WHAT SHOULD I FEED ?


At the bottom of this page is our list of recommended foods. However we suggest that you read the below info before you navigate to the foods.

This page may be a bit of a read. But we promise it will be the most interesting and very informative. We recommend you read it in its entirety, as it may be the most critical info of all.
TAKE NOTES~ It will arm you with lots of info and a new way to look at labels.

Some of the main points we will cover are:

  • Why you should not trust words like NATURAL; HOLISTIC or ORGANIC

  • Why you must read ALL your ingredients!

  • Note when you read your labels - make sure your foods/treats are free of: BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin & propylene glycol, corn syrups, sugar; or menadione** aka dimethylprimidinol sulfate

Here goes!

The RECALL by MENU FOODS should have made the public more award of the 'crap' in non human grade commercial pet foods. Of course any human food can be recalled too, however odds are better it won't be, as it's regulated and produced at a higher standard.

Also keep in mind that many of the good foods are still manufactured by MENU FOODS. We personally will not support any company that uses menu foods as we don't like that Menu Foods experiments on animals. For more read our BAN MENU FOODS PAGE.

As to Pet Foods, Don't delude yourself into thinking that human grade dog/cat food means less chance of contamination. Anything made for consumption - human or animal will always run the risk of some kind of contamination, somewhere in production. However we feel if you do your homework you can make the most educated choices possible. And you run a lower risk. Meat meals, poultry meals, by-product meals, and meat-and-bone meal are common ingredients in dry pet foods. The term “meal” means that these materials are not used fresh, but have been rendered. While there are chicken, turkey, and poultry by-product meals there is no equivalent term for mammal “meat by-product meal” — it is called “meat-and-bone-meal.” It may also be referred to by species, such as “beef-and-bone-meal” or “pork-and-bone-meal.”

What is rendering? As defined by Webster’s Dictionary, to render is “to process as for industrial use: to render livestock carcasses and to extract oil from fat, blubber, etc., by melting.” In other words, raw materials are dumped into large vat and boiled for several hours. Rendering separates fat, removes water, and kills bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other organisms. However, the high temperatures used (270°F/130°C) can alter or destroy natural enzymes and proteins found in the raw ingredients.


Because of persistent rumors that rendered by-products contain dead dogs and cats
, the FDA conducted a study looking for pentobarbital, the most common euthanasia drug, in pet foods. They found it.

Ingredients that were most commonly associated with the presence of pentobarbital were meat-and-bone-meal and animal fat. However, they also used very sensitive tests to look for canine and feline DNA, which were not found. Industry insiders admit that rendered pets and roadkill were used in pet food some years ago. Although there are still no laws or regulations against it, the practice is "uncommon" today, but plausible it may still exist to some small degree though pet food companies universally deny that their products contain any such materials.

However, so-called
“4D” animals (dead, dying, diseased, disabled) were only recently banned for human consumption and are still legitimate ingredients for pet food. And can be classified as chicken or beef.

We recommend that you keep yourself up to date: Join the free RECALL ALERTS email subscriptions the FDA offers at their site. Sign up with your most frequently used email addy so you can keep up to date. I have already seen candy that gets distributed by Macy's (made elsewhere) get recalled and today it was vitamins for humans! The other day was BJ pig ears. This email alert you are signing up for is for only the *life threatening* RECALL alerts.

Go to www.fda.gov look for recall info, then sign up where it offers you the option of subscribing for alerts. Or you can just join our Facebook page for PET FOOD RECALLS.

Of course it's always best if you can make your own foods all of the time or even part of the time- but if you can't, try always to add some human food each day. Contrary to what your vet says, Table food is the best thing for your dog. Just be careful to know what human food is NOT good for them.


NOTE for DIABETIC DOGS -
DO NOT feed your a diabetic pet any pet foods containing GLUCOSAMINE. Many 'Senior Foods'  (such as NUTRO-Max SENIOR - a non human grade food so we do not recommend it) have this added now to help aging pets with arthritis and joint mobility. It is a good thing for arthritic and older dogs but NOT if they are DIABETIC! In March 2001 issue of PREVENTION Magazine tells more of the dangers for diabetics and this supplement both in HUMANS AND ALL ANIMALS. It is shown taking Glucosamine if you are Diabetic can trigger INSULIN RESISTANCE. This means that the body stops recognizing insulin and, as a result sugar in the blood can build up to a dangerous level. Another online article on this is found here at Nutrition Science News For more see our page on Diabetes.


Want to make your own food or supplement your pet food? Then visit our HOME COOKIN' page
However, when you can't...

