Tasty Tuesday

Overview of Dog Food Protein

Overview of Dog Food Protein

Dogs are carnivores by nature, which means that they are meant to eat a diet high in protein. However, when it comes to pet food, all protein sources are not created equal. This means that you can’t simply look at the total protein in a food and instead, must examine both the total protein and the s... »

Overview of a Good Dog Food

Overview of a Good Dog Food

When it comes to dog food, reading the labels can be complicated and when people ask me for some tips, I can often talk for hours on end about the nuances and tricks that are needed to decipher the label. With that said, I have created a simpler approach, a crib notes version if you will, that can b... »

Feeding a Dog for a Healthy Liver

Feeding a Dog for a Healthy Liver

One of the workhorse organs in the body, and one that normally doesn’t get much thought unless there is a problem with it, is the liver. A well balanced diet can ensure that the liver is functioning properly. There are specific food ingredients that are particularly supportive of proper liver functi... »

Beneful Dog Food in the Shopping Cart

Beneful Dog Food in the Shopping Cart

As a staunch proponent of the many benefits of using quality, healthy food to keep a dog healthy and happy, I often cringe when I walk down the pet food aisle in the grocery store. I realize that I am generalizing a bit with my next few statements, but I will say them anyway. Looking at the dog food... »

Healthy Dog Diets: Foods that Reduce Inflammation

Healthy Dog Diets: Foods that Reduce Inflammation

Chronic inflammation, which is internal inflammation that persists and serves no healing purpose, is linked to many health issues including obesity, heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. The inflammation that occurs after an injury is the body’s natural response to the trauma. Its purpose it to floo... »

Feeding a Dog for a Healthy Heart

Feeding a Dog for a Healthy Heart

A healthy heart is (obviously) a precursor to a healthy body. As the engine that pumps the blood through the body, the heart needs to be in top working order to properly perform its job. Unlike the skeletal muscles (e.g. leg muscles), which can rest, the heart is always working, involuntarily, to ke... »

U.S. Pet Obesity Statistics, 2012-2014

U.S. Pet Obesity Statistics, 2012-2014

Dr. Ernie Ward and The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) recently released the results of the 2014 pet obesity survey. The study, conducted in the fall of 2014, continues to show that Americans are over feeding their pets. By a lot.   Overweight or obese dogs make up 52.7% of all do... »

Brain Foods for your Dog

Brain Foods for your Dog

The fairly well known expression, “a healthy body is a healthy mind”, implies that one’s physical health can have an impact on one’s mental wellbeing. This saying is actually derived from a work by Roman Poet, Juvenal based on the latin adage “Mens sana in corpore sano”. This phrase is often transla... »

Feeding a Dog for Healthy Joints

Feeding a Dog for Healthy Joints

A common ailment that afflicts both humans and dogs is osteoarthritis. This has led to an explosion in demand for NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Humans often use drugs like Naprosyn and Ibuprofen to reduce the pain, while dogs are often prescribed Rimadyl (carprofen) or Deramaxx (de... »

Feeding a Dog for Healthy Muscles

Feeding a Dog for Healthy Muscles

Continuing our series on foods that support a healthy body, today we are focusing on the nutrients that are required to support healthy muscle function. As most of us know, protein and the building block amino acids that protein is made of, are the foundations for muscle growth. However, there are s... »

Strong Bones: What Should I Feed My Dog?

Strong Bones: What Should I Feed My Dog?

Besides proving energy for basic metabolic functions and movement, food can help support (or hinder) the body’s ability to maintain a strong muscular-skeletal structure, support organ health, enhance the immune systems, and basically ensure that the body is running on “all cylinders”. Active dogs (a... »

Feeding a Dog Cheap Dog Food Can Cost You

Feeding a Dog Cheap Dog Food Can Cost You

In the modern world, food is relatively abundant and there is a wide variety of convenient foods available on the grocery store shelf. More often than not, these foods may contain ingredients of dubious quality, yet the general public mostly chooses to ignore the ingredient label and will still purc... »

Lessons from Beneful Suit: Importance of Reading Dog Food Labels

Lessons from Beneful Suit: Importance of Reading Dog Food Labels

If nothing else, the class action lawsuit against Purina’s Beneful brand of dog food has reawakened the general public on issues concerning the quality and ingredients in pet food. In the case of Beneful (and many other pet food Brands), the ingredient list is laden with artificial ingredients and f... »

Purina Lawsuit: Is Beneful Dog Food Harmful to Dogs?

Purina Lawsuit: Is Beneful Dog Food Harmful to Dogs?

In case you haven’t heard the news, Purina was recently named in a class action law suit due to alleged harm caused by its Beneful dog food product line. CNN.com has a good summary of the suit here.   Historically, there have been many consumer complaints about Beneful products. The customer co... »

Influencing Obesity Genes in Dogs

Influencing Obesity Genes in Dogs

Nutrigenomics, the study of how food and nutrition can alter a body’s gene expression, is an interesting and relatively new field of study that can help uncover the true power of food as the first line of disease prevention, or in the case of poor dietary choices, the power of food as a facilitator ... »

Can a High Lysine Diet Change a Dog’s Genes and Reduce Obesity?

Can a High Lysine Diet Change a Dog’s Genes and Reduce Obesity?

In our last post, we described some of the research performed by Hill’s Pet Nutrition that concluded that a diet with a high lysine to calorie ratio could change a dog’s gene expression from fat storing to fat burning. These results are certainly encouraging because they could potentially provide gu... »

Can Diet Change a Dog’s Genes to Fat Burning from Fat Storing?

Can Diet Change a Dog’s Genes to Fat Burning from Fat Storing?

The idea of functional foods and, specifically, nutrogenomics (the study of how food and nutrition can impact gene expression), suggests that food can have a direct and marked impact on a person’s or pet’s health. One interesting study, performed at Hills Pet Nutrition, found that specific foods cou... »

What are Functional Foods?

What are Functional Foods?

In our last article, we used the Hippocrates quote “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” to illuminate the idea that food can be a powerful deterrent and cure of many diseases and ailments.   Hippocrates (rightfully) believed that the things that you eat can help the body ... »

Importance of a Balanced and Varied Diet for Dogs

Importance of a Balanced and Varied Diet for Dogs

We have all heard the expression, “you are what you eat” (paraphrased from the original quote by Frenchman Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, who said “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.”) This simple idea holds true for both humans and dogs. Eating a lot of junk foods will res... »

Is Zucchini Good for Dogs?

Is Zucchini Good for Dogs?

We have reached the end of the alphabet for the second time and today’s post, on the letter Z, is all about zucchini.   What is Zucchini? Zucchini is a summer squash that belongs to the species Cucurbita pepo. Zucchini can be dark or light green. A related hybrid, the golden zucchini, is a deep... »

Yellow Colors in Dog Food

Yellow Colors in Dog Food

Since we don’t have another ingredient beginning with the letter “X”, we will skip ahead to the letter “Y” in our dog food ingredient series. Today we are writing about the yellow colorings in dog food, specifically, yellow #5 and yellow #6.   What is Yellow Coloring? Yellow food coloring is an... »

Is Wheat Bad for Dogs?

Is Wheat Bad for Dogs?

Moving on to the letter “W” in our dog food ingredient series. Today we are writing about wheat.   What is Wheat? Wheat is a cereal grain that is the third most produced grain behind maize (corn) and rice in the world.   Common names for Wheat Besides the generic “wheat”, other names inclu... »

Is Vegetable Oil Good for Dogs?

Is Vegetable Oil Good for Dogs?

Moving on to the letter “V” in our dog food ingredient series. Today we are writing about vegetable oil.   What is Vegetable Oil? According to Wikipedia, A vegetable oil is a triglyceride extracted from a plant. The AAFCO definition of vegetable oil is: the product of vegetable origin obtained ... »

A to Z: Understanding Dog Food Ingredients

A to Z: Understanding Dog Food Ingredients

For the first time since we began our series of posts on individual dog food ingredients, we have come up to a letter where there is no new ingredient to write about: the letter U. Last time through the alphabet, we took some liberty and used USDA as our U post. While there are several USDA ingredie... »

Is Turmeric Good for Dogs?

Is Turmeric Good for Dogs?

