7 WORST DOG FOOD BRANDS to AVOID@ Recipes 4 Gourmet Dogs

Top BEST and WORST Dog Food comparison chart shows the progression from a quality dog food to a cheap corn based dog food –  SEE THE DIFFERENCE here – DOG FOOD INGREDIENT COMPARISON CHART (new page) 


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Feeding low quality, corn based dog food make your dog more prone to illnesses, allergies and a shorter life. The worst dog food for your dog has corn as the # 1 ingredient, along with other harmful, cancer causing ingredients, including chemicals, preservatives and unnecessary additives.

MORE INFO ABOUT Worst Dog Food Ingredients to avoid:
Chech this out

 DOGS ARE CARNIVORES , they need meat, NOT CORN.

Worst dog food brands for your dog listed here should be avoided if possible.

All these examples have corn as the main ingredient. Use these foods as a comparative guide to see what you should NOT be feeding your dog.

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Worst Dog Food Brands Listed in no particular order:


worst dog food brands


Chicken, whole grain corn, barley, rice, chicken by-product meal, whole grain wheat, corn gluten meal, beef tallow preserved with mixed-tocopherols, soybean meal, oat meal, poultry by-product meal,, glycerin, egg and chicken flavor, mono and dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, salt, potassium chloride, poultry and pork digest,, avocado, dried carrots, dried tomatoes, MINERALS [zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite], VITAMINS [Vitamin E supplement, niacin, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, 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 (Vitamin K), folic acid, biotin], choline chloride, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 2, garlic oil, Yellow 6.




Ground yellow corn, corn germ meal, meat and bone meal, soybean meal, beef tallow preserved with mixed tocopherols (form of vitamin E), animal digest (source of chicken flavor), salt, potassium chloride, beef & liver meal, dried cheese powder, dl-methionine, added color, choline chloride, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, vitamin E supplement, niacin, vitamin A supplement, calcium carbonate, copper sulfate, brewers dried yeast, calcium pantothenate, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B-12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin d-3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, calcium iodate, *menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), ,, folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite.


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Ground yellow corn, soybean meal, ground whole wheat, corn syrup, poultry fat, Meat and bone meal, Animal Fat Preserved with BHA and Citric Acid, Chicken by-product meal, Rice, Animal Digest, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Vitamin D and E Supplement, Niacin, Copper Sulafate, Manganous Oxide, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, *menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), , Calcium Iodate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Cobalt Carbonate, Folic Acid, Sodium Selenite, Folic Acid




Corn, soybean meal, beef and bone meal, ground wheat flour, animal fatbha used as preservative, corn syrup, wheat middlings, water sufficient for processing, animal digest (source of chicken flavor), propylene glycol, salt, hydrochloric acid, potassium chloride, caramel color, sorbic acid (used as a preservative), sodium carbonate, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), choline chloride, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, D-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), calcium sulfate, titanium dioxide, yellow 5, yellow 6, red 40, BHA (used as a preservative), dl methionine


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Whole grain corn, poultry by-product meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), corn gluten meal,meat and bone meal, brewers rice, soybean meal, barley, whole grain wheat, animal digest, calcium carbonate, salt, calcium phosphate, potassium chloride, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, choline chloride, zinc sulfate, Vitamin E supplement, zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, added color (Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 2, Yellow 6) , DL-Methionine, manganese sulfate, manganese proteinate, niacin, Vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, copper proteinate, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride, Vitamin B-12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, Vitamin D-3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, calcium iodate, *menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), ,, folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite.

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Ground Whole Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, Rice, Corn Gluten Meal (Source of Lutein*), Animal Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Source of Vitamin E), Natural Poultry Flavor, Wheat, Potassium Chloride, Wheat Flour, DiCalcium Phosphate, Salt, Brewers Dried Yeast, Carmel Color, Vegetable Oil (Source of Linoleic Acid), Calcium Carbonate, Taurine, Vitamins (dl-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate [Source of Vitamin E], Choline Chloride, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate [Source of Vitamin C*], Vitamin A Acetate, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement [Vitamin B2], Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Marigold Meal, Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide), Added FD&C and Lake Colors (Yellow 6, Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5).



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Chicken, Corn Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken By-Product Meal, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Flavor, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Dried Egg Product, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Flax Meal, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Fructooligosaccharides, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement (source of vitamin B2), Inositol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate), L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, DL-Methionine, Brewers Dried Yeast, L-Carnitine, Rosemary Extract


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  1. Pingback: 7 WORST DOG FOOD BRANDS! Eating These Mean Danger For Your Dog - The Science Of Eating

  2. I got my first dog, a Basenji, from a backyard breeder who boasted about feeding her dogs Pedigree. In restrospect it was horrifying but I was ignorant. The pup I bought had never been inside a home. You could smell & hear her backyard, which was a mass of churning Basenji bodies, from the sidewalk. She wouldn’t take a check; she required cash. Once home, I discovered he had fleas, he stunk, & he had really bad dandruff.

    I bought him Prairie dog food. Corn & wheat free, not cheap but not insanely expensive. Within 2 weeks his coat was softer, his stink went away, & his dandruff was minimal. That was my 1st experience with how important what we feed our pets is.

    Then I got an American Bulldog & I entered the wonderful world of Dogs With Exceptional Skin Allergies. Since then it’s just been years of trying different foods. I never ONCE considered one of the crap brands in the above list, but let me show you (includes pictures) what happened to my dog after just a few days of a crap brand dog food: https://philosophyoffur.wordpress.com/2017/03/27/hills-prescription-zd-wow-that-was-a-bad-idea/

    Congratulations to these militant people standing by their crap dog food. I’m glad if works for your dog & you get to save a lot of money. Good for you. Thank you to researchers & writers who help shed light on this issue that is a major cause of stress for those of us with dogs that CAN’T tolerate the crap food.

  3. My dog is 14 years old and I have always fed her kibble n bits mixed with and an all natural soft food. I don’t believe that these types of dog food shorten a dogs life span. Heck iv been feeding her this way for as long as I can remember and she is health and has tones of energy and again my dog is 14! ( sometimes i think she believes she’s still a pup) I have never been told to change her diet even by my vet. My point to this story is that not everything you read is true yes these products have grain and by products. But if you think about it even people food is processed and is full of fake nutrients. These days the only way for you and your dog to eat health would be make everything from scratch. even the brands that are on the safe list are processed and still are not good no matter how you look at it BECAUSE ITS PROCESSED.

  4. Lisa,

    I have 2 boxers and 2 Great Danes…we have been on Diamond since my Danes were pups (they are 2 and a half now) they love it!!

    I used to have my boxers on Royal Canin…the boxer formula, but it was so expensive!

  5. Nancy, as Dori seemed to be saying, Purina foods were working on her pets. I also use Purina One along with some Dynovite for my dogs. They seem to be doing extremely well, all in the past have live to what was considered very old age, and appear healthy, not over weight, and love the food. It all depends on what works for you I would think. If we told everyone that they could only give their dogs the higher priced, what I call “designer” type foods, there would be a lot more dogs without homes. Just my opinion.

  6. I agree with you…I have used Purina for many years. My vet approves and she goes to classes ( yearly ) to keep updated on many things. My dogs are healthy and NOT over weight. They get vetted yearly and RARELY have to go in between. I was actually shocked to see so many Purina products and few of walmarts brand on the ‘bad ‘ list. Yes, I have tried others, Blue, taste of wild, Merritts, etc. The only two out of many mine would eat was 4health and Merricks….I am sticking to Purina until…???

  7. I have to warn about defending Purina. My dad raised dogs on it and it might have been good then. Now, not so much. Look at the ingredients and then look at the recalls, and the amound of dogs that have died. It’s a different age. I would never feed Purina to my dogs and that includes the spinoff brands they have purchased. It just isn’t good food.

  8. So I guess I can only speak to my experience with my pup. When we adopted her she had two obstructive struvite stones (very common type of stone according to our trusted vet). She was prescribed Hill’s C/D, and at first we were happy with the brand (not a cheap option I might add, considering it costs $120 at out local vet’s office for a 35lb bag). ($3.4 per pound of food). She was on Hill’s C/D for 6 months and nibbled on it throughout the day with disinterest, ended up gaining weight, and had a decreased amount of energy. I decided to consult an additional veterinarian who is certified and balances holistic approaches.
    I put her on freeze dried Artisan chicken food ($60 for a 10 lb bag which makes 55 lbs of food once re-hydrated). ($1.09 per pound of food).

    The ingredients are higher quality and the price was right considering I am NOT RICH! lol
    Artisan Chicken: $1.09 per pound
    Hills C/D: $3.40 per pound
    Anyway, end of the story is my dog loves this food (licks her bowl clean), and has a dramatically increased level of energy. Her coat also has more shine to it, and no dandruff. The vet verified that her urinalysis indicated this food was maintaining her health. *I also mix her food with filtered water per suggestion a friend who has had dogs with stones in the past. If her kidneys cannot properly filter minerals, than filtered water might help.
    So, that’s my long winded way of saying that getting off of Hills helped me in this circumstance. But every dog is different.

  9. To Deb and Carrie,
    I think the point is, if you can afford to feed your dog like family, here is information to help you to find it, or at least to let you know what ingredients to avoid. I suspect the dog food industry is now more carefully regulated than that for human foods, because they used to put SO much garbage into dog foods (ex, rendered euthanized pets from shelters and experimental labs could count under the definition of “meat digest”!). It’s important to learn what all the definitions actually mean–i.e. what constitutes “meat by-products” or “meat digest” so you know what you are feeding. The feed industry has come a long way since the “dirty thirties”.
    That said, I once had a foster Collie who threw up every premium food I tried. Guess it was just too rich for him. I finally bought plain old rock bottom Purina Dog Chow. (I went to the grocery at night, and hid it under my coat, lest someone I know might SEE me with such an awful product!) He did fine on this food. I used to avoid ANY product that contained corn, until I learned that it might be better for dogs only fed once a day, because of its more positive effect on the body’s glycemic index.
    Bottom line–the best food for YOUR dog is the one that WORKS for him.

  10. @ Sheli

    You work in the veterinary industry explains everything of you comment. As the medical field for humans, you are not there to help nurture and educate health and good living, but the use and promotion of drugs and prescriptions. By informing better eating habits and the makeup of the food you feed to your pets, you and your industry would rather continue feeding the fillers and 4Ds, so your industry can grow. Where does your industry send the pets that are put down? Yes, to the render who sells to your cheap sub-grade food source, including the collars and flea and tick collar’s not to mention the drugs used to put down the pet. You go right ahead and feed your animals that garbage. If it weren’t for their own willingness to live they would be otherwise.

  11. @Greggo – good that your feeding your dogs real meat & veggies but do I understand correctly that you throw it in a pot and cook it together including the bones? My question is are you feeding them the cooked bones as well or do you take them out before feeding. I’m sure you must be aware that cooked bones are extremely dangerous for dogs as they become brittle when cooked and the sharp shards can pierce their stomach and can cause damage or death. Raw bones, on the other hand, are flexible and rubbery and dogs love to chew these without causing problems.

  12. @ Andrea – you are soooo right and Sheli is wrong – 100% believe in your comments. For one thing vets do not receive more than an afternoon of training on nutrition in their 7 year professional course and that course is put on by Hills Science who give them incentives to sell their food so it’s about their bottom line and not on what is best for the dogs. They have a lot to learn during their training like diseases and bones to mend and unfortunately nutrition is not high on the agenda. Some vets that are interested in nutrition will continue their learning by taking extra training in this department and kudos to them. Working in the vet industry does NOT give you the information required to dole out information about nutrition.

  13. @ Sheli

    Talk about marketing – Purina does the most marketing and sponsorship of dog shows and they create the worst food out there. It’s time people took an interest in the health of your pet and don’t just blindly buy into the marketing. Yes your dog may exist on these foods but as they age the problems will come and their life span will be shortened. Just like letting a kid grow up on candy he will survive for a while but wouldn’t be healthy. Food for Thought…

  14. Hi Lisa:

    Thanks for visiting. Good for you and your adorable companions. They are so lucky to have you and vice versa.

    Just FYI: Blue Buffalo does contain grain in the original formula, but also have grain free formulas.

    The Blue Freedom is grain free and also the Wilderness formulas are also grain free.


  15. I have 4 dogs, 2 are boxers who are both on Diamond Naturals and doing well. I have tried them on Blue, and Taste of the Wild and both of them had different issues with the food. It took me almost a year to finally find the one food that works well for both of them. They are healthy, shiny coats and at good weights. My other 2 dogs are Rat Terrorists and they eat Taste of the Wild Bison.

    On a side note I have noticed comments that state that Blue Buffalo is grain free food, it has rice and rice is considered a grain so it is NOT grain free.

  16. Absolute BS. Dogs are carnivores.


    The “pet food industry” has a stake in teaching this hogwash to vet students.
    Go into any vet office and see all the propaganda supplied by Purina and the rest. Up to and including pens and sticky notes 🙁

    Feed a species appropriate diet to your dogs – raw meat and bones.
    Your little Welsh Corgi is just a wolf in a Corgi suit.

  17. @ Karen

    Hi all!
    As with humans, an animal’s diet is also a reflection of their health. That being said, I feel there is much more to a healthy, long lasting life than just a dog’s food alone. Speaking from experience, I have a chocolate lab, who is about to turn 15 this month. For those who are familiar with the breed, this is extremely old for a lab. She has not a single health problem besides arthritis, and fatty benign tumors, which many know is very common in older labs. My family has fed her Purina all of her life, from puppy to dog chow, and she has had no serious illnesses or problems throughout her life. I understand that a good diet, and good foods are important, however I also believe the key to a long healthy life goes beyond the type of dog food. We have never over-fed her, she is an ideal weight and has been very physically active since she was a puppy. We treat her as a member of the family and care for her to the best of our ability. So though many people may feel strongly about the type of dog food their dogs are fed, I feel strongly about the type of lifestyle the dog is allowed to live. That is all, thank you for this web page, and the information you give, I appreciate all points of view!

  18. Hi Lynn

    Thanks for visiting. I’m sorry you are upset with me, but I truly am trying to help those who want information. The chart on this page is not an all inclusive “best of list.”

    I was using it as an example of what to look for in a good vs. bad quality dog food.

    This guide is meant to help anyone wishing to ask themselves what should and should not be in their own choice of food for their companions.

    You are correct in saying that these two companies have been around for a lengthy time, and producing exceptional quality products for our pets.

    Please Note:

    I haven’t promoted or intended to review each and every dog food on the market, but am relying on you, the consumer, to use the facts and information throughout this site to make your own decision as to what quality of food you are comfortable feeding your pets.

    So use the chart on this page as a guide if you are considering changing or upgrading to another food to see how many yes answers you get, or take the test here.

    If you are looking for a straight out review site, there are several sites that do this already such as, but not limited to:

    My site is targeted towards information, learning, education, reading and then using the information to make your own informed decision.



  19. You know this is good and very bad.. Good that quality foods are available in greater number bad the two 35 year old dog foods that have lead this fight are left off. SolidGold Foods over 35 years old and growing and Dr. Harvey’s same longevity, just because others take the pioneers’ work and put their brand on it doesn’t make it better, but they are not mentioned and that LEAVES A BAD TASTE IN MY MOUTH.

  20. @ Sheli

    There are breeds, such as boxers, that should not have grains in their food, preservatives should not be in any food-if it can survive a bomb and it’s shelf life is 20 years, it is not good for you or your pet, animal by products are just that-by products. I pretty sure eating chicken feet or hooves is not the best “protein” source available! I don’t care if you work @ the Vatican, if you don’t know what your talking about you should not be advising others. There are good foods that don’t cost a fortune!! There are prescription foods at vet. Offices that are terrible foods for pets ie science diet. If the pet food is mostly fillers (grains and biproducts) they are not digesting any nutrients but pooping out all those fillers and you feed them more to fill them vs a good food that requires less food for your pet to be full. So in reality you spend more on the junky food than you would on a good food!!!

  21. @ Elena

    Thanks for visiting my site and for the succinct and simple explanation of everything I’ve tried to get across throughout this website, since 2008.

    Most people just read the first few top worst dog food brands, without educating themselves on why I am saying these foods are bad for our pets. Angry replies, threats and challenges always ensue.

    I have many articles and information throughout the site from animal nutritionists, vets and specialists, but I think I will use your comment from now on when defending my stance of the dangers of cheap dog food.


    Jane 🙂

  22. @ Sheli

    The point is that eating shitty food will make your dog live a shorter life. It’s the same as a person eating fast food all the time. Sure it’s legal and it won’t kill you, but eating well sure does feel better.

  23. @ Sheli

    I agree wholeheartedly..I have used Purina products my whole lifas did my parents, and my dogs are healthy happy and live long..I had one pass 2 years ago who was 16 years old..It’s a scam to make you buy their expensive people food which every vet will tell you is nad for our dogs!!!

  24. @ KFlash.

    I believe this report was written in cahoots with the more expensive dog brands…I fed our two dogs Purina dog chow all their lives..my vet even told me they were thriving on it. They lived to be 15 and 12, and the thing that finally ended their lives was breed specific kidney failure.. ALL of these so called “best foods for your dog, don’t feed them anything else” think that everybody can afford to pay enormous amounts of money for a small bag of dog food. I would rather give a dog a happy loving home than to say no, I cant afford to feed one. It’s all just crap.

  25. Everybody has an opinion on what pet food should and shouldn’t have. I work in the veterinary industry and it’s disgusting how much marketing comes with feeding your animal! If a food is readily available, provides the fuel your pet needs, keeps them healthy and is in your price range, then it’s the food for your pet. Pets don’t need whole meat…they don’t need grain free or a single grain source…they can have preservatives (just like humans!)…AND it doesn’t have to cost $4.99 a pound!! Rediculous! STEER CLEAR OF THE MARKETING BANDWAGON!!

  26. @ Wade

    Please read this veterinarian’s explanations of why dogs do not and should not eat a corn based diet.

    “It is insane to have veterinary diet companies defend the feeding of gluten (wheat, barley, rye), dairy products (those from cow’s milk), soy, and corn to dogs and cats as if it was on par with meat. This could not be further from the truth. But…they have to use some carb in order to make a kibble that can sit in the bag unrefrigerated for months on end and still keep weight on the dog Read more from Dr. Symes (Dogtor J) – ….here…. Also See more from Dogtor J ….here….. and …..here…..

    Thanks for visiting


  27. @ Liberty

    I am not an employee of Purina, just a dog owner on a tight budget. Thank you for your balanced view. I see dogs with bloated little porky bodies that appear to have just a little bit of leg and feet attached to their body. Whether I buy Acana or Orijen or Purina Dog Chow I follow the suggested feeding amount for her weight and she is always the same weight, able-bodied and energetic.

    Attached is Purina’s explanation for corn and by-products. I can’t help but think that people with porky dogs are over-feeding because they want to ‘spoil’ their little friend.

  28. @ Dori Rock.

    Im sorry for your dogs. If they have been living such a great life on “garbage” food, I wounder how much of a better and longer life they would live on healthy foods. This report doesn’t even expose the truth about commercial dog food. There are NO regulations on dog food. Companies do not have to list all ingreadients. A few companies have been exposed in what they have been adding in the dog food in order to keep costs low and profits high. If you dig deep enough you can find out. If I posted some of the things that were found, people reading this wouldn’t even belive it. My dog is currently 12 years old, and no one belives it. Muscle mass, lots of energy and very alert. I can thank the food. There isn’t a specific brand that I would ever say is the best, but anything non commercial should be great. example: you can eat Mc donalds every day, you will live but you can eat a well balanced diet and live longer and feel better. Do it for your pets. – Love

  29. Hi Liberty:

    Education is what this site is about.

    This site is more than this one post.

    I have many articles and posts explaining what and why something is considered good or harmful.

    There are several menus in the right sidebar with all the different categories and topics.

    I have the definitions of what Animal Digest is and why it is unacceptable in our pet’s food. READ ABOUT ANIMAL DIGEST HERE.

    Digest and by-products are both rendered. READ MY ARTICLE HERE ABOUT RENDERING.

    PROTEIN should come from clean, human grade named meat. There are so many good quality products out there to now choose from such as any of THESE. Any dog food that uses corn as the main protein source should be avoided as we now know this is not a good protein source, and is hard on the digestion.

    I recommend reading Ann Martin’s book, FOOD PETS DIE FOR. It is a potential lifesaver.

    <===== Also look for any of these books. Any one of them will help in understanding the pet food industry and what we are really feeding our pets. Jane

  30. @ Laura Davis.

    I have been feeding the Diamond Naturals for at least the past 10 years, and with very good results…both the chicken & rice, and the lamb & rice. My dogs started on the chicken initially, then switched to the lamb when one Lab had allergy (ear) issues. I currently have a Lab and 2 Mastiffs, so it is an economical way to feed quality food to large dogs!

