Are ANY of the grocery store dog foods decent ?

telly2July 9, 2008

I am a total believer in feeding my pets the best food my money can buy, but times are getting tougher economically, and sometimes I just cannot afford the more expensive brands available at the pet stores. I have read some of the dog food reviews on the web, and I'm aware that even some of the more expensive brands are not necessarily the best, due to fillers, etc., but grocery store brands seem to be at the bottom of the barrel, ratings-wise.

I have 3 big labs that can really put away some food ! I am not against cooking for them if that will help & still be economical.

I would like to have some opinions on this, since I haven't seen it addressed here. FYI, in the past I regularly fed them Ultra Nutro brand, which they ate okay with no problems. Right now they seem to absolutely love Pedigree with chicken, rice & vegetables. They don't seem to care much for the other Pedigree formulas.

One last thing: our local newspaper had an article the other day about the shelters filling up faster than usual because so many people are having money problems right now that they can't even feed their pets. This absolutely breaks my heart, and I cannot allow this to happen to me.

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well let's see most grocery store foods contain nothing but junk including Pedigree..not to mention cancer causing preservatives..and yes dogs like the recipe because they are filled with flavor enhancers.
If I absolutely had to and beleive me I would not do this unless I was half dead...the only Grocery store food I would consider is Purina one...but to be honest Canidae is not that much more in price and is a much better quality food.
Besides with the better foods you actually have to feed less.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 9:17PM
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If one had to consider dog food bought at a supermarket it would still be better to buy the highest quality food they would carry. Purina One or ProPlan would probably be acceptable. At the very least in my opinion stay away from foods that have all different colors or shapes to them. It would still pay to do some research on the different varieties they offer.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 10:11PM
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It's so sad to hear people are giving up animals because they can't feed them. So many people are losing their homes with yards that many dogs are in shelters now too -- young ones that aren't normally taken there.

The topic of commerical dogfoods may not be addressed on this forum because it is so involved. I suggest the website for a thorough discussion of what is in commercial dog foods and recommendations for feeding. There is more info there if you want to come up with your own diet or correctly supplement commercial foods.

The author of is a highly respected researcher and writes for Whole Dog Journal. Their yearly analysis and recommendations for dogfood are a good baseline.

Good luck. I have used the info on to help me find a good commercial food and correctly supplement it, as well as to feed a CRF dog from scratch.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 9:14AM
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If I had to choose a dog food from the grocery store, or really any store for that matter, look at the ingredient list.

I would pick one that doesn't have by-products. I would pick one where the meat is the first ingredient. I would pick one that has the most meat products in the top 5 ingredients. I would pick one without corn in it.

You'll probably have to read a lot of labels ...

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 12:30PM
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Not sure where you live, but do you have any farm supply stores nearby? I hear those often have some pretty decent foods for good prices.

Also, don't just look at the price per bag - look at how many calories per cup are there. A food at half the price is not a bargain if you have to feed twice as much. And you will have much more poop to pick up!

If you have a Costco membership I think the Kirkland food has quite good ingredients. Also Diamond Naturals (not the other Diamond lines) are pretty good and affordable. Some of the guidelines I would use for my dogs personally are:
- no corn
- no BHA/BHT or ethoxyquin - you can add more stuff to the food if you need to but you can't take the bad stuff out
- a specified meat meal as the first ingredient (i.e. chicken meal, beef meal, etc.)
- no unspecified proteins or fats (i.e. no "meat and bone meal" or "poultry fat" or "animal fat) because you don't know what it is, it's bound to change from bag to bag, and it's probably the worst quality leftover junk
- the more meat in the first 5 or so ingredients on the list, the better
- no colouring agents

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 1:02PM
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I agree with almost everyone, except there is no reason that dogs can't have corn unless they are allergic, although I wouldn't want it to be in the first 5 ingredients. Also there is no reason that a dog can't eat liver, intestines, hearts, kidneys, skin, bones, cartilage, etc. which are otherwise known as by-products. A diet based on whole prey is most likely the most healthy one available, and that includes those things called by-products. In fact, if a dog was to be fed only muscle meat and veggies, they would be woefully malnourished. A complete canine diet includes complete prey. And while it is nice to know exactly what is in dog food, unless your dog has allergies there is no reason to be concerned if the ingredients change from bag to bag. In fact, I purposely feed my dog different foods all the time, to make sure they are getting a large variety. Again, this doesn't work if your dog has allergies, because you have to avoid those things that cause your dog problems, which is impossible if you don't know exactly what is in the food.

As already mentioned, avoid ethoxyquin, BHA, BHT, artificial flavors, artificial colors at all costs. Having an AAFCO seal is also nice, but all it says that is that feeding that particular diet won't cause your dog to have any known nutritional deficits. Basically, it is a guarantee of an adequate diet, but is by no means an optimal diet.

I sometimes get great deals on chicken or meat at the grocery store, and stock up to feed to my dogs (I have 4 large dogs). I cleaned out a store of $0.99/lb boneless skinless chicken breast for my Max who is on a prescription homemade diet. My other kids have benefited from similar deals. I get 20# rice from Costco for $10, which lasts a l-o-n-g time. Usually there are some sort of frozen veggies on sale. Max is allergic to corn, so I avoid it for him, but my girls have no issues with any foods. I like to give them a variety of whole foods at least 3 times a week. Of course, Max gets whole foods every meal- lucky dog- and once I start my job they will all be getting whole foods every meal. It's just a matter of shopping around, watching sales, having a discount card for every store, etc.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 1:53PM
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Not all the ~by-products~ are listed on the package.

This is old news, from a study done in 2002, so hopefully things have improved.

Read down the page, click on the Appendix and then there's a list of dog foods that were tested and the results. I can't find a newer study or one that was done for cat foods.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pentobarbital in Dog Food Study

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 2:04PM
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I feed mine Proplan by choice. It's not a grocery store brand.

I had large dogs reach 12 and 13 years of age. I obviously don't think it's a poor food.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 2:07PM
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By law, by products are things that people don't eat, but cannot include feathers or feet. Of course, companies may be breaking the law by including these things, but they can just as easy lie about their meat too (or pump up their protein levels by including melanine). If you are going to read ingredient labels. you just have to accept that the labels are telling the truth, otherwise just feed the cheapest crap you can find.

I went through Target today (waiting for my Rx) and Iams Naturals doesn't look too bad. I was surprised that some foods had corn listed 3 times in the top 5 ingredients- corn, corn meal, corn gluten, etc. Amazing!

12 and 13 years old is by no means old for large breed dogs. They should be living to be 15 or more.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 6:49PM
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Meghane said:I agree with almost everyone, except there is no reason that dogs can't have corn unless they are allergic,

Ditto to this.
Also, it isn't just the feed terms people need to understand but also where the ingredients actually come from...certain manufacturing plants are known for problems, certain countries are also known for selling less than quality grains, and other ingredients for feed.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 8:33PM
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Olga d: Thank you for the reminder about the Costco brand food. I remember reading this before. I'm not a member there, but it might be worth the cost of membership if the food is of a good quality.

Meghane: What you've said about by-products and corn makes sense to me. Also, my dogs have no allergies to anything that I'm aware of.

Anita22: I had not heard of before, but I'm going to check it out. Thank you.

A couple of other thoughts: I have a 19 year old Siamese cat that is supremely healthy & active for her age, and I sincerely believe that it is because I have always made sure that her food was of the highest quality. To me, her longevity is amazing; she is the first pet I've ever had that I have been adamant about as far as her diet. Her age & condition are a testament to this, I'm sure. The difference is, she is only one animal, and her consumption is very small compared to those 3 large dogs. A smallish bag of the best cat food on the market lasts her a long, long time.

