It wasn't terribly long ago that my dogs ate Purina Beneful, according to some sources one of the very worst. I was on a just-out-of-college budget and we all had to make do with less than high-quality cuisine. As my canine knowledge grew and my means increased, I started switching to what I viewed as better brands such as Merrick and Blue Buffalo. My Chow mix, Lasya, developed a lot of health issues as she aged and she was placed on a "prescription diet," by our old veterinarian, something I now have a more skeptical view of. These dog foods, while designed for management of particular illnesses, are often made with a lot of undesirable and filler ingredients, such as corn, that many of us steer clear of in feeding our dogs. For instance, the Hill's K/D dry that Lasya was eating for a while contains as its only meat ingredients (none of which come first) pork fat and chicken liver flavor. I discussed switching her to something I felt better about with my local pet food store, Kriser's, and they helped me find a kibble with a similar nutritional profile and better ingredients.
I again turned to Kriser's when I adopted Ruby, knowing that I wanted her to be on a high quality canned and kibble diet. I feed canned food for breakfast and kibble at night, often doled out for Relaxation Protocol sessions or trick training or procured from one of her treat-dispensing puzzle toys. We started with Nature's Variety Instinct, a grain-free kibble which receives a 5-star rating on Dog Food Advisor, and Weruva canned entrees, another 5-star earner. Ruby seemed to like all of these but occasionally would lose interest at mealtime. I picked up a can of Fromm Four Star Nutritionals Shredded Beef for her (rated 4-star on Dog Food Advisor and included on the Whole Dog Journal's Approved Dry Food List of 2013) and she readily cleaned her plate at breakfast time day after day. This is now our first canned choice.
After some communication with Fromm Family Foods, they sent over a generous box of kibble samples for us in their wide variety of flavors as well as a full-sized bag of their Duck and Sweet Potato Recipe. Ruby found all the flavors to her liking except the Salmon a la Veg, and seemed particularly fond of the Whitefish & Potato and Pork & Applesauce (neither of which are grain-free). Overall I am really pleased with the Fromm brand - they offer quality ingredients and a large selection of flavors that should satisfy the pickiest of eaters as well as address most food allergies.
I am very fortunate that Ruby does not appear to have any food allergies or sensitivities, and for this reason as well as her enthusiasm for dinner-time diversity, I've decided to maintain her on a rotation diet using several of the afore-mentioned brands that I like and trust. I'll be rotating her kibble on a bag-to-bag basis between Nature's Variety and Fromm, and cans between Weruva, Fromm and Merrick. This will also allow us to continue food reviews if the product is something that meets my standards. I certainly don't want to eat the same thing constantly, why should Ruby?
When we travel, I've found Stella & Chewy's Freeze Dried Patties to be a really convenient food on-the-go. They come in resealable pouches which are a cinch to pack. Ruby especially likes the Duck Duck Goose flavor so it's a special treat as well as being easy to re-hydrate.
|Eating our veggies|
I will often share tidbits of my dinner with Ruby, she just has to be reminded "don't be rude" and will usually settle down next to me and wait for her morsels of carrot, broccoli, or the occasional salt-and-vinegar potato chip (initially given in hopes of having a moment like this, but instead, she loved it!). I supplement her diet with coconut oil and she gets a ridiculous assortment of treats from the many subscription boxes that I order.
I am happy that I have the luxury of putting so much thought and effort into what Ruby eats, and that the research trends and demands of the dog-loving public are making honesty, quality and safety top priorities. Our dogs would gladly eat many horrifying things that aren't on even the worst brands' ingredient list, and they are lucky they have us looking out for their tummies and long-term health! Whatever you feed your dog, I have no doubt that like me, you do it with love and purpose, and that every bowl is met with a wagging tail.
DISCLAIMER: I received an assortment of dry dog foods from Fromm Family Foods in exchange for my honest review.