Alpo Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Alpo Dog Food receives the Advisor’s lowest rating of 1 star.

The Alpo Dog Food product line includes two dry recipes.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Alpo Prime Cuts Savory Beef Flavor [M]
  • Alpo Come and Get It Cookout Classics [M]

Alpo Come and Get It Cookout Classics was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.

Alpo Come and Get It Cookout Classics

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 21% | Fat = 11% | Carbs = 61%

Ingredients: Ground yellow corn, corn germ meal, beef and bone meal, soybean meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of vitamin E), pork and bone meal, egg and chicken flavor, animal digest, corn gluten meal, salt, potassium chloride, dried peas, yellow 6, red 40, choline chloride, yellow 5, natural grill flavor, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, vitamin E supplement, l-lysine monohydrochloride, manganese sulfate, blue 2, dl-methionine, niacin, vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, calcium iodate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis18%10%NA
Dry Matter Basis21%11%61%
Calorie Weighted Basis19%24%57%
Protein = 19% | Fat = 24% | Carbs = 57%

The first ingredient in this dog food is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.

The second ingredient is corn germ meal, a meal made from ground corn germ after much of the oil has been removed. Corn germ meal is a protein-rich by-product left over after milling corn meal, hominy grits and other corn products.

However, the protein found in corn germ meal (about 25% dry matter basis) must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The third ingredient is beef and bone meal, a dry rendered product from (beef) tissues, including bone, exclusive of blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents”.1

Beef and bone meal may have a lower biological value than most other meat meals.

Scientists believe this decreased protein quality may be due to the ingredient’s higher ash and lower essential amino acid content.2

On the brighter side, beef and bone meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh meat.

In any case, beef and bone meal is not considered a better quality dog food ingredient.

The fourth ingredient is soybean meal, a by-product of soybean oil production more commonly found in farm animal feeds.

Although soybean meal contains 48% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The fifth ingredient is animal fat. Animal fat is a generic by-product of rendering, the same high-temperature process used to make meat meals.

Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this item could come from almost anywhere: roadkill, spoiled supermarket meat, dead, diseased or dying cattle — even euthanized pets.

For this reason, we do not consider generic animal fat a quality ingredient.

The sixth ingredient is pork and bone meal, a dry “rendered product from (pork) tissues, including bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents”.3

Pork and bone meal may have a lower digestibility than most other meat meals.

Scientists believe this decreased protein quality may be due to the ingredient’s higher ash and lower essential amino acid content.2

On the brighter side, pork and bone meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh pork.

After the egg and chicken flavor, we find animal digest. Animal digest is a chemically hydrolyzed mixture of animal by-products that is typically sprayed onto the surface of a dry kibble to improve its taste.

The ninth ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Although corn gluten meal contains 60% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With six notable exceptions

First, this food includes dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.

However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

Next, we’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any pet food. That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his kibble is?

In addition, garlic can be a controversial item. Although many favor the ingredient for its claimed health benefits, garlic has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.5

So, one must weigh the potential benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.

Next, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

Additionally, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

And lastly, this dog food contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.

Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.

Alpo Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Alpo Dog Food looks like a below-average dry product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 21%, a fat level of 11% and estimated carbohydrates of about 61%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 21% and a mean fat level of 10%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 61% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn germ and corn gluten meals, soybean meal and dried peas, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing just a limited amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Alpo is a plant-based dry dog food using a limited amount of beef and bone meal or meat and bone meal as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1 star.

Not recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Alpo Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

Dog Food Coupons
And Discounts

Readers are invited to check for coupons and discounts shared by others in our Dog Food Coupons Forum.

Or click the buying tip below. Please be advised we receive a fee for referrals made to the following online store.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

06/01/2016 Last Update

  1. Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for beef published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition
  2. Shirley RB and Parsons CM, , Effect of Ash Content on Protein Quality of Meat and Bone Meal, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Poultry Science, 2001 80: 626-632
  3. Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for meat and bone meal as published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2012 Edition
  4. Shirley RB and Parsons CM, , Effect of Ash Content on Protein Quality of Meat and Bone Meal, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Poultry Science, 2001 80: 626-632
  5. Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005)
  • sara werner

    will do …your baby was a lil dog though… they do live longer but 27 is awesome…wow and sorry for your loss…..

