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    Bobby dog

    You’re welcome Andrea! Sounds like she’s getting some good human foods. It can get expensive buying canned foods. A few that I buy are a dollar/can and are DFA rated 4-5 stars. Just remember to reduce the kibble if you decide (I hope you do!) to add wet foods to her diet. As C4C suggested Freshpet is a good choice too. If she is doing well on TOTW try to keep the total daily calories about the same with whatever food(s) you try.

    You will always see good and bad comments under each review because each dog is different. I think the only way you can know for sure about a food is to try it. I have fed many different brands of food and I have never had any of the bad experiences other people have had thank goodness. The worst thing that’s happened is Bobby wouldn’t eat the food. Take your time transitioning to a new food; as long as she needs. I understand your concerns about the increase in protein. Plain canned pumpkin (not pie filling) is helpful if she develops loose stools. You can freeze small portions to keep on hand. Add a tablespoon to her meal or feed separately if that works better.

    Here’s a dried pumpkin supplement for digestive upsets:

    Many on DFA also recommend this one too:


    In reply to: Brand of Dog Food

    If you can make it to SuperStore some of the PC Nutrition First dog foods are rated 4 or 5 stars on this site (grain free salmon and potato is 5 star?) and it is fairly affordable.

    Otherwise Merrick Classic should be available at most pet stores for a premium but somewhat reasonable price. Not sure what else might be available from Sobeys. I think freshpet has some highly rated options but I think it is expensive and only come in small pouches.


    In reply to: Good supplements


    Dori, yes! I would be interested in what brand you are feeding your dogs. I have tried: Raw Instinct-chicken and beef. Primal raw freeze dried chicken, and every natural canned food. Also, Freshpet.


    Just to add, Merrick and Whole Earth Farms are not at PetSmart, and FreshPet is available at most grocery stores, now, but not all. And Nulo will not be available in every PetSmart. I know mine doesn’t have it. The good thing about PetSmart is that you can go on their website and see if the product you want is in the location you’re wanting to shop at.


    Hi, Cindy! Living in an RV and doing lots of traveling sounds like so much fun!

    I second theBCnut’s suggestion – it is very important for your dog to be able to transition quickly and easily, and preferable “cold turkey” from bag to bag and from brand to brand. If you need help beginning and maintaining a transition, let us know.

    But because you asked for food brands that are widely available, here is what I would look for if I were you:
    Pure Balance (all varieties) – Walmart
    Rachael Ray Zero Grain – Walmart and most other grocery stores
    Wellness (all varieties) – Petco and Petsmart, and some small boutique-type stores
    Castor and Pollux (all varieties) – Petco and Petsmart, and some small boutique-type stores
    Merrick (all varieties) – Petco and Petsmart, and some small boutique-type stores
    Whole Earth Farms (all varieties) – Petco and Petsmart, and some small boutique-type stores
    Nulo (all varieties) – Petsmart only
    Nutro Ultra and Natural Choice (all varieties) – Petco and Petsmart
    FreshPet (all varieties, refrigerated food) – Petsmart (maybe Petco too), and many grocery stores (not Walmart though, at least not the 2 I frequent)

    In order of preference, I would shoot for Wellness, Merrick/Castor&Pollux/Whole Earth Farms, FreshPet, Nulo, and then Pure Balance, the Nutros, and Rachael Ray Zero Grain.

    If you do get to a pet boutique, look for Victor, Earthborn Holistic, and NutriSource (all varieties within each are good). My personal preference are the grain free recipes (in all brands I recommended), due to higher protein usually, but those are all good brands anyway.


    Hi Sally,

    When you say refrigerated food you bought at Publix, would that be FreshPet? If not, that’s a food that I would suggest for you. She might prefer it over kibble. She might prefer it warmed, too. You could put it in a waterproof container and immerse that in hot water – don’t microwave, that kills nutrients. She might also like The Honest Kitchen, a dehydrated food that you reconstitute with hot water. By way, has she been to the vet recently? Could she possibly have a central issue that makes it uncomfortable for her to eat kibble?

    It’s fine for her to have those other healthy human foods in addition to her food. Just keep the toppers to no more than 20% of her diet to avoid throwing off the nutritional balance of her food.


    I have tried FreshPet actually – he hated it.

    jakes mom

    Had another thought. Have you ever tried FreshPet foods? It comes in rolls and also in a bag, kibble shape but softer. That would introduce him to a different type of food, but not crunchy. Then maybe transition him to the dry. Only problem with FreshPet is that it needs to be refrigerated, is sold in it’s own fridge at the store. It also freezes well, I portion it out and freeze it. I know you work at a pet store, so you may already be familiar with it. If not, I’ve seen it at some pet stores, also Walmart, Target, and grocery stores.


    I have been at PetCo, overhearing employees talking about dog food. I have yet to find one who knows what they’re talking about. I did correct an employee who told someone tht Freshpet is raw. It’s not raw, its cooked then cooled’

    We have a local pet store who has mostly teenagers to early 20’s employees. They don’t know much. I overheard someone saying ‘corn is fine for allergies” & I butted in.

    I wish all employees were trained but who’s going to train them? I haven’t met many managers who really knew about dog food either.

