Dog Feed Analysis: The Truth Uncovered

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dog food bowl

We all know which are the best brands in the world in terms of dog food is concerned because we look where we look, whether it is in specialized forums on dogs or in dog food blogs, we will always find the same answers.

That we find the same brands as a reference diet in the canine world in all forums, does not mean anywhere that they are the best, much less the most appropriate.

We must know that the majority of renowned companies, which have annual turnover that can rid us of the hiccups, invest many of their profits in numerous Marketing campaigns. including of course, “influencers” and staff who are dedicated day and night to speak well of them on forums and websites.

Some time ago we explained in depth how to know for ourselves, what are the best pre-made dog food, taking a simple look at the component label, composition. But today we want to start a new project, an in-depth analysis of dog food, from the main food companies in the canine sector.

dog food vs fresh meat

Why do this? To unmask the falsehoods and tricks that many of these companies make, trying to make us believe that we are acquiring a very high quality product for our dog when in reality, it is a medium quality product or in most cases, quality lousy.

The number of dogs suffering from cancer and different diseases caused mainly by poor quality continuous feeding is alarming. Every year more and more dogs die from diseases directly related to food.

Fed up with so many lies and falsehoods, we are going to analyze one by one and in a totally individualized way, the best-known feed brands and their different ranges. We will break down their composition and rate them according to their quality. In addition, we will clearly indicate if they lie or not, when they expose their ingredients and in reference to their Marketing campaigns.

dog food bowl

What will the analysis of dog food consist of?

This publication does not consist of analyzing three ranges of three brands, we will update this publication weekly or monthly, covering a large number of products. We will do it impartially, analyzing each of them in detail, through their composition and through what they want us to understand that they sell vs. reality.

It is important to have advanced knowledge of canine nutrition to value these products. Being clear that not all foods are beneficial for dogs, that not all cereals are good for dogs and that all, absolutely all ingredients must be in their correct measure.

An excess of proteins is as harmful as an excess of fats or fiber, in the same way that a lack of carbohydrates is as inadvisable as the use of seeds of certain fruits.

If you are one of those who think that dog food is made from top quality fillets and that you could easily eat it yourself…. it’s time for you to open your eyes and see the sad reality.

That a feed for dogs indicates that it is made from products fit for human consumption, does not mean anywhere that you can eat the products with which that feed is made.

It simply means that after obtaining from that animal all the meat and by-products that humans normally eat, with the rest, that is, with leftovers, dog food is produced.

slaughterhouse remains

Why are wastes and by-products used to make dog food?

If you are thinking about the reason why animal waste is used to make dog food, the answer is very simple … Because it is very profitable and because the government not only allows it, but needs it.

We are not talking about the government of Spain or France, we are talking about the laws of the European Union, American laws, etc … It is not something that has been approved at the state level, but at the GLOBAL level.

We must bear in mind that once the suitable and daily products for human consumption of an animal are obtained, that animal must be incinerated to prevent diseases and / or pests from rotting.

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We are billions of humans that feed on animals, which means that incinerating so many animal remains has an incredibly high economic cost for companies and governments. So what could be done with that waste? hehe, you still can’t guess?

The vast majority of animal waste makes animal feed. YES, as you read it, with the remains that humans do not take advantage of the animals we kill to feed us, animal feed is made.

Do you remember the mad cow problem? Not many years ago tens of thousands of cows had to be slaughtered because they suffered from the disease known as “mad cow disease”. Well, what would you think if you knew that the origin of this disease was that the cows were fed with feed made from the remains and offal of cows slaughtered for human consumption? Surprising right?

Since then, the European Union, like many other world governments, has banned feeding animals with feed made from the remains and offal of animals of the same species. But, that does not mean that they cannot be used to feed animals of other species, such as dogs.

The reason why it is legal to use animal waste or remains that humans do not consume, in dog food, is because of the government’s permissiveness. It is a simple and cheap way to avoid spending money on incinerating millions of animal remains. And also, a lucrative way for many new companies that will live taking advantage of those remains to make feed.

We invite you to google photos of animal slaughterhouses, you will take away the desire to eat meat for life, but you will see once and for all the reality of human cruelty and how practically everything from an animal is used.

What would you say if I told you that many of the companies that make sliced ​​bread use animal blood in their components? One of substances present in animal blood is frequently used to make the loaf of bread last longer fluffy…. disgusting, but true.

So think, if even the blood of animals is used for products that humans consume, with what kind of remains are feed made?


Criteria to analyze the different ranges and brands of dog food

We must make it very clear that the evaluations of the dog food that we will be analyzing over the next few years (yes, our intention is to analyze hundreds of ranges from different companies) were mainly based on the composition that the manufacturer itself mark on your products.

