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Best Dog Foods

We all want our beautiful dogs to live long, healthy and happy lives. What you feed your dog plays a big role in this. Whether you have a large or small breed of dog, a puppy or a senior, or a canine companion with allergies or health concerns, there’s something great for your pooch to munch on. Continue Reading...

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239 listings

4Legs Natural Dog Food
  • Award Winner 2021

4Legs Natural Dog Food · includes 20 listings

4.9 from 3,054 reviews

Packed with a variety of natural and nutritious ingredients for dogs, 4Legs proudly states it makes fresh dog food that’s as good as homemade - but without the fuss.

Ad
  • Wide range of dog foods available

  • Preservative and filler-free

  • Dogs enjoyed the taste

  • Value for Money
    4.7 (864)
  • Pet's Life StagePuppy/Kitten (142), Adult (550) and Senior (232)
  • Side Effects Yes (6) · No (928)
  • Smell
    4.6 (559)
No values yet
4Legs Natural Dog Food
  • Award Winner 2021

4Legs Natural Dog Food · includes 20 listings

4.9 from 3,054 reviews

Packed with a variety of natural and nutritious ingredients for dogs, 4Legs proudly states it makes fresh dog food that’s as good as homemade - but without the fuss.

  • Wide range of dog foods available

  • Preservative and filler-free

  • Dogs enjoyed the taste

  • Value for Money
    4.7 (864)
  • Pet's Life StagePuppy/Kitten (142), Adult (550) and Senior (232)
  • Side Effects Yes (6) · No (928)
  • Smell
    4.6 (559)
No values yet
Mad Paws Dinner Bowl

Mad Paws Dinner Bowl

4.9 from 42 reviews

Made according to the principles of the BARF diet (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food), the Mad Paws Dinner Bowl uses minced human-grade meat, vegetables and offal in three ingredient combinations, or custom dog meals.

  • Dogs adored the taste

  • Nutritious ingredients for dogs

  • No fillers or preservatives

  • Can be expensive

  • Raw food doesn't suit all dogs

  • Value for Money
    4.3 (35)
  • Pet's Life StagePuppy/Kitten (6), Adult (21) and Senior (7)
  • Side Effects Yes (2) · No (34)
  • Smell
    3.5 (20)
No values yet
Australian Dog Food The Original

Australian Dog Food The Original

4.8 from 38 reviews

With a focus on including varied ingredients that help aid digestion, Australian Dog Food The Original is a healthy choice for canines. Dogs were also often a fan of the taste.

  • Contains 9 gut-friendly prebiotics and probiotics

  • Transparent breakdown of nutritional value

  • Just one product available

  • Only available online

  • Value for Money
    5.0 (1)
  • Pet's Life StageAdult (1) and Senior (1)
  • Side Effects Yes (1) · No (1)
  • Smell
    1.0 (1)
No values yet
Natures Goodness Grain Free Nutrition Dry Dog Food

Natures Goodness Grain Free Nutrition Dry Dog Food

4.0 from 93 reviews

Latest review: I have been buying Nature Goodness Grainfree dog food 7kg at Woolworths for my 2 dogs, Rough Collie and Miniature Poodle for quite some time (years) and found it was better quality, less output for

  • Value for Money
    3.5 (8)
  • Pet's Life StagePuppy/Kitten (1) and Adult (9)
  • Side Effects Yes (5) · No (5)
  • Smell
    3.3 (4)
No values yet
Big Dog Raw Food

Big Dog Raw Food

4.3 from 49 reviews

Containing 100% Australian raw ingredients, Big Dog Raw Food features three ranges, each available in a variety of flavours. There’s more than just meat, with inclusions of seasonal fruits, green veggies like broccoli and bok choy, and even flaxseed and brown seaweed.

  • Plenty of ranges and flavours

  • Human-grade meat used

  • Contains healthy ingredients for dogs

  • Made some dogs sick

  • Value for Money
    4.4 (37)
  • Pet's Life StagePuppy/Kitten (11), Adult (26) and Senior (1)
  • Side Effects Yes (9) · No (29)
  • Smell
    4.3 (24)
No values yet
4Legs Natural Dog Food
  • Award Winner 2021

4Legs Natural Dog Food · includes 20 listings

4.9 from 3,054 reviews

Packed with a variety of natural and nutritious ingredients for dogs, 4Legs proudly states it makes fresh dog food that’s as good as homemade - but without the fuss.

