Sunday, November 2, 2008

You Must Be Joking: Chafing at the Chaff

OK, as you might recall, I have been unlucky with my recent kibble purchases - finding thingies in two different brands. And as I said, I don't buy kibble that often so two bags of kibbles-n-mystery-bits in a row seems odd to me. Yesterday, with some hesitation, I purchased a bag of Natural Balance Sweet Potato and Fish. Have you guessed yet? Bits. Again.

Honestly, I don't even know if I'm going to bother with contacting the manufacturer this time. The first bag, I contacted the manufacturer, they tested the food and basically said everything was A-OK, it was just grain chaff. Well that may be perfectly fine to them but I was not so excited to learn I was feeding my dogs chaff. Second bag, the manufacturer apparently didn't care about the info and didn't even want to see my photos or get a sample of the food. This third bag, I'm thinking if I contact them, I may be at risk of earning a reputation as one of those wacky people who make a living "falling down" in Wal-Marts and on slippery sidewalks in front of large hotels. I'm not planning on bringing any lawsuits. I would just like to know the honest answers to a few simple questions:

1. Is this just some type of coincidence or is this a symptom of a trend among pet food manufacturers? IOW, times are tough, ingredients are expensive and corners must be cut to maintain profits - thus, pet food manufacturers are bulking up their feeds with grain chaff.

2. Are these three manufacturers buying "ingredients" (if you consider grain stalks an ingredient) from the same source and thus the reason for the un-ground bits appearing in all three kibbles? Or is there some other explanation?

3. Since chaff is not specifically listed as an ingredient on any of these bags of food, are there any other ingredients the manufacturers would like to specify which perhaps they feel are covered under some other ingredient listing at present? Perhaps "chicken" is intended to include "feathers" or something like that, I don't know. But I'd like to know what exactly it is I'm paying for and feeding to my dogs. Is that too much to ask?


Anonymous said...

Natural Balance was implicated in the contaminated gluten scandal... and it doesn't seem they've learned their lesson. I stopped buying their products.. I bet you'll do the same.

Caveat said...

I agree with Emily, it's not a very good quality food anyway.

If you want an economical food, Purina ProPlan is pretty good. A breeder friends of mine recommends it, he feeds the Turkey and Barley.

I buy Fromm 4 Star, the dry food is made in the USA, haven't had any problems. I use it as a base or feed it alone. Fromm was not part of the recall thing.

Mind you, I have tiny lapdogs, so price isn't a big consideration for me - a 5 lb bag lasts almost a month (with other stuff added sporadically).

YesBiscuit! said...

ProPlan used to be an ok food but I noticed they (along with others) have changed to some ingredients I absolutely refuse to feed, such as brewer's rice. I suppose that's due to the increase in food prices and rather than maintain quality, they chose to maintain profits. Also Purina is so secretive about their recalls and contamination issues, it gives me a bad feeling, which is too bad.

Cat, Tessie, & Strata said...

I'm honestly really surprised you are having these troubles with NB. Their food has more voluntary testing done on it than pretty much any pet food on the market.

I fed it to my two dogs for a few months and had no problems. In fact, it was one of the few foods my finicky eater actually enjoyed!

YesBiscuit! said...

In fairness to NB, I must note that I have not yet notified them of the problem. I plan to at some point but was honestly so discouraged that I lacked the motivation I felt on the first two brands.