Thoughts on "Hill's Ideal Balance" Puppy food; and thoughts on chicken meal? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 09-03-2014, 07:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Thoughts on "Hill's Ideal Balance" Puppy food; and thoughts on chicken meal?

I noticed almost every brand in walmart and petco/petsmart has "Chicken Meal" as the first ingredient. After doing some research, it seems like chicken meal contains more protein than actual chicken meat does (after removing the water).

"Chicken meal, according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), is the dry rendered product from a combination of clean chicken flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from whole carcasses of chicken, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet and entrails.[1] A meal in general is "an ingredient which has been ground or otherwise reduced in particle size."[2]

Chicken meal is ground up chicken meat that has been carefully dried to a moisture level of 10%. The protein content is 65% and the fat level is 12%. Regular chicken contains about 70% water with 18% protein and 5% fat. To create chicken meal, ingredients are placed into large vats and cooked.[3] This rendering process not only separates fat and removes water to create a concentrated protein product, it also kills bacteria, viruses, parasites and other organisms. Because meat can be rid of infectious agents through the rendering process, “4D” animals (dead, dying, diseased or disabled) are allowable chicken meal ingredients. While not always present, the possible inclusion of these ingredients makes chicken meal always considered unfit for human consumption.[4]"

Chicken meal, however can be used in a finished food at levels much greater than chicken meat. Chicken meal in a finished food provides roughly 4-5 times the nutrients as the same weight of chicken meat because of the differences in moisture.

So, a pet food made of chicken meat may only have 20% of the chicken in the final product, providing only 3.6% protein. An equivalent proportion of chicken meal would provide 13% protein.

Chicken meal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I assumed that real chicken would be better, but now I am considering getting a different food for my puppy. I currently bought a small bag of Hill's Ideal Balance for her to try out and it has been working good for her, zero stomach/GI issues what so ever.

I guess my questions are:
1. What are your thoughts on Hill's Ideal Balance Chicken/Brown Rice Puppy Food? Ingredient panel below.
2. Is there a much better option you would recommend?
3. If you feed your dog actual food (human food) and raws, please give me some information about that and why you think it is best/optimal for their health. Thank you.

Hill's Ideal Balance ingredient panel:
Chicken, Brown Rice, Whole Grain Oats, Cracked Pearled Barley, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein Concentrate, Chicken Fat, Flaxseed, Dried Egg Product, Chicken Liver Flavor, Dried Beet Pulp, Lactic Acid, Fish Oil, Dicalcium Phosphate, Vegetable & fruit blend (Green Peas, Apples, Cranberries, Carrots, Broccoli), Iodized Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Beta-Carotene, Natural Flavors."

Last edited by GSDoglover; 09-03-2014 at 07:36 AM.
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you for the links, reading them now. The rawdogranch link seems to have no information when I click the links, there is nothing there on the left side... like an empty website basically?

Is there another brand of puppy food you suggest?

Last edited by GSDoglover; 09-03-2014 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 09-03-2014, 12:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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For you have to search the links on the left side, there's lots of info there once you figure out how to navigate the site.

You click a link and more items drop underneath it, then click on those.

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Old 09-03-2014, 12:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I like to have a meat and then a meat meal as the first two ingredients in any dog food I am feeding. Dogs are designed to break down, absorb, and thrive on animal protein. If you're going to feed a kibble, I would get one that has a decent amount of animal protein in the first ingredients. Ideal Balance is largely brown rice and oatmeal. It has chicken as the first ingredient, but they weigh it (including water weight) before processing. There is actually much less of it than the ingredient label makes it seem after the chicken is dried up and added in.

For better kibble, you could look at Fromm, Taste of the Wild, Acana, Castor & Pollux, Wellness, Merrick, or Go!

I feed raw for my dog. I feel it is the best diet for him because it is very easy for his digestive system to digest and pull nutrients from raw animal protein. The higher water content of an all meat diet means he doesn't dehydrate as easily when working. In general, a raw diet typically gives better skin, coat, energy, and alertness as well as promotes clean teeth, good muscle, and good stimulation through breaking down meals.
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Old 09-03-2014, 12:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Wellness Core or Fromm is what I would recommend.


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Old 09-04-2014, 10:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I feed Fromm to my GSD's and Earthborn Holistics to my other adult dogs
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