Dog Food Advisor: Should You Trust them?

June 5, 2023
Annette Thompson

Dog owners know how important it is to feed their furry friends the best possible food. With so many options on the market, finding the right dog food can be daunting. Fortunately, there is a resource that can help pet parents make informed decisions about what to feed their pets: Dog Food Advisor. But, should you trust them?

Dog Food Advisor is an online platform that provides allegedly unbiased reviews and ratings of different dog food products. It can help dog owners navigate the complex world of pet nutrition by offering an in-depth analysis of ingredients, nutritional value, and quality control standards for various brands.

The site aims to empower pet parents with the knowledge to make informed choices about how they feed their dogs and ensure that their furry friends get all the nutrients they need for optimal health and well-being. But it still has received critics for its accuracy and lack of references.

Key Takeaways

  • Dog Food Advisor is an online platform for allegedly unbiased reviews and ratings of dog food products.
  • It provides an in-depth analysis of ingredients, nutritional value, and quality control standards to empower pet parents with knowledge of informed choices about dog food.
  • Critics point out that the founder, Dr. Mike Sagan, was a dentist who needed proper nutrition or animal health education.
  • Also, criticism points out that there is a conflict of interest as they use affiliate links; they get money from people buying from the webpage link.
  • They offer tips for choosing the best dog food include considering age, breed, and activity level, conducting an ingredients analysis, and avoiding fillers.

Overview of Dog Food Advisor

Dog Food Advisor is a popular website that offers comprehensive information and reviews about different types of dog food. Mike Sagman founded the site, a retired dentist passionate about dogs and their nutrition.

Since its launch in 2008, Dog Food Advisor has become a go-to source for pet owners looking to make informed decisions about how they feed their furry friends. Despite the website’s popularity, there have been some controversies surrounding it.

Some people have criticized Dog Food Advisor for not being transparent enough about its review process or having biases towards certain brands. Additionally, some experts in the field of veterinary medicine have questioned the accuracy of some of the information provided on the site.

How Dog Food Advisor Works

User feedback is very important in this platform’s rating system. The team at Dog Food Advisor encourages pet owners to share their experiences with different dog food brands, as they believe first-hand accounts are crucial in determining the accuracy of ratings. By incorporating user feedback into their analysis, they can provide comprehensive reviews considering ingredients quality, nutritional value, and price point.

But using user reviews can be misleading, as usually the only post is only one positive review, which doesn’t tell you much about the overall user experience, and it can lead people to have a more positive idea of the product just because reading a personal story of someone about it. I will explain more about this in the next section.

However, it’s important to note that while user feedback plays a significant role in shaping these ratings and reviews, the Dog Food Advisor team also conducts extensive research to ensure the reliability of their assessments.

Dog Food Advisor gathers information for their reviews by relying on the integrity of the information provided by each dog food brand on its FDA-regulated label or website. They do not personally test the products themselves.

The reviews and analyses on their website represent the views and opinions of the author and are offered in good faith to help readers make more informed decisions. However, they emphasize that none of their ratings are intended to suggest that feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for pets, as each animal is biologically unique.

Dog Food Advisor encourages readers to consult a qualified veterinary professional for personalized advice. They also welcome feedback from readers to report product changes or request review updates. The website aims to provide accurate and up-to-date information but cannot guarantee its completeness or accuracy. They emphasize the importance of verifying claims, statistics, or product representations with manufacturers or other sources before purchasing. Dog Food Advisor is committed to correcting material errors in their reviews if provided with verifiable proof.

Criticism Of Dog Food Advisor

Lack of nutritional expertise

The Founder of Dog Food Advisor, Dr. Mike Sagman, is a retired dental surgeon with a major in chemistry and a minor in biology, and he says to be a self-proclaimed expert on reading food labels. It can be risky to get your dog food advice from someone without any formal nutrition or veterinary education.

While someone with no nutrition credential can write a well-referenced to academic papers research post, the problem is that many of the claims of their posts that need references don’t have them.

According to the website, on January 2023, Dr. Mike Sagan retired from Dog Food Advisor, and they say: “We’re a group of researchers, writers, editors, consultant veterinarians and nutritionists, and — most importantly — doting dog parents.”

This statement, however reassuring, comes with its caveats because also Dog Food Advisor says that each review only represents the views and opinions of the author. When you enter each post, it doesn’t say who wrote it, so there is no way to know whether a veterinary nutritionist or a retired dental surgeon wrote it.

Conflicts of interest

Conflicts of interest can arise when individuals provide reviews or recommendations while having a financial incentive tied to their endorsements. This issue is especially prevalent in online reviews, where affiliate marketing programs are standard. In reviewing dog food, for example, if someone receives monetary compensation through affiliate links for promoting specific brands, their objectivity and credibility may be compromised.

