Man's Best Friend Dog Food

Man's Best Friend Dog Food Review - 
Should You Buy It?

Looking to change up your dog’s kibble? This might be the brand for you! Our experts have crafted the ultimate Man’s Best Dog Food review, going over everything you need to know about this Australian dog food. Maybe it’ll be your pup’s new favourite!

  • Man’s Best is Australian made and owned, manufactured in NSW.
  • This brand offers 6 different kibble recipes: 3 for all-breed adults, one for all-breed puppies, one for large-breed adults, and one for large-breed puppies.
  • All recipes are grain-free, use natural preservatives and have no artificial colours.

Man's Best Dog Food Review

Taste

Ingredients

Protein content

Additives

Variety

Price

Man's Best - 3 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Chicken all breeds kibble: Chicken meal, field peas, tapioca, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), flaxseed, fish oil, potato, sweet potato, natural chicken flavour, citric acid, alfalfa, kelp, yucca extract, beet pulp, kale, broccoli, spinach, parsley, apples, blueberries, carrot, tomato, cranberries, rosemary extract, vitamins (A, B1, B2, B5, B6, B12, D, E), biotin, folic acid, niacin, manganese, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, calcium propionate.
  • Named Protein First: Yes.
  • Dog Food Type: Dry dog food
  • Recipe Range: Kangaroo, Sweet Potato & Superfood Extras or Salmon, Ocean Fish & Green Lipped Muscles or Chicken, Turkey & Superfood Extras or Petzyo Raw Food Range.
  • Suitable For: Petzyo's recipe range can be suitable for puppy, adult and senior dogs depending on the recipe.
  • Cost: $$$
  • Australian Owned: Yes.

Taste 4/5

Our dogs seem to love Man’s Best’s flavour! Of course, we weren’t able to actually taste the food, but most pups enjoy the taste. Considering the relatively high proportion of protein, it’s no wonder this food tastes nice for dogs.

On the flip side, this brand doesn’t offer any toppings for their food. While other dog food brands have a wider offering with patties and frozen treats that can be sprinkled on top, Man’s Best only has kibble. This is fine for most dogs but picky eaters might find plain kibble unappealing. If that’s your case, maybe give the ocean fish flavour a try. In our experience, picky eaters tend to like fishy flavours the best. If that’s your case, this sardines & fish recipe could fit the bill!

PRO TIP: For really picky dogs, adding a homemade topping can make a world of difference. We recommend sprinkling a tablespoon of boiled chicken, grated carrot or some homemade bone broth (no salt!). These can make your dog’s food more appetising.

Considering the warm reception of this food, we’re giving it 4 out of 5 stars.

Ingredients 3/5

This brand prides itself in using high-quality ingredients with minimum fillers, and we’re pretty happy with the overall composition!

Man’s Best recipes have a guaranteed analysis available both on their official site and on the label. This might sound basic, but some brands only make their analysis available on the site or just print a “typical analysis” (we’re looking at you Hypro Premium!).

The guaranteed analysis of Man’s Best looks pretty good for a kibble: it claims to have a minimum of 33% crude protein, a minimum of 15% fat and a maximum of 5% fibre [1, 2]. While there is no mention of carbohydrate percentage, this composition goes beyond the minimum requirements of the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). As a reminder, in Australia we don’t have a regulatory body for pet food, so brands that comply with AAFCO requirements are our best bet.

The AAFCO general guidelines state that dry dog food should have a minimum of 15% crude protein and 11% fat. Man’s Best goes well beyond that, even compared to the usual 20% to 25% protein found in most mid-range kibble.

As for the composition itself, the bulk of the food comes from the first three ingredients: chicken meal, field peas and tapioca. This falls in line with the guaranteed analysis and puts chicken as a third of the overall composition. Peas and tapioca would make up two-thirds of the food.

