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dog food

i am me

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What are some good brands of dog food for a Chihuahua?
 

blackarrow

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Try searching Whole Dog Journal recommendations, and pick one with a suitable kibble size for a tiny pooch!
 

BabyBellie

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I work at a pet supply store and could list a million good brands. However most of the time we reccomend chicken soup for the dog lovers soul. It's a good food and about half the price of other good foods. Some others off the top of my head are Science Diet, TechniCal, Taste of The Wild, the list really goes on and on. A good idea is to go into a store that sells food and supplies, no pets. These stores usually really care about good foods and can point you in the right direction. Something like Pet Valu or Ryans carry really good quality foods. Hope that helps.
 

catalineh06

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I feed my Chihuahua Science Diet Adult Small Bites.
 

blackarrow

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Unfortunately Science Diet is not a good dog food at all.
 

Paula

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Agreed.

The three brands I recommend without hesitation are Merrick, Wellness, and Orijen.
 

catalineh06

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I intern at a vet office, Science Diet is a good dog food, and it is recommended and sold by thousands of veterinarians. I am not saying it is the best/highest quality but there is nothing wrong with feeding your dog Science Diet. If you can afford to feed your dog the brands without fillers then I would suggest that, but if not Science Diet is a perfectly acceptable/ nutritional dog food to feed your dog.
 

blackarrow

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I intern at a vet office, Science Diet is a good dog food, and it is recommended and sold by thousands of veterinarians.

That is because the Science Diet company's "angle" is to market it to veterinarians, provide free samples in order to get vets to push it, etc. It's crap, and it really hacks me off that it's effective marketing. The people who fall for it are people who really do care about their pets and are looking for something good, and they're getting sold a bill of goods.

Let's take a look at the ingredients:

Chicken, corn meal, ground grain sorghum, ground wheat, chicken by-product meal, brewers rice, soybean meal, animal fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), chicken liver flavor, vegetable oil, dried egg product, flaxseed, preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid, minerals (salt, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, dicalcium phosphate, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), rosemary extract, beta-carotene, vitamins (choline chloride, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (a source of vitamin C), niacin, thiamine mononitrate, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement).

#1 - chicken. Sounds good, BUT since they go by weight in determining the listings, and whole chicken meat is 80% water weight, the "real" amount of actual chicken in the food ends up being reduced to 20% of what they claim, likely putting it much lower in the ingredient list. A high-quality dog food will have some sort of meat meal listed high in the ingredient list.

#2 - corn meal. A total crap ingredient. Difficult for dogs to digest, highly allergenic. Used because it's a cheap by-product of the human food industry, not because it's good for dogs.

#3 - sorghum - low digestibility - a filler.

#4 - ground wheat - believed to be the #1 allergen for dogs, best not in the food at all.

#5 - chicken by-product meal, this is a fun one. Here's what that means: "It is impossible to ascertain the quality of by-products and these are usually products that are of such low quality as to be rejected for use in the human food chain, or else are those parts that have so little value that they cannot be used elsewhere in either the human or pet food industries. The AAFCO definition of chicken by-product meal is 'a meal consisting of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidable in good processing practice.'" It's perfectly OK for the company to be using for this parts of dead, dying, diseased birds.

#6 - brewer's rice - another cheap crap ingredient left over from human food products (here, the brewery industry).

#7 - soybean meal. Poor source of protein for canines, and either the #1 or #2 allergen for dogs, depending on what group you ask.

#8 - animal fat. Note it just says "animal" - that could be literally ANY animal. Low quality ingredient.

You get the picture.
 

blackarrow

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Agreed.

The three brands I recommend without hesitation are Merrick, Wellness, and Orijen.

All excellent, indeed.
 

louie_joey

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Inova is also quite good. It isn't sold in petstores like Petsmart or anything like that as it is high quality. I have only found it in Petvalu and Global Pet Foods.
 

i am me

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What about Natural Balance is it any good?
 

blackarrow

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Do you have a specific one of the Natural Balance products you're considering?
 

guineapigluver1

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blackarrow hit the nail on the head.
catalineh06, just because vets recomend a food means absolutely nothing. You do know that vets recieve little training in the area of nutrition? And the training they do get is representitives from places like Science Diet. A lot of vets also make money when they sell Science Diet.
Three brands I recommend are Wellness, Innova and Orijen.
 

catalineh06

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I am not going to argue over dog food. Yes, I do agree that Innova and Orijen are the best dog foods but the reality is that some people cannot afford them if they have multiple dogs- I am one of these people, I rescue dogs and sometimes have 4 dogs at a time. I am not saying Science Diet is top of the line but it is still better than certain store brands.
 

blackarrow

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[T]he reality is that some people cannot afford them if they have multiple dogs- I am one of these people, I rescue dogs and sometimes have 4 dogs at a time. I am not saying Science Diet is top of the line but it is still better than certain store brands.

Well, yeah, it might be beating out Old Roy, but that isn't exactly an endorsement. Another thing is that dogs have to eat much more of the lower-quality food to get the same nutrition. Before I knew any better, I had my dogs on Iams, and was stunned that when I switched to Back to Basics (which I no longer feed either) I was able to feed them less than half of what they had been eating before, so it was actually cheaper per meal (and even better, resulted in much less poop pickup.) Besides, the original poster is asking for advice on feeding a single Chihuahua, not four large breed dogs, which matters as to affordability.
 

i am me

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I didn't have specific Natural Balance product picked out, I saw them in the Jeffers pet catalog and looked it up on there website and just wanted to know if it is any good or not.
 

blackarrow

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I took a quick look and while it's a little higher in grains than I would like, the ingredients are all mid-grade or better quality stuff, and I know it's less expensive than some. Similar for the "Chicken Soup" brand someone else recommended, although with that, I'd want to make sure the ocean fish used are not preserved with ethoxyquin (I think that's how it's spelled) which is a suspected carcinogen. Hope that helps.
 

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Thanks for all the info.
 

Toadies

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I have one of my dogs and two of my cats on Natural Balance foods. The dog and one cat are on LID because of allergies and are doing very well on it. I used to have three other cats on it but had to switch to a high fiber diet, which I could not find with satisfaction in the Natural Balance line. I used to be a Science Diet person, then other needs arose among my creatures and I had to go searching again. When I switched to a high fiber diet, I looked at the SD label and was appalled. I ended up going with Royal Canin/IVD. At times, it seems like you have to settle for "the lesser of the evils". I have noticed that Natural Balance has changed their labels and are not using the same high quality ingredients that they used to.
 

pigsmakemesmile

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My Bassett has been on Wellness brand. He's doing amazingly well compared to the Canadaie...not spelled right. His coat is shiney, he doesn't smell as bad as before, sheds less and he overall looks like the picture of a healthy dog.
 
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