Just as choosing the correct vet is important to your dogs health, so is choosing the right dog food. If you choose the proper dog food, you may see less of your wonderful vet!! Just remember that you can spend a few dollars extra on every bag of food, or you can spend a great deal at one time at your vets office!

How to grade your dog's food: Start with a grade of 100:

1) For every listing of "by-product", subtract 10 points
2) For every non-specific animal source ("meat" or "poultry", meat, meal or
fat) reference, subtract 10 points
3) If the food contains BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin, subtract 10 points
4) For every grain "mill run" or non-specific grain source, subtract 5
5) If the same grain ingredient is used 2 or more times in the first five
ingredients (I.e. "ground brown rice", "brewers rice", "rice flour" are all
the same grain), subtract 5 points
6) If the protein sources are not meat meal and there are less than 2
meats in the top 3 ingredients, subtract 3 points
7) If it contains any artificial colorants, subtract 3 points
8 ) If it contains ground corn or whole grain corn, subtract 3points
9) If corn is listed in the top 5 ingredients, subtract 2 more points
10) If the food contains any animal fat other than fish oil, subtract 2
11) If lamb is the only animal protein source (unless your dog is
allergic to other protein sources), subtract 2 points
12) If it contains soy or soybeans, subtract 2 points
13) If it contains wheat (unless you know that your dog is not
allergic to wheat), subtract 2 points
14) If it contains beef (unless you know that your dog is not allergic to
beef), subtract 1 point
15) If it contains salt, subtract 1 point

Extra Credit:

1) If any of the meat sources are organic, add 5 points
2) If the food is endorsed by any major breed group or nutritionist (not vet recommended),add 5 points
3) If the food is baked not extruded, add 5 points
4) If the food contains probiotics, add 3 points
5) If the food contains fruit, add 3 points
6) If the food contains vegetables (NOT corn or other grains), add 3
7) If the animal sources are hormone-free and antibiotic-free, add 2
8 ) If the food contains barley, add 2 points
9) If the food contains flax seed oil (not just the seeds), add 2 points
10) If the food contains oats or oatmeal, add 1 point
11) If the food contains sunflower oil, add 1 point
12) For every different specific animal protein source (other than the
first one; count "chicken" and "chicken meal" as only one protein
source, but "chicken" and "fish" as 2 different sources), add 1 point
13) If it contains glucosamine and chondroitin, add 1 point
14) If the vegetables have been tested for pesticides and are
pesticide-free, add 1 point


94-100+ = A 86-93 = B 78-85 = C 70-77 = D 69 and below = F

Here are some foods that have already been scored. Some of the scores may surprise you. Although some dogs do well on just about any food they eat, if your dog is having problems with anything, please consider a food change in addition to seeing your vet.

Dog Food scores:

Authority Harvest Baked / Score 116 A+
Bil-Jac Select / Score 68 F
BLUE Buffalo Fish and Sweet Potato / Score 112 A+
Canidae / Score 112 A+
Chicken Soup Senior / Score 115 A+
Diamond Maintenance / Score 64 F
Diamond Lamb Meal & Rice / Score 92 B
Diamond Large Breed 60+ Formula / Score 99 A
Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Ultra Premium / Score 122 A+
Dick Van Patten's Duck and Potato / Score 106 A+
Foundations / Score 106 A+
Hund-n-Flocken Adult Dog (lamb) by Solid Gold / Score 93 B
Iams Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Premium / Score 73 D
Innova Dog / Score 114 A+
Innova Evo / Score 114 A+
Kirkland Signature Chicken, Ri Score 110 A+
Nutrisource Lamb and Rice / Score 87 B
Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy / Score 87 B
Pet Gold Adult with Lamb & Rice / Score 23 F
ProPlan Natural Turkey & Barley / Score 103 A+
Purina Beneful / Score 17 F
Purina Dog Chow / Score 62 F
Purina Come-n-Get It / Score 16 F
Royal Canin Bulldog / Score 100 A+
Royal Canin Natural Blend Adult / Score 106 A+
Sensible Choice Chicken and Rice / Score 97 A
Science Diet Advanced Protein Senior 7+ / Score 63 F
Science Diet for Large Breed Puppies / Score 69 F
Wellness Super5 Mix Chicken / Score 110 A+
Wolfking Adult Dog (bison) by Solid Gold / Score 97 A