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Flavor Name: Buffalo|Size: 25-Pound|Change
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on March 1, 2014
UPDATE!!!: Merrick sold out to Purina in July 2015. I am currently using Orijen Adult formula, which I think is an excellent food (I think all Acana and Orijen, made by Champion are top notch), though more expensive. Probably my review of this Merrick food is no longer valid. Usually when a small high quality brand is bought out by a giant, cheaper ingredients are substituted. I have no idea if that's the case here, but be careful!! I am still using Merrick canned food for stuffing Kong toys and haven't noticed a change there, but it's not always obvious.

I am changing my review from 5 stars to 1 star until Nestle-Purina offers complete disclosure of changes to their formula and discloses their ownership on the bag. In fairness, in 2010 Merrick was purchased by an investment fund focused on growing the brand, so it's not like this wasn't inevitable.
--------- OLD REVIEW ------
Let's be honest. Customer Dog Food reviews pretty much all have a big lie. Would you review a steak dinner based on how your hair looks a week later? It didn't give you the runs? Pretty crude standards. You can't know how good a dog food is.

Unless you taste it. You have to taste lots of dog foods. Otherwise, you better look for a good dog psychic.

Lucky you. I tried it for you. And Merrick Real Buffalo and Sweet Potato is definitely right up there. In fact, if I had to eat a dry dog food as actual food, I'd pick Merrick hands down. Lower class dog foods often have a cardboard like non-food texture and little flavor beyond maybe a mild sweetness (from the sugar and corn maybe). Really top end stuff - like Orijen Regional Red - have a beef bouillion quality. Actually too densely flavorful for human food, but wow do dogs go for it (I use that for dog treats. Too $ for every meal).

Merrick tastes kind of like a beefy wheat cracker. Maybe like meat flavored wheat thins. Really not bad. It doesn't have the sweetness and saltiness of a human snack food, but if you added salt & sugar, this stuff would sell!

Of course, you can't go just by human taste alone. In fact, the Orijen is probably a higher quality food than the Merrick, but is less human palatable. And many dog foods add scent just for owners. But I think you do get a sense of the richness and quality of the ingredients. A really good dog food just tastes like there's more stuff in that little bit 'o kibble.

Merrick has other things going for it too: I think the ingredients are better than in many dog foods. The Buffalo in this food is Bison (American Buffalo), according to Merrick, as opposed to some that are actually Indian Buffalo (as in Calcutta not Native Americans). It's relatively low fiber. For my dog, if I feed him as much of some brands as he needs, it goes right through him because of the higher fiber content. Fiber has a turbo effect on dogs because of their shorter intestines. After switching to Merrick, I could increase his calories with no problem.

Merrick is a premium food, but not as expensive as some. And I think you would have to pay about 20% more to get the same protein content in a food with the same quality of ingredients. The Amazon price (currently 49.99 on 3/1/14) seems good to me. As good as I can get anywhere local - and with free (prime) shipping.
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on July 26, 2013
I recently switched to Merrick after my 'fave' food, Evo ancestral diet, had three recalls in four months and was 'off-shelf' a considerable time between recalls. Like many pet owners, I buy high end kibble because I'm looking for both the ingredient and for a special product--in my case, I want only US-sourced meats and vegetables with no 'fillers'. I have a deep distrust of Chinese produced products (especially after the melamine thing) and will switch off any foodstuff--pet or human--from China (and now that the Chinese have bought US pork-processing companies, I'll shun their products, too). Since P&G bought Evo (and three other premium brands) they have had multiple recalls...don't know if they have changed their sourcing or switched from meats to meat by-products, etc...but Merrick meets all my needs for a dog food. It has premium ingredients and is produced in the US of ingredients locally sourced in the US. My dogs like and accept it--the kibble size is a little small for my older (14 yo) large dog, who has difficulty 'mouthing' a lot of foods he used to love...but he can get enough down to keep him healthy and a little overweight. I think Merrick is a great deal for those of us wanting 'local sourcing' and production...with Amazon prime, the 20# bags are delivered to my PO with no charge for can't beat that, and it surely is better than running from store to store looking for the 'right' brand. With what I save in gas/time it ends up being cheaper than nonpremium dog foods!
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on February 13, 2014
Dog food for our family is a continuous research project. I always try to make sure we have the best possible kibble for our Mastiffs. It works! Our big boy is solid as a rock and 251 lbs. Our puppy who gets the Merrick Buffalo, is 5 months old and 85 lbs. His coat is awesome, his stools are perfect and we are able to feed less of this highly nutritious food to achieve the desired caloric intake and completely satisfy his nutritional requirements.

The Dog Food Advisor Website rates this food 5 out 5 stars (there aren't that many 5 star foods available) and my older dog food grading system works out an A++ for this food based on a system where you add points for good ingredients and deduct points for bad ingredients. Whether you decide to try this food or not always avoid feed with any kind of byproducts or corn or corn meal.

