In today’s post, we’re going to review AVA dog food. Given how popular this brand of dog food appears to be and the fact that we’ve had many questions about it, we thought it was time we used our expertise and knowledge to determine whether or not AVA dog food is actually any good for our four-legged friends and worth spending your hard-earned money on.
So, without further ado, let’s see how AVA dog food stacks up.
AVA Dog food – A Review
If you’ve read any of your other pet food reviews, you’ll know that our first port of call is always to examine the manufacturer’s website and read their marketing blurb – with the eventual aim of seeing whether or not their marketing spiel is backed up in their products.
Unfortunately, however, AVA doesn’t appear to have a website, and from the research we’ve conducted, AVA pet food products only seem to be available on the Pets at Home website or in their stores,
which leads us to the conclusion that Pets at Home own the AVA brand. There’s not too much information out there about the brand’s ethos, but given the vast range of products, it shouldn’t be too difficult to decipher whether or not they’re any good for your dog – and your wallet.
The only thing that appears obvious from the packaging is that it is ‘Veterinary Approved’. It’s no surprise that having such a label will improve sales, but does it actually mean anything?
In our opinion, not really. After all, we don’t which vet or vets ‘approve it’ and whether or not they ‘approve’ it because they genuinely have faith in the product or because they were paid to ‘approve it’. All in all, it’s best to
If you head over to the Pets at Home website and make your way to the AVA dog food section, you’ll be presented with numerous options:
Puppy food, adult dog food, senior dog food, breed-specific dog food (13 breeds in total), and dog food for specific conditions.
The first thing that strikes us here is the breed-specific food. This isn’t a common thing in the world of dog food and, to be honest, isn’t something that impresses us.
Well, although dogs breeds are all different, they all have the same inner workings. Sure, some breeds might be a little more prone to condition X or ailment Y, but on the whole, the digestive system of dogs is the same regardless of breed. Therefore, this does appear to be nothing more than a marketing ploy to get certain owners of specific breeds to purchase the AVA dog food ‘designed’ for that breed.
From looking through the ingredient profiles and examining the analytical constituents of these breed-specific foods, it’s apparent that there’s really not that much difference between them at all; therefore, it’s clearly a marketing ploy to suck in owners of said breeds. So, if you own one of the following breeds – Yorkshire Terrier, Shih Tzu, Chihuahua, Pug, French Bulldog, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Border Terrier, Cockapoo, Cocker Spaniel, Bulldog, Golden Retriever, Boxer, Labrador Retriever or German Shepherd – don’t be fooled into thinking you can buy a breed-specific food that’s better than any other food. In fact, if you want to tailor your dog’s food to their constitution, speak to your vet or simply use trial and error to find a food that suits them best.
Now we’ve addressed that, let’s take a look at AVA’s regular adult dog food.
AVA Adult Dog Food Review
In the adult dog food section, there is a range of foods aimed at small breeds, medium breeds, large breeds, dogs with sensitive stomachs, and dogs in need of weight management.
While some brands tend to have a specific product for small breeds, the majority don’t tend to have specific foods for medium and large breeds, so once again, we’re left scratching our heads as to why AVA have a different product for small, medium, and large breeds.
Is there any difference between the three?
Well, from looking at the ingredient and nutritional profiles for each food, it appears that there really isn’t much difference between them at all – aside from the fact that kibble pieces are smaller in the small breed product. They all have similar ingredients and content, pretty much the same amount of protein and fats.
While they’re not ‘bad’ products and do contain a fairly decent amount of protein, a full range of vitamins and minerals, and a handful of other goodies, extracts and supplements to boost health, we’re really not a fan of seeing pretty much the same formulas being marketed as different products for different sized dogs. Therefore, even though the products themselves look half decent, we’re don’t like the fact that AVA uses this marketing ploy.
Instead, we’d highly recommend looking at:
Like their adult dry foods, AVA wet food is run-of-the-mill, i.e. your dog could live a healthy life on their foods, but there’s nothing that stands out and puts it head and shoulders above the competition.
If you were short of dog food and had no other option than to buy a tin from Pets at Home for your dog, then that wouldn’t be an issue, but there are several wet food brands and products we’d recommend over AVA:
AVA Adult Puppy Food Review
AVA’s range of puppy food tells much the same tale as their range of adult dog foods, i.e. products aimed at small, medium, and large breeds. But does it fare any better than its adult dog food counterparts? Let’s take a look.
As you probably know, puppies require higher levels of protein in their food to support accelerated growth and development; therefore, when puppy dry puppy food, it’s always essential to examine the protein content and ensure it’s 30% or higher.
