Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
  • Post
  • Reply
Crooked Booty
Apr 2, 2009
arrr

Do you have a dog or a cat? Do you feed it dog or cat food? Then this is the thread for you!

If you don't know much about pet food, these first posts are a good place to start. Like with most subjects involving health or nutrition, the internet is full of insane quackery/bullshit and really strong opinions regarding pet food. The fact of the matter is this: the best diet is the one your pet does well on. That means it's not going to be the same food for every pet or every pet owner.

Here are the most important qualifications for a good pet food:
  1. your pet likes to eat it
  2. you can afford to buy it
  3. your pet is healthy* eating it

*“Healthy” means your pet isn't too fat***** or too skinny, isn't greasy or itchy or covered in dandruff, and isn't farting or barfing all the time, etc.
*****If you aren't sure but think maybe your pet might be a little chubby, then your pet is probably an enormous fatass because most pets are. Most people are so accustomed to ottoman-shaped pets that they think healthy pets look super skinny. If your pet is fat, it doesn't make you a terrible person, but you should try to fix it.

NOW READ THIS DISCLAIMER OR YOUR PET MIGHT DIE: If your veterinarian has recommended a prescription diet in order to manage a medical condition, do what your vet says!
This means foods with names like Hill's C/D, K/D, S/D; Royal Canin SO, LP, MP, HF; Purina NF, UR, DM, or any other diet prescribed to manage or treat disease (bladder stones, kidney disease, diabetes, etc). These diets are scientifically proven to help manage the condition your pet is suffering from, and switching to the foods recommended in these posts will almost certainly do harm to your pet.


The Basics

Diet has a huge effect on your pet's health. You can't do much about genetics or bad luck, but you have total control over what your pet eats every day. If your pet scratches a lot, has dandruff and a dull coat, farts constantly, smells awful, or takes enormous paint-peeling dumps, better food is likely the solution. If your pet seems totally normal and fine, better food will probably contribute to a longer, healthier life.

Why should I spend more money on pet food?
  • Most low-quality foods have lots of "fillers", or cheap ingredients with less nutritional value. High-quality foods tend to be more nutritionally dense, meaning you will be feeding a much smaller amount for the same number of calories. If you do the math to figure out the cost for the number of calories you need to feed your pet, many premium foods are CHEAPER than the awful crap you're buying at the grocery store. You can afford this. Seriously.

  • There are about a million medical problems associated with diet. If you feed terrible food and it turns your dog/cat into a farting, itchy basketball with legs, there will be health consequences, and they will probably not be cheap to fix.

  • If you're feeding a smaller volume of food, your pet will typically poo poo a smaller volume of poo poo.

Ingredients
Every ingredient in commercial pet food is there for a reason, but sometimes the reason isn't a very good one. The process of turning meat into shelf-stable kibble isn't easy, so sometimes "filler" ingredients are added just for the purpose of food consistency. A lot of these fillers have little to no nutritional value, and your pet basically just poops them out.

Ingredient quality also affects absorption. Shoe leather and chicken meat are both mostly protein, but your pet is going to digest and absorb a lot more protein from one than the other.

Ingredients on a label are listed by weight. So when "corn" is the first ingredient on the label, there is a lot more corn present than when it's the 10th ingredient listed. (Pet food companies can and will try to trick you with this tactic, called "ingredient splitting". If you see 6 different ingredients involving the word "rice", there is probably a whole lot of rice in the food, even if the first two ingredients are meat.)

In feeding dry foods with more corn (or wheat, soy, etc.) than actual meat, we're basically feeding our carnivores cornflakes and a multivitamin to balance out the deficiencies. They'll survive on it, but it's far from an ideal diet.

Here are some good ingredients to look for...

Meats (chicken, turkey, beef, etc.) - This is muscle meat and doesn't include organs or anything weird. Lots of protein and good stuff in here. If you don't see a meat or meat meal in the first 2-3 ingredients on the label, you should probably run away.

Meat Meals (chicken meal, salmon meal, etc.) - Meals are basically rendered meat bits. While this may include some animal parts that most people don't want to eat, it's still really nutritious and good in pet food. Because it's rendered, it doesn't contain a lot of water-weight like whole meats do. This means that pound-for-pound, "chicken meal" typically contains even more protein and good stuff than "chicken". Good foods will usually contain both whole meats and meat meals.

Veggies & Fruits - In lower-quality foods, you'll see lots of corn, rice, and grains being used as binding agents or carbohydrate sources. In higher-quality foods, you may see more nutritious sources of starch and fiber like sweet potatoes, apples, peas, and carrots. These ingredients also contain more vitamins, minerals, and other good stuff.


Next, ingredients to avoid...
Most of these are cheap alternatives to healthier ingredients, and therefore indicate lower-quality diets. However, they're not all inherently bad for your pet, especially if they're only present in small amounts (so try to keep in mind the order in which the ingredients are listed). If you see all this stuff listed at the beginning of an ingredient list, it's probably not the highest quality food.

Corn / Maize (whole grain corn, ground corn, corn gluten meal, etc.) - Corn is typically used as a carbohydrate source or binding agent. Of carb sources, corn is arguably the worst in terms of its effect on the animal's blood glucose (hint: having a diabetic pet sucks). Corn is also the cheapest carb source, which means its presence usually indicates a lower-quality food. Corn gluten is a protein source, but animal based-protein is better for feeding carnivores. Corn is a common allergen among carbohydrates (but allergies to protein sources are much more common).

Soy - Avoid soy-based protein in pet foods, especially for cats. The reasons are basically the same as for corn gluten -- it's cheap, it's a common allergen, and it's not part of a species-appropriate diet for dogs or cats.

Wheat / Wheat Gluten - Avoid for the same reasons as corn or corn gluten. Wheat is a common allergen among carbohydrates (but allergies to protein are much more common).

