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Sedona’s Guide to Dog Food

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your dog's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your pooch!

Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times. Non-informative posts criticizing a particular brand or another poster’s choice of food are not allowed in this Forum. References to any brand of food as "junk," "garbage," or other harsh names will be removed.

  
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Sedona

The Wise Cracker
 
 
Barked: Fri Apr 25, '08 6:06pm PST 
Hey guys, I though it would be a good idea to throw together some basic info on dog food. This is my first draft. Have I left anything really important out?

INTRODUCTION
You’re probably reading this because you’ve just learned the dog food you are being fed is garbage or maybe you’re just reading this to get some more info. What ever the case may be this is a short guide to help your humans pick out a good healthy kibble for you. It isn’t meant to cover every aspect of choosing a food, so I did leave some stuff out for the sake of easy reading.

First, you are a carnivore. See those sharp teeth you have? Those are for crunching bones and tearing flesh. If you were meant to eat lots of grains, fruits, and veggies you’d have flat molars like humans and bears. Carnivores need MEAT.

HOW TO PICK A MEATY KIBBLE
The first step in picking out a wholesome kibble is to make sure there is plenty of meat in the food. If chicken is listed as the first ingredient and there is no other meat listed, there isn’t enough meat in the food. Here’s why. All animals are made up of mostly water and water is heavy. The ingredients on that bag of dog food are listed by weight. Once that chicken is cooked all that water is taken out and it weighs a whole lot less. So in reality, there is much less chicken meat in that food that there is of the other first 5 (or so) ingredients.

If chicken meal is listed as the first ingredient there is a probably good amount of meat in the food. Chicken meal is regular ole chicken meat that’s already been cooked and its water has been taken out. Since it’s already been cooked the weight of the chicken meal won’t change. You can think of chicken meal as similar to chicken jerky.

If you don’t quite catch the meaning of that, here’s an analogy. Imagine the difference between one balloon filled with water that weighs 3 pounds, and 3 pounds worth of empty balloons. You have to have a lot of empty balloons to make three pounds right? Well that’s how it is with chicken and chicken meal. Chicken is full of water just like the water balloon. Once they cook the 3 pounds worth chicken to make kibble, it’s hardly anything compared to already cooked 3 pounds of chicken meal.

Ideally you want a food that has both chicken and chicken meal.

BY-PRODUCTS AND UGLY STUFF OF THE MEAT VARIETY
Now, you might scratching you head and wondering why the label on the back of the bag of your dog food doesn’t actually say chicken or chicken meal but says chicken by-product meal. Well pup, looks like you haven’t been eating much meat. Be prepared to be grossed out.

SPECIFIED MEAT BY-PRODUCTS
The humans who are in charge of dog food (the AAFCO) think it is okay for you to eat by-products. Well they are half right. Specified meat by-products are the dry, ground, rendered, parts of a slaughtered animal. Depending on the animal (chicken, beef, pork, salmon, etc) these by-products include heads, necks, feet, intestines, bones, undeveloped eggs, connective tissues, and a whole slew of other stuff left over from human processing. If you are a wild dog (like I strive so hard to be) this is all stuff you’d eat anyway. No biggie right? Well, by-products don’t include one important thing; MEAT! For all intents and purposes by-products are meat-less. You need meat to be your healthiest. So if your kibble doesn’t list a meat (like chicken) or a meat meal (like chicken meal) you aren’t getting hardly any meat. Seriously, I ain’t jokin’.

UNSPECIFICED MEAT SOURCES
Okay, now some of you are going “Hey, my bag of food doesn’t even mention a specific animal. What gives?” If your bag of food has ingredients like poultry meal, fish meal, meat meal, liver meal, meat and bone meal, etc it’s best to just throw that food away right now. There is no telling what kind of animals you have in that food. There could road-kill raccoons or even cats and dogs in that food. “WHAT???” Yeah I heard you say that from here, I have good hearing. There are no laws preventing companion animals being made into pet food. There should be, that’s just sick.


