Thursday, March 12, 2009

Introducing pet bargainista

Welcome Leona Hobbs our new pet bargainista columnist. Leona will be sharing her shopping experiences as a pet owner. Isn’t Scotia adorable?

I’m no pet expert. Far from it.

My husband and I become dog people for the first time in our lives this July when we got Scotia, a female Golden Doodle (Golden Retriever - Poodle cross).

So, as a first-time dog owner, I have learned lots. Also, I have made more than a few rookie mistakes with our pup. My inaugural Pet Bargainista column, is about a lesson learned along the way - pet food (kibble) is a racket.

My breeder had a sponsorship deal with a large multinational pet food company and started Scotia on a so-called premium food after she was weened. Our vet suggested our puppy needed a mix of dry and wet and that the food they stocked (also a premium) was the best. It was made in Canada, had no foreign by-products (like that Chinese pet food additive scare last year) and was made with top-notch ingredients. Finally, our dog walkers suggested we do our research and that we take a look at Orijen. Deeply perplexed, and with a very young puppy in our inexperienced hands, we started our research. The best resource we found was Dog Food Analysis which provides reviews of kibble. According to that site, here’s how the food stacked up:

The kibble suggested by the Breeder was reviewed found to have inadequate meat content, fat of unidentifiable origin, low quality grains, and controversial filler. Rated 1 star.

Unfortunately, the kibble suggested by the vet didn’t fare much better. The main meat ingredient is byproducts, it has low quality grains, and a controversial filler. Rated 1 star.

Which brings us to Orijen. The review on Dog Food Analysis found that Orijen Puppy had high named meat product content, contained no grain (grains are not a natural part of a canine diet), and uses high quality ingredients throughout. Rated 6 stars, we decided to feed our puppy Orijen. We get our Orijen from Global Ryan’s Pet Food.

I’d love to hear from other pet people out there. What do you feed your pet and why?

photo credit: Scotia at 8 weeks by Leona Hobbs

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  1. I think having a pet bargainista is a great idea! I wanted to add that we also fed our dog Orijen until he stopped liking it. We switched to Wellness which he loves. They have different flavors (i.e. lamb or chicken or fish) and so we change it roughly every 6 months to give him variety.

  2. Hey Perla, Thanks for leaving a comment. I know you've been following Bargainista for a long time. Do you change the flavour or the brand every six months?

    Is there a particular subject you'd like Leona to cover? I think you became puppy owners around the same time.


  3. Anonymous3:36 am

    My poodle has been healthy & happy on the cheapest Walmart stuff.

    Really, pet food just needs to meet the AAFCO Food Nutrient Profile, either puppy or maintenance.

    Dog food is in general a real scam. That's why the china melamine scandal affected so many brands - they all were much the same.

    Unless your dog is allergic to something,or has some special nutritional need, don't pay all the extra dough to the big advertisers.

    Just listen to the Veterinarians of AAFCO


  4. Hi Tom - glad to hear your Poodle is healthy. I'll take a look at the AAFCO certification. Thanks!


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