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  • #172767 Report Abuse
    Gloria Askins A
    Participant

    In 2018 the Canine Health Foundation completed a study showing that peas & other legumes as one of the 1st 10 ingredients linked to Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Certain breeds such as Golden Retrievers, Labs, Dobermans & others seem to be more highly affected than others but the studies are continuing. Another study by Tufts came out specifically naming PEAS as NOT being a safe ingredient. The problem is it interferes with the Taurine levels and many dogs on these foods suddenly drop dead with no warning. I’ve spent hours on your site trying to find a highly rated dry grain free food without these dangerous ingredients but so far have been unsuccessful. I love the idea of the service you provide but it seems like you’re not keeping up with the latest research on canine health. Can you please look into updating your analysis to more accurately reflect current nutritional benefits of the ingredients?

    #181392 Report Abuse
    Josephine P
    Participant

    I agree , please review/investigate the pea source as it pertains to DCM in dogs ; so as to upgrade your top dog food reviews

    #181427 Report Abuse
    BARRY R
    Participant

    I agree with these comments. Your place as my most trusted advisor of dog food virtually demands your fully exploring the matter of DCM and Legume/grain-free diets. I personally dislike the major studies: They group several diverse foods — without even naming them — and then publish reports trashing *all* of them. These are often *much* different products.

    And notfornuthin, thank you for the work you do, Mike Sagman. It is very much appreciated.

    #185022 Report Abuse
    Gloria Askins A
    Participant

    I’m concerned that there has been no response to these questions. Is anyone really monitoring this site???

    #185128 Report Abuse
    Mike Sagman
    Keymaster

    I understand your concerns. We’ve been concerned ourselves about DCM and legumes ever since we first shared the news about this issue with our readers back in July 2018. Since then, we’ve included a link to this important article on every review and “best” page we publish, including the front page of our website.

    In the meantime, we continue to update our article and add important new information as it appears in the literature.

    There are still many unanswered questions and much misinformation on this topic, even amongst veterinary professionals. We discuss many of those issues in that same article. And it’s why we still recommend waiting for the FDA to publish its final report.

    Until then, you can consider choosing one of the many grain-inclusive options on our “Best Dog Foods” pages. But keep in mind, grain-inclusive foods are the ones to most likely contain aflatoxin. So, we always provide a combination of both grain-free and grain-inclusive brands on every list we create.

    Or consider the many benefits of diet rotation. By periodically switching dog foods, you can minimize the unhealthy risks of feeding a single recipe for an extended time period.

    Hope this helps.

    #185161 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    Something to keep in mind are legal ramifications. Apparently, some companies making suspect diets are investing heavily in legal services, sending cease and desist letters and calling individuals to threaten them with litigation. Veterinarians, breeders and people with a social media influence who have provided diet advice based on current science have all been targeted.

    IMO there is a strong disinformation campaign coming from industry, not unlike that which occurred after cancer was first linked to smoking. It appears that there is heavy funding by the legume industry and manufacturers of suspect diets.

    To keep up with current research on this issue visit https://www.alltradesdvm.com/topics/diet-associated-dcm/dcm-research-list?fbclid=IwAR1DCX5vNToay8o_t3oDSgc51mkz78Zyb1BOYtcMCJF7gH66ZJSUdWedRJw

    #185202 Report Abuse
    crazy4cats
    Participant

    Hi Aimee-
    Good information! The fact that diet change can resolve or reverse heart abnormalities has me convinced. Only well researched dog food without the offending ingredients for my dogs and cats. Currently, my dogs are on Purina One dry food with a small amount of various wet food. Thanks for the links!

    #185208 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Why is Science Diet still selling grain free food with peas’ as second ingredient?

    #185211 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    Hi Patricia,

    Which formula you are referring to?

    From my understanding, currently, there have not been documented cases of dietary DCM when using therapeutic veterinary diets from Hill’s, Purina and Royal Canin containing suspect ingredients. ( There is a documented taurine case from U/D)

    I think it is possible to make a well formulated diet using suspect ingredients, but personally, I avoid diets with suspect ingredients high up in the ingredient list no matter who makes them. If I needed to feed such a diet, I’d screen for DCM every 6 months via echocardiogram by a boarded cardiologist.

    #185222 Report Abuse
    crazy4cats
    Participant

    Hi Aimee-
    Any study on DCM being associated with cats on grain free diets? The Rx food one of my cats is on contains peas. It’s the RC novel rabbit protein food. One of the FB groups I’m on for cats, suggests staying away from grain free for cats as well. Any opinions?

    #185254 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Don’t feed that brand Aimee. Post just peaked my interest in the DCM controversy again. I feed freeze dried .I rotate brands and proteins. Kibble is given occasionally . That being Stella n Chewys. This about sums up what is known about DCM.
    Myth: DCM is caused by diet
    Fact: Multiple factors contribute to DCM in pets, particularly genetic predisposition, weight, size, gender and pre-existing illnesses.

    Myth: Grain-Free foods cause DCM
    Fact:The FDA found no science directly linking ingredients in grain-free foods to the onset of DCM.
    Myth: The FDA recommended pet owners change their pet’s diet
    Fact: FDA recommended to NOT change a pet’s diet based solely on the information in the report…and has not changed its perspective in the past 2 years.
    Myth: DCM is a new disease caused by grain-free pet food
    Fact: Studies in 1988, 1995 and 1997 all pointed toward genetic predisposition and/or size as contributing factors to DCM in pets – well before grain-free diets were prominent.

    Myth: Grain-free foods have no taurine

    Fact: Taurine comes from meat, particularly high quality meat used in specialty pet food as opposed to animal by-products used in lower grade pet foods.
    Myth: The FDA report listed only 16 pet food brands
    Fact: Purina One and Hill’s Pet Nutrition were reported in DCM cases to the FDA.In fact, MARS (make of Royal Canin and Iams) had the 5th most reported brands.

    Myth: Only well-known pet foods are safe for pets to eat.
    Fact: The majority of brands named in the FDA report can be found in large pet, grocery or mass market stores.

    Myth: Only WSAVA-approved foods are safe for pets to eat
    Fact: WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association) does not ‘approve’ foods, it provides health considerations for pet owners.

