Best dog food brands for your Morkie

Best dog food brands for your Morkie

What are some of the best dog food brands you could pick for your Morkie? It’s important that you get the best dog food for small dogs, because there’s no room for fillers and empty calories. Morkies are tiny, so every bite they eat should be nutritionally sound and balanced.

But deciperhing reports, labels and marketing B.S., is a lot of work. We’ve done the heavy lifting for you, with a list at the bottom of the post, that you can download. It features 10 best dog food brands for your Morkie and 10 really horrible choices – and why.

 

When you’re shopping for commercial dog food for your Morkie, check the label — at least the first 5 ingredients.

PICK THIS

Food that has lots of real, named protein at the top of the label – things like beef, chicken, salmon, lamb and so on.

Food whose source of fat is named – beef fat, poultry, fat. etc.  Unnamed fat can be anything, including used restaurant grease

 

 

NOT THAT

Definitely AVOID any food with what’s just called “meat” or just called “poultry.”

AVOID meat by-products (named or not); and AVOID generic fat, such as “animal fat.” Instead, opt for a NAMED fat such as “beef fat.”

Don’t pick a dog food that has added sweetener listed on the label. This includes sugar, sucrose, molasses, corn syrup and fructose. It’s only in the food to disguise the putrid flavour of the food itself.

Avoid foods that include corn, corn gluten, wheat, and other cheap fillers, in the first 5 ingredients.

Beyond the first 5 ingredients, reject food that contains:

  • preservatives like BHA, BHT, TBHQ, propyl gallate, ethoxyquin
  • sugar, corn syrup, propylerne glycol, sucrose, sorbitol, cane sugar
  • artificial colourings, flavourings, MSG, caramel colour

Here’s the label from popular Kibbles ‘n Bits

Is this a leading dog food, or cattle feed? Corn is the main ingredient, which has little useful nutrients to dogs. Soybean meal is a by-product of the soy oil industry. And beef & bone meal is processed and dried slaughterhouse waste!

Ingredients: Corn, soybean meal, beef & bone meal, whole wheat, animal fat (BHA used as preservative), corn syrup, wheat middlings, water sufficient for processing, animal digest (source of chicken flavor), propylene glycol, salt, hydrochloric acid, potassium chloride, peas, caramel color, sorbic acid (used as a preservative), choline chloride, sodium carbonate, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, biotin), dl-methionine, calcium sulfate, carrots, green beans, wheat flour, titanium dioxide (color), yellow 5, yellow 6, red 40, BHA (used as a preservative), blue 1

The first 5 ingredients:

  1. corn
  2. soybean meal
  3. beef & bone meal
  4. whole wheat
  5. animal fat (BHA used as preservative)

 

And #6 ingredient is corn syrup!


Is this a leading dog food, or cattle feed? Corn is the main ingredient, which has little useful nutrients to dogs. Soybean meal is a by-product of the soy oil industry. And beef & bone meal is processed and dried slaughterhouse waste!

Download the one-pager

Get this handy summary for shopping:

  • Top dog food brands and horrible dog food  brands.
  • Why some foods are not recommended.

 

Acana
Blue Buffalo – all canned and dry
Eagle Pack (beef) – canned
Freshpet (rolls and pouches)
Fromm Family Gold (canned)
Fromm Four Star Nutritionals (canned)
Go! Daily Defense (dry) and Go! canned
Horizon (dry) call sub-brands
Orijen (dry and canned) all sub-brands
Primal Raw Frozen Mixes (Raw Frozen)
Simply Nourish Source (Dry)
Stella & Chewy’s Meal Mixer Superblends (Freeze-Dried)
Wellness Core (all dry and canned)
Whole Earth Farms (canned and dry)

Alpo (dry)
Beneful (dry)
Cesar Savory Delights (wet tubs) – includes Angus Beef Flavor , Filet Mignon Flavor, etc. Cesar (dry)
Gravy Train Dog Food (canned and dry)
Hills Science Diet (canned and dry)
Kal Kan Dog Food (dry)
Kibbles & Bits (dry)
Ol’ Roy (canned and dry)
Pedigree Dog Food* (dry)*This label includes 11 sub-brands such as Pedigree Small Dog Complete Nutrition Grilled Steak and Vegetable Flavor (plus other flavors)
Purina Dog Chow (dry)
Purina Moist and Meaty (semi-moist) 
Purina One (canned and dry)
Royal Canin Lifestyle Health Nutrition Urban Life (Dry)
Science Diet – see Hills.

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on the website wwwaboutmorkies.com represent the views and opinions of the author.

What is the best dog food for your Morkie?

What is the best dog food for your Morkie?

Your Morkie deserves the best dog food, but with more than 5,000 varieties of commercial dog food available on the shelves today, how can you pick healthy dog food brands from the garbage? Here’s the scoop, plus 12 top quality foods you can buy.

There's only one way to pick a healthy dog food brand: Read the label. Very carefully.

