Best Pet Foods!

From reviews.com…..   pretty good info on pet foods

In early 2015, the law firm of Morgan and Morgan filed a class action lawsuit against Purina over ingredients found in its line of Beneful dog food. Despite this lawsuit — and the thousands of complaints of kidney failure that led to it — the products remain available to purchase at a store near you.

Of the pet owners we surveyed, 70 percent admitted that they didn’t know all of the ingredients in their dog’s food — including the very ingredients at the heart of the Purina lawsuit. All dog foods claim to be “premium” and “all natural,” but with very few regulations on what it takes to meet these qualifications, many of these claims are little more than flashy marketing gimmicks and false advertising. So, we dug behind the label to sort out which ingredients make an excellent dog food and which ones should be avoided.

At the end of the work, we settled on 134 formulas across 29 approved brands.

10 of Our Favorite Dog Food Brands

Our Research

Ten people on our team dedicated full-time work to this project, investing over 1,400 hours into this single page.

  • We built a list of over 11,000 people with connections to the dog food industry and narrowed it down to the best.
  • Over 20 experts contributed their valuable time to our work, including veterinarians, dog trainers, animal behaviorists, university researchers, and authors.
  • We surveyed 300 dog owners and asked them if they knew what was in their dog’s food.
  • We gathered a list of over 8,000 search queries to find out what matters most to dog owners.
  • We read and analyzed 72 of the most popular articles and studies on dog food.
  • We compiled a list of 2,223 formulas from 115 brands and reviewed their ingredients.

Bad ingredients make dog food unsafe and unhealthy.

The Truth About Recalls and Manufacturing Practices

Safety has always been the biggest concern for pet owners — and one of the hardest challenges for dog food manufacturers to meet. Since the 2007 recalls on Chinese-sourced food, many consumers have started reading labels to see where their food was coming from, but even ingredients sourced in the US can be unsafe.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) sets and maintains standards for the proper levels of ingredients in pet food, but it’s the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that determines the quality. FDA regulations, however, don’t guarantee that all ingredients will be safe.

Ingredients from rendering facilities, for instance, should be avoided. You’ll recognize these ingredients on the label under generic terms like “meat” and “meat meal.” In California, manufacturers have given them the appetizing name of “dry rendered tankage.” So why avoid them? It’s almost impossible to tell what’s being rendered: It can be roadkill, zoo animals, and sometimes even spoiled meat from the grocery store that’s still wrapped in plastic.

Life Stages

Your dog’s life stage should factor into his or her diet. Puppies and seniors both have specific dietary needs. Large-breed puppies can develop developmental orthopedic disease (DOD) if they eat too much calcium — the maximum amount of calcium listed in their food should beno more than 1.5 percent. Senior dogs often require less protein because they are less active. And if they suffer from arthritis, many formulas contain glucosamine and chondroitin, both of which alleviate joint pain.

Some tips for winter care of our pets!

Some tips from the Humane Society for winter care of our pets!

 

Protect Your Pet During Winter and Cold Weather

 

Don’t leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops. During walks, short-haired dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater. No matter what the temperature is, windchill can threaten a pet’s life. Pets are sensitive to severe cold and are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia during extreme cold snaps. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads can quickly freeze and suffer permanent damage.

 

Take precautions if your pet spends a lot of time outside

A dog or cat is happiest and healthiest when kept indoors. If for some reason your dog is outdoors much of the day, he or she must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably but small enough to hold in his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.

Give your pets plenty of food and water

Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet’s water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls; when the temperature is low, your pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to metal.

Protect paws from salt

The salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet’s feet. Wipe all paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates his/her mouth.

Wholesome Pet Essentials carries a pet safe ice melter!

Avoid antifreeze poisoning

Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children. Wipe up spills and keep antifreeze (and all household chemicals) out of reach. Coolants and antifreeze made with propylene glycol are less toxic to pets, wildlife and family.

