I want to switch because of the Purina nonsense… any suggestions on a dry food that is similar to Merrick? High protein (I was feeding the Backcountry with the freeze dried raw pieces), meat based, grain free, local ingredients, manufactured by the company (not outsourced to an outside manufacturer), similar price? I feel like this is impossible =(
It’s gonna be more expensive, but Orijen is one I would look into. Champion Pet Foods is an excellent company out of Canada and all their ingredients are regionally sourced in Canada and manufactured by Champion in their kitchens.
26lb bag of Orijen Adult on Chewy.com is 78.99$ and the 25 lb bag of Merrick Back Country is 62.98$ plus you get free shipping and Orijen is much more worth the money. The problem I have with foods that use these freeze dried raw pieces in them (I’ve fed Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost which has them) is there is a lot of inconsistancy per batch of how many freeze dried pieces you get, which IMO makes it not worth the higher price tag compared to the regular Merrick.
I do use Nature’s Variety Raw Boost in my rotation. It’s funny that Merrick and Natural Balance came out with similar versions. The raw boost is not a lot, but I haven’t tried the Merrick Backcounty or Natural Balance versions yet so I can’t offer input on the comparison between the 3. Nature’s Variety costs slightly less per pound that Merrick per Chewy.com’s prices. Merrick is $62.98/22 lbs, Nature’s Variety $62.74/23.5 lbs. I don’t use Natural Balance as it has always been too low in protein in the past. They’ve upped the protein levels on the raw inclusive one, but I’m not too sure about Smucker’s ownership of the company, so I haven’t bought it.
I agree with Pitlove, Orijen is a great product and I used it on a regular basis in the past. It got too expensive for me with large multiple dogs and since I now add canned and fresh, I’d rather put my money into those items as opposed to more expensive dry. Just my opinion. Hope it helps.
I agree with you Pitlove. The raw addition is not a lot and you could probably just buy some freezed dried raw and add the amount you want. I use NV, but only in rotation and I prefer adding wet/fresh instead.
I’ve often suggested to people at work to buy the Stella & Chewy’s meal mixers and mix in how much freeze dried raw they want, instead of spending the extra money to possibly/probably not get many of the raw pieces. We sell BackCountry at work, but not NV. I used to get NV at my old job. I was very unhappy with how inconsistant each bag was.
Thanks! I think I am going to check out Orijen…. I am SO annoyed with Merrick.
I agree Kristen. It’s frustrating, but sadly I’m not surprised. A lot of companies end up in the hands of larger manufacturers like Purina, P&G, Mars etc because they do not have a family member willing to take over the business. The brand and the product often suffers, like what happened with NaturaPet and their brands when P&G bought them.Marisa WMember
After months of research for a US based dogfood, I decided on Merrick grain free. This is the first food I have ever used with my rescue that I could actually see the difference…NOW THIS….AHHHHH!!! I currently have 12 dogs and countless numbers of cats counting on me to keep them healthy. At my local feed store I can get Dave’s, Solid Gold, Fromms and Canadae has anyone tried any of these? What did youb think?
I really like Fromm. It’s a huge part of my rotation.
Hi Marisa W,
Of those choices, I’ve used both Fromm & Canidae Pure (since they’re making it in their own plant) and have had good results with both. Solid Gold has gone through a recent restructure and I believe they’ve moved locations, but I’m not sure of who manufactures Dave’s or Solid Gold. Good Luck with it!
Solid Gold is about 1/2 Diamond and 1/2 Crosswind, so you just need to be careful who does what. Barking at the Moon is crosswind and is by far their best variety anyhowDogFoodieMember
You might also take a look at Victor. It’s a quality product, trustworthy manufacturer and is very budget friendly when you’re able to buy it locally.
I use lots of different foods in my rotation, and when my Cavalier ate the Yukon River formula, she did great on it! Probably better than anything else she eats.
Here’s a link to their site: http://victordogfood.com/
There’s a “Find a Store” tab in the middle of the upper part of the page.
Do you have any secrets for identifying the Diamond manufactured Canidae kibble? Someone had posted something about the placement of the expiration date stamp before and I can’t find where I saved that info on my computer for the life of me!
