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How to grade your dog's food

March 14th, 2006, 10:35 AM
hmmm interesting... found this on another board and it's circulating... i don't agree with everything but it's still a good start, specially the "gradings" at the end. what do you think?

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 points

5) If the same grain ingredient is used 2 or more times in the first five ingredients (i.e. "ground brown rice", "brewerâ?Ts 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 morepoints

10) If the food contains any animal fat other than fish oil,subtract 2 points

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 isnâ?Tt allergic to wheat), subtract 2 points

14) If it contains beef (unless you know that your dog isnâ?Tt 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, 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 points

7) If the animal sources are hormone-free and antibiotic-free, add 2 points

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 "" 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 = F

Here are some foods that have already been scored. If you don't
see your dog's food here, ask and someone will score it for you.
Dog Food scores:

Authority Harvest Baked / Score 116 A+

Bil-Jac Select / Score 68 F

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 D

Iams Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Premium / Score 73 D

Innova Dog / Score 114 A+

Innova Evo / Score 114 A+

Kirkland Signature Chicken, Rice, and Vegetables / 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 Benful / Score 17 F

Purina Dog / 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

March 14th, 2006, 10:58 AM
From this grading system, it looks like Misty's kibble is very good. We are feeding her the Performatrin Ultra Lamb & Brown Rice. Here's a link to the ingredient list:

We would like to eventually switch Princess to the Performatrin Ultra Lamb & Brown Rice for puppies which also looks like it would pass this test with flying colours. Here's the link to the ingredient list for the puppy one:

I tried to calculate the score, but too many people have been walking by my desk wondering what I was trying to do. Maybe later. I did it quickly in my head though and it appears the score was very good.

March 14th, 2006, 11:21 AM
Bison | Salmon Meal | Brown Rice | Millet | Cracked Pearled Barley | Oatmeal | Rice Bran | Canola Oil | Flaxseed Oil | Garlic | Amaranth | Blueberries | Yucca Schidigera Extract | Carotene | Choline Chloride | Vitamin E Supplement | Iron Proteinate | Zinc Proteinate | Copper Proteinate | Manganese Proteinate | Potassium Iodide | Thiamine Mononitrate | Ascorbic Acid | Vitamin A Supplement | Biotin | Calcium Panthothenate | Selenomethionine | Pyridoxine Hydrochloride | Vitamin B12 Supplement | Riboflavin | Vitamin D Supplement | Folic Acid |

I get 106 for wolf king. (I don't know if there are endorsments or not though.)

I don't know how they got the 97 above.:confused:

March 14th, 2006, 11:25 AM
oh and I guess the person who came up with this test thinks its objective but it's really a little subjective::D
Hund-n-Flocken Adult Dog (lamb) by Solid Gold / Score 93 D

And I disagree with giving extra points for sunflower oil, probiotics and glucosamine. Flaxseed is better in foods because it wouldn't break down as easily as flaxseed oil. Once the food is cooked, the benefits of flaxseed oil diminish greatly.

I would also deduct at least one point for beet pulp.

And I'm sure Starsen would disagree with giving bonus points for barley too.

But overall, it's a good set of guidelines.

March 14th, 2006, 12:09 PM
yeah i thought it was pretty interesting... of course i would also tweak a few things but on the whole, not too shabby. notice the grades PURINA got!! he he! :evil:

March 14th, 2006, 12:25 PM
Even Beneful?! I'm surprised! I mean, they have pics of veggies on the bag! (sarcasm)

Eagle Pack with corn probably won't do so hot either... (and they'd get another -1 in my book too because of beet pulp).

March 16th, 2006, 03:59 AM
And I'm sure Starsen would disagree with giving bonus points for barley too.

Seriously! Shouldn't gluten grains in the food be a reason to subtract points?

And giving extra credit for fruits and vegetables isn't always a great idea because most of the time, the amount is so minimal, they're only in there to look pretty on the label. I've seen foods with more SALT than blueberries and other fruits! (Eagle Pack Holistic comes to mind...)

Why is lamb so bad? It's pretty much useless at this point for elimination diets, so why shouldn't it be fed?

And why are multiple protein sources better? I don't buy into "A more complete amino acid profile" The food should have a complete/ balanced amino acid profile even with just one meat source.
Using a kitchen sink approach to protein sources makes it virtually impossible to detect and rule out food allergies.

