Our review compares dog food on customer satisfaction, so you can find out what other Aussies think about the compared brands before you go ahead with a purchase. Think of it as like asking hundreds of your closest mates which dog food they think is best!
Canstar Blue surveyed 843 Australians for their feedback on the dog food(s) they’ve purchased in the last three months.
Respondents rate their satisfaction with their dog food brand(s) from zero to ten, where zero is extremely dissatisfied and ten is extremely satisfied. Brand satisfaction was rated by respondents on the following criteria:
The winning brand is the one that receives the highest Overall satisfaction rating once all the scores from the Overall satisfaction criteria are combined and averaged.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included, so not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The brands rated in this survey are listed below in order of best overall satisfaction.
Find more detailed information on our Most Satisfied Customer methodology.
Optimum scored five stars for pet enjoyment, packaging, and overall satisfaction, with four stars in value for money, ingredients, and variety & range.
Optimum dog food provides high quality, expertly tailored nutrition for dogs of all life stages and lifestyles. It offers wide a selection of wet, dry, and treat food products that are offered in cans, trays, or packets. Dog food products in the Optimum range have been developed with high quality ingredients to ensure digestibility and nutrient absorption. Multiple food options are catered to support specific health areas including dental care, digest support, skin and coat, healthy weight, and joint health.
Hill’s Science Diet landed a five-star result for packaging, and settled on four stars for pet enjoyment, ingredients, variety & range, and overall satisfaction, with three stars in value for money.
Hill’s Science Diet offers science-led nutrition for dogs of all ages, sizes, and a variety of unique needs. Its products are specifically designed to offer dogs the benefits that matter most for their age, encouraging healthy brain development in puppies, maintaining lean muscles in adults, and supporting healthy hearts and kidneys in older dogs. Hill’s Science Diet offer a range of dry, can, pouch, stew, and treat products for consumers to choose from.
Royal Canin enjoyed a five-star rating for pet enjoyment, ingredients, and variety & range, with four stars for packaging and overall satisfaction, and three stars in value for money.
Royal Canin’s dog food formula has been created to deliver nutrition to your pet’s health needs whatever their size, breed, age or lifestyle. It offers a range of wet and dry options for owners to choose from, along with food blends for specific breeds. Royal Canin also offers precision veterinary diets that help to maintain the wellbeing of dogs with diagnosed health problems. Royal Canin’s therapeutic food blends include gastrointestinal low fat, cardiac, mobility, renal load, hypoallergenic, neutered, gastrointestinal high fibre, and satiety weight management.
Supercoat scored four-star ratings for pet enjoyment, ingredients, variety & range, packaging and overall satisfaction, with three stars in value for money.
Supercoat pride themselves on having provided high-quality nutritional dog food options for over 30 years. It offers a range of dry food products catered to puppies, adults, seniors, small breeds, and large breeds. Supercoat’s Smartblend formula is tailored to provide all the nutrients needed to support and maintain your dog’s healthy best. The formula contains a blend of 22 essential vitamins and minerals, natural fibres, chicken and beef protein, and omega 3 and 6.
Black Hawk earned five stars for ingredients and variety & range, while earning four-star ratings for pet enjoyment, packaging, and overall satisfaction, with three stars in value for money.
Founded by an Australian breeder, Black Hawk pet food is manufactured in rural NSW from premium locally sourced ingredients. The brand’s product range is available in both puppy and adult dog food across breed sizes and can be purchased from local pet stores. Wet, dry, and treat food options are available in tray and packet containers. Black Hawk also offers a range of health orientated food blends including dental, weight management, joints and muscles, and sensitive skin and gut.
Pedigree scored even ratings across the board, with four stars for pet enjoyment, value for money, ingredients, variety & range, packaging, as well as overall satisfaction.
For over 40 years, Pedigree has been committed to giving every Australian dog quality, complete and balanced nutrition. Its products are designed to support your dogs’ natural defences, encourage a healthy coat and skin, and promote good digestion and healthy teeth. Pedigree offers a full range of wet food, dry food, and oral care treats for dogs of all shapes and sizes. All food options are available in either packets, cans, or pouches.