CARBOHYDRATES
Okay so you’ve found a food that has a good amount of meat without any uglies in it. Now what do you do? Well you need to take a second to look over the carbohydrate sources in the food. There are many different sources of carbohydrates used in kibble. You want a food that uses WHOLE forms of carbohydrates not fragments. Whole forms of carbs have more nutritional value that fragments. The main reason dog food makers use fragments is to beef up the protein levels caused by a lack of meat in the food.

Here’s a short list to give you an idea of what to look for and what to avoid:
WHOLE FRAGMENT
White Rice Brewers Rice
Potato Potato Product
Oatmeal Feeding Oats

If there is multiple carbohydrate sources in the food keep in mind that all those different carbs add up. If there is only one or two meat sources listed and five carbohydrate sources, there is probably more carbs than meat.

FILLERS
Fillers are just junk they throw in pet food. It has no real nutritional value and it’s used a fiber source. Fiber is a good thing, but you can get fiber from whole grains like the white rice and oatmeal I barked about above. Avoid ingredients like Corn Bran, Oat Hulls, Rice Hulls, Wheat Middlings, and Cellulose. There are other fillers that aren’t so bad, but still it’s best to avoid them when possible. A little doesn’t hurt but if there are more than a few fillers in the food it’s probably best to avoid it. Some of the better fillers are Tomato Pomace, Apple Pomace, Citrus Pulp, Dried Beet Pulp. Just make sure there isn’t a ton of that stuff in there. Remember that the ingredients on the bag are listed by weight so if a filler comes before a good ingredient, there is more filler than the good stuff.

FAT
This is probably the second most important ingredient besides meat. Good healthy fats are essential to your health. You really want to make sure you have a good source of fat. Okay, remember reading about the unspecified meat sources in your food. Well, there can be unspecified fat sources in your food too. If your ingredient list says poultry fat, it’s an unspecified fat source. Yuck. If they aren’t honest enough to list what kind of animal it is they aren’t getting my business. If it says chicken fat then YAY! Chicken is chicken; we all know what that is. Knowing what species I am eating is important to me and my Mom and Dad.

OIL AS FAT
Some companies use oils as their fat source. That’s fine. I prefer oils made from animals (like Salmon Oil) as opposed to plant sources (like Flaxseed Oil or Canola Oil). If you don’t have a problem with plants oils then you should be okay.

FLAVOR ENHANCERS
Ha, it’s pretty funny when you think about. These low quality dog foods are so terrible they actually have to add flavor and smell to them to make us want to eat it. People are so crazy.

Tallow and Lard are two craptastic forms of fat. These fats are nutritionally shallow. They aren’t a good source of linoleic acid and are just there to make you want it eat the food. I mean, yeah…this stuff tastes awesome but so does chicken fat. I’d rather have something that was actually nutritionally good for me.

You also want to look out for a thing called DIGEST. Digest is like a big stew of just about everything except the kitchen sink. Then they take that soupy mess and add it into the kibble or spray it on after the kibble is made. It has zero nutrition value and it’s presence on and ingredient list is proof that the food is crap.

Sugar, Sorbitol, Cane Molasses, Fructose, and Corn Syrup are all sweeteners. As yummy as candy is, we dogs don’t need that junk. Sweetners can lead to obesity, Diabetes, and tooth decay.

CHEMICALS
Dog food is chalk full of chemicals. That’s stupid isn’t it? Like, we have to eat this stuff every single day! Chemicals can build up in our little bodies and make us sick.

You want to avoid artificial colors and dyes like Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and stuff like that. I honestly don’t care what color my food is, I eat to fast to even look at it. I guess they put that stuff in there so humans see the different colors and think the food better or something. It’s not.

There are also some nasty preservatives you don’t want to be eatin’. BHA, BHT, Propyl Gallate, and Ethoxyquin are all really bad stuff. BHA and BHT have been banned by a lot of countries because it’s a known human cancer causing agent. It’s still legal in the US though. Don’t risk it. Humans would only eat BHA/BHT once in awhile, but if it’s in our food we’d have to eat it everyday. Bad bad bad. Ethoxyquin is a stabilizer for rubber! It’s been banned for human consumption! Steer clear of that stuff PLEASE! Propyl Gallate (aka Gallic Acid or Propyl Ester) is suspected to cause liver disease and cancer. There are other options to preserve foods. Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and Rosemary do just as good of a job as those chemicals!

