What’s the best dog food (in Australia)?

If you’re a dog lover like me, and I’m sure you are, you’ll want what’s best for your dog. That’s not easy when every packet of dog food tells us it’s the best, the most nutritious, or the one your dog will love!

Read the labelling on your current dog food – what does it tell you? What do the ingredients really say?

You wouldn’t believe how cunning pet food marketing departments are. More on that later – but stick around and I’ll tell you the #1 misconception about dog food!

I’ve researched dog foods for many years, worked with vets, pet food companies, and thousands of consumers like you. I’ve learned a lot along the way, and hope to share that with these reviews.

My aim with Pet Food Reviews is to help you guys choose a better food for your dogs, or to word it better – a better diet.

When it comes to the best dog food in Australia it’s important to note there is no best, no perfect, dog food.

It totally depends on your situation, number of pets, where you live, shop, etc.

Some of the best-rated dog foods on this website are “expensive”. Perhaps fine as part of a diet, but too costly for many.

For those on a tighter budget (like most of us, right?) – here’s some of the best affordable dog foods (with tips on boosting nutrition!)

If you’re getting impatient and want to see the list of best dog foods in Australia then that comes next, but if you want to learn more about dog food (particularly in Australia), then keep reading!

What’s the best dog food in Australia?

I aim to keep this list short as the last thing I want you to do is stay up til 3am pulling your hair out trying to decide.

I change this list regularly, and recommend you come back whenever you need to stock up – my personal recommendation is to switch it up, add variety, and in time you’ll probably start taking advantage of whichever dog food happens to be on sale at the time.

Bookmark this page with CTRL + D on Windows (or whichever corresponding alien keys on a Mac) ✔

Right then, the current list of best dog food in Australia, in no particular order:

Click here for all dog food reviews.

Some of these brands are available direct from the manufacturer. You should find many of them in good pet stores on independent pet shops. I know Pet Circle are very proactive in stocking decent dog foods, as are My Pet Warehouse – both competitive on price.

Are dog foods really that different?

The difference in quality between some dog foods and others in Australia is astounding. Some dog foods tell you exactly what they’re made from, usually because they’re made from ingredients which are good for your dog.

But…

*Most* dog foods sold in Australia do their best not to tell you the truth.

I have a copy of the Australian standards for Manufacturing and marketing of pet food (AS 5812:20127) which is available here, but you’ll have to pay $118.76 AUD for the privilege. How’s that for transparency?

The standards, if you do read them, will give you the impression they were written by the pet food industry, for the pet food industry.

On in other words, not for the benefit of you or me as the consumer.

Seasoned Australian vet Dr Tom Lonsdale, author of Raw Meaty Bones and Work Wonders, refers to it as “the junk pet food industry”, having witnessed first hand the harm caused to our dogs from commercial pet food, for decades.

Dr Lonsdale, unlike most vets, records data on what dog foods were fed to the sick dogs and cats who go through his veterinary practice daily. He attributes most conditions, such as itchy skin, rotting teeth and gums, and other serious illnesses to commercial pet foods.

Needless to say, he has a great deal of credibility on the subject, and those two books are eye-opening.

I’ve found the marketing of many brands of dog food so skewed it’s amazing it’s legal. I find highly questionable brands benefit from 5 star ratings on various websites, simply because the owner thinks it’s good because their dog eats it.

Many of those people will readily say it’s the best dog food in Australia to any social media group who’ll listen or ask for recommendations!

How often do people recommend Supercoat as the best dog food, ever? Lot’s of cereal by-products, wheat, corn, sorghum, or barley in that food for essentially meat-eating dogs.

Just saying.

Your dog will eat a Big Mac – they’ll probably love it – but is that good for your dog? Should Big Macs be rated 5 stars as a dog food?

Alternatively, would you rate broccoli 1 star because your baby refuses to eat it?

Nope.


Hopefully my experience with dog food over many years, combined with gathering so much information and feedback from other dog owners, will help you make a better decision when choosing a dog food in Australia.

Lastly, before I get to some interesting misconceptions about dog food, I want you to take part in helping other dog lovers learn.

We’re in this together.

