So confused about the best food!

So I ran to one of our pet stores around here to get a long leash for the back yard (my little pup has been escaping and reached the road this morning before I could catch him… they're so fast!) and the owner was talking to me about good toys for chewing blah blah. He asked what I was feeding him and I said Orijen which they don't carry anymore and I get from a different store. He said that he stopped selling the food because their main carbohydrate is potatoes and has a high glycemic index and can give dogs diabetes. He recommended I switch to a product called O/G by Darford as it's main carbohydrate is peas and buckwheat. It's first ingredient is turkey, the second is chicken meal. Here's the link to the ingredients list:

http://www.darford.com/products.php?pl=6&pr=33

They claim to be zero grain, zero glutens and zero GMO's. (genetically modified something or other)

So Orijen has more vegetables and fruit, which one is better?

http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/showproduct.php?product=2298&cat=8

He also told me about a dehydrated dog food product called NRG:

The ingredients list is on the left hand side:

http://www.nrgpetproducts.com/optimum.html

Any ideas? The O/G is about the same price as Orijen

The best food is the one the dog does good on. So if you and your dog are happy with Orijen, just stick to it.

I find the protein level a bit high (38%) for a dog who gets normal exercise, but that's just my opinion. I would prefer Taste of the wild instead, same amount of meat, also sweet potatoes, but a bit less proteins.

It looks like some of the benefits for the ingredients on the Darford website are extrapolated from human studies. Dogs are not humans, so some of the claims may or may not be necessarily true for dogs. And it's not like Origen is pure potato. Both look to be decent foods. If you dog is doing well on Origen, then don't worry about it as much. Personally, I had mine on Origen (alternating with raw) but I don't think it agreed with one of them so I'm going back to a Fromms. TOTW (fish) used to be good for my dogs too but for some reason it is not anymore. Very perplexing. Fromms Surf and Turf seems to consistently work for me.

Here is the Whole Dog Journal list, which gives a good amt of great foods:
http://www.epettalk.com/forums/content.php?28-2010-Whole-Dog-%20Journal-s-Recommended-DRY-Food-List

I see nothing wrong with the food you have and I wouldn't switch if your dog does well on it.

Here is a website for you if you want to look and do further research on various dog foods and how they rate 🙂

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/

I really like the Dog Food Comparison site better:
http://www.doberdogs.com/menu.html

They aren't selling dog food or give links to buy …

@Moth:

Here is a website for you if you want to look and do further research on various dog foods and how they rate 🙂

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/

I noticed that NRG food's review says the food claims to be grainless but contains wheat germ and another red highlighted food (controversial) is garlic. Does anyone know why garlic is highlighted as red? The review also states that there is no added minerals or vitamins… how necessary is this? I would use this food to supplement my dogs kibble.

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/nrg-maxim-dog-food/

It flagged the wheat germ because of the word WHEAT in it, most likely.
Technically it isn't a grain since it is processed to remove the outer hull and bran:

"Does wheat germ count as a whole grain?"
Answer: Surprise – it doesn't.

"To be a whole grain, the food must also retain the plant's bran and endosperm, not just the germ," explains Milton Stokes, RD, chief dietitian at St. Barnabas Hospital and Nursing Home in New York City and a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. But that doesn't mean you should stop eating it. "

That said, people and animals with wheat allergies will react to it also.

The issue with garlic is that it is considered toxic to dogs. While a small amt is probably fine, and many give it to help ward off fleas etc, it is on the toxic list.

From the ASPCA:
Is Garlic Toxic to Pets?

Dogs, and especially cats, are sensitive to garlic. Unfortunately, we do not know specifically what dosage causes problems, and it is not yet completely known what breeds and age groups are most sensitive to this toxicity. What we do know is that gastrointestinal problems and red blood cell damage can occur as a result of feeding garlic to pets. An occasional small amount, such as that in most commercial pet foods and treats, may not cause a problem, but because of the risk, we generally recommend that you avoid feeding your pets products that contain more concentrated amounts of garlic.

I agree with Nemo…if Orijen works for your dogs I wouldn't worried about it. Which Orijen are you feeding? My b-kids all do really well on Orijen (6 fresh fish variety), but I really have to watch how much I give, and give less because they all gain weight on it. My only issue with Orijen has been the availability and holy cow has the price gone up - $72 for 25lbs...

Nutro...well, I would never feed that after the problem with contaminated food - but that is JMHO.

So, the kibbles I feed and have had good luck with are Orijen, Instinct, Solid Gold (Barking at the Moon), and Taste of the Wild. For this fall/winter rotation I'll be adding Honest Kitchen (dehydrated grain free) and may also try the new Canidae LIDs.

Fromms isn't available here. Wellness Core made my 2 of my b-kidz throw up and Brando refused to eat Timberwolf once they changed their formula, so those 2 are out of my rotations (I doubt I'd ever try them again).

You'll get a lot of different opinions on food...we've had some heated discussions on here on that topic...

HOLY COW!! ::$72 for 25lbs…;;; You could feed top quality raw or cooked for that. Whew. Nope, my limit is $40 for 25. Beyond that I just will not consider.

