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McDug vs. Burns: A Side By Side Comparison

Burns dog food in comparision with Mcdug Dog food

McDug vs. Burns: A Side By Side Comparison

For many people, when they think of natural, wholesome pet food, Burns is a name that springs to mind. After all, veterinary surgeon John Burns was a true pioneer of high-quality pet nutrition when he set out to create the brand thirty years ago. 

McDug has since followed in his footsteps to help owners make positive, educated decisions about what to feed their furry best friends. But what makes each brand unique? To answer this, let’s zoom in on values, take a close look at ingredients lists, and compare how much it costs to feed a McDug vs. Burns diet. 

Brand Values and Ethos

Veterinary Surgeon John Burns transformed the pet food industry when, back in 1993, he created Burns Pet Nutrition. He’s still at the helm of business and developing new recipes today! 

Unlike many companies, Burns doesn’t treat social corporate responsibility like a tick box exercise. First up, they’re actively engaged in helping owners make better nutritional choices for their pets. They run a free helpline where their expert pet nutritionists give owners advice about how to feed and care for their furry friends.

Even better, Burns feeds thousands of rescue animals each year, as well as rqunning their own charity. The charity was founded in 2006 with the aim of ‘making a difference to the lives of people and companion animals across the UK’. 

This focus on helping owners make positive and active choices about their canine pals’ nutrition is what drives us here at McDug, too. For us, giving dogs the best means using ethically sourced fresh ingredients, a gentle cooking method to retain nutrients, and protein-rich recipes that leave out nutritionally-void filler ingredients.

And our vision doesn’t end at doggy nutrition. We’re on a mission to support children who have additional learning needs by partnering with companies that provide assistance dogs in schools. Our long term hope? That, one day, all children in the country have access to the transformational power of a therapy dog. 

Comparing Recipes

Both Burns and McDug Nutrition champion simple recipes with natural, wholesome ingredients. To compare, let’s take a closer look at the ingredient lists of two similar duck and potato recipes.

Burns Grain Free Duck and Potato for Adults 

Burns duck and potato recipe is a grain-free food that promises to support all-round health, be highly digestible, and get tails wagging for even the fussiest dogs. As well as an adult dog size, it also comes in a toy and small breed kibble size. 

Composition: Potato (45%), Buckwheat (27%), Duck Meal (19%), Duck Fat, Peas, Seaweed, Minerals.

The first thing you’ll notice? How short this ingredients list is! With simplicity being one of Burns’ key values, it’s hardly surprising to see just six ingredients on the list.

It’s great to see that each of these is completely natural. There are no artificial colours or flavours, and no ambiguous sounding labels. The food is naturally preserved using antioxidant mixed tocopherols; in other words, vitamin E. 

There are also no ingredients that are notorious for causing intolerances such as wheat, soya and dairy. In fact, this food uses buckwheat, a pseudo grain that Burns says ‘maintains all the nutritional benefits of wholegrains whilst providing a Grain Free alternative for the dogs that need it.’

With all that being said, it’s surprising to see that the recipes’ protein - duck - is only the third ingredient on the list. With 72% of the food being potato and buckwheat, this is a carb-heavy recipe that skimps a little on all-important meat content. 

McDug Simply Good Duck and Potato:

McDug’s duck and potato recipe is, like the Burns offering, hypoallergenic and grain free. It’s suitable for even sensitive tummies and is officially vet approved. 

Composition: Duck 36% (Including Dried Duck 27%, Duck Fat 7% & Duck Gravy 2%) Potato (31%), Peas, Beet Pulp (7%), Brewer’s Yeast, Linseed, Minerals, Vitamins

As you can see, our recipe is also beautifully simple. Naturally delicious, there are no nasties like artificial colours or flavours and we use rosemary extract to preserve our kibbles. 

To give a nutritional boost, we choose to add a few extra ingredients that you won’t find in the Burns recipe. Beet pulp provides dietary fibre, helping to maintain the health of the intestinal tract without making your dog sluggish. Brewers yeast is added because it’s packed with B vitamins and antioxidants. 

Here at McDug, we’re big believers in protein-rich recipes because it’s what active dogs need to thrive. That’s why, at 36%, our duck content is significantly higher than the meat content in the Burns recipe.

The Bottomline 

When it comes to doggy nutrition, it’s clear that Burns and McDug share many of the same core values. This couldn’t be more apparent than in our similarly simple, natural recipes that are packed with nutrient-dense ingredients. 

To get a complete picture, let’s zoom in on cost. Whilst a 12kg bag of Burns Grain Free Duck and Potato will set you back £81.99, a 12kg bag of McDug’s Simply Good Duck and Potato comes in at £65.99

This makes McDug’s option significantly better value for money - especially when we consider that extra meat content and additional hero ingredients. Whilst Burns is clearly a wholesome brand with an impressive history, McDug is refreshing natural nutrition with ethically sourced ingredients, protein-rich recipes, and a price point that’s accessible for everyone.

Sounds like something your canine pal would love? Explore our range of delicious recipes here.

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