• EarlDunnCFDT

    September 23, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Hello The Rookie,
    Thanks for the recent post about economic alternatives for dog food. One good rule of thumb I learned early in life is that you usually get what you paid for. Let’s look a bit deeper into the foods you listed. I have recopied all the ingredients for each food from corresponding websites. I noticed some variance in the labels you provided. Not sure how that happened…
    First, was Nutro Natural Choice. You didn’t specify which specific recipe you looked up which is relevant because their website lists 18 varieties. The first caution flag for me is that there are many breed or life stage recipes which tend to be more concerned with marketing rather than quality. There is one recipe called Lamb meal and rice formula for all life stages, but when you click on it the packaging says for adults. I think the marketing department might be a bit confused with juggling the information for all 18 varieties. Typically, we want a formula that is balanced for all life stages and breeds. Think back to nature, are wolves’ diets divided by age? No, they all eat the same food regardless of age. I have copied the ingredients listed on the bag up to the fat source here: Lamb Meal, Ground Rice, Rice Flour, Rice Bran, Whole Brown Rice, Pea Protein, Lamb, Poultry Fat. Looks like a lot of rice ingredients scattered amongst the label. This process is called ingredient splitting, where you take the same ingredient and split into several categories. Therefore the ingredient will seem like it doesn’t have such a large concentration, when in reality it probably trumps the first ingredient listed. Meaning you are paying for a bag of rice in this case more than getting a good supply of lamb meal. The listing of pea protein makes me a bit skeptical. Not sure how the dogs process a protein source like that, but guessing it will put additional stress on the kidneys. Ideally a meat protein will be a better fit. Last, the fact that the fat source is nonspecific is another bad sign. I have seen a lot of birds in my life, but never the elusive “poultry” bird. When they list such a general term they can put any type of bird in there.
    Next, was Nutra Nuggets. Again there were multiple recipes, but I am guessing you chose the lamb meal and rice formula. These are the first few ingredients: Lamb meal, peas, wheat flour, rice bran, chicken fat. I have the same concern about the peas as the previous food. The bag brags about the benefits of Glucosamine & Chondroitin supplied by the food. Those supplements tends to be expensive, therefor the levels in the $20 bag will probably be ineffective for helping with the joints. On a good note, at last the fat source is good.
    Last, is the Triumph dog food. I have copied the ingredients again for the lamb and rice formula: Lamb Meal, Ground Rice, Rice Flour, Rice Bran, Poultry Fat. Similar to the first food there is a large concentration of rice in the food. Another case of ingredient splitting making it hard to understand the concentrations of each ingredient in the bag. Again we see the vague “poultry” fat listed which we now know is a problem.
    I hope this helps clarify the facts on some of these foods. I invite you to look over the health chapter of the triangle to review some of the basics. Please let me know if you have any other foods you are considering and want another set of eyes to take a look. Thanks and take care.