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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

We are going to bring home a 9 week old australian shepherd puppy in about 2 weeks. The breeder whelped the litter on Fromm Gold. I will have some on hand to transition the pup onto whatever I decide to use.

As background, we lost our 14-1/2 year old aussie last fall and had experience over the years with a variety of kibbles and granulated foods: Abady, California Natural, Innova, Natural Balance, Solid Gold and Wysong.

I have been researching food options. I have friends who have had good luck feeding frozen food (Bravo and Steve's Real Food), but they do not travel with their dogs. We do frequently and this seems logistically difficult. I was wondering if a combination of a rotation of premium kibbles augmented by a freeze dried food (say 75% kibble-25% freese dried) would be a good strategy? Freeze dried foods alone appear to be quite expensive, this is why I was thinking about their use to augmant a core meal of kibble (like people use canned food for).

From my initial research, the kibbles that are generally well regarded are: Artemis Maximal Dog, Nature's Variety Instinct and Orijen.

In terms of freeze dried, the two most widely available are Wysong Architype and Nature's Variety.

A kibble + freeze dried strategy appears to be a good option in terms of nutrition, portability and cost. I would appreciate hearing from form members on this. I would also like specific product recommendations. I am totally open to other options (particularly if you think my strategy in all wet!).

Thanks,

Bob
 

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Congrats on the new puppy! What color are you getting?

It sounds to me like this freeze-dried food you're talking about is the pre-made raw stuff, am I right? If that's the case, I would highly recommend you look into feeding a prey model raw food which is easier to get ahold of, healthier, and cheaper than any of those. It's also very easy to travel with, all you need is a cooler :smile:

However, this being the kibble side of things, I think the three foods you picked out are fantastic and if you wish to supplement the kibble with anything, I would recommend just using real, human-grade meat. Like the raw, this will be cheaper and easier to get ahold of and better for your pup anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ranmiller,

We are hoping for a blue merle female, but ultimately we'll let behavior be the deciding factor.

Yes, you are right as to why I was thinking about freeze dried foods. I had just had some bad experiences with supplementing raw meat with my last dog (loose stool is a polite description) with raw beef and lamb.

Thanks,

Bob



Congrats on the new puppy! What color are you getting?

It sounds to me like this freeze-dried food you're talking about is the pre-made raw stuff, am I right? If that's the case, I would highly recommend you look into feeding a prey model raw food which is easier to get ahold of, healthier, and cheaper than any of those. It's also very easy to travel with, all you need is a cooler :smile:

However, this being the kibble side of things, I think the three foods you picked out are fantastic and if you wish to supplement the kibble with anything, I would recommend just using real, human-grade meat. Like the raw, this will be cheaper and easier to get ahold of and better for your pup anyway.
 

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Oooh yeah raw beef and lamb are way too rich to just supplement into a a kibble-fed dog's tummy, no wonder you go loose stools! I always recommend starting out with chicken to start since it's easier on the tummy, I also recommend feeding raw with bones in it to help firm up the stools. Heck, I really just recommend feeding raw to be perfectly honest :biggrin:

However, having said that, I LOVE blue merles, I think they are the most beautiful color on a dog! And on that gorgeous Aussie coat, they're just stunning! But reds and tris are pretty too :smile:

Anyway, back to the matter at hand, you could always cook the meat if you were uncomfortable feeding it raw but I'd definitely recommend starting with chicken instead of rich beef and lamb.
 

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raw food is definitely the way to go! but for those who prefer dry kibbles, i like orijen, great food! the only thing i noticed with orijen when feeding my rotties is they drink a whole lotta water hehe, not that it is a bad thing i just noticed an increased amount of h2o consumption. but the thing i like best about the food is that it is consistent. and i think your aussie will do well on it since it is a high calorie food and i am assuming your new puppy will be high driven.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for your input...

I read through the 22 pages of posts here and the 16 pages of posts on the raw page. Definitely and impassioned group of people here, but our dogs will do that to us. As a scientist who is involved in human clinical trials, I found some of the discussions and data "interesting".

Since I have made the decision not to feed raw, not on a nutrition basis, but on a practicality basis, I will now research kibbles by ingredients and by their distribution and availablity. I am amazed on how long the ingredient lists are on many of the premiums frequently discussed here. I will also look into good kibble supplementation strategies (if you have some please share).

