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Guidance for the Buyout of Champion Petfoods (Acana & Orijen Brands)

Last Updated: November 15th, 2022

Announced on November 1, 2022 - was the purchase of Champion Petfoods originating and operating out of Edmonton, AB by Mars Petcare (Part of Mars Inc.).

Read the release here: https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/mars-petcare-to-acquire-champion-petfoods-maker-of-orijen-and-acana-860531597.html

Doodle Dogs' Statement.

Our FAQ section has always addressed our thoughts on Mars, Nestlé and Colgate-Palmolive - and their ownership of brands in the pet industry. Historically, when these companies purchase existing pet specialty brands - many things start to change. Corners get cut on quality, ingredients are down graded and they begin getting sold in mass market places where higher quality brands do not sell (ie: Grocery, Petsmart, Walmart, etc).  Transparency and sourcing for these companies has never been something available to their consumers.  As a result of this history, Doodle Dogs has always taken the stance to never carry any product lines under these company umbrellas, and will support pet specialty manufacturers who exist to make pet foods for pet owners their way, and under high quality standards and missions.

As of now.

The full acquisition has not taken place and is expected to take place in early 2023. We will NOT be discontinuing the dry food lines asap, and we will be watching to see how the evolution of the purchase plays out. So, if you are looking to switch you still have time for frequent buyer cards, to find a new brand, etc (See Below). That said, we will no longer be suggesting or supporting these brands as supporting Mars is not a part of OUR mission or values. Their monopoly of the pet industry from food to vet clinics is alarming to us as fellow pet parents.

Certain smaller items have been discontinued at our store already. Orijen treats, Acana treats, wet foods and freeze-dried options.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause but we assure you we have comparable products available for sale.

So what do we suggest.

If you also wish to not support Mars or worry that your food could slowly change to a lesser version of what it was, we are here to help. We continue to support high quality and transparent companies in the industry who are here to make QUALITY PET FOOD.

OPEN FARM: 

https://openfarmpet.com/en-ca/

We are a certified "Obsessed Retailer" of this brand as we carry 90% of the line or more. The dry food comes in a large variety of single protein options and have both grain-free and grain-inclusive options. The venison is a great hypo-allergenic option. Known for sustainability and ethical treatment certifications, this is an earth friendly and pet friendly brand.

NATURE'S LOGIC: 

https://natureslogic.com/#all-natural

Founded in 2006, Nature’s Logic® is a line of premium quality pet food and treats focusing on the benefits of natural whole food nutrition. Nature’s Logic uses only 100% natural ingredients, and NO synthetic vitamins and minerals – The Way Pet Food Should Be®. The ultimate goal of Nature’s Logic is to provide the safest and most nutritious 100% all-natural products that people can be confident about feeding their companion animals, and to be a voice for sustainability. 

FARMINA:

https://www.farmina.com/us

This dry food has a unique production process of only cooking the first 3 ingredients, and the rest are cold processed and not high heat cooked to destroy the natural nutrition. Made in Italy to EU standards (worlds highest), top tier ingredients and veterinary research with the University of Naples are some key highlights.

THE HONEST KITCHEN:

https://www.thehonestkitchen.com/

One of the very, very few companies who are actually certified Human Grade and mean it. With a focus on exceptionally high quality whole food ingredients, minimally processed products and making products pets will love. Famous for their dehydrated raw line that raw feeders love in a pinch and their "kibble" (non-kibble tho) clusters product.

CARNA4:

https://carna4.com/

A great Canadian brand that focuses on synthetic-free ingredients, organic whole food ingredients, the inclusion of their popular sprouted seed probiotics and minimal heat processing (just 4 minutes in an oven bake). These easy to chew and feed small pellets smell good, are great for all sizes and breeds, come in exotics like goat and venison, and contain some of the best ingredients in pet food today.

GO!:

https://go-solutions.com/en-ca

Go! has three lines including a grain-free, grain inclusive and a meat dense carnivore line. A family owned Canadian company that has been around for quite a while and puts emphasis on functional foods with some exotic options. Our fav is the Carnivore line that has up to 87% of protein from meat sources.

SMACK:

https://ca.smackpetfood.com/

Smack's Raw Dehydrated Crunchy Style superfoods are dehydrated using gentle, low-temperature air drying methods which retain more nutrients compared to freezing. All Smack five-star rated raw dehydrated foods feature a short list of the world's best organic and conventional whole superfood ingredients that are proven highly beneficial for health and are also lip-smacking good, without any fillers, gluten, or grain.

 

Which one is right for me:

Don't be overwhelmed, and there is no rush. We are here to help, so please reach out any time for suggestion if you are a client of Doodle Dogs. Here are some of the easy win suggestions:

 Orijen - As this is founded on high meat and raw ingredients consider a raw or fresh food alternative. Next up would be Nature's Logic - Distinction, GO! Carnivore line, Carna4, Farmina Pumpkin line, Smack or THK dehydrated raw. Any of these can be boosted with SOME fresh/raw food toppers to get the meat percentage high like we like it.

