All caring owners want to ensure that their dog gets everything they need from their diet. But with hundreds of pet food options on supermarket shelves, in pet shops and online, from hypoallergenic to raw dog food, it can be difficult to know what to buy.
We've made that decision a little bit easier by ranking the most popular dog foods according to our members.
For the first time we've quizzed 2,594 Which? members about their dog food to discover the best and worst brands for customer satisfaction.
Find the results in our dog food brands rated by customers table below.
The British Veterinary Association's advice is that any commercially manufactured pet food in the UK that meets PFMA (Pet Food Manufacturing Association) guidelines would have complete nutritional requirements for pets.
So as long as you're buying a complete commercial pet food, your dog is getting what they need and you don't need to supplement with anything else.
Our survey results below highlight Which? members' favourite pet food brands (ranked by customer score). We also asked them to score for value for money and whether they slightly agreed or strongly agreed with these statements:
As well as ratings for individual aspects, we've given each brand an overall customer score, based on customers' overall satisfaction and likelihood of recommending it.
If you'd like to see how your dog food scored or interested in which brand does best, look through the table below.
Varying package sizes and different portion size recommendations make it tricky working out how much your dog food is actually costing you each month.
We've compared the monthly cost of the three most popular brands of dog food, as well as the best and worst scoring brands from our survey.
Costs are based on an average medium dog (10kg), like a French Bulldog, and an average large dog (20kg), like a Border Collie, on a simple dry food diet.
If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.
According to Andrew Miller, a pet nutritionist at Premier Nutrition, 'as long as a commercial food (whether it is dry, wet, frozen, raw, boutique, grain-free, etc.) is nutritionally complete then it is designed to provide everything a pet needs to remain healthy. Some pets have specific nutritional needs based on clinically identified issues and they should be fed diets appropriate to their needs under veterinary supervision.'
Nicola Paley from the PFMA adds; 'all ‘complete’ pet foods must by law contain all the nutrients in the right proportions that a pet needs for healthy bodily function.'
Whether you choose grain-free dog food, raw dog food, hypoallergenic dog food or just a simple kibble, commercial grade dog food that meets PFMA guidelines is nutritionally sound. You can check on the PFMA website to find out whether your pet food brand's manufacturer is a member.
Beyond that, it's about what your individual pet likes the taste of and how much you're willing to spend.
What's key is the amount you feed your canine companion, as pet obesity is rapidly on the rise.
Pet obesity is the top welfare concern for vets. According to The Kennel Club, between 30% and 60% of dogs are now overweight.
Daniella Dos Santos from the British Veterinary Association (BVA) told us that 'obesity is a serious health and welfare issue for pets and we know that more and more veterinary practices are seeing overweight animals coming through their doors with weight-related problems like musculoskeletal conditions, breathing issues and diabetes.'
She adds that 'it’s vital that owners understand how to recognise a healthy body shape, which can be a more useful way of telling if your pet is overweight rather than relying on weight alone. We’d advise owners to seek advice from their vet on proper nutrition, exercise and how to recognise healthy body condition.'
The Kennel Club suggests looking out for:
If you think your four-legged friend might be overweight, book in a visit with your local vet for advice and an action plan.
Ensure you're feeding your pooch the correct amount by measuring out each meal on a set of weighing scales. A few extra bits of kibble might not seem like a lot, but it can massively contribute to weight gain.
'Our survey showed that 59% of dog owners always measure their dog food'
Most commercial dog food comes with feeding guidelines on the packaging based on your dog's weight and activity levels. If you're ever unsure, ask your vet.
Your vet will be able to advise you on how often you should be feeding your dog, depending on its individual needs.
Here's what animal charity PDSA suggest you look for and what to avoid when choosing the right dog food.
Find out how much to feed your dog and other popular vet-answered questions by heading to our how to choose the best dog and cat food guide.
Which? customer scores are based on how satisfied customers are with the brand overall, and whether or not they’d recommend it.
To find out which are the best and worst dog food brands, in August 2019 we surveyed 4,684 Which? members who'd bought pet food recently and asked about their experiences with their chosen brand. More than two and a half thousand of these were dog owners.
If you're considering buying new dog food, head to our guide on choosing a pet food for the latest advice. For more details on the most bought-from brands from above, visit our reviews of Royal Canin, Harringtons, Hill's, Burns and Bakers.