Dog Food Ingredients


The following items represent some of The Dog Food Advisor’s most frequently asked questions about dog food ingredients.

What do the red items on an ingredients list mean?

Red ingredients are not always “bad”. They are only controversial. And when they are “bad”, some can be more troubling than others.

Corn would be a good example. You may find some 4 and 5-star dog foods that contain a few red items (like corn).

But they’re typically only minor issues — not nearly as worrisome as a suspected cancer-causing ingredient.

I’ve heard rosemary extract causes seizures. Is this true?

Rosemary is frequently used in dog food as a natural anti-oxidant and preservative.1 It’s also considered an anti-cancer agent.2

However, we’ve never been able to find any scientific studies linking rosemary extract with seizures in dogs. We’ve only found mention of its potential relationship in humans. And then, only rarely in subjects prone to epileptic seizures in the first place.3

Can beet pulp cause ear infections or stain a dog’s fur?

There are many rumors regarding the use of beet pulp in dog food. This fiber-rich ingredient has been accused of causing numerous canine maladies.

Some say it produces reddish tears that stain the facial fur of light-colored dogs. Yet beet pulp isn’t even red in color. It’s white.

Others claim beet pulp causes ear infections.

However, we’ve never found any scientific studies factually linking this ingredient to any of them.

Which ingredients most likely contain ethoxyquin?

Ethoxyquin is most likely associated with fish meals. But not raw fish. Because fish meals are rarely used in canned foods, most wet products can be considered ethoxyquin free.

As a pet food ingredient, is yeast bad for dogs?

Yeast can be a controversial item. Although yeast can sometimes be a by-product of the beer making industry, this ingredient can contain up to 45% protein… and is rich in other healthy nutrients.

Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.

Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.

What’s more, a vocal minority insist yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is something we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to yeast, most experts consider the ingredient a healthy addition.

I’ve heard that yeast ingredients causes ear infections in dogs. Is this true?

So far, I’ve never found any scientific articles linking canine ear infections to the yeast ingredients found in dog food.

In most cases, yeast infections are caused by living organisms found in (or on) a dog’s body itself. They are usually associated with other problems… like allergies or mite infestations.

Is garlic good or bad for a dog?

Garlic can be a controversial item. Although many favor the ingredient for its claimed health benefits, garlic (in rare cases) has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.4

In addition, garlic is also officially classified as “toxic to dogs” by the Poison Control Center of the ASPCA.5

So, even when used in only small amounts, one must weigh the questionable benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.6

Is sodium selenite good or bad for a dog?

Selenium is an essential mineral for both dogs and humans.

However, all minerals can be found in a dog food in various forms (such as elemental selenium and sodium selenite). And each form can have a different toxic threshold before it can be considered dangerous.

According to AAFCO, the maximum amount of selenium permitted in a dog food is 2.0 mg/kg… a figure which is 18 times the minimum (0.11 mg/kg) for this mineral.7

However, the National Academy of Science has not yet determined the safe upper limit (SUL) for most minerals… even selenium.

Although no one can assure you every dog food will be 100% safe from the potential long term build-up of specific minerals, one can take at least some comfort in the apparently safe margin between the AAFCO minimums and the maximums for selenium.

How can one be sure the vitamin and mineral content of a food is safe?

Technically speaking, you can almost never be sure. That’s because other ingredients (like grains, meats and bone) naturally contain minerals… before a dog food manufacturer actually adds the vitamin and mineral supplements to the recipe.

So, unless you test each and every batch of food, you never truly know whether you are exceeding the (still unestablished) safe upper limit of a mineral.

What’s the better source of essential omega-3 fatty acids for a dog… fish oil or plant oil?

There are many different kinds of essential omega-3 fatty acids. Yet not all of them are created equal.

Fish oil contains the prized EPA and DHA variety. These two fatty acids possess the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

On the other hand, plant-based sources of omega-3 oils (especially flax seeds) contain a much higher content of ALA (an omega-3 fat not as readily utilized by the body).

Yet ALA can be converted to EPA and DHA by the animal. However, this conversion process (of ALA to the superior EPA and DHA type) is notably limited (especially in dogs).

Bottom line? Fish oil is superior to flax and canola oils. But these plant-based omega-3 fats are probably better for a dog than no omega-3 at all.

What is methionine?

Methionine is an amino acid essential to both dogs and cats.

Methionine is added to a dog food not only to increase the supply of the nutrient itself but also to acidify the animal’s urine. This is reportedly done to prevent unsightly discoloration of grass and shrubbery.

Methionine is also used to help prevent the formation of struvite crystals in the urine. But unfortunately, it can also increase the potential for oxalate-type kidney and bladder stones, too.


  1. Bhale SD et al (2007), “Oregano and Rosemary Extracts Inhibit Oxidation of Long-Chain n-3 Fatty Acids in Menhaden Oil”, Journal of Food Science, Nov 2007, 10.1111/j.1750-3841
  2. Teuscher E (2005), Medicinal Spices (First edition), Stuttgart: Medpharm
  3. Burkhard, PR et al (1999), “Plant-induced seizures: reappearance of an old problem”, Journal of Neurology 246 (8): 667–670
  4. Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005)
  5. Garlic, Poison Control Center, ASPCA
  6. Sharon Gwaltney-Brant DVM, Veterinary Toxicologist, Vice President and Medical Director, ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in an interview with Dr. Bernadine D. Cruz for Pet Life Radio, Pets Have a Real Taste for Danger
  7. Association of American Feed Control Officials, Official Publication, 2008 Edition, p. 131
  • haleycookie

    Hello I did some looking around for you and found a couple options. I sure never realized how many brands put one or the other ingredients in their food. However I found a few. Merrick puppy and their backcountry raw infused puppy and classic puppy contain neither, big 25lbs bags of any of merrick range from 50$ To 70$. Merrick classic is the only one that includes grains and backcountry has raw bits in with the kibble. Canidae pure puppy comes in 24lbs bags for around 60$. and orijin puppy food is considered one of the best and comes in 25lbs bags for around 80$ ish I do believe. Organix puppy food is not grain free and only comes in 12lbs bags. Whole earth farms puppy comes in 30lbs bags for 40$ they are a company owned by merrick and the food does have grains in it. Then there’s nutro max puppy. Only comes in 12 lbs bags as well. Hope I helped. There’s probably more out there but if I was avoided those ingredients these would be the ones I’d consider feeding. Good luck!

  • Beth Ducote

    Does anyone know what puppy food has no beet pulp and no tomato

  • theBCnut

    A lot of the powdered greens have green tea in them, which is not ok for dogs, so it depends on the ingredients.