Santa Bring(ing) you a new Pet for Christmas? We can help!

Is Santa bringing your household a new dog or cat for Christmas? Whether a new puppy, an adopted senior dog, or a rescued 4-year old cat we want to help! Stop in and ask us for a “new fur baby” packet. We will give you an envelope with a starter checklist, coupons for free services and money off purchases. Make Wholesome Pet Essentials your “one stop shop” for all your pets needs.

We offer full grooming services 7 days a week.  We also offer nutritional options from those who are picky eaters to those who are not so picky and could use some weight management.  Make it your New Year’s Resolution to feed your pet well.

New Pet Checklist & Offer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also:

 

NEW PUPPY/Dog SPECIAL

FREE NAIL GRIND ($12 value)

Not valid with any other discount offers.

Expires  2/29/2016

 

NEW PUPPY/Dog SPECIAL

FREE SELF-SERVE PET WASH ($15 value)

Not valid with any other discount offers.

Expires  2/29/2016

 

NEW PUPPY SPECIAL

$20 for 1st bath/Face Feet & Fanny Trim

Not valid with any other discount offers.

Expires  2/29/2016

Why not just give them an ear of corn to chew on?

Feeding Beneful?

INGREDIENTS

Ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole wheat flour, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, chicken, soy flour, rice flour, propylene glycol, sugar, tricalcium phosphate, salt, phosphoric acid, potassium chloride, animal digest, mono and dicalcium phosphate, dried carrots, sorbic acid (a preservative), dried tomatoes, avocado, calcium propionate (a preservative), L-Lysine monohydrochloride, choline chloride, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, Yellow 5, manganese sulfate, niacin, Red 40, Vitamin A supplement, Blue 2, copper sulfate, Vitamin B-12 supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, garlic oil, Yellow 6, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin D-3 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), calcium iodate, folic acid,

 

Here’s an offer you should look at.   Give them some real meat instead of corn!

 

Beneful Offer

“All Natural” Pet Foods

The following is excerpted from the “Canine Journal”:   (with some added notes from WPE in italics)

 

Dog owners want what is best for their pets and for many people that means feeding an all natural dog food. There are two varieties of all natural dog food: commercially produced and raw. Depending upon your budget and the time you have to devote to your dogs diet, one of these may better suit your needs than the other.

All Natural Dog Food is a Healthier Option

Just as humans thrive on diets without fillers and artificial ingredients, so too do dogs. All natural dog foods eliminate the additives and artificial ingredients that many manufacturers include to “improve the taste”, prolong the life of their products or simply add more inexpensive weight and bulk to the bag to justify the consumer price. On the other hand, all natural foods mimic the natural diet of wild canines and provide a more balanced approach to nutrition.

All Natural Dog Food Helps to Eliminate Allergies

For dog owners that must cope with canine allergies, all natural dog foods are a good option. Whether a dog suffers from skin or food allergies, all natural diets help to improve overall health and boost the dog’s immune system naturally. The majority of dogs that experience food allergies have trouble processing grains or specific protein sources, both of which are found commonly in mass market, non-natural dog foods.

All Natural Dog Foods Promote Better Digestion

Where many non-natural dog foods contain products that were never “designed” to be eaten by dogs, all natural foods contain only natural products that wild canines eat and process effectively. Many commercially produced dog foods contain a significant amount of fillers that can cause constipation and flatulence, as they create roadblocks to digestion.

Dogs Fed All Natural Foods Have Fewer Food Related Vet Visits

All natural dog foods are created with a balance of nutrition in mind rather than a maximization of profit. Nutritionally balanced foods result in fewer incidences of diabetes and joint concerns as well as a healthier weight because of the inclusion of daily required vitamin and mineral complexes in addition to more natural and regular digestion. Dogs who have experienced upset stomachs are often aided significantly by transitioning to an all natural dog food.

