Frequently Asked Questions
What does Wheat Free dog food mean?
Wheat is just one of a number of different cereals. The most common cereals include maize, barley, oats and wheat. Wheat free dog food means that it may contain other cereals, but does not contain any added wheat (or wheat gluten). Our Wonderfully Wheat Free dog foods contain barley and oats which have low GI (glycemic index) values which mean they can help to stabilise blood sugar levels and as a result give that fuller for longer feeling. Importantly, neither barley nor oats contain any wheat gluten, which can often be the common cause of allergies in dogs.
Our range of limited ingredient dog food recipes, Naturally 5, are also free of wheat and wheat gluten.
What does Grain Free dog food mean? What does Cereal free dog food mean?
Grain free dog food means that the product contains no added grains (also known as cereals) – therefore it does not contain any cereals such as barley, wheat, maize, rice or oats. Our Gloriously Grain Free dog foods use potato and/or sweet potato as a base, which is an easily digestible source of slow release energy and contains no gluten. It is perfect for dogs with sensitive tummies, dogs that have adverse reactions to cereals and a specific need to avoid grains, or simply if you would just prefer to feed your dog a grain free diet.
Our range of oven-baked Gloriously Grain Free dry completes and grain free dog treats and our Gloriously Grain Free wet complete range of dog foods are enjoyed by all dogs looking for naturally wholesome and delicious foods – not just those with a specific need for a grain free diet.
What is Gluten Free dog food?
Gluten is a family of proteins found in grains. Gluten can be found in grains like wheat, oats, barley, rye, spelt and products of these grains, for example, malt. Our Gloriously Grain Free dog food - our grain free completes, treats, mixers and wet food - are therefore naturally free of gluten.
We understand that the differences between wheat free, grain free and gluten free dog food can be a complex area - if you would like any advice or further information, our nutritionists are on hand to help. Simply call us on our freephone number 0800 0988057 and we would be happy to help!
My dog doesn’t need a wheat free or grain free diet. Can I still feed Laughing Dog food?
While our entire range of wheat free and grain free complete dog foods are hypo-allergenic and therefore suitable for dogs that have adverse reactions to these ingredients, it can also be fed as a nutritious and delicious diet for those dogs with no specific dietary complaints or requirements.
All our recipes are created with the greatest of care - nothing unnecessary is added to the mixing bowl; just simple ingredients for delicious and wholesome nourishment.
Where do your ingredients come from? Does Laughing Dog use free range ingredients? Are your ingredients ethically sourced?
Here at Laughing Dog we pride ourselves on ensuring that all of our ingredients are carefully sourced right here on our family farm. If we cannot use our own ingredients (for example, our own farm-grown oats and barley go into our wheat free dog foods and dog treats) we source the ingredients ourselves from approved suppliers only; we meet the British Retail Consortium standards (BRC for short; this is a global standard of food safety and quality). Not all of our ingredients are free range (the supply of free range ingredients in the UK does not meet the demand for it in the pet food industry) but we use only the highest quality of ingredients. As much as possible we try to use British; however, if this is not possible we source our high quality chicken, duck, beef, lamb, turkey, salmon and white fish from Europe. All fresh ingredients e.g. fresh chicken/lamb/salmon and meals that we use are producted from animals and fish that have been passed as fit for human consumption and meet our ethical sourcing guidelines.
Laughing Dog adheres to FEDIAF (The Europe Ped Food Industry) guidelines.
Are your ingredients GM free?
Absolutely - everything is GM free.
Do you use freshly prepared e.g. chicken or do you use meals?
Many of our recipes use a delicious combiation of both. For example, our Gloriously Grain Free Chicken Complete includes freshly prepared chicken (chicken which has been deeply chilled) and chicken meal.
