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  • #121364
    Bobby dog

    Hello Sandy B:
    I like the marshmallow suggestion too! UC Davis lists marshmallows on a weight management treat list, never thought to use one to hide a pill. 😉

    Freshpet is a good idea too.

    A few months ago I tried Wal-Mart’s Pure Balance dog food roll. I was looking for something to use as a treat I could cut into various sizes. It has a consistency similar to Play-Doh, just a little firmer, that could easily be molded around a pill.

    Last month I needed something to wrap pills in for my cat, I was going to give the roll a try for him, but they were out of stock. Not sure if it’s a new or discontinued item, but it’s still on their site just listed as “out of stock.” I hope they stock them again because it was perfect for what I needed it for.

    Since this is long term for you another idea would be to try baking some pate’ style canned food into a consistency that could be molded. That’s if you are into experimental baking of course.


    What pills from the vet are you considering? Reason I ask is a lot of vets don’t sell supplements as much as pain medication for arthritis. They are very different things and it all depends on what your vet has available. I agree with C4D; in order to get enough glucosamine from the food, you’ve have to feed enough food to create an obese dog, which would defeat the purpose entirely. There are a lot of supplements out there, from over the counter G&C you can get at Wal-Mart, to tumeric, right down to feeding raw chicken feet (or boiling them, discarding the feet and pouring a bit of the stock onto their food.) I had an extremely arthritic dog for many years, and did all of the above and then some but what really seemed to help him was Arnica (homeopathic). Every dog is different. Best of luck.

    Bobby dog

    Hi Amy K:
    If you are happy with your dry food I would continue to feed it. I would only suggest trying out a few brands to find other choices she does well on in case of a recall, formula changes, or distribution issues; you never know when you may need a back-up. I would also stick with similar protein, fat, and fiber percentages when trying a new kibble.

    I feed a variety of canned foods in various price ranges. My budget friendly choices are Pure Balance stews or gravy tubs (Wal-Mart), Variety stews, Beyond grain free stews, Pro Plan Naturals, Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul, Triumph turkey or puppy recipes, BJ’s price club brand, and Tractor Supply stews or Sr. pate’. Costco also has a budget friendly canned, Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain. You have to buy a case which is under $20. If you don’t have a Costco membership sells it for a little more, but still a great deal.

    Other brands my dog does well on are Wellness Core, Red Barn Stews, Tiki Dog, Weruva, Eagle Pack, Fromm shredded recipes, Halo, Life’s Abundance, Holistic Select, Nature’s Recipe, Nutrisource, and Precise. I order Life’s Abundance directly from their website.

    Good luck finding a new food!

    Nikkie M

    Forum Newbie but not new animal Mommy:) Our 11 month old Beagle/Bloodhound mix needs a new food badly. Currently he is eating Pedigree Puppy. He was originally eating a very cheap Wal-Mart food from his first family and Pedigrees not much better but until we got the needed advice we don’t want to go thru whole switching process.
    He doesn’t eat his food until he has to. He DOES NOT like it. But is always hungry with growling belly and all. He is eating 1/2 of recommended amount. He is 35lbs, very active, very healthy and eating about 3 cups a day if that. His bowels are so wishy-washy, almost water one time and rock hard the next. Salt has a big effect on him. We noticed if he gets a treat with salt as a high ingredient he was peeing every hour or so. We live in an apt so he doesn’t get excercise like he should. We found a dog park so we know his appetite will increase as his activity does. He is not a big meat fan unless it’s actual meat I am cooking with.
    Now comes my questions. We have been researching 4 star foods on this site (the 5 star is out of our price range) 1) which ones have limited salt? 2) should we stick with puppy for 7 more months? 3)how much should he be eating? 4)should we look for lower carbs and higher protein since his activity isn’t going to be consistent till we find a home with a yard? Any advice welcome and Thank You in advance!

    Bobby dog

    Hi Misha M:
    Here’s my list, check it out carefully for the above reasons I posted. Good luck in your quest!

    4Health stews (Tractor Supply)
    I and Love and You
    Kirkland Signature Turkey & Pea stew (Costco)
    Life’s Abundance
    Merrick Back Country
    Nature’s Variety
    Precise Holistic Complete GF
    Precise Naturals
    Pure Balance Stews and tubs w/gravy (Wal-Mart)
    Purina Beyond grain free
    Red Barn
    Tiki Dog
    Weruva Human Style recipes – except Marbella Paella
    Wellness Stews
    Whole Earth Farms

    Edit: Some Halo recipes don’t have carrageenan, just haven’t sorted through all of them yet.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by Bobby dog.
    Bobby dog

    What a terrible story, but a happy ending! That is a great budget for kibble IMO.

    The protein & fat %’s in Puppy Chow are average, the fiber might be just a little more than other kibbles depending on what recipe you’re feeding. It averages 27% protein, 10-12% min. fat, and 4-5% fiber. Sometimes changes in any of these percentages can cause digestive upset. Something to keep in mind when deciding on a new food. Kibble in higher price ranges usually have a higher meat content so protein and fat percentages will go up along with calories per cup. One other thing to keep in mind is overfeeding can also cause digestive upset. If he is skin and bones I would work with my Vet to figure out the calories he needs to add healthy weight in a reasonable amount of time.

    Check out Victor you should find several formulas to fit your needs within your budget; maybe the Chicken Meal w/Brown Rice. Looking at the Mitchell’s site I see they sell Purina Mills, Inc. They may sell their dog food lines, PMI Nutrition. I feed some recipes from their Infinia and Exclusive lines, these would be in your price range.

