Top positive review
...or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the CORE.
April 11, 2015
I am a dog owner and dog trainer with a thirst for knowledge. When I first started hunting for a great dog food I did my research and began with Blue Buffalo. I tried a number of premium brands and formulas before this came out and nothing, including the regular line by this brand, can hold a candle to CORE. It's not the most affordable, but at least in MN, I can't find a better price for this. If you can get the subscribe and save discount this food is a steal!
My dogs are constantly observed as extremely healthy by vets and trainers alike. They have noticeably softer coats since switching them to CORE and less skin issues. I also no longer deal with frequent gas - something several premium brands caused.
If you're still not sold, here are some guiding principles for why this food is great and how to shop for quality dog food. Everyone has a budget, but try to find one you can afford with the best of these:
- The first ingredients should always be meat. Just like human labels, the first ingredients comprise the largest quantities within the product.
- Lamb and then chicken tend to be most digestible for most dogs.
- Meal is like a protein powder made by rendering down a stew-like mixture to maximum potency. It contains more protein than meat alone by eliminating water per ounce. That said, not all meal is created equal. Make sure the source is specified. Simply saying "poultry meal" can mean it came from any source they could find and usually that means varying degrees of quality.
- Avoid grains as they can irritate many dogs stomachs. You want potatoes, oats, and/or brown rice for fiber and carbs. If you see "brewers rice" on a label, it shouldn't be in the top five ingredients (or at all for me). It's a cheaply obtained processed carb and a filler.
- Flaxseed and fish oils are great for skin and coat. I used to supplement my dog food with salmon oil in winter, but it hasn't been necessary since they started this food. Mentioning the source of the fish oil indicates its quality, just like the meal source.
- I like a food with few antioxidant ingredients in it, such as blueberries and broccoli. Healthy for us, healthy for them. That's just my opinion though. I treat with the fresh stuff when I can.
- That list of vitamins at the end? It's your dog's daily multi vitamin. Glucosamine is important to joint health for any size, age, or weight. This product has natural preservatives, which is my preference where possible for their diet and my own.
- Protein percentage! Vets say stay above 15% for a normal adult dog; my goal is closer to 25% or 30%. If your dog is very active, that should be your goal too; however, even if your dog isn't that active a higher protein content is fine. Early research used to claim it could cause renal failure, but that research has long been debunked.
Don't believe me? Do the research yourself. Don't trust the word of food reps, breeders, or even many vets. Most haven't paid attention to nutrition science, it's advances, or have an agenda of their own. Even a well meaning vet may not know some of this and be operating on outdated common knowledge.
Never transition your dog's food all at once. Pay attention to their unique reaction to a new food over the first few weeks at 100% of it. Pay attention to their stool and frequency of bowl movements. Watch for weight fluctuations. New food means you may have to increase or decrease their volume per meal. Each dog has unique needs and sensitivities, just like we do, so even a great food may not be great for your dog.
I hope this helps!