Best Dog Foods Ranked

by Brigitte Smith on September 2, 2007

I’m often asked about the a list of the best dog foods ranked in order of preference.

As you probably know, my preference is for fresh, raw food for my dogs.

But I appreciate that many pet owners are going to opt for the convenience of a pre-prepared food no matter what. So if you’re one of this group, this article is for you. I’m going to be giving some tips on how to compare dog food and have sufficient knowledge to make an informed decision on what is the best dog food for your dog.

Best Dog Foods Ranked

 

The best dog foods ranked, always include natural dog foods – the convenience variety, but as natural as you can get from a bag.

So how do you compare dog food in order to find out what are the best dog foods ranked, from among the multitude of so-called top rated dog food.

Best Dog Foods RankedThere are various labels applied to supposed grades of dog food that you need to be aware of when comparing dog foods – premium dog foods, healthy dog food, wellness dog food, holistic dog food, organic dog food, natural dog food, natural organic dog food, and even exclusive dog food.

But what do they all mean?

Well, actually not a whole lot.

Some of the above “grades” of dog food are pretty much interchangeable with each other, and none of them are a guarantee of top quality natural dog food for your dog.

For example, organic dog food has to be the same as natural organic dog food, right? Because an organic product is of its very nature a natural product. And healthy dog food is pretty much identical in type to wellness dog food and also holistic dog food. And as for premium dog foods, and exclusive dog food – well, you need to ask exactly what “premium” dog food ingredients or “exclusive” dog food ingredients do these foods contain, and exactly why are those ingredients “premium” or “exclusive”.

Best Dog Food RankedWhen you think about it, an exclusive dog food is not necessarily a healthy dog food at all. I’m sure it’s what the manufacturers mean to imply, but in theory a pet food manufacturer could call its product exclusive dog food because it contains chocolate – it would be extremely harmful to the dog, but still an exclusive dog food, since no other dog foods contain chocolate. Yes, I’m being a little silly, but I’m trying to make a point here.

So just how is it possible to evaluate the best dog foods when comparing dog foods with each other? What makes a top rated dog food?

Well, there are five main areas to look at …

One of the keys is in the list of dog food ingredients.

The first ingredient must, of course, be a meat (or chicken or other animal protein source). Not as obvious, but just as important, is that the vast majority of the first 4 to 6 ingredients must be meat (or chicken or other animal protein source). A common “trick” of pet food manufacturers is to list a meat as the first ingredient, and then to list 2, 3 or 4 grains. So what is the main ingredient? – The combined grains. There could be three or four times the amount of grain as compared to the amount of meat. Not good. And most people have no idea that this is the case.

Secondly, you need to take note of the types of grains that make up the food. Many experts believe that wheat is only desirable in fairly small quantities. And corn is not a good ingredient in dog food – it’s not good nutritionally for dogs and can cause allergies in some dogs. Oats are good, rice is not bad, particularly brown rice, and millet, rye and barley are okay. But again, make sure that the total grain content is small compared to the meat content.

Next after the dog food ingredients, is the manner in which the dog food has been processed. Freeze dried dog food is a good method of processing. Dehydrated is another. Baked could be okay, if it really is baked in the normal way you or I would understand something being baked in a normal oven. Canned is not so good because of the high temperatures required. And extruded (kibble processed at extremely high heat) is the worst of all.

Fourthly, we go back to the dog food ingredients – the food should preferably have some vegetable, fruit and/or herb content. This is not absolutely essential for a top rated dog food, but does provide a good nutritional balance for your dog.

Lastly, some dog foods, including those classified as natural dog foods, have added supplements – e.g. food formulated for older dogs will sometimes contain a supplement to assist with arthritis, and some dog foods contain probiotics which are great for the digestion. These supplements are certainly not essential, and some people prefer not to have supplements added to the dog food they buy, as it is easier to give fixed dosages when giving supplements separate to food, and you can choose what types of supplements to give as well.

Best Dog Foods Ranked in the Marketplace

So okay, you don’t want to have to go through this exercise with each and every dog food on the market – you’ll need spend weeks reading through labels in supermarkets and pet stores! Even if you do your research online it will take you hours and hours and hours to look through all the dog food brands out there – Pedigree dog food, Nutro dog food, Purina dog food, Iams dog food, Innova dog food (also known as Evo dog food), Alpo dog food, Beneful dog food, Diamond dog food, Canidae dog food, Merrick dog food, Royal Canin dog food, Joy dog food, Nature’s Variety dog food, Orijen dog food, Solid Gold dog food, Natural Balance dog food, Science Diet dog food, California Natural dog food, Eagle Pack dog food, Timberwolf dog food, Blue Buffalo dog food, Flint River Ranch dog food, Life’s Abundance dog food and so the long, long list goes on!

And to make matters worse, your list (and the above list) may not even contain the very best dog foods. As I alluded to earlier, the commercial dog food manufacturers that are most well known to us are the dog food brands that spend the most on advertising – NOT the ones that are best for your dog. In fact, some of the biggest spenders have that money to spend on their advertising budget because of the exceedingly low (and cheap) quality of their foods.

I don’t pretend to have undertaken any really comprehensive dog food comparisons, but a number of people have asked me for a list of the 10 best dog foods.

Well, I tried, but so far could only come up with 7 natural dog foods that I can truly recommend – So here is my list – and please note, it’s only my opinion – I’m sure there are other great quality dog foods out there that perhaps I’ve missed, and if so, please post your comments below and list your favorite healthy dog foods. Here are mine (roughly, but not necessarily exactly, in order of preference) :

Best Dog Foods Ranked 1 to 7

1. Life’s Abundance dog food

2. Honest Kitchen dog food

3. Wysong dog food

4. Nature’s Variety dog food

5. Flint River Ranch dog food

6. Timberwolf dog food (also known as Timberwolf Organics) – NO LONGER RECOMMENDED. Since writing this post, it has come to my attention that this company is associated with the infamous Menu Foods company, and not only that, it is attempting to hide that fact rather than be upfront about it. See the comments below for further info.

7. Sojos dog food (also known as Sojourner Farms) - NO LONGER ACTIVELY RECOMMENDED due to problems that you can read about in the comments section here (which involve apparent similar attempts to hide facts from the public).  I understand that the problem that existed has been fixed, and the food IS currently of excellent quality, but I was very disappointed by the lack of transparency exhibited by the owners of Sojos.

Click on any of the above links for more info on these natural dog foods.

Let me know what you think!

(and please note that some of these brands have canned food options.  I do not personally like canned food at all, and do not recommend the canned food varieties of the above foods).

So there you have it – my best dog foods ranked!

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{ 193 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carolyn September 2, 2007 at 10:05 am

Thanks for all the time you put into this site…..always lots of good knowledge to be found!!

2 Donna September 2, 2007 at 11:14 am

Thanks for the information on top rated dog foods. It really helps with all the food recalls and those that are dangerous and have not been recalled. I have gone to a dehydrated cooked diet until I am able to get further recipes to make my own. One of my dogs was on Timberwolf. He did do well on the food. The food appears relatively good. Their customer service is alot to be desired. Would not respond to my e-mails. Very little information is shared in terms of who makes their foods, compared to other manufacrers.
I am very thankful for websites such as yours that have done thorugh investigations regarding dog food and can relay this information to the consumer. It is very scary on what goes on behind the scenes in terms of dog food manufacturers not divulging information about their product. They know there is a problem but continue to sell the product, until our precious pets get very sick or die. It is very difficult to trust any of them at this point.
Again, I thank you for your great website. It has helped put somewhat of confidence back into selected manufacturers.
Donna

3 Susan September 2, 2007 at 4:08 pm

In your six top ranked foods, how about Primal pet foods? I am in the process of trying myself but know and have read great things about it and what great results people have had using it and it was also on the Whole Dog Journal’s List Might be one to consider, its a frozen raw.

4 Candy Sonoda September 2, 2007 at 4:36 pm

I live on an outer island in Hawaii, Kauai, and it is very hard to get things here, including the dog foods you listed. I have been making my own food for my Beagle and Golden Retriever, supplementing the home-made food with a little bit of commercial dry food for the Retriever, and they are thriving! The Beagle had alot of health problems, over weight, breathing problems, yeasty ears, etc., he is 6 yrs old and is like a pup again. Making the food is time consuming but well worth it!

Thanks for all your informative articles,
Candy Sonoda

5 Georganne Green September 2, 2007 at 6:00 pm

Bridget,

Have you ever heard of Happy Dog Food? It a dehydrated food and made in California. You cook it on the stove and add meat.
Also have you heard of Flint River Ranch dog food? Not sold in
stores. A smaller company. Delivered to your door.

Georganne Green

6 Brigitte Smith September 2, 2007 at 6:07 pm

Hi Carolyn,

Thanks for your feedback. I really appreciate your kind words.

Regards,
Brigitte

7 Brigitte Smith September 2, 2007 at 6:14 pm

Hi Donna,

Many thanks for your detailed feedback. I really appreciate it.

Thanks for pointing out the problems you had contacting the people at Timberwolf Organics. I agree absolutely that that is a concern. If that’s a problem other people have had, I’ll reconsider having that dog food brand on my list of best dog foods.

While great dog food ingredients and suitable manner of preparing the food (freeze dried, oven baked, etc.), are very important, customer service is of course something to take into account when compiling a list of top rated dog food.

And lack of information on sources of the ingredients is a major concern in view of the debacle with the dog food recalls in the recent past.

Regards,
Brigitte

P.S. If anyone else has any comment to make on Donna’s experience with the people at Timberwolf Organics, please let me know – leave your comment below – thanks!

8 Brigitte Smith September 2, 2007 at 7:58 pm

Hi Susan,

Yes, Primal food for dogs (and cats) is an excellent food. It’s fairly similar in type to the Nature’s Variety food – they’re both freeze dried dog food – basically raw food combined so as to replicate the eating of prey in the wild, including components from all parts of the animal, plus some vegetable matter (which would be expected to be found in the stomach of prey).

Thanks for pointing Primal pet food out as another excellent dog food brand.

Regards,
Brigitte

9 Brigitte Smith September 2, 2007 at 8:56 pm

Hi Candy,

Thanks for your kind words on the articles.

Well, it may not be such a bad thing that you can’t access the foods on my list of top rated dog food, if you’re using that opportunity to make your own food for your dogs!

My own preference is for fresh and raw food for dogs. It’s followed by home cooked fresh food. And my third preference is the healthy dog food convenience foods listed above.

But last on my list of preferences (by a long way) are the vast majority of commercial dog foods.

If you can eliminate the commercial dog food you’re feeding your dogs, they’ll be even better off!

Regards,
Brigitte

10 Brigitte Smith September 2, 2007 at 9:06 pm

Hi Georganne,

Yes, I’ve heard of Happy Dog Food. So far as I know, it’s a pretty reasonable food. It seems to be similar in type to some of the Sojos foods and the Honest Kitchen foods that are on my list of best dog foods ranked.

And yes! I’ve heard of Flint River Ranch – it’s on my list above!

In fact, all of the dog foods on my best dog foods ranked list can be ordered online and delivered to your door.  Some are also available in physical stores and a couple are not.

Regards,
Brigitte

11 Billie September 3, 2007 at 7:10 am

I feed Solid Gold Holitix Blend, hope no one had heard anything bad it’s working great for my girls, I get it at a Health Food store. It’s also lower in Phosphorus than most top premium foods.

12 Beverley September 3, 2007 at 8:33 am

Hi Brigette,

I have enjoyed your site for some time. I find it very informative and thank you for the many valuable articles and all the information that you post. Keep up the great work, and,
Thank you,
Beverley

13 Brigitte Smith September 3, 2007 at 10:10 am

Hi Billie,

Thanks for your input!

If you’re happy with the food you’re using, then by all means stick with it. Solid Gold dog food is not one I’d try to dissuade you from using, although it’s not near the top of my list – mostly I think because of the canned food – I just don’t like it. Some of the Solid Gold food, though – the dry food – seems pretty good.

Regards,
Brigitte

P.S.  In case anyone’s wondering about the phosphorous that Billie mentioned – I understand Billie uses low phosphorous products because of concerns with kidney failure in her dog.

14 Brigitte Smith September 3, 2007 at 10:16 am

Hi Beverley,

Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I really appreciate it!

Regards,
Brigitte

15 Jan September 3, 2007 at 12:34 pm

I understand Timberwolf was sold to Diamond and its now mfg. at their plant.

I recently tried Love Dogs Gold (orig England) and top it off with meat…it seems to be working. I like the limited ingredients, the food has been out for 10 years in England and is now starting to be marketed in the States…its also mfg. in the States, steroid free.

16 Brigitte Smith September 3, 2007 at 8:35 pm

Hi Jan,

Thanks for your input.

I’m not familiar with the Love Dogs Gold brand, but no doubt readers from the UK like yourself are.

That’s some disconcerting news about Timberwolf being taken over by Diamond dog food. I’ll be looking into that further. I honestly would not feel comfortable recommending ANY dog food that had ANY connection to any of the recalled dog foods of recent months. As you’re probably aware, Diamond recalled numerous of its foods due to the contamination of substandard dog food ingredients from China.

Regards,
Brigitte

17 Liz Highfield September 5, 2007 at 5:45 pm

Greetings,

Good ol’ Google led me to find this blog and I thought I would clear up any rumors floating around.

We in fact have 2 full-time customer service reps that are more than welcome to answer your phone calls and e-mails. Please contact Joe or Kelly at customer.support@timberwolforganics.com or give them a call at their direct number which is 407-378-4600.

I work in research and development, so if you have questions pertaining to my department please e-mail Liz@timberwolforganics.com or call 407-378-4601.

Please note: We are a private independently owned company.

Thanks,

Liz

18 Brigitte Smith October 10, 2007 at 8:52 am

Well, Liz from Timberwolf Organics,

I see that you’re trying to whitewash your company for the benefit of my readers.

It won’t work.

PLEASE NOTE, EVERYONE:

I did some further research that seemed to indicate a connection between Timberwolf and Menu Foods – another of the notorious companies involved in the pet food recall scandall. 

I then took Liz’s advice and contacted the Timberwolf Organics customer support people on 16 September 2007.

Following is a copy of my email to Timberwolf:

” Hello,

Please advise whether you have any affiliation with, or connection to, or agreement with, either Diamond Pet Food or Menu Pet Foods.

I understand from several different sources that your food is now being manufactured in the same plant as one of these foods?

Please provide me with information on any connection that you may have to either of these companies, and as to exactly what that connection is.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks,
Brigitte Smith”

On 19 September 2007 I received the following response from Timberwolf, which you will note completely evades the actual questions that I asked, and addresses only the issue of ownership by Diamond Pet Foods, and completely ignoring my questions about Menu Pet Foods:

“Timberwolf Organics, Inc. wrote:

Hello Brigitte,

Is Timberwolf Organics, Inc. owned by Diamond Pet Foods, Inc.?