    I do frequent some boutique pet stores & they DO know.

    jakes mom

    You could try FreshPet foods. They come in several varieties. If he likes “meatloaf” he might like the rolled type. It looks like the rolls of bulk sausage and ground beef or turkey you find at the grocery store. It also comes in a bag that looks like kibble but is softer. Gets a good rating on DFA. Only problem is convenience, you need to keep it in the fridge. Look in your local grocery store, pet stores like Petsmart, Petco, Petsuppliesplus, etc. I’ve also seen it in Target and Walmart. It will be in it’s own little fridge. You can freeze it, too, so if he tends to get sick of things quickly you can freeze it in portions. You’re right, the meatloaf you made him is ok for the short term but isn’t balanced for feeding all the time. My dog and cats like the Freshpet.

    Hanna J

    Have you considered that it could be the lentils or peas in grain-free novel protein kibbles that are causing the issue? Try checking the foods for common allergens besides the meat meal, like potatoes, alfalfa, lentils, peas, or meals that aren’t listed on the front of the bag.

    Also, if you haven’t tried fish or turkey, or if those dry foods have other ingredients in them that could be the trigger, consider trying the Freshpet lines of Vital grain free. They have a turkey and a salmon meal that have fish, but no lentils, peas, or other non-meat allergens, just some veggies. They’re here:

    All dry kibbles have SOME binder, and even the “grain free” kind need a starch like potatoes, peas, lentils, chickpeas, etc. Some dogs can’t tolerate those, and they are a protein source, so they can be the problem. A canned, fresh, or freeze dried food with no binders may help you isolate whether it’s the meat causing issues or another protein source. That may open you up to non-kangaroo options in the future.


    If you’re wanting a frozen cooked or raw product, there are some others you should check out over Biljac-it’s still not the best. I probably would feed it over Blue personally because I have extreme distrust of that company, but Biljac isn’t something I would feed either. The ingredients aren’t great, and for a product in that style, it’s protein level is pretty low (lower than most kibble I feed, if not all-when I use raw or cooked I use it as a topper and use it to really get that protein level up without a lot of added crap).

    I would check out Nature’s Variety or Freshpet, both available where Biljac is, or if you shop at smaller food stores, there are even more available


    No one can answer what to do with your dogs, we can only answer based on our experiences and what we would do. It concern me that both your dogs have the same issues, at the same time. Since it was Purina and Freshpet, and its affecting both dogs, I would be highly suspicious of something else. IMO, its highly unlikely for two dogs in the same household to have the exact same issue. That leaves me with questioning the safety product being used, and then environmental/.

    In other words, if you are sure the food is stored correctly, without contamination, bowls are cleaned regularly etc, then my mind would wander to another cause..

    Cleaning product in the household? Drinking contaminated water source out doors uch as mud puddles, streams etc.. Virus? Did they go anywhere they could have been exposed to something?


    are they getting sick on FreshPet or did you put them back on Purina? By the way, Purina is a very low quality food.


    THK is a great food, so that is worth a shot. That’s funny, about the Freshpet. Oh, dogs. Good luck!


    What about a dehydrated food that you reconstitute with hot water like The Honest Kitchen. It has texture to it that he would probably appreciate and you could make it as thick or as soupy as you need. FreshPet would be like the size and shape of kibble, but softer like real food.

    Poor little guy.

    Robert B

    Hi ALL,
    It looks like I’m going to purchase Wellness Toy Breed Complete Health Adult. For a topper, I will use a sweet potato and also purchase Freshpet Select Tender Chicken with Vegetables & Brown Rice Dog Food.
    I will also brush his teeth at least 3 times per week.
    I thank all you for your feedback and will update in a few weeks or so
    on how Louie is doing.
    I will go to the store tomorrow and purchase the above items.
    I’m so happy I found this website and all the great people that helped me,


    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.


    Robert B

    I want to thank everyone for your help and great ideas on
    helping me find and try different foods for Louie. Below are ideas
    from the forum, I’m getting there, so can you read the below information and let me know what you think. So I think I found the Kibbles and toppings.

    Freshpet Select Tender Chicken with Vegetables & Brown Rice Dog Food. I can use the above for his topper…what do you think?
    I check the internet, and can’t find the Fresh Pet food that has the softer kibbles or I’m not looking at the correct Fresh Pet foods?
    Can someone help me with the name of the shaped like kibbles for Fresh Pet?

    I also might try Wellness Toy Breed Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken, Brown Rice & Peas Recipe. What do you think?

    I thank ALL of you for your help and time with all these great suggestions
    Louie also thanks you!!

    PS…I will be going to my sister-in- laws for the weekend and will not have a laptop.
    I will check for emails when I return on Monday for your replies.


    Bobby dog

    Alright, then it sounds like you just need to find a tasty food for him. At Petsmart take a look at Nutro Ultra, Nutro Natural Choice, Simply Nourish, Wellness, Castor & Pollux, Nature’s Variety Instinct, and Nulo.