We do not use any mixed meat meal - meat meal is mixed meats e.g. pork, beef, lamb, chicken – and this dry ‘mixed’ combination is not used in our recipes. Instead we use single species meals e.g. in our Wheat Free Lamb Completes we use lamb meal, and in our Grain Free White Fish Adult and Puppy Completes, the white fish is a single species meal and therefore is made with just fish. All meals that we use are producted from animals and fish that have been passed as fit for human consumption and meet our ethical sourcing guidelines.
Our meat content across our range varies between 29% for our Wonderfully Wheat Free Senior Turkey (a good level for senior dogs) to 60% in our Gloriously Grain Free Adult Completes.
What does 'chicken meal' or 'lamb meal' mean? What's the difference with 'meat meal'?
At Laughing Dog many of our recipes are single species, e.g. our chicken dog food completes are just chicken and chicken oil; you wouldn't therefore find any lamb or beef in the mixing bowl. We only use meals which are made of one species so we and our customers know exactly what is going into the mixing bowl.
The meals we use are single species and are producted from animals and fish that have been passed as fit for human consumption and meet our ethical sourcing guidelines. They include meat, ligaments, bone – only the tasty (and safe) parts a dog would naturally eat. Meals are a very important source of protein, calcium and phosphorous.
We do not use any dry meat meal which is meat and bones made from mixed species e.g. pork, beef, lamb, chicken.
Either way – whether you use fresh meat and/or a meal, combined in the right quantities with other key essential ingredients, it will provide a complete and balanced meal.
The dry meals we use are naturally preserved which we believe is best. It is a convenient and safe way for these materials to be used in pet foods and naturally in the wild dogs crunch bones and eat the innards as these are the tastiest parts. We believe that our recipes should reflect this. But it is true to say we are using parts of the animal we wouldn’t necessarily eat as humans - this is also really important for the planet – we know there’s only a limited amount of land that’s available for agriculture and finding sustainable protein sources is becoming more of a hot topic in the dog food industry.
What does chilled chicken mean?
The chilled chicken used in our grain free dog food recipes is fresh chicken which is chilled with a small proportion of frozen added to keep it deeply chilled.
You use fish meal in your grain free white fish treats and completes. Where does the fish come from? Is it wild caught?
Yes, the fish are wild caught and from MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) stock to ensure for sustainability.
Do your recipes contain sugar?
Absolutely not! There is no added sugar in our completes, treats or mixer meals.
Do your recipes contain salt?
The only salt you will find in our dog food is what is naturally contained within our raw ingredients. We do not add any salt to our recipes.
Can I feed a wet dog food with dry complete dog food?
As with any complete dog food, it is not necessary to feed any additional source of food when using a complete food as it means that contained within the food are all of the nutritional requirements needed by your dog. However, should you wish to feed our Gloriously Grain Free wet complete dog food alongside our dry complete dog food to give some variation into your dog's diet, we would always recommend reducing the recommended feeding guideline quantity of the dry complete and replacing it with a little wet food. You could either do this in the same meal as feeding the dry complete or you could feed a wet meal, for example, in the morning and then a dry meal in the evening. However, if you choose to do this, we would advise that you seek advice from a veterinary approved nutritionist to ensure you are feeding your dog a balanced meal.
If you have any dietary concerns about your dog or are worried it may have an allergy or intolerance, please talk to your vet for further advice.
Do I need to soak my Laughing Dog dry complete oven-baked dog food?
Our range of Laughing Dog food includes an oven-baked range and due to its uniquely crisp and crunchy texture we often get asked if it needs to be soaked - you do not need to soak Laughing Dog oven-baked complete (but if your little four-legged friend has no teeth or simply prefers it, you of course can - the aroma and taste is still delicious!). If you do soak it, some of the benefits which result from the product being oven-baked which creates its crisp and crunchy texture may be reduced. Because this range of dog food is carefully slow baked, you get a much crisper, crunchier biscuit which helps to stop dogs bolting their food and eating too quickly. The increased chewing action and as a result, the scouring action, can help keep your dog’s breath fresher and teeth cleaner too.
