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When I’ve been in contact with WellPet I’ve been assured that all products in the Wellness line are GMO free. WellPet is a very large company – they own Wellness, Holistic Select, Eagle Pack and Old Mother Hubbard. IMO – that’s not always a bad thing, larger companies often have better quality control. I’ve personally been impressed with their customer service during my interactions – they’re always prompt, helpful, friendly and usually follow up with me to make sure I got the information I needed.
Hey losul – good to hear from you, it’s been awhile. Glad Turbo is doing good. 🙂
Dogs do not produce cellulase, the enzyme required to efficiently digest raw plant material. Dogs will only efficiently digest plant matter if it is cooked/finely mashed.
“The carnivore’s pancreas does not secrete cellulase to split the cellulose into glucose molecules, nor have dogs become efficient at digesting and assimilating and utilizing plant material as a source of high quality protein. Herbivores do those sorts of things.”
Canine and Feline Nutrition Case, Carey and Hirakawa Published by Mosby, 1995
The review for Flint River Ranch foods can be found here. You’ll see the overall the brand has been rated 3.5 stars which the individual formulas ranging in rating from 2 stars to 4 stars.
As far as appropriateness for large breed puppies, I quickly did out the math for the original puppy/adult formula and at 3.3 g calcium per 1,000 kcal. it looks okay. I’m not going to go through all the formulas but if there’s another formula you’re interested in just multiply the % calcium by 1,000 to get grams of calcium per kg and the kcal. per lb. by 2.2 to get kcal. per kg. Then divide the grams of calcium per kg. by the kcal. per kg. Multiply that by 1000. You’re looking for 3.5 or less.
Well, sometimes you need treats on the go – such as at dog parks or in training classes. I don’t know about you but I personally don’t want to carry raw meat around in my pocket. Also, feeding raw veggies is pretty pointless since dogs can’t efficiently digest them in the raw state. Last time my dog got a hold of a raw carrot stick it came out the exact same way it came in.
Hi Kristin –
I’m not sure if there will end up being a recommended treats list. Going over users’ posts it became clear that people look for very different criteria when searching for treats. It’s hard to say which treats are safe to give dogs unsupervised because, technically, a dog could probably choke on anything and it also varies based upon the dog’s chewing style. If you worry about your dog choking I’d recommend avoiding things like rawhide, bully sticks, pig ears, dental chews, etc. while you’re not home. A safe and healthy (and yummy!) treat to make that will keep your dog busy while you’re away would be to stuff a kong with canned food or layer it with kibble and canned pumpkin and freeze it. It will take longer for your dog to eat if it’s frozen. Making “konsicles” like this is also pretty cheap to do – unlike many of the dental chews and natural chews on the market that can be quite expensive. If you want to keep your dog’s breath in check, I’d recommend regularly brushing it’s teeth – dogs really should have their teeth brushed at least 3 times per week.January 25, 2015 at 8:18 am in reply to: What vitamins and minerals to add to homemade food? #65048 Report Abuse
The first step is balancing the calcium to phosphorus ratio, if you’re feeding a “grind” with bone you likely won’t have to do anything but if you’re feeding boneless meat you’ll need about 1,000 mg calcium per pound of meat. The easiest thing to do at that point for someone just starting out with homemade diets would be to add a well rounded multivitamin with little to no calcium (you don’t want to throw off the ratio you previously balanced). There are also several pre-mixes on the market where all you need to add is meat to make a balanced meal (they usually contain fruits, vegetables and supplements). My favorite book on homemade food is “Unlocking the Ancestral Diet” by Steve Brown. There are some balanced recipes in there.
Hi Peggy –
Canned salmon is perfectly safe for dogs to eat and is, in fact, a great way to add omega 3’s and protein to the diet. Most canned products do tend to be high in sodium although high sodium isn’t a huge concern for healthy dogs so feeding it on occasion shouldn’t be an issue. There are low sodium options though. When I give my dogs canned salmon I use Raincoast Trading No Salt Added Salmon which only has 25 mg sodium per serving (75 mg per can).