Thanks,

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well Natura EVO appears to have the most consistent and widest distribution in my area. Orijen and Instict are also available but occasionally have delivery issues according to two different local resouces (both probably deal with the same distributor?).

The ingredients list appears to be shorter than other kibbles (good?). I can buy 6.6 lb. bags and rotate between the two formulations for variety. It is interesting that the poultry has higher calories than the red meat. I will need to watch portions carefully.

Puppy will initiatlly be on TID feeding schedule until week 16 and then will down to BID schedule. Why do Orijen and Instinct have so many more ingredients? What is their function?

Thanks,

Bob

Naturapet Innova EVO (Large bites)
Calorie Content:
4,243 kcal/kg (124 g = 1 cup)
537 kcal/cup (4.4 oz = 1 cup)

Ingredients:
Turkey, chicken, turkey meal, chicken meal, potatoes, herring meal, chicken fat, natural flavors, egg, apples, tomatoes, potassium chloride, carrots, vitamins, garlic, cottage cheese, minerals, alfalfa sprouts, ascorbic acid, dried chicory root, direct-fed microbials, vitamin E supplement, lecithin, rosemary extract.

Guaranteed analysis:
Crude Protein (min) 42 %
Crude Fat (min) 22 %
Crude Fiber (max) 2.5 %
Moisture (max) 10 %
Linoleic Acid (Omega-6 Fatty Acid) (min) 4.2 %
Carbohydrates NFE (max) 12 %
Vitamin E (min) 300 IU/kg
Vitamin C (min) 500 mg/kg
Omega-3 Fatty Acids (min) 0.5 %
Docosahexaenoic Acid (min) 0.1 %
Total Microorganisms (min) 90,000,000 CFU/lb
Naturapet Innova EVO Red Meat (Large bites)
Calorie Content:
4,035 kcal/kg (121 g = 1 cup)
487 kcal/cup (4.26 oz = 1 cup)

Ingredients:
Beef, lamb meal, potatoes, egg, sunflower oil, buffalo, lamb, venison, beef cartilage, herring oil, natural flavors, apples, carrots, tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, garlic, cottage cheese, potassium chloride, vitamins/minerals, ascorbic acid, dried chicory root, direct-fed microbials, vitamin E supplement, lecithin, rosemary extract.

Guaranteed analysis:
Crude Protein (min) 42 %
Crude Fat (min) 22 %
Crude Fiber (max) 2.5 %
Moisture (max) 10 %
Linoleic Acid (Omega-6 Fatty Acid) (min) 1.2 %
Carbohydrates NFE (max) 15 %
Vitamin E (min) 300 IU/kg
Vitamin C (min) 500 mg/kg
Omega-3 Fatty Acids (min) 0.4 %
Docosahexaenoic Acid (min) 0.1 %
 
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Hi, Have you been to the Dog Food Analysis website? If not, I think it is a great source of information on dry and canned foods. It offers a rating system to help you choose the best for your dog.

Dog Food Analysis - Reviews of kibble

I give you credit for coming on this Forum seeking input and asking questions. That's more than most dog owners do! If I had a dollar for every new puppy owner who decided to feed their pup exactly whatever the breeder was feeding or whatever the vet says they should feed, I would be pretty financially comfortable by now.

Glad to have you here!
 

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EVO is a great food, and if it's easy to get, then that's great. Just keep in mind that while grain free kibbles tend to be considered higher quality, they are too rich for a lot of dogs and cause upset tummies. If you've had bad luck supplementing with richer meats (beef, lamb) then i'd think that EVO being much richer than that, will cause digestive upset.

IMO grain free kibbles are not better than others, (unless a dog has a grain allergy) because the meat content is not necessarily higher, they just take out the rice and barley and toss in a TON of potato. EVO is one of the better ones, though, not because it's grain free, but because it's low carbs.

If you are already looking to supplement with raw, though, why not do meat from the grocery store that is regulated and has handling rules rather than the overpriced pre mix stuff made for dogs?
 

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I think it would be a good idea to do a rotation between the three kibbles as dogs thrive on variety. If EVO is the easiest for you to get ahold of, you could make that your base and rotate in the Nature's Variety and Orijen when it is available to you.

