Dog Food Preference

Yvonne G

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My fairly new to me doberman pup (a year old next month) has decided she's not fond of the dry dog food I've been feeding her. I think it has something to do with the bit of people food she gets when I'm through with my lunch and she finishes it. I'm feeding a good brand, Taste of the Wild, and a different flavor each time I buy a new bag. I look for corn and wheat in the list of ingredients and avoid them. So I'm wondering which brands you folks use and why. I know Tom has said in the past that he feeds Purina Pro Plan, and I also feed that brand in the cat food variety to my cats. Google says Red Barn is best, but Chewy.com doesn't carry that brand (and I've never heard of it). So which brand do you dog lovers prefer?
 

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My fairly new to me doberman pup (a year old next month) has decided she's not fond of the dry dog food I've been feeding her. I think it has something to do with the bit of people food she gets when I'm through with my lunch and she finishes it. I'm feeding a good brand, Taste of the Wild, and a different flavor each time I buy a new bag. I look for corn and wheat in the list of ingredients and avoid them. So I'm wondering which brands you folks use and why. I know Tom has said in the past that he feeds Purina Pro Plan, and I also feed that brand in the cat food variety to my cats. Google says Red Barn is best, but Chewy.com doesn't carry that brand (and I've never heard of it). So which brand do you dog lovers prefer?
TRUE ACRE from chewy. When we went grain free her ear itching slowed. It's still an issue but it's not a miserable experience. Great thread @Yvonne G. Very curious to see what other "Animal" lovers think.
 

wellington

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I used to use Blue until my vet said a few dogs have died or got sick from it. I used it though when I had my bull terrier and she had no problem with it.
Now I have a Pomeranian. I feed Wellness Core, grain free, small breed, healthy weight.
Years ago when I raised Chinese Shar-Pei, our group searched into dog foods. Of course this was years ago. Back then, the only Purina product I would feed was their puppy chow. Purina did not come out that great. I don't remember all the details or all the brands we searched. I do know we went with a private made dog food.
 

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Whatever you do, do NOT feed a "grain free food" unless your dog is diagnosed with an allergy. There's a growing belief that the removal of grains and/or the additions of legumes causes heart problems. I am just an anedote but I fed Taste of the Wild grain free food to both a cat and dog and both died of congestive heart failure. The cat was 14 so not an atypical age for a cat to get heart disease, but my dog was only 10.

 

Len B

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I cook human food for all my pups daily. Different meats and vegetables. The only processed meats are hot dogs for Rocket, He loves turkey dogs. Since doing this I have noticed that there is very little poop in the yard from the five of them.
 

wellington

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Whatever you do, do NOT feed a "grain free food" unless your dog is diagnosed with an allergy. There's a growing belief that the removal of grains and/or the additions of legumes causes heart problems. I am just an anedote but I fed Taste of the Wild grain free food to both a cat and dog and both died of congestive heart failure. The cat was 14 so not an atypical age for a cat to get heart disease, but my dog was only 10.

I wonder now if that's what the vet was referring too, but just said dog food instead of saying the grain free part of it. The blue was also rain free, few ingredients. My EBT was on it for her whole life, she was 12 1/2 when we lost her. She did not have a heart condition though but always had a slight murmur. The no grain didn't affect her though.
 

Yvonne G

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Whatever you do, do NOT feed a "grain free food" unless your dog is diagnosed with an allergy. There's a growing belief that the removal of grains and/or the additions of legumes causes heart problems. I am just an anedote but I fed Taste of the Wild grain free food to both a cat and dog and both died of congestive heart failure. The cat was 14 so not an atypical age for a cat to get heart disease, but my dog was only 10.

Thank you for this. My previous doberman died at around ten years and was fed Taste of the Wild her whole life. I've been feeding the new doberman the same way. Time to re-think!
 

Yvonne G

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I cook human food for all my pups daily. Different meats and vegetables. The only processed meats are hot dogs for Rocket, He loves turkey dogs. Since doing this I have noticed that there is very little poop in the yard from the five of them.
Oh man, Len. You're killin' me. I barely ever cook for ME. How could I possibly cook enough to feed a 50lb. dog?
 

