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Issues with the Dog Food Advisor Website (part I)

Issues with the Dog Food Advisor Website (part I)

The Dog Food Advisor (DFA) maintains a large community blog. I have disagreed with many of their comments. My information is taken from well-respected resources and are included in my article footnotes. There is so much more to analyzing  dog food than merely looking at the label.

So why do I have such an issue with the Dog Food Advisor?

Mike Sagman is the writer and editor of Dog Food Advisor. He is a dentist and admits that he has no veterinary training. That’s ok though.  No issues there.  He states “I’m considered an authority on reading and interpreting pet food labels.” Considered by whom? This is misleading. He might be a self-proclaimed expert, but he is certainly not considered an authority by anyone who is legitimate. I checked Amazon for books he had written, but guess what? There were none!!! I searched and searched for ANY legitimate organizations including the AVMA and found NOTHING. I suppose he is as much of an authority relating to pet food as I am an authority of dentistry.  Now if he stated that HE considers himself to be an authority of the subject, that’s honest and truthful, but he didn’t make that claim.

Pug at Table SetHe admits that one of the sources of his information comes directly “current research” provided by the manufacturer’s research and information.  Of course the research that the manufacturers provide is funded and conducted by the manufacturer as opposed to impartial third party testing.

He admits that “Dog food reviews have at least three valid shortcomings. They can never reveal the true quality of the raw materials that were used to make the products they attempt to judge.  Or the important research and nutritional design effort that went into making these products.  And they cannot evaluate the safety with which the raw materials and products were handled by a company when manufacturing, storing and shipping the finished goods.”  Wait!  He also states that he uses manufacturer’s information and research.  He can’t seem to make up his mind.

He states, “…we also believe in the commonsense logic of mimicking a dog’s natural ancestral diet — in modeling a dog food after what an animal would naturally consume in the wild.”  Kibble and canned dog foods do not even come close to mimicking a dog’s natural ancestral diet.  The BARF diet, which is raw food that is combined in specific proportions creates a Biologically Appropriate Raw Food diet (BARF).

He has a list of the “best” foods and makes no mention of raw, freeze dried, or dehydrated food. He only refers to processed commercial dog foods.

He states that his reviews are based upon the first 5 ingredients and the meat content. What about the toxins and contaminants that are further down on the ingredient label? He also states that he “evaluates” the meat content. He merely discusses it here. He leaves the research up to YOU because he does not take the quality into account as you can notice in the list of “Nagging Questions” which I have presented further down in this article.

Money Fan in HandsI have normally have no problem with this practice. I am an affiliate of various websites because I work diligently on this blog and the small commissions that I receive help to support me for the time I spend researching and maintaining the best content possible. What I DO have a problem with is when people claim to be known experts and promote products that are not best. He leaves out the smaller companies which produce quality raw, freeze dried, or dehydrated food from his favorites list. Why would he do that? Mike Sagman makes commissions from chewy product sales made via his Dog Food Advisor website. The Chewy website carries freeze dried and dehydrated food (NO raw). There are only 71 of freeze dried and dehydrated dog food sold on that website. Sounds like a lot? Let’s put this into perspective. The website sells 1015 dried foods and 772 wet foods. There is a significantly higher earning potential for him if he excludes the healthier foods. So you can see how his ratings and recommendations encourage readers to choose from the huge selection of pet foods from large commercial  manufacturers which are big money-makers that the chewy website carries.  I refuse to take advantage of my readers by recommending products that are not superior in quality, let alone unsafe.  I choose to educate my readers.

Here is the list of his additional concerns and questions that he “kindly” provides. The webpage section is located in his website at: Nagging Questions Persist.

Nagging Questions Persist:
Of course, like everyone else, we still yearn to know more…
• Where do the ingredients come from?
• Are they food grade? Feed grade? Or agricultural rejects?
• Are they fresh?
• Will my dog like the taste?
• Is the kibble the right size for my pet?
• Have they been tested for chemical or biological contamination?
These are all legitimate questions. Some of them can be answered by simply visiting a company’s website. Or calling their customer service number.

Skull BlackWhy doesn’t HE contact manufacturers and have some of those questions for us, but he leaves these questions unanswered and throws the job over to his readers to do all the hard work.  I would think that if he was really concerned and responsible, he would climb mountains to provide information about testing done for chemical or biological contamination.  Since he neglects to provide such information to consumers, he omits this criteria from his evaluations so that such a food may earn lots of stars.

Dog Food Advisor makes no consideration with regard to the truth about commercial dog food discussed in What’s REALLY in Dog Food, an article that exposes the commercial dog food industry.

Just a note:  I have been trying to contact Hills Dog Food since March of 2014.  I asked them where their vitamin premix is sourced from.  Most vitamin premix (the long list of vitamins at the end of an ingredient list) comes from China.  They forward me to the media department, I have left messages.  They will not provide a direct phone number for me.  They don’t seem to want to speak with me.  Hmmm.  I wonder why?  What’s your guess?

By including statements like, “We tend to dislike dog foods made with by-products…” he leaves the door open so there is a larger selection of food that can earn high grades even though the food is inferior.  That means that he can make higher profits when his readers purchase more products from his affiliate website.


In other words, he provides some VERY basic information without important consideration with regard to contamination, and quality. Instead of educating us about those aspects, dumps us and sends us off to contact the manufacturers.

There is NO mention of aflatoxins, mycotoxins, melamine or other contaminants and toxins that have been found in many dog foods which are causing disease in dogs (kidney disease is rampant) and death.  Melamine has been found to cause kidney disease.  On Dog Food Advisor I used the search bar to find “melamine” with no results. When I searched for “salmonella,” there were only recalls listed. He neglects to educate people about salmonella and the fact that products are recalled for salmonella because of its danger to humans NOT to normal dogs!

To make matters worse, if you want to see his special editors top picks, you need to sign up and pay a fee.  So you decide. Do you think that site is so impartial and ethical? Something just doesn’t feel right to me.  To see part II of this article, you may read Pet Food Safety Concerns & the Dog Food Advisor Part II.

To see what food I feed my dogs, see my articles The Beginner raw feeders and one for The BEST Dog Food for the Advanced.

 

*This article is accurate at the time that it was published – August 6th 2014.  Website content and products on DFA and Chewy’s might change thereafter.


Sources:

“Dog Food Reviews.” Dog Food Advisor. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Aug. 2014. <http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com>.

