Vetalogica Dog Food

Aldi Dog Food Review -
Puppy, Adult & Senior Line Included

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PETZYO DOG FOOD

  • Ethically sourced Kangaroo, sweet potato & superfood extras
  • Three Omega 3 and 6 rich oils with a well balanced 11% fat content
  • Australian owned with hundreds of 5 Star Reviews
  • Priced better than major food brands
  • Lightning fast free shipping

Wondering about this supermarket brand? Our experts have created the ultimate Aldi dog food review so you can make an informed decision. Is this the best option for your pup? Here’s what you should know!

  • Aldi has two dog food brands: Aldi Julius Dog Food and Natural Elements Dog food
  • Natural Elements dog food is their grain-free line and has a better composition than Julius dog food
  • This brand only offers adult dog kibble and one wet food recipe.

Aldi Dog Food (Natural Elements) Review

Aldi Dog food - 3 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Aldi natural elements Chicken recipe: Poultry Meal (Source of Chicken), Peas, Poultry Tallow (Contains Rosemary Extract, Antioxidants), Tapioca, Potato, Sweet Potato, Gravy, Vitamins & Minerals, Beet Pulp, Salmon Oil, Vegetable Oil, Chicory Root, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Coconut Oil, Alfalfa, Blueberries, Cranberries, Pumpkin, Parsley Flakes, Chondroitin Sulphate, Glucosamine, Rosemary, Taurine, Kelp Meal, Beta Carotene
  • Named Protein First: No, but meal is OK.
  • Dog Food Type: Dry and wet food
  • Recipe Range: Chicken and salmon kibble recipes, one wet food, and treats in both chicken and beef flavours.
  • Suitable For: Adult dogs (can be fed to puppies and seniors)
  • Cost: $$
  • Australian Owned: No, but it is made in Australia]

Before getting into our Aldi dog food review, it’s important to mention this supermarket has had different dog food home brands. Up until early 2020, Aldi sold their Julius dog food in the Australian market.

Since then, their Natural Elements dog food brand was born. As of the writing of this article, Natural Elements is the most easily available of the two. Because of it, the following dog food review will focus on Aldi Natural Elements dog food. Interested in a Julius Dog food review?

We’ve covered those recipes down below!


Aldi Natural Elements Dog Food Review

Aldi Natural Elements Dog Food Review

Taste

Ingredients

Protein content

Additives

Variety

Price

Taste 5/5

This food seems to be tasty enough for dogs to enjoy it. Some owners report their pups have had a hard time getting used to it, but after a couple of days, they took to the new brand with gusto. This is very normal whenever you’re swapping foods, which is why we recommend slowly fazing out the previous kibble and increasing the new food progressively.

PRO TIP: Got a new dog food brand for your dog? Don’t just give a bowl of the new one! To avoid digestive trouble, you need to slowly introduce the new food and lower the percentage of “old” food. Most dog food brands have a portion guide on the packaging: use it!

Considering the taste of this brand doesn’t seem overly remarkable, we’re giving Aldi Natural Elements 5 out of 5 in this category.

Ingredients 3/5

The ingredient list from Aldi’s kibble has a decent ingredient list. This dog food has a guaranteed analysis with a minimum of 28% crude protein, and 18% of fat. We like the overall percentage of protein since it’s above the 18% recommended by the AAFCO [2]. We’ll examine the quality of the protein in the next category.

All kibble recipes are grain-free, as well as their wet food. Treats aren’t marketed as grain-free so be careful if you’re looking to avoid cereals in your dog’s diet.

The first item is poultry meal, followed by peas and poultry tallow. Considering the respectable 18% crude fat content, this shows that poultry meals and peas are the bulk of the food, with percentages that probably are around the 50/50 mark. This is good news! Poultry meal is a nice protein source, and peas can be healthy for dogs.

It’s important to note, however, that a high legume consumption (including peas) have been recently linked to a higher chance of heart disease [3]. A study by UC Davis lab showed that high legume consumption and grain-free diets can cause dangerous taurine deficiency, which is an essential nutrient for heart health. To help lower the risk, it’s important to make sure your dog gets enough taurine from their diet through homemade toppings and raw dog food.

PRO TIP: Taurine is a heat-sensitive amino acid, so cooked dog food like kibble tends to have a lower content. To bump up your dog’s taurine intake, you can include toppings like dark-meat poultry, organ meats, eggs, or cooked fish.

Besides poultry, peas and tallow, this food also has carbohydrate sources like tapioca, potato and sweet potato to make up the rest of the food. Other ingredients include goodies like coconut oil, alfalfa and blueberries. We appreciate that there are no added chemicals, cereals, salt and sugar.

Of course, this food has its shortcomings (like a high percentage of peas), but we like its overall composition. We’re giving Aldi Natural Elements 3 out of 5 in this category.

Protein content 3.5/5

As we’ve mentioned above, poultry meal is the first ingredient in all recipes (including salmon and chicken flavour). We appreciate that Aldi has gone slightly above the minimum protein percentage recommended by the AAFCO, so this food features a respectable 28% crude protein percentage. Of course, it’s safe to assume part of this protein percentage comes from peas.

Poultry meal is a nice first ingredient. According to the AAFCO, poultry meal is the rendered, cooked down of “a combination of clean flesh and skin with bone” excluding feathers, heads, feet and entrails. While it would be nice to have a second animal protein source, at this price point we cannot ask for more. Poultry meal adds healthy protein to your dog’s diet, and it’s easy to supplement with extras like chicken liver or dark meat as a topper.

Considering the protein sources and the fact that peas represent a good chunk of the total protein, we’re giving this brand 3.5 out of 5 in this category.

