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Pet Tao Dog Food Reviews

Pet Tao is a small brand of foods founded and created according to Chinese food energetics principles by veterinarians Dr Marc Smith and Dr Casey Damron. Both DVMs are also certified in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) by the Chi Institute. 

The company produces two dog food lines, one freeze-dried raw and one canned. The canned foods are designated for supplemental or intermittent feeding, while the freeze-dried foods are formulated according to AAFCO standards for maintenance. The foods are made in warming, cooling, blood building, and neutral or balancing energetics formulas. 

The food is sold direct to consumer via Pet Tao’s website. The website does suggest some therapeutic uses for their foods according to TCVM principles. It should be noted that FDA regulations don’t permit therapeutic claims for pet foods except in veterinary prescription diets sold through veterinarians, when the consumer should receive appropriate veterinary guidance. But while these foods are formulated and sold by the founding veterinarians, they don’t require a prescription to buy them, and the Drs Smith and Damron don’t consult with buyers about which food is appropriate for their pets. They do recommend pet owners consult a TCVM vet, however, and they provide a list of such vets. 

IS pet taO A GOOD DOG FOOD?

While it’s an worthwhile idea to formulate foods according to TCVM principles, all of Pet Tao’s foods are moderately high in carbohydrates. This is because of the grains and starchy produce used in the various recipes to achieve the TCVM energetic balance. 

The canned foods include added minerals which suggests lower quality ingredients that need fortifying to meet nutritional needs. However, the freeze-dried foods don’t contain these additives, likely because they’re not heat-processed and therefore the ingredients retain their nutrients.

There are some safety concerns with Pet Tao foods. The recipes contain several ingredients known to be high in pesticide or herbicide residues, especially because several of these ingredients are in the top 5 ingredients. Some ingredients are especially high in residues because they’re crops that are spray=dried with glyphosate before harvest.  

Other ingredient safety concerns include a genetically modified ingredient, as well as the use of rice in one recipe, which raises a concern about arsenic contamination. 

Like many other brands, Pet Tao does not report the omega-6:omega-3 ratio of their foods. This is important to know since AAFCO allows a very high ratio of 30:1, which can be very inflammatory. 

The average score of each Pet Tao dog food line is listed below. Click on any line to view the individual foods and scores. 

Canned

6.7
4 color scale
Average Score
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Pet Tao Solution Chill Canned Dog Food
6.7
4 color scale
Average Score
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Pet Tao’s canned dog food line is considered a moderate risk food, with an average score of 6.7. The foods are formulated based on Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) theories of food energetics, with blood-building (Zing), cooling (Chill) and neutral/balancing (Harmony) recipes. 

This canned line is formulated for supplemental or intermittent feeding only. 

The main concern with this line is the includion of several ingredients known to be high in pesticide or herbicide residues,, especially when they’re. in the top 5 ingredients. There are also potatoes in a couple of recipes, a known GMO crop. 

Other concerns are that it’s not stated whether fish ingredients (like catfish or sardines) are farmed or wild caught. The food doesn’t provide the omega6:omega:3 ratio, which is a concern because AAFCO allows a inflammatory ratio of 30:1. 

Pet Tao Canned Benefits

Pet Tao Canned Concerns

Freeze-Dried

7.8
4 color scale
Average Score
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Pet Tao Chill Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food
7.8
4 color scale
Average Score
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With an average score of 7.8, PetTao’s freeze-dried dog food line is considered low risk. The foods are formulated based on Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) theories of food energetics, with warming (Blaze), cooling (Chill) and neutral (Harmony) recipes. This line is formulated to meet AAFCO standards for maintenance. 

While the foods are lightly processed and don’t contain added vitamins or minerals, the foods are surprisingly high in carbohydrates for a freeze-dried raw food.  

There’s a significant ingredient safety concern with the inclusion of several ingredients that are known to have high pesticide/herbicide residues, such as peas, oats and barley in the top 5 ingredients, as well as spinach and celery lower on the ingredient list. Rice in one recipe is also a concern due to the potential for arsenic contamination. 

The label doesn’t provide the omega-6:omega-3 ratio, which is a concern since AAFCO allows a very inflammatory ratio of 30:1. 

Pet Tao Freeze -Dried Benefits

Pet Tao Freeze-Dried Concerns

PET TAO Dog Food Recalls

To date, Pet Tao has not had any recalls or voluntary withdrawals.

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