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What is a good dog food??

January 31st, 2006, 08:49 PM
HI. I was reading some of the other threads and I saw someone say that Science diet food is not good food for dogs. That is what my dogs eat. The vet said that it is great food but here I am reading different....
what type of food is best?

January 31st, 2006, 09:39 PM
what type of food is best?

The best food for your pet, is what ever you can afford that provides the best nutrients in that price range. Figure out how much you can afford and then research dog foods in that price range and then narrow it down to availability. Once have it down to a few, get some samples and see what your pet likes. And then it is just a matter of slowly adjusting.

I personally feed my dog Go! Natural; Chicken, Fruits and Vegetables. But it is about $60-70 for a 30Kg bag.

January 31st, 2006, 10:06 PM
A great food is one without by-products, with the first ingredient a meat, with the meat in "meal" form, without corn, without soy, without brewer's rice, without wheat, without beetpulp, without tomato pomace (but that's not as bad), without preservatives, with very specific meat names (GOOD= turkey, salmon, chicken, lamb, etc; BAD= meat, poultry, bone meal (without the animal name))....
hmmm... what am I forgetting?

Look out for foods like this:
Chicken, corn meal, corn gluten, corn....
Lamb, rice, rice bran, rice flour, ...
Some foods break down the grains into their parts so that they can put the meat first when really, the grain is #1 (it looks better).

Foods have this:
Chicken, corn meal...
The corn meal is dehydrated; the chicken isn't. When the food is cooked at 400 degrees, the water evaporates, which means around 70% (at least) of the mass of the chicken is gone, but the corn meal is all still there. Which means, the chicken is not the primary ingredient your dog is eating.

Look out for foods that say "Crude Protein" and "Crude Fat". Crude means it's in there, but your dog might not use most of it. Like a ball of fur is 100% protein. But nobody digests fur. Crude=100% Real=0%

Is that enough so far?:o

January 31st, 2006, 11:04 PM
another hint: you don't buy your food in pet shops, so don't buy your dog's food in the grocery store. or at walmart's. or at your vet's. Good foods are only sold in quality petshops and better yet, aim for holistic brands that use human-grade ingredients and lotsa good meat and as little grain as possible. you'll feed less, your dog will poop less, everybody wins.

educate yourself on how to choose a better dog food at

learn to identify the ingredients to avoid:

learn to decipher those labels:

and please remember that our pets crave and need fresh foods too, not only processed nuggets in a bag (=artificial diet). add meats, fish, cottage cheese, eggs, even quality canned food to the dry stuff and your pet will be all the better and happier for it.

good luck! :thumbs up

February 1st, 2006, 08:41 AM
WOW, that was alot of info and now I feel like i'm hurting my dogs by feeding them science diet food. I don't have a bag to look at the ingredients so I will check out different food next time they need more food. I get their food at either this little animal feed center in my town or pet smart. The pug eats and eats and eats and is so fat, I think I might get yelled at next vet visit but the other one, the rat terrier/chiuhuha, (not sure how to spell that) mix hardly eats. My son feeds him his food alot of the time. Noodles, chicken, stuff like that. I've always been told that feeding dogs human food was bad for them and could kill them and that science diet is the best food for dogs and cats. I'm gonna go to the websites you suggested and search food. Actually the lady at the counter at the feed store here in town suggested another food that was pretty new that she said was better than science diet, I can't remember the name of it but i'll check it out too. Thanks :thumbs up

February 1st, 2006, 08:54 AM
OK i've been looking some, I was at a site that had me put the size, stage and type (small) and it showed me the best foods for him. What do you guys think about Foundations food??:usa:

February 1st, 2006, 06:06 PM
Foundations makes Go Natural which if I remember correctly has excellent ingredients.
Just for your information I looked up Science diet food and found the Chicken formula ingredients that according to their web site contains "real chicken" as opposed to what I wonder "fake chicken"
Here are the ingredients, meat is not the first ingredient.
Brewers rice, ground wheat, chicken meal, corn gluten meal, soybean meal, animal fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), chicken, vegetable oil, peas, carrots, chicken liver flavor, dried beet pulp, flaxseed, dried egg product, L-lysine, iron oxide, L-tryptophan, preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid, minerals (salt, potassium chloride, dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, magnesium oxide, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), rosemary extract, beta-carotene, vitamins (choline chloride, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (a source of vitamin C), niacin, thiamine mononitrate, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement).

