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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My beagle puppy just came home today and I was curious as to what a very healthy and nutritious dog food is? My Vet told me that Science Diet is great, but I've been reading online that S.D. is complete crap. I'm not sure what to believe.

If this is true, this makes me question everything else my Vet says...

Anyways, could you please recommend me a good brand of food for my new puppy? Price really isn't a problem as long as it isn't ridiculously expensive. Especially when it comes to my puppies health.
 

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You don't necessarily have to question everything the vet says, just because of the food they recommend. A lot of vets are in some sort of a contract with different commercial companies, therefore will recommend their products.
I would go with one of the super-premium brand foods: Innova, Canidae, Merrick, Wellness, etc. There are other very good other types too. See this link for other type of food and food ratings (not a bible, but very good).
 

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Like Eleanor said, vet offices often have a contract with different pet food companies. When you were there, did you notice a rack filled with Science Diet food? If so, your vet most likely has an agreement with them and will of course suggest their products. I like Innova. Jersey's been on it since she was a puppy as was Amber, my last dog before Jersey.
 

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My vet has an agreement with Science Diet so that is what you see in their office, and it's what the recommend first because of the contract. However, they will give their opinions on other brands if you ask about them.
 

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Many vets sell SD so naturally they recommend it. Here's a rating chart of some popular foods that we have on our beagle group.
I personally feed Nutro Natural Choice - or if I can get to Costco, the Kirkland Lamb and Rice, but don't get there often. The Nutro is the best that is available to me locally, as I live in a small rural town - and there's just not much available except grocery store foods - most of which are pretty bad. Though, as you can see SD does not have a good rating. Hope this is helpful to you.

=================================================

Start with a grade of 100:

For every listing of by-product, subtract 10 points!
For every non-specific animal source (meat or poultry, meat, meal or fat) reference, subtract 10 points!
If the food contains BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin, subtract 10 points
For every grain mill run or non-specific grain source,subtract 5 points!
If the same grain ingredient is used 2 or more times in the first five ingredients (i.e. ground brown rice, brewer's rice, rice flour are all the same grain), subtract 5 points
If the protein sources are not meat meal and there are less than 2 meats in the top 3 ingredients, subtract 3 points
If it contains any artificial colorants, subtract 3 points
If it contains ground corn or whole grain corn, subtract 3 points
If corn is listed in the top 5 ingredients, subtract 2 more points
If the food contains any animal fat other than fish oil,subtract 2 points
If lamb is the only animal protein source (unless your dog is allergic to other protein sources), subtract 2 points
If it contains soy or soybeans, subtract 2 points
If it contains wheat (unless you know that your dog isn't allergic to wheat), subtract 2 points
If it contains beef (unless you know that your dog isn't allergic to beef), subtract 1 point
If it contains salt, subtract 1 point


Extra Credit:

If any of the meat sources are organic, add 5 points
If the food is endorsed by any major breed group or nutritionist, add 5 points
If the food is baked not extruded, add 5 points
If the food contains probiotics, add 3 points
If the food contains fruit, add 3 points
If the food contains vegetables (NOT corn or other grains), add 3 points
If the animal sources are hormone-free and antibiotic-free, add 2 points
If the food contains barley, add 2 points
If the food contains flax seed oil (not just the seeds), add 2 points
If the food contains oats or oatmeal, add 1 point
If the food contains sunflower oil, add 1 point
For every different specific animal protein source (other than the first one; count chicken and chicken meal as only one protein source, but chicken and beef as 2 different sources), add 1 point
If it contains glucosamine and chondroitin, add 1 point
If the vegetables have been tested for pesticides and are pesticide-free, add 1 point


Grading:

94-100+ = A
86-93 = B
78-85 = C
70-77 = D
69 and below = F
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Here are some foods that have already been scored.

Dog Food scores:

Authority Harvest Baked / Score 116 A+
Bil-Jac Select / Score 68 F
Canidae / Score 112 A+
Chicken Soup Senior / Score 115 A+
Diamond Maintenance / Score 64 F
Diamond Lamb Meal & Rice / Score 92 B
Diamond Large Breed 60+ Formula / Score 99 A
Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Ultra Premium / Score 122 A+
Dick Van Patten's Duck and Potato / Score 106 A+
Foundations / Score 106 A+
Hund-n-Flocken Adult Dog (lamb) by Solid Gold / Score 93 A
Iams Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Premium / Score 73 D
Innova Dog / Score 114 A+
Innova Evo / Score 114 A+
Kirkland/(that would be from Costco/Price Club) Signature Chicken, Rice, and Vegetables / Score 110 A+
Nutrisource Lamb and Rice / Score 87 B
Nutro Natural Choice Chicken, Rice, and Oatmeal/ Score 94 A
Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy / Score 87 B
Ol Roy Premium Dog Food / Score 53 F
Pet Gold Adult with Lamb & Rice / Score 23 F
ProPlan Natural Turkey & Barley / Score 103 A+
Purina Benful / Score 17 F
Purina Dog / Score 62 F
Purina Come-n-Get It / Score 16 F
Royal Canin Bulldog / Score 100 A+
Royal Canin Natural Blend Adult / Score 106 A+
Sensible Choice Chicken and Rice / Score 97 A
Science Diet Advanced Protein Senior 7+ / Score 63 F
Science Diet for Large Breed Puppies / Score 69 F
Wellness Super5 Mix Chicken / Score 110 A+
Wolfking Adult Dog (bison) by Solid Gold / Score 97 A
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you guys for the information. Sadly, after the Vet appointment I did buy a bag of SD. Oh well, fool me once...

