Review: Whole Foods 365 Brand Dog Food – Poor Choice, Horrible Ingredients!

In my opinion, Whole Foods 365 Brand Performance Formula Dry Dog Food is just as poor as Purina, Science Diet, Iams, Eukanuba, and maybe even Alpo and Ole Roy! Ha!

But it’s probably flying off the shelves because consumers trust Whole Foods and the 365 brand name. Problem is, most wouldn’t think of flipping the package around to read the label! And if they did, would they even care about the ingredients or understand how poor they are?

whole foods 365 brand dog food is bad choice for dogs

I am sure some would be just as appalled as I am that Whole Foods could actually offer this horrible kibble to their customers!

whole foods 365 brand dog food is bad choice for dogs

ingredients (thanks to the dogfoodchat forum):
Chicken by-product meal, rice, corn meal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and rosemary extract), corn gluten meal, ground wheat, beet pulp, natural flavors, flax seed, dried egg product, canola oil, brewers dried yeast, salt potassium chloride, taurine, l-lysine, rosemary extract, l-carnitine. Vitamins: choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), vitamin D3 supplement, niacin, calcium pantothenate, thiamin mononitrate (vitamin B1), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement. Minerals: zinc, polysaccharide complex, iron, polysaccharide complex, manganese polysaccharide complex and polysaccharide complex, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, calcium, iodate, cobalt carbonate, sodium selenite.

chicken by-product meal…yuck. Defined: dry, ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines — exclusive of feathers except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices.

It’s not as digestible or nutritious as more expensive, higher-quality muscle meat. Avoid it! Avoid it! Avoid it!

On the Whole Story Blog, they try to justify their choice to use animal by-products because it is supposedly from “human grade” meat. Come on! The use of the words “human grade” for dog food sounds soo comforting to the consumer, but truthfully there is absolutely no regulation or official definition for that term. PLUS, pet food companies use that term very liberally in their marketing but do not and cannot actually include it anywhere on the package label. I suggest reading Honest Kitchen’s article concerning what Human Grade Petfood really means.

corn meal and corn gluten meal – cheap fillers! Plus a lot of dogs have corn allergies – a problem that makes them smelly and itchy. Corn is one of the top Genetically Modified (GMO) crops in the US – and highly treated with pesticides. It’s also government subsidized which makes is super cheap to use as pet food filler.

ground wheat – more filler. Why add so many cheap carbs. Dogs don’t need it, but it’s a cheap additive for petfood companies.

natural flavors – uh huh. What is exactly does the term natural flavor mean? No one really knows, and they don’t have to provide any further info on it. Another sneaky way to load poor quality ingredients into pet food, to enhance the flavor of corn and chicken by-products!

beet pulp – a by-product from sugar beet processing. And did you know sugar beets are also a gentically modified (GMO) crop? Grown using Monsanto’s Round-up pesticide resistant seeds? Do you want to feed your dog pesticide-laden GMO food products? No, not me!

canola oil – another GMO product, highly refined and processed. It’s something I try to avoid in human and pet foods.

brewers dried yeast – a by-product of the beer industry. Gee, what a surprise! another way big food companies can use their off-products to make more money! It also can cause allergy problems in some dogs.

salt potassium chloride – salt? Sorry, but dogs don’t need added salt in their pet food. It’s just a way to make the crappy ingredients taste better, and more importantly, a sneaky way to get the dog addicted to their brand of dogfood, sort of like human addiction to potato chips.

How Bad is Bad? Whole Foods Rated By the Whole Dog Journal

So you don’t believe me? How about believing the Whole Dog Journal? They listed Whole Foods 365 brand dog food as the 2nd worst choice on their list of dogfoods.

I think what pisses me off the most is not that they are using sub-par ingredients, that’s nothing new in the petfood industry. But they are sullying their good name and providing such a poor product to the consumer. I am not naive, I know that I have to read labels EVERYWHERE, including at Whole Foods grocery, but because this product is so bad, it makes me question what else they are hiding in the human food world.

All to make a hefty profit!

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Duck Necks, Goat Bones, Chicken Feet, Tripe!

Duck Necks, Goat Bones, Chicken Feet and Tripe! Ahh, these are the things that make doggies very happy!

Mindy and Lexi have been enjoying a recent raw bone order from Hare-Today!

