Decent dog food?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by IcarusSomnio, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. IcarusSomnio

    IcarusSomnio Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2010
    Vernon County, MO
    I'm on the hunt for a decent dog food, far it's not all that promising.

    I went from Ol' Roy Meaty Chunks and Gravy to Diamond High-Energy formula (the 'only dog food fed' by a breeder I know) thinking it would be better for my dogs. Nu uh.

    Hazel held good weight, though her coat wasn't perfect but healthy otherwise. Duke's coat has never been super shiny and he didn't really hold his weight well on the topline (two vertebrae visible in the middle, otherwise he was plump). I didn't notice excessive scratching from Hazel, or excessive farting from Duke.

    Hazel began scratching and licking excessively. At first I assumed the fleas where increasing, but Duke didn't show any discomfort. Her coat became much shiner, but she doesn't seem as 'sleek' as before. It's more like instead of lean muscle, she had more fatty deposits despite training and work. She doesn't seem very impressed in the feed. Duke also began farting excessively, and NASTY farts. I had to open pretty much every window and door in the house just to be able to breath. His weight otherwise seems to be maintained, he has been loosing fat and gaining lean muscle with light work.

    Ol' Roy Meaty Chunks and Gravy:
    Ground Yellow Corn, Meat and Bone Meal, Soybean Meal, Animal Fat (Preserved With Bha and Citric Acid), Dehydrated Meat Gravy, Natural Flavor, Salt, Carrots, Peas, vitamins and minerals.

    Diamond Dog Food:
    Chicken by-product meal, ground corn, rice bran, wheat flour, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), meat meal, beet pulp, natural chicken flavor, fish meal, vitamins and minerals.

    I honestly can't decide which is worse. [​IMG] I've looked at grain-free dog foods but at $30-$40 for 15 POUNDS I might as well open up my own dog food company and produce my own. On average, my pups eat 50lbs per week. Lets say I could get them down to 45lbs, thats $90-$120 a week that I can't afford to feed (not with chickens, ducks, horses, and rabbits). I feed well and my animals are all happy and cared for, but I'm not Super Owner X-Treme here.

    So...does anyone have any recommendations for a halfway decent dry dog food? I want to check my feed store tomorrow, I gotta run in for rabbit feed and pick up a bale or two of hay for the buns. I honestly think it's the high percentage wheat + corn combination making my poor girl miserable and my boy fart to the point of eye-watering.
    I can't feed an all-natural homemade diet (in an affordable manner)...YET. I'd like to in the long run, especially when I'm on my farm and can grow my own large meat sources and vegetables. But, for now, it's dry manufactured dog food. Thousands of dogs are fed it and do very well, it's just a matter of finding a good one. Same with my chickens, ducks, rabbits, and horses. I'd like to produce my own feed for them, but it's just not feasible at this very point in time.
  2. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    Jan 27, 2009
    Taste of the Wild My pups only get the Buffalo and Venison variety. The best is a raw diet. I loved Nature's Variety. It was just to expensive for the number of dog I have. I might go back to it after the big dog passes.
  3. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    Jan 27, 2009
    Purina doesn't make anything without corn in it. The better the food the less you have to feed, and the smaller the poops. Diamond may make a single grain food which should be a lot better than multi grain foods. Unfortunately as the dog food gets better the cost goes up. I do know some have found their dogs do very well on the lamb and rice dog food from Costco.
  4. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

    Dec 2, 2009
    A friend of mine knows a lot about dogs, German Shephards mostly. In his opinion, all dry foods you get at the store are crao because they just fill the dog up. He feeds raw and he says its about %15 more then buying the stuff at the store.
  5. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2009
    They eat less of the better dog foods than the cheap poor quality ones. Stay away from all foods with by products, glutens and if they don't have a named meat (like chicken, beef, lamb, etc) as the first ingredients.

    I feed my dog, a Belgian Malinois, Orijen. I used to feed her EVO but it was recently purchased by Proctor and Gamble which ticks me off as there is no way they'll keep the same suppliers. EVO has excellent ingredients from local suppliers with high standards and their own processing plant--now they will most certainly use the suppliers that proctor and gamble uses- which have lower standards.

    Some of these foods seems very expensive but my dog looks and acts wonderful and it saves on grooming and veterinary bills in the long run. My Cherokee is very athletic and can really burn calories so I need an excellent food. Blue Wilderness grain free might be less expensive but I have not fed it to my pets. Try this website and check out the reviews:

    check out the "scoop" ratings of some foods and try to stick with 5 scoop ones:
  6. HaikuHeritageFarm

    HaikuHeritageFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2010
    Anchorage, AK
    Dog food can be ridiculously expensive, especially considering some of the worse and some of the best cost about the same.

