The Applaws Dog Food Review: Tested & Evaluated 2023
Are you considering switching your dog food to Applaws? Looking for an Applaws dog food review to make up your mind?
If you’ve ever wondered about this brand, we’ve got you. We teamed up with veterinarians and canine nutritionists to form an independent panel of experts to research and test all of the meal options this company offers our dogs. Our experts reviewed everything there is to know about this UK brand so you can make an informed decision that fits your pet’s needs. Ready to check it out? Then let's get to it!
Related: The Best Dog Food Australia.
Related: How To Choose The Right Dog Food?
Related: How Is Australia’s Dog Food Industry Regulated?
Related: What is AAFCO? The Association of American Feed Control Officials.
Related: What Is the Pet Food Industry Association of Australia (PFIAA)?
Related: AAFCO vs PFIAA: Dog Food Standards Comparison Australia.
Related: Understanding Guaranteed Analysis Levels in Dog Food.
Related: Real Meat vs Meat Meal.
Quick Pick - Our Best Rated Dog Food
Our Number 1 Pick -
Petzyo Dog Food
- Ethically sourced Kangaroo, Chicken or Salmon, sweet potato & superfood extras
- Iron-rich & low fat proteins
- Three Omega-3 and -6 rich oils with a well balanced 11% fat content
- Made in Australia
Australia's Applaws Dog Food Review
Applaws - Overall 4 Star Rating
- Ingredients: Meat Meals (Chicken, Turkey, Beef Meals), Faba Beans, Chickpeas, Potato Starch, Natural Beef Flavour, Animal Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Rosemary Extract, Citric Acid), Sunflower Oil (source of Omega 3), Salt, Beet Pulp (natural Prebiotic), Flaxseed Oil (source of Omega 3), Vitamins (A, D3, E, C, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12, Choline), Minerals (Calcium, Phosphorous, Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, Manganese, Copper, Iodine, Selenium, + More
- Named Protein First: No
- Dog Food Type: Grain-Free
- Recipe Range: Beef with Rosemary and Sundried Tomato or Duck or Chicken & Turkey + More
- Suitable For: Applaw's recipe range is suitable for adult dogs only
- Cost: $$
- Australian Owned: No
Taste & Digestibility 5/5
This brand fares well in the taste category. Most dogs that were part of our team of independent experts really liked the flavour and smell of the food, both in canned and dry options. This is probably because all recipes have meat and poultry as the first ingredient, which most dogs will love.
In general, owners are really happy with the smell: it’s strong enough to entice pups, but won’t disturb people in the same room. Because of the good reception among dogs and owners alike, we’re giving Applaws 5 out of 5 in this category.
Applaws has average-to-great ingredients throughout all their recipes. All their dry dog food options are grain-free, while their wet food recipes have some regular and some grain-free options.
I used their wet food and pate recipes as an occasional supplement to complete my dog's dry and wet food diet. However, all their canned options have meat cuts and other animal protein sources as the first ingredient. Plus, they have no additives, artificial colours or flavourings. All in all, our panel agreed that Applaws canned dog food is a great choice to treat your furry friend.
Their kibble recipes are also pretty good. All recipes have animal protein of different kinds as the first ingredient. Most of these are present in meal form. According to the AAFCO,
Poultry meal is the dry rendered product from a combination of clean flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone […] Basically the same as "poultry," but in rendered form, so most of the water and fat has been removed to make a concentrated protein/mineral ingredient. 
Applaws dry dog food has poultry or meat meal as the first ingredient, depending on the flavour. After that, the next ingredients are faba beans, chickpeas and potatoes, in different order according to the specific flavour. These legumes roundup the carb needs of your dog, although they have a relatively high glucose index. In general, most dogs will digest all of these with ease.
Finally, we have animal fats, preserved with tocopherols, rosemary and citric acid. All of these preservatives are naturally-occurring and won’t cause gastrointestinal distress.
We were happy to see that the rest of the ingredient list is full of easily-recognisable ingredients, without suspicious additions or artificial flavourings.
Because of it, our team of independent experts gives Applaws 4 out of 5 stars in this category.
Protein Content 4/5
In this category, Applaws dog food does reasonably well. As most brands, Applaws goes above and beyond the recommended protein amount. The AAFCO states all dog food should have at least 18% of crude protein , and this brand features a modest 24%.
While other dry foods claim to have up to 35% protein or more, Applaws states their recipes are 50% meat. That means that even if the entire crude protein percentage is lower than others, you can be certain it comes from animal protein instead of vegetable sources.
This is especially evident when looking at the rest of the ingredient list, where there are no peas, which is a common way to boost protein in grain-free foods.
PRO TIP: Switch up your dog's protein variety by trying different food options by your favourite dog food brands!
We appreciate the fact that there are several protein sources available, in spite of their relatively limited range. Among their six recipes, most of them are based around poultry, one has beef and the other one is based around fish. However, keep in mind all recipes - including beef and fish - have poultry within the first five ingredients. If your dog is like some of those on our team of experts and is sensitive to chicken, then you might have to look elsewhere.
