Man, that was an intense movie. *wipes forehead*
As I was perusing Facebook yesterday, I saw a link from my friend Annette over at Biscuits By Lambchop that took me to a column about pet nutrition in the New York Times. “The truth about cat and dog food,” it is titled. You should read it. Then let me know what you think.
As far as I can tell, the gist of the article is this:
- Super premium pet food is rife with gimmicks.
- Most pet foods in the same quality range have similar ingredients.
- At the end of the day, what matters more than the ingredients is the fact that the food is “complete and balanced.”
Well. Without going into too much detail, let’s just say I have a slightly different take on those topics.
The article then segues to an interview with the authors of the new book Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding your Dog and Cat. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m dowloading it on my Kindle right now and I will be sure to report back. From my brief perusal, I actually think it’s going to be a pretty good read- nutritionist Marion Nestle’s human book What To Eat is very well regarded. Should be interesting.
Look, let’s just be real here for a minute, ok? I feed my pets commercial food. I do it because it’s convenient. I don’t do it because it’s healthier than taking the time to cook for my pets, and I certainly don’t do it as a way to reduce my carbon footprint.* If I had unlimited time and resources, I’d be in the kitchen whipping up some healthy fare for the pets on a regular basis.
Sadly, I’m not much of a home maker. I do slightly better with the humans in the house, though we have been known to have fish sticks at the ready in the freezer for hectic weeknights too.
Just as good as homemade, isn’t it?
Is that ever the case?
Processed food replacers have been around for quite some time. Convenience has always been a strong selling point.
An even stronger selling point? Not only is it more convenient, it’s better. Healthier. More scientific. You’d be a yokel not to trust in this scientific research.
I believe we have heard this one before.
(And before anyone starts getting upset, I both nursed and used formula for my kids so I’m not saying formula is poison. Let’s not even go there, OK?)
I think about how far the pendulum has swung away from feeding our pets any fresh food whatsoever- “You might POISON your dog! Haven’t you read about onions???” and it makes me sad. People are scared to even give their dog a carrot. Not only will it kill them, it’ll make them a relentless beggar. All processed, all the time is the only way to health! Does that make sense to anyone?
I’m very tempted to cook for my pets for a year as a kind of an experiment- a little bit of a learning project. I have a feeling that as long as it’s done with a little mindfulness, they won’t collapse of taurine deficient cardiomyopathy or crumple from nutritional hyperparathyroidism. I have no idea if I could actually do it, but I’d love to.
Do any of you home cook? Is anyone interested but has no idea how to go about it? What are your major obstacles? Inquiring minds want to know.
*A quote from the book: “The pet food industry serves an important ecological function by using up food that would otherwise be thrown out,” Dr. Nestle said. “If everyone cooked human food for the 472 million cats and dogs in America, it would be like feeding an additional 42 million people.”
yes, we make our dog food. Venison,green beans,elbow macaroni is the usual. we also have dry dog food on hand and give that to them with goats milk. mix it up a little. we save chicken stock and turkey stock for juice. We just put the frozen meat and stock in a crock pot few times a week, add veggies, add macaroni later and its all set. its not that hard or time consuming. been doing it about 2 years now.
I used to cook for one of our dogs before we figured out she had IBD and that was causing her tummy troubles. I used the book “Better Food for Dogs: A Complete Cookbook and Nutrition Guide” by David Bastin, Grant Nixon & Jennifer Ashton. It’s a pretty comprehensive book for how to feed your dogs a complete homemade diet (ignore the propaganda in the front if you like).
It probably took about a few hours a week (on a weekend, most of that waiting for protein to cook) to make up a batch that would last me the whole week for one dog. I blogged about it a bit here if you’re interested: http://www.kusine.com/2005/10/home-dog-food-cooking.htm
I may be touching a hot potato here because I know you like the relatively high end stuff but…. I do feel like it is full of gimmicks – I mean, is there proof that ‘all natural’ or ‘organic’ truly equates to ‘more nutrition’? I understand why people choose those foods for some other reasons (ie: owners like the idea of organic), but does it really matter nutritionally? (I’d be happy to be enlightened though because when I read what a lot of my colleagues are feeding and look at the Iams in my closet I do have a little bit of worry that I’m missing something – but my dogs look great and are quite healthy!)
I practice in a relatively economically depressed area and most of my clients feed their pets food that I would consider ‘absolute crap’. The majority of them do very very well, despite how I roll my eyes when I see ‘Feeds Ol’Roy’ on the chart before I walk into the room. I do try to get them to what I consider ‘middle shelf’ if no more reason than their pet will poop less and actually get more out of their food than just passing the fillers through.
