Best dry dog food? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-22-2017, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Best dry dog food?

What dogfood brands do you recommend?

Currently, I'm feeding Diamond, maintence. My aunt is a vet and she said to use this. However I want what's best for my dogs.

Also, is raw food better then the #1 dry food?
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-23-2017, 12:12 AM
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Yes. Raw food is better.

Interestingly enough what IMHO is the #1 dry food currently on the market, is actually a raw diet! It's not an extruded kibble, it's actually an air dried "jerky".

Ziwipeak

It's made from 100% grass fed new zealand meats. Has an incredible track record for safety and testing. And all ingredients are sourced from New Zealand, Australia, North America or Europe.

Good meat based diet:

Lamb, Lamb Heart*, Lamb Liver*, Lamb Tripe*, Lamb Kidney*, Lamb Lung*, Lamb Bone, New Zealand Green Mussel, Inulin from Chicory, Dried Kelp, Sea Salt, Parsley, Minerals (Potassium Bicarbonate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Selenium Yeast, Manganese Amino Acid Complex), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B1 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid). Naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols. *Depending on seasonal availability will be temporarily substituted with sheep.

It costs about $170 a month for an adult GSD to be fed ziwi alone. It's a bit cheaper then many commercial frozen raws, and the meat is higher quality (GRASS FED!!!).
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-23-2017, 08:39 AM
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I'm sorry, but I don't see how you can feed this food for the price you stated. My adult dogs would need around 12 ounces each of this food per day, according to the package feeding instructions. Even buying an 8.8 pound bag would mean that there would be 70.4, 2-ounce scoops per bag, or less than 6 days worth of food for only one of my dogs. At that rate it would cost me well over $500 per month per dog. I must be missing something here.

Am I looking at the wrong thing? I checked on Chewy and found Ziwi Peak Air-Dried food and the price I'm using above is for the beef. The lamb actually seems a bit less, $99 with auto-ship as opposed to $111 for the beef. But still nothing like $170 per month.

To the OP, if you go to DogFoodAdvisor.com you can find a list of their top rated dog foods.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-23-2017, 09:11 AM
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Iams "Proactive Health for Puppy - Large Breed". Many vets are raving about this food, and it is priced reasonably too. Our new pup's litter has been on this for a couple weeks now, mixed with a little water to soften it up some. They love the stuff, are growing like weeds, and are quite active. Just bought a 35 lb bag for $39 CAD.

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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-23-2017, 10:36 AM
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It all depends. An unbalanced, poorly formulated raw diet could be a lot WORSE than what you're currently feeding.

Diamond is a mid-tier food, solidly in the middle of the pack (a pretty good price/value proposition, but not top of the line). If you're on a budget, it's a fine choice at a low price -- as long as you are careful to monitor recalls and save date codes on bags, as they've had some very serious recalls. Diamond Naturals, Kirkland (Costco) and 4Health (Tractor Supply) are all sister foods with nearly identical ingredients, made in the same plant. We feed a lot of it in rescue because of the price-to-value metric. I think of it as the lowest tier of food that I'm comfortable feeding a healthy dog that has no problems digesting chicken-and-rice kibble. I've seen many dogs in rescue that were fed a lot worse foods in the past and had a very positive transformation on Diamond Naturals/Kirkland (coats thickened and shined, they got a nice body composition, and their digestion improved) -- it works well for a lot of dogs.

You can step up to better kibble though -- independent companies that own their own plant, with clean recall histories, transparent sourcing, and excellent quality control: Fromm, Champion (Acana/Orijen), Victor, etc. Most of my personal dogs do very, very well on Fromm's Four Star rotational diet, and the company's consumer responsiveness is fantastic (if you call them, a nice human in Wisconsin will help you with any questions, and if she doesn't know the answer, she'll get someone who does -- even if it means going to the company's top executives).

Kibble is a compromise though -- it's prepared with very high eat. High heat can produce by-products that are undesirable, and destroy amino acids:
New Study finds Drying Time of Kibble Lessens Nutritional Value ? Truth about Pet Food
It also requires carb fillers in order to act as binders (if not a grain, some replacement for one like tapioca). It is convenient though! In a multi-dog household, it may be a necessary compromise.

You do have to be very, very careful about how the company sources ingredients -- not just how slick their marketing is! A lot of meat used in kibble is rendered meal that is incredibly low quality, and most kibble companies use some very cheap ingredients from China. They will put "sourced in USA" because someone sitting in an office in the USA is doing the sourcing (purchasing), knowing that most consumers won't look deeper into where the ingredients are really from.

