What’s Really in Commercial Dog Food?

What’s Really in Commercial Dog Food?

Commercial Dog FoodIf you really want your dog to be as healthy as s/he can be, you should stop feeding ANY of the widely available commercial dog foods.

I’m talking here about the types of dog food commonly found in supermarkets, and even about most of the supposedly superior brands sold in some supermarkets, pet food shops, and even by many vets.

The cheaper the brand, then generally the more full of garbage it is, but even many of the more expensive brands leave much to be desired – brands that your vet may even recommend, like Hills Science Diet, and similar brands.
So what do you think is an ideal diet for your dog?

– plump chickens, maybe?
– choice cuts of juicy beef and lamb?
– maybe just a few healthy fresh grains for variety (not too much, though?
– the odd fresh herbs, vegetables and fruit?

You’d be right.

But how many of the above ingredients do you think go into commercial pet food?

A lot? Only a little? If you said yes to either of these, you’d be wrong – dead wrong.Commercial Dog Food

The average commercial dog food bears NO relation to the above list of choice ingredients, despite what pet food manufacturers display in some of their marketing, and despite what the list of ingredients on the pack or can might tend to indicate.

There is very, very little (if any) of the above ingredients in the average commercial dog food, and by the time it’s been overcooked at sustained high temperatures, and sprayed with preservative agents, the resultant “food” can be very harmful to your dog’s health and wellbeing indeed.

If you’re game to read the whole shocking report published by the U.S. Animal Protection Institute, about what’s really in commercial pet food, it’s posted on my Healthy Happy Dogs site at: http://www.HealthyHappyDogs.com/APIArticle .

Suffice to say that if you’re feeding your dog ANY commercially available dog food, you’re exposing your dog to a source of chemically enhanced, overprocessed, garbage, the meat source for which includes diseased carcasses which have been left for up to 5 days before being processed.

Enough to turn you off for life? It was for me. As you know, I’ve always fed my dogs a diet of mainly raw meat and bones. But I like to give them a little treat in the mornings rather than just feed them once a day (which, by the way, IS all a dog NEEDS). I used to give them a handful of dry dog food each morning, sometimes the cheaper supermarket brands, and sometimes the “brand” names which cost 4 or 5 times as much. Now that I know better, I never give my dogs any of that garbage.

I should say that SOME of Commercial Dog Foodthe expensive pet foods ARE better than the cheaper brands. BUT, they’re still far from an ideal diet for your dog, so query whether the extra money is money well spent.

If the product says it’s “with real chicken”, did you know that it only needs to contain 3% of chicken? Neither did I.

If the first item listed is meat or chicken, did you know that this doesn’t mean that’s the main ingredient? Neither did I.

Take a close look at the label. It’s likely to list a meat first, and then 2, 3, 4 or 5 types of grains. This is a very misleading tactic used by the commercial pet food manufacturers. Each of the grains individually may be slightly less in quantity than the meat. But added together? They’re probably nearly 2, 3, 4 or 5 times the quantity of the meat ingredient.

dog vitaminsAfter having looked into this issue in a great deal of detail, I’m convinced that the most healthy diet for your dog is mainly fresh meat, with some fresh veges and perhaps a little grain thrown in. And to be certain that your dog is getting all the nutrients s/he needs, it’s good to give your dog a vitamin supplement for pets, for optimal health.

You can read about the dog vitamins I recommend in addition to a healthy diet for your dog, if you’re interested.

And for the very best health, there ARE some reputable HEALTHY, wholesome, holistic dog food manufacturers, which really DO provide wonderfully healthy food for our dogs.

I’ll be showcasing the few (and there are only a few) that I recommend here at Healthier Dogs.

And if you can’t wait, you’ll find a list of them here – at Recommended Dog Foods.


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About Brigitte Smith

Brigitte Smith is an entrepreneur with a love of dogs and a healthy lifestyle. Brigitte is passionate about holistic health alternatives for dogs, most of which are today suffering foreshortened lifespans in the wake of a lifetime diet of commercial pet food, and further contributed to by unnecessary over-vaccination and chemicals and poisons applied topically and internally. http://HealthierDogs.com is one of Brigitte's sites dedicated to dog health, and in particular dog food reviews.

8 thoughts on “What’s Really in Commercial Dog Food?

  1. Jenny

    Thankyou Brigitte, I have enjoyed the articles you have sent.

    What would you recommend I should be feeding 10 wk old charlotte (GSP x Weimaraner).

    At the moment I am feeding her homemade meatloaf from a pet food store.

    I’ve tried giving her some dry food but she doesn’t really touch it.

    How much should I be feeding her through a day.

    Kind regards,

  2. Brigitte Smith

    Hi Jenny,

    My personal preference is raw food. For such a young puppy, the primary ingredient would be minced or finely chopped raw meat (chicken, lamb or beef, or anything else you choose), plus some finely chopped vegetables.

    But if you prefer cooked, then the homemade meat loaf sounds fine (assuming it really is home made, of course).

    For additional supplements your puppy may need (such as bone meal or similar), you should liaise with your vet. You should also ask your vet about frequency of feeding. For a puppy this young, you should be feeding 3 to 4 times per day. This will reduce until you feed only 1 meal. (One meal per day for adult dogs is quite sufficient, although many people like to break it up into two meals because it suits them to do this – it’s nice, and I tend to do it myself, but it’s certainly not necessary).

    There is some general information on commercial dog food and healthier alternativeshere.

    Please note that I am not a vet and I have no veterinary training whatsoever. I speak only from my own very limited experiences as a dog owner.

    Good luck with your new puppy. Let me know how she progresses.

    And regularly check back here at http://HealthierDogs.com for regularly updated dog health and related information.


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  4. Diana Lampron

    What are we suppose to believe about pet food???!!! I have been feeding my present dog, a chocolate Lab, Eukanuba Dry food for almost 12 years because I think I am buying the best for her. Then I read the article on all the garbage that is supposedly in the commercial dog foods. I wrote to Eukanuba and they assured me that this was not the case. My previous dog an Irish Setter ate all kinds of different commercial dog foods and she lived to be 16. My cat also ate all kinds of different cat foods and lived to be 21. My present dog a chocolate Lab is almost 12. This is just competition to see who can make the most money and no one really cares about the well being of the pets. It’s just like every other industry today. It’s all about competition and who makes the most money out of it all. People are going to buy what they feel comfortable with for their pet anyway. I am sticking to Eukanuba because I feel comfortable with it and I don’t feel comfortable changing my dogs diet now. She also gets veggies and fruits. She is in excellent health-shape and I hope she will also follow in the footsteps of my previous pets and live to a ripe old age!

  5. Tina Johnson

    Can someone tell me about heart failure in dogs ?
    And is it okay to give dogs
    raw veggies such as carrots chopped up
    as well as green veggies?


  6. Brigitte Smith

    Hi Tina,

    Heart failure in dogs – see here – http://www.HealthyHappyDogs.com/HeartDisease – for information on treating heart disease in dogs naturally.

    Of course, if you suspect your dog has any form of heart disease, you must see your vet.

    Raw veggies – chopped carrots and greens – yes, they’re great for dogs (so long as the main food is meat).


  7. Jennie

    Hi Brigette,

    I love reading your articles and don’t usually respond, but I had to this time. I use to use Honest Kitchen as well….until I found out that the meat in it is cooked! I found this on their website:


    It states that the meat and eggs are cooked at 120+ degrees. So is it 121 degrees or 500 degrees? I felt a little betrayed when I saw this as I only feed my dogs raw meat! I have since switched to an all-raw premix.

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