The real diffrence, not the price. I've noticed some people hinting that some dog foods are "crap", and I'm just curious as to why? What's the "best" and "worst" dog food brands? Sorry I'm sure this is probably a dumb question, but just curious as to your oppinions.
I ask also because I'm wondering if perhaps the dog food that the breeder I got Brady from may not be the best for him... I'm having trouble with him eating. I've had him for only since Valentine's Day, and I'm worried that he's so thin. The breeder told me the brand he bought and I got the same, he's just not eating like he should. I know it's probably still because he's adjusting to new things, but I'm really worried....
Here's a pic. He looks worse than he really is, but still too thin.
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Okay, I am no means an authority on this but .... by looking at the picture your pooch seems underweight. How old is he??
What are you feeding and how much???
Rowan gets 3.5 cups of food per day. She is just over 7 months old. It is divided into two feedings and she gets a kong, 'cookies' and veggies throughout the day. I feed her Nutro's Ultra - Large Breed Puppy Food. It is a high end food - full of natural ingredients and no fillers or bi-products. She is getting the nutrients she needs not a bunch of 'crap' if I may say so....... By feeding a higher end dog food the dog meets its nutritional requirements without needing to eat twice as much food to get it. KWIM.
I hope some of the veterans on the board will shed more light for you.
Brady definitely looks too thin.
This gives some things to look for in evaluating dog food.
This gives nutritional analysis for many brands. You can enter a brand name in the search box or just browse through the categories.
You definitely want to avoid a dog food with corn as the first ingredient (ideally you shouldn't see corn, wheat, or soy anywhere in the ingredient list).
Here's an ingredient list for Canidae (which we feed Bella). This is considered a higher quality food, but that doesn't necessary mean that all dogs (or your dog) will do well on it.
Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Brown Rice, White Rice, Lamb Meal, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Herring Meal, Flax Seed, Sun Cured Alfalfa Meal, Sunflower Oil, Chicken, Lecithin, Monocalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Linoleic Acid, Rosemary Extract, Sage Extract, 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, Papaya, Vitamin B12 Supplement.
OK I have found and I am by no means an expert that in the long run it is cheaper to feed a good quality brand then the cheap brands because you feed less. After MUCH trial and error I have settled on Natures Variety Raw Instinct for Cinnamon (and Cierra my BR foxhound). It runs about $40 for a 30lbs bag. A bag however last both dogs 2 months. Cinnamon and Cierra each eat about 1 1/2 cups per day. Now Cinnamon does eat a morning meal of a raw diet so she only gets kibble once a day. This is because she is not a morning puppy and not food motivated and so she would rather sleep than eat kibble in the morning (no matter what kind) and the vet was after me because she was to skinny. So in the mornings now she either gets a very meaty bone or frozen lamb patties from Natures Variety.
One of the great things I have found is that really good kibble contains less filler. And less filler equals less poop as they digest and use more of it. I must have tried six or seven types of dog food in order to find one Cinnamon would eat with enthusiasm. So I know how much different foods produce different levels of poop.
When Cierra came along (adopted last May from Humane Society) her coat was a mess so they decided to take some of Cinnamon's kibble home and try Cierra on it. When she started eating this it improved a lot but she still had allergies (red feet chewing dull coat etc) so after 3 months I decided to switch both dogs to grain free to see if that would help as nothing the vet was giving her cleared them up. It was necessry to switch both dogs because Cierra eats here quite often and both dogs change dishes mid meal. I was lucky as the Feed and Seed where I buy my food gave me samples of about 6 kinds of grain free foods to see which the dogs would eat best. They LOVED the Raw Instinct. After about 6 weeks I noticed that the slight redness Cinnamon's paw had (vet had told me grass allergy)was gone and Cierra's paws were almost normal colored her coat looked great and her ears no longer had gunk.
Now the one thing I did find was that different good quality foods effect dogs differently. When I had Cinnamon on Nutro she got recurrent yeast infections in her ears. They developed about a month after I switched her to Nutro and went away for good after I took her off of it. Lot's of the dogs here eat Nutro with no probems but didn't agree with Cinnamon.
Echoing what others have said, a good food in my mind is one that is free from excessive fillers, poor quality ingredients, artificial colors and unnecessary additives. A good food should have a meat meal as the first ingredient and should contain healthy ingredients with no fillers, colors, additives, etc.