  31. Education needs to be given too. animal digest does NOT mean what was in the stomach of the animal. “Digest” is the name of the process. Corn gluten meal is a source of 60-70% protein and is not a bad source. By-product is taking the bit left after processing and using it. It is NOT bones, cartilage, beak, etc and again it is 60-70% of the protein. Anything made in a store in “processed” and preserved. Our dogs are not meant to graze on fruits and veggies and they wouldn’t out in the wild. It is healthy and wonderful if your dog enjoys those treats, but it isn’t essential. I agree on many on the bad list but for one, even if not holistic, Pro Plan is one of the better foods out there. Healthy, affordable. This list only includes “yes” and “no”…without any explaination of why those things would be in their food. I want those things in my dogs food. She needs the protein. Raw diets have ruined many dogs’ pancreas’. It isn’t meant to and cannot be broken down by many older, low active dogs. Please be smart and read up and ask your vet before you assume a food is bad. My dogs have thrived on Purina Pro Plan and I will continue to support them and buy thier food.

  32. @ KFlash.

    I just became aware of the Diamond Naturals lamb and rice. I haven’t started feeding it yet, but am hoping for good things. It came highly recommended, and can be gotten at the feed store, which is a real benefit in these rural areas where none of the fancier brands are available. I appreciate the advice of those who recommended online ordering, but with prices approaching $60 a bag for some types, and having 3 large dogs, I needed a more practical solution. I’m glad to hear that you are having success with this brand.

  33. I had a dog on Ol Roy for almost 15 years before we had to put her down. She never had a health problem. Some dogs react differently than others. The two I have now, can’t handle the blue buffalo, however they do fine on the Diamond brand of lamb and rice. I would prefer that they could eat the blue buffalo just because I know it is way healthier, but on it all they do is scratch and whine.

  34. @ Dori Rock

    My neighbors have had dogs of all types for YEARS and all of them were fed whatever name-brand food was on sale at the local markets. They lived long and healthy lives.

    My own dog is a ‘rescue’ – chow/shepherd/shar-pei mix – of about 8 years of age and after I’d had her for six months at around age 2-3 (no one knows her exact birth date), she developed seizures and more, and many medical tests and specialists later was diagnosed with microdysplasia of the liver, an inherited liver disorder, a variant of liver shunt. She can be maintained but not cured. The highly trained specialist-vets here in L.A. recommended Science Diet’s PRESCRIPTION L/D (liver) food and she has been thriving on it for 5 years now. She also takes Denamarin pills daily — these contain milk thistle among other things.

    Her food is nearly ALL carbs as that is what she needs — she cannot tolerate more than a tiny bit of meat protein.

    I have to laugh at all these opinions about dog foods and lifespans attributed to them, etc. If not for her NO MEAT PROTEIN diet my dog would’ve been dead long ago. Some of these ‘experts’ sound like silly zealots.

  35. Hi Julie:

    Well said. You have embodied the theme of this whole website succinctly.

    We all must educate ourselves, and be our own advocates when it comes to our own health and the health and welfare of those dependent on us.

    It isn’t about buying the most expensive food, it’s about providing the best that you are able.


  36. @ Catherine Haynes.

    I have fed my german shepherd Holistic Select and I’ve worked for an independant Pet Supply Store for 11 years. They send us all over for nutrition education. What is the best food is always a relative question. Holistic was the best choice for my dog on my budget. He is 10 and everyone says he acts five. He comes to work with me often and I see vets, trainers, groomer and the like. They all say he looks great. More important he feels great and acts energetic and happy. His coat is good his condition is good, stool consistant, firm,and hard. If your dog is doing well, then you chose well. Worry about needing a change if you’re seeing anything that troubles you. When selecting a food, decide what criteria are important to you. Human grade? locally sourced ingredients? Manufactured at their on facility or outsourced? It’s not always what ingredients but also where they are coming from. When you shop for yourself do you pay attention to those things? If not, don’t feel you have to for your pet because someone else who can afford to told you to. If money was no object I might switch brands, but Holistic Select is certainly not cheap and I know who makes it, where, from what, and I’m comfortable with that. Hope that helps. If you’d like specific information Holistic is made by WellPet and you can google just about anything you’d like to know about their brands. They also make Old Mother Hubbard and Wellness.

  37. @ greggo

    Never. Feed cooked bones it can kill your dog ..and they should get 2% of total body weight…..100 pound dog needs 2 pounds of feed….and raw chicken is better for them than cooked..

  38. Funny,
    There isn’t an animal I know of that can efficiently digest corn, but we feed it to all of them: cattle, horses, dogs, cats. Even the American pilgrims almost started to dead because they didn’t know how to use corn (maize) properly until the native American’s taught them.

    All those common store brands use corn because it is cheap due to federal subsidies and market control. Corn is not cheap because of market forces. If they could convince you that maple leaves were pine needles were healthy for your dog and cheaper than corn then pine needles would be the #1 ingredient in those foods. ANY food recipe will allow an animal to survive if it has enough vitamins, minerals and calories in it. To thrive they need the correct sources and balance of protein, fiber, etc.

    The “better” brands are more expensive. Your pet will also tend to eat less of it to stay healthy and not gain weight. I’ve fed Blue Buffalo Wilderness to my cats for years after learning about what was really in the Purina, MeowMix, etc. recipes. I can tell you none of my cats have had any health issues since. Their litter box is easier to clean (less poop and always solid) and doesn’t smell as bad as with those brands that use corn, byproducts, meals and fillers.

    So the simple question is: What does your pet mean to you? Do you want to feed it the cheapest, most convenient foods and say it lived a full live at 13 years (and you only think 13 years is old since all the other pets on crap food die by then)?Would you treat your child that way? Or you you want to do the best you can for your pet?

    Rule #1 in my house: I’ll only feed my animals food I would eat myself (not as a staple mind you and the horses are an exception: I don’t do will with grass)

  39. @ Nancy

    I want the best for my dog as I do my children. My dog is on Purina and she is fine. My kids, they love milk, have no problem with it but their cousin, he can have it, it makes him sick. My point is, just bc your dog has problems with it doesn’t make it bad. Dogs, like people can have food allergies.

  40. @ Bill

    The problem is leaving food available at all times. Free feeding produces picky eaters. Here’s how to fix that. Look on the bag for the volume of food recommended as a daily feeding for your dog’s weight. Divide that amount in 2 (3 for toy breeds under 8 pounds or so) to arrive at a “per-feeding” amount. Place a per-feeding amount of food in a dish, and put the dish down. Wait 15 minutes, then pick up the dish. If the dog hasn’t eaten all the food in the dish, he doesn’t get anything to eat – no snacks or treats – until the next scheduled meal time. Repeat at every feeding. A healthy dog won’t starve themselves, they WILL eventually eat.

    I had a rescue dog who was always enthusiastic about eating the decent-quality food I was feeding. He was placed into a home, and they switched him to a poor-quality food. A year later he was returned – 20 pounds overweight. The first night I put down the same food he’d eaten enthusiastically when he was first with me, he refused to eat. (He actually sniffed the bowl, turned up his nose, then turned the bowl over. “Hey! I want my junk food!” Sorry buddy, no more junk food for you. So I cleaned up the spilled food and took the dish away, and didn’t give him anything to eat until the next meal. He did the same thing. Next day, same story. He was a stubborn fellow – he held out for 5 days and I was just about ready to cave and give him junk food, but at dinner time on that 5th day I put down his dish, he dove in and polished it off, and he never turned up his nose at his dinner again. When I placed him in a new home 3 months later he was his svelte, enthusiastic-eater self again.

  41. Dogs are not carnivores, they are omnivores. Cats are carnivores. As a vet student who is taught Nutrition and Physiology, I can assure you that dogs are indeed omnivores. I know that there are “bad” brand name dog foods and “good” brand name dog foods, but grains and by-products are indeed essential to the diet of a dog. By-products are only what is not considered muscle, and I can tell you that if a dog came across a carcass on the side of the road, he won’t be eating muscle. He would go for the insides of the carcass (all the internal organs that would be considered by-products). Homemade foods are not nutritionally balanced for long term care. If you want to know what is a good, balanced food for your pet, ask a Veterinary Nutritionist, not some .com website that can pull anything off of Wikipedia.

  42. @ Dori Rock.

    I have also used Purina Pro Plan since they started making it. I buy Focus and Pedigree canned for my old dog, Sara who just turned 15 in November! She’ a big dog ,too(lab/ aussie mix)…My Vet recommended it when she was a baby.Works for her! I also feed my show horses Purina Strategy, Healthy Edge and my one Arab mare will be 30 in February!

  43. @ Dori Rock.

    I had my dog on purina and when I took him to the vet because he smelled so bad and was loosing his hair, the vet said it was the food.

  44. @Julie

    I have a recipe for a low protein food for renal issues that I got from a friend who’s dog was in chronic renal failure, the recipe came from her vet. I use the same recipe minus the tums for my old 18yo lab who has trouble digesting protein as she’s old and has worn her teeth out and has trouble chewing so she needs a soft food.

    1/4lb 70/30 ground chuck (you want the fat)
    2c cooked rice
    1 egg scrambled
    2 slices of bread torn into pieces
    1 tums crushed for calcium – (i’d check with the vet before giving extra calcium)

    My girl gobbles this up she’s gained all the weight she lost back and she has the most gorgeous shiny coat at 18yo which is ANCIENT for a lab. I also rotate with ground chicken and ground turkey just to keep things switched up and use the same high fat variety that come in the tubs or tubes.

    Hope this helps!

  45. I find it very hard to believe or even trust the above comparisons. I have rescued and raised Rottwielers for over 20 years and they have all been raised on Purina Dog Chow in some variation. All dogs were healthy and lived long lives. My Annie is now 12 years old and Grace is 9 and to this day still enjoy a diet of Purina – My cats are also on a purina diet and they too are flourishing. As with anything any of us put in our bodies there are always risks involved. Please do not bash what has been working for years ~ Just saying after 20 years the proof is in the dog food ~ PURINA

  46. @ Julie

    Hello-i cook for my dogs-meat,sweet potatoes,peas and carrots. I don’t give them any grain..for your problem i recommend giving a fresh parsley -minced sprinkle in the food. Its great for urinary issue. You can also add tiny cranberry juice in the water.Works really well with bladder issues!
    Hope this helps you-

  47. My cat was also on Royal Canin Urinary SO but my other cat and dog would get into it and it became too expensive. Also my cat would routinely eat the dog food and get sick again. I finally found a more affordable solution for our whole animal family – Blue Buffalo!!! Cats have the sensitive stomach blend and both the dog and cat food are now safe for the cat who may wander to other feed bowls. So much money saved and they love this brand.

  48. @ Julie
    Rather than going to a holistic veterinarian for diet recommendations, how about a board certified veterinary nutritionist? They’ve had to complete a residency in nutrition and pass a board examination to prove their knowledge base. Holistic veterinary medicine is as yet unsubstantiated and although there is an organization that unites holistic veterinarians – American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA) – there is not a process in place to verify that everyone has the same standard of practice (meaning that someone who has no training in holistic medicine can just decide one day to hang a sign out front and claim to practice holistic medicine). The AHVMA doesn’t certify people or practices – anyone can pay to become a member. Unfortunately there is no board certified specialty in holistic medicine yet to verify the practices of people who claim to practice holistic medicine – hopefully someday there will be!
    If you want to cook for your dog with urinary issues a veterinary nutritionist would do a consultation and develop a diet that would be designed specifically for your dog’s needs. That is what they are trained to do! You can find a nutritionist through the College of Nutrition’s website: http://www.acvn.org/
    Good luck with everything 🙂

  49. @ Laura

    You can buy premium pet foods at http://www.chewy.com and have it delivered to your door in only about 2 business days free of charge. Check it out. They have a lot of great brands at very good prices. There is also http://www.wag.com, so compare prices at each place. I order my Iceland Pure Salmon Oil from wag.com because the other place doesn’t carry it, but chewy.com has the food cheaper. One thing to note about one of the “good” foods on the list is that Taste of The Wild is made by Diamond Pet Foods, which makes their own brand of foods plus makes this one for Taste of The Wild, and Diamond has a lot of recalls.

  50. @ Laura

    I use “Life’s Abundance” …the dogs like it, it makes nice shiny hair, and the stools stay firm for clean up. You can order it online and have it shipped directly to you.

  51. @ Larua

    There are many site on the internet you can order good dog food with free shipping on orders over $50, try Chewy.com

  52. I feed chicken legs quarters plus rice with a tblspoon of chicken soup base and a can of green beans.
    doggie likes it very much. ear problems (when we got him from dog pound,) have disappeared. cook the chicken with the rice. when there is a special price on ground turkey sausage I use that with rice. cheaper than commercial dog food. make a big pot enough for several days at a time. throw in left over carrots, sweet potatoes, meat products fat and grizzle plus bones. I can find the chicken quarters for 69cents/lb and the turrkey for $1/lb on sale. feed 1% of body weight: 100lb dog get 1lb food

  53. @ Julie

    Fromm is a great dog food. The person who is responsible for formulating from was in face a vet and discovered distemper vaccine. His original idea behind developing all of their dog food was because of the high rate of cancer which is directly related to the Bad brands. It really all makes sense feed your dog food that isn’t loaded with chemicals , by products, Corn soy and wheat and most of it is acceptable. We also have to be very careful about where the dog food is made. China makes a lot of our dogs food so be smart and read the label.

  54. Try grain free Earthborn, Taste of the Wild, Blue Buffalo. Feeding grain free will clear up a lot of medical issues!

  55. @ Julie

    Have you tried the Holistic Select dog food. That is what my dog eats for his skin problems, I read the ingredients and I saw no grains in it. My vet recommended it, the only place I can buy it is at the vets office. It is mostly fish, vegetables and fruits.

    And you are right about the costs, he eats a lot less of this dog food that what he was getting.

  56. I had two dogs that both lived to be 16, I fed them Jim Dandy dog food their entire lives.

    I now have a Yorkie. He started scratching and losing his hair in the back. I took him to our vet who seems to be very knowledgeable about nutrition. He changed him to Holistic Select which he has done very well with. It is expensive, but not as expensive as trips to the vet, medicines and the misery he was in; he won’t eat anything else now.

    Do you have any information on this brand of dog food?

  57. All my dogs have been fed Purina and they have outlived their life-spans, one by quite a few years. Reggie (a rescue mutt) was 20 and my Corgi was 15. Just because it’s on the internet doesn’t make it true. I feed my horses Purine feed and one of the two best horses I ever owned was 41 when I put him down. The kids competed with him until he was 40.

  58. Hi Julie:

    I agree about the Royal Canin, but cannot advise regarding medical issues as I am not a vet. Can you try and find a holistic veterinarian in your area for a second opinion.
    That is what I would do if it were my situation as your dog will need a special diet.

    Holistic vets incorporate alternative or complementary treatments with their veterinary medicine practice. Nutrition is an important part of this type of care.
    The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association is the governing body for this type of practice. Look for clinics accredited by the AHVMA.

    Although I have a trusted Holistic Veterinarian that is qualified in animal nutrition there are also alternate sources.

    Check out Amy’s reply here, for more info. 🙂

  59. I teach a puppy class at our local dog training club. During our 10 week session, I spend one evening talking about nutrition. I have a handout which I wrote that explains “What should YOU feed” In my handout, I give definitions of the ingredients. For instance, do you know what it means if your ingredients include meat meal? or Poultry By-Product? What is Ethoxiquin? I try to educate my class, so they can select the best food for their pets.
    I personally do not inform anyone what I feed unless they specifically ask me. I do feed Fromm’s Duck & Sweet Potato to two of my dogs. I have another dog on Royal Canin Urinary SO, which is a prescription diet for a dog with urinary and bladder issues.
    I had another dog that was on a grain free diet because of allergies to grains.
    I have learned that you must find what works for each individual dog.
    Yes, the food that I feed does cost a little more then commercial or big box store foods, but I have found if you feed a better quality food, you are usually feeding much less. And of course less in equals less out. Which is less clean up. And our vet bills are lower because we have healthier dogs.
    I wish I could find a homemade diet for my dog with the urinary issues as I feel the prescription diet she is on is CRAP food. The number one ingredient is brewers rice followed by corn.
    Do you have any suggestions for a dog with bladder & urinary issues?

  60. I have been feeding pedigree to all 6 of my dogs Shepherds, Bullweiler, Giant Schnauzer!!! They have all lived to 15 and 17 years old, you recommend dog foods that most people can’t afford!!!!! it’s more than human food!!!!!! Exercise is the key and healthy environment!!!!

  61. @ KC

    One of the things that sold me on our acupuncture vet (my dachshund has IVDD, acupuncture has done wonders for him) was that she carries only quality foods and local, quality treats. Before your first visit, they ask you to fill out a questionnaire about why you’re seeing them, and there’s a section that focuses on the type of food you feed your dog and how much. It was a nice change, seeing a vet knowledgeable about dog food and aware that different foods can have different effects on your pet.

  62. The thing that I think most people who swear their Ol Roy is the best thing ever don’t seem to understand is that food isn’t necessarily sorted into “good” and “bad” dog food. It’s the same for people food–the “healthy” menu at a restaurant is not necessarily any healthier than a smaller portion of drive-thru food, and some people go through their lives eating McDonald’s and live just as long as their marathon-running neighbor.

    I see tons of posts saying, “I tried MoreExpensiveBrand, and it caused xyz in my dog. So I put them on CrappyQuality food and they are FINE.” Dogs, like people, react differently to different foods, ingredients, etc. Just because Orijin didn’t work out for your dog doesn’t mean that Blue Buffalo or Wellness will have the same effect. You may need to try different food before you find the right one for your dog. And, if you care about your pet, why wouldn’t you?

  63. Hi Laura:

    There a many online pet stores that offer specials on shipping such as:
    auto delivery, discounts, flat rate shipping, free shipping and more. Check them out . You can have
    those heavy dog food bags delivered right to the door.

    I have used online delivery for years and love it.

    Here are a few of my favorites:

    AMAZON.COM has Free Shipping on Dog Food – Check it out here.

    FREE SHIPPING on All Orders $79 and Over & Flat Rate $6.99 Shipping on All Other Orders @ ONLY NATURAL PET STORE

    $4.99 Flat Shipping on all popular Dog Food Brands at dog.com! We have food to fit every dog’s dietary needs! Shop Now!

    Shop at PetFoodDirect.com for great products at great prices!

    You will find a huge selection from top of the line to the more economical brands at most of these places.


  64. We live in the country, an hour from the chain pet stores. The only places to purchase animal foods are the local big box store, which carries your non-recommended foods, or the feed store where we buy poultry feed and cattle cubes. We have had 4 large dogs, and are now down to 3. Two that were dumped on us lived long healthy lives (approaching, at best guess, age 15) on the foods you listed as the bad ones, as well as feed store foods. As a matter of convenience and great prices, I now buy all our dog food from the feed store. For years, we fed one called Sport Mix, but the feed store quit carrying it because of supply issues.We are now feeding one called Hunters Special, Maintenance Formula. The dogs love it, but it has a greasy feel to the kibble, and I have been searching the internet for other good foods that might be available at feed stores. Do you have any information or advice about that? I buy 5 or 6 50-lb bags at a time, so convenience is a big concern, and the feed store loads it for me.

  65. @ Johnna

    I was feeding my dogs blue buffalo they started putting on extra weight and getting urinary track infections.. I switched to diamond natural lamb and rice. They are doing ok but their coats aren’t healthily.

  66. @ Darlene

    How do you make your dog food. Could I get the recipe? My dogs get yeast in their ears a lot. Do you use off the shelf acidophilus meds that we use..

  67. Although I do think that a homemade diet is best if you can afford it, most people can’t, it does not increase your dogs life span. My husbands black lab ate purina dog chow her whole life and lived to be 18 years old. What does increase your dogs life span is making sure that they get the proper vaccines, worming them, heart worm prevention, and making sure that they get health checks to diagnose any illness early.

  68. @ Darlene

    That is my main concern: the teeth part. We have never given any of our dogs anything other than dry dog food and have been lucky enough to not require any Doggy dental work. We always took them in during national dog teeth month (Feb.) and every time we were told there wasn’t a need for even a cleaning! Our boy had to be put down just before Christmas because of cancer. He was a big lovable boy who loved us even bigger. He grew up on Purina One and when the budget called for us to go cheaper on a bag – he lost some of the shine inhis coat. We made sure we never did that again. No mater what. We now have a mutt puppy who has German Shephard & lab in her. Adorable. She is on Purina One Puppy for large breeds.
    I will be checking into the farm fresh guy as we do live in FL and I have discovered my own health problems are largely diet based. So, healthier eating habits all around.
    Thanks to everyone who commented because I have a wealth of info. to process now! 🙂
    We always do shelter animals or ones that have just come to us through friends. Have never bought a dog and never intend to; too many dogs (& babies) that need good homes to go to a breeder for one.

  69. My medium-sized dog (Welsh Corgi) has eaten Beneful for a good majority of her 7 years… last year she slowly lost her appetite and then got really sick, we tried changing to different/better food, but it was too late… her digestive system was too badly damaged to even handle good food. I put her on a homemade ‘chicken soup’ diet to heal her stomach and she is so much better! I’ve been making all of her food since then and she is like a whole new dog I always knew most dry dog foods were bad, but it was just so ‘easy’. I’m planning on using Honest Kitchen from now on to supplement her homemade food. *and it’s actually MUCH cheaper to make her food than it was to buy that crap dog food, just takes more time/effort

  70. @ Richard.