There’s one last thing you should avoid. It’s located near then end of the ingredient list on that bag of food. It goes by the names Menadione Dimethyl-Pyrimidinol Bisulfate, Menadione Dimethyl-Pyrimidinol Bisulfite, Menadione Sodium Bisulfate Complex, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex and Vitamin K3. It’s synthetic vitamin K. Yep, a vitamin. This is another ugly thing that you should really avoid. It’s been linked to a whole bunch of health problems. Yuck.

Okay, that is a basic rundown of how I would pick out a good food. There are SO many products out there and it can get overwhelming very quickly. If you’re looking to switch dog foods just take it slow. You’ll find the perfect dog food you’re looking for. I promise!
[notify]
Gunner

All legs and no- tail
 
 
Barked: Fri Apr 25, '08 6:25pm PST 
Well worded, Sedona! I struggle to find the right words, but you explained everything exactly how I always want to.

I would mention the caloric content. As we all know, most 'premium' kibbles contain more calories and therefore dogs can be fed a smaller amount. Calories are a big deal in this house, so I always make sure people understand that. Real food means more calories!

Also, what about canned food? Should it have its own thread, or be added in? The method is similar, but not identical.
[notify]
Tiggles- (CGC, SILIF)

Give LOVE to get- LOVE-Adopt a- Dog!
 
 
Barked: Fri Apr 25, '08 7:11pm PST 
applauseapplauseapplauseapplause Terrific guide, Sedona! Well done way to go
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Sedona

The Wise Cracker
 
 
Barked: Fri Apr 25, '08 7:30pm PST 
Thanks guys. I'll definatley add in caloric content. I need to go back and work on my spelling and grammer toolaugh out loudI thought about doing canned food, but my butt and neck got tired from sitting at the computer for an hour. I guess I could to a complete-ish guide and include things like price comparisons, allergies, and what have you.

Feel free to throw suggestions my way. I need to hear the good the bad and the ugly.
[notify]
Sedona

The Wise Cracker
 
 
Barked: Fri Apr 25, '08 8:27pm PST 
Would anyone be interested in contributing to this? It'd be pretty sweet if we could have a whole complete guide on commerical dog food so we wouldn't have to send newbs all over the internet (and we could also avoid repeating ourselves ad nauseam).
[notify]
Geisha

Minion of- destruction
 
 
Barked: Fri Apr 25, '08 8:45pm PST 
Bravodancing!
How about adding should not contain wheat, or soy.applause
[notify]
Lily

Whose bed?? Why- would YOU think- that?
 
 
Barked: Fri Apr 25, '08 8:52pm PST 
Thank you for putting all this info in one place. A very nice job!
I just printed out copies for several of my children. They have moved from really low quality to Purina One, but won't make the jump to Canidae. If you buy the big bag and feed less volume, I'm sure it's cheaper, but they are not listening. PO is 70 cents a pound and Canidae is 84 cents, but you feed less Canidae.
I can't get past the animal digest and the chemicals in Purina One in addition to the fact that it's one of the foods that sodium phenobarbital was found in so it may have deceased shelter animals in it. How gross is that!!
[notify]
Daisy

throw the- ball!!!!- PLEASE!!!
 
 
Barked: Fri Apr 25, '08 9:59pm PST 
Sedona, you are sooo good! Love it!
a few ideas:
maybe you could discuss corn, and why we try to stay away from it.

Also, dogs dont see color allegedly, so aother reason that dyes are just for humans to makes us like the food.

the price difference (that it is often the same or even less, for many foods once you factor in the feeding less, and that you are getting way better quality).

That there are good foods in all price ranges. sure some are decent, good, great, and super, but hey all better than grocery.

that there are other ways to even supplement or mix it up a little (like rotating kibble, adding canned, or even raw /homecooked as treats, or to mix it up) there are so many cool meats and ones to rotate with...grain and grain free...and so many cool choices

that many dogs have allergies to corn wheat or whatever

I love that analogy that if you ran out of food would you give your dog some meat like chicken breast, or would you crack open a can of corn? hence, why feed corn in a bag?

i hate that they spray it with fat etc to make the cheaper junk more palatable....also those high carb/sugar can give dogs a sugar high, like mcdonalds....

maybe emphasize that having even more than one meat in the first ingred (and meal) is great too.