February 1st, 2006, 09:47 PM
Foundations makes Go Natural

Almost correct ;) , Foundations is another product made by the same company as Go Natural. The company is Petcurean and it's Canadian, based out of Abbotsford, BC. Go Natural is the high end, then Foundations is middle of the line food and their base product is Summit. All wonderful foods.

Here is a link to the descriptions of all of them.

February 1st, 2006, 10:09 PM
Science Diet used to be considered a good food. But they've fallen far behind in the industry. Science Diet is still highly recommended by vets because they pay the vets to say it's good. I don't recommend anything by Proctor and Gamble (IAMS, Eukanuba) because they test on animals. The joke around the store is that they bought these foods to feed their test subjects. Nutro Natural Choice, Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance (really good holistic) are good in the mid-price range. Solid Gold, Pro Pac, Bil-Jac and Avo Derm are good in the higher price range.
I feed Bax a mix between Nutro Lamb and Rice and Bil-Jac Select. Missy (the kitty) gets a mix of Nutro Chicken and Pro Plan Hairball Management. Both have beautiful skin and coat, no weight problems, poop doesn't smell, etc.
Be careful cause some of the highest quality foods tend to be the richest and will take longer for the pup to get used to. You might have to deal with loose stool for a little bit thill the tummy gets adjusted. Good Luck!!! :thumbs up

February 1st, 2006, 10:42 PM
Ok, am I looking at a different Bil-Jac or what? The one I saw has "meat" in it (i.e. unnamed animals). What are the first few ingredients of your bil-jac, BaxterBoo? If you don't mind..

February 13th, 2006, 09:09 AM
Some friends of ours were other the other day and saw what Titan was doing, (thread- anal problem ) and said that thier lab was doing the same excat thing and they eventually found out that she was allergic to the corn in the food. last week Titan got this rash all over his belly, I took him in and the vet said that he has a staph infection, he is on antibotics now, rash is going but still scooting and rubbing bottom, my friend said that her dog did the same thing, vet also said she had a staph infection, she said it took months to figure out what was really wrong. So I am switching his food to something different, without corn, hope it helps. I bought a trial tiny bag the only NON corn puppy food in the feed store, chicken soup for the dog lovers soul, I plan to get Go! Natural, they didn't have it, i'll have to make a trip to petsmart later today. I am praying that this is the problem.

February 13th, 2006, 11:16 AM
Odds are you won't find the really good foods in PetSmart. The one we have here in Jax carries Nutro as their top of the line. The PetCo in town has just recently started to carry a few super premium foods, but in general, I typically have to find these at smaller, specialized pet stores.

February 14th, 2006, 01:56 PM
Thanks for the petsmart advice but I don't really have much of a choice here. its the only pet store near me besides the small town feed and seed and it mostly carries science diet, premiun edge, and chicken soup for the dog lovers soul, I got that, just trial size bag, only one in the store w/out corn in it. I checked online and the petsmart here carries nutro, I think i'm gonna try that. I emailed the petcurean company, GO! Natural doesn't even sell in my state period. We saw the vet today and said that its umcommon for puppies under 6 months to have allergies but not impossible, she said to try changing his food and if that doesn't work to bring him back, but to wait a couple months and see. Poor baby has to have surgery on his nose, he can't breathe all that well. I spoke with the surgeon today and he wants to wait till after his last set of boosters next month and than do it. Atleast when that is over with he will beable to breathe better even if his bottom is still bothering him.

February 15th, 2006, 02:26 AM
Titan, choosing a food gets really overwhelming and confusing really quickly, but there's a light at the end of the come out of it learning a lot about your dog and other aspects of canine health, and hopefully in the end you have a happier, healthier dog for it.

