If you were to open the bag of your pet’s food, what would you find?  Is that orange crunchy sliver a carrot?  Those large brown kibble bits look like meat, don’t they?  The fact is that your pet’s dry food most likely consists of corn, by-products, preservatives and other chemicals.  This mixture has been known to cause everything from allergic reactions to cancer.

Corporate powerhouses, such as Iams, Nutro Max, Purina and Science Diet, have duped Americans into trusting their brands for decades.  But outside of their packaging boasting false statements (i.e.“Contains 100% of Your Dog’s Daily Nutrients”), shaping the food pieces into human-friendly forms (Oh peas!  Peas are good, aren’t they?), and fear marketing (your cat won’t lose all of her teeth if she isn’t fed kibble), what have they done to aid in the health and wellness of your pet?

We are living in a time that focuses on the quality of food.  And just as some grocers are offering the human race more nutrient dense products, like organic produce and antibiotic-free meat, there are a few commercial pet food companies that have raised the bar for pet food production.  While Wisconsin Pet Care isn’t partial to any particular manufacturer (we actually highly recommend feeding your pet, whether a cat or dog, a raw diet instead), we would be remiss not to highlight a couple of the better ones.  Brands such as The Honest Kitchen®, Taste of the Wild®, Canidae®, Earthborn®, Acana®  and Blue Buffalo® offer a nutritionally dense product for your dog.  Combining meat, vegetables, whole grains, vitamins and minerals, they take pride in providing your pup with what he needs to maintain optimum health.  Still not convinced?

The Ingredients Listed on Purina’s Beneful Original Dry Food Formula: Ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole wheat flour, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), rice flour, beef, soy flour, sugar, propylene glycol, meat and bone meal, tricalcium phosphate, phosphoric acid, salt, water, animal digest, sorbic acid (a preservative), potassium chloride, dried carrots, dried peas, calcium propionate (a preservative), L-Lysine monohydrochloride, choline chloride, added color (Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 2), DL-Methionine, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, niacin, Vitamin A supplement, calcium carbonate, copper sulfate, Vitamin B-12 supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin D-3 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), calcium iodate, folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite.

But Fido must be getting everything he needs from his food.  So much so, in fact, he has gained a few extra pounds.  It doesn’t appear that he’s lacking any nutrition at all!  Well, simply put, feeding your pet a quality food will also promote natural weight control. There is no need to feed your pet “diet” food to help reform his physique.  In the wild, dogs and cats have no problem maintaining their weight, despite having the freedom to hunt when and where they please.  The reason is not because there are low-cal prey options in nature either.  Think of it this way, if you were given a Snickers bar, you could easily polish off the entire thing.  However, if someone presented you a plate of rich dark chocolate truffles, you would be satiated with just one or two.  Both animals and humans prefer quality over quantity.  If you pair smaller portions with the increased vitality that only a good pet food can bring, your pet will achieve a healthy weight with no “special formula” needed.

Okay, okay, so Beneful is a bit low on the totem pole. How about one we have all heard is great food? Science Diet? My vet always recommends this food to me!

The Ingredients Listed on Science Diet Adult Active  Dry Food Formula: Ground Whole Grain Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, Animal Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Dried Beet Pulp, Soybean Oil, Dried Egg Product, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Iodized Salt, Choline Chloride, vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Vitamin E Supplement, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract.

Corn the first ingredient? Corn? I’m paying $43.99 for a 30 lb bag of C-O-R-N? Chicken By Product Meal? By Products…..do you know what that is….its the beak, feathers, faces, eyes, feet that they can’t put into human grade food!

Take a look at a superior food…..you tell me. Which sounds closer to a natural prey diet:

The Ingredients Listed on The Honest Kitchen Force Raw Dehydrated Formula:Dehydrated free-range chicken, organic flaxseed, potatoes, celery, sweet potatoes, apples, alfalfa, organic kelp, honey, zucchini, green beans, cabbage, bananas, papayas, basil, garlic, rosemary, tricalcium phosphate, choline chloride, zinc amino acid chelate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, potassium iodide, potassium chloride, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate.

Are you thinking yet? Which would you rather be putting into your companion animal for his optimal health?

This website is a wealth of information: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/

So,  the next time you pour your pup a bowl of food, check out the package ingredients.  If it reads like something out of Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory, it just may be time to reconsider your answer to the age-old question: What’s for dinner?