What do you consider to be a "good dog food"? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-30-2005, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
 
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What do you consider to be a "good dog food"?

Now i feed both my dogs Purina Healthy Morsels... they absolute love it.. this is the first food that Tatyana would empty her bowl with... even twice sometimes... and yes, it has corn in it, but meat as well....do you happen to know of any food that is good for huskies? does it really make a difference? and i buy the big bags of it so cost is an issue
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-30-2005, 04:13 PM
 
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Corn is nothing but a filler in a dog food, and not the least bit healthy. It also lists "animal digest" as an ingredient in it... which is nothing short of disgusting.

There are several threads on here pertaining to dog food and lots of good quality foods are listed. Do a search and look for "animal digest".. it will bring you to the thread where that particular ingredient is defined.

Personally, IMO the good dog foods are the all natural ones. The ones with no by products, no corn, no bha, no rendered animals ....
Such as Canidae, Wellness, Solid Gold
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-30-2005, 07:02 PM
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I would have to agree with Chrisanne...that food is not a very good food. I personally wouldnt feed my dogs that...just because on a quality level, its sort of like McDonalds for dogs...or hot dogs...and you wouldnt eat that everyday yourself because you know its not good for you, right? I personally feed my dogs Canidae...it is a little more expensive that some foods, but it pays off. The better your dogs eat now, the longer more fulfilling life they are going to live. I believe that if you feed your dogs quality food, just as you would feed your children quality food, they are going to be healthier, requiring less vet visits throughout their lives for sicknesses that can be caused by a poor diet. There are tons of good foods out there...you might want to go to your local feed store and check out the foods that they sell there because, at least in Toledo, they carry more natural dog foods than petstores. Good luck in finding a good food. I would stick to one that has no corn, and no by-products in it. You definately dont want those ingredients to be one of the first three or four ingredients in your dogs food either...because that is plain not good for them. Like I said though, good luck and I hope you find a food for your poochies. My Harlie is a finicky one when it comes to food, and she loves Canidae. Another idea too is that if you want to feed a better quality food, and your dog doesnt seem to like it as much as you would like them to, just add a little fat free plain yogurt on the top of it, or a little egg...they will most likely eat it up like a treat then. (We supplement our three with the yogurt because it helps with their gas, Boxers are naturally flatulent dogs...lol...and they love it.) I hope you find a good food for your dogs!


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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-30-2005, 10:49 PM
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Chrisanne and Melissa pretty much covered it. Great points!
I rotate feeding between Wellness, Solid Gold and most recently, Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's soul food. Wellness is pricey, but Solid Gold and Chicken soup foods are very reasonable prices. I got an 18lb bag of chicken soup food for $12.99 at our local feed store, I was very impressed with that price.
My papillon Jasmine was very allergic to Science Diet, all the by-products in it. She has been fine since I put them on the natural foods.

Have the links to those 2 foods websites in this thread if you are interested. They have store locators and ingrediants lists as well.

http://www.paw-talk.net/forums/showthread.php?t=25432

~* Jackie *~

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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-31-2005, 03:42 PM
 
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I work at Petco, so I've heard tons of lectures from different dog food companies. In general, as far as I'm concerned (and this is what I tell customers), any dog food that uses meat instead of meat by-products is fine.

But for my personal dog, I'm incredibly picky. I researched every dog food company I knew of until I found the "perfect one". I switched him as soon as he finished up his current bag, and I'll never use anything else. I put him on Nutro Natural Choice, and chose it for several reasons:

1. He scratched and bit alot. Could be a food allergy, could be a grass/pollen allergy. NC has more linoleic acid than any other brand (or at least, they say they do). Linoleic acid is good for healthy skin and coat. They also don't use corn, which is a common food allergy. I don't know if he was allergic to the corn, of if it's the extra linoleic acid, but he does not scratch and bite at himself like he used to.

2. I've heard that corgis can be prone to hip/joint problems because they have sturdy/bulky and long bodies on short stubby legs. NC has Glucosamine and Chondroitin (two hip/joint supplements) built right into the food).

corn free and hip/joint medications are my two main requirements. NC is the only brand that has both.
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-31-2005, 05:34 PM
 
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I'd look for a food with a specifc meat like chicken or beef , lamb, whatever just so it's specific. I'd avoid meat byproduct because the meat can be from any source and I've heard horror stories that meat can include ANYthing. You'd hate to think you're feeding a pet someone elses' pet. That is just a rumor I've heard but I heed just the same.