Why? Because no manufacturer will let us stick our noses in their factories and see what they use to make feed. However, the law requires them to put the products they use in order of percentage, from highest to lowest, on the composition label.

Although this, as we will see, also has its catch, since a fresh product can be more voluminous in composition than a dry one like cereal. But nevertheless, once dry, it is less bulky than the cereal and therefore, the composition is not completely real.

Basic criteria in dog feeding

Dogs do not need to feed on cereal-filled feed, however some cereals like rice are not harmful, but are an excellent source of carbohydrates. This does not mean that the composition must be entirely from rice, but that some cereals are not as harmful as some manufacturers try to show us.

Nutritious meat and fish with a high biological value

  • Fresh boneless animal meat (chicken, lamb, pork, venison, fish, poultry….)
  • Dehydrated animal meat (chicken, lamb, venison, pork, fish, poultry… ..)
  • Hydrolyzed animal meat (chicken, lamb, venison, pork, fish, poultry … ..)
  • Animal meat meals (chicken, lamb, venison, pork, fish, poultry… ..)

They are exposed from highest to lowest quality, with fresh meat providing the highest quality and nutritional value and flours the lowest quality.

For fresh meat, we will obtain the total without water according to the evaluations and recommendations of the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)

Low-nutritive meat and fish with a low biological value

  • Meat by-products (chicken, lamb, pork, venison, fish, poultry….)
  • Meat derivatives (chicken, lamb, pork, venison, fish, poultry….)

We must always avoid these components. Since they are of very low quality and provide a low nutritional value to food for our dog.

Cereals beneficial for dogs for their high nutritional level and properties

  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Linen

Obviously these cereals can be beneficial as long as they are provided in adequate amounts, an excess can be harmful.

Cereals of little benefit to dogs due to their low nutritional level and properties

  • Corn
  • Wheat

Corn and wheat are mainly used to make the feed cheaper and to make the croquette consistent once it has gone through the stripping process (production process). Although they do not pose a danger to the dog’s health, they are also not a highly nutritious contribution, so they are not recommended.

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happy dog

Rating and Scoring of the different brands (companies) and ranges of dog food

The evaluations and scores that are made on this website ( on the different companies, brands and ranges of dog food are and will always be based on our opinion and personal criteria.

Just because it seems to us that a dog food is high or low quality, does not mean that you should share the same opinion. All opinions are respectable and it should be noted that there is no globally recognized scientific guide that catalogs their quality.

Some people think that dogs should not eat cereals and others that it does not matter if the food contains cereals, as long as they are of quality. You yourself may think that feed containing fish is of better quality than feed containing meat, such as beef or lamb, while other people may think otherwise.

We will assess the different dog feeds based on their ingredients and the amount they use of them. We will also talk many times about your advertising campaigns vs. our personal opinion based on their quality, always at our discretion.

The ranges of I think that in our opinion have a high quality will be valued with a high score, while those that in our opinion provide a low quality will have a low score. The score will be from 0 to 10, with 0 being the lowest and 10 being the highest.

If a range of feed attempts to deceive us by false advertising or advertising that may give rise to doubt, it will also affect your final score.

We encourage you to research for yourself and learn to value the quality of the different dog feeds that exist in the current market. Our personal opinion can help you, but you must be the one who learns to value, it is the best way to always acquire quality products for your dog.

Analysis of the range of dog food from the companies Orijen and Acana

For those who are not familiar with the business world of the canine sector, it is good to clarify that Orijen and Acana are the same company. Orijen arguably is the business branch that offers premium ranges (or so they say) and Acana the most economical but equally quality range (according to them, of course).

This company invested a lot, but a lot of money in Marketing campaigns. If you browse a little for canine forums and websites you will appreciate that there are many people who place it among the best dog food companies. But what is true about it?

We are going to review the whole range of Orijen and Acana in search of the best compositions and of course, of the things that do not finish fitting…. That is, of what we create at a particular level that is not how it is supposed to be. Let’s see if they really deserve the acquired fame or it is simply advertising campaigns, “influencers” and / or people hired to improve their image on social networks / forums.

As a curiosity, the price of these companies’ ranges is among the highest in the canine food sector. It is a Canadian company that imports its products to countries like Spain, this means that in a way they go through certain quality controls that other companies that manufacture feed in the country itself (Spain) or in the European Union, are not obliged to pass.

If you doubt that is already a point in your favor, since these controls are not easy to pass if the quality is not acceptable. Let’s see that they have their ranges:

Orijen Adult for dogs

Analysis of the Orijen Adult dog food

According to the manufacturer, this is the composition that appears on its packaging:

Orijen Adult

According to the original Orijen packaging, this feed is made with 80% meat and 20% fruits, vegetables and botanical plants and 0% cereals. Formerly it was 90% – 10% – 0% and we can even find packaging with 70% – 30% – 0%, so we assume that the formulation has been changing.