    Here is a download that provides a menu for adding fresh grocery store foods to your dog’s diet. I follow this meal plan using the fresh foods as toppers for several meals rather than feeding it as a single meal:

    If you reconsider adding a canned topper to your dog’s meals, reduce the amount of kibble so you don’t over feed. Here are some canned and tub foods available at Petsmart: Blue Buffalo, Castor & Pollux, Freshpet, Innova, Nature’s Recipe, Nature’s Variety Instinct, Nature’s Variety Prairie, Nulo, Nutro, Simply Nourish, and Wellness.

    Also consider diet rotation. Find at least three different kibbles your dog likes and does well on. Providing variety may help keep his interest in his food. I change kibble brands after each small bag and also switch to a different protein and carb. Here’s some info about diet rotation:

    Cait Y

    Ok so I have lurked here for a little over a year, and recently started making my own raw cat food via Lisa A. Pierson, DVM because one of my boys almost died after getting into the Dry food AGAIN and his whole GI system blocked up because he cannot handle the lack of fluids in dry food. He is such a picky eater that I had put off the raw diet dreading that he would turn his nose up at it like he did the other high quality raw/semi cooked food I tried buying him. He LOVED the home made food, he even batted off his BFF to eat his food too!
    HoundDogMom, other raw feeders please bear with me I know that the whole shebang I know as of now it is 6 pages long. I am trying to paint the whole picture with the dogs, their special needs and what is causing me confusion with the Raw feeding books I have read. There is so much going on right now in my personal life that I am having a very hard time understanding this and if anyone could help point me in the right direction or even a book or website or from experience I would be so very very grateful.
    The biggest reservation I have about feeding Raw to the dogs (who LOVED the scoop of homemade cat food I gave them as a test) are the bones and sadly the limited ingredients I can use for my Special Needs Hound.
    I have a 14 yr old Walker hound (Forest) who has like no teeth left and was just diagnosed with cushing’s disease but has some pretty abnormal liver tests because of the damage that was done while he went undiagnosed. His liver is so enlarged it displaces his stomach sideways and upwards which makes EASILY digestible food a must. He cannot have food high in phosphorus, copper or ammonia which means little to no red meat and lots of poultry, eggs and pork. He also has problems with chronic Constipation so I would have to be VERY careful about the amount of bone I add to his diet but I also want enough in there to give him the nutrients he needs. Since he is older he also burns a LOT of calories, He is on Vital Fresh pet Turkey or Chicken and gets 1.5 lbs a day. I don’t know what is causing him to burn so many calories except for old age or maybe his body is trying to repair itself – all he does is lounge in the lawn and do his hound dance for food – people or animal whichever he can mac on at the moment lol
    My 3 yr old yellow lab (Nova) is also a high calorie burner but she is super active, we do scent tracking, retrieving, and lots of walking/running on the grass. She will go until she drops which I have never seen before, so now I watch her very closely for signs she is over heated. She eats up to 2 lbs of the above dog food a day but is still losing weight on occasion when her activity jumps up again. She has always had double the amount of Eosinophils in her blood that she should at a “normal” rate. She has been checked for parasites so the best I can come up with is that she might have GI issues going on intermittently – she doesn’t transition food gracefully and really doesn’t tolerate even high quality kibble (after research it’s not such a mystery anymore) which is in part what turned me onto Freshpets Vital.
    To top it all off I have a Four month old female lab puppy (Ellie) that is still growing. I have her on 2 lbs of Freshpets vital but I am worried that she is not getting something in her diet as well. She has three white lines running across her nails – each nail on every paw. In my experience when the horses have white lines or even indents it means either they were very very sick or have a mineral/vitamin deficiency of some sort. I know when Ellie came to us she had a severe infection of hook and round worms. Her infection was so severe at 8 weeks old that the vet said she would have died untreated – thank you OCD and taking her to the Vet the same day she was brought home lol. They were resistant to the normal worming meds and for 2 months we battled with getting them under control and gone. If Dogs are like horses that would cause the lines because of how sick she was during this (Great going Lemon law Florida) yet I also worry because I know parasites in small animals or even large can cause a huge system imbalance with nutrients which hinders growth.
    OK Limited ingredients – because of Forest I have to stick to Chicken, Turkey, and Eggs as a main protein source due to his liver problems and because Rabbit in completely unviable to me unless I want to raise them myself. I have no local butcher – the closest one is three hours away so Chicken and Turkey liver will have to do for organ meat – sometimes I can get chicken hearts once in a blue moon. For Fats I have to choose VERY easily digestible fats from an animal protein because with Forests Liver problems his biliary system can be overloaded very easily and that would be disastrous. Maybe I can add some duck occasionally to his diet?

    Copper Issues:
    If ammonia restriction is required, feed less red meats and organs since they produce the most ammonia. You may not want to eliminate them entirely though, as they have important nutrients that help with liver function.
    Instead, cut back. Feed more poultry, fish, eggs, and pork. If feeding red meat, even in small quantities, buy the absolute best quality you can afford. Preferably grass fed, antibiotic, and hormone free.