    I also feed Nutrisource, Fromm, Precise, some Pro Plan recipes, Annamaet, Wellness Core, Nature’s Variety, and Rawz.

    If you decide to buy on-line I regularly order from Chewy, Petflow, PetSmart, and Petco. They all have great customer service and prices.

    I don’t feed Diamond products at this time due to their recall history; they make Taste of the Wild and manufacture some Solid Gold recipes along with some other brands. They have allot of affordable foods, if you decide to feed one of their products or anything they manufacture I suggest signing up for recall alerts:

    I recommend adding moisture to kibble even if it’s just water. Adding fresh or canned foods could help with his weight. Some budget friendly canned foods are Wal-Mart’s Pure Balance Stews ($1/can), Tractor Supply Company 4Health Stews (.99/can), and if you have a Costco membership Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain (.80/can) you have to buy it by the case. Each are 4-5 star DFA rated. I don’t recommend Pure Balance 95% or 4Health Grain free canned foods due to the high fat content.

    This is a download I use as a guide for adding fresh foods to a kibble diet:


    In reply to: Canned vs Dry

    Bobby dog

    Hi Ashley:
    My dog is six, can eat anything, and has no health issues other than a tendency to gain weight during hot weather months. For canned foods I only take brands, ingredients, calories, proteins, and GA’s into consideration. I feed whatever recipe fits the bill regardless of what is on the label, puppy, small/large breed, Sr., etc. I try to feed foods with a fat to protein ratio of 50% or less; equal calories coming from fat and protein or more from protein than fat. For example, a recipe that is 4% fat and 8% protein would be ideal for him, 7% fat – 8% protein not so much. Some of the f-p ratios I feed can be up to 70% which is okay at this time since I rotate foods.

    My budget foods are Tractor Supply Company 4Health – Turkey & Sweet Potato, Beef & Veg stews, or Sr. Chicken & Rice recipes, Triumph Puppy or Turkey recipes, BJ’s Earth’s Pride Chicken & Rice, and Wal-Mart Pure Balance Stews.

    Here are some brands to check out that I currently feed or have fed:
    Blue Buffalo Home-style, by Nature (no 95% recipes), California Natural, Canidae Pure Sky or Foundations, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Eagle Pack, Halo Spot’s Stew or Spot’s Choice recipes, Holistic Select, Hill’s Ideal Balance stews, Lotus, Nature’s Recipe canned or tubs, Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed recipes, Precise, Purina Pro Plan Natural recipes, Purina Beyond, Red Barn stews, Tiki Dog, Wellness – Core, Simple, Complete Health, or Stew recipes, and Weruva Human Style or Dogs in the Kitchen recipes only (Kobe/Kurobuta recipes are canned by Evanger’s).

    Low fat recipes; most are available at my local stores. I order Life’s Abundance from their website. Generally I find stews to be higher in protein and lower in fat, but not always. These are between 12-20% fat and below 25% carbs on a dry matter basis using their label info:
    Fromm’s Shredded Beef
    I and Love and You Stews
    Life’s Abundance Turkey & Shrimp or Chic & Crab stews
    Nature’s Recipe Pure Essentials LID GF Chic/Broth or GF Lamb/Broth
    Nature’s Recipe Pure Essentials tubs LID Duck or LID Venison
    Nature’s Recipe tubs GF Chic & Duck in broth or GF Chic & Venison in broth
    Nature’s Recipe tubs Chicken in broth or Chic & Turkey in broth
    Nature’s Recipe GF Chic & Turkey stew or Chic & Venison Stew
    Purina Beyond GF stews
    Red Barn Beef Stew
    Tiki Dog – Kauai Luau, Lahaina Luau, Maui Luau, or Tonga Luau recipes
    Weruva – Marbella Paella, Bed & Breakfast, or Paw Lickin’ Chicken recipes
    Wellness Core Weight Management

    These are 22-25% fat and below 25% carbs DMB:
    Halo Sr. Beef
    Merrick Golden Years Medley
    Nutro Natural Choice LID Sr.
    Precise Holistic Pork w/veg in gravy
    Red Barn Chic, Turkey, or Steak & Egg stews
    Wal-Mart Pure Balance stews
    Wellness Stews

    Here are some freeze dried/frozen commercial raw and dehydrated foods I feed. I use the same guidelines for these foods:
    I and Love and You dehydrated Turkey (I also want to try the Beef and Chicken)
    Nature’s Variety Raw Frozen Beef, Lamb, and Venison
    Primal FD Turkey & Sardine, Frozen Venison, and frozen Turkey & Sardine
    Stella & Chewy’s FD Chicken

    Here is some info you might find helpful:
    Carb calculator:


    Aww, poor little girl!

    First thing that I thought of was The Honest Kitchen, so I definitely like your dehydrated idea. Canned foods would be a good choice also. Pure Balance at Wal-Mart is very good quality that’s budget friendly. You could add a bit more water if necessary to thin it out a bit.

    Something else to consider might be FreshPet foods. Mine like the pouch meals and the piece are soft. She should be able to chew those with just her jaw bones.

    My friend had a little, tiny, old terrier with no teeth and a big tongue. The cute thing is that her tongue is always hanging out.

    Good luck with your little girl! I’ll pray that they are adopted together.

    Bobby dog

    Hi Chris:
    I use Spectrum Unrefined Organic (Wal-Mart, grocery stores, drug stores, on-line) or Better Body Foods (BJ’s, on-line) Extra Virgin Organic coconut oils. I use both of these coconut oils for cooking as well as share with my zoo. I have never had any issues with flavor or shelf life with either product.