 

 

 

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60 Comments

  1. sharron

    i have been posting questions about what to feed my very fussy yorkie/chihuahua for the past 4 years – everything was fine in the beginning, then about a year ago there were about 4-5 regulars among themselves decided they weren’t going to respond to me anymore because i wasn’t taking their advice. i thought i it was up to me to make the decision whether to use their advice or not. Anyways, yesterday i posted a question in regards to a dog food brand website stating that the feeding guide wasn’t correct and asked what they thought – well, it turned out to be me being raked over the coals because i feed my little dog 3-4 times a day, there were 2 regulars who told me that she should be 2 times and one of them just “threw her hands up in the air” and said enough is enough she can’t give advice on feeding when it goes against her beliefs of feeding and a feeding schedule. i was also told that feeding more than twice a day is harmful for my dog and i am doing harm to her.
    who are these people and what right do they have to state that i’m hurting my dog. i’ve even been told not to listen to my vet when it comes to dog food nutrition because they don’t know anything. but of course these people on dfa think they know everything – i’m tired of their “my way or the highway”
    attitude.

    1. Janie

      Hi Sharron-

      Thank you for writing. DFA only provides a little information to readers and leaves out the most important things like toxins… With regard to feeding your dog several times a day, it is fine as long as you are dividing meals and not giving full meals each time. In other words, if your dog is supposed to eat 3 oz per day, you can divide it into portions and make several servings. They were somewhat correct in saying that vets don’t know anything about nutrition. Holistic vets DO know about nutrition. They have extensive training on nutrition while traditional vets are not. Veterinary schools are sponsored and funded by Purina and other similar corporations. Holistic vets go through additional training.

      I must admit that I am very picky and stubborn about what my preferences are and the products that I recommend. I stick to what I believe. I am NOT an expert so I gather my information from the foremost professionals and pioneers in veterinary medicine. Many who focus on traditional veterinary medicine and care don’t like what I have to say because expose their secrets. The feelings I have for the DFA are mutual.

      I feel that if I can’t provide the best guidance for my readers, then I need to throw in the towel. If I could be of any help at all, please feel free to contact me.

      1. sharron

        hi janie and thanks for your comments – my biggest problem is that my dog yorkie/chihuahua is a very fussy eater and will not stay on one food for very long (a few days a the most) – i have left food in her dish and if she’s not interested in it she just walks away and won’t touch it – she doesn’t bug me for something different, she just walks away and the food sits there. it doesn’t matter what the food is, raw (doesn’t like it), dry (this is the hardest type of food to get her to eat), canned (really likes it but it’s too expensive to keep her on all the time), have mixed dry with can (just eats the wet), have mixed raw with wet (again just eats the wet). so i feed her what works for her even though alot of people think i’m letting her rule me

        1. Janie

          Oh no!!! One of THOSE!!! LOL! Some dogs are really fussy. I have never met a dog who doesn’t like raw. Raw is a pain though unless it is properly prepared (that’s why I stick with the one I use). Some of the top commercial dog foods are just as pricey as raw. Stay clear of dry because it tends to be way more toxic than other forms.

            1. Janie

              Hi Sharron-

              The ingredients look great at first, but dogs really need a portion of organ meat in their diets (liver, hearts…). Also, the less processing, the better. Their food is better than most, but for dogs, raw (without dehydrating or freeze drying) is much healthier than any other form of food. Sojo’s is far better than most manufacturers though. The issue that I have is that many dog food manufacturers that make “high end” products with “human grade” ingredients appeal to US rather than addressing the biological dietary needs of our dogs. The MOST nutritious ingredient in food is green tripe. Green tripe is NOT human grade. In fact, it is illegal to sell it for human consumption. It is cow intestines with the digest still there. Yuck! I love that the food I feed my dogs has it. You see, manufacturers don’t want to include “gross stuff” because they want people to feel as if they are feeding the best. What is best for us is not necessarily best for a different species.

        2. Paula

          I have a problem with u as much as I do him- u are pretty much solely raw, -!: criticize him for being solely wet:dry. Not everyone can afford raw, so his is helpful to those people. Plus, at least he proofreads his posts, which u might want to work on

          1. Janie

            Hi Paula-

            First of all, this website is MY home. If one chooses to use sarcasm or nastiness I will not post such comments.

            One may choose to cook for dogs, however I only recommend raw diets that are not made with a majority of synthetic ingredients. Dogs in the wild tend to be much healthier than most dogs who are domesticated. Most vets do not take their education further than what is taught to them through programs funded by corporations. I get my information from vets who have become experts in nutrition and have earned recognition for their work. Dr. Marty Goldstein, Dr. Karen Becker, and many more serve as my sources. I credit my sources as well. I recommend feeding ONLY biologically/species appropriate diets.

            When you visit someone’s home, it is a good policy to be respectful and kind.
            With regard to my proofreading (or lack thereof), unlike Dog Food Advisor, I don’t have a staff. I work on this website by myself. I am thankful to those who have benefitted from the information that I have worked so hard on.

            All the best
            Janie

        3. Jennifer

          I have a cat this way. Plus most foods made him throw up. I found Honest Kitchen Grace and he is doing great. Making by their suggestions of just letting it soak in warm water for 3 minutes didn’t work. That still will make him sick because of the parsley and chard which is too hard and aggravates his stomach. I cook it and he loves it and does great on it. As for my dogs I make their food based on my Chinese medicine vet. They get specific meats and vegetables based on their symptoms. Mostly they are on a cooling, yin nourishing diet with some neutral foods added. Lean pork ground, turkey are cooling and eggs neutral. The other half is cooling celery, blood tonic carrots, phlegm removing apples, yin tonic green and black beans. This site is the source of the guide she gave me for the food and also has a place to find a TCM vet in your area that can guide you to making your own homemade food. http://www.tcvm.com/ I make food for my 48 lb girl and 22 lb boy and for 3 other dogs in my family. One is a 10 lb yorkie. He eats 1 cup a day total. I add quinoa to his for its warming qualities and to help him gain weight without spiking blood sugar. He is finally a healthy weight and his cataracts are gone. I make a total of 135 lbs of dog food each month, wash and puree veggies, mix with Sea weed calcium from animal essentials (1 teaspoon per lb of food) and then mix with eggs and meat and bake it like meatloaf and freeze. For one yorkie you would only need 15-16 lbs of food a month. That amount can be done in an afternoon.

          1. Janie

            Hey Jennifer!

            It’s great to hear from you again. I am glad that Honest Kitchen is working out for you. My issue with their food is that it contains an extensive vitamin premix. I won’t recommend a food unless it has no more than 5 or 6 vitamins added. If a product is truly healthy, it should not need vitamins to provide the nutrients. The nutrients should come from the food itself.

            I love what you are doing for your dogs. It’s brilliant! I add supplements to my dogs’ food which are minimally processed greens along with fish oil, digestive enzymes, and probiotics. I ALWAYS add enzymes and probiotics to their food. I like to get a broad spectrum of digestive enzymes and probiotics.

            All the best and thank you again for writing.
            Janie

      2. Ariana

        Wow. I am a vet and take great offense to these statements. It is my job, my passion, and my life to care for pets every day. How dare you say these things about the veterinary profession, who cares for pets every single day of our life.

        1. Janie

          Hi Ariana-

          I am sorry that you take offense. I have issues with the of lack of information that vets are provided due to the funding of veterinary schools which influences their learning. This issue with conventional veterinary medicine. The veterinary practice I bring my dogs to have vets who have been schooled for years and years beyond veterinary school.