ACANA Classics/Healthy Grains - Consider Open Farm Ancestral Grains or Farmina Ancestral Grains. This is an easy and close overlap. Nature's Logic Original with grain, Go! Skin and Coat also lines up well.

ACANA Heritage line - Consider Open Farm Grain-Free or Farmina Grain-Free. This is the closest overlap here. Nature's Logic Original is close. Go! LID is also a great option.

ACANA Singles - Open Farm Grain-Free has matching proteins for an easy swap with Lamb and Pork. Go LID has a Duck singles that matches for the Duck option. Farmina also has similar proteins with Lamb/Boar as a swap. Carna4 is a great option here but does contain eggs in all. Many people have switched and not seen allergy concerns with the egg in these.

ACANA Highest Protein/ Regionals - This is the top tier Acana line, so again, were looking at high meat and high protein. Consider adding fresh meat to the grain-free Nature's Logic - Distinction, Open Farm, Pumpkin line of Farmina, Carna4, Smack or Go! Carnivore line. These are the closest matching options to this lineup.

How are these brands supporting.

All of these brands are offering a guarantee return on their foods if they do not work out for your pup. This allows us all to work on options to get the right fit. For current Frequent Buyer Cards (we can send you a link to check your cards - ask us) - ALL of these companies are offering versions of moving the punches/stamps/bags to the new cards as follows:

Will move UP TO SIX (6) stamps - Open Farm, Carna4

Will move ALL APPLICABLE stamps to the new brand - Farmina, Nature's Logic, GO!, Now Fresh

Will move UP TO FIVE (5) stamps - Honest Kitchen (NOTE: this brand is buy 7 get 1 free)

Will move UP TO SIX (6) stamps - Big Country Raw for Orijen feeders.

Please chat with us about making these moves (both in store or online apply - just send an email to move them).

From us.

We know this is a confusing time, and if you're like us, it is concerning and upsetting that the industry we all love is being bought up and changed by companies that are not specialists in making pet food. We will remain tight to our mission statement and will be fully transparent to our clients and pet lovers. We will update this page as time evolves and help each and every client with their personal choices when asked. While the dry food world continues to be confusing and a target for these buyouts, we still truly believe that a fresh, unprocessed and balanced fresh meal is the most optimal for dogs and cats.  Maybe this is the time to put shelf-stable pet food back on the shelf where it belongs and clear out some fridge and freezer space.  Champion Petfoods was the first call we made before we even had a store front, and we are just as sad as you are.  The decision for us wasn't an easy one, but when we evaluated why we got into this business, it became very clear what we had to do.

Corey and Meghan.

 

 

FOOD TRANSITION TIPS:

Dry Food to Dry Food:

Switching your dog's food abruptly can cause gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting, diarrhea, and a decreased appetite. Any time you decide to change your dog’s food, you should transition to the new diet gradually in order to give your dog’s system time to adjust to the change. Ideally, these transitions should happen over 5-7 days. During this transition, you will gradually incorporate more and more of the new food by mixing it with your dog’s current diet. For most dogs, a good diet transition will look like this:

  • Day 1: 25% new diet and 75% old diet.
  • Day 3: 50% new diet and 50% old diet.
  • Day 5: 75% new diet and 25% old diet.
  • Day 7: 100% new diet.

Some dogs with sensitive stomachs, food allergies, or other gastrointestinal diseases may need an even longer transition period. The key to a good diet transition is monitoring your dog’s individual response. If, at any point during the diet transition, your dog displays concerning signs such as changes in appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea, you should proceed more slowly. And if you have transitioned gradually and your dog is still experiencing stomach upset, it is best to consult with your veterinarian. 

Dry Food to Fresh/Raw Food:

We love Big Country Raw, and their website has an amazing breakdown - visit here for info:

https://bigcountryraw.ca/getting-started/tips-for-transition/

Feeding Dry Food and Fresh/Raw Food Together:

From Big Country Raw:

Yes, you can feed both kibble and raw.  We know that this is a controversial topic for many people, as generally speaking kibble and raw digest differently. For this reason, many people suggest avoiding feeding both at the same time, and would suggest separating the meals.

We have studied the various research and also conducted our own customer polling and trials to determine that every dog is unique and individual needs vary. What may work well for one, may not be the best choice for your dog or cat. In the end, we have decided that it would be better that dogs and cats have even some fresh raw food in their diet than none at all.

If you choose to feed both dry and raw together may we make the following suggestions:

  1. Choose the best high quality dry dog food you can find.
  2. Do a trial of feeding exclusively 100% raw food first. This will help strengthen the digestive system and make it more capable of deriving the full nutrients out of a raw food diet.
  3. The true benefits of feeding raw are not as noticeable when feeding raw less than 20% of the entire diet. If you want better results, such as smaller stools, less shedding, fresher breath and no odours, it may be necessary to switch to 100% raw.
  4. If your dog or cat starts to experience digestive upset including vomiting or diarrhea, we would suggest feeding the meals alternatively e.g. morning raw and evening dry food.  You can also alternate days, 1 day dry and 1 day raw.