Dog Food: Ratings of Sources
Total of 19 Sources
For an explanation of how we rank reviews, see our ratings criteria page.
Dog Food Reviews
by Mike Sagman
Our AssessmentDogFoodAdvisor.com rates dog foods on their ingredients and nutritional value, and creates lists of dog foods rated from 1 to 5 stars. Ingredients are described and evaluated, with comments added regarding their appropriateness and overall value as part of the food. Any controversial ingredients are highlighted. A bottom-line assessment is also provided. Readers can add their own comments and site owner Mike Sagman often replies. A large number of foods do earn the site's highest rating, but that number is dwarfed by the many foods that score lower -- sometimes substantially so. Lists of best foods include those that score either 4 stars or 5.
Dog Food Listings & Reviews
by Editors of PetFoodRatings.net
Our AssessmentThis website analyzes dry dog foods based on their ingredient content. Foods are rated for quality and cost, and pros and cons are listed. Discussion is brief but adequate. The editors leave no doubt about which foods are considered best and worst. Foods with high meat content, such as Innova Evo and Wellness Core are highly rated but expensive. Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul is identified as a top choice that's more reasonably priced. A couple of dog foods available in supermarkets get decent -- though not top -- ratings. Some well-known brands -- such as Alpo Premium Cuts -- are highly criticized for the use of cheap fillers and byproducts.
Diet Options for Dogs
by Mary Straus
Our AssessmentMary Straus is a self-described "dogaholic" who is knowledgeable about dog health and nutrition. Included on the site is a lengthy and informative discussion about feeding needs. Commercial food, raw food and other fresh food are covered. Contact information for manufacturers, along with specific food and brand recommendations are included. Recommendations include a couple of dozen high-end and natural canned and dry foods, but there are no overall ratings. Straus recommends alternating between three or four foods your dog likes. Brands and varieties that have been affected by any pet-food recalls are identified.
Dog Food Reviews 2012
by Editors of Dog Food Reviews
Our AssessmentLike most other sites, Dog Food Reviews bases its recommendations on an analysis of a dog food's content. The quality of the individual reviews is varied. The best look at nutritional sufficiency and the quality of the ingredients used, and touch upon issues such as who makes the foods, have there been any recalls and if any of the ingredients are potential allergens. Others, however, particularly older reviews and reviews of products that are not judged to be of high quality, tend to get more superficial write-ups. One variety of a food is selected as representative of a brand, which sometimes can be misleading. Visitors can rate foods and leave comments. Ten 5- and 4-star foods are singled out as the best, though some foods that don't qualify for the list of best choices here rate just as highly.
Whole Dog Journal's 2012 Dry Dog Food Review
by Nancy Kerns
Our AssessmentEach year, Whole Dog Journal publishes a list of "approved" dry dog foods. The criteria used are rigorous, with an emphasis on high-quality protein sources. Information on what are the best dog food ingredients, how to read a dog food's label, what kind of customer service to expect from a food maker, and what food is best for your particular dog is provided. Though dominated by high-end foods, the list is extensive and access is only available to subscribers. No attempt is made to rank or rate the foods on the list. A separate list of approved canned foods is also published annually, but has not been updated for 2012.
Petsumer Report Online
by Susan Thixton
Our AssessmentSusan Thixton maintains this blog about all things pet food related, as well as PetsumerReport.com, an ingredients based review that delves deeply into the pluses and minuses of specific dog (and cat) foods and provides ratings. While PetsumerReport.com is only offered to subscribers, Thixton offers a free monthly review from that site here. In addition, she maintains a list of the foods she would feed her own pets "without hesitation" that's available for a charitable donation of as little as $5. Most are raw or fresh foods, but some dry varieties are included.
Dog Food Ratings
by Editors and Contributors to DogFoodChat.com
Our AssessmentThis site lets users rate dog foods -- and some receive hundreds of votes. Links lead to ingredients-based reviews. Earlier reviews aren't long on discussion, and some are now out of date, but newer posts delve deeper and aren't afraid to share opinions on what is and what is not a good food. The site also hosts a fairly active forum dealing with dog food and other dog-related topics.
Best Dog Food Ratings
by Editors of GoodGuide.com
Our AssessmentGoodGuide.com bases its analysis of dog foods on clearly defined criteria, but comes to startlingly different conclusions than most other experts in naming top foods. Much of that seems to stem from the site's reliance on Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) standards to assess a dog food's quality. Questionable ingredients are noted, but foods are not apparently penalized for them. Scores for a product's environmental impact and the company's social policies also impact the overall rating. As a result some dog foods (particularly dry varieties) that draw middling and worse ratings elsewhere rise to the top of the pack here. Although the results are controversial, this site does provide an interesting counterpoint to other opinions offered on the web.