Do I need to add water to your oven-baked mixer meals?
You don't need to add water to our mixer meals (the crunchy biscuit has lots of benefits for your dog - see our FAQ above), but if your dog prefers this then go ahead! In fact, by mixing water into the biscuit you create a very tasty porridge - it's a perfect start to any morning, and also ideal if your dog has no teeth.
There's dust at the bottom of my bag - why is it there?
Just like when you come to the bottom of a cereal packet where you often find a layer of dust like crumbs covering the bottom of the bag, it is normal to find crumbs at the bottom of the bags of our natually oven-baked completes (our Wonderfully Wheat Free and Gloriously Grain Free foods) and mixer meals. Why is this you might ask? Our range of oven-baked biscuits have a uniquely crisp and crunchy texture because of the oven baking process (just like when you bake biscuits at home), which means that when they get jiffled around the wibbly wobbly edges knock about and little crumbs fall off and end up of the bottom of the bag. Don't worry though, you can still use these up. Just pop a little warm water on them and mix into a gravy to pour over your dog's food.
If you are not wising to purchase an oven-baked product, our Naturally 5 range of limited ingredient dog food is not oven-baked and therefore has a more conventional shape which is dust free.
What does single species mean? (Wonderfully Wheat Free Baked Completes, Naturally 5 Completes & Grain Free White Fish Adult & Puppy Baked Completes)
This means that all of our meat sources e.g. lamb in the Wonderfully Wheat Free Lamb is from that one species i.e. lamb. Therefore in our single species recipes you will never find that it has meat from one animal e.g. lamb, and an oil from another e.g. chicken. It would only ever be from the same protein source. That is why Laughing Dog food can be beneficial for dogs with specific adverse reactions as by introducing what is known as an 'elimination diet', you can isolate protein sources and can help to eliminate any foods which may cause a reaction in your dog.
Our Naturally 5 range of completes can be even more beneficial to elimination diets as these special completes are only made with 5 simple ingredients.
Should I buy a complete dog food instead of feed biscuit (mixer) and meat?
When purchasing a complete dog food, not only is it convenient but you can be sure that your dog is getting all of the nutritional requirements it needs in terms of protein, fat, carbohydrate and fibre levels as well as essential vitamins and minerals (just like us when we eat; we need a balanced diet). Sometimes, unless you know you have all of the additional components, just feeding meat and biscuit mixer can lead to an unbalanced diet for your dog. On our mixer meals, you will find our nutritionist's feed guidelines which provide advice for quantities of mixer to be fed with Laughing Dog's wet food (please keep in mind though that the feeding guidelines on the mixers are only approximate guidelines - requirements can vary according to the age, breed and size of your dog). Depending on what type of wet food you are feeding (e.g. if you are feeding your dog raw meat, tripe, cooked meat) your vet or veterinary approved nutritionist will be able to advise further as to the correct quantities of mixer for your dog's diet.
We advise mixer with meat because it is a complementary food rather than a complete kibble. This is to give additional texture to the food and also additional carbohydrate especially if a dog is active.
Please be advised that we can only provide a guideline on how much wet food and mixer to feed when you are feeding Laughing Dog (wet and dry) recipes only. This is because we know what the exact composition of these recipes.
Our mixers are a complementary pet food only.
My dog suffers from epilepsy, can it eat any of your oven-baked dog food?
Why are some of Laughing Dog's dry completes, mixer meals and treats oven-baked?
We have been oven baking our food since 1936. Not all of our food is oven-baked, but we are very proud to still be able to include a range within our offerings (see our Wonderfully Wheat Free and Gloriously Grain Free dog food ranges). Baking is a slower method of making dog food but is known to be gentler on tummies and helps to protect the natural goodness of the wholesome ingredients we grow and source from our family farm. Our naturally oven-baked dog food doesn’t need an additional coating to make it tasty - by oven baking our food the golden kibbles come out of the oven with a delicious baked aroma and taste. Most importantly though, our gentle baking process creates really crisp and crunchy biscuits, which help to slow down fast eaters (great for sensitive tummies!), as well as helping to keep teeth clean and breath fresh.