No. We are a private, independently owned company. At one time, Diamond Pet Foods manufactured our food; however, we have moved production to another facility owned by another company (we cannot give this information out, as it is proprietary). They specialize in manufacturing specialty formulas of pet foods and meet our high standards for exceptional quality production.

We are certain that Diamond Pet Foods, Inc. is a fine company, but to answer the above question, we have no business affiliation with them.

Hope this helps! Feel free to contact us with any more questions.

Kelly Gormley
Timberwolf Organics, Inc.
407-877-8779 ”

On 19 September 2007, I sent the following email to Kelly:

” Dear Kelly,

Thanks, but you have not responded to the other half of my query – any affiliation with Menu Foods.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks,
Brigitte Smith ”

Here is the response that I received on 21 September 2007:

Update for Case #2145 – “Queries About Timberwolf Dog Food”

Hello Brigitte,

Where our food made is proprietary. Therefore, at this time, we are not allowed to release where our food is made, due to contractual agreements.

I’m sorry that I cannot answer the question in much further detail.

Thank you,
Kelly Gormley
Timberwolf Organics, Inc.
407-877-8779 ”

What a load of nonsense – “proprietary” – how can information on where food is manufactured by “proprietary”? – It can’t be.

And in view of all the debacle with the recalled pet foods earlier in the year, in my humble opinion, the public is ENTITLED to know EXACTLY who is manufacturing the pet food they are buying, as well as where the raw materials are being sourced from, so they can make an informed decision when buying food for their pets.

On 22 September 2007 I sent off the following email to Timberwolf:

” Dear Kelly,

Thanks. Information about where your food is made should be a matter of public record if you’ve got nothing to hide. It can’t possibly be proprietary information. I’ve never heard of such a thing.

I take it from your response that you’re affiliated with Menu Foods.

I will therefore no longer be recommending your food, and will notify my readers and my 11,000 subscribers of your response to my query.

If my assumptions are incorrect, and you’re prepared to point out exactly in what respect they’re incorrect, I’ll reconsider.

I will hold off notifying my readers and subscribers until I hear back from you.

Brigitte Smith ”

That was 18 days ago. I have not received the courtesy of a response.

If you wish to make your own enquiries of Timberwolf, then their contact details are in Liz’s comment above.

I no longer recommend Timberwolf products.

Brigitte

19 Maruchy Perez October 30, 2007 at 10:01 am

Hi Brigitte,

Thanks for the info on all this food stuff. I give my girls raw meat but I mix EVO (Innova) with it and add a teaspoon of plain yogurt for the stomachs “good bacteria”

Thanks again for all your info it’s informative and enjoyable reading.

Maruchy

20 Brigitte Smith October 31, 2007 at 7:32 am

Hi Maruchy,

Nice to hear from you again!

As you know, I prefer raw food myself. And Innova Evo is also a food that’s pretty good. A little yoghurt is good, as is cottage cheese – particularly if mixed with a good quality flaxseed oil.

For anyone who doesn’t know Maruchy, she’s Bailey’s “mom”. Bailey nearly died from complications to vaccinations some time back.  Luckily, Maruchy was able to save Bailey, with the help of a holistic vet.

Her story is here – Pet Vaccinations – have a read – it’s quite interesting.

Regards,
Brigitte

21 julie stephens November 1, 2007 at 5:28 am

Hi Bridgette,
This is all interesting stuff about what and what not to feed our beloved companions, I have read a lot abot dog food and the vaccination thing of late and am horrified with the whole thing,I only feed my dogs fresh mince, fresh crunched chicken and garlic [they love that] some dry food and I will cook them a free range chook and they have veges , rice and pasta sometimes, they both have had their yearly vaccines, and they are not going to have any more, for a couple of years at least, this will cause problems if I need to put them in Kennels for some reason, but I am willing to take that chance. I have found a vet who is really into Herbal remedies, but is not quite convinced about the vaccination thing yet, although she would not be surprised about the dangers, she is very willing to listen and learn, she is not horrified about my decision about not vaccinating every year, she is quite interested in it all, so I am lucky to have found her, mind you I have to travel 50 ks to get to her,which is a problem in an emergency.

22 Brigitte Smith November 1, 2007 at 5:58 am

Hi Julie,

Bravo! You’re doing everything I would advocate!

I have a fair bit of info on my Healthy Happy Dogs site about vaccination dangers. If you go to that page, you’ll also see links to several other articles.

Maybe you could pass some of this info on to your vet. Also this site – http://www.immune-support-for-pets.com has a stack of info. on this topic.

Yes, 50 kms is a long way to go in an emergency, but just think – with all the right things you’re doing, you’re less likely to have an emergency.

Regards,
Brigitte

23 Anita P. January 2, 2008 at 1:05 pm

What do you think of EaglePak? Please let me know. I thought I did a lot of research and now I”m not so sure!

24 Brigitte Smith February 3, 2008 at 12:42 am

Hi Anita,

Sorry, I missed your comment until now.

Eagle Pack is okay. I guess it depends upon what you’re comparing it with.

Eagle Pack seems to contain quite a lot of corn product which can cause allergy problems in dogs. I’m not certain of its type. Sojos dog food also contains corn, but it’s whole corn, rather than a processed version. I’m not sure about the form of corn used by Eagle Pack.

Other than the apparently high corn content, though, if your dog does not have corn sensitivity, the other ingredients and the cooking process of Eagle Pack are good.

I prefer the foods I’ve recommended above, but for example in Australia I do recommend Eagle Pack as one of the better convenience foods, as the ones I prefer are not available.

Hope this convoluted explanation helps!

Regards,
Brigitte

25 Jody Lowery March 2, 2008 at 2:56 pm

Hi! My dog was recently diagnosed with diabetes. Tucker is a 9 yr old male schnauzer, who was very happy until two weeks ago. He started drinking tons of water, using the bathroom in the house, and throwing up. After two days in the “hospital” with iv’s, antibiotics and insulin…we desperately want to find a good food for him. I was looking into the Sojo’s. Any advice? We were feeding him Blue Buffalo. Thank you

26 Brigitte Smith March 2, 2008 at 10:59 pm

Hi Jody,

Sojos is a great food.

I note that you’re currently feeding Blue Buffalo. That’s a good food and in fact, a couple of my readers swear by it and wouldn’t use anything else.

Because Tucker has been diagnosed with Diabetes, I think it’s really important that you find out from your vet exactly what types of food you should not feed. Don’t necessarily ask for recommendations on food, because many vets know little about nutrition and a lot about which particular pet food manufacturers are currently pressing them to recommend their foods.

But if there are certain types of food you should not be feeding, that’s a really important thing to know.

It may be that grains are bad for Diabetes, for example, which would mean that you would not want to feed the standard Sojos, but the Sojos Europa would probably be good. This is just an example – not an indication that this is good or bad for Diabetes – don’t take this example as advice.

By the way, there is a natural remedy for Diabetes in dogs that you might want to take a look at here.

As always, let me stress that I am not a vet and I have no veterinary training whatsoever. You should always take your vet’s advice in relation to treatment for any specific illness or condition, but by all means discuss with your vet natural options.

Regards,
Brigitte

27 Darlene Bequette March 9, 2008 at 11:10 am

Hi Brigitte,
Do you have any knowledge of the puppy food Chicken Soup for the Puppy lover’s soul. Some one told me it was a great natural food for Puppies. My Toy Poodle had puppies and I want a good food that I can recommend to the people that get the Puppies. When I recommand Sojo foods , they say they work and they want a food that they can feed that is easy. To me their is nothing that more important than you Puppy’s health, but there are people that do not check dog food they just buy. I thought if I had a food that was available in the store that I can recommend. Thanks for you help. Darlene

28 Bev March 14, 2008 at 9:40 pm

Hi, I currently use Exclusive Dog Food, have you heard of it? If so, how does it compare to Life’s Abundance Premium? Thanks for the info, I enjoy your comments! Bev

29 Brigitte Smith March 15, 2008 at 7:50 am

Hi Bev,

I’m not familiar with Exclusive Dog Food, so I can’t compare it with Life’s Abundance Food, or anything else.

If anyone else knows anything about Exclusive Dog Food, feel free to leave your comments.

Regards,
Brigitte

30 Hanna April 4, 2008 at 3:36 pm

Hello,

I have a 7 mos old miniature pinscher and I’m ready to switch her from puppy food (I’ve been feeding her Eagle Pack Small Breed Puppy Dry Food formula) to adult dry food. My min pin is very small(only 5 lbs) and she really needs “small bite” sized dry food.

If anyone can recommend a good quality, healthy dry food that comes in “small bite” variety (i.e. is formulated specifically for small breeds), I’d greatly appreciate it!
Thanks, Hanna

31 Kimberly April 7, 2008 at 2:32 pm

Hi Hanna,

I am now a pug breeder who bred Min-Pins a few years back. I feed all our dogs Blue Buffalo & totally swear by it!!! I have found it to be a very healthy, holistic food, made with 23 essential vitamins and minerals a dog needs… and no other food has! Don’t just take my word for it, do the research for yourself & go to bluebuff.com & see the ingredients that go into Blue. You will be surprised at how many ingredients their are and what they will do for your pet to live a long healthy life! All of Blue is small kibble it seems all dogs prefer a small bite over big chunks that are hard to digest. Check it out you & your Min-Pin will be glad you did!
A Bit of Friendly Advice…. PugTona Pug Breeder of NC

32 Brigitte Smith April 8, 2008 at 7:51 am

Darlene,

I’m so sorry I missed your post until now.

The Chicken Soup for the Puppy Lover’s Soul is a pretty good food that doesn’t require any preparation, additions, etc.

Other good ones in this category from my list are Life’s Abundance and Honest Kitchen.

Regards,
Brigitte

33 Christie April 8, 2008 at 2:49 pm

Hi I am getting a Westie puppy in August and I am very unsure of what food to give it. I looked into Lifes Abundance and saw it that it was for puppies and dogs. So, I was wondering if you recomende it for puppies too. They also make other dog products and I wanted to see what you thought of them. I am looking forward to hearing from you.
Best Regards,
Christie

34 Brigitte Smith April 9, 2008 at 10:02 pm

Hi Christie,

Yes, Life’s Abundance dog food is suitable for puppies.

They also make some great gourmet treats for dogs – is that what you were referring to?  They also have a weight loss formula dog food, but that wouldn’t be suitable for a puppy.

Regards,
Brigitte

35 Bob Hickman April 10, 2008 at 3:03 pm

You are the first web site that actually names products. Thank you for your time and expertise. We just got our first dog which is a Bichon Frise. She is 7 mos. old and we use Eukanuba Puppy which Vet recommended but this does not seem to be anywhere near the best per research on internet. Can you give us your advice on best food for Precious.
Thank you
Bob

36 Brigitte Smith April 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm

Hi Bob,

Eukanuba is one of the dog foods often recommended by vets as a supposed premium brand.

It’s not.

Possibly it’s better than some supermarket brands, but not by much. They basically just have a smarter marketing strategy (market directly to veterinarians and get the vets to recommend and sell their products, so people perceive the products to be nutritious when that’s far from the case).

My best dog foods, ranked, and recommendations, for my preferred dog foods are above. Here they are again:

1. Life’s Abundance dog food

2. Wysong dog food

3. Sojos dog food (also known as Sojourner Farms)

4. Honest Kitchen dog food

5. Nature’s Variety dog food

(Just click on any of the highlighted hyperlinks for more info on each product).

Any one of them would be a great food for your Bichon Frise.

Regards,
Brigitte

37 Chris April 10, 2008 at 6:49 pm

Timberwolf is still owned by Timberwold, Diamond makes a knock off called Taste of the Wild…..Remeber the huge pet food recall that Diamond had in 2005……of course you know Diamond makes Solid Gold!

38 Christie April 10, 2008 at 7:14 pm

Thank you for your help. I have 2 more Questions. 1 I cant find the serving size for puppies on their website. 2 I was refering to their treats but alo the grooming supplies and supplements. If you dont know what I am talking about you can type in people planet pes and look for trilogy.com. Then go pets then dogs and go to pet care for dogs and see what you think. Also for the supplements you just click supplements. I would very much appreciate it if you would tell me what you think of the products

Best Regards,
Christie
Thank You

39 Brigitte Smith April 12, 2008 at 7:18 am

Hi Chris,

I wasn’t aware that Diamond make Solid Gold.

As for Timberwolf, read above my correspondence with them. Their food used to be manufactured by Diamond (Timberwolf says this themselves) and it now manufactured by some other company, but they refuse to say who.

I would never deal with a company that refuses to give information about where their product is manufactured.

The only conclusion that I am able to draw from this refusal is that they have got something to hide.

Regards,
Brigitte

40 Brigitte Smith April 12, 2008 at 8:13 am

Hi Christie,

Yes, I’m familiar with, and actively recommend, the Life’s Abundance Treats, or better known as Healthy Pet Net treats.

And yes, I’m familiar with the dog care products that you mention – they’re also very good. You can find them by going here – http://www.dog-health-care-information.com/hpndogcare

They also do some good supplements:

Skin and Coat Supplement

Pet Arthritis Supplement

and a Dog Vitamin Supplement.

Regards,
Brigitte

41 Christie April 13, 2008 at 2:43 pm

Thank you for your help

42 Louise April 14, 2008 at 6:33 am

Thank you so much for this site! I have been going mad searching the internet trying to find a good dry food for my puppies. I intend to feed a mix of premium dry food, home made food and raw bones.

43 Christie April 14, 2008 at 8:00 pm

One more question what is the puppy serving size because i cant find it?

44 Barb Fannon April 18, 2008 at 7:34 pm

Hi Brigette,

I started a business last year selling the Timberwolf products. MY dogs have done wonderfully on the food. I am however worried about the fact they changed ingredients. Are you aware of the ingredinet change? What are your thoughts on Orijen? I have always had good luck with talking to Timberwolf. The food has helped many clients’s dogs. I jst have concerns with the ingredients–especially since they are now adding the brewers yeast to the foods.

Thanks,

Barb

45 Brigitte Smith April 21, 2008 at 5:51 am

Hi Christie,

Sorry for the delay.

This is the instruction for feeding Life’s Abundance dog food to puppies:

Feed the “Suggested Daily Amount” of dry kibble according to weight and add at least 25% more. Individual Meal Feeding: From 9 weeks to 4 months, divide the daily amount and feed 3-4 meals in a 24 hour period. From 4-6 months, divide the daily amount and feed 2-3 meals in a 24 hour period.

So use this as a guide, and add at least 25% more:

3 – 10 lb dog – 1/4 to 2/3 cup per day + 25%
10 – 20 lb dog – 2/3 to 1 cup per day + 25%
20 – 30 lb dog – 1 to 1 1/2 cups per day + 25%
30 – 40 lb dog – 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups per day + 25%

and so on.