By-Products - This includes anything with the word "by-product", including "by-product meal". By-products are basically the garbage of the meat industry. While they often contain ingredients with good nutritional value (i.e. organs), by-products also contain a lot of stuff that's not as digestible or nutritionally valuable (i.e. chicken feet, heads). The real problem here is that "by-products" is intentionally ambiguous, and therefore its quality and makeup are going to be inconsistent.

Ingredients containing vague words like "Animal" or "Poultry" (meat and bone meal, animal fat, etc.) - Again, this is about lack of specificity. If the pet food manufacturer can't tell you what species the ingredient comes from, it's a safe bet that quality and consistency are lacking. Of these, "animal" is definitely the worst.


Questionable ingredients????
The next two are up for debate. I'm not going to argue about whether or not these chemicals are safe, but I will say that the companies making really high-quality foods aren't using them. They're mainly included here because there's a lot of nonsense about them on pet food websites, so to set the record straight...

Menadione (typically "Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex" or "Vitamin K3") - This will be really far down on ingredient lists if present. It's a precursor to Vitamin K, and not an actual vitamin. While legal to use in animal food, the FDA has banned its use in humans due to the potentially fatal effects of large doses. There is no conclusive evidence that small amounts of menadione are dangerous in pet food, but who knows. Menadione is cheap, and natural sources of vitamin K (alfalfa, kelp, green leafy veggies) are expensive. You won't see this ingredient in high-quality foods.

Artificial Preservatives (BHA, BHT, Ethoxyquin) - These are added to cheap foods to increase shelf-life. In high-quality foods, you'll see natural preservatives like Vitamin E, Vitamin C, tocopherols, rosemary, etc. Like with menadione, there is no conclusive evidence that these things will hurt your pet, but there are enough people arguing about the safety of these chemicals that it may be better to just avoid them.



Food brands are up next! But first, here are two things you should know before you change your pet's diet:
  • Transition Slowly - If your pet eats the same thing every day and you suddenly feed him something new, he's probably going to get diarrhea or barf everywhere. You need to make a gradual change. Decrease the amount of old food and increase the amount of new food (mix them together) over a period of at least a week. If your pet starts having softer stool, you're probably going too fast.

  • Don't feed "exotic" protein sourcesunless you have a good reason - A lot of brands offer "fancy" flavors of food like bison, venison, rabbit, duck, etc. Unless your pet has a food allergy or won't eat anything else, pick a normal flavor of food like chicken, turkey, beef, etc. Food allergies can develop at any time in a pet's life for no reason, and the best way to manage them is to feed a protein source that the pet has NEVER eaten before (a "novel protein"). If you feed your pet a bunch of weird protein sources like bison and kangaroo and rabbit, and then he develops food allergies a few years down the line, you're not going to have any good options for a novel protein.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Crooked Booty
Apr 2, 2009
arrr

Do you just want to read a list of good foods so you can find one your pet store carries? You're in the right place. But only if you have a dog.

Dogs can do great on all kinds of diets. If your dog does sports/performance/work or you just want your dog to get really ripped, you might want to pick a higher protein diet (such as a grain-free food). If your dog basically lives on your couch, just pick something with good ingredients and your dog will probably do great.

Dog Food Brands

Premium*- brands that have no corn, by-products, or other “fillers”. These brands generally have a reputation for good quality.

Acana
Addiction
Applaws
Artemis
Avoderm
Blue Buffalo
By Nature
California Naturals
Canidae
Castor and Pollux
Chicken Soup
Earthborn
Fromm
Go!
Halo
Hill's Ideal Balance
Holistque Selects
Honest Kitchen
Innova
Instinct
Natural Balance
Nature’s Variety
Now!
Organix
Orijen
Merrick/Whole Earth Farms/ BG
Pepperdogz
Pinnacle
Primal
Solid Gold
Stella and Chewy's
Taste of the Wild
Timberwolf
Wellness
Ziwi Peak


Acceptable* - These foods contain corn, by-products, or other lower quality ingredients in small to moderate amounts.

Authority
Eagle Pack
Bil Jac
Eukanuba
Iams
Nature’s Recipe
Nutro
Royal Canin
Science Diet - Nature’s Best
Purina Pro Plan & ONE beyOnd
Wysong


Poor*- These foods contain mostly corn, wheat, and by products. These brands also contain artificial colors and preservatives. These foods contain more bad stuff than good.

Alpo
Beneful
Beef N More
Ceasar
Chef Michaels
Evangers
Gravy Train
Kibbles and Bits
Nutrish
Mighty Dog
Pedigree
Purina Dog Chow
Purina ONE
Science Diet

*Keep in mind that foods with formulas like Senior, Light, Weight Control, Grain-Free, etc. may be better or worse than how they're listed here. These are just guidelines to help you narrow things down.

Thanks are due to Denial Twist and PI's top dog expert El Gar for working on this list.

Crooked Booty
Apr 2, 2009
arrr

Do you just want to read a list of good foods so you can find one your pet store carries? You're in the right place. But only if you have a cat.

First, a really important point: canned food is better than dry food. Cats are a pain in the rear end even in the realm of nutrition, so it's not a simple as finding a food with a nice ingredient list. Cats need more protein, less carbohydrate, and more water than what most dry foods contain. Ingredient quality is important too, of course, but the science that's available right now suggests that macronutrient ratios matter a whole lot more. That means that even the cheapest grocery store generic canned food is better than 99% of dry foods in terms of carbs, protein, and water. If you want more info, skip to the end of this post.

While canned food is better, it's also more expensive and less convenient. So to keep things simple, there are separate lists for canned foods and dry foods.

CAT FOOD BRANDS

Premium Canned Foods -- These foods are very low in carbohydrates and very high in protein. They also use excellent ingredients (no corn, soy, byproducts, or anything like that). Generally <15% of the calories in these foods come from carbohydrates, which is what your cat is designed to eat.

