Gah. Help me decide what to feed.

Whisper

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#1
I know there are a lot of posts about different brands on this forum, but I get so confused reading about how it's the best dog food brand evarrr, then another post about the food making a dog bleed out the eyes. Plus, a few years ago the 2 GF kibbles recommended the most were EVO and Natural Balance, which is no longer the case of course.
It's really hard to admit, but my dogs have been eating crap grocery store brands for a few months now due to financial problems. Please don't flame me, I've just been doing the best I can. :(

Anyway, finally I can start getting them some good food again. I'm looking for a decent grain free kibble.

I was feeding TOTW before- it was affordable and both dogs did wonderfully on it. However I'm worried about feeding it again since I heard about all the recalls, and I've never been crazy about the fact that it's a Diamond product. It's making me very nervous now. D:
I don't think Orijen is very common or affordable here.
Merrick? Fromm? Acana?
Help?
 

*blackrose

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#2
I'm of no help because I feed Diamond products. :p Chloe and Gracie are on TOTW and 4Health depending on what my mom picks up, Cooper is on 4Health, and Cynder and Abrams are on Diamond Naturals.

I will say, I have no issue feeding the food and have always been happy with the quality, the price, and how my dogs do on it.
 

JacksonsMom

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#3
Don't feel bad or guilty. We do what we have to do. Many dogs live long healthy lives on those brands.

Actually, a few of them aren't even half bad anymore. Purina Beyond and Pro Plan for example aren't terrible. With that said, their not really 'cheapest' anyway and you can definitely find better foods at comparable prices.

Check out Fromm Classic and Gold. Great values and a solid company with a good reputation. Their 4-star line is honestly of lesser quality IMO and it's more $$$.

If you have Precise around you, their pretty price friendly and again a great company and brand.

Heck even Eukanuba is improving their formulas I just saw the other day.

And while I'm not a big fan of Diamond and wouldn't personally seek it out, honestly the foods are a great value and a lot of dogs seem to do well. And the odds of your dog dying because of Diamond foods is probably slim to none.

I've always personally had the best luck on Acana. But it's not one of the cheaper ones at all. I pay $15.99 for the 5lb bag of Wild Prairie GF.

Annamaet and Dr. Tim's are fantastic companies but not really readily available which is why I've always hesitated to try them or feed them. I like having options locally.
 

CaliTerp07

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#4
I'm of no help because I feed Diamond products. :p Chloe and Gracie are on TOTW and 4Health depending on what my mom picks up, Cooper is on 4Health, and Cynder and Abrams are on Diamond Naturals.

I will say, I have no issue feeding the food and have always been happy with the quality, the price, and how my dogs do on it.
This. Lucy eats TOTW because honestly, it's the only food (out of dozens tried) that sat well with her stomach. I have no qualms feeding it, and am grateful that we found it. Bonus that it's good for my wallet.
 

RottenFlower

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#5
I fed my dogs Diamond products for years with no ill effects. They did remarkably well on Diamond Naturals, and I'd feed it again without hesitation.

They're currently eating that Petcurean GO! formula, but only because I was able to buy it as such a low price. Otherwise, they're fed ProPlan lamb & rice - again, with no ill effects.

Once upon a time, I fed my dogs Innova. During that time, they had itchy skin, dry, flaky coats and nasty poops. Maybe they're outliers, but spending that much money on dog food for those results seems silly. I put them back on the dreaded grain (& corn!) inclusive diets, and viola! Everything came up roses again.

Ultimately, my thought is to feed what you can afford and what your dog does well on. If you can afford Diamond or 4Health and they do well on it, then everybody wins.
 

BlueMerle

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#6
No reason to feel guilty we do what we have to do and many dogs live on those foods just fine.

I have my dogs on a rotation diet because I couldn't decided what to put them on. Different brands and proteins.

I personally have no issues feeding Diamond Products every now and again.
I like there:
4health (Not Grain Free)
4health grain free
Diamond Naturals (Not Grain Free)
TOTW
Professional (Not Grain Free)

Other foods I like at a decent price are:
Dr. Tim's
Earthborn (LOVE this food!)
Canidae
NutriSource
Fromm Classic and Gold
victor
Native (NOT Grain Free)
Acana
Annamaet
Wellness Core

Good luck making the choice for your dogs!
 
