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What kind to get?

Mahealani770
July 21st, 2006, 10:17 AM
Ok, I know you all have probably answered this a hundred times and I have searched through many dog food threads, but I need something a little more simple, please.
I would like to feed Nicky (a Pom) a better brand of dog food, I can't afford anything too expensive but I want him to be healthy. He needs more food and today we will be going shopping but I want to get something that's better for him than what he has.
So, what are some easy tips that you call can give me in order to be able to easily spot a good quality kibble and also a good quality wet food? Is there something in the ingredients that I should be looking for?
Also, I only feed Nicky a can of wet food about one to two times a week. Is that enough or should he get wet food more often? Also, should the dry kibble and the wet food be the same brand or is it ok to mix it up?
Is it possible to find a good quality dog food at the grocery store or do I need to be getting it at a pet store?
I've seen some of the brands of food that you all have recommended, but you all are in Canada and I've never heard of most of them, so I don't know if we have them here in Georgia.
Thanks,
~M~

Puppyluv
July 21st, 2006, 10:51 AM
Look for:
a specific meat meal in the first three ingredients (ex: chicken meal, lamb meal, fish meal etc)
avoid corn
avoid by-products
avoid non-specific meats and fats (ex. Meat meal, or animal fat)
say NO to Menadione
avoid beet pulp
avoid repetitions in ingredients (ex. ground rice and then brewers rice and then rice)
look for flax seed over flax see oil


As for cheaper ideas, Kirkland is much cheaper than holistic brands, but you would need a Costco membership, and of course be reasonably close to a Costco (Don't know about Georgia, but I do remember that when we sued to spend our springs in Melbourne/Indian Harbor Beach FL, there were three near by, so they can't be that scarce in the South).
How much are you currently paying and how much are you feeding per day? You may find that in switching to a cheaper food, you end up paying more per day because you have to feed more.

jessi76
July 21st, 2006, 11:02 AM
Also, I only feed Nicky a can of wet food about one to two times a week. Is that enough or should he get wet food more often? Also, should the dry kibble and the wet food be the same brand or is it ok to mix it up?

I keep the dry food the same (Solid Gold Hund-n-Flocken) and mix up the wet food I add to it. Some days I use Wellness canned, other days I use Merrick canned, and occassionally I add a home-cooked food. (lean hamburg, eggs, white meat chicken, etc.. ) but the base kibble remains the same.

Is it possible to find a good quality dog food at the grocery store or do I need to be getting it at a pet store?

I have YET to see an acceptable dog food at the grocery store. I've looked at them all, and all contain fillers & by products, which I choose not to feed my dog. However, I have noticed at my local store that they are now stocking better quality treats, so hopefully in the future they will catch up with better quality foods. Until then, I shop at my local feed store - who carries the better quality foods.

meb999
July 21st, 2006, 11:19 AM
Buying your dog food at the grocery store is like buying your groceries at the gas station. Gas stations have chips and chocolate, and various other foods...but you wouldn't want that to be your whole diet, right? Well, grocery stores have low end 'junk food' type dog food....so I definetly don't recomend ever buying dog food from grocery stores....

You mentioned that you're looking for something inexpensive. You may also want to consider the amount of food you are feeding. Alot of the high-end dog foods are alot more expensive, but you feed alot less (like you'll feed 1 cup instead of 3....), so they actually come out cheaper.

technodoll
July 21st, 2006, 11:47 AM
I would like to feed Nicky (a Pom) a better brand of dog food, I can't afford anything too expensive but I want him to be healthy

well i'm not aware of your finances, but IMO a pom does not eat alot of food per week, so price should hardly be a consideration... i am feeding 180 lbs of dog and not the richest person in the world, so i make sacrifices, but if I had a Pom, man i would go all out, LOL :D also, as was mentioned, better dog foods are more concentrated so you feed less, in the end it's almost the same for your wallet. plus you'll save on meds, vet trips, etc... :)

phoenix
July 21st, 2006, 12:04 PM
Have a look at this thread: http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=24797&highlight=grade+solid+gold

Although it could use some tweaking perhaps, it is a good start to understanding the questions you should ask when choosing a food.

I personally use Canidae. As I'm feeding 130 lbs of dog, I appreciate the relatively reasonable cost (58$ for a 40 lb bag Canadian; and it was on sale 5$off this week! Yay! and we get every 11th bag free)... but even so I don't see much that can touch it ingredients wise that's anywhere close in price. I would look at Timberwolf Organics if it were in town, but there's no distributor. The one thing about canidae: It has multiple protein sources so difficult to rule out allergies if your dog does have/develop them.

