• Michael D’Abruzzo

    May 18, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Hi Sue,

    Sorry for the confusion with the Orijen. I put that link up about two years ago (I think). It is not that Orijen is bad food, it is just that there labels have gotten crazy to the point that it makes you wonder if they are looking to make the best food or the best label. I think if they just stuck to making a clear label the company would be fine.

    My main three “beefs” with the company is that:
    1. I have read a few reports of the ingredients changing, but the labels staying the same. Two bags of orijen (same label) with kibble that looks and smells completely different. Dogs then getting diarrhea, etc..

    2. ingredient splitting and extra protein sources to the extreme. There is no logical reason to do this other than to give the impression that there is more meat than other foods and to cater to popular generalized rules for making quick judgments about dog food. (such as see how many meat ingredients are in the first five ingredients). A little bit of 5 types of protein is he same as one larger amount of one protein source. Orijen has so many different types of food now it is hard to keep track. But I have a bag at the kennel that has about 20 ingredients before it even gets to the fat source. Most are the same ingredients split which can be used to make look like more (or less of things). It also makes it harder to troubleshoot if the dog isnt taking to the food.

    3. using “large breed” and “grain free” marketing tactics. Again, this is all pointless marketing that is unnecessary and meant to suggest false facts. “Large Breeds” simply need a balanced for all life stages. All dog food should be balanced for all life stages. All Orijen’s food should be good for large breeds or else there is an unbalance for any size and age group. “Grain free” suggests that grains must be bad, but then they use potatoes as if it is any more natural to the dogs diet! Corn and Wheat are bad because they are used as fillers AND protein sources. But, it is not the fact that they are grains that is bad. It is the fact that they make bad protein sources. But since they are grains companies like orijen can claim “grain free” and make themselves seem as if they are somehow superior to a food that uses a classic easy to digest harmless grain such as rice (that isnt being used as a protein source. All dog foods need a starch to make them stick together and form kibble or else it would just look like dirt. thats the reason that dog food MUST have rice or potato or some kind of starch. It is only when the starch is being used to double as a protein booster or when the starch is a common allergen that it is a problem. Orijen I’m sure knows this.

    I’m the type of person that I don’t like anyone or any company trying to feed me a line of BS. It makes me not trust anything else the person or company says. For instance I am on a bunch of email lists for different pet related and business things. If I get a subject line that is designed to “trick” me into opening the email by claiming to be something it is not, I dont care what is inside the email. I wont read it if it does not reflect the subject header. If i’m BS’d from the beginning, I wont trust what is next. Just the way I am.

    I have obviously been using Life’s Abundance for a few years. I liked it because I could talk on the phone with the woman who formulates it and there is no BS. The label and ingredients can be split, modified, etc.. to make it look better to fit into “generalized rules” found on dog food rating websites. But, the company doesn’t bother. It concentrates on the actual quality of the food and making it clear what is in it. A good food doesnt need to be adjusted for different breeds, size dogs, pups, etc..

    I like to recommend only what I have seen with my own eyes that works. I have fed every dog that has come through my kennel and seen many dogs raised on LA over at least 5 years I believe. I have never had a dog not take to it well (i’m sure a couple hundred dogs or more). My bulldog Rhoda will be 14 this July and has had no new cancer bumps since she was put on it about 5 years back. I have a 13 year old (rottie Darren from putnam humane society that is healthier now than he was years ago, and have seen dogs that are prone to joint problems grow into very athletic dogs on it (along with joint supplement). Also, never had to deal with any pet food recalls that are plaguing many of the companies that are buying cheap ingredients and have bad quality control.

    I beleive it is because the formula is very simple. They use high quality chicken and chicken fat, starches that are known to be non-reactive, and other ingredients picked for health not marketing. I feed this as a base and I give variety mainly through the treats. Stuff the kongs with different things, bully sticks, tracheas, etc..

    It has worked for me. I went to PetSmart a couple weeks ago with the soul purpose of finding other foods I can recommend to clients and it was a marketing nightmare. Worse than it has ever been. Companies know what people are looking for now and they do whatever they can to make the sale. You can actually find dog foods specifically for certain breeds. That is what I call ridiculous.

    As far as choosing a dog food based on what the dog “likes” to eat. You have to be careful about that too. Since, like human food things can be added to make it taste better, but doesnt mean that it is better for you.
    This part of a recent email I got from a breeder that switched off the LA because her dogs weren’t eating it:

    ” We had went off the LA for a while as the dogs were not so interested in it. Stupid me! I had spoken to Dr. Jane to see if the formula had changed & she said no, they are really intelligent GSD’S that are probably a little spoiled & holding out to see if they’re gonna get something better. I was nervous because Bella was pregnant & wanted to make sure she ate enough. So I switched to the Royal Canin GSD formula. They did eat that but such a difference in her coat after whelping & nursing. With the LA they looked exactly the way they did before pregnancy …you would never know they just gave birth and nursed an entire litter for 6 weeks!

    I thought how important it is that they get the very best of everything & what a dumb thing it was for me to have switched to the Royal Canin so I ordered a 40 lb bag of LA to make sure they liked it again ….sure enough they did.
    I saw that Dr. Jane was 100% correct – they were probably holding out to see what else they were going to get added to their food.”

    In closing, I’m not saying feed Life’s Abundance. And I’m not saying dont feed this or that. But, I am saying that I can only recommend what I know has worked for me and the reasons why other companies sometimes annoy me. Definitely, do not cater to a dogs pickyness!!! Keep up what you are doing. Bella did look incredible when I saw her last.

    Anyone that wants to know more about Lifes Abundance you can find it here: Life’s Abundance

    Here is an example of a 10 month old German Shepherd raised on it since a pup:


    A rottie. Milo is now 6 I think (eats 3 cups total per day):


    pit bull raised on LA (us on animal planet):