Blue Buffalo
By Nature (95% Meat formulas)
California Naturals
Chicken Soup
Innova
Innova EVO
Merrick
Nature's Variety Instinct
Solid Gold
Tiki Cat
Wellness
(While technically not “canned”, most of those fancy dehydrated/freeze-dried cat foods that you add water to probably belong here.)

Good Canned Foods -- These foods are mostly a little higher in carbs and a little lower in protein, or they use some lower-quality ingredients in relatively small amounts. But they're still really good foods.

Authority
Avoderm
By Nature Organics
Fresh Pet
Natural Balance
Nature's Variety Prairie
Nutro
Organix
Pinnacle
Purina Pro Plan
Royal Canin
Taste of the Wild

Acceptable Canned Foods -- These foods are mostly still better than dry foods in terms of nutrients, but many of them use byproducts, corn, and soy as protein sources (less digestible). They may also contain other low-quality ingredients. How good these foods are varies A LOT from flavor to flavor. If you want to know which flavors are best, 1) look at the charts (here and here) and choose flavors with the biggest numbers in the protein column and the smallest numbers in the carb column, and 2) read the ingredient labels and pick the flavors with the least gross ingredients. You should also know that most of these "cheaper" canned foods contain significantly more water than the premium foods, which means you may not be saving as much money as you think. For example, if you compare the cost based on calories (instead of ounces), many Fancy Feast flavors are more expensive than Wellness.

By Nature Goldleaf Selects
Fancy Feast
Friskies
9-Lives
Science Diet
Sophisticat
Special Kitty
Whiskas


Next: Dry Foods. (In case you missed this before, CANNED FOOD IS BETTER THAN DRY FOOD FOR CATS.)

Good Dry Foods -- These are the few dry foods that are almost as good as canned food (in terms of being low in carbs and high in protein). If it weren't for the fact that they lack moisture, these would be equivalent to Premium or Good canned foods. These foods are also extremely dense in terms of calories per cup of food, so many cats will eat 1/3-1/2 cups a day or less. In short, you're getting more bang for your buck.
(For example, if you compare the costs based on calories (instead of lbs or kgs), Solid Gold Indigo Moon is cheaper than A LOT of dry foods, including Purina, lots of grocery store crap, and almost every food on the Acceptable list. These foods are expensive by the pound, but they really only cost $6-12 per month to feed an average sized cat.)

Innova EVO
Nature's Variety Instinct
Orijen
Solid Gold Indigo Moon
Wellness Core

Acceptable Dry Foods-- These foods use good ingredients, but they're too high in carbohydrates and/or too low in protein. Nutritionally, they're not as good as almost any canned food, but you could do a LOT worse. (These are mostly in the range of 25-30% carbohydrates; there are almost no canned foods this high in carbohydrates.)

Acana
Before Grain (Merrick)
Blue Buffalo
California Naturals
Chicken Soup
Halo/Spot's Stew
Felidae
Healthwise
Innova
Nature's Variety Prarie
Pinnacle
Solid Gold Katz-N-Flocken
Taste of the Wild (Rocky Mountain Formula)
Wellness (formulas other than "Core")

Poor Dry Foods -- These aren't quite as bad as the Awful Dry Foods, but they're close. These foods either have decent ingredients but huge amounts of carbohydrates, OR they have awful ingredients and moderate amounts of carbohydrates . Most of these are also really overpriced for what you're getting.

Authority
By Nature
Drs Foster & Smith
Eagle Pack
Eukanuba
Flint River Ranch
Natural Balance
Natural Ultramix
Nutro
Organix
Purina Pro Plan (regular & Selects)
Royal Canin
Taste of the Wild (Canyon River Formula)
Wysong

Awful Dry Foods -- These foods are the Worst Foods for Cats. Awful ingredients, tons of carbs. Many of these contain the minimum amount of protein required to be legally labeled "cat food".

Fancy Feast
Friskies
Iams
Meow Mix
9-Lives
Purina Cat Chow
Purina ONE
Science Diet
Sophisticat
Special Kitty
Tender Vittles
Whiskas


More info on the canned vs. dry thing:
Dry cat foods historically have been very similar to dry dog foods, which means they're loaded with carbs because 1) carbs are a cheap source of calories, and 2) carbs help the kibble stick together in the manufacturing process. Most dogs do just fine on high-carb diets, so ingredient quality is more important in separating good dog food from bad.

Unlike dogs, cats are obligate carnivores, which means they require nutrients that are found ONLY in animal tissue. Cats need tons of protein and have no need for carbohydrates in their diets. There has been a major shift in thinking about this stuff recently. Twenty years ago, vets were taught that dry food was better. Now there's a lot of research to suggest that cats do best on high protein, low carbohydrate foods. This means canned foods. (By the way, dry food does not help clean teeth. That's a myth. The only exception is prescription dental diets (((which happen to be gross and really high in carbs))).)

Canned foods are all very low in carbohydrates and very high in protein. Canned foods also have the added benefit of forcing your cat to consume more water, which is a great bonus because many of the most common cat diseases are improved by increasing water intake (kidney disease, urinary obstruction, urinary crystals, etc.).

So here are the criteria for a great cat food:

  • High Protein
  • Low in Carbohydrates
  • High in Moisture
  • High-Quality Ingredients

For brands in this list, if one company makes grain-free and non-grain-free foods, you can usually assume that their grain-free food is at least marginally better (lower carbs, higher protein). You can also assume that any formula labeled "light, diet, weight control, or indoor" is at marginally worse (higher carbs, lower protein) than the regular stuff from the same brand. Some flavors of food are significantly better than other flavors of the same brand, etc etc.

