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I Need Your Help . . . With Recommendations For Good Pet Food!

This request comes from Happsmjc in the Pet Peeves group.

Emmy, the cat, is currently eating Nutro Max for Kittens. This is what was recommended when we adopted her (what she had been eating). She always ate fine, is growing and happy, but recently has thrown up three or so times. After reading a page of horror stories, I'm thinking it is because of the food. I'm so sad I have been giving this to her and this was recommended.

Patter, the dog, is currently eating Beneful. I am not sure how we chose this for him. He was on Nutro when Bexley lived here, but switched when Bexley switched to a very expensive brand (now I am thinking because the Nutro was making him sick). After researching cat foods, I researched the Beneful.

Learn what she found out and why she needs our help when you

.

The reviews were bad, but not quite as scary. The main concern was the first ingredient being corn and dyes. We just bought him a huge bag from Sam's Club, but I plan on switching his as well. Should I finish the rest of his food or switch immediately?

My question is: what brands do people recommend? I have been looking into Wellness Core, Innova (Evo), Natural Balance. Any reviews of these brands or others to try? Now I am so scared I even started looking into making my own foods. Are there any good recipes or stories/suggestions? This is not ideal, but I only want the best for my pets. I am getting Emmy new food today, but want to make some long term decisions.

Let's come together to help Happsmjc out and offer suggestions and advice in the comments below. There's a lot going on in our community — join it, check it out, share your posts or advice in the great groups, and maybe we'll feature it here on PetSugar!

