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Primal Cravings: What Did Dogs Eat Before Dog Food?

wolves

In my many years as a Coonhound wrangler, the one constant reminder that my dogs descended from wolves is their love of bacon. More accurately stated, their love of all things meat. So what did dogs eat before dog food?

I have had the rare good fortune to live among wolves. The contrast in the diets of my hounds and the wolves is striking -- but there are also many similarities.

The wolves in this small wild pack at a wolf sanctuary are fed five pounds of raw chicken twice per week. My hounds would not be pleased with the other five days.

So What Did Dogs Eat Before Dog Food Became Commercially Available?

The simple answer to the question of what did dogs eat before dog food was sold in supermarkets is meat. Raw meat was primary to their diets. Dogs are descendants of wolves, and like wolves, they eat mostly meat.

Before pulverized puppy nuggets from Purina, domesticated dogs ate a diet that resembled that of their ancestors. They are predators -- even a Chihuahua is a hunter bred from a wolf into a small domesticated pet. However, genetically they are not that different.

Domesticated dogs certainly have evolved friendlier dispositions. This has contributed significantly to them becoming "man's best friend." But when exploring the question "What did dogs eat before dog food?" we can be concise in saying meat -- they ate meat.

While it is a bit more complicated than that, the basic answer will always remain the same. Whole Dog Journal lays out concisely how we fed our pups before commercial dog food.

Surprisingly, commercial dog food wasn't available until 1860. If you had a dog, you knew what your dog ate, and you just fed them. Since the invention of commercially produced dog foods, we now have a wide variety of dry kibble and moist canned foods from which to select.

Veterinarians are quick to recommend their favored brands. We no longer have to wonder, "What did dogs eat before dog food?"

We stand in the dog food aisle and painstakingly read the long list of ingredients. Among the most popular brands, you see a mix of meat- and plant-based ingredients. In the end, your dog may eat it, or he may snub his nose at it.

There is much debate about what is the healthiest diet for our hounds. However, there is little debate about what they originally ate. They are not vegetarians.

Early Domestication Of Dogs

Scientists estimate that dogs were domesticated between 20 to 40 thousand years ago from wolves according to Science Daily. So we know dogs come from wolves genetically. Therefore a dog's diet should resemble that of their ancient kin.

Dogs were the first animal that humans domesticated. Before cows and sheep and other farm animals, there was a bond that formed between wolves and people.

Brian Hare, director of the Duke University Canine Cognition Center, discusses the physical changes that took place over the centuries for Smithsonian Magazine.

Physical changes began to appear in dogs over time. These include the familiar floppy ears and curly tails. These changes follow a pattern known as self-domestication.

Hare notes it is what likely happened as friendlier wolves entered into a mutually beneficial arrangement with humans. The most friendly animals of a species gain an advantage. Friendliness is associated with these physical changes. This can happen in only a few generations.

So the research indicates that "friendlier" wolves had a genetic advantage when it came to becoming man's best friend. And once you become friends with a wolf, you have to make sure they eat.

The Invention Of Commercial Dog Food

The first commercial dog food was invented in Britain by James Spratt. It later evolved into a profitable venture here in the United States where the main ingredient was horsemeat as described by the Pet Food Institute.

Spratt, after seeing dogs eating leftover biscuits from a ship, created the first dog biscuits.

They were a mix of wheat meals, vegetables, beetroot, and beef blood. Spratt’s business venture was a hit among dog owners. It particularly met demands for affluent English hunters to feed their sporting dogs.

A British public company began mass-producing Spratt’s formula. It wasn't too long before U.S. production began. Companies sprang up marketing their recipes for biscuits and dry dog food.

Ken-L Ration was introduced in 1922 as the first canned wet food. The main ingredient was horsemeat.

This did not have the same stigma as it does today. Our understanding of horses has evolved, and they are no longer considered an acceptable ingredient in dog food.

As we continue to grow as a society, our understanding of canines has increased as well. By examining the entire scope of the question "What did dogs eat before dog food?" we realize that changes are happening in the pet food industry.

As time progresses, the dog food industry is beginning to follow different trends. One of the newest trends is a raw food diet that coincided with the popularization of a more Paleo diet for humans.

Dogs Are Hunters

Domesticated dogs are still hunters. They are hardwired to hunt, much to our dismay. While we like to distance ourselves from our furry friends' instincts, dogs have it in them to chase squirrels and rabbits.

Nature made it this way, and you can not nurture this instinct out of the canine. A feral dog is going to survive by hunting. There are no two ways about this.

But a well-loved hound has no survival need to hunt if you feed it a healthy diet.

Dogs are omnivores as well. That is why they will happily eat your french fries or even a garden salad. But their teeth tell a story about their diet. They do not have the grinding teeth of an herbivore. Their teeth are meant to shred meat.

A dog is an opportunist and it will eat what is available. It is as simple as that. Before our evolution into suburban and urban living, dogs hunted. They also scavenge and eat what falls from our tables, as spelled out by the Pet Food Institute. They eat what we do.

woman with dog and gun

Image by pixabay

In most households during the middle ages and through the mid-19th century, little consideration was given to what dogs ate. A dog’s diet was much like that of its owner historically -- mostly consisting of table scraps.

In the mid-1800s, a dog's diet had slightly more variety in cities. People could purchase horse meat for their pets. Working horses died in the streets and disposing of their bodies was mutually beneficial to both humans and their dogs.

So, what did dogs eat before dog food and what gave rise to the popularity of commercial pet food?

How Did The Pet Food Industry Prosper?

animal food

Image by pixabay

After the invention of processed pet foods, the habit of feeding a raw diet to our animals slowly gave way to feeding a diet of processed dog food.

There are many reasons why the pet food industry blossomed and now prospers. Chief among them is the constant stream of waste from grain mills and slaughterhouses. The leftover dregs of human-food processing plants is a boon for the pet food industry.

This waste is the primary source of what we now feed our dogs.

This also leads to much debate about what we are feeding our pups.

Boutique Diets Rise In Popularity

A recent study has found that the trend in grain-free dog food presents heart health risks. However, this is somewhat controversial. Many dog owners swear by a grain-free diet as is evident from what is now available at any pet store.

University of California, Davis, veterinarians led a team that has found a link between some popular grain-free, legume-rich dog diets and a type of nutritional deficiency and canine heart disease known as taurine-deficient dilated cardiomyopathy.