  • sharron

    the vet suggested a limited ingredient food such as acana singles, this happened once before quite a few years ago when i gave her a food with rabbit in it – it could have been the orijen formula with boar and bison in it that triggered the excessive licking etc.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    I hope the vet advised her accordingly, maybe prescription food and a referral to a specialist.

  • InkedMarie

    Ah ok

  • InkedMarie

    I think I missed the too much meat protein.

  • sharron

    i took her off the orijen because of the consistent paw licking, scooting and scratching – i took her to the vet because she had licked one paw so much that she had licked down to the skin – she didn’t do that before feeding her orijen – that’s why i changed and i am trying home cooked meals, which so far is going ok

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    If I remember correctly, the vet advised her against Orijen, too much meat protein or something?
    Just my opinion, but, It may be best if she refers her questions to the vet that has examined the dog. As it appears that she has specific concerns that would be best answered by him.
    Also, the supplements mentioned are not intended for veterinary use. I hope that answers that question.

  • InkedMarie

    She is eating Orijen (I think thats the one)….why are you looking to change, again? As I said to you earlier this week, you’re the only one I’d say to leave her on one food.

  • sharron

    i wasn’t going to ask anymore questions but i need an answer to this one please – i have started Lexee on a homemade diet which is going well – i would like to know if i can add the powered greens to her diet – this what i take, you mix it water – it’s called progressive vegegreens – would it harmful to give to a dog…..thanks

  • L Walker

    I was just informed that Nutro uses non GMO ingredients, which sounds great to me, however, the reviews for their products are terrible! Any comments? Thanks

  • L Walker

    Corn is not good for people or dogs because it along with soybeans (and sugar for people) are some of the most genetically modified ingredients out there, which is the most unhealthy food a person or animals could eat. Also cheap food equals vet bills and shorter life span for your animals. I know from experience before I realized my extremely regrettable mistake!

  • Closeup of guidelines

  • New AAFCO Definition and Guidelines for Human Grade

    1) Definition
    2) Guidelines

  • Tonight’s menu

    Recipe is for 1 day of food for 100 lbs of dog. everything is organic except Carnivore Blend. Chicken is free-range.
    – 28 oz boneless-skinless chicken breasts.
    – 3 oz chicken liver
    – 4 oz pureed broccoli.
    – 4 oz smashed banana.
    – 3 tablespoons sprouted-ground flax seeds.
    – 3 tablespoons Carnivore Blend by BalanceIt.
    – 1 tablespoon organic coconut oil

    Cut up chicken into cubes, size of cube depends on size of dog. Combine all ingredients in large pan or pot and cook over low temps until chicken is pink only in the middle. If dog has any kind of compromised immunity or has never had lightly cooked foods before, cook until white all the way through

    Picture 1 shows low flame
    Picture 2 shows everything in pan

  • Hi JeremyScott10

    Doc Harvey’s pre-mixes; Veg To Bowl,
    Veg To Bowl Fine Ground, and Canine Health, are all similar to the pre-mixes from The Honest Kitchen.

  • JeremyScott10

    Thanks for taking the time to reply el doctor. I’ve been looking for different pre-mixes ever since Steve stopped making his, and I like the idea of alternating. Do you consider Dr. Harveys similar to Honest Kitchen?

    I will look into both Call of the Wild and Carnivore Blend, and will let you know how it goes. And thank you for the other healthful food suggestions!

  • Hi JeremyScott10

    Thanks for the compliments 😉

    I do heat the seeds. When it comes to pre-mixes I see two different kinds. There are whole food ones like Preference from The Honest Kitchen and there are ones like Call Of The Wild from Wysong, Steve’s Dinner Mixes (extinct?), and Carnivore Blend by BalanceIt.

    Preference is not my type of pre-mix, when prepared as directed it is much too carbohydrate intensive for my liking, and if you increase the meat without increasing the pre-mix, you are in danger of long term complications from unbalancing the diet

    I see the other 3 I listed as more of a vitamin/mineral supplement to complete and balance an all meat, or mostly meat diet. Either way they all balance the diet, but if you want to keep the diet below 15% carbs on an energy basis, you can’t use the whole food ones like Preference.

    For palatability Call Of The Wild beats Carnivore Blend. For science backed nutrient supplementation, Carnivore Blend is the winner.

    I don’t believe in making every meal 100% nutritionally balanced as this is not what’s found in nature and I suspect that it could even be causing harm. So I have no problem rotating between the Carnivore Blend and the Call Of The Wild. I also add things like eggs, organs, sardines, broccoli, peas, unsweetened apple sauce, sprouted seeds and nuts…

    I will try to list some recipes standardized to a 100 lb dog to make it easier for people to adjust to their particular dog or dogs total weight.

  • JeremyScott10

    Impressive and interesting!

    Do you also heat the seeds?

  • On the menu tonight for the furballs are organic free-range chicken breasts, with a side of organic, sprouted, freshly ground sunflower and pumpkin seeds, lightly browned in olive oil.

    Spiced with oregano (antioxidant powerhouse). Supplemented with mannose (prebiotic, and good for the urinary tract), probiotic (34 strain, 100 billion cfu’s), and Wysong, call of the wild (vitamin and mineral supplement.)

    Yes, they eat waaaay better than I do 😉

  • On the menu tonight for the furballs is lightly browned, organic free-range chicken breasts, with a side of organic, sprouted, freshly ground sunflower and pumpkin seeds.

    Spiced with oregano (antioxidant powerhouse). Supplemented with mannose (prebiotic, and good for the urinary tract), probiotic (34 strain, 100 billion cfu’s), and Wysong, call of the wild (vitamin and mineral supplement.)

    Yes, they eat waaaay better than I do 😉

  • Maryy

    I have a white and tan Malshi too. He had the red staining until we went grain free. I switched to Annamaet Salcha (a five star food) and all grain free treats. (Greenies first ingredient is wheat gluten). I also had to make my husband quit giving him a little piece of pizza crust or cookie. If the grain free does not work try getting rid of chicken, this is the usual meat a dog may be allergic to. We are currently using Merrick treats, however as they are in the process of being bought out by Purina I have to find another brand. All I can say is look at the ingredients, reviews, where the dog food is made, the number of recalls. Another good source of information is You will be appalled by what the pet food companies are doing.

  • Liliana Musolino

    I have a 1year old malshi, she is mostly white. I hate the stains around Her eyes and they are always wet. At one time it was always stinky. I use a hot washcloth on her eyes most days.
    What causes this. I was wondering if it’s the dyes in the food. If that’s the case, what good dog food has no dyes. She is s very picky eater and I have switched her food about 4 times, Rachel Ray, blue buffalo, were the last 2 brands Thank you

  • Jenai Herod

    why do they use tomato in ANY form in dog food since its common knowledge that tomatoes are very acidic and not a normal nutrient for dogs In MANY cases i have seen it cause serious skin reactions in several medium to large breeds , i would cant even think about trying these foods that otherwise look healthy but the TOMATO makes it impossible for my dogs ,one even breaks out in chicken pock like bumps within less than 2 hours of eating tomato anything and requires oatmeal baths and benedryl immediately . its just a risky food to add in my opinion and is frustrating to have everything else I look for in dog food BUT that TOMATO cant be there

  • Dori

    Most dog food stores will happily take back food for any reason, especially medical ones, and exchange it for a different food.