Regards,
Brigitte

46 Brigitte Smith April 21, 2008 at 5:53 am

Hi Barb,

I’m really not sure about the change of ingredients with Timberwolf. It’s their non-disclosure that worries me. I personally wouldn’t deal with a company that refuses to divulge where their food is manufactured.

Orijen is pretty good.

Regards,
Brigitte

47 Hanna April 24, 2008 at 1:44 pm

Hi All,

Does anyone has any experience or comments regarding EAGLE PACK dry dog food?

I’ve been feeding my Min Pin the puppy formula and now that it’s time to switch her to adult food, I don’t know whether I should continue with Eagle Pack or look for a new brand?
Any comments and feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Hanna

48 cindy April 26, 2008 at 5:38 am

i have a bitch that im now mating and would like to give her and the puppies the best diet. alot of breeders in melbourne australia use pro plan. I brought innova, due to being more of a meat product and more natural. it is a lot more expencive, so was wondering do you think there is much of a difference between the two foods? is there another brand you recomend that is better thankyou cindy

49 Simone May 3, 2008 at 4:22 pm

Hi Brigitte,

I also had switched to Timberwolf Ocean Blue after I read that a grain free diet would be good for my 10 year old lab mix who has arthritis. He loved the first bag and gobbled it up but now not so much. He also started the habit of waking me up during the night to go outside. I was thinking about taking him to the vet but decided to switch his dogfood again. Is there a particular dogfood that is better than others for my arthritic senior dog?

50 Amanda May 8, 2008 at 12:18 am

Hi Brigitte

I really love your site and have been desperately searching in Australia (where I reside) to purchase one of your recommended dog foods. Unfortunately it seems that I can only order one brand and the freight costs are double the amount of the actual dog food. Do you know of anything in Australia that might be somewhat comparable with your recommended foods??

Can you tell me what meat to give my dogs. I have two border collies and a beagle. I currently give them what I thought was premium dog food and occasionally chicken wings. I would greatly appreciate your help :-)

Thanks
Amanda

51 Anna May 22, 2008 at 6:13 pm

Solid Gold would be real good. Try it.

52 Anna May 22, 2008 at 6:17 pm

The Innova in the U.S is cooked too high, too long. Pro Plan is not quality by any means. Innova is. A better dog food you ask? Chicken Soup for the dog lover’s soul, Wellness, or Solid Gold.

53 Anna May 22, 2008 at 6:20 pm

Eagle Pack has too much salt and beet pulp, and too little fat for the protein amounts. Try the Holistic brand or another brand.

Sincerely,
Anna

54 Anna May 22, 2008 at 6:31 pm

Yeah. I think it’s too many ingredients, too much ash, too much protein. I’d try something different. If you haven’t done it, you can go to www. timberwolforganics.com.

Sincerely,
Anna

55 Anna May 22, 2008 at 6:42 pm

I would say the best dog food around is Solid Gold. Certainly not Royal Canin because of soybeans, certainly not grocery store brands because of beet pulp and food coloring, certainly not California Natural, because, while organic, doesn’t have enough nutrition, and certainly not Science Diet, because it’s made of rancid restaurant grease and past-due-date meats.

56 Brigitte Smith May 24, 2008 at 6:45 pm

Hey guys, Sorry I’ve missed all these comments and questions. Here goes:

Hi Hanna,

Eagle Pack is an okay food. In Australia the top foods that I recommend are not available, so the ones I recommend there are Artemis and Eagle Pack, in that order of preference. (Those links go to the same site – once you’re there, click on the Dog Food/Services link and you’ll see these foods.  Please note that I do NOT recommend any of the other foods sold on that site, with the exception of the BARF Patties, which are also great.
Regards,
Brigitte

57 Brigitte Smith May 24, 2008 at 6:52 pm

Hi Cindy.

See my comments to Hanna, right above this comment.

Innova is a reasonable food.

Pro Plan definitely is not.

So yes, in my view Innova is certainly far superior to Pro Plan.

Regards,
Brigitte

58 Brigitte Smith May 24, 2008 at 7:24 pm

Hi Simone,

Older dogs’ bladders do start to weaken over time. It’s an unfortunate function of age in many older dogs. But it shouldn’t happen suddenly, which I think is what you’re describing.

One good senior dog specific food you might want to try is the Flint River Ranch Senior Dog Food.

Another good one is the Merrick Senior Medley Dry Dog Food (there’s also a canned version that I personally don’t favor).

Regards,
Brigitte

59 Brigitte Smith May 24, 2008 at 7:35 pm

Hi Amanda,

See my comments a couple above this one, to Hanna and Cindy, about dog foods available online in Australia.

Depending upon where you are in Australia the delivery cost varies. In Sydney I understand it’s free delivery charges.

Thanks for your comments on my site. I really appreciate it!

As for what to feed your dogs – you don’t say what food you’re currently feeding, so I can’t comment on that, but suffice to say that the vast majority of dog foods are absolute rubbish, and cause early degenerative disease of various types in our pets.

Raw chicken wings are great. So if your budget allows, I’d increase that. Raw meat (including chicken of course) is my personal preference for dog food, supplemented by some raw or lightly steamed veges, and a little fruit. My dogs have thrived on this diet their whole life. But if you’re wanting a convenience type food as well, Orijen and Eagle Pack are the dog foods I recommend in Australia (in that order of preference).

Regards,
Bigitte

60 Brigitte Smith May 24, 2008 at 7:46 pm

Thanks for all your comments, Anna!

For the reasons stated above, I do NOT recommend Timberwolf.

I agree with you on Hills Science Diet – it’s complete rubbish, in my opinion. The same goes for Royal Canin.

Solid Gold and Innova dog foods are both pretty reasonable.

Someone else said above that Solid Gold is made at the Diamond dog food processing plant. I did some quick research on this, and it seems this may be the case. This may also be true of the Chicken Soup dog food line. This could be a similar complaint that I have in relation to Timberwolf, although my main issue with them is the refusal to disclose where the food is made – indicating that they do have something to hide.

I’ll see if I can find out what Solid Gold and Chicken Soup have to say about this issue, and if I come up with anything, I’ll post it here.

Regards,
Brigitte

61 Mark May 27, 2008 at 1:47 am

I found this on another website. These are not my words, but the words of a representitive of Diamond Pet Foods. I haven’t found any statement like it for Menu Foods or Timberwolf, but will post as soon as I can find them.

“As the Chief Operations Officer of Diamond Pet Foods, these last 45 days have been distressful to say the least.

What has been most discouraging, however, is the miss-information that has been posted on the internet. I have been operating as company spokesman and have first-hand knowledge about how this information has been miss-handled.

Myth #1: Diamond knew the toxin was in the pet food up to 3 months prior to a recall.

Here are The True Facts: I was asked by an AP reporter when Diamond knew there was a risk of aflatoxin in the food. My answer should have been, “The day we got into the pet food business”, because that’s the true answer. Aflatoxin is a risk every year, some years worse than others. However, the 2005 corn crop year was especially bad due to excessive drought during the pollination stage, followed by high moisture. The State Department’s of Agriculture’s knew this and were getting the word out to all feed manufacturers prior to harvest. Diamond also received their warning letters, which is exactly why we stepped up our testing going into September. I explained to the reporter that Diamond knew the CORN CROP was higher risk, and he knew what I meant. He twisted my answer in order to sensationalize the story, by suggesting we knew it was in the FINISHED PRODUCT. That was a lie, but it did sell newspapers.

Myth #2: Diamond is and always has been a bad manufacturer with no quality control. That’s why their prices are so far below the National brands.

Here are the True Facts: This was the 1st recall in Diamond’s 35-year history. Out of precaution for its customers, Diamond recalled 102 production days. After all the testing was completed, only 2 products, and 4 date codes of those 2 products ended up testing with toxic levels of aflatoxin. At the end of the day, less than 1% of what we recalled contained toxic levels.

Aflatoxin is a colorless, tasteless, odorless toxin. It can’t be seen, smelled or tasted. It can only be caught through rigorous statistical sampling. The USDA has set 20 parts per billion as the maximum allowable level in pet food. That’s less than the weight of 2 kernels of corn in a full truckload. Toward eliminating this risk, Diamond has redoubled our statistical sampling efforts on incoming loads of corn, AND by testing outgoing finished product.

Since the recall, various State Department’s of Agriculture in the Southeast have pulled over 250 samples of Diamond products from the shelves for testing. All have come back clean.

The real reason Diamond is able to put a value-priced product of exceptional quality in the marketplace is because we choose to make lower margins, and we don’t advertise. It really is that simple. Our ingredient costs are as high as anybody’s, and higher than most.

We are not just a good manufacturer. We are one of the best. Where other companies only guarantee the minimum nutrients “Moisture, Protein, Fat, and Fiber”, Diamond guarantees many, many more. We take pride in our product’s consistency, which is why we guarantee minimum AND maximum levels on various nutrients.

We purchase chicken protein ingredients and chicken fat direct from the major chicken processors. We require them to screen out bone content from the chicken meals, allowing for more digestibility. Our chicken fat arrives with free fatty acid content (a measure of rancidity) below 2%. It is an exceptionally pure source for energy and for the skin and coat.

Yes, we had a breakdown in quality control that cost the lives of customer’s pets. That has created justifiable anger and grief. But, we grieve with those families, and we are working to make things right for them as best we can. We will not hide nor run from our responsibility to them.

We know that we have to work twice as hard in the days ahead to restore the confidence of a customer base that will be skeptical when we speak of improvements in quality control. But, Diamond is a family-owned business that grew from nothing. We didn’t get there by having a fear of the future. We will do whatever it takes to restore the trust that has always been our foundation.”

Mark Brinkmann
Chief Operations Officer
The Diamond Pet Food Company

62 Amanda May 27, 2008 at 10:34 am

Thanks Brigitte

I really appreciate your recommendations. I have now stopped feeding my dogs the dry food (unfortunately one of the brands was pro plan!!) I am now feeding them a mixture of chicken wings, raw meat and a fresh mixture of meat and vegetables that I buy in a pack at my local supermarket – it seems to be ok. I will now start trying them with some veg and some fruit with their meat that I will prepare for them at home. I’ll also be getting some orijenn as a back up. Thank you!!

63 Tiffany May 27, 2008 at 9:06 pm

Hello,
Thanks for all of the helpful information. With regards to Natures Variety: Which do you recommend, the instinct formula or the prairie formula? I’m leaning toward the instinct but I’m unsure because of the high protein 42%. I have a French Bulldog puppy. Would it be okay to feed a food with such high protein?

64 Brigitte Smith May 28, 2008 at 1:09 am

You’re welcome, Amanda!

Regards,
Brigitte

65 Brigitte Smith May 28, 2008 at 1:19 am

Okay, guys, here is the response from Diamond Pet Foods in relation to my request for information in relation to where Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul is manufactured, and as to whether any of the ingredients come from China (which was the origin of the contaminants that precipitated the pet food recalls last year):

” Brigitte,

We appreciate your interest in our products.

The Chicken Soup… dry dog and cat foods are produced at Diamond Pet Foods’ plants in MO, CA, and SC.

The Chicken Soup… cat products do contain an ingredient from China Taurine.

Taurine is a nutritional need for feline diets and is only available from China. The taurine is put through an invitro toxicity test called ToxiScreen. This test screens for all toxins. By using ToxiScreen, we will have assurance that taurine is non-toxic prior to entry into our manufacturing facility.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Sincerely,
Cordell Schroeder
Quality Control Manager
Diamond Pet Foods ”

I’m personally not terribly keen on a product that has an association with Diamond Pet Foods, but on the other hand, they’re up front about it, and they don’t use any ingredients from China in the dog food. They also have a quality control in place for the Taurine from China that they include in the cat food. I don’t know whether what they say about Taurine only being available in China is correct or not (it seems a bit strange, but I haven’t looked into this).

If you’re using Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul and your dog likes it and is doing well on it, there may be no reason to change. The ingredients seem pretty good. But if you’re looking for a good dog food, I’d try something else personally.
Brigitte

66 Brigitte Smith May 28, 2008 at 1:30 am

And following is the response I received from Solid Gold. They also say that Taurine is only readily available from China, and they include this component in their dog food as well as cat food.
” Thank you for your email,

We do not own and maintain our own mill and cannery, this is not economically feasible for a small company such as ourselves. Most other companies contract with outside manufacturers as well. The dry foods are made by Diamond Pet foods in their Missouri and California plants. They have been for several years, however we were not bought out by them. The company is still owned wholly by Sissy McGill, the founder of Solid Gold. However, there are no concerns over Solid Gold food because we do not use any protein concentrate or gluten products in our foods. Further, we did precautionary testing and all tests to date have shown the food to be free of melamine.

We maintain 100% control over the recipe and the formulations are our own.

Our canned foods are made by Simmons Foods, inc. they are a manufacturer of human foods as well, we maintain control over the formulation. The Blended Tuna is canned in Thailand by an American owned company.

Since the pet foods recalls, it has come to our attention that the
taurine used in our products is sourced from China . We have conducted an exhaustive search for a source of taurine manufactured in the United States, but unfortunately, there is none. To our knowledge, all taurine used in pet products and most human products is manufactured in China . Each shipment of taurine used in our foods undergoes a battery of tests for toxins, including melamine and cyanuric acid. All samples have been completely negative. We will continue our search for taurine manufactured in another country.

Taurine is an essential organic acid for cats. It is necessary and required to add it to cat food. Taurine is not considered an essential additive for dogs. However, recent research by UC Davis has shown that certain breeds of dogs, specifically certain large breeds, can develop dilated cardiomyopathy due to a lack of taurine. It is this research that prompted us to add taurine to our dry dog foods several years ago. Due to the extensive testing we perform, we feel the benefits of taurine far outweigh the risks of sourcing the ingredient from China , especially since there is no evidence that this particular ingredient has been contaminated at all.

The rest of the ingredients in our foods are sourced from the United States except for the three ingredients, specifically lamb meal from New Zealand , potato protein from Europe, and our grain free Blended Tuna canned cat food, which is manufactured in Thailand .

We are confident that our foods and treats are 100% safe. To date all testing has shown that our foods are melamine free

We continue to strive to produce the very best food for your pet. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any further questions.

Best regards,
Elisabeth Mulvany
Solid Gold ”

Again, I’m not over the moon about products manufactured at the Diamond Pet Food plant, but if they’re upfront about it, and keep their ingredients completely separate to those used by Diamond (they don’t specifically say they do this – I might ask them that question as well, and let you know), then I suppose the foods are okay. Certainly the ingredients seem to be pretty good.

