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The 2014 List

The 2014 List

The new 2014 List of pet foods I would trust to feed to my own pets is finally complete.

Before I tell you about the 2014 List, let me share with you why there is a List…

Two reasons.  One.  “What pet food do you recommend?” is the most common question I receive.

The problem is – I cannot answer that question.  For me to ‘recommend’ a pet food is a type of endorsement.  I represent consumers not any pet food manufacturer.

Granted, because of my advocacy work…

  • advisory position to the Pet Food Committee and Ingredient Definitions Committee at AAFCO (organization that develops laws governing pet food),
  • have working relationships with representatives of the FDA and various State Department of Agricultures,
  • I’ve spoken with – face to face – many of the large and small pet food manufacturers.  Many of the others I’ve spoken with on the phone and in email numerous times.  Some help me understand how the industry works (outing their own company at times).

…I know a great deal about the pet food industry and much about individual manufacturers.  Certainly there are pet foods that I like, that I would trust to feed my own pets – but it remains, I cannot endorse/recommend any pet food to anyone.

But what I can do is share a list of pet foods that I would trust to feed my own pets.  I am extremely picky – I know way too much not to be.  The List is not a recommendation – choosing a pet food is a personal decision.  The List is just as it is named…a ‘List’ of pet foods that I would trust to feed my own pets.  The List began as a way to answer the ‘What do you feed your own pets’ question and a way I can help support the advocacy work that I do.  Which leads me to reason #2 for the List…

Two.  Many…perhaps even most pet foods on store shelves include waste ingredients that you wouldn’t ever consider feeding your pet.  Labels show beautiful images of healthy foods – but what is inside that bag or can is far from healthy.  For a pet food consumer to try to understand what by-product meal really is or if their pet food includes any ingredients from China…well, it almost takes a private detective to figure it all out.  The regulations that govern pet food are not consumer friendly – instead they allow some companies to recycle hideous waste and make billions in profits each year.

There needs to be a List because the above must stop.  No pet food should be made from hideous waste – and then the label be allowed to lie to the consumer.  Consumers deserve a voice at every regulatory meeting, consumers deserve a voice within every regulatory organization.  Advocacy work isn’t cheap.

So to end the ‘why’ part of The 2014 List, the proceeds from the List and Petsumer Report help me help all pet food consumers.   By purchasing my List of pet foods I would trust to feed my own pets (and Petsumer Report), you enable me to continue to educate pet food consumers all over the world and enable me to attend regulatory meetings providing a voice for the pet food consumer.

The 2014 List
The 2014 List of pet foods I would trust to feed my own pets contains 22 pet foods.  Eleven make cat foods, all 22 make dog foods.  I really can’t explain why there are always more dog foods than cat foods on The List.  I continue to look for more and more cat foods…but they end up not being a food I would trust to feed my own cats.  Yes – I’m picky…very picky.  With pet food, there are good reasons to be picky.

21 pet foods have distribution in the U.S. – several have distribution in Canada – one pet food is only available in Canada.  Three pet foods have distribution in numerous countries around the world.  Most of the pet foods are available in small pet food stores (sorry, not one is sold in the Big Box Pet Stores or in Big Retail Stores), some are available on online pet stores, and some are available directly from the manufacturer.

Not one of the pet foods on The List is cheap.  Quality food is not cheap.

The 2014 List includes kibble pet food, can pet food, raw pet food, lightly cooked pet food, and dehydrated pet food.

Why these pet foods?  Why are others not on The 2014 List?  
Each pet food on The 2014 List has their own page explaining why I give them my trust, and what the company does – in my experience – to make true quality pet foods or treats.  Why isn’t this food or that food on The 2014 List?  Well – it could be I’m not familiar with them, there are thousands of different brands.  Or it could be I ‘know things’ about the company or about their ingredients that would prevent me from trusting the company; information provided to me by an insider (employees, management and even some regulatory people have provided me inside information with the promise of anonymity).  So…I can (and do) explain why each of the pet foods are on The 2014 List, but chances are I cannot explain why a pet food is not.

Can I share The 2014 List?  
No – you can’t.  I depend on the income provided by The List and Petsumer report to keep doing the work I do.  The 2014 List is copyright protected; without expressed written consent from me (Susan Thixton) no part of The 2014 List can be emailed, copied, quoted, printed (except for personal use), or altered.

Can I purchase additional copies of The 2014 List as gifts for friends?
Yes!  Please!  The 2014 List is the perfect gift for any pet food consumer.

Note:  After your purchase (after payment processes), you will receive a confirmation email with download to the 2014 List.  This should be almost immediate – depending on your payment type.  Should you not receive your copy of the 2014 List within 24 hours – please email me (Susan at TruthaboutPetFood.com).

Also Please Note:  Payments are processed by PayPal but you do Not have to have a PayPal account.  When you get to the Payment Processing page, click on the link that states “Don’t Have a PayPal Account?” and you can use any credit or debit card.

And One More Note:  The 2014 List of pet foods is no guarantee the pet foods will not be recalled, or will not have some type of concern in the future.  At time of publishing, I trust each and every one of these pet foods.  Should any information learned change that trust, the pet food will be removed from The List.