Checking Ingredients of All Natural Dog Foods

All natural dog foods will always be marked as such simply because it is a selling point for the companies that make them. Even if a dog food is labeled as “all natural”, it is still important to carefully check the ingredients of each food to look for potential allergens. High quality dog foods of all types will always list real protein sources in the top three ingredients. Real protein sources are not vague references such as “chicken meal” or “chicken by-products,” they should be listed as “chicken.” Healthy foods never include by-products or anything labeled as “meal” or “digest” because these are references to mystery meat products.

Understanding Nutritional Balance in All Natural Dog Foods

All dog foods claim to be nutritionally balanced with your dog in mind; however, not all nutritional balances are equal. It is important to research the nutritional needs of your dog based upon their special dietary needs (check with your vet) and their life stage in order to find a good food match. Some all natural foods have higher levels of protein than your dog may be used to, others may have higher carbohydrate or fat contents – these are all things to consider.

  • Protein:Pregnant dogs, lactating dogs, performance dogs, sled racing dogs and puppies all require higher levels of proteins than the average adult dog. Dogs battling illness also benefit from higher levels of protein, the exception to this is dogs with kidney disease. It should also be noted that puppies require a unique blend of nutrients that should be obtained through a specialty blend puppy formula.
  • Carbohydrates:Carbohydrates provide energy sources and fiber. While in the wild dogs diets contain less than 10% carbohydrates, commercial dog foods cannot be formed without the inclusion of carbohydrates. It is important to look for high quality carbohydrates rather than corn and wheat.    (ie., potato, tapioca, lentels, sweet potato, etc.) Since carbohydrates are not a significant part of a dog’s natural diet, there is no data concerning how much carbohydrates are beneficial.
  • Fat:Racing sled dogs and performance dogs have higher fat requirements from their foods than other dogs. Lactating or pregnant dogs and puppies also have slightly higher fat requirements than the average adult dog.

Good Protein Sources in Commercial All Natural Dog Foods

There is a wide variety of whole protein sources available for commercially produced dog foods, depending upon dogs unique needs one source may be a better choice than another. If a dog has experienced allergies to food products in the past it is generally better to go with a single source protein food.

  • Fish:Fish protein sources provide an array of natural oils and vitamins that help improve a dogs coat and joint mobility.
  • Bison: Bison is a very digestible protein source that is a good option for dogs that experience allergies to other protein sources.
  • Kangaroo: Kangaroo is an easily digested protein source and another good choice for dogs with allergies to certain protein sources. Kangaroo is an expensive protein source however making it cost prohibitive for many dog owners.
  • Beef: Beef is one of the more common protein sources for dog foods; however, it is also one that many dogs with allergies react to.
  • Chicken: Chicken is the most popular protein source but it is also the most common allergen as far as protein sources go.
  • Lamb: Lamb is a more commonly available protein source for dogs with chicken or beef allergies.
  • Venison: Venison is an easier to digest protein source recommended for dogs with allergies and it is less cost prohibitive than other options.
  • Duck: Duck is a common protein ingredient in “hypoallergenic” dog foods; it is easier to digest than chicken and is more affordable than other easily digested protein based foods.

Good Carbohydrate Sources in Commercial All Natural Dog Foods

Carbohydrates are another common source of allergies and while they are not necessary as a staple in a dog’s diet, they are necessary to create “kibble.” A dog’s tolerance to specific grain types will vary from individual to individual. All of the carbs listed below are gluten-free.

Grain Free Carbohydrates

  • Potatoes:Potatoes are commonly included in grain free foods as a carbohydrate source.
  • Sweet Potatoes:Sweet potatoes are an alternative carbohydrate source for grain free foods. This is a good carbohydrate option for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
  • Tapioca:Tapioca is an alternative carbohydrate that can be found in many grain free food options.
  • Peas:Peas are a non-grain carbohydrate and are commonly found in grain free foods.