Brigitte

67 Barb Fannon June 7, 2008 at 12:37 pm

Hi Brigitte,

I almost bought the Orijen for dogs to replace the Timberwolf I am still feeding, but found out they too had a recall on some of their bags of food. It appears bone fragments were found in some of the bags. They did have it on their website for a couple of days–now the info is gone. They want us to forget about it. Hmmm…pretty scary. As far as Timberwolf goes–I will still be feeding it to my dogs. They have beautiful shiny coats and their poop is nice and firm. There is however a recall on the bison & ocean on certain dates only. I called them and they are working on the problem. I got a hold of someone in customer service right away–spoke to two people actually. They were nice and very helpful. Yes I am a bit nervous about feeding it to my 4 dogs, but they are doing so well on it I can’t change. Who knows what the other companies are hiding–but I can tell you I will find out who manufactures TW. Bye for now.

68 Brigitte Smith June 7, 2008 at 8:34 pm

Hi Barb,

Thanks for that heads up.

I wasn’t aware of the problem with Orijen. But I’ve just done a bit of research to check up on it.

It seems that, as you say, the problem was with some sharp bone fragments being found in the food – apparently salmon bones, due, the U.S. Orijen manufacturer says, to a malfunction in the machinery that debones the salmon before Orijen adds the salmon to its mixtures.  (That’s my understanding of what they said, anyway).

They also say they took immediate steps to stop the food from going to the retail outlets as soon as they realized the problem – but some food had already gone out.

Any problem with any pet food is a concern, although in this instance the problem does not relate to contamination of any kind. 

When feeding raw food, or homemade cooked dog food, bone fragments can be present and can even cause occasional problems.  I have always fed my dogs raw meat and bones, and I’m aware that some experts are not in favor of giving bones to dogs for the specific reason that bone shards can cause problems.

If you’re happy with Timberwolf and your dogs are thriving on it, that’s great. The ingredients are good.  I just really don’t like their philosophy of refusing to answer very simple questions and obviously trying to hide something as basic as where they manufacture their food. If they had nothing to hide, why all the secrecy? Those are my thoughts on the matter.

Regards,
Brigitte

69 Toni June 10, 2008 at 5:09 pm

You must add Burns Real Food to the list it was the first holistic food which is why they are the only holistic food that dose not have to have the holistic symboy with the snakes and cross also NatureDiet which proberly compied Burns or anothr one that compied brns cas burns is the first true one all the holistic foods came from burns you see and aloght they are not all as good as the origanal some like naterdiet have done good copys

70 Janet June 12, 2008 at 9:21 am

I searched a website called dogfoodanaylisis and it is quite informative, and it lists dog foods according to their quality. Life’s abundance is listed there and it is questionable about the sources of protein. Check it out, it is worth reading the reviews.

71 Janet June 12, 2008 at 9:24 am

Also check Dr. Marty Goldstein’s website and he has listed some high quality dog foods that are as close to raw as possible. He was on Oprah Winfrey’s show and it Martha Stewart’s vet.

72 Dawn June 17, 2008 at 8:16 pm

My dog eats Flint River Ranch, they ship it to your door for free and it’s great food!!!
We lost our other dog (prior to this one) when they had the dog food recall , and unbeknownst to us were feeding him one of the recalled foods and he had major organ damage and had to be put down. Flint River was not associated ever with that recall and we have fed our newest dog this and he loves it.

73 kath July 12, 2008 at 2:52 am

BELIEVEABLE, ALL I READ IS, I’VE STOPPED FEEDING MY DOGS FOOD FROM ALL COMPANIES, AS I DON’T TRUST THEM, I HAVE A ROTTWIELLER AND A KELPIE, BOTH FEMALES. I’VE BEEN MAKING THIER FOOD FOR A LONG WHILE NOW, AS SHELF FOOD, LABLED DIET, MADE MY DOG PUT ON WEIGHT. MADDI IS NOW A HEALTHY 63K NOT 75, SO HOME MADE IS THE WAY TO GO AND CHEAPER..

74 Anna July 12, 2008 at 10:54 pm

I know I’m not talking much on here lately, but then, again, if somebody has a question, I’m all eyes and ears. I don’t want to upset anybody with my ideas if they think they have a better answer; yet, I’ve seen so many problems in my life with dogs, humans and more, have been able to figure out over 75% of them and, actually, have only needed a veterinarian for about 9% of them!! I’m mostly talking ‘dogs’ here, yet, until Winter comes, I’m all eyes and ears.

75 Fiona July 18, 2008 at 1:58 am

Hi Brigitte,

I have just been reading your brilliant website! It is great to find a like minded person as regards your views on feeding dogs a natural diet and with no vaccinations! I arrived in Australia with our beloved Golden Retriever Benjie 5 years ago and was of course told that he must have his yearly vaccinations aswell as Heartworm tablets..Well from day dot I refused to give him them and found a holistic vet that takes his blood every year to check for heartworm and I also give him a homepathic remedy for heartworm and so far so good. The reason I am writing to you is I would be interested to hear your views on Eagle Pack Holistic and Organic dog kibble that is imported from the USA because I recently heard about the law suits that are currently going on in regard to the poisons found in the dog kibble that were using cereal from China and also that some companies were burning euthanised dogs from vets (including their collars and plasic chips etc which were highly toxic).

Can you assure me that this food is worth the money and is not contaminated or should I start using an Australian brand such as “Super Coat” which was recommended to me from a reputable Golden Retriever breeder in Perth? I feed him Organic Chicken or Beef (non-organic as it is v. hard to get hold of) with his biscuits with raw grated carrot or steamed broccoli with a teaspoon of Sashas blend for his arthritis that he has on one hind leg knee joint and he has had no problems since starting this 4 years ago! I also feed him tinned sardines in olive oil with his buscuits about twice a week.

Could you tell me if I should include anything else in his diet or revert to semi cooked or raw beef / chicken for the added benefit of the natural bacteria? He occasionally gets bouts of clostridium which the vet has told me always reccur once they have been infected but that acidophilus with bifidum sprinkled in his food was good or in a capsule (human dose) would you agree? His coat also lacks lustre would you agree that he perhaps might need more iron from beef?

Sorry to bombard you with questions but I really would appreciate it if you could answer some of my queries particularly regarding Eagle Pack safety,

Kind Regards

Fiona

76 Brigitte Smith July 18, 2008 at 2:04 am

Hi Fiona,

Thanks for your feedback. I appreciate it!

Yes, Eagle Pack is one of the few that I recommend in Australia. The other main one are the BARF patties. You can purchase either online here –

http://www.dog-health-care-information.com/petdeli

I see that Supercoat is made by Purina. Other Purina foods are, in my opinion, rubbish. I looked at the website to see whether Supercoat is any different, and they haven’t got any helpful info there. I gather it must be a pretty new food.

Other than this, you seem to be doing all the right things!

(As always, please note that I am not a vet and I have no veterinary training whatsoever. Any health concerns in relation to your dog should be directed to your vet).

Regards,
Brigitte

77 Teresa July 19, 2008 at 5:07 am

What is your opinion on “Halo” dry dog food ? I use “Flint River” now.

Thanks, Teresa

78 Brigitte Smith July 19, 2008 at 5:47 am

Hello Teresa,

I looked on their website and couldn’t see much pertinent information about precise ingredients for the Halo products(there are general statements there about the ingredients, but nothing specific that I could find), or cooking methods.

Flint River Ranch is an excellent line.

Regards,
Brigitte

79 Martha July 19, 2008 at 6:01 pm

What about dog lover’s gold and canidae? I’ve read good things about them.

80 Natalie July 20, 2008 at 7:34 am

Aloha,
Thank you for all your help in keeping our loved ones safe, happy and healthy. I, like Candy Sonada, live in Hawaii. It is super expensive to get things shipped here. We do not have regular pet stores here either. Dog food has gotten crazy expensive. Unfortunately,I too, add commercial dry dog food to my little girl’s food. Is pedigree dry dog food horrible for her? I’m getting pretty worried after reading comments on different sites.
Thanks so much for your advise.
Natalie

81 Brigitte Smith July 21, 2008 at 9:24 am

Hi Natalie,

Personally, I would NOT feed my dog Pedigree dry dog food, even in small quantities. It’s like eating fast foods every day, only worse.

You’ve no doubt read my response to Candy above. If you’re also feeding a homemade diet to your dog, then that’s great. Stick with that and cut out the Pedigree dog food.

Sorry, but that’s my opinion, for what it’s worth.

Regards,
Brigitte

82 margaret mazlin July 24, 2008 at 1:17 pm

Hi,

I live in Sydney and had been feeding my dogs Eukanuba dry food for small dogs. Going on the recall that is not good. What food in my local pet shop would be right.

Thanks Margaret.

83 margaret mazlin July 24, 2008 at 1:18 pm

I forgot to check the followup comments.

84 Anna July 26, 2008 at 1:34 am

I can’t remember where I got the idea of Timberwolf from very well. It’s wrong to feed a puppy a 42% canine food, only 21-28% should you go, certainly no more than 32%, for even that is bad. Any dog food that says something like: Instinct, Wild, All Natural, Complete and Balanced or something rather opaque about it, why: there’s often a catch. Cheap ingredient dog foods is a no no. I never understood how much Life size Bitz in Blue Buffalo Dog food to feed per cup, yet the Lamb and Brown Rice, Adult, green bag of dog food, is better than Beef and Barley, Adult, Solid Gold, dark blue bag, I bet. Want to take my word for it?? I just worry about them throwing up.

85 Dorothy Kokolus August 11, 2008 at 7:23 pm

I have been feeding my 7 month old Shih Tzu Life’s Abundance on my breeders’s advice. Gizmo has been on it since he was weaned. His appetite is very good and he has done beautifully on it. His coat is to die for. He eats about 1-11/2 cups a day and I supplement with cottage cheese in the morning. He loves it and so do I. It’s the only kibble I will give him. Ordering is easy and you can talk with a real person if you want. I recommend it as much as my breeder does.

Dorothy Kokolus
Orland Park, IL

86 Veronique kouwenhoven August 13, 2008 at 4:50 pm

My retriever crosses who are both 16 1/4 years old were getting all sorts of problems from their 15th year onwards; especially losing urine while sleeping or resting. I had always been feeding Hills (Natures Best for the last year before switching) Six months ago I switched to Dog Lovers Gold (that had recently become available in the Netherlands) which is an affordable high quality american brand( See their website dogloversgold.com). Lots of meat, brown rice as an only grain (less than 25% of it) and lots of good stuff like probiotics, chelated minerals, fish oil etc. Within two weeks neither of them lost any urine anymore. Their coats became shiny again, they were less stiff, they slept less, even started to run again in the sanddunes near my house. It has improved the quality of their lives (as well as mine -I got a bit tired of changing their beds every day) immensely.
For the first time in my life I was so happy with a dogfood that I posted a testimonial on their website. It’s much less expensive than other foods I know of the same quality. Since I’m a widow on a small income that’s important as well.

87 Erin August 23, 2008 at 11:14 pm

Hi! We’ll be getting a schnauzer in a few weeks. She’s being fed Life’s Abundance right now. The seller offered an extended health guarantee if we fed our puppy this food, only to find she was an independent seller of the food. Needless to say, it made me a little weary of the product. Then, I found your site! It’s great to know that Life’s Abundance is in fact a fantastic food for our puppy!!

I’ve also read that people supplement fruits and vegetables, rice, and meat, cooked and uncooked. Should I do this? If so, how often and what? Is this alright for puppies or do we have to wait until their adult years?

We’ll be getting a toy schnauzer. Expected weight is between 6-8 pounds.

Sorry for all of the questions! This is my families first puppy! Thanks!

Thanks so much!

88 Brigitte Smith August 27, 2008 at 1:10 am

Hi Erin,

Most reputable breeders have their hearts in the right place, and would not knowingly recommend a dog food that they didn’t believe was good for dogs.

Of course, not everyone has good knowledge of dog nutrition (including many vets).

And with “backyard” breeders, you wouldn’t really know what their motives were.

You’re right to want to make further enquiries, though, if a breeder recommends a particular food that they are a distributor for.

But in this particular instance, the advice was good. Life’s Abundance is a great convenience food for dogs.

My personal preference is to feed fresh food (raw is my first preference, followed by home cooked). Many people prefer to feed convenience foods, though, and that’s where foods like Life’s Abundance come in.

So if you’re minded to feed your puppy fresh food, then go for it. Dogs need a high proportion of protein (usually meat), with some vegetable and fruit. Don’t feed onions or grapes, though.

As for feeding puppies as opposed to feeding adult dogs – Life’s Abundance suits dogs of all ages, including puppies. Some companies do special foods for puppies. And supplements are always a good addition. If you’re feeding a healthy diet, then some may say that supplementation is unnecessary. But others are in favor of supplementation no matter what the diet is. And it can’t do any harm.

Hope this helps.

Regards,
Brigitte

89 Deb September 2, 2008 at 2:02 pm

Hi there! Enjoying reading through your site! I have a question about foods: Which do you believe is better; Orijen, Taste of the Wild, of Flint River? And, after reading your bit on HOW the food is cooked, do you know how each of the three are cooked, and which is best? Thanks a heap!
~Deb~

90 Carolyn September 10, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Just thought I would add a note of approval for Life’s Abundance! I just added my second “shorty” jack russell terrier to our family. Both of my dogs are from the same breeder who switched all her dogs to LA last year. So my puppy was started on it and I’ve now switched my older dog to Life’s Abundance too. ( I did have her on Innova.) Much improvement in appetite, stool production, and coat! I LOVE IT!

91 Cathy September 15, 2008 at 6:58 pm

I’m currently feeding my dog the Science Hills Diet Light for my dog, he’s a little overweight. It seems to be working, but I’m not sure. After reading all this and that, I’m worried that the food have some chemicals that makes my dog lose weight and can be harmful to him and not making him lose wieght in a good, natural way. What do you think I should do? I need him to not gain weight. I know that excerise is good for him, but he’s picky about the days to go out and won’t go out if it’s too hot or sunny. Please help!

92 Brigitte Smith September 16, 2008 at 2:51 am

Cathy,

Despite the advice given by large numbers of vets, Hills Science Diet foods are AWFUL (in my opinion) in terms of healthy nutrition for your dog.

There is an excellent weight loss dog foodclick here – or you could feed fresh food and just give a little less than you otherwise might.

Regards,
Brigitte

93 margaret September 16, 2008 at 5:44 am

plse I am feeding my dog some moist harvest nature dog food and some dry arden grange food. Can u plse inform me if this food is good for my two dogs. I live in the uk so cannot purchase lifes abundance here. thanx.

94 Carol Czopek September 21, 2008 at 11:44 pm

I have two salukis that I have started on Evo. One has the runs and the other will not touch it. Is Innova a better food or Eagle Pack Holistic? Does Evo cause the runs due to its high protein content? I have been researching this and loose stools seem to be fairly common with Evo. Has any one else tried it? I am in Australia so can not get most of the foods recomended.Would you recommend Innova, Eagle Pack Holistic or Orijen? Thanks Carol.

95 julia October 7, 2008 at 11:55 pm

I feed Wellness Venison and Rice for allergies, artemis holistic small breed puppy and NuVet supplements. Any Ideas on these companies. It’s difficult when you have to work around health issues.
By the way, I found a ratings site that has written “deleted” next to the natura brands (evo, innova etc) from any rating. Maybe there is a problem with them.