My Dog scored four stars for pet enjoyment, ingredients, variety & range, packaging, and overall satisfaction, as well as three stars for value for money.
My Dog food is prepared in the Hume region of Australia, using premium quality meat that has no added preservatives. Its ingredients are used to fulfill specific roles such as providing nutrition, increasing safety, and improving food taste. My Dog offers a range of food types including, fillets in gravy, semi moist kibble, shredded meals, classic loaves, select toppings, and home delights. Most My Dog options are available to purchase in trays, cans, or packets.
Lucky Dog scored four stars for pet enjoyment, ingredients, variety & range, packaging, and overall satisfaction, as well as three stars for value for money.
Since 1963 Lucky Dog have been offering a range of food and treats catered to four-legged friends. Lucky Dog aims to keep mealtimes nutritious and exciting with food options that are made from real meat and have no artificial colouring or flavouring. A range of food options are available including bone-shaped biscuits and dry kibble, which can be purchased according to size. Lucky Dog also offers a selection of chewy treats that are great snacks for well-behaved dogs.
Julius earned a five-star rating in value for money, with four stars for packaging and overall satisfaction. Three stars were earnt in the remaining categories of pet enjoyment, ingredients, and variety & range.
Julius, ALDI’s dog food range, is offered in multiple flavours. The 1.2kg cans come in the form of casserole with beef, vegetables and gravy, homestyle with lamb, pasta and vegetables, or as a loaf with five kinds of meat. Its offerings are cooked with your dogs’ health in mind, containing no artificial colouring or flavouring.
Baxter’s ratings were even across the board, scoring three-stars for pet enjoyment, value for money, ingredients, variety & range, and packaging, as well as overall satisfaction.
Baxter’s dog food is offered in a range of sizes and forms, with puppy and adult options. Its puppy food range is specifically formulated to provide growing dogs with the essential vitamins and minerals for strong teeth and bones, everyday health and wellbeing. Baxter’s adult dog food range is specifically formulated to aid digestions, bolster their immune system and ensure healthy bones. Wet and dry options are offered for dogs at all stages of life, bundled in a range of cans, cartons and packets.
Coles were given three-star ratings across the board, which included pet enjoyment, value for money, ingredients, variety & range, packaging, and overall satisfaction.
The Coles dog food range contains a variety of wet food, dry food, treats, and rolls. Its offerings contain the essential vitamins and minerals, to support general dog wellbeing. Many food options also feature omega 3 and 6 for vitality, healthy skin, and a glowing coat. Coles package their dog food in a range of containers, with larger bags of dry food available, along with smaller mince pouches and treat packets.
Not all brands in the market qualify for our ratings (based on minimum survey sample size), but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth considering. Here are several more brands to check out before making a purchase decision.
Canstar Blue’s buying guide gives you the rundown on different types of dog food, health benefits, costs, how to choose the right food for your dog, and purchase locations.
Wet dog food is commonly viewed as a treat, yet we don’t exactly know how good wet food is for dogs. In some circumstances, wet food can be a greater source of nutrition for dogs. The most common approach is to provide a mix of both wet and dry dog food – keeping dry food as the staple and wet food for a special meal once or twice per week. The ideal balance between the two varies depending on your dog’s age, health status, and preferences. Consult your vet for specific advice.
When asked what type of food they give their dogs, respondents to our survey said the following:
Sometimes dogs can get fussy. That’s where wet dog food can come in handy. Dogs that are unwell, aging, or can’t smell very well may need a little extra help to get an appetite for dinner. Wet foods have a stronger smell (a very tasty smell to dogs) making them more appealing to eat, with wet food also easier to eat for dogs with teeth or jaw problems. In terms of nutrition, wet food can be a source of hydration for dogs that aren’t quite drinking enough water. It can also contain a higher proportion of animal protein and lower carbohydrate content.
However, wet food isn’t great for dogs prone to dental problems unless they’re given alternative dental care – such as cleaning those chompers yourself with a toothbrush. Wet food spoils very quickly once opened, and is generally more expensive to buy than dry food, with only smaller quantities available on supermarket shelves, making them ideal for the occasional meal rather than a dietary staple.