Hi Akari –
Tripe is not considered an organ mean, it’s considered a muscle meat. Additionally, any tripe sold at a grocery store or butcher shop would not be what you’re looking for. Tripe sold for human consumption is bleached and thoroughly cleaned (why it appears white) – this removes all the benefits of raw tripe (e.g. enzymes, beneficial bacteria). What you want is green tripe (uncleaned), but this can’t be sold in places that sell product for human consumption. I order it from Hare Today or My Pet Carnivore.
Obviously the wider variety of organs that you can feed and the more protein sources you can attain them from the better, however liver and kidney are the two most crucial organs and if you can get them from a red meat source and a poultry source you should be okay – especially if you are still feeding a commercially balanced diet. Feed 5% liver and 5% kidney and rotate between beef and chicken a few times per week.
If you want to go ahead and add a multivitamin to the homemade meals you don’t need to be concerned about adding organ meat all (although you certainly still could).
Like aquariangt said – 1 year after the first shot so the dog would be 1 yr 4 mo.
It is the law that a dog needs a rabies shot by the time it’s 4 months old, so it’s not a matter of should you wait or shouldn’t you. If you don’t vaccinate the dog by 4 months of age and you don’t have an exemption from a vet you’re breaking the law. For most states rabies vaccines are only required every 3 years. You get a 1 year at 4 months, then a year later you can get a 3 year, then every 3 years thereafter. IMO – the benefits of being able to bring a dog to work (and to many other social settings such as obedience classes, daycare, boarding, etc. etc.) FAR outweigh the very very small risk that your dog will suffer a negative side effect to the rabies vaccine. I do think dogs should be vaccinated for rabies, I just think it’s unfortunate that they must be re-vaccinated every 3 years (probably not necessary) but because the rabies vaccine requirements are state law any opinions on the matter really are irrelevant. 4 months, 1 year and 4 months, then every 3 years period.
Concerning the lepto vaccine – I personally do not vaccinate my dogs for lepto and unless a dog was at a particularly high risk for contracting it I probably wouldn’t recommend it either. The lepto vaccine is short acting, only protects against a few serovars (as patty pointed out) and has a higher incidence of adverse reactions than many of the core vaccines.
This is from “Angry Vet”:
Leptospirosis: There are hundres of serovars of leptospirosis, and vaccination for one serovar does not necessarily protect against the others. It is also transmissible to people from their pets if infected thru infected urine. Leptospira organisms prefer warm, moist, alkaline environments. They are more likely to be found in stagnant or slow moving water. Lepotospirosis is a bacteria (not a virus) and bacterial vaccinations do not provide long term immunity. You must booster yearly. Some have suggested that the protective immunity against leptospirosis is even less than one year. Anecdotally, the leptospirosis vaccine is known to cause the most frequent and violent reactions. With these facts in mind, except in environments where leptospirosis is a severe threat, the benefits, in the opinion of Angryvet, do not outweigh the risks. Limit your pet’s contact with rodent populations and limit your pet’s exposure to stagnant water or flooded soil to minimize chance of infection. If there are known outbreaks in your area, you may re-consider. We don’t use this vaccination on our own pets and rarely recommend it to our patients. – See more at: http://www.angryvet.com/vaccinations/#sthash.eWUk6ju7.dpuf
Do you mean find out which is cheaper to ship to your location? To do this I just make a cart on both sites I want to compare and fill it with the name number of pounds of food and then compare the shipping costs.
Oh btw, not sure if you know but I hope you’re stocked up on dinner mix because they’re not making it any more. 🙁 I just tried to order some the other day and ended up having to order some Preference from Chewy. I guess some company is going to start producing some mixes for Steve, not sure of all the details, but not until spring.
I do like their new the new bags. Solid Gold always has the coolest packaging lol
From what I can see the potatoes and pea protein were swapped – pea protein 3rd in the new, was 4th in the old. Other than that the GA looks the same and no other big changes so I would say Barking at the Moon will likely still be a 5 star food.
