5 Reasons Why We No Longer Feed Our Dogs Life’s Abundance Dog Food

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When I started Keep the Tail Wagging I was soon introduced to Life’s Abundance and saw it as a fantastic business that I could build from home.  Life’s Abundance makes dog and cat food with the finest ingredients that I was excited to feed to our pets and promote to dog lovers through my blog.

Today, over a year later, I am no longer a Life’s Abundance representative and we feed our dogs raw food.  Quite often, someone will reach out to me to ask about my thoughts on Life’s Abundance and their products – Spoiler Alert: I have no issues with their products or their company.  I made the choice to stop being a Life’s Abundance representative 6 or so months after I started for many reasons.

5 Reasons Why We No Longer Feed Our Dogs Life’s Abundance Dog Food

Rodrigo is Allergic to Chicken

One thing that we’ve experienced with Rodrigo is obsessive paw licking.  Our first veterinarian said that it’s normal, because some dogs have a reaction to grass.  When he continued licking is paws in the winter, it was because they’re sensitive to the cold.  The research I’ve done as a pet blogger made me wonder if it’s a chicken allergy.  Every food that Rodrigo has devoured from 8 weeks was a chicken recipe.  Once we switched to Halo Pets, we started buying the Salmon Formula and the Lamb Formula and making sure that Rodrigo’s paws were clean, and voila! the obsessive licking stopped.  We’ve since switched the Halo’s Purely for Pets kibble.  Update: our dogs are now on a diet, however, I believe that Halo Spot’s Stew Natural Dry Dog Food is the best product currently on the market.  This is not to say Life’s Abundance is bad, I just believe that Halo Purely for Pets is superior, because they offer a choice in proteins (chicken, lamb, and salmon).  

Symptoms of Chicken Allergies in Dogs

Did you know that allergies to food is thought to be responsible for 20% of all cases of scratching and itching in our dogs?  I learned this when I was researching chicken allergies when Rodrigo was licking his paws like crazy.  Dogs can develop allergies to chicken at any time in their life; so it’s not surprising that Rodrigo has been eating chicken for his first year and then a few months into year 2, he started licking his paws like crazy.

What we noticed was his paw licking.  He would be licking his paws for an hour if we let him.  Dog parents will notice intense licking and scratching that can lead to skin problems in the area.  Sometimes dogs can have tummy issues too.

We didn’t have him diagnosed.  Being a pet blogger, I started learning loads about dog health, including chicken allergies.  And by comparing notes, I decided to try changing Rodrigo’s food and the paw licking stopped.

Update: After switching our dogs to a raw diet, we realized that they don’t have a chicken allergy  (we thought Rodrigo and Blue were allergic).  It was something about the Life’s Abundance kibble.  This doesn’t mean that the food is bad, just that our dogs couldn’t eat it.  Just like people, dogs can develop allergies over time.  This isn’t reflective of a premium brand, it’s reflective of the dog’s system and how it processes the food.

Encouragement to Sell to Dog Breeders

When I signed up with Life’s Abundance, I was told that I could build my business how I saw fit and that was perfect, because I wasn’t sure where I was going with Keep the Tail Wagging, which was my priority.  When I started Keep the Tail Wagging, I wanted to promote dog rescue, but also educate people about how to find a reputable breeder.  I felt there was room for both choices.  As the months passed and I learned more about dog rescue, I started to question if I could support dog breeding.

At the same time I was grappling with this choice, I was being encouraged to build my “downline” – the people who sign up and sell under me – through dog breeders.  It wasn’t something I felt comfortable doing.  If I don’t support dog breeding, how can I sell them the business of Life’s Abundance?

Today, I support reputable dog breeders; dog lovers who love their breed and want to continue providing the world with healthy, wonderful dogs.  I also support responsible dog owners who think carefully before adopting a dog (or multiple dogs), spay and neuter their dogs, and train and socialize their dogs.