    Myth: WSAVA recommends select brands over others
    Fact: No. But Purina, Hills (Science Diet) and MARS (Royal Canin and Iams) all have paid partnerships with WSAVA so they actively promote these brands on their web site.
    Myth: DCM is the biggest health concern for dogs
    Fact: The leading causes of canine death are cancer, obesity, kidney disease, diabetes
    Myth: Grain-inclusive pet food has more taurine than grain-free options
    Fact: The FDA found that average %’s of total taurine, cysteine and methionine-cysteine – amino acids benefiting heart health – were similar for grain free and grain based products.
    Myth: The FDA reported “exotic”meat proteins as the big problem in dog food
    Fact: 75% of the cases reported to the FDA were feeding common proteins such as chicken, lamb and fish.

    Myth: All dogs are equally susceptible to DCM
    Fact: Certain breeds –particularly Golden Retrievers –have a higher risk of acquiring DCM. And purebred dogs are at much higher risk than mixed-breeds. In addition dogs with health issues such as obesity, age,GI issues, allergies, etc. may also be at higher risk for DCM due to the inability to absorb nutrients as efficiently as dogs without underlying health issues.

    #185255 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    My understanding is that there are reports of non taurine DCM in cats eating suspect diets who have had longer survival times if diet after diet change. So it appears that there could be an association. Case numbers appear to be fairly rare compared to cases in dogs. Here is a survey you might find interesting.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34963075/

    Personally, I think that since apparently there are no dietary DCM cases reported in dogs on the therapeutic diets with suspect ingredients and so few reports overall in cats I would think the risk very very low but not zero.

    For cats who do not have a medical for need a diet high in suspect ingredients I would avoid them.

    For cats who need a diet high in a suspect ingredient due to another medical condition I think it is an issue best discussed with your veterinarian.

    #185257 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    Hi Patricia,

    To be clear then, are you saying that you asked, “Why is Science Diet still selling grain free food with peas’ as second ingredient?” when you have no direct knowledge that Science Diet actually is selling a diet with peas as the second ingredient? That’s seems odd to me.

    Unfortunately, the myths and facts you posted appears to have been written for the purpose of confusing the consumer. This is evident by its use of the “straw man’s argument” which is a logic fallacy.

    I suspect it was written by someone in the pet industry with a vested interest in selling suspect diets.

    #185258 Report Abuse
    crazy4cats
    Participant

    Thank you, Aimee. Interesting, but concerning article for me. I do feed my IBD kitty’s brother the Rx food too for convenience. I may need to rethink that!

    #185264 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Hi Aimee. Just confusing to me that all these studies led pet owners to believe grain free was primary causation of DCM in pets. Possibly legumes in grain free causing enzyme inhibitions and interfering with digestion causing taurine and other amino acid deficiencies .
    I personally don’t trust how much protein comes from meat and how much is from pea protein on grain free. However, I also don’t trust grain inclusive. Due to below.

    A recall on pet food has been expanded after 70 dogs have died and another 80 or more were sickened due to mold in a popular pet and cat food brand.
    Midwestern Pet Foods is expanding an earlier recall of some of its Sportmix products to other dry dog and cat foods with an expiration date on or before July 9, 2022 that were manufactured in its Oklahoma kitchen. The recall includes all dog and cat pet food products made with corn products because they might contain elevated levels of aflatoxin, which is produce from a mold that can grow on corn and other ingredients used in pet food.

    So below is the food that Science Diet grain free. Why if it’s so bad?
    Ingredients in Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Grain Free Chicken & Potato Recipe dog food are peas second ingredient.

    I like Stella n Chewys however they use synthetic vitamin pack. Freeze dried should be getting all necessary minerals and vitamins from natural sources. Synthetic vitamin packs are always added to highly processed dog food because nutrients are cooked out due to the high heat. My dogs do well with most of their proteins but if mistakes are made with amount in pack the results are lethal . As in below.

    The FDA has become aware of reports of vitamin D toxicity in dogs that ate certain canned dog foods manufactured by Hill’s Pet Nutrition and marketed under the Hill’s Science Diet and Hill’s Prescription Diet brands. This is a developing situation, and the FDA will update this page with additional information as it becomes available.

    I can only HOPE I’m making an educated choice in feeding my dogs a diet of good nutrition and food that is not slowly poisoning them. I have inherited my mom’s dog now that she is living with me after my dad passed. So I have three now. My Tia always gains weight easily even with exercise and string beans as treats. Loli gets growling stomach if given too much fat. If I have lean steak as treat one day I only give for that day. Two days in row and loose stools. Then there is my mom’s . Can’t eat the Primal Turkey n Salmon but the others do fine with it. UHHH I recently tried Small Batch turkey freeze dried. Trust company and love all the ingredients but ONE. They have garlic. Now way down on list of ingredients. Some say natural flea repellent. Great stools and none had stomach trouble. Been on the bag of the small sliders for a week. But I can’t continue not trusting that the garlic could build up to cause red blood cell destruction. They are all Chihuahuas’. Just would like to make it easy for me and get a brand I trust to be healthy and all three do well with. Guess for now I’ll stick to primal freeze dried. However, I do like to rotate between at least two brands just in case. Sorry for this being so long, Just hard to trust what’s in your dog food when I have to keep up with all the human food recalls making people sick. lol

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by Patricia A.
    #185266 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Just wanted to add (didn’t allow me to go back and edit) any suggestions for a freeze dried that stands out as worth the money I would appreciate reply.

    #185284 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    Hi Patricia,

    It is understandable why anyone would be confused.

    What is known is that a form of DCM, a malady which is usually progressive and fatal, has been found to be reversible with diet change. Its development is associated with diets with pea and potato ingredients high in the ingredient list but has been seen in a variety of diets including raw.

    On one hand we have veterinary cardiologists and nutritionists doing research and reporting findings in an effort to prevent further cases and deaths. On the other hand, is the pet industry and legume industry who IMO are distributing information/misinformation an effort to retain sales.

    Some companies with small market share have a large percentage of cases, and other companies with large market share, for all practical purposes haven’t had confirmed cases even though they sell diets high in suspect ingredients.

    I don’t think I can say that all grain free diets or diets using suspect ingredients are bad, some are likely very good, but how do we identify them? IMO it isn’t necessarily the presence of an ingredient but the overall formulation of the diet. Some companies apparently do use and have used these ingredients successfully. Hill’s Pet Nutrition to the best of my knowledge has not had any reported cases in the diet you mentioned or their therapeutic diets which appear to be high in potato. Tha said until more is known I choose not to feed diets high in suspect ingredients until more is known.