    In reply to: Best chew for stomach

    Bobby dog

    Hi Chris:
    The Wal-Marts in my area sell Lifeway kefir. I believe they all sell this brand, not positive. Is this the brand you found?

    Regardless of the brand look for plain, no added sugar. Or you can get creative and use Naturella’s link to find out how to make your own.


    In reply to: Best chew for stomach

    Bobby dog

    Are you going to use the same e-mail address now that you graduated?

    For budget friendly canned I feed Wal-Mart’s Pure Balance stews ($1/can) and tubs (about 70 cents/tub), Tractor Supply 4Health stews and chic or lamb pates’ (99 cents/can), BJ’s chicken dinner $8.99/6 pack, and Triumph Turkey or Puppy recipes (a little over a $1/can and always on sale). Costco’s Nature’s Domain Turkey & Pea GF is a little over $20 for a case if you have a membership (or know someone who does).

    Other foods in my current rotation are Wellness Core & Stews, Innova, Holistic Select, Eagle Pack, Canidae, Red Barn, Weruva, Tiki Dog, and Nutro. I feel like I am forgetting some. lol

    If you are looking for something specific like low fat or anything else just post, I might have specific recipes that I have either fed or that you can check out. I have fed many more different brands they just don’t always stay in my rotation for various reasons. I go no higher than 70% fat to protein ratio and mostly try to stay lower. I have only fed one canned food that Bobby didn’t like, it was a vegetarian recipe. I thought what the heck, it was on sale I’ll give it a try, he wasn’t having any parts of it and had to throw it away!

    Bobby dog

    Hi susan h:
    I love Vetricyn, excellent all purpose product; I use it on my dog, cats, and horses. I also use Banixx.

    Consider adding fresh foods to her diet. Here’s an article from on the subject:

    This is the menu I follow for adding fresh foods to my dog’s diet. This gives specifics as to what amounts to feed according to your dog’s weight and type of commercial food you feed. All foods in this download can be found at your grocery store:

    Another food to look into is Freshpet. It is available at some pet stores, grocery stores, and other places such as Wal-Mart. They make cooked (slice & serve or kibble shaped), raw, baked kibble, and food in tubs. Check out their cooked and tub recipes that you will find refrigerated in grocery or pet stores. It is rated well on DFA; here’s their site:

    Bobby dog

    I bought the cats Triumph GF Turkey & Giblets and GF Chic & Whitefish canned foods. They are pate’s and my cats liked them. I feed their turkey pate’ in my rotation. The Chic & Whitefish is more for the seniors when they won’t eat, but I did try it out on all of them and it went over well. Triumph is canned by Simmons.

    jakes mom:
    Why do I have a garden again? Even though I downsized, it doesn’t seem like I have. Bobby’s contribution to garden work was peeing on one of the catnip plants. lol

    How are your colony of kitties? I am not sure if you read my post about large sized canned foods so I am posting again with an addition: Friskies, 4Health (Tractor Supply Co. & Del’s Feed house brand), Wellness, EVO, Innova, and add Triumph.

    Triumph is budget friendly, although not as much as Friskies. You can find Triumph in some stores or on-line:

    You could also check out the parent company’s other lines that are sold in grocery stores, Wal-Mart, and Target etc. for other possible options. Here’s their site:

    Bobby dog

    Questions are never off topic! My grocery store sells kefir, you can find it in most health food stores, and most Wal-Marts carry Lifeway kefir products. I do still feed Bobby kefir a few times a month, but only because he loves it so much. I have a bunch of kefir cubes in the freezer.

    jamie f:
    Carbohydrates are necessary in order for kibble to maintain their form and texture. So regardless of grain inclusive or grain free you are feeding carbs. There’s benefits and drawbacks to any kibble. There’s food safety, GMO ingredients, nutritional values, your dog’s palate, and many other things to consider when deciding which type of kibble to feed. Grain free foods are a marketing goldmine IMO; I find some to be carb heavy and high in fat. I don’t like to limit food selections. I think eliminating foods that you have never fed your dog narrows down your food choices needlessly. I do believe there is a time and place to eliminate foods such as if your dog is displaying food sensitivities. IMO, by feeding a potato, lentil, etc. based grain free kibble day in and day out you are now subjecting your dog to fewer ingredients on a more consistent basis which may lead to food sensitivities of those ingredients. Not my idea of rotating foods.

    My dog had many skin and digestive issues when I came to this site. It took a year of tweaking his diet and allot of elbow grease to heal him up. I believed GF was the best initially. As I researched further I found there was no reason to limit my dog’s diet to just grain free. So one day I took the leap and expanded my rotation to include grain inclusive and haven’t looked back since. If there ever comes a time I need to eliminate certain ingredients from his diet I will just tweak my pet food criterion again.

    I feed my dog moderate to high protein, low fat, and moderate to low carb kibbles. Since kibble is far from perfect I always add canned, fresh foods, or commercial raw as toppers. I like to add fresh healthy omegas, Now Gamma Advanced vitamin E complex, and organic coconut oil to his food. I have fed about 20 different brands of kibble and many different recipes. I buy small bags and switch brands, protein, and carb sources with each new bag. One of these days I will settle into a more permanent rotation, I am still tweaking his diet.