We are now up to the letter “T” in our dog food ingredient series. Today we are writing about the spice Turmeric.   What is Turmeric? Turmeric is a perennial plant of the ginger family that is native to southeast India. Derivatives of the plant are boiled and dried in hot ovens before being gro... »

Is Soy Bad for Dogs?

Is Soy Bad for Dogs?

We are now up to the letter “S” in our dog food ingredient series. Today we are writing about the somewhat controversial Soy, an alternative protein source in some dog foods.   What is Soy? Soy and its derivatives come from the soybean, a legume that is native to East Asia.   Common names ... »

Is Rosemary Bad for Dogs?

Is Rosemary Bad for Dogs?

We are now up to the letter “R” in our dog food ingredient series. As we are nearing the Thanksgiving holiday in the US, today’s ingredient is rosemary, a common component of many stuffing recipes.   What is Rosemary? Rosemary is an aromatic evergreen shrub that has leaves similar to hemlock ne... »

Is Quinoa Good for Dogs?

Is Quinoa Good for Dogs?

We are now up to the letter “Q” in our dog food ingredient series. Today we are writing about the use of quinoa in dog food.   What is Quinoa? Although quinoa is consumed like a cereal grain (e.g. oats and wheat), it actually belongs to the same food family that contains spinach, beets, and Swi... »

Is Papaya Good for Dogs?

Is Papaya Good for Dogs?

We are now up to the letter “P” in our dog food ingredient series. Today we are writing about the use of papaya in dog food.   What is Papaya? Papaya is the fruit of the tropical tree-like plant. The papaya plant grows large with a single stem growing from 16 to 33 ft. tall (5 to 10 m tall). &n... »

Is Olive Oil Good for Dogs?

Is Olive Oil Good for Dogs?

Moving on to the letter “O” in our dog food ingredient series, today we are writing about the use of olive oil in dog food.   What is Olive Oil? Olive oil is the oil (fat) obtained by pressing whole olives.   Common names for Olive Oil In dog food, we have not seen any other names besides ... »

What is Natural Flavor and is it Good for My Dog?

What is Natural Flavor and is it Good for My Dog?

As we are up to the letter “N” in our dog food ingredient series, today we are writing about the ubiquitous and ambiguous “Natural Flavor”.   What is Natural Flavor? Natural flavor is a flavoring additive that is present in many pet foods and treats. Even though natural flavors sound perfectly ... »

Marigold as a Dog Food Ingredient

Marigold as a Dog Food Ingredient

Continuing our analysis of dog food ingredients, we are now up to the letter M. Today’s dog food ingredient is Marigold.   What is Marigold? Marigold, in the plant genus Calundula, is a short-lived aromatic and herbaceous perennial, growing to 80 cm (31 inches) tall. The marigold blooms in vivi... »

Lecithin as a Dog Food Ingredient

Lecithin as a Dog Food Ingredient

We are now up to the letter L in our second pass through the A to Z Dog Food Ingredient series. Today’s dog food ingredient is Lecithin.   What is Lecithin? Lecithin is a fatty substance found in plants and animals. It is produced naturally in the body.   Common names for Lecithin The most... »

How Much Should I Feed My Dog

How Much Should I Feed My Dog

According to Dr. Ernie Ward, the Founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), “The most important decision that you make each day regarding your pet’s health is what you feed them. What you pour into that bowl each morning has the greatest influence of anything else you will do to k... »

Protein in Dog Food: Common Non-Meat Sources

Protein in Dog Food: Common Non-Meat Sources

We have already looked at some of the more common named and unnamed meat based proteins in dog food. Today we will look at other protein sources in dog food, namely plant (or vegetable), legume, and grain sources.   Besides meat and fish, there are other dog food ingredients that can increase t... »

number of proteins in dog food

Protein in Dog Food: Common Meat Sources

Last week, we discussed the use of unnamed proteins in dog food and found that they are more commonly used than I would have expected. We also asked our readers to try and guess the order of the most frequently used meat proteins in dog food. The choices were:   Salmon Beef Pork Lamb Chicken Du... »

unnamed dog food proteins

Protein in Dog Food: Common Unnamed Proteins

In the first part of this series on dog food proteins, we discussed the primary sources of protein in commercially available dog food. Today we will use the SlimDoggy dog food database to determine the usage patterns of the lower quality, unnamed proteins source that are used in dog food.   Unn... »

Sources of Protein in Dog Food

Sources of Protein in Dog Food

Most normally healthy dogs require a diet that is high in protein. Thus, the amount of protein in a dog food, as calculated on a dry matter basis, is important when evaluating a dog food. But it is only part of the protein story. The source of protein in dog food, the specific ingredients that are u... »

Is the Latest Superfood, Kale Good for Dogs?

