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is Iams a good dog food brand?

DiNKy
January 21st, 2007, 03:15 AM
honestly, i know nothing about dog food. i picked this dog food because it wasn't the most expensive, but it wasn't the cheapest. its Iams smart puppy blend--i dont know what that means. but it is designed for small and toy breeds which is what i have. basically i'm just wondering if its a healthy choice for my pup.

coppperbelle
January 21st, 2007, 07:51 AM
If you are looking for a healthy food for your pup I would avoid Iams, Eukanuba or anything else sold in a grocery store. They are full of fillers, by products and other things that are not good for pup.
Solid Gold has a food called Wee Bits which is basically a food for small dogs. My moms dog eats it and loves it.

Dogastrophe
January 21st, 2007, 08:00 AM
The quality of any food depends on the ingredients that the food is made from rather than the name or the price. You should look at the first 8 or 9 ingredients when making a food decision.

The ingredients in IAMS are:

Chicken, Corn Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Fish Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Dried Beet Pulp (Sugar Removed) ....

"Chicken" is a good start but then the food starts to fall apart. Corn is difficult for dogs to process - it mainly exists as a filler. Chicken By-product meal are all the parts of the chicken that, if you saw packaged in the deli at your grocery store you would likely gag and wonder who on earth would eat it (it may contain beaks, feet, bone, feathers, and anything else that could not be used in the chicken definition). Fish meal is a mystery fish ... depends on what kind the company was able to buy cheap from suppliers at the time ... could be tuna this week, goldfish next week.

A high quality food such as Canadie will have ingredients such as

Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Brown Rice, White Rice, Lamb Meal, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Herring Meal ....

From a cost stand point, most if not all, high quality foods are not more expensive than the low quality brands. The initial money out lay will be more however, it will even itself out due to the lower quantity that you will have to feed (also will result in a smaller pile of poo to pick up). For example, to feed my 45lb adult dog some of the national food brands require that I feed her 4 to 4-1/2 cups a day whereas with Canadie I feed her 2 cups.

To get back to your initial question: Is it (Iams) a healthy choice for your puppy. My answer would be that it is not an unhealty choice and you could do a lot worse in your food selection, however it is not the healthiest choice out there. (as an example, fresh fruits and vegetables are healthy choices, canned fruits and vegetables are not unhealthy but certainly not as good as the fresh).

If you run a search on this forum for dog food you will find far more information on this subject. Our 'packaged' food guru is Prin. You will find dozens if not hundreds of posts that she has made on this subject, particularily in the food comparison and ingredient analysis areas.

Cheers,

:pawprint:

vfrohloff
January 21st, 2007, 08:28 AM
The ingredients in IAMS are:

Chicken, Corn Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Fish Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Dried Beet Pulp (Sugar Removed) ....


Chicken is actually not a great start because it's not chicken meal. They list chicken as the first ingredient to make it look good, but in reality, after the chicken is dehydrated into meal there is much less of it in the food. This means that corn meal is probably the first ingredient. Any meat by product isn't good either, it's basically the parts of the animal that they can't use for anything else. Unspecified fish meal means they could be putting anything in there that classifies as fish, and could have high mercury levels. Dried beet pulp has no nutritional value and is put in there as a stool hardener, presumably because all the other ingredients would otherwise give your dog the runs.

I would recommend trying a food like Canidae or Natural Balance. They may seem more expensive initially but because they contain less fillers your dog will need to eat less and it will be cheaper in the long run. I also find that animals on good quality food are healthier and need less trips to the vet, thus further reducing expenses. Hope that helps a bit!

Dogastrophe
January 21st, 2007, 08:37 AM
Chicken is actually not a great start because it's not chicken meal. They list chicken as the first ingredient to make it look good, but in reality, after the chicken is dehydrated into meal there is much less of it in the food.

Considering the rest of the poor ingredients, chicken is a good start. However, just because they include chicken does not make it a good food. Kind of like a deep fried veggie platter ... the veggies are a good start, just not in combination with the rest of the items.

There are many many differering views on the chicken vs chicken meal component of food. The people who use chicken will have the 'data' to support their decision and the meal ppl will have the data to support their's. Personally, I don't think it really matters as long as (1) the words by-product do not appear anywhere and (2) the remainder of the ingredients are high quality.

tully
January 21st, 2007, 09:01 AM
I believe IAMS still does animal testing. On that issue alone I would not use them. It is not a high quality food. Higher quality foods would be Innova, Timberwolf, Natures Variety, Wysong. These are just a few there are plenty more. I myself am not ready for the raw food option but lots of people sware by it.

Scott_B
January 21st, 2007, 10:11 AM
And cool, another NS poster :D

Dogastrophe
January 21st, 2007, 10:14 AM
And cool, another NS poster :D

Yep, there are a few of us kicking around here!

