If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that I’m passionate about species-appropriate nutrition for cats. Cats are obligate carnivores, and they need meat not only to survive, but to thrive. The optimal diet for a cat is a properly formulated raw, home-cooked or grain-free canned diet.
When we were approached by Dave’s Pet Food to review some of their foods, I didn’t hesitate to accept. I had already occasionally been feeding some of these diets to Allegra and Ruby. I also met Dave Ratner himself at Global Pet Expo, and was impressed with his passion for pet nutrition.
All of the ingredients in these grain-free diets, with the exception of tuna, are sourced in the USA. The tuna flavors are from Thailand. The food is made at plants in South Dakota, New Jersey, Canada or Thailand.
Dave’s Pet Food has managed to offer these premium diets for less than many other products on the market. How does Dave do it? On his website, he writes “I don’t have sales folks on the road, I don’t do lots of promotions, and I run a very low overhead operation.” That’s how he can keep retail prices reasonable.
But the true test with any food is: will your cats eat it?
Allegra and Ruby didn’t just eat the varieties we were sent, they practically inhaled them. I asked for poultry based flavors only, since I don’t feed any other proteins, and the girls tested the Poultry Dinner Platter, the Gobblecious Gourmet Dinner, and the Chicken and Turkey formulas. They also tested the Dave’s 95%™ Chicken and Turkey varieties.
I can’t really tell you whether the girls had a favorite because they cleaned their plates for all of the varieties. My favorites are the 95% meat formulas, because they are higher in protein than the other formulas.
My only issue with the line is that it does contain carrageenan. Carrageenan is a controversial ingredient in pet food. It’s a common food additive in pet food and human food. It is extracted from seaweed, and used as thickener and binder in canned pet food, as well as in many human foods such as ice cream, yogurt, and soy milk. There have been some concerns about carrageenan possibly being linked to gastro-intestinal inflammation and even cancers in animals. Carrageenan is considered safe by the FDA and by AAFCO, but just because something is approved by a government agency does not necessarily mean it’s safe for you or your cats.
For that reason, much to Allegra and Ruby’s disappointment, I only feed these diets occasionally, but they are a good choice for budget conscious cat guardians who are looking for a quality brand at a low price.
FTC Disclosure: I received this product for review at no charge. I also received a fee for writing this review. Receiving the free product and the fee did not influence my review. All reviews on The Conscious Cat will always reflect my honest and unbiased opinion. Or, as the case may be, Allegra and Ruby’s honest and unbiased opinion.