Food Guidelines

Finding Good Advice for a Healthy Diet Dog Food

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There’s no denying my bulldog is a bit overweight. She’s 75 pounds and the vet says her max weight should really be closer to 70 pounds.  My vet didn’t provide any specific guidelines; just that she needed to trim down. So I went to the web in search of help. Since Pet Flow and Pet Food Directare the biggest online retailers for dog food I figured they’d be able to help me select a healthy diet dog food.

I didn’t find any specific information on either website so I called both Pet Food Directand Pet Flow to see if they could give me a recommendation. I explained to each of them that I was looking for a healthy diet dog food for my three year old Olde English Bulldog so that she could drop about five pounds.

The reps from both companies told me they couldn’t make a recommendation, but hands-down Pet Flow was much more helpful than the rep from Pet Food Direct.

Here’s how the Pet Food Direct conversation went:

Rep:  “We have a quite a few foods. It just depends on what your dog likes and what you want to pay.” 

Me: “So are you saying all the dog foods are really the same?”

Rep: “No. Some require a prescription and some are lighter versions of regular dog food.  The prescription ones cost more.  But if you have a computer you can just go to our website and see all the choices. Just look and see all the ingredients.”

Me: “Can you recommend one?”

Rep: “No, we’re not allowed to recommend one food over another ‘cause we’re not doctors. But you could Google some foods and see what reviews there are outside of our website to narrow down your choices.”

Not exactly the help I was looking for. 

Next I called Pet Flow.  Though this rep wouldn’t recommend a specific food either, she was extremely helpful in getting me started in my search for a healthy diet dog food.

Me:  After I explained why I was calling. “Can you recommend a dog food?”

Rep: “We’re a third-party retailer so we don’t have anyone on staff that can answer that for you but have you visited the website Dog Food Advisors? They have lots of great info.”  

I could hear her typing so I didn’t say anything.

Rep: “Let me just look through some of our brands that I think you’ll find on Dog Food Advisors.  We carry…” and then she named a couple brands.   She continued typing and talking:  “We carry Canidae.”

ME: I interrupted and said “that’s the brand she eats now.”

The rep typed some more and said, “You probably don’t want that because it’s a senior/weight reduction blend.”

ME: “I suppose she’s not old enough for Senior huh?”

REP: “Not quite,” chuckles and continues, “I’m just trying to go through and find what you might see on Dog Food Advisors. You might look at…” – and she gave me four more brands to consider. 

REP: “That should give you a jump start. And once you’ve looked at their reviews; we have 5100 items and 140 brands so the foods you find on Dog Food Advisors – we’ll have em.”

While neither company was willing to recommend a healthy diet dog food for my bulldog, the rep at Pet Flow took so much more initiative to give some assistance than the rep at Pet Food Direct. I really felt like the Pet Flow rep wanted to help me. She knew I wasn’t going to buy anything but she went out of her way to guide me to the next step I needed to take. Of course good advice is only one criteria for selecting where I shop. And I only spoke with one rep at each place. Maybe I got the best at Pet Flow and the least experienced at Pet Food Direct. A call tomorrow might yield different results.  Price, service and selection are also important criteria in deciding where to shop for dog food online. Click here to read The Best Place to Buy Dog Food Online and click here to read Where’s the Cheapest Place to Buy Dog Food Online.

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  1. Avatar Of Jo



    We only have Petsmart and Pet supermarket i my area, what concerns me is petsmart takes months to take recalls off the shelf.

  2. Avatar Of Amy



    I agree with Michelle because that’s what I did. I went down to our little mom-and-pop pet supplies store and talked with the owner about all the different brands and ingredients to help my dog lose weight safely. She suggested Natural Balance Ultra reduced calorie formula, and we tried it and it has been helping my dog shed some extra pounds. The people who work at these little shops should be supported and applauded – they really know their stuff!

  3. Avatar Of Michelle



    How about trying your independently-owned, local pet supply store where they actually have a knowledgeable staff to assist you and explain the differences between the foods?

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