Jake just turned 12 years old October 17th. He’s always been super finicky; and as he’s gotten older, he’s had digestive issues.
To give you a little history ~
♡ Zack’s breeder had him on Pedigree, but it upset his tummy. So, I gradually switched him to Natural Choice. But then came the historic 2007 pet food recall & a bad bag of dry dog food. After that, our Vet had me do an abrupt change to Eukanuba. But, Zack itched all the time, so I gradually switched him to Science Diet. I would mix in Beneful to make it last longer. Our Vet put him on Prescription Science Diet the year before he passed away.
♡ Jake, aka Mr. Finicky, turned his nose up at all the brands PetSmart sold. When I brought him home from the Oklahoma City Humane Society, he got really sick. He was dehydrated and had lost 1 pound. The Vet literally gave him 24 hours. But with antibiotics, prescription wet food, & chicken broth, he made it. So, he’s our little miracle! Jake was on Natural Choice, too. He likes to nibble on dog food when I’m dishing the kibble into the bowls. As a result, Zack’s Natural Choice made him sick, too. So back to trying all the brands at PetSmart again. He settled on Royal Canin. All I can say is thank goodness PetSmart has a generous return policy! But now, Royal Canin Special 33 isn’t helping anymore.
♡ Tessie’s breeder had her on Innova, and I gradually switched her to Science Diet.
♡ Casey’s breeder had him on Diamond. I didn’t want to shop at the feed store at the time, so I gradually switched him to Science Diet, too.
To sum up ~
What changed how I look at cat & dog food? (1) Food trials for Casey’s allergies & (2) a bad box of Beneful Snackers that made both him & Tessie sick.
I read the ingredients now and don’t buy anything made in China or Thailand. I look for “Made in USA,” which does not mean it was sourced from the USA. I still shop at Petco & PetSmart, but I prefer the feed store or online shopping.
☆ Beware of artificial or chemical preservatives, such as BHA (linked to kidney damage), BHT (linked to cancer), Ethoxyquin (found in Herbicides), & Propylene Glycol (found in Anti-Freeze).
☆ Look at the first 5 ingredients; these are the most important. Look for real meat proteins, not just meat protein meals.
☆ Research what companies make what products and which ones that have had a lot of recalls. For instance, Diamond produces certain Canidae, Premium Edge, & Taste of the Wild in addition to their own brand.
☆ Natural Balance was bought out by Del Monte.
☆ Instinct by Nature’s Variety is now sold at PetSmart. It was previously sold at feed stores, independent pet stores, & Petco only.
I really liked this article from PawNation about the first 8 ingredients.
And, here’s 2 articles from Doctors Foster & Smith. The first one explains the difference between Grocery Store, Premium, & Healthy pet food, and the second one is titled, “Senior Cat Medical Concerns.”
Thru trial & error (or up-chuck & smelly litter box), I only feed Jake Precise dry and Applaws, Go!, Lotus, & Precise canned. He likes chunks/flaked/sliced/stew vs. pâté.