Since I adopted my dog Lily 1.5 months ago, I’ve been doing a ton of research on her food. This is my first time having a dog, though I have fostered for rescue groups, where the food was provided. One of the things I read on this site was about rotational feeding, and I thought it sounded like a good idea. I am feeding her Taste of The Wild Wetlands formula, but I am transitioning her to Lotus grain-free duck small bites for rotation. Other brands I am thinking of including are Wellness Core grain-free and Orijen.
I was also considering mixing in some with wet food with her kibble, Wellness 95% or TOTW. The only issue is storage: wet food only keeps a few days in the fridge, and since she is small it would not be used up by then. I was wondering about freezing it as a possibility, does anyone know if this is okay?
By the way, all of the foods I mentioned are grain-free. This is not a must, but Lily may possibly have some allergies, so I thought it couldn’t hurt. One of the pet store employees recommended avoiding chicken, because it is a common allergen.
Lily is an ~3 year old, 10 pound, Bichon Frise. Any input or constructive criticism on the food is welcome. Thanks!
They do sell small cans of dog food. I use a 6 oz can in about 3 days for my 12 lb dachshund. Most cans should last 3-4 days covered in the fridge, and I’ve used a can of Pure Balance for 5 days. I figure as long as it smells ok, it should be fine.
I would trade out the Taste of the Wild for Wellness, and not use any Diamond products (TOTW, Blue Buffalo, etc). Wellness is great, and I use it most of the time for my dogs and cat. It’s my go-to brand, for sure.
My dogs definitely love rotational feeding. When my parents used to feed them only dog chow, my rott mix would not eat for days at a time. He doesn’t like to eat the same thing for too long, much less something that might as well be cow feed… You’re on the right track, for sure 🙂
Sounds like you’re doing great so far!
Bichons are prone to bladder crystals so I definitely think adding canned food for the additional moisture is a great idea.
I’d suggest adding fresh, whole foods to get diet as well. Canned sardines are a great way to do that. Here’s an awesome download that’s worth every penny of the $1.95 it costs. It’s Steve Brown’s ABC method of supplementing any diet with fresh, whole foods.
Thanks for the feedback! I was also skeptical about Diamond, but I live in a place that was supposably not affected by the 2012 recall, so I thought it was probably okay. Is the canned TOTW also Diamond? I do like Wellness, the Complete Health formulas have grain, but the Core ones don’t. I was a little skeptical about the high Calorie content in the Lotus small bites (smaller kibble), because the same formula of the regular size has almost half the Calories. From what I can tell it’s because more small kibble can fit into a cup.
The way I understand it, all of Diamonds canned food are made and canned by Simmons. I personally just assume not support Diamond, but I do buy other canned foods made by Simmons, like Pure Balance.
I personally shoot for higher callorie foods because I have an older dog that I can’t get to eat much more than about 2 cups a day. If I can get her eat as little as possible, but still have her maintain her body weight, we’re both happy. I have some dry EVO in the freezer, and she actually only eats about a cup of that a day when I take it out. Due to the fat content and her age (11), I only use it for about a week or two at a time because it makes her pudgy pretty quickly LOL For most dogs, callories isn’t an issue, especially on a rotational diet.
Thanks! I wasn’t so much concerned about her eating to much, I was more conceded about wether or not the food actually has 619 calories per scoop. I can’t imagine why they’d lie about that though. Some one in the comments part of DFA that they had to feed their dog way more than it said to keep them from losing weight. I figured I could just start with the amount given, and then increase it if necessary.
@DogFoodie Thanks for the input! I will download it on kindle (when it finishes charging). Do you know if I could also mix water with the food? I know this is not recommended for big dogs due to bloat, but what about small ones? It does contain citric acid as a preservative in the soybean oil.
I’m the kind of person that thinks if a dog is getting too fat on a food, decrease the amount given, and if its getting too thin, increase the amount given (with-in reason, of course). So yes, if you need to adjust, go for it. The guidelines on the bag aren’t set in stone, and all dogs digest foods differently, just like people do.
I mix water when I don’t have canned, and two of my dogs are 60 and 130 lbs. My old lab mix (the 60 pounder that doesn’t eat much) also doesn’t like straight dry food for very long. Once a week or so I’ll add canned food or some water to her dry food. Just enough to make it soft and water logged, but not swimming.
