Purina Pro Plan Focus (Dry)

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Rating: ★★½☆☆

Purina Pro Plan Focus Dog Food earns the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2.5 stars.

The Purina Pro Plan Focus product line includes 14 dry dog foods, six claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and eight for adult maintenance.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Pro Plan Focus Adult Toy Breed
  • Pro Plan Focus Puppy Toy Breed
  • Pro Plan Focus Adult Giant Breed
  • Pro Plan Focus Adult Small Breed
  • Pro Plan Focus Adult Large Breed
  • Pro Plan Focus Puppy Small Breed
  • Pro Plan Focus Puppy Large Breed
  • Pro Plan Focus Puppy Lamb and Rice
  • Pro Plan Focus Puppy Chicken and Rice
  • Pro Plan Focus Adult 6 Plus Large Breed
  • Pro Plan Focus Adult Weight Management
  • Pro Plan Focus Small Bites Lamb and Rice
  • Pro Plan Focus Adult 7 Plus Chicken and Rice
  • Pro Plan Focus Adult Weight Management Large Breed

Pro Plan Focus Adult Large Breed formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Large Breed Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 30% | Fat = 14% | Carbs = 49%

Ingredients: Chicken, brewers rice, whole grain wheat, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, poultry by-product meal (natural source of glucosamine), animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of vitamin E), barley, corn germ meal, fish meal (natural source of glucosamine), animal digest, fish oil, wheat bran, dried egg product, calcium phosphate, salt, potassium chloride, potassium citrate, vitamin E supplement, choline chloride, l-lysine monohydrochloride, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), manganese sulfate, niacin, vitamin A supplement, calcium carbonate, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, calcium iodate, vitamin D3 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.1%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis26%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis30%14%49%
Calorie Weighted Basis27%30%44%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The second ingredient includes brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The third ingredient is wheat. Like corn, wheat is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider wheat a preferred component in any dog food.

The fourth ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Although corn gluten meal contains 60% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The fifth ingredient is corn. Corn is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as wheat (previously discussed).

The sixth ingredient is poultry by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of slaughtered poultry after all the prime cuts have been removed.

In addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except quality skeletal muscle (real meat).

We consider poultry by-products slightly lower in quality than a single-species ingredient (like chicken by-products).

On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh poultry.

The seventh ingredient includes animal fat. Animal fat is a generic by-product of rendering, the same high-temperature process used to make meat meals.

Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this item could come from almost anywhere: roadkill, spoiled supermarket meat, dead, diseased or dying cattle — even euthanized pets.

For this reason, we do not consider generic animal fat a quality ingredient.

The eighth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. Unlike grains with a higher glycemic index, barley can help support more stable blood sugar levels.

The ninth ingredient is corn germ meal, a meal made from ground corn germ after much of the oil has been removed. Corn germ meal is a protein-rich by-product left over after milling corn meal, hominy grits and other corn products.

However, the protein found in corn germ meal (about 25% dry matter basis) must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The tenth ingredient includes fish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With five notable exceptions

First, animal digest is a chemically hydrolyzed mixture of animal by-products that is usually sprayed onto the surface of a dry kibble to improve its taste.

Next, garlic oil may be a controversial item. We say “may be” here because we are not certain of the oil’s chemical relationship to raw garlic itself.

Although most experts favor the ingredient for its numerous health benefits, garlic (in rare cases) has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.2

However, the limited professional literature we surveyed provided no definitive warnings regarding the use of garlic — especially when used in small amounts (as it likely is here).

In addition, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

Next, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

And lastly, this dog food also contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.

Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.

Purina Pro Plan Focus Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Purina Pro Plan Focus looks like a below-average dry dog food.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 30%, a fat level of 14% and estimated carbohydrates of about 49%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 32% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 44% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 53%.

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten meal and corn germ meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Purina Pro Plan Focus is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of chicken or lamb as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2.5 stars.

Not recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every report is directly dependent upon the quality of that data.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Other spellings: Proplan

Notes and Updates

08/22/2014 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005)
  • Meister Bear

    i tried a variety of the high end food with my 2 year old beagle/foxhound mix and he always had digestive problems. A friend of mine came over and brought Purina Pro Plan and not only did my dog go wild for the taste he also had normal stool for the first time since i owned him. A week later i started weening my dog off of Merrick and onto Pro Plan. Maybe a company that has been making pet food for as long as i have been alive actually knows what they are doing? This site can go ahead and bash the food and give it low ratings but it has been great for my dog.

  • jbird

    This food is junk my pitull puppy was losing his hair when he was on that crap I have switched to blue buffalo and the problem has seemed to stop

  • Wilma Hernandez

    For 14 years I fed my schnauzer with pro plan and never had health problems and never found any bugs in the bags. I definitely recommend Pro Plan.

  • theBCnut

    You tried all the foods that no one here would recommend. Diamond Naturals, Taste of the Wild, and 4Health are all made by Diamond, who has a terrible history. And Blue Buffalo has been having quality issues for over a year now that they won’t even acknowledge.

  • Sandi

    We started new 4-5 week old puppies out on the natural dog food. They would not have known any different. No switching was involved. We only gave them something else after they stayed so small and had diarrhea. We kept them on this food till 8 weeks and then finally switched after they were too thin with terrible diarrhea. On the next litter we tried another food with the same result. We always started with a new litter of puppies so they would not have eaten the other types of food. Straight from mom’s milk to some natural food with hot water mixed in.

  • Cyndi

    Just wondering if you did a gradual switch to the new foods you’ve tried? Also, Purina and most of the 1-2 star foods use things to make the food smell better, kind of like puppy crack. Of course your puppies are going to like it better, but it’s not better for them. Real meat is better for them. You should try to gradually switch them and use some canned food mixed in. They’ll get used to it and it will be much better for them.

  • Sandi

    We recently tried all the new “healthy puppy foods” – 5 star foods for our labradoodle puppies. I really wanted to feed them a 5 star food and recommend a food to our families who get puppies from us. We had absolutely no luck.. We had terrible diarrhea from most of it that would never clear up and some brands the puppies just refused to eat it and got thin. They were alot smaller than our normal puppies. I was ashamed to send the puppies home. We had to keep them longer and switch them back to purina pro plan focus large breed puppy. We have wonderful pooh using this food and the puppies eat it right up. They are nice big sized healthy looking puppies. I guess they like corn and wheat. They would rather have this than any we offered. We had tried our adults prior to this and knew they would not eat the natural foods but I thought it was just because they were use to the other. Puppies wouldn’t know the difference if they were started out eating the natural food so it looks like they would have liked the natural food. We tried purchasing several brands and sitting it all out just to see which they would eat. They would also choose the corn and wheat. They would really rather starve than eat it. It’s so confusing on which dog food to purchase and recommend. We have read everything on the internet. I think it’s just whatever you can find out there that seems to work for your dogs. Since we have several we should have found some dogs that would eat this grain free natural food but none of our dogs cared for it. We tried several litters of puppies on different brands. So it was a long research over time.. Not just try it one day and move on to the next.. I read today that Blue Buffalo has not been truthful about what’s really in the dog food. It contains chicken by product meal and rice hulls. Purina has a law suit for false advertising now against them. http://www.petfoodhonesty.com/?source=BSDAds_Purina_&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Blue%20Buffalo%20-%20Conquest&utm_content=Dog%20Food%20Review&gclid=CLjC7K2Gp74CFaY-MgodbXUAXQ
    I have talked to some other breeders who have tried the natural foods that have had similar experiences. At this point, I am tired of trying new foods. We tried Diamond Naturals, Blue Buffalo, Taste of the WIld, 4health, and a couple others. Not Wellness.. I haven’t tried it. I have not found any bugs in any of of the bags of proplan I have purchased.

  • TC914

    Who is Mike Sagman and what qualifications does he have to make a claim pertaining to the quality of any pet food?

    Answer: He is a dentist with no qualification whatsoever.

  • Robin Gordils

    I have fed Pro Plan at the recommendation of my vet since about 1978. My dogs went from living until 11(large breeds)-13(Toy breeds) yrs old to 13-16. The 16 yr old is still going strong, none of my seniors lost any descernable vision or hearing or developed any arthritis except a MinPin who had been injured. The 16 yr old still has no arthritis either and chases squirrels. I have been doing rescue since 1978 as well. I have tried Canadea, Taste of the Wild and a few more expensive brands with poor results. Many Schutzhund people also highly praised it when we talked food at classes. The grain free food caused stool eating and itchy coats. My g/f feeds her one dog the salmon and the dogs life is much improved with less allergy problems. My dogs prefer the Focus and I use mostly chicken ones. I have never had a bad bag or bugs and none of my Pro Plan feeding friends either.

  • RyanShyfte

    I would like to make a note that animal by-product isn’t just junk thrown into the food. It includes anything that is not solely muscle tissue from the animal meat used. This includes organ tissues (heart or liver) which are high in protein and very good for your animal.
    Please, please, do your own research before deciding that the entirety of any brand or any dog food is bad since not everything on the internet is accurate nor unbiased.

  • RyanShyfte

    It’s not from the manufacturer. It is from the distribution company. This has happened to a lot of dog foods coming from my own experiences and being in pet stores.

  • Guest

    I just emailed (on the ProPlan website) them and told them I’m finished with hauling bags back to the store because of bugs. It happens over and over and over again, and I’ve had it. Now to find something my dogs will do well on. I’m thinking maybe Nutro.

  • dchassett

    Hi Bmax. I just came across your post and was wondering how your welsh terrier is doing. How did the vet visit go? I hope all is well with you and your dog.

  • aimee

    I started feeding Pro Plan in the early 90’s and it still is my “go to ” food. I’ve never gotten a bad bag. I wonder if the problem is in local storage/ distribution??

  • InkedMarie

    I’m just a dog owner but since I have had dogs with various issues, I’ve become a bit educated.

    We adopted an obese senior dog. After reading ingredient lists, I chose Wellness Core reduced fat. My gal was a senior; most older dogs probably have a touch of arthritis in their bones so I wanted a grainfree food (grains are inflammatory) but because she was so big, I wanted a bit lower fat. I didn’t want to sacrifice ingredients and higher protein so this food fit the bill.