AVA dry puppy food contains 30% protein, so it ticks the boxes on this front. And, to AVA’s credit, it does contain the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals.
However, there isn’t much more positivity after this. One look at the ingredient list shows that over one-third of the product is made up of cheap carbohydrate-based fillers, namely brown rice, maize and beet pulp.
Are any of these ingredients going to contribute to your puppy’s health and vitality? Not really, no. Aside from energy, they’re going to have zero impact on your four-legged friend’s health.
After all, dog’s don’t need carbohydrates. However, many manufacturers will use them to ‘bulk out’ products and make them cheaper to manufacture. Plus, excess carbohydrates simply lead to excess waste. So, if you see more than around 20% of poor-quality, grain-based carbohydrate sources in a dry dog food, you should avoid it.
Here are a few alternatives you should consider:
AVA wet puppy food is a better product than its dry counterpart. Why? Because it has far less filler (7%), which is always good to see.
At 9% protein and containing 49% chicken, there’s no doubt that it could be better, i.e. a slightly higher protein percentage (10-11%) and meat content (55%+), but given that wet dog foods in supermarkets often contain both less protein and less meat, we’d slot AVA’s offering well and in truly into the ‘run-of-the-mill’ and ‘adequate’ categories. It’ll do, but there are better wet puppy foods out there. For example:
AVA Adult Senior Food Review
Yes, you’ve guessed it – AVA’s senior dog food range also has products for small, medium, and large breeds, in addition to a few wet food options, which we’ll discuss a little further down.
Is AVA’s senior dog food worth your money?
Let’s find out.
As you’ll undoubtedly be aware, senior dogs are far more prone to illness and suffering from medical conditions than younger dogs; therefore, they require that little bit of extra help – both in terms of nutrition and care.
Although diet can’t solve all ailments, it can help with some – namely mild conditions that affect joints and mobility, which is why you’ll often see senior dog food containing ingredients that are purported to aid with joint health. So, I guess you could say it was standard for senior foods to contain such ingredients.
The first question is, does AVA senior food contain joint-friendly ingredients?
In short, yes. All three dry foods (small breed, medium breed, and large breed) contain salmon oil, glucosamine, and chondroitin – three ingredients that can help with joint health and mobility. Furthermore, senior dogs require less protein, and this is reflected in this formula (24%).
The second question is, does AVA senior food contain unnecessary carbohydrate-based fillers?
Unfortunately, the answer to this questions is yes. 54% of the formula is comprised of brown rice, maize, whole barley, and beet pulp. While a small amount of carbohydrates is acceptable, 54% is an excessive amount – a) because dogs don’t actually need any carbohydrates to function and be healthy (fats are a better energy source and reduce the risk of diabetes) and b) because excessive carbohydrates result in excessive waste. The difference in poo volume between a dog who eats a lot of carbohydrates and a dog who doesn’t is more than you’d think!
If you are looking for high-quality dry food for your senior dog, we highly recommend:
AVA’s wet food for senior dogs is a solid product, i.e. one that does the job it’s meant to do – provide macro and micronutrients to your senior dog, but it does no more than that. Feeding your senior dog this wet food on a daily basis isn’t going to do them any harm and will give them a decent amount of protein and essential micronutrients. Still, if you’re looking for a senior wet food that takes things to the next level, AVA’s offering isn’t going to tick all of the boxes.
If you do want the best quality wet food for your senior dog, we suggest checking out the following brand:
AVA Dog Food: Our Verdict
If we had to use two words to sum up AVA’s range of dog food, we’d go for ‘bang average’; it’s pretty good, but it’s not going to win any awards, and there are a lot of brands and products out there that are not only a healthier option for your dog but are better on your wallet too.
While this may seem harsh given the popularity of the brand, we here at Barf Pet Foods are only ever going, to be honest with our opinion(s) and pride ourselves on being unbiased and 100% independent to ensure you get the best advice possible.
While AVA isn’t going to do your dog any harm, and the formulas are certainly better than most brands you’ll find on a supermarket shelf, we’re really not on board with the fact that AVA has created numerous breed-specific foods that are essentially the same product. We think this is taking advantage of customers who may be swayed by this marketing ploy. Furthermore, the ‘Veterinary Approved’ label isn’t something we’d ever pay too much credence to, given that such titles can be bought as opposed to earned.
If you’re looking for higher quality dog foods, we highly recommended using the alternatives we’ve posted throughout this article. They are all dog foods we’ve reviewed and would happily feed our four-legged friends, and, given that we have very high standards, you can be rest assured that the products we recommend are some of the best out there.