One more thing, because I looove to nit-pick :)...
Just because a food only lists meat meal once in the first five ingredients, doesn't mean it has less meat than one that has two meals listed.
Recipe A could be 50 lbs chicken meal, 50 lbs grain and supplements. (I know they go by weight. The grains/ supplements could look something like: 25 lbs rice, 24 lbs millet, 1 lb supplements)
Recipe B could be 25 pounds chicken meal, 24 pounds turkey meal, and 51 pounds of grain and supplements.

Recipe A that only has one meat meal listed actually has a bit MORE meat in it, so that rule can be very misleading.

March 16th, 2006, 04:36 AM
I got 122 for Burns Venison and Brown Rice - Gomez is doing so well on it and really likes it..

well, I could put nuts and bolts in his dish and he would like it, but, the Burns seems to be keeping him well

March 16th, 2006, 01:44 PM
Many if us look at this and see things that we agree with, don't and see multiple things we would change.
I agree with much of what Starsen has

subtracting points for beef is a joke, it would be a heck of a lot cheaper for racing greyhound owners to feed poultry but they found using beef is better tolerated by dogs.

Giving points for glucosamine is another joke, no company adds enough to be of any beneficial value, as a preventative you need 200mg a day , and 1000 to 1500mg a day for those who have joint problems. It is simply added as a marketing ploy, I would rather see it is a subtraction for consumer deception. That includes other items that do not have quantities to be of nutritional good.

If the food contains any animal fat other than fish oil,subtract 2 points I think in this case people are putting human standards to dogs, As long as the fat is animal source is specified is it is a benefit not a negative. If the food contains fatty fish there may be no need to have additional oils added.

And under credits 1 and 7 is the same thing but worded different

There was no credits given for use of human grade meats

March 16th, 2006, 06:10 PM
I might be overestimating the test, but in cheap dog foods, beef is pretty bad. In Ol' Roy and whatever it's not the same quality beef...

January 7th, 2008, 11:41 AM
I've got issues with this list and I know who authored it. They're not an expert.

14) If it contains beef (unless you know that your dog isnâ?Tt allergic to beef), subtract 1 point.
More points should be subtracted since all U.S. beef (unless otherwise specified as free range) contains the growth hormones of testosterone, progesterone, trenbolone acetate, 17 beta-estradiol, zeranol, and MGA in concert or in a variety of mixes.

There's no mention of canola oil which has a better balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids than sunflower oil.

There's no mention of millet which is high in protein (11g) and carbohydrates (72g).

There's no mention of parsley rich in Vitamin A, Beta Carotene, Lutein+Zeaxanthin, Vitamin K, Folate, and Iron.

In fact to come up with a better test, this would need a vast reformulating.

January 7th, 2008, 12:51 PM
I think in this case people are putting human standards to dogs, As long as the fat is animal source is specified is it is a benefit not a negative. If the food contains fatty fish there may be no need to have additional oils added. There was no credits given for use of human grade meats

Yes, I'm putting human standards for what my dog eats. I think that animal fat is a cheap way out for low quality food manufacturers. Animal fat cannot be quantified. What is known is that we do not know the origins of the animal fat. AAFCO says it's obtained from the tissues of mammals and/or poultry in the commercial processes of rendering or extracting. It consists predominantly of glyceride esters of fatty acids and contains no additions of free fatty acids. If an antioxidant is used, the common name or names must be indicated, followed by the words "used as a preservative". Therefor, the nutrient value of animal fat is obscure and may change.

As for fatty fish (fish meal?). If for whole fish, disregard the following. For fish meal we don't know the source of the fish. It could be a schooling fish, a bottom dweller, or predator. First, fish meal is considered a Solid Hazardous Material by the U.S. Coast Guard and is treated with Ethoxyquin (developed by Monsanto in the 1950s as a pesticide) to preserve it. Less fatty fish are treated with 400ppm and more fatty fish get 1000pm at the time of production. For shipment, it gets an additional 100pm. Source: Code of Federal Regulations, Title 46, Volume 5, Revised as of October 1, 2006, From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access CITE: 46CFR148.04-9, TITLE 46 Shipping.

I'm not feeding anything to my dog with fish meal or animal fat.

January 7th, 2008, 07:23 PM
After reading a couple weird points on the list, I stopped reading. Seems quite random and very biased. Just very odd.

If people are really looking to try to decipher ingredients or score a kibble (which is still just a starting point even if you have a good system), there's two places I'd look at. The first link even addresses this scoring system specifically on the main page.