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Messages - David

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Thanks Meg

General discussion / Re: 'All life stages' - High Calcium
« on: Feb 14, 2017, 14:51 »
Hi Poppy and thanks for posting. Right now all of our ratings are based purely on the stated ingredients and the feeding recommendations that we publish are identical to those of the manufacturer. However, we are in the middle of overhauling our rating algorithm and I can tell you that nutrient levels will soon form an important part of each product's overall score and will also affect what dogs we recommend the food for.

Hi 4max and thanks for posting. There's actually no difference between the two statements. The brackets are optional.

You can now change your votes. Great poll by the way!

Sorry everyone! The error should be fixed now.

Site help and suggestions / Site bugs
« on: Jan 25, 2017, 08:35 »
Apologies for all of the bugs that have been appearing over the last 24 hours. I have been moving the entire site on to a secure server but in doing so it has thrown up a lot of unexpected errors, especially with the forum. I’m hoping everything is fixed now but if you spot anything at all not working as it should, do let me know.

Many thanks,


Yes indeed, as Dottie says, both of those ideas are in the pipeline - a series of articles for owners of dogs with specific health conditions and a 'targeted condition' filter for the directory. I've been collecting data for the latter for a while now so it won't be long before I'm ready to begin the programming. Watch this space!

Hi Meg. That should be fixed now. Many thanks

Dog foods / Re: Feeding Guidelines Confusion
« on: Jan 12, 2017, 10:49 »
Hi kjnew74 and thanks for posting. You’re quite right that our figures were out of date but I was able to correct them yesterday. If you spot any other inaccuracies at all, do please let me know.

Always very happy to help

Ah, good point. That's probably it

If David isn't aware of the food's moisture  then the results may be different to  what you expect, somewhat dependant on what is coded as a default value for moisture.

For the review generator the default moisture content for dry biscuit foods is 8% and I'd suggest using the same level when calculating the carb contents of dry foods with unspecified moisture percentages yourself.

Virtually all extruded foods that I'm aware of contain around about 8% moisture and while the moisture content of baked and cold pressed foods can vary a little more, 8% is still a good average.

Pet food manufacturers are only legally obliged to state the moisture content of a food if it exceeds 14%. I have no idea why.

About the various coming updates, your collective input is fantastic and when I return fully to work at the end of next week I'll certainly attempt to incorporate many if not all of the suggestions.

To summarise some of the coming changes:
  • The rating algorithm will finally get its overhaul. Everything from top to bottom will be scrutinised but one chief concern is the awarding of points to health supplements like herbs, certain fruits, extracts, seeds, probiotics and so on. It will take quite a lot of work but my aim is to only give points if a percentage can be provided and only then if that percentage is sufficient to provide the desired benefit.

    I agree that the well rated foods could be labelled better, but if they go into the minutest detail then it would male it very easy for a rival to copy it. Also it would be hard for new companies to come up with innovative foods at an affordable price if they have to test and provide data on all ingredients (such as CFU of probiotics).

    You're absolutely right that many companies regard their recipes as trade secrets and would be very reluctant to divulge the information but I could always refrain from publishing the data on the site provided they give me enough information to make a full appraisal of their food.

  • I am still unsure of whether the cooking method of a food will factor into the algorithm. I have asked a whole host of companies whether they have any hard data to support their claims that raw is better than cooked or cold pressed is better than extruded etc but as yet nothing has come back. I'll keep you all posted.

  • Confirmation of the vitamin/mineral mix is also a great idea as it would help to reveal which foods do and do not contain controversial supplements like sodium selenate, copper sulphate and so on. Right now manufacturers don't even have to mention that their food contains a multivitamin/mineral supplement, let alone what vitamins or minerals it might be comprised of.

  • Coaster, you're spot on that more full written reviews are necessary to back up the scores awarded and I will be making that a priority.

  • The 'clear labelling' logo will soon be much harder to achieve. Any dodgy labelling at all will disqualify a food.

  • With all of the changes, the rating will depend on a lot more factors than just the ingredients list so, if the review generator is to remain, it will have to be either be as a very simple tool or as a more advanced feature that will require much more user input. Maybe both versions could be incorporated but the question of manufacturer abuse will still remain. We shall see.

Thanks again for all of the great ideas and discussion. Do keep it coming!

Some really excellent points being raised. It's very heart warming to see how invested you all are in the future of the site.

First off, in answer to Meg's question

So is there a legitimate reason why manufacturers do not include the percentage of carbs ?

Basically, companies are not obliged to state carb content so most don't. It probably stems from the fact that carbs have a bit of a bad image these days and manufacturers don't want to put anything on the label that might cause customer concern. I'm sure, if they could choose, most also wouldn't include the fat percentage for similar reasons. Carb levels are, however, very easy to calculate but to save our visitors time, I have added a carb dial to each product's page.

Introductions / Re: Hi to all
« on: Jan 02, 2017, 12:33 »
Great to have you on board Meg! Your feedback over the years has really helped to push the site forward so do please keep it coming. Really looking forward to reading more of your posts!

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