That is a good point. Nick brought this up too.
You like Orijen. When I check out their ingriedents, the C:P ratio is 1.27 to 1.45 depending on whether I use the high or low Calcium number.
Not quite. It's also the total amount of calcium. You're absolutely right, the Ca:Ph ratio is important...but for other reasons. Total amount of calcium is important because it can affect growth and, if the genes are present, exacerbate hip dysplasia. Thank you, though, for bringing up the ratio...that shouldn't be discounted.Originally Posted by luvmydogz2much
It's been my experience that most commercial foods have a proper ratio. Do you know of any that are off?
To answer your original question -- a brand not listed in Kiddsmom's link is Honest Kitchen. They make both "Embark" and "Force" which are grain-free. It's not kibble, but is dehydrated.
Good Morning Chowhound,
Hmmmmmm, so now you have added another question for me- what kibble is and dehydrated, or the difference. I have not had a specific definition of kibble, my thought of was dry food.
Protein is an essential nutrient and serves numerous functions in the body, including muscle growth, tissue repair, enzymes, transporting oxygen in the blood, immune functions, hormones, and as a source of energy. A protein is defined as a group of amino acids linked to each other in different quantities and sequences. Each protein has a precise combination of amino acids that is specific for that protein, and the arrangement of amino acids determines the specific nature of a protein. Dietary protein that is digested in the stomach and small intestine is broken down to form free amino acids which are then absorbed into the bloodstream. Amino acids are distributed to various cells of the body where they are utilized to build body proteins.
Over twenty amino acids are involved in the synthesis of protein in the body. Essential amino acids are those that cannot be formed fast enough or in sufficient amounts to meet the requirements for growth and maintenance and, therefore, must be supplied in the diet. Nonessential amino acids are those that the body can produce in sufficient amounts from other nutrients and metabolites and, thus, do not need to be supplied in the diet.
Although essential amino acids are not stored as such in the body for any significant period of time, they are constantly metabolized. Consequently, they must be provided simultaneously in the proper proportions in a pet's diet. Essential amino acids for dogs include:
Sources of Protein
Protein is derived from both animal and plant sources. Most protein ingredients contain inadequate amounts of one or more amino acids and are thus inefficient if used as the sole source for meeting protein needs. However, by careful selection and combination of different protein sources, these inefficiencies can be completely overcome. For example, soybean meal and corn complement each other perfectly, because the amino acids which are deficient in one are present in the other. Neither meat nor soybean meal is an ideal source of protein; however, either can be adequate if fed in combination with another complementary source of amino acids.
To evaluate the protein levels of different dog foods, two factors should be considered. One is the level of protein and the other is the protein digestibility, or availability of the protein to a dog, which can be determined only by controlled feeding studies. Two diets may have the same protein level listed on their packages, but the results of dog digestion studies may indicate very different levels of protein digestibility. For example, a dog food which contains 21% protein with 85% digestibility would deliver equal amounts of protein as a diet containing 23% protein with 78% digestibility.
In addition to the protein level, quality control during processing of dog foods is important. Protein may be damaged by excessive heat processing, but most reputable dog food manufacturers use proper cooking methods and employ quality control measures to ensure that products are made properly. Because information about protein digestibility is not listed on dog food labels, the manufacturer's reputation is important.
Excesses and Deficiencies
In dogs fed diets containing more protein than is needed, extra protein is metabolized and used for energy. Unlike fat, there is a limit to the amount of protein stored as such in the body. Once the demand for amino acids is met and protein reserves are filled, protein energy could potentially go to the production of fat.
Protein is an essential nutrient. Dogs fed diets too low in dietary protein may develop signs of deficiency. These may include a depressed or decreased appetite, poor growth, weight loss, rough and dull haircoat, decreased immune function, lower reproductive performance, and decreased milk production. Dogs can also experience subclinical protein deficiencies. In such a condition, they may appear perfectly healthy, yet they may be more susceptible to infections and other environmental stresses.
Now my personal thougths on this. Food/grains are rarely the cause of allergies but they may aggrevate what is an underlying condition. Like a weak, comprimised immune system. I refuse to put my dogs on a super high protein diet (grainfree or not) because there is NOT enough research, if any at all, to back up the claims. As even said to me by food reps! Also because a dog can only use so much protein, the rest is dumped out of the body.
Protein is a source of fuel, so unless your dog is running a marathon, what is it doing with all that extra protein?? This has to be the reasoning behind performance foods. They are geared to fuel a dog who is actively performing a duty. Most of our dogs are couch taters.
Most performace foods do not go beyond 30-35% and from the food experts I have talked to they claim that in studies dogs tend to not utilized much more than that, the rest is just wasted. That was even told to me by one of the manufacturers of a grain-free food and the basis for their food was because there is a demand for it. They had no feeding trials on that food, no studies, etc. Just a supply and demand thing. While I think this is one of the better foods many people feed, in regards to their grain free food I did not find this information comforting at all.
Basically manufacturing a food because of the hype. And it sells.
