Friday, February 13, 2015

Food Friday: Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy

   Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy is a grain-free fish-based kibble specifically intended for growing puppies. This food contains 25% minimum crude protein, 15% minimum crude fat, and 360 kcal per cup. It rates four stars on Dog Food Advisor and contains no poultry or egg ingredients.

From Dog Food Logic I learned that there are only two legally-defined terms for dog food: growth and maintenance. All dog food is technically either adult maintenance food, or puppy growth food, based on its nutrient profile. Thus all food that is labelled as "complete and balanced for all life stages" is actually puppy food. A lot of food companies like to produce puppy-specific formulas as well as their "all life stages but actually puppy food" formulas. With the exception of large breed puppies who have some specific nutrient requirements, I generally feel that the best foods don't really need to have a specific flavor just for puppies. Still, I have been asked to feed Xena puppy food. This is a grain-free, egg-free, poultry-free food that is safe to have around Brisbane.

It's actually not much different from the regular Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream kibble, which is the only Taste of the Wild product Briz can eat since they added eggs to the Sierra Mountain formula last year. Pacific Stream Puppy has the same number of calories as the adult version, the same fat content, and 2% more protein. The puppy version has slightly less calcium, and therefore phosophorous, per serving. The puppy kibbles are also smaller, pea-sized.

The Hype
Taste of the Wild's packaging prominently features wolves and prey animals in natural settings to help drive home the message that this is a "natural" product. While the bag says "with smoked salmon" and salmon is the first ingredient on the list, ocean fish meal is the second ingredient and smoked salmon is ninth. This is an ocean fish-based kibble. Those wolves should be on the beach.

Following the Trail
Taste of the Wild is co-packed by Diamond Pet Foods and was affected by the massive recall of 2012, along with Solid Gold, Wellness, Natural Balance, Canidae, and a few others. In my mind, this makes Taste of the Wild more of a marketing company and less of a total-package dog food company. I still use their food, but it makes me think a little less of their products.

The Good Stuff
Taste of the Wild is one of the most inexpensive grain-free dog foods, and the quality is a great value. I refer to this as a gateway grain-free food, it's an awesome way to introduce people to the concept of better food than they can typically find in the grocery store. While I love my Orijen and Acana, Taste of the Wild is less likely to give people who have been feeding Beneful sticker shock. For itchy dogs, Pacific Stream can be a good way to eliminate some common allergens. It's a nice compromise for times when money is tight, and one of the few foods I have fed my dogs for several months at a time. They're always done well on it.

Have you fed Taste of the Wild?


  1. I did feed TOTW for the first two months after we adopted Lily. She did okay on it, but I stopped feeding it after I learned about the Diamond fiasco. One thing I would recommend is to buy it locally rather than online. Most, if not all, of the problems have been with the South Carolina plant, and so California hasn't been affected by most of the recalls.