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Muttropolis Muttropolis 5 years
I recommend feeding you pets all natural foods. I've tried lots of brands and stores, but I think Muttropolis has the best selection. They have picked out top quality, all natural foods. Here's a link to their foods- http://www.muttropolis.com/category/dog/all-natural-dog-food.cfm. My pup loves the Fresh from the Farm Freeze Dried foods. You just add some water and your pup has a delicious meal. The bag looks small but it actually makes a lot of food. As far as treats go, Muttropolis also has the best selection. They have a special treat of the month- that changes each month. The Treat of the Month is usually 20% off. My pup loves the Mutt Munchers- http://www.muttropolis.com/category/dog/dog-treats-supplements-dog-treats.cfm. Hope this helps!
spottsmom spottsmom 5 years
Blue Buffalo is a good one. I like the Blue Wilderness one Choose one that does not have a lot of fillers and meals listed in the start of the ingredients. Some of the best places to learn and educate yourself on this are these sites http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page=labelinfo101 http://www.petfoodreport.com/ http://www.petfoodratings.net/dogs.html Hope these helps the last link above lists the foods cat and dog and tells yo uwhat is in them and what is good and bad about it thete is anothe site that does the same and is mroe complete but i can not find it By the way I now feed Chicken Soup For The Soul adult dog food it is a little less expensive than the other higher rated foods but still has a good rating and good ingredients
Gemini2 Gemini2 5 years
We went thru this huge scare in our household a couple of years ago. I was convinced I had been poisoning my dogs. We decided all the dog food companies had so much crap in their kibble that we were only going to feed them chicken and rice. Well our dogs stopped eating the rice and were only picking out the chicken. Because they were eating human food, they started begging anytime we were eating. They actually started to miss the kibble and would go crazy after it at my Mom's house, eating her dog's food. After hours of research, I realized that there wasn't one brand I could come up with that didn't have some scary story associated with it. We ended up going back to Science Diet, even though a lot of people say it has too much corn and will make them fat, that is what my dogs want to eat.
KWallGPA KWallGPA 5 years
I recommend Blue Buffalo. I've been giving my Papillon Blue Buffalo since she was a puppy (she's almost 4 years old). It is a little pricey but she is thriving on it. Whenever I see her next to her litter mates and parents I can tell that her coat is shinier and her eyes are brighter. It may be the rose-colored glasses I look through when I see her or it may indeed be the Blue Buffalo food! Worth trying. Good luck!
sgs1 sgs1 5 years
I feed my dog Blue Buffalo. He loves it and has a beautiful coat. It has no corn/fillers/byproducts. He's very active. I have been quite happy with the brand.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 5 years
Both sites are really helpful and give a ton of good suggestions and reviews. I wound up finding the first one to be the most helpful.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 5 years
T S (another Sugar member) suggested these two sites for me a while ago when I got my dog: http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/ http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page=labelinfo101
ladyr ladyr 5 years
Both of my dogs eat Solid Gold brand dry food. Tara eats "Just a Wee Bit" for small breeds and Morgan eats "Wolf King" for big pooches. As for treats, I love the Charlee Bear treats because they are low fat and my dogs love them!
reggaecupcake reggaecupcake 5 years
i have been feeding my dog Blue Buffalo since i got him at 4 weeks old! it is a great food for them no by products or anything! i also have a cat who is getting up in age and i had been feeding her random food all the time and noticed she started throwing up a lot as well, i have recently switched the cat to blue buffalo as well and she has not been throwing up! best of luck with this!! blue buffalo is the way to go for all my pets!!
Happsmjc Happsmjc 5 years
Thanks again! Wakeuppandora, I just checked the eaglepack food and it said it was at Pet Supplies. It is a smaller store in our area so I never thought they would have these brands. They probably have Evo too. I never thought to look there. Thanks! Reesie, I too saw Food Inc. and that has totally got me in an uproar about what is in all of our food! I'm going to check out Eagle Pack and pass it on to my brother whose Golden has a very sensitive stomach.
ReesieIndiana ReesieIndiana 5 years
One of our dogs has a sensitive stomach and we have gone through numerous "natural" dog foods or even prescription ones over the past years. We also began focusing on the label and looked for dog food without corn, gluten or soy. It was difficult to go to any major pet store and find a pet food without any of those major ingredients. I was extremely disappointed that some foods like Beneful claim to be healthy and natural and the main ingredients are corn, soy, gluten and sugar. We also watched the move Food, Inc and determined that our family needed to make a life style change and that includes our dogs!!! Our dogs now eat Eagle Pack Natural Formula. Where I can't guarantee that it is organic, the list of ingredients is the best I have seen. It also has a plus side of being half the price of the prescription dog food we use to buy, but more importantly our Siberian Husky loves it and has no more problems. http://www.eaglepack.com/SP_Natural.html
wakeupandora wakeupandora 5 years
dogster (dot) com has some fun forums, including nutrition (dry/wet foods) and they have a homemade food forum and a raw diet forum. Do you have any Pet Supplies Plus chain stores near you? They carry EVO.
fuzzles fuzzles 5 years