  • JBird

    Sure. I have an 8 year old Caviler King Charles who is overweight at 25lbs. What do you recommend? Also, what is your background and expertise in dog nutrition?

  • Bob K

    Contact Purina with the batch numbers and purchase details. – Not Petco.

  • InkedMarie

    Its not a good food anyway so I’m kind of glad this happened to you. Do you need help in finding a better food?

  • JBird

    I bought 2 bags of Purina Pro Plan months apart and had live moths fly out of the bag when opened. Petco said this is a very common problem coming from this manufacturer. Until Purina figures out where these bugs are coming from in their dog food, I DO NOT recommend purchasing this dog food

  • vggirl

    Hi, Merrick is also supposed to be a great brand of dry dog food, so I’ve heard (we’re partial to Blue Buffalo). I was told at a pet store by an employee, that it’s a good idea to pick dog food that is made by the brand itself and not by a distributor. She said the higher end dog foods usually mean a healthier dog in the long run.

  • vggirl

    Hi, we feed our sweet 12.5 year old fur-baby Blue Buffalo Life Protection Senior Formula dry and Fresh Pet complete wet food. We chose Blue because of the life source bits (they are cold-formed vitamins) and this works nice for her because she does not enjoy taking dog multivitamins and this way we know she is getting wholesome beneficial potent vitamins in her diet. We integrated the Fresh Pet wet into her diet because she was not reacting well to an all-dry diet and as a result her stool was rock hard, which was very scary. Since she has started eating the Fresh Pet, that problem has completely disappeared. We have tried, in the past, to feed her dry that doesn’t contain pro and pre-bionics but she develops a vomiting bile problem. She has always had a sensetive tummy and we find that she does so much better on the super premium dry and Fresh Pet.

  • Gerard

    I’ve noticed an inaccuracy as there is actually BEET PULP in the ingrediants!

  • Barbara Capehart

    I have 4 little dogs, a male Chi mix thats 17 years old, a mini dachshund mix, she is 9 yrs old, a little female chi mix 3 years and another chi mix nearly 2. I have had dogs all my life, some with food sensitivities, allergies you know, the run of the mill things you run into with 2 and 4 legged children, lol. Anyway, I have done all the “premium” brand experimenting and always come back to Purina, and this is my 3rd vet that has recommended purina. I have had dogs that lived to be 18, 19 years old. And have lost others to cancer at 12 or 13. You never know. But I have never thought that I had not done right by a pet by feeding a purina product.
    I am currently feeding Purina focus Proplan for toy breeds, my elderly boy needs small softer food now that he is losing teeth so his is softened alittle. The rest like theirs crunchy. But since my dogs represent the entire spectrum of life stages and are healthy, happy, even the elderly are playful and happy.
    I will stick with purina. I have subscribed from Amazon and have mine delivered once a month. It works perfectly for me.

  • Cyndi

    Pattyvaughn knows more than most people on what is good dog food & what is bad! The reviews here pretty much speak for themselves and when companies have recall after recall and/or use crap in their dog “food”, I wouldn’t use their products either. This site IS for people’s opinions and I would listen to Patty’s opinion on anything when it came to my dog. I’ve asked her advice MANY times! She is VERY knowledgeable and knows what she is talking about. DFA is lucky to have people like Patty on here giving people advice.

  • DogLover4812

    Okay so I see all you do is go down and comment on almost every damn dog food. You need to stay off this site because every dog food is bad to you except the one you like. Thats childish. I would recommend no one listen to patty over here because she post something negative on almost all dog foods!

  • Bmax

    Just found this incredibly helpful website. Thank you Mr Sagman.

    I’ve been feeding my 8yr old welsh terrier pro plan (different varities) since she was a puppy. For the last 3-4 weeks she’s refused to eat the salmon sensitive stomach variety, which she used to pace the floor for. She does eat it reluctantly after a day of letting it sit.

    For the last 3-4 days she’s had respiratory, congestion issues, her belly seems bigger. Fortunately we have an appt at the vet on Monday because I’ve found a mammary gland lump on her lowest mammary. So, I’m convinced it’s all related to the pro plan.

    Today, I bought a 5 lb bag of Acan rangeland food which she ate without hesitation for both breakfast and dinner. I’m hoping she turns around and that it’s not too late for her little heart. She’s my first child.

  • Pattyvaughn

    If you blame Diamond for your second dog’s death(which depending on when it died, I would too), then why did you feed Kirkland to your recent dog? It’s a diamond product. If those are your examples of wonderful foods, maybe you should stick with Purina. BTW, your recent dog is highly allergic to something. It could easily be some ingredient in some other Purina food too. So never try anything new with your dog if your vet isn’t open and close by, since he didn’t bother to try and help you narrow down what it could be, it could be anything with protein in it. And second reactions are frequently much more severe than first reactions. Good Luck!

  • InkedMarie

    If you think those three foods are “wonderful”, you need to do some research here.

  • DoggieGal1

    I’m convinced my dog died because of all these “wonderful” foods I fed him like Taste of the Wild, Natural Balance and Kirkland Premium dog food. I had my first dog for 17 years and all I fed her was Purina. This 2nd dog that died, well he had all the good stuff and it made him sick enough to kill him. I now have a new puppy. She was being fed Purina Focus Puppy food. I just tried to switch her over to the Kirkland Nature’s Domain and within 2 days she broke out in hives and scratched herself so much that she broke the skin. I rushed her to the vet and had to spend $175 for medications and injections of cortisone. The vet told me to get her back on the Purina ONLY right away.

    She will spend the rest of her (hopefully long) life on Purina foods. Purina has been in the dog food business as long as I can remember. I think they are just fine and I will always blame Diamond Pet foods for my 2nd dog’s death.

  • InkedMarie

    You’re welcome. It’s come in handy!

  • InkedMarie

    I dint say you said all, you said “the peas they are putting in these high end foods”. That, to some, old sound like you’re saying all have peas which prompted my comment. Btw, you got snarky with me, with how you worded your question, asking if I have a dog with pea allergy.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Cross your fingers…and toes, maybe she will only have the one.

  • somebodysme

    OK cool! That actually makes me feel better and takes the stress off trying to stick with grain free and banging my head against the wall trying to find a grain and pea free food. I’m beginning to think that these strange new vegetables(for a dog to eat) are causing more harm than good. The idea that grains are OK (stay away from wheat, corn and soy) opens up a whole lot of options. I certainly would rather feed my dogs a meat protein rich food as opposed to a bunch of potatoes with a smidgen of rabbit thrown in. It’s OK for short term and out of desperation and it also helped narrow down ONE of her allergies.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    “Grain-free,” as it pertains to kibble, is in my opinion just marketing and many people have fallen for the hype. I’m not against the grain-free feeding philosophy – in fact, I’m completely for it. However, it’s not only grain that is not species-appropriate and that should be avoided but also other starches (i.e. tapioca, legumes, potatoes). Kibble requires a starch as a binder so kibble is always going to have a starch component. Grain-free kibbles merely trade grains for other starches and I’m not convinced that this is much better from a nutritional standpoint. To me the most important thing is the amount of animal-derived protein – not whether the food has grains or not. There are a lot of wonderful grain-inclusive foods (i.e. Dr. Tim’s, Nature’s Logic, etc.) and a lot of horrible grain-free foods (i.e. Natural Balance, Blue Buffalo Freedom, etc.).

  • Pattyvaughn

    Loads of dogs do have trouble with grains, but if yours doesn’t, don’t bother trouble for yourself. Embrace the grain.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Don’t limit your list to grain and potato free. Most dogs won’t have an intolerance to all of those. Just go for pea free and if you really think your dog has a sweet potato intolerance, that too. And there is no reason to limit yourself to 4 and 5 star foods.

  • Storm’s Mom

    If you feed a rotation, you can include a grain-free food or two. The more variety the better!! It’s the same with grains as any other potentially problematic ingredient – a bit for a while isn’t going to be a problem.

  • somebodysme

    As far as I know, she isn’t allergic to grains but all I hear is “grain free this and grain free that” like as if anything grain is horrible.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Is your dog sensitive to grains as well? I didn’t see where you stated that. Personally, I think the Momentum (grain-inclusive) looks better than the Kinesis GF. I don’t think white potatoes are much better for a dog than grains.

  • somebodysme

    Looked at what’s available at chewy(Dr. Tim’s) and the grain free has peas. Two grain inclusive formulas don’t have an peas. So it seems this is pretty much the story…if you want grain free you’ll probably find there are peas in the formula. Evo has potatoes which a lot of dogs can’t eat either. I’m sure that I will move on to a different food with more protein and less carbs but it will most likely have to have grains of some sort or potatoes.

  • GSDsForever

    Marie,

    You did a GREAT job with that and we really appreciate it. All your hard work, time, and thoroughness with that sticky list will benefit many dogs!

    Thanks again. :-)

  • Hound Dog Mom

    EVO is a wonderul food. If it doesn’t have ingredients your dog is sensitive to I think it would be a good food to try.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Dr. Tim’s is rated 5 stars and has pea free formulas. Are you only willing to feed kibble? You’d have more options if you were willing to feed canned, dehydrated or raw.

  • Storm’s Mom

    The difference now is that you’re pretty sure the offending ingredient is peas …and Nature’s Logic doesn’t have peas.

  • Storm’s Mom

    If you are planning to feed a rotation (which I would strongly advise to lessen the chance your dog develops another intolerance/allergy) then I wouldn’t worry too much about what you’ve heard/read about a particular food (Evo, in this case) …it really doesn’t matter much because you won’t be feeding any food for very long. If it doesn’t have peas, your need to find a pea-free food should trump whatever you’ve heard about it, imho… I mean, unless it’s like a 1 or 2 star food, of course. Much like my advice with Nature’s Logic, I would give Evo a whirl so that you know whether or not it’s an option for your rotation.

