I have been researching dry dog foods in the wake of the pet food recalls and the more I find out, the more confused I am.
I am not really sure that my dogs need blueberry, avocado, sweet potato or duck in their food. I have two elderly dogs and two young rescues in my charge. I want to feed them the best food, obviously, but it's getting really expensive. I'm feeding Nutro Small Bites now, but I don't like the look of their stools--I think that there's too much grain in it. I fed Chicken Soup before I took in the rescues, but that was getting expensive--the rescues are eating four cups of food a day and my old ones are eating two. I know that I can feed less if I feed more meat and less grain, but I can't tell which food is the best value for the money.
Should I go with cooking their food? Would that be cheaper and better for them. I just can't imagine that they would need more than ground beef/turkey, rice, green beans and maybe a doggie vitamin pill. Or am I crazy?
Since there has been all this talk about quality dog foods, and people condeming dog foods with grains in them, when they are not really qualified to make these statements. I have the good fotune of resently meeting a woman who has her degree in animal nutrition. I asked her point blank today, if there is a issue with feeding dogs food that contains corn or other grains. And she said as long as that food is nutritionally balanced to give the dog all the needed nutrients, that it is no way harmful to feed the dog these food. I told her I was feeding Purina Pro Plan and Eukanuba small bites. She said both were fine. I told her all my dogs are in good weight, muscle condition, good coats, and happy. She said it sounds like there food is just fine. I will be taking her the label from the food tomorrow. She did have the label from the food I was feeding in the past, and she said it looked good as well. It was Premium Edge Chicken and Rice. This food comes from the same plant as the Chicken Soup, which is made by the Diamond company. Just manufatured in a different plant. I just think the lower quality foods are those you can buy in a grocery store or a discount store. I found the Authority dry made by Petsmart to be a decent food at a reasonable price. But right now, even though the dry made by them is not on a recall, I would be sceptical about switching to that food right now. If you are interested in trying the Purina Selects, send me you mailing address via private message and I will send you some coupons for $5.00 off.
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I don't think cooking for them would be cheaper, but maybe someone else can better answer that.
I had my dog on Pro Plan's small breed senior and about it gave him an upset stomach, especially in the morning. Switched to Eukanuba's senior small breed, he ate it more readily, stomach problems went away. Now he's on Timberwolf but that's more expensive.
Nutro now makes "Nutro Ultra Holistic" and Pro Plan makes their "Pro Plan Selects." The formulas of these foods are a little better than their regular foods and they are sold in PetSmart. Cost about the same as Eukanuba. Maybe if you have a PetCo you can find Natural Balance? Or look at your local health food stores.
Thank you all. I think I'm going to check out Costco's Kirkland's. I've heard such good thing about Costco, but it's not really close to my house. There is a Sam's that is much closer, but the people at my church shamed me into not going there any more. They say that helping the Walmart companies exploit poor people here in the U.S. and abroad is not Christian. Costo on the other hand has all of its employees, full time and part time, insured and has a good rep in the business community.
I've also read up on cooking for your dogs. All the sources say that you should work up to it, supplementing a bit at a time to see what your dogs will tolerate. I've tried yogurt, which seemed to disagree with the younger dogs, but really stimulated the appetite of the older dogs and improved their stool.
I'm going to try cottage cheese and green beans next.
These supplements are in addition to the regular Nutro kibble I give them now. I just give them less kibble to make up for the added calories of the supplement food.
If your looking for a decent food that's good and doesn't break the bank , I feed both of my dogs Diamond Naturals. I buy it from Tractor Supply.A 20 pound bag is 10.00 a 40 pound bag is 20.00 . My dogs like it and do well on it.
I second that... We are just switching from Iams bought from Walmart (walmart Iams has more perservatives, can cause skin problems.) to Diamond Performance that we are getting from our local feed store. So far we love it. We needed a higher Protein/Fat ratio because we work our dogs. They were dropping weight because they weren't getting what they needed. Not good. Diamond is much better.
hmmmm here canidae is less than that minni. that's what i had switched to, because i could afford to spend a little more. $30 for 40#. i had fed the costco kirkland lamb and rice for years, no probs- 40# for $17.50. but now mocha has not been tolerating the canidae so he is back on kirkland (made by diamond.) can't beat that price....
Originally posted by CatDogMom: "I am not really sure that my dogs need blueberry, avocado, sweet potato or duck in their food. I have two elderly dogs and two young rescues in my charge. I want to feed them the best food, obviously, but it's getting really expensive. I'm feeding Nutro Small Bites now, but I don't like the look of their stools--I think that there's too much grain in it. I fed Chicken Soup before I took in the rescues, but that was getting expensive--the rescues are eating four cups of food a day and my old ones are eating two. I know that I can feed less if I feed more meat and less grain, but I can't tell which food is the best value for the money."
I don't understand how Chicken Soup can be expensive.
If it was becoming expensive to feed the Chicken Soup then it's quite possible you didn't reduce their intake and were feeding them just as much of that as you do the Nutro. If that's the case then you aren't going to save by feeding holistic. The savings only comes when you feed less than you would a low or medium grade brand. Remember, dogs can digest holisitic food better so they don't need to be getting a lot in one feeding. When you reduce their intake, you don't buy as much as often and that's when you get that savings to really kick in.
