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What's in Your Pet's Food?

Above is a representation of ingredients common in low quality diets. The companies that make foods with these items in their product are marketing wizards. They put pictures of happy dogs and cats with fresh meat, fruits and vegetables all over the bag and the commercial, implying that these delicious items are in fact in the bag. They add dyes to the food to add to the facade and further trick consumers. In reality the ingredients above better represent what these foods really are. If they put that on the bag people would be turned away because that doesn't look appetizing at all. If it looks like something we would eat we are more apt to feed it to our pets. Unfortunately, standards and overall regulation on pet food is minimal so companies are allowed to misrepresent what is actually in the bag as long as they don't say it or write it on the bag. They don't regulate the pictures they put on bags which they should because, as they say, "a picture is worth a thousand words." This is where research is important. Although dogs may not outwardly appear to be unhealthy, there could be a lot going on inside that is being missed. Pets do a spectacular job at hiding their ailments. They live to please us as owners. This is why we take careful consideration of the products we carry. Our mission is not just a statement on a page. It is who we are as people and how we operate our business. We couldn't knowingly sell a diet we don't believe in for ourselves. Everything we have in our store we would give to our own pets. 
Just like humans, pets need a proper diet to maintain their health. They don't get a say in what they eat so it is up to us. This is why checking the label is so important. Many companies will meet the lowest standards, slap an appealing label on it and call it food. Our furry loved ones rely on us to provide them with the proper diet and really have no say, although I think we have a few that have trained their pet parents what they like to eat. That's a whole different blog topic though. With this in mind we have chosen not to carry foods unless they are highly rated. Many stores will carry everything from 1 star to 5 star foods: all in the same store, sitting right next to each other as if they are equals. Staying true to why we wanted to be in this business, we will not carry these inferior products. The companies that do, despite their claims, simply do not have your pets best interest at the forefront of their mission.  Your pets health is our mission, which is why ALL of the foods we carry are 4 stars or higher on dogfoodadvisor.com. If you aren't familiar with dogfoodadvisor.com, it is a great tool as they will break down the food by ingredient and give you an overall idea of their thoughts on the food. It is a great place to start researching what is in your pets food. 
So what makes the foods we carry better than others? For starters none of our foods have the typical low or non nutritional fillers like corn, wheat or soy. Now your major dog food manufacturers will actually tell you that not only are these ingredients not harmful but will advocate that it is healthy for your pet. They will say it contains essential nutrients and even advocate its a good source of protein. The foods we carry derive the majority of their protein from meat. Dogs don't particularly need carbohydrates. They can eat them and will eat them when needed but they would not typically be a large part of their diet. Carbohydrates would usually be introduced into their diet from eating the stomachs of their prey. Carbohydrates being a big part of your pets diet was introduced with the invention of kibble. Corn was the cheapest most abundant carb at the time. Corn was not ever advocated as a quality nutrient until the birth of kibble. The only way to make kibble is to use a carbohydrate. It's and unfortunate byproduct of the manufacturing process. There are better carbohydrate options which higher rated brands use. They use things such as sweet potatoes, pumpkin or lentils. These are a more nutrient dense option and can be better utilized by your pet. There is no reason to continue to use things like corn, wheat, and soy in a pets diet yet major manufacturers still do and even push it as being an essential part of the diet. 
The biggest thing that makes the foods we carry better, meat. Fact is dogs need the majority of their protein derived from meat, not plants, grains or meat byproducts. Dogs live as omnivores but are majority carnivorous. Their mouth and digestive system are built to rip, tear and digest meat more than they are anything plant based. Their bodies don't require carbs to create energy. They produce it from ingesting meat. Meat has a higher digestibility factor making the protein from it much easier for a dog to use. This is important because if your dogs can't access the protein then they aren't getting the essential building block of their body. Protein aids in skin and coat health, organ health, muscle health, strengthening the immune system, among many other things. It is a very important part of your pets diet and wear it comes from matters. A dogs physiology is set up to have meat as its primary food source, not carbohydrates. 
You might be saying to yourself at this point, "but yeah those foods are so expensive," or "I can't afford special foods." There are some that do have a higher price tag but not the majority of them. If your pet doesn't have dietary restrictions or special needs we have several great priced foods. We have foods for little as $42.99 for a 40lb bag for a four star food. Every dog is different but if price is scaring you away it doesn't have to. Stop in and take a look around. We have a wide range of foods that can meet most budgets and your pets needs to go along with it. As I have mentioned, our mission is to get your pets on a proper food to make them healthier. With that in mind we have selected a wide variety of foods at many different price points to meet as many needs for both parent and pet. 
What you feed your pet matters. It's up to consumers to hold manufacturers responsible for their peddling of inferior products. Clever marketing isn't going to keep your pet healthy but the food you feed them will. There is no need to have cheap unessential fillers in pet food to make it at a decent price. As many of the brands we carry have proven you can make a great, high quality dog food for a great price. If you want to research our foods a list of our kibble is below along with their star ratings. 
Acana - 5 Stars
Orijen - 5 Stars
Nature's Logic - 5 Stars
NutriSource - 4 Stars
Pure Vita - 4 Stars
Amicus - 5 Stars
Pulsar - 4.5 Stars
Fromm - 4/4.5 Stars
Zignature - 4.5 Stars
Victor - 4 Stars
Taste of the Wild - 4.5 Stars
Honest Kitchen - 4/5 Stars
Stella and Chewy - 5 Stars

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