Things to Consider When You Buy Dog Food

Here are a few ideas that will help you save time and money and ensure you get the best food for your pet when you are buying dog food.

Buying dog food can be a bit of a nightmare. After all there are so many brands on the market, all claiming to be the best possible food, “complete nutrition” and so on. There are also many television and print advertisements, all showing happy and healthy dogs and screaming to you to buy their brand ahead of any other.

However, if you go beyond the marketing hype there are a number of things you can do to ensure you get the best food for your dog or puppy. Not only that but you can save yourself some time and money as well.

Firstly, remember that the cheapest priced food will not always work out to be the most economical. Most of the lower cost brands contain cereals and other fillers that hold little nutritional value for dogs or puppies. That means that not only will your pet suffer health wise in the long run, but you will need to feed more. Because of that, you may find that your weekly food bill is greater than if you had used a better food in the first place. Remember too that poor food can create health problems that can mean bigger vet bills.

So don’t just buy the cheapest. Look at the recommended daily feed allowance on the package and compare the average weekly cost. Remember too that many of the better brands offer loyalty plans where you can receive free bags; these should be taken into account when calculating the overall cost.

When looking at ingredients, favor the foods that have a named meat (such as chicken or lamb) or meat meal as the first ingredient on the label. The ingredients to avoid include cereals, wheat, soy, beef (a major cause of food allergies in dogs), animal fats and by-products. Certainly also steer clear of any foods with artificial colorings, preservatives or flavorings. These can all be harmful.

Once you know the brand or brands you wish to buy you can keep an eye out for any special offers. Dogs do not usually have problems switching between foods as long as the foods are of decent quality.

When considering where to buy your dog food, remember that a very good option these days is online. If you know the brand you are looking for (or at least the type of ingredients you are after) then you can get some very good value through online shopping. These online stores do not have the same running costs as retail outlets so can often be cheaper. You also get the convenience of home delivery.

With a bit of planning and research you can not only save time and money but you can ensure your dog or puppy has the healthiest and happiest life possible.

Food Allergies in Dogs – Myth vs Fact

There is a lot of misinformation regarding allergies and pet food, but there is no doubt it is quite a common problem. Fortunately Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic is one of the least allergy-creating brands on the market. This is based on the choice of ingredients in each formula.

Below is an excerpt from a recent article which highlights many good points about food allergies in dogs:

By Dr. Jennifer Coates, PetMD

Allergies are a common problem for dogs. Typical symptoms include itchiness resulting in excess scratching, biting, or licking, and sometimes chronic or recurrent skin/ear infections. While dogs most frequently suffer from allergies to environmental triggers (e.g., pollen, molds, and dust mites or flea bites), allergic reactions to food are possible, and are frequently a source of greater controversy.

Diagnosing canine food allergies is not easy. It typically requires a food trial during which a dog eats ABSOLUTELY NOTHING other than a food containing protein and carbohydrate sources to which he has never been exposed before. Another option is to only allow your dog to eat food that has been processed in such a way as to make it hypoallergenic. A food trial needs to continue for at least eight weeks before its success or failure can be evaluated. This is easier said than done!

I think the difficulty we have in definitively diagnosing food allergies in dogs is at least partially responsible for some of the myths that have developed around the condition. Let’s look at a few, along with the truths behind them.

Myth: Dogs are typically allergic to corn, wheat, soy, and other plant-based ingredients.

Truth: In a study of 278 cases of food allergies in dogs where the problem ingredient was clearly identified, beef was by far the biggest culprit (95 cases). Dairy was number two at 55 cases. Wheat came in third with 42 cases. Soy and corn were actually minimal offenders, coming in at 13 and 7 cases, respectively.

In fact, protein sources are more often to blame than grains. Beef, dairy, chicken, egg, lamb, soy, pork and fish were responsible for 231 of the food allergies, while wheat, corn and rice combined accounted for only 54. (Some dogs were allergic to more than one ingredient, which is why these numbers total more than 278.)