With the Sun Dancer formula it looks like there was a little ingredient order swapping as well. The tomato pomace and canola oil moved up in the new formula and the quinoa, eggs and potato moved down. Protein and fat levels stayed the same. Nothing too serious. Probably won’t result in much of a change in rating if any change at all.
Overall, I don’t see anything too alarming. Just the fact that you’ll likely be paying more for less food.
Orijen is the only brand of freeze-dried that I’ve actually tried to rehydrate and feed to my dogs as a meal and I agree it rehydrates horribly. I do like the ingredients though. Generally I just feed freeze-dred as treats and don’t rehydrate, the brands I use most often are Stella & Chewy’s, Primal and Nature’s Variety Instinct.
Shipping for me is about $1 per pound for Hare’s stuff but it’ll depend on which state you’re located. I’m in the NY and Hare is in PA so that’s why it’s cheaper for me than My Pet Carnivore. Someone living further west would probably be better off ordering from MPC. I’m always weary of any site that offers free shipping on raw, every one I’ve seen just jacks the prices of the products up to compensate for the free shipping and in the end it doesn’t end up saving any money.
Probably a tad better than high fructose corn syrup, but essentially sugar nonetheless. I try to avoid treats with any added sweeteners but if the other ingredients are healthy (as I’m sure is the case with the THK treats) and they’re only given on occasion, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Kind of like with people, indulging in some sweets once in awhile never hurt anyone but it wouldn’t be the healthiest thing to do regularly.
Hi Jerry –
There’s nothing really wrong with the Blue Buffalo Health Bars, they’re definitely a big step up from treats like Milk Bones, but they aren’t exactly “healthy” despite the name. They’re really high in carbs. While they’d certainly be fine for an occasional treat, if it were me I’d search for a more protein rich treat. I like to give my dogs freeze-dried raw “complete” foods (e.g. Stella & Chewy’s, Nature’s Variety Instinct, Primal, etc.) which typically come in small medallions or nuggets, air-dried ZiwiPeak (also a complete food) or “jerky” type treats with a high meat content from reputable companies (e.g. Etta Says, Bixbi, The Real Meat Co., etc.). I wouldn’t give raw carrots as treats, most dogs don’t need the extra carbs in their diets and raw vegetables are digested very poorly by dogs.
Beware of grapes (as mentioned) as well as onions and you should be alright – although I personally think it would be much more beneficial to feed dehydrated meats as most dog’s diets typically aren’t lacking in carbs. 🙂
breakfast was nature’s variety chicken – that quick that raw nibblet stuff, it was on sale at agway so i grabbed some – with a raw egg and a dollop of yogurt. for dinner i’ve pulled out some pork necks. treats today were stella & chewy’s freeze dried lamb medallions.
i’ve been picking up those etta says chews too patty. the girls love them, they’re sure not cheap though! i’ve got a couple of the rabbit ones, they might get those as a bedtime snack. 🙂
i need to give dehydrating a try. i keep saying i’m going to but never do. it would probably save me a lot of money. lately i’ve been using primal and s&c freeze dried and it’s getting pretty expensive.
Hi Jessica –
If you’re an Editor’s Choice member check out theEditor’s Choice Puppy Foods – there’s a list of foods appropriate for large breed puppies.
If you’re not an Editor’s Choice member, there’s a large breed puppy thread in the general forum area that can be found here.
There a few different routes you could take to try and get to the bottom of the loose stool issue. First and foremost (if you haven’t done this already) be sure to get a stool sample to the vet. Coccidia is very common in puppies and will cause loose stool. If you can rule out parasites, you can then look into switching foods and/or supplementation. You can try simply switching to a different brand, if this doesn’t work you may need to consider a food intolerance and start trying foods without ingredients that are common culprits (e.g. chicken, grains, etc.). You may also wish to try supplementing with a good quality probiotic and/or adding some additional fiber (a spoonful or two of plain canned pumpkin usually works well).
I bring my two in for a check up, a snap 4dx and titers once a year. They’re 2 and 4 years old. I obviously have a rabies done as necessary, but neither have been vaccinated for anything else since they were a year old.