What dog food do you feed? What experiences have you had? What have you learned from others?

Every review has a comments section, and it’s totally free to use!

Misconceptions about dog food which will change your mind forever!

If you’ve got this far, thank you – it’s clear you really want to know what’s best for your dog!

Here’s not one, but two misconceptions about dog food in the world today! In fact, they’ve been misconceptions for decades.

When searching for the best food for your dog, always keep these misconceptions in mind. They’ll guide you towards the right decision.

#1 misconception about dog food

You’ll be forgiven if this surprises you. We fall victim to clever marketing, and pet food marketers are up there with magicians – they know how to trick us.

Most commercial dog foods are grain-based, not meat-based.

Walk down the dog food aisle in any supermarket across the world, and spend time looking at every packet of dog food. What pictures are on the front? What claims do they make?

Ask yourself – how many say “Rich in Wheat!”, “Grain is the first ingredient!”, “Packed with rice your dog will love!”, or “Made with real corn!”.

Any of them?

Now turn those bags around and read the ingredients. Most commercial dog foods are made from grains!

Don’t be fooled by grain-free slogans either. They usually swap grains for potatoes, tapioca, or other starchy high-carbohydrate ingredients. They’ll still market it as meaty.

When you read my reviews you’ll find that’s not the only trickery they use to make a dog food appear like the best dog food in the aisle.

Even claims like “meat first ingredient” doesn’t mean there’s much of it in the product, so don’t be fooled by that one either.

#2 misconception about dog food

If you’ve read the first misconception about dog food, then this second misconception might not come as a shock.

But sit down, and take a deep breath.

Most commercial dog food is, quite likely, unhealthy.

This may sound like a crazy thing to say, and I hope you don’t think I’m crazy for saying it.

People have said to me, many times, “If it wasn’t healthy, they wouldn’t sell it”.

Personally I think that’s crazy, especially given the amount of junk food you can buy.

In 2021, a leaked document from Nestlé claimed the majority of it’s portfolio is unhealthy.

The document, meant for internal use only, was a presentation acknowledging more than 60% of products did not meet ‘recognised definition of health’ – cited from an FT article here.

Did you know Purina is a brand of Nestlé? They’re one of the biggest sellers of pet food in Australia!

Nestlé brands in Australia 👉 Supercoat, Purina One, Felix, Fancy Feast, Pro Plan, Friskies, Lucky Dog, Bonnie, Pro Plan Veterinary Diets, Dentalife!

In fact, according to Statista, Nestlé made an incredible US $15,422,000,000 with their Purina range of pet foods in 2021.

That’s around 30% of all pet food sold worldwide.

Nestlé aren’t the biggest pet food manufacturer either. The biggest player, making a whopping US $18,085,000,000 in 2021, was Mars.

How many dog foods have you seen with “Mars” in big letters on the packaging, like you get with the Mars bar?

None?

Fascinating, isn’t it?

Yet most of the dog foods in the supermarket aisles are brands by Nestlé or Mars.

Go to your local vets and look at the dog foods they recommend. Read the ingredients. Do you think they’re much better?

Most of those brands are also Mars, or Colgate-Palmolive.

When you read my reviews for many of these brands, and others, you can decide for yourself if you’re feeding the best dog food.

Oh, and before you turn to an Australian brand instead of one of those big American brands, just keep in mind Australia’s regulations for pet food are worse, with even less guarantees of honesty, quality, or even safety.

Why choosing the right dog food is vital for the health of your dog

You’ve probably got the gist of it already, but what we feed our dogs is vital for their health.

Let me give you some examples…

I’ve spoken to hundreds of dog owners over the years who didn’t realise their dog’s itchy skin or rashes were related to diet. It’s actually very common, but not really considered.

Most of the time those dogs will be taken to the vet and prescribed some form of medication or expensive “prescription diet” – usually Hills Science Diet, Hills Prescription Diet, or Royal Canin.

Those prescription diets work because they don’t contain common allergens – namely wheat or cereals. If you don’t believe me, compare the ingredients between a dermocare formula and another formula of the same brand.

Those medications merely cover up the issues without addressing the real problem.