I have again this year made The List available in different price categories so that it is easily affordable for anyone.  $10, $20, $25, and $50.  If you can afford $50, wonderful – thank you.  If you can only afford $10 – that is wonderful too!  The price is up to you; I thank you for any amount you can afford.  The 2014 List is the same information no matter the price you purchase for.  Scroll to the appropriate price on the paged linked below…

Click Here to Order The 2014 List.

Thank you so much for you support!

 

Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author Buyer Beware, Co-Author Dinner PAWsible
AAFCO Pet Food Committee, Ingredient Definitions Committee Adviser
TruthaboutPetFood.com
Association for Truth in Pet Food

What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
Is your dog or cat eating risk ingredients?  Chinese imports?  Petsumer Report tells the ‘rest of the story’ on over 2500 cat foods, dog foods,  and pet treats.  30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee. www.PetsumerReport.com

 

Have you read Buyer Beware?  Click Here

Cooking for pets made easy, Dinner PAWsible

Find Healthy Pet Foods in Your Area Click Here

109 comments

  1. What is the difference between the prices you list? Please explain. Thank you so much.

    • There is no difference – The 2014 List is the same no matter the price. I only offer different prices to allow you to choose how much you can afford to support the advocacy work I do.

  2. keep up the good fight Susan!

    • Why is it you want people to support this and not feed our dogs this crap which yes i know it is but for the list you want us to pay to see whats good and not good i dont find that helping us out sorry

      • Christy – how am I supposed to get to AAFCO meetings (twice a year, $1500 to 2000 each meeting) to represent pet food consumers? How am I supposed to keep this website going with thousands of educational articles posted (for free)? I work full time (more than full time) doing the research for this website – I have no income other than what is earned from these products. I understand your frustration, but you must understand that I cannot host this website for free (or keep a roof over my head, feed myself, and so on).

        • Hi Susan, You are doing a great service for all of us! I wish some people would realize it takes money to do what you are doing, so of course we have to pay for information. We do it when we take our pets to the Vet, or when we ourselves go to our doctor. I appreciate what you do, as so many of us do. Keep up the great work, and Thank YOU!

        • There is no doubt you are providing exceptional information for consumers. I prefer to rely more on the advice of those who are professionally trained in Animal Nutrition or Veterinary Science. I do applaud you for your work with the pet food industry as an advocate for consumer information.

          • Debbie,very few veterinarians are educated in animal nutrition. They barely study it at all. Grant money provided by Purina, Hills, Iams , etc-pretty much buys their lip service. People who actually care and have studied it will be the first to tell you avoid these companies at all cost. They source so much crap from China it will make your head spin. Pet food is a big money making business. Instead of following blindly what your vet says take the time to do some research yourself.You are now your pet’s biggest advocate! There are now healthy options that fit into peoples lifestyles that you can find if you do a little work! Susan has done the heavy lifting for you and everyone here. Asking for a donation for what is her full-time job is certainly reasonable! A word of advice-be your own advocate in all things-always err on the side of doing no harm to yourself and your loved ones-follow no one blindly because of their said expertise , the more you educate yourself the more you will learn that sometimes you just have to go with your gut!

          • I agree 100%, jane jones! I wouldn’t seek the services of a pet food industry bought and paid for “board certified vet nutritionist” for any amount of money! I only trust those who have studied nutrition from objective sources — like holistic vets, for example. Conventional vet education simply does not qualify in this area.

  3. Great list, Susan! As a raw-feeding family, I was thrilled to see some of the backgrounds on some of the raw food companies in particular (esp. the ones I have been using or have heard/read about in Dogs Naturally.) Thank you for the tireless work you do!

  4. Hi Susan, I just sent you $50 (via PayPal) for the 2014 list. $50 is a big bite out of my senior citizen income, but I do it happily to support you in your wonderful quest to help us feed healthy, quality, nourishing food to our animals. I admire you greatly!
    My question: how do I access the list now?
    Mary Huber

  5. We value you and the work you do Susan. Looking forward to receiving the list.

  6. Susan, I got it back in my Adobe Reader. Thanks for all of your hard work. We just lost a dog suddenly and unexpectedly to kidney failure. Although we intend on cooking ourselves, we will need back up and this list will be used. Thanks so much.

  7. You mentioned that if things change a brand could be removed from the list. Does this mean you send out periodic revisions or do we just read it in your newsletter?

    Thank you for all of your work.

    Terr

    • Readers would probably be aware if someone was removed for anything significant. But my shopping cart system allows me to email everyone too – so yes…I will do my best to let everyone know of a change.

      • Thank you so much for that! I was so worried that I’d have to buy it every year just to make sure that my babies eat healthy.

  8. Thank you for the 2014 list. Now I have two lists. :)

  9. katerina zisopoulou

    Hello! thank you for your effort! i just found out about your website and i am very glad for that. I of course want to feed my dog healthier food than now, but i was wondering if this list is applicable in European countries, i live in Finland and Greece and both of them have very limited variety in dog foods and most of the companies do not deliver or send packages to these countries. So are you aware of any other organisation or website where i can be informed about a similar list?

    • No – not to my knowledge. Regulations are different in EU than here. But there needs to be. There is a TruthaboutPetFood.jp – thanks to a veterinarian in Japan!

      • Hello Katerina,

        I don’t know of anyone putting out a list similar to Susan’s, but there are options for pet food in Greece. Artemis is one brand that is available that you can do research on.