Additives 3/5

We like the little extras this brand has. On top of the bulk of the food. Aldi has added interesting ingredients, so we’ve broken them up down below:

  • Beet pulp, chicory root, yucca extract and pumpkin: All these are fibre-rich extras to keep your dog’s gut healthy. Fibre is just another form of saying “prebiotics”, the main food source of healthy gut bacteria. Fibre will also help with digestion, so it’s a useful addition to avoid constipation.
  • Salmon oil, coconut oil and “vegetable oil”: Salmon oil is rich in Omega 6 and Omega 3, essential amino acids that boost your dog’s long-term health. Coconut oil is also a so-called “healthy fat” and can ensure your pup has healthy skin. However, we’re doubtful about the “vegetable oil”. Is this a mix of vegetables? Is it palm oil? We don’t know, and the exact composition can change from batch to batch.
  • Alfalfa, blueberries, cranberries, kelp meal and others: Although these sound enticing, they are probably a very minimal percentage of the overall composition of this food. Nevertheless, it’s nice to have extra fruits and veggies to round up the micronutrients in the food and add some flavour to the kibble.

Overall, this is a generally good ingredient list with nice extras to round up your dog’s diet. We have serious doubts about the inclusion of “vegetable oil”, which is very likely palm oil. Because of this issue, we’re taking off 2 stars.

Variety 2/5

For a supermarket food, Aldi Natural Elements has a very limited range. All their recipes are targeted at adults, although the packaging mentions it can also be fed to seniors and puppies.

As of the writing of this review, there are two grain-free kibble recipes (chicken, salmon), a wet “casserole” recipe and two treat options. Both the dry and wet food are grain-free, but the treats are not.

All recipes (including the salmon one) have poultry by-products, so there are no true single-protein options from this brand. Natural Elements doesn’t offer a smaller kibble size, so small and toy pups might have a hard time chewing at mealtimes.

Due to its shortcomings (no senior option, no small dog line), we’re taking off 3 stars.

Price 5/5

Aldi is known for its reasonably priced groceries, so it’s not a big surprise their dog food range is equally affordable. In general, a small bag will be significantly cheaper than most other brands available in Australia, including other supermarket dog food brands! Larger bags are also relatively inexpensive but still an investment, of course.

Overall, Natural Elements dog food is inexpensive enough to fit households with very large pups or those with multiple dogs. In general, the price is one of the best things about this brand, so we’re giving it 5 out of 5 in this category.


Aldi Julius Dog Food Review

Have you ever heard of Aldi’s Julius dog food? This was the first iteration of Aldi’s dog food home brand. According to Aldi’s site, the ingredients in Julius dog food are:

“Chicken recipe: Meat and Meat By-Products (from Chicken and Beef), Wholegrain Cereals (Wheat and/or Sorghum), Wheat Bran, Vegetable Protein, Tallow, Whole Linseeds and/or Linseed Oil, Beet Pulp, Salt, Prebiotic, Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Rosemary Plant Extract, Vitamins (A, D, E, K, B1, B2, B6, B12, Niacin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Choline, Pantothenic Acid), Minerals (Iron, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Selenium, Iodine, Cobalt), Lutein, Garlic, Kelp.”

Overall, this ingredient list looks pretty bad. For starters, the first ingredient is a vague “meat and meat by-products”, apparently from chicken and beef. This includes all parts of the animal except from hooves, horns or manure [1]. The second and third ingredients? Wheat and wheat. Yes, with their Julius range Aldi used ingredient splitting. Since ingredients have to be named in the percentage they represent within the food, splitting an ingredient (here, as the full cereal and as the bran) allows companies to place it on the second and third position on the ingredient list. The food wouldn’t sound so appealing if the first ingredient was wheat, right?

Then we have “vegetable protein”, a sign that the meat in the first ingredient isn’t enough to fulfil the protein requirements in dog food. It is also suspicious that no specific vegetable is named. Is this pea protein or plain wheat gluten? We’ll never know.

The rest of the ingredient list is nice enough, except for the addition of garlic. As we’ve covered before, garlic can be highly toxic to dogs so it would be better to avoid it altogether.

Comparing Aldi Julius to the more widely available Aldi Natural Elements dog food, the latter is significantly better. Aldi Natural Elements is a grain-free food, unlike Aldi Julius that is based around wheat. If you were to buy one or the other, Natural Elements is the better option between the two.


Are Aldi Julius dog food and Aldi Natural Elements dog food the same?

No. Even though they have the same parent company, these two foods have completely different recipes and are in fact different brands.

The Aldi Julius food brand has a wheat-based recipe, while their Natural Elements line does not include wheat in the ingredient list and has a more balanced recipe.

Overall, Aldi Natural Elements dog food is a significantly better option than Aldi Julius.

Do not buy if…

This brand can be a nice addition to your rotation, but maybe look elsewhere if you:

  • Need a single-protein food: Natural Elements dog food has a salmon recipe, but it isn’t a single-protein kibble since it also has poultry tallow. This shouldn’t be an issue for most dogs, but some pups are sensitive to common proteins like chicken. If that’s your case, skip this brand.
  • Are looking for raw food: This brand only offers kibble and wet food, none of which are raw. Of course, at this price point, the only possible raw food might be homemade!
  • Want to avoid peas: As we’ve said, peas and legumes aren’t necessarily bad for dogs. Your pup can eat them in moderate quantities. But if you’d rather have them in lower proportions, this might not be the food for you!

Eloisa Thomas

Eloisa Thomas is a dog lover & anthropologist. She enjoys writing content that will actually help people understand their dogs better. Eloisa is able to use her expertise to write informative posts on canine behaviour and training.

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