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Are You Feeding Your Pets Roadkill, Carcinogens & Moldy Grains? (See The Best and Worst Pet Food)

Although you are (hopefully) reading the ingredients on the food you buy to feed your family, are you reading the ingredients on your pet’s food?

A fascinating new report was just released today by the nonprofit watchdog group, The Cornucopia Institute:

“Overall, the pet food industry is failing its customers as a provider of nutritious, wholesome food for our dogs and cats. As a whole, it could be viewed as a waste disposal vehicle for human food manufacturers, exhibiting disregard for the health of its customers.” – Decoding Pet Food: Adulteration, Toxic Ingredients, and the Best Choices for Your Companion Animals, by The Cornucopia Institute.

What they reveal in this report is shocking to say the least, and Cornucopia’s report highlights how important it is to read the ingredients on the pet food you buy (even if it’s organic). 

Petfood

The Top 6 Things To Stop Feeding Your Pets:

1.  Food-Grade Carrageenan – They found that more than 70% of canned pet foods contain this additive. Although it’s linked to intestinal inflammation, it’s even found in prescription pet foods for pets with gastrointestinal problems! According to Cornucopia: “The frequency of inflammatory bowel diseases in cats and dogs raises concerns about conventional pet food and its effect on the gut, including changes in the gut microbiota.” Here’s more on why I avoid this ingredient.

2.  Synthetic Preservatives – This is why some pet food has a shelf life for 25 years! BHA, BHT, propyl gallate, propylene glycol, or ethoxyquin are common preservatives in pet food linked to serious health issues – such as organ damage and cancer.

3.  BPA – The lining inside cans of pet food contain this endocrine disruptor that mimics hormones and can lead to cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

4.  Artificial Food Dyes – Do you think your pet cares what color their food is? Colors like red 40, yellow 5, yellow 6, and blue 2 are common in dry pet food. According to CSPI, these dyes can cause allergic reactions, hyperactivity, organ damage and cancer.

5.  Grains – Remember, cats and dogs are carnivores so their food should be primarily meat and grains aren’t necessary. Fillers like corn, wheat, corn gluten meal, soybean meal, and brewer’s rice should not be listed in the first few ingredients (if at all) to ensure that a product is mostly meat. Grains that aren’t fit for humans to eat, like moldy grains containing carcinogenic mycotoxins, are still allowed in pet food.

6.  Rendered Meat Byproducts – Pet food regulations allow the use of meat from animals that died “otherwise than by slaughter”. Although the pet industry denies it (of course) there is testimony that this allows for dead pets (dogs, cats) from shelters to be added to pet food, and that some companies actually engage in this practice. The FDA has also found residues from a drug that’s used to euthanize animals in 30 different samples of pet food, which is evidence that euthanized animals are ending up in cans. In some states, rendering facilities that process dead animals are also authorized to process roadkill and rotten meat, which may also end up in pet food, along with the remains of animals that died of disease. According to Cornucopia, this can possibly lead to degenerative neurological diseases in pets.

Avoid These Pet Foods: 

  1. 9 Lives: Tender Morsels
  2. Whiskas: Trays and Pouches
  3. Friskies: Pate
  4. Purina ProPlan: All formulas
  5. Iams Proactive Health: Pate, Filets
  6. Royal Canin: Feline Health Nutrition
  7. Hill’s: Science Diet, Ideal Balance Natural

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What about organic pet food?

First, you need to determine whether a pet food is really organic or not, because there’s some serious misleading labeling going on. There are no exclusively organic brands, and many companies use deceptive packaging to make their non-organic formulas appear the same as their organic varieties. Make sure to look really closely at the labels to make sure what you are buying is truly organic by looking specifically for the USDA certified organic seal, because these cans can look nearly identical!

ORGANIC NOT ORGANIC

Organic pet food is the best choice, especially as artificial food dyes, GMOs, and most questionable food additives are banned from these products. However, organic pet food can still contain carrageenan, and some brands make some products with it and some without – so you need to check each one separately.

Another thing to point out – products labeled as non-GMO don’t contain GMO ingredients, but the feed given to the animals raised for the meat in these products was almost certainly GMO – unless the meat is certified organic.

