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.
We have only ever used safe colours in BAKERS® dog food. We changed our recipe in response to the fact that many people are now reducing the number of artificial colours in their own diets. We listened to our shoppers and decided to remove the artificial colours from BAKERS® as well! These artificial colours have been replaced by colours that occur in nature; these are taken from plant, animal, and mineral sources.
We are replacing the artificial colours with colours that naturally occur in nature and are derived from sources such as plants and minerals. Through appropriate technical processing (such as heating or extraction), these colours can then be used in food applications on an industrial scale. E141 (Chlorophyllin Copper Complex), for example, is a colour derived from the pigment in nature that gives plants and algae their green colour. E120 (Cochineal/Carminic Acid Carmines), for example, is a colour derived from the female cochineal insect and its uses include alcoholic beverages and processed meat products. E160b (Annatto/Bixin/Norbixin) is a pigment derived from the seeds of the achiote tree and is used to impart a yellow or orange colour to food. Artificial colours are ones that don’t occur in nature and are made synthetically.
The non-artificial colours we use are colours that naturally occur in nature and are derived from sources such as plants and minerals. Through appropriate technical processing (such as heating or extraction), these colours can then be used in food applications on an industrial scale. E141 (Chlorophyllin Copper Complex), for example, is a colour derived from the pigment in nature that gives plants and algae their green colour.
All the ingredients used in pet food are strictly regulated, including any colours. We are pet lovers first and foremost so the safety and health of pets is our number one priority. We would never use an ingredient that we don’t believe is safe. The non-artificial colours we use are also commonly found in human food.
We are replacing the artificial colours with colours that naturally occur in nature and are derived from plant or mineral sources, for example. Through appropriate technical processing (such as heating or extraction), these colours can then be used in food applications on an industrial scale. The non-artificial colours we use have E numbers simply as a legal way of identifying and classifying them. E numbers cover a broad range of substances including food colourants, preservatives, antioxidants, emulsifiers, stabilisers, thickeners and gelling agents, for example. Many components of natural foods have E numbers such as vitamin C which is called E300, vitamin D (E 671), lactic acid (E270) and Citric acid which is called E330, where the number is a synonym for the chemical component. The ‘E’ stands for Europe and means that they have passed rigorous safety tests and have been approved for use in the EU. E141 (Chlorophyllin Copper Complex), for example, is a colour derived from the pigment in nature that gives plants and algae their green colour.
E numbers cover a broad range of substances including food colourants, preservatives, antioxidants, emulsifiers, stabilisers, thickeners and gelling agents, for example. Many components of natural foods have E numbers such as vitamin C which is called E300, vitamin D (E 671), lactic acid (E270) and Citric acid which is called E330, where the number is a synonym for the chemical component. The ‘E’ stands for Europe and means that they have passed rigorous safety tests and have been approved for use in the EU. E141 (Chlorophyllin Copper Complex), for example, is a colour derived from the pigment in nature that gives plants and algae their green colour. We are constantly looking to improve our recipes and in the future it is possible that we may review the ingredients we use to optimise our products for pets and their owners.
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.
We include some cereals in our dog food including soya, rice, wheat, and corn, because they help us provide your dog with some of the nutrients that are essential to their health. These cereals are good sources of carbohydrates, which are an essential component of your dog's diet. With all the adventures your dog looks forward to during the day, it's important that they have a readily useable source of both slow- and quick-release energy. That's where carbohydrates come in. These carbohydrates are used by your dog for energy, leaving the carefully chosen sources of fat and protein in BAKERS® for other uses - such as maintaining a healthy skin, coat and immune system. Protein even provides essential amino acids, which contribute to normal muscle development, tissue construction, and a healthy coat and skin. While your dog can get the amino acids they need from animal-based ingredients, you'll also find them in cereals. That's why BAKERS® has a combination of the two. It's also our way of delivering a delicious, balanced meal that gives your dog everything they need and is affordable for you. The carbohydrates in some cereals also contain fibre that helps support your dog's digestive health (just like it does in humans). But that's not all. Cereals help us bind everything in BAKERS® dog food together, so your dog can enjoy the delicious texture he loves in every single kibble.
The short answer is 'yes'! Dogs can digest both cereals and grain, despite the common misconception that they can't. Because dogs are omnivores they are capable of digesting carbohydrates well - in fact, they use the same enzyme as humans to do so. The cereals used in BAKERS® aren't fillers, and the vast majority of dogs aren't allergic to them. We put them in to help provide your dog with some of the essential nutrients they need to keep their tails wagging all day long. Fewer than 1% of dogs have a food intolerance or sensitivity, and those who have a true food allergy require a diet prescribed by a vet. For the other 99% of dogs, BAKERS® is designed to meet all the nutritional needs with ingredients you can trust, including cereals. Cereals appear high in our list of ingredients because all the different cereals we use are grouped together. The reason we do this is so we can select ingredients based on supply; if we didn't, labels would have to be reprinted very often, and that would make BAKERS® more expensive.
