The Howl Yes Dog Food Review: Tested & Evaluated 2023
Want to switch up your dog’s diet? In today’s Howl Yes dog food review we tried this brand and compared it to the latest research. Here’s what you should know about this kibble:
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 Howl Yes Dog Food Reviewed
Howl Yes - 2 Star Rating
- Ingredients: Meat & meat by-products (chicken, beef, &/or lamb) and/or poultry by-products, wholegrain wheat, wholegrain barley &/or corn &/or sorghum, Cereal by-products and/or vegetable proteins, Fats & Oils (from beef, lamb, fish, poultry &/or vegetable), Chicken gravy, Beet pulp, Salt, Minerals (calcium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, iodine, manganese, magnesium, selenium, zinc), Beet pulp, Vitamins (A, C, D3, E, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12 & choline), Natural antioxidants with Rosemary extract, Garlic.
- Named Protein First: Yes (as meat and meat by-products)
- Dog Food Type: Traditional kibble (dry dog food)
- Recipe Range: Dry dog food for adults and puppies. Large puppy recipe available.
- Suitable For: Adult dogs
- Cost: $
- Australian Owned: Yes.
Howl Yes Dog Food Review
This food does poorly in the taste category. Among our team member’s pets who tried it, only the good eaters finished their bowls. My picky Chihuahuas flat-out refused to taste this kibble, and looking at the ingredient list, this isn’t a surprise.
High-protein food brands, like Petzyo or Ziwi Peak (which are our top picks when it comes to dog food) usually have an attractive smell for dogs. Howl yes dog food is very high in plain grains like wheat, barley and sorghum. Cereals just aren’t that enticing to dogs, and it shows.
We’re taking off 3 stars because of these shortcomings.
The ingredient list from Howl Yes dog food screams price over quality. Four out of the first five ingredients (!) are groupings: “meat & meat by-products and/or poultry by-products”, “barley and/or corn and/or sorghum”, “cereal by-products and/or vegetable proteins” and finally “fats & oils”.
For consumers, this means there is no way of guaranteeing the same ingredients from batch to batch. One batch might have only poultry by-products and corn, while the next could have beef and wheat. Pet food manufacturers do these kinds of recipes to be able to choose the cheapest ingredients seasonally, without having to change the labelling.
On the other hand, out of the main ingredients of the food, three are cereals. While cereals on their own have been proved not to have active negative effects on dogs , recipes based on cereal tend to skip on protein. This contrasts with others like Petzyo, the winner in our study of best dog foods: high-quality dog food recipes tend to be low on starches and have several animal protein ingredients.
Howl Yes dog food is mostly comprised of cereals: based on the ingredients list this food is at least 60% starches. I can probably make my own dog food with a better nutritional profile for the same price, so we’re taking off 3 stars from this category.
Protein Content 2/5
This food boasts a whopping 24% protein and 10% fat content, which sounds great. However, when looking at the ingredient list, it’s less impressive.
While “meat and/or meat by-products” is the first ingredient, it’s obvious the bulk of the protein doesn’t come from animal sources. All cereals (including wheat, sorghum and corn) have a good percentage of protein, and this recipe has them in abundance. Another main ingredient is “cereal by-products and/or vegetable protein”, which can be anything from soy protein to corn or wheat gluten. These would artificially increase the total protein content in the food, without adding more actual meat.
As reported in recent studies, dogs benefit from a diet with more protein than the minimum recommended by the AAFCO [2,3]. Another study carried out by Japanese researchers  showed that animal protein was more easily absorbed by dogs and prevented exercise-induced anaemia, unlike vegetable proteins tested in the same trial.
Although our dogs aren’t big athletes nor working dogs, some of our team members did report low-energy in their pups after eating Howl Yes. We can’t be sure if this was linked to poor protein absorption, but the high cereal content in this recipe would make anyone sluggish.
Another negative from this food is the lack of clarity concerning the specific meats used. It can be either poultry, beef or lamb, or just “poultry by-products”. This is barely a “named protein”, and it’s likely the actual meat changes from batch to batch depending on price. Not a good option for dogs with sensitive tummies!
We’re taking off 3 stars because of this.
This food does the bare minimum when it comes to additives: beyond salt, minerals, beet pulp and vitamins, this food doesn’t add anything else. The minerals are generic and not chelated.
It’s worth noting this food uses only natural antioxidants, which is a positive. Beyond that, there’s not much else to mention. We’re taking off 3 stars because of the lack of extra goodies, although we’re not surprised considering the rest of the ingredient list.
Although there are four different “recipes” they all share the same guaranteed analysis and ingredient list. The perceived variety is a marketing strategy and doesn’t influence actual recipes.
We like keeping our dog’s intake varied, so the lack of actual difference among the recipes is a big negative for us. We’re giving it 1 star.
The one redeeming quality of this brand is its price. It is quite affordable, which is an important consideration particularly if you’re feeding large dogs or have several pups at home.
In my case, cost is a minor issue since my two Chihuahuas eat very little compared to other dogs. I would argue that for roughly the same cost you can get a better mid-range kibble and complement with homemade protein like boiled chicken.
We’re taking off 2 stars from this category.
Do not buy if…
This is not the brand for you if you:
This food is not worth it. It’s too full of cereals and mysterious ingredients (“vegetable protein”, “vegetable oil”) without specifying the actual items. If you’re on a strict budget, we’d recommend looking into Petzyo, the winner of our best-food trial, since it’s both high-quality and affordable.
If you MUST feed Howl Yes dog food, then consider adding a meaty homemade topper such as raw organ meats, boiled chicken or even chicken legs.
- Dunn, T.J. March 8, 2011. “Contrasting Grain-based and Meat-based Diets for Dogs”. PetMD. Retrieved July 6, 2023. https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/evr_dg_contrasting_grain_based_and_meat_based_diets
- “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), 154-157. Retrieved July 6, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1053/j.tcam.2008.04.009
- Yamada, T et al. (1987). “Comparison of Effects of Vegetable Protein Diet and Animal Protein Diet on the Initiation of Anemia during Vigorous Physical Training (Sports Anemia) in Dogs and Rats”. Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, 1987, 33(2), 129 – 149. Retrieved July 6, 2023. https://doi.org/10.3177/jnsv.33.129