Mail Order Doesn’t Work for Our Family

Although Life’s Abundance allows customers to set up an auto-shipment to receive food on a regular basis, I could never get it right.  In fact, this is how we ended up trying Halo Spot’s Stew Natural Dry Dog Food.  We would run out of Life’s Abundance and I had heard so many great things about Halo Purely for Pets that I decided to give it a try.  The dogs loved Halo, they offer formulas other than chicken, and I could pick it up at the local pet store on the way home.

There are No Coupons for Life’s Abundance

If you feed your dog premium, holistic dog food, then you know that it’s not cheap.  Halo Pets offers coupons online and in stores and my Petco PetPals membership allows me to earn $5-$10 off our dogs’ food each month.  Saving money has been a great bonus now that we have three dogs.

I Suck at Direct Marketing

There are many direct marketing opportunities out there and it’s a great way for a blogger to make money if you’re good at sales.  What I learned in my short stint in direct marketing is that the money comes from building your downline, not in selling the product.  Get people to sign up and let them sell for you.  I just sucked at it.

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37 Comments

    • I am a Life’s Abundance independent rep. I do have a question for several of you. How many books, tapes seminars have you read, listened to or attended on sales techniques? Sales is a process. Jump a step in the process and you will not be successful. I have spent many years selling and teaching others to sell. If you would like to take another run at Life’s Abundance keep an eye out for The Holistic Chow Hound. I have been very successful selling product and I have only one rep I have signed up.

      Reply
    • I wish I could have done better, but I couldn’t bring myself to convince someone to try LA if they were already feeding their dog a good diet and there are so many. And with the introduction of the raw diet and cooking for your dog, I found myself being swayed by potential customers. Thanks for the great article about grains.
      Kimberly recently published..It’s a Boycott | A Dog Lover’s Response to Bridges Pets of Snohomish WAMy Profile
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  1. Please tell me more about LA. Did they recently change their formulation? All of a sudden my Springer will not eat it. She has been getting some strange skin lesions lately so I am worried. What are the symptoms of a chicken allergy? Could they have added something new?? Please need your help. Who is the manufacturer?

    Reply
    • Hi Susan – I’m so sorry to hear about your dog. That is so frustrating, because they can’t tell us what’s going on. I don’t know if Life’s Abundance changed their formula. I’ve been out of the loop with them since I stopped buying their food. I only buy their supplements.

      I updated the article with more information about chicken allergies. From what I understand, it involves intense licking. Rodrigo was licking his paws like crazy; they were super red and we were worried about infection. We changed his food on a hunch and the licking stopped. Skin lesions can result from the intense licking. I would suggest calling your vet to see what they have to say, because the lesions could lead to infection, which requires antibiotics.
      Kimberly recently published..Dawg Grog Beer for Dogs: Labor of Love or Completely Unnecessary? My Profile
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    • Susanne, we have a 9 month old puppy that was given LA since day one. Our first bag of LA was ok, his stools weren’t the greatest and he seemed lethargic at times. We got our second bag of LA in early December 2012 and it caused major diarrhea. Called LA about the problem and they didn’t really care about the issue. Rep. simply said, “Do you want us to cancel your account?” Sorry, but I can’t trust a company that doesn’t care about its customers. We’ve moved on since and our pup has more energy than he ever has. Everything has been great, including the coat getting shinier and having more volume.

      Reply
      • That is so sad. I can’t believe that they didn’t show more concern. That’s just bad customer service. I’m so sorry that you had that experience, but I appreciate you sharing your story. Hopefully an LA rep will read this and look into it.
        Kimberly recently published..Dawg Grog Beer for Dogs: Labor of Love or Completely Unnecessary? My Profile
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      • I concur about customer service policy. My cat got sick from the canned food and when I called to ask to return, I was told not only did I have to pay the $9 shipping but my own return shipping which would cost $16 now due to increase in all methods to ship. I called back and told them I did not see anywhere on their site about my paying to return but more bout their 100% satisfaction guarantee and safe purchase etc. I received a nice letter from Dr. Bicks informing us our cat is the ONLY cat EVER to get sick on this. But she was sorry. So bottom line, we are stuck with $33 to pay for food which sickened our cat. I have never run into this before anywhere else so to me this business is just that, a business. And one I cannot approve of. I hope one day they understand this is not standing behind their product.

