Friday, November 27, 2015

Food Friday: Dogswell Nutrisca Raw Freeze Dried Bites

Nutrisca now has Raw Freeze Dried Bites in addition to their kibble and canned foods. These little squares are made with either chicken or beef, including bone and organ meats. Other ingredients include apples, peas, cranberries, and of course chickpeas. Nutrisca is all about the chickpeas.
dog food and dinosaurs

The Company

Dogswell was founded in 2004, and I first became aware of their food a couple of years later. When I was trying to get Brisbane to lose some weight I was still doing a lot of raw feeding, but I wanted to use kibble as training treats. Nutrisca's foods were just becoming available in my local stores and so they were being heavily promoted. I could get a 1 lb sample bag for $2, and it was being advertised as good for fat dogs with its low glycemic index.

It looks like Dogswell was acquired in 2009 by TSG Consumer Partners, but they seem to be operating independently. Dogswell got their start with jerky treats manufactured in China. This led to at least on treat recall due to contamination with antibiotic residue in 2013. Despite this, the company continues to defend its manufacturing practices and insists it hold the facilities to strict standards, and uses third party testing to ensure purity. While most of the newer Dogswell products and all of their dog food is made in the USA, their website proudly states that this is only due to consumer pressure and not anything wrong with things sourced and made in China where standards are often more like guidelines.

Dogswell does not own their own manufacturing facility as far as I can tell. Their canned food appears to be co packed by Simmons Pet Foods, who also produce canned food for Nature's Variety and a bunch of other companies. Their kibble is produced by Tuffy's Pet Foods, who recalled some Nutrisca kibble earlier this year for salmonella contamination. 
dog food and dinosaurs
Sometimes cats happen.

The Food

These are really dense little nuggets, much denser than Stella & Chewy's or Wysong Archetype. The Dogswell website has them listed under treats, but the package states that the food meets AAFCO standards for a complete and balanced diet. I don't think I could use them for treats, they are much too big, and crumble when I finally succeed in breaking them up a bit.

The Verdict

I got these when Ru had a dental cleaning that included removing nine tiny teeth. He was supposed to eat soft food for a week or so, and he is ridiculously picky. He eats Stella & Chewy's most of the time as long as I don't add any liquid or put anything on it, so I figured he might be interested in these. I was wrong, he doesn't like them nearly as much. He eats these about as willingly as he eats any type of kibble or canned food, which is to say he'll eat them about half the time with no rhyme or reason why or why not. Sisci is far less picky and likes them, and Brisbane adores them as he adores all things edible.

These rate five out of five stars on the Dog Food Advisor website, with no worrisome ingredients. They are only available in 5oz bags, no big bags for big dogs. Obviously Dogswell isn't really expecting anyone to be feeding these as a complete diet to anything but a super picky tiny dog.

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