Eukanuba Dog Food Review: Poor Ingredients, False Ads
About the Company
In 1969, Eukanuba started as a pet food formula under the Iams company. Eventually, Iams and Eukanuba were sold to Procter and Gamble, who sold them in July, 2014.
They then fell under the Mars Petcare umbrella, the largest pet food company in the world, even if they are more famous for their chocolate bar.
Reviews on Eukanuba dog food are mixed, when it comes to the experts. Some have concerns about certain ingredients.
Good dog foods will always have meat as the first and main ingredient, with a healthy ratio of meat protein, fat, and carbs. Formulas with corn, soy, wheat, grain, flour, beet pulp or sugar have a high glycemic index, or they’re an allergy risk for many dogs. Meat by-products are an obvious safety problem too that unfortunately continues to be an issue in the pet food industry.
Despite that, Eukanuba dog food reviews on retail websites are positive. The company’s Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food has the highest Eukanuba dog food rating on Chewy.com, with 82 out of 85 consumers recommending the product and almost a full five stars. A look at the ingredients, however, reveals immediate problems. While chicken is the first ingredient, it’s followed by corn meal, chicken by-product meal and dried beet pulp.
The ratings on Chewy.com for Eukanuba puppy food reviews are just as high. The company’s large and small breed dry puppy formulas are the second and third most recommended Eukanuba dry dog food products. Chicken by-product meal is the second or third ingredient though, and dried beet pulp is still included. The Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food has corn meal as the second ingredient too.
Innapropriate carbohydrates are much too high for me to recommend these products to all the dogs. The meat by-products mean the meat protein is inferior as well. The canned dog foods have similar flaws. This means that pups with special needs should consume these food with caution.
The Eukanuba website points out a number of positives for their products:
- Animal based protein as #1 ingredient (but, they also use animal by-products.)
- Energy throughout the day with a customized carb blend (but, that includes grains with a high glycemic index like corn and wheat which are known as common allergens.)
- Clean teeth, fresh breath, healthy gums with 46% less tartar
- Healthy skin & rdiant coat from Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids
- Benefits digestion from prebiotics
- Healthy joints & bone growth from Omega fatty acids and calcium
- Strong immune system from antioxidants
- 110% money-back satisfaction guarantee
The company website says all the animal protein in their products comes from, “animals that are passed as fit for human consumption.” However, their formulas have chicken by-product meal, beef by-products, and unspecified meat by-products as well.
Eukanuba uses carbohydrates like corn meal, and wheat gluten which can be unacceptable for some pets. Corn and wheat often cause allergy problems for dogs, and they may raise their blood sugar too quickly. Dog food with corn as one of the main ingredients can make a pet's weight difficult to control. The company’s added dried beet pulp just adds the extra sugar. Pet parents should be carefull in case if their fur babies are prone to sensibilities or gaining weight (although, dogs with fast metabolism will benefit).
The company website also proudly states they, "systematically trace ingredients back to their origin," and the main ingredients come from Europe, New Zealand, and the United States. What about the minor ingredients? I want to know where everything comes from, not just the majority. It doesn’t say where Eukanuba makes their products either.
Eukanuba Dog Food Reviews of Ingredients
There are 43 pet products on the Eukanuba corporate website. Some focus on weight control, small and large dog sizes, or specific breeds. There are also formulas for adults, seniors and puppies.
Dry Dog Food
Eukanuba product lines include: Premium Performance, Weight Control, and Breed Specific. They’re sold in 5-lb, 15-lb and 40-lb bags
- Crude Protein (min) 23%
- Crude Fat (min) 13%
- Crude Fat 16% max
- Crude Fiber (max) 5%
- Moisture (max) 10%
- 325.09 kcal/cup
- Crude Protein (min): 26%
- Crude Fat (min): 14%
- Crude Fiber (max): 5%
- Moisture (max): 10%
- 337.4 kcal/cup
- Crude Protein (min): 27%
- Crude Fat (min): 12%
- Crude Fiber (max): 4%
- Moisture (max): 10%
- 3,972 kcal/kg
- 447 kcal/cup
Eukanuba's Claims About 30 Percent Longer Lifespans Aren't Study-Based According To The Federal Trade Commission
In August, 2016, Mars Petcare U.S., Inc settled with the Federal Trade Commission over false advertising, involving the health benefits for Eukanuba dog food. The company said in television ads, in print, and on the Internet that there was a 10-year study and that Eukanuba dog food extended lifespans by 30 percent or more.
This claim couldn’t be proved though because they didn’t have enough scientific evidence. Any future violations of the agreement made with the Federal Trade Commission, by claiming unsubstantiated health benefits or longer lifespans, may result in a civil penalty of $40,000.
Thus, the company doesn't use the forbidden statements in its ads or product names anymore. I don't know the details of the study that was the base for the claims but according to the ingredients lists, I suppose that Eukanuba foods have quite ordinary contents.
Eukanuba Dog Food Recall History
The Eukanuba company website says they use “tests that are consistent with human food evaluations.” They also state that each bag goes through as many as 120 quality tests. There hasn’t been a specific Eukanuba recall while they’ve been under Mars Petcare's ownership.
Companies that make unsubstantiated health claims definitely should get serious penalties. Pet food consumers seem stuck with these snake-oil sales tactics. Therefore, they should make an informed choice based on the nutritional info and veterinarian recommendations, not on the ads only.
Eukanuba's promises to extend a dog’s life ended up being unconfirmed. Also, the company regularly uses various kinds of meat by-products (as many others do) and some of its dog food formulas contain grains. On the other hand, the quality is supervised by the largest pet food company in the world. I can't throw away the good customer reviews, so this food gets the rather good overall rating.