Now cat food I think is a lot different… Our carb loaded commercial dry foods (I think) predispose a lot of our kitties to becoming diabetics among other things. To some degree I can see how that might be the case with dog food as well.
The real sad part is that in my nutrition class (singular) in school I was taught – hey it’s all complete and balanced, as long as your pet is healthy and requires no special diet, feed whatever brand you like.
Dr. V says
That is why I said, “I have a different take” as opposed to “I disagree.” Absolutely positively there are tons of gimmicks involved. I just think that permeates ALL types of pet foods (or really, any product that is being marketed.) Just like “organic” probably doesn’t add much to the quality, a bag with dyed ‘vegetables’ isn’t really healthier either. The only part I take issue with is lumping ‘ingredient type’ in with the other gimmicky stuff- while holistic/organic/etc may not make a difference, I do feel that feeding quality ingredients does. Not the same thing at all, imo.
With clients, I try to get them to feed one level better than what they are doing before. I wouldn’t tell someone feeding Ol Roy they should consider Acana- but I would try to get them to at least move to Iams, kwim? And the person on Iams I would try to move to Blue Buffalo, etc.
I always picture that scene from the Matrix where they’re eating that gruel that’s supposed to be ‘complete and balanced,’ and it strikes me that’s exactly what we do with our pets. I just don’t think heavily processed foods with supplements added back in are a good replacement, even if they meet certain baseline nutritional criteria. Whether or not it’s been borne out in nutritional studies, it’s more just intuitive to me that fresh ingredients are better. I certainly think that’s the case in humans, and I don’t see why dogs and cats are necessarily different in that one respect.
Whether or not ‘organic’ makes a difference… well, I used to not care. However, in human medicine there has been recent evidence pointing to a link between the development of Parkinson’s and the use of pesticides. I actually just learned this from a neurologist a couple weeks ago in one of my Ph.D. classes. While animals don’t have classic Parkinson’s, it makes me wonder which poorly understood diseases in them might be a result of pesticides? Perhaps we’re missing the boat entirely; I’m not sure. I agree that gimmicks dominate the marketplace on pretty much any pet food, and I think ‘natural’ is a ridiculous catch phrase. However, maybe ‘organic’ isn’t so over-hyped after all… with the lack of hard-core research in that area it’s really difficult to say. We have no evidence either for or against the benefits of organic products.
Lisa W says
I feed my kids Wellness dry food. My concern as much as anything is trying my best to get food that does not support factory farming or animal experimentation in any way (which includes keeping dogs and cats in little cages for their whole lives and feeding them the “new and improved” version of your food so that you can see how it affects them.). I am a vegetarian leaning toward vegan but I don’t expect my dogs to be the same. That being said, I would really like to be part of inflicting as little cruelty as possible. So I feed higher-end stuff due to that and less “fillers.” Maybe it is a lot of hype but, hey, it’s what I’m comfortable with.
That being said, I’d love to know more so I’ll definitely check out the reading material you suggested!
Heather T says
I feed my dog raw meat mixed with Dr. Harveys Miracle Health pre-mix,( also Udo’s Choice omega oil blend added as well), and my dog is thriving on it. I used to feed him Wellness Core, which is a good dry food, and my cats love it as well. Then, I decided to switch him to homemade. At first I did it all homemade, but then I was introduced to Dr. Harvey’s by my vet, who feeds it to her 2 dogs, and it’s the fresh, and easy to make for my dog. Just like for humans, I think the fresher the better 😉
One of my cats gets mostly raw (I use the powder mix from felinefuture.com with either chicken or turkey that I chop up, or use ground, depending on what’s available at the store), but the other two get grain-free canned Wellness. I’d love to feed all my cats a raw diet (if only because it’d be cheaper than buying canned) but my two girls were dry food addicts for a long time (they’re 11) and it was enough to get them over to a canned diet. Any cats I get in the future will get a raw diet though. 🙂
I’m just not that comfortable with the BARF diet and budget is a very big consideration around here. We have two large dogs and a cat. Because of one dog’s gastric issues we had to switch to Natural Balance Duck and Potato. No gastric problems, they love it. The cat is also on Natural Balance canned food and Wysong Uretic dry after UTI problems-all better!. The vet recommended this brand and told us a couple of other brands to avoid. Choosing a food/diet for our pets takes research and everyone will always have opinions and think what they decide is best.
