Retriever Dog Food Review – Is this food a joke?
I don’t normally prefix review titles with “joke”, but I felt with the Retriever dog food review it was necessary.
It’s not a funny joke either.
Maybe you have a Retriever and think this dog food is the perfect option based on the name alone, or you Googled “retriever dog food” and this brand sprung up first?
Whatever dog you have, read this review first – then make a more informed decision.
Retriever review – Choice Chops
What the marketing says
With any dog food it’s the ingredients and guaranteed analysis which tell the real story. Not the marketing.
Nevertheless, I want to tell you the truth about the marketing of Retriever dog food as it will help you for years to come.
To quote the Petsense website, “Retriever Choice Chops Adult Beef Recipe Dry Dog Food is a dry dog food formula developed specifically to meet the nutritional needs of your dog”.
That’s not quite true. It’s designed to meet the minimum requirements to be sold as a “diet”food” for your dog, based on requirements set out by AAFCO.
Those minimum requirements aren’t very good. A bottom line.
I’ll explain more shortly.
With Choice Chops you’ll read “Hearty Beef Flavor” on the front of the bag. This sounds tasty, but the word “flavor” is the problem. Beef flavor is different from beef, and definitely different from the hearty beef you’re imagining (or saw on the front of the bag).
On that note, lets take a look at the ingredients of Retriever dog food. Will the ingredients be as hearty as we think?
What the ingredients really say
Ground corn is the first ingredient.
And therefore main ingredient.
Isn’t that odd?
The front of the Retriever dog food bag doesn’t say “Hearty Corn Flavor”. In fact, there’s no mention of corn on the front of the bag whatsoever.
I’m sure if you buy hearty beef from the butcher you wouldn’t expect to be given cornbred. Would you?
You may find yourself wondering how that can even be legal?
Meat and bone meal is listed second, but lets get back to that.
There are actually four ingredients which you can assume make up the bulk of the recipe. We know corn is the main ingredient, but soybean meal and wheat middlings are very likely in the same amount as the meat content.
To make that point clear, it’s very likely the meat is less than 25% of those top four ingredients, in a product supposedly designed for your meat-loving dog.
If wheat isn’t bad enough, being one of the most common triggers of dietary reactions in dogs (or poor long term health), then meat and bone meal isn’t that great either.
Let’s discuss the meat content, the part which is most beneficial to your dog…
Meat and bone meal is firstly ambiguous.
How much meat?
How much bone?
What quality of meat?
You can expect whatever is cheapest. This could be discarded meat and bone from the human food production industry, likely with added sulphite preservatives.
Most of the time (and the guaranteed analysis of Retriever dog food looks to agree with me) this is more likely bone and ash than muscle meat or nutritious organs.
I hope I haven’t lost you already with my ramblings, but to further analyze this, it means most of the protein in the food is from corn, not meat. That’s not optimal for your dog. To make matters worse, 18% protein is very low for a dog food.
Fat content of 8.5% is very low.
These aren’t good signs, as our dogs thrive on fat for energy, health, and wellbeing.
The other issue with very low fat and protein brings us to an issue they don’t tell us – the food will be very high carbohydrates.
By my estimations, Retriever dog food could be 55.5% carbohydrates, or maybe more.
Carbohydrates (or sugars) are not only unnatural foods for your dog, but may also make them fat and develop all manner of dietary illnesses.
Big veterinary bills in a few years time?
If you’re still reading, and still waiting for me to give you a positive reason to buy Retriever dog food and feed it to your dog, I’ll leave you with this:
Retriever dog food contains food colors.
You already know the issues with food colors?
These colors aren’t for your dog’s benefit. They don’t care what color their food is.
They’re for your benefit.
It’s to make you believe this kibble of corn, soybeans, and wheat middlings, with questionable meat and bone content, looks good for your dog.
Are you fooled?
Should you feed Retriever dog food to your dog?
Not even as a one off snack.
I’d rather let my dog fast than feed her this.
Ingredients of Retriever dog food (Choice Chops):
Ground corn, meat and bone meal (source of beef flavor), soybean meal, wheat middlings, animal fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), animal digest (source of chicken flavor), calcium carbonate, dried cheese product, salt, added color (red #40, yellow #5, blue #2, yellow #6), vitamins (choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), minerals (zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite).
Guaranteed analysis of Retriever dog food (Choice Chops):
|Crude Fibre||(max) 5.5%|
|Carbohydrates *||Estimated 55.5%|
Corn, soybean, and wheat probably don't sound like a good diet for your dog, but these are 3 of the 4 main ingredients in Retriever dog food. Low protein and fat make this a very high carbohydrate dog food, suggesting little meat (which doesn't look to be quality meat either). I wouldn't feed the Retriever brand of dog food to my dog, even if she was a Retriever.
- Wheat - causes dietary issues.
- Corn - cheap alternative to meat protein.
- Very high carbohydrates - carbs turn to sugars.
- Not enough fat.