Ad
  • Wide range of dog foods available

  • Preservative and filler-free

  • Dogs enjoyed the taste

  • Value for Money
    4.7 (864)
  • Pet's Life StagePuppy/Kitten (142), Adult (550) and Senior (232)
  • Side Effects Yes (6) · No (928)
  • Smell
    4.6 (559)
No values yet
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Cute terrier eating a healthy bowl of food

What is the best commercial dog food?

Commercial dog food is what most pet owners opt for. You can find dog food at Coles and Woolworths, the pet store, your vet, or you can buy dog food online.

What the best dog food is will depend on a number of factors discussed below. However, here is a general guide.

Things to consider when buying dog food

Your dog’s age

Puppies

Puppies are highly active, and need the right food to give them energy and aid in their healthy development. Specially formulated puppy food is designed to be high in proteins, fats, calcium and vitamins.

If you're wondering whether puppies should eat dry or wet food, generally dry food like premium kibble made for puppies will be the healthiest option.

Raw dog food should be avoided, as it contains bacteria that is harmful to a puppy’s as-yet undeveloped immune system.

8-16 weeks

Often this is when a puppy moves into their forever home. While you may have the perfect plan for your puppy’s meals, sudden changes in a young pup’s diet can cause stomach upset.

It’s a good idea to continue with the same diet they were previously on. Over time, you can transition to a new diet. Introduce a small amount of the new food to begin with, then gradually increase the ratio of new food to old food over multiple weeks.

Puppies at this age should be fed 3-4 times a day, in small quantities.

16 months - 1 year

Since puppies begin teething at this age, it can be helpful to supplement your puppy’s dry food with a raw, meaty bone weekly.

If you’ve tried transitioning to a new dog food but your puppy’s not eating, there could be a few reasons. They could simply not like the taste, in which case you can try adding a little bit of plain boiled white rice or boneless, skinless chicken breast to their dry food.

However, your puppy may have digestive upset or allergies, in which case you can transition to a new food (but still, slowly) or consult with a vet.

Adult dogs

You can transition puppies to adult dog food at around 1 year-old, if they’re small dogs (10 kgs or under) or medium-breed dogs (10-25 kg).

Larger breeds of dogs (over 25 kg) only become adults at 18-24 months, so you can keep feeding them puppy food up to 2 years of age.

Diets for adult dogs won’t be so rich in proteins and fats, but they should still incorporate easily-absorbed protein as well as the 10 essential amino acids for dogs.

Adult dogs only need to be fed 1-2 times a day.

Senior dogs

Dog food for seniors is likely to be lower in fat and calories, since older dogs may prefer to spend their days relaxing rather than exercising. It can also contain ingredients to help ease the symptoms of specific ailments like arthritis or gum disease, or fibre, protein or nutrients for general care in old age.

Your dog’s breed

Your dog may benefit from a unique blend of ingredients, vitamins and minerals formulated for their breed. There are commercial dog foods available that cater to specific dog breeds, such as the Advance dog food for small terriers. Since these dogs can often have skin allergies, this dog food contains salmon which has natural omega-3 fatty acids - vitamins that help improve skin condition.

Royal Canin is another popular dog food brand that makes breed-specific dog foods. Dog foods catered to the breed of dog are usually more premium, i.e. expensive, but may be worth it if they help provide some relief for your pup.

Types of dog food

Dry dog food

Pros

  • A healthy, balanced diet can be achieved on just dry food alone
  • Easy to prepare - simply add the required amount into a dog bowl, and easy to store
  • Suitable for automatic dog feeders, which are timed to feed your dog at intervals
  • Good for dog’s teeth as the hard texture and shapes are designed to help maintain dental health
  • Not messy, especially when compared to canned food or raw food
  • Cheaper than most other dog food types: As dry food usually has a high calorie and protein coun, you need less of it per serve

Cons

  • Dental problems like dental disease or a misaligned jaw may stop your dog from eating kibble
  • Low in water content which may be unhelpful for dehydrated dogs or dogs that rarely make the trip to their water bowl

Canned food (or wet food)

Pros

  • Appetising for dogs, who will generally enjoy the smell and taste of wet food
  • High water count of around 70% is healthy for dehydrated dogs
  • Easier to eat for dogs who can’t chew tough dry food

Cons

  • Less healthy and lower chance of providing nutritionally complete meals than dry food
  • Better as a dog treat, eaten once a week alongside a predominantly dry-food diet
  • Has low longevity once the can is opened
  • More expensive to buy than dry food

