My Love Affair with Nuggets
I love kibble.
There, I’ve said it. And I’m not ashamed.
It’s easy to feed. It’s easy to store. It makes a pleasing sound coming out of a food toy. And it isn’t messy when it lands on the floor.
When Honey’s breeder specified a high-quality kibble in our contract, I felt relief. You see, I had spent the last few years cooking home-made food for geriatric dogs.
Recently, I’ve gotten away from feeding Honey kibble. But I still look longingly at the sturdy bags of nutritional nuggets.
So when a representative for the By Nature pet food company asked if I’d like to review their food, I checked out the ingredient list and said, “yes.”
Tasty By Nature
Last year I reviewed By Nature dog treats and got an enthusiastic response, not only from Honey, but from a doggy taste testing panel. So I expected Honey would like the Pork and Sweet Potato flavored kibble and I was right.
We feed Honey from a food toy and the smell and flavor of the By Nature food motivated her to bat and toss her toys around until she had every last kibble out.
But Honey would probably do the same for pebbles sprayed with Eau de Chicken Fat. Was the meal of By Nature good for her?
Ask the Pet Food Advisor
Any talk of science makes my eyes roll back in my head. Luckily, pharmacist Mike Sagman started the website, Dog Food Advisor, which describes and rates hundreds of different dog foods. Sagman gives By Nature dry dog food (he reviewed Duck and Sweet Peas flavor) his second highest rating of 4 out of 5 stars.
Sagman describes it as a “grain-based kibble using a moderate amount of poultry or salmon meals as its main sources of animal protein.” (The flavor we tried contained only pork as its protein.)
By Nature avoids cheap filler grains, like corn, wheat and soy. Instead, the product we tried had ground barley, flaxseed meal, oat meal (my dogs have always tolerated oatmeal much better than rice), and alfalfa meal. Sweet potatoes were fourth on the ingredient list. Farther down, probably in too small quantities to make a big difference, I found carrots, blueberries, and cranberries. You can find the complete ingredient list at the By Nature website.
An update in the Pet Food Advisor review also reveals that all products in the food come from the U.S. or Canada except for vitamins which are sourced from “Asia.”
Honey tolerated the change to By Nature with no problems at all. Her coat looked good. And the little gifts she deposited on her walks looked firm and showed she was digesting her food well.
Is By Nature for You?
I would happily recommend By Nature Pork and Sweet Potato dog food to anyone feeding supermarket kibble to their dog who wants to move up to a higher-quality product. At just over $40 for a 33 pound bag, it’s about what I’d expect to pay for better, grain-based dog food with quality ingredients. They also have a “frequent buyer program” where you get a free bag after buying ten bags.
By Nature or their parent company, Blue Seal did not turn up in any food recall lists I checked going back to 2007.
It’s available at many retailers who sell Blue Seal animal feeds like grain co-ops and through several mail order pet suppliers.
What do you feed your dogs and cats? And what’s your most important consideration when choosing a food?
Disclosures: By Nature sent me a 33 pound bag of their product to review. I checked the ingredient list before accepting the sample. I do not agree to review any products I believe could pose a risk to Honey.