        Reply
    • Dogs and cats may be allergic to processed (especially kibble of which all but two made in the US use “meal,” most are “rendered” and most are “extruded” not baked) chicken but not necessarily REAL chicken. I have a cat who got a granuloma response to kibble chicken but can eat it from cans or from my kitchen or raw/freeze-dried. No steroids; no antibiotics – poof gone.

      FYI – I own a small, holistic pet supply shop so I spend a lot of time researching and my cats, dog and bird try almost all my products first. That being said – my animals are primarily home cooked and no longer eat kibble.

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      • Once we switched to raw (and the occasional home cooked) we haven’t had any further experience with food allergies. What’s funny is that our dogs eat mostly chicken. They love it and they’re doing great on it.
        Kimberly recently published..#DogDecoding | Potty Training Littermate PuppiesMy Profile
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  2. This is great information when you read the ingredients on the bag it all sounds good. Something has to be wrong with their food if your dog refuses to eat it.
    Sue Huss recently published..To Neuter Or Not To NeuterMy Profile
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    • I think they are missing out on a target market by only carrying a chicken version of their kibble. 2 of our dogs are allergic to chicken; it just stopped making sense for me to buy it, plus I kept meeting other dog families who had dogs who were allergic too. I think it’s important for food companies to provide several protein option; because allergies can develop over time; not necessarily when they’re puppies.
      Kimberly recently published..Celebrating Dog Lovers | Enter to W*n the Touching Book Conversations with WooMy Profile
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  3. These five reasons are authentic. I had a dog which died on last year due to allergy problems. But I have introduced a new dog to my home and also keep away him from chicken and give him raw food for his full growth.
    dog food chicago il recently published..testMy Profile

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    • That’s pretty fantastic! We just recently started our dogs on a raw diet and I’m blown away by how well they’re doing!
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  4. Hello everyone,
    I recently came in contact with Kimberly and was sad to hear of her experience with Life’s Abundance. We are reps as well and feed our 7 precious pets their food and have had nothing but great things happen physically for them. As far as customer service goes, I am sorry to hear that people had a bad time with that as well. I am here to state on behalf of the reps I know that we are not all like that. What company can always predict how the people they hire will react? But the only way the company can fix the problem is to be told about it so I hope your complaints about the service reached who they needed to and the problem was handled. As a former HR person myself I can tell you I’ve hired people who came off great in an interview only to be the worst people for customer service and it was handled swiftly. But the only way I was able to handle that was if I was told.
    I hope, like anything, a few bad apples don’t spoil the bunch and just wanted to put my two cents in so you know that there are people out there like me who care about your pets safety and health and are here to help.
    As far as the allergies go, yes that does happen and it’s very sad. I have turned away a few customers who pets are allergic to chicken. Unfortunately just like humans, we never know what we are allergic to until we try it. I’m glad the allergies didn’t turn into something serious or life ending. My Aunt has three boston terriers who are allergic to wheat. I hope you know it’s not a reflection on the companies and they are not out to hurt your pets, it’s just no one can know what someone is allergic too. :-(
    I hope I was able to maybe put a better light on the company or at least on what I can provide for you as a rep and not all of us push for signing up reps. I have one under me and the rest are customers. I prefer to just be able to provide something alternative and healthier than store bought food. Being a graduate of Biology I have taken many courses in food microbiology and have been appalled with what is in pet food. That’s why I made the switch and I don’t push anyone to try it or sign up as a rep.
    Have a great day everyone and I hope you found this informative from another perspective. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Thank you for taking the time to leave this detailed comment, Kimberly. I was hesitant to post it, because I don’t feel comfortable marketing an MLM to my readers (therefore, I removed your URL), but I think it’s important to have a different Life’s Abundance experienced shared for people who may be researching working with the company.

      I’m glad that you offer a no pressure environment. That wasn’t my experience. I didn’t feel bullied, but I did feel pressured to build my downline and I was witnessed to a very uncomfortable interaction on one of the training calls that made me realize that I simply couldn’t be part of this company any longer. As I stated in the article, I’m just not made for sales and MLM.

