tested 2,219 dog food formulas from 115 brands to see which foods would pass as satisfactory in the categories of health and safety. Only 119 formulas passed.

A team consisting of 7 researchers and 20 experts (including animal behaviorists, authors, dog trainers, and veterinarians) put a total of 1,400 man hours doing research, surveying 300 dog owners, and studying 72 articles and studies to find the most satisfactory dog food formulas.

The criteria they used for narrowing down the field of formulas was simple but strict. Dog foods automatically failed if the first ingredient was not meat, and if the food contained beet pulp, by-products, corn, grain, flour, sauces, soy, sugar, or wheat.

Brands were checked for histories of customer dissatisfaction, recalls, any importation of ingredients, and if the brand had ever been bought out by a larger company. The remaining formulas were reviewed for the best ratio of carbs, fat, and protein, as well as the source of the protein.

Brands that failed include Blue Buffalo, Canidae, Cesar, Eukanuba, Evanger’s, EVO, Hill’s Prescription Diet, Hill’s Science Diet, Iams Veterinary Formula, Innova, Nutro, Merrick, Nutro Ultra, Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets, Royal Canin, Solid Gold, Taste of the Wild, Tiki Dog, Wellness, Weruva, and Wild Calling.

Brands that passed include Earthborn Holistic, Grandma Lucy’s, Lotus, Stella & Chewy’s, and The Honest Kitchen. Go to for a full list of brands that passed and failed.

Researchers didn’t perform any third-party testing on the foods to check the ingredients.  The team does plan to revisit this review in the future and do more in-depth testing, including checking the ingredients with third-party testing.

Were you surprised about the brands that failed? Did your dog’s food pass or fail this satisfactory test? Let us know in the comments!