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9 Worst Dry Dog Food Brands in the UK 2024


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Dog eating dry dog food

Hey! You might be wondering about the dry food brands in the UK, right? You might also be confused about which brands to avoid. Well, if this is the case then you have stumbled upon the right place. This article is solely based on the worst dry dog food brands that you can find in the UK.

When it comes to feeding your dog, you need to take proper care of it. Not only this, but you also have to be aware of the trends in food, you must also know which food is appropriate for your dog and you can tell all of this by using the help of a professional.

However, in this post, I have written about the worst dry dog food brands that you must avoid at any cost. This is based on reviews of these foods along with some personal life encounters of my own through friends. Let’s get started!

What is dry dog food?

Another name for dry dog food is kibble. It is a type of dog food that is in a dry and solid form and is made by combining various ingredients including meat, vegetables, grains, and vitamins. Then the mixture goes through a process named extrusion and then gets converted into small bites.

What are the ingredients that you must avoid in dry dog foods?

The first question while avoiding the worst brands pops up is that what are the criteria of judgement? What are the ingredients? Well, there is a whole list of ingredients that are not good for your dog as they do not provide them with the health benefits that they need. I have gathered some of them below. Let’s have a quick look!

1) Fillers: Corn, wheat, and soy are often used as fillers and they may not offer significant nutritional value and can be difficult for some dogs to digest.

2) Artificial Preservatives: Studies suggest that BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), and ethoxyquin are artificial preservatives that are sometimes used in dog food and they are to be avoided because of health concerns they have. 

3) Artificial Colors and Flavors: Get this fact clear that dogs don’t require any artificial colors and flavors. Why they should be avoided? They should be avoided as they may be linked to allergic reactions or sensitivities.

4) By-Products: There is a major difference that you must know meat by-products or poultry by-products are less desirable than whole meats as they can often include the less desirable parts. 

5) Artificial Sweetener: Some artificial sweeteners are toxic to dogs and they should be avoided at every cost. However, some foods might have sweeteners that have some health benefits, so do your homework before purchasing.

6) High Levels of Salt and Sugar: Too much addition of salt and sugar can contribute to several health issues in dogs, including problems like obesity and diabetes.

7) Generic Animal Fat: In this ingredient, the sources of fat should be specified (e.g., chicken fat, beef fat) rather than labeled as the most used phrase “animal fat,” which can be of lower quality, so beware!

8) Propylene Glycol: This chemical is sometimes used to retain moisture in dog food but it has been a subject of concern due to the potential toxicity that is linked with it.

9) Corn Syrup: This is another bad ingredient as high fructose corn syrup or other sweeteners may be added to dog food but when it comes to providing nutritional value, they offer very little and at the same time contribute to unnecessary sugar content.

10) Artificial Emulsifiers: These include the ingredients like propylene glycol and carrageenan along with some other artificial emulsifiers. They might used by the brand for texture but they often create digestive problems.

Dry dog food and their effects

Dog not eating his food and women exploring why

Now that you know the ingredients that are not suitable for your dog in any way, you must avoid them and opt for better natural alternatives. One question that might be bothering you would be the effect of dry dog foods on your dog’s health. Well, it is a matter of debate. However, I can provide you with a list of the impacts of the usage of both the worst and best dry dog foods in the market. They can provide your dog with the best possible nutrients or they can destroy the health of your pup. So, do read the points below:

Impacts of worst Dry Dog Foods:

  • They may contribute to poor digestion and gastrointestinal issues.
  • They often contain low-quality fillers that provide minimal nutritional value.
  • The high levels of artificial additives may lead to allergies or sensitivities.
  • Excessive salt and sugar content can contribute to obesity and diabetes.
  • The use of artificial preservatives may pose health risks.

Impacts of Best Dry Dog Foods:

  • They support overall health with balanced and nutritional ingredients.
  • They provide essential nutrients for optimal canine nutrition.
  • They promote healthy digestion and reduce the risk of gastrointestinal issues.
  • They usually have no artificial additives, colors, and flavors.
  • There are minimal levels of fat, protein, and carbohydrates for the dog’s life stage.

The criteria of reviews

I can tell that choosing the dog food for your pet is a difficult process to go through. You have to be sure about so many things and at the same time, you also need professional advice from vets. Walking into the store can be a tough process as well but to make this tiring process easier for you, I have done some research on several brands along with the help of a few friends who also rated these brands. Presenting you with the worst brands is not a very joyous thing to do but this is something that you need to know.

So, for this research, a lot of site reviews were also needed which made me do a lot of work, but it was worth it. Some veterinary help was also sought while reviewing the worst possible foods ever as they have the most knowledge about these subjects. One tip that I would like to add for you is that never underestimate the power of site reviews. Before making any serious decision regarding your dog’s food, do check the credibility of the brands through the voice of their customers.