Here they are eating their raw duck necks:

Lexi eating raw duck neck
Mindy eating raw duck neck

I love that they offer natural (antibiotic and hormone free) meat and especially SMALL sized bones for my little ones. The small goat bones are perfect!

I’ll be ordering again, probably toward the fall, when it gets a little cooler. They are close in Pennsylvania, but no sense taking a chance on melting frozen meat!

I’d like to try some of their rabbit bones, and maybe some of their ground meats as well. Shipping frozen food is expensive, so I’ll try to order a lot more to stock up for a few months.

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Innova TV Commercial

So it’s happening. I just saw my first Innova pet food commercial on TV. P&G has started doing their thing to ruin what was a wonderful pet food.

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Starting on Full Time Raw Food for My Girls

Today, I started feeding RAW food to my girls. Normally, I was feeding Bravo raw chicken patties only for the evening meal. I gave them dry Orijen kibble for their AM feeding.

I know I haven’t been doing right by both of them, Mindy has developed a chronic anal gland issue, and I am hoping that feeding them RAW full time will help. It seemed like her problems started after we stopped feeding high protein EVO and started the lower protein Orijen.

Don’t get me wrong, Orijen is a fantastic food, but I think because I am mixing the two, her nutrition is not balanced. I’ve even had to stop giving fish oil to try to build up her poop. I tried everything from adding psyllium husk to pumpkin. It’s time for me to start over with a clean slate.

I’m starting out with what I know, the Bravo Original chicken patties; I’m going to divide an 8oz burger between the two of them for each meal, so initially they’ll be getting 8 oz total (1/2 pound). Then I’ll ease into whole bones, and offset with Bravo burgers, probably opting for a total of 6 oz for each dog. I’ve decided to try the “prey model” RAW, with a few alterations.

Whole meaty bones are not new for us, but I didn’t feed them regularly. I’m hoping I can figure out what I need to do, but I’m researching, so I have confidence I’ll find the best way to go.

So, today is hopefully the first day of a better life for my girls!!!

UPDATE 2011-03-23:
Bought 3 raw back bones from Whole Foods this afternoon. Gave one (6-7 oz) to each dog. Mindy first (kept Lexi in her crate), then Lexi. I ended up taking back the bone from Lexi and saving it for the next meal. I will probably do that next time with Mindy as well. They do get a little “possessive” when it comes to bones, so that is why I’m feeding them separately.

Their poop has been excellent. Small hard pieces. I’m hoping this cures Mindy of her anal gland issues.

I’m now buying Bravo chicken in the 2 pound tubes, so that’ll make it easier to feed a precise amount. I’ll probably lower it to 6 oz for each per day. I should get 2.5 days of meals from each tube.

Soon, I’ll start back up on the fish oil, and perhaps purchase some tripe and other goodies! Day by day, we’ll get there!

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Replacement for EVO Kibble

On May 5th, the horrible and upsetting news broke that Proctor & Gamble were purchasing the Natura Pet Food company. Word spread like wildfire online, and there weren’t too many dog parents that were happy about the announcement. Most were in agreement that Natura Pet food would not be the same once P&G took over.

From the Natura Pet web site:

Natura Announces Change In Ownership, But Not Philosophy or Commitment to Quality

You may have heard Natura expects to be acquired by The Procter and Gamble Company sometime in June 2010. By joining the P&G family of brands, our intent is that we will have more resources to raise awareness for the benefits of natural and holistic pet foods. Our hope is even more pets will then experience the benefits of Natura’s high-quality, super-premium brands.

P&G has assured us of their commitment to this business and to the people who have been our partners and our advocates over the years. We will continue to deliver the high quality products that have earned consumers’ trust.

For more than 20 years, Natura has dedicated itself to producing healthy, high-quality pet foods, and we will remain true to that philosophy. As we move forward with this change in ownership you can continue to find Natura pet foods at your local independent pet specialty retailers.

Thank you for your dedicated support and advocacy for Natura Pet foods. We have genuinely appreciated your support in the past and we hope we can count you among our valued customers in the future.

Don Scott

My favorite is this line:

P&G has assured us of their commitment to this business and to the people who have been our partners and our advocates over the years. We will continue to deliver the high quality products that have earned consumers’ trust.

Okay, come on! Why on earth would a company that supposedly cared soooo much about pets in the past, believe the same company that destroyed other petfoods like Iams and Eukanuba? Do they think we are stupid? Or is it just that their definitions of “commitment” and “high quality” have changed?