Is the Latest Superfood, Kale Good for Dogs?

We are now up to the letter K in our second pass through the A to Z Dog Food Ingredient series. Today’s dog food ingredient is the “superfood” Kale.     What is Kale? Kale, sometimes classified as a “superfood”, is a leafy green vegetable. It is found in curly, ornamental, or dinosaur vari... »

What are Juniper Berries and Why are they in Dog Food?

What are Juniper Berries and Why are they in Dog Food?

We are now up to the letter J in our second pass through the A to Z Dog Food Ingredient series. Today’s dog food ingredient is Juniper Berries.   What are Juniper Berries? Juniper Berries, scientifically called Juniperus communis, come from the Juniper shrub and are widely found throughout the ... »

Q&A With Dr. Katy Nelson Part 1: Food’s Role in your Pet’s Health

Q&A With Dr. Katy Nelson Part 1: Food’s Role in your Pet’s Health

Dr. Katy Nelson is a practicing veterinarian, the host of the Pet Show with Dr. Katy on Washington DC’s ABC affiliate, and a tireless advocate for keeping pets fit and healthy using a combination of proper feeding and exercise. Dr. Katy was recently chosen as one of the nominees to be America’s Favo... »

The New and Improved SlimDoggy Dog Food Rankings

The New and Improved SlimDoggy Dog Food Rankings

We are pleased to announce that we have updated our dog food database and made some improvements in our dog food ranking system. A summary of our approach is provided below. For a full description of our methodology please refer to the dog food ranking reference page. Click here to jump to the Frequ... »

What is Inositol and Why is it in Dog Food?

What is Inositol and Why is it in Dog Food?

We are now up to the letter I in our second pass through the A to Z Dog Food Ingredient series. Today’s dog food ingredient is Inositol.   What is Inositol? Inositol is a vitamin-like substance. It is found in many plants and animals. Because dogs can produce this internally by breaking down su... »

SlimDoggy Dog Food Database

SlimDoggy Dog Food Database

Today is another “Blog the Change for Animals” day, a special event sponsored by Be The Change 4 Animals. It’s a day when pet bloggers & pet lovers come together and blog about their favorite animal-related cause in an effort to raise awareness and understanding. In the past we’... »

Hydrolyzed Protein in Dog Food

Hydrolyzed Protein in Dog Food

Moving on to the letter H in our A to Z Dog Food Ingredient series, today we will examine hydrolyzed proteins in dog food.   What is Hydrolyzed Protein? According to Wikipedia, hydrolyzed protein is protein that has been hydrolyzed or broken down into its component amino acids. As the name impl... »

Benefits of Green Tea for Dogs

Benefits of Green Tea for Dogs

Moving on to the letter G in our A to Z Dog Food Ingredient series, today we discuss the benefits of Green Tea for dogs.   What is Green Tea? Green tea is made from the leaves from the plant Camellia sinensis. Unlike black tea, green tea leaves have undergone minimal oxidation during processing... »

Fresh Dog Food at your Door

Fresh Dog Food at your Door

Q & A with Empawer Pet Food CEO Alex Trauteaud Empawer is a new pet food brand with a very interesting approach to pet food, namely, using human grade ingredients to create custom made, fresh pet foods that are delivered to your door. Empawer Founder and CEO Alex Trauteaud (pronounced “True toe”... »

Benefits of Fenugreek for Dogs

Benefits of Fenugreek for Dogs

Moving on to the letter F in our A to Z Dog Food Ingredient series, today we discuss the benefits of Fenugreek for dogs.   What is Fenugreek? Fenugreek is an annual plant in the Fabaceae family with leaves consisting of three small obovate (i.e. with narrow ends) to oblong leaflets. It is culti... »

Ethoxyquin in Dog Food. Worth the Risk?

