Fact of the matter is, when you work blue-collar jobs, but live with 12, sigh… currently 13 dogs, premium foods just aren’t possible.
Our method of insuring maximum nutritional value, while avoiding recall risks is to rotate and mix foods. In doing this, we have maintained healthy and happy dogs, while at the same time avoiding any chance that if one of the foods does happen to be the subject of a recall, it’s not possible for the kids to get a concentration of bad stuff large enough to do harm. Contrary to what the books say, this method has produced kids that can eat virtually anything, without getting sick.
Kroger’s Pet Pride soft foods were in our rotation for those kids that are fed soft in their diets.
Vito is not one of the kids who regularly got soft food. But, when he started getting sick, of course he was offered soft over kibble to keep him eating. Two days before his emergency obstruction surgery, Vito was fed 1 packet each of the Pet Pride Beef in Gravy and Turkey in Gravy flavors.
I want to be very clear here: The Pet Pride food did NOT cause Vito’s obstruction, but what I saw with my own eyes after the surgery was very disturbing:
Parts of the obstruction were unidentifiable to the operating veterinarian. Since we wanted to know the source of the problem, we requested the materials removed be saved so that we could determine what they were to eliminate the source here at home.
I was presented with a zip lock bag of muck. In that muck, I could see pieces of my work boots (the original cause of the obstruction), what appeared to be grasses, a lot of dog hair, and, most disturbingly, the clearly identifiable solids from the Pet Pride dog food, these solids being previously described by the vet as ‘what looks like plastic’.
48 hours after eating the last packet of Pet Pride food, the ‘meat’ chunks of both flavors were removed, completely in tact, as originally fed, from Vito’s digestive tract. The pieces of chicken and beef, cooked by me and eaten by Vito the day after he ate the Pet Pride food, and the day before his surgery, were gone. There were no traces of kibble, Vito’s regular food.
Vito’s acute problem had nothing to do with the ability to digest food as evidenced by the fact that no previously fed kibble nor real meat cooked by me was found. That the Pet Pride “meat” chunks remained wholly in tact clearly leads one to wonder just exactly what they are made of.
I need to be a fair here:
When I was finished freaking out over the fact that I had no idea what I was feeding my kids, I researched the other brands of soft foods we use in the rotation. The disturbing information discovered there lead me to research many of the premium brands.
The result of my research on virtually all available canned and soft foods is thus:
I will never again feed commercially available soft foods. Instead, I will get off my lazy butt and make the meals for the kids that require it.
For this product review, specifically for Kroger’s Pet Pride soft foods, my recommendation is to throw it away if you have it. Though it didn’t cause Vito’s obstruction, I could see it as a cause of obstruction for other small dogs with compromised digestive systems. If it is a case of cost – spread peanut butter on a toilet paper roll and feed it to your dog. From what I saw in that zip lock bag – it would be safer – at least the toilet paper roll can be broken down by digestive processes. (Don’t do it! I’m just trying to make a point!)
My recommendation to everyone is to really research the soft foods of any brand you feed your dogs.
For my part, I have already prepared a week’s worth of my special “feel better food” that will be used in place of commercial soft foods from here on in.