China Free, Grain Free Pet Food Vendor List

Disclaimer:  I am not a Vet.  I am not a trained expert in Veterinary Food Sciences.  All of this posting, and anything else on this blog is clearly My Own Opinion.  You must decide for yourself whether I am full of crap, or completely correct, or somewhere in the middle.  I am presenting this information simply because the next time my dog gets bored with his food, I want to refer to a list somewhere instead of having to do this research again.   It took me all weekend to find this short list, and I just would prefer not to go back and start over.

When I lost my dog Lettie due to Chronic Renal Failure after a lifetime of feeding her Purina Products, I vowed never again would I knowingly feed my pets anything from that vendor.

Cause and effect?  Perhaps.  I don’t know.  But it is my opinion that since there was a spate of recalls due to Purina foods being tainted with Chinese ingredients and that as a result many dogs died of Chronic Renal Failure, that I will avoid anything of Chinese Origin when it comes to food.

The recalls have long since ended.  I am still not feeding my dog, Rack, anything with any Chinese Origin ingredients. 

Many people have the same attitude, and thankfully many pet food vendors have taken up the standard and proudly proclaim that their food is of the highest quality.  That is great, but not really enough. 

My own personal standard is that since Rack can not digest grain well, the food must also be grain free.  The company must clearly advertise that the food is “locally sourced”, or preferably “No Ingredients of Chinese Origin”.  For “Locally Sourced” I am accepting any ingredients that are Canadian, US, New Zealand, or Australia.  The laws in Canada are better than in the US for purity of pet food ingredients, so as a rule of thumb, if I am hard pressed to find a food, Canada is best.

If there is no clear announcement, I will simply pass on the company whether the company says their food is human grade, or whether it’s of the “highest quality ingredients” because those words really do not mean anything.  The laws as I understand them say that if a food is human grade going into a pet food plant, they no longer are human grade when they get into the food.  It’s nice to hear but doesn’t mean anything really.

I’m not completely comfortable with US ingredients either since our laws here have been weakened and things do “get in” where they don’t belong.  Personally I won’t eat GMO if I can avoid it, and High Fructose Corn Syrup simply has no purpose in food, in my opinion. 

So why feed it to your dog who has no choice in the matter?

As to recalls, I will forgive any company who has had a recall that is older than 5 years and a reputation that is good.

How did I develop this list?

First I went to http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com and looked at their Dog Food Reviews lists.  I am concentrating on Dry Dog Foods only. 

The list that drove my research was their 5 Star Dry Dog Foods List.  I went top to bottom on that list.

While the list itself may have issues, I tend to agree with Dog Food Advisor’s reasons for choosing one food above another and their ratings – Yes, this is my opinion, I am not a vet.

Furthermore, I read through the forums on each individual page.  Forums are tricky, there’s a lot of people with axes to grind, and some will say I am one of them.  There are a lot of people who simply post “I love this” and think it’s done.  Finally there are companies who will “greenwash” the review by posting their own comments.  I looked through the discussions on each food and made a mental note of them before I followed through.

Some companies who are grain free and China free will be excluded from this list because the company’s reputation is not exactly stellar in the forum.  Any mention of bad quality assurance practices, mold in the food, off smells, recent recalls within the last very few years, or anything that simply does not “feel right” means I will leave them off the list.

This is not complete.  This is My Opinion.  Your Mileage May Vary.  This is strictly a personal list that I will follow in the future.  After all, a blog functions well as an individual’s “scratch pad” to keep notes and that is what I am doing here.   I hope that this may help someone but if it does not, so be it.  Of course if I later find information to change this short list, I’ll put out a new list.