Thanks, I’ll keep that in mind. We also sometimes give her canned pumpkin to help with constipation, I guess that has some moisture in it. Halo also makes a grain-free canned food especially meant for small dogs that looks good: http://www.chewy.com/dog/halo-turkey-duck-recipe-grain-free/dp/104906
I read the download, it was well worth the money! I don’t know if Lily or I is ready for all fresh foods one day of the week, but I like the idea of adding canned sardines. Should I just reduce her kibble to make the calories right, or is this considered an unbalanced topper? Sorry I have so many questions!
I just kind of eye-ball it for canned, to be honest. I use just enough canned to coat the kibbles evenly (a few spoonfuls of canned over 1/3-1/4 cup dry for my dachshund, and a whole 13 oz can to 3-4 cups split between my big guys) and if I notice undesirable weight change, I adjust accordingly.
For “fresh” toppers, as long as it’s not making up more than about 20% of the dogs diet, it’s fine. That 20% can mean daily toppers, or even a whole meal once a week or so of a raw meaty bone or something. No need to make it all scientific, really. Have fun with it!
As for size and breed specific marketing, it’s pretty useless. Keep life interesting and switch it up. I’m actually feeding all my dogs on Wellness Toy Breed Complete Health right now– even the 130 pounder! I shoot for 25% and up (the higher the better, but I use coupons for my dog food, so I can’t be too picky), and as high callorie as possible. This one happened to fit the bill with 30% protein and 502 calories per cup, and be free, plus money back, after coupons.
Nothing wrong with questions! If you don’t ask, you don’t learn. 🙂
Thanks again! I guess I kind of figured, as for breed-specific marketing, that it wasn’t all that useful. The exemption might be large breed puppies, I guess. The canned food does look good though, and while I can’t find that exact formula rated on DFA, it does rate Halo grain-free to be 4.5 stars.
Since a lot of large breed puppy foods do not fit within the current guidelines for LBPs, they aren’t really an exemption either.
And even with toppers, you have to consider the calories or pretty soon your dog will be tubby. Reduce kibble to make up for what you add to their food.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by theBCnut.
The biggest thing I tend to find that’s different for small breed formulas is that they are more calorically dense and have more protein. At least in the brands I tend to buy, anyways. I figure as long as it scores well, and the dogs eat it (which they eat anything, so that doesn’t really say much LOL), then it’s good for me.
I would not choose TOW. Diamond makes it. Check the recalls.
Thanks! As I said, the place I live was supposably unaffected by the major 2012 recall. Now that I have some other food that has not been recalled, I can likely take the TOW out of my rotation. As for the wet TOW, it is also owned by Diamond, but does not appear to have been included in the recall and Akari thought it may be manufactured by Simons. Would you recommend avoiding the canned food as well?
Diamond does not own a cannery. They have someone else do their canning for them. And yes, I believe it is still Simmons. The only reason to avoid their cans is if you object to giving them any of your money, on principle.
Okay, thanks. Hard to say if I would want to boycott Diamond entirely, almost all their formulas have good ingredients, (the exception is the regular Diamond dog food.) but there are other foods with good ingredients without a huge recall history. I would definitely not buy it online or in a region produced by the SC facility.
I can boycott them entirely, because I do live where we are affected by the SC plant and with all the issues they have had, the company as a whole has never done anything about it. They treat it as a non issue. But I certainly understand not feeling as strongly as I do. After all, I know plenty of people around here who couldn’t care less and they are affected too.
It is disappointing that they have no mention of it on their website. Another user posted this article in the comments section of the website, do you know if it is correct? http://www.petmanianc.com/diamond-recall-update/
I wouldn’t feed any food that is produced by Diamond regardless of what plant they come from. The company is so big that they feel they can do whatever they want, which is as little as possible, and everyone will continue to buy their foods for their pets and so what if some of them have died. Those are the breaks. At least that’s how I see their attitude. Until they feel it in their bottom line they are not going to change their slovenly practices, they don’t have to. As you say BC you know plenty of people that, even with all the recalls, still feed the food. There are also the people who haven’t done any research and feel that only foods with the name Diamond are Diamond products. Most of their foods do not have the name Diamond on their labels but are manufactured by Diamond, have been recalled, but people just don’t realize it. Enough of my rant. I think that most of us with pets that went through the horror of 2007 and then to have the recalls continue is just too upsetting and don’t, on principle as BC stated, want to give them any of our money and certainly none of their foods to our animals. That’s it. Done with my being upset. Better go and breathe a bit and hug my fur babies.
