Best UK Dog Food Brands: A Review
The Best UK Dog Food Brands
Our tireless search for the best dog food continues with the essential list of top-quality chows produced in the United Kingdom!
Just like in any other market, the UK offers both premium and low-quality kibbles. The latter we already discussed in our worst UK dog food brands guide.
It turned out there are plenty of brands to stay away from, but there are also a bunch of quality options that offer proper nutrition and help your furry companion lead a healthy life. As you may already know, Alpha Paw is not affiliated with any of the brands featured in our dog food guides.
Before we begin our assessment, we do have our very own Alpha Paw dog food called Natural Vitality™ that is vet-approved and fast becoming the go-to brand for pet parents. Our chicken and sweet potato recipe is made to support all dog breeds for all of their life stages. Formulated with purposeful ingredients in accordance with AAFCO guidelines, our dog food is a natural source of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
Where We Looked for Top-Rated UK Dog Food
Our first stop on the quest to find the highest-quality kibbles in the UK was the vet clinic. We figured we should ground our research in scientific facts, so we asked veterinarians to tell us what constitutes the best dog chow and what should be considered a big no-no when it comes to the composition of the food.
Next in line were pet store workers: they saved us a bunch of time we would otherwise spend on market research by offering an exhaustive list of the most popular and the most/least expensive dog food brands. They also gave us their recommendations—their first-choice kibbles and brands whose names they don’t even dare to say out loud.
As a result of these long interviews with vets and pet store clerks, we compiled a list of around 50 brands produced and sold in the UK that promised to offer what is called “complete and balanced nutrition” for canines.
We didn’t stop there. The list was then handed to our UK friends and acquaintances in the dog-owner community. We invited them to sift through the list and scratch out brands their pooches tried but failed to earn their stamp of approval.
Following the last quality check, we were looking at a list of 28 dog food brands that deserved to be inspected further.
How We Chose the Best UK Dog Food Brands
Unlike the worst dry dog food, each brand on the final list had to meet specific requirements:
- High-quality kibble has to contain the proper amount of essential nutrients (protein, fat, carbs, vitamins, and minerals)
- The ingredients should be sourced from wholesome foods, keeping the amount of meat or vegetable by-products at a minimum
- The food should be preservative-, artificial color-, and artificial flavor-free
With that in mind, the following brands emerged as top-quality chows for dogs produced in the UK:
|The Best UK Dog Food Brands|
|Alpha Paw Picks||Brands||Rating|
|Best overall||Forthglade Chicken Grain-Free Cold-Pressed Natural Dry Dog Food||4.9|
|Runner-up||Harrington’s Grain-Free Turkey & Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food||4.7|
|Best on a budget||Arden Grange Adult – With Fresh Lamb & Rice||4.5|
|Best for senior dogs||Canagan Light / Senior Free-Range Chicken||4.8|
|Best for puppies||Pooch & Mutt Puppy Superfood||4.7|
Best Overall: Forthglade Chicken Grain-Free Cold-Pressed Natural Dry Dog Food
Image source: Amazon
Forthglade Chicken Grain-Free Cold-Pressed Natural Dry Dog Food won the crown for the best canine food in the United Kingdom!
This brand sources its high-quality, lean protein exclusively from chicken, which not only serves as a premium source of amino acids but also provides for easy digestion.
Carbohydrates in this chow are sourced from sweet potato, a healthy vegetable with a low glycemic index to make sure your furry pal’s blood sugar stays in check.
We loved the addition of dry apples, blueberries, pears, and cranberries in this food, knowing they are a premium source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found in the best dry dog food.
