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Hi there . . . if you’re still around or checking in on occasion.

Thank you for adopting — I will never stop loving hearing about anyone adopting a shelter or rescue pet, taking in a stray, providing a second (and forever!) home to a dog.

Of the 4 brands you mention, I would look beyond the ingredients to the company that makes the food and their history. The ingredients, percentages don’t matter if you can’t trust what’s in the bag, highest quality ingredient commitment and sourcing, and manufacturing with strict quality controls and testing.

Innova Prime — owned by Proctor & Gamble
Kirkland Nature’s Domain — owned & manufactured by Diamond
Wellness Core — owned by Berwing, and until recently manufactured by Diamond
Nutrisource — owned & manufactured by Nutrisource

While Innova Prime and Wellness Core are often viewed as “higher end” foods with alluring ingredients & percentages, big name & trendy, glossy marketing . . . I’d regard Nutrisource the most trustworthy manufacturer. Long history, small family privately owned, no recalls in their history, makers of 2 other health oriented dog foods (Natural Planet Organics & Pure Vita).

Innova Prime (along with California Natural, Evo, Mother Nature, and Karma) is a Proctor & Gamble product. P&G bought out Natura — formerly a small family owned company, maker of quality health foods for dogs & no recall in 21 yrs — and has had with multiple mass recalls since the fairly recent takeover, affecting all their dog food brands. P&G, maker of Iams & numerous household/personal products and foods, has an extensive history of extreme animal cruelty in commercial animal testing (among other ethical issues) and has been one of the most, if not the most, notorious offenders and most defiant about it. Many people boycott them and all their household products for this reason.

Nature’s Domain at Costco is manufactured by Diamond. Diamond, like Menu Foods, makes a huge number of foods and has a very poor history of not only many mass recalls, but deadly ones, and with a history of poorly responding to consumers whose pets have fallen seriously ill. Many customers & businesses will no longer do business with them as a result. Personally, I think it very risky buying products manufactured by Diamond.

I think this particular product can also be very deceptive, a bait & switch, particularly the salmon — in pretty packaging, alluring marketing description, and tempting price point. Mainly I think that it’s a starchy carb based food, with very little actual meat/fish, and devoid of healthy fat or Omega 3. It uses farmed salmon & fish, which tend to be diseased and contaminated with dangerous toxins like PCBs.

Wellness was founded by Old Mother Hubbard (now merged with Eagle Pack), became WellPet, and was bought out by Berwing. Berwing is a large multi-billion dollar company, privately held, which made its money in coal and now makes numerous products including Elmer’s glue. Wellness was manufactured by Diamond (and suffered recalls under Diamond). Despite severing ties with Diamond (per Wellness) less than a year ago, Wellness is still having recalls and most recently has had alarming pictures surface on the web of extremely moldy food.

Have you considered Fromm? This is another small, longtime family owned company (100 yrs), no recalls, that makes an array of all natural quality foods at every price point — as low as just over $1 a bag for Fromm Classics Adult Dog Food ($33.99/33 lbs with auto ship at PetFoodDirect, 15% off; full price of one time ship, $39.99/33 lbs). This company takes a lot of care with ingredient sourcing, ingredient grade, formulation, and excluding what it believes to be harmful ingredients and including specific ingredients thought to be health promoting (like cartilage for glucosamine).

At that higher price point you are considering for Innova Prime or Wellness Core, I’d redirect to to the lower priced and, in my opinion, higher quality & nutrient dense Timberwolf Organics. I have more trust and confidence in the (very small) company and owner. And I have fed their foods for many years with great results. They make a Platinum line (grain & white potato free, low carb/high protein) and Classic line (whole grains & sweet potatoes, more moderate protein). Prices range from about $45/24 lbs Classic line with advance ordering, directly online from Timberwolf to about $50-55/24 lbs Platinum line with advance ordering. Regular prices for immediate shipment, arrival within 3-5 days, are $55 and $64. Shipping is free for $60+ orders, or flat $5. http://www.timberwolforganics.com/