Tail Blazers - Learning Centre

GOOD FOOD OR GOOD ADVERTISING?

The most important decision you will ever make for your dog or cats health is what to feed them. With so many animals suffering from food related health issues, what is going wrong? It really is not that complicated if we start with some basic rules.

Rules

  1. Feed species appropriate food. Cats are carnivores and get all of their nutrient needs from meat. Dogs are omnivores which means they too need mostly meat. If you feed them a natural diet (for them) they will be healthier, plain and simple.
  2. Don’t get fooled by advertising. Remember rule number 1.

    1. Advertising comes in many forms. Companies give food to breeders because they know breeders biggest expense is food. They in turn tell you to keep your pet on this food. Companies provide the nutritional information taught at veterinarian schools, as well as free food for the students pets. One of my favorites is Iams and the commercial that says more vets recommend this over grocery store brands. Even I will admit it is better than those brands. But if I were a law maker those grocery brands would not even be on the market. So does that make Iams good? I refer you to rule number one and you can decide from there.

    2. Diet must be complicated - look at how many different foods Purina makes. (By the way I lost count.) Pretty soon we will have a different food for every breed. Oh wait - someone already does that. The real nutritional requirements for dogs and cats are not complicated!

Analysis of Six Purina Formulas
NOT Species Appropriate Foods
From 2009 - TABLE 1

Beneful Originals with Salmon

Beneful Healthy Harvest

Beneful Healthy Radiance

Beneful Playful Life

Pro Plan Performance

Pro Plan Selects

(top 11 ingredients) (top 11 ingredients) (top 11 ingredients) (top 11 ingredients) (top 11 ingredients) (top 11 ingredients)
Beneful Original Beneful Healthy Harvest Beneful Healthy Radiance Beneful Playful Life Pro Plan Performance Purin Pro Plan Select
Ground Yellow Corn Ground Yellow Corn Ground Yellow Corn Ground Yellow Corn Chicken Chicken
Chicken By Product Meal Corn Gluten Meal Chicken By Product Meal Chicken By Product Meal Corn Gluten Meal Brown Rice
Whole Grain Wheat Whole Wheat Flour Corn Gluten Meal Corn Gluten Meal Brewers Rice Corn Guten Meal
Corn Gluten Meal Animal Fat Whole Wheat Flour Whole Wheat Flour Animal Fat Pearled Barley
Beef Tallow Soy Protein Concentrate Animal Fat Animal Fat Poultry By Product Meal Chicken Meal
Rice Soybean Meal Salmon Rice Flour Animal Digest Dried Egg Product
Soybean Meal Pearled Barley Brewers Rice Beef Fish Oil Animal Fat
Salmon Brewers Rice Soybean Meal Soy Flour Dried Egg Product Oatmeal
Glycerin Sugar Sugar Egg Product Potassium Chloride Fish Meal
Egg and Chicken Flavour Water Sorbitol Oatmeal Salt Dried Brewers Yeast
Mono and Dicalcium Phosphate Animal Digest Tricalcium Phosphate Sugar Calcium Phosphate Dried Beet Pulp

The top 11 ingredients are the most important. (If someone asks you what you had for dinner you would say salmon, rice and some veggies. You don’t elaborate on the lemon, dill and pepper that were the spices added to your meal. It is the same concept with pet food.)

If you look at the label or commercials for Beneful Original, they suggest you get meat, peas, carrots and corn. When in fact there are no peas or carrots in the top 11 and for meat you need to go to 7th ingredient on the list. The chicken by product meal is not really meat. So in fact you have a lot of corn. But back to rule 1. Corn is not what dogs and cats need. There are no carrots or peas in the top 11 but they do have sugar and sorbitol, fillers that are unnecessary and harmful!

Beneful Healthy Harvest

No meat, and lots of what they don’t need. Healthy Radiance is similar to the Original but instead of beef they have salmon. Yes, fish is good for the coat, thus the “healthy radiance”. But you see the rest is still not appropriate. If you were feeding them a species appropriate diet the coat would look wonderful. (But oops, then they would have one less product to sell.)

