Chum Dog Food Review

Available fromWoolworths, Petbarn, Big W, IGA

The price of dog food has risen a lot in recent years and in 2024 we’re really feeling the pinch. Even budget brands like Chum feel expensive, and this is a budget brand.

The first warning sign with the Chum wet dog foods is the last ingredient – colouring agents. Do you think wet dog food is coloured to make it look pretty to your dog, or look more attractive to you?

Most of the time food colourings are used in budget pet foods to make them look more like meat, when that often isn’t the case.

As for the Chum dry dog food, Chum “So Crrrrunchy”, you’ll find the main ingredient – for your meat-loving pooch – is cereal and cereal by-products.

Do you think that’s healthy for your dog?

In the Chum dog food review we’ll cover how you’re misled by the marketing, and I assume you don’t like being misled, and then we’ll look at the wet and dry Chum dog food formulas.

Then you can decide if you want to feed Chum to your four-legged chum!

Chum dog food review

What the marketing says

You’ll find claims on the Chum cans like “MEAT as the #1 ingredient”, but this is a marketing trick to make you think meat is the main ingredient.

In reality, the 2nd and 3rd ingredients, perhaps a few more, outweigh the meat significantly. Usually none of those ingredients sounds as appealing.

Chum Dog Food Review

You’ll also note all the recipes are “With Lamb”, “With chicken”, “With 3 Meats”. What you don’t know is the word with is regulated by the Australian Standards for Manufacturing and marketing of pet food, and translates to not very much at all.

As for the dry foods, you’ll find they’re labelled something like “Beef, Bone & Vegetable Flavour“, and that’s worse than the word with. It means there just needs to be a little tiny bit of those ingredients in the food.

Just a trace.

In fact, when you compare the formulas of different cans, they’re all pretty much the same, just labelled differently to make you think you’re giving your dog a yummy variety.

Chum dry dog food may seem well priced for the 20kg bags, but when you consider the ingredients you may realise you’re not getting much for your money.

What the ingredients really say about Chum wet dog foods

Here are the ingredients of Chum With Lamb:

Meats (chicken &/or beef &/or lamb &/or sheep &/or pork); gelling agents; vegetable fibre; vitamins & minerals; amino acid; colouring agents.

And here’s Chum With Chicken:

Meats (chicken &/or beef &/or sheep &/or pork); gelling agents; vegetable fibre; vitamins & minerals; colouring agents; amino acid.

Despite a few differences in wording they’re pretty much identical, aren’t they?

Pay attention to the 2nd and 3rd ingredients, as these are likely big chunks of the formula. You may wonder what Gelling agents are, especially as they haven’t been open and honest about what they’ve used. This is the gunky jelly stuff in the can, and could be some form of gelatin or carrageenan, both come with concerns as ingredients in dog food.

Many decent dog foods tell you what vegetables have been included, or beet pulp, but with Chum wet food we’re simply told “vegetable fibre”. Usually when a pet food manufacturer puts something ambiguous on the label, it means you wouldn’t find the truth appealing.

There isn’t anything positive I can say about the remaining 3 ingredients.

Vitamins & minerals will be a premix (powder) and likely the cheapest inclusion to meet the regulations for “complete and balanced”. All complete and balanced dog foods have this as a bare minimum.

Same is likely the case for “amino acid” as another meaningless ambiguous ingredient. What amino acid?

Then, finally, colouring agents, which aren’t for the benefit of your dog.

What the ingredients really say about Chum dry dog foods

You’ll find vegetables in the Chum dry dog food, but laughably after salt.

Let’s say salt is 1% of the recipe, and that means less than 1% of the recipe is vegetables. Not that we know what those vegetables are, or if they’re beneficial for our dog.

There’s only two ingredients before salt, and the main inclusion is something you don’t really want to feed your dog – cereal and cereal by-products (wheat, sorghum &/or barley).

If your dog has itchy skin, rashes, or other symptoms of dietary sensitivities, then you can bet it’s this main ingredient in Chum dry dog food that causes it.

Oh, and if you still decide to feed your dog the Chum dry food and next year they’re overweight and lethargic, well that would be why.

Chum Dog Food Review

Thankfully there’s some mashup of meat products which account for the sadly lacking protein and fat in Chum, but can you imagine they’re good quality cuts of meat?

I wouldn’t feed Chum to my dog, regardless of how cheap it is. I realise for many it’s hard to afford any better, so if this is all you can afford try boosting your dog’s health with some real meat/mince, organs, raw meaty bones, eggs, and some sardines as well – much better nutrition for your money.

