Linda Arndt ~ Canine Nutritional Consultant

Dog Food Analysis

The Value of Pet Food Ranking Forums

Is there value to these pet food ranking websites?
Do they educate the consumer to know how to make better choices in pet foods?

Let's look at what these sites really are, and how they simply generate more nutritional myths and lies about pet foods, than actually educating the pet owner how to make better decisions for their pets nutritional needs.

I get many emails asking about websites that "claim" to be RANKING the different brands of dog foods on the market. I find it interesting that none of these websites are based in actual animal nutrition knowledge, or real working knowledge of the pet food industry.

Instead they websites are responsible for spreading propaganda for companies, against other companies and are based on internet myth, rumor and simply reading pet food labels,...which provides only 50% of the nutritional picture.

First, I must caution you, these website rankings and analysis are based only on "opinion" and not in science or actual knowledge of small animal clinical nutrition or real experience or knowledge of the pet food industry. These rankings on the internet are only based on the "opinions" of those who have an "interest" in animal nutrition.

In order to have even a close assessment of the quality of any pet food, one must run lab analysis of these each of the foods, do extensive feed trials, know where the sources of ingredients come from, the history of the company, what manufacturing plant is used, it's history (fines, recalls, age of manufacturing equipment, quality control, labratory testing etc.), and numerous other factors that effect the products being made that you would never think to consider.

In short, it is simply impossible for anyone, myself included, to know exactly what is going into your pet's foods. What you read on a label is only 50% of the picture and like most things in life, nothing is black and white. This means in order to have even a close assessment of a product you not only need a vast amount of knowledge about animal nutrition, it also means you need to be involved in and understand the pet food industry itself.

I tell my puppy buyers, if you really want to know about how to select a good food for your pet, educate yourself.

Start with Sabine Conterres's website she is not going to rank these foods, homemade diets or raw diets. Instead she will educate you about ingredients and discuss internet myths about this industry and let you draw your own educated conclusions. It's an excellant site and she does a terrific job and in my opinion it is the ONLY dog food website worth looking at - the rest are very inaccurate, out of date and based in opinion only.

As most of you know, I have a list of better foods at my website for my puppy buyers. I tell them what I am using and why I use it, but also offer a list of other options, as well as my criteria for selection.

This is the criteria I use for brands to be listed on my list of better foods. This list is also a work in progress, it is not all inclusive as new foods come out all the time, I like to see a solid 2-3 year history before it goes on the list. I remove foods for numerous factors which can involve recalls, changes of ownership, changes in sourcing, changes in manufacturing plants and lab anaylsis that is not on par with the labeling. I also look at the ownership, ethics and mission of the company and if that changes it effects the list.


  • Feed trial results - the company's - and my own feed trials.
  • Laboratory tests on guaranteed analysis
  • Philosophy of the company
  • Ethics of the company
  • Truth in advertising
  • Company focus is on making a good product and not on "image" and margins.
  • Positive marketing as opposed to "fear or negative" marketing techniques.
  • The manufacturing plant's history of safety
  • The company is independently or family owned

I am fortunate to have one foot in the industry and one foot on the other side as a breeder/consumer of pet foods. When you work "in the industry " it is easier to get accurate information than if you are simply a pet owner. So please do not base your opinions on someone else's "opinion" of quality. Be an educated consumer for your pet read and ask questions, do not rely on others to make important decisions for your pet's future.

Being involved as a consultant in the industry for 25 years has allowed me to have information the average pet owner will never have nor is it seen on any of these dog food ranking website.

This is why my website is a life saver for my puppy buyers.


Editorial update:

While attending Super Zoo Trade Show in LasVegas - Sept 2010 I was again approached by known dog food company that wanted to hire me to assume an identity of an ordinary pet owner, join different dog discussion lists and "plant" information on those lists to promote their foods and imply negative things about other companies. THIS IS A VERY COMMON PRACTICE to hire a plant for these websites - it's the new marketing...couple that with uninformed websites and you can see how difficult it is for the average person to know what to feed their pets.

It is very important for my puppy buyers to have the most up to date information and the truth - working in the industry, designing holistic foods for companies and 40 years of experience in dogs, gives me a little more insight into what is truth vs propaganda and lies.

My list of better foods get's shorter and shorter because large investment companies or conglomerates are buying the up left and right - at this past trade show - many deals were going down, long before the employees of those companies actually get wind of it.

The face of the industry is changing fast - my list of better foods is getting shorter, but those foods that are on it are there for a reason and I have personally done feed trials on every one on the list.

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