        That is just an aside. Being in Finland and Greece you have access to many great raw products that could be the basis for a raw diet, or a cooked diet for your pet that would certainly rival (and better) most of the pet foods out there. I wouldn’t worry about a kibble based diet, and I would start researching home made raw or home cooked.

  10. katerina zisopoulou

    Hello again !i just received the list and checked it out! one of the companies included had some products recalled last year for salmonella? why should i still trust them?

    • Well – the only way I can respond is that I still trust them. Everyone makes mistakes – the issue in pet food is how mistakes are handled. And how things are changed to prevent or hopefully prevent mistakes from happening again. At this point, I felt they deserved my trust. You will have to decide if you can do the same.

    • If by any chance it is Innova, our pet died from one of their recalled foods in the summer of 2013.

  11. Thanks, already taken care of very quickly!!!

  12. Hello, Susan.
    I live in Japan. And I’m sorry English is no good.
    Can I buy in Japan is cat food that are on the 2014 list?

  13. I make my own dog food because I personally don’t trust any of them. Except honest kitchen if I had to. Plus my dog has leaky gut syndrome and is on a special diet. She got it from purina dog food. This is for the donation for the time that you spend to help out for our beloved pets.

    • Thank you Sherry!

      • your the BEST Susan! I wish I had the time to help out with regulating pet food. I don’t know where you find the time. When I retire I want to do something more about it. Right now I try to educate people about it. Its so hard to tell people that have pets that don’t show any issues yet. What can I show or tell them without making me look crazy or I don’t know what I am talking about? I am still waiting for that movie to come out about pet food that you told me about. It looks like there are a lot more better pet foods this year compared to last year. Things are improving!!!! Keep up the good work Susan!

      • Susan, I just bought hound and gatos for my dog yesterday. I never thought that I would buy dog food again, but after reading the list, I was very impressed with it. I don’t even have to order it. It minutes away from my house. I am adding it gradually to her food. She is very gassy and has loose stools from it right now, but I hope it improves soon so I can use it without having to make her food all the time.

  14. To Sherry, I encourage you to ask your vet (and also do some research on the Internet) about kefir for dogs to help restore gut health. It is recommended by some vets (more and more each day, I hear). It helps humans and dogs with gut issues. My two elderly Border Collies get about 1/3 cup each day on their food and they LOVE it. Kefir is very similar to yogurt, but it has many more probiotics than yogurt. I make my own for pennies (only the cost of the milk), and making it is incredibly easy (it took longer to type this than to make it several times each week).

    • My Bouvier also has leaky gut syndrome. What is the recipe you are using for Kefir? I have mine on Seacure which is a hydrolyzed white fish and probiotics but I like the sound of Kefir and have never used it.

      • I looked up kefir. You wont know until you try it. Everyone is different. I did use seacure in the beginning, then stopped. It was expensive but worked. I am actually thinking about using it again. My dog us doing good now. But has some gas if i feed her later in the day. Ive tried so many things but she had to be on antibiotics twice and screwed her system up all over again but i think it made it worse. Its such a battle!

  15. Sea cure is awesome, I used it while transitioning to raw, colostrum, probiotics, tripe, Bloom by Honest Kitchen all of these I cycle in ” the kids” diet

  16. Hi Susan,
    I made a donation toward the 2014 food list yesterday. Just checking in because I have not received any type of confirmation that the donation was received and also wondering if the list will be available via an email link or will it be sent via mail. Many thanks!

  17. I have your book, but haven’t read yet. Do I still need to buy the list to check my dog’s food? Also does the list have any dog cookies on it? Thanks, Joyce

    • The book doesn’t have anything to do with The List – they are completely separate. And The List does include a couple of pet treat manufacturers.

  18. Excuse me, but a comment above mentioned asking your vet for advice on nutrition…but that is exactly what you DON’T want to do..a lot of vets are sponsored by these poisonous food brands like iams and science experiment, I mean, science diet.. and the vets push those brands for perks. Vets know very little about nutrition! They know medical stuff..I wish more vets and medical Drs also would actually educate themselves on nutrition and take a more holistic approach to what they preach.Thank you for your efforts in saving dogs from the poison they sell to pet owners in grocery stores!

    • Amy – thankyou for mentioning/commenting about vet advice on nutrition! I was mumbling that under my breath exactly when i came across your comment lol. I believe the same about vaccines as well! My vet bill for just shots nears $300 (includes the heartworm preventative – albeit with a test included every single time and that irks me – why if she has been on the stuff does she need the test every single time?) and tho i have been with him for 20yrs, my last visit (trauma) left me feeling the need to look elsewhere. But yes my vet also displays the science diet food as well, and frankly advises the flea/tick drops of a certain kind over the one i was wanting that helped with mosquitos too – odd don’t u think? And don’t even get me started on teeth cleaning and the need for anesthesia every time this has to be done (other dog would need it every 3 months – dangerous IMHO) He also had told me Purina ONE was a good fine food – uh nope they have changed since they first came out (the first 2 ingredients are no longer both meat) and as of late were on a recall as well. Mine get more people food and use their dry kibble (RR at present) as treats in between dinner time (their choice – they expect a plate at the dinner table) and frankly i am more and more feeling that what I cook for us is better for them (with near no salt & sugar of course)

  19. I love your blog and appreciate all that you do, but for those of us taking in stray dogs and operating small rescues I expect the cost of the foods on your list is too high. I sacrifice a great deal to buy the best that I can because I have learned over many years just how much difference nutrition makes, but the number of dogs I have in residence at any one time prohibits the purchase of the most expensive foods. In my case, I must stay in the arena of around $1.50 to $2.00 per pound. I follow basic ingredient rules and their order for ‘good’ dog food to choose, and then I rely on the appearance of the dogs’ coats, eyes, energy level, and stool. I can identify when the food is not consistent from batch to batch by daily stool observation. Do you have other advice for choosing among manufacturers for those of us who cannot afford higher priced food? Yes, I have called manufacturers and asked questions, but I am not convinced of the truth of their replies, especially since the answers of one have now been proven to be lies via lawsuit. :) Would I benefit in any way from your list, other than to support your work?

