Consumer Reports does it again claims all pet foods are the same.
Why, oh why, does Consumer Reports even “go there”? I have the utmost respect for the magazine’s reviews of vacuums and DVRs and such, but pet food is beyond their ken. Yet they persist. In “Tame Your Pet Costs” in the August issue, its authors advise readers not to “pay a premium for ‘premium’ dog food.” They put the quotes on premium dog food, to indicate their apparent opinion that there is no such thing. Sigh.
A quote: “Premium or otherwise, any food you see on supermarket and pet-store shelves that’s labeled ‘complete & balanced,’ ‘total nutrition,’ or ‘100 percent nutritious’ should meet the minimum standards for nutrition set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. That indicates that it’s adequate for the vast majority of healthy pets.” The short article goes on to indicate that the best buy the authors found was Ol’ Roy at Walmart, “for just 34 cents per pound.”
Can you think of anything nutritious you can buy for 34 cents per pound? No; just sawdust comes to mind. Sprinkle on some fat from a vat of road kill and a vitamin/mineral mix of dubious origin and call it a day!
I just don’t know how anyone could regard a dog (carnivore) food whose ingredients list starts with (as one example) turkey, chicken, and chicken meal as “just as good” as one that starts with corn, “meat and bone meal,” and soybean meal – even if the protein, fat, and vitamin levels in the two foods were equivalent.
“Bargain” prices are always an indication of cheap, low-quality ingredients. I will agree with Consumer Reports, however, that high prices may not necessarily correlate with high-quality ingredients; there certainly are plenty of high-priced foods competing in the “premium” niche whose ingredients don’t necessarily explain the price of the product. So many factors go into pricing that you have to look past the price to the ingredients to determine the quality of a food.
Allow me to rave positively about something else. Recently, two of our favorite behaviorists/authors, Patricia McConnell, PhD, and Karen London, PhD, published a great little book, Love Has No Age Limit: Welcoming an Adopted Dog into Your Home. They wanted to address a little-known problem having to do with dog adoptions: the fact that up to a third of dogs who get adopted in some areas end up being returned to the shelter. The goal of the book is to help guide folks with newly adopted dogs through the first few days, weeks, and months post-adoption – to avoid the most common mistakes that people make, and set up the dog and family for success.
Best of all, to make sure the book is affordable to cash-strapped animal welfare organizations, everyone involved with the book’s production agreed to discount the compensation for their work, so the book could be sold far below a typical retail price. Order it today from Dogwise for just $9.95; dogwise.com or (800) 776-2665.