Why are some of Laughing Dog's dry completes not traditionally oven-baked?
Laughing Dog also has a limited ingredient range which is not oven-baked, Laughing Dog Naturally 5. Whilst we are very proud of our oven-baked range we do recognise that this process is much slower than the more conventional methods, and is therefore more costly. Naturally 5 enables us therefore to create a premium product with all the wholesome goodness of Laughing Dog but at a more accessible price point for our pet parents and their four-legged friends.
My dog has pancreatitis and needs foods low in phosphorous – what dog food would you recommend?
The lowest phosphorous levels out of the protein sources we use are the Wonderfully Wheat Free Salmon and the Wonderfully Wheat Free Lamb completes. These naturally have much lower phosphorous levels than other meats/fish. As an additional consideration, a lower fat food would normally be recommended for dogs with pancreatitis – the above products also provide the lowest fat content in our complete dog food range. If you have any dietary concerns about your dog, always talk to your vet first for advice.
What are the phosphous levels in your dry dog food?
|Wheat Free Chicken 0.9%||Grain Free Chicken 1%|
|Wheat Free Lamb 1%||Grain Free Duck 1.1%|
|Wheat Free Salmon 1%||Grain Free White Fish 1.3%|
|Wheat Free Senior Turkey 0.9%||Grain Free Puppy White Fish 1.9%|
|Wheat Free Puppy Chicken 1%||Grain Free Mixer Meal 0.2%|
|Wheat Free Mixer Meal 0.3%||Traditional Mixer Meal (Adult and Puppy) 0.2%|
I have working dogs who use a lot of energy and are very active – which of your foods would be the most suitable?
All of our Laughing Dog complete baked dog foods have sensible levels of protein which is of course beneficial for dogs who are active. Our Gloriously Grain Free range contains the highest protein percentage levels; however, if you do not feel grain free dog food is necessary then our Wonderfully Wheat Free range also has good levels ranging between 23% - 25% and would also be suitable.
We pride ourselves in creating recipes with protein levels suitable for all dogs - whether active in work, rest or play.
I feed a raw diet (BARF diet). Are your oven-baked mixer meals for dogs suitable for raw feeding?
Feeding a raw diet means providing a diet of raw food for dogs made up of raw meat, offal and raw bone, along with other ingredients such as fruit, vegetables, oils, nuts and seeds. The Pet Food Manufacturer's Association (PFMA) provide some very important guidance regarding the safe feeding of raw for dogs. If you are feeding raw and would like to provide some added crunch, our mixer meals are the perfect accompaniment to raw diets. Naturally oven-baked, there are no added artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. We provide our traditional 1936 recipe which is 100% British wheat, as well as our wheat free and grain free ranges. Slowly baked to be gentler on digestion, the mixer meal biscuits are extra crunchy and crispy, which means they also help to keep teeth clean and breath fresh too.
Our mixers are a complementary pet food only. We advise mixer with meat because it is a complementary food rather than a complete kibble. This is to give additional texture to the food and also additional carbohydrate especially if a dog is active.
If you are feeding a raw diet, please seek advice from your vet or a veterinary approved nutritionist to ensure you are feeding a complete and balanced meal. Every dog is individual and they will be able to advise on the correct amount of raw and mixer to ensure your dog is eating a complete and balanced meal.
My dog needs to be fed a hypo-allergenic diet – is your dog food suitable?
Hypo-allergenic food is food that is formulated for one of three reasons: to include a limited number of ingredients, to include new and novel ingredients which dogs may be less sensitive to, or as part of a prescription or veterinary diet. Dogs can suffer from adverse reactions to certain foods such as wheat, maize, dairy, soya. It is uncommon for dogs to naturally be allergic to these ingredients and is more often the result of their common use within many dog foods which dogs then become more frequently exposed to which causes these reactions. These allergies can not only cause problems internally, but also externally in the form of itchy skin and ears.
