McDug vs. Bakers: Are They Really So Different?
The truth is, dog’s don’t often question what they eat. That’s why, as owners, we need to do the legwork when it comes to deciding what’s best for our four-legged friends!
Yet, with so many brands out there making big claims and hiding ingredients behind vague names, it can be confusing to know exactly what to look for when you pick up a bag of dry food.
In this post, we’re going to deep dive into what actually goes into kibbles. By comparing the Beef with Vegetables Dry Dog Food from Bakers - one of the most recognisable commercial dog food brands in the UK - to McDug Nutrition’s Nourish Plus Superfood Blend Aberdeen Angus Beef, we can show how dry foods can be drastically different.
Taking a look at ingredient order, form and sources, we’ll take the hard work out of deciphering labels - so you know exactly what’s going into your dog’s bowl!
When it comes to decoding dry food labels, one of the most important things to take note of is the order in which the ingredients appear. After all, the first few ingredients on the list are likely to represent a large chunk of what makes up each kibble.
If we look at the Bakers Beef with Vegetables, we’ll see that the first ingredient listed is cereals. In fact, grains make up a whopping 55% of this dry food. You’ll also note that the word ‘cereals’ is vague; we have no way of knowing what percentages of wheat, rice, oats or other grains are included in each kibble.
Blanket terms like this tend to be a giveaway that a brand is using low-grade grain products. Also, because the type of cereal is conveniently unspecified, manufacturers are able to change their grain source from one batch to another.
Many dogs find grains and wheat difficult to digest. Some even have allergies and intolerances that not only cause upset tummies, but also hair loss, itching and other long-term health problems.
So, if we know that grains can be harmful for our four-legged friends, why are so many mass-produced dry foods packed full of them? The answer: because these ingredients are cheap. The truth is, cereals are often used as a type of filler to make dogs feel full without offering any real nutritional value.
In comparison, let’s look at how the ingredients appear on McDug’s Nourish Plus Angus Beef dry food. First up, we’ve got a huge 65% beef as the main ingredient in each kibble. This provides dogs with plenty of high-quality protein for muscle repair, strong immune function and a healthy coat and skin.
You might also notice that there are no grains to be seen; not just in the first line, but anywhere on the label. That’s because all McDug foods are grain free to provide maximum nourishment and minimum stomach upset.
So, the takeaway? A quality food will never be packed full of low-nutrition filler ingredients! Look for a protein as the first named ingredient on the label to ensure that your dog is getting the balanced nutrition they need to thrive.
Next up, let’s look at each food’s meat content. The Bakers dry food lists meat and animal derivatives, making up 20% of each kibble. Yet, the beef content is a measly 4%.
So, what are these mysterious animal derivatives? Well, the purposefully vague - and somewhat unappetising - title can include things like feathers, beaks and bones from a variety of creatures and sources.
The protein content is also made up of meat meal. Meat meal is made by rendering, the process of torching otherwise inedible slaughterhouse waste until it forms a powder. By including this, manufacturers can often claim that their dry food is meat-rich - without a scrap of fresh meat ever being added to the recipe.
In contrast, McDug Nutrition’s Nourish Plus Superfood Blend Aberdeen Angus Beef is packed full of fresh meat (35%, to be exact! together with 25% Dried Beef, 5% Beef Fat No animal derivaties here just Beef) sourced from trusted UK farms. Aberdeen Angus beef is a premium-quality protein source that is gently cooked - not rendered - to retain its naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, amino acids and collagen.
When it comes to all-important protein content, the difference is clear. Whilst Bakers consists of 21% protein content, the McDug food contains almost double at 38%.
‘Superfood’ is a buzzword you’ll plastered all over mass-produced food for both humans and pets alike. But what does it actually mean?
Technically, a canine superfood is an ingredient that has been proven to contain exceptional levels of nutrition that is significantly beneficial to a dog’s health.
Bakers Beef with Vegetables boldly markets itself as being made with such superfoods. Looking closer at the label, we can see that 1.6% of each kibble is made up of nutrition-dense vegetables; spinach, pea and carrot, to be exact.
Whilst these vegetables are indeed excellent sources of vital vitamins and minerals, such minimal quantities are unlikely to make a big impact on overall nutrition - especially when such a huge percentage of the food is filler.
Instead of inflammatory grains, the McDug McDug Nutrition’s Nourish Plus Superfood Blend Aberdeen Angus Beef uses sweet potatoes as a carbohydrate. Rich in beta-carotene, these root veggies boast 150% more antioxidants than blueberries.
High up in the ingredient list there are also five further superfoods - carrots, green beans, cauliflower, tomato and courgette - that are renowned for being packed full of vitamins that support healthy vision, brain function and digestion.
So, whilst superfoods can be nutritional superheroes for your dog, it’s essential to look beyond the marketing and see if the details on the label check out.
It’s clear that, even when two dry foods appear similar, there can be some serious differences in the source, quality and quantity of the ingredients they contain.
Whilst many big-brand dry foods make bold claims about meat and superfood content, they often contain meagre amounts of both. These foods rely on nutritionally void filler ingredients - often low-grade cereals - to bulk out their food and keep profit margins high.
At McDug Nutrition, we use the highest quality, sustainably sourced ingredients to pack each kibble with nourishment. Because of this, we’ll never be able to be as purse-friendly as the mass-produced bands. Yet, we know that investing in quality food is an investment, keeping your canine friends happy, healthy and full of life for years to come!
Interested to get the low-down on how dry food is made? Read our post here[LINK] to find out more!
- Tags: 65% Beef, bakers dog food, Cheap dog food, dog behaviour, dog diet, Dog Fitness, dog food, Dog health, dog nutrition, Grain free dog food