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by May 23, 2021

The Truth is in the Label!

Here are labels from two major brands of dog food.   

For this Fromm diet note that chicken is listed first  (that is by wet weight) and the largest ingredient in the diet is chicken meal.   By definition chicken meal is made of only chicken muscle tissue.

Brown rice is the 1st and most used ingredient in this Royal Canin product.  Chicken by-product meal is the second most used ingredient in this diet.   Chicken by-product meal is the waste material left over after the parts fit for human consumption are removed which then could include necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidable in good processing practice.

Royal Canin is a product of Mars Petcare.   

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?

Feeding High Protein Kibble

by June 2, 2021

We are going to talk a bit about protein and try to keep it brief and to the point.    Protein is the number one key body building block in the guaranteed analysis panel of your pet food label for a reason.   As a key macro nutrient dietary protein is essential for the growth and maintenance of almost all tissues in your dog’s body.   Protein supplies the amino acids necessary for the dog’s body to build hair, skin, muscles, cartilage, tendons and ligaments.   Protein makes up the enzymes that drive all metabolic reactions, the hormones that act as the body’s chemical messengers and antibodies that comprise the immune system.   It helps ensure a soft and shiny coat, lean strong muscles and a strong immune system.   The quality of the protein fed to your dog also helps ensure a healthy appetite.   We have selected the brands we carry at Wholesome Pet Essentials in great part because we have confidence in our manufacturers to deliver a quality protein product.   However, within our walls we have products that vary widely in the crude protein level as well as the source.   Rest well assured that the source of the protein we offer in our pet foods is appropriate for you dog and/or cat.  

But what protein level does your dog need?   An organization called AAFCO (Association of American Feed Controls Officials) determine the minimum requirements for nutritional adequacy and have said the adult maintenance minimum requirement is 18% Crude Protein (CP) for survival and 22.5% CP for dogs that are growing and reproducing.   But we want dogs to thrive, not just survive so we frequently feed higher levels of crude protein from high quality sources.   (AAFCO) does not define quality.   We trust our companies to provide what is needed providing we match an appropriate food to your dog’s age, activity level and other factors.   And we must remember that the dog’s actual protein requirement is in grams not percentages.   So it is important you feed the proper amount of food!  Most quality diets for the “typical” dog very from 22-28%.   However, high protein offerings can increase to 30-37% or more.   Why would you feed a high protein food?

               *Puppies

               *Senior dogs…   tend to eat less

               *Gestating and lactating dogs….   Need both high protein and high calorie diets

               *Overweight dogs…  research shows higher protein diets help dogs burn fat and calories and helps them feel satisfied longer.   Of course, you must manage how much you feed and remember that 54% of dogs are considered obese!

               *Performance dogs…  muscular protein is built and broken down at a faster rate when exercising

Are there dogs that should not be fed a “high protein” diet?    Of course.   However, there are a few myths/facts to keep in mind:

  1. There is no direct link that protein contributes to musculoskeletal growth disorders in large breed dogs.   Excess caloric intake is directly correlated with orthopedic problems.  
  2. Higher protein diets promote superior weight loss and body condition maintenance.
  3. Older dogs benefit from high protein dog food with no risk to their kidney health as long as they are not already suffering from chronic kidney failure.  

We will have more specifics on high protein foods as we move forward but we currently have 4 quality lines of “high protein foods” in kibble form for your consideration:

  • Nulo Challenger
  • Orijen
  • NutriSource Element
  • Natures Logic

These lines offer products from 30-40% crude protein and more than 80% of the protein in these diets come from quality animal origin!   Options include complete grain free or inclusion of some ancient grains.  

More on the individual products later along with some special offers on these premium high protein products. 

House Training Your Puppy-One Method

by March 16, 2021

All puppies have different personalities, social skills, and learning abilities thus training “rules” don’t necessarily apply in every case.   However, in general we believe the best method to house train a puppy is to “crate-train” them.  

  1. Puppies have a “den” instinct and do not eliminate in the crate
  2. Puppies are safe in the crate and thereby avoid injury in the home while they are learning
  3. Puppies do not damage your home by chewing or eliminating
  4. Puppies learn contentment and control of body functions
  5. Healthy puppies sleep 18-20 hours per day but while awake can be very destructive
  6. Key…when let out of the crate the puppy needs to relieve itself and is praised for doing so in the yard!

Do NOT paper train!  For one they learn it is ok to relieve themselves inside.   Secondly they then do so when they want and do not wait for the owner.

Each morning the puppy should be taken straight from the crate on a lead to a place in the yard where you wish them to eliminate.   The same place each time!  Given them a one minute opportunity to eliminate and if it does not then return them to their crate for 30 minutes and then return outside for another try.  If it does relieve itself praise the puppy extensively (and include a “potty” treat)  and return inside for breakfast.   Follow the meal with supervised play time out of the crate for 20-30 minutes followed by another trip outside and then time for nap in their crate.   Repeat this procedure at mid-day, again in the evening and of course prior to bedtime.   By following this procedure you are giving your puppy an opportunity to eliminate outside in your presence, at your convenience and they getting lavish praise for doing so.   By using the crate you have facilitated all of these positive training occurrences while preventing the negative factor of “accidents”.   They will likely still happen but they should be kept to a minimum.   It is important NOT to punish the puppy for an inside accident as this may cause them to avoid relieving themselves in your presence.   They may associate the reprimand with your presence and decide to sneak away or totally avoid eliminating while you are around.   As the puppy matures and shows more trustworthiness allow more and more free time.    This whole crate training process can take as little as a week or as long as few months depending on your consistency and the ability of your puppy to adapt.   Some breeds typically adapt quicker than others.

Note:  Some puppies will not crate train.  If accidents continue to happen in the crate after several days or they cry for more than an hour we’d suggest an alternative method.  

Also please remember that crate training is a heavy responsibility for the owner and is not to be used as a “punishment” for the puppy.   This is their safe and cozy home.   They will likely continue to use it as such over their lifetime.   

Feeding Your New Puppy!

by March 16, 2021

We get questions frequently about feeding puppies.      Feeding your new puppy is really quite simple…In general, a measured amount of high quality food at regular intervals will best serve your puppy’s nutritional needs as well as your housetraining effort!   This also helps you to know your pet’s appetite and reinforces bonding with your puppy.   A good thumb rule is the younger the puppy the more frequent the feedings.   A large or medium breed puppy may do well with three feedings per day while a toy breed may need 5 or even 6 feedings.   Consulting the feeding directions on the bag and matching the quantity to the weight range will usually give you the total amount to be fed PER DAY.   Simply divide that amount by the number of feedings to determine how much to give them at any one time.   DO NOT FREE FEED!  (This applies to adult dogs as well)  This practice ultimately leads to fat dogs!   Also keep in mind that many loose stools are due to the feeding of more food than the puppy can digest so this is a sign of overfeeding.   If your puppy is experiencing loose stools the solution may be to simply adjust the amount of food you are giving them!   Then give them a couple days for stools to return to normal.   Of course if it doesn’t resolve or you see blood in the stools please consult your veterinarian!  

Do I need to feed a “Puppy” food.    Several of our foods are formulated for “all life stages”.   These are acceptable foods for puppies as well as adults.   However, others that are “adult” foods are not appropriate for puppies.   Foods formulated for puppies typically have a higher density of nutrients including protein and fat to support growth as well as other key nutrients like the omega fatty acid DHA which is a key component of the puppies mother’s milk.    We recommend feeding a food labeled for puppies until about one year of age!  

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.

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