What dry dog and cat food would you recommend?

What dry dog and cat food have a decent shelf life, and good quality that you would recommend? Not too concerned about canned food, which can last a few years. 

Thanks in advance.


  • Comments (8)

    • 2

      For my dogs, I have used Holistic Select for many years.  It has been good for my dogs.  I’ve had as many as 10 dogs but now we are down to 7.  They live in the house with us and have 24 hour access, thru a dog door, to the one acre fenced in backyard.

      The bags I get generally have a best by date of around 14 months or so from date I purchase.  I keep around a 3 month supply on hand at all times.  Each month, I purchase another month’s supply.  I rotate a normal 2 month supply, that I keep up at the house in two large containers.  I keep another month’s supply in my air conditioned prepper closet in my upper barn.  About every 6-8 months, when I bring in another supply, I put the new bags in the prepper closet and bring to the house the food that has been stored.

      If a crisis were to last longer than 3 months, the dogs would share in our food stores.

      • 2

        Pet food packaging tends to be so excellent these days, and like Redneck says, typically bear a “best by” date.  That would be a good clue what to buy. There might be differences in “natural” versus “chemical” preservatives, that could be a personal choice.  We also keep a three month supply on hand and rotate it just like the human food.  We keep it under the bed. We only have one cat and lost our one dog last fall, so storage requirement is not as great.  Dry food is kept in a plastic bucket after opening. 

        I would store what your pets are eating now.  Transitioning to a new food can cause digestive problems that you don’t need in an emergency.  Our house cat can’t handle anything new without several days of transition.

    • 2

      We use the Black Value Pak 28-20 dog food. We have 8 dogs, 4 inside and 4 out. We buy a months worth of supply at a time. We don’t have any in storage right now, as funds are low. Hoping to get some stored away soon. 


    • 1

      We give our dog Nature’s Logic and Taste of the Wild Ancient Grains. She likes TotW better. She’d eaten original TotW all her life, but I was shocked a couple of years ago to read that it had caused cardiomyopathy and death in many dogs, apparently because of the beans and legumes in it. They started the Ancient Grains line without beans or lentils to address the problem. Both brands stay good forever, I just close them with a twist-tie.

      It’s healthier not to give a cat dry food, even if it didn’t have grains. Cats are obligate carnivores and giving them the usual dry food floods their system with carbs which break down into sugars and eventually cause kidney failure or diabetes. It also keeps them from getting enough water. They won’t drink enough to make up for the water they’re not getting by eating dry food. Catinfo.org has a lot of information on this.

      • 1


        We adopted an older rescue cat and tried to feed her the best quality canned food, and ultimately, home made.  She could not keep the foods down.  Vet charged hundreds for blood tests, gave a wrong diagnosis, wanted hundreds more in ultrasound, maybe surgery, and wanted the cat put on a hydrolyzed protein diet.

        I figured out myself that the cat couldn’t live on wet food alone.  Turns out she couldn’t eliminate hairballs on such a diet.  This could be from being an older cat who previously lived on a dry food diet resulting in some alteration to the digestive tract.

        She is hale and hearty several years later living on free choice dry kibble, indoor cat, hairball removal formula, with a generous dish of premium canned every morning.  Still has delicate digestion but no longer starving in the midst of plenty.

        I never take anything I read about animal health at face value anymore.

      • 1

        She hasn’t reached the end of her life. Most cats die of cancer or kidney failure, many of diabetes. Kidney failure and diabetes in cats, now so common, were almost unknown before dry food. Dry food usually has less protein than they need, and is very high in carbs, which they don’t need, and which breaks down into sugars. It is also dry, depriving the cats of the high water content of raw meat. They will not drink enough water to make up for it. 

        You have to do what you can. If he won’t eat canned food, he won’t. Our previous cat developed kidney failure at the age of eighteen. I gave him sub-cutaneous fluid infusions with a needle and Ringer’s lactate for the last three years of his life. It gave him deveral more happy years before his creatinine got out of control and he developed an inoperable oral tumor, so the vet came here to put him to sleep. Drs. Lisa Pierson and Elizabeth Hodgkins say cats do not go into kidney failure if they never get dry food. I know cats are all different. We took in a little abandoned kitten a year and a half ago, anout six weeks old. I bought queen’s milk to give her as well as canned food, but it caused diarrhea every time I gave it to her. And even when I didn’t. She had a coccidia infection, but Albon did nothing for it. I googled it and asked for Marquis paste, which the vet let me order from a compounding pharmacy. It was miraculous, stopped the diarrhea right away, but it was not the treatment my vet thought was usually effective.

    • 1

      Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food and Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Dry Cat Food are both good quality dry dog and cat food with a decent shelf life. They both contain all-natural ingredients, are grain-free, and provide essential nutrients that your pet needs. Wellness Core has a shelf life of 18-24 months, while Blue Buffalo Wilderness has a shelf life of 12-18 months.

    • 1

      I’ve tried various dry cat foods over the years. A cat or dog with a more sensitive stomach, or who may have had parasites (which can happen in the kennel situations at shelters, sadly, or in the puppy or kitten stages from Mom or wherever), might need Limited Ingredient Foods. Some foods can be too rich for some animals, even though they are high quality. 

      I am currently using Royal Canin brand, though I’d say they are not a ‘purist’ brand of pet food. I got their kitten food for my kittens, so they still get the dry food, while I now get their wet food from Merrick’s (pieces in gravy and pate style are their preferences). My older cat Darwin needs the Royal Canin Veterinary Feline Gastrointestinal Fiber Response because he gets constipated and this saves his life!  If you do need a pet food with Fiber, there are two kinds of fibers, Cellulose Fiber and Psyllium Husk Fibers, the Royal Canin uses Psyllium Husk, which can work both on diarrhea and constipation. I’m sure there are other aids in there, too, but that is the main one.

      To order a Vet Food online, you need to take a picture of the food prescription paper and then down or upload it to the purchasing site, either for the pet profile or at the buying stage. They might also call your Vet for verification if this can’t be done. 

      People often recommend raw diets for cats and dogs, but that has to be done with care and can’t be left out like other foods. 

      I have ants in my apartment, so I use those food containers with the big seal on top (the Gamma seal or container) for them, no matter the brand I am using.