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What Are We Feeding Our Pets?

As a breeder, nutrition is something very important to us here at Eastabrooks Studio.

Over the many years of raising puppies, we have put a lot of time, effort, and money into trying to provide the best diets for our puppies and parent dogs.

In the beginning, we went with the major and most popular brands, that were advertised as being the best possible foods for our puppies and dogs, even paying the extra money, for the more expensive and higher rated foods that they provided. We trusted those larger companies, believing that they had our pets best interest in mind.

A few years ago, I got very sick. At that time, in a desperate desire to get well, I started researching human food to find the most nutritious and healing foods that I could eat. I was shocked, at what I found out about the foods that I had been eating. I started really reading labels, and finding out what those words that I could barely pronounce, actually were. They were not near as healthy as I thought they were, in fact, a lot of them were not good for me to be eating at all.

This got me to thinking about what I was feeding my dogs and puppies, and I started reading those labels as well, to try to figure out what actually was in those foods. Was I REALLY feeding them a good nutritious food? I started switching brands, to a more and more healthier brand, or so I thought.

Recently, I have been hearing story upon story, of people's dogs getting sick, and many of them dying. Sudden illnesses that included bloody vomiting and bloody diarrhea. They all seemed to have one thing in common, and that was the food that they were feeding them. A food that I happened to be feeding some of my dogs/puppies. The majority their dogs all got sick, (and many died), right after the owners had started to feed out of a new bag that they had just opened. Up until that point, the dogs had seemed to be fine.

That concerned me, a LOT! Not only because I was feeding it to my dogs and puppies, but because I had been recommending that type of food to the people who had gotten puppies from me, and they were feeding it too. That led me to do a deep dive into much more research, because I really didn't like the idea of playing Russian Roulette with my dogs and their dog food. I notified a friend of mine, who is also a longtime and very experienced dog breeder, and her and I have spent hours, and hours, and hours, reading, studying, and researching the subject, trying to find a safe and nutritious dog food option for our breeding programs.

In the process of doing this research, we have listened to many veterinarians speak, talked to dog food companies, researched ingredients and how they are sourced and processed, and among other things, listened to what people were saying were the effects of the dog foods on their pets. Then, I came across this video. You need to watch it. As I watched it, I started remembering some of the stories that my father told me when I was young. He was a truck driver and used to haul livestock and food ingredients at times. He used to go into many types of plants that processed our foods. I usually wasn't very hungry for a while after he told me the stories. This is a lengthy but very important video to watch, for the well being of your pet:

So, we now knew of several dog foods to avoid, but we really didn't know which ones would be good and safe for our dogs, so we set out to reading labels, researching reviews, learning about what the ingredients were, the importance of how the food is sourced and processed, what ingredients to stay away from, and which ones were good. It was tough, because it seemed like so many of them either didn't seem safe to feed, or were way too expensive for us to afford, considering the amount of dog food that we go through. I think we both agreed, that feeding a balanced raw, or lightly cooked human grade food, would be the most healthy option, but we both agreed, that it was not practical in our situations, because of the preparation time and the expense.

The amount of information that I accidently came across while doing this research, would be enough to write many blogs posts on, for a very long time, like how the dog foods can contribute to things like cancer, hip dysplasia, allergies, and many other serious health issues. We will leave those topics for another time, because currently, my biggest concern, was finding a safe dog food, before my dog and puppies ended up being one of those statistics.

I found one dog kibble, that I really think is good, as far as kibbles go, and that was Nature's Logic Distinction. If you read the ingredient label on that, and compare it to many other dog foods, you would be very impressed. However, the price tag on that food would likely shock you a little as well. It was way more than my little piggy bank would allow, so I kept searching, and so did my friend.

Dog food wasn't the only thing we were researching, we were researching some other dog related topics as well, when we accidently stumbled upon a dog food that neither of us had previously heard of before. My friend started researching that food, while I was researching another brand that I thought might be ok, and then we compared notes, and discussed them. After comparing the labels, we decided that the first food had better ingredients, and decided to call the company and ask them more questions about it, look at reviews, see what other pet owners, and other dog breeders had to say about it, etc. Her and I both feel a huge responsibility when it comes to the subject of the food, because we very heavily influence the people who adopt puppies from us, about what they should feed their puppies. We do not want to steer them wrong.

That being said, dog food is not a one size fits all. What may work well for one dog, may not work well for another. There are other good foods out there, but this was the one we felt was the best and highest quality, that was still most reasonably priced, so people could afford it.

The name of this food is TLC Whole Life Dog food, and TLC Whole Life Puppy Food. This food got a 5 star rating on many different places that we researched. Breeders were raving about it. Independent dog food advisers highly recommended it as well. Their marketing strategy is partly how they are able to keep the costs down of this very good quality food. The do not sell in the stores. Only online. The dog food bags do not sit on shelves for months in stores. They make fresh batches as it is ordered. They have free shipping, and do auto ship as well.

To make it easy for my puppy buyers to access the food, I have a link on my website, with more information, and a coupon. After the struggles that I have had with various dog foods, I am very excited about this food. My dogs love it, too! Here is the link to the page with more info.

If you would like more info on the dog foods that seem to be causing very serious issues, there is a group on Facebook called "Saving Pets One Pet @ a Time". There are tons of stories on there, from individuals posting about what is happening and has happened to their dogs, and lists of dog foods to avoid. Their stories, are what led me on this mission. Here is a link to that page:

I know this post has been lengthy, but I really felt that this information is important. The last thing that I want to do, is feel responsible for someone losing their pet by not speaking out, especially, one that they got from me.


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