I was mixing up big batches of a premix and portioning it into 1/4 cup balls. That way I could give the JRT 1 ball and the Border Collies 4 balls. I had the same experience as you. The fresher it was the pinker it was, the older it was the grayer it was. One day I was lazy and just stuffed 1 lb containers full and put lids on them. They all stayed pink. Not only that, but I lost one of those containers in the back of the freezer and found it about 9 months later. It was still pink and fresh looking. The difference? The balls were stored with air all around them, the 1 lb containers were completely full, so no air in the container. I went out and bought more containers of the right size.
That’s interesting. Thanks for the tip. I’m wondering if there’s some gadget I can get to suck the air out of my jars. They are very convenient for me to store, thaw, serve.
Hi Kristin C. Do you have to use the jars? There are plenty of vacuum sealers on the market. I use one by Food Saver. You can go to foodsaver.com. They’re the best of all the vacuum sealers I’ve had through the years. You get the machine (easy easy easy to use) and, of course, they sell the rolls that you can make to any size you want. They also sell the bags pre cut. Food Saver brand bags are also sold like at Costco, I think, other stores too. The site itself is always having sales. Anyway, just a thought. Would also take a lot less space in your freezer than jars I would think. Anyway I’ve been using it for years.
Edit: Kristin I just thought as I was typing that I should go on the site and order some supplies for my food saver. I use it all the time. Anyway, I just saw that they have a wide mouth jar sealer (mason jars) attachment for the machine. Of course, you’d have to have the actual machine first.
Thanks Dori. I’ll look into it.
Has anyone tried Grandma Lucy’s? What is the consistancy like?aimeeMember
I have used Grandma Lucy’s. I’d equate the consistency with oatmeal. Grandma Lucy’s is the company who has illegal labeling and is being sold illegally in my state/the state feed control official.
The company will not disclose nutritional information about their food. I asked for a phosphorus level and was promised it over and over and over again but never got it. The phos level on the label is below AAFCO minimum for maintenance, yet the food is labeled as all life stages.
I purchased the food because I wanted the packaging. In my opinion it has a very strong garlic odor so I only feed it very occasionally as a topper .
Thanks Aimee! I wonder why it got a good review on here?Hound Dog MomParticipant
Hi Cindy Q –
I’d encourage you to read How We Rate Dog Food.
“Although there are many ways to rate a dog food, we’ve settled on using the only information we feel we can reliably trust.
We read and interpret government-regulated and standardized pet food labels. Nothing more. And we do this in two simple steps.
1. We study the ingredients list
2. We estimate the meat content”
In other words, the star ratings on the DFA are a reflection of the ingredient list and general analysis listed on the product packaging and/or company website only. Grandma Lucy’s, based on ingredients and the estimated meat content of the food only, appears to be a great product. Dr. Mike is aware of the phosphorus issue Aimee has mentioned, but based on our current rating criteria that still doesn’t affect their star rating.
Issues such as these and specifically why the Editor’s Choice section was created. The companies featured in Editor’s Choice are thoroughly investigated and evaluated on many criteria beyond just the ingredients and general analysis of their products.
- This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by Hound Dog Mom.
Thanks so much hound dog mom!
My 2 dogs like BDN too, however we just got back from a $400 emergency vet visit from our 8yo Basset having a “fever of unknown origin”. The only change he has had has been with this food over the last week (tripe and fish). His fever is getting better, but it got up to 105, which is scary. I’m really hoping it’s coincidental, as it’s been very hard to find food he’s not allergic to. I put in an order to reel raw but it won’t arrive until 12/5. He does OK on Orijen kibble, but still has yeast issues with it. Our other dog is doing fine on BDN, the only thing being she seems to still be hungry after even giving a little more of the recommended feeding amount, but she is younger and more active-our hound sleeps at least 14 hours a day, so we keep him as trim as possible.
I for some reason thought BDN was freeze dried too, not this 24 hour 100d air dried process…that screams unsafe to me. I know for people you have to follow the “Danger Zone” rules of 40-140d F.
Considering trying the freeze dried Orijen instead if this caused the issue-anyone like their freeze dried foods?
