Friday, January 29, 2016

Food Friday: Alternative Protein Roundup, Venison Edition

Brisbane's Bark Blog is approaching its second birthday, and we're taking a look back at some of the unique and interesting goodies we've found for dogs with food allergies. Brisbane himself is allergic to poultry and eggs, and was recently diagnosed with corn, barley, and sweet potato allergies as well. Finding foods, treats, and chews for him is an ongoing project, and I'm always looking for new things to try.

Venison is a popular protein found in quite a few limited ingredient diets intended for dogs with food allergies. I assume it's also somewhat easy to get in places where people hunt. Here on the coast of southern California, nobody hunts. Well maybe a few people do, but nobody talks about it. Saying you go out and kill animals for sport sort of feels antisocial, unless those animals are fish. Guns aren't common either, and the people who do have them tend to keep them in lockers at shooting ranges. I have seen a number of raw feeders recommend asking friends that hunt for their freezerburned deer meat, which seems downright foreign when I know so many people that have never even tasted venison.
Hear Doggy Flats deer dog toy
Photo by Erin Koski

Anyway, venison is a nice flavorful game meat that my dogs absolutely love. Like rabbit, it is a common alternative protein that does not seem to be a common allergen yet.

Venison Food

Stella & Chewy's makes both freeze-dried and frozen Simply Venison raw dog food. Primal also offer a frozen raw singe-protein venison food in their Primal Nuggets product line.  

In the non-raw food department, Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Sweet Potato and Venison food was a common sight around my house until I figured out that Brisbane was allergic to sweet potatoes. We also tried the canned version back when the place I worked still carried it. Wysong gave me a coupon for free shipping, so I bought a bag of Epigen Venison, but Ru didn't like it. I'm not sure I would buy it again because it contained powdered barley grass and Briz has a barley allergy. Likewise, we'll be skipping the Party Animal Heavenly Venison canned food from now on because it contains sweet potatoes. 

So far, I think our favorite venison-based single-protein dog food has been the Canine Caviar Wilderness dog food. The canned version also went over well here. It's awfully high in calories for Brisbane, though. At the moment, we're working our way through the big bag of Pure Vita Venison and Red Lentils that the company handed out when my employers started carrying their products. Free dog food is my favorite kind of dog food. Ziwi Peak makes an air-dried venison, but it costs way more than their beef dog food so I've not been able to bring myself to buy it yet. I bet it smells horrible yet wonderful.

Venison Treats

So far I think our absolute favorite treat has been the Superior Farms Venison Crepe. It was basically a soft, delicious rawhide chew, but made out of a deer instead. We've had numerous Etta Says Deer Chews show up in our monthly subscription boxes, and they never last long. Less exciting are Natural Balance's LID Sweet Potato and Venison cookies. One of our favorite training treats so far has been the Merrick Venison Holiday Stew sausages.

What other deer-based, elk-based, or moose-based products are out there that we haven't tried yet?

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