Finding The Best Dog Foods on The Market
Breeders Choice Health Food For Dogs sends mixed signals.
The food we looked at this month is quite close to qualifying for our “Top Foods” list. It’s an interesting example of the progressive creep of the dog food industry toward the use of better ingredients – at least in the high-quality foods sector of the dry dog food market.
The maker of Health Food For Dogs, Breeder’s Choice of Irwindale, California, has a much better food on the market: Pinnacle, one of our favorite foods. Despite the optimistic name and cold claims on the front label (“Finest Meats & Grains . . . Nutritionally Superior”) this entry falls somewhere in the middle of their offerings in terms of quality; they have better, they have worse.
We far prefer the use of chicken meal to their mixed ingredient “poultry meal,” especially as a number one ingredient, but appreciate the use of lamb meal and fish meal to offer a rounded complement of amino acids. Aside from the “natural flavors” in the tenth position on the ingredients list, we don’t find anything wildly objectionable included. “Natural flavors” could be anything; in general, “flavors” are added to attract dogs to what otherwise be unappealing fare. With such basically decent ingredients, it seems unnecessary here.
Like many food makers who are rushing to include popular nutraceuticals in their foods, Breeder’s Choice has included herbs such as rosemary, sage, and yucca schidigera extract, some probiotics (bacillus subtilis and aspergillus oryzae), and plant enzymes (bromelain and papain, which are supposed to improve digestion) to appeal to supplement addicts – er, aficionados. The problem is, we don’t know how much of any of these are included, nor whether their inclusions would constitute a “therapeutic dose.” Therefore, we’d have to conclude the addition is just for show.
We thoroughly applaud the inclusion of the guaranteed kilocalories per cup of food (ME 400 Kcal/cup) on the label, as well as the “Best If Used By” date. We prefer for foods to also include a date of manufacture so we can buy the freshest food possible.
-By Nancy Kerns