Here are the ingredients in Orijen (I'll bold the different animal-based protein sources and underline all the animal-based protein sources):

Fresh deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, russet potato, fresh deboned salmon (a natural source of DHA and EPA), herring meal, sweet potato, peas, fresh deboned lake whitefish, salmon meal, fresh deboned walleye, chicken liver, fresh deboned turkey, chicken fat (naturally preserved with vitamin E and citric acid), fresh whole eggs, fresh deboned herring, sun-cured alfalfa, salmon oil, chicory root, dehydrated organic kelp, pumpkin, carrots, spinach, turnip greens, apples, cranberries, saskatoon berries, black currants, choline chloride, psyllium, licorice root, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile flowers, dandelion, summer savory, rosemary, sea salt, vitamin supplements (vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin E, niacin, vitamin C, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12), mineral supplements (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, selenium), dried Lactobacillus acidophilus product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product.
I'm guessing they have so many ingredients because they add a ton more herbs, fruits, veggies, etc. in there and also because they use a lot of different meat sources. So it's not necessarily a bad thing, but they do have quite a few more species-inappropriate ingredients in there as well but they're also so far down the list they're probably pretty minimal.

Here are the ingredients for NV, I'll do the same thing:

Chicken Meal, Tapioca, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Pumpkinseeds, Menhaden Fish Meal, Alfalfa Meal, Montmorillonite Clay, Natural Chicken Flavor, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Biotin, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Beta Carotene, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Dried Kelp, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite), Chicken Liver, Sea Salt, Inulin, Flaxseed Oil, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Apples, Carrots, Peas, Cottage Cheese, Chicken Eggs, Freeze Dried Chicken, Freeze Dried Turkey, Freeze Dried Turkey Liver, Freeze Dried Turkey Hearts, Ground Chicken Bone, Butternut Squash, Broccoli, Lettuce, Spinach, Salmon Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, Parsley, Honey, Blueberries, Alfalfa Sprouts, Persimmons, Olive Oil, Duck Eggs, Pheasant Eggs, Quail Eggs, Rosemary Extract, Sage, Clove.
I'm not sure why they put all of their good ingredients so far down on the list which makes their actual weight in the food minimal at best.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
To All,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Yes, Orijen will make an excellent rotational addition (the regional red looked particularly different in its protein sources). I prefer to buy ~5-lb. apportionments. They stay fresher and are easier to travel with. They allow for ~3 types of kibble per month. The EVO and Orijen (5 stores within 10 miles, but two told me about some scarcity in the supply chain). After looking at the Nature's Variety label I was left with a similar thought as to why some of the good protein souces were well down the list (thanks).

In regards to fresh meat supplementation. I am for that. My past experience feeding raw beef and lamb was unfortunately together with a high-quality kibble. They must have very different digestabilities and allimentary transit times. This why I suppose my girl got an upset tummy. So when I do supplement, I will use cooked protein (chicken etc.) instead of a raw BARF supplement as I originally suppose. I suppose I can use raw bones as a treat, but it needs to be spaced far appart time wise from any kibble.

I will watch the puppy and will transition it from the Fromm Gold to either EVO or Orijen over a 7-10 day period.

I can see why a raw PREY type diet is so attractive nutitionally, I am just almost certain that I could do it easily. My friend who does it together with frozen, does not travel with his dogs and used to feed them outside because it was a somewhat messy business. They needed space to eat the turkey parts, bones etc. I think while kibble is clearly an inferior mainstay, if I rotate it and supplement it with cooked chicken, pork, or beef, the pup will do well.

From a supplement perspective for general good health; when you feed kibble do any of you supplement your pups or young dogs with anything nutritionally?

:)

Bob
 

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To All,
After looking at the Nature's Variety label I was left with a similar thought as to why some of the good protein souces were well down the list (thanks).
Yeah I'd never noticed that before either so we both learned something new :smile:
I suppose I can use raw bones as a treat, but it needs to be spaced far appart time wise from any kibble.
They don't need to be spaced out to much though, not like if you were feeding a raw meal. heck some people here even feed pre-made raw with their kibble.

I can see why a raw PREY type diet is so attractive nutitionally, I am just almost certain that I could do it easily. My friend who does it together with frozen, does not travel with his dogs and used to feed them outside because it was a somewhat messy business. They needed space to eat the turkey parts, bones etc. I think while kibble is clearly an inferior mainstay, if I rotate it and supplement it with cooked chicken, pork, or beef, the pup will do well.
I used to have a hard time with this until I rethought how I was doing things and relaxed a bit. My dogs eat their meals in my kitchen on a regular basis. Consequently my floor has actually gotten cleaner as a result of this because they lick the floor clean afterwards. I also just take their food with them in a cooler when I travel or pick some up wherever I happen to be. It's no less convenient than when I have to pack my own food in a cooler for travel.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hi,

I have heard both points of view. I am not sold either way. Why do you believe what you do?