  • somebodysme

    If only I’d just waste $49 to find out…I’ve already spent a small fortune experimenting on dog foods. That’s why I’m getting so frustrated because this has been going on for a long time.

  • somebodysme

    Julie, Storm’s mom just mentioned Wysong Epigen…that is one food that I’ve been investigating. You need to double check but I am pretty sure just the Epigen doesn’t have peas but their other varieties do have peas. Evo is another but I don’t hear much good about this food, it has potatoes which do not bother my dog, amazingly! :/

  • Julie

    Looking forward to your list of 4-5 star foods that don’t have any form of PEAS in them.

  • beaglemom

    I’m sorry if I missed this previously but what about home cooking ? It would obviously be more time consuming but the easiest way, imo, to avoid the ingredient(s) you don’t want without resorting to white potato based foods (which invite a set of their own issues) and Purina (ugh). You’d also know it’s high quality since you control the ingredients.

  • Storm’s Mom

    I have a chicken-allergic dog, so I kinda understand..although, like you said, a pea allergy seems to be even more limiting these days than a chicken one! Have you considered raw or dehydrated? ..something like Primal?… or maybe something like Wysong Epigen?

  • somebodysme

    It makes it very difficult when your dog is allergic to an ingredient that’s in about 99% of all these foods. And then they aren’t allergic to the ingredients in the so called terrible foods…what are we supposed to think. It’s very frustrating trying to balance high quality with food allergies.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Many of us on here have read many many times how “high end” foods messed up someone’s dog, so the poster went back to whatever low quality food they were feeding before..and then they use the excuse that “high end” foods “nearly killed my dog” to feed their dogs junk because their dogs can “tolerate” the junk. They have taken broad swipes at all “high end food”, and said it’s bad/horrible/not worth the price when – in reality – it’s very likely an INGREDIENT in a “high end food” that is problematic not “high end food” generally. It’s usually “high end” or “premium” that the poster uses to describe the offending food, incidentally, when, it turns out, most are not even referring to what many regulars would consider “high end” or “premium”. That’s likely what InkedMarie was referring/reacting to. Must admit that to me it also sounded like you were taking a swipe at “high end foods”.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Wag.com has free shipping on orders over $35. Many sites still offer low flat-rate shipping if the order is below the specified amount.

  • somebodysme

    To get free shipping

  • Hound Dog Mom

    What website requires you to order at least $49 of product?

  • Storm’s Mom

    Somebodysme, the phrase “you have nothing to fear but fear itself” came to mind when I read your comment. In my mind, $49 (or however much beyond that a bag of Nature’s Logic would cost) would be a very small price to pay for knowing whether that entire line is an option for my dog!!! If it is, it could be the best $49 you ever spent because NL has a LOT of formulae that COULD work (you could order a few small bags and/or cans of different formulae to make up that $49 instead of one large bag). If not, it’s still money well spent for the knowledge gained alone, imho.

  • somebodysme

    Maybe! It will be a very short list if we want to just be 4 or 5 star foods.

  • somebodysme

    AND I did not say that ALL high end foods have peas…stop putting words in my mouth. I said they are putting peas in high end foods…that does not mean that I said that all high end foods have peas…but it IS almost ALL. Then if they don’t have peas they have sweet potatoes which is another NO NO for her I do suspect. Those seem to make her scratch.

  • InkedMarie

    As far as I know, no, I do not have a dog allergic to peas. That doesn’t mean that I can’t comment about *your* comment. You said “She cannot tolerate the PEAS they are putting in these high end foods” and I was pointing out, to newbies reading, that not all high end food has peas.

    Stop putting words in my mouth, or in print here. If you want a list of pea free foods, you have at it, go make it. I did the grain & potato free ones.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I feel the same way about finding foods for my dog with a chicken and grain allergy. So many sneak in some form of chicken that it feels like there are a grand total of three foods that don’t have chicken in them. They are out there, you are going to have to search for them though. BTW, when Marie’s dog turned out to have a grain and potato problem, she went to all the trouble of going through ingredient list after ingredient list to make a list of grain and potato free foods, and posted it in the forum for everybody. Maybe you can do the same for others who find they have a dog with pea allergies.

  • somebodysme

    Marie, do you have a dog that’s allergic to peas? Have you gone out in search of a pea free high end dog food? Maybe not ALL have peas but I’ve been looking and it’s a very small amount that’s for sure. Since you know this apparently, how about giving a list of these in my wordpress thread about peas? A few foods were suggested in that thread but when I looked at the foods, most had already added peas to their recipes. Most of the foods I’m finding that do not contain peas are grain inclusive foods. These do not get very high ratings such as the Wellness recipes called something like super5mix…most of these have no peas but they have rice and barley and oatmeal etc and only about a 3 or less rating.

    Nature’s Logic seems to keep coming up but it has so many extraneous ingredients…I’m afraid to try this with my allergy dog. And plus, I can only order it which means a $49 minimum order on a food that I have no idea if it will work or cause it’s own set of problems.

  • InkedMarie

    Your dog is beautiful! i hope you understand that you had trouble on that particular grain free food (it’s also one that alot of us regulars do not recommend) and he may do great on other grain frees.

  • InkedMarie

    For newbies reading, not all “high end” foods have peas.

  • Dave’s Hounds

    I agree with Nature’s Logic – you may have much better results.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Try/check out Nature’s Logic. Much better food/ingredients than Purina, and no peas. It’s not that your dog does well on Pro Plan, it’s that your dog does/will do better on any food without peas (although, of course, there aren’t many of them, unfortunately).

  • somebodysme

    This is how it’s going with my dog too. She was doing way better(on Pro Plan) until I tried to buy her the best food. Apparently, you know the old saying about champagne taste on a beer budget…my dog has the opposite problem…HAHAHA! I was willing to buy the top of the line for our new dog and only ended up making her sick and miserable! She cannot tolerate the PEAS they are putting in these high end foods.

  • Bill

    I agree with you on every point, we switched our GSD over to a no grain food ( Blue diamond wilderness ) what a nightmare!!!! We too had the same results as you. We switched him back to the Pro plan sport formula and now he is back to his NORMAL self. My wife and I got caught up in the HYPE about no grain food and how it is the best food for your dog. The lesson we learned, if it’s not broke don’t try and fix it. Achilles at 7 months, August 2013

  • InkedMarie

    I don’t know what your budget is but look at Annamaet, Fromm, Dr Tim’s, Natures Zlogic for ood foods from companies ith no recalls.

  • amazed13

    I have tried several dog foods all end being bad. Is there any GOOD dog food out there that you guys recommend?

  • Markarvind

    Zeppelin, I had a very similar experience. Except that the breeder was using Purina dog Chow when we got him!. Tried to switch him over to Precise Holistic food after I read great reviews by the Great Dane Lady. The pup had severe diarrhea, Got him off the precise food and stabilized him with home cooked meals for few days and switched him to Canidae giant breed puppy formula. This time he had bloody diarrhea!. Took him off the Canidae, stabilzed with home cooked chicken and rice for a couple days and now on Purina Pro Plan Focus large breed puppy formula. He is doing very well. Just wanted to share this info with you.

  • Markarvind

    I recently got a beautiful great Dane puppy after both my kids left for college. The breeder was feeding Purina Puppy Chow large breed formula when we got him. I went by the recommendation of this web site and also by the great Dane lady and tried to switch over to a better food. I followed the directions to the core switching to no more than 10% new food at a time. My poor baby had severe diarrhea almost immediately. After a couple of days he did not even sniff the Precise Holistic giant breed formula. The canidae giant breed formula gave him a bloody mucous diarrhea. I had never seen a dog suffer so much. I tried the best possible food and he could not tolerate it. I did not want to go back to puppy chow so in desperation I got him on the Purina pro plan focus giant breed formula after my vet suggested I give him a good adult giant breed formula. Since then the puppy is thriving well. Still has soft stools but he is so much happier with clear shiny coat and clear nails. The two weeks I had him on the so called superior diet was a nightmare. The coat had turned dull and the nails turned white. I was scared I would lose him. Tests at the vet had shown no problems prior to switching diet. Bottom line is I am very skeptical of some of the premium foods. I spent a lot of time at petco and pet supplies plus. Many of the foods with different names are manufactured by the same company with almost the same ingredients and of course huge markup in price depending on brand recognition. I am going to stay away from these premium brands and stick to something my dog can tolerate well, food that is reasonably priced and easily available. At the end of the day, a puppy does not really care if it is a top brand and I have learnt to overcome my guilt as an owner for buying a food with not so good rating. I also have realized that besides the label there really is no way other than your own personal experience to guide you through this process. BTW I have a Bichon who is now 16 years old who has been fed Purina one smartblend his entire life. He has never been sick and never had to be taken to a vet for any reason other than his regular yearly checkup. That experience alone was good enough to convince me that Purina one and Proplan are good food despite what the reviews at DFA say.

  • twinelm

    I have to agree, joe, especially as the owner of a large breed show puppy whose agreement with the breeder specifies ONLY ProPlan Focus Large Breed Puppy be fed because of the amount of research Purina has done especially on growth issues and joint problem. Not to mention that almost EVERY SINGLE ONE of my breed’s show dogs eat it and thrive. There is an awful lot of money being made by companies who do not have the years and years of research and investment in the science that Purina does. Is it the perfect food for everyone? Of course not. But it isn’t junk either.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Are you on something? Of course Dr Mike is a dentist.
    BTW, grain intolerance is very common. Veterinarians lump intolerances in with allergies and treat them with repeated rounds of antibiotics and steroids instead of educating owners and changing the diet.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I have no idea what your profession is, but that doesn’t mean you are incapable of understanding anything else. I don’t need a four year degree to make healthy eating choices for myself, so I’m quite certain that anyone who wants to learn about nutrition can. I’m also certain that anyone who wants to learn about dog nutrition can do that to. It’s not rocket science, but people seem to learn that too.

  • LabsRawesome

    Um, joe, i hate to break it to you, but you haven’t dropped a bombshell. Lmao. http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/about/

  • LabsRawesome

    In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food
    companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of
    our reviews or ratings.

