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Independent, unbiased reviews without influence from pet food companies

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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  • #10493 Report Abuse


    I picked up a bag of Canyon Creek (fish-based) b/c I was not near Tractor Supply (we typically use 4Health salmon) and we needed food. It was free of all the bad stuff so I figured it would at least be decent. When I checked DFA, I found out it is a 3-star food. Not something I would typically endorse. However, it’s the first food we’ve tried that gives our pit firm stools. We tend to have trouble with him being sensitive to food (even on Blue Buffalo Basics and other grain-free foods).

    So we are on the fence. All other foods to date (4Health, Blue Buffalo, etc.) bother our pit’s sensitive system, and we have bought two more bags of Canyon and he continues to do well on it (no constipation, no diarrhea, but firm stools). The Canyon Creek seems to be good in regard to his stomach–I’m just not thrilled with the overall rating. Does anyone have any input on this?

    If it matters, we use 4Health because it is the highest rated food we can get at the best price (4-star rating, around $30). We also have a beagle (stomach of iron) and have a foster dog at all times (usually another pit), so we go through a big bag of food fairly fast at our house, especially since we are usually trying to put weight on foster dogs that are coming out of terrible conditions.

    #11759 Report Abuse

    I don’t know the reason for your question but I think you sound like a wonderful person!!! Thank you for all you do for dogs. God Bless You! Beth

    #11760 Report Abuse

    Maybe answer for your question would sound better. Sorry. Beth

    #11766 Report Abuse

    While I’m not familiar with Canyon Creek’s food (I believe it’s fairly new), I do know that their chicken jerky treats are “accused” of causing illness in pets. SORRY…I do realize that is not the question you have, though I just wanted to let you know. My opinion on food is this…..if a food works, then it’s technically a 5 star for the dog! I do want to clarify a little, though. I personally won’t feed below 3 star, won’t even try it for one of my dogs. I have, and would again if necessary, use a 3 star food if it worked the best. Believe me, I have fed the gamut of foods to my 4 dogs. They are all technically seniors now. Currently, I’m feeding Merrick Classic (“gasp” a grain inclusive food!) and will top it with canned food or freeze dried raw food that is rehydrated. I also use Fromm GF dry, and Simply Nourish (both dry and canned), which is Petsmart’s house brand. I will use Weruva canned and Merrick canned, as well. I have an old Cavalier that only eats the freeze dried raw now. In fact, she is the reason I started with it (just trying to get her to eat again as she has a neurological issue). So sorry for the long rant lol….just remember no food works for all dogs, and your dog is your responsibility and it is your decision on what works, what you can afford, what your dog will eat, etc. I’m thrilled you have educated yourself on dog food, though, and can make an informed choice. You have the best interest of your dog at heart! 🙂

    #11896 Report Abuse

    Just like how humans have many differences from one to another, so do dogs. So I wouldn’t be surprised if one food that isn’t great for some dogs, IS great for another. As long as the food isn’t full of junk, then the fact it works is #1.

    While Canyon Creek wouldn’t be at the top of my list, it’s not a poor food. It’s not full of corn, wheat, or soy. It has chicken and chicken meal among it’s first 3 ingredients (well, the chicken and rice one, that is).

    If you’d be interested in finding a higher rated food, and I’d suggest looking around myself, let us know what particular formula you used. We may find that it all contains an ingredient known to cause issues, and can steer you in the right direction.

    #11958 Report Abuse

    Dear xfileluv

    I think the proof of the pudding is how your critter does with the food you’re feeding. Just as people vary in their metabolisms, so do doggies. If there is no reason to avoid what you’re feeding (such as recalls, solid evidence of trend of toxicity or side effects), I’d say you’re ok. The star rating system is rational and helpful but it’s not the same as results of clinical feeding tests.

    I had a beautiful (AWESOME!) greyhound and didn’t change Hobbes’s 2 1/2 star food because he was stable and pretty old. Everything is a tradeoff.

    I’d say you’re doing very well for your pittie. If continue to monitor how the dog is doing so carefully, you’ll be fine. And it’s not a bad idea to rotate good food choices anyway, since a varied diet helps assure balanced nutrition.

