...about what is in your pets food?
Back in the day, I used to buy Iams and it was considered a good if not premium pet food. In 1999 I found out it was sold to Procter & Gamble. Thankfully I knew enough about big business buy outs to stop buying that brand of food and I started looking for a new brand to feed my dog. Iams (and Eukanuba) are now owned by Mars Inc....so, you know they really care about your pets health over profits...right? :(
Throughout the years of running a dog rescue and working with dogs full time, I have continued to do research on pet food in the hopes to find products that are nutritious and possibly preventive of the big three, that I see so many dogs die from...cancer, kidney/liver failure, and heart disease. In the beginning my rule of thumb was if the first 5 ingredients are things I would eat, as long as it didn't have corn, white rice, white potatoes, pea protein, or beet pulp listed (all fillers) , it was a decent food.
For years I continued to change from one kibble to another in search of the best quality for the best price, usually buying the most expensive kibbles out there. Talking to vets was interesting...many promoted brands that had the worst ingredients! For example, many breeders and vets have recommended this below brand...the first 5 ingredients are in red ...would you only eat them, every day, for your entire life and think you are getting a balanced, healthy diet? I would hope not. Filler, filler, by product, fat, meal. Ugh.
Purina puppy chow:
Ingredients & Nutrition
Whole grain corn, corn gluten meal, chicken by-product meal, beef fat naturally preserved with mixed-tocopherols, soybean meal, barley, egg and chicken flavor, ground rice, chicken, mono and dicalcium phosphate, poultry and pork digest, fish oil, salt, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, choline chloride, MINERALS [zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite], VITAMINS [Vitamin E supplement,niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Vitamin B-12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Vitamin D-3 supplement, riboflavin supplement (Vitamin B-2), menadione sodium bisulfite complex (Vitamin K), folic acid (Vitamin B-9), biotin (Vitamin B-7)], L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (Vitamin C), Yellow 6, Yellow 5, DL-Methionine, Red 40, Blue 2, garlic
This is what I'm currently feeding my dogs on their meat days, (more on this later, but I just wanted a visual comparison of the ingredients).
Halshan: Prime Selection Turkey Blend
Ingredients: Turkey Meat, Turkey Heart, Ground Turkey Necks, Peas, Spinach, Broccoli, Zucchini Squash, Pumpkin, Apples, Blueberries, Organic Flax, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Nutritional Yeast, Blackstrap Molasses, Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, Kelp, and Lecithin. *Protein 17.73%, Fat 4.84%, Fiber 2.33%, Moisture 73.81%.
The below link is to a YouTube video comparing kibbles from best to worst (honestly I fast forwarded through a few parts...like the strength of the bags) and uses the salt test as one of their ways to compare brands. The (AAFCO) Association of American Feed Control Officials recommends that dry dog foods contain at least 0.3% sodium. So, when looking at your dogs food ingredients list, any ingredients after "salt", would make up less than 1% of the product. Here is more info on the "salt test"...
Remember, if your pets food has carrots, peas, sprouts, seeds, blueberries, etc on the front package implying they are a big part of the recipe and they are listed after salt on the ingredients list, it might have one blueberry in the whole bag. That's a BIG Thumbs Down.
Go look at your dogs food right now...I'll wait.
Dog food comparison video...
Spoiler alert, if you don't want to watch the above video, the winners are Carna4 and Orijen as the best according to this comparison.
The same video maker has another video where he shows you the worst dog food out there....spoiler alert..it's Hills Science Diet.
Now, these are fun little videos to get people thinking about their pets health and nutrition and what we are feeding our pets. We know that "an apple a day keeps the Dr. away" for us and "you are what you eat"...but why are we not thinking the same way when it comes to our pets food and health?
I've spent many a nights researching dog food/diet and have gone down the rabbit hole when it comes to the marketing, vet recommendations, ingredients, and home cooking options. If you haven't thought much about what you are feeding your pet, perhaps it's time you put some thought into it. Your pet relies on you to give them the very best care, and that should start with their diet and exercise!
Just FYI...If I was feeding my dogs kibble, I'd probably be feeding them this brand...
Hand- Crafted Pet Food is one of the few pet foods available made with NO SYNTHETICS at all, only Table-grade Meat, and organic sprouted seeds. Carna4 is the only synthetic-free pet food that supplies all of the nutrition a dog requires with only whole, real foods and nothing else.
Ingredient List – Easy-Chew Fish Dog Food: Herring, perch, eggs, ground organic sprouted barley seed, salmon, ground fava beans, sweet potato, ground organic sprouted flaxseed, ground organic sprouted lentils, ground organic sprouted peas, potato starch, apples, carrots, salt, kelp, baking soda.