  • Most canned foods don’t have preservatives due to the canning process. You could just use canned food for the chi on meds while searching for kibble.

  • Deborah Smith

    I just bought a 35 lb bag of food and it does have it… Crap I’m sure chihuahuas are on that list. Thank you for your help one of mine does have to take phenobarbital for seizures she has ate some because it is mixed with their present food. Back to the drawing board.

  • Dori

    From all that I have read and also from general conversations with my dogs vet, there are studies that have been done in humans that purport the theory that if you are pre-disposed to seizures, rosemary in any form can trigger a seizure. No studies have been done in animals yet no doubt to the cost of these studies. If you have a dog with a history of seizures than my advice would be to avoid rosemary. There are also web sites that can tell you what dogs are pre-disposed to seizures. Of course it doesn’t include all dogs but some breeds are more disposed to different health issues. Hope I’ve helped.

  • DogFoodie

    If my dog was known to have a seizure disorder, there is enough evidence that supports avoiding rosemary.

  • Deborah Smith

    So is Rosemary ok in a dog food or not? I have read both ways.

  • Babslynne
  • Bobby dog

    Hi B. Craig:
    Your dog will more than likely be fine eating
    corn. Added chemical preservatives, artificial colors/flavors, or meat and bone meals would be more concerning IMO. There are several foods that use corn as the main carb that are 4 & 5 star rated on DFA. Keep an eye out for any negative reaction; if your dog does well Sandy’s suggestion of rotating it with another grain free food could help with your budget. Here’s the link to the thread Sandy mentioned for budget friendly dog foods:

    I recommend this electronic download from Steve
    Brown, “See Spot Live Longer the ABC Way.”
    It has info on how to improve any kibble (1-5 star rated) with fresh foods you can buy affordably from your grocery store. You can feed the fresh foods at once or as toppers for several meals.

    Here’s a link to a thread on the forum side with some
    info on keeping pet food costs down. Look for my post dated October 17, 2014 at 11:48 am. Be sure to check out all the posts on this thread for other food
    recommendations too.

  • If you look in the Forum section, there’s a topic called “budget friendly dog foods”. Or you could tell us your budget and folks might be able to make some suggestions.

  • Adding some oil to the corn food won’t prevent a negative reaction. Besides the corn, your dog could react to other ingredients if he has a sensitivity to them or is just not used to eating them such as food color, by-products, other grains like wheat or rye, soy, etc. I’m just listing random ingredients since you didn’t actually name the product. If your dog has a negative reaction, that could actually end up costing you more than buying the grain free food your dog is accustomed to. If your dog seems ok with the corn food, you could stretch your budget some by alternating with the grain free food and the donated food.

  • B. Craig

    A local animal shelter recently donated some dog food with corn ingredient to me. I normally feed my dog grain free dog food that is more natural. Is there anyway I can add olive oil or something similar to this dog food with the corn ingredient so my dog will not have a negative reaction to it? The grain free brands are expensive so I am trying to save money.

  • Regarding rosemary extract and dogs, please read the 3 scientific footnotes referenced in my reply.

  • AM
  • JudyandSam Simpson Norris

    Are there any dry dog foods that don’t have yeast in them. Mine is allergic to yeast, soy, white potatoes and chicken

  • Pattyvaughn

    It shouldn’t be legal, especially if those are legally defined terms and the definitions don’t legally match. It’s kind of amazing what dog food manufacturers can get away with.

  • USA Dog Treats

    I just heard about Addictions new food line, Wish Bone Pet.

    The lamb formula is called Pasture and it uses Free-Range New Zealand Lamb. The first ingredient is Lamb Meal. I searched for suppliers of New Zealand Lamb Meal and I couldn’t find any. I checked out Dar Pro: because they are one of the big suppliers of Meat Meals used in Pet Foods.

    On their home page they describe themselves as:

    “America’s oldest, largest and most innovative recycling solutions company serving our nation’s food industry”

    OK, they are food recyclers. Then I looked at the MSDS for their product called “LAMB MEAL”and the ingredients are listed as:
    “Substance: Dehydrated Lamb By-Products”

    So they can call a product “LAMB MEAL ” that only contains “Lamb By-Products”.

    Then I looked at the rest of their Meals.

    “Substance: Dehydrated Beef By-Products”

    “Substance: Dehydrated Chicken By-Products.”

    “Substance: Dehydrated Turkey By-Products”

    They also sell “CHICKEN BY-PRODUCT MEAL”
    Substance: Dehydrated Poultry By-Products”
    (Doesn’t even have to be chicken, can be POULTRY)

    “Substance: Dehydrated Turkey By-Products”

    I found this information disturbing. A dog food manufacturer can buy Dar Pro’s Beef Meal, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal or Lamb Meal which are made from By-Products and legally list the ingredient on a pet food label as Beef Meal and not Beef By-Product Meal and so on!

    I would ask the manufacturer of any Dog Food I was planning to buy to show me the MSDS for the Meat Meals used in their products. I can’t believe it is legal to do this.

  • anushka laprade

    what about almond meal for dogs

  • guest

    freeze dried is the way tgo go for raw diets for dogs and cat… sorry I didn’t fread all the way before I posted on egg shell powder… can I say a brand on this post? I will be happy to tell what a few friends use and their yorkies are just so healthy looking.i am thinking of using this . my little guy never has had any tummy issues and he is 6 years old.

  • guest

    use 1/8 teaspoon for small dog’s of egg shell powder . I also have a yorkie but he is a big guy almost 7 lbs. also I use canned pumpkin (not pie filling) but pure pumpkin it’s made by farmer’s market free of bpa in cans and its organic I give a teaspoon daily into his home made food he loves it and keeps tummy happy and very good for your fur child be a cat or dog. I had a fur baby to live 20 + years on nothing but home made are a good mom your fur child will thank you.

