I do not read the wholedog journal, so I do not know what the wholedogjournal crowd thinks. I do hang out on a lot of dog forums and have never seen one that does not recommend Canidae as the best value for non-performance (read pet) dogs.
Nutro is overpriced IMO and has some drawbacks as far as the ingredients go. For example even in their "high end" (read "more expensive") Natural Lamb Meal and Rice they list a generic type of fat (poultry fat) rather than specifying whether it is from chicken, turkey, etc. They throw in whatever they can get. They list corn gluten meal, a cheap by-product with no nutritional value which simply binds the kibble. Nutro adds menadione sodium bisulfite complex to the kibble supposedly for Vitamin K activity. Normally however vitamin K is produced in a dog’s intestinal tract, so a dog who is getting a nutritionally-balanced diet doesn't even need it. What is worse, menadione interferes with this natural production of vitamin K, and has been proven to be toxic to liver and kidneys. It is not approved for long-term use in food. Because testing of this ingredient is currently incomplete, manufacturers are allowed to continue using it until a final decision is made. Why Nutro does though makes me wonder.
Nutro got a black eye among breeders a few years ago for being less than forthright about changing their formula. http://www.woodhavenlabs.com/nutro.html
Most of the breeders I run into on dog forums say they used to
But I think the thing that turns me off the most about Nutro is the "less poop" marketing ploy. Take a look at this graphic: http://www.ultraholistic.com/stool.shtml
I mean, tell me the food is better, not that the convenience of less poop is a selling point! This less poop harangue is getting to the point where we see a lot of people on dog forums complaining about anal gland problems. Dogs need a firm stool with enough bulk to naturally express the anal glands, and somehow we have gotten to this "less poop is better"- to the point where some people seem to think that the optimum is reached when everything you feed the dog gets digested and nothing comes out the other end. Despite what Nutro says about their Ultra Holistic, it isn't that good. As along as I am on a rant
the word "holistic" is a red flag for me. It is not regulated or defined by any agency or advisory board so anyone can use it as a buzzword. Sorry for the Nutro rant-I used to feed it myself so I guess it is like with an ex-smoker.
After the recall poisoning disaster with Royal Canin I would not dream of feeding any of their products to my pets ever. It's one thing to accidentally put contaminated Chinese wheat gluten in the food, put deliberately adding vitamin D to the point where it becomes toxic? Do they not have any animal nutritionists on staff?http://www.royalcanin.us/recalled.html
Chicken Soup is ok, I just don't want to spend my $$ on royalties to the "Chicken Soup" trademark.
Canidae (at least the Lam Meal & Rice) is specific about the meat sources does not list grain fractions of the same grain. Anyway, I guess I don't see what is wrong with Canidae. I don't care for the fact that they use the "holisitic" adjective, but at least they don't ram it down your throat like some of the other brands that sounds like some kind of hippie subculture. They have decent ingredients, and at about $1/lb are priced lower than many brands that do not have as good nutritional value. What do people object to about Canidae?
For whatever it is worth, it gets a 5 star rating on this site.http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/
The site unfortunately is not very detailed about how they rate the foods.
This site is kind of the ultimate resource on dog foods and has more detailed explanations about what the ingredients mean.http://www.dogfoodproject.com/
If you want to know more about individual ingredients, this site has a handy comparison wizard. It was created by Natura so that you can compare their product lines for dog and cat food (including Karma, Innova, Mother Nature, EVO, California Natural and Healthwise) with some of their competitors' brands. At any rate, what it does it list the ingredients and then offers a short explanation of each ingredient if you click on it. Kind of handy I think.http://www.naturapet.com/tools/comparison.asp
And finally be aware that the jury is out on whether high protein (such as Evo, which is up over 40 %) is good or bad. Some will say it is good because it is closer to the dogs; supposed natural diet. Others will say high protein is linked to kidney disease. Personally I have not seen anything that is absolutely convincing either way.