What dog food should I feed my dog and is it safe, nutritional, affordable, and good for my dog in the long run? No doubt, one of the most hotly contested and widely written about topics in the dog world deals with their diet, the food dogs eat, and the safety of the ingredients. After the great dog food scare coupled with the savvy and scrutinous nature of today’s modern dog parent (present company and readers included), there are days that even the most informed of us get confused. A dog food database would sure be helpful, wouldn’t it?
One of the resources we’ve been longing for is a breakdown of all the dog foods on the market: Yes, all the major brands and all the smaller brands, too. Slim Doggy to the rescue, folks: Someone actually took the time and the needs of pet parents to heart and created such a breakdown. Oh, and this breakdown isn’t a list that will never be updated. We’re talking full scale, ongoing, accurate and current information to help dog moms and dog dads make informed decisions about dog food and dog treats. We asked Slim Doggy CEO, Steve Pelletier, to take us behind the green curtain for an insider’s peek at this very much needed resource.
What is Slim Doggy and How Did They Get Started
SlimDoggy started out as an iPhone App that was built based on Steve’s experience with his dog, Jack. Jack weighed 105 lbs and was on Prozac & Rimadyl when he and his wife rescued him. They created some algorithms that helped them determine proper exercise levels and feedings so that he could safely lose weight. (He did lose 20 lbs in 3 months and is now about 79 lbs.).
Steve says they also noticed a lack of actionable information on dog food and fitness and wanted to provide more than just an app, so Steve and Kate set out to build a website that focused on canine food, fitness, and overall health. They write articles about dog food, dog food ingredients, and, of course, canine fitness.
What’s the Deal with this “Dog Food” Breakdown and Analysis
Slim Doggy had been collecting detailed information on dog food since they started a year and a half a year ago. Up until recently, this data was only available on their iPhone app and they wanted to make it available to anyone, so they created a web tool.
The dog food database currently consists of close to 3,000 dog foods and treats. They provide calories, guaranteed analysis, dry matter macronutrients (e.g. percentage of protein, fat, carbs), ingredients, and a proprietary ranking for most of these. Treats are not ranked at this time.
Why did they do it? “We wanted to help pet owners learn exactly what is in their dog’s food, and to be able to search for foods that might contain allergens or other ingredients that they might not want in their pet’s food,” Pelletier says.
How Do They Rank?
The ranking system looks at the ingredients and rewards food with quality ingredients (e.g. named proteins sources like beef, or salmon) and penalizes foods with artificial ingredients (e.g. colorings or preservatives) or un-named protein sources (e.g. animal by-product or “meat”).
The rank is on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best. They are continually refining their methodology to reflect a natural, minimally processed, ancestral approach to food.
What About Dog Food Allergies?
One of the best use cases is for the situation when a pet owner knows of a food allergy. They can search on foods that don’t include that allergen (ingredient). “You would be surprised, but the name of the food does not often tell the story of what is in the food,” Steve reports. ” For example, many beef or fish based foods actually contain some chicken! Not good if your dog is allergic to chicken.”
Shocking and Revealing Results
Here are some of the results the dynamic duo at Slim Doggy says shocked them when doing this research:
1- The sheer number of dog foods and treats. They have collected data on over 3,000 in total. And there is more still to collect.
2- The encouraging realization that there are many newer brands out there, and many… and
are taking a more healthy approach to their dog food formulations.
3- The sad realization that there are far too many foods on the market that are laden with dubious ingredients.
The sad realization that, by and large, most dog foods are too low in protein and fat and too high in carbs. In fact, on a dry matter basis, the average dog food is made up of 34% protein, 19% fat, and 42% carbs . These ratios are not optimal!
What About our Feline Friends?
Don’t fret, owners of a cat as a pet: There is a cat food and cat treat database forthcoming. “Although we have focused on dog food and treats until now, we have begun collecting similar data for cat food. Of course, our ranking methodology is a little different for cats! We are looking forward to publishing this information to our cat loving friends,” Steve shares.
Slim Doggy plans to update at a minimum of once per month and welcomes specific requests from their readers.
Is This Free?
Yes, the web version is a free resource for pet owners to use. All the folks at Slim Doggy ask is that pet parents tell fellow pet lovers about it (and their site in general).
How to Get Started
To access the food database, go to http://slimdoggy.com/dogfood/
To read Slim Doggy articles on dog food and fitness, check out http://slimdoggy.com
Fidose Exclusive Slim Doggy Info
We consider ourselves to be pretty sleuthy in our methodology around these Fidose parts. It is with great pleasure that we announce some insider scoop. The folks at Slim Doggy have forged a partnership with a “connected pet device” company called Petnet.io. They are creating a pretty impressive SmartFeeder for dogs and cats. Steve won’t get into details, but they are working together on a tool that leverages our food data and approach to food analysis, that will revolutionize the way pet owners discover, analyze, and choose their pet’s food.
Can you see our tails wagging?!
QUESTION: Do you read the labels of dog food and/or dog treats and know how many calories your dog should be eating per day?