    In the face of incomplete information, veterinarians, who have pet’s health as their primary interest, are making recommendations. Vets often make health recommendations with incomplete information. IMO they are a conservative bunch putting health first, figure out the cause later. don’t gamble. 1. Avoid diets with suspect ingredients high on the ingredient list 2. Feed products with large market share that do not have case reports. To take it one step further feed diets from companies that have proven themselves by making diets that reverse this condition. If a dog needs to be on a diet with suspect ingredients, screen every 6 months for DCM by echocardiology.

    Aflatoxin is a concern with both grains and non-grain ingredients but more so with grains. Diligent screening of ingredients prevents this toxicity in pet foods just as it does in human foods. Company matters

    I’m suspect of any diet that does not use added vitamins/minerals. According to NRC natural source are often not bioavailable and the levels were based on bioavailable sources. Personally, I think this statement “Synthetic vitamin packs are always added to highly processed dog food because nutrients are cooked out due to the high heat.” has a strong element of marketing spin.

    I think this is how we all feel “I can only HOPE I’m making an educated choice” The criteria I use i know are not what others use. Everyone has their own philosophy. I tend to avoid small companies.

    If I was going to look for a freeze dried, I’d probably start with Natures Variety. Other companies making freeze dried and raw foods have failed to meet my criteria.

    #185285 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Thank’s for further understanding .I agree that kibble should always have synthetic vitamins/minerals since Pet food manufacturers know their food is devoid of nutrition … so they add synthetic premixes. And pet owners know kibble isn’t as good as real food, so they add supplements.
    I have to stretch my freeze dried with three dogs. Stella and Chewys is a good kibble as far kibble is goes. I even alternate that between the chicken and whitefish. Just a tiny part of their diet . It does have peas, however they add taurine. Synthetic vitamins of course again necessary in all since it is not a whole food.
    Their primary nutrition comes from their divided boiled egg for breakfast. I feel safe with Primal being a good way to get their protein along with their vitamin and minerals naturally. Brand has a good track record . Happy to say I reintroduced Sophie to the Turkey/Salmon protein and good stools as of yesterday and today. So now I can add all three in rotation along with Venison which is a lean protein for dogs .
    I give Bixbi rawbble chicken/salmon freeze dried treat . Going to try Vital Essentials turkey inn rotation and see how they do.
    “REAL” food is also given when appropriate of course .Think I have it covered. All blood work is good and all three energetic .
    You can really go crazy with so much conflicting info. The more I read the more confusing. . Vet checkups and yearly blood work always perfect and they are all energetic. They go crazy when I put their dinner down also. So time for me to stop obsessing and stick with what works.

    #185287 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    Hi Patricia.

    By writing “I agree that kibble should always have synthetic vitamins/minerals since Pet food manufacturers know their food is devoid of nutrition … so they add synthetic premixes. And pet owners know kibble isn’t as good as real food, so they add supplements.” in the post following my post, it makes it appear that you are agreeing with me.

    I just want to clarify that I absolutely do not agree with the above statement. As I said, I believe such statements to be marketing spin.

    It may interest you to know that in talking with multiple companies of freeze-dried products, I’ve found that some, including some of the companies you mentioned, have reported that after freeze drying the food, they heat and hold it at temps high enough to kill pathogens. Some companies shared they used conventional heat and others apparently by microwave. Yet they still market the food as “raw” which to me is odd since the times and temps they subject the food to are those used to cook food.

    I do agree that the more you read the more confusing it can become. It is interesting to me to read publications put out by the pet industry. For example, food rotation is primarily recommended to guard against “out of stocks ” Shop keepers want to condition their customers to feel comfortable switching products so that if they are out of product A, they can sell you product B and keep the sale in house vs you going elsewhere for product A. Which brands they carry has to do with profit margin, availability and exclusivity. If /when a product enters new markets, making it easy for you to get it at other venues, shops will drop the line. Shops want you to have to return to them for purchase. Ditto for why some push frozen raw as “best”(it isn’t easily available online or in most larger stores). If someone else has exclusivity rights to a brand, a line within the brand or for brands that are widely available, shop owners may try to come up with reasons that sound plausible as to why they do not carry that product in an effort to try to switch you to a brand they can get. Shops offer sales contests, brands sponsor same. Get X number of people to switch to brand C (higher profit margin) and win a prize.
    So yeah, it is confusing!

    #185288 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Hi Aimee,
    I have no idea where you found this information regarding ANY company which produces freeze dried for dogs is EVER microwaved. They DO use HPP in some brands which I”m fine with. Vital Essentials I believe do not use HPP. Handling raw food for your meals off course would require you to wash all counters well and your hands. Same as non HPP raw food.

    Prior to entering the vessel, all products are between 0-38 degrees F. Once the product is inside, the vessel fills with water at 36-40 degrees F. When the vessel is pressurized, the water temperature never exceeds 70 degrees F. The product temperature never increases more than 2-3 degrees F. The product is held in the vessel for two to three minutes at pressures up to 72K psi. When the pressure and water are evacuated from the vessel, product temperature is virtually the same as when it entered the vessel. Because of this, HPP is a non-thermal process that is beneficial for heat-sensitive products, like meats, fruits, and vegetables.

    Hope this helps in understanding . Kibble is only fed for owners convenience. Remember growing up and being brain washed into thinking human food is BAD for dogs. How silly now that we didn’t realize this was to keep public ignornant and keep feeding their product. Don’t know how dogs would have survived if kibble wasn’t invented. lol

    #185289 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    Hi Patricia,

    I’m familiar with the HPP process but thank you for posting that information for others. I think that HPP is probably the most common method currently in use as a kill step, if a company is using a kill step.

    I personally have had communication with three separate companies of freeze-dried products who reported that they heat the product after the freeze drying process. One company reported that they heated the product to 170 degrees and held it at that temperature for 1 hour.

    I will not name the companies because their processes may or may not have changed since I talked to them, but at the time of conversation they reported that is what they did.

    Microwaving was discussed in an industry forum, and it was disclosed who apparently was using this method as a kill step after the freeze-drying process. I’d consider the individual reporting on it fairly well known in the industry. They stated that they verified the claim.

    I do agree kibble is a convenience food, just as are any of the commercially prepared diets, be they freeze dried, commercial raw, or canned.