To me, this is an example of a high quality food:
Timberwolf Organics Southwest
Chicken Meal, Chicken, Turkey Meal, Whole Ground Oats, Chicken Fat (preserved with natural mixed tocopherols and rosemary extract), Brown Rice, Ground Barley, Low Ash White Fish Meal, Ground Whole Flaxseed, Unrefined Roasted Walnut Oil, Atlantic Kelp, Alfalfa Leaf, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Carrot, Watercress, Spinach, Celery, Parsley, Fennel Seed, Wild Salmon Oil, Dried Cottage Cheese, Casein, Dried Chicken Liver, Potassium Chloride, Tumeric, Anise Seed, Cumin Ground Ginger, Organic Blue Corn, Dried Cranberries, Rosemary, Coriander, Choline Chloride, Lecithin, Probiotics: (Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Casei, Lactobacillus Lactis, Bacillus Bifidum, Streptococcus Diacetilactis, Bacillus Subtillus), Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols (a source of vitamin E), Lysine, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine, Methionine, Carnitine, Niacin, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Iodine Proteinate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine (a source of vitamin B6), Copper Proteinate, Selenium Proteinate, Cobalt Proteinate, Papain, Yucca Schidigera Extract.
The first three ingredients are meats and the rest is to a very high standard.
This is an example of a good but much simpler product:
California Natural Lamb Meal & Rice
Lamb Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Ground White Rice, Sunflower Oil, Taurine, Vitamins/Minerals, Beta Carotene
The first ingredient is a meat meal and both grain sources are good quality. A simple food like this would especially suit dogs with allergies or intolerance's. My own dogs are on a similar food and do very well.
This is an example of a poor quality dog food:
PEDIGREE WITH CHICKEN, RICE & VEGETABLES™ Food For Dogs - Dry
Ground Whole Corn, Meat and Bone Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken By-product Meal, Animal Fat (preserved with BHA/BHT), Natural Poultry Flavor, Wheat Flour, Chicken, Rice, Dried Whole Peas, Wheat Mill Run, Dried Beet Pulp, Wheat Gluten, Salt, Carrot Powder, Potassium Chloride, Vegetable Oil (Source of Linoleic Acid), Caramel Color, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, dl-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate [Source of Vitamin E], L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate [Source of Vitamin C*], Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Biotin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement [Vitamin B2], Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide), Added FD&C and Lake Colors (Yellow 6, Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5).
The first ingredient is corn, the second is a meat and bone meal (meat sources should ALWAYS be specified) and it also contains flavourings, colors and wheat. The meat content of this food is extremely low and most of it is poor quality grains. I liken this to feeding yourself junk food every day -- it won't kill you, but it won't keep you healthy.
Chancie, Brady looks very thin. What food is he on and how much are you feeding him?I ask also because I'm wondering if perhaps the dog food that the breeder I got Brady from may not be the best for him... I'm having trouble with him eating. I've had him for only since Valentine's Day, and I'm worried that he's so thin. The breeder told me the brand he bought and I got the same, he's just not eating like he should. I know it's probably still because he's adjusting to new things, but I'm really worried....
Here's a pic. He looks worse than he really is, but still too thin.
Also, under what circumstances did you get him from the breeder?
It concerns me that he came to you in that condition. You should never be able to see ribs on a dog when standing. Generally, dogs only get thin for two reasons, a medical condition or they are not getting enough food. :-\
I suggest you try making some Satin Balls to build him up. The rescue center I volunteer at uses them to put weight on undernourished dogs. Here is a similar recipe:
Was he dewormed? And do you have him on a monthly de-worming schedule?
Has he had fleas ever?
what is he eating now?
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC
Member Since 6/2003
He does look a bit thin, but very very sweet.
We feed Canidae as well. Angus does FANTASTIC on it. Simon has been having a few problems, though: ear gunk, anal gland issues, runny eyes and nose. These can be indicative of a food allergy. So, yesterday I got something new for him. I am trying Fromm's Salmon and Veg. The lady I buy food from suggested trying him on fish for a while. If it keeps up, I will go to an even simpler food with only one protein and one carb source.
Do avoid corn if at all possible. It is a cheap filler, has no nutritional value whatsoever, and is more difficult for dogs to digest. Wheat and soy are common dog allergens, so I try to avoid those as well.
Do a little research on dog food and start reading labels. You will be amazed at how much "crap" is out there.
There is nothing at the grocery store I would consider feeding the dogs. Start picking these up and reading the labels. Many of their treats have a very high sugar content. Most of their foods have corn listed in the top five ingredients. The cheaper the food, the sooner corn will appear on the list.
Pet stores such as Petco and PetsMart do a little better. If you are selective you can find some decent foods there.
But I go to a specialty store to buy mine. Actually, it's a "dog wash," but they also sell high-quality products (food and treats). I overheard them say the other day they don't sell anything with corn, wheat or soy. They carry brands like Canidae, Timber Wolf, Fromms, Azmira, etc. Brands that you never see anywhere else. If they ever go out of business, I'm in trouble!
Connie and "The Boys":
Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD
Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever