Baxters Dog Food Review
|Country of origin||Australia|
Baxters can be found on the shelves of Woolworths as one of their own brands (read our post on phantom brands). For our Woolworths Baxters Dog Food Review we’ll take a look at the With Real Chicken and Rice formula, but they’re all fundamentally the same and equally as bad.
What the marketing says
I’ll quote the Woolworths website directly – “Baxter’s Adult Food is specifically formulated to aid digestions”. Seriously, they can’t even get their grammar correct. I think they mean “aid digestion”, but looking at the ingredients and all the terrible feedback that doesn’t seem to ring true.
What the marketing doesn’t say is this is a home brand which should probably be labelled as such, but Woolworths have it made to look like a glossy commercial brand. If you look at all the dog foods in the dog food aisle you simply wouldn’t be able to tell it apart from the surrounding commercial brands. Tricky, eh?
Warnings from the Woolworths Baxters dog food page!
For the many who have suffered very sick dogs having eaten Baxters dog foods, Woolworths have offered a robot reply saying the product is safe and yada yada yada, but on their website they have “get out clause” warnings:
A dog may have a sensitive stomach, but they may only have a sensitive stomach to a dog food product which is made from very poor quality and possibly harmful ingredients. You decide.
What the labelling really says
When we see the word “With” on the packaging it means the food has to contain the ingredient, but it doesn’t need to be much. When we see “With Chicken” it means there’ll be a very small amount of chicken in the food as a whole, but not enough to justify it being written in UPPERCASE on the front of the packet. It’s one of the ways marketing deceives us into believing a product is something which it’s not. They shouldn’t be allowed to do this. It’s deceiving, and in my opinion dishonest.
The first ingredient in the food happens to be meat and meat by-products derived from beef and poultry, so not exactly the chicken they’re saying it is. This is the cheapest and nastiest inclusion of meat in a pet food, and it won’t look palatable if you saw what was in it. What I expect we’re looking at is remnants of animal carcasses and offal once anything of value has been extracted and sold off for human consumption. Carcasses, bones, offal, tumours, and “bonus” protein sources such as undeveloped eggs and maggots are common in an ingredient such as this. There’ll be some form of chicken in there too to justify the label.
If you’re not already put off then the 2nd ingredient (which is probably an equal proportion to the first ingredient) doesn’t get much better. Cereal and cereal by-products will have little nutritional merit, especially the cereal by-products. It’s derived from wheat, the number one most problematic grain when it comes to allergies, dry and flaky skin, lethargy, and bloat. Cereal by-products are often referred to as “floor sweepings” in the pet food and grain industries, for good reason. Manufacturers can argue this has nutritional merit, but a more accurate assessment is it’s very cheap per tonne and would otherwise be a waste product. It’s high in carbs, harsh on digestion, and far from species appropriate for a carnivorous animal.
We estimate at least 50% carbohydrates. That’s bad.
The 3rd ingredient, Tallow, is found in many foods on the cheap side of the scale. It’s the fatty residue from cooking up a mixture of animal carcasses and by-products. I could show you a video of tallow being made, but you’d likely gag and it may ruin your day.
So is there anything good in the food? Well yes… peas. But that said I’m sure they’re included here as a cheap way to bump up the lackluster protein percentage of 22%.
It’s interesting to see bentonite included, a clay substance that aids digestion, bloating, gas, skin complaints, vomiting, and diarrhea. I would assume this is included to mask the side-effects of feeding the food? Out of all the foods reviewed on this website, only one other manufacturer uses bentonite, and they make terrible dog food as well (because they’re a milling company, not a dog food company).
Potassium chloride is used to add potassium to the food but also to balance the pH of a poorly formulated food. We find it in a number of foods in small amounts. I’ll reference a few points here in relation to the many reports I’ve received of dogs being sick after eating Baxters and the symptoms which have occurred:
“Trace Minerals (Potassium Chloride) (1 stars) found in 4% of pet food products analysed. Source of potassium to balance pH, small intestinal ulcers may occur, indicates lack of well-rounded supplementation” ~ Cooperative report between food formulator Dr. Lisa Newman N.D. Ph.D (www.azmira.com), Mike Adams (www.healthranger.org) and the non-profit Consumer Wellness Centre (www.consumerwellness.org).
Potassium chloride is “used to cause cardiac arrest as the third drug in the ‘three drug cocktail’ for executions by lethal injection” ~ Wikipedia.org
“Potassium supplements may result in these side effects – muscle weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite” ~ PetMD.com Note: This is in relation to supplement tablets for dogs suffering chronic kidney conditions or kidney failure, but I note it here as the effects are inline with many reports I’ve received of sick dogs eating this food.
Woolworths Baxters dog food review summary
Still reading? Don’t buy this food. Woolworths should be ashamed for selling Baxters. It’s a terrible dog food with such an awful reputation.
From a composition aspect the food is very high in carbohydrates (known to be harmful to be dogs), and very low in fat (don’t take this as a good thing, dogs efficiently digest animal fats for nutrients and energy).
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Where to buy Woolworths Baxters?
The term “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should” comes to mind. It’s on the shelves of Woolworths, and we recommend you leave it right where it is.
Avoid the other Woolworths home brand as well – Woolworths Essentials. It’s made by the same manufacturer, Australian Pet Brands.
Our recommended retailers
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Meat and Meat by-products (derived from beef and poultry), Cereal and Cereal by-products (derived from wheat), Tallow (derived from poultry and/or beef), Peas, Bentonite, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Essential vitamins and minerals, Whole Linseed, Beet Pulp, Preservatives and Antioxidants.
|Crude Fibre||(max) 3%|
|Carbohydrates *||Estimated 50%|
Shown to have the worst track record of any pet food in Australia given the amount of reports we've had of sickness.
- All of it.