    You are a human? Correct? Not a carnivore? But a mixed eater?

    Your dog, if left to it’s own devices will eat, meat … dig up carrots and chomp on peas, etc. The dog will gorge and have periods of famine. That is how God made them.

    We have been lead to believe the Bernard can only live at the very high end 14years …. really are we sure?
    My Jack russel is also 14 and I am thinking she should be good to 20+ because of her
    diet of raw foods, some veggies, oils and a bit of fruit (because she likes it).

  71. Thank you Kimberly:

    🙂 I see a lot of defensive and angry comments, so this was nice.
    My intent is simply to give facts and awareness to those who are looking to upgrade their pet’s diet.
    I hold no ill will or judgement for those who disagree with me.
    I have always promoted love, compassion and understanding towards each other and all animals.
    As long as we do our best to care and nurture our pets then that is all we can do.

    You have 4 lucky dogs!

    Thanks again

  72. Hi Laura:

    I can’t answer that question for you. If you are not happy with the present medical treatment your dog if getting, you need to find a holistic vet or animal nutritionist in your areas. A holistic vet can recommend the correct diet to feed a special needs pet (like diabetes), that is fresh, free from by-products and chemicals etc.

    An Alternative or Holistic Vet includes complementary and alternative veterinary medicine and natural healing for pets integrated with traditional medicine.

    Check you area. They will advertise as Holistic or Alternative Veterinary Care.

    Look for American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association

    Thanks for visiting,


  73. I currently feed my Chinese Crested (9yrs) Hills Prescription WD. My Vet put him on it to help control his diabetes, he gets insulin shots 2x a day also. My question to you is: what food(s) would you recommend in place of said food? I have 2 other young CC’s and feed them taste of wild, Fromm or Acana. I use http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com for help on kibble, but they don’t go into prescription foods. I appreciate this article, and would like to add that I believe in my opinion that feeding your pet poor nutrition can also cause some behavioral issues.

  74. So much information. I have a Lab/Border Collie mix & 2 cats. It was recommended that I use Eagle Pack for all my babies. Bags were $20 (cat) & $45 (dog). Biggest waste of money ever! My dog was constantly having seizures & my older cat (5 at the time) started vomiting daily. Our vet recommended not switching food thinking that it had to be caused by something else. After I got laid off from my job, I just couldn’t afford to spend that much every 3-4 weeks. Once I started giving them the cheaper foods, bam!
    My pup has been seizure free for 4 yrs now. My cat still vomits but it is no longer a daily event. I only use Purina One & they are all healthy again!

  75. Great article, sad to see so many brainwashed individuals who think going to a feed store is ‘too much work’ or that just because their 1 dog did fine on crap foods ‘that it must be alright’. I feed my dogs (4 of them) Taste of the Wild High Prairie Adult Formula along with a raw diet of meat and bones. Since switching their coats have become like velvet, they have cleaner teeth, and allergy issues have disappeared. The dry food is more expensive, but the vet bills are gone. Also, raw feeding bulk meats from a butcher is the same price or lower than ANY cans when it comes down to it. They have their dry food down all the time (2 of them just do not eat quickly so the free feed works for us) and at night they get a raw meal. I have never had so little poop from my big lugs since switching to the good kibble and raw foods. Keep up the good work 🙂

  76. Darlene,
    Veterinarians don’t run big dog food companies and don’t have a say in their formulations, just like human doctors don’t formulate those packaged foods sitting on grocery store shelves, or fast food in restaurants. Stop blaming them and take responsibility for your own choices. No one is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to buy Kibbles and Bits, or that Big Mac meal with super sized fries.

  77. @ ashley tosoni.

    It’s called Just 6, and if you turn the package and read the ingredients there are way more then “just 6” ingredients in that food.

  78. I agree Richard. My last Leonberger (a giant breed) came to us at 11 months old. A picky eater. Terrible poops and very skinny. I tried just about every kibble available. Nothing made a difference. I ended up giving him a very expensive “holistic” kibble which had no preservatives or additives of any kind. Still no change. By the time he was about 7 yrs I had more or less given up trying to find a food that would make a difference. As a last ditch attempt I switched to IAMS large breed. All my big dog friends said it was one of the worst foods around and I shouldn’t give it to him. Within a very short time, his poops were perfect. He started putting on weight and got up to the weight he should have been from about 2 yrs. His coat was glossy and thick and he was in good health. He had loads of energy, right up until he passed away just before his 11th birthday. My current Leonberger puppy was weaned on to Costco own brand kibble, lamb rice and vegetable and remains on it. My pup is 9 months. The breeder weans all the pups on to it and feeds it to her adult dogs. Costco own brand is up there on the list of “good” dog kibble. It’s ingredients compare to the high end dog foods. Plus it’s usually half the price. As I am a vegetarian, I do not feel able to handle and feed raw meat to my dog.

  79. I have a sheiba inu when I first got him he was eating Purina puppy chow. He was so sick from it so I switched to Rachel Ray just 5. Only 5 all natural ingredients. Hes been perfect ever since the food change, it very affordable, & I can find it in most stores.

  80. @ Michael Wickler.

    Thanks for this comment of laser accuracy. The superiority judgement is totally on point, as well as the ridiculousness of ascribing feelings to broccoli etc.

    Similarly to people, Dogs do great on a premium filler free vegetarian diet actually though. I have experience using Natural Balance Vegetarian specifically. Just thought i should add that to the mix.

    I don’t know why people seem to be taking this list so personally though, surely the intent is just awareness and taking care of our animal companions .

  81. @ Maria.

    Hills puts a LOT of vets through vet school.. so its no wonder they “recommend” it. From what I learned from calling on vets is that they do NOT have a good grasp of nutrition ( and yes, I know that one year this food is great and then the next year its gone to crap and that everyone has their own opinion ). There really isn’t a one size fits all food that works for all dogs OR cats. But I do wish vets had more in-depth knowledge on nutrition

  82. I would have to agree that in theory this makes perfect sense, like in humans healthier fresher foods, would be healthier. However I had a Saint Bernard, who lived 12 years, before being diagnosed with bone cancer, 12 is a great life for a saint. Food varied from iams, science diet, pedigree, alpo cans, and a little beneful, never any major issues, had an allergy which came about every august so likely environmental not food related. And have a jack Russel who is about to turn 14 who likewise is very healthy survives on mainly beneful, well that and any thing the little scavenger can get her little paws on, candy, gum, even a significant amount of chocolate one day, which is said to be Lethal. So I am a vegetarian and heard all the negative effects of being so, yet 18 years in, in perfect health, never a complication. The key here like human food to use more natural (unprocessed) products in all of our food. Quit messing with the genetics of food, and eat what god provides for us, and remember, dogs eat better than some humans. Adopt a pet, love a pet, treat them with kindness, and however long they live may it be happy.

  83. Just have to share, right wrong or indifferent, we had gotten a turnin Black Lab Mix when our son was young and she was 2 years old at the time. She only really preferred table food, so what we ate she ate including veggies, meat, starches. We left her dry dog food out for her in case she became hungry when it wasn’t meal time, but I figured if that’s what she liked and it was good enough for us to eat, it was good enough for her. Other then her yearly rabies, never had to take her to the vet, and she lived to be a ripe old age of 19. We paid high dollar for a Bull Mastiff from a breeder in MD and we fed her the high dollar recommended dog foods that were acceptable in the dog show world, and she ended up with horrible skin allergies requiring $500/ vial allergy meds made by the TN Vet Med School and chronic ear infections. Finally we decided to do the same for her as we had done with our 19 year old pound puppy and fed her whatever we ate. Guess what, the allergies left and the ear infections all but left, along with the terrible odor from her ears and skin that she had seem to always have. She lived to be 10 which is a full life in the Bully world. Now we have 2 Aussies and a Shitzu, and the Aussies are 10 & 5 and never have illness or have any other issues for that matter. They only see the vet for rabies shots. They have always been fed a grocery store economical dog food along with some of what we eat. The Shitzu kept having what the vet was referring to Pancreatitis. They said it was her food too full of Crude Fat, so after they kept her for 2 nights and $450 later, they sent her home on a Gastro SD food. It was okay but I was not going to pay what that cost and in the end found out that SD has higher Crude Fat then does the Pedigree I now feed her. No more problems with the Gastro now and she also eats some of what we eat on top of the Pedigree Heart Healthy. She is now 6 months out of whatever her illness issues were and I am not sure it wasn’t the Flea pill TriFexis that the vet was having her give us. Back to the old Advantage come spring and no more TriFexis. I think it just depends on the dog. So call it luck, call it others over analyzing, who knows but it works for us and we have 3 dogs, 2 cats (13 &12 Years), 4 chickens, knock on wood, all healthy! So I say better than euthing an animal or turning it in, buy or feed what you can afford. The animals will work thru it.

  84. Although I won’t feed my dogs a corn-based dog food, I’ve seen many dogs do very well on what most consider bad dog food and I’ve seen many dogs go to h*** on what is considered a premium brand dog food. I’ve seen unwanted behaviours disappear with a change of dog food (especially from a high protein to a lower protein food). What we feed our dogs has huge affects on them but there are no objective studies to show what does or does not work best for each individual dog – that, like many things in life, is trial & error.

  85. Hi Darlene:

    Thank you for visiting and helping with your informative comments.
    The food @ http://www.farmfreshpet.com is an excellent example of small local producers of high quality pet food.

    This is the reason I started this site back in 2008. I was looking for healthy, nutritious alternatives to feed my dogs and was dumbfounded when I started reading and learning about the pet food industry. I have been making homemade, supplemented by fresh raw food and rotated with many of the high quality pre-mixes and dehydrated foods available.

    We all must become our own advocates, exactly as you have done. We need more like you, but change is always slow.

    Thanks again for visiting


  86. Thank you for your informative site! I am constantly trying to inform people about the issues with Commercial dog foods. I do have issues with dry dog food too but I am happy that you have researched and made this post. I try to make my own food but when I can’t do that I buy my food from a local guy in South Florida that puts his heart and soul into his Dog food. I accidentally found him at a farmers market but have since heard of others finding people locally making food as well. People are sick and tired of their sick dogs and are looking for information. Some are not, but they soon will when they get tired of paying for the vet bills and or the unnatural reasons they are losing their dogs. I am going to leave a link to a website for the the guy I get my dog food from for anyone that lives in Florida.


    Jeremy is a great guy! Call him and he will passionately make you believe!

  87. @Doctor J

    Thank you for your post. The only thing I have a comment about is that rice is mostly GMO and leaky gut or ANY intestinal issues from GMO which include corn and soy as well.

  88. @Rugbymom

    Remember that grain free is not carb free. My English Bulldog was riddled with candida and had ongoing ear infections when I adopted her. I put her on a raw food diet and added Acidophilus bifidus (20 billion) purchased at whole foods in the refrigerated vitamin section 2 capsules twice a day. I just empty the capsules onto the food. It will take a long time to cure this but NO CARBS because they produce sugars that the candida lives on. She is 7 months into it and can hear again which is amazing. She also runs around like a puppy and has lots of energy which she did not used too! I also get vaginal yeast creme and dilute it into a bottle and put it in her ears. I also use witch hazel every day to rebalance the PH in her ears.

  89. @ Lol

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness is different than the standard Blue Buffalo dog food. I feed neither. But Wilderness is not a bad food.

  90. @hapiour

    Dogs have allergies to the commercial dog food ingredients. You can’t go wrong with her list of recommendations. I have also found a balanced organic human grade diet works wonders.

  91. @Bill

    Absolutely NO healthy dog will EVER starve itself and die because it does not like the food you changed it too! They may go on a couple day strike from taking away their equivalent of McDonalds everyday but they will be healthier in the long run.

  92. @April

    The sad thing is that buying a 45 lb bag of dog food and spending less than $45 for it or even $85. Seriously people…….babies cost more than that a month or week. It is redefining the cost of your your family pet. What is this pet worth to you? Do you love it as family? Do you know it needs to eat a healthy meal? Do you know that there will be vet visits? I grew up with our dog living outside in temperate coastal California and my parents threw scraps out along with some purina dog food. I am 48 years old and I just think that people are still transitioning to the fact that this animal is NOT a farm animal but a member of the family. Dog food companies do NOT have your dogs best interest at heart. They are in existence for one thing only and that is to capitalize on you and your dog. Lots of those same companies own the pharma that treat your sick dog. This is going on in the states and it is a serious problem. I was just in Norway and ate more food than I normally eat for the holidays and NEVER once gained weight or had my digestive issues……..interesting as Norway is very very strict about food. Greedy corporates can’t buy Norway but they own the USA and they make lots of money making you sick and your pets.

  93. @TEXVET

    The proof is in the pudding. If “I” get results (please look at other posts I have on here) then it is working. End of story!

  94. It’s horrible! I personally make my dog food and researched this process to death. I adopted an English Bulldog with Diabetes that was also grossly overweight and was riddled with candida. I did not particularly care for raw food diets but have found for HER it is the perfect diet. She lost 15lbs and after 6 months is 80% better with her candida. She immediately started haven energy when I started her on this diet and added Acidophilus Bifidus for the candida. She also stopped having gas (which is quite typical of bulldogs) and has lost most doggie odor and limited shedding. My Pembroke Welsh Corgi looks amazing and she has always been fed homemade food. Both to not have plaque or tarter on their teeth either.

  95. @S.,DVM

    Veterinarians absolutely are not nutritionists. They SHOULD be and if they loved the pets they take care of they would surely research this and go to school for this. Maybe we would not have such crappy food. Same goes for doctors, our human grade food would not be so problematic if they were more informed on nutrition instead of medicating everyone first!

  96. @ Tom

    Normally the larger the breed the shorter the life span, so if you have a small dog that could be true.

  97. I now have my 4th Siberian in 32 years he is 5 and eats what the others ate Come N Get It, My first Siberian was 12 when he passed and the next set were sisters born together they lived to 14 1/2 and 16 1/2!!! That is quite old for a Siberian since their life span is normally 10-14

  98. The brands you deem “best” do NOT perform feeding trials to actually prove their food is healthy. All they do is put a formulation together that fits the AAFCO standards. I studied pet nutrition in college and will never buy pet food that has not done a feeding trial. All Purina products DO perform feeding trials so I will stick with those.

  99. This article is crap!! Yeah so any affordable dog food is not recommended…sure. I have 5 dogs all different breeds and the youngest one is 10 this month–the oldest one just turned 16 and they have been eating these foods there whole lives!!!

  100. Hi Karen:

    I am so happy for you and your puppies that you have found an excellent dog food that agrees with your dogs, and has improved their health.
    Quality of life goes hand in hand with health, nutrition, love, companionship and doing the best we can for our family and pets.

    I’m not sure about Dave’s dog food, but being a small independent company with an owner who puts animals health first is what I am always hoping to hear more about.

    The food itself sounds like a high quality, extremely nutritious product, all sourced and produced in the USA. The Pork and Sweet Potato is single protein source meal for dogs prone to allergies.
    This limited ingredient food also contains NO Poultry, NO Beef, NO Soy, NO Wheat, N0 Gluten,NO Corn, AND NO Dairy Products!

    A full review can be found on The Dog Food Advisor, which gives them a four and five star rating for different formulas.
    Thanks for visiting


  101. Jane: I am very impressed with your website. I came to similar conclusions regarding corn and even chicken. I used Nutriol lamb and rice 20 years ago. Then it was sold to corporation and destroyed brand. I did not know for months but my 2 labs sure noticed. Also developed allergies and chronic ear infections. I then made the discovery by reading the bag. Every owner should read label. I also found some premium foods that are reasonably priced. I now use “Dave’s Dog Food” out of Springfield MA. They will ship if no local seller. Check out website. I have been using Dave’s Pork &Sweet Potato. No more ear infections. Skin and coat amazing. My vet was stunned. I’m curious as to what you think of Dave’s line. And thank you for all your hard work.

  102. @ KC

    Dogs are omnivores. I see this is a hot debate here. What is often missing from the argument but which the author states, is that dogs are not supposed to eat any and every plant food just because they are omnivores, certainly not all that grain, which is an obvious profit-making, nutritionally-bankrupt filler strategy for animal and human foods alike. They need to eat a good amount of meat, but that does not make them carnivores. Rawfed.com is simply wrong, it’s an unscientific bias to assume dogs are carnivores. A natural species diet would about 75-80% combo of meat, bone and organ, along with the rest in berries, fruits, seeds, greens, and several plant-based supplements like yeast and kelp are also divine.

  103. @ Michael Lay

    Most vegan people aren’t actually morally superior at all, but do live a moral life, and share when asked or prodded, even at times when not, and the superiority judgment is more often a projection that people tend to use to denigrate, because they feel uneasy or intolerant of alternatives, for whatever reason. But when they get into plants have feelings too, its just time to move on.

  104. My Labrador lived to be 15 and my Great Dane lived to be 12 1/2; both raised on Purina Dog Chow, supplemented with 1/2 can of Mighty Dog at both the morning and evening feedings. The dog that I currently have is a German Shepherd K-9 . (She is a Mississippi State Trooper K-9 who didn’t make the final cut.) She has been fed Beneful supplemented with 1/2 can of Mighty Dog at the A.M. and P.M. feedings. She is only 8 years old, and falling apart. Bad hips, bad eyes, bad digestion. She is very interbred for her intelligence, her hearing and her sense of smell. I think that genetics is as important as what the animal is fed.

  105. @ Pat Jividen.

    Purina puppy chow made my puppy so sick when we first got him, the breeder was feeding it to him. He had such bad diaherrea, we had to put him on a gastro diet just to correct everything. Horrible dog food. I’m surprised you haven’t had an issues.

  106. @ S., DVM.

    What does that have to do with anything? While I went to vet school, nutrition was not a big topic unless you wanted to study in that field.

  107. Jane,thanx for all the info you have included here…I read a few posts that question some of the ‘bad’ brands,as their pets have lived 12-14 years…I believe that somewhere I have read that pets can and should be able to live to 20-21 years in a healthy lifestyle…Your opinion pls?

  108. @ Tina

    I agree with both of you KC and Tina: Vet school only covers a little about animal nutrition (and behvaiour, my “pet” area). However, not all vets drink the Hill’s/Purina/Iams/Royal Canin (honestly not much better – I mean feathers as the main protein?) kool-ade. Many vets do supplement their knowledge with journals and conferences and their own common sense. There are going to be extremes and financial issues in this area as with all others. Hill’s is the most well-known/vilified for slithering its way into vet clinics, boarding facilities, and shelters, but the others do it too. My own vet does carry Hill’s prescription products only, and the J/D (joint) formula did make a difference for my last dog. However, when I got my puppy and asked him (as one but not the only source of information), he told me verbatim, “I have no use for Science Diet.”

  109. @ Barbara

    I’m glad you have what you consider an exception to the discussion. Of course, in marketing, no one’s going to say, “We make a decent product but our competitor’s is better”; they’re selling you something. However, I can guarantee you that not all products marketed as ‘dog food’ are of equal nutritional quality. It’s one thing not to care about whether a dog’s food has corn or wheat or 8 kinds of grains or roadkill or artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives, or meat from certain countries ; it’s another thing entirely to claim to have done “homework” and assert that none of those things matter when feeding a pet.

    As far as you and your sister’s dogs go, I can say from personal experience that certain, even mild, conditions can make a dog have an itchy, irritated coat that has nothing to do with food. My dog has inhaled allergies, so he itches even though he eats a very good food. He gets allergy meds, and people are always commenting on how nice his coat looks, while I’m thinking that he needs a bath or brushing, or has been rolling in mud (one good thing about black dogs!). Additionally, you never say what size your dog is. A spry 13 years is a lot more impressive on a 230 pound English Mastiff than a small or medium-sized breed. Maybe we’re surprised by seemingly longer-lived dogs now because we’ve been feeding them crap and breeding the crap out of them .

  110. @Michael Lay, give the food from Costco’s new “Blue” line of dog food a try. It is not the regular Kirkland brand. This new dog food comes in a all Blue bag (salmon) and/or Burgandy bag (lamb). It passes the test AND is less expensive than the very expensive brands listed as the “good” brands.

  111. @ Ally

    What food product would your recommend specifically for oral care in cats? I’ve had my 3 1/2 year old on an oral care dry food since switching off kitten food because I noticed red gums and bad breath at that age. The vet said her teeth look great and she likes the food I’m feeding, but I do not like the ingredients. (Additionally she gets dental treats, tooth brushing not as frequently as I should, and one bowl has water additive.) I’ve heard raw makes teeth healthier but I’m a little fuzzy on the mechanisms behind this. I’m also not sure if a canned food could replicate the oral benefits she gets from her current food, given their vastly different textures, but I’d like more info.

