What to look for in your pet’s food.

Our pet’s are our family, so we want to keep them healthy and strong. Despite our best intentions, all too often I see people assuming that all the dog and cat food they see sold in the stores is ‘good’ for their pet. I wish that were the case, but it’s far from the truth. There are tons of food option out there that are frankly, crap. Most are ‘feed-grade’ instead of human-grade. Pet Safe explains on their site:

“…feed-grade ingredients have allowances for toxins, such as mold-produced mycotoxins, that are acceptable in significantly reduced quantities in human-grade foods. Meat ‘meals’ such as ‘meat and bone meal’ and ‘by-products’ come from the rendering process and can contain “dead animals from farms, ranches, feedlots, marketing barns, animal shelters, and other facilities; and fats, grease, and other food waste from restaurants and stores.”

The ‘best’ food for your pet depends on many factors, such as type of pet (duh), age, health, weight, indoor/outdoor, etc. There are some general guidelines you can follow though.

General Guidelines:

  1. Always. Read. The. Ingredients. List. Always.
  2. Things to avoid:
    1. “Meat-by product”
      • What is “meat-by product” you ask? Good question! A delicious (sarcasm) mix of Internal Organs, Hooves, Feces and Road Kill.
    2. Meat and Bone Meal – Similar to the above
    3. No chemical fillers, including:
      • Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) – known carcinogen
      • Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) – known carcinogen
      • Ethoxyquin (sometimes listed a ‘fish meal’)
      • Propylene Glycol (PG) – a derivative of antifreeze.
    4. Food Dyes: Blue 2, Red 40, and Yellow 5 and 6 – linked to cancer, behavior issues, and allergic reactions.
    5. Rendered Fat
    6. Corn and wheat gluten
  3. Things to look for that are GOOD:
    1. Made in USA
    2. No preservatives or natural preservatives
    3. Meat-based protein (real meat)
    4. Moderate levels of animal fat.

Looking for and finding food that meets all of these criteria can be difficult, so I’ve done that for you. All of the recommendations in the links below meet all of the criteria above!

I’ve broken them up into categories, but any food within these brands will be safe and healthy.

These are just a few of our very favorite brands that meet all of the guidelines above. Clicking on each will take you to their Amazon (for easy ordering) page where you can find and order all of their available products. We’ll be adding more as we come across them.

Healthy Cat Food Brands

Healthy Dog Food Brands

Taste of the Wild Cat Food Taste of the Wild Dog Food
The Honest Kitchen Cat Food The Honest Kitchen Dog Food
ACANA Dog Food ACANA Dog Food
Merrick Cat Food Merrick Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Blue Buffalo

If you have a suggestion, a brand you would like us to look into, or just anything you would like to see us cover, let s know here!

To avoid the longest list ever and to not put your finger through an excruciating scrolling exercise, I’ve put each set of recommendations into separate posts below.


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