Thanks for taking the time to browse our Dog Food Reviews. We try our best to make navigation through the entire site of Appreciate Goods very easy for you. This is a very important article for the health and well-being of your best friend so please do take ample note of the content written herein by our team of experts and advisers. It may help save your dog from undue mental or physical sickness cause by ‘industrial standard’ dog food.
As you go along, you may find that our opinions may differ from some of the so-called good reviews listed on Amazon or any other sites. In many cases, we are very controversial and not in agreement with most of the reviews that were given so positively.
It is not that we are trying to go against people’s opinions. We have conducted a very simple survey for 129 dog owners and a shockingly huge number (82%) of these people have no idea what to look out for in when buying dog food. They do not even know which key ingredients are good or bad for their dogs. This simple survey had helped us build up the much needed inspiration to spend our time to review some of the most controversial dog food in our society today.
Do your research carefully before buying something so important and consumable to your best friend especially if it is pregnant, nursing or have any allergies. In our opinion, even the very best dog food is not suitable to all kind of dogs.
Our Research Regime:
- We did a survey with 129 dog owners to find out about their knowledge on dog food nutrition
- Read 59 trustworthy articles throughout the world about the concern of dog food
- Three experts who are specialized in the dog niche contributed to this blog post
- We search thoroughly on the history of dog food brands across the world
Our Top 7 Favorite Brands After Reviewing:
Does Dog Food Have a “One size Fits All”?
The answer is NO! There is no one brand or food that fits all kind of dogs. It depends on his or her size and their level of activity. The age and life stage of your dog also plays a crucial role in their diet. A puppy dietary needs is very different to an adult dog.
Toxic Dog Foods Reduce a Dog’s Life Span
It always pays to stick to brands that have proved themselves. With dog foods, when it comes to ensuring your four-legged friend is wet-nosed, energetic, bright eyed and bushy tailed, you want the best food there is.
Your dog’s diet should include the correct balance of major nutrients – fats and oils, proteins, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and water. Age, gender, breed, life style and reproductive status all play a role when it comes to choosing the correct food for your dog to eat.
Dogs are similar to humans in a number of ways – they also suffer from allergies and skin disorders. These problems can often be laid firmly at the feet of a poor diet. Feeding dogs a processed food diet can lead to a weakened immune system that leads to skin problems and other illnesses. That is why we took the time to write this article so you will be better informed about what’s good and bad for your dog.
Provide your Dog with the Tools to Keep Healthy
By returning to a more wholesome diet you can restore your pet’s bright eyes and shiny coat. So what should we be looking out for when buying dog food? The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has given guidelines regarding the claims a pet food company can make on its labels.
Have a good look at the label and read and understand the ingredients which are listed by weight. You’ll find that ingredients such as chicken, beef and fish, which contain large amounts of moisture, will be at the top of the list. Take note of ingredients such as glutens, grains and by-products, as these are the products which create controversies.
While grain is regarded as a good source of carbohydrates, some people don’t want this in the dog food they buy as they claim it causes allergic reactions. What other aspects should you look out for when buying dog food?
- look out for nutritional-statements. These will say things such as ‘This pet food is complete and balanced for all-age dogs’ or ‘complete and balanced for senior dogs’, and so on. Puppies will have completely different needs to an adult- or senior dogs, so read your label carefully from the brand you rely on.
- check the label for the ‘proximate analysis’ as this will guide you as to the amount of protein, fat, and fiber the food contains. On the side of the packet, you’ll find the suggested amount of food you should be providing for your pet.
Problems with the Way Pet Foods are Produced
Pet lovers are becoming wise to the tricks of manufacturers. They remember the year 2007 when pet food from leading brands was recalled for melamine contamination and cyanuric acid. Not long after this, thousands of dogs died from eating chicken jerky treats imported from China.
Some Pet Food Manufactures Implicated in False Labeling
Tyson Pet Products – this pet food manufacturer sold products with misleading information and incorrect labeling. Labels read ‘Made in the USA’ when in fact the ingredients were sourced from foreign countries.
Blue Buffalo – this pet food manufacturer has been accused of false advertising after testing showed that poultry by-product meal was present in some of their top selling pet foods. When faced with undeniable evidence from the lawsuit, Blue Buffalo actually came out admitting that they were selling dog food which contained poultry by-product meal.
Brands That Were Cut Because of Their Low-Quality Ingredients:
- Nutro Ultra
- Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets
- Royal Canin
- Breeder’s Choice
- Natural Planet
- Now Fresh
- Nutro Natural
- Pet Naturals of Vermont
- Himalayan Dog Chew
- Chicken Soup
- Hill’s Prescription Diet
- Hill’s Science Diet
- Iams Veterinary Formula
- Nummy Tum-Tum
Types of Dog Food and how they Differ from One Another
- Canned wet food – all supermarkets stock this pet food. It has a long shelf life. Most canned dog food is about 75% water. The more water, the less nutritious, so you’ll have to feed your dog more. Go with a good brand and a USA label that says 100% nutritionally complete or ‘complete and balanced’ if it comes from the UK.
- A raw diet – dogs have strong stomach acid so they can easily digest raw food. Before dogs were domesticated they used to live on raw meat and some bone. The bone provides some phosphorus and calcium. Raw meat in the diet is imperative for the health of your dog. Before you switch to a raw diet, chat to your veterinarian.
- Semi-moist dog food – avoid at all costs commercial foods shaped like burgers and chops. They are low in nutrition and contain artificial flavoring and coloring.
- Kibble or Dry food – doesn’t require refrigeration. Keeps teeth free of tartar. Choose a brand with wholesome ingredients. Vets keep a wide choice of dog foods which have been formulated to support puppies, adult dogs, senior dogs and dogs with various conditions such as liver- or urinary disease. These provide the correct nutritional balance to dogs with certain ailments. Premium brands like these use higher quality ingredients which mean better digestibility for your dog and better health.
Wholesome Ingredients and how they relate to your Dog
According to the ASPCA, the following nutrients have tremendous immune-enhancing abilities for your dog. Your dog will be energetic, alert and vibrant and skin irritations and illnesses will be a thing of the past.
- protein – essential for your pet’s good health as it provides amino acids necessary for protein production. Protein deficiency can lead to a depressed immune system.
- carbohydrates – provides your pet with a valuable source of energy
- minerals – helps with developing strong teeth and bones
- fats – also provides energy for dogs and play an important role in the production of hormones. A dogs diet requires essential fatty acids as dogs can’t synthesize them in sufficient amounts on their own.
- vitamins – promotes normal metabolic function in the right amounts
Most dog food in the market today is Considered Dangerous
Not even the dog food your vet sells can be trusted. During manufacture, foods can be contaminated with pesticides, and the cheaper, unknown brands have little nutrition. Some experts on dog food even suggest that ‘complete and balanced’ simply means the foods meets minimal health requirements for the average dog.
Feeding the same manufactured food day after day limits nutrition too and dogs, just like humans, require variety in their diets to avoid intestinal upsets. Good nutrition can restore a dog’s troubled digestive system.
Just remember that information on quality control in manufacturing isn’t required on pet food labels. If you are unsure about the labeling, ingredients and methods of manufacture, call the consumer relations department and get information. A reputable manufacturing company with a good product will always be open to discussion.
Our Top 7 Dog Food Brands:
They meet the nutrient profiles of the AAFCO (Association of the American Feed Control Officials); they typically contain above-average amounts of protein when compared with typical, more mediocre dog foods; and they contain real meat as primary protein sources:
Eagle Pack has existed since 1985 and believes in not only using the right balance of proteins, fats, carbs, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids to produce high-quality foods, but they also work with stores that sell their products to train employees to have a complete understanding of pet nutrition and the Eagle Pack recipes.
Their food includes plant-based kibble with average amounts of proteins, carbs, and fat.
They add no fillers or artificial preservatives to their products. Also, no corn, wheat, meat by-products, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives are added. Further, the food contains guaranteed levels of probiotics as well as antioxidant support, and it contains omega fatty acids and DHA to support healthy growth in large-breed puppies.
Most of their products are not very high in protein, but the quality of their ingredients still puts this company in the highest ranks of dog foods available.
Founded in 2005, Nature’s Logic has been establishing a philosophy of “whole food nutrition” – they believe in using organic, non-GMO ingredients, and they add no man-made, chemically synthesized vitamins, minerals, or amino acids, chemical preservatives, flavorings, or colorings.
They also include no corn, wheat, soy, rice, potatoes, tapioca, or peas in their products, and for the meat sources they use only clean muscle meat with no internal organs, feathers, feet, or heads.
Nature’s Logic’s product line consists mainly of plant-based kibble that is low in carbs and very high in protein as it contains significant amounts of various meat sources. It contains meat meals instead of whole meats – the former have moisture already removed from the content and is thus a very concentrated form of protein, but still equally nutritious to whole meats. The meats used include beef, duck, venison, chicken, fish, and rabbit.