    Meats generally low in copper are:
    • Beef (muscle meat, not organs)
    • Eggs
    • Turkey (white meat)
    • Chicken (white meat)
    • Rabbit
    • Fish
    Meats generally high in copper are:
    • Lamb
    • Pork
    • Pheasant or Quail
    • Duck
    • Goose
    • Salmon
    • Organ Meats
    When feeding organs for copper issues, some animal livers contain more copper than others. Beef liver is higher in copper than chicken or pork livers. Regardless, the zinc and b vitamins in liver help to reduce the risk of copper toxicity. Though if your dog has an issue with copper, opt for chicken or pork liver. (

    I have read Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet and Dr. Pitcairn’s New Complete Guide to Health of Dogs and Cats. I have some major issues with either of the books, UtCaD is so absolute – if you feed this protein then you need this oil. First of all Canola Oil? Corn Oil? Soybean Oil? Walnut oil? Flax and hemp seed oil? I own horses and I would NEVER give them Corn oil with the GMO crap going around I don’t trust Corn or Canola at all. If I am not comfortable feeding to my strict Herbivores I am definitely not OK feeding it to the other animals. By the way the 2,000 lbs animals have had major GI upset from Canola, Corn, Soybean and Flax seed oil. I’ve given it to them in small amounts – 3 tablespoons a day and I have seen a massive systemic effect that made me take them off of it immediately. It was supposed to give them the right ratio of Omega’s 3 and 6 plus help my older guys move and keep weight on since it was winter. The recommended Ratio of 6 to 3 fats are 10:1 to 5:1 for dogs – I have read that small fish or Krill are the best to supplement dogs with because of the low contamination rate and it should not carry Salmon Sickness. Soybean oil is also something I would never give my dogs or humans or anything because of the way it can mimic hormones and interrupt the function of the Thyroid. Also Kelp is recommended a lot, but there are so many negatives that came out during the feeding kelp to horse’s fad that I will not touch the stuff. If it can affect the horses with the amount of iodine to the point horses became toxic I don’t trust the manufactures. It was not that kelp was being fed in large amounts there was absolutely no regulation on what type they harvested or what it contained. Missing link for dogs is a product I am familiar with and they do make it for dogs with trace minerals but it is flax based. Won’t this completely mess up the balancing? Does anyone here feed this instead of kelp?
    The Missing Link Ultimate Skin & Coat:
    Active Ingredients (per tbsp)
    Flaxseed Dried Kelp
    Glucosamine Hydrochloride (Vegetarian) Zinc Monomethionine
    Freeze Dried Beef Liver Lecithin
    Blackstrap Molasses Chromium Yeast
    Rice Bran Selenium Yeast
    Primary Dried Yeast Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6)
    Sunflower Seed Niacin (Vitamin B3)
    Dehydrated Alfalfa Garlic Powder
    Dried Carrot Yucca Schidigera Extract
    Shark Cartilage Powder* Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
    Freeze Dried Fish Protein Powder Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1)
    Freeze Dried Oyster Powder Folic Acid
    Barley Grass Leaves Powder Cobalamin (Vitamin B12)
    Guaranteed Analysis Amount
    Crude Protein (not less than) 18%
    Crude Fat (not less than) 28%
    Crude Fiber (not more than) 15%
    Moisture (not more than) 10%
    Linoleic Acid (Omega 6) 450 mg
    **Linolenic Acid (Omega 3) 1000 mg
    **Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Cat/Dog food nutrient profiles.

    Also if everything is so precise that does not leave room for error such as what if the chickens were raised on Florida soil which is heavy in limestone and deficient in other areas – rather than let’s say somewhere in the bread bowl what about if they were fed a corn based feed and another batch was fed free range? If the meat analysis is different it throws everything off and we all know that meat from south Fl is very different than meat from MI or IN – same principle goes with growing vegetables even organic. How much of a God Factor is there for the abundance of some micronutrients and lack of others? UTCAD also has an abundance of some nutrients way over the NRC guidelines – are dogs different in the fact that they can rid themselves of excess things very easily? I know in humans and horses Vit E and Selenium can be deadly because it builds up in fat and the body doesn’t flush it out like the water-soluble vitamins?
    Dr. Pitcairn’s New Complete Guide to Health has a lot of oat meal, rice, beans?! Half and Half milk, whole milk, whole wheat bread corn? That sounds not so great for dogs and especially not for cats like it says it can be. What about kidney beans? With feeding my dogs I have learned they do OK on rice occasionally when they have an upset GI but if they are on a diet with rice too long they get backed up. Also the beans – the dogs seem to have issues with digesting them like people sometimes do – why are there so many carbohydrates? Why cannot I do sprouted microgreens or carrots or even baked potatoes because I know the dogs tolerate those vegetables very well. Also Brewer’s Yeast? Isn’t yeast as a whole bad? It’s in everything and I know Nova already is prone to yeast infections in her ears and when she gets a UTI – Also can Brewer’s yeast cause or attribute to bloat? Milk – isn’t milk products bad if they are in large amounts such as 2 cups milk plus 2 cups rolled oats and 2 eggs and calcium powder? Everything to me seems so skewed.
    Also RMB are out of the question – Forest cannot eat them and Nova and Ellie are gulpers – they came from a large litter and it would be just my luck to end up in emergency surgery with one of them. I have a grinder to which I can grind the bone up with the meat and I know the purpose of the bone was for dental health but if I make Meat Jerky and other goodies can I replicate that without worrying about emergency surgery or broken teeth?
    Since I own a grinder already for cat food why cannot I grind bones to supplement their food with? So far in my research the basic recipe and consensus I have come across is as follows:
    16% Organ meat
    10% – 25% Bone
    The rest of the food would be muscle meat and muscle meat
    Meat is very high in phos and the bone is high in Cal which means the Cal to Phos ratio should be 1.2 to 1.5:1 although 1:1 to 2.5:1 is ok as well. I just need to make sure the dogs consume more Cal than Phos but the question is do I need to add bone meal or can I grind my own bones to supplement?
    Here is what the Article analysis the bone content to be in prey animals:
    Bone Content In Raw Foods
    When sourcing bones for your dog’s diet, it’s a good idea to know the approximate amount of bone in commonly sourced foods. Here is a quick guide to help you keep your dog’s bone content in the right range; between 10% and 25%.
    Chicken Whole chicken (not including the head and feet): 25% bone/Leg quarter: 30%/Split breast: 20%/Thigh: 15%/Drumstick: 30%/Wing: 45%/Neck: 36%/Back: 45%/Turkey/Whole turkey: 21%/Thigh: 21%/Drumstick: 20%/Wing: 37%/Neck: 42%/Back: 41%
    Pork Feet: 30%/Tails: 30%/Ribs: 30%
    Beef Ribs: 52%
    Rabbit Whole rabbit (fur and all): 10% Whole (dressed): 25-30%

