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The 9 Best Soft Dry Dog Foods In 2024

Choosing dog food of any kind can be a daunting process. From composition to texture, there's a lot to think about.

For a chewy alternative to wet or canned dog food, try a brand of soft dry dog food. It doesn't need to be refrigerated and it keeps well.

Below is a list of the best soft dry dog foods, along with BestForPets (bestforpets.org) expert opinions on each.

By browsing through our best picks, you can check out the benefits these foods can offer your dog.

icon Vet Approved
icon Reviewed & Fact - Checked by

Deborah R. Fletcher (DVM)

Veterinarian

The information provided is current and up-to-date, in line with the latest research conducted in the field of veterinary medicine.

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Reviews

Best Dry Dog Food by Cesar for Small Breeds

 CESAR Small Breed Dry Dog Food Rotisserie Chicken Flavor with Spring Vegetables Garnish, 10 Best Soft Dry Dog Foods In 2024, Best soft dry dog food for seniors, Dog Foods,

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  • Key components: Chicken, maize kernels, ground wheat, meat and bone meal, and brewer’s rice
  • Approximately 26% of the diet should come from protein.
  • 12,5 percent fat
  • The calorie count per serving is 349.

Small-breed dogs have a premium option in Cesar's Rotisserie Chicken Flavor with Spring Vegetables Garnish Dry Dog Food . The formula contains genuine chicken as its first ingredient, providing a protein-rich blend that is essential for small breed dogs.

This dry dog food is specially formulated with 26 essential nutrients for optimal health and wellness in small-breed dogs.

One of the defining characteristics of this dry dog food is its texture. The dish contains both crunchy and tender, succulent meat pieces, providing a variety of textures that small dogs will enjoy.

Additionally, as your dog nibbles on the H-shaped firm kibble pieces, plaque and tartar are scraped away, promoting dental health.

This gourmet dog food is packaged in a resealable container with a closure, allowing you to store perishable items for a longer time without them going bad.

This dry dog food is guaranteed to please your adult dog’s palate with its natural rotisserie chicken flavor, dried peas, and dried carrots.

Overall, Cesar’s Rotisserie Chicken Flavor with Spring Vegetables Garnish Dry Dog Food provides a nutritious and balanced diet for small breed dogs. It is an excellent choice for pet owners who want the best for their furry companions due to its unique texture and carefully selected ingredients.

Pros

Authentic chicken is the first component.

Zip-lock bag that can be resealed

Clean teeth with dry kibble.

Cons

For example, some canines will only eat the cooked meat.


Dry Dog Food with Juicy Chunks of Meaty Burger

Purina Moist & Meaty Wet Dog Food, 10 Best Soft Dry Dog Foods In 2024, Best soft dry dog food for seniors, Dog Foods,

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  • Beef by-product, soy flour, soy grits, high fructose corn syrup, and water are the primary components.
  • Eighteen percent protein content.
  • Amount of fat: 7%
  • Per packet, you’ll consume 474 calories.

Purina Moist & Meaty Chopped Burger Dry Dog Food is a premium soft dry dog food made with genuine beef, making it a nutritious and tasty option for your beloved companion. The individual pouch packaging makes this an excellent option among soft, dry dog diets.

Simply open a pouch and transfer its contents into your dog’s dish to avoid spills. Large dogs may require more than one pouch of food per meal, so you should plan accordingly.

The protein content of the dish is increased by the use of beef by-products. This makes it a great option for energetic dogs who need a high-protein diet to maintain their energy levels.

The soft and flavorful texture of Purina Moist & Meaty Chopped Burger Dry Dog Food makes it optimal for dogs with dental issues or missing teeth. However, it should be noted that some dogs may experience allergic reactions to the product’s artificial coloring.

This moist dog food comes in a 36-count pouch, making it a convenient and mess-free option for nourishing your pet.