Dr. V says
My kitty is on Natural Balance too. I like it quite a bit.
Very interested in reading the comments here. I feed my dog a rotation of premium foods, trying to make sure he gets the benefits that each has to offer (like quality proteins first on the ingredient list and avoiding corn, wheat, soy, etc.) I feed both dry and canned. I also stuff kongs with fruit (cantelope is the favorite) and carrots. I just don’t see how they could NOT be good for him. Homecooked appeals to me, but the convenience of commercial food wins out in the end. My cat, on the other hand, has IBD issues and is on Natural Balance venison and green pea canned, supplemented with Acana or Evo (grain-free) dry. I really can’t mess with her diet once I find something that agrees with her.
I’ve fed Wellness dry to everyone and canned to the seniors and occasionally to all for years after reading labels, contacting manufacturers and finding I liked this company, the ingredients of their food, and my cats live to their late teens and early twenties with few, if any health problems, especially the UTIs that plagued two of my boys no matter what I fed them. Still, I feed a raw or cooked meal about once a week, more often if venison from one of my friends who hunts or chicken from a farming friend is readily available, and that meal is just meat, nothing else. If I had the time and money, I’d cook for them all the time as I cook for myself, but a big household kind of gets in the way of that.
Jen L-N says
All my dogs and cats are on home-prepared – it has done wonders for my dog, who no longer has problems with calcium oxalate crystals, which she got repeatedly on any commercial food, as well as my cat with IBD (using the chicken recipe on catinfo.org). I make the food up in 1-month batches and have a freezer in the garage to store everything. Each container holds 2 days’ worth. The hardest part is getting a reliable source for good organ meat. I’m fortunate that my friend is a dog nutritionist, and helped me formulate the plan for the dogs.
I feed my dogs Avo, and my cats eat cat food by Halo. Neither are cheap, but all animals seem happy after eating so that works for me. For a long time I used lower commercial brands and I bought into some of the hype and upgraded. I think it would be amazing if I could homecook for my dogs. But, often times I barely even have time for myself.
I have friends who are terrified to feed their dog ANYTHING other than dog food. I try to stick to the basics for my dogs (some veggies, fruits, and organic meats) taking not of the ones that are labeled toxic. But, anything I’m feeding my dogs that’s “Human” food, is in pretty small amounts.
I’ll be interested to see what you think of the book. I might order it from my local library & read it. I can imagine dog food is just as political and human food.
tabitha w says
Well… I feed the three cats wellness wet food every day with some l-lysine mixed in it. My boy had crystals in the past and after we got them cleared up our previous vet said he had to be on this special dry food for life to prevent the crystals from coming back. Does any one know if this is true? I have always worried about these types of foods especially because the two girls also eat this dry food. Anyone know of a non-vet brand that works the same?
I Love reading all of the comments, thanks to everyone for sharing your wisdom!
I also read the NY Times article when Annette posted it and thought it was.. interesting.. to say the least. I have been all over the food spectrum when it comes to Pru’s food. We started out with Purina, moved on to Orijen, Acana, and finally we’re on to Honest Kitchen with some home cooking when I have the time. While it may be all “hype” or what not, Pru’s health is proof that something is right. On Purina, her coat was dull, she was always itchy, her ears were full of yeasty ick, and she would have the most horrible, soft, stinky poos. Now her coat glows, she’s no longer itchy, and her ear and poo problems have cleared up. And I’m so very much tired of being told I’m doing harm to my dog by adding a scoop of sweet potato to her food. *headdesk*
“And I’m so very much tired of being told I’m doing harm to my dog by adding a scoop of sweet potato to her food.”
Ashley, this is a marketing gimmick that’s been pounded into our heads from the pet food companies. The equivalent of a McDonalds type place that adds every vitamin and mineral humans need to every food they sell saying “You need to eat our food at every meal and don’t ever eat anything fresh or whole or you will be compromising your health because you won’t be getting every single vitamin and mineral you need at every single meal.” That sounds silly, doesn’t it? Could you imagine if a company came out and started saying that humans needed to eat only processed food?
Annette Frey says
Ashley, this is a great illustration because when you SEE something making a real-life difference in your pup (not a theoretical one), that’s what matters. And yes, a sweet potato — unless your dog is allergic to it, or if it’s soaked with some crazy fat gravy and loaded with spices and condiments that “might be” okay for us and not them, shouldn’t do any harm. In fact, can be a good thing!
I’ve been feeding home made since 1993.
