Black Foot Raw

Food Factory

Analysis of Pet Food Ingredients


I was in a pet shop to get some kibbles for Shasha the other day, just kidding, haha. I was on a field trip, doing an analysis of the ingredients used by major pet food brands. But I thought maybe if I find something acceptable, I could use it as emergency foods for when I’m super busy, you know, like when we eat instant noodles for the same reason.



The first I picked had an impressive Marks & Spencer type packaging. Pretty nice, with a french dish name ‘Duck a l’orange’. Except protein content was only 33%, a bit short of the recommended 35-50 percent range. And we don’t know how much of this is plant based protein which is not bioavailable to cats. But it’s ‘grain free’… A win? Not quite. That would mean some other carbohydrates are taking the place of grains. Not that great for a cat as well.


Let me recall an article I read about ‘grain free’ kibbles.


“There’s been a lot of buzz about the FDA’s recently-released Grain-Free Diet Alert, which has left many dog owners concerned about potential impacts of grain-free foods on their pets’ health. The alert came after the FDA investigated reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)—essentially an enlarged heart—in dogs eating certain types of dog foods, many of them labeled “grain-free”. “


Source: FDA


Let’s see if this kibble has the above as its ingredients.



Ahh, fresh duck 19% and other than dehydrated chicken and chicken fat, the rest are basically either junk meal or carbohydrates. Also, dried potatoes, third ingredient, and several positions further down, peas.


Studies have shown the starch that replaces grains acts as anti-nutrient to taurine, thereby causing the heart problems. Maybe not a good idea. Looking for convenient food to save time. Not make life shorter.


So, onto the next one:



This one says weight and hairball care, which is odd, because hairball is usually caused by excessive shedding due to eating kibbles and weight problems stem also from, well, eating kibbles and the prescription here is kibble. Interesting. First ingredient is chicken. The marketer was so excited with this fact he placed it as the first line to capture our attention.



Sneaky. While chicken is the first ingredient, the next three ingredients are actually grains. And the second ingredient is wheat – number 1 allergen in pets – due to gluten. This is not just likely to cause more weight gain. It could very well lead to rashes, itch, and other skin problems.


Onto the next one.



This one looks a lot more optimistic. Grass-fed. I hope they are not referring to the king salmon. 99% lamb, salmon and organs. Nice. Let’s see if the ingredients live up to the hype.



Lamb heart, salmon, lamb kidney, lamb liver, lamb blood… wow. This looks like what Shasha would order from my menu, except this is kibble form. I was thinking I found my kibble then I saw something that made my blood curdle.





Shasha consumes 240grams daily at the time of writing. Drawing on my infallible mathematical skills that have served me well through the decades, I asked my brother how much that would cost for me to feed Shasha daily on this kibble.




$40.50 a day to feed Shasha an occasional kibble treat. The price of a decent all-you-can-eat-buffet. If I really feed her that on a regular basis, I really would be eating instant noodles daily.


So I made a move to the next one:



Ahh, the perennial vets’ favourite. It’s using the phrasing ‘chicken recipe’ so already I know that means only 10% chicken. But let’s see what the rest of the ingredients are.



Whole grain wheat, gluten meal, powdered cellulose, chicken meal (meaning rendered meat which may contain diseased animal meats, )… and only 31 percent protein… This one looks a nightmare – high gluten (super allergen) and low protein.  And the scary part is every other vet around the world is recommending this ‘scientific’, ‘prescriptive’ diet.


I’ve actually heard pretty good things about the next package I picked up.



I’m already very impressed by the cover: 5 meats and fish, with beef, venison, lamb, whiting and hoki; authentic ratios of meat, organs and bones, ethical and sustainable; free range, grass-fed and wild-caught… Time to look at the ingredient list.



If anything, the back is even more impressive. Beef, venison, lamb, whiting, hoki, beef kidney, lamp tripe, beef heart, venison lung, green mussel, venison tripe, lamb lung, lamb liver, beef liver, venison kidney, various bones…


The variety is so wide this could rival Shasha’s weekly diet. I would have no problem buying this. Wait!





Translates to 36 bucks daily for Shasha at time of writing. Even my mother doesn’t average that much.


I’ll have to stick to serving her the usual fresh and raw meats and bones, with appropriate organ ratio, fresh eggs, seafood, purees, insect larvae and probiotic bone broths I guess. Shasha, not my mother, of course.