Most people are unaware of the many wonderful human grade foods (listed below)- as these companies do not advertise in order to keep their prices competitive with lesser quality foods. Sure a better food is going to cost a little more, but truly JUST a little bit more. That is because the quality is higher so cup for cup you will feed a smaller amount of the QUALITY FOOD- so over all it will cost almost the same. An example is:

The Economy brands food - most supermarket/Walmart chain store brands and products like "Ol' ROY" (which may sadly actually contain some euthanised animals named ol' roy) -costs aprox 0.60 cents per poun)** had few nutrients-and the most toxins- (i.e. Kibbles n’ Bits is full of every bad thing in the book - the ultimate JUNK FOOD- really poison for our pets) Contain sugars to make it addictive and also tons of chemicals and cancer causing compounds. So what if they add vitamins to say your pets get the nutrition it needs?! It's like living on Twinkies and taking multi vitamins!
For crap food- the recommended feeding portion was 6 cups a day. (some examples - Kibbles n bits - Purina - Diamond; Alpo; Beneful; Good Life; Pet Gold; Chef Michael etc) Please NEVER buy this stuff! Moist food is the worst of the worst (Kibbles N Bits/Beneful etc.)

The "Mid-range Commercial" brand (cost aprox. $1.20 to $1.45 lb per pound) had more nutrients than the Economy packages, but less than the Super Premium. The feeding instructions recommended 3-1/4 cups per day. (some examples -Eukanuba/Iams/Science Diet) These are not 'human grade foods" - Read more about them and the company that makes them before you think about using these products.

The Premium "human grade/some organic brands" offers some excellent choices- -easy to find products and suggested an average of only 1-3/4 cups of food per day- some examples -Wellness; By Nature Organics; Natural Balance Organics; Solid Gold; California Naturals; Merrick etc. (cost aprox $1.45-$1.70 lb.)

The Super Premium (cost aprox $1.75 - $4.00 per pound- when 'prepared' as most of these are freeze dried/dehydrated products) Human Grade and organic offered the top of the line nutritional value and suggested an average of only 1-3/4 cups of food per day. (some examples Stella and Chewys; Karma Organics; Monzie's organics; ZiwiPeak; Addiction foods; Honest Kitchen (made in a human food facility but not organic and many of these veggies rated as the top 10 highest levels of pesticides listed for human grade allowed) Therefore we only recommend Honest Kitchen's THRIVE which has the what we feel the lowest pesticide residue). Other great foods:. Dr. Harvey's and Steve's Real Food.

The only foods we can currently confirm to be made in a HUMAN GRADE PLANT - IN THE USA are The HONEST KITCHEN, OMA'S PRIDE and WERUVA. Though we've heard a few more are hitting the market.

Investigate to see if the foods are made in a multi brand manufacturing plant (such as Menu Foods) or if they have their own plant. It's better to choose a food with their own plant as less risk of contaminations

All measurements were for a 40-lb. dog. "Thus, the big difference is in the poop!" You do the math. It's pretty much the same cost. Your pet benefits being healthier and you save on vet bills later in life along with the peace of mind knowing you are not feeding toxins to your pets. ** prices per pound will vary depending on where you buy and where you live, but this is a close estimate.

We will list and would only recommend Premium and Super Premium foods - please email us if your favorite is not listed. There are always new foods and we sometimes don't keep up fast enough!

Now one more thing we need to bring into the equation are INGREDIENTS FROM CHINA - that includes everything from chicken, vitamins and veggies. Sadly many of our TOP FOODS we've listed here have something in them from China. As many use vegetables, chicken and supplements imported from China. They may be from a distributer in the USA but the product is SOURCED in China. I suggest you call your pet food company and asked them is ANYTHING in their products are sourced in China. If they don’t know – push them for answers. If they say they get their vitamins from someplace in California, ask them where that company SOURCES their vitamins from, especially the vitamin C. You have to read between the lines. See what the DO NOT say as opposed to what they do say. What they leave out.

Many ‘organic’ products even contain ‘Chinese’ ingredients; some examples are by Nature Organics (vits). Company's like DOGSWELL have all their chickens from China.

We do not see why they can't get products from the USA.

We have recent conformation that ADDICTION FOODS; ORIJIN; ACANA and CANINE CAVIAR; and HONEST KITCHEN have confirmed that they are free of ANYTHING from China. Others here may be free of Chinese ingredients, but I have yet to call all the companies. Therefore I urge you to call or write to find out the current status of any food you are feeding. Don't just assume they are OK!

Please note it's not just our pets food we need to check. Next time you are in your local WHOLE FOODS or HEALTH FOOD STORE check the back of the bag of frozen organic vegs and see if a product of China. You will be shocked to see many are. The water is filthy and filled with toxins and who knows what they consider 'organic'. I will not support a country that has tried to poison both us and our pets more than once. Most Vit C is also from China so call your vitamin company to check and see where they “source” their products from.

Please ask your local pet supplies stores and supermarkets to start carrying this better brands listed below and stop selling the crap! If not order online!

