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Discussion Starter #1
Hi:
I started feeding Ted Beneful about 2 months ago, and he seems to be doing alright on it. Prior to that he ate Healthy Morsels (Purina), but I wanted to get him on a higher grade food that had a weight control line, since he could stand to lose 10 pounds or more.

I was wondering what others' experiences have been with it, what their opinions of it are, and if I could be doing better for Ted for the money. Right now, without a coupon, I'm paying between $17 and $18 for a larger bag.

He does have occasional skin breakouts on his front legs, but I always attributed that to a possible grass allergy. Is there an easily accessible grain-free dog food that carries a weight management line and is comparable in price?

By the way, I'm following the directions on the bag, and it doesn't appear to me like he has lost any weight...
 

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Beneful is full of grains, by products and artificial colorings. In other words, not a very good food. You want something with meat (not meat by products) listed in the first few ingredients, and, ideally, no corn. Others here are more savvy then I am about dog food and can help you more.

...By the way, I'm following the directions on the bag, and it doesn't appear to me like he has lost any weight...
That's not surprising. My experience has bee that the recommended feeding amounts listed on dog food bags are way more then most dogs need. It hasn't seemed to matter what brand of food, either.
 

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"Weight control" foods are simply foods with a lot of not so great fillers - you are better off feeding a regular food and feeding less. You can supplement with green beans for bulk so he feels fuller.

As far as Beneful - not something I would feed my dog. The Kirkland food at Costco is better and still not expensive. There is really nothing at a grocery store that I would choose as a worthy food.

If you really want to learn about dog food, google dog food project and read about it.
 

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I wanted to get him on a higher grade food that had a weight control line, since he could stand to lose 10 pounds or more.
You haven't accomplished that. Try ProPlan weight management though I am not a fan of diet dog foods. Feed less and exercise more, just like us.

If you decide not to feed a WM food, try the regular ProPlan chicken and rice (NOT the Shreds) or the ProPlan Sensitive Skin and Stomach.

My chubs get 2 cups of food per day. That's it. Some people supplement their dog's food with a can of green beans (rinsed) to add some extra food without all the calories.

Personally, doing the above is better for your dog than a WM food.
 

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You have just been given a couple of great suggestions.

HK is on Costco's Kirkland Signature Chicken and Rice. She gets 3/4 cup twice a day. I supplement her with some baby carrots when we are eating our dinner, and she may get a couple biscuits a day (I buy the puppy biscuits. They ae small so she doesn't get much.) HK weighs 56 lbs, she is trim and is always complemented on her fitness by vets and friends.
 

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I agree with the green beans. I buy a 5 lb. bag of frozen green string beans (about $5) at Sam's Club and cook up several meals in advance. That way, I'm sure no sodium is added. I add about 1 cup to Puff's evening meal of kibble.

We feed Kirkland's C&R from Costco. It's about $27 for 40 lbs.

When Puff was younger, I had to transfer the contents of an opened 40 lb. bag into 10-11 sealed one gallon Ziplock freezer bags to keep the contents from growing stale and Puff not eating halfway through the bag. Lately, now at 8+ years of age, she -- as with aging peeps as well -- is not quite as discriminating with her palate. (People gradually lose sensitivity with age and typically have lost over half their taste buds by 65 years of age.) While that's a bummer, it does have its bright side -- I'm satisfied with cheaper labels of Chardonnay. :)

FWIW, "Diamond Naturals"** is VERY similar to the Kirkland and is only a few dollars more (depending on where you buy it -- prices can vary widely with the outlet). It has no wheat or corn. I'll ETA the link for their store locator guide.

** "Diamond Naturals" and NOT plain "Diamond" -- plain Diamond is a lower grade with a lot of grains in it.

ETA: Diamond Naturals store locator: http://www.diamondpet.com/dealer_locator/

ETA: Diamond Naturals products w/ingredients: http://www.diamondpet.com/products/diamond_naturals/dry_food/

 

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We do the same as ED- except Sammi gets some green beans. Kirkland is a much better food for no more money then the Beneful IMO! Sammi weighs 62lbs. So also similar to HK. Oh yeah if you don't have a Costco card, Diamond Natural is the same food and can be found in many farm or pet stores. Just check there web site for locations in your area. Oops just saw Bobs post. Sorry for the repeat
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, thanks everybody. A friend, upon hearing that I'd switched Ted from Purina healthy morsels to Beneful sent me a link to a story about a pet owner who had a problem with it so I thought maybe I'd better ask here to see.

I did find a location for the Diamond dog food using the link (thank you) , and it isn't very far away. It's a farm store about 10 miles from my house, so I'll stop by there and scout out the Kirkland and Diamond line.