96 Sarah October 14, 2008 at 4:29 am

Hi Carol, there are a lot of people that report their dogs having loose stools once changing to Evo. There can be a couple of reasons for this. The main one being is that it is a very different food from most others out there, a dogs digestive system can sometimes take up to a month to fully adjust to such a concentrated food. Evo contains no grain which is excelent but grains in other dog foods ‘bulk’ up the stools. So once your dog’s body is used to digesting things differently it will start doing solid and smaller stools. Innova is a lot easier to transition to. The small differences i found between Innova and Eagle Pack Holistic is that Innova uses more ‘whole’ ingredients. No other company has yet to meet up to Natura’s standards in quality control.
Hope this answered your question.

97 Stephanie October 15, 2008 at 6:07 pm

I was feeding my boston Innova Evo back in the states but since moving to the UK a year ago I switched him to Orijen (Innova Evo is not available over here). Lately he’s developed dry, flaky skin, had ear infections caused by excess wax and for a couple weeks had bumps that appeared like pimples at first that would turn into small patches of missing hair. The vet said it is not due to mites but likely some kind of skin allergy. I’m thinking of switching his food but I’m not sure what would be available here that would be as good or better than Orijen. I can find Timberwolf and Solid Gold but based on the posts above I’m not sure whether either is a good idea. Any recommendations? Many thanks in advance!

98 Anna October 15, 2008 at 8:52 pm

Whoever you’re talking to here, honestly, there’s a Blue Buffalo Adult blue colored bag of dry dog food, none of my 4 dogs can digest. Yet, I tried the green adult Lamb & Rice variety, and not only can they digest it and love it, it stops them from scratching!!! I tried one of the blue bags of Solid Gold, and it couldn’t do this. Sometimes, they even threw up!!!

99 Anna October 15, 2008 at 8:57 pm

At least the beet pulp in Life’s Abundance isn’s good. Plus, having to pay shipping and handling and not knowing where to buy it?? I’d rather not.

100 Melissa October 21, 2008 at 8:16 pm

Hi Brigitte,
Firstly thanks for providing such an informative and helpful site. I have two dogs, 3yr border collie x english staffie and 6mth labrador x american staffie. 3yr old is totally unmotivated by food and a fussy eater, puppy will go mad for a piece of celery!!! I am very interested in feeding the raw food but would love some simple guidelines and recipies. Currently I feed homecook chicken or meat, with rice or pasta and vegies, a little yoghurt etc and some dry food (supercoat).

101 Milly Wilson November 17, 2008 at 10:59 am

Hello this is Milly Wilson,i will like to know if you carry dog food and i will like you to mail me the total price of it and the type of payment you accept thanks…

102 Marah Wasson November 17, 2008 at 6:41 pm

Hi Brigitte,
I have had somewhat of a hard time the last week and a half, and I am sure my dogs have had a harder time then I! I have 3 dogs, a boxer(5yrs) & 2 English Bullies(1 and 3yrs). I have sworn my Iams dog food for over 12 yrs now! I used it with my other dogs and for my cat. I bought a small bag of Iams mini chunks Adult Food on the 8th of this month. My female bullie(3yrs) on Sunday nite starting having explosive diarrhea, even bloody diarrhea! No vomiting! I have tried things my friend has recommended, cottage cheese, pumpkin and she still has this a week later! I think the pumpkin seems to help more here and there?! Her son, our other bullie (1yrs), had this explosive diarrhea 1 day and then much loser bowels than normal on and off! Our Boxer is fine, now I must say our bullies seem fine other than the bowel issue! They are drinking plenty of H2O still. So maybe I am wrong but I am convinced that that small bag of dog food that I purchased was bad! It is the only thing that is new! I know dogs deal with things differently, so maybe this is why our Boxer is fine?! Our bullies also sleep together, so maybe that is why they seem to both have it?! I read on the Internet and your site about chicken and rice in their diet…so I made them boiled chicken breast and white rice in the broth for them. I also read on the Internet about giving them garlic cloves for “worms” or “worm issues”?! I gave all three dogs 2 garlic cloves. So with that being said, seems that my girl bullie feels a little better on the bowel issue. Still was watery this morning, but seems to be better this afternoon. It has been almost 24 hours since I started this. Is the garlic going to be an issue? Have you heard much about Iams? I think I am going to try to make their food for them from here on out! I have been so worried about them. Any advice you or anyone has would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks so much!

103 Brigitte Smith November 23, 2008 at 5:07 pm

Milly,

Just click on any of the links to the various dog foods that are recommended here, to find purchasing information.

Or for ease of reference, you can go here – http://www.HealthyHappyDogs.com/DogFood and follow the links on that page as well.

Regards,
Brigitte

104 Brigitte Smith November 23, 2008 at 5:19 pm

Marah,

See the information about why I would NEVER buy Iams food here – http://healthierdogs.com/dog_food/iams-and-eukanuba-pet-foods/

It is impossible to know whether you had a bad batch of food, or whether your dogs had a virus, or whether they ate something else that didn’t agree with them.

The things you have done sound reasonable – chicken and rice, pumpkin and cottage cheese, although please note that I am not a vet and I have no veterinary training whatsoever. Naturally, if any dog suffers from diarrhea for more than a day or so, a vet should be consulted, as diarrhea can cause dangerous dehydration.

As for the garlic – garlic is good, but in SMALL doses. Two cloves per dog sounds like a lot to me (although I’m not sure if you’re saying you gave two cloves per dog, or two cloves among the three dogs). Garlic is large doses is NOT good. Again, I’m not a vet, but if I were you, I would reduce the garlic to around quarter to half a clove per dog for your dogs. For smaller dogs, that would probably be too much.

Making your dogs’ food is a great idea, in my humble opinion.

Regards,
Brigitte

105 Jessica November 28, 2008 at 7:20 pm

Brigitte, I’m looking for a really high quality kibble in the UK, none of your top recommendations are available here. I can get Orijen, what do you think of it? We used to use Canidae all stages in the USA. I do suppliment with fresh veg, yogurt, fresh meat and eggs but I really want to try and get a baked not extruded food here at its quite a challenge. I’m tempted to try the Orijen but it seems quite high in protein. Any suggestions would be very gratefully received. Thanks for your site.

106 Brigitte Smith November 29, 2008 at 10:11 am

Hi Jessica,

Orijen is very good.

Unfortunately, I’m not up on the types of dog food available in the U.K.

If anyone else can help Jessica, please submit your comments here.

Regards,
Brigitte

107 Shannon December 1, 2008 at 12:22 am

Brigitte:

I rescued a dog (Lhsa Poo) from a shelter and he had diarrhea with blood in it. He was not vomitting. He was drinking and eating good and seemed ok except for the diarrhea. I gave him arsenicum album and also added some apple pectin to his food.
It finally cleared up in a week. The only reason I didn’t bring him to the vet right away was because he wasn’t vomitting. I thought I would use a holistic homepathic medicine first. It worked! I have had him for 2 1/2 months and he is doing great. He hasn’t had any more diarrhea. The reason I am writting this is because when I rescued him from the shelter, they gave me a small bag of Iams mini chunks. Even though I was reluctant to fed it to him, I did so in case he was already being fed that and I would change his diet slowly. I always cook my dogs food. Please let me know what your thoughts are on this.

Thanks,
Shannon

108 Anna December 5, 2008 at 1:57 am

I guess I won’t talk anymore. I get tired of waiting.

109 Iris Richardson December 5, 2008 at 2:09 pm

Have you read Mr. Cusick’s website and books on dog breed nutritions? One think which came to my attention he says dogs make their own Vitamin C and it can actually do harm by being in dog foods.

William D. Cusick, The Animal Advocate
http://home.att.net/~wdcusick/index.html

110 Sue December 12, 2008 at 1:53 am

Hello Brigitte,
I work at petco, and I’ve been told that the best food to get is Natural Balance. It is what we recommend to our customers. Is there any truth to this? How does it hold up compared to these other brands? I have a pitbull mix who is a bit chubby… I’ve tried the weight loss formula but it just gave him diarrhea for a while. I’ve also tried reducing the amount he gets everyday. I’ve been trying to keep him as active as I possibly can. He is not losing any weight. I’m not sure what else to try…

111 Ronny December 12, 2008 at 10:08 pm

Brigitte, not sure if you’ve heard but Orijen has been recalled and withdrawn from sale in Australia. Is there anything else you can recommend for us now, other than Eagle Pack? Thanks.

112 michael December 23, 2008 at 5:47 pm

Hi, my name is Michael, I adopted a beatufil 7 year old poodle named Angel in March of this year. I never realized what a dog can do for your heart and emotions God has really blessed me with her. My question is what is the right type of food to feed her for her age. She gets to walk about half a mile a day. I have muscular dystrophy and have an electric chair that she walks right next to. anyway, her only problem is occasional incontinence at night, I have taken her to the vet and was given proin at 50 miligrams a day, which helps for the most part. Has anyone had issues with the nightly incontinence and found a food that helps with this problem. Any suggestions or comments would be ever so helpful. Thank You !!!!

113 Laura Owens December 23, 2008 at 8:05 pm

Hi Brigitte,

I have a 4 year old Autralian Silky Terrier who has just had a seizure. I started researching and came across your site, thank you for your fantastic nutrional info. Brief research on the internet tells me that Silkys are apparently prone to ‘Epilepsy’, amongst other things.

I am determined to do my best to prevent seizures continuing or getting worse. I live in the UK and have come up with two ‘natural’ brand names available here.. ‘James Wellbeloved’ http://www.wellbeloved.com, which seems to be primarily aimed at avoiding allergies causing stomach and skin irritations and ‘Arden Grange’ http://www.ardengrange.com. I would really appreciate some advice on which would be the better dry food product. I already feed him eggs, carrots, tangerines, red peppers (he’s quite fussy about fruit and veg!), and left-over home-cooked meals wherever possible but am guilty of regularly feeding him Pedigree dry biscuits and sometimes tinned meat which im horrified to find i might as well have been poisoning him :-(

I can’t bear to watch my doggie have fits like that again and am desperate for help and to avoid eventually having to drug him up to the eyeballs to prevent it.

Thank you so much in advance for any info.
Laura :-)

114 Mary Beth January 6, 2009 at 5:40 pm

I will be picking up by Bernese Mountain Dog puppy in the next month and the breeder uses Canidae for their dogs. I went on their website and there is a Canidae All Stages which is supposed to be good for all ages. I have two older Golden Retrievers that are eating dry food occasionally and home cooked food. I want to find a healthy alternative that I can give to all three pets.

Is Canidae a good option for us or would you recommend something else? Thanks for the help!

Mary Beth

115 Tony January 7, 2009 at 8:53 am

I’m a bit confused by these suggestions: the first ranked suggestion (Life’s Abundance) boasts no corn and no wheat. The second ranked suggestion (Sojourner Farms) includes corn meal and wheat flakes. Two foods contradicting on a fairly basic issue, and yet grouped together as top foods. Of course, I understand that there are multiple factors that contribute to a dog food’s recommendability, but it’s difficult to weigh which factors matter more than others. And the difficulty is only intensified, when foods contradict one another on a specific factor that both overtly advertise. Is Innova any good?

116 jennifer January 11, 2009 at 10:17 am

I have 3 pomeranians 5lbs. each . One is on Nature’s variety raw and doing very well. My other two were on Fromm Whitefish and potato and now switched them to Fromm’s salmon a la veg. I am putting a tbsp. of Honest Kitchen in food am and pm. what is your opinion of Fromm’s 4 star line? It is a low grain semi allergy formula. (My goal is to eventually have them on honest kitchen permanantly but right now I need to make it last where it is a bit pricey.) Have you heard anything negative about the food? My dog’s seem to love their salmon a la veg.

117 tracey gray January 14, 2009 at 6:46 pm

hello I have 12 month old dalmation who developed a skin condition (yeast infection I think) since this I have been feeding him on the BARF diet of raw bones, chicken wings, necks and raw vege glup with yoghurt, garlic, cider vinegar, an organ meats 2x month. I supplement with fish oil couple times a week. The skin is better but not gone. He has been on this diet for approx 4weeks and loves it. In your opinion is there anything else I should be feeding him with regard to his skin condition. Thanks

118 Brigitte Smith January 14, 2009 at 7:19 pm

Hello Tony,

In fact the Sojos food used to have yellow corn meal and wheat flakes in its ingredients. They were in a highly digestible form. However, Sojos has removed those ingredients from the Sojos formulation (possibly to avoid this very type of confusion) .

And yes, Innova has an excellent range of dog foods insofar as the ingredients go. I’m not certain about the cooking methods (which is the other aspect you need to be mindful of).

Regards,
Brigitte

119 Brigitte Smith January 14, 2009 at 7:43 pm

Anna,

I’m not sure what you were waiting for? I saw your comments but they didn’t appear to seek a response?

Regards,
Brigitte

120 Brigitte Smith January 14, 2009 at 7:47 pm

Hi Sue,

Natural Balance dog food is okay. Not one of my top choices, but okay.

Regards,
Brigitte

121 Brigitte Smith January 14, 2009 at 7:50 pm

Hi Ronny,

Sorry, I missed your question earlier. Yes, I know that Orijen has been withdrawn from the Australian market. A real pity. And no, I don’t really have an alternate suggestion in Australia, apart from Eagle Pack, which was my secondary suggestion after Orijen.

Regards,
Brigitte

122 Brigitte Smith January 14, 2009 at 8:11 pm

Michael,

I don’t have an answer to this one. The only thing I can suggest that you might want to look into is a natural supplement for urinary tract health. See here – http://www.dog-health-care-information.com/UTI

Laura,

I took a look at the information on the two sites you mentioned. As is often the case, I could find no information on either site in relation to cooking methods. The ingredients in both Well Beloved and Arden Grange look pretty reasonable.

Mary Beth,

Canidae is okay. Not one of my top choices, but okay. My recommendations are above (and I’ll repeat them here) -

1. Life’s Abundance dog food

2. Sojos dog food (also known as Sojourner Farms)

3. Honest Kitchen dog food

4. Nature’s Variety dog food

5. Wysong dog food

Jennifer,

I have just looked at the Fromm site. The food looks okay. No, I haven’t heard anything negative about it (or anything specifically positive, for that matter). Again, I don’t know how their food is cooked (which is an important factor to take into account).

Regards,
Brigitte

123 Brigitte Smith January 14, 2009 at 8:53 pm

Hi Tracey,

It sounds like you are doing all the right things!

Four weeks is probably not long enough to see the full benefits of the diet you are now feeding, especially if your dog’s immune system was compromised by either his prior diet or other factors (e.g. medications). The fact that he had a yeast infection certainly indicates that there was/is an immune system problem.