Other things to REMEMBER - read between the lines!

NATURAL or ORGANIC doesn't mean it's HUMAN GRADE or even HEALTHY for your cat or dog! Some have 'organic sugar/organic corn syrup' as an ingredient- NEVER use ANY product with SUGAR, which may also be listed as CORN SYRUP; CANE JUICE etc.. even if organic. Many ORGANIC; NATURAL; HOLISTIC treats will contain SUGAR - STAY AWAY from these!
Sugar is a shortcut to the start of many diseases. Cancer will thrive on it. Will will have suggestions for you on our TREATS page.

For example, TIMBERWOLF ORGANICS IS NOT and organic food. It is HUMAN GRADE but NOT organic. And NATURAL PLANET ORGANICS have some HUMAN GRADE ingredients such as their chicken, rice, oats, barley and flax but the rest is NOT 100% human grade and it is NOT ORGANIC. We know this is confusing - that is why we are helping you with what to look for/avoid and what questions to ask of the pet food manufacturers.

Our list is below of what is 'all human grade' and also what is organic.

But remember ORGANIC can still mean from China. YOU have to do the follow up if the info isn't all here. Things update and change constantly!

LEARN TO READ ALL INGREDIENT LISTINGS. CORN SYRUP IS CORN SYRUP and is VERY BAD for ANIMALS and feeds cancerous cells! Corn syrup is only for dogs in emergencies who are hypoglycemic.

IN REVIEW:
  • Don't trust words like NATURAL; HOLISTIC or ORGANIC

  • and read ALL your ingredients!

  • Read your labels - make sure your foods/treats are free of: BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin & propylene glycol, corn syrups, sugar; or menadione** aka dimethylprimidinol sulfate
**Some manufacturers leave out the "menadione" part of the above chemical names in their ingredient lists (e.g. you see only "dimethylprimidinol sulfate" listed instead of "menadione dimethylprimidinol sulfate"), and menadione does not only occur in dry and canned foods, but edible chew toys, supplements and treats as well. Thoroughly research any item with an ingredient list that claims a "source of vitamin K", "source of vitamin K activity" or "vitamin K" in parentheses and contact the manufacturer if you have any questions.


Check online or call the pet food company to find out:

  • 1. Is the food of HUMAN GRADE QUALITY?
  • 2. are any ingredients SOURCED from China?

  • 3. Where do they get the vitamin supplements that are added from and are any of those ingredients sourced in China.

What about HONEY and MOLASSES?

Treats with added Honey and Molasses (black Strap is GOOD) in small amounts ok from time to time. But not when listed as "CANE" then it's been processed to a basic sugar and they are twisting the wording to make is 'sound' better!

OK – so now that you read all that you need to know, here is a list of HUMAN GRADE PRODUCTS on the market. Since the market is always adding new things, we may be missing a few - but these are some of the most popular products.

HUMAN GRADE PRODUCTS
Quality Foods Should Contain:
Superior sources of protein, either whole fresh meats or single source meat meal (ex. chicken meal rather than poultry meal) HUMAN GRADE PRODUCTS
Quality Foods Should Contain:
Superior sources of protein, either whole fresh meats or single source meat meal (ex. chicken meal rather than poultry meal) A whole-meat source as one of the first two ingredients.
A whole-meat source as one of the first two ingredients.

Also please check to see what DRY foods below may still contain Mendione
aka dimethylprimidinol sulfate . (A synthetic form of vit K) It is best NOT to have this ingredient. It is BANNED in Europe To learn more about it visit the dogfoodproject. Some companies are reformulating the products to remove it. The can formulas normally don't have it in any brand. It is the DRY versions you must check on as most of the canned will not have it and is perfectly OK.

Keep in mind that even though foods may be of HUMAN GRADE they are NOT manufactured in a pet food plant - not with HUMAN human foods. Risks of cross contamination is low but can always of course exist. We suggest you investigate what brands use mass plants like Menu foods (this includes
NEWMAN'S ORGANICS) . Some will have their own manufacturing plant, such as BY NATURE ORGANICS.

HUMAN GRADE DOG FOODS   
please note this is not a complete list. Also some of the foods below that have Menadione may be removing it, so check with the manufacturer.
Foods in Bold are know to be FREE of MENADIONE - more and more companies are removing menadione and vit K supplements so please check with manufacturer for the most recent update on the ingredients.