Crooked Booty fucked around with this message at 02:05 on May 16, 2013

Crooked Booty
Apr 2, 2009
arrr

Links

Pet Food Recalls

BalanceIt: A reputable source for balanced supplements so you can feed a raw or cooked homemade diet.

Binky's Cat Food Tables here and here

Body Condition Scoring for Dogs or Cats

Previous Pet Nutrition Thread


FAQ: Weight Loss, Prescription Diets, & Raw Diets

Am I feeding too much? Too little?

The feeding instructions on your food bag/cans will tell you to overfeed 9 times out of 10. These guidelines are for intact (not spayed/neutered), active animals. Intact animals have higher energy requirements than spayed/neutered animals. The food companies would also much rather tell you to overfeed than to underfeed because 1) they don't want to accidentally tell someone to starve their pet, and 2) they sell more food if you overfeed. If your dog is a couch potato or your cat is indoor-only, you will almost certainly need to feed less than the bag recommends.

If you're not sure if your pet is at its ideal weight, try comparing to the body condition score links above. If you're still not sure, talk to your vet. They should also be able to give you an estimate of what your pet's ideal body weight is. We can also help if you post pictures, but not as much as your vet can help by actually groping your fat pet in person.

If you're switching from a low-quality food to a high-quality food, you will almost certainly need to feed a smaller amount. High quality foods may contain over twice as many calories per cup of food as low-quality foods.


Help my pet is fat???

If your pet is overweight, your pet needs more exercise, less food, or both. We can help you formulate a weight loss plan if you post how much you're currently feeding and what food. If you have no idea how much you're currently feeding because you just fill up the food bowl when it's empty, then that's your first task: measure the food.

You should also know that cats (especially obese cats) can become seriously ill or die by losing weight too rapidly or having their food reduced too drastically, so please post for guidance or talk to your vet before you cut calories.


Is there a better alternative to the prescription diet my vet recommended? The ingredients are bad.

No. Prescription diets are formulated and tested to have very specific effects on your pet to manage a disease. The ingredients may suck, but the diets work. There are no companies that use great ingredients and make prescription diets that work. It's a bummer. But poor-quality ingredients will not kill your pet; the disease you're trying to manage definitely can.


My acupuncturist told me about raw feeding. What's up with that?

People have really strong opinions about raw feeding. It's either the best thing ever or basically poison. In reality, it's probably somewhere in between. It's new enough that it hasn't been studied a whole lot, but here's what we know for sure: it's not a trivial undertaking, and it's really easy to gently caress it up and hurt your pet. If you only have a passing interest in it, chances are you do not have the time or ability to do a homemade raw (or cooked) diet correctly.

There have not yet been any scientific studies to suggest that there is any health benefit to feeding raw diets. There have been scientific studies to show that your pet might randomly die if you don't balance their diet properly, and also your house will probably be covered in Salmonella forever if you're not careful. “Dehydrated raw” or freeze-dried diets are probably safer than frozen raw diets when it comes to contamination with pathogens.

There's an increasing number of pre-made raw options available in pet stores, and quality varies wildly. Some pet stores sell their own locally-made raw diets, and most I've seen are sketchy as hell with no testing or regulation beyond “I made this in my garage and fed it to my dog and he hasn't died yet.” There are also some very reputable companies selling pre-made raw diets, and you'll find some included in the pet food lists above. Pre-made diets are a good place to start if you really want to give raw a whirl. If you go this route, make sure to look for an AAFCO statement on the packaging that says the diet is complete and balanced. Nature's Variety puts their food through more rigorous testing and feeding trials than even most non-raw pet foods, so that's where I would start personally.

Feel free to post raw/homemade questions and stuff in this thread. There are a lot of really knowledgeable people who feed all sorts of stuff. Also check out the links section for some good resources.



P.S. Please don't freak out or lose sleep over the food rankings. I've tried to base it on NUMBERS and SCIENCE wherever possible, but it's really subjective and there's no way around that. It's only meant to be a quick reference for normal goons who care a normal amount about pet food.

A lot of folks have contributed to these posts as well as the previous versions that I ripped off, but say thanks especially to Denial Twist and gar.

Crooked Booty fucked around with this message at 02:08 on May 16, 2013

WolfensteinBag
Aug 7, 2003

So it was all your work?



Thanks for the update! Question... Would the Wilderness variety of Blue Buffalo dry food rank any higher on your list for kitties, since it's grain free? Or are they sneaking the carbs in elsewhere?

Nevhix
Nov 18, 2006

Life is a journey.
Time is a river.
The door is ajar.


Think there's an error in the poor dry dog foods list, Evangers does not contain any of the bad ingredients you have listed. Just an FYI.

Crooked Booty
Apr 2, 2009
arrr

WolfensteinBag posted:

Thanks for the update! Question... Would the Wilderness variety of Blue Buffalo dry food rank any higher on your list for kitties, since it's grain free? Or are they sneaking the carbs in elsewhere?
Wilderness is higher protein and lower carb than the other Blue Buffalo varieties, but still not as good as Orijen which is the "worst" on that section of the list and I had to arbitrarily draw the line somewhere.

Tempting Fate posted:

Think there's an error in the poor dry dog foods list, Evangers does not contain any of the bad ingredients you have listed. Just an FYI.
Oh right, I forgot about that. Evanger's was moved down in 2011 when the FDA began officially investigating the company due to major mislabeling of products/ingredients (e.g. "lamb and rice" dog food containing no detectable quantity of lamb???). Apparently the investigation ended earlier this year and problems are fixed, but I'm going to look into it more before I move them back up because it was pretty sketchy.

phosdex
Dec 16, 2005



Tortured By Flan

Do you know where Sojos fits on those lists? I'm not entirely sure if its a regional food because the distributor is not one of the main three. But I think they are available nationwide. It's a freeze-dried product that you mix with water.