Playful Life

I love this one. If you were feeding them right they would all have playful lives, but let’s check and see if this meets rule number one. Yet again the answer is no. Looking at this entire label, I cannot see anything that would contribute to its name. At least in Healthy Radiance, it had salmon for the coat. But Playful Life has nothing that is going to help promote health and vitality, and to be honest, with all the food colorings and sugar, “Slow Death” would be a better title. I attempt to be fair, but every now and then a person just gets mad at how the consumer is mislead. And our loved ones are suffering for it.

Now on to what I believe they suggest are their better formulas.

Pro Plan Performance

The good news is that meat is number one on the list. Awesome, but wait, it is followed by all the same NON species appropriate foods like corn. The original Pro Plan formula had corn as number 1 and corn gluten meal number 3. But in this product, now corn gluten meal is number 2 and there is no ground yellow corn. But wait - yes there is, it is now called whole grain corn and corn bran. By splitting the ingredient into two items you can drop it down on the list. So has it really changed that much?

Pro Plan Select

They are getting warmer now. There is more meat but they still have a lot of other items that are not appropriate for dogs, such as corn gluten meal, an undigestable, non-nutrittious ingredient.

Purina Formulas Closest to Table 1 - Updated to 2016 fromulas
NOT Species Appropriate Foods
TABLE 2

Beneful Originals with Salmon

Beneful Healthy Radiance

Beneful Playful Life

Pro Plan Sport

Pro Plan Select

(top 11 ingredients) (top 11 ingredients) (top 11 ingredients) (top 11 ingredients) (top 11 ingredients)
Whole Grain Corn Ground Yellow Corn Ground Yellow Corn Chicken Turkey
Chicken By Product Meal Chicken By Product Meal Chicken By Product Meal Corn Gluten Meal Brewers Rice
Whole Grain Wheat Corn Gluten Meal Corn Gluten Meal Brewers Rice Barley
Corn Gluten Meal Whole Wheat Flour Whole Wheat Flour Animal Fat Chicken Meal
Beef Tallow Animal Fat Animal Fat Poultry By Product Meal Dried Egg Product
Rice Salmon Rice Flour Whole Grain Corn Brewers Dried Yeast
Soybean Meal Rice Flour Beef Corn Germ Meal Animal Fat
Salmon Soy Flour Soy Flour Fish Meal Oatmeal
Glycerin Meat and Bone Meal Oatmeal Animal Digest Pea Protien
Egg and Chicken Flavour Water Egg Product Fish Oil Pea Fibre
Mono and Dicalcium Phosphate Propylene Glycol Water DDried Egg Product Dried Beet Pulp

In 7 years not much has changed in these formulas! The last one has corn removed, but the formula is still lacking meat and the rest continue to be filled with non-species appropriate ingredients and very little meat.

More About Rule #2 (Do not get fooled by advertising)

C. ’Complete’ and ’balanced’ are words that you will see on many foods. But ask yourself - if it’s complete and balanced why would there ever be a need for ’new, improved’ formulas? Would that not suggest the first one wasn’t so complete and balanced? There is no living thing on this planet that has a complete, balanced diet in every meal. These words mean nothing, but they do sound good. The only thing that matters on a label is the ingredient panel. Not even the guaranteed analysis means much. Remember even beaks, shoe leather, finger nails, hair, feathers, are considered protein sources. The only thing you should look at on a bag is ingredients. And make sure it is species appropriate.