Ethoxyquin in Dog Food. Worth the Risk?

Moving on to the letter E in our A to Z Dog Food Ingredient series, today we discuss why Ethoxyquin is in dog food.   What is Ethoxyquin? Ethoxyquin is a controversial and artificial ingredient that has been used in dog food for many years—it was approved as an additive to pet food in 1959. Eth... »

Dl-Methionine in Dog Food

Dl-Methionine in Dog Food

Moving on to the letter D in our A to Z Dog Food Ingredient series. Today we examine why Dl-Methionine is in Dog Food.   What is Dl-Methionine? Methionine is an essential amino acid that is important for many bodily functions. Dl-Methionine is a synthetic version of this amino acid. Methionine ... »

chicken in name and ingredients of dog food

What is in Dog Food? Reading Beyond the Name

We often stress the importance of reading the details on a dog food label. It is really the only way to evaluate if the food is a good fit for your dog. Yet, many people simply look at the Brand and recipe name (along with the packaging) when making their pet’s food decisions.   This had me won... »

Carrageenan in Dog Food

Carrageenan in Dog Food

Moving on to the letter C in our 2nd A to Z Dog Food Ingredient series. Today we examine why Carrageenan is in Dog Food. What is Carrageenan? According to Wikipedia, Carrageenans are a family of carbohydrate structures that are extracted from red edible seaweeds.   Common names for Carrageenan ... »

Are Blueberries Good for Dogs?

Are Blueberries Good for Dogs?

After a short break, it is time to resume our dog food ingredients series where we walk through the alphabet and pick a pet food ingredient to analyze. Today’s ingredient is Blueberry.   What are Blueberries? According to Wikipedia, blueberries are perennial flowering plants with indigo-colored... »

Worst Reasons to Choose a Dog Food: Grain Free

Worst Reasons to Choose a Dog Food: Grain Free

Grain free pet food is one of the fasting growing segments in the pet food industry. GfK Research recently reported that sales of grain free pet food grew a whopping 28% from September 2012 to September 2013 in US retail stores. For comparison, the American Pet Products Association 2013 Survey and F... »

Did You Say Yogurt Pops? Yum.

Did You Say Yogurt Pops? Yum.

Our Tasty Tuesday and “Y” post for today is on Yogurt Pops. Yogurt pops are a favorite treat in the summertime for the dogs and since summer is coming up, we thought we’d share a few of our favorite recipes. Since mom isn’t very creative, hates to cook  is very busy, she usua... »

Supplements for Pets Part 1:  Food Synergy

Supplements for Pets Part 1: Food Synergy

What are Supplements? According to Wikipedia, a dietary supplement is intended to provide nutrients that may otherwise not be consumed in sufficient quantities. Supplements as generally understood include vitamins, minerals, fiber, fatty acids, or amino acids, among other substances. For our ‘... »

Mouth-watering Snacks for your Dog

Mouth-watering Snacks for your Dog

We are doing double-duty on the blog hops again today, joining our A to Z Challenge and one of our favorite Hops – Tasty Tuesday. We are half-way through the A to Z Challenge now with the letter “M” for Mouth-watering snacks.   We’re going to discuss some mouth-watering ... »

Gardening: What Vegetables Make Good Dog Food?

Gardening: What Vegetables Make Good Dog Food?

Today’s A to Z Challenge post for the letter “G” is on Gardening. Last month I posted some fun photos of Jack helping me ‘garden’ in our backyard. He wasn’t really gardening, he was digging for ground squirrels, but if I could harness that digging energy, I could ... »

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Alfalfa

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Alfalfa

Today we start a new challenge for the month of April. It’s the A to Z Challenge and we have to write a post a day using a theme for each letter of the alphabet. No, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke… Today, being April 1st, we start with the letter “A” and our post... »

filet mignon dog food?