@DebraDownSouth:

HOLY COW!! ::$72 for 25lbs…;;; You could feed top quality raw or cooked for that. Whew. Nope, my limit is $40 for 25. Beyond that I just will not consider.

Now you see why I said I'd try Honest Kitchen this winter - suddenly that doesn't seem so expensive anymore. Even Taste of the Wild has gone up here - $52 for 30lbs… 😞 I feed 4 b's and don't have freezer space for raw...

@renaultf1:

Now you see why I said I'd try Honest Kitchen this winter - suddenly that doesn't seem so expensive anymore. Even Taste of the Wild has gone up here - $52 for 30lbs… 😞 I feed 4 b's and don't have freezer space for raw...

If you're coming to the National this year, save some room in your car. There are some places not too far from the show site where you can get Origen cheaper than that.

As an aside Evangers is sponsoring our National this year.

The prices of many of the top quality dog food has gone up tremendously within the last year. The health food store near me has lower prices than the dog food store-Complete PetMart to buy the high quality food especially the smaller bags. It usually has good sales also. The pet food store never has the smaller bags on sale.

Jennifer

@Nemo:

If you're coming to the National this year, save some room in your car. There are some places not too far from the show site where you can get Origen cheaper than that.

As an aside Evangers is sponsoring our National this year.

Unfortunately I won't be able to make the National this year - between a trip to France, trips to Canada, and some upcoming dog shows…I'm just about out of vacation time...:(

I used NRG dehydrated for awhile. My dog liked it but it was kind of time consuming to make, or maybe I am just fussy. My dogs are on TimberWolf right now and are loving it. It's a very good food. I do not know a whole lot about Origen?

Hi, to add to your confusion: we use http://www.dogloversgold.eu/usa/ for our 2 sisters.
They love it, and they look great (everyone else, including the vet says too!)
KJ

As someone else said, if you have a 4 or 5 star food and your dogs like it and it agrees with them, stick with it!
We fed Innova for years, then added EVO mixed with it. After Nicky's pancreatitis, and a new basenji who got huge (and discovered he is very hypothyroid, now on meds) we went with a lower fat food, low calorie too. I have tried several brands, am mixing Wellness with Nutro-ultra and the boys love it, Nicky prefers the Nutro alone. All seem to feel good, poop is good, coat good, all are losing weight. There are better foods, but this is good and agrees with all three so we wills tick with this, as long as they like it and it likes them!

I have recently done some personal research since we just got our new puppy. My three top choices are Evo Red Meat, Orijen, and Fromms. My criteria was grain free, higher protein, digestibility of that protein, digestibility of the entire food, fat levels, fiber content, and DHA. DHA has been noted to be important in eye and brain development.

Evo Red Meat was our final choice for our puppy because we have had success with it in the past, it is highly digestible as a complete dog food as well as highly digestible where protein is concerned. Evo contains a lower level of fiber and a higher level of fat which is in our view important to a puppies growth. Please note, you can have a dog food that is high in protein but if the percentage of digestibility is low and the dog cannot utilize a higher amount of the protein then it goes to waste. So you could have a lower protein level and higher digestibility of it and have a good food also.

I did talk to all three manufacturers on the phone. Fromms is family run. Orijen is based in Canada and appears to sell strictly through independent retailers. Evo was bought out in 2010 by proctor and gamble but is claimed to be operated by the original people so nothing has changed in their manufacturing process. Evo is now more readily available at least in my area.

During my research I also contacted Wellness Core, and I was advised by the customer service of that company that their dog foods were not suitable for puppies. When I asked why, I was told their foods do not contain DHA and that they will be coming out with a line of food for puppies in the near future.

While I am sure there are many great foods out there, we think the three we mentioned above are the best choices for us. We have already seen very good positive response, in growth, behavior, coat, energy, and digestion.

I wonder how many people put as much research into the food they put on their own tables? Dogs evolved as scavengers, and will do surprisingly well on relatively crappy diets. A friend had a cross bred mutt that lived to be 19 years old, healthy as can be for most of his life (deaf as a post the last couple of years) and he ate the el cheapo stuff she got from the farm store, plus table scraps, his whole life.

Commercial dog food began as an invented product, and good advertising has made us believe we need it. Certainly people appreciate the convenience and have come to believe…...because of advertising.....that you need some sort of degree in nutrition to feed a dog (but not a child, apparently) Sure, it is great to get the "best" food (if you can figure out what that is), but many dog food brands are under the same parent multinational and even if you find a good, small, independent brand, keep an eye on it, as companies get swallowed up so quickly these days, formulas change (but not the name) and all of a sudden your favourite brand is no longer what you thought it was.

In reality, most dog food manufacturers use the cheapest ingredients they can get away with. There is nothing "fresh" or "natural" about commercial kibbles, with the processing that they go through. Without the "premix" they won't even support life. An ingredients list is great, but you need to know what actually qualifies as the ingredient stated. It may not be what you think. Most pet foods aren't made from anything you would want to put on your own table!

Full disclosure......I use a commercial food for convenience. Because I am vegetarian, table scraps are not going to cut it for me. I use NRG dehydrated, because I prefer something that doesn't use a pre mix. My dogs have done well on it, but before I bothered doing my research I had a couple of healthy Basenjis that lived to 16 on food I wouldn't use now.

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