The My Dog biscuits have a main ingredient of cereal grains, for your meat loving dog. They come in pretty colours to make you believe you’re giving your dog a tasty treat, but your dog doesn’t care what colour their food is.
Surprisingly, My Dog, made by Mars, is very popular in Australia. What attracted you to the brand? The cute dog on the packet, the glamorous packaging, the affordable price, or availability in Coles and Woolies?
In the My Dog review we’ll mostly focus on the dry food, but I’ll cover the wet food as well.
Then you can decide for yourself if My Dog is good for your dog.
Where to buy
My Dog is available in many Australian retailers, both in store and online.
My Dog review (dry dog food)
What the marketing says
The slogan for My Dog is “Love them back”.
You know your dog loves you, and this plays on your emotions by suggesting you’re feeding your dog with love when you give them this dog food.
The cute dog on the bag is a Westie, and I expect they’ve chosen such a breed as My Dog is very popular with small dog owners.
With the My Dog biscuits you’ll find a chicken and a beef formula, but our first insight into these formulas not having much meat are the titles:
- My Dog with Tender Chicken & Vegetables
- My Dog with Gourmet Beef & Vegetables
Ignore the words “Tender” and “Gourmet”, as they are meaningless marketing words. The word with is the important word, as Australian regulations for pet food labelling state a dog food doesn’t need much of those ingredients to allow them to be used in the formula name.
That’s marketing for you.
Don’t be fooled by it.
I’ve already said the main ingredient (in both recipes) is cereal grains, so you may wonder why they’re not mentioned on the front of the bags?
The reason is we know cereals don’t sound good for our meat-loving dogs, which is why they don’t tell you what My Dog is really made from.
Let’s take a look at the ingredients…
What the ingredients really say
If you compare the ingredients of the different recipes you’ll find they’re pretty much identical. So don’t go thinking your dog’s getting a variety if you feed different recipes. They’re not.
The first ingredient and the third ingredient are grains (cereals + rice).
If your dog has itchy skin, yeasty ears, trouble having poos, or is generally overweight or inactive, then you should consider cereal grains as the cause.
I find this particularly the case with wheat, which you can bet is part of the “cereals” ingredient as it’s one of the cheapest inclusions in dog food (and makes the most profit).
Cereals made into dog biscuits don’t look great, which is why they add food colourings. Personally I wouldn’t feed any dog food which uses food colourings – we already know they’re not healthy, and they aren’t necessary either.
Dogs are primarily meat eaters. I would refer to them as a facultative or scavenging carnivore, which means they’ll eat whatever they find available, but will benefit the most from animal ingredients. Your dog loves meat, right?
Cereals like wheat tend to cause dietary sensitivities because our dogs struggle to digest them. You’ll often hear the word “allergy” used, but it’s not an allergy when they’re reacting to food which is inappropriate for their digestive system.
Meat & Meat by-products (poultry, beef) are the second ingredient, but don’t count on this being the majority of the formula. There’ll be more cereals than meat, then add the rice, and you won’t have nearly as much meat as you think.
Besides, what quality of meat?
Not the “tender” or “gourmet” meat you’ve been led to believe from the formula names.
This could be as much carcass as anything decent, which is usually the case when pet food companies use throw-aways from the human food industry. The stuff they can’t sell to us and would otherwise have to pay to dispose.
Protein may sound ok at 24%, but this isn’t guaranteed and may be less. Fat at 10% (also not guaranteed) I find concerningly low – our dogs use animal fats for energy, health, and wellbeing.
We’ve covered the main ingredients already, and I can’t find anything positive to say about the rest.
My Dog dog food contains glycerol (also known as glycerin). It’s a type of sugar alcohol, often used as a humectant (to make the food feel softer and more palatable). As a general rule, if a dog food contains glycerol, don’t buy it.
You’ll find ambiguous ingredients like “flavours”, “colours”, “antioxidants”. Ask yourself why My Dog haven’t been specific with the ingredients?
You can assume these ingredients may be artificial rather than natural. You may wonder why it’s legal to label food products with meaningly ambiguous terms, but unfortunately for us as consumers this is perfectly legal.
So what do you think?
Is My Dog good for your dog?
My Dog wet food review
I’ll cover the My Dog wet food briefly, and it has to be said it looks a little better than the dry foods.
The ingredients of the canned “My Dog Classic Loaf with Juicy Lamb & Hearty Liver” are as follows:
Meats Including Lamb, Chicken, Turkey, Liver, Beef, Pork; Gelling Agents; Vegetable Fibre; Minerals; Flavours; Colours; Vitamins.
You’re bombarded with various names of meat, but it looks like you can summarise as Meat / Gelling Agents / Vegetable Fibre.
A good question to ask yourself is how much gelling agents and vegetable fibre to the meat content? And of course, what’s the quality of the meat content?
Like with My Dog biscuits we find ambiguous ingredients.
What gelling agents?
What vegetable fibre?
Common gelling agents used in pet food include agar-agar, carrageenan, and guar gum. They’re used to create the gel-like texture, and you can gauge by looking at the stuff which comes out of the can how much is used.
My Dog aren’t specific about what the vegetable fibre is either, and we can only assume they don’t want you to know.
What flavours, and what colouring agents?
I’m not sure I would feed My Dog wet food to my dog, even if it looks a little better than the dry foods.
Ingredients of My Dog dry dog food (With Tender Chicken and Vegetables formula):
Wholegrain cereals, meat & meat by-products (poultry, beef), rice, chicken flavour, beet pulp, glycerol, salt, vitamins & minerals, vegetables, vegetable oil, amino acid, flavours, colours & antioxidants.
Many dog foods use a “guaranteed analysis” which gives us assurances of protein and fat – the stuff which matters most to your dog. My Dog dog food uses a typical analysis instead, which isn’t guaranteed. That means the product you buy might be worse than the figures stated on the packet.
Typical analysis of My Dog dry dog food (With Tender Chicken and Vegetables formula):
|Carbohydrates *||48% (estimated)|
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As yourself if food-coloured cereal grains are what you should feed a dog, as this is pretty much My Dog dog food in a nutshell. Ask yourself this: Is My Dog food good for your dog? I wouldn't say so. Would you?
- Mostly cereals.
- Food colourings to make those cereals look more attractive to your dog - not that your dog cares about the colour of their food.