However, the company also makes raw food, treats, and supplements.
As could be expected from any top-of-the-range dog food, most customers rave about their dogs racing to their food and loving every bite. Signature Pet Products, who produces Hi-Tek, is a 2nd generation family-owned company that proudly produces a range of “natural” products and one of natural, grain-free products.
While all dog owners (and vets) are not entirely in agreement that grain-free diets are actually necessary (or good) for all dogs, Hi-Tek is definitely one of the best ones on the market for those who do believe in the difference that grain-free dog foods make.
The dog foods include plant-based kibble with near-average amounts of fat and low amounts of carbohydrates.
Although they contain protein-boosting peas and flaxseeds, they also contain significant amounts of chicken, lamb, or salmon meals as primary protein sources, along with other ingredients such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, pork meal, eggs, tomatoes, blueberries, and raspberries.
Pinnacle is produced by Breeder’s Choice. Established in 1947, this company boasts a limited-ingredient diet of superior, natural ingredients, claiming that with fewer ingredients in their products even pets with sensitive systems should be able to benefit from the foods’ health benefits.
Food produced by Pinnacle has been stated to not be genetically modified, but this could not officially be certified yet.
All ingredients, including vitamins, minerals, and probiotics, are combined using a special formula that the company claims delivers complete and wholesome nutrition.
The dog foods include plant-based kibble with low amounts of fat but high amounts of carb. Protein levels are not as high as in most other premium dog foods, as the food only contains moderate amounts of meat. Meat ingredients include primarily poultry meal and fish, but also trout, duck, and turkey.
The company also produces canned foods as well as some grain-free foods.
Manufactured by Champion Pet Foods, Orijen earns enthusiastic reviews from customers for products that are so excellent their ingredients have in fact been deemed fit for human consumption.
The company places a large emphasis on animal protein (products contain 75-80% meat), and they only use free-range poultry, whole eggs, wild-caught fish, and ranch-raised red meats. All of their products are exclusively prepared in Kentucky and they employ uniquely designed processes for which they’ve won numerous awards.
The product line includes grain-free, meat-based (not plant-based) kibble that is high in protein and fat but low in carbs and contains various meats and organs as main animal protein sources. The food also contains high-quality vegetables and fruits such as alfalfa, pumpkin, butternut squash, spinach, carrots, apples, pears, cranberries, and blueberries.
The company also manufactures treats and freeze-dried foods. They do not make canned foods yet.
Foods are preservative-free and use chelated or proteinate minerals, making the food easier for dogs to digest.
Fromm is family-owned and was founded in 1904.
Safety is their highest priority and they follow various programs to ensure that ingredients are tested at suppliers and on-site before being used in production. Their packaged foods are also sampled and tested by an outside lab for any pathogenic bacteria.
All ingredients are sourced in the USA, except for some vitamins and minerals imported from Europe.
The Fromm product line includes plant-based kibble that has average amounts of protein, fat, and carbs. The kibble contains fresh meat (especially chicken), produce, whole eggs, and even real cheese. It also includes important grains such as brown rice and oatmeal, and it contains no corn or wheat. The food also includes omega fatty acids that promote good health in larger breed dogs.
The puppy foods include salmon oil for a healthy coat and probiotics for improved digestion.
The company also produces canned food.
Stella & Chewy’s are in the raw food business and do not provide any dry kibble or canned foods. They include premium, free-range ingredients in their foods, including only grass-fed meat, cage-free poultry, wild-caught fish, and organic fruits and vegetables.
Their food contains 95% meat, nutrient-rich organs, and bones, and does not contain any grains, gluten, fillers, added hormones, or antibiotics. However, minerals and vitamins, as well as probiotics and antioxidants, are still added to create a balanced meal.
The company sources all of its meat from the USA, Australia, and New Zealand, and all non-meat ingredients are sourced from the USA and South America.
The food comes as either freeze-dried, which is a convenient way of providing raw food that doesn’t need to be thawed, or frozen meals.
The raw food is low in fat and carbs, and free of any plant-based protein boosters as it contains significant amounts of meat.
Do Research – Avoid Potential Dangerous Ingredients
It is possible for your 4-legged family member to live a long and healthy life without you living in fear of it getting cancer. Prevention of an ill pet should be your focus. A poor diet is believed to be the main cause of a malfunctioning immune system which accounts for so much illness.
Do research on dog foods – there are good and bad brands – and just like you research your own foods for your own good health, your pet deserves to be protected from the onslaught of toxic foods and false claims.
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