Clean Eating For Your Pet
We know that many people who use essential oils on their pets also care about their dog's holistic health. They are choosy about what their pets eat, often even being paleo eaters themselves. We agree with you all and feel the same way—so we would love to share our dog food journey with you!
At the core of our philosophy at Olia, and even in the nationally recognized kennel of our founder, Donna Stanley, we routinely shied away from big-box commercial pet food brands, preferring homegrown and reliable businesses that care about the product they are putting out and the beloved pets that are consuming it. Not all pet food manufacturers have your dog's best interests in mind. Unfortunately, many use ingredients that you would never knowingly feed your dog. Some intentionally attempt to mislead you with clever marketing, touting ingredients that sound appealing to you but are not actually suited to dogs' nutritional requirements. Too often, the big-box commercial pet food brands end up outsourcing and cheapening their ingredients. That leaves conscientious and selective consumers having to worry about fillers, GMOs, phytoestrogens, and animal by-products added to your pet's food. The cheapening of ingredients is especially common in protein, replacing them with legumes that are not species-appropriate for canines. And then, of course, there are new recalls and reports of contamination on such a regular basis that some consumers are left wondering when they are next. These selective buyers also know that when ordering from companies such as "small batch" manufacturers, the product is shipped fresh, which means they do not sit on store shelves or bake in hot warehouses, railroad cars, or trucks. So, the risk of rotten, toxic food is eliminated. As you might correctly guess, how dog food is stored can directly affect its nutritional value and safety. The bottom line is, just because it is store-bought doesn't mean it's fresh.
As a caring pet parent, you must see through marketing ploys designed to mislead you about the quality of ingredients and their intended dietary benefits. Be sure to figure out what you are paying per pound. All dog foods require different daily feeding amounts, so the cheapest is not necessarily the most cost-effective. Also, be cautious about any protein source that would not be proven as healthy across your breed. Kangaroo may not be a wise protein source, whereas fish or chicken source is well established as providing great protein with additional nutritional benefits not found in kangaroos. The brand you feed is the most important decision you can make as a pet parent because your dog eats the same food every day; it is their primary nutrition source. Top of the line dog food can foster a solid nutritional foundation, helping sustain your dog over a long and healthy life. Surely a sharp mind and able body are cultivated with consumption that provides a substantial nutritional edge.
We recommend two options. First, we suggest a raw diet. As professional show breeders of Labrador Retrievers, over the past 30 years, we have become firm believers in supplementing our dogs' diet with the most natural, basic diet: a raw, species-specific diet. A paleo diet. Before you skip over this thinking, "No way!" watch this very informative video from the veterinarian, Dr. Becker. I am sure you remember how resistant you were when you started clean living with your family. It takes time to understand the philosophy in order to act on your new belief system. Also, check out Dr. Ian Billinghurst's (DVM) website, his book, "Give Your Dog A Bone," and the research on his webpage.
Many think that a high-quality raw diet is not affordable, but there are a few tips I would give you to make it very affordable. We feed BARF (an acronym that means B.iologically A.ppropriate R.aw F.ood). This carefully balanced formula provides complete raw nutrition for your pet and is full of raw meat, fruits, vegetables, and bone. We suggest feeding about half of the amount on the bag (that would be for a very active, working dog) when it comes to the BARF multi-mix patties. Also, be sure to use coupon code #1079 to get free food in your first order and qualify for an additional $25 each following order. By that time, it is about the same price as a premium commercial kibble, but the best, most appropriate diet you can feed your dog.
Second, we suggest Life's Abundance dog food if you must choose a kibble. Competing brands use wheat and wheat glutens, corn and corn glutens, and artificial food colors and preservatives. Life's Abundance never has and never will. The same goes for the sourcing of all the ingredients. They start local and source all food components nationally. This is part of the commitment to you and your dog to provide the safest and most innovative nutritional formulas for a better life. In the 20+ years they have been in existence, they have never had a recall! You can't help but love that peace of mind.
We know that what goes into your pet's body is at the core of their overall health. Dogs are not meant to consume corn, soy, high amounts of legume proteins (beans, chickpeas, etc.), or tons of grains. And many breeds (including our Labrador Retrievers that we happen to love, show, train, and breed) can have wheat sensitivities, leading to itchiness, shedding, and hot spots. So, we have selected this particular food for that reason. If you prefer, there is a grain-free formula available. Still, in our Labradors, we have seen them do wonderfully, for a lifetime, on the All Life Stages formula. If you like a grain-free recipe, Life's Abundance Grain-Free formula scored a 5 star on Dog Food Advisor! Life's Abundance premium dry health food is prepared by a family-owned, third-generation pet food maker, where creating high-quality food is not only a priority and a family tradition; it's an art form. Batches of food are produced in limited runs weekly, minimizing storage periods and helping them deliver the freshest possible product to your front door.