Safer Foods For Your Pet:

Check out Cornucopia’s Pet Food Buying Guide for the complete list. 

Want to save money and feed your pet well?

Make your own dog and cat food. 

What else to look for when shopping for pet food:

      • Read the ingredient list (even on the brands you trust, the ingredients are always changing!). High quality meat should be the first ingredient, and preferably the second and third ingredients as well. Beware that pea protein is a cheap substitute that doesn’t have a complete amino acid profile. 
      • Ignore the name and other marketing terms such as “healthy” and “premium” because slack regulations on pet food render these terms meaningless.
      • Watch out for the terms “meat meal”, “bone meal”, “animal fat”, “animal digest”, and/or “blood meal” on an ingredient list, as this typically means meat from rendering facility that may have processed roadkill, sick animals, expired grocery store meat, and euthanized pets.
      • Instead of synthetic preservatives, choose pet food with natural antioxidants such as tocopherols, vitamin C, and flavonoids.
      • Look for cans that say they are “BPA-Free” on the label.
      • Avoid pet foods with added colors and dyes, especially artificial ones.
      • It’s better for the health of our oceans to choose pet food with fish meal byproducts (without ethoxyquin) instead of whole fish. But, you need to call the company to verify whether they use ethoxyquin because it’s not required on the label. 

I’ve been wanting to cover this topic for a long time, and I’m so happy that the experts at the Cornucopia Institute put all of their research into this public report to expose what some pet food companies have been getting away with, as well as providing a buying guide of the best of ones to choose so that we can avoid poisoning our pets with disgusting ingredients. You can read the full report here, and check out their Pet Food Buying Guide to find the safest food for your pets. 

If you know someone who has a pet or plans to get one, please please please share this info with them.

We want our pets as healthy as us! 

Xo,

Vani

xmasdogs

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327 responses to “Are You Feeding Your Pets Roadkill, Carcinogens & Moldy Grains? (See The Best and Worst Pet Food)

  1. Several years ago, my daughter did a lot of research in order to feed her horses the best possible diet – especially because the thoroughbred she had rescued was having the worst time putting on any weight, and his hooves were a mess. During this research, she discovered information about GMO’s and processed foods (for humans as well as animals). That’s when she decided to stop feeding the horses any of the “grains” that are sold as horse feed. Horses are supposed to eat grasses, not grains! That’s also when she and I stopped eating processed foods, and started buying (and growing) organic fresh foods, grass-fed beef, free-range chickens (and eggs). Since between us we have 3 cats and 2 dogs, we also researched pet foods. After doing even more research, we decided to feed them what cats and dogs are supposed to eat – raw meat! Some websites talked about grinding the meat and adding stuff, but we decided to just give them raw meat. The changes to the health and the attitudes of all 3 cats and 2 dogs has been amazing! They used to be fat, their fur/hair was rather coarse and came out by the handful when we pet them, and they lay around listlessly. Since we started the raw diet, they are all fit, their fur/hair is soft and doesn’t come out nearly as much, and they are more playful and loving! Needless to say, we humans are also much, much healthier and happier!

      1. Cats are true carnivores – almost any meat is beneficial. Like most animals, each cat may have it’s preference, however! I had two cats who would not touch liver in any form and others who gulped it down whenever I offered it. Same with eggs – most like them, some won’t touch them. Of course you want to be sure of the quality of any meat being offered, especially raw.

      2. I am looking into Darwin’s raw food (google the company and check out their website), as one of my cats has an auto-immune disease, it was recommended that she go on a raw food diet. This is proven to help manage and reduce the affects of the condition. Also, it has been recommended that my kitties be put on L-Lysine. All of my kitties have bouts of sneezing, upper respiratory infections, and as I have researched, L-lysine also helps with these as well. As I research, I am wondering if my cats my have contracted feline herpes as symptoms align.

      3. Lynn

        Raw food is the absolute best food you can feed your cat. They are carnivores and raw meat is what their digestive system is designed for. Switch as soon as you can, and her immune system will improve, and that should help her asthma.

    1. Darwins is excellent dog & cat food. Been using it for years for my 5 lb poodle, Prince. When I run out I will use Pet Select, which is also very good quality food.

