Recommendations on Dog Food–Updated

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Hi folks,

I realize I have been awful at updating the site. I obviously cannot keep up with my crazy life lately and some things have suffered greatly (posting on the blog always seems to be the first thing to suffer, but caring for living things must take front seat). I want to take a minute to update you on dog food in light of recent developments.

As I am sure most of you are now aware, there is currently a recall on many of the Diamond Pet Food brands and the latest news is that it now includes Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul and Taste of the Wild–both brands that I use and have recommended. I refer you to their website for the latest news and how to check your production codes. Please note: This is a voluntary recall by Diamond and no dogs have been affected, but I understand some humans have been. See the website for more information: I’ve heard even if you’ve thrown your bags away and cannot check the production codes, Diamond will replace what you have.

Next, while trying to find more information about the recall and even possibly consider alternatives, additional concerns about the foods and companies I have previously recommended have come to light. I am currently reevaluating and researching companies and ingredients and will post my findings and opinion.

For now, it seems there is no reason to panic, but certainly be sure to check out the website and the production codes of any of the mentioned foods. Concerning alternative foods, I do not feel comfortable making a recommendation at this time, but will tell you that this has prompted me to do additional research.

There is a lot to take into consideration when looking at dog foods as you know. I look at the ingredients (in particular, I look for meat as the first four ingredients), the protein/fat/carbohydrate ratios, etc., and then I look (as far as I am able) at the quality and source of the ingredients, as well as the preservatives.

I hate processed anything. I don’t eat processed foods myself and feel it is the root of all evil (health-wise). I have been working and researching and trying to find a way to feed our Llewellins a non-processed food. I believe it can be done if you have a few dogs. Sled-dog folks do it with lots of dogs, but their needs are different. I just have not yet found all that I need to implement this in our kennel. It is my ultimate goal.

As you know, not every dog food is good for every breed of dog. I’ve tried many, many brands over the years. You’ve heard me over and over say that I finally found a g00d-quality food that my Llewellins do excellent on (excellent health, coat, stool, energy, behavior, even growth rates on puppies, etc.), that I can easily find (because if you cannot easily obtain the food, what good is it?), and that I can afford to feed my puppies, pregnant bitches, adult, and senior dogs because I scoop a lot of kibble every day. I feel what you put in your own body and your dogs comes out in the health of you and your dog’s skin, ears, energy-level, behavior, and total well-being. Allergies, hot spots, ear infections, and the like have completely disappeared since changing to this (corn-free), lower (not “low”, just not “high”) protein. I passionately back this with every ounce of me.

It is always a good thing to stay on the ball and continue to research your current dog food company and to even consider something new to see if it meets your standards. I would love to find an alternative affordable food that is grain-free (Taste of the Wild is grain-free and I do feed this but sadly, am unable to feed it exclusively—and I seriously hope I do not have to find an alternative, but must look into it) as I have gone completely grain-free in my own diet and have personally seen and experienced an incredible change in my health, energy-levels, mood, etc. I know I am not a dog and their needs are not the same as humans, but I firmly believe grains (and the sugars, gmos, gluten, pesticides, etc.,) are an ingredient all humans and our canine best friends can absolutely, without a doubt, do without. There are many dog-food companies going grain-free and I try to keep looking to see if there are better alternatives, but really have liked Taste of the Wild. My issue is always with the protein levels and the quality of the meat source and then, the harsh reality of being able to consistently afford to purchase it for lots of dogs.

Until then, I still stand firmly against the ingredients (corn, soy, and wheat in particular) and brand names I always have. Am I adding another manufacturer and brands to my list? Maybe. I am currently researching the following dog food companies:  the following foods: Orijen (by Champion Pet Foods), Fromm (by Fromm Family Foods in Wisconsin), Acana (also by Champion Pet Foods), and Now! (by Petcurean Pet Nutrition).

Stay tuned and please do not panic.