Mommy's Favorite Things: What do you feed your dog?

Friday, April 1, 2011

What do you feed your dog?

I do a lot of couponing and I love the thrill of getting something for free but what is one thing I will NEVER get with those coupons? Dog food. I won't get the dry bagged food. I very seldom get the canned food and very rarely get treats. Treats and canned food are a once in a while thing so that is my reasoning.

However dry dog food is something that gets fed daily, sometimes multiple times a day. Do you really want to feed your dog the crap that's in a bunch of food these days? Ever wonder why some is a lot more expensive then others?

We used to buy our Pug the Blue Buffalo Longevity. This stuff was $43 for a 24 lb bag! It was PRICEY, but it lasted him 2-3 months. That was worth it to us. Our St. Bernard was a bit of a different story. Where the Pug ate 2 cups a day, the St. Bernard ate close to 6. So it was too much to feed her that. Now we have her on Nature's Recipe Adult Lamb Meal and Rice which is $37 for 35 pounds. And it lasts us 6-8 weeks. Which again isn't too bad. Nature's recipe puts out promotional coupons ALL THE TIME. You'll find them stuck to the side of the bag. Last time I went in there they had $7 coupons. I grabbed 7 of them (and left about 25 behind) and they lasted us about a year. We just ran out. Combine a $7 coupon with a store sale of $3 or so and you've got a decent deal!!

When we switched the Pug, his fur was softer,  he was more... "regular", more energy, weight was maintained well. He was just better all around! You could tell a REAL difference!

Now that we're out of coupons I'm looking for a bit of a cheaper way to feed her. We just got a costco membership and their brand of Kirkland Signature Dog Food Chicken, Rice and Veggies is 40 lbs for $28 so it's $10 less for 5lbs more. And it's a GREAT food!! We will be switching her over to this once these last 2 bags are gone.

THE IMPORTANT PART: Your dog's food should not have Corn, Wheat, or Soy in it. It should have an actual MEAT as the first ingredient, it shouldn't have added salt or any by-products. They should specify the meat source. And many more, but those are the important ones.

Don't you wonder why a 35 lb bag of Purina Beneful is $25 and other brand can be upwards of $60? Because it's chock full of crap!!
Now yes, you're dog may like it better because it's full of fillers.
Take most people for example, they would rather have a bag of potato chips then an apple, but which is better for them? Which can they digest easier?

Dogs CAN NOT absolutely CAN NOT digest corn. It causes TONS of problems with their digestive system. By putting your dog on a food without all that you can make them live longer. On average dogs will live 1.8 years longer while on a better quality food.

And it's really not that much more expensive.

We have a Saint Bernard and we're doing it. You can too!!!

Here is a great list I like to use and a Chart on how to rate your dog's food!! The St. Bernard's ranks about a 114 now and the Kirkland I want to put her on is a 110. So it's not that big of a difference. Obviously anything over a 100 is FANTASTIC and anything over a 95 is GREAT!!
Try and switch your dog to a food that is BETTER for them.

