Most helpful critical review
I wish I had found this sooner!
on July 21, 2015
EDIT TO UPDATE: Merrick has been acquired by Nestle. I am no longer recommending this food as freely as before. In the press notice they said that the recipe and day to day operations would not change but then also said something about now being able to take advantage of global resources. I loved this food since none of it's ingredients were sourced from China. Now? I am worried. I will keep my fingers crossed that the quality and attention to the needs of their consumers don't slip but.... time will tell. Until then my unabashed 5 star rating is a three, a very worried three.
I have five dogs and two of them have food allergies. Finding a food that I can safely feed to all of them is hard. It takes some time and research and a lot of trial and error. I have tried everything from Pedigree to Nutro and nothing bowled them over and some of them made them sick.
We have been on this food for 3 weeks and it is amazing the difference we are seeing everyday. All have lost weight, their coats look glossy and feel softer, they all have tons of energy and they give me a bad time if their meals are even 5 minutes late. Of all of that, if only their energy levels had increased I would have continued to buy this food. They are all like pups again; playing and running and wrestling, not to mention all the time they play in the yard.
Before this food, they were couch potatoes and two of them were weakening physically and coming up lame. I scheduled an appointment with the vet for them to be assessed. Finally, it struck me that when I feel weak is when my blood levels are lower than they should be. I began to research for a higher quality food ( I was feeding Nutro) that I could afford without having to offer an organ on the black market and settled on this one when I read the reviews.
I was shocked at the amount of shed hair that I was finding in my dustpan everyday. That has decreased somewhat and I hope that it is a continuing trend. I brush everyone everyday and they get regular baths and still I couldn't keep up with the hair loss. It was disturbing. I was beginning to think I was very soon going to have 5 bald dogs.
On the poop front, I see less that I used to with the other foods. The color is better and they have less trouble with digestion ie farting, burping, and other wonderful stuff. I no longer fear that my house will be declared a source of air pollution by the authorities based on my neighbors complaining about the gag inducing gas fumes wafting over their houses.
I feed this food with a spoonful of gravy over the top just to moisten it. They love gravy (who doesn't?) and never fail to lick the bowls clean. I also leave kibble down in a bowl so that if anyone wants to they can snag a kibble or two. The smaller kibble size is wonderful! They can easily fit two or three pieces in their mouths and pack it to a bed to have a leisurely snack. One thing I have noticed but cannot attribute directly to the food, is their water consumption is up. However, we are in the middle of summer and are having a heat wave so..... I just thought I would mention it in case that might be a problem that comes up later on for us. Time will tell.
This food is the best we have ever used and I really hope that we continue to see better health, increased energy and more.