We'd be wrong to say that all kibble is full of crap - but we can say that all kibble has gone through an extensive manufacturing process to create those little burnt brown balls. Your pup deserves much, much better. Imagine eating a highly-processed meal replacement bar for every meal - you wouldn't be the healthiest version of yourself. That's kibble.
Let's review some of the biggest ingredient challenges with leading brands:
The facts: By-products (known as offal) are the pieces of an animal that are left after the meats used for human consumption are taken (typically). Think feet, livers, lungs, heads, brains, kidneys, stomachs etc.
Our take: Just skip it. Sure, some of the things on that list may not seem like the end of the world. The problem is, your pup needs higher quality nutrition for their everyday food.
The facts: Meat meals are made by making a meat stew, and are then intentionally overcooked and baked until all that's left is a dried powder. Not all meat meals are created equal, and some unsavory ingredients can sneak in. Ever heard the term 4D meat? It's meat from dead, dying, diseased or disabled animals. Think dead zoo animals, roadkill, euthanized animals, diseased livestock etc. You'll often see "meals" paired with their friend "by-products" on ingredient panels.
Our take: Just skip it. Best case it's a highly-processed protein - worst case it's a highly-processed protein from a diseased cow or a euthanized animal.
The facts: Mystery meats are usually found labeled as "meat meal" or "meat by-product meal". If the ingredient panel doesn't specify the animal source, it could be from anywhere. See 4D meat above.
Our take: Just skip it. Why even risk feeding your pup 4D meat?
Corn, Soy & Other Fillers
The facts: These ingredients can be found in countless kibbles on the market. They serve a nutritional purpose, but are generally cheap fillers that bring the cost down for the manufacturer. The higher up on the ingredient list, the more "filler" they become.
Our take: Just skip it. We don't use them for a reason. They're cheap, can cause allergies, and provide little nutritional value.
The facts: Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA). Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). Ethoxyquin. These ingredients have been approved for use in pet foods, but some are known to be carcinogenic and have been linked to tumors in lab animals. Food dyes like Yellow 6 and Red 40 are used to appeal to the pet parents by giving that brown kibble some color, but they provide no value and only introduce more artificial chemicals to your pup's diet.
Our take: Run for the hills. These have no place in pet food and only cause harm. If a preservative is being used, make sure it's natural like mixed tocopherols (source of vitamin E), citric acid, vinegar, or rosemary extract.
The facts: Check out our sustainability page.
Our take: Your dog may love the taste of meat, but they also love the taste of crickets. Traditional meats don't need to be their everyday protein. Make it a special treat and opt for sustainable proteins for their daily diet.
The facts: Most leading kibbles lack any positive digestive component, but some now add a probiotic to aid in digestion. Cricket contains a natural prebiotic called chitin that promotes a healthy gut for dogs with digestive issues.
Our take: Every dog could benefit from a prebiotic or probiotic to promote healthy digestion.
The facts: Beef, lamb, chicken and soy are some of the most common food allergies in dogs. Cricket is considered hypoallergenic, meaning it's not likely to cause an allergic reaction in dogs.
Our take: Cricket is a safe, allergy-friendly protein - why risk a food allergy on top of everything else by choosing beef?
Industry regulations and standards are just too low. We'd argue they aren't even standards. The sheer fact that 4D meats are approved for consumption should tell you all you need to know.
We pride ourselves in being transparent, and we hold ourselves and our ingredients to the highest standard. Neo Bites is a food you can trust.