What with all the foster puppies around, and trying to get all of their adoption interviews scheduled, I haven’t managed to find the time to properly announce an incredibly cool thing that subscribers to WDJ magazine now have at their disposal. (As of this past weekend, all the pups are placed, hurray! As soon as I receive a nice photo of each pup with their new families, I am going to post them on the WDJ Instagram page, dogsofwholedogjournal.) Now I can concentrate fully on work again.
What’s the cool new tool? It’s a searchable database of ALL of the foods on our “approved canned foods list,” which is published in our October issue.
Previously, when we published a review of a category of foods, we would catalog each of the foods made by each company on our list, but publish only a summary for each company – and, by necessity, this is still what will be published in our print version. For each company, we list how to reach them (city, state, phone, website), how many varieties they offer, what the range of fat and protein levels are in their products (lowest amounts, highest amounts) and then a few comments about the company.
But now, on our website, for the online version of the approved foods lists, we have included every single variety made by the companies on our “approved foods list” – and expanded the details about each variety. Now, you can see the name of each variety, its complete ingredients list, and the amount of fat and protein each food contains. (If you’d prefer the summary for each manufacturer, you can still access the list in its old form, both in the print version and by downloading the PDF of the complete issue from your account online.)
And here’s the best part: You can use filters on the list to search for foods for your dog’s unique needs. Looking for a beef-based food? Easy: Just type “beef” into the search box and click “enter” and you will get a list of all the foods on our approved canned foods list that contain beef.
But wait, what if you need a beef-based food with less than 6% fat? And you want to make sure that it doesn’t contain peas? Just apply the filters.
In this case, you’d click on “add filter.” In the first box, where it says “where” you’d click on the drop-down menu and choose “ingredients,” make the second box say “contains,” and in the third box you’d type “beef.” Then you’d click “add filter” again, select “and” in the first box, “minimum fat content” in the second box, “is lower than” in the third box, and type in “6%” in the fourth box. Finally, click on “add filter” again, “and” in the first box, “ingredients” in the second box, “does not contain” in the third,” and type in “peas” in the fourth box. Then you click on “submit” and voila! A list of 66 foods that all meet your unique criteria – and ours!
It’s taken quite a bit of tinkering to make this happen, but I’m absolutely thrilled that we’ve pulled it off. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been shopping for a few candidate foods for a dog with some dietary allergy or other restrictions and spent hours trying to find ones that contained – or didn’t contain – some ingredient or another.
We’ve used the “approved canned food” list as the guinea pig for our upcoming “approved dry dog foods list,” which runs annually in the February issue, which is generally much larger. We usually collect even more information about the dry foods than the canned foods. For example, we add information about how many of their products are formulated for “adult maintenance only” and how many are “for dogs of all life stages.” We indicate how many of each company’s products are made with fresh or frozen meat, meat meal, or both. We indicate how many varieties are grain-free and how many contain grain. For the next review in February, we expect to be able to offer you searchable details on every single one of the individual varieties on our “approved dry foods” list, too.
I invite you to play with the database, try some custom searches, and tell us what you think! If you have any problems, we’d love to hear about them so we can fix them in advance of the dry food review.