Different dogs handle different grains better than others. I've heard that whole grain rice is better than corn, but some dogs don't even do well on that. Oatmeal is good also. Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance is a popular food at the store I work at.

I personally like Royal Canin. They have some really good books that they've put out about all the nutritional research they've done for specific breeds. That's what I feed my dog.

My coworkers love Solid Gold, and Wysong and recommend that to most people looking for a holistic food. Fromm is also a very popular food.

My sister still feeds her Golden Retriever Purina Dog Chow even though I get a substancial discount on food. She figures he is healthy and doesn't have any allergies and it was good enough for her Rottie so there is no convincing her otherwise.
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-31-2005, 05:39 PM
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Good points, guys!!

Brenda, Natural Balance is a really good food!!! My dogs and cats both have eaten it. It's the only food my cats would eat before we found Wellness! (Ginger was allergic to Innova) I highly reccomend it!

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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-31-2005, 05:56 PM
 
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Thanks I'm learning a lot at the store I work at. It 's a Petfood Warehouse. We only sell food and products for animals. It's awesome to work for a company for animals that doesn't actually sell animals!
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-31-2005, 08:15 PM
 
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What about puppy food, is there a key thing to look for? I sat in awe of the selection for an hour and bought the Nutro Natural Lamb & Rice puppy food but I want to make sure that Honey gets a really good food.
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 01-31-2005, 11:25 PM
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Hi...new to the forum but it was this thread that nudged me into registering instead of continuing to lurk.
We recently lost our 12 yr old American Staffie cross to stomach cancer and in the aftermath, began researching a better dog food for our Bull Terrier cross who is some where between 13 and 16. (She is a county pound rescue, so the vet narrowed it down as best he could)
Flint River Valley Dogfood is what we found. They use (so they claim) human quality ingredients and have the lowest fat percentage that we have been able to find. (Important to us since Shar has a tendency to get pancreatitis)
Their website is www.ourpetfood.com
I just ordered the first bag today and will keep everyone posted to our opinions (and Shars!! The most important of all! LoL) of it as we try it out.
If anyone has used this or are familiar with it let me know please?
Thanks so much and hope to get to know you all better as time goes.
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post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-01-2005, 05:34 AM
 
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Well just wanted to add my opinion. I actually fed Purina for several years. For a long time I thought dog food was dog food. More expensive brands were just a rip off. Then a adopted a puppy with some skin disorders and started looking into higher quality dog foods in hopes it could help her coat. I started comparing ingreidients and doing alot of research. I realized Purina and just about any food I could get at the grocery store was crap. Full of empty fillers. When ya think about it dogs weren't meant to eat corn and grain, that is not a natural diet for them. I have fed Nutro large breed for about the past year and a half but I am now switching to a raw prey model diet. I've done alot of research on this. It makes sense to feed raw. That is what dogs in the wild eat and what even domesticated dogs ate for a looong time before all these commercial brands came out. It is much healthier and my dogs love it. Not to mention it is grain and filler free. I was a little worried about price at first, but I found you can actually buy large quanities of meat directly from slaughter houses and meat wholesalers, for a pretty decent price. Also organ meat is very good for them and that is relatively cheap. I really think raw feeding is somethng everyone should atleast look into. I understand it is not for everyone but I think it is an excellent option.
Here's a link to a thread on another bard I belong to that covers the basics on raw feeding:
http://www.goosemoose.com/index.php?...62&?topic=54.0

Here's another good site with alot of info.
http://www.rawlearning.com/

Well I hope you will all check it out!!
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post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-01-2005, 07:52 AM
 
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Everyone has a brand of dog food that they have had excellent results and prefer. I have used Prairie brand and Innova brand foods for several years and have been very happy with the health of my furry babies.

As a former veterinary technician and now a IC pet sitter, I often see people feed brands of food that I would not feed my own dogs. If I see that their dog's overall appearance looks unhealthy, I will offer my advice. I don't sell or endorse any one brand of dog food, but I will advise them to look for a kibble that has meat as its first ingredient...and not meat by-products!

All natural, human grade food products are the best and no preservatives! Certainly no corn meal, or fillers. The addition of probiotics is good, as well as vitamins and minerals.

I am not aware of any well known brands you can purchase at the grocery store that will meet these guide lines. Also I am not very fond of the so-called premium foods that are sold at pet stores and Vet offices such as Eukanuba and Science Diet. These may be better than grocery store brands, but do not come close to actually meeting the nutritional needs.

