French bulldog - cane corso breeder in Bellingham, WA, north of Seattle, WA, moving to Nashville Tennessee  fall of 2022

What do those ingredients    really mean?

The ingredients listed on the dog food bag is in order of what is mainly in the bag.  

When it has chicken as the first ingredient, this means chicken is what the food is primarily made of.  If it has rice as the second ingredient, this means the dog foods has more rice than all the other ingredients but there is less rice than there is chicken and so on and so on...


When the food list the ingredient "CHICKEN" "BEEF" "LAMB" "FISH" this means that the meat was weighed for the food prior to being cooked.  After meat is cooked it looses its water content, so in actuality the food may not primarily contain that first ingredient as you would be led to believe.  A chicken can consist of 80% water.  

When the food list the ingredient "CHICKEN MEAL" "BEEF MEAL" "LAMB MEAL" "FISH MEAL" this means the meat was weighed after being cooked, so it has no water adding to it's weight and it truly is the primary ingredient, if it is the first ingredient listed on the bag.  At the very least, a good dog food will have the main "Meat Meal"  at minimum as the second ingredient in their pet food.  

CORN and all CORN PRODUCTS should not be in dog food.  Corn is used as a filler.  It makes your dog feel full when you give him the same amount of food you would from a high quality food, BUT corn has NO nutritional value for your dog and a dog can not digest corn.  By the afternoon your dog is going to be starving again, where as a dog that was fed a quality kibble like COSTCO'S KIKRKLAND NATURE DOMAIN LINES OF FOOD..WHOLE EARTH FARMS, TASTE OF THE WILD, ARCANA OR ORIJIN will be sustained until their dinner time.

The end result from feeding your dog a food with corn or corn products is, your dog ends up pooping more, because there is a lot of food he just ate that he can not digest. The dog is not able to absorb from the dog food as much nutritional value as other foods, so the dog will live a shorter life, be sicker, more lethargic and have a duller coat to mention just a few issues with feeding a low quality food.  

BY-PRODUCTS (you will be shocked as to where a lot of different by-products come from) I'm certain everyone knows that by-products are INEDIBLE ANIMAL WASTE such as chicken feet, heads, intestines etc..  Below is a list of what the different by products are that people are unaware of.  After you read it, I don't think I will need to explain WHY you should not be feeding your dog a food with by-products in it.  

The Two Ways to Describe Animal By-Product Meals

Based upon the source of their raw materials, there are two ways to identify by-product meals.

*  Named by-product meals

*  Generic by-product meals

Named by-product meals have one thing in common. They all clearly identify the source species of the by-products that was used to make the meal.

These common pet food ingredients can include…

*  Chicken by-product meal

*  Turkey by-product meal

*  Poultry by-product meal

*  Beef by-product meal

And although named by-product meals may not be considered the highest quality ingredients, they can be considered acceptable by the FDA. (this does not mean it is good for you dog)

And the One Type You Must Never Trust

On the other hand, generic by-product meals do not identify the source of the meat. Instead, they use vague and non-specific names like…

*  Meat meal

*  Meat and bone meal

*  Meat by-product meal

*  Animal by-product meal

What’s more, generic meat meals can also contain

*  Road kill

*  Dead zoo animals

*  Dead on arrival poultry

*  Diseased and dying livestock

*  Euthanized pets from animal shelters

Because you can never know the source of the meat used to make generic by-product meals, purchase of pet food products containing them SHOULD BE AVOIDED.

The simplest way to shop for quality dog food for your dog, is to insure there are no by-products or any corn ingredients in the bag.

Make sure the first or at least the second meat ingredient (fish, chicken, beef etc.) has the word "meal" behind it.  Just because the food is pricey does not mean it is high quality. (Do not be fool by the price tag)

Procter & Gamble Co. produces the worst pet foods at the highest price.  P&G is one of the most unethical dog food manufacturers out there given the ingredients they put in their food in order to make huge profits. They produce BLUE BUFFALO brand foods among many others such as IAMS and EUKANUBA and are being sued because BLUE BUFFALO was making dogs sick. The ingredients they listed on the bags was not what was in their food and cheap ingredients they did not list, were in the food.  Blue Buffalo cost $60+ a bag and it is one of the worst foods out there as are all of P&G products.  Purnia is another pet food manufacture that produces some of the worst foods for your pet.  

Costco's Kirkland foods have outstanding ingredients at a very low price.  ($27+ a bag)

Merricks WHOLE EARTH FARMS dog food (I feed my dogs this food)  ($40), sold at Petco is a high quality dog food with top quality ingredients at a costco price.

Below is a review of ingredients outlining what the ingredients are in the Kirkland Chicken and Rice & Merricks Whole Earth Farms dry dog foods are.   Why they use particular ingredients in the dog food and how they benefit your dog, so you can see why you should feed certain foods over others and understand exactly what you are reading on those dog food bags.

If you want to know how your dog food compares and what is really in your dogs dog food, then click on the DOG.FOOD.ADVISORS link below and then type in your dog food in their search bar.  

Quality versus price

You don't have to go broke to feed your dog a quality kibble.  Orijin and Arcana are two of the best foods on the market and can be pretty pricey for people with multiple large dogs to feed. Costco's Kirkland and Costco's Nature Domain lines of food are 4.5 star foods at a fraction of the cost.  

Of course, feeding RAW if you can is the best food you can feed your dog and make sure to give your dog lots of vegetables and fruits as well even if they are on kibble..