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Least Cost Recipe

by May 17, 2019

A standard practice in the livestock feed industry is to formulate diets on a “least cost formulation”. In short the formulator for the feed manufacturer establishes a set of minimum nutrient standards for the diet (or recipe) and they may even set minimum and/or maximum allowable amounts of various feed ingredient restrictions. The various ingredients are priced to establish a value and then a computer program least cost formulates the diet. This means the lowest cost that meets the minimum specifications of the diet using the available ingredients. This may be fine for feedlot cattle and hogs on a finishing diet but many companies utilize the same strategy for your family pet foods. This is especially true of grocery store and big box store offerings which are merely focused on price. Do you want your family pet subject to ever changing formulas and the “cheapest” diet a manufacturer can produce?

DCM Update

by March 5, 2021

In 2018 and 2019 we were inundated with the media reports that the FDA had issued a public alert regarding the feeding of grain free diets to dogs.   Some veterinarians had put together anecdotal evidence linking the feeding of grain-free diets and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).    You probably won’t hear it on any news outlets now but the FDA has pretty well quietly conceded that there is no scientific evidence that balanced grain-free foods are an issue.   “We are pleased the FDA has brought more understanding to this issue, indicating that multiple factors can cause DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy) including breed, genetics, pre-existing health conditions, digestive issues and nutrition,” says Jeff Johnston, senior vice president of research, innovation and product development for Champion Petfoods.  “In fact, the FDA has found no evidence that any specific pet food products are definitively linked to causing DCM.”  “If the FDA had found a causal link between DCM and any pet food, it would be required by law to have those products removed from the market—which it has not done.”   Johnston continued, “For those who may have questioned the benefits of grain-free, we are hopeful they regain their confidence in these foods and that the industry will continue to innovate across all pet foods in the interest of pet health.” 

FROMM Family Foods

by June 24, 2020

Fromm Family Foods: 50,000 Foxes Can’t Be Wrong

Fromm Family Foods: 50,000 Foxes Can’t Be Wrong

Fromm Family Foods has its origins in 1904, when the Fromm family began a company in Wisconsin that offered a variety of products and services. Then in the 1940s, Fromm began looking into producing dog food, inventing the first granular dog food. By 1949, Fromm began manufacturing Fromm Complete Dog Meal, their first brand of dog food. Fromm billed the dog food as “Fifty Thousand Foxes Can’t Be Wrong” because of the extensive test feeding to foxes and dogs. Fromm’s dog food was so popular, they became a market leader.

Then in the 1970s, Fromm Family Foods expanded into lifestyle-specific dog foods like high performance, high energy, and senior. By the 1980s, Fromm was a leading manufacturer in dog foods, finding new and innovative ways to preserve dog food. They were the first dog food to use tocopherols as a safe, natural preservative, that is still used in healthy dog foods today. Fromm Family Foods is now a leader in speciality dog food, holistic, and gourmet varieties. They offer a full range of healthy, natural products that are tailored to meet the needs of every dog.

About Fromm Family Foods

All of Fromm’s dog foods are manufactured in the United States with high-rated wholesome ingredients. They are scientifically formulated to provide a full nutritional palette making some of the healthiest dog food available. Fromm focuses on sourcing safe, natural, and whole foods ingredients that are minimally-processed to ensure a very high quality. They conduct routine audits and third party testing to guarantee their food meets the high possible safety standards. Their foods are good for dogs in all stages of life, dogs with allergies and intolerances, and even dogs recovering from chronic illness and surgery. Fromm Family Foods is a well-known high quality dog food brand that has been trusted by dog owners for decades.

Fromm Family Foods Products

Fromm Family Foods offers a full variety of wholesome products for dogs. All their foods are made with natural ingredients and preservatives. They are handcrafted and nutritionally balanced to provide amazing health benefits for your dog. They manufacture some of the healthiest dog food on the market, and they only use the highest quality ingredients and safest methods of preservation.

Fromm Family Foods offers product lines that are good for all life stages from puppy to senior, as well as lifestyle options, gourmet, and holistic options. They also offer dry dog food, wet dog food, and dog treats.

