This is a list complied by the Whole Dog Journal It then comes down too which food off of the good list works well for your particular dog
Best Dry Dog Food:
Artemis Azmira Back to Basics Bench & Field Blue Buffalo Burns By Nature Brightlife California Nautral Canidae Canine Caviar Chicken Soup for the Pet Lovers Soul Could Star Kibble Drs. Foster Smith Eagle Holistic Select Evolve Natural Flint River Foundations Fromm 4 Star Nutritionals Go! Natural Hund-n-Flocken (Solid Gold) Innova Karma Lick Your Chops Lifespan Limitied Diets (IVD) Merrick MMillennia (Solid Gold) Natural Balance Natural Choice Ultra Newman's Own Organix Phd Viand Pinnacle Praire (Nature's Variety) Premium Edge Prime Life Royal Canin Natural Blend Showbound Naturals Timberwolf Organics Verus Wellness Wellness Simple Food Solutions Wysong
Worst Dry Dog Foods:
Beneful Cycle Adult Dad's Bite Sized Meal Diamond Premium Adult Formula Excel Lamb Meal & Rice Gravy Train Happy Tails HiPro Dog Food Iams Lamb Meal & Rice Kibbles & Bits Homestyle Chicken & Vegetable Max Adult (Nutro) Maxximum Nutrition Natural Choice Adult Lamb & Rice (Nutro) Nature's Recipie "Breed Specific" Nutra Nuggets Adult Maintenance Ol' Roy Pedigree Purina Dog Chow Purina One Total Nutrition Science Diet Adult Science Diet "Nature's Best With Real Beef..."
Best Canned Dog Foods:
Active Life Advanced Pet Diets Artemis Avo-derm Azmira Boulder Creek Farms California Nautral Canidae Drs. Foster Smith Eagle Holistic Select Evolve Natural Evanger's For Dogs Innova Lamaderm Merrick Natural Balance Natural Life Neura Meats Newman's Own Nutro Natural Choice Ultra Petguard Organic Pinnacle Prairie (Nature's Variety) Precise Plus Sensible Choice Solid Gold Spot's Stew Triumph Verus Wellness Wysong
I wonder why it only lists certain types of some foods and lists others as the whole brand name. For example there's bout 15 varieties of Ol'Roy and 5+ of Pedigree that can be included in the single listing.. but yet it specifically lists Iams lamb & rice formula.. does that mean the other formulas Iams, while not great, aren't as bad as the others on this list?
Please disregard this list. It is a misguided atempt at advertising for some of the reasons that have been asked. No report with that many brands listed could ever have missed Diamond lamb and rice in it's top 25. Maybe it's top ten.
Whole Dog Journal is not funded, and, therefore, not biased by advertisers. So I fail to see how it is "a misguided atempt [sic] at advertising."
Please DO NOT disregard this list. Whole Dog Journal states in their latest issue (regarding wet dog food):
WDJ’s selection criteria
Here’s how we determine whether a wet food is truly “premium.”
• We eliminate all foods containing artificial colors, flavors, or added preservatives. Canned food should be high in animal proteins, and as such, plenty palatable without any added flavors. It also needn’t contain any preservatives, given its sterilized and sealed containment.
• We reject foods containing fat or protein not identified by species. “Animal fat” and “meat proteins” are euphemisms for low-quality, low-priced mixed ingredients of uncertain origin.
• We reject any food containing meat by-products or poultry by-products. There is a wide variation in the quality of the by-products that are available to dog food producers. And there is no way for the average dog owner (or anyone else) to find out, beyond a shadow of a doubt, whether the by-products used are carefully handled, chilled, and used fresh within a day or two of slaughter (as some companies have told us), or the cheapest, lowest-quality material found on the market.
There is some, but much less variation in the quality of whole-meat products; they are too expensive to be handled carelessly
We eliminate any food containing sugar or other sweetener. Again, a food containing quality meats shouldn’t need additional palatants to entice dogs.
• We look for foods with whole meat, fish, or poultry as the first ingredient (and perhaps the second and third ingredients, too!) on the label. (Just as with food for humans, ingredients are listed on the label by the total weight they contribute to the product.)
• We like it when a nutritious meat, poultry, or fish broth is used in place of the water that may be necessary for processing. Broth is obtained by cooking meat, fish, or poultry bones, parts, and/or muscle tissue.
• If grains or vegetables are used, we look for the use of whole grains and vegetables, rather than a series of reconstituted parts, i.e., “rice,” rather than “rice flour, rice bran, brewer’s rice,” etc.
• Speaking of grain . . . We’ve discussed this many times, but there is nothing that says a canned food has to contain any grain or carbohydrate source.
Grains originally found their way into pet food because they were less expensive than animal proteins; of course, their amino acid profiles are much less complete than those offered by animal-sourced proteins, so we’re not crazy about the use of any grain or grain fragment as a protein source.