    To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

  • LabsRawesome

    Yeah, and your point is? Nutrition is not rocket science.

  • joe

    You do realize these reviews are by a dentist and that almost all the the top show dogs in the world are fed Pro Plan, but clearly they shed and have bad breath.

  • joe

    1% of dogs have food allergies and meat is the 1st culprit, with grain being one of the last. FYI all these reviews are done by a dentist. Fact – look it up.

  • joe

    He is a dentist, paid by blue buffalo! Check it out, it’s true. But I am a french model cause everything on the internet is real.

  • joe

    Dr. Mike is a dentist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Shawna

    Certain foods have a sugar binding protein (aka glycoprotein) in them called a lectin. Grains are high in lectins, nightshade plants (like potatoes) are moderately high. Lectins cause major disease in humans and dogs that are intolerant of them. Take wheat as just one example (the following quote is taken from a research paper).

    “This suggests that in humans IgA nephropathy might be caused or aggravated by wheat lectin; indeed a trial of gluten avoidance in children with this disease reported reduced proteinuria and immune complex levels.”

    “Nephropathy” — that’s kidney disease.. LOTS of dogs and cats develop kidney disease and the exact cause is often not identified. They also know that wheat lectins bind with the pancreas and cause lesions. In humans they have discovered this leads to type 1 diabetes — the same kind that dogs get. Wheat lectins are also known to cause or aggravate arthritic conditions — LOTS of dogs get arthritis in their lifetime. From same research as quoted above.

    “Of particular interest is the implication for autoimmune diseases. Lectins stimulate class II HLA antigens on cells that do not normally display them, such as pancreatic islet and thyroid cells.9 The islet cell determinant to which cytotoxic autoantibodies bind in insulin dependent diabetes mellitus is the disaccharide N-acetyl lactosamine,10 which must bind tomato lectin if present and probably also the lectins of wheat, potato, and peanuts. This would result in islet cells expressing both class II HLA antigens and foreign antigen together—a sitting duck for autoimmune attack. Certain foods (wheat, soya) are indeed diabetogenic in genetically susceptible mice.11 Insulin dependent diabetes therefore is another potential lectin disease and could possibly be prevented by prophylactic oligosaccharides.

    Another suspect lectin disease is rheumatoid arthritis. The normal human IgG molecule possesses carbohydrate side chains, which terminate with galactose. In rheumatoid arthritis much of the galactose is missing, so that the subterminal sugar—N-acetyl glucosamine—is exposed instead.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1115436/

    Other people, and presumably pets, can have a more severe form of gluten sensitivity that affects the brain and nervous system called gluten ataxia.

    “Ataxia (a problem with balance and coordination) and peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage) are the most common neurologic symptoms related to gluten. Brain MRI findings can include cerebellar atrophy (loss of volume) and/or white matter lesions which may mimic those seen in multiple sclerosis.” http://www.thepatientceliac.com/tag/gluten-ataxia/

    “White matter lesions” AKA brain damage.

    It is true that true allergies (an IgE response by the body) are pretty rare in dogs but intolerances (an IgA response) such as those caused by lectins are very common.

  • Cyndi

    Really? You’re calling Dr. Mike an “uneducated” person? He reviews dog food based on ingredients alone. The ingredients in the crap that Purina passes off as “food” speaks for itself. Maybe Purina hasn’t had many recalls, but try researching Purina pet food deaths and see what you come up with… They don’t issue recalls often because, IMO, they just don’t care!

  • hunt242

    Sick of seeing bad reviews and putting the blame on the food for problems that aren’t necessarily the company’s fault.
    Your dog has allergies? Not a brand or company problem, if your dog has a chicken allergy, then your dog is allergic to.chicken, not the food.
    Maggots? Ever think the place you bought the food is storing it wrong?
    Purina rarely has recalls. Do your research. Grain is OKAY for your dog to have, your dog is a domesticated animal that has been eating grain for thousands of years. GRAIN allergies are pretty rare! Just another thing to blame. Also, purina puts so much money into research and actively employ veterinary nutritionists into their staff! Research, don’t believe bad reviews from uneducated people.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Patty,

    There are a lot of great products available at various online retailers. I order from petflow (dot) com and wag (dot) com all the time and although I haven’t ever used chewy (dot) com, I’ve heard they also have great customer service and I know they have a great selection. Is online ordering an option for you?

    Are you leaning toward switching to anything in particular?

  • Patty

    My veterinarian recommends Purina ProPlan. This is the highest quality dog food sold in my small town. After reading your review, I feel badly that my fur babies aren’t getting the best food available. I pay $40 for a 40 lb. bag. That is a lot when you have 5 rescued dogs to feed every day. They don’t particularly like the flavour, so I cook for them a few times a week. I suppose I need to drive 60 miles to the nearest pet store like PetSmart or PetCo to buy the best food I can afford. Thank you for opening my eyes. I only want the best for my dogs.

  • Shawna

    True allergies are pretty rare while intolerances are really quite common. Lectin proteins in foods like potato, peas, soybean, ALL grains, all legumes (and chicken, dairy and eggs) are lectin containing foods that seem to be problematic. I even know a dog that reacts to green bean lectins if fed more than very infrequently.

    Veterinary Nutritionist Dr. Meg Smart taught vet nutrition for over 30 years and she recommends

    “If you wish to feed a commercial diet find a company that is small, family owned and accountable. The company should instill confidence in you when you contact them and should be willing to share information on ingredient sources as well as the level of quality control they have in place” http://petnutritionbysmart.blogspot.com/2012/07/practical-advise-on-feeding-your-dog.html

    She also recommends raw and home cooked.. :)

  • sammydarlin

    Any ingredient can be a “filler” if not balanced properly within a food. The BEST resource I have ever found is Veterinary Nutritionist Hilary Watson of Guelph Ontario. She promotes BALANCED home cooked diets (even for animals with medical conditions). Grains are not “allergens”, (animal protein sources are statistically the largest culprit of this) and meat can still be a “filler” if not used properly (can cause rickets and mineral imbalance). Other ingredients like “blueberries” or “potato” (everyone seems to be so in love with these ingredients) also contribute to the carbohydrate content of food. The most important thing to look for is QUALITY CONTROL AND RESEARCH within pet food to be sure your animal is getting what it needs. I have seen a lot of “kibble gone wrong” stories with, yes, these “high quality” natural diets. Best thing you can do is use reputable resources and do your own research.

  • somebodysme

    I had to take my dog off Purina Pro Plan too. She is now on Nature’s Variety LID Turkey. Another thing to consider is each and every little thing your dog is consuming other than the dog food. Even if she only gets a couple treats, those treats can also be the cause. I have to say that I do not know with 100% certainty that the PPP caused the itching and hair loss but it has stopped now that she is on ONLY NV LID.

  • Jennifer Rochelle

    so my dog has been losing a TON of hair lately… she is basically balding all over her undercarriage and limbs. has anyone else ever experienced this? i’ve taken her to the vet twice now because of it, they drew blood and it came back fine. the vet has now said twice that it is her allergies, but i’m second guessing him that it’s simply her allergies. she eats purina pro plan chicken and rice and i’m concerned it may be the food that’s causing her to lose all of her fur. HELP!

  • 2LabCab

    I have used Pro Plan Salmon on my 2 labs for years now and they are healthy and have super shiny coats. My vet recommended it to me. For them it works great! I agree with Cassie, feed your dog what you feel is best. Years ago people fed their dogs whatever they could afford and dogs lived much longer then as compared to now. It could have been the food or the vaccines we now give our dogs. Makes one wonder.I will stick with Pro Plan because is works for us! I love my labs like they are my kids, so don’t put don’t people that choose what works for them!

  • Newfielover

    MAGGOTS IN THIS FOOD! BEWARE! I have been feeding my dog this food for the past 3 months because its the only one that I have found in the “large breed puppy” category that keeps him from having diarrhea. But after not eating his food this morning I was concerned it was stale. I went to take a closer look and it was INFESTED With dead maggots. Upon researching a little further I found apparently this is a “thing” that has been known to happen! BEWARE!

  • Pattyvaughn

    Read my reply below.

  • Andrew C

    I was thinking the same thing. It contains a little bit of chicken and then is full of grains, corn, and non specific animal by products. This looks like a 1.5 star food, at best.

  • Scyllarus

    As it is, Saxton lives with my boyfriend, Tavish lives with me. If they were living in the same house, we’d likely be feeding them both the same food.

    I think for some reason I didn’t like Nature’s Domain? Looking at the two, I’m not sure why. I think I figured having ‘chicken meal’ as a second ingredient was preferable to sweet potato. But I’ll definitely try to convince boyfriend. It’s only a couple of dollars more, anyway.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Absolutely! I’m still interested in whatSean finds special in dog food, just to understand his POV. Does he think that as long as the dog doesn’t die immediately after feeding it must be a good food?

  • LabsRawesome BS Detector

    Wouldn’t it be easier and more cost effective to feed both dogs the same food? Have you tried Kirkland’s Nature’s Domain grain free? They have Salmon, Turkey, and Beef.

  • Lynn

    Real meat, no fillers, no gluten and no grain. That is what makes it special, and that is why it costs more. You pay for what you get when it comes to dog food.

  • Lynn

    If there is nothing special about Orijen, why does it keep winning award after award, year after year? You are just an antaganizer aren’t you?

  • Scyllarus

    Hello there! New owner here, with a bit of a story to share.

    So a few months ago my boyfriend went ‘I’d like a dog’ and since I help out with the local rescue I kept an eye out for an appropriate pup – medium sized, calm, short-haired – and a few weeks later he adopted what we think is a hound/cattledog mix (all we know is that he looks like a red heeler, if you wrapped it up in a basset’s skin). Since my rescue has a contract with Petsmart (to allow them to bring animals out there for adoption) we received a pretty neat coupon book, which included a coupon for a free bag of Purina Pro Plan.

    Not knowing better (keep in mind that we both had family dogs who were fed terrible things like Kibbles and Bits and Ol’ Roy), we bought a big 35 lb bag of the Pro Plan Savor for Saxton.