 

First, look for foods that do not contain dangerous or toxic ingredients.

Next, look for healthy ingredients.

I’m not going to lie – this is not food we’d ever like to eat. But it’s clean, pure and unadulterated. And it’s perfect for dogs.

Avoid all dog food that lists any of these ingredients: 

MEAT. Just generic or unnamed meat can be from almost any kind of animal you can imagine. It could be road kill, euthanized pets, or spoiled grocery meats complete with styrofoam trays and plastic wrap. Look for food that NAMES the species. For example, beef, lamb, salmon, chicken, etc. 

OTHER GENERIC NAMES such as animal fat – or is it used restaurant grease? Could be.
Is Meat and Bone Meal listed? The problem is, you don’t know meat and bones from what animal??!!  Horse, goat, donkey??

Foods with ARTIFICIAL INGREDIENTS including the preservatives BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin and propylene glycol.

  • BHA is a preservative that’s linked to cancer in laboratory animals by the World Health Organization. It’s banned from use in human food in Europe and Japan, yet we feed it to our dogs.
  • BHT is also believed to cause cancer.Propylene glycol is a food stabilizer. It’s a synthetic liquid substance that absorbs water.The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified propylene glycol as an additive that is “generally recognized as safe” for use in food.

I want better than that for my dogs and I’m sure you do too.

Look for foods with healthy ingredients

Healthy dog food brands go beyond excluding bad ingredients. They actually contain GOOD stuff for our dogs.

Here’s what you want to see:

  • named animal protein – near the top of the list and plenty of it
  • whole veggies, fruits and grains
  • a ‘best by’ date that is at least 6 months away

The sad story of Kibbles ‘n Bits

A food with both hard crunchy kibble and soft chewy pieces, Kibbles ‘n Bits was introduced in 1981 by Big Heart Pet Brands. It was later sold to H. J. Heinz and then Del Monte.

Today, it is the 5th largest dry dog food brand in the USA, churning out about 1.7 million pounds a day or almost HALF A BILLION pounds a year!

Here’s the ingredient list, exactly as it appears on the package of Kibbles ‘n Bits:

Ingredients:

Corn, soybean meal, beef & bone meal, whole wheat, animal fat (BHA used as preservative), corn syrup, wheat middlings, water sufficient for processing, animal digest (source of chicken flavor), propylene glycol, salt, hydrochloric acid, potassium chloride, peas, caramel color, sorbic acid (used as a preservative), choline chloride, sodium carbonate, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, biotin), dl-methionine, calcium sulfate, carrots, green beans, wheat flour, titanium dioxide (color), yellow 5, yellow 6, red 40, BHA (used as a preservative), blue 1.

Experts say the first five ingredients tell the story:

  1. corn
  2. soybean meal
  3. beef & bone meal
  4. whole wheat
  5. animal fat (BHA used as preservative)
  6. corn syrup

Corn? Corn? How is corn dog food? (And I’ve shown item #6 since it is corn syrup; yes, that syrupy sweet stuff they used to pour on our toast at camp!)

And it gets worse…

Kibbles ‘n Bits was recalled

by the FDA in February, 2018*

Sodium Pentobarbital was found in Kibbles ‘n Bits. Sodium Pentobarbital is a drug used to euthanize pets and small animals. It is NOT used to slaughter cows, sheep, pigs or any other food you’d expect your dog to eat.

The amount found is negligible as far as health goes, but that’s not the point.

Where and how in the supply chain does this drug get into dog food? 

Many pet food companies buy raw goods from rendering facilities that process animals euthanized at animal shelters.

That means that some pet food is made from a variety of meats that humans wouldn’t eat, including diseased livestock and cats and dogs containing lethal doses of sodium pentobarbital.

In other words, the body of a stray dog killed in a shelter may be ground up into dog food. Whether the Kibbles ‘n Bits recall is related to this practice is unknown. But logic says, there can’t be any other way it got there. 

* see the story in Newsweek magazine, or here on CBS

If we can’t trust a major, internationally-popular brand

like Kibbles ‘n Bits, where do we turn?

We read the labels ourselves. Very carefully.

In the meantime, here are some choices I've checked out for you.

What is the best dog food? Here are some healthy dog food brands.

There are many good, reputable dog food manufacturers out there. I’ve picked a very small sample to show you.

DRY FOOD – KIBBLE

Acana Heritage Free Run Poultry, Red Meat, Meadowland –  all Acana is good for your dog.

