Healthy dog food
There can be no doubt that the array of pet foods on offer today is mindboggling …
wheat free Gluten free Grain free Hypoallergenic
what does is it all mean?
We are fortunate that our instore advisors have been trained to untangle many of the myths and marketing hype that surrounds these products.
Put simply dog owners have three choices to make.
Raw pet food
Also known as BARF or Biologically appropriate Raw Feeding.
This is the fastest growing pet food sector in the last 10 years.
Many believe that this is the best way to feed your beloved animal and for good reason, no Wheat or Gluten here and it has many proven benefits including smaller less smelly stools glossy healthy coats no mystery ingredients.
We have chosen our suppliers carefully
There are many positives for this method of feeding however we have some concerns not over the food itself but the method of delivery.
Having spoken with some suppliers we have noticed that their preferred method of delivery is by 24hr normal courier, this raises some concerns as it is clearly an issue if the product partly defrosts before refreezing at home the RAW meat will not be cooked to kill any bacteria.
At Healthy Pet Supplies we will only accept delivery from a supplier if the vehicle is a frozen delivery vehicle operating at the right temperature and the product is then placed in our own freezers without delay.
So you can be assured that if you buy frozen raw pet food from us it has been handled in the correct manner. We have chosen our suppliers carefully looking both at their production and transport methods.
Our market leader in this field is Natures Menu (www.naturesmenu.co.uk) they offer a great choice and variety for your beloved pet as well as being reasonably priced.
We also offer Bulmers Pet foods again a great choice and good value for money.
And to add to the list we also offer Cotswold Raw (www.cotswoldraw.com).
Their products give RAW feeders a great choice without the hassle of adding your own fruit and veg.
How to start feeding raw food
Don’t be in a hurry; wean your dog off its current diet and onto raw steadily and progressively over a period of a few weeks.
Stay with one protein source initially. Stick to chicken to start with as it is easy to digest and in time you can introduce other meats such as beef, lamb and tripe.
A simple and relatively fool-proof way of starting is by feeding Natures Menu complete nuggets, Country Hunter Grain Free or frozen mince blocks. They are prepared from whole cuts of meat, fresh vegetables and gently cooked rice grains. They also contain all of the vitamins and minerals needed to provide your dog with a balanced, nutritionally complete raw diet in one easy step.
Never feed cooked bones. Cooked bones are prone to splinter and can cause internal problems for your pet. Raw bones are easily chewed and digested to provide much needed calcium.
You can introduce raw bones and foods to puppies such as chicken and lamb from about 6 weeks of age, if you wish.
Please always supervise your dogs when eating any bones.
All of Natures Menu frozen food has a low Glycaemic Index (GI), which is more suitable for diabetics. Food with a high GI decreases sensitivity to insulin and increases hunger. Therefore, it is suitable to feed to a diabetic dog.
They only use in date, human grade meat from ethical freedom food assured farms, and all our food passes stringent safe bacteria tests before it leaves the factory.
Dry pet food
This by far the most popular dog food in the UK.
One factor that has shaped the pet food industry more than any other: convenience.
These days, many of us struggle to find the time to prepare a nutritious, balanced diet for ourselves, let alone our dogs, so it’s no surprise that the demand for complete dry/Kibble dog foods has increased by 90% in the last 10 years.
And amongst complete foods, dry completes – the most convenient options of all, have come to completely dominate the pet food market from top to bottom.
Their draw is obvious: they provide everything your dog needs in a single bag, they are easy to store and (usually) relatively inexpensive.
But does all this convenience come at a price?
Unless you’ve been living (and shopping) in a cave, you will certainly have heard of each of pet food’s big three corporations but what you might not know is that, between them, they own almost all of the UK’s best known pet food brands.
• Mars: Pedigree, Cesar, Chappi, Frolic, Kitekat, Pal, Nutro, Greenies, James Wellbeloved, Royal Canin, Sheba, Whiskas.
