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Discussion Starter #1
hey guys I ben going back and fourth between affordable dog food pls help I started my pup on baneful but I like how he is on authority and pure balance salmon formula any advise on a good reasonable dog food that's still healthy hes only 6 moths still kinda on skinny side but tall
 

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1. Diamond Naturals, Tractor Supply's 4Health, & Costco's Kirkland -- these are all sister foods with nearly identical ingredients made in the same plant! Some of their products are so similar as to be fed interchangeably -- I think of them as the same food, with a different label.

They vary in cost depending on where you buy (about $28 at Costco in the store) up to $35-ish (from Chewy, with shipping), for a 40 pound bag of basic chicken (or lamb) and rice food . It's got a pretty decent amount of protein. This is one of the lowest cost "value" foods that's a decent mid-grade option.

As long as the dog isn't allergic to chicken, lamb or rice, it feeds out quite well. We use a lot of it for our dog rescue, and many adopters keep the dogs on it because they like the price/value proposition and how well it feeds out. (Keep your lot codes from the bag til its gone, as they had some serious recalls in the past, but none in the last couple of years--they seem to have solved the quality issues that led to the recalls several years back).
https://www.chewy.com/diamond-naturals-chicken-rice-formula/dp/34919


2. Victor --- You can step up to Victor for about $45 per 40 pounds. It's manufactured by a respected, family-owned company that owns their own plant in Texas. It's had no major recalls (which means they're paying attention to quality ingredients), and it's got a solid reputation for quality. You can find it in feed stores, mom-and-pop dog supply stores, and online (e.g., Chewy.com). Victor has a broad range of products, but here's an example of one of their lower-cost options:
https://www.chewy.com/victor-professional-formula-dry-dog/dp/120686


3. Fromm Classic --- Fromm is an EXCELLENT independent company. For around $40 per 33 pounds, you could move into this "entry level" food from a terrific company. Many of us feed their higher-end products -- but even their low-end here is quite decent. They don't make crappy food. I have a lot of trust their ingredient sourcing and manufacturing practices.
https://frommfamily.com/about/food-safety/


Like Victor, this is a family-owned company. They own their own plant in Wisconsin. They are very transparent about ingredient sourcing (they'll gladly tell you a country of origin for every ingredient, even vitamins, and they have NO Chinese ingredients). When you call them, you'll be talking to an assistant who works for their VP of Marketing -- the #2 guy in the company -- and she'll find out anything you want to know. The family has been making dog food since the early-20th C. in Wisconsin, with no major recalls. They pay a lot of attention to quality (both in sourcing and in manufacturing).

Fromm doesn't allow "big box stores" to sell it because they support "Main Street USA" businesses, where shopkeepers provide good customer service, so if you want to buy it locally, use their website to find a vendor. Here's one of the few places selling it online:
https://www.petflow.com/product/fromm/fromm-family-classics-adult-formula-dry-dog-food

TIP: Some cheap foods have so much filler that you must feed twice as much. That's not really any savings. Buying a slightly more expensive food with more "good stuff" in it can mean feeding less food because it's more nutritionally dense....and you might save money. Check out the recommended feeding rations on any foods you're considering to get a sense of the real value. For example, I had a foster surrendered by a family feeding him Beneful along with a partial bag of his food -- he needed 6 cups a day, and was still skinny. He gained muscle and filled out on just 3 cups of Costco's Kirkland when we switched him -- and his coat became a lot nicer too.


As for the other options you mentioned...

For me, Beneful is a "no way" food, at any price -- too much junk. Purina One is a better food in the Purina line -- not as good as Diamond Naturals IMHO, but far better than Beneful. Some dogs do pretty well on One (my dad feeds it, as it's the only food he can afford that doesn't give his GSD diarrhea -- and coupons/sales are pretty common). I think you can do a lot better though, for just a little more money, by leaving Walmart-type stores.

Authority is PetSmart's house-brand. I don't know who really makes it. There are allegations online that it includes some China-sourced ingredients (and possibly may have some manufacturing in China too): https://dogfood.guru/authority/
The bottom line is they're not very transparent about it, and that sucks.

