Meet Dave’s Dog Food
Dave’s is a small brand of healthy dry and moist dog food that helps cater to specific issues your pup may have. They have lines for allergies, obesity, food sensitivities, and diabetes. The main claim to fame for Dave’s is that they provide the best quality food at affordable prices.
Their reputation online is solid, and most of their foods have higher than a four-star rating, but they don’t have many reviews. This tells us that the food line isn’t that popular online, but the website says they’re available at over 1600 retailers across the country.
If you are looking for a cheaper alternative to healthy pet foods, Dave’s might be a good option for you.
Many of their ingredients also seem to mimic those of more expensive brands, but you never know where the proteins, vegetables, and fruits get sourced from unless you find out for yourself.
In this article, we’re taking a serious look into Dave’s pet foods and whether or not they are a healthy and affordable option for your family.
Brand Quick Look
- Parent Company: Dave’s Pet Food
- Founded in: 1999
- Made in: South Dakota, New Jersey, Canada, and Thailand
- Available at: Chewy, Pet360, petfooddirect
- Types of Food: Dry and moist
- Real Meat in First 5 Ingredients? : Yes
- Recalled in Past? : Yes
Behind the Brand
The story of Dave’s dog food starts with Dave Ratner. This man realized how many great healthy dog food options there are on the market. He knew that the only thing missing from the pet food world was healthy affordable dog foods.
Dave is a sales guy, so he brought in an unnamed pet nutritionist to help him formulate the food, and they also decided on a manufacturer (also unnamed) to take care of the production.
According to the company, the reason their food is so much cheaper than their competitors is not that it contains cheaper ingredients; it’s because of the company overhead. They don’t have sales people out there selling it, they don’t have a team of marketers marketing it, and they don’t have a huge customer service department taking calls.
It’s all Dave, and he does everything, so he’s able to keep the overhead low and ultimately, the price low.
What Types of Dog Food Does Daves Offer?
Dave’s offers a variety of affordable pet foods that cater to your pets’ specific needs. If your dog has a problem digesting certain proteins, Dave has food that. If your dog has allergies so grain, Dave has food for that, and if your dog is overweight, Dave also has food for that.
All of Dave’s foods contain meat as the first ingredient and all-natural fruits and vegetables throughout.
There is not a lot of information available on how the formula specifically affects your pet’s health or what blend you should choose for a specific issue. It would be nice if there were more information available about what food you should pick if your dog has skin allergies for example.
Dave’s Dry Dog Food Brands:
- Chicken Meal and Brown Rice
- Healthy Adult
- Grain-Free Chicken
- Simply the Best
- Grain-Free Pork Meal
- Healthy Puppy
Dave’s Wet Dog Food Brands:
- Grain-Free Turkey and Bacon
- Grain-Free Poached Salmon
- Grain-Free Roasted Pork and Sweet Potato
- Grain-Free Duck and Sweet Potato
Dave’s Recall History
Since the company’s founding, we located two major recalls of Dave’s pet food. Here they are in reverse chronological order.
June 2018 – Dave’s pet food recalled 13-ounce cans of Premium Beef dog food for elevated levels of beef thyroid hormone.
December 2015 – One batch of Dave’s Simple, the Best Dog Food recalled for having an off odor.
Best Dave’s Dog Food
In this section, we’re going to take an in-depth look at at a couple lines of Dave’s dog food to find out if the ingredients are as great as he says they are.
- Overall: 4 out of 5
- Flavor: 4 out of 5
- Ingredients: 3 out of 5
- Packaging: 4 out of 5
- Price: 4.5 out of 5
The first food we’re looking at is the most common and standard food in their line. This one is ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs and Dave calls it the “bland diet” because there are few ingredients in here that would upset your dog’s stomach.
It contains easily digestible ingredients that are high in fiber so your pup can digest the food properly and prevent anything from coming up.
This food contains no artificial ingredients, colors, corn, soy, or dairy products.
- 25% protein
- 10% fat
- 3% fiber
First 5 Ingredients:
Chicken meal, brown rice, oat groats, sorghum, millet
This list of early ingredients in the food contains a lot of whole oat fillers which is not ideal, but the protein analysis is still within a healthy range.
