The 10 Worst Rated Dry Dog Food Brands 2019

Looking at your dog’s food you may notice it to be very bright, colorful and usually has a healthy looking dog chowing down on some colorful kibble. Additionally, the dog food will usually be labeled all-natural and 100% complete and balanced, but is it really?

Through the power of deceptive marketing, dog food companies for years have been selling high-volumes of bright, colorful bags of dog food with very little transparency to what’s actually in the kibble. Many unwanted filler ingredients, synthetic chemical preservatives, unknown sources of meat and diseased animals have entered the diets of millions of dogs.

When trying to read the ingredient list of your dog’s food you may be left with more questions than answers. A more in-depth view of the ingredient list will leave any dog owner in shock with the amount of questionable and potentially harmful ingredients found in many low-end dog food brands.

So what’s the worst rated dog food? Our team of dog food nutritionists have analyzed thousands of varieties of dog food for the worst. We factored in ingredient list quality, guaranteed analysis levels, recall notices, consumer reviews and company transparency when ranking the worst rated dog food. Here are the worst rated dry dog food brands for 2019.

Note: According to AAFCO, all of these dog foods have met nutritional standards and considered safe for canine consumption. 

10. Pedigree® Complete Nutrition Adult Dry Dog Food 

The bright yellow bag with the chicken and vegetables makes Pedigree look like a healthy dry dog food formula. Unfortunately, when turning the bag around and looking at the small printed ingredient list, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Pedigree Complete Nutrition is loaded with corn, unspecified meat & fat sources, artificial colors and artificial preservative BHA. Compared to premium brands of dry dog food, this formula is lacking at every nutritional level. The ingredient list lacks transparency and trust of what animal sources are actually entering the formula.

Furthermore, the European Union has actually banned the use of meat and bone meal from animal feed since 2000. It doesn’t end there, a variety of artificial colors, BHA preservatives and unspecified animal fats are included.

Ingredients: Ground Whole Grain Corn, Meat And Bone Meal Source Of Calcium, Corn Gluten Meal, Animal Fat Source Of Omega 6 Fatty Acids Preserved With BHA & Citric Acid, Soybean Meal, Natural Flavor, Chicken By-Product Meal, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Ground Whole Grain Wheat, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Brewers Rice, Choline Chloride, Dried Peas, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Sulfate, DL-Methionine, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Vitamin B3, Biotin, Dried Carrots, L-Tryptophan, BHA & Citric Acid A Preservative, Blue 2, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, D-Calcium Pantothenate Source Of Vitamin B5, Riboflavin Supplement Vitamin B2, Red 40, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride Vitamin B6, Copper Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate Vitamin B1, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 21.0% min
CRUDE FAT 10.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 4.0% max
MOISTURE 12.0% max
LINOLEIC ACID 2.5% min
CALCIUM 1.0% min
PHOSPHORUS 0.8% min
COPPER 10 mg/kg
ZINC 200 mg/kg
VITAMIN E 200 IU/kg
NIACIN 200 mg/kg
PYRIDOXINE 30 mg/kg

9. Retriever® Hi Protein Dry Dog Food

Retriever Hi Protein Dog Food is made with unspecified meat and bone meal as the main ingredient. Not knowing what meat is actually in the recipe should be purchased with caution.

Additionally, a variety of fillers, corn, wheat and soybean meal is also included in the recipe. The formula is also made with unspecified animal fats that’s laced with BHA preservatives. Low quality animal digest and artificial colors is also found in this 1 star dry dog food.

Ingredients: Meat and bone meal, ground yellow corn, wheat middlings, ground wheat, soybean meal, animal fat (preserved with BHA and citric acid), corn gluten meal, animal digest, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, zinc sulfate, vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, color added (red #40, yellow #5, blue #2), L-lysine, zinc oxide, niacin, copper sulfate, vitamin A supplement, biotin, manganous oxide, calcium pantothenate, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), riboflavin supplement, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement, cobalt carbonate.