Start with a grade of 100:
1) For every listing of "by-product", subtract 10 points
2) For every non-specific animal source ("meat" or "poultry", meat, meal or
fat) reference, subtract 10 points
3) If the food contains BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin, subtract 10 points
4) For every grain "mill run" or non-specific grain source,subtract 5 points
5) 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
6) If the protein sources are not meat meal and there are less than 2 meats
in the top 3 ingredients, subtract 3 points
7) If it contains any artificial colorants, subtract 3 points
8 ) If it contains ground corn or whole grain corn, subtract 3 points
9) If corn is listed in the top 5 ingredients, subtract 2 more points
10) If the food contains any animal fat other than fish oil, subtract 2
11) If lamb is the only animal protein source (unless your dog is allergic
to other protein sources), subtract 2 points
12) If it contains soy or soybeans, subtract 2 points
13) If it contains wheat (unless you know that your dog isn't allergic to
wheat), subtract 2 points
14) If it contains beef (unless you know that your dog isn't allergic to
beef), subtract 1 point
15) If it contains salt, subtract 1 point
Extra Credit:
1) If any of the meat sources are organic, add 5 points
2) If the food is endorsed by any major breed group or
nutritionist, add 5 points
3) If the food is baked not extruded, add 5 points
4) If the food contains probiotics, add 3 points
5) If the food contains fruit, add 3 points
6) If the food contains vegetables (NOT corn or other grains), add 3 points
7) If the animal sources are hormone-free and antibiotic-free, add 2 points
8 ) If the food contains barley, add 2 points
9) If the food contains flax seed oil (not just the seeds), add 2 points
10) If the food contains oats or oatmeal, add 1 point
11) If the food contains sunflower oil, add 1 point
12) 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 "" as 2 different sources), add 1 point
13) If it contains glucosamine and chondroitin, add 1 point
14) If the vegetables have been tested for pesticides and are pesticide-free
add 1 point
94-100+ = A
86-93 = B
78-85 = C
70-77 = D
69 = F
Here are some foods that have already been scored.
Dog Food scores:
Alpo Prime Cuts / Score 81 C
Artemis Large/Medium Breed Puppy / Score 114 A+
Authority Harvest Baked / Score 116 A+
Authority Harvest Baked Less Active / Score 93 B
Beowulf Back to Basics / Score 101 A+
Bil-Jac Select / Score 68 F
Blackwood 3000 Lamb and Rice / Score 83 C
Blue Buffalo Chicken and Rice / Score 106 A+
Burns Chicken and Brown Rice / Score 107 A+
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
Diamond Performance / Score 85 C
Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Ultra Premium / Score 122 A+
Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Venison and Brown Rice / Score 106 A+
Dick Van Patten's Duck and Potato / Score 106 A+
EaglePack Holistic / Score 102 A+
Eukanuba Adult / Score 81 C
Eukanuba Puppy / Score 79 C
Flint River Senior / Score 101 A+
Foundations / Score 106 A+
Hund-n-Flocken Adult Dog (lamb) by Solid Gold / Score 93 B
Iams Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Premium / Score 73 D
Innova Dog / Score 114 A+
Innova Evo / Score 114 A+
Innova Large Breed Puppy / Score 122 A+
Kirkland Signature Chicken, Rice, and Vegetables / Score 110 A+
Member's Mark Chicken and Rice / Score 84 C
Merrick Wilderness Blend / Score 127 A+
Nature's Recipe / Score 100 A
Nature's Recipe Healthy Skin Venison and Rice / Score 116 A+
Nature's Variety Raw Instinct / Score 122 A+
Nutra Nuggets Super Premium Lamb Meal and Rice / Score 81 C
Nutrience Junior Medium Breed Puppy / Score 101 A+
Nutrisource Lamb and Rice / Score 87 B
Nutro Max Adult / Score 93 B
Nutro Natural Choice Lamb and Rice / Score 98 A
Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy / Score 87 B
Nutro Natural Choice Puppy Wheat Free / Score 86 B
Nutro Natural Choice Senior / Score 95 A
Nutro Ultra Adult / Score 104 A+
Pet Gold Adult with Lamb & Rice / Score 23 F
Premium Edge Chicken, Rice and Vegetables Adult Dry / Score 109 A+
Pro Nature Puppy / Score 80 C
Pro Plan Sensitive Stomach / Score 94 A
Purina Dog / Score 62 F
Purina Come-n-Get It / Score 16 F
Purina One Large Breed Puppy / Score 62 F
Royal Canin Boxer / Score 103 A+
Royal Canin Bulldog / Score 100 A+
Royal Canin Natural Blend Adult / Score 106 A+
Science Diet Advanced Protein Senior 7+ / Score 63 F
Science Diet for Large Breed Puppies / Score 69 F
Sensible Choice Chicken and Rice / Score 97 A
Solid Gold / Score 99 A
Summit / Score 99 A
Timberwolf Organics Wild & Natural Dry / Score 120 A+
Wellness Super5 Mix Chicken / Score 110 A+
Wolfking Adult Dog (bison) by Solid Gold / Score 97 A
How does your dogs food rank?