      That being said, although our dogs couldn’t eat their food, I won’t say that their food is bad. I’ve been researching and writing about nutrition for over a year now and I’ve come to the conclusion that the best diet is the raw diet, but for people who can’t swing this change, a premium kibble is the best option. Because Life’s Abundance only offers a chicken recipe (and many families are experiencing chicken allergies with their dogs), the controversy about the beet pulp (no one can seem to agree on if this is good or bad for our dogs), and the email from a Life’s Abundance rep – I think it’s best that I only promote foods that we actually use currently.

      I do appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment here and to connect with me on LinkedIn. Although I’m used to people immediately promoting products to me (I am a blogger), I’m uncomfortable with Life’s Abundance and MLM in general, because of my own experience.

      Side Note: Should anyone be interested in the details of my experience with Life’s Abundance, I will be happy to share them with you in private. It’s not something I care to discuss on my blog or social media sites, because I think my experience was isolated and involved an interaction with one rep and I’d like to believe that this wasn’t reflective of the company as a whole, therefore, I don’t want to “bash” the company by sharing my experience online.
      Kimberly recently published..Raw Food Diet for Dogs | Our Thoughts After a Week of Feeding RawMy Profile
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      • I appreciate you approving my comment and sharing another side. I just felt it would be fair to share another side. I’ve had bad experiences with MCDonalds but still go back. ;) Some people are just not very good at promoting a company in a bright light and I am sorry that was the experience for you. I just don’t want any one to suffer for a bad experience. I wish you the best and hope that people will take into consideration we are dealing with people and that’s not always a positive experience but shouldn’t reflect everyone involved. Thank you again for posting my replies. Again I’m sorry for your experience.

        Reply
  5. Hi Kimberly!
    I don’t normally post on blogs, but had to say my 16 month old Samoyed is going through the same thing! Ever since we switched to LA about 7-8 months ago as our breeder recommended, I’ve noticed a host of problems. He did ok for the first few months, although I noticed that he didn’t like the taste as much as his previous food. He started having bouts of diarrhea, but I attributed it to normal dog stuff since it wasn’t lasting more than 3 days. About 3 months ago he started with the obsessive front leg/paw licking and chewing his left front leg. The chewing has recently gotten much worse and hes almost broke the skin, and I just stumbled on your blog while doing research to see what could be causing this. I’ve wondered if he has been reacting to the food, although we haven’t switched yet. He won’t even eat his food anymore unless we mix something else in.

    I know a lot of people who love LA, and I too don’t think they’re a bad company or that their food is of poor quality. All dogs are different! I’m wondering if its the chicken that’s causing the issues, and I like the point you made about how allergies can start at any age. I’m planning on switching to raw food and cutting the chicken out and see what happens. I’m definitely disappointed too that they don’t offer other versions that are more allergen friendly.

    Obviously I can’t be 100% sure it’s the LA that’s the problem since we haven’t switched yet, but I have a feeling it’s the problem. We haven’t made any other changes since! I’m planning on switching him TODAY and will definitely give you an update!

    Thanks for sharing your honest experience with LA! Hoping these issues will be resolved once we switch!

    -Angela

    Reply
    • Hi Angela

      I’m really glad that you posted on this blog. Thank you! Our dogs have a similar interaction when it comes to liking it at first, but then not so much a few months later – they’ve been this way on every kibble we’ve tried with them. I’ve always had to dress it up for them, which sucks.

      I did the same thing; it was a process of elimination. What’s changed? When we took Rodrigo off LA, the licking stopped. He eats chicken today with no trouble so I think it’s just the processing that happens to chicken OR it’s just chicken kibble. He didn’t have any trouble on salmon kibble when we switched to Halo Pets.

      I love what you had to share, because you’re right, just like humans, all dogs are different and I’m glad that Rodrigo’s experience is going to help you with your dog. Best of luck with the raw diet and check out my blog Raw Dog Food Reviews where I chat about raw – http://www.rawdogfoodreviews.com
      Kimberly recently published..No Pet Store Puppies Day | 9 Things I’ve Learned About Puppy Mills #ASPCAMy Profile
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  6. Hi, Kimberly!