Also NutriSource, it's probably the most popular food we sell. That might be because its a local company.

HelloSailorSign
Jan 27, 2011


Crooked Booty posted:

Wilderness is higher protein and lower carb than the other Blue Buffalo varieties, but still not as good as Orijen which is the "worst" on that section of the list and I had to arbitrarily draw the line somewhere.

Oh right, I forgot about that. Evanger's was moved down in 2011 when the FDA began officially investigating the company due to major mislabeling of products/ingredients (e.g. "lamb and rice" dog food containing no detectable quantity of lamb???). Apparently the investigation ended earlier this year and problems are fixed, but I'm going to look into it more before I move them back up because it was pretty sketchy.

Here's a letter from the FDA discussing some of the Evanger's problems:

http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/Enforcemen...1/ucm255000.htm

Not only were there issues with them lying on their foods, but their processing was insufficient to prevent Botulism formation.

I don't know either what's going on with that company currently. It's very hard to find data as Evanger's says nothing and the FDA doesn't say anything until they're done with something and even then the info is hard to find.

noelcat
Aug 8, 2007

Dei gratia regina fidei defensor

Could you add rankings with the Costco (Kirkland) brand pet foods? I see it recommended a lot on PI but I wasn't sure how it stacked up.

cryingscarf
Feb 4, 2007

~*FaBuLoUs*~



noelcat posted:

Could you add rankings with the Costco (Kirkland) brand pet foods? I see it recommended a lot on PI but I wasn't sure how it stacked up.

I was looking for it on the list too. They have a grain free kibble too now called Nature's Domain that I am tempted to switch to while money is tight (it is something like 29 lbs for $35?). Is there a catch with it or is it okay?

Dogdoo 8
Sep 22, 2011


cryingscarf posted:

I was looking for it on the list too. They have a grain free kibble too now called Nature's Domain that I am tempted to switch to while money is tight (it is something like 29 lbs for $35?). Is there a catch with it or is it okay?

Dog Food Advisor link. It (and I think the other Kirkland brands) are listed at 4 stars out of five. There's a long writeup with the ingredients list and estimated nutrient content. Kirkland's dog food was manufactured by Diamond at least last year and were a part of the massive recall from then. I'm still somewhat concerned about that. My dog is pathetically tiny and huge bags of kibble are impractical for me and really he's cheap enough to feed that I don't care how much a bag of kibble costs. If I suddenly inherited 4 great danes or something I might look at it.

cryingscarf
Feb 4, 2007

~*FaBuLoUs*~



Dogdoo 8 posted:

Dog Food Advisor link. It (and I think the other Kirkland brands) are listed at 4 stars out of five. There's a long writeup with the ingredients list and estimated nutrient content. Kirkland's dog food was manufactured by Diamond at least last year and were a part of the massive recall from then. I'm still somewhat concerned about that. My dog is pathetically tiny and huge bags of kibble are impractical for me and really he's cheap enough to feed that I don't care how much a bag of kibble costs. If I suddenly inherited 4 great danes or something I might look at it.

I should have put more info in my original post. I have read that dog food advisor page like 4 times because I keep reconsidering it every month or so. Dex used to be on TOTW and did fine on it. I switched to Wellness Core when the recall stuff was going on and he loves it. Problem is that I am graduating college and starting Real Life and going from $60 a bag to $35 would help a ton. It is a stupid balance of wanting to feed my dog the best food I can and wanting to make sure I can have money put aside for a vet bill if one comes. And then the guilt of putting my dog on a "4 star food" I read millions all the comments on the dog food advisor page on Nature's Domain and I don't know. There are lots of good reviews and some bad, but I dont know how trustworthy half those people are. Anyone here try ND and like it? Help me feel less guilty.

cryingscarf fucked around with this message at 06:51 on May 16, 2013

Dogdoo 8
Sep 22, 2011


cryingscarf posted:

I should have put more info in my original post. I have read that dog food advisor page like 4 times because I keep reconsidering it every month or so. Dex used to be on TOTW and did fine on it. I switched to Wellness Core when the recall stuff was going on and he loves it. Problem is that I am graduating college and starting Real Life and going from $60 a bag to $35 would help a ton. It is a stupid balance of wanting to feed my dog the best food I can and wanting to make sure I can have money put aside for a vet bill if one comes. And then the guilt of putting my dog on a "4 star food" I read millions all the comments on the dog food advisor page on Nature's Domain and I don't know. There are lots of good reviews and some bad, but I dont know how trustworthy half those people are. Anyone here try ND and like it? Help me feel less guilty.

Costco products tend to be really good in general and if there is an issue they try to address it. I've had a recall with people food once or twice and they're good about tracking purchases and sending out phone calls if something goes wrong.. I tend to avoid comments in general on dog food adviser because it seems like pet owners have problems with EVERYTHING on that site. I'm still balking a bit at them just because of that massive recall, but if wasn't for that I wouldn't hesitate to buy it. Maybe if you're concerned about the kibble quality in general you could mix it with something else?

lamb
Mar 9, 2004

A single act of carelessness leads to the eternal loss of beauty

I have a 10-year-old cat whose buddy recently passed away. Next Tuesday, we're going to pick up a friend for him from the shelter who is considerably younger (4 months old).

Once they get over the introductory period and are eating communally, how do I handle feeding? Assuming separating them for feeding time until the kitten is on adult food is not feasible, am I better off feeding kitten food to both or adult food to both? Is kitten-specific food even a necessity?

Cyber Dog
Feb 22, 2008



lamb posted:

I have a 10-year-old cat whose buddy recently passed away. Next Tuesday, we're going to pick up a friend for him from the shelter who is considerably younger (4 months old).

Once they get over the introductory period and are eating communally, how do I handle feeding? Assuming separating them for feeding time until the kitten is on adult food is not feasible, am I better off feeding kitten food to both or adult food to both? Is kitten-specific food even a necessity?