Hi Peter –
My grocery store sells Wild Planet no salt added tuna. As an added bonus it’s lower in mercury than most tuna because they poll and troll catch small fish. It’s also high in omega 3’s and the cans are BPA free. I use it and I also give it to my dogs and cats sometimes.
Hi Michael –
While Pinnacle appears to be a good food based on its review, I’ve never used it. You should read through the thread following its review so you can read experiences from those that have actually used it. You should do the same for Blue Buffalo. You don’t need to be an Editor’s Choice subscriber to do so. Just search for the product you’re interested in in the search bar, the reviews should pop up.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by Hound Dog Mom.
The old list will no longer be updated now that the EC includes a puppy food section.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by Hound Dog Mom.
The google doc should state the last date it was updated.
Hi Michael –
The reviews for Pinnacle products can be found here .
To see others’ opinions of Blue Buffalo you may wish to read through the user comments that follow the product reviews.
If you’re looking for budget friendly options here is our list of recommended budget friendly foods.
If you’re looking for a puppy food, here is our list of recommended puppy foods (it includes a list of foods appropriate for large and giant breeds).
Hope that helps.
Hi Jennifer –
I was referring to By Nature Organic (there was only one organic food, it was ALS). However upon looking at their website it appears that it may have been discontinued as I don’t see it listed anymore. The list, while still useful, is a bit outdated. We now have a recommended puppy food section in the Editor’s Choice area so I haven’t been updating this list.
I use a lot of different treats, but lately I’ve been using freeze-dried raw. I’ve got the Stella & Chewy’s medallions now which are pretty large and perfect for my big girls but they could be easily broken into small pieces. Some other freeze-dried raw I like to use is Nature’s Variety, Wysong, Vital Essentials and Primal. I try to go with the complete and balanced foods so I don’t have to worry about how many i give them. Most dogs seem to really like freeze-dried stuff.
Hi Terry –
You can certainly mix a different brand of raw dog food with Primal’s goat’s milk. My dogs love raw goat’s milk, unfortunately I have a difficult time getting it in my area. 🙁
Hi Katherine –
Just because a food receives a good review doesn’t necessarily mean it will qualify as an Editor’s Choice selection – if all the foods that had high ratings were EC selections there would be no purpose of having an EC. The star ratings are based on the ingredients list and guaranteed analysis only – so basically if the food looks good on paper it will receive a high rating. The Editor’s Choice Report takes into consideration several additional factors such as recall history, transparency, ingredient sourcing, customer service, availability, etc. The Editor’s Choice foods are held to a much higher standard than other foods. This is not to say, however, that a food is bad because it wasn’t chosen for feature in the EC. Some foods are fabulous and they just may not have been chosen for something as simple as not having a wide enough availability or, in some cases, it’s even possible that we are not familiar with the particular food (which is why we love suggestions!). I encourage you to check out our FAQ section to learn more about the selection process.
Hi Naturella –
That’s a good idea. I’ll ask Dr. Mike what he thinks! 🙂
Hi Karen –
Greenies Allergy Formula Pill Pockets are grain-free.
Hi meky6ra –
I’m glad to head this product has helped with your dog’s allergies! Unfortunately, due to their intentional therapeutic design, prescription diets are not currently rated on Dog Food Advisor.
Hi Kristen –
I believe Carna4 and Lotus are both baked. I would agree with your vet that the baking process would be preferable to the extrusion process however baked kibbles tend to be much more expensive. With the amount of money that you would spend on a baked kibble I think you’d be better off investigating other less processed options such as canned, freeze-dried, air-dried, dehydrated, fresh or frozen.
Hi Randi –
Regarding whether or not Great Life food is GMO free, you would have to contact the company directly and ask for clarification. The Editor’s Choice list of GMO free foods includes foods manufactured by Editor’s Choice companies only. Great Life is not an Editor’s Choice selection and therefore would not appear on the GMO free list even if it were GMO free.
I have a Sunmile that I paid $80 for on Amazon. I’ve had it for about a year and it’s been great. I don’t do a whole lot of grinding and when I do it’s boneless stuff. If you’re looking for a reasonably priced starter grinder I’d highly recommend this.