    I’m really glad I ran across this post! A LA rep has been persistent with me for about a year, now, and since her Web site has SO much information, and I have SO little time, I haven’t given the research the attention it deserves. I have so many thoughts about this swimming around in my head, and it is great to read your opinion on this.

    I agree that every dog is different, as is every sales rep and every customer service rep. It’s not a one-size-fits-all formula.

    Before reading this post and the comments, my opinion was that the ingredients looked good, and I liked the fact that everything is made in the U.S. and that they have not had a recall. I want to do more research on each of the ingredients and the process by which the food is made. I was hesitant about the fact that there is only a chicken variety. I’m also hesitant about the business aspect. I figured if it was a food I would feed my dog and could easily recommend to others, great, especially since people ask me for dog food recommendations all the time.

    Like you, I, too, would be uncomfortable about working with breeders.

    So while I’m doing my research there, I’ve asked the rep to tell me more about what is required insofar as the opportunity.

    I’m thinking this probably isn’t for me, but I’m giving it a chance.

    Thanks for this perspective.
    Kristen recently published..National Geographic Kids goes totally techyMy Profile
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    • I’m glad that I could help, Kristen! It’s always great to have an open mind, because what works for one person may not work for another. My personal experience with Life’s Abundance isn’t something that I expect everyone to experience and I’m thankful that I at least gave it a try, because I know now what works for me and what doesn’t.

      Best of luck!!!
      Kimberly recently published..Do Something | Young People Get Involved in Animal RescueMy Profile
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      • I have been feeding my dog’s Life Abundance and about 4 months ago one of my dogs started licking her paw until it formed what was diagnosed “lick granuloma”. Now I have a 2nd Mini Aussie that is doing the same thing. Thank goodness I had started to question L.A. dog food and had already started researching what should be in our dog’s food per government standard’s and what canine nutrition scientist are saying. I also unfortunately signed up for their rep program which was a mistake. My extensive review of this dog food and others on the market find L.A. dog food only adequate. I was surprised how many other dog foods on the market were superior to L.A. at the same price. L.A. is NOT cheap. I am so glad I did not encourage a lot of people to use this food. Getting paid to promote a dog food is not a good reason to promote it. it has to be on it merit of quality and L.A. fails there in my opinion. As recommended by the National Academies of Science and even Cesar Millan I now use a rotational diet system with my dogs including a raw diet. I rotate two superior organic dog foods ( one with and one without grain) and one raw dog food. Plus supplementing with Omega N-3 and N-6. Once off the L.A. the obsessive licking stopped. Here is an excellent link to NRA “Science Based Guide to nutritional needs for dogs; summary.
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        • Hi Angie – thanks so much for stopping by; it’s nice to hear from someone who had the same experience. At the time when I researched it, I couldn’t find any information tying Rodrigo’s itchy paws to the food and Sydney wasn’t licking her paws like crazy so I didn’t know what was happening.

          The biggest lesson I learned from being a Life’s Abundance rep was to do my homework before signing up. When it was all done, I was out nearly $1000 and had 1 steady customer. I had no idea what I was doing and I had to get out and start educating myself about dog nutrition.

          Thanks for the link; I’ll check it out.
          Kimberly recently published..Set Your DVR! Don’t Miss Kickass K9 on TLC’s Boston Underdogs, Aug 12My Profile
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  7. I’m so sorry, Jackie – that sounds very frustrating.

