191 of 197 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2012
I was looking to see if this pet food was cheaper on Amazon than it is at my local pet store (it is) and I saw the 1-star reviews and was shocked. I understand that people are having issues with the listing versus what they get in the mail but that has nothing to do with the product itself, which is what you should be reviewing here, maybe with a disclaimer in the review of the food about the mix-up. Amazon is where I go for reviews of products and notes on shipping mix-ups hardly ever tell me what I need to know!
That being said, I love Merrick Before Grain. When I adopted my little strays they were living in the zoo and surviving off of raw ground meat and fish, so when I brought them home I chose a grain grain free food because I thought it would be the easiest transition on their stomachs from what they were eating. I've also done some pet nutrition research of my own, and while I'll concede that cats can process nutrients from grains in their foods, it just doesn't seem right to me that they many pet foods have most of the protein coming from vegetable sources, so I stayed grain-free even after the initial adoption.
Recently, though, my budget has gotten tighter and I'm close to a ramen budget and decided my cats would have to be put on a ramen diet, too. I did the gradual transition to a new food the way you're supposed to, a little at a time, and the cats didn't seem to mind the change at all. As soon as the cheaper food took over, though, one of my cats started having terrible gas and had some minor tummy troubles. That bag is just about through so I'm going to start the transition back to this food.
A big bag of this food ended up cost less per-pound than smaller bags of lower-quality foods, anyway, so I decided the additional cost was worth it. There are also several more expensive brands (Wellness, Blue Buffalo) that have grain in their cat food formulas, unless you opt for their grain-free variety which is even more. Merrick offers the grain-free choice without being the most expensive option out there, and is even comparable in price to many brands that have lower-quality ingredients.
All-in-all, definitely worth a try! The canned foods are great, too, but my cats have decided they only like wet foods that are in gravies and won't eat the pates Merrick has.
95 of 97 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2012
Happy to report that now Amazon is carrying this food themselves, there is no problem with getting the incorrect size bag. Please ignore the 1 star reviews, they are all from Petco shipping the wrong size product in the past. I have researched cat foods extensively, trying to get the best that I can since I lost 2 cats to tainted pet food. Merrick is the absolute best. Other companies say they have great ingredients, but their products are either processed by a bad food company plant, or overseas. Not so with Merrick. Everything is made in their own facilities in Texas, and they get all ingredients here in the USA, all certified as human food grade, except for 2 vitamins they just can't get from here. My cats love this food! I would like to remind everyone, however - you should make your cat's diet primarily wet food. Feeding only dry doesn't get enough water intake into them every day and stresses the kidneys. This increases the chance of kidney failure or urinary stones as they get older.
69 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2013
I have 2 rescue cats, 7 1/2 yrs (male) and an almost 3 year old female. I have tried so many different brands of cat food. Until recently I was buying Pet Smart's brand, Authority. My girl started gaining weight and could eat all day long, if I let her.
For Christmas this past year, my mom bought them a 5lb bag of Nature's Variety Duck Meal & Turkey Meal Raw Boost Formula, which they loved. Especially the freeze dried raw bits. But....there is no way I can afford that. Ditto for Blue Buffalo.
After doing a lot of research on cat food, and figuring out the cost per pound; I thought I'd try the BG Chicken by Merrick. As other reviews have mentioned, this is a truly premium food and so much more economical than the other grain-free cat food brands.
What I like, too, is the size of the kibbles. It is made well so that my female actually bites into it and I finally hear her chewing. She always devoured her other food so fast, that she wasn't actually chewing it.
I also like the way it is packaged. It doesn't get that yucky dusty type run-off from the bites, like so many other food does; such as the ones with a lot of grain.
My little girl actually eats enough of this until she is full and then she actually stops and walks away! I have noticed, as well, that the coats of my cats are softer and shinier. They also have a lot more energy.
I highly recommend this food!
*** Almost a year later and unfortunately my older cat is getting sick from this. He has lost so much weight that when I pick him up, he is as light as a feather. He also started losing hair and had diarrhea for a long time, as well as throwing up. I don't know if it's the brand, or the chicken. I am not sure if this is really true, but I've read that some cats are allergic to, or have problems with chicken.
