Dog food is a racket.
Mostly it is marketing. And the marketing is basically to villify whatever is in the foods that your food does not have in it. Grain-free, dogs in the wilderness wouldn't eat grains, well shucky darns it has peas and potatoes, and dogs in the wilderness would probably not eat those either.
Dogs have been eating grains for thousands of years, ever since they have clung to the garbage heaps of humans and became domesticated, humans have fed them whatever leftover and the least desirable of whatever they had. The dogs of my childhood ate grains and lived for 14 or 15 years.
If things were different, maybe I would raise chickens and rabbits, a beef critter and sheep to feed my dogs. But I just don't think it is even that much better to go raw, unless you have a stellar source for your meat. I mean the steers and the chickens are eating that GMO corn. The dogs are getting it anyhow. And if you don't have that strictly watched, there will be antibiotics and hormones all through that meat too.
I have tried Wellness Core, Solid Gold Barking at the Moon, Prarie Raw Instict, and Taste of the Wild. Some my dogs have tolerated with no negative effects. TOTW I actually packed up and sent to the shelter. My dogs did terrible on that.
Now my dogs do awesome on a mid-range kibble with good ingredients, including grains. All my dogs do well on the food. I am getting better poops than I ever got, including the grain free poop. My dogs have pretty much gained the weight I wanted them to gain after a bad episode with some 5 star food, and a rather lengthy trial of food with corn in it that gave good results initially, but then not so good.
Occasionally I will give them raw chicken. But it is mostly just an occasional treat.
All the dog food companies are out there with one goal in mind, and that is to make money. Some put a common name on their food and people buy the name thought the ingredients stink. Some fill the bags with the greatest of ingredients, and charge and arm and a leg for them, and chances are just as good that they are buying very low-grade ingredients. Yes it is Salmon, salmon that is totally out of date and not fit for human consumption -- how would we know?
For $133 a bag, I could feed totally raw. I would definitely go that route if it came down to it. I have heard a lot of people not completely satisfied with that food anyhow.
Jenna, RN CGC & Babs, CD RA CGC HIC
Heidi, RA CGC
SG3 Odessa, SchH1, Kkl1, AD
Ninja, RN CGC & Milla, RN CGC
Joy, Star Puppy, RN CGC
Dolly CGC & Bear CGC