Friday, April 7, 2017

Food Friday: Pulsar Pulses and Fish Formula

Pulsar's Pulses and Fish Formula is a grain-free kibble made with red lentils, peas, and salmon. This is a potato-free food with a low glycemic index. Pulsar strives to make high-quality grain-free food that is still affordable.The Pulsar foods are all formulated for all life stages. There's a lot to love about this company.

Pulsar salmon, lentil, and pea dog kibbleThe Company

Parent company Horizon actually owns their own production facility in Saskatchewan, Canada. No co packers here! To date, they have never had a recall. They've only been around since 2007, making them seem rather new compared to giants like Tuffy's and Fromm. Still, a newer company with their own facility is pretty awesome, some of the older and larger companies have been guilty of letting their equipment get old and icky. (I'm looking at you, Diamond.) They opened a second production facility next door in 2016. 

Like Champion Pet Foods, Horizon seeks to source their ingredients as locally as possible. The company is located in an agricultural basin, surrounded by farmland. They get a whole lot of their ingredients directly from the growers. Yes, another Canadian company with grower-direct ingredients and control of their own production means, that sounds very much like Champion, makers of Acana and Orijen. However, Horizon also places a lot of emphasis on affordability. Their foods are made with the same integrity, but without the sticker shock.

Salmon, lentil, and pea dog foodThe Food

Ok, I can't be the only person who looked at this bag and went, "Pulses and fish? What the heck is a pulse?!" I kinda figured it was a creative made-up term, like Blue Buffalo's "lifesource bits". I was wrong though, it turns out that "pulse" is another words for legumes. Yes, beans, peas, and lentils are all pulses. Thanks to pulses.org, I now know that pulses are a great form of sustainable agriculture. Hooray for Google!

I had been wanting to try out some fish kibbles, so I ordered this bag from Chewy.com. Admittedly, mostly I got it so I could tell you the story of how I learned what pulses are. Horizon makes four brands of food, and Pulsar is their most affordable option. This means it has the lowest amount of meat ingredients. This food has a lower protein and fat content than I'd like for my dogs in the long-term, but it was still worth trying.

The ingredients for Pulses and Fish starts with salmon meal, followed by red lentils, peas, and pea starch. This means they use ingredient splitting to make it look like there's less peas in their food, but they only have pea products on their twice and don't do that with any other ingredients. That's not nearly as bad as foods with ingredient lists that look like, "salmon, peas, pea starch, pea protein, pea flour..." There's more peas in that food than fish. Horizon is a bit more honest with us.

I'm not super thrilled that they chose to put egg product in this food. Horizon appears to be one of those companies that thinks eggs are so awesome that they should be in everything all the time. Having owned a dearly beloved dog with a major egg allergy, it annoys me that this can't be considered a limited-ingredient or allergy-friendly food.

The Verdict

While I love the company and their philosophy, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to other pet owners, I don't think Pulsar is the best choice for my high-energy working dogs. Both Godzilla and Zip have had rather dull coats lately, and I'm looking for a food with enough fat and protein content to have them looking and feeling their best.

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