Bugsy Dog Food Review

Websitethebugsyshop.com.au
Available fromThe Bugsy Shop (Use this link for 10% off your first order)

Bugsy’s is a fantastic Australian brand of air dried raw dog food, and I’ll tell you why in this review.

Joanne Cooper, the lead nutritionist behind the brand, created Bugsy after the same realisations I’ve had during the course of my journey in pet food. The brand is named after her late Labrador Bugsy who passed away at the age of 17 after a long, happy, and healthy life.

In 2024, most Aussie dogs and cats are still fed processed foods. Joanne’s key observation on the way we feed our pets is as follows (in respect to rescue dogs):

The processed food eaters started to develop diseases such as kidney and liver failure, lymphoma and intestinal cancer, amongst others. Conversely, the rescues who were consuming human-grade proteins and whole foods (the group who showed no interest in processed foods) made fewer visits to the vet and generally went on to lead much longer and healthier lives.

Joanne Cooper, the Bugsy website.

Bugsy’s dog food addresses the problems of many processed dog foods. It offers you a diet far healthier for your dog – meat, organs, bones, and a range of fantastic superfoods – all with the convenience we’ve become used to with kibble.

Compared with kibble, Bugsy is undoubtedly expensive. Or to look at it another way, most pet foods are cheap for a reason.

There’s no reason you can’t feed Bugsy as a topper (sprinkle some on top of your dog’s regular food). The air dried pieces are also an excellent choice to use as training treats.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

Bugsy air dried dog food review

What the marketing says

The packaging states Bugsy’s is a complete & balanced diet for dogs, and that’s inclusive all all life stages – it meets the bar for puppies and senior dogs as well as adults. That’s a good thing, as “adult only” dog foods merely scrape by with enough nutrition for an adult, and not enough for puppies and senior dogs.

Here are a few of the marketing claims on the packet:

  • Human grade ingredients – Always a good selling point, especially given the dubious standards of “pet grade” knackery meats in Australia.
  • Nutrient-rich whole foods – Which I can confirm is the case by the ingredients (read on!)
  • No synthetic vitamin mix – This is a great selling point, and I’ll tell you why when we look at the ingredients.

Let’s consider the elephant in the room before we proceed – price.

We expect a good quality dog food to come at a high price compared to kibble, and this affects most of us. More so in these days of seemingly continuous price hikes.

This is why Bugsy dog food is also marketed as a “meal topper”. A topper is when you add it to your dog’s regular kibble to boost nutrition, or you can feed it as special meal once or twice a week as well.

We shouldn’t feel guilty if we can’t feed a food such as this as our dog’s main meal. We can only do our best. So, if you’re on a budget, you can still take advantage of the long shelf life of an air dried dog food like Bugsy’s and feed it as a nutritious superfood boost!

What the ingredients really say

Here’s a fun challenge for you:

Next time you’re in the supermarket take a look at the ingredients of dog foods. You’ll find almost all (if not all) have an ingredient “vitamins and minerals”. Your dog needs a range of nutrients so they don’t become deficient, and most of the time these are added as a premix. These cater for the nutrients not in the food as a whole.

To be a little clearer, most dry dog foods have the minimum amount of animal product, are filled with “empty carbohydrates” like grain or grain-free alternatives, then the nutrient deficiency is met with a vitamin and mineral mix. Most of those empty carbs are unnecessary for your dog, and likely the reason so many dogs are overweight and suffer disease in later years.

Here are the ingredients of Bugsy’s Chicken Air Dried Raw:

Australian Free Range Chicken, Bones and Organs, Yeast, Pumpkin, Carrot Fiber, Sunflower Lecithin, Wild Marine Algae, Camelina Oil, Maitake Mushroom, Olive Extract, Blueberries, Green Lipped Mussel, Organic Kelp (Ascophyllum Nodosum), Vinegar, Parsley & Beetroot.

You see, no need to add “vitamins and minerals” as an afterthought. They’re all included as natural ingredients in the food itself.

The main ingredients are what you would want in a diet for your dog as a facultative carnivore* – real meat, organs, and bones (ground bones).

* Yes, I consider dogs facultative carnivores despite the pet food industry using the omnivore excuse.

