The Search for the Perfect Kibble
[UPDATE 5/3/17] We’ve since started feeding Luna Nutrience as well and we have to say that her fur and skin is looking much better than before!! We couldn’t be more pleased!
Proper nutrition is the key to a healthy dog. For Polar, we made the decision early on to feed him kibbles rather than raw because of our lifestyle as 2 full-time working professionals. We needed something convenient and easy to store in our cosy apartment. We were also told that feeding them kibbles would make it easier to identify any allergies to food they might develop in the future. Still, we are very particular about the brand of kibbles, as we believe in giving Polar the best food that we can comfortably afford.
Initially, we had to try a couple of different brands of kibbles as Polar sometimes appeared to be totally disinterested in his food; he would nudge at the bowl, sometimes refusing to eat it entirely, or he would eat and get diarrhea. Our Holy Grail was to find a brand that Polar liked, and then to stick to it for the foreseeable future.
We saw some advertising featuring Nutrience understanding that it is touted as a new grain free premium pet food which would have benefits for a dog’s health, skin and coat – which piqued our interest. We were a little skeptical at first, as we’d not switched Polar’s food since he turned 1, and were worried that the switch might mess up his diet. However, we did want to try something different with Polar’s diet, as his coat has recently been feeling rougher. We attribute this to the fact that he sometimes eats his own poop when we are at work; of course there is also the possibility that he isn’t getting the right nutrients (hence the poop eating), which made us re-think his diet. Nutrience sounded interesting so we decided to give it a try and do a comparison with what we were feeding Polar.
Bear with us now, this is going to be a slightly longer post!
Who is Nutrience?
According to their website, Nutrience was created in 1955, and is a Canadian brand who believes in providing the best ingredients for the pet food that can keep pets at their healthiest. It’s a family owned brand and their products are produced at a Safe Food Quality Program level-3 facility which ensures that they follow the highest possible standards.
Nutrience launched in Singapore late last year with 3 ranges for both dogs and cats – Nutrience Original, Nutrience Grain Free and Nutrience Subzero. In Canada, there are additional 2 ranges – Natural and Infusion. Why are there so many different lines? They are formulated to suit pets of different needs, dietary habits, lifestyles, etc – which is good because one size fits all is a lie (thinks back on the last dress April bought).
Nutrience Subzero – What is it?
After reading a lot of literature about it, to cut long story short, it’s a one stop solution for busy individuals like you and me that combines the convenience of kibbles (100% grain free) with nutritional benefits of raw (freeze dried raw meat and vegetables at subzero temperatures), thus giving your dog the best of both worlds.
For more information about it, you can watch the video that explains each of the flavours as well.
How does it compare with other brands?
During my research, I found that Nutrience was very confident of their product, and they created a chart detailing its formula and how other competitor brands fared against it. I won’t say which brand of kibble we were feeding Polar previously, but we always had to add other supplements like Coconut Oil and freeze dried raw to make his meal more nutritional and palatable.
However, with Nutrience Subzero, we no longer need to as the formula itself already has these additional supplements within, and is also higher in meat protein than what we previously fed Polar. Meat protein is important for dogs because it is a closer approximation to what they used to eat before they became domesticated.
Another thing I noticed was when I packed the kibbles from the two brands into ziplock bags (did it when I sent the dogs for boarding), I noticed the paper in the packaging started to blot oil. You can see from the pictures below – Luna’s food is the old brand while Polar’s food is Nutrience Subzero Canadian Pacific. To me, this means that the kibbles are rich in oils, a point which I will touch on next.
Nutrience Subzero Canadian Pacific is made with wild-caught fish and real freeze dried fish which is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids that help with skin and make coats soft and shiny. The kibbles are infused with a special blend of botanical and Coconut oil, which helps boost multiple health benefits while aiding with the skin and coat too. It also has wholesome fruits and vegetables which contain rich antioxidant and phytonutrient properties.
Lastly, those NUTRIBOOST nuggets (the yellow bits you see in the midst of the kibbles) are freeze dried fresh salmon, herring, green mussels, pacific cod liver, pumpkin and Acadian kelp. Freeze drying at subzero temperatures helps to lock and retain the natural goodness which provides great flavour (from Polar’s salivating moments I can tell) and helps to promote our pet’s health. Long live Polar! We don’t even eat such good food ourselves.
Our previous kibble is protein rich with duck, wild boar and rabbit but it doesn’t sound half as enticing as what Nutrience provides. They also had vegetables included within like all premium kibbles to provide the best nutrition but it didn’t have anything like the NUTRIBOOST nuggets. I top up Polar’s old kibbles with freeze dried raw from Stella & Chewy’s to give him that added nutrition and also to make him stop nudging his food. We also include Coconut oil in his diet to help with his coat.
What about cost?
I did a quick break down of Polar’s previous meal and another competitor brand versus the two Nutrience Subzero and it can be seen from the graph below.
The cost difference between our old feeding combination and Nutrience Subzero Canadian Pacific isn’t significant; however, I save on time. I no longer have to spend evenings breaking apart the dinner patties to put it in a separate container, and believe me, it makes a big difference. I don’t mind putting his meal together like a cocktail but the breaking of dinner patties was time consuming. I could have gotten Stella and Chewy’s meal mixers which come in small pieces for the convenience but it didn’t make economic sense as it adds up to be even more expensive (to us).
There were several factors that convinced us to switch, but the two biggest factors that will make us continue with Nutrience is that firstly, it is a one-stop solution for a high nutrition meal for Polar and secondly, it gives us more time to spend with the doggies. Polar’s coat has since improved and is feeling softer which makes him irresistibly hug-worthy. We are enjoying the hugs and snuggles very much, but not so sure if he is. Fortunately for us, Luna eats everything and our current brand seems to work for her as she’s growing well and her fur is soft. Seeing the benefits from Nutrience, once we finish the old brand of food, we will also switch her over. We are curious to see what kind of results will show on her black coat.
If you’re interested in getting Nutrience, you can get it from Nekojam.
Quote ‘POLARNUTRIENCE‘ to get a $5 discount off all Nutrience grain free and Sub-zero ranges today (min. order of $59 which isn’t hard to hit)!
Thanks for bearing with our long post and we hope that this has been insightful for you.
Until next time, stay curious!
*Note: Our first bag of Nutrience Grain Free Canadian Pacific was sponsored by Nekojam.