Dog Food Comparison
7 Levels of Nutrition
from BARF to BAD

What kind of dog parent are you? Test your knowledge on this dog food comparison page. Learn how to boost canine nutrition and avoid toxic dog foods.

Here’s a realistic dog food nutrition comparison.

First between types like raw food for dogs, home made dog food, kibble dog food and canned.

When we get to commercial dog food, there are distinct levels to that as well. Not surprising, that's were the bad dog food dwells. What may be most shocking is the worst dog foods in existence are rather popular.

I assume this is due to spending millions in advertising and shelf space rather than ingredients.

While I am very happy feeding raw, that may not be your cup of tea. I understand. I fed commercial foods for more years than I can count and I was perfectly comfortable at the time. I kept a lookout for recalls just like you probably do but ultimately I simplified my life and my dogs life.

I don't expect everyone to be on the same page as I am so a dog food comparison is in order. I want you to be able to choose what is best for you and your dog, considering your time and your budget, so now let's see where your knowledge lies.

Ready? Here goes.


Fresh human grade raw meats, bones, and organ meats with small amounts of green tripe.  

May include a well rounded omega 3 essential fatty acids. (Supplements are NOT created equal. Subscribe to my newsletter and learn about the best.)



Fresh barely cooked meats, calcium (to replace those bones) and organ meat. (vegetables are not really necessary for dogs because they can't break them down properly). Barely cooking keeps some enzymes intact and the needed fat more digestible as well.   Include a tested human grade whole food supplement, and omega 3 essential fatty acids. 


Ultra Premium commercial canned foods. I say ultra premium because I'm talking about those that are mostly meat which is human quality and no by-products. These have little or no grains and there are no chemical preservatives and you won't likely find them at the grocery store.


Super Premium grain-free dry dog food like the one Wysong recently came out with called Epigen. It's not only grain free, but starch free. For others, check with your local pet food store since you'll not likely find these at the grocery store either.


Premium canned foods. These brands use substantially less meat. Water is often the number 1 ingredient and they use meat by-products (poor quality waste parts). Usually they contain significant amounts of grains and chemical preservatives.


Super Premium kibble like and Canidae, but things change, so you have to keep up to date. Sometimes good dog food makers are bought out by the huge commercial brands and the quality may go down substantially. Innova and EVO, for example were bought out by Proctor and Gamble, so I won't recommend them anymore. You seriously need to do your homework if you don't want to go raw.


Grocery store brands – canned or dry. These contain very little meat, are made with substantial amounts of meat by-products, and primarily consist of grain and grain by-products. While meat or grain by-products don't sound bad initially, please understand what they truly are.

Full Definition of MEAT BY-PRODUCT

A usable product other than flesh obtained from slaughter animals including edible organ meats and various inedible products (as hair, bone, or fertilizer) —distinguished esp. in legal and commercial usage from meat .

Also note that AAFCO doesn't mention that meat byproducts may also legally contain: "4D animals (dead, dying, diseased, down), road kill, euthanized cats and dogs, including their collars. These source products are rendered, the fat is siphoned off to be used as "animal fat," and the remaining material is extruded to form "meat by-product meal."

These products normally contain artificial colors, flavors and chemical preservatives (some cancer causing).

There are  hundreds of these low grade foods. After all, look at the profit margin. I stopped reading labels for my own dog food comparisons long ago because I was disgusted.

I don't know if you remember those old Burger King commercials where the old woman hollers, "Where's the beef?" but I read dozens and dozens of dog food labels saying just that. (Except where it was suppose to be chicken or lamb.)

To learn more, please read dog food ingredients to avoid.

I hate to see Dog food manufacturers fooling you just like they were fooling me. Here's a bit more before I tell you five top of the line bad dog foods.

Final Comments on Dog Food Comparisons

  • All those brands you see at the grocery store and big chain pet food stores pay to be on those shelves and spend a lot of money advertising, rather than putting it into the quality of their products.
  • Do NOT assume the picture on the bag is what's in the bag. 
  •  DO assume those added vitamins are a manufactured version that cannot be metabolized and so sludges up the liver while it tries to figure out how to get rid of this foreign substance.

Now, while I believe raw is the best, not everyone has the inclination to do this. My own husband loved how much better the dogs looked, acted and felt, but was still uncomfortable seeing them chowing down on big pieces of raw meat with bones. He was afraid of germs and choking even though there was never a problem.

He worried for three years and when we parted company he switched his dog back to kibble.

If feeding raw is out of your comfort zone, you can cook for your dog. The less cooking, the better to retain nutrients and enzymes.If you don't take the time to cook for yourself, let alone your dog, and raw gives you the heebie jeebies, don't give up hope.

Just do your homework. There are thousands of dog foods out there. So many that I couldn't begin to give you any in-depth information. 

If you're wondering about a few of those top bad dog food winners? Beneful, Purina, Alpo, Old Roy, Kibbles and Bits, and Science Diet Original. And what was the top selling dog food world wide in 2011? (I haven't looked since) ... Beneful.  And honestly I'm tired of hearing about law suits. Educate yourself because you are the only one who can choose what goes inside your dog.

Whatever you chose, may it be an improvement.

Now pat yourself on the back and go hug your dog. And last but not least, add table scraps! I'm not talking pizza, chips or fries. Some plain meat and a green  veggie here and there can add nutrition to that dog diet.

If you're ready to change your dog's diet, happy dog food comparison -ing (That's not really a word is it?) And remember that dog health is a process just like disease. Which will you choose for your dog?

Dog Food Comparison to Nutrition

› Dog Food Comparison

Important Notice

I sell NSP (Nature's Sunshine) herbs and supplements for your dog. While these are strictly tested and made for human consumption, I am the only one in the United States successfully using them for dogs for over a decade now.

To get proper doses for your dog you must purchase through me. I've spent a great deal of time learning the right combinations and doses per weight for your canine kid.