    • There are no cheap foods on The List. Quality ingredients cost more than waste ingredients. The least expensive way to feed a pet is home cooking. It’s what I do for my pets. When you think of what a company has to spend just to be able to sell a product – they have to mark up the food just to break even – never the less make a profit. Wish there was a better answer for you – but…
      So to answer your question – no, if you are wanting the List to find a inexpensive quality food – there are none.

  20. Hi, does your list take into consideration the absorption of GMO’s that will be ingested by our pets via what is fed to the livestock used for food, whether raw, dry or canned? I have heard that anything corn fed or grain fed will most likely have GMO’s in their bodies, whereas grass (finished) fed beef and lamb, etc. would not. That is digging pretty deep, and could probably change anyway via multiple suppliers. Would be great to find a non-GMO verified pet food, although that would probably cost a fortune!

    • In regard to your concern about non GMO in the pet food we buy or the ingredients we use to make it at home…………you make a very good point. Have you had any luck with researching this?

  21. Information in the comment replies is very helpful

    • I don’t know what you mean by “Your comment is awaiting moderation”.Just forget about my first comment as it is too much trouble to send a simple comment. I dont care to write a comment comparable to “The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire”

      • ALL comments by EVERYONE are moderated, John. That’s what she means. It means that nastiness will not be tolerated. Nothing unusual about that and no one should be offended or get bent out of shape about that.

  22. I have a number of fosters and I make raw food for them, in no small part due to info I’ve learned here and on raw sites. My concern is the ‘injected broth’ most chicken comes with now (turkey too). How dangerous is the salt content? Thanks.

    • Salt is a necessary nutrient – but high salt content is a concern. Unfortunately – manufacturers are required to disclose the actual salt content (or any other ‘actual’ nutrient content) to consumers.

  23. Hi, is your list applicable to products sold in Australia?

  24. Susan is their any different in your list than the list I just got from Pet Sumer report?

  25. I got the 2013 Pet Food List and found Nature’s Logic on it. Of course, it isn’t available where I live, so I had to order it online. Unfortunately, when the order arrived, a lot of the cans were dented and I didn’t want to feed that to my three kitties (in case there would have been damage to the seals of the cans). So, I had to send the food back. The online store really didn’t pack the shipment well to avoid damaged cans. :( So I tried another online store and had the same problem! :( So unfortunately, I had to go back to using Fancy Feast… I know Fancy Feast isn’t the best, but what do you do when you can’t obtain better canned food? I may have to start feeding raw, but even w/ using raw chickens etc., you don’t know how they were raised and if they ate GMO corn etc. It seems like a Catch 22 when trying to feed decent stuff for yourself and your fur babies!

    Appreciate your fighting for our fur babies Susan! Thank you VERY MUCH!

  26. The payment for the 2014 food list has been made via pay pal… Ur $10 is my malaysian ringgit 33-34…. I also got the confirmation email that payment been made… Am wondering how will b able to view the list? Thru a link or u will b mailing it to me all the way to Malaysia??

  27. Hi, I would like to read your list but I live in Iceland and I’m afraid none of the cat foods on it will be available for me to purchase and I’m not sure if I can justify spending 10$ on it, would a refund be possible if this is the case?

    Although I’m willing to spend the extra buck on quality food for my cats it would be a shame to have to spend the money on a list that wouldn’t help. :/

    Didi

    • Hi Didi – there are only a few foods that are available internationally and I don’t know specifically if any are available in Iceland. Sorry. I don’t think the List would be of much help to you.

      • Hi Susan, Curious to know this due to the comment from the person in Iceland. Would Amazon have the products? Some things are difficult to get in Louisiana. Amazon generally saves the day.

  28. Frederick Bailey

    A real animal lover would publish the list and not try and make money from it. Makes me wonder which pet food manufacturer backs her.
    I am skeptical of anything like this when I had tried to buy the best foods at any reasonable cost and have my healthy 10 year old lab die from apparently eating some bad treat “made in China”.

    • Frederick – No pet food manufacturer “backs” me – I don’t receive any money from any pet food company – not one dime. Consumers support me. I have bills just like anyone else – I have no other means of income – and I do this work (more than) full time. I am one of three consumer advocates – that give you a voice with regulatory authorities trying to protect you and your pet from those treats made in China. You have judged me without understanding what this website is about.

