I don't even have to tell you who wrote this...thanks again Pat!
DRY FOOD DO’S AND DON’TS
The basics for dry food are fairly simple. This article will include ingredients to avoid and what to look for in a decent quality food. This is an adjunct piece to “Food basics”.
The hard and fast rule is avoid foods that are available in the grocery store. They are the lowest grade and offer some of the worst examples of what NOT to feed your pet. Atta Boy comes to mind right off. There is no meat in the food at all. It’s all grain by-product and grease. The “meat” source is beef tallow. It’s cheap though, 50# for about $12 dollars. That 50# will feed a 50# dog for about 3 weeks. They will be eating 4-6 cups a day, and eliminating about 4 cups. It’s a waste of hard earned money and ends up creating a very unhealthy animal. The savings today are spent tomorrow in vet bills. There are grades of “better quality” in the grocery store. Purina is better than Kibbles and Bits, but not by much. And certainly not worth the considerably higher price. Here’s a list of ingredients to avoid.
ANY grain fractions, this includes flours, brans, glutens, proteins, and anything hydrolized. An example of an ingredient list:
Meat and bone meal, wheat, cooked yellow corn, corn gluten meal, wheat mill run, beef tallow(preserved with mixed tocopherols), soybean meal, brewers rice, digest of poultry by-products, brewers dried yeast, salt…………. (thank you Tankers12 for this list). This is a very low grade food.
An example of a “big” name food that is just as bad looks something like this:
Chicken, corn meal, ground grain sorghum, ground wheat, chicken by-product meal, soybean meal, animal fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), corn gluten meal, brewers rice, chicken liver flavor, vegetable oil, dried egg product, flaxseed.
Sure they start with meat but there is also a ton of grain, by-products, unspecified fat and oil, and flavorings. This is another product offered by this company, a “better” formula:
Brewers rice, ground wheat, chicken meal, corn gluten meal, soybean meal, animal fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), chicken, vegetable oil, peas, carrots, chicken liver flavor, dried beet pulp, flaxseed, dried egg product.
It starts off with 2 grain sources, one meat source and two more grains. Again it has unspecified fats, oils and uses flavorings. Both of these ingredient lists are from Science Diet.
Here’s a mid-grade food, again, a big name brand. It’s better than the Science Diet but it still has bad ingredients.
Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Ground Rice, Lamb Meal, Rice Bran, Sunflower Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, source of Linoleic Acid), Poultry Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, source of Linoleic Acid), Salmon Meal (natural source of DHA), Flaxseed (natural source of Alpha-Linolenic Acid), Natural Flavors, Oatmeal, Alfalfa (natural source of Chlorophyll), Beet Pulp, Tomato Pomace (natural source of Lycopene), Cranberry, Fish Oil (natural source of DHA), Dried Egg Product.
It has 3 rice sources, for allergy dogs that is VERY bad, and one is bran. They use an unspecified fat source, poultry yes but what KIND of poultry?? Natural flavors(sprayed on flavor enhancers), oatmeal is not a good thing, very refined and heavy in sugar. Beet pulp is a stool “conditioner” and that means tootsie roll poops, not good for the colon. Tomato pomace is ground stalks and leaves of the plant, toxic. This is from Nutro’s Ultra adult formula.
This is another mid-grade food:
Chicken Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Whole Ground Barley, Anchovy & Sardine Meal, Chicken, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Natural Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Pork Meal, Dried Beet Pulp, Amaranth, Oatmeal, Tomato Pomace, Dried Egg Product, Flaxseed, Canola Oil, Dehydrated Apples, Cheese Meal, Ground Carrot Cubes, Air Dried Peas, Sun-cured Alfalfa Meal, Salt.
The ingredients are looking better, but there are still some undesirables. Pork, beet pulp, oatmeal, tomato pomace, dried egg product. This list is from Eagles Holistic formula.
These next two ingredients panels are from two of the best available:
Chicken, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Flaxseed, Chicken Liver, Menhaden Fish, Suncured Alfalfa Meal, Montmorillonite, Flaxseed Oil, Freeze Dried Chicken, Freeze Dried Chicken Liver, Freeze Dried Salmon Oil, Sweet Potatoes, Cottage Cheese, Apples, Carrots, Peas, Whole Eggs, Kelp, Parsley, Artichoke, Inulin, Rosemary, Sage, Clove
I would prefer to see oats as opposed to oatmeal in this one but the freeze dried raw food on the outside of the kibble makes up for that one cut corner. This food is Nature’s Variety.
Fresh Elk, Salmon Meal, Millet, Sweet Potatoes, Oats, Flaxseed, Carrot, Watercress, Spinach, Celery, Parsley, Fennel seed, Wild Salmon Oil, Kelp, Amaranth, Currants, Cranberries, Pears, Figs, Thyme, Anise Seed, Ground Cinnamon Bark, Fenugreek, Garlic Pieces, Lecithin, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Apples, Chicory Root, Taurine, Spirulina.
More meal would be good in this one but it has the most meat per pound of any food available at this time. This food is Timberwolf.
This should help you read an ingredient list and know what is what and whether or not you should buy the food.