Dog Food Advisor Forums Mike Sagman

Mike Sagman

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  • Hi Wendy,

    For some unexplained technical reason, Aimee was unable to post the following reply to your comment. So, she has asked me to post the following comment on her behalf.

    AAFCO requires manufacturers to provide feeding guidelines, but they do not offer any guidance on how to set them. i think this is a problem.

    The actual calories/day that individuals may require varies among dogs of the same weight. One method of calculating calories for a dog is to use the equation body weight in Kg to the 3/4 power x 70 = Resting Energy Requirement. To that baseline, a “multiplier” is applied for different life stages and activity levels. For example, for a typical neutered pet the multiplier is 1.6 and for an intact pet 1.8.

    However, once a number is arrived upon, it is accepted that an individual’s energy requirement may vary by 50% in either direction. So, for example, for a 35 lbs dog the RER = 557 kcals/day and using a multiplier of 1.6 for a typical neutered pet the MER is 892. Applying the 50% range in either direction gives you a calculated energy range for a 35 lb dog as 446-1338, a large range. And those are guidelines, so an individual pet may fall outside of that range.

    In my experience, I note a trend that the more expensive a food is on a caloric basis, meaning how much it costs for say 100 kcals, the lower the suggested number of calories to feed each day WITH a general exception of companies that have veterinary nutritionists on staff full time.

    This can be very problematic. AAFCO sets nutrient levels assuming an “average” caloric intake. When feeding requirements are set lower than an expected average, as some companies appear to be doing, nutrient intake may not be met. Unfortunately, it appears this very thing can occur. For example, the feeding guidelines for a particular freeze dried food bar is 1 bar/25 lbs. ~cost/100 kcals is ~ $1.70. They report 297 kcals for one of their bars. RER for a 25 lb dog is calculated at 431kcals and a MER range for a typical neutered dog 345-1035kcals/day. So these feeding guideline fall below the calculated range. (For comparison Purina ONE kibble cost is ~ 6 cents/100 kcals and recommended intake for a 25 lb dog ~ 640 kcals)

    The National Research Council reports minimum nutrient requirements, along with adequate and recommended nutrient intake and safe upper limit on a metabolic weight basis Using the company’s provided data, and feeding 1 bar a day as per the feeding guidelines, the nutrients fed in some cases fall short of NRC min values. This to me is alarming, especially since the company is apparently owned by a PhD animal nutritionist.

    My thought is that when it is known how many calories a day a dog needs to maintain body condition then that is the number of calories a day that should be feed of the new food adjust from that number to maintain body condition.

    This is probably a longer answer than you were looking for but I hope it answers your questions

    in reply to: Test Topic for Diet and Health Forums #168010 Report Abuse

    This is my reply

    in reply to: Is this site still relevant? #164321 Report Abuse

    Hi Kev S,

    Thanks for your comment. I’ll do my best to address each of your concerns. Since first launching The Dog Food Advisor in 2008, we have tried to be consistent in every review we write. Always.

    For example, we conclude every one of our more than 900 reviews with our final summary recommendation. The words we use ALWAYS follow the same rules below. No exception. Here is the key we use to format our concluding statement with rigid consistency:

    5 stars = “enthusiastically recommended”.
    4 stars = “highly recommended”
    3 stars = “recommended”
    2 stars or less = “not recommended”

    All 28 “Best Dog Food” pages on our website include ONLY 4 and 5 star brands… which is why you see the words “highly recommended” and “enthusiastically recommend” so often. With the exception of our “Best Budget Friendly Dog Foods page, that policy has NEVER changed.

    And if you’ll take the time to sample a much larger segment of our reviews, you’ll still find we are brutally critical of many brands. For example, try comparing our “best” dog food pages to our list of 1-star dog foods and 2-star recipes.

    One more thing. Keep in mind, most companies change their recipes. Sometimes (but not always) for the better.

    For example, take Purina. Pro Plan has recently begun to eliminate its use of generic “animal fat”. Instead, they are switching to pork or beef tallow. We consider these better quality ingredients. So, some recipes have been upgraded about a half-star.

    Yet many other Purina recipes continue to use generic or poorly identified ingredients, like “meat by-products”. These ingredients do not clearly identify the species of the source of animal protein. So, they usually earn 2 stars or less.

    Also, we no longer consider corn gluten as negative an ingredient as in the past… as long as the company takes the time to balance its amino acid content to meet or exceed AAFCO nutrient profiles.

    Hope this helps.

