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Most dog food is just flavored grains with a little bit of meat. If you see made “with” real beef on your dog’s food bag, that means it only has to be 3% meat. So what’s the other 97%?

Unfortunately, it gets worse before it gets better. The most shocking part of dog food is that dog food companies can label their food with whatever it contains the most of. For example, if the dog food is “chicken” meal then that means the majority of the meat is chicken. But the rest can contain other animals like dogs, cats, squirrels, possums, snakes, rats, deer and horses. Yes, people have found dead dogs in dog food rendering plants.

If you’re as disgusted as I am right now, you’re probably thinking about what alternatives are out there. The good news is there are plenty of healthy options for your favorite pup. If you’re interested in learning more about the history of dog food and how we got here, we did a full podcast episode, check it out here!

Bad Dog Food: Purina Dog Chow

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Most kibble goes through an “extrusion” process where the company takes the ingredients like corn, lentils, rice, barely, and wheat flour and heat it to high temperatures and high pressure which destroys the nutrients. From there, the kibble is then shaped and cut so they all look the same. Companies then spray the cut up kibble with flavorings and synthetic vitamins to make it seem more appealing than it is. Dog foods like Purina Dog Chow have no nutritional benefit to your dog and may even be doing more harm than good.

Better Dog Food: Sundays

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Sundays is a much better option and is great for someone who doesn’t want to worry about keeping their dogs food in the fridge or defrosting it at the right time. Sundays is air dried, uses real whole food ingredients, and doesn’t go through a heating process which means the nutrients are not destroyed like they are in kibble. It is also “user friendly” because the food is still stored in a box and much more affordable when compared to some of the raw or gently cooked options.

Best Dog Food: Farmer’s Dog

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The best type of dog food is either raw or gently cooked. In the case of Farmer’s Dog, they cook the meat to eliminate any risk of bacteria living on the food. Farmer’s Dog is not processed at all which is why it arrives frozen when you order from their website. One common question people ask when thinking about feeding their dogs raw meat is “what about the risk of salmonella?”. It turns out, a dogs stomach is extremely acidic (ph of 1 or 2) and this helps to kill off this type of bacteria. Salmonella needs 4-10 ph to survive and thrive. A lot of the worry about salmonella is by big kibble because they don’t want you to buy raw food!

Here are more examples of Bad, Better and Best Dog Food. There is a downloadable PDF at the bottom of the image with links to all of the Better and Best dog foods!

Comment below what you feed your pup!

Bad, Better, and Best Dog Foods

About Clean Kitchen Nutrition

I go down the aisles of the grocery store so I can help you put the highest quality ingredients into your body!

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  1. Thank you! This info is much appreciated. Where does one go to get this info for cats?

    1. Glad you found it useful! I’ve not seen similar information for cats, maybe we’ll have to do that next!

  2. My Yorkiepoo is a very picky eater. We have changed her food numerous times. Need help, please!

  3. Please just keep in mind that with Farmers Dog, it is harmful for pets with pancreatitis as it’s high in fat. Something I learned from experience. We personally use “We Feed Raw”.

    1. Appreciate you adding that context. How have you liked “We Feed Raw”?