  • Veronika

    I think this picture will help you, even if you don’t care.
    I took it as a reminder to myself of how long dogs can generally live on raw diet and how about that vegan dog who died at like 27, none of the worlds oldest dogs were on kibble.
    http://www.monicasegal.com/wordpress/?p=431
    Interesting read if your up for it.

    http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/43a9efa4c5e3cf2dbc8a81275c13813731e65d66e84c5cb921e9ebf58a9ce6ed.png

  • sara werner

    I replied to this one too but , must of been on one of you others, lol …there are so many, spam we are calling it right???…but you response still is upsetting… upsetting that you just try to talk bad about a good dog food that I am willing to fight for, considering It is a really good dog food….:) so sad you just can’t comprehend….you also can feed your dog what you want, but NO YOU CAN NOT SLANDER A GOOD COMPANY with no proof…I have proof you have BS πŸ™‚

  • sara werner

    Yes a low quality dog food which gave me many years with my dog …17 1-2 ..more than others get with their high quality dog food…now as for spam, I sent about 8 to the same blog, I guess 8 is a high number of recipients to you, for me it would be 17 1-2 πŸ™‚ I am not trying to argue with you, but you don’t stop about this 1 star rating…and if this is just a low quality dog food, I will be recommending it on the fact it is a very reliable dog food…and deserves a five star mark…I do not know anyone whose dogs live this long on this so called high quality dog food…people love their pets, and what to know the truth…truth is I will feed this to my pets….

  • InkedMarie

    A couple things. First, no kickbacks, I don’t work for a dog food company. Second, what can get your posts deleted is your spamming of the same posts over and over. Third, an opinion cannot be false. Lastly, you can think what you want about your dogs & their health but Alpo dog food IS a low quality food with poor quality ingredients. I see very few people who think this is a high quality dog food.

  • Veronika

    100% of the best? You’d have to be mental to think this is anything but trash, sorry to burst your bubble but the best of the best is not kibble no matter how it’s made.

    Some of us are trying to help but I guess you don’t care enough to listen jokes on you when something does happen.

  • Pitlove

    Hi Maria-

    I had no trouble interpreting your original post as you made it quite clear that you feel, “If you can’t afford decent food for your dog, then don’t have a dog”. Unless you meant something different, I felt that statement was very straight forward.

    The main big issue I see with the statement that a pet owner at minimum should be able to provide their pet with a 3 or 4 star rated food, is the notion that the star ratings on this website are any indication of quality or how well a dog will do on a particular food. Dr. Mike states in his article “The Problem with Dog Food Reviews”: In general, a five star dog food is one that is high in meat content and free of suspicious chemicals or plant-based protein boosters.
    So, does that mean a one-star dog food is bad for your dog?
    No, probably not. A dog food with a low star rating isn’t necessarily a bad product.
    It’s just that we believe you should always know what you’re paying for. So, dog foods made with by-products and less meat should, of course, cost less, too.
    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/choosing-dog-food/dog-food-reviews-problems/

    Let’s take my dogs as a great example. The devilishly handsome pup in my profile picture, is the product of poor breeding and bad genetics. As such he has a myrid of food intolerances and seasonal allergies. Thus my research into canine nutrition lead me far beyond this website, which was a great stepping stone, but has many limitations. After feeding numerous 4-5 star rated foods and even daring to dip down to a 3.5 star rated food, I could not seem to eliminate his issues. The only food that for the last year and a half roughly that he was WILLING happily to eat AND also controlled all of his food intolerances/sensitivities, has been Purina Pro Plan, a (gasp) 2.5 star rated food.

    So my question to you is…Am I underserving of my dog because I have settled on a poorly rated food from a maligned company like Purina?

  • sara werner

    Yes all 3 dogs with different genetics..All very healthy but what do I know? Maybe I just have good luck right? πŸ™‚ I will stick with the Alpo and not be foolish enough to listen to you and InkedMarie…I prefer my dogs to be happy healthy and get 100% of the
    best…Thank You πŸ™‚

  • sara werner

    It is funny how you think this…Now who do you get kick backs from ???which company?????? Because the fact that I have 2 dogs who are very healthy , And the one who passed was too…and all eat Alpo, which is a proven fact, Why would get me deleted…Ya no I don’t think so…And You false opinion really does not matter… Dog Owners deserve the truth not lies…Thank You

  • Pitlove

    What you are saying is exactly my point…. Her dogs are unhealthy in spite of her food choice.

  • Storm’s Mom

    It’s not that they are “unhealthy, overweight” from eating Orijen as you seem to want to imply…it’s from their human feeding too much Orijen or not exercising them enough for the amount of food they are being fed.

  • InkedMarie

    Hi Aimee,
    I missed where you previously asked me a question. I got my first smart phone; apparently I’m not too smart with it LOL.
    Anyway, nothing to clarify. It’s my opinion that Alpo is a low quality food with poor ingredients. I liken it to fast food….you can probably live on it but not thrive.
    You dont have to agree.

