Dog Food

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by flutterby, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I know we recently had a thread about this, but I can't find it.

    The vet suggested we switch Jewel to a lamb and rice dog food because of her skin allergies/issues. Any suggestions for an affordable brand?

  2. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    Darn I wish I could remember the name of the food we used to feed our dogs. It's lamb and rice. I got it at Walmart for like $8 a 6 pound bag. It's like Science Diet, but much cheaper.
  3. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Mine usually eat Merrick which is not cheap and I have to drive 60 miles to get it. My car has been acting up lately so if I can't get to the pet store to get the Merrick, I will get them a smaller bag of Purina Lamb & Rice to tide them over and they like it OK. It's not as good as the Merrick but the main ingredient is the lamb, which is good. It's not cheap either - I paid $8 for a 4 lb. bag in the grocery store, and I think an 18 lb. bag is $21 at Walmart. Any lamb and rice food is going to be fairly expensive if the lamb is the first (main) ingredient, which is what you want. You don't want to pay good money for a lot of fillers (corn) that they can't digest anyway. It's not as nutritious as the Merrick and I've noticed that they eat more of the Purina than the Merrick. They have to eat more to meet their nutritional needs. If you get something different, make sure the lamb is the first ingredient mentioned. The Purina Lamb & Rice is not as good as some but it's still pretty good food.

    Check this out: www.dogfood
  4. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Donna has some ideas. However, in recent years we've been seeing more and more dogs that're allergic to lamb.

    A lot of vets now recommend feeding a chicken and rice based formula. I like California Natural made by Innova for dogs like this.

    The nice thing about Cal-Nat is that is a single protein source food, meaning that no other proteins that might be allergens sneak in.

    Unfortunately, with pet foods you get (to a point) what you pay for, and even if it doesn't upset the pet's innards, you wind up scooping a lot of it out of the yard.
  5. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I used to get the chicken based food for mine all the time - first the Wellness chicken formula, and then when I couldn't get that any more I switched them to the Merrick chicken. But now one of them has apparently developed a sensitivity to chicken so I don't get them anything with any kind of poultry products in it any more.

    And some of the more expensive foods that you can get in the grocery store are pure junk food for dogs! Beneful is pretty expensive but it's absolute crappola! It's nothing more than corn pressed into brightly colored cute shapes (that appeal to the people buying it) and sprayed with various chemicals and additives! On the dogfoodanalysis website, it's rated a "1" on a scale from "1" to "5" - "1" being the lowest! For what you pay for something like Beneful you could go to a small independent pet supply store and buy them something really nutritious!
  6. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    We use Blue Buffalo lamb and rice. Not cheap but I use coupons and they don't eat much. Less than 2 c 2 times a day.
    I tried grain free but it was too rich for 2 of the dogs(and extremely pricey). No way to keep them from sneaking each other's food so I stopped. Everyone is on lamb and rice.
    I think IAMS makes lamb and rice also. I don't have experience with it though.

    Have you looked at Hill's prescription diet? I use their sensitive stomach dry food when they have upset tummies.
    Good luck.
  7. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Another thing to consider are the Taste of the Wild line of dog foods. They carry a fish and sweet potato based food that is, compared to other super premium foods, somewhat cheaper.

    I don't feed their dog foods, but my cat eats the Venison and Salmon dry food and has done very well on it.

    I am stuck feeding an RX food called DCO. It's made by Purina for dogs with colitis. It's got a lot of corn and a lot of added fiber. I cannot believe that I'm actually feeding something like this.

    BUT, my dog isn' suffering from the chronic diahrrea and pain and bleeding any more
  8. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I'm not sure who it was here...perhaps Donna and also Going North...but, I switched my dog to a premium dog food and she is doing much better all around. She lost weight and has a ton more energy. I also give her dog vitamins, but I only give her a tiny dosage...half of the vitamin dosage I was giving her previously. She is like a very young puppy again. I totally believe in the premium dog foods now...worth the extra dollars. Also, I found the owner of the premium dog food shop very knowledgable. So, my advice would be to find one of these places or a website with- devotees and ask for specifics. The shop owner gave me samples to try for free. Thank you to the folks here who suggested I try premium dog food.
    p.s. I too would like the link to that recent thread.
  9. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Our vets have always recomended Iam's for Sally. While the initial bag can be pricey (depending on the size & age of your dog) you end up feeding a lot less. It's quite a filling product for our babies.
  10. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    The problem with IAMs and Eukanuba (owned by Procter and Gamble) is that they contain a lot of grain as well as a lot of mystery meat.