The original diet was put together for me by a vet nutritionist, and (after *tons* of research) I started modifying it. Originally I did lots of (cooked) eggs, and sometimes beef or salmon or chicken with veggies and rice (and added calcium and a vitamin supplement). Over the years it morphed (different grains such as quinoa, more raw proteins), and for the last few years I’ve been doing a raw, “prey model” diet. My dogs are vibrantly healthy, and I do annual bloodwork to make sure calcium and phosphorus levels are where they need to be. They occasionally get other things, or one of the dehydrated diets.
I do tend to feed fosters kibble (Orijen or Pinnacle) just because it’s easier to keep an eye on their general health until I get to know them better that way. It feels weird every time I scoop it out, though–very unnatural. 😉
About 12 years ago, after moving up the commercial food chain, I tried Volhard. Wow, that was a crapload of work. Cooking grains, etc, jeez. I LIKE to cook and work from home, but that was WAAAY to much work for me. Still felt unsatisfied with what I was feeding my dogs (FRR & Innova). 10 years ago, I started feeding a raw diet based on a modified version of Sue Johnson’s “Switching To Raw” diet after reading Lonsdale, etc. Feeding raw, for me, just makes total common sense. I’ve never looked back. Lost the worried “is this good enough?” feeling. You have to throw away your preconceived notions about bugs in human food and how it affects us and look at the dog from a purely physiology of a dog POV. Strong, hinged jaws that don’t have flat teeth for grinding and no digestive enzymes to speak of in the mouth + an animal that doesn’t naturally produce the type of amylase needed to break down the cell walls of plants = an animal that is engineered to eat meat and bones, not grains and veggies. And since there aren’t any doggy campstoves… 🙂 Add to that digestive enzymes in the stomach that are a pH of 1-2 and you have an acid bath that kills most icky critters. Then you have a digestive tract that is proportionally much shorter than ours (4-5 hours from mouth to elimination vs. 12 hours for us) and any critters that survive the acid bath aren’t in the digestive tract long enough to build to dangerous levels. For me, the single most important benefit of a raw diet is the dental health, especially in my breed.
I think dogs are truly scavengers and can survive on most anything. They have a high tolerance for error. The guy who invented kibble in the 30s fed a dog ground cardboard as an experiment to see how long he would live. About 180 days, if I recall correctly. Go to b-naturals.com and go back through some of the old newsletters for the history of kibble. It’s fascinating.
As for “complete and balanced”, every meal I eat doesn’t contain every single vitamin and mineral I need. And humans are far more delicate creatures than dogs. It’s about variety over time.
Lastly, the expense is actually less for me than feeding a super-premium food. My dogs eat more in volume because fresh food contains more water, but I still only average 75 cents a pound for their food. Costs for dentals went way down, too. You have to get creative and usually buy in bulk….oh, and make friends with hunters! I also take freezer burnt meat from friends. My own form of recycling, as I believe if an animal gives it’s life for food, it should never be wasted. The dogs don’t usually care about freezer burn, which is, for the most part, only a texture issue.
I am not against kibble or anyone who feeds it, but feeding dogs raw (again, homecooked is really too much work for me; but I’m a REALLY good defroster!) is really not rocket science. It’s like anything; you can make it as complicated or as simple as you want. And we all have different tolerance levels. But, before I tried it, I had built it up in my head that it was going to be so difficult. And it just wasn’t. And still isn’t.
Interesting to know you (and others) find commercial food convenient, as homecooking has always been more convenient for me. If I was making a chicken breast I made two. Shared a can of spinach with the dog; let them have some spoonfuls of yogurt. Mix some leftover grilled fish in with their meal.
I do think ‘commercial’ food does have its place, and I will mix a grain free in with the ground meat, etc., but to say it alone is a balanced diet for a canine (domesticated or not) is just hard for me to swallow.
Still, anything is better than nothing at all.
I was very disappointed by the NYT article. First not ALL pet food is a byproduct of the human food chain (as speculated). Also, why are we educating people to only read the top 5 ingredients – customers should be aware of each ingredient that goes into their pets’ mouths.
This is one of my favorite articles on the people food vs. pet food conversation, and is a must read for anyone who needs to defend themselves for letting our dogs snack on carrots, or share a banana. http://www.usatoday.com/life/lifestyle/pets/2009-10-15-dolittler-people-food_N.htm
Dr. V says
I read that quote and thought of you guys. I almost put that quote in here as well but without finding where it was in the book, I wanted to see if it was taken out of context. It seems, as a standalone quote, a weird assertion to make.