While this doesn’t automatically invalidate their review, it introduces a potential bias that can affect the trustworthiness of their assessment. Consumers must be aware of these conflicts of interest and consider them when evaluating reviews.

Transparency is critical in maintaining the integrity of reviews, so individuals should disclose any financial arrangements or affiliations that may impact their recommendations. Consumers can navigate potential biases and make more informed decisions about dog food or any other product by being critical and seeking information from multiple sources.

In the disclaimer of the webpage, we find the following statements:

The problem with this disclaimer comes in two parts:

  1. It is good practice that reviewers disclose as conspicuously and soon that they are receiving money from the producers. Still, this disclaimer only appears at the end of pages at Dog Food Advisor.
  2. They say they receive money directly from perishable pet food producers, which is partly false because they also get money from dry food brands such as Redbarn, Jinx, Open Farm, etc.
  3. They mention they have the intention to remain unbiased, but that is impossible because DFA has a financial incentive to give good reviews to fresh food, as they can recieve potentially more money from them.
  4. On the page of best dry puppy foods, most of the 5-star food don’t have a direct affiliate link of the brand and not chewy, but the ones that are affiliated (that are more likely to give them more money for the sales) are the first two on the list, which shows they have an interest in endorsed particularly this brands (which is not necessarily bad, but it’s worth considering)

Anecdotal Fallacy

The DFA, presents on their higher stas products reviews of persons that have tried the product, this can be misleading because it can bring people into the anecdotal fallacy.

The anecdotal fallacy, or the anecdotal evidence fallacy, is a standard error in reasoning where one relies on personal anecdotes or isolated incidents to draw generalized conclusions about a broader topic or issue.

This fallacy occurs when individuals use their own experiences or the experiences of a few individuals to make sweeping claims or judgments without considering the larger body of evidence or data. While personal stories can be compelling and emotionally persuasive, they do not necessarily reflect the overall reality or provide a representative sample.

Succumbing to the anecdotal fallacy can lead to inaccurate beliefs, misguided decisions, and flawed arguments, as it fails to acknowledge the inherent variability and complexity of many situations. It is essential to recognize personal anecdotes’ limitations and seek more comprehensive and rigorous evidence before forming conclusions.

At the same time, they can be a valuable source of information when making purchasing decisions or assessing the quality of a product, service, or article. They provide insights from real users and can offer a glimpse into their experiences. However, it is essential to approach online reviews cautiously due to the potential for manipulation. In today’s digital age, bots or paid individuals can artificially inflate or deflate ratings and reviews, making it difficult to discern genuine feedback from fabricated ones.

This risk highlights the importance of considering the credibility and authenticity of the sources. Relying solely on one review is also problematic, as it can lead to the anecdotal fallacy. A single positive or negative review does not provide a comprehensive picture and may not reflect the majority opinion. To avoid this fallacy, examining multiple studies, looking for patterns and trends, and considering the overall consensus rather than forming judgments based on isolated instances is crucial. One can make more informed decisions by critically evaluating online reviews and seeking diverse opinions.

The particular issue is that Dog Food Advisor only presents one positive review on their high-star products; this can be misleading, as it is only one person’s experience. Also, people and dogs can feel the placebo effect; if they change to a fancier brand of food, they might feel an improvement not because of the food itself but because of the expectation of the result of eating that food.

Another problem is that you cannot track the reviews; when you click on them, you are directed to an affiliated link, either from Chewy that doesn’t show the review you clicked on or it takes you to the website of the brand, where you cannot find where the study came from.

On the other hand, they do not present any review on the low-stars food, which is quite asymmetrical. They should not submit any personal opinions of users as they can be misleading very quickly and just used as a marketing strategy to convince someone to make a purchase.


Types of Dog Food Products Reviewed

When looking for quality nourishment options for your furry companion, it’s worth knowing that Dog Food Advisor covers a wide range of product types in their reviews. 

They have reviews of the following products:


Types of Food Food For Breeds
Best Puppy Foods Best Dog Foods for Specific Breeds
Best Dry Puppy Foods Best Dog Food for Australian Shepherds
Best Wet Puppy Foods Best Dog Food for Boxers
Best Large Breed Puppy Foods Best Dog Food for Chihuahuas
Best Small Breed Puppy Foods Best Dog Food for Dachshunds
Best Dry Dog Foods Best Dog Food for French Bulldogs
Best Wet Dog Foods Best Dog Food for German Shepherds
Best Raw Dog Foods Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers
Best Fresh Dog Foods Best Dog Food for Goldendoodles
Best Senior Dog Foods Best Dog Food for Labrador Retrievers
Best Natural Dog Foods Best Dog Food for Pitbulls
Best Grain-Free Dog Foods Best Dog Food for Shih Tzus
Best Grain-Free Dry Dog Foods Best Dog Food for Siberian Huskies
Best Dog Food with Grain Best Dog Food for Yorkies
Best High Protein Dog Food
Best Dog Food for Picky Eaters
Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach
Best Dog Food for Small Dogs
Best Dog Food for Large Breed Adults
Best Budget-Friendly Dog Foods
Best Dog Foods for Allergies
Best Dog Food for Weight Loss
Best Organic Dog Foods
Best Freeze-Dried Dog Foods
Best Low Fat Dog Foods

 Dogs often prefer wet dog food as it has a high moisture content, making it more flavourful and resembles more meat products. On the other hand, dry dog food is more convenient to store and can be left out for extended periods without spoiling.