Researchers found a specific risk for dogs eating some of these boutique diets. They appear to develop taurine deficiency. Taurine is an amino acid necessary for heart health. A taurine deficiency can lead to dilated cardiomyopathy. DCM is a disorder of the heart muscle that can lead to congestive heart failure.

The study finds that the fillers used in grain-free food are insufficient for proper nutrition. Manufacturers, like Purina with their popular Purina Pro Plan, have been addressing this concern. Their formula gives the appropriate amount of taurine required for a dog's health.

We've been discussing raw food diets, and this is why.

The New Trend In A Raw Food Diet

Many research houses have been exploring the potential benefits and risks of a raw food diet. This new trend has played on the fears associated with processed dog food. It also allows us to feed them a diet more closely resembling what dogs ate before domestication.

Raw dog food diets are controversial. But the popularity of the diets, which emphasize raw meat, bones, fruits, and vegetables, is rising.

Many working breeds such as sled dogs have long eaten raw food diets. Incorporating those feeding practices into the life of the suburban dog is a more recent proposition.

Australian veterinarian Ian Billinghurst is known as the father of this movement. He named his recommendations the BARF diet. BARF is an acronym that stands for Bones and Raw Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.

Billinghurst believed that adult dogs would thrive on a diet similar to their wolf ancestors. This diet primarily consists of raw, meaty bones and vegetable scraps. Grain-based commercial pet foods, he contended, were harmful to a dog’s health.

The Diet Typically Includes Raw Meat, Vegetables, And Some Dairy

A raw dog food diet can vary, but these ingredients are relatively standard:

  • Muscle meat, often still on the bone
  • Bones, either whole or ground
  • Some dairy including cheese and yogurt
  • Organ meats such as livers and kidney
  • Broccoli, spinach, and celery, but no onions
  • Apples and bananas are fine
  • Raw eggs

The primary risks intrinsic to a dog's health with a raw diet is bacterial contamination. Many folks who feed their dogs a raw diet disinfect their meat -- particularly on the outer surface.

The idea that feeding a dog the same foods that a wolf would eat is rather obvious. A dog is a wolf that has become a Labradoodle.

So What Is The Right Thing To Feed Your Dog?

It is debatable. That is for sure.

In the end, it is most likely that how you love your dog matters most. There are undoubtedly many foods we eat that are taboo for dogs. For example, onions and chocolate can be toxic.

But if you want to know what a dog should eat, consider the diets of wolves. That is why knowing the answer to "what did dogs eat before dog food" matters so much. The genetic differences between your Lab and a timber wolf are minor. That is why they can interbreed.

That is also why their dentition and intestines are so similar. When it comes to answering the question "What did dogs eat before dog food?" we need only look at their teeth.

Dogs are what they are -- even if they do like broccoli.

What do you prefer to feed your furry friends? Share your favorite foods in the comments below.

Featured image: Pixabay license, by Comfreak via Pixabay

Eukanuba Dog Food Review: High Quality Your Pooch Will Love

Dog food on a silver bowl - eukanuba dog food review

Image from Pixabay

Giving your dog nutritionally balanced food is monumental, and that's the reason why you're likely looking at a Eukanuba dog food review. Just like people, dogs need proper nutrition to live long and fulfilling lives. It also happens to be one of the pleasures in life and boy do our dogs know it!

These furry friends spend their lives following us around by day and sleeping at the foot of our beds at night. We love them being a part of our lives and only want them to have the best dog food. But, what is the best dog food?

What Is High-Quality Dog Food?

Well, dog food should give our pets the proper nutrients that keep them strong, healthy, and energized. Dogs are omnivores and scavengers by nature, so they need a protein-rich diet.

Most dog food companies will use animal-based protein and then use other ingredients to give your dog the rest of the vitamins and nutrients they need.

About Eukanuba Dog Food

EUKANUBA Adult Large Breed Dog Food 33 Pounds

Image from Amazon

Before we take a deep dive into the Eukanuba dog food review, let's talk about some of the basics. Every dog has individual needs that you should consider as you learn which food is best for them.

Eukanuba dog food offers a variety of food types for your pet, including puppy, adult, senior, and breed specific foods. This high-quality food comes in a variety of flavors, but chicken is among the most popular. The company also offers wet food and treats, so there really is not much more you could want from a dog food brand.

For the sake of the most accurate Eukanuba dog food review possible, we will specifically focus on the adult, large breed food with chicken. This food is for dogs 15 months or older with a weight of 55 pounds or heavier.

It comes in a 33-pound bag and even specifies a range of how much you should be feeding your dog each day. They claim their food will improve your dog’s oral health, skin and coat, digestion, immune system, and joints and bones. They base this all on the nutrients they provide in their food.

Dedication to premium ingredients

When it comes to ingredients in a dog food brand, you want to avoid filler ingredients. That's especially true if the filler ingredient is first on the list. The number one item on the ingredients list has the most substantial presence in the food, so make sure the number one ingredient is high-quality protein.

The number one ingredient in Eukanuba dog food is chicken, and the number two ingredient is cornmeal. It's excellent that it has a quality protein, but some may not like cornmeal at all. However, if there are enough nutrients in the food, the added corn will help keep your furry friend satisfied.

That's when a useful Eukanuba dog food review becomes essential. While you can learn about dog food by looking at its main ingredients, you also need to look at the rest of the nutrients.

For one, Eukanuba uses animal protein, chondroitin sulfate, and glucosamine to promote muscle development and joint health. They also add DHA and vitamin E to support happy brain function. Last, there are enough fats and carbohydrates to fuel an active lifestyle.

If you want to find the best dog food, be sure to look at all of the ingredients. You should also perform further research on your breed to make sure the food is well-suited for them.

The customers’ Eukanuba dog food review

Sale
EUKANUBA Adult Large Breed Dog Food 33 Pounds
  • Eukanuba Adult Large Breed dry dog food is complete and balanced nutrition for large breed dogs 15 months or older,...
  • Promotes lean muscle development and joint health in active adult dogs with a combination of animal protein, chondroitin...
  • Helps keep dogs sharp and supports healthy brain function with DHA and vitamin E

If you look at the ratings online, many people leave a great Eukanuba dog food review. It has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with many customers giving their recommendation. Some customers had their local vet recommend the food to them, and some of them compare it to other high-quality dog food brands.

That includes well-known brands like Taste of the Wild and Blue Buffalo. Some of these brands are more expensive, but customers claim that you can get food just as good at a better price.