Reading the ingredients of the science diet food listed above made my eyes hurt :( But you were doing what a lot of people, including myself, do or once did---you go with advertising, what your vet says, and what is the "top of the line" food in the grocery stores. Unfortunately it's very misleading to do this.

The pug eats and eats and eats and is so fat, I think I might get yelled at next vet visit but the other one, the rat terrier/chiuhuha, (not sure how to spell that) mix hardly eats. My son feeds him his food alot of the time. Noodles, chicken, stuff like that. I've always been told that feeding dogs human food was bad for them and could kill them and that science diet is the best food for dogs and cats.

By adding fresh foods to the diet, no one means to scrape off your dinner plates into the dogs' dishes every night and feed them the leftover casserole from the fridge. This type of feeding doesn't really meet their needs and is often a quick road to a fat dog. But a dab of yogurt, cottage cheese or canned pumpkin, some fresh meat (not kentucky fried chicken), apples or carrots if your dogs like them, eggs...these all make my dogs very happy campers. CERTAIN foods can be harmful, like onions, chocolate, grapes/ do a little research before you feed fido new stuff.

Refined carbs like bread and pasta/noodles don't really have a place in a dog's diet, though I'm sure they love them. I'd have to guess your one dog doesn't have too much of an appetite for his dog food because he gets so much free snacking from your son. I'd try to get him to cut it out, and renew your dog's interest in what you put in his dinner bowl by giving him some fresh food mixed in with his kibble and maybe some canned food too. Different dogs have different appetites though, so if he's at a good weight, I wouldn't worry about it if he's enjoying his food.

As far as your fat pug goes, it sounds like you need to cut back on his feedings and probably get the kids to stop with all the sharing :)

Ironically, I have very little available to me also and my dogs have eaten foods (adult formulas) from all of the lines that you listed as currently available to you. But certain foods within the brands are better than others.

Nutro natural choice puppy (chick & rice): Chicken Meal, Ground Rice, Rice Flour, Rice Bran, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Poultry Fat----this wouldn't be my first choice. (:( Rice, rice, rice, beet pulp, nonspecific source of fat)

Nutro Max puppy: Chicken Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Wheat Flour, Poultry Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of natural Vitamin E), Ground Rice, Rice Bran, Dried Beet Pulp (sugar removed), Whole Wheat, Lamb Meal----probably not my first or my second choice, for that matter...
(:( Corn products, wheat [another common allergry source], beet pulp, nonspecific source of fat)

Premium Edge puppy: Chicken, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice, cracked pearled barley, corn gluten meal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), fish meal, potatoes, millet, oatmeal, egg product, flaxseed, natural chicken flavor, kelp, carrots, peas, tomatoes, apples, cranberry powder, rosemary extract, parsley flake (They had to go and throw that corn gluten meal in there, didn't they? I don't know why--their adult foods don't have it, but they put corn gluten meal in their cat food, too.)

Chicken Soup puppy: Chicken, turkey, chicken meal, turkey meal, whole grain brown rice, whole grain white rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), oatmeal, potatoes, cracked pearled barley, millet, duck, salmon, egg product, flaxseed, natural chicken flavor, kelp, carrots, peas, apples, dried skim milk, cranberry powder, rosemary extract, parsley flake

If I were choosing one of these for my dogs, I would want to feed the chicken soup. I'm biased, because it's what my dogs eat. The down side to this food for a person in you circumstances is that it may NOT be corn that is causing the problem--it may be another protein, and then where do you go from there? Is it the chicken, the turkey, the duck, salmon, egg????? It's tought to narrow it down from a food with so much in it. But for my healthy, allergy-free dogs, that's WHY I chose the food.

Just some food for thought--no pun intended.