    • Frederick, it really bothered me that you would accuse Susan as you did…I can’t even imagine the amount of time it takes for her and her colleagues to do the work they do on behalf of every pet guardian out there, and I think this proves that she is a real animal lover…she wants to make it possible for us to keep our pets as healthy as we possibly can.
      I’m very sorry you lost your lab to such an unnecessary death, but this is also something Susan has warned all of us about…I hope you will reconsider your stance and pay attention to what Susan has to say…
      Sorry again for the loss of your dog…

    • Frederick, I spent a couple of months doing online research trying to find healthy canned or frozen raw commercial food for my cats. I gave up; it is impossible to accurately figure out carb, fat, and protein percentages and calories, and so on. It’s very tough to analyze the quality of the ingredients and so on. And then research the companies and their recall histories, etc. What Susan is doing is a huge public service and just all who have careers in public service, she deserves to be paid. Also, she’s been doing it for a long time and has a fantastic reputation among cat and dog people (in the big-brand pet industry, not so much… another reason to respect her). That you would accuse her of being paid by any company is laughable. She’s made it her job to try to protect people and their pets from “bad treats made in China.” Please do your due diligence before you accuse people.

  29. Frederick,
    Susan Thixton is the ONLY person I truly trust with my dogs health. She works tirelessly to prevent the tragic deaths and illnesses we have seen in the past. She does not deserve your cheap shot comment.

  30. Hi Susan,
    I have been following your information since the recalls. Thank you for all your help in keeping our pets healthy.
    I just found the brand Sojo’s and was told it was wonderful for my Maltese.
    How does this food compare to Honest Kitchen as far as safety?
    I know it is raw vs Honest kitchen being dehydrated.
    Thank you for any assistance.

    • Sojo’s – I believe – uses HPP (high pressure pasteurization) to control bacteria in/on their foods. Some believe the HPP treatments destroy many of the nutrients. I’ve read science supporting either side (good and bad of HPP). So you’ll have to decide if you are comfortable with this type of treatment.

      • Thank you Susan for the information. That explains a lot. I did try Sojo’s and went directly back to Honest Kitchen. I could tell a difference in only 3 weeks in their coat, eyes (started running) and overall body.
        Honest Kitchen for my Maltese is the best choice though Sojo’s may be a good food.

    • I believe the first ingredient listed in Sojo’s is sweet potatoes. The first ingredient listed in The Honest Kitchen’s recipes is an animal protein.

  31. Also has anyone had a good experience with Sojo’s?

  32. Susan,
    Looking forward to reading the list of good pet foods. Can’t wait..

  33. Hi Susan,

    Thank you for all the work that you have done.

    You mentioned that you raw-feed your pets. I have read much about raw-feeding, and am willing to do that for my dog. But apparently raw feeding can be unbalanced in regards to nutrition intake.

    I wonder if you can share your recipe of raw-feeding that you use for your pets?

    Thank you again.

  34. Jonathan Kildow

    I’ve worked in the pet food industry for over 30 years and your efforts are spot on. The resistance to telling the truth and labeling clearly to inform the public is very well funded (unfortunately). I have a vision for policing pet food companies through random spot check testing of products at retail that involves funding, a quality lab and a place to publish the results. Please email me if this is something we can discuss more in detail. I won’t print what I know to be going on with even some of the “trusted” brands.

    • Many thanks for your suggestions.
      We are indeed fortunate to have Susan working so hard for is and our fur babies. One of the people on this site said you feed raw to your pets and asked for a raw food recipe. I just ordered your book DINNERS PAWSIBLE, and do did my daughter. We are getting ready to do cat food for my 4 cats and her one cat plus her Maltese. I believe you advised me that you cook homemade for your pets. Which is correct?

  35. High praise for Susan Thixton. I believe her advice and her tireless research is helping to save our precious fur babies. I have 2 older cats (15) who were fed canned food and kibble for years. I was so ignorant of what I was feeding my cats! After being informed and truly educated by Ms Thixton’s website and her book “Buyer Beware” and buying her lists, I feel confident that their life span he’s been extended. 2 years ago, they were almost dying….lymphoma for one and kidney disease for the other. With subcu fluids and the right diet they have been thriving pretty well. When I adopted the two kitties my daughter had rescued at the age of 3 weeks, they were 4 months old. (So very sadly, she passed away from Ovarian Cancer at age 53) that is when I became involved with their diet as well. We are not perfect yet, as they had been fed Friskies and their taste buds were ruined. We are on a good canned food (not approved by Susan as it has Carrageenan) and a Fromm kibble. I have been trying endlessly to get them off the canned food with Carrageenan, and have had no success. The raw food for 4 cats is not appealing to me, as I am a vegetarian and do not like to handle raw……plus every time we tried a good dehydrated raw, they hated it! I don’t blame them, no flavor and no scent! The next step is to buy Susan’s book “Dinners Pawsible” and cook the food. Still, I never cook meat or fish for my family……but cats are carnivores and need the animal protein. I have been waiting for a rating from Susan on Fussie Cat and Dave’s cat food. Both have Carrageenan, but I think that is the only red flag….we must weigh what is right and what is possible for time constraints and what we can afford. I eat organic vegetarian. Can I afford organic meat and fish for 4 cats? I continue to try and inform pet owners about Susan and her concerns and advice. It isn’t easy, especially when vets are so keen to recommend Science Diet and Purina!

    • Dont use Dave’s. From what I have been told by a very reputable pet store owner who researches EVERYTHING she sells big time, Dave purchased the formular to Triumph ‘s food.
      She is my animal food guru and right now I only feed my guys, 2 chi’s and 3 cats, ( one that has passed the 20 yr old mark) Fromm moist and dry.
      Yes it is pricey ,but I go by the saying “an ounce of prevention is a pound of cure.”