All of the Laughing Dog food wet and dry complete ranges are hypo-allergenic, with each ingredient being carefully selected by our nutritionists for its specific benefit. Our range of complete dog foods contain no added wheat, dairy or soya and the full range is made with GM free ingredients. This is the same for our slowly oven-baked treats and mixer meals apart from our Traditional Mixer Meal in the Adult and Puppy & Small dog variations which does contain wheat.
Laughing Dog complete dog foods avoids corn and wheat, and alternative meat proteins are used in our products; for example duck and lamb, which are less likely to cause an allergic reaction. By using single source meat proteins in our Wonderfully Wheat Free dog food recipes it helps reduce the number of variables being added into the diet.
Our new limited ingredient range of dog food, Naturally 5, is made with just 5 simple and nourishing ingredients and is naturally free of wheat, wheat gluten, soya and dairy.
Many commercial dog foods can be rich in preservatives, food additives and other ingredients which can all impact on leading to allergic reactions. Laughing Dog complete food is easily digestible, has no added artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, contains low allergy proteins and is wheat gluten free. It also contains essential antioxidants such as vitamin C and E to help maintain the health of the dog along as well as many more goodies to help your dog stay full of vitality (please see our ingredients list on each product page).
I am unsure of which product to choose; I don’t normally feed fish, but does the salmon have more benefits?
Seafood diets can help with skin allergies – our Laughing Dog Wonderfully Wheat Free Salmon dog food introduces rich Omega-3s and fatty acids into the diet. By using foods that your dog’s digestive system may not have experienced before and are less likely to produce a food based reaction or intolerance, it can help eliminate the chance of allergies developing.
How do I know if my dog will like it? I don’t want to buy a bag and find they don’t.
Should you wish to try a free sample of any of our Laughing Dog complete dog foods before purchasing, just pop us an email to [email protected] and we will pop one in the post for your four-legged friend to try.
I have a diabetic dog – can it eat your food?
With dogs diagnosed with diabetes it is important to feed them consistent meals at fixed intervals throughout the day. High protein foods with moderate fat and carbohydrate levels are key – ensuring the carbohydrates are low-glycaemic e.g. barley, oats or potato, so that they break down and release the energy more slowly, helping to stabilise blood sugar levels. Foods with good fibre levels can also help minimise blood sugar peaks and troughs after eating.
My dog is age seven, should I be feeding senior dog food?
At the age of seven or above (if you have a large breed dog or one which you feel puts a lot of strain on its joints you can always move onto it earlier), it’s recommended that a dog is moved onto a senior or mature product to ensure they are receiving the joint supplements frequently found in products specifically for older dogs, such as chondroitin and glucosamine. However, this is not always essential because, as with any animal, they are all different and some breeds may be more susceptible to joint problems than others. Many people are happy to continue feeding their dog adult food if they are enjoying and thriving on it. However, should you wish to move to a senior product, our Senior Complete Bundle has been tailored specifically for mature dogs - containing a sensible protein level for older dogs, with a good fat and carbohydrate level along with added joint supplements (chondroitin and glucosamine) and rosehip which is rich in vitamin C to help support the immune system and joint health.
How do I change my dog onto Laughing Dog food?
Here at Laughing Dog we recommend gradually moving your dog over from what you currently feed to one of our complete dog foods. Some dogs are more tolerant to change than others but as a guideline we would recommend that you start to mix in a small amount of Laughing Dog with your dog’s current food, then gradually increase it over the course of a week until you are feeding it 100% Laughing Dog.
How much food should I feed my dog?
