Thursday, June 18, 2015

Dog parents: Stop shaming people about dog food!

FULL DISCLOSURE: I am not being compensated for this post by Nutro or Merrick, though I have received food or compensation from both in the past.

I got into an argument in a beagle Facebook group.

It was over an article by that claimed only 25 dog food brands were "safe." I disagreed with some of the article's assertions, including regarding certain ingredients and some of their methodologies.

I was basically told (passive-aggressively) that I was knowingly putting my dogs in danger by feeding them "unsafe" dog food.

People, I'm done. I'm over it. 

This has been something long simmering for me. It all started back in 2012 when I was first looking for a new dog food for Lulu. So many times I saw people admonish others that if they can't afford the best dog food, they shouldn't have a dog.

The best, by the way, was Blue Buffalo. Acolytes of Blue Buffalo sufficiently swayed me from ever wanting to feed my dog that food brand.

And yes, there are definitely dog foods of low-quality, and some that are downright dangerous. They are also among the top-selling foods in the world.

But just because you can't feed your dog raw food, or home cooked food, or a top-tier boutique dog food, does not make you a bad parent! In a world where people are taping their dogs' mouths shut, or leaving them chained with no food or water, or setting them on fire, to tell someone they shouldn't have a dog because they feed them a less than stellar food is ridiculous and does harm to the cause of rescuing pets.

I feed Lulu Nutro Natural High Protein. It's a grain-free food. She's been eating Nutro for years. She has all the signs of a healthy dog. My vet says she's in great health.

Jasmine is now eating Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet since she has chicken allergies. Both brands were flagged as being unsafe by . But these are hardly bad foods! The Merrick brand was flagged as unsafe because they've had recalls. They haven't had one since 2011.

Nutro was flagged for the ingredients, but as Dog Food Advisor shows, the ingredients are quality.

Instead of shaming people for what they are feeding their dogs, maybe we should educate them on what makes a good dog food? Maybe we should be teaching them how to read nutritional labels on dog food bags (though lord knows many can't even read the labels on human food)? Maybe we should teach them how to properly portion out food for their dogs?

We are all just trying to take the best care of our pets that we can. Lets support each other instead of tearing each other down.


  1. You're right that coming at people in a negative way just turns them off from anything you have to say. I know people that feed brands I really dislike but I don't harp on them. They know I'm passionate about this so if and when they ask me for advice I will give it.

  2. Amen! It drives me nuts too. I remember as a child dogs were eating mainly ONE certain brand that I won't mention........guess what? Most dogs thrived for many, many years and the food and the brand is still around today. Sometimes too much knowledge can be a BAD thing. People need to mind their own business.

    1. I think back to when I was growing up. Iams and Eukanuba were considered top of the line. I guess things change over time but I think people have also gone overboard these days.

  3. Though I feed Oz a raw diet, and blog about that once in a while on my blog, I always...ALWAYS say in those posts that we all feed the food that we know is best for our dogs and that is a great thing! Yes, sure there are foods that aren't that great out there but I am not going to push people into feeding one food over another. Everyone has to do their best for their dog with what they can afford. I agree...with all the other terrible things in this world...people should quit the shaming over dog food choices. At least dogs are in loving homes and being fed and taken care of!

    1. And how many people can't feed their dogs the "better" food because it's too rich for them?

    2. Agreed. Not all of my readers want to, or can afford, to feed raw food to their pets. It's not good for every dog either. Yes, I admit that I think Chester and Gretel are in superior heath partially due to the quality of food that I feed them but I don't judge. I the end, most dogs do fine with most dog foods, including those some judge as sub-par.

  4. When I started blogging, a mentor of mine told me to steer clear of any mention of pet food, as discussions like this tend to turn into arguments. I thought he was crazy, and then it happened to me, too.

    I'm 100% with you here. We should all be positive and caring with one another. We all want what's best for our pets, right? How is an attack going to help anyone feel comfortable with asking for advice? How would getting attacked change anyone's mind? Gah.

    Jean from Welcome to the Menagerie

  5. Another thing... many, many dog foods have had recalls, or ingredient issues, at one time or another. Look at the recent Stella &Chewy's and Vital Essentials recalls. No food is immune. Life is risk. You do the best you can with what you are comfortable with.

  6. Same thing at the dog park. Last week I took mine for some exercise and as soon as we got there he had to poop. Well, as luck would have it I forgot my plastic bags and wen to get some from my car. Some lady who probably doesn't have many friends, started admonishing me as if I were walking away from the problem..."Hey, wait...where are you going? Did you see that your dog left a mess? I simply said to her, "Maam, my dog has no choice but to be a on the other hand, do have a choice. Worry about yourself and your dog and if I need your help, I'll let you know." Shut her up immediately. Folks are so worried about what others are doing that they forget how to be a decent person.


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