  112. @ Michael Lay

    Vegetables have no central nervous system. I’m Vegan by CHOICE, and keep my choices to myself….until I read some idiotic comment like the broccol i one. My dogs a.are omnivores, but primarily carnivorous.
    If I could afford premium high end dog food, they’d get it. However, they eat what I buy them, along with meatbscraps that other family members feed them

  113. Actually replying to Sharon: While cats can survive as obligate carnivores, dogs cannot. Evolutionarily speaking, their diet does/did contain the tripe of their prey, which of course they did not clean before consuming.

  114. So many opinions and great advice. I feed Timber Wolf Organics when my boxer was found with cancer. That was the first time I was ever really educated about dog food. I had to special order it and it was shipped to my house. He loved it. My next dog was a Great Dane. He was always sick. No matter what protein I fed him. Finally after just over a year or trying foods I had him allergy tested. He turned out to be a vegan. No meat protein and no dairy. Natural Choice had a vegetarian food that I could get at Petsmart.

    Now I would just like to tell you some of what they test for. Kangaroo so please never buy meat by product. Turkey, duck, different fish, eggs, milk (an 80 is considered an allergy. My dogs milk was 1725). I wish I still had his test and I’d give you the full list. He made it by taking his medicine by eating vegan tofu cheese. Yuk! He loved it. Food makes a huge difference in mans best friend. My dogs are a part if the family. And if I can’t afford good dog food as a staple to my bestie that didn’t ask to come be a part of my family, then feed your kids what the homeless can get their hands on.
    And by the way, get pet insurance. VPI insurance is fantastic and helped me a lot on my Great Dane and all his issues.

  115. @ Bill

    It’s not a black and white situation – you can switch slowly from one product to another. It’s true, most dogs do like foods like Beneful and Cesar for the same reasons most people like fast food – it tastes good, despite being (somewhat to extremely) unhealthy. The difference is that our dogs can’t read labels and shop for themselves. Also, a dog missing one meal is not the end of the world, and unless there’s something medically or physically wrong with a dog, they will eat when they get hungry. But again, switch slowly. It took me at least four months to switch my cats’ food, but I’m glad I did.

  116. I no longer consider Nature’s Variety products a top food. Yes, the food ingredients listed on the label seem good, however, we also need to consider where their meats are sourced. Their rabbit is sourced from China. A big negative for me.

  117. Hi, when I go to the petstore to pick out food there are so many choices!! One of the gals at the store recommended the “Nutro” Natural Choice . What do you think about that brand of food?
    Thank you.

  118. Jane,

    If this is such a big issue, why has the AKC not had an opinion on this (that I can find, anyway)? I would think that they would if there is validity to your claims. Would they REALLY allow a brand that isn’t good for for dogs be a sponsor(Nature’s Recipes)? It isn’t included in you list of “good” ones.

  119. From a veterinarian’s perspective, this website is about misinformation and fear, not education and enlightenment.

    Where are your facts to back up your assertions?

  120. I find this article to be very informative, but I notice that a VERY good dog and cat food is missing. It is called: Chicken Soup for the Dog Lovers Soul and Chicken Soup for the Cat Lovers Soul. Both have meat as the first 4 to 5 ingredients. We feed it to our rescues and the improvement is off the charts! It is not cheap: the down side (cheap being relative). But we do not have extra vet bills, or illnesses that are caused by bad food. I have family members that swear by Ol’ Roy and Kibbles & Bits. They have had tumors, kidney and joint issues, and early death. We have been feeding this for 4 years now. One of our rescues, a cat, had stone issues being on Science Diet (supposedly the good stuff). It cost over $3000.00 to save him. The funny part: the vet wanted to put the cat on Science Diet UR food. It just goes to show that not even the Vets have all the knowledge.
    Thank you for your time and the information that you provided.

  121. I have a shih tsu yorkie mix, and she has allergies. she itches constantly and bites on her feet.I have her on allergy meds, but I’ve tried to change her dog food. She was on beniful and now is on science diet. she’s still scratching and chewing on her feet. I’ve been looking on this forum or whatever this is and I’d sure like some help on what dog food to give her so she can eat healthier and stop itching and biting herself. I feel so bad for her, and love her very much. I had a rottie which was on beniful and she past away at 12 1/2 yrs of cancer. I wonder if her dog food had something to do with it. I was so upset when I had to put her down, she was my baby girl. My little one is 7 yrs. and she is miserable with the itching. Could you help me???? Please? thanks Jo

  122. @ Krista Ross

    Get your facts straight before making stupid comments. Veterinarians do NOT get “kickbacks” from recommending Science Diet or any other product. You don”t have a clue!!! Science Diet was CREATED by veterinarians, and special diets are created and sold by prescription for specific veterinary circumstances. You need to do more research on Science Diet before bashing them. If you choose not to use their food, or prefer something else, that is your choice, but it is reckless of you to make such false statements.
    UNLESS YOU ARE A VETERINARIAN, YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS RECOMMENDING FOOD FOR A DOG WITH ALLERGIES!!! IT CAN HAVE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES. And for the record, Science Diet’s factory is one of the only few factories that produces TRUE hypoallergenic food. Everything must be sterilized/autoclaved before production, that is why it is so expensive. FACT: The 3 biggest allergens for dogs is BEEF, CHICKEN, and DAIRY.

  123. Our 3 Long Haired Chihuahua’s are fed ACANA only!!!!!! We’ve even got family members to switch their dogs to it! GREAT food, all Canadian ingredients, all fresh!

  124. I disagree with you on Purina Dog Chow !
    I have been feeding Purina Dog Chow for the past 40 yrs & my parents fed it to our dogs before that !
    Also our cats ,chickens,ducks & rabbits etc.. Have never had any major health problems except those of old age , My dog that just passed away was raised on Purina and she lived to be 17 yrs old no health problems till the last year of her life !
    I have heard of more health problems in dogs since all these new types healthy dog foods have been around !
    I think people need to worry more about whats on or in the stuff going into their dogs food !
    No pet food company can say that their food is 100 % GMO Free .( Genetically Modified Organism )this has been proven to affect the health of humans & animals ! Cows,Ducks,Chickens, Deers, etc that eat this grain in fields or in feed lots now has this in their meat .Even fish have shown up with this from run off from the fields . Then add in all the weed killers they use ! Don’t believe me do your own research .

  125. One thing that continually bothers me about dog food rating articles and sites is that they NEVER factor in how many times a brand has been recalled. What good is a five star food if the brand has had numerous recalls?

  126. @ Mary

    Why would pet food companies be anyn different that people food companies? Cheap, mass produced ,highly processed garbage. Thats what most Americans feed their families daily.

  127. @MichaelLay

    Thank you for visiting and yes, That is exactly what I am saying.
    Supermarket and grocery store dog food is garbage.

    I am not trying to be morally superior and certainly feel bad for your broccoli, but the focus of the website is strictly informational for those who want facts and the truth about the big corporations and what is really in the cheaper dog food brands.

    I don’t jump through hoops to feed my pets, and certainly that is exactly what I am trying to show those who really have an interest, that hoop jumping is totally unnecessary. (and I might add exhausting)

    This site is not about judgement and guilt, but enlightenment and education only.

    A healthy diet is only a small part of the bigger picture.


  128. Back in the 50’s, and even into the 80’s, dogs died much younger. Back then dogs ate whatever scraps were left. They did not have owners who cooked for them or even treated them as a family member.

  129. Amen to that! I just typed a long response explaining what digest, “animal fat,” maize, and by-product meals really are…YUCK! Thanks for the education you’re providing! I am always amazed at how advertising for Beneful tricks the public into thinking it’s a natural, healthy food. It’s just like marketing junk cereals to kids! One thing I will add is that there are some HUGE production companies that produce MANY different types and qualities of pet food —- there are premium, “top shelf” brands made in the SAME PLANTS as what I would consider to be subpart foods. Individual companies don’t have the everyday input into quality control, and there have been times that ingredients have been substituted…and at least one instance, this caused a MAJOR pet food recall due to tainted rice gluten in one of the most popular and expensive foods out there. I used to work in the pet food industry, so I know some things that are never made public. My advice is to buy from a company that does their own stringent safety and quality testing!!!!!

  130. I have fed mine Blue Buffalo for 10 years now. Their teeth are in great condition, gums look great, fur is amazing and people always comment on how great they all look. The side benefit is they produce less waste becuase their bodies use more of the food versus that of brands with fillers like corn and other junk which just pass through the system unused.

    Its more expensive but there are fewer vet bills and they are worth every penny to me.

  131. But you think blue buffalo ranks up there with orijen???? Maybe you should do some research on premium food..lol.

  132. Wow after reading this i know i am on the right track, My 6 year old border collie and 6 year ol lab/lurcher were both on csj dog food cp21 salmon based hypo allergenic from the age of 6 months due to severe allergys ,a year ago out the blue my border collie tryed to get up and couldnt it was as if her back legs had gave in,she was trying to get up i massaged her for a few minutes she was eating as i was massaging her,then she seemed ok! a few months later same thing happens again beleive me its scary when you see it! again massaging and after what seemed like forever she was fine only a week later same thing! Vet ruled out epilepsy at the same time she had a runny eye! 8 weeks ago i stopped her dry food started feeding both of them chicken breasts,green beans and rice and now touch wood no more funny turns or runny blood shot eye! Now i am thinking that something in their food was obviously affecting my border collie but not my lab/lurcher i am at my wits end now thinking do i keep them on chicken,rice and green beans for life or do i introduce something else to their diet as i really dont want to see my baby go through this again she was badly abused as a pup and when i rescued her she was skin and bone i would go to the end of this earth for her if i could,having spoken to my vet she reckons there may have been something in her food that over the years was slowly getting in to her system! she already had a low immune system when i rescued her due to lung worm which was treated but has left her with a cough but apart from that she is a happy.crazy loving border collie princess it does make me wonder what we actually feed our babys as beleive me my girls were on an expensive brand before i changed it only because it was giving them runny poos,blood in their poos,panda eyes,hair loss etc i thought i had done my research when i found csj dog foods now i am not so sure i can trust any dog food at all! Just to add they both get the occasional kong with low fat smooth peanut butter and bannana and a few bits of a gravy bone biscuit and the occasional tea spoonful of plain pro biotic youghurt,this article really opens your eyes and makes you wonder how many pet owners out there are spending lots of money on vet’s trying to figure out what is wrong with their cat or dog only to find out it might actually be their food!

  133. So, basically, what you’re saying is that nothing I can commonly find in a regular supermarket is good for my dogs, or by association, my cats. You know, I have friends who are vegans, and very morally superior about it, which I don’t really have a problem with. But imagine their discomfort when I inform them that plants of the same species exhibit communicative protective behaviors when one of their kind is under threat. Kinda puts that broccoli in a different light, doesn’t it. Perhaps the broccoli are screaming at harvest and we just can’t hear it. How would we know? And, if this is true, how do we humans justify eating any formerly living thing. But we can’t survive on air, can we? By the same token, perhaps you go too far with your dismissal of every single commonly available pet food. The Luddite way cannot be the solution to every problem. I’m not going to raise lambs so I can slaughter them to feed my dogs and cats. What is it you would have us do that is affordable and sensible (i.e. not jumping through hoops I don’t jump through for my own diet which, in fact, is pretty healthy)?

  134. Hi April

    Thank you for visiting.

    Nature’s Logic is a product I recommend in the post titled: –> NATURAL Dog Food | ALPHABETICAL BY BRANDS.

    Table scraps and letting your dog “fend for himself” were the methods of feeding before the commercial dog food boom started brainwashing comsumers in the 50’s.

    We’ve come a long way in the way we think about the care and health of our precious companion animals.

    I started this website due my own loss of a beloved companion dying a horrible death, which could have been prevented had I known about proper nutrition for dogs. I have read, reviewed and investigated the different methods of dog food diets available today, and personally make my dogs homemade dog food along with additional supplements, minerals and vitamins daily.

    My main focus is homemade dog food, with many recipes, tips and choices listed under the RECIPES Categories in the right sidebar.

    Thanks again


  135. Jane, will you be conducting research into a new dog food I just heard about called “Nature’s Logic”? It is not cheap, however it seems to be very good. I know people are struggling to make ends meet and sadly, some who feed only dog food to their dogs sometimes can no longer afford the expense and wind up relinquishing to some kill facility in their city. I see the posts every day. “Owner turn in” reason for turning in “expense”. These doggies seldom make it out alive.
    I cook for my dog and supplement with a good dog food when I am not able to cook or it is late and she needs to eat right now. Doing it this way conserves the dog food so I don’t have to buy it as often and I can still afford the better quality one. I wish I could go to each and every pet parent and encourage them to keep their dog. There is a way for them to afford their furry family member, just need to figure out what it is. Most people don’t know/remember that pet food only came onto the market in the 1950’s. So what did pet parents in the 30’s, 40’s do to feed their pups? Probably people food which vets tell them NOT to feed. Back then, no alternative. Feeding your furry family member from your own kitchen can be learned, just be patient.

  136. Hi Raj:

    Dogs do not do well with corn (maize) as a regular daily diet. Your listing of Hill’s Science Diet has two listings of corn in the first 5 ingredients.

    Look for a food with no corn, wheat, soy or other fillers such as any of these Bad Dog Food Ingredients.

    MEAT MEAL is a generic term for unspecified meat sources that are not acceptable for human consumption. Look for specified meat sources.

    ANIMAL FAT is most often made up of rendered animal fat, restaurant grease, or other oils too rancid or deemed inedible for humans.

    Look for a named fat source, such as poultry or chicken fat, that is naturally preserved.

    ALSO DIGEST IS A undesirable ingredient – See the description here also.

    Here is a list of what you would want to see on your dog food label.

    I’m a vegetarian also, and couldn’t eat meat personally, but do find feeding meat to others a necessity, especially dogs and cats, as they are carnivores.

    The only thing I would recommend is upgrading your commercial brand if possible, to something similar to any of these. Look to see if there is auto ship from any of the major pet companies or Amazon in your part of the world.

    If it is not possible to change to a different or higher grade commercial food I would suggest not worrying about it, just be happy with the knowledge that you are giving your pet love, shelter and food, which is obviously better that a lot of others get in this world.

    This is an informational site for those who want to change, or who are able to change the diet of their pets. It is NOT intended to guilt and berate anyone who does not want to, or cannot change due to circumstances.

    Thank you for visiting


  137. Hi,
    I have dogs and am a canine behaviourist – used to recommend Hills Science Diet and feed my own dogs the same beccause it says no artificial preservatives etc. The ingredient listings however, are different on my pack than whats stated on your site. Is it still as bad? It says that it contains maize, poultry meat meal, maize gluten meal, animal fat, digest, veg oil, minerls, beet pulp, flaxseed & rice. Cant give homecooked food as I live in a vegetarian hindu household & the brands of commercial food available are limited in India [Pedigree, Science Diet, Royal Canin, Eukanuba & Bosch]

    Many others like me in the same boat – what shoud the recommendation be?


  138. Holy cow– thanks for posting the 7 Worst Dog Foods information. I’ve used Science Diet for years, so I took note and began reading on ingredients (instead of trusting the vet to assure me this was good food). I have five rescued dogs, and I’ll be changing their diet now. You’ve helped me more than you realize.

  139. I so wish I had seen these type articles when we first got our beautiful Lab as a puppy. I think if I had fed him good food instead of commercial food and treats full of chemicals he would still be here with us!! Instead he died at only 9 of stomach cancer. I can’t believe pet food companies don’t care at all what they put into the food we give our beloved pets, I had no idea.

  140. Thank you for visiting Linda:

    Added facebook etc. to bottom of posts. (It was only on the top when you visited and I noticed it wasn’t as visible.)

    I was surprised by the whole dog food industry too, and what I believed to be the best for my dogs.


  141. Thank you so much!! Would like to post this on FB, but isn’t on here to like OR post!! Surprised @ sOme of the brands , as led to believe that they were the best!!

  142. Thanks for a great post. There is so much bad food out there. Just because it says its ‘dog food’ does not mean that it is good for your dog. Thanks for helping to educate the masses.

  143. My little dogs are picky eaters so the problem I’m dealing with is finding something they will eat. The dogs get no nutrition if they don’t eat so I’m of the feeling that any nutrition is better than none. Other than Cesar and the moist Beneful, the other dog foods I have bought,(Waltham’s Royal Canin being the one recommended by our vet) just take up space in their bowls until I throw it out the next day. Beneful might not be the best dog food, actually you name it the worst choice but at least they’ll eat it. I’ll keep buying Beneful and Cesar because the alternative is to see my little guys go on a hunger strike.

  144. Glad your dog lived a long life but if you look at the ingredients on Beneful why would you want to feed it to an innocent animal that has no choice but to eat it? Its like you eating fruit loops cereal etc every day 🙁

  145. Hi Gail: Thanks for visiting and commenting.

    My intention is not to judge or make any one feel bad for their own choices and decisions. Whatever works for you and your puppies is fine with me, and they are lucky to have someone who cares deeply for them.

    That to me is the most important aspect of having a companion dog.

    My site is here for information for those who want it, not to tell anyone what they should or should not do.


  146. I have been feeding Beneful Salmon & veggies for many many years without any problems. One of my dogs passed away last summer at the age of 21 years If this is so harmful why then aren’t I haveing problems I have 9 dogs right now and none of them have any illnesses,
    Thank you

  147. Hi Ashley:

    At first glance it looks like a good product. I have never heard of it, but by checking out their website, which shows the Guaranteed analysis, ingredient list and calorie count, I would recommend it as a healthy natural dog food.

    If your dogs like it, and it agrees with them, then you have a winner.

    INGREDIENTS of the Lamb Meal & Sweet Potato Formula for Adult Dogs:

    Lamb Meal, Sweet Potato, Potato, Peas, Pork Meal, Canola Oil (Preserved with Natural Mixed Tocopherols), Duck Meal, Egg, Salmon Meal, Ground Sage, Ground Basil, Flaxseed, Sea Salt, Tomato, Blueberry, Raspberry, Choline Chloride, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Bifido Bacterium Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Biotin, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Source of Vitamin B2), Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B5), Citric Acid, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Oxide, Selenium Yeast, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid.

    Thanks for visiting,


  148. Jane,

    I am curious to know if you have any thoughts on any products made by Hi-Tek Rations Inc. They are a local company from my area and produce a variety of products from the low-end (cheap products) all the way up to high-end all natural products. They also produce a Grain Free product called “Hi-Tek Naturals Grain Free”. I have been feeding my two dogs this product and they love it. I was just wanting to see if you had heard of this brand or company and had any thoughts of their practices?

    Thanks for your time,


  149. Hi Marybeth:

    Thanks for visiting and commenting. I love your dog dancing error. So cute.

    I’ve haven’t seen much about Holistic Health Extension made by Vets Choice. It seems to be above average in all important areas.

    • No By-Products, Gluten, Corn, Soy or Wheat
    • No Rendered Animal Fats
    • No BHT
    • No Added Sugar
    • No Artificial Flavors, Colors, Dyes or Preservatives
    • No recalls
    • Human Grade Ingredients are used
    • Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids for Skin and Coat Health
    • Pre and Probiotics for Digestive Health
    • Glucosamine for Joint Health
    • Organic or Free Range Chicken or Lamb is the 1st Ingredient

    The canned formulas are 95% meat, which can be used easily for rotation feeding, toppers or treats.

    I would feed this to my “girls.” That is my ultimate test for what I consider a good food.

    As for the Instinct Food, it is one of my favourites — SEE MY NATURE’S VARIETY REVIEW HERE.

    I also have Nature’s Variety in my top ten, HEREt

    Nature’s Variety has a rotation diet philosophy, which includes rotation of raw, dry kibble and canned, along with rotation of proteins.

    Excellent choice for your lucky pup.


  150. Jane, I appreciate allmyour information. I feed instinct raw frozen, but would like to offer other foods. What do you think of Holistic brand Health Extension for toy and miniature dogs. Looks healthy to me, but I would love your evaluation of it. Thanks Mary Beth

  151. Hi Hannah

    Thanks for visiting. I have listed the highlighted and starred ingredients on a separate page.

    Under every bad dog food listed above I have these two links which will go to some of my other posts:

    Bad Dog Food Ingredients to Avoid


    Good dog food ingredients that should be in your dog's food.


    The sad smiley face goes to a page which has an explanation as to why the highlighted and starred items are dangerous.

    MENADIONE is listed there, with this explanation:


    This synthetic version of vitamin K has not been specifically approved for long term use, such as in pet food. It has been linked to many serious health issues. If you are not aware of this it sounds like one of the healthy vitamins, but beware. 

    • The MSDS guide states :
    • “Potential Chronic Health Effects:
    • CARCINOGENIC EFFECTS: 3 (Not classifiable for humans) by IARC.
    • MUTAGENIC EFFECTS: Mutagenic for mammalian somatic cells.
    • The substance is toxic to kidneys, lungs, liver, mucous membranes.
    • Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage.”


    Thanks again


  152. Thank you for this website……….I sometimes need to refer people here when they tell me all the problems their dog is having & I find out what they are feeding………egad! These really bad products will never be pulled off the market (mega-corporations are way too powerful) so people will continue to feed these foods to their very unlucky dogs.