      • Thanks for your comments about Dave’s. I spoke to their marketing person and she was so helpful and transparent. She truly believes in him as a caring pet person, and cannot believe that he would use any products that could be unhealthy.
        I questioned her about CARRAGEENAN and she is aware of the question of its safety. She stated that there is not an alternative. I am sure there is. I asked why not just leave it out? She was going to talk to Dave about it and get back to me but I haven’t heard anything yet. All the products used in Dave’s are from the US except for the fish mixture and the fish is from Thailand. Fussie cat is also from Thailand. It has CARRAGEENAN as well. I have been advised to not buy FUSSIE CAT as well. Those two foods are the absolute favorites of my cats. I have been searching religiously for alternatives. Like you, I use Fromm wet and dry. They love the dry and are very “hohum” about the wet. I have tried the home cooked recipes from Susan’s book and they don’t like anything with chicken. Most of the recipes are chicken and turkey. I have tried cooked fresh salmon and canned salmon and just about every combination out there !
        I am ready to go crazy! We have tried the freeze dried raw. But not the K9 for cats. That is the next one!
        PS I don’t mind paying whatever amount $ it takes. I will say this. I do not want to make homemade raw for 4 cats. I have a hard time with flesh as I am vegan/vegetarian. The transition time and the spoilage factor are huge concerns with a raw diet.

  36. Noticed one product on list ingredients is Xanthum gum. Which is derived from wheat, corn, gm soy. Not good for dogs who suffer with intolerance. Guar gum decreases the digestability of protein.
    these are additives, additives not promoted in toddler or baby food no more. So why ok in pet food?

  37. I just ordered the list and read through all the choices. My support will always be with Susan and her work. NO REGRETS that I ordered the list. However, most of the list is for dog owners (she told us that) But, most of the cat food recommendations are for raw food. I will have to rely on home cooking with her book, DINNERS PAWSIBLE, when it arrives. I just ordered it today. With 4 cats, 2 oldies with some health issues and 2 3yr old male cats (both very big), I have a hard time going raw, as the transition is so very time consuming, and I am unsure about raw for the old gals. We need to have more choices in wet food. I believe we have been advised by many pet owners and vets who care that the wet is best. My cats love Fromm dry but I hesitate to give it to them all the time.

    • In response to Linda Muir’s comment about most of the cat food recommendations being raw. She is only partially correct … there are several that are raw but there are several that are freeze dried so you do is add water to them and you get a healthy wet food without the hassle of preparing your own food. I do homemade raw food for my two boys which I freeze in individual containers but needed a backup during hurricane season. If we lose power for an extended period my cats food is done. How do you explain that to them? I ordered the list and chose K9 Natural freeze dried (tried it last night and my boys LOVED it), The Honest Kitchen freeze dried (ordered 1 oz trial size pkgs) and Vital Essentials freeze dried (just received both of these today). I went with the freeze dried because I noticed the Nature’s Logic and Hound And Gatos canned foods, on the list, both have a questionable ingredient or two in them (as all canned food does). I would at least give The Honest Kitchen a try. If you call them they will send you 2 of both flavors in the 1 oz trial size for free.
      Susan – I can’t thank you enough for all your hard work and effort. We need more people like you. I hope that one day your efforts pay off and pet food manufacturers will come clean and start making a quality product for our furry family members. I am SOOO glad I found your website and will be a regular here from now on. Thank you again.

      • In response to Sherry about raw food, I started to order K9 freeze dried for cats, and it is made by the same company, but it is called Feline Natural.
        It is all protein, meat and green lipped mussels. It is made in New Zealand, and seems to be highly regarded. It has no additives, no vitamins, only animal protein. Very limited ingredients. It is very expensive. For 3 lbs of raw food after hydration it is over $20. That is real sticker shock! Please tell me how much you might feed a normal sized cat? I have four cats. I am so frustrated and confused right now…..non GMO, poultry from China, contaminated grocery store meat, fish from Thailand, no dry food for kitties, home made vs raw, the list of warnings about additives is endless. The more I get into the pet food industry research, and I have been doing this for several years, the more confused I am. Does anybody else feel this way?

  38. We lost our Bernese Mountain Dog last May, 2013, at the age of 4 due to kidney failure caused by Innovas contaminated dog treats.
    We now have 3 new Bernese Mountain Dogs and we have been feeding them strictly Orijen with an occasional Stella and Chewy’s duck duck goose frozen patty. From all the research we have done they both seem to be very reputable. Can you put my mind to rest and verify that fact for me? Thank you for all the hard work you put into this wonderful project!

    • Hi Carla,
      In most cases I cannot say why a food is not on my list of foods that I would trust to feed my own pets. It could be use of ingredients I personally disagree with, it could be poor customer service, or it could be inside information I’ve been alerted to about the company. The best I can do is tell people why I have chosen the foods I have. Sorry.

  39. Hi, Susan!

    Thank you for the important work that you do! I have purchased your list in the past– full of great information– thank you! I am writing to ask if you offer information on good brands of dog treats. I have been cooking for our fur daughter for about 3 years now and truly feel that the quality organic meat and veggies that we give her is contributing to keeping her as healthy as possible, even with her cancer diagonosis. So the list of top pet foods isn’t really something I can use anymore. But it is tough for me to keep up with making treats for her too. I’m always on the look-out for quality treats, especially grain-free selections. Should I assume that if you recommend a company for their dog food that you’d also endorse them for their dog treats too? If you have any suggestions, I’d great appreciate the advice! Thank you again!