Scott_B
January 21st, 2007, 10:15 AM
Cool :D :highfive:

technodoll
January 21st, 2007, 12:25 PM
There are many many differering views on the chicken vs chicken meal component of food. The people who use chicken will have the 'data' to support their decision and the meal ppl will have the data to support their's. Personally, I don't think it really matters as long as (1) the words by-product do not appear anywhere and (2) the remainder of the ingredients are high quality.

sorry i have to correct you here, it's not about points of view and data, it's about facts. In a DRY formula such as kibble, you need to weigh all the base ingredients on a dry matter basis. Chicken meal is just dehydrated chicken, ie in dry form. Sneaking the word "chicken" as a 1st ingredient is deceptive, as chicken is 80% water by weight, making it in fact the #1 ingredient by weight... before processing. Now after the blend is cooked and dried, that 80% water contained in the chicken is gone, hence reducing the REAL weight by dry matter to a fraction of its original weight. This will push the "chicken" ingredient way down the list, by weight, making Corn, Chicken-by-products, etc the main ingredients in this mess of a food.

for more info: http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page=betterproducts

Contrary to popular belief, it's not always the "first five" or "first seven" ingredients listed that make up the major portion of a product. The number of main ingredients actually depends on the specific formulation of a food and the degree of variety included, so one brand may have only three or four main ingredients, while another could have eight or ten.

What you need to look for is the first source of fat or oil that appears in the ingredient list. This can either be from an animal or vegetable source, there are good and bad ones of both, but more details on that later. Anything listed before that first source of fat, and including it, are the main ingredients of the food. Any other items are present in much smaller amounts to add flavor, function as preservatives, help with the manufacturing process or provide dietary benefits (e.g. probiotics, vitamins and minerals).


http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page=labelinfo101

Watch out:
Ingredient lists can be manipulated in various ways to make a product look more attractive than it really is. On the other hand, a plain, honest ingredient list may also make a quality product look worse than one of lesser quality with cleverly formulated ingredients, unless you know what you are looking for.

Food A has the following ingredient list:
Lamb, brewers rice, brown rice, poultry fat, rice flour, beet pulp, rice bran...
Food B has the following ingredient list:
Brown rice, chicken meal, chicken fat, fish meal, flax seed meal...

Even though product A lists lamb as first ingredient, the meat still includes about 75% water. Once the moisture is removed to reach the final percentage of about 10%, the lamb meat will have shrunk to 1/4 of the original amount, while relatively dry ingredients like the different rice components will not change much. Product B lists rice as first ingredient, but since chicken is added in already dehydrated meal form, the amount will not shrink any further. Together with the fish meal the product may contain an equal amount of animal protein and rice and is pretty much guaranteed to contain more meat than product A.

Reversing this technique, let's look at examples:
Food C has the following ingredient list:
Chicken, chicken byproduct meal, brown rice, oatmeal, corn meal, chicken fat...
Food D has the following ingredient list:
Chicken meal, chicken byproducts, brown rice, oatmeal, corn meal, chicken fat...

Product C lists chicken as first ingredient (again, this still includes about 75% water) but the much less desirable chicken byproducts in dehydrated meal form - the finished product will contain much less "real" chicken than byproducts. Product D has chicken meal as first ingredient, and the byproducts as second, which will lose 3/4 of their weight by the time the food reaches its final moisture content. Product D contains a larger amount of better digestible animal protein.

To recognize whether a food even includes any real meat, you need to know the ingredient definitions. Some animal proteins in "meal" form are of high quality, including for example the whole carcasses of slaughtered chickens minus feathers, heads, feet, or entrails; while ones like "beef & bone meal" are made from any leftovers after the quality cuts of meat have been removed for human consumption. Here are two example ingredient lists of foods that do not contain a quality meat source whatsoever, despite the pretty images on the bag:

Food E has the following ingredient list (animal protein sources marked bold):
Ground yellow corn, wheat middlings, meat & bone meal, soybean meal, digest of poultry byproducts & beef, poultry fat, brewers yeast, yeast culture, salt, vitamins, minerals...
Food F has the following ingredient list (animal protein sources in bold):
Ground yellow corn, beef & bone meal, soybean meal, digest of chicken byproducts, animal fat, poultry byproduct meal, brewers rice, salt, vitamins, minerals...

gypsy_girl
January 21st, 2007, 07:37 PM
Here Hear!!!

That's a great explanation! I always struggle with that one. You can always ask the company that you are looking at the carbohydrate content of the food, and the % of proteins that are coming from animal sources not plant sources. A good food that has alot of meat protein in the meal form should have at LEAST 70% of the protein coming from meat, and a carbohydrate content of less than 25% (or in the case of grain frees, anywhere from 12-16%) in the dog variety.
Just my thoughts

Goldens4Ever
January 21st, 2007, 07:41 PM
That is an awesome explanation--very detailed & easy to understand!!! :thumbs up

Dogastrophe
January 21st, 2007, 08:22 PM
sorry i have to correct you here, it's not about points of view and data, it's about facts. In a DRY formula such as kibble, you need to weigh all the base ingredients on a dry matter basis. Chicken meal is just dehydrated chicken, ie in dry form. Sneaking the word "chicken" as a 1st ingredient is deceptive, as chicken is 80% water by weight, making it in fact the #1 ingredient by weight... before processing. Now after the blend is cooked and dried, that 80% water contained in the chicken is gone, hence reducing the REAL weight by dry matter to a fraction of its original weight. This will push the "chicken" ingredient way down the list, by weight, making Corn, Chicken-by-products, etc the main ingredients in this mess of a food.