    #185298 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    I’m sorry Aimee but I believe this “industry forum” you found is likely a kibble company which is losing money to non kibble raw brands.
    Please do not believe that said companies, which you fail to list, is using a microwave vs an HPP process for a kill step.
    If you are having success with kibble and your fur baby is healthy and happy then great. But add a little freeze dried at least as a treat. You just might start adding to your kibble when you see how much your pup not only loves the fresh taste once hydrated but also the nutritional benefits.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by Patricia A.
    #185301 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    Hi Patricia,

    I assure you the information did not ome from a “kibble company which is losing money to non kibble raw brands” It is a closed group of independent shop owners and service providers. The threads there are some of the most interesting behind the scenes looks at the pet industry: moldy products, products that are frequently infested with the red legged ham beetle (apparently, it is routine for shop owners to freeze their dry natural chews upon arrival to try and kill them) products that come in with very offensive odors,

    I have no reason not to believe this individual who is a staunch supporter of feeding raw foods, which IMO is why the information was posted, to inform other shop owners of this practice.

    I have no desire to feed freeze dried food, just “not my jam” I do feed a wide variety of commercial foods and food types, along with home cooked. It isn’t uncommon for my dog to have products from 3 -4 different manufactures every day.

    #185302 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    I follow Susan Thixton. Her mission: Susan Thixton and others like her are determined to empower pet food consumers. By fighting for industry transparency and putting an end to negligence and deception, more companion animals will stay healthier longer.
    The reason she started her campaign:
    I couldn’t believe what my veterinarian, Dr. Bruce Catlett, was telling me. This dog food was the number one pet food in the U.S.; it was a ‘trusted’ company. What I did next, changed me forever.

    Dr. Catlett told me that these chemical preservatives were (and still are) added to pet foods to extend their ‘shelf life’; to keep them fresh for longer periods of time for retail purposes. In 1991 I made my first phone call to a pet food company; I asked them what the shelf life was on this food. I’ll never forget it – they proudly told me the dog food would “stay fresh for 25 years”. That’s more than three times as long as my dog lived.

    The chemical that killed Sam – was ethoxyquin; it is still commonly used in many dog foods, cat foods, and pet treats. The pet food company that killed her, is still one of the top pet food companies; although they no longer use ethoxyquin in their foods, they use many disease causing ingredients including dangerous chemicals.

    Sam’s death changed me forever. From that day forward, I have studied pet foods, pet food ingredients, and the regulations that govern them. In 2006 I started TruthaboutPetFood.com hoping to share information I learn about pet food with others.

    And how did the ‘Caped Crusader for Safe Pet Food’ get started? A few years into advocating for safe pet food, a dear friend gave me that name and it stuck. My youngest daughter drew the Caped Crusader image.

    But TruthaboutPetFood.com isn’t just one person – it’s thousands of people who work together helping to make pet food safe. The brightest veterinarians and scientists, along side of thousands of determined petsumers – we are all part of the TruthaboutPetFood.com team.
    Aimee you can read about “her List”. She does hard work for us pet owners . https://truthaboutpetfood.com/the-list/

    #185303 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    Hi Patricia,

    I’m familiar with Susan Thixton and am a financial supporter. I appreciate her passion for shedding light on issues within the pet industry and for posting original documents acquired through FOIA.

    However, while I support her core mission, I do find myself frequently disagreeing with her conclusions, for example her handling of DCM. I think her passion and beliefs cloud her judgement.

    #185309 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Aimee I subscribe to her “list” every year. I trust that she does a thorough job in Making sure the companies are transparent n where ingredients are sourced, transparent in inspection of facilities, humanely sourced etc. etc. I just wish she would also explain why a company was taken off her list as trusted. As in Primal. Always made her list and then not. What changed? She does work with nutrionalists however I wasn’t comfortable with Small Batch which made her list. Garlic way down in ingredients but never found reliable source one way or the other to say if it’s safe. So I have a starting point at least with foods/companies she recommends and then I maybe will alternate with one checks boxes for me.
    DCM is still a mystery I feel that still has not been solved. I would however be much more concerned if my dogs fell into the breed MOST susceptible.
    If you find any website you came across that explains why Primal was taken off her list and share with me I’d appreciate it. A lot of those who feed where asking same question since it’s a very popular brand.

    #185310 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    Hi Patricia,

    I too have gotten “the list” through the donations I’ve made, however I do not ever use it to guide what products I choose. I think her efforts are admirable, but after looking at nutritional analysis from products that have been on the list, directly interacting with the companies or reading FDA inspection reports from companies on “the list”, I find myself vehemently disagreeing with her choices. As I said, I think her personal beliefs cloud her judgement.

    While the mechanism is still a mystery, the link between certain types of diet and DCM is very well supported. To the best of my knowledge there is no breed susceptibility that has been identified to this specific form of DCM.

    #185349 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Hi Aimee,
    I tried sample of Small Batch after overlooking the garlic in ingredient list. Small dogs so just don’t want to take a chance. However, I do like to rotate between at least two freeze dried toppers. They did well on Primal and I trusted the company. I only use the turkey/sardine, venison and rabbit. The latter two being lean and lower in fat. I use especially when they don’t get their walks in in winter.
    Now I can’t afford to transition to complete freeze dried. Have the three and maybe I’m imagining but I think they enjoy the crunch. I also have everything worked out with how much to feed when base is their kibble.
    Now I’m questioning again another ingredient in their Stella n Chewy’s kibble. As far as kibble goes I felt comfortable with the brand and trusted ingredients. I also added Vital Essentials turkey to rotation with primal. They love it and no tummy trouble . So being that I feel their primary nutrition is coming from their raw didn’t worry about a little kibble with their meals.
    This was my answer from Stella n chewys regarding ingredient I’m concerned about.

    Good morning Pat,

    “Thank you for your email. Please know that selenium is a required nutrient, and specific levels are necessary per AAFCO guidelines. I understand your concern regarding the sodium selenite, specifically. In most of our products, we have chosen to avoid selenium yeast due to the fact that yeast in any form can be a high allergy trigger for many pets. Sodium selenite, when used in appropriate amounts, is safe and widely used in the pet food industry. We’ve included it in our food minimally – just to ensure we’re reaching proper selenium levels. We are well below any dangerous limits for this ingredient.”

    So wondering why Open Farm and Rawbbles use Selenium yeast if causes allergies. I use both for a treat.

    What to believe and who to believe is always the questions. Wondering your opinion on this .
    I think I’ve decided to just stick to this kibble and my toppers since it’s working. You really could go nuts . I think their diet is better then mine anyway. lol

    #185355 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    Hi Patricia,

    I have no concerns with sodium selenite being used as a source of selenium.

    You asked “..why Open Farm and Rawbbles use Selenium yeast if causes allergies”
    The key word is “if”. Does Selenium yeast cause allergies? Is it a ” high allergy trigger”?