Let’s analyze in depth the formulation to know the real content of meat and vegetables. Removing the percentage of water that FAO recommends in the different fresh meats.

Fresh chicken meat (boneless) (22%): 75% is water, so it stays in 5.5% of meat once dehydrated.
Dried chicken meat (15%): We keep 15% as it is already dehydrated
Fresh chicken liver (4%): Removing 75% water, we have 1% dehydrated chicken liver meat
Fresh whole herring (4%): According to FAO, between 66% and 81% of fish is water, so we will apply the minimum, that is, 66% water. We have 1.36% of Herring once dehydrated
Fresh turkey meat (boneless) (4%): Removing 75% water, we have 1% dehydrated turkey meat dehydrated.
Dried turkey meat (4%): When dehydrated we maintain 4%
Fresh turkey liver (3%): Removing 75% water, we have 0.75% dehydrated meat from Turkey liver
Fresh whole eggs (3%): About 55% of the egg is water, how not specific if they also use the shells (natural source of calcium) we will leave the percentage at 50%. That is, 1.5% of eggs once dehydrated.
Fresh pike perch without thorns (3%): Removing 66% of water we have a total of 1.02% of dehydrated fish.
Whole fresh salmon (3%): Removing 66% of water we have a total of 1.02% of dehydrated fish.
Fresh poultry hearts (3%): We will apply 75% of water as the chickens, leaving 1% of dehydrated bird hearts.
Bird cartilage (3%): We keep 3%
Dehydrated herring (3%): We keep 3% for being dehydrated.
Dehydrated salmon (3%): We keep 3% for being dehydrated.
Bird liver oil (3%): We keep 3% since oil hardly contains water.

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Red lentils, peas, green lentils, alfalfa (sun-dried), yam root, pea fiber, chick peas, squash, Butternut squash, spinach leaves, carrots, Delicious red apples, Bartlett pears, blueberries, seaweed, roots of orozuz, angelica roots, fennel, marigold, sweet fennel, mint leaves, chamomile, dandelion, savory, rosemary. : No percentages on the label.

If we add the total of the meats and fish once dehydrated we obtain a 40.65% dehydrated meat. A very positive v
alue, considering that when starting from fresh products, although the water evaporates during cooking before stripping, a large part of the vitamins and minerals in the broth will remain in the feed.

It is evident that they have used the fresh percentages of their products to indicate that they include 80% meat, since the manufacturing process is to make a dough with everything, remove the water and roll it, it cannot be indicated that they lied, although we receive the dry product.

On the other hand, if we appreciate the rest of the ingredients, we can appreciate that they include, for example, “peas” and later on “pea fiber”. This is a trick to avoid putting a high percentage of peas in the composition, dividing the ingredient into by-products and thus avoiding having to include “peas” with a high percentage.

Putting Peas and pea fiber separately, since the total is divided, the percentage may be less and it should not be put ahead of meats, however the sum of both can be much higher than the percentage of meat of certain animals.

Exactly the same happens with lentils, they have divided them between red lentils and green lentils so as not to have to put a high percentage of this ingredient. Likewise with the pumpkin, divided into species.

It is clear that a high percentage of the feed is made up of lentils, peas and chickpeas. It is a way to avoid putting cereals like rice in the composition and thus join the strange fashion of cereal-free feed. However, in our opinion it would have been much better to include rice and avoid both peas, lentils and chickpeas.

So our conclusion is that the products in their original state are used to obtain the percentages shown in the bag (80% of animal protein, 20% of fruits, vegetables and plants). Although in that 20% they should have put “vegetables and fruits” instead of fruits, vegetables and plants,

  • Quality of the meat products used in Orijen Adult: A 10, they are fresh and well specified products.
  • Quality of the non-meat composition used in Orijen Adult: A 6, they divide products such as peas, lentils and squash into variables so as not to place them in percentage ahead of meats. This is a tricky trick that many companies use.
  • Protein quality in Orijen Adult: A 10, coming from fresh products and being so varied, they deserve the highest score.
  • Quality of carbohydrates in Orijen Adult: A 7, legumes have been used to join the “cereal-free” trend, when they could have used white or brown rice as a healthy source of carbohydrates.
  • Quality through analytics from the manufacturer at Orijen Adult: A 8, 38% protein is a fairly high level although it may be acceptable depending on who is consulted. At a particular level it seems normal – high. 18% of fat seems to us personally a lot, far above what is necessary, something that can cause digestive problems and excessively heavy digestions. It is more indicated for dogs with high daily energy wear than for dogs with a normal life. 5% fiber is within normal ranges, but 2% or 3% would have been better.

Final score for Orijen Adult: 82 out of 100, a Notable.

To be continue…..