Worst Reasons to Choose a Dog Food: The Name

We had a great reaction to the first installment of our “Worst reasons to choose a dog food” series.  Today we present another questionable reason for choosing a dog food: the NAME.   What is in a Dog Food Name? One of the most common traps that pet owners fall into when choosing a pet food is ... »

colorful dog food

Worst Reasons to Choose a Dog Food: Color

It has already been established that reading a dog food label can be confusing.  Long lists of ingredients, obtuse or incomplete macronutrient (protein, fat, and carbs) information, and misleading “marketing speak”, can make it difficult to determine which are the best foods for your pet.   Today we... »

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z:  Zinc

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Zinc

Wow!  Today, at last, we have reached the end of the alphabet in our “Ingredients A to Z” series.   Today’s letter is Z and our ingredient is Zinc.  Including today, we have written 27 A to Z ingredient posts (we did two consecutive posts on the letter M due to a reader request).   This ha... »

Yucca plant

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Yucca Schidigera

We continue our Dog Food Ingredients A to Z series with the letter “Y”. Today’s ingredient is Yucca Schidigera.     What is Yucca Schidigera? Yucca schidigera is a flowering plant that is native to the Mojave Desert, Chihuahuan Desert and Sonoran Desert of southeastern Ca... »

gum

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Xanthan Gum

We continue our Dog Food Ingredients A to Z series with the letter “X”. Today’s ingredient is Xanthan Gum.   What is Xanthan Gum? Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide (sugar like compound) produced by bacterial fermentation of a sugar-containing medium.  Nutritionally speaking, it ... »

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z:  Watercress

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Watercress

We continue our Dog Food Ingredients A to Z series with the letter “W”. Today’s ingredient is Watercress. What is Watercress? According to Wikipedia, watercress is a fast-growing, aquatic or semi-aquatic, perennial plant native to Europe and Asia.  Related to mustard and radish, it... »

venison

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Venison

We continue our Dog Food Ingredients A to Z series with the letter “V”. Today’s ingredient is Venison.   What is Venison? Venison is the meat of the game animal deer.  Deer is a member of the Cervidae family.   Common names for Venison The most common name variation is de... »

USDA Label

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: USDA and other Label Nuances

We continue our Dog Food Ingredients A to Z series with the letter “U”. In reality, there are not a lot of ingredients that start with the letter U.  We decided on “USDA”, which in itself is not an ingredient, but is an adjective uses in some rare cases to describe a protein used in the ... »

thyme

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Thyme

Next up in our Dog Food Ingredients A to Z series with the letter “T”. Today’s ingredient is the well known herb, Thyme.   What is Thyme? Thyme is a perennial plant, belonging to the mint family.  The plants can be erect and bushy, reaching 18 inches in height or creeping and ... »

Maggie checking dog food label

Dog Food Ingredient Splitting

We decided to re-post and update our important article on ingredient splitting. We updated the statistics and found that there are a lot more instances of ingredient splitting in dog food than we first thought :-(. Remember that glancing at the ingredient list can be misleading. Make sure you look f... »

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Selenium

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Selenium

We continue our Dog Food Ingredients A to Z series with the letter “S”. Today’s ingredient is Selenium.   What is Selenium? Selenium is a trace mineral that our bodies use to produce glutathione peroxidase, an enzyme that serves as a natural antioxidant.   Common names fo... »

cherryredcolor

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Red #3

We continue our Dog Food Ingredients A to Z series with the letter “R”. Today’s ingredient is Red #3.   What is Red #3? Red #3, and other red colorings like red #40, as well as all other artificial food colorings, are artificially made food coloring chemicals. Red #3 is a colo... »

Quail

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Quail

We continue our Dog Food Ingredients A to Z series with the letter “Q”. Today’s ingredient is Quail. What is Quail? Quail is a collective name for several families of mid-sized birds generally considered in the order Galliformes.   A “game” bird, quail is an alternative sourc... »

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Pantothenic Acid

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Pantothenic Acid

  Given the season, we considered doing Peppermint Candy Canes for the “P” of our ingredient series, but you don’t find too much peppermint in dog food, and candy canes certainly aren’t good for them, so we went with Pantothenic Acid instead.   What is Pantothenic A... »

ga chart

Dog Food Dry Matter Basis for Protein, Fat, and Carb Analysis

Pet owners often wonder whether their dog food is high in protein, fat, or carbohydrates- the macro nutrients of the food.  Unfortunately, the answer to these questions is not easily attainable from the dog food label.  To calculate a dog food’s protein, fat, or carb values, the guaranteed analysis ... »