I cant think of much else, your guide is SUPER!! Ofcourse, all this stuff you know, you were probably the one who taught it to me--bol! so just ideas! We LOVE your guide, when it is done, please let us know I would love to forward it to the rescue I work with and to adopters who ask me about food! What a great print out it would be!

You could even list some good foods, OR ohh! maybe show 2 ingredient lists, like one from a good food and one from like a purina or junk kibble, and people can see the difference where you point out the types of ingredients to look for/avoid! ohh i love that! It would be the BEST handout!!

WE LOVE YOUR GUIDE!!! way to think of it!
[notify]
Nora

Is that a treat- in your pocket?
 
 
Barked: Fri Apr 25, '08 10:05pm PST 
This was really helpful for me! Great guide.

My only input is that it seems at the beginning to be talking to a dog and at the end a human. (I found the human addressed part easier to read just because the dog addressing distracted me from the info a little.)

Thanks for putting this together! I'll print it out and bring it to the food store with me!
[notify]
Sedona

The Wise Cracker
 
 
Barked: Fri Apr 25, '08 10:40pm PST 
Okay, I updated:

INTRODUCTION
You’re probably reading this because you’ve just learned the dog food you are being fed is garbage or maybe you’re just reading this to get some more info. What ever the case may be this is a short guide to help your humans pick out a good healthy food for you.

First, you are a carnivore. See those sharp teeth you have? Those are for crunching bones and tearing flesh. If you were meant to eat lots of grains, fruits, and veggies you’d have flat molars like humans and bears. Carnivores need MEAT.

HOW TO PICK A MEATY KIBBLE
The first step in picking out a wholesome kibble is to make sure there is plenty of meat in the food. If chicken is listed as the first ingredient and there is no other meat listed, there isn’t enough meat in the food. Here’s why; all animals are made up of mostly water and water is heavy. The ingredients on that bag of dog food are listed by weight. Once that chicken is cooked all that water is taken out and it weighs a whole lot less. So in reality, there is much less chicken meat in that food that there is of the other first 5 (or so) ingredients.

If chicken meal is listed as the first ingredient there is a probably good amount of meat in the food. Chicken meal is regular ole chicken meat that’s already been cooked and its water has been taken out. You can think of chicken meal as a cousin to chicken jerky. Since it’s already been cooked the weight of the chicken meal won’t change during processing.

If you don’t quite catch the meaning of that, here’s an analogy. Imagine the difference between one balloon filled with water that weighs 3 pounds, and 3 pounds worth of empty balloons. You have to have a lot of empty balloons to make three pounds right? Well that’s how it is with chicken and chicken meal. Chicken is full of water just like the water balloon. Once they cook the 3 pounds worth chicken to make kibble, it’s hardly anything compared to already cooked 3 pounds of chicken meal. Which would you rather have?

Ideally you want a food that has both chicken and chicken meal. Although a meat meal (like chicken meal) is a good thing to find on your ingredient list that stuff is cooked to high heaven. Since it has spent so much time in the oven at really high temperatures, it has a lot of the nutrition cooked out of it. A regular meat source (chicken) would have a little more vitamins and minerals compared to the meal form. That’s why it’s good to have both.

BY-PRODUCTS AND UGLY STUFF OF THE MEAT VARIETY
Now, you might scratching you head and wondering why the label on the back of the bag of your dog food doesn’t actually say chicken or chicken meal but says chicken by-product meal. Well pup, looks like you haven’t been eating much meat. Sorry man.