    Maybe I’m missing something but I see an asterisk beside menadione but couldn’t find any explanation for why it’s so marked. I think it’s important to let pet parents know just how dangerous this ingredient is & right on this page for the world to see. I’m sure it’s listed under the bad ingredients.

    I honestly thought after the 07 recalls, most people would be aware of just how bad some of these ingredients are & sales would take a dump of some of these really awful dog foods. Doesn’t appear that happened. I’m sad & worried about that………:-(

    Thanks again for a great website…….

  153. Hi Lynda

    HALO has:

    • NO artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
    • NO rendered meat, poultry or fish, animal or plant meals
    • NO corn, wheat or wheat gluten

    Ingredients – Chicken, Eggs, Pea Protein, Oats, Vegetable Broth, Pearled Barley, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Whole Peas, Chicken Liver, Salmon, Flax Seed, Salmon Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Pea Fiber, Sweet Potatoes, Apples, Blueberries, Green Beans, Carrots, Cranberries, Zucchini, Alfalfa, Inulin, Calcium Sulfate, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Salt, Vitamins (Folic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Choline Bitartrate, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Ascorbic Acid, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin), Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Cobalt Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium longum, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus plantarum

    I would recommend it and I would certainly feed my girls this product.

    Halo is listed in the sidebar under TOP PICKS – ALPHABETICALLY BY BRAND ===>


  154. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

    It sure is an eye opener. That book (Food Pets Die For), is what started my ultimate amazement and disbelief about how we have been duped by the pet food industry.

    Kudos to Ann Martin for her years of investigation and revelations.

    When I lost my first dog to cancer and connected the dots I was pretty much unable to keep my big mouth shut.

    Thus this site.

    😉 Jane

  155. The animal parts used can be obtained from any source, so there is no control over quality or contamination.

    Any kind of animal can be included: goats, pigs, horses, rats, misc. roadkill, animals euthanized at shelters and so on. It can also include pus, cancerous tissue, and decomposed (spoiled) tissue.


    This is one of the reasons these bagged foods are bad.Many animals that are euthanized in animal shelters across the U.S. by animal gas chamber or lethal injection are picked up and sent to rendering factories only to end up back in dog food.It’s a sad & disgusting truth.Dog eat Dog.

  156. Amelia:

    Thanks and you are correct.

    I was surprised to learn that the AAFCO “stringent testing guidelines” required a typical feeding trial to use eight dogs over one year of age. All the dogs must be of normal weight and health. Prior to the start of the trial all dogs must pass a physical exam. At the end of the trial four blood values are measured and recorded: they include hemoglobin, packed cell volume, serum alkaline phosphates and serum albumin.

    For six month the dogs are only fed the food being tested and must not lose more than 15% of their body weight. If six dogs of the original eight dogs finish this trial and pass the above tests, then the food is declared within AAFCO standards.

    Pretty limited and simplified and very short term trials if you ask me.

    Besides we shouldn’t have to conduct trials and tests on animals to see if their food is safe or not. Common sense is not prevailing.

    That is why, we, as consumers must educate ourselves.

    This book by Ann N. Martin was the first book I bought and learned about what the pet food industry does not want consumers to know. It is all pretty grim. In her book Ann Martin contacted many “authorities and representatives” of different companies and couldn’t get answers to a lot of her questions.

    Thanks for visiting


  157. What is funny is that so many dogs grew up on the above listed foods and they lived long lifes. MY GSD growing up lived to 12 years old on these types of foods plus pancakes, etc .My dads GSD lived to 12 on milk and bread. Personally I think nowadays it is the chemicals in dry dog food AND human food that are kiling our dogs and us earlier (cancer)as opposed to the food type ingredients. I also think the chemicals have more to do with dog allergies than again the food type ingredients. IMHO of course

  158. Jane,

    I think people need to go beyond the labels and actually call the company itself to see if a representative can answer basic questions. Ideally, the consumer should be able to talk to the formulator or at least know why certain ingredients are being used. There are so many companies jumping on the “holistic” bandwagon that are putting ingredients in their foods that have no documentation as being good for the pet. The performance of the food, meaning the results you see after 30-60 days, bears more weight than the writing on a “natural” or “holistic” label.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

  159. Helen:

    Addiction is featured under the RAW | Dehydrated | Freeze Dried | Pre-Mix



    and Just for Puppies.

    All of these are under the category RECOMMENDATIONS at the top of the page, or alternately also can be accessed through the menu in the right sidebar under Best Dog Food Recommendations.

    Sorry for the confusion in my navigation. I’ve tried to clean it up a bit and make it less confusing.

    Any way thanks for visiting – I appreciate it!


  160. On your recommended foods I notice you list Honest Kitchen but not Addiction, another freeze-dried raw food I’ve been feeding my pack with success. Are you unaware of it?


  161. I have been feeding my babies “Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul for years. What is your opionion of this food? Thanks so much! Sue

  162. It all depends on what your pup has allergies to. Is it the grains? If so, that is common, and probably because dogs are not meant to eat grains. Vets tout Science Diet prescription formula because they get a kickback from the company. If you need something more affordable and about a million time better, try Taste of the Wild. They are all grain free, and they have many different options for your proteins. They have a fish based one called Pacific Stream, a bison and venison one, a lamb based one, and a fowl based one. The fowl one has chicken, so if your pup is allergic to chicken, you will need to stay away from that one. My favorite for my pups is Acana. It is made by the same Company that makes Orijen. Both are phenomenal foods out of Canada. They use all human grade, fresh meats, and are grain free. They have quite a few protein options, as well. They have a regional red, a ranchlands, a fowl and fish, etc. Acana is more than Taste of the Wild. These companies are both very good, and you will be a million times better off with either. There are many websites that list dog foods by stars that are very educational. Your vet is feeding you a load of crap by telling you that is your only option. Science Diet is terrible. All those chicken by product meals, and other unspecified meat meals are horrifying ingredients, feathers, beaks, everything ground up. the conditions are deplorable, and often these cheap commercial brands even use rendered meats from the poor euthenized dogs and cats from shelters. If you live in an area that makes it hard to come by these foods you can order them from Amazon.

  163. My dog has allergies and had been on ZD while we got them under control. Then we changed to a limited ingredient diet Nature’s Balance – available at Petco. They have several limited ingredient formulas. My guy is on Potato and Duck. I talked to the vet about it and she said that that was a good brand.

  164. What food can you do if your dog has allergies? My boxer has IBS and we were told by our vet he can only eat hills science diet ZD formula. Its so expensive…8lb bag is $30 and 17lb bag is $60 we go through one 17lb bag Evey 2 weeks. My wallet is screaming to say the least…what other option do I have? Any help would be appreciated.

  165. Great post Dogtor J… this is exactly what I’ve been teaching pet owners for the last 6 or 7 yrs now. I have all of my pets on rotation diets…kibble, home cooked and raw…grain free, high protein, plenty of OFAs and supplements like Missing Link or Wholistic Canine/Feline Complete.

    What you didn’t mention that I do when educating people is that an appropriate high quality diet costs more up front by less $ overall, increases health, the immune system and longevity, eliminates “dog smell”, nasty teeth, yeasty ears, eye goop, most digestive problems and diseases/conditions, improves eyesight, heart, kidney, liver and bladder health, eliminates the need for flea/tick products and well… has so many benefits it’s hard to list them all. My dogs/cats ( I have 7 ) are in perfect health and never need to see a vet for anything other than a checkup or rabies vax ( for which I prepare them w/homeopathic nosodes ahead of time to counteract any bad effects ). They look good, smell good and feel good.

    Dogs fed poor quality, inappropriate foods do not THRIVE… the merely SURVIVE.

  166. Karen…you’re exactly the kind of person that we who actually study REAL NUTRITION and not ARTIFICIAL nutrition warn people about. And AAFCO means jack shit and you are absolutely CLUELESS about proper biologically appropriate QUALITY pet nutrition. REAL NUTRITION IS NOT CONCOCTED IN A LABORATORY. I suggest you educate yourself. You’re as bad as a MONSANTO or BIG PHARMA cheerleader. I feel sorry for you 🙁

    Poor girl doesn’t realize that companies like Hills and Purina were started because the food industry needed to find something to do w/their waste products and that ALL food made by companies like Hills, Purina, Royal Canin etc are made from 4-D RENDERED meats which are rancid, cancerous, full of tumors, tuberculosis, parasites and worms, rotted flesh, diseased animals, road kill, euthanized animals from the vet still in the body bags w/tags, collars etc still on them, spoiled supermarket meats that go into the vat still in the styrofoam pkgs and cellophane wrapping, eyes, teeth, hair, etc. The grains used are by products from beer-making, mill floor sweepings, infected w/insects, parasites, fungus and other diseases. In other words THOSE companies make their food from ingredients that ARE NOT FIT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION… NOR are they fit for animal consumption. They are a way for a slimeball industry to make BIG $$ off of ignorant ppl by brainwashing them through HEAVY propaganda to believe that feeding your pets CRAP is good for them and giving them REAL, NATURALLY nutritious food appropriate for their species and biology is not !

    Oh.. and another not.. ALL rendered meat MUST, BY LAW be “denatured” so as not to be able to make it’s way back into the human food chain. This means that ALL of that meat is doused with either CARBOLIC ACID or CREOSOTE.

  167. You need to keep your dog on a high quality GRAIN-FREE food. Blue WILDERNESS, not the other varieties. Also other superior grain-free foods are Nature’s Variety Instinct, Innova EVO, Orijen, Acana, Merrick BG, Canidae Grain Free. Because yeast is a fungus and most likey caused by eating lots of grains you need to kill off the candida in the system. Add RAW ORGANIC APPLE CIDER VINEGAR to your dog’s food or water daily. You may also swab the ears w/NEEM OIL or RAW EXTRA VIRGIN COCONUT OIL. These are antifungal and coconut oil is also an anti-inflammatory.

  168. You should also NEVER feed a food that doesn’t name the meat meal, that has NO named meat meal and only a whole pre-cooked meat listed, that lists POULTRY or ANIMAL fat and frankly has ANY grains in it. DOGS and CATS digestive systems CANNOT process grains. They are CARNIVORES. Grains are not a biologically appropriate form of nutrition.

  169. Dogs with yeast problems need to be on a low glycemic diet. There are only two that I am aware of that are actually certified low glycemic and they are Orijen and Nutrisca. Those are both extremely high quality foods. Blue is a great food, but it contains potatoes that break down into sugar which feeds yeast. It is fine for dogs with grain allergies or no issues at all, but if they have yeast putting them on a low glycemic diet is KEY!

  170. Taste of the Wild gave my dogs too much gas! They loved the food. I just couldn’t be in the same room with them.

  171. Agreed Ally! My daughter owns a pit bull and that dog is THE sweetest, most loving, adorable dog I’ve ever known (next to my own of course!) – Pit Bulls indeed have been given a bad reputation, they are awesome dogs…… Thank you for your post!

  172. The ingredient list for the Rachel Ray Chicken and Veggies Nutrish (taken from her website) is:
    Chicken, Chicken Meal, Ground Rice, Corn Meal, Soybean Meal, Poultry Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Corn Gluten Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Dicalcium Phosphate, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Dehydrated Alfalfa, Dried Peas, Dried Carrots, Dried Tomatoes, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Olive Oil, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Oxide, Dried Parsley, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Mixed Tocopherols, Niacin, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (source of vitamin K activity), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Sulfate, Folic Acid.

    I wouldn’t use a dog food with corn, much less two different corn listings (this is called double stacking).


    This synthetic version of vitamin K has not been specifically approved for long term use, such as in pet food. It has been linked to many serious health issues. If you are not aware of this it sounds like one of the healthy vitamins, but beware.

    The MSDS guide states –

    “Potential Chronic Health Effects:
    CARCINOGENIC EFFECTS: 3 (Not classifiable for humans) by IARC.
    MUTAGENIC EFFECTS: Mutagenic for mammalian somatic cells.
    The substance is toxic to kidneys, lungs, liver, mucous membranes.
    Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage.” SEE HERE!


  173. Just as a consumer with the ability to read the ingredients list, I learned years ago that Hills and Royal Canin are some of the most overpriced food on the shelves. I worked at Petsmart and had the privilege to show many interested customers how to read the ingredients list and show them the difference in price vs. food quality. Even if it’s not what I would consider a “premium” food, you can still do a lot better than Hills or RC for the same price range…that’s why I went out of my way to show them better options based on what they could afford.
    I often heard, “but my vet recommended this to me”. I would reply, “do you know the companies may supply your vet w/ free food in exchange for promoting there products?”. Even though I stressed that I couldn’t guarantee that was the situation w/ their personal vet, they weren’t happy to learn that it was a possibility.
    In regards to not testing on animals, some of us don’t want other should-be pets to suffer a painful, empty life in a cage or kennel to help a company’s bottom line. Especially when it’s completely unnecessary these days.
    I’m not a nutritionist, but i’m also not foolish or gullible enough to base my entire view of pet nutrition/food choices on what a person says when they are promoting their own friggin product. Get a clue.

  174. my general rule of thumb is if you can buy it at a grocery store or department store, it’s crap. pet supply stores carry some lower quality stuff too so you still need to read your labels, but you have better chances of finding something good

  175. Hi Via:

    There are many lists of best dog foods.

    Here is my TOP 10 Favourite Holistic/Natural Dog Foods
    Here is my TOP BEST ORGANIC Dog Food (There are 9 in this list)
    Here is my general list of top Natural/Holistic dog food. These are all foods that I would consider “good enough for my dogs”.

    Here are other websites that have their best dog foods in lists and reviews:

    Dog Food Anylsis
    Dog Food Advisor
    Dog Food Chat

    This link is also a good reference on the Dog Food Chat’s forums – The Whole Dog Journal list for 2011. They put out an annual list of approved dog foods that can be also used as a guideline for knowing which dog food’s are better than others. You can get a subscription for all their important dog health info and articles Here:
    Whole Dog Journal

    Hope that helps, and I’m sure you’ll see a pattern of the same top dog foods throughout all these different sites.

    Thanks for visiting


  176. Hi Karen:

    Here are books that I personally have, use as my references, and recommend. They are all written by pet nutritionists, professionals, doctors and various authorities debunking the pet food industry.

    If you really want the facts, information and the truth these are the go to books.

    Hill’s Pet Nutrition and Royal Canin are two companies that self promote and also misinform.

    I stand by my assertion that any dog food with corn is a “bad dog food”, along with some of the other undesirable ingredients.

    There is a much more healthy way to feed today’s pet, and by reading, reviewing, discussing, learning and being open
    to these new ideas we will eventually educate enough people to stop the lies from these big commercial companies who
    only care about the almightly dollar.

    As for your AAFCO statement:

    In Food Pets Die For: Shocking Facts About Pet Food, by Ann M. Martin, she goes into extreme detail of how misleading this regulating body really is.
    Her book contains the complete AAFCO statement, along with a breakdown of what these requirements really mean.

    The AAFCO’s determinations of what is acceptable, and what is allowed to be included in the pet food industry’s acceptable ingredients list is not something I want, or obviously a lot of other people want to feed their companions.

    An AAFCO inspection of pet food must meet the standards that are being claimed by the pet food maker. If the product
    claims a 20% protein rate, 8% fat, and 2.5% fiber, then the food must test out at these levels.

    The sources of these findings do not matter! The AAFCO has poor guidelines. Pet food is allowed to contain meats from the category of the 4 D’s. Dead, dying, diseased or disabled. Fiber from peanut shells is acceptable. Fat from rancid, used restaurant cooking oil is picked up after the restaurants deem the oil used and not edible any more. The oil is stored in drums, sometimes out in the sun for weeks awaiting pickup by the manufacturers,

    (I could go on and on!)

    Find More of my fact based articles here:

    Thanks you for visiting.


  177. We have recently (over the past year) switched our labs to Taste of the Wild. They have exhibited better energy, a nicer coat and there feces are more solid. They appear to really be processing a lot more of the food.
    Thank you Taste of the Wild for finally helping me to find something good for our dogs to eat. I just hope we caught it soon enough to give them a bit longer life.

  178. I have an english mastiff with constant yeast infections in his ears. I recently switched him to Blue a grain free product. Is this a good brand?

  179. Just curious, are any of the people commenting here PhD’s in Animal Nutrition? (I am not but have been through technical training at Hill’s Pet Nutrition and Royal Canin USA)

    Did you know that there is an AAFCO statement on each bag or can of dog or cat food? Did you know that some of the food is “formulated” and not tested on animals to check out its performance Did you know there are dog and cat foods which are actually puppy and kitten food but are sold as Adult food? READ THE AAFCO STATEMENT before you buy.

    Do you know what DMB is? DMB is Dry Matter Basis. Did you know that dog food and cat food labels have the ingredients listed by WEIGHT. So…if the company is using DMB the order in which the items are listed will be different than if they are not using DMB. Of course whole chicken includes WATER so it will be listed first versus chicken meal.

    Anyway I could go on and on. Come on people go get an AAFCO book and have a read! Oh and if you do not know what AAFCO stands for here it is: American Association of Feed Control Officials. HAVE YOU HEARD OF THAT?

    PS Chicken By Products are items like organs, intestines etc.

  180. Quinoa is an excellent carb for your dog.

    Also, these are some other choices of carbohydrates that are healthy: unprocessed oatmeal, brown rice, bulgur, millet, whole wheat couscous, barley, pasta or potatoes.

    I cook my meat, just as a personal choice, but there is a lot of pros for feeding raw meat also.


  181. i am a big beleiver in natural dog food,especially for the elderly or immune compromised. i have always used quinnoa. is this ok? with raw fresh chicken thighs?

  182. Hi Doc

    Thanks again. I use this paper, HIGH PROTEIN MYTH DEBUNKED, which supports your comments, and has dozens of references and studies showing a lot of proof for those naysayers.

    That is, if they really want to know the truth and read for themselves.

    Just a you state, the obvious ignorance is being fuelled, unfortunately, by those higher educated than most of us. (Present company excluded :))

    Thanks again for you comments. I will be referring those that disagree and argue, to your site, along with my other references that I routine use. I really don’t think those looking for a fight are really looking for the truth.

    Once again, I greatly appreciate your input.


  183. On some of the previous posts:

    Veterinary nutritional experts now report that the natural diet of the dog would be 70-80% ANIMAL-origin protein (meat, fowl/poultry, eggs, fish), the remainder being vegetation, berries, animal scat, worms, insects, etc.

    So, yes, dogs ARE omnivores, but…they are meat-based omnivores with the VAST majority of their diet being comprised of animal-origin protein. Note: The natural diet of the dog would NOT contain grains (wheat, barley, rye, corn) as these are all man-cultivated crops. Original wheat (Einkorn) grew in only one place on earth – the fertile crescent of the Middle east – while the ancestors of corn grew is only one place as well – in Middle America (Mexico). So…the vast majority of wild canids would have not had access these grains nor to the gluten-grain substitutes (rice, potatoes, tapioca, etc.) nor to dairy products and soy, the latter being found one place on earth originally – Eastern Asia. We should have left that one underground!(Google “dangers of soy, Cinderella’s Dark Side”. Whoa!)

    Therefore, when a pet food company claims that their food is made to mimic that of wild dogs and yet contains these things (gluten grains, corn, potatoes, or even rice*), they are incorrect (either sincerely wrong or using deception for sales). *RICE is still the healthiest of the grains to feed. The main reason to avoid rice is in the case of secondary food allergies, in which one or more of the “Big 4” have damaged the lining of the small intestine and established “the Leaky gut syndrome”, which is the PROVEN mechanism for the development of allergies to otherwise healthy foods (eggs, rice, meats, poultry, tree nuts, tropical fruits, etc.). Sadly, lamb, rice and chicken are now the most common secondary food allergens thanks to the injudicious use of the gluten grains, corn, soy and dairy in pet foods. THESE establish the leaky gut and the other allergies follow!

    So…when you get on breed forums and read their posts “discussing” (arguing over) what percentage of kibble should be protein, you will quickly see that most of them are incorrect in light of the natural (biologically appropriate) diet of the canine. The CRAZY thing is that this fire is being fueled by the ignorance (lack of knowledge) of my own profession. Once of the main points that is so often lost is the DISTINCTION between the types of protein. You will read that some are concerned that “too much protein” (“45%”, “55%”) will “burn up the kidneys”.

    Well, if the majority of the protein is from wheat, corn or soy then, YES, that could be a concern knowing that the proteins (lectins) of these three trouble foods are vitally involved in the inflammation of the kidneys that leads to kidney failure. Gluten is a MAJOR player in kidney failure in both pets and their people (IgA nephropathy). But, if the majority of protein if of animal origin, the protein content being that high or higher is not a concern UNLESS their kidneys are already on the way out (from eating the grains all of their life).

    It is insane to have veterinary diet companies defend the feeding of corn to dogs and cats as if it was on par with meat. This could not be further from the truth. But…they have to use some carb in order to make a kibble that can sit in the bag unrefrigerated for months on end and still keep weight on the dog.

