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Why your dog food has so many ingredients and dog treats mostly have one


dog-in-the-dog-park I was reading a dog food review by canstarblue called ‘Dog Food Reviews’   the other day, and surprisingly they had only nice things to say about the products they were reviewing.

It might be true that 97% of dog owners in Australia feed their dogs a commercial dog food diet. And many of these owners proudly say how their product is ultra-premium, they buy only the best. And the advertising on each of these massive public companies also tells you that.

And curiously when it comes to treats, I hear people say time and again how they demand Australian only treats, with no additives etc. And that is fine ..

However while owners are so apparently picky over their treats (even though Most of the leading supermarket treats are grain based), it is informative for us to remember several facts about dog food and why meat based dog treats are often superior, nutritionally.


1              The dog food market is mainly split between Nestle, Mars and Proctor Gamble. And between them and their many sub-brands, most dog food is still Made in America and imported to Australia.  In the past these companies have been chastised for using imported ingredients such as their grains in their products.  Amazing that we can be so demanding when it comes to our dog treats, but not so much in the bulk of our dog’s diets.

2              I have highlighted several major selling ‘Australian’ available brands in the table below. You will notice that while meat products might be listed as the first one or two ingredients, the ones that are bolded (we just look at the top ten) are NOT meat.  Ingredient splitting is the method dog food companies use to make it seem that there is more meat in a product than there actually is ( many trailing grain based ingredients can easily sum up to 70% non meat ingredients).

3              Non meat is non meat.  ‘Grain free’ usually means another cheap vegetable substitute like a potato.  Also, many review sites suggest being wary of anything called ‘meal’ (it can include many less than human grade ingredients).

4              Have you noticed how ridiculously long the ingredients list is? If you think that is purely for your dog’s benefits, consider the real reason why. AFFCO is an organisation in America which makes the dog food rules – minimum standards of protein, minerals and vitamins etc) that a dog food has to have to be called dog food and ‘complete and balanced’.  Many of the large multinationals have a lot of say on what is included in that table of demands.

The affco tables are shaped so that no natural combination of meat and vegetables can be classed as dog food, how else would you create a monopoly?

This is the only reason why there is such a ridiculously long list of vitamins and minerals in the ingredients list of ALL dog foods. Perhaps having poor soils and a lot of grain ingredients in the dog food doesn’t help either, but have you considered if the situation was so bad, why the World Health Organisation doesn’t demand that all HUMANS consume such a long list of vitamins and minerals EVERY DAY?

BTW – This is precisely the reason that the large multinationals also say that you can’t feed your dog a raw diet or too many dog treats.  They can control the dog food market by distribution and stocking strategies, but dog treats are a much harder proposition. And when they are meat based, they are much more expensive to make. That is why dog eating guides suggest never feeding your dog raw or home cooked dog food, and why they say you can only give 25% of a dog meal as meat. Essentially they are only telling you this because it could possibly reduce the artificially high level of vitamins and minerals set by affco, that they control.


The next time you look at the miracle that grain or vegetable based dog food presents to you, consider where it is made, and how much grain or vegetables are in it, instead of lean meat, the ONLY ingredient dogs evolved to eat.

And instead of judging dog treats on having a ridiculously long list of added vitamins and minerals, consider that if it is meat based, they are getting many of the required vitamins and minerals, naturally, as well as bioavailable protein.

Turns out that in dog treats, a single ingredient or 100% meat based dog treats are actually the platinum standard. Which luckily is what our stores mostly provide.


Examples of some of the leading dog food ingredient lists

BRAND Ingredients (top ten NON MEAT items are BOLD Manufactured
Proplan puppy-chicken-rice Chicken, brewers rice, poultry by-product meal (source of glucosamine), corn gluten meal, whole grain wheat, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), whole grain corn, corn germ meal, brewers dried yeast, fish meal (source of glucosamine),

animal digest, dried egg product, fish oil, salt, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate, choline chloride, zinc sulfate, Vitamin E supplement, niacin, manganese sulfate, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, riboflavin supplement, garlic oil, Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), and sodium selenite

Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, St. Louis, MO 63164 USA

Healthy Weight Formula Adult Premium Dog Food

Turkey (source of glucosamine), brewer’s rice, soybean meal, corn gluten meal, poultry by-product meal (source of glucosamine), oat meal, whole grain wheat, corn germ meal, whole grain corn, soybean germ meal,

animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, animal digest, glycerin, calcium carbonate, salt, mono and dicalcium phosphate, caramel color, potassium chloride, Vitamin E supplement, choline chloride, zinc sulfate, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, ferrous sulfate, sulfur, niacin, manganese sulfate, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, garlic oil, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), sodium selenite. D-4175

Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, St. Louis, MO 63164 USA
Applaws All Breeds & Lifestages – Chicken with Turkey Chicken Meal†, turkey meal†, pea starch, potato, tapioca starch, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), flaxseed, fish oil, natural chicken flavour, salt,

rosemary extract, dried tomato, apples, blackberries, cranberries, sweet potato, carrot, pumpkin, spinach, alfalfa, dried kelp, yucca, beet pulp (natural prebiotic), glucosamine, chondroitin, olive oil, lysine, vitamins (A, B1, B2, B5, B6, B12, D, E), biotin, folic acid, niacin, magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, copper, mauri mos, calcium propionate. † A natural source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin. Applaws It’s All Good is made on equipment that processes a variety of animal protein.

ADVANCE™ACTIVE, ALL BREED 15KG Chicken, Maize Gluten, Chicken Fat, Rice, Maize, Sorghum, Natural Flavour (Chicken), Sunflower Oil, Beet Pulp, Iodised Salt, Potassium Chloride,

Inulin, Turkey, Plant Extracts (Tomato Powder, Marigold Meal), Choline Chloride, Taurine, Green Lipped Mussel Powder, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Zinc Sulphate, Citric Acid, Calcium Carbonate, Beta-Carotene, Antioxidants, Iron Sulphate, Copper Sulphate, Vitamin B5, Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B12, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B3, Vitamin D3, Selenium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B9.

Advance pet food is made in Australia, specifically for Australian dogs (owned by Mars USA)
IAMS™ PROACTIVE HEALTH™ADULT LARGE BREED Chicken, Corn Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken By-Product Meal (source of Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine), Ground Whole Grain Barley, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Brewers Dried Yeast,

Potassium Chloride, Salt, Dicalcium Phosphate, Flax Meal, 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), Calcium Carbonate, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, DL-Methionine, L-Tryptophan, L-Carnitine, Rosemary Extract, Citric Acid.


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McLean VA 22101,USA


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The Dog Food Company Monopoly and why your dogs eat grain.
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