Go! Daily Defence

Horizon Complete or Horizon Legacy

Merrick Backcountry

Origen Original

Wellness Complete Health

Here’s the kind of ingredients you want to see

Acana Heritage Dog Food

Fresh chicken meat (12%), chicken meal (12%), turkey meal (12%), red lentils, whole green peas, field beans, chicken fat (5%), fresh chicken giblets (liver, heart, kidney) (4%), herring meal (4%), fresh whole eggs (4%), fresh whole flounder (4%), herring oil (2%), sun-cured alfalfa (2%), green lentils (2%), whole yellow peas, pea fiber, fresh chicken cartilage (1%), dried brown kelp, fresh whole pumpkin, fresh whole butternut squash, fresh whole parsnips, fresh kale, fresh spinach, fresh mustard greens, fresh turnip greens, fresh whole carrots, fresh red delicious apples, fresh bartlett pears, freeze-dried chicken liver, freeze-dried turkey liver, fresh whole cranberries, fresh whole blueberries, chicory root, turmeric, milk thistle, burdock root, lavender, marshmallow root, rose hips, Enterococcus faecium, supplements: zinc chelate, vitamin E (preservative)

WET FOOD – CANNED

Fromm Grain Free varieties, including grain free chicken and duck pate; shredded beef in gravy, etc.

Go! Fit + Free variety of flavours that sound pretty darned good – turkey and trout stew anyone?

Holistics Select Grain Free Beef Pate, Chicken Pate, etc.

Merrick Grain Free and Chunky Grain Free canned foods including flavours like Pappy’s Pot Roast Dinner, Cowboy Cookout and more.

Nature’s Variety Instinct – chicken and beef formulas are available.

Wellness Core canned products including homestyle grain free beef stew with carrots and potatoes.

A good canned food

sample label, from

Go! Fit + Free

Chicken, chicken broth, turkey broth, chicken liver, turkey, turkey liver, potatoes, dried egg whites, potato starch, carrots, peas, trout, sweet potatoes, salmon, herring, red peppers, guar gum, flaxseed, sodium phosphate, potassium chloride, apples, calcium carbonate, minerals (zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, selenium yeast, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, cobalt amino acid chelate, potassium iodide), salt, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement), choline chloride, sunflower oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), tricalcium phosphate, Yucca schidigera extract

be a label reader and save yourself some grief

What’s the best dry dog food for your Morkie?

What’s the best dry dog food for your Morkie?

What’s so bad about generic “meat”?

If a pet food label says “meat” instead of the specific source of meat like beef, lamb or chicken, and so on, then beware. You don’t know where the meat has come from, or what kind of animal it was.

If the meat is not named, it can be literally anything, including animals that didn’t make it to the slaughterhouse and died on the way (The infamous 4-D meats, dead, dying, diseased and disabled.)

It can be road kill. It can be cats or other dogs, picked up after they’ve been euthanized at the pound or shelter.

The best dry dog food for your Morkie can be described in two words.

Real &

Simple

The best dry dog food contains named meat – like beef or chicken. Not meat by-product meal.

Grains, if they’re even in the food, should be waaaay down on the ingredients list.

And the fat source in the food should be named as well, not simply listed as “fats” – otherwise the food could actually contain USED RESTAURANT GREASE.

The best dog food brands

Acana from Champion
Amicus from Horizon
Before Grain from Merrick
Blue Buffalo Chicken and Brown Rice Small Bite Adult
Frommfirst place dog foods
Go! Sensitivity
Holistic Precise
Life’s Abundance
NOW!
Orjen from Champion
Pinnacle
Wellness Core

*There are many more excellent products; these are just a few. They’re ranked as the best because they contained named meats and fats, and don’t contain dangerous preservatives, chemicals and unnecessary sweeteners.

We can thank RENDERING for this dog’s breakfast

We all agree: food has to be processed;  it has to be reasonably affordable; it has to be safe and it has to be nutritional. These factors all depend on HOW the ingredients in dog food are processed. Most pet foods start with a process called rendering, and this is where the problems begin.

Rendering has been around since ancient times. It’s a process of recycling food waste to make it useful for something else. That something else is often pet food. So far, so good.

Except that quality control is a huge problem. Anything that’s deemed too horrible for human consumption goes into the big grinders in rendering plants, to start the process.

This includes:

  • putrid flesh – dead, diseased and dying animal flesh – not allowed in our food (the pet food industry calls this the 3Ds of supply)
  • parts of animals not allowed in our food including hide, bones, digestive system and it contents, brain, feces and udders, hooves, chicken beaks… the list goes on
  • roadkill (which may have been drying in the sun for some time)
  • pets that have been euthanized, including the sodium pentobarbital used to kill them at shelters.
  • rotten meat from local grocery stores (Styrofoam packaging and all)

If the label says:

by-product, meal, tallow, animal fat, or grease

It’s probably from a rendering plant, and the quality can’t be trusted. Avoid, avoid, avoid.

Some of the worst dog foods…

 

…are the ones you see advertised on TV.

Poor quality dog food brands

ALPO BY PURINA
BENEFUL BY PURINA
EUKANUBA
HILL’S SCIENCE DIET ORIGINAL
IAMS
KIBBLES N BITS
OL ROY From WALMART
PEDIGREE
PURINA DOG CHOW

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