    From this can I remove the proper amount of bones or add more bones in to balance or would you suggest a bone meal powder? Also I have yet to factor in the percentage of vegetable/fruit/microgreens in the recipe – I am just so lost so if HoundDogMom could help or someone else could chime in I would be so grateful. I am trying very hard to learn as much as I can but between the animals and two sick family members and special needs animals by the time I have a moment to sit down I am out like a light for the night or my brain is so frazzled everything looks like it was written in French. Am I over thinking this? I just don’t want to screw Ellie up – she has already had such a bad start with the worm infection – and Forest needs nutrients to rebuild his liver correctly and I wanted to see if this change in diet would help Nova’s Eosinophils come to a normal level. Also has anyone ever seen white lines on every toenail that grows parallel with the skin? Any help would be so appreciated there is just not a lot of room for error with Forest right now with his liver Alt levels 4 times what they are supposed to be. They cannot stay on the Freshpet much longer because to feed the dogs its 19 dollars a day and that’s not a very good long term solution.
    Thanks so much everyone~!~ I Hope everyone had a great New Year and wonderful Holiday


    Wellness Stews have big chunks as does Merrick Cowboy Cookout. Also FreshPet has rolled dog foods that you can slice into large chunks.

    Richard B

    Check out They offer grain free products in soft, like little meatball nuggets, without all the slop and gravy of other wet foods. Also, highly rated and great products. Rated here as well. Their products are sold in the refrigerated section of most all super markets, walmart, etc. easy to find, and it’s all my fussy maltipoos will eat.



    Wellness Complete Health Senior canned 32/14
    Freshpet Select Homestyle tubs 27/18
    Wysong Anergen canned 28/12
    Wysong Adult Maintenance canned 28/16
    Canidae Life Stages Platinum canned 24/18
    Avoderm Weight Control Chicken and Rice canned 23/14
    Natural Balance LID Chicken and Sweet Potato canned 25/16
    Addiction Summer Brushtail dehydrated 23/11
    Addiction Kangaroo Feast dehydrated 24/11
    Addiction New Zealand Forest Delicacies dehydrated 25/13
    Addiction Beef and Zucchini dehydrated 22/11
    Addiction Venison and Cranberry dehydrated 25/15
    Addiction Fig’licious Venison dehydrated 22/11
    Addiction Country Chicken and Apricot dehyrated 24/17
    Back to Basics Grain Free dry 27/16
    Fromm Gold Reduces Activity dry 26/12
    Fromm Gold Large Breed Adult dry 26/13
    Pro Pac Ultimates Lamb Meal and Brown Rice dry 24/13
    Pro Pac Ultimates Mature Chicken Meal dry 23/13
    Pro Pac Ultimates Grain Free Overland Red and Meadow Prime dry 26/13

    This article has the explanation and formula to convert foods into dry matter:


    You might look into FreshPet brand. They have rolls and a refrigerated soft kibble.


    In reply to: Food for crystals

    Bobby dog

    Fresh Pet makes a raw, “Vital Raw,” which is grain free. Not sure if that is what Karen J is referring to or not.


    In reply to: Food for crystals

    Karen J

    She was eating Freshpet Vital grain free and stopped…didn’t like it. Is that the same as Vital Essentials?

    jakes mom

    forgot to ask, does anybody know if I can freeze FreshPet cat food? I’m talking about the bagged stuff that’s shaped like kibble, the “roasted meals”. I came across a great deal at my grocery store last nite, a 2# bag for $4.50 (regular $8.99) so I got a bag of each flavor. Would like to portion it out and freeze some.

    Karen J

    A lot of you have been a big help – I finally found a food she will eat (for now) Freshpet by Vital – beef and bison.

    I’ve been giving her d-monnase and vit c either in soft cheese or cottage cheese and no grain treats when we train or boiled chicken.