When my parents had to have their golden's front leg amputated, he was put on the greenbean supplement to lighten his load. It did work. When I spoke to the golden rescue lady closest to us about her own experience (she'd had to have a leg amputated on her dog too, and I was trying to find support for my parents in having the amputation done versus putting the dog down) , she did suggest the no salt type. They get large cans for their rescue center and dump it in large tupper ware bowls and just keep it in the fridge for all the dogs. I'm assuming they use it quickly so it doesn't spoil.

I do feel badly for his belly that I just switched him over and here I am going to do it again, but the good thing is that he has about half a bag left, and I can use it to integrate to something better for him. (I won't have to buy another bag of it to ease him to another brand, in other words.)

Thanks very much for your ideas. I really appreciate it.

(I'm trying to figure out a way to post Ted's picture, but mine are too big or something, and I have no idea how to make them smaller.)
 

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Here's a review of beneful's low weight formula... Baaad stuff...

Nestle Purina Beneful Healthy Weight Formula

Reviews Views Date of last review
1 15150 Sun March 5, 2006


Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
No recommendations None indicated None indicated










Description: Ingredients:
Ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, soybean hulls*, whole wheat flour, rice flour, chicken, soy flour, beef tallow preserved with mixed-tocopherols (source of Vitamin E), sugar, animal digest, tricalcium phosphate, sorbitol, water, salt, phosphoric acid, potassium chloride, dicalcium phosphate, sorbic acid (a preservative), L-Lysine monohydrochloride, dried green beans, dried carrots, calcium carbonate, calcium propionate (a preservative), choline chloride, vitamin supplements (E, A, B-12, D-3), zinc sulfate, added color (Yellow 5, Red 40, Yellow 6, Blue 2), DL-Methionine, ferrous sulfate, gyceryl monostearate, manganese sulfate, niacin, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, biotin, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, menadione sodium bisulfate complex (source of Vitamin K activity), calcium iodate, sodium selenite. *14%-a source of fiber

Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude protein (Min) 25%
Moisture (Max) 14%
Crude fiber (Max) 9%
Crude fat (Min) 7%
Calcium (Ca) (Min) 1.3%
Linoleic acid (Min) 1.2%







Author Post a Reply

Editors

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 3953 Review Date: Sun March 5, 2006 Would you recommend the product? No | Price you paid?: Not Indicated | Rating: 0

Pros:
Cons: Inadequate meat content, by-products, use of low quality grains and fat, artificial colourants.


The primary ingredient in the food is a low quality grain. Corn is a problematic grain that is difficult for dogs to digest and thought to be the cause of a great many allergy and yeast infection problems. We prefer not to see this used in dog food.


The second ingredient is by-products. It is impossible to ascertain the quality of by-products and these are usually products that are of such low quality as to be rejected for use in the human food chain, or else are those parts that have so little value that they cannot be used elsewhere in either the human or pet food industries. The AAFCO definition of chicken by-product meal is “a meal consisting of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidable in good processing practice.”


Corn appears a second time as the third ingredient, this time as gluten meal. The AAFCO definition of corn gluten meal is "the dried residue from corn after the removal of the larger part of the starch and germ, and the separation of the bran by the process employed in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup, or by enzymatic treatment of the endosperm". In plain English, that which remains after all the nutritious bits have been removed.


The 4th ingredient is soybean hulls. This is the outer casings of soybeans and pure junk filler. Soy flour is the 8th ingredient. Soy is a poor quality source of protein in dog food, and a common cause of allergy problems. Some believe that it is the number 1 cause of food allergies in dogs (outstripping even wheat).


Wheat flour is another grain fragment. The use of wheat is a significant negative: wheat is believed to be the number one cause of allergy problems in dog food. This is another ingredient we prefer not to see used at all in dog food. Rice flour is further filler.


Beef tallow is a very low quality fat obtained from the tissue of cattle in the commercial process of rendering. We are appalled to see sugar in dog food. Animal digest is a further low quality ingredient of indeterminate source which AAFCO define as "material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue. The animal tissues used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth, hooves and feathers, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice and shall be suitable for animal feed".


We prefer not to see the use of artificial colourants in dog food. Some of these are believed to be carcinogenic and cause hyperactivity disorders and are banned from use in many countries. See the main page for more explanation of the dangers of chemical additives to pet foods.
 

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I did find a location for the Diamond dog food using the link (thank you) , and it isn't very far away. It's a farm store about 10 miles from my house, so I'll stop by there and scout out the Kirkland and Diamond line.
You won't find the Kirkland line in that store because Kirkland is the house brand of Costco just as Kenmore is for Sears or Members Mark is for Sam's Club.

And please remember, it's "Diamond Naturals" that's similar to the Kirkland --not the plain "Diamond" which has corn and wheat in it.

And FWIW, it could be worth your while to check prices at the one that's closest against any others within driving distance. In my experience, the prices can differ quite a bit even among several stores here in Topeka.

I'll ETA the Kirkland C&R ingredients so you can compare those with the "Diamond Naturals" ingredient list on the link I gave you.