So when I'm shopping about at Walmart, & I see people loading up huge bags of Ol' Roy, or Cozy Kitten or whatever, I cringe. There is no way in Hades those foods are anything but pure crap.

Also I wanted to mention that this is the website I have most recently visited for dog food reviews:
If you are familiar with this site, what do you think of it?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 10:57PM
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telly2 ~

You are right when you say that some of the standby foods (Old Roy and Cozy Cat) are junk but the next time you are in WalMart take a look at the Maxximum (yes, 2 "x's") brand cat and dog food. I think that it is, most likely, a pretty good dry food compared to Iams that is also carried there.

While not cheap compared to lesser quality ingredients it isn't bad. Do be prepared to pay about $1 - $1.50/lb with the cat food being the costlier. That is the only brand I will purchase when at WalMart.

A lot of folks won't go to the specialty pet stores but I'm glad that WalMart is offering a much higher quality product. Let me know what you think.

The Kirkland brand dog & cat food is very good quality and at a great price ...... not cheap but still it's priced well. I love Costco more than the Sam's Club I go to but the Costco is about 16 miles away and I don't get over there too often.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 12:02AM
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The reason I wouldn't feed corn is because it's processed into components so it can be used as a source of protein. But although it does increase the amount of protein in the "guaranteed analysis" numbers, it's not very digestable for dogs and they don't get much out of it. Meat based protein is far superior.

Also the corn that goes into dog foods is not a pretty corn cob mushed up into meal. It's what's left after the "good parts" and the quality corn has been used for corn syrup for soft drinks and all kinds of other products. It's basically leftover junk that they can pump into pet food and get money for it. I wouldn't trust it's quality.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 9:44AM
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Some of the super premium pet food lines have different levels of food at different price ranges, with even their least expensive foods being better than what you'd find at the grocery store. The brand that comes to my mind is Healthwise, which is made by the same people that make Evo and Innova. It's a lot less expensive, but still a good quality food. There could be similar products available by other manufacturers, but this is the one I've noticed with the biggest price difference.

Someone mentioned that more and more animals are ending up at shelters due to the economy. That is so true, plus, many more pets are just being dumped, too. That's a whole 'nother issue from the food thing, sort of but it's oh so connected. The price of pet food is going up rapidly. Very rapidly. It's all because of the corn thing, which (among other things, such as fuel prices) is affecting food prices around the world. Well, pet food and wild bird food are also being affected. Expect to be paying more and more and more for your pet food, even possibly increasing each time you go in to buy a bag. Such a bummer.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 9:44AM
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12 and 13 years old is by no means old for large breed dogs. They should be living to be 15 or more.

No, I haven't had a Rottweiler live to 15 years. Even if they hadn't gone down to hip dysplasia, 15 years old is not typical for a Rottweiler. At least not the poorly bred ones I adopt.

Irish Wolfhound 6-8 years

English Mastiff, Great Dane, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Leonberger 6-10 years

Bernese Mountain Dog, Bloodhound, Bullmastiff 7-9 years

Dogue de Bordeaux, Newfoundland, Rottweiler, St. Bernard
8-10 years

Cane Corso, Great Pyrenees, Neapolitan Mastiff, Scottish Deerhound 8-11 years

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 12:03PM
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Corn is a common allergen for dogs. And allergic reactions develop over time, there are plenty of products available that don't have corn in them, so why risk generating an allergy if its not necessary.

Continually feeding a dog corn is akin to purposely getting a stung by a bee or rubbing poison ivy on your skin to see if you will get a reaction. Why do it if its not necessary?, especially if you have a breed that is prone to allergies.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 12:56PM
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Wow, I'm getting a real education here ! Thanks to everyone for your thoughts. I love these forums, and even though I don't know any of you, I value the input from other pet lovers like me.

Sally2, thanks for the info about Healthwise. That's something for me to check into at the pet store where I shop.

