What is the Best Dog Food?

How to Grade Your Dog's Food

Probably the single biggest decision that you will make relating to the overall health and well-being of your dog/puppy is the food that you choose to feed him/her. Since advertising claims can be misleading, and fancy packaging does not always mean better food, we have attempted to introduce a scientific grading scale that can be applied equally to all foods so that anapples-to-apples comparison can be performed.

Start with a grade of 100 points...
1For every listing of "by-product"subtract 10 points
2For every non-specific animal source ("meat" or "poultry", meat, meal or fat) referencesubtract 10 points
3If the food contains BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquinsubtract 10 points
4For every grain "mill run" or non-specific grain sourcesubtract 5 points
5If 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
6If the protein sources are not meat meal and there are less than 2 meats in the top 3 ingredientssubtract 3 points
7If it contains any artificial colorantssubtract 3 points
8If it contains ground corn or whole grain cornsubtract 3 points
9If corn is listed in the top 5 ingredientssubtract 2 points
10If the food contains any animal fat other than fish oilsubtract 2 points
11If lamb is the only animal protein source (unless your dog is allergic to other protein sources)subtract 2 points
12If it contains soy or soybeanssubtract 2 points
13If it contains wheat (unless you know that your dog isn't allergic to wheat)subtract 2 points
14If it contains beef (unless you know that your dog isn't allergic to beef)subtract 1 point
15If it contains saltsubtract 1 point
Extra Credit
1If any of the meat sources are organicadd 5 points
2If the food is endorsed by any major breed group or nutritionistadd 5 points
3If the food is baked not extrudedadd 5 points
4If the food contains probioticsadd 3 points
5If the food contains fruitadd 3 points
6If the food contains vegetables (NOT corn or other grains)add 3 points
7If the animal sources are hormone-free and antibiotic-freeadd 2 points
8If the food contains barleyadd 2 points
9If the food contains flax seed oil (not just the seeds)add 2 points
10If the food contains oats or oatmealadd 1 point
11If the food contains sunflower oiladd 1 point
12For every different specific animal protein source (other than the first one; count "chicken" and "chicken meal" as only one protein source, but "chicken" and "fish" as 2 different sources)add 1 point
13If it contains glucosamine and chondroitinadd 1 point
14If the vegetables have been tested for pesticides and are pesticide-freeadd 1 point

101-150A+
94-100A
86-93B
78-85C
70-77D
0-69F


Numerical Order (By Score)
Grade A+
Life's Abundance Premium Health FoodScore 141 A+
Timberwolf Organics Lamb and VenisonScore 136 A+
Solid Gold BisonScore 123 A+
Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Ultra PremiumScore 122 A+
Eagle Pack HolisticScore 119 A+
Wellness Just for PuppyScore 117 A+
Authority Harvest BakedScore 116 A+
Chicken Soup SeniorScore 115 A+
Eagle Pack Holistic ChickenScore 114 A+
Innova DogScore 114 A+
Innova EvoScore 114 A+
Natural Balance Duck and PotatoScore 114 A+
CanidaeScore 112 A+
Kirkland Signature Chicken, Rice, and VegetablesScore 110 A+
Wellness Super5 Mix ChickenScore 110 A+
Kirkland Signature Puppy Chicken, Rice and VegetableScore 108 A+
Dick Van Patten's Duck and PotatoScore 106 A+
Royal Canin Natural Blend AdultScore 106 A+
FoundationsScore 106 A+
ProPlan Natural Turkey & BarleyScore 103 A+
Grade A
Royal Canin BulldogScore 100 A
Diamond Large Breed 60+ FormulaScore 99 A
Royal Canin Dachshund 28 FormulaScore 97 A
Sensible Choice Chicken and RiceScore 97 A
Wolfking Adult Dog (bison) by Solid GoldScore 97 A
Eagle Pack Large and Giant Breed PuppyScore 94 A
Eagle Pack NaturalScore 94 A
Hund-n-Flocken Adult Dog (lamb) by Solid GoldScore 93 A
Grade B
Diamond Lamb Meal & RiceScore 92 B
Flint River RanchScore 92 B
Eukanuba Natural Lamb and RiceScore 87 B
Nutrisource Lamb and RiceScore 87 B
Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed PuppyScore 87 B
Grade C
Nutro Chicken, Rice, & OatmealScore 85 C
Nutro Natural choice Lamb and RiceScore 85 C
Eukanuba Large Breed AdultScore 83 C
Iams Large BreedScore 83 C
Grade D
Iams Lamb Meal & Rice Formula PremiumScore 73 D
Grade F
Science Diet for Large Breed PuppiesScore 69 F
Bil-Jac SelectScore 68 F
Pro Plan All BreedScore 68 F
Diamond MaintenanceScore 64 F
Science Diet Advanced Protein Senior 7+Score 63 F
Purina DogScore 62 F
Science Diet chicken adult maintenanceScore 45 F
Pedigree Complete NutritionScore 42 F
Pet Gold Adult with Lamb & RiceScore 23 F
Purina BenefulScore 17 F
Purina Come-n-Get ItScore 16 F
Pedigree Adult CompleteScore 14 F
Ol RoyScore 9 F

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