One other thing you could add is some cottage cheese. Combined with flaxseed oil is excellent, although if you’re already giving fish oil, it may be okay alone. A couple of tablespoons each day would be good for a dog the size of a Dalmation.

If you want to address the immune system with a supplement, you may want to look at this immune system booster.

Regards,
Brigitte

124 jennifer January 15, 2009 at 8:37 pm

Brigitte,
thankyou very much for your response, I will do some more research on how the Fromm is cooked. I love this site that you have and the research you’ve done is so helpful to all of us. Keep up the great work.
One more question , one of my dogs has Alopecia x (black skin disease) from the front he has a full coat, but it is very dry and towards his tail the skin has darkened and small amounts of hair are left. His thyroid is low-normal, any suggestions on a supplement? I was curious about Sparkle from Honest kitchen, have you heard anything about this product or could you recommend another one which may help his coat? I have him on Salmon Oil from wholistic pet company, just started a few days ago.No cure for this cosmetic disease but maybe in your travels you might have heard something about a specific supplement that helped or maybe my getting him on Honest Kitchen could help? Opinion?? : )
thanks again,
Jennifer

125 ALEX TORMA January 16, 2009 at 3:59 pm

WHY ISNT EVO ON YOUR CHOICE OF FOODS IT IS BETTER THAN LIFE ABUNDANCE IT IS EQUAL OR BETTER THAN INSTINCTNATURESVARIETY ALSO WHAT DO YOU THINK OF HONEST KITCHEN I WAS TOLD THAT IT HASTO MUCH VEGATABLE NOT MUCH MEAT IN THE EMBARK AND STOOLS COME OUT LIKE LOOKING LIKE THE FOOD

126 Brigitte Smith January 17, 2009 at 8:03 am

Hello again Jennifer,

Yes, the Honest Kitchen Sparkle supplement is an excellent herbal remedy for the healthy skin and coat.

Another one you might want to consider is a fatty acid supplement which is also good for healthy skin and coat, but is probably similar to the salmon oil you are currently trying.

I’d give any of these supplements a good couple months’ trial to see whether they work or not.

I’d be interested to hear whether any of these supplements helps out with the dryness of the Alopecia condition.

Regards,
Brigitte

127 Jess January 18, 2009 at 7:31 am

i was wonderind if you have heard anything bad about ultra dog food i think it is made by the nutro company….. i just got a puppy and i am trying to find a complete and healthy food. The breeder had him on this and i couldn’t find much unbiased info on it.

128 Jennifer January 18, 2009 at 8:57 am

Brigitte,
I will let you know in a couple months what coat condition is like.
Thankyou for your advice.
Jennifer

129 Kevin Stout February 1, 2009 at 9:55 pm

Hi Brigitte….. I am looking at BG dog food. BG stands for “Before Grains”. It’s made by Merrick in Texas. Is this on your Good or Bad list ? …..Blue Picardy is the best dog breed I’ve ever owned….Kevin

130 Rick February 2, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Brigitte, I’ve said this before, My Misty, an Aussie,Queensland-Mix,
now 12 years old, had bad, alergy problems, for years. I tried 22
Brands, until, I found, California Natural {Dry Food }. Others can
say, what They want, but a 100 year old Man, told Me, Dogs are
smarter, than People. If a Dog won’t eat, the food, You’re feeding
Him[Her], don’t force Him. He knows, the garbage, that’s in it.
Don’t be suckered, by Nutritional Hog-wash, etc. . Stick to Basic
Ingredients, the Fewer, The Better. California Natural, has 3 Basic
Ingredients; Chicken/Lamb, Brown Rice, Sunflower Oil, then, I top-
it-off, with a little home-cooked, chicken, or, beef, or, even a little
pasta…, not much, but, just to enhance, the ‘Dining Pleasure’.
My Misty, just had, a complete physical. She’s Healthy, Not Over
Weight, Energetic, and, Most Important Of All…, Happy !
Vets, recommend certain foods, because, They make money on
them, even though, they can cause, serious problems. Don’t be
suckered !!! Rick

131 Sequoia February 9, 2009 at 7:23 pm

can you post some comments on blue buffalo dog food, im not sure if its good or not i didnt get a chance to read the bag and i wanted to know if anyone knew anything about this thats my be bad to feed my new puppy.

132 Mara February 16, 2009 at 5:13 am

Hi Brigitte, I have been reading all of your posts and now feel quite concerned about what I am feeding my 9 week old lab puppy and my 3 cats. They all get fed Pro Plan and I really haven’t had many problems with the cats but I am wondering if there is something better that I could be feeding my pup and cats. I was looking into Flint River but I just am not sure what kind of food I should pick at his point. Please Help I love my animals more than anything and would like them to be healthy and have long lives. Thank You, Mara

133 Mara February 16, 2009 at 5:18 am

I also read that Fish Meal must be preserved with Ethoxyquin per US Coast Guard state regulations. Most of the foods I have seen contain this fish meal. What is you thoughts on this?? Thanks again, Mara

134 Gina February 20, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Hi Bridgette:

I have two boxers and a cat and am always looking for the best food options for them. Currently, I’m feeding my two boxers Solid Gold WolfCub and Solid Gold Barking at the Moon and my cat is eating Solid Gold Katz-n-Flocken in the morning and Solid Gold Blended Tuna (with about 1/2 cup of additional water) in the evening. My younger boxer has colitis and the Wolfcub seems to control it the best. My cat has recently been diagnosed with Feline Idiopathic Cystitis which is why he is now on the Blended Tuna with the added water. All my pets seem to be very happy and healthy on their food but I always wonder if raw wouldn’t be better. I looked into your top choices and liked the Sojos Europa the best. I’m thinking of adding to my family and getting a French Bulldog puppy. The breeder says she is currently on Iams (yuck!) but would the Sojos Europa be okay for her? Also, does Sojos have something for my cat? I’m sure feeding him a raw diet would be best but I’m afraid to irritate the cystitis. I tried EVO and even with only a tiny amount for 3 days – we ended up in the emergency vet because of a serious flare up. Help! I just want the best for my fur kids but there is so much confusing information on the internet and my vet (bless his heart) believes in Science Diet or EVO (he’s carrying that on a trial period).

Gina

135 Alan March 4, 2009 at 5:01 pm

Brigitte : I have just started TimberWolf this morning and then read your comments above this afternoon. I decided I would find out who makes TimberWolf and have found the following comment on another Blog. I cannot verify the source but this is what they wrote: “Not to be argumentative…but Diamond does not make Timberwolf Organics. TWO is manufactured by CJ Foods and Triple T Foods.”

I will follow up when I find more. Thanks – Alan

136 Debbie Castor March 7, 2009 at 7:35 pm

I was reading your list of Good Dog Foods to buy and I wanted to ask you about the Dog Food Brand, Wellness. This is supposed to be an All Natural Dog Food. I was planning on buying it for my White Westie Puppy when I get her in May 2009. Wellness makes a good Puppy Plate. That is what it is called. Then I have been looking at the Pet Stores and found that merrick is also a GREAT Brand to buy. along with Canidae. I was checking the internet and I found a Dog Food that I have NEVER Heard of or seen. it is called Burns. I would like to know how to make HOMEMADE PUPPY and DOG FOOD. I would like to know what you think about Wellness and Burns Dog Food. Thank You

137 Janelle March 13, 2009 at 12:01 am

Hello Bridgitte

Sorry if you have mentioned this, I tried to read everything!!! But…. For the Eagle Pack in Australia, do you recommend the Holistic or Regular? They both have different protein levels. I have an Australian Shepherd. Thank you, Janelle

138 Cheryl March 20, 2009 at 6:57 pm

I’m still confused. It is so hard to compare brands and get correct info. I have a 5 year old, low-energy, slightly – just slightly overweight Weim. He used to be muscle-ripped and weighed 20 lbs. less. Now he lays around and his coat doesn’t shine like before. He’s ALWAYS hungry…wants whatever we’re eating but we refrain…ok most of the time. Lately I’ve tried Natural Balance in the roll type. He loves it, but is it even good? I feed him the required amount (expensive for a Weim) and he still acts hungry. Maybe he’s just getting used to not being able to free feed. Maybe he’s not getting enough? Advice?

139 jennifer May 16, 2009 at 6:26 am

Brigitte, (update)
Well, after 4 months of trying the Honest Kitchens Sparkle supplement along with wholistic pet’s salmon oil , my pomeranian’s Alopecia X was not helped. (I wrote you back in January I believe. ) I will continue to use them because I believe they help him with his overall general health. I will tell you also that since putting my 5 and 7 yr old poms on Honest Kitchen’s Force dog food I have seen great improvement in their overall appearance, more agile etc… I add a bit of Primal raw chicken to it and reduce HK amt. (HK is a bit pricey) stretches it out a bit. My oldest 14 yr. old pom has a collapsed trachea and we thought we were going to lose him in Nov. and what has pulled him thru has been Stella and Chewy’s raw chicken, he coughs much less and will actually run to get his food!!! Do you know much about S+C ??? So I personally truly believe that a healthier diet is key to our babies living a longer more healthy life. if you ever hear of a product that has helped an Alopecia X dog, I’d love to know !!thanks

140 Brigitte Smith May 16, 2009 at 7:39 am

Hello again Jennifer,

Thanks for updating us on how your dogs are going on the Honest Kitchen dog food and the Honest Kitchen Sparkle supplement.

I’m really glad to hear that your dogs are healthier overall since being on their healthy diet. Sorry to hear that the Alopecia X has not improved even with the addition of the salmon oil as well as the Honest Kitchen products.

As you know, I prefer raw food for my dogs, so a frozen raw food is fine by me.

Yes, a healthier diet is definitely the key to a healthier dog!

Regards,
Brigitte

141 Quintin McKell May 17, 2009 at 2:46 am

Hello I would like to know what kinds of dog food I can get in Australia? I just moved here from the USA to study as a full time student in Wildlife Ecology. I also brought my three animals with me, One being a Giant Turkish Angora male cat that weighs 20 pound, which is not over weight at all, just a giant! and also my little long hair Chihuahua, and my giant Rhodesian ridgeback/ German Shepherd who is also very large 29” at t he shoulder and 115 lbs. I have always tried to give them the best food, I do not care about the money as much as their health and being able to live with them as long as i can. In Australia or at least in Cairns where I live on the north east coast of Queensland I can not find any good food to feed them. I have been feeding them a brand of dog and cat food called Wellness, and I feed them the CORE Wellness food. Which is based on a High protein diet and all Natural, the cat food is 50% protein and has so much great ingredients in it such as berries and fruit of many kinds and is a grain free food. I just would like to know if this food is good or if it is just another so called healthy food. My Ridgeback is very active and needs to be on a high protein and fat diet, I run him on average 5 miles a day and on week ends we go about 10 miles a day. I found that the Wellness dog food at least the (CORE) grain free food has turned my dog from being 6 years old to being a crazy 18 mont old none stop champion. he h
as more muscle mass and less fat, even though it contains 22% fat. This is due to the high rate of metabolism of the fat and protein. he has 10 times the energy and has such a soft and shinny coat, and before I put him on Wellness he used to have allot of trembles, as when he laid down he would shake with his whole body and would not stop, I would have to give him a full massage to keep his muscles from shaking so badly.

Now that I am in Australia I have noticed that he is starting to have the shakes again, and his muscle mass has turned into more fat. he does not have the energy like before, and I am stressed out and need to find what kind of great Healthy food I can come up with in Australia. I need to know if I can ship the Wellness food out here or if there is another brand that is as good or better then Wellness? Please Help Me! I need to help my friend. Thank You Quintin McKell

142 Darlene June 30, 2009 at 2:57 am

Hi Brigitte, I would like your thoughts on Ziwi Peak dog food. I buy the bagged food, not the canned.
I feed my 2, 6lb. papillons raw, with home cooked. Use the Ziwi Peak on walks and outings. They love it. Overall, it’s about 10% of their diet.
I used to rotate grain free kibbles for this purpose.
Thank you!

143 peggy anderson July 2, 2009 at 12:26 pm

Please advise on the best food to feed my new, nine-week-old Berner pup. My vet feeds her dogs WELLNESS, but says there are many great brands available. I know Berners are prone to many problems, including bloat, and I am trying to help my pup live a LONG, HEALTHY life. Thanks very much!! Peggy Anderson

144 Sue July 5, 2009 at 9:56 pm

Brigitte,
My elderly parents lost their beloved Papillion “Happy” 2 wks. ago to kidney failure at the age of 10. They mentioned to me that they were going to a local shelter to adopt a dog. I went to the website and the first dog pictured was a stray female Papillion identical to Happy. My parents adopted her. She was abused and disliked men and had matted hair. They took her home and even though she nipped at my parents a few times, they thought she was amazing and called her Gracie. After two days with her, she started throwing up, wouldn’t eat, but kept drinking. They took her to the vet, and $2000 later found out she has Chrohn’s Disease. Their Amazing Gracie is now feeling better and acting like a normal 3 yr. old since she is now on meds and will probably be so for the rest of her life. Now we are trying to figure out exactly what she can eat besides salmon, tuna, veal, venison, and rice. Can you give me a list of dog foods that would be beneficial in keeping Gracie pain free and happy? I have been researching brands, but they have one thing or another that she cannot tolerate. We live in Pennsylvania. Thank you.
Sue

145 Erin Barnett July 23, 2009 at 12:05 am

My 14 yr old Maltese recently had pancreatitis which lead to diabetes and urinary tract infection. On top of that he has athritis. I am looking for a low fat (b/c of the pancreatitis), low sugars (and carbs that turn into sugars) kind of dog food. I am feeding him natures recipe b/c of the no corn and the only 8% fat. What do you think of natures recipe? (I use the senior)

146 DARLENE ENGEBRETSON September 20, 2009 at 10:28 am

I HAVE STARTED FEEDING MY CHIHUAHA WHO IS 7 YEARS OLD
BLUE BUFFALO LONGEVITY, MATURE, DOG FOOD WITH LIFE
SOURCE BITS. IS A RATHER NEW PRODUCT. FIRST INGREDIENT
IS DEBONED WHITEFISH. DOES NOT SAY IF IT IS MERCURY FREE.
HE SEEMS TO DO GOOD ON IT. ALSO BUY THE MERRICK SMALL
CANS OF DOG FOOD TO PUT ON TOP OF DOG FOOD. (FUSSY DOG).
MERRICK CANNED DOG IS VERY GOOD AND SMELLS AND LOOKS
LIKE HUMAN FOOD. TURDUCKEN IS THE BEST. JUST AN IDEA.
ENJOY YOUR WEBSITE. DARLENE ENGEBRETSON

147 karl September 23, 2009 at 4:27 pm

Thanks for your dog food evaluation; it was very helpful to a new pet owner trying to do the right thing for his puppy. It’s very hard to trust the dog food manufacturers to provide accurate and truthful information, it’s appears to be mostly a marketing game to them. I am feeding Flint River, we transitioned our lab puppy from the breeder’s choice of Purina Puppy Large Breed. We are also supplementing with NuVet Plus vitamins. My questions are: 1) Flint River Ranch Puppy and Adult Kibble compared to your top pick Life’s Abundance 2) I read your article on supplements however you only mentioned one product, are you only recommending that one product 3) Have you researched Flea & Tick treatment products: Frontline or Advantix?
Thanks in advance for your response.