    Mike Sagman, Editor
    The Dog Food Advisor
    Saving Good Dogs From Bad Dog Food

    Hi Patricia,

    Thanks for all your excellent posts in our forums. I sent you an email on Saturday. Did you get it? Maybe it got trapped in your spam filter. Would you please check your inbox and reply when you get a chance.

    Thanks,

    Mike

    in reply to: How are Best lists made? #156873 Report Abuse

    Hello Paul.

    Thanks for your thoughtful question. I’m assuming you’re asking about 2 different lists. We publish a list of Best Puppy Foods and a separate list for Best Dry Puppy Foods.

    Many times, we create a “best” list but find there are many more foods that are eligible… so we include some of them on other lists.

    For a more detailed answer to your original question, “How are best lists made?”, please be sure to visit our Frequently Asked Questions page. You can click the “FAQ” link in the red navigation bar at the top of any page on our website. Then, choose the topic, “About Our Best Dog Foods Lists” to answer your question.

    Hope this helps.

    in reply to: Trouble Posting #150375 Report Abuse

    Thanks, GSDsForever!

    in reply to: Trouble Posting #150369 Report Abuse

    Hi GSDsForever,

    Sorry you’ve been having trouble. It appears Disqus flagged one of your posts as “spam”… and that may be what caused bbPress (our forums software) to also have withheld 2 of your previous replies. I’ve released all 3 comments from the spam filter. So, you should now be good to go.

    Also, our Member Support software was not functioning correctly for about the last 25 days without our knowledge. So, we never received any of our messages. All of this appears to now be fixed.

    Thanks for letting Sandy and I know.

    in reply to: Pet food mfrs. #150350 Report Abuse

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful question. The company information you’re looking for (and remember seeing here at DFA) was included previously within our premium Editor’s Choice section.

    Much of that data is no longer available. However, we’re planning to add a new free company information format sometime in 2020.

    Hope this helps.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by Mike Sagman. Reason: Added link to Editor's Choice status page

    Hi GSDsForever,

    Last week, we were attacked by a forum spammer who was relentlessly posting Chinese character spam every few minutes. So, to stop the bot attack, we set our CloudFlare Rate Limit to 2 posts per 10 minutes.

    Now, that the spam bot has been temporarily defeated, we’ve disabled the filter. So, you should now be able to post more frequently without being throttled.

    Hope this helps.

    Mike

    in reply to: Editors Choice membership? #139123 Report Abuse

    Hi Sherie A.,

    Thanks for your question. We have been expanding our recommended “Best Dog Foods” and “Best Puppy Foods” series in the last few months. Lots of new pages. These are tracked in the same way as our previous Editor’s Choice brands. Plus… they’re free to everyone. We’ll make a final decision as to whether or not to re-open Editor’s Choice as a paid membership service sometime after July 1.

    Hope this helps.

    in reply to: 2019 reviews #129498 Report Abuse

    Maria G.

    You asked, “Then why does this website even exist? Is the owner still present? I was very disappointed when I saw how the Acana/Orijen mess was handled by this list. Not a believer. Do we really know who owns this site anymore?”

    The Dog Food Advisor is still (and continues to be) privately owned. We’re not affiliated (in any way) with pet food manufacturers.

    I (Mike Sagman) or at least one or more of our 4 member team are here each and every day. We all work hard to keep our 1000+ detailed reviews regularly updated.

    For proof, please take a moment to look at our “New and Updated Reviews” log. Please notice that we’ve researched, re-written and updated 78 reviews over the last 90-days alone!

    We’ve also published some 209 dog food recalls… every U.S. and Canadian recall event since 2009?

    About our “best” dog food lists, you also falsely claimed, “Seriously, 1/2 of them have been in trouble for recalls.”

    This statement is completely untrue. Have you checked our complete list of recalls? Do you still believe half of our best recommendations have been recalled?

    In fact, the overwhelming majority of these brands have never been recalled.

    And so what if some have? Does the recall of just one single batch of a dog food mean that every food that company ever manufactures again is not worthy of consideration?

    By the way, until Editor’s Choice is available again, we’ve provided a number of completely FREE “Best Dog Food” lists… each one includes at least 10 to 20 top recommendations, product images and mini summaries (as well as direct links to our current detailed articles and ratings).

    You also wrote, “I’ve come to find out that many websites like this owners are paid by different food companies to keep their foods high on the list.”

    Another baseless claim. We’ve never once received a single dollar (not even a free sample) from any pet food manufacturer. Ever.

    Every review on this website always ends with the following crystal clear disclosure and my personal promise to our readers:

    “In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews.

    “However, we do receive an affiliate fee from certain online retailers, including some that offer their own private label brands.

