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Dog Foods - Help in making the choice easier

nymph
March 17th, 2005, 12:30 PM
I find this article extremely down-to-earth and very educating.

Hope you enjoy it too. :)

http://www.woodhavenlabs.com/dogfoods.html

Trinitie
March 17th, 2005, 12:38 PM
Thank you. I'm going to use part of it in a post for newcommers. :thumbs up

Prin
March 17th, 2005, 02:23 PM
The ingredient list is good but some of the opinions at the bottom should be taken with a grain of salt.

I just hate to see people who need info read other people's opinions written as fact. It can be very confusing.

Like "dogs don't chew anyway" so food won't clean teeth and If you eat a bunch of crackers are your teeth cleaner? , well, studies have shown that if you eat an apple then yes, your teeth are cleaner. My dogs certainly chew, maybe food vacuum dogs don't but there are millions of dogs who do and eating dry kibble helps them keep their teeth clean.

Lite/Diet formulas. GIMMICK. Do you want to totally ruin your dog's coat? Feed a lite or diet formula. They are filled with fillers. That's how they keep the fat and protein levels down.
Uh... no. The good foods simply cut back the protein and fat and do not replace with fillers. Replacing with fillers just boosts the caloric intake which is the opposite of what you want in a diet food.

Large Breed Adult foods. GIMMICK. Your dog should already be full grown if feeding an adult food. Why do you need to feed a LB adult food?
Answer: good large breed food is more dense so you don't have to feed like 10 cups. It's not about growing in an adult dog, it's about not getting bloat.

I've been a "nutrition nut" for years. That is what she says makes her qualified. Frankly, anybody who puts Iams on their "swear by" list... Iams lists Chicken Byproducts as the first ingredient. Really. And what works for this person's dogs (s/he seems to only use her own dogs as an example), may not work for anybody else. Dogs who do better on cheap foods are WAY less sensitive than the norm.

It's just so many people are trying to find info and they don't need opinions based on a couple of dogs and he-said-she-said stuff. I'm sure the foods your friends swear by and my friends swear by will be entirely different, there is no need to post our individual lists on the internet as fact. I haven't seen anybody on this forum swear by Iams... Does anybody else get annoyed by Royal Canin putting out breed specific foods that are full of corn? People think they are good for their dog because they are "formulated special for the breed". THe lab one has corn as the 3rd ingredient. How many labs do I know that develop allergies to corn at young ages? A LOT. Maybe I should stat my own "facts due to personal experience" web page...

I'm done my rant, I hope I didn't bug anybody.

nymph
March 17th, 2005, 03:15 PM
Well I guess it all depends on how your pet reacts to the diet. I have friends who "swear by" that their pets are happy and healthy on Iams, so who are we to say Iams is not good.

What to feed your pet is largely an individual decision, much like raising kids, I think, there is not set rules, and PRICE has nothing to do with the actual nutrition. Costco's Kirkland brand (actually made by Diamond) Lambs & Rice looks pretty good to me, but only for a fraction of what a bag of Innova Evo would cost. My parents' 3 cats have been on the Kirkland brand for years, 2 are 11 years old, one just turned 7, all are wildly happy and healthy with shiny fur, bright eyes and clean teeth.

I find this article refreshing because it shows a different view: down to earth and with a lot of common sense (no offence to anyone). I did not find the author being authoritative, but rather informative.

I hope I didn't bug anyone. :D

Trinitie
March 17th, 2005, 03:29 PM
Intentions were good. I don't think anyone can claim you bugged them when you meant well! :D

After all, I used part of that website in a sticky didn't I? :thumbs up

nymph
March 17th, 2005, 03:42 PM
My post got in a sticky? :eek:

Thanks Trinitie. ;) :crazy:

Trinitie
March 17th, 2005, 04:05 PM
Well - not YOUR post perse, but the information that was mentioned in the link you provided. You DID get a huge thank you from me at the bottom of the post though!!!!! I hope it's enough! :D :D

nymph
March 17th, 2005, 04:08 PM
Oh come on Trinitie, let me enjoy the gloat for a minute. :mad:

:party:

Trinitie
March 17th, 2005, 04:14 PM
Ok, but only for a minute! (or thirty!!) :D

Prin
March 17th, 2005, 05:14 PM
Well I guess it all depends on how your pet reacts to the diet. I have friends who "swear by" that their pets are happy and healthy on Iams, so who are we to say Iams is not good.

