Your pet’s nutrition is crucial. Read about pet nutrition, what pet food & pet treats are good, what’s bad & what you need to know to make good decisions about your pet’s health & nutrition. The Pet Nutrition section has resources for further information about pet nutrition & diet, and will also include product reviews.Search pet product for further reviews.

Archive for the ‘Pet Nutrition’ Category

Blue Dog Bakery’s New Deli Sticks for Dogs Meet the Meat!

Posted on April 9th, 2015

Hold the bone, said Cricket. Savor the flavor, said Brisket! Blue Dog Bakery’s new Deli Sticks for dogs are a major contender for favorite dog treat around here after we were sent a sample to try by the brand last month.

beef deli sticksCricket, the happy-go-lucky Golden, took a whole 2.8 milliseconds to inspect the delicious-smelling meaty variety. He proceeded to immediately chew it. Voraciously. Happily. Like he had just tasted a bit of Heaven disguised as a sausage-roll-looking shapeshifter. He swallowed and immediately walked back to me for another one, just in case, by some small miracle or unknown impending Armageddon, I was willing to give up one more of the moist and meaty doggie delicacies… #pleaseGodletherhaveanother

Brisket the Pit Bull perfectionist didn’t play around with her Blue Dog Bakery meaty-licous dog treat either. I call her my “meat-o-saurus” because she just loves meat! Brisket licked the Deli Stick a few times and rolled it over on the carpet so as to inspect for other flavors or additional smells (oh the possibilities, skunk! Goose poop!), decided there were neither anymore new smells nor flaws, and then, BAM! It was gone! I didn’t even see her sweet sassy lips inhale it! It was just gone! #funniestBrisketmomentever

Brisket and Cricket both followed me around the house for like an hour after they had their first taste of Deli Sticks by Blue Dog Bakery. And here’s why:

  • Deli Sticks are made with human-grade meat
  • They contain no fillers, preservatives, artificial colors or ingredients
  • No corn, wheat or fillers
  • No animal by-products
  • They’re premium, natural dog treats
  • Deli Sticks are all natural and grain-free

Blue Dog Bakery Deli Sticks are no exception to the company’s objective to produce high-quality treats using high-quality ingredients.

“We wanted to create a new product form that was unlike anything else in the pet section,” said Eric Koppelman, Blue Dog Bakery’s VP of Sales and Marketing. “Our Deli Sticks are made from a high-grade USA beef in a facility that produces products for human consumption. The ingredients and the process is a quality so great you could confidently eat Deli Sticks yourself. We certainly do.”

Blue Dog Bakery has been dedicated to creating all natural, healthy dog treats since 1998. What began with one flavor of dog biscuits 17 years ago has gradually expanded….Blue Dog Bakery’s product portfolio now includes upwards of ten different product varieties for both mass-market grocery stores, and pet specialty retailers. While some of these product forms do contain natural meat flavors, they are 100% vegetarian, according to the company blue dog bakerywebsite.

In January 2015 Blue Dog Bakery launched its first-ever meat-based treat for dogs – all natural and grain free Deli Sticks made with premium USA beef. You can find Blue Dog Bakery Deli Sticks (and the company’s massive line of other dog treats) at You can save 10% on your first order when you order now!

*You can also get your dog featured on the website! Email your cutest dog photos to for the opportunity to have him posted on With your photo, please include your dog’s name, a Blue Dog Bakery testimonial, your first name only, and your city.

The Deli Sticks retail on-site for around $7 and $10, for a 4.8-ounce and 7.8-ounce pack, respectively. You can also order an 8-pack bag of either dog treat variety, and there’s a 100% satisfaction guarantee! You can also find the natural dog treats at major pet retailers for similar pricing.

Cricket and Brisket have a final thought: Blue Dog Bakery Deli Sticks leave a pooch with nothing to be blue about (unless, of course, you run out! Then you have to send your hooman to get more!)

Four-paws-up! Thanks Blue Dog Bakery!