Abady
Acana
(confirmed no China ingredients )
Addiction Foods - dehydrated
(confirmed -no ingredients from China)
Artemis
Back to Basics
Best In Show Power Food
Blue Organics with Lifesource Bits for Dogs
Brandon Farms Organics  (by Blue Seal)
By Nature Organics (by Blue Seal)  
By Nature
Canine Cavier- venison green pea only
CaniSource
Canidae
Castor & Pollux Organix
Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover
C&P's Ultramax
Canine Health -Dr. Harvey's
(made in their own facility)
Eagle Pack Holistic Select
Evangers ORGANIC CANNED
(made in their own facility)
Evermore Pet Food
Flint River
Halo - SPOTS STEW
Healthy Pet  Products (frozen & freeze dried)
Holistic Blend -
( extruded- no ingredients from China)
The Honest Kitchen (made in a Human Food facility -no ingredients from China)
Lick Your Chops
Life4K9 (baked)
Merrick
Monzies Organics
Momo Foods
Natural Balance Organics (not 'Natural Balance)
Natural Planet Organics
Nature's Variety Prairie Canine Freeze Dried
Nature's Logic
Newman's Organics Canned -
note: we do not recommend Newman's DRY now has reformulated as it includes SOY - some animals may have reactions to Soy)
Soy is a cheap filler and can cause gastric problems with many dogs as it may not be digested/tolerated well. Also Newman's would not discuss with us personally where their food was manufactured and was not forthcoming answering questions during the Menu foods situation. They also said they didn't not care if we recommended their food or not. To me - this is just not good customer service. Therefore we are apprehensive to recommend any of their product

Northwest Naturals Raw & Frozen Diets
(made in a Human Food facility)
Oma's Pride  (made in a Human Food/USDA facility)
Orijen  (confirmed no China ingredients )
Party Animal petfood
Paw Naturaw
Pinnacle
Raw Advantage (frozen)
Righteous Dog Food
Primal Raw & Frozen Diets (organic)
Steve's Real Food
Sojos
Solid Gold
Stella & Chewys
Urban Wolf
Weneawe Organics
Weruva
(made in a Human Food facility)
Wysong
ZiwiPeak -
(Air dried - ALL ingredients from New Zealand)


Wellness; California Naturals; Innova; Evo & Karma Organics are no longer on our list as NATURA PET products is being taken over in summer 2010 by Procter and Gamble - we urge you not to buy anything by Proctor and Gamble.  Not only do they experiment on animals but we have read they will be making changes over time to the formula adding fillers and the quality will not remain as it has been--- For more read:  www.truthaboutpetfood.com/articles/breaking-news-proctor--gamble-purchases-natura-pet-products.html
We urge you to cross your dog over slowly to a new food. Any change can and may cause tummy problems.

NOTES:

Quality foods should NOT contain:

Food fragments - lower-cost by-products of another food manufacturing process, such as brewer's rice and wheat bran...Manufacturers usually include at least one fragment to help lower costs. Beware any food that includes several fragments.

Meat by-products (not handled as carefully as whole meat) - any food that contains meat by-products as the MAJOR protein source indicates a low-quality product.

Fats or proteins named generically (ex. animal fat/poultry fat instead of beef fat/ lamb meal)

Artificial preservatives (BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin)

Artificial colors.

VitK3 menadione aka dimethylprimidinol

Sweeteners (corn syrup, sucrose, ammoniated glycyrrhizin) to improve unappealing food

Propylene glycol - a toxic substance when consumed in large amounts; added to some "chewy" foods to keep them moist.

If you can't find these foods locally you can buy online as many places including

www.doggiefood.com

www.pawsuponhealth.com

http://petexpertise.com/cat--Natural-Dog-Food--food.html

www.petfooddirect.com

www.waggintails.com

www.sitstay.com

There are many more --Just do a web search~


It is always best (if you are feeding commercial food) that you mix some fresh foods from the list below and include it in your pets daily meals. The reason many people or vets say do not feed table food is because many people are unaware of what foods can be dangerous to pets. So please visit our dangerous foods page.

However, table food is the best thing you can feed your pets! Just keep in mind never mix kibble and raw food together in the same feeding(even to transition from kibble to the raw), because the two different foods are digested very differently.

Where the raw food is digested naturally and absorbed fully and properly to stick in the system where it is necessary resulting in a powder-like/non-smelly stool, the majority of kibble/commercial dry foods are not digested properly due to preservatives and additives that it basically go right through the animals system (which is a reason why their stool is usually disgusting, smelly, soft/textured, etc.).

So, if the two are mixed together, it confuses the digestive system which causes stress (on the digestive system) and could potentially cause bloat.

We usually suggest, for either daily feeding or transition periods, not to feed within 4-5 hours of each other (for example: the kibble/commercial food by itself in the morning and the raw food by itself at night). Dogs and cats' digestive system isn't like ours (we take 24 hours to fully digest and theirs takes about 4-5 hours). However you can mix COOKED food with your kibble safely!

We HIGHLY recommend you visit the
DOG FOOD PROJECT website. They have all the info you need to know about dog food products. We rather just link to them as we could not put all their great info on one page.

The Ultimate Pet Health Resource