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I am having a really hard time finding a food that Brew does well on. I can't keep weight on him and his hair is dull and brittle. I would like opinions on the following ingredient lists.

 

Ingredients:

Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Rice Flour, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, a source of Linoleic Acid), Beet Pulp, Rice Bran, Sunflower Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, a source of Linoleic Acid), Natural Chicken Flavor, Flax Seed, Dried Egg Product, Brewers Yeast, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Fish Oil, Lecithin, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Garlic, Dried Cheese, Chondroitin Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Niacin, Biotin, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Menadione Sodium Bisulfate Complex (source of Vitamin K activity), Calcium Iodate, Cobalt Carbonate, Folic Acid

 

 

Guaranteed Analysis

 

Crude Protein

M I N I M U M 26.0%

Crude Fat

M I N I M U M 15.0%

Crude Fiber

M A X I M U M 3.50%

Moisture

M A X I M U M 10.0%

Omega-3 Fatty

M I N I M U M .70%

Omega-6 Fatty

M I N I M U M 3.50%

Chondroitin Sulfate

M I N I M U M 70 mg/kg

Glucosamine

M I N I M U M 450 mg/kg

 

Ingredients:

Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Rice Flour, Beet Pulp, Rice Bran, Sunflower Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, a source of Linoleic Acid), Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed ocopherols, a source of Linoleic Acid), Natural Chicken Flavor, Flax Seed, Dried Vegetables (Carrot, Celery, Beet, Parsley, Lettuce, Watercress and Spinach), Dried Egg Product, Brewers Yeast, Dried Cranberries, Fish Oil, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Lecithin, DL-Methionine, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Garlic, Dried Cheese, Garlic, Chondroitin Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Niacin, Biotin, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Menadione Sodium Bisulfate Complex (source of Vitamin K activity), Calcium Iodate, Cobalt Carbonate, Folic Acid

 

 

Guaranteed Analysis

 

Crude Protein

M I N I M U M 26.0%

Crude Fat

M I N I M U M 12.0%

Crude Fiber

M A X I M U M 3.50%

Moisture

M A X I M U M 10.0%

Omega-3 Fatty

M I N I M U M .70%

Omega-6 Fatty

M I N I M U M 3.50%

Chondroitin Sulfate

M I N I M U M 70 mg/kg

Glucosamine

M I N I M U M 450 mg/kg

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At a very cursory glance, I would think the protein:fat ratio in the first "recipe" was closer to the 2:1 ratio that I wouldlike to see. Most commercial dog foods, in my opinion, are lower in fat compared to protein than they should be.

 

The second "recipe" also has beet pulp as the fourth ingredient and rice bran as fifth, with the fat source next while the first recipe has fats as the fourth and fifth ingredients, leading to the better proportion.

 

I feed kibble with some raw added but I always make sure to add fat to the kibble to bring the ratio up higher. JMO, and I am certainly not a nutritionist.

 

Labels can be a bit misleading. I would prefer all ingredients (at least the major food source ones) to be listed as a percentage on a dry matter basis. You would often find a different order if that were the case.

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Thanks for responding Sue. Don you think they sound like decent foods though? I have tried a lot of what is considered high quality foods with no success. Somehow I feel like I am taking a step down.

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I personally don't like the first three ingridients: Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, and Rice Flour. I do not feed a grain free diet to my dog but the grains are further down on the list and the first ingridient is chicken vs chicken meal, for example.

 

Have you tried adding some fish oil to his meals? That is great for coats and also has omega 3 fatty acids.

 

It took me a long time to find food that Daisy did well on. She also gets a digestive enzyme daily.

 

Is Brew just not "doing well" on the food or is he having problems digesting it (ie: runny stool) too?

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He gets fish oil every day and for a while I even tried giving him olive oil also. He doesn't have runny stools. His stools are fine. He is just really thin and looks unhealthy to me. He looked the same way this time last year and he had tapeworm, but I don't see any evidence of that now.

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Chicken meal is just ground meat and as such is not inferior to something just labeled chicken. The chicken in the meal may have been dehydrated first, which actually means you'd get more actual chicken protein per pound then you would with whole chicken (which includes a good percentage of water). What you really want to avoid are by-products and by-product meals or any meat where the species it came from isn't specified.

 

Like Sue, I prefer the higher fat version, but will still add fat to bring the fat proportion up a bit.

 

The only thing on either of those labels that might be controversial is the use of menadione for vit K. I believe the dog food project website would have information on that (dogfoodproject.com).

 

I agree that adding fish oil or flax oil daily could help his coat (you can get capsules of either at WalMart or any other drug/grocery store).

 

ETA: If he looks like he did when he had tapes, I'd probably go ahead and worm him anyway--it won't hurt and it might help.

 

J.