Yep, you're correct. I tend to always forget that 'chicken' is before cooking weight. I should be able to remember this ... hell, I used to work at McD's and know that a 1/4 pounder is not a 1/4 pound when cooked.

Back to the Op's original question, there are far worse foods than Iams that could be fed, but there are also far far far better ones at equivalent overall cost.

technodoll
January 21st, 2007, 10:16 PM
I used to work at McD's and know that a 1/4 pounder is not a 1/4 pound when cooked.

:eek: are you serious? OMG i never thought about this... makes sense though, since the burgers are so skinny... and it's not even false advertising either, since they DO use 1/4 pound of meat... wow :clown: <--- guess who! LOL

TeriM
January 22nd, 2007, 02:30 AM
Great explaining post TD :thumbs up .

Tommysmom
January 22nd, 2007, 02:40 AM
Thanks for explaining that, Technodoll... I just always assumed that chicken was better than chicken meal, didn't know what the actual difference was!:)

technodoll
January 22nd, 2007, 10:08 AM
i'm glad it was helpful! :o

Purpledomino
January 25th, 2007, 12:39 PM
Luckily for you.....you are feeding a toy or small breed dog. A bag of quality premium food will last a very long time. IMO, if a toy breed owner cannot afford to provide a quality dry food for what little the dog consumes, they really cannot afford a dog period. Try feeding a Bullmastiff and a Great Dane a premium food....... :eek: Our Minpin eats so little that it's a no-brainer, it really is cheap even though we feed her one of the most expensive dry foods.

Prin
January 25th, 2007, 01:51 PM
I never wanted to say anything, but I agree...:o I go through a bag and a half a month for my two medium sized doggies (;)) and I haven't had a proper income for at least 4 years now... It's just a priority and not a luxury.

But I sort of see how it could happen because my dad's small dog was eating nearly 3 cups of crap, which is more than Boo gets a day, so it's hard to imagine them eating half of that for 1/3 more $$, and at 3 cups a day, it would have cost more than Boo's food, but there's no way you feed a little dog 3 cups of evo, or anything else that's really good.:shrug:

Sneaky
January 25th, 2007, 03:59 PM
Hi there,
A great dog food made in Canada is First Mate.
They have standard foods, puppy and kitten formulas,
and holistic natural foods.
I use their natural food.
They print a nice big pie chart which shows where their protein
actually comes from, and they dont fool around on the
labels, as far as I can tell. And, its a premium food without
paying the HUGE prices for foods like EVO and Canidae or Wolf King (though
who would want to buy an american product made with american meat I dont know, not me). Also, first mate foods are made in BC Canada, with premium
local ingredients, local herring and local meat.

http://www.firstmate.com/index.html

technodoll
January 25th, 2007, 04:19 PM
not a bad food at all (firstmate). :) but i have a problem with their "pie charts". they forgot to include the protein % from grains... which is the bulk of their foods (except for the grain-free one, which is mostly potatoes). again another sneaky attempt to fool the consumer... #1 ingredient is whole chicken. once it's dried up into kibble, it's not in the top ingredients anymore... which makes the formula pretty grainy. and we all know dry kibble protein relies on grains for protein sources, not just on meats ;)

gypsy_girl
January 25th, 2007, 06:49 PM
My experience has been..

I think the easiest way to determine the value of a food in terms of how much it costs is to look at the calories per cup. If a $30.00 bag of dog food has 400 calories per cup, and a $40.00 bag of dog food has the same calories per cup (based on the same protein and fat level) I would choose the less expensive bag. This, of course, is dependent on the quality of ingredients - are they human grade, is the first ingredient meal (species specific), amount of meat/meal, digestive stuff etc, and whether or not I have any historical information on the company (or other people's experience with the food)
I have priced out many different foods based on calories (not the feeding guidelines) and have found it less expensive to feed a more expensive food due to the calories being higher.

technodoll
January 25th, 2007, 10:27 PM
it's not just about calories... it's about nutrient bioavailability (digestibility) relating to quality of the ingredients :o there are some supercharged dog foods on the market that boast 700 or more calories per cup but the ingredients would make a steel rod cringe :yuck:

a good food has good ingredients, and lots of them. the proteins come from meats and not grains, the carbs are minimal, and the best diet is one which incorporates a rotation of food and protein sources. ;)