          If you look at my articles: 8 Questions to Evaluate Your Vet and Are Vaccines Really Safe?, I can bet you will find things that will question conventional veterinary medicine and how it is practiced.

          Do you know how many vets do not know how to treat kidney disease and rely on synthetic diets which usually use ingredients from China?

          Do you know how many conventional vets know nothing about biologically appropriate diets (not what Hills or other companies who manufacture synthetic food)? Do you know how many vets have no idea about vaccines. It is bad enough that many don’t even know about thimerosal? Do you know how many don’t even have a chelating protocol? Do you know how many vets don’t know about sterilization vs de-sexing? Vets are removing an enormous portion of their endocrine system then they wonder why pets are having issues later. Do you know how many vets give multiple vaccines? Our dogs have immune systems that are not working optimally.

          One of my readers caught her vet in a lie with regard to heartworm! He claimed he treated two dogs a week ago. She lives in NY. Several I have spoken with didn’t know about the perfect storm that must exist in order for a dog to become infected Heartworm Drama reply to comment →

          1. yvonne

            I stumbled across your blog, webpage whatever this is and Can I just say one about heartworms and the article i was sent to about how hard it is to get heartworms and that we are poisoning our dogs by giving them the preventative, please tell this to all the pups in the shelters here in Florida that are HW positive how the conditions have to be just right!!! You know how “just right” the conditions have to be to conceive a baby, read up on it, it is pretty amazing and definitely all the stars have to be aligned just so, but wowmen are getting pregnant everyday! this is the article I am referring to http://www.essentiallydogs.com/heartworm-drama

            1. Janie

              Hi Yvonne-

              Thank you for your comment.

              The weather is different in Florida. I specified the weather requirements in order for a dog to become infected by heartworm. I was very explicit about the conditions that are necessary in order for a dog to become infected. If you match up the those conditions and they apply to your geographic area, then you can infer what applies to you. I even included maps to assist people and described testing. I know that my articles tend to be long, but in their entirety, they encompass very comprehensive information along with references.

              Unfortunately, conventional vets are not taught about natural preventive care in veterinary school due to the funding of these programs. The typical conventional preventive is NOT a preventive. It is a pesticide which kills as opposed to preventing. The EPA confirms that these ingredients are pesticides.

              It is clear that many vets in Florida are neglecting to test adequately. It must be clear that in certain areas, there exists the “perfect storm” for heartworm to infect a dog. Heartworm is not complicated to treat naturally particularly in its initial stages. If the vets (of the dogs you referred to in the shelters) were doing the right thing, dogs wouldn’t be walking around for several months with the infection. That is shameful and neglectful. In high risk areas, natural preventives should be used and testing must be performed. This is just another illustration of possible neglect. These dogs must have been hoarded or in some type of horrific situation. They were likely malnourished as most dogs are due to synthetic diets and probably had weakened immune systems. They were not provided herbs or any preventives. A big problem is that many (not all) conventional vets do not educate dog owners.

              Thanks again for reading my article. I hope that you find valuable information that will help you give your dog the best life possible.

              Janie

              1. Jennifer

                There is also another option. I am in Florida and my dogs do great on Heart Worm Protect. It is all natural. The stuff from the vet was causing seizures in my dog so we went with this 3 years ago and all of them are in excellent shape with clean bills of health. It has many great reviews and healthy customers.

              2. Janie

                Hi Jennifer-

                Thank you so much for visiting my website and for your comment. I had the same experience with one of my dogs which catapulted me to create this blog. I felt that vets who practice only conventional medicine are hurting our pets as they are limited by their pharmaceutical background and neglect to study alternatives.

                We are on the same wavelength here. I wrote an article and included that product! My article Heartworm Drama gives the real low down about heartworm and product alternatives to pesticides which do more harm than good.

                Thanks again.
                All the best
                Janie

        1. Janie

          Hi Bill-

          Thank you so much for visiting my website and for your question.

          You can get lots of information about food from my website, Truth About Pet FoodTruth About Pet For, and Poisoned PetsPoisoned Pets. Those websites help you understand the truth behind labeling and how poorly the pet food industry contributes to the health of our pets. I have several articles about species appropriate diets and I provide recommendations as well. You might want to check out Raw Food & Some Alternatives.

          Species appropriate (AKA Biologically Appropriate Raw Food – BARF) is expensive, but it pays off in the long run as it keep dogs healthier than synthetic diets.

          All the best,
          Janie

      3. Sal

        Hi Janie,

        You wrote:

        “He (Mike Sagman) states “I’m considered an authority on reading and interpreting pet food labels. Considered by whom?””

        If you would like to see how Mike Sagman’s “About” page has developed over the years on the dog food advisor, you should go take a look at “The wayback machine’s” archives of that page.

        Here are some excerpts:

        On Dec 29, 2010, Mike Sagman considered himself an expert on reading and interpreting dog food labels

        “However, I do consider myself a consumer advocate and an expert at reading and interpreting pet food labels.”

        Then on Jan 10, 2011, just 12 days later he was now considered by others to be an expert:

        “However, I am a consumer advocate and considered an expert at reading and interpreting pet food labels.”

        My favorite leap in Mike Sagman’s About page happened between Aug 10, 2015 and Aug 27, 2015. On Aug 10, 2015 it read:

        “My undergraduate studies include a major in chemistry and a minor in biology.

        Yet none of my education or my more than 35 years in healthcare should be considered a prerequisite for publishing The Dog Food Advisor.”

        And 17 days later on Aug 27, 2015, it read:

        “My undergraduate studies include a major in chemistry and a minor in biology.

        In addition to my medical-level curriculum in human nutrition, I’ve also cultivated a personal passion for canine nutrition, too.”

        When Mike posted about his “medical-level curriculum in human nutrition” on his About page, someone took notice and called him out on it. They said that statement was a gross exaggeration, bordering on an outright lie.

        Mike Sagman REMOVED the “medical-level curriculum in human nutrition” statement and quietly changed it to:

        “My undergraduate studies include a major in chemistry and a minor in biology.

        In addition to my dental school studies in human nutrition, I’ve also cultivated a personal passion for canine nutrition, too.”

        There are many, many such instances of Mike Sagman’s arrogant portrayals of himself throughout the years on the dog food advisor. If you ever want to discover a few for yourself, have a look at the Wayback Machines HUGE archive for the dog food advisor!

        1. Janie

          Hey!

          Thank you so very much for your support and for reading my article. Reading labels has nothing whatsoever to do with what is in the dog food itself. If the food were not overly processed to the point that it requires an extensive amount of synthetic ingredients his analysis would be more accurate. Notice how labels don’t indicate carbs. He is doing consumers a great disservice because although he is analyzing the general ingredients, he is not taking into account the most important issues. I think he meant well in the beginning, but I find it difficult to believe that with all the information out there he is oblivious to the issues.