Below is a link to a dog food comparison wizzard that is great.

http://www.naturapet.com/display.php?d=comp-wiz


http://www.naturesvariety.com/ ( Prairie)

http://www.naturapet.com/display.php?d=home-tab ( Innova)

Some of my clients complain that premium dog foods are much too expensive to feed, but usually after I explain that you actually have to feed less due to better ingredients, they come around. (some don't and it always makes me sick to have to serve up a dish of "Old Roy" to a dog) I have to abide by their decision and feed as instructed, although I may dish it up with disgust!

Nature's Variety makes a "freeze dried" raw food patty that my three babies go wild, so I rotate that in with the kibble. (they love the lamb) I like to say that my zoo eats better than I do!

~Kathy~
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post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-01-2005, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
 
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Well today,, i happened to be at the pet store and was looking at the different foods they have... i ended up getting a small bag of Solid Gold... while Tatyana didnt seem to care for it very much (she did eat some) Natalya loved it... this dog has never cared much for food unless there was something special in it, she chowed down on it... i mixed some in with her food shes used to.. she picked around the old food... i think we have a winner.... i am still pretty surprised.. thanks for the advice
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post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-01-2005, 09:29 PM
 
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I posted this on my own forum and another, hopefully it will be just as useful here.

First off, reading the label...pet food companies (especially the large ones) are very smart. They want to make the most money per bag as they can. Ingredients such as poultry fat, meat meal, etc. are collective feed terms. Basically, they do not specifiy the EXACT ingrediets (chicken fat, chicken meal). Here is a definition of collective feed terms and why they are used.


Quote:
When collective feed names are used, individual ingredients within a group aren't listed on the label. Collective feed names are used on feed labels when diets are developed based on least-cost formulation, which ensures a constant guaranteed analysis. Least-cost diet formulation will select the most inexpensive ingredients to provide the guaranteed analysis. As a result, the percentage of ingredients selected may vary with each diet formulation.
http://ianrpubs.unl.edu/horse/g1403.htm

If the type of animal is not specified, you can assume that it comes from any animal...including other cats and dogs. For example, meat and bone meal gives no indication of what is actually in the food. It could be horse, cow, dog, cat, chicken, etc. or any combination of meats.

Next...fillers. Corn is a VERY common filler in feed. It is cheap and it tastes sweet to the animal. This is part of the reason why dogs and cats will devour some cheap foods and turn their noses up to the higher quality foods. Corn is also a very common allergen in dogs and cats and IMHO, should be avoided at all costs. Higher quality grains include rice and oats.

By-products should also be avoided. By AAFCO (the major governing body on pet foods) definition, by-products are:

Quote:
By-product: An ingredient produced in the course of making a primary food ingredient; a secondary or incidental product. Feathers are a by-product of poultry meat processing. Feathers which are removed from a carcass during production of poultry meat are then hydrolyzed (pressure cooked with steam until they are an edible gel) which makes them an acceptable feed grade ingredient. Hydrolyzed feathers have been assigned the (IFN) International Feed Number 5-03-795 and can appear on a label as "Poultry By-products." On page 158 in the AAFCO book, Official Publication, 1994, Association of American Feed Control Officials Incorporated, they show: Hydrolyzed Poultry By-Products Aggregate is the product resulting from heat treatment, or a combination thereof, of all by-products of slaughter poultry, clean and undecomposed, including such parts as heads, feet, underdeveloped eggs, intestines, feathers and blood." The IFN assigned to this mix is 5-14-508. Today's regulations allow the entire mix or any part of it to appear on a label as "Poultry By-products." A "Fish By-product" can contain heads, tails, intestines and blood. This fish process residue has been assigned the IFN 5-07-977.
Yum, feathers, tails, feet, etc.

Another thing to consider is the quality of meat going into the feed. Most pet foods use already dead, dying, diseased or disabled. They are rejects for human consumption and are cheap. I prefer use foods that are human grade, such as Innova, Felidae/Canidae, Solid Gold, Wysong, etc.

Also avoid chemical, man-made preservatives such as BHA, BHT, sodium nitrite, and Ethoxyquin.