I was inspired by Lucy’s quote in the HK cookbook to make this post, actually. She said something to the effect of, ” we spend more time obsessing over the nutritional analysis of our dog’s food than we do our kids- and they seem to make it just fine” and it rang so true!
I feed Summer a home-made diet. You may have run across this website before, but it’s really helpful because it has veterinary nutritionists that can formulate a diet for your pets. I sometimes use it for clients who express interest in home-made diets:
They sell their own supplement so you don’t have to worry about nutritional deficiencies. I feel that my dog has really improved in overall health since I began feeding home-made; she has been on so many antibiotics for diskospondylitis that she was just having a really hard time with digestion, but the home-made diet seemed to clear all that up. Don’t ask me why because I don’t have an explanation; I just know she’s doing a lot better with it, so we continue with home-made.
Isis, on the other hand, remains on canned Wellness and has done very well with it. I tried home-made at one point and then discovered she was allergic to the Halo supplement I was using (long story). So, I gave up on home-made with her for the time being.
Thanks for posting this link, macula_densa. I can hardly wait to go check it out.
Dr. V says
I was going to contact them about trying some recipes out for the blog.
I think that would definitely be worth doing. I’m thankful to have them as a resource, as sometimes I really feel as though commercial diets fall short of what animals really need, especially in cases of complicated medical issues. For owners that are willing to cook, I always advocate their home-made diets for medical issues over the commercial prescription diets.
Dr. V says
Agreed. I’ve sent a few clients their way already.
Annette Frey says
Well said Dawn. I know dogs are different than people but absolutely I have never run my own food (okay well once, just to see “something”) through Nutritiondata.com, like I did for Lambchop but he had a lot of health issues I was balancing in cooking for him so fat, sodium and phosphorus were super important. Aside from that, I — and most people, don’t balance every or even many or most of our own meals and balancing our meals are no less important than our dog’s. Balance over time is most important, as is quality food. For example an egg has one of the highest bioavailability of protein whereas soy are quite low. Variety also helps widen the spectrum of nutrients.
My girl Starlet is on a raw diet too. I was always talked out of it with Lambchop but with Starlet I got 2 things the day after she came to live with us (the day after, because it was a Sunday) — health insurance and a raw diet (changed over slowly of course).
I noticed that they list tofu as a potential protein source for kitties. This seems like a huge no-no to me, thoughts?
I would tend to agree with you, but their supplement for cats contains the often-missing amino acids such as taurine, so I assume they’re making up for it with the amount of supplement they recommend.
I personally would never put a cat on a vegetarian diet, regardless.
I feed my dog a raw food, prey model diet, just like Roo does above. I add salmon oil, vitamin E, vitamin C, Kelp and Alfa-alfa as supplements, and sometimes he gets a few vegetables ground in the mixer and combined with ground turkey. I try to think of the food as needing to be “balanced over time” – meaning that not every single meal needs to be completely balanced. Kane has mild hip dysplasia but is in excellent health and perfect weight according to my vet (who is not pro-raw, but understanding.) When we go backpacking I use a dehydrated raw diet that mixes with water. Raw takes a little bit of effort, cutting up chickenbacks, ordering in bulk for best pricing etc, but I feel I am doing the absolute best for my pal.
My two cats are on a homemade raw diet as well – ground whole turkey that I mix with a more complete list of supplements found in a recipe by Lisa Pierson online after much research. My male cat was having constant UTIs, which are now gone. Most likely due to all the extra liquid he consumes with the raw diet. They are both 12 years old, energetic and playful and have even shed a few pounds from being on this diet.
Great discussion, Dr. V! I tell all my friends that it’s a choice I’ve made after much research and what I can live with as far as convenience vs. “work” with feeding a certain diet. Thanks for a great post!
It’s very helpful. If you don’t see ingredients you like in the recipes they provide, I recommend e-mailing them. Those who aren’t vets do end up getting charged for the recipes, but I think it’s worth it to get recipes from people that actually know what they’re doing nutritionally.
BTW, I had a comment on something you wrote above. We do see animals in the clinic with Campylobacter and Salmonella infections from eating a raw diet. I don’t necessarily disagree with the premise of feeding raw, but the problem is that most people will buy raw right out of the grocery story, and that meat has been handled and sitting around a lot compared to a fresh kill. This gives bacteria a chance to multiply. So, all the theories about dogs and cats having complete resistance to bugs found in raw meat is really not true, in my experience. I do, however, advocate companies that sell raw diets who have quality control on their products to control for coliform growth, etc.