      1. Hi, I saw Pet Select at Dollarama, is that the one you are referring to? It looks like it has good ingredients.

    1. Maybe because it’s a product endorsement. The information is informative for sure, but you got to believe someone’s getting a kick back for listing the link to Pet Guard in this article.

      1. Why?? Isn’t pet guard a safe and outstanding product as referenced in the article? I’ve just started using it instead of science diet ID and it appears to be a “clean” and well made dog food. Please clarify your comments. I don’t care about kick backs, only my dog! Thank you , G.

      1. There are articles showing that FOODBABE’S approved list have been known to cause issues in dogs. Can we get an updated list? I would appreciate it. I have always trusted This site for reliable information but some of it seems outdated.

    2. Grains and rice are actually good for animals. Just like salads and leafy greens are good for people to provide roughage and ease digestion, grains and rice (provided the animal doesn’t have an allergy, which isn’t as common as people think) aid in digestion and are good for the bowels

  2. 3 years ago my 15 year old Siamese cat was diagnosed with kidney disease. We were feeding him and his brother cat a high quality dry food at the time. My vet recommend a prescription Royal Canin food which I put him on, but he lost even more weight and looked horrible. In the meantime I hit the internet and did 3 weeks of research trying to find an alternative diet for kidney diseased cats.

    I finally stumbled upon the website http://www.felineinstincts.com and learned that the healthiest diet we can feed out cats (and dogs) is a raw diet. But like others have said, you can’t just throw down a piece of raw meat. Cats and dogs need to have a balanced diet with certain nutrients every day.

    This website sells powder formulas of organic and human grade ingredients that provide a well balanced diet for cats (and dogs) and even for kidney diseased cats that I then mixed with raw ground turkey, salmon oil, water and lastly canned pumpkin (kidney diseased cats get nauseous and pumpkin helps with that). It was astounding to see the difference in my cat in just 2 weeks on this diet. He gained his weight back, his eyes became sparkly again, and he began chasing his brother around the house again like usual. He lived another 2 years and died at 17 of a blood clot, not kidney disease.

    Like I said, the site sells formulas for healthy cats and even dogs too. I can’t recommend it more highly. I makes feeding a raw diet easy. Mixing up a batch of food took me about 10 minutes and then I’d freeze it in mason jars in the freezer.

    1. Debbie,
      I am going through what you went through with my cat. She is approx. 12 yrs old…don’t know for sure, as she wandered into my brothers backyard in summer of 2005. She has always been on the small side, no VET can say her exact age, guessing she was betw. 1 – 3 yrs old when I adopted her. Since I adopted her, she has been a totally indoor cat. I do not have any indoor plants anymore as so many are toxic to cats. And she has been my only pet for the past 5 or 6 years since my other cat passed away. She is down to 5 & 3/4lbs. Three years ago, she was 8lbs…but through a couple of sicknesses, she lost weight and never regained it. (1st h0spitalization =”virus of unknown origin”, & 2nd illness = diagnosed as kidney stones. Both times she was hospitalized, given antibiotics and she rebounded, but never gained back any weight) Since this excessive weight loss, I have been to 3 VETS, even a holistic one and they suggested Royal Canin LP and Hills Science Diet k/p kidney disease. But her numbers do not really show full blown kidney disease. I went through that with my last cat…and she is getting worse not better. I think the Royal Canin is the problem. So VET said to give her whatever she will eat…So I have given her Fancy Feast, and need to find a healthier kibble as I want to stop the Royal Canin. Any chance I could chat with you directly? My email address is: [email protected] I am desperate as she is starving to death before my eyes…she wants to eat but nothing entices her.