    It’s been about a week but twice there have been big puddles of urine, tonight by the front door when I got home. When I take her out her pee are little tiny ones usually, she has a doggie door.

    The question: Am I being over anxious and give it some time, could some of it be behavioral, or should I get a second opinion from a different vet?

    I’ve tried to not create separation anxiety, it’s not hard to leave without fanfare but almost impossible to ignore her when I get home.

    Karen J

    You’re very helpful, but she is so picky, now the only thing she will eat is Freshpet Vital Beef Bison formula with BB Wilderness topping. At least Unleashed carries it. I bought PH strips and gave her Vit C – waiting for d-monnase to arrive. I use boiled chicken breast in bit and pieces to train with.

    I wish I could find a vet I really liked and trusted near me in North Hollywood and surrounding areas, that isn’t too outrageously expensive. Anybody have any clues on that?

    Karen J

    Because of the pre struvite crytals:

    Freshpet Vital – Grain Free, a roll you keep in fridgy topped with BB wild cuts – she finally seems to eat that and BB Wilderness.

    Last night and this morning I gave her Freshpet topped with wild cuts…but she left a puddle of pee no far from where she eats. She has a dog door and I’d let her out from where there is grass and she peed there 15 minutes early…any thoughts from this well informed group?


    You can also feed a raw meaty bone (chicken thigh, drumstick for example) in place of three meals per week which will help with cost. Also, your dog should be able to eat varying amounts of fat and protein so I would still keep Darwin’s in the food rotation with other foods like the FreshPet you mentioned. There are premixes that you can just add raw or cooked meat to and a little bit of oil and that’s it. Pretty simple. I think Tuckers Raw and some of the Bravo raw foods come in the individually wrapped serving size.

    Martha S

    Hi Cindy!
    Right now we are doing about 50% Darwins, and the rest a rotation/combination of Reel Raw, Tuckers, Primal Turkey/Sardine., and Genesis. Sometimes I’ll add a Salmon grain free roll from Freshpet ( the one thing that isn’t raw) or a couple cans of sardines in water. As a treat, he will get Answers unpasteurized goat milk every once in a while.

    We tried BDN tripe and it was a big hit with the pup, so I was really hoping to try and inform myself as much as possible as to the protein/fat/carb percentages. It really is a mystery to me why a company wouldn’t share their nutritional percentages. I kind of makes my mind wander… there something bad going on? I really want to like this food…sigh…why all the secrecy BDN?


    Wellness has their Simple line, which I like. I am using their Simple Small Breed formula with my Cavaliers. It is Salmon based and the only flavor, atm, in the Simple Small Breed line. The regular Simple line has other flavors, but not all of them are grain free so you would need to check.

    I also top my dogs’ kibble with canned food. I use Wellness, they have a 95% line that is just meat. I use other brands at times. Right now I am using Freshpet Vital, a lightly cooked food that is grain free and comes in roll form. I chop it into chunks and top their kibble with it, and add in their probiotics, fish oil and a little water. Not a speck left in their bowls. They do have some that are limited, the Turkey, Beef and Bison, and Whitefish rolls. I alternate flavors with the dogs.

    I have two dogs that seem to have flea allergy dermatitis, and one of them also has mild food allergies as well. I am also using an allergy chew from Vet Classics (I bought at my holistic vet), but you can buy it online and also from Naturvet (same company). These have quercitin, colostrum and other things that seem to be helping them, too. Right now all are doing well…..hope I didn’t just jinx us, lol!

    • This reply was modified 7 years ago by Mom2Cavs.
    • This reply was modified 7 years ago by Mom2Cavs.

    The majority of the time I add some greens/joint powder and other supplements but I add those with any wet food topper I use, whether it’s BDN or other canned food. If I’m in a hurry, I don’t add anything. I have one super picky obese pug (sounds odd, right?) right now that will only eat BDN and ZiwiPeak, sheesh!!! I need to find something to transition him to, maybe the Freshpet soft kibble C4C mentioned on another thread.

    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.


    In reply to: Low odor dry food

    Lisa R

    Thanks for the input. She started rejecting the Weruva. I tried FreshPet log today and she ate it enthusiastically. I am wondering whether picky eating can be related to a change of environment. She had been alone with me for the first several months I’ve had her. About 6 weeks ago, I had to travel with her to my elderly parents’ home. Could that change her eating habits? It has caused some behavioral changes.

    Kim E

    Naturella, I’m actually glad to know that kibble won’t scrape their teeth into pearly whites. They love the FreshPet and vegetables are like chocolate to them. They also like some fruits (apples) and the occasional hard-boiled egg so I guess that they’re getting a healthy and varied diet. On hot summer days they also enjoy lounging on the deck, sipping fresh cold water and munching on chopped frozen peas/carrots/green beans.

    I’ve made a list of the various kibble mentioned; if they’re accustomed to one it would be handy while traveling.

    Thanks again for sharing your knowledge; I generally have people recommend Pedigree. 😉


    Kim, I second everyone’s recommendations, but it is a myth that kibble helps clean dogs’ teeth – it cleans them no more than chips or hard cookies clean ours. Canned is actually much better for them, and Freshpet is a good brand, so if clean teeth was your only concern for adding kibble, I would leave them on the Freshpet.

