Find out more about our products
Learn all about our dry dog food here. From ingredients to processes to the things you'll read on the side of the pack, you'll find the explanations and answers. And if you can't find the answer to a topic you're look for, ask us a question.
Sodium (salt) is an essential nutrient for dogs and, together with chloride, helps to maintain fluid balance. It stops a dog’s body having too much water or too little and becoming dehydrated. It also plays an important role in helping a dog’s nervous system work effectively. Salt also has a positive effect on the taste of food but we only add it to our food at recommended levels to help maintain a dog’s health. The levels of salt in BAKERS® are calculated by a nutritionist and are absolutely no cause for concern in a healthy dog.
We don’t add sugar to BAKERS® Complete. The only sugars in the food are those that occur naturally in ingredients that are beneficial to a dog. Sugar is a necessary part of the diet, for example glucose is the main energy source used by most cells in the body and the only energy source that the brain and heart are able to use at all. Dogs can very easily convert sugar into usable energy through normal digestion. Naturally occurring sugars are also produced during the cooking process, just the same as those produced in the cooking of your Sunday roast, and these natural sugars enhance palatability. The levels of these naturally occurring sugars are calculated by nutritionists and are appropriate for a healthy dog.
We only use ingredients that come from animals that have been inspected under veterinary supervision and are deemed fit for humans to eat at the time of slaughter, whether it’s beef, lamb, duck or chicken. The parts of these animals that we use may no longer be culturally popular for us to eat, for example liver, kidney or heart, but they are packed with vital nutrients and are great sources of protein.
A complete and balanced food must provide all the nourishment your dog needs to keep healthy and happy throughout his life. That’s why BAKERS® contains the required concentrations of over 30 essential nutrients, in a form that your dog is able to absorb and use. The food must also be tasty too. This ensures your dog eats enough every day to get the necessary levels of nutrients.
No, we don’t use any banned additives, also known by their E numbers. The additives we use in our dog food are regulated and rigorously reviewed in line with strict EU law to ensure safety. Once they have passed safety tests they are then awarded an E number (E stands for Europe). They can all be found in human food too. Generally speaking, approving an additive is a costly and time-consuming process. So, if an additive is not used in countries outside the EU it doesn’t mean it’s been banned. It may simply mean that it hasn’t been tested and approved because a similar additive is already in use. The following E numbers are the ones we use which have all been permitted for use in the EU:E320 Butylated Hydroxyanisole, E321 Butylated Hydroxytoluene, E310 Propyl Gallate, E330 Citric Acid, E202 Potassium Sorbate, E172 Iron oxides and hydroxides, E132 Indigo Carmine, E102 Tartrazine, E110 Sunset Yellow FCF, E104 Quinoline Yellow, E171 Titanium dioxide, E153 (Vegetable) Carbon Black.
We use them because we always look for ingredients that provide our dogs with the nutrients they need, and cereals are a good source of carbohydrates and protein. The cereals you might find in our food include wheat, corn, rice and soya. Carbohydrates are a readily useable source of both quick and slow-release energy. We use them to create energy instead of using fat or protein. That way your dog can then use the fats and proteins in BAKERS® to help maintain a healthy skin, coat and immune system. The fibre contained in some carbohydrates also helps support good digestive health in dogs in the same way they do for humans. Protein supports your dog’s body in functioning properly and provides essential amino acids that contribute to healthy coat and skin, muscle development and tissue construction. While animal-based ingredients offer many amino acids, cereals offer plenty too so a combination of the two helps us offer your dog a balanced meal at an affordable price. Cereals also help us to bind all of our ingredients in BAKERS together to provide a consistent kibble texture, which your dog loves.