I wouldn’t recommend feeding Chum dog food, dry or wet, to your dog. I don’t find it very good at all.

Where to buy

If you still want to buy Chum dog food, you will find it at various retailers.


The ingredients of the Chum With Beef wet dog food:

Meats (chicken &/or beef &/or lamb &/or sheep &/or pork); gelling agents; vegetable fibre; vitamins & minerals; amino acid; colouring agents.

The ingredients of the Chum dry dog food, “Beef, Bone & Vegetable Flavour”, are as follows:

Cereal and cereal by-products (wheat, sorghum &/or barley); meat and meat by-products (beef, chicken &/or lamb); salt; vegetables; minerals (including potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper and phosphorus); vitamins (including A, B6, B12, D3, E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, pantothenic acid and choline); methionine and antioxidants.

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2 Total Score
Chum Dog Food Review

I can't imagine Chum dog food, wet or dry, will lead to the long term health of the dog you love.

  • All of it.
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

  1. It is very difficult finding the right dog food for your/our pet, a Bicheon Frise particularly the dry food. Of course he loves Ziwi and Providore air dried food but over $40 a kilo and more we just cannot justify paying that much. He was bought up on Eukanuba pupply kibbles, which he tolerated but I wanted to try some different varieties, Bill+ Margot, Royan Canin and Wellness Core are a few I have tried as well as adult Eukanuba. He doesn’t really like any of them and believe me he is not a fussy eater, will eat almost anything, so no problem there. The only ones he would happily scoff down are Ziwi and Providore – not going down that direction. We fed our neighbors dog and tried him on the kibbles that he uses. He loved them and scoffed them down! Found out that they were Chum. Hence the search for reviews on Chum, which are not glowing.. So it is back to the drawing board for me and taste testing for our dog..

    • Reply
      Pet Food Reviews (Australia) November 29, 2021 at 11:30 pm

      It gets tricky with fussy dogs doesn’t it! Have you tried mixing those kibbles with with Ziwi or Providore, chicken stock, or anything else to entice him? The trouble with brands like Chum is they’re often cheaply made with cereals coated with an animal digest/palatant to entice the dog into eating something they normally wouldn’t. Dog’s will eat many things if you coat them in something tasty, but it doesn’t mean it’s healthy unfortunately.

  2. Ran out of normal dog food and grabbed some Chum. First dog violently ill. Vomiting and the runs so had to rush him to the vet. Was away from home for a week. Second dog ate some of the Chum and the same thing happened vomiting and the runs. Rang Chum as obviously something wrong with the food. They asked for the food back (all of it) I kept some. I asked to see a copy of the test they ran on the food, they refused to give it to me, saying no one else had complained. Then they ignored me and didn’t even compensate me for the food I had to send back.

    • Omg that’s awful.

      Are you going to send a sample of the food you kept off for testing?

      • Have tried.. Local Council won’t do it because it’s not human food, only option is the local testing place and apparently it is really expensive to have it tested because they don’t know what they are testing for? Did go to Choice because I thought they might be able to help. They didn’t reply. Obviously our fur babies are not worthy of being fed food that is fit for their consuption.

        • Unfortunately I don’t think you’ll get far, as people in the US are finding with the latest round of Taste Of The Wild complaints. Testing for an unknown factor appears to be an expensive and lengthy process that very few people are willing to commit to once they see the numbers, even after the death of a pet. Obviously the company will want to retrieve every scrap of evidence material possible while offering only the most bland useless feedback as approved by the good folks in the legal dept. so I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for any revelations there. Prior to the Chum episode, would you say the dogs were on a varied or a monotonous diet?

          Hopefully it was just a transition thing, and considering the Chum ingredients, that’s not hard to imagine for any dog who didn’t come from a prior diet of Pringles potato chips.

        • Hello Allan, with the first dog, I thought change in diet as I had fed the other dog the rest of their normal dog food and she wasn’t sick. When we came home from being away and she tucked into the bag that was sitting on the floor and got ill… I quickly realised bad batch of food. I did keep some when they asked me to send the ‘WHOLE BAG BACK’….. The cost to get it tested as you say is huge and the local council won’t do a think about it. Cost me a fortune in vet bills. People still need to know what they are feeding their beloved family members… and CHUM should be off the menu

  3. How can Australia allow this rubbish on the market is beyond me

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