If you want a good holistic that won't bust your brake your pocketbook to feed it then I suggest PRO PAC. Their website http://www.propacpetfood.com/ .
Where I live, a 20 lb bag of canidae is $22.99, and a 40 lb bag is $34.99. Add in 8.5% sales tax and it gets very pricey.
i buy a 16lb bag of canidae chicken and rice for 15.99 and a 33 lb bag of the same formula for 25.99. that is cheaper per pound than i was paying buying pro plan sensitive skin and stomach, and TONS cheaper than i was paying for EVO. i was paying 29.oo for the pro plan 37 lb bag and that was getting it for the price we paid at work, before the markup that the pet stores put on food. the EVO was 45.00 for their biggest bag which i htink was 28 lbs. i think the price for canidae is pretty cheap. but our sales tax is only 7% .
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Thanks for all of your comments. I decided against the Kirkland because of some the negative things I read about it on few other chat rooms. Also, I was thinking that it would be easier for the adoptive family to feed a food that they could find at PetSmart or PetCo.
I actually did the math comparing the food I currently feed (Nutro small bites adult) to Blue Buffalo Chicken and Rice adult. I just bought a bag of the Blue Buffalo to try.
I am feeding an old terrier mix (10 years, 20 pounds), an old standard poodle (12 years, 60 pounds), a two year old retriever mix (67 pounds) and a shepherd mix (4 years, 60 pounds).
The two younger dogs are rescues in foster, so I am trying to save on the dog food and improve their coats. Also, I have a small city yard and it unbelievable how much poop I scoop. It has to go into a dumpster in the alley and this is then not nice for my neighbors.
Nutro Small Bites Chicken Adult sells at PetSmart regular price $24.99 for a 37 pound bag. Blue Buffalo Chicken and Rice sells at the same store in a 30 pound bag for $40.
One dry cup of food is approximately 8 oz. So there are 60 cups of food in the Blue Diamond, 74 in the Nutro.
For the Nutro, I feed each rescue dog 4 cups of food per day, the poodle gets 2 cups a day, the terrier gets 1 1/2 cups a day. Total: 11 1/2 cups of food per day. Each cup is .3378 cents ($25/74). 11 1/2 cups x .3378 = $3.88 per day.
For the Blue Buffalo, I feed each rescue dog 2 cups of food per day, the poodle gets 1 1/2 cups a day, the terrier 1/2 cup of food. Total: 6 cups of food per day. Each cup is .6666 cents ($40/60). 6 cups x .6666 = $3.99
For one month the Nutro would cost $116, the Blue Buffalo $119. This, of course, is at full price. PetSmart often puts the Nutro on sale for $20 and the Blue Diamond for $35 so that changes the math a bit, but not by much.
The Blue Buffalo is MUCH BETTER food and I will have much less poop scooping to do, but it is not saving me money.
The Blue Buffalo rep at PetSmart says she might be able to get me coupons because I foster, but I still have to go on their website to see. That WOULD make the Blue Buffalo cheaper for me, but not by much.
Many super premium foods with ingredients are listed at http://www.petfooddirect.com, but it doesn't give calorie counts or feeding recommendations.
I found a chart for calorie requirements for dogs. I can't verify this myself, but it is interesting. Strangely though, this not jibe with what the bag requirements say. Going by the Blue Buffalo bag, it has about 400 calories per cup, which means that my foster girls would only be getting a bit over 800 calories and that seems to be plenty.
Originally posted by CatDogMom: "The Blue Buffalo is MUCH BETTER food and I will have much less poop scooping to do, but it is not saving me money."
It should if you feed less than you did the Nutro. If you feed the same as you did with the Nutro or more then it won't work.
Like I keep saying, dogs digest holistic better therefore they don't need as much as they do with the other kinds of food. So, you shouldn't be buying as much, as often as you would the Nutro.
If you're trying to follow the feeding instructions on the bags, DON'T!!! You'll be [majorly] overfeeding. I feed my 3 Keeshonden (all medium-sized dogs between 30 and 60 LBS) a cup a day with mix-ins and no more, expect my 30 LB Keeshond, Felice. She gets 3/4 a cup per day with mix-ins. Your little dogs may fair well on a cup a day with some mix-ins like turkey, beef, or lamb. With the terrier mix, I'd look at feeding a little less say 2/3 or 3/4 depending on the dog's appetite though it's possible he/she can do a cup of dry.
Also, I really do suggest looking into PRO PAC. It's a lower grade holistic and should be easier on your pocketbook.
Whatever holistic you feed, feed less and give it time. Savings don't happen overnight.
Originally posted by CatDogMom: "The Blue Buffalo rep at PetSmart says she might be able to get me coupons because I foster, but I still have to go on their website to see. That WOULD make the Blue Buffalo cheaper for me, but not by much."
Definitely take whatever coupons she can get for you. I can't find any on their website.
***Edited By: Kayzhond on 4/1/2007 5:22:23 PM*** Reason: added additional information
The food that was recalled contained wheat glutin, stay away from that. Euk is good. As for Avacado, it is toxic to dogs. Kirkland was recalled a year and a half ago for the same reason exept the corn in the food contained toxins. Purina dry foods are ok too.
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