    He did fine on the food, with the usual doggy complaints – he shed quite a bit (to be fair, it’s spring and he was probably blowing his coat), he had doggy odor (I don’t know how all you oily-coated dog owners deal with this, I personally can’t stand it), and his breath wasn’t great.

    I then adopted my own dog, a pomeranian, and I think that’s what sparked a search on dog food. I realized the dogs didn’t have to have terrible breath and doggy odor and to shed everywhere (not that the pom does either of the latter two, given his breed). So now Saxton’s getting transitioned onto Kirkland (he eats a little too much for us to be spending $70 on premium TOTW or Wellness on him) and Tavish gets Wellness Core and Innova Grain-free. Both of them get supplements as well (notably raw meaty bones for their teeth – Tavish has the teeth of a year-old now) and Saxton’s stopped shedding and stinking so much. He’s even gained some muscle tone.

    I can’t exactly condemn the Purina coupons. At least it’s for Pro Plan and not their baseline dog chow. But it’s obviously a marketing strategy – get those new owners hooked on their food. It kills me because it’s cheaper to buy Kirkland – and you feed less of it. But I suppose it’s the exception to the rule – usually store brands are awful compared to name brands.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Dog show competitors, not the dog food company competition. This comment got seperated from a whole conversation.

    So what do you consider special in a dog food?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sean-Taylor/100004491600543 Sean Taylor

    If they’re a competitor why would they take a sample bag of Prol Plan and use it.

    And there’s nothing special about Orijen.

  • Eldee

    Could you imagine how much better these dogs could compete if they ate a dog food that was species appropriate?? I wonder how many competitors take their free bags of food from Purina, thank them and while no one is looking toss them in the garbage and turn around and buy Orijen?

  • Pattyvaughn

    Seriously? Have you read any other labels on dog food? Three stars is average and unfortunately, this is average for dog food. I wouldn’t feed it either, but then I wouldn’t feed any of the other three star foods. I want more for my dogs. But this is still exactly what average dog food is like. I’m glad you want better for your dog too, but there are tons of people out there that think this is the good stuff. It’s average.

  • Susan

    I’m flabergasted.
    Considering the large amount of inferior quality grains in this food, as well as ANIMAL fat and ANIMAL DIGEST & POULTRY BY-PRODUCT meal, how can this possibly be rated 3 stars and a *recommended food*? Based on meat/protein content with little consideration of unhealthy ingredients? I often send clients to your website (I am a trainer/behavior consultant) to read reviews of the food they are feeding, especially if they are feeding an inferior food. I will be sure to read your review of a food prior to sending anyone to your website from now on…Pro Plan Focus contains ingredients that I would NEVER feed a dog. Disappointing.

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  • http://www.thegreedypinstripes.com/ BryanV21

    ” The dogs had significant weight loss, it took much more food to maintain the dogs weight, coats became brittle and the dog’s energy levels plummeted, real working dogs were lacking in endurance.”

    I call “bull****” on that. Now, if they were on a “crappy” corn-free food then I can believe it, but a “good” corn-free food would have more of what a dog “uses” better… animal-based protein. Not to mention better grains like oats and barley, which are more beneficial to a dog than corn.

    And since when is corn better for a dog’s coat? And “energy levels”? Corn is similar to sugar when it comes to energy, meaning the dog sees a spike in energy and then basically has a “sugar crash”.

    Lack of endurance? I’m sorry to be so frank, but GTFO.

    No actual studies were cited, meaning this “information” could have come from anywhere or nowhere. Not to mention that when I see that somebody makes a food, I tend not to believe what they have to say about food in general, because they clearly have some sort of agenda. Unlike Dr. Mike, who makes no money from any dog company for doing this site.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Here is the opening paragraph from the article you just cited

    .
    In an earlier post here I discussed the use of raw diets and grains I explained why we see that some dogs do exceeding well on whole organic grains as a small percentage of their total daily intake. The quality and type of grains is also very important. In our manufacturing process we use only certified organic grains. We do not use corn, wheat or soy and the grains that we use are rare and highly absorbable.
    .
    Do you see where it says “whole organic grains as a small percentage of their total daily intake” or how about where he says “we only use certified organic grains” then there is “We do not use corn, wheat, or soy”
    .
    Which of these is supposed to apply to ProPlan????

  • http://www.thegreedypinstripes.com/ BryanV21

    A lot of times people are looking to justify what they are doing by coming to sites like this. It could be to justify a food they’re feeding to their pets, it could be to justify the cell phone they bought, it could be to justify a piece of sporting equipment they bought for themselves, etc.

    People will go out and make a purchase/decision BEFORE researching them. And the fact is few people are willing to admit when they are wrong.

  • Cassie Hale
  • Pattyvaughn

    If you come thinking you are already an expert, you won’t be looking for what you can learn.

  • beaglemom

    Exactly. I wish I could put a big “dogfoodadvisor.com” poster up in front of the dog food in every grocery store around me. What I just don’t understand, however, is how and why people come here and still refuse to learn anything.

  • http://www.thegreedypinstripes.com/ BryanV21

    When lamb is cooked it loses the vast majority of it’s water, therefore the weight of it is reduced drastically.

    So the FACT of the matter is this food has more rice and poultry by-product, and possible more corn (adding together the corn gluten meal and whole grain corn), than deboned lamb.

  • http://www.thegreedypinstripes.com/ BryanV21

    FACT: The vast majority of people do not know what is best for their dogs, nor do they know the difference between a dog “surviving” on a food and “thriving” on a food.

    By the way, I don’t have to use all caps to get that point across.

  • Shawna

    I’m glad it’s working for your dogs. What works for mine is a diet more similar to the wolf diet (NOT identical but very similar). My dogs (5 of them) all eat raw and 3 more get kibble with raw topper (foster dogs that will likely be with me forever).

    The one pictured in my avatar to the left was born with kidney disease. She was given two years to live. She will be 7 years old the end of June this year and is still in EXCELLENT health. She is never ill, never has to go to the vet, not on any medications (vitamins etc yes but no meds) etc.

    A raw diet based on the wolf diet is definitley what works best for my crew… All mine are toy breed dogs too, ranging in age from 7 years to 16.

    Dogs certainly don’t have to be fed like omnivores to be healthy. In fact, the training manuals like Waltham say that dogs don’t require any carbohydrates at all. Doesn’t mean they can’t utilize them. Does mean they don’t “need” them.

  • Pattyvaughn

    BEST would be a key word, not good enough, or the cheapest you can get by with, BEST.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    What works best for my domesticated/evolved/”omnivore” dogs is a diet consisting of primarily raw meat, bones and organs with small amounts of organic vegetables, organic eggs and dairy, sprouted nuts and seeds and whole food supplements.

  • beaglemom

    Please see HDM’s post above.

  • Cassie Hale

    Fact: Pro Plan Focus receives 3 stars here. Fact: it is listed here as “recommended”. Fact: many dogs do splendidly on this food. Fact: over 400,000 folks feed their dog Pro Plan (per number of fb likes) and are happy with it. USE WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOUR DOMESTICATED/EVOLVED/OMNIVORE DOG!

  • Cassie Hale

    Please ask the company.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Cassie –

    The formula with lamb as the first ingredient is the lamb and rice formula. The formula also contains “poultry by-product meal” and “animal digest” – these are not “same as human grade.” When was the last time you walked into a grocery store and saw “poultry by-products” and “animal digest” for sale at the butcher’s counter?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Cassie –

    I read that article back when the research first came out. It doesn’t answer the question I asked. I asked, not “Can dogs digest carbohydrates?” – but “What benefits do corn and grains provide that cannot be provided by more species-appropriate ingredients?” If you’re going to make a statement like that please back it up.

  • Shawna

    That’s interesting!! I grew up on a farm 14 miles outside of Wray, Colorado — surrounded by corn fields. Our dogs never ate corn. They got a lot of table scraps and they hunted so that may be why?

  • beaglemom

    Nutrish and Purina definitely do not use human grade ingredients.

  • Cassie Hale

    Who said I was choosing corn over meat? Please get your facts straight. Lamb is listed first on the ingredients list. My dog food uses grades 1 and 2, same as human grade. I asked. Quit picking on those of us who disagree with you. IMF you want your dogs to truly live natural lives, quit domesticating them. I wasn’t even going to comment further, but since you spoke an outright untruth by stating I was choosing corn over meat, I wanted to clarify.

  • JellyCat

    The fact that thus food doesn’t make your pups poop liquid, doesn’t meant it’s a good food.
    While dogs are not wolfs and even if you want to feed your dog corn, you can be sure that this food does not contain good quality corn. In fact, this food is made of poor quality ingredients.
    I don’t understand why anyone would choose corn over meat for their dog. Corn is a lot less nutritious than meat. This has nothing to do with misinformation on the Internet. It’s simple nutritional information.

  • Cassie Hale

    Feel free to read the article I linked to. I was posting my opinion and have no desire to argue with everyone who poses my view point. Those arguments fill up this site. Bowing out now.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Cassie Hale –

    You stated: “Grains and corn can be beneficial.” Could you explain what “benefits” corn and grains provide dogs that are unable to be provided by more species-appropriate ingredients.

  • Cassie Hale

    I have read it all and stand by my decision. Thank you.

  • beaglemom

    Cassie — glad you’ve found what works for your dog as trial and error can be quite a frustrating process; however, dogs will eat practically anything given the chance and corn is not really nutritious for us OR them, period. Nor are newspaper articles reputable sources of scientific research. Perhaps you should review this: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-industry-exposed/dog-food-corn/

  • Cassie Hale

    Oh, and when I was in college and we had a couple dogs when my kiddos were small, we only used Science Diet. Not one health problem, and that was back when corn was the first ingredient.