Here’s info on Dave’s:
Here’s the last info I have on Solid Gold; I updated my manufacturer list about a year ago:
Crosswind Industries – Holistique Blendz, Hundchen Flocken, Barking at the Moon, Millennia, Sun Dancer, Katz ‘n Flocken, and Indigo Moon
Diamond – Wolf Cub, Hund-n-Flocken, Wolf King, and Just a Wee Bit
Here is a list of all their new ones for your files as well BDog (from Solid Gold)
Wild Heart and Fit and Fab are made at Crosswind. Lil Boss is made at Diamond.
Diamond is making four of our new formulas: Lil Boss, Buck Wild, Star Chaser and Sunday Sunrise.
All our other new dog formulas and our new cat formulas (just launched) are made at Crosswind.
Thank you, very much appreciated!!!! I did see that they were adding/changing recipes a while ago. I don’t feed them, but was considering at one time and did the research. I am going to have to check out their cat food line. I am always shopping for those little fur balls!
They added a TON. Lots of novel proteins and such, seem to be jumping into competition with Natural Balance with their product list now
They sure did. I am going to have to really check them out again when I have time. A few of the cat recipes look good for my guys and I might check out their Fit and Fab for Bobby’s summer rotation; he becomes a couch potato when it’s hot.
How do you find out whether someone actually makes their own food?
And, any thoughts on Wellness Core? It also is supposed to be high protein, that is primarily protein from meat?
Websites can sometimes answer for you, especially if they do it themselves. Otherwise you can always contact the company
Hi Bobby dog,
Canidae lists their new Ethos plant in Texas on their website. Here’s the link:
Another option I also use in rotation is Earthborn. You would probably order online.
I checked the page out and don’t see where they write they are now making all their kibble at the Ethos plant. Am I missing it? When I contacted them a little over a year ago they were still using Diamond, but would not disclose which recipes Diamond manufactured. I am hoping that might have changed?crazy4catsMember
I second Dogfoodie’s Victor recommendation! They have several different recipes, including with and without grains. I frequently feed my two labs the grain free joint health formula with really good results. My dogs also do well on grain free Merrick and their Whole Earth Farms budget brand. I plan to continue with them in my rotation unless something changes with their ingredients after the transition to Purina.
I was at a dog expo and the sales rep said all the pure is made there. I’m not sure about the other formulas since I don’t use them.
Thanks C4D! I have both their Pure and Life Stages canned foods in Bobby’s current rotation. I am going to re-visit the Pure kibble line.
No problem, BD! I love pet expos! Free samples and lot’s of info. 🙂
I have used a few of the Canidae pure formulas recently and my dog’s like it, of course they are labs 😉 and no issues.
I double checked on Canidae’s website. It states on all of the pure formulas that it’s made in Brownsville, Texas. I don’t see that claim on the grain inclusive formulas, so I’m not sure where it’s made. I included a link for the wild boar, but it’s on all of the formulas at the end of the description, right before the specs (G/A, etc). I see there are several new formulas, all slightly limited ingredient and a couple of protein specific, which is what I try to feed. I’m not sure if they’re really new or the stores around me don’t carry the whole line. The wild boar is only pork. I know there has been some controversy over wild boar & I have no idea where they source it, but with the possible exception of the alfalfa, it looks like it’s a possibility for allergy/food intolerance dogs.
Pet expos are beyond the best. I try to make it to dog, cat, horse, and livestock expos whenever possible. I also take my computer briefcase on wheels for all the samples they give away. lol
I am going to look at Canidae again, but to be honest I thought you had another trick up your sleeve to make it easy to figure out which recipes were made by Diamond and which were made at Ethos. You know, like the Evanger’s tip you shared with me!
Thanks for checking out their site and how they specifically mention Brownsville on the Pure, another clue.
I am always looking for low fat recipes to add to Bobby’s summer/fall rotation and always cat food.
There is a difference in the bags and the location of expiration dates with the 4Health recipes made by Diamond and Ainsworth. I am going to check out the inventories at my pet stores to see what I find within the Canidae kibbles.
LOL on the briefcase! Yep, expos are great!
No, I don’t have any special tricks, just a LOT of research, some friends in various dog businesses/rescue and I am a freak about checking labels & codes. 🙂
Very interesting about the 4 health codes! Thanks!
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