Pure Balance is WM's house brand, just like Ol' Roy. For WM, the ingredient list on PB is far better than most of what they sell...but look beyond the ingredient list. I think it's made by Ainsworth, if I remember correctly (which also makes Nutrish). Ainsworth was acquired by Smuckers this year, and Smuckers had a BAD recall with euthanasia drugs detected in their pet foods. I wouldn't feed anything associated with Smuckers right now because of that -- it was very recent, and it means they got caught using cheap, adulterated meat from unscrupulous rendering plants that label it as "chicken meal" or "beef meal" while tossing in whatever carcasses they can find (including those put to sleep with the same drugs used on dogs and cats...which aren't used on cows or chickens...so most likely guesses are horse, zoo animals, or dogs/cats). It's a dead giveaway they're sourcing the cheapest ingredients they can find, without much concern for quality. That would exclude any food they touch from my consideration for a long while.
Smucker confirms euthanasia drug in popular dog food brands | Food Safety News
 

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Pure Balance is a pretty good food. I would have no issues feeding it to my dog. In fact I use the canned to mix her supplements in.
Beneful has a well documented record of killing pets, and since it's a Purina product and they continue to sell it I won't buy their food at all, in spite of the fact that some of their foods really aren't bad. But that's just me.
I had a bit of a struggle with the fact that the company that makes Pure Balance also makes some of Blue Buffalo's food BUT a bit of digging uncovered that the BB foods that they manufacture are the high end foods that have had no issues, and it isn't actually the same company, they just use the same plant to make the food.

Price wise, you won't get much better. If budget is an issue I would stick with the Pure Balance.
 

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1. Diamond Naturals, Tractor Supply's 4Health, & Costco's Kirkland -- these are all sister foods with nearly identical ingredients made in the same plant! Some of their products are so similar as to be fed interchangeably -- I think of them as the same food, with a different label.

They vary in cost depending on where you buy (about $28 at Costco in the store) up to $35-ish (from Chewy, with shipping), for a 40 pound bag of basic chicken (or lamb) and rice food . It's got a pretty decent amount of protein. This is one of the lowest cost "value" foods that's a decent mid-grade option.

As long as the dog isn't allergic to chicken, lamb or rice, it feeds out quite well. We use a lot of it for our dog rescue, and many adopters keep the dogs on it because they like the price/value proposition and how well it feeds out. (Keep your lot codes from the bag til its gone, as they had some serious recalls in the past, but none in the last couple of years--they seem to have solved the quality issues that led to the recalls several years back).
https://www.chewy.com/diamond-naturals-chicken-rice-formula/dp/34919


2. Victor --- You can step up to Victor for about $45 per 40 pounds. It's manufactured by a respected, family-owned company that owns their own plant in Texas. It's had no major recalls (which means they're paying attention to quality ingredients), and it's got a solid reputation for quality. You can find it in feed stores, mom-and-pop dog supply stores, and online (e.g., Chewy.com). Victor has a broad range of products, but here's an example of one of their lower-cost options:
https://www.chewy.com/victor-professional-formula-dry-dog/dp/120686


3. Fromm Classic --- Fromm is an EXCELLENT independent company. For around $40 per 33 pounds, you could move into this "entry level" food from a terrific company. Many of us feed their higher-end products -- but even their low-end here is quite decent. They don't make crappy food. I have a lot of trust their ingredient sourcing and manufacturing practices.
https://frommfamily.com/about/food-safety/


Like Victor, this is a family-owned company. They own their own plant in Wisconsin. They are very transparent about ingredient sourcing (they'll gladly tell you a country of origin for every ingredient, even vitamins, and they have NO Chinese ingredients). When you call them, you'll be talking to an assistant who works for their VP of Marketing -- the #2 guy in the company -- and she'll find out anything you want to know. The family has been making dog food since the early-20th C. in Wisconsin, with no major recalls. They pay a lot of attention to quality (both in sourcing and in manufacturing).

Fromm doesn't allow "big box stores" to sell it because they support "Main Street USA" businesses, where shopkeepers provide good customer service, so if you want to buy it locally, use their website to find a vendor. Here's one of the few places selling it online:
https://www.petflow.com/product/fromm/fromm-family-classics-adult-formula-dry-dog-food

TIP: Some cheap foods have so much filler that you must feed twice as much. That's not really any savings. Buying a slightly more expensive food with more "good stuff" in it can mean feeding less food because it's more nutritionally dense....and you might save money. Check out the recommended feeding rations on any foods you're considering to get a sense of the real value. For example, I had a foster surrendered by a family feeding him Beneful along with a partial bag of his food -- he needed 6 cups a day, and was still skinny. He gained muscle and filled out on just 3 cups of Costco's Kirkland when we switched him -- and his coat became a lot nicer too.


