questionswhat is the best brand of dog food?

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i don't have any information of my own to add, but you may want to read some info on a Deals.Woot! post that is related (http://deals.woot.com/deals/details/3d45966b-a9e4-452c-9a33-95eb36c3737e/up-to-8-pounds-iams-dog-or-cat-food-free-after-rebate#29) there was a pretty heated discussion about the evils of some types of dog food.

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I talked to my vet about this recently. She said that if you asked the 9 vets who work there for the best diet you'd get 9 different answers.

I know the president of a local Greyhound Rescue group whose dogs are on a raw diet. That's raw chicken and some veggies. WARNING: Do NOT put your dog on a raw diet on your own - the transition must be done carefully

Some folks say corn is evil. Others don't think it really matters.

Some feed their dog the cheapest crap they can find. That's akin to you eating McD's every day. It /might/ not kill you, but it's not healthy.

I use Blue Buffalo dry food, but I'm not fanatical about it. My vet pointed out that there's a lot of science behind brands like Alpo, while there's not much research on whether dogs need blue berries.

My wife and I started reading labels during the dog food scare a few years ago. I was actually surprised by how UNnutritious IAMs & Science Diet look, given their prices

Tip: the 1st 2 ingredients should be meat (not mill)

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Here is a way to narrow down your choices.

http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/

I feed either Canidae or Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul. When I have time later, I'll come back and add to this.

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I have fed our dog Nutro Max, Nutro Ultra, and Blue Buffalo. All are excellent choices.

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I am a veterinarian and I tell folks to feed any commercial diet they like. I don't think there is a "bad" dog food on the market, though I do think that some are better than others. In general you get what you pay for, especially if you are sticking with the mainstream brands. In terms of bang-for-the-buck the Costco Kirkland brands are actually pretty impressive. I have generally been happy with Royal Canin and Iams and have not liked Science Diet. If your dog eats it, the dog looks good, and the poop is acceptable then continue to feed whatever food you can afford. BTW, blueberries in the food (or fed separately) can dramatically reduce facial staining around your dog's eyes, otherwise I don't see much value to them. Unfortunately, dog food choices can trigger a religious fervor in people. It will be interesting to see what happens on this thread.

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@nortonsark: Thanks for your input. My vet is in full agreement with you regarding "any commercial dog food is acceptable."

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I, too, have heard good stuff about and use the Costco Kirkland Dog food.

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I use Beneful Healthy Weight and have for several years. My dogs love it. I bought it because we live in the country and my dogs were going next door and eating my neighbors chickens. I needed a dog food with chicken in it so they would be satisfied. It worked. No more calls from the neighbor and no feathers in the yard. If your dog likes chicken, he or she will love Beneful Healthy Weight.

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We have been feeding our dogs raw for three years now and wish we had started sooner. They are healthy, energetic, no doggy smell. And no scooping poop. They get two chicken leg quarters a day. We also feed green beans, pumpkin, rice. They love it. We won't feed dog food again.

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@luvgsd: Our dog often gets pumpkin on her food for added fiber. She also loves yogurt.

My friend who does raw gets chicken necks. They're dead cheap.

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My family has three miniature Dachshunds, and a few months ago we switched them to the Costco Kirkland brand, and I haven't been very impressed with it. It seems to dry out their skin and make them extremely itchy. Their coats are not as shiny as they have been on other dog foods. It also contains beet pulp, which I've heard is a fairly controversial ingredient, as it is supposedly allergenic to dogs. My dogs haven't gained weight on it though, which was our biggest problem with Science Diet, which is what we fed them for several years before we decided to switch. Dachshunds can be hard to keep slim.

My personal preference is Orijen brand dog food. My dogs did great on it, but it is pretty pricey and my dad didn't want to pay so much for dog food. The dog food analysis website that was posted is a good source of information in my opinion, but it always helps to have multiple sources to research and reference.

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@suziq077: I feed my two dogs Pedigree too. I know it's probably like the Kellogg's of dog food brands, but my dogs like it and they've grown up with it.

I have a pit bull who is now 9 years old and a rottie mix who is now 13 years. They both act much younger than their ages and have no health issues (knock on wood) so for me, if it ain't broke, I'm gonna stick with it.

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My sister worked on the manatee project in FL and one stage was that after studying the dead manatee they transported it to the rendering plant which was the supplier for a major dog food brand-no I don't recall the name, and she watched as all sorts of rotten meat wrapped in the plastic and styrofoam trays of the supermarket was ground up and mixed into our dog's food.....

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THERE IS NO CUT AND DRY ANSWER. YOU MUST TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION YOU DOGS AGE, SIZE, WEIGHT, ACTIVITY LEVEL, ALLERGIES, ETC. I HAVE FOUR RESCUE DOGS AND THREE DIFFERENT BINS OF FOOD TO ADDRESS THEIR SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS. FIND OUT FROM YOUR VET WHAT SPECIFIC NUTRITIONAL REQUIREMENTS/LIMITATIONS YOUR DOG HAS AND COMPARE BRANDS ACCORDINGLY.