Look below at the two Orijen formulations and I see slightly higher fat content in the puppy formulation probably due to having some of fat rich ingredients raised in concentration. I also believe that the litter is on Fromm Adult Gold and not their Puppy Gold formula.

I would really like to understand what nutritionally is different about the foods and biologically how the animal's needs are different while growing?

Thanks,

Bob

Orijen Puppy

INGREDIENTS
Fresh deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, russet potato, fresh deboned salmon (a natural source of DHA and EPA), herring meal, sweet potato, peas, fresh deboned lake whitefish, salmon meal, fresh deboned walleye, chicken liver, fresh deboned turkey, chicken fat (naturally preserved with vitamin E and citric acid), fresh whole eggs, fresh deboned herring, sun-cured alfalfa, salmon oil, chicory root, dehydrated organic kelp, pumpkin, carrots, spinach, turnip greens, apples, cranberries, saskatoon berries, black currants, choline chloride, psyllium, licorice root, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile flowers, dandelion, summer savory, rosemary, sea salt, vitamin supplements (vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin E, niacin, vitamin C, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12), mineral supplements (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, selenium), dried Lactobacillus acidophilus product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product.


Orijen Adult:

INGREDIENTS
Fresh deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, russet potato, fresh deboned pacific salmon (a natural source of DHA and EPA), herring meal, sweet potato, peas, fresh deboned lake whitefish, fresh deboned northern walleye, chicken fat (naturally preserved with vitamin E and citric acid), chicken liver, salmon meal, fresh deboned turkey, fresh whole eggs, fresh deboned herring, sun-cured alfalfa, salmon oil, chicory root, dehydrated organic kelp, pumpkin, carrots, spinach, turnip greens, apples, cranberries, saskatoon berries, black currants, choline chloride, psyllium, licorice root, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile flowers, dandelion, summer savory, rosemary, sea salt, vitamin supplements (vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin E, niacin, vitamin C, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12), mineral supplements (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, selenium), dried Lactobacillus acidophilus, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product.


I know I will get some disagreements on this, but if you feed kibbles, you should be feeding a puppy food. I believe for the first 8 months he should be eating 100% puppy food. Then maybe add in "some" adult food after 8 months.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yeah, my floors have been dirtier since I lost my girl last September. They are excellent floor cleaners..:)

Consequently my floor has actually gotten cleaner as a result of this because they lick the floor clean afterwards.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks to all for the discussion...

I ordered a 5 lb. bage of Fromm Gold Nutritionals Adult (Breeder is using this). I believe she is using this kibble because she is from the high protein = renal stress school (best not to get in a debate over these matters). I also ordered a 5 lb. bag of Orijen Puppy. I figure that for week 1 I will keep the puppy on the Fromm. The pup will have a hard enough time adjusting to its new home and local water without a food change. Over weeks 2-3 I will blend in the Orijen so by the end of the 3rd week it will be on Orijen. I should bring the puppy home on the 30th (Yikes!).

:)

Bob


Fromm Gold Nutritionals Adult

INGREDIENTS:
Duck, Chicken Meal, Chicken, Brown Rice, Pearled Barley, Oatmeal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Lamb, Potato, Tomato Pomace, Whole Egg, Salmon Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Cheese, Flaxseed, Brewers Dried Yeast, Alfalfa Meal, Carrots, Lettuce, Celery, Lecithin, Chicken Cartilage, Monocalcium Phosphate, Salt, Potassium Chloride, DL-Methionine, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bifidobacterium Longum, Lactobacillus Plantarum, Enterococcous Faecium, Vitamin A, D3, E, B12 Supplements, Choline Chloride, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Carbonate, Manganous Oxide, Copper Oxide, Cobalt Carbonate, Calcium Iodate, Sorbic Acid, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite.