What can we do to help the shelters ? I'm thinking of asking the people on my street to donate any pet foods whenever they can, and I will gather it up & take to the shelter. I have to admit though that right now I'm hesitant to ask anyone for anything extra, with so many struggling already (insluding me).

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 3:10PM
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What can you do to help the shelters?

Can you volunteer? Taking care of so many animals requires a great deal of help from volunteers.

Where I volunteer the animals are fed only one brand of food. When people drop off donated foods of different brands, we can't feed them to our dogs, imagine all the upset stomaches that would cause. So we give them to our Humane Officers to take with them on calls and to give to those who are struggling to feed their pets.

I would call your local shelter and see what type of food they use and if they want donations. They may have a greater need of some other product that you could collect from your neighborhood.

You're right, many are suffering, and their pets are suffering as well. Its a sad situation for many. :(
That's why I like to volunteer my time - its free!


    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 3:46PM
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I've fed Pedigree to our dogs---dry and canned---for years. The last two were 15(Lab/chow mix---had strokes) and 20(Chihuahua/terrier mix, cancer). When I say I feed the dog food, I mean they get NO people food---and the only snax are dog bone cookies(el cheapo since they only get maybe 10 a month) and rawhide bones(Not ones made in China).

Iams and other so called premium brands are a rip off, in my experience. Corn is the first listed ingredient on most of those. BTW, those two dogs I mentioned---both were allergic to pork and ham. The neighbors would feed them on the sly---cost me a LOT of money treating them after being fed a couple of hot dogs or a half a ham sandwich before I found that out!

Now, I do not disrespect folks who advocate raw diets---since dogs in the wild do exist on a lot of that kind of food. I don't think folks who use Super foods are wrong either. I just have not found a dog who did not thrive on Pedigree.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 9:16PM
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I realize there is alot of bad press out there about corn, however most of it is old and inaccurate with no scientific study in it's basis.Foods given a bad wrap about corn were based on foods that had way too many corn ingredients and different forms there of. Corn meal for example when the entire food is processed correctly can actually be very digestible.
However being dogs do not need grains in any form many times removing all the grains from a dogs diet will improve all kinds of health issues. One just needs how to supply carbohydrates and fiber in more species appropriate foods.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 10:13PM
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Try and avoid "by products" and fillers. Like wheat and corn (maize) and veggies. I feed my dog Trader Joes canned dog food (89 cents for a huge can) Natural Balance meat sticks, and hamburger, as well as some "dog cookies" I have learned through the years that just because a dog food is expensive does not mean it is good for your dog. And just because the vet recommends it, does not mean it is good for your dog. Not all vets are looking out for your dogs best interest. Check out the labels, I prefer feeding my dog a higher protein diet, with fewere fillers, he is 10 years old now, has very little grey hair (I think that comes from chauffering him everywhere not what I feed him) and he poops less because he is eating less because the food is fresher and healthier for him. It is like going to a local fast food joint to eat or to a fine restaurant to eat. I always get full faster at the restaurant and I stay fuller longer, because my food is not full of preservatives and additives.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 12:42AM
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Iams is not considered a premium brand.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 8:12PM
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Please be aware ... If your dog has allergies they may be food allergies and not just due to corn. ~Fairly~ recent studies have found that food mites are in not only commercial dog treats but dry dog foods too. It has been found that many dogs are allergic to the protein from those food mites and are itchy.

Some dogs become non-itchy or less itchy with the simple elimination of commercial dog treats.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 8:42PM
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I haven't had an opportunity to read all of the previous posts but I'd like to respond to the cost issue of quality dog food. My sweet Lab Maggie was, as most Labs are, a voracious eater. When I first got her I thought that dog food was dog food. My last dog lived a healthy life of 14 yrs. on Purina.