Grain Carbohydrates

  • Barley:Barley is a substitute for corn or wheat and is considered to be a grain.
  • Oats:Oats are often used as a substitute for corn or wheat. Oats are considered a grain and will not be found in “grain free” foods.
  • Rice:Rice is a low gluten carbohydrate that is considered a grain. Dogs requiring a grain free diet will not thrive on this carbohydrate but dogs needing a low gluten diet may.

Good Fat and Oil Sources in Commercial All Natural Dog Foods

Fats and oils are a necessary part of all dogs’ diets; they help with brain development, bodily processes and skin and coat health. Just as with people, it is important to find high quality fat and oil sources that are not high in saturated fats and that provide as many fatty acids as possible. When looking at fats and oils in all natural dog foods there are a few things to look for:

  • Fats and oils should have a specific source such as: sunflower oil, flax oil, chicken fat and herring oil. Non-specific fat and oil sources should be avoided, these include: poultry fat, generic fish oil, animal fat and vegetable oil.
  • A minimum ration of 7:1 of Omega-6s to Omega-3s should be present or a fish oil supplement should be provided.
  • Mineral oil should be avoided.

What is Raw Feeding?

Raw feeding is another all natural approach to feeding your dog. Unlike commercially produced kibble, raw feeding centers on feeding dogs items that would be found in the wild. Raw feeding is also known as the BARF diet or Biologically Approved Raw Foods or Bones and Raw Foods; however, BARF is just one variety of raw feeding. The second type of raw feeding is known as the “prey model”. The principle of both of these types of diets is to feed uncooked meats, edible bones and organs.

BARF

The BARF diet is made up of 60 to 80% raw meaty bones and 20 to 40% fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, offal (internal organs or entrails) or dairy food.  Raw meaty bones are bones that have 50% meat on them and include chicken back, wings and neck.

The Prey Model

The prey model diet is designed to replicate the natural feeding proportions that animals experience in the wild. This diet is comprised of whole prey animals such as chickens, turkeys, hens and rabbits. Around 80% of the prey model diet consists of meat, 10% bone and 10% organs (5% of this is liver.) Those who focus on this method of naturally feeding do not believe that dogs require vegetation or carbohydrates and as such they simply focus on feeding meat from a number of different “prey animals.” There are some people who feed the prey model that also supplement with vegetable matter to provide more vitamins and minerals. Additionally some feeders of the prey model add fish oil to food items to increase fatty acid intake.

The Importance of Balance in Raw Feeding

To many, raw feeding may seem as easy as throwing a few pieces of raw meat in a bowl and feeding; however, balance in raw feeding is very important. A significant portion of the balance in raw feeding comes from variation in protein sources. By switching protein sources not only do dogs receive varied nutrients from the meat but they also receive varied stomach contents which make up a portion of carbohydrate and vegetation intake. Many opponents to raw feeding believe that obtaining a balance in raw feeding is not possible and rely upon research to back up their claims.

 

At Wholesome Pet Essentials we have several options for you to consider with raw feeding.   Frozen complete, Freeze Dried complete,  Freeze dried premixes,  dehydrated foods, etc.   All will provide a complete nutritional profile for your pet!   

How to Choose the Best Large Breed Puppy Food and Lower Your Dog’s Risk of Hip Dysplasia

The following is from the Dog Food Advisor website:

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/best-large-breed-puppy-food/

 

Choosing the best large breed puppy foods — and feeding them in the right amount — can significantly lower your dog’s risk of developing hip dysplasia during growth.1

That’s because the nutritional needs of large and giant breedpuppies are different from those of small and medium breeds.

And ignoring those needs can lead to crippling bone and joint disorders like:
Canine Hip Dysplasia Xray

  • Elbow dysplasia2
  • Osteochondrosis (OCD)
  • Canine hip dysplasia (CHD)
  • Developmental orthopedic disease (DOD)

However, before a dog owner can take steps to help prevent these conditions, it’s important to first understand the cause.

