AVA DRY DOG FOOD REVIEW - Pets At Home Dog Food

AVA DRY DOG FOOD REVIEW - Pets At Home Dog Food

AVA is a brand of dog food solely owned and sold by Pets at Home. We will be looking at different recipes to assess how good it is, and how it compares to other brands. 

Two slight points to start with. First, irrespective of your dog’s condition, you are always likely to be recommended AVA by default when you ask a member of customer service in Pets at Home. This is because they simply promote their food instead of others, not because they actually like it over others. 

Second, they label themselves ‘’Veterinary approved’’. This is really frustrating, because every dog food company is paying vets off to label their food ‘’Veterinarian recommended’’, or something similar. The term means absolutely nothing. 

BEST DRY DOG FOODS UK

For the purposes of the article, we have analysed:

Ava Medium Breed Adult, Ava Breed Health Cocker Spaniel Dry, Ava Sensitive Skin and Stomach Adult, Ava Weight Management Adult, Ava Breed Health Golden Retriever Dry and Wet/ AVA Veterinary Approved Optimum Health Adult Sensitive Dog Food Fish 395g

There are two main themes with this food: a good first half in terms of ingredients and a terrible second half. 

The first ingredient for most recipes is a meat source, this is great! In pet food, we should really demand manufacturers put meat ingredients first, as it’s what our furry companions need the most. 

They tend to use a mix of dry meat, fresh meat and chicken meal. At this price point we cannot expect them to use prime cuts of meat but residual meat or meat that isn’t consumed by us humans. 

Where we think this food goes horribly wrong is in the fillers they use. Virtually all recipes use maize, high amounts of rice (or tapioca for their grain free recipes), or white potato. These ingredients simply have no place in pet food. 

The bag of food we found with the least amount of carbohydrates was 53%, and the most, 58.4%. This isn't good. 

They are inflammatory, excessive, and detrimental to a dog’s health. Remember your dog cannot chew food, only wolf it down. Hence why species appropriate ingredients must prevail over maize, rice or tapioca. =

Yes, due to its price point, sacrifices have to be made, but allocating one quarter of the bag to rice and another half to another filler makes you pay over 50% for maize and rice. Think about it, human rice is not that expensive. =

Irrespective of what different people tell you, you should feed your dog a high meat, carb limited food. Spend your money on good quality meat sources and avoid cheap fillers. 

Most people will ‘’top up’’ kibble with fresh chicken, beef, or wet food. Whilst it’s beneficial to add fresh meat and good quality wet food, money could be better spent upgrading to a better food free from rice, wheat, or high amounts of brewer’s yeast. 

Dog Food 

Ava Medium Breed Adult: 

Chicken 44% (Chicken Meal 24%, Fresh Chicken 12.5%, Chicken Fat 5%, Chicken Gravy 2.5%), Brown Rice (23.5%), Maize (18%), Beet Pulp (7%), Salmon Oil, Brewers Yeast, Minerals, Whole Dried Egg, Pre-Biotic Fructooligosaccharide (1600mg/kg), Beta-Glucans, Pre-Biotic Mannanoligosaccharides (400mg/kg), Yucca Extract (200mg/kg), Glucosamine (200mg/kg), Chondroitin (150mg/kg), Yucca Extract (200mg/kg), Cranberry Extract, Green Tea Extract, Pomegranate Extract, Rosemary Extract.

Ava Breed Health Cocker Spaniel Dry:

Chicken Meal (20.8%), Chicken (18.8%), Brown Rice (18.8%), Maize (11.0%), Flaked Oats (8.5%), Beet Pulp (6.8%), Cellulose (3.8%), Brewers Yeast, Chicken Gravy (2.1%), Egg, Chicken Fat (1.7%), Salmon Oil, Minerals, Chicory Inulin (A Source of Prebiotic Fructooligosaccharides (2, 000mg/kg), Yeasts (1375mg/kg), Mint (440mg/kg), Yucca Schidigera Extract (250mg/kg), Cranberry Extract (180mg/kg), Glucosamine (170mg/kg), Chondroitin Sulphate (130mg/kg), Pomegranate Extract (90mg/kg), Green Tea Extract (90mg/kg).