Initially I was feeding Maggie purina puppy chow and when she got older I switched to a WalMart brand "premium" food. She gradually started having lots of health problems. Of course the vets addressed her symptoms (with prednisone, medicated shampoos, ear meds, etc. $$$$$$$) but never addressed her diet. I finally changed vets because she suddenly started losing weight and the next vet finally addressed her diet (with food that HE sold) because her protein levels were extremely low, but also put her on cortisone for her "allergies". She was on the cortisone for months and when we tried to wean her off of it she went into an Addisonian crisis and nearly died (4 days in hosp. $$$$), then lived on monthly percorten injections @ $125/ea. for 2 yrs. (more $$$$)

My point is this. Had I been more educated about dog food my sweet baby would have had a healthier life. As a last act of desperation I finally took her to a holisitc vet and he put her on a food called Petguard. Her skin allergies and fur issues suddenly started disappearing. She grew a whole new coat of fur that was just beautiful like when she was a puppy. And then when we learned of her bone cancer two months after that she crossed the bridge looking like a beautiful healthy girl.

Thats my round-about way of saying that the cost of high quality dog food is NOTHING compared to what you will pay in vet bills and the remifications of feeding them cheap garbage. Unfortunately, we learned that the hard way.

One last thing, Maggie's massage therapist told me that when it says "meat" and doesn't specify what kind that it sometimes contains euthanized dogs and cats as the "meat". That was horrifying to me!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 12:39PM
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Wow, there certainly are a lot of rumors about pet foods!

It is highly illegal to use euthanized animals in pet food. If it is done, it is done contrary to the law. Manufacturers use the word "meat" in their ingredient list because the least expensive meat source may change on a regular basis, and it is too expensive to change the package label every time. One week chicken may be cheapest, the next it may be beef. As long as your dog is OK with any meat source, it isn't a big deal. The cheaper foods do list "meat" as an ingredient because they have to adjust to market conditions to keep their prices down. A more expensive diet that lists "chicken" will have to buy chicken no matter how much it costs. Of course, those costs are passed down to the consumer.

The pet food label is a legal document. Pet foods are regulated by the FDA, including truth in labeling.

These are the TRUE definitions of what meat, by-products, and meals are:

Meat: Meat is the clean flesh of slaughtered animals (chicken, cattle, lamb, turkey, etc.). The flesh can include striated skeletal muscle, tongue, diaphragm, heart, esophagus, overlying fat and the skin, sinew, nerves and blood vessels normally found with that flesh.

Meat By-products: Meat by-products are clean parts of slaughtered animals, not including meat. These include lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, liver, blood, bone, and stomach and intestines freed of their contents. It does not include hair, horns, teeth, or hooves.

Poultry By-products: Poultry by-products are clean parts of slaughtered poultry such as heads, feet, and internal organs (like heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, abdomen, and intestines). It does not contain feathers.

Fish Meal: Fish meal is the clean ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish or fish cuttings, with or without the oil extracted.

Beef Tallow: Beef tallow is fat derived from beef.

Ground Corn: Ground corn is the entire corn kernel ground or chopped.

Corn Gluten Meal: Corn gluten meal is the by-product after the manufacture of corn syrup or starch, and is the dried residue after the removal of the bran, germ, and starch. It is 60% protein.

Brewers Rice: Brewers rice is the small fragments of rice kernels that have been separated from larger kernels of milled rice.

Brown Rice: Brown rice is the unpolished rice left over after the kernels have been removed.

Soybean Meal: Soybean meal is a by-product of the production of soybean oil.

More facts on pet nutrition, from Small Animal Clinical Nutrition, 4th edition:

The digestibility of common grains in order from most digestible to least digestible is rice>corn>barley>oats.

Corn is a highly available source of complex carbohydrates and substantial quantities of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid important for healthy skin. It also provides essential amino acids and fiber.

Poultry by-product meal provides an excellent source of protein with lower mineral levels than chicken meal, making it an excellent choice for feline foods especially. Higher protein, less ash= better urinary tract health.

