The ‘Lucky Dog' Dog Food Review: Tested & Evaluated 2023
When it comes to budget dog food, Purina’s Lucky Dog dog food is likely to pop up. Is this affordable dog food worth it? In today’s review, we’re comparing Lucky Dog with our top-rated dog foods, so you can make an informed choice. Here are the basics:
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.
Australia's 'Lucky Dog' Dog Food Reviewed
Lucky Dog - 1 Star Rating
- Ingredients: Chicken, veg and pasta recipe: Cereals and cereal by-products and/or vegetable by-products; meat and meat by-products (derived from beef and poultry and/or mutton); essential vitamins and minerals and/or amino acids; antioxidants and flavours.
- Named Protein First: No
- Dog Food Type: Grained kibble
- Recipe Range: Adult dog food
- Suitable For: Adult dogs
- Cost: $
- Australian Owned: No (owned by Purina/Nestlé)
We got three of our testers for this Lucky Dog dog food review, and we compared it to our best-rated dog foods (Petzyo and Ziwi Peak). Spoiler alert: it’s NOT good. Here’s what you need to know:
Lucky Dog Food Review
We had a hard time feeding this kibble to two of our testers. They flat out refused to try it, and after looking at the ingredient list, it’s not a surprise. Our third tester tried it out and actually liked it, but this is likely because of the high salt content salt in this recipe. The excess salt is likely to cover up the absolute horror show that are the actual ingredients (more on that below).
Beyond salt, this food openly lists “flavours” without a single mention to what these are. At this price point, the answer is probably “artificial” and “cheap”. We’d rather feed kibble that has flavour from good, wholesome ingredients, instead of salt and who knows what artificial flavour. We’re taking off 4 stars from this category.
Unfortunately, Lucky Dog is anything but good.
This food claims to be “100% balanced” for adult dogs but this is most definitely NOT the case. As of the time of writing, this brand features the following guaranteed analysis: 17% minimum crude protein, 10% minimum crude fat, and maximum 5.5% fibre. The Australian pet food industry is wildly unregulated , meaning there is no legal consequence if manufacturers lie in their packaging. However, most respectable pet food manufacturers stick to the nutritional guidelines provided by AAFCO . With these guidelines, the MINIMUM percentages for adult dog food are 18% crude protein and 5.5% minimum fat. At 17% crude protein and having cereal by-products as the first ingredient, Lucky Dog is unfortunately not balanced. And this is after a change in recipe: in June 2021, it had a measly 16% crude protein, even less than the current recipe.
The first ingredient is “cereals and cereal by-products and/or vegetable by-products”, which is code for “whatever cereal or plant was cheapest at the moment”. It is also impossible to know how much one batch differs from the next, so it’s a no-go for dogs with a sensitive tummy.
Protein content 1/5
In these recipes, meat seems an afterthought. The sole animal product in the ingredients is “meat and meat by-products” from beef and poultry and/or mutton. This means they just use whatever remnants they can buy from processing plants, with likely a good portion of close-to-end-date carcasses.
The overall protein content is also abysmally low. And considering there’s a good chance the cereals significantly bulk up the protein percentage, meat in these recipes is a minor ingredient.
Compared to top-rated Ziwi Peak, that boasts not only meat as the first ingredient but the first THREE, it’s evident which brand is our top choice.
The poor quality of the meat chosen, paired with the surprisingly low percentage of protein means this is a subpar food. We’re giving this brand 1 out of 5.
The additives in this recipe don’t look especially good. Beyond the bulk of the food (AKA cereals) this brand includes “essential vitamins and minerals AND/OR amino acids”. Does this mean there’s either a vitamin mix OR amino acids, depending on the batch? Using “and/or” in the ingredient list is always suspicious, but at this point it’s just the sign of a poorly developed recipe.
Beyond the vitamins premix (which we don’t know the exact components of), there’s “antioxidants” and “flavours”. With the poor track history of antioxidants in pet food , it’s not a good sign when brands don’t mention the specific preservatives used. We’re taking off 4 stars from this category.
Lucky Dog sells two different flavours to consumers, but when looking deeper into it, the variety is not there. Both the “chicken, veggie and pasta” and the “beef, vegetable and marrowbone” flavours have the exact same ingredients. It’s quite likely even the artificial flavourings are the same, and this is just a marketing tactic to make the food look better.
Because of these issues, we’re giving this brand 1 out of 5 in this category.
This might be the only positive we can find in this Lucky Dog food review. This dog food is dirt cheap, and after taking a look at the recipes, it’s clear why. There has been no investment in high-quality ingredients: it’s all bottom-of-the-barrel and scraps.
Just for reference, and 8 kg bag costs LESS than a 1 kg bag of freeze-dried high-quality dog food. In spite of the “savings”, whatever you don’t spend in upfront food costs will be spent in vet bills when your dog gets sick.
We’re giving this brand 3 out of 5 in this category: the savings aren’t worth it.
Do Not Buy If…
This is not a good food and we would never recommend to buy it, especially if you:
Don’t feed this food to your dog. There are literally zero redeeming qualities, and Purina has an awful track record of poisoning dogs. The “savings” aren’t worth it: your dog’s health comes first!
- “How is the pet food industry regulated in Australia?” RSPCA Knowledge Base. Retreived September 4, 2023. https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/how-is-the-pet-food-industry-regulated-in-australia/
- “AAFCO nutrient profile for dry matter”. 2013. AAFCO Pet Food Report Annual. Association of American Feed Control Officials. Retreived September 4, 2023. https://www.aafco.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Pet_Food_Report_2013_Annual-Appendix_B.pdf
- Thixon,S. November 21, 2016. “Purina Beneful Walks Away from Accountability”. Truth About Pet Food. Retrieved September 4, 2023. https://truthaboutpetfood.com/purina-beneful-walks-away-from-accountability/