Usually smaller pet food companies such as Evo sell only to independent Mom and Pop-style pet supply stores. If you cannot find this or any other super premium pet food in your area, a great source is onlynaturalpet.com I have used them many times in the past, and they are very knowledgeable about their products and animal care. Best!
Happsmjc Happsmjc 5 years
Thanks for all the info and advice guys! I am so happy to be learning all of this and switching my pets diets now instead of later. For those of you that use Evo where do you find it? Where do you get your homemade food recipes? I'm writing down all of this info and going to keep researching, and have been passing it on to all pet owners I know! So far Emmy has been eating the Natural Balance without issue. I am planning on making Patterson's switch gradual, but was too concerned to do Emerson's that way. She is young and not finicky, so no stomach problems and she has been eating. I am watching her like a hawk!
arlyle arlyle 5 years
Evo makes great food without crazy fillers. Our vet recommended it. It's a little pricey, but it's been working out great :)
noxcatt noxcatt 5 years
I work for petco, and I would just say there are many types of great natural food, I wouldnt say there is one that is the best because it depends on the dog or the cat and their dietary needs. I would definately say go for the foods without by-products, artificial colors & ingredients, corn, wheat. I like the Natural Balance formulas for dogs & cats with allergies and sensitivities because they have tons of protein sources and grain-free options. They and Wellness also make great wet foods for dogs and cats. Definitely read labels and ask if your not sure. And outside of petco there are also really great natural foods at small pet stores and even supermarkets now have some natural foods. Stay away from the basic grocery and premium foods though, most of them have tons of by-products, etc.
Ellenora Ellenora 5 years
We use a mix of Eukanuba and Science Diet for Zena. Her former owners had her on a mix of Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul: Chicken and some other brand I can't remember. She wouldn't eat the old food and this was the only stuff she DID eat. Also, my vet abhors wet food for adult dogs as it causes a lot of dental problems. If your dog needs its food a little wet, add some water to it. Zena likes a teeny bit of water in her food.
fuzzles fuzzles 5 years
Whatever food you end on settling with (the three you mentioned are reputable brands) it is so very important to switch from the current diet to the new diet very slowly. An immediate switch to a different formula usually causes stomach upset and other assorted digestive problems. As for the wet kitteh food, I have always fed my Persians a combination of dry (available all day and night) with their canned food fed as a treat a couple times per day. Oliver (the cutie in my avitar!) has polycystic kidney disease (PKD) so it is crucial that he be fed canned food so that he stays properly hydrated. As a rule, even healthy cats benefit from the added moisture from the canned foods as most don't drink enough water. As for the canned food spoiling the dry diet, I have yet to encounter that problem, and I am on Persian #4. They may try to get you to feed them the canned more frequently, but if given as a treat and with dry being the only option, they will hit the kibble! Good luck!
deanna024 deanna024 5 years
I've really like the Iam and Eukanuba brands that feature "prebiotics" to aid with digestion and immunity. Since getting our adopted dogs and putting them on brands containing these things, they do not have stomach problems and 2 of our 3 have never, ever thrown up.
wakeupandora wakeupandora 5 years
Raw food has a different digestion time frame than cooked food, and feeding them together would result in dietary upset as the raw wouldn't be able to pass naturally while the cooked food is digesting. I feed raw about 8 hours apart from anything cooked/processed.
kmbieker kmbieker 5 years
I just got done reading "The Dog Whisperer" by Paul Owens and he has a pretty good section about dog food in there. He says that wet food is the best because it is less processed than dry food, but a raw food diet is best over a wet food diet. In short, if you can't afford to make your own food (afford meaning both time and money), then you should at least give your animals wet food and mix in some raw food a few times a week (or you can boil the food for a brief period of time--I'm really worried about feeding my pets raw food!). I've heard the thing about giving cats dry food to help with teeth, so I would probably just try to mix in some wet, dry and raw food altogether. Right now, I'm looking at switching my animals over to raw food, but I have my cat on Science Diet and my dogs on Authority and they all seem to be okay with those foods. They won't be eating those for much longer, though!
wakeupandora wakeupandora 5 years
I feed EVO to any foster dogs I get. I have fed Wellness Core, but my one dog has allergies to chicken - and I had a hard time finding the Core Ocean formula consistently. I feed my dogs a combination homecooked/home prepared raw diet. I believe Petco sells Wellness Core for cats, and I'd HIGHLY recommend it. You will be astonished at the difference in coat and stool (yep, poop will get better!) and overall health of your cat. A Grain Free Diet is a cat's best friend!! As long as the cat intakes a sufficient amount of water, perhaps wet isn't necessary. It's major benefit is adding moisture to the diet. For your dog - any that you mentioned would be better than beneful. I bet if you went with Wellness Core or EVO, you'll immediately notice a nicer coat and better breath for your dog. As a rule, I stay away from anything that has salt, food coloring/dyes, flavor that isn't defined (like natural flavor vs. chicken as an ingredient) and most grains (though I think oats and brown rice are better digested than soy, wheat or corn). Check out dogfoodproject (dot) com!
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