    Here’s an article from the WDJ about carbs and grains in kibble:

    Here’s a DFA post about carbs:

    Here’s a perspective about grains from a Holistic Vet:

    Here’s an interesting perspective from the Great Dane Lady:

    As L M mentioned your dogs licking their paws and gunky ears could also be caused by environmental irritants. A single protein and carb food might be a good place to start to determine if it’s food or environmental. It is important to keep in mind each dog is an individual and what food or regimen works for one dog may or may not work for another. You will not know if that is your magic food until your dog does well on it. Just as you have foods that you don’t like or don’t agree with you, but others will rave about how they love it and can’t eat enough of it. So after this long drawn out post my best advice is to be aware of any chemicals you use in your home or outdoors that your dogs could be exposed to, take note of the time of year your dogs have problems (their issues may be seasonal), and to feed your dog the healthiest food he will eat consistently and does well on!

    Bobby dog

    Wellness, by Nature, and Red Barn are the only real hearty stews for dogs I have come across. But, I don’t normally look for stews, don’t know why. I like 4H and Pure Balance stews, they just aren’t as hearty as the others I mentioned. I don’t recommend the 4H GF for dogs, they are really, really high in fat. My cats don’t like 4H either, only my senior kitty liked the GF whitefish & chic.

    If you haven’t tried Pure Balance canned for your dog, give it a try. The stews are a decent budget friendly food, $1/can. I feed the tubs too, they are about 70 cents each. I don’t feed or recommend the PB 95% due to the high fat %. I feed mostly the stews and throw in the tubs here and there. Here are DFA reviews for all three:

    I have only tried the PB GF chicken pate’ and GF chic & turkey in gravy for cats. They didn’t like the chic and only my senior female liked the chic & turkey. It’s worth a try they are $1/tub. My Wal-Mart only carries one other salmon recipe; I try to stay away from larger fish species. I plan on trying the others whenever I get to another store.

    I haven’t tried WEF yet. I am planning on it for both the dog and cat foods.

    Another budget friendly canned dog food is Costco’s Nature’s Domain. You have to have a membership (or know someone who does). You have to buy it by the case, I think it’s a little over $20/case. C4C is the expert on all things Costco.

    I have a BJ’s membership and buy Berkley & Jenson chic dinner, 6 cans/$8.99.

    Bobby dog

    Did you ever check out Pure Balance at Wal-Mart?

    Bobby dog

    That’s too bad. My Wal-Mart only has three (?) of the recipes. I haven’t bought any lately. They don’t like the chic pate’ and I bought the GF Turkey & Chic w/sauce by mistake that I recommended to you. My cats never like gravies or diced recipes of any kind. So I was bummed when I opened that and here my senior girl ended up loving it. I hope the other tub works out for you. Finding food they will eat is ridiculous.

    The Muse just looks like the Beyond line except it includes toppers and broths. I guess that will be their “natural” line for pet stores and the Beyond will be sold in grocery stores.

    Bobby dog

    I like the new spelling!

    It was pizza from the cafeteria where I used to work, not tough at all. That’s why I am sure all the abuse prior to it cracking was the problem!

    Yes, I am happy with the Halo e-mail. Now I just need to contact Wal-Mart to follow up on the other Pure Balance manufacturers.

    Bobby dog

    I’ll try Wal-Mart CS first. I am not sure I ever contacted Simmons before.

    Just in case inquiring minds want to know Ainsworth still only manufactures 4Health Grain Free Beef & Potato and 4Health Grain Free Turkey & Potato dog recipes. Diamond manufactures the rest of the dog food recipes for Tractor Supply.

    Bobby dog

    Yes, I confirmed Ainsworth still manufactures all Pure Balance dog kibbles. When I contact Wal-Mart about the other three PB cat kibbles I am also going to see if Simmons still co-packs their wet foods too.

    Bobby dog

    FYI, for anyone who feeds Pure Balance and 4Health cat kibble. I contacted Ainsworth and Diamond a few days ago to ask which recipe(s) each manufacture. It’s been a while since I last checked and since Pure Balance added cat kibble to its line I thought I would check it out. Both responded within a days time with the requested info.

    Diamond manufactures 4Health All Life Stages, 4Health Indoor, and 4Health Grain Free Indoor Cat recipes for TSC. Ainsworth still manufactures the Grain Free Whitefish & Potato cat recipe for TSC.

    Ainsworth only manufactures the Pure Balance Limited Ingredient Turkey and Sweet Potato cat recipe. I asked for confirmation, they confirmed, they only produce the one cat recipe. I found that interesting.

    I am contacting Wal-Mart’s customer service to see who manufactures the Chic & Brown Rice, Hi Pro Salmon, and Hi Pro Turkey cat recipes, but sometimes they take a long time to respond. My cats will not be enjoying the Chic & BR until I know who the manufacturer is. I wonder who it could be?

    Bobby dog

    Hi puppypiles:
    I think your name is cute. Very lucky kitty! I would love it if my cats would only eat wet food, but they do crave their crunchies. So I try to stick with foods with lower carbs for UT health. I mostly have finicky cats, they seem to forget what life on the streets was like. My main rotation is Wellness Core Duck & Turkey, Precise Naturals GF Chic, Grandma Mae’s GF cat & kitten, Fromm Duck Ala’ Veg, and NVI GF Healthy Weight. On my list of kibbles to try I have Annamaet GF and grain inclusive, Nutrisource Country Select, and Pure Vita GF chicken.

    Here are others I throw in the rotation:
    Beyond Superfood Herring, Beyond Chic & Whole Oatmeal, EVO Turkey & Chic, Innova Nature’s Table GF Chic & Turkey, NVI GF LID Turkey, Simply Nourish Source GF Chic & Turkey, Wellness Core GF Kitten, and Pure Balance chicken.

    Budget wise Pure Balance (Wal-Mart) and Beyond are the best for me. They are a little higher in carbs than I like, but feeding on a rotational basis works for us.