I have a dog that has a fish intolerance. When he’s exposed, he ends up with a yeast infection in one ear. Yeast is often the result of food intolerance. Is your pup possibly intolerant of fish? It wouldn’t explain the fever, but could explain the yeast.
For kibble he’s on Orijen 6-Fish, as that is the main one he can have without the presence of an allergenic ingredient, and does fine, so unless it’s some very strange fish BDN uses, he tolerates it fine. Bassets are prone to yeast as it is-for him, it’s always on the undercarriage, where he lies on it all day with no air circulation. I wanted to move onto freeze dried foods as I haven’t come across a canned food that I like, and all kibbles have too high of carbs, and I want to keep his down as much as possible. I can’t afford raw for all meals for both dogs, so trying to do 1 meal of raw, 1 of another food a day. Ordered BDN and reel raw on the same day, BDN came in 2 days, still waiting until 12/5 for my raw stuff, so I tried the 2/day of BDN to see how they do on it. They love it and my other dog is doing great, I just don’t know why this happened, pretty upset.
I know how upsetting it can be. I’ve been there myself with one of my dogs. It’s extremely frustrating. I didn’t start having any luck until I started keeping a written record of advertising he ate. After a while, I started figuring out what his food intolerance issues and once I stopped exposing him to any of those ingredients, the yeast was gone and has stayed away ever since.
That said, you could be dealing with both or either food or environmental issues. Have you ever tried wiping his belly, or those areas affected by yeast with a diluted solution of white vinegar?
As far as good is concerned, I wondered if you had ever tried a limited ingredient diet. I had great luck with Nature’s Variety LID. But, there are certainly other brands to try. I picked that one because Ilike the brand, and its fish free. My dog can’t have any fish or fish oil. Maybe that could help you figure some things out. I would pick something fish free, that your guy has not regularly eaten and a single starch. One thing that frustrated me about Orijen is that it contains so many potential problem ingredients. All of those fruits, veggies and botanicals could also be contributing to your guys yeast issues.
I know now of this addresses the fever he’s having and I certainly hope he’s feeling better. 105 is scary.
Hi Michael H. I’ve never fed any Orijen food because all of their foods contain way too many different proteins and one of my dogs has a ton of food issues. All three of my girls used to have yeast issues until I switched them to raw and mostly commercial raw foods. I feed a rotational diet and do include freeze dried and dehydrated in rotation. BDN air dried is also in rotation and none of my girls have ever had an issue with it. I rotate with their beef, tripe and fish, no poultry in our house ever because of high allergy with Katie. As for freeze dried foods that I like and my dogs do very very well on are Primal Freeze Dried, Vital Essentials Freeze Dried and Nature’s Variety Instinct Freeze Dried. I know that Stella and Chewy’s is popular but I’m less than thrilled with it so I no longer have it in rotation.
The only kibble I use at times in rotation is Nature’s Logic Sardine Formula. It is grain free with the exception of millet which is a pseudo grain. My one dog with all the allergies, sensitivities and intolerances to food, environment and pretty much life in general and was always the one with the most amount of yeast problems does really really well on this food. It is an expensive kibble but I note that you are feeding Orijen which is pretty high up there also.
I would suggest that you find a few foods (as many as you can find anyway) and rotate through the proteins that do not bother your dogs and also rotate same way with different brands and their acceptable proteins. I’ve been feeding this way for almost three years now so my dogs are at the point that I rotate with each and every meal. I have found that allergy girl Katie can tolerate a lot more ingredients if only exposed to it sporadically than she could before. No more yeast, gas, bad breath, scratching, doggy smell, loose stools, diarrhea, constipation, etc. etc. No more of all the things that comes along with a dog that has food issues. It took me years to get to a point that I could feed multiple foods. Trial and error. To this day I’m always adding and detracting foods in rotation.
Best of luck to you and hope your dog is on the mend. Sorry about the high fever. That is really scary.
Is it possible that she got into something in the yard or on a walk that you don’t remember? Some treat or food that some “kind hearted” person thought he’d like? Some “kind hearted” people used to cause many issues with Katie. I now watch everyone like a hawk. Everywhere we would go, even the vet, wanted to give her a treat. No Way!!!
