on October 9, 2010
This dry kibble was the third try in our quest to find a balanced kibble for our Bernese Moutnain Dog. There is plenty of technical information about what to feed your dog and, nearly overwhelmed, we entered the pet food market with an idea of feeding a quality kibble, but chose to avoid high-end designer food, high protein (>26%), bi-products, wheat, soy, and corn. We decided that whole grains, fruits, and vegitables would be an acceptable source of carbohydrates but wanted the ratio to be 40% or less (hard to do when you avoid high protien foods). We also believe chicken is the easiest protein source for our dog to digest. Lastly, we wanted to be near 24% Protien and 14% Fat. Keep in mind that our review below is based on our pet, and every pet will react to food differently.
We fed Precise, which was only a great puppy food. We fed Canadae, which resulted in loose stool, gas and a pretty lethargic pet. We did some more research and decided to try Nature's Variety, the result was shocking! Our BMD had ZERO gastric upset during transition and became energetic again. Nature's Variety has produced nearly half the stools, which are small compact and virtually odorless. He has NO gas and his coat is shiny and feels conditioned. People are noticing the change and we couldnt be happier. Add this to the fact that Amazon will ship it to my door with free super saver shipping! Oh, one last thing: The 15lb bags have a decent zipper to lock out air.
Thank you for this quality food at a reasonable price.
on January 14, 2011
My Golden Retriever has had hotspots all his life. They are definitely food related and once I find a food that works for him, we stick with it. He originally was eating Dr. Andrew Weil's food, Promise, and was very healthy and happy. Well, the company folded and I had to scramble to find dry dog food that was comparable to what he was eating. Prairie matched almost perfectly! He has never had a hotspot while eating Prairie. He loves the food. It even smells good to me and the cat. The cat will eat out of the food bin if I leave it open. She is also a Prairie for Cats fan but that is another review. Now, a word of caution about mixing flavors...mixing flavors is OK if your dog is young and active but be very careful about reading the labels and noting the amount of calories that vary from flavor to flavor. You WILL need to adjust the amount of food!!! I switched to the beef variety and didn't check the calories and was shocked to see how much weight my elderly Golden gained in just one bag of food. Overall, I am very happy with this food and highly recommend it!
on January 1, 2011
We have a mixed breed dog; likely a Walker Coonhound/Great Dane mix. He's a 85-90lb lanky, goofy, lovable example of a canine, but he has a digestive system that is more temperamental than my own weak stomach. As a pup, we had continued him on the original shelter's choice of food for the sake of consistency: Purina Pro Plan, but that food is a misleading, expensive upgrade to a standard grocery store food, which I wanted to get him off of as quickly as possible. From research, and experience, I've found that you either pay for your dog's health through your dog food bill, or through the vet bills that you'll inevitably get from feeding them junk food. We chose the former. We had tried other high quality foods like Wolf King, Solid Gold, and some samples of Wellness.
Nature's Variety Prairie, although not their highest level kibble (Instinct), is an affordable and healthy alternative to the low grade grocery store brands. I was unbelievably happy to find this on Amazon now, after feeding this to our dog, Toby, for the past 6 months - and at anywhere from $10 to $5 cheaper than the few pet supply stores near us that sell this brand.
I'm not quite as scientific about our choice of food for him as some other reviewers/owners out there, but I did want to keep his diet free of low quality grains/wheat, and disgusting, bottom-of-the-barrel, meat and protein sources. With this food, I know the meat and protein is a primary ingredient (as it should be) and is complimented with healthy fruits, vegetables, minerals, and oils that would theoretically be found in the wild. I would love to begin rotating the food at some point soon to explore his interest in the other meats, specifically lamb.
To be blunt for a moment, his stool is now dense, dark, and smaller in quantity than it was with the low grade food he was started on, since the majority of the food is healthy and absorbed through digestion. When he goes, it's not the gamble that it once was when his stomach was being bothered by the junk food full of fillers and unnatural ingredients. His coat is shiny, his energy level is high (maybe too high, haha), and he continues to be the happy, healthy dog that he should be. I owe a lot of this to Nature's Variety, and I'll continue to purchase their food (now through Amazon Prime with two day shipping) as well as their treats, which I bought for the first time yesterday.