Good luck with your choice.

Mahealani770
July 21st, 2006, 01:25 PM
Ok everyone..thanks so much! I went home on lunch break to see what Nicky is eating and this is what I found:
Nicky's dry kibble is Purina Alpo and so is his wet food...Alpo.

In the kibble, the first four ingredients are as follows:

Ground Yellow Corn
Corn Germ Meal
Meat and Bone Meal
Soybean Meal

..and then further down I saw this...

Animal Digest :yuck: What the hell is that?
and also DL-Methionne along with some other things I can't pronounce.
..I didn't have time to write down the rest, but that's what stood out..so
do you think I need to change?lol

meb999
July 21st, 2006, 01:27 PM
:yuck: :eek: You definetly need a new food!!!

Puppyluv
July 21st, 2006, 01:31 PM
EEEEEEEK!!!!:eek: :eek: Change it!!!!!!!:yuck:

meb999
July 21st, 2006, 01:41 PM
Good foods, according to the Whole Dog Journal (2006):

Artemis: www.artemispetfood.com
Azmira: www.azmira.com
Back to Basics: www.beowulfs.com
Bench & Field Holistic Natural Canine: www.benchandfield.com
Blue Buffalo: www.bluebuff.com
Burns: www.bpn4u.com
by Nature BrightLife: www.bynaturepetfoods.com
California Natural: www.naturapet.com
Canidae: www.canidae.com
Canine Caviar: www.caninecaviar.com
Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul: www.chickensoupforthepetloverssoul.com
Cloud Star Kibble: www.cloudstar.com
Drs. Foster & Smith: www.drsfostersmith.com
Eagle Pack Holistic Select: www.eaglepack.com
Evolve: www.evolvepet.com
Firstmate Dog Food: www.firstmate.com
Flint River Ranch: www.flintriver-pet-food.com
Foundations: www.petcurean.com
Fromm Four Star Nutritionals: www.frommfamilyfoods.com
Go! Natural: www.petcurean.com
Hund-N-Flocken: www.solidgoldhealth.com
Innova: www.naturapet.com
Innova Evo: www.naturapet.com
Karma Organic: www.karmaorganic.com
Lick Your Chops: www.healthypetfoodsinc.com
Lifespan: www.petguard.com
Limited Diets: www.royalcanin.us
Merrick Pet Foods: www.merrickpetcare.com
Mmillennia: www.solidgoldhealth.com
Natural Balance Ultra Premium: www.naturalbalanceinc.com
Natural Choice Ultra: www.nutroproducts.com
Newman's Own Organics: www.newmansownorganics.com
NutriSource: www.nutrisourcedogfood.com
Organix: www.castorpolluxpet.com
Performatrin Ultra: www.performatrinultra.com
PHD Viand: www.phdproducts.com
Pinnacle: www.breeders-choice.com
Prairie: www.naturesvariety.com
Premium Edge: www.premiumedgepetfood.com
Prime Life: www.ompetproducts.com
Royal Canin Natural Blend: www.royalcanin.us
Timberwolf Organics: timberwolforganics.com
VeRUS: www.veruspetfoods.com
Wellness: www.oldmotherhubbard.com
Wellness Simple Food Solutions: www.oldmotherhubbard.com
Wenawe: www.wenawe.com.uy
Wysong: www.wysong.net
Zinpro: www.lincolnbiotech.com

Mahealani770
July 21st, 2006, 01:48 PM
Wow, thanks meb...and thanks to you too Phoenix. I guess there's no point in "grading" Nicky's food as it seems to have failed anyway..lol
I will print out those lists from Phoenix and Meb so thanks a lot ladies and I'm excited to find a new, healthier food for Nicky!

~M~

P.S.
But seriously...what is animal digest? :yuck:

meb999
July 21st, 2006, 02:01 PM
Wow, thanks meb...and thanks to you too Phoenix. I guess there's no point in "grading" Nicky's food as it seems to have failed anyway..lol
I will print out those lists from Phoenix and Meb so thanks a lot ladies and I'm excited to find a new, healthier food for Nicky!