Michael H – I am currently using Orijen Freeze Dried Adult. I use it along with the Adult kibble a few meals per week but I feed mostly homemade raw. Have not had any issues and am considering rotating to Orijen Regional, but it has even more proteins. I looked at BDN too but something about their process did not sit right with me, just a gut feeling really. I order from Reel Raw and my dogs love it. You just have to plan according to their delivery schedule and have the freezer space. I have tried Stewart’s Freeze Dried but one of my dog’s doesn’t tolerate it so I always end up back to making my own raw. Good thing we got a turkey neck, liver and gizzards from our dinner today. We fried the heart and some of the liver for our stuffing:)
Michael – one more thing. Have you looked into coconut oil? It could help with your 8 yr old’s yeastiness and your younger one’s hunger issues, if you’re providing enough calories. I’ve added oatmeal to my younger dogs’ food to bulk her up, but I have to do it regularly to make a difference.
I’ve been feeding BDN for a few months now to my 10 month old Aussie and 6 yr old cavalier, they both love this food, however, my aussie seems so hungry about 4 hours later. Ive been mixing it with some fresh veggies and Pumpkin. This seems to be a common complaint among other people feeding BDN to their dogs. Their feeding calc recommends 1.25 cups or 4.9 oz daily which is only about 554 kcals. This seems very low to me, especially for such an active breed like the Aussie. I’ve increased her portions to 1.5 cups dry per day.
How much does your Aussie weigh? My Border Collies need over 1000 kcals each for their 45 lb frames.
She weighs 49 lbs
I just put my 8 yr old 45 lb dogs specs in the BDN calculator and it tells me she needs just over 500kcals a day to maintain her weight. No way. She needs twice that much. At her age she’s not real active but we do take 20 to 80 min walks everyday. She’s slim and trim in very good condition.
She’d lose serious weight if I fed her half what she requires! No wonder your dog is hungry! :(. Their calculator is wrong 🙁
ETA: BDN calculator says my 7 pound chi needs just 81 kcal a day ! 🙁 wrong.
- This reply was modified 5 years, 8 months ago by Z B.
George d, thank you for posting. Just today I was considering Buying BDN, because it seemed like a reasonably priced dehydrated food based on their claims for feeding portions, but I hadn’t used their calculator til just now. Now I see it would cost twice as much as I originally thought, to get the appropriate and adequate calories.
Too bad. 🙁
George d,have you used the feeding calculator here on DFA?
- This reply was modified 5 years, 8 months ago by Z B.
My dogs love bdn and have actually gained weight with it.
That is good to hear, cindy q. I’m not questioning the palatability or nutritional Value. My concern is based on their feeding calculator, which seems to be way off.
How much do your dogs weigh, how active are they, and how much are you feeding of,the dry (before hydration ) daily?
I’ve spoken to the owner of bdn in regards to feeding amounts and my pups hunger, he told me not to worry, dogs will get used to it, this food is digested much quicker than kibble and since all the nutrients are fully absorbed, not as much food is needed. I am now feeding 1.75 cups of dry per day, but according to the DFA calculator I should be feeing 2.8 cups/day! I’m not sure what to do, considering cutting bdn to only once per day and kibble ( farmina ) for the other feeding.
I have a Standard Poodle that is 1 and about 40-42lbs she eats 1 1/2 cups a day and a toy poodle that is 9 and weighs about 8 1bs she gets 1/2 cup a day.
Well, I don’t know what to make of this, so far my dogs were doing good on BDN, however, last monday I started them on the fish supreme formula, that same night my king charles got very bad diarrhea followed by my Aussie, they were both very tired the next day and the Aussie pup slept all day which is unusual! Don’t know if I got a bad batch or something else caused this. I’m starting to get this gut feeling about this food and its not good. When i call and ask questions, they are very vague on their answers, couldn’t even tell me how much protein is in 1 cup of their food. I’m considering giving Darwins a try, anyone using them here?
- This reply was modified 5 years, 8 months ago by George D.
I’m not currently using Darwin’s because one of my dogs is allergic to at least one thing in every one of their formulas, but I used it for quite a while and was always very pleased with it and how my other dogs did on it.