          I have received a great number of hateful emails. I have tons of articles about synthetic food and I encourage people to choose healthy food. The products that I recommend are those which I have tried or those which I have done a great deal of work to confirm their quality and authenticity. Products that include ingredients that are not transparent, I will not recommend (i.e., “natural flavoring” or “scented”). I have spent countless hours on this task. I even received a letter from a company in legal language (I contacted an attorney friend who told me it was garbage and to just go along with their demands because I refused to remove the article). I removed the name and image of the product. I am very passionate about what I do.

          Thank you for making my day!

          All the best,
          Janie

          1. Zeke

            I took your advice and I had a look at the about page for Mike Sagman on Dog Food Advisor Dot Com.

            I found something very disturbing!

            On the about page there is a link to “Penny’s Tragic Story”. On JANUARY 15, 2009, when Mike Sagman first wrote Penney’s tragic story he claimed:

            “Then, early in 2007, things changed. Penny SUDDENLY stopped eating altogether. No matter what we mixed with her food she simply refused to eat.”

            By 2016, Penny’s Tragic Story had changed. The original quote above now reads:

            “Then, in 2007, things changed. FOLLOWING AN INJURY, Penny GRADUALLY stopped eating altogether. No matter what we mixed with her food, she simply refused to eat.”

            Seven years after Mike Sagman originally wrote this article on Dog Food Advisor, Penny’s Tragic Story has been rewritten. Penny no longer SUDDENLY stopped eating, she GRADUALLY stopped eating.

            Even more disturbing is the fact that seven years after Mike Sagman wrote the original version of Penny’s Tragic Story, he now remembers that Penny suffered an “INJURY” right before she either “suddenly or gradually” stopped eating.

            Somebody should tell Mike Sagman about the WayBack machine so he can check what he wrote in the past before he re-invents things in the present.

            Original version of “Penny’s Tragic Story”

            https://web.archive.org/web/20091029155345/http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-industry-exposed/pennys-tragic-story

            2016 “version of Penney’s Tragic Story”

            https://web.archive.org/web/20160512021514/http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-industry-exposed/pennys-tragic-story

            1. Janie

              Hi Zeke-

              Thanks so much for visiting my website and for your comment. There are many things I have issues with regarding the DFA. I wasn’t aware of this story though. The reason for Penny’s death is likely related to the stuff going on at the time with China. About China & Melamine in Pet Food clearly explains what likely happened.

              I don’t like when people change their stories around unless they let people know that they are making a correction. Sometimes when a tragedy occurs our memories get confused. I try so very hard to give others the benefit of the doubt, but in this case I just don’t buy it.

              Something that makes me fume about his website is that for a “label expert,” he neglects so much to the detriment of our pets and consumers.

              If you take a look at my other article, you will notice that neither article states everything that is misleading. I like to believe that he is NOT deliberate misleading us, but it is difficult for me.

              Have you noticed that the carbohydrates are never listed on pet food labels? Why doesn’t he tell us about that? Consumers who are unaware are not provided this important information. Consumers are required to do the arithmetic themselves to discover the overwhelming amount of carbs in the food. By the way, as far as carb content goes, “grain-free” does not mean they are getting fewer carbs.

              Also, when ingredients are listed on the labels, they are listed based upon weight. So if a meat protein is listed first that means that it is giving our carnivores plenty of meat. He doesn’t tell us that the ingredients are measured BEFORE processing. That means that if there is meat protein and vegetable-based protein, the veggie protein might outweigh the meat protein that our dogs require. Why? Well, around 70% of meat consists of water. They are counting that water in the weight to make the meat content appear much more heavy than it is in reality!

              I don’t claim to be a label expert. I never have, but if someone claims to be, that person should stand up for consumers and their pets and protect them.

              Please share my website with other dog lovers and continue to read my articles. I have a newsletter that you can sign up for as well.

              All the best,
              Janie

              How about

      4. Christina

        I understand this is just an opinion piece. But a heads up that Chewy does sell frozen raw foods. Chewy’s recent sale to Petsmart has many manufacturers withdrawing their contracts with Chewy. Just wanted to point out the raw aspect for accuracy.

        1. Janie

          Hi Christina-

          Thank you for visiting my website and for commenting. You are absolutely right. They DO carry those foods. The issue that I was pointing out was that he advertizes for Chewey and receives commission for those sales WITHOUT disclosing his affiliation to his readers. You will notice that on my pages when I have links for products that go to website stores, I have the required affiliate disclosure at the bottom of the page so that my readers know. I do NOT send my readers to items that do not meet my standards. I care what people are giving their dogs. By being so picky, I am not be able to make much money, but I can sleep at night knowing that I am helping others. There is nothing really wrong with directing people to a general website, but if there are products on that website that are unsafe, harmful or unhealthy, I prefer to lead people away from those products and send my readers directly to the good stuff.

          I spend a great amount of time on my website and I am on my own without a team. The small commissions that I get don’t cover my time or the cost of running my website, but it helps a little. I ask that people purchase products using my links as it has no impact on the price they pay, but it allows me to earn a small commission.

          Thanks again for writing.
          All the best
          Janie

    2. Linda Howie

      I have issues with these “so Called ” experts as well. What you feed your dog in total during a day is more important than how many times. The usual is twice a day but 3-4 is not a problem I would see. These people are also conspiracy theorists who think veterinarians are PAID by commercial dog food companies. They are NOT.

      1. Janie

        Hi Linda-

        Thank you for writing. Unfortunately, conventional vets receive minimal education with regard to nutrition. The veterinary programs tend to gear their nutritional training on their financial supporters (which are the pet food manufacturers). When vets prescribe these “prescription diets” they are generously reimbursed by the pet food manufacturer. There is a class action lawsuit against these manufacturers who create these prescription diets because there are no medicinal components in the food.

        Vets do receive commissions/kickbacks from the manufacturers of those shameful diets.

        Thank you for checking out my website. I have plenty of articles about food. I hope you enjoy!

        All the best
        Janie

        1. Edith Gutierrez

          Our foster dog has just been diagnosed with beginning of kidney disease and the vet who did this had the owner buy Hill’s K/D. We got her from the owner and took her to our vet who practices both Western and Eastern meds. She said to get ride of that K/D, find a low-moderate protein, and low fat. She will go back in 6 months for labs to see where she is. I guess my story is that I have to read labels but I have long senses a problem with DFA.