We do supplement the dry food from time to time with cooked sweet potato, cooked pumpkin, or cooked poultry. However, the Merrick is so complete, we do this less than with other dry foods. Furthermore, the Merrick is so tasty that they do not require add ins to make the food more palatable as with many dry foods. In fact, they love this food so much we are able to use the kibbles as training treats. :-)
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on June 12, 2013
UPDATE: 7/21/15
Today, Nestle Purina PetCare purchased Merrick Pet Care ( ee the annucement: I cannot with good conscience recommend anything that company puts their name on. Purina has a long history of animal testing, chemicals and its food have even recently been implicated in thousand animal's deaths. For this reason, I am revising my 5-star to 1-star.

Merrick Grain Free Duck and Sweet Potato is a winner in our home. We have two big dogs - one is an allergy dog and the other a senior, and Merrick GF has exceeded our expectations for both. This food is grain free, by-product free for the allergy kid and has good amounts of a glucosamine & chondroitin (supplements for joint health) for my senior. (Plus - and this might be TMI, our seniors stool is much improved on Merrick.) Our "kids" coats are soft and shiny and the vet says their diet is everything he could hope for for any of his clients.

Notable things about Merrick Grain Free Duck & Sweet Potato:
* Made in USA (never any ingredients from China)
* Grain-free, GMO-free (GMO = genetically modified organism)
* Above-average protein and fat when compared to a typical dry dog food.
* contains skin and coat supplements - omega-3 fatty acids (.4%) & omega-6 (4.50%).
* contains joint health supplements - glucosamine hydrochloride (1200 mg/kg) & chondroitin sulfate (1200 mg/kg)
* contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb.

I only feed 5-star rated foods - as rated by [...] but this food has stood out against many of other 5-star foods we've tried both in cost and my pup's over all satisfaction. We also feed Merrick Turducken Dog Food 13.2 oz (12 Count Case) wet food in additon to the dry. They just gooble this stuff up! Enthusiastically recommended.
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on February 27, 2013
If you want less shedding and a great shiny coat on your dog, then this is the ticket. I bought one bag and my dog loved it but it was pretty expensive so I switched to another brand (well known) and within two weeks my dog's coat was dull and the shedding was intense. So I've switched back to the Merrick brand and in just that two weeks, we are back to minimal shedding and a glossy coat. My German Shepherd loves this stuff!
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on March 24, 2014
I'm the proud momma of an aging miniature American Eskimo and a young adult APBT with food allergies (grain and chicken). The Eskie needs a small kibble otherwise she cannot chew the food, the pibble cannot have any poultry byproducts or he gets a terrible rash and grain causes IBS symptoms. Ideally, they need to be on the same food because feeding them separately is a whole other headache.

I spent weeks pouring over dog food reviews, feeding guidelines and ingredient lists that ultimately contained things I was trying to avoid. Once I succeeded in finding a brand of food without grain OR chicken/poultry, the trick was finding one that would not break my budget; that brought me to Merrick Texas Beef. This food is a godsend for my mismatched pups. They both have improved energy levels, smaller feces, lower breath and skin odor, ZERO allergy symptoms from my APBT and my elderly Eskimo has no problems eating the very small kibbles.

A 25lb bag lasts my two dogs just under 4 weeks. If you're on the hunt for a high quality food for your dog, give this one a shot.
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on September 9, 2013
This is a 5-star food for my dogs. They absolutely love it and eat every kibble! I love knowing that the food is made with high quality grains that cause allergies or by-products. I find comfort in the knowledge that Merrick manufactures their food in their own plants and don't share their facilities with other dog food manufacturers where cross contamination can take place from lower quality ingredients and that they use only American produced ingredients....nothing from China. This is one of the very few dog foods that contains no poultry for my poultry sensitive pup. I highly recommend this food!
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on August 25, 2013
1) all made in USA, in Texas — OK!
2) no wheat or genetically modified corn — super!
3) dog likes it
4) his coat is in good shape

Yes, I would recommend this food and will buy again. My local pet store doesn't carry it, so Amazon to the rescue!
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on November 5, 2013
I have changed from Blue Buffalo to Merrick and what a difference , my dogs are doing great on it. The dogs coats are shiny, they eat everything in the bowl, their stools are firm , and I've had absolutely no digestive problems since switching from Blue to Merrick...the main reason I just love Merrick is it is 100% made in the good old USA !!!!

UPDATE: Just an FYI for you dog lovers out there Merrick was recently bought out by Purina
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on July 24, 2015
I used to recommend Merrick and used it as part of my dog's rotational diet. However, Merrick recently announced that it was purchased by Purina, so I'll no longer use or recommend it. Merrick claims the food won't change at all, but I don't trust Purina. There are enough companies out there selling independently owned, high quality dog foods that it isn't a big deal to switch foods.
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