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TOTW vs 4Health dog food

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  • TOTW vs 4Health dog food

    Tractor Supply sells a 4Health brand which is similiar to Taste of the Wild Pacific - salmon and sweet potato formula. Has anyone tried it? The price is quite a bit less which is nice but that you get what you pay for saying keeps playing in my head.

    If I buy a bag and my guys don't like it, TSC will trade it back for a TOTW but I don't want to mess around with switching them over unless I have heard some good feedback.

  • #2
    I'm sure there's plenty of good feedback out there, but all the dog food ratings sites I see keep consistently rating TOTW above 4Health by at least one star.

    I am always looking to find cheaper options, particularly cause TOTW keeps going up. (I started when it was $35/bag just a few years ago, now it's almost $50!!) But unfortunately it still seems to be the "cheapest best option."


    • Original Poster

      I have read the online reviews but always skeptical of who is actually writing them - at least here I might get a reply from someone who is a regular.

      My guys look great on the TOTW but agree the price keeps creeping up - A $50 bag lasts about 10 days. Not the most expensive food out there but will never turn down saving some money if I don't have to sacrifice quality.


      • #4
        Originally posted by KnKShowmom View Post
        I have read the online reviews but always skeptical of who is actually writing them - at least here I might get a reply from someone who is a regular.
        True, you don't, but when you're looking at sites like Dog Food Analysis or Dog Food Advisor it's hard to argue with the "facts" of ingredient lists/meat percentages/etc vs someone saying "Oh yeah, I feed that and my dog hasn't died yet."

        If all you're looking for is personal experience, there's a whole host of people on here who are perfectly content feeding Beneful.


        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by GoForAGallop View Post
          If all you're looking for is personal experience, there's a whole host of people on here who are perfectly content feeding Beneful.
          LOL - um, NO!


          • #6
            I feed that=Food4health that is

            I even feed the salmon and sweet potato, because it is relatively cheap, gets high ratings, and the dogs will eat it. Now this last time, I noticed a new bag of beef and I think sweet potato. They LOVE that. But I notice it is 2 lbs lighter, and a dollar or 2 more money!
            Another killer of threads


            • #7
              I feed the new grain free 4Health. I fed Taste of the Wild for a while, but the dogs had the runs with it. I just switched from the regular 4Health Fish and Potato to the grain free. So far, so good. I still have one dog on Wellness Simple Ingredients..but I'm going to try her on the grain free too.


              • #8
                I have been feeding the 4Health Salmon/Sweet Potato for a few months. Everybody loves it. Coats look good, ears on lab less stinky.

                Co-worker just switched her boxers to it this last weekend. Her male is apparently picky and loves it. On the other hand I think she was using Ol' Roy before. But they think her male has food allergies so is switching to the fish/sweet potato. I think the vet recommended venison or duck with potato but those brands with that protein source sent her into sticker shock. She free feeds 3 boxers. The 4Health wasn't as bad pricewise and vet said to try the salmon.
                Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


                • #9
                  Dogs get the regular Small Bites formula. The cats are transitioning to the new grain-free, though they were doing pretty well on the regular formula (including the one with a UTI history.)

                  And I've heard from people with dogs who have....gaseous issues...that the sweet potato formula is very helpful there!
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                  • #10
                    I also feed the Salmon and Potato to my lab. We started her on in back in September, a few weeks after we got her, and she loves it (that said, she's a lab and loves everything semi edible). Within a week or so, her coat was shiny, bald patches grew in, and she started gaining weight. We've slowly gotten her weight up (she was a rescue and needed to put on about 10 lbs) and have recently decreased the amount of food she gets to maintain her weight. Regardless, she looks wonderful.

                    My other dog is on Blue Wilderness and is doing great on it (that said, she gets >1/2 cup 2x/day so a 24lbs bag lasts months). We went with the 4Health because the Blue just wasn't in the budget for the new dog, especially when weight gain was a goal. For the price, the 4Health was a decent enough food. New dog also had skin/coat issues (she had been treated for mange at the rescue, and she still had missing hair and dry, itchy, flaky skin) and I wanted to try and fish protein. All issues cleared up on this food. Is it the best food out there? No. But it's working for us.


                    • Original Poster

                      Thank you all for your feedback - I think I am going to give it a try. TSC has already told me if they don't like it I can bring it back and go back to TOTW.

                      Our female lab has terrible food allergies which make her ears itch and salmon/potato formulas are usually the only ones that don't contain any form of chicken - even the duck has chicken broth in it.

                      Since both dogs are 100 lbs each, a $50 bag of food doesn't last very long so if I can save a bit and have them still look and feel good then that would be good.

                      I will let you know how it goes!


