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What you should know about Dog Food!

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  • What you should know about Dog Food!

    What’s Really in Pet Food

    Identifying better products

    Ingredients to avoid

    Premium Dog & Cat Food

    Dog Food Ingredients & Nutrition

    Dog Food Reviews


  • #2
    Great links Jennifer. Many people are stunned when they discover what is in their pets food. Here are some more links about pet food:

    Personally though I do not feed kibble. I have a Great Dane and a Weimaraner who I feed a RAW diet to (not to be confused with the BARF diet, they are different) So I have spent many hours with my nose in a book researching canine nutrition. Thankfully though, my dogs are finally doing very well and I am pleased with the switch. Of course I don't have a problem with people who feed kibble, to each his own, but I would hope that people do their research and pick a good quality food for their fuzzy friends. :D
    "Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." --Roger Caras


    • #3
      Thanks for posting these links, especially "dogfoodanalysis", my personal favorite.


      • #4
        Back when I fed kibble, I usually used the kibble grading system found on the diet section of this website:

        I wouldn't feed anything that scored less than "A+" . Though there are some decent options in the A-B range that I believe are suitable....anything is better than the garbage like Ol' Roy .......
        "Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." --Roger Caras


        • #5
          The only thing I don't like is it's hard to find any of the A's in stores: grocery stores, department stores, and pet stores. I have not seen many of those brands in my pet stores or anywhere else in this city or my hometown. And it seems these sites target dogs, not cats. :?

          The best I try to do for my cat is give him these Meow Mix packets because the main ingredients tend to be fish of various kinds. It's even hard to do a full RAW diet because they sell fish heads and a kind of fish, but I don't know what kind it is (it's not labeled) and that's the only full fish they have unless I illegally fish from the ponds at the ranches.


          • #6
            I just switched my Mal to a different kibble and I'm really happy with the results so far. I tried this kibble-quiz but I must have done it wrong because I started with my score of 100 and ended up with....100. Didn't subract or add anything.

            But I'm happy with the food. The top ingredients are chicken, turkey, oats, chicken-meal, lamb, lamb meal, brewers rice and then it goes on to eggs, cheese, potatos, yadayadayada and a variety of vitamin supplements and some garlic in there too.

            But I do agree, Ol Roy and some of the other kibbles are pretty bad. I've seen quite a few with NO meat, meal or even by-products in them at all. I know someone who feeds his "prize winning breeder" Ol Roy and I tell him the dog would be better off eating table scraps. But he says because the analysis is the same, then it's the same food just a different color bag.

            I am really surprised Eukenuba is on the list as a B though. It's been awhile but I don't recall meat or meal being anywhere near the top 10 ingredients. And I'm surprised the ProPlans scored so low considering the top two ingredients are "meat" and that meat meal (chicken proplan is chicken and chicken meal, lamb pro plan is lamb, chicken, and lamb meal etc, etc, etc). And ProPlans use a specific meat gravy too.

            I don't know. Maybe some ingredients have changed since this was posted?


            • #7
              thats why i changed to james wellbeloved - pets at home here in the uk are now doing a food they say is just like jw - made the same with no crappy products and the same natural oils and such.

              its called something like wainsright or wainsworth i got a bag to try it out and my dogs didnt seem to notice the difference but then i do have dalmatians so thats not saying much at all!!!
              all dalmatian rescue 01255 220 649 (uk)


              • #8
                Yep we had a thread about dog food awhile back. At first I was skeptical but I tried Flint River Ranch. We liked it so that's our food now.

                Blessed Be

                Salem Witch Child


                • #9
                  wainwrights its called :) i have the salmon and potato
                  all dalmatian rescue 01255 220 649 (uk)


                  • #10
                    Here's another website I found about dog food. Seems to spell it out pretty well. I again don't agree with everything that this one says about which foods are "good" and which aren't but life goes on.

                    From my point of view, it seems almost rather difficult to tell a good quality kibble from a poor one. For example, the food I feed some of my dogs is listed as a "bad" kibble on this webpage. Yet, the first 4 ingredients are 3 specific meat and 1 specific meat meal. No salt, no animal fat, no wheat. Oats are in the top ten and the top 20 include potatoes, peas, carrots and apples. But this website lists it as a very poor kibble.

                    And on the other hand, she lists a food on the "high quality" list that one of my pet stores carries that does not contain ANY meat, meal or any vegetables of any kind either. If I remember correctly, the main ingredient was corn followed by rice of some sort.

                    Unfortunetly though, all but one of the ones she lists as quality I've never even heard of (heck, for awhile there I thought Chicken Soup For the Dog Lovers Soul was a book).



                    • #11
                      LOL! I don't believe there are very many people in the world who can agree on 1 pet food that is best! Everyone has their opinions. I personally have seen dogs who have done quite poorly on the "high quality" foods, but did well on ones that were considered "lesser quality". In my case I don't even bother with reading dog food lables anymore! (Thank heavens) I just buy the same human grade meats for my dogs as I do for my family and everything is well. :) Of couse they do get a larger variety of meats than we do..I for one am not interested in eating things like Emu necks,green tripe or beef hearts but the dogs love 'em! :)

                      Before I started feeding a RAW diet though, I did constantly research kibbles and read depending on who or where you get your information from you will almost always get a different answer about what is best.

