Harmony Farms Dog Food — a new arrival at my market

September 25, 2009

Last week I went cruising down the pet food aisle in my local SUPER Stop & Shop. They are in the midst of renovating the entire store — we just got the all new rolling shopping carts with a gun metal gray finish instead of the standard chrome! Some people will tell you progress is an illusion. Don’t you believe it.

Normally, the dog food brands that are carried in a super market are of middle to low quality, in terms of ingredients. You’ll find lots of corn on the ingredient lists, along with lots of wheat, soy, glutens and, worst of all, by-product meals. These ‘meat meals’ cover a great multitude of sins. These chicken, beef or simply labeled ‘meat by-products’ include all the parts of an animal that are left over after the meat has been stripped off.  Lungs, spleens, kidneys, hearts, brain, blood and more.

It was the genius idea of grinding up cow by-products and adding that as a protein to cow feed that led to the mass outbreaks of  Mad Cow Disease (bovine spongiform encephalitis). This involves a scary little thing called a prion — a folded, infectious bit of protein that attacks the brain and neural structure — every disease prions cause is both untreatable and fatal.

The ‘meat meal’ in your dog food could consist of the euthanized bodies of dogs and cats from shelters, roadkill, diseased or injured “downer cattle”, or zoo animals. Remember that the protein sludge created this way uses the whole animal: heart , brain, hoof and paw, coat and fur.

The take away is stay away from by-products and meals, especially, when choosing dog food.

I stop in the newly revamped dog food section and notice that for the first time the bags if kibble are separated by a divider with a limited selection of premium brands on one side. There is also a small refrigerator section with whole raw foods designed for dogs. I’m impressed. Raw and refrigerated food is too expensive for my budget; I also have some doubts over its perceived value and actual benefit to our dogs.

Back in the kibble I find a brand that’s new to me Harmony Farms. Meat is always the number one ingredient in their dog food. Their foods have no corn, wheat, soy, glutens or artificial coloring, flavoring or ingredients. Click on the chart below to see how their ingredients stack up against Beneful, IAMS, Pedigree and Purina.


Price Comparison by the Pound

$1.30 lb. Harmony Farms (17.5 lb. bag)
$1.23 lb. Hill’s Science Diet (40 lb. bag)
$1.17 lb. Evolve (30 lb. bag)
$1.45 lb. Solid Gold (33 lb. bag)
$1.46 lb
. Innova (30 lb. bag)
$1.80 lb. Newman’s Own Organic (25 lb.)
$1.88 lb.
Natural Balance Organic (25 lb.bag)

Of course, there’s some wiggle room in the above numbers since not every kibble sold was packaged at the same weight. Hill’s Science Diet comes across cheapest, in part, because it’s sold in the largest size, a 40 lb. bag. So use this only as a rough guide.

So I’m trying out Harmony Farms for our two Labradors. It is convenient not to make a second trip to a specialty store to buy my kibble.

And being Labradors I’m fairly assured that they’ll eat whatever is placed in their bowls; palatability is never an issue with this breed.

If any of you out there have any comments or information about your experience with Harmony Farms Pet Foods, we’d love to hear from you!


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