Orijen Puppy

INGREDIENTS
Fresh deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, russet potato, fresh deboned salmon (a natural source of DHA and EPA), herring meal, sweet potato, peas, fresh deboned lake whitefish, salmon meal, fresh deboned walleye, chicken liver, fresh deboned turkey, chicken fat (naturally preserved with vitamin E and citric acid), fresh whole eggs, fresh deboned herring, sun-cured alfalfa, salmon oil, chicory root, dehydrated organic kelp, pumpkin, carrots, spinach, turnip greens, apples, cranberries, saskatoon berries, black currants, choline chloride, psyllium, licorice root, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile flowers, dandelion, summer savory, rosemary, sea salt, vitamin supplements (vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin E, niacin, vitamin C, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12), mineral supplements (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, selenium), dried Lactobacillus acidophilus product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Rotating Kibble: Divergent Animal Protein Sources

Bob

After much review, these 3 kibbles appear to have divergent souces of protein. I evaluated the first ingredients before fat listings (what its mostly made from) and availability (some good ones where difficult to find). I bolded the protein sources with low water content and color coded animal sources in red.

I thought others researching kibbles might be interested particularly if they intend to rotate.

:)

Bob

Orijen Adult
chicken
chicken meal
turkey meal
potato
salmon
herring meal
sweet potato
peas
whitefish
walleye
chicken fat

Instinct Rabbit
rabbit meal
salmon meal

tapioca
chicken fat

EVO Red Meat
beef
lamb meal
potatoes
egg
sunflower oil
buffalo
lamb
venison
beef cartilage
herring oil
 

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Hi Bob and others,

I feed my pets Life's Abundance, a holistic food made by a small company, not one of the big commercial firms. There may be one or two reviews online somewhere, they are not current and the ingredients are out of date. There is not a lot of press on this company, it's very small, not as well-known as the biggies out there. But customers include everyday dogs to Westminster champs.

Reason why my pets are on it, and why I feel it's UNIQUE from other great quality kibble and canned pet products:

1. It's made FRESH each week and shipped directly to you, no middlemen, no warehousing, no chance of it being contaminated by being sprayed, etc. I've seen bags of really upscale brands in pet stores with expired labels. We ONLY ship directly to customers.

2. It's never been recalled.

3. Our holistic vet, and formulator of the food has a live phone call every other Wed. that anyone can get on to ask questions, state concerns, and get updates, advice, etc.

4. Very ethical company, for example: they pulled a natural flea/tick product they were going to market, but after research and testing, it was determined that one has to spray the "natural" stuff on the animal every day in order for it to work, and they could not justify doing that, so in lieu of making profit, they opted for the animals' safety.

5. They have evaluated ingredients carefully, here's an example:they've opted to use the required "selenium" trace item as "selenium yeast" instead of "sodium selenite" that all of the other holistic high-end brands use. It's safer. I have an article on it if you'd like me to post or PM you with it.

6. They actively donate to rescue groups with proceeds from each purchase.

Sorry, I'm not trying to do a commercial here -- I am also a distributor of it. I try to limit my posts like this here because I don't have a bias agenda, but I just wanted you to have another option. If you are interested, check it out on my site, Welcome to HealthyPetNet. My customers and I are very happy with the results on our pets and the difference it has made and will even do testimonials.

If this info helps anyone great! I personally love the results I'm seeing. If not, rock on with whatever you do decide upon, just PLEASE feed your baby a good quality food with good ingredients.
 

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As far as the ingredient list goes, there's so much better out there, but that's beside the point

1. It's made FRESH each week and shipped directly to you, no middlemen, no warehousing, no chance of it being contaminated by being sprayed, etc. I've seen bags of really upscale brands in pet stores with expired labels. We ONLY ship directly to customers.
.

hmm... I used to work somewhere that sold this dog food..... so that's definately not shipping directly to customers. (Camp Bow Wow- Boulder, CO)
 

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I feed my pets Life's Abundance, a holistic food made by a small company, not one of the big commercial firms.
Anytime I see the word "holistic" when referring to a dog food, it makes me VERY wary of any other information I am going to get. There is no requirement for using the word "holistic" with dog foods. Any dog food including Ol' Roy or Purina One or any of the garbage dog food brands can call itself holistic if they wish. The word is a marketing ploy and means nothing in the dog food world.

3. Our holistic vet, and formulator of the food has a live phone call every other Wed. that anyone can get on to ask questions, state concerns, and get updates, advice, etc.
I feel the same when I see the word "holistic" referring to vets. There is no requirement, educational or otherwise, for a vet to call himself holistic. Any vet can hang a sign on his door proclaiming himself to be holistic and it's so. Again, that word is used as a marketing ploy and is meaningless when used to describe a vet.

6. They actively donate to rescue groups with proceeds from each purchase.
So does Hill's Science Diet. That doesn't make it's food good quality.
 
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