Dog Food

Compare dog foods in New Zealand at Canstar Blue. Royal Canin, Champ, Countdown Homebrand, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Jimbo’s, Pams, Pedigree, Purina, and Tux were compared for value for money, variety and range, pet enjoyment, packaging and overall satisfaction.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | Royal Canin

Global brand Royal Canin has been taking a scientific approach to producing the healthiest dog food since 1968.

Dog food – fine dining for man’s best friend

Fluffy, furry, big or small, dogs come in all shapes and sizes, in fact, according to DogsNZ, New Zealand currently has 224 recognised breeds stretching from the Affenpinscher through to Yorkshire Terriers (sorry, couldn’t find a breed beginning with Z!). But, as with the human variety, the dietary requirements of our fur babies can differ from animal to animal so, for the health of your dog, it’s important to get the right type of food and avoid the temptation to feed treat and titbits between meals.   

According to Canstar Blue’s latest survey (released July 2018), 58% of dog owners measure the amount of food they give their pet which is a great approach for maintaining your pet’s healthy weight. However, 25% of us don’t like feeding our pup the same food all the time for fear they will bore of it and an additional 40% will try a new type of food if it is on special offer.  This is all fine if managed properly but a dog’s stomach can be sensitive so change must be introduced gradually to avoid any digestive problems.

What we look for in our dog food?

The most common place for buying our pet food is at the supermarket (71%) but some people do prefer to shop at a specialist pet store (13%) or even from their vet (10%). And, when it comes to what drives our (or our pets!) satisfaction, the most significant features were:

  • Pet enjoyment – 34%
  • Value for money – 24%
  • Packaging – 21%
  • Variety and range – 21%

The Canstar Blue Overall Satisfaction winner, Royal Canin, was rated a maximum five stars for pet enjoyment, variety and packaging and a respectable four stars for value for money.  Pams was the only brand to receive a maximum five star rating for value for money.

Don’t feed your dog these foods

It goes without saying that the best thing for your dog to eat is dog food, not human food but a lot of dogs will do anything to get their paws on a tasty treat.  However, according to specialists at the world famous Battersea Dogs Home some things in our diets can make your pet extremely ill and should be completely avoided.

Food Type Effect
Alcohol It causes enough problems in humans and in addition, if your dog drinks even the smallest amount, they may suffer problems with their central nervous system
Chocolate The stimulant Theobromine, found in most chocolate, can cause kidney failure in dogs
Cooked Bones The bones can splinter and cause perforation of the gut which can be fatal to your pet
Corn on the cob The corn is fine but the cob can get stuck and block your dog’s gut leading to a variety of problems
Grapes (and raisins) A lovely sweet treat for owners, these harmless looking fruits can cause liver damage and kidney failure in our pets
Macadamia Nuts A favourite in many Kiwi households, these nuts can cause muscle and nervous system damage in dogs
Onions (including garlic and chives) This smelly family is highly toxic for dogs and can cause blood and intestine problems.
Xylitol (artificial sweetener) Although not a common sweetener for tea or coffee, it is used in a wide variety of everyday food products from toothpaste to low-fat soft drinks. However, in our pets in can cause hypoglycaemia (low sugar levels) which is linked to liver failure and blood clotting disorders.


If you suspect your dog has eaten one of the above, the best course of action is to take them to a vet to get them checked over.

Leading the way

Like their owners, dogs need exercise too and we’re pleased to say that it’s a responsibility Kiwi pet owners take very seriously.  Taking the dog for a daily walk was a must for 61% of the people we spoke to and this shot up to 83% of owners in Hawke’s Bay area.

We didn’t ask how many people scoop the poop their dog often deposits along the way but we’re hoping that response would be 100% positive!

Creature Comforts

Once fed and exercised, what other little perks are there for these four-legged family members?  

According to our survey, two in five dog owners will buy their pet a present on special occasions such as birthdays and Christmas.  This increases to more than half of Gen Y owners, and women are more likely to do this than men. So, for all of those pets of female, Gen Yer’s out there, you’ve really lucked out!  

But that only accounts for two days of the year, what about the rest of the time?

Around one third of people said they preferred their dog to some members of their immediate family and with that adoration, many dogs acquire a space on their owner’s bed at night.    Canines belonging to our Gen Yers are once again top dogs in this category as 41% of them will be allowed to find a spot on their owner’s mattress at night. A dog’s life isn’t what it used to be!

So pets, if you’re reading this and fancy a bit of pampering, find yourself a nice lady owner aged somewhere between 18 and 39 years old, put on your best puppy dog eyes and you might just hit lucky!

Frequently Asked Questions

Canstar Blue commissioned I-view to survey 2,500 New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers who have purchased food for their dog in the last three months – in this case 671 New Zealanders.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.

Previously rated as ‘Pet Food’

Pet Food (2017)
Pet Food (2016)

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