I was very interested to see that Which Magazine’s canine nutrition ‘expert’ was conducting a review of the ‘top’ dog foods in this month’s issue. Great, I thought. This should make for interesting reading. Entitled, Is Pricey Pet Food Worth the Money, Siobhan Chan was supposedly investigating the top brands of dog and cat food, to see whether a more expensive food is any better for your pet’s diet.
Unfortunately, the scope of her ‘investigation’ was so narrow as to make the article barely worth reading. For instance, she only compared two brands of complete dry dog food – Wagg and Bakers. Well, any person with any real knowledge of canine nutrition will tell you that neither of these foods can really be classed as a ‘top’ dog food at all.
Both are supermarket type brands and in the case of Bakers, whilst it is apparently the country’s top-seller, it doesn’t make it a top dog food. Bakers is in my opinion, highly coloured, high additive, poor nutritional quality dog food, which I wouldn’t dream of feeding to any of my dogs. Whenever a client tells me that their dog is fed on it, I draw the analogy of feeding their children on burgers and smarties every day and strongly advise them to change their dog’s food to something of higher nutritional value.
Wagg sell a 15kg bag of their complete chicken and veg dry mix food for the princely sum of £10 on Amazon and when one points out the cost of manufacture, packaging, transportation, advertising and mark up for the point of sale, it doesn’t take a genius to deduce that the value of the actual food content must be very small. If we are being very generous, the cost of the ingredients of this cheap dog food can surely be no more than £5. A 15kg bag of dog food would feed a large breed, such as a Gsd, Dobermann etc. for a month and I would be surprised if any dog owner with their dog’s best interests at heart, would think that he would be getting good nutrition for 17 pence per day.
So, the usually very efficient Which magazine gets a Don’t Buy from me for this article. If you are really interested in feeding your dog a good quality diet, I can do no more than point you in the direction of the best dog food review site I know of, www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk
This site goes into great detail about nutritional value of virtually every dog food on the market, grading them all with a mark out of 5. Give it a visit, you will probably be glad you did.
Peter Mounsey, Ashclyst Dog Training and Behaviour Exeter. June 2016