Get a food that's good for cats and kittens, or all life stages. I'm using Felidae which both my kitten and cat seem to like.

Nione
Jun 3, 2006

Welcome to Trophy Island
Rub my tummy


lamb posted:

I have a 10-year-old cat whose buddy recently passed away. Next Tuesday, we're going to pick up a friend for him from the shelter who is considerably younger (4 months old).

Once they get over the introductory period and are eating communally, how do I handle feeding? Assuming separating them for feeding time until the kitten is on adult food is not feasible, am I better off feeding kitten food to both or adult food to both? Is kitten-specific food even a necessity?

As In Drywall said, you'll want a food that is labeled either "Cat and Kitten" or "Formulated for All Life Stages." Make sure that is written on the packaging. For example, Innova Evo dry cat and kitten food would be fine. Innova Evo canned food comes in both a "Cat and Kitten" variety as well as a "Cat" variety that is labeled for "adult maintenance." It must be the "Cat and Kitten" variety to be healthy for both your adult cat and your kitten.

e - The difference between Adult/Kitten/Puppy food as well as information about large breed puppies and "how long before my pet is an adult" should probably go in the OP. These questions get asked a lot.

Nione fucked around with this message at 18:06 on May 16, 2013

grapey
Oct 10, 2012


Thanks for posting links to the binky's table. I've referred to it a lot for my diabetic cat.

Daeren
Aug 17, 2009

YER MUSTACHE IS CROOKED


So after seeing this thread, I looked at the food we feed our three cats. Apparently we recently switched from some other food - I think Iams? - Purina ONE Indoor Advantage. Since Purina ONE is in the awful foods category, and the OP said that anything with "indoor" in the name was probably worse than average, I decided that we could probably stand to feed our cats better - especially after one of my cats kept sneaking bits of actual meat from our sick dog and his coat MASSIVELY improved. I went out and bought the Indigo Moon 15 pound bag after the mention in the OP, and crunching the numbers myself. However, I compared the nutritional values tables and calories, they don't seem all that different to my untrained eye. Indigo Moon had more protein but not enough to raise my eyebrows, and it only has about 60 more calories per cup, which isn't that giant of a leap, though it probably adds up quite a lot over the fifteen pounds. I know the ingredients list is important and gives an idea of the proportions of actual carbohydrates, but I'm not really experienced enough at scrutinizing this sort of thing.

Can someone with more experience/knowledge than me explain if Indigo Moon would be way better for the cats, a little better, or what? I'm kinda feeling like a fool if I've effectively leaped before looking. And proportionally, how much less should I be giving to them compared to Purina ONE if/when I switch them over? We fill their bowls twice a day, in the morning and evening.

oddeye
Jul 24, 2005



Where to start? It would be way better for your cats, but I'm just about to head to work and don't have time to breakdown why. First thing I would do is look up the ingredients listed on either panels on wikipedia and just compare the quality. Doing a quick google search on the two brands will get you the ingredient panels, and reading through the ingredients Solid Gold uses in Indigo Moon compared to what Purina uses in theirs will show you the light.

toplitzin
Jun 13, 2003


I'm free feeding my two cats 1/3 cup per bowl of Before Grain Chicken, down from 2/3 (1/3 2x) after they started getting tubby.
Should I be supplementing in the evening with a canned option and reducing to maybe a 1/4 cup AM free feed or moving up to one of the better dry brands?

They have a cat fountain and one will always drink if i turn the faucet on.

Right now they're maybe a 6-7 on the kitty scale.

Malalol
Apr 4, 2007

I spent $1,000 on my computer but I'm too "poor" to take my dog or any of my animals to the vet for vet care. My neglect caused 1 of my birds to die prematurely! My dog pisses everywhere! I don't care! I'm a piece of shit! Don't believe me? Check my post history in Pet Island!


Daeren posted:

So after seeing this thread, I looked at the food we feed our three cats. Apparently we recently switched from some other food - I think Iams? - Purina ONE Indoor Advantage.


Purina:
Turkey, brewers rice, corn gluten meal, poultry by-product meal, soy flour, whole grain corn, fish meal, dried yeast, powdered cellulose, soy protein isolate, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), soybean hulls, animal liver flavor, phosphoric acid, calcium carbonate, caramel color, salt, potassium chloride, dried spinach, choline chloride, taurine, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, niacin, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), sodium selenite. J-4188

Going with 1st 10 ingreds you've got turkey, poultry by products, and fish meal. The rest is rice, corn gluten, soy flour, corn, yeast, cellulose, soy protein. Despite turkey being the 1st ingred, I'm betting theres a whole lot more grain in there than actual meat content. Soybean hulls too. People question menadione as an ingredient which is just a cheaper(artificial? CMIIW) vitamin k.

Solid Gold:
Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols) , Chicken, Pea Protein, Natural Flavor, Ocean Fish Meal, Choline Chloride, Salmon Oil (source of DHA), Taurine, Potassium Chloride, dl-methionine, Dried Chicory Root, Parsley Flakes, Pumpkin Meal, Almond Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Sesame Oil (preserved by mixed tocopherols), Yucca Schidigera Extract, Thyme, Blueberries, Cranberries, Carrots, Broccoli, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Calcium Panthothenate, Riboflavin, Copper Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Cobalt Carbonate, Folic Acid, Sodium Selenite, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Rosemary Extract

Here youve got chicken meal, chicken, fish meal with the carb source being potato, peas and then some vegetable/salmon oil. Plus some fruits and veggies.