When customers listed the dog breed they fed the food to, this showed that the food works for a variety of dogs. Even dogs with sensitive stomachs had no problems with this food.

One of the only complaints refers to their dog getting sick after eating the food. However, the customer admitted that they might have purchased the food from a non-reliable source. In order to prevent this, make sure to check the manufacturer before you make a purchase.

Pricing

After looking at a Eukanuba dog food review, you will realize that you can find Eukanuba dog food at several different retailers — online or in physical locations. Places including companies like Amazon, Chewy, Petco, and PetSmart.

Often, prices will vary between stores. Their prices are all in a similar range, but many of them offer different deals at different times. If you want the best deal, you will want to monitor these various retailers to ensure you get the most for your dollar.

Eukanuba Wet Food Puppy Mixed Grill Chicken & Beef Dinner In Gravy...

Image from Amazon

Depending on where you look, the prices for Eukanuba food vary between $40 and $50. So, you would only spend between 83 cents and $1.53 per pound of food. Some people don't want to spend too much on dog food, but getting this high-quality dog food brand is suitable for both your pet and your wallet.

How This Dog Food Compares

Eukanuba Adult Dog Food, 16 lbs.

Image from Amazon

When you search for a Eukanuba dog food review on the internet, you will likely find other recommended brands as well. Just because Eukanuba offers good dog food at a reasonable price doesn't mean it is the only good brand.

For the sake of transparency and honestly, it's only fair to compare Eukanuba to the other top dog food brands. Some of the top competing brands include Taste of the Wild, Hill’s Science Diet, and Diamond Naturals. Many of the competing products are within the same price range, so your choice is really up to your personal preference.

Be sure to look at each of the products, their ingredients, and other customer reviews so you can make an educated choice.

How We Reviewed

When covering a Eukanuba dog food review, we have your best interest in mind. When your pet becomes your furry best friend, you want to treat them with as much love as possible. This includes giving them food that will help them live a longer, healthier life.

We examined numerous customer reviews, other website reviews, and the manufacturers’ websites. Eukanuba and the other top dog food brands all have high ratings, and many customers recommend them. It's because of this research that we want to share this information with you.

Your dog only deserves the best, including the best dog food for their unique needs.

4.3 out of 5 stars

Sale
Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe Pacific...
  • A taste of the wild with SMOKED SALMON; REAL SALMON is the #1 ingredient; optimal amino acid profile, PROTEIN rich for...
  • Premium ingredients with added vitamins & minerals; fruits and vegetables as SUPERFOODS for hard-working ANTIOXIDANTS;...
  • Ingredients From Trusted, Sustainable Sources Around The World; Made With No Grain, Corn, Wheat, Filler; No Artificial...

When you search the internet for high-quality dog food, you will likely see Taste of the Wild at the top of the list. Their Pacific Stream flavor, which includes smoked salmon and other fish, has a customer rating on Amazon at 4.3 out of 5 stars. It even has Amazon’s Choice label on it.

One of the main reasons Taste of the Wild does so well is because their dog food does not contain any grains. While dogs can have grains, they act more as a filler and do not have as much nutritional value. To make their food bulkier, this company adds ingredients like sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas, lentils, tomatoes, and blueberries.

Their ingredients provide a high amount of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants for your pet. All of these things help them to have healthy skin, a nice coat, and lean muscles. They even add probiotics to promote excellent gut health.

This dog food comes in a 30-pound bag and typically costs between $50 and $60. This bag is a few pounds less than the Eukanuba brand and still costs more, so the price may be too much for some pet owners. However, this is one of the best grain free dog food brands you can buy.

4.1 out of 5 stars

Sale
Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Large Breed, Chicken & Barley...
  • A dry dog food specially formulated to fuel the energy needs of large breed adult dogs
  • Supports your grown dog's joint health with natural sources of glucosamine & chondroitin
  • Maintain your senior dog's healthy skin and shiny coat with nourishing omega-6 fatty acids & vitamin E

Hill’s Science Diet for large breeds is another dog food that is worth looking into. Customers say their dog loves the chicken and barley flavor, so they give the product a rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars. It is also an Amazon’s Choice product, so you know it's a reliable one.

The first three ingredients include chicken, whole grain wheat, and cracked pearled barley. While some customers may not like the grains, this dog food also offers a rich source of nutrients including protein, glucosamine, chondroitin, omega-6 fatty acids, and vitamin E.

These ingredients will provide your dog with the energy they need throughout the day and help them to build strong muscles. It will also keep their skin and coat healthy, which gives them a lively shine.

This dry dog food comes in a 35-pound bag, and costs between $40 and $50. It's a couple of pounds more than the Eukanuba brand, and it has a very similar price.

The only complaint that some customers have about Hill’s Science Diet is that there may have been a slight recipe change that did not agree with their pet. This may indicate that if your dog has a sensitive stomach, they may have a harder time with this food.

4.0 out of 5 stars

Diamond Naturals Adult Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food With Real...
  • High Quality Protein Made With Real Pasture Raised Beef, Tailored For Adult Dogs To Thrive; Optimal Amino Acid Profile...
  • Premium Ingredients With Added Vitamins & Minerals; Fruits And Vegetables As Superfoods For Hard-Working Antioxidants;...
  • Nutrient Rich And Highly Digestible With Proprietary Probiotics That Survive And Thrive In The Gi Tract; At Guaranteed...

Another top dog food brand is Diamond Naturals. Their beef meal and rice flavor has over 2,000 customer reviews and has a rating of 4.0 out of 5 stars. Like the other two competitors, this dog food also has Amazon’s Choice label.

The first three ingredients in this dog food include beef meal, peas, and ground white rice. While it is great that protein is the first ingredient, beef meal is not the ideal type. That's because beef meal is merely a by-product and not what humans would eat.

However, the beef meal comes from pasture-raised cows and is of higher quality than other beef by-products. The food also comes with all the essential vitamins and nutrients dogs need. They can build lean muscle and have healthy skin and a shiny coat. There are also probiotics to promote good gut health.

This food comes in a 40-pound bag, which is the largest bag of all the competing products. You can purchase this dog for a price between $30 and $40, so this is the cheapest option as well. And the quantity is great for those who need a lot of dog food at a low price.