Dogswell® Entices Pooches with LiveFree®: Premium, Palatable Dog Food High in Nutrition

Posted on October 24th, 2014

Dogswell® is just that – swell. And I mean, really swell. These guys wasted no sense on naming their food. It’s just perfect.

Personally, I don’t think you can go wrong with a dog food that has a tagline that reads: “Unleash the Happy!” Furthermore, one that lauds the following on its website:dogswell_logo_1

“When it comes to nutrition, it doesn’t matter if you have two legs or four. In order to live life to the fullest, a body needs good, healthy fuel… not junk. LiveFree® provides a complete solution of natural pet food that delivers wellness through digestive health. Only LiveFree® dry food has DigestiBits™ made with pumpkin and prebiotics, so that dogs can live free from digestive issues and dog owners can live free from worry.”

The pet food company’s new line of dog food and dog treats, the aforementioned LiveFree®, could not have gone over better with the Smith Bassets. Franklin and Ramsey, who are inherently finicky eaters naturally as they were both formerly abused and neglected, took to the greatly gravy-licious wet food immediately. Like bees to new honey… Like hounds to dead fish smell at the beach… Like pigs to new poop… Like they hadn’t ever experienced anything this tastily awesome before, BOL!!!

Live Free Product ImageBoom-Boom (aka Ramsey), who will, by the way, stand and stare at you until you put the proper amount of gravy-love in his dry kibble, lapped up LiveFree’s Adult Chicken Stew formula with his chow so voraciously you would of thought that he hadn’t eaten in weeks. Now please keep in mind, Ramsey is one of THEE most stubborn of the Hound breed on Earth, and flat-out refuses to eat unless there is WET CAT FOOD in his puppy chow. We have tried everything and the only “gravy” (aka wet dog food) that was on par and up to standard with his precious cat food fetish was the canned wet dog food line, LiveFree®.  (We have since bought two cases…)

I wanted to give the new wet dog food at least two weeks when we tried it. Why? Well most of us pet owners like to get a good idea of palatability, plus we like to see how it affects energy, coat, weight and/or maybe even eyes (clarity, etc). We noticed after about a week in Franklin – a super-senior – that his, um, evacuations were more solid and less fragrant if you will. We also noticed that he was shedding less. With Ramsey, we noticed that he actually ate it and loved it, LMAO…. It was extremely relieving that the new wet food did not change the consistency or schedule of either one’s poops. And both of them seemed to have less GI discomfort (tummy-growling and gurgling, bad gas) after ingesting this recipe instead of another wet dog food. This obviously makes them both happier because they are more comfortable.

What makes me so happy about all of this is that LiveFree® is high in animal protein so it aligns with a dog’s natural diet, plus it has added nutrition for holistic health. There are antioxidants to support immunity, vitamins and chelated minerals for better nutrient absorption and the food is even nutrition-boosted for specific life stages. You can choose from formulas in the LiveFree® line including Chicken, Lamb, Salmon and Senior Chicken. (This revolutionary dog food company also offers different lines for accommodating different health issues, such as Vitality® and Nutrisca®.)

DogSwell® is actually quite thorough and very well-spoken on their website, too. The site is extremely helpful, and offers a ton of detail about the products, a blog, a testimonials section, and lots more!Dogswell Healthy Dogs

LiveFree® is available in dry food (chicken, lamb, salmon, and turkey recipes) and canned food (chicken, lamb and salmon stew recipes) for puppy, senior and adult dogs. You can visit the LiveFree® website for some great details and even more reasons why you should try it. Also, the LiveFree® product fact sheet is quite helpful if you want to learn more about the premium dog food brand.

And don’t forget to visit the brand on Facebook and Twitter, too! You can also find them on Pinterest and Instagram.

This post is a review and the Administrator, JL Smith, received product from DogSwell to use on the dogs and then review. never posts dishonest, distended or distorted reviews. All opinions herein are those of JL Smith, the Administrator. DogSwell is not responsible for this content.

Balanced Nutrition is Key to a Healthy Pet Diet

Posted on November 27th, 2013

Have you heard the phrase “a little will do a little good; a lot will do a lot of good?Hills Image 1 Post 5

Has this phrase ever been true for you? What about your pet?