As for the other options you mentioned...

For me, Beneful is a "no way" food, at any price -- too much junk. Purina One is a better food in the Purina line -- not as good as Diamond Naturals IMHO, but far better than Beneful. Some dogs do pretty well on One (my dad feeds it, as it's the only food he can afford that doesn't give his GSD diarrhea -- and coupons/sales are pretty common). I think you can do a lot better though, for just a little more money, by leaving Walmart-type stores.

Authority is PetSmart's house-brand. I don't know who really makes it. There are allegations online that it includes some China-sourced ingredients (and possibly may have some manufacturing in China too): https://dogfood.guru/authority/
The bottom line is they're not very transparent about it, and that sucks.

Pure Balance is WM's house brand, just like Ol' Roy. For WM, the ingredient list on PB is far better than most of what they sell...but look beyond the ingredient list. I think it's made by Ainsworth, if I remember correctly (which also makes Nutrish). Ainsworth was acquired by Smuckers this year, and Smuckers had a BAD recall with euthanasia drugs detected in their pet foods. I wouldn't feed anything associated with Smuckers right now because of that -- it was very recent, and it means they got caught using cheap, adulterated meat from unscrupulous rendering plants that label it as "chicken meal" or "beef meal" while tossing in whatever carcasses they can find (including those put to sleep with the same drugs used on dogs and cats...which aren't used on cows or chickens...so most likely guesses are horse, zoo animals, or dogs/cats). It's a dead giveaway they're sourcing the cheapest ingredients they can find, without much concern for quality. That would exclude any food they touch from my consideration for a long while.
Smucker confirms euthanasia drug in popular dog food brands | Food Safety News
Pure Balance is NOT apparently owned by Ainsworth. The information that I dug up initially pointed to them but Ainsworth does not claim ownership. It appears that like Actrium, Pure Balance is in fact owned by Walmart. I know that seems weird, but every response I get seems to point that way. It is manufactured in the same plant as the Ainsworth foods. And I don't know that the deal with Smuckers actually went through.
 

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Pure Balance is NOT apparently owned by Ainsworth. The information that I dug up initially pointed to them but Ainsworth does not claim ownership. It appears that like Actrium, Pure Balance is in fact owned by Walmart. I know that seems weird, but every response I get seems to point that way. It is manufactured in the same plant as the Ainsworth foods. And I don't know that the deal with Smuckers actually went through.

The Smuckers/Ainsworth deal was completed in May:
https://www.reuters.com/article/brief-j-m-smucker-completes-acquisition/brief-j-m-smucker-completes-acquisition-of-ainsworth-pet-nutrition-idUSFWN1SL171


It's so hard to confirm anything with private label foods -- they shroud them in mystery intentionally. Here's a thread suggesting Ainsworth claimed to be the co-packer as of 2015, but maybe it has now changed?
https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/dog-food-manufacturers/


To me, co-packer vs. owner makes little difference because recall after recall has happened when co-packers get creative about sourcing cheaper ingredients than the contract called for and deviating from the contract to save money. If Smuckers managers have got euthanized animals in the plant, I'd worry about contamination. Maybe Ainsworth won't get ruined by Smuckers though. It all depends on the corporate culture and its control of subsidiaries.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I will be looking into more options and yes price is a factor right now unfortunately just want the best I can afford for my gsd pup and my older husky I switched jobs recently and so im working with less money then before but but I also work less and home more to be with family so its a trade off
 

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I will be looking into more options and yes price is a factor right now unfortunately just want the best I can afford for my gsd pup and my older husky I switched jobs recently and so im working with less money then before but but I also work less and home more to be with family so its a trade off
That is always the goal. Feed the best you can on what you can afford. Pure balance isnt the greatest, but there is a whole lot worse. Victor is also somewhat budget friendly, and available on chewy.com, and most feed stores. I liked the food, and the company. Unfortunately my dog didn't eat the food. Remember some dogs are fed the cheapest food on the market and live to be nice and old, with minimal health problems, and some are fed the best of the best, and don't have the best of luck. Food is definitely prevention, and important but, you have to choose the best you can, out of what you have available.
 
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