Rating Your Dog Food




Watch for the following ingredients in your choice of dog 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 thoroughly studied and may ultimately be harmful.

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

Beef Tallow: A low quality fat product.


To rate your dog food, start with a grade 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", "brewer's 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 3 points

  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 isn't allergic to wheat), subtract 2 points

  14. If it contains beef (unless you know that your dog isn't 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 points

  7. If the animal sources are hormone-free and antibiotic-free, add 2 points

  8. If the food contains barley, add 2 points

  9. If the food contains flax seed oil (not just the seeds), add 2 points

  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 "salmon" 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


A = 94-100
B= 86-93
C = 78-85
D= 70-77
F= 70 or lower


Food  Scores:

Alpo Prime Cuts /   81 C
Artemis Large/Medium Breed Puppy /   114 A+
Authority Harvest Baked /   116 A+
Authority Harvest Baked Less Active /   93 B

Beowulf Back to Basics /   101 A+
Bil-Jac Select /   68 F
Blackwood 3000 Lamb and Rice /   83 C
Blue Buffalo Chicken and Rice /   106 A+
Burns Chicken and Brown Rice /   107 A+

Canidae /   112 A+
Chicken Soup Senior /   115 A+

Diamond Maintenance /   64 F
Diamond Lamb Meal & Rice /   92 B
Diamond Large Breed 60+ Formula /   99 A
Diamond Performance /   85 C
Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Ultra Premium /   122 A+
Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Venison and Brown Rice / 106 A+
Dick Van Patten's Duck and Potato /   106 A+

EaglePack Holistic /   102 A+
Eukanuba Adult /   81 C
Eukanuba Puppy /   79 C

Flint River Senior /   101 A+
Foundations /   106 A+

Hund-n-Flocken Adult Dog (lamb) by Solid Gold /   93 B

Iams Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Premium /   73 D
Innova Dog /   114 A+
Innova Evo /   114 A+
Innova Large Breed Puppy /   122 A+

Kirkland Signature Chicken, Rice, and Vegetables /   110 A+

Member's Mark Chicken and Rice /   84 C
Merrick Wilderness Blend /   127 A+

Nature's Recipe /   100 A
Nature's Recipe Healthy Skin Venison and Rice /   116 A+
Nature's Variety Raw Instinct /   122 A+
Nutra Nuggets Super Premium Lamb Meal and Rice /   81 C
Nutrience Junior Medium Breed Puppy /   101 A+
Nutrisource Lamb and Rice /   87 B
Nutro Max Adult /   93 B
Nutro Natural Choice Lamb and Rice /   98 A
Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy /   87 B
Nutro Natural Choice Puppy Wheat Free /   86 B
Nutro Natural Choice Senior /   95 A
Nutro Ultra Adult /   104 A+

Pet Gold Adult with Lamb & Rice /   23 F
Premium Edge Chicken, Rice and Vegetables Adult Dry /   109 A+
Pro Nature Puppy /   80 C
Pro Plan Sensitive Stomach /   94 A
Purina Beneful /   17 F
Purina Dog /   62 F
Purina Come-n-Get It /   16 F
Purina One Large Breed Puppy /   62 F

Royal Canin Boxer /   103 A+
Royal Canin Bulldog /   100 A+
Royal Canin Natural Blend Adult /   106 A+

Science Diet Advanced Protein Senior 7+ /   63 F
Science Diet for Large Breed Puppies /   69 F
Sensible Choice Chicken and Rice /   97 A
Solid Gold /   99 A
Summit /   99 A

Timberwolf Organics Wild & Natural Dry /   120 A+

Wellness Super5 Mix Chicken /   110 A+
Wolfking Adult Dog (bison) by Solid Gold /   97 A



When we fed kibble, we fed Grain-Free Canidae.  We now feed RAW which is the absolute best you can do for your dog.  If you would like more information on feeding raw, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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