1 Star Dog Food Brands

There is no good reason to feed your dog a 1-star dog food – it is as simple as that. Dog food manufacturers that appear on this list do not have your pet’s interest in mind and, if you feed your dog their products, it will be clear that you don’t either. A 1-star dog food might meet your dog’s minimum nutritional requirements according to AAFCO standards, but it won’t be through the use of any high-quality ingredients and your dog’s body won’t be able to efficiently absorb all of those synthetic nutrients. This kind of poor-quality dog food could actually cause your dog to develop a nutritional deficiency (or more than one) and could have a negative impact on both his health and his longevity. Does that sound like something you want for your dog?

What Does It Take for a Dog Food Brand to Earn 1 Star?

Unless you have a basic understanding of your dog’s nutritional needs, you might not be able to fully grasp why a 1-star dog food is so bad. First, you need to consider that dogs are primarily carnivorous animals – their bodies are biologically adapted to deriving nutrition more efficiently from animal-based sources than plant-based sources. That is the first problem with 1-star dog foods – they rarely include quality animal-based ingredients. It is very uncommon for a 1-star dog food to start with a meat-based ingredient at all, let alone a good one. Any dog food product that lists a plant product first is not only going to fail to provide your dog with quality protein, but it will also be harder for him to digest. If there are any quality ingredients on the list, your dog probably won’t get the maximum benefit from them.

Another problem with 1-star dog foods is that they only provide the minimum. They might technically contain 18% protein and 5% fat, but they probably won’t go over those minimums. You also have to consider that the guaranteed analysis for a dog food product only tells you how much protein, fat, and fiber the product contains – it says nothing about the quality of the sources for those nutrients. Most of the protein in 1-star dog foods comes from plant proteins and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a 1-star dog food that contains anything resembling a quality source of named animal fat. The list will be full of by-products and concentrates as well as many ingredients that sound more like chemicals than food. A good rule of thumb is that if you can’t tell what an ingredient is by reading its name, it’s probably not something you want to feed your dog.

Finally, 1-star dog foods have the same problem as 2-star dog foods when it comes to synthetic supplementation. Not only do 1-star dog foods use ingredients that offer little to no nutritional value, but what little nutrition they do provide is likely to be destroyed during high-heat cooking processes. That’s why 1-star dog food ingredients lists are so long – they contain dozens of synthetic supplements to replace the nutrients your dog won’t get from natural ingredients. Most 1-star dog foods are also loaded with artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. What you need to realize about these is that many artificial additives are included to make the product more appealing to dog owners – not to dogs! Artificial colors make the product look more like real food but they don’t provide any nutritional benefit. Artificial flavors might make the product taste better for your dog, but those flavorings don’t serve any nutritional purpose either. And artificial preservatives are often made from chemicals that have been shown to have a harmful effect on dogs. Again, there is no good reason to feed your dog a 1-star food.

Top Recommended 1-Star Dog Food Brands

If you are feeding your dog a product made by any of the brands on this list, you should seriously consider upgrading to a better brand. You might think that one dog food is as good as any other, but the truth is that dog foods vary significantly in quality from one brand to another. If you are feeding your dog a 1-star brand to save money, you might find that it is only a short-term solution. Feeding your dog a low-quality dog food could prevent his body from functioning at its optimal level. This, in turn, could put him at risk for developing nutritional deficiencies and other medical problems which is likely to become very expensive for you to treat. Here are some of the dog food brands on the market that get our 1-star rating:

  • Alpo
  • Atta Boy
  • Big Red
  • Caliber
  • Chef Michaels
  • Everpet
  • Gravy Train
  • Grreat Choice
  • Hungry Hound
  • Kibbles N’ Bits
  • Ol Roy
  • Pedigree
  • Purina Dog Chow

To put it bluntly, if you’re feeding your dog a brand from this list it is clear that you don’t care very much about his health and wellbeing. Dog food isn’t just something your dog eats to fill his stomach – it is his primary source of nutrition. If you choose a product that is made with low-quality ingredients, it could have a negative impact on his health and may even shorten his lifespan. So, if your dog food brand is on this list, seriously think about upgrading to at least a 3-star brand.

Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate holds a certificate in fitness nutrition and enjoys writing about health and wellness trends — she also enjoys crafting original recipes. In addition to her work as a ghostwriter and author, Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.

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