Dog food in Australia appears to be very much sold via the major grocery chains, or bulk pet stores, which means that brands from the global marketing companies probably have the dominant market share.
Australian quarantine regulations mean that most dog food is required to be subject to a high irradiation treatment, and this can severely affect the manufactured product as Orijen found out. Orijen no longer exports to Australia.
Perhaps the Orijen experience has deterred other quality specialist dog food manufacturers from also exporting to Australia, which is a shame as dog ownership per capita is one of the highest in the world (around 36% compared to USA of around 40%) and you would like to think our Aussie canine friends could enjoy some of the worlds' leading dog food brands.
However there are some good limited options for dog food in Australia, that do meet the
criteria I mention, so whilst the choice might be a little limited - compared to other countries - good ingredient quality is available for the Australian dog owner.
Australia can boast that they have one of the world's best known advocates for raw feeding in veterinarian Dr Ian Billinghurst and that segment is growing rapidly in popularity.
Let's start our look into dog food in Australia with the raw feeding option.
It seems that since the introduction of a frozen manufactured product following Dr Billinhurst's "recipe" this feeding option has gone from strength to strength.
Perhaps the most noticeable support for raw feeding has come from the Guide Dogs Association of Queensland, who after feeding their dog colony on the "BARF" food regime found enough positive results to fully adopt this feeding option.
Have a look in local pet food stores freezers for Dr. B's Genuine Aussie R.A.W. or Leading Raw which is endorsed by Guide Dogs Queensland.
I do prefer the variety and single meat sources in the Dr B's range whereas the Leading Raw combines three meat sources in the one product offering. There would not be a problem if you decided to feed both brands and there would be no need to follow switching guidelines either.
Dr. B's "Kangaroo" and "Lamb" recipes may be good options for those seeking hypoallergenic dog foods - because the animal would be free ranging.
Now we come to the dry dog food in Australia.
(1) Evo is available in Australia but I have deleted this product from the dry dog food section of dog-food-aid due to finding too many negative consumer comments, since the P&G takeover of the manufacturer, therefore I will focus on other dry dog food options.
(2) Earthborn "Grain Free Natural Primitive" was another product that met ingredient criteria but there has been a change in the "international" ingredients structure which now removes the product from consideration.
Now for some good news because there are two very good product ranges available and in my humble opinion they would be the best dry dog food in Australia!
Another good dog food has just landed in Australia - Wellness Core range - it is being retailed by PetBarn and is exclusive to them at this point in time.
I do not know much more than this at the moment but I will check things out and put more information here soon.
In the meantime if you have a PetBarn nearby give them a visit to see what is available, and check out the ingredient listing against my criteria in the "Ingredients" section - we do not want a different "menu" for international - as per the Earthborn case!
ARTEMIS. Offers a range that includes large and small breed puppy food plus adult, senior dog food options along with a "performance" product.
I know that many people would be happier selecting a dog food that is formatted for a specific purpose and this is the advantage Artemis has.
Importantly here is the fact that you can select small breed puppy formula or the other formula for the medium and large breed puppy
Artemis also states "no corn, no wheat. no soy, no beet pulp" plus their products do not undergo Gamma Irradiation, so this range ticks a lot of preference boxes.
One exception for me would be the Maximal product because it only has two ingredients before the chicken fat source, which is not in line with the Purdue University recommendation of at least four ingredients prior to a named fat/oil source.
Unfortunately Maximal is the only "grain free" option but as many manufacturers are offering a separate grain free range let's hope that it may not be too long before we see extra grain free options in the Artemis range.
CANIDAE. Okay here is another great product option for dog food in Australia and the benefit here is that there is a suitable "grain free" selection available also.
Whilst Canidae does not have specific puppy or large breed and small breed formulas it does have an "all life stages" recipe format which has feeding guide instructions for each life stage.
For me the bonus here is the extensive use of a "named meat meal" as the primary ingredients in all of the recipes. What this means to you is you are getting more meat for your money than the fresh meat option, which contains around 70% moisture, as opposed to around 5% moisture in the "meal".
In March two extra "grain free" recipes become available making four options in total which will give a good all round variety.
Canidae is not subjected to irradiation and their website states that there is no corn, wheat, soy, grain fractions or fillers and that their products are naturally preserved.
Even though there was no mention in the ingredient listing I have double checked with Canidae and beet pulp is not used either.
Again the major chain stores will not stock this product so check the
Canidae Australian website
for retailers or you can order online.
SUMMING UP these are two very good products and whether you choose to feed only one brand, or both, you will be feeding a quality ingredient product which is, after all, what we want to achieve for our four legged best friend.
Now for a look at canned dog food in Australia.
ARTEMIS. With Lamb,Beef and Chicken recipes this canned range can be used as a stand alone variety feeding or added as part of the daily diet for your dog. Artemis canned selection is a "all life stages' formula. As with their dry dog food Artemis presents a product that is worthy of your consideration.
ZIWIPEAK. Made in New Zealand this company has - in a camparitively short time frame - firmly established itself world wide as a manufacturer of a high quality product. Their "Daily Dog Moist Cuisine" range offers Lamb, Venison, Venison & Fish, and a Tripe Lamb & Venison.
When comparing ZiwiPeak to other brands consider the feeding quantity guidelines because it is unlikely to be cheap but it will be excellent quality and therefore - as with a quality dry dog food - you can save on the amount of food required.
Two other options for selecting dog food in Australia.
Often overlooked because most dog owners are unaware of the availability and options of "air dried" and "dehydrated" dog food. Australian dog owners can also consider these quality options.
ZIWIPEAK "Daily Dog Air Dried". Once again this is a premium quality product so you will need to compare feeding quantity guidelines along with quality considerations. For instance one portion of this ZiwiPeak product is equal to three portions of raw meat. A scoop is provided for ease of measurement! Choose from Lamb, Venison or Venison & Fish.
K9 NATURAL. This product uses the "freeze dried" dehydration method and is another success story of a product from New Zealand and one that is gaining world wide popularity! It would appear that only the Beef and Lamb varieties are currently available in Australia though.
This link below takes you to the K9 Natural home page where you will need to use the search box "find K9 around the world" top right hand corner.
Top quality dog food in Australia can be found - it just will not jump off the supermarket or bulk warehouse shelves - but now you have the names of some excellent products to look for, and you, and your four legged best friend, will never look back!
I hope you will agree though that your search in finding some of the best dog food in Australia just became a lot easier!