Answers From Experts March 2011 Issue

Frequently Asked Questions

Most common inquiries about our “approved dry foods” review.


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.
Janet Jaob

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?
Denny Mosesman

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?
Kathy Keating

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.
Kristin Mason

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.
Patricia Klein

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.


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.
Jennifer Laughman

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.
Susan Lenahan

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.

Comments (8)

Orijen & Acana don't go well on every dogs ...Kirkland very good...don't know who's behind it but the no grain A1!! For Innova,Evo...kick them out 'cause P&G are one of the biggest compagny that tests house products on cats'dogs and they chage the formula and they go with CHINA for the meat...Do will do the same sh..t they did with Iam and Eukanuba that was great products before...

Posted by: Unknown | February 16, 2012 3:37 PM    Report this comment

I personally think ORIJEN the finest dry dog food made. I would appreciate your input

Posted by: Donald K | November 5, 2011 8:41 PM    Report this comment

Any comments on tke Kirkland (Costco) brand and their "Super premium" line of dog food?

Posted by: Antonio A C | October 20, 2011 8:20 PM    Report this comment

I am investigating a healthier ediet for my 2 doodles. Since I am still uncomfortable about a raw diet, I am starting with adding protein to a better commermcial food (right now using New Balance grain frene). I have added sardines, egg, hamburg, chicken (no more than 25% of the meal) and wondered is it okay to add shrimp? Having googled this, I get conflicting stories and wondered what others thought. THan you.

Posted by: Joanne R | September 3, 2011 5:31 AM    Report this comment

I enjoy the Whole Dog Journal very much. I make a serious effort to understand what I am feeding my dogs, so I always read these articles, plus the comments which often are enlightening. So,I do have this question. You say in answer to several enquirers "The foods are listed alphabetically by the name of the company that makes them"
So why does Canidae get its own listing, since it also is made by Diamond, but on the packaging it is just like Taste of the Wild and says nothing about Diamond. Why is it not simply listed under Diamond. It seems that Taste of the Wild has the same relationship with Diamond as Canidae.
Ken James

Posted by: Kenneth J | July 28, 2011 4:47 PM    Report this comment

I am curious too about Avoderm. I thought it was a quality food but now I wonder? Please let us know. Thanks.

Posted by: PapillonOne | May 9, 2011 1:02 AM    Report this comment

I am curious too about Avoderm. I thought it was a quality food but now I wonder? Please let us know. Thanks.

Posted by: PapillonOne | May 9, 2011 1:02 AM    Report this comment

any comments on AdvoDerm Dry Dog food?

Posted by: Karen R | April 24, 2011 7:24 AM    Report this comment

New to Whole Dog Journal? Register for Free!

Already Registered?
Log In