    Bobby dog

    At Wal-Mart check out Purina Beyond and Pure Balance. They just rolled the Pure Balance cat food out so they may not have all recipes in stock. It’s 94 cents/3.5 oz. tub. I haven’t contacted anyone to confirm manufacturers, but Ainsworth manufactures the PB dog kibble and Simmons the PB canned dog food. I am assuming it would be the same for the cat food, but you never know.

    4Health at TSC; the canned is manufactured by Simmons, GF kibble Ainsworth, grain inclusive kibble Diamond. As I wrote in my previous post, check with Ainsworth to confirm if they still manufacture the GF kibble.

    I am rusty on Petsmart and Petco budget friendly brands. I order over the Internet from both stores; I haven’t stepped into one of their stores for many years. Petsmart has their house brands Authority and Simply Nourish that are budget friendly for dog food, check out those brands.

    Other budget friendly canned I feed; all are pates’:
    Friskies – Poultry Platter, Special Diet Turkey & Giblets, and Special Diet Beef & Chicken.
    Fancy Feast – Classic Tender Liver & Chicken and Classic Turkey & Giblets
    Sheba – all pates’ that don’t have fish listed in the name of the recipe
    Purina One – Classic Turkey, Chicken, or Beef recipes
    Pro Plan Finesse – Chicken & Liver or you might find it under it’s new name True Nature Natural Chicken & Liver entree’ classic

    For all things cat related check out these sites:
    The last site has info on a specific feline health condition. I reference this website for food recommendations.

    Bobby dog

    Hello cat people:
    I have had a crazy schedule lately and I have been meaning to post my cats’ review of the Pure Balance kibble and wet foods, so here we go.

    My Wal-Mart only stocked the GF Turkey, GF Turkey & Chic in sauce, and GF Salmon tubs. They had two kibbles, chic & brown rice or salmon. There might be more kibble recipes, my Wal-Mart doesn’t always stock everything.

    I try to stay away from larger fish so the salmon was out. I bought the other two recipes at 94 cents each. Most of my cats did not like the GF Turkey, it’s a firm pate’ style food. All the cats, especially the finicky ones, loved the GF Chic & Turkey in sauce. It did not have much sauce and when you scoop it onto a plate it pretty much holds its form. My cats never liked this style of food, but they loved this one. I am definitely adding the GF Chic & Turkey in sauce to their rotation.

    The Chic & Brown Rice kibble was 3.5 lbs/$7.78 & 7 lbs/$14.92 and they all loved it. It’s very small in size; if you have fed Fromm’s Four Star kibbles it is that size smushed flat. Fromm’s is small and round, smaller than Wellness Core kibbles. It’s higher in carbs than I like and is similar ingredient wise to Purina Beyond kibbles. I will throw it into the rotation here and there since they refuse to give up kibble. So there you have it, two paws up for two out of three! 😉

    aquariangt: If you happen to read this you might want to give the GF Chic & Turkey in sauce a try. I think it’s your kitty that likes the minced/chunk style wet foods.


    <quote>Retha thanks for the response.. I did use Pedigree for years and even recommend it to others, no more though..At the top of the page check out the Reviews.. on types of foods..

    If there is a Wal-Mart close to you go the pet section and give Pro Balance a try, you can buy small bags. Salmon and peas seems like a good start..This food is all grain free.</quote>

    Retha I meant to tell you “Pure Balance” you can get it at Wal Mart.



    OK thanks for replying Melissa, I also heard a lot about Diamond, so it’s out..

    I did go to Wal-Mart and got some dry and wet Pro Balance. Abby loves it..

    Retha thanks for the response.. I did use Pedigree for years and even recommend it to others, no more though..At the top of the page check out the Reviews.. on types of foods..

    If there is a Wal-Mart close to you go the pet section and give Pro Balance a try, you can buy small bags. Salmon and peas seems like a good start..This food is all grain free.

    My first dog Eddie was a Pedigree dog, who got sick and ended up having two shots a day for diabetes, this never stops.. He ended up passing away because he was just too sick. Been three years now and I still see him walking with me..even though he’s not..


    Bobby dog

    Do you remember the prices and sizes of the kibble? What was your last btw? Boy oh boy everyone went to Wal-Mart today except me.

    Bobby dog

    Hey cat people, Pure Balance has rolled out their wet cat food line. They don’t have the label on the website and I don’t know the price. Be on the lookout at your Wal-Mart if you’re interested! 😉

    Bobby dog

    Thanks for the link to Wal-Mart! Do you have a Tractor Supply in your area or belong to a Costco or BJ’s?

    Bobby dog

    Hi Peggy:
    IMO you can find good and bad dog treats in any store. I have come across some really cute packaged treats at the boutique stores I shop with ingredients that I don’t need in my food let alone my dog. One of the reasons I make my own. As Marie wrote you need to take as much care choosing treats as you do your dog food.

    I don’t like any treats with sugar or molasses, but out of the two I would rather see molasses and for it to be towards the end of the ingredient list. I also like minimal ingredients. If you have to take more than 15 seconds to read the ingredients it’s too many for me. Of the three listed, Newman’s looks decent.

    Since you are helping your dog slim down I recommend you consider freeze dried treats or dried vegetables. You can find these type of treats at most pet stores. You can even buy freeze dried food and feed small amounts for treats. Remove some kibble from your overweight dog’s meals to compensate for the added calories from treats. If your dogs are like mine it’s more of the ritual of receiving the treat rather than the amount of the treat. Mine loves to be made over and adding a treat to the attention is just an added bonus. If you are shopping at Petsmart check out these dried veggie and freeze dried treats/dog food:

    If you are shopping at Wal-Mart they have a few healthy selections as well. Can’t remember the brands I saw last time I was there, but here is one:

    Bobby dog

    I think you are off to a very nice start for your best hairy friend! My dog loves Freshpet. My dog and cats also do great on Wellness products, canned and dry. Remember, when feeding kibble with a topper to reduce the kibble to avoid over feeding.