148 Trudie A O'Brien October 16, 2009 at 3:48 pm

what a great website, will visit it often, but i have an immediate problem, i picked up a purebred 7year old female Schipperke at a shelter yesterday, she is grossly obese (26 lbs) She also has sever tartar and gingivitis with pyorrheah, consequently she is unable to eat dry food, my dilemna is what do i feed her and how much, i have no idea what she ate before, her owner had been sick and was admitted to a assisted living home. i have 4 shelter cats that i only feed raw, i don’t know anything about dog nutrition, please help, Thank you Trudie

149 Claudia October 19, 2009 at 11:16 pm

Hi Brigitte,
I live in Indonesia and found a dog food on the market called “BEST in SHOW” which is made in Australia.
It is not that expensive and it does not contain any corn, wheat or soy. The first ingredients of this product are lamb meal, meat meal, chicken meal, brown rice.
I have searched the net for this product, but have not found anything. There is also no official website.
Should I be worried? My dog like the food and after changing to this one he did had smaller and firmer stools.
Has anyone tried this product and is it recommandable?
thanks

150 Rachel S. November 11, 2009 at 1:51 am

Hi- thanks for the informative article. As most dog owners here, I am a little nervous by your non- recommended foods as this is what I feed my little mini dachshund. I am currently feeding Merrick Puppy Plate, according to the numbered dog food scale (+1, -1 point evaluation tool) it scored well. I assume that it doesn’t rank on your faves because it is extruded, but the ingredients seem high calliber. (plus it’s a US company, US plant, US meat sources, etc) Should I be worried? I was extremely comfortable with this brand as is my little guy. (no major issues at all) Hmm….
Also, I know that ultimately cost should not be an issue, however- for our limited budget it is! (We chose Merrick because it seemed to be a great compromise- higher quality, pricey but not too pricey)

Thanks! (soo much)

151 Dean November 23, 2009 at 8:40 am

Firstly GREAT site Brigitte, seriously Kudos to you. This site helped me a great deal also. I have a 30 month old Bichon Frise who will eat ANYTHING thankfully but unfortunately he gets his fair share of ear infection and the ear infections he gets have always been a yeast infection. I have now decided to change his diet and while doing so I noticed many people from Australia are having problems finding a quality dog food. Without getting to technical, providing a brand of dog food does NOT use CORN, WHEAT, SOY or BEET PULP as a filler then your almost certainly on a great product. The only down side is finding such a product here in Australia, is extremely hard work. So after I seen the great depth that Brigitte went through on this site and secondly noticing ALL us Australia having great problems trying to find a reputable brand of dog food for our beloved pets, I was compelled to write what I learnt while spending over 80 hours researching dog foods and the ingredients.

The sad truth is we only have a few options to chose from, unlike the AMERICAS where they seem to have availability to ALL brands which is FANTASTIC.

However the good news is, if you are NOT concerned about price then you can get the BEST dog food in the WORLD here in Australia as can our AMERICAN friends.

It’s called “ZIWIPEAK” the bad news is that it cost’s around $30 for a 1 kilo or 2.2 pound air dried pouch, or $130 for 5 kilos or a 11 pound air dried pouch. As you can see it’s more then likely the most expensive dog food that you have ever come across but once you see the ingredients, for example the meat (Venison) minimum percentage is 65%, then there’s the added organs (Offal’s) such as Liver, Tripe, Kidney and Heart which has another minimum of 19.5% just on the organs or (Offal) content alone plus allot more greatness such as Green-lipped and blue mussels, Chicory Syrup, Fish oil, Kelp, Vitamins, Minerals and more.

The PROTEIN minimum is at 34% and the FAT at 26% ALL these figures I have given are based on there VENISON only product. They also do a LAMB product which I think is very much the same as the VENISON protein and fat minimum. There VENISON and FISH product is done the same way and the meat minimum on this is 50% and the venison organs (Offal’s) is the same at 19.5% and the fish which is Hoki has a minimum of 15%. It really is a amazing product when ALL other brands struggle to have a PROTEIN of higher then 25% and considering the only source of protein in this product is 100% meat, I find it very impressive. It makes a great deal of sense the more you think about it because if our dogs were to live in the wild like there ancestors, they would be either hunting other animals and eating them to survive or/and savaging other dead animals when ever they can.

However there is still no denying that ZIWIPEAK is most likely a great deal more expensive then “INNOVA, EVO” or any other brand on the market world wide but the difference with “ZIWIPEAK” is that it is priced the same price no matter what part of the world you come from. I know allot of you out there CANNOT and WILL NOT justify such a high price which I can understand TOTALLY but I’m just telling it as it is here in Australia only because I hear tons of Australians asking where can they find serious quality dog food.

I don’t understand how America can purchase this food yet it is made in New Zealand who are our neighbors. It’s a crying shame here in Australia why we cannot purchase foods such as Life’s Abundance, Honest Kitchen, Flint River Ranch to name a few different brands. We can purchase Innova, EVO here in Australia only IF you are willing to go through “Pets Paradise or through there other 2 suppliers” I absolutely REFUSE to go through such companies simply because I know they are making a enormous mark up on top of what ALL other sellers sell it for world wide and I just find it absurd.

I personally will NOT feed my pets ANYTHING that contain CORN, BEET PULP, WHEAT, or SOY. There are quite a few premium dog foods like LIFE’S ABUNDANCE for example that does contain BEET PULP and many of the other so called “PREMIUM” brands will also contain one of those 4 fillers.

Now for some better NEWS. Here in Australia we can purchase (ARTEMIS) which is a dry food that does require some Hot water to be added to it before feeding it to your dog. This dog food also sounds FANTASTIC as it has NO CORN, WHEAT, SOY, BEET PULP or artificial colours or flavors, it contains nothing but goodness and the BEST thing about this product is that it only costs around $21 for a 1.8 kilo or 4 pound bag. This same product also comes in a 6.8 kilo or a 15 pound bag for around $63 and a 13.6 kilo or a 30 pound bag for approximately $107 which is a great deal cheaper then the ZIWIPEAK. I hope this saves most of us AUSSIES asking you the same on going questions Brigitte. lol Above ALL hope this information helps ALL us Australians and hope more people can use this as a guide because it really is frustrating trying to find REAL premium quality dog food here in Australia.

Just before I go, regarding the “EAGLEPACK HOLISTIC” range, I do know they do make it without CORN in at least one of there “Holistic” ranges but they do use BEETPULP I believe.

Regards
Dean

152 Dean November 24, 2009 at 12:26 am

Trudie,
Sorry I didn’t see your post sooner, im guessing you have everything under control by now and hopefully she has lost some weight by now because she sure needs to. I’m sure your aware that the Schipperke breed should weigh between 12 to 16 pounds and because you own a bitch, more often then not they are generally smaller, so you would need to try and get her down to at least 16 pounds and if you can achieve this over a 6 to 12 months period that would be great. Then over the next 6 months you could possibly try and get her to lose a extra 2 to 4 pounds that’s if she needs it once she reaches 16 pounds. You can easily tell if a dog is in good shape regarding weight just by feeling him/her. You want to be able to just feel the ribs as you run your hands along there body. Their ribs shouldn’t be sticking out or be visible by looking at them.

I’ll just mention a couple of idea’s that might be worth contemplating for your Schipperke. Due to her weight condition I think you will be allot better off feeding her a QUALITY dog food like ARTEMIS WEIGHT MANAGEMENT for adult dogs. This is a dehydrated dog food and all it requires you to do is 5 to 10 minutes prior to feeding your pet, just add HOT boiling water to the dry food and this will make the food soft for her. This dog food is made this way and shouldn’t be given to dogs dry. I like it allot because it really is a great quality dog food with NO GRAINS and NO BEETPULP and more importantly it also includes all the vitamins and minerals that is required. The other added bonus feeding your dog this, is that it should tell you on the packet the exact amount of food your dog requires to enable her to get down to the right weight.

The other thing I swear by for dogs, is to give your dog about a teaspoon to a tablespoon of low fat natural yogurt every morning or around lunch time.

I personally think you should try the ARTMIS or ANY excellent quality diet dog food at least until she reaches the weight she should be. Once you have accomplished that then you might want to start feeding her your own home made food which is great, something as simple as Chicken, Turkey, beef or Lamb mince, this is the protein they need. Then add with it boiled brown rice and a combination of boiled vegetables such as Carrot, Spinach, Green beans, Potato and Broccoli. I also like to add a raw egg in and mix it up in the food, I like to give them about 2 eggs each week. Lastly add about a teaspoon of Fish oil or Flaxseed oil or even combine both oils with her meals, If your going to combine both oils half a teaspoon of each is adequate. This is a simple yet a great home made meal and you could always mix half of there ARTEMIS or any other excellent quality dry or soft kibble to this home made recipe.

IF you read this I would like to know how your Schipperke is going so far as it has been about 6 weeks since you posted. Has she lost any weight so far with what you have been doing?

Regards
Dean

153 Brigitte Smith December 12, 2009 at 9:41 pm

Hi Dean,

Thanks so much for your lengthy and informative posts.

Sorry it has taken me some time to respond.

I wasn’t aware that Ziwipeak dog food was available in Australia. A New Zealand reader brought it to my attention some time ago when it had recently been released in New Zealand. So that’s great to know. Thanks! I’ve just done a quick search, and it’s available from several sites.

Yes, the Artemis foods are also excellent. I thought I had referred to Artemis dog food for Australian readers in the comments to this post, but perhaps it’s somewhere else on the site that I’ve talked about it. Artemis can be purchased online for delivery within Australia here – http://www.dog-health-care-information.com/petdeli – please note, however, that I do NOT recommend a lot of the foods on that site – only the Artemis, Eagle Pack and BARF.

Again, thanks so much Dean for your very detailed input.

And thanks for your kind words. I really appreciate it.

Regards,
Brigitte

154 Brigitte Smith December 12, 2009 at 10:19 pm

Hi Claudia,

I haven’t heard of “Best in Show” dog food. The ingredients you list sound okay, though. I would imagine that choices for healthy pet foods are quite limited in Indonesia?

Regards,
Brigitte

155 Brigitte Smith December 12, 2009 at 10:22 pm

Hi Rachel,

Although Merrick is not on the top of my list of the best dog foods ranked, it’s certainly not at the bottom. It’s an okay food, and if you prefer to use it, then by all means do so, particularly if it falls within your price limitations. You could do a LOT worse!

Regards,
Brigitte

156 Debra Brown December 20, 2009 at 9:58 pm

Hi! Wow what a fantastic website. I have purchased a Cavapoo(cavalier spaniel/poodle)who is 8 weeks old for which I will be picking up on Jan. 2nd….soo excited haven’t had my own puppy since I was 13 now 47 how time flys! Of the list of the best above, which brand of food would you recommend for my cavapoo? Not sure if one is better than the other for puppies.

157 Linda Tew December 29, 2009 at 3:40 pm

Can you please tell me how you rank Flint River as opposed to Wellness? I have my 2 miniature schnauzers and lhasa apso on Flint River right now. My friend has her dogs on Wellness. We both want the best and I know I do not want a food that is extruded.

Occasionally, my Lhasa gets loose stools and they all chew at their paws, and have no matter which food I have had them on. I do think the bumps on the schnauzers backs have gone away as a result of the Flint River. I guess I want to know if you consider them both equal foods. My male schnauzer has red around his mouth that never goes away. Would that be from food? He is a white snhnauzer so it looks awful.

Thank you so much!
Linda Tew

158 Shelly January 3, 2010 at 8:55 pm

I only feed my dog Wellness brand. Honestly, I could not stomach feeding my dog any of the grocery brand foods, because they are basically garbage. If people actually paid attention to what is in grocery brand dog food, they would be greatly disturbed. After adopting our puppy, we started her on Wellness. She so so much energy and the most beautiful coat we’ve seen on a dog. I understand that Wellness brand is pricey, but I would not feed our dog anything else.

159 Lori January 5, 2010 at 2:10 am

Hello, Well I have a Great Dane, Rottie, sheperd cross, and beagle !! I have been feeding Eagle pack for a long time. It was recomended for my Dane and just kept on with it. I hear now it has switched hands and is now no longer recomened to me. I have been looking and researching for awhile now and have so much trouble with availability of foods. The big thing also is I have 3 children, 2 which are in college. 3 cats, 5 horses, 6 ducks , 2 geese and a cockatiel besides the 4 dogs ! Yup, cost is an issue. I LOVE all of my animals and do my very best for all of them. I have found that there is a dog food put out by Kent feeds. Oh I know it sounds like I am crazy, but after looking at the ingredients I dont think its as bad as it sounds. The Kent company makes Native dog food its meant for bird dogs but they have 4 levels and level one seems fare for my crew. I am wanting to keep a lower protien and they all maintain weight well so no need for high fat. They also have one called Haven naturals which is lower protien and fat still idk but it would be sooo great if I could get someone to look at them and give me there veiw. It would be so nice to get food right in town for once, I have been traveling over an hour everytime I need food and I can only get so many bags at a time ,$$$ They make the food right in good ole Iowa , that has so say something, even though i am a minnestan, Well if anybody has the time I would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks a Ton, Lori

160 tara January 5, 2010 at 7:34 pm

hi! i noticed in the original post that you have stopped recommending sojo’s. i looked through the comments and couldnt really find anything negative. i am in the process of switching my 2 yorkies (5 and 6 years) from innova less active and my maltese (5 mos) from innova puppy to the sojo’s complete.

i need to be able to feed all three of them the same food and did research and sojo’s complete seemed like the best option. can you please tell me why you have taken it off your favorite’s list? thank you so much in advance for your reply! you have a wonderful and informative website!

161 Brigitte Smith January 9, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Hi Debra,

Sorry for the delay. By now you will have had your puppy at home for about a week!

None of the above recommended foods is better than the others for puppies, so far as I can tell. They are all excellent for puppies and adult dogs alike.

Have a great time bringing up your new puppy!

Regards,
Brigitte

162 Brigitte Smith January 9, 2010 at 8:45 pm

Linda and Shelly,

There are several excellent brands of dog food available. I don’t pretend to have reviewed every one in detail. My list above is a list of my personal preferences, but I wouldn’t discourage people from using other brands if they prefer them.

So long as the food complies with the guidelines I provide in the post above, and you and your dog like it, then by all means, go for it. Wellness is not one of my personal favorites, but it’s not a bad food.

