ALDI are great for being cheap, but cheap rarely equals quality. They label their Julius Gold home brand (ok, technically a phantom brand) as premium, when the truth is that word is a meaningless marketing word.
In our ALDI Julius Gold dog food review (also applicable to the Puppy & Lite formulas) we’ll find out what the ingredients really say about this dog food.
Julius Gold dog food review
What the marketing says
Allegedly the Julius Gold dog food is formulated by an animal nutritionist. Not a dog nutritionist, just an animal nutritionist.
Seeing as pictures say a thousand words, below is an excerpt from an ALDI magazine which highly praises their glorified home brand dog food. After all, they’re not going to slate it, are they:
Let’s play a game! Take a look at the packaging in the image above. The main ingredient in this dog food is shown graphically, but can you guess what it is?
Having read the marketing spiel above it seems ALDI Julius Gold dog food is pretty good, right? After all, Dr Cameron Sell PhD seems highly qualified so must have a thorough understanding about the nutritional requirements of dogs?
Well, it turns out Cameron Sell is an owner of a company called Premier Pet Foods (aka The Great Australian Petfood Company), so we can only assume he benefits lucratively from making this dog food for ALDI.
What the ingredients really say
I’ll focus on Julius Adult for this review, but will mention the Puppy and Lite recipes as a tragic anecdote at the end.
A natural canine diet is meat, so it’s a good start to find meat as the main ingredient. Sadly it’s cheap meat churned up with by-products (offal, skin, cysts, tumours, and who knows what else). It’s weighed before cooking so will become less significant in the finished product, so in all likelihood isn’t the main ingredient in this food.
Did you guess earlier that meat (or chicken) was the main ingredient in ALDI Julius Gold? If so, read on…
When it comes to non-nutritious grains, wheat is arguably the worst. It’s a cause of canine atopic dermatitis and very likely the reason your dog may scratch a lot on a food such as this. Wheat is listed second on the ingredients list (or at least a combination of wheat and/or sorghum).
Sorghum isn’t that great either, being starchy and less digestible than rice grains. Wheat and sorghum are very cheap, which is why they’re in this food.
Next up we find the real truth about the main ingredient in this dog food. The third listed ingredient is wheat bran…
Hold on a minute, wasn’t wheat our 2nd ingredient as well?
What we have here is a cunning marketing trick called splitting. Ingredients are listed in order of percentage, so splitting a cheap ingredient (such as wheat) into two parts makes the meat appear as the main ingredient when it’s not.
You’re being duped, and the reality is wheat is the main ingredient. It’s one of the cheapest, most allergenic grains available, and given this dog food was formulated by an animal nutritionist you would have to wonder why they think wheat is good for an essentially carnivorous animal.
Vegetable protein is the fourth ingredient, possibly in the same quantity as the first three ingredients (making it one part meat, two parts grain, and one part vegetable). This is likely added to ramp up the protein from a cheaper and less digestible source than meat.
Tallow is a by-product of meat rendering, being the fatty residue from cooking up “meat” in a big vat. This accounts for the fat content in the food and isn’t the best or healthiest.
I’ll give them credit for linseeds and/or linseed oil (otherwise known as flaxseed). Where all other ingredients fail, this will give your dog some nutritional benefit and go some way to provide necessary omega fatty acids for health and coat.
Some vitamins and minerals are added too, because it’s a minimum requirement, but to me it’s on par with feeding your kids McDonalds every day and slipping in some budget multivitamin.
A summary (and better recommendations)
To summarise our ALDI Julius Gold dog food review we would have to recommend you pass on this.
Your dog may eat it, and in the short term they may even appear to enjoy it, but the excessive wheat in this product is just one reason why your dog may develop poor health in years to come.
Julius Gold Puppy
Julius Puppy is formulated in the same way as Adult, but appears to have a more significant amount of meat & meat by-products, and likely more vegetable protein. That doesn’t mean I recommend feeding it to a dog in their early crucial stages of life.
Julius Gold Lite
If your dog’s overweight then the best thing you can do is feed him a decent meat-based diet. What they’ve done here is the opposite, they’ve practically removed the meat altogether and stuffed it to the brim with cheap grains. Your dog will have to eat much more to get the nutrients he needs, filling his belly with worthless crap. How will that help?
Ingredients of ALDI Julius Gold dog food:
Meat and Meat By-Products (from Chicken and Beef), Wholegrain Cereals (Wheat and/or Sorghum), Wheat Bran, Vegetable Protein, Tallow, Whole Linseeds and/or Linseed Oil, Beet Pulp, Salt, Prebiotic, Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Rosemary Plant Extract, Vitamins (A, D, E, K, B1, B2, B6, B12, Niacin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Choline, Pantothenic Acid), Minerals (Iron, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Selenium, Iodine, Cobalt), Lutein, Garlic, Kelp.
Guaranteed analysis of ALDI Julius Gold dog food:
|Carbohydrates *||Estimated 58%|
ALDI Julius Gold dog food recalls
Australia has a voluntary recall system which means public recalls rarely occur. We note, however, that numerous consumers have found their dogs to have adverse reactions to the Julius Gold dog food products.
Calling Aussie pet lovers – join the mailing list!
Cheap meat and a double whammy of Wheat and Wheat doesn't come across as a premium food for dogs
- Wheat is a problematic grain for dog health
- Wheat bran is also a problematic grain for dog health
- Cheap and unhealthy ingredients