Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 2014


The present study was designed to address the prevalence of the lack of knowledge for what owners are feeding their dogs, and to determine if grain should be within the diet. It was hypothesized that a bag of feed containing protein at no specific level, with a low level of grain will be more beneficial for the animal, and that a diet needs to contain grains. The crude protein, crude fat, and first five ingredients listed were compared for four bags chosen, and to the nutritional requirements for a dog. “Holistic Blend Grain Free”, contained an extremely high amount of protein, too much for a maintaining dog, thus would cause damage to the dog’s kidneys if consumed for prolong time. “Nature’s Variety Instinct Grain Free” contained too much protein for a dog to use, and had a high fat content. “Natural Balance” contained protein and fat within the nutritional requirements, and was the best choice out of the four bags chosen. “Purina Dog Chow” was within the nutritional requirements of a maintaining dog but was composed mainly of corn, which is not as nutritious. Owners should not feed high protein diets that are grain free because the kidneys could be over worked and cannot remove urea as efficiently, therefore, grains need to be in feed. Owners need to read labels before buying a feed for their dog, and accommodate the pet’s needs. Otherwise, more dogs will be fed too high protein diets or lower quality ingredients, and more dogs will develop kidney disease, or become obese from high fat content.