In most of those cases any grain free dog food would do the trick, and these are often cheaper.

There are many diet-related illnesses our dogs suffer, and it’s rarely considered cheap dog foods are the culprit.

Cancer, arthritis, diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, IBS, allergies, dermatitis, ear infections, urinary crystals, pancreatitis

All of these can be attributed to diet, which is why choosing a decent dog food is vital for the long term health of our dogs.

There’s some great information about those illnesses on the Frontier Pets website here, which is well worth keeping in mind.

How the list of best dog food in Australia is chosen

All the dog food reviews are written firstly as an overview of the ingredients and analysis, but there are many other factors taken into account. Many brands of Australian dog foods actually come from the same manufacturer. There are many Australian brands of dog food, yet only a handful of manufacturers.

I monitor trends with each manufacturer, so if you find your dog has a reaction to a dog food, or you have any issues, then make sure you say so in the comments.

Australian Pet Owners Group (APOG) have an issue log for most brands of dog and cat food sold in Australia, and it’s well worth researching any pet food you feed on their website.

With some leading Australian manufacturers I’ve gathered many reports of sickness or diarrhoea. For other pet food manufacturers, hardly any at all.

The dog foods on the “Best Dog Food in Australia” list will change over time, either as formulas change, or feedback and other factors change.

Dog foods I have rated highly in the past have at times been bought up or switched manufacturers and shown drastic changes in quality – very sad considering the consumer loyalty which has been built up.

If you’ve had a positive or negative experience on a dog food in Australia then let me know, add a comment, or through the Facebook page.

Varying your dog’s diet is something I see as a good thing, so keep that in mind as well.

Your dog doesn’t need to be fed a single brand of dry dog food any more than we would eat a single brand of breakfast cereal for every meal day after day.

In fact, my guide on how to feed a dog (or cat) may offer some guidance!

What about the worst dog food brands?

Some of the worst dog food brands in Australia are actually the most well known. What ads have you seen recently on TV featuring a cute dog apparently “loving” some brand of dog food?

The reason for this is the big players in dog food make the some of the worst foods. It’s why they make so much profit – selling a cheap formula with impeccable marketing is a business strategy which works.

Those companies have huge budgets for marketing their products, and not just for ads either – by influencing breeder communities, dog shows, University sponsorships and endorsements.

If you’re feeding one of those best-selling dog food brands, then read the review on this website, or at the very least look at the ingredients – what does it really say about the product?

Don’t stick to dry dog food

There’s such a belief a dog should eat the same food from the day he’s weened until the day he dies.

Why?

Imagine if we were told to eat a commercial dry biscuit for the rest of our lives?

Always keep in mind dry dog food is a processed product. Yes, it’s designed to meet the insanely complex nutritional needs of our dogs as one complete package, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect.

Rotate, add variety, and mix in some wet, BARF, or fresh ingredients. These reviews are mostly dry dog foods, but if you want the best wet dog food in Australia then many of the top rated dry foods have a corresponding wet food.

There isn’t a best supermarket dry dog food page on this website, but there’s a list of more affordable dog foods which is a balance of price and quality.

Nutrition analysis of the best dog foods

All the foods on the best dog food in Australia list must meet my stringent criteria.

In a nutshell, here are a few:

  • Must have sufficient protein and fat.
  • Must have sufficient meat ingredients.
  • Must not contain any nasty or ambiguous ingredients.
  • Must avoid allergenic or problematic ingredients.
  • Must have a long standing reputation and good consumer feedback.
  • Must conform to AAFCO standards to offer a complete & balanced diet (only applicable to dry/wet dog foods, not applicable to raw dog foods/patties).

I care what you think!

It’s taken me a great deal of time, and huge amounts of research to put these reviews together. I’ve spent a great deal of time finding research studies, picking through them, and doing my best to ensure they’re not biased, not influenced, and provide valuable facts.

Pet Food Reviews takes up more of my life than I care to admit, but the ultimate goal is for us to have happier, healthier pets, who have the best chance of living a long life.

I can’t do that alone. I encourage you to be involved, to add comments, discuss, get in touch, and share the knowledge you’ve learned with friends, family, and social media groups.