SPECIFIED MEAT BY-PRODUCTS
The humans who are in charge of dog food (the AAFCO) think it is okay for you to eat by-products. Well they are half right. Specified meat by-products are the dry, ground, rendered, parts of a slaughtered animal. Depending on the animal (chicken, beef, pork, salmon, etc) these by-products include heads, necks, feet, intestines, bones, undeveloped eggs, connective tissues, and a whole slew of other stuff left over from human processing. If you are a wild dog (like I strive so hard to be) this is all stuff you’d eat anyway, so no biggie right? Well, by-products don’t include one important thing; MEAT! For all intents and purposes by-products are meat-less. You need meat to be your healthiest. So if your kibble doesn’t list a meat (like chicken) or a meat meal (like chicken meal) you aren’t getting hardly any meat. Seriously, I ain’t jokin’.

UNSPECIFICED MEAT PRODUCTS
Okay, now some of you are going “Hey, my bag of food doesn’t even mention a specific animal. What gives?” If your bag of food has ingredients like poultry meal, fish meal, meat meal, liver meal, meat and bone meal, etc it’s best to just throw that food away right now. There is no telling what kind of animals you have in that food. There could road-kill raccoons or even cats and dogs in that food. “WHAT???” Yeah I heard you say that from here, I have good hearing. There are no laws preventing companion animals being made into pet food. There should be, that’s just sick.


CARBOHYDRATES
Okay so you’ve found a food that has a good amount of meat without any uglies in it. Now what do you do? Well you need to take a second to look over the carbohydrate sources in the food. There are many different sources of carbohydrates used in kibble. You want a food that uses WHOLE forms of carbohydrates. Whole forms of carbs have more nutritional value than fragments. The main reason dog food makers use fragments is to beef up the protein levels caused by a lack of meat in the food.

Here’s some examples of whole vs. fragment:
White Rice is whole, Brewers Rice is a fragment.
Potato is whole, Potato Product is a fragment.
Oatmeal is whole, Oat Hulls are fragments.

Do you see where I’m going with this? If there are extra words attached to the name of the carb it’s not whole. Would your humans eat something called Potato Product? I think not.

If there are multiple carbohydrate sources in the food keep in mind that all those different carbs add up. If there are only one or two meat sources listed and five carbohydrate sources, there is probably more carbs than meat.

FILLERS
Fillers are just junky stuff no one uses so dog food makers throw it in food. It has no real nutritional value and it’s used a fiber source. Fiber is a good thing, but you can get fiber from whole grains like the white rice and oatmeal I barked about above. Avoid ingredients like Corn Bran, Oat Hulls, Rice Hulls, Wheat Middlings, and Cellulose. Those are floor sweepings. There are other fillers that aren’t so bad. A little doesn’t hurt but if there are more than a few fillers in the food it’s probably best to avoid it. Some of the better fillers are Tomato Pomace, Apple Pomace, Citrus Pulp, and Dried Beet Pulp. Just make sure there isn’t a ton of that stuff in there. Remember that the ingredients on the bag are listed by weight so if a filler comes before a good ingredient, there is more filler than the good stuff.

FAT
This is probably the second most important ingredient besides meat. Good healthy fats are essential to your health. Okay, remember reading about the unspecified meat sources in your food. Well, there can be unspecified fat sources in your food too. If your ingredient list says poultry fat, it’s an unspecified fat source. Yuck. If they aren’t honest enough to list what kind of animal is in my food then they aren’t getting my business. If it says chicken fat then YAY! Chicken is chicken; we all know what that is. This goes for all types of fats not just chicken. If it says animal fat, that’s no good. If it says pork fat then it’s good. Get it? Knowing what species I am eating is important to me and it should be to you too.

OIL AS FAT
Some companies use oils as their fat source. That’s fine. I prefer oils made from animals (like Salmon Oil) as opposed to plant sources (like Flaxseed Oil or Canola Oil) because I’m a carnivore and I like to eat other animals. If you don’t have a problem with plants oils (like allergies and such) then you’re probably all right. Just make sure it doesn’t say Vegetable Oil because that’s unspecified and could have some scary stuff in there.

FLAVOR ENHANCERS
Ha, it’s pretty funny when you think about. These low quality dog foods are so terrible they actually have to add flavor and smell to the kibble to make us want to eat it. People are so crazy.