D. But my vet recommended it.

Medi-Cal (2009)
a common vet food
NOT Species Appropriate Foods
- Table 3

Royal Canin (2016)
a common vet food
NOT Species Appropriate Foods
- Table 4

Medi-Cal Adolescent Formula

Medi-Cal Gastro Formula

Royal Canin Development Puppy Dry Food

Royal Canin Gastroinestinal Mod Calorie

(first 11 ingredients) (first 11 ingredients) (first 11 ingredients) (first 11 ingredients)
Medi-Cal Adolescent Medi-Cal Gastro Formula Royal Canin Development Puppy Dry Food
Chicken Meal Corn Chicken By Product Meal Brewers Rice
Brewers Rice Brewers Rice Brewers Rice Chicken By Product Meal
Oat Flour Lamb Meal Corn Corn
Corn Potato Protein Chicken Fat Rice
Dried Whole Egg Dried Whole Egg Wheat Gluten Natural Flavors
Chicken Fat Chicken Fat Wheat Chicken Fat
Fish Meal Lamb Digest Natural Flavours Dried Beet Pulp
Yeast Culture Flax Meal Dried Plain Beef Pulp Egg Product
Chicken Digest Minerals Rice Hulls Grain Distillers Dried Yeast
Tomato Pomace Salmon Oil Vegetable Oil Powdered Cellulose
Flax Meal Pea Fiber Fish Oil Vegetable Oil
Beet Pulp Vitamins Sodium Silico Aluminate Salt

The Adolescent Formula has chicken meal (good) as the 1st ingredient but then it is back to the same old stuff as other brands. What makes this one better than Purina is the vitamins and minerals and no colorings. That is great, but it is little more than saying to someone who eats fast food all the time, that I can fix your health issues. All you need to do is eat this fast food and take this multi-vitamin. What happened to just feeding good food?

Now the Gastro Formula. Again very little species appropriate food. But why? This is a vet food. They must know what dogs and cats are supposed to eat. Here is the kicker. Most companies want to offer you the lowest priced product they can get away with. There is no other reason than that.

The 2016 formulas made by Royal Canin still have very little meat and are full of non species appropriate ingredients such as corn. When will these vet formulas improve!? (Note: Medi Cal was made by the company Royal Canin and appears to now be discontinued)

So what do you need to remember of all of this? Two things.

Remember rule number 1 and Tail Blazers. We make sure our products follow rule 1. And we also have a list so you can check your foods out for what is really in them.

See for yourself (below) just a small sample of some foods Tail Blazers carries that ARE SPECIES APPROPRIATE! (2016 Formulas)

Tail Blazers Approved Foods - that ARE Species Appropriate
Table 4

Acana - Wild Prairie Dog

Carna4 - Chicken Dog

Orijen - Adult Chicken

Go - Fit and Free Adult

(first 11 ingredients) (first 11 ingredients) (first 11 ingredients) (first 11 ingredients)
Acana Wild Prairie Dog Carna4 Orijen Adult Dog Go - Fit and Free
Deboned Chicken Fresh Chicken Boneless Chicken Chicken Meal
Chicken Meal Chicken Liver Chicken Meal Turkey Meal
Green Peas Eggs Chicken Liver Salmon Meal
Turkey Meal Organic Sprouted Barley Seed Whole Herring De-boned Turkey
Chicken Liver Oil Potato Boneless Turkey De-boned Trout
Field Beans Salmon Turkey Meal Potatoes
Red Lentils Sweet Potato Turkey Liver Peas
Deboned Turkey Whole Brown Rice Whole Eggs Tapioca
Whole Egg Organic Sprouted Flaxseed Boneless Walleye Lentil Beans
Deboned Walleye Organic Sprouted Green Lentils Whole Salmon Chickpeas

Please note, that for this example we used mostly chicken products. Tail Blazers has many other types of foods available as well.

May all our furry friends live long healthy lives,

Brent Hauberg (President, Tail Blazers)

Disclaimer – The views expressed in this article are solely the opinions of Tail Blazers. These opinions and views are not in any way affiliated with or endorsed by any food or product sold or not sold by Tail Blazers. This article is provided by Tail Blazers for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the advice of a qualified animal health professional. If you suspect your pet has a health problem, please consult with your qualified animal health professional. Formulas accurate as date listed next to information.