Chicken meal is a pretty nice ingredient that we’ll cover in the protein category. Field peas and tapioca are common ingredients in grain-free dog food because they bulk up the food and bind it together. Here’s what you should know about them:

  • Field peas are a legume, so they offer vegetable protein as well as fibre. They are a healthy addition to a dog’s diet and are a common addition to grain-free dog food. Some owners would rather choose foods with a lower percentage of peas because of a 2019 FDA publication that linked a high legume consumption and heart disease in dogs [4]. However, studies are still going on and the initial results weren’t conclusive. As such, both the AAFCO and the FDA consider legumes a healthy, non-threatening addition to a dog’s diet. Following these recommendations, our team doesn’t dismiss dog food that contains legumes. Plus, this specific recipe features only a third of peas, much lower than other similar recipes on the market.
  • Tapioca, on the other hand, is a starch from the root of the cassava plant. While the latter is non-toxic and nice in moderation, it lacks micronutrients other than starch [3]. We would consider tapioca a low-grade filler, and would rather see potatoes or sweet potatoes that offer more vitamins instead. Nevertheless, tapioca is still miles ahead of corn, wheat and wheat gluten common in low-grade dog food. Plus, we appreciate that tapioca is a good alternative for dogs that are sensitive to gluten.

The rest of the ingredient list has nice ingredients and no weird additives. We’ll get into the nitty-gritty below, but we’re giving Man’s Best 4 out of 5 in this category. Our only complaint is about the relatively high percentage of tapioca in the mix, but other than that it’s pretty clean.

Protein content 3/5

This brand offers 6 different kibble recipes, and all of them have protein as the first ingredient. The recipes include animal protein in meal form. According to the AAFCO, meals are rendered forms of animal meat that have been cooked and ground to make a high-protein, concentrated version of regular meat.

Chicken and lamb meal, the ingredients used in most of Man’s Best recipes, are a great source of high-quality protein that can be easily absorbed by your dog’s body.

As we’ve mentioned before, this kibble boasts 33% guaranteed crude protein, which is above the minimum 18% prescribed by the AAFCO. Of course, not all of this protein comes from animal sources: as legumes, field peas are high in vegetable protein and we can assume they have bumped up the percentage slightly.

We also appreciate the addition of chicken fat as a lipid, instead of regular soybean oil. Chicken fat is a healthy fat source and has a few extra micronutrients to round up your dog’s diet.

It would have been nice to see more animal sources and internal organs could have boosted the micronutrient profile, but this is a respectable composition for a kibble. We’re giving Man’s Best 3 out of 5 in this category.

Additives 4/5

This brand has a short and sweet ingredient list, and no major red flags stand out. We like the addition of flaxseed and fish oil. Both of these ingredients add healthy fats to the recipe, as well as essential amino acids like Omega-3 and Omega-6. Researchers found that flaxseed can improve skin and coat health, as well as add healthy fibre to your dog’s diet [5]. Here are other extras in these recipes:

  • Potatoes and sweet potatoes: These two ingredients come after flaxseed and fish oil, so it’s safe to assume they have been added in moderate quantities. We like potatoes because they offer complex carbs as well as some extra vitamins, but at this percentage, their overall influence is very minor. It would have been nice to see less tapioca and more potatoes in the bulk of the food.
  • Natural chicken flavour: It’s good to see there are no artificial flavours in these recipes. According to the AAFCO, “natural chicken flavour” has to be “derived solely from plant, animal or mined sources” [6]. This is a very broad term, but it likely means it’s chicken digest, to add to the palatability of the kibble.
  • Vegetables and fruits: Our team liked the addition of extra veggies, even in small quantities. All of the brand’s recipes have more or less the same fruits and veggies: alfalfa, kelp, kale, broccoli, spinach, parsley, apples, blueberries, carrots, tomatoes and cranberries. We appreciate that these come before the vitamins and minerals, meaning their percentage is slightly more significant than in many other recipes at this price-point.
  • Vitamins and minerals: We like that instead of using a blanket term, Man’s Best itemises the vitamins and minerals used. Keep in mind none of the minerals are chelated, meaning that their absorption won’t be as optimal.