ETA: Kirkland Signature - Chicken, Rice & Vegetables Formula

Ingredients:
Chicken, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice, cracked pearled barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and Vitamin E), egg product, beet pulp, potatoes, fishmeal, flaxseed, natural flavor, brewers dried yeast, millet, carrots, peas, kelp, apples, dried skim milk, cranberry powder, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, rosemary extract, parsley flake, dried chicory root, glucosamine hydrochloride, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, chondroitin sulfate, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite (source of vitamin K activity), riboflavin, vitamin D supplement, folic acid

Guaranteed Analysis
Protein: 26%
Fat: 16%
Fiber: 4%
Moisture: 10%

Calorie Content: 3,754 kcal/kg (393 kcals/cup) Calculated Metabolizable Energy

 

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Diamond is a much better food. Beneful just also smells ridic.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
goodguy and Bob, thanks very much for taking the time to list those ingredients and to take the time to create detailed replies. I really do appreciate it. I did stop by the feed store today, I did NOT see any Diamond Naturals there as the locater suggested - interesting. There is one more store within a reasonable driving distance that I will check out as soon as I can. The feed store actually has a history of having higher prices anyway, so it's a good idea for me to check the other place out too.

We don't have a Cosco near here - just Sam's, and we aren't members. Therefore, when I go to the other store, I won't bother looking for Kirkland. I'll see if they have the Diamond Natural line.

He will be going off Beneful as soon as I can arrange it; you guys have me more than convinced that I'd made a bad choice there. The Healthy Morsels and Beneful have probably been causing his skin issues all along! Makes me wonder if those additives and byproducts are also contributing to his (albeit) infrequent seizures. I don't have a problem driving a bit out of my way for healthier food. Maybe I can get larger bags to minimize my trips too.

Dang - you guys are good. Thanks a bunch.
 

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I belong to Sam's Club in Topeka but I also belong to Costco although their nearest store is 70 miles away in Lenexa, KS (suburb of Kansas City, MO). Costco's quality on a number of items makes it worthwhile to drive there and pick up a bag or 2 of Kirkland as well as Costco's Glucosamine & Chondroitin and their Fish Oil (which Puff and I both take) -- as well as many other items (Rx reading glasses, dish detergents, frozen goods, clothing, etc.).

FWIW, when Puff was a year or two old, I found she stopped being interested in eating the food when the 40 lb. bag got down to half full. After much experimenting with containers, what worked best for us was to transfer the bag's contents to 10-11 one gallon sealed Ziplock freezer bags, put 5 in the freezer, put 5-6 back into the empty bag. Before it was needed, I'd take a bag out of the freezer a day in advance so it'd warm up to room temps before opening. I think Puff was reacting to a change in the kibble similar to what people would notice in crackers or cookies if left in the open for a couple months or more. Since Puff eats only 2 cups a day, a bag lasts us a l-o-n-g time.

Puff has (or had) a very discriminating palate and, fortunately for me, she's also self-limiting in the amount she eats.

People lose their taste buds and taste discrimination with age. IIRC, by age 60 most of us will have lost about half our taste acuity. I think a very similar process also happens with dogs. By around age 5, Puff no longer "required" feezing half the bags. Recently, I failed to transfer a new bag's contents to the 10-11 Ziplock bags and she ate every kibble offered, down to the very last one. But I won't push my luck, I'll continue to bag but not freeze.

Don't know how your Lab will react but I mention you this FWIW.

I've just opened a new 40 lb. bag. Gotta go now and transfer its contents to the Ziplock bags.

 

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Good luck! What dog food companies claim about their products is very misleading often times... Just do your research and do what you think is best for your dog and that's all you can do... I have found this website invaluable for my sami as she's a very allergic dog. This isn't gospell but the reviews are thorough and mostly correct...
www.dogfoodanalysis.com
go to reviews and ratings section... Good stuff!
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Thanks very much, both of you. Ted will be 6 in January, but so far I really haven't noticed a huge aversion to his food. There are times when he will let his morning meal sit for a few hours, but he always eventually eats it. His afternoon meal - if I don't feed him by 4 pm, he'll come and tell me. :) I'll play with him a bit and tell him to show me what he wants, and he will go over to the garbage pail that I keep his bag of dog food in, and he'll touch the lid with his nose.

He's really a rather intelligent dog. He equates carrots with celebration. Any activity in the house, like my husband or the rest of the family coming home from their day, has to involve a carrot. When he comes in from having a BM, he expects a carrot. We switched from biscuits early on because as a puppy he got very ill from them with uncontrollable diarrhea.
 

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Wow- this has definitely been a very helpful informative post, I am about 3/4 done with Beneful puppy food and am going to begin to introduce regular food little by little. She's just about ready ---
I do have Costco membership and never thought to even think to go there! Thank you all.
and I will keep reading.....
 
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