The last ingredient, but certainly not least, is salmon oil. Rich in Omega fatty acid, fish oil is a widely used ingredient that boosts the linoleic fatty acid found in meat and promotes the health of skin and coat.
|Crude Oils & Fats||12.0%|
Chicken 35% (20% freshly prepared chicken*, 15% dried ground chicken*), Sweet Potato (25.5%)*, Peas*, Chicken Fat*, Gelatin, Beet Pulp (source of FOS)*, Dried Fruit (2.3%: apples, pears, blueberries, cranberries), Salmon Oil (1%)*, Brewer’s Yeast, Dried Botanicals (0.6%: Fennel, Nettle, Dandelion), Mannan-oligosaccharide (prebiotic), Egg Powder*, Chicory Extract (source of FOS)*, Dried Seaweed, Camomile, Flaxseed Oil*, Glucosamine (300mg/kg), Chondroitin Sulphate (300mg/kg). Yucca.
Runner-up: Harrington’s Grain-Free Turkey & Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food
Image source: Harrington’s pet food
Harrington’s Grain-Free Turkey & Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food took the position of the second-best in our research. Don’t mind that, though—this is also a quality kibble that offers what is called complete and balanced nutrition!
Protein in this excellent kibble is sourced from turkey, offering a full-range of amino acids dogs need in their nutrition.
This grain-free chow is formulated with sensitive tummies in mind. The producer boosts the digestibility of the food further, using beetroot pulp and chicory root.
You won’t find any soy or dairy in this food—the ingredients list is limited to essentials only.
Turkey Meal (26%), Potato Flakes, Potato Starch, Peas (14%), Sweet Potato (11%), Poultry Fat, Beet Pulp, Linseed, Poultry gravy, Minerals, Linseed, Gravy, Dried Chicory (0.1%), Yucca (0.02%)
Best on a Budget: Arden Grange Adult – With Fresh Lamb & Rice
Image source: Arden Grange
Arden Grange Adult – With Fresh Lamb & Rice strikes the right balance between cost and quality, which is why this chow emerged as the best value for money dog food on our list.
Lamb is highly digestible, and many canines metabolize it with more ease than other types of meat. What’s more, they seem to find the aroma of lamb much more appealing than, say, poultry or pork!
This kibble is formulated to meet the nutritional needs of small and medium-sized breeds, but as our research has shown, big puppers that prefer smaller kibble pieces will also enjoy this premium pet food.
Lamb (lamb meat meal 29%, fresh lamb 5%), rice 26%, maize, refined chicken oil, beet pulp, whole dried egg, chicken digest, yeast, whole linseed, krill, minerals, prebiotic FOS, prebiotic MOS, yucca extract, glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, cranberries, nucleotides.
Best for Seniors: Canagan Light / Senior Free-Range Chicken
Image source: Canagan
Canagan Light / Senior Free-Range Chicken is all your golden-aged furry friend will ever need in terms of nutrition.
Canagan succeeds in what most senior dog food brands fail—maintain an exceptionally high level of crude protein while keeping the amount of fat and calories at a minimum.
Their metabolic rate slows down as dogs grow older, which is why this brand has opted for sweet potato as the source of slow-releasing energy that is at the same time easily digestible.
The thyroid function is promoted using seaweed as the source of iodine. The ingredients list also features a number of botanicals such as marigold and cranberry that promote white blood cell production and offer a steady source of vitamin C.
This is the latest addition to our extensive search for the best senior dry dog food that reveals some of the finest kibbles tailored especially for older furballs.
Freshly Prepared Deboned Free Range Chicken (27%), Dried Chicken (27%), Sweet Potato, Potato, Peas, Pea Protein, Alfalfa, Dried Egg (3%), Chicken Fat (1.5%), Chicken Gravy (1.5%), Minerals, Vitamins, Glucosamine (1700 mg/kg), MSM (1700 mg/kg), Chondroitin Sulphate (1200mg/kg), Apple, Carrot, Spinach, Psyllium, Seaweed, Fructooligosaccharides, Camomile, Peppermint, Marigold, Cranberry, Aniseed & Fenugreek.
Best for Puppies: Pooch & Mutt Puppy Superfood
Image source: Pooch and mutt
Pooch & Mutt Puppy Superfood emerged as the winner of the best UK-made food for young puppers.