      1. Hi Carol,

        I would recommend a raw food diet, one of my cats I have had to the vet multiple times for symptoms, and the best they can tell me is that she has an auto-immune disease. But this is still a guess. They want to load her up on prescriptions, but being more into holistic alternatives for myself, I just couldn’t do it. I know the harmful affects the meds have, and will ultimately shorten her life. I have don’t loads of research, and have spoken with someone who is a animal nutritionist, she recommends a raw food diet. This might be something to look into. I’m not promoting, just sharing, but I came across Darwin’s Raw Food diet online and appears to use high quality meats. Through a well balanced raw food diet, our pets get the full nutrition that they need. I have also been recommended to get my girlie girl started on L-Lysine. Started that today and am hoping for good results. Lysine can be found at your local health food store. It appears to help with an array of issues. But mainly, I have read wonders of a raw food diet as it’s the closest thing to their natural diet. I wish you all the best!!

        http://www.darwinspet.com/

      2. I am in the uk & have taken in & rehomed many strays some who were on the brink & I use a tinned product called liquivite to get them used to regular food. It is what I call cat soup & it hydrates them as well as being easier for them to digest. I am not sure if its available where you are but I get it from the medic animal site. Hope this helps! Jonnie.

    2. Debbie – did you have success getting your cats to a raw diet? The gal at the store warned me about this and hit the nail on the head. She said cats are harder to switch diets cuz they are so finnicky and none of my 3 cats would eat the raw food. I tried two different kinds. Any tips? I looked into all this because of one with bladder issues. Luckily the food we feed them are on the list above, but I still question some of the ingredients.

      1. Shawna.
        Have you tried to make your own? Start with chicken, beef, pork, liver. Cut it up into small pieces. Sprinkle it with ‘Call of the Wild from Wysong’ (not affiliated) I have yet to see a dog or cat not eating this. Also, add eggs to this, mix yolk and whites. The bladder issue with you cat will improve on a raw food diet with no sugar and carbs.

    3. Another good one is TCfeline.com; she actually invented the pre-mix that the person at felineinstincts.com sells.

  3. If I was going to buy a food for my pooch I would use Darwin’s. Fresh, frozen, raw, the best out there, IMO. Before I made my own, I used that. They have a nice deal to try it. It has about 60% protein and they raise the sources, mostly themselves. Yes, it’s pricey but the amount the animal needs is less and a near perfect diet.

    if you want to make your own get Dr. Karen Becker’s book, Real Food For Healthy Dogs and Cats, Simple Homemade Food. She is a Holistic Vet and just extremely knowledgeable and knows her stuff. The book discusses all types of commercial pet food from kibble (the worst kind of food) to A raw, fresh, organic, homemade diet. It has exact recipes for many choices. Highly recommended unless you are lazy…lol.

    1. Mike, I am going to go buy this book and start my cat on a raw diet. Did you simply stop with one food and go directly to raw recipes from the book? Or did you slowly wean your cat over to the raw diet? I am convinced my cat is sicker being on the Royal Canin & Science Diet for kidney disease…she keeps losing weight and doesn’t really like them.

      1. Hi Carol,

        I don’t have a cat. I have a 13 year old Shih Tzu. I would always transition slowly from one food to the next, however, if your cat isn’t eating much you may be ok going a little faster. Try mixing some of the new with the old stuff and see if kitty will eat more. I think the book addresses this situation. If the cat has kidney issues then I’m not sure what is best. I would think something simple and basic from the book may be ok to jump right into and probably gentler on it’s system than what you’ve been feeding it.

  4. I’ve been feeding my cats Friskies shreds & bits. I hope there’s no problem w/these canned foods. Feeding organic foods to our cats & dogs is horribly expensive! I am always looking for a good quality cat/dog food. I will avoid buying Friskies pate now.

    1. Blue is under some scrutiny as to the authenticity of its ingredients. I have had multiple people complain about the food going rancid shortly after the bag is opened too. For the money there are quite a few brands that are far better than Blue. Find a local, independent feed shop if at all possible, they usually carry high quality lines of food.

    2. I noticed that the report said Blue Buffalo contained carrageenan and I use the Basics dry food for my dogs and carrageenan is NOT listed as an ingredient. I wrote the company and they said they use it in some of their wet food so I think the report that was cited is misleading in this regard.

  5. ACANA brand dog food is THE BEST…great ingredients (all of them)
    Our dogs love Ranchland variety. Pricey 28.6lb = $86 at most online sources.

  6. I am so disappointed to see a Purina brand on the list of foods to feed! Anyone looking to really research what you’re feeding check out Dog Food Advisor. Some of the recommended brands are spot on as well as the information regarding ingredients. I would never ever recommend a Purina product to anyone.

  7. Good information yet really surprised that raw foods weren’t mentioned us the best option. Easy to handle dehydrated raw foods include Stella and chewies brand, and honest kitchen. Also Darwins will deliver raw food to your door every month frozen. See Dr. Becker’s site for species appropriate diet information.

  8. I’m not very surprised by this at all actually they’ve been doing this for decades because for some reason feeding your carnivore canine raw meat is a problem (myth). Feeding Raw is the best opportunity as far as a healthy well balanced diet of variety. Although to be fair it can become expensive in the long term so as for Dry Food I and people I know in the Dog world very much enjoy Life’s Abundance it’s full of all the nutrients a healthy dog could need and they don’t use any substitutes at all. I’ve fed it to kennel dogs and my own dogs for years. I wouldn’t touch any commercial brand name dog food with a ten foot pole.

  9. You need to go to SkywatchTV and order the book: Dead Pets Don’t Lie

    A huge investigative report written by Dog Trainer Joe Ardis and Donna Howell exposing what the FDA and greedy corporations are hiding about popular pet foods and how and why they are slowly killing our pets. Disgusting.

  10. After reading the article from Cornucopia regarding Beneful dog food I had a posted my dislike for the dog food based upon the research I did on the ingredients listed on the package – it made me nauseous just reading it. After a bit of communicating back and forth with the Customer Service Rep., regarding the ingredients in their dry dog food, I kept asking them a question regarding whether or not they used GMO’s in the dog food. They wouldn’t commit to an answer so I told them the lack of an answer from them gave me the answer I was looking for and that was Yes the do use GMO grains and other trash in the dry dog food. They finally admitted that the grains they use are GMO’s BUT they are the finest GMO grains they could find. I had to laugh on that one. I ended my conversation with them because they finally told me what I already knew but had tried so many other times to insult my intelligence by dancing around my question without answering it. I feed my fur babies the same way I would feed my children and myself – no poisons!!!!!! It truly is amazing how these companies try to make us sick with what they do to our foods and now it has been confirmed that they are trying to poison our pets too!!! Shame on them!!! Never feed your dog Beneful Dry Dog food!!!

  11. It’s nice to see you posting about pet nutrition, Vani. However, if you’re really looking for the best information on what and how to feed your dog or cat, head over to Dogs Naturally Magazine. They’re on the net and Facebook.

    Also, Rodney Habib is an award-winning pet nutrition blogger. You can find him on the net as well as Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PlanetPawsPetEssentials/?fref=ts. Start by checking out his photo album – every pic comes with a detailed blog on that ingredient(s) or topic.

    And for anyone feeding a commercial diet (kibble, canned, premade), I would encourage you to follow the work of Susan Thixton at TheTruthAboutPetFood.com, or on Facebook. She is a pet food consumer advocate who now has a seat at the table of the FDA and the AAFCO.

    1. This is actually the best response on this site—Food Babe should be using these resources when talking pet food!

  12. A number of years ago, we had an aging dog. we starting giving it the healthiest canned chicken broth that we could buy every day along with its regular food. Its health immediately improved significantly. It lived for several more years, eventually dying when it was about 17 years old.

    More recently we had a cat. We had learned more about nutrition and decided not to feed food to our cat that would be poisonous for us to eat or poisonous for our cat to eat. We switched its food to organically raised beef, mixed with the healthiest dry cat food that we could find. By the way, a cat’s diet should not include fish or fish byproducts. Fish is hard on their kidneys.

    Cats don’t eat much. Unless one has a lot of them, they can be fed healthy, nutritious food on a low budget.

    1. I had a similar experience! Some year ago I had a Norwegian Elkhound. They have the silkiest coats! But as she aged, suddenly she was having hot spots & her coat had become dull and brittle looking.

      Of course the vet wanted to treat the hot spots with a topical steroid which didn’t address the underlying cause. I was not willing to do that and started researching. Turns out most hot spots can be traced back to diet. I was appalled as I thought I was feeding her good quality food. Not so.

