Frequently Asked Questions
Most common inquiries about our approved dry foods review.
LISTED BY COMPANY
I would like to know if you investigated Orijen dog food. I did not find it listed as one of Whole Dog Journal’s approved dry foods of 2011. Yet I noticed it pictured on the front page.
In the February issue with the approved dog foods, I see on the cover a bag of Orijen dog food (which we use), but I don’t see it in your approved list. What is your opinion of this food? Is it not good?
We have been feeding our dog Chicken Soup for the Dog Lovers Soul for a couple of years and he seems very happy with it. Last year, that food was on your recommended list, but in the February 2011 issue, it was not. Is there a problem of any sort with the company? We try to do our homework, and are unaware of any problems with the food.
Ken Vasek and Susan Sims Pisano
I’ve just finished reading the newest edition of Whole Dog Journal and was surprised to see Taste of the Wild dog food omitted from you recommended list. I wonder if there is a reason it was omitted from the list?
To these and many more inquiries: The foods are listed alphabetically by the name of the company that makes them. Taste of the Wild and Chicken Soup are made by Diamond Pet Foods. Orijen (and Acana) are made by Champion Petfoods.
I was looking over the “Approved Dry Foods” list in the recent issue of WDJ and I was curious as to why Halo brand food did not make the cut.
I was wondering why Newman’s Own Organic Adult Dog Food didn’t make the list. The ingredients seem to match the list of what’s good and what’s not. Just wondering what I’m missing.
Both of the foods mentioned in these letters meet our selection criteria, except for one: the companies do not disclose their manufacturers. We list only those products whose companies disclose the manufacturing location.
As we discussed in our dry food review in February 2008 (the first year we asked the companies to disclose – for publication – the site of their manufacturing operations), there are a couple of legitimate reasons why a small company would not want to disclose its co-manufacturing partner. (There are also some disingenuous ones.) If you really like the products these companies make, and trust that the company will disclose pertinent manufacturing information about its products in case of a recall or other problem, you should by all means continue to support those products.
NEW TO US
I am curious as to why Nutri Life Pet Products didn’t make your list. Although I am no scientist, veterinarian, or similar, I have been diligent over the years in my selection of dry foods for my five beloved hounds and believed that Nutri Life produced a good quality food. As a lead volunteer for my greyhound rescue group, I have recommended this food to many former “Purina feeders,” so I hope I have not done this in error.
We’re sure there are many products (especially some that are made and sold in just a single state or a small area) that we’ve never reviewed. Please compare the product’s ingredient label to our selection criteria; you can easily see whether the product would measure up to the products on our “approved” list. If it meets the criteria we listed on page 5 (“Hallmarks of Quality”), it’s as good as the others on our list.
I fed my dog Natura’s Innova for many years. Last year my son and his wife put their two dogs on Innova. After a few weeks one of their dogs had symptoms of a food allergy. My son had found out that Natura was sold to P&G earlier that year. They switched to Dogswell and so did I.
We won’t worry about P&G “ruining” Natura’s foods unless it actually happens, and it hasn’t happened yet. That said, some of the formulas have changed, but the formulation changes were in the works before P&G’s purchase, and none that we have seen reduced the quality of the products.
All companies tweak their formulas occasionally. We cut out and retain the ingredient lists from bags of foods that we feed so we can see what sort of shifts the companies make.
Whenever a dog reacts negatively to a food, it’s important to retain that ingredient list and make a note of the symptoms and date. If you switch foods a few times a year (and we think you should), you may be able to identify certain ingredients that your dog doesn’t tolerate well, which can help guide future purchases. Feeding just one food for long periods of time is also asking for trouble. Think about it; if it was ideal to eat the exact same diet every day, with no exceptions, year in and year out, don’t you think someone would be recommending this for humans?
We’ll answer more questions about our dry food review in the next issue.