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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I know a lot of people make decisions on this site but after some funky bloodwork on Evo (6 stars) and "Recovery" on Natural Balance (4 stars) I started questioning the wisdom of some of the decisons...

Dog Food Analysis - Reviews of kibble

Especially since most of the "premium" foods don't go through long term feeding trials anymore than anything else.

An example is Evo which I quite feeding after some questionalble bloodwork .......Calcium and Phosphorus at 3% and 1.8% - that is very high and the ratios are off. Ash is 11% -- Now I am not convinced the Natural Balance is great dog food but see consistently good reports from folks of dogs on it and my only concern is 20-21% protein and 10% fat is, I believe, a bit do low.......and that is based on observation of endurance, though no loss of muscle mass. Then I have to subject that opinion to the realization that my dogs are no longer young but late middle age at 8+ and 7++

I think there *are* some good criteria in there but I think others are being ignored. WHO does these reviews and makes these decisions that so many quote with complete faith?

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So yes, right now I am feeding Natural Balance LID and not making any claims of greatness......but dogs doing well, and bloodwork better though I am planning on adding some more protein and fat to the working dog, probably in the form or Orijen or even just meat and oil - but not much.

Not even completely sold on the raw ....... fed it for a number of years and followed all the "directions" I was given in "give your dog a bone" and from our breeder and the single dog I has ever been dysplastic (and severely so) was this dog. So I looked at long term sucess with middle of the road dog foods.

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Of course I do have to realize that chickens are raised with no concern but rapid market speed so are not necessarily healhty unless free range organic, so in that regard, thre are better sources of chicken, the staple of raw, than the mainstream grocers and then the price becomes astronomical unless you have a farm. And the other meats....well.......

With cadaver dogs and the eerie similarity in scent between pork and human - I don't want any thing associated with pork other than leave it alone and I think perhaps too that is why my dogs did not give a trained indication but looked at me like something was wrong with me when I did present pork as food.

Of course the midline foods I might even consider have menadione and ethoxyquin (though both of these tend to be disappearing due to consumer pressure) though allegations against these are sketchy -- but why use it?

Then the question of grain. I am going to admit that even though I do feed a food with potato which I can't see is any more 'natural' than grain and chock full of carbs, they do seem to better than when grain is involved....at leat the dog with flea allergies and HD does.

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Not asking anyone to say what is and what is not a great food. Just some thoughts on the whole system. I would like to see comments on how food is selected/Devloped -- who DOES DO long term feeding trials and what are the goals? (Though I would guess anyone who has fed the same food for a number of years, a number of generations of dogs, would say "mememe")

The example given was of two specific foods with recent history for me, but the questions was a much more general one.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Maybe we could combine them? I dont mind moving my thread under your post
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
LOL I cannot find your thread - Need more coffee -- (high in potassium, btw - an analyte I would like to see on a dog food bag as NA:K balance is ALSO very important )

Anyway - at least the author of the dog food project has laid out a biology:chemistry nutrion resume for us to peruse -- I know she is the one most concerned about and perpetuates concerns about menadione.

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I guess my point is what do we REALLY know?

I took Feed and Feeding as a course in college a thousand years ago and the goal of feeding regimes was to put market weight on animals as fast as possible, not health and longevity -and Then the dog food companies really typically are the repository of waste. Some is fine - dogs have eaten our offal for thousands of years and we forget that - but the stuff I saw loaded in the rendering truck (when I went to the poultry plant to buy my boxes of parts) included plastic bags, trash etc......so.......
 

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I've never been a fan of those sites. There are plenty of 2-3 star foods I'd feed (And currently am feeding) that are good. (ie. Addiction Kangaroo, Authority/Authority Baked, Artemis Power Formula, Blue Seal, ect)

The problem with that site is that it is based on OPINIONS. Just as *I* have the opinion that some of those 2-3 star rated foods are better than they put them at, they feel they aren't worthy of any more "stars". I always recommend people actually LEARN what to look for and find a food that works. You shouldn't use something that doesn't work for your dog just because someone feels it deserves 6 stars. If your dog is having explosive diarrhea on Orijen, don't keep feeding it and dehydrating your dog just because someone said it was a good food. OBVIOUSLY it's not working for YOUR dog. Just like I can eat Taco Bell and be ok and other people will be in the bathroom for 3 hours. On the other hand, I get totally sick off Olive Garden when everyone else can't understand how I can handle Taco Bell and not Olive Garden!

That doesn't mean I feel you should feed Pedigree because your dog seems ok on it but some of the lower rated foods aren't that bad!
 

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I think that those sites are a good starting point to understand what companies have dog foods with good ingredients versus complete crap (like helping people understand that Eukanuba is really not very good, and it's the same cost as most of better foods out there....hello marketing ploy!).

However, the gets to a point where you have to adjust and reconsider what you're doing based on the dog you have in front of you. Like Orijen...it's highly touted as one of the best kibbles out there. No disagreement from me. However, the prices have risen so drastically that I personally feel "it's still a kibble" and people could easily feed RAW for less than it costs these days. I know someone who is so much on the Orijen bandwagon that she completely ignores the fact that her dogs have the absolute worst gas on it. It's disgusting. But she refuses to try anything else because Orijen is "the best."