February 15th, 2006, 09:39 PM
I also have spent alot of time trying to find "the right dog food". It is, to say the least, very overwhelming and confusing. My dogs were on Nutro (both the lamb and chicken ones) and were among the many dogs that have thrown up small amounts of bile. I switched to Medi-Cal as it was recommended by the vets office. After I got the bag home I was shocked to see that the FIRST ingredient is CORN. I started looking on the internet to compare different brands. I read an article about menadione sodium bisulfite at and decided I didn`t want to have that in my dog food. I`ve sent out numerous emails and will post here when I get back more replies about it. I just started using California Natural as it doesn`t have it, nor corn or anything else bad that I can see. It has very simple ingredients which are: chicken meal, brown rice, rice, sunflower oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a natural source of Vitamin E), natural flavours, taurine, ground flaxseed, potassium chloride, choline chloride, calcium carbonate, Vitamins: a-tocopherol acetate, beta carotene, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate,thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, Vitamin D3 supplement, Vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, biotin. Minerals: zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganous proteinate, calcium iodate. Their website is and they also make Innova. If anyone knows anything bad about California Natural, please let me know. Thanks.:pawprint:

February 16th, 2006, 10:44 AM
If anyone knows anything bad about California Natural, please let me know. Thanks.LOL That pretty much sums up finding a good food. It's only good until you hear otherwise.;) I haven't heard anything yet.

February 16th, 2006, 07:20 PM
I wonder about Sunflower oil. I read somewhere and I think it may have been Solid Gold that they do not include sunflower oil in their food. Why is that good or bad?

February 19th, 2006, 06:53 PM
Hey Coppper! I found something on sunflower oil:

February 19th, 2006, 09:27 PM
Well, I guess I`m looking for another dog we go again. :confused:

February 19th, 2006, 10:10 PM
LOL Rainbow... It certainly is a game, but don't worry too much. Whatever you feed is better than most anyway, and they all survive fine (for the most part).

February 21st, 2006, 09:29 AM
Okay everyone, now I have a question about the brand I've been feeding my puppy. Royal Canin, is what he was on at the rescue and I've been continuing with it at home.
Does anyone know of this kind and have any comments for me?:confused:

February 21st, 2006, 11:09 AM
It depends which one it is. Look at the ingredients on the bag. Is there any corn, wheat, or chicken by-products?

February 21st, 2006, 02:56 PM
Yeah Prin there is corn gluten meal.
It's the 5th ingredient.

February 21st, 2006, 03:52 PM
What are the other first 4?

February 22nd, 2006, 06:27 AM
Here goes Prin,

Chicken meal, brown rice,chicken fat,(naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols:confused: , rosemary extract & citric acid), rice, corn gluten meal, dried beet pulp, chicken......

February 22nd, 2006, 11:48 AM
Wow the fat is really early! It's in that order? They say the bulk of the ingredients by mass is before the fat source, and the rest are in tiny almost insignificant amounts.

You should know that beet pulp is a stool hardener that slows the colon by limiting the blood flow to it- sort of a chemically induced constipation.

Corn gluten, some say, is the only part of corn dogs can digest. I don't believe there is any part of corn that dogs can digest.

Whatever the chicken is after rosemary, it's insignificant, and you shouldn't even consider it (unless it's by-products).

February 22nd, 2006, 05:55 PM
I`ve narrowed my dog food search down to three and need some help:

1. Innova (not EVO)
2. Chicken Soup for the Dog Lovers Soul
3. Timberwolf Organics

I`d like to hear any comments (pro and con) from those who are using any of these. Also does anyone know if Chicken Soup for the Dog Lovers Soul is manufactured at the same plants as Diamond pet food? I know "Chicken Soup" doesn`t have corn in it but I`m a little concerned in case they use the same lax manufacturing methods. Also, does anyone happen to know the price (Canadian) of any of these? Thanks.:pawprint:

February 23rd, 2006, 12:05 AM
Make sure you can find Timberwolf Organics before you fall in love with it. I really like their foods but some of them do tend to be grainy (i.e. once you bump the meats that aren't dehydrated, the first one or two ingredients are grains- like the Black Forest one).

Innova's got the sunflower oil, doesn't it? And freeze dried bacteria... I don't know if they revive but I'm not too hopeful. If you want probiotics, buy them at a health food store, alive. In their regular adult dry food, you basically have only chicken meal as the protein source. The turkey and chicken listed as #1 and 2 get bumped to after the 3 grains + potatoes. The large breed adult is the same situation, only there are less grains.