The protein to ash ratio is an excellent indicator of an ingredient's digestibility. The higher the ingredient's ash content, the lower it's digestibility. This is a table of common pet food ingredients:

Poultry by-product meal 6:1
Meat and bone meal 2:1
Chicken meal 4:1
Lamb meal 2.5:1
Fish meal 3:1
Soybean meal 10:1
Corn gluten meal 25:1
Rice gluten meal 20:1
Dried egg product 8:1

Obviously, rice and corn are both poor protein sources, but they are used in pet foods to provide carbohydrates (yes, dogs need carbs too). In cats, of course non-meat items are completely useless.

Not only does *what* you feed your dog matter, but *how much* matters quite a bit. Purina conducted a study with 48 Labs, and found that even though they were all fed the same food (I'm not sure which one, but obviously a Purina product), the dogs that were fed ad lib and ate as much as they wanted got arthritis and other chronic diseases earlier and DIED YOUNGER than dogs who were calorie-restricted, EVEN THOUGH THEY ATE THE SAME FOOD. In other words, you can just as easily KILL your dog by overfeeding a high quality diet as you can by feeding it a diet loaded with your typical baddies such as artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 6:51PM
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Wow, there certainly are a lot of rumors about pet foods!

LOL Meghane, you got that right.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 7:24PM
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Not to start an argument, but I had read in the Merck Veterinary Manual that dogs do not appear to have a dietary need for carbohydrates. I understand that dried foods include them for cost and manufacturing reasons (the extruders that shape the kibble need a certain minimum amount of carbs to be able to operate).

Also, don't the "meal" ingredients have the "unavoidable" disclaimer at the end? As in:
Chicken By-Product Meal: consists of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidable in good processing practice.

Based on that it's not really true that those ingredients aren't present. It certainly gives the manufacturers a lot more leeway than some folks would have us believe. And based on the recalls in recent years, it appears that manufacturers are not that great at adhering to the rules, nor is the FDA at enforcing them. :(

Also, most vets and pet foods recommend that we switch between foods gradually, by mixing the old food with the new, in order to reduce the risk of digestive upset. Based on this it doesn't really make sense to use a food where the meat source might be chicken in one batch and beef in another.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 10:28AM
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Dogs who eat whole prey get some amount of carbs, but dog food manufacturers do not make dog food out of whole prey. They make dog food on the basis of supplying the necessary nutrients in the most cost-effective manner possible. Since they do not supply enough meat to provide all the calories a dog needs, they add carbohydrates, usually in the form of grains or other veggies. Dogs can get their energy from carbs, or protein or fat, but getting the calories required from protein is expensive. And since most people buy dog food and don't give their dogs fresh whole prey, obviously cost is a very large concern for most people. Otherwise, there wouldn't be anything called "dog food."

They are pretty good at keeping large amounts of necks, feet, etc. out of the processing. And if dog food has a small amount of the rest of the bird, I don't really see an issue with it. I've given my dogs whole chicken before, and they aren't particularly careful at eating around feathers, intestines, undeveloped eggs, etc.

I agree that the manufacturers are not good at following the rules. That's beyond the scope of this discussion, as far as I'm concerned, because a premium brand can just as easily lie about what is in the food as a cheaper brand. If that was the point of the argument, I was say just feed whatever is cheapest because they are all lying anyway and all dog food is crap.

I never understood that thing about mixing foods gradually. A wild canid doesn't mix its prey items in gradually- it eats whatever it can get. I've never mixed my dogs' foods in gradually. Their current food is bison and salmon. When that bag runs out, they might get duck or rabbit or chicken or turkey. I've always done that, and never had a problem. I *have* seen problems where dogs that were fed low protein diets and switched to a higher protein had mild GI upset for a day or 2. I'm sure that a dog raised on grocery store brands would have a day or two of diarrhea if immediately switched to something like Wysong Archetype 1, which is an all meat high protein diet. But nothing serious.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 1:14PM
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Interesting thread, I certainly learned a lot.

meghane - what food do you feed? "Their current food is bison and salmon."???