I ran the stats through a calculator (because adding lol) and I'm not sure if I did it right, someone else might want to check. the purina lists this instead of an ash percentage...am I supposed to add that together?
Linoleic Acid (min) 1.4%, Calcium (min) 1.0%, Phosphorus (min) 0.9%, Zinc (min) 100mg/kg, Selenium (min) 0.35mg/kg, Vitamin A (min) 11,000 IU/kg, Vitamin D (min) 800 IU/kg, Vitamin E (min) 250 IU/kg, Taurine (min) 0.15%, Omega-6 Fatty Acids* (min) 1.5%

Anyways, without that we are looking at 38% carbs in purina vs 13.5% carbs in solid gold, a big difference.

Cyber Dog
Feb 22, 2008



Daeren posted:

So after seeing this thread, I looked at the food we feed our three cats. Apparently we recently switched from some other food - I think Iams? - Purina ONE Indoor Advantage. Since Purina ONE is in the awful foods category, and the OP said that anything with "indoor" in the name was probably worse than average, I decided that we could probably stand to feed our cats better - especially after one of my cats kept sneaking bits of actual meat from our sick dog and his coat MASSIVELY improved. I went out and bought the Indigo Moon 15 pound bag after the mention in the OP, and crunching the numbers myself. However, I compared the nutritional values tables and calories, they don't seem all that different to my untrained eye. Indigo Moon had more protein but not enough to raise my eyebrows, and it only has about 60 more calories per cup, which isn't that giant of a leap, though it probably adds up quite a lot over the fifteen pounds. I know the ingredients list is important and gives an idea of the proportions of actual carbohydrates, but I'm not really experienced enough at scrutinizing this sort of thing.

Can someone with more experience/knowledge than me explain if Indigo Moon would be way better for the cats, a little better, or what? I'm kinda feeling like a fool if I've effectively leaped before looking. And proportionally, how much less should I be giving to them compared to Purina ONE if/when I switch them over? We fill their bowls twice a day, in the morning and evening.


I was really interested in this too--I'm sure Indigo Moon is healthier, but is it cheaper? So I did some math. Math was never my strong suit, so correct me if I'm wrong.

According to http://www.k9cuisine.com/showProduc...rnurl=#comments 4.85 cups are in a lb of Indigo Moon. So a 15lb bag has 72.5 cups. Each cup has 450 calories--thus, a 15lb bag of Indigo Moon has a total of 32625 calories.

According to http://www.purinaone.com/products/c...ng-instructions a lb of Purina One Indoor has 1616 calories/lb. So a 15lb bag has 24240 calories.

So that's a difference of 8385 calories. That means every 20lbs of Purina equals 15lbs of Indigo Moon--not factoring in the fact that Indigo Moon will make your cats feel fuller on account of the higher protein content.

If 15lbs of Indigo Moon is $40 and 15lbs of Purina Indoor is $30 (approximations taken from Amazon, not using sale prices) Indigo Moon ends up being about 4 or 5 bucks more for a WAY healthier and filling food.

edit: quoted wrong person

Cyber Dog fucked around with this message at 21:31 on May 18, 2013

Xavier434
Dec 4, 2002



In Drywall posted:

If 15lbs of Indigo Moon is $40 and 15lbs of Purina Indoor is $30 (approximations taken from Amazon, not using sale prices) Indigo Moon ends up being about 4 or 5 bucks more for a WAY healthier and filling food.

Just sort of an FYI, 15lbs bags of Indigo Moon at my local All Pets store is $34. So shop around before committing.

Cyber Dog
Feb 22, 2008



Xavier434 posted:

Just sort of an FYI, 15lbs bags of Indigo Moon at my local All Pets store is $34. So shop around before committing.

Oh yeah, I'm sure it can be found cheaper--just for the ease of the comparison I was doing each at pretty much their max price.

Invalid Octopus
Jun 30, 2008

When is dinner?


Skeptvet recently posted a short write-up about the risks of homemade diets, that some of you may find interesting.

Instant Jellyfish
Jul 3, 2007

Actually not a fish.



Just an FYI about Honest Kitchen foods since I know a couple other people feed it. I've been feeding Keen (the turkey and oats variety) for a while but this latest batch has been making Major barf up carrot chunks. I wrote the company asking if they changed the recipe to add more carrots and they responded saying that they recently switched to larger carrot flakes at the request of customers but some dogs have been doing poorly on them. New batches with smaller carrot flakes are coming out in June and if your dog is having problems with the amount of carrot currently they will replace your food now with a variety that doesn't have carrot or will send you a replacement later once the carrot issue is fixed. The representative also said that sometimes soaking the food longer before feeding softens the carrot enough for it not to be a problem.

Triangulum
Oct 3, 2007

by Lowtax


Instant Jellyfish, how long do those boxes of Honest Kitchen last Major? I've been thinking about trying out freeze dried but it seems really, really expensive.

Instant Jellyfish
Jul 3, 2007

Actually not a fish.



Triangulum posted:

Instant Jellyfish, how long do those boxes of Honest Kitchen last Major? I've been thinking about trying out freeze dried but it seems really, really expensive.

I get the 4 lb boxes and he gets a bit less than a cup in the morning (he gets kibble at night in puzzle toys and training) and it lasts almost a month. I get the kind with grain because Major does better on that than ultra high protein grain free food so with that and the kibble I buy it ends up being about $55 a month for my 80lb dog. It seems really expensive because the boxes are so small but it rehydrates to sort of a giant amount so the 4 lb box is about equivalent to a 16 lb bag of kibble. Honestly, Major is finally pooping like a normal dog instead of playing bizarre poop mind games so I would pay twice as much for it if I had to.

Whisks-R-Us
Apr 30, 2012




After a vet exam last week, we found my dog had large lung tumors and the vet gave her a month or so. She's been dropping weight pretty steadily over the past several months and is down 35% of her former weight. She still seems pretty happy and in little pain so I would like to make her last few weeks or months as awesome as I can. Can someone point me in the direction of some tasty treats to buy or make at home to help keep her weight up as much as possible? Also, she really prefers wet cat food to dog food. Is there harm in letting her snack on it as a treat? She's a 15 year old Wheaten terrier mix.

