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by CharDog Food Comparison

Most dry dog food is made with a machine called an expander or extruder. First, raw materials are blended, sometimes by hand, other times by computer, in accordance with a recipe developed by animal nutritionists. This mixture i
s fed into an expander and steam or hot water is added. The mixture is subjected to steam, pressure and high heat as it is extruded through dies that determine the shape of the final product and puffed like popcorn. The food is allowed to dry, and then is usually sprayed with fat, digests, or other compounds to make it more palatable. Although the cooking process may kill bacteria in pet food, the final product can lose its sterility during the subsequent drying, fat coating, and packaging process. A few foods are baked at high temperatures rather than extruded. This produces a dense, crunchy kibble that is palatable without the addition of sprayed on palatability enhancers.

Listed below are a number of popular dog foods and how they compare with Flint River Ranch. Whenever shopping for your pet remember to read the label and "Let the buyer beware".

Bill-Jac Select

Eukenuba Adult

Flint River Ranch
Flint River Ranch Lamb/Millet Rice
Iams Adult
Nutro Max
Proplan Adult
Purina Dog Chow
Science Diet Chicken & Rice
Chicken by-products1 (organ meat only), chicken, corn2, chicken by-product meal1, dried beet pulp, brewers dried yeast, cane molasses, egg product
Chicken, corn meal2, ground whole grain sorghum, ground whole grain barley, chicken by-product meal1, fish meal, Natural Chicken Flaver, Dried Beet Pulp (sugar removed Chicken meal, whole wheat flour, ground rice, lamb meal, poultry fat, ground wheat, flax seed, dried whole egg Lamb Meal, Ground Whole Millet, Ground Whole Rice, Rice Bran, Menhaden Fish Meal, Grapeseed Oil, Flaxseed Meal, Lecithin Chicken, corn meal2, ground whole grain sorghum, chicken by-product meal1, ground whole grain barley, fish meal, chicken fat, dried beet pulp Beef Meal, Ground Rice, corn gluten meal2, ground whole wheat, poultry fat, rice bran, wheat flour, natural flavors Ground yellow corn2, meat and bone meal4, corn gluten meal2, chicken by-product meal1, animal fat5 (preseved with BHA/BHT6), wheat mill run, natural poultry flavor, rice, salt Chicken, Brewers rice3, whole grain wheat, poulty by-product meal1, corn gluten meal2, beef tallow5, whole grain corn2, corn bran2 Ground yellow corn2, poultry by-product meal1, corn gluten meal2, soybean meal, beef tallow5 preserved with mixed-tocopherols , brewers rice3, dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate Chicken, brewers rice3, rice flour, corn meal2, soybean meal, ground grain sorghum, chicken by-product meal1, animal fat5 (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid)

1 Meat by-products: This can include bones, blood, intestines, lungs, ligaments, and almost all the other parts generally not consumed by humans.

2 Corn: One of the lowest sources of nutrient grains. Rice is the best. Cats need no grain at all.

3 Fillers: Low quality filler that include wheat bran and brewer's rice. Low digestibility means less nutrition.

4 Meat and bone meal: The term "meal" means that these materials are not used fresh, but have been rendered. Rendering is to process as for industrial use: to render livestock carcasses and to extract oil from fat, blubber, etc., by melting. This process may alter or destroy some of the natural enzymes and proteins found in the raw ingredients.

5 Animal Fat: Animal fat is most often made up of rendered animal fat, restaurant grease, or other oils too rancid or deemed inedible for humans. These fats are sprayed directly onto extruded kibbles and pellets to make an otherwise bland or distasteful product palatable. Test the food by running it through your hand and feel for any residual grease.

6 Chemical Preservatives: Chemical preservatives include butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), propyl gallate, propylene glycol (also used as a less-toxic version of automotive antifreeze), and ethoxyquin. BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin are potentially cancer-causing agents. Extruded food requires these preservatives to maintain shelf life. These chemicals may be associated with dry skin, allergic reactions, dental disease, poor health and degenerative organ dysfunction.


[1] The Animal Protection Institute, "What's Really in Pet Food.", January 29, 2002.


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