Linda Arndt ~ Canine Nutritional Consultant

My Back-Up Dog Food

Nutri Source - Pure Vita - Planet Organics Pet Foods

In this article I want to talk about another brand of pet food that recommend. I have always tried to provide my puppy buyers with a variety of food options.

In April of 2009, I stopped feeding Eagle Pet Foods due to the sale of the company. I was no longer confident as to what the future would hold for these foods, so I set out to do some intense feed trials on 4 other brands of dog foods, which involved 5 kennels in my area. At that time we only tested foods on adult Great Danes, Doxies, Collies, Shelties, Pugs, and Whippets and the Tuffy's Pet Food line up included: Nutri-Source, Pure Vita and Planet Organics. Plus 5 new Grain Free formulas of moderation so I can support those as well. These provided the consumer with some excellent choices for Allergies, Systemic Yeast ,Weight issues, Breeding/Pregnancy, Skin, Heart, Kidney problems and Seniors, as well as Large/Giant breed Adult Formulas.

In this article will also give you information on the Tuffy's 3 generation family owned company and manufacturing plant, their history and their philosophy. Go here to see my criteria for picking a better food. What is most important in selecting the food for your pet is how the dogs look and feel on the food over time -performance is the key.

Nutri Source - Super Premium Line of Pet Foods

This line up of food is approved by the
Within this line up there 10 foods to pick from and how I recommend use to my puppy buyers.

Super Performance - 32% protein/ 21% fat - a food for extremely active and working dogs; sledding, agility, intense guard dog work. Also dogs that need some condensed calories while recouping from surgery or trauma.

Performance - 30% protein/20% fat - a food for active dogs, repair, bitches with large litters and therefore needing more milk production. Keep in mind some bitches cannot handle high fat diets. If they have not been gradually introduced it can throw them into pancreas issues, so make sure they were on at least a 26/16 diet while pregnant if you want to switch up to this level.

Adult Formula - 26% protein/16% fat - perfect level of nutrition for small - giant adults, showing, breeding, working as well. Great for pregnancy and lactation!

Large Breed Adult Formula
- 23% protein/14% fat - This is the formula I support for large/giant breed PUPPY growth due to the calcium levels of minimum 1.2% and it is a multiple protein based food to build good muscle mass. So this food is appropriate for large and giant breed adults and puppy growth including weaning formula.

Senior Formula - 26% protein/ 10% fat - the perfect combination for Seniors, higher protein levels to hold muscle mass and their energy levels is kept high, which makes them bright/alert and want to be active - helping to control weight. Higher protein foods keep their rear ends  strong, so they do not give out on large and giant breeds, and they can remain active until the end. This level of fat is perfect, no excessive shedding, coats remain intact, but lesser calories for weight issues. Very few senior formulas on the market meet the real needs of seniors. Most are minimal nutrition which is not appropriate, this food has "optimal nutrition". This is one that works!

Weight Formula - 21% protein/ 9% fat - Weight formulas I view as temporary formulas, due to the issue of losing muscle mass over time. My preference would be to use the Senior Formula for a Weight Formula... However, the lower fat content on this food could work well for dogs with pancreas issues.
The lower protein levels might be appropriate for dogs in early kidney disease as new research shows it is more important to have quality moderate protein to repair organs, than very low proteins (ie 14%), which is not enough to rebuild and repair. Only in severe cases of renal failure is this appropriate (discuss with a veterinarian do not make this decision on your own if a dog has renal issues).

Small/Medium Breed Puppy
- 32%protein /21% fat - with metabolisms like humming birds, the toy breeds in particular need a food like this, it keeps their glucose/insulin levels more stable.

Large Breed Puppy - 26% protein/ 14% fat - My preference is a multiple protein based food like this one for muscle mass for the large and giant breeds vs a single source protein. this food fits that bill.


Pure Vita

These 3 formulas are single source proteins, good for pets with protein allergies, they are very rich in antioxidants due to fruits, veggies and berries like Acai and Pomegranate. They are rich in balanced omega fatty acids and are all life stage formulas, meaning they have optimal nutrition and calcium levels that will support growth...even large/giant breeds.

Salmon and Potato - 24% protein/13% fat
Duck and Oatmeal -
24% protein/13% fat
Chicken and Rice -
24% protein/13%
(only this one works for systemic yeast)

Natural Planet Organics

Whole Organic Chicken & Brown Rice 23% protein 14% fat.

