rating of 71% -93%.

Because it's completely customised to your dog, their food can take account of any underlying health issues and allergies.

So it's extremely popular with owners of dogs suffering from ailments and sensitive stomachs.

Pure offer an online subscription service, simply take the 3 minute quiz to get a personalised meal plan for your pooch.

Pure certainly ticks a lot of boxes for us including easy storage, delivered to your door and most importantly the option to tailor the food to meet your dog's nutritional requirements.

By selling directly to you, Pure have been able to keep their costs down so it is one of the best value dog foods to feature in our review.

If your dog suffers from skin issues, allergies or digestive problems, we would recommend taking a closer look at Pure dog food as a great option for food-sensitive fur babies.

Click for 30% off your first box

If you would like more information about Pure Pet Food - checkout our deep-dive article - Pure Pet Food Review : Healthy, Tailored & Delivered


4. Best Fresh Dog Food

Butternut Box

Reasons to Buy :

+ Made from human quality meat & veg

+ Ideal for fussy dogs

+ Perfect for dogs with sensitive tummies

+ It's customised to suit your dog

Reasons to Avoid :

- Can be on the pricey side

- If you have limited freezer space

Behind the Brand: The leading UK and European direct-to-consumer fresh dog food brand,

Range: Fresh food, treats and biscuits

Variety: 10 recipes including a vegetarian and vegan options

Price: £££

Butternut Box dog food ingredients

Personalised, subscription dog food appeals not only to those dogs with sensitive tummies and allergies but busy dog lovers who want stress-free home delivery.

Butternut Box are the leading fresh dog food brand in the UK and definitely part of the dog food revolution.

Offering an online subscription service, you simply take a short quiz about your dog.

Butternut Box use all your information to offer recipes and delivery timescales based on your dogs needs (and your home storage).

Their recently expanded range of 9 recipes are hypoallergenic and made with human quality meat and veg. The range includes a plant based and a vegetarian option alongside the more traditional meat based selection.

With an All About Dog Food nutritional rating of 94%, you'll struggle to find a more nutritious dog food.

If you are looking for a top quality fresh dog food, personalised to suit your dog and delivered to your door then it has to be Butternut Box.

Click for 25% off your first two boxes

If you would like to know more about Butternut Box, why read our Best Tailored Dog Food Review which tests and compares the rivals - Different Dog, Pure Pet Food and Tails.com


5. Best Wet Dog Food

Forthglade Complete Grain Free Wet Food

Reasons to Buy :

+ Convenience

+ Fussy pups

+ Long shelf life

Reasons to Avoid :

- Pricier than most dried options

Behind the Brand: 50 years worth of expertise in Pet Nutrition

Range: Adult, Senior & Puppy

Variety: 7 recipes grain free & 6 recipes wholegrain

Price: ££

Forthglade wet dog food range

Forthglade offer two ranges of complete wet food - Grain Free and Wholegrain.

Their Complete Grain Free wet food was named the Best Wet Dog Food in 2022 in Your Dog Magazine, voted for by readers.

The first thing to say is that all their recipes regardless of whether they are grain free or wholegrain, are formulated to include 75% salmon, lamb, duck, beef or turkey. This is an exceptionally high meat content.

Their wholegrain range is formulated with brown rice which is a great source of fibre and highly digestible. Both ranges have a very high average nutritional rating of 91% on All About Dog Food.

Whilst the adult range is broader, Forthglade do offer recipes aimed at puppy and senior dogs. You can opt to buy the trays individually or in variety packs.

When testing, our testers preferred the trays to traditional tins as it is simpler to portion the food, they also liked the paste-like consistency and the aroma.

The only downside was that sometimes we found that the plastic seal had been broken so the food was mouldy (although this was rare, we'd suggest checking the trays before storing them).

We recommend both the grain free and wholegrain Forthglade wet foods because customers clearly love them, they're a trusted brand with a high nutritional rating and their food is widely available.

Additionally you can go on-line to see their full range and set up a money saving subscription for regular deliveries.

For 15% off the entire Forthglade range (excluding taster packs) enter SMARTBARK15 at checkout.


6. Best Insect Dog Food


Reasons to Buy :

+ Perfect eco-friendly option

+ Great for convenience

+ Long shelf life

Reasons to Avoid :

- Pricier than other dried options

Behind the Brand: The first low carbon paw-print, next-generation pet food

Range: Dried food and treats

Varieties: 2 options for dogs and 2 for puppies

Price: ££

Percuro insect protein dog food

This is the only dog food that we are recommending that Smart Bark hasn't tested.

Testing is in the pipeline and this article will be updated with our findings in due course.

So why are we recommending an untested dog food you may ask?

Well, we share our planet with 500 million companion cats and dogs. That's a lot of dog lovers out there.

However, did you know that they consume an Earth-shattering 20% of the world’s meat and fish? Percuro is a low carbon, next-generation pet food which is ethically farmed and formulated from insect proteins.

So with these credentials, Percuro definitely deserves a place in our review.

Created with food scientists and approved by vets, it meets all FEDIAF guidelines, (these guidelines ensure that a dog food is complete and balanced).

All About Dog Food gives Percuro an impressive nutritional rating of 79%.

It's infused with hemp seed oil and chamomile as well as vitamins, minerals, and vegetables to be nutritious and hypoallergenic.

Whilst small, their range includes adult and puppy foods with both large and small breed options. Available in 2kg, 6kg and 10kg bags. Delivered to your door, Percuro offer a subscribe and save option with free delivery.

We recommend Percuro for eco-friendly dog lovers looking for healthy, planet saving food.

We will update this review as soon as we've tested Percuro dog food - we can however confirm that their dog treats went down a storm!


How We Choose

We decided to start off our hunt for the best dog food by analysing top-selling brands and exploring a whole range of companies that we felt were revolutionising the face of dog food in the UK.

Our criteria for including brands was based on -

💛 High nutritional value

💛 Extensive range

💛 Offer to customers

💛 Home delivery

💛 Customisation options

💛 Price

Over the years Smart Bark had already fully tested, analysed and reviewed several raw dog foods and tailored dog foods in addition to having extensive experience of dried and wet dog foods.

We decided that with such a broad range of foods on offer to customers, we would pick the top food in each category - wet, dried, fresh, air dried and raw. We also felt that Insect Protein dog food with it's planet saving credentials deserved a place in our review.

From our shortlist, we made sure we (and our team of Canine Testers) had tested the brands featured to check all claims and add some 'real world' feedback.

Almost all our products are sent to us by the companies involved and almost always as a result of our request. We only review the products we think are worth reviewing.

Thank you for reading our article and we hope you've found a dog food to suit your dog and you in our round up of the Best Dog Foods in the UK for 2022.