~M~

P.S.
But seriously...what is animal digest? :yuck:

from : http://www.mindspring.com/~kerspin/LowQualityIngred.htm

Animal Digest - A powder or liquid made by taking clean, under-composed animal tissue and breaking it down using chemical and or emblematic hydrolysis. The animal tissues used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth, hooves and feathers, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice and shall be suitable for animal feed. If it bears a name descriptive of its kind or flavor(s), it must correspond thereto (i.e., chicken digest). Animal Digest is a cooked-down broth made from unspecified parts of unspecified animals. Any kind of animal can be included: goats, pigs, horses, rats, etc. The animals can be obtained from any source, so there is no control over quality or contamination

meb999
July 21st, 2006, 02:04 PM
The foods on the Whole Dog Journal's list will be quite a bit more expensive than Alpo. I don't want you to be shocked...but the reason is that they're filled with REAL meat, and good ingredients. Also, like I mentioned before, you'll be feeding less...it usually comes out to the same price or cheaper (especially if you consider all the money you'll be saving in vet bills down the line....)

Mahealani770
July 21st, 2006, 02:04 PM
OMG..there's so many choices....I'm so overwhelmed:confused:

How quickly can I change Nicky's food? He's down to only a few kibbles so it's not like I can gradually add new food into the old food...which I really don't want him eating anymore anyway, but I don't want to hurt him either. And I definitely don't want to buy more of that *****ty food he's been eating, just in order to ween (sp?) him off of it...unlesss you all think I should?

Mahealani770
July 21st, 2006, 02:15 PM
Meb,
Well, now that I'm close to being physically ill after reading all the horrible ingredients on that link you gave me, and finding out what animal digest is
(I just threw up in my mouth a little bit..lol):yuck:, I really don't care how much more it costs. If I wouldn't eat it..I don't want him eating it. The next task is to convince my other half, and I will be doing so by reading the definitions of all that crap to her...shouldn't be a problem after that..lol:thumbs up
About the "Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Ultra Premium" dog food. It has the highest score on the list that Phoenix gave me...but I've never heard of it and have yet to see anybody mention it on this board. Do you know if there is a reason for that? Maybe it's too expensive for anybody to afford..lol

Prin
July 21st, 2006, 02:17 PM
Look for:
a specific meat meal in the first three ingredients (ex: chicken meal, lamb meal, salmon meal etc)
avoid corn
avoid by-products
avoid non-specific meats and fats (ex. Meat meal, or animal fat)
say NO to Menadione
avoid beet pulp
avoid repetitions in ingredients (ex. ground rice and then brewers rice and then rice)
look for flax seed over flax see oil
Even the fish has to be specific...
The differences in flax are minor compared to the rest... :D I mean, who cares what type of flax might be in there if there is animal digest along with it...

Make sure there is at least ONE meat in meal form before the first grain. And like Puppyluv said, repetitions in ingredients are to be avoided. If they break down an ingredient, it's because it's #1 on the ingredient list but they want to look good and have a meat first.:rolleyes:

You don't want by-products of anything. No meat by-product meal, no chicken by-product meal, none of that. :yuck:



Kirkland is ok - only the lamb one, but some dogs don't do well on lamb at all.



In the kibble, the first four ingredients are as follows:

Ground Yellow Corn
Corn Germ Meal
Meat and Bone Meal
Soybean Meal

..and then further down I saw this...

Animal Digest :yuck: What the hell is that?
and also DL-Methionne along with some other things I can't pronounce.
..I didn't have time to write down the rest, but that's what stood out..so
do you think I need to change?lol
Corn, Corn (aka undigestible filler), dogs and cats (aka meat and bone meal), soy (aka gas causer), partially digested (with enzymes) undigestible dog and cat and other mammal parts (aka animal digest)...

The DL methionine is just a supplement.:)

Can I be honest though? When you feed a cheap food like this, the overall quality of life of the doggy suffers which results in less energy, worse health and more vet visits, more allergies and more vet visits, a weaker immune system and more vet visits... You get the idea. Plus, because they put so much corn that the dog barely digests, you are probably feeding 2 or 3 times what you would feed on a great food.

For a pom, I'd suggest "Just a Wee Bit" from solid gold (Wee bit (http://www.solidgoldhealth.com/products/showproduct.php?id=68&code=140)), or the All life Stages from Canidae (http://www.canidae.com/dogs/all_life_stages/dry.html ) or any of the other canidae foods, any of the Wellness foods: Wellness Dry (http://www.omhpet.com/dogs/dry_intro.asp?pCode=dry), Timberwolf Organics (hard to find in some places http://www.timberwolforganics.com/ ) among many others... Ones with fishy ingredients will work wonders on the coat and skin. :thumbs up

