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How to Grade your Dog Food

Grading your brand of dog food to find out how it compares to other brands.

Start with a grade of 100:

  • For every listing of "byproduct", subtract 10 points
  • For every nonspecific 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 nonspecific 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 "something else" 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


Let's look at some popular brands using this method and see what comes up. Is your's listed? How good is it?



A = 94-100

B = 86-93

C = 78-85

D = 70-77

F = 69 or lower


  • Alpo Prime Cuts - Score 81 C

  • Artemis Large/Medium Breed Puppy - Score 114 A+

  • Authority Harvest Baked - Score 116 A+

  • Authority Harvest Baked Less Active - Score 93 B

  • Beowulf Back to Basics - Score 101 A+

  • Beneful by Purina - Score 17 F

  • BilJac Select - Score 68 F

  • Blackwood 3000 Lamb and Rice - Score 83 C

  • Blue Buffalo Chicken and Rice - Score 106 A+

  • Blue Buffalo Lamb and Rice - Score 113 A+

  • Burns Chicken and Brown Rice - Score 107 A+

  • Canidae - Score 112 A+

  • Chicken Soup for the Puppy Lovers Soul: Large Breed - Score 118 A+

  • Chicken Soup Senior - Score 115 A+

  • Diamond Maintenance - Score 64 F

  • Diamond Lamb Meal & Rice - Score 92 B

  • Diamond Large Breed 60+ Formula - Score 99 A

  • Diamond Performance - Score 85 C

  • Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Ultra Premium - Score 122 A+

  • Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Venison & Brown Rice - Score 106 A+

  • Dick Van Patten's Duck and Potato - Score 106 A+

  • EaglePack Holistic - Score 102 A+

  • Eukanuba Large Breed Adult - Score 83 C

  • Eukanuba Lamb and Rice - Score 87 B

  • Eukanuba Puppy - Score 79 C

  • Flint River Senior - Score 101 A+

  • Foundations - Score 106 A+

  • HundnFlocken Adult Dog (lamb) by Solid Gold - Score 93 B

  • Iams Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Premium - Score 73 D

  • Iams Puppy - Score 89 B

  • Iams Senior - Score 85 C

  • Innova Dog - Score 114 A+

  • Innova Evo - Score 114 A+

  • Innova Large Breed Puppy - Score 122 A+

  • Kibbles and Bits - Score 44 F

  • Kirkland Lamb and Rice - Score 97 A

  • Kirkland Signature Chicken, Rice, and Vegetables - Score 110 A+

  • Maxxium Lamb and Rice - Score 93 B

  • Member's Mark Chicken and Rice - Score 84 C

  • Merrick Wilderness Blend - Score 127 A+

  • Merrick Puppy - Score 129 A+

  • Nature's Recipe - Score 100 A

  • Nature's Recipe Healthy Skin Venison and Rice - Score 116 A+

  • Nature's Variety Raw Instinct - Score 122 A+

  • Nutra Nuggets Super Premium Lamb Meal and Rice - Score 81 C

  • Nutrience Junior Medium Breed Puppy - Score 101 A+

  • Nutrisource Lamb and Rice - Score 87 B

  • Nutro Max Adult - Score 93 B

  • Nutro Natural Choice Lamb and Rice - Score 98 A

  • Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy - Score 87 B

  • Nutro Natural Choice Puppy Wheat Free - Score 86 B

  • Nutro Natural Choice Senior - Score 95 A

  • Nutro Ultra Adult - Score 104 A+

  • Nutro Ultra Puppy - Score 97 A

  • Ol Roy Complete Nutrition - Score 9 F

  • Orijen Large Breed Puppy - Score 119 A+

  • Pedigree Adult Complete - Score 14 F

  • Pedigree Complete Nutrition - Score 42 F

  • Pedigree Puppy - Score 66 F

  • Pedigree Lamb and Rice - Score 50 F

  • Pet Gold Adult with Lamb & Rice - Score 23 F

  • Premium Edge Chicken, Rice and Vegetables Adult Dry - Score 109 A+

  • Pro Nature Puppy - Score 80 C

  • Pro Plan Large Breed - Score 68 F

  • Pro Plan Puppy - Score 71 D

  • Pro Plan Selects Turkey & Barley - Score - Score 104 A+

  • Pro Plan Sensitive Stomach - Score 94 A

  • Purina Beneful - Score 17 F

  • Purina Dog - Score 62 F

  • Purina ComenGet It - Score 16 F

  • Purina One Large Breed Puppy - Score 62 F

  • Royal Canin Boxer - Score 103 A+

  • Royal Canin Bulldog - Score 100 A+

  • Royal Canin German Shepherd - Score 104 A+

  • Royal Canin Natural Blend Adult - Score 106 A+

  • Science Diet Advanced Protein Senior 7+ - Score 63 F

  • Science Diet for Large Breed Puppies - Score 69 F

  • Sensible Choice Chicken and Rice - Score 97 A

  • Solid Gold - Score 99 A

  • Summit - Score 99 A

  • Timberwolf Organics Wild & Natural Dry - Score 120 A+

  • Taste of the Wild High Prairie Formula - Score 112 A+

  • Wellness Super5 Mix Chicken - Score 110 A+

  • Wellness Puppy - Score 118 A+

  • Wolfking Adult Dog (bison) by Solid Gold - Score 97 A

When I first saw this and did a little more research on it I was just totally amazed at the findings. I never would have thought it would turn out this way because I like so many others have been made to think a certain way by manufactures. I guess that is the blindness intent they desire you to have when shopping for dog foods. First there are so many out there and I know at least I feel that the manufactures expect you just to believe them and not do any research on their brands. Do not misunderstand me I am not saying 1 food is bad or 1 is better I am just letting the numbers speak for themselves and allow you to make a informed choice that is all.

We feed our Aussies Exclusively Diamond Products, nothing but the best in our mind. They love it, no worries, no concerns.

Diamond PerformanceTaste of the Wild Sirrea Mountain

If you love and expect you do your dog then you are their only way of getting the desired nutrients, protein, carb's, vitamins and more that they need to grow and thrive as the rely totally on your judgment. So be informed, make a good choice for your friend that allows him/her to live a life that is as healthy as you can give them. Do not just follow the leaders choice become the leader and stay informed do what is right by yourself and your friend.

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