Finally, and this is if you really want to get picky, opt for foods that include chicken/beef/lamb/fish meal as the first ingredient versus simply chicken/beef/lamb/fish. The ingredient list is organized based on weight before processing. Chicken as a first ingredient indicates that it is the meat/flesh of the chicken. However, the meat of the chicken is mostly water and after processing the weight of the chicken meat in the food is greatly reduced. Chicken meal is the same as chicken meat but with the water weight removed before weighing and processing. This essentially makes more chicken in foods using chicken meal as the first ingredient. More on this discussion can be found here.
http://www.canidae.com/

If you compare four foods, mentioned in this thread (on another forum), you will see amazing difference when they really didn't look much different to start with.

Canidae Ingredients

Quote:
Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Brown Rice, White Rice, Lamb Meal, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Citric Acid), Herring Meal, Flax Seed, Sun Cured Alfalfa Meal, Sunflower Oil, Chicken, Lecithin, Monocalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Linoleic Acid, Rosemary Extract, Sage Extract, Yeast Culture, Dried Enterococcus Faecium, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Oryzae Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract, Inulin (from Chicory root), Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Fermentation Solubles, Yucca Schidigera Extract Mixed Tocopherols (source of Vitamin E), Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Cobalt Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Ascorbic Acid (source of Vitamin C), Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (source of B2), Beta Carotene, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, D-Biotin, Sodium Selenite, Dried Papaya, Vitamin B12 Supplement.
No collective feed terms, no corn (rice instead), no bad preservatives, and uses meals.

Nutro Natural Choice Lamb and Rice

Quote:
Lamb Meal, Ground Rice, Rice Flour, Rice Bran, Sunflower Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of natural Vitamin E), Poultry Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of natural Vitamin E), Natural Flavors, Rice Gluten, Dried Egg Product, Dried Beet Pulp, Potassium Chloride, L-Lysine, Dried Kelp (source of Iodine), Salt, Choline Chloride, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Taurine, Ferrous Sulfate, Ascorbic Acid (source of Vitamin C), Biotin, Copper Proteinate, Niacin, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (source of Vitamin B2), Vitamin A Supplement, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of Vitamin B6), Thiamine Mononitrate (source of Vitamin B1), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (source of Vitamin K activity), Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid.
Poultry fat is a collective feed term. Rice is used instead of corn. No bad preservatives, and uses meals. This food is decent, not as good as Canidae.

Iams Adult Lamb and Rice

Quote:
Lamb Meal, Brewers Rice, Corn Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Ground Whole Grain Barley, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E, and Citric Acid), Fish Meal (source of fish oil), Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Grits, Dried Beet Pulp (sugar removed), Natural Chicken Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Potassium Chloride, Monosodium Phosphate, Brewers Dried Yeast, Salt, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Rosemary Extract, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement (source of vitamin B2), Inositol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid, Cobalt Carbonate
No collective feed terms. Look at how many grain ingredients there are! I count 5 and 3 of them, corn meal, corn grits and brewers rice (a by-product of alcohol production) are low quality. This feed contains corn while the others don't. By products are also used. There are no bad preservatives and meals are used.

Kibbles and Bits

Quote:
Corn, soybean meal, ground wheat, beef & bone meal, animal fat (BHA and citric acid used as preservatives), corn syrup, wheat middlings, water sufficient for processing, animal digest (source of chicken flavor), propylene glycol, wheat, salt, hydrochloric acid, potassium chloride, caramel color, sorbic acid (used as a preservative), sodium carbonate, choline chloride, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, vitamin A supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), calcium sulfate, titanium dioxide, yellow 5, red 40, yellow 6, BHA (used as a preservative), dl-methionine.
Collective feed terms: bone meal, animal fat, animal digest. Look at all the fillers! Fillers should NEVER be the first ingredient...K&B has 3 fillers before the meat starts. No by-products but bone meal is bad enough! BHA is listed twice. They add color to the food? Why? This is obviously the worst food of the bunch.

I hope this helped a bit. Ingredients can be very confusing if you do not know what you are supposed to be looking for.
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post #15 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-01-2005, 09:36 PM
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Great points everybody! And Candance, thanks for posting that, that's very helpful!!!!!

LoveMyStaffies, I have heard wonderful things about Flint River Ranch food! Never tried it for my doggies, but everyone says good things about it!
I'm very sorry to hear about your dog.

Juliet, that's wonderful!!!!!! So glad to hear Natayla loved it! It really is a great food. It's the food we first found when we had to get Jasmine off that Science Diet. I researched natural foods and Solid Gold looked like the best start. They all loved it and her tummy problems stopped! Their coats were more shiny, too!

~* Jackie *~

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