Okay, that said it sounds like I should stop feeding Diamond entirely. The main reason I would expect someone who lived in a place affected by the recalls and knew about the recalls to keep feeding Diamond brands is the low price. Since I only have one dog, and she is small, I can afford to feed higher-quality kibble, but for people who have multiple dogs, bigger dogs, or limited funds it would be better to feed, say, Diamond Naturals then Beneful. Again, thanks for the input!
that is the angle people make for Diamond. However, there are other budget friendly options
I am looking for budget-freindly options to suggest to people. What others do you know of?
Check out my Coupons thread. You can get just about any food you want for a budget friendly price if you put in the tome to look for deals. I litterally have a closet full of Wellness that I got for *free* with coupons.
Woah! That’s some serious deals you have going! Are the coupons only available online and from purchases, or are there other ways to get them? My local chain has a buy 3 get the 4th free thing, which is super useful with canned food.
You can find coupons in the sunday papers (thats mostly for Purina, though, from what I see, but you can also get store coupons for money off your total purchase. I’ve heard rumors of Wellness putting coupons in the paper!), online through sites like Coupons.com and RedPlum.com, as well as on the company’s websites (like Wellness has $5 coupons when you do the “Check Your Bag” thing), and you can also just straight up ask for coupons, and even samples through email. Many companies are happy to share samples or give high values coupons. And then of course individual stores will have their own coupons and such. Its a learning curve, but its totally worth it, and very fun. I’ve taken to buying generic ink for out printer because I print so many coupons, and HP ink is just outrageous. I’m cheap, what can I say? LOL
Oh My Goodness. Price should never be a reason why one solely feeds a particular dog food. One only has to do a minuscule amount of research to find that there are so many quality foods that have never had recall issues to feed your animals. I think some people think that they can’t afford foods that are reviewed on this site with higher starred values. That’s not true. The number of stars in the reviews on this site have absolutely nothing to do with a price point, it’s about proteins, fats and carbs. It has nothing to do with the price of the actual foods. There are a lot of people that don’t realize that no matter how often that has been posted on different threads.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by Dori.
I definitely agree that price and quality often have less to do with each other than people think. Diamond brands tend to be cheap in general, so many people feed it for that reason. As aquariangt said though, there are other budget friendly options that are better.
Although “budget friendly” is very much a relative term, some excellent dry foods that I feel are budget friendly, and that I feel I can confidently recommend, are Victor, NutriSource, Earthborn Holistics, Eagle Pack, Dr. Tim’s and even Pure Balance made by Ainsworth that’s sold at Wal-Mart or Nature’s Domain Turkey and Pea Stew canned from Costco.
Thanks, I will definitely keep those in mind when recommending food.
One thing about NutriSource I’ve seen, when it was sold locally (only one shop had it and they closed a few months back) is that it’s actually the same price as Wellness for the small bags, and only slightly cheaper for the large bags ($60 for the 30 lb bags, and wellness is $60 for 24-26 lb bags). Both are great foods though, and NutriSource is good for dogs that don’t do well on higher protein or have sensitive tummies.
I would not want to repeat what the above posters have said – I think they got you covered, Dog_Obsessed. I would just add that, depending on your area, some of those budget-friendly foods are not-so-budget-friendly. For example, I live close to Atlanta, GA (north of Atlanta) and in my immediate area with 5 pet stores I can EASILY get to, NutriSource is severely overpriced. Earthborn Holistic and Victor are decent though (I LOVE Victor btw – small kibble, great quality food). Dr. Tim’s is not sold in any of “my” local stores. So it just depends, but do some research on those brands mentioned above, and you will find for yourself what foods cost what where. Also – websites such as petflow.com , chewy.com , wag.com often have sales and/or deals that you can take advantage of. Petflow sometimes sells “trial sizes” (usually 4-5lb bags!) of good quality food for about $1/lb! I have gotten me some Nutrisca Chicken and Chickpea, Dogswell LiveFree Salmon (although they had Turkey, Lamb, and Chicken too), Wysong Nurture with Quail from them all for $1/lb. AND, The Honest Kitchen dehydrated food – 4 boxes, 2 lbs each, for I think $2/lb, which is UNHEARD of a price for this food – it was 97% off so that tells you what it usually costs! It is worth it though! 🙂
Thanks Naturella! To give some reference, Wellness CORE is ~$19 per 4lb bag at my local pet store, TOTW is $13 per 5lb, and Lotus small bites is $22 per 4.5lb (but lasts longer because it is high-calorie). I probably wouldn’t buy bigger bags, because it takes Lily 4-6 weeks to finish a small one. The store doesn’t carry some things I would expect it to, such as Orijen. There is an independent feed store about 20 mins away that has Orijen, and some other things too. I sometimes feel uncomfortable buying dog food online, mainly because if it were to be recalled I wouldn’t know if I was affected or not. (I would stop feeding it either way, but it is useful to know.) I am also sometimes worried about shipping/handling, though I don’t think it is usually an issue.