This brand relies on the philosophy of “positive nutrition” found in the diet of athletes, which is why the producer decided to cut out all of the junk-food ingredients and stick to wholesome foods. As such, this food promotes not only the physical but also the mental health of a dog.
To make puppy age-appropriate food, this recipe combines chicken meat with several vegetables and botanical herbs, boosting the levels of vitamins A, E, and D3, all responsible for the health of skin and hair during the puppy’s growth.
While you’re here, check out these other best puppy food brands, maybe you’ll find one that matches your pup’s nutritional needs.
Dried Chicken (Min. 26%), Sweet Potato 19%, Potato, Pea Starch, Chicken Fat 11%, Chicken Gravy 5%, Peas, Salmon Oil 2%, Yeast Extract 1%, Chamomile 0.2%, Cranberry 0.155%, Seaweed, Fructo-oligosaccharides 0.15%, Mannan-oligosaccharides 0.15%, Glucosamine 0.15%, Blackcurrant 0.01%, Kale 0.005%, Spinach 0.005%, Rosemary 0.005%, Rosehip 0.005%, Pomegranate 0.005%, Yucca Schidigera 0.005%, Olive Extract 0.005%.
Another Five Top-Rated UK Dog Food Brands
In making this essential dog food list, we left out a number of brands that deserve a special mention.
Here are another five quality kibbles you can offer to your pooch and rest assured they will get everything they need nutrition-wise:
- Fish4Dogs Finest Salmon Adult
- Pure Pet Food – Wholesome Chicken
- Barking Heads Bowl Lickin’ Chicken Dry Food
- Lily’s Kitchen Adult Chicken & Duck Complete Dry Dog Food
- McAdams Free Range Chicken Small Breed Dog
Fish4Dogs Finest Salmon Adult
Image source: Fish4dogs
For all those fish-loving pooches out there, this producer offers a wide range of fish-based products that all fall into the category of complete and balanced nutrition.
Protein in Fish4Dogs Finest Salmon Adult comes from salmon, the finest marine source of healthy fatty acids and protein to ensure joint mobility, as well as skin and coat health. Carbs are sourced from potatoes and peas, both low glycemic index vegetables that reduce the risk of dietary sensitivity.
Fish4Dogs is so sure your canine will love their food that they have a money return policy in case your furry pal refuses to eat any of their chows. Neat, ha?
|Omega 3 Fats||1.9%|
Salmon (27%), Potato (21%), Pea Starch, Salmon Meal (11.9%), Salmon Oil (9.7%), Beet Pulp, Brewers Yeast, Sunflower Oil, Minerals.
Pure Pet Food – Wholesome Chicken
Image source: Pure pet food
If you think that your dog shouldn’t eat anything you yourself wouldn’t want to find on your plate, then Wholesome Chicken is the right choice.
This kibble is made from 100% human-grade ingredients for a complete and balanced diet for your pup.
No grain, dairy, or soy; just pure chicken meat, combined with the finest vegetables for full taste and palatability.
One of the reasons this food didn’t make it to the top of this list is its price. If you opt for it anyway, we guarantee you and your furry companion won’t regret it.
Chicken Breast & Thigh (60%), Carrot, Parsnip, Sweet Potato, Cabbage, Apple, Green Bean, Cranberry, Linseed, Chicory Root, Brewers Yeast, Vitamins and Minerals
Barking Heads Bowl Lickin’ Chicken Dry Food
Image source: Barking heads
If you have a picky eater at home, Barking Heads Dry Dog Food – Bowl Lickin’ Chicken might be a perfect choice.
This food is made from free-range chicken—our guess this is responsible for the amazing taste—and a bunch of garden veggies like carrots and tomatoes for improved digestibility.
It also features herbs like marjoram, oregano, and basil that further improve the taste and boast many health benefits. Made with dogs’ wellbeing in mind, this kibble is also artificial color-, flavor-, and preservative-free.