The additives we use can be split into three types: ‘nutritional’ additives, functional (known as ‘technological’) additives and ‘sensory’ additives. Nutritional additives include vitamins, trace elements and amino acids, and help us produce food for your dog that is nutritionally complete and balanced. Then we have functional additives. These are preservatives and antioxidants that help maintain flavour and keep the food safe over time. We also use ‘sensory additives’ such as colourings to give the food a more desirable and consistent appearance. All the additives we use in our dog food are regulated and rigorously reviewed in line with strict EU law to ensure safety and can be found in human food too. Once they have passed safety tests they are given an ‘E’ number (‘E’ stands for ‘Europe’).
We say 4% because this declaration is a legal labelling requirement, but in fact the total percentage of meat and animal derivatives in our chunks is actually much higher. In the case of BAKERS® Adult with Tasty Beef and Country Vegetables, it’s at least 15% (equivalent to 30% rehydrated meat and animal derivatives). This 30% includes the minimum 4% of the ingredient highlighted on the label, for example beef, with the remaining 26% potentially being sourced from a variety of animals, such as additional beef, chicken, lamb or duck. So when you read 4% beef on our pack, it represents the minimum amount of beef that’s inside. Similarly, recipes such as ‘with lamb’, or ‘with chicken’ will each contain a minimum 4% lamb or 4% chicken for the same reason as a ‘with beef’ recipe. To list the exact percentages on our packs would mean reprinting them each time we adjust ingredients to cope with seasonal fluctuations in supply. Unfortunately this would mean you’d pay more for your box of BAKERS.
‘Meat and animal derivatives’ is the legal term given to the category of animal-based ingredients used within dog food. These ingredients are from animals that have been inspected under veterinary supervision and passed fit for human consumption, but which the human food industry often doesn’t need. This includes raw materials from the same animals that we normally eat such as beef, lamb and chicken. In addition, we will use less fashionable ingredients, including heart, liver and tripe for example, as they’re an excellent source of protein and amino acids for your dog. They all comply with strict EU rules that aim to ensure your dog’s safety and health. Using these ingredients and not letting them go to waste means we use human food sources more sustainably. Also, putting ‘meat and animal derivatives’ on the pack allows us to cope with seasonal variations in supply, as we can adjust the exact ingredients to compensate for supply fluctuations. So for example, if there is a scarcity of beef during one month the beef price will be higher, so we may use more chicken in the product. Altering the recipe in this way enables us to keep our prices consistent.
BAKERS is a complete and balanced food for your dog. This means it contains the right balance of the five major nutrient groups: proteins, fats and oils, minerals, vitamins, and carbohydrates to help maintain a dog’s body in good condition. Through our years of research into dog nutrition, our recipes have been specially formulated to match the nutritional needs of dogs of all shapes, sizes and ages. Millions of owners have fed BAKERS throughout their dogs’ lives. It is also widely recognised by vets that dogs, and pets in general, are living longer, healthier lives and that improved nutrition has played a crucial role in this. At BAKERS we believe that making food tasty ensures your dog eats it and therefore gets all the nutrients he needs to be healthy.
There is a common misconception that dogs cannot digest cereals or grains, but this is not true. Dogs are omnivores and can digest carbohydrates well, in fact they produce the same enzyme to do so as humans. Furthermore, contrary to belief, the cereals in BAKERS are not ‘fillers’. They play an important nutritional role and the majority of dogs are not allergic to them. Food intolerance or sensitivity occurs in less than 1% of dogs, and dogs that are truly allergic to food ingredients require a veterinary prescribed diet, but this is something to decide only after consultation with your vet. For the other 99% we believe the responsible thing to do is provide the best formulation we can for a dog’s nutritional needs, and this includes cereals. When you see cereals appearing high in the list of our ingredients on the side of our packs, it’s because all the different cereals are grouped together. Listing our cereals this way means we can select ingredients based on supply without incurring the cost of reprinting the label each time there is variation in the availability of any one cereal, which unfortunately would make a box of BAKERS more expensive.