I went round and round with digestive issues with Elsa. It was a 6 month ongoing drama. Can't have chicken. Fish is a no-go. All foods with either of these things are not even a possibility for me. Currently, what she is on 2x a day--and works GREA--is 1/2 cup Natural Balance Venison or Buffalo (I rotate these two formulas) and 1/2 cup EVO Red. Plus 1/4 tsp of Prozyme and 1/2 a scoop of Nupro. That is my dog's magic formula. It may seem unconventional, but I know my foods and my dog and I'm happy witht he results.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Response to Chance the GSD - Just saw GSD Elsa

This is true. How many people make sweeping comments about how BAD a certain food is based on reviews by someone who does not step up and document credentials?

I do think the Dog Food Project site makes some good counterpoints to some of the Dog Food Analysis criteria.

I do have a friend who has a dog that THRIVES on Beneful - after trying many hypoallergenic dog foods. Same thing - my dog that went years of horrible food allergies did well on ONE Sensitive Systems Salmon......not a food I would choose but he was no longer miserable and scratching all the time......(of course he died at 11 from hemangiosarcoma - though was it a lifetime of food allergies or ingredients in that food? Or genetic autoimmune predisposistions? Did food help create those problems or bad breeding? etc etc
 

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Bleh! My grandmas Australian Cattle Dog apparently works on Beneful, anything else, even being slowly switched gives her explosive diarrhea everywhere. As gross as I find it, the dog seems ok. Looks healthy and sure does have energy, even Chance had this look and attitude like "why the heck wont this dog sit still?!?!?" XDDD And Chance is no couch potato himself. ;) He at least has an off button, Kia doesn't. Sadly she moved her dogs who WERE thriving on Authority over to it and I see a BIG difference in them but not for the best. :( So gotta have a talk with her about putting the other dogs back on the Authority. (Which is actually CHEAPER than Beneful!) But Kia does ok on it and it's better than an emergency visit to the vet because she's dehydrated from diarrhea. =/ But if a dog DOES better on a better food, I do recommend it. But I don't feel someone should have to break the bank and feel pressured into buying a food that cost nearly $100 a bag! *I* don't have $100 a month to feed MYSELF. Much less my dogs. Doesn't mean I don't LOVE them but if they're getting good blood work, clear eyes, clean ears, small/firm stools, soft/full coats, ect on a cheaper food then why NOT feed it? Because someone gave it 2 stars? I'd rather save the $60+ I save every month NOT buying Orijen to put on their yearly vet care. I get full chem panels/CBC's done along with thyroid, heartworm and lyme test, plus urinalysis and fecals to give me an idea of their overall health. Nothing but good health from either of my dogs besides Zoey's low thyroid late last year but to be 13 and that be her only problem I have no complaints.
 

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I was on board years ago with the grain free movement, but my dogs do better with grain in their diet. I feed what the dogs do well on, not how good the ingredient list looks on a review site. Sadly I used to recommend those sites too, and wasted a lot of money over the years feeding really overpriced foods. Funny how they do just as well on the lower priced ones with a much longer standing history with those other than pet owners who feed the current fab food.
 

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I should also probably add Zoey was actually diagnosed with the low thyroid on TOTW (Though I don't believe in any way it caused it) which gets a lot of mixed reviews. I do have to be a little more specific with her because she gets UTI's SO easily on most foods (It's been that way since we got her back in 98 at 5 weeks old) AND she -has- to have a VERY low calorie food because she gains weight just looking at food. >_< But I spend $24 for 15lb which isn't that bad. A 15lb bag last her nearly 6 months since she's so small and thanks to her thyroid eats so little. I know it gets a pretty good rating on DFA but I've seen it dissed by a LOT of people in other places including here for multiple reasons. But she does great on it!

Opinions are like buttholes, everyone has one. :D Just gotta go with the flow and find what works.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I do like what Justine is doing though. My dogs are doing well on NB but I feel the male needs more protein and fat but not the amount in Evo or Orijen - no reason I can't blend to bump him up to 26%, 15% though or therabouts.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
True another option. I have not seen it yet in the stores but I am not too wild about the garbanzo beans. I EAT beans regularly and I know what garbanzos do to me.......

And the fat is still a bit low......... I gather the added protein is from the beans here but would be incomplete and less digestible....BUT if she is doing WELL on it there you go.
 

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I was on board years ago with the grain free movement, but my dogs do better with grain in their diet. I feed what the dogs do well on, not how good the ingredient list looks on a review site. Sadly I used to recommend those sites too, and wasted a lot of money over the years feeding really overpriced foods. Funny how they do just as well on the lower priced ones with a much longer standing history with those other than pet owners who feed the current fab food.

No kidding brother/sister....
 

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Discussion Starter #17
BACK TO THE MAIN TOPIC

See, we start talking about our own dogs.
I am guilty.....
 

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I totally agree with the posters who say that you have to know your own dog and see what works well with them. Even if you're feeding a high quality food, if the dog doesn't look well and doesn't digest it well, you need to switch to something that is healthy for the dog.

This gets me thinking about my female GSD who passed almost three years ago from cancer. She was the very rare dog who seemed to eat anything and could digest it and look great. Her attitude was that if it wasn't crawling or nailed to the ground, it was going in her mouth. No discussions. No worries. LOL. God, I miss her.

Second thought, there were many crawling things that actually ended up in her mouth and went down the hatch. She was a working dog from East German lines and felt that if I missed her feeding time, anything in nature was game.
 

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Great thread. I too find it frustrating that there isn't more scientific info to make choices on. It all seems to be hearsay.
 
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