Pet Product Review: Burns pet food

In the wake of the Channel 5 Documentary last week titled “The Truth about Dog Food”, I’ve spent a fair bit of time writing and talking about my own beliefs about pet food. I use this word deliberately: “beliefs”. It seems to be difficult to find an absolute truth about pet food: one person’s “ideal pet food” is another persons “disease causing abomination”.

As I’ve said before, I am in the mainstream on this subject: as with most of the stuff I write about, I am convinced by what might be called “the weight of scientific opinion”.  So what does that mean about pet food? To quote myself from the Vet Help Direct blog:

Every pet is individual and has different nutritional needs. You should choose a diet that is balanced and that your pet enjoys eating. If the diet suits your pet, they will thrive with a shiny coat, bright eyes, and good health.
My experience is that if the cheapest foods, with the lowest quality ingredients, are fed, pets tend to have dry, unkempt coats, with dull eyes and they are obviously not thriving. If such pets are changed to a high quality, more expensive diet, their condition will often improve – not at once, but after around 6 – 8 weeks which is the length of time that it takes for nutrition to have a visible external effect.

Additionally, more expensive dried foods, with high quality ingredients, tend to be more digestible, with less indigestible bulk, so that animals produce less faeces every day (which means you have to pick up less when out on walks).

Last night I gave a talk to the local branch of the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, and not surprisingly, the issue of food came up again. This time, a specific question was asked: what do I feed my own dogs, Finzi and Kiko.

My answer to that? I feed good quality complete dry food. Over the years, I have used different brands, but at the moment, they’re both eating the Burns Weight Control Diet, pictured below. They both enjoy eating it, and they seem to thrive on it.


We sell this food at BrayVet, which is probably one of the reasons why I use it. One of decisive factors for many people choosing the type of pet food they use is convenience. When we run low (once a month or so), I can easily chuck a sack of it into the back of the car. No need for anyone else to make a trip to the supermarket or pet shop.

The kind people at Burns recently sent me a Christmas hamper of samples, and I do need to give them due credit by mentioning one product in particular that was in there: the Burns Moist Dog Food. The only ingredients are chicken, brown rice and vegetables, and as you can see below, those are the precise ingredients that you can see on the plate. I lined up the food to take a photo, and next thing, my cat Spin was tucking into it. I know you’re not meant to give cats dog food (at least, not as the main diet), but Spin was certainly enthusiastic about this one.


Burns Moist Dog Food: you can see the fresh ingredients for yourself

Burns Moist Dog Food: you can see the fresh ingredients for yourself


I’ll be sticking with the dry version, for convenience and cost reasons, but for many people, this type of “human-like” moist food is far preferable to trying to home-cook a balanced diet for their pet.

What do Kiko and Finzi make of the moist version of Burns? It had vanished in seconds.

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Please note that I am unable to answer veterinary questions in comments. If you have questions or concerns about your pet's health it is always better to contact your vet.

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