  • Storm’s Mom

    I’m not InkedMarie but when I think of “fast food”/”junk food” I think of food that impacts your cognitive abilities for a period of time immediately after the consumption of the food, generally regarded as being in a “positive” way (satiated, more alert, energized, etc) but very quickly turns “negative” (sluggish mentally and physically), which lasts significantly longer than the “positive” effects originally felt. I know the “fast” part of “fast food” is generally thought of as referring to how quickly the food is made, but I’ve always thought of it as how “fast” the instant gratification happens, how “fast” it’s gone, and how “fast” you feel hungry again. I see this happen with Storm whenever I’ve fed him a high carb food. He goes “squirrelly” for a short period of time (which can be entertaining, if that’s why you have a dog…) and then crashes, mentally and physically, and is far less focused for a far shorter period of time in comparison to when he’s fed a high protein (and above average fat) diet. In short, he becomes a “brat”. Kinda sounds like a kid after a trip to McDonald’s doesn’t it? Hmmmm…coincidence? I think not. I mean, yes, kids and adults can live that “yo yo” way for a long time if they want. I just don’t like to see the way Storm behaves when he’s had a “fast food” kind of dog food ..I feel it’s not healthy for him to simply be like that, a “yo yo dog”. It’s not in his best interests. The only “best interests” it seems to be in is the dog food companies’.

  • aimee

    Hi Marie,

    The underlying assumption you’ve made is that 3 star foods are better than 1 star foods. That is a huge assumption!

    DFA ranks based on an ingredient list, Dr. Susan Wynn a holistic/integrative vet and veterinary nutritionist said “-you can not judge a food by the ingredient listing-period. ” DFA recognizes this also… “Our reviews have nothing to do with results.” and lists the other factors that need to be taken into account when choosing a food in this article.

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/choosing-dog-food/brand-guidelines/

    Another poster, Inked Marie, stated Alpo was like fast food. I asked her to clarify that comment but she hasn’t yet responded.

    I think of fast food/junk food as high fat/ high caloric food with little nutrients This product doesn’t fit that nutrient profile. The closest I can equate with that type of profile are some of the 5 star raw diets. I used Answer pork as an example of that, 80% calories from fat and the company reports nutrient levels far below recommended levels.

    Why do you consider this food like fast food? What is the nutrient profile you associate with fast food?

  • Maria

    Awesome, i know a couple people who smoked all their lives and lived long lives anyway, but why chance it?

  • Maria

    You obviously didn’t read my original post clearly. You can still buy decent dog food, at minimum, the 3 star rated one, if you look for sales, coupons, go on raise.com or cardpool.com and buy discounted gift cards for Petco or PetSmart, buy in bulk etc. If you can get at least a 3 or 4 star rated dog food for close to what you would pay for Alpo, (after doing your research for sales etc), why in the world would you buy this junk? It’s like the equivalent of a human eating nothing but junk food and Mcdonald’s every day. Yes, i’m sure there are some cases of dogs who only ate Alpo and did just fine, but why even take the chance??

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    Exactly, have you read the ingredients on the last loaf of bread that you bought?
    You can go nuts with this stuff, if you want to, lol

  • aimee

    Hi Inked Marie,

    Where we differ is that I don’t use emotional laden terms to describe foods. And personally I never understood why people equate foods like Alpo to “fast food”

    I think of fast foods as high fat foods and poor in nutrients in relation to calories consumed which isn’t the nutrient profile seen here. Perhaps for others a different nutrient profile comes to mind.

    If I were to pick a type of foods where in I often find members of that class that have nutrient profiles similar to how I see fast foods I have to go with raw diets.

    For example take a look at Answers raw detailed pork nearly 80% calories as fat and 19% as protein, and based on their posted nutrient information deficient in multiple nutrients.

    Answers posts based on a 3500 kcal/kg diet which is an older AAFCO profile, but I’ll go with that. Since they claim this is an all life stages diet I’ll compare to the growth/ repro profile.

    AAFCO min for protein is 22% and Answers reports 22%. I calculated less than that but we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.
    They also meet Ca requirement but fall short on Phos reporting 0.6% and AAFCO min 0.8.

    AAFCO req min 0.6% Potassium and Answers reports 0.2% Answers reports 0.2% sodium and AAFCO min is 0.3% Answers reports 3 mg/kg Copper and AAFCO requires 7.3 AAFCO required120 mg/kg Zn now decreased to ~90mg/kg and Answers reports ~29.. only about 1/3 of the new lowered requirement. AAFCO Vit E requirement 50 IU and Answers reports 40IU.

    For me, Answers much better matches a profile that comes to mind when I think of fast foods than Alpo does.

    What nutrient profile do you think of as fast food?