There was a small handfull of these companies when questioned that said they had no interest in going the grain-free route.
NOW again with all that being said, I think there is a place for grain-free. I know of one guy recently who had his dog tested and it was pretty much allergic to everything - even dog dander!!!! They may end up having to cook for their dog. But there is a need for some of these food but IMHO I do not think the super high protein is needed.
Diamond was one of the only companies who kept their Prot levels low. I was told it was because they felt there were not enough finding to say that 40%+ was efficient and effective. They exact words were "not comfortable" with those levels and mainly because there have been no feeding trails. I can appreciate that honesty.
While some grain free foods (one comes to mind) does do feeding test to my knowledge these companies IMO still pay into the the hype and I feel far better using a food with a few decades behind them.
What Kim said. I see a lot of food fads come and go and right now, this is what I feel the whole "grain-free" food is.
I would never feed food that wasn't actually fed to dogs in actual feeding trials. When I did feed such a food, my dogs' health deteriorated to the point where I felt I was going to lose a couple of them. It took over a year to get them back to where I could show them again.
I will only feed an established food. If nothing else, the dog food recalls showed me that some of these foods on the market are dangerous.
♣ Laura ♣
I have been searching the web crazy for that food you feed your dogs and cannot find it, WhupAss-- ;D
Thanks for everyone's help here. Regardless, I have become very acquainted w/ this topic very quickly.... I know it is a huge topic for debate. I at the least like knowing about things for myself. When I was a college grad, I went to Europe and backpacked- everyone said that Parisians were rude people. Well, I did not want to make a generalized opinion like that nor take it from someone else. I got there and made my own evaluations.... I will leave that for you to figure out for yourself, I liked the city!... ;D
Because it's just not that simple. Metabolically speaking, dogs are better able to convert protein to energy, but you still must watch how many calories you're feeding. Just because you feed more protein than fat and carbohydrates doesn't mean you're providing any more energy. In fact, if you look at the kcals/kg of many foods (grain-free or not), they're fairly close.Protein is a source of fuel, so unless your dog is running a marathon, what is it doing with all that extra protein??
1/3 of the protein goes straight to the skin and coat, but since you're providing 0% carbohydrates, the protein is also used as an energy source as opposed to rice, wheat, corn, etc. Raw diets have a lot more protein than other foods, but they don't bounce off the walls with all that "energy." Given the prevalence of foods with grains coinciding with obesity, I don't think protein has anything to do with energy or being overweight. You have to look at how many calories you're providing.
I'm not sure what you're referring to in terms of protein research, but it's perhaps one of the most researched areas in animal nutrition. Studies go back decades showing the effects (or lack thereof) of protein - on the high side - on growth. We now know protein has nothing to do with kidney failure. It may be problematic with existing kidney problems, but high protein diets do not harm the kidneys. Dogs are designed for high protein diets and that's partially evident by their biological classification.
I do differ from a lot of people who feed grain free foods. I don't think grains are necessarily bad. It depends on how the dog does...mine does just fine on foods with grains. I think dogs can handle energy from certain carbohydrates, but I also think high protein diets are fine. Truthfully, they've been around a lot longer than commercial kibbles.
I don't think it has to do with an obese dog or making a dog hyper. It has to do with prot(and fat for that matter) being used as fuel. If they are not being fully utilized, they are passed through the body not stored. Fat is stored. Not protein.
I was told, in studies, dogs do not normally process anything over 32-35% protein. Anything in excess of that was wasted. That 25%-26% was optimal for the average dog.
Working dogs require more calories, fat and protein.
I recently had someone tell me they cannot feed their dog X products because of the protein amount in it made their dog hyper. That was the first time I had EVER heard this myth and I was perplexed. This dog was a service dog, Leader Dog, and the most gentle, calm, almost subdued Lab I have seen!! I though she thinks THIS is hyper!!?? This dog was about 5 years old, not a pup. Until a few weeks ago I had never heard the prot = hyper thing. :-\
That's actually not entirely true. Protein isn't stored in the sense that, other than muscle, there aren't protein reserves. However, protein can be converted to fat through biochemical processes. The nitrogen is eliminated from the amino acids. However, amino acids also contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen - necessary elements of carbohydrates and eventually lipids. Other bits of amino acids are transformed into TCA intermediaries for use later.If they are not being fully utilized, they are passed through the body not stored. Fat is stored. Not protein.
You're right, some is wasted, but I don't think only active dogs should be fed high protein diets since dogs are much better at humans at metabolizing protein. I think performance dogs need more fat, and if the food contains too much fat and protein I can understand why that would be a bad idea for a typical dog. That's one reason I don't feed EVO. I do like Taste of the Wild because of it's lower fat and calorie content, but it also has lower amounts of protein.
In any event, I think you can have a perfectly healthy dog whether you go with a higher protein and lower carbohydrate food, or a lower protein food with carbohydrates. I've fed both and I can't say Jes does any better on one than the other. I definitely don't want to come across as saying someone should feed a higher protein food over another, I just don't think it's a concern if one does.