WHAT SHOULD I FEED ?
At the bottom of this page is our list of recommended foods. And a downloadable PDF of review.com 2017 list of best dog foods.
However we suggest that you read the below info before you navigate to the foods.
New foods are constantly being added to the market,
Manufactures sell out, or change. So stay on top of your favorite products.
This page may be a bit of a read. But we promise it will be the most interesting and very informative. We recommend you read it in its entirety, as it may be the most critical info of all. TAKE NOTES~ It will arm you with lots of info and a new way to look at labels.
After you read this page please visit this link and read the Feb 2018 ABC-TV news story about euthanize animals and pet foods. Info we have had on our website for over 20 years now. We are happy to see at last that the news is reporting on it.
The RECALL by MENU FOODS should have made the public more award of the 'crap' in non human grade commercial pet foods. Of course any human food can be recalled too, however odds are better it won't be, as it's regulated and produced at a higher standard.
Also keep in mind that many of the good foods are still manufactured by MENU FOODS. We personally will not support any company that uses menu foods as we don't like that Menu Foods experiments on animals. For more read our BAN MENU FOODS PAGE.
As to Pet Foods, Don't delude yourself into thinking that human grade dog/cat food means less chance of contamination. Anything made for consumption - human or animal will always run the risk of some kind of contamination, somewhere in production. However we feel if you do your homework you can make the most educated choices possible. And you run a lower risk. Meat meals, poultry meals, by-product meals, and meat-and-bone meal are common ingredients in dry pet foods. The term “meal” means that these materials are not used fresh, but have been rendered. While there are chicken, turkey, and poultry by-product meals there is no equivalent term for mammal “meat by-product meal” — it is called “meat-and-bone-meal.” It may also be referred to by species, such as “beef-and-bone-meal” or “pork-and-bone-meal.”
What is rendering? As defined by Webster’s Dictionary, to render is “to process as for industrial use: to render livestock carcasses and to extract oil from fat, blubber, etc., by melting.” In other words, raw materials are dumped into large vat and boiled for several hours. Rendering separates fat, removes water, and kills bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other organisms. However, the high temperatures used (270°F/130°C) can alter or destroy natural enzymes and proteins found in the raw ingredients.
Because of persistent rumors that rendered by-products contain dead dogs and cats, the FDA conducted a study looking for pentobarbital, the most common euthanasia drug, in pet foods. They found it.
Ingredients that were most commonly associated with the presence of pentobarbital were meat-and-bone-meal and animal fat. However, they also used very sensitive tests to look for canine and feline DNA, which were not found. Industry insiders admit that rendered pets and roadkill were used in pet food some years ago. Although there are still no laws or regulations against it, the practice is "uncommon" today, but plausible it may still exist to some small degree though pet food companies universally deny that their products contain any such materials.
However, so-called “4D” animals (dead, dying, diseased, disabled) were only recently banned for human consumption and are still legitimate ingredients for pet food. And can be classified as chicken or beef.
We recommend that you keep yourself up to date: Join the free RECALL ALERTS email subscriptions the FDA offers at their site. Sign up with your most frequently used email addy so you can keep up to date. I have already seen candy that gets distributed by Macy's (made elsewhere) get recalled and today it was vitamins for humans! The other day was BJ pig ears. This email alert you are signing up for is for only the *life threatening* RECALL alerts.
Go to www.fda.gov look for recall info, then sign up where it offers you the option of subscribing for alerts. Or you can just join our Facebook page for PET FOOD RECALLS.
Of course it's always best if you can make your own foods all of the time or even part of the time- but if you can't, try always to add some human food each day. Contrary to what your vet says, Table food is the best thing for your dog. Just be careful to know what human food is NOT good for them.
As of March 2012 another concern is "PINK SLIME" which has been found is so much ground beef. We know this ammonia treated beef has been used for years in commercial 'non human grade' pet food products. But now it's being found in human grade products. Therefore we recommend you only buy top human grade pet food products that are free of beef till you are sure that it is beef free of pink slime.
This could be a concern particularly of commercial BARF (raw) pet food diets.
Here's a recent article on PURINA that should tell you something more about how bad it is: http://truthaboutpetfood.com/articles/purinas-inedible-animal-food.html
Please note for Diabetic dogs:
When giving supplements containing vitamin A, remember that Diabetics cannot convert Beta Carotine to Vitamin A once metabolized. This is the one instance we DO NOT recommend Omega 3 Oils as it will increase blood levels of low-density lipoproteins and cholesterol as well as blood sugar-And LDL is EXTREMELY BAD NEWS to a diabetic!
