Riverina Top Dog Premium Dog Food Review

Country of originAustralia
Available fromIndependent retailers or Riverina direct (including bulk)

Riverina make stock feed for all kinds of animals, and Top Dog Premium is their stock feed for dogs.

You may choose to feed Top Dog Premium if you consider your dog stock, or perhaps you find the price attractive, but is this stock feed healthy for your dear pooch?

When you read this review you may be put off from buying it fairly quickly, but keep reading as you’ll learn some cunning tricks which are used with many similar dog foods. Simply knowing those tricks may help you find a better food for your dog.

Top Dog Premium review

What the marketing says

Firstly, the word “Premium” doesn’t have any meaning. It’s just a word they can use to make the food sound decent and convince you to buy it.

The bag features a crown sitting on the word “TOP” of “TOP DOG”, which may also lead you to thing this is a food for your Royal pooch.

Riverina Top Dog Premium Dog Food Review

Other than that, they say it’s a “complete” food, which still doesn’t have any guarantees it’s healthy, and the words “with Beef, Marrowbone and Vegetables”.

When it comes to the word “with”, the Australian guidelines for labelling of pet food state the ingredient can be as little as 5% of the product. If that sounds bad to you, then note that 5% includes the vegetables part.

The top end of the “with” requirement is 20%, which gives you another perspective of how little there needs to be of the with ingredient.

What the ingredients really say

When you look at the first and main ingredient, you’ll find it’s whole grain cereals. The second ingredient can be just as significant, in the same amount, and that’s cereal by-products.

Based on those two main ingredients, you can assume that’s the bulk of the food and what you’re paying for.

You’re probably starting to realise why it’s so affordable, and the saying “you get what you pay for” is starting to ring true.

Whether you consider your dog a meat-eater (like I do), or an omnivore like us, you’re probably wondering if cereals and by-products are a healthy diet for your dog?

Would you consider it a healthy diet for you as an omnivore?

I don’t, for either you or your dog.

Riverina Top Dog Premium Dog Food Review

The 3rd and 4th ingredients are those “with” ingredients, a combination of meat and by-products of those meats and vegetable meal proteins. With by-products you may be thinking nutrient rich organs like kidney and liver which are great for dogs, but usually with cheap dog foods this is more waste products which can’t be sold for human consumption. i.e. not the nutritious stuff.

The protein of 18% in Top Dog is low, and I find the fat content really low at 10%. That also means the carbohydrates (from all those cereals) are very high. I estimate 54%, but it’s possibly higher and the fat can be lower.

Most dog foods use a guaranteed analysis which assures you of minimum protein and fat, but Top Dog has a “typical analysis”. They say minimum for protein, but fat can go either way. Not good, especially as 10% is already low.

Looking at the more minor ingredients there are a few I can mention which suggest Top Dog isn’t what I would class as “premium”.

You will find the word antioxidant on the ingredients. Premium dog foods tend to specify what kind of antioxidant is used, whereas when it’s a vague term like this we can assume a chemical is used. Possibly carcinogenic. We also find they’ve added a mould inhibitor, which may also be chemical.

This is the first time I’ve seen pellet binder on a dog food ingredient list in Australia, which is another ambiguous term. I’m sure it’s found more commonly in stock or fish feed.

Don’t you think an ingredients list should always state what’s actually in it?

We also have natural flavourings, so again, that could really be anything, couldn’t it?

The pellet binder could be something with a bad rap like glycerin, and natural flavourings could be some kind of animal digest, but who knows? The key point we can takeaway from this is why don’t they want to tell you?

“the type of binder used can affect the quality and nutritional value of a dog food”

Pet Food Ratings (US)

Are you still thinking of buying Riverina Top Dog Premium?

Ingredients

Ingredients of Top Dog Premium dry dog food:

Whole cereal grains, cereal by-products, meat and meat by-products (derived from beef and/or mutton), vegetable protein meals, stabilised vegetable oil, limestone, dicalcium phosphate, salt, antioxidant, mould inhibitor, natural flavouring, pellet binder, vitamins and minerals.

Typical analysis

Typical analysis (i.e. not guaranteed) of Top Dog Premium dry dog food:

Protein(min) 18%
Fat10%
Crude Fibre(max) 5%
Carbohydrates *Estimated 54%
* May be estimated. Read how to calculate carbohydrates in a pet food.

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2 Total Score
Riverina Top Dog Premium dog food review

Ignore words like "premium", and "top", it doesn't mean a dog food is healthy. Usually the ingredients and composition tell us the real truth, which is ominous with Top Dog Premium.

CONS
  • Ambiguous ingredients
  • Mostly cereals and cereal by-products
  • No guaranteed analysis
  • Not enough fat

1 Comment
  1. I haven’t been able to get top dog is it discontinued

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