Wednesday, September 22

scoring your dog food

Hey friends. I posted this a while back on the ole' facebook, but I thought it deserved a spot on the blog, too. Many of us have dogs, and how we decide what to feed them can be based on a recommendation, price, or great advertising. But here is a way to "grade" your dog food. Penny & Gryffin eat Avoderm's Chicken and Brown Rice formula, and that scored a 97% {which is an upgrade from the Bil Jac - 68% - that they gave us when we adopted Penny}

Scroll down to see the list of dog food that have already been scored. Yours might already be on the list so you don't have to calculate all the points out.

How to grade your dog's food:

Start with a grade of 100:

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", "brewer's rice", "riceflour" are all the same grain), 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 wholegrain 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, subtract2 points

13) If it contains wheat (unless you know that your dog isn't allergic to wheat), subtract 2 points

14) If it contains beef (unless you know that your dog isn't allergic to beef), subtract 1 point

15) If it contains salt, subtract 1 point


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 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 t he 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 flax seed 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 "" 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 1point

Here are some foods that have already been scored.

Dog Food scores:

94-100+ = A

86-93 = B

78-85 = C

70-77 = D

69 =F

Alpo / Score 17 F

Authority Harvest Baked / Score 116 A+

Bil-Jac Select /Score 68 F

Canidae / Score 112 A+

Chicken Soup Senior / Score 115A+

Diamond Maintenance / Score 64 F

Diamond Lamb Meal & Rice /Score 92 B

Diamond Large Breed 60+ Formula / Score 99 A

Dick VanPatten's Natural Balance Ultra Premium / Score 122 A+

Dick VanPatten's Duck and Potato / Score 106 A+

Foundations / Score 106A+

Hund-n-Flocken Adult Dog (lamb) by Solid Gold / Score 93B

Iams Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Premium / Score 73 D

InnovaDog / Score 114 A+

Innova Evo / Score 114 A+

Kibbles N Bits / Score 17 F

Nutrisource Lamb and Rice/ Score 87 B

Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy / Score 87B

Pedigree / Score 17F

Pet Gold Adult with Lamb & Rice / Score 23 F

ProPlan NaturalTurkey & Barley / Score 103 A+

Purina Beneful / Score 17F

Purina Dog / Score 62 F

Purina Come-n-Get It / Score 16F

Royal Canin Bulldog / Score 100 A+

Royal Canin Natural Blend Adult / Score 106 A+

Sensible Choice Chicken and Rice / Score 97A

Science Diet Advanced Protein Senior 7+ / Score 63 F

Science Diet for Large Breed Puppies / Score 69 F

Wellness Super5 Mix Chicken /Score 110 A+

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

Hope you found this helpful!
Cheers to our doggies' health!


  1. I have seen this before, thank you for sharing!! Gosh, I wish it were possible to change what the FDA allows these companies to put in pet food, but I don't know how to make that happen!!

  2. I've never seen this before and apparently I'm feeding my dogs total junk. Thanks. I'm going to the store this weekend.

  3. thanks for this! i'm so bummed to discover that the expensive science diet i buy for my pups got an f! i will be changing their food for sure!

  4. I have never heard of this, but so glad I came across your blog, because I always worry about what I feed my baby. But I buy her Wellness brand, so I am feeling quite relieved! Thanks for sharing!


How sweet of you to comment :) I love you for it!