oathulls

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Oat Fiber

What is Oat Fiber? Oat fiber is derived from oats, a type of cereal grain that is commonly used in livestock feed.  Oat fiber is often extracted from the outer casing of the oat grain.   Common names for Oat Fiber The most common name variations include other oat derivative products including o... »

liver

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Niacin

What is Niacin? Niacin, one of the B-vitamins, is an essential vitamin for humans and dogs.  Niacin occurs naturally in many foods, including organ meat like liver, beef, fish, poultry, eggs, and legumes.   Common names for Niacin The most common name variations for Niacin include Vitamin B-3 a... »

montmorillonite

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Montomorillonite

Per special request of our friend Oz the Terrier, we are sticking with the letter  “m” for the second week in a row and are featuring “Montomorillonite” as our ingredient of the day.   What is Montomorillonite? According to Wikipedia, Montmorillonite is a very soft … group of minerals that typi... »

mixed meats

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Meat

    We now move to the letter “M” in our ingredient A to Z series and are featuring “Meat” as our ingredient of the day.   What is meat? Seems like a trick question, doesn’t it? According to dictionary.com, the definition of meat is: the flesh of animals as used for food.  Accor... »

l-carnitine structure

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: L-Carnitine

We now move to the letter “L” in our Ingredient A to Z series and are featuring L-Carnitine as our ingredient of the day.   What is L-Carnitine? L-Carnitine is an amino acid that is naturally produced in the body.  It is required for the transport of fatty acids from the cytosol (the liquid ins... »

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Kelp

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Kelp

We now move to the letter “k” in our ingredient A to Z series and are featuring kelp as our ingredient of the day.   What is kelp? According to Wikipedia, kelp as a large seaweed belonging to the brown algae family.   Kelp grow in ocean “kelp forests”.   Common names for kelp T... »

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Jicama

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Jicama

Today we move to the letter “j” in our ingredient A to Z series and are featuring jicama as our ingredient of the day.   What is jicama? According to Wikipedia, jicama, which is scientifically known as Pachyrhizus erosus, is the name of a native Mexican vine, although the name most commonly ref... »

chicory root

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Inulin

Today we move to the letter “I” in our ingredient A to Z series and we are featuring inulin as our ingredient of the day.   What is inulin? According to Wikipedia, inulins are a group of naturally occurring polysaccharides produced by many types of plants. Inulins are dietary fibers that are cl... »

herring

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Herring

Today we move to the letter “h” in our ingredient A to Z series and are featuring herring as our ingredient of the day.   What is herring? According to Wikipedia, herring are a forage fish, mostly belonging to the family Clupeidae. They often move in large schools around fishing banks and near ... »

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z:  Glycerin

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Glycerin

What is glycerin? Glycerin , is a sweetener and binder (humectant) that is commonly produced as a byproduct of soap making.  It has traditionally been used in dog food as a texturing and sweetening agent.   Common names for glycerin The most common name variations include glycerol, vegetable gl... »

Fennel

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Fennel

Today we move to the letter F in our ingredient A to Z series and are featuring fennel as our ingredient of the day.   What is fennel? Fennel is a perennial, aromatic herb with yellow flowers and a bulb like stem.  Although native to the Mediterranean, fennel is now found throughout the world. ... »

dandelion greens

Ingredients A to Z: Dandelion Greens in Dog Food

Before we begin today’s “D” entry of our Ingredients A to Z series, we wanted to share a statistic on our previous “C” post on calcium carbonate.  We searched for “calcium carbonate” in our food database and found that it was an ingredient in 45% of all dog foods. A similar search on the term “calci... »

Vitamins and Jack

Ingredients A to Z: Calcium Carbonate in Dog Food

Before we begin today’s “C” entry in our Ingredients A to Z series, we wanted to share a statistic on out previous “B” post on biotin.  We ran the numbers searched for “biotin” in our food database and found that biotin was an ingredient in 79% of all dog foods!  That is one popular ingredient. &nbs... »

swiss chard

Ingredients A to Z: Biotin in Dog Food

What is biotin? Biotin is water soluble B vitamin that is essential for protein and fatty acid metabolism. Water soluble means that the body will not store excess amounts which are eliminated during urination. Common names for biotin Some common names for Biotin include vitamin B-7, vitamin H, and v... »

common dog food colorings

Colorings in Dog Food: The Numbers

This week we continue our discussion of colorings in dog food by analyzing our data to determine just how common is the use of artificial food colorings in dog food. If you read our MythBuster post yesterday, you would know that dogs don’t really see yellows, oranges or red coloring – so... »