My dogs love BDN, I am so hoping this is a good food, they are very picky and this is the only thing I have found that they will eat.
cindy q. If you’re feeding a rotational diet then you don’t have to worry. I have fed BDN in rotation but I would never use it as my sole diet for my dogs. I can’t think of any food that I would comfortably feed as my dogs sole diet. Perhaps Primal but I’m not really sure that I would do that either. I really do believe that rotating brands and proteins within the different trusted brands is the healthiest for my dogs. If I have fed something in rotation that may not have been the most nutritionally sound or lacking something or other I don’t really worry about it because my dogs don’t eat anything for more than a meal every few days or so. Nothing for me to really worry about. If something gets recalled or I hear/read about something bad about a food, none of my girls have eaten enough of it to hurt them. That’s the biggest reason why I rotate foods as often as I do. My girls are accustomed to eating this way and I can tell after one meal whether something has affected one or all of them.
- This reply was modified 5 years, 8 months ago by Dori.
What an excellent read on this! I too am leery of this food had e-mailed back and forth and kept getting scripted vague answers, such as bone content is not important we use the whole carcass, fermented veggies and fruits are more digestible. Anyway, finally got no response when I said I found it very odd that there was no nutrient panel, and no bone, muscle, organ ratio something disclosed by most every raw company I have dealt with.
As for the fish formula and peoples dogs getting ill, I for one would not feed raw fish, and there are varying opinion, but many who say fish, and pork are two meats to stay away from in raw, dehydrated or frozen for various reasons, bacterial level and other.
Yes their food calculator is way off, but then I have found the same thing with a number of brands… including darwins and vital essential freeze dried. A food with high protein and fat GA … yet food like Stella and Chewys, Primal with added veggies etc and lower fat I need LESS of, but with VE, a richer food, which you would assume you need less of, in fact you need MORE calorically.
Hard to trust so many foods, one of my dogs has major allergies, and GI sensitivities. I had hoped to add BDN into the mix, but am leery as to their lack of forthcoming info that is easily disclosed by other companies.
On their positive side, the whole bacteria and air drying process.. that is a catch 22… any food that is air dried( think people that used to make jerky long ago not in an oven) will risk that. Even frozen raw has bacteria once thawed… you cook the meat over a certain temperature, and BDN having supposedly bone in content, then you risk cooking the bone, and making your pup very ill. Plus a healthy dog, should be able to eat all these forms of raw… no issue and digest.
If BGN ever decides to disclose more info I may try, but I find their responses and secrecy very strange… sad as it does look like a good option, with the fermented veggies and all as a better way for the dog to process and digest, rather than pooping them out the other end. That being said, not fond of the potato in it although they insist only 3% as everyone knows starch and raw meat and bone digest at different rates.
Oh, and lastly for those that feed pre made raw, MOST companies Darwins, S&C, Primal with their added vitamins the vitamin E/tocopherol mix, and any Lecithin of course are most always soy based. So if you have a dog with soy among their allergies like mine, many of these foods are a no go, one of the reasons I had hoped to try BDN no synthesized vitamins, which again, unless a company claims are usa sourced are usually from China.
Yes I have researched and contacted many companies… sigh…
Interesting, quick update, received an e-mail after all. Stating they use the whole carcass, which I have always thought was good… one liver, two kidneys per bird etc. Etc. blood for the chicken formula for iron, tripe for the calcium and no bone in their beef. Mentioned nutrient panels being made in and for AAFCO, and that they are as someone mentioned above expensive. Found the feedback positive, as I do know that dog food is not a”science” as the AAFCO and the food industry would like you to believe. This brings me back to my friend who started feeding her seizure husky raw food and lives in CANADA. This has helped her dog tremendously no more bowel issues, no more itching, and seizures much further apart. Most of the reputable well loved brands she gets their have NO synthesized vitamins, no AAFCO breathing down their back, and a couple of the companies again, say they use whole carcass, but do not have the bone, muscle, organ ratios…. But, the most positive is that they are test batching their food with NONE of the potato to see how consistency is with removal as it is a binder. If they do this, I may just give it a go….