    Freshpet has several lines and each line has a kibble shaped food, Freshpet Select, Vital, or Nature’s Fresh. In each line the kibble shaped food is packaged in a plastic bag. Here’s a link to a page featuring each line. Just choose a line and look for food packaged in a bag:

    The Freshpet Select line also has a shredded chicken food that is packaged in a plastic bag:

    Freshpet has a store locator on their site to help you find a retailer. It looks like Petsmart carries the Vital line of foods; grocery stores and Wal-Mart carry Freshpet as well.



    In reply to: Dog Food Manufacturers

    Bobby dog

    I am comfortable with Simmons & Ainsworth at this time. IMO it’s good to know and keep up with who makes what! It’s hard to find this info sometimes. My rule of thumb is if the pet food company won’t disclose their manufacturer or I can’t find out who makes it I don’t feed their food. There are other pet food companies who are transparent to choose from. I always start with the pet food company when I want to know who makes their food. My CS experience with Wal-Mart was that they took one month to answer my questions. I have seen a Pure Balance CS rep post here before, but I haven’t seen them in a while.

    Edit: I feed other brands that Ainsworth manufactures.


    In reply to: Dog Food Manufacturers

    Bobby dog

    Hi Peggy,
    I haven’t fed the dry, but do feed the stews & tubs; don’t feed the 95% canned anymore. Wal-Mart may have changed the labels, however on the stew cans I have “Premium dog food by Ol’ Roy” is written below the Pure Balance name. On the tubs & the one 95% canned I have left “The best ingredients pure & simple” is written under the PB name.

    Wal-Mart CS would be the ones to ask about the Pure Balance brand, Ainsworth is only a co-packer. FYI, Simmons is the manufacturer of the canned foods.


    Why on earth is it so difficult to find out who manufactures certain dog foods?

    I was browsing the internet this morning and came across several websites and forums where people have repeatedly stated that they will not purchase Pure Balance because it is an “upgraded Ol’ Roy dog food”. So, I set out to find the manufacturer. WOW it was like finding a needle in a haystack! I found the manufacturer only because someone replied to a question and she said she “thought” that PB is manufactured by Ainsworth Pet Nutrition. However I went to their website and PB is not listed anywhere. Soooooooo… I emailed them with my inquiry.

    Why is Pure Balance not listed on your website as dog food that you manufacture?

    Just received a reply:
    “Dear Peggy,
    Thank you for contacting us. Pure Balance is a private label food we make exclusively for Wal-Mart, therefor it is not a brand associated with APN”.

    MY reply:
    “Thank you for your quick response to my inquiry.
    It took me the better part of my morning to discover the link between PB and your company.
    Many people refuse to buy it because they can not find the manufacturer and think that it is just an upgraded Ol’ Roy food.
    Perhaps this needs to change?
    It would probably sell better if it was not associated with Ol’ Roy.

    Thank you
    Peggy Gurney”

    Any thoughts on this?

    Bobby dog

    My Wal-Mart sells Spectrum organic. Make sure you buy unrefined or virgin. The best deal is at Costco or Bj’s though. I think Costco sells “Better Body.”

    Bobby dog

    Hi kelsey s:
    Wal-Mart has Pure Balance stews for $1/can and small tubs for 68 cents each. Here’s a thread that has suggestions for kibble sold at Wal-Mart. There is also info on where to find coupons for a few of them:

    Like Akari suggested, stop by the coupon thread for sale info. Come over to the cat food thread, we have lots of budget friendly suggestions for cat food there. 😉

    Consider rotational feeding. I feed my dog this way so he gets a healthy variety. Find at least three different brands of food with different carb and protein sources that your dogs do well on and like eating. Once your dog is used to eating a variety you never have to worry about a recipe changing and the possibility of your dog not liking it, a recall (can happen to any food at any time), or your food just not being available. The added benefit is that you can take advantage of sales and coupons to help with your budget. You can read more about it here:

    Edit: Also check out Tractor Supply and local feed, hardware, or garden supply stores. One line of food I like that you might find at feed stores is PMI Nutrition. If you can find it check out the Exclusive and Infinia lines. Here’s a store locator:
    Tractor Supply has 4Health kibble and canned food (99 cents). I would recommend the GF turkey, beef, or whitefish kibbles. Print a list of the 3, 4, and 5 star foods from the review side and take them with you to where you shop for food to see what is available within your budget.
    3 star food list:
    4 star food list:
    5 star food list:

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by Bobby dog.
    Bobby dog

    I agree with Akari, mix some canned food in with the kibble; reduce the kibble accordingly so you don’t over feed. The added moisture is healthy and canned is easier for them to digest. Pure Balance stews at Wal-Mart are five star rated and $1/can. Tractor Supply has 4Health for 99 cents/can and they are 4.5 star rated.

    Rachael Ray Zero Grain does not include K3 in it’s recipe; it’s in the other kibble recipes.

    Beyond still includes K3.

    Infinia is Purina Mills Incorporated (PMI) Nutrition (Land O’ Lakes, no checkered flag), not Purina (Nestle’). I believe at one time they were part of Purina, not positive though. I am not sure if PMI manufactures their food or uses a co-packer.