HelloSailorSign
Jan 27, 2011


Hemiola posted:

After a vet exam last week, we found my dog had large lung tumors and the vet gave her a month or so. She's been dropping weight pretty steadily over the past several months and is down 35% of her former weight. She still seems pretty happy and in little pain so I would like to make her last few weeks or months as awesome as I can. Can someone point me in the direction of some tasty treats to buy or make at home to help keep her weight up as much as possible? Also, she really prefers wet cat food to dog food. Is there harm in letting her snack on it as a treat? She's a 15 year old Wheaten terrier mix.

In all seriousness, she can eat whatever the hell she wants. I'd make sure to try and introduce people food slowly so as to avoid pancreatitis or other stomach upset, but in terminal cases, the risks of nutrient deficiency in an older pet are minimal when we're talking about weeks to months.

Cat food tends to be richer than dog food, so similar concerns apply to people food, but dogs can do okay on cat food.

Caticorn
May 23, 2013


I'm at my wits end. So I started a new case of Wellness wet about a month ago, same flavor as the last (beef and chicken), to which both cats had diarrhea. I called Wellness and they said don't buy the same food with the expiration date as my recent batch and they haven't had any other complaints. I picked up a can of Core with different expiration date and my female got diarrhea.

I did process of elimination by supplementing in some ground chicken instead of the canned food with Wellness Core dry and they did fine. They do fine on their dry but will revolt if I give that exclusively and cooking ground chicken/turkey every night is a pain. I need help resolving stanky cat butt issues.

Chekans 3 16
Jan 2, 2012

No Resetti.
No Continues.





Grimey Drawer

This is Freakshow:


_MG_7415 by Photografaffer, on Flickr

He is a fatte catte.


_MG_7412 by Photografaffer, on Flickr

We were a little overzealous after we pulled him off the street as a kitten and let him eat as much as he wanted. After reading through the various threads about cats here I'd like to curb his weight now before it gets too bad. We got some weight control food off a recommendation at the pet store but now I'd like to transition to one of the better foods listed in the OP. He's fairly active at night when I get home and I try to play with him regularly, but I just want to make sure this diet works and he gets down to a healthy weight. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. He's an indoor only cat for now, but I've picked up a MetPet jacket and a leash to try and take him outside.

Cyber Dog
Feb 22, 2008



Anyone have any experience with Trader Joe's Canned Cat Tuna? The ingredients are good and the nutrient spread is good, and my cats seem to love it; but online I've read here and there that tuna can be a source of UTI's etc. Thoughts?

HelloSailorSign
Jan 27, 2011


In Drywall posted:

Anyone have any experience with Trader Joe's Canned Cat Tuna? The ingredients are good and the nutrient spread is good, and my cats seem to love it; but online I've read here and there that tuna can be a source of UTI's etc. Thoughts?

Could you put some of those links? I've never heard of tuna being a source of UTIs.

The only thing I might be concerned of using tuna all the time is heavy metal (mercury) toxicity, but even then with all the cats on tuna I'd think I'd hear far more about rampant heavy metal toxicity as opposed to not hearing all that much.

Cyber Dog
Feb 22, 2008



HelloSailorSign posted:

Could you put some of those links? I've never heard of tuna being a source of UTIs.

The only thing I might be concerned of using tuna all the time is heavy metal (mercury) toxicity, but even then with all the cats on tuna I'd think I'd hear far more about rampant heavy metal toxicity as opposed to not hearing all that much.

I just read it on some dumb cat forum after googling so I assume it's not true, but thought I'd check here to be safe.

Syfe
Jun 12, 2006




I have an issue where one of my cats is fat but the other is a healthy normal weight.

Zavi, the fat one, he eats constantly throughout the day. We were told that Royal Canin (http://www.royalcanin.ca/index.php/...Indoor-Light-40) would be good for the overweight cat to help trim him down. But is it okay for me to have weight loss food down when my other cat is already a healthy weight? Will she be okay eating it?

El Gar
Apr 12, 2007

Hey Trophy...



Syfe posted:

I have an issue where one of my cats is fat but the other is a healthy normal weight.

Zavi, the fat one, he eats constantly throughout the day. We were told that Royal Canin (http://www.royalcanin.ca/index.php/...Indoor-Light-40) would be good for the overweight cat to help trim him down. But is it okay for me to have weight loss food down when my other cat is already a healthy weight? Will she be okay eating it?

quote:

Ingredients
Chicken meal, corn gluten meal, corn, wheat gluten, pea fiber, rice hulls, natural flavors, brown rice, ...

Another thing that would be good for an overweight cat is to give it slightly less food than it is currently eating. I dunno that I'd feed that food to my cat.

Niemat
Mar 21, 2011

I gave that pitch vibrato. Pitches love vibrato.



Crooked Booty posted:

Wilderness is higher protein and lower carb than the other Blue Buffalo varieties, but still not as good as Orijen which is the "worst" on that section of the list and I had to arbitrarily draw the line somewhere.

For curiosity's sake, which is considered the best on the dry food list for cats? We're in the process of switching to Indigo Moon from Orijen, and I'm just curious to know where we'll be at.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Syfe
Jun 12, 2006




El Gar posted:

Another thing that would be good for an overweight cat is to give it slightly less food than it is currently eating. I dunno that I'd feed that food to my cat.

Thanks, we've been feeding him less. We had him on Innova EVO weight management but our local pet store stopped carrying it over a recall over tainted food and have said that they're very angry and never carrying that food again. Which upsets me because Zavi was losing weight on it. We moved to Orijen which he binged on whenever it was down and it was impossible to manage between the two cats. So we've been looking for an alternative, looks like we may just have to search for a different pet store in the end though.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply