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Messages - David

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1
Usually, when an ingredient is not specified as being fresh, dry, dehydrated, powdered etc, it will have been added in the same format as the finished product - i.e. dry in dry foods, 'fresh' (that is including its natural water content) in wet foods.

I say usually because different companies label in different ways so nothing is for certain. If in doubt, check with the manufacturer.

2
Great question! It's because the potato is added as a dry ingredient. As a general rule, if a dry food ingredient is not specified as 'fresh' it will be dry, usually in the form of a powder. If you run your calculations again but count the potato moisture level as ~5% it should make more sense.

3
General discussion / Re: Dry dog food ratings
« on: Jul 27, 2020, 07:56 »
Many thanks for posting Flin and sorry for my very slow response - I've been away from the office and catching up on the backlog is taking forever.

You're quite right that our white label food ratings are confusing and I apologise for that. The disparities you see are due to a couple of factors:

Where a listing includes more than one variety, the published score is calculated as the average score across all the varieties. Since each white label range includes a slightly different selection of varieties, the average score inevitably varies.

Secondly, some companies choose to divulge more information than others and our rating system always rewards transparency over ambiguity.

I can see now though that having different ratings for identical products is only going to cause confusion so I'll go through all of our white label listings this week and will standardise the scores.

Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

4
Introductions / Re: Feeding guidelines help, please
« on: Jun 01, 2020, 09:09 »
David - thank you so much for the calorie counter page. I struggle with working this out so am glad that we can now do it fairly easily.

You're most welcome! I've been meaning to make the tool for a long time so thank you for giving me the nudge I needed to get it done.

5
Introductions / Re: Feeding guidelines help, please
« on: May 29, 2020, 11:56 »
Just to mention that, inspired by this thread, I decided to make a Calorie Calculator tool. I hope it comes in useful. Any feedback gratefully received.

https://www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk/calorie-calculator

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Introductions / Re: Feeding guidelines help, please
« on: May 18, 2020, 12:13 »
Many thanks for posting Gemma. Just to add to Dottie's excellent advice...

Your maths is spot-on and you're absolutely right that the feeding recommendations seem very low. According to the Ohio University Veterinary Medical Center Calorie Calculator, which is one of the best ball-park calculators I'm aware of, an average dog weighing 7.6kg should get around 510 calories per day.

Most wet foods have an energy content of 80-150 kcal/100g so I would expect a lower feeding guideline of at least 350-400 grams.

This could be a simple error on the part of the manufacturer or they could be intentionally underquoting the daily amounts in order to make their cost per day figures more appealing. Either way, I would recommend clarifying with them directly. I'd be interested to see their response.

Also, on the subject of DCM, I'm personally more and more convinced that it's all a bit of a red herring. You can read my article on the subject here.

I hope that helps.

7
Site help and suggestions / Re: Response to advice
« on: May 18, 2020, 11:29 »
Really appreciate the feedback Honeybee. I'm afraid I've spent far too little time on the automated email responses over the years. The current notification email template is as follows:

Quote
A reply has been posted to a topic you are watching by {POSTERNAME}.

View the reply at: {TOPICLINK}

Unsubscribe to this topic by using this link: {UNSUBSCRIBELINK}

The text of the reply is shown below:
{MESSAGE}

How would you change it?

8
General discussion / Re: Instant review tool
« on: May 08, 2020, 11:58 »
Yes indeed it does Dottie. The only reason for manufacturers to label their ingredients in this way is to pull the wool over customers eyes. Needless to say, we are not fans and we do not award the 'clear labelling' logo to any foods where the practice has taken place.

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General discussion / Re: Instant review tool
« on: May 08, 2020, 08:55 »
Yes indeed, 72% is the correct nutritional rating.

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General discussion / Re: Instant review tool
« on: May 08, 2020, 08:09 »
Hi Flin and great question.

The ingredients list we have for Harringtons Just 6 Lamb is correct - it's actually the same as the one printed on the packaging only with some of the marketing nonsense removed. I'll show you what I mean:

Take a look at the official ingredients list as printed on the bag:

  • Lamb (35%, 50.3% Freshly Prepared Lamb in the Slow Baked Kibble* 10.1% in overall blend 24.9% Lamb Meal)
  • Vegetables (35%, 21% dried sweet sweet potato, 14% dried peas),
  • Potato (21% dried potato),
  • Salmon Oil (4%),
  • Vegetable Jus (2.4%),
  • Vitamin & Mineral supplement.

The "50.3% Freshly Prepared Lamb in the Slow Baked Kibble" is totally meaningless since the slow baked kibble only constitutes around one fifth of the total recipe. The actual percentage of freshly prepared meat used in the food (before processing) is just 10.1%.

While a lot of manufacturers employ spin tactics on their ingredients lists, this trick takes things to the next level. Unfortunately, our algorithm isn't able to deal with this particular tactic just yet so in order to get an accurate reading from the review generator you will have to manually adjust the first line of the ingredients list to what it should be ("Lamb 35% (24.9% Lamb Meal, 10.1% Freshly Prepared Lamb)") before hitting go.

I hope that helps.

11
When looking at some at wet food recently i find that some products are claiming high meat content up to 90% (AATU/Barking heads etc..)

But 30% of this is turkey broth which is not meat!!

surely this is false advertising??

Thoughts??

Great question. Most companies are quite careful with this kind of thing, using wording like 'contains 90% meat sourced ingredients' and so on but manufacturers like to push the boundaries now and then to see how much they can get away with. Pet Food UK (the producers of both Barking Heads and Aatu) are notorious for it.

The ASA and Trading Standards only investigate when they receive a complaint and even when the complaint is upheld there are almost never any sanctions against the advertiser other than ordering that the wording be changed for the next printing run which could be months or even years away. Despite all this, complaints (when warranted) are well worth making as without them manufacturers would have free reign to claim whatever they liked.

If Trading Standards were to receive a well put-together complaint about the '90% meat' claims, I think there is a good chance it would be upheld. Sadly the complaint process can be quite time consuming and that's time I just don't have right now but if someone else here would like to get stuck in I'd be very happy to help.

12
Introductions / Re: Confused
« on: Jan 27, 2020, 10:34 »
Can someone help me, why would a food that does not have the minimum meat content logo highlighted be graded higher than one that does?

Hi Budd71 and thanks for posting. It's because total meat percentage is just one of more than a hundred factors that the rating equation looks at. So while the food in question might have had a lower total meat content than the others, it will have scored better in other areas making its overall score higher.

And just to mention that the logo is for 'high meat' content rather than 'minimum meat'. Some dogs actually do better on low meat diets so there really isn't any minimum.

I hope that helps.

13
Just to let everyone know that the Dog Food Directory now includes a carrageenan filter. You'll find it under the 'avoid ingredients' tab and when selected you'll only see results that are guaranteed carrageenan free by the manufacturer. Hope it helps!

14
Laughing dog has confirmed that their wet foods DO contain carrageenan.

I've also been regularly updating the list of confirmed carrageenan free foods above so that list can be regarded as up-to-date.

15
And on the subject of PetFoodExpert, it is indeed run by Pets Corner - not that you would be able to easily tell from the website.

As you can see from the Pets Corner website, they also manufacture More and Yora pet foods and have close ties with McAdams, all of which score remarkably well on the PetFoodExpert site.

Personally I have a big problem with pet food manufacturers posing as independent review sites and reviewing their own products but in this modern age these kind of shenanigans do seem to be becoming more and more common.

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