    There is nothing in the literature to suggest this, nor is there support for the statement that “yeast in any form can be a high allergy trigger for many pets”

    IMO this is marketing nonsense used for the purpose of a gaining sale. I think it could be that the company is ignorant of the role yeast (Malassezia) plays in allergic skin disease or they know and choose to use that information to spin a false narrative that may increase their sales. Personally, neither for me is a good look.

    And if the company has a commitment to avoid including any common allergy triggers in the food they make, it IMO begs the question why they make so many diets with beef, which is reported to be the most frequent allergen in dogs?

    In regard to garlic, it is my understanding that the FDA has given it GRAS status when used as a flavoring agent. You can aways ask the company what testing they have done to verify that the level in their food causes no harm.

    Personally, after looking at Small Batch’s website, it is a company whose products I wouldn’t choose.

    #185357 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Hi Aimee,
    I would have been fine if Stella’s explanation ended with “Sodium selenite, when used in appropriate amounts, is safe and widely used in the pet food industry. We’ve included it in our food minimally – just to ensure we’re reaching proper selenium levels. We are well below any dangerous limits for this ingredient.” But really annoyed me adding “chosen to avoid selenium yeast due to the fact that yeast in any form can be a high allergy trigger for many pets.”
    I asked for ANY study to back up claim. Maybe I’m wrong about this but my understanding is a yeast infection in dogs ears, paws etc. is other issue that is weakening the skin’s defense mechanisms to allow the yeast to grow in higher numbers than normal. Am I the stupid one to believe that the necessary added nutrient in the form of selenium yeast would NOT be the cause ever of an overproduction of yeast symptoms in dogs??
    Oh well. I’ll continue to feed . Would prefer a kibble with no red flag ingredient though. Nature’s Logic?
    Aimee why don’t you like Small Batch?

    #185358 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Forgot to add about my eight year old Loli. I consider her a rescue in that conditions she came from. DNA showed VERY inbred. She always had a popcorn smell. Didn’t associate with yeast. Little pimples under armpits. First two years she was eating Fromm. I made sure that after baths she was dried thoroughly especially under pits . She’s a long hair. Vet said change diet and see if helps. No yeasty ears and ;no infection.
    I switched to Stella Chewy’s and started freeze dried topper. No longer that popcorn smell. So grew out of immune response or change of diet worked.

    #185383 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    Hi Patricia,

    You are spot on in your understanding that yeast infections in dogs are secondary to a primary problem. I suppose if dog had an allergy to the type of yeast used in selenium yeast, then exposure to that ingredient could contribute to a yeast overgrowth on the skin. The same would apply to any ingredient in any dog food.

    If you go to the Natures Logic thread, you can read about my interactions with that company. I would not feel comfortable using any of the products they make.

    I do not agree with Small Batch Company’s philosophy as I understand it to be and based on the current scientific literature, I believe statements made on their website are in error. Additionally, using the nutritional information they provided, it appears that there are either multiple errors in what they reported, or not all products meet the AFFCO min for the life stage they are labeled for, or some combination of those two scenarios. Either way, it does not give me confidence in this company.

    #185386 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Hi Aimee,
    I believe we two are the only ones who frequents forum anymore. Remember few years ago when very active? I for one appreciate feedback when it comes to questions on dog nutrition.
    I’m afraid I don’t put much credence in AFFCO standards as much as I used to.
    “Many holistic vets, pet owners and smaller manufacturers do not place great priority on AAFCO standards because their nutritional profiles are different from those established by the NRC (National Research Council) and do not reflect the newest research on the nutritional needs of pets.

    Many pet owners and smaller pet product companies are dubious of AAFCO because it is partly made up of major manufacturers within the industry who have an incredibly large influence on how the regulations for their own industry are established, and in determining the feed ingredient definitions that allow by-products, 4-D meats (dead, diseased, decaying and disabled) and other non edible ingredients to be used in pet food.”

    Just wondering if there have ever been studies over long period of time if even small amounts of garlic in food can have a potential to cause red blood cell destruction over time I’m sure answer is no. I mean garlic is added in the belief it is a natural flea/tick repellant. “garlic in your dog builds up over the course of a few weeks and seeps into the oil of his coat)” So THAT is what concerns me of the “build up”. Is there a dog food around for decades which used garlic with no problems. Otherwise I would use Small Batch in rotation as topper.

    What dog breed do you have Aimee? What do you feed? Do you switch around and notice any differences in dogs well let’s say poo, coat, energy or blood work/health?

    I could attest that since they have been on the Vital Essentials for few weeks now, my Loli has a lot more energy. Not in imagination. Walk the track she would start lagging and now her little legs go like crazy. I have a bag of Primal Turkey/sardine freeze dried. So after done with the Vital Essentials will start again with the Primal and be aware if switch truly did make a difference.

    #185387 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    Hi Patricia,

    In regard to AAFCO .. is it perfect? Heck No!

    The AAFCO profile is based on NRC nutrient recommendations which were established through research. In general, an AAFCO profile requires higher nutrient amounts than NRC to account for variable bioavailability. NRC cautions, when using their tables, if vitamins in the diet are coming from food ingredients and not a premix the numbers must be modified “because the natural forms of some vitamins have low bioavailabilites” In my mind it is a good thing that AAFCO is not identical to NRC.

    My concern when a company reports that their diet meets AAFCO, and it does not, based on the information they provide, is not so much that the diet will cause immediate nutritional harm. The concern I have is with the company’s honesty, integrity, overall nutritional knowledge and understanding of food production.

    I’ve seen this so many times with so many companies and how they respond can be a deal breaker for me. I don’t expect every batch of food to hit every level every time. There will be variability in ingredients, processing errors etc. BUT when a company sends me an analysis and appears to state that every number in that analysis, they sent to me meets or exceeds AAFCO min and it clearly does not, that to me is a BIG problem. Rightly or wrongly, I think if a company cannot see that the number 2 is less than the number 3 how can I expect them to understand the more complex intricacies of food production… I can’t!

    In my experience, this is typically how these conversations go. I thank them for sending the information and ask them to clarify because it appears to me that what they sent does not meet AAFCO. The company often then replies that all of their nutrient levels meet AAFCO min. I may then ask if this is the most accurate up to date information they have or if anything needs updating or could they check the value for nutrient X to make sure there is not a “typo”. And they say everything is accurate and up to date. Then I may say I’m looking at your reported nutrient level for X , you report A, which you verified with me is not a typo and is the most updated and accurate nutritional information you have. The number given is below AAFCO min. which is B. Please explain. Then the company often replies they are in the middle of updating and the information sent doesn’t reflect their current analysis or some such variation of the above. In some cases, within minutes, the company changes the nutritional information on their website to reflect the number I just gave them, or they take down the webpage or remove the sentence I question. If I didn’t take screenshots you wouldn’t believe it. Sometimes the error is obvious, the number reported is less than AAFCO number, other times it is a matter of the company apparently not understanding that they have to correct their diet for energy density before comparing to the AAFCO profile.

