Poor digestability with their pre-mixes, the company’s “nutritionist” not being able to answer basic nutritional questions when asked, many of their diets report meeting AAFCO nutrient requirements, yet don’t when evaluated (most fall below AAFCO). Personally I would not use this brand, but if I did I would certainly not use it long term or by itself.
This is why I can understand why veterinary nutritionists do not use ingredient lists to evaluate the quality of a food. When you stop and think about it critically, it does not tell you much.C4DMember
Hi Jenn H,
Unfortunately, I think Pitlove has gone to the “Aimee” side. Everything she’s said sounds like comments Aimee has made in previous posts. I believe the foods were evaluated by Aimee. Unfortunately Aimee is also a blatant fan of Purina, including Dog Chow.
I do use and have used this brand for several years now. I also use Grandma Lucy’s and Sojos when I use dehydrated foods. I feed them in my rotation along with quality kibble, canned and raw. My dogs have had no problems with them in any way. I have also seen many comments from other posters who have had very good luck with the brand. Anyway, that’s my $.02 worth. 😉
Pitlove and CD4 I appreciate the explanations. I was really looking forward to trying Zeal for 1 of my girls. I can’t afford to feed this brand for all meals, but figured I’d give it 1x/day.
They were so good answering all million questions I had for them. They were prompt too.
Forums like this show their importance when people have a civil dialogue. I now have more info to make better choices for my dogs. I would much prefer to have to sift through loads of info than not enough.
Do either have an opinion on Nulo? It’s also a fairly new brand.
Well, I had a more indepth explanation for you about THK Jenn, however I apparently tried to close a tab on my browser and it closed this tab too. Regardless, my conclusion is based on my further investigation after reading Aimee and several others comments about their nutritional inadequacy on THK review. My boss was considering bringing this food into work and I wanted to check it out. What I did find out is that Aimee’s conclusions where correct. Several of their diets report below NRC mins (I side by side compared the NA on THK website to the 2014 NRC nutrient profiles) on key nutrients like Methionine and Riboflavin. I don’t think those facts have anything to do with Aimee or her being “a fan of Purina”. 🙂
As for Nulo, I could not find who manufactures for them. What I did find though, was emails to the company from a poster on another dog food forum, where the company stated that they could not disclose their manufacturer. Shoot them an email for me and see if you have better luck though. Til then I can’t recommend them.
Thanks for the reply. I have more to add to my arsenal when looking into foods. I never thought to look to the NRC. Would you agree that they are probably the best source for nutrient values and needs? It appears they break down life stages and gestation/lactation into smaller/more specific needs. They also seem to be trying to get everyone on the same page regarding requirements.
I truly appreciate your advice.
I did get a reply from Nulo. Since I have so many questions the CSR asked me to call. She even gave me her cell if it’s more convenient for me to call after their business hours. I thought that was a good sign.
I will definitely make that call. Anything you would like me to ask beside the manufacturing?
And I feel your aggravation when you go thru all the trouble of a detailed reply only to lose because you closed the wrong tab/hit the wrong something. I’m sure there’s an easy way to find it, but I’m barely capable of turning things on & off.
As far as I’m aware, legally the company has to comply only with AAFCO. I don’t know that they have to with the NRC, though it is recommended and I believe AAFCO has used the NRC’s guidelines in the past when revising their own. Personally, I’d like to see them comply with both, but thats just my opinion. And yes I do believe some effort is being made for NRC and AAFCO to come to a concensus on nutrient profile guidelines.
Great! Let me know how the call goes. For right now, I’m only interested in who manufactures them. We do carry the brand at work as of recent, but we carry enough brands similar to it that I can’t see myself recommending it. Perhaps only to an Orijen customer looking for something with higher meat content for a lower price.
This is sort of off topic, but I’m coming to you Pitlove.
My GSD is 9 months. I think he needs more calories.
He’s on Solid Gold Wolf Cub right now. I’m going to change it. I’ll have to feed him 7+ cups of kibble to meet his caloric needs.
I don’t care if it’s wet, dehydrated, kibble. I just don’t want to go over 1.5% calcium. He needs at least 2500 cal/day.C4DMember
Pitlove, I’m not sure where you got your figures from, and from what I read on the NRC, THK only came in slightly low from those guidelines you mentioned, and from the AAFCO guidelines, they were in compliance and exceeded the minimum standards. I did not check every formula. I rotate my foods among many good brands that have good reputations, so I’m more concerned with feeding quality foods that have more natural ingredients and the nutrients would often be obtained from the food itself as opposed to a manufactured vitamin pack.
From a news clip, the Nulo food is manufactured by a Kansas manufacturer, but I couldn’t find any details.
Jenn H, keep us posted on what you find out. If they won’t reveal their manufacturer, it would be a no for me regardless of how good the ingredient panel reads. 😉
Sorry, I made an error. The nutrient profile I was comparing THK to was actually AAFCO’s list. I had googled NRC and somehow got AAFCO’s profiles and did not catch it.aimeeParticipant
Hi Jenn H,
Food choice is often an emotional issue. It is easy to be swayed by an ingredient list and a human grade designation. But to reinforce what Pitlove said, the best ingredients can make the worst food.