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i feed my dog iams (large breed). it is one of the few on the shelves that actually has "chicken" (and not rice, chicken meal or chicken biproducts) as the first ingrediant. my last dog had a lot of problems and had to be on a strict all natural diet and we went with newmans own which was fantastic food but much more expensive.

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Wow! I did not think I would get this many responses. I will read each reply carefully and take each one into consideration. Time for me to read them now! hahaha

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I received a grading system from my vet and it rates a good number of dog foods and gives you the rating system to rate your own. It is here:
http://www.elkcountryanimalshelter.org/GradeDOG%20FOOD.html

I have been buying the Merrick's Wilderness blend. I was happy to find out the Costco Kirkland brand scored really high. This tool is invaluable--how are we to know all of these things???

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I have always had pets....I used Artemis holistic dog food for my doberman for 10 years. GREAT!! but expensive. My pet store no longer carries it, so I have been using Instinct. I really like it. he really likes it. I am really picky about the junk that is put into dog food. Good Luck!

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Dog food is a tricky subject.

While its true you should look for a protein as the first ingredient - Please don't be fooled by iams. Only some of its formulas have a real protein first.. and almost ALWAYS - corn meal second.. corn meal is filler.. junk.. indicative of a garbage dog food. If your dog was a child - it would the same as happy meals with soda at McD's every day.

For isntance - the large breed formula cited above: From iams' site: Chicken, corn meal, ground whole grain sorghum, chicken by-product meal

1st ingredient is good. next 2 are pure bunk. Pass. The chicken meal is ground up by product and bone... actually pretty good, but should be higher on the list - right behind the actual protein.

The problem is - once you get into premium foods - the price goes north.

Of the non premium brands - The costco/kirkland foods aren't bad, and the cost to weight ratio is better than a lot of store shelve brands.
(cont'd_)

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My sister is a Vet and the only food she has seen broadbased negative results from was Beneful. They spend a ton on advertising oriented around making it look appealing to the buyer.

I have a lot of dog owner friends and the one negative I'll throw in about Blue Buffalo is that it seems to make a lot of dogs have loose stools.

Also, be careful of the $/lb comparison as you will likely have to feed larger portions of cheaper brands to get the same nutrition. The true $/month difference is much smaller. The extra portions of cheap food show up as larger piles to pick up in the yard.

hlx hlx
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(pt. 2) Of the premium brands - my dog has done well on blue buffalo, solid gold, and a few of the others. I like blue buffalo right now because petco often has coupons on them, bringing the price down an additional 5-10 bucks each bag.

What most people don't realize when buying foods - the serving sizes are different.

If you break it down by serving instead of weight - you'll find that the premium brands are actually a lot closer in price than you thought. With the garbage foods - the serving sizes are 20-40% higher (in order to meet the minimum nutritional needs of your animal) because of all the filler crap.. and because your pet has to eat more - it also poops more. Moving to a better food will have you feeding them less, getting less poop (and less smelly poop too) as well as all the health benefits of real ingredients.

Lots of people have raised dogs solely on crap foods their whole lives. A dog can live on it... but not live well. Don't be fooled by pretender brands.

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As for the websites that rate dog food such as dogfoodanalysis.com, be aware that most (all?) do no real testing, they are just reading the ingredient list and making a judgement based upon that individuals opinion.

hlx hlx
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@cindihoward: Cindi, are you talking to yourself again? ;)

We use Science Diet Small Bites for Adult dogs, but the main nutrition our mini Aussies are getting comes from the meat and fresh vegetables they get. We fell into the habit of giving them the left over chicken, green beans etc., and were surprised at the change for the better in their coats & stools.
We tend to eat more lean meats and less processed foods than most families. The way I look at it is it HAS to be better than most of the dry stuff out there. The dogs always have a cup or two of dry in their dish, but we're having no problems with their weight or skin. In fact, they're even healthier than ever.
Our vet is on board with it as she knows they're not getting french fries and gravy or a lot of junk.

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For anyone who's interested, J-B Wholesale carries the Innova Evo dog food for a relatively low price, and with free shipping on orders over $50. I've posted the deal.

http://www.jbpet.com/evo-dog-food-dry.html

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@trogdor1138:

Please disregard the above post; shipping is actually not free on food products. Buying the same product from the same seller through Amazon though nets a low shipping price of only $4.84.

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Right up there in the best bang for the buck category is Diamond Naturals. I feed my labs the Large Breed Formula, a 40 LB bag runs under $30 locally. It's higher quality than a lot of other foods out there (Purina, Iams, etc.). My dogs have great looking coats and the vet has had nothing but good things to say about both of their health. There are a few ingredients that are considered to be lower quality, but for the price it's very well balanced and I would recommend it as a starting point. Always choose a food with a meat meal as the first ingredient, and stay away from any food with corn.