Why Large Breeds Are
at Greater Risk

Large breed puppies are those whose adult weight will ultimatelyexceed 50 pounds.3

When compared to smaller breeds, two important factors aboutthe way they grow make large breed puppies more prone to skeletal problems:

  1. They grow faster
  2. They remain puppies longer

A Labrador retriever can grow from just under a pound at birth to over 70 pounds in a year. That’s a whopping 70-fold increase in size in just 12 months.

In comparison, a human being can take 18 years to achieve results that are less than half that much.

What’s more, unlike smaller breeds that can be fed as adults at about 9-12 months, many larger breeds continue to grow and can still be considered puppies until 12 to 24 months.4

Rapid growth means the bones must change quickly — a factor that can put them at risk of forming improperly.

And it is this remarkable rate of growth that makes large and giant breeds so sensitive to nutritional imbalances.

The Protein Myth

Unfortunately, the Internet is awash with misinformation about how to feed large breed puppies.

For example, many insist that high levels of dietary protein can lead to hip dysplasia.

Yet contrary to that popular myth…

No evidence exists to link high protein intake to skeletal disease in large breed dogs.5

So, if high protein isn’t the problem — what is?

The Real Causes
of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

If you exclude all the less common factors, orthopedic disease in large breeds appears to be the result of at least one of 3 proven causes:

  • Genetics6
  • Overfeeding7
  • Excessive dietary calcium8

So, since after birth there’s nothing you can do to change your puppy’s genetics

It’s important to avoid overnutrition — feeding too many calories or too much calcium — to help lower your dog’s risk of hip dysplasia.

The Danger
of Overfeeding

Free choice is a popular feeding method in which the food remains in the bowl and continuously available — so a puppy can eat whenever it wants.

And many owners of large breed puppies mistakenly believe that this form of uncontrolled eating is the correct way to feed their pets.

However, free choice feeding has been shown to cause a puppy togrow too fast — and lead to serious problems.

For example, a 1995 German study of Great Danes demonstrated a significant increase in the risk of developing skeletal disease when the puppies were fed free choice.9

In another study, one group of Labrador Retriever puppies was fed throughout life a restricted calorie diet while a second was fed free choice.10

The restricted calorie group experienced a much lower incidenceand later onset of hip joint arthritis.

And Too Much Calcium

Like overfeeding, excessive dietary calcium has also been shown toincrease the risk of skeletal disease in large breed puppies.11

That’s because puppies can have trouble regulating how much calcium is absorbed from their intestinal tracts.12

And that’s not all.

Feeding too little calcium can also lead to problems.

That’s why it’s so important to feed a dog food that contains an amount of calcium believed to be safe for large breed puppies.

Recommended
Calcium Safety Guidelines

Unfortunately, although AAFCO13 has published nutrient profiles forpuppies in general

There are currently no AAFCO nutrient profiles designed to address the special needs of large breed puppies.

Yet fortunately, there’s general agreement among the experts that any food intended for large breed puppies should not only meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for growth, it should also contain:

  • 3500 to 4000 calories (kcal) per kilogram of food14
  • 3 grams of calcium per 1000 calories of food. That value should not exceed the safe upper limit of 4.5 grams15
  • A calcium-to-phosphorus ratio between 1.1:1 and 1.5:116

Although most AAFCO compliant puppy foods are suitable for small and medium breeds, only a few meet these special guidelines and can be considered safe for large breed puppies.

How to Check for
Safe Calcium Content

for the rest of this article and handy calculator tool please go to:

 

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/best-large-breed-puppy-food/

Introducing Acana Regionals

Announcing the addition of Acana Regionals!

From Champion Pet Foods…..the makers of Orijen.  Made from Canada’s best and freshest ingredients, ACANA Regionals reflect our local heritage and express the diversity of fresh authentic foods produced from western Canada’s vast ranchlands, rich prairies, fertile valleys, and pristine waters.

