Friday, March 4, 2011

PFC Day 2: Merrick "Grammy's Pot Pie" 5-Star Entrees for Dogs

Hi again. Back to it. Shoulda had the dog food first, then the Haagen Dazs. The Dulce de Leche is arguably one of the finest ice creams available- subtle in its sweetness, supple and delicate on the tongue...

The Merrick offering reminds me at first glance of Beneful, which I have not had the pleasure of sampling. This stuff is dry and crunchy, and has a light and crisp consistency. It consists of tiny kibble bites in three variations- one brown, one whitish, and one green. The brown are pretty much as expected, though these have a heavy and almost overcooked protein flavor under the fiber consistency. Certainly not much to my liking this time, though I again think the ice cream may have something to do with this and intensifying the flavor a bit. The whitish bits are mild and almost corn flavored, and the green ones have the flavor of, you guessed it, fibrous peas. Yes, peas. I can actually taste it, and it imparts a kinda pleasant flavor to the mix. For a dog food, not a bad impression of pot pie.

Clifford says: mmmm.... now we're talking. Skip the Purina, and gimme some pot pie! Tell mom I can taste the veggies!!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pet food challenge! Day 1: Platinum Natural Chicken and Rice Dry

More a semi-moist than a dry, this food has a firm consistency and a dark brown color. 70% whole chicken, and no animal "byproducts", I had high hopes for this offering. The representative told us how this food is made from whole chickens, roasted at just below boiling for 16 hours. Or was it 18? 22? Some very long roasting time, anyway. I was assured that this was pure nutrition. They even had a nifty display with several foods in jars with the same amount of water added that morning. This stuff doesn't swell with water like regular kibble, and gets a fun fatty layer floating at the top of the jar.

In short, this stuff tastes like dog food to me. Thinking back on my experience as a three year old sharing kibble with our Great Dane, I recall a fibr flavor. Kiinda grainy, but mostly dry, kinda tasting like hay smells. Doesn't conjure up great ntrition in my mind, in any case. Well, that's where we are with this one. Not bad for flavor exactly, but certainly not vibrant and savory. Second bowl? No thanks. I didn't finish the first one.

Clifford says: serve this on top of my Purina. Higher in protein, sure. Enhanced nutrition, you bet. I'm not picky. Bring on the dog food that tastes like dog food. Yum, another meal in paradise.

Pet food challenge!

So, I'm not sure this particular project has been done before. At least, not in public. Not that anyone will admit to. You might think I'm gross. Or crazy. Or crazy gross. I just wanna know one thing: what's my dog eating every day?

We went to a pet expo downtown in Sarasota the other day, and got a whole bunch of sample packets of dog food, and it occurred to me that a lot of claims were being made about nutrition and palatability, and organicness, and earth-friendliness and the like. Now, nutririon can be quantified, to some extent. Calories, protein and fiber content, vitamins... yeah, yeah. And purity of ingredients can be claimed. We use 70% real chicken and no byproducts! Ok, great. But palatability? Who's actually quantifying this variable?

My dogs think just about everything is tasty. Dog food? All about it. Cheese? Like, OMG! Dead fish, decaying on the beach? That's so tasty they not only devour it, but want to roll in it to take the scent home. I've even seen dogs eat poop. POOP, people.

Now, I'd like to say I'm not one to judge, but come on. We all judge. So, I'm here for you and your dog. I consider myself a bit of a conisseur of people food. I'm not exactly a snob, but I do judge my food rather critically. Bland. Too much salt. Dry. Overcooked. Not enoughh salt. Trying too hard. Not trying enough... so I'm going to take the hit on this one. No, I'm not about to try some poop or dead fish for palatability. But I figure, I feed my dogs out of a giant bag of dried food chunks every day, and they seem to like it quite a here goes...

I'm going to try each and every one of these dog foods. Then on to the next. I'll be judging on several loose criteria, with overall flavor being the holy grail. I'm assuming, for all intents, that nutritionally these foods are all comparable. The specifics, as they stand, may be the subject of future debate. In the scope of this comparison, however, flavor will be king. I rarley rave over how nutritious a meal is. I do rave oer flavor. So here goes.