    You always want to see meat as the very first ingredient on the lable. Meat meal is preferable to actual 'wet' meat as it is much more nutrient dense.

    BUT, I can assure you that if a company is proud of it's protein sources it will TELL you what they are. Just "meat byproducts" could be anything.

    Even so, unless a food states that it is human-grade, they are still using the tumors, meat and byproducts from '3-D' cattle (Dead. Down. Dying), or from animals that contain medication residues that cannot be allowed to enter the human food chain.

    IAMs is owned by a major manufacturer of soap and cleaning products. Those items are made from the fat and bone tissue of animals. What goes into the pet foods is the stuff that isn't good enough to use in shampoo.

    Hill's is owned by Carnation, which again uses wasted animal products in it's pet foods.

    by the way, a lot of dogs who can't handle corn can handle rice and/or barley. The problem with corn is the sugar content primarily.

    As I said, I am appalled at what is in my dog's bag of RX dog food, but he's doing well on the stuff and he spent quite a bit of his life ill with intestinal problems.

    He has intestinal epodermalysis bullosa. Basically, blisters form in his small intestine and rupture leaving ulcers. It is similar to Chron's in humans except that he sometimes gets sores on his lips and nose as well.

    As you can imagine, it's very painful and I will feed him what I have to feed him in order to keep him comfortable.
  11. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Plus, Iam's does animal testing so it's out for me.

    I am on an extremely limited budget, so I am going to try Purina One Lamb and Rice first and see how that goes.

    Thank you for all of the suggestions. :) If the Purina One doesn't work out, I'll go from there.
  12. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Well, I don't quite see how you could test dog or cat food other than by testing it on cats or dogs.

    In my cattery days, I actually participated in the initial Eukanuba trials. It was a good food back then albeit very fattening. Unfortunately, once the parent company was bought out, it turned into another ripoff food.

    Look into Taste of the Wild. It's not that much more expensive than IAMs and is a much better product.

    Believe me, I understand about the limited budget. I went through a period of time where I was waiting on my SSDI claim and trying to live on a small VA pension. I basically lived on beans and noodles from the local food pantry
  13. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    It's testing with animals living in cages all of their lives, only let out for medical procedures, such as muscle biopsies.

    Oh, and the one lab where the manager got angry because of all the barking and had all 19 dogs debarked.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Taste of the Wild foods are awesome! If you write to them they will send samples. They are not sold in places like Walmart and they do not do as much of the expensive forms of advertising.

    My cats, my mom's cats and my bro's dogs ALL adore the stuff.

    We buy it at the local feed mill and because it is a "no frills" type store aimed at people who own/run lots of livestock it is priced very reasonably.

    You use so much less of the food that it makes it end up cheaper, at least it does for our cats. If we buy walmart food they will eat through it 2 to 3 times faster than if we get the TOTW at the feed mill.

    It really is worth checking out.
  15. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Strange as it sounds, I would not put too much faith in what a vet says about foods. Veterinary schools actually spend very little time on nutrition and what classes they have are taught by representatives from the pet food companies ... the same foods that the vets sell in their offices. And they get a percentage back on every bag they sell. If you check it out on the dodfoodanalysis website you will see that, while these aren't the worst foods, they're certainly not the best either. While you will have to spend some big bucks to buy the good foods, if you're not careful, you can spend some big bucks and end up with garbage too! The good ones may sound expensive but it is cheaper if you buy the big bags, and if they eat the good stuff they will actually eat less because their nutritional needs will be met with a smaller volume of food.

    If you can find a good small independent pet supply store, they are usually very knowlegeable about pet foods and can steer you in the right direction. And although the 'big box' pet stores usually don't have the really good foods, I think that Petsmart is now carrying the Wellness brand which is another really good one.
  16. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    My dog was on Iams and getting fat and lethargic. We were giving her a teeeeny tiny amount of dog food to compensate for the weight gain plus vitamins. When we added the vitamins, it helped a little.

    Now that she is on the premium food and 1/2 of her vitamins, she is SUPER DOG! She has lost weight, is energetic and vibrant! One bad thing is that she is jumping on the furniture again and she is a dachshund who had back surgery years ago.

    I am now walking her once a week (I know/should be more). We usually just take her in the back yard to do her business. I was previously afraid to walk her 'cause she would get soooo pooped and I was terrified of hurting her back. Now, she is fine and soooo happy. The energy difference is very noticeable.

    Her breath and body odor are a little better...but it is still an issue. I'm glad for the improvement.

    Any advice on getting her to stop jumping on the furniture now????

    I too would not put any weight into what vets say about dog food.

    Not sure if this is true, but a friend of mine told me Eukenuba for cats is a decent mixture.

    p.s. Donna...I got the Puppia harness... it is AWESOME! Many thanks!!!
  17. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I use Freshpet Select. It comes in a sausage and is found in a refrigerated case at the grocery store. It contains chicken, turkey, eggs, poultry liver, chicken broth, carrotts, brown rice, peas, and then some vitamins and minerals. There is also a chicken flavor and beef flavor one. It is all natural with no fillers. What has anyone heard about it? My dog has much more energy on this food and is never sick.

  18. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Nomad. I've fostered a few Dachsies over the years and my experience is that that they tend to do their own thing in their own time.

    If you major concern is about her injuring her back again, I'd suggest you get a footstool for her to use. Even better, Foster and Smith and other outlets carry lightweight stairs that the dog can use to get on and off the furniture.

    I used home made ramps for the dogs, but they took up too much room to be effective in smaller rooms. The little steps take up less room and the dogs are less likely to jump or fall on or off them.

    Fran, Blue Buffalo makes an excellent product. I can't get it locally and shipping is exhorbitant. It's also very rich.

    You do raise a good point about grain-free diets. A LOT of dogs cannot tolerate that sort of diet. In fact, I know that Canidae (another good food) actually has a warning it's grain free food stating that not all dogs will do well on it.

    I tried to go grain free with my dog, but with his intestinal issues, he actually NEEDS the soluble fiber to keep food moving through his GI tract on schedule.

    Otherwise he alternates between constipation and horrible diarrhea. Basically what you see in humans with inflammatory bowel diseases.

    He's actually maintaining a correct lean weight for the first time in his life. He needs to keep his weight down due to the spinal arthritis, but he put on fifteen lbs once I switched to the RX food.
  19. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Nancy. I have a friend who has a 'pack' of toy dogs. She lives in a major city and feeds the Freshpet Select. She's had great results with it.

    However, it is very expensive and I'd probably be feeding a pkg of it per day. I also don't know if my dog would eat it as he HATES veggies, nor if it has the correct amount/type of fiber in it.

    It's kind of funny as his (also German Shepherd) predecessor loved veggies to the point that her very favorite treat was a honking big raw CARROT. It seemed to go through her unchanged, but she sure liked the things.
  20. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I have fed all of our dogs, even the yorkie, a raw meats, veggies, and bones diet for over 8 years and they are still like puppies. Aside from Sophies bone marrow thing, which they said was clearly a fluke of unknown causes, all my dogs are healthy as can be. Strong clean teeth, fantastic digestive tracts, healthy skin and fur and lots of energy!

    Nala used to have a horrible skin allergy that required her to be put on antibiotics every spring and fall - not anymore. When we first got Sophie, she had chronic diarhea. At 16 weeks, I switched her over to raw and she's never had an issue with her digestive again.

    They eat 1/2 C of (mixed) 60% meat, typically ground turkey with carcass (finely crushed bones) and 40% veggie for breakfast. And for dinner, they each get 2 chicken necks. For treats and snacks they get cut up veggies, whatever is on hand, usually carrots.

    I switched vets a few years ago because after he found out they were on a raw diet, he flipped out and called my groomer who was the one who told me about it. I had done a ton of research before making the switch from IAMs and Eukanuba to raw; I never would have made a move like that without sufficient proof it was okay for my dogs. Anyway, after this, I switched vets and recently found out that my current vet has been feeding his dogs a raw diet since they were adopted - he just can't let anyone know because vets who are members of the VMA cannot or are not supposed to endorse a raw diet - once again, it's about financial support. The dog food companies invest and supply a lot of money towards scholarships and other funding for vet schools and this type of out and out betrayal would put a crimp in their profits!

    You should look into feeding your pups a raw diet. You can make your own or you can buy commercially made organic raw foods. I do both.