    Purina did a 14 year long life study using a food that contains garlic oil. I have no concern with the amount of garlic oil in the Purina products I use, I’ve had concerns with the amounts other companies seem to use. I once purchased a product because I wanted their illegal label. I opened it to dump the food and the garlic smell was overwhelming! At min, you could ask if the company put their food through a feeding trial and if so were there any changes in the blood parameters. It is a small number of dogs but something….

    I feed a variety of kibble, canned and home cook prepared foods using Balance it. Since DCM, I primarily feed Purina Pro Plan as kibble base. I used to sometimes use a bit of Wellness Core or Annemaet or Iams/ Eukanuba kibble. For moist foods I’ve been using Purina, Hill’s, Eukanuba/Iams and Fresh Pet morsels as a C and B training “treat”. To this I add whatever fresh veggies or a bit of meat, sweet potato pasta/rice etc we have from our dinner.

    I have noted coat changes when I rotated off Purina , increased shedding and flakes which she never had before and resolved when I returned to Pro Plan. No stool problems except for when I fed Honest Kitchen and had voluminous stools. I posted pics on that thread that showed the ingredients coming out appearing to me to be the same way as they went in.

    Whenever someone says their dog has newfound energy after eating a raw diet what comes to mind was a dog’s thyroid level was something like 5 times normal after being on raw diet. The raw food company swore they were not using any neck trim, but the levels returned to normal after taking the dog off of the raw diet.

    #185393 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    I always thought that as long as food is AAFCO approved I’m covered. Oh but the tricks the manufactures use which leads us into believing ingredient list is transparent is so deceiving for us pet owners and AAFCO allows.
    If someone is concerned about preservatives in their pet food, manufactures don’t need to list is sourced from far away and was processed by the sourcing company using preservatives. So unless the food is 100% USA made, there are always somethings that don’t make it on the label.
    Then there is the regulations on pet food labeling. Marketing tricks with words like organic when there are no guidelines on what constitutes organic food. Human grade can be suitable for human consumption that could expire and be spoiled meat.
    I don’t know if this is correct but when you see salt on ingredient list it has to be less then 1%. So anything UNDER salt on label such as organic veggies of different types could just be a thimble full put in and they can still put on label as organic broccoli, organic carrots etc.
    So with your diligence you have called out manufactures for not meeting AAFCO min as an example. So AAFCO is what people are used to seeing on label and they believe that’s ALL they need to know. AAFCO – is an important association of local, state, and federal officials. AAFCO creates model language for definitions, guidance, and best-practices related to the regulation of pet foods, but it doesn’t “regulate, test, approve or certify pet food.
    Loli doesn’t have any more energy around the house that’s for sure. She was NEVER one of those small dogs who are hyper. lol However, she does make it all around the block and track lately. Maybe cooler weather? Less walks since at times too cold, windy or rainy since late fall? I’m just happy that ALL three can eat with their kibble and so far so good.
    Happy Holidays Aimee.

    #185404 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    Hi Patricia,

    As you stated AAFCO does not approve foods AAFCO writes model food law which individual states may or may not adopt and they set means of how a food can claim nutritional adequacy. They do not test or regulate food. That is the job of your state feed control official in conjunction with the FDA.

    But regulation oversite is sparse, and companies are free to claim things that are not true, like that their food meets an AAFCO nutrient profile when it does not, or that their food passed a feeding trial when they never conducted one, or that their food doesn’t contain X when it is made from X or that they only use free range humanely raised meats but source from conventional factory farms. Sometimes they get caught, like when Purina sued Blue Buffalo. but it wasn’t regulatory, more and more it is consumer driven class action suits trying to hold manufacturers accountable. The chance of oversite is virtually none.

    I never judge a food by its ingredient list or claims of human grade, responsibly sourced blah blah blah. I look to see if I think the company IMO has a minimal basic level of honesty and integrity as best as I can judge those qualities, and I don’t set the bar very high because I haven’t found a company yet that doesn’t fall short.

    Circling back to DCM, certain diets have been linked nutritional DCM, is the company “owning it” or are the making crap up to defend their profit? When megaesophagus was linked to a particular diet the company immediately pulled the food. That is what I want to see. If a company is putting out blatant misinformation and pseudoscience nonsense on their website and marketing materials than I don’t care what the label says, I won’t feed it

    #185428 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Aimee it really comes down to us pet owners to keep pet food manufactures honest. Trust was lost in 2007 recall of brands of cat and dog foods due to contamination with melamine causing so many deaths. How horrible to put down your pets food dish with his tail wagging and the food kills them? What awake up call .
    Thousands are on websites now questioning ingredients, transparency etc. Forums like DFA and others will let manufactures know pet owners are now savvy and educated and will call them out and stop feeding when their answers to our questions appear uneducated or deceitful.
    A neighbor feeds kibble n bits. Uhhh not the best choice of course. But I’m not going to PREACH and go on and on . I don’t want to be one of THOSE people lol. So when she’s walking her dog and I bump into her and chatting I sort of nudge topic to let’s say “Oh so hard to think of what’s for dinner today and too costly to eat out.” “But made a chicken casserole that even these three enjoyed.” Boiled chicken and string beans as topper to their kibble.” So not being obnoxious but just a little hint, hint. lol
    Love you educating me further Aimee. Taking care of my mom who has dementia so try to make some time every few days to keep informed. Happy Holidays to you.

    #185451 Report Abuse
    crazy4cats
    Participant

    Hi Gals!
    Interesting discussion for sure. Looks like there are some changes to ingredient labels in the works!

    Dramatic changes to pet food labels proposed by AAFCO

    #185453 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    Hi Patricia,

    Personally, I think there is very little that pet owners can do to keep manufacturers honest. I think until regulatory starts holding them accountable and heavily fines the “bad actors” it will continue.

    IMO there is so very little oversight that manufactures know there is little chance they will suffer financial harm so “bad actors” will continue to put products into the market that are not as claimed.

    Personally, I think that most people doing their own research do not have the background to interpret the information and often fall into rabbit holes of misinformation and I think that the overall results of consumers calling manufactures out is that the “bad actors” learn how to better deceive consumers.