With genuine beef and added vitamins and minerals, Purina Moist & Meaty Chopped Burger Dry Dog Food is a wholesome and tasty option for your furry companion.

Pros

Tender, chewy consistency

Easy-to-carry containers

Excellent for pets suffering from dental problems

Cons

Includes dyes


Dogs of all sizes will love Puppy Chow Tender & Crunchy Dry Dog Food

Purina Puppy Chow High Protein Dry Puppy Food, 10 Best Soft Dry Dog Foods In 2024, Best soft dry dog food for seniors, Dog Foods,

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  • Corn, corn gluten meal, chicken by-product meal, whole wheat, beef fat are the primary constituents.
  • The protein percentage is 27.5%.
  • Total fat: 12%
  • There are 387 calories in one cup.

Puppy Chow Tender & Crunchy Dry Dog Food is an excellent choice for puppy owners looking for an optimal blend of nutrition and taste. This dry dog food boasts a high protein level, making it perfect for developing strong muscles in your furry friend. It’s made with genuine beef and packed with essential vitamins and minerals for growing puppies.

The recipe includes the “Healthy Start Blend,” a formula specifically formulated for the growth and development of puppies. This blend contains essential nutrients like DHA, an essential fatty acid that promotes brain development.

Puppy Chow Tender & Crunchy Dry Dog Food is high in digestible protein, antioxidants, and flavor, making it an ideal choice for your growing pup. It’s also formulated with calcium to keep your puppy’s teeth and bones strong.

When first starting out on solid food, your puppy may prefer the softer chunks. For a gravy-loving puppy, adding warm water to this dish can create a nice sauce for the soft bits.

This bagged puppy food comes in a four-pack of 4.4lb bags, providing plenty of nourishment for your furry friend.

With a combination of tender and crunchy kibble, Puppy Chow Tender & Crunchy Dry Dog Food has a texture and great taste that puppies love. It’s a highly digestible puppy kibble that lays the foundation for a healthy, active life with key nutrients found in mother’s milk.

Pros

Constructed using authentic beef

Totally well-rounded and intended for canine growth.

Aids in digesting

Cons

Dogs should only be given the tender bits.

The meat isn’t the main attraction here.


Vet’s Choice Purina Pro Plan High Protein Shredded Blend Dry Dog Food

 Purina Pro Plan High Protein

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  • Chicken, rice, whole wheat, poultry by-product meal, and soybean meal are the primary components.
  • Approximately 26% of the diet should come from protein.
  • In terms of fat, 16% is the average.
  • There are 387 calories in one cup.

Purina Pro Plan High Protein Shredded Blend Dry Dog Food is an excellent choice for dog owners seeking a high-energy, high-protein diet for their pets.

The first ingredient in this formula is deboned chicken, providing your dog with the essential protein they need to stay healthy and active.

This dry dog food is a combination of kibble chunks and shredded bits, providing a range of textures for your pet. It’s fortified with guaranteed live probiotics that help support digestive and immune health.

The addition of vitamin A and omega fatty acids in this recipe helps keep your dog’s coat and skin healthy and supple. This formula’s specific ratio of protein to fat ensures that your dog stays at a healthy weight and in great shape.

The inclusion of glucosamine in this recipe makes it a good choice for promoting healthy joints.

While some dog owners have reported finding crumbs in the bottom of the bag, the high-quality ingredients in this formula more than make up for any minor inconsistencies.

This bagged dog food comes in a 35lb bag, providing your furry friend with plenty of nourishment. Purina Pro Plan High Protein Shredded Blend Dry Dog Food is a high-quality, delicious formula that your dog is sure to love.

It’s a hearty and nutritious dog food that provides the essential nutrients your pet needs to live a healthy and active life.

Pros

Ample amounts of protein

Glucosamine and probiotics are included in the formulation.

Developed to aid in attaining a healthy state of physical fitness

Cons

Both the kibble and the delicate bits are shattered in the bag.


