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