I have them on Wellness Core Turkey and Duck Formula now. It's only been a few weeks, but I've noticed the difference in Ozzie already. Not only is he gaining weight, but his eyes are so much brighter. He has also been a lot more affectionate; almost as if he is thanking me!
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2013
I have been feeding my cats the BG dry food for years and been incredibly happy with the quality and price. It is grain free (hard to find in a dry food due to needing binders) and high quality. It is also great bang for the buck compared to other varieties of similar dry food. Sadly, Merrick has decided, in all their marketing wisdom, to discontinue this line, call it something else and bill it as a "better re-formulation". Simply not true. In fact, one of the key points on this version is that there are multiple protein sources, which they claim is necessary for grain-free feeding. Sadly the "better" re-formulation has fewer protein sources. Since they have changed this formula and jacked up the price to higher than competing brands per pound, I will be switching to Solid Gold when this version is no longer available.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2013
We have a cat who, after experiencing numerous bladder infections, was going to have to eat some very expensive prescription cat food. After some research, we decided to try a quality grain free food instead. Here we are 3 years later, and this is the only cat food he's eaten - with not a single bladder infection! I only have 2 complaints: our cats LOVE this food, and we started having to monitor and measure for them because they began over eating; and it seems to be disappearing off the shelves of our local stores. We typically order here on Amazon, but when we find coupons it'd be nice to be able to use them.
53 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2012
I had exhausted many different "no grain" dry cat foods before finding this one. It had excellent ingredients in it (wish it still had the probiotics in it like it used to though) and it was made here in the USA. My cats loved the taste, they took right to it, but after a week on it, I noticed blood in my cat's potty box covering pieces of stool. I wanted to see if this was from newly being put on the food or if my cat had eaten something they shouldn't have, so I left them on it for a little over a week. Still, every time I cleaned the potty box I found the same thing, lots of blood coated stool. So I switched them for a week back to a different "no grain" brand and no more blood...so this time I put them BACK on the Merrick to see if they had just had a tummy problem that cleared up (I really wanted this food to work out), but, within a day of being on it, blood all over the stool again. I don't know what in the food would cause this or if my cat was allergic to something in it, but they will no longer be eating it. Sad to put another potentially great product back on the shelf...on the plus side it cleared up my cat's dandruff!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2014
My boys love this dry food. Both of my cats ate Purina dry cat food for years. They would sometimes have trouble with loose stools. Then the trouble became more frequent and I changed their dry food to Origin, a brand my local pet supply store recommended. At $58.00 for a 15 pound bag, Origin is not a cheap dry food. My cats did not like it. It seemed to take forever for them to finish that bag. For my next attempt at finding suitable food for my cats I tried Iams. They liked it okay but the loose stools returned. Then, after reading the reviews and ingredients I ordered Merrick Before Grain chicken dry cat food. Finally a cat food they love and no more loose stools! Happy cats - happy mom.
UPDATE.....I, (and my cats) are waiting on the second bag of Merrick's BG Chicken dry cat food to be delivered and thought I would update this review. Both of my cats have healthy appetites and the last 11.1 oz. bag of food lasted exactly 2 months. Great value at $26 for a 11.1 ounce bag. I always keep dry food in their bowls so they eat as much as they like. My long hair cat, Bear, had been overweight for some time and my short hair, Sam, was getting a tummy a few months before I started feeding him Merrick's BG. 2 months later I'm happy to report both cats have slimmed down and their coats are shinny. Something I didn't expect happened, Sam's eye infection has cleared up. One of Sam's eyes had been infected for about 2 years. The vet tried antibiotics twice but it only helped while he was taking them, then the infection would come right back. The vet did not know what the trouble was. I called the vet and told him Sam's eye infection cleared up after I changed his food. The vet said the lack of key nutriates could have caused the eye infection. I'm amazed at how important the right food for your pets can be. I recommend this food to anyone who loves their pets!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2014
This cat food really upset my cat's bowels. I did some research and there are a number of cat owners who reported he same issues. This food can lead to anal sac disease. Sometimes expensive doesn't always equal better.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2012
A few years ago, my 5 year old cat abruptly decided that he hated the cat food I had him on. While I was standing in the store, trying to decide which he might like better, I foolishly made the mistake of reading the ingredient lists. Now, I'm not a fanatic, and I'm not about to put my cat on a raw diet or anything like that, but I'd read these lists of grains and chemicals and oh, yeah, some minor chicken parts, and it just seemed wrong. Cats are obligate carnivores, and more to the point, I suppose, why was I feeding him something that looked like the nutritional equivalent of Cheetos?