Here’s the link to it on Amazon.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 12 months ago by Hound Dog Mom.
Hi Cindy Q –
I’d encourage you to read How We Rate Dog Food.
“Although there are many ways to rate a dog food, we’ve settled on using the only information we feel we can reliably trust.
We read and interpret government-regulated and standardized pet food labels. Nothing more. And we do this in two simple steps.
1. We study the ingredients list
2. We estimate the meat content”
In other words, the star ratings on the DFA are a reflection of the ingredient list and general analysis listed on the product packaging and/or company website only. Grandma Lucy’s, based on ingredients and the estimated meat content of the food only, appears to be a great product. Dr. Mike is aware of the phosphorus issue Aimee has mentioned, but based on our current rating criteria that still doesn’t affect their star rating.
Issues such as these and specifically why the Editor’s Choice section was created. The companies featured in Editor’s Choice are thoroughly investigated and evaluated on many criteria beyond just the ingredients and general analysis of their products.
- This reply was modified 5 years ago by Hound Dog Mom.
I feel like every interview or business luncheon I’ve ever gone to has been at Panera. I don’t know what’s up with that lol. I hate Panera too, it’s so awful.
Hi Naturella –
Meat meals as inferior to fresh meats. They are highly processed and undergo cooking twice – they are first ground, cooked and dried into a powder-like substance then, after being added to the kibble recipe, cooked again along with the kibble. Fresh meats are only cooked once while making the final kibble product. Meat meals are also notorious for containing lower-quality mean than fresh meat items. Most people tend to shy away from “by-products” however, the only meal protein source in which there is a differentiation between by-product/non-by-product is chicken – this means that for all other protein sources what a named “meal” is, is essentially a “by-product” meal. Meat meal definitely isn’t just dried fresh meat which a lot of people seem to think it is. Unfortunately, meat meal is a necessary evil in order to get the protein in kibbles up to a reasonable level. This is why, if one must feed kibble, I think it’s better to either look for a food that doesn’t contain meal and add fresh meat or canned toppers to get the protein level up or to feed a kibble which contains a heft amount of fresh meat in addition to meal. There are definitely variations in quality when it comes to meat meals and if you’re using a trustworthy food that obtains meal from a reliable source it’s probably an okay product however it’s never preferable to fresh meat.
I see that it contains tofu, but I can’t find an actual ingredient list on their website to know what else is in it. I do like that it doesn’t contain meat meal though.
Hi Carlos –
Mixing wet food and dry food is definitely a good idea. Wet food is much healthier than dry (higher moisture content, higher protein levels, less processed) so if you’re going to feed dry it’s a great idea to at least incorporate some wet.
I’m not sure whether or not Simply Nourish is appropriate for large breed puppies as my inquiries to the company about their nutrient levels were never responded to. However, with that said, I wouldn’t consider a pit-husky mix to be a large breed so you’re probably okay.
Hi Louis –
It’s great that you’re being proactive about your dog’s dental health! 🙂
Unfortunately, the Milk Bone brand dental chews contain very unhealthy ingredients (kind of the canine equivalent of a candy bar for us humans!). The good news is there are a lot of healthy chews available that I’m sure your dog will love just as much.
My number one recommendation for a healthy and effective dental chew is raw meaty bones. My dogs are fed an entirely raw diet and their dinner every night consists of raw meaty bones, but raw meaty bones can be fed to dogs that don’t eat raw as well. The best options for small dogs are things like chicken necks, wings and feet. Larger dogs do well with items like chicken backs, chicken quarters, pork necks and turkey necks.
If you’re not comfortable with feeding raw (which is completely understandable, many aren’t) the next best option would be a natural chew – things like bully sticks, dried trachea, pig ears, etc. These treats are high in protein and low in carbohydrates making them species-appropriate and healthy – plus dogs go nuts for them! Just be sure to get these types of treats from a reputable supplier (avoid treats imported from China!). A great site to order chews from is BestBullySticks.com – they have a wide selection and their chews are sourced from free-range Brazilian cattle.