Regards,
Brigitte

163 Brigitte Smith January 9, 2010 at 9:59 pm

Lori,

Yes, I did hear about Eagle Pack changing hands a few months back. I haven’t heard anything untoward as a result of this, though. So far as I know, it is still being run the same way and the food is still the same. (But please anyone, feel free to correct me if I’m mistaken on this).

I’m not familiar with Kent, so can’t comment on that.

Regards,
Brigitte

164 Brigitte Smith January 9, 2010 at 10:04 pm

Tori,

The link I provide above gives all the information about why I took Sojos off my list of best dog foods ranked.

So far as I understand it, the problem that existed with Sojos was fixed, and I believe that Sojos is a great line of food. I continue to stand by that. My issue is that the owner of the company appeared to cover up the problem and pretend it didn’t exist. It just makes me a little more cautious with the Sojos foods.

Hope this explains my position.

Regards,
Brigitte

165 Debra Brown January 12, 2010 at 11:58 pm

hello !! I do have my pup at home and doing pretty good. My question is how do you stop them from eating their poop! :-O The breeder gave me Enhance puppy food and she suggested mixing it with a little canned food. A neighbor gave me some Iams and the pup ate that up faster then the enhance. Not sure if Iams is a good choice?? went to petsmart and was hit up by a rep from Science diet, and someone from Blue…..I was hoping for a burger for myself LOL…. j/k all seriousness, can any of the foods you mentioned above be purchased in a store and should I consider a vitamin for our pup? and Lastly, any thoughts on angel eyes for the staining??

166 Debra Brown January 13, 2010 at 12:12 am

Thank you for all of your help and this great website!

167 Kelly January 29, 2010 at 9:40 am

What do you think of Fromm dog food? I currently have mine on Wellness large breed adult dog food and she just seems to be gassy on it, as right before I had her on the lamb version of wellness and she was fine, so I assume it is the food. She has been on it for half the year now. She used to be burpy, and of course the burps have stopped and its just coming out a different way. I much prefer that burps. lol. I switched her to the Wellness large breed formulation tho since it has less calories and fat so I could feed her a little more. So, I am looking at possibly a switch to Fromm Gold Large breed adult. Maybe a different brand will solve her gassy proble, and looking at the website they have and the ingredients it looks good to me. I just was wondering what you thought about the Fromm Gold large breed adult dry dog food.

168 Brigitte Smith February 11, 2010 at 6:56 am

Hi Debra,

Thanks for your kind comments. I appreciate it.

In my humble opinion, Iams is NOT a good choice at all, and neither is Hills Science Diet. I would never touch either food.

Blue Buffalo, on the other hand, I believe is an excellent food so far as I can make out – a number of readers have in fact specifically drawn my attention to to it, and swear by it.

Regards,
Brigitte

169 Brigitte Smith February 11, 2010 at 7:11 am

Hi Kelly,

I don’t have any direct knowledge of Fromm, but so far as I am aware, it is a perfectly reasonable food.

Regards,
Brigitte

170 Jessica February 12, 2010 at 10:31 pm

I just wanted to give my input towards Blue. I adopted a dog, Rascal. He is, possibly, a dachshund/corgi mix. When we got him he had a cloudy spot on his one eye and would constantly attack his hind leg, biting and hold on for a very long time. Thought it might have been arthritis because it seemed he would do it more when he was let out to use the bathroom when it was cold out. I had seen the commercials for Blue Buffalo and forgot completely about it until my husband and I were in Petco and was talking to a Rep. from there. We decided to give it a try. Well its been a little over a month now and he seems to be getting much better. That spot on his eye is gone and he hasn’t went after his leg at all! It truly is an excellent food.

On another note, I am taking a course to become a Vet assistant and we did a Urine lab, in which we could bring in our pet’s urine for analysis. One of the ladies in my class brought hers in and there were so many crystals in the poor things urine that our teacher ( she is a Vet Tech) said if he was a cat they would have had to done surgery to unblock him. When asked what food she feeds him she said “Purina.” So I made sure when looking for a new food for my pets to never glance at a Purina product.

171 sara March 19, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Hello Brigitte Smith, I just change dry food for my dogs, I did know what is use for dry food before but I was reading a lot on net and I am more inform now. I was using for my Great Dane and Jack Russel Advance and Royal Canin. I am changing this and I hope I choose right dry food it is ARTIMEX MAXIMAL DOG grain free holistic, you do not write anything about this company, but I am very interested about your opinion. Thanks a lot your side is exellant. We are living in Australia Qld Cairns if you think I can get anything better for my dogs please let me now. Sorry for my gramma I am still learning English I am from Slovakia. Sara

172 sara March 19, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Hi Brigitte sorry it is wrong spelling name of brand is ARTEMIS MAXIMAL DOG GRAIN FREE sorry again.
If I can know your opinion on Acana and Orijen grain free it will be helpfull. Thanks again Sara

173 George March 22, 2010 at 6:22 am

hi brigitte
l beleive canidae is coming to australia not sure when l have noted your recommended dog food u said earlier in a post all life stage was ok how about the no grain all life stage is it any better than ok. thanks

174 Brigitte Smith April 10, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Hi Sarah,

Artemis is excellent – it’s one of the foods I most highly recommend that is available in Australia, as I have mentioned in a previous comment. You can order it here – http://www.dog-health-care-information.com/petdeli (please note that I do NOT recommend all the foods sold at that site – some are extremely poor quality, but the Artemis is great).

Regards,
Brigitte

Hi George,

Definitely the Canidae Grain Free All Life Stages Dry Dog Food is at least as good as the Canidae All Stages Dry Dog Food (that contains grains). In general, I think that any food that is grain free is superior to a comparable one that contains grains. So I guess what I’m saying is that the Grain Free version is a little better than okay.

Regards,
Brigitte

175 Stewart August 30, 2010 at 11:04 am

Hi Brigitte,
I am soon to be the proud papa of a Golden Retriever pup. I have been researching foods for some time, and so far I am leaning towards Blue Buffalo (I am wondering why this is not in your top 10?). There are a couple others that seem good/have excellent reviews, but I would like your opinion. They are: Grandma Lucy’s Artisan and Castor & Pollux Organix Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food. Also, are there preservatives that should be avoided at all costs, and how much protein is too much for a growing dog (I read somewhere they shouldn’t get over 25% protein so they don’t grow to fast)? I have found your articles very enlightening! Thank you very much!
~Stewart

176 Brigitte Smith September 5, 2010 at 12:00 am

Hi Stewart,

Blue Buffalo is one food that is spoken of very highly by many of my readers.

I made several attempts to contact the company without success some time ago.

But if my readers rave about this food, then I’m sure it’s great!

As for the other foods you mention, I’m not familiar with Grandma Lucy’s Artisan, but Castor & Pollux Organix Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food is a high quality food.

Just because it’s not on my list of top 10 dog foods doesn’t mean it’s not good. There are on the market quite a number of excellent brands.

Regards,
Brigitte

177 Vickie Wackwitz November 18, 2010 at 10:28 pm

I don’t have a website. I’m just trying to find the best dog foods. I’ve had 3 dogs die of cancer. Found out a lot of dog foods use cancerus meats. 7 years ago I found Wellness & it was rated as # 1. Has that changed? It wasn’t in your top foods.

178 Kathy December 21, 2010 at 1:30 am

Hello!
I’ve been using Taste of The Wild dog food for the last couple of years & my dogs love it! I use the High Praire Canine formula and their foods are for all life stages. The first 4 ingredients are:bison, lamb meal, chicken meal, and egg product. It’s grain free & has fruits & vegies in it. Best part is its priced pretty good for a higher end dog food. I get it at Chuck & Dons- the price just went up to $41.49 for a 30lb bag, but I don’t think thats bad. If you go to their site it tells you where you can buy it in your area. Don’t know if it’s sold in all the states though.

179 Joy Leslie December 22, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Hi Brigitte
Love all the information you provide in your mailings
I researched dog foods online before getting my rottweiler pup a few
weeks ago, and decided on Life’s Abundance, and was so happy to see
it #1 on your list. Puppy Starr is doing great on it and she loves to eat
Thanks again
Joy

180 Mary Ann Grubb December 29, 2010 at 7:26 pm

What do you think about Natures Logic Dog food. I have a grooming shop and would like to put in a good line of dogfood . I live in Rock Springs. Wyoming and need to get a food in that wont`s cost a ton in shipping and Natures logic is avaiable .
Thanks

181 PJ Davis February 21, 2011 at 8:06 pm

I loved to see the comparisons you made. That was a lot of work, whew! Thanks!
One of my favorite foods that I mix with dry is Freshpet. Freshpet is refrigerated and looks like a giant bologna. It is made with fresh, high quality poultry, meats or fish, is minimally processed and all natural without preservatives.

182 Julie March 9, 2011 at 3:37 pm

I had my dogs on Honest Kitchen food for about 5 years and my 9 year old daschund now has bladder stones. The alternative vet I took him to looked at the ingredients list and told me a lot of the vegetables in the food were not good for dogs: kale and other high calcium veggies. She said a lot of dog food companies just throw a bunch of veggies in their food because it looks good to us. Just because it is good for humans to eat those things does not mean a dog should eat it. I’m a lot more skeptical about some of these dog food companies now, even the “natural” ones because they may not be doing the proper research on what a dog should actually be eating. The vet recommended Nature’s Variety Beef and Barley for my dog with bladder stones. (Just an FYI) :)

183 john O'Brien May 11, 2011 at 4:29 pm

We have a Cookpoo that has UTI and we have been giving her medication for this with results. Now our Vet want’s us to change her dog food to stop kidney stones,she recomend HILLS PRESCRIPTION DIET C/D CANINE URINARY TRACT HEALTH . Have you heard any thing on this brand to give me your opinion if this is a good food for my Dog? Thanks John

184 Brigitte Smith July 17, 2011 at 8:43 am

Sorry I missed this, John.

I prefer fresh food, myself. I’m not at all keen on any of the Hills Prescription Diets, I’m afraid.

Brigitte

185 Brigitte Smith July 17, 2011 at 8:53 am

Thanks for that heads up, Julie.

Interesting.

I prefer fresh, raw, food myself, but I had understood that Honest Kitchen is definitely one of the best of the more natural dog foods (and I’m sure it is – and Nature’s Variety is another good one).

Regards,
Brigitte

186 Dawn October 23, 2011 at 3:31 pm

I used to rave about Innova dog but was recently disgusted to find out that they were passing the ingredients off as human grade when it was not. I try to do the best for my dog and feel betrayed. He recently had two health issues come to light, and I now wonder if it was because of the food quality.

187 Claudettetf March 17, 2012 at 4:02 am

Hello Bridgitte & Readers

I am having an issue with our Alaskan Malamute, he is 2yrs old named Koda, we got him from a breeder that came from Boston & we had noticed that he had a yeasty smell & still does, we’ve taken away all food with corn away from him, bathed him with anti fungal shampoo as he is covered with yeast under his coat. Is there any healthy dog food in Canada, Ontario that you would recommend for him? We’ve tried feeding him yogourt to help but nothing seems to be helping. I would truly appreciate any suggestions to ease his yeast infection in hopes that we can find him the best balanced diet to help him through this. He smells very yeasty & his skin oils are over active with his immune system at a lower level.
Hope you’se can help, thank you so much.
Claudette

188 Lisa June 8, 2012 at 4:59 pm

HI Brigitte, What do you think of Orijen. I feed it to my dogs, they appear to do well on it. However, I have a english bull dog that as you can guess has a sensitive stomach. In addition, as all loving pet owners I would like the best possible food for my loved ones. Unfortunately, I am not currently able to make my own. Also, I heard somewhere that Iams bought out EVO have you heard anything to that effect? I tried Iams once and it is in my opinion the worst dog food on the market. Simply awful–my dog actually develop a bad body odor from it.
I was impressed by your site and information and would love to hear from you.

189 Brigitte November 5, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Hi Lisa,

I’m really sorry, I missed your comment when it came in.

Yes, Orijen is a very good food.

I absolutely agree with your sentiments about Iams – I would never use it personally – for 2 reasons – the food is poor quality (imho), and also they were involved in cruelty to animals whilst testing their products.

I have not heard anything about Evo being bought out by Iams. Anything is possible, and I will keep a lookout for any information that suggests this, but at this stage, I don’t know of such a takeover.

Regards,
Brigitte

190 Brigitte November 5, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Hello Claudette,

Good quality food, preferably which includes fresh, raw food, is the first thing I would be looking at. A healthy diet = a healthy dog, which would be likely to reduce the problem of the yeast infection (assuming that is what it is).

Of course, you should also get your vet to check him out if you are at all worried.

Regards,
Brigitte

191 John March 19, 2013 at 7:08 pm

Thanks, for your valuable information on what you ranked as top rated dog foods. I, too, invested more hours that I can keep track of in reading all about the ingredients. I looked at dogfoodadviser, and other dogfoodanalysis, and many articles regarding rankings. Out of many, I feel orijen is at the top of the list when it comes to comparing ingredients from a protein source and balanced diet. All ingredients are sourced locally and are natural. This dogfood is not cheap, but in comparison to the other top dogfoods, the ingredients list is far superior to the ingredients listed on the other brands. I started using Orijen Adult Dry and my dogs love it. I have a bloodhound and boxer. For a commercial dog food maker, I believe this company outpaces all others in the manufacturing process. For everyone reading this, you must decide on the right dog food for the budget you can afford. There are many top quality dog foods out there for any type budget. With that said, in closing, please stay away from corn based dog foods, and dog food with grains. Some grains are good, but a lot of cheep fillers out there so do you research and learn which ones. Corn, brewers rice, millet(ok), wheat, any type of gluten to name a few. You will be surprised when you research that you can afford a quality dog food for your budget and stay away from grains. Thanks for posting this forum.

192 Brigitte Smith June 8, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Hi John,

Sorry for the delay in responding. Great comments, which are very helpful for my readers!

Orijen is certainly a great quality food. On the home page of the HealthierDogs site, which I wrote more recently than the above article, it is one of the foods that I do mention specifically.

As I’ve mentioned, it is pretty difficult (if not impossible) to be definitive about the top foods, and the order in which to rank them, as there are several high quality foods (and a greater number of very poor quality foods).

Regards,
Brigitte

193 Deborah Stelling July 25, 2013 at 11:11 am

Hi Brigitte,
After reading this article I would like your opinion on what I’m feeding my 3 year old boxer. I use Fromn ( salmon/tuna/grain free)
and Sojos complete with freeze dried raw turkey. He is now 70 lbs and I feed him 2 x a day:
morning: 1 cup dry and 1 1/2 cups sojos with 1-2 tbps. greek or organic yogurt. Same at night minus the yogurt. I do add some cooked chicken or cooked egg to the sojos. He also get good quality treats. Loves his food and isn’t overweight. After reading about sojos in your article I would like your opinion it and also on fromn. I spend alot of money feeding my boy ( gladly ) and want to make sure I’m on the right track. Look forward to hearing from you and thanks

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