The Journey from Purina Pro Plan, Beneful to Wellness..
Problems with Kip’s fur thinning out motivated me to do a bit of research on Kip’s nutrition. When I first brought Kip home and dropped by Pet Smart to pick up some pet supplies, we were towed around the store by an enthusiastic employee with a British accent. I decided to take his advice because at the time, I hardly knew anything about raising a dog and he seemed quite informative. I was wrong. The puppy food he sent me home with was “Pro Plan Chicken & Rice Formula Puppy Food” by Purina. When Kip finished that kibble and it was time to buy more, Preston prompted me to buy Beneful, the kibble his Akita eats. After I came home with a bag of beneful and found that Kip happily devoured it down, I felt compelled to look up which had better reviews; Pro Plan vs. Beneful. When I read the reviews however, I was mortified to learn that I had been feeding Kip nothing but trash and filler.
Comments lead me to Dog Food Analysis where I took my first steps in learning about the reality of kibble. Both Purina Pro Plan Chicken & Rice and Beneful for Puppies is rated one star. I was horrified. I went back out that same evening and returned the sack of Beneful that I had purchased at the grocery store. I told them my puppy would not touch it and demanded a refund. I was furious that they even sold such horrible products at the store. Instead, I went out and bought the five-star rated Wellness Just for Puppy and even got a couple free cans of canned food with a coupon. Like a child that turns up their nose at veggies, Kip did not prefer to eat Wellness. He loved their treats but gingerly ate his kibble.
The Costco Trap
The downside to high quality food was the price. So when I read that Costco sold kibble that was a good quality for the price, I decided to change Kip to the Costco kibble. So Kip ate a sack of the Costco kibble, and then they came out with a “grain-free” formula called “Nature’s Domain” so I switched to that. Evidently, the Costco brand Kibble does not provide enough nutrition for Kip. He has been on Costco Kibble for roughly 2-3 months and his fur has thinned and feels dry and limp.
Advice from Yummy Tummy
Yesterday, I took Kip to a different dog park about 30 minutes away. On the way home I decided to stop by Mud Bay and chose the first one that popped up on my GPS. It took me a bit further away from home than I anticipated and that particular location had changed to an individual’s pet store called “Yummy Tummy; Holistic Pet Food Store.” I went in and had a lovely chat with the owner who informed me that the Costco kibble was made by a company called Diamond that had many recalls and used food sources that were not trustworthy. She also recommended a couple different brands that were family owned and that her customers saw improvement from. So I brought home Acana Pacifica, which turns out to be a 5-star and award winning kibble. What I learned about the company that produces Acana is that they are located in Canada, use local ingrediants, and they only use fresh ingrediants (not frozen and grown free range) that are delivered daily.
She also advised me to look into dog food companies and even into the ingrediants of high rated foods as the ratings are indeed based upon the list of ingrediants, but do not look into the quality of food sources or manufacturers. She also recommended a supplement by “The Missing Link.” It’s supposed to support a healthy skin and coat and makes up for the essential fatty acids, dietary fibers, and plant nutrients that are missing in commercial foods these days. I have seen supplements on the shelves of pet stores but have never actually tried them before. I figured I would try it once a vet recommended it. This time around, I decided to try the supplement. Yesterday I managed to get Kip to eat a quarter of a teaspoon with some peanut butter. Today I mixed it in with his kibble and he didn’t touch anything until he was hungry enough to eat whatever he could find.
What I need to do is get my hands on a good book about nutrition for dogs. What leaves me hesitant is the clash in reviews regarding the nutrition books available. Even the highest rated books have some people strongly against some of the methods or ingrediants discussed in the books. I suppose my best bet is to get several books and study the topic thoroughly. If only the public library had every book I wanted to read. While the library has many books, I find my local library somewhat limited regarding dogs.