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I personally don't like the first three ingridients: Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, and Rice Flour. I do not feed a grain free diet to my dog but the grains are further down on the list and the first ingridient is chicken vs chicken meal, for example.

 

Just an FYI, Chicken and lamb, meat in general, contains 70% moisture which is lost during cooking/processing. So meat is "heavier" than grains prior to cooking, but NOT after. Possibly leaving the total formula as a grain base food after processing.

 

Chicken/Lamb meal(meat meals) are dry and 50% to 65% meat protein. During cooking/processing meat meals do NOT shrink below grain weight.

 

So meat meals are a "better" source than meat.

 

I'm sure someone with much more info on dog food ingredients can/will add to this small amount of general info.

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I personally don't like the first three ingridients: Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, and Rice Flour. I do not feed a grain free diet to my dog but the grains are further down on the list and the first ingridient is chicken vs chicken meal, for example.

 

Have you tried adding some fish oil to his meals? That is great for coats and also has omega 3 fatty acids.

 

It took me a long time to find food that Daisy did well on. She also gets a digestive enzyme daily.

 

Is Brew just not "doing well" on the food or is he having problems digesting it (ie: runny stool) too?

Here is one issue that I mentioned - dry matter basis. Chicken as the first ingredient means chicken with all the water that is a part of fresh meat. So, on a dry matter basis, an ingredient list with chicken first and some form(s) of grains or plant-based foodstuffs next, might very well really be largely grain or plant-based if those ingredients are dry and the chicken is largely water. Chicken meal includes more than just meat but it is also a drier ingredient, and therefore may comprise much more of the feed on a dry matter percentage basis.

 

ETA - Looks like three of us were posting at almost the same time. Great minds think alike?

 

As for "not doing well", maybe not putting on weight or having digestive issues, I would check with the vet perhaps and have some bloodwork done. If we had done that with Bute (who could eat any kind of "el cheapo" food with gusto but not premium food), we may have discovered his issues were real (and not just a "sensitive system") and not have lost him.

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How about this one? Is it better?

 

INGREDIENTS

Chicken meal, chicken, brewers rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), egg product, cracked pearled barley, powdered cellulose, beet pulp, flaxseed, natural chicken flavor, fish meal, potassium chloride, choline chloride, glucosamine hydrochloride, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, chondroitin sulfate, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.

 

GUARANTEED ANALYSIS

 

Crude Protein 32.0% Minimum

Crude Fat 25.0% Minimum

Crude Fiber 4.0% Maximum

Moisture 10.0% Maximum

Sodium 0.3% Maximum

Zinc 150 mg/kg Minimum

Selenium 0.4 mg/kg Minimum

Vitamin E 150 IU/kg Minimum

Omega-6 Fatty Acids * 3.5% Minimum

Omega-3 Fatty Acids * 0.5% Minimum

Glucosamine Hydrochloride * 300 mg/kg Minimum

Chondroitin Sulfate * 100 mg/kg Minimum

* Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profile.

 

Calorie Content: 4,710 kcal/kg (470 kcal/cup) Calculated Metabolizable Energy.

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I, personally, tend to feed something that has a bit lower protein and fat. The protein:fat ratio here is about 4:3, which is a bit higher than I would choose for my dogs but, for a dog that is very active or outdoors a lot in winter and would use the fat, it might not be bad.

 

Please take a lot of what I say with a grain of salt - there are folks here that are a lot more versed in feeding and feed ingredients than I am.

 

I tend to lean heavily on quality ingredients but realizing that the final answer lies in how the individual dog does on the particular feed. I see some dogs do terrifically on Purina One (which is a "mid-range" quality food by the label) but which I have fed with excellent results to certain dogs. Some dogs don't do well on certain premium foods. How the dog does will give you the answer you need so maybe try a smaller bag and see what your results are.

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How about this one? Is it better?

 

INGREDIENTS

Chicken meal, chicken, brewers rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), egg product, cracked pearled barley, powdered cellulose, beet pulp, flaxseed, natural chicken flavor, fish meal, potassium chloride, choline chloride, glucosamine hydrochloride, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, chondroitin sulfate, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.

 

GUARANTEED ANALYSIS

 

Crude Protein 32.0% Minimum

Crude Fat 25.0% Minimum

Crude Fiber 4.0% Maximum

Moisture 10.0% Maximum

Sodium 0.3% Maximum

Zinc 150 mg/kg Minimum

Selenium 0.4 mg/kg Minimum

Vitamin E 150 IU/kg Minimum

Omega-6 Fatty Acids * 3.5% Minimum

Omega-3 Fatty Acids * 0.5% Minimum

Glucosamine Hydrochloride * 300 mg/kg Minimum

Chondroitin Sulfate * 100 mg/kg Minimum

* Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profile.

 

Calorie Content: 4,710 kcal/kg (470 kcal/cup) Calculated Metabolizable Energy.