    I guess I’m in a cynical mood after wading through ~ 250 pages of a FOIA request from over 4 years ago. : )

    If ever I can be of assistance in ferreting out information for you, I’ll be happy to do so. I understand the time it takes to care for a loved one with dementia. Happy Holidays to you too!

    #185455 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    Hi Crazy4cats,

    This is welcome new thanks for posting the article link! AAFO moves about as slow as molasses in an ice storm! Like the author I’d lie to see nutrients reported on a caloric basis AND I’m so happy they are closing the loophole for large breed puppy diets!

    #185502 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Hi Aimee.
    ,”You are correct WSAVA does not approve foods so I’m unsure why you are asking if certain foods should be removed from the WSAVA recommended list since you seem to recognize that there is no such list. Perhaps you an clarify that point for me.”

    You’re absolutely right. I got lost in conflicting info. Just refreshed myself on WSAVA “guidelines”.No “list” exists. I knew that . Uhhh Posting when full brain not engaged is never a good idea. lol Sorry about that.

    One question. Why didn’t Europe have reports of DCM? I know that Europe nutrient Profiles must contain minimum amounts of nutrients based on requirement of low activity vs high activity dogs for each 1000kcals. In the US there is no distinction between activity levels.
    Maybe this is why there was no surgence in Europe in dogs being fed grain free ????

    #185536 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    Hi Patricia,

    European countries do have confirmed cases of non- taurine dietary DCM as does Australia and others. I don’t know if there are central reporting agencies in those countries nor what the distribution nor availability of veterinary cardiologists is to confirm and track cases. Apparently, some are reporting to the FDA and to the “citizen science group who has confirmed them.

    Additionally, this is a multi-faceted problem so IMO regional variations could exist.

    I think your point is a very good one! I think one of the major faults of AAFCO is that they define nutrients by energy but do not define or publish guidelines on what energy intake is needed to meet metabolic needs.

    I would consider most pets to have lower energy intake needs and using AAFCO I’ve found even that my own “easy keeper” may not hit targeted levels. Also, I’ve found numerous companies whose feeding recommendations if followed would also result in deficiencies. In my experience this has been with smaller companies and expensive diets like freeze dried and fresh. Going back near 20 years ago I had a major company share with me that all their diets were formulated at levels 25% above AAFCO min to account for “easy keepers”

    #185556 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Hi Aimee,
    Thank you for assuring me that I’m asking good questions and always understandable, researched replies.
    I have a questions that I hope you can clear up. I’m getting really OCD about feeding and I do want to calm down about my perfectionism, which as Mike posted, will never be met in feeding “the perfect” food. Hence, I agree with him on some rotation.
    So perfect diet or not here is my question. I think I wrote several times that I use kibble as a base. I like to give less and make up their caloric /nutrional needs with the freeze dried.
    So I can handle rotation of two. This way I can keep track of brands and their proteins/flavors when rotating and making sure I’m not cleaning up any soft poo or hearing stomach grumbling. Easier when I just had my two. My Hannah passed at 17 1/2 few years back and was only eating kibble with home cooked. Especially toward the end she would ONLY eat home cooked. Dad passed, my mom living with us now and her little Chihuahua also. Luckily she gets along fine and no longer has pain from disc since losing much weight. My mom was filling her bowl with Pepperidge Farm gold fish instead of dog food. Uhhh So with long walks and proper diet she is like a new dog.
    So I recently ordered Vital Essentials. Bag says 70kcal per mini disc. Feeding guidelines suggest just ONE MINI PATTIE A DAY for a 6lb. dog. My dogs are approx. 6lbs. Their caloric needs are over 200kcals for their energy level . How in the world would just one disc meet their caloric needs at just 70 kcals IF anyone fed as their daily diet????? I wrote then and this is their response. Can you please clarify. I also use Primal which is 3-4 suggests equate to an ounce which equals 113kcals. So sounds about right that suggestion is for 5-10lb dog they would require 5-9 for full meal. As I said, I only use as topper so only use like 1 1/2 with the kibble.
    So my concern is I always make up their calories with the topper. I give less Kibble then suggested for full meal and then figured out approx. needed calories when topping with the freeze dried. I don’t go crazy because they do get divided boiled egg in morning and treat at night etc. But really???? 70kcals fora full meal all day???

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by Patricia A.
    #185557 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Ooops. this is their reply.
    Good morning Patricia. Our customer service representative is working hard to respond to all inquiries, but we have had a high volume of messages recently. The feeding guidelines and kcal information on the packaging is correct. Raw pet food tends to be lower in calories due to the fresh ingredients in it, and is also more filling. If you are concerned about calorie intake, I recommend talking to your vet to figure out what would work best for you and your pup!
    Seen by Vital Essentials at 9:25 AM
    I don’t feel like I’m making up for their calories when I give less of the kibble and use this as a topper. ON the other hand, they are saying just the ONE is a full meal for all day.
    I don’t care how nutritionally dense the food is. Don’t they still need the calories????

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by Patricia A.
    #185562 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    Hi Patricia,

    I think you have stumbled upon a stunning example of what I mentioned in the previous comment “Also, I’ve found numerous companies whose feeding recommendations if followed would also result in deficiencies. In my experience this has been with smaller companies and expensive diets like freeze dried and fresh.”

    Like you I calculated an average of 230 kcals for a 6 lb dog with a range of 118-354. I suspect the chance that their feeding recommendation of 70 kcals would meet nutrient needs is abysmal. But for laughs and giggles I’ll walk you through looking at a few nutrients using NRC recommended amounts on a metabolic body weight basis. Metabolic body weight is weight in kg to the .75 power, for a 6 lb dog it is 2.12kg MBW

    The company has told us that each chicken patty is 73 kcal and that there are 4.33 kcals/gram of food which means each patty weight would be ~17 grams

    Their nutrient analysis is on a dry matter basis and not as fed. If we corrected for moisture content, the amount fed on a dry matter basis may be closer to 16 grams but let’s give them the best case scenario and say the DM basis is 17 grams .

    Looking at a few nutrients: Vit B1: NRC rec amount is .074mg/kg MBW x 2.12 = .157 mg
    Vital Essentials chicken fed as directed 0.00235mg/gram X 17 grams= 0.04mg

    Vit B2: NRC rec amount is .171mg/kgMBW X 2.12 = 0.362mg
    VE chicken fed as directed 0.0055mg/grams X 17 grams =0.09mg

    I could go on, but I think you get the picture When using their information and when fed as they directed, you’d meet about 25% of NRC recommended nutrient amount

    Looking further, let’s compare the nutrient analysis they gave us to AAFCO for the same nutrients AAFCO requires 2.25mg/kg DM of B1 and 5.2mg/kg DM B2
    VE reports their diet has 2.35mg/kg DM B1 and 5.5 Mg/kg DM B2 So that looks good right?