Worst dry dog food brands

Here is a list of the worst dry dog food brands that you can find in the UK. In the reviews, you can find the major faulty ingredients highlighted along with the list of actual ingredients that are written on the packaging.

Ol Roy by Walmart:

OI Roy Dog Food packed


This dry dog food lacks quality protein sources and it relies on ground corn, soybean meal, ground wheat, and meat meal. With corn as the leading ingredient, it signals a high concentration. The inclusion of citric acid as a preservative may lead to tooth and digestive problems. Because of these, this product does not meet the suitable requirements needed for your dog’s good health. So, do consider alternative dog foods with healthier protein options for your furry friend’s well-being.


Ground yellow corn, soybean meal, meat and bone meal, poultry by-product meal, animal fat (preserved with BHA and citric acid), corn gluten meal, natural flavor, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, vitamin E supplement, manganous oxide, biotin, D-calcium, pantothenate, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), sodium selenite, riboflavin supplement, calcium iodate, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement, cobalt carbonate.

Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Grilled Steak & Vegetable Flavor:

Pedigree-Adult-Complete-Nutrition-Grilled-Steak-Vegetable-Flavor dog food packed

Lots of risks:

Pedigree Adult is a brand that faces unpopularity among dog owners, with numerous complaints. Pet owners have reported canine vomiting and intestinal issues after consumption of this good. Notably, Pedigree acknowledged the presence of pig hair in their kibble. So, while considering these concerns, it’s advisable to steer clear of this product for your canine companion. Opt for alternatives that prioritize your dog’s well-being.


Ground Whole Grain Corn, Meat And Bone Meal (Source Of Calcium), Corn Gluten Meal, Animal Fat (Source Of Omega 6 Fatty Acids [Preserved With Bha & Citric Acid]), Soybean Meal, Natural Flavor, Chicken By-Product Meal, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Brewers Rice, Ground Whole Grain Wheat, Choline Chloride, Dried Peas, Dl-Methionine, Natural Grilled Steak Flavor, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Monocalcium Phosphate, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Tryptophan, Red 40, Yellow 6, Dried Carrots, Blue 2, Yellow 5, Copper Sulfate, D-Calcium Pantothenate [Source Of Vitamin B5], Sodium Selenite, Niacin [Vitamin B3], Potassium Iodide, Riboflavin Supplement [Vitamin B2], Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [Vitamin B6], Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

Bakers by Purina (Dry):

Bakers by Purina-Dry Dog food packed


Bakers is a brand that is crafted by Purina and it is their widely recognized brand. It graces supermarket shelves enticing dog owners with its glossy blue allure. However, the exterior shine doesn’t quite mirror the actual things that are a part of its content. Problems below mentioned make a brand risky to opt for, and trust me, it is better to go for better alternatives if there is any doubt.


The bulk of Bakers consists of unspecified cereals, leaving you to ponder: would you consume something with unspecified main ingredients? No, you certainly will not. This ambiguity allows the use of the cheapest grains during production without disclosure. The protein content stems from meat and animal derivatives, suggesting it includes less desirable parts like guts and feet, providing minimal protein.


Adding to the concerns are the dreaded E Numbers—up to 13 of them! These synthetic additives are known for their effects on humans and serve as flavor enhancers and preservatives. For a more transparent and nutritious choice, explore dog foods with clearer ingredient lists.


Cereals (wholegrains 55%*), Meat and animal derivatives (15%**), Derivatives of vegetable origin, Oils, and fats, Vegetable protein extracts, Glycerol, Vegetables(0,3% dried pea and 0,3% dried carrot), Minerals, Propylene glycol.)

Purina Alpo Dry:

Purina Alpo Dry Dog Food  Box

No Reliability:

As a low-end brand from the same company as mentioned above, Alpo’s label reveals grains as its primary ingredients which are wheat bran, soybean meal, and whole grain cereals (corn, wheat.) Animal protein typically ranks 4th or 5th on the list, often in the form of by-products or meat and bone meal. Alpo again follows the trend of its mother brand and lacks transparency by not specifying the animal source used. For a more wholesome choice, consider dog foods with higher-quality ingredients that prioritize your pet’s nutritional needs.


Ground yellow corn, corn germ meal, beef and bone meal, soybean meal, beef fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, pork and bone meal, egg, and chicken flavor, natural flavor, corn gluten meal, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, minerals [zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate], sodium selenite, natural grill flavor, vitamins [vitamin E supplement, niacin (vitamin B-3), vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate (vitamin B-5), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B-6), vitamin B-12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B-1), vitamin D-3 supplement, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B-2), menadione sodium bisulfite complex (vitamin K), folic acid (vitamin B-9), biotin (vitamin B-7), ], dl-methionine, l-lysine monohydrochloride, l-tryptophan, red 40, yellow 5, calcium carbonate, blue 2, yellow 6, garlic oil.