    If the kibble was made to be biologically appropriate, it would HAVE to be in the refrigerator/freezer, wouldn’t it? And…it would be made of meats, fowl/poultry, eggs, fish, fruits, berries and veggies. It would be OK to leave out the worns and animal scat, I guess. :):):)

    Hope this helps,
    Dogtor J

  184. Thank you, Jane! I’m glad that you’ve discovered the site and found it useful. 🙂

    Yes…the diet is clearly the single-biggest factor under our control when it comes to reclaiming our health and that of our pets. Sadly, there has been sooo much misinformation out there, turning “diet” into a four-letter word. There have been many fad diets, most of which have given a glimpse into the truth but missed the mark. The Adkin’s Diet is one of them, but…sadly, Dr. Adkin’s didn’t even understand his own recommendations. He simply took an idea (medical truth) that we have known since the 1920’s (that we don’t get fat from eating fat but rather from consuming too many carbs) and popularized it, creating the Adkin’s empire. But when I saw him interviewed by Larry King, the good doctor could not answer the questions being asked by viewers concerning why their arthritis, IBS, migraines and other maladies disappeared along with their fat.

    Well, we now know exactly why. The main foods that make us and our pets fat are wheat, corn, dairy products and excessive sugar/high fructose corn syrup. Why? Because the proteins (lectins) of wheat, corn and dairy are very inflammatory and the body will do what it can to shuttle them out of the bloodstream and into the most expendable tissue in our body – your “recycle bin” know as FAT. It does the same with toxins (PCBs, insecticide residues, carcinogens, etc.), estrogens and other things the body doesn’t want in it. Now we know why lipomas are usually the first tumor, right? Why wouldn’t they be with fat being where carcinogens are stored in high concentration. And…if you don’t have enough fat to store these things, you (hopefully) will make more. No one wants to get fat but the system is working to protect you. The news flash is that some of the very staples of our diet (wheat, corn and dairy) are the worst offenders. Get off of those and watch the weight plummet.

    In addition, the arthritis, allergies, asthma, IBS/heartburn, fibromyalgia, epilepsy, neuropsychiatric disorders (ADHD, OCD, bipolar disorder, autism), neurodegenerative diseases (MS, Parkinson’s, dystonia, etc.) improve. We now know exactly why, which I attempt to explain on my Website.

    The key? Avoiding the bad things and consuming the correct things. So simple, right? It IS simple…just not easy. We’ve been programmed wrong. In some cases, we’ve been deceived badly. But thankfully, we know infinitely more about these matters than we did just 20 years ago. And, it should make sense. It’s hard to argue with the truth. 🙂

    Thanks again for the warm welcome,
    Dogtor J

  185. Hello to you, Dogtor J.

    Thanks for visiting and especially for your comments. They are greatly appreciated.

    Love your website, Dogtor J.com, with your in depth, well researched and easily understood detailed explanations, about “the Big 4” and why eliminating them is life changing.

    Thanks again,


  186. You sure got this right!!!

    I have spent the last 12.5 years trying to educate my clients and the rest of the pet-loving world about the dangers of what I now call “The Big 4” – gluten (wheat, barley, rye), dairy products (those from cow’s milk), soy, and corn. These are the principle foods that cause direct harm to the gastrointestinal lining (villous atrophy), leading to malabsorption of nutrients, food allergies, and chronic gastrointestinal symptoms as well as contributing to every disease state known to mankind.

    How can the latter be true? First of all, once we stop absorbing out nutrients properly (calcium, iron, iodine, B complex, C, magnesium, trace minerals, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, etc.), bad things happen. This should not be hard to imagine. BUT…once these inflammatory proteins (called lectins) from gluten, dairy, soy/legumes, and corn enter the bloodstream, they have direct access to every tissue in the body and begin doing to those tissues what they have already done to the lining of the gut, namely induce inflammation. As it turns out, COUNTLESS individuals- both two and four legged – have developed intolerances to these foods. How and why is explained on my Website, including in a paper titled “A Brief History of the Big 4”, in which I explain why these foods were bad choices and/or what man has done to them to make them toxic to all living creatures, including our food animals.

    So…you hit the nail directly on the head with this list, including your top pick. I use it as the glaring example on a regular basis, as it is one of the few foods made that has all 4 of “the Big 4” plus two forms of sugar, artificial colors and flavors, and virtually NONE of the vegetables they so proudly advertise. The peas and carrots come after the artificial colors on the ingredient list, reducing the amounts of these vegetables to a molecular level. Oh..and BTW…peas are not a vegetable. They are a legume and can cross react in cases of soy sensitivities.

    I have now witnessed medical miracles from simply eliminating “the Big 4” from the diets of the afflicted, including epilepsy (my Internet specialty), chronic skin/ear issues, chronic gastrointestinal problems (including Crohn’s Disease in people), depression, fibromyalgia and even MS. It is not hard to understand why once we see the rather simply cascade of events that follows the intestinal damage caused by these four “foods”. The Website goes into gross detail.

    I hope this helps,
    Dogtor J

  187. Well I hate to burst everyones bubble, but. Yes Dogs are Omnivores!!! and you all are putting WAY to much into all of this, not every dog is going to have a problem with CORN, WHEAT, GLUETON OR SOY. more active dogs can handle the carbs, and some wont…. not every dog is the same about raw, most raw diets are very well formulated with Everything they need, I know Many dogs that is all they get and they do great, but I also know dogs that can not handle raw at all. so depending on “YOUR” dog you will feed him/her the way it will work best. we get our food from a local NATURAL pet store and our dogs are better with out corn. “if it aint broke, dont fix it” I dont see “people” getting this outraged on there own diets………

  188. Hi Ryan:

    Thanks for your comment. You hit the nail on the head about whatever works best for you and your pet.

    Bottom line; that is all that really matters.

    You have lucky pets.

    Unless you buy certified organic meat that is hormone, anitbiotic and chemical free we will consume these ingredients, along with our pets. As of now, organic meat is more expensive, and a lot of people can’t afford to go this route for themselves, much less their animals.

    You can order organic raw pet food online such as PawNaturaw, and others. – Here is my list of favourites 🙂


  189. Thank you Jane. I believe everyone has their own personal favorites and way’s about doing things. Just because 1 thing is good for 1 dog does not mean that that certain thing would be good for the next dog or cat or horse or whatever critter. I have a cat that can ONLY eat Purina 1 cat chow due to irritable bowel syndrome and ANY other feed i have tried organic or not have given her horrible bloody diarrehea. i also have a 13 year old rottie mix I adopted from the pound 13 years ago and his entire life he has been on Purina Products. First Purina Puppy, then at 3 Purina Dog chow then at 10 Purina Senior. He has an excellent coat, healthy teeth (has only ever needed 1 dental in his life)and tries to keep up woth the smaller younger dog’s the best a 13 year old dog can. He is currently and will continue to be on cosequin for his hips and joints but all in all is in GREAT health and i have never had ANY issues with him. But like I said no 1 dog is the same as the other and will react the same to w/e diet he or she is on. My pet’s and myself are happy with the food I feed my pet’s and that is really all that matters I guess. I do have a question though, with this raw meat diet thing, are there concerns as too the horomones and what not they add to the diets of the chicken, beef and other meats that are fed to your pet’s? I am just from a small town and we don’t have any fancy organic stores or anything of the such around here. Any insight would be appreciated! =)

  190. Wow Barbara! Seriously, WHERE are you getting your information on feeding raw? Oh wait…commercial dog food companies and your vet, that markets Hills! Of course!
    Maybe do a little more research – you moron.

  191. Actually, since you made the claim ( “It is IMPOSSIBLE (prove me wrong)…”), the burden of proof is on you… :3

  192. He maybe living so long because he is getting suppliments from other sources. And all that about companies saying their food is best.. Its called “marketing” dont read their labels to find the truth, read veteranarian papers published, Every dog is different, but I have seen many 3 year olds with rotten breath bad skin, poor fur, and they are eatting beneful. It sustains animals life, but doesnt maintain good health.

  193. any dog an eat raw meat. some dont adapt so well, but they all can digest it. I work with animals for years, and most do extremely well on it. some need adjusting, because their stomachs are screwed up from kibble. You need to do better reasearch before you go giving your opinion. Processed food is never better.. haven’t you learned anything.

  194. That is 100% false. Dogs’ digestive systems do not differ by breed. No breed or dog becomes aggressive by eating raw meat, that is an old wives tale and it is also 100% false. Absolutely no research suggests anything you’ve said to be true.

  195. Barbara, You can do all the reading you want. Your comment is still ignorant. I almost laughed out loud when you wrote “…no meat diet takes the aggressiveness out.” Really?! So if I read enough about ADHD and I say that if you take all the candy and soda away from them they will calm down? You can not be an armchair expert on dog breeds because you read a few articles. Get some real experience before forming an opinion.

  196. KC You must be reading the science done by pet food company, A raw diet 80% meat, 10% bone, and 10% organ is the best diet you can feed your dog. Do some more research.

  197. Eating raw will not affect pit bulls! I have a pit thats been eating raw his whole life and is as sweet as can be.

  198. All kibbles try to mimic the diet of what wolves eat in the wild, if you disagree then provide me with the original blueprint please. Think about it… the blueprint started somewhere! Vit/min mixes are great however not many people ask what the ‘grind’ is in those mixes, is there enough vitamin B carriers, what are the oxalic acid levels in your fiber source ect ect. If the grind is off (the right way is expensive) then most of the nutrients end up sitting in the body trying to get flushed through the kidneys… ouch! Veggies and fruits?!? Ok, dogs do not produce amylase which is needed to break down the cell walls (grade 12 biology reference please). Therefore we need to mechanically render that cell wall which in turn puts the vit/min packed insides at risk. It is IMPOSSIBLE (prove me wrong) to perfectly render the cell wall to enable ALL of the vit/min to be utilized by the body appropriately. In conclusion. The blue prints started from a whole prey based diet in the wild. It is up to you the food companies to prove your mechanically modified commercial foods are better than a raw natural diet NOT ON ME. When a commercial food company decides to put their money where their mouth is and compare their diet DIRECTLY with a BALANCED prey model raw diet then I will say it myself that there is such thing as a high end commercial food. As of right now they refuse to; saying it is on the raw people to prove it. Your using our blueprints!!! By their theory my dog should die because he doesn’t get a vit/min pack and all the modified ingredients… funny I just used the original blue print of whole prey raw and I pay LESS than what you charge, his teeth look fantastic and get this… he isn’t dead :O! If you say your dog didn’t do well on raw you didn’t hold out long enough. Detox can take months, longest I have seen is a year (to much inbreeding and lack of nutrients). Your move pet industry 😉

  199. Hi Carol:

    Here is a forum discussing the ingredient list of ACTRIUM, listing pros and cons.

    I would hesitate feeding any food that contains MENADIONE SODIUM BISULFITE, which is listed in Actrium.


    This synthetic version of vitamin K has not been specifically approved for long term use, such as in pet food. It has been linked to many serious health issues. If you are not aware of this it sounds like one of the healthy vitamins, but beware. 

    The MSDS guide states –

    “Potential Chronic Health Effects: 
    CARCINOGENIC EFFECTS: 3 (Not classifiable for humans) by IARC.
    MUTAGENIC EFFECTS: Mutagenic for mammalian somatic cells.
    The substance is toxic to kidneys, lungs, liver, mucous membranes.
    Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage.”



  200. Beneful is one of the worst unfortunately. It’s all filler. It’s like the equivalent of a person eating McDonald’s everyday. It will catch up with your pet one day and it will happen very quickly. I volunteer in rescue and have seen it all unfortunately. Best foods are:

    Taste of the Wild
    Tiki Dog/Tiki Cat
    Ziwi Peak (hard to find but an amazing food)

    I also boil boneless chicken and mix that with my dog’s dry food and turkey meatballs broken up into little pieces. (Cats should never eat dry food. In fact, a friend of a friend’s adopted cat just had to be euthanized yesterday due to kidney failure from a dry food diet.)

    My friend’s 14 year old cat was on Purina and my friend mentioned that the cat could no longer leap onto the couch or bed etc. I gave her a 2 week supply of Weruva to try out and guess what? The cat actually plays with her kitten sibling now and can leap onto the couch and sofa. This cannot be a coincidence. Her cats are strictly on Weruva now 🙂

  201. Sorry, but working with pit bull rescue and rehabilitation on a daily basis, I must say that a food of any kind does not make a pit bull more aggressive. Please stop with the myths about pit bulls. It’s statements like this that hurt the breed. Pit bulls, like any other dog, are only aggressive do to the environment they are in and what they are taught. It’s people that are to blame. NOT the dog. Pit bulls, by nature, are sweet, loyal dogs and were even nicknamed “nanny dogs” 100 years ago because of their gentle nature towards children.

  202. Nancy,, AMEN to that!! People do get rediculous about dogs and cats with the food.. as I said before it is all Industry based and commercial, I say no to that and feed my dog what he likes..and you are right about Africa. Also our families in America are eating out of dumpster,, moms out there with children , homeless, what does anyone think they are eating ??? So enough on being so silly about what dog food is the best, it is Balony.

  203. One more thing. Not all dog breeds are suppose to eat raw meat.. I did a lot of reading and investigating into each breed and what that certain breed should eat. I believe that breeds such as husky , Irish wolfhounds , some of the breeds can eat raw meat. Dogs in the wild because they are wild eat meat, the dogs we have at home were breed down over years of breeding and domesticated should not eat raw meat.. meats yes, cooked , and toy breeds should not ever eat raw meats. Each breed has a certain meal plan to follow. Pit Bulls that eat a lot of meat become more aggressive and more apt to fight, given a low meat diet or no meat diet takes the aggressiveness out . Sorry , but I do disagree about all dog breeds should eat raw meat. As I said that was okay before our little home pets were domesticated throughout the years.

  204. Before I got a dog I did a lot of homework on foods and dog training and raising a dog. I am thinking this is a Industry of dog foods fight. One dog food says they are the best , the other says they are the best , it is all commercial. My sis ter had a dog that ate that wonderful food you were discussing,,the organic all meat , no corn..etc… etc etc. Her dog was constantly ill from it, had bad , dull coat , scracthing all the time etc… I feed my dog and have fed him on Beneful, for a number of years …he has a shiny coat, doesnt scratch, no ear infections. Of course we supplement the Beneful with lean meats and vegies also. He eats fresh green beans, carrots, meats, sweet potatoes and he is just fine.. I think again it is all industry and commercial bull ,,,sorry… I do not buy this Crap. He is 13 going on 5 years old and can out walk me. Well, that is all I have to say about that.

  205. Where did you get “dogs still possess 98% of their wold DNA”? I think that statement is total garbage. They need more than just meat proteins. Dogs are OMNIVORES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They need plant proteins as well as animal proteins along with other vitamins and minerals.

  206. I work for a veterinarian and we carry no Hill’s products. So I beg to differ about “a short time of nutrition class.” My veterinarian is pretty amazing and stays in tune with the best diets out there. We carry Royal Canin veterinary lines. We have their maintenance line and the prescription line. So not all vets listen to Hill’s Science Diet.

  207. You are a lunatic. RAW only exposes them to other illnesses and the high protein causes heart issues and kidney issues at fairly young ages. Read the science behind higher quality dog foods and understand that animals need micro-nutrients that are found in higher quality dog foods. This will increase your pets lifespan no matter what breed. Also, if you feed a premium diet, such as Royal Canin, they use top notch ingredients and that is why they are so expensive. They don’t put all the money into advertising. They put it into the science behind it and the best ingredients. Educate yourself. Dogs are OMNIVORES, not Carnivores. They need animal AND PLANT proteins as well as other vitamins and minerals.

  208. Not sure if it is either janed54. Why rescue dogs at all then – send your own money to help feed suffering children?! Or better yet, get off of your computer, sell it, cancel internet and send your money to feed starving children. Good grief – if you want to throw stones, you’d better get your own backyard in order.

  209. Feed your dog RAW food and you wouldn’t have to worry about what kibble is good and bad. They are animals – they NEED raw foods.

  210. Hello, Angie! Since you insinuate that I am uneducated and talking out my rear end, I just wanted you to know that I have a BS in ecology, ethology and animal behavior from the University of Illinois and later got my RN, which I have worked under for many years. Before that, I worked as an animal control officer on the animal welfare team as well as a vet tech and veterinary surgical nurse BEFORE I took care of sick children in a hospital, each job about 5 years. I don’t save $30 a month, I save $60 a week by feeding corn based products, which adds up to $240 a month in savings. All of my 7 dogs are healthy, happy and playful with shiny coats and live to at least 12, depending on their size and breed, and they would have been put to sleep if I hadn’t brought them home. They all live as pets in the house. They don’t have any infections or abdominal problems, ever. I think many people in this country have put their heads in the sand regarding starvation in third world countries. Why are we so worried about our dogs and cats? Advertisers have conned us into spending billions more on them than they actually need. I do have Unicef take money directly from my bank account every month to try to help those actually starving. There are no starving children in the U.S., due to school food programs feeding breakfast and lunch as well as food stamps and WICC programs. The poorer you are in the U.S., the more likely you are to be fat, not thin. Donating to provide free birth control to populations with high birth and mortality rates would save room and resources on this planet for wildlife like tigers, etc. I would rather spend my money on those programs than buying more expensive food for my rescued animals.

  211. Nancy,

    You are xxxxxxxxxxx! According to your way of thinking, might as well 70 year old humans this crap because they probably only have 15 more years to live. By the way…check your assumptions…40 percent of all cancers are caused by the type of food consumed. Get a life!

  212. This fall I switched from Iams to Chicken Soup (an upper level brand, good balance between cost and quality). I am spending less per meal. Took my 2 medium size dogs 3 months to go through a 35 lb bag. It cost me $10/month/dog on the new stuff. My 6 year old hound started acting like a young dog again. I am feeding less, they are healthier, scratching less, less hair loss, smell better and poo pick up is a breeze as there is hardly any.

  213. Hi Chantel:

    Thank you for your comment and I would like to assure you my intentions are not to guilt anyone into feeling inferior or deny anyone the right to love and care for a companion animal. Having a companion is more than feeding “the best”.

    My main mission with this website is informational for those seeking more about the dog food industry. Throughout my site I have tried to reiterate that providing a safe loving home and giving your pet the best your circumstances allow is always the most important thing for all of us to remember.

    Anyone who loves and cares for a pet, and makes them a family member should not feel sorry or guilty. That sure is not my intention.


  214. I agree with you, but I am sorry that I have to feed my dog cheap dog food but i had circumstances that made me low income and I am not getting rid of our family pet just because I cannot give her the best dog food and make her feel unwanted and make my children sad that their best friend is gone!!!


  215. Nancy…..
    I don’t normally write any kind of response to these type of articles but your statement is absolutely ridiculous!!! Correct me if I am wrong here. Dogs and cats have a heart, lungs, liver, blood, brain the same as us humans and if I were to feed you garbage for your whole life would you feel good? I just can’t believe how under educated people are about animals and it is pretty disturbing if you ask me. Although you are right on the cancer topic and it is genetic but what about every other problem that can occur? Most visits into vet clinics are not for cancer…they are for upset stomachs..infections..etc….why? The garbage that their owners are putting into there body. I have studied nutrition with dogs and here are the facts…the nails are more britter…ear infections all the time….skin problems….bad hair…and so on….where are your facts coming from? Sure they are survivors and they will eat anything but it is our responsibility as responsible owners to make our animals feel their best and look their best. If you were hungry you would eat pretty much anything wouldn’t you? For someone that has the heart to do the right thing and take in dogs and help them sure went off the track completely with the whole nutrition part of things. People trust people like you and I would hope you would educate yourself a bit more before throwing this kind of stuff out there for people to read….it’s pretty embarrassing if you ask me.

    P.S. Although I would love to help out other countries with sick or starving children but I have to think about my own country’s problems and feed my family the proper way…my dogs and I would also like to know with the extra $30 that you save on your dogfood I sure hope that is donated every month 😉

  216. Lori hit it spot on. Vets only get a short time of nutrition classes they barely cover the surface. Then hill’s comes in and tells the vets if they sell their brand of food then they will help pay back their vet schools loans and such…So of course they are going to sell it not knowing it’s horrid stuff!!!

  217. Dogs still possess 98% of their wolf DNA. My “wolf” gets a well-balanced raw diet made of meat, organs, bone, kelp, and tripe.

    Because his diet is about 85% moisture, he digests his food in about 7 hours, instead of the 12 – 14 hours it takes to digest kibble. This makes it easier for his body to absorb the nutrients he needs. And because his body doesn’t have to make the effort to reject the fillers and preservatives, he doesn’t need, and because his body doesn’t have to sort through the by-products he can’t use, his body is stress free.

    The benefit for me (if that matters): Because his diet has little to waste, he poops out little pellets, and I know that what I’m paying for is to his benefit. The bulk of his food doesn’t end up on my lawn or in a poop bag.

    My “wolf” is a nine-year-old German Shepherd/Australian Shepherd cross. He still insists on getting his three walks a day. He spends much of his time outside “guarding” his yard, chewing sticks and playing ball. When he’s not outside he is inside, chewing his deer antler or bully stick. His energy level is astounding. And he sheds very little (unless it’s spring and fall and he’s blowing his coat).

