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Pet Food Recommendations from

I talk about Pet Food from time to time, because I have a passion for pet nutrition.  Hell, it's my day job, and I love what I do.

But most of my posts have been in a negative tone:

I've railed against Science Diet and brainwashed veterinarians.

I've made fun of Beneful and their junk-food in a bag.  (Tortilla chips and vitamins?  NOT food!)

Every time I do a post like that, people ask me:  "Ok, don't feed this.  Don't feed that.  Well, Mr. Nutrition Expert, what SHOULD I feed?"

To be honest, if you go into your local independent pet shop (Not Petco, Not Petsmart.  Joe's Pet Palace, and places like that) you really can't go wrong.  There are a lot of super-premium foods out there and most pet stores are knowledgeable enough to tell you the right fit for your pet.

If you want to feed the best of the best, look into raw pet foods.  They're extremely expensive, but the most natural and bio-available diet for your animal.  However, my recommendation here is going to be for the majority of us that want super-good, but not super-expensive.

If I have to recommend one brand of food above all others, I am going to choose Dr. Tim's Pet Foods.  This is still unknown in some areas and can be hard to find, but a lot of online retailers sell this food.

(Give it another 12-18 months, and it will be everywhere.  It's that good, and I have a feeling it's about to get the industry recognition it deserves.)

Dr. Tim Hunt is a veterinarian and a dog-sledder.  He is a raw food advocate, but it's tough to feed raw meat at 10 below zero.  He designed his own petfood at home, using a cement mixer and a lot of knowledge.  The company is still run by the doc, and he still practices veterinary medicine in Michigan.

Best of all, he interacts with his customers.  Twice a week, you can ask Dr. Tim questions on the company Facebook page.  Instead of dealing with a Marketing or PR person like most food companies, you get the man himself!

There are currently 4 formulations of dog food:  Momentum (the super-high-energy sled dog formula), Pursuit (high-energy, but not as much as Momentum), and Kinesis (all life stages, for most dogs) in both a grain and grain-free formula.  There is also one formulation for cat food, called Chase.  In Dr. Tim's words, he basically ground up a mouse and tried to mimic that in a cat food.  (I love that story)

The ingredients are top-notch.  The vitamin premix he uses was specially designed for his foods.  On average, 87% of the protein in the foods are derived from high-quality, low-ash animal protein (which is AWESOME!  Pets thrive on meat-protein more than plant-based protein, ESPECIALLY CATS).  ALL ingredients are sourced in either North America or Europe.  His standards are insanely high.  Even independent rating websites like dogfoodadvisor and dogfoodchat give this food stellar marks, often times higher than bags of food that can cost $20-30+ more.

Speaking of price, it's not too expensive.  If you feed Kinesis to a medium-sized dog, it'll cost you about $1 a day.  The 'mainstream premium' foods you would find in Petco, Petsmart or Grocery can be 25 to 50 cents more per day, at a MUCH lower quality.  (And unlike other 'top-tier' pet foods at independent pet stores, this bag will not cost you $70/80/90 or higher!)

With a good food at a good price, you also get good service from the top down.  If you email the company or ask a question on Facebook, you get an answer.  Often times from Dr. Tim.  He also does informative videos (example:  Why do dogs eat cat poop?) about nutrition and overall pet health.

I love what I do, and love to help keep pets happy and healthy.  I get that vibe from him.  It's a good company, good food, and a good price.  Currently, I don't sell Dr. Tim's (and he's not paying me to say this), so please treat this as an unbiased opinion, but if it's good enough for the current Iditarod Champion, it's good enough for me.

And now you know.  With luck, this will be at your local pet shop soon enough (if it isn't already).  In the meantime, there are plenty of online retailers to choose from that will deliver directly to your door.  I hope this helps, and as always, please let me know if you have any other questions or feedback.
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8 witty retorts:

Heather Reese said...

Thanks for the suggestions! It sounds like an interesting brand.

Miss CB said...

I work for a vet clinic in Nor Cal, which recently added a small retail section. While they still tout Science Diet (which I have not cared for since I read their labels 12 years ago when I worked in pet retail), they've added a couple foods I'd never heard of before. I'd be interested in your opinion of them - PureVita and Holistic Select. The doctor that owns the practice wanted to try to have products in stock that are processed/made (or mostly at least) in the USA, and foods that the Petco and Petsmart 20 minutes away don't carry.

MyHalfAssedLife said...

I find the more money you spend on dog food, the more the cost is off-set by lower feeding requirements. And the better foods make a lot less to clean up in the yard.

I did raw feeding for my cats for a time - it seems expensive at first but then the food lasts and lasts because the did not need to eat as much.

Chubby Chatterbox said...

Thanks for sharing this info. I'm between dogs right now but I have no doubt one will be adopting us before too long.

Itsa Monkeybutt said...

I found one brand, read the label and it sounds really good. I was happy. The price was a bit high, but I think it will be OK :) You're the reason I shop different dog fooods now, lol. Before I had no idea and never really gave it much though.. i think he got into the VDay candy last night tho :/

Brandon from said...

Sorry for taking so long to get back to you, I kind of went on vacation...

PureVita isn't a bad food... in fact, it get 4 stars out of 5 on dogfoodadvisor...

The only issue is when you see protein boosters from non-meat sources. PV uses potato protein as a backer, which boosts numbers, but doesn't really help the dog nutritionally. Meat meat meat meat meat is what they need.

I like Holistic Select more than I like PV. It still only gets a 4 out of 5 rating, but the ingredient panel reads better.

If I were the vet, I would push both brands over Science Diet (non-prescription) every day of the week. That said, I would probably dump Pure Vita and replace with another super-premium.

Look for foods with ingredients sourced in the US, Canada or Europe. If the product is sold internationally, big plus. EU standards are often higher than the US (AAFCO guidelines) so products sold in Europe or Japan means high high quality.

I hope this helps. :)

Brandon from said...

This is true to an extent. It's always best to bring a calculator and a notepad with you when shopping for a new food, to figure out your suggested cost per feeding. 'Pricey' foods often cost less than you think, but you can find a lot of similar quality foods at drastically different prices.

Brandon from said...

Don't sweat it. My dog loves beer and taco bell.

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