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.
We select our ingredients to help provide your dog with a delicious meal that also contains all the nutrients they need for a healthy, balanced diet. 'Meat and animal derivatives' is the legal term given to the category of animal-based ingredients used in BAKERS® and many other dog foods. These animals have been inspected under close veterinary supervision, and they are categorised as fit for human consumption. The difference is that the human food industry often doesn't need these ingredients. For example, our food might contain 'unfashionable' ingredients such as tripe, heart, and liver, which are brilliant sources of protein and amino acids for your dog. As well as this, using these ingredients means that less goes to waste. These raw materials are from many of the same animals that we eat, such as chicken, beef, and lamb. Naturally, all our ingredients comply with strict EU laws that are in place to ensure your dog's safety and their health. Calling these ingredients 'meat and animal derivatives' on our packs also helps up cope with seasonal variations in supply. For example, when we adjust the exact ingredients according to demand, we might use more chicken than beef when the price of beef rises. It's another way to help keep our prices consistent, so you always know what price to expect.
BAKERS® is designed to be complete and balanced, which means that it contains everything your dog needs for a healthy diet, with no need for any supplementary food. It contains the right balance of the five major nutrient groups: minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, fats and oils, and proteins, all of which help your dog maintain a good body condition. It's widely recognised by vets that dogs (and other pets) live longer, healthier lives than ever before, and that some of this is down to the role of improved nutrition. Using years of research into nutrition for dogs, we've formulated our recipes to meet the needs of dogs of every shape, size and age. We make it tasty too, as we believe that this ensures your dog will want to finish his meal, and therefore get all the nutrients he needs for his health. We like to think that our commitment to tasty, complete and balanced food is why millions of people have fed their dogs BAKERS®!
In the same way that a variety of colours on our plates appeals to us, pet owners want the food for their pets to look equally appetising. It’s important to us that we delight dogs and owners together. Although dogs aren’t able 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 enticing. In the production process, pet food can lose colour and we use non-artificial colours to maintain an attractive and consistent appearance. By using the colours of vegetables, meat and cereals, we help dog owners to recognise and understand that their dog food is complete and balanced.
The additives used in BAKERS® dog food are an important part of our recipes. All the additives we use are rigorously reviewed and regulated in line with strict EU laws. All of these additives have passed safety tests, after which they are given their 'E' number. ('E' stands for 'Europe'.) In fact, you can find all of the additives we use in human food, too. We use three types of additives in our dog food: nutritional additives, functional (technological) additives, and sensory additives. Nutritional additives include amino acids, trace elements, and vitamins, and they are all an important part of making sure your dog's food is nutritionally complete and balanced. Functional additives are preservatives and antioxidants; they help maintain the delicious flavour of your dog's food, as well as keeping your dog's food safe over time. Sensory additives ensure that our dog food appears consistent, and that it always looks as appetising as it tastes.
We recognise that stories in the media have linked additives in dog food such as BAKERS® to behavioural issues in dogs, but this link is a misconception. We love dogs - many of us at BAKERS® have our own! - and our aim is to make great food that helps keep dogs happy and healthy. The idea that commercial pet food is one of the main causes of dog behavioural issues is a common misconception. It is often assumed that a dog's diet is the trigger for behavioural problems, but it's very rarely the case that food will cause this. Reasons for a dog's behavioural problems can include their environment and the dog's experiences both now and earlier in life. Ultimately, every dog is different, and every behavioural problem is unique. If your dog is experiencing behavioural problems, we recommend you seek a vet's advice as it could be a sign of changes in your dog's health. The additives in BAKERS® are strictly regulated, and they are all carefully reviewed in line with EU law. Our experts have not found any peer-reviewed evidence to suggest that there is a link between additives in pet food and behavioural problems in dogs.
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.
Crude ash' (otherwise known as 'crude ash content') describes the amount of minerals in your dog's food. We never add ash to BAKERS®. The amount of 'crude ash' is stated because it's a requirement of animal feed legislation. If you were to incinerate BAKERS® dog food, all the major nutrients such as fats, carbohydrates and proteins would burn away. Only minerals would be left (such as calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium) - this is the 'crude ash' content. These minerals are already present in your dog's food and support their health by helping to balance bodily fluids, support strong bones and teeth, and support the breaking down of food into energy. It's all part of making our recipe complete and balanced for every dog to enjoy.
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.