The Pet Scoop: Better is more

True or false. The better the quality of food, the less of it you have to feed your dog?

Bill McQuade and his dog, Purdy.

Bill says: True. Very true, absolutely true, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!

When it comes to buying pet food, you are purchasing nutrition. The size and price of the bag or can is irrelevant. The ingredients in the food and the quality and ethics of the company manufacturing the food are the most important considerations.

The best way to demonstrate the difference between two brands of food is to compare ingredients, looking at the feeding guidelines recommended by the manufacturer for a 50 lb. dog.

Beneful Healthy Weight: A 31 lb. bag costs $29.99. The manufacturer recommends feeding 4-cups per day, at a cost of cost $.96 cents per pound, for an annual cost of $262.80.

Now, lets look at the ingredients. Ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal (poor-quality ingredient consisting of chicken head, feet, entrails), corn gluten meal, soybean hulls, whole wheat flour, rice flour, chicken, soy flour, animal fat (a by-product of rendering, also known as tallow, and designated “not fit for human consumption”).

Nutrisource Grain Free Chicken Formula: A 30 lb. bag costs $48.79. The manufacturer recommends 1 3/4 cups per day, at a cost $1.63 per pound, for an annual cost of $262.80.

Obviously, the recommended daily amount of food is less with the Nutrisource brand, and that’s due primarily to the better quality of ingredients; chicken, chicken meal, peas, pea starch, pea flour, and chicken fat.

If you believe as I do (and all holistic vets do) that a dog is a carnivore, then you know that your dog needs to eat an animal protein-based diet. Your pet needs high quality nutrition for optimal health. The better the nutrition, the better the digestion, the fewer trips to the vet, and for those of you that actually pick up after your dog, a lot less poop to scoop.

Purdy’s answer: I really like the food with meat protein and this slim, trim figure is admired by all the studs at the grooming parlor. But I also really like the high carbohydrate stuff. It is really kinda addictive, but I don’t want to lose this gorgeous figure. I really need my owners’ will power on this one.

If you have a question for Bill, email it to bill(at)

Bill McQuade is the owner of The Whole Pet, located at 2423 N. College Ave. in Fayetteville. The Whole Pet specializes in nutrition for cats and dogs and offers a wide variety of quality diets in raw frozen, cans and kibble. The store also offers affordable, unique and high quality pet supplies and accessories. Bill is a professional dog handler, and has worked in the pet care business since 1972.