Gather Dog Food Review

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Meet Gather Dog Food

Gather is a new line from Petcurean designed to provide sustainably sourced recipes for dogs. It’s a limited line with just three recipes, but one is a unique and rare vegan recipe for those who are fundamentally uncomfortable with the meat-based formulas of many dog foods.

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Gather uses only holistic ingredients, no GMOs, and nothing artificial. It’s a good option for pet owners who are looking for a better way to feed their dogs, but is it the best way? Let’s see if one of these recipes could be the right choice for you.

Brand Quick Look

  • Parent Company: Petcurean
  • Founded in 1999
  • Made in: Canada
  • Available at:  Chewy, Amazon
  • Types of Food: Dry
  • Real Meat in First 5 Ingredients?: Yes (except Vegan)
  • Recalled in Past?: No

Behind the Brand

Petcurean was founded in 1999, and quickly established the mission of providing quality foods for pets without using unnatural and artificial ingredients. The recipes are simple, and the company believes in “pets first.” They always put the best interest of your pet over the pursuit of profits and that allows them to create some really meaningful foods.

The company has a pet nutritionist on staff with a rare Ph.D. in creating pet foods, and the company proudly manufactures foods locally in Canada in highly regulated facilities. The ingredients are non-GMO and sustainably sourced from trusted providers.

The company uses ingredients they would use in creating meals for their own families, so the formulation is designed to provide maximum nutrition while maintaining muscle tone and proper weight.

Petcurean cares for the environment and uses bags made of 30% plant material to cut down on landfill materials and reduce the impact on the environment. The bio-based plastic minimizes the company’s reliance on petroleum-based products significantly and is the first step in “reduce, reuse, recycle.”

What Types of Dog Foods Does Gather Offer?

Gather is a newer line of Petcurean foods that use only organic ingredients from the same trusted source of suppliers. The three lines use whole meats from humanely raised animals and one vegan option that’s highly unique.

The foods have a good blend of quality proteins and balanced carbohydrates designed to keep your dog feeling energetic all day. They’re free of cheap fillers such as corn or soy and use no artificial ingredients. Your dog should be able to digest these recipes a little bit easier than some of the bargain foods that use these common food allergens.

There aren’t any life stage-specific options and no specific breed size choices. The three lines are formulated as all-purpose and designed to satisfy nutritional requirements for a range of ages and sizes. Check with your vet before feeding your puppy anything from these lines, but they could be suitable.

Gather Recipes

  • Wild Ocean Line-Caught Cod
  • Free Acres Organic Free Run Chicken
  • Endless Valley Vegan Recipe

The Gather Recall History

The Gather line has never been recalled although Petcurean has experienced one recall in the past for a different line of food. A voluntary recall for that line was issued in limited quantities for reports of liver disease and liver failure. This only affected one supply chain and was issued back in 2003. Gather was not affected and has never experienced a recall.

Best Gather Foods

Gather has only three types of food, so we should go over the basic recipes to see if they could be the right fit for your dogs. None of them use cheap fillers or artificial flavors and colors. They all use only non-GMO and organic ingredients from sustainable sources.

Line Caught Cod

The first recipe uses line-caught cod from sustainable fishing practices to provide a lean source of protein with plenty of fatty acids. Fish is an excellent option for sensitive tummies, and this recipe also blends balanced carbs with fruits and veggies for vitamins and minerals. It has eggshell meal and membrane for calcium and glucosamine support, and flaxseed and sunflower oil provide omega fatty acids to help support the coat and skin.

Organic Free Run Chicken

This single protein recipe uses humanely raised chicken with no growth hormones or antibiotics for a natural, whole protein source. Krill provides a source of omega fatty acids while egg shells and membrane give your dog calcium and glucosamine for joint support. Fruits and veggies along with balanced carbohydrates give your dog the building blocks for long term health.

Endless Valley Vegan

If you’re interested in food that doesn’t violate your vegan principles or your dog is severely allergic to most meats (it happens), the company’s vegan option uses sustainably grown peas to provide a source of complete protein that can keep up with dogs’ nutritional requirements. It’s a bit easier on the environment and still gives dogs nutrition for all-day energy, muscle tone, and strong bones.

Customer Reviews

Customers are a bit divided on the concept of vegan dog food, but overall many people like clean ingredients and simple recipes. The foods rate around four stars at most online retailers, showing a steady stream of satisfaction from those who’ve tried the food.

What Do People Like and Dislike About Gather dog food?

People tend to like that ingredients are sustainably sourced and responsibly raised. Many people have gotten more careful with their dog foods over the years as they choose foods that are more purposeful in how they treat the environment and the animals that go into the foods.

As a rare example of vegan dog food, vegans are especially grateful for foods that don’t violate their principles. Others maintain that dogs aren’t meant to be vegan and note the heavy presence of peas in all the foods but especially the vegan kibble.

Some dog owners experienced some pushback from their dogs, saying that dogs were leaving the kibble and that they were having to mix it with other foods or treats to get them to eat. Some also noticed some excess gas. Slow transitions from old to new foods may help alleviate some of these issues.

Positive

“Could not recommend this more for dogs with tear/stain issues. Love that it’s not farmed fish. I’ve mixed freeze dried (wet) dog food with kibble for years, and this seems to be the magic recipe along with Sojos Wild. My shihtzu’s eyes are gunk free and licking his paws/body a lottt less.” Jewlz, chewy.com

Negative

“I switched to this since Orijen is now made in Kentucky, rather than Canada. This food is from Canada. My small dogs eat is happily. I took off one star because I am disappointed that is contains peas and lentils. I eat those ingredients but I don’t see the necessity for it in dog food.” Yogamom, chewy.com

Gather Endless Valley Vegan Dog Food Review

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

First Five Ingredients:

  • Organic Peas
  • Organic Barley
  • Organic Oats
  • Lentils
  • Organic Sunflower Oil

It’s rare to find a vegan recipe in dog food but Gather has done the impossible and created a diet that supplies the recommended protein levels necessary for muscle health and energy. It uses peas and lentils to provide the bulk of amino acid structure along with balanced carbohydrates to keep your dog energetic and happy.

The formula uses absolutely no animal products, but it does have added vitamins and minerals to maintain nutritional requirements. If your dog is allergic to most meats and meat products, this could be a good option for making sure they’re getting what they need.

However, most people agree that dogs are omnivores at least, so the use of so many vegetable sources of protein could be a long-term issue. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian first before switching to this food so that your vet can monitor your pet’s health closely.

Peas, potatoes, and lentils have all been linked recently to a condition known as canine dilated cardiomyopathy, or an enlarged heart. Although we aren’t sure of precisely what the link is, researchers suspect elevated levels of taurine from these ingredients. It’s common to find them as replacements in grain and gluten-free foods, but a recipe that uses all three in such prominent positions in the ingredients list may give you pause.

There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that dogs are actually carnivores, so removing the meat component may not satisfy your dog’s needs. Several dogs had trouble with the taste of the kibble, and a few refused outright to eat it.

We don’t recommend the vegan recipe very highly unless you’ve already spoken to your veterinarian and your dog has severe allergies to many meat sources. We’d be careful, watching dogs closely for signs of malnutrition or digestive issues otherwise. We think you’re better off with dog foods that use wholesome meat sources of protein (even the other two options from this line) before you decide on this option.

Overall, it’s a mediocre food that may be useful for those of you who are strict vegans or who have dogs without many other options. It’s an expensive food that may not meet all your dog’s nutritional needs fully but check with your vet to see if it could be an option for you.

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