Scratch Dog Food Review

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Scratch Dog Food Review
8 Total Score
  • Well considered ingredients
WebsiteScratch
Country of originAustralia

Scratch offer a home delivery service tailored to your dog. The first thing I noticed was how cool their website is. It’s really cool.

You can create a profile for your dog by giving them some information (name, sex, life stage, breed, weight, activity level), and they recommend an appropriate delivery schedule. Shipping is free to Melbourne and Sydney, and I believe they’re looking at options for wider distribution as the company grows.

Scratch Dog Food Review

Their business philosophy is to offer transparency which is something very welcome in a rather nubilous industry. You’ll see from the ingredients they list percentages – this is something all manufacturers should be required to do as it really shows the truth. Not many do.

The bulk of the food is made up of three ingredients – KangarooBroad Beans, and Chick Peas. These are all in fairly equal proportions. To put this into perspective, many of the big supermarket brands have less meat, and instead of legumes use excessive (filler) grains. There are also more expensive brands which have a greater meat percentage, so this food sits somewhere in the middle. It’s comparable, and slightly cheaper than Black Hawk Grain Free.

There’s a concern with feeding broad beans in excess, but some clever pet food industry boffins tested they could be fed in moderation and they hold up relatively well when cooked into a kibble. The main reason they’re used in kibble is because they’re a cheaper alternative to meat, and they bulk up protein percentages. It’s nothing to do with whether the ingredient is good for your dog. Given almost a third of this food is broad beans (and almost two thirds legumes) the real issue may stem from constant feeding. This is one of the reasons we recommend a mixed diet.

Scratch Dog Food Review

Further down the ingredients list we find some nice inclusions. There are four types of oil (sunflower, salmon, flaxseed, and coconut), which will all boost well being, skin, and coat health. DHA is included to support brain and body. There’s a few other well chosen ingredients as well, and the wonderful turmeric which has no end of health benefits. It’s also really nice to see no use of chemical/sulphite preservatives or nasty additives.

The only real downside of this food is the amount of legumes, but otherwise Scratch could be worthy of adding to a rotation of foods.

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Ingredients

Kangaroo (Roo Meal 28%, Meat & Liver Digest 5%), Broad Beans 27%, Chick Peas 27%, Beet Pulp, Chicory, Alfalfa, Yucca Extract, Carrots, Chia, Spinach, Pumpkin, Kelp, Turmeric, Beef Fat 7%, Sunflower Oil 2.7%, Salmon Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Coconut Oil, DHA from Algae, Monosodium Phosphate, Salt, Zinc Sulphate Monohydrate, Essential Vitamins & Minerals, Mixed Tocopherols and Rosemary Extract.

8 Total Score
Good ingredients with a bias on legumes

PROS
  • Well considered ingredients
CONS
  • A bias on legumes over meat

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Doug Spiegelhauer
3 years ago

As one of the founders of Scratch I wanted to thank you for the review.

We believe that all pet foods should transparently list all their ingredients and percentages of all the main ingredients as pet parents deserve that level of information so thank you for recognising that. Leading the way with this, we do expect some shock reactions as people are not used to seeing the truth about pet food.

Very few single animal protein kibbles will have more meat content than we have in “Scratch” when considered equally on a dry basis. The reason there is not more kangaroo was to make sure key nutritional ratios were not breached. So, while Broad Beans are cheaper than Kangaroo, they are similar to the cost of chicken and more expensive than a generic “meat meal”. They are also a much more expensive ingredient than grains or the typical grain free ingredients of potato starch or tapioca starch. We also believe it is much better to have a whole ingredient-based diet instead of the refined proteins and starches.

Broad beans are a good source of protein and fibre as well as vitamins & minerals. Tapioca or potato starches as alternatives are basically pure carbohydrates making Broad Beans a much better choice. Raw Broad Beans should not be fed to dogs, but the time and temperature of the extrusion process de-activates the enzymes that cause protein absorption problems when raw. Feeding trial research(published in Journal of Animal Science) has measured total tract digestibility of Broad Beans consisting up to 30% of the diet, and showed almost no difference than the control diet.

On our website ingredient page, we explain the reasons why we have included each ingredient.

