Eukanuba Dog Food

Eukanuba Dog Food Review -
The Complete Overview

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Looking for an updated Eukanuba dog food review? We’re continuing our roundup of the best and worst Australian dog food with this brand. If you were wondering about adding Eukanuba to your rotation, keep reading! Our experts have gathered everything you need to know to make the right choice for your pup.

  • Eukanuba is a brand from Mars Pet food, the same parent company of big international players such as Pedigree, Royal Canin and Whiskas.
  • They offer mostly kibble recipes with some wet food available.
  • Eukanuba dog food is high in cereals (wheat, corn, barley and rice) although the Premium performance sport option has a higher meat proportion than the rest.

Eukanuba Dog Food Review

Eukanuba - 2.5 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Adult medium breed: dehydrated poultry protein, wheat, corn, barley, poultry fat, brewers rice, dried plain beet pulp, hydrolysed poultry protein, yeast products, salt, potassium chloride, sodium tripolphosphate, fructooligosachharides, fish oil, choline chloride, DL- methionine, antioxidants, vitamins (DL- alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), vitamin A, vitamin B5, vitamin B3, biotin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin B1, vitamin D, vitamin B2, folic acid, trace minerals (zinc, manganese, iron, copper, potassium, sodium selenite) glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin sulphate. Premium Performance Sport: Dehydrated poultry protein, brewers rice, chicken fat, corn, corn gluten meal, hydrolysed poultry protein, dried plain beet pulp (2.5%), powdered cellulose, fish oil, sodium silico aluminate, sunflower oil, potassium chloride, powdered psyllium seed husk, sodium tripolyphosphate (0.35%), vitamins [DL-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), vitamin A, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, biotin, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin B1 vitamin D, vitamin B3, vitamin B2], salt, choline chloride, DL-menthionine, hydrolysed yeast (0.19%), marigold extract (Tagetes erecta L.), taurine, glucosamine hydrochloride, antioxidants, trace minerals [zinc, manganese, copper, potassium, sodium selenite], magnesium oxide, L-carnitine, carotene, chondroitin sulphate
  • Named Protein First: No
  • Dog Food Type: Mainly kibble, some wet food available
  • Recipe Range: Only chicken-flavoured. One “premium” recipe. Puppy and senior range offered.
  • Suitable For: Small, medium and large dogs.
  • Cost: $$$
  • Australian Owned: No

Eukanoba Dog Food Review

Taste

Ingredients

Protein content

Additives

Variety

Price

Eukanuba offers both regular kibble and canned wet food. We will focus on the kibble range since it’s what most dog owners prefer to give to their pups.

Taste 4/5

This food isn’t particularly revolutionary when it comes to taste. All Eukanuba kibble recipes are chicken-based, so if your dog doesn’t like the taste it will be a challenge to find a fit within the range. Nevertheless, most pups eat this brand without major complaints and are happy when mealtime comes. Picky eaters might have a difficult time, so we recommend adding a homemade topping to improve palatability.

PRO TIP: Got a picky eater? Homemade toppings can help. Just sprinkle a tablespoon or two (depending on your dog’s size) over their main food. This is generally enough to make them eat it. Good toppings can be: raw or boiled meat -chicken, fish, meat-, shredded carrots (if they like it), reduced homemade bone broth (without salt), cooked shrimp.

Digestion-wise, this dog is soft on the tummy and most owners don’t report problems with indigestion after slowly fazing out the old food.

Overall, the taste is fine. We’re taking off one star considering they only offer chicken flavour, especially considering most brands available in Australia also offer other protein options.

Ingredients 2.5/5

Eukanuba has different ranges with slightly different proportions. Broadly speaking, you have two “premium” and regular. Their premium range only has one recipe, while the “regular” one has variations according to size and age. While the premium recipe has more protein, the “regular” line is cheaper and uses more grains. Eukanuba puppy food is slightly higher in fats and protein, which is nice to see.