SinLA

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Thank you for this. My previous doberman died at around ten years and was fed Taste of the Wild her whole life. I've been feeding the new doberman the same way. Time to re-think!
Yes I do Iams for dry and Purina ProPlan for wet. After doing research about the heart stuff I came across articles that recommended these brands, with the acronym HIPER

Hills, Iams, Purina, Eukanuba, Royal Canin

A lot of the bougie small name brands don't go through the same level of testing or have address things in the same manner if there is a need for a recall. you may hear about recalls with some of the larger names, but they also address them in a more systemic manner.

Even those brands offer "grain free" though so you have to make sure you get something with grains.
 

Len B

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Oh man, Len. You're killin' me. I barely ever cook for ME. How could I possibly cook enough to feed a 50lb. dog?
Using an insta pot. Cooking time for beef, pork and venison is 30 minutes. Any parts of chicken and turkey including organs is 20 minutes. Rice is 14 minutes and vegetables take 12 minutes. It's just takes a few minutes for the pot to heat up before the cooking starts.
 

wellington

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Yes I do Iams for dry and Purina ProPlan for wet. After doing research about the heart stuff I came across articles that recommended these brands, with the acronym HIPER

Hills, Iams, Purina, Eukanuba, Royal Canin

A lot of the bougie small name brands don't go through the same level of testing or have address things in the same manner if there is a need for a recall. you may hear about recalls with some of the larger names, but they also address them in a more systemic manner.

Even those brands offer "grain free" though so you have to make sure you get something with grains.
My Pom breeder recommended Royal Canin. I started her on that but it's a lot of junk and not great first ingredients. I stopped. That's when I found Wellness. I will have to add some of the variety that has grain.
Other than the Royal Canin, the other brands you listed are all old brands. If they haven't improved from years ago, they are the same old dog food that wasn't that great to begin with, but the best in those times. However, I think they get recommended a lot from vets because they are so old, and have the most commercial space and of course Purina is big time dog show promoter.
I'll have to do more research. Thanks for posting the article.
 

Tom

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There are a lot of new fad foods that sound great in the ads and they hit all sorts of key phrases that people want to hear, like "grain free". This has been going on since I got in to the pet trade back in the mid 80s. Each month a different dog food company would come in and give us a seminar about why their food was the greatest of all time and how their competitors food was rubbish. Some of them even offered a kick back of $5 a bag for selling their food. When you only make $3 an hour, that was a pretty big incentive.

Now we have the "raw" diets and all sorts of different alternatives. I baby sit a wonderful doberman that lives with a wonderful family, and he gets a whole trout every morning, two thawed "pucks" during the day, and half of a raw, thawed Cornish game for dinner every night. I call him fish boy. They dog's coat is amazing and he never has any health problems.

My takeaway from 50 years of feeding dozens of dogs is that there is no one super food that is perfect for every dog. Different foods work great for different dogs. When it comes to kibble and all the newer foods with their amazingly effective marketing, they key thing I want to see is an AAFCO approved feeding trial. Any kibble that hasn't gone through this thorough process should not be fed to dogs in my opinion. It can look good on paper and sound great in the ads, but there is only one way to find out if it is actually good for dogs.

I still feed Pro-Plan to my own dogs and yes, they have done AAFCO approved feeding trials. I have a select few dogs that do better on other foods. When we find something that works and agrees with that dog, we leave it alone. Pro-Plan works great for most dogs, but not all dogs all the time.

One thing that I do is regularly mix in table scraps of all kinds with their base of kibble. Some people recommend against this because what ever is in the table scraps may upset the balance of nutrients in the kibble. I won't argue that one way or the other, but variety is beneficial, and in practice, it has worked for me for decades and dozens of dogs. I've had some very long lived dogs. My malinois typically make it to 13 years old. Remember the black and white Great Dane that was in "The Patriot" with Mel Gibson. That was Jake. He lived to 14 years and 11 months. One more month and I would have had a 15 year old Great Dane. That is unheard of for those that don't know the breed. You are lucky if they make it to 10. Few of them make it to 12.