More info on this can be found at Newman Veterinary.
Also- NEVER give supplements containing GLUCOSAMINE as this nutrient must be avoided by diabetics because Glucosamine blocks the formation of insulin. Also DO NOT feed your a diabetic pet any pet foods containing GLUCOSAMINE.
Many 'Senior Foods' (have this added now to help aging pets with arthritis and joint mobility. It is a good thing for arthritic and older dogs but NOT if they are DIABETIC!
In March 2001 issue of PREVENTION Magazine tells more of the dangers for diabetics and this supplement both in HUMANS AND ALL ANIMALS. It is shown taking Glucosamine if you are Diabetic can trigger INSULIN RESISTANCE. This means that the body stops recognizing insulin and, as a result sugar in the blood can build up to a dangerous level. Another online article on this is found here at Nutrition Science News For more see our page on Diabetes.
Want to make your own food or supplement your pet food? Then visit our HOME COOKIN' page
However, when you can't...
Most people are unaware of the many wonderful human grade foods (listed below)- as these companies do not advertise in order to keep their prices competitive with lesser quality foods. Sure a better food is going to cost a little more, but truly JUST a little bit more. That is because the quality is higher so cup for cup you will feed a smaller amount of the QUALITY FOOD- so over all it will cost almost the same. An example is:
The Economy brands food - most supermarket/Walmart chain store brands and products like "Ol' ROY" (which may sadly actually contain some euthanized animals named ol' roy) -costs aprox 0.60 cents per pound)** had few nutrients-and the most toxins- (i.e. Kibbles n’ Bits is full of every bad thing in the book - the ultimate JUNK FOOD- really poison for our pets) Contain sugars to make it addictive and also tons of chemicals and cancer causing compounds. So what if they add vitamins to say your pets get the nutrition it needs? It's like living on Twinkies and taking multi vitamins!
When feeding this crap 'food' - the recommended feeding portion was 6 cups a day. (some examples - Kibbles n bits - Purina - Diamond; Alpo; Beneful; Good Life; Pet Gold; Chef Michael etc) Please NEVER buy this stuff! Moist food is the worst of the worst (Kibbles N Bits/Beneful etc.)
The "Mid-range Commercial" brand (cost aprox. $1.20 to $1.45 lb per pound) had more nutrients than the Economy packages, but less than the Super Premium. The feeding instructions recommended 3-1/4 cups per day. (some examples -Eukanuba/Iams/Science Diet) These are not 'human grade foods" - Read more about them and the company that makes them before you think about using these products.
The Premium "human grade/some organic brands" offers some excellent choices- -easy to find products and suggested an average of only 1-3/4 cups of food per day- some examples - By Nature Organics; Natural Balance Organics; Natures Variety, Now (Canada) and Acana etc- that offers superior quality bang for the buck)-(cost aprox $1.45-$1.70 lb.)
The Super Premium (cost aprox $1.75 - $3.00 per pound- when 'prepared' as most of these are freeze dried/dehydrated products) Human Grade and organic offered the top of the line nutritional value and suggested an average of only 1-3/4 cups of food per day. (some examples Stella and Chewys; Lucky Dog, Monzie's organics; ZiwiPeak; Addiction foods; Spot Farms, Honest Kitchen (made in a human food facility but not organic) Other great foods:. NRG, Dr. Harvey's and Steve's Real Food
The only foods we can currently confirm to be made in a HUMAN GRADE PLANT - IN THE USA are The HONEST KITCHEN, OMA'S PRIDE. & WERUVA (made in Thailand but it's all HUMAN GRADE and VERY HIGH STANDARD Thailand is not 'China') NGR is made in it's own private facility.
We have heard a few more are hitting the market.
Investigate to see if the foods are made in a multi brand manufacturing plant (such as Menu Foods) or if they have their own plant. It's better to choose a food with their own plant as less risk of contaminations
All measurements were for a 40-lb. dog. "Thus, the big difference is in the poop!" You do the math. It's pretty much the same cost. Your pet benefits being healthier and you save on vet bills later in life along with the peace of mind knowing you are not feeding toxins to your pets. ** prices per pound will vary depending on where you buy and where you live, but this is a close estimate.
