Dog food labelled ‘Working Dog’ is not just for Working Dogs, Why?
To put it very simply, the label ‘Working Dog’ has absolutely nothing to do with the ingredients, composition or analytical constituents of the product in the bag and ‘Working Dog’ is not just one kind of food, a ‘Working Dog Label’ can be put on just about any kind of dry dog food ever manufactured…. if it is in a 15kg Size bag. Working Dog food is exactly the same as Pet Dog Food (you will find this stated on the government website) it is just in a 15kg bag. Just as with Pet Dogs, Working Dogs also require different protein and fat levels, depending on breed and activity level, so the myth that ‘Working Dog’ is High Protein, High Fat etc is very far from the truth. Forget the ‘Working Dog’ label and read the ingredients to gauge if the food is good quality. There are very few rules on what recipes can be labelled ‘Working Dog’, in fact, some have very low Protein and Fat Content, some are excellent quality and some are just plain crap. You will find the same varied ranges of Working Dog Food products as you will Non-Working Dog food products and within brands they are usually exactly the same product, it is only the size of bag that differs! (If I keep saying that enough, people might get it!!)
Dog Food that is Labelled ‘Working Dog’ is automatically exempt from tax, which knocks a huge 20% off the price. Although the Government categorises ‘Working Dog’ labelled bags as specifically for working dogs (meant so that only Working Dogs benefit from the Zero Rating in the taxation bracket), they do also state that ”it is more likely that the active working dog will simply require more food than a pet, rather than a different food”. Admitting that both working and non-working dogs eat the same food, though they claim Working Dogs are more likely to require more, this is why ‘Working Dog’ food comes specifically in the bigger 15kg size bag (again discouraging pet owners, they want you to pay the VAT!).
So why don’t all brands do a ‘Working Dog’ size bag in all of their products and save their customers 20% VAT? Very simply because a lot of dog owners are put off by the ‘Working Dog’ label and the myth that it is only suitable for actual Working Dogs. Manufacturers often make the exact same recipes in a variety of sizes and the retailers choose which ones they stock or (for example) they may offer Breeders Clubs etc for those in the know to take advantage of the ‘Working Dog’ size bags. That way, pet owners only see the smaller bags they never see the ‘Working Dog’ Label so are never put off. Pet owners are still left believing that ‘Working Dog’ is Something Else!!
Here is a good example of the effects labelling can have, using 2 of our products that are EXACTLY THE SAME RECIPE!!!!!!
AUSTONLEY’S LIGHT RECIPES VS AUSTONLEY’S SENIOR RECIPES
This applies to both the Turkey & the Salmon
The Government will not allow a ‘Light Recipe’ to be categorised as ‘Working Dog’, therefore it is only available in a 12KG Bag and the 20% VAT ‘Pet’ Tax is added, our price 12kgs = £45.53 – Non Working Dog
The Senior Recipe can be labelled ‘Working Dog’ and is available in the 15kg size bag, minus the 20% VAT (as indeed working dogs do get old and can still work). our price 15kg = £45.89 – Working Dog
THEY ARE EXACTLY THE SAME PRODUCT, THE SAME INGREDIENTS, THE SAME COMPOSITION & ANALYTICAL CONSTITUENTS – JUST LABELLED DIFFERENTLY
WHICH WOULD YOU BUY??
Some owner are also put off the 15kg ‘Working Dog’ size bags because they think it is a lot of dog food to buy all at once but dog food has a shelf life of 18 months, store it in a cool dry place, in a container with a lid and you dont have to worry about running out for a while.
The Savings you make on buying ‘Working Dog’ food can then be put towards buying better quality, healthier food for your dog.
Now, some people will read this article and their interpretation will be that I am telling everyone to feed ‘Working Dog’. No I am not, Some of it is absolutely crap, I am telling everyone to feed a High Quality Kibble that suits your budget and your dog but definitely go for the 15kg bag size option, if there is one, do not be put off by the fact it says ‘Working Dog’ on it, if it has the same ingredients, composition and analytical constituents it is exactly the same food and you will save yourself 20% VAT. Also, Compare Products, Take a look at a product in your price range that does have a 15kg ‘Working Dog’ option and you may just find it is a higher quality than you are already feeding and it is cheaper.