PRO TIP: Only include supplements in your dog’s diet after consulting with your vet. Too much of a good thing can be detrimental to their health!

Overall, we like the additives in these recipes and they are slightly higher quality than most mid-range foods. We’re giving this brand 4 out of 5 in this category.

Variety 4/5

This is a relatively small brand, and they only offer 6 different recipes. Nevertheless, we appreciate that there is a large-breed kibble for adult and another large-breed puppy recipe.

Man’s Best puppy dog food for large puppies is a specific recipe tailored to the unique needs of large-breed pups. As we’ve mentioned on other occasions, large-breed puppies need to be carefully monitored.

Giant and large breeds need to grow slower than other sizes to ensure their bones are strong enough to support their adult size. When these puppies are fed carelessly, they will grow too fast and this can bring them issues as they get older: decalcification, demineralisation and weak joints can all be a consequence of inadequate nutrition as puppies [7].

To fix this, owners can carefully measure a puppy’s food to ensure they aren’t eating too much. But the specific amounts need to be prescribed by a vet, and your dog should be weighed constantly to provide enough nutrition to keep them healthy. Large-breed puppy food makes the process easier, since it has slightly more calcium and fat, while being less calorie-dense than regular food. This gives owners a bit of wiggle room and doesn’t require veterinary monitoring weekly.

Other than their large-breed offering, this brand offers chicken, ocean fish and lamb kibble that should please most pups. We’re giving this brand 4 out of 5 stars, mainly because there is no small kibble option for toy-sized dogs.

Price 4/5

This brand is firmly in the mid-range offering, and it’s priced accordingly. For an Australian kibble, the price is reasonable and the composition is great. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find many discounts, so feeding a large pack might be expensive in the long run. However, at this price point, there are plenty of mediocre offerings, so we’re happy with the ingredients and the recipes.

We’re giving this brand 4 out of 5 stars in this category.


Do Not Buy If…

Although Man’s Best might fit many pups, you might want to look elsewhere if you:

  • Need a single-protein option that is not chicken or lamb: If your dog needs a single-protein kibble and has to avoid both chicken and lamb, this isn’t the brand for you. The protein options with this brand are limited and wouldn’t fit a dog that cannot eat traditional meats.
  • Are looking for kangaroo kibble: As we’ve mentioned, there is no kangaroo meat in any of the recipes.
  • Want a potato-based grain-free food: These recipes are all grain-free, but the bulk of them is comprised of peas and tapioca. Some grain-free foods prioritise potatoes instead of legumes, but generally, those are priced higher. Man’s Best has a small amount of potatoes but is relatively high in legumes so if that isn’t right for you, this isn’t the right brand.

Final Verdict

Overall, we like this kibble. It is a medium-range food with the typical shortcomings of traditional kibble like being cooked twice and a high-ish carb percentage. Nevertheless, the protein quality is respectable, the ingredient list is great and we would consider it a great option for most dogs.

Of course, no single food will fulfil all your dog’s needs, so rotating your kibble of choice is the best option.

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

References

  1. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats. 2006. https://nap.nationalacademies.org/catalog/10668/nutrient-requirements-of-dogs-and-cats
  2. MSD Manual, Veterinary Manual. AAFCO Nutrient Requirement for Dogs. https://www.msdvetmanual.com/multimedia/table/aafco-nutrient-requirements-for-dogs
  3. All about dog food. Tapioca in dog food. https://www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk/dog-food-ingredients/0117/tapioca
  4. 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
  5. Great Pet Care. Flaxseed for dogs. https://www.greatpetcare.com/wellness/flaxseed-for-dogs-benefits-and-uses/
  6. AAFCO. Natural. https://talkspetfood.aafco.org/natural
  7. VCA animal hospitals. Nutritional requirements of large and giant breed puppies. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/nutritional-requirements-of-large-and-giant-breed-puppies
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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