The Natura president even released a video explaining their reasons for partnering with P&G

It’s laughable. They’re either delusional or plain just don’t care! I can’t imagine how they could think P&G has a commitment to excellence and animal well being. It’s truly a shame!

As soon as I heard the news, I thought, darn, okay, maybe I need to stock up on EVO kibble. I felt relieved that I just purchased a bag the previous day. But as I thought about it more, I became more and more worried.

What if even now, before the sale is even finalized, there was quality issues with Natura petfoods? How could I possibly trust a company that wants to be affiliated with such a poor pet food company. Yes, I totally understand a need to sell or find new partners, but come on, why would you pick the bottom of the bottom?

So, I returned the new bag I bought, and decided to make a clean break from them.

I have been trying to decide which route I am going to take with regards to my two ratties’ pet food. Thankfully, I only feed a small amount of kibble in the morning, their main meal is dinner when I feed commercial RAW (Bravo, Stella & Chewy)

I really would love to try Orijen, but my regular retailer doesn’t carry it, and it’s doubtful she will be able to in the near future. They manufacturer in such small amounts that they keep their retail options lower than most pet food companies. There are at least two other stores in my area that do carry Orijen, and I might look into them in the future.

In the meantime, I have a bag of Petcurean Go Natural on order from my local pet food store. No, I am not 100% convinced that this is the best brand, but I will give them a chance.

I have been using freeze dried Stella & Chewy for their AM meal, which they absolutely love, but it’s expensive. I also really would like to try Honest Kitchen dehydrated. Both are great options for when we travel!

I’ll post regular updates on how their food situation plays out.

Other Links:

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Mindy is Such a Good Dog!

Mindy is such a sweet wonderful dog. I adore her. We were outside in the yard this morning taking photos. I just love when she looks up like this. So regal.

She’s got such lady class!

my mindy la, my love

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MindyGirl Domain is Left to Expire

Well, this is it! Last year I got all sentimental & I didn’t have the heart to let my domain name expire. I even registered a new domain name!

So one year has passed, and both domains sit unused. So, this year I am just letting go. Time to move forward. is all I need for my girls, Lexi and Mindy!

Goodbye sweet mindygirl – oh well. Gotta move on. It’s time.



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Mindy Has Hot Spot on her Butt

Disclaimer: This post might be too graphic and gross for some. Please don’t read if you are easily grossed out.

Oh what a morning! We woke up at around 4am this morning to find Mindy compulsively licking her butt area. I checked and it was a terrible ‘hot spot’ sore (dermatitis). We’ve never had to deal with anything like this, but I remember our previous neighbor had an issue with her dog.

I dug out an old Elizabethan collar and we stuck that around her neck, but it didn’t seem wide/long enough to stop her from licking. Also, Mindy is a burrower under the covers, so needless to say, I wasn’t able to sleep, since I was worried about her trying to lick herself, even with the collar.

I was upset and ready to head to the emergency Vet, but DH calmed me down and said we should wait until daytime at least, so we all went downstairs to the family room.

I tried sleeping with Lexi on the sofa and Mindy was settled down with DH on his recliner. She didn’t seem to have any itching or licking issues, which was good! We woke up later, and Mindy seemed to be acting okay, she was a little put off by the collar. We took both girls outside to pee/poo. Mindy pooed a very small amount at first, and then pooed much more a few minutes later. It was not runny at all, very hard in fact, which is normal for her.

Both girls ate, and I ended up taking the collar off of Mindy to see if she would be more comfortable, and she did fine without it.

In the meantime, I did some online research, and found a great page: The conscientious was to use apple cider vinegar, so we made up a batch of 50% ACV and 50% water in a spray bottle.

I sprayed a tiny bit on a paper towel to make sure it wasn’t too painful. (Note: there are reports that it will sting like crazy if it’s an open sore). She didn’t seem to be in pain, so I sprayed some on the sore. I kept spraying every couple of hours.

The sore on her butt was definitely oozing. It ranged from brownish to clear to brownish again.

I also tried applying black tea bags (cooled off) – no herbs or other ingredients, just tea. It stated black tea was best, and initially I only had one green tea bag, but I purchased a box of black tea at the store. It seemed to help, and I think it eased some of the itch.

I didn’t want to use any anti-biotic ointment, because I was afraid the petroleum jelly wouldn’t allow it to dry out enough. Vinegar has anti-biotic properties, so it made sense to use that.