    “This policy helps support the operation of our website and keeps access to all our content completely free to the public.

    “In any case, please be assured it is always our intention to remain objective, impartial and unbiased when conducting our analysis.”

    in reply to: Ethical question for dog food advisor #127101 Report Abuse

    Louise,

    Thanks for your question. I understand your concern.

    As we state in the “Final Word” on every one of the more than one thousand reviews on our website and on our Disclosure page located in the footer of every page:

    “…we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews.

    “However, we do receive an affiliate fee from certain online retailers, including some that offer their own private label brands.

    “This policy helps support the operation of our website and keeps access to all our content completely free to the public.

    “In any case, please be assured it is always our intention to remain objective, impartial and unbiased when conducting our analysis.”

    Hope you find this reassuring. Thanks again for your question.

    in reply to: Puppy food for severely undernourished Shephard #124769 Report Abuse

    Hi Jennifer,

    Thanks for making the decision to adopt this deserving dog. Please keep in mind, a 4-month old German Shepherd is considered a large breed puppy. To decrease her risk of hip dysplasia, she should be fed as a puppy (no adult dog foods) until she reaches adulthood (12 to 18 months).

    Please visit our Best Large Breed Puppy Foods article for a list of our favorite large breed puppy foods.

    Hope this helps.

    in reply to: by products #121338 Report Abuse

    Dog Food Advisor Comment Policy

    We welcome respectful comments. Stay on topic. No politics. Posts in violation of our rules are subject to removal.

    Please read our our Commenting Policy before commenting.

    WARNING: Be civil or this thread will soon be closed. Those few who continue to post rude comments are a source of genuine embarrassment to the rest of us.

    This website hosts tens of thousands of guests who come here looking for help and understanding each and every day.

    Please be thoughtful and helpful — or be gone!

    in reply to: Why not feed Cat Food to Dogs? #120875 Report Abuse

    Dog Food Advisor Comment Policy

    We welcome respectful comments. Stay on topic. No politics. Posts in violation of our rules are subject to removal.

    Please read our our Commenting Policy before commenting.

    A Personal Note

    The original question of this thread had the potential to produce an interesting discussion. Disrespectful behavior is never welcome in this community and is an embarrassment to those who take pride in helping others.

    To those of you who took the time to help answer the question with courtesy, we all thank you.

    Posting here is a privilege, not a Constitutional right. If you’re here to promote your own personal agenda and not willing to share your viewpoint with respect toward others, please leave here immediately and find another website to haunt.

    in reply to: Report Trolls and Spam #120365 Report Abuse

    According to Wikipedia, an internet troll is “a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community…”.

    A troll is not simply someone with whom you disagree.

    The moderators who manage these forums as well as the Disqus comments are not sitting in front of their computers 24 hours a day — or reading each and every post.

    Although we DO read each Abuse Report when it’s submitted, moderators make it a point to almost never respond publicly.

    Please keep in mind: Researching and preparing the dozens of new reviews each month as well as updating the more than 1000 ratings representing some 4300+ individual recipes is a full time job for our small team.

    The “Report Abuse” button was installed to help guests alert our moderators about spam or threatening behavior only. It was never intended to serve as a push-button shortcut to expect our moderators to act as your own personal umpire.

    To those 3 to 5 of you who insist on habitually arguing with each other and then feeling the urgent need to click the “Report Abuse” button, I ask you to please stop. Simply ignore the person with whom you disagree.

    Please don’t feed the trolls — the “others” with whom you find yourself repeatedly arguing. For the “troll” you blame for all your troubles here may actually be YOU.

    In any case, if you can’t resist the chronic habit of finding fault with everyone except yourself, then please feel free to take your unwelcome disputes to another website.

    Dog Food Advisor Comment Policy

    We welcome respectful comments. Stay on topic. No politics. Posts in violation of our rules are subject to removal.

    Please read our our Commenting Policy before commenting or complaining about the activities of those with whom you may diagree.

    in reply to: Appropriate Raw Meaty Bones for Shih Tzus? #118649 Report Abuse

    Dog Food Advisor Comment Policy

    We welcome respectful comments. Stay on topic. No politics. Posts in violation of our rules are subject to removal.

    Please read our our Commenting Policy before commenting.

    in reply to: The Best Dry Food, period. #118600 Report Abuse

    Hi David,

    Welcome to our forums.

    We have repeatedly asked guests to stop needlessly frightening readers of this website by sharing questionable and unverified claims associated with this “organization” anywhere on our website.

    The so-called “study” on which many of these controversial conclusions are based appears to have been performed by the same company that published the misleading report on baby food back in 2017.