I found an excellent brand at the time which of course went out of business within 2 months, and then I tried a couple of the fancier brands out there. He was on Evo for a bit, and liked it well enough, but to avoid issues if they suddenly decided to go out of business, I was trying a few other brands as well, and impulse bought this one. When I ripped open the bag, it of course split and spilled all over the floor. He chased down and ate every. single. piece. And i knew we'd found a new primary catfood.
He's been on it for 4 years now, and his coat is great, his weight is steady, and the catbox is a LOT easier to clean. (Well, except that I also bought him a Drinkwell Original Pet Fountain which he adores and drinks masses more water with than a water bowl, but those things balance out, right?) He also throws up a lot less, always a blessing.
For people who are unsure about the cost, as I was to begin with when I switched my cat to a better quality diet, something to consider is that they eat less on a higher quality diet, and they process more of it. So while the bag of food was twice the cost of a grocery store brand, he finished it off in more than twice as long. He takes about 3 months to eat through this bag of food, and he free eats about 2/3 a cup a day. He'd probably like it better if I feed him from smaller bags because the fish oil in the food will age badly over time (though I keep it in a sealed container once open), but a house with multiple cats won't have that problem (and let me repeat, for the houses with multiple cats: The catbox is much improved.)
I haven't tried the pork variety, but he HATED the fish variety, and I couldn't blame him--it was uberstinky. But tastes vary between cats, so the friend I gave it to had no complaints from his cats.
46 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2012
After our father died, my sister inherited Duke, our dad's 4 month old orange tabby kitten. My sister kept him for over a year, but decided she couldn't keep him anymore, so in 2010, I grudgingly adopted him. (I'm sentimental and couldn't let a cat that once belonged to our dad end up in the hands of strangers.) I am a rabid dog fanatic. I like cats, but don't have the same enthusiasm for them that I do with dogs. I never had a feline companion of my own, so Duke became my "starter cat". Well, I turned out to be lucky. Duke is not the hide-under-the-bed-and-hiss kind of cat. He's adorable, funny, affectionate, and loves Slappy, my elderly German Shepherd mix. He's definitely a keeper and I love him to pieces. He's three years old now, and he's stuck with me for life.
So, being that Duke is my first cat, everything is a learning process. I thought that semi-solid, extremely smelly poop was simply a variation of the norm for cats. I was feeding Duke Before Grain, pretty much since the day I got him. Duke liked it and had no problem scarfing it down. (The little fattie will eat anything.) I liked the quality ingredients and the lack of filler grains. Meanwhile, his "Litter Box of Horrors" was a nightmare to clean. The stench was overpowering. Duke would do his business and the poop would stick to his legs. I had to throw him in the shower several times a month. Eventually, I had to follow him around the house with baby wipes after he used his litter box or else he'd leave stinky poop stains on my floor, couch, bed, or carpet. I simply figured that since he's fat, he couldn't clean himself well. I never attributed it to the food. Why would I? I assumed I was giving him the best.
Last year, he was treated for a urinary blockage caused by struvite crystals. Then, a few months ago, while wiping his butt with baby wipes, I found blood. Quite a bit of it. I opened his litter box, and his stool was covered in blood. Off to the vet we went. No problems detected. Lots of money spent. I was told to put him on Hill's Science Diet. That stuff is garbage and if ANY vet tells you to put your cat or dog on it, it's time to find a new vet. Anyway, the bloody poop happened again a few days later. I decided that yes, I was going to change his diet, but no, it wouldn't be Hill's Science Diet. Taste of The Wild ended up being my choice. Within days, all the problems went away. Duke has very firm stool now, there's no blood, the litter box stench is more tolerable, and no more "Hershey's Kisses" on everything he sits on. No more baby wipes and showers, so I don't have to hear his mournful cries when he's subjected to being scrubbed down.
I'm not saying that B.G. is a bad food, but I'm saying it was a very bad option for me and my cat. There was something in there that my cat couldn't tolerate. I won't buy it again. I'll keep him on a combination of TOTW and raw. It works for him.