Dog Food

Nutrition and treats

 
Over millions of years dogs have evolved to eat a diet of raw meat. That’s it. Nothing else. So it seems a good bet that if you feed your dog on raw meat it will be healthy and happy and there is a lot of information on the internet to help you set up a raw food diet. However, with today’s modern, busy lifestyle it’s far more convenient feed your dog on dried biscuits or kibble. No mess. Keeps for ages. No need to refrigerate. Low risk of salmonella etc. But out of the hundreds of brands out there, which ones are any good?
Today, dog food is a HUGE business accounting for £24bn sales just in Europe every year and dog food will be your biggest single expense over your dogs life (Yes, even after the Vets!). Most  of us will want to feed our dog with the best we can afford but like the human food industry, the pet food industry has a lot of murky secrets that they don’t really want you to know about. There is very little legislation to protect the consumer and  you are bombarded with marketing claims that a particular dog food is perfect for your breed, is organic or natural, has special or human grade ingredients but the reality is that there are only two nutritional standards against which all pet foods are measured: ADULT  and PUPPY (growth/gestation/lactation)—REMEMBER everything else is marketing.
Lurchers owners know that their dogs will eat the most disgusting and smelly dead things they find.
They are natural  scavengers with a strong constitution but like all dogs, they will benefit from a
proper balanced diet. Generally the more expensive the food, the better. But not always!

So Why Not your Current Dog Food?
(Some notes and tricks on Dried food Packaging)

It is much easier to add low quality ingredients to a dry food than wet food so rit’s really important that you understand what the list of ingredients actually means. Some dog foods contain as much as 80% cheap wheat flour and others as much as 80% meat. Some dog foods are marketed as cheap and some as high quality. Very cheap dog food is always poor HOWEVER some expensive, famous brand dog foods are not as good as the price suggests….. It sounds confusing but choosing a food surely should be easy? Why not  just look for the dog  food with the highest meat content in your budget……….
Trick number1 “Splitting”

Dog food legislation means that the manufacturers have to list the ingredients of their product according to the amount of each in the product so obviously we will look for a dog food that has meat as as the first ingredient on the list. HOWEVER To get  meat as the first ingredient in their dog food some manufacturers split the cheaper ingredients into different categories to artificially raise  a meat item to a higher position on the ingredients list (see table below)

dog food ingredient splitting

So, the next time you see a meat item as the first ingredient on the list — don’t be too impressed.

REMEMBER:
It’s not how glossy and shiny the packaging looks. It’s what is actually in the food that matters

Trick Number 2 “False Describers”

The pet food industry like the human food industry loves to pretend that all its ingredients are “natural”. So heres a list of some of the terms…

“Cereals”
Regulations on pet food are not as stringent as human food. Many pet foods have cereals as the first ingredient. Cereals sounds nice and natural but in effect it usually means cheap wheat flour.

“Meat & Animal Derivatives”
Dog & Cat food is made from the bits of an animal we don’t want to eat. These bits are rendered down into a powder and this is used to make the food. The cheapest way to buy this raw material is when it is all mixed together and “meat and animal derivatives” is how this is described on the packet. It is interesting to note that pet food containing pork is hardly ever seen however a lot of the meat in pet food is from pigs. Most pet foods that have “meat and animal derivatives” in the list of ingredients usually has a main flavour. If the food is advertised as “chicken” it has to be all chicken but if it is sold as “with chicken” it only has to contain as little as 4% chicken.

“Hydrolised Poultry Products”
This is a source of protein from chicken feathers soaked in acid. One of the top premium brands uses this as a source of protein so if you don’t want to feed your pet feathers check the ingredients.

“Vegetable Protein Extracts”
Some complete pet foods don’t have enough meat content to raise the protein levels to minimum legal requirements. When this happens vegetable proteins are usually added. There is a lack of research into how much of these non-meat proteins a dog can take into its system.

“Sugar Beet Pulp” or “Beet Pulp”
This is a by-product of sugar production and all the sugar has been removed. It is a cheap way of adding bulk and roughage and has little nutritional value but is probably harmless.

Trick Number 3 “Designed for your particular breed”

There simply isn’t a breed specific food. It is just complete marketing nonsense

Why Canidae?

CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company started out 18 years ago as a family owned company with a genuine commitment to make the best quality pet food they could and their promise is that what they say is in the bag is exactly whats in it. The Pet food industry is notorious for twisting the truth about the quality and source of their ingredients but Canidae stand by their commitment to make the best pet food they can. They take pride in the fact that all of their ingredients are top quality human-grade and even though they won’t share a lot of information on where they outsource their food production, we know that they use USDA-inspected meat and that all of their formulations are produced in USDA, FDA, and AAFCO-approved facilities. Not only does Canidae use strict testing procedures, but they also use natural preservatives and high-quality grains, fruits, and vegetables from local producers.

Most of Canidae’s dog food is formulated for all ages and comes  with a number of different protein sources, including beef, bison, duck, lamb, salmon, and fish meal. Some dog owners have taken  issue with the fact that there’s an unusually high rice content in some of their dog food formulas but the low concentration of vegetable proteins found in those same formulas allows for easier digestion in older or more food-sensitive dogs, so some dog owners are willing to overlook the high rice content.

OK Canidae dog food is at the top end of the price range but there are a lot of more expensive brands out there that are nowhere near as good. We’ve tried them all over the years and this is a superb, quality food made from whole ingredients (as opposed to human food by-products) which will give you a healthy, happy dog.

But don’t just take our word for it check out the review on the Dog Food Advisor website.

“Canidae Grain Free Pure is a meat-based dry dog food using a notable amount of various named species as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
Enthusiastically recommended.”
Dog Food Branding 2
Dog Food Branding 1
Dog Food Branding 3
canidae small breed chicken