Of all of the above grain ingredients, Pro Pac only uses corn (the least offender), and then only in some of the formulas (corn is actually a quality ingredient, but that’s another story…..). We’re confident it’s why we get so many dogs that have moved to Pro Pac and Earthborn Holistic from other foods that find any allergy problems clear up.

If you have any issues with allergies feel free to give us a call anytime. We’re obviously not vets but we do understand dog nutrition better than most.

Where to Find the Best Dog Food Reviews on the Internet

If you’re looking for the best food for your dog or puppy it’s a good idea to check out what others are saying. Here are some of the best sites with dog food reviews.

Finding the most suitable dog or puppy food for your own particular pet can be a difficult task. There is a huge variety of foods available from supermarkets, pet stores and vets. All of them of course claim that theirs is the best! Adding to the confusion are advertisements showing healthy dogs loving to eat their food, with the a claiming that this is the result you will get of you feed your dog that food.

When choosing a dog food many people use price as an indicator of quality. In fact, this is not necessarily a good measure of quality at all; many companies (particularly the large ones) have huge marketing costs and these have to be built into the price you pay. After all, the advertisements on television or in magazines – and even the signs at the vet clinic – all have to be paid for from the sales of the food (this is one reason smaller pet food companies can often offer better value, even if they are not so well known).

You could also try to look at the ingredients, but this is not as straightforward as it seems. Many ingredients on dog food labels are confusing and difficult to understand. There is a high degree of leeway in the marketing of dog foods (and other pet foods). For instance, did you know that if a food says “with” a certain ingredient (for instance “with real chicken”) then by law it only needs to contain a minimum of 3% of that ingredient? The rest of the food may well be filled up with low quality cereals and by products which do little for the health of the dog.

Another alternative which many people use is to ask a salesperson at their local pet shop or vet clinic. However, they may not know much either; after all, they usually want to sell you the products they have without having done a lot of independent research into dog or puppy nutrition.

Fortunately, with the internet, there is a solution: dog food reviews. There are now a number of websites which review dog and puppy foods. A word of caution, however: it is very important to only take the word of independent dog food reviews that look at the food based on the ingredients. That is why the websites of a particular dog food manufacturer are not usually a good guide, unless you can find the ingredients and understand them yourself to make up your own mind.

Here are two websites with independent dog food reviews that are excellent:

This dog food review website not only reviews products by brand, but they also have a lot of other useful information about dog food that pet owners would find very helpful. There is also the opportunity to post questions and comments.

This is another website of dog food reviews. Like DogFoodAdvisor above, it uses a star rating system to grade the foods by quality.

Although not a site with actual review of dog food brands, this is a very informative website that goes into a lot of detail about what really is in dog foods and the effects on animals. If you are wanting to learn more about dog food ingredients and overall nutrition this is highly recommended.

Fortunately, the internet now provides a way to navigate through the confusing world of dog food and find the right one for your dog or puppy. Dog food review websites such as those above provide excellent – and independent – advice.

How to Choose the Best Dog Food For Your Pet

With so many brands of dog food on the market today, how do you choose the best one for your dog or puppy? Here’s what to look for when buying dog food.

There are a huge number of dog food brands for sale these days, and many more seem to be coming onto the market. Many of them are backed by extensive advertising campaigns, telling you that they are ‘complete nutrition’ and have all sorts of wonderful ingredients that your dog will love. Often the packaging isn’t much help, either. Again, they all seem to say that theirs is the best, and have pictures of happy dogs to prove it.

There is of course also a huge range of prices and many dog owners use price as a guide for the quality of the food. After all, the more expensive the dog or puppy food the better it must be, right? Well actually, not necessarily.

Some people decide which food to feed their dog based on whether their dog likes it or not. This is not necessarily a good idea. After all, if you asked a child what food they liked the most they would very likely say ice cream, french fries or some other fast food. But would it be in their best interests to give them a diet only of those foods? It is the same with dogs – the food they like may not be the best for them. Not only that, but most dogs will eat virtually anything if their owner goes about things the right way with them.

