Discussing Questions And Answers About Dog Food Analysis

Paul asks…

What would be the best brand of food for an American eskimo dog?

I was thinking about Natural Balance. What have you had success with?

Jimmy answers:

Don’t go to the dog food analysis web site. There are too many things wrong with their criteria for rating dog foods. There is no single “best” brand for your dog. The best food is the one that your dog thrives on. I would avoid grocery stores and WalMart for buying dog food. Go to a feed store or pet store and see what’s available in your area. Talk to some knowledgeable sales people and get their opinions. Two brands I like a lot are Blackwood and National. Both companies use low temperature methods of cooking the ingredients which results in higher digestibility. They were developed for working dogs and also have some lower energy formulas that would be excellent for your dog. Unless you are going to work or compete with your dog you don’t need to agonize over picking a brand of food.
I looked at the Natural Balance web site. The food looks like it will be OK for most pet dogs but its nothing special.

Linda asks…

Your opinion on Nutro dog food?

I wanted to swtich my dog to a better brand of dry dog food and I heard that Nutro dog food are decently good. Whats your opinion and experience with it? Does it really do what it says, is it worth the price( which I heardis prettyaffordable) and do they have byproducts and alot of corn? Also, I know they have three types, natural choice, max, and ultra. Whats the difference in them, and whats the best out of those?

Jimmy answers:

Nutro is one of the worst dog foods. They use menadione, a synthetic form of Vitamin K in almost all of their products, Max, Nutro Natural and Ultra. Menadione has been banned for human consumption by the FDA. They use corn gluten in many of their foods, INCLUDING three of the Nutro Ultra formulas, all the while advertising “no ground yellow corn” as if it makes any difference whether the corn is ground or what color it is. Corn gluten is the protein part of the corn, a by-product of the cornstarch industry, used by most of the low quality foods (Pedigree, Beneful, Alpo, Black Gold, Goodlife, Friskies, Science Diet, Loyall, Pet Promise, Pro Plan, Purina Dog Chow, Purina One, Red Flannel, Royal Canin and WholeMeals) to boost the protein percentage in the guaranteed analysis with cheap, plant protein, which has a very low bioavailability rating. They use wheat in many of their formulas and soy in almost all of them. They use beet pulp as the fiber which is also the fiber of choice of almost all of the lower quality foods. They “split” ingredients which is another sure indicator of a low quality food. They use the generic “poultry fat” in most of their formulas, another indication of a low quality food. They use very few chelated minerals which the better dog foods use. They boast “high levels of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids,” but there is very little of the more expensive Omega 3 and the ratios are very bad (17.5 to 1 and 20 to 1 in most of them). Only the Ultra contains any fruits and vegetables. The only thing “premium about this food is the price and there are many much better foods for the same price or less: Blue Buffalo, Wellness, Castor & Pollux, Merrick, Taste of the Wild, Canidae and Solid Gold. If money is a problem, PetSmart’s brand, Authority is better than Nutro at half the price.

Charles asks…

Is Science Diet a good brand of dog food?

If it is great but If not why?
My bad lol

Jimmy answers:

Science diet is a horrible dog food and considered a 1 star food according to dog food analysis.

Lamb Meal, Brewers Rice, Rice Flour, Ground Whole Grain Wheat, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Corn Gluten Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Animal Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Dried Beet Pulp, Soybean Oil, Chicken Liver Flavor, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Iodized Salt, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Taurine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract.

Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein (minimum) 21.2%
Crude Fat (minimum) 14.7%
Moisture (maximum) 10%
Crude Fiber (maximum) 2.5%

Pros: First ingredient is a named meat product.
Cons: Insufficient meat content, use of low quality grains and other controversial fillers, fat of unidentifiable origin.

The first ingredient is a named meat product, in meal form. This is the sole meat product in the food.

The primary grain is brewers rice which is a low quality grain and by-product. Rice flour, the third ingredient, is a grain fragment and filler.

The fourth ingredient is wheat. The use of wheat is a significant negative: wheat is believed to be the number one cause of allergy problems in dog food. This is another ingredient we prefer not to see used at all in dog food.

Sorghum is a carbohydrate source low in digestibility. We consider it primarily filler. Corn gluten meal is another low quality ingredient. Corn is a problematic grain that is difficult for dogs to digest and thought to be the cause of a great many allergy and yeast infection problems. We prefer not to see this used in dog food. The AAFCO definition of corn gluten meal is “the dried residue from corn after the removal of the larger part of the starch and germ, and the separation of the bran by the process employed in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup, or by enzymatic treatment of the endosperm”. In plain English, that which remains after all the nutritious bits have been removed.

Barley is a decent quality grain, but with six grains following the meat product, this starts to look like a very grain heavy food.

Animal fat is a further low quality ingredient and is impossible to determine the source. Unidentified ingredients are usually very low quality. AAFCO define this as “obtained from the tissues of mammals and/or poultry in the commercial processes of rendering or extracting. It consists predominantly of glyceride esters of fatty acids and contains no additions of free fatty acids. If an antioxidant is used, the common name or names must be indicated, followed by the words “used as a preservative”.

Beet pulp is further filler and a controversial ingredient – it is a by-product, being dried residue from sugar beets which has been cleaned and extracted in the process of manufacturing sugar. It is a controversial ingredient in dog food, claimed by some manufacturers to be a good source of fibre, and derided by others as an ingredient added to slow down the transition of rancid animal fats and causing stress to kidney and liver in the process. We note that beet pulp is an ingredient that commonly causes problems for dogs, including allergies and ear infections, and prefer not to see it used in dog food. There are less controversial products around if additional fibre is required.

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