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Once again, my vet is telling me that I am not feeding a good enough dog food. I have been feeding the Costco Kirkland brand super premium lamb and rice for years now and my dogs are healthy (except for Valley Fever), have mega-shiny coats, good appetites, and great energy.

 

Recently I checked with the Whole Dog Journal's list of recomended foods. They include several foods that are made by Diamond, the same manufacturer that makes the Kirkland kibble. Diamond also makes Chicken Soup For The Pet Lover's Soul, Premium Edge, Taste Of The Wild, Canidae, Artemis, Omnipro, and Solid Gold.

 

I started feeding the Kirkland brand because the ingredients were so similar to the Chicken Soup food, and significantly cheaper. I then switched to the Lamb formula because my dogs like it better.

 

I told my vet this, and also that the food is made by Diamond, who makes all these other brands. She said that I don't know if Diamond is really *making* them, or if they are simply taking the ingredients that those other companies ship to their plant and only putting the kibble together for them. She said if it is the latter, there could be a significant difference in the quality of ingredient products used.

 

I want to feed my dogs good food, but do not have a large income. If I had a good income they'd get the best no matter what it cost. I am trying to balance budget with good food, same as I do for myself. I don't eat the most premium food, either.

 

How can one find out if a food is really made by Diamond, or is simply using their plant to manufacture their kibble?

 

Does anyone have any opinions on the Kirkland brand?

 

----D'Elle

 

Here is the ingredient list from the Kirkland Brand Super Premium Lamb and Rice

 

Lamb, lamb meal, whole grain brown rice, white rice, rice bran, egg product, cracked pearl barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and Vti. E), dried beet pulp, potatoes, fish meal, flaxseed, natural flavor, millet, dried brewer's yeast, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, carrots, peas, kelp, apples, dried skim milk, cranberry powder, rosemary extract, parsley flake, dried chicory root, glucosamine hydrochloride, taurine, vit. E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrus sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, manganour oxide, chondroitin sulfate, ascorbic acid, vit. A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vit. B12 supplement, riboflavin, vit. D supplement, folic acid.

 

Crude protein 23% min.

Crude fat 14% min

373 kcal/cup

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I think many people on this list use Kirkland dog food. I don't know how to prove without a shadow of a doubt that Kirkland is a sub-brand of Diamond. Why don't you try emailing their customer relations?

 

I feed my dogs the same stuff you feed and they are in excellent health. My vet has never worried. I think that possibly, there might be a stigma... you know... "Kirkland is a no-name product, therefore low quality". Which is not necessarily the case these days...

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What does your Vet recommend? Is your Vet pushing Science Diet?

 

The ingredients look good. Lamb and lamb meal first is good, good quality grains, no corn. Beet pulp is kind of a filler, but no real harm. If your dogs are healthy and shiny, I'd stick with it.

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If your dogs are healthy, your vet should be ok with what your dogs are eating. For heaven's sake, theres far worse stuff out there...if mine got on me I'd be quite annoyed. <_<

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I have heard good things about the Kirkland Organic chicken formula.

 

Personally I am not a fan of Diamond though. They make all kinds of foods- it is not that Diamond is behind the recipe for the Kirkland brand or Canidae or any of the others. They are contracted by those other companies to make their foods. That way every company doesn't have to have the expense of its own factory. I'd guess that Diamond receives the bulk goods & follows a recipe as ordered by Kirkland. However, when Menu foods screwed up all the dog/cat food in '07 one of the biggest issues was that Menu had sourced the contaminated ingredients & put them in many of the different brands they made.

 

Personally if I fed commercial (I don't) I'd choose a company that made their own food (like Fromm) if I could afford it. IMO, when a company makes their own product they are more careful about what goes on in the factory....JMHO.

 

ETA: Lots of dogs look good on cr*p foods. Especially when they are young & can compensate. If I had a dime for all the dogs I heard about that "ate Purina Dog Chow his whole life & lived to be 36 & was in perfect health"...I'd have...a little money :D

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I'd fed Kirkland and I liked it. If I talk to one vet where I go to, I'm feeding a horrible food and should feed Iams/Science Diet. If I talk to the other, she says it's good, not quite up there with the grain-free or raw diets, but good. I'll go with her opinion.