    I have no guarantees that he will outlive anyone’s dog that eats kibble. But I do know one thing. He has spent his days on this earth thriving, not just surviving. I know I have given him everything he needs – a good diet, lots of exercise, and a ton of love – to make his days with me as enjoyable as I can.

  218. Ever wonder why all your dogs had hip dysplasia? Not all instances are related to genes/breeds.

    It does come down to the food. Large breed dog puppies need their growth carefully monitored so they don’t grow too fast. If they grow too fast joint and hip problems develop. A better quality food without filler and by-products can better control that.

    As a general question (and this is no attack on you, Marci): Why is it that 12 years and 14 years for a dog is considered a long life? A domestic dog’s DNA is still 98% wolf; commercial kibble has only been on the market for 70 years. I have to wonder how much longer our dogs would live if under our care they are fed what they are supposed to eat. No additives, preservatives and fillers, but meat, organs, and bone.

  219. You’ll find not many vets even know what good dog nutrition is all about. Science Hill helps suppport vet clinics which is why so many vets promote it. Bad stuff.

  220. we had fed our dogs hills for years thinking that if it was at the vets office it must be good. now that I have been enlightened not even the perscription hills is any better, rate it for yourself! bottom line READ the ingredients and go from there it is your companions life as well as your own at stake!

  221. Dogs are survivors! They can raise a healthy litter of puppies eating Fritos (fried corn) from the garbage at the junkyard. I rescue dogs and always have 7, (which is my limit) including two 140 lb. girls. I go through (2) 40 lb bags of dog food in a little over a week. I buy $20 dog food that they like and they are happy. Most cancers are hereditary and most other problems are also genetic and run in certain breeds – such as 8 year old labs getting cancer. Nobody should spend $50 a bag on dog food while there are millions of starving children in Africa right now who would be very happy to eat any kind of corn based food (even dog food.) People in this country should visit some of the famine plagued countries. Why are we so worried about dogs and cats? They will only live 8 to 16 years, no matter what you feed them, mostly depending on the size and the breed. Feed them what they like! Save your fancy dog food money and use it to help some suffering children!

  222. you are so right, Hills is not a good food, especially the one that is supposed to be for dogs with food allergies, ridiculous, with all the grains in there. and it is overpriced and there are much better foods that cost less. good site. Too bad that one angry neanderthal (about the poodle in the puddle) tried to discourage it, but he can`t.

  223. Hey Doubtful…Spot is lucky??? I see your lucky and raise you this…If you cant afford to take of a living breathing, pet(family member), then you shouldnt have the dog in the first place! They are NOT a stuffed toy and the choice to own one shouldnt be made by un educated and naive person! No money to feed yourself?? Really?? Then why get a dog?? If you had him or her and then hit hard times then please give up your pet to someone that can give it a good home. If you really love your pet then it shouldnt be hard to do…if you find the dog a nuisance then it should be easy! Either way your reply was harsh, un-called for and def was arrogant…take your meds and maybe when youre balanced again someone will hire you…

  224. Hi Doubtful

    Thanks for commenting on my article. I appreciate everyone’s opinion. Just FYI, there is more to this website than this one post.

    I’m sorry you feel so angry at people like me, but my intention is not to upset, judge, guilt or force anyone into doing anything they aren’t able to do for their pets, themselves, or others.

    I simply started this website after the last dog food recall, and my beagle died from cancer, caused by years of inferior and tainted commercial dog.

    I promote educating yourself so you can make your choice based on facts, and then choosing whatever is best for the circumstances any individual is in.

    This website intended as an informative tool for those who are seeking answers about one specific topic (the commercial pet food industry).


  225. Sharon is correct, dogs are onminvores, not strictly carnivores. Pam is also correct in that food is not the only factor in the longivety of our canine friends. My breeder used Wal-Mart’s Ol’ Roy for her dogs and they lived long lives (14+), while I have seen dogs living on carefully created raw food cross the Bridge at 7.

    Dogs do eat and need vegetable matter and anyone who tells you they don’t need it is misguided. They tend to get that vegetable matter from their prey, the stomach(of their prey) being a choice food of most carnivores, including partially digested vegetation.

    I personally believe that the more pressing threat to our animals is their/our environment. All the pesticides/herbicides/etc that we put on the land around us, our yards/gardens, our floors inside the house, even “pet safe” ones must take their toll on our four legged friends. They live in that space. The same factors that are causing humans ever growing health issues (allergies, asthma, etc) are affecting our pets. Also our sedentry life affects a large number of dogs too.

    Do your homework. It is very easy to say “Oh don’t use that food it will kill your dog”. All dogs now are descendant of the dogs that survived the ‘dirty thirties’ and world war times. Dogs would get bread soaked in fat because the family could offer no more. And many of those folks can tell you of ‘Bonnie’ or ‘Laddie’ that lived to be 15 years.

  226. I don’t think you got lucky. I think articles like this are created by the kind of people who would step over an injured human to prevent a poodle from stepping in a puddle. We’re in a recession, people are losing their jobs left and right, some people can’t even afford to feed the families but WHOA stop right there why aren’t you using your Ikea meat grinder to produce freshly ground filet mignon for Spot? I say Spots lucky he’s not one of the millions locked in cages at shelters or heading for euthanasia. He’s not going to complain about corn being the main ingredient in his food.

  227. New recalls on products with CORN due to an overgrowth of the fungus common to corn called Aflatoxin, so beware of any products containing corn as this has happened many times before and it can kill.
    I used to own a pet supply store and am now an Independent Rep for Life’s Abundance pet food and products. There are a few more details that you want to consider when buying food: how long as it been sitting in a warehouse before it actually gets to the store, is the manufacturing plant USDA APHIS certified(addresses sanitary conditions of plant, pet control among other food safety issues), the quality of the raw ingredients and wether or not you can find out if they are US ingredients, how quickly will be notified if there is a recall and who will contact you, who is formulating the food. The dogs that have lived long lives on some of these foods probably did so due to the family love they got to compensate. I did not know about having better choices years ago, now I do so I make a more educated choice for my rescues.

  228. You are kidding yourself if you think this is the only site that talks about how bad purina is (and it is if you look at the ingredients they are horrible) … they have problems with everyone but they bank on those that are uneducated.

  229. Laura- you are an omnivore… Look in your mouth and see that your teeth are very different from you dogs. Next give your dog a chopped up carrot then wait wait look at the poop and you will find carrot. They can’t digest that. Where did you get your information anyways? Stop writing in CAPS you don’t need to yell. I DISAGREE WITH YOU 100%!!

  230. I’ve had my dog for 11 years. I went through different types of food and what she liked was Beneful Beef. She’s been eating that for most of the 11 years and hasn’t had any health problems. She’s a Rottie and has had a good, healthy life. She’ll be 15 soon. She’s just recently started having hip issues, but I can’t believe how well she’s doing for her age. Did we get lucky?

  231. The reason you see Hill’s Science Diet sold in virtually every vet office is because vets take only ONE credit in college of nutrition and who writes their text books? Yeah, Hills. It would be like a human doctor taking a nutrition course and having the text book published by Kraft foods. Most vets aren’t interested enough in nutrition to give it further study. Their job is to fix things when they go wrong, not to prevent them from happening in the fist place staring with a wholesome, healthy diet.

  232. i use ivd, VP it works great for my dog,i get it from my vet when i found out about 5 yrs ago almost everything in the foods i was giving him was making aginst him, hes doing great, it cost more, but i love him and it s my job to see he gets what he needs. he d do it for me if i was his pet. i guess i am, im just the one that brings in the food, lol and hes my best friend so i want whats best for him, im glad this was posted so more people see it, iv tryed to get everyone i know to stop buying food with soy, i didnt know about alot of these other things listed,

  233. There are lots of websites out there sharing healthy homemade recipes using the same foods we eat. They need vegetables and meats like we do. Three Dog Bakery is an excellent source for buying good food for dogs. They cook with vegetables, like green beans, carrots, etc and fruits, and have great variety of foods and treats. Everything they make people can eat as well. There are websites offering homemade dog treats. Google it.

  234. Yes cornflakes are bad for you. Nearly all corn is GMO & the rest of the ingredients are raunchy too. Processing that the “food” goes through renders it definitely “nonfood” & unhealthy.

  235. I agree with Jane!
    BUT you may want to rethink your shots for your animals!
    Will copy and paste what I wrote above 🙂

    “Also check to see what the vaccine protocol is. The American and Canadian veterinary associations switched their recommendations to every 3 Years for shots. Personally I have done puppy series, one year booster then I titer. NO MORE SHOTS!! If indeed people are more important than animals, we do people not get shots every year?? If you titer it measures the antibodies in the blood. Why give ANOTHER shot if the antibodies are present? Basically you are throwing your money away and compromising the health of your animal. “

  236. June just an aside. You need to balance her calcium intake with her phosphorus intake. Meat has phosphorus, so unless you are feeding her raw bones and raw chicken with bone you need to add some calcium.
    Also check to see what the vaccine protocol is. The American and Canadian veterinary associations switched their recommendations to every 3 Years for shots. Personally I have done puppy series, one year booster then I titer. NO MORE SHOTS!! If indeed people are more important than animals, we do people not get shots every year?? If you titer it measures the antibodies in the blood. Why give ANOTHER shot if the antibodies are present? Basically you are throwing your money away and compromising the health of your animal.

  237. Oh and you may want to search on youtube for the comments the AAFCO makes about what CAN be in dog food. In case you don’t search it, he admits that there may be ‘pets’ in dog food!! PETS!!
    And just because a human can eat corn, doesn’t mean an animal can.
    If I pay for a bag of dog food that advertises to the nines about how good their food is, I don’t’ want to pay the money for corn as a first ingredient!

  238. Sharon, are you kidding me? Did you read the above info????? Blue Buffalo is a MUCH better food than Purina etc.! If Purina and the like would spend half the money on ingredients instead of advertising they “might” get close to producing a fair quality kibble. Corn? By-products? Synthetic Vitamin K (banned from people food), Meat meal (no such animal named ‘meat’) And the Natura lines have been purchased by Proctor & Gamble so won’t be long till they ruin that food like they did Iam’s and Eukanuba!
    You want a good kibble try FROMM, Solid Gold, Acana, Natural Balance (helpful for allergy dogs) Taste of the Wild, Merrick, Merrick Before Grain, etc. etc. etc. You need to be able to READ a label.
    There are always questions on what makes a good kibble dog food. So here are a few rules of thumb:

    1) ingredients are listed in order of weight, heaviest first (1st- 5 or 6 count the most)
    2) you want a named meat (ex: chicken or chicken meal, lamb, beef etc.)
    3) you do NOT want a by-product (or something that says meat meal – as you have no idea what kind of meat)
    4) if there are 2 or 3 of the same type of ingredients listed such as rice, brewers rice, etc. when combined they outweigh the first ingredient (called ingredient splitting)
    5) NEVER buy a food that contains BHA as a preservative
    6) NEVER buy a food that contains SYNTHETIC vitamin K (also known as Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex OR Menadione Nicotinamide Bisulfite OR Menadione dimethylpyrimidinol bisulfite OR sodium bisulfite complex etc. These preservatives have been BANNED from people food!!)
    7) READ!! You need to become familiar with reading labels-do it for your dog!!
    You need to find a good food that works for YOUR dog! ( I generally start with a small bag and mix together really slowly over a 2 week period to see how it goes)

  239. surprised to see Hill’s as it is sold in virtually every Vet that I have ever been to. it is promoted as the best food for your dog and helps their digestive system to work efficiently…. oh its also ridiculously expensive, having been prescribed it for our “late” food intolerant Dalmation, who ate canned Hills (original) for two months costing a small fortune. Went back onto James wellbeloved after the Hills diet.

  240. Hello Jen – I came across this article and saw your comment. I respect that you are a vegetarian! Please do all the research before committing your dog to a vegetarian diet. Dogs are not obligate carnivores, however, they do well on a variety of foods. Just look at the teeth of a dog… how many flat molars for mushing up plant matter do you see in there? Josh mentions Dr. Pitcairn’s book, which is an excellent start in your research for making a home-made diet (he even includes a vegetarian diet). As Josh recommends, I too would also suggest subscribing to the Whole Dog Journal. Please read their take on HSUS selling vegetarian dog food titled “HSUS Now Selling Vegetarian Dog Food” April 2010. I did follow Dr. Pitcairn’s raw diet for both my dogs. They are not hunting dogs and I found that the diet was a little too heavy in grains and they put on weight. Now, both my dogs are on a raw, meat & veggie diet and they are thriving. Pet lovers have been sold a false bill of goods from the pet food industry. Kibble does not clean a dog’s teeth (how does your teeth feel after eating cereal?). It is not always wholesome (unnamed animal protein, animal digest, bone meal?). It is not always safe to feed (moldy grains = sick dog). It is economical and convenient. Good luck to you on your quest for knowledge on this interesting topic!

  241. Get a life! Stop being a meanie, this site is only helping animals. People like you suck, bashing down others who only have good intentions.

  242. I’m shocked to see that Hills Science Diet Original is on this list… I have had many dogs who have lived well past their expected life expectation being fed Hills….

  243. I make my dog’s food. I buy sirloin steak and grind it then grind in frozen (but heated) mixed veggies. Sometimes I’ll put a few sprinkles of seaweed on it before I put it down for her. She loves it. If I feed her canned or kibble she “chokes” throughout the day, sometimes throws up. On the raw, I never have a problem. Only reason it’s fairly low in fat is because fat makes her sick too. Vet told me to feed her medi-cal. That one was the worst for her. I don’t agree in feeding dogs corn. Corn is a filler. It should not be the top ingredient or anywhere near the top ingredient. Yes, humans eat corn but if we ate it in the ratio in the dogfood, it would outnumber all our other food by a landslide. Dogs were bred from wolves and wolves eat mostly the meat and some of the stomach contents of herbivors they bring down. That’s how I base my judgement on in the feeding department. Oh, one last thing, if I feed her kibble or canned, her teeth get full of plaque in less than a month. On raw they stay squeaky clean. She’s only 3 1/2 lbs so really have to watch her teeth.

  244. Sharon, it blows my mind to see someone giving such incorrect information! Feeding trials really don’t mean anything but that the pets were not harmed/poisoned by the food, it doesn’t speak for quality or nutritional goodness. The reason we advise aginst corn is because dogs do not digest corn or get anything from it at all, it all passes right through the body. Anything corn fed to your dog comes right out the other end, so the more corn fillers are in your dog’s foods, the more poo will be in your yard, you are spending your money on poo for your yard, not nutrition for your dog. Companies use corn not because it is good for the animal, but because it is cheap filler. Yes, you could live on junk food, but it’s not good for you, and these foods are junk. Purina and the others you listed are NOT, nor have they ever been “better” foods, high priced at the grocery store- maybe, but better, no. They are the worst of the worst using corn and animal junk parts(beaks/stomachs) for filler and spending all their $$ on misleading advertising that mis-educates the public. popular doesn’t mean better, in the world of dog foods, these brands rank right up there with cheap ole Roy from WalMart. I have never looked at Blue Buffalo so I have no idea what it is made of, so I can’t comment there. Do a little research and you will see that you are incorrect.

  245. cindy loved ur reply. i am also a vegetarian and have asked myself that question,,, ppl say im being foolish but i am seriously interested in some alswers,,,,,great comment….. thank you for sharing……..

  246. @Sharon
    Corn is okay for dogs… in moderation. Foods like Eagle Pack use it correctly. They use it as a source of carbohydrates for highly energetic dogs. In fact, it’s the official food of the Idittarod sled race dogs. It’s foods like Science Diet, Purina, and Eukanuba/Iams that use it incorrectly to make their food cheap and sell it for an obscene price. Meat should ALWAYS be the first ingredient. As for by-products, there is no excuse. Also, AAFCO has poor guidelines. Pet food is allowed to contain meats from the category of the 4 D’s. Dead, dying, diseased or disabled. Would you feed that to your family?

    Natura, on the other hand, makes excellent foods. I feed Evo myself. As you may know, Natura was bought out by Proctor and Gamble; Eukanuba/Iams was bought out by them a while back as well. On Animal Planet, I see Innova commercials constantly, as well as Blue Buffalo. I love Blue Buffalo, it is great food. I don’t personally feed it because I think there are better foods out there. Just because Blue uses television to advertise, it doesn’t mean it’s poor quality. Blue is a family-owned company; one of the few that still are. They earned their money through success, not by getting bought out by a huge company.

    If you are wanting to feed a fresh diet, I would check out these brands.
    http://www.thehonestkitchen.com – Raw, dehydrated foods that you re-hydrate. You can also add your own ingredients, but it is a complete and balanced base mix. It comes in grain-free varieties, if allergies are present.

    http://www.naturesvariety.com/instinctraw – A frozen, raw diet. I mix The Honest Kitchen and Nature’s Variety raw for a meal for my pets. They love it!

    Unfortunately, Jen, it isn’t biologically appropriate for dogs to be on a vegetarian diet. I wouldn’t recommend it.

  247. Hi, this is STRICTLY my two cents for what it’s worth. I do not have any good links for you, but I have used a good book by Dr. Pitcairn called Dr. Pitcairn’s New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. It has been very helpful. A couple of things to consider, with all due respect my dogs are hunting Dogs ( I would assume yours do not hunt since you are a vegetarian) and burn a considerable amount of energy year round with both training. I have a hard time keeping weight on them. Their diet consists of around 80% raw meat and vegetables and 20% high end kibble. The kibble is rated very high by the Whole Dog Journal. While they can eat vegetables they do need some meat for protein. It helps to keep weight on. The only reason that I do feed kibble, is that it does help to clean teeth. So my two cents on that is yes, they really do need meat when going all natural. During the heat of the season, I also add raw eggs to my dogs food. Great more protein!!!! However, too many eggs bad for humans, even worse for dogs, use them sparingly. You also need to consider your dogs activity level before adding eggs and such for protein, and watch weight closely. Look into the Whole Dog Journal website you do have to subscribe, but the month to month info is great. Right now,I’m using Taste of the Wild kibble. The dogs LOVE it. We have fed Holistic Select for a long time, however some of our dogs have dry skin in the winter. The Taste of the Wild has a higher fat content which helps with their coats and the Holistic Select does use canola oil ( not BAD, but not great either, could use something else). So that is my two cents for what it’s worth. Hope it helps.

  248. I’ve always fed my dog all natural, no filler food. I don’t feed myself crappy food so why should my dog be treated any less. A lot of these foods are like corn puffs sprayed with cow blood for flavor. Most grocery store brands are not good and you will end up with a an obese dog with a shorter life span. This is a good article. Thanks for sharing.

  249. I disagree that dogs are really omnivores.. although they can eat a little bit of vegetation… their colon is a very short one.. and meant to digest meat… We need to stop putting our food preferences on our dogs, I think..

  250. Agreed about dogs being scavengers… so are coyotes, foxes, wolves will also. Your telling me a dog evolved in what…. how many years since dog food has been on the market? Erin put out a bowel of meat and one of veggies.. I will 100% guarantee your dog will go for the meat. They know what they should have. Look at their teeth. Do they look like yours… nope those puppies are for shredding meat. Then if you examine their digestive tract it is not intended for digesting vegetable matter. Give your dog a chopped carrot I also guarantee if you do some searching you will find it undigested. Now veggies probably provide some fiber for dogs which is likely why they will go after that (they eat grass too). If you feed dog food (which cooks all the good stuff out) make sure you rotate brands and give them a variety( of high quality no grain dog food. Veggies are fine as a filler). Imagine if you just ate kix cereal every day.. you wouldn’t be healthy either. It’s one of the major reasons so many dogs are developing allergies. Yeah and don’t free feed!!

  251. So would you also mix spoiled beef in with fresh beef when cooking dinner for your family? Your basically doing the same thing!!!

  252. @Cindy, any good links to info on preparing fresh meals for dogs? And I know this article says that dogs are carnivores, but I’ve also read that by this point in their history of domestication they could also be considered omnivores. As a vegetarian, I would love to prepare fresh, healthy vegetarian meals for my dog (I don’t like meat in my house) but I would only do so if it would support his health; otherwise I guess it’s high-end kibble.

  253. although dogs are listed in the carnivore family genetically, they are actually omnivores, not carnivores at all. Just as people can potentially live healthy vegetarian lives, dogs can too! Cats are obligate carnivores and absolutely must have meat as their primary source of protein. Just because a food contains corn does not mean its harmful or unhealthy – just look at many of our “human” foods; are Corn Flakes bad for you?

    The most important thing for you to do is read the AAFCO statement on your pet’s food label. It should have undergone “Feeding Trials”. You should also look for companies who do quality control testing, and manufacture their own food. Many companies hire manufacturing plants to make their food, and end up with harmful contaminants. Just because a product has quality ingredients doesn’t mean it is balanced nutrition either! You could eat carrots all day long, but if you didn’t eat anything else, you wouldn’t get all your vitamins, minerals, proteins, etc.

    The better foods out there are in fact made by Purina, Science Diet, Eukanuba, and the Natura lines (Innova, Evo, California Natural). The companies that spend their money on marketing (Blue Buffalo for example) are clearly not putting their resources into a quality food that has been well tested.

