Dog Food Analysis & Grading

To grade any dog food using this dog food comparisons technique, you need to start with the list of ingredients (it’s fairly easy to find an ingredient list for any particular food on the manufacturers website, or use the one on your dog food bag etc.)

Start with a grade of 100 points, then …

For every listing of “by-product”, subtract 10 points

For every non-specific animal source (“meat” or “poultry”, meat, meal or fat) reference, subtract 10 points

If the food contains BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin, subtract 10 points

For every grain “mill run” or non-specific grain source subtract 5 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

If the protein sources are not meat meal and there are less than 2 meats in the top 3 ingredients, subtract 3 points

If it contains any artificial colorants, subtract 3 points

If it contains ground corn or whole grain corn, subtract 3 points

If corn is listed in the top 5 ingredients, subtract 2 more points

If the food contains any animal fat other than fish oil, subtract 2 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 2 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 1 point

Extra Credit:

If any of the meat sources are organic, add 5 points

If the food is endorsed by any major breed group or nutritionist, add 5 points

If the food is baked not extruded, add 5 points

If the food contains probiotics, add 3 points

If the food contains fruit, add 3 points

If the food contains vegetables (NOT corn or other grains), add 3 points

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

If the food contains barley, add 2 points

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

If the food contains oats or oatmeal, add 1 point

If the food contains sunflower oil, add 1 point

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 “fish” as 2 different sources), add 1 point

If it contains glucosamine and chondroitin, add 1 point

If the vegetables have been tested for pesticides and are pesticide-free, add 1 point

Scoring

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

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