You’ve probably seen it recently on the news or somewhere in your Facebook feed about the lawsuit alleging Beneful dog food is harming, sickening, and killing dogs. If you haven’t heard about it, you can read about it HERE.
Cooper is my baby. He may walk on four legs, be covered in fur, drool a lot, and lick me in the face, but he’s my baby. I have a love for him that I’ve never had for any other pet. Just the thought of him in harm’s way makes my stomach turn. He’s spoiled rotten to the core, but he’s one of the most loving and sweet little boy’s you’ll ever meet. We knew before we got him that labs are known for their sweet and loving personalities, but Cooper just took it far beyond any expectations we ever had. That little boy just wants to love and to be loved 24/7.
When I saw the article about the lawsuit against Beneful as I was scrolling through my Facebook News Feed, my heart skipped a beat. Cooper ate Beneful. Specifically Beneful Healthy Weight. He’d eaten Beneful twice a day every day for the past 4ish years. Prior to being on Beneful he was eating Pedigree. For some reason he stopped liking it (we’re guessing the flavor) and we went through a series of foods trying to find one he liked until Beneful Healthy Weight came along. He loved it and it had a great price point at around $30 for a 30lb bag at our local grocery store. So we stuck with it. We knew a lot of people who had their dogs on it. I had never thought twice about it until that article. My immediate thoughts were “Are Cooper’s recent health problems related to this?” I didn’t know, and I don’t know. What I did know in that moment was that we needed to switch food. I completely understand that at this point in time nothing has been confirmed, but I didn’t feel comfortable, based on the information I could find, leaving Cooper on Beneful. Until there was some sort of confirmation that it wasn’t causing the alleged problems, we would be switching.
The next step was finding something to switch to. Oh man this was an undertaking I didn’t expect. I knew that I wanted to find the following:
- A decent price point for a 30lb bag
- Easily accessible at my local grocery store or pet store (nothing that had to be ordered or purchased through a specialty store)
- Ingredients I felt are acceptable
- An acceptable calorie count of less than 400 calories per cup (Cooper has hypothyroidism and calorie count is important)
- A flavor Cooper enjoyed
I took to the Internet for some research and Facebook to get some recommendations from friends. The most recommended brands to me were:
- Purina Pro Plan
- Blue Buffalo
I chose not to go with either one of these. The reason being that right now, I just don’t trust Purina. I know and understand that nothing has been confirmed regarding Beneful as of today, but my trust just isn’t there. Purina is the maker of Beneful and two of their lines of treats were recalled last year for killing dogs. At this point in time, I can’t bring myself to trust them. I didn’t feel comfortable. I chose not to go with Blue Buffalo based on the fact that there are some similar reports to the reactions of Beneful. Not only that, but there are a lot of reports of dogs that completely stop eating entirely on Blue Buffalo. I don’t know the accuracy of these, but just not something I wanted to risk. These two did not fit within my comfort level.
What I ultimately went with was Nature’s Recipe Large Breed Grain Free Adult.
After doing some research on my own, I came to the point that I didn’t necessarily require grain free, but I realized that when you looked at the grain free options, they had a lot less “junk” and fillers compared to their counterparts. Even from the same brand. I did know that I wanted to make sure that corn and brewer’s rice weren’t in the first four ingredients. This one met that. The rest of my decision came from:
- It was a price point I felt comfortable with
- It was easily accessible and heavily in stock at my local PetSmart
- I felt comfortable with all of the ingredients
- The calorie count was acceptable
- Cooper LOVES the flavor!
The other brands I narrowed down to and ultimately didn’t choose were:
- Nutro Natural Choice Adult
Price Point: Around $52 for a 30lb bag
Why I decided against it: Brewer’s Rice was listed in the first four ingredients
- Royal Canin Labrador Retreiver Adult
Price Point: Around $60 for a 30lb bag
Why I decided against it: Corn Gluten Meal was listed in the first four ingredients
- Simply Nourish Large Breed Adult
Price Point: Around $45 for a 30lb bag
Why I decided against it: This one is actually my second choice after Nature’s Recipe – no complaints
- Nutrish Just 6
Price Point: Around $30 for a 28lb bag
Why I decided against it: It was difficult to find a 28lb bag locally. Although it is sold in several stores in my area, I could only find the 14lb bag. With a large breed dog who eats 4+ cups of food a day, that would mean a lot of trips for food. It was important to me to have something readily accessible for purchase in the size I wanted
Price Point: Around $85 for a 30lb bag
Why I decided against it: It simply came down to price and accesibility. This food is some premium food as far as quality ingredients. I just felt like it was a higher price point than I wanted to commit to and it was only available at specialty stores (none of which were near me).
I highly recommend if you’re thinking about switching food to talk to your Veterinarian first and foremost and then go from there.
All opinions listed are that of the author’s and not of anyone else. The author was not paid or sponsored for any opinion listed above. Sweetly Splendid is not responsible for any claims made by dog food companies and you should always consult with a Veterinarian before deciding on a dog food for your specific dog. None of the information listed above is to be misconstrued as veterinary advice for your dog.