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Oh man, that's always disappointing.
 

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Damn. Well, after Levi finishes his current Merrick, I guess that's no longer part of our rotation. Damn shame.
 

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The almighty dollar triumphs again.
 

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Possibly Purina has realized which way the wind is blowing, read the writing on the wall, got the memo, etc. .... and has purchased Merrick as their "premium" brand, rather than developing one from scratch, and it will retain it's current quality.
 

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Possibly Purina has realized which way the wind is blowing, read the writing on the wall, got the memo, etc. .... and has purchased Merrick as their "premium" brand, rather than developing one from scratch, and it will retain it's current quality.
I like your optimism. Even if they are out to make more money, I would pay a little bit more to retain the quality that Merrick currently has. I hope that they maintain the quality, there are way too many sub-par kibbles out there as it is.
 

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I like your optimism. Even if they are out to make more money, I would pay a little bit more to retain the quality that Merrick currently has. I hope that they maintain the quality, there are way too many sub-par kibbles out there as it is.
It would be interesting to see if they do change the formula.
 

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It would be interesting to see if they do change the formula.

Here's the ingredients on a couple of their formulas. I'm copying more then one in case some are discontinued. Now I just need to remember to check back in a couple months to see what, if any, changes the buy out has caused.

Merrick Grain Free Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato
Ingredients

Deboned Beef, Lamb Meal, Peas, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Natural Flavor, Potato Protein, Pork Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Flaxseed Oil, Apples, Deboned Salmon, Salmon Oil, Blueberries, Organic Alfalfa, Salt, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate), Choline Chloride, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract

Merrick Grain Free Real Chicken + Sweet Potato
Ingredients

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Natural Flavor, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Salmon Meal (source of Omega 3 fatty acids), Apples, Flaxseed Oil, Blueberries, Organic Alfalfa, Salmon Oil, Salt, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate), Choline Chloride, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract

Merrick Classic Real Chicken, Brown Rice + Green Pea
Ingredients

Old Formulation: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Brown Rice, Peas, Barley, Sweet Potato, Chicken Fat (preserved with natural mixed tocopherols), Salmon Meal (source of Omega 3 fatty acids), Oats, Natural Chicken Flavor, Carrots, Apples, Blueberries, Organic Alfalfa, Minerals (Salt, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin D3, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate), Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Rosemary Extract New Formulation: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Brown Rice, Peas, Barley, Sweet Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Salmon Meal (source of Omega 3 fatty acids), Oats, Natural Chicken Flavor, Carrots, Apples, Flaxseed Oil, Blueberries, Organic Alfalfa, Salmon Oil, Salt, Minerals (Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate), Choline Chloride, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract
 

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I wonder if the ingredients could stay the same, but diminish in quality based on where they are sourced from?

No idea if that's a possibility, but I thought I read a review of Zuke's treats (which I loved) in which people were saying they were bought by Purina and then Purina started sourcing the meat in the treats from China, which is kind of sketchy.

I could be wrong; I just have a general distrust for most large companies anyway.
 

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@JetBlackSteel - I can equate brands of dog foods to other things. Brands like Purina and Iams are like eating out of a graveyard turned landfill, cannibalism and garbage. Merrick is (was...) up there with Fromm, Earthborn, and other high quality foods like a five star restaurant with a dietitian for a chef. Blue Buffalo is higher quality than the junk, but really not as great as they advertise to be. It costs way too much for what it is... the only thing I'll be buying by them is their walnut cat litter.

Purina is likely either going to change the ingredients or keep the ingredients the same (for appearances) but get them from questionable sources and of questionable quality. Ingredients can be the same, but of very low value... Like the difference between sitting at a sushi bar in Japan watching the chef make your fresh fishy goodness vs ordering some mystery sushi over the phone from a local "Chinese/Thai/Asian fusion" joint.
 

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Well...that is disappointing. We haven't used Merrick much recently, since we have been ordering online, but it's been my go-to food when we run short before our next shipment comes.
 

