“ Brand: Applaws / Type: Food „
Suitable for: Puppies of Small & Medium Breeds (upto 25kg)
Why I chose it: I have a 5 ½ month Cocker Spaniel (Working strain) Puppy. I came across the Applaws range in my local Poundstretcher where I saw their Natural Liver Treats (review to follow); I am on a constant quest to feed high quality foods to my pup to aid his development and am drawn to those which are made with natural ingredients. I wrote to the company and asked if I could sample their puppy food before committing to buying a full bag. They sent me 2 x 100g bags and a comprehensive feeding guide and product list; first impressions of this company's customer care approach are great and I couldn't wait to try this product.
Promoted benefits: The list is long, to name a few; prebiotic, naturally hypo-allergenic, enriched with DHA & EPA & Omega 6, healthy skin & beautiful coat, promotes a healthy immune system, strong bones & muscles and its low carb, high protein (39%).
Important ingredients: Firstly this product advertises itself as 'the worlds first 75% Chicken Dry Food. This is made up of Dry Chicken Meat Meal (min. 54%), Poultry Oil (min.10%), Chicken Mince (min. 9%) and Poultry Gravy (min. 3%). So straight away you know a dog is going to be of a good quality when they list the actual meat and not just a meat flavour or meat and animal derivatives. In addition to this it does not include cereals and grains which re often used as a bulking agent. Low carb food tends to be better as carbohydrates can produce surges in blood sugar levels resulting in a hyperactive and sometimes overweight puppy. Other ingredients are impressive and are likened to the type of powder supplements you can buy to add to your dogs food such as; seaweed, calcium, chicory, fennel, ginger, rosehip etc.
Additives: They seem more vitamins based.
Feeding guide: As this food is highly nutritious you need to feed less than a lower quality food which may justify the price (as below) and necessary to prevent obesity. As an idea my 5 ½ month 10kg pup would be feed approx. 200g a day (I split this into two feedings morning and night and will often mix with a wet food so will adjust the amount).
Price & where to buy: A 2kg bag of this food costs approx. £13.49; a 7.5kg bag costs approx. £43.99. You will be able to purchase it in specialist dog food shops and online. Your local supermarket is unlikely to supply this product, although I was surprised to find that Poundstretcher stock a treat from their range. Okay so this product is twice the price of something like Pedigree Puppy Vitality, but the benefits seem to more than outweigh the extra cost. Applaws have their own website from which you can purchase this and other products from their range.
What I thought of the product: The kibble is a dark brown hard triangle shape. It has a slightly greasy feel to it and cannot be broken by hand. The food has quite a tasty smell compared to others around. I am cautious about feeding dry kibble to my pup as he is a baby and I've read horror stories about kibble expanding in the stomach and leaving your puppy dehydrated (this is my personal feeding preference and am not claiming it to be the absolute right method; every dog is different) but I have found that soaking the food had little or no effect, as the product did not soak up the water, produce much of a gravy or expand in any way.
What my puppy thought: He licked the bowl clean - always a great sign for me, I mean what would be the point in purchasing a high quality product that he wasn't going to eat or enjoy?
Would I recommend: Price is definitely an important factor in choosing a dog food; it's a big commitment and whereas this dog food is as mentioned doubled the price of Pedigree and almost triple the price of Bakers or a supermarket own brand food, I would urge you to give it a try, budget permitting. The bonus is that you will feed less, have a less hyper pup. His stools will be firmer, his coat will be shinier and less itchy and ultimately a better quality feed will lessen the chance of vet trips in the long run. I would defiantly consider purchasing a full size bag of this food. The downside is that it is not readily available. I would have to plan to purchase online to ensure I don't run out or buy in bulk.
*Tip: if you are thinking about changing your puppy's food do it gradually mixing it in with the current until giving it to them fully to avoid upset tummy's and unhappy pups.