I've also fed them Wellness Super-Five Mix Whitefish and Sweet Potato and Earthborn Holistic Ocean Fusion Whitefish which were also excellent foods, but the price was pretty steep. They did just as well on the Diamond Naturals so I saw no need to go back to the 'super-premium' food.

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I have field competition bred Brittanys. I feed Purina One. High protein for active dogs so less food, and less poop to clean up. As they aged, I went to Purina One Healthy Weight formula. Not as active so not as much protein required.

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Another idea, find a local sporting dog club and go to one of their field trials or hunt tests. See what they feed, particularly what the pro trainers feed their field trial dogs. These are the some of the best athletes of the dog world and as I recall, and as been mentioned, you will find many different answers. But most likely feed a name brand like Purina or Iams or etc.

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I feed my dogs nothing but Victor Dog Food. http://www.victordogfood.com/

I know some world class hog doggers and Pitbull breeders that feed nothing but victor. I myself raise nothing but champion Pitbulls. Every dog i own is at least CH, most are GD/CH. Show dogs of course.

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@ganzhimself: Kirkland Premium is made by Diamond, and is most similar to their Naturals line. If you have a Costco near you, it's a great way to save an additional $4-5 per 40lb. bag ($26 / bag @ Costco).

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I feed my dog people. Preferably fresh, sometimes soylent gruff brand.

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I read an article about a decade ago listing most specialty dog foods. Eagle gold premium the food that is provided to iditarod racing teams was number 1, but is now impossible to find. Eukanuba was rated as the perfect dog food. I have tried both with boxers, labs, Brittanies, pits, ratties wieners and one besenji with great results, never had an over weight dog except the rat terrier after she was spayed and they make much less poop on these. dont let anyone tell you that dogs dont do well on dry kibble, those are marketing ploys to make you feel sorry that you dont feed dogs people food. we give our pups all kind of leftovers and treats but they are all healthy long lived and great dental health. check with your vet and ask for his/her opinion too

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My maltese gets royal canin. He used to get eukanuba as a puppy but we swtiched him over. He likes it, his stools are firm and not smelly and it's not super expensive and a big bag lasts for months. It has also made his tear stains better. I love it and recommend it to anyone!!

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Ditto on the person that spoke about the first two ingredients. I was surprised to find that Science Diet was really not much different than cheap grocery store brands.

We fed Pro Plan to our Goldens for years. They seemed to like it and were pretty healthy.

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Which brand is best? I've tried them all, but I didn't really like the taste of any of them.

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Keep in mind that wild/feral dogs, coyotes and to a lesser extent, wolves are opportunists. They don't have a dead set diet, they eat what they can, where they can, when they can.

The dog we've had for a few years will only eat the Purina small breeds food. Our new rescue eats it and tolerates it well. We eat a lot of locally sourced, organic beef and chicken, as well as brown rice. Whatever we have as left overs, we split between the 2 dogs. It's probably not the 'optimum' diet, but they're both happy and healthy.

My buddy that passed 2 1/2 years ago, was 17 when he finally got so sick that we had to put him to sleep. He ate a similar diet and lived a long, happy, healthy life. It's hard to argue with results.

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Orijen is the best dry kibble in the market. Other top kibbles are Evo, Innova, solid gold, taste of the wild, and blue buffalo. Raw diets like Stella & Chewy or OC raw dog are excellent but more costly. I give them as a treat. I also give carrot bits and fruits as treats. I also purée some of my cooked, unsalted veggies, add plain cooked meats, or canned fish for additional nutrients. Stay away from grapes, raisins, avocado, onions, chocolate, garlic.

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As a few other posters have pointed out, it's best to get dog food with the main ingredient (the first 1 or 2 in the list).

Some people say you should stay away from by-products, by-products are left over parts that cannot be used for human consumption (ears, nose, tongue....). But if you think about it, wild dogs will eat most of those things anyways.

Call a local vet, they normally have a list of 'approved' dog foods.

My Vet recommends Purina One as one of the options, so that's what I feed my dog. It's kind of expensive $29 for a 34 lbs bag. But according to my vet because it's higher in meat, the dog won't eat as much.
It takes my dog 1.5-2 months to eat 68lbs of Purina One.
Sometimes if I'm short on cash I'll buy a cheap bag and mix it with 'the good stuff'.

I also buy cheap can dog food as a 'treat'.

The best type of dog food is what ever you want, the type of dog, how active the dog is...

I would just stay away from the extremely cheap dog food (dollar store brand)

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I would recommend Natural Balance Dry Dog Food.

My dog loves this food, she has a sensitive stomach and it is the only one that causes her no problems.

Read more: http://ibookmarkedit.com/natural-balance-dry-dog-food-ultra-premium-formula-30-pound-bag/