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Is this good dog food?


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I have been buying this brand of dog food for 8 months; our dogs love it and have been healthy. The price is $14.75 for 40 pounds. I buy it at the local Mennonite feed mill. Based on the ingredients, can you tell me if it is a good dog food?

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Hi Hector,


That ingredient list has some items I personally stay away from in my dog foods, the ground yellow corn, beet pulp, and meat meals. But then I am biased toward my choice of foods, Wellness, by Old Mother Hubbard.

If your dogs like it, thrive on it and the price is right, why change? What made you wonder about it?

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Corn meal doesn't concern me too much per se. But I think the protein is way too high and the fat is way too low, and they're out of proportion.


If you have a 27 percent protein level, fat would need to be 18 or 19 percent to be in balance. You're looking for a 3:2 ratio.


Personally, I'd like to see protein down to about 18 percent (which is virtually impossible in American brands) and fat at about 12 percent. We usually compromise at 22:14 -- a pretty common pair of levels in lamb and rice formulations.

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I personally would not use that feed if thats the only thing to use....do you give your dogs other foods besides that, like raw or cooked meat, vegies etc? If so then it should not be a huge issue.


I am taking my dog off science diet and switching over to Wysong food, but in addition to that, I will cook her rice, chicken and steak and some times give her raw beef (I am still weary about giving her raw chicken). She also likes bananas, carrots, corn, etc. I probably do 75% kibble, 25% other stuff.

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That's an awful lot of protein/fat. That's comparable to cat food!


You want something more in the low twenties, with a lower fat percentage too. Unless you are working your dog very hard in cold weather, and maybe not even then. Mine, who are on kibble at the moment because my kitchen is being remodeled, are on a food that is around 21/14. They work sheep every day and go for a mile walk.

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Would you mind saying what kibble you're using? I'm going out of town for a few days and mine are going to need to eat kibble while I'm gone. I'm searching for something good that will suffice while I'm gone.


Thanks for any help.



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I'm a pretty big fan of Wellness Lamb Super5 mix, which is what Solo eats when he has kibble. The protein and fat levels are good and it's relatively low in calories compared to other premium foods like Innova. Solo thinks its yummy. And the ingredients are fabulous.




I like the lamb formula better than the chicken, which doesn't seem to have enough fat in it for Solo or is otherwise just not as great for him.


Fly eats Natural Balance, primarily because it's the only kibble she's ever eaten on which she has totally normal poop. It's also an excellent food and easier to find than Wellness sometimes (Petco sells it).



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No problem Denise!


Chicken Soup, etc, Adult - they do reasonably well (definitely a difference from the homemade, though) and it is reasonably priced.



I can't wait to get my kitchen back though!


Pet Supplies Plus on Reynolda has it, and the Tractor Supply in Clemmons sometimes does too. Pet Smart does NOT - boo hiss.

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Do not feed the puppy formula, they really don't need it. Puppy food typically makes them grow too quickly anyway.


I'm also a huge fan of Wellness Super 5 Mix. I started Mia as a puppy on it because she wasn't getting enough nutrition from Iams Puppy. She's now 2 y.o. and continues to thrive on Wellness. It's a bit pricey and sometimes difficult to find but it's worth it IMO.


Gimmie Sue and Mia

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Thanks for the replies to my question.


Maybe I ?think? too much, but here is what I have been thinking: the ancestors of our dogs were the wolves, and science tells me that the wolf species has been on the planet for about 30 million years. They obviously knew how to eat to survive during that time period and they didn?t need human help to feed them.


Wolves are carnivores. They kill and eat other animals. That means they naturally eat protein and fat. The Beaverdam brand dog food is 27% protein, 12% fat. I would guess that when a wolf kills and eats prey (say an elk), the wolf is consuming 75-80% protein and 20-25% fat. Does that sound right?


If the above assumption about the wolf eating the elk is true, then what is wrong with the Beaverdam formula of 27% protein, 12% fat? Is the dog getting too much of something or not enough of something?


17-month-old-Bailey (who has been eating the Beaverdam for six months) is not overweight, is strong, agile, and healthy. What kind of long-term ill effects might he suffer from eating only this formula? I could easily supplement that diet with other foods if that would be beneficial to his long-term health. But my starting point is to ask what is WRONG with the Beaverdam diet? None of the answers thus far specifically address that question.

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they didn?t need human help to feed them.
Exactly. They never ate out of a bag either. The quality of the protein makes a lot of difference. When protein percentages are listed on the bag, it doesn't really tell you the source, so protein, according to the percentages on the bag, can be feathers, beaks, hoofs, other types of undigestible proteins that normally wouldn't be eaten out in the wild. It all qualifies under "protein", and so the manufactures are within the regulations.


