Our pets count on us to make good food choices for them when we want to try a new brand. Thankfully, pet food reviews on the Internet are everywhere to help us decide. The only problem is, there are so many, researching food is overwhelming. Who do you believe? Where are the most trustworthy sources for the “best” dog and cat food? Today we will share some places to begin your research.
A Closer Look at Pet Food Reviews on the Internet
Last month the 2019 Tripawds Nutrition Survey revealed that most of us feed our dogs and cats a commercial kibble diet. It also showed that pet food reviews on the Internet and other nutrition articles have slightly more influence than foods that our veterinarian recommends. That kinda makes sense, since we interact with the Internet far more than our veterinarian.
But how do we know the pet food research we are reading is unbiased, accurate and something our vets would approve of? Here are some steps all of us can take when looking for a new pet food.
First, Check the “About Page” of a Pet Food Reviews Website
Forget the bells, whistles and cute pet photos on a food reviews website. The first place to check out is the “About” page. You want to know if the humans in charge have any kind of science-based background. Are they smarter than you or me? Can they interpret pet food ingredients labels better than we can?
Unfortunately it’s tough to find pet food reviews websites created and managed by veterinarians. The ones that do exist offer more general pet food advice than specific brand recommendations. Here are a couple of examples:
Created by Lisa A. Pierson DVM, a veterinarian with a “keen interest in internal medicine and nutrition.” Dr. Pierson doesn’t make brand recommendations, but pulls no punches in sharing her suggestions for ideal diet types for cats no matter the age, life stage or medical condition of the cat.
Every Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist™ starts their education with the ACVN. The organization’s website won’t make brand recommendations, but they have a large Pet Food Nutrition Resources page for pet parents listing various pet nutrition websites your vet would approve of.
Next, If You Can’t Find a Vet in Charge, Ask Who is Running The Show.
When searching for cat and dog food review websites to feature here, we discovered two interesting things:
- Most pet food review websites are run by pet parents with a passion for nutrition, but no official pet nutrition or veterinary credentials.
- Most websites are filled with advertising from pet food companies. Which leads you to wonder who’s paying the bills.
- Even the “Pet Food Institute” pet nutrition resource endorsed by the ACVN is sponsored by all of the major pet food companies. Can we trust them to provide honest information? That’s a decision each of us has to make for ourselves.
Trustworthy Cat Food Review Resources
The most unbiased cat food review websites we found are two bare-bones but highly-ranked resources that do not take advertising money from the pet food industry:
Yet Another Cat Food Guide is a website founded by a self-described science and math nerd who “who’s been known to check out veterinary textbooks from the library for fun.” We wish they had more rock solid credentials, but the ad-free blog is one of the best resources we found to research cat food brands.
The Cornucopia Institute Pet Food Guide is a not-for-profit organization that “engages in educational activities supporting the ecological principles and economic wisdom underlying sustainable and organic agriculture.” Their ad-free pet food brands comparison chart is easy to decipher.
Trustworthy Dog Food Review Resources
When we consider new dog foods for our Tripawds Spokesdog Wyatt Ray, we look up the food’s ranking with two reputable resources: Dog Food Advisor and Whole Dog Journal. The two are considered credible, unbiased resources because like those featured above, neither accepts compensation from pet food companies and both utilize the expertise of veterinary credentialed reviewers.
DFA is one of the few pet food review websites that was founded and run by someone with a science-based education and career, Dr. Mike Sagman. A dental surgeon with a studies background in chemistry and biology, he isn’t a vet himself, but has one on the team. Although some products on DFA contain affiliate links that result in a small commission (which helps pay for the website hosting costs), DFA says it does not “accept money, gifts, samples or any other incentives from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews.”
The Whole Dog Journal
Whole Dog Journal is another unbiased pet food review, ad-free website you can trust. WDJ says they “are 100 percent subscriber-supported; we do not and will never carry advertising.” Their large pool of trusted veterinary industry experts produce unbiased, respected natural care-oriented reviews about all things dog, including pet food reviews like the Annual Approved Dry Dog Food List.
Do you have favorite pet food review websites that you trust? Share what you know in the comments below, or in our Tripawds Discussion Forums Eating Healthy Topic. Let’s all learn how to feed our Tripawd heroes the best food on the planet!