If my feeding routine is so bad, someone who thinks it is bad needs to explain to me why the 50+ dogs I've had in the last 30+ years thrive, survive, and live so long on it. So many people reach strongly emotion conclusions based on ads and fad catch phrases, and a very small sample size of their own dog(s). I've been feeding a kennel of 25-30 dogs side-by-side for almost 30 years. The other professionals I work with have 20-100 dogs in their kennels and you better believe we all compare notes. We also suffer the vet bill consequences on a large scale if we choose poorly.

Another factor in all of this is that my wife has a masters in Microbiology and she spent 13 years as a vet tech followed by 15 years as a veterinary sales consultant specializing in nutrition. She knows more than I do, and some of her vast knowledge has rubbed off on me.

I don't know everything, but I know more than a typical dog owner.
 

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I cook human food for all my pups daily. Different meats and vegetables. The only processed meats are hot dogs for Rocket, He loves turkey dogs. Since doing this I have noticed that there is very little poop in the yard from the five of them.
I make my own dog food also.
And I need to change the contents pretty often.
My dog, Suki, is "special" and is super finicky. She also has tooth and jaw issues because she's a teacup Chihuahua and has issues with hard food.
I'm constantly worried about meeting her full nutritional needs. And I use a product called AZESTFOR that is a vitamin and mineral dog supplement designed for keepers that make their own dog food.
I usually use two meats. Either ground chicken. Ground turkey or lean ground beef. One batch out of three has chicken or turkey heart or liver added. Every batch also contains carrots and green beans. And I sometimes add very little pre cooked rice.
So far she is in excellent health and weight and receives a full wellness exam every 6 months
 
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Len B

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Maybe
I make my own dog food also.
And I need to change the contents pretty often.
My dog, Suki, is "special" and is super finicky. She also has tooth and jaw issues because she's a teacup Chihuahua and has issues with hard food.
I'm constantly worried about meeting her full nutritional needs. And I use a product called AZESTFOR that is a vitamin and mineral dog supplement designed for keepers that make their own dog food.
I usually use two meats. Either ground chicken. Ground turkey or lean ground beef. One batch out of three has chicken or turkey heart or liver added. Every batch also contains carrots and green beans. And I sometimes add very little pre cooked rice.
So far she is in excellent health and weight and receives a full wellness exam every 6 months
Try some different spices instead of changing the foods offered. Rocket my 14 year old who was very sickly about 4 years ago and diagnosed with fluid around the heart. I had already started cooking for him at the time shortly before, loves the Montreal chicken and steak spices. It doesn't take much to add enough flavor for him. Like yours he is small and has lost teeth and everything has to be cut into small pieces. Besides showing signs of dementia and hearing loss (could be selective hearing) he acts like a young dog again. He is tiny but still top dog in the pack. Turmeric is another spice to try.
 

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Try some different spices instead of changing the foods offered. Rocket my 14 year old who was very sickly about 4 years ago and diagnosed with fluid around the heart. I had already started cooking for him at the time shortly before, loves the Montreal chicken and steak spices. It doesn't take much to add enough flavor for him. Like yours he is small and has lost teeth and everything has to be cut into small pieces. Besides showing signs of dementia and hearing loss (could be selective hearing) he acts like a young dog again. He is tiny but still top dog in the pack. Turmeric is another spice to try.
The AZESTFOR is flavored. (Though I'm not sure why)
The current package is chicken flavor. And it smells like bullion cubes.
What she eats is 100% human grade.
 

KarenSoCal

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I'd suggest reading the Dog Food Advisor website. They're like the Consumer Reports of dog food. They analyze the ingredients in many dog foods and make recommendations. They explain why certain ingredients are good or bad for our dogs, and also take into consideration the price of the different foods. If you sign up for notifications, Dog Food Advisor sends out an email whenever a company does a recall of food or treats.

Following their guidance I'm feeding my dogs Diamond Natural All Life Stages kibble, plus some American Journey canned food mixed in. American Journey is Chewy's brand name.

BTW, I recently read that Kirkland (Costco) dry dog food is made by Diamond.

And Cat Food Advisor was just launched this year.


 
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