  254. @Melinda, why would you ruin a perfectly good diet for your animals by mixing in Kibbles and Bits? Do you need it to stretch? How many dogs do you have?

  255. I disagree that Abady is the best out there. Any dog food that has a second ingredient of rice is not the best out there. River run is also not a great food in my opinion due to excess fillers. Dogs are carnivores… they need meat. Foods such as Orijen, Instinct by natures variety, taste of the wild or better yet a raw diet is actually the most appropriate diet.

  256. Hello,
    For all of you claiming that 10-13 years is an excellent life span for their breed, it really isn’t.
    I’ve had German Shepherds live an average of 16-18 years on a natural, fresh, raw/ homemade, or high quality kibble and canned.
    I have also seen for myself Danes, English Bulldogs and St. Bernards living w
    ay past 13 years. All were notvon the poor quality foods listed.
    It’s not competing companies, it is concerned and well-meaning people who have seen dogs thrive on quality foods.

  257. Read the label, buy good stuff and feed the dogs lightly,overfeeding is a problem by itself! Enjoy your dog!

  258. We have been feeding our pit bull mix Harmony Farms dog food since we rescued her almost 2 1/2 yrs ago…she does very well on it, and its fairly inexpensive compared to some of the other brands. No by-products or gluten in it..

  259. You are kidding right? My dogs have ALWAYS raided the garden! They will steal cucumbers, dig up carrots, and take apples right off the tree. I believe in feeding a high quality dog food but grow weary of the ‘dogs are carnivores’ argument. Dogs are SCAVENGERS. They are not wolves (mind you, even wolves eat vegetable matter on a regular basis, beyond what they get from the intestines of their prey). I’m not even going to get into free-feeding a dog ‘just because you can eat whenever you want’. Take some time out of your nutritional research to look up some studies on dog obesity and how an overweight dog lives on average 2 years less than it’s lean, fit counterpart.

  260. As someone who grew up with a mother who runs a kennel and has bred high quality dogs for hunting, search & rescue, showing and pet homes, and being a professional pet groomer myself who has always had dogs and cats I can honestly say this: we have always fed pedigree and had healthy, long lived dogs for 30 years. Only one dog required lamb & rice due to senitive skin issues. Not a single dog has ever had a health issue, and the golden retrievers she bred lived well into their teens on average. I think its more important to offer your dog proper exercise/attention, plenty of fresh water and a clean environment than it is to give them fresh meat in any form.

  261. For all those who were fortunate enough to feed low end corn based kibble to your dogs, and they remained heatlhy, that is great. I had one dog, a dalmatian, who also was okay with it. (Looking back, has some itchiness issues, and heavy shedding…signs of grain issues.) However, just like with people, some dogs cannot tolerate grains, and really do not thrive on it at all. Allergies can be common, itchiness, heavy shedding, large stools are a common issues, and overall odour. If you eliminate grains, (science proves dogs are not meant for them) who knows, your 12 yr old Great Dane may have been even healthier? I switched after much research and my three dogs are super healthy. Fresh foods for all beings have to rate higher than anything processed. Just makes sense to me, but to each his own. I only use high end kibble as a rare meal when I forget to defrost their meats 🙂 Remember, most dog food companies are highly profit driven (of course!) so cheaper ingredients mean more profit but not necessarily better health for your four legged family member.

  262. Actually, not competitors, but by people who know kibble is not the best for your canines. I used to feed only kibble. My dog had limited health issues and lived a long time – just like people, some can tolerate low end foods and be okay, but many cannot. Looking back, she did get itchy feet and would be licking at them a lot (sign of a grain intolerance). I now know, after much research and reading stuff that just makes sense to me (we all have to decide on our own what sounds sensible) fresh foods for any living being is better. So if you do decide to research, raw or real foods are better as dogs guts are meant for it. At the least, higher end grain/corn free kibbles supplemented with some fresh foods are okay too. Remember, no wolf/dog ever raided a corn field. There is a reason they go for the chicken coop instead!!! :-)) My three dogs thrive on raw/real/fresh. Oldest is healthy and vital at 16 years, no bad breath, low shedding, shiny fur, zero flatulence, small firm stools. All good!

  263. The best dog food out there is ABADY which is made in New York, yes dogs are carnivors and have never been known to raid a garden for gosh sake! We feed a food called River Run which is not quite as good as Abady, because we can’t get it here but it is almost as good. I feel that dogs should not be limited in their food intake, we get to eat when we want, they should too, our dogs do not over eat because they know they have food when they want it and food is left out for them all the time. I hate it when dog foods say how much your pet needs the veggies, well the vets are behind these foods because they will keep you animal going back to them time and again because what is being fed to your pet is like poison to them.

  264. I don’t feed Purina, but the “bad” Science Diet. I had a bulldog live to be 13. Their average life span is 8-10 yrs. I agree with you on this one.

  265. I agree with Clay. My 14 year old Chow Mix, 14 year old Lab/Basset Mix, and 10 year old Retriever mix have all eaten Purina since they were young pups and except for the Chow’s bout of pancreatitis earlier this year they have all been very healthy and frisky.

  266. I have a female husky mixed, 13 years old. I feed her ground beef (drain away fat) + brown rice + salad mixed or any vegetable (got to cut into small pieces or else she will not eat the vegetable. Walk her 2 times per day, she is in good health,only take her for routine check-ups and shots.

  267. I’m 100% with you on this one Barbara! The blue bags just came to our area an have been thinking about getting those for our dogs. But ever since I changed my dogs to the kirkland brand from expensive brands, no more skin allergies, Or health issues of any kind, except a bit of excess weight, but that was taken care of By changing them to the Healthy Weight kind, and their fur is just beautiful! I always strongly suggest this food to other especially those on a tight budget!

  268. Heather, as a holistic vet, I *HATE* Science Diet and do not recommend it in my practice (I recommend Natura and Wellpet products like Wellness, California Natural, and so on). However, vets do not get a commission for selling Hill’s. I also have a masters degree in biology. Dogs are not classified as strict carnivores. They are in the order Carnivora, but so are bears, red pandas, raccoons, to name a few, all of which are not not strict carnivores.

  269. I read the ingredients. Very simple to do. I limit the kibble my dogs consume, and I do not buy any that contain grains as first listings, or by products.I – so far, have been happy with Blue Buffalo brands

  270. Hi Laura:

    There are different schools of thought on the high protein myth for dogs. Vets are not trained nutritionists, and actually have very few hours of classes in animal nutrition. What they learn in school is mainly nutrition from the big commercial companies, who are then promoted through the vet.

    Here are two recent studies debunking the high protein myth, from two different accredited Schools.

    Myths of high protein – Kenneth C. Bovée, DVM, MMedSc
    Department of Clinical Studies
    School of Veterinary Medicine
    University of Pennsylvania
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Effects of High Protein on Renal Function – Delmar R. Finco, DVM, PhD
    Department of Physiology and Pharmacology
    College of Veterinary Medicine
    The University of Georgia
    Athens, Georgia

  271. I would of thouht that having to of had all 3 dogs put too sleep because of Dysplasia ! Would not qualify as been “fit and healthy” !!

  272. Hi Cat

    You have expressed exactly what my many wordy pages in this site boil down to. It’s about educating yourself and making the best choice for your won circumstances.

    Thank you for your comment.


  273. Been feeding my dogs Purina for over 30 years, and all of my dogs lived past their average lifespan, and lived healthy and happy lives. Anyone ever think about where this info comes from? Most likely competitors in the dog food market.

  274. Hi Lauren:

    I appreciate your input, and have targeted specifically the high end dog food and homemade dog food market on this site.

    That is not to say I disapprove of anyone not using any of the foods I promote.

    I am not about judgement, but do promote education, reading labels and buying within your means.

    Any one who loves and nurtures a companion animal is a good person in my book. It’s all about doing the best you can do with what you have available.


  275. For those of you with Costco memberships, they have a very good quality grain-free salmon and sweet potato dog food called Nature’s Domain, comes in a bright blue bag with white lettering. Our dogs love it, their coats are fabulous, no itchy or dry skin problems at all. I’m an avid label-reader, and this stuff is pretty darned good, and not horribly expensive. The Kirkland Supreme dry food isn’t bad, either, no corn, no by-products, and no typical fillers. It’s far superior to Iams or Eukanuba, which costs quite a bit more, but does have some grain, so if there are grain issues in your household, the Nature’s Domain is the way to go. Their dry cat food selection is limited to their brand, which again is far superior to anything you’ll get in a grocery store, and we supplement that with Taste of the Wild or Natural Balance. Healthy, happy dogs and cats without breaking the bank!

  276. Hi Beth:

    Thank you so much – I have that as reference # 4.

    I appreciate your comment and hope all is well.


  277. Hello Joe and Thank you for commenting:

    I have many recommendations, reviews and choices for upgrading your dog’s diet to a healthier diet, although most of these brands are more expensive as they are better quality as compared to the “grocery store brands” which I have listed here.

    The different categories here cover my top recommendations.

    A more in depth review of specific dog foods are here

    You and your vet are correct about these DANGEROUS AND TOXIC FOODS YOUR SHOULD NEVER FEED YOUR PET , but a homemade dog food diet may include plain, fat free, ground meats such as chicken, turkey, pork and venison. I would not advise ham as it is too salty, and liver very rarely is OK.

    Homemade Dog Food Recipes Here.

    I just promote healthier diets for dogs, to extend their lives, and am open to your concerns, but my opinions on this website are all backed up by Veteranarians, Specialists and Nutritionists in dog health.

    Also through out this website I have loads of info about Dog Health and Nutrition available for follow up by anyone willing to look further into the commercial dog food industry and the lies they have been telling us.

    The Truth behind the Pet Recall
    Vet Secrets by Dr. Andrew Jones, D.V.M.
    245 Best Homemade Dog Food Recipes
    More from Dr. Jones, D.V.M.


  278. Elaine – Keep an eye on the ingredients for any changes as they were bought out by MARS Corporation. Not a surprise to many that MARS has acquired other products and slowly the quality deteriorated.

  279. I have AKC Brussels Griffons. I have tried about all of the “quality” dog foods since this breed has allergies. What has worked best and reduced the Vet bills, is a mix of Taste of the Wild and the one you feel is poor quality! BENEFUL. Their coats are beautiful, overall they’re healty and vet bills are down. Teeth are great due to the GREENIES I give them almost daily. They’re playful and the oldest one is nearly 11 years old. Weight is a little more than should be but what can I tell ya? I love to hand feed a little human food by spoonfuls as if they’re kids. They wear sweaters and jammies. They’re family and sleep on the bed with me.

  280. I don’t know about the science of all this, but one thing I do know is that I have fed every dog I have ever owned, Purina Dog Food or Beneful by Purina. My first 2 dogs were Great Danes (small for Danes about 100lbs). My first dog lived to be over 12 yrs old. SHe eventually had to be put down due to hip dysplasia. My second Dane lived to be 13 yrs and was also put down for hip dysplasia. My last dog was a Golden Retriever mix. SHe was 14 when I had to put her down, again for hip dysplasia. All of these dogs lived long healthy lives. I know they say these ingredients are bad, but with my track record, it is hard to argue.

  281. This is a great article to teach people to read ingredients instead of just picking a brand because they saw it on tv or because they think its cheaper. My dogs eat Fromm, have for 6 years now, better health and only visits to the vet are for shots. Even the vet switched over from carrying science diet. Fromm is $30 here for a 40lb bag, cheaper for kennel bags if you have lots of dogs and space.

  282. Most better dog foods don’t cost much if anymore than other foods. I’m on disability income and I can still afford to feed my dogs a food that is $30 for 40 lbs, and they eat less and have better health than if they ate a popular grocery store brand. And the last bag of Science diet I bought (six years ago) was $60 for a 40lb bag for some comparison.

  283. Who do you think pays for the vets schooling? Do your own research and you would see many of these brands have been recalled several times, are filled with ingredients that do not occur in nature, and many of which have been proven to cause all sorts of health problems in dogs. Walk in to any petstore who cares more about the pets than the bottom line and you will find few brands, but ones that any vet would highly recommend as great foods. Fromm, California Natural, Healthwise, Canine Caviar, and a few others are amazing. My dogs have eaten Fromm for years now, never visit the vet except for vaccinations. As soon as we switched digestive issues and ear infections stopped, overall health and energy improved, and we even got our vet to switch from carrying science diet (who paid to be in his office by the way).

  284. Ingrid – Science Diet may be scientifically balanced – but it is crap food – period. First ingredient should ALWAYS be a protein.

    When was the last time you saw a dog stalk an ear of corn?

  285. Sarah,
    Look up Natures Select. No, corn, wheat, soy, or icky fillers. And, its a good price, as well as available to kennel & shelters at a discounted price. We feed it at our facility. It also comes in a good variety of proteins; 50# breeder bags; and you can resell to your adopters.

  286. Hi Sarah:
    First of all, Bless you for your rescue work.

    I promote the high end dog food here for pampered pets, but do not look down on the angles who are saving our neglected and abused animals. Just giving them a chance at a loving interactive life in a warm comfortable environment is very admirable.

    Even though you can’t afford the “best” dog food, maybe try upgrading to Purina Pro Plan which has chicken as the first ingredient. It still contains corn and fillers, but in my opinion, if you can’t afford the more expensive, better quality foods, you should not feel bad, or guilty. If you live near Costco, the Kirkland dog food is slightly better than the Pro Plan, but I am not really sure of the price.

    Saving an animal from horrible conditions and early death due to neglect and abuse is much more admirable.

    A daily supplement such as this one might be the answer if you can afford it

    Keep up the Good Work!

    Any suggestions from others to help Sarah would be appreciated.

  287. I have owned English Bulldogs for the last 30 years. I have obtained them from reputable breeders and have rescued several. If you know anything about this breed, you know they have a multitude of medical issues and our vet bills can be staggering. I changed their food a couple of years ago from a brand that is considered high quality but affordable to the very expensive Blue Wilderness. The decrease in our vet bills has more than offset the increase in food costs. Their coats are healthier and sleeker, digestive and allergy issues have completely resolved. Since switching, our only vet bills are for routine check-ups and shots.

  288. Ingrid,
    Get your facts straight. Science Diet is NOT an excellent food! There is NOT a significant meat protein in that food and the first ingredient listed is corn. NOT AN EXCELLENT FOOD!
    I will NEVER feed my dogs that garbage, nor will I EVER refer it to friends, family, or clients!!

  289. yes check out chicken soup for the dog lover good ingredients and also costco makes a good one that is very reasonable….

  290. Sarah, Taste of the Wild is a decent (and grain free) & lesser expensive food. There is also a better food sold only at Tractor Supply called 4Health. I don’t believe it is grain free but it’s rated quite decently on some of the dog food review sites. Most of the time though, premium foods cost more per bag…but the serving size is much less than your grocery store brand food so really it either equals out or cost less. Plus you don’t have a lot of the vet bills due to poor nutrition so in the long run you’re saving money by feeding a better food. 🙂

  291. Sarah, I work at a vet, and COSTCO dog food is actually one of the best foods in the midrange. It is manufactured by Diamond, which makes decent food, and put into a Costco bag!

  292. Typically, the wolf & wild dogs (and our own domesticated dogs, given the opportunity) will shake out the contents of the stomache of their prey before ingesting it. I’m afraid the one with misinformation is you, Ingrid. :o) Hills Science Diet & other foods that vets sell & recommend are just as bad as most “grocery store foods” as well. The ingredient list doesn’t lie. When was the last time you saw a dog or wolf or any other carnivore grazing in a corn field? Your vet gets commission on selling their foods…and there is a VERY good chance your vet took a pet nutrition class taught by these companies as well. Conflict of interest? You make the call… There are some terrific vets out there who will further their research themselves & make their own calls as to what good/bad ingredients & foods are. But they are far & few between. Btw, look at a dogs mouth & teeth. They have CARNIVORE teeth not omnivore. They are classified carnivores as well. These are the facts.

  293. So Jane, you have eliminated nearly all the popular brands, but I fail to see a recommended replacement. What credentials do you have to convince me that you are knowledgeable enough to make me switch brands? We have a three year old very healthy Schnauzer, and he would eat litterally anything in his bowl, set in front of him. His health is deemed to be
    excellent, according to the veterinarian. He advised us to never let him eat chocolate, onions, grapes, raisins, nuts, pig ears, chews, milk, chicken, turkeyk ham pork, liver, or deer meat. He may eat; scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt,
    cooked hamburger, chicken broth, plain rice, slightly burned toast with peanut butter and honey, velveta cheese and be fed a regular diet of; a good quality DOG food, like Iams, Eukanuba, Purina One, or Pro Plan. HE…..is a doctor with certificates of learning to back him up. I hope you post this so the approved by vet foods can be shared by all.

  294. Jane – very well written. There are so many that think that Hill’s Science Diet is a top quality brand but it truly is crap. The list of ingredients prove that. Can’t argue with facts!!

    I couldn’t see the list of references, but here’s one that explicitly states that DOGS ARE CARNIVORES, NOT OMNIVORES. (http://www.rawfed.com/myths/omnivores.html) Just takes a second to find quite a bit of scientific data that proves that point.

    Also, Lee was nice enough to be correcting Ingrid, not you, on how to spell Carnivore.

    As for Ingrid, if you are going to berate someone for what you think is misinformation you should 1) use spell check, 2) not be so nasty, and 3) back it up with facts and references. Jane – your responses were polite and respectful.

    Thank you for posting!

  295. You leave out a variety of dog food that is on the shelf. It makes me wonder about Iams and others. I would love to see a mid range review done by you. Not all of us can afford to buy those fancy dog foods. Thanks!

  296. Dogs are not obligate carnivoires! They are omnivoires and scavengers. Cats are obligate carnivoires. I agree with all of the foods listed except for Science Diet. This is an excellent food. As for by products and corn, what do you think is in the stomach and intestine of a dog or wolf’s prey? Grain as the largely kill herbivoires! Get the facts straight before spreading misinformation.

  297. I have fed Pedigree for 25 years and before that I fed Eukanuba. My dogs died between 9-12 years old on Eukanuba and now I have 3 over 14, one at 15 years old and though they are eating canned Pedigree now they are still getting up and down on their own and going outside for potty. I have had 20 dogs over those 25 years as I rescue here in Dade County and many came as older adults and they also lived to very old ages. My friend has a 20 year old Cocker mix who was rescued as a young adult after Hurricane Andrew and tho she does not hear or see very well, she still runs circles through the barn looking for any possible mice that might be hiding every single day. Pedigree.. MUST be the Pedigree.

  298. I fed my German Shepherd Kibbles and bits for 15 years and she loved it….never had any medical problems…we put her down because she had hip problems and incontinence of both urine and stool…She might have liver longer…I miss my Patches.

  299. I do rescue and to feed so many animals, I can’t afford to buy the food I would like to feed… What food would you recommend that is not sky high in price? We feed Purina Dog Chow right now, along with what ever donations we get. So are there any decent foods in the $1 per two pound price range??

  300. Wow! I’m so glad I spend the extra $$ for my two purebred English chocolate labs. They get Nutro Ultra for large breed dogs. Their coats are shiny. They are happy. It’s worth spending the extra, believe me.

  301. And we wonder why animals are getting as fat as we are!
    Meat is supposed to be the first ingredient on the label!
    Good luck, that’s why I have started feeding raw meat,bones and fat!

  302. I read the book Neanderthin; How To Eat Like a Caveman. which explained how corn is poisonous because it isn’t digested. Google Kellog’s and corn, and dog food, Kellog’s started off making dog food I guess and dogs were dying…interesting stuff.

  303. Yes the listed dog foods are not great foods. Real chicken, beef, and other meat products are the desired protein but dogs can’t process high quanities of protein either…their kidneys will show damage from excessively high protein after years of too much. That’s why a balanced diet is the only way to raise dogs.

  304. i personally now feed mostly human grade food..and a mix w taste of the wild..however in the past in my days of less budget..i have fed purina dog chow..i may have just been lucky but my last 3 large breed dogs lived well past the “normal” expected..age..
    one shepherd was 17
    one was 15

    last one had degenerative myopathy and there is no known cause for that one..lots of people i discussed his illness with fed very “high end’ food..and same..he was 10 when we put him down..as his condition just got tooo bad and hard for him to exist..

    so not sure if these brands have changed their formulas over the years to be cheaper to manufacture or if they are the same?

    i have heard the first ingredient should not be corn so since i’ve learned that..thats how i decide..but thanks for making me aware of these other ingredients!

  305. Hi, i just wanted to know what your thoughts were on Halo dog food. I’ve been feeding my girls Halo for close to a year now, after dogs were getting sick from purina, which at the time i had been feeding my first pup that for many years. After the recall, i was looking for the best thing i could feed them & came upon Halo. I know its better than a lot others out there, but i guess what i want to know if there’s something even better (Home cooked food) for example. Thanks for any help on the subject.

  306. As a dog groomer it sometimes feels like an uphill battle trying to get people to believe that the “BIG Name” brands are not good for their dogs!

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