  • Cassie Hale

    I would like to share our Vizsla’s story in hopes that someone out there looking for help will feel encouraged. When we brought home our boy at 12 weeks, he was the runt. We had no idea what the lady had fed him since we couldn’t get in touch with her. So, because back in the day Iams was a decent food, we chose it. He had really bad gas and diarrhea nearly every bm. He was on it for a month because we wanted to make sure he wasn’t just experiencing transition or worms. Once everything came back normal, a very good friend who has had several dogs recommended Pro Plan since her vet and trainers recommended it. We noticed a difference immediately! Within 12 hours, our boy was down to only 2 bm’s a day, and they were nice and solid. He didnt stand out there just straining and straining out diarrhea as he had before. The gas completely disappeared as well, and he started acting normal. Then we took him to doggy daycare. He came home all scratched up, acting really strange and aggressive. He ended up getting really sick within 48 hours. He had a fever, major congestion, super runny stools, etc. we took him immediately to the vet, and they took care of him. However, the diarrhea stools persisted. We were told it was his food, or inflammation, or worms, or a genetic disorder. That’s when we got caught up in this food craze! One vet suggested no grains, one suggested no corn, one suggested no changes. Well, after a lot of research, many more vet trips with a very sick dog who had tried veeeery gradually Blue Buffalo, Innova, Halo, and Simply Nourish, we put our boy back on Pro Plan Lamb and Rice puppy. He was never completely off it because some of those foods actually made him vomit even when only adding an eighth to his food. I am so tired of the misinformation on the web! What I know, is that my puppy picked up something at that daycare. He is now growing like a weed, super obedient, poops twice a day–nice and firm, and his issues have disappeared! Pro Plan just seems to agree with him, and I will not get back on this emotional dog food roller coaster again. Dogs are NOT wolves. Grains and corn can be beneficial, and you have to use what works best for your dog. Isn’t that what being a loving pet owner is all about?? Making changes to our own preconceived ideals for the well being of our pets? Interestingly enough, my friend that uses Pro Plan exclusively has never had a pet pass away under 14. Not only that, but she has only had to take one to the vet in that time for health issues because he was born with a heart defect. When I jumped on this ride, I believed everything I read and truly wanted only to use the best for my pet, which I thought was the naturals line. Well, it did not work for us. Pro Plan, alternated with Just 6 Lamb and Rice by Nutrish, is all this boy gets. I know I am just rambling on, but I just don’t want someone else to go through the mental turmoil I have. Also, here are many recalls for these natural lines as well, and as they grow in popularity and start manufacturing more product, they will be more vulnerable. Love your dog and just use what works for him!! Don’t get caught up in a lot of the food bashing on the market. My dog loves Pro Plan (and Nutrish). He is healthy, obedient, and looks beautiful! He is nearing 8 months now, and i am glad to be off this roller coaster. By the way, I love telling the story about my childhood living right next to a cornfield. I had never heard that corn was bad for dogs until we started researching for our dog. I thought it was funny when I read some people say that dogs never choose to eat any grains in the wild. Guess what were always out in the cornfield behind our house eating corn?? Yep. Dogs! They would even eat the dry stalks! In fact, one of them became our furry friend when I was 11. Want he latest scientific research?? Check this out. http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jan/23/science/la-sci-how-dogs-evolved-20130124

  • Zeppelin

    When I first got my new pup at 7 weeks (half standard poodle half golden retriever) he had been on pro plan savior and had been doing fine on it. I wanted to switch him bc i had heard so many bad things about Purina. First I tired Orijen large breed puppy food and that was terrible!!!! I know its supposed to be good food but it gave my pup very loose stools with a little blood in it at times :( I tried staying on it for a month with no better results. I then did a slow switch to Blue Buffalo. Stools improved little but were still too loose but at least there was no more blood. I decided to give pro plan another shot since he had been doing fine on it originally. On this site the savior dry food had 2.5 stars and the focus has 3 so i decided to try the focus. Within 2 weeks my pup is back to normal and loves the food!!! Its the pro plan focus large breed puppy food. He has plenty of energy and a great coat, stools back to being firm. Maybe once he is older and an adult ill try switching again but for now it seems like this is great food. My vet said the pro plan focus is actually great food (he feeds his dogs the same thing). Hope this helps anyone.

  • JellyCat

    Don’t be so naive to let Purina fool you. It is extremely cheap for Nestle to make this LOW QUALITY food and so donating the food is really not very expansive way of advertising. It is a lot cheaper to donate the food than pay cash for TV adds.
    Also, many adoptive parents will continue feeding Purina as their pets seemed to “do well” on it. They lead people to believe that they care about animal welfare and therefore their food must be great.It is extremely smart marketing campaign.

  • Courtney

    I posted this somewhere else on this website too that was also full of comments basically saying Purina should be shut down and this is what I have to say about it:
    While I can agree that Purina is not a dog food that I would ever feed to MY dog… Purina has done a lot for rescues, and they donate probably hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of ProPlan dog food to rescues in need every year. Rescues will take whatever they can get and, being a rescue volunteer, I will tell you that I would take Purina ProPlan for my foster dog over Pedigree any day. I’m sure the better dog food companies like Blue Buffalo and Merrick would help out rescues if they had the means to do so, but they don’t. Companies like Purina keep rescues going. Without that year supply of food donations from companies like Purina and Pedigree a lot of shelters and rescues would have to close down. If for any other reason, respect Purina for that.

  • http://www.thegreedypinstripes.com/ BryanV21

    Dr. Sagman’s ratings take more into account than controversial ingredients. Protein content is taken heavily into account when rating a food here, and this Pro Plan formula has 30% protein to Iam’s Proactive’s 25%.

  • Mappin5

    Why does this have a higher rating than the iams proactive when this has more things highlighted in red?

  • melissaandcrew

     LOL.. great description!

  • Pattyvaughn

    They were a different company around the same time.  I bought a pack of the Special Cuts to use as training treats and didn’t even use 1/2 of one baggy before my dog let me know that it was a very bad idea.  Gaines Burger and Dinner Rounds were essentially the same thing packaged differently.  I think both of those brands don’t exist anymore, but other companies have kept the bad idea alive.

  • Doggonefedup.

    Sounds like to are talking about Ken-L Ration Special Cuts or Dinner Rounds……..Do they even still make that stuff? I remember seeing Special Cuts in the grocery store And thought it looked like a wax version of raw beef chunks……..

  • Pattyvaughn

    Gaines Burger was probably 8 or 10 acquisitions ago, late 70s, early 80s, but the same thing.  They’ve done other textures with semi-moist, slightly better ingredients, or maybe I should say they but smaller amounts of the truly vile stuff in them.  I’m not sure what all they’ve done to change them, because I haven’t purposely fed anything semi-moist since the late 70s, and I was a stupid kid then.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Yeah I’ve never seen a gaines burger. I’m thinking moist and meaty – we mix it with canned for the really little puppies at the shelter that can’t eat the kibbles yet. Nasty stuff – kind of looks like red play-doh put through a meat grinder.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Thatis how they used to make semi-moist, ala Gaines Burger.  It’s changed texture over the years.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hmm…I guess when I think “semi-moist” I think of that imitation hamburger stuff in the pouches – I didn’t think the shreds seemed that texture, they looked kind of dry and puffy to me. But who knows, it was at the shelter so it could’ve been old and expired lol

  • melissaandcrew

     Chewy and rubbery is how I would describe the “shreds” as well. Nothing like dehydrated or freeze dried unless they have changed it.

  • Pattyvaughn

    The pieces in Purina One which look the same, but I don’t know if they are the same, are chewy rubbery, also light and dry.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I don’t think they’re semi-moist. We had some at the shelter I work at and it was the texture of freeze-dried – very light and it was dry.

  • Pattyvaughn

    My understanding is that the shreds are semi-moist, which means they have the nasty stuff that they use to make semi-moist in addition to the regular nasty stuff.

  • Bob K

    Shredded Blend, Shreds, bits of flavor – All Marketing fluff, its nothing more than clever manufacturing, packaging and promotion of a 2.5 star rated kibble.  Pro Plan has been on the market for quite a while and self proclaimed as one of the premium kibble brands, the shredded blend let Purina remarket itself and the ProPlan brand name as a leader of innovative new premium products for your 4 legged loved one.  The naive consumer thinks they are getting pieces of real meat in the package which we all know is not true.    Look Mom – Its new, looks like real meat, it has to be even better than before since they charge a little extra for this new formula.  Purina was smart – they remade an old propular brand and charge a premium for it. 

    It all comes down to the ingredients.  You can form kibble meal into just about any form, then cake it,  Change the coloring, and form of the meal in a variety of ways and it might even look like real meat.  Don’t be fooled, Consumers pay a premium for this 2.5 star product.  You can get 3 star rated dog foods at Walmart (Pure Balance) or  Nutro Max which is rated 3.5 stars at Walmart for less cost.

  • Doggonefedup.

    okay so it looks a lot like a dried version of the “froth” that forms on the surface of the rendering vat…..you know all the “good stuff” like the solids found in bodily fluids from blood greases chemicals whatever…..the mmmm  mmmmm good flavors!

  • Hound Dog Mom

    It’s dry dog food kibbles with “shreds” mixed in – the best way I can describe the shreds is they look like freeze-dried pieces of meat (we’re talking about Purina here though – so obviously they’re not freeze-dried meat…just mystery meat flavored bits lol).

  • Doggonefedup.

    Okay Dumb question time!
    If this is a dry dog food what exactly does the term “Shredded Blend” mean? They make it sound like a pile of crumbs rather than being a kibble or even a pelletized food.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I checked the website and the “Sensitive Skin and Stomach” doesn’t appear to have changed – it’s one of the original formulas just in new packaging.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    Hi HDM,

    Our comments must have “crossed in the mail” as they were posted at almost the exact same moment.

    I’m not sure if this is one of the newer Purina Pro Plan recipes – or not. I’ll be checking this out soon.

    Thanks for answering L321.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    Hi L321,

    Thanks to messages like yours, we’ve become aware of Purina Pro Plan’s updated product line. Sandy and I are currently in the process of gathering the necessary information and updating our spreadsheets.

    So, you should see the newer reports posted here sometime over the next few days.

