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The Horrors Inside Dried Dog Food

Updated on June 11, 2012

I know we all love our dogs, and I am no exception, my baby girl is called Ruby and she's a beautiful basset hound, but she must be the only Basset I know of that refuses to eat what's put down to her. I've had Bassets before and they will eat everything, food, purses, shoes, boots, even the air bricks out of the walls, but not Ruby, and even food she ate with relish yesterday she won't eat today - unless it's raw meat.

At the moment I feed her a mixture of raw chicken wings on their own, raw eggs occasionally, raw minced beef with vegetables and dried dog food. She loves all the 'real' food, it's the dry dog food that she just looks at in disgust.

I mean it's dog food, it's sold by the pet shops, they must know what is good for dogs and what isn't, right? Nope! I first began to look at the ingredients in dry dog food to see if there was something in particular that she didn't like the taste of, it was then I realised that some of the dog food out there isn't food as we know it.

Just to explain my point a little bit let's take a well-known brand in the UK, which shall remain nameless, because I don't want to get into any trouble by picking on one particular dog food, because it's not one particular dog food, it's a lot of the dog food that is out there on the shelves waiting for you to pop it into your trolley and feed to that beautiful animal with the big puppy dog eyes.

Now I'm not talking about obscure pet foods, this one I've chosen came from my local supermarket but it wasn't an own brand, and it wasn't a value brand, it's very popular, it's a decent price in the medium price bracket, it's in all the supermarkets and pet supermarkets, now you'd think that dog food is mainly made up of meat right? WRONG, here's what it had on the label:

Cereals, Meat and Animal Derivatives (min 4% chicken), Vegetable protein extracts, derivatives of vegetable origin (min 0.5% beet pulp), oils and fats, Minerals, Vegetables (min 0.5% chicory), Fat 10%, Ash 7%

Mmmmm yummy?

The first thing on the label in this product is Cereals, now as far as I knew the only cereals that my dog got was when my daughter spilled Cheerios (sometimes on purpose) on the floor and Ruby dived on them in a heartbeat, and according to a number of dog food manufacturers, like James Wellbeloved they believe that "Cereals can be a cause of food intolerances in dogs", now that to me sounds like they shouldn't be eating cereals.

Then we have meat and animal derivatives, meat and animal? There's a difference? I shuddered to think what that meant. And the only meat actually detailed on the pack is Chicken which is 4%, 4%? Is that supposed to be good? And why haven't they told us what the other meat is, this is getting scary.

The word derivative kept going round and round in my mind, what exactly are meat and vegetable derivatives? It's not like the label said it was dehydrated meat and vegetable, well that would be a step in the right direction wouldn't it? According to the Feeding Stuff Regulations 1991 the definition of meat derivative is:

All the fleshy parts of slaughtered warm-blooded land animals fresh or preserved by appropriate treatment, and all products and derivatives of the processing of the carcase or parts of the carcase of such animals.

Oh I get it - derivatives means that the whole animal, skin, hair, bone, tendons etc. (I don't want to think about the etc. do you?) is milled down to a pulp.


This list on these dried dog foods makes me cringe and ashamed that I didn't check them before I fed them to Ruby, no wonder she'd rather not eat, it does not sound like something I want to buy, it's not something I want my dog to eat and by my dog's reaction she's thinking the same thing.

So yes I've thrown all of this particular ... it really is very hard to call it food at this point ... anyway it's all gone in our rubbish/trash bin, and I'm trying to find a decent food, and that is the main key to this, I want to feed my dog 'food'.

Help Is At Hand

I was finding it all really confusing, here I was in a local pet supermarket going backwards and forwards trying desperately to work out what was good and what wasn't and getting nowhere fast, I gave up and in the meantime I went to the butchers and bought some chicken wings.

At home on the internet after much searching I found a marvellous website where you can put in the name of your dog food and it will tell you what's good about it (see I'm being optimistic now) and obviously what's wrong with it. They'll also tell you what's in it and what shouldn't be in it.

They rate the dog food from 1 to 5 stars, 1 being the lowest, my previous choice of dog food was given a 1 star and a comment stating that the only reason they gave it a 1 star was because they couldn't give it a zero - oh my!

Please see the link below so that you can go look for yourself at the worst and the best the canine food industry has to offer our beloved animals, by using sites such as this it may help you to make an informed decision - I wish you luck - I wish us all luck - especially our dogs.

What a good dog food should consist of:

What a good dog food should consist of:

And just to let you see what a good ingredient list looks like, this is what is in the Salmon version of the Blue Wilderness Dog Food:

Deboned Salmon, Menhaden Fish Meal (natural source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Chicken Meal, Potato Starch, Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with Natural Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Potatoes, Tomato Pomace (natural source of Lycopene), Natural Chicken Flavor, Flaxseed (natural source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Alfalfa Meal, Whole Carrots, Whole Sweet Potatoes, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Dried Parsley, Dried Kelp, Taurine, Yucca Shidigera Extract, L-Carnitine, L-Lysine, Turmeric, Oil of Rosemary, Beta Carotene, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Niacin (Vitamin B3), d-Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Ascorbate (source of Vitamin C), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino AcidChelate, Choline Chloride, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate, Salt, Caramel, Potassium Chloride, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bacillus subtilis, Enterococcus faecium.

Amazing isn't it? I actually recognise the food on this list, and that's the point - it is actual food.


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    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 5 years ago from America

      I can't say I feed our dogs the best. We feed them what all of our dogs have always ate. Dry dog food. They have all lived long lives unless they died from accident. One dog died a year after we got him from the pound, he had cancer. We know our food didn't cause that. The dog we have now was on homemade dog food that they bought from someone in their town and they said he would not stop having accidents in the house. We took him off that food right away. He never has accidents now.

      You are so right when you read the packages on dog food makes you wonder how they live as long as they do.

      Voted Up.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      I have a miniature Schnauzer named Baby (I've written Hubs about her!), and she has skin problems caused by allergies her Vet says. He gave me some dry kibbles to give her, but she still itches! I've heard good things about the Blue Mountain brand, I'm tempted to get some.

      Great Hub for us dog lovers.

      I voted this UP and will share so other dog lovers can read about this subject.

    • sampupmoores profile image

      sampupmoores 6 years ago

      This is really interesting. New to this myself - only two days! kepp up the good work!

    • lundmusik profile image

      lundmusik 6 years ago from Tucson AZ

      our dogs eat special foods to prohibit bladder stones... $75 for 32 lbs,, i'm not exactly sure what's in it,, but i'm sure going to check now..

      thanks for the hub!!!!

    • dashingclaire profile image

      dashingclaire 6 years ago from United States

      I use Blue Buffalo Wilderness and/or Wellness since I got my dog. I was so happy I did not use any of the brands in the China grain scandal. The ingredients make such a difference in the digestion, fur, and mental development. I have to add that my dog won't eat the blueberries in the Blue Buffalo. Nice hub!

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 6 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      You make some good points and I'd hope that the ingrediants for the most part are nourishing for our pets. I'd hate to think they do it to genate profits at the expense of our little critters. It’s great to see a new HUBBER and welcome to HUB writing. I found I enjoyed this very much. You have this laid out beautifully and it is easy to understand. Keep up the great HUBS. I must give this an “Up ONE and awesome.” I'm always your fan! RJ

      Based upon your HUB, you might enjoy this HUB…