For canned, you want the ingredients to sound as real as possible. Like you look at the Merrick canned foods: http://www.merrickpetcare.com/store/canned_dog_food.php
Like this one- Thanksgiving Day Dinner:
Turkey, Turkey Broth,Turkey Liver, Fresh Sweet Potatoes, Fresh Carrots, Fresh Green Beans, Fresh Granny Smith Apples, Potato Starch-modified, Olive Oil, Dried Cranberries, Dried Blueberries, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Tripoly-phosphate, Flax Seed Oil (For Omega -3), Poultry Seasoning (Thyme, Sage, Rosemary), Yucca Schidigera Extract, Choline Chloride, Salt, Natural Caramel Color, Lecithin, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Mixed Tocopherols, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Vitamin E Supplement, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, Copper Amino Acid Complex, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate, Sodium Selenite.See how yummy it looks? Sure there are supplements to balance it out, but there are a lot of good ingredients in there.
The Wellness, Solid Gold, Innova canned are similar.
Wellness: http://www.omhpet.com/dogs/wellness_detail.asp?pCode=canDogSup5Chicken

Innova: http://www.naturapet.com/display.php?d=product-detail&pxsl=%2F%2Fproduct%5B@id%3D%2735%27%5D

Solid Gold: http://www.solidgoldhealth.com/products/showcat.php?cat=1

You're done your old food completely? Hmm... If that's the case, I'd buy the smallest bag of Alpo just to help with the switch... You can always donate the rest to a shelter (some food is better than no food).

Or what some people do is fast for a day and then give the new food- I've never done that, so I can't say whether or not it works..:o

Definitely get some samples of the foods you are thinking about though and see if the doggy likes them. You might have to go through 2 or 3 kinds before you find one he likes...

Good luck.

meb999
July 21st, 2006, 02:20 PM
About the "Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Ultra Premium" dog food. It has the highest score on the list that Phoenix gave me...but I've never heard of it and have yet to see anybody mention it on this board. Do you know if there is a reason for that? Maybe it's too expensive for anybody to afford..lol

Alot of the foods on the list are sorta hard to find....the best thing to do is to find a GOOD dog food store near your place (alot of the internet links have a 'store locator', where you can find a good pet food store in your area) and see what foods they DO have.

I have an awesome Dog food store near my place, but they don't have all the foods on the list...some of those foods are only available in the US, or in certain states...etc...

Prin
July 21st, 2006, 02:25 PM
About the "Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Ultra Premium" dog food. It has the highest score on the list that Phoenix gave me...but I've never heard of it and have yet to see anybody mention it on this board. Do you know if there is a reason for that? Maybe it's too expensive for anybody to afford..lolYeah, those scores aren't perfect either... Whoever did the math is a bit wacked and unmathy, IMO.

DVP is great, but I wouldn't say it's the best. We have recommended it around here, but more for allergy dogs as a lot of their formulas are one protein + potato.
http://www.naturalbalanceinc.com/

I would only feed their "Ultra premium" canned foods, not the "eatables" though...
http://www.naturalbalanceinc.com/dogformulas/UPDcanned.html

technodoll
July 21st, 2006, 02:33 PM
expensive is just a mindset. i can't believe how cheap holistic dog food is in the US compared to Canada :eek: I can easily pay $80 for a 33 lbs bag of food (EVO) and the grainy foods are not much cheaper, hard to walk away with a large bag for under $70. Assuming both my dogs ate this kibble, one bag would barely last a month (1 x 110 lbs dog and 1 x 70 lbs growing puppy). can you say expensive!

soo... this being said... a wee pom who is older in age (needing less food) would go through very little in a month... like 5 lbs worth? less? a little more? just for fun, the smallest bag of Solid Gold Wee Bits is 4 lbs and costs about USD $11, and a 15 lbs bag is $30. i'm sure you can find a way to fit this in your budget :o

Prin
July 21st, 2006, 02:37 PM
Yeah, I bought wellness fish and sweet potato- the 6lb bag- for my dad's Jack and it lasted more than a month. Just craziness.

Jemma and Boo's 33lb $67 (CDN) Wolf King lasts a little more than 3 weeks.:D

phoenix
July 21st, 2006, 02:47 PM
I just have to say...

WE ROCK!!!

Wow there is some impressive information on here, all in one place :)
We should sticky this or at least save as a favorite...

M: That alpo is soooo icky! I was just in the groc store and saw Pedigree there... 8 kg for 12$...So really the good stuff isn't that much more expensive, especially as you will likely be feeding less!

I can't remember you ever saying your dog is allergic to things...? So don't worry about the duck/rare meat rare carb mixes, they are designed to help dogs who are allergic to chicken, etc. to provide an alternative source of nutrients. I'd stick to what Prin suggested above...