Ava Sensitive Skin and Stomach Adult:

Fish 42% (White Fishmeal 20.5%, Fresh White Fish 19%, Fish Stock 2.5%), Tapioca (20%), Sweet Potato (18.5%), Beet Pulp (6%), Chicken Fat, Brewers Yeast, Salmon Oil, Minerals, Pre-Biotic Fructooligosaccharide (1600mg/kg), Beta-Glucans, Pre-Biotic Mannanoligosaccharides (400mg/kg), Yucca Extract (200mgkg), Glucosamine (200mg/kg), Chondroitin (150mg/kg), Cranberry Extract, Green Tea Extract, Pomegranate Extract, Rosemary Extract.

Ava Weight Management Adult :

Chicken 35% (Chicken Meal 26.5%, Fresh Chicken 5%, Chicken Gravy 3.5%), Brown Rice (25%), Whole Oats (17%), Beet Pulp (7%), Dried Alfalfa, Pea Starch, Brewers Yeast, Minerals, Whole Dried Egg, Salmon Oil, Pea Fibre, Pre-Biotic Fructooligosaccharide(1600mg/kg), Glucosamine(600mg/kg), Chondroitin(500mg/kg), Beta-Glucans, Pre-Biotic Mannanoligosaccharides(400mg/kg), Yucca Extract(200mg/kg), Cranberry Extract, Pomegranate Extract, Green Tea Extract, Rosemary Extract.

Ava Breed Health Golden Retriever Dry:

Chicken Meal (22.5%), Sweet Potato (21.0%), Potato (21.0%), Chicken (17.3%), Chicken Fat (5.1%), Beet Pulp (3.5%), Salmon Oil, Brewers Yeast, Chicken Gravy (2.2%), Minerals, Egg, Potassium Chloride, Chicory Inulin (A Source of Prebiotic Fructooligosaccharides (2, 000mg/kg), Yeasts (1375mg/kg), Glucosamine (700mg/kg), Chondroitin Sulphate (500mg/kg), Yucca Schidigera Extract (250mg/kg), Cranberry Extract (180mg/kg), Pomegranate Extract (90mg/kg), Green Tea Extract (90mg/kg).

Wet/ AVA Veterinary Approved Optimum Health Adult Sensitive Dog Food Fish 

Composition: White Fish (64%), Potato (14.5%), Sunflower Oil, Minerals, Beet Pulp, Whole Dried Egg, Chicory Root Extract (as a source of Prebiotic Fructooligosaccharide) (0.040%), Yeasts (as a source of Beta-glucans and Prebiotic Mannanoligosaccharide) (0.028%), Glucosamine (0.013%), Chondroitin (0.005%), Yucca Extract (0.005%), Cranberry Extract (0.002%), Green Tea Extract (0.001%), Pomegranate Extract (0.001%).

It’s up to you how you feed your dog, raw, kibble & wet…In any case, you want their diet to be as wholesome as possible.

Buy Treats For Your Dog

As always, we will be reading the ingredients list for good quality ingredients. We will aim for:

High meat content (fresh chicken, free-run turkey, fresh beef, grass-fed lamb…).
Offal (liver, heart, tendons, cartilage…).
Bone (crucial for dental health, and part of their diet).

Also:

Avoid foods and treats filled with cheap fillers.

Account treats as part of their daily feed amount.

Use enrichment feeding to make them work more for their food.

It’s important that you trust how the food has been manufactured. Unfortunately, many dogs these days suffer from allergies derived from being exposed to bad ingredients, and once the dog develops allergies, it tends to cost a pretty penny in vet visits, skin rashes and worry.

We cannot emphasise the importance of reading labels and getting to know what is in the food you are feeding. You don't need years of studying to instantly see red flags. A packet can have all the great marketing it wants on the front, but the real information you need is in the ingredient list.

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1 comment

Very informative blog and have already shared the link into a dog group on FBook for others to read and hopefully be educated as I once was.

Catherine

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