Raw food

Pros

  • Low in carbs, which may be a healthy option for overweight dogs
  • High energy levels in dogs are often reported by proponents of a raw food diet

Cons

  • Limited scientific evidence that raw food diets are neccessarily better for dogs
  • Not suitable for all dogs like puppies or dogs with immune system issues
  • Has low longevity once the can is opened
  • Raw meat contains bacteria like salmonella and E.coli. in high quantities, which can cause illness

Raw food diets for dogs have gained popularity since the early 2010s. They're based on the philosophy that dogs should eat similarly to the diet of their ancestors, who ate all parts of the animal, and not just the limited range of meat found in commercial pet foods today.

There are two raw food diets for dogs:

  • BARF: Standing for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, this diet incorporates a varied mix of raw foods - both meats and vegetables. It includes raw meat, offal, vegetables, fruits and grains. These diets can be supplemented by healthy plant-based raw foods for dogs, such as kelp and flaxseed.
  • Raw meat based diet: This is essentially a completely carnivorous diet that utilises a wide range of animal parts, including meat, muscles, organs and bones. It's grain-free, but also free of variety - which is good for dogs.

Homemade dog food

Pros

  • Suitable for special diets to cater to dogs with allergies or health conditions. You can include ingredients help relieve an ailment, or at least won’t aggravate it
  • Good for fussy dogs who may prefer fresh, home-cooked whole foods to store-bought pet food
  • It's often cheaper to make your own dog food than buying it, particularly for special diets like a vegetarian or vegan dog food diet

Cons

  • More time consuming to source and prepare individual ingredients for your dog's meals
  • Research is required to ensure your dog is getting all the nutrients and vitamins needed for their age, breed and size
  • Shorter 'shelf life' compared to dry food and canned food. Fresh ingredients will need to refrigerated or frozen if they're not eaten straight away

Is homemade food better for dogs?

There currently isn't enough scientific evidence to suggest that homemade food is better for dogs than a commercial dog food diet. However, incorporating natural ingredients that are good for dogs into a canine diet can definitely be beneficial. Adding human-grade cuts of meat (even cheaper ones) is generally also considered good for dogs.

If you're not sure where to start, you can start by looking online for 'nutritionally complete dog food recipes.'

Remember you can mix and match - not all meals have to be exclusively homemade or store-bought.

Ingredients

Foods that are good for dogs

  • Raw meat: Human-grade meat such as chicken, lamb and beef is good for your dog. However you should avoid sausages due to the preservatives often found inside them.
  • Bones: Raw, meaty bones are excellent for keeping your dog's chompers in tip-top shape. Bones shouldn't be able to fit completely in your dog's mouth at once, as this can present a choking hazard. Don't feed your dog cooked bones, as these can splinter inside their bodies, causing internal injuries.
  • Bananas: These give dogs a natural energy hit, which makes it a doggy equivalent of a morning cup of coffee! This may be a good food for senior dogs or lethargic dogs. However, make sure to offer only a little bit of banana to your dog, as it is high in sugar.
  • Carrots: Dogs can eat both raw and cooked carrots. As well as aiding digestion, they provide a great source of vitamins A, K and potassium.
  • Sweet potato and pumpkin Dogs love the taste, and it also helps aid in healthy digestion.
  • Greens like peas and beans: These provide a dose of vitamin C and K for pups.
  • Peanut butter: The ultimate sweet treat for dogs, PB is packed with protein, healthy fats and vitamin B. You can put a generous scooping into a KONG, which is a food puzzle toy that can occupy dogs for a long time.
  • Parsley: This is a natural breath freshener for pups, like the dog version of a Tic Tac.

Ingredients or foods that are toxic or dangerous to dogs

  • Preservatives particularly sulphur dioxide, sodium sulphate and potassium sulphate are potentially lethal to your dog. This is because they can cause dangerous thaimine/vitamin B1 deficiencies. Fresh dog food - especially kangaroo meat - is more likely to contain these preservatives to stop it from going off. This includes fresh meats, steaks and rolls that you find in the refrigerated dog food section of your local supermarket.
  • Xylitol: This is a sweetener sometimes present in peanut butter
  • 'Human foods' dangerous to dogs: Grapes and raisins, avocado, chocolate (especially dark chocolate), coffee and other caffeinated products, raw yeast dough, onions, garlic, citrus, and fatty and salty foods.