What to feed your pet is largely an individual decision, much like raising kids, I think, there is not set rules, and PRICE has nothing to do with the actual nutrition. Costco's Kirkland brand (actually made by Diamond) Lambs & Rice looks pretty good to me, but only for a fraction of what a bag of Innova Evo would cost. My parents' 3 cats have been on the Kirkland brand for years, 2 are 11 years old, one just turned 7, all are wildly happy and healthy with shiny fur, bright eyes and clean teeth.

I find this article refreshing because it shows a different view: down to earth and with a lot of common sense (no offence to anyone). I did not find the author being authoritative, but rather informative.

I hope I didn't bug anyone. :D

The thing that gets me is not price but if you could see a cooking show that showed the ingredients of your dog food being cooked together by Emeril, would you be disgusted or would you find it tasty? Chances are when you're watching the Iams show and they start putting the beaks and feet in, you may want to change the channel.

nymph
March 17th, 2005, 05:56 PM
I'm a Chinese and I eat chicken feet, it's actually quite tasty. :D

But seriously, that's what the author was saying (and I agree): it may seem quite inconceivable even disgusting for some, but is actually quite pleasant and OK for others. Do you know that animal by-products, i.e. liver, tripe (stomach), chitlins (intestines) and brain, are a rich source of protein? Chinese have been eating these for centuries. If I can eat it, my dog can eat it too.

It's really much like raising kids, no set rules, you do what you think is best for your kids/furkids, and there is certainly a learning curve and give or take some mistakes/lessons learned, but that's all part of parenting.

Prin
March 17th, 2005, 06:36 PM
Maybe you like your chicken byproducts, but try to get someone around here to eat cow brains... Not too popular these days...

Call me bland, but I like my chicken meaty not beaky.

coppperbelle
March 17th, 2005, 09:04 PM
Coincidentally I found this article tonight while doing some research and recommended it to others on another message who had dog food questions. I then come here and find that someone has posted it here also.

I enjoyed the article and found it to be very informative and down to earth.

matt
March 18th, 2005, 08:52 AM
For the most part you get what you pay for with Dog food. IAMS may seem to be popular with some BUT I would never feed this to my dogs! Sometimes a good source of objective, reliable, time tested info is to speak with a breeder of the type of dog you have. Some dogs do well on different foods but many breeders who have been breeding for many years have enough knowledge to back up a food over time in my book. I have not seen many breeders stand behind IAMS. With good reason.

If you have only fed IAMS or a similar grade food of course your dog will"seem" to do well on it. What is your frame of reference? And what is "doing well"? Now switch this dog to .... maybe Wellness, Eagle Pack, Canidae, Innova and test that out for a while and THEN compare. ;)

nymph
March 18th, 2005, 09:35 AM
Coincidentally I found this article tonight while doing some research and recommended it to others on another message who had dog food questions. I then come here and find that someone has posted it here also.

I enjoyed the article and found it to be very informative and down to earth.

Glad you enjoyed it too.

nymph
March 18th, 2005, 09:45 AM
For the most part you get what you pay for with Dog food.