Coloring in Dog Food – Unnecessary Evils

Coloring in Dog Food – Unnecessary Evils

This week, we will discuss one of our ‘pet peeves’ with the commercial dog food industry – food coloring in dog food.  For what it’s worth, we don’t understand or advocate food coloring in human food either but we will keep this focused on dog food. Why is there coloring in dog food? For... »

Sweetener Stats – Sweets in Dog Food and Treats.

Sweetener Stats – Sweets in Dog Food and Treats.

  Last week we wrote about the use of sweeteners in dog food and the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ sweetener types.  That post made us wonder just how prevalent are these lower quality sweeteners so we dove into our data to find the answers.   We identified a set of low quality sweet... »

Sweeteners in Dog Food: What to Look For

Sweeteners in Dog Food: What to Look For

Two weeks ago we wrote about the use of preservatives in dog food and hopefully, we were able to shed some light on preservative alternatives.  This week, we will discuss the use of sweeteners in dog food.   A canine’s taste systems are very similar to humans and dog’s do indeed have a taste fo... »

Fruits Can Make a Treat Sweet- Cloud Star Dynamos

Fruits Can Make a Treat Sweet- Cloud Star Dynamos

We are helping to celebrate the two year anniversary of TT this week!  Kol and Sugar, the cohosts, have created an “Iron Chef” type of contest and asked for participants to share recipes or product reviews using a secret ingredient.  In this case, the secret ingredient is…..Fruit! Ironically, we wro... »

Preservatives in Dog Food – The Good and the Bad

Preservatives in Dog Food – The Good and the Bad

For this week’s Tasty Tuesday post, we will discuss the use of preservatives in commercial dog food.  Let me say up front that I wish that preservatives were not even needed—our belief is that you want to feed your dog (and yourself) things that contain as few unnatural additives as possible and as ... »

Fruits and Vegetables in your Dog’s Food

Fruits and Vegetables in your Dog’s Food

In recent posts, we have written about the importance and sources of the macro nutrients – protein, fat, and carbohydrates—in dog food.  Today we continue our analysis of some of the other key ingredient groups that are common in commercially available dog food, starting with fruits and vegetables. ... »

How Many Ingredients are in Dog Food?

How Many Ingredients are in Dog Food?

Today we begin a multi-part series on dog food ingredients that are typically secondary to the protein, fat, and carbohydrates.  We are going to parse out some of these and explain why they are included in the food recipe and what you should look for when evaluating your dog’s food.  To start, we wi... »

Dog Food Ingredients: Looking Past the First 5 Ingredients

Dog Food Ingredients: Looking Past the First 5 Ingredients

Rule of 5 There is an old saying that you can assess a dog food’s quality by looking at the first five ingredients in the list.  The rationale for this rule is that once you get past the first five, the remaining ingredients each individually contribute very small proportions of the food’s total com... »

Protein & Fats & Carbs, Oh My!

Protein & Fats & Carbs, Oh My!

This week we continue our analysis of dog food data so that we can provide you with some benchmarks with which to judge the merits of your dog food choices.  We closed last week’s post by posing a question: Does the average dog food contain more protein, fat, or carbohydrates? Based on our prior pos... »

Ingredient Labels, Grains, and Some Data

Ingredient Labels, Grains, and Some Data

Last week we wrote about ingredient splitting and used our data to show that about 17% of all foods and treats have multiple forms of the “fillers” rice, corn, or wheat.  We then asked a related question—what percentage of all foods and treats contain at least one form of any of these fi... »

Maggie checking dog food label

Ingredient Label Tricks – Ingredient Splitting

Looking at the ingredient list on a dog food label is tricky.  In many cases, the lists are long and contain names of ingredients that we are not familiar with.  Today we begin a multi-part series that explains some simple ways to judge the ingredients in your dog’s food and provide some tips to hel... »

Page 1 of 212