Rich in protein, low in carbohydrates and entirely grain-free, these unique and flavorful ACANA recipes feature 60-70% meat and 35-40% of fruits and vegetables to nourish cats and dogs completely.

  • RANCHLANDS acana_ranchlandsBlack Angus beef, Alberta Bison, Alberta Lamb
  • For Adult dogs of all breeds and sizes and we have them in both small and large bag sizes!

More exciting news coming soon with new options for single source protein foods for your allergic pets!

Comparing Dog Food Labels

To follow-up on dog food labeling here is a label from a leading seller that many think is a great pet food.

GUARANTEED ANALYSIS

  • 25.0%    Crude Protein (min)
  • 10.0%     Crude Fat (min)
  • 4.0%      Crude Fiber (max)
  • 14.0%    Moisture (max)
  • 1.5%     Linoleic Acid (min)
  • 1.0%     Calcium (Ca) (min)
  • 0.2 mg/kg   Selenium (Se) (min)
  • 10,000 IU/kg   Vitamin A (min

And here is a label from another less known dog food:

GUARANTEED ANALYSIS

  • Crude Protein 24% MIN
  • Crude Fat 15% MIN
  • Crude Fiber 3.5% MAX
  • Moisture 10% MAX
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids      0.5% MIN
  • Omega 6 Fatty Acids      2.6% MIN

Based on this guaranteed analysis they don’t look all that different do they?

 

But let’s take a look at the ingredient panel now…..

INGREDIENTS

Ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole wheat flour, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, chicken, soy flour, rice flour, propylene glycol, sugar, tricalcium phosphate, salt, phosphoric acid, potassium chloride, animal digest, mono and dicalcium phosphate, dried carrots, sorbic acid (a preservative), dried tomatoes, avocado, calcium propionate (a preservative), L-Lysine monohydrochloride, choline chloride, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, Yellow 5, manganese sulfate, niacin, Red 40, Vitamin A supplement, Blue 2, copper sulfate, Vitamin B-12 supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, garlic oil, Yellow 6, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin D-3 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), calcium iodate, folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite.

Manufactured by: Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, St. Louis, MO 63164 USA

 

And the second one:

INGREDIENTS

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Pearled Barley, Oatmeal, Sweet Potatoes,Brown Rice, White Rice, Dried Whole Egg, Menhaden Fish Meal, Millet,Chicken Fat, Dried Tomato Pomace,Safflower Oil, Herring Meal, Cheese,Flaxseed, Carrots, Broccoli,Cauliflower, Apples, Green Beans,Chicken Cartilage, Potassium Chloride, Cranberries, Blueberries,Salt, Monocalcium Phosphate,Chicory Root Extract, Alfalfa Sprouts,Calcium Sulfate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Sodium Selenite, Folic Acid,Taurine, Parsley, Sorbic Acid (Preservative), Vitamins, Minerals,Probiotics.

Fromm Family Foods LLC

 

Which one would you think is better for your dog?

The next time you go to pick up that bag of Beneful or other “grocery store/big box” brand please take a look at the label and think about it!

What’s All that Stuff in the Ingredient List?  

 

Here is a description of various ingredients that you might see in many pet foods.   This is from AAFCO…..   You may be surprised!

Meat is the clean flesh derived from slaughtered mammals and is limited to that part of the striate muscle which is skeletal or that part which is found in the tongue, in the diaphragm, in the heart or in the esophagus; It shall be suitable for animal food.

Meat Meal is the rendered product from mammal tissues, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices.  If the product bears a name descriptive of its kind, composition or origin it must correspond thereto., ie. Chicken meal, duck meal, lamb meal, etc.