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 27.0% min
CRUDE FAT 15.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 4.0% max
MOISTURE 12.0% max
CALCIUM 1.20% min
PHOSPHORUS 0.90% min
VITAMIN A 8000 IU/kg min
OMEGA 6 FATTY ACIDS 1.40% min

8. Purina® Dog Chow Complete With Real Chicken Adult Dry Dog Food

Purina is owned by Nestle Corporation and is the largest dog food manufacturer in the world. The company has a variety of dog food formulas for every dog breed. Unfortunately, per ingredient list, a number of Purina’s most popular brands are some of the worst offenders. Purina Dog Chow is one of them. Corn is the main ingredient followed by unspecified meat and bone meal as the #2 ingredient.

Real chicken is not found until the #7 ingredient. In fact, there’s more poultry by-product and corn than actual real chicken. Animal digest is also found in Purina Dog Chow. As defined by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, animal digest is produced by the chemical or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean animal tissue that has not undergone decomposition. The digest is then added to the formula for flavoring. Additionally, at the end of the ingredient list a mix of artificial colors is also included.

Ingredients: Whole Grain Corn, Meat and Bone Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Beef Fat Naturally Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols, Soybean Meal, Poultry By-Product Meal, Chicken, Egg and Chicken Flavor, Whole Grain Wheat, Animal Digest, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Mono and Dicalcium Phosphate, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, Choline Chloride, Minerals [Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K), Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Biotin (Vitamin B-7)], Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 40, Blue 2, Garlic Oil. E-4101.

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 21.0% min
CRUDE FAT 10.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 4.5% max
MOISTURE 12.0% max
LINOLEIC ACID 1.5% min
CALCIUM 1.0% min
PHOSPHORUS 0.8% min
VITAMIN A 10,000 IU/kg min
VITAMIN E 100 IU/kg min

7. Grreat Choice® Complete Nutrition Adult Dry Dog Food

Looking at the ingredient list, Great Choice Complete Nutrition Dog Food may not be that great of a choice after all. Great Choice is owned by PetSmart. It’s surprising to see a poorly constructed dog food formula from a reputable dog food distributer like PetSmart.

Dogs with food and allergy sensitivities should steer clear of this recipe. Ground yellow corn is the main ingredient followed by a unwanted mix of unspecified meat and bone meal, wheat middling, ground wheat, BHA preserved poultry fat, corn gluten meal, chicken by-product meal and artificial colors.

Ingredients: Ground Yellow Corn, Meat And Bone Meal, Wheat Middling, Ground Wheat, Poultry Fat (Preserved With Bha), Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Salt,Potassium Chloride, Natural Flavor (Source Of Chicken Flavor), Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Choline Choride, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Added Color (Red #40, Yellow #5 And Blue #2), Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Niacin, Manganese Sulfate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Source Of Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Source Of Vitamin B1), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source Of Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Sodium Selenite

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 21.0% min
CRUDE FAT 9.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 4.5% max
MOISTURE 12.0% max
CALCIUM 1.0% min
PHOSPHORUS 0.8% min
OMEGA 6 FATTY ACIDS 1.5% min
OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS 0.15% min

6. Kal Kan® Complete Adult Dry Dog Food

Kale Kan is owned my Mars Corporation and sold exclusively at select Walmart stores. It may be one of the least popular among the Mars Corporation brands and is also one of the worst.

Ground yellow corn is the main ingredient followed by a questionable mixture of unspecified meat and bone meal, soybean meal, ground wheat, chicken by-product meal, unspecified animal fat preserved with BHA and wheat middling fillers. Protein and fat levels is low and not as balanced compared to conventional premium dry dog food brands.

Ingredients: Ground yellow corn, meat and bone meal, soybean meal, ground wheat, chicken by-product meal, animal fat (preserved with BHA and citric acid, source of Omega-6 Fatty Acids), wheat middlings, corn gluten meal, natural flavor, salt, dl-methionine, potassium chloride, choline chloride, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, Vitamin E supplement, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, niacin, manganous oxide, Vitamin A supplement, biotin, d-calcium pantothenate, Vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), riboflavin supplement, calcium iodate, folic acid, cobalt carbonate, Vitamin D3 supplement.