    Here’s another article about the baby food tests published by an established pediatric physician.

    Here’s another revealing article that may also see why this information should not be trusted .

    And yet one more.

    Stay focused on the facts.

    Until *** becomes more transparent with its test data and its controversial claims have been verified by an independent third party or by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, we ask readers to refrain from posting any further references to this organization or its opinions anywhere on this website.

    in reply to: *********** Project ratings???? #118599 Report Abuse

    Hi Patricia,

    Welcome to our forums.

    We have repeatedly asked guests to stop needlessly frightening readers of this website by sharing questionable and unverified claims associated with this “organization” anywhere on our website.

    The so-called “study” on which many of these controversial conclusions are based appears to have been performed by the same company that published the misleading report on baby food back in 2017.

    Here’s another article about the baby food tests published by an established pediatric physician.

    Here’s another revealing article that may also see why this information should not be trusted .

    And yet one more.

    Stay focused on the facts.

    Until *** becomes more transparent with its test data and its controversial claims have been verified by an independent third party or by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, we ask readers to refrain from posting any further references to this organization or its opinions anywhere on this website.

    in reply to: Company Reports #118490 Report Abuse

    Hi Takela E,

    We publish only the company reports that have been completed. We do have some raw and incomplete data we’ve collected concerning some of the other companies.

    However, because the information is not formatted into a text based (readable) document, this material would make no sense. And worse… it could easily be misinterpreted.

    For this reason, we do not make any incomplete information available other than what you find inside the Editor’s Choice members-only areas.

    We are considering expanding the company information to make it available to more of the public.

    Hope this helps.

    in reply to: Grinding mackerel? #118003 Report Abuse

    Dog Food Advisor Comment Policy

    We welcome respectful comments. Stay on topic. No politics. Posts in violation of our rules are subject to removal.

    Please read our our Commenting Policy before commenting.

    in reply to: Diarrhea after a couple of weeks??? #117878 Report Abuse

    Dog Food Advisor Comment Policy

    We welcome respectful comments. Stay on topic. No politics. Posts in violation of our rules are subject to removal.

    Please read our our Commenting Policy before commenting.

    in reply to: Doberman puppy #114085 Report Abuse

    Great question. You are feeding a Type 2 dog (a large breed puppy). So, simply check out the dog foods we recommend for Type 2 dogs inside Editor’s Choice.

    By the way, some of those brands and sub-brands can be found on the Budget Friendly list, too.

    Hope this helps.

    in reply to: Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition #114084 Report Abuse

    Testing is VERY expensive. So expensive that smaller and medium size companies are FAR less likely to test their foods for ANYTHING (although some actually DO).

    Heck, even the FDA doesn’t test most dog foods (unless they receive a formal complaint).

    So, if you’d like to test the foods yourself, be prepared to spend some serious money.

    In general, the larger the company, the more a dog food is likely to be tested for the BIG 4:

    • Nutrient content
    • Pathogens (disease-causing bacteria)
    • Mold toxins
    • Chemical contaminants

    So far, my opinion of the company and website you mentioned in your comment is that there is much they conclude to be skeptical about.

    For example, here’s what Forbes Magazine had to say about the same company that needlessly frightened young mothers in 2017 with a similar misleading report about baby food.

    Here’s another revealing article about the questionable nature of these same dubious findings.

    And yet another from Whole Dog Journal.

    Here’s my take…

    Keep in mind, the Internet is awash with rumors, marketing hype, lawsuits and unproven “studies”… much of it masquerading as helpful advice.

    Disinformation that’s then picked up and sensationalized by other websites known for benefiting from creating fear, uncertainty and doubt among innocent pet lovers.

    So, it’s difficult for any well-meaning dog owner to know what to believe.

    And what to ignore.

    My advice… stick to pet and human food companies and brands you know and trust.

    Hope this helps.

    in reply to: Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition #114081 Report Abuse

    Hi John,

    Welcome to our forums.

    Until *** becomes more transparent with its test data and its controversial claims have been verified by an independent third party or by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, we ask readers to refrain from posting any further references to this organization or its opinions anywhere on this website.

    Hi Marie,

    We avoid dog foods with a fat-to-protein ratio (FPR) exceeding 75%. Please keep in mind that unless you’re feeding a high activity animal (like a sled racing dog), a food with a lower FPR (say 65% or less) provides better nutritional value.

    Regarding Westie pups, I know of no special nutritional standards published in a peer-reviewed journal unique to that particular breed.