The two biggest benefits of dry dog food are simply its price and convenience. Generally, dry dog food is cheaper than wet foods, which can mean more money in the budget to buy treats and toys. It’s also very convenient because it stores well and can be more easily purchased in bulk. Unlike wet food, which spoils quickly after opening, dry dog food can be left out all day without compromising on safety. It can also be used with a timed automatic feeder device – handy for dog parents who sometimes aren’t home for every meal. Dry food is also good for teeth, as the shapes are designed to help clean the teeth as they’re chewed up.
Not all dog food is created equal – there can be a drastic difference between brands and their product lines. Unfortunately, it can be the case that cheaper dog food is riskier, as it may contain cheaper nutritionally-deficient fillers or it may not be compliant with Australian standards. This can happen at any end of the price range though, so it’s important to read the label.
In 2011, industry representatives, the RSPCA and various other relevant stakeholders developed the Australian Standard for the Manufacturing and Marketing of Pet Food (AS 5812-2017) which sets out the basic standards for pet food nutrition, safety and marketing.
However, adherence to this standard is voluntary – so check the packaging to see whether or not it states to be compliant with AS 5812-2017. Also, according to the RSPCA, the regulation of ‘pet meat’ products is seriously lacking.
One longstanding issue with pet food safety in Australia is the use of sulphur dioxide, sodium sulphite, and potassium sulphite as food preservatives. These can cause potentially fatal thiamine (Vitamin B1) deficiencies in both cats and dogs. AS 5812 includes a requirement that any pet food product containing any of these preservatives must contain sufficient thiamine, to prevent a deficiency.
The price of dog food depends on the brand, type (either wet or dry), size of packaging, and whether it’s formulated to provide any additional health benefits. Cheaper brands will charge you around $3 for a simple can, while some of the most expensive brands may charge you in excess of $200 for a large packet. Respondents from our most recent survey stated that, on average, they spent just over $100 per month on dog food.
Dogs have different dietary needs at different stages in their life – that’s why you’ll see different foods labelled for different kinds of dogs. Puppies are very active and need lots of energy to grow and strengthen their bones, teeth, and muscles. Puppy food is high in protein, fat, and particular nutrients necessary for healthy growth and development. Adult dogs have lower energy needs than puppies, as they no longer need to fuel rapid growth. Excess body weight can lead to chronic health issues, much the same as with humans. Some dogs are more active than others, which is reflected by some brands targeting particular breeds or lifestyles. Senior or mature dogs are more sedentary as they spend their retirement relaxing. Senior dog food is low-fat and contains easily digestible proteins to ease the burden on their aging body.
There are also specialised food products available for dogs with particular needs. If your dog has any chronic health issues, you should consult your vet about the appropriate diet to keep them healthy and happy. The following ingredients should be avoided in dog food products:
Unlike with cats, ‘fillers’ in dog food aren’t automatically bad – in fact, they’re nutritionally important (depending of course on the ingredients). For example, corn and rice are good, but corn syrup and MSG are bad. It’s also important to note that product names can be misleading. A product ‘with chicken’, for example, may contain chicken fat but no actual chicken meat. Reading the ingredients list is important to make the best choice for your dog. One useful thing to remember is that ingredients must be listed in order of the proportion present in the product – so look for dog foods with filler ingredients lower down on the list and real meat or other healthy ingredients listed first.
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s Home & Lifestyle Content Producer Kate Lockyer. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Journalism at the University of Queensland and has written for a variety of different organisations and publications for multiple years.
Samantha Howse is Canstar Blue’s Consumer Research Specialist, coordinating the consumer research program behind our customer satisfaction awards across Canstar and Canstar Blue in Australia and New Zealand. Sam has earned a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from Griffith University and, with seven years in market research and 2 years in marketing, she is experienced in survey design, implementation and analysis, coupled with an understanding of marketing principles and best practice.
Here are the past winners from Canstar Blue’s dog food review:
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