Ultimately, the only two things you can use to select the best dog food are the ingredients of the food and how well the dog does on it.

As far as ingredients go, unfortunately labels can be very confusing. Find the ingredients list on the package (which can be hard to find, or may be listed in a number of different languages). Avoid anything artificial such as flavorings, colorings, preservatives or other additives. Over time these can definitely be harmful to your dog. Also make sure the the first listed ingredient is a meat, preferably chicken, lamb or poultry. Avoid those which have the first ingredient as a cereal or grain as these are just fillers. Also avoid by-products; these are all the parts of the animal that are not the meat and can contain all sorts of things that do your dog or puppy no good whatsoever.

Once you have selected a dog or puppy food with quality ingredients, try it out with your pet for a few days or weeks. Notice the condition of its coat and see if it gets better or worse. Also look out for signs of scratching or skin irritations which may suggest an allergy to the food.

It is very confusing trying to find the best food for your dog or puppy and there is very little in the way of independent advice available. Every company will of course say that theirs is the best! The above guidelines will go a long way to making sure you have the food that suits your pet the best.

About Pro Pac’s Nutritional Research Team

A number of people have asked us about Pro Pac’s research team, articularly their Head Nutritionist, Dr George Collings.

Dr Collings is one of the most respected names in the petfood industry.
He received his Ph.D. in nutritional sciences from Michigan State University
and has been board certified by the American College of Animal Nutrition,
the American College of Nutrition and been elected into the American
Society of Nutrition. He has worked in the advancement of pet nutrition for
over thirty years working in lead roles with Nestle Purina (Ralston Purina),
Hills Pet Nutrition and others. He has designed hundreds of products and
has worked closely with the team at Pro Pac Pet Foods.

This is what Dr Collings has to say about Pro Pac:

“Pro Pac Super Premium pet foods offer a variety of nutritional options for the life stages and nutritional needs of pets. Built on a super-premium
platform of more concentrated and fortified nutrition, Pro Pac formulas are
highly palatable and digestible. Each Pro Pac formula uses high quality
meat protein meals (chicken meal, lamb meal, fish meal, etc.) along with
highly palatable fat sources. Moreover, Pro Pac formulas have fermentable
fibers to help build good stools; highly available forms of minerals for good
adsorption balance Omega fatty acids for immunity and skin & hair coat
plus critically balanced nutrient levels.

Pro Pac pet foods provide life stage versions for large and small breeds,
senior pets, high-performance pets and pets with special needs (sensitive,

lamb & rice, and low-fat in dogs plus hairball in cats). Pro Pac also
has highly palatable, nutritious treats to support the product line. It is a

complete line of pet foods in attractive packaging, but it is what is inside
that counts. The foods will perform and produce good results in multiple


The investment Pro Pac puts into the quality of the ingredients is one of the major reasons why Pro Pac is now the fastest growing superpremium petfood in the world. Having someone of the calibre of Dr Collings leading the development of the brand shows just how highly regarded Pro Pac is. We’re confident in saying you can hardly do better and that it represents the best quality and value of any food available.

How Big are Your Kibbles?

We often get asked questions about the sizes of the biscuits (also known as kibbles) that Pro Pac comes in for the various formulas.

There are different sizes for each formula. Each has been designed by the Pro Pac research lab (headed by Dr George Collings, PhD in Nutritional Science and one of the most respected names in the pet nutrition industry) to specifically ensure the best digestibility and teeth/gum health for each type and age of dog.

We have created a page on the website which has dimensions and photos of each of the kibbles. It is here:

Stock news and a doggy joke to make you smile

Just wanted to let you know that all our Pro Pac formulas are now back in stock. This includes the Senior and Adult Mini Chunk. Again, our apologies for any inconvenience with the delay.