We will list and would only recommend Premium and Super Premium foods - please email us if your favorite is not listed. There are always new foods and we sometimes don't keep up fast enough!
Now one more thing we need to bring into the equation are INGREDIENTS FROM CHINA - that includes everything from chicken, vitamins and veggies. Sadly many of our TOP FOODS we've listed here have something in them from China. As many use vegetables, chicken and supplements imported from China. They may be from a distributer in the USA but the product is SOURCED in China. I suggest you call your pet food company and asked them is ANYTHING in their products are sourced in China. If they don’t know – push them for answers. If they say they get their vitamins from someplace in California, ask them where that company SOURCES their vitamins from, especially the vitamin C. You have to read between the lines. See what the DO NOT say as opposed to what they do say. What they leave out.
Many ‘organic’ products even contain ‘Chinese’ ingredients; some examples are by Nature Organics (vits). Company's like DOGSWELL have all their chickens from China.
We do not see why they can't get products from the USA.
We have recent conformation that FRENCHIE'S KITCHEN, ADDICTION FOODS; ORIJIN; HORIZON, ACANA and CANINE CAVIAR; and HONEST KITCHEN have confirmed that they are free of ANYTHING from China.
Others here may be free of Chinese ingredients, but I have yet to call all the companies. Therefore I urge you to call or write to find out the current status of any food you are feeding. Don't just assume they are OK!
Please note it's not just our pets food we need to check. Next time you are in your local WHOLE FOODS or HEALTH FOOD STORE check the back of the bag of frozen organic vegs and see if a product of China. You will be shocked to see many are. The water is filthy and filled with toxins and who knows what they consider 'organic'. I will not support a country that has tried to poison both us and our pets more than once. Most Vit C is also from China so call your vitamin company to check and see where they “source” their products from.
Some popular brands like HILLS/Science Diet even contain 'plastic' - Read about it HERE.
Please ask your local pet supplies stores and supermarkets to start carrying this better brands listed below and stop selling the crap! If not order online!
Other things to REMEMBER - read between the lines! MADE IN THE USA doesn't not mean SOURCED in the USA. It could be made here but of ingredients sourced outside.
NATURAL or ORGANIC doesn't mean it's HUMAN GRADE or even HEALTHY for your cat or dog! Some have 'organic sugar/organic corn syrup' as an ingredient- NEVER use ANY product with SUGAR, which may also be listed as CORN SYRUP; CANE JUICE etc.. even if organic. Many ORGANIC; NATURAL; HOLISTIC treats will contain SUGAR - STAY AWAY from these!
Sugar is a shortcut to the start of many diseases. Cancer will thrive on it. Will will have suggestions for you on our TREATS page.
For example, TIMBERWOLF ORGANICS IS NOT and organic food. It is HUMAN GRADE but NOT organic. And NATURAL PLANET ORGANICS have some HUMAN GRADE ingredients such as their chicken, rice, oats, barley and flax but the rest is NOT 100% human grade and it is NOT ORGANIC. We know this is confusing - that is why we are helping you with what to look for/avoid and what questions to ask of the pet food manufacturers.
Our list is below of what is 'all human grade' and also what is organic.
But remember ORGANIC can still mean from China. YOU have to do the follow up if the info isn't all here. Things update and change constantly!
LEARN TO READ ALL INGREDIENT LISTINGS. CORN SYRUP IS CORN SYRUP and is VERY BAD for ANIMALS and feeds cancerous cells! Corn syrup is only for dogs in emergencies who are hypoglycemic.
Wellness; California Naturals; Innova; Evo & Karma Organics are no longer on our list as NATURA PET products is being taken over in summer 2010 by Procter and Gamble - we urge you not to buy anything by Proctor and Gamble. Not only do they experiment on animals but we have read they will be making changes over time to the formula adding fillers and the quality will not remain as it has been--- For more read: www.truthaboutpetfood.com/articles/breaking-news-proctor--gamble-purchases-natura-pet-products.html
We urge you to cross your dog over slowly to a new food. Any change can and may cause tummy problems.
Quality foods should NOT contain:
Food fragments - lower-cost by-products of another food manufacturing process, such as brewer's rice and wheat bran...Manufacturers usually include at least one fragment to help lower costs. Beware any food that includes several fragments.
Meat by-products (not handled as carefully as whole meat) - any food that contains meat by-products as the MAJOR protein source indicates a low-quality product.