Given the typical analysis of 38% protein, 36% fat, and a small amount of carbs from real foods like yeast, pumpkin, carrot fibre, this really shows the emphasis on animal products combined with nutritious inclusions which will all benefit your dog.

It’s easy to understand the benefits of raw meat, organs, and bones for your dog, so let’s quickly skirt over the other inclusions too so we understand their health benefits:

  • Yeast – With high levels of B vitamins and antioxidants this is good for the immune system, healthy skin, and healthy coat.
  • Pumpkin – A little bit of fibre in your dog’s diet will help regulate their bowels and maintain a healthy gut. Nice firm easy-to-pass poops. Pumpkins is also rich in vitamins.
  • Carrot Fibre – Just like pumpkin, this will help support digestive health.
  • Sunflower Lecithin – Good for your dog’s skin & coat, and should support brain health and nervous system function.
  • Wild Marine Algae – A great source of omega-3 fatty acids to help prevent joint issues. Also great for skin and coat and supporting cognitive and cardiovascular health.
  • Camelina Oil – Another source of omega-3 fatty acid to further support your dog’s health.
  • Maitake Mushroom – Known for its immune-boosting properties, and can help regulate blood sugar and support overall cellular health.
  • Olive Extract – A good source of antioxidants to lower the risk of disease.
  • Blueberries – A wonderful source of antioxidants and vitamins to support the immune system.
  • Green Lipped Mussel – One of my favourite ingredients in a dog food. They’re a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin which are great for joint health and mobility.
  • Organic Kelp (Ascophyllum Nodosum) – This provides essential nutrients such as iodine for thyroid health and metabolic functions.
  • Vinegar – A little vinegar can help improve digestion and support a healthy pH balance. It also has antimicrobial properties which can fight bacteria, viruses, and some parasites.
  • Parsley – A source of vitamins and antioxidants which support urinary tract health. Some say parsley can freshen breath, but some raw meaty bones or dry meat chews will also work wonders in this respect.
  • Beetroot – A source of nutrients and antioxidants, beetroot will help boost stamina and support liver detoxification.

I bet your diet isn’t that good. I know mine isn’t!

I would highly recommend giving Bugsy’s a try, and come back later and let me know how much your dog loved it.

Foods such as this cater for the real nutritional needs of your dog, and that’s a wonderful thing when you consider most dog foods only seem to cater for making money off the dwindling health of your pet.

Where to buy

The best place to buy Bugsy’s dog food is on their website. They have a range for cats as well, and those recipes are equally as good.

As a special offer to you, you’ll receive 10% off your first order with the button below*!

Ingredients

The ingredients of all four recipes in the Bugsy dog food range are similar. For the purpose of this review we have looked at the Air Dried Chicken formula:

Australian Free Range Chicken, Bones and Organs, Yeast, Pumpkin, Carrot Fiber, Sunflower Lecithin, Wild Marine Algae, Camelina Oil, Maitake Mushroom, Olive Extract, Blueberries, Green Lipped Mussel, Organic Kelp (Ascophyllum Nodosum), Vinegar, Parsley & Beetroot

Typical Analysis

The typical analysis of Bugsy Air Dried Chicken for dogs (based on dry matter once dried):

Protein(min) 38%
Fat(min) 36%
Crude Fibre(max) 7%
Carbohydrates11% estimated.

* Please note I will receive a commission if this coupon code is used (which helps me keep Pet Food Reviews up and running, so thank you).

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9.5 Total Score
Bugsy Dog Food Review

I wish all dog foods were as good as Bugsy. I'm sure we would have a much healthier dog and cat population in Australia as a consequence. Yes, Bugsy will cost more than many commercial processed dog foods, but it's also far healthier for your dog being an air dried raw food without any unnecessary added rubbish.

David D'Angelo

David D'Angelo has worked as a scientist since graduating with a BSc (Hons) in 2000. In addition, David holds a CPD accredited Diploma in Pet Nutrition as well as being CPD accredited VSA (Veterinary Support Assistant). However, his experience and involvement in the pet food industry for 15+ years has given true insight into pet food, formulations, science, research, and pet food marketing. Facebook | LinkedIn | Instagram | Pinterest

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