A quick update, I’ve continued to feed BDN to both my dogs, all proteins but the fish, and so far they are all doing great on it, they just love this food and lick their bowls clean every time. I do feed a little more than suggested for my 1 yr old high energy Aussie. Stools are small and firm on both. Coats are shiny as well, I do add some wild salmon oil to their meals. I’m feeling more and more confident about this food as the weeks pass.
glad your dog is doing well, again i will have yet to respond to their latest email which i posted info for above. Going to ask what type of fish they use, as a rule salmon, trout must always be cooked or deep freezed to remove a specific parasite that only affects dogs eating it. I won’t touch the fish type with VE either. Not so sure about other forms of fish, still, I would only do fish cooked, ditto with pork because of the specific bacterias it contains. beef, venison, rabbit, chicken, turkey are all fine raw.
My dogs like all the flavors, seem to be a little ill after eating the fish though. I won’t buy that protein again.
My biggest irk currently is that I needed to cancel out the autoship since my family will be travelling soon, and they retroactively charged me back the 10% benefit of doing the autoship. Not cool.
What?? That’s so wrong, Michael! So sure, auto-ship is great, saves you money, yadda yadda, but if you cancel you pay. How many shipments worth of auto-ship did they charge you for?InkedMarieMember
where is thi auto ship from? I had autoships with Darwins Raw, Chewy.com and The Honest Kitchen; there was no fee to cancel. I would never use a company that did that.
I guess I’m asking the same question Michael, that Marie asked. I’ve taken advantage a lot of times of special discount offers with auto ship only to find that I either didn’t like something about the food or that I didn’t like the output or something else about the foods with the dogs. I’ve never been charged a fee for canceling an auto ship from any company. You didn’t mention, I don’t recall, what company charged you an auto ship cancellation fee.
I presumed that he was referring to BDN, since he’s mentioned previously that he used their products and since it was the brand mentioned in the title of the thread.
Thanks DF. I didn’t even think too follow the thread to the OP to see what food or company he was talking about. Have you ever been charged to cancel an auto ship order, if you’ve had any before? This has never happened to me and it’s pretty nasty for a company to be doing that. It’s not that anyone is attempting to take advantage of them in a mean way but sometimes the ingredients and reviews sound so good that you sign up only to realize that the food doesn’t work for your dogs. I don’t think you should be penalized for it.
I was going to order some and tried several times, but their special “introductory rate” has never worked for me. I was sort of turned off by them anyway, so I let it go and moved on.
I would be calling them, e-mailing them but joining their big dog natural facebook page if you use that… and posting publicly asking why first) and stating no other companies have done thatConnie MMember
I have been feeding Big Dog Natural for at least 4 years now. I started with their frozen raw and was thrilled when they came out with the dehydrated line. Prior to starting with Big Dog my dogs were always at the vet for one thing or another. Now, the last time was about 3 years ago for their rabies vaccine. They love their food and are always looking forward to it. What I don’t understand L H is why you are instigating and instructing people to go to the Facebook page and make “public” announcements? I didn’t find your last post here very nice. They have a good food and, in my opinion, one of the best foods around.MelissaandcrewMember
Hi Connie- I see no problem with posting questions and concerns on a companies FB page. Its actually a good way to reach someone quickly.Connie MMember
I guess I’m a bit old school and don’t go for drama. If I had a concern I’d pick up the phone and speak with them directly. They were very helpful to me when I first switched to raw and they also followed up every so often.MelissaandcrewMember
LOl. You and me both. I much prefer to make ac all, but sometimes posting is quicker.
They have a history of not answering some questions, so maybe LH thinks they will be more likely to answer if they are asked in public.
if you look at my post i suggested all 3, calling, emailng and posting, only suggested facebook first as it seems everyone seems to prefer social media, or texting, i dont even text! And I don’t understand the level of emotion around this food, its a bit odd, that people become defensive over very simple remarks
also… i said this to one person… i have not gone through this post instructing people as in plural to do anything
Out of curiosity I ordered BDN for my 3 dogs. Only 1 of my 3 dogs would eat it, and even that one refused it after a few meals, and she is the one who will eat anything. They refused it even when mixed in small amounts with other foods they do like.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 7 months ago by Z B.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.