      I switched her (gradually) to home made recipes based on fresh meat with some rice/oatmeal/vegetables plus some basic supplements. Some recipes were raw, some were cooked, but the difference was FAST and absolutely amazing!

      Within weeks her coat was smooth, glossy, and silky again and her eyes were bright. She also got back a lot of her enthusiasm for life which I really had not noticed slipping away.

      Needless to say, I am a convert and although I have not been making homemade recipes for a few years, I am VERY careful of the food I do buy for my current dog & cat.

  13. @Leah, I agree! omg. I couldn’t believe Purina ANYTHING was on a good list.

    With just a little research you’ll find Purina dealing with a class action suit pertaining the deaths of thousands of dogs. My cats started throwing up Purina. And I figured it was just the cats having a “sensitive stomach.” Then I started doing some research and found out it was no doubt the Purina food. As Leah, said, start with checking Dog Food Adviser, then move on to searches. There’s many Facebook Pages as well with owners in grief over sick or dead pets.

    For dry food, I now feed my cats a mix of Trader Joes Wholesome & Natural Cat Food formula AND Bench & Field Holistic Feline Formula. It may not be scientific, but I figured the cats would pick what they needed from both brands. Then I supplement them a bit of homemade cat food a couple times a week or so. I found an easy, healthy recipe on Wiki How To. I make a batch and pour it into a lined cake pan and freeze a bit. Then I cut into portion sized squares and finish freezing, break apart and keep in the freezer. Use as needed.

  14. (to Shawna)

    Transitioning both of our cats-my Siamese with the kidney disease and James our shelter adopted kitty who was 3 months when we adopted him and 16 at the time we switched to this raw diet was easy. James took to it right away. We switched from the dry food to the raw food without mixing them-just dry food one day and raw food the next. James gobbled it up. Biru (my Siamese) was always the finicky one. He at first turned up his nose at it. So I put a few tuna pieces (his favourite food) from a can of tuna on the top. But only a very few because fish is not allowed for kidney diseased cats. It only took a few days of this before I stopped with the tuna completely and he was eating just the raw diet and enjoying it.

    I don’t know why folks frequently say switching to a raw diet is difficult. I think it is part of the culture of those who say a raw diet is dangerous for pets, which is completely untrue. I would encourage you to try it because it is the most healthy option for feeding out pets. And making our pet food ourselves in our kitchen if at all possible is the healthiest option for a raw diet. Using meat we buy at our grocers (I bought the meat at Whole Foods-my dear Biru was very sick and I wanted the best for him) and adding in the http://www.felineinstincts powder plus the other ingredients they recommended resulted in an extremely healthy food for both of my cats.

    They were both elderly. Biru was 15 and James was 16 when we started. James was very overweight (22 lbs) and a big cat. Biru was suffering from kidney disease and was a mere 8 lbs. Although he was a Siamese he was a Traditional Siamese which are the cats with the round faces and bigger bodies. His normal weight is 12 lbs. James lost weight down to a slim (for him) 15 pounds, his coat grew shiny and his eyes were shiny too. They acted like kittens again. It was so exciting and wonderful to watch.

    BTW-I have no connection with Feline Instincts. I’m just a very happy customer.

  15. (To Carol Costello)

    I’m so sorry to hear about your sweet little girl. I’m going to email you directly right now. Please watch your email. I’m sorry I didn’t get to this sooner. I had a bad migraine early today.

  16. Dogs are actually omnivores – they have a gene that wolves don’t have that allows them to digest carbs better. However, animal protein should still be a good portion of their diet.

  17. Purina seriously is not a good dog food at all. Dogfoodadvisor only gives purina beyond 3.5 stars because of its vitamin K(linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells), brewers rice(its the by-product/leftovers of miling rice), canola meal(GMO), pea protein(by-product), and dried yeast. Also, some include salmon, and I doubt its far from wild caught. The minerals are not chelated(the sign of a cheap dog food), and there are no probiotics.

  18. Check out catinfo.org, an excellent source of information on feeding cats a homemade diet by DVM Lisa Petersen. I’ve taken my two cats off dry food and feed them half raw diet (rabbit or turkey) and half high quality canned food. Both of them have responded positively to the change. The site also has info on other cat related subjects and is well worth the time spent to read it. A holistic vet told me about this web site and I am grateful!

