Finding a safe and healthy gluten-free dog food for Waylon has made all the difference in his life. His weight is healthy, his coat is thick, and his arthritis has not reared its ugly head since we took him off of the awful Science Diet z/d and put him back on SOJOS Complete (the blue bag).
Of course, people sometimes think we’re crazy for spending around $30 a week for his food, but after watching him pull out literally half of the hair on his body, because he itched so badly, and limp around in pain, because his arthritis was so inflamed, it seems like small investment to us. Sure we visit the grocery each week with budgets in mind for our own (human) gluten-free foods, but for our big dog, who the shelter thought nobody would even adopt, we’ll pay what we need to pay in order to keep him healthy. And besides, with Way at optimal health, we save a lot more money by buying good food for him than we’d otherwise have to spend at the vet!
But what still puzzles me is that if you read the labels of other SOJOS dog foods, some do contain oats and rye. So how is it that both their Grain Free and Complete varieties remain gluten-free–something I can attest to, as I’ve tested both with ELISA Tek’s EZ Gluten Test Kit, and Waylon continues to be healthy on these foods. Especially when nearly every “natural” and “grain free” dog food on the market is actually contaminated with gluten? Well, today I called the company to ask this very question.
I spoke with Kate, who was very kind and offered to do some investigating into my question of how they manage to keep their “gluten-free” dog foods, gluten-free? Kate later called back having spoken with one of the owners, with some great news! First of all, I was thrilled to hear that SOJOS is a family-owned company, unlike other dog food brands that act like they are independent, but are owned by big box dog food companies. And SOJOS, which was founded in 1985, has never had a single recall; something that in the dog food world is incredibly impressive!
But how do they keep the gluten out of their “gluten-free” dog and cat food products? According to SOJOS they have very strict quality control measures and an incredibly well-lit and well-maintained facility. Which is especially nice to hear after Taste of the Wild’s parent company Diamond Pet Foods tried to excuse the gluten in their “grain free” dog foods, blaming it on ingredient containers and transporters which in their case are often used for wheat one week and corn or other ingredients the next.
So yes, we do spend a lot of money feeding $22 bags of SOJOS Complete to Waylon, though lately we’re also rotating in $17 bags of the Grain-Free (to which we add lamb or chicken) since dogs can develop allergies to a single protein after consuming it for too many years. And because Way is 55 lbs. we tend to give him rice or gluten-free oats mid-day to help keep his weight at a good level. But we’ve saved a heck of a lot on vet bills when he’s been on SOJOS. And I still absolutely recommend it!
Waylon’s healthy on his gluten-free dog food, but so too am I! For years I never understood why any time a dog licked me I’d break out in a rash, but as covered in the latest issue of Living Without Magazine, this can be caused by an allergy to one of the ingredients in a dog’s food. Fortunately with Waylon on a SOJOS diet, if he decides to wake me up with kisses, I don’t have to start my day with a rash!