Discussing Questions And Answers About Dog Food Comparison

Linda asks…

Whats a good cheap dog food?

ive heard my purina dogchow is pretty much the devil lol. so after this bag i want to switch. i got reccomendations from people on here that were better not all corn and whatever. i looked at some and one was $50 for like a 35 lb bag! sorry thats just insane. whats some cheaper good quality food?
the only reason my dog has to go to the vet is allergies. shes allergic to fleas so i dont see a difference in vet bills. i mostly want less filler so shell be a healthier weight

Jimmy answers:

There are plenty of reasonably priced good quality dog foods. It really depends on the brand – foods of approximately the same quality can vary hugely.

I really like this website that rates dog food (there are other good websites out there, I just find this one the be the most elaborate and easy to follow): http://dogfoodadvisor.com/

The 5 stars are all grain-free foods with little or no controversial ingredients. They are generally the most expensive because they contain more meat and quality foods. Among the cheapest of the 5* are Canidae Grain-Free (we pay $30 for a 15lbs bag, so it must be even less per pound for the big bag) and Taste of the Wild (I think ToTW may be even cheaper but still over the $1.50/lb mark)

I completely understand that that’s out of your price range though. If you look around at the 4 star foods, they are all TOP quality foods that just aren’t rated 5* because they’re not grain-free. They do use high quality grains (no corn, wheat, soy, mill sweepings, etc) and have a moderate to high amount of meat. I think Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul ( http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/chicken-soup-dog-lovers-soul-dry/ ) is a very high quality food but as I remember it’s also very inexpensive. Back when I first switched my dog off of Science Diet (I learned how bad that was but it’s what came from the shelter with him) we put him on that before going grain free. It was cheaper than Science diet back then!

If you can’t find a 4* in your price range, check out the 3*, but I wouldn’t go below that. 3* is average quality and below that is generally dog junk food with dangerous ingredients.

Your best bet is to google around for a farm or feed store. They almost always have better prices than Petco and Petsmart and MUCH wider variety quality dog foods. Most top quality brands won’t sell in commercial pet stores because they want to sell their brand through local owners who know about their product.

Some of the quality brands really are overprice in comparison to others, you just have to shop around a bit. Blue Buffalo is a quality food but you pay an arm and a leg for it. I know Petco sells Wellness Supermix which is a very good quality food but it’s usually cheaper than Science Diet (which just baffles me because SD is pretty yucky). They also carry Solid Gold now and it’s good quality and I’m pretty sure it’s not too pricy. I think Petsmart only carries Wellness and Blue Buffalo for quality foods.
If you can find a feed store you’ll definitely get a better variety and price there!

Susan asks…

How to make my dog big and strong ?

I have a 8 week old pit puppy I want him to be big and strong but NOT mean just for looks anyways steroids are out of the question before you say it I was thinking feed him alot and get him solid than excersize him and he will get muscles I want to put him in dog shows so he has to be friendly and drug free (steroid free) any tips or ideas would be great

Jimmy answers:

I assume you mean you want your dog well conditioned as you see in ADBA shows correct?
(Here are some examples under ADBA Champions: http://www.pitbull-chat.com/showthread.php?23545-Visual-comparison-of-top-winning-UKC-AKC-and-ADBA-dogs)

Well firstly let your puppy just be a puppy for now. No reason to condition her until at least a year & a half (it’s potentially bad for her health). Let her play, eat, & be a pup for now.
Just pay close attention to what you’re feeding her. You want to be sure you’re feeding a high quality kibble in an adequate amount each day (links below).
You can start with the bag’s recommendation on amount of food per day but adjust it as needed. Many individuals will mix a little water with the food to make gravy of sorts to be sure the dog is getting more water in.

Once your pup is a little older you can do the following to help get him into top shape:
Hand walking, & more of it than when the dog was a pup. A lot of individuals will go 5 to 10 miles a day with their American Pit Bull Terrier. Don’t forget to mix things up though, start walking, change to a run, walk some more, jog a bit. The change in pace is exciting for the dog & helps with conditioning.
For the days you’re too tired from work to get that walk in or if the weather is awful a treadmill, slat mill, or carpet mill can be helpful (Mind you they’re no substitute for the sights, sounds, experiences, & general mental excitement of a real outdoor walk but they can help to get that extra energy out on the bad days). They’re also great ways to get your dog moving in ways that you may not be able to keep up with.
Personally I use an electric treadmill because their easy to find (I got one for free off craigslist) but regardless what you use be sure that you introduce the dog to it slowly, that the item is made dog safe (my treadmill has fencing in the front & on the sides so the dog can’t get on or off anywhere but in the back), & be sure you’re slowly building up speeds & time so as not to over work your dog.

Spring poles are wonderful toys to help get your dog active & give a great work out.
Spring poles are generally made with a large spring (we recycled an old garage door spring) with some rope & some sort of toy on the end (rope toys & cow hide seem to be the most common). For the best work out the pole should be sitting low enough that all four of the dog’s feet are on the ground as seen here:


You’ll see a lot of pictures of dogs up in the air on these, generally for two reasons- Either A their training the dog for hang time competitions (my girl doesn’t care for them much but they let us play on the ropes still which she does like) and/or B it just looks neat.
They’re very easy to make & can range from the simple rope thrown over a tree branch style like we made to full stands made just for the spring pole. You can buy them premade if you really want but that’s generally the more expensive option.

Flirt poles don’t give as good of a work out but I personally prefer them as they are more interactive & give me a chance to get some training in (sit, stay, okay, leave it, & such). Think of it as a giant cat toy for your dog:


Now these are dead easy & cheap to make. PVC pipe, PVC caps, some rope, a bit of drilling, tie a toy to the end & you’re done. Many people will buy a long whip from a horse supply store & tie a toy to that. Either way it’ll cost you less than $10 usually.

Weight pulling is a great way to get your dog into shape if it’s something you both enjoy. First I suggest going to an event & borrowing a harness to see if it’s for you. If it is you can buy a properly sized weight pulling harness & start with rocks in a milk jug for the noise aspect. My girl pulls a tire about once a week now & we’re still building up, a Bully from the same club we go to pulls a cart six days a week.
If you or your dog isn’t a fan of weight pulling then backpacking is a good substitute. Start small with an empty pack & you can slowly add weight, plus you have the added benefit of a dog that carries all his or her own supplies when you go hiking to boot!

These are just some suggestions & there is so much more you can do with your dog to build up his muscles & get him conditioned but remember genetics are everything so don’t expect your pup to get bigger or more muscular than his genetics allow.
*** Don’t force things & take it slow. ***
Also remember before upping the physical activity or doing any high end sports like weight pull, agility, fly ball, or even hiking with any dog, your dog should be checked over by a vet to be sure he or she is healthy enough to go at it.

Donna asks…

List of commercial dog food brands?

Jimmy answers:

This any help?


I use it to help me buy a variety of decent foods for my dog.

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