An ultra premium organic food pets. Fresh, organic ingredients including chicken, select grains, fruits and vegetables build uncompromising nutrition for your pet. Natural Planet Organics contains important supplements: proteinated minerals and vitamins. Natural Planet Organics dog food contains high levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and taurine.

Grain Free Diets

NutriSource Grain Free Chicken - 28% protein 18% fat
NutriSource Grain Free Lamb - 28% protein/18% fat
NutriSource Large Breed Grain Free Chicken 23% protein 14% fat
NutriSource Large Breed Grain Free Lamb 23% protein 14% fat

Grain free diets are new to the industry and best suited to adult dogs. To date there have been no long term feed trials done on large/giant breeds growth while fed a grain free diet, so I can not recommend them for puppy growth under 10 months of age. However, that said these are very well designed foods with the carbohydrates coming from Peas vs Potatoes. I found these to be highly palatable and the calcium levels are normal unlike many other Grain Free Diets.

Cancer and Diabetic Diets:

These are my recommendations:

Grain free foods are often used as cancer and diabetic diets, the protein/fat levels should be no less than 28/18 in cancer diets. These are 2 options:

NutriSource Grain Free Chicken - 28% protein 18% fat
NutriSource Grain Free Lamb - 28% protein/18% fat

All three of these lines offer a great line up of cat foods including grain free.


Tuffy's Feed Company was founded in 1947 by Darrell "Tuffy" Nelson and at that time they focused on livestock feeds. In 1964 Tuffy's son, Kenny Nelson decided to develop a quality line of dog and cat foods, which was known as Tuffy's Pet Foods. In 1971 the company was sold to Star-Kist, later to Windy Hills, which merged with Doane Pet Care in 1998. In 2001 the son of the original founder, Kenny Nelson decided to purchase back the family plant, which one timed employed over 400 people, and his son Charlie Nelson, the grandson of the original founder is now Vice President of sales at Tuffy's, bringing this company full circle.

Tuffy's has over 40 years in the pet food manufacturing experience behind it and has an excellent reputation for manufacturing high-quality products. This is due, in no small part, to a specially-trained work force and management team, along with high quality customer service that comes with a family-owned business.

Tuffy's developed and launched the NutriSource Super Premium Pet Foods in January of 2003, and their organic dry foods, Natural Planet Organic Dog Food, in the summer of 2007. Their holistic and natural line called Pure Vita, was launched in July of 2008.


One of the important things about a family run company is that everyone takes personal pride in their job, and we work to build relationships with our customers through our unparallel customer service. 

Our fresh, raw ingredients are purchased from local farmers and tested upon arrival to ensure that they meet our stringent specifications. Quality control is of primary importance. Our on-site, fully equipped, wet chemistry lab constantly monitors and tests products to insure correct formulation, appearance, palatability, aroma, and digestibility.  

We use state-of-the-art manufacturing practices to develop and produce a carefully formulated product that provides sound nutrition, backed by extensive research and quality control testing. Our batches of foods are accurate and consistent and every bag is the same, every time.

Our plant is thoroughly cleaned and regularly inspected and certified by the AIB (American Institute of Baking). Trucks carrying our products are inspected for cleanliness before ever being loaded.

 The Tuffy's manufacturing plant in Perham, Minnesota, produces ONLY pet foods, and the facility is the ONLY manufacturing facility that produces our brand of products .

Quality That Sets Us Apart:

100% Proteinated Minerals

  • More available for absorption and more active in the body than sulfates and oxides which also deplete other minerals from foods as they are stored.
  • Marked improvement in coat quality and immune function

Digestive Enzymes

  • Probiotics and digestive enzymes are sprayed on the outside of each kibble, to quickly activate in the digestive system getting the most out of the nutrition.

Super Premium Nutrition

  • Made With Real Chicken or real Lamb #1 Ingredient
  • Highly Digestible Rice, Barley, And Oatmeal Formula
  • No By-products
  • Naturally Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols (A Source of Vitamin E)
  • Sel-Plex® Selenium (AFFCO approved organic selenium)
  • No synthetic Vitamin K
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin in ALL of our formulas
  • Balanced Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids (Enhanced with DHA)
  • No by-products and no corn, soy or wheat.
  • Naturally preserved
  • Protected Vitamin C
  • Natural Anti-Oxidants

I hope this helps you in our hunt to find an appropriate food for your pet. This company offers a diverse line up of quality holistic and natural foods and did very well in my adult feed trials in 2009, which made it my back up food for my puppy buyers.

Linda Arndt
Blackwatch Kennels - Great Danes and Pugs est. 1973
Blackwatch Canine Nutritional Consulting, LLC

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