"Quality" Pet Food Makers -- Who are they really?
People are learning about better foods, reading labels and knowing the names of the good brands.
Unfortunately some "quality brands" have been "acquired" by the "not good" ones or by private equity/investment firms (for sheer profit to shareholders)!
Sometimes reputable brands eventually cheapen their quality and ingredients for the sake of increased marketshare and profits, relying on their "reputable name-brand" -- ie: Eukanuba/Iams.
Learn to be better informed and educated about the various brands and companies, do not always believe what is advertised.
For instance, the Merrick brand: How can they claim to be proud makers of such "fine quality" brands such as B.G. and Merrick, yet sell a horrible product known as "Beef & More"? Most recently the FDA has stepped in to force Merrick to do a recall on their treats!
Avoid brands I've highlighted in RED.....I don't trust them and do not recommend them to any one, since I suspect they will eventually cheapen the quality and its ingredients.....
Any brands highlighted in GRAY.....please be cautionary, these brands experienced at least one recall (or more) which the company resolved without gov't intervention
Unfortunately things have been changing (not for the better) in the pet food industry, and most recently, Natura Pet was bought by Proctor&Gamble (no surprises).
- Champion Pet Foods: Acana, Orijen
- Fromm Family Foods: Four-Star, Gold Nutritionals, Fromm Classics
- Grandma Lucy's: Artisan Freeze-Dried/Grain-Free
- Horizon Pet Nutrition: Complete, and Legacy Grain Free
- Mulligan Stew:: Mulligan Stew Premium Baked Kibble
- Nature's Variety: Prairie, Instinct, Instinct RAW
- Petcurean Pet Nutrition: Now! Grain Free, Go! Natural, Summit Premium Holistic
- Performatrin Ultra: Pet Valu house brand ranging from dry to canned
- Wysong: Various lines ranging from dry to "Raw"
- Merrick: B.G.(Before Grains), Merrick, Beef & More -->absolutely horrible! **Aug.5/2010: There is another new recall on Merrick treats, please read their press release here**
- Natura Pet: (owned by P&G) California Natural, Innova, EVO, HealthWise, Mother Nature and Karma
- WellPet: (owned by Berwind) Wellness, Holistic Select, Old Mother Hubbard, Eagle Pack -- There is currently a class-action lawsuit against Wellness, filed in California alleging Wellness does not use human grade ingredients (as advertised), and uses by-products in their products. *Wellness is now in PetSmart USA -- this means soon into Petsmart Canada too.*
- Freshpet: Delifresh -- too high in sodium, farmed proteins (supplied by Tyson)
- Hagen: Nutrience
- Elmira Pet Products: Nutram
- Canisource -- I don't trust this company due to their misleading claims. In earlier marketing they proudly proclaimed their food comparable to the RAW diet which was not the case. They now have this statement on their website now: "This is why we can say it has the benefits of RAW with the convenience of a kibble!" How can they make such a claim? There are no grains in any raw diet, plain and simple. The company uses at least 3 grains, and for the longest time did not provide a complete guaranteed analysis (to ensure consistency of their ingredients, and breakdown of percentages).
- Oven Baked Traditions -- Another company which I don't trust. The company features several lines which all use at least 4 varieties of grains in their dog & cat foods! I'm concerned with the fact they all have an ingredient listed as "Natural Flavour" and this warning: (This product may contain trace amounts of peanut)
Their cat formula of Parallel has Vitamin K which more than likely is Menadione Sodium Bisulfate Complex (source of Vitamin K activity)... a known carcinogen.
** The companies noted below are the ones that I strongly stress you stay away from. They are traditionally known to be bad brands due to the poor quality ingredients alone, and if anyone needs information, simply google and find out for yourself!:
- Colgate Palmolive: Hill's Science Diet, Hill's Prescription Diet
- Del Monte: Kibbles 'n Bits, Milk Bone, Pup-Peroni, Snausages, Gravy Train, Nature's Recipe, Meow Mix
- Diamond Pet Foods: makers of Taste of the Wild, are private label manufacturers for these brands: Canidae, Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance, Kirkland Signature, Solid Gold, and others....
- Mars: Cesar, Greenies, Medi-Cal, Nutro, Pedigree, Royal Canin, Whiskas
- Proctor & Gamble: Eukanuba, Iams, and now recently acquired --> California Natural, Innova, EVO, Healthwise, Mother Nature, Karma **Aug.5/2010: There is yet another new recall on IAMS/EUKANUBA, please read their press release here**
- Purina: Alpo, Beneful, Cat Chow, Dog Chow, Fancy Feast, Friskies, Kitten Chow, Purina One, Pro Plan, Puppy Chow
There are many other brands not listed above, usually sold through mass merchant/big box chains, supermarkets and of course Petsmart & Walmart! If you do end up shopping at those places, or even Global/Ryan or Pet Valu, be aware they may have good food, but also sell alot of the BAD foods, because they are catering to the masses -- so educate yourself prior to shopping there!
I forgot to mention that I DO NOT RECOMMEND this website: www.dogfoodanalysis.com
Why? The people who run the website do not have any formal pet nutrition background, and they do not go far enough in their analysis to rank the foods properly. There are foods that contain harmful ingredients such as Menadione, and they are ranked high!?!? DFA doesn't factor in any past recalls, nor the actual background of the manufacturer of the brand of foods...
Example: Costco Kirkland-brand pet food (so many people swear by it because its cheap), an average at best food which does not deserve its high ranking. Its manufacturer is Diamond, which has traditionally recalled foods on a seemingly regular basis! And yes the Kirkland Signature brand dog food has been recalled before....for melamine.
Serious about foods and ingredients? I recommend this site for starters: www.dogfoodproject.com
The site is run by an actual certified/trained pet food nutritionist, and the site deals with in-depth information on ingredients, labels, nutrition and continually monitors food and recalls.