    Last thought: I just began feeding my latest doggies on Kirkland salmon meal with sweet potato. Based on ingredients, might be an additional option for your pittie. It’s moderately priced (Costco).


    #12037 Report Abuse

    Thanks to all who are taking the time to reply. I am finding all of the input helpful!

    #12848 Report Abuse
    Jackie B

    DFA site says a 3-star food is average. So a 3-star food isn’t bad. I have my rescue poodle on a rotation diet of 4 or 5 star foods. Sometimes I will buy an expensive new food and he will NOT eat it. Blue Buffalo Wilderness have him terrible diarrhea (he usually has no issues there). So quality ingredients don’t necessarily translate into easily digestible for all dogs.

    #12859 Report Abuse

    The thing that you have to keep in mind is that you should only be using these reviews as a guide, not as gospel. Basically all of the reviews are based upon reading the information that can be found on the packaging, and writing review about that. All of that information can be drastically skewed by dog food manufacturers. For example, ingredients are listed on the ingredient deck in order of weight, including water. So an ingredient such as whole chicken (which contains a lot of water weight), is going to show up higher on an ingredient deck than chicken meal, even though there may be a larger volume of chicken meal in the diet. Also, some manufacturers will use several different types of carbohydrates in their diets, rather than using just one to alter the ingredient deck. This can be done intentionally to prevent any individual source of carbs from appearing high on the ingredient deck.

    One other important aspect to keep in mind is whether a company manufactures their own foods, conducts feeding trials, or researches the diets they come out with. Blue Buffalo is a huge culprit of this. They have a 5 star rating on DFA because their diets are high in protein and grain free (traits which DFA seems to value highly). However, what you don’t see is that all of their diets are produced at copacking facilities which can lead to inconsistency in quality, the inability to control the quality of the ingredients that are actually used to manufacture the food, and exposure to contaminants (ie the Diamond recall early last year). Also, DFA doesn’t mention that Blue Buffalo does not conduct feeding trials, or do any type of research on their diets. These facts should lead to a lower rating for a food like Blue Buffalo, but are simply overlooked by dogfoodadvisor.

    One last thing, don’t buy into the marketing machine and get all hung up on ingredients. Your dog needs nutrients, not ingredients. Its protein, fat, and carbohydrate levels that are important, not corn, soy, potato, etc.

    #12862 Report Abuse

    Perhaps when finding a good food here you could email/call the companies themselves and ask such questions. Such as are they packaged in copacking facilities? Do you conduct feeding trials? What kind of research do you do on your diet?

    I would have to disagree with the last bit here DoggieDoc. I believe that what you say about the protein, ect. is important but it is also very important to know which kind of meats or plants are giving this protein. To each his own of course 🙂

    I did not know that about Blue Baffalo however. This has definitely made me more aware and I may email a few companies and ask such questions.

    #12868 Report Abuse
    Hound Dog Mom

    DoggieDoc22 –

    “One last thing, don’t buy into the marketing machine and get all hung up on ingredients. Your dog needs nutrients, not ingredients. Its protein, fat, and carbohydrate levels that are important, not corn, soy, potato, etc.”

    Question, if a new meal replacement bar came onto the market for humans that contained all the essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids (synthetically added) a human needs plus adequate levels of protein, fat and carbohydrates and the main ingredients were refined grains, high fructose corn syrup and partially-hydrogenated oil would you quit eating real food and eat this for every meal? I mean it contains the necessary “nutrients”, right? Hopefully that analogy makes you understand how ridiculous your statement is.

    Ingredients matter. As I told you on another thread – you can’t put ground chuck into recipe and get filet mignon in the end. Garbage is garbage. Yes, all living things need nutrients but these nutrients (or at least the majority of these nutrients) should be derived from fresh, whole, species-appropriate foods. I’ll give you some food (no pun intended) for thought.