  • InkedMarie

    Aimee, we will agree to disagree here. I liken crap food like this to people eating fast food day in & day out. They may look fine but that doesn’t make this a quality food, at all. If you want to feed it, feel free.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    I had a peke that had to have a couple of late in life surgeries.
    The only thing he would eat status post surgery was “Mighty Dog” (gasp)
    He thrived on it. Lived to be 16

  • aimee

    Hi Inked Marie,

    I agree that she “overdid” it but found her post valuable.Alpo is a low cost plant based food but I wouldn’t call it low quality simply based on those parameters. Her dogs have done very well on it.

  • InkedMarie

    Yes, we have all seen you post the same thing over & over; don’t be surprised when most are removed.

    Most dog owners who find their way to DFA figure out what a good quality food is and Alpo sure isn;’t it.

    Sorry you haven’t figured it out.

  • Veronika

    Well she wasn’t wrong about telling everyone she spammed up quiet a bit of the recent comments.

    But again just cause a dog lives to a ripe old age on junk food doesn’t mean anything but genetics to me.

  • sara werner

    Again, My Beautiful shaggy ate Alpo every day…he died Sunday at 17 1-2…..We let him run up and down a hill that would kill us lol…but The food is very good, I would recommend this…We could do good too at McD’s if we exercised….

  • sara werner

    ya…got 17 1-2 years on Alpo , and good exercise….

  • sara werner

    I am posting this to all πŸ™‚ So if you saw a million times sorry… I recommend Alpo Lucy is 10, My Shawn is 14 and Shaggy just passed at 17 1-2 ….

  • sara werner

    True…And I pick Alpo…..Very happy with it !!!!

  • sara werner

    I do thank God….and agree…..

  • sara werner

    and in all processed foods πŸ™‚

  • sara werner

    every day I will give this to mine….lucy 10 shawn 12 and shaggy just passed at 17 1-2

  • sara werner

    again I would never of picked it…but Alpo is now my #1 pick…

  • sara werner

    I recommend alpo, I would never of picked it till my dog lived 17 1-2 years a shepherd lab mix…now he also lived in the mountains good exercise and was never put on a leash….

  • sara werner

    glad your dog was ok…now mine lived 17 1-2 years on alpo prime cuts or the kibbles so I cant let you think it was just this food…he may of been allergic to something in it…

  • sara werner

    I am posting this to everyone….My dog lived 17 1-2 years on alpo

  • InkedMarie

    LOLOL

  • sara werner

    I would never of picked it but my boyfriend picked this for our son and he lived 17 1-2 years on this…I will never use anything else…..my fathers dog, my brother died at 11 on $50 bag of dog food….both dogs labs so not small dogs

  • sara werner

    Ya my Big dog lived 17 1-2 years eating alpo saw diarrhea once….it was the day he died πŸ™ only time… I would recommend this and am to everyone….

  • sara werner

    me too πŸ™‚

  • sara werner

    My dog lived 17 1-2 years on alpo….

  • sara werner

    Ya My german shepherd lab mix Shaggy Hoilman ( a BIG dog) only lived 17 1-2 years eating this dry dog food… one stat hahahhah I would give it 100 stars…. people pay more money like $50 a bag usually get half this πŸ™ This is GOOD DOG FOOD….

  • Pitlove

    πŸ˜›

  • Bobby dog

    Wish I could give you 50 up votes too!!!

  • Pitlove

    Hi Maria-

    You said: “If you can’t afford decent food for your dog, then don’t have a dog.”

    So should a loving family not adopt from a shelter because they use Alpo? What do you think dogs in the shelter are being fed?

    Good health, longevity, etc, does not only come from “good” food. There is so much more to owning any pet than the food provided. I know two very unhealthy, overweight, dogs that can barely breathe or walk eating Orijen (believed by some to the be the “best” dry food)

  • Maria

    Sorry but I disagree. I buy at least 4 star dog food, not this junk. To save money, I wait for sales and use coupons when I have them, and buy larger size bags to save even more money. Also, you can go on raise.com and get discounted gift cards for Petsmart or Petco and save even more. If you can’t afford decent food for your dog, then don’t have a dog. I know I wouldn’t want to eat junk like this.

  • Bobby dog

    Wish I could give you 50 up votes!!!!

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    Maybe they are broke? When people go to a food pantry do they question the quality of the food?
    I don’t think so, most pet owners do the best they can within their means.
    Some dogs do just fine on cheap food, a lot of disorders are genetic.

  • Steph Wong

    why would anyone get 1-star food for their dogs?

  • Amateria

    I did that just now it leads to the Woolworths online website and doesn’t give any info on ingredients, next time I go there I’ll check, but that could be awhile, my fave vegetarian foods are in Coles.

  • Babslynne

    Did you click on the “find out more” button to see if the show the ingredients!

  • Amateria
  • Amateria

    Says Woolworths here has it, never seen it there in my life, I’ve scanned over all the foods they have as I once spent 2 hours in there, was fun.

    Says its there brand, well I’ve never seen it.