    Kim E

    Thanks so much for the help!! Neither of them have trouble chewing, the little one is just a bit intimidated when she tries to put a larger piece of kibble in her mouth. By the way, I think that part of her problem is psychological – I purchased a bag of regular-size kibble once and she ate right through the bag. Put it in a bowl – she was no longer interested. 🙂

    Right now they’re eating Freshpet Select with chicken, vegetables and rice – they love it. I’m going to continue with that but would like to add some kibble to the diet to help keep their teeth cleaner.

    Thank you again!!

    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

    Bobby dog

    Hi Liz:
    I like Wellness products; both my dog and cats do very well on both their kibble and canned.

    She might be a picky eater, but I wouldn’t be concerned with the kibble she likes. Many picky eaters will not eat anything consistently which in turn affects their health. Knowing she has a food she eats consistently and does well on will gives you an opportunity to look for other foods she might like to add to her menu.

    You have listed several kibbles that you have tried and one you are looking at. If I had a picky eater I would reduce the amount of kibble and add a topper to each meal to hopefully entice them to eat other foods. I don’t have a picky eater, but I believe in using a topper for each meal to reduce the amount of kibble I feed and add a more healthy species appropriate food to his diet.

    Check out Freshpet; my dog loves this food. It is a cooked food that is refrigerated and sold in plastic wrapped tubes (slice and serve) or pouches (small, soft kibble form). Many pet and grocery store chains carry it. It is rated very well on DFA:

    I feed a rotational diet of kibble topped with, commercial freeze dried/dehydrated/frozen raw, canned, or lightly cooked fresh meats for each meal. I change the animal protein, carb source, and brand of kibble every month; toppers every day or two. Rotational feeding also ensures my dog will have no issues switching foods when a dog food recipe inevitably changes; they always do. I can just move onto a food he has done well on in the past if any digestive issues occur. Good luck with your pup!

    Richard B

    Anyone know if warming up Freshpet Slice ans Serve food in microwave will hut it?

    Thanks, Rick

    Bobby dog

    Hey jakes mom:
    I hear you about those pesky outside duties. I was just trying to enjoy my dinner and all I could think of is I really need to mow the lawn and weed the garden some before it rains next.

    Funny, I have the same issue with Bobby. He probably gained a couple pounds this summer. He is a little backward in his activity levels. He is extremely active in the fall, winter, and spring. Well, he’s active as long as it’s not raining; he is a delicate flower after all! He is really an indoor guy in the summer. He goes outside and will stay with me most of the time, but no real physical activity except for our walks. I have been scaling back his meals a little to take care of it and adding a little more time to our walks. Actually, I need a little more walking also. lol

    Did you get addicted to the coco oil yet? I am. That’s wonderful they are all almost eating just canned and probably some Freshpet too. I am going to take a break from trying to ween mine off kibble for a while. The amount I am down to is great to me considering how much kibble they used to eat. Baby steps, right?!?!

    TSC does not have the 4Health canned cat food on their website in case you have looked. For a little while when I looked it up on their site their lower quality canned, Paws & Claws, would come up as 4Health. At my TSC they carry Chic & Beef, Turkey & Salmon, Chicken, and Indoor Chic formula; there may be more recipes IDK. I would take a guess and say the carbs are probably around 10%. They are all pate’ style with a few cubed carrots and some whole peas. My cat never eats the peas or carrots they are the only thing left behind when he finishes eating it. Here’s a few of the ingredients from the chicken and beef recipe: Chicken, chicken broth, liver, beef, dried egg product, brewer’s rice, dried potatoes, barley, guar gum, carrots, dried cranberries, dried blueberries… Protein min 9%, fat min 6%, fiber max 1.5%, moisture 78%. Not a bad food for rotation at 49 cents/5.5 oz or 99 cents/13.2 oz.

    If your interested in a canned food for Jake, Bobby highly recommends 4Health too. It is one of the main canned foods I use in his rotation; 99cents/13.2 oz and $1.30?/for a larger can. 😉

    Bobby dog

    Hey guys:
    I hate K3 (menadione sodium bisulfite complex) included in recipes. I loved the explanation HDM gave us for the inclusion of K3 in pet food. I don’t mind rice, not a favorite ingredient, but it’s okay in a rotation for my kitties. I will be checking out CS on Amazon when I need to stock up again, excellent price thanks for sharing! 🙂

    I am still trying to introduce Freshpet to the kitties. I just don’t want it to go to waste since I am only feeding small amounts, so Bobby is willing to help the kitties out by eating it with them! lol

    Bobby dog

    Too bad C4c. Bobby is going to start meowing anyday now, he’s loving the cat’s Freshpet! 🙂

    Akari, you should try some Kefir for Alec. Try the Freshpet, I am sure he’ll love it. I am still going to try the chub version.

    Sharon I don’t think my cat’s would like Venison either. They are funny about lamb and duck too. The Slow Cooked Venison and the Roasted Chicken Ideal Balance canned food are on my list to try even though I don’t think the venison will fly. The pet stores I frequent never carry those recipes though so I don’t know if I will ever get a chance to try them anyway. Silly cat’s don’t remember what it was like being homeless and hungry!!!! lol

    jake’s mom, glad you guys are enjoying coco oil as much as we do!!! Sometimes Archie gets tired of it and won’t eat it. I just stop feeding it for a week and when I offer it again he laps it up happily.