Eukanuba Dog Food Pros and Cons

There are several advantages you can find in a Eukanuba dog food review that will keep your pet happy and healthy for many years to come. However, there are some potential disadvantages that you will also need to consider. Be sure to weigh your own pros and cons as well before you decide to make a purchase.

Pros

  • High-quality protein as the first ingredient
  • Great variety for different dog breeds and sizes
  • Includes DHA and vitamin E for healthy brain function
  • A right amount of food for the price

Cons

  • Not a grain free dog food
  • May not be suitable for sensitive stomachs

Treat Your Dog with the Best Ingredients

For many people, their dog truly is man’s best friend. They always show love and loyalty, and they would be by your side forever if they could.

By feeding your dog a food that is high in protein, vitamins, and other nutrients, you are giving them complete nutrition for a healthy life. The best ingredients will affect all aspects of their life. And that includes running around the back yard or taking a nap at your feet.

Based on the ingredients discussed in Eukanuba dog food review pages, we find that the 4.4 out of 5 star Amazon rating is appropriate. This rating would be higher if it did not have corn in it, but it is good quality for the price. If you want to avoid grains in your dog food, a brand like Taste of the Wild is a better option.

However, in our research, we found that Eukanuba dog food offers a quality product that does a great job of meeting the nutritional needs of dogs. However, it's wise to continue to research after reading a Eukanuba dog food review and learn more about the product yourself. Your decision will change your furry friend’s life.

Do you use any of the dog foods included in this Eukanuba dog food review? Which is your favorite? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section.

Best Grain Free Dog Food: Our Top 10 Brands

Dog eating dogfood on a silver bowl

It’s the middle of the night, and as you sleepily make your way to the bathroom, you step, barefoot naturally, in a pool of dog vomit. Your four-legged friend is suffering from an upset stomach — again. Washing your foot, you vow that, come tomorrow, you are going to find the best grain free dog food for your furkid.

When morning rolls around, the sound of your dog about to vomit vaults you out of bed faster than any alarm clock ever did. Once Fido is safely ushered outside before decorating the floor again, you decide it’s finally time to make some dietary changes for him. And he agrees.

So how do you go about picking the best grain free dog food for your pooch?

Finding the right food for Fido isn’t always easy. To help you decide, check out some information on the 10 best grain free dog food brands currently available.

Dogs eating dogfood on a silver bowl

​Image via Pixabay

Comparison Table

What Is Grain Free Dog Food?

The best grain free dog food brands will not have any wheat, corn, barley, oats, rye, rice, or soy. During World War II, manufacturers commonly used these ingredients as inexpensive filler in pet food. Consequently, this was not optimal for Fido’s nutrition or weight.

Think about what your dog naturally craves. Has Fido ever attacked a wheat stalk? Probably not. But he may have stalked a rabbit or a squirrel. Similarly, he more likely begs for your bacon than your oatmeal.

The best grain free dog foods focus more on a dog’s ancestral diet. As a result, they will list protein sources as the first ingredient or ingredients. Manufacturers list components by weight, so the higher an ingredient is listed, the more of it the food contains.

You may be looking at your current brand and think, “Well, it lists chicken as the main ingredient.” Read the rest of the ingredients. Is the same food listed in multiple ways?

Some manufacturers may show a protein as the first source. However, they also list corn, corn bran, and corn gluten in the ingredients. However, all are still corn. As a result, when you add them, they may outweigh the protein source. Therefore, it is essential to read all the ingredients.

The best grain free dog food brands, however, are not necessarily low carb. Dogs need carbohydrates for energy and a balanced diet. For that reason, most of the best grain free dog food brands may use sweet potatoes, legumes, or peas to provide needed carbohydrates.

Benefits of Using the Best Grain Free Dog Food

As the low-carb trend with humans gained favor, so did the idea of feeding our pets the best grain free dog food we can. After all, we want them to be as healthy as possible.

While only one percent of dogs have a grain allergy, many can benefit from eating the best grain free dog food you can give them.

As discussed earlier, a grain free diet is more in line with what dogs naturally eat.

Also, the best grain free dog food brands are formulated using higher quality ingredients. They use whole protein sources such as beef, chicken, lamb, turkey, salmon, and eggs. Obviously, this is preferable to the byproducts used in some other brands of dog food.

The 10 Best Grain Free Dog Food Brands

This list is a result of examining the ingredients of each brand and considering reviews of pet owners who have tested these products. The vetted findings are in this “best of” list.

Price Range

Generally speaking, providing Fido the best grain free dog food might cost more than what you pay for a grocery store brand.

The price is usually due to the better-quality ingredients, particularly the protein source. Similarly, higher quality foods may also include exotic proteins. Therefore, the more unusual the protein source, the more you will probably pay.

You can expect to find the best grain free dog foods to range in price between $​ and $​$$, depending on the brand, size of the bag, and source of the protein.

1. Zignature Grain-Free Dog Food

Zignature Turkey Dry Dog Food, 27-Pound
  • Our Turkey Formula Dog Food Is Full Of Turkey From The American Midwest, And Is A Natural Prey For Medium Sized Dogs In...
  • This Limited Ingredient Dog Food Is Low In Saturated Fat, Rich In Selenium, Riboflavin, And Phosphorus.
  • The Best High Protein Dog Food Is Grain-Free, Making Our Turkey Formula A Naturally Hypoallergenic Dog Food.

Zignature Grain-Free Dog Food contains ingredients from all over the world, such as kangaroo, Guinea fowl, and goat, along with the more traditional fish, poultry, and venison. Its protein first and limited ingredients recipe mimics the natural prey instincts of dogs.


Its hypoallergenic formula is free of chicken, eggs, chicken meal, or chicken by-product. This high fiber and single source protein food is designed to be a nutritionally correct diet for dogs. Zignature manufactures its product in the United States.


Zignature offers a wide range of flavors such as pork, lamb, kangaroo, goat, venison, pork, poultry, turkey, duck, Guinea fowl, catfish, trout, salmon, and whitefish.

2. Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Dog Food

Nulo Grain Free Dog Food: All Natural Adult Dry Pet Food For Large And...
  • 100% ALL NATURAL - Feed your furry family right. Nulo Grain-Free dry dog food is made with clean ingredients to help...
  • GRAIN FREE - Nulo doesn't include allergy-triggering grains, corn, wheat gluten, soy, fake additives, colors, or...
  • FOR LARGE, SMALL DOGS - Our meat protein-rich, BC30 Probiotic, low-carb, small kibble formula is crafted for every adult...

Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Dog Food is a "high meat" kibble, meaning that the first three to five ingredients are animal proteins. This low carb and low glycemic brand features Patented GanedenBC³⁰ probiotic for digestive and immune health.


It offers two lines: Medal Series and FreeStyle with main protein options of turkey, chicken, cod, lamb, salmon, or trout. Choices for primary carbohydrate sources include chickpeas, red lentils, peas, and sweet potatoes.


The FreeStyle line includes limited ingredient formulas as well as freeze dried raw recipes. Nulo also makes puppy, senior, small and large breed, and weight control formulas.


3. Earthborn Grain Free Holistic

Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, 28 Lb.
  • Grain Free, Gluten Free, 28 Lb. Resealable Bag
  • High In Protein
  • Wholesome Antioxidant Nutrient-Rich Natural Vegetables And Fruits

Earthborn Grain free Holistic is designed to support overall well-being. This brand offers whole, natural nutrition. There are no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Earthborn manufactures its product in the United States. Most noteworthy, neither the FDA nor Earthborn have ever issued a recall for this brand.


The Primitive Natural blend is turkey, chicken, and whitefish based. Coastal Catch combines herring and salmon. Meadow Feast features lamb. Great Plains focuses on bison protein. Western Feast uses beef and pork. The also carry formulas for large and small breeds, puppies, and weight control.


The limited ingredient Earthborn Holistic Venture formulas contain no grain, gluten, potato, eggs, by-products, or artificial preservatives. It offers a variety of different protein sources such as rabbit, squid, and Pollock.


4. Taste of the Wild

Sale
Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe High...
  • Discontinued size by manufacturer
  • A taste of the wild with ROASTED BISON & VENISON; REAL MEAT is #1 ingredient; optimal amino acid profile & protein rich...
  • HIGH quality PROTEIN recipe with smaller kibble; tailored for growing puppy; SUPERFOODS for hard-working ANTIOXIDANTS;...

Taste of the Wild offers a formula based on a dog's ancestral diet. It features highly digestible animal proteins, including real venison, salmon, lamb, wild boar, roasted fowl, or bison that support muscles, organ function, the immune system, healthy skin, and a shiny coat.


Each pound of dry food provides 80 million live, active probiotic cultures that support your dog's healthy digestion. Taste of the Wild manufactures in the United States.


Recipes include High Prairie, Pacific Stream, Pine Forest, Sierra Mountain, Southwest Canyon, and Wetlands. Select flavors are also available in a puppy and small breed formulas. Taste of the Wild Prey products feature limited ingredients with no GMOs.


5. Wellness Core Dog Food

Sale
Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food, Original Turkey &...
  • Grain Free: 100% Grain Free, Complete And Balanced Everyday Nutrition For Your Dog
  • Protein Focused Nutrition: Naturally Grain Free, Rich With Delicious Premium Proteins Including Turkey And Chicken...
  • All Natural: Contains Only Premium, All Natural Ingredients With No Wheat, Corn, Soy, Meat By-Products, Or Artificial...

Wellness Core Dog Food is grain free food rooted in the belief dogs thrive on hearty animal proteins. It blends super nutrients and probiotics with natural ingredients. Moreover, it has a flax omega blend to promote healthy skin and a shiny coat.


Flavors include Original, Ocean, Wild Game, and Lamb. It also comes in puppy, senior, reduced fat, and large and small breed formulas.


Additional lines include Core Six and Core Revraw. Core Six contains just six main ingredients, whereas Core Rawrev is a high-protein, grain free kibble combined with 100 percent raw meat pieces.


6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness

Sale
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe High Protein Grain Free,...
  • PACKED WITH REAL BEEF: A recipe inspired by the Rocky Mountains, this high protein dog food features a blend of red meat...
  • GRAIN FREE DOG FOOD: BLUE Wilderness grain free adult dog food is made with healthy carbohydrates including sweet...
  • WITH LIFESOURCE BITS: This formula contains BLUE's exclusive LifeSource Bits - a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins...

Blue Buffalo Wilder​​ness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry DogFood is made with natural ingredients and includes cold-formed LifeSource Bits. These are a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support immune system health and a healthy oxidative balance. Their formulas also include glucosamine to support joint function and mobility. It is free of chicken by-product and artificial flavors and preservatives.


Flavors include red meat, chicken, duck, salmon, bison, and rabbit as well as combinations such as Bayou Blend (alligator and catfish), Snake River Grill (trout, venison, and rabbit), Flatland Feast (duck, quail, and turkey), and Denali Dinner (salmon, halibut, and venison).


It is available in regular, large and toy breed puppy and adult formulas as well as senior and adult weight control blends.

7. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food, Lamb...
  • Contains 1 - 28 Pound Bag Of Dry Dog Food
  • Helps Minimize The Number Of Ingredients Dogs Are Exposed To
  • Maintains Digestive Health. Balanced Omega-3 & Omega-6 Fatty Acids Help To Maintain Healthy Skin And A Luxurious Coat

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet offers complete nutrition for dogs by using a limited number of quality ingredients. Formulated to meet the balanced dietary needs of all breeds of adult dogs, it has no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.


It is available in chicken, duck, bison, venison, and fish recipes. Additionally, it comes in puppy and small breed formulas.

8. I and Love and You Nude Super Food

Sale
"I and love and you" Nude Food Poultry Palooza Grain Free Dry Dog...
  • Always Grain Free: Nutrient Rich Lentils, Garbanzo Beans And Sweet Potatoes Instead Of Grains
  • No Fillers, All Love: No By-Product Meals, Wheat, Corn, Soy Or Rice. No Artificial Preservatives, Flavors Or Colors
  • Protein Rich: 34% Protein With The First Ingredient Always Meat, Poultry Or Fish

I and Love and You Nude Super Food is a high-protein formula made with digestive enzymes, prebiotics, and probiotics. These ingredients help with bad breath, rumbling tummies, loose stools, or gas.


Recipes also feature easier-to-digest carbs like lentils, garbanzo beans, and sweet potatoes. I and Love and You manufactures its product in the United States. Varieties include Poultry Palooza, Red Meat Medley, and Simply Sea.


9. Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

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Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food Recipes
  • Grain-Free Nutrition With No Gluten Ingredients For Easier Digestibility
  • #1 Ingredient Is Real Deboned Buffalo
  • Contains Industry-Leading Levels Of Omega 6 And Omega 3 Fatty Acids To Aid In A Healthy Skin And Coat

All of Merrick's grain-free formulas start with deboned meat or poultry and are formulated to provide the best nutrition for your pet. Their recipes include whole foods such as sweet potatoes, peas, apples, and blueberries. They are preservative, filler, corn, wheat, soy, and gluten-free. Merrick manufactures its product in the United States.


Flavors include turkey and sweet potato, rabbit and chickpea, chicken and sweet potato, venison and chickpea, buffalo and sweet potato, lamb and sweet potato, and salmon and sweet potato.


Also, they have formulas for large breeds, puppies, weight management, and senior dogs. Additional grain free lines include Merrick Limited Ingredient diet and Merrick Backyard Country.

10. Farmina Natural and Delicious Grain-Free Dog Food

Farmina Natural And Delicious Grain-Free Formula Dry Dog Food,...
  • Complete Dog Food For All Life Stages
  • Grain-Free, Gluten-Free
  • High Level Of Fresh Protein, Limited Carbohydrate, Low Fiber Formulas

Farmina Natural and Delicious Grain-Free Dog Food is the result of a research collaboration with the Chair of Animal Nutrition at the University of Naples Federico II.


The recipe features 70 percent animal ingredients and 30 percent vegetables, fruits, vitamins, and minerals. As a result, Farmina has a low glycemic index and no artificial preservatives.


It is available in chicken and pomegranate, boar and apple, and lamb and blueberry.


Where to Buy

While some upper-end grocery stores may carry a small selection, the best grain free dog food brands are usually available in pet stores, from certain manufacturers directly, or from online retailers such as Amazon.

Introducing It To Your Dog

Dogfoodon a silver bowl

​Image via Pixabay

The first thing to remember is that any time you change your dog’s diet, you should do so gradually. Unless your dog has an iron stomach, he might have some adverse reactions to a sudden kibble change.

PetMD encourages owners to introduce new food to your dog gradually over the course of five days.

On Day 1, mix 20 percent of the best grain free dog food you choose with your dog’s current food. Each day after, increase the amount of the new food by 20 percent, while decreasing the old food by the same amount. Finally, by day 5, your dog should get a bowl of just the new kibble.

Basically, the daily breakdown looks like this:

Day
Percent of New Food
Percent of Current Food
1
20
80
2
40
60
3
60
40
4
80
20
5
100
0

Chart by author

​Fido Deserves the Best Grain Free Dog Food

Your four-legged friend deserves high-quality food that meets his nutritional needs. The best grain free dog foods listed here offer top-caliber ingredients formulated to keep your dog healthy and happy.

No matter which of these brands of the best grain free dog food you buy, you can rest well knowing you are providing your pup with excellent ingredients, including protein he craves. Furthermore, he and his tummy will thank you for it.

Do you feed your best friend a trusted grain free dog food that isn't on our list? Share it with us in the comments!

How to Switch Dog Food Without Causing Digestion Problems

Pet food

To our dogs, we are the center of their world, where all good things, including food, come from. Learning how to switch dog food is essential to know, just in the case that we need to make a change their diet.

Many dog owners may choose to keep their dogs on the same food throughout their lives. Though most veterinarians recommend this, not everyone agrees that this is the best way.

Some pet experts now recommend rotation feeding, or changing food every few months. The idea behind rotation feeding is that it gives dogs more nutritional variety.

It can also alleviate possible boredom! After all, would YOU want to eat the same food day after day?

Whatever the reason, you should never abruptly change your dog’s food as this can cause stomach upset. You can help lessen the shock to your dog’s system by learning how to switch dog food the right way.

How to Switch Dog Food: What You Need to Know

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Learning how to switch dog food is more than just switching out one type of food for another. To successfully change food takes time and effort to put in the research.


Give it time

Changing your dog’s food suddenly is never recommended. If possible, budget at least a week, if not longer, to gradually change your dog’s diet.


That gradual change over allows your dog to get used to the taste of the food. It also allows their digestive tract to adjust.


Listen to your dog

Like humans, dogs have likes and dislikes. They may not always like what’s good for them, but sometimes, they may be trying to tell you something with their actions.


After you switch the food, pay close attention to how your dog is reacting. You know your dog best and can best judge how much they like (or don’t like) their new food.

Reasons to Switch Dog Food

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There are a variety of reasons that you may want to switch your dog’s food.


Canine food snob

For many dogs, the surest way into their heart is through their stomach. Just one bite of a tasty morsel and you have an instant best friend.


But then there’s your dog. Miss Picky McPicky Pants snubs most everything you give her.


Picky eaters are hard to please, and you may find yourself changing dog food to help appease them.


If you know you have a picky eater, be sure to pick a food that contains an ingredient that you know for sure that they like.


Food intolerance and allergies

Like humans, dogs can have food intolerances and allergies. Intolerance and allergies are slightly different. Allergies are an immune response to a food trigger. Intolerances are not immune-related. However, these are still physical responses to a food trigger.


If you notice that your dog scratches frequently, has poor stool consistency, or otherwise seems sick, they may have a food intolerance or allergy.


If you are switching your dog’s food due to suspected intolerance or allergies, you need to know how to switch dog food for best results. You also need to know how to watch for signs that the change is working.


It may take anywhere between two to three months to be sure whether or not the diet change worked. When in doubt, ask your veterinarian for assistance.


Cost

Keeping your pooch well-fed can be an ongoing battle with your wallet. The best rule of thumb is always to buy the best food you can afford.


The hard truth is that sometimes, you may not always be able to afford your dog’s preferred food. When that happens, you may need to switch between menus, depending on what your budget allows.

When puppy has an upset tummy

Though you may do your best to learn how to switch dog food, there still may be problems. Learn to recognize the signs when a food switch isn’t going so well and how to treat it.


Signs of an upset tummy

When you switch your dog’s food, be on the lookout for signs of digestive problems. These include vomiting, loose stools, and increased gas.


Home remedies

Keep plenty of fresh, cold water on hand for your dog to drink. Dehydration can cause their tummies to get upset.


If loose stools are the problem, try adding a spoonful of canned, mashed pumpkin to their food. Be sure to get the pure mashed pumpkin with no additives rather than canned pumpkin pie filling.


Another favorite home remedy for upset dog stomach is baby food. Strange as it may sound, baby food is highly digestible and tasty to most dogs.