  19. I only feed my cats Taste of the Wild Venison and Salmon. With the other brands my cat that has a very sensitive stomach she will just throw up undigested food. Never happens with Taste of the Wild. I also sometimes give them ground venison (raw and cooked) as my vet said venison is the most mild food you can give a cat. Both of my cats have thrived on this diet.

    1. Linda – when I got my cats (a bonded pair) from the rescue three years ago, one had very bad gas issues and the other threw up anything she ate. I switched them to Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain and it quickly stopped. I haven’t had a single tummy issue with either since (except for when my kids leave food on the table or floor and the cats get it). I don’t do raw venison because we don’t have it often, but I do give them chicken organs.

  20. Purina is the owner of Castor and Pollux now, owners sold out. Purina is one of the biggest and most notorious for making low quality pew food. I did not know that until recently. I used to feed my golden retriever natural Ultramix formula but a while back they changed formula, it used to be with organic chicken but then they changed to non-organic. Price and package hasn’t changed much but quality got to the bottom. My dog passed recently. I didn’t know about this change in formula, he probably got cancer from eating garbage after purina downgraded this product. Stay away from Castor & Pollux brand – it’s Purina now.

  21. I noticed an error in the brands. Wellness doesn’t make Spot’s Stew and Vigor. Those are made by Halo. Thanks.

  22. I’d love it if you would have a look at Celtic Connection and let me know what you think. It’s a new brand that’s grain-free/gluten-free with 70% animal protein, 30% fruits, vegetables and herbs and glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM are included in ALL the recipes for both dogs AND cats. Your opinion would mean a lot to me.

  23. Regarding COCOLICIOUS canned dog food. I never once misconstrued “wholesome” as “organic.” What is your beef with this product? The cans containing “wholesome” ingredients are still grain-free & have ALL ORGANIC ingredients except the protein whereas the “organic” cans contain all organic ingredients. The cost of some organic ingredients is cost prohibitive, but I will still occasionally break from the rules & feed the “wholesome” cans to my dogs. The ingredients in both products are VERY wholesome & I recommend this product to my clients (I’m a dog trainer & compulsive label reader) whose dogs need extra nutrition or are picky eaters, as this stuff is yummy for even the most discriminating taste buds.

  24. Umm, Evangers has been shut down several times for various health code violations. I live near the plant. . . I would do more research if I were you. Also, I feed a homemade raw diet without grains or fruits/veg. Dogs don’t need it.

  25. It is ok if you feed NON ORGANIC food to your dog, he will be just fine. I don’t think the double cost of organic food provides you double healthy food at all, it is all marketing.

  26. Taste of the Wild dry dog food contains canola oil which you can bet is genetically modified. Whenever I shop for dog food, I always check the ingredients for soy or canola oil.

  27. I use Blue Buffalo Basics and just carefully read the label and contrary to the report there is NO carrageenan in it.

  28. You mentioned Orjen all formulas.Does that include the Arcadia that they also make? Its a little less expensive.

    1. Orijen makes Acana dog food. The ingredient list is basically the same but the Orijen line has more meat protein which is why it’s more expensive.

  29. I am very confused because 2 of the brands as listed to be ok to utilize Purina Muse and Beyond contain the #1 ingredient Carraageean that we are supposed to be avoiding? I am looking to make smart choices and changes but I don’t even feel like this list is reliable, unless I am reading something wrong?

  30. Does anyone know anything about 4Health dog food? This is what I’ve been feeding my dog for the past few years.

    1. I know a biochemist who recommends 4 health as one of the best least expensive brands…but the best seems to be Farmina from Italy…you can order it on chewy.com comes in a day or 2…