This was not sponsored in ANY WAY, all thoughts expressed are my own and I was NOT compensated for this!


msp said...

And where did you go to school for this?

Gillian said...

I love getting things for FREE! So, couponing is a must...

Newly following through Tara's Weekend Hop!

Baby Talk without the Babble

Brenda said...

I am your newest follower Brenda! I found your site on twisted Scavenger hop. I would love for you to follow me back!

Also, I love your post on dog food. I didn't know any of this information and I can't believe that I am currently using an F rated dog food. I will be trading in my dog food for an upgrade! Thank you for all this information.

Heather S said...

Marlena, You don't have to go to school to be educated on something you're passionate about. Let's be realistic here...

Brenda, as long as I've made an impact on at least ONE person, then this entire post was worth it. So thank you!

Storm, The Psychotic Housewife said...

After one of our Corgis started having digestive issues, I switched to a home cooked diet. The difference in their fur is AMAZING! The quality of ingredients really makes a difference - I would never feed my dogs the basic grocery store brands if I could help it. (I understand some folks just can't afford anything else)

I always wanted a St. Bernard when I was a little girl. :)

Nicole said...

my boys eat raw!! but when i give them libble its either orijen, natures varitey, timberwolf organic or taste of the wild. Im big on switching it up

Heather S said...

Nice! Another thing, with all the bad foods and fillers it's never good to switch up the food. People buy whatever's on sale and that messes with the digestive too. When you go all natural it doesn't affect anything!! It's all natural so it's the same! AWESOME!! You can buy whatever natural food is on sale.

Unknown said...

New follower from Friday hop. Thanks for the healthy tips.

Lesli said...

Hello from a new follower on the Blog Hop!

I am so excited to be one of the featured bloggers on this week’s Friendly Friday!

I am trying to visit everyone on the hop!

Please feel free to stop by: Put A Little Umbrella In Your Drink

Lesli :D

kewkew said...

Hear from the Alexa hop. Looks like some interesting info. I am allergic to cats and most dogs, so we have no pets.

Erika said...

Very true! Thanks for taking the time to share this! If I had time, I would feed my pug 100% homemade/raw food, but I don't so we do just canned and only Merrick & Wellness, both very good brands. We used to feed her Purina canned food but our homeopathic vet recommended we switch to a better brands and the difference in our pug's coat and skin is night and day.
I'm stopping by from the Alexa hop - I hope you'll visit me too! Thanks! :)
Musings From a SAHM

Lori said...

Popping in from the Alexa hop! Wow! A lot of thought went in to this. Great job!

Randi @MommyReview said...

Hopping on by!

Jenny said...

What a great, informative post! I'm going to have to look at what we feed our dog and see how we can do better.

Unknown said...

I always wanted to feed RAW but it is so much work!!

Tanya @ Blogelina said...

Stopping by from the Alexa hop! We don't have any dogs but I love how you've given so much great info in this post!

If you're looking for another great way to promote your blog, check out the HUGE blog party going on this week (more details on my blog :>)!

Mama Chocolate said...

Stopping by from the Alexa Hop! :-)

Johanna at Mama Chocolate
Family life, tips for mom, reviews, giveaways and more!

moonstar said...

hi visiting here from Thirsty for comments thursday.

Katie said...

WOW! great post! I must admit I am one of those that was feeding my dogs BAD food - until my dog needed to lose weight and I started looking at the first ingredient to make sure it was a MEAT - not a filler. But I didn't realize all of the other stuff involved. The food I am currently feeding my dog is not on the list - I will have to grade it!

I am a new follower - Thanks for this great advice!

Anonymous said...

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