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Petco turns their back on Artificial Ingredients

  • April 23, 2019
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Petco turns their back on Artificial Ingredients

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Petco.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Making healthy choices at Petco just got easier. Recently Petco announced their commitment to leveling up by turning their backs on artificial ingredients.

I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. I used to walk into Petco and see certain brands and cringe because I knew we could provide better choices for our dogs.

I’m the type of dog mom that reads the ingredient list. But I know I have friends and family who don’t even turn the package over. They buy based on packaging and availability. And they trust the store to vet out products for them.

That’s why I’m delighted to see our neighborhood Petco where our friends and family shop taking steps to ensure better food is on the shelves for us dog owners.

Petco’s move to offer better quality food is a step in the right direction.

So what does this commitment look like?

As of May 1, 2019 Petco is turning their backs on artificial ingredients which they define as:

any dye, pigment, or other substance, which is not a derivative or mimic of a natural compound, that can impart color to a food.

any substance, the function of which is to impart flavor, which is not derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products.

Chemical substances added to or sprayed on the outside of food to retard spoilage, deterioration, discoloration, or contamination by bacteria and other disease organisms, and excludes preservatives that are derivatives or mimics of natural compounds.

The brands affected are:

Beggin Strips

A full list of alternatives you can purchase are on Petco’s website:


For years I’ve cooked for Maggie and Orbit. I found myself in this situation when they suffered a bout of allergies and yeast infections.

It took several vets to help us get their allergies and yeast under control and I’m happy to report they are relatively rash free.

I’m always gun shy to try something new because there’s nothing worse than waking up at 2am to the sound of your dog scratching.

But when Just Food For Dogs became available at Petco it put me at ease that I could feed my dogs a veterinarian approved cooked diet.


  • Supported by 8 veterinarians
  • Human grade ingredients
  • Formulated fresh in their pantries
  • 100% USDA Certified Beef and Beef Heart
  • No preservatives of any kind.
  • No growth hormones.
  • No BHA.
  • No BHT.
  • No LFBT. (you know this as “pink slime”)
  • No artificial coloring.
  • No artificial anything.
  • All packaging
  • BPA free.

They offer three different ways to feed your dog:

Fresh food with a variety of different menu options available at Petco stores that have a Just Food for Dog Pantry

Pantry fresh food (lightly coked and longer shelf life) perfect for travel, convenience or on the go. This option doesn’t have to be refrigerated until you open it.

Meal kits that provide the base mix + recipe for those that want to cook food themselves.

This list is from the Just Food For Dog’s Website:

USDA Certified Ground Beef
We only use the finest USDA inspected and approved ground beef from Kansas in this healthy dog recipe. Beef is considered a prime source of high-quality, complete protein and is also rich in iron and zinc, as well as vitamins B12 and B6.

USDA Certified Beef Heart
Our USDA inspected and approved New Zealand beef heart is a nutrient dense food. Ounce for ounce, it contains the most concentrated amounts of protein and a natural source of active vitamin A. It’s a rich source of heme-iron, the most absorbable form of iron. Beef heart is also high in B-vitamins such as cobalamin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorous and zinc.

Russet Potato

Our russet potatoes come from Washington and Oregon and are high in potassium. They also contain substantial amounts of vitamins C and B6. They are also a good source of niacin, fiber, magnesium iron and thiamin. Russett Potatoes for dogs are cleaned and cooked with the skins on in order to preserve the maximum nutritional value.

Carrots are full of antioxidant compounds and are one of the richest sources of the pro-vitamin A carotenes. The antioxidant compounds may help to prevent heart disease, cancer in dogs, and help protect good vision. In addition, Carrots for dogs are a very good source of vitamins C and K, potassium and dietary fiber.

Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes contain a unique root storage protein that have significant antioxidant capabilities and are an excellent source of vitamin A and a very good source of vitamin C and manganese.  Sweet potatoes for dogs are also high in beta-caratine and a good source of copper, dietary fiber, Vitamin B6, potassium and iron

Green Beans
Green beans are rich in vitamin K, riboflavin, copper, omega-3 fatty acids and niacin. Green beans for dogs are also a good source for dietary fiber, phosphorous and protein.

Safflower Oil
Safflower oil contains essential omega-6 fatty acids which, via prostaglandins, strengthen cell membranes and regulate every function in the body at the molecular level. Canola oil for dogs is both more common as well as more affordable than safflower oil but given the controversy surrounding canola oil and the superiority of safflower oil for dogs we believe the expense is justified.

Egg Whites
Egg whites are considered nature’s perfect protein, and contain all essential amino acids in a highly bioavailable form. In addition, egg whites are a great source of selenium, choline, potassium, and contain some calcium.

We always core our apples for dogs before including them in our fresh dog recipes. We use red delicious apples that are high in antioxidants and fiber.

Green Peas
Green peas are a very good source of vitamins C and K, manganese, dietary fiber, folate, and thiamin. Peas for dogs are also a good source of vitamin A, phosphorous, vitamin B6, protein, niacin, magnesium, riboflavin, copper, iron, zinc and potassium.

Potato Starch
Potato starch is the starch extract from potatoes and is used in small amounts as a binder to help give the food the consistency it needs to run through the Tetra Pak packaging system. Potato starch is a rich source of energy, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium.

Cod Liver Oil
Our cod liver oil provides Omega 3 fatty acids in highly biologically available forms of EPA and DHA. It is also a rich source of Vitamins A and D.

Multi-Vitamin & Mineral Blend
JFFD’s Nutrient Blend is formulated specifically for each recipe to meet NRC RA recommendations. The blend is compounded from 100% human grade nutraceuticals sourced from a facility regulated by the FDA. It is also available for purchase as a DIY homemade recipe kit.

At the start of the trial I challenged myself to make a twinning meal using the same ingredients in their meal.

We had a picnic on the patio and it was grand.

How long have Maggie and Orbit been eating this food?

I trialed this food for Maggie and Orbit for a month. During this time they were in great health, their fur and coat were shiny and soft and their stool movements were healthy.

Recently we went camping and I packed Just Food For Dogs for them.

just food for dogs camping trip

What other brands do we recommend?


Acana Duck and Pear Treats

Duck, pears, duck liver, sarsaparilla root, mixed tocopherols (preservative).
*Guaranteed Analysis*
Crude protein (min.)35%Crude fat (min.)35%Crude fiber (max.)3%Moisture (max.)2%

Orijen Treats

All Ingredients
Fresh wild boar liver (24%), fresh wild boar (24%), fresh goat liver (12%), fresh venison liver (12%) fresh goat (12%), fresh venison (12%), fresh arctic char (4%).

Although we don’t feed dry food … for those family and friends that ask us we recommend the following dry food options at Petco.

  • Wholehearted
  • Acana
  • Orijen

In conclusion

We’re excited about Petco’s commitment to vetting out brands and offering healthier options for pet owners.   We’re especially excited that they offer cooked food in conjunction to better dry food as well.

By, April 23, 2019
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