The Elevate Dog Food Review: Tested & Evaluated 2023
Are you looking to switch up your pup’s dog food? In today’s Elevate dog food review, our team of pet food experts summarise everything you need to know about this food. Is it worth it to add into your rotation?
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 Elevate Dog Food Review
Elevate - 2.5 Star Rating
- Ingredients: Large breed chicken recipe: Chicken Meal, Rice, Field Peas, Sorghum, Soybean Meal, Sunflower Oil, Sweet Potato, Chicken Gravy, Poultry Oil, Salt, Beet Pulp, Choline Chloride, Vitamins [Vitamin A, Vitamin D3, Vitamin E, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Riboflavin, Thiamine, Pyridoxin, Folic Acid, Vitamins K3, Biotin, Vitamin B12], Minerals [Iron, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Iodine, Selenium], Yucca Schidigera, Potassium Chloride, Chondroitin, Flaxseed, Carrot, Pumpkin, Blueberries, Cranberries, Mixed Tocopherols, Rosemary, Spearmint, Green Tea, Glucosamine.
- Named Protein First: Yes.
- Dog Food Type: Traditional kibble
- Recipe Range: Dry and wet dog food
- Suitable For: Adult dogs and puppies
- Cost: $$
- Australian Owned: Yes (Coles’ home brand)
If you’ve been to Coles, you’ll know they have a range of dog food home brands. Elevate dog food is one of them, but is it any good? And, how does it compare to our best-rated dog foods Petzyo and Ziwi Peak? Here’s what you should know about it, based on the latest scientific research.
When we tested this food ourselves, only our most voracious eater touched it. My own picky Chihuahuas refused to even taste their bowls, so it’s safe to say this food isn’t a home run.
While it’s difficult to say whether a dog refuses a food because of pickiness or actual self-preservation, looking at the ingredients and experiences from other owners, this food doesn’t seem like a good choice for delicate or fussy dogs.
Although none of our dogs vomited, some owners do report GI troubles after trying this brand. Because of these issues, we’re giving this brand 2 out of 5 in this category.
The first ingredient in this recipe is “chicken meal”, followed by rice, field peas, sorghum, and soybean meal. This means that Elevate dog kibble is a very carb-heavy recipe: four out of the five main ingredients are carbohydrates. As we’ve mentioned before, the first three to five ingredients in dog food are usually found in roughly the same proportion, so the positioning of chicken meal as the first ingredient is deliberate to make the food look better.
We don’t love the amount of sorghum and soybean meal in these recipes. It’s likely the reason why my pups weren’t convinced when they tried it: the kibble smelled and looked less than appetising. Soybean and sorghum act as cheap fillers to bulk up the food, and neither our dogs nor us were fans.
Compared to our best-rated dog foods with actual healthy carbs, these recipes are not worth it. I’d much rather feed Petzyo, that my Chihuahuas enjoy and has sweet potatoes, peas and lentils as the main carbohydrates.
We’re taking off 2 stars because of the filler carbs.
Protein content 2/5
Elevate dog food’s formulas are supposed to feature “fresh or raw animal proteins” . Chicken meal, although a reasonably good option, is not a fresh nor raw ingredient. According to AAFCO regulations, which Elevate claims to follow, poultry meal is the “dry rendered product”, meaning it’s been cooked then ground into powder .
The remainder of the ingredient list shows that the manufacturer has prioritised vegetal protein. Both field peas and soybean are high in protein, and they contribute between a third to half of the total protein in the food. Using soybean is a cheap way to supplement the protein percentage while keeping costs down, so it’s not surprising it is used to bulk up the food.
The fats in this recipe also come from vegetable sources: sunflower oil is higher up than “poultry oil”, which contributes to our rating.
While not the worst we’ve seen in terms of protein choice, this range is mediocre at best. This is particularly evident when compared at the top dog foods in Australia: Ziwi dog food features 37% protein and 25% fat, with Petzyo featuring a minimum of 25% protein and 11% fat. Studies have shown a higher protein content is healthier for dogs , so Elevate just isn’t cutting it.
We’re taking off 3 stars from this category, mainly because you would have to supplement this food with extra meat as a topper.
The extras in Elevate dog food are pretty nice. They have added a vitamin and mineral mix, and a few other items like fruits (blueberries, cranberries), veggies (carrot, pumpkin) and antioxidant-rich foods like green tea.
Although these extras look good, it’s obvious they are added in minuscule quantities to the recipe. Whenever an additive goes after the vitamin and mineral mix, it means the amounts used are very small. As such, even though flaxseed, blueberries, green tea and pumpkin can be great additions to a dog’s diet, they represent such a small part of Elevate’s recipes that they are almost negligible. Your dog will likely not get any benefit from these.
When compared to any of the best-rated dog foods in Australia, the difference is obvious: both Petzyo and Ziwi add blueberries, broccoli, turmeric and other goodies, and they are listed way before the vitamin and mineral mix.
One good point is that this brand prides itself on using no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives.
After examining this recipe as a whole, our team agrees that this is a case of trying to make a recipe look better than it actually is. Because of this we’re taking off 2 stars.
At the time of launching in 2021, Elevate dog food had a large range of both wet and dry food. The wet food included two adult dog recipes “with gravy”, and two specialty recipes for digestive support and weight management. The dry food range had one recipe each for healthy weight, digestive support, senior dogs, puppies, small and large breeds.
Despite of the apparent variety, these were all chicken-based recipes, so not a good option if you want to avoid poultry or even add more variety into your dog’s diet.
As of the writing of this article, we could only find a very limited range in stores. Since the only available recipe seemed to be the “large breed chicken”, this is the main subject of our review. It seems Coles is phasing out this food, and considering its ingredients, this is nothing to cry about.
We’re giving this brand 2 out of 5 in this category.
As a supermarket brand, it’s not surprising Elevate dog food is affordable. Coles has openly stated this food is supposed to cost at least half of what a “comparable product” would cost elsewhere.
However, after reviewing the ingredients and protein content, the price point isn’t worth it. If you are exclusively feeding this food, it would be important to supplement with raw meat and organs as a topper. You could also use one of our best rated dog foods (Petzyo & Ziwi Peak) to add more raw protein and healthy fats. Without these toppers, we wouldn’t feel confident our dogs were getting a balanced diet.
So, considering the extra spending on toppers (homemade or through other dog food brands), the “savings” aren’t that relevant.
Because of these issues, we’re giving Elevate 3 out of 5 in this category.
Do not buy if…
This isn’t the right choice if you:
Although Elevate dog food is affordable, the cost savings are not worth it. Our dogs weren’t fans of the taste, and we would have to heavily supplement this food to satisfy our animal protein criteria.
However, if you really need to get your dog food from Coles, this isn’t the worst. Just make sure to add a protein topper and maybe some supplements.
- “Paws up for new pet range to "Elevate" health of Aussie fur babies and customer savings”. May 21, 2021. The Mirage. Retrieved July 6th, 2023. https://www.miragenews.com/paws-up-for-new-pet-range-to-elevate-health-of-564078/
- “What’s in the ingredient list?”. Association of American Feed Control Officials. Retrieved July 6, 2023. https://www.aafco.org/consumers/understanding-pet-food/whats-in-the-ingredients-list/
- Laflamme, D. August 2008. “Pet Food Safety: Dietary Protein.” Topics in Companion Animal Medicine, 23 (3), 2008, 154-157 . Retrieved July 6, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1053/j.tcam.2008.04.009