Disclosure: When you buy through links on this site, we may earn a commission.
Disclosure: Watchdog Labs is free to use. When you buy through links on this site, we may earn a commission.
Rebuild the Pet Food Industry One Kibble at a Time
Watchdog Labs uses science to help you choose the best food for your pet. We secretly buy dog food online and test its nutritional value in our certified labs. We then analyze each product's features, ingredients and recall history. The result are simple ratings that help you easily choose the best food for your dog.
We review a wide variety of foods to help dogs of all breeds and sizes and owners with different budgets. We select products that include bestsellers as well as lesser known products, from both large and small brands.
Our selections are independent and we never accept any payments, sponsorships, free samples or ads from manufacturers. Have a product you think we should test? Please let us know!
We purchase our dog food samples the same way you would buy it - real products from real online stores. These products are then shipped to our lab partners, just like you would receive them when ordering online.
Stores and brands don’t know when and where we buy our samples. We always pay full retail prices and we never accept samples from manufacturers.
We test all foods in ISO-accredited labs in the United States. The testing involves strict guidelines and quality standards. Our tests are performed with blind samples to prevent bias and use all AAFCO recommended best practices and AOAC methods.
In short, this means we have top scientists using the best equipment and testing methods to produce fair and reliable results. Also, very importantly, we pay for all testing ourselves and never accept manufacturer sponsorships.
Part of our rating methodology is to check dog food features like “Made in the USA” and “No Artificial Colors.” We find this info on food labels and on the product website.
This information is included for your convenience but not all of it factors into the product ratings. Our search tools for dry dog food and wet dog food let you filter products based on these features.
We research and analyze hundreds of ingredients found in dog foods and show you which ones are controversial. These ingredients are not necessarily bad, they are just not universally agreed upon as good. Some may want to avoid controversial ingredients altogether.
Determined by the number of recalls for this brand. We track reports from the company, FDA and other sources.
Recalls can be issued for many reasons, including contaminants and labelling issues. Keep in mind that recalls can be voluntary and that they can include non-dangerous product recalls.
We are 100% independent - we never accept payments, free product or sponsorships from pet food manufacturers. All of our content is published for free. Our ongoing research to protect pets is funded by a small commission earned when you buy products from links on our site.
Our ratings use a simple scale from 0% to 100%. The final rating is a weighted average of four sub-ratings which are also 0% to 100%. We use a proprietary rating algorithm to calculate each score to ensure that all products are ranked fairly and using the same standard. No preference is given to any product or brand.
To make comparing food easier, we show you the average sub-rating for products in their category.
We believe trust needs to be earned. That’s why we are 100% independent from pet food manufacturers - we never accept payments, free product or sponsorships. Our ongoing research to protect pets is funded by a commission we may earn when you buy products from links on our site. These links are included when possible, no matter what the product’s rating is. Commissions are paid by the online retailer, not the food manufacturers, and you still pay the same price.
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