What To Look for In a Dog Food with #PetcoWholehearted


Before we adopted Mr. N, I went to a pet store to ask about food and blindly bought a bag that the salesperson recommended. I didn’t have the first clue about dog food. I didn’t know to ask about where the food was made, what ingredients are good or bad, if the food was grain-free, or even what size bag to buy, really (do not buy dry food in bulk for tiny dogs despite the savings).

I did end up buying a good brand of food but that was sheer luck. Now I know a lot better and I know what questions to ask before buying dog food. The sheer variety that is available today can be overwhelming, especially for people new to the dog world.

This blog post is part of a paid Megan Media and Petco’s Wholehearted blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.
Mr. N has recently been trying out Petco’s new grain-free line, Wholehearted. He is super finicky and often refuses to eat kibble, so I have been giving him Wholehearted  consistently so he’s been eating their canned food. He’s pretty tiny and has never had any trouble with bigger-sized kibble when he was sort of kind of eating it but some small dogs struggle especially if they have dental issues. Wholehearted offers both small breed and large breed options as well as food for puppies and adult dogs.
I like to give Mr. N different choices, both so he gets variety and so he doesn’t get bored. He would not be happy eating the same thing every day. Even with treats, I have to make sure I rotate or he loses interest. And I wouldn’t either. I love sushi but if that’s all I had to eat, I imagine I’d get tired of it pretty quickly.
The lamb flavor with Mr. N’s nettle root supplement sprinkled over it.
Petco’s Wholehearted dry food is available in: salmon & pea, chicken & pea, and beef & pea flavors. The canned food comes in: chicken, beef, turkey, chicken & fish and lamb. For the allergic pups out there, the lamb wet food is the only one without chicken or beef, out of the canned varieties.

Wholehearted is affordable, especially for a grain-free dog food (it contains no: corn, wheat, soy, or other grains). It provides vitamins & minerals for balanced nutrition and Omega-3 Fatty Acids which help improve your dog’s skin and coat. The antioxidant  formula guarantees levels of Vitamin E, Selenium, and Zinc.

Mr. N prefers the canned food slightly warmed and especially likes it as an after-walk meal on rainy days (i.e. nine months out of the year in Portland) when he comes home dripping wet and needs something warm and nourishing in his belly.

How did you pick your first dog food?

Dinner time!

Readers have two chances to win a $50 Petco gift card, once for commenting on this post and once for sharing the post. And one very lucky dog will win the grand prize of an one-year supply of Petco Wholehearted dog food! 

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61 Responses

  1. Dash Kitten

    September 30, 2016 8:39 am

    You are right, beginners are often clueless about good food. People should be encouraged to buy the best they can, but having a loving home and the best food a family can buy is a respectable balance I think.

  2. Valérie Desmet

    September 30, 2016 1:02 pm

    I started out with a very popular brand, but I felt like I was paying alot for the 'name'. I switched to a Swedish brand and I couldn't be happier!! It's quality meat, so no meat from rendering or stuffed with antibiotics!! It's important to do proper research! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Amy A

    September 30, 2016 6:11 pm

    I just saw that Petco came out with their own line on DogFoodAdvisor so i was curious to see reviews. My pups do better on grain free and this looks like a good budget for them.

  4. cupcakepetrillo

    September 30, 2016 8:28 pm

    I was already eating Purina food when I got rescued from the shelter and was in foster care, and Mom still gives me the same food. That one sounds yummy, so I hope she will let me try some mixed in with my kibbles, sometime.

    Love and licks,

  5. Cathy Armato

    September 30, 2016 9:17 pm

    I like that this food is grain free & contains Omega 3's, sounds like a healthy choice. When I got my puppy I just used what she was already being fed, but after I became more knowledgeable I started reading labels.
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  6. Rochelle

    September 30, 2016 11:50 pm

    We won a supply of the brand Henry is currently eating, but other than that, I prefer to feed Henry something grain free, with Lamb as the main ingredient (better poops!), and relatively affordable but high quality. Love Mr. N's tongue in that first photo!!

  7. Beth

    October 1, 2016 3:49 am

    Barley's first dog food was with a brand I already trusted from dogs I had growing up, but Soth's first cat food was a disaster. I asked the manager at PetSmart who was helping with his adoption since I'd never had a cat before and he directed me to one of the higher end foods–it was way too rich for Soth who had been on cheap kibble at the shelter–and he had digestive problems for ages, so we spent a lot of time trying different brands until we found one he could tolerate.

  8. Hindy Pearson

    October 1, 2016 12:20 pm

    The pet food world really is a minefield. At least I think so. There are so many brands, all making various claims, it's hard to know what to buy. I've picked up packs of dog food that made fantastic claims on the packet, yet the first few ingredients were nothing but cereals and by products. It's important to educate ourselves about the best food for our pets, and what the actual ingredients mean.

  9. Janet Keefe

    October 1, 2016 10:12 pm

    I'd never heard of this brand, but it sounds good! I cringe to think what we fed our first couple of dogs – I can't even tell you. We were completely clueless back then (at least I can say that was over 20 years ago!).
    Now there is so much to choose from though, it can really be overwhelming.
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

  10. AliR

    October 2, 2016 10:40 pm

    You make such a good point about first time dog owners not always knowing what questions to ask about food and, I think we now know that the source and quality of the ingredients really does impact our dog's long term health. I didn't know that Petco had its own line of grain free food. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Robin Mudge

    October 3, 2016 12:09 am

    This sounds like a great canned food! I can't blame Mr. N for being picky. I'm a picky eater too. He wants nothing but the best! Finding out what foods are best for my cats has been a journey. I chose a food based on an in-store recommendation at first too.
    -Purrs from your friends at http://www.PlayfulKitty.net

  12. Katie A.

    October 3, 2016 12:20 am

    I got Gracie when I was only 14. I fed her what my parents fed their dogs- 4health by Tractor Supply. Luckily it is not a bad food! Of course, later on I learned more about dog nutrition and what to look for in dog foods. Gracie now eats raw and I rotate the kibble I feed.

  13. Daily Dog Tag

    October 3, 2016 12:55 am

    My parents always bought dog food from the grocery store, so that is what I did with my first dogs. My vet recommended we switch brands, so we did that. Nelly has allergies, so I read the labels carefully. My dogs don't normally get canned food, but they love it when they do!

  14. WherePetsAreFound

    October 4, 2016 4:23 am

    Oh dear, I'm glad I'm not alone! I also bought a HUGE bag of food on my first dogmom shopping trip… I soon realised it would be better utilised by my local rescue group. I also agree about offering variety… but I'm not sure I'd be heating it up & serving it with a nice glass of wine 😉

  15. evie

    October 5, 2016 4:17 am

    i like that it is grain free, which is what i feed my dogs. i like having canned food in the case for emergencies and when the girls have dental cleanings. i like the salmon and pea. i feed the girls some salmon for treats. my youngest is a picky eater, one day she likes the food i give and the next she wont eat it. i like it has omega 3 in it for skin and health.


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