Excellent Handcrafted Dog Kibble, or Yumwoof

 Yumwoof Perfect Kibble Non-GMO Air Dried Dog Food

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  • Primarily made up of chicken, eggs, organic coconut oil, organic coconut glycerin, and organic flaxseed
  • Composition of proteins: 28%
  • The fat percentage is 28%.
  • Energy content per serving: 375

Yumwoof Perfect Kibble Artisanal Dog Food is an all-natural, high-quality product that your beloved companion will surely enjoy. This dog food’s smooth and chewy texture is enticing to canines because it is prepared in small quantities and baked at low temperatures.

This granular dog food contains only fourteen natural ingredients, with no added flavors or hues. Fresh, genuine chicken is the first ingredient in this recipe, providing your dog with a high protein content that is essential for their health.

In addition to protein, this formula contains antioxidants and healthy fats that support your dog’s immune system and skin health. Fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, cranberries, pumpkin, and seaweed are high in fiber and provide a wealth of healthy nutrients that aid digestion.

This recipe was created by a chef and a veterinary nutritionist, ensuring that your dog is receiving the proper nutrition from a delicious, tender, dry meal. However, due to the meal’s fragility, it may crumble during transport. It is easy to create crumbs by grinding the food.

Yumwoof Perfect Kibble Artisanal Dog Food is made with premium, non-GMO ingredients and meat from USDA facilities to ensure that your dog receives optimal nutrition for a long and healthy life. Your dog’s food is delicately air-dried to preserve its natural nutrients.

This formulation contains 25 times the omega-3s required by AAFCO, making it anti-inflammatory and beneficial for canines with allergies or digestive issues. With only 16% net carbs and no unnecessary calorie fillers, it is diabetic-friendly and low in carbohydrates.

This formula is backed by 250 clinical studies supporting its efficacy for canines with skin allergies, joint discomfort, seizures, constipation, and digestive issues. Yumwoof Perfect Kibble Artisanal Dog Food is a wholesome and tasty option for your furry friend.

Pros

Contains 14 nutritious elements

Developed by a chef and a vet nutritionist

There are no added preservatives.

Cons

Inside the bag, food is crumbling to pieces.

High cost in relation to quantity


Picky Bil-Jac No More Dry Dog Food for Small Breeds

 Bil-Jac Picky No More Small Breed Chicken Liver Dry Dog Food

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  • Topping the list of components is chicken, maize meal, chicken by-product meal, and dried beet pulp.
  • Approximately 26% of the diet should come from protein.
  • 15% fat content.
  • Calories per serving: 397

Bil-Jac Picky No More Small Breed Dry Dog Food is a premium product that combines farm-raised poultry and chicken liver to provide your furry companion with a well-rounded nutritional profile. The omega fatty acids present in this cuisine are just one of its many benefits.

This product has been manufactured in the United States without the use of fillers, wheat, or soy since 1947. Bil-Jac employs Nutri-Lock, an innovative cooking method that permits the use of more fresh chicken in each container without subjecting the poultry to excessive heat or pressure.

The food’s spongy, tender texture is ideal for mature canines of petite breeds, including those with dental loss or gum disease. The irresistible taste of chicken liver is certain to entice even the most finicky eaters.

This super-premium food is complete and balanced for small breeds, and it contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids derived from natural sources to nourish their skin and promote a silky, glossy coat.

Bil-Jac Picky No More Small Breed Dry Dog Food is proudly produced in the United States since 1947 and never contains additives, gluten meals, wheat, soy, sprayed-on rendered fat, or protein concentrate.

This 6-pound bag contains 5 pounds of fresh chicken, making it a healthy and tasty option for your pet.

With its exclusive Nutri-Lock low-temperature, vacuum-drying process that extracts moisture from ingredients without compromising the natural lipids or nutritional value of the meat, you can rest assured that your dog’s food provides optimal nutrition.

