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/