The “redness” was definitely spread from the sore (which was right next to her anus) up to next to her tail (she’s bobbed). Her fur is short, but thick, and it was tough to see under, but there was definitely a larger area of redness, but it didn’t look infected or sore like that one spot.

It was suggested to trim the fur in that area. I tried to, I really did. I put on a latex glove and thought maybe I could trim her fur with little scissors, but it really was impossible. Her fur is so short, and we don’t have any electric clippers. I just figured I would leave it as is for now, and try not to stress her.

So, I did calm down a lot. I’m still upset, but I have a better handle on the situation. I realize it’s not a life and death situation so the Emergency Vet isn’t really necessary. Plus, it’s so expensive ($125 just to walk in), so we’re hoping to get through today and tonight, then call her normal Vet in the morning.

Why do these things always happen on Sundays, after the Vet is closed?!

Note: When we came home last night, I recall seeing some strange stains on the blanket covering the living room chair upstairs – looking back now, I think it must have been some sort of oozing discharge. And Lexi kept sniffing the chair and DH saw her sniffing Mindy’s butt area last night when they were outside. I think she must have started oozing last night, but we never noticed because she never licked herself in front of us. I bet she was licking herself for awhile on the chair when we were out.

UPDATE: I was worried that I wasn’t going to be able to sleep. I didn’t know if she was going to keep trying to lick at the sore, and with the collar/cone on, I didn’t know how she was going to sleep under the covers. I was planning on sleeping with her on the sofa somehow but I didn’t know how that was going to work, since I know that she would want to sleep in the bed with DH. I started by putting towel and sheet on the sofa, and true to form, she ran upstairs to sleep in our bed instead. So, I figured I would see how she would do under the covers in bed. I was thrilled that she actually did okay. At first, I was skittish with her every move. But it looked like she didn’t even attempt to lick, so we both got a decent sleep. I gave her 1/2 a Benedryl at around 8pm, so I think that might have made her a bit sleepy too.

So, in the morning, I checked her sore, and it was a little oozing still, but not as bad. Plus I was really happy that the redness all above the sore (under her fur) seemed to be gone. I applied another couple of cooled black tea bags, but I didn’t spray on any apple cider vinegar & water mix. I didn’t know if it was stinging her, so I didn’t want to upset her.

I called the Vet and made an appointment, and we went in. The vet said it was an infected anal gland, which was what one of my Facebook friends thought! They trimmed a bit of the fur around the sore, and expressed both of her glands. He prescribed Clavamox (anti-biotic) for 2 weeks (twice daily) and Carprofen for 3 days (twice daily) for pain and inflammation. Both are to be taken with food. It was also suggested to spray warm water once a day to clean out the area. He said that it would take about a week for her to heal.

When we left it was horribly read and oozing blood and pus. It looked very swollen. The poor baby. We also left with a larger Elizabethan collar (cone) that should stop her from any licking. It’s pretty big on her head, so I am very nervous about her walking around alone tomorrow while I am at work, so I will hopefully be able to shut our bedroom door so she won’t be able to move downstairs. I just don’t want her to fall! I know she would hate to be crated, so the closed bedroom would be the best option I think.

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Lexi Slept in the Big Bed Last Night

Well, I don’t know why, but I wanted my little Lexi to sleep with us last night. She’s snuggled under the covers many times before, when I have been napping, or early in the AM, but never all night long.

It was fine, she snuggled by my belly (I was on my side facing toward the middle of the bed) and she stayed there until around 7ish this morning. Each time she woke up (three times) I told her to go back to sleep, and she settled back down. I got up out of bed around 7:20.

It’s not going to be an every night thing, but on the weekends, it might be okay. I am always worried that I will accidentally kick her or roll over on her somehow. Mindy is bigger, so she’s not a problem, but Lexi is just so tiny in comparison. But we both did okay!

Note: Mindy stayed on Mike’s side all night! hahaa

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Lexi Loves Spinach

It’s so surprising how much this little girl can eat! I think our little Lexi would eat 24/7 if we let her, but what’s really amazing is that I don’t think there’s anything she doesn’t like.

Most dogs don’t enjoy leafy green veggies, but she just loves baby spinach leaves! She was begging for them today when I was cooking. And the other day, I brought home some beets and they were in the shopping bag on the kitchen floor, and she started chewing on the beet greens hanging out of the bag! Such a riot!

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