Looking at the composition, the Premium performance recipe is the better option: the bulk of the food is comprised of dehydrated poultry protein, brewers rice, chicken fat, corn, corn gluten meal and hydrolysed poultry protein. In contrast, all other recipes have the same main ingredients: dehydrated poultry protein, wheat, corn, barley and brewers rice. Seeing corn so high up isn’t ideal, but the Eukanuba Premium option at least includes several animal protein sources within the first 5 ingredients.

Even though ingredients are theoretically listed by weight, the first 3 to 5 ingredients tend to be in roughly the same proportion. This means that with non-premium Eukanuba kibble, around 60%-80% of the food is grains (wheat, corn, barley and rice), with a significantly smaller proportion of meat. The premium kibble is slightly better and based on the ingredients list, the proportions seem to be more 50-50 or 60-40 grains to protein.

The ingredients in this food are in line with other mid-range brands. Dehydrated poultry protein is a good animal protein to add, and chicken fat in the Premium line is a nice addition.

Nevertheless, it’s important to note that all carbohydrates in Eukanuba dog food come from grains. These ingredients have been somewhat controversial in the last few years, and many dog owners strive to lower and sometimes completely eliminate grains from their pup’s diet.

Current research about this issue is still inconclusive. Grains (including corn and wheat) can be a healthy addition to a dog’s diet when consumed in moderation: As we have written before, dogs can eat grains.

Most dogs do well in a diet that includes grains, but it’s important to make sure that grains are a moderate addition to their food instead of the base. In fact, in 2018 the FDA announced they had received reports of a link between grain-free dog food and congestive cardiac disease [2], meaning completely avoiding grains might not be so healthy either.

The composition of Eukanuba recipes is mostly based around grains. This isn’t the best and shows there’s a tendency to lower production cost instead of rounding up the food with other options (like sweet potatoes, or more animal protein. Only the Premium Sport performance recipe has a more balanced approach.

On a final note, if your dog has food sensitivities or tends to get dermatitis, foods with such a high proportion of wheat might worsen the condition. When in doubt, consult your vet to do an allergy test for gluten.

Because of the high grain proportion of the food, we’re giving Eukanuba 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Protein content 3/5

Eukanuba is on par with other medium-range kibble options when it comes to protein content. This brand follows the AAFCO’s guidelines that state that, as a minimum, a balanced dog intake needs to be comprised of 18% crude protein or more [1].

More animal protein in a recipe is a sign of a high-quality food, but it’s sometimes difficult to know whether or not a kibble has enough of it. The higher the guaranteed crude protein is, and the higher up animal protein is in the ingredient list, the likelier it is that more of the protein content comes from animal sources.

The “regular” Eukanuba adult dog food recipes feature between 29% and 32% of crude protein depending on the specific recipe. There is also 22% crude fat, which is a nice addition and goes beyond the minimum 13% stated by the AAFCO. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that part of this protein content doesn’t come from animal sources.

Animal protein is easier to digest and has a higher bioavailability than vegetable protein sources. However, it’s more expensive to add to dog food, so many kibble recipes use a combination of animal and vegetable protein sources to round up the diet. The guaranteed crude protein percentage doesn’t distinguish between animal and vegetable protein, so we need to look at the ingredient list to find some hints. Grains like wheat and corn are relatively high in protein (between 5%-12%) and corn gluten meal is an ingredient that is strictly vegetable protein.

With Eukanuba dog food, it's safe to assume that between a third and half of the guaranteed protein comes from vegetable sources. Nevertheless, the animal protein sources are of good quality: dehydrated poultry protein in all recipes, with added hydrolysed poultry protein in the premium performance recipe.

These two components offer high-quality, highly available protein that provides energy and essential amino acids.

Overall, the animal protein in Eukanuba kibble is good, but it would be better to see fewer grains that artificially bump up the protein percentage. We’re giving this brand 3 out of 5 in this category.