My concern with THK goes beyond their posted nutrient analysis not meeting AAFCO, that is only a symptom of a much larger problem. The problem is that the company doesn’t understand basic nutritional principles: They don’t understand how processing affects nutrient bioavailibility, nor how to do basic nutrient calculations. These basic things are vital to producing a food that is complete and balanced as they claim their food is.
I don’t feel the food is unsafe but I do feel it is highly overpriced and should only be used intermittently and not relied upon as a main source of nutrition JMO.
C4D You wrote: “THK only came in slightly low from those guidelines you mentioned, and from the AAFCO guidelines, they were in compliance and exceeded the minimum standards. I did not check every formula.”
When you checked formulas did you correct for energy density? I’ll give you an example I went to their site and pulled up the first NA listed, Embark and started scanning from the top down. The first nutrient that stands out as suspect is methionine-cystine. THK reports a DM of .59% AAFCO requires 0.53%. So that looks adequate but AAFCO requires a energy density calculation for any diet over 3500 kcals.kg and this diet is 4617 kcals/kg. After factoring in the correction factor of 1.32 the min methionine-cystine to meet AAFCO should be .7%. THK’s reported value falls short of AAFCO min. NRC min for gestation lactation is .62% for a 4000kcal/kg diet so it falls short of NRC as well. Other nutrients are obviously way too low. The Vit E level in Keen is reported as 23.45 IU/kg. AAFCO min is 50 IU/kg. After correcting for energy density the min AAFCO requirement is 66 IU/kg. THK is about 1/3 of AAFCO min requirement.
If you use the food intermittently there shouldn’t be a problem. I just choose not to support companies that don’t understand such basic concepts. If they can’t get something as basic as grade school math right it makes me concerned that they can’t get the complicated stuff right either.
Wow. I really appreciate that all the leg work you’ve both done. This just complicates things even more.
I have a few free samples of THK and will probably use them at some point, but will certainly take them off my list of foods to try.
What would you recommend for a LBP? I have to switch my pup again. The food he’s on now has been great, but it doesn’t have enough calories for him anymore and he isn’t gaining weight. (No medical issues or other problems.) I will not feed him 7 cups of kibble.
Do you have any suggestions? I like to keep the max calcium as far below 1.5% as possible to allow room for other treats & stuff.
NutriSource Large Breed Puppy is 400 kcals/cup
Dr. Tim’s Kinesis is 415 kcals/cup
Precise Holistic Complete Large & Giant Breed Puppy is also 400 kcals/cup
These are all chicken based though. Not sure if that was alright for him.
I had to get him something today since he was all out of the Wolf Cub I figured if I get a small bag of that and small bag of something else I can begin transitioning right away.
I ended up settling on Orijen Puppy. They didn’t have the 5# bag of Orijen Puppy Large though. But Orijen being so good they have the min AND max calcium listed!
It is 1.6% max which is still in the safe margin. Not as low as I would like, but at least we can start getting used to the richer, denser food and see how it goes.
I will certainly keep your suggestions handy. Just in case this doesn’t work out or as additions to his rotation. I keep my pups on puppy food until about 18 months.
It’s a pain because so many of the really good foods I’d have to order online. Like Dr Tim’s.
We’ll see how this goes…
No problem! Hope Orijen works for him! I agree with the foods like Dr. Tim’s, but I do think its worth it to get off chewy.com. Really good price for a good food. And big bags!
Well my other thought is to feed him Orijen and something else. I don’t mind combo feeding 2 different brands. I’ll look at chewy and see if that’s the way to go.
Thanks again.Kelly KMember
I came here to post that one of the changes to Merrick Classic Dry is that they’ve downsized the bag to 25lbs. I get the food delivered from PetFlow, got an email from them today to say it changed. The price per pound from them went from $1.76 to $1.92.
I had no idea of these other issues though. I’ve fed Solid Gold in the past to my previous pups, looks like I’ll be going back to that and start looking for something else for my cats too.
I’m not sure where you got to with Nulo, but I have an update for you. We just had a seminar at work about the brand with a very knowledgeable rep.
He told me the food is manufactured by a company called CJ’s. They chose that manufacturer because they would allow them to have Nulo staff on site to oversee quality control. He also told me that they do employ, on staff, a veterinary nutritionist who has a team he consults with when formulating. He also was able to provide me right then and there with a nutrient analysis of their puppy formula so I could see the calcium and phosphorus. By their numbers its a 1.0:1 ca/p ratio and a 2.9 for the calcium to calorie. So really on the low end.crazy4catsParticipant
Good stuff, Pitlove. Do you happen to know anything about their (Nulo) canned food? Our feed store recently had a buy 2 get one free coupon and I bought some of the canned cat food. My cats liked it and did well on it.
I did forget to ask who cans for them however the rep told me he will be in here every 5 weeks. I can also email him you’d like that info. He did say the cans were BPA free and did not contain carageenan though. The canned cat food has been selling decently for us as well given how new this brand is to us.crazy4catsParticipant
Ok, thanks. I’ll go ahead and shoot them an email for the info. But, if you do hear anything, if you could post it, I’d really appreciate it. The food looks promising. Carageenan and BPA free is a very good thing!
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