55% Chicken includes – Chicken (34%), Dried Chicken (21%), Brown Rice (19%), Oats, White Rice, Trout, Lucerne, Peas (4%), Sunflower Oil, Chicken Fat, Seaweed, Glucosamine 355mg/kg, Methylsulfonylmethane 355mg/kg, Chondroitin Sulphate 250mg/kg, Tomato (0.4%), Carrot (0.4%), Mixed Herbs (Marjoram, Basil, Oregano, Sage, Thyme, Parsley) (0.4%), Minerals
Lily’s Kitchen Adult Chicken & Duck Complete Dry Dog Food
Image source: Amazon
Lily’s Kitchen Adult Chicken & Duck Complete Dry Dog Food is another premium-quality chow made with dogs’ nutritional needs in mind.
This nutritionally complete food is made from freshly prepared 31% chicken and 8% duck meat to keep your pet’s health in tip-top condition.
Apart from bursting with meat, this kibble is packed with fruits and vegetables as the sources of essential micronutrients.
With this food, you can rest easy knowing that your furball will get enough Omega fatty acids that promote the health of skin, coat, brain, and heart.
|Crude Fats & Oils||11%|
42% Freshly Prepared: Chicken 31%, Duck 8%, Chicken Liver 3%, Sweet Potatoes 30%, Peas 6.5%, Lentils, Pea Protein, Flaxseeds, Eggs, Chicken Gravy, Calcium Carbonate, Salmon Oil, Fructooligosaccharides 2.5g/kg, Mannan Oligosaccharides 2.5g/kg, Apples, Vitamins & Chelated Minerals, Carrots, Spinach, Cranberries, Glucosamine 175mg/kg, Methylsulphonylmethane 175mg/kg, Chondroitin Sulphate 125mg/kg, Botanicals & Herbs: Alfalfa, Rosehips, Chickweed, Cleavers, Golden Rod, Nettles, Kelp, Celery Seeds, Milk Thistle, Dandelion Root, Burdock Root, Marigold Petals, Chicory Root
McAdams Free Range Chicken Small Breed Dog
Image source: Pet’s corner
This kibble for small breed canines is truly something different. Apart from using only whole, free-range chickens in production, McAdams Free Range Chicken Small Breed Dog is one of the rare dry dog brands that are not made using extrusion. Instead, raw ingredients are turned into kibble by baking and air-drying. Wow!
Joint supplements in this chow don’t come from added chemicals, either. The producer has instead opted for New Zealand green-lipped mussels as the source of chondroitin and glucosamine.
Sourcing essential micronutrients from such exotic ingredients, naturally, raises the price. When it comes to dry dog food, this brand is probably the most expensive of all, but it’s also one of the most nutritious.
Whole British Free Range Chicken (50%), Sweet Potato (22%), Pea Flour, Chicken Fat, Pea Fibre, Cellulose, Chicken Stock, Pea Protein, Salmon Oil, Yeast, Minerals, Vitamins, Marigold Meal, Green Lipped Mussel (0.1%), Prebiotics (FOS 0.1%, MOS 0.1%), Citrus Extract, Seaweed, Lentil Flour, Yucca, Spinach Powder, Tomato Pomace, Carrot Pomace (0.01%), Chamomile Flowers, Lavender Powder, Cranberries (0.01%), Rosemary Extract.
Best Dog Food Made in the UK: The Takeaway
Our research has shown that if you and your pooch are living in the UK, you’ll be able to find complete and balanced diets in kibble form easily.
An increasing number of UK dog food producers are moving away from traditional ways of producing pet food and are introducing novel practices that make sure ingredients are healthy and sourced in a sustainable manner.
By sticking to this guide, you are sure to give your best furry friend nutrition they need in the form of the most delicious dry canine food!
- “Estimated Metabolizable Energy Requirements of Adult Dogs.” Canine and Feline Nutrition, 2011, pp. 521–521., doi:10.1016/b978-0-323-06619-8.10043-x.