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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone.

Ghost is just 9 months on the 20th, he has been on Fromm Heartland Gold LBP since we got him in January. Its costly, and he eats one bag a month....

At 55 pounds, I'm feeding 3 cups daily (1.5 AM, 1.5 PM)

At the boutique where I buy, I expressed my concerns over how much money I'm spending and she suggested supplementing his Fromm with Taste of the Wild Grain-Free...



Would the forum consensus approve of doing say a cup of Fromm and 1/2 cup of TOTW to help out in the cost? (or atleast make it last a few extra weeks...)

Thank you.


Ghost by Jon L, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
So as i understand it, Fromm is one of THEE best foods out there, where will TOTW fall in the order as far as quality for my dogs health compared to Fromm? Can i use it with confidence although its not quite as up to par as Fromm is?

I have it stuck in my head that its either Fromm or bust as far as foods go....

Even a quick forum search on TOTW shows posts of owners saying how their dogs had itching attacks or loose stools, others mentioning how the company who makes TOTW, Diamond, has poor quality control and mass produces numerous foods and the ingredients are not up to par for our pups...

At this point, do I swallow the $68 a month to feed this goof ball the good stuff? TOTW would be $50 a bag.
 

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You could see if there are any locally produced foods available to you. Where I live there is both Beaverdam and Verus. Both seem to work diligently on quality control since they are smaller companies, and it is by quality they compete. Also the price is decent. You could also look at Victor. That is a bit lower in price and many folks post that they are happy with that brand.
 

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Too many problems with TOTW and the Diamond Company for me.


Many breeder's and dog owners do not feed the "puppy" variety of foods.

Since he is 9 months old and you are considering reducing a small part of his Heartland Grain Free Puppy, why not use Fromm's Gold Large Breed Adult for that "supplemental" part? (unless there is a grain sensitivity)


FROMM Prices from Petflow.com
Heartland Gold Grain Free Large Breed Puppy: 26 Pounds = $62.95
"Gold Large Breed Adult":`````````````````33 Pounds = $50.00


Or just switch to Fromm's Heartland Gold Grain Free "Large Breed" = $58.50



Moms :)
 

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There are lots of decent quality foods out there at a lower price. I've thought about it, and I've never had a dog get sick from what I could link back to his/her kibble brand quality. If you are feeding kibble, find a good brand you are comfortable with both price and quality. One could argue cancer is diet related, but I'd think a healthy weight and exercise play far greater roles.
 

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Diamond company has a lot of issues. Although I fed totw in the past and had no issues with it. Fromm is a family owned company with very little recalls I think 1 and they are bound to happen.Fromm has different recipes with different price ranges. You have to do what is in your budget though. I know there is a deal now by 12 bags get one free at local feed stores you can ask them about this. Black Friday With coupon you get a free 6lb bag of Fromm food. You can also always use it in rotation. Victor, earthborn another good food. today you do have many choices.
 

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Quality aside. Something you have to consider when changing foods is the calories per cup. Changing to a less expensive food may not mean monetary savings if the calories per cup are also lower and you have to feed more of the lesser expensive food to keep health, energy and weight steady and ideal. In the end it could be a wash or actually cost more if you have to feed more each day. It's not just the price on the bag. How long that bag will last is part of the equation.
 

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Funnily enough, I had nothing but trouble with Fromm with my dogs, and TOTW is the only food that gets rid of the issues. I personally like TOTW, and I'm not sure why so many people don't. It really does come down to the individual dog. In my experience, Fromm is awful. But like I said, it depends on the dog, as I have friends that feed it and are perfectly happy! Opinions vary so much. I think you should try a switch and see what you think for YOUR dog.
 

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You won't get a consensus here on most subjects......food is one of those subjects...:grin2:
A while back when I started trying different grain frees (I have a very picky eater).....I tried Acana--Fromm--Orijen....that's naming a few.... the kibble he liked the best was TOTW followed by American Journey (sold by Chewy).....strangely he literally turned up his nose at the Fromm....I'm very aware of Diamond's history and yes it's on my mind when I buy....having said that...my picky eater really likes TOTW and does well on it


As far as mixing Fromm and TOTW.. I've sure "mixed" brands and flavors before so give it a try....but....your dog may not even eat TOTW in the same way mine doesn't like Fromm.
 

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So as i understand it, Fromm is one of THEE best foods out there, where will TOTW fall in the order as far as quality for my dogs health compared to Fromm? Can i use it with confidence although its not quite as up to par as Fromm is?

I have it stuck in my head that its either Fromm or bust as far as foods go....

Even a quick forum search on TOTW shows posts of owners saying how their dogs had itching attacks or loose stools, others mentioning how the company who makes TOTW, Diamond, has poor quality control and mass produces numerous foods and the ingredients are not up to par for our pups...

At this point, do I swallow the $68 a month to feed this goof ball the good stuff? TOTW would be $50 a bag.
No offense to the OP and this comment is directed to all new potential GSD owners...this is something you need to consider before you get your pup. You need to realize how much disposable income you have and if you can afford to raise a dog. That includes, cost of foods, treats, vet visits, medications, toys, beds, crates, pet licenses, vaccinations, rental pet deposits, possible lawsuits from dog bites, etc. etc. etc. I once estimated the amount of money I spent on my previous dog (including the dog itself) and it came out to be somewhere around $25K to $30K over a 12 year period. If you can't afford that, don't get a dog. Try a goldfish instead.