Bil-Jac Picky No More Dry Dog Food for Small Breeds is an excellent choice for your furry companion.

Pros

Processed with the Nutri-Lock technique

Texture is soft for dogs with dental problems.

Omega fatty acids for healthy hair and skin.

Cons

Discriminating diners may find the flavor to be off-putting.

Over time, food can harden and congeal.


Dry dog food from Purina, called Beneful Simple Goodness

 Purina Beneful Simple Goodness,with Farm-Raised Chicken

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  • Chicken, malted barley extract, soy flour, soy grits, and water make up the bulk of the components.
  • Eighteen percent protein content.
  • Seven percent fat
  • Average calorie content per serving: 353.

Purina Tender Bits are a healthy, all-natural treat that dogs adore due to their delicious texture. This snack offers complete and balanced nutrition, as it is made from farm-raised chicken, high-quality protein sources, and vitamin-rich vegetables like peas and carrots.

The pouches preserve the food’s delicate texture and fresh flavor, making it an excellent option for dogs as a complete meal or a delicious complement to kibble. However, some small dogs may find the food pieces too large or difficult to chew, requiring them to be hand-broken into smaller pieces before serving.

For dogs with missing teeth, this treat can be cut into smaller portions for easier chewing. It is fortified with essential vitamins and minerals and is manufactured without the use of artificial colors, flavors, or meat by-product meal.

The succulent, meaty morsels’ texture and flavor are enticing to your furry friend’s taste buds. Each pack contains 12 stay-fresh pouches, and one pouch is equivalent to one cup of food.

Purina Tender Bits with Farm-Raised Chicken is produced by Nestlé Purina PetCare Company in St. Louis, Missouri, and formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for adult maintenance.

This wholesome recipe provides complete and balanced nutrition, whether it is served as a complete meal or a tasty addition to regular kibble.

Overall, Purina Tender Bits are a natural and tasty treat option for your furry companion, providing complete nutrition and a scrumptious flavor.

Pros

Attractive texture

Fully satisfying one’s dietary needs

Packets for maximum freshness

Cons

This treat might be too big for little dogs to chew.


Dry dog food from Pedigree, made especially for adult dogs, in the form of tasty “tender bites.”

Pedigree with Tender Bites Complete Nutrition Adult Dry Dog Food Chicken & Steak Flavor Dog Kibble

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  • Whole-grain corn flour, meat and bone meal, animal fat, corn gluten meal, and soybean meal are the main components.
  • Value of protein: 21%
  • 10% Fat Content
  • Energy content: 318 per cup

Pedigree Tender Bites Adult Dog Food is a nutritious and high-quality entrée that provides adult canines with the essential nutrients they need to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. This meal is made with whole grains, protein, and vegetables to meet the nutritional needs of adult canines.

The delicious meat chunks and crunchy kibble provide a texture that canines find gratifying, while also serving as a natural teeth cleaner to promote dental health. In addition, the food contains antioxidants and omega fatty acids to promote a healthy immune system and a glossy coat.

The meal contains whole cereals and other natural sources of fiber to promote digestion and intestinal health. The food is free of additives and artificial flavors, making it a nutritious and tasty option for your pet.

With the handy closure, you can keep the bag’s contents fresh and soft, ensuring that your dog always appreciates a delicious and nourishing meal.

Choose Pedigree Tender Bites Adult companion Food to provide your companion with the necessary nutrients for a long and healthy existence.

Pros

Pieces that are crunchy and clean teeth

Pieces of tender meat were used to create a different texture.

Containing anti-oxidants and omega fatty acids

Cons

The meat isn’t the main attraction here.


Dry dog food by Kibbles ‘n Bits

 Kibbles 'N Bits 45 Lb Original Savory Beef & Chicken Flavors Dry Dog Food

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  • Corn, soy meal, beef and bone meal, whole wheat, and animal fat are the primary components.
  • Content in protein: 19%
  • Content in fat: 8%
  • The calorie count per serving is 377.

Kibbles 'n Bits Dry Dog Food is a well-known and beloved brand among canines due to its tasty beef and poultry flavor. This meal contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber from green beans and carrots to provide a balanced diet.

The high-quality protein in this meal promotes muscle growth and maintenance, making it suitable for canines of all ages. However, some dogs may be sensitive to the coloring in this food, and some owners have reported a strong odor.

The meal contains corn, soybean meal, beef, and bone meal, as well as other ingredients. It contains 23 essential vitamins and minerals and is rich in antioxidants, making it a nutritious and healthy option for your dog.

The calorie content is calculated at 3,135 kcal/kg and 375 kcal/8 oz cup, ensuring your dog receives the appropriate amount of energy.

Overall, Kibbles ‘n Bits Dry Dog Food is a delicious and nutritious option for your furry friend, providing complete and balanced nutrition to support their overall health and wellbeing.

Pros

Soft and crunchy textures

Wholesome, well-rounded fare

Cons

Includes a colorant

Powerful odor

Buying Guide

Let’s take a look at some of the essential factors to consider when choosing soft, dried dog food for your furry friend.

1. Benefits of Soft Dry Dog Food

Soft dry dog food used to be more popular in the past, but there are still some brands available, and most of them contain higher quality ingredients than before. It is slightly more expensive than dry kibble but less costly than wet food.

Soft dry dog food contains more moisture than dry dog food, which can be beneficial if your dog is constipated or dehydrated. The soft texture also makes it easier for some dogs to eat.

Dogs with dental issues such as cavities or missing teeth may find it difficult or even painful to chew on hard kibble. Additionally, many dogs prefer soft, dried food over hard food because it is more natural and often more flavorful.

2. Ingredients

When looking for soft dry dog food, you should search for the same ingredients as you would in conventional dry food or wet food.

Protein

Even though dogs are not strict carnivores, protein is the most important component of their diet. You want your dog’s source of protein to be of high quality, such as poultry, turkey, beef, or lamb. These whole proteins are more nutritious and fresh than other meat products.

Many brands use animal byproducts or meat meals as their source of protein. Although these ingredients are not inherently bad, the meat has been dehydrated and pulverized, resulting in a significant loss of nutrients.

Many of these minced meat products also come from countries with lower health standards for pet food, so we avoid them in favor of whole meats such as chicken and turkey.

Exotic Meats

Adding exotic meats to pet food is becoming more popular. These meats include rabbit, venison, alligator, bison, kangaroo, ostrich, and kangaroo. Exotic meats are not a natural part of your dog’s diet, and they may increase the risk of food allergies and other health issues. Most experts recommend avoiding foods containing exotic meats, at least until more research confirms their safety.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals can be added through fortification or present in fruits and vegetables as ingredients. Many vegetables, including kale, spinach, broccoli, carrots, beets, and sweet potatoes, are beneficial for your dog. Vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which can help regulate your dog’s digestive system and prevent constipation and diarrhea.

Blueberries, strawberries, pears, and other fruits are also beneficial to your dog’s health. In addition to vitamins and minerals, these fruits are an excellent source of antioxidants. Antioxidants strengthen your dog’s immune system, preventing disease and speeding up the healing of infections.

Omega Fatty Acids

Omega fatty acids can be extremely beneficial to your dog’s health. In the early stages of your dog’s life, omega fats aid in brain and visual development, making them a crucial component of puppy care. As your dog ages, these lipids continue to be beneficial because they contribute to a softer, glossier coat.

In addition to helping with arthritis and chronic kidney disease, omega lipids can improve your dog’s quality of life. Fish oil is typically the source of omega fatty acids, but they can also be obtained from flax.

3. Ingredients to Avoid

Despite the vast improvement in the quality of dog food in recent years, there are still a few ingredients you should avoid.