They offer three primary dog food lines that each offer unique health benefits for your dog:

  • Four-Star Nutritionals
  • Fromm Gold
  • Fromm Classic

Fromm Four-Star Nutritionals is a gourmet food line that is prepared in small batches using a variety of meats, product, and Wisconsin cheese. Fromm Four-Star Nutritionals are specifically formulated to be interchangeable with in the same diet, offering your dog the kind of variety they would get in the wild, but with a truly delicious taste. Fromm Four Star Nutritionals comes in:

  • Beef Frittata Veg: Made with beef, eggs, peas, and potatoes.
  • Chicken A La Veg: Made with chicken, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower.
  • Duck & Sweet Potato: Made with duck, sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, and cranberries.
  • Game Bird: Made with duck, turkey, quail, and pheasant.
  • Hasen Duckenpfeffer: Made with rabbit, duck, potatoes, carrots, and celery.
  • Lamb & Lentil: Made with lamb, olive oil, yellow squash, zucchini, broccoli, and lentils.
  • Pork & Applesauce: Made with pork, apples, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans.
  • Pork & Peas: Made with pork, peas, and tropical fruits.
  • Salmon A La Veg: Made with salmon, cheese, broccoli, apples, and parsley.
  • Salmon Tunalini: Made with salmon, tuna, and vegetables.
  • Surf & Turf: Made with salmon, duck, chicken, eggs, and cheese.
  • Whitefish & Potato: Made with Atlantic whitefish, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and blueberries.

Fromm Gold is a holistically-formulated line that offers a range of nutritional benefits for the whole health of your dog. Fromm Gold is available as a dry and wet dog food and is formulated to meet the different lifestyle needs of any dog. Fromm Gold comes in puppy, senior, adult, large breed, small breed, and weight management varieties. They are also offered in grain-free varieties.

Fromm Classic is their original line, that has been updated with the latest in veterinary nutrition. They are available as a dry adult and dry senior food. Both are made with chicken, brown rice, cheese, and eggs and provide well-rounded, complete nutrition.

Fromm Family Foods also offers gourmet dog treats as part of their Four-Star Nutritionals line including:

  • Chicken With Peas & Carrots
  • Lamb & Cranberry
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Salmon With Sweet Potato
  • Cheese
  • Cranberry Liver
  • Liver

These treats are specifically formulated as a complement to the Four Star Nutritionals line and are paired with a flavor to provide targeted nutrition.

Fromm Family Foods Reviews

Fromm Family Foods has won several awards for their dog food over the last century. Recently they’ve won the Small Business Administration of Wisconsin award for producing a high-quality, locally-sourced product. They also won the Dogington Post’s “Favorite Dog Food Of The Year” award and the “Pet Food of the Year” award from the Glycemic Research Institute.

Fromm Family Foods also has very high reviews for their dog food, specifically for their Four Star Nutritional and Gold lines. Please love the diversity of flavors and health benefits of the Four Star Nutritional line, citing weight management and extra energy as the biggest benefits. Fromm Gold is also incredibly popular among consumers noting improved coat, energy, and a reduction in allergy signs and symptoms. Most online pet food stores have these two product lines rated between 4.8-5 stars by customers.

Ice Melter and Pets

by January 11, 2020

What is really safe for your pets to use as an ice melter compound? The experts recommend avoiding products containing chloride salts, urea (can cause vomiting and diarrhea in pets), ethylene glycol (deadly to pets), and propylene glyclol (potentially damaging to red blood cells in cats). We carry Safe Paw. This product has an unlimited shelf life (which means it’s good for years), it is non-corrosive and non-conductive and most importantly is pet and kid safe even if ingested!

Safe Paw Ice Melter 8.5#

Nulo Introduces New Product Lines

by January 9, 2020
Challenger High-Meat Kibble beef, lamb & pork recipe

We now have the “Challenger” line from Nulo in stock. If you are looking for a HIGH protein, low carb, no traditional grains and NO vegetable proteins (lentils, potatoes, etc) these diets might be for your dog! Comparable in nutrition to many Orijen or Acana formulas.

Challenger High-Meat Kibble duck, turkey & guinea fowl

5 new formulas now available!

Dog Coat Condition and Nutrition

by December 16, 2019

Dog Nutrition for a Healthy Coat
Check your dog’s coat…is it smooth and silky with lustrous fur? Or rough and brittle with dry flaky skin under?

Dogs are a pleasure to pet, especially when they’re blessed with healthy skin and lustrous fur. But some dogs are plagued with itchy, flaking skin and lackluster coats. What can you do to restore your dog’s shiny coat?

Essential Fatty Acids: Key to a Healthy Coat

Healthy fats play an important role in keeping your dog’s coat in good condition.
Reputable high quality meat-based dog foods typically contain enough nutrients, including essential fatty acids, to maintain healthy skin and a shiny coat.
In contrast, dogs on low-quality commercial dog foods or improperly balanced homemade diets — for instance, a dog that eats mostly chicken — may not get enough nutrients to keep a healthy skin and coat.
Low-fat diets are risky, too. The obvious coat problems from deficiencies would be a dandruffy, dull coat from an omega-6 deficit if the pet is eating an extremely low-fat diet. (Some pets require a low fat diet for other health reasons)
In fact, puppies that eat very low-fat diets develop coarse, dry hair and skin lesions that become prone to infection.