If you feed your dog baby food to help settle their stomach, make sure that it has no onion or garlic in the ingredients list.


When to call a vet

tricolor cavalier king charles spaniel puppy eating bread

image source: Pixabay

If you are worried at all about your dog’s health as they adjust to their new food, call your vet as soon as possible.


You should call your vet immediately if your dog is frequently vomiting, has a fever, or is vomiting blood.


Also, if your dog has diarrhea for more than 24 hours or has blood or mucus in their stool, call for an appointment as soon as possible.

How to Switch Dog Food: Dry and Wet Food

Switching between foods is actually easy, if not always smooth, process. Whether you are switching between flavor varieties of the same brand or switching brands completely, you will need to do a slow switch to help lessen the chance of stomach upset.


These are the steps you need to take to switch between different commercially prepared dry and wet dog foods. That process works the same for switching between dry foods or wet foods or changing from wet to dry and vice versa. Keep in mind that this process may take at least a week.


The only notable difference is when changing from wet food to dry. In this instance, your furry friend may find themselves with a bit of constipation. This is from the lessened amount of liquid in their food.


Make sure they have plenty of water as we mentioned before and they should be just fine.


Research different foods

While researching how to switch dog food, look at various food types. The different food types you can change to will vary on the reason you are switching.


If you are switching foods due to a suspected intolerance or allergy, avoid foods that contain common allergens. These include beef, dairy, wheat, eggs, chicken, lamb, and soy.


To make your search easier, look for foods labeled “Limited Ingredient” as these tend to have fewer ingredients overall.


Just go slow

Always introduce the new food slowly, mixing the old food and the new food. This allows your dog to get used to the taste of the new food while their digestive system compensates for the new food.


On the first day, mix 10 percent new food with 90 percent old food. Over the next week or so, up the percentage of new food by about 10 percent per day.


Watch and wait

Once you begin transitioning their food, watch your dog for any signs of stomach upset. If your pup shows that they are tolerating the food, with minimal symptoms of stomach upset, continue to increase the percentage of new food.


However, if your pup shows that they are not tolerating the new food, try stepping back a percentage for their next feeding. You may also try to give them a home remedy for a meal or two to see if that helps ease the transition.


Full transition

Once your dog shows that they are tolerating the new food, you should be able to continue to increase the amount of new food you are feeding. Eventually, 100-percent of their bowl should contain their new diet.


Once that’s completed, congratulations! You have successfully switched your dog’s food!

How to Switch Dog Food: Transitioning from Kibble to a Raw Diet

Raw feeding is a feeding practice eschews processed, cooked dog food in favor of a diet based on uncooked meats. While still somewhat controversial, proponents claim that it makes their dogs healthier and happier.


Switching from kibble to raw dog food is an undertaking that requires a fair amount of research on your part. Always check with your veterinarian to see if this change will be beneficial for your dog.

Research different raw feeding styles

Before diving in, you need to research raw feeding styles. The type of style you choose will help determine how to switch dog food from kibble to raw in the best way possible.


Prey or BARF?

There are two main types of raw feeding styles: Prey Model Raw Diet (PMR) and Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF).


Prey Model Raw focuses on a high percentage of muscle meat as well as bones and organs. It does not contain any vegetation.


Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods diet uses a mix of raw muscle meat, bones, organs as well as fruits and vegetables.


Run the calculations

Whichever model you choose, you need to calculate the amount of food you will need to feed. Use a calculator like the one on Perfectly Rawsome or consult your veterinarian for more information.

Total switch

selective focus photography of short-coated brown puppy facing right side

Image from Unsplash

Unlike switching between kibble, switching from kibble to raw is done all at once. One day your dog will eat their old kibble and the next day, you will begin with the complete raw diet.


Even though the switch from kibble to raw is instantaneous, you still need to introduce raw meats slowly to give them time for their stomachs to get used to it.


New but bland

Perfectly Rawsome recommends beginning with raw white meats for the first week. Chicken is a great, affordable starter protein. Other options include turkey, rabbit, and Cornish game hen.


You may need to give your dog up to two weeks to get them used to the new food regime. Watch your dog’s stools and make sure they are firm and regular. This shows that they are tolerating their new bland diet well.


If your dog’s stool is loose for more than a day or two, remove any excess fat on the meat, like skin. Also, add more bone to your offerings which should also help firm up their stools.


Red raw

Once your dog shows they are tolerating their new raw diet well, you can start introducing new types of meat. The next phase is introducing red meats, like pork, lamb, and goat.


Again, watch your dog’s stool, which may turn darker due to the addition of red meat. But so long as the stools are firm and regular, your dog is doing fine!


Offal-ly delicious

Offal may be awful to some humans, but dogs do love it! Organ meat is very rich so be sure you are not feeding them too much as this can cause stomach upset.


As always, watch your dog’s stool for any signs of issues and adjust your feedings accordingly.

Belly Rubs

Whether you choose to switch your dog’s food for nutrition or cost, how you make that switch matters. Researching your choices and going slow is a sure recipe for success.

While the chances are that your dog is going to love whatever you give them, making the switch as painless as possible is good for both you and your dog.

We hope you found this helpful. If you’re thinking about switching your dog’s food, tell us what you’re planning on switching to in the comments!

What Is Chicken Meal in Dog Food? Critical Facts You Need to Know

what is chicken meal in dog foodwhat is chicken meal in dog food

As the owner of two beloved dogs, I often put a lot of thought into choosing their food. One of my dogs has food allergies, so it has made me pay a lot of attention to the ingredients in the food I feed her. That led me to wonder about some of the terms I see on the label. In particular, I found myself asking what is chicken meal in dog food?

This question sent me off in search of answers. I consulted several sources to discover the answer is rather complex. In simple terms, chicken meal is dried whole, clean chicken. That answer probably doesn't completely satisfy your curiosity because it didn't satisfy mine.

In fact, it left me with additional questions. So, I wanted to share what I learned with you about what is chicken meal in dog food, along with everything else I learned about dog food ingredients and labeling.

What I discovered made me a better dog parent and more informed about choosing higher quality foods for my pups, and I hope sharing it with you provides you with those same benefits.

What Is the Difference Between Chicken and Chicken Meal?

To really understand the answer to what is chicken meal in dog food, you need first to understand the difference between chicken and chicken meal. You may see both on a food label.


If you assume that they are similar because the names are similar, then you would be absolutely correct. The fact is that chicken meal is just dried chicken.