    Since you’re feeding a Type 1 dog (a small breed puppy) and depending on your own dog’s biology, any food on our Type 1 list should make an excellent candidate.

    Hope this helps.

    in reply to: Nonprescription hydrolyzed protein dog food? #113995 Report Abuse

    We welcome respectful comments. Stay on topic. No politics. Posts in violation of our rules are subject to removal. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

    in reply to: smallbatch beef sliders raw #113926 Report Abuse

    You asked, “Need a list of raw.” Great question.

    Be sure to click the Editor’s Choice link that reads “Create Your Own Custom Editor’s Choice List”. Be sure to (Step 1) enter your dog’s feeding type and (Step 2) choose “raw”.

    This list is very short — and for good reason. Nearly 80% of all the recalls this year have been for raw dog foods that are contaminated with dangerous pathogens (bacteria like Salmonella, Listeria and Clostridium).

    Hope this helps.

    in reply to: 4Health Puppy food #113925 Report Abuse

    Hi Joseph,

    4Health Puppy presents above-average value. Even though it doesn’t qualify for our Editor’s Choice list, it can still be considered.

    However, please be sure to notice the [U] next to the “Puppy” recipe in our review of this product line. This means that on the company’s website, we are unable to verify the food meets AAFCO profiles for “Growth”.

    As long as you can verify on the package that 4Health Puppy meets AAFCO nutrient profiles for “Growth” or “All Life Stages”, you’re probably OK.

    Hope this helps.

    Chewy was bought by PetSmart over a year ago.

    They are the same great company and still partially guided by its original founders. Their amazing service continues to get better and faster all the time. In fact, Chewy just this month, opened a brand new (7th) distribution facility, in Goodyear, Arizona.

    in reply to: Diamond Premium Adult 4 stars? #113533 Report Abuse

    Every review on our website includes an exact and detailed explanation for how we arrived at a particular star rating.

    Corn is not a toxic ingredient. Many good dog foods contain some corn. It’s only considered “controversial” because different people have different opinions about it. That’s all. Nothing to worry about.

    If you’re wondering WHY Diamond Premium isn’t an Editor’s Choice dog food…

    I actually like Diamond products. They produce some of the very best value foods on the market… Diamond brand, Kirkland (Costco), Taste of the Wild and many others, to name a few.

    Please keep in mind that currently, there are more than 340 dog foods rated 4 stars or higher on our website. And each one contains (on average) about 4-5 individual products (flavors).

    However, by design, Editor’s Choice includes a much smaller selection. Currently, just 73 brands and sub-brands and about 140 suggested products. Having a smaller number to pick from is one of the very best benefits of being a member.

    By the way, these numbers can vary from month to month as we add and remove various selections.

    There are many reasons a particular brand may not be included on our lists.

    For example, in most cases, a company may not have met all our published guidelines. Or more rarely, its agents may have been unwilling to reveal important manufacturing information.

    Or we may be aware of unfavorable information about a company that we cannot share publicly (for liability reasons).

    Or we may have received tips from industry insiders that disqualify certain brands from inclusion on our lists.

    In any case, you should be able to find a more detailed answer to your question and many others on our Editor’s Choice FAQ page as well as our How We Rate Dog Foods FAQ page, too.

    Hope this helps.

    in reply to: Nominate a Brand for Editor's Choice #113145 Report Abuse

    Hi Ashley,

    Zignature is certainly a fine dog food. Please keep in mind that currently, there are more than 340 dog foods rated 4 stars or higher on our website. Yet (by design) Editor’s Choice includes a much smaller selection — currently, just 21 brands.

    There are many reasons a particular brand may not be included on our lists.

    For example, in most cases, a company may not have met all our guidelines. Or more rarely, its agents may have been unwilling to reveal important manufacturing information.

    In any case, since no one on our team is a veterinarian and due to the uniqueness of each individual animal, it would be inappropriate for me to recommend a specific recipe for your dog’s GI issues.

    I’m not aware of any scientific reason that it’s “best to stay away from anything with feathers”.

    BTW, the reason you see so many poultry based recipes on our lists is because they are the most common meat ingredient found in the overwhelming majorities of dog foods on the market. Also, they are usually more affordable for most readers.

    Five star dog foods tend to be highest in protein. Some animals find these foods too rich. So, why not try some 4 or even 3-star dog foods?

    My best advice is to use “biofeedback” to help you find the best food for your pet. Try small packages of one dog food at a time. Monitor how your dog responds to each recipe you try. Then, adjust until your choice until you find the one to which your dog’s GI system responds most favorably.

    Of course, it’s always best to discuss your dog’s problem with your veterinarian.

