How to Rate Your Dog Food

How to rate your dog's food: Start with a grade of 100 points.

  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", "brewers rice", "rice flour" are all the same grain source), 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 is not allergic to wheat), subtract 2 points.
  14. If it contains beef (unless you know your dog is not 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 flaxseed 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 "chicken by-products" 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.

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

Below are some foods that have already been rated:

Brand Name Score Grade
Authority Harvest Baked 116 A+
Bil-Jac Select 68 F
Canidae 112 A+
Diamond Maintenance 64 F
Diamond Lamb Meal & Rice 92 B
Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Ultra Premium 122 A+
Dick Van Patten's Duck and Potato 106 A+
Hund-n-Flocken Adult Dog (Lamb) by Solid Gold 93 B
Iams Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Premium 73 D
Kirkland Signature Chicken, Rice & Vegetables (Sold only at Costco) 110 A+
Nutrisource Lamb and Rice 87 B
Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy 87 B
ProPlan Natural Turkey & Barley 103 A+
Purina Beneful 17 F
Science Diet Advanced Protein Senior 7+ 63 F
Science Diet for Large Breed Puppies 69 F
Wellness Super5Mix Chicken 110 A+

PLEASE NOTE: Beef, venison, and bison (or other 'game' meats) are NOT good for Dalmatians as they are high purine meats