Purina Dog Chow Complete Adult with Real Chicken Dog Food:

Purina-Dog-Chow Food Brand

No reliability:

When you check out the ingredients of this brand, you’ll quickly get an idea of what you are dealing with. The first one, whole-grain corn, can be tough for pups to digest. If you regularly give them this food, it might lead to digestive issues later on, so nobody is going to recommend such food. The second ingredient is an unidentified meat source which leaves a lot to the imagination. Be careful with the bone meal; using too much in your dog’s diet can cause constipation, possibly resulting in surgery.


Whole grain corn, meat and bone meal, corn gluten meal, beef fat naturally preserved with mixed-tocopherols, soybean meal, poultry by-product meal, chicken, egg and chicken flavor, whole grain wheat, animal digest, salt, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, mono and dicalcium phosphate, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, choline chloride, MINERALS [zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite], VITAMINS [Vitamin E supplement, niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Vitamin B-12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Vitamin D-3 supplement, riboflavin supplement (Vitamin B-2), menadione sodium bisulfite complex (Vitamin K), folic acid (Vitamin B-9), biotin (Vitamin B-7)], Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 40, Blue 2, garlic oil. E-4101.

Kibbles ‘n Bits Original Savory Beef & Chicken Flavors Dry Dog Food:


Bad ingredients:

You must know the fact that your dog’s digestive system struggles with corn, and overindulging in corn-based foods can harm their health. Watch out for Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) used in some dog foods—it’s linked to kidney damage, especially in large quantities. Kibbles ‘n Bits is high in carbohydrates and by-products which makes it not the best for your furry friend’s health. Wheat, present in the top five ingredients, has similar drawbacks to corn, so this again is a major drawback. Compared to other dry foods, this formula falls short in protein and fat content while packing in too many carbs.

All Ingredients:

Corn, Soybean Meal, Beef and bone Meal, Whole Wheat, Animal Fat (BHA Used as Preservative), Corn Syrup, Wheat Middlings, Water Sufficient For Processing, Animal Digest (Source Of Chicken Flavor), Propylene Glycol, Salt, Hydrochloric Acid, Potassium Chloride, Peas, Caramel Color, Sorbic Acid (Used as a Preservative), Choline Chloride, Sodium Carbonate, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganous Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin a Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin), Dl-Methionine, Calcium Sulfate, Carrots, Green Beans, Wheat Flour, Titanium Dioxide (Color), Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 40, BHA (Used as a Preservative), Blue 1.

Iams ProActive Health Adult MiniChunks Dry Dog Food:



In IAMS ProActive dry food, you will find a mix of minerals and vitamins, but they come with synthetic proteins, which in my view is confusing. The term “chicken by-product meal” signals leftovers from slaughtered chickens that are not used by humans. While it is affordable, many dog owners opt for this out of necessity. If possible, consider investing a bit more in higher-quality dog food or preparing meals at home.

Not suitable for allergies:

Avoid this product for dogs with existing allergy issues, as it may cause or worsen allergies. Corn provides limited nutritional value and sparks controversy in dog nutrition, a sentiment shared with beet pulp, listed as the fifth ingredient. Prioritize your dog’s well-being with thoughtful food choices.


Chicken, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken By-Product Meal, Dried Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Flaxseed, Caramel Color, Potassium Chloride, Carrots, Choline Chloride, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Fructooligosaccharides, Calcium Carbonate, Brewers Dried Yeast, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, L-Carnitine, Sodium Selenite, Mixed Tocopherols (a preservative), Ascorbic Acid, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, Niacin Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (source of vitamin B2), Inositol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Rosemary Extract, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid.

Purina Beneful Healthy Puppy Dry Dog Food with Real Chicken:


Not too good:

While this product boasts chicken protein proudly here we are, finding bad spots. It is crucial to note that the inclusion of unfavorable ingredients like corn and grain is considered among the worst for dog food. By-products take a prominent spot on the list, and synthetic protein substitutes the natural kind.


Artificial dyes are also part of the formula. Beware of soybeans as they can pose a significant risk to your pups which can lead to improper digestion and severe bloating. So, always opt for dog food with better ingredients to ensure your furry friend’s well-being.