I am still trying to find something about the study done years ago to prove that no matter what the source of protein, that as long as the percentages are what they claim, it will be acceptable under AAFCO standards. They took crankcase oil, old leather shoes and something else and made a kibble out of it, doing the percentage analysis and it was accepted under AAFCO standards. Kinda of scary.


Also, when the wild ancestors of our dogs survived without man's intervention, they also did not seek grain as part of their diets, yet without grain, kibble wouldn't be able to be manufactured.


I have a friend with Bichons, who are inclined toward allergies. His dogs were diagnosed with an allergy to beef, as were a couple of this dog's offspring sold to other people. They were put all on a "beefless" diet, a kibble with good ingredients, just not beef. I suggested the premade raw I feed, which is beef. His reply was, "well if she's allergic to beef, why the heck (he didn't say heck) would I feed her a beef raw?". I did convince the owner of one of the other Bichon's to try this premade raw. Not only is the dog doing well, but it's doing even better, and so convinced is it's owner, that she is in the process of convincing others whose dogs have "beef" allergies.


Hector, we're talking about an animal who has also eaten feces to survive. Dogs will pretty much eat anything. So if someone's chooses to feed their dog a lesser diet, that's OK. Dogs no longer have to hunt and scavange for their food. They are totally dependent on humans now. We're the ones who make the choices for them, so my choice is to feed them the best that I can. It's no longer the dog's choice. It the owner with the wallet making the decisions (hence the hype on TV---dog food commercials that sound pretty darned convincing).



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Dogs in the wild did not eat the same thing over and over again. Imagine eating crackers every day. Sure they are edible, but is that good for you?


Also WE have the choice on what to feed them, not our dogs, don't we owe them the best?

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My dogs had a bad reaction to Chicken Soup....I feed Canidae. I fed Royal Canin Natural Blend for awhile but one of my dogs couldn't digest it very well. Canidae is a good value in the high end dog foods....usually runs me $28 per 40# bag. I have paid alot more for Innova, Royal Canin, etc.

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I can't remember for sure but I think Chicken soup is $26 for 35 lb. I've gotten it on sale the last few times so I could be confused.


Different dogs do well on different diets. You just have to find what works for you. Dogs are actually omnivorous, I believe? In the wild they are largely scavengers, eating a significant amount of plant matter via eating the gi tract of stolen kills, or if they were lucky enough to kill something themselves. A sign of a canid kill rather than a cat kill is that the gut is ripped out and a lot of the meat is left if the pack is small (apologies if you are reading this over lunch).


Some dogs do best on a diet full of what we'd think of as junk. Sheepdogs thrived for centuries on kitchen trash, pig slop, horse and cow crap, and a daily bowl of porridge. Now we're suddenly giving them rich, high-protein, concentrated feed - I see a lot of dogs that have digestive problems. Many times these can be solved by offering a less rich diet. You can still feed a high-quality feed as most of them offer a lower energy formula.


The diet I normally offer to my dogs includes ground kitchen trash (fruit, herbs, veg, meat trimmings, eggshells), cooked egg, fish, and extra vitamins. Then they also get a small amount of flaxseed meal, one of a rotation of fatty acid sources, wheat germ, and oatmeal or brown rice, and a couple of meaty bones. One of my dogs does not get the grain mixture.


My diet plan used to be less complicated but I was spending a lot on both meat and vitamins. The grains are a cheaper source of energy (just as in kibble), and all but one of the dogs do well on just a small amount with the bulk of their meals consisting of raw meaty bones. Controversial, I know, but the grains are an important source of antioxidants and OFAs.


What I'm saying is that there are certainly lesser quality feeds but nobody should feel guilty that they are feeding something with corn or shoe leather or whatever. You have to let your dog's health and quality of life tell you whether your approach is satisfactory.

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I brought up the shoe leather study not in an effort for all of us to throw our hands up and cry "how awful." The point of that study was that as long as the percentages are there, it would probably meet AAFCO standards and those standards vary widely, so the more one knows, the better choices one makes.


Before dog food came in bags, people fed their own concoctions. The trend is swinging back to more "natural diets". And, is it because trips to the vet were a luxury most couldn't afford or were dogs generally without the skin and digestive and other conditions commonly seen today. I don't know.


Personally, I'd look for better than shoe leather as a source of protein for my dogs, but, hey, if it works for yours, who is anyone to waggle their finger at you and tell you otherwise.


Here's another question. Someone says they feed XXX brand of dog food and their dog is doing great on it. What's great. If the dog's owner feels that "great" means a greasy-feeling coat, 5 large bowel movements a day and fetid breath--then they are likely to become complacent in feeding what they consider is "good enough".

It's no body's business to harp on them about a change of food.


OTOH, if the dog's owner actually seeks advice, that's different. Then he may be starting to think in terms of "good" rather than "good enough".


If you think what you're feeding is working, that's all that matters. An educated consumer includes on who forks out their hard earned cash to feed their dog.


And is this an issue that has often been hotly debated.



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