    3. Theron

      I have done many years of research and dog food. I have owned Australian cattle dogs and there is nothing I would not do for my beloved doggy! What makes sense to me is, putting a dog on a fast once in while. The “fast”, or lack of food for several hours (5-12 hours), allows his digestive system and body to “clean” itself out.
      In my opinion, “breakfast” is not essential for a dog. I basically feed my dog an early lunch and dinner. Dinner is broken up into three “courses”. While the courses are all pretty much the same type of thing, I just break it up so he does not eat too fast! “you know how dogs can eat”. Veterinarians are not all created equal. Some vets really care about dogs and a proper diet while others are just sponsored by the corporate world. Some veterinarians will just sell you some stuff while others will really try to learn the long term best solutions.
      Every dog is different and the diet should be formulated for the individual dog. If your dog is fussy, don’t be afraid to just let the food sit there or put it back into the fridge. If the dog is hungry enough it will eat. If you know the food is good then just be patient! With my dog, he doesn’t really like “fresh” raw meat. I will dehydrate it a bit and he seems more interested. One thing that really makes sense to me is, do not mix Kible with raw meat! Kible is typically made with some type of starch. ( Rice, potatoes, grains) This starch is essentially the “glue” that holds the Kible together. Dogs should not have a bunch of starch if they’re also going to eat raw meat and raw bone.
      I like to alternate. If I know that I’m going to feed my dog raw meat, I will introduce it for lunch and maintain that diet all throughout the day. If you’re going to do Kible, make sure it doesn’t have a bunch of grain and just don’t mix it in with raw meat. The extra starch sets the digestive system up with a higher pH. This higher pH does not help break down the raw meat, bacteria, and Raw bone. ( keep in mind some bacteria is a very good thing!) Setting up the digestive system to have a Lower pH is essential to properly digest raw meat and bone.
      While I am not a veterinarian, I am considering myself a holistic dog expert. I will be putting posts and opinions about dog care up on TheDogPost.com -Theron and Popeye.

      1. Janie

        Hi Theron & Popeye-

        Thank you so much for checking out my articles and for your comment. You are a hero!!! Bravo to you!!!

        With regard to kibble, I wouldn’t go near it. Why not add pumpkin or raw egg yolk with lightly cooked egg white (dogs don’t digest egg whites properly – it has to do with an amino acid or something, but raw yolks are fabulous). There are other things that can be added (even some veggies or fruit – the ones that are safe for dogs).

        There are some really great vets out there, but the problem is with the education. Conventional vet programs do not provide sufficient information for vets. They focus on what their sponsors want them to be taught and shun most other methods (Chinese medicine, nutrition, herbs…). Then they are taught the minimum about vaccinology. Natural & biological methods are put down (even though those methods require an abundance of advanced course work.

        Thanks again for writing. It would be great if you could include a link to my website on your site so that information can be shared with your readers. If you would like me to share any articles with you, please let me know prior. We must get information out to other dog lovers.

        All the best
        Janie

  2. sharron

    sorry for being a pest – i do have a bag of Nature’s Variety raw medallions lamb – is this decent – thanks again for your help and won’t bother you again after this – i can be a pain with so many questions

    1. Janie

      Don’t be silly! That’s ok. Nature’s Variety is really good. Not my favorite (it doesn’t contain my favorite ingredient – green tripe), but it is much better than the Sojo’s. Feel free to contact me. Sometimes I can’t respond so quickly. If I can’t get in touch right away, I do my best to respond within a couple of days. I am really hooked on the food that I give to my own dogs. I don’t have a car. It is delivered right to my door on auto-ship. My readers will get free shipping for a year which is a big deal considering that shipping is around $25 depending on location. My dogs are just crazy about the stuff!!!

  3. Deena

    Excellent article on Dog Food Advisor. I had no idea he was not in pet health industry and is a dentist. He gave Merrick great ratings and recently Merrick Dog Food has been causing many dogs to become sick. Does he not research reviews people write on what has happened to their pets after eating the good he recommends. I will never trust him again. Also I never knew he made money from recommending and rating those foods. I noticed he uses the kibble from the manufactures never the wet food when he reviews.

    1. Janie

      The actual things that are “evaluated” don’t have anything to do with the quality or the toxins. He leaves all the important footwork to his readers to stress over.

      It’s fine to receive commissions, but not when people are buying things based on insufficient information. He is also supposed to put affiliate disclosure statements on each page that an affiliate link is present. For each image, he is supposed to clearly label that it is an affiliate website. I disclose all of that information. Running a website, doing all the reading and research, and writing is extremely time consuming so I get a miniscule commission and I make that loud and clear. I also recommend products that I do NOT get commissions for simply because it is for the DOGS which is a priority over my pocketbook. Believe me… I am NOT living in a mansion and driving a Bentley. FAR from it!!!

  4. Leigh

    Interesting article about Petfoodadvisor.com. I was a little skeptical, too, especially when he wants $14.99/year (a special that supposedly expires in 30 minutes) for “inside scoop” on dog food.

    I have 3 dogs and feeding them all raw can be very expensive. So I feed raw, dehydrated raw (Honest Kitchen) and grain-free kibble (preferably with dehydrated raw). Nature’s Variety is just to expensive for me even though my dogs love it, especially the “Raw Boost” variety. I just bought Merrick, but wondering if you have any suggestions for an affordable grain-free kibble that is mostly protein?

    Thank you!

    1. Janie

      Hi Leigh-

      Feeding 2 dogs (only 10 pounds each) plus paying for their health insurance is very pricey, but the result of skimping on those things can add up in the long run (sometimes in the short run as well). I have seen so many with brittle nails, cracked & dry pads, flakey skin, pimples and growths, allergies, intestinal issues, fatty tumors, teeth in horrible condition, impacted anal glands, clogged tear ducts, ear infections, organ disease, and the list goes on. Much of this could be prevented with a correct canine species diet. I am only well-versed when it comes to the shortcomings of most commercial dog food. Dry is often the least healthy. Honest Kitchen is a good food, but being that it is certified as “human grade” it is therefore missing some important components that are toxic to humans, but incredibly healthy for dogs (i.e., organ meat and green tripe). “Human grade” is a marketing gimmick. We think about feeding our dogs as well as we feed ourselves. We think about OUR food, but foods that are healthy for humans are eaten by humans with the consideration of human physiology. Dogs are different physiologically and have nutritional requirements that are different from humans. What’s REALLY in Dog Food is a great article that you might want to check out. I wish I could be more helpful, but I am a strong believer in raw and I have so many issues with kibble and canned dog food.

  5. Lou Bino

    Hi, appreciate letting us know about DFA – he had me convinced it was a panel & not 1 person that didn’t provide full details while making dollars.

    Maybe I wanted to be fooled since I was looking for EXACTLY that type of site – lists reviews and ratings to help me find good-quality budget conscience dog food.

    I have 3 small rescues who are great, but didn’t realize the cost in feeding my little elves.

    Do you have any advice on a high-quality small breed dog food? I’m using Wellness Dry Small Breed & 12lbs for $30 is causing some pain….. and I hate to put dollars before quality but I have kids as well.

    1. Janie

      Hi Lou-

      I completely understand about the money. Bravo to you for rescuing! It is hard for me to recommend a high quality, non-raw food for dogs. If you are going to feed a commercial diet, avoid dry. Wellness wet or Merrick wet are better than most of the other commercial brands. I can’t recommend them because I only would feed my dogs raw, but I could tell you that they are much better than a majority of the non-raw diets out there. You can check out my Bargins page and scroll dow to Pet 360. Try checking them out and use the coupon code that I have on the Bargains Page.

      Unfortunately the news has informed us that Merrick is being purchased by Purina. It is very likely that Purina will destroy Merrick’s food as Purina will need to maintain profits.

  6. Janie

    Dear Readers-
    This comment is ONLY for the few readers who choose to write malicious or unkind comments:
    I have mentioned in the past that I will NOT post any comments that are mean-spirited or disrespectful. I work VERY hard on this website and I will refuse to contaminate it with nastiness. I am entitled to do so because this is MY home. Before writing something disparaging, please review BOTH articles about the Dog Food Advisor. I provide facts. Based on the DFA website’s methods, although I feel that their intentions are not ill, essential information is left out. Discussing dog food based on labels alone does not take into account laws, legislation, ingredient sources, and other information that readers are entitled to know. You may read both articles at the following link: http://www.essentiallydogs.com/?s=dfa
    Thank you.
    Janie

    1. Alfred

      Janie, you spent a lot of time on knocking another seeming dog lover’s website and commercial effort. I am not judging whether your claims are justified, but I would suggest that in case you do not appreciate the offerings of a seller or advisor you simply move on and look for one you like. There is a lot of material on the internet, some of great value, and much garbage, but to distinguish between those two extremes still takes individual judgment. You go to great length to explain that you dislike malicious or unkind comments and you will NOT post any comments that are mean-spirited or disrespectful – yet your whole article about DFA sounds like one big attack. All because he kicked you off his forum? Come on, it is HIS home, just like you say this is your’s!
      When I came on DFA’s site I too found some things less informative as I had wished, so I simply kept on researching the subject elsewhere. When I see something in a store that is, in my opinion, of bad quality or unjustifiably high price in a store I simply don’t buy it – we as consumers have the power to make these choices, and can do the same in internet shopping.
      Bottom line is this: aren’t we losing our focus on what really matters – our beloved pets? I invite you to join our group of real dog lovers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/236747379787841/ and add your 2 cents (you may even find some new customers).

      1. Janie

        Hi Alfred
        Thank you for articulating your points with such sincerity and tact. I feel that the DFA is a website that has good intentions. The site has some articles and material that are informative. The issue that I have is that many consumers use the information about the labels and are under the impression that those labels by themselves are a determining factor about the quality and safety of food. This is far from the truth. Have you read both my articles? I have NOT stated anything in a nasty manner. I stated facts. That is not “bashing.”

        It is imperative that people use their voices to promote awareness. Awareness and knowledge empower consumers to make informed decisions. It is the active informative consumers who enable change. For example, legislation needs to be changed. I can’t witness something that misleads consumers and just walk away. That is the whole purpose of my website. I am NOT saying that the Dog Food Advisor is DELIBERATELY misleading the public. I believe that their goal is well-intentioned. There is a lot of time and effort that goes into that website.

        I will have another article coming out about dog food testing. I credit Susan Thixton for the valuable information. It is the (intentional or unintentional) omission of such information that concerns me about the DFA. Such information should be included at the bottom of each dog food review as it as it applies to a particular food. Most consumers rely too heavily upon “ratings” and when they see stars and similar icons, all the fine print disappears. Let’s face it, every time you see a disclosure statement or a small folded up insert page with a 3 point font, do you read it all? I usually skim through and look for certain words.

        I am not reckless with how I speak of the DFA. I have merit. I was taught not to just turn away if something is the matter. I was taught to stand up for people and to help. That is the only way we can make changes. Thank you again for writing.

        Janie

  7. MINTA

    first let me say THANK YOU!~ I thought I was missing something, reading when I should be sleeping, or just losing my PhD level educated mind. lol I soon realized in my quest to find science based research on dog food was not going to happen over at DFA. I want to ensure my 5 rescue fur-babies are getting what they need nutritionally. The more I searched & read? the more confused I became. I understand an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure & will invest now to ensure healthy/happy lives for my furbabies down the road. But I also found myself paying 50-60 dollars each time I went to the store to get their food. My BF & I are vegetarians (me for 36 yrs now) & I am sure you can understand feeding raw is kinda gross for me. I try to combine a quality kibble (which is getting harder and harder everyday) with wet food & supplement with healthy snacks (carrots, apples, cottage cheese, pumpkin). I would really like to switch over to BARF but really do not know how to do the transition. My five rescues are: mini teddy roosevelt rat terrier, standard rat terrier, parsons jack russell, a chi-weenie, & a smooth fox terrier. I zm going to go read your other article….start investigating the BARF diet…but I am sure I will be back to ask a few more questions. Last, for the record? you DID NOT BASH the dentist for his lack of credentials. He takes care of that all on his own. If the visitors where to think it through?, they would also see his money making website for what it is. You very succinctly listed out what everyone should be asking when they visit that site….while providing valid answers. =) I LOVE your site….& will be posting a link to my pet-loving friends over on FB ( all 2500 of them ) because you deserve credit for all the work you have done here.

    1. Janie

      Dear Minta-

      You made my day!!!!!!!!!!!!! I understand the concepts of vegetarianism. There is the cruelty and health factors. Regarding healthy dogs, you must remember that not all protein is the same. Dogs require meat as a large percentage of meat is biologically and ancestrally required. They also have a very short digestive tract so they can digest the raw meat without it sitting and fermenting in their intestines. Raw diets are very costly, but considering all the health issues related to dry and canned food, I can’t stress the importance of raw. I have seen so skin ailments, bad teeth, infected ears, clogged tear ducts, brittle nails, infected paws due to chewing on them, bloated tummies, and the list goes on. The enzymes in raw food keep teeth clean. The food itself addresses all the issues mentioned above. One of my clients had extreme issues. I knew right away what was going on. I asked her if the vet ever asked her what she was feeding her dogs. She told me the vet never asked! The majority of vets are not educated about nutrition. Tons of antibiotics and tons of vet bills later, I begged her to change to raw. When she finally did, the issues went away. She could hardly afford the expense, but her dogs are healthier and she hasn’t been to the vet in a long time. She told me that she would need to go back for vaccines. I told her to read my article about vaccines – Are Dog Vaccines Really Safe? On the last visit to the vet, she was practically bullied into vaccinating her dogs. She stood her ground and mentioned Ronald Shultz – the top animal immunologist in the country. She only agreed on the rabies as required by law. He was also surprised to see the improvements on the health condition of her dogs.

      I want you to know that making money from a website is fine IF you are providing accurate information and HELPING consumers. When people neglect to do their research and put profits in front of ethics, I have issues. That commission enables a person to spend time on their website. I do NOT advertise products that don’t meet my standards. It would be more profitable for me to promote products that appeal to the masses, but that would create a conflict for me. If you go to my flash sales page you can read the bottom of the page where I refer to different articles so that people can make educated decisions. I cherry pick the products that I include on that page. Please check it out.

