What is the Best Working Dog Food in Australia?
When it comes to working dogs it is important to understand the fundamentals of what they require nutritionally to be strong, active, and healthy. You may be surprised to know many working dog food formulas in Australia are actually the complete opposite of what they should be – a fallacy, and a profit making machine.
In our guide to the Best Working Dog Food in Australia we’ll discuss the basics of working dog nutritional requirements and help you decide which working dog food you really should feed.
The fallacy of Working Dog food
To cut a very long story short, dog food didn’t come about to benefit your dog, it came about because the human food industry had a very expensive problem – waste products. Dog food offered a very simple solution for turning the expense of disposing of waste and turning it into a very significant profit. As such there’s a very simple reason why many working dog formulas are produced by grain manufacturers, and this is a fundamental reason why many working dog formulas are made excessively from grains or grain by-products. Even when we find meat in working dog formulas, the same principle applies where this is often whatever meat remnants are left over once anything sellable as human-grade meat is utilised.
It’s very common for dog foods to be made using cheap “by-product” ingredients, but in working dog formulas it’s more prevalent. It can be argued a highly active working dog will burn off greater calories from excessive grain diets, or in other words won’t put on the unhealthy bulk a domestic Labrador may put on, so the effects of a poor diet won’t be as noticeable. Another side-effect of excessive grain diets is dull skin and coat, which in terms of working dogs also goes relatively unnoticed compared to domestic pets.
The fallacy of Working Dog food is they can be more cheaply made than regular domestic formulas, yet due to their target market classification as “Working Dog” are still sold across Australia in hugely significant amounts. Some Australian manufacturers also offer more “premium” formulas but the profit from cheaper formulas or working dog formulas is staggering despite often lower prices.
The basics of Working Dog nutrition
It’s fundamental knowledge in canine nutrition (and more so in human nutrition) that meat proteins are the building blocks for muscle growth, maintenance, and repair, and meat fats are utilised far more efficiently for energy than carbohydrates. These are the reasons your working dog will thrive more on a meat-based diet than a grain-based diet. So with those simple facts we’ve already confirmed why many working dog foods in Australia are formulated in a way which is far from optimal for your working dog.
Dogs are essentially carnivores, and this is dictated by their dental structure, digestive system, and natural instinct, but they sway very slightly to omnivore. If you consider it a scale, they’re still far closer to cats than they are to us humans as resounding omnivores, and it’s worth keeping that in mind when you assess their diet. This does mean, however, that some grains may be included in their diet, and with decent grain selections such as oats or barley these may be beneficial. Given the high energy of working dogs they can benefit from the slow-burning energy sources of these grains without suffering the negative effects of weight gain. Grains in working dog formulas also serve to keep the cost down of feeding them, which can’t be ignored.
When it comes to grains in working dog formulas always be wary of wheat as a problematic inclusion, which is often listed as cereals or cereal by-products (wheat by-products). Rice is another common inclusion which is a better option, but still be wary of working dog foods with excessive grains of any kind.
What ingredients can benefit a working dog?
Meat and meat fats should always make up the bulk of a working dog’s diet, but there are other inclusions found in some working dog formulas which will really benefit their health and wellbeing. Look for ingredients rich in omega fatty acids which serve to aid joint health (as well as organ health and a healthy skin and coat). Good quality oils such as coconut oil, oily fish, or glucosamine and chondroitin inclusions will help in this respect.
A decent working dog formula will likely contain trace inclusions which we know to be beneficial for humans. Often these are included in a very small amount with questionable benefit, but are often a sign of a better quality food. These may be fruit or vegetable inclusions such as blueberries or kale, or natural preservatives such as rosemary as opposed to ambiguous “antioxidants” or preservatives.
What are the best Working Dog foods in Australia?
It’s worth noting this page only focuses on dry foods which specifically target Working Dogs. Foods on our best rated dry dog food list will also likely serve your working dog very well and shouldn’t be discounted, as will a number of wet, barf, or raw meat/raw meaty bone diets.
Our recommended Working Dog foods in Australia are (in no particular order):
Working dog foods sold in Australia
We attempt to keep all our reviews current, but the following list is all working dog foods we have reviewed. If there are any brands missing from the list be sure to send us a message – the best way is via our Facebook group.
We hope our guide to the best working dog foods in Australia has been of use, and leads to excellent health, wellbeing, and effectiveness of your working dogs!