    My dog did best on Solid Gold Howling at the Moon, which is their most expensive...but it made her smell very fishy. I tried the Costco Lamb & Rice, she did ok...but ate more, pooped more, and had gas.

    I currently feed a local brand that consists entirely of local barley, wild salmon and kelp meal...which is exactly what I am transitioning my chickens over to. She does great on this feed, it's in pellet form just like chicken or rabbit food. She eats very little of it to stay in top shape, shiny coat, no gas. I love it.

    I'm thinking about coming up with a formula that works for the dog, too, and adding the occasional supplemental rabbit fryer or skinned chicken. I think she would eat just barley, salmon meal and kelp if I mixed in a warm gruel for her.
  7. HaikuHeritageFarm

    HaikuHeritageFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2010
    Anchorage, AK
    I just realized what I said didn't really help you. If your feed store carries a lot of brands, I would spend some time reading the bags of the foods in your price range. I prefer the shortest ingredient list with a good protein listed first and, preferably second.

    When I worked at a small independent pet store, our most popular foods were Solid Gold Wolf King and Nutro Large Breed, but Nutro has several foods to look at. Eagle Pack also has some good ones. Taste of the Wild is worth looking at too, but spendy. Same with Evo and Orijen.
  8. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    Jan 27, 2009
    I love Solid Gold Wolf King. My big dog did fairly well on that. I used it until I got the tiny dogs. Solid Gold was formulated for Great Danes, and I am thinking that Yorkies do fit into that group. Merick makes a human grade food also, and I was happy with that for quite awhile. I try to avoid chicken for the big dog. For some reason he doesn't do well on it, and I also don't want to feed him Lamb. Komondork were bred to guard the sheep and they did not eat the sheep that they guarded. So I figure that it is better to go with venison if I can find it. The Yorkies do very well on the Taste of the Wild food also.

    I still have never found any food that would keep the big dog from itching. He is nearly 12 years old now, and I have resorted to taking him to the vet once a month for a cortisone shot. He loves going to the dog doctor. After he is done at the dog doctors he gets to go shopping for a pig ear. His favorite sport is shopping. [​IMG]
  9. BlacksheepCardigans

    BlacksheepCardigans Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 11, 2010
    Southeast NH
    I've been feeding raw for over ten years and it's definitely doable and shockingly cheap once you find the suppliers. If you were willing to feed cull chickens, you can feed them whole - including feathers on - if you'd like. That's the kind of thing dedicated prey-model raw feeders pay huge bucks for - look at to see how much they charge for whole rabbits and quail to see what I mean.

    We are feeding a whole bunch of dogs, so we get chicken parts from a restaurant supply company for about twenty-five cents a pound. That's supplemented with veggies, oils, and organs I pick up at the grocery store as part of the regular food shopping.

    If you don't want to jump into raw, look for a food that has as much meat as possible stuffed in there. There's no such thing as a truly meaty food, because it would rot in the bag, but some come closer than others. Orijen is what I am currently feeding when we go on trips or similar. That comes closest to giving my dogs a healthy look (once you've fed raw for a while you start to realize what dogs are supposed to look like - the muscling and the coat - and nothing else looks right to you anymore). The kibbles I recommend my puppy buyers try are Orijen, Wellness Core, Innova EVO (used to, anyway - waiting to hear whether people start having bad results on it now that it has been sold), Solid Gold Barking at the Moon, and BG (Merrick's no-grain formula). In grained kibbles I like Castor and Pollux, Solid Gold Wolf King, Acana, Canidae, the regular adult Natural Balance, and a few others.

    One thing most people don't know: The regular adult (almost always chicken) formula is usually the highest-quality the brand sells. As soon as they move into weird ingredients the percentage of meat goes down, because lamb or beaver or salmon is a heck of a lot more expensive than chicken. My first choice in any brand is the normal adult one, and I would only switch if the dog can't tolerate it.

    Oh, and generally speaking a puppy should either be on raw or on a conventional (grained) kibble, and preferably one that's under about 25% protein. Puppies will grow as fast as you let them, and the growth provided by grain-free kibbles or high-protein kibbles (which usually means high-calorie kibbles - it's not the protein but the calories that you actually worry about) is too fast. You end up with a greater chance of growth issues and weaker growth plates. I am currently trying to rehab a ten-month-old puppy who has an angular limb deformity due to a growth plate injury and a tendon issue; we're all pretty sure that it's because the owner (who is wonderful and well-meaning) fed him Wellness Core. He's here on a raw diet and focused exercise to try to get him as normal as he can get, though he'll almost certainly never be completely recovered.

    Joanna Kimball
  10. MomtoSyd&Emma

    MomtoSyd&Emma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 13, 2009
    Southern VA

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