Dog Food Comparisons

                                              Rate And Compare Dog Food


                 Doglicious Says: "A cheerful WOOF to all you dog lovers and your dogs!    

                                           I sniffed up a system to rate, grade and compare dog food."

                     Dog Food Rating And Comparison System

The past dog food recalls have caused concerned dog care givers to scrutinize their choice of dog food and become serious "label readers". 

Even so, making a premium dog food comparison can still be kind of tricky.
Researching the best quality dog food brands for feeding our dogs can be time consuming, laborious, and very confusing. Finding easy-to-read, unbiased dog food reviews, uncomplicated dog food ratings and comparison systems is a real chore for many of us...we know, we've been there!

There's an enormous variety of different dog food brands and formulas now on the market (gourmet dog food, premium holistic dog food, natural dog food, organic dog food, human grade dog food, etc, etc...), plus so many conflicting consumer reports, different opinions, etc...can make choosing the best dog food for our best friends completely overwhelming for even the most savvy dog care giver!

That is, until now!

What we need is a simple way to do a dog food analysis, looking at each dog food's ingredients and comparing many different types of dog food...preferably one that doesn't require a "Dogtorate" degree in math or science!

Well, here's some great news...there is a way of rating dog food and making dog food comparisons and we're going to show you how to do it!

This method of dog food analysis doesn't require a "Dogtorate", but you do need to focus your attention on each of the steps listed! It will demonstrate how to make a premium dog food comparison based on quality, type, absence or presence of certain ingredients in each of the various dog foods.

Start by analyzing the dog food you are now feeding your dog...then make comparisons against any or all other brands that you wish.

This food grading system is specifically intended to assist anyone who's having difficulty figuring out how to read dog food labels and what the ingredients really consist of.

This dog food rating and comparison system is tailored for those of you who are looking for a high quality, all natural dog food and can use some guidance choosing between what appear to be equal brands. You want to base your selection on this system rather than the recommendation of a friend, relative or store clerk.

 Please note: when using the dog food comparisons and ratings guide there may be other important factors such as breed type or size (very large breed puppies require food with lower protein levels than normally available in puppy foods or even in "large breed" puppy foods). You will need to research and consider these factors and others when making your comparisons.

Dog Food Ratings And Comparisons

                        Learn How To Read Your Dog Food   Label!

The best way to make sure of the quality of your dog's food is by carefully reading and understanding dog food labels. As you read the label, consider the following: Does this dog food use the highest  quality ingredients? Is there a  high quality meat source listed as one of the first two ingredients? Best of all, are the ingredients human-grade? Is there a date on the bag and for determining freshness? hundreds of different dog food brands, varieties and formulas on the market.

Below is a list of some of the ingredients in a few popular dog food brands. Keep in mind that the ingredients in dog foods are required to be listed in descending order by weight. For example, corn if listed as one of the first three ingredients is less desirable than if it's listed as the seventh or eight ingredient.

Visit our Dog Food Labels section for an in-depth detailed explanation of how to read dog food labels...

The items listed below are "red flags" and should not be in your dog's food...

Meat by-products: Pet grade meat by-products consist of organs and parts either not desired, or condemned, for human consumption. This can include bones, blood, intestines, lungs, ligaments, heads, feet, and feathers.

Corn: Corn products are difficult for dogs to digest.

Food Fragments: Lower cost by-products of another food manufacturing process. Examples include wheat bran and brewer's rice (a waste product of the alcohol industry).

Meat and bone meal: "Meat and bone meal" and "beef and bone meal" are inexpensive sources of animal protein. The protein in a meal containing a large amount of bone may be poorly digestible and fail to provide adequate nutrition.

Animal Fat: Animal fat is a "generic" fat source that is most often made up of rendered animal fat, restaurant grease, or other oils too rancid or deemed inedible for humans. Look for a named fat source, such as poultry or chicken fat, that is naturally preserved.

Chemical Preservatives: Chemical preservatives include butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), propyl gallate, propylene glycol (also used as a less-toxic version of automotive antifreeze), and ethoxyquin. BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin are potentially cancer-causing agents. The long term build-up of these chemicals (that may be eaten every day for the life of your pet!) have not been thouroughly studied and may ultimately be harmful.

Sweeteners: Sweeteners such as corn syrup, sugar, and cane mallases are usually added to lower quality foods to increase their appeal. Dietary sugars can aggrevate health problems, including diabetes.

Beef Tallow: A low quality fat product.

Here's How To Rate dog Food:

Start with a rating of 100:

1) For every listing of "by-product", subtract 10 points
2) For every non-specific animal source ("meat" or "poultry", meat,
    meal or fat) reference, subtract 10 points
3) If the food contains BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin, subtract 10 points
4) For every grain "mill run" or non-specific grain source, subtract
    5 points
5) If the same grain ingredient is used 2 or more times in the first
    five ingredients (I.e. "ground brown rice", "brewers rice", "rice
    flour" are all the same grain), subtract 5 points
6) If the protein sources are not meat meal and there are less than 2
    meats in the top 3 ingredients, subtract 3 points
7) If it contains any artificial colorants, subtract 3 points
8 ) If it contains ground corn or whole grain corn, subtract 3points
9) If corn is listed in the top 5 ingredients, subtract 2 more points
10)If the food contains any animal fat other than fish oil, subtract
     2 points
11)If lamb is the only animal protein source (unless your dog is
     allergic to other protein sources), subtract 2 points
12)If it contains soy or soybeans, subtract 2 points
13)If it contains wheat (unless you know that your dog is not
    allergic to wheat), subtract 2 points
14) If it contains beef (unless you know that your dog is not
     allergic to beef), subtract 1 point
15) If it contains salt, subtract 1 point

Extra Credit:
1) If any of the meat sources are organic, add 5 points
2) If the food is endorsed by any major breed group or nutritionist,
    add 5 points
3) If the food is baked, not extruded, add 5 points
4) If the food contains probiotics, add 3 points
5) If the food contains fruit, add 3 points
6) If the food contains vegetables (NOT corn or other grains), add 3
7) If the animal sources are hormone-free and antibiotic-free, add 2
8 ) If the food contains barley, add 2 points
9) If the food contains flax seed oil (not just the seeds), add 2
10) If the food contains oats or oatmeal, add 1 point
11) If the food contains sunflower oil, add 1 point
12) For every different specific animal protein source (other than
    the first one; count "chicken" and "chicken meal" as only one protein
    source, but "chicken" and "" as 2 different sources), add 1 point
13) If it contains glucosamine and chondroitin, add 1 point
14) If the vegetables have been tested for pesticides and are
     pesticide-free, add 1 point

Rating Scores and Grades:
94-100+ = A, 86-93 = B, 78-85 = C, 70-77 = D, 69 and below = F

*For a full list of dog foods and their ratings visit our Dog Food Ratings page

                 Suggested Brands

--Innova Evo


--Taste of the Wild

--California Naturals



--Wellness CORE

--Ziwi Peak

--The Honest Kitchen

--Blue Buffalo

--Natural Balance

--Solid Gold


To buy any of these dog food brands click here


 How Nutritious Is Your Dog’s Food?


According to the December issue of The Whole Dog Journal, dry dog food is really not the healthiest choice for your pet.

“If you want to provide the very best, most natural diet possible for your dog,” The Whole Dog Journal states. “You’d feed a well-researched, home prepared diet comprised of fresh foods. Or, next best, a well-formulated, commercially made frozen raw or dehydrated diet. Next best would be a top-quality wet food.” Despite its convenience, kibble is the least natural choice for the dog.

When purchasing healthy commercial dog foods, the ingredients label should include animal protein at the top of the list, whole vegetables, fruits, and grains, and organic ingredients. A healthy dog food should not contain meat by-products or poultry by-products, added sweeteners, artificial preservatives, such as BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin, or artificial colors.

The Whole Dog Journal has released its list of approved dog food kibble manufacturers:

Addiction Foods
Artemis Pet Foods
Back to Basics
Bench & Field Pet Foods
Breeder’s Choice
By Nature
Burns Pet Nutrition
Canidae Corp
Canaine Caviar Pet Foods
Castor & Pollux Pet Works
Della Natura Commodities
Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance
Diamond Pet Products
Dogswell, LLC
Drs. Foster & Smith
Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food
Fromm Family Foods
KLN Enterprises/Tuffy’s Pet Foods
Life 4K9 Pet Food Corp.
Lincoln Biotech
Merrick Pet Care
Natura Pet Products
Nature’s Variety
Perfect Health Diet Products
Pet Chef Express
Petcurean Pet Nutrition
Peton Distributors
Precise Pet Products
Solid Gold Health Products for Pets
Taplow Feeds
Verus Pet Foods

The list of foods that The Whole Dog Journal “would pass on” is:

Beneful Original
Cycle Adult Dog Food
Dad’s Econ-O-Mets
Diamond Original Formula
The Goodlife Recipe with beef, brown rice, and vegetables
Gravy Train
Iams ProActive Health Adult Lamb Meal and Rice Formula
Kibbles & Bits HomeStyle Chicken & Vegetable
Max Adult
Natural Choice Adult Lamb & Rice
Nutra Nuggets Adult Maintenance
Ol’ Roy (made for Walmart)
Pedigree Complete Nutrition for Adult Dogs
Purina Dog Chow Complete Nutrition Formula
Purina One Total Nutrition Lamb & Rice
Science Diet Adult Lamb & Rice
Science Diet’s Nature’s Best Chicken & Brown Rice Dinner – Adult

Here's what they say about wet foods, despite the 2007 recallls.

"We like canned food for dogs. It’s more expensive than dry, but good varieties of canned food are arguably healthier than comparable dry foods, due to the higher inclusion of animal proteins and the higher moisture levels. Both of these things are closer to the dog’s evolutionary diet than dry diets that contain a lot of grain. Some dog owners stopped buying wet dog food following the spring 2007 recalls of foods that contained melamine and/or cyanuric acid. Given the fear and lack of information in the early days of the recall, this made sense. Now, however, we know more about the factors that led to the recalls.

Please note: The above lists are by no means complete. We are working on many other dog foods for rating, comparisons and recommendations. These lists also do not consider the fact that not every dog does well on the same type of food. Therefore, we realize a "one size fits all" approach is not always appropriate. Please introduce any new food to your dog on a gradual basis and monitor his or her progress.

To purchase dog food online, check out  Buy All Natural Dog Food...we think we have some pretty terrific sources with some of the best prices anywhere...

*Remember to have fresh water available for your dog, at all times! This is especially critical during the summer months when it's hot and your dog can become dehydrateed.

Important Notice! Although we at Feeding A Dog are long time dog enthusiasts and dog advocates, we are not veterinarians or professional animal nutritionists. Our purpose is strictly to provide you with  information, so that you can make your own decisions. Any and all of the information contained or stated on this web site and on our blog is provided for general information purposes. The information provided is not direct veterinary advice and should not be construed as such nor substituted for a consultation with a veterinarian or dog nutrition professional. Every dog and situation is different. If you have any concerns about your dog's health, please contact your veterinarian's office immediately. We all love our dogs and want only the very best food for them! "In Dogs We Trust"

**Compensation Disclosure: Feeding A Dog receives compensation for referred sales of some or all mentioned products, that's how we're able to bring you all the latest information on feeding a dog and pay the bills.

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