This food is worth every penny, and it's still cheaper than many of the other high quality holistic foods out there.
on November 28, 2011
Let me start by saying...I am a huge supporter of the Nature's Variety brand. My cat, Flea, is on instinct and my dog, Mystie, is on prairie dry. I've tried nearly every variety of both product lines and I love how they have been so great for my fur-kids. However, when I began to feed the Chicken Prairie to Mystie, she would throw up the food every morning after eating. She hasn't had a history of sensitivity to food and it's a real shame because she LOVES this flavor the most. It just keeps making her sick. We have given her the Lamb and Beef versions of this that we have on hand to test and see - but it seems to be only the Chicken that causes an issue. She does not get sick on any of the other flavors we try. Let me say again, I love this brand! However, I felt I should share my experience should there be any other consumers who may be having the same problem with this flavor of Prairie.
on May 4, 2011
Nature's Variety is on a very short list of dog food given my requirements: Cruelty Free company, Quality Ingredients, High Protein, and Reasonably Priced. At $45 for a 30 pound bag, it fits the bill. Good luck finding any dog food in this price range that meets these requirements. There are certainly other dog foods with higher protein content, but not at this price. I did have an issue with one of my dogs having excessive gas, but I cured this by slightly adjusting (decreasing) the amount I was feeding him on a daily basis.
The ingredients list includes "Montmorillonite" Clay which is naturally occurring and has numerous minerals (it is approved for use by the USDA in organic certified products). Reported benefits include the binding of certain mold-based toxins and even controlling diarrhea. The ingredients also includes probiotics and chelated minerals for improved digestion and immune system function.
on February 8, 2011
This food is not grain free, but the company does commit to making sure the ingredients are mostly meat. They do not use any grain fragments, which are cheap fillers in many foods. It has a moderate amount of protein, but I also supplements my dog's diet with some raw meat on a nearly daily basis. My dogs love the flavor of this food and seem to enjoy it a lot. I rotate this with other flavors and the Nature's Variety Grain Free Instinct line as well. I guy this on Amazon.com because the price is really good, especially because I have it set to deliver every two months with Subscribe and Save. This is an all life stages food. Simply feed more to puppies about 4 times a day or once or twice a day to adult dogs. It's healthy food, but your dog can still get fat on it, so don't overfeed.
on October 16, 2012
I like everything about this food. The company seems to be pretty outstanding. The ingredients are great. The price WAS just right. The dogs like it. There are just two problems, the price literally jumped like $10 a bag and our dogs aren't digesting this well.
We recently moved to a much smaller house with a less secure yard, and as a result the dogs are spending a lot more time with us indoors and we have to walk them everyday twice. I noticed that they were constantly farting and their stool was loose. Honestly, I'm a little disappointed. It took a lot of time and research to find a all around good dog food, but I can't argue with their stomachs.
on February 17, 2011
I have been feeding my dogs Nutro for years. Many times we tried to switch to a different, "better," dog food, but my dog's coat would not look so shiny and they would become ill. One of my dogs has a very sensitive stomach and she tends to throw up several times a day. It's so common, I've trained her to go outside to puke. Switching her food seems to make this worse.
However, I realize that I have been paying $45 for a 30 lbs bag at the pet store for mediocre at best dog food, so I've been on the hunt for a better, and preferably cheaper, alternative. I've literally spent days online researching all the different dog foods. There are many good ones out there, but most of them cost $2 and up a lb. My food doesn't cost $2 a lb! This is the only top quality dog food I've found that I can afford. I'm absolutely certain it is the best value as it is currently $1.27/lb. with subscribe and save. I also love that I don't have to haul 30 lbs. bags from the store anymore!
My dogs love the food. It does not exacerbate my Sheltie's stomach issue and we save money: almost $10 every month. Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too!
April 15, 2011 update: My dogs have been on this food for a couple of months now. My Sheltie's stomach is upset much less often and my short haired dachshund is very noticeably more shiny. I can't wait until my Sheltie sheds her coat so I can see the new one. One surprising thing is that my dogs eat considerably less of this brand of dog food. I'm estimating that it's at least 30% less food (and less poop too). I'm still on the first bag with two small dogs and I used to purchase one (30 lbs) bag of dog food a month before. I couldn't be more pleased.
on September 23, 2012
Over the past 3+ years I have fed my dogs 3 different dog foods. I previously fed my dogs Blue Buffalo lamb but after 7 or 8 months I was not happy with the results and the dogs did not seem to like it very much.