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 20.0% min
CRUDE FAT 8.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 4.0% max
MOISTURE 12.0% max
CALCIUM 1.0% min
PHOSPHORUS 0.8% min
ZINC 175 mg/kg
VITAMIN E 100 IU/kg
OMEGA 6 FATTY ACIDS 2.0% min

5. Kibbles ‘n Bits® Homestyle Grilled Beef & Vegetable Flavors Dog Food

This chef’s choice homestyle recipe looks pretty tempting from what you see on the front of the bag. Fresh grilled steak with vegetable are pictured next to the multi-color kibble. The multi-color kibble has no additional health benefits for your dog. The vibrant kibble appears healthier and it sells. Multi-color kibble is usually made up of dyes and artificial colors.

Corn is the main ingredient in Kibbles ’n Bits Homestyle Grilled Beef & Vegetables, not real grilled beef. In fact, the real main meat source is actually beef & bone meal when you read the ingredient list. Beef is the #14 ingredient and is not considered a main ingredient.

Wheat middling fillers, unspecified animal fat laced with BHA preservative, artificial flavors, artificial colors and animal digest (source of grilled flavor) is also found in this 1 star dry dog food. To make matters even worse, the formula also includes corn syrup and propylene glycol. Dogs should avoid these 2 ingredients at all costs.

Ingredients: Corn, Soybean Meal, Beef & Bone Meal, Ground Wheat, Animal Fat (BHA Used as Preservative), Corn Syrup, Wheat Middlings, Water Sufficient for Processing, Animal Digest (Source of Grilled Flavor), Propylene Glycol, Salt, Hydrochloric Acid, Potassium Chloride, Beef, Caramel Color, Peas, Sorbic Acid (Used as a Preservative), Sodium Carbonate, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganous Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Choline Chloride, Calcium Sulfate, Carrots, Green Beans, Titanium Dioxide (Color), Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Wheat Flour, Red 40, BHA (Used as a Preservative), DL-Methionine, Blue 1.

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 19.0% min
CRUDE FAT 8.0% min
CRUDE FAT 12.0% max
CRUDE FIBER 4.0% max
MOISTURE 18.0% max
CALCIUM 1.0% min
PHOSPHORUS 0.75% min

4. Purina® ALPO Come & Get It! Cookout Classics Adult Dry Dog Food

ALPO Come & Get It! is another 1 star rated dry dog food brand distributed by Purina. Ground yellow corn is the #1 ingredient found in ALPO. If you haven’t already noticed, corn is the main ingredient in a number of Purina products. In addition to ground yellow corn, a mixture of low quality corn germ meal, beef and bone meal, soybean meal and poultry and pork digest is also included in the recipe.

Corn gluten is found in ALPO Cookout Classics. If you have a dog with allergy or food sensitive it’s best to avoid this brand. Artificial coloring and flavoring is mixed to help with taste and appearance as well.

Ingredients: Ground Yellow Corn, Corn Germ Meal, Beef and Bone Meal, Soybean Meal, Beef Tallow Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols, Pork and Bone Meal, Egg and Chicken Flavor, Poultry and Pork Digest, Corn Gluten Meal, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Natural Grill Flavor, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Red 40, Ferrous Sulfate, DL-Methionine, Yellow 5, Manganese Sulfate, Blue 2, Yellow 6, Niacin, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Garlic Oil, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Folic Acid, Biotin, Sodium Selenite. J-5023.

