23 November 2011

Athena's Dog Food Trial

So I'm a member over at this site called BzzAgent. They have people do trials and test products out to help the companies better their products and such things. Recently I was sent my first "invitation" to join up in one of these test panels and it was for dog food. Science Diet to be exact. Since I work for Petco, I knew about this food quite some time ago. 

The "All Natural" crowd is getting bigger, and better. Dog food has come a long way and some of the kibbles and wet foods are made with such high grade ingredients that a human could probably safely ingest this stuff without problems. I'm a big advocate of getting people off of Kibbles and Bits and onto Merrick, Blue Buffalo, etc. The health of my own dog at nearly 5yrs old, being fed nothing but exceedingly high grade food and treats, is a great example of how these foods do work.

Science Diet though, has never been on my list of "Things I'll feed my dog". The ingredient list is loaded and littered with corns, fillers, and who knows what. It boasts a "#1 vet recommended" label on the bags, but thats only because they pay the vets to push it. I personally have my vet tell me "You feed way better foods than Hill's". So when the new bags showed up on a pallet one night we were slightly confused. Taking up the bag, it says things like how its first ingredient is real chicken, there is no corn, and no artificial colors. Well thats nice, at least they're actually putting real meat in their food for once. Their site also goes on about how it has so much "more" than brands like Natural Balance, Innova, Blue Buffalo. Then why are you still being stocked in the "essential" section and not the Holistic or All Natural aisles? 

Athena has been fed a rather large mix of All Natural and Grain Free foods all her life. Everything from Merrick Before Grain to Innova EVO, Natural Balance Alpha to Blue Buffalo Wilderness. Currently she's eating the Lamb-Chicken-Rabbit Alpha formula and loving it. 

Yesterday I took a small sectioned dog food bowl and poured her regular food on one side and the Science Diet Balance on the other and set it down in front of her. I got a very confused look from her before she stepped forward and smelled the bowl. I'm guessing she might of thought that the "new" kibble was a treat and went for it first. She took up a mouthful of the kibbles and promptly spit them all over the floor and gave me a very nasty look. She then nosed the pieces around the rug before going to the side of the bowl with her Alpha in it.

The second test, later that night, was to mix the foods together in one bowl. I've done food mixes before and have seen her nose through it picking out only the kibbles she likes over the other. So I thought, well, if she goes through this bowl and leaves one or the other, then we'll know. She did what I thought she would do, and quickly dumped mouthfuls on the floor and picked out Alpha and left the Science Diet on the rug.

Tonight when its time to feed her again, I'll fill her bowl with nothing but Science Diet and see how long it takes her to try it, if at all. But thus far, I think I know who the winner is between the two foods.

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