The Drover Dog Food Review
Affordable and easy to find, Drover dog food might look appealing, but is this cheap food worth it? In today’s Drover dog food review, we test this brand to figure out if it’s a good option for your pup. Hint: It’s not good.
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The Drover Dog Food Review
Drover - 1 Star Rating
- Ingredients: Beef & rice: Whole grain cereals and cereal by-products (Rice, Wheat and/or Sorghum), Meat and meat by-products (Beef and Chicken), Salt, Calcium carbonate, Vitamins (A, D3, E, K, B1, B2, B6, C, Biotin, Pantothenate, Folic acid, Niacin, B12), Trace minerals (Copper, Iodine, Manganese, Iron, Selenium, Zinc), Kelp, Yucca schidigera extract, Garlic, Natural antioxidant, Mixed organic acids.
- Named Protein First: No
- Dog Food Type: Traditional kibble
- Recipe Range: Beef & rice
- Suitable For: Adult dogs
- Cost: $
- Australian Owned: Yes.
We tried to feed this food to four testers, and reviews were mixed. Two of the dogs completely refused to taste it. The other two were happy campers and chomped down on it. As I’ll explain in the categories below, dogs eating a specific brand doesn’t mean it’s the best option for them, and Drover is a clear example. Beyond the lousy ingredient list (more on that in a second), the THIRD ingredient in this food is salt. Why on earth would a dog need more salt than vitamins/minerals and everything else on a food?
In this case, salt is used to increase palatability of the food. While salt by itself isn’t bad, animal meat has enough salt to fulfil a dog’s daily requirements. Instead, feeding high-sodium foods can cause salt toxicosis , a serious condition that causes dehydration and even seizures if left unattended.
Drover covers its back by stating that salt represents 1% of the food, but this is given in a “typical analysis”. Typical analyses are not regulated, unlike guaranteed analysis, and manufacturers won’t get in trouble for batches that don’t follow those stated proportions.
Because of these issues, we’re giving this brand 2 out of 5 in this category.
For a food that claims to be complete and nutritionally balanced, the ingredient list says otherwise. The main ingredient in the only recipe is cereals & cereal by-products, which can be rice, wheat and/or sorghum. The second ingredient is “meat & meat by-products”, from chicken and beef. Considering this food is made by one of the world’s largest rice producers, it’s obvious rice will be the star of the show. However, for dog food, the balance should be skewed towards animal protein instead of cereals. This food clearly favours the carb side of the equation.
The rest of the ingredient list is very simple: just salt (as a third ingredient!), then vitamins & minerals, followed by kelp, yucca extract and garlic.
The nutritional analysis states the food has 21% minimum crude protein and 10% fat, but the bulk of this protein likely comes from wheat gluten.
Because of these shortcomings, we’re taking off 4 stars.
Protein content 1/5
I’ll go over the meat content in this recipe, because it’s important to make clear how insufficient it is. This food is mostly cereal.
In these reviews, I normally mention that the first two to five ingredients are the bulk of the food, and that the ingredient list is the most attractive version of the list the manufacturer could create. In Drover’s recipe, there’s cereals & cereal by-products, followed by meat & meat by-products.
In this case, if cereals and meats were in roughly the same proportion, meat would undoubtedly be placed first. The fact that cereals are at the top of the list means there is no way the recipe could be tweaked to make it seem like there was more meat. It’s likely the cereals in these recipes represent roughly 60% to 80% of the food, since there are no other bulk ingredients.
Another bad point? The use of “meat and meat by-products”, which are likely scraps. While it does indicate the meat comes from chicken or beef, it’s unclear whether the proportions are consistent from batch to batch. Judging by the rest of the ingredient list, it’s clear this brand favours cost over quality, so the chicken to beef ratio likely varies a lot.
Because of the minimal protein, I’m taking off 4 stars.
We appreciate that the vitamins and minerals in these recipes are clearly indicated in the ingredient list. There is also kelp and garlic, which are nice additions. However, these are so far down the list (even below the vitamins and mineral mix), that their presence is likely negligible. Instead, these two ingredients are likely added to make the food seem better than it is.
Overall, this food does the bare minimum, so we’re giving it 3 out of 5 in this category.
This brand has no variety whatsoever. There is a single recipe offered, and you don’t even know the exact component of each bag because of the use of “and/or”. While variety in itself isn’t the most important feature of a dog food, this one gives customers almost zero choice. I’m giving Drover 1 out of 5 in this category.
If there’s one positive about this food, it’s the price. This is probably one of the most affordable dog food brands we’ve reviewed, but I wouldn’t say the savings are worth it.
While you do get a huge bag for very little money, it’s mostly cereals. If you wanted to feed 80% rice to your dog, it would be cheaper to cook the rice yourself. Plus, I wouldn’t bet on long-term health with this kind of ingredient list. I’d say the savings aren’t worth it, so I’m taking off 3 stars.
Do Not Buy If…
Stay away from this brand if you:
I wouldn’t recommend this food, particularly if you have a working dog that needs fuel. Drover is basically cereal with a hint of beef, and it’s simply not balanced enough. There are better options out there!
- Thompson, L. November 2022. “Salt Toxicosis in Animals”. MSD Veterinary manual. Retrieved September 8, 2023. https://www.msdvetmanual.com/toxicology/salt-toxicosis/salt-toxicosis-in-animals
- Dunn, T.J. March 8, 2011. “Contrasting Grain-based and Meat-based Diets”. PetMD. Retrieved September 8, 2023. https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/evr_dg_contrasting_grain_based_and_meat_based_diets