If you’ve read my post about pet insurance (yes, you need it!), you know that my dog has multiple food allergies. That means the options for commercial dog foods are very limited. Commercial dog foods at a reasonable price are even more limited. At one point I resorted to making his food, but boy does that get old fast. Plus, the proteins he can eat are so limited that I had to get creative and cook things like goat, which made my whole house smell like a farm.
Needless to say, I am always on the lookout for affordable foods that won’t provoke his allergies. He’s a lab – read: he eats a lot – so we spend a small fortune every month feeding him. I noticed recently that Costco carries a Nature’s Domain brand dog food that has only one ingredient (fish meal) that might pose a problem. It is about half the price of the food I currently give him so I decided to give it a shot.
I mixed the new food with the old food at about a 50:50 ratio at first to avoid any tummy upset. I noticed that he was acting hungry all the time. I mean, he’s a lab so he always acts hungry, but this was even more extreme than usual. He would sit by his food bowl and look at me forlornly, something he’s never done before. As I upped the proportion of the new food, this behavior became even more pronounced.
It occurred to me that I hadn’t checked the recommended serving size on the new food. Sure enough, he is supposed to eat almost twice as much of the new food! That’s no bargain!
The reason he doesn’t need nearly as much of his old food is that it is so nutrient-dense. This is pretty typical of a lot of “premier” brands. Lower-end dog food has a lot of fillers so you end up having to use more to meet your dog’s nutritional requirements. So if you’re going for cheaper stuff, it might be that you’re not really saving much money at all. (For the record, I feed my dog the Canidae Pure line.)
And to add insult to injury, it did set off his allergies. So back it goes to Costco. We’ll be sticking with his regular food for now.