I've been doing a bit of research and I think I'm going to also switch over to the Nutro brand. It seems to be available at many places and has decent ratings.
 

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My pups switched to Innova puppy food as soon as i got her. she loves it. the first ingredient is TURKEY :p and then a million other good for you things. She especially likes it when i put a touch of warm water in her food and mix it around. It makes its own gravy!

and her coat is staying nice and soft and shiny and her poops are very healthy and firm. I totally recommend this brand!
 

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I like Orijen but I know it isn't available everywhere. I have also used the Kirkland. Honest Kitchen is another one I think is pretty good. There are lots of good foods available. You just need to search for one in your price range that is easy for you to find in your area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have been reading wonderful things about Innova. Out of curiosity where do you guys buy it? Would a place like PetSmart or Pet Supermarket stock it? Or would I have to buy it online?

Thanks!
 

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I get Innova products from the distributor for the region I live in -- not sure where you live ... you can go to their website and find sellers/distributors: http://www.naturapet.com/ It is also sold in health food stores around here but it is more expensive than buying it directly from the distributor.

Jassy: I just saw Orijen for the first time around here. It was in a small (i.e., pricy) pet shop. I haven't checked out a website for them but expect there is something similar to the Innova one where you can find out where to buy it.
 

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We have a specialty pet shop here where I buy Innova. It's not unreasonably priced. At least I don't think it is. I pay around $22-24 for a 16.5 lb. bag. I buy one bag every 4-5 weeks. To me, that's not too much money to ensure that Jersey is getting good food.
 

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I buy my Orijen at a small locally owned store. It is expensive but Maggie's coat has become so nice and soft and she seems so healthy. I do have to cut the amount a little so she doesn't gain weight. The guys that own the store started the business after one of their dogs had cancer. They started researching food and are very picky about the food and products they carry. They actually encourage a raw diet but I don't think I can do that.
 

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the innova i get comes from a natural doggy store called bone and biscuit.. they're just starting to branch out.
any 'natural' food stuff would have it though probably...
i get a big bag (16.5) for $19.99 and it looks like it'll last around 4-5 weeks.
totally worth it for me to have a healthy dog!!!
it'll save on vet bills later
 

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Glenda, great info. Thanks for sharing it. I believe we must continue to talk about the importance of what we feed our pets. I continue to be astounded by the absolute crap that is served up as pet food.


I am an Innova fan and have been using it for the last 6 months. I get it at a local pet store here in stickville.

I have also googled holistic pet food and found several companies that will ship product to your home if you can't find it in stores. I even got a free sample for the boys.
 

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I have a few problems, unfortunately:

1. I live in a small rural town - I can get the Nutro products at our local grange, but would have to drive at least 60 miles each way to get to a store that sells some of the premium foods - after paying $40/week just to commute to work, I simply can't afford any unnecessary driving nor do I feel up to driving on my days off since I'd rather spend the day with the kids;
2. I have <span style="text-decoration: underline">9 beagles </span>to feed - the shipping charges alone on the premiums that you can buy online would KILL me - I'm 69 years old, and I have to work as a caregiver to supplement my social security - I simply can't afford some of the super premiums;
3. I may eat a lot of ramen and tv dinners, but try to make sure my dogs get the best that I can give them, when my daughter and her husband lived with me they often drove to Costo and would pick up dog food for me - about about $20 for a 40# bag - I paid over $42 for a 40# bag of Nutro Natural Choice Chicken Rice and vegetables last week. That SHOULD last them another week. They go through roughly 2 bags a month.
When I win the lottery (which I never play) they'll get some of the upper echelon brands, but until then they'll have to make do with what I can find locally and can afford for them
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Fortunately, they ALL love the Nutro.
I see the Purina tank trucks going through town and get sick just thinking about the contents - rendered euthanized animals, cooked complete with their collars and tags, road kill, then it's all put together with fillers like feathers, feet, beaks, and???. That isn't what I want for my dogs, so I do the best I can for them.
And yes, we all need to keep these conversations going - like most people I always thought dog food was dog food and had to be safe for our furkids. My co-manager on Beagle Bay started studying canine nutrition when her German Shepherd had major allergies and problems with dog foods. She has an extensive library on canine nutrition, and I've learned much from her. If I could, I'd probably still do a combination of good quality kibble, BARF and home cooked, but right now I don't have the resources to do that (time or money). Perhaps someday if I can ever REALLY retire, I'll have time to do that for my kids.
 

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I am another Innova fan! Toby's coat really improved (he was on Iams before I knew it was bad!). His coat is great now and I think he is generally healthier.

That said, if you don't have it near you, I know some of the Nutro products score high on the doggie food report card and are easier to find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I went out looking for food today and I found a place that stocks Merrick. Looks very high quality, so I picked a bag of that up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Good to hear! Yeah, I picked up a bag of Turkducken for Banjo. He went nuts over it.
 
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