Annette Frey says
The most striking thing in the article, to me, was the quote:
“The pet food industry serves an important ecological function by using up food that would otherwise be thrown out,” Dr. Nestle said. “If everyone cooked human food for the 472 million cats and dogs in America, it would be like feeding an additional 42 million people.”
The idea that dogs should be garbage disposals and that they use up real food that humans could be eating is beyond my comprehension.
When Lambchop developed kidney failure (after a drug interaction from contraindicated drug pairing — steroids & NSAID’s), I had to cook for him since he already had a history of pancreatitis and significant fat intolerance and those 2 diets generally contradict each other (the lowest phosphorus foods are usually the highest in fat) and in fact the Rx. renal diets where way too high in fat for him, plus add in his food allergies. After having digestive problems his entire life, it was only after learning to cook for him that I was really able to identify the food allergies (since dog foods have way too many ingredients and additives in them to do so). When I was able to discern his food intolerances, it was amazing how his digestive problems improved. And he never had another episode of pancreatitis either.
With Starr, I decided to try raw and it has been a wonderful diet for her. In fact, her vet, who always talked me out of raw with Lambchop, thinks she is doing so well on it, is now open to it and has asked me to speak with a few other clients who wanted to feed raw too.
Dr. V says
I didn’t know that was how Lambchop ended up with kidney disease. How awful. 🙁
Mulan was an overweight food allergic dog with renal disease and cancer. Commercial was not an option at the end.
Annette Frey says
Oh boy, I can sympathize. Lambchop had 2 plasmacytoma recurrences after the renal failure. What did you feed Mulan then?
Shelley @ Green Eggs & Hamlet says
Thanks for alerting me to the Times article, I found it very interesting. I feed my Boston Terrier, Hamlet, Purina Pro Plan dog food. It is the lamb and rice formula and I will admit that I was lured by the bag’s claim of “antibiotic and hormone free” as Hamlet has skin issues and sometimes a sensitive stomach. However, this pet food is around $30 for a bag that lasts us almost three months – VERY affordable, in my opinion. He also gets some snacks of banana, carrot, etc.
I have considered cooking for him but the commercially-produced pet food is SO convenient and I know that he is getting a complete and balanced diet from it. Plus, I had never thought of Dr. Nestle’s claim that, “If everyone cooked human food for the 472 million cats and dogs in America, it would be like feeding an additional 42 million people” but it seems to make sense.
Like most things in life, what you feed your pets is a personal decision and it’s great that there are so many choices for packaged dog food and resources for home cooks.
I am terribly conflicted regarding super-premium pet foods. I do think some of it is gimmick-y and plays on our emotions and gut reactions. I have been struggling with what to feed my dog for months now… I have visited the website of every premium and ultra premium site, compared ingredients (and prices, unfortunately…) and I still don’t know what to choose. There is so much conflicting information and evidence, that there doesn’t seem to be a clear and perfect answer. (I do want to go commercial, I’m a vegetarian and while I don’t want to inflict that on my pets, I’m not comfortable feeding them raw meat, or cooking it myself…)
But problems I am running in to…
-Wellness was bought a few years ago by WellPet, which outsources much of its production to Menu Foods.
-I just went to a behavior conference with one of the best vet. behaviorists in the world. He said that dog foods containing more than 21% protein exacerbate aggression problems in aggression-prone dogs. Blue Buffalo WIlderness, Taste of the Wild, Evo, etc… have 25% to 30% + protein. Which sounds great to us, (more protein! More meat! I’m doing a great thing!) But how many people are creating or exacerbating problems unknowingly? (Most run-of-the-mill dog foods I’ve looked at stay at the 21% protein ratio.)
-Natural Balance dry for dogs is outsourced to Diamond Pet Food. They had to recall food awhile back for aflotoxin. I don’t necessarily consider it a concern now, but how many people shy away from grocery-store brand foods because they are made by places like Diamond, (and think that a premium food like Natural Balance is made in their own little factory,) when in fact they are outsourced there?
-Halo cat food seems awfully heavy on the vegetables to me. Why would an obligate carnivore need a food heavy on zucchini, squash, celery, carrots, green beans, green peas, sweet potato and pumpkin? Yes, its words that we can identify (instrad of ingredients we can’t pronounce…) but is that really what my cat needs?
Conflicted much?? I have to go lay down now. My head is spinning. LOL.