If your dog’s allergies clear up, they become more buoyant, more active, or show a new lease of life based on the information on these reviews, then let me know!

And let others know!

The “Best dog food in Australia” list depends on your ongoing feedback.

The links on the reviews to pet food retailers are also affiliate links, so any time you click and buy a dog food a small percentage will help keep Pet Food Reviews up, running, and up to date – thank you!

what is the best dog food in australia
In memory of my best friend Archie, who I lost to the horrible disease lymphoma (a cancer linked to weed killer glyphosate sprayed on Australian parks).

“What is the Best Dog Food in Australia?”, updated 2022.

24 Comments
  1. Hi, how good is Hypro dry dog food? It is made in Sydney and seems more focused on protein and not grains. Thanks.

  2. START SHOUTING AS LOUD AS YOU CAN…
    TELL PEOPLE REAL MEAT REAL MEAT REAL MEAT .. IT IS NOT !! ROCKET SCIENCE .

  3. Why does the list not include Balanced Life, with a rating of 9.3? Can that food also be fed to puppies?

  4. hi all, i’d love some guidance for my Bull Arab x Staffy. 2.5yo. since we had him as a pup he has had really bad itchy skin. changing to grain free and gut supportive dry kibble as suggested by the vet has done nothing for him. he doesnt have red patches, or loss of fur. his overall condition is great but the poor fellow is so itchy all the time. i am considering trying ‘golden paste’ (turmeric) as an alternative to the Apoquel medication he has been on for a year; i find if we are even a bit late medicating him daily his itch becomes more pronounced. is there a dry food out there that can help? ive tried so many so far with limited success. i looked in to Lyka suggested on this site but it would cost $19 per day – out of our ability at this stage.. thank you for taking the time to read, i look forward to anyones suggestions x

    • Hi Helen
      We had a Wolfhound x who always had itchy skin. We tried everything recommended by the vets. Nothing worked!! She had an episode of pancreatitis when she was 10 and spent three nights at the vet. When we picked her up the vet said she would have to go on a very strict diet of these biscuits he sold. Nearly $150 a bag!! The receptionist said ‘but it will last you a week!’
      We talked to a guy who sold pet food in Bomaderry NSW and he suggested trying her on kangaroo meat. Worked almost immediately. She never had a pancreas issue again,stopped scratching, could sleep calmly and we were no longer stressed about her situation. No more pills, creams,expensive vet visits. She lived till 14 which is brilliant for a dog of her size.

    • Hi we had a bull arab that had such bad itch he was almost bald in the back half of his body. We tried every diet and vet recommended shampoo but nothing worked. One day we read about bathing in diluted copper Sulphate, we did it once cause he cried abit and we thought it was too irritating for him….. but he completely healed from that day on his coat grew out and we never had a problem again. Might be worth a try?

      • Consider trying a food without chicken or chicken by-product. I’ve had 2 dogs (Irish Setter and Border Collie mix) now where this diet change solved the issue. They came from different geographic areas and the Border Collie was fed a mix of kibble and fresh meat. The diet change and a few ocean salt water baths cleared up his itching and he barely sheds and is quite fluffy.

  5. I have been feeding Ivory Coat grain free to my dogs since they were puppies. Last year I changed to the grain variety. Within weeks, both dogs were losing massive amounts of hair. My male also had a skin allergy, with red, flushed and itchy skin. Hundreds of dollars spent at the vet to get them both well. Now I have to source a healthier alternative that I can afford. Very sad to see what was a great product go down hill.

  6. My dog is ten months old and was fed black hawk until a week ago. His coat has been shiney, he was very active with firm stools.
    I was unable to get black hawk and purchased a bag of OPTIMUM.
    Within a week his hair started to fall out and his stools are runny. He refused to eat any more after a week and I have gone back to Black Hawk today. I hope that his health improves over the next week as he is my assistance dog.

    Very disappointed that big company’s promote their product as good for dogs but in reality this is not true.
    Shame on Dr Chris Brown for promoting a product which is obviously not up to its hype.

  7. Hello.
    My dog has developed reflux and upon research I’m reading he needs “less fat and less protein ” in his foods and some sites just saying “less fat” but no one has mentioned the specific % of fats or protein to stay within that is safe/tolerable for dog with digestion/reflux issues.

    I feel I can’t ask vets because they’ll just throw Hill’s or Royal Canin at me.

    (Currently just changed to big dog right now, I figured soft would be easier to digest, he is improving but stilll doing the elongated neck thing after eating but not as frequently compared to the pet food australia crud he was on)

    So, What are the best foods for this? or what % of fat & protein is okay?
    If you could; I’d absolutely love if you could do an review/article thing for those of us whom have dogs with reflux/digestion issues. Would help greatly!

    • So for any acidity issues I’ve noticed and noted what worked for others/me and my dogs.

      Spirulina was a god send when I could take it, reducing my GERD symptoms to zero. Logic suggests it should provide the same aid to dogs. Source of Iron as well.

      Slippery elm and psyllium husk, didn’t work for me, but works for my dogs and it is mentioned often. Can and does impede absorption of medications and supposedly vitamins and minerals. Long term usage is not advised.

      Pumpkin stomach soother.

      Colostrum helps with acid and provides over 250 beneficial substances including enzymes. Cures colds and flu’s in 3 days. Usage of only free range bovine and 100% no fillers like milk and sugar.

      Linseed meal coats the stomach reducing acid wear and tear.

      Barley grass and wheat grass both also being green like spirulina may provide extra aid when they are all together in one. 2 of them contain extra enzymes.

      There’s very possibly other things, including herbs, but I just don’t know those. These I’ve had experience with.

    • Reply
      Pet Food Reviews (Australia) February 7, 2022 at 6:41 pm

      Hi Court, from what you said it would seem the Pet Food Australia food has caused the issue, especially if the condition is improving on Big Dog. My recommendation would be to stop feeding the Pet Food Australia and notify them of the issue, and continue with the Big Dog, perhaps any of the foods listed above, or even fresh/raw/meaty bones etc.

  8. Have you seen the reports of links to grain free foods and heart issues?

    What are your thoughts? Is this a myth or?

    I am a bit concerned and I’m considering of changing to grains again?

    it’s hard to find foods that aren’t grain free these days, i’m little unsure but if i did change, what are the best non- grain free food but not too expensive?

    • Reply
      Pet Food Reviews (Australia) February 2, 2022 at 2:36 am

      Hi Courtney, since the DCM (heart issue) scare began I strongly suspected this to be a marketing slur from corporate grain-based pet food manufacturers to their smaller grain-free “boutique” competitors. Unfortunately the nature of social media has meant this “theory” has become widely believed, yet the FDA subsequently withdrew the investigation due to insufficient evidence. To quote the FDA website, “FDA has received reports of non-hereditary DCM associated with both grain-free and grain-containing diets”. My opinion from the outset was a lack of taurine in commercial pet foods as it was previous understood dog’s didn’t need taurine in the diet. Taurine comes from animal sources, which are sadly lacking in both grain and grain-free diets. Ironically taurine has now become a requirement by AAFCO in dog foods. In any case, the condition DCM is extremely rare.

  9. Lifewise puppy starter recommended feeding rate seems very low? Although a simplistic comparison it recommends less that half the daily energy intake For example a 10kg puppy is recommended 120g/day at 16.8MJ or 4025kcal per kg. This equates to 2 MJ/day whereas other brands Glow and Eukanuba equate to around 5.5MJ/day. These higher rates seem to match our puppies needs (still always hungry and very slim looking). Can you comment on why the vast difference or if it’s likely a mistake?

    • On Aussie dog and cat foods Facebook page, people using Lifewise have said the feeding guides are about right for their dogs anyways.

      The adult foods are all incredibly low as well, with the 50kg dog one being only 280g per day. If the number is close to reality than this food is the best go to for Great Danes lol. No more 6+ cups per day.

      To be honest I feel most foods are too high for dogs beyond 50kg. One food mentioned that you’d need a kilo of food per day to feed a 50kg dog. I mean that’s just crazy, I’d rather buy Lifewise and drop that number down as far as possible.

