I'm new here, and looking for some advice on dog food. I have a 13 month old GSD/collie mix (my avatar) named Timber and an 8 year old beagle, Bonnie. (I also have a cat, chickens, and a horse.)
Anyways, to make a long story short, I had fed Purina One to several dogs over the years with good results, but now they've changed formulas and Purina One Smartblend is awful, so I've been researching my other options. (Smartblend made both dog's coats go to crap, and my beagle's eyes have been runny & I don't like her poops.) I currently am adding fresh eggs from our own chickens to their food.
The two brands I came up with that are in our price range and corn/soy/wheat free are Diamond Naturals and Tractor Supply's 4Health. (And yes, I know that they are not the "best," but they seem to be "better" brands.)
Now, here is where I need assistance: Besides price, and 4Health including glucosamine & chondroitin in all foods (not just the large breed formulas), what are the main differences between these two in terms of quality, etc?
Also, do you think it's beneficial for the GSD to stay on a "large breed" food? She's my first large breed dog, and had been on large breed food from when I got her as a pup until I tried the Smartblend about a month or two ago.
(And if anyone's a cat person, I think I'm switching my kitty Hemi to 4Health's all life stage food.)
Thank you all so much, I appreciate it!
4 Health is made by Diamond as well. I know a few breeders using it and they seem to like it. You can also try Costco's Kirkland, which is also made by Diamond but is much cheaper than 4 Health or Diamond Naturals. I believe the Costco food is $23.99 for 40lbs. People that use it give it high marks.
What you will find on many forums is that people slam products they have never used just by reading labels.
The other recommendations I have are Canidae ALS & Pro Pac.
You will find many recommendations for Orijen, Acana and several other very expensive foods that have no known benefit, except to the company that sells them.
I don't think you will see much difference between Diamond Naturals Lamb and Rice and 4Health.
Kirkland is a mid ranged food, and canidae is alright as well.. both are made by diamond. Pro pac has corn.. which I would avoid.. because of coat issues and allergies.
I think for the price Taste of the Wild is a great grain free food for a decent price. Don't just look at the price, look at the ingredients as well.. you will be feeding less of the TotW because there is no fillers like rice. Your dog's poops will be smaller as well. I think it would be no more expensive to feed than Purina One, and probably cheaper.
Acana and Orijen are great foods with many benefits to the dog, but they ARE on the pricier side. Check out Taste of the Wild. It's part of the rotation my dog's breeder was on.. and she feeds working herding dogs.
Last edited by Caty M; 11-02-2010 at 10:16 AM.
"Pro pac has corn.. which I would avoid.. because of coat issues and allergies"
This is what I am talking about. This person has absolutely nothing to support this. Every Vet school in country has looked into this and the answer is Rice & Corn have same incidence of allergies.
Please refer me to the scientific journal that say corn causes coat issues & allergies???
Please send me the link.
This is why.. I am recommending a grain free food, which has neither.
I am only going from my own experiences, with my two cats and my parent's dog, ALL THREE who have a corn allergy (not one to rice, wheat or soy). Either way, any grain is a mostly indigestable and cheap source of protein and filler... which would be better off being replaced by meat.
Anyway, I am still recommending the grain free food due to filler and allergy issues, it's a great price and can be found at Tractor Supply. If you like, here are the ingredients:
Bison, venison, lamb meal, chicken meal, egg product, sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, canola oil, roasted bison, roasted venison, natural flavor, tomato pomace, ocean fish meal, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Saccharomyces cerevesiae fermentation solubles, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.
Chicken, chicken meal, cracked pearled barley, millet, brewers rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried beet pulp, natural chicken flavor, flaxseed, fish meal, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, glucosamine hydrochloride, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, yucca schidigera extract, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, chondroitin sulfate, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D supplement, folic acid.
Lamb, lamb meal, cracked pearled barley, whole grain brown rice, egg product, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), millet, beet pulp, potatoes, flaxseed, natural flavor, fish meal, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, Yucca schidigera extract, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, L-Carnitine, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D supplement, folic acid
So both the two brands you listed are close to the same.. they are pretty decent.
Last edited by Caty M; 11-02-2010 at 10:31 AM.
I wouldn't lose too much sleep on the 4Health --or-- Diamond Naturals decision. They are both manufactured by the same company...ingredient lists are nearly identical. Personally, I'd buy whichever is least expensive.
For pete's sake, I saw Diamond Naturals Red Meat(whichever formula that is) on sale recently for 19.99 for 40 lbs.
I wouldn't put any weight into Glucosamine.... most of believe its a gimmick and the levels are too small to have much if any impact. If you believe in Glucosamine(and there is some real evidence to indicate it doesn't do much for humans, not sure about Dogs)...I would supplement with it outside of the food.
Don't be ashamed of Diamond Naturals or 4health. While they aren't the best, they are certainly decent foods and a nice option for those on a budget. I'm starting to give more slack to Diamond in lieu of their recent commitment to ommitting Ethoxyquin as a preservative and the associated guarantee.