  • Terri

    2 weeks into a cooked home made diet for my 11 yr old 9# Yorkie and he’s transitioned really well from commercial canned food. I can’t seem to find info on quantities/frequency of egg shell powder, brewers yeast, multi vitamin (I’ve turned them into powder) and other added veggies, etc. (spinach, pumpkin, cottage cheese are great!) The recipe itself appears good with good feedback and helpful comments (added Omega 3, the egg shell powder, etc.) I also can’t seem to find an animal nutritionist (I live in VA). I’m also beginning a raw home made diet for my cats as well (5 & 7 yrs old) Where do I go for answers and help? Thanks so much! Terri

  • dogmama

    hi hound dog mama,

    thank you for the article and advice! we’re considering moving them to a raw diet (we have 5 dog kids), but I’m not sure which is the best choice…I’ve read just a little about feeding raw, but it seems there’s such a dispute over making sure to have the perfect balance of nutrients, otherwise it could harm them…I’ll look into it more…

    our border collie mix recently had gas and poop back up in his intestines and cause him terrible pain and discomfort…after several terrifying days and nights in and out of the emergency vet (who did nothing for him), it thankfully abated and he was fine, but ever since I’m constantly on edge and worried about bloat… do you know if it might help for us to soak their food for a bit before they eat it? from what I read, almost all bloat cases have 2 things in common: the dogs ate a high carbohydrate dry food that contained yeast… from what I read, bloat is almost unheard of in a raw diet, so if we can find a good one, we’d like to go that direction…

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi dogmama –

    This article might help you better understand exactly what selenium yeast is:

    Honestly, it’s such a minor component of the formula I wouldn’t be concerned about it contributing to the risk of bloat. I have bloodhounds, a breed that is highly susceptible to bloat, and in the past when I fed kibble (my current crew is on raw) I fed several foods with selenium yeast and never experienced an issue. I personally would prefer to see selenium yeast, the more natural form of selenium, rather than sodium selenite. If bloat is such a big concern for you I would highly recommend forgoing kibble all together in favor of a species-appropriate raw diet (most preferable) or home cooked, canned or dehdyrated foods. While nothing can completely eliminate the risk of bloating, dogs fed moist foods are much less prone to bloat than dogs fed kibble.

  • dogmama

    I’ve got a question – is selenium yeast and yeast the same thing? I’m really concerned about the possibility of increasing chances of bloat. we’re in the process of switching our dog kids to orijen adult dog, which lists selenium yeast as one of the added items.

  • lilbear

    my dog just had bladder surgery. He had crystals. I tried the prescription SO diet from the Vet however he also has Pancreatitis. Now he is on a WET dog food diet and cranberry tablets. I use canned dog food now and so far he is ok.

  • Shawna

    Thanks for the tip leowong!!

    I looked it up and it has certification. Didn’t know what the certification meant though so looked that up. Looks like the real deal from what I can tell..
    Thanks again!!

  • leowong

    We used to buy Italian EVOO, but after that article we’ve switched to

  • Shawna

    Very interesting!!! Thanks for posting…

    I wouldn’t replace quality omega 6 fats or omega 3 fats with olive oil but rather add this in addition to if the dog can afford, like yours, the extra fats.

    Also worth metioning is there has been lots of chatter suggesting the olive oil we buy (extra virgin) is not as pure as we may be lead to believe.

    “According to Tom Mueller, the fearless author of Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil, 70 percent of the extra virgin olive oil sold worldwide is watered down with other oils and enhancers making them far from virgins and more like sidewalk hookers on the corner of 10th and Main — not exactly good for your health or your pocketbook.”

    And I will admit, the EVOO that I buy at Whole Foods and Trader Joes looks nothing like the stuff my doctor sells in her clinic—-which is quite pricey and a beautiful shade of green. 🙁 Is there anything that industry won’t cheapen?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    They had an article on olive oil in pet food industry back in March, kind of interesting. It sounds like there may be some benefits animals can derive on from olive oil, but I don’t think there’s really been enough research on it to say for sure.

    “Unrefined olive oils, like extra virgin and virgin olive oil, possess a number of minor constituents (0.5% to 5%) that have noted effects on animal physiology. These include antioxidant compounds such as α-tocopherol (vitamin E), beta carotene and squalene, pigments from various chlorophyll derivatives and more than 36 unsaponifiable phenolic metabolites. The most prominent of these include hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, oleuropean aglycone and oleocanthal. These phenolics have been reported to possess anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties (Cecerale, 2011). It is these properties that might be meaningful in pet diets.”

    “Use of olive oil in the diet as a remedy for canine atopy was found beneficial in combination with borage oil (Harvey, 1999) but not alone (Bond and Lloyd, 1992).”

    “The addition of olive oil in the diet had a positive effect on digestibility when compared to sunflower oil for both dogs (Bellesta, 1991) and cats (Peachey, 1999). It might play a role in feline weight control by influencing energy intake and lipid oxidation in vivo (Jeusette, 2010). So, there does seem to be something worth considering, but clearly missing is any direct evidence regarding the effects the minor constituents in the virgin olive oils might have on animal health.”

  • Shawna

    I’ll email you in the morning Lea!! I need to look at what foods don’t have rosemary (not sure off the top of my head). I also have some thoughts on how to lower your pups seizure threshold..
    I prefer salmon or better krill oil be added by you as it is pretty easy for the oils in kibbles to go rancid by the time the whole bag is used up. Sardines are an inexpensive, low mercury, way to add high quality omega 3 oil into the diet. High quality eggs are a good source as well.
    Yes, not only is it okay to add water but adding a small amount actually helps digestion as the body needs water to make hydrochloric acid which helps digest the protein in the food. Don’t want to add too much but some is good. Or a canned food topper would be a good option too. Kill two birds with one stone and add some slightly watered down kefir (if your dogs tolerate milk—-that way you get water, probiotics and high quality protein). Goat kefir is better as it isn’t as likely to cause intolerance / allergy issues but is kinda pricey..
    Ummm, 🙂 I’ll email with more tomorrow..

  • Lea J Smith


    Our girl is broken out pretty much everywhere except her tummy, and has bouts of soft stool and/or diarrhea. She also has trouble holding it when she has to go poo. She also doesn’t drink as much water as she should, but loves ice.

    I am looking for a dry dog food that is not out of this world on price, and has or has not the following ingredients (Ha ha):

    ~ without fillers or chemical preservatives and the like (obviously)

    ~ without rosemary (one of our dogs is prone to seizures)

    ~ With peas instead of rice or potato (I am conflicted about sweet potato because of fungus). Why don’t manufacturers use yams instead?

    ~ with a high quantity of live cultures

    ~ with a sufficient quantity of salmon oil or the equivalent omega 3’s to avoid using fish oil caps

    As a side note, I would like to know if it is OK to add water to a high quality kibble that does not swell to help our girl get more liquid.

    Please email me at [email protected]

    Anyone else who can help, feel free to contact me as well.

    Thank you!

  • Shawna

    Hi Brian,

    It is “ok” to give dogs small amounts of extra virgin olive oil but it really won’t benefit them much. Dogs have no known requirement for the omega 9 fatty acid in olive oil. By including more than just small amounts you can add the calories of fat without the benefits from omega 6s and 3s or the short chain saturated fatty acids in coconut oil.