BAKERS has always been a brand with a bright, fun-loving personality, just like a dog in fact. So colour is part of our DNA. It’s important to us that we delight dogs and owners together. Although dogs are unable to distinguish colour in the same way we do, we know that, when choosing a dog food, most dog owners want their choice to look appetising. In the production process, pet food can lose colour and so we add artificial colours to maintain a more desirable and consistent appearance. Ensuring BAKERS looks as delicious as it tastes is all part of our commitment to product quality. And by using the colours of vegetables, meat and cereals, we help consumers visually recognise and understand that BAKERS is a complete and balanced food.
We recognise that there have been stories in the media and online linking artificial colourings in dog food to health and behavioural issues in dogs. At BAKERS®, we love dogs and many of us have our own dogs too, so naturally we want to make food that helps keep dogs healthy and happy. That’s why the colourings we use in BAKERS are strictly regulated. They are also rigorously reviewed in line with strict EU law to ensure their safety. Additionally, our own experts have not found any peer-reviewed scientific evidence currently available that establishes a link between the colourings we use and health issues or behavioural problems in dogs. If you have concerns for your dog’s health the first thing to do is seek veterinary advice. There are a number of reasons why your dog might become unwell so it’s always best to get him checked out. There are also many different factors associated with behaviour problems and these will be very specific to the dog, his environment, and the dog’s experiences both now and earlier in their life. All too often, the dog’s diet is assumed to be the main trigger for any undesirable changes in behaviour, however it’s rarely the case that a diet alone could cause this. Again, if you’re at all concerned, your vet should be able to recommend a reputable behaviourist.
There is a popular misconception that commercial pet food is one of the main causes of behavioural issues in dogs. However, there are actually many reasons why some dogs can have behavioural problems and each one will be specific to the dog, his environment, and the dog’s experiences both now and earlier in their life. All too often, the dog’s diet is assumed to be the main trigger for any undesirable behaviour, however it’s rarely the case that a food alone could cause this. Some variations in behaviour can actually be an early sign of changes in your dog’s health so your first step is to contact your veterinary surgeon for advice. We recognise that there have been stories in the media and online linking additives in dog food to behavioural issues in dogs. At BAKERS®, we love dogs and many of us have our own dogs too, so naturally we want to make food that helps keep dogs healthy and happy. That’s why the additives we use in BAKERS are strictly regulated. They are also rigorously reviewed in line with strict EU law to ensure their safety. Additionally, our own experts have not found any peer-reviewed scientific evidence currently available that establishes a link between behavioural problems in dogs and additives in dog food.
Fat is an essential part of a healthy balanced diet and dogs need it in the same way humans do. It is an important source of energy and provides 2 times the energy of protein or carbohydrate. Fats are also a source of essential fatty acids, such as Omega 3 and Omega 6, which are important to help maintain overall health, good skin, a glossy coat, healthy joints, and a healthy immune system. Fats also act as a carrier for fat-soluble vitamins such as A,D,E and K. Without fats a dog would not be able to absorb these vitamins. The fat quantity in BAKERS® is calculated by a nutritionist and our feeding guidelines will vary according to a dog’s size and age so that it’s just right. Fats also improve the taste and digestibility of food ensuring your dog really enjoys his food. In doing so he’s not only enjoying dinnertime he’s also absorbing all the nutrients he needs to help keep him strong and healthy.
Not if you feed your dog according to our daily feeding guide on the side of every pack, and your dog gets an appropriate amount of exercise every day. Dog obesity is a serious problem in the UK and overfeeding and lack of exercise are common causes. That’s why we design our dog foods to provide all the healthy nourishment your dog needs, and because it’s complete and balanced your dog shouldn’t require anything extra. We all like to give our dogs a little treat from time to time but when you do remember to cut down the main meal by an equivalent amount to avoid over-feeding. Just like for us there are health implications if a dog is overweight. Dogs that are healthy may live up to two years longer and enjoy a more active life than overweight dogs. When it comes to controlling a dog’s weight, the correct amount of food also goes hand in hand with the correct amount of exercise. As well as helping your dog control its weight, exercise improves its stamina, builds energy and helps maintain cardiovascular health. Exercise is of course a great way for you and your dog to spend quality time together and strengthen the bond between you.
