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What's actually in your dog's food?

What's actually in your dog's food?

Many people know what’s in their dog’s food and why your pet deserves better

It’s no secret that the UK is a nation of dog lovers, but new research commissioned by Edgard & Cooper unveiled for National Pet Month this April has lifted the lid on how close the relationships with our furry friends are—but that many of us don’t realise that we aren’t feeding our pups nutritious food or what to look out for when choosing the right food for our dogs.

The research of 2,000 UK dog owners found that we love our pups so much that nearly all dog owners (98 per cent) say they treat their furry friend like a human, ie often speaking to them, with 86 per cent seeing them as an equivalent to any of their human family members.

"64 per cent of dog owners are of the view that the quality of ingredients in dog food should be equivalent to that in human food"

94 per cent think their pups have human-like habits—with 63 per cent saying their dog is able to sense their mood, 60 per cent think they respond to what they say, and 56 per cent even get a cuddle from their canines when they’re sad.

Whatsmore, 64 per cent of dog owners are of the view that the quality of ingredients in dog food should be equivalent to that in human food.

Dogs deserve better dog food

Dog holding its food bowlCredit: Chalabala

However, the research found that many owners are unclear on what makes a canine’s cuisine top dog, so the brand is launching its Dogs Deserve Better Dog Food campaign during National Pet Month this April, and asking owners to stand up for pups across the country and demand that their best friend’s kibble is perfect every bite.

Here, Edgard & Coopers founder, Louis Chalabi, who is on a mission to educate the UK about what goes into pet food, shares his top tips on what to look out for on the labels of our beloved pet’s food.

Meat meal lack of transparency

'Meat meal' is a generic term for processed foodit can be hoofs, beaks, feathers. It can also be chicken covered up as meat meal, which your dog may be allergic to. We do not know what the animal source is when this type of labelling is used. It’s a mystery! 

"'Meat meal' is a generic term for processed food—it can be hoofs, beaks, feathers. We do not know what the animal source is"

Brands use this type of labelling as it allows them to change the type of meat used without having to change the label. This means they can buy meat that’s on offer and easily change the recipe per batch. Edgard & Cooper is on a mission to be 100 per cent transparent, traceable and ethically sourced by 2025, but meat meal companies aren't.

Meat meal harder to digest

As well as being a mystery meat, meat meal is simply less nutritious and harder to digest for dogs. Due to being heavily processed, most of the important nutrients end up being removed.

Fresh meat is included in Edgard & Cooper—yes even the dry kibble. We're an easy, convenient and lower cost alternative to feeding your dogs fresh or heavily processed food.

Added sugar

Dog with head in food. bowlCredit: AVAVA

When heated, sugar creates an umami flavour (the Maillard reaction) that dogs and cats alike love. By adding extra sugar pet food brands enhance this reaction, tricking cats and dogs into eating more.

Certain preservatives

BHA is a synthetic antioxidant that is being banned in multiple countries for human consumption because it’s shown to cause several types of cancer. 20 per cent of pets die from cancer, so this is hugely important.   

On a mission

Edgard and Cooper dog food
Credit: Damian Kerlin

Edgard & Cooper launched when Louis and his co-founder Coen struggled to find food their dogs could eat which agreed with their stomachs. This led them down a shocking journey where they found that the majority of Europe (and indeed the UK) use a lot of junk in dog food.

Edgard & Cooper are on a mission to give our pups high-quality dog food that’s naturally nutritious, and good enough—for us—to eat. The team are so confident in the quality of their pet food that they test every kibble and treat themselves.

Throughout National Pet Month, Edgard & Cooper is encouraging owners to read the ingredients on their pet’s food labels, and make sure every bite is junk-free. More information can be found on edgardcooper.com

Banner credit: Damian Kerlin

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