And, unlike humans, dogs do not need carbohydrates to live; they can do fine with a diet that contains no carbs whatsoever. We strongly prefer dog foods that contain small amounts of grain or no grain at all.
Go forth and compare
In the chart at the end of this article, we’ve listed a number of canned dog foods that meet our selection criteria. It’s vitally important that you understand the following points regarding these foods:
• The foods on our list are not the only good foods on the market.
• Any food that you find that meets our selection criteria, outlined above, is just as good as any of the foods on our list.
• We have presented the foods on our list alphabetically. We do not “rank order” foods. We don’t attempt to identify which ones are “best,” because what’s “best” for every dog is different. [Emphasis added.]
• The proof is in the pudding. If your dog does not thrive on the food, with a glossy coat, itch-free skin, bright eyes, clear ears, and a happy, alert demeanor, it doesn’t matter whether we like it or not.
Using the selection criteria we have outlined above, and perhaps taking into account some of the “extra credit” criteria listed in the "Further Attributes of Top-Quality Dog Food" sidebar, go analyze the food you are currently feeding your dog. If it doesn’t measure up, we encourage you to choose a new food based on quality, as well as what works best for you and your dog in terms of types of ingredients, levels of protein and fat, and local availability and price.
Now, if you don't agree with their selection criteria, so be it. But I, for one, do not agree that they make their selections based on who advertises with them, as they have no advertisers.
WDJ tries its darndest to actually get into the production centers, unfortunately, most often, to no avail. There is too much secretiveness regarding formulas perhaps being divulged to competitors.
I trust them, even though the dry dog food my dog eats is not on their dry dog food list. It does, however, meet their dry dog food selection criteria.
Here is a "test" to take to see how your dog food scores. I got this from the main forum I frequent.
You will need your kibble's list of ingredients, as found on the bag (or oftentimes their website). Please note, however, this is for ingredients ONLY.... so before feeding a pup be sure to look at the protein and fat and calcium and calories in the Guaranteed Analysis.
Start with a grade of 100:
For every listing of "by-product", subtract 15 points
For every non-specific animal source ("meat" or "poultry", meat, meal or fat) reference, subtract 10 points
If there are no specific meats or meat meals, subtract 25 points
For every grain "mill run" or non-specific grain source, or grain "middlings", subtract 10 points
If the food contains BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin, subtract 15 points
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 for each occurrence
If the protein sources are not (specific) meat meal and there are less than 2 meats in the top 3 ingredients, subtract 3 points
If it contains any artificial colorants, subtract 5 points
If it contains ground corn or whole grain corn, subtract 3 points (subtract 5 if corn is listed in the top 5 ingredients)
If the food contains any animal fat other than fish oil, subtract 3 points
If lamb is the only animal protein source (unless your dog is allergic to other protein sources), subtract 2 points
If it contains soy or soybeans, subtract 5 points
If it contains wheat (unless you know that your dog isn’t allergic to wheat), subtract 2 points
If it contains beef (unless you know that your dog isn’t allergic to beef), subtract 1 point
If it contains salt, subtract 3 points
If it contains corn syrup, molasses, or other added sweetener, subtract 10 points
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 "turkey" as 2 different sources - do not count egg, cheese, or other similar ingredients), add 1 point
If the food contains 3 or less different mentions of grains (or other high-carb plant-based foods like potatoes), add 5 points
If any of the meat sources are organic, add 5 points (if the number 1 ingredient is organic meat, add 10 points)
If the animal sources are hormone-free and antibiotic-free, add 3 points
If the food is baked not extruded, add 5 points
If the food contains probiotics, add 3 points
If the food contains fruit or vegetables (NOT corn or other grains), add 3 points
If the vegetables have been tested for pesticides and are pesticide-free, add 1 point
If the food contains barley or oats or oatmeal, add 1 point
If it contains sunflower, hemp, flaxseed, or other polyunsaturated vegetable oils, add 3 points (add 5 if it is the #1 fat)
If the vitamin and mineral sources are chelated, add 5 points
94-100+ = A
86-93 = B
78-85 = C
70-77 = D
<70 = F
It's a pretty interesting "test". I feed CS and I forget the exact score it received, but I know it was an "A" food.
Thank you for the informative post. Since Diamond does little in the way of advertising and meets their criteria it is unusual that it didn't get mentioned. If they advertised as much as their competition my dog food would be 50 a bag. Based on what they say their top brands should produce in a dog, mine are on very good kibble.
Hi! I have heard thru word of mouth, that the best way to judge dog foods is to look at the first three ingredients listed on the labels, because the first three make up the majority of what the food is made of?
Wow according to the test that Fincat posted my dog food scored 125 points :) It's called Performatrin Ultra, but it's only available in two provinces in Canada (Manitoba, and Ontario) and 5 States (Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia) :(