Bakers the “Complete” truth!

Bakers Complete dog food is made by Purina, and is their most recognisable brand. It fills every supermarket shelf from here to Timbuktu, shining like a glossy blue superstar to tempt dog owners into parting with their hard earned cash. Sadly the image is not reflected in the content.

When we look inside the blue bag we dog owners jump for joy, because it looks so healthy with all those bright colours and vegetable pieces and chunks of delicious meat. Why would we not want to feed this to our pets, it looks good enough to eat!

But dogs are red/green colour blind and pretty much decide if their food is edible by sniffing it, so who are the pretty colours and shapes aimed at? The answer is us of course and it is a marketing success in the pet food industry that is rivalled by no other.

So why do our dogs snaffle it up like it is the best thing since sliced bread? Because it is jam packed with oils, fats and sugars which act as flavour enhancers, and like us this kind of diet can have serious health implications.

The bulk of Bakers is made up of unspecified cereals, would you eat something whose main ingredients were unspecified? This allows the manufacturer to use whatever grains are the cheapest at the time of manufacture and they don’t have to tell you.

The Protein content is from meat and animal derivatives. This suggests by the nature of being non-specific that the protein is from the less desirable parts of an animal such as guts, feet etc and provides a minimal amount of protein.

Then the dreaded E Numbers, and we are all aware of the effects in humans of these synthetic additives, and Bakers contains up to 13! They are used to as flavour enhancers and preservative.

Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) – E320

Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) – E321

Propyl Gallate – E310

Citric Acid – E330

Potassium Sorbate – E202

Propan -1, 2-diol – E490

Iron Oxide – E172

Indigo Carmine – E132

Tartrazine – E102

Sunset Yellow – E110

Quinoline Yellow – E104

Titanium Dioxide – E171

Carbon Black – E153


E320 – has been found to be tumour-producing when fed to rats. In human studies it has been linked with urticaria, angioedema and asthma.

E321 – banned for use in food in Japan, Romania, Sweden, and Australia. The US has barred it from being used in infant foods. (So bad McDonalds have voluntarily removed it from their products)

E310 – Banned from children’s foods in the US because it is thought to cause the blood disorder methemoglobinemia

E172 – Banned in Germany

E132 – Can cause skin sensitivity, a rash similar to nettle rash, itching, nausea, high blood pressure and breathing problems. One of the colours that the Hyperactive Children’s Support Group recommends be eliminated from the diet of children. Banned in Norway.

E102 – TARTRAZINE – A trial on 76 children diagnosed as hyperactive, showed that tartrazine provoked abnormal behaviour patterns in 79% of them

E110 – Sunset Yellow has been found to damage kidneys and adrenals when fed to laboratory rats. It has also been found to be carcinogenic when fed to animals

E104 – One of the colours that the Hyperactive Children’s Support Group recommends be eliminated from the diet of children. Banned in Australia, Japan, Norway and the United States.

E171 – Banned in Germany

E153 – Banned as a food additive in the United States of America. Suspected carcinogenic agent.

So I will leave you to draw your own conclusion as to whether you should feed this to your dog or not. There is masses of information on the web about this and if you are not convinced, go ahead and do some research, it will scare you.

It is widely recognised the in the dog behaviour world that dogs fed on Bakers are significantly more likely to have behavioural problems, so much so that the issues are resolved simply by changing from Bakers to a better quality dog food (there are many out there, read the labels or ask advice from someone who knows what they are talking about).

If you are reading this on my website and are about to contact me because your dog is a handful and you feed your dog Bakers, you may just have saved yourself some money J