Now back to the OP, with my previous dog, I fed a 50/50 mix of TOTW Pacific Stream and RC GSD. It worked for him and he was on this mix for 11 years and he thrived on it. It took a year to figure out what to feed him. I went through multiple brands until I found something that didn't give him allergies or that he was excited to eat. Nothing wrong with TOTW. It is cheaper. Fromm's is an expensive brand, along with Acana, Orijen, and a few others. If you can afford it, go for it. If not, try others like Victor. Something I learned from these forums is that people are very opinionated about dog foods. A little recall problem and people avoid it like a plague. Cars have safety recalls all the time and yet people still drive their cars. My suggestion is to feed what works for your dog AND for you (meaning your wallet). Take people's advice for food brands with a grain of salt. Nothing says you have to stick with one food. Variety may keep your dog interested in eating if he is a picky eater. Anyway, good luck.
 

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Fromm isn't the "best" food out there. It's a good food. But there are other good foods (and some I think are even better, at higher cost).

If you're considering switching to TOTW, you might as well also take a look at Costco's Nature Domain food, if you are a member there --it's made in the same Diamond plant with similar ingredients at lower cost (under $40/bag).

You might also look at Victor, at substantially less cost. They have a pretty large range of foods. I think Chewy sells them. A lot of people have great results on their foods.

FWIW, Diamond hasn't had a major recall in several years. Several years ago, they had several big ones one after the other and were widely perceived as handling them very badly (and not covering vet bills for sick dogs, as I recall). Things have been quiet with them for quite a while on that front. They seem like they have probably sorted out the problems in the South Carolina plant that let to the problems. Save your bag lot codes though (and frankly, you should with ANY company).

I buy a lot of Diamond-made foods for the rescue because of the price/value proposition that Diamond Naturals and it's private-label sister foods (Kirkland) represent. Our fosters go through many bags of it. Right now, we're even experimenting with their new hydrolyzed protein food (Diamond Care) for a food allergy dog because it's so much cheaper than Wellness Simple. We've had NO problems with the many bags of Diamond-made food we've purchased in the last few years -- and I have a lot of foster volunteers who feed the Costco foods to their personal dogs. No one has had a problem in a long time. We have a lot of adoption homes that chose to stick with it too.

If you can't afford Fromm, feed the best food you can afford and that your dog does well on, and don't feel guilty about it. It's that simple - unless you have a food allergy dog requiring something specific.
 

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And one more thing: if money is tight, don't buy into paying more money for grain free kibble! The grain-free kibble category mostly marketing hype IMHO. Save a few bucks and feed the kibble with rice, oats, barley, etc.

Kibble requires starch to extrude -- they cannot make kibble without it. To make grain-free food, the kibble makers replace oats or rice (highly digestible) with peas (not so digestible) or some other starch like tapioca. As long as a dog isn't allergic to an ingredient, there's no real benefit in that trade off.
 

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I totally understand your perspective - cost-wise - I'm a student and have yet to have a steady job, so when I decided to get a dog I had a budget in mind - and of course considered the budget might stretch higher or lower. So long story short, I changed my pup's (currently 10 months) diet from fish (salmon) dry food to chicken. He ate the chicken food for a week and then just stopped eating at once. He didn't eat for 3 days until I finally gave up and went to a pet shop. The manager/trainer came to help and fed TOTW Pacific Stream puppy, he ate RIGHT AWAY. I decided to buy a bag, and I fed him mixed with wet food and ate the whole thing. Honestly, if I had my way I'd feed him the chicken (Pro Pac Large Breed Puppy, Chicken AND fish meal at $30 /28lb) 360cal /cup, same as TOTW). But I suppose my pup doesn't like anything other than fish formulas. In short... I recommend Pro Pac LBP (No corn no wheat no soy). Bang for your buck. The most underrated dog food in my opinion. Otherwise, TOTW is a solid choice.
 

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The Costco food is a bargain. I don't have one close by any more but I considered driving more than an hour each way and getting a membership for the cost savings. If you just buy the basic quality, grain kibble (rice), it is very affordable and a good food.

I currently feed Canidae All Life Stages, and love it. Also, the calorie content is high per cup compared to other foods, and they offer a nice breeder-performance discount of buy 5 bags get one free, which is a savings of 20% per bag.

As for the cost of dogs- it is pricey, no doubt about it. Vet bills are the kicker for me. Food isn't bad, neither are toys/treats. I save some money by buying prescription meds online, giving all but rabies vaccines myself, and buying toys/tugs that last. I don't pay for things like grooming, do my own training (outside of the club), and bring my dogs with me when I travel. But, yeah, it ain't cheap, and I have worked a second job to cover high vet bills in the past, and may have to again in future. Such is life with dogs.

However, my dogs are healthy and thriving, but I tried to get a goldfish as a classroom pet and it was dead within a few days. So, maybe goldfish aren't so easy after all. A cat is an easy alternative to a dog, in my experience. They can be super loving, but don't have the attention and exercise requirements of a dog.
 

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When you're comparing value, make sure you really take into account calories (kcal) per cup!

A lot of the Fromm formulas hover around 410-ish kcal/cup, looks like many of the Taste of the Wild formulas are closer to 360-370kcal/cup. Even if you like both foods, it may not come out to be any cost savings, if it isn't an even 1 cup = 1 cup. With that example, you'll need to feed around 14% more volume, for the same number of calories.

I'd take Magwart's approach, look at some of the other good foods on the market and see if there's a good value that suits your dog.

Make sure you factor loyalty discounts in, too, like Muskeg mentioned. If you get every 5th, or 10th, bag free, you'll get to the "Free" bag twice as fast if you're buying one brand instead of two.
 

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What I generally see with the higher calories per cup foods-a lot more stool volume. There's just no set answer. Processed foods all have different fillers and junk. It just depends on what junk your dog tolerates. My dog did great on a combination of Abady and some raw. Look up Abady and see what people think of that, Lol.
 
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