As a big fanatic of dog products research, and especially dog food brands research for the better health of my canines, I decided to do a Dog Food Advisor review. Yes, the DFA site itself!
Before I begin my Dog Food Advisor review, let me throw a quick disclaimer in here: I have used DFA's website occasionally in the past. I am not, in any way, affiliated with the DFA website or its founders and writers. The below article is simply one person's opinion and is by no means the quintessential assessment of whether you should trust or not the DFA website and all the dog food reviews you find there.
For those who don't know, Dog Food Advisor is a review site of all kinds of dog food brands. Pet owners who are seeking reliable advice on dog foods and nutrition can meet Dr. Mike Sagman, who is the founder, chief editor and reviewer on Dog Food Advisor site. The man is a retired dentist who lives in Williamsburg, as per his bio page. He mostly reviews dog foods and treats, publishes various product recalls, and explains to dog owners all about the world of dog food labels and how to ensure healthy diet for pets. Dr. Sagman claims that all site's reviews and opinions are 100% unbiased because he accepts no money and no samples from pet companies.
According to the about us page, the website of Dog Food Advisor was launched as a passion project sometime in 2007, when Mike Sagman lost his dog to commercial dog food (or that's the story):
“After that, I made it my personal goal to never again let anything like that happen to a dog in my care. And I I’d like to help you make sure what happened to Penny could never happen to your dog, either.”
Before we go any further with researching the healthiest dog food brands with the help of Mr Sagman and his Dog Food Adviser site, always remember that you can make your own natural, healthy dog food at home, as well as many other things for your pooch, such as homemade dog flea shampoo, etc. You don't necessarily have to buy commercial stuff, even though it's good to mix and match. Now let's dive into the Dog Food Advisor review and see what this site is all about.
Dog Food Advisor Review – Is It Reliable?
How reliable is Dog Food Advisor?
The Dog Food Advisor and the team behind it are evaluating all kinds of dog food brands and base their opinion and conclusions upon 1 significant principle, which is that there is no type of food brand for dogs that can ever be any better than all those ingredients used to manufacture it, which is very reasonable and rational, I have to admit. Authors of the site stress how important it is for dog owners to know what goes into their pet's meals, and provide reviews so people can assess and make a decision before purchasing anything. The very first thing Dog Food Advisor does to achieve this is investigate the label.
All the information, statistics and data on dog foods and their potency, claims, side effects and other stuff that is mention in hundreds of articles and reports on Dog Food Advisor comes from the site's team's efforts to aggregate from already accessible sources online, such as scientific journals, best dog books, essays, published research and other – supposedly reliable – materials and sources, such as PubMed libraries. Obviously, if there's one way to go at first when researching – that's science, and Dog Food Advisor does it right. The rest of the info they gather based on labels and from dog food manufacturers', retailers' sites.
The website Dog Food Advisor is owned by the person I mentioned above – Dr Mike Sagman, and he claims that he never accepts samples or gets paid for reviewing dog food. Ultimately, I'd have to say that sounds like a good setup for unbiased reviews, and for the most part, I tend to agree with him. There's a large amount of dog food rankings and analysis lists made by the team behind Dog Food Advisor, and they also recommend a variety of diets for a variety of health problems in canines: sensitive stomach dog foods, how to avoid grains or comparing wet vs dry dog foods. The site is full of good data.
Reliability of Dog Food Advisor: 4.5/5
What people think about Dog Food Advisor?
My Dog Food Advisor review is taking me farther than I thought – finding what other people on the Internet think of this website as a resource on dog food brands. Here are some of the things that I have found to be important to note:
Yahoo Answers: “I've used that site a lot over the past few weeks because I am getting a new puppy soon. I assume everything I read online is fake, then I research it verify it. There are other ‘dog food analysis' sites that I have used in conjunction with the dog food advisor. I'm guessing his credentials are not ideal but if one takes the time to research some of the different ingredients found in dog food and their affect on dogs then you can be your own dog nutritionist.”
Forums: “I like using the site as a quick place to find a whole list of foods and their ingredients for comparison but I wouldn't take everything they say as gospel – look at their contributors – only one is a vet, the other two are a radio host and a dentist, a human dentist! So how do you know who is writing each review...”
