Pet Food Manufacturers Examined

The top selling pet food manufacturers are not always the best in terms of food quality. In a 2004 report from Davenport and Company, they found that more than 85 percent of the pet food market was dominated by seven companies.

  1. Nestle/Purina

  2. Iams

  3. Hill's Pet Nutrition

  4. MasterFoods USA

  5. Ol' Roy

  6. Del Monte Foods

  7. Nutro

Problems with Foods Offered by Popular Pet Food Manufacturers

To save money, most of these pet food manufacturers use fillers and meat or poultry by-products. Many pets have allergies to wheat, soy or corn. As a result, skin irritation and stomach upset are common complaints.

In addition, veterinarians believe the increase in certain cancers and diabetes are linked to a diet of poor quality pet food. Cats and dogs are not getting the proper nutrition because the foods contain more starches than proteins.

Common Ingredients Found in Nestle/Purina

Nestle/Purina is responsible for brands like Alpo, Beneful and Purina Puppy Chow. If you look at the ingredient lists, the top ingredients include ground corn, corn gluten meal, chicken by-products and meat and bone meal.

MasterFoods USA is responsible for Pedigree brand dog foods. The main ingredients are corn, meat/bone meal, ground whole wheat and corn gluten meal.

Iams and Hill's Dog Foods Compared

Iams contains chicken, corn meal and whole grain sorghum in their ProActive recipe. Iams Healthy Naturals were designed to include high-quality ingredients but brewers rice and corn meal remain in the top five ingredients. Iams veterinary formulas are better and contain potato, fish meal and whole fish.

Hill's Adult Active dog food contains ground corn, chicken by-products and animal fat. Their veterinary formula for aging dogs contains corn, chicken by-products and pork fat.

Ol' Roy Dry Dog Food from Walmart

Ol' Roy is one of the top-selling dog foods because of its low price. There are a number of formulas available but all of them contain ground corn and meat and bone meal. Kibbles, Chunks and Chews even lists high fructose corn syrup in the top five ingredients.

Del Monte Pet Food Manufacturers

Del Monte manufactures Gravy Train, Kibbles and Bits and Nature's Recipe foods.

Gravy Train and Kibbles and Bits both list corn, soybean meal and beef/bone meal as key ingredients. The foods aren't easily digested by dogs.

Nature's Recipe offers the adult and puppy foods or Farm Stand Selects. This is also one of the better choices when shopping for pet food though the white rice isn't the healthiest ingredient you can find. Key ingredients in the puppy foods are chicken meal, oatmeal and barley. The adult formula lists chicken meal, ground rice and barley.

Nature's Recipe Farm Stand Selects are even better because the first ingredient is a pure protein source. Turkey, turkey meal and ground rice or salmon, salmon meal and ground rice are the key ingredients in the turkey or salmon formulas.

Nutro Pet Foods

Nutro Max is a popular dog food, but it's ingredients (chicken meal, wheat flour and ground whole wheat) really aren't great options. Nutro Holistic Ultra is slightly better though the first ingredient is brown rice rather than a source of protein, chicken meal is the second ingredient in their holistic formula