And what you find in many other brands of pet foods carried by competitors:

Poultry By-Product Meal consists of the ground, rendered clean parts of the carcasses of slaughtered poultry such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines, exclusive of feathers except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices

Corn distillers’ grains – the residual grains or byproduct that contain the nutrients remaining after the starch from corn has been fermented to alcohol.

Animal Digest – material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue. The animal tissues used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth, hooves and feathers, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice and shall be suitable for animal feed.

Brewer’s Rice – the dried extracted residue of rice resulting from the manufacture of wort (liquid portion of malted grain) or beer and may contain pulverized dried spent hops in an amount not to exceed 3 percent.

Corn Gluten Meal – the dried residue from corn after the removal of the larger part of the starch and germ, and the separation of the bran by the process employed in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup, or by enzymatic treatment of the endosperm.

Dried Animal Digest – dried material resulting from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue. The animal tissue used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth, hooves and feathers, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice and shall be suitable for animal feed.

Poultry Digest – material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed poultry tissue.

Quality Ingredients provide amino acids (Proteins) as needed! READ your label!

Our last discussion related to crude protein and the difference in quality of proteins that can both produce the same result on the crude protein level.     So the quality of those protein producing ingredients in the key.   We have to have appropriate levels of various amino acids (building blocks of proteins) in order to meet the needs of your dog or cat.   An essential amino acid MUST be supplied by the diet.   A non-essential amino acid can be synthesized by the animal assuming sufficient “build material” is available in the diet.   There are 10 essential amino acids for dogs and 11 for cats (they also need taurine).       Since levels of amino acids are not typically listed (not required)  on the label we focus on the quality of the ingredients used to make sure they are provided.    So let’s move on the ingredient panel and look at those ingredients companies use to provide protein/amino acids:

Quality ingredients:  whole meats…..   duck, turkey, chicken, salmon, lamb, whitefish, bison, beef, pork….basically any decent quality meat.   The one somewhat deceiving thing is that a meat may be listed first on the label but that is based on the water it contains also….once it’s incorporated in the diet it may not contribute nearly as much as it appears.

Typically we then move on to quality meat meals….  Chicken meal, lamb meal, duck meal, salmon meal, turkey meal, bison meal, pork meal, anchovy & sardine meal, whitefish meal, etc.    Note, that the terms used here do not include by-product in the name.     These are pure meat meals.    Excellent quality protein products.

The quality foods we carry end it here.

Many competitor labels however move on to various other by-products mostly as an attempt to cheapen the diet because they cost considerably less than high quality meat meals.   Various possible ingredients on the label might include:

Poultry by-product meal (and other species by-product meals, meat meal, meat and bone meal, chicken liver flavor, animal digest, beef and bone meal, pork and bone meal, chicken by-product meal, hydrolyzed meals (code word for acid treated feathers, etc.) etc.

Beyond that then we move into grains/grain by-products that are terrible sources of amino acids for your pets.   They include such things as:

Ground whole grain corn, corn gluten meal, soybean meal* , ground whole grain wheat, brewers rice, distillers grains, whole wheat flour, soy flour, wheat middlings just to name a few.

*Soybean meal is technically from an oilseed and not a grain.   It is commonly lumped into the same category, however, as there have been reported cases of gastrointestinal distress in some dogs fed soybean meal based foods.

This does not consider white or brown rice or pearled barley used as a carbohydrate to form a kibble.     Our foods do not use these as a major protein source.

Please, remember you are feeding for amino acids which require a high quality protein source on the ingredient panel.     Grab your bag of Iams, Science Diet, Purina, Kibbles n Bits, Pedigree, Eukanuba, Ol’Roy, Nutro, 4-Health, Beneful, Bil-Jac, Hills Prescription Diet, Newmans, PMI Nutrition, Royal Canin, Sportmix, etc and bring it in to compare to one of our brand labels.  You may be shocked.    Or view ours on-line.    And then you have the Blue Buffalo story where the people manufacturing their food under a contract for them was using the lesser ingredients and just not putting them on the label……