Ingredients Don’t Lie
For this comparison, I chose Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Lamb recipe and Raw Dog Hawaii Organic Chicken and Grass-fed Beef, Grain and Starch free raw food. Here are the ingredients for the Blue Buffalo Freedom:
Deboned Lamb, Turkey Meal, Tapioca Starch, Potatoes, Peas, Potato Starch, Tomato Pomace (Source Of Lycopene), Chicken Meal, Flaxseed (Source Of Omega 3 And 6 Fatty Acids), Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Dried Egg, Fish Oil (Source Of Epa-Eicosapentaenoic Acid), Pea Protein, Alfalfa Meal, Salt, Canola Oil (Source Of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Dried Chicory Root, Calcium Carbonate, Caramel, Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols (A Natural Preservative), Dl-Methionine, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Garlic, L-Carnitine, Parsley, Kelp, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Turmeric, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Oil Of Rosemary, L-Lysine, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source Of Vitamin C), Copper Sulfate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Nicotinic Acid (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Chondroitin Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Calcium Iodate
Here is Raw Dog Hawaii’s:
Organic Chicken and Grass-Fed Beef Meat, Organic Chicken and Grass-Fed Beef Organs, Finely Ground Organic Chicken and Grass-Fed Beef Bones, Green Beef Tripe, Organic Seasonal Vegetables, Organic Kelp Powder, Organic Coconut Oil, and Organic Milk Thistle.
What are the differences?
- Their list of ingredients is pretty long. Ours is short.
- They use meals. We don’t.
- They use peas, pea protein, potatoes, and potato starch. We don’t.
- They use natural flavors and caramel. We don’t add those.
- They add a long list of vitamins as additives. We don’t.
- They use mixed tocopherols (a preservative). We don’t.
- The reason their list is so long is because they have to add back natural or synthetic vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and enzymes that are destroyed during high temperature cooking process.
- Meals are made from the ingredients left over after all the human edible parts of an animal are removed. Chicken breasts, thighs, wings legs, heart, liver, and gizzards are all butchered off for human consumption. The carcass, head, feet, feathers, and digestive tract are what go into chicken meal. Those parts are cooked. Proteins and fats are separated. The proteins are the chicken meal and the fats are called rendered chicken fat. These ingredients are used because otherwise they would be trash and pet food manufacturers found a way to use them in pet food. We don’t use meals of any sort. We believe they are inferior, a human would never eat them, and so we don’t use them to make our foods.
- We don’t use grains or starches. They use starches. Why? They are cheaper than meats. Dogs actually lack the enzyme (amylase) to digest a starch. That’s why a kibble fed dog has big stinky poop and a raw fed dog has small odorless poop. Over half the kibble you feed a dog comes out in their stool; undigested. Raw fed dogs digest over 95% of their food so there is less waste. That’s why you feed less than 1/3 of what you feed a dog on kibble.
- They use natural flavors and caramel. To understand what is meant by “natural flavors” when we encounter it on a bag of dog food, we should first get an idea of what is meant by “flavor” itself, as defined by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), which sets content guidelines for pet foods in the United States. According to the AAFCO Flavor Rule, a food can be claimed to have a certain flavor—say chicken or beef—if that flavor is “sufficiently detectable.” With respect to flavors, pet foods often contain ‘digests,’ which are materials treated with heat, enzymes and/or acids to form concentrated natural flavors. Only a small amount of a ‘chicken digest’ is needed to produce a ‘Chicken Flavored Dog Food,’ even though no actual chicken is added to the food.
In other words, a dog food manufacturer can call its food “beef flavored” if the dog, when eating it, can detect that beef flavor. The thing is, this flavor can come from any number of sources: from beef itself, from beef meal or by-products, from other animal products such as chicken, or from “artificial flavors” produced in the laboratory. Whatever tastes like beef, even if it’s really not beef, falls under the Flavor Rule. We let our real food speak for itself.
Mixed tocopherols slow the process of fats going rancid (bad) in dry dog food. Generally, it is a mixture of plant based, naturally occurring vitamin E. It can also contain synthetic vitamin E. Unless a manufacturer specifies which vitamin E’s are in the mix you don’t know. Other chemicals that can be in dry dog food that aren’t present in this flavor Blue Buffalo are BHA, BHT, Ethoxyquin, propylene glycol (anti-freeze). Each of these is known carcinogens prohibited in human foods.
The bottom line is this: be an aware consumer. If you can’t pronounce it, skip it. Look for whole food sources like whole chicken, beef, lamb, salmon and others. Avoid ‘meals’ because they consist of the left over garbage or proteins and grains. If you have questions, call us. We can explain what is or isn’t in a food, what the ingredient is, and what it’s used for. We just want dogs to be healthy and allergy and disease free. Let us help.
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