While I do feel that RMBs and natural chews are a much better option than commercial dental treats, if you do choose to go with a commercial dental treat there are some things to look out for. The vast majority of commercial dental treats are loaded with unhealthy ingredients (like the Milk Bone dental chews) but there are a few out there that aren’t so bad. You just have to be sure to always read the ingredient list – avoid items like propylene glycol, artificial colorings, corn, wheat, soy, by-products, digests, etc. The downside to commercial dental chews is that, for the most part, they’re all fairly carb-heavy (even the healthier options) and they’re typically very expensive (RMBs are cheap!). A few commercial dental chews that I would feel comfortable recommending: Zuke’s Z-Bones, Cloud Star Dynamo Dog Dental Bones, Halo Spot’s Chew, Get Naked Dental Chew Sticks, Newman’s Own Organics Dental Bones and Nature’s Recipe Pure Essentials Dental Chews.
Also, be sure that you’re brushing your dogs teeth regularly (at least three times per week) – while dental chews are certainly a valuable tool for dental health, the only way to ensure optimal dental health is through brushing.
Hi Yorkiville –
It would be difficult to include palatability in a review because, just as with humans, taste is unique to each individual. I love mushrooms, my boyfriend hates them – this doesn’t mean they taste bad or good we each just have a different opinion about their taste. I used to feed THK and my dogs have eaten every flavor but the newest ones released this year and they loved them all.
- This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by Hound Dog Mom.
Hi Yorkieville –
Sorry to hear your dogs didn’t like THK. 🙁
Just to clarify – the reviews are not based on palatability, they are based solely on the ingredients and general analysis.
You can read more about the rating process here.
Hi Mike W –
NutriSource did not want to be interviewed for Editor’s Choice consideration, so unless they change their mind sometime in the future there’s no chance of them ever appearing in the report.
Thanks for suggesting American Natural. I’m not super familiar with the brand but I’ll look into it. Just remember, one of the criteria for the Editor’s Choice report is that a food has a high availability.
Hi AL D –
Questions about Blue Buffalo not being on the Editor’s Choice have been brought up numerous times on this thread – please scan back through and read my previous responses. Thanks. 🙂
Hi Barbara –
Strictly in terms of ingredients the Dogswell jerky treats appear to be a great treat. Unfortunately, Dogswell’s jerky treats are manufactured in China. Just in case you weren’t aware, there have been major issues with jerky-type treats that are manufactured in China over the past few years. Many dogs have died and many more have gotten seriously ill. Here’s some information on the situation. Dogswell was actually one of the companies that had to recall treats because they tested positive for an antibiotic that is illegal for use in food animals in the United States – more information on the recall here. If you’re looking for safe jerky treat with joint support I’d recommend checking out Bixbi or Earth Animal.
September 6, 2014 at 7:19 am in reply to: High protein-low fat canned food good for weight loss. #51304 Report Abuse
- This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by Hound Dog Mom.
Hi Cynthia –
Coincidentally I just finished a unit up on obesity in my pathophysiology class. We were discussing that Cairn Terriers are one of the breeds predisposed to weight gain and my professor was telling us he has a Cairn Terrier that needs to lose 10 lbs – so your at least your little guy is doing better than his lol
Unfortunately, many of the better quality canned food options are also higher in fat.
I’m not sure exactly which fat levels your vet has you shooting food but here are a few canned options that are fairly high in protein and that have <20% fat (dry matter):
1. Weruva Human Style (every flavor but Steak Frites)
2. Tiki Dog (all)
3. Addiction (Brushtail, Venison, Salmon)
4. Wellness CORE Weight Management
5. Whole Earth Farms (Beef Stew, Red Meat Recipe)
6. Ol’ Roy Healthy Mix Tubs
7. Wysong Stews in Gravy
7. Lotus (Pork Shoulder Stew, Beef Shank Stew)
Hi Paul B –
Thanks for the suggestion, unfortunately BARF brand frozen raw definitely wouldn’t qualify as a budget-friendly option.