Soy

Soy is one of the most genetically modified commodities on the planet, and we should avoid providing it to our pets unless it is specifically prescribed. Soy and other legumes are not part of a dog’s natural diet and provide very little nutritional value.

If your dog is sensitive to them, they can cause loose stools or diarrhea by upsetting their delicate digestive system.

Chemical Dyes and Preservatives

When purchasing soft, dried dog food, you should also check for the presence of dyes and chemical preservatives. Although dyes are not inherently harmful to your dog, they are an unnecessary ingredient, and some dogs may have an allergic reaction to them.

Chemical preservatives can have a more severe impact on your dog’s health, and you should avoid them whenever possible. BHA is one of the most commonly used chemical preservatives in pet food, and you can typically find it near the end of the ingredient list for any brand of dog food.

4. How Can You Tell If Your Dog’s Food is Unhealthy?

The most common symptom that your dog’s food is not agreeing with them is diarrhea or loose stools. Additionally, it can lead to excessive flatulence and regurgitation. Changing to a different brand of food will usually alleviate these symptoms rapidly.

Skin itching, hair loss, and possible skin and hair discoloration are more significant side effects of consuming unhealthy food. If you observe these symptoms, you should promptly discontinue the food and transport your dog to the veterinarian.

FAQs

1. What is the best soft food for dogs?

You can combine a lean protein source such as beef, bison, poultry, or turkey with safe and nutritious fruits like berries and mangoes, as well as vegetables such as sweet potato, butternut squash, green beans, bell peppers, zucchini, and spinach.

2. Is there a semi-soft dog food?

Semi-moist dog food has a water content of between 60 and 65 percent by weight, making it more expensive per calorie than dry food. Unfortunately, it also tends to be higher in sugar and sodium than dry and canned dog food, so it may not be suitable for all dogs.

3. Is it okay to feed dogs soft food exclusively?

Yes, it is generally acceptable to feed a dog moist food every day, provided that the food is nutritionally complete and balanced for the dog’s life stage and dietary requirements.

4. How can you make dry dog food softer?

You can add homemade poultry or beef broth instead of water to soften dry dog food. Warm the broth and gradually add it to the kibble until you reach the desired consistency.

5. How long can dogs eat soft food?

It is recommended to soak puppy food between the ages of 3 to 4 weeks and 12 weeks, but there is no hard and fast rule. Some puppies and even older dogs may prefer soaked dry food, which can also increase their water intake.

6. Can soft, dry dog food help dogs with dental issues?

Yes, because it is easier to eat than hard kibble, soft dry dog food can be beneficial for dogs with dental problems such as cavities or missing teeth.

7. Should you avoid feeding dogs soft, dry food with artificial colors and preservatives?

Yes, it is best to avoid soft dry dog food with unnecessary ingredients such as artificial colors and preservatives, which can cause allergic reactions or serious health problems in some dogs.

Conclusion

Ollie’s Roast Beef with Sweet Potatoes is our top choice for making soft dry dog food. Dogs with dental problems can benefit from this treatment, and the packaging makes it easy for them to get them to the vet.

Cesar  is our well-known brand when it comes to dry dog food for small breeds because it offers great value. This crunchy kibble features real chicken as the first ingredient to help clean your pet’s teeth.

The soft and crunchy texture of Puppy Chow Dry Dog Food is ideal for growing puppies. Our veterinarians recommend Purina Pro Plan High Protein Shredded Blend Dog Food because of its high protein, probiotics, and glucosamine content.

You can use BestForPets (bestforpets.org) reviews to find the best soft dry dog foods for your dog right now.

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Dr. Heidi Bigham

Dr. Heidi H. Bigham, DVM is an expert in small animal veterinary care, specializing in emergency medicine, geriatric pet health, and internal medicine. She has five years of expertise as a general practitioner of small animal medicine in facilities that provide preventative care, surgery, and 24-hour emergency treatment. 

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Heidi Bigham

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