If anyone has any further questions, feel free to reach out to me at doug@scratchpetfood.com.au For a small fee we now also ship to Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra.

Jess Weir
Jess Weir
5 months ago

I joined scratch with the hope of improving my dogs skin allergies and ear infections. He ate the food no problem however about a week after starting him on it he refused to eat his breakfast which was VERY unusual for him. We took him to the vet and found that the food had caused serious stomach issues for him and he was throwing up and also had diarrhea for the next week. According to our vet grain free biscuits are actually very dangerous especially in large breeds.

Edanna
Edanna
5 months ago
Reply to  Jess Weir

So it’s likely based on the DCM thing, where honestly the number of cases was only a few hundred over 5 years didn’t even reach 1000. We have 900 million dogs in the world, at least 300 million I’d say would be eating grain free. So less than a thousand cases in 300 million dogs is incredibly fishy.

It just doesn’t make any sense to why they would blow it up that much, I think it was because the Big 4 were loosing money and they made up some shit. Now the problem with making stuff up, is you have to back it up eventually.

They still can’t back it up, it was debunked plenty of times. However one thing they did find, was beet pulp and lamb foods cause issues with taurine in the body.

They also found that increasing taurine in dogs fed this diet helped tremendously. Taurine can actually be bought from GreenPet is it’s ever a worry. The doses are tiny and it’s cheap.

There was also mentions of, most kibble nowadays are loaded with legumes, they have more legumes than meat. This is the reason why some dogs are having issues.

There is no sure fire way to tell how much meat a kibble has, meat first doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. Lots of foods are meat first and only contain 9% actual meat.

If you have a large breed or any breed who is predisposed to heart problems, add meat to their food, add air dried/freeze dried toppers. Meat is high in natural taurine, which is lacking in pet food.

Orijen is a good “kibble” because it has 85% raw meat, this amount obviously lowers once the food has been cooked. But this food is rich in natural taurine, it’s got it all. Meat/fish/organs/bone. But it’s unfortunately expensive. It’s low carb, it may appear to have a lot of legumes but it doesn’t.

Any kibble with 4+ meats in the first line, will usually have more meat, but without percentages we don’t really know how much, unless they say how much.

Vetalogica biologically appropriate says 65% meat and Instinctive Bite writes how much meat they use as well from 49% to 70% for the salmon. Does it actually contain that much salmon? No idea, all I know is it’s their worst offender for bad reviews.

The other flavours are good, just never buy the salmon, unless you want a sick dog. I reckon they’ve used too much salmon frames and oil and it’s so incredibly rich that only a select few pups can actually eat it without issue.

There’s a few brands with a few meats in the first few lines, but yeah I can’t really remember them all at the moment.

Simon Wile
Simon Wile
5 months ago

You cant really get away from the ads for Scratch so finally caved and ordered some. Great online buying experience.Didnt work out for my dog, tried for 3 weeks but even small amounts triggered unhappy movements. Glad I tried but wont re-order.

Edanna
Edanna
5 months ago
Reply to  Simon Wile

Ads are abound for literally every brand ever, I look past them, not really into the flashy parts, I just need the ingredients and if they look good and the protein fat etc looks good. I may try it, depending on the meat, mine didn’t like this or any other kangaroo kibble.

You should try Orijen from Very Pet, cause you can get a sample like bag for $15. My dogs love it and do very well on it.

I have a list of foods I think are good based on reviews, my own experiences etc that might be of use to you.

Wellness Core
Holistic Select
Instinctive Bite (not the salmon) budget
Orijen and Acana when available
Vetalogica bioglogically appropriate
Taste of the Wild
Meals for Mutts
Balanced Life/non kibble options as well
Xp3020
Nutra gold budget version of ToTW
Phoenix
Cherish
Aldi Natural Elements is not bad for budget/GF version is high fat 18%
Stockman and Paddock GF version (high fat) budget
Pure life kibble and freeze dried mixture
Man’s Best
PurePro if you need super high calorie (716 kcals a cup)

Non kibble range
Ziwi peak
Woof
K9 Natural
Absolute Holistic
Providore with 2 for $88 specials, can be considered a budget air dried (for now) price keeps increasing.
Kiwi Kitchens
FrontierPets

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