    • Margo
      I have 4 cats and I have found Castor and Pollux make an organic treat for felines. I purchased it and of course my kitties love them. One does have to limit treats. Perhaps they make a treat for dogs as well. Good luck!
      Susan Thixtons book Dinner Pawsible has some treat recipes for dogs

  40. I hope someone can help me. I have three precious dogs, one cockapoo and two miniature poodles. The cockapoo got pancreatitis a few years ago and was put on Hills prescription I/D permanently. They were eating each other’s food so I decided at that time to just feed them all the prescription food. My cockapoo now has diabetes and we have had to change her to the prescription W/D which is supposed to be better for diabetic dogs. I want to start feeding the poodles a regular food. I know I have to start with that slowly. Any suggestions what food I should try them on? They have been on I/d for about four years. Many thanks. Jude

    • Jude, your best bet is to get in touch with a holistic vet who can guide you in what your baby needs. I know raw feeders who have dogs with this so I know it’s possible to do a non-commercial diet. If you don’t find one in your area, you can still consult long-distance: http://www.ahvma.org. Don’t give up! There are far better options than sacrificing quality nutrition for the sake of a Rx diet! Best to you and your furbaby!

    • Science diet wd for diabetics is a travesty…all corn…blood sugsrs will not be regulated.

  41. I think my main problem is that one of the other advocates listed here has a much longer liat of recommended foods. So it’s hard to determine who’s “right”, so to speak. I bought that ebook from amazon and am trying to determine which foods are truly good.

    • I don’t understand why you don’t make your own pet food if its so hard to choose. The more people that make their own pet food, the less money these commercial pet food companies make. They make millions. You will sleep better at night too, not worrying about your pet getting ill. Dogs ate scraps years ago when there wasn’t commercial dog food, and lived a longer and healthier life.

      • I don’t have the time or energy to make my 3 cats’ food. I’ve tried it before for a few months and it was a pain. Just my feelings. In a utopic world, yes my cats would get homemade or better yet, catch their own meals, be able to frolic outside safely and never be required to get another rabies vaccine again. Unfortunately, the best i can do is buy the best food i can afford for them. Right now, I’ve decided on a rotation of nature’s logic, nature’s instinct, wellness core and hound and gatos… All canned with nature’s instinct rabbit kibble given as treats. Reading from these pet advocates websites has given me a lot of useful info and hopefully better foods will be available each year. If i can swing it financially, I’d live to eventually switch them to a raw product…. As long as I’m not the one making it

    • Who’s the advocate that you’re referring to?

  42. I agree totally with Sheila B. I have tried every raw on the market plus home made food from the recipe book Dinners PAWsible, and every premium food. I am at my wits end.

    I am now feeding my 4 cats what they like to eat, and no more experimenting. It can get to be obsessive and exhausting and so much food was thrown out.
    I have been warned about Dave’s and I have been warned about Fussie Cat. My cats like that food, and it is grain free and does not contain artificial flavors and colors as far as I can determine. They love Fromm Dry Food, and I want them to have only wet food, so I do limit the dry, but it is an excellent product.

    Read and do research and try all the healthy advice from every web site, but in the end, you do not want to stress your cat out, nor do you want to drive yourself crazy! Moderation and common sense……..good luck!

  43. Could you tell me what the difference is between the $25. report and the $50?

    • Hi Tena – there is no difference in the $10 to the $50 report. They are all exactly the same. I offer them at different prices because I am 100% consumer supported – some consumers can afford to provide a little extra support for my advocacy work, others cannot. Hope that makes sense.

  44. Hi, I’m an employee at Petco, and it makes me super happy to see someone who is promoting the GOOD dog and cat foods, and not just ‘what has been around for years’ or ‘what the vets say’. As I have learned, and as have many customers that come in have learned, veterinarians are NOT dietitians. Yes, there is a huge difference between Overall Health and Nutritional Diet studies.

    Should you listen to your vet on how to keep your pet healthy? Yes, you need to listen and take their advice. But when it comes to food, Hills Science Diet is the main source of, as someone said above, ‘buying their lip service.’ Science diet isn’t a terrible food, but for a vet to recommend it is really embarrassing. Hill’s has many scholarships and bonuses they offer to veterinarian schools, degrees, and working vets that offer a large sum of money. Most of the time, special diets such as for diabetic dogs cost about 35 dollars for a 5 pound bag, and relatively 80+ dollars for a 30 pound bag.

    People can’t afford that as well as all the other vet bills, visits, and medications they have to pay for. Some foods are out there, that are of amazing quality, made in the US, that can easily compensate for sensitive stomach solutions, allergy sensitive dogs, etc. Helpful note; The blue buffalo Wilderness line is great for diabetic dogs, because they add more fiber and protein, crude rich protein, and take out most of the fats, oils, and sugars that is usually found in most dog foods.

    People need to simply do research in order to take care of their pets’ diets. I’m sorry to say, but unless your vet has a degree in animal nutrition, they will always advise getting Hill’s, Iams, and Purina because those three brands rule most of the pet world. Just walk into your local petstore, especially anything corporate related such as Petco or Petsmart, and you will see Purina owns so many things, from toys to treats to dental chews, and back to their food, that you would never have noticed before.

