Ok, so I know it’s not Monday, but this is an introduction to a series I’ll be doing called Munchy Mondays for the next few weeks.
I hope you all had a great start to your week! We are in the middle of a very hot week here. Welcome, summer!
This week is the puppies’ four week milestone, and that is when I am planning to introduce them to solid food! (Mushy food may be a better description.) Those of who you have been reading my blog for a while may have noticed I recently added information about Life’s Abundance dog food. I decided since I will be starting the puppies on food this week, that this would be a great time to introduce you all to Life’s Abundance and why we have decided to make the switch! I’ll try to keep the post relatively brief, but I have a lot of information I’d like to pack in here. So be patient with me if I get a bit lengthy! 🙂
Our journey with dog nutrition began during Mia’s first pregnancy. At that point, we were feeding Purina, thinking that is was a good food for her. Purina is a well-known, popular brand of food. I, like so many others, assumed that because it was so popular and well-marketed, that it must be a good quality food for my dog. During Mia’s pregnancy, I began to take a big interest in nutrition and its effect on dogs, pregnancy, and long-term health. I found a super helpful website called Dog Food Advisor. I was shocked to see that Purina Dog Chow was ranked as a 1-star dog food.
When I read further into why it was rated so poorly, I immediately decided my dog would NEVER eat Purina again. Let me give you a brief overview of why Purina Dog Chow is one of the worst dog foods out there. (You can read more details here from Dog Food Advisor.) The main ingredient is corn. Dogs cannot digest corn. It’s of little nutritional value to them, so it’s basically a worthless filler. This is the FIRST ingredient! The second ingredient is meat and bone meal, which is hard for dogs to digest, making it a very poor choice for protein content. Also, this ingredient is “anonymous,” meaning it’s any combination of animals. This is not a good mark for food; because if there’s an allergy, it’s impossible to pin point if you don’t know what exactly your food is made of. The third ingredient is corn gluten meal. Remember what I said about corn? This is basically used to boost the protein count on the nutrition label; but corn is a poor choice for protein for dogs, because they can’t digest it! Purina also has artificial coloring and no probiotics, and the ingredients don’t really improve any further down on the list.
If you’re using Purina, I highly recommend you STOP. I was unaware of how poor this food is, and I can definitely say we have seen big differences in over-all health since switching. There are so many better choices out there.
It was over a year later until we found Life’s Abundance. During that time, we tried a few different brands of food with varying opinions. Beaverdam- average food, no complaints. Diamond- gave our dogs diarrhea. Victor- good quality, the high protein mix is nice for our hunting dogs, but no large breed puppy for Jade when she was growing. It was during Mia’s last litter that we started using Life’s Abundance, and we love it!
Here are some things we have noticed in our dogs during the past two years since switching to higher quality food.
- Less poop! All that corn filler in Purina makes for a lot of undigestible waste that creates big piles of poo. Nutrient- dense food can be fully absorbed with minimal waste output. 🙂
- More consistent poop- When on Purina, Mia would frequently battle diarrhea. Since changing her diet, this no longer happens!
- Less food- When eating a food with a lot of poor quality ingredients and fillers, our dogs needed to eat a lot more to be satisfied. With better food, the amount of food they need to eat in a day noticeably decreased.
- Beautiful fur- I didn’t think about this too much until we got Timber as an adult. I’m not sure what he had been fed before, but it clearly wasn’t very good. His coat was dull and rough. After just two months on a better diet, his coat is shiny and MUCH softer.
- Energy! Our dogs have endless energy and stamina. I can tell that they simply feel good! So many people comment on how much endurance our dogs have. When other dogs come to play, my dogs are usually still running and playing long after the others have flopped down in the shade for a rest.
These are only things I can see from the outside, but I’m sure there is so much going on inside, as well, as a result of good nutrition.
As a comparison to Purina, here are the first few ingredients of Life’s Abundance. The quotes below are taken from Dog Food Advisor’s review of Life’s Abundance food.
- “Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.”
- “The second ingredient is ground brown rice, another name for rice flour. Ground rice is made from either white or brown rice and is considered a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour.” All of Life’s Abundance food is free of corn gluten and wheat gluten. Many foods use gluten to boost the protein content of their foods, because protein is so essential for a dog’s diet. However, the protein contained in gluten is incomplete for a dog’s nutritional needs.
- Oat groats come in as the third ingredient. They are a gluten free whole grain.
- Chicken fat is next. The primary fat source in dog food should be animal-based because canines derive significant nutrition from these fats. While vegetable oils may sound healthier, dogs actually need the specific nutrients found in animal fats that are not available in vegetable sources. Dog Food Advisor says, “Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.”
Also, Life’s Abundance food contains flaxseed meal, “one of the best plant-based sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids” and fish oil which “is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids.” Life’s Abundance does NOT contain artificial colors or flavors.
I’m sure you can see now how great this food is, but we need to pause for a confession.
There was one thing that I didn’t like when we left Purina behind, and that was the cost. Purina and other poor-quality foods come with a low price tag, which is nice for a family on a budget. Any high quality food costs more, but I like to think of it as an investment. It’s something that is more expensive now, but the long-term benefits will be worth it. The two main things I take into consideration are these: First, our dogs eat less of a high quality food. The cost per pound may be more, but they won’t eat as much. Second, with proper nutrition, our vet bills will probably be less over time, because our dogs will be healthier. In my mind, those two things help to close the price gap.
So, why Life’s Abundance? Aren’t there many other good brands of food? Yes, there other quality foods on the market. We chose Life’s Abundance for a couple of reasons. One thing we really like about Life’s Abundance is that we can get almost all of our dog care products directly from them- food, treats, dental chews, supplements, shampoo, and ear cleaner. They have a wide variety of dog (and cat!) products, all of which I can trust to be safe and healthy options. We also chose Life’s Abundance, because it helps us as a business. We are an Independent Field Representative, and we are able to advertise and sell Life’s Abundance products. When you buy through us, we get a small commission from that sale at no extra charge to you. We use this commission for our purchase of food, treats, and supplements for our dogs. (Just to give you an idea, we typically use over 100 pounds of dog food every month.)
Whew, I think I’ll stop there for now! That’s a lot of information to digest, but I hope you find it helpful when it comes to caring for your pets. If you have any questions about Life’s Abundance products, please contact me! Over the next few weeks, I will be posting Munchy Monday blog posts highlighting different Life’s Abundance products that we recommend; so if you are interested, please follow my blog to see the posts. Have a blessed week!