Tallow and Lard are two craptastic forms of fat. These fats are nutritionally shallow. They aren’t a good source of linoleic acid which is important to our health, and are just there to make you want to eat the food. I mean, yeah…this stuff tastes awesome but so does chicken fat. I’d rather have something that was yummy and actually nutritionally good for me. Wouldn’t you?

You also want to look out for anything called digest. Digest is like a big stew of just about everything except the kitchen sink. Then they take that soupy mess and add it into the kibble or spray it on after the kibble is made. It has zero nutrition value and it’s presence on and ingredient list is proof that the food is crap.

Sugar, Sorbitol, Cane Molasses, Fructose, and Corn Syrup are all sweeteners. As yummy as candy is, we dogs don’t need that junk. Sweeteners can lead to obesity, Diabetes, and tooth decay. It’s not fun to be obese, sick, and toothless.

CHEMICALS
Dog food is chalk full of chemicals. That’s stupid isn’t it? Like, we have to eat this stuff every single day! Chemicals can build up in our little bodies and make us sick. Who do these kibble makers think they are?

You want to avoid artificial colors and dyes like Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and stuff like that. I honestly don’t care what color my food is, I eat too fast to even look at it. I guess they put that stuff in there so humans see the different colors and think the food is better or something. It’s not. That junk is known to cause tumors and other health problems.

There are also some nasty preservatives you don’t want to be eatin’. BHA, BHT, Ethoxyquin, and Propyl Gallate are all really bad stuff. BHA and BHT have been banned by a lot of countries because it’s a known human cancer causing agent. It’s still legal in the US though. Don’t risk it. Humans would only eat BHA/BHT once in awhile, but if it’s in our food we’d have to eat it everyday. Bad bad bad. Ethoxyquin is a stabilizer for rubber! It’s been banned for human consumption! It’s been known to cause all kinds of health problems! Steer clear of that stuff PLEASE! Propyl Gallate (aka Gallic Acid or Propyl Ester) is suspected to cause liver disease and cancer. You know, there are other options to preserve foods. Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and Rosemary do just as good of a job as those chemicals! They just happen to be more expensive but they are much safer than that other stuff.

There’s one last thing you should avoid. It’s located near then end of the ingredient list on that bag of food. It goes by the names Menadione Dimethyl-Pyrimidinol Bisulfate, Menadione Dimethyl-Pyrimidinol Bisulfite, Menadione Sodium Bisulfate Complex, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, and Vitamin K3. It’s synthetic vitamin K. This is another ugly thing that you should really avoid. It’s been linked to a whole bunch of health problems. Yuck. There are other whole food and natural ways to get vitamin K in kibble. Manufactures use K3 because it’s cheap.

SEDONA’S PUP-LIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
Hey! Glad to see you’re still with me. I’ve been meaning to ask you…are you feeling okay. I know you’re getting older but you just don’t have as much energy as you used to. I notice that you have runny eyes and eye boogers. Your coat looks kinda dull, you seem to be shedding quite a bit, and you’ve got that doggy smell too. Also, I know this is embarrassing but dude, I saw you go potty and holy cow man! That was vile. That number two was big and smelly and wet. You do know that you don’t have to be like that right?

A lot of us pups have food allergies or sensitivities that can cause all those above symptoms. The best way to make sure you’re not eating things your body doesn’t like is to have an allergy test done by your V-E-T. Yup, I know what that word means and how it’s spelled too. If your humans aren’t keen on running out and getting you tested there are a few things they can do right now to help you out.

First, they should find a food that doesn’t have any of the crap I barked about before. Sometimes that stuff just isn’t giving us enough nutrition to be our healthiest. Next they should check to see if there is soy, wheat, or corn in your food. Those are highly allergenic ingredients. A lot of dogs just can’t tolerate those at all. If there is none of that stuff in your food check out the protein source. If you’ve been eating the same kind of food, or the same kind of protein for awhile you could have developed allergies to that kind of meat. Me, I’m allergic to chicken. It makes my eyes water, my skin itchy, my hair coarse, and makes me shed like crazy.