The dog foods we offer at Wholesome Pet Essentials in themselves can be helpful just to give a shine to the coat, add some luster back, and help replace the oils in the skin. Customers routinely tell us that their furry friends coats improved noticeably when they switch to one of our diets from the “big box” or grocery store brands.

We also offer a selection of supplements for these conditions. If these supplements improve your pets coat(s) it’s time to examine their diets!

“Safe” Food Recommendations

by December 1, 2019

Some of our customers have been telling us their pet health care providers are saying the only safe foods are the ones they are selling. Here is some history on those ‘safe’ foods:

Purina….  An FDA investigation in 2013 found “above the allowable level” of cyanuric acid and melamine in one of their lines of foods.   Cynauric acid and melamine are the deadly combination responsible for the largest pet food recall in history in 2007.     “Six samples collected contained ethoxyquin, however, the additive was not indicated on the product labeling.”   Purina told the FDA they perform “routine contamination analysis.”   The manufacturing facility was “unable to provide the actual content or weights of individual ingredients that went into the implicated lots.”  

Hills Science Diet….  How about their quality assurance program?   On January 31, 2019 Hills announced a recall for excessive levels of Vitamin D.   A bit of a let down in quality assurance testing on incoming ingredients, perhaps (Vitamin Premix)?   Or in the finished pet foods that your vet is selling.   Seven weeks later they announced another excess Vitamin D recall.   Very high amounts of vitamin D can have a number of serious health effects on dogs, including kidney disease and even death. Symptoms of vitamin D poisoning in dogs include vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, excessive drooling and weight loss.

Royal Canin and Eukanuba….   Both of these are Mars Petcare brands.   In 2017, FDA performed an inspection at a Mars Petcare manufacturing facility as a followup to a 2016 Mars Petcare recall.    That recall was due to plastic pieces discovered in pet food by consumers.   In the 2017 inspection the FDA stated as “Inspectional Observations” there was a “failure to inspect, segregate, or otherwise handle raw materials and ingredients used in manufacturing under conditions that will protect the animal food against contamination and minimize deterioration.   They also noted the “failure to take effective measures to exclude pests from your plant and protect against contamination of animal food by pests.”


So here are a couple dog foods ingredient lists.   Which would you rather feed based on the recipe?  

ACANA Meadowland features a rich variety of quality ingredients that are raised or fished by

people we know and trust, and delivered to our Kentucky DogStar Kitchen fresh or raw!

Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, chicken liver, turkey giblets, chicken meal, catfish meal, whole red lentils, whole pinto beans, whole green peas, pollock meal, chicken fat, whole green lentils, whole chickpeas, lentil fiber, whole blue catfish, cage-free eggs, rainbow trout, pollock oil, natural chicken flavor, chicken heart, chicken cartilage, whole pumpkin, whole butternut squash, mixed tocopherols (preservative), sea salt, zinc proteinate, dried kelp, calcium pantothenate, kale, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens, whole carrots, whole apples, whole pears, freeze-dried chicken liver, freeze-dried turkey liver, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, copper proteinate, chicory root, turmeric, sarsaparilla root, althea root, rosehips, juniper berries, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product.

Typical Royal Canin Diet .

Brewers rice, chicken by-product meal, brown rice, oat groats, chicken fat, pork meal, natural flavors, powdered cellulose, dried plain beet pulp, wheat gluten, fish oil, vegetable oil, sodium silico aluminate, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, L-tyrosine, sodium tripolyphosphate, vitamins [DL-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), niacin supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), D-calcium pantothenate, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin A acetate, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], salt, monocalcium phosphate, hydrolyzed yeast, choline chloride, DL-methionine, taurine, glucosamine hydrochloride, marigold extract (Tagetes erecta L.), trace minerals [zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, copper proteinate], magnesium oxide, green tea extract, chondroitin sulfate, rosemary extract, preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid.

Typical Hills Science Diet ….

High quality protein and thoughtfully sourced ingredients.  Hmmm….

Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Sorghum, Brown Rice, Whole Grain Wheat, Cracked Pearled Barley, Soybean Meal, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Fat, Chicken Liver Flavor, Soybean Oil, Corn Gluten Meal, Fish Oil, Flaxseed, Lactic Acid, Pork Liver Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, Iodized Salt, Calcium Carbonate, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, L-Lysine, Oat Fiber, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Natural Flavors, L-Carnitine, Beta-Carotene, Apples, Broccoli, Carrots, Cranberries, Green Peas.

NONE of the dry, dog food kibble we sell has ever been recalled by the FDA!

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