All of our wheat free and grain free dog food comes with an on pack feeding guideline which takes into consideration the size of your dog. Feeding requirements can vary due to age, breed and lifestyle of your dog, so please keep in mind that this information is simply to use as a guideline. You can also find this information on each of our product pages under the ‘feed guide’ tab. If you have any questions, please contact us on 0800 0988057 and our nutritionists will be happy to advise.
What ingredients go into your wet adult grain free dog food recipes?
We use high quality ingredients in our wet food, including succulent chicken, lamb or duck, farm-grown vegetables and a unique blend of botanical herbs. All our grain free wet dog food recipes are single species recipes, naturally free of gluten and grains. While every effort is made to ensure that our wet food does not contain any bones, due to the raw ingredients that are used, it is natural to sometimes find some small bone fragments and slightly larger pieces of potato, carrot or pea in our wet foods. All ingredients that are used in the recipe are ground prior to mixing using a plate fixed at 5mm, also all raw materials received from our trusted suppliers is specified to 5mm.
Why are Laughing Dog's oven baked dry completes, mixer meals and treats good for teeth?
Our Laughing Dog oven-baked dog food range is baked slowly to form a crunchy and crisp kibble. As a result, dogs have to take more time to crunch its crispy form which not only slows them down when they are eating but also helps produce a scouring action to help keep the teeth and gums clean and healthy.
At what age can I start feeding my dog your grain free wet dog food?
Our grain free hotpot and casseroles are suitable for our four-legged friends that are aged 6 months and older. As with any complete dry or wet food we advise to wean your dog slowly from one food to another.
Laughing Dog - are you aware of the recent reports around Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) and grain free dog foods in a number of breeds? Also, do you add Taurine to your food?
Yes we are aware of the investigations from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Laughing Dog is a member of the Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PMFA) and advice from the PFMA confirms that the exact cause of the incidents of DCM in the US have not yet been identified and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating the possible role of various specific ingredients in certain dog food recipes. According to the US Pet Food Institute (PFI), grain-free dog foods as a whole are not under consideration by FDA.
The PFMA is monitoring the FDA investigations closely and will keep its dog food manufacturing members and pet owners informed. As a PFMA Member we fully adhere to Fediaf (the European Pet Food Federation) Nutritional Guidelines in the development of all our recipes.
PFMA along with FEDIAF, have been closely monitoring the situation from the offset. In terms of advice for pet owners, it is important that owners provide a complete and balanced diet for their pet. Owners should always look for the term ‘complete’ on the pet food label. This is a legal term that means the product must by law provide all the nutrients a pet needs for healthy bodily function.
To ensure a ‘complete’ diet, members of the PFMA formulate their diets in line with the FEDIAF Nutritional Guidelines for Cats and Dogs. These guidelines detail the nutritional needs of cats and dogs at the varying life-stages and are reviewed regularly by an independent team of European veterinary nutritionists.
Unlike cats, dogs make their own Taurine and the advice so far from the PFMA is that putting in Taurine is not the answer as this may cause the dog to not make it itself and become dependent on it.
If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact us - our nutritionists would be more than happy to advise further.
How do you preserve your completes?
Our completes include natural antioxidants. We stabilize our products by strict checks at the pacaking process using moisture and AW (water activity) controls; and all our meals are stabilized with natural antioxidants. We also micro test our products at start and end of life.
We also pride ourselves on using high quality packaging – this is air tight and utilises seals which ensures the food is kept at a high quality.
Is your packaging recyclable?
At Laughing Dog we pride ourselves on ensuring that our packaging is of the very best quality to keep your four-legged friend's food as fresh and tasty as the day it was made in the bakery. The bags that contain our Naturally 5 dog food completes, our cardboard sleeves from our wet dog foods , our grain free oven baked dog treat boxes and our mixer meals bags are all 100% recyclable. However, we are passionately committed to doing more for the environment and are currently looking at new types of recyclable dog food packaging.
If you have any dietary concerns about your dog or are worried it may have an allergy or sensitivity/intolerance, always talk to your vet for advice.