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#7
One of my all-time favorite foods is Fromm. They have both grain-free and grain-inclusive formulas - they have 10 flavors in all, so there's a lot of choices for rotation. It's a moderately priced food, about $50-60 for the large bag. A lot of stores will do a frequent buyer program for them as well. They haven't had a recall, and they're still a family owned company.

I really like NutriSource/PureVita and Earthborn Holistic as well, if you're looking for a great food that won't break the bank.
 

Saeleofu

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#8
I love the Victor grain-free line because it's cheap and awesome. However it's not readily available everywhere yet. It's based in Texas, though, so the closer to Texas you are, the better your chances. Also, if you can't find it, an independent feed store may be able to order it in for you. That's how it started at the place I got my food, and now it's their hottest seller. I had one bag of the salmon formula that smelled off, and they had NO hesitations about replacing it with a bag from another lot number.

Anyway, as of right now, though, I'll be feeding Go and Now for the next 6+ months, because it was a freaking good deal.

If funds are tight, I usually try to get 4Health (though it is a Diamond product). They have a grain-free line and a grain-inclusive line, and are a step above Diamond Naturals and a step below TOTW (at least last time I bothered to compare them, anyway).

I'm also working on finishing a bag of Pulsar kibble with Logan. It's got peas and chickpeas (called pulses, apparently, hence the name Pulsar) instead of grain. It's not the highest rated dog food (it has a lot of its protein content from the pulses), but HOLY CRAP it has made Logan's coat SO shiny (even though he's still flaky, he's SHINY). I don't know if that's the food or coincidence, but he's been doing very well on it, so I may switch him back to the after the Go and Now are gone. It's cheaper than the Victor, even, but I never saw it until about 3-4 weeks ago. I think it was around $28 for 25 pounds.

Acana, Orijen, and other $80-$100+/bag foods are way out of my price range right now
 

Southpaw

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#9
Fromm!

I'm a huge fan of Fromm. It's inexpensive and my dogs do fantastic on it, and really I don't have a single bad thing to say about the company. I keep thinking of getting a different brand for Happy just for a change of pace, but I can't find anything in that price range that is even close to the same quality (her 15lb bag of food is like $22).

Juno is on Go for the next many months because of that pricing deal, but when we're out she'll be on Fromm Gold just like Happy and Lucy.
 

Airn

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#10
I love the Victor grain-free line because it's cheap and awesome. However it's not readily available everywhere yet. It's based in Texas, though, so the closer to Texas you are, the better your chances. Also, if you can't find it, an independent feed store may be able to order it in for you. That's how it started at the place I got my food, and now it's their hottest seller. I had one bag of the salmon formula that smelled off, and they had NO hesitations about replacing it with a bag from another lot number.

Anyway, as of right now, though, I'll be feeding Go and Now for the next 6+ months, because it was a freaking good deal.

If funds are tight, I usually try to get 4Health (though it is a Diamond product). They have a grain-free line and a grain-inclusive line, and are a step above Diamond Naturals and a step below TOTW (at least last time I bothered to compare them, anyway).

I'm also working on finishing a bag of Pulsar kibble with Logan. It's got peas and chickpeas (called pulses, apparently, hence the name Pulsar) instead of grain. It's not the highest rated dog food (it has a lot of its protein content from the pulses), but HOLY CRAP it has made Logan's coat SO shiny (even though he's still flaky, he's SHINY). I don't know if that's the food or coincidence, but he's been doing very well on it, so I may switch him back to the after the Go and Now are gone. It's cheaper than the Victor, even, but I never saw it until about 3-4 weeks ago. I think it was around $28 for 25 pounds.

Acana, Orijen, and other $80-$100+/bag foods are way out of my price range right now
It's available online now.
 

Whisper

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#11
Thanks, guys! Both for the suggestions and being understanding. <3 I really appreciate it. I was afraid to post but now I'm glad I did.

I fed TOTW knowing full well it was a Diamond product, and I felt fine about it. Its ingredients satisfied me and my dogs did very well on it. It's just the combination of a higher influx of people saying it's bad because of that and the recalls. It's the recalls that bother me most, though that's happened with a lot of brands. Feeding raw would be ideal but that's not an option now.

Fromm is looking good to me right now, though would Millie be okay eating the adult formula (she's 11) or would I have to buy a Senior bag for her? She's not as active as Fable, but she's still just as active as most dogs much younger than her.