And we thought you might like this doggy joke:

A local business was looking for office help. They put a sign in the window saying:


Must be a good typist and be good with a computer.
Successful applicant must be bilingual. We are an Equal
Opportunity Employer.

A short time later a lovely golden retriever dog trotted up
to the window, saw the sign and went inside. He looked at the receptionist and wagged his tail, then walked over to the sign, looked at it, whined and pawed the air.

The receptionist called the office manager. He was
surprised to say the least to see a canine applicant. However, the dog looked determined, so he led him into the office. Inside, the dog jumped up on a chair and stared at the manager expectantly.

The manager said, “I can’t hire you. The sign says
you must be able to type.” The dog jumped down, went to the typewriter and proceeded to quickly type a perfect
business letter. He took out the page and trotted over to
the manager, gave it to him, then jumped back up on the

The manager was stunned, but told the dog, “That was
fantastic, but I’m sorry. The sign clearly says that
whoever I hire has to be good with a computer.”

The dog jumped down again, went to the computer and
proceeded to demonstrate his expertise with various
Programs, produced a sample spreadsheet and database, then presented them to the manager.

The manager was dumbfounded! He said to the dog, “Hey, I realize that you are a very intelligent applicant and have fantastic talent, but you’re a dog — no way could I hire you.”

The dog jumped down and went to the sign in the window and pointed his paw at the words, “Equal Opportunity Employer.”

The exasperated manager said, “Yes, I know what the damned sign says. But the sign also says you have to be bilingual.”

The dog looked him straight in the eye and said,   “Meow.”

New Stock Arriving Shortly

Due to a delay in our shipment from the US we have been out of stock of a few lines. However, the good news is they will be back in stock in the next few days. Coming back into stock will be:

  • Adult Chunk 7.5kg
  • Adult Mini Chunk 15kg
  • Senior 7.5kg and 15kg
  • Lamb and Rice 3kg
  • Low Fat 7.5kg

We’ve also added Adult Mini Chunk 7.5kg

All other formulas remain in good supply.

If you’ve been waiting for these, thanks for your patience. Our Pro Pac sales are continuing to grow at a rapid rate. This, combined with the boat being delayed, has led to a temporary supply shortage.

Any of the above formulas can be ordered now and they will be sent out early next week. Of course the other formulas are all available now.

To order please either call us on 0800 364 366 or order directly from the website at

Can Pro Pac Help With Training Your Dog?

Owning a dog is a big responsibility and it’s only AFTER you get your dog that you realise how much work they can be. It can also be very frustrating when they don’t behave the way you want them to.

So what do you do? Well if you really want to have your dog under control and behaving they way you want ALL the time there’s something we recently discovered that is an amazing resource. It’s been used by more than 200,000 dog owners worldwide and, frankly, we were extremely impressed.

You can find out more about it here:

We’re thrilled with the way Pro Pac is starting to get recognized in New Zealand for the quality food that it is. Every week we hear from new customers and also receive great reports of how well dogs are doing on it.

Problems with your dog not coming when called?

A pretty common issue with dog owners is struggling to get their dog to come when called. Do you have that problem, at least sometimes?

Actually, it’s not that difficult to sort out, once you understand what’s going on in your dog’s head.

The real issue is that most people only call their dog when they want it do something THEY want, rather than what the dog wants. For instance, you call your dog because you want to tie it up, put it in the car, lock it inside – in general to stop what it is doing (which might be having fun) and doing something they don’t want to do. Pretty soon the dog associates coming to you with a lack of pleasure.

When you realise that, then all you have to do is to get your dog thinking that coming to you is pleasurable. So start calling it for no other reason than to reward it, with a pat, a cuddle or a treat (a few kibbles of Pro Pac makes a great treat).

Do this a few times. It won’t take long before your dog gets the message that it’s going to get rewarded for coming to you, not just ‘punished’.

We tried this recently with a dog we were looking after and it worked a ‘treat’.

Try it!