That's certainly what those companies want you to believe. ;) Eukanuba charges $68 for the largest bag of puppy chow in my local Petsmart, do you think these "fillers" in Eukanuba would justify the price? What percentage of the price is actually representing the quality of the food, i.e. premium ingredients, and not marketing, packaging, distributing? I'm not defending Iams, in fact I'm not defending any maker of pet food, that's not my point. My only problem is with the idea that PRICE = QUALITY.

matt
March 18th, 2005, 11:25 AM
Let me clarify. Look at the list of the first 4-5 foods and see how many meat based proteins are in this, and Chicken by products do not count. There are foods out there that cost $$$ and are not worth it , always exceptions. Most of the more expensive foods can be easily distinguished from the Eukanubas by their listing of ingredients alone. Most of these use items that people will recognize, chicken meal, carrots, blueberries etc.... The cost can easily be seen in the foods that go in these. If I were betting on my chances of getting good food I would use price as ONE indicator. The Eukanuba you describe is one of the exceptions and the fact that it is a puppy food (which is the real scam) explains the price as these foods always seem to cost more. Again, you get what you pay for here. :thumbs up

nymph
March 18th, 2005, 11:56 AM
"Again, you get what you pay for here."

You were TOLD to believe that animal by-products are not good for your pets.

The French eat snails (escagots) and diseased goose liver (foie gras), the Scots eat Haggis (sheep's stomach, stuffed with oatmeal and steamed), Canadian maritimers eat dulse (which have bits of green algae, small stones, flotsam, and so on), and almost every culture has some sort of food using pig/cow/sheep blood. You want to talk nutrition? OK, let's list the unhealthy things we can find in a Texan grits or a Quebec poutine...you get my point now?

Like I said, if these are good for my own cosumption, I think they are good for my pets as well, popular or not (when is being-popular equivalent to actually being good? :confused). Well, I'm a bit like the author, I don't eat carrots, so does that make carrots non-human grade and bad for my dog?

You get what you paid for? Almost sound like an oxymoron, no offence. :)

Prin
March 18th, 2005, 01:57 PM
The thing is, you don't eat ONLY poutine. Your dog is ONLY eating his dog food. And despite all the nasty things people do eat, by-products are things they DON'T. And if your dog food is so human grade, how come if you bought all the ingredients "human-grade", it would cost you a million times more? Because they are NOT human grade. Do you think it matters if a bunch of ingredients hits the nasty floor in a dog food manufacturing plant? I got a milk bone with PLASTIC in it!!

And for the record, paying $68 (including tax-- I used to buy Eukanuba and it was $59 plus tax for a 40lb bag...) for a HUGE bag is not the same as spending $60 for a smaller bag. Eukanuba is not expensive. Compare $59 for 40 lbs to $71 (tax not included) for 33lbs of Solid Gold. BIG DIFFERENCE. It's $2.15/lb vs $1.45/lb. Iams is 2/3 the price of Eukanuba so you can do the math.Yes you get what you pay for. If you buy a $1.45/lb food, you are not going to get the same quality as $2.15/lb. Even if some foods are overpriced compared to quality, those are usually in the middle range of foods, not the higher end. T

he higher end foods are usually made by smaller companies who don't spend your money on sponsorships, advertising.... How many Solid Gold ads have you seen on tv? How many Wellness ads? How many Iams and Pedigree commercials have you seen? How much do you want to bet that more of Iams' and pedigree's budget goes to advertizing than into the food and into putting a really good product on the market?

nymph
March 18th, 2005, 02:10 PM
And despite all the nasty things people do eat, by-products are things they DON'T.

Like I said previously, I DO eat by-products, so does that make me not human? Does that make 1.3 billion Chinese not human? :rolleyes:

And if your dog food is so human grade, how come if you bought all the ingredients "human-grade", it would cost you a million times more?

Could it be, uh...just my guess...that there are people who would like to use price as THE indicator of quality? There was an old joke (might be just a Chinese joke) that goes like this: if you can't sell a pair of pants for $10 bucks, add another zero at the end, your sales would increase exponentially.

Prin
March 18th, 2005, 02:26 PM
Ya, I don't know anybody who buys expensive dog food wothout looking at the ingredients.

And maybe the by-products are some chicken feet that even you would find too disgusting to eat.

