Top Ten Things People Don’t Know About Dog Food: Part 1

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Over the past several years, there has been a sea change in the pet food industry.  Driven by the humanization of pets and the fact that more homes in the U.S. now have pets than have children, the premium pet food market has exploded and more and more pet owners are educating themselves on how to read a pet food label and what to look for in a high quality food.


With that said, there are still many things people don’t know about pet food.  Much of the confusion is either a result of old ways of thinking about pet food, lack of real data, or the massive marketing budgets that obfuscate inferior products.


So I decided to create a list of some of the things, that are not well known, about dog food.  I plan on publishing these two at a time and will work my way down to the bottom of the list, in no particular order.  Here are the first two things that people don’t know about dog food.


Top Ten part 1

We are feeding our pets too much chicken.  Chicken is listed as an ingredient in 68% of all dog foods. Chicken is listed in 73% of all dry foods and 61% of all wet foods.  Even if the recipe name does not contain chicken, it doesn’t mean that chicken is not present. Only 37% of all dog foods use the word chicken in the recipe name.  Because chicken is in such a large majority of pet foods, itis often linked to food sensitivities, intolerances, or allergies.


The average pet food contains too many carbohydrates and not enough protein to be species appropriate.

The average dog food is made up of 41% carbohydrates and, unfortunately, only 35% protein.  The breakouts are worse for dry dog foods as they average 47% carbs and 30% protein.  Wet foods are a more respectable 33% carbs and 41% protein.


Considering that dogs have evolved from the carnivore ancestors these numbers are way too high. For those who prefer to feed dry foods to their dog, don’t worry.  There are some dry dog food recipes that contain a more species appropriate macronutrient profile.


Pet parents should make sure to look at the macronutrients in their dog’s food to make sure that they are feeding their pet reasonable amounts of protein, fat, and carbs.  Using an average food does not cut it.


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  1. I like series, so I’m looking forward to the next food related facts 🙂 My boy Buzz used to have a chicken intolerance when we were feeding a dry food diet. Now that we’re feeding a raw one, chicken is back on the menu (amongst other proteins such as beef, turkey & duck) and he does great on it! Pretty amazing how much of an impact the preparation of foods can have on the K9 digestive system.
    Barbara Rivers recently posted…Win 5 Natural Solutions For Your Dog’s Sensitive Skin #GiveawayMy Profile

  2. Well, guess what we are reviewing today? Yep, wet food and it is chicken! It’s just a coincidence and we have focused on rotating our diet and that has cut way back on the chicken in our foods, or at least as the main protein.
    Emma recently posted…Sweetheart Stew Good To The Last LickMy Profile

  3. As I commented on Emma’s and Bailie’s post earlier, I try to stay away from chicken-meat meals for the girls. It irritates their sensitive tummies and seems to aggravate Shadow’s reflux. I think the Chinese are on to something with their high, medium, and low inflammatory ratings. But I still don’t understand how chicken can be high and turkey and duck are low (or was it medium?) on the scale when all three are fowl.
    Callie, Shadow, and Ducky\’s Mom recently posted…A Tired Dog Is A Good DogMy Profile

  4. I love being able to choose my protein source with the Dr. Harvey’s Canine Health. We rotate each day between beef, chicken and fish.
    M. K. Clinton recently posted…5 Ways Dental Chews Help Your Dog’s TeethMy Profile

  5. Always good to know as much as we can about what we put in our pups. Chicken is definitely overused in so many things. Cocoa has food with lamb.
    Julie recently posted…Trail running funMy Profile

  6. The Boys are currently eating Turkey in the morning and fish in the evening (THK). I stepped away from chicken a while ago, switched to beef to find out – it was the source of Harley’s allergies. I know more about what they eat then I do my own food! #sosad

  7. We have stayed away from chicken for most of both of the dog’s life but know chicken is one of the few proteins that they can tolerate. Crazy, right?
    Jen recently posted…Barks n’ Brews. Dirty Little Freak by DuClawMy Profile

  8. ohhh what a great series to follow.
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…Eastwood Sisters First UKC ShowMy Profile

  9. Definitely not surprised by the statement that we feed our dogs too much chicken. It’s an ingredient in everything – especially food and treats that are labeled as having a different protein. Today, I don’t feed our dogs much chicken unless it’s from a brand I trust or I make it myself – jerky treats.

    My vet told me that with some dogs, a protein allergy will go away after that protein has been out of their diet for a while. It’s been over a year. The girls can eat chicken, but the boys can’t. So no chicken 🙂
    Kimberly Gauthier recently posted…5 Reasons I Stock Up on PetKind Canned Green TripeMy Profile

    • I think it does dissipate after a while. I haven’t tried Jack on it, b ut I know some of these treats he gets on occasion have chicken.
      mkob recently posted…Pet Dental Health MonthMy Profile

  10. As a longtime vegetarian, truth be told I’d eat beef before I ever ate chicken anymore! The processing of chicken alone is enough to scare the dickens out of a person and I suspect it’s even less safe for pet food.

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