    If you want to add extra fats to the diet it is a better option in my opinion to feed high quality eggs with the yolk (yolk NOT cooked), sardines (packed in water), organic extra virgin coconut oil, ghee, pumpkin seed oil etc.

    Organic EV coconut oil has MANY therapeutic benefits and is very very healthy in regular, small amounts. A bit pricey for the quality stuff though.

  • brian

    is it ok to use virgin olive oil on dog food

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Most feel grain-free diets are more species appropriate. I do personally feed my dogs a diet free of grains (homemade raw) – but I don’t think all grain-free foods are necessarily superior to grain-inclusive foods. The reason I say this is that there’s a lot of hype surrounding grain-free right now, it’s a big trend in the pet food industry. Many companies are putting out grain-free foods, but many of them aren’t quality foods and aren’t any more species-appropriate than some grain-inclusive foods out there. The companies that merely replace the grains with white potato or tapioca or peas or canola without boosting the meat content aren’t improving their product – imo. If you want to go grain-free that’s great, but be sure to check the ingredients list and general analysis. Look for a food with at least 30% protein and, preferably, at least two meat ingredients before the first plant ingredient – otherwise you’re just paying more because the bag says “grain-free” and likely won’t be getting any nutritional benefit beyond what a quality corn, wheat and soy free food can provide.

  • Lara

    I feed dog food that is corn/soy/gluten free. Is grain free important too?

  • Pattyvaughn

    Apparently, it matters what chemicals the rosemary was processed with to get the extract or to extract the oil. Not all rosemarys are the same.

  • Well our vet has said that he has been sent numerous reports that the arguement right now is that rosemary oil is not the same as rosemary extract. Then in another report it will say it does not matter if it is rosemary oil or rosemary extract- either is beleived as a potential trigger.Still another report had mentioned that since rosemary extract or mixed tophoerals (which is a mixture with rosemary in it) has been introduced into pets foods there has been a higher number of reports of seizures in pets. OUR VET HAS STATED THAT SINCE OUR DOG DOES HAVE SEIZURES AND THIS DEBAIT IS CURRENTLY GOING ON- JUST STOP USING KIBBLE
    OR TREATS WITH IT IN IT. Which honestly is easier said than done.
    We can tell you that you need to read your labels EACH time you buy your food or treats. We had an incident about a year or so ago. Our dog who had been basically considered UNDER CONTROL with seizures started having break outs again. We found out that our pet food had started putting rosemary in it about a month before. We changed her food to another brand and the breakouts stopped. It could of been just a coincidence, but it is better to play it safe than sorry.

    This being said NOT ALL THE SAME ITEMS CAN BE TRIGGERED for a pet. Just some are more senstive than other pets.

  • InkedMarie

    The most important thing for a dog with crystals is to make sure she gets enough liquid. If you feed kibble, add canned and water to it. You may want to ask your vet about vitamin C

  • Pattyvaughn

    If you are up to making a homemade diet, ask your vet to go to a get you a recipe. Homemade is the best that you can do for a dog with crystals, more moisture is always better, and quality ingredients are too.

  • I am looking for a better diet for my dog with crystals in her urine.

  • losul


    yeah, it’s the nature of the beast

  • aimee

     I don’t seem to be communicating my thoughts well.

    If I eat raw kidney beans I’m likely going to vomit. Cooking however renders them safe to eat. Is every single last lectin molecule destroyed… no but most are which is why I can safely eat them. Knowing this I still choose to eat kidney beans : )

    Gliadin, a protein,  is not destroyed by heat and in certain genetically predisposed people it triggers an immune based reaction.

    Knowing this I still choose to eat wheat.

    I choose not to vilify whole classes of foods, I don’t think it is valid to do so. Others choose differently. If everyone avoided every food that had some problematic component we’d all starve.  Eating is always risky.

    Another way of looking at it… did dogs during their evolutionary past lose “tolerance”for lack of a better word??  And have we not been inadvertently selecting for animals with “tolerance”?   Heck entire new species have arisen in only a mere 15,000 years so I don’t see why we haven’t influenced the genetic make up of the dog.

    It is the anti nutrients… anti proteases and phytic acid which protect against cancer.

  • Shawna

    Talking around the question doesn’t answer the question aimee..

    So what you are saying is that lectins CAN be problematic to those that are suseptible right?  That’s the only thing I’m saying too.. 

    Which breed of dogs has a strong and long history of eating wheat, corn, barley, rice, potato in that they would have a genetic history of tolerance to these foods?

    You think anti nutrients eaten day in / day out have benefit?  Please do explain. 

  • aimee

     Shawna.. I said I think it is silly to vilify ingredients.. I realize others do not : )

    I also said that processing and extrusion renders “most”… not all of the factors harmless. Besides, anti nutrient factors aren’t always bad they can be beneficial too!

    Is gliadin even a true lectin? Previously I thought you said some thought it was only “lectin like”.

     I always understood gliadin to be a protein and in particular I thought it is a peptide sequence that is responsible for the reaction seen in those individuals with a genetic susceptibility for celiac disease.

  • aimee


    No…I wasn’t referring only to ingredients you’ve talked about. I was referring to all ingredients. There are pro’s and con’s to nearly every ingredient used in commercial kibble production. 

  • Alexandra

    Thanks so much!

  • Shawna

    Absolutely Alexandra!!  I’ll email you my phone number and the best times to call me…

  • Alexandra


    Completely off topic, is there a way we can communicate over the phone?

    Wanted to talk about vaccinosis.

  • losul

    A threatening post? It was absolutely not meant to sound that way, although I now see where it easily could be construed that way, and in hindsight it did sound very condescending. I wish I could at least  reword that last sentence. What i meant was please don’t EVEN try eating any of the things mentioned. 

    I invite any intelligent discussion with Aimee, whether she disagrees with me or not, just as we civilly discussed the omnivore carnivore thing.My sincerest apologies to Aimee

  • Pattyvaughn

    There are loads of food items that are also used for various things in industry.  It’s crazy to say something is bad for no other reason than for what other use it has been put to.

  • Shawna


    What a condescending and dismissive post!

    Wouldn’t you think if extruding rendered lectins harmless that celiacs and those with gluten intolerance would have absolutely no issue at all with cereal. YET, they DO… Explain that one?

    If it was as easy as you say to render lectins harmless don’t you think we’d see processed foods using wheat that are “lectin free” instead of forcing those with gluten intolerance to eat “gluten free” diets?

    Really aimee it takes only a little common sense to figure out that IF it can be done they would have done it for humans already. So where’s all these foods that contain wheat or barley but are still safe for those with gluten intolerance?

