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  #11  
Old 06-24-2012, 10:17 AM
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Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Are there any smaller feed stores or independent pet stores around you? TSC is VERY expensive for TOTW, or any dog food, compared to the local feed stores. A year ago I was paying over $50 for a bag of TOTW. The local feed store is selling it for $43 a bag now (I shudder to think what TSC has gone up to over the past year).

That said, I dropped TOTW when I found Victor. I don't know if it's available yet where you are, but it's worth a look. It's higher quality than TOTW, and a big bag casts me $35, which is cheaper than what I was paying for Diamond Naturals when Logan was on that. I'm currently feeding both dogs Victor Grain-Free All Life Stages. They do have some grain-inclusive formulas that are even cheaper. I was feeding the Grain-Free Professional but it seems too rich for my dogs - Logan got diarrhea from it and Gavroche's BUN shot up (it's now back down to a reasonable level, though). It's really high protein and high fat, and apparently my dogs don't handle that well. They handle theregular ALS fine though.

Earthborn is also pretty cheap if you can find it. Sadly there are no places around here that carry it anymore, and the one time I ordered it I got an email later saying they refunded my money because they don't ship to my area (I am only 3 hours away from where they ship, too!).

Anyway, if you're set on 4Health or Diamond Naturals, 4Health costs a bit more and is a bit better, but is ONLY available at TSC. Diamond Naturals can be found at pretty much any feed store or non-chain pet store. Even Menard's has it.
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  #12  
Old 06-24-2012, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xpaeanx View Post
I would just visit the stores you have access too, pick all the dog foods you are able to afford and read the labels. Whichever has the best ingredients is the one I would feed.

That's about the best answer I can give without getting into the "debate."
^ Echoing this.

I could give a ton of food recommendations, and certainly will if you ask, but I'm in Canada so price variances are pretty nuts (TOTW runs $71.99 here, for instance, and equivalent Canadian brands are much cheaper).

Print a copy of some ideal ingredient lists, bring them with you and read labels, find the closest thing you can for a price that works for you.

I think folks are making sure you're aware of Diamond and it's recalls, simple as that. Personally, as a pet food salesperson by trade as well as a nutrition geek in my spare time, I wouldn't recommend Diamond products to anyone at this point. If it's the only choice you have, then that's that. We've pulled TOTW from our shelves but still have to carry some Natural Balance because we have customers who have issues on EVERYTHING else. Such is life.

My only advice would be if you choose to feed a Diamond-facility-made food (though, this goes for any pet food really) is to keep your original bag (or snip the lot number/expiry date and keep it in a safe place), and keep a close eye on product recall announcements. Diamond is on everyone's immediate radar right now.
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  #13  
Old 06-24-2012, 10:58 AM
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Most of the foods available in my area are Diamond made. I also need to go cheaper and that's hard to do without hitting Diamond as well.

I'm searching right now. Idk if anyone around here carries Earthborn.
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  #14  
Old 06-24-2012, 11:04 AM
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I like the look of Victor.

The nearest dealer is 45 miles away, though.

I hate Louisiana.
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  #15  
Old 06-24-2012, 11:10 AM
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I am NOT offerring this as advice, just sharing my experience.

I fed TOTW for a long time, but in looking for areas to cut back, making a dent in the dog food budget was one of the choices, so we switched to 4Health. I alternate between several ďflavorsĒ, my favorite ingredient-wise is the salmon & potato (no beet pulp). Dogs do great on it.

When the latest recall was announced, I was 3/4 of the way through our current bag. I checked the bar code # and sure enough, it was a recalled bag. My dogs were & had been 100% fine. My kids feed them, and they were fine too. I wasnít about to waste perfectly good dog food, so we finished that bag and the other one (same lot) and zero issues.

I think it bears mentioning that it was a voluntary recall. I donít think there is any commercial dog food out there that hasnít been involved in a recall at one point or another (though happy to be corrected on that). Personally Iím more comfortable with a company that will voluntarily recall their product than a company that waits for the FDA to force them to recall.

Personally I would rather feed raw, but until we get a freezer and I get up the gumption to do it, 4Health it is with supplementation of free venison we get in the winter.
I think its important to be educated and to make educated choices when it comes to our dogsí health, but in the end every owner has to weigh the pros and cons and go with what *they* feel fits their unique situation best.

If you are near a Tractor Supply, thatís your best bet as far as pinching pennies, as they constantly have specials and coupons etc. I rarely pay more than $24 for a 33# bag.
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  #16  
Old 06-24-2012, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbara! View Post
I like the look of Victor.

The nearest dealer is 45 miles away, though.

I hate Louisiana.
Maybe consider asking for a bulk discount to make it worth your while to drive there and back? It's near enough that if I fed as much as you do, I would totally drive the 90 miles round trip for it. Just make sure you get as much at one time as you can so you don't have to drive up often. Two or even three or four months of food should be fine sitting at home until it gets fed, provided you have room. I stocked up on a 6 month supply of TOTW before and it was still fresh when I got to the bottom of the last bag. Just be sure to check expiration dates!


Also consider calling feed stores closer to you and asking if they carry it (it may just not be listed yet) or if they can special order it for you.
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  #17  
Old 06-24-2012, 11:37 AM
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Great post Danefied.

I feel the same way about the recalls. TOTW has just stretched my budget too much.

Once I have a freezer, raw is definitely where I will be heading.
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  #18  
Old 06-24-2012, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saeleofu View Post
Maybe consider asking for a bulk discount to make it worth your while to drive there and back? It's near enough that if I fed as much as you do, I would totally drive the 90 miles round trip for it. Just make sure you get as much at one time as you can so you don't have to drive up often. Two or even three or four months of food should be fine sitting at home until it gets fed, provided you have room. I stocked up on a 6 month supply of TOTW before and it was still fresh when I got to the bottom of the last bag. Just be sure to check expiration dates!
The store is closed today, but I plan to call in the morning. Do your dogs hold weight better on Victor than they did on TOTW? A few mine have trouble keeping weigh on TOTW, so I'm hoping to end up getting something with a few extra calories as well.
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  #19  
Old 06-24-2012, 11:45 AM
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I've never had a keeping weight on issue with Gavroche. I did up his food as he's looking a bit ribby, but his thyroid is finally under control, so I figure that's the reason. He still eats well below the amount recommended on the bag. Logan was a skinny little thing until the last 6 months or so, but that's because he was growing and filling out. When I first got him he ate 5 cups a day of Diamond Naturals. He are around 2 cups a day of TOTW Wetlands (the only one he could tolerate well) and was eating the same of the Victor, but I just upped it to 2 2/3 cups a day on this bag because he was looking a bit thin again. He's now looking a bit pudgy, so he's going down to 2 1/2 cups a day. Logan is 75 pounds and Gavroche is 53

If you have a few hard keepers, you might get a bag of the Professional variety for them and see how they do on it. It's VERY high in calories, and costs the same as the regular ALS variety.
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  #20  
Old 06-24-2012, 11:53 AM
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My hardest is my pit bull. She drops weight dramatically. If there's even one day she exercises a little more and I don't up her feed that day, you can tell the next couple days. She's very sensitive and I have a hard time keeping her a solid weight. And on days she's not active and I feed the same, she's fat the next couple days.

My other ones aren't hard to keep weight on at all, except for the puppy a little, but I think it's just because he's all legs and hips at this stage so he looks all skinny, lol.

But yeah, my troop eats a good bit. A 87 lb RR, a 45 lb APBT, a 25 lb lab mix puppy, and a 17 lb dachshund. And my RR and APBT and puppy all eat the same amount of food (4 cups a day) even though their weights are so different.
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