I'm sorry for all the questions! It just used to be so simple. Grain free, check. Affordable, check. All life stages, check. Endorsed by Chazzers, check. :p
 

JessLough

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#12
Rosey was never on the senior formula, and she was 16.

ETA: She was on the four star lines, because i like then best. Both grain inckusive and grain free, she was fine on.
 

JacksonsMom

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#13
Thanks, guys! Both for the suggestions and being understanding. <3 I really appreciate it. I was afraid to post but now I'm glad I did.

I fed TOTW knowing full well it was a Diamond product, and I felt fine about it. Its ingredients satisfied me and my dogs did very well on it. It's just the combination of a higher influx of people saying it's bad because of that and the recalls. It's the recalls that bother me most, though that's happened with a lot of brands. Feeding raw would be ideal but that's not an option now.

Fromm is looking good to me right now, though would Millie be okay eating the adult formula (she's 11) or would I have to buy a Senior bag for her? She's not as active as Fable, but she's still just as active as most dogs much younger than her.

I'm sorry for all the questions! It just used to be so simple. Grain free, check. Affordable, check. All life stages, check. Endorsed by Chazzers, check. :p
Maybe look into the Adult Gold formula or the Adult Classic formula? Not super high in protein or fat, and would probably work just as well for a non-active dog and a fairly active one.
 
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#14
Fromm is looking good to me right now, though would Millie be okay eating the adult formula (she's 11) or would I have to buy a Senior bag for her? She's not as active as Fable, but she's still just as active as most dogs much younger than her.
Fromm has two different lines (well, technically three, but I rarely see the third line anymore) - the Gold line and the Four-Star line. The Gold line formulas are all duck/chicken/lamb blends, they're grain-inclusive, and they come in puppy/adult/senior/large breed/small breed formulas. The Four-Star line are for all life stages, and have ten different flavors - five grain-inclusive, five grain-free. All of their formulas have similar calorie counts (350-400 kcals/cup) so there's not a drastic difference between the lines.

If you want something grain-free, I'd go with the grain-free Four-Star formulas. If you want something on the more affordable side, I'd go with the Gold or the grain-inclusive Four Stars.

ETA: I would definitely comparison shop and see where you can find the best deal. I just did a quick Amazon search and it seems they're selling the large bags for $10-15 more than we sell them for at work. Chewy.com seems to have the best pricing that I've seen, and I believe they have free shipping.
 

crazedACD

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#15
My problem with Diamond isn't the recall per se, but how they handled it and that the salmonella issue was because of a dirty facility. There was very little information sent out, what exactly was being recalled was confusing. NO trying to 'get back' customers with even reassurance that things are fixed, not to mention rebates or reaching out to people. There is virtually no retail support. And I used to be totally fine with Diamond before the last recall.

Fromm is great, IMO. I have fed the Classic on a regular basis, the Gold once in a while. And I am really comfortable with the company/put trust in it. My store prices are usually a tad cheaper than others, but Classic is $35/33lbs, and Gold is $43 for the big bag (33# too?). I want to say it is $46.99 for the Four Star line.

Earthborn is a pretty solid option too (and very comparable to TOTW). Earthborn has regular formulas and then grain-free that is a few dollars more. Skye and Zoie are primarily eating Earthborn GF Bison, and Romeo is eating Blue Buff Wilderness Healthy Weight.
 

Hillside

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#17
I have had VERY good luck with Nico on the Nutrisource grain free line. He has a very sensitive stomach and had been on Natural Balance his entire life. NB isn't my favorite food for a variety of reasons so I wanted to switch him, ESPECIALLY when his flavor jumped to 67 bucks a bag. It's a pretty darn good value for the money, too. the 15 pound bag lasts him a full month versus the 37 days that the 28 pound bag of NB did. Around here the Nutrisource grain free sells for about 45-50 bucks for the 30 pound bag. So I have cut his food costs in half and am now feeding a food that I am much happier with. I'll be switching Saga to either the seafood or lamb variety as soon as I run out of the Merrick I got for her at 50% off on an employee sale.

Speaking of Merrick, I have been super happy with their new formulas, too. Both the grain free and the grain inclusive. Saga really REALLY likes the pork grain free over all the other flavors, but she eats the grain inclusive lamb pretty well, too.
 

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