    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 2:06PM
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Right now they are getting Solid Gold Wolf King when I give them dog food. I usually feed them a homemade cooked diet, plus raw bones. But I've been *very* busy lately and they've been getting more dog food than normal :( I also give them Wysong Achetype 1 (beef), and Natural Balance Duck and Potato, switching pretty regularly and immediately. I've noticed some more premium brands in my local Petco and will be checking them out too, but I hope to get "unbusy" and start cooking again (usually chicken, eggs, rice, veggies).

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 2:22PM
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Meghane, I try to switch foods every bag. My thinking is that if there is something wrong with one food, it will affect them less because they are not on it all the time. I also do not want them to develop that finicky stomach that everybody tells me that dogs have - the reason behind switching slowly. The groomer where I take the dogs for nails and butts is certain that I am an idiot because I do this. It is good to hear that you agree with my thinking. I just don't understand the reasoning behind feeding the same thing all the time. Is this a rumor started by dog food salespeople?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 12:21AM
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Yes it is most dog food companies want you to believe their food is the best, when in fact its garbage.

It might be sad but if you love your dogs maybe you could get a friend who has more money to take one of more of them from you until things improve. You could visit them on weekends and you could get the friends to feed your dog, Innova EVO, Ziwi peak or even raw diet until your money suitation improves. Or maybe find your dogs another home altogether, if you believe in not supporting bad foods that, gulp.... can and sometimes use dead dogs and cats from shelters to make the meat by products we wonder at so much. Ol roy has done this BTW.

try or Urb animal, co owns dog days, a store I go to to buy cat food. They support good pet foods and host dog adoptions. Whatever you do if you do give them up try not to place them into a shelter.

I hope for you it doesn't come to this. I have mild Autism and like you might be in the same suitation with my cats when I move out from my parents into a group home..

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 12:54PM
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runsnwalken ~

Both you and mrs tlc have made claims that euthanized cats and dogs are "sometimes" used as the mysterious meat source in dog foods.

Mrs tlc says that her massage therapist (now there is a reliable insider source) told her this and now you are accusing Ol' Roy from WalMart of doing the same thing. Well, WalMart doesn't make their dog food, it is a generic label, so you need to find out which dog food manufacturer does make it.

If you have some reliable information that euthanized pets are being used in making the food then you should go to the newspapers, talk shows or talk radio and this would be front page news.

There is no doubt that there are all quality levels of dry and wet pet foods. It is our responsibility to research and make the best choices we can afford. For you and mrs tlc to make such claims about ingredients without anything to back up your statements is highly suspicious.

Mild autism or not you sound mature enough to take responsibility for your comments. I suggest that you do a little research and come back to this forum with your documented findings. We would welcome the knowledge.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 3:40PM
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It is stated frequently in Foods Pets Die For, by Ann N Martin, she is the author and has much research into he matter. I have the book, and I must say I regret getting it, its not a happy book.

There's the proof I have to bear witness, Robyn

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 4:17PM
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runsnwalken ~

Thank you for referencing where you get your info with regard to your statements. It will be interesting to see if I can locate it at the library to read what she has to say.

I have never heard of Ann Martin nor her book. It will be interesting to read if she says that a few, some or most of the pet food manufacturers incorporate the use of euthanized pets. It appears (from the brief notes when I googled info) that some of the meat may be from China.

So, what food do you offer or cook for your furkids?


    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 4:47PM
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From the link I posted earlier .....

"...Dogs, cats not found in dog food

Because pentobarbital is used to euthanize dogs and cats at animal shelters, finding pentobarbital in rendered feed ingredients could suggest that the pets were rendered and used in pet food.