It’s scary to think about what would happen if we didn’t get enough of a basic need for life such as water, or if we got too much of a basic need for life such as sodium. That’s why I’m going to talk with you about why “balance” is the ideal approach to a nutritious diet.

The best approach to just about everything in life is “balance” – work/life balance, and a balanced diet. Nutrients are essential to health for us and for our pets. We can control our diet choices, but our pets rely on us to choose for them.

So, what is precisely balanced nutrition and why is it so important?

Let’s look at key nutrients that your pet’s body needs to maintain good health and energy. Those nutrients are protein, fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Sounds, reasonable, right? But, what if any one of these nutrients is too high or too low (a little will do a little good; a lot will do a lot of good)?

Protein is a vital nutrient that helps support lean muscle tissue for adult pets. For growing puppies and kittens, protein nourishes growing muscle tissue. If a pet’s diet is too low in protein this could lead to poor growth. If a pet’s diet is too high in protein, this could increase the workload of the liver and kidneys to get rid of excess nitrogen. That’s because your pet’s body will only absorb a certain amount of protein – everything in excess must be processed by the liver and kidneys. You can see how over time this extra work could affect these organs.

Fats are very beneficial in your pet’s diet. Fats – in the appropriate levels – are excellent for healthy skin. Fats nourish the skin and make it soft. What’s more- fats help with a luxurious coat and contribute to shiny fur! We know what happens with too much fat: weight gain. But what if there isn’t enough fat? Potential for a dull, dry and flaky coat.Hills Image 2 Post 5

Vitamins and minerals are also essential in your pet’s diet. Vitamins support the immune system; minerals help puppies and kittens grow strong muscles and healthy teeth. If the vitamins levels are deficient, your pet could experience fatigue or weakness. If the vitamin levels are too high, this could lead to organ stress. If the minerals are too high, your pet could be at risk for bladder stones.

Fiber, we all love fiber! It’s great for healthy digestion, but if your pet’s diet is too low your pet could experience loose stools. Not good! How about too much fiber? Your pet could experience gas! Equally NOT GOOD!

So the moral to the story is “balance.” Each of these nutrients is critical to survival. For optimal health, choose a food for your pet that provides proven, perfectly balanced nutrition.

Balance is the reason that we choose to feed Franklin and Ramsey Hills® Ideal Balance™ Dog Food. It is chockfull of vital vitamins and equally crucial nutrients in perfectly proportioned amounts. Plus, the boys gobble it up like it’s going out of style.

If you want to know if you are feeding your cat or dog a healthy, properly balanced diet, check out the following pages:

–          Check here to see if your dog’s food contains properly balanced nutrition and see how to make a change if it doesn’t. You can also check this handy comparison tool for dog food.

–          Check here to see if your cat’s food contains properly balanced nutrition and see how to make a change if it doesn’t. You can also check this handy comparison tool for cat food.

 Important Takeaway Points:

–          Balanced nutrition is key to good health

–          Nutrient excess can lead to certain health conditions

–          Nutrient deficiency can also lead to certain health conditions

–          Good nutrition isn’t just about ingredients – it’s about the right balance of nutrients

–          As ingredient quality increases, so does a pet’s ability to absorb and use the nutrients for optimum health



All opinions in this article are those of the author. Author has been compensated for completion of this article. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

Pet Food Ingredients & Sourcing Important Points to Ponder as Pet Parent

Posted on November 2nd, 2013

As a pet parent, I’m always looking out for what’s best for my pet – the right toys, the right amount of playtime, the right bed, the perfect treat, etc. But when it came to finding the right natural pet food, I used to get a little overwhelmed to be honest. Not only are the aisles full of brands – all claiming to be the “best, ” – but I knew I needed to be extra cautious about what our dogs and cats get because of all of those recalls I’d read about. I wanted to feed her a natural pet food made by a company I could trust: a company whose products are manufactured right here in the USA and a company who cares about the safety and quality of their own pets’ food just as much as I do.Hills Ideal Balance Product Layout

I started doing some research to ease my confusion over finding the “right” food and my concern with the recalls and quality of ingredients from some pet food companies. I wanted to feed Franklin and Ramsey the Bassets (and Max, Tater Tot and Sasha, the kittehs) a natural food with high-quality ingredients like real meat, fruits and vegetables. I’d seen a commercial about a new natural pet food from Hill’s Pet Nutrition called Hill’s® Ideal Balance™, so I decided to check it out.