Additives 3/5

Although nothing revolutionary, Eukanuba has added some extras to their kibble to round up the nutritional profile of the food and ensure all minerals and vitamins are present. Since many of the names might be uncommon for most dog owners, we’ve classified them here:

  • Fibre: This is added through dried plain beet pulp, powdered cellulose and psyllium seed husk. Fibre helps kibble keep its shape, and also improves gastrointestinal function in dogs. In this case, the fibre percentage also provides prebiotic fibre, which is the kind of fibre that helps strengthen your dog’s gut microbiome.
  • Fats: All Eukanuba recipes have a good percentage of fat beyond the minimum recommended by the AAFCO. This is great to see because fat keeps your dog’s skin healthy and is essential to many physiological processes. This brand’s kibble recipes add fat in the form of fish oil and sunflower oil, depending on the recipe. The premium recipe also adds chicken fat higher up the list (before corn) which is great to see.
  • Vitamins, minerals, amino-acids: These are a usual extra in dog food, but it’s always nice to see brands name one by one the vitamins added. Eukanuba also adds chondroitin and methionine to their senior recipes, which helps with common ailments at that age and can help prevent some joint pain [3]
  • Others: The premium kibble recipe has slightly more extras that are nice to see, including taurine, L-carnitine and even an extra dose of magnesium oxide to improve muscle function.

While the additives in this food aren’t particularly special, we appreciate the effort in naming every mineral and vitamin (meaning they don’t use pre-made packs) and the use of natural preservatives. It would be nice to see other goodies that have now become common in Australian dog food like green lipped mussels, spirulina, blueberries and other fruits, but overall, it’s a nice composition. We’re giving Eukanuba 3 out of 5 stars.

Variety 3/5

This food has a nice range that will fit most dogs. They have specific recipes for dogs according to their size and age. As such, you can find adult dog food for small, medium and large dogs, as well as senior and puppy in all those sizes as well.

There is also a premium recipe with more protein and some extras (Premium Performance Sport dog food) and is lower in carbohydrates than the rest of the line.

While most of their offer is kibble, they do offer some canned options as well.

On the flip side, there are no options if you don’t want to go for poultry flavour. Even if most Australian dog foods offer at least a kangaroo option, Eukanuba doesn’t offer any. A good thing Is that this means all recipes are single-protein (poultry), so if you want to avoid other sources it might be a good fit. There are also no raw/dehydrated food recipes from this brand.

Because of the lack of alternative proteins, we’re taking off 2 stars.

Price 3/5

Eukanuba is a mid-range food and the prices are neither too steep nor too affordable. Their premium option is slightly more expensive than the rest, and the composition reflects it.

At this price point, Eukanuba is very much in the middle. Not impressive, not too bad. Considering the high grain proportion, some recipes could have been cheaper, so we’re taking off 2 stars.


Do not buy if…

While this brand might fit many pups, it might not be right if you:

  • Need to avoid poultry: All recipes are poultry-based, so there are no options if you have a dog that’s sensitive to it.
  • Want to avoid grains: All recipes, including the better premium one, have a high amount of wheat, corn, barley and rice. There are no options with alternative carbohydrates, so if you’d like a low-grain diet, this isn’t the right choice.
  • Would rather buy Australian: Eukanuba is made by Mars, one of the biggest multinational pet food companies. While part of their offer is made in Australia, this changes bag-to-bag and they don’t claim to buy ingredients from Australian producers either. If this is a concern, then it’s better to look elsewhere.

Final Verdict

Eukanuba is a mid-range food that is good enough, but nothing to rave about. It has the usual complaints of traditional kibble: high in carbohydrates, a high proportion of grains and could do with a bit more animal protein.

From all their recipes, the regular ones are subpar but the Performance option is nice enough to get into your rotation. We would only recommend the performance recipe and recommend you complement it with homemade toppings such as cooked/raw meat, shredded carrots or freeze-dried treats.

Want to read more dog food brand reviews? Check out the below:

References

  1. MSD Manual, Veterinary manual. AAFCO Nutritional requirements for dogs. https://www.msdvetmanual.com/veterinary/management-and-nutrition/nutrition-small-animals/nutritional-requirements-and-related-diseases-of-small-animals#v54951013
  2. FDA. FDA Investigation into Potential Link between Certain Diets and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy. https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/outbreaks-and-advisories/fda-investigation-potential-link-between-certain-diets-and-canine-dilated-cardiomyopathy
  3. AKC. Can glucosamine for dogs help treat arthritis and joint pain? https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/glucosamine-dogs-arthritis-joint-pain/
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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