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@Larkspur - That's what happened with Blue Buffalo actually. They got bought out in December of last year and has since changed their recipe, importing chicken by-products from China and such. It used to be a decent dog food, but after their "recipe change" *cough*goingcheap*cough* It has been giving countless dogs problems from the more recent batch starting in April/May.

It made my 15 year old lab mix not want to eat, throw up, made him lethargic etc. We thought maybe he was just getting old and was dying. Nope. When my healthy 3 year old mini aussie ate some of his food and promptly threw up I knew it was the dog food. He was on Orijen before we switched him to Earthborn, due to cost reasons not food quality. He is so much much better, eats his food, is more perky and all around not displaying symptoms as if he's dying. Haha. Hopefully we'll have him for a few more years. He's still going. :)
 

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@Larkspur - That's what happened with Blue Buffalo actually. They got bought out in December of last year and has since changed their recipe, importing chicken by-products from China and such. It used to be a decent dog food, but after their "recipe change" *cough*goingcheap*cough* It has been giving countless dogs problems from the more recent batch starting in April/May.
I don't doubt Blue Buffalo "plays games' with their recipe and it's been established that their "control" over their supply chain is sloppy but I wonder what you mean by "bought out" and what your source is? Blue Buffalo is a publicly traded company so they are "owned" by their shareholders as opposed to Wellpet which is a private company formed by the sale of Eagle Pack and Old Mother Hubbard to an investment firm named Berwind. There is a rumor that BB has entertained offers from Mars for a take over but so far as I know nothing is official. It's possible that the bad publicity over the Purina by-products lawsuits has cooled that overture. Is the Mars rumor what you were referring to?

Merrick, for whatever it's worth, was sold to an investment firm like Berwind some time ago. Generally when companies like that invest in a smaller firm it's to flip it to a much larger firm for big profits within a few years. It's actually interesting that Berwind hasn't likewise sold Wellness/Eagle yet, although I'd bet they are pretty profitable as things stand. The only major "holistic" companies still under private "family" control are Canidae and Fromm, major in the sense that they sell a lot of food, have been in business for many years, and own their own factory.

Although co-packed brands like Natural Balance do get bought and sold if they're big enough (why no outrage that they are now owned by Del Monte?), the few private companies that own their own plants are very desirable. It's why Natura was such a good acquisition for Proctor & Gamble, who messed with it far less than Mars in a short time already has. Of course Merrick was also in that category, having started in business as a major regional rendering plant that brilliantly turned by-products into highly profitable treats. I believe it is the treat line more than the food line that attracted Purina, much as they acquired Zuke's recently.

Anyway, of all the big bad wolves in the corporate pet food world I'd personally trust Purina long before an investment bank, Mars or Del Monte. Their quality control (vs the "controversial" quality of their ingredients) leads the industry. Very few of the products they manufacture in their own plants with US sourced ingredients have ever been recalled.
 

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In my honest and humble opinion, quality control doesn't mean much when the quality in general is extremely sub-par. Sure, it's consistently garbage, but it's still garbage. I do not and will never trust Purina for anything as far as I can spit. They should focus on producing even halfway decent food instead of crunching numbers, but alas, the world is all about money.
 

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I've seen many types of businesses ruined by buyouts. From a computer brand I used to buy that becomes complete garbage as far as quality goes because of a buyout to a brand of dog food that becomes garbage after a buyout.
 

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Thanks to whoever posted the ingredients in the Texas Beef and Sweet Potato dry food when they were first bought. It looks as if they have definitely tweaked the recipe already. Here is what the Merrick web site lists as ingredients for this variation:

Deboned Beef, Lamb Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Potatoes, Potato Protein, Natural Flavor, Pea Protein, Pork Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Flaxseed Oil, Apples, Salmon Oil, Deboned Salmon, Blueberries, Organic Alfalfa, Salt, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate), Choline Chloride, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract.

This was the original formulation posted:

Deboned Beef, Lamb Meal, Peas, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Natural Flavor, Potato Protein, Pork Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Flaxseed Oil, Apples, Deboned Salmon, Salmon Oil, Blueberries, Organic Alfalfa, Salt, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate), Choline Chloride, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract

I don't know if there is any real difference in terms of the quality, but it does concern me that it has already changed...
 
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