I then switched to Natural Balance Dry Dog Food, Grain Free Limited Ingredient, wanting to see if feeding them a grain free product would help with their shedding. After about a year I again was not satisfied with the results (large and soft stool and no help with the shedding).
My next dog food was Nature's Variety Prairie. They like the smaller dry kibble and I liked the technical information about what to feed them, looking for a certain range of protein and fat by using an independent dog food advisor site. Also, through my research I noted that Nature's Variety was noted to add probiotics to enhance a dog's digestive functions and also include certain minerals that make them easier to absorb.
Enough technical though. My dogs really like Nature's Variety Prairie and their stool has improved. Shedding is still an issue and both my vet and groomer say some dogs just shed regardless of what you feed them. My dogs have been eating Nature's Variety Prairie for the past year.
I have 2 very large mixed breed rescue dogs so we do go through a lot of food each month. I love getting it from Amazon on subscribe and save mainly because the price was right for a very good quality food and it arrives at my door with free shipping and without me having to think about it at all. My dogs eat slightly more than 30 pounds each month so every 3 months I need to order an extra bag so I never run out.
Yesterday I went online at Amazon to place my extra order I was surprised to see how the price has increased over the last few months, going from $37.90 in May to $43.17 in August to its current $49.38 in September. This price has now increased to more than I can buy it locally and I no longer have the tax free in California.
Unfortunately, I will either change again or just buy the food locally since I do like Nature's Variety. I am considering one of Merrick's dry foods as I like the fat-to-protein ratio of about 50% but I hate the gradual process of switching dog food.
on October 17, 2012
First, go to this website: [...]
Look for the rating section, and find the food that you are feeding your dog or cat right now, (they have a cat food link). Look for the ratings, and see what your food is rated. Then go up to the next rating, and see if you can find a better quality brand, for about the same price (this is exactly how I found a better rated brand). Do the research, and see what you can do to, get your pet the best possible rating, that you can AFFORD. Keep in mind too, that with less fillers, your dog will get more use out of the food, and it actually goes further than the cheap foods. The doggie waste is also much less in the yard. AND,,,lets just say that he has a much smaller problem with room clearing gas problems, when eating a premium food.
This brand is one of the few that gets a five star rating on [...] - this website has proved to be indispensable for help in picking out a decent food for our dogs, but nothing is fool proof, when it comes to how that food is produced, and that is the fault of the government not having enough oversight over what can be put into the food. It is sad, because our pets deserve better. After using a "premium brand" food brand Iams, for year, I was very sad to learn how terrible the food actually was/is for the high price. Again,,,you don't have to purchase THIS brand, but get the best food for the money that you can afford for them. Having a website like Amazon, is actually the most helpful because just about EVERY brand mentioned on the dog food site, can be purchased and delivered to your door - something for me that is well worth, not having to lug around that huge bag.
Yes it [this brand], is expensive. However, in light of all of the Salmonella outbreaks happening to even the BEST of dog food companies, (like Buffalo), I chose this company, because they have not had a recall on their products, that I could track down. I was using Premium Plus (another expensive brand,,but they have had a few recalls, for unclean factories and fungal tainted batches). If you are like us, your pets are no less important to you, than your children. Truthfully, unless we hand cook everything for our dogs, we have no control over the way the food is made, or what goes into it. Sadly, there is also no oversight, as to what they are allowed to put into that food. This often includes any and all scraps and pieces of whatever "animal product", that will be the base protein, being used for that type of food, (any of these scraps qualifies for "meat").
Because of the recalls on so many brands, I still keep a watchful eye on the company, and hope that they keep up their standards for a clean facility, on a regular basis, to try and keep up with the quality and safety of his food, to the best of my ability. Better to be safe than sorry with a sick pup. Or worse yet losing him to a food born illness caused by tainted food.
Be warned though, if you have a very large breed dog, the kibble size on this brand, is EXTREMELY small! We have since put his food into a "Kong Feeder" that he has to roll around, to get the food out, which forces him to, take his time in eating it. If we didn't do this, he would totally gulp down an entire bowl, within minutes, often getting sick, because it was not chewed up at all.