At Purina, we share concerns about the welfare of farm animals, including rabbits, and are committed to ensuring the highest possible levels of animal care and welfare in our supply chain. However it is important to understand how the pet food industry sources its raw materials. No rabbit, or any other animal, is specifically reared and slaughtered for pet food. The rabbit raw materials that pet food manufacturers use are the surplus products of rabbits raised for human consumption. As part of our Quality Assurance we have traceability of all our raw materials and are engaging on welfare standards for all our animal based material with our suppliers. This will include undertaking studies with our two primary suppliers of rabbit raw materials in Europe to better understand where these products originate. This information will allow independent, third-party auditors to carry out assessments at farm level, which will include reporting on animal care and welfare practices at producers of rabbit meat. We will continue to work with others to promote the improvement of farm animal welfare wherever we source ingredients from. To find out more about our work in this area, please visit http://www.nestle.com/media/newsandfeatures/nestle-animal-welfare-commitment.
We don’t add ash to our food. The reason we state the ash content on the pack is because it’s a requirement of animal feed legislation. ‘Crude ash’ or ‘crude ash content’ is a description of the amount of minerals in the food. Put simply, if you were to completely incinerate the food, all the major nutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates) would burn away leaving the minerals behind. These minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, are already present in the food. They are hugely beneficial to a dog’s health because they help balance body fluids, support the breakdown of food into energy, and help support strong bones and teeth.
We use additives because they are necessary to ensure that BAKERS® is complete and balanced as well as safe for your dog. The nutritional additives we use are vitamins, trace elements and amino acids. They support many vital functions in the body. Vitamins include Vitamin A which helps support vision and Vitamin D which helps support strong bones. Trace elements include iron, which helps support healthy blood, and zinc, which helps support a dog’s healthy immune system. We also add certain essential amino acids that dogs can’t make for themselves and which must come from their diet. Amino acids are essential for tissue construction and repair, especially in muscles, bones, coat and skin. Functional (known as ‘technological) additives are preservatives and antioxidants and these are important in maintaining good quality, safe and tasty BAKERS. Preservatives work by helping to prevent the fats in food combining with air and turning the food bad. Antioxidants, such as vitamin C (E300), vitamin E (E700) and selenium (E8), are added to our pet food to help support good health and neutralise free radicals which are naturally produced in the body. We also use ‘sensory additives’ such as colourings to give the food a more appetising appearance. In the production process, pet food can lose colour and so we add artificial colours to ensure BAKERS looks as delicious as it tastes. It’s all part of our commitment to product quality.
Glycerol works as a humectant that binds water in food, and this enhances the food’s stability and maintains texture. In BAKERS®, Glycerol plays an important role by creating a barrier around our tender* meaty chunks so they stay ‘squidgy’ and also stops moisture going onto dry kibbles, preventing them from going mouldy. Before we used Glycerol we used sugar to do the same job. However we wanted to move towards having no added sugar in BAKERS dry dog food, apart from what is naturally occurring, so we now use Glycerol. *Softness varies with time.
Propylene Glycol works as a humectant (helps bind water in food) and is commonly and safely used in many dry dog foods. It is also an ingredient in many human foods such as frozen desserts, salad dressings and cake mix. In BAKERS®, Propylene Glycol plays an important role by creating a barrier around our tender* meaty chunks so they stay ‘squidgy’ and also stops moisture going onto the dry kibbles, preventing them from going mouldy. Propylene Glycol should not be confused with Ethylene Glycol which can be commonly found in anti-freeze and is highly toxic and poisonous to dogs. These two compounds have different molecular structures and properties and have a significantly different impact on human and animal health. Propylene Glycol has been legally permitted for use in dog food by EU regulations. *Softness varies with time.