    And yes, I agree, there is no way to avoid them all..  Makes sense though to avoid those that are the most problematic if one is going to feed one food for a lifetime…..

  • google German Amflora potato.  It is also used in different industries which includes glue.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Wow, while Aimee disagrees with a lot of what is said here, I have never heard her sound like she was threatening someone.  Are you frustrated because you’re not getting anywhere with whatever your agenda is,  because I hope you don’t normally talk to people like that.  I found it very offensive.

  • Johnandchristo

    I don’t blame you for not wanting me to know who are. Is the term “thugs” really appropriate? Flaming is against the rules just like using fake screen names.  You seem to have problem staying inside boundaries  of the rules.Cant you make your point more politely?
    You must be tired by now you have been up all night. 
    Why not get some rest? Sleep will help you to be more rational.

  • losul

    I will gladly give him my full name, not you,  I’m sure he can check out the false claims you are making about me, and it’s not a personal war just because I don’t fit into your status quo of thugs so quick to take any one out who dares to question the BrandX you speak of.

  • Johnandchristo


    You do use fake multiple screen names. You exposed yourself. You have been told to take your personal war with Brand X somewhere else. Deceit is all you are. I hope Dr Mike does review them, so he can see how foolish you look. Dr Mike knows me and know who I really am. Can you say the same? 

  • Mike P

    Mike S should not have to review anything.All grown people here and this stuff is childish.There is a group of people here that are trying to discredit a certain someone and it’s so obvious.From tapioca to meat content and everything in between making claims that are a stretch just to get a rise out of a segment of DFA’ers that actually use this certain food.The people throwing rocks to my knowledge have never even tried this food that they are attacking.Why comment on a food you never tried unless you are asking for life experiences from people that have used this food so you can decide for yourself if you want to try this food for your own dog.No that’s not the agenda for some.They have no interest in the food at all.I think for some it’s just a game to see how much trouble they can create and high five each other when they find their target.Sorry Mike S for this post but being here for the last 2 years I have found food that my dog thrives on and am very thankful for it.

  • losul

    Oh gee, now the pot’s calling the kettle black?

    who started it?  I don’t use multiple anythings, and I certainly dont use deceit. DECEIT is exactly what I’m against. I guess I’ll delete (most) mine too, since mine will be totally out of context without anyone seeing the rest of the foolishness.

    But maybe Mike should review them ALL from both parties pre-deletement anyway. Maybe you have more to lose than I.

  • Johnandchristo

    I deleated my posts to save Dr. Mike the trouble this is not allowed on the DFA and neither is using multiple fake ID’s to deceive other posters

  • Johnandchristo

    Losul the magic dragon don’t do drugs, LSD is really harmful. You are funny, I take back my last post!

    I’ll give you the last word, I gotta run. When I get home I’ll call child protective service, my good deed for the day.

  • losul

    oh you deleted your cute little dragon drawings down now that you spent so much time on?. Shucks, I was going to have my grandson finish coloring them in for you.

    toodles Johnny

  • Johnandchristo

    You should have some kool aid, the kind that george jones made LOL!! 

  • losul

    I certainly don’t drink the sugar in your kool-aid

  • Johnandchristo

    Oh no you have reproduced??

    I don’t play games, what drawings are you referring to? Have ODed on sugar? 

  • losul

    Nice little dragon drawings and cartoons you make BTW. They’re almost as good as my 5 year old grandson’s. When are you going to color them in? Through out the wee hours of the morning? He’d probably enjoy your little childish insult game too.

  • Johnandchristo

    Great I always wanted a pet dragon, well when I was three. 

    I’m glad all the role players hang out in the wee hours,

    Have another soda little dragon. Its not healthy but it will fuel your midnight hate operation. I don’t sell BTW,
    I buy. I also work so see you later. Have fun on the inter-net, maybe today you can pretend to be a Dr,
    or somebody real smart!! LOL! 

  • losul

    thanks I really like yours too


  • Johnandchristo

    Great screen name.

    IN the magic land of neopia there is the haunted woods, mystry island and terror mountain, and the lost desert and losul the dragon.


  • losul

    Really glue? I didn’t know? No big deal, they make it out of horses and rabbits too.

    Silly? Really? By villifying CERTAIN ingredients, I take it you are referring to the ingredients Iosul talks about.
    Lectins, smectins. solanine, bullanine. yeah you’re right, cooking  properly renders most of them harmless.

    I’ll tell you what though. I’ll eat everything RAW in one meal, a handful of wheatberries, a couple of ears of corn, a potato with green on it, a green tomato, handfuls of  lentils,garbanzos, and soy beans, heck I’ll even throw in a couple  fava beans, a tonka bean and a mucuna bean or two, if YOU want to try just a few bites of raw cassava.

    I might get a thoroughly upset stomach, could even throw up or get diarrhea, and probably itchy from the the mucuna, but I bet you wouldn’t even live another day to ever even find out the long term detrimental effects of the raw cassava. If by some miracle you would survive,, maybe you want to try a couple grams of rosemary extract seasoned with a little sodium selenite.

    Don’t even try it Aimee. I wish you no harm.

  • aimee


    You left out that tapioca is used in the production of paper, cardboard, and plywood, and used to make glue!  Yuck!! Who wants to feed their dog glue every day ???

    I added that “factoid” for a bit of comic relief. : ) You see by highlighting certain “factoids” about any ingredient used in the production of pet food you can make it appear deleterious to the consumer. This is why I think it is silly to vilify certain ingredients.

    Lectins, toxins, anti-nutrient factors….Oh My!  There really is no way to avoid them all. The processing of ingredients and temps in extrusion render most of these factors harmless.

  • losul

    Low glycemic index foods include kidney beans, skim milk, sweet potatoes, cherries, grapefruit, lettuce, tomatoes, red peppers, onions, strawberries, fish, nuts and seeds. Forbidden foods include french fries, white bread, tapioca, instant rice, pretzels, doughnuts and bagels.
    Read more:

  • losul

    some factoids about tapioca;

    Tapioca is made from the tuber of the cassava plant

    Nigeria is the world’s largest producer.

    Thailand is the world’s largest exporter.

    Cassava contains anti-nutrition factors and other toxins, most concerning is linamarin, a chemical that  easily converts to cyanide.

    Improperly processed cassava for the manufacture of tapioca can and does cause acute cyanide poisoning.

    tapioca is very high in calories,  358 calories per 100 grams

    tapioca is high in carbs/starches 88 grams per 100 grams.

    tapioca is very low in nutrients, near zero of most vitamins and amino acids.

    People sometimes develop allergic reactions to tapioca, especially those known to be allergic to latex rubber. 

    People living on a tapioca based diet tend to have severe nutrition deficiencies.

    Sound like something you’d want to eat everyday?

    What’s next in new and exotic dog foods?  Fugu anyone?