Before You Choose a Dog Food
by Jenna Stregowski
Our AssessmentVeterinary technician Jenna Stregowski shares some basic information about finding the right food for your dog, and includes lists of Top Natural and Holistic Dog Foods and another that names several premium dog foods. Stregowski notes that the brands in the first list come from companies that produce high-quality incredients without fillers, byproducts and unnecessary chemicals. The second list includes foods that are designed to meet AAFCO standards and use better ingredients than generic or bargain brands. Readers also contribute a handful of their own reviews. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
by Contributors to Petco.com
Our AssessmentPetco is a large pet supply company that lets customers provide reviews and ratings of dog food and other products. Although many foods get only a handful of ratings, some get high grades in dozens of reviews. Navigation is slowed by the fact that the number of ratings is hidden until you click through to the product page.
Dog Food Brands
by Contributors to RateItAll.com
Our AssessmentThis site features consumer ratings of a wide range of dog food types and lets you sort by highest rated, lowest rated and confidence (ratings based on a large number of user reviews). Like most such websites, the quality of the reviews varies greatly, but many are interesting to read and several varieties get lots of feedback. Although premium and supermarket brands can be found here, premium brands top the ratings. Orijen stands out for its high rating in more than 400 reviews.
Natural Dog Food
by Contributors to Only Natural Pet Store
Our AssessmentThis online pet supplies retailer specializes in natural products. The site gives readers the opportunity to provide feedback on the dog foods they have purchased. Ratings are provided right on the main page, but these would be more useful if the number of ratings were provided. Some brands and foods get lots of feedback, and others get a handful of reports or none at all. Reviews list pros and cons and a bottom-line opinion about whether the reviewer would recommend a dog food to a friend, along with a brief write-up. Reviewer identities are verified prior to their reviews being posted. Innova dry dog food is a standout choice among customers, with its Large & Small Bites formula drawing perfect scores across the board in roughly 30 reviews.
Dog Food Reviews
by Editors of DogFoodAnalysis.com
Our AssessmentAccording to the editors, DogFoodAnalysis.com was created to assess the quality of the many commercial dog foods available. Although the site does not do any testing, it looks at the ingredient information to provide an opinion about the quality of what goes into a particular food, and how appropriate those ingredients are for dogs. Unfortunately, it looks like the site has not been updated for quite some time as the newest reviews we spotted were from 2010, so you need to watch out for changed formulations.
Top 10 Best Dog Food
by Editors of DogFoodScoop.com
Our AssessmentThis site, created and maintained by self-described dog lovers, rates brands rather than specific varieties. Criteria for ratings are clearly spelled out, and include ingredients, nutritional sufficiency and company ethics. A list of the top 10 dog foods has been cut down to six because of industry events, and a new top 10 list, promised since 2010, has yet to be posted. The site also hosts a number of helpful articles on choosing dog foods and keeping dog food safe and fresh once the bag or can is opened at home.
Choosing a Healthy Dog or Cat Food
by Editors of Dogma
Our AssessmentThis site is owned by a pet store with two locations in Orange County, Calif. The site has all the usual sales links, such as toys, bowls and treats, but it also has one page devoted to nutrition, which is well researched and in agreement with other sources. There are no ratings or recommendations, but there's a list of foods to avoid because they contain byproducts, corn meal and added animal fat. Editors say most foods that can be bought in supermarkets or large retailers (such as Walmart) should "generally be avoided."
The Top 50 Most Frequently Asked BARF Questions Newcomers Ask!
by Bree Prive
Our AssessmentBARF is an acronym for "biologically appropriate raw food" (sometimes referred to as "bones and raw food"), and this site is one of the most complete sources of information we found. A must for anyone interested in learning about raw food diets for dogs, the information is provided by those experienced with the BARF diet and from books written by experts. The site has an excellent question-and-answer page and covers everything from vegetarian raw food diets to the myth about feeding raw food causing a dog to develop "blood lust" and start stalking other animals for food.
Interpreting Pet Food Labels
by David A. Dzanis
Our AssessmentThis government site goes into great detail about labeling regulations and industry standards. A great resource for devout label-readers, the article gives guidelines for spotting label trickery, including, for example, the "95 percent rule," which states that products that use meat, poultry or fish in their names (such as "tuna cat food") must contain at least 95 percent of the named ingredient. Another example is the "25 percent rule." If the named ingredients make up at least 25 percent of the product but less than 95 percent, the name must include a qualifying descriptive term, such as "beef dinner for dogs." No pet-food guidelines or ratings are found here, however.
Nutrient Requirements of Cats and Dogs
by Donald C. Beitz, et al.
Our AssessmentThis site offers a downloadable pamphlet based on a 600-page report on dog and cat nutrition (*Est. $265). It provides useful information such as the calories needed per day by type of dog and weight, daily recommended allowances for vitamins and minerals, the different supplements found in dog food, feeding practices and more. No dog food ratings are included, however.
Dog Foods: Help in Making the Choice Easier
by Owner of Woodhaven Labradors
Our AssessmentThis site belongs to a breeder of Labrador retrievers. This article looks at gimmicks and labeling with a critical eye. The author's position is a little different than other writers' in that some byproducts are considered fine. The rationale is that in the wild, dogs certainly eat organs and other parts considered unpalatable by humans. What's important is to look for a named byproduct rather than an unidentified byproduct. The author states that their dogs do best on mid-range dog food -- neither the most expensive nor the least -- but no recommendations are made.