Moose, my 3 ½ year old Hound/Labrador mix has severe allergies to quite a few common ingredients, so I am always having trouble finding ways to spice up his diet. He normally eats Zignature Kangaroo kibble with goat’s milk, homemade raw and canned sardines used as toppers in rotation. He has fairly severe allergies to all forms of rice, potato, chicken, turkey, lamb (amongst other things). In fact, before we adopted him at 8 weeks old, the rescue thought he had mange because he was losing so much fur from allergies! Because of this, I’m always cautious when trying new foods, especially as he can be oddly texture-picky and sometimes won’t eat freeze dried treats.
I ran across the Sojos line a few times online and when we brought the line in our store I started to consider trying a bag of the goat. He does amazing on goat as a protein; I often top his food with raw goat meat. I refrained from buying it though as I was afraid he would turn up his nose at the texture, and then I would be stuck with a bag of food he wouldn’t eat. I guess I looked at it a few too many times as one of the owners offered a bag to me at no cost if I would write a review to share our experience with the product. I don’t regret taking it at ALL.
Moose is OBSESSED with it. If it isn’t Sojos in his bowl, he looks at me like “Ma. Where’s the goat?” and stands in front of the dog cupboard. I do one meal of goat in the evening and kibble in the morning. In the evening I ask him, “Do you want goat???? Where’s goat??” and he does the hound ”barooooo” and gets all excited. I think he would prefer all his meals be Sojos goat, but at 68 pounds my wallet would be very unhappy with the cost.
The ingredients in the goat are all easy to say, easy to read, and it is easy to figure out what’s what. It’s a short ingredient list consisting of “goat, yellow split peas, celery, cranberries, coconut, parsnips, flax seeds, whole egg, dried goat whey, dried alfalfa, tricalcium phosphate, dried kelp, kale, ginger root, vitamins & minerals.” I’m not particularly fond of the split peas, but it’s a more bioavailable source of fiber than something like corn, and it’s not potatoes which make Moose greasy and itchy. If they listed the vitamins and minerals, I’m sure the list would be longer, but those tend to be the same across most foods. Each ingredient is easily visible. Also, the bag needs shaken before each serving to ensure even distribution of the ingredients. The cranberries tend to settle to the bottom.
I also like that the goat is USDA inspected and everything is made in the USA.
Preparation is pretty easy. The hardest part is letting it soak while the dog stands at the counter and stares at the bowl like he’s literally never eaten before. The meal can be prepared ahead of time, but we don’t have room in the fridge for that. We do 1 cup SojoS to 1 ½ cups water. I also let it sit for 30 minutes instead of 15 as I noticed it was still kind of crunchy at the 15-minute mark People might find that two bowls are a good idea since the food will turn to what is basically doggy cement overnight, or they need to wash the bowl right away. My dog eats his dinner over the course of a few hours, so I leave the bowl out (though he does tend to finish the SOJOs a little faster) and it’s ALWAYS dried around the rim.
All in all, Moose and I would rate it a 10 out of 10 (maybe a 100 out of 10 for him, haha.) I will DEFINITELY be buying this again and will be looking into the other protiens and flavors as well!
Full disclosure, I am an employee of Hearty Pet, Inc., and was given this product at no cost for the purpose of reviewing it. All opinions within are strictly my own and Moose’s.
Our Sojos rep was excited to hear about our review, and took the time to offer up a few helpful suggestions about the rehydration and feeding process. Here’s what she had to say!
1: Mix up Sojos and water and take your dog for a walk as the food rehydrates. Feed as soon as you return. Creates a great routine, and exercise is always a plus!
2: Mix up Sojos and water and have some scheduled playtime. It doesn’t matter whether you give your dog a bone, practice some nose work with a couple of rounds of ‘find it’, or get down on the rug with him and a tug toy. We often give our pets toys etc to play with but don't actively engage in playtime with them. The food soak time is a great way to fit in a bonding session.
3: Mix up Sojos and water and use the time for some training. Dogs THRIVE when following routines, so spending the same amount of time, at the same time each day is a great way to distract your pup from the tasty food, but also makes for a more successful training session. Try teaching a new trick OR covering basic commands.
4: Mix up Sojos and water and use the time for some daily grooming (or in our area, the all important ‘tick check’). This doesn't apply to all pets, of course, but many dogs requires daily brushing. Why not do so while he's waiting for food to soak? Then, he gets his meal as a reward for behaving well during the brush session. And for those dogs who are squirming when getting their nails trimmed – this can be part of the daily routine. Just clip a nail or two each day. This way it’s not overwhelming for you or the dog.
Also, we always advise removing the feeding bowl and washing it immediately after the dog has finished eating. Sojos is a raw food, so for proper hygiene you want to avoid leaving the used bowl sitting around for any length of time.