Confused & frustrated about which brand to buy and feed my dogs

Dog Food Advisor Forums Editors Choice Forum Confused & frustrated about which brand to buy and feed my dogs

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  • #116355 Report Abuse

    Daniel K
    Member

    Hi, so I recently joined the Editor’s Choice membership and have been browsing through the list of 5-star rated dog foods of all types (dry, raw, wet, etc.). What’s been frustrating about this process is that no matter which of the 5-star rated foods I look up on Amazon or other websites, there are always a dozen or so people who gave it 1-star and warn people to NOT buy this brand, claiming that it nearly killed their dog or caused thousands of dollars in vet bills. This happens for every single food that I look up and I’ve looked up a lot so far. All I want to do is find a healthy food to feed my dogs that won’t “kill” them if I get a bad batch if I’m one of the unlucky ones. Help?

    #116356 Report Abuse

    Ann B
    Member

    I buy my food at the local specialty food store… Bentleys. Wouldn’t buy from a source on line that isn’t trusted. We feed Zignature both wet and dry and our dog no longer has GI issues (vet had her on Science Diet Prescription ID). Recommend talking to others on local level. Good luck!

    #116357 Report Abuse

    Murph27
    Member

    Daniel K.,

    I couldn’t have said it better!!! I’ve been researching a new food and am at the point where I’m thinking about using a service offered by Tufts Vet school that will provide 3 commercial foods and 1 home recipe – based on a consultation with one of their nutritionists.

    I went through this about 6 years ago when Evo was sold – don’t remember it being this difficult. I selected Brothers Complete. I was happy with their kibble until one of my dogs had an issue with it – prompting me to begin my research. I have to say that Richard from Brothers has always responded to email, but I’m not comfortable with some of his answers since they don’t answer my questions. Perhaps my questions were not clear. He has even provided his cell phone number, but I have not contacted him because I need to do more research on some of the ingredients I have questions about.

    The issue for me is trust. It’s maddening because I’m trying to provide the best (and safest) food possible, but after weeks of research and sleepless nights, I’m beginning to feel hopeless!

    Just thought I’d let you know you are not alone!

    #116358 Report Abuse

    zcRiley
    Member

    All the Zignature dry formulas are THE best (not the wet canned). No recalls & no dead pets. Cures many dog ailments. This was after we tried ALL the 5 star brands.

    #116359 Report Abuse

    Hi Daniel,

    I suspect that most of the outraged reviewers are unaware that their logic is wrong. One mistake our brains tend to make is the “post hoc” fallacy, which is thinking that, when one event follows another, the first event caused the other. For example, “Because I forgot my hat and scarf last night I woke up this morning with strep throat.”

    In the months leading up to a dog’s death, the dog’s appetite often decreases. When this happens, the pet parent may buy a top rated dog food. The dog may be getting a meat-based grain-free food for the very first time, and it whets the dog’s appetite. The dog eats more for a while, and the pet parent thinks the problem is solved. A while later, the dog stops eating and is sick. The vet can’t save the dog, and often the cause of death is unknown. People blame the new food because it’s the last thing that changed. Also, before the widespread Chinese-manufactured, contaminated dog food deaths in 2007, I never heard people blame dog food for their dog’s death. I think it’s a new phenomenon.

    As for picking the safest food, I have three suggestions. First, even the most careful manufacturers have to issue recalls, many for reasons beyond their control. Always save the label’s date and product numbers, and subscribe to recall alerts from DogFoodAdvisor. Second, Editor’s Choice foods are selected for transparency and safety. Many 5 star foods (in terms of the ingredients listed on the label) are not on Editor’s Choice because of safety and transparency issues. My third safety suggestion is to choose a grain-free food. Dog’s don’t require grains, and they get contaminated with mold in the silo. The manufacturing process kills the mold, but the toxins that the molds secrete remain. These toxins cause dangerous illnesses as well as cancer and remain in the dog’s liver permanently.

    #116366 Report Abuse

    James P
    Member

    I have been an Amazon customer since 1998. So far this year I have bought over 500 different items from them. You really have to be careful of the reviews there. Quite often competitors give items 1 star reviews, while shills for the item may give it 5 stars. Plus, a large percentage of our population are idiots with no common sense. If a review really leads you to believe one way or the other, look at the reviewers other reviews. That can really tell you a lot.

    Here is what I did last time for our 4 miniature schnauzers when I needed to switch foods. I gleaned what information I could from several internet sites such as this one by careful analysis, creating a list of foods that fit what I wanted. I then researched each one by individual ingredient giving them a yes or no rating. After that I again went online and started reading reviews by the general public on many different sites with a very critical eye toward disregarding the flakes.

    You are not going to find the perfect food. Some people think they have, but as long as imperfect people are involved in its production, it will never be perfect. Do the best you can, take some time and use your common sense. You will end up with a food that your babies can live with.

    #116367 Report Abuse

    James P
    Member

    And I want to add one thing I do that I don’t see done much by anyone else. I always mix two foods together for my dogs, normally from different manufacturers. I pick my two favorite foods, buy a bag of each and mix them together in a large container and then feed out of that.
    1. If I get a “bad batch” from one manufacture, my dogs have only been eating half as much as they would have if that was all they were eating.
    2. If I get a batch that is short on minerals/nutrients/etc. the other food will provide them with some of what they should have.
    3. I am able to give my dogs more varied nutrients this way.

