Dave’s Pet Food Cat Food Review
Dave’s Pet Food began in a store called Dave’s Soda & Pet City.
In 1975, Dave Ratner founded Dave’s Soda and Pet City. As the owner and operator of this popular seven-store mini chain, Dave Ratner recognized an underserved market. Every day, he encountered pet food buyers on a budget. These shoppers wanted to feed their pets well, but they didn’t want to pay high prices for good food.
Dave’s Pet Food was created to give cost-conscious shoppers a line of products that would help keep their pets healthy and their wallets full.
Dave Ratner explains that the brand’s low prices are made possible by maintaining low overhead and using a minimal marketing budget.
Here’s a video of company founder Dave Ratner introducing the brand.
Dave’s Pet Food is self-described as a “top quality, healthy food at a very reasonable price.”
Is Dave’s Pet Food as nutritious as more expensive products?
Let’s compare a Dave’s Pet Food formula to a similar recipe from a competing brand.
Here are the first 12 ingredients of Dave’s Pet Food Naturally Healthy Grain-Free Chicken formula:
Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Turkey, Guar Gum, Sweet Potatoes, Potassium Chloride, Carrageenan, Carrots, Zucchini, Minerals, Vitamins
This food costs $.16/oz or about $.96 per day.
The first 12 ingredients of a similar grain-free canned cat food from Blue Buffalo:
Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Potatoes, Natural Flavor, Guar Gum, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Carrageenan, Cassia Gum, Salt
This food costs $.36/oz or about $2.16 per day.
If you purchased the Dave’s Pet Food formula rather than the one from Blue Buffalo, you would save approximately $438 each year.
It’s obvious that Dave’s Pet Food has a distinct cost advantage.
Does this cost savings exist at the expense of nutritional integrity?
Dave’s Pet Food formulas aren’t nutritionally flawless, but they’re superior to most other products at the same price point.
Their foods are free from artificial colors, flavors, and dangerous preservatives. They don’t use meat by-products or rendered meals, and instead feature named meat as the first ingredient in every formula.
Again, Dave’s Pet Foods aren’t perfect.
Their moist foods include carrageenan, a seaweed extract that may cause inflammation. Some ingredient lists feature “natural flavor”, an additive made from hydrolyzed animal tissue. Because it’s unclear exactly which animals this material came from, cats with food allergies should avoid foods containing this ingredient.
Dave’s Pet Food doesn’t use corn, wheat, or soy, but their foods sometimes contain other filler ingredients like alfalfa meal, a high-protein plant meal that boosts protein percentages without offering nutritional value.
What types of cat food does Dave’s Pet Food offer?
Dave’s Pet Food offers a varied selection of moist cat foods. The cat food line includes varied textures to suit a variety of feline preferences and formulas designed for specific health needs. You’ll also find a single dry cat food formula.
Dave’s Pet Food is manufactured by multiple co-packers in the United States. These include Simmons, Performance Pet, and Evangers. Some of their cat food formulas are manufactured in Thailand.
Dave’s Pet Food Wet Cat Food
Naturally Healthy Grain Free
- Shredded Fisherman
- Shredded Salmon
- Shredded Chicken
- Ahi Tuna & Shrimp
- Ahi Tuna & Shrimp Dinner
- Ahi Tuna & Chicken Dinner
- Chicken & Whitefish Dinner
- Beef & Chicken Dinner
- Turkey & Giblets Dinner Formula
- Tuna & Salmon Dinner in Aspic
- Tuna and Chicken Dinner in Gravy
Naturally Healthy Pouches
- Saucey Tuna & Salmon Dinner in Gravy
- Saucey Tuna & Duck Dinner in Gravy
- Saucey Tuna & Chicken Dinner in Gravy
- Saucey Tuna & Beef Dinner in Gravy
- Saucey Tuna Dinner in Gravy
95% Premium Meat
- Chicken & Chicken Liver Pate
- Tuna & Chicken Pate
- Turkey & Turkey Liver Pate
- Salmon Pate Formula
- Beef & Beef Liver Pate Formula
- Magnesium-Phosphorus Pork Dinner
- Protein-Phosphorus Chicken Dinner
Dave’s Pet Food Dry Cat Food
- Dave’s Naturally Healthy™ Adult Cat
Has Dave’s Pet Food ever been recalled?
