We are in the planning stages of living in a RV full-time long-term with our 2 yr old Chocolate Lab with no known health issues. He currently eats The Pet Pantry food locally delivered by http://www.feedyourpet.com which have been extremely happy with but we wouldn’t be able to continue that without doing mail order. We would prefer to not have to mail order food and we would have to restock regularly – likely carry only 4-6 week supply.
So where do we start trying to find a quality dog food that is available most everywhere country-wide? Walmart level availability (but doesn’t have to be literally at Walmart) would be ideal and would love suggestions for what to buy and where to buy it..
I would also appreciate suggestions for “pet store” food.. PetSmart/PetCo are located lots of places but would clearly need more planning and forethought since states like Wyoming have .. one .. according to google maps..
Thanks in advance for all your help!
In your place, I would do exactly what I already do. Accustom your dog to eating variety. Switch foods often. It takes a few months for the dog to get used to having it’s food changed all the time, but once they are used to it, you can feed pretty much anything anytime. My dogs get a different kibble weekly and different toppers every single day.
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.
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.
Akari, thanks for updating my suggestions! 🙂
Sure thing 🙂
Wellness Core & Canidae would be the only brands to trust at PETCO.
Why would you trust Canidae? They are made by Diamond.
I’d do Natures Recipe and Nutro over Canidae any day. PetSmart and Petco both also carry Natures Variety, which is a great brand.
Thank you all for the wonderful suggestions!
I would appreciate more info on ‘how’ to put my dog on a rotating diet.
It’s very easy! Once you start getting near the end of a bag (say a weeks worth of food left) you buy the next food you are wanting to try, and mix the new food with the old food, increasing the amount of the new food given as much as your dog will allow. Some dogs need slower transitions than others, just watch his stool, and as long is stays relatively firm, you’re good. Eventually, you will be able to switch the dog with little to no transition at the end of each bag. I’m fairly sure mine no longer any transitioning period, but I do it anyways, for a couple days at least.
DFA just decided to randomly check me for being human, so I lost a long-ass post… UGH. Won’t retype, sorry.
Cindy, here are some useful articles and a thread that has a ton of my recommendations about rotational feeding and pictures of Bruno’s (my dog’s) menu for this year.
Good luck, and it really is not that hard. Feel free to ask any questions!
Merrick, castor&pollux, and whole earth farms are now owned by Purina!
I live in a 25′ bumper pull trailer with my 100lb American Bulldog! 😀
I was doing raw in it for quite some time, I bought a small 3cu foot deep freezer to leave outside my trailer. But that’s because I stay in one place usually for a couple years at a time. MOST parks say you can’t have them but I’ve never had a problem with them telling me to get rid of one.
Anyways! You’re here to hear about kibble. SO, what I do is use a vittles vault, since my dog is large I’m always buying the big bags so mine can hold up to 40lbs of food. If I need to actually go to a petfood store like Petsmart or Petco I go for the Wellness Core brand (5stars). However, sometimes you can find other smaller shops that carry brands the larger chains might not, always call ahead if you have a brand in mind.
I usually just order from Chewy though, that way I can get other brands. My dog is used to switching so I never have to mix food. Why are you so against mail order if I might ask? Are you really moving around that much you can’t get an order in every 5 to 6 weeks? Most places have free shipping on orders over $50.
I used to like Merrick but since the whole Purina thing, I’m giving it a couple years before I try them again.
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