    Check out this thread started by Akari for some recommendations:

    And check out this thread for more recommendations on food and suggestions to help out with pet food budgets:

    Bobby dog

    Hi Chris:
    All good recommendations for your dogs! I have a certain budget I have to follow for pet food too; here are some of the things that help me keep the cost down.

    Here is a link, posted by Akari a regular DFA poster, for a $5 coupon from Petsmart good for any size Authority and several other kibbles. This link is also posted on page 15 of the coupon thread. The coupon is always valid, the date changes each time you access it:

    Think about rotation feeding for your dogs. Many regulars feed a rotation diet; I believe it is the healthiest way to feed your pets. The added benefit for the owner is if you find a good price on food you can take advantage of the savings because you already know your dog does well eating it.
    Rotation feeding info:

    Sign up for e-mails from Petsmart, Petco, or any other place you would purchase dog food so you can receive alerts for sales and coupons. Also, sign up for e-mails from pet food companies. Some send coupons or other promotional deals through e-mail and look into frequent buyer programs too; Nutrisource is one company that has a frequent buyer program through retailers, buy 12 bags and the 13th is free. Some offer frequent buyer programs directly through them such as by Nature or EVO. Wellness offers coupons for kibble and canned food monthly through e-mail when you sign up for their newsletter. You could stack the Wellness coupon with the Petsmart coupon for additional savings.

    Check out the coupon thread Akari started. It is a place to post info on coupons, sales, or other pet food promos that DFA posters find. Post questions if you have them too, Akari pops in to answer them.
    Page one is the intro of the coupon thread:
    Current page of coupon thread:

    As BC posted you can find Rachael Ray Zero Grain Free at Wal-Mart. On her website she offers coupons for pet food (under news & offers tab). Most of the time there is a $4 coupon for any size of the Zero Grain:

    Here are some recommendations for dog food sold at Wal-Mart:

    You mentioned Tractor Supply Company 4Health brand; I feed the canned dog & cat food and I have fed the beef GF. The canned food is labeled for growth and maintenance, not sure about the kibble. The only kibble in that line I would recommend are the Beef or Turkey grain free (and the GF cat food if you have cats). Diamond manufactures all of the other kibble varieties and due to their recall history I choose not to feed anything they make; depends on your comfort level. Good luck with your pups!


    Although “budget friendly” is very much a relative term, some excellent dry foods that I feel are budget friendly, and that I feel I can confidently recommend, are Victor, NutriSource, Earthborn Holistics, Eagle Pack, Dr. Tim’s and even Pure Balance made by Ainsworth that’s sold at Wal-Mart or Nature’s Domain Turkey and Pea Stew canned from Costco.


    In reply to: Miserable Dog!

    Bobby dog

    I just noticed the link I provided for the Wal-Mart kibble and canned food selections is wrong…that’s what I get for posting late at night. Here you go:


    In reply to: Miserable Dog!

    Bobby dog

    Hi Victoria W:
    I understand your budget constraints and hopefully I can offer some more suggestions in addition to the ones you have received. You are very kind to give your relative’s dogs the extra attention they need!

    It is surprising they would continue to pay for office visits and medication without trying a new diet as well. However, it sounds like she has an infection and needs antibiotics at this time.

    Buying a 50 lbs. bag of food is convenient for large dog owners. Throw in a price of about 45 cents/lb. and it’s hard to talk someone out of buying it. In the future, if you are able to convince them to try another food they should expect to pay at least $1/lb. for a food with more meat protein; about $10 – $15 more per bag. If they would agree to this price point you could find some decent kibbles for them in 40-50 lbs bags.

    If you decide to add a new food or supplement be sure to add slowly and in small portions building up to the desired amounts.

    If your relatives will only shop at Wal-Mart for dog food and are adamant about feeding Ol’ Roy, maybe you could suggest they try adding other brands to their dogs’ diet along with Ol’ Roy. Here‘s a thread with kibble & canned foods available at Wal-Mart with decent ratings:

    There is a PDF download from Steve Brown, “See Spot Live Longer the ABC Way.” It will help you improve any quality of kibble with the addition of fresh foods (eggs, tinned fish, fresh meat, vegetables) you can get at the grocery store. There is a menu that walks you through the amounts of each food to add according to the quality of kibble being fed and the size of the dog. I feed anything from a 3 to 5 star kibble and this download helps me to improve my dog’s diet very easily and affordably. I add the fresh food over several meals rather than feeding it in one day.

    I don’t always have sardines on hand for my dog and when I don’t I supplement his diet with CVS drug store 1000 mg fish oil capsules 3x/week. I also supplement vitamin E once a week regardless if I feed sardines or CVS fish oil. Here’s a link to more info on supplements, it’s also a great site with lots of other info:

    As far as mercury or chemical contamination, smaller fish are not usually high in contaminates due to their short life span and the depth of water they live in. Herring, menhaden, and sardines are some smaller species. Here’s a site with some more info on contamination in fish and a link to a wallet card with a list of fish and the degree of contamination they may have:

    I think adding some probiotics to her diet would really help with her skin issues; it helped tremendously with healing my cat’s skin. This would also help keep the antibiotics from destroying the friendly bacteria in her digestive system. An affordable way to do this is to feed unflavored kefir; most grocery stores sell kefir and it has a very long shelf life. I add it to my cat and dog’s food daily. Here’s some info:

    Other probiotics recommended by regular posters are Dr. Stephen Langer’s Ultimate 15 Strain Probiotic, Swanson Ultra Soil Based Organisms, and Mercola complete.