Evaluation of the clinical and allergen specific serum immunoglobulin E responses to oral challenge with cornstarch, corn, soy and a soy hydrolysate diet in dogs with spontaneous food allergy
H. A. Jackson* , M. W. Jackson*, L. Coblentz‡ and B. Hammerberg†
*Department of Clinical Sciences, †Farm Animal Health and Resource Management, North Carolina State University, 4700 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA ‡Evesham Veterinary Clinic, 800 Route 73 South, Marlton, New Jersey, USA
Correspondence to H. A. Jackson, Department of Clinical Sciences, North Carolina State University, 4700 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27606, USA. E-mail: Hilary_Jackson@ncsu.edu
Copyright © 2003 European Society of Veterinary Dermatology
dog • food allergy • hydrolysed protein • IgE • intradermal test
AbstractINTRODUCTIONMATERIALS AND METHODSRESULTSDISCUSSION
Abstract Fourteen dogs with known clinical hypersensitivity to soy and corn were maintained on a limited antigen duck and rice diet until cutaneous manifestations of pruritus were minimal (78 days). Sequential oral challenges with cornstarch, corn and soy were then performed. Subsequently, the dogs were fed a diet containing hydrolysed soy protein and cornstarch. Throughout the study period the dogs were examined for cutaneous manifestations of pruritus and, additionally, serum was collected for measurement of allergen-specific and total immunoglobulin (Ig)E concentrations. Intradermal testing with food antigens was performed prior to entry into the study and after 83 days. A statistically significant clinical improvement was measured between days 0 and 83. Significant pruritus was induced after oral challenge with cornstarch, corn and soy (P = 0.04, 0.002, 0.01, respectively) but not with the hydrolysed diet (P = 0.5). The positive predictive value of the skin test for soy and corn allergy was reduced after feeding a soy and corn free diet. Although increases in soy and corn-specific serum IgE concentrations were measured in individual dogs post challenge they were not statistically significant and could not be used to predict clinical hypersensitivity.
Dog Food Allergies This was from a published book:
Dog food allergies are linked to skin diseases in dogs (1). The gold standard for dog food allergies is the elimination diet. By removing suspected food allergens from your pet’s diet you may see a decrease in your best friend’s food allergy related symptoms.
Dog food may contain many highly allergenic foods such as wheat, corn, dairy, and soy (2). Based on a September, 2002 study published in Advances in Small Animal Medicine and Surgeryhese are the foods that may be the most allergenic for dogs:
* Beef – 34%
* Dairy – 20%
* Chicken – 20%
* Wheat – 16%
* Egg – 7%
* Lamb – 5%
* Soy – 5%
* Corn – 3%
* Pork – 2%
* Rice – 2%
* Fish – 1%
It looks like the foods dogs eat the most might be, or maybe “beef”, the cuplrits. After eating these foods your pet may experience an allergic reaction or it may not. There are common types of food allergies: IgE and IgG.
The IgE type reaction usually causes an immediate reaction and can cause swelling of the throat and other tissues that come in contact with the allergen.
The other type of dog food allergy is called an IgG type reaction or delayed hypersensitivity. The effects of this food allergy, if your dog experiences them, may take days to manifest. Thus, this type of food allergy is often hidden from the pet owners and more difficult to diagnose.
As I said at the beginning of this article, the gold standard for food allergy testing is the elimination diet. Many doctors prefer skin testing for IgE food allergies because elimination diets can be difficult to do because the diet can be very restrictive. A skin test involves injecting a small amount of the food allergen under the skin of the dog and waiting to see if a redness develops around the site. The bigger the red area or inflammation the more likely a food allergy has been detected.
There are other blood tests that seek to determine IgE food allergies. These involve drawing a sample of blood from the dog and testing it to see how many antibodies for different foods there are present in the dog’s blood stream. The accuracy of these tests is often disputed and some food allergies may be missed. Thus, if you suspect your dog has a food allergy and the test says its negative you do not have enough evidence to give your dog that food. It may be dangerous to base your dog’s diet on a blood test!
Currently, there is no test that I know of specifically to determine IgG dog food allergies. These are the “hidden food allergies” I discusses above. The benefit of testing for these types of food allergies is that you then have a guide to do a rotation diet. Rotation diets involve removing the suspected food for several days to see how symptoms change and then reintroducing the food to see if the symptoms reappear.
Research is being done at Meridian Valley Lab on dog food allergy testing
1. Griffin, CE. Skin immune system and allergic diseases. In: Scott, DW; Miller, WH; Griffin, CE (eds). Muller and Kirk’s Small Animal Dermatology. WB Saunders,Philadelphia PA, 2001.
2. Which Ingredients are Most Likely to Cause Food Allergies in Dogs and Cats?
Thank you all for your input, I appreciate it. (Although the posts slamming each other are awkward...)
For those of you with adult large breed dogs- do you feed a large breed formula or just regular adult food? Large breed formulas seem to be lower in protein, fat, and calories, but is a special feed necessary if you monitor their weight to keep them fit and provide exercise?
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