 

If he does okay with all that fat, I'd try it. I've tried that variety (it's extreme athlete, right?) with Kipp and he got really loose stools with all the fat. I mixed it half and half with a lower fat kibble and he was fine.

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I like the first and third foods best because the second has a lot of grain fractions in the first few ingredients. That being said, I'd feed all of them as there's nothing "bad" about any of them. I feed a food similar to number 2 periodically because it is way less expensive and my dogs do well on it.

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Chicken meal is just ground meat and as such is not inferior to something just labeled chicken. The chicken in the meal may have been dehydrated first, which actually means you'd get more actual chicken protein per pound then you would with whole chicken (which includes a good percentage of water). What you really want to avoid are by-products and by-product meals or any meat where the species it came from isn't specified.

 

Oh. So, if I am understanding this correctly then, the "chicken meal" is just dried and ground up chicken?

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yup, Chicken Meal is a better first ingredient then 'Chicken" because after the cooking process that "Chicken" will be a whole lot lower down on the list.

 

personally I would choose the 3rd option, but that based on MY dogs and what MY dogs do well on. for example many people LOVE the fish based foods and their dogs do great on them, however when I choose kibble to have on hand(I feed raw) I AVOID fish based foods because my dogs do awful on them! I have a fried whos dog does awsome on Nutro, but the same food made my dog throw up black sludge. many dogs at thekennel I work on eat Pedigree Healthy vitality, I have seen some dogs that look "ok" and others that do incredably well on it.

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I'm curious, what dogs foods are you talking about?

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These all look like Diamond Naturals products? *Food geek alert*

 

I was okay with Diamond for a while but late last year started getting less than satisfactory results. I like to do all home prepared but in the fall I had surgery, followed by another, followed by a huge move, followed by another illness, lambing, and end of year stuff with homeschool. So I've been toodling along with half kibble half raw meaty bones for most of them.

 

So my big eaters were getting that Extreme Athlete and I noticed a big change in the product around early winter. Loose stools, dull coats, sometimes even illness. I switched them to Eagle Pack Power and nary a problem. My young Maremma is shedding out the nasty matts she developed while on the EA and putting on weight again.

 

I discovered something with Ted that might help. He had that "skinny adolescent" thing going on - no matter how much food I put in him, or what kind, he was underconditioned, just wouldn't put on muscle.

 

I had his diet evaluated and he was short on potassium. Within a few days of starting the better balanced diet he was muscling up. I now add a pinch of "No Salt" to his food even though in theory it's "balanced" - being half commercial. Same excellent results. I don't go crazy - I'm talking literally just a few grains. But it's amazing what a difference I've seen since I started it. I've had people comment on the change, too.

 

It make me wonder whether many skinny adolescent Border Collies also would benefit from a bit of extra potassium.

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The first two foods are a brand that my local store was showing me it is called VF. The third is Diamond Extreme Athlete. I just don't know what to do. I am currently feeding Taste of the Wild. I really don't want to have to travel too far to get food and I also can't pay any more than I am for the Taste of the Wild, since my husband is laid off right now. Everything else seems to cost a lot more. I might have to try the no salt though. He would even get this way when I was raw feeding. He has been checked out by the vet. I am going to pick up some wormer this week and see if it helps.

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...... and the first ingridient is chicken vs chicken meal, for example.
When chicken is ground up and cooked as part of the kibble manufacturing process you end up with chicken meal, even though the ingredient list may say chicken you're really feeding chicken meal and you're paying for the water weight in the ingredient "chicken".

 

Process to make chicken meal: raw chicken muscle & bone, grind, cook, dry

Process to make kibble: ingredients, grind, cook, extrude (make pellets)

 

Mark

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If it would be of interest, this is the Merck dog food grading system that was used some years ago:

 

Start with a grade of 100:

1) For every listing of "by-product", subtract 10 points

2) For every non-specific animal source ("meat" or "poultry", meat, meal or fat) reference, subtract 10 points

3) If the food contains BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin, subtract 10 points

4) For every grain "mill run" or non-specific grain source, subtract 5 points

5) If the same grain ingredient is used 2 or more times in the first five ingredients ( i.e. "ground brown rice", "brewer’s rice", "rice flour" are all the same grain), subtract 5 points

6) If the protein sources are not meat meal and there are less than 2 meats in the top 3 ingredients, subtract 3 points

7) If it contains any artificial colorants, subtract 3 points

8 ) If it contains ground corn or whole grain corn, subtract 3 points

9) If corn is listed in the top 5 ingredients, subtract 2 more points

10) If the food contains any animal fat other than fish oil, subtract 2 points

11) If lamb is the only animal protein source (unless your dog is allergic to other protein sources), subtract 2 points

12) If it contains soy or soybeans, subtract 2 points

13) If it contains wheat (unless you know that your dog isn’t allergic to wheat), subtract 2 points