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 18.0% min
CRUDE FAT 9.5% min
CRUDE FIBER 6.0% max
MOISTURE 12.0% max
LINOLEIC ACID 1.0% min
CALCIUM 1.0% min
PHOSPHORUS 0.8% min
IRON 80.0 mg/kg min

3. Ol’ Roy® Complete Nutrition Adult Dry Dog Food

Ol’ Roy is Walmart’s store brand of dog food and is one of the highest selling dog food brands in the United States. Ol’ Roy is manufactured by Doane Pet Food, which is owned by Mars Corporation. Just recently, potential low levels of the euthanasia drug pentobarbital was found in Ol Roy Strips Turkey & Bacon Wet Dog food.

This is cause for concern considering the tranquilizer is often used as a euthanizing agent to put down sick or fatally injured animals. Although the recall had to do with their wet dog food product line, Ol’Roy provides very little transparency with quality assurance.

Ingredients: Ground Yellow Corn, Meat And Bone Meal, Soybean Meal, Poultry By-Product Meal, Animal Fat (Preserved With BHA And Citric Acid), Corn Gluten Meal, Natural Flavor, Brewers Rice, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Color Added (Titanium Dioxide, Yellow #5, Yellow #6, Red #40, Blue #2), Choline Chloride, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Niacin, Copper Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K), Riboflavin Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Cobalt Carbonate.

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 18.0% min
CRUDE FAT 8.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 4.0% max
MOISTURE 12.0% max
LINEOLIC ACID 1.5% min
CALCIUM 1.0% min
PHOSPHORUS 0.8% min
ZINC 125 mg/kg
VITAMIN A min 10,000 IU/kg
VITAMIN E min 80 IU/kg

2. Gravy Train® Beefy Classics Dry Dog Food

Gravy Train is manufactured and owned by Big Heart Pet Brands, a division of J.M. Smuckers. Just like Ol’Roy, Gravy Train’s wet dog food product line was voluntarily recalled for containing the euthanasia drug Pentobarbital as well.

If that’s not bad enough, Gravy Train is still being sold and unfortunately still not providing transparency to what meat sources they’re using in their kibble and wet dog food formulas. Corn is the #1 ingredient in Gravy Train Beefy Classics. When you think of Beefy Classics you think of well beef not corn. When looking at the ingredient list, real beef is nowhere to be found. The only meat sources are meat and bone meal which clearly doesn’t specify what type of meat it really is.

Additionally, Gravy Train Beefy Classics includes artificial colors, artificial beef flavor, red 40, animal digest and BHA (preservative). The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment of the state of California lists BHA under “Chemicals Known to the State to Cause Cancer or Reproductive Toxicity”

Ingredients: Corn, Soybean Meal, Meat and Bone Meal, Wheat Middlings, Animal Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Animal Digest, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Cellulose Gum, Wheat Flour, Caramel Color, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganous Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Choline Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Natural and Artificial Beef Flavor, Red 40, BHA (preservative), Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 2, Rosemary Extract

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 17.0% min
CRUDE FAT 8.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 4.0% max
MOISTURE 10.0% max
CALCIUM .60% min
PHOSPHORUS .50% min
POTASSIUM .60% min
SODIUM .25% min
CHLORIDE 0.40% min
ZINC 110 mg/kg min

1. Twin Pet® Adult Dry Dog Food

Per guaranteed analysis and ingredient list it doesn’t get any worse than this. Ground yellow corn, wheat middling fillers, unspecified meat and bone meal and laced BHA preserved animal fats make up this 1 star dry dog food.

Guaranteed analysis shows this to be one of the lowest, if not the lowest, protein level found in conventional dog food. Twin Pets is made by Simmons Pet Food Company.

Ingredients: Ground Yellow Corn, Wheat Middlings, Meat and Bone Meal, Animal Fat (Preserved with BHA and BHT), Salt, Potassium Chloride, Natural Flavor, Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Niacin, Manganese Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Sodium Selenite

Guaranteed Analysis
CRUDE PROTEIN 16.0% min
CRUDE FAT 7.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 4.0% max
MOISTURE 12.0% max
CALCIUM 1.0% min
PHOSPHORUS 0.8% min
VITAMIN E 50 IU/kg