    Thanks for the tip.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    L321 –

    I know I’m not Dr. Mike, but a quick glance at the ingredients list of the Sensitive Skin and Stomach and I don’t think it deserves a higher rating than the other formulas. First off, no it doesn’t contain corn but the corn is just replaced with canola meal (not any better). Canola is genetically modified and, despite genetic engineering, is one of the heavily pesticide-treated crops. Second, the food contains generic “animal fat” – this is a pet food ingredient that, with random testing of several popular commercial foods, the FDA has found to be contaminated with pentobarbital (the drug used to euthanize animals) and Purina was one of the brands that that tested postive for pento. Third, you say the food contains no -by-products – if you look down the ingredients list the food contains “animal digest”. Animal digest is essentially a by-product. It is is a rendered mixture of unspecified parts of unspecified animals. The animals used in “animal digest” can be obtained from any source so there is no control of quality or contamination – it can be from 4D meat (dead, dying diseased, downed), restaurant waste, euthanized dogs and cats, road kill, dead zoo animals, etc. There’s definitely some nasty stuff in this food.

  • L321

    Please take a closer look at the Sensitive Skin & Stomach Formula.  Is it really as bad as the rest?  First ingredient is salmon, it has no by-products, no corn product, and no wheat (that I can recognize).  And every one of my 9 dogs love it – even the picky ones.  I will check back in a month or two to see if its rating has changed.  Looking forward to your re-evaluation.

  • Bob K

     Rei – Chicken By Product meal used in pet food is very different than chicken feet, Cow Tongue, gizzards and hearts, pigs feet, etc…. that you may purchase in a food store.   It is often slaughterhouse waste  – in other words garbage left over after everything else has been used. 

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Rei –

    I agree that by-products – per se – aren’t bad for dogs and can in fact be very healthy additions to their diet. My dogs eat a homemade raw diet and get “by-products” on a daily basis – chicken feet, beef trachea, beef gullet, organs and glands, etc. However, all my “by-products” are purchased fresh and are from reputable sources – they all come from animals that were slaughtered for human consumption. The problem with by-products in dog food – such as this food – is that you don’t know the quality. Trust me on this one – the by-products in most dry dog foods are not chicken feet from human-grade chicken. In fact, by-products are often from 4D meats (dead, downed, dying or diseased) and there is a lot of speculation and strong evidence supporting the idea that unnamed animal ingredients (generic “animal by-products”, “animal fat” and “animal digest”) may in some cases contain euthanized dogs and cats, zoo animals and road kill. A while back the FDA tested generic animal fat, by-products and digests in several grocery-store brands of pet food and found that several contained pentobarbital – pentobarbital is what is used to euthanize animals (and FYI – Purina was one of the brands that tested positive for pentobarbital). If you think by-products and generic animal fats and digests are healthful and safe I STRONGLY urge you to pick up a copy of “Food Pets Die For” by Ann N. Martin. Martin has done EXTENSIVE investigations into the pet food industry and revealed some very scary things. This book will make you re-think feeding a food like Purina. So before you question the credibility of Dr. Mike’s reviews, do a little research.

  • Rei

    So, I have to comment on your bias on animal by-products.  Coming from an Asian country with no stigmas attached to various parts of animals, I can tell you that things like “chicken feet” which you randomly condemn, are rich in collagen and vitamins that are great for hair, nails and skin (in humans, so no doubt it would be great for our fellow mammalian familiars).  In fact, chicken feet is one of my favorite all time Chinese dim sum snacks. I agree with this article that the addition of soy proteins in this dog food is unnecessary and even detrimental to the dogs diet… however knowing that you disqualified some ingredients based on cultural taboo and not on scientific facts, makes me wonder about the credibility of other portions of your nutritional analysis. 

    Stick to the facts, please.

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  • Cbhale4

    We started our puppy on Iams. He had nonstop diarrhea, bad gas, and bald patches. After very slow transitions over a period of many months, we tried Blue Buffalo and Innova. Horrible gas/diarrhea on both. We tried Pro Plan, and he has been a healthy pup since! No diarrhea, no gas, the bald patches are gone, and he is playing again! Sure, I would have loved to use holistic, but it did not work for our puppy. He is gaining weight now and looks fabulous. He also gobbles up every bite–something he did not do with the other brands. The regular Pro Plan Natural Lamb and Rice puppy ingredients are different than the shredded. We do not use shredded.

  • Melissaandcrew

    Thanks HDM-

    Just checked it out. Seems like those are the two “new varieties ‘-the others seem to be the same old just renamed and repackaged. Interesting that while they did give up the “corn” in a few, they loaded up on canola meal : )

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Just was on Pro Plan’s website and noticed they’re now making grain-free formulas, “natural” formulas without corn and have a new novel protein formula with duck. A bit of a surprise seeing as Purina always seemed to be so pro grain.

  • debbie

     I wish me n audrey did that much mike, she gets walked about 1 hr per day, half hr in the am and a half hr before bed.. and her nails same seldom need clipping:)she loves to walk, we both need it:), they say dogs need min of 1 hr per day..

  • RMartin

    I have tried 4 & 5 star food… just to many problems; went back to the Prop Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach and everyone is once again happy.

  • Melissaandcrew

     Maryablack-

    I am confused-you say that he refused to eat the PMI for three days(often a first symptom of something starting) then developed severe vomiting and diarrhea on another food(unnamed), then problems on a second (unnamed) and then proplan. Sounds to me as if the problem was ongoing before you got to the Proplan or the vet. The reason he is getting better would seem to be because he went to the vet and got on the metronidazole and fortiflora

  • Mike P

    We walk an average of 3 miles a day. I end our walk with 3 laps around a park lake(cement walk way) which is 1.08 miles which I call our nail maintenance laps.Never need her nails clipped just a little file now a then.

  • Maryablack

    I switched to this food due to my dog having gas from previous food after one month he was near death chronic diarrhea vomiting skin became dry. Found out just realized there is wheat soyflakes soy fillers. My old food didn’t have that in it. One thing different. Back in july the dog food recall diamond plant chicken soup for soul and other brands recalled my PMI exclussive chicken n rice adult food burgundy bag. Was processed in that plant but not recalled well after 8.5 years on it my 2 dogs refusing their food for 3 days. May not of been recalled but I believe I had a bad bag of dog food. I think he picked up something from the food. He started to have gas diarrhea vomiting. So I switched to another he still had problems. He did get some what better but now just gas. I was referred to proplan shredded chicken after one month it cost me vets office 258 & 297 to see that he has a bacterial infection no good bacteria in his gut now. On meds now getting better now that proplan was flushed out of him after a week of no food water rice n hamburger meal boiled chicken. Etc. Flagyal. Forti flora pepto bis multh. 7 days meds finally he is free of wheat soy fillers no Proplan is poison….poor dog he would not even eat Hills Purina EN can food vets prescribed only dry burnt toat rye. And white rice chicken boiled. Took a week to get out of his 20 pound body. Id like to Sue proplan for damage to his body my health as well worried sick. He was going to die. Dehydration. Now on natural balance limited sweet potato n chicken one day on this food his diarrhea went to sooo much firmer and all vomiting stopped. God bless higher quality food. Do not feed proplan.

  • aimee

     I’d definitely be looking towards option two: find someone who can fix it!  LOL 

  • Melissaandcrew

    Loved Best in Show! To fix a hole depends on the size you have created, lol.. Trim a little more and blend it in if not too big, quickly find someone with a skill set much better than your own is another good option : )

  • Pattyvaughn

    I use sanding drums on mine, they work quick.  I don’t trim first, but I do change nails often, if I let them get long.  I have the dog lie down beside me, all my dogs do push over or roll to get them lying on their side.  At first I just touch dremel to feet off.  Then I start touching to their feet on until they are used to the vibration. Then I do a nail for a split second a few times, and then it’s off we go.  Lots of treats throughout.

  • aimee

     Betsy,

    I used a regular trimmer if there was much to take off then smoothed the edges with the dremel.

     I used a cylindrical stone grinding head. Never cut through a nail just ground. The nails heat so you have to switch toes often.

    Go slow when teaching nail trimming. This site has some good videos. 

    http://www.lincolnlandac.com/site/view/190693_TrainingEverydayBehaviors.pml

    I always use when food when trimming. I trim all dogs by myself.. no restraint.

    Spray cheese in can is what I used when teaching  for quick delivery of small amounts of food.

    Good Luck

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1140685339 Betsy Greer

    Ah ha, Aimee. You use a Dremel on nails? I bought one a few months ago thinking that I’d use it on my Golden pup. Then, I decided I’d probably just use it to “polish” rough nails after trimming. I use a plier style clipper. Sam is so “playful” and strong that it’s very difficult to trim his nails at all without more than just my daughter’s help. I’ve been trying to get him used to it, but it’s been a challenge. My Dremel is only 4.8 volts so I wondered if it would quickly and easily cut through Sam’s thick nails… I haven’t tried it yet.

    So, I’m wondering, do you use a cut-off band for cutting the nail and / or sanding bands for polishing off the rough edges after a regular clipper?

  • aimee

     I couldn’t imagine the skill it takes to groom a poodle for show.  Yikes how do you “fix ” a “hole”

    All I needed to do was trim the whiskers, touch up the nails with the dremel and I was good to go!

    Did you ever watch the movie “Best in Show”?  I got so many laughs out of that one.

  • aimee

     Yup I  think we are saying the same thing just different words. When I think of  the term “glossy” the feeling of a smooth coat comes to mind,  like a Flat Coat which is I used sheen instead.

    I think “hard” is a good word to describe the coat texture and I love  the word “prismatic” to describe the colors reflected back.

    Brooke has never felt oily to me and has no smell, but boy oh boy it is hard to get water to penetrate the topcoat when bathing her.   

  • Johnandchristo

    Hi Betsy,

    Thank you for the complement, I would love to see a picture of Hannah. I really love Black Labs. If I ever get my pictures of Dugan (my flat coat) into my pc I’ll post them. Some are really cool. I used to take him to the same beach as Christo. Dugan loved it there, just as much as Christo. I’m waiting for “them” to reopen the beach, it is still closed due to Sandy. This is the longest Christo and I have been away. We both really miss it. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1140685339 Betsy Greer

    I once had a Black Lab. Hannah was so beautiful. She was prismatic, you could see every color of the rainbow in her coat when she was outside in the sun.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1140685339 Betsy Greer

    Of my gosh John. He is gorgeous!

