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Thread: Good Food

  1. #1
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    Default Good Food

    I want to get my pup off this cheap puppy chow soon. I was leaving him on it till he was settled into his home. I'm looking for some suggestions for good food availble in the US. We have 2 stores in town that carry a good variety of better quality foods. I'm just not sure what to feed him at all. Are there any grain free kibbles?

    Thanks!
    Mom to Maverick (3-18-07)

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    Kudos to you for researching proper nutrition for your pup! There are lots of good choices out there, just remember that no matter how good the ingredients look, all dogs are unique and so it's not a one-size-fits-all situation. That said, here are a few brands that I like:

    Canidae - probably the best value in super-premium kibble. My guys haven't had it, but we know many pups who do well on it. The ALS (all life stages) would be appropriate for a Cav pup.

    Innova - Winston did really well on their puppy formula. It was the first food that didn't give him horrible, room clearing gas! They also have a grain free formula, Evo, but it's not really formulated for pups...I'd hold off until he was >8 months old.

    Timberwolf Organics - Love Love Love this one. My guys have been through 3 or 4 of their formulas and we have nothing but positive experiences. There are 2 grain free varieties, Wild & Natural and Ocean Blue. I settled on Ocean Blue as the formula suitable for both my 11 month old Cav and my 11 yr old GSD when I'm not able to feed them a raw diet (travel, time crunch, etc.) TWO is hard to find in stores, but they have free shipping on their website!

    Orijen - This one is hot right now! Grain free, great ingredients, also has a puppy formula. I bought my first bag today (ran out of food before a trip and can't find TWO!) Limited but growing distribution in the US.

    Other brands that you can't really go wrong with: Nature's Variety (particularly the "instinct" line), Merrick (we use their canned foods here all the time), Wellness (also has a new grain-free line, "Core".)

    Good luck! Feel free to ask away if you have any questions! Also, the Food & Nutrition forum on www.dogster.com is a great resource, along with www.dogfoodproject.com/

  3. #3
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    There are lots of good choices out there, just remember that no matter how good the ingredients look, all dogs are unique and so it's not a one-size-fits-all situation.
    Great advice -- find what suits you and don't worry too much over it -- and try something new now and then too! You don't need to be locked in to one food.

    A lot of sites will ship kibble as well, meaning even if a local shop doesn't carry it, you can order. For example, I get my dog food (James Wellbeloved or Royal Canin) from Dog Training Ireland, but I order a range of great tinned dog food and treats, as well as dry and wet cat food, from zooplus.ie (sites around Europe).

    Grains are actually quite useful ingredients so don't dismiss them out of hand. Indeed there's a long explanation on the Timberwolf Organics site as to why they USE grain in their foods. Unless you have a dog allergic to grains -- which isn't nearly as common an allergy as chicken, beef or dairy -- and as long as grains aren't the greatest ingredient -- it is simply a way of binding the kibble into a bakeable or extrudeable form and is very palateable to dogs (that's why it is used in most dog biscuits as well). I've yet to encounter a single dog that I've had myself, that friends have, or that has come through rescue that has any problems at all with grain so this isn't a common problem at all. Chicken and beef should be the initial suspects when trying to do an elimination diet for allergies.

    This is what Timberwolf organics say in their FAQ:

    Why does your company use whole grains instead of flours?

    If the whole grain is used, which include the germ, bran, middling and endosperm, it is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, phtyonutrients, fiber and oils, not just carbohydrates. That may be why wheat was known as the "staff of life". The problem is when companies use refined flours (white flour, white rice, corn meal etc.). They are almost completely devoid of nutrients or essential fatty acids (for your information, there is no such thing as whole wheat flour. Refined flour with bran added can be labeled as whole wheat. By law grains must be milled and refined into flour before shipping or storage; or left whole. Once the grain is ground the oils are exposed to oxygen and will go rancid. We use only whole grains and seeds ground immediately before going into the extruder). The reason pet food companies use flours is because they are highly digestible. The higher the starch the higher the gelatinization and the higher the digestibility. Most pet foods are grain based and the digestibility of the carbohydrates affects the digestibility of the entire product. However, diets high in refined carbohydrates are seen by the dog's system as sugar. A recent study revealed that within two hours of ingesting a diet high in refined carbohydrates the blood glucose was 50% higher than the basis level. Within four hours it was 50% below the basis level. These wild swings in blood glucose can overtax the pancreas and may possibly lead to hypoglycemia, diabetes or pancreatitis etc. Grains only comprise 25% of total weight in our formulas because of the high levels of meat proteins and fats. We feel that there are not many wolves roaming in corn or wheat fields.