In late 2015, a single batch of Dave’s Simply the Best Dog Food was voluntarily recalled after a customer reported that the food had an “off odor”. The subsequent investigation found that a sample of the batch had high peroxide levels, which is indicative of rancidity. Ninety percent of recalled food was stocked in Dave’s stores, and they were promptly pulled from the shelves.
There were no reports of sick pets and no specific cause was ever identified, although the company suspects that rice bran was to blame.
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Where can you buy Dave’s Pet Food?
Dave’s Pet Food was originally sold exclusively through Dave’s Soda and Pet City stores, but is now distributed throughout the United States. It’s available through over 2,000 different independent pet stores. Dave’s Pet Food is available online through Amazon, Chewy, and other online retailers.
Click here to find a retailer near you.
What do customers think of Dave’s Pet Food cat food?
This brand’s cat food usually receives positive customer feedback. Most happy customers describe the combination of low price and high-quality ingredients as a primary source of the brand’s appeal.
On Chewy, Dave’s Pet Food Chicken Formula has a 4.3 out of 5 star rating. Eighty-nine percent of 93 reviewers say they’d recommend this product.
“I’ve been feeding my cats Dave’s for months and thought they might want to try something different to switch things up a bit….ya no. They won’t even touch the other food even if this is mixed in with it. I like the nutrients and ingredients and my cats love the flavor. I won’t be buying another brand again thinking they want something different. No, they just want Dave’s.” – FrankieMini
“My cats aren’t picky eaters but there have been some canned foods that they are slow to eat. Not so with Dave’s! Unlike other folks saying they thought the food smells strange, we found it to smell like chicken, which is the main ingredient. We like having a grain free option in a large can that out cats enjoy, at a very reasonable price. This food isn’t easy to find at our local stores so thanks Chewy!” – Lani
“I don’t know why but none of our (many and with varied backgrounds) cats liked this food. I donated it because I hate to see food wasted. We have three cats who will eat almost anything canned but not this brand … on paper the ingredients look good but the food itself was bland looking with a weird consistency and odor.” – Muttman4
“My cat loved it and I wanted a grain free product, but I’m not sure of all the other ingredients that look good such as potatoes, carrots , zucchini, cranberries and blueberries. I’ve been reading that fruits and vegetables are not needed or even digested by cats so this seems to contain a lot of filler over more meat in the product.” – LMT480
Read more customer reviews on Chewy.
Dave’s Pet Food Naturally Healthy Chicken Canned Cat Food Review
First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Turkey, Guar Gum
This paté style cat food is rich in natural protein from a cat’s favorite source: real meat. The recipe begins with poultry ingredients.
It’s not limited to meat, though – the recipe also includes sweet potatoes, which contribute heavily to the recipe’s 3.6% carbohydrate content. These are a more nutritious alternative to white potatoes, but aren’t a necessary component of the feline diet. The formula includes other plant ingredients, including carrots and zucchini, plus trace amounts of cranberries and blueberries.
The recipe uses both guar gum and carrageenan as thickeners. While the latter is considered safe by the FDA and AAFCO, it may cause inflammation, making it a controversial and potentially unsafe ingredient.
Overall, this is a meat-heavy canned cat food with some plant ingredients. It offers a healthy dose of protein from metabolizable animal sources. It’s free from artificial ingredients, grains, and chemical preservatives.
The food is available in 3 oz cans and 5.5 oz cans and cost between $.16/oz and $.21/oz.
According to Dave’s Pet Food feeding guidelines, this will amount to between $.96 and $1.26 each day.
All costs are based on Chewy prices with shipping costs not included.