    We feed our cats Nutro Natural Choice (http://tinyurl.com/kurssvx) – they love it and it’s been a great food for them. I’m sure others may disagree, but I won’t be changing it. We feed them soft food by Nutro Max Cat, because the Natural Choice canned food is too rich for them (http://tinyurl.com/os3exla).
    Kimberly recently published..Fur Mom Confessions | Home Alone at Night with Our DogsMy Profile
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  8. Hi, I have been feeding my dogs Life’s Abundance for the past six years and have never had an issue with it. As a matter of fact my dog’s skin and coats improved after only a few weeks and their constant diarrhea issues from their previous store brand dog food was completely eliminated. I love the auto- ship option and I have never run out of LA in the entire six years that they have been on it. UPS delivers right to my front door, how easy is that? No more having to lug a 40 lb bag of dog food from the store to the car, then the car to the house! My dogs get excited when the box arrives and can’t wait for me to open it.
    Also, my cat was having severe allergy issues to the point that she had open sores and scabs all over her body. I switched her to LA dry cat food and not only did she love the food, but all of her sores cleared up by my feeding her solely LA.
    I’m a rep with no Downline, my choice. I don’t force LA on anyone and I don’t go out actively seeking clients. I have never been pushed by the company to do more!
    I’m sorry your dog is allergic to chicken or was or for whatever reason couldn’t eat LA, I never tell anyone that it’s right for every dog or cat. I just tell them my experience with it. But, for you to bash LA in your blog isn’t right just because it wasn’t right for you. Life’s Abundance is a reputable company with an A+ rating with the BBB and none of its’ food have ever been recalled. I will be surprised if you post this, but if you truly aren’t biased you will.
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Good evening, Karen

      Please return to my blog and read the post again. I didn’t bash the company in any way. I get emails monthly from people who want to understand why I stopped being a rep so I wrote up this post. I’m connected with two reps on Facebook and when people want to connect with a rep, I send them their way, helping them build their down line.

      Although I don’t rep for Life’s Abundance, when my readers ask me about quality kibble, LA has always been on the top of my list and I direct them to one of my friends who reps for the product. I’ve even since communicated with Dr. Jane to direct questions that have come to me about the food just to make sure I don’t misrepresent the company; she’s been generous with her time.

      I’ve never said that they created a bad food, I’ve never said that it’s a bad company. What I said was simply that our dog couldn’t eat the food and I didn’t feel right about promoting it when I wasn’t feeding it. I was encouraged by more experienced reps to build my downline through breeders, but at the time, I was still struggling with the breeder v rescue saga, and that I suck as a sales person. I truly sucked.

      If you would like to comment on my blog, I ask that you do so with kindness. You have a right to your opinions, but I ask that you ask me about my experience instead of attacking my character. I have no issue with Life’s Abundance and can direct you to two reps whom I’m helping build their downline with referrals and their FB presence, because I believe in seeing pet businesses who create quality products succeeds.

      Just because the food and business didn’t work for me doesn’t mean it won’t work for others.

      And, FYI, I’m also a customer of Life’s Abundance. I have an auto ship of the Bath Fresh Mist.
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  9. Hi this is Susanne who posted last year. Well now my dog is having liver problems and all she has been on has been LA. I even ordered wet cans I have not opened. I am not saying for sure that it is the food but I would like to know if the formula has changed or even worse the supplier. Please LA tell me if anything had changed. I am trying to figure out how this happened. I am so careful what I give her. Also we may need info on how I can return these cans, because I am not sure I want to feed her LA anymore

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  10. I post only to try to let LA know that there could be a problem with their supplier. I actually had positive experiences dealing with their customer service and have even talked with the Doctor. Sadly is not always easy to control suppliers.So I am alerting you to this, in case their is a problem with the formula before there is a serious problem. Could you guys check into this?

    Reply
    • Susanne – I’m no longer a rep for LA and I don’t know if anyone from that company reads my blog. Your best bet is to speak with them (as you did) and if you feel that the food is the cause, I’d suggest talk to your vet about the best alternative. Your dog might need to be on someone prescribed while he recovers. Best of luck and hugs to your dog.
      Kimberly recently published..Why Flea Prevention is Necessary for Our DogsMy Profile
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  11. It does appear LA is a reputable pet food. I choose not to feed it because the rep in my area represents himself dishonestly. He claims to be an animal and human clinical nutritionist for over 40 years. He also claims a PHD. I know that these claims are definitely false. Knowing this about the rep causes me to doubt the entire company. They should “vet” their reps. and what their reps are claiming since the reps are “representing” them.

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