    Hi everyone! Just back from the vet. She did do bloodwork and is sending it off to check her thyroid. Won’t know the results of that for a few days, BUT, as I expected, she thinks Bailey has a nutritional deficiency because of her raw diet. She encouraged me to atleast, if I wanted to keep her on raw, go with a premade raw like Bravo or Primal or something like that, so it’s already balanced.

    I was going back and forth in my head the past few months and thinking I might switch her to a good 5 star kibble in the am and either raw of Freshpet or something for dinner. For the year and a half she’s been on raw, I have been wondering if I’m meeting all her nutritional needs. I know she eats better than most dogs, but I don’t want to risk her health in doing so.

    So, until I find out different from the blood test, I’m going to assume it’s nutritional related and started shopping around for the best kibble and just do healthy toppers as well. Thanks for everyone’s help! I really appreciate it!

    Bobby dog

    That snake story still gives me the chills. Most of the time Bobby stays with me when I am in the garden which is near my barn. It was hot so he went up to the house to lay on the porch. The birds were flying in and out of the barn and I just thought they were fighting with each other and didn’t pay it any mind. Walking up to the house they were really flying low like they were trying to attack me so they got my attention. Poor things were just trying to chase the snake away. Snakes and bats make me scream like I am in a b-rated horror movie. lol I actually found the courage to get a pitchfork and knock the snake down. I just didn’t think about what to do after it was on the ground chasing me though. And where was Bobby, on the porch relaxing! Yuck!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I tried the Freshpet that is shaped like kibble. I would definately recommend trying any variety of Freshpet for any kitty. Although it doesn’t seem to be a fan favorite at my house I think it is a quality food. I still am going to try the chub, they just didn’t have it at my Wal-Mart. I think my grocery store carries Freshpet. I am also going to try another protein when I try it next.

    Bobby dog

    How is everyone’s summer going? The rabbit moved out a few weeks ago. There is a small bunny that I see sometimes when I am mowing. I like to think it’s him/her. Lol Now I have a nest of baby swallows in my barn. I have a family move in each year. The first nest was attacked by a black snake earlier last month. Needless to say I now look up before I walk into the barn now. Yuck, that was creepy to see that snake hanging from the rafters eating those eggs.

    Sharon: I hope you are having a better time with flea meds.

    So I did a little shopping this week. Stopped at the pet store and Bobby got many sample bags of Stella & Chewy’s “Carnivore Crunch” beef treats. Huge hit with him. They are about 1 x ½” long and are tube shaped. He also got samples of Precise Naturals GF Lamb, which he loved, and samples of PMI Exclusive Lamb & Rice and Chic & Rice recipes.

    I found one new dry kibble for the kitties, Simply Nourish Source GF Chic & Turkey, they all love it. I like the shape; it is a small “T” shape, not too thick. I also got samples of Fromm’s Salmon ala Veg and Beef Livattini. They hated Salmon ala Veg, haven’t tried the other. It is half the size of Wellness kibble, round with two flat sides. Still searching for a third kibble for rotation. KLN’s Pure Vita might be a posssibility and the store is also selling Natural Planet Organics (both from Nutrisource’s parent company). Even though Organics is not GF I still might give it a try.

    I tried the Freshpet Roasted Chicken too. Only two cats would eat it and they never cleaned their bowls. I mixed it with their usual canned and tried feeding it on its own. Archie ate a little then begged me for other food. Still trying to introduce it to them, but I don’t think they are going to warm up to it.

    They had by Nature Organics Chic & Mackeral on sale so I thought I would give it a try. All the cats loved it. I am going to try the plain chicken flavor next. It didn’t have a bad regular price $1.39/6 oz. I don’t think it comes in this size anymore though.

    The last food I tried was Purina’s new Beyond canned. Found it at my Wal-Mart for $1.07/can. Can anyone say overpriced? I picked up the GF chic pate’ and the GF turkey with gravy by mistake. I didn’t read the label properly because I don’t like to feed food with gravy. I fed both flavors, they loved them. The turkey with gravy is a small chunk style food with not too heavy gravy. I’ll feed the GF chic pate’ again, not the turkey because of the gravy; another food for the rotation.

    Bobby dog

    Love a nosy kitty! 😉 That’s great he’s a good eater, I thought for some reason he was one of your picky guys.

    Can’t wait to try FreshPet for my kitties, fingers crossed for another option to feed them.

    You should try some blueberries for Jake if you can. I have to tell you I cut the them in half when I feed them to Bobby or else he picks them out of his dish and carries them around the house and plays with them. I found out about this little game when I gave him frozen bb’s so I thought okay I’ll try fresh, but he still thought he should play with them. Cutting them in half takes the fun out of the game for Bobby and he eats them right away. There’s nothing like blueberry stains on the furniture and carpet. lol

    I was disappointed today because the blu berries were not that ripe so I decided to go back in a couple of days to get more. I only picked a pint of them. The black rasberries were very plentiful so all was not lost. lol

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