      People do so much research for their dogs. Unfortunately, the information about biologically appropriate nutrition is not as plentiful as the industry funded marketing information out there. Thank you so very much for visiting my website, your comment, and for spreading the word.

      Janie

  8. Sarah

    Whoever wrote this blog sure is a COMPLAINER and should be ashamed of themselves. At least the Dog Food Advisor gives some insight into the thousands of pet foods on the market in an organized and thought provoking way. It’s not meant to be the end all, be all; and that’s even stated on the site. I’m not surprised they kicked you off their page, as you’re not adding anything of VALUE. I would not sign up for your newsletter, it wouldn’t be worth my time, or anyone else’s for that matter. Are you a vet?? Have you ever heard of the saying people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones? I thought this blog was really terrible.

    1. Janie

      Hi Sarah-

      Many people are influenced by the Dog Food Adviser. I pointed out critical points that are not included in their reviews. Yes… They provide lots of information. The issue I have is that the most important points are not part of the reviews. Hypothetically, a person can grade a product based on how well it cleans your hair. If that is the only angle that is considered, then a product that contains 50% bleach and 50% dish soap would qualify as the most effective. however, one must take into other considerations because such a solution would be very dangerous and it would not make hair healthy. There must be appropriate parameters when a product is being reviewed. Another point is the fact that many dog food labels are not providing their exact ingredients. For example, a label might say “chicken” and claim to have no byproducts, while in fact the product DOES contain byproducts (example – Blue Buffalo lawsuit). There is very limited government regulation of the industry and there is rarely any enforcement (example – many years of melamine contamination in jerky products until 2007 when the FDA finally got it right). The products were placed on shelves year after year. Judging by ingredients listed on the label only does NOT take other critical information into account.

      I am sorry you do not appreciate my website. It has valuable information that actually protect consumers. I am sure that those at the DFA are well-meaning and have good intentions. I don’t feed that they are evil and I did NOT trash or bash them. I stated some excellent points about essential shortcomings in their reviews. Their information is not the end all be all, but people DO rely on it despite.

      I am not a vet. I make that very clear. My information comes from impeccable sources. My research is meticulous. The greater majority of conventional vets are missing a lot of important information with regard to nutrition. I get my information from renowned vets as Dr. Marty Goldstein, Dr. Karen Becker, and the list goes on. I also delve into conflicts of interest when it comes to politics related to the industry.

      I am not sure what you are referring to when you used the cliche about glass houses. I know what it means, but I don’t see any connection.

      Everybody has the right to an opinion. When I give “opinions” I state that it is merely MY opinion (which is based on facts). When I give “opinions” it is when I am discussing products that I tested and reviewed. Those products must first meet my high standards. I do not write about all products that I have tried as some were not as great as I anticipated as not everything is as they appear. Therefore, rather than putting up a negative review, I don’t include it in my blog at all. I am fair and ethical and I have helped many people with their dogs through nutrition when vets have failed.

      I acknowledge that you have the right to your opinion, but remember that respecting others and being fair is important.

      Janie

      1. Susan

        Love your honesty. I think that slamming other people is very telling. I will check you out. I’m looking to feed my boys better quality food without cooking it myself. I’m getting information where I can hoping its honest but in the end I’ll make my own decision.

    2. Susan

      I agree 100% with this and was actually surprised she went so hard on him. I told her in the reply to this that slamming other people is very telling. No I don’t want the newsletter either. I’m totally turned off now. So I’m going to get off of here and stay off.

  9. Susan

    I found the Dog Food Advisor to be upfront about who he is and where he gets his information. The way his site is set up and laid out makes it easy to get information. I find this article to sound like sour grapes and a bit of jealousy. His site is good for what it is. Educated consumers can always do their own research to make a final informed decision. You slammed him pretty hard so that actually makes me question both of you.

    1. Janie

      Hi Susan-

      Thank you for writing. I was NOT slamming him. In fact, I stated that he is well-intended, but his parameters for evaluating food do not provide consumers with the critical information that is needed in order to make informed decisions. He I have nothing to be jealous about whatsoever. I am not sure where that came from. I stated facts without “slamming” him. Please read other articles about the food in my other articles. My sources are impeccable as I disclose them at the bottom of articles when necessary. I highly recommend that you check out Truth About Pet Food and Poisoned Pets.

      I have an issue when consumers are mislead both unintentionally and intentionally. Again- I believe that DFA is well-intended. The people who work on that website put an enormous amount of effort into it.

      Because dog food labels are inaccurate, misleading, poorly regulated, and don’t reveal industry secrets, there is no way that anybody could actually evaluate a food based on the labels. Based upon the labels alone, one cannot make an informed decision. Consumers rely on the Dog Food Advisor without taking into account the most important information about the food. Their website encourages consumers to do their own research beyond their website, but unfortunately most consumers don’t read the fine print. They are right though in that consumers need to do their own research, but how many actually do??? I have known many people who have followed them like the bible. That is NOT the fault of the DFA. Unfortunately that website does not provide the information needed to make educated decisions about pet food.

      Please continue to research further. My website has a ton of information and the websites I mentioned have a wealth of information as well.

      Sincerely,
      Janie

  10. Janie

    Hi Greg-

    Thank you so much for your question. It is an excellent one. You were so respectful. I appreciate that. As most of us are NOT pioneers and haven’t discovered or invented anything firsthand, I try my best to find sources who actually ARE pioneers and have far surpassed their required veterinary degree. All of my information can be confirmed. The resources are out there.

    I get my information from sources which are the most reliable. You can see my sources at the bottom of my articles. I follow the information of Dr. Marty Goldstein, Dr. Karen Becker, Dr. Jean Dodds, Dr. Ronald Schultz, and others who have taken veterinary medicine to a completely different level as they are the most reputable experts. I also track down various studies and research. I investigate the ingredients and how regulations are not enforced. Legally, manufacturers do not have to disclose the origin of their ingredients so “Made in the USA” means very little. When manufacturers put “flavoring” onto labels they are legally protected from having to disclose what ingredients are used to create this mysterious “flavoring” because it is considered to be “proprietary information.” USDA organic allows inorganic substances that are not permitted in USDA organic human products. The pet food industry will sometimes use the term “USDA inspected facility” or something similar. The USDA does not approve every item during inspection. They use the messed up rejects for per food. I get much information from government agency websites (FDA, USDA, EPA…).

    Thank you so much again for visiting my website and for commenting. Please read my article Are Vaccines Really Safe?. I have many great articles about food. You might want to check out What’s REALLY in Dog Food?.

    All the best to you and Chico!
    Janie

  11. Janie

    Hi Greg-

    You and Chico are really going through a lot!!! I am so sorry to hear that. I have my own thoughts, but I don’t feel comfortable making any suggestions because I am not well-informed enough about how to treat him. I would STRONGLY recommend that you find a vet who is very well-versed in nutrition and holistic care. Such vets need to go through additional rigorous learning beyond their conventional veterinary education. A great question to ask a vet is whether or not they carry commercial prescription diets. If they do, run the other way. Synthetic diets are sooo bad. A good place to start to find a decent holistic vet is to do a search on the AHVMA Vet Finder. AHVMA stands for American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association. I am really careful about crossing into areas that I don’t know much about. Chico’s issues really need to be addressed by an extremely well educated vet who has extensive experience with nutrition and supplements. The vet search is a great tool. First search for the specialty of Search for a vet who specializes in nutrition – If you contact a vet ask if they are well versed in biologically appropriate raw diets. When you get the results, check out their credentials. Next, look to see which ones in that result does glandular therapy. From those, check to see if any of them work with herbs. You might want to do it in a different order because there might be a ton of nutrition specialists.

    Before you make an appointment with one of them, go to their site, read up on what they do, and ask about prescription diets. Advanced vets who have experience in nutrition and holistic care NEVER will treat illness through canned or bagged “food” because they actually know what dogs need to eat. You can ask a holistic vet his/her opinion on the Barfworld diet or similar raw diets. I feel that Barfworld is the best. Don’t do anything with the food until a holistic vet gives you the go ahead.

    If you would like to give me a couple of names of vets that you would consider going to, I will do my best to find time to do some research for you to help you out.

    PLEASE keep me posted.

    Best regards.
    Janie

  12. Janie

    Hi Greg-

    I looked up that vet. I am not too crazy about him. They are not so great with nutrition. Here’s an article about how most vets incorrectly treat kidney disease Feeding the Kidney Patient: The Low Protein Diet Myth. When I see how vets deal with kidney disease, I can get an idea of how well they treat kidney disease. He uses those prescription diets. Here is the page: http://missionanimalhospital.com/your-cats-kidneys/. I know that it is about cats, but it still applies.

  13. Sandy

    Hello,

    I know your ‘about you’ states that you are a groomer certified by Joey Villani and that experience has told you a great deal about pet health and nutrition but I was wondering where exactly you draw your knowledge on dog nutrition from? Is it from books, websites, both? I ask because I like to do my own research but am never 100% sure about the quality of the source. Just wondering if you might be able to help. Thanks!

    1. Janie

      Hi Sandy-

      First of all, thank you for visiting my website and for your comment. I get my information from the established experts in the field. Dr. William Falconer, Dr. Marty Goldstein, Dr. Karn Becker, Dr. Ronald Schultz, and others who are used as references in too many books for me to name. Dr. Ronald Schultz (along with Dr. Jean Dodds) has been in charge of rabies studies. He has proven that conventional veterinarians are abusing rabies vaccines and other vaccines as well. He created the actual study of veterinary immunology/vaccinology. Dr. Marty Goldstein (I use one of his vets) is Oprah’s and Martha Stewart’s vet as well as many others. He has designed his own unique metabolic/nutritional profile tests and analysis. He NEVER uses “prescription diets” because dogs require diets that are close to their natural biological needs. He is adapted the use of cryotherapy for the use on animals, he uses herbs and other therapies that are not commonly used. These experts have education and training light years far and beyond conventional vets.

      In short, I do a TON of reading and research on the internet to find out what those experts (amongst others) are saying about various issues and subjects.

      Again, thank you for your support. Please spread the word about me website to others.

      Sincerely,
      Janie

  14. Jen

    I have to say that I agree with Sarah, Susan and Alfred in the sense that this article does come off as an attack on DFA. You preface the article with how you were kicked off of the DFA website which already makes this article seem biased towards your opinion rather than just looking at the facts and what the DFA website is lacking. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against what you have written but how you’ve written it leaves me feeling conflicted. I think you could have made your point about what DFA could do better without putting down Mike Sagman.

    1. Janie

      Hi Jen-

      Thank you for commenting. I see your point. I think I might have been a little bit harsh. I might consider changing my wording a bit so people will read the article with more confidence. Thank you for your thoughtful input. I appreciate that you took the time to express your point as you did- without hostility. The truth is that I AM biased. Based on the hard facts, it is impossible for the Dog Food Advisor to be of any use. It angers me that people depend so much on it.

      If you consider the lack of regulation of dog food and the meaningless information on the labels, one cannot make any determination based on what most manufacturers claim to be in the product. This has become more apparent as we discovered that Blue Buffalo was not following their promise and other companies are also not properly listing ingredients. Than is just the tip of the iceberg though.

      Thanks for visiting!
      Sincerely,
      Janie

      1. Keller

        Why couldn’t the opinion be about more than just dog food advisor? There has to be other sites that do these reviews? Why pick just ONE site to analyze and break down their shortcomings? Leaves a lot to be desired for balanced information. Average dog owners barely train their dogs. Why would they go as in depth beyond kibble. Not to mention the time and money. Does this make them neglectful, abusive uncaring owners? Because they happen to use information from said website? Maybe that is the best they can do.

        1. Janie

          Hi Keller-

          Thank you for writing.

          The reason why I chose the Dog Food Advisor is because it is the biggest and most well know reviewer of dog foods. My website is filled to the brim with information about the pet food industry and about diets that are biologically appropriate for dogs.

          There are small companies that you can purchase raw biologically appropriate food from. I completely agree that feeding a species appropriate diet can be time consuming if you do it from scratch, but preparing appropriate healthy meals for yourself can also be time consuming as opposed to eating tv the same tv dinners each meal for the rest of your life. Eating fortified cereals like frosted flakes is the same in principle. Yes, it is cheaper and easier. You might get similar vitamins & minerals (all synthetic). You cannot compare it to eating whole food and getting nutrients from the natural food itself.

          The pet food industry is virtually a self-regulated industry. Did you know that the ingredients that are put into canned food and kibble are weighed when BEFORE they are added? Meat contains around 70% of water. When you see a meat protein placed at the beginning of the ingredient list, it really needs to be questioned because without the water, the weight of the meat is not the same as the raw product and when ingredients are arranged by weight, it is misleading to put meat up on the list when most of the meat reported on the label consists of water weight! The Dog Food Advisor does not take such important information into consideration. They merely report the ingredients. People rarely read fine print so the Dog Food Advisor is very influential.

          Going in depth beyond kibble has to do with lack of knowledge and brilliant marketing campaigns used to keep consumers in the dark.

          I never stated nor did I imply that pet owners were uncaring or abusive. They ARE merely misinformed by the overload of commercial information.

          I believe that dog parents on the whole care about their dogs and desire what’s best for them. The issue here is the lack of knowledge that is provided to consumers. What is most important is that our dogs are loved and we do the best we can for them with the resources that available to us. Not everyone can afford a raw diet, but things can be added to food to make it more nutritious and compensate for the synthetic ingredients in the commercial food.

          All the best
          Janie

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