My puppy “Trixie” (a medium sized labradoodle) has always been on Purina Pro Plan Focus (chicken and rice) since we brought her home. She is now 14 weeks old and we brought her home at 8 weeks. This is the food the breeder had her started on and recommended it to us. After reading ingredients and star ratings for this food I decided maybe it wasn’t the best for Trixie. I wanted to try switching her over to blue buffalo so I bought the lamb and oatmeal formula, I added the recommended amount to the pro plan for a slow transition. Almost immediately Trixie quit finishing all of her food at mealtime. I thought maybe she didn’t like the lamb so i tried the chicken and rice formula, same thing! So I did the taste test, one bowl with a little blue buffalo and one bowl with a little pro plan. She scarfed the pro plan and left the blue buffalo sitting there! So now I’m torn about what to do, she clearly is happier with the pro plan but I’m not sure I’m happy with the ingredients. I always fed my other dog (who just recently passed away at 15 years of age) Iams pro active mini chunks. Same thing, bad star rating but he loved it, and lived for 15 years! Are the ingredients in pro plan going to have bad effects on Trixie’s health later in life or will it be a fine food, just not “the best money can buy”? Any suggestions?
There are ingredients put into dog food to enhance the flavor and taste and those things can be addicting and make it hard for owners to change their pet’s food. If you ever pick up an issue of Pet Food Industry magazine, you might be surprised to see all the products and chemicals and mixtures advertised to enhance taste in a dog food. I foster dogs so they never get a transition whatsoever and I can tell you, they do just fine after the usual transition period. Some might not eat for a day or two, nearly three and I might need to mix in some canned food, but then they get over it and eat like every one else. You might just take longer to change her food out, even if it takes over a month or two. Feed 90/10 for at least a week and until she has no problem with it, then 80/20, 70/30, etc. You might even start with a 3 or 4 star food and work your way up to 5 stars foods or even feed a rotation of 4 and 5 star foods. I took my dogs off Beneful (that has corn and sugar and propylene glycol and probably tastes great and made by Purina) and won’t look back even if they loved it and scarfed it down and would choose it in a bowl to bowl taste test just like I would not rely on a bowl of cereal even if it were 100% complete and balanced for every meal of my life. For the Pro Plan, in the long run, I would be worried about the effects of the corn products being that 95% of corn is now a GMO and so is some wheat. GMO’s fed to test animals cause health problems and believe me, there haven’t been any human trials or research to their long term affects on our health. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6OxbpLwEjQ Then, I just don’t prefer companies that use feeding trials.
“The protocol requires six of eight animals complete a 26-week feeding trial without showing clinical or pathological signs of nutritional deficiency or excess. The cats’ or dogs’ general health is evaluated by a veterinarian before and after the test. Four blood values (hemoglobin, packed cell volume, serum alkaline phosphatase and serum albumin) are measured after the trial, and the average values of the test subjects must meet minimum levels. No animal is allowed to lose more than 15% of its starting weight” from wikipedia.
25% of test subjects can be taken out of the test for any reason including illness and not be reported in the final outcome and the food can still pass!
Then I would worry about problems arising from being fed gluten every meal of her life http://dogtorj.com/what-is-food-intolerance/gluten-intolerance/ and getting menadione. Not to mention there’s 4 grain ingredients in front of the poultry by-product meal.
There are just so many other foods out there that do offer you more for the money. Nutrisource and Dr Tim’s and Victor are a few.
Thank you for your advice! Since writing the post yesterday I found another food that I believe is going to be a lot better for her. 4Health… any thoughts on this product? I found it on this website with a 4 star rating. I did purchase some and started transitioning, she seems to like it better than the Blue Buffalo. She is still not finishing all her food but is getting closer to finishing so I think she will take to the 4Health. Also it was nice to find a 4 star food at a VERY reasonable price!! It’s only available at Tractor Supply which is not usually one of my regular stops but if she likes it and I know my wallet will like it, it will be worth the extra stop.
I’m not fond of any of the three foods you’ve fed. I suggest NutriSource to start.
What is it about 4Health that you are not fond of? I’m not fond of the other two mentioned as well.
I probably should have stated I wouldn’t use the 4 Health grain inclusive, it’s made by Diamond. Their grainfree is not.
I’m very new at this investigating dog food thing and I do appreciate all opinions and advice. I’ve seen other people make comments about diamond foods but I don’t know what has happened with the company either past or present. Could you please fill me in as to why you do not approve of them?
Diamond is one of the biggest kibble makers in the USA and they make soooo many brands of kibble that it is more than likely (make that inevitable) that they will have future recalls as they’ve had a couple in the past already. Just look up “Diamond Recalls”. You’ll also find out how they used broken equipment as well.
Why Sandy, don’t you approve of using cardboard & duct tape on your dog food making machinery?
Ringohop: sadly, what i just said to Sandy is true. That doesn’t give me much confidence.
Just a comment from the peanut gallery(whatever that means :)….my dog HATED the Blue Buffalo food too! This is a dog that is crazy about food! She’s loved all the other foods I’ve tried. She also did better on Pro Plan than any other food she’s had except what she is on now that seems to be a lot better for her allergies which is Natural Balance rabbit formula. Note: I only feed this because she has such severe allergies. I think that 4 health should be fine, the grain free is made by a better company and is still pretty cheap so just try the grain free one next. I wouldn’t worry about your current bag as long as your dog isn’t ill from it then it should be fine. Personally I believe that Diamond has so many recalls because they are such a large manufacturer of dog food.
One company that I see a lot of people like is Fromm. Their grain inclusive Gold formula is reasonably priced. I’m not convinced that grain free is right for all dogs after dealing with a dog that is sensitive to so many ingredients, it made me see things differently.
Edit to add: Foods we tried that didn’t work, Nature’s Variety Instinct(crazy expensive!), Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch, Zignature Lamb, Avoderm Duck and Trout formulas, Blue Buffalo Fish and potato. She loved all those except the BB but sadly she was allergic to them. OH and Simply Nourish Grain Free (a Petsmart brand) that she loved. It wasn’t all that cheap for a store brand though but people seem to like this brand too, it worked the best for her digestive system but not for her skin.
Ok…. which should I choose? Fromm or Dr. Tim’s? I really can’t decide, does any one have an experience with either of those foods?
I prefer Dr Tims but I admit to not feeding Fromm.
Fromm classic, grain inclusive is 3.5 stars, plant based, modest amount of meat
Fromm Gold, grain inclusive is 4 stars, grain based, moderate amount of meat
Fromm grainfree-4 stars, plant based, moderate amount of meat
Dr Tims Pursuit-grain inclusive, 5 stars, meat based, significant amount of meat
Dr Tims grainfree-5 stars. meat based, significant amount of meat
for me, it’s a no brainer.
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