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Friday, December 2, 2016

Food Friday: Renew Gold Balance Dog Food

Zip and I won this bag of Renew Gold Balance dog food at the Crusty Classic disc competition. This is the first thing I've ever won at any kind of dog competition, so I think it's pretty cool. I was also excited to get a bag of food from a brand I'd never heard of before. I have done a ridiculous amount of research on dog foods and various brands, and somehow I had never run across Renew.
Coconut kibble

The Company

Renew is a company based in Northern California, so they are semi-local to me. They apparently started out as a horse supplement company, as the website states that they introduced stabilized rice bran to the equine industry. That's rice bran that has been treated so it won't go rancid, I know several people that feed it to their horses. 

The company currently makes horse supplements, horse treats, chicken food, and dog food. Admittedly, this sets off some alarm bells for me. It might be all the grain-free propaganda I've soaked up over the years, but the idea of having a grain company making dog food feels a little weird. I mean, isn't most of it going to end up being grain?

My other small qualm with this company is that they heavily promote their food as being GMO-free. I like genetically modified foods because I understand how science works. While I understand that the primary point of making and advertising food as being GMO-free, I feel that it promotes anti-science thinking. My dogs are GMOs, there's no reason I can't feed them foods that have been modified to be resistant to pests and diseases.

The Food
Coconut dog food

This dog food is advertised as not smelling like dog food, and they're absolutely right. It smells like coconut oil. I'm not sure how I feel about this, as my gut reaction is that dog food should be meat-based and therefore smell meaty. The first two ingredients are meat meals, pork and chicken. The next three ingredients are grains though, rice, barley, and oats. The sixth ingredient is coconut oil, which means this stuff has a lot of coconut oil in it. That explains the smell. 

The Verdict

As dog foods go, this one isn't bad. It's a nice mid-range food that would likely get 4 stars on the Dog Food Advisor website had it been reviewed there. It doesn't contain any wheat, corn, or soy products, and while the protein content is padded a little with pea protein, that ingredient is pretty far down the list. Obviously it's a good enough food that I'm reviewing it here, and I'm also feeding it to my dogs right now because a free 30-lb bag of decent dog food is nothing to sneeze at.

I'm not sure the dogs appreciate the coconutty-ness of Renew Gold Balance. Ru and Zip will only eat it if I add some canned food or other topper. Zip and Godzilla have lost a bit of weight since we started this food, mostly because working dogs need a very high-fat diet and this is more of an average-fat food. We'll be finishing the bag, but I don't think I'll be buying any more of this.

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