Fats or proteins named generically (ex. animal fat/poultry fat instead of beef fat/ lamb meal)
Artificial preservatives (BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin)
VitK3 menadione aka dimethylprimidinol
Sweeteners (corn syrup, sucrose, ammoniated glycyrrhizin) to improve unappealing food
Propylene glycol - a toxic substance when consumed in large amounts; added to some "chewy" foods to keep them moist.
If you can't find these foods locally you can buy online as many places including
There are many more --Just do a web search~
It is always best (if you are feeding commercial food) that you mix some fresh foods from the list below and include it in your pets daily meals. The reason many people or vets say do not feed table food is because many people are unaware of what foods can be dangerous to pets. So please visit our dangerous foods page.
However, table food is the best thing you can feed your pets! Just keep in mind never mix kibble and raw food together in the same feeding(even to transition from kibble to the raw), because the two different foods are digested very differently.
Where the raw food is digested naturally and absorbed fully and properly to stick in the system where it is necessary resulting in a powder-like/non-smelly stool, the majority of kibble/commercial dry foods are not digested properly due to preservatives and additives that it basically go right through the animals system (which is a reason why their stool is usually disgusting, smelly, soft/textured, etc.).
So, if the two are mixed together, it confuses the digestive system which causes stress (on the digestive system) and could potentially cause bloat.
We usually suggest, for either daily feeding or transition periods, not to feed within 4-5 hours of each other (for example: the kibble/commercial food by itself in the morning and the raw food by itself at night). Dogs and cats' digestive system isn't like ours (we take 24 hours to fully digest and theirs takes about 4-5 hours). However you can mix COOKED food with your kibble safely!
We HIGHLY recommend you visit the DOG FOOD PROJECT website. They have all the info you need to know about dog food products. We rather just link to them as we could not put all their great info on one page.
Here is an interesting read on some 'tested' foods from Nov 2015
**We no longer can recommend ANY foods made by DIAMOND due to thehttp://efoodalert.net/2012/05/15/fda-releases-diamond-pet-foods-preliminary-inspection-report/ 06' and 2012 recalls. You may want to read this and download the FDA plant inspection report from May 2012.
Foods made by Diamond:
(Human grade and non human grade products:
Kirkland (Costco Brand)
Taste of the Wild
4-Health (Tractor Supply Brand)
Diamond Dog Food (their own brand)
All about diamond pet deaths in 06' read this.
++ 3/21/18 both champion pet food products (Acana & Orijen) have had some controversy please read: http://truthaboutpetfood.com/lawsuit-filed-against-champion-pet-food-acana-and-orijen/ and 11/2018 https://www.locklaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2018-11-14-Champion-Pet-Foods-Amended-Complaint-Washington.pdf
The company replied to us with this below- we will continue to follow:
Dear Fellow Pet Lovers,
The allegations contained within a Class Action Complaint that was brought against us on March 1st are meritless and based on misinterpretation of the data.
Let us assure you that our products are safe and that we systematically test our products at two third-party laboratories using the Official Methods of Analysis by Association of Analytical Communities (AOAC). While we plan to comprehensively refute the wide range of false allegations in a court of law at the appropriate date, in the interim we want you to be confident in the safety and quality of our products.
For more information, we urge you to read: ORIJEN and ACANA Foods in Comparison to Pet Food Safety Standards, here: http://bit.ly/2HMvJiy
As you know, our commitment to using fresh and raw meat and fish ingredients means that pets and Pet Lovers can count on Champion to provide safe, Biologically Appropriate™ nutrition. Much like the natural human food we consume, Champion Petfoods contains small traces of a range of naturally occurring elements. These so-called ‘heavy metals’ are found throughout the Earth’s environment, and the minuscule amounts of these substances found in Champion Petfoods are a safe and common component of both human and animal diets. Our Biologically Appropriate™ foods feature much higher levels of quality fresh and raw meat ingredients than conventional pet foods, including fish and seafood ingredients.
Please know that we are confident that we will prevail as the facts and evidence are presented to the court, and that these baseless claims will not deter us from our mission of delivering award-winning Biologically Appropriate™ foods. The legal complaint has no bearing whatsoever on the activities or operation of our business, and you will continue to enjoy the same high degree of professionalism and quality you have come to expect from Champion.
Thank you for your continued commitment to our company and our quality food products.