Just because Eukaneuba contains by-products does not mean it is not a good diet for your dog. Punky, I appreciate your passion for all natural dog foods, but going against a veterinary nutritionist's recommendations is something that I cannot endorse. Bashing foods made by major companies with scientific research backing based on your own research is also not necessary.
I too feed Wellness to my dogs, but I don't preach it as the be all to end all dog foods, nor do I scorn any food that has ingredients that are "sub-par". I would trust Science Diet or Eukaneuba or IVD or VMD or Waltham to provide the right balance of nutrients and appropriate protein sources for everday dog foods. Afterall, these companies also produce specialized diets for liver, kidney failure, urinary problems, diabetes, allergies, and weight loss. If their basic diets cannot be trusted, why are their prescription diets also approved and trusted by so many doctors? The FDA's CVM works with AAFCO to develop standards for nutrtition, and in order to be certified, manufacturers must first show they meet these standards scientifically, and then back it up with appropriate testing. Beward of foods that say they "fit the AAFCO profile" for nutrition. This does not mean they are certified.
Here is a link from the FDA:
A good article by a veterinarian about pet food labels:
Why do I feed Wellness/Natural Balance then?
My dogs love it, and I would rather them eat than not eat at all. From the ingredients and experience, Wellness appears to be a great food. But I say appears because it hasn't been tested. This means my dogs are the lab rats, but it's a risk at this point that I have been forced to take.
Several "MYTH'S" Taken from www.petdiets.com
(written by veterinary nutritionists) with regards to pet diets:
Pet Food Myths
Homemade diets are nutritionally better and healthier than commercially prepared foods.
Unless properly formulated by a nutritionist, diets made at home are not likely to be nutritionally complete and balanced. The nutritional profile of any diet—including homemade diets—depends on how the recipe was formulated, the nutrient content of the ingredients, and how the owner prepares the diet. Homemade diets may also contain contaminants and food-borne microbes if the owner is not as careful as he or she is about his or her own foods.
Federally regulated, commercially prepared foods have processing methods and quality assurance programs that limit the potential of food-borne illnesses in pets and offer guarantees, a nutritional profile, and bioavailability.
Preservatives cause cancer and other diseases.
There is no scientific evidence to support the often repeated claim that preservatives cause cancer. In fact, just the opposite may be true, as preservatives added to pet foods can help prevent the formation of cancer-causing compounds.
Do ingredients really matter to pets?
To most of the pets consuming commercially prepared pet foods... NO! The final nutrient profile of a pet food is most important factor in meeting your pet’s daily nutritional needs. If the food meets your pet’s nutrient profile, it does not matter whether the sources of those nutrients are beef, chicken or soybean. The liver does not care whether it is receiving the necessary essential amino acids for protein synthesis from chicken by product meal, tofu, or a protein hydroslate.
The ingredients do however affect taste. The very best nutrient profile is of no use if the animal will not consume the food. Most pets do not refuse most foods: look at the incidence of obesity in our pet population. Most pet foods are designed to be very palatable because repeat sales of pet food are for the most part dependent upon the owner thinking the pet “likes” the food. This “race” for the most palatable food in the market is in part responsible for the most common nutritional problem in pets... obesity.
Do ingredients really matter to pet owners?
Yes, apparently they do. The pet food marketing teams are playing that card for all it’s worth and in any direction necessary to make a sale, hence the importance of naming the product. Also note the advertising statements that a product “does not contain soy, corn, or wheat”; such statements imply there is something wrong with these ingredients and hence the foods containing them. In fact, there are no problems associated with these ingredients unless your pet demonstrates allergic reactions to them.
When does the ingredient list really matter?
Knowing the ingredient list only really matters when a pet has a food “allergy,” better described as food hypersensitivity. The incidence of true food hypersensitivity in the dog and cat population is not exactly known, but several published studies estimate the incidence to be less than 10%.
Pet foods contain fat and fat-soluble vitamins that readily oxidize when exposed to air. Fat oxidation produces toxic compounds called peroxides that can disrupt cell membranes—and loss of cell membrane integrity has been linked to some types of cancer. Preservatives protect the fat and vitamins from oxidizing in the presence of air.
Those of you who know me know that I go by tried, true, scientific facts and recommendations by doctors. 2 things are certain:
1. Doctors do NOT recommend home-cooking meals for dogs without the consulation of a veterinary nutritionist to formulate a specialized and
ingredients for your animal.
2. Doctors do NOT recommend foods produced by companies that have not PROVEN their foods are safe or include the right balance of nutrients and appropriate protein sources. Following an AAFCO profile (as in the case with Wellness, Solid Gold, etc...) is a good thing, but AAFCO certification is even better, and a recommendation by a veterinarian is the best.