Wow, Wellness CORE is $13.99 for the Original and $16.99 for the Wild Game (and in between for the others) here. TOTW is $12.99 as well. Orijen isn’t really a thing here, either. Only a few stores around here have it, and I don’t shop at them.
Just a note on recalled dog foods, its done by lots. They will post the UPC, lot numbers and expiration dates of all recalled products. There is also a Recall section on the review side of the forum that is kept up to date. I’ve bought food online several times from PetFlow and couldn’t be happier. I was a bit worried about the heat, myself, living in Florida, but I didn’t notice any problems. I often had a cooler set out for canned foods on the day it was set to come and I wouldn’t be home.
I see. In my area, TOTW is about the same price, Wellness CORE is $17-$19 or so, Nutrisource is $16-$18. I did at one time stock up on Earthborn Holistic Grain Free (3 flavors, 14 lbs each…) yeah… Bruno takes 3-4 months to eat a whole bag like that, so I halved the second bag and put it in the freezer to feed later.
I have personally not experienced any issues with S&H of food when shopping online. I am very happy with both Chewy and Petflow. And, if you sign up for the recall alerts on this site on the home page on the left, I think, you will know of lot numbers of bags and what not, so either way you will know if your bag was affected. Just a thought. 🙂
Thanks Naturella and Akari! I am looking at those sites, and it looks like there are some good deals.
Don’t forget to always search “trial” and “sample” on pet food sites. You may dig something up that you couldn’t find otherwise. Also, PetFlow has free shipping at $15 until midnight with the code COLUMBUS at check out 😉
I subscribe to online sites that I buy dog food from so I get emails, apprising me of what’s on sale. It’s a great way to buy dog food for less money. Chewy.com, wag.com, Petflow.com, SportDogFood.com and petfooddirect.com are ones I recommend.
That’s what I do too, even though I’ve never bought anything except from PetFlow lol Its nice to compare prices and stock. Not all websites have the same things available.
Thanks everyone! Two more things I am wondering, first of all, how can I get sample bags online? I tried searching them on chewy and petflow, but I did not get anything relevant. Also, I was told by one of the pet store employees I should avoid chicken for Lily because she might have allergies. The Lotus dog food I bought does not have chicken, so if it helps then maybe that is the problem. I also heave some treats that have chicken though. Does anyone know if it is a good idea to avoid it no matter what? Thanks!
On PetFlow, they sample out 3 and 4 lb bags for $3.99. You’ll find theses hidden in the doorbusters section. You can usually find them by searching “sample” or “trial” as well.
On EntirelyPets.com you can find actual sample size bags for sale for a penny each.
Other retail sites, I’m not sure. I would start with a search of sample of trial. Also, they don’t always offer samples or trials, so just keep checking back every couple days or so. I know PetFlow changes their sales daily.
You can also just hit up companies on their websites and ask for samples. Some will send you sample bags, some will send you 3-6 lb bags, and some will you coupons (or a combination of these). Most companies are very generous, especially larger ones. Smaller companies may require you purchase samples, and they’ll mail for free. At your dogs size, a sample bag would make a nice free meal– lucky lol
If you think she’s got a problem with chicken, it may be best to just avoid all poultry products all together (even eggs and fats, unless she’s on a food that has these, and it doesn’t bother her).
There seems to be a decent amount of dogs that are intolerant to chicken, but you shouldn’t rule it out unless you’ve tested it out.
As far as getting actually samples, either in a pet store or directly from the manufacturer are usually the only way to get them. Petflow occasionally has “Samples” that really are like 1 lb bags of food to test out
I found the penny samples on Entirelypets, thanks! I think I’ll keep playing with food eliminations for the next few months, and just see if chicken seems to be an issue. Again thanks for everyone’s replies!
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