There was a lot of helpful information on the Hill’s website, plus the site was intriguing to say the very least. It let me compare Ideal Balance against other natural pet foods and even recommended the right food for my fur-baby boys and girls. Through my research, I learned that even in natural foods, it is important not to have too much or too little of key nutrients and that Hill’s Ideal Balance delivers natural ingredients in perfect balance for a pet’s overall health. I was also pleased to see that Ideal Balance dry, wet and treats have no corn, wheat or soy and no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. Plus you can choose from these amazing recipes:

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult dog food

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Grain Free Natural Chicken & Potato Recipe Adult dog food

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult cat food

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Grain Free Natural Chicken & Potato Recipe Adult cat food

Because high-quality ingredients and safety were also of the utmost importance and continued to be top-of-mind, I continued to look into Hill’s, and I learned that all of Hill’s dry foods are manufactured locally, right here at home in the USA in their very own facilities.

dog and Ideal BalanceI was happy to find that Hill’s carefully chooses high-quality ingredients, most of which are sourced from the U.S., with all meat and poultry coming from USDA-inspected facilities.

*Ingredients sourced outside of the U.S. are monitored just as strictly as those from the U.S., and Hill’s has zero tolerance for Salmonella. In fact, they conduct more than 60 quality checks on every batch of food, every ingredient can be tracked by batch or ingredient, within 24 hours, and more than 1000 Salmonella tests are conducted every month.

Sasha, Tater Tot and Maxwell have been eating Ideal Balance natural cat food for a few months now, and as a pet parent, I couldn’t be happier with my decision. They all look fantastic and come running at mealtime! I don’t have to worry that what I’m feeding her might be unsafe to boot!

My conclusion? Well, there may not be a “best” pet food for everyone, but with Hill’s® Ideal Balance™, we sure have discovered the best one for our fur-family.

Ideal Balance has received tons of praise and great reviews; and the pet parents who feed it to their fur-babies say that their pets love the taste (even picky eaters). Check out these reviews on Facebook!

Points to Take Away from This Post:

  1. Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ is a choice natural pet food that provides perfectly balanced nutrition, guaranteed.

    Maxxy inhales his Ideal Balance nightly...

    Maxxy inhales his Ideal Balance nightly…

  2. Ideal Balance has no corn, wheat or soy.
  3. Ideal Balance is made with natural ingredients you can see right on the bag.
  4. Hill’s Pet Nutrition conducts more than 60 quality checks on every batch of food (I have been there and witnessed this thorough testing); every ingredient can be tracked by batch or ingredient, within 24 hours, and over 1,000 Salmonella tests are conducted in the facility every month.
  5. All Hill’s dry products are made in Hill’s-owned and –operated facilities – Made in the U.S.A.
  6. Hill’s has a standard that’s pretty strict = ZERO TOLERANCE SALMONELLA!

Check out the Ideal Balance website for great information about finding the right Ideal Balance food for your pet, compare for yourself how Ideal Balance stacks up against the competition, and be sure to take advantage of the “Try Me Free” rebate!


Author has been compensated for completion of this article and all opinions therein are those honest opinions and experiences of the Administrator. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™: Pet Nutrition Doesn’t Have to be Complicated… it’s Natural Now!

Posted on October 18th, 2013

Hill’s® Pet Nutrition is big on helping your fur-babies stay healthy, as is evidenced by their numerous formulas made specifically for certain medical conditions, and now, by their nutrient-based Ideal Balance™ recipe, which is chock-full of veggies, meat and all the other good stuff your cat or dog needs to lead a life emphasized by balanced nutrition.