  • losul

    At what point does a preservative, even so called “naturals”,   such as Rosemary being used in dogfood and/or fish oils/meals become an embalming fluid? I’m not at all convinced it’s safer than any other preservative, especially for LT and everyday use.

    “Dried rosemary leaves (Rosmarinus officinalis), in the mint family, contain up to 20% camphor.””Modern uses include camphor as a plasticizer for nitrocellulose (see Celluloid), as a moth repellent, as an antimicrobial substance, in embalming, and in fireworks. Solid camphor releases fumes that form a rust-preventative coating, and is therefore stored in tool chests to protect tools against rust.[8]”

    “In larger quantities, camphor is poisonous when ingested and can cause seizures, confusion, irritability, and neuromuscular hyperactivity. In extreme cases, even topical application of camphor may lead to hepatotoxicity.[15][16] Lethal doses in adults are in the range 50–500 mg/kg (orally). Generally, two grams cause serious toxicity and four grams are potentially lethal.[17]In 1980, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration set a limit of 11% allowable camphor in consumer products, and totally banned products labeled as camphorated oil, camphor oil, camphor liniment, and camphorated liniment (except “white camphor essential oil”, which contains no significant amount of camphor). Since alternative treatments exist, medicinal use of camphor is discouraged by the FDA, except for skin-related uses, such as medicated powders, which contain only small amounts of camphor.”

  • Hey Shawna! I hadn’t checked my email yet and just did. How exciting! Looks like I have some reading to do tonight. Thanks for thinking of me! ; )

  • Pattyvaughn

    I would feel misled too, especially since you specifically asked about ingredient sources.  Just FYI, if it says buffalo, I would expect it to be sourced outside the US.  If it says bison, I would expect it to be sourced in the US.  As a rule, we don’t grow buffalo here, they don’t grow bison.

  • Shawna

    Hey Betsy ~~ I’ve sent a couple emails to you..  Have you received them?

  • Sounds suspect to me as I’m trying to picture a cargo ship or plane with a load of live buffalo on their way to the US to be slaughtered and made into jerky treats. I can’t do it.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I’m guessing the last substantial transformation was in the US then.  You would think “Rule of Origin” would say that they have to disclose where it originally came from, but the people who make the rules are in the pockets of big business.

  • Tritanbear

    I do feel misled. At no point was India ever mentioned. To me it does matter. I would not have purchased the product. I can buy a similar one that is completely sourced in the USA. I just feel better. I feel better that Pattyvaughn said that there are no known issues with India but I still prefer to stay within the USA or at the most I go with Ziwi Peak. I just feel deceived and felt like he was hiding the fact the they were sourced out of India. Which makes me even more upset is the fact that I told him that I left another similar product because the manufacturer switched their Buffalo sourcing to INDIA. So I was now looking for a new product. I guess he felt comforted that he his product was US sourced by the CA company. In the future I will not buy the product, I just want a safe product. 

  • LuvMyMutt

    I don’t think your online retailer knows what he’s talking about.  According to an article I read on wikipedia called “Rules of Origin” a product processed in different countries must be labeled as a product of the country of last substantial transformation. I realize that Wikipedia is user-documented, but it’s supposed to be as reliable as the old Encylopedia Britannica, not to mention that the rule just sounds reasonable.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I’ve never heard of any problems from dog stuff from India.  That being said, if the buffalo weren’t shipped here live, then they had some kind of processing in India.  I personally would feed those to my dog, since India isn’t known for problems with feed quality or lying about chemicals added etc.

  • Tritanbear

    Can anyone provide me with an answer to a question that can resolve a problem that I am having with on line retailer? I am very careful on what me dogs eat and where their food is sourced from. I recently purchased some Buffalo treats that were marked with the USA Flag. They were “Range Free, Antibiotic Free, Hormone Free,” ALL THE THINGS I LOOK FOR. And US sourced. However when they arrived the package said “Product of India” I was very upset and contacted the Online All Natural Pet Retailer who said he had the same concern but the Buffalos where from India, however ALL the processing and the final stages were completed at a CA, USA plant so they are considered to be a product of the USA. Does anyone know if this is true? And would you consider them to be safe? I would not consider a product of India to be safe. He states just the Buffalos themselves lives in India and the rest was completed here in the USA.  
    Any information is appreciated. 

  • lauren

    Has anyone read about DHA Gold? It is a omega 3 fatty acid grown by martek. bio-science and is added to some dog food. I am concerned because it is listed as “fat product” since it is synthetically grown and not fit for human consumption.

  • aimee


    The NRC recommends menadione be added to all pet foods. Some manufactures follow this recommendation and others do not.

    For further information follow this link Vit K3 — is it unnecessary and toxic ? By Greg Aldrich PhD  

  • Larhae2011

    why do manufacturers use menadione a synthetic vit k

  • Mdw

    phosphorous amt in HUNTERS BLEND… plzzz

  • Mdw

    I need to know amount of phosphorous in each pack- my pup kidney problems- phosphorous too high now

  • Hound Dog Mom


    If you’re feeding a quality food suitable for growth and development or all lifestages you shouldn’t need to add any DHA. Just buy food in small bags (only enough for a couple weeks at a time) and store it in a cool dark place or refrigerate it so the fats don’t become rancid. If you do want to add more just do a salmon oil capsule or buy it in a pump and one pump a day, if you go overboard you could actually risk throwing off the balance of fats.

  • Wingmaster01

    On the subject of DHA-I read a study that was done on Beagle litters, that Beagle Puppies showed a definite increase in intelligence when given higher levels of DHA than other beagle litters given less or given none at all. What is a good amount to feed puppies? 

  • aimee

    Awww.. thanks Johnandchristo 

  • Johnandchristo


    You deserve it. as always great persuasive argument!

  • LabsRawesome

     Hey Johnandchristo, I agree. Menadione is not necessary. So I won’t buy a food that contains it. Why risk it? Btw I don’t drink or eat anything with artificial sweeteners either, that stuff is rat poison.

  • aimee


    Thanks for the kind words…


  • Hi Johnandchristo,

    I’d have to agree with you regarding Aimee. She has become one of our most well-informed and interesting contributors. She always challenges us to think about our opinions.

    I’ve often had to re-assess my own understanding of a particular topic once I read her comments.

    Thanks, John. And thanks, Aimee.

  • aimee

    Hi Johnandchristo,

    Thanks for the compliment: )

  • aimee

    Hi Mike,

    I so agree with you that variety is the “spice of life”!  I use commercial foods as a base to work of off and like many here, rotate.

    As I’m one of the few people who post here for whom menadione is a non issue I was trying to convey to Trumpkennels that not everyone would find it necessary to blacklist a food based on its presence.