    Folks are going to say this isn’t a good idea because each food is formulated to be complete by the dog eating a certain amount. I believe that as long as the end result is all the vitamin/nutrient/calorie/protein/etc. requirements are being met, it doesn’t matter what it is that they are eating.

    I having been doing this for well over 20 years and every one of my dogs has lived well beyond what their expected lifespan is generally thought to be.

    #116648 Report Abuse

    Daniel K
    Member

    I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who added their thoughts to this thread. It’s been helpful and reassuring and has provided some useful perspective. You’re all awesome!! 😀

    #116651 Report Abuse

    a c
    Member

    James P. May I ask what food do you feed your miniature schnauzers? I also have 3 miniature schnauzers. I always want to know what other miniature schnauzer owners feed them since miniature schnauzers have such a low tolerance in fat.

    #116700 Report Abuse

    James P
    Member

    a c
    For years we fed Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Chicken and Rice mixed with Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Small Breed Chicken Recipe. We had a few upset stomachs here and there, but no pancreatitis, which too much fat in miniature schnauzers diet causes. Then we screwed up and started adding some off brand canned food I had found cheap, just because we wanted them to have a little something special. The canned food apparently had too much fat and gave one of my girls pancreatitis.

    Once we got her cured I wanted to significantly drop the fat in their diet just so she would not have any repeats as I am afraid that once they have pancreatitis, they are prone to it. We now still feed the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Chicken and Rice, but now mix it with Wellness Core Grain Free Reduced Fat. The Wellness Core Reduced Fat is a well rated food and I would feel comfortable feeding it alone if I had to.

    I have read that sometimes Grain Free foods can have too much protein and cause kidney problems. That is another reason why I feed a combination of a grain free food with a light grain/vegetable food. Our oldest schnauzers will turn 13 this year and we did their blood work last fall. Their levels were all great with no problems at all.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by  James P.
    #116763 Report Abuse

    a c
    Member

    James P. Thank you for sharing. I also feed Wellness Core Grain Free Reduced fat. I mix it with Annamaet Grain Free Lean Reduced fat. I believed both are rated with 5 stars by dogfoodadvisor.com. I think Wellness Core is slight higher in protein and fiber, but I like the fact that it is available at local pet stores.

    I made a mistake and feed commercial raw last year, after everyone told me raw is the best, to my 10 years old girls. That triggered pancreatitis to one girl. She was put on Science Diet ID wet food by our vet. I still have a few Science Diet ID cans on hand. That’s my to go food when she doesn’t act right.

    I also add some fresh vegetable and the meat that we have for dinner to the kibbles, and sometimes a spoon full of wet food as topper.

    My two 11 years old’s annual check up is coming up. Do your miniature schnauzers have any schnauzer bumps?

    #116764 Report Abuse

    James P
    Member

    A C
    Thanks for letting me know what you are feeding. I will look into the Annamaet since you have been having good luck with it. We also keep ID canned food here for those times that our girls have stomach upset. Living on 11 acres in a rural setting means that our girls have access to all kinds of bugs and poop to eat. It is not unusual at all for one of ours to have to skip a meal to get back on track. Our vet lets us keep Cerenia in tablet form for those times that we think that the next step is necessitated. That along with a days worth of ID normally restores gastric order.
    Yes, our girls have Schnauzer bumps. The older they get the more prone to them it seems. With one of our first Schnauzers we would have the bumps removed any time she was knocked out, teeth cleaning, etc. It didn’t matter though, she always grew more. We just ignore them and pet around them now!
    We do our own grooming and I do notice that if we cut too short along the ridge of their back, they will get acne there. I think that is a specially oily place on them and may take special care, which I haven’t figured out yet.

    #117358 Report Abuse

    Denys A
    Member

    I just joined this site because of German Shepherd Man, who has his own, extensive, VLOG, and he recommended it. He also was highly favorable about Victor Super Premium Dog Food, grain free, for large dogs. No mention of Victor brand here! His other favorite was Blue Buffalo Freedom grain free. No mention of that. When I talk to people about homemade dog food, they recommend brown rice or they condemn it. They recommend raw or they condemn it. Everybody is an expert and yet, it seems, nobody is. Help!

    #117981 Report Abuse

    Nyree P
    Member

    I have too been trying to switch dog food brands and have found it very frustrating. I’m using editors choice and customer reviews on chewy. I’m thinking of choosing between Weruva Caloric harmony (although it is pretty expensive) and Wellness (lots of great customer reviews about shiny and soft coats and good results for dogs with skin allergies)

    #118000 Report Abuse

    Debra H
    Member

    After doing research on this site, I have been feeding my two new pups……..Great Pyrenees and Australian Shepherd mix the Victor Grain Free Dog Food for large breeds. They love it, but at this phase of their life, they would eat about anything! They are thriving and growing like crazy on the Victor.

    #118261 Report Abuse

    Bazuhi
    Member

    Very frustrating!!!

    Still looking for pea, lentil, bean, alfalfa free food

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