Based on reviews from other people who have tried the food it does seem like it helps dogs with sensitive stomachs who are prone to vomiting and diarrhea.
- Overall: 4 out of 5
- Flavor: 4 out of 5
- Ingredients: 3.5 out of 5
- Packaging: 4 out of 5
- Price: 4 out of 5
Right out of the gate you can tell that Dave is a salesman based on the packaging of this dog food. The bag has a dog on the front with a clothespin over his nose, and it says, “dog got gas?” at the top.
Also, on the front of the bag, they give you a brief explanation as to why the egg is the best protein to include in your dog’s diet.
The company goes on to talk about how this food works well for dogs with gas, and it helps limit the number of stools they have. Dave claims that chicken, rice, and egg are three of the most digestible foods you can give your dog so this food helps them feel full faster and stay full longer so they can digest.
Overall, none of the ingredients in this formula are uncommon in dog food, so the entire thing feels like a giant sales pitch to us. That said, you can’t argue with the price of Dave’s dog food so the sales pitch might have some validity to it.
- 27% protein
- 14% fat
- 2.5% fiber
We generally like to see fiber of at least 4-5% especially if the company claims that their food is “high-fiber” and easily digestible.
First 5 Ingredients:
Chicken meal, brown rice, rice flour, dried egg product, rice bran
The best and truest way to understand Dave’s pet food is to take the opinions of others who have tried the food before you. Dave’s is popular across the country but not as popular on the major sites like Chewy.com.
While he may not have many reviews, the ones he does have are excellent. Across most of his product line on Chewy he has 4-5 stars with a 95% recommendation. Here are some verified reviews from people who have tried Dave’s dog food.
Great for sensitive stomachs
My mixed breed dog has struggled with diarrhea and loose stools since he was a puppy. (He’s 2 1/2 now.) Taken him to the vet to find nothing is wrong, but it was still something unpleasant to deal with. I’ve tried so many different foods, expensive, basic, grain free, gluten free with no good results. Until we tried this. No accidents and perfectly solid stool since about a week after we switched. I’m a believer. – Chewy Customer
My 4 yr old poodle mix had random episodes of vomiting for no reason. Never acted sick. I found this food on Chewy, read the positive reviews and decided to try it. I mix one tablespoon of Dave’s. Bland chicken rice wet food and this dry food. My dog inhales his food now and no more vomiting. Thank you, Dave and everyone who gave positive reviews so I would give this food a try. I’m so happy to finally find a food that my dog can eat without vomiting – Chewy Customer
Relief for an older dog
My nine-year-old cattle dog-x was having trouble holding down her food. Dave’s seems to have fixed this. My two-year-old lab wasn’t having any tummy troubles, but she is happy to eat it too. – Chewy Customer
Hate new formula
The new formula is following the horrid trend by manufacturers of adding plant protein to substitute for meat protein. The new formula is New Formulation: Chicken Meal, Field Peas, Chickpeas, Lentils, Chicken Fat If you add the protein from the three types of peas, it overwhelms the chicken meal. I’m very sad to see Dave’s changing over. – Chewy Customer
Seems like good food, but my picky pup wasn’t wild about it.
I consider myself fairly savvy as far as dog food choices go, and I would recommend this food based on the company and the ingredients. My dog (who is a picky eater) wasn’t wild about it–she prefers Dave’s Pork and Sweet Potato kibble, so I’ll stick to that (I wanted to try a grain-free choice, which the pork kibble is not). FYI, these kibble pieces are smaller than the pork kibble pieces, in case that makes a difference. – Chewy Customer
Dave’s Dog Food: Healthy Ingredients at a Healthy Price
Our first opinion of Dave’s was that it would be all hype with a quick let down when we realize the food does not live up to expectation; that didn’t happen. We read countless reviews of people who personally met Dave and were impressed by his grace and passion for what he does.
The ingredients in Dave’s dog food may not be the absolute greatest, but for the price and value, you are getting high-quality ingredients at a low-quality price.
Would we recommend for people who are currently happy with their dog food to switch to Dave’s because it’s so much better? No
But, if you’re unhappy with your dog’s diet, then we definitely would recommend giving Dave’s pet food a try for its premium ingredients and solid customer satisfaction.