So if the food you’ve been eating has an ingredient list that reads like; Chicken, Chicken Meal, White Rice, Brown Rice, Barley etc you want to try a different food that looks nothing like the one you are currently eating. The new food could have an ingredient list like Salmon, Salmon Meal, Oatmeal, Sweet Potato etc. See how different that is? There’s no guarantee that it’s going to cure you but I can guarantee it will help you.

SO WHAT IN THE HECK ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO EAT?
Well, there are lots of good foods out there. Since every dog is different it’s hard for me to say one food is better than another. I might do terribly on the kind of food you do wonderfully on. If you’re looking for a truly awesome and healthy food you’re not going to find it at your local grocery store or Wal-Mart. More than likely you’re going to have to go to a pet specialty store which is cool because you get to go inside those places. The workers always have treats too so give them the sad face and you’ll get extra.

THE PRICE OF PREMIUM
Premium foods are more expensive. From what I’ve seen, the really good foods average out at about $1.75 a pound whereas the food at the grocery store is about $.75 a pound. Huge difference isn’t it? Not really. The premium foods often have way more calories. So that 20lb bag of premium food that costs $35 it going to outlast the 20lb bag of food that costs $15. You probably think I’m full of it don’t you?

Okay, let’s break it down:

Purina Beneful Original has 1674 calories per pound of food. The cost of a 17.6 pound bag on PetFoodDirect.com is $19.49.
1674 * 17.6 = 29462.4 calories
So it costs $19.49 for 29463 calories (I rounded up).

Canidae All Life Stages has 1875 calories per pound of food. The cost of a 20 pound bag on PetFoodDirect.com is 25.79.
1875 * 20 = 37500 calories
So it costs $25.79 for 37500 calories.

That’s almost another 5 pounds worth of food! Sure the price per pound of Canidae is higher, but you’re getting a heck of a lot more food for that price. You’d have to feed a lot less Canidae than you would Beneful, plus the ingredients in Canidae are LOTS better.

INGREDIENTS COMPARISON
Since I’ve already used Canidae All Life Stages and Beneful as examples I’m going to go ahead and continue using them. I don’t mean to pick on Beneful. It’s just that it was the only lower quality food that I could find the calories per pound so I used it as the example. The reason I chose Canidae ALS as an example is because I know it’s a great good food at a really reasonable price and it is pretty easy to find. There are many other great foods out there. Don’t think that Canidae is the end all be all of kibble.

Now let’s compare the ingredients of these two foods. I’m sure you’ve been paying attention so you should be able to pick out all the nasty ingredients right?

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

Canidae ALS- 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.

Do I actually need to explain this to you? Every single one of the bad ingredients I told you about before is in Beneful. Do you see any of that junk in Canidae?

Now don’t you feel ripped off? You’re paying all that money for corn and chemicals! Seriously man! When I found all this stuff out, I ripped the head off my favorite stuffed toy I was so mad!

A QUICK WORD ABOUT CANNED FOOD
Yum yummy yum yum! I just love canned food, but how do you know you’re getting a good kind? You can use the same method as choosing a kibble. If the ingredient label on the canned food lists stuff like by-products, chemicals, lots of carbohydrate fragments, corn, soy, and other junk don’t get it. Simple as that. You should be able to recognize most of the ingredients in the food.

An example of a good food is: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Chicken Broth, Brown Rice, Eggs, Peas, Carrots, Flaxseed, Spinach, Menhaden Fish Oil, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin, Riboflavin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Dried Kelp, Salt, Taurine, Potassium Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide), Artichokes, Cranberries, Pumpkin, Tomato, Blueberries, Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale, Parsley.


And an example of a bad food is: Chicken, sufficient water for processing, poultry by-products, brewers rice, carob bean gum, sodium tripolyphosphate, carrageenan, minerals (potassium chloride, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide), vegetable oil(source of linoleic acid), dried yam, guar gum, natural flavor blend, bay leaves, vitamins (vitamin e, a & d3 supplements, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate {vitamin b1}, biotin.

Okay, that is a basic rundown of dog foods. There are SO many products out there and it can get overwhelming very quickly. If you’re looking to switch foods just take it slow. You’ll find the perfect food you’re looking for. I promise!

Edited by author Fri Apr 25, '08 11:01pm PST

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