Thursday, March 22, 2007

Ditching Wellness (or Maybe Not)?

The other day, I was patting myself on the back for feeding the boys Wellness dry. Then I find out that Wellness food is made by Menu Foods. To be fair:


  • No Wellness food is subject to the recall

  • Menu Foods does not make dry food and I only feed the dry Wellness. I use other brands for wet food.

  • I have no idea who really manufactures the Wellness dry food. Maybe they use a reputable manufacturer for their dry products.


That said. I'm really disillusioned with the whole Wellness brand after reading that they Wellness uses Menu Foods as a manufacturer. I sent an email to Old Mother Hubbard, makers of the Wellness brand, a few days ago and have received no response. I asked them to explain why they would use a disreputable vendor like Menu Foods, but I received no response.

So now I'm thinking I should switch dry foods. Let's assume for a second that Wellness dry food is a high-quality product with good nutritional properties and my boys love to eat it. However, I feel like I may need to switch brands of dry b/c:

  • How Can I Trust Them?: If Menu Foods makes Wellness's wet food, how do I know that they use a reliable, trustworthy manufacturer for their kibble? If they would use a careless, greedy, safety-unconscious company like Menu Foods to manufacture some of their products, how can I trust that something similar won't happen to their dry food in the future?

  • How Can I Support Them?: Every dollar I give to Wellness is being used to help prop up Menu Foods, a company which callously disregards or deliberately destroys the lives of cats and dogs. Remember, that they probably knew enough to recall the poisoned pet food months ago and that they have a horrible reputation for torturing laboratory animals.


So should I ditch Wellness out of concern, out of principle, or both? If I ditch Wellness, would can I switch to that would be as good for the boys and would taste and smell the most like Wellness? And if I did switch, how would I know that the brand I switched to was not just as irresponsible? I can now find a list of which brands use Menu Foods as a manufacturer and which don't, but that doesn't tell me if the companies are any more humane or cautious in their manufacturing processes.

What do you think?

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Merrick owns all its own plants and manufactures all its own food. Nothing but human grade ingredients and no wheat gluten. It's a great healthy food, it's all I feed my 5 dogs.

Anonymous said...

I've never seen good old Purina have any recalls...

Riley & Tiki said...

Right now we are using Merrick, Natural Balance, Fromm, & Solid Gold. Merrick is about to come out with a dry cat food this spring. We are already using Merrick dry dog food. Right now, the dog is adjusting to the switch better than the cats. Usually he is the picky one, and he is 9. The cats are eating Dry Natural Balance mixed with Nutro until they get used to it. They are eating Fromm & Solid Gold fine, but I am trying to get them to eat more Merrick canned. I'd really like to find something that has a texture more like the Nutro pouches, but so far haven't found anything. I have a few cans of Wellness that I am afraid to feed them.

socidoc said...

Avram,
My two kitties LOVE Innova Evo dry which, according to my "natural" pet food store, is comprised of only human-grade ingredients. You might try it. My two (one of whom is quite picky) took to it immediately. I'll be curious to see if anybody else comments on this brand.

Amy said...

Hi Avram,

I know how you feel. I've been feeding my cat Wellness dry food, but after the whole recall w/ Menu Food and seeing that Wellness is not on the PETA list of companies that do not do animal testing, I've been thinking about switching. I got a sample packet of Natural Balance (they do no animal testing...yay!). My cat seems to like it so far. Good luck in your search!

Anonymous said...

I share your disillusionment with WELLNESS. I wonder how I could miss the fact that WELLNESS sells pet food produced by MENU INC, when I so throughly researched and selected this product for my 3 cats.

According to their Web copy, WELLNESS uses "human-grade deboned chicken and fish," and
"hormone-free lamb," and "no animal by-products, rendered animal fats, preservatives, fillers..."

To my mind such promises now seem suspect, as I can hardly imagine anything human grade emerging from a MENU INC.-owned plant.

I could never buy WELLNESS (or any product or company associated with MENU INC.) again. Not only do I not trust the food sold by WELLNESS, I do not wish to support an animal-abusive businesses like MENU INC. I shall be preparing food at home for now, until I can find a true organic-human-grade pet food.

Best,
Rita

Anonymous said...

I just found out that wellness does not have any manufacturing plants - dry or canned - how can I trust a dry product that the marketing company has no control over quality. I'm going bac to Eagle Pack, at least they own thier own plant.

Anonymous said...

You might want to check out California Natural. I'll be switching from Wellness to California Natural tomorrow after I make a run to the pet food store.

Anonymous said...

I am also disheartened to learn that some of Wellness food is produced by Menu foods. I have stopped purchasing Wellness products. My cats seem to enjoy Wysong and Felidae kibble and wet food. These companies produce their own foods. My cats seem to like the Wysong food the best. I also feed wet natural balance which my cats like as well. My local "Whole Foods" store sells Wysong Vitality kibble. But for other Wysong foods and Felidae I order online from Petfooddirect.com or Wysong.net. Read the animal health on Wysong.net, they seem to be a company that is very interested in animal health.

Anonymous said...

I switched from Wellness to Canidae and Felidae.I felt betrayed after I learned Wellness uses Menu Foods to manufacture it's canned products and they have yet to say who manufactures their dry food? ugh!

Breanna said...

After the pet recall, I switched my 11 year old cat, Tigger, from Purina One dry cat food to Wellness dry cat food. He's been on the new food now for about 2 1/2 months. From this site, I have learned that Wellness is associated with Menu Foods...argh. I switched from Purina to Wellness, because of their quality ingredients, wasn't on the recall list, and doesn't contain wheat gluten. Since feeding him Wellness, his feces (which has increased) always stinks to high heaven. Lately, he been shedding more than usual and vomiting up hairballs. I racked my brains out months ago trying to find the 'best' cat food for him, and now it looks like I'm in the same boat! I know that wet food is probably better, but I can't afford it. And I'd be afraid to make my own, because I feel it would be lacking in nutrition. An online vet said he didn't recommend making your own food for cats; for dogs it would be okay. Anyway, I would not recommend Wellness to anyone.

Anonymous said...

Merrick also has their own rendering plant that takes in ALL kinds of dead animals. Just do a google search on it, a lot of things come up. I wouldn't use Merrick if you gave it to me for free. They also had a lot of recalls.

Anonymous said...

I checked out the California Natural... no good for dogs! Dogs need to have 3 protein (meat) sources, all they use is chicken. I've done extensive research, before I got my dog, the only reason I'm looking again is because Eagle Pack is hard to find in a store near me, and I don't like purchasing online due to shipping charges. Well, just thought I would tell the person feeding their dogs California Natural that they need to find a food for dogs that has 3 different meat sources. Guess I'll just stay with the Eagle Pack.

William-wellness dog food said...

Many of the less expensive pet foods utilize all of the parts of meat and eat byproducts in their foods, allowing the inclusion of products that may include added hormones and potentially diseased animals. Wellness dog food does not use animals in their dog food with questionable health, which could possibly contain allergens, animal fats, soy, wheat and other products that may be hazardous to canines.