    One more thing… don’t forget to check out our “Budget Friendly” dog foods list. You’ll find some super values there.

    Hope this helps.

    in reply to: Pet Food Lawsuits and Other Internet Noise #113135 Report Abuse

    Click here to read the actual lawsuit. The document refers directly to the same controversial “study” mentioned in numerous articles, including the ones I previously referenced in this thread.

    in reply to: Pet Food Lawsuits and Other Internet Noise #113133 Report Abuse

    Yes, I would. Please be sure to take the time to visit each link mentioned in my comment above.

    The Acana/Orijen lawsuit appears to be based on the same dubious “study” described in numerous articles… like the ones I referenced above.

    Ignore all the sensationalized articles that serve to needlessly frighten dog owners and create fear, uncertainty and doubt.

    Don’t panic. Don’t overreact. Wait for the facts. Look for 3rd party laboratory test confirmation or for an FDA-mediated recall.

    in reply to: Royal Canin Adult HP #113128 Report Abuse

    Hi Lisa,

    Royal Canin Veterinary HP is not rated due to its intentional therapeutic design.

    That’s because to treat certain health conditions (like gastrointestinal disease), some veterinary products have been intentionally designed to reduce the meat content of specific recipes.

    Since we tend to favor dog foods rich in meat, it would be inappropriate for us to assign a star rating to such meat-restricted prescription food products.

    Because your dog has apparently been diagnosed with a specific health issue, it would be better for your dog if you discussed your pet’s specific dog food needs with your vet.

    Hope this helps.

    in reply to: Horizon Legacy Puppy for large breeds? #113127 Report Abuse

    As I posted in the above comment, Horizon Legacy Puppy is recommended for Feeding Type 1 animals (small/medium breed puppies). We do not recommend this dog food for Type 2 dogs (large breed puppies).

    That is because the Horizon Legacy website states: “Horizon Legacy Puppy Food for puppies is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for growth except for growth of large size dogs (70 lbs or more as an adult)”

    Horizon does NOT recommend this food for large breed puppies is because its calcium content exceeds 4.5 grams per 1000 kcal required for the product to meet AAFCO guidelines.

    Please be sure to read our article about “How to Choose the Best Large Breed Puppy Food“.

    Hope this helps.

    in reply to: Horizon Legacy Puppy for large breeds? #113059 Report Abuse

    Hi Jennifer,

    Sorry for the confusion. Thanks to your sharp eye and your comment, we’ve now corrected the associated data tag. So, it should now be fixed.

    It appears Horizon changed their website AAFCO statements since the last time we updated Legacy. We’ll check all the other Horizon products in the next few days.

    Thanks so much for the tip. Much appreciated!

    Mike

    in reply to: Why is Primal Frozen Raw Beef, Chicken, Lamb #113058 Report Abuse

    The beef, chicken and lamb formulas of Primal Raw Frozen Formulas exhibit high fat-to-protein ratios, ranging from 92% to 100%. The others present much more favorable FPRs that vary from 44% to 67%.

    Hope this helps.

    in reply to: suncured alfalfa safe??? #113054 Report Abuse

    I wouldn’t worry too much about alfalfa. At amounts used in pet food, it’s not likely to be toxic.

    Alfalfa is only marked as controversial in our reviews because like all plant-based ingredients, it is not considered a substitute for quality animal protein (meat).

    Also, kibble is produced at very high temperatures. So unlike mold toxins (chemical poisons), bacteria and other pathogens are not likely to be an issue.

    Hope this helps.

    in reply to: suncured alfalfa safe??? #113053 Report Abuse

    Patricia,

    Since you asked the same question in 2 different places, please visit my response to your query by clicking this link.

    Hope this helps.

    in reply to: Stella Chewy's alfalfa and ash #113051 Report Abuse

    Patricia…

    Keep in mind, the Internet is awash with rumors, marketing hype and obsolete reports. And there’s already plenty of misinformation and bad science being shared in this thread.

    The illogical suggestion that ignoring a fact-based analysis and “going with your gut” when choosing dog food (recommended by Susan) makes no sense.

    In fact, it was misguided tips like the one in this thread that ultimately compelled me (10 years ago) to create this website, in the first place.

    When buying food for your pet (or any other member of your family), your decision must be based on facts. Not on gossip and dubious sources.

    First of all, the ash content you are quoting in your comment is considerably out of date. It was first posted in a comment on a single forum 4 years ago.

    The ash content of any pet or human food varies from batch to batch. And like many other pet food manufacturers most, Stella and Chewy’s has changed its recipes and proportions (of each ingredient) a number of times since the date those figures were originally posted.