14) If it contains beef (unless you know that your dog isn’t allergic to beef), subtract 1 point

15) If it contains salt, subtract 1 point

 

Extra Credit:

1) If any of the meat sources are organic, add 5 points

2) If the food is endorsed by any major breed group or nutritionist, add 5 points

3) If the food is baked not extruded, add 5 points

4) If the food contains probiotics, add 3 points

5) If the food contains fruit, add 3 points

6) If the food contains vegetables (NOT corn or other grains), add 3 points

7) If the animal sources are hormone-free and antibiotic-free, add 2 points

8 ) If the food contains barley, add 2 points

9) If the food contains flax seed oil (not just the seeds), add 2 points

10) If the food contains oats or oatmeal, add 1 point

11) If the food contains sunflower oil, add 1 point

12) For every different specific animal protein source (other than the first one; count "chicken" and "chicken meal" as only one protein source, but "chicken" and "xxx" as 2 different sources), add 1 point

13) If it contains glucosamine and chondroitin, add 1 point

14) If the vegetables have been tested for pesticides and are pesticide-free, add 1 point

 

94-100+ = A; 86-93 = B; 78-85 = C; 70-77 = D; <70 = F

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And every time that grading system is posted, numerous people point out its numerous flaws.

Point taken, Julie. It perhaps should not be taken at face value with respect to detailed rankings; it does, however, help to provide those who do not have your level of expertise with dogs (and I certainly include myself in that category) with at least some insight into considerations when evaluating good and bad points about dog food.

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The first two foods are a brand that my local store was showing me it is called VF. The third is Diamond Extreme Athlete. I just don't know what to do. I am currently feeding Taste of the Wild. I really don't want to have to travel too far to get food and I also can't pay any more than I am for the Taste of the Wild, since my husband is laid off right now. Everything else seems to cost a lot more. I might have to try the no salt though. He would even get this way when I was raw feeding. He has been checked out by the vet. I am going to pick up some wormer this week and see if it helps.

 

 

I looked up some food on Dog Food Analysis and this looks like a good food for a dog that you would like to put weight on. They give it their highest rating at 6 stars. I don't know how much it costs, but I can't imagine it would be more than TOTW. Good Luck!

 

http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_re...=1328&cat=8

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Blue Buffalo is definitely more than TOTW and it is hard to find around here. I pay $39.95 for 30 lbs of TOTW. Thanks for looking it up for mw, though. I live in a rural area and most of the stores that carry higher end foods are far away. They carry Wellness at my local store also, but it is pretty pricey.

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On a related topic to the content of dog food....

 

We have a relatively new, 10-week-old BC, Jake. Both the breeder and the vet for her kennel recommended that we discontinue feeding Jake "puppy food" after 12 weeks. They said that there has been some recent research indicating that puppy food can cause joint problems, particularly in the hips. I may not be recalling this correctly, but I think they said the joint problems can occur because the high protein content in the puppy food causes the bones to grow too fast for the muscles.

 

Of course, what Jake would really like in his diet is more of the hot-dog bits he has started getting during his training sessions!

 

Has anyone heard about this issue with puppy food? What are your opinions on this? Thanks.

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Sandyleew, I've been having great luck with Eagle Pack Power for my livestock guardian dogs, and my Border Collie that was hard to keep weight on (Cord) and looked kind of icky all the time.

 

Power is a great example of a food that would earn a major FAIL on the system posted by BJ, but is a high quality food I wouldn't hesitate to recommend, food geekness and all.

 

You can get Power from K9 Cuisine. It's $55 for 40 pounds, right in the range of the TOTW you were purchasing, and it's delivered to your door for FREE (orders over $50 are free shipping).

 

I have a young guard dog that was severely malnourished when we got her as a near-feral rescue. She filled out fine on the Extreme Athlete until it changed (apparently) this winter. Her coat then got icky and she dropped weight again. We changed to the Power and you can see in her coat where we started feeding the new food. She was in the middle of shedding. Her front half, the later shed, is beautiful and white. Her back half, the earlier shed while we were still feeding the Diamond, will need to be shaved - matts and awful staining. Although she is starting to drop some of that on her own (thank goodness) as time goes on, on the new food.

 

Our other dog has gone from a hard keeper to needing half the food he was eating, on the Extreme Athlete! I was also giving him an expensive supplement and he hasn't needed that, either, since switching.

 

I've been using K9 Cuisine for about six months, two orders a month, now, and not one single snag worth speaking of. Okay, one WAS worth speaking of but that was when I made a boo-boo that meant my food went to the wrong place - and then got stolen. They replaced it for free! And they called to make sure the next order got here correctly.

 

Sorry, I'm sounding like a fangirl but if it weren't for them the last few months would have been really difficult, trying to keep up with getting high quality food to this gang while short on both time and money.

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