    Brands like Merrick, Halo, Blue Buffalo and the like are growing more and more each year, because people are realizing that their dogs and cats do so much better on a healthier diet that does NOT come from China, or any other place outside of the US.

    So please, please, PLEASE do your research, just like Susan is doing and attempting to help all of us out. Is it free to do so? No, nothing is free, and asking 10 bucks for a donation is hardly anything to complain about. Knowledge is power, and if you have to sacrifice 10 bucks, then so be it. It could save you hundreds of dollars in vet bills down the road with your cat or dog later on.

    So thank you Susan, I appreciate what you’re doing and how you’re helping. It will take a lot to move people from Iams and Purina to something more natural and holistic. We will get there eventually though. Even at work, people are starting to see the huge difference that has been in our faces for years.

    All you have to do is look at the ingredients, people, and even that is just shocking at times.

  45. For those that do not want/or feel the need to obtain Susan’s list, I am sure you can find the information somewhere on the web. The subject of ‘healthy pet food’ is a hot topic. I plan to do my own research in comparing brands and picking apart the ingredients just like I do for anything that I eat. I am not trying to discredit Susan’s list or information that she provides but I would rather make a cat food selection based on my own knowledge. It takes a bit of work and patience but my cat’s health is worth it. Good luck to all of you :)

  46. I love what Shaylene shared. She is right on!
    I now have my two 3 yr old males on Stella and Chewy’s Raw food…..chick chick chicken. They love it and it comes frozen in little morsels…..it is not cheap…..but my cats deserve the best. They also like the Fromm kibble, and as much as I do not want to feed them dry food, is it one of the best out there! Maybe susan can help me wean them from the kibble????? They eat about a 1/2 cup per day each………anybody want to comment on the dry food?

    My 2 old kitties who get subcu every day and wet food and some meds are doing oKAY. They are 15 and the kidney values and liver values are within a safe range, although not perfect.

    They are all drinking water, and grooming and even a bit of play with some organic cat nip.

    Fussie Cat’s website claims all made in a human grade facility. My cats do like Fussie Cat, some have no carrageenan some do…..my only complaint! Someone on this blog said don’t feed my cats Dave’s. I have researched pretty thoroughly, and I do not find Dave’s and Fussie Cat on Susan’s list……..love to have her expertise on that. (or anyone else!)

  47. My persian Ramsee has just been diagnose with Kidney Failure….my vet recommended Hill’s kd diet…however i would like him to be on a better healthy diet…i am so confuse with all the commercial food…I just stumble onto this site and the better food are made in the USA….and most of them do not ship to Canada….any suggestion would be very much appreciated….and a big thank you for Susan for all the hard work….great work.

    • Do not use Science Diet.
      Your cat needs hydration and you must learn to do subcu fluids daily. and use a lower protein wet food approved by Susan.

      You can learn to do hydration ……..look on line.

  48. Hi, fellow moms and dads of furry kids!!
    Was looking for some advice. Started feeding my two miniature poodles weruva recently. They have loose stools now so I was looking for suggestions on a dry food to give them with that. suggestions, please? And do any of you use weruva? I’m a little concerned that it is manufactured in Thailand. My other furry love is a cockapoo who has diabetes with a history of pancreatitis. She eats the prescription hills W/D. I’m not sure this is the best for her but she has done fine on it and my husband insists on not changing her food. I just would like some opinions on if I’m doing the right thing for my kids. I find the vet is not very helpful,in this regard. I’ve read so much trying to do the best for,them that I am totally confused. I have Susan’s list. Can’t do raw in my house. Many thanks! Jude

    • Hey Judy,

      I’d love to offer some advice for you. As far as Weruva, it seems like a good dog food. I recently talked to a representative online on Weruva’s website. After she did some digging, she did say that it was made and manufactured in Thailand. As far as good brands go that reside in the US, I always recommend Merrick. I’ve done a lot of research about them and my dogs do great on it. It offers a lot of goodies, such as 800 mg of gkucosamine, omega 3’s and 6’s as well as per and probiotics. Best of all, they use US ingredients and their kitchens are located in Texas. As far as the diabetes goes, as I previously mention, any food that is low in sugars and fats and has a high fiber and protein content will best suit your dogs diet. One that I know is Blue Buffalo’s wilderness and Rocky Mountain lines. Blue is made in the US, though I don’t know where exactly. However always consult your vet for other medications and supplements your dogs need. Never rely on JUST the food.

      Hope this helps

      • Thank you, Shaylene. That was really helpful. I like the looks of the Merrick food, but I remember their treats being recalled I think it was maybe last year and that kind of scared me. Did you hear about that?
        Many thanks again!
        Jude

        • I never knew of their treats being recalled a few years ago. Honestly, with how my dogs and cats have been doing so well on Merrick, the recall doesn’t scare me too much. Treats, a few years ago, often put a lot of wheat and rice, and due to moisture in rice there could have been a recall due to that. However I know a lot of Merrick treats, especially the bones and training treats are grain free and USA made. I’ll have to do some research on the treats, but I have confidence in Merrick and the good quality safe dog food and supplements they offer.

      • I used to live in the area where Merrick food began. They originated as a dead cow removal service and then moved into pet food. Whether or not they still produce their food that way, I do not know, but I will not buy it.

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