    Which means the ash reports you are sharing here are probably not even close to being the same today (2018).

    Guaranteed Analysis does not include ash content. In fact, the FDA does not even require pet or human food manufacturers to include the ash data of their products anywhere on their labels.

    Only when a company opts to voluntarily conduct a specific laboratory nutrient test known as a “proximate analysis” is ash content even included in its report.

    Next, don’t be so concerned about alfalfa. It’s not a toxic ingredient. It is only marked as controversial in our reviews because like all plant-based ingredients, it is not considered a substitute for animal protein (meat). And besides, alfalfa is not a primary ingredient in ANY of Stella and Chewy’s current recipes.

    Next, our ratings and selections have always been based on verifiable facts and government regulated label data. Not on frivolous or unproven claims.

    At the moment, Stella and Chewy’s continues to meet each of our guidelines for being considered a superior brand. If things change, we’ll be sure to remove the brand from our lists.

    Lastly, contamination claims mentioned by Susan are based on tests results published by a controversial enterprise and considered dubious by many experts.

    I have repeatedly asked Susan and others to stop needlessly frightening readers of this website by sharing these questionable and unverified results anywhere in our forums.

    The so-called “study” on which these controversial conclusions are based appears to have been performed by the same company that published the misleading report on baby food back in 2017.

    Here’s another article about the baby food tests published by an established pediatric physician.

    Here’s another revealing article that may also see why this information should not be trusted .

    And yet one more.

    Before you fall victim to all the noise and misinformation that pervades the Internet and deprive your dog of some of the very best and safest foods available, stay focused on the facts.

    Until we know with certainty if a particular dog food has been tested and recalled, it would be irresponsible and unfair for us to consider unverified claims when writing our reviews.

    The so-called “study” on which this lawsuit is based appears to have been performed by the same company that published the misleading report on baby food back in 2017.

    Here’s another revealing article. And yet another.

    Before you fall victim to all the noise and misinformation that pervades the Internet and deprive your dog of some of the very best and safest foods available, stay focused on the facts.

    in reply to: Senior Dog food still type 3? #112817 Report Abuse

    Most senior dog foods are terrible. They’re based on the myth that older dogs need less protein. Or that high protein causes kidney disease, which is not true (unless your dog has already been diagnosed with a renal disorder).

    You should still feed a food that meets the AAFCO nutrient profile for Adult Maintenance. But favor quality (4 and 5-star) recipes featuring moderate calories and above-average protein.

    Pay close attention to your dog’s weight each month. Chronic obesity is the number one most common problem associated with senior dogs. Obesity can lead to an increased risk of diabetes, arthritis and a host of other life-shortening diseases.

    The food you choose isn’t nearly as important as how much you feed.

    No matter which food you select, monitor your dog’s Body Condition Score (BCS) every month. And adjust your pet’s serving size slightly up or down to maintain your pet’s ideal BCS. Don’t miss the one-minute video in the center of the article.

    And be sure to read our article about “How to Determine Your Dog’s Ideal Weight“.

    One more suggestion: While you’re logged into the Editor’s Choice area, click on the link that reads Create Your Own Custom Editor’s Choice List. Select “Type 3” and click the “Senior” feature. You’ll get a list of some of the very best senior dog foods on the market.

    Hope this helps.

    in reply to: Acana dog food (See Admin reply below) #112796 Report Abuse

    We have read the same reports. And we share your concerns. However, our ratings and selections are based on verifiable facts. Not on frivolous and unproven claims.

    The so-called “study” on which this lawsuit is based appears to have been performed by the same company that published the misleading report on baby food back in 2017.

    Here’s another article. And yet another.

    Before you fall victim to all the noise and misinformation that pervades the Internet and deprive your dog of some of the very best and safest foods available, stay focused on the facts.

    Unlike recalls, lawsuits are based on complaints and accusations only. And when they result in a settlement, the truth or falsehood of the allegations are usually not revealed to the public.

    Each of our reviews is based upon the factual information we retrieve from government-regulated and standardized pet food labels… and nothing else.

    If you’ll Google the name of almost any major brand, you’ll likely find hundreds of complaints, claims and lawsuits for many of their products.

    Once any dog food has been confirmed to have a serious problem, the FDA requires the related company to voluntarily recall its product.

    Until we know with certainty if a particular dog food has been tested and recalled, it would be unfair and irresponsible for us to consider unverified claims when writing our reviews.

    Adopting a homeless dog is always an admirable goal. We should all be working together to help this poster find a way to help this sweet dog.