  • Johnandchristo

    This is Dugan, way to big to show about 100#s in this pic.
    Dugan could eat any dog food. He mostly ate Fosters and smith but we fed him dog chow his last year. He also got lots of meat mixed in his kibble. Just so any one reading this post does not get the wrong idea, Flat coats have high cancer rates, in no way am I saying his food was the reason he  got sick. He was a great dog very gentle, also a great swimmer.

  • Johnandchristo

    Hi Aimee

    I have seen the breed standard before. I have a dozen or so books just on Labs. I was saying that their coats should be glossy. If they are dull its a sign of something missing from their diet. Not really much more to add to that statement. I think most dog foods have all the bases covered. I have two sisters one was a  Flat-coat breeder. She shows her dogs (I think 7 of them)and they do very well. My other sister is a home maker, she had a GSD named Misty for 15 years. I thought Misty always looked good and seemed healthy. Misty only ate Purina Dog Chow( With table scraps). My sister swore by it. Now my other sister thinks dog chow is terrible. I don’t care to debate which brand of dog food is the best. I like Brothers(more importantly Christo loves Brothers). I am only saying the coat of a dog can be a good indication of a dogs health. In labs since they are water dogs its common or natural for them to have oily coats and even smell a little (which pet owners don’t like ) (But hunters do)  because oil repels water. Which is why they should have a shiny coat. (one reason) I think labs need a slightly different omega 6/3 ratio than most dogs but I cant remember where I have that info if I find it I will post it. My dog likes fish, I feed him fish kibble and fresh  fish, so did the flat coat Dugan. I think they are related breeds (with the newfoundland) and most likly did eat a lot a of fish . What ever they are fed they should have beautiful glossy coats especially the Black ones. If you have a black one with a dull a coat something is wrong . I wrote “funny and erroneous” because I thought you most likely made a typo when you said they should not have a glossy coat. They do have a different feel to their coats for sure. Dugan was soft as could be Christo has a denser feel or maybe harder would be better to describe it? 

  • aimee

     Hi John,

    This is the official breed standard.

    The coat is a distinctive feature of the Labrador Retriever. It should
    be short, straight, and very dense, giving a fairly hard feeling to the
    hand. The Labrador should have a soft, weather-resistant undercoat that
    provides protection from water, cold and all types of ground cover. A
    slight wave down the back is permissible. Woolly coats, soft silky coats,
    and sparse slick coats are not typical of the breed, and should be severely
    penalized.
    WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
    A short hard, coarse textured outer coat; undercoat of shorter, softer
    hair. A correct coat will exhibit little “feathering” on the tail or body.
    WHY—A correct coat forms a tight fitting “jacket” over an insulating
    undercoat maximizing the use of calories. The “jacket” also protects the
    body in heavy cover.
    What To Avoid:
    Coats with excessive wave or curls. Silky, glossy coats; coats lacking undercoat;
    or long open coats that stand away from the body; heavy, woolly-textured
    coats.

    Note that the standard states  ” soft silky coats should be severely penalized  and to avoid “silky, glossy coats”

    So while I didn’t use the exact words as the standard as I was trying to convey the same. Only the undercoat should be soft. When you pet Brooke the hair is coarse as it should be. I was just trying to say that if not familiar with the breed you could mistake that as a poor coat because her coat isn’t “soft”

    Also I’m not saying to coat shouldn’t have some “sheen” Brooke has plenty of sheen but the coat should be thick and deep with undercoat and a harsh overcoat.

    Correct coat is what makes the distinctive feature of the breed, a thick rounded tail. Brooke’s tail is very thick and squishy due to all the undercoat. A hard thin sparse “whip” tail is incorrect.

    Oh.. by the way the esteemed Dr. Ziesow who wrote the overview to the standard “Origin and Purpose of the Breed” for the official breed standard gave the points to my Pro Plan fed dog when I
    had the honor of showing under him.

    The diet may not work for all dogs but it does work very well.

  • Johnandchristo

    I read a bunch of posts down, this funny and erroneous statement:

    It was about the coat of a Labrador Retriever.

    ” It shouldn’t be soft and glossy”

    That’s very wrong. Not only is that condition a deviation from the breed standard, it is an indication of a sub-par diet. 

    One quote from a kennel club publication,

    If the coat is not shiny or does not have an oily, water repellent outer coat and a soft, downy inner coat it is a strong deviation from breed standards.

    Also, to aid in the assistance of swimming they have an interwoven coat, the harder dense outer coat repels the water, the soft downy coat helps to keep in heat.

    If your lab does not have a glossy coat the dog is not eating a proper diet. All recommendations I’ve seen call for a diet high in meat protein. 

    Only lab pups should have a dull coat. They have baby fur at this time, as the grow and mature it should (if fed right ) become glossy and beautiful.

  • doggonefedup

    My Mother used to raise Mini Poodles. She spent most of her free time grooming them. I can’t tell you how aggravated she used to get when they played with my Shepherds. They would come back in the house all muddy and covered with German Shepherd slobber, weeds tangled in their fur, and just as happy as can be! She wasn’t very happy with them the time they dug up all the tulips she had just planted the day before either……

  • Melissaandcrew

     Lol. The grooming is a killer. Don’t bother scissoring when your eyes or hands are tired or you quickly end up with a “hole” in the coat(been there, done that more than once!) The coat is also very impractical for life on a farm, lol

  • aimee

     Standard Poodles YIKES that is a lot of grooming!!

    Labs usually showed early…… no real grooming involved.

  • aimee

     For myself, ingredients are the last thing I look at when I decide if I will feed a particular food to my dog.

    I also have  come to very different conclusions about ingredient pros and cons than others.

    For example I recognize that plant protein from a single plant may be incomplete but when combined with protein sources with complementary AA profiles the AA are very usable.  For myself, it is a moot point.

    Soy protein quality is very high based on the current measures of protein quality.  FAO/WHO state the preferred method of judging protein quality is the PDCAAS. This takes in account digestibility and AA profile. The highest score is 1. Soy protein score is 1 so I find it incorrect to say that soy protein has a “very low bioavailability”

    Brewer’s rice as stated in this article has nothing to do with the brewing industry. They are simply broken rice grains.

    Lectins: Most I’ve found are almost completely destroyed during extrusion and their role in disease is yet undefined. It is an interesting area for research but we can’t avoid them.

    Villous atrophy: As a result of an immune based adverse food reaction sure… but widespread for every person/dog/ whatever that contacts the ingredient, not so much.

    I’m content with Purina’s response to my inquires regarding ingredient quality.  All products sourced from integrated USDA plants ( no 4D) others are not.

    My dogs have done well on Purina other peoples dogs may not. One food will not meet every dogs need.

  • doggonefedup

    Melissaandcrew,
    agreed. Rice is the one thing I really don’t like. I’m not a big fan of Oats, Barley, and Flaxseed either. But, when you think about it, the small amounts of arsenic that may be left in the rice after processing is a natural heartworm preventative. Not saying its good or bad just adding a different perspective.  Actually I’m glad that you pointed out my mistake about AKC setting the standard. Many people don’t realize AKC doesn’t set the standard they only post what the individual breed organizations dictate. It’s that overangulation that almost turned me away from the breed completely many years ago. It was as if dysplasia was going to become part of the standard. After the American bloodlines started promoting that type of confirmation the German bloodlines took a turn in the same direction. They were smart enough to see the harm it was causing to the breed and have been working to reverse that trend and returned to the “working dog” standard by requiring Schutzhund type agility for a dog to compete in the breed ring.
     

  • Shawna

    You might want to look at the posts on GSDs that Alexandra and Doggone left.  THAT is what I’m talking about.  You morphed this into something else.

  • Shawna

    But if you look back to the original comment from Willard that started this particular debate — we were talking about Puppy Chow.

  • Melissaandcrew

     Just disgusting in my book. If I found a dog that looked like that, I would be in a panic at the ortho specialist demanding full x rays and wanting to know what the surgical options were, wanting to fix the poor thing!

  • Melissaandcrew

     Sorry, should have written more on that comment : ) I was pointing that out not to correct you, but to point out that its the breed clubs responsible for the accepted manipulation of the structure. I just can not fathom how “fanciers” of a breed could pass or create such standards to the detriment of the breed.

  • Melissaandcrew

     doggone-

    Puns are funny : ) By the same token, we  could sit and argue that Abady has ingredients as well that many would not like. For me, proof is in the “lack of pudding” ; ) Maya is doing really well on the Abady so far, and I am putting in a large order for the first of the month. I am not a huge fan of the rice in the dry, but I may throw a few bags in for the rest of the crew just to add something different to the mix so to speak-The fat levels will work for them.

  • doggonefedup

    Melissaandcrew,
    I agree! The beauty queens couldn’t do anything more than trot down hill. Maybe they can crawl across a battle field better???
     

  • doggonefedup

    yes the old format is back! Mike changed his preferences back to disqus classic. I think itsa much better format.

  • Melissaandcrew

     That, to me, is truly disgusting. I can not imagine how that dog can function as a dog, let alone in the job  it was meant to do. Hey, is anyone else on the old format again?

  • doggonefedup

    Melissaandcrew,
     I stand corrected. I should have said the AKC has “updated” their written description of the GSD several times over the past 50 yrs.
     

  • Melissaandcrew

     Akc does not write the standards for the individual breeds-the parent clubs do at the National level.

  • doggonefedup

    Melissaandcrew,
    I had a butcher friend that raised German Shepherd Dogs. Some Red & Black and some all Black. He swore by Purina Pro. He also supplemented with fresh meat “trimmings”.  Not even one of them ever looked as good or lived as long as The German Shepherd Dogs I raised exclusively on Abady’s dog foods. They were all champion bloodlines and some were even related. And as you very well know those two foods couldn’t be more different. No pun intended but that is “food for thought”!