    Well, we need to correct for energy density. AAFCO requires this be done for any diet exceeding 4000kcals/kg DM VE reports as fed kcals are 4330 /kg and they report moisture max as 8%. Let’s go with 5% moisture instead to give VE a buffer 4330/.95= 4558kcals/kg DM. To correct for energy density the correction factor is 4558/4000= 1.14

    Applying the correction factor of 1.14 X 2.25mg/kg = 2.56mg/kg so their diet at 2.35mg/kg, based on the information they provided seems to fall short of AAFCO min. Even if we went with their as fed kcal of 4330 it still falls short.

    Looking at B2 1.14 x 5.2mg/kg = 5.93mg/kg and they report 5.5 mg/kg, and like B1 even if we used the as fed caloric level of 4330 it still falls short.

    So for me, when a company does not appear to understand something as simple as setting a feeding recommendation to meet nutrient and caloric needs or how to assess if their diet meets the AAFCO profile It is not a company I’d ever feed. Rightly or wrongly if a company apparently can’t seem to grasp such simple nutritional concepts, then how can I trust that they would understand the complexities of food formulation and quality control.

    #185567 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Aimee I have to admit my brain cells are trying hard to understand your calculations . You’re a wiz at this, however what I CAN take away from this is I was right in questioning their feeding guidelines at the very least.
    I so wanted to trust this company since they enjoy the food as a topper. But as you said now my concern is the quality control also if they fall short on their own understanding of nutrients and calories in their food. I also don’t like that I called three times a few days apart only to get recorded message of how important us pet owners are to them and that they will call back ASAP. Never one call back after leaving messages.
    This is what is on DFA under best freeze dried. Also why I chose in rotation .
    Vital Essentials is one of only a few commercial diets that meets AAFCO nutrient profiles by conducting actual feeding trials on live animals. A real gem and a rare find. Enthusiastically recommended.
    So even added on top of kibble you would not recommend at all?? What do you think of Small Batch. I was upset that they add garlic. I feel like your my personal dog nutritionalist here. lol Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions .

    #185571 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    Hi Patricia,

    I apologize that I presented the math in a way that wasn’t easy to understand. I often don’t relay my thought processes well. I certainly can try to explain further if you can help me to do so my asking me specific questions.

    Hmm… well if the food is labeled as meeting AAFCO through a feeding trial then the food does not have to meet an AAFCO profile. For myself, I want to see that a food meets the profile in addition to passing a feeding trial and not that the use of a feeding trial appeared to be a way to get around the profile, if that makes sense.

    Before posting, I did check labeling as found on Chewy and the label said it met AAFCO through formulation, which their online profile does not appear to do. What does the label of the food you have in hand state? Your question though prompts me to wonder, when doing a feeding trial, is the amount fed based on the feeding guidelines ?

    Good customer service is something I try and evaluate because if I suspect an adverse event from a diet, I’d want prompt attention. However, it is also an area where, esp. now, when everyone is struggling with labor, is an area where I might give a little slack. But if you left three messages and no follow up from the company, I’d be giving that a bit of a sidesways glance. Just my opinion. Do they have a dedicated veterinary line? Some companies have a vet only customer service line where you can kinda “skip to the front” of the line by getting your vet involved. Then their vet can talk to their vet directly if they have one. I’ve found that companies that make therapeutic diets offer this.

    People hold different feeding philosophies; I personally would choose something else but if you are making an informed choice and it meets your criteria than you may make a different decision.

    Regarding Smallbatch, I found similar concerns regarding the appearance of not meeting AAFCO based on the nutrient profiles they sent to me. It has been over a week since I posed my concerns and they apparently have not acknowledged or followed up to my most recent inquiry which was made several days ago. They did offer a phone call early in the conversation, but I asked to please address by e mail because for me having it in writing would allow me to best process their answer.

    When I first questioned one nutrient level, customer service reported the level met AAFCO main. and it did, but the concern was the diet was labeled for all life stages. Next, as I recall, they said that the profile they sent was an average from testing many batches over many years and there will be batch to batch variation. I think I replied something like I found that even more concerning since the average was so low and that it appears they have not corrected the problem over many years. For me i would choose something else but others many arrive do a different conclusion.

    I haven’t looked a Natures Variety for years but at the time I did I didn’t find anything that would cause me to eliminate their products from what I’d consider.

    #185573 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Hi Aimee,
    On bottom of bag states Vital Essentials Turkey dinner patties Formula is formulated meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for all life stages.
    After getting no call back I called the Carnivore Meat Companyr. (Carnivore Meat Company is an award-winning manufacturer of premium frozen and freeze-dried raw pet food and treats. Located in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the company’s rapidly growing brands include: Vital Essentials®, VE RAW BAR™, Vital Cat®, and Nature’s Advantage) Just was the same recording with different number.
    Well I HOPE dog food companies have software letting them know their brand was mentioned on social media forums for dog nutrition. Just so they know that there is pet owners like yourself and many others who are now VERY savvy to the tricks of the trade and forcing them to live up to their own hype .
    Thank’s Aimee. For now I’ll give it a rest.

    #185577 Report Abuse
    crazy4cats
    Participant

    Hi Patricia-
    Have you tried Nature’s Variety Instinct raw food? I used to buy it to mix into my pup’s kibble, but haven’t for quite a while. I only use can food now as a topper. But, my dogs did like and did fine with the raw when I fed it. It gets expensive and I have a lot of pets to feed!

    Anyway, as you probably have noticed, I value Aimee’s opinion and she has mentioned Nature’s Variety a couple of times. Just thought you may want to give it a try since you seem to be in search of something to add to the kibble.

    I feed Purina One to my dogs and either Royal Canin, Purina or Hills to my cats. I am very happy with those choices.

    Hope you find something you’re happy with.

    #185583 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Hi Crazy4cats,
    Absolutely value Aimee’s opinions with all the backup information.
    Yes, Nature’s Variety I believe is sold in my pet supply store. Going to see though if I can get a sample from company for the freeze dried. Or even pick up small back and start as a treat first.
    Wondering why DFA says discontinued?Product May Have Been Discontinued
    Unable to Locate Complete .
    Thanks Crazy. Happy Holidays to you and fur babies.

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