CVM scientists, as part of their investigation, developed a test to detect dog and cat DNA in the protein of the dog food. All samples from the most recent dog food survey (2000) that tested positive for pentobarbital, as well as a subset of samples that tested negative, were examined for the presence of remains derived from dogs or cats. The results demonstrated a complete absence of material that would have been derived from euthanized dogs or cats. The sensitivity of this method is 0.005% on a weight/weight basis; that is, the method can detect a minimum of 5 pounds of rendered remains in 50 tons of finished feed. Presently, it is assumed that the pentobarbital residues are entering pet foods from euthanized, rendered cattle or even horses...."

Here is a link that might be useful: FDA Report

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 8:24PM
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chickadeedeedee ~

Thanks for sharing that FDA report and it sure does seem that the question of pet food containing previously euthanized dogs or cats as the meat source has been put to rest.

I would think that if it was proven that furkids were used as meat in pet food the outcry would be so great that companies would shut down if they were found to be at fault. There is no way that any company could continue to sell pet food because we just wouldn't stand for it.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 3:55AM
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We always fed our dogs Purina Puppy and Dog Chow and the latest member of our family died at a ripe old age of 16. She was a large dog and was never sick until her last year.

We are feeding our new puppy Purina One Puppy Chow because we took the "Purina One Challenge' and liked what we saw. The first ingredient is meat, unlike the other Purina product. Also, it is much more expensive than regular Purina Dog Chow.

BUT -- it is a real bargain compared to the elite brands sold only at the vets and at pet stores. I am not at all convinced that there is much difference in Purina One and other foods that cost almost twice as much!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 9:50AM
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I checked the ingredient list of the Maxximum dry dog food that jrdown mentioned, and I decided it really was better than the other brands, so I bought a bag to try. My dogs looked at it, sniffed it, then looked up at me as if to say "Hey, where's that other food ? You know, the one with all the colors & good smells ?" They are eating the Maxximum reluctantly, and I am steeling myself against their lack of enthusiasm. I want them to have what's good for them, not what excites them with flavor enhancers.

Carmen grower 2007, I have wondered about the Purina One also; I have used it in the past, but I can't recall about the ingredient list. I will check the info again the next time I see it.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 3:18PM
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Our Ralph's grocery store sells Newman's Own brand organic dog and cat food, both wet and dry. I checked the ingredients on the labels and they look good.

Here is a link that might be useful: FAQs for Newman's Own

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 7:28PM
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Just wanted to clarify a few points in this thread--a couple related to the euthanized-animals-in-dogfood issue and one about the corn issue.

First, it is true that using euthanized dogs and cats in pet foods was a little-known, but not terribly uncommon practice as recently as the late 1990s. I know because our local animal shelter and rendering plant were implicated and it was in the papers here for months. The rendering plant supplied two different pet food manufacturers. This ingredient showed up as "animal digest" on their labels. The shelter here now cremates euthanized animals. They didn't stop the practice because it was illegal, though. They stopped because shelter workers complained about their involvement in the process.

Second, it is not true that "It is highly illegal to use euthanized animals in pet food." In fact, in explaining the detection of pentobarbital in pet foods, the FDA report above states that "Presently, it is assumed that the pentobarbital residues are entering pet foods from euthanized, rendered cattle or even horses." So, although the DNA test the FDA developed detected no dogs or cats, there is clear evidence of euthanized animals being used in pet foods.

Finally, allergies are not the only issue associated with corn in dog foods. Corn has been associated with increased incidence of diabetes in dogs and cats. Avoiding grains altogether seems to be the best route. Given that they serve mostly as filler or less digestible protein sources, going with a grain-free diet means that your dog can actually use more of its food. Given that the original question was about cost, going for a grain-free food may be the best way to ensure good nutrition and cut costs. My 220-pound dog only eats about 3.5 cups of grain-free food per day. So, although I pay much more per bag, I'm not really paying more per meal, and my dog is a picture of health at 9+ years.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 5:36PM
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I tried to cut cost by using the Walmart Maxximum and my dog did not like it at all. He will eat any thing most times but did not like that food. I made him finish the bag then back to the old stuff.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 10:33PM
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