    Some other "natural foods" use whole grains as well and spend a lot to advertise that fact. The problem is that their formulas are comprised of a high percentage of grains just as most commercial foods have a high percentage of flours. The WHOLE grains however contain a high level of fiber and other components that are hard to digest, thereby causing large stool volume, dogs that have a hard time maintaining weight, mediocre coat growth and other problems. We still feel that by using whole grains we are providing salubrious benefits to your pet, yet because they comprise a small percentage of the total formula, you avoid the above mentioned problems as well.
    Although I must say if you look at their ingredients list, there are plenty of ingredients wolves would also NEVER have eaten.

    For example, see:

    BLACK FOREST VENISON & LAMB™

    Complete food for dogs



    Ingredients: Venison, Whole Ground Brown Rice, Lamb, Whole Ground Millet, Lamb Meal, Venison Meal, Whole Ground Barley, Salmon Meal, Whole Ground Flaxseed, Carrot, Watercress, Spinach, Celery, Parsley, Fennel Seed, Salmon Oil, Unrefined Walnut Oil, Dried Kelp, Dehydrated Alfalfa Leaf, Blueberries, Glucosomine, Potassium Chloride, Cranberries, Pears, Figs, Thyme, Anise Seed, Ground Cinnamon Bark, Fenugreek, Garlic, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Apples, Chicory Root, Choline Chloride, Lecithin, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Casei, Lactobacillus Lactis, Bacillus Bifidum, Bacillus Subtillus, Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols (a source of vitamin E), Lysine, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine, Methionine, Carnitine, Niacin, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Iodine Proteinate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine (a source of vitamin B6), Papain, Yucca Schidigera Extract.
    Hmmm, I also have never seen many wolves eating ground cinnamon bark, unrefined walnut oil, kelp, sunflower seeds, chicory, anise seed, figs, garlic, cranberries, fenugreek, flax seed, celery... etc etc. But it sounds tasty!

    There are a huge number of foods of every form shape and type avaialble now especially in the US so plenty to choose from (and I recommend rotating them, not using the same food all the time for the life of the dog). Just keep in mind foods are marketed to us, the humans, and our preferences as to what looks and sounds healthy, not to the dog. . For my own pack, I like a mid range quality kibble -- not a supermarket kibble, but not a really costly one either. I highy recommend this breeder's advice on choosing a food. But people can go with what sounds good to them, at a price that suits them.

    http://www.woodhavenlabs.com/dogfoods.html
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Thanks for the info. When you start looking your eyes kind of bug out of your head because there are so many different type. He's 6 months now when would be a good time to switch to an adult food?
    Mom to Maverick (3-18-07)

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    Now. I never bothered with puppy food and a lot of breeders discourage feeding it -- so he's fine moving to adult food if you want. Breeders often feel it makes them grow too fast and too lanky.

    One positive aspect of having so little choice in food here is it makes selecting a kibble a lot easier! Though Zooplus has enormously increased options. I like some of the Swedish and German and Dutch foods. My cats are mad for Bozita wet foods, which is Swedish, for example.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    I just checked out a could of the web sites to find if any of the places around carry any of the foods... sure enough there is a doggie day care/training place about 6 building downs from where I work. I think I'm going to stop there on the way home I think I'm going to start mixing in some other food since my puppy is one of those wierd picking ones. He also does this weird thing when I put his bowl on the floor he will walk all the way around it trying to tip it over with his nose, but idk what it's all about.
    Mom to Maverick (3-18-07)

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    Kingston was eating Eukanuba when I first brought him home, and he had terrible problems with diarrhea. I switched him to Canidae Chicken & Rice formula, and we've had no tummy troubles ever since.

  8. #8
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    We feed all 3 of ours James Well Beloved, and it seems to go down well
    Ryan, Lisa, and Kieran.....our 2 Blenhiem girls Lucy and Megan, Jake the Lab, and the old man of the house...Charlie

  9. #9
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    <<I must say if you look at their ingredients list, there are plenty of ingredients wolves would also NEVER have eaten.>> Snip

    I think the idea with the "weird ingredients" is that through overfarming, we have depleted the soils of nutrients. Thus the plants that feed on the soil, the herbivores that eat the plants, and the carnivores that eat the herbivores may be missing key nutrients that can be provided by adding various unconventional vegetation.

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