As we already mentioned, all recipes feature protein in meal form. While this is a concentrated form of protein, it’s an otherwise healthy option that will give your pup the energy they need to stay healthy and happy.
All in all, we really like the protein sources and we’re giving it 4 out of 5 stars.
In general, you’ll want to avoid artificial preservatives and flavourings in your dog’s food. In this regard, Applaws does well. They list all additives in their ingredient list, so you can have a better idea of their proportion within the recipe as a whole.
When it comes to preservatives, this dry food does really well. Applaws uses rosemary extract, tocopherol (aka Vitamin E) and citric acid. This brand stays away from sulphites, which have been known to cause thiamine deficiencies and even death in large quantities. In fact, according to RSPCA Australia:
Nevertheless, pet food companies aren’t obligated by law to mention the preservatives on their food , so it’s good to see a company who takes the lead.
When it comes to extra goodies, this kibble packs a punch. They’ve added flaxseed and fish oil to supplement your dog’s omega-3 intake, as well as prebiotics in the form of chicory, apples, tomato, spinach and cranberry. I loved how it was clear my dog was ingesting plenty of micronutrients from just this dry kibble.
Since we like the fact that they don’t hide their preservatives, and they also include nutritious extras, our team of experts is giving Applaws all 5 stars in this category.
In this category, Applaws is average. You have the choice between dry and wet food, with the caveat that all their canned options are labelled as supplemental. This means they shouldn’t be used as the base of your pup’s diet.
On the other hand, their complete dry dog food can be used as the sole component of your dog’s diet. They have four adult recipes and one puppy option. Adult kibble comes in beef, fish, duck and chicken flavour, while puppies have plain chicken. However, as we’ve already mentioned, all recipes are fairly similar regardless of the main protein.
Finally, Applaws also has grain-free treats with a really good composition that you can offer occasionally to spice up their diet.
In general, if your dog can eat poultry, you’ll find any of these recipes fit their needs. Nevertheless, if you have a dog that can’t eat chicken, this isn’t the brand for you.
Since the actual protein components aren’t that different across all recipes, we’re taking off 2 stars for lack of variety.
This brand isn’t the cheapest available, but it isn’t the most expensive either. On the other hand, Applaws offers above-average ingredients for a relatively good price. Compared to other premium grain-free dog food available in the Australian market, this is generally a good deal.
PRO TIP: This brand offers high-quality ingredients at a reasonable price for most budgets
However, they bag their kibble in small bags. While this isn’t an issue for small and toy breeds, if you want to feed a large pup like mine, you’ll have to buy several bags at once. Nevertheless, this may not be a problem since many retailers already sell Applaws dry food in packs of two or four bags at once.
If you want to save a bit more, look out for these bundle deals, as they usually offer a 5% - 10% discount in comparison with the full retail price.
Although Applaws is reasonably-priced, the lack of large kibble bags made us take off 1 star.
Applaws Puppy Food Review
Our Applaws review wouldn’t be complete without a thorough look at their puppy recipes. But if you were hoping for a wide selection, this isn’t it. This brand has only one puppy option in their dry kibble line, and no specific recipes in their canned food range.
We wouldn't add it to the list of the best puppy food available. Nevertheless, the good features of the adult products continue in the puppy options. This grain-free puppy kibble is based around poultry meal as the first ingredient, followed by chickpeas, beans and potato. The rest of the recipe is packed with extra goodies like fish oil, flaxseed, chondroitin, apple and blackberry extract.
In general, our team of independent experts like the composition of their puppy dry food, and the 24% protein offers enough energy for your little one to grow strong. However, in spite of its good recipe, Applaws puppy food can be somewhat difficult to find in Australia.
Don’t Buy If…
While this is a good option for many dogs, our research panel thinks Applaws might not be the right choice if you:
Is Applaws Dog Food Good? The Verdict
At this price point, our team of independent experts agree that Applaws is a great grain-free choice for your dog. Packing 50% meat, made in Australia and with a limited ingredient list, this is one of the favourite brands for budget-conscious owners in need of high-quality food. If you have a small to medium dog that can eat chicken, this brand is probably a good one to add to your regular rotation.
Want to read more dog food brand reviews? Check out the below:
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- "What’s in the Ingredient List?". Association of American Feed Control Officials. Retrieved September 4, 2023. https://www.aafco.org/consumers/understanding-pet-food/whats-in-the-ingredients-list/
- "Calorie Content". Association of American Feed Control Officials. Retrieved September 4, 2023. https://www.aafco.org/resources/startups/calorie-content/
- "Are preservatives in pet food products a concern?" RSPCA knowledge base. Retrieved September 4, 2023. https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/are-preservatives-in-pet-food-products-a-concern/
- Leonardi, L. February 7, 2022. "Does the Size of Dog Kibble Matter?". Pet Care Rx. Retrieved September 4, 2023. https://www.petcarerx.com/article/does-the-size-of-dog-kibble-matter/839