                      JustAnotherDogLover: "And on the other hand, she lists a food on the "high quality" list that one of my pet stores carries that does not contain ANY meat, meal or any vegetables of any kind either. If I remember correctly, the main ingredient was corn followed by rice of some sort. "

                      Which food on the list were you refering to? That baffles my mind that someone would manufacture a dog food that doesn't contain meat! Dogs are carnivores, not they can't survive and thrive on grain products alone. On a separtate forum I am a memeber of (mainly raw feeding forum) we had a memeber come in a preach to us about the benifits of feeding a stricly VEGAN diet to our canines, and how wrong it was for us to allow are dogs to consume meat from animals who had lost their lives! I have no issues with people who are each his own, but ranting about the benifits of making my dog a vegitarian was laughable! lol
                      "Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." --Roger Caras


                      • #12
                        I realize it's all up in the air and based on opinion but I'm taking into consideration dumbo's like me who usually have to hear, "turn, your other left" when driving somewhere.

                        I was under the impression that when looking for dog food, by reading ingredients, you want one where there are at least 2 forms of meat (preferably two different meats) or 1 meat and 1 meal (again, different meats) in the top 5 ingredients. And I understood to avoid byproducts or if they are on the list they should be down near the bottom. I was also told to watch analysis; higher protein for example is not always best.

                        I've looked at the Timberwolf kibble and it didn't contain ANY meat or meal. Yet, it's listed as a good quality kibble.

                        And I'm looking at the website now for Natural Balance kibble which says Chicken is the #1 ingredient but when I looked at it at my feed store, there was no meat or meal in the top 10. So unless it was a cheap "close but distant" knock off, I don't understand how this is high quality either.

                        Or the food I switched to which has the top 5 as meat, meal, meat, oats, meal yet it's considered poor quality. Seems to me like this food would rank higher than Ol Roy but according to these sites, it gets a failing grade. I know there's more to dog food than the meat content but I would think a food with the top 5 ingredients having 4 of them meat would be a much better quality than one that might just have one meat or meal in the top 5. Yet, they seem to both rank together on the "F" list.

                        I guess I'm just confused at how to really tell the difference. It's like you said, I want my dog to be eating meat, it's very important, yet this Timberwolf brand that is supposedly good quality kibble has no meat in it. So why would that be healthy for my meat-loving dog?


                        • #13
                          LOL! Your post cracked me up! I am one of those people who also hear "turn, your other left"! LOL! :lol: I don't have any personal experiance feeding Timber Wolf brand but do know several people who do feed it with great luck. Personally I have tried most of the higher quality kibbles on the market due to Blue's horrible digestion issues. I did find it quite humerous a while back when I was tring out Canidae, Blue did horrible on it while doing quite well (for Blue anyway) on Authority Brand dog food from Petsmart! Which is usually listed as a horrible food.

                          As far as reading lables, I do know that you want good quality protein sources (meat and meat meals) in the first couple of ingrediants and it is best to avoid foods with corn products ( just based on personal experiance). As far a analysis for protein, I am honestly not sure on that. When I fed any of my Great Danes (puppies & adults) kibble I would watch the protein and fat percentages in food because Danes are not allowed to eat foods containing more than 24% protein and 12% - 14% fat...(which of course rules out feeding any puppy foods!) feeding higher concentrations of these can lead to very painful and disfiguring growth dis-orders such as HOD and PANO.

                          All in all, after my experiance and research I have thrown out kibble and reading lables all together...I now know EXACTLY what my dogs are eating so I don't play a guessing game anymore.. IMO there are just way too many issues with kibble that I am not willing to deal with...but of course that is just one persons opinion on the issue :)
                          "Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." --Roger Caras


                          • #14
                            I think whether it has one or two meat sources depends on your dogs needs. For example a dog competing in any competition where it is very active (aglility comes to mind) would do well on high protein food. However a dog like My Kota; who is a very spoiled house pet.. would become fat on a very high protein food.

                            I think it is wrong to say this one is the absolute best because they each of their unique qualities that might be better for one dog over another. However I do agree Ol' Roy is the absolute worst. :wink: I just had a bad experience with it so I have to say it is the worst.

                            But I think each doggie parent needs to analyze their dogs needs and find a food that fits within your standards.
                            Blessed Be

                            Salem Witch Child


                            • #15
                              Alot of times you can find these better feeds in feed stores, places that carry cattle and horse feeds. Around here those are stores like Purina, Coop, and Shurgain, all are specialty stores dealing in horse and cattle feed, and carry some awsome foods. Infact I'm torn between two right now but am sticking to the slightly lower food because its a larger bag an has the joint builders I need in it. But check your feeds stores, chances are you'll find it.
                              The reason dogs are great is they wag their tails, not their tongues.