But for now in alphabetical order, the list:

Acana – http://www.acana.com/
Brother’s Complete – http://www.brotherscomplete.com/
Dr. Gary’s Best Breed – http://www.bestbreed.com/
First Mate – http://www.firstmate.com/
Fromm – http://frommfamily.com/
Holistic Blend – http://holisticblend.com/en/
Orijen – http://www.orijen.ca
Performatrin – http://performatrin.com/
Solid Gold Pet Food- http://www.solidgoldpet.com/
Wild Calling Pet Food- http://wildcalling.com/
Wysong – http://www.wysong.net/
Young Again Pet Food – https://www.youngagainpetfood.com/

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Lawsuit Against Beneful and Purina on Dog Deaths Is Why I Don’t Trust Purina and Nestle Products

Anyone who follows this blog read about my trials with Lettie, my departed dog.  She contracted Chronic Renal Failure and died about two years back.  All that we went through is documented with that tag if you care to search for it from www.ramblingmoose.com .

She always, and I do mean always, ate Purina products until she got sick.  Then it was too late.  I went through about two years of syringe feeding her until it got to be too much for her and we had to put her to sleep.

After she was gone, we started hearing about Purina and their practice of sourcing ingredients from China in order to prepare their so-called foods.  An overview of the 2007 recalls of petfoods is on Wikipedia, but frankly, a recall of petfoods like the Beneful that I fed Lettie won’t bring the pet back.  Once the kidneys are damaged beyond a certain point, function will not be restored.

About the same time, the story leaked out about how the parent company, Nestle believes that all water should be corporately owned.  They’re also the same company that aggressively targets women in Africa to get them to buy their own baby formulas.

Kind of sleazy in my opinion.  You judge for yourselves.

After going through all of that, I simply decided for myself.  No Purina for my dog, No Nestle for me.

Simply put it’s safer.   A company that is producing something that is fed to a dog is making a decision for a creature who can not decide for themselves.  You can and should decide for them.

When we got Rack, my McNab dog two years back, we vowed never to feed him anything that we could not trust.  That evolved into no US Made dog foods at this point because of the stories of tainted treats and foods that we kept hearing. 

The Federal and State food inspection regimens have been diluted by defunding of the protective agencies.  All inspection that is done by a percentage sampling basis.  That percentage as a result gets lower because of fewer inspectors.  Logically, it would mean that there is a greater chance that tainted food gets through the sampling procedure as a result.

The brand we were recommended to try, Orijen, is made in Canada.  Apparently the laws there are much more strict than the laws we have here.  It’s produced with “Human Grade” food, I once read.

Unfortunately, they’re so well liked, that Orijen is going to open a plant here in the US, in Kentucky, to meet demand.

So lets see, I’ve been paying a premium for dog food produced in Canada that will now be made in one of the most poorly enforced states for food production, In My Opinion, in the United States.

When Orijen begins producing the food in the US I will cease purchasing their products.   I don’t know where I will go, but I have absolutely no confidence in the ability of inspectors in Kentucky at this time.

Again, My Opinion.  Yours may vary.  I may be overly critical, but I also was the person who had to prepare a slurry of food to syringe down my dog’s throat twice a day to keep her alive.

The difference is that the US allows a markedly lower quality of component foods to go into dog foods.  Markedly lower quality meaning sourced from overseas at times.  Yes, you guessed it, China.   China doesn’t effectively police their own foods.  Things get sold simply because you are willing to buy them, and there is no active warranty for anyone to pursue.  Just look at the mess that the online electronics markets have become and how easy it is to find on the larger international websites items that have been shipped here directly from China or shipped through other countries to mask their origin.

While a trinket will most likely break and be discarded like so many glow sticks on the street after the latest holidays, a dog, or other pet, is something that a person builds a relationship with like a family member.

Would you feed a child food that may or may not kill them?  I certainly wouldn’t with my dog and I won’t take a chance with a tainted supply.

So Nestle is off my menu, as is Purina for my dog.  I only wish I knew beforehand since my own Lettie could still be alive today.

Now there is a class-action lawsuit against Purina for these tainted foods.  That won’t bring Lettie back.  It won’t make the Chairman of the Board lose any sleep.  It will be a slap on the wrist, and they’ll just go on draining the water tables since they don’t believe that access to water is a fundamental human right, and continue importing Chinese components that may or may not be tainted with Melamine to go into their pet foods.

No matter what, I won’t be back.

Again, it’s only my opinion.  You decide for yourself.  But I won’t buy Nestle or Purina products.