    Additionally, I  realise it isn’t necessary in a diet either, so I wouldn’t blacklist a food based on its absence.: )

  • Johnandchristo

    Hi Aimee…….

    I respect your opinion, however I would not use menadione, myself or my family and that of coarse includes the dog! I have read to many bad things. I dont trust everything out there that is “safe” One study might say its ok one might say its not, I say why take the chance. Mother nature’s diet is the only diet I really trust. Dr Mike makes a salient point if a dog eats it over and over again its not a good thing. Once hear and there wont hurt. But me I would just not use it at all. Just my opinion, but in any case be careful, with what you put into your body, you only get one. Be safe eat safe. 

  • In my article about menadione I’ve tried to convey the fact that this supplement is controversial.

    And as I mentioned here earlier, AAFCO doesn’t require vitamin K in any dog food recipe to meet their nutrient profiles. What’s more, AAFCO bases its guidelines primarily upon the recommendations of the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies of Science.

    Personally, I’m always somewhat skeptical of Man’s ability to design any “perfect” human or pet diet.

    I prefer to assume there are NO perfect recipes in the world of commercial dog foods. So, my issue with menadione and other controversial additives is the concept of feeding that ingredient in an unnatural dose repeatedly – for every meal, every day – for a lifetime.

    Now, personally, I would have no problem feeding our Bailey and Molly a dog food containing menadione. But only occasionally.

    However, I would never feed one of these foods routinely for their lifetimes.

    That’s why I encourage diet rotation. Dietary diversification like this minimizes the impact and risk of feeding the same (and probably imperfect) homemade or commercial canine recipe.

  • aimee

    You’re welcome!

  • aimee

    Hi Johnandchristo,

    Just wanted to clarify that K3 is not illegal for human use in the U.S. It was banned as a dietary supplement because, as I understand it, people were ingesting massive quantities of it due to its anti cancer properties leading to problems.

     Menadione itself though is still used in humans in the U.S. as a drug. K3 is a component of “Apatone” and has also been used as a skin lotion as well.

     In addition to studying Apatone’s effects against cancer it is being investigated as a long term medication for people with knee replacements. The clinical trials are ongoing. Currently Apatone( menadione and Vit C)  has been given daily to people for over 5 years without any reportable adverse effects.


  • TrumpKennels

    Thank you. I eat like crap, but nothing but the best for my dogs. 😉

  • aimee

    Hi TrumpKennels,

    After throughly researching menadione I have to say I have no concerns about its presence in dog food.

    The NRC recommends that menadione be supplemented in dog food and AAFCO requires it in certain cat foods.

    And interestingly enough in people (Thijssen, 2006)  up to 25% of  K1 from plants is broken down in the intestine to menadione!

  • TrumpKennels

    Oh. But it is in my highly regarded holistic dog food. What now?

  • Hi Trump Kennels,

    Actually, according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials nutritional profiles for both growth (puppies) or maintenance (adults), vitamin K is not needed for any dog food to claim to be “complete and balanced” on its label.

  • Johnandchristo

    Hi Trumpkennels……

    I agree. K3 is illegal for human since the 60s. Not a good thing.

  • TrumpKennels

    As I understand, vitamin K is needed. But the synthetic form menadione is not good. I avoid dog foods with it.

  • doggonefedup

    here is a link to another article about rendering plants you may want to read.

    keep in mind that there are some meat processing plants that actually restrict their end product to only the left over parts from the manufacture of  USDA inspected human grade products. Since they are not produced for human consumption they can not list be as human grade however.

  • crisiscorral

    I just read on a site about the rendering plants. It said that the plastic bags containing euthanized dogs and cats, pesticide tags. dog collars, flea collars, styrofoam etc. were all thrown into the vat for rendering. Plus sodium penthathol does not break down and was found in various dog food brands. All dog food companies buy the bone meal or whatever from these rendering plants to add to their products. They also said that this has been going on for at least 20 years.  I wondered about this and remember reading that they are not allowed to use the by-products from rendering plants for fertilizer because of the sodium pentothal being put in the soil. But it’s okay to feed it to our beloved pets????? I want to know what is really going on. All my research says there are no watchdogs over the pet food industry. Which means anything  can be added as long as they can hide it in the ingredients. Does anyone have any first hand knowledge about this?

  • Toxed2loss

    Thanks! You’re right. I can’t tell you if that was my autocorrect, which was giving me fits after the upgrade, or just my bad (fill in the blank)! But thanks for correcting me!!! :-}

  • doggonefedup

    I think you meant to say “Ammonium hydroxide” more commonly known as household ammonia. It has also been used to glue together and tenderize cheap pieces of beef to form a “high grade” cut of beef that has been push off on unsuspecting patrons in some above average restaurants…….you never know what your getting these days!

  • Hi GoldenEagle502,

    Synthetic vitamin K – also known as “menadione”) is discussed in detail in my article, The Controversy Over Menadione in Dog Food.

    Be sure to read the comments posted below the article itself to also get the opinions of others.

    Hope this helps.

  • Goldeagle502

    I am very confused about Vitamin K in dog food.
    The dog food project says it is bad.
    The dog food analysis rec. some foods with it.
    My question is easy –
    Is Vitamin K in dog foods good or a bad thing?
    Should we worry if the dog food contains Vitamin K?????

  • Alana Rathbun

    Why aren’t the dog food manufacturers more candid about the “natural flavors” ingredient they list?  What exactly makes up “natural flavors?”  

  • Garstga

    I have a lab that has been diagnosed with Copper retention or Wilson’s disease and needs a diet low in copper content.  Finding reliable data on copper content in dog food is difficult.  Does anybody have a good source for that?  Thanks

  • Toxed2loss

    An interesting article was shared on Facebook today:

    According to, the term “pink slime” was coined by microbiologist Gerald Zirnstein, formerly of the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service. He first saw it being mixed into burger meat when he was touring a Beef Products Inc (BPI) facility in 2002 after an outbreak of salmonella. “Scientists in D.C. were pressured to approve this stuff with minimal safety approval,” Zirnstein told The Daily.
    “Pink slime,” which is officially called “Lean Beef Trimmings,” is banned for human consumption in the United Kingdom. It is commonly used in dog and chicken food. Celebrity chef and safe food advocate Jamie Oliver featured the substance and called for its ban on the April 12, 2011 episode of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, which may have influenced McDonald’s to stop using beef patties containing the filler.”

    Now that is disconcerting. Its Meat scraps and connective tissue treated with aluminum hydroxide. The US Dept. of Ag bought upm7 million lbs. to serve in school lunches. Shudder!!!!

  • tigermama

    Natural Balance Rollarounds contain sucrose…is this really necessary in dog treats?  I like the Natural Balance food and trust it but was alarmed to read that some of there treats also contain sodium nitrites.