  31. Wow! Just wow…that list of “good” foods is so not..and Purina! The company that is killing thousands of dogs with their Beneful and had to pay out 6.5 million to owners whose dogs died from the jerky treats..Nestle the company that wants to take over the worlds water supply..Taste of the Wild well they don’t make their own food, Diamond makes them and they always have recalls….Orijen made in Canada where there are NO pet food regulations so we won’t hear of any recalls there..to boot their food killed many cats when the company approved of the irradiation when it entered Australia..not to mention the company was sold in 2011 to an investment firm..Evangers?? really? the owner had a felony against him…kosher slaughter is one of the most disgusting ways to kill cows…just have to watch a video on that one..Hounds and Gator is the only company on this list I believe is legit..the best food list is by Susan Thrixton of Truth About Pet Food….Farmina is the go to company now..its made in Italy and they have no GMOs and the government regulates the food unlike USA which there is close to no regulation at all…and of course home prepared organic is best,,,

  32. Acana Singles is probably the best dry kibble made, along side Orijen Tundra & Six Fish – which are both owned by Champion Pet Foods, and are made in Canada. The thing to note is Canada has way stricter standards on pet food than the US (shocker, I know!), and they list the food sources & farmers contact info on their Web sites respectively. Acana Regionals and Orijen Regionals are a close 2nd. The difference between the 2 are that the Acana Singles & the 2 Orijen formulas DO NOT have added synthetic vitamins (that could be from China) so they get the vitamins from whole food sources. The Regionals formulas that do have added vitamins say that they are not from China. FYI, The Cornucopia report does not include this information on vitamins. So I wouldn’t go by that list without first calling on the companies and asking where their vitamins are coming from!

  33. My kitty has been diagnosed with stage 2 kidney disease, I was feeding her Rachel Ray cat food, which was recalled this summer because cats were becoming sick or dying of kidney failure. I have been feeding her Royal Canin Renal since her diagnosis, and she has lost a lot of weight/muscle mass …I think it may be because of the low protein content in the food to help with her kidneys. I have started to supplement her diet with chicken livers or chicken thighs…which seems to be helping her feel better and she has gained 4 oz. I don’t understand why so little has been said about the Rachel Ray recall…but thank you all for the info. on raw diets…I will consider feeding her raw liver and chicken…but do worry about its safety, and processing. CJ

  34. hogwash! if you want your dog to go BACK 10 YEARS then feed them science diet. i think it’s miraculous how even old dogs look and act like they are 10 years younger after a few months on science diet.

  35. hi, id like to say that I love your devotion to your website. but, your just off on this one topic. pet food companies are really out there. evangers pet food owners were areested for stealing 1.3 million dollars of town water by tapping the line, arrested for tapping the electric by snding a worker up an utility pole with a rubber glove to bypass his electric line to his meter. castor and polluck/merrick is now under lawsuit for Chinese/unknown ingredient. as well this summer evangers and blue were cited for unknown ingredients by usda. origen has had 3 massive recalls. 1 in the states and 2 in Australia, they didn’t have to report it as the laws differ. the safest dog and cat food is great life/pioneer naturals and fromm pet food.

  36. as far as taste of the wild, its owned by diamond and it has a gmo product from the rappaseed plant. canola oil. rachael ray/ and grain free 4health sold by tractor supply is made by ainsworth feed company.

  37. I feed my dogs and cats Holistic Select – a mix of dry and canned – and they are all healthy and like the tastes. I didn’t see this brand on your list.

  38. I have a 10 year old yorkie, and about 3 years ago he started having a lot of skin issues and ear infections, he was eating blue buffalo small bites. I have changed his food so many times, took him to 3 different vets, android I researched on my own, so I took him off chicken, beef and grains, he eats instinct dry food. His skin and ears started improving. And then I started adding back the stuff I took away and the problems returned. So now I give him instinct lamb and peas. Does anyone know if this is a good food for dogs?

  39. To put Wellness on this list is questionable to say the least. Wellness likes to keep it quiet..but there have been hundreds if not thousands of dogs who had seizures soon after switching to their simple diets or core line. Happened to my Golden in 2008..we were stumped..until a few weeks later unbeknownst to us we switched our Berner to the same food and sure enough it happened to her too. We were shocked..after much research and testing of the food it showed Hi rates of a chemical compound l, forgive me as I don’t remember the name. Wellness hid this and denied after many others had similar issues. Sad to say I still see it pop up as late as 2014, which leads me to relieve they still don’t care. Just my two cents.

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