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I'd fed Kirkland and I liked it. If I talk to one vet where I go to, I'm feeding a horrible food and should feed Iams/Science Diet. If I talk to the other, she says it's good, not quite up there with the grain-free or raw diets, but good. I'll go with her opinion.

Iams/Science Diet? That vet is way behind the times. I wouldn't touch either one of those foods. I think they used to be OK but not any more.

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^^ Many vets get paid by these manufacturers to push these foods, especially Science Diet. Wasn't there just a show or something on TV that exposed dog food and talked about how vet students aren't actually taught proper nutrition in school, just a manufacturer coming into the classes and pushing their 'healthy' balanced dog foods?

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Once again, my vet is telling me that I am not feeding a good enough dog food.

Ask your vet to provide an ideal list of ingredients and what ingredients you should avoid. Then discuss with your vet why he/she prefers these ingredients. Tell your vet this level of detail will allow you to better evaluate food choices.

 

How your vet answers these questions will tell you a lot about your vet's knowledge and motivation about food.

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The ingredients look fine - no corn, wheat or soy anything in the top 5 ingredients (this is my first level of evaluation for dog/cat food)

 

Check out www.dogfoodadvisor.com

 

He gives the Kirkland brand dry dog foods a 4 star rating which equals an above average rating. Read through his review, and his website as a whole is pretty informative.

 

I agree with others about Science Diet, Iams, Purina -- not great food, too much marketing money that would be better spent on restructuring their formulas and purchasing quality ingredients. Unfortunately that is generally what you get from publicly-traded companies who must constantly increase revenue/profit to satisy their stockholders.

 

Jovi

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I also feed my two Kirklands Premium Lamb and Rice, and like yours, they are quite healthy and fit. The cost is radically lower than some of the fancy brands, and I am not convinced there is any need to pay so much more. I suspect that most of us who feed kibble add other food items to it opportunistically (what dog owner would throw away uneaten beef off someone's plate?!) or on a regular basis (e.g., adding some fish oil or canned pumpkin). I'm pretty sure that our dogs are not suffering!

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Iams/Science Diet? That vet is way behind the times. I wouldn't touch either one of those foods. I think they used to be OK but not any more.

 

I think it's mostly because they sell Iams/Science Diet, and he's ALL about the money. He also seems to actively dislike most animals. The only reason I even give the practice business is because I really like one of the vets there.

 

A few years ago, he had me put IBS cat (the one in the photo) on prescription science diet. His digestion issues got better, but he started packing on weight like crazy. Looked at the ingredients and it was all garbage. I switched him over to Evo, and he lost the extra weight, continued to be mostly symptom-free, and even EVO was cheaper to feed than the prescription food.

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Here's a comparison for you all to consider.

 

Chicken Meal, Ground Rice, Ground Oats, Ground Barley, Chicken Fat (Stabilized with Mixed Tocopherols), Beet Pulp, Fish Meal, Ground Flaxseeds, Natural Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Yeast Culture, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Dried Yeast Fermentation Solubles, Vitamin E Supplement, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Zinc Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Sulfate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyrodoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, Biotin, Selenium Yeast, DL-Methionine, Rosemary Extract, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C).

 

Protein 26.0%

Fat 16.0%

Crude Fiber 4.0%

Moisture 10.00%

Omega-6 Fatty Acids 2.80%

Omega-3 Fatty Acids 0.36%

4078 kcal ME / kg

 

Chicken, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice, white rice, cracked pearled barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), oatmeal, dried beet pulp, egg product, flaxseed, natural chicken flavor, fish meal, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D supplement, folic acid.

 

Crude Protein 26.0%

Crude Fat 16.0%

Crude Fiber 3.0%

Moisture 10.0%

Omega-6 Fatty Acids 2.5%

Omega-3 Fatty Acids 0.4%

3,708 kcal ME/kg

 

Which is better and which do you think costs less ($7-$10 difference on 40lb bag)?

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Which is better and which do you think costs less ($7-$10 difference on 40lb bag)?

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What fun! Tell us, tell us.

 

I don't think I can even hazard a guess since I doubt that there is a universal logic as to how pet foods are priced i.e. I don't believe that they necessarily reflect quality of ingredients. Other considerations such as brand name, desired margin profits, marketing costs, etc. are folded into the price.