    Please put your personal differences and vanities aside and post only comments that are courteous and respectful to others.

    in reply to: Orijen #112286 Report Abuse

    Lewis,

    I don’t blame you. I’ve been monitoring legal cases myself for more than 9 years. I’ve not found many of them very helpful.

    That’s because…

    When a lawsuit results in a settlement, the truth or falsehood of the allegations are almost never revealed to the public.

    Your best defense is to be sure you’re on our our free dog food recall alert list. And to favor brands known to regularly test their foods. Unfortunately, many don’t.

    Hope this helps.

    in reply to: Orijen #112253 Report Abuse

    Unlike recalls, lawsuits are based on complaints and accusations only. And when they result in a settlement, the truth or falsehood of the allegations are usually not revealed to the public.

    Each of our reviews is based upon the factual information we retrieve from government-regulated and standardized pet food labels… and nothing else.

    If you’ll Google the name of almost any major brand, you’ll likely find hundreds of complaints, claims and lawsuits for many of their products.

    Once any dog food has been confirmed to have a serious problem, the FDA expects the related company to voluntarily recall its product.

    Until we know with certainty if a particular dog food has been tested and recalled, it would be unfair and irresponsible for us to consider unverified claims when writing our reviews.

    in reply to: Orijen/acana lawsuit (see Admin comment below) #112235 Report Abuse

    Unlike recalls, lawsuits are based on complaints and accusations only. And when they result in a settlement, the truth or falsehood of the allegations are usually not revealed to the public.

    Each of our reviews is based upon the factual information we retrieve from government-regulated and standardized pet food labels… and nothing else.

    If you’ll Google the name of almost any major brand, you’ll likely find hundreds of complaints, claims and lawsuits for many of their products.

    Once any dog food has been confirmed to have a serious problem, the FDA expects the related company to voluntarily recall its product.

    Until we know with certainty if a particular dog food has been tested and recalled, it would be unfair and irresponsible for us to consider unverified claims when writing our reviews.

    in reply to: Site Change #112227 Report Abuse

    Hi Richard,

    Sorry you feel our site has changed. For the only noteworthy change we’ve made has been the recent introduction of our 5 new “Feeding Type” lists (recommended recipes grouped together by age and breed size).

    In any case, I can assure you that we have never received (or would we ever accept) any compensation from any dog food manufacturer. Ever.

    What’s more, since the referral fee we receive from Chewy (a retailer, not a manufacturer) is based on a fixed dollar amount, the fees we do get have nothing whatsoever to do with the price of any product.

    Like you, we’re finding it increasingly difficult to find dog food brands that meet each of our published guidelines and yet that can also be considered low priced.

    Unfortunately, many of the better brands we recommend have chosen to stop selling their products through online discount retailers.

    The overwhelming majority of our Editor’s Choice brands have not changed. However, their pricing and availability has.

    We realize this is a challenge for many (including members of our own team). So, thanks to the many tips and suggestions we receive from our members, we’ve been able to steadily increase the total number of dog foods on our “Budget Friendly” list from just 21 (back in 2014) to about 51.

    And we’re always looking for more.

    By the way, just because a dog food is rated 4 or 5 stars does not automatically entitle it to a place on our Editor’s Choice lists.

    Please keep in mind that there are (currently) over a thousand reviews containing some 4300 individual dog foods on our website. And more than 360 products are rated 4 stars or higher. Yet (by design) Editor’s Choice includes a much smaller selection… currently, just 84 brands and sub-brands.

    There are many reasons a particular brand may not be included on our lists.

    For example, in most cases, a company may not have met all our guidelines. Or more rarely, its agents may have been unwilling to reveal important manufacturing information when we ask.

    Or we may be aware of unfavorable information about a company (more common than you’d think).

    Or we may have received tips from industry insiders that disqualify certain brands from inclusion on our lists.

    In any case, we welcome any suggestions you or others may have. And if they meet our guidelines, we’ll be happy to include them.

    Thanks for being a member for so long. It’s loyal members like you that have made it possible for us to avoid brand advertising and the destructive influence the pet food industry would have on the independent nature of our reviews.

    in reply to: Horizon Brand New Food Called Taiga #112184 Report Abuse

    We’ll be reviewing Horizon Taiga sometime in the next few weeks. Unfortunately, I cannot yet provide any guidance on this product until we’ve had a chance to load the recipe and Guaranteed Analysis into our spreadsheet.

    With IBD and since this recipe appears to be heavy in legume (and fiber) content, I’d be inclined to ask your vet before purchasing.

    Hope this helps.

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