                      • #12
                        The main difference between TOTW and 4health is that TOTW is completely grain free. Until about a month ago 4health was just no wheat, no corn, no soy an no by-products. Now they've come out with a grain free line which is why LauraKY noticed the bag was a couple pounds lighter and a few dollars more expensive. Still a great value for a grain free diet and much cheaper than TOTW.

                        I'm a TSC employee and specialize in the pet food area.

                        Basically, if your dog isn't allergic to grain, the 4health line is excellent. The nutritional analysis is identical to the Blue Buffalo line. I feed Salmon and Potato to my itchy beagle and the mature adult formula to my 13 y/o lab. They like the taste and do every well on it.

                        I also don't feed near as much of it. They each get a 1/4 cup twice a day and are a little pudgy.

                        If your dog IS allergic to grain than try the grain free line of 4health. I've heard excellent things from our customers about it.


                        • #13
                          To: TheHunterKid90

                          Thank you!

                          Your post has been most helpful and enlightening for me. I recently took in a rescue almost completely bald from allergies. After six weeks of meds and healthy diet, she is still itchy so we're investigating "affordable" grain free food.

                          We'll try the 4health and if necessary switch to TOTW. Thanks again to everyone who posted their experiences. This is why I love COTH!


                          • Original Poster

                            Update: Thumbs up for 4Health

                            Our labs have been on TSC 4Health for about a month now and I have noticed a huge improvement in Maggie's ears - they aren't bothering her nearly as much and no more 4 am attacks which, up to now, were nightly and impossible for me to sleep through so I am pretty happy too!

                            As far as taste goes, Maggie will eat anything but her brother, Smokey, is as picky as they come and he has give full approval so we are good on both fronts.


                            • #15
                              I've switched mine back to 4Health, the grain free fish and potato. I had tried the regular 4 Health before, wasn't thrilled but mine does best on grain free. Now, the one thing I have noticed (both times) is that when I was feeding BB fish and sweet potato, my black Shepherd shined like he was blue...on the 4 Health, not so much. I'm noticing that again. There's no dandruff or itchies or anything, but he's not as shiny. I will be adding oil or flax or something here soon to get that shine back, if the additional cost adds up to make it not worth it, I will go back to BB.


                              • #16
                                I'm a huge TOTW fan. Converted my parents and my grandparents to it. No issues with any of the 7 dogs that we've had on it. My girl loves it especially the Wild Boar one. But we keep her on Wild Boar or Bison. She loves both either way and she stays high gloss which is awesome on a Weim and she is holding weight with less than 2 cups a day.


                                • #17
                                  I've now switched my collie to the grain free 4Health turkey and potato and she's doing fine. I don't have to feed much either. My 90lb lab gets 4 cups a day, the hound gets 3 cups and the collie a scant 2 cups.


                                  • #18
                                    The reason 4Health is rated as lower-quality than TOTW is that 4health spikes their formulas with pea protein- thus pretending there is more actual meat in the food than there really is. TOTW you get 1000 kcal per dollar, and 4health you get 1360 kcal per dollar. In my opinion, the "fish" TOTW doesn't have enough protein in it for a dog, and neither does the 4health fish/potato formula, particularly since we know most of the protein in that formula is low-quality plant proteins. The long-term effect of feeding insufficient protein plus mostly low-quality protein on health is unclear- lower-protein diets are always high in carbs, which can result in diabetes and kidney damage, plus filthy teeth.
                                    If you look at a better formula, such as Annamet's fish/potato formula, you get a lot more protein, mostly from fish, and you get 650 kcal per dollar. More expensive than the two above, but much higher-quality.
                                    Petsmart sells a salmon/sweet potato food that is higher in quality than TOTW's fish formula- also has the same too-low protein problem. It is intended to be a limited ingredient, non-inflammatory diet, excellent for dogs with allergies, finicky stomachs, or inflammatory conditions like arthritis. You'd want to supplement with canned fish or the like to boost the protein. It does cost more than TOTW, which is only to be expected due to it's higher quality- around 700 kcal per dollar.
                                    Last edited by wendy; Jul. 9, 2013, 03:20 PM.


                                    • #19
                                      I tried several of the top rated brands of food. My dog with a sensitive system couldn't eat any of them (including those that said they were for dogs with sensitive systems). A couple of months ago I put her on 4Health. She loves the chicken and rice and has not had any problems. Lower ratings or not, it's the food that works for my dog.
                                      Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe


                                      • #20
                                        I feed 4health and have liked it. I recently switched to Diamond and my dog has gained weight (which she needed). However, I'm not sure I can attribute it to the food, or that I put her on SmartCalm, and she's got less anxiety.