• Nestle: Bakers, Beneful, Beta, Bonio, Felix, Friskies, Just Right, ProPlan, Purina One, Purina Veterinary Diets, Winalot.
• Colgate-Palmolive: Hills Science Plan, Hills Prescription Diets.
But how have these three companies come to control the pet food market so completely? It must be because their products are so good, right? Unfortunately not.
Pet food domination
The problem is that, for many pet owners, The Big Three are pet food. They are the only companies rich enough to have TV advertising and the only ones that can afford the terms imposed by supermarkets. For the millions of pet owners that never step inside a dedicated pet shop and never read specialist pet magazines, the other brands may as well not exist.
But it doesn’t end there. The Big Three aren’t content with just main-stream dominance. By buying out the most successful independent brands and effectively inventing veterinary diets, the corporations have even taken a large bite of the pet shop and veterinary market. 9 out of 10 vets now recommend foods from one of the big three. The corporations have long understood the importance of veterinary recommendations and have spent millions on securing their positions as the vets’ diet of choice with ‘sponsored’ nutritional modules at veterinary college and substantial monitory incentives for veterinary practices.
With so much expenditure on advertising, supermarket special offers and retailer incentives, you might think there would be less money to spend on ingredients and in many cases you would be right. One look through the ingredients lists of the UK’s two biggest dog food brands, Pedigree and Bakers, clearly shows that marketing is a lot more important to a brand’s success than the quality of the products. Of course, when your customers have nowhere else to go, quality can afford to take a back seat.
The fight back
Of course, when your pet’s health doesn’t come first, there is bound to be a backlash.
Many retailers are now scaling back on their big three brands our shop Healthy Pet Supplies in Thrapston is leading independent pet shops in a full-scale boycott of big three brands!
Healthy Pet Supplies have taken much time to ensure we do not stock any products from the big three brands and have sourced a wide range top-notch independent pet food brands from around the UK and beyond.
The fact is that the big three are just companies and like all companies, they are answerable to their customers.
Every time a pet owner moves from a low grade food to a good quality diet, it increases the pressure on the manufacturers of low quality foods to change their ways and to finally put our pets first.
So if not the big three what do we stock?
We are feeling very pleased with ourselves that we have chomped through the market to bring brands like Dog and Field (www.dogandfield.co.uk).
Dog and Field
Dog and Field Ltd have been working closely with some of the industry’s leading canine nutritionists to finally bring you a comprehensive range of wholesome and nutritionally balance dog foods.
They strive to offer the very best for your deserving companions and they don’t produce anything that we wouldn’t feed our own dogs.
Burns is a well known brand throughout the pet world both their cat and dog food are recipes from a highly renowned Dr Burns himself a leading authority on pet nutrition and health. At healthy we are proud to offer Burns within our range a brand we would feed our own pets.
The combination of locally sourced, quality ingredients that are rigorously tested and unique holistic approach has created a range of tasty, nutrition rich foods that are balanced and free from wheat, gluten and soya.
All of the range is Hypoallergenic with their Grain Free range also including a mobility joint care package.
Specially formulated by one of Britain’s leading canine nutritionists and made locally in their own mill in Northamptonshire, Autarky gives working dogs everything they need to keep them healthy and energetic no matter their age or activity.
You won’t find any artificial colours, flavours or preservatives either and they protect every bag with a natural antioxidant package that ensures your bag stays as fresh as they day they packed it.
The best quality, freshly prepared ingredients and a whole lot of goodness goes into all Lovejoys food.
Their nutritionists understand the importance of using high quality ingredients and just how much impact this can have on the health and happiness of dogs.
They take great care to ensure that everything that goes into Lovejoy’s food is always for the benefit of your dog and nothing else.
Gilbertson & Page Ltd, a family company based in rural Hertfordshire, staffed by a dedicated professional team, has been manufacturing dog food since 1873.
They have established a reputation for producing quality dog foods that consistently offer tremendous value to dog owners.