Chicken, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, barley, whole grain wheat, rice, soybean meal, beef tallow preserved with mixed-tocopherols, poultry by-product meal, glycerin, egg and chicken flavor, mono and dicalcium phosphate, fish oil, natural flavor, salt, calcium carbonate, oatmeal, dried peas, dried carrots, potassium chloride, iron oxide (color), MINERALS [zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite], VITAMINS [Vitamin E supplement, niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Vitamin B-12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Vitamin D-3 supplement, riboflavin supplement (Vitamin B-2), menadione sodium bisulfite complex (Vitamin K), folic acid (Vitamin B-9), biotin (Vitamin B-7)], choline chloride, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, DL-Methionine.  K409318.

Kal Kan Complete Adult Dog Food:

Kal-Kan-Complete-Adult-Dog-Food review

Lack of quality:

When it comes to the quality of the ingredients that are used, Kal Kan is a brand that falls short. By-products dominate the first five ingredients in the list along with corn taking the lead. Large quantities of artificial proteins are evident, especially with meat and bone meal listed as the second ingredient. The lack of clarity on the specific meat used raises concerns about potential allergies.


Ground yellow corn, meat and bone meal, soybean meal, ground wheat, chicken by-product meal, animal fat (preserved with BHA and citric acid, source of Omega-6 Fatty Acids), wheat middlings, corn gluten meal, natural flavor, salt, dl-methionine, potassium chloride, choline chloride, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, Vitamin E supplement, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, niacin, manganous oxide, Vitamin A supplement, biotin, d-calcium pantothenate, Vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), riboflavin supplement, calcium iodate, folic acid, cobalt carbonate, Vitamin D3 supplement.

Precautions while choosing brands for puppies

When it comes to your little cute puppies, you need to opt for food that is high in quality. You have to go for it at every cost. Certain issues are prevalent in puppies and are linked to the consumption of dangerous food ingredients. So, always keep this thing in mind for them, you have to choose the food that is healthy and at the same time is very easy to digest.

Precautions while choosing brands for senior dogs

When it comes to senior dogs, you have to opt for foods that are well-balanced and have good amounts of fiber. When it comes to older canines, they also need strict precautions as they are losing muscle because of their age. You should also be opting for food that is low in fat so that you can protect them from obesity.

Guidelines for avoiding the worst brands

Guidelines on how to avoid the bad brands for your dog's food

Here are some guidelines based on my own experiences. Through these, you can get an idea of how to avoid the bad brands for your dog’s food.

1) The first thing to do is to check the ingredient list on the package. Always, avoid dog foods that come with vague or generic terms like “meat by-products” and prioritize those that list specific, high-quality protein sources such as chicken, beef, or fish.

2) Do some research on fillers and check the ingredients for them. Check the products thoroughly. If they contain excessive amounts of corn, wheat, soy, or other low-quality fillers, they provide minimal nutritional value and may contribute to digestive issues.

3) Do check for the artificial additives. They are not required and good brands have natural alternatives for them. Beware of dog foods with artificial preservatives like BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin, as well as artificial colors and flavors as these can lead to allergies and sensitivities in some dogs.

4) Always opt for avoiding the high sugar and salt content in your dog’s food. Do check for hidden sugars, sweeteners, and high salt content in the ingredient list, as these can contribute to obesity, diabetes, and other health issues in dogs.

5) Evaluate Fat Sources and how they are mentioned in the ingredients. Opt for dog foods that specify the source of fat rather than those that are not clear.

6) If there are by-products and fillers mentioned, be cautious about them as at times they may include less desirable animal parts and may not offer the same nutritional benefits as whole meats.

7) Thoroughly do some research about the brand that you are willing to buy from. Investigate the reputation of the dog food brand, ensuring that they prioritize quality ingredients and rigorous testing and that they have a history of producing nutritionally good products.

8) Do consider nutritional adequacy and look for dog foods that meet the nutritional standards set by the organizations of the United Kingdom to ensure that the brands provide a complete and balanced diet for your dog’s life stage.

9) Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes in your dog’s food. Seek guidance from your veterinarian to tailor your dog’s diet based on individual needs, age, health conditions, and breed-specific considerations.

10) When doing research yourself, opt for checking the reviews of the brands from trusted sites. You can also opt for platforms like YouTube to seek guidance from like-minded people.

Final Words

To conclude, I will say that the health of your dog is very important. On that, you must never compromise. Always opt for choosing the right food with the right nutrients for your canine friend. However, this process needs a lot of patience. So, you have to sit and judge carefully.

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About Adam

Adam has been a fervent dog enthusiast since his early days with his beloved pet, Tiger. Recognizing a gap in unbiased dog product reviews in the UK, Adam embarked on a mission to bridge this divide. With the invaluable expertise of Dr. Emily Smith, a seasoned veterinarian, they collaboratively endeavor to provide dog owners with trustworthy information and reviews. Together, they strive to ensure every canine receives the care and love they truly deserve.

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