Since our cats started eating Hill’s Ideal Balance (Poached Salmon wet food recipe) they seem to show more energy (for sure), and have harder stools and more frequent urination. They have also been more tolerant of each other in the household (behaviorally I mean, i.e., sometimes Sasha doesn’t get along well with the two younger guys {Tate and Max} because she’s 13 and they are 3 and they chase her all over the place all the time). The chase sessions have nearly ceased in recent weeks.

We think this is all due to the fact that proper nutrition = happy kittehs. Balanced natural meals = full bellies & fewer behavioral issues.Hills kitty w IB

But we do wonder, and we often hear this from our furball-owning friends, “Is Natural Enough?”

Is Natural Enough?

In the desire to feed our pets natural foods, we first look at the ingredients. While ingredients are important, it’s what is IN the ingredients that matters. Really, ingredients are vehicles for nutrients.

Here’s what I mean. Ingredients are chicken, vegetables, fruits, etc. Nutrients are what your pet’s body absorbs from those ingredients. And as ingredient quality increases, so does a pet’s ability to absorb and use the nutrients from those ingredients. No single ingredient makes a food better or worse. Too much of one nutrient (like protein) or too little of another (like phosphorus) can be harmful to a pet’s health. A pet food is a sum of its parts.

IB badge logoSo, the goal is to make a pet food with quality ingredients that deliver nutrients like protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals balanced in the right proportions to provide optimal nutrition for your pet.

The interesting thing about this whole topic is the idea that feeding your pet what they would eat in the wild is better for them. Dogs and cats need protein in their diet to meet their requirements for essential amino acids. The amino acid requirement for cats is higher than for dogs. However, once those requirements are met, additional protein beyond what the pet can use for energy is excreted.

A dog’s or cat’s energy requirements can also be equally met by carbohydrates. Using carbohydrates rather than protein to meet energy requirements has the benefit of controlling the level of minerals or other nutrients to avoid excessive levels that are not optimal for a pet’s health.

Therefore, a diet with a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals from a variety of sources is ideal.

Comparing the food of dogs and cats in the wild to that fed to our pets misses the main point that optimum food in the wild is that which allows maximum reproduction as fast as possible.

So… the question is: Are there any natural dog or cat foods out there that have the ingredients you want PLUS the nutrients in the right balance?

Well, there may be others, but the new Hill’s® Ideal Balance® line of pet foods, as I mentioned before, is one that has surely caught my attention. In these foods, what you will find are natural ingredients that you want to feed your pet with 100% balanced nutrition. What makes me feel good about recommending this food is that Ideal Balance is a true natural pet food crafted by pet nutritionists who know how to perfectly balance natural ingredients for better health for your dog and cat.

See for yourself in this video featuring Hill’s Pet Nutritionist Kathy Gross, who chooses to feed Hill’s Ideal Balance to her own pets: dog video or cat video. Check out the Ideal Balance website for great information about finding the right Ideal Balance food for your pet, compare for yourself how Ideal Balance stacks up against the competition, and be sure to take advantage of the Try Me Free rebate!

Be sure to check out the following Ideal Balance formulas; click on them for more information.

Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult dog food


Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Grain-Free Natural Chicken & Potato Recipe Adult dog food


Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult cat food


Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Grain Free Natural Chicken & Potato Recipe Adult cat food


The key takeaways here?

–          Balanced nutrition is the key to good pet health.

–          Nutrient excess can lead to certain pet health conditions

–          Nutrient deficiency can lead to certain pet health conditions.

–          Good nutrition isn’t just about ingredients – it’s about the right balance of nutrients.

–          “Creating a natural pet food is one thing. Creating a perfectly balanced one to Hill’s high standards is quite another.” – Kathy Gross, Hill’s Pet Nutritionist

–          Natural ingredients do not guarantee optimum nutrition, precisely balanced nutrients does.

–          Hill’s Ideal Balance is 100% balanced nutrition for your pets guaranteed or your money back.


*Author has been compensated for completion of this article. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article. All opinions in this article are honest and belong solely to J.L. Smith, the Administrator and Author.