Chicken soup has turkey and chicken meal and some rather insignificant salmon and duck. They have a lot of grains, but IMO, they're good grains (except the white rice, but even that's not terrible- not nearly as empty calories as brewer's rice). Egg product is kind of icky, but even then, that's not terrible. My only issue with this is that if you ever have allergies, you're going to have trouble finding a food without any of the ingredients (i.e. salmon foods are out, lamb and rice is out too..) so you'd probably have to pay the big bucks for allergy tests. That said, most of us can't figure out the allergies anyway, so it's not a huge issue, and not something you should feed in consequence of if there aren't any allergies.

Complicated for nothing! :D

February 23rd, 2006, 04:38 PM
Thanks, Prin, you sure give good answers. The Timberwolf Organics I checked out was the Southwest Chicken & Herbs. It`s chicken meal, chicken, turkey meal, whole ground oats, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), brown rice,ground barley, low ash fish meal, ground whole flaxseed, etc., etc.

I never thought about the potential allergy problem with Chicken Soup so that`s something extra to think about with the quality control issue I have.

I think you`re right about the probiotics in Innova, which would be the same as any other brand that add them so if you need them, buy at the health food store. The sunflower oil is a source of Omega 6 so if herring is also an ingredient in Innova, it`s a source of Omega 3, so wouldn`t that be okay? I still have to check that out further. :confused:

I found an interesting article regarding the sunflower oil controversy at or else at if you want to check it out. :pawprint:

February 24th, 2006, 01:48 AM
Here are my issues with their issues:
Food allergies are usually manifest in digestive disturbances, not "chewing the root of the tail," which is normally a sign of flea allergy dermatitis. Bull. That is totally untrue. Most allergies in dogs appear in some form of itchiness- be it the ears or the skin.:rolleyes: Intolerances result in puking and poor digestion.

Everything they say about animal fat is bull too. Solid gold doesn't mean animal fat as in chicken fat or lamb fat or whatever. They mean animal fat as in the vague description of the fat. "Animal fat" as in dog and cat fat, rat fat, crow fat. Same with poultry fat. So many foods list "poultry fat". Ew. What kind of bird?! Wysong missed the point of no animal fat. Besides, animal fat DOES contribute to heart disease and cancer. It's a saturated fat of which nobody benefits from.

It goes on and on. And this from a company whose "maintenance formula" has the following first ingredients:
Chicken, Chicken Giblets, Ground Brown Rice, Ground Wheat, Ground Corn, Ground Oat Groats, Poultry Fat If my dogs got a hold of that food, Boo would be puking and Jemma's ears and feet would be bleeding. :rolleyes:

February 24th, 2006, 08:40 AM
Everything they say about animal fat is bull too. Solid gold doesn't mean animal fat as in chicken fat or lamb fat or whatever. They mean animal fat as in the vague description of the fat. "Animal fat" as in dog and cat fat, rat fat, crow fat.

:eek: Whoa Prin! When I first read this, I thought you were smacking Solid Gold for including generic animal fat. For a second there, I thought the universe was going to collapse.

Obviously, this didn't sound right to me, so I had to go read the article from the post prior to yours.

Now I understand, and everything is right with the world again. :thumbs up

February 24th, 2006, 12:17 PM
LOL Glad you cleared that up.:o Solid Gold rocks and doesn't use any vague ingredients. So far, I still like solid gold the best.;)

February 24th, 2006, 12:42 PM
So far, I still like solid gold the best.;)

I'm with ya on that one!!!

February 25th, 2006, 01:44 AM
I asked a lady in a ma and pa pet store why she didn't carry Solid gold, and she said "It's not natural," and every now and then I think about that comment all confused. Why isn't it natural? But this week I finally put that to rest: she sells Eagle pack. If there's any "holistic" food that's not natural, it's eagle pack (with the beet pulp, tomato pomace, corn, "egg product", etc etc). So whatever. She doesn't have a clue about anything.

Solid Gold rocks. :p (for the woman, not for you guys...:o)