In this article, we take Trader Joe’s dog food under the microscope and fully explain whether it is good at all.
Trader Joe’s Dog Food | All about It
We all want to pick only the best for our smaller friends, but when there are so many options available, it’s quite a hard task to do. We try to tackle this task bit by bit, and, today, we’ll be demystifying Trader Joe’s dog food and seeing whether it is good at all.
What about the Company’s History and Current Reputation?
This company is a sizable and relatively popular supermarket brand with over half a thousand of stores all over the United States. Originally, the brand was caller Pronto Markets, being established in 1958, but after 9 years, it was rebranded into the company we know today.
Although the company is on the rise, and a lot of people prefer this place as their main “buying groceries” destination, it is connected to some controversies. According to a number of reports, their practices encourage waste, and they suppress any information going public regarding their suppliers for various foods, which raises quite a lot of suspicion.
Trader Joe’s Dog Food Review: A Closer Look
There is one thing to note before we delve into examining each of their product categories for pups! They don’t pose themselves as a brand that manufactures their offerings, and they don’t advertise their dog-specific options anywhere. Additionally, the tag on the dog food explicitly states the product is only distributed and sold by the company.
This aspect isn’t by its nature a horrible thing, but it does mean that this brand lets a contractor handle the manufacturing of the dog food while they are in charge of selling the products, which indicates that the brand isn’t as engaged. It also might inevitably lead to the end quality of food being of worse quality than other alternatives available on the market. Keeping this in mind, let’s get down to specific categories.
Trader Joe’s Canned Dog Food | Overview
When it comes to wet food, the company mainly offers 3 flavors:
*Chunky Beef Dinner
*Chopped Lamb and Rice Dinner,
*and Chunky Chicken Dinner (other flavors might be available during seasonal offerings).
We’re going to concentrate on the ingredients that are common between all of the flavors. The first positive point in the dog food make up is that they do not specify animal by-products as ingredients, which is a big plus. Also, the inclusion of beneficial vitamins and minerals is great. The vitamins and minerals are sure to manage your pup’s health just fine.
However, there are a couple of questionable moments. First of all, this includes the presence of an ingredient called ‘animal liver’ consistently in the top 5 of elements. It raised our suspicion to the extreme because it doesn’t specify at all from which animal the liver comes from, which is incredibly strange. Secondly, the textured soy protein is always found in the top 4 of the dog food’s composition, which isn’t only a pretty common allergen for numerous pups but also is a plant-based protein source.
The ratio of protein to fat is pretty good in TJ’s wet food, but, being mostly carnivores, dogs aren’t going to get much use out of the plant-centered protein source. Additionally, some dog owners indicated that TJ’s wet food give their pups inconsistent bowels, and, in some cases, it even gives the pooches indigestion. Most likely, due to the inclusion of the soy product in big amounts.
Trader Joe’s Dry Dog Food | Let’s Look Inside
There’s one more factor that affects the quality of the food. The type of the bowl. Some cheap plastic bowls have materials that are toxic to dogs. Moreover, plastic dog bowls get scratches so easily. Minute food particles stuck in the crevices and that results in the growth of harmful microorganisms.
All in all, pet parents should be wise and choose high-quality plastic bowls if they really want plastic ones or can choose durable and safe stainless steel dog bowls.
TJ’s dry food options are also not that plentiful, only having 2 main products to choose from Organic Chicken and Brown Rice and Lamb Meal and Rice (there are also additional formulas). Again, upon inspecting the composition of the dog food, we find that the vitamins and minerals were included and that the animal by-products were excluded, and this time no soy product.
Nonetheless, you shouldn’t become over-excited with the dry option, because it has its own downsides. Instead of soy, in the top 4 ingredients, we have now ground wheat and rice, which are also a plant-based source for protein. Still, wheat is miles better than soy, because most dogs can tolerate it.
Luckily, in these, the mysterious ‘animal liver’ is absent, but its place is taken up by a similar ingredient called ‘natural flavor’. It can mean any synthetic additive, and it might be used to enhance the taste of low-quality elements.
The protein to fat ratio isn’t as good with this option, and it also contains a lot of carbohydrates. So, if your pup isn’t as active, you might see it acquiring lots of weight. You’ll have to keep your pooch very busy if you’re going to go with TJ’s dog food options.
All About the Treats
TJ’s numerous treat options seem to be a favorite between numerous dog parents. The organic and high-quality ingredients make this product extremely appealing, so, no criticisms here. Of course, not all of the doggies take a liking to TJ’s treat, but, in most cases, the pups go absolutely crazy for TJ’s treat. There are tons more flavors available than with dog foods, which is a big plus because you definitely can find something that your pup will like.
Trader Joe’s Dog Food Recall History
Unfortunately, the instances of companies recalling products in the dog food industry are aplenty. The general low-end quality of foods makes retailers take the bad options off the shelves and ship it back to the manufacturer. Several third-party resources keep track of all commercial recalls, and TJ’s history (at least with the foods for dogs) seems to be very clean.
The company has also added a section where they list their own instances of recalling products to improve the brand image and interaction with customers, and, again, no dog food is to be found. Of course, the section on the website is very recent, containing only recalling occurrences from 2018, but still, it actually inspires tons of trust in the brand.
Know the Trader Joe’s Dog Food Price
Every single dog food product that the brand offers is suspiciously cheap. While the other alternatives on the market that are by no means premium are literally double the price (when you calculate the price for an oz. of offerings from various manufacturers), TJ’s options are an amazing deal if you are short on the money side.
For example, a usual 12 oz. can of wet food costs around $2 currently. TJ’s option has the same price tag, but you whole 22 oz., which is quite incredible for a dog food that is of appropriate quality. Yes, it may not suit all dogs due to its ingredients, but if you’re short on money, and your pup’s digestive system isn’t very sensitive, then this just might be a solution for you!
To Sum Up
Although TJ’s dog food options are not all-organic, you cannot feasibly expect the food to be so affordable and not employ plant-based foods as one of the main sources for protein. Additionally, let’s not forget about vitamins and minerals, which you can usually only find in better foods for dogs. Considering the company’s great record with recalls and just how good the treats are, TJ’s dog food seems like an amazing option for the money (only, of course, if your pup doesn’t experience any digestive problems).