Doesn't a country in Asia also eat dogs?

jjgeonerd
March 18th, 2005, 03:04 PM
Maybe the point is being missed about the so-called "by-products". Are they edible? Yes. Do they have nutritional value? Yes. Will dogs eat them? Yes, but they will also eat various forms of poo!

The fact is that "___ by products" ARE NOT as nutritious as "___ meal". The better dog foods do not use by products, and they are more expensive because of it. Of course the marketing people want you to believe more expensive is better; however, whether you like it or not, higher quality products DO cost more. It then becomes the responsibility of the consumer to distingiush between the overpriced fakes, and the legitimate good foods.

I feed Nutro Ultra dry and can to my dog. There are no by-products or undigestible grains in it. My dog loves it, but then again she eats anything I give her, so that isn't a good measure. What is a good measure is that she eats less, leaves less stool, and has a very shiny and healthy coat because it is a quality food with quality ingredients. The extra cost is minimal. There are higher and lower quality foods out there, but this one is a good balance of price, availability, and nutrition for me. To each there own.

BTW...only my opinion...but the wild dog/wolf diet argument doesn't make any sense. Wild animals are often malnourished and disease ridden. Their diet isn't ideal, it is what is available.

Prin
March 18th, 2005, 03:07 PM
Thank you--- for articulating it so it is better understood. I just mentioned the wolf on raw not necessarily being healthier on the Raw thread that is currently around...

Trinitie
March 18th, 2005, 03:37 PM
I would like to keep this discussion on a mature level.

Bringing up the culture of some of the members of this board, in a negative light, is not called for and will NOT be tollerated in the slightest.

The comment about "Doesn't a country in Asia also eat dogs?" is a comment I did not appreciate and expect an apology to nymph and our other Asian members.

Prin
March 18th, 2005, 06:51 PM
Sorry, but I read that on another thread and I didn't mean it sarcastically, I meant it as a question. I don't know if there are countries that do or not. I'm asking. I thought if Nymph ate feet, maybe she would know of other foods I know nothing about. Sorry if I worded it wrong.

mafiaprincess
March 18th, 2005, 07:05 PM
When we got our pup we fed iams. Having never owned a dog, and knowing very little about dog food, we assumed it was good because it was popular. After reading various threads on a few websites I was really unimpressed with the quality of food I was feeding. We switched to nutro max since we could get it locally easily. In having the two foods side by side I was appauled at how increadibly greasy iams was.

I also just assumed vets knew best. My roomie's dad is one, and she was the one who said iams is good. After I did my research I gave educated facts on why I wanted to switch food. It was then that I realized how little some vets know about dog food brands. He used to be part of the dog food trial studies in Ont before the company was bought out. And Iams apparently always did well... I hope that when she moves home that she can maybe push a little of the dog food knowledge we have learned into his clinic. :)

Beetlecat
March 18th, 2005, 10:25 PM
This is off topic, but pretty much anything in the world that's not harmful to humans (and many things that are) are eaten by some human culture somewhere.

Dogs (and cats) are still eaten by various cultures today. And I've been told the Chow Chow was originally bred to be eaten. I don't care what they eat, though it is odd to have a carnivore considred as a food item, since they are hard to raise an mass (eating meat and all, it's usaully just easier and a more efficient use of energy to eat the meat yourself)

And as far as 'human grade' ingrediants in dog food, so far it's not a consideration for me. I am intersted, however, in what that phrase actually means. If it means only using meat fit for human consumption, then I don't really care since dogs aren't humans. They find cow brain and beef heart very tasty indeed. But if it means having food without packaging plastic or styrofoam in it (from when they recycle old cuts of meat), than that's different.

matt
March 19th, 2005, 07:17 AM
"By products" that are used in dog food are not quite the same as the "by products" humans eat as refered to earlier. I'm talking about , DEAD, DISEASED, DECAYING. And I do not have this opinion because of anything I have been told but what I have seen. :thumbs up

Trinitie
March 19th, 2005, 12:59 PM
"By products" that are used in dog food are not quite the same as the "by products" humans eat as refered to earlier. I'm talking about , DEAD, DISEASED, DECAYING. And I do not have this opinion because of anything I have been told but what I have seen. :thumbs up

This is very true. Dogs and cats are fed things we would never dream of eating ourselves as it would make us sick in a heartbeat. Animals with a nice bit of bacteria, that have been dead for (sometimes) days, are quite acceptable to put in dog food. Whereas people cannot eat food that is dead before it hits the slaughter floor. We must learn to determine what ingredients are good for our pets and help shut down the companies who create food from products that aren't fit for human or animal.