Prin
July 21st, 2006, 02:49 PM
lol I've done better... I was going to try to find the thread where I explained to somebody what to look for (really well) but I don't have the energy today.. :D :o

Mahealani770
July 21st, 2006, 03:08 PM
Wow, you guys DO rock!! Thank you soooo much for all this helpful information!! And how cute is the "wee bit" name for dog food? haha
I can't wait to go shopping for Nicky and no...he doesn't have any allergies, at least none that I'm aware of. Nicky has long, beautiful hair, but since the summer started it's coming out in clumps all over the apartment. He sheds, but since the weather has been hotter than you know what...the hair is everywhere! Maybe some quality dog food would help that?
Anyway, thanks again...I love you ladies!!! :grouphug:

Prin
July 21st, 2006, 03:11 PM
Just remember to switch really gradually. Alpo is loaded with digestive aids and stool hardeners, which the holistic foods don't have. Nicky is going to need time to get used to digesting on his own again.

MyBirdIsEvil
July 21st, 2006, 03:32 PM
He sheds, but since the weather has been hotter than you know what...the hair is everywhere! Maybe some quality dog food would help that?

I think it would probably help.
My first dog was started out on Science Diet (lots of corn and even peanut hulls, ick), and even as a puppy she shedded profusely and was itchy.
For a long time I had her on Solid Gold WolfKing, and she did very well on that (not much shedding, good skin condition, etc.), she also did well and didn't shed much on Dick Van Patten's.
I wouldn't know what to recommend for a good small dog food, as both my dogs are 45 lbs +, but I think any of the holistic foods would be better than what you're currently feeding.

meb999
July 21st, 2006, 04:40 PM
Just remember to switch really gradually. Alpo is loaded with digestive aids and stool hardeners, which the holistic foods don't have. Nicky is going to need time to get used to digesting on his own again.

Yup...you can expect some really soft poo for a while....
Just a Wee Bit is an excellent food (I actually had Buster on it for a while...even though he's like 60 pounds :D )

I think Solid Gold and Canidae are probably my 2 favorite companies of the bunch....but that's just my opinion! Innova is also very good....but I've never tried it....

meb999
July 21st, 2006, 04:42 PM
Maybe some quality dog food would help that?


Yup, it'll help with the shedding, the overall look of your dogs coat (people'll be asking you how you get your pooch so soft and shiny), his teeth'll look better, his energy and just overall health will really benefit from a better diet. You'll save alot of $$ in vet bills in the long run. I think all that is worth a little 'adjustement' (ie: soft poo) period!

Mahealani770
July 24th, 2006, 07:36 AM
Hello ladies!
Well, my partner and I went on a field trip to the pet store this weekend and we picked up some wee bit dry kibble and a wet can of Wellness and a wet can of Canidae. I integrated some of the wee bit in his other nasty dry food and he's eating it just fine. At first I was worried because he smelled it and moved on but later on that day he ate the whole bowl! So we feel much better knowing that our "son" is eating just as well as we are. Thank you all so much for taking the time to help me out.
The best part of the doggie store visit was that the woman behind the counter was nursing 2 baby kittens. She said that a man found them
(2 weeks old) in a bush in his back yard and felt that the mama may have been eaten by a coyote :sad: . So, she had them in a carrier, on top of a heating pad and she was bottle feeding them..how precious. They were adorable, but it's so sad that they are sooo very young and without their mama :( . Anyway, I just thought I'd share my experience at the pet store!:o
Thanks,
~M~

Prin
July 24th, 2006, 12:18 PM
I'm glad you like what your doggy's eating now. I hope he does well on it....
Poor kitties though.

Mahealani770
July 28th, 2006, 10:11 AM
Well..it's official...Nicky does not like the wee bit food. So, Wellness here we come!!! The good thing about this is that we get to return the wee bit to the pet store where the baby kitties are being cared for. I can't wait to see how they're doing! :fingerscr

Prin
July 28th, 2006, 12:59 PM
Aww... Good luck finding a tasty food...:o

meb999
July 28th, 2006, 02:40 PM
That's too bad...just remember that he may not be crazy about any hollistic food right now. Imagine if you fed a kid McDonalds everyday, then abruptly tried to switch him to healthy salads and whole foods...chances are the kid won't jump on the salad and scarf it down ;) Same goes for your Pom, lower end foods are alot tastier because of the cheap fat and addaed sugar.
I'm sure you'll find a food he loves :love: Buster went crazy for SG, but wouldn't eat certain Welleness flavors...so I guess to each his own!

Keep us posted :thumbs up

rainbow
July 28th, 2006, 03:48 PM
I agree. I would try a few of the better brands and if he turns his nose up at them all, I would pick one and stick with it. He'll eat it eventually. :D

How are the baby kitties doing?