 

Jovi

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Years ago - about 14 - I asked about the right food for a border collie. Got a lot of good informations, mostly from a guy who seems to be on the Working Stock Dog site most often now.

 

I was told to avoid corn in dog kibble. And to look for something like 21% protein and 15% fat. Geeze, I hope I have that right.

 

I found only Petsmart Authority Lamb and Rice kibble to meet those rules at any source I could find. So Fergie has been on it for years. She sure seems to be doing well on it. Bright eyes, glossy fur that makes everyone remember me as the lady with the black and white dog that glows.

 

She'll turn 15 early in December. Our vet wishes he could use her in teaching others how to keep pets. Yes, pets. She has never been a working dog unless you count keeping us active and bringing in the newspaper and mail as work. hey, she does.

 

Yes, she has arthritis in her his and left front carpal area. And she has always had an irregular heartbeat. But she is still going for at least 4 mile walks a day. And doG help the squirrel that ignores her!

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^^ Many vets get paid by these manufacturers to push these foods, especially Science Diet. Wasn't there just a show or something on TV that exposed dog food and talked about how vet students aren't actually taught proper nutrition in school, just a manufacturer coming into the classes and pushing their 'healthy' balanced dog foods?

 

Both of those statements are myths.

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Here's a comparison for you all to consider...Which is better and which do you think costs less ($7-$10 difference on 40lb bag)?

What I'd guess is that the higher calorie food (choice #1) derives more of its calories from grains (since protein and fat percentages are equal, percent moisture is equal, and fiber is very similar). Choice #2 also lists two meat sources as its first ingredients (but "chicken" is largely water and so is, as a protein source, less significant than its placement in the ingredient list would imply) which could indicate a greater proportion of the protein sources as being from meat rather than grains.

 

I know what you feed so I probably can guess which is the less expensive feed, and which may well be the better feed, and assume it's the same one. But that's just my guess. #1

 

Fun quiz!

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Both of those statements are myths.

Thank you for your comment as you are a vet and would know on both counts according to your experiences.

 

However, if Hill's Science Diet is being sold by veterinarians (and my vet sells it), as with any other product, the veterinarian has a mark-up and is making money on each sale. Since the prescription feeds can only be sold by vets, it makes business sense to sell the product line - not everyone has a pet that requires a prescription diet (and that provides one stop shopping) and since many clients would assume that the feed their vet sells must be the best possible choice of all - and make a profit on all of them.

 

So, it's semantics whether or not the vet is "paid" to push that particular brand - paid by the company or paid by the profitability, either way it's another way to increase profit by increasing overall income.

 

I researched where you could purchase Hill's Science Diet in my area - primarily vet offices, secondarily retail establishments (surprisingly to me, Tractor Supply, among others). My dog/cat source won't carry it - she only stocks brands that she can recommend (and one "classic" brand that some clients insist on that she doesn't recommend, but the clerks will try and educate folks who want it anyway).

 

Dog food - ask five people and get five (or more) different opinions...

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Both of those statements are myths.

 

Universally myths? I've heard (yes, heard, not confirmed) that many vets have recieved scholarships from Hills. Do you have any information to back up your statement? Just curious.

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A vote for #1 here as well. And I'd guess it's the cheaper food. Number 2 lists chicken as the first ingredient, but as Sue noted, most of the weight in the chicken is water weight, so once it's cooked into kibble, it's most certainly not the ingredient that's present in the greatest amount.

 

Liz,

Perhaps vet schools are now concentrating more on nutrition, or at least offering courses in the subject. Many vets who were schooled in years past will honestly tell you that they didn't recieve training in nutrition. I've had several vets tell me that.

 

I don't know about the claim of being paid to push a particular product, but I do know that sales reps could be very generous when they came to call back when I was working for a vet, and I have no doubt that the practice continues, just as it does with human doctors and pharmaceutical reps. It's the way business is done in those industries (and others).

 

J.

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However, if Hill's Science Diet is being sold by veterinarians (and my vet sells it), as with any other product, the veterinarian has a mark-up and is making money on each sale. Since the prescription feeds can only be sold by vets, it makes business sense to sell the product line - not everyone has a pet that requires a prescription diet (and that provides one stop shopping) and since many clients would assume that the feed their vet sells must be the best possible choice of all - and make a profit on all of them.

 

So, it's semantics whether or not the vet is "paid" to push that particular brand - paid by the company or paid by the profitability, either way it's another way to increase profit by increasing overall income.

 

I researched where you could purchase Hill's Science Diet in my area - primarily vet offices, secondarily retail establishments (surprisingly to me, Tractor Supply, among others). My dog/cat source won't carry it - she only stocks brands that she can recommend (and one "classic" brand that some clients insist on that she doesn't recommend, but the clerks will try and educate folks who want it anyway).

 

Actually the mark-up on foods is very low...like 20%(mark-up on other things are MUCH higher). It requires a lot of time, space & staff to properly manage the inventory & you can imagine the trouble that comes for pets not liking it or not eating it or getting diarrhea, etc...

 

I think most vets carry food because they do prescribe prescription diets for ailments and bring in regular foods as a convenience for their clients who would rather just get everything all at one place. It is far from profitable for anyone but the mfg unless huge volumes are sold.

 

I am no fan of Hill's but I think many vets have known & respected them as the first company to actually do research on their products. They were the first to create a whole line of prescription foods to treat many different ailments. Personally I think they come at it from the wrong angle but Hill's is very well respected among older vets. They do sell some foods at a minimal discount to the staff & give free food to vet students but I don't think that does anything but promote good will. If a vet doesn't go beyond good will when recommending a product then I'd be worried about many other things with that vet too.

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Even older vets have access to nutrition information via CE conferences. CE is required to keep your license current. Vet journals are full of excellent articles and studies they can read.

 

If vets are swayed to sell a certain food by lunches and other free stuff I would find a new one. Ask your vet to have a frank discussion about why s/he likes a particular food. Voice your own concerns about certain foods and talk about why you feed the brand you chose.

 

Yes, vets do make a profit from food, drugs and other supplies, though not as much as you would think. There is a move in the profession to reduce the cost of goods and instead charge based solely on services rendered. The markup that each vet charges for food varies, but it is actually quite small, relatively speaking.

 

Medical diets are required by law to only be sold by veterinarians for a number of reasons. Among others, some are not nutritionally complete, so if fed long term to a healthy animal they can cause illness. Other diets contain supplements at high enough levels that the food itself is classed as a drug.

 

I accepted a scholarship from the AKC. I am about as anti AKC as you can get. I also accepted money from several dog food companies. I was a poor student that needed cash. I never did and never will recommend those foods. A classmate of mine also got an AKC scholarship and she is anti AKC, pro rescue, pro mutt.

 

To the OP: It's true that just because one company manufactures a food doesn't mean they have anything to do with formulating the diet or controlling the quality of the ingredients that go into it.

 

Feed what you can afford and are comfortable with. If your dog is healthy and happy that is what ultimately matters.

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Here's a comparison for you all to consider.

 

Which is better and which do you think costs less ($7-$10 difference on 40lb bag)?

 

I like #1 better. It has fewer grains in the top 10. Fish meal is higher in the list, so I'd guess the bulk of the protein is the more digestible animal protein to cause the increase in calories. Also, it doesn't have grain fractions/multiple listings for the same thing and Real Chicken as the #1 ingredient! that is mostly water (all common methods for disguising lower quality foods) like # 2 does.

 

I think the difference in price is harder to determine. These food are close in ingredients. Differences are likely to be in mfg cost not ingredient costs. For instance, look at a pricing scheme like Hill's where a bag of byproducts & corn costs more than many foods on the market. I have learned that with dog foods you don't always get what you pay for.

 

Can't wait to hear the answer :D

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I like #1 better. It has fewer grains in the top 10.

Dog food #1 has fewer different grains listed; however, no food lists the percentage by weight of each ingredient so there is NO WAY of knowing how much meat protein and how much grain protein is present in foods that have both sources.

 

 

One comparison I have used is to compare each food by kcal/$, this at least somewhat levels the comparison. This comparison does not take into account the quality of the calories; it can be like comparing the calories from fruit vs. ice cream.

 

These two foods compare this way: 2039kcal/$ vs 1721kcal/$

 

A popular food with folks here provides 1003 kcal/$. This comparison better equates to how much food of each brand of food a dog will need to maintain their current weight (better than comparing price/lb). Again, it does not compare quality of the source of calories.

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