While the top five ingredients of a given dog food provide the consumer with insight into a pet food maker's nutritional priorities, they don't tell the whole story. Every ingredient plays a critical part. Furthermore, the secret to superior pet food lies in the formula itself – not only in the ingredients but also in the proportions of those ingredients to one another. The significance of the ratios cannot be understated. Pet food formulator, Dr. Jane Bicks, stresses the importance of synergism, or the interaction of ingredients because the proper proportions help maximize the nutritional impact of a formula. As with any recipe, if you use the wrong ratios, you will get very different results. With quality ingredients working synergistically with one another, you can be confident that you're providing the very best for your companion animal.
Many people ask me about the cost. Life's Abundance is reasonably priced for the high quality, but it is also more nutrient-dense than others, as mentioned above. So, you feed less, which means your price per pound and price per feeding goes down. It actually costs less to feed than most grocery store pet foods! For instance, if you are feeding 3 cups of another kibble brand, comparatively, you would be feeding 2- 2 1/2 cups of Life's Abundance. It only takes some simple math to realize the savings.
To learn more about BARF, click here.
To learn more about Life's Abundance, click here.
The excerpt below is taken from Life's Abundance website:
"At Life’s Abundance, we make healthy living easier with products that are inspired by nature and informed by science. With a focus on safety, it is our commitment to use as many natural ingredients as possible, to ensure our product’s quality and efficacy, and to back it up with first-class customer service."
Since so many people ask what kibble we use and recommend, I thought I’d also add this chart below so you can compare foods:
(Click on chart to enlarge)
Click here to compare to BLUE BUFFALO: https://www.lifesabundance.com/Pets/LifesAbundance/DogFoodComparisons/Blue.aspx
Click here to compare to FROMM
Click here to compare to NATURAL BALANCE
Click here to compare to NUTRO
Click here to compare to TASTE OF THE WILD
Click here to compare to ORIJEN
Click here to compare to PURINA ONE
Click here to compare to ROYAL CANIN
Click here to compare to WELLNESS
Click here to compare to RACHAEL RAY
Click here to compare to HILLS SCIENCE DIET
Click here to compare to EVOLVE
Click here to compare to HALO
Click here to compare to SOLID GOLD
Click here to compare to MERRICK
Click here to compare to NEWMAN'S OWN
Click here to compare to ARTEMIS
Click here to compare to BILJAC
Click here to compare to BENEFUL
IF YOUR FOOD IS NOT LISTED ABOVE, GO HERE TO COMPARE TO LIFE'S ABUNDANCE
TO COMPARE PRICE PER FEEDING/POUND:
(CLICK CHART TO ENLARGE)
"As if the quality of food isn’t a good enough reason, here’s a testament to their customer service. Long story short, my order should have come on Friday. UPS tracking said it was coming on Friday, all of a sudden it was delayed with no further information. Emailed Life’s Abundance this morning. Received an email back from Life’s Abundance that UPS would contact me and they did. Food is on its way to me now via a UPS employees personal car."--Amy Smith Coolidge
"I'm so thankful for Life's Abundance! I almost lost a dog to other brands and after that i was SO scared of EVERY food out their, UNTIL i found LA. Its been the biggest change I've ever made in my kennel, but MY BEST CHANGE !! I WILL NEVER FEED ANYTHING else, all 8 of my dogs are on LA's ALS and all my pups are raised on it and my dogs & puppies have NEVER been healthier!" --Karrie King
"Convenient ordering and auto ship of quality dog food. Have been feeding my dogs this food for many years now."--Joanne
"We have been using the food products for several years with excellent results. This is due to high quality and extremely consistent product. The true test is how our show dogs react both on health and coat. We recently had an issue with the latest delivery and the customer service response was swift and extremely high level of concern along with fast response. Thank you for all that you provide for all of my show poodles."--Barbara
"My lab pup loves this food. The breeder started him on it and we have continued him on Life's Abundance. He is now 7 months old. He is growing up healthy and strong with a beautiful shiny coat!!!" --Julie
Is Life's Abundance Cost Effective?