Discussing Questions And Answers About Dog Food

Daniel asks…

Dog Food…?

What kind of dog food do you feed your adult lab/ large breed dog? My lab is coming on 12 months, and Im thinking of transitioning him over to adult food, and need help picking one…thanks in advance

Jimmy answers:

When choosing a dog food, check the ingredient list. They should contain things like meat, or even meat meal (like chicken meal). Other things that are good to include are rice and some veggies (but not a lot, dogs are omnivores not vegans). Here is a simple way to “test and grade” your dog food:

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”, “brewers 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 3points
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 is not
allergic to wheat), subtract 2 points
14) If it contains beef (unless you know that your dog is not
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 “” 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

How to score your food:
94-100+ = A
86-93 = B
78-85 = C
70-77 = D
69 and below = F

The closer you are to 100 (over 100 would be even better), generally the better your dog food is. Hope this helps you.

Some examples of good dog food are:

Authority Harvest Baked / Score 116 A+
Canidae / Score 112 A+ (this food is my personal choice of dog food)
Innova Dog / Score 114 A+
Innova Evo / Score 114 A+
Royal Canin Natural Blend Adult / Score 106 A+
Wellness Super5 Mix Chicken / Score 110 A+
Wolfking Adult Dog (bison) by Solid Gold / Score 97 A

Maria asks…

My dog won’t eat dog food?

He won’t eat any dry or wet dog food. Other then treats like bones. He always looks for human food. I tried doing what other people do. Leave the food out, if he doesn’t eat it, pick it up, wait an hour or two and give it back. He simply won’t go near it. Could it be the taste? I try to feed him wet and dry Pedigree dog food. The only dry dog food I’ve seen him eat was dog food that a dog groomer gave me. My dad new the guy so he gave the food free. Problem is I can’t remember the name of the food. It was meant for puppies, as it contained a lot of nutrients. Should I try different brands? Such as Bakers?

Jimmy answers:

Bakers dog food is crap. Don’t use it.

Find a decent quality dog food, decide on a regular feeding schedule (ie, 7am & 5pm)

* At 7am,,,, Put the bowl of food down, then after 20-30 mins pick it up (whether the dog has eaten it or not) and do not feed the dog *anything* else (no treats, no scraps, no leftovers) until the next scheduled feeding time.

* At 5pm,,,, Put the bowl of food down, then after 20-30 mins pick it up (whether the dog has eaten it or not) and do not feed the dog *anything* else (no treats, no scraps, no leftovers) until the next scheduled feeding time.

After 2 or 3 days, the dog will learn that he either eats his food at the proper time, or he goes hungry.

*note: always leave a bowl of fresh water available.

Lizzie asks…

Healthy Dog Foods?

What kinds of dog food that are nice and healthy?

Jimmy answers:

What you want to find is the HIGH-QUALITY food that *your dog* does best on.

Here are some examples of GOOD dog foods:
* Artemis
* Blue Buffalo
* California Natural
* Canidae
* Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul
* Eagle Pack Holistic Selects
* EVO
* Fromm
* Innova
* Merrick
* Nature’s Variety
* Orijen
* Solid Gold
* Taste of the Wild
* Timberwolf Organics
* Wellness
* ZiwiPeak

Or check this website; the 4, 5, or 6 star rated foods are all good foods. Http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/

There is no food that is the *best*, different individual dog may thrive on different foods. What is best for one may not be the best for the next. And just because a food is good quality, it doesn’t mean it will jive the best for your dog.

Here is my “short list” of rules when I am looking at dog food ingredients:
1) When I chose a dog food, I chose one high meat content. I want to see preferably at least 2-3 out of the top 5 ingredients be meat or meat meal (first ingredient must be!). Meal is simply the meat with the moisture removed.
2) I want to see higher quality grains, such as barley, brown rice, and oatmeal, instead of seeing wheat and corn. Or an alternative starch/carbohydrate such as potatoes or sweet potatoes.
3) I don’t want to see any byproducts.
4) I don’t want to see a lot of fillers.
5) I don’t want to see preservatives that are believed to be carcinogens (BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin).
6) I don’t want to see artificial colorings such as the Red, Blue, and Yellow dyes.
7) I don’t want to see added sugars (sugar, corn syrup). 8) I don’t want to see mystery meats (meats identified only as “meat” or “poultry”.)

Here is an article about byproducts:

http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page=ingrd

And an article on what ingredients to avoid:

http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page=badingredients

Higher quality food may seem more expensive at first, but it evens out. The higher quality the food, the less fillers eaten (and therefore the less poop comes out the other end). Your dog eats more of a low-quality food to try to get the nutrition it needs, and most of the food just passes right on through. Also, higher-quality food will make your animals healthier, so you save money on vet bills in the long run.

What *NOT* to buy:

Stay away from grocery stores brands. They are low-quality foods chalk full of fillers, preservatives, dyes, etc.. (Grocery store foods are those like Beneful, Old Roy, Alpo, Pedigree, Purina, etc.)

Beware “premium” foods. “Premium” does not always mean good nutritionally, and is not a nutritionally high quality food. Most of these foods have the same types of ingredients as grocery store foods, just a bit better quality of those not-so-good ingredients. (Premium foods are those like Iams, Eukanuba, Science Diet, Bil-Jac, Royal Canin, etc..)

Another thing to be wary of: A lot of vets will recommend what they sell in their office. They get profit from the brands they keep on their shelves, that’s why they push it. Truth is, vet schools don’t focus a lot on nutrition. It’s not saying that a vet is a bad vet because he recommends those foods, a lot of vets just are told “this is good food”, so they pass the message along without proper nutrition knowledge. Also, some dog food brands (like Hills) support vet schools, so vets have heard of it from the time they start college, which makes them think it’s good as well.

Hills company, the makers of Science Diet, are heavily involved in vet schools. “Hill’s scientists author more than 50 research papers and textbook chapters each year and teach at leading schools of veterinary medicine” (Source of quoted section: http://www.hillsvet.com/zSkin_2/company_info/company_info_general.jsp?JSESSIONID=HMz2B3Jn3hv0rnSoxCobfbBhOec35ODG7yh5t3P0vcvhOtzRlQ9M!598359213!167846923!7005!8005&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302026072&bmUID=1196192566575 )

“Big box” petstores like Petco and Petsmart rarely have quality foods. (I do believe that PetCo sells “Solid Gold” and “Natural Balance” brands and Petsmart sells “Blue Buffallo”, which are all higher quality foods, but most of the foods aren’t.)

Also, grocery stores and Walmart aren’t good places to buy food either.

Your best bets for getting quality dog food are:
- small, locally owned petstores
- dog boutiques
- farm supply stores

When switching foods, do it gradually. I do this over about a two week timespan:
25% food A, 75% food B
50% food A, 50% food B
75% food A, 25% food B
100% food A
.

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