    1) Many health organizations (including the U.S. Cancer Institute and the United Kingdom Health Department) advise humans to get their nutrients from whole foods and not synthetic supplements (shouldn’t our pets do the same?). When dealing with synthetic nutrients, the chance for overdose is much higher – chance of overdose is minimal when consuming whole foods. Errors in compounding synthetic concoctions happen and pets die – for example the excess vitamin d recall. You don’t have to worry about there “accidentally” being too much vitamin d when the vitamin d source is real, whole foods.

    2) You say that the inclusion of ingredients such as “corn, soy and potato” are inconsequential – what matters it the “guaranteed analysis” of the end result. So a mixture of corn, soy and potato is perfectly fine as long as the protein, fat and carbohydrate levels are where they need to be and the food is pumped up with artificial nutrients to account for the lack of nutrients in the ingredients themselves, right? Well let’s examine these ingredients that you say are fine to feed:

    -Soy: contains anti-nutrients which hinder the ability of digestive enzymes needed for proper digestion; contains phytates which limit the body’s ability to absorb key nutrients such as zinc, magnesium and calcium; loaded with isoflavones that disrupt endocrine function and have been linked to infertility and breast cancer (in humans); contains goitrogens which block the synthesis of thyroid hormones; most soy is genetically modified (studies in animals have linked consumption of GMO ingredients to negative hepatic, pancreatic, renal and reproductive side effects that may alter the hematological, biochemical and immunologic parameters).
    -Corn: contains lectins, has a high glycemic index, one of the most genetically modified crops (see above), highly susceptible to aflatoxin contamination.
    -Potatoes: also commonly genetically modified (see above), high glycemic index, contain lectins, can contain the toxin solanine.

    3) Most of the low-grade foods that contain corn, soy and the like also contain animal by-products. Are animal by-products inherently bad? No – my dogs love fresh organ meat, chicken feet, beef tracheas, etc. (from animals slaughtered for human consumption) and I love allowing them to eat fresh, quality by-products. However fresh quality by-products are not what is in pet food. Many grocery store quality brands of dog food have tested positive for pentobarbital – this means that the by-products contain euthanized animals (potentially even dogs and cats). Pento is recognized as a serious danger to wildlife. Wildlife that feed on disposed euthanized animals often die of pento poisoning – so is this a safe ingredient to be feeding to our beloved pets? I think not. Also – most by-product meals, while undoubtedly high in protein, contain very low quality protein derived from feathers, beaks and the like. This protein is poorly digested and puts a strain on the animals kidneys over time (unlike high quality, digestible protein derived from fresh meat).

    Your view of pet food ingredients is simplistic, to say the least. It’s necessary to look at the bigger picture, food isn’t as simple as “fat, protein and carbohydrates.”

    #12871 Report Abuse

    I agree with the general thrust of Hound Dog Mom’s assertions. “Fat, protein, and carbohydrates” are large categories. HD mom (Gee can I just call you mom?) is talking about specific nutrients. Micro nutrients spoil and deteriorate unless the food is stored and handled properly, and fresh is best when there’s a choice about that.
    On the other hand, a completely even handed response would note other things.
    –Yes, corn is susceptible to aflatoxin.
    –Soy and corn include lectins.
    –Guess what? The good ingredients (MEAT!)can also spoil
    –And is broccoli so evil because of phytates? Many of them fight cancer.

    Most mammals’ bodies can separate out MODERATE amounts of toxic digestive by products.
    That’s why so many knowledgeable experts recommend a varied diet. Variation limits dosages of some items and assures that Fido gets others he wasn’t fed last week.

    The wholistic theory of nutrition works pretty well. Just be aware that taking the whole dietary enchilada (sorry!) at face value prevents us from analyzing what’s best in detail. You have my permission to take my thoughts with a grain of rice!


    #13020 Report Abuse

    Keep in mind that a dog’s appearance is much different than a dog’s health. Many low grade foods will give great appearance. In fact, many show dogs eat lower grade foods.

    The point in buying higher grade foods is to give your dog the longest term benefit.. A full life that doesn’t involve dieing at age 9 from cancer, etc.

    #13747 Report Abuse

    Legit poster, I have the perfect solution to dog appearance issue. I’m gonna get my dogs trenchcoats and dark glasses!!


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