Ripoff Report: “The editor of this page dogfoodadvisor.com and NONE of his co-workers have ANY training in dog nutrition yet they make outrages claims that has been making dogs sick! A lot of dogs get diarrhea from their high protein diets yet Shawna keeps claiming it is a detox process. As a vet tech and a nurse this is about the stupiest things I have ever heard. When we proved her wrong all of our posts have disappeared, and we were blocked!”
TrustPilot: “When you look though the posts it is striking with what arrogance and rigidness they bully ‘outsiders' and mistreat others but brown nose Mike. In the end he deletes unwanted posts and leaves those that suit him and makes outrages accusations, threatening people with legal action for speaking the truth, but the legal action or accusation are not based in fact and/or law. They will twist and turn facts as they please and talk and bully as they please, kind of mean kids in high school at times.”
SiteJabber: “It becomes noticeable that there is a war going on between the ‘regulars' and most other men and women; people they disagree with them. It also becomes noticeable that the ‘regulars' are allowed to violate the web site's rules and act racist while other people get banned permanently without any good reasons.”
Forums: “I only used it when I didn't know what a certain food or ingredient was, but that was like 2-3 years ago. I don't use it as much anymore though since I've read about almost every brand that is on the market from my own research and from people who have tried basically every brand at least once before of their dog's issues with food. I like the Dog Food Forum a lot better since it is easy to ask for any help you may need related to dog food.”
So as you can see, the opinions about Dog Food Advisor review site are mixed out there, there are pros and cons. Mostly, people seem to be unhappy with the fact that they are not allowed to express their opinion and often get banned from the site. This is of course a two-edged sword: some might have been banned for no reason, while others Mike (or his team) have banned because they spread misinformation or false claims about dog foods. It's difficult to say at this point, but definitely something you should be wary of.
People's opinion of Dog Food Advisor: 3/5
How popular is Dog Food Advisor?
At the time of this writing, Dog Food Advisor ranks at a solid position of #9,976 in the United States, and #39,736 globally. For the uninitiated, this means the website is getting a huge amount of traffic, most of which comes for searches based in keywords related to “dog foods”. This tells me that Dog Food Advisor has a pretty strong following and influence on the opinion of dog owners and what type of food brands for their canines they are likely to buy. It's definitely the most popular site about dog foods.
Popularity of Dog Food Advisor: 5/5
What other websites write about Dog Food Advisor?
Because of Dog Food Advisor's popularity and strong influence, other site owners that write on the topics related to “dogs” have taken it upon themselves to review Dog Food Advisor (just as I'm doing right now) and express their opinion of materials published there, whether positive or negative. Here are some of the things I've run into about Dog Food Advisor's reviews, dentist Mike Sagman and the website in general.
EssentiallyDogs.com: “By including statements like, “We tend to dislike dog foods made with by-products…” he leaves the door open so there is a larger selection of food that can earn high grades even though the food is inferior. That means that he can make higher profits when his readers purchase more products from his affiliate website.
In other words, he provides some VERY basic information without important consideration with regard to contamination, and quality. Instead of educating us about those aspects, dumps us and sends us off to contact the manufacturers.”
Examiner.com: “Dog Food Reviews and Ratings — this site has good explanations and breaks down the ingredients too. Also provides information about recalls. This site offered the most beneficial information and in an easy format.”
As you can see, it's difficult to find any reviews of the Dog Food Adviser site itself, and the few ones I did find are simply opinions of a one person.
Others' opinion of Dog Food Advisor: 3.5/5
Summary of Dog Food Advisor review
In the end, what can we say about Dog Food Advisor's website? The site definitely has issues, most of which are due to Mike (or his team) banning people without giving a reasonable explanation as to why. However, with that being said, I would like to conclude my Dog Food Advisor review this way: DFA is a good resource for dog owners looking to educate themselves on dog food BUT every pet enthusiast must double-check the information provided and make sure that none of the reviews (regardless of what owner of the site says) really are biased.
Would I recommend Dog Food Advisor?
The simple answer is YES. Even though you can find a lot of good advice and dog food evaluations by educating yourself, and reading some of the best dog books – it's still worth checking Dog Food Advisor website out. Our pet food expert Sarah even used DFA's ratings and included them in her recent best puppy food rankings. However…
The truth is – we can't afford to be lazy, because if we are, we'll fall into the trap of trusting others on anything and everything. And you never know when a person on the other side of the Internet, whose face you can't even see, might have some sort of agenda for you to buy poor quality dog food. Like I say in every one of my articles: do your own research too, people!
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