Dog Food Advisor also considers whether the products are organic or non-organic. Organic dog food is made from ingredients free from pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). While non-organic dog food may contain these harmful substances, they are often more affordable than their organic counterparts.

By providing information on both types of products, Dog Food Advisor allows pet owners to make informed decisions about the best food options for their furry friends.

Benefits of Using Dog Food Advisor

Pet owners can access recommendations and nutritional analysis of different dog food products using Dog Food Advisor. The website comprehensively reviews various types of dog food, including dry kibble, wet canned food, dehydrated, and freeze-dried options.

With this resource, pet parents can gain valuable insights into the ingredients used in each product and their nutritional content. Aside from providing in-depth reviews on dog food products, Dog Food Advisor offers other benefits that make it an essential tool for pet owners.

For instance, it helps you make informed decisions by offering detailed information about each product’s ingredients and nutrient content. This saves time, as instead of spending hours researching online or browsing through aisles at the store trying to figure out what’s best for your puppy, you can rely on this resource to provide you with accurate information quickly.

Additionally, one of the conveniences of the website is that they have an history of the food recalls and warnings and if you enlist to their newsletter they will let you know about any new recall.

Tips for Choosing the Best Dog Food

To ensure your pup receives the proper nourishment, it’s essential to consider factors such as their age, breed, and activity level when selecting their diet. However, with so many dog food options on the market, choosing the right one can take time and effort. One helpful tool for making an informed decision is conducting an ingredients analysis.

When reviewing dog food labels, looking beyond just the brand name and marketing claims is essential. The first few ingredients listed should include a high-quality protein source such as chicken or beef and avoid fillers like corn or wheat. It’s also recommended to choose a dog food that includes fruits and vegetables for added nutrition. Additionally, some breeds may require specific dietary considerations based on their size or health concerns. Consulting with a veterinarian or using breed-specific recommendations from sources like Dog Food Advisor can further guide you in selecting the best option for your furry friend’s needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Dog Food Advisor a Good Source?

No. As it was created and mainly written by a dentist, it does not have thorough scientific references, and it has conflicts of interest as they can earn money from their reviews on certain brands. They still have good information, such as the story of recalls and charts on the composition of dog foods; their reviews should be taken with a grain of fast.

What dog food is on recall right now, 2023?

When finding the best dog food for your budget, it’s important to consider dog food labeling standards for whether you can trust ratings and reviews on Dog Food Advisor, research, and consult with your veterinarian.

Who Created Dog Food Advisor?

A recall can happen at any time, we recommend checking directly the FDA website

Which is the best dog food company?

The best food depends on your dog’s weight, health status, and age. It also depends on your budget; in general, many expensive brands have higher quality ingredients, but if it’s too expensive for someone’s budget, it is too costly.

According to NBC, the best dog food companies are:

  • Best overall dry dog food: Royal Canin.
  • Best subscription dog food: The Farmer’s Dog.
  • Best dog food for puppies: Hill’s Science Diet. 
  • Best dog food for large breeds: Purina.
  • Best frozen dog food: Just Food For Dogs.
  • Best dog food for sensitive stomachs: Purina.
  • Best poultry-free dog food: Merrick
  • Best Wet Dog Food: Royal Canin


How do I properly transition my dog to a new food, and what are the potential risks if I don’t do it correctly?

“Slow and steady wins the race” is an adage to remember when transitioning to dog food. Gradual transitions and supplemental probiotics are crucial to introducing new dog foods. Please do so to avoid digestive issues and discomfort for your furry friend.


In conclusion, Dog Food Advisor is a good resource for dog owners who want to ensure their furry friends get the best possible nutrition. However, it has problems, such as a lack of scientific references, many articles not written by experts and potential conflicts of interest.

It can be a good website for checking food ingredients and energy balance, but its ratings and reviews should be taken with a grain of salt.

Open your heart and home to a deserving furry friend today. Embrace the joy of adoption and give a second chance to a loving dog in need. Begin your incredible journey with bonevoyagedogrescue now!

Help them have their forever home

We fly dogs to Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, Seattle, Portland, plus any other city we have a flight angel for.