Beyond kibble, you can step up to "just add water" dehydrated foods like the Honest Kitchen, Dr. Harveys, or Sojos, produced with very little heat. THK's are made in a human food plant -- their employees reportedly taste it coming off the line because it's human food ingredients, in a human food plant. They're reasonably transparent about ingredient sourcing (as is Dr. Harvey's). I'm told the chicken version of THK tastes like a pot pie that's missing the salt. These companies also make base-mixes to which you add your own meat (cooked or raw) to create a balanced diet (no worrying about missing micronutrients--it's all done for you).

The next step up is a complete commercial raw diet -- air dried or frozen. Companies like Primal, OC Raw, Bravo, Darwins, and many others make very good, complete diets. It's quite expensive to feed a large dog this way, but it's possible if money is no object.

You can also study up to learn how to prepare your own, but it requires careful planning (and ensuring micronutrients are well covered).

You can also do some combination of these -- e.g., feed a base mix plus meat most of the time, rotate in Ziwipeak when you travel or want something different, buy some raw frozen now and then, etc.

I think you need to figure out what you can reasonably spend per month, and work backward from there. Some of us who feed exotic options have difficult, health-compromised dogs who have to get a non-kibble diet to thrive because their GI systems are so fragile. Others choose to do it for perceived health benefits.

Think of food as a spectrum. Most food falls somewhere in the middle of it, and your goal is to push the needle toward the good end, as your resources allow.
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-23-2017, 11:45 AM
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I switched from diamond (4health) to victor. Comparable price for High energy and diamond bags. I like it a lot better. My dogs do to.

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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-23-2017, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pawsed View Post
I'm sorry, but I don't see how you can feed this food for the price you stated. My adult dogs would need around 12 ounces each of this food per day, according to the package feeding instructions. Even buying an 8.8 pound bag would mean that there would be 70.4, 2-ounce scoops per bag, or less than 6 days worth of food for only one of my dogs. At that rate it would cost me well over $500 per month per dog. I must be missing something here.

Am I looking at the wrong thing? I checked on Chewy and found Ziwi Peak Air-Dried food and the price I'm using above is for the beef. The lamb actually seems a bit less, $99 with auto-ship as opposed to $111 for the beef. But still nothing like $170 per month.
Meh. Prices went up when they changed the bag (and the last time I calculated monthly cost) so it's closer to $200 per month for an adult GSD. Definitely NOT $500 though!

Your math is off.

8.8lbs is 140.8 oz (8.8 X 16)

GSDs male standard size from 66 - 88 lbs. According to the ration guide a 66lb dog needs 4.49 scoops a day (about 9 oz) an 88lb dog needs 5.56 scoops per day 5.56 scoops per day (about 11 oz) For ease of math we'll say the average GSD needs 5 scoops (10 oz) a day (Which is exactly what I feed my 75lb male when he eats ziwi).

140.8 divided by 10 and an 8.8lb bag will last a hair over 14 days.

Another way to look at it is 1 oz of ziwi equals 3 oz of raw meat. You are getting 26lbs worth of 100% grass fed lamb for $3.80 per lb score!

Ziwi actually saves me money when I feed it, as I prefer to feed my dog grass fed red meats as the diet staple, and living in a major metro area, I do not have access to awesome deals on meat.
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-23-2017, 01:42 PM
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Thanks for clearing that up. As you said, I messed up on the math.

My dogs are larger than yours, and I would still need to feed them over 12 ounces per day. That still works out to a little over 11 days of food for one dog, or around $10 per day for the beef.

I'm glad it works for you, but it's a bit pricey for me, especially with 3 dogs to feed.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-14-2017, 05:42 AM
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I know this is an older thread, but I have a food suggestion. I feed my 9 month old puppy Victor Ultra Pro 42 Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. It's an extremely high protein food. My dog is 95lbs and very active, if your dog is on the larger side it isn't bad option.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-01-2018, 07:24 AM
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The best dog foods should contain:

No controversial chemical preservatives
No anonymous meat ingredients
No artificial coloring agents
No generic animal fats
Substantial amounts of meat-based protein
Fat-to-protein ratio 75% or lower
Modest carbohydrate content

According to my experience, Taste of the wild, Purina Pro Plan and Blue Buffalo are some of the best dry dog foods. They provide the best dog food which includes protein-rich, Deboned Chicken, fish meal avoiding by-products, corn, additives, rendered fats, and other harmful ingredients.
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