    Coconut oil would be another food that would help with her skin. I add it to my dog’s food 3x/week, more if he has skin issues. I also apply it directly to his skin when it’s irritated. Unfortunately, he loves it so much I have to be sure I have time to supervise him so he doesn’t lick it off before it’s absorbed. Only use unrefined organic. The best price I have found for it was at BJ’s or Costco; Wal-Mart also has a good price just in a smaller jar. Here’s some info on the benefits and dosage:

    After a bad experience with my cat and steroids when my dog developed a skin infection I was more than willing to put in the work I needed to help him heal. Bathing with medicated shampoo and applying antibiotic cream regularly was integral in healing his infection. The active ingredients in Malasab shampoo is 2% Miconazole Nitrate and 2% Chlorhexidine Gluconate. There are some generic alternatives that might be more budget friendly. Look for my post on page 3 from June 9, 2014 at 6:40 pm for info on some alternatives and for some ingredients to look for in medicated shampoos.

    I don’t have any experience with a dog that has hip dysplasia, but I think you are on the right track with a glucosamine supplement. Here are two threads that might be helpful:

    And here’s a coupon thread that might help with your pet food budget. The first page is an intro and the last page has the most current info posted.
    Page 1:
    Current page:

    Bobby dog

    Hi katj813:
    Look into C4c’s suggestion about Freshpet. Freshpet is a refrigerated food that is not canned, not raw, would mix easily with a dry food, and it is a kibble shape that pours easily from the bag. It is also easy to find at pet stores, grocery stores, and Wal-Mart.

    Bobby dog

    I will take baby steps over nothing anyday!!! That’s partly why I have my handy dandy Wal-Mart list ready for action! I have been able to make a few healthy suggestions for some die hard Wal-Mart/grocery store pet food shoppers. One is now asking about different pet stores to shop at since they have noticed an improvement in energy and appearance. They want to try a different kibble and also add some canned to their dog’s diet. It is overwhelming if you have never put any thought into what you feed your pet. Add spending more money and shopping at a place you don’t usually and it’s easy not to make any changes for some people. Baby steps are good!!! 😉

    Bobby dog

    Hi Debbie S:
    There are some good suggestions posted above. Another poster started this thread asking about pet food at Wal-Mart that will hopefully be helpful to you:

    Bobby dog

    Hi Lauren E:
    I agree with all the info posted by Cyndi and Sandy. One of the places I regularly shop for pet food is Wal-Mart. Here’s what I suggest:

     Rachael Ray GF recipes only – Turkey 4 stars, Salmon not rated

    You can find RR GF at Wal-Mart, Grocery Stores, and various on-line retailers. Rachael Ray offers coupons on her website for pet food (under news & offers tab):

     Pure Balance grain inclusive and GF 3.5 & 4 stars

     Purina Beyond Adventure 3.5 stars

     Purina Beyond Simply 9 3 stars

     Purina Beyond Superfood 3.5 stars

     Pure Balance stews ($1.00/can) 5 stars

     Pure Balance 95% meat ($1.25/can) 3.5 stars

     Pure Balance Tubs 4 – 5 stars

     Freshpet: Select Slice and Serve & Vital dog food rolls 5 stars, Vital Complete Meals (pouch) 5 stars, Roasted Meals (pouch) 3.5 stars, and Home style Tubs 3 stars

     Natural Life 4 stars

     Newman’s Own Organics 4 stars

     Variety 4 stars

     Rachael Ray Nutrish Tubs 3.5 stars
    Rachael Ray offers coupons on her website for pet food (under news & offers tab):

     Iams Woof Delights Tubs 3.5 stars

     Ol’ Roy Healthy Mix Tubs 3.5 stars


    Looked at Pure Balance today at Wal-Mart….. I noticed the can said made by Ol’Roy is that the correct pure balance??!!

    Bobby dog

    If you can’t find Kefir at the grocery store, Wal-Mart carries Lifeway Kefir. You can find coupons for Lifeway products on their website too! 😉


    In reply to: Coupons!

    Bobby dog

    Well we will have to wait for Akari’s input on those coupons printed on receipts. lol

    Yes, both Purina.

    I throw in Sheba every now and then. Akari too. You can find it in grocery stores, drug stores, even TSC started carrying it, but the best price is Wal-Mart. The easy part of feeding it is if there is any seafood mentioned in the name, it of course has it included in the recipe, otherwise no fish in any recipe. The last time I checked the entire line was grain free; just wish they left the added color out. 🙁


    I hate to say this, but I recall calling Earthborn when my Golden was a little pup and the gentleman that I spoke with told me the Calcium in the Primitive Naturals was too high for a LBP in growth phase. I don’t mind single source amino acids at all, after all, it’s why you rotate in the first place.

    What stores do you have locally, Petco, PetSmart, TSC? Have you tried the Victor product locator to see if you might have that at a local feed store. No pet boutiques? You could try cooking or a simple raw diet for a few days if you needed to while you wait for an order to arrive. You could even run to Wal-Mart and feed some Pure Balance canned for a few days in a pinch.

    I’d go for the Meadow Feast of all those you mentioned. I would never use a Blue Buffalo product.

    Bobby dog

    I think I already mentioned this, but in case I didn’t all the 4Health canned dog and cat food is manufactured by Simmons. I have fed all recipes of the dog and cat food and like them all. The cat food is pate’ style. The salmon and lamb canned for dogs is pate’ style and the rest are stew styles.

    Another budget friendly canned dog food is Wal-Marts Pure Balance. This is also part of Bobby’s main canned rotation. It is reviewed well on DFA also. The stew styles are 99 cents and the 95% meat are $1.25.

    Both brands are manufactured by Simmons and all of these brands are complete balanced recipes.

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