How do we shut them down? Don't buy their products. It's as simple as that. The more people who are educated, the more who won't buy their products. Eventually they either get the message, or they go out of business. We must pass along the message to anyone who'll listen. That's all I have to say about that.

Prin
March 19th, 2005, 01:01 PM
Dogs (and cats) are still eaten by various cultures today. And I've been told the Chow Chow was originally bred to be eaten. I don't care what they eat, though it is odd to have a carnivore considred as a food item, since they are hard to raise an mass (eating meat and all, it's usaully just easier and a more efficient use of energy to eat the meat yourself)

Thank you Beetlecat. I didn't know that. I wonder if chows were bred for eating why they were bred with so much hair?

Maybe I'm just too sensitive. I mean when someone puts a lobster in a pot, it makes me cringe...

nymph
March 21st, 2005, 11:10 AM
Believe it or not, good, healthy food don't need to be expensive. Only in North America (comparatively of course) that healthy food are so outrageously priced, and junk food are so widely available and promoted as tasty. The reason? We were taught to believe that GOOD FOOD WILL COST MONEY.

I'm not disagreeing with most of you here: I feed my Diego Nutro large breed puppy chow, and I probably won't touch Iams ever.

The reason I brought up this discussion is that I'm a little bit bothered by these "rules" in raising pets, e.g. we should only feed dogs certain food; dogs should only react in certain way (no barking, or only 3 barks then shut up, no biting, no licking, and the list goes on). What happened to the simple times when these "rules" didn't exist? My God, how did my parents' generation ever survive these years without rules?!

I sometimes find it a little ironic that we are only concerned with animal by-products, what about the chemicals in pet food? What about the preservatives and hormones and genetically-engineered vegetables? I was told by my local duck farmer that all their ducks are 47 days old. 47 days to have a full grown duck! Do you also know that over 70% of our vegetables, human-grade vegetables, are genetically-engineered? So why are we only concerned with by-products? Because WE WERE TOLD SO by commercial marketing. Some companies target a different market in order to sell their products, it's all part of their marketing strategy. Are these companies vastly different from the makers of Iams or Eukanuba or Pedigree? You'd be the judge.

Finally for prin, I guess you are (in your own words) a sensitive person, well unless you are a true vegan, you really have no say in the so called "animal cruelty" discussion, do you? Yes I eat chicken feet, I also eat pig knuckles, goose liver, snails and many more weird food. We are often turned off by things we don't know much of, it's human nature. What's important, I think, is to keep an open mind and don't jump right to conclusion. Do you agree? :)

Prin
March 21st, 2005, 03:51 PM
Ok-- I don't have a problem with other people eating feet or hooves or whatever. I don't think that that is cruel in anyway. I was just brought up on really bland food and I am not very adventurous. I willl never be a vegan though...

As for GMO-- that's a whole other debate and as I am a biology student and have studied that extensively, I won't get into that. Let me just leave it at this: a lot of anti-GMO groups don't know the technology involved and GMO is a term used for such a wide variety of products that you can't distinguish the bad from the good with that one term. If you cross pollinate two plants that aren't geographically near each other, you can call it GMO.

As for chemicals in the foods, yes, people are concerned. That is why people no longer by food with BHT in it, for one example.

no licking .... My doggies would be banned from the world... The only "rules" I follow are the ones that have to do with my dog affecting other people. All these "new" rules-- I guess they came in with the training techniques that view dogs as children.