However, chicken is a broad term.


When it comes to dog food, chicken means something a little different than it would mean on a label for food you or I would eat.


According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), in dog food, it means a whole, clean chicken, which includes the flesh and skin and may include bones. Clean is referring to the removal of feathers, heads, feet and intestinal contents. Also, it doesn't include the organs and blood.


The manufacturer cleans the chicken before grinding it up and putting it in the food.


Now, chicken meal is that same chicken cooked until the water evaporates. Chicken used in dog food has a moisture content of around 70 percent, according to Blue Seal, whereas chicken meal has a moisture content of about 10 percent. That is the distinction between chicken and chicken meal. Everything else about them is the same.


Manufacturers use chicken meal because it allows them to make the hard kibble. Too much moisture prevents the ability to form hard nuggets. In addition, it also provides for more nutritional content in dog food because more chicken meal can be used than chicken because it is condensed.

Is Chicken Meal Safe for My Dog?

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Generally speaking, chicken meal is entirely safe for your dog.


It provides an excellent nutritional boost to foods because it has much higher levels of protein than whole chicken due to its condensed nature, and it is also an excellent source of glucosamine, which your dog needs for optimal health.


It is important to note that the quality of the meal makes a huge difference. The low-quality chicken meal may include things that are not as healthy for your dog, so always make sure to choose only high-quality foods.


In addition, some veterinarians may warn against using foods that contain chicken meal. This may be because of quality issues or because it is a processed ingredient.


You should always check with your veterinarian before changing your dog's diet. It is also important to be aware of possible allergies or food sensitivities, which could make chicken meal unsuitable for your dog. You might want to discuss what is chicken meal in dog food with your vet to get his or her opinion on it.


One note here is that chicken meal and other meals you may see on labels are not the same things. You should avoid foods that include any of the following words as these are not high-quality meals:

  • Animal meal
  • Meat meal
  • Chicken by-product meal
  • Meat and bone meal

How Does Chicken Meal Differ From Chicken By-Products?

dalmatian licking his bowl

Image from Pexels

As you may have noticed in that list, there is something called chicken by-product meal. A chicken by-product has the potential to be good or bad.


A by-product includes those parts of the chicken not included in chicken or chicken meal ingredients. These ingredients might be any of the following:

  • Lungs
  • Spleen
  • Liver
  • Kidneys
  • Feathers
  • Hide
  • Intestinal contents
  • Blood

In a high-quality chicken by-product meal, there will be the nutritious by-products, such as the liver and kidneys, which provide nutrients to your dog. Lower quality by-product meals include the unsavory things that are considered unsuitable for human consumption, such as the feathers and intestinal contents.


PetMD explains that some manufacturers may load a food with chicken by-products because they are very cheap. While by-products do save them money, they also give the food a protein boost so that it meets nutritional regulations. Essentially, it results in cheap, low-quality food that lacks in nutritional value. Source?

How Can I Tell What Ingredients Are in My Dog's Food?

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It is pretty clear that paying attention to the ingredients and quality of your dog's food is very important. Knowing what ingredients are in your dog's food is a matter of reading the label. You can get a lot of information this way.


The main thing that will tell you what is in the food is the ingredient list. Ingredients are on the list according to the amount in the food. So, the ingredient that is most prevalent in the food comes first on the list, the second most used item is next, and so forth.


The American Kennel Club does state that while the label lists the ingredients, you should always investigate to find out the quality of them. An excellent example of dog food with high-quality ingredients is Merrick Grain Free dog food.


Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food Recipes
  • Grain-Free Nutrition With No Gluten Ingredients For Easier Digestibility
  • #1 Ingredient Is Real Deboned Beef
  • Contains Levels Of Omega 6 And Omega 3 Fatty Acids To Aid In A Healthy Skin And Coat, And Glucosamine And Chondroitin...

You may also want to check the guaranteed analysis. This tells you about the nutritional content. It includes information about the percentage of protein, fat, fiber, and water in the food.

What Do the Terms On the Label Mean?

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You will see many terms used on dog food. Many of these terms have no formal regulation. This means manufacturers can pretty much say whatever they want.


Many terms are merely marketing gimmicks. They are often misleading and can make you think a food is of higher quality than it actually is. Unregulated terms include premium and gourmet. When used on human foods, these generally indicate high quality, but that isn't always true for dog food.


Manufacturers also use terms on the label to make it seem like their food is better than another food, such as saying its food is better because it has chicken as the first ingredient when the competitor has chicken meal as the first ingredient. As you know now after learning what is chicken meal in dog food, the comparison is funny because they are basically the same thing.

What Terms Are Regulated?

dog smiling

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Some terms do have to meet regulation standards. "Natural" is one of those. The AAFCO monitors its use. It means that the ingredients are only from plant, animal, and mined sources. It cannot contain highly processed ingredients or contain chemical or synthetic ingredients.


The AAFCO also has rules for including certain terms referring to the ingredients based on percentages. If the label says "chicken dinner," it must contain 25 percent chicken. If it has the words "with chicken," then it must contain three percent chicken.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration states that all food must have the manufacturer's name and address on the dog food package. Many also include a phone number. You can use this information to find out more about the quality and to help you sort out marketing from reality.


In addition, most states regulate a minimum percentage of crude protein and crude fat that food must include. Also, states may regulate the maximum percentage of crude fiber and moisture content.


There are not organic labeling rules currently for pet food, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture is working on regulations similar to humans. Typically, organic means it is made without pesticides and fertilizers that are not natural and from sources that have no antibiotics or growth hormones. When used on dog food, it could mean almost anything since nobody is policing its use as of now.

The Bottom Line on What Is Chicken Meal in Dog Food


There is no doubt that you love your dog when you are willing to investigate what is chicken meal in dog food. This is a complex topic that leads to discussions of other issues.

Dog food is not as regulated as human food. The reality is that you have to be an advocate for your dog. You need to do the research and find the brands that sell the best quality foods with the highest quality ingredients.

It can take time to find the right food that will serve your dog's nutritional needs while not exposing him or her to bad or harmful things. But it is quite worth it. Feeding your dog good food can have significant impacts on your dog's health and general well-being.

So, now that you know what is chicken meal in dog food, you are a little more prepared to find and buy only the best food for your dog. Remember, though, to consult your veterinarian. He or she is a great resource when choosing food for your dog.