      No doubt there’s worse ones than even that.

      I free feed so I don’t use guidelines at all. I simply fill all 3 tray parts and they eat their fill of whatever their in the mood for that day. But if you have a gobble guts who doesn’t know when to stop, obviously don’t try this.

    • Reply
      Pet Food Reviews (Australia) January 30, 2022 at 8:41 pm

      Hi Leigh, I’ve always found feeding guidelines vary from brand to brand and I tend to ignore them. There are many factors involved such as types of ingredient and digestibility, so MJ isn’t always the best factor. Manufacturers also tend to skew feeding guidelines to make a product appear to last longer than it actually will. Then when you take the many factors involved with dog breeds, age, energy levels, lifestyle etc you really can’t rely on feeding guidelines.

  10. Is science diet dog food any good

    • Reply
      Pet Food Reviews (Australia) November 19, 2021 at 7:31 pm

      Hi Gary, there’s a review of Science Diet here – https://www.petfoodreviews.com.au/hills-science-diet-dog-food-review/

      There’s also some more information on the following page if you want to go a little further down the “rabbit hole” on why vets recommend brands like Hill’s and Royal Canin – https://www.petfoodreviews.com.au/why-vets-recommend-hills-science-prescription-diet/

      • This has me crying for my beautiful labrador that we lost age 9 a few months ago to aggressive cancer. We only fed him Royal Canin believing it was a full balanced diet. If only I could turn back the clock.
        We’ve a new dog, a golden retriever and he came with his Royal Canin propoganda and a bag of food. I just stepped outside while he went to the toilet and the smell was acrid. That vile acidic smell brought back painful memories.
        I’ll be absorbing all your advice and not letting this gorgeous pup be poisoned, like I believe our beautiful Chester was.
        If you’ve any specific advice for retrievers I’d be grateful x

        • My 2 albeit Chihuahuas have eaten air dried as their main meal with a side of Cherish kibble their entire lives. I’ve found this combo to be their favourite and the best for them. I like Cherish I think it’s a very well thought out food.

          For treats I give single ingredient beef jerky for dogs. Single ingredient treats are the best. But for a tastier high value training treat you can use the likes of Providore air dried or Yours Droolly New Zealand range only. Their other treats are trash and from China. I will try to upload a pic of the treats.

          If you can rotate foods, flavours etc and do it with treats too that’s better. Feed real food alongside the other foods to provide real nutrients. We’re talking small amounts of fruits and veggies, meats, organs, if you feed kibble don’t feed any grains or other starches as kibble has enough of those. Dogs also don’t need them.

          Aussie Dog and Cat food is a good Facebook group for food recommendations. Fresh food feeding groups are good to ask questions about raw, if your interested.

          Look into preventatives for joint issues as well like Antinol or bone broth powder or liquid. Glucosamine and chondroitin, green lipped mussels etc. Joint issues cost a lot once your dog gets issues, better to try to prevent the issues from every coming time fruition. 

          If your breeds predisposed to like heart disease feed meat rich and organ foods first and foremost. But organs are highly nutrient dense so don’t overdo them either or you’ll get an overdose of vitamins. The important nutrients are taurine and CoQ10. Hawthorn is mentioned as a preventative too. 

          Gut issues you’ve got Canine Ceuticals, My Doggie Boosters, Cen Nutrition, EAC Animal Care, Green Pet etc. 

          We really honestly have everything for every issue under the sun nowadays. So dogs needn’t suffer any easy to treat ailments. 

          For cancer there is plenty of things to try as well. Keto diet, immunity boosting mushrooms, colostrum, turmeric etc. Turkey tail mushrooms are the most mentioned to possibly cure even the most aggressive cancers. 

          If giving oils give the best quality ones like Salpet salmon oil, K9 Natural oil and Pet Drs Mega Oil. There’s a few others that aren’t too bad, but try to stick to animal oils, dogs digest them better and make use of them better than plant oils. Coconut and mct oil’s are good plant oils though, study says it reduces seizures. Flaxseed isn’t too bad. 

          So yeah I hope I gave you some good information =)

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