Food Dilemma

Discussion in 'Dog Food' started by tx_cowgirl, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    I need tips, and this might just not be possible.
    I have been working full time and going to school full time for the past 2 years. My grades, my health, and my happiness show it. A lot. So, I've decided, finally, that I need to put school first and work less hours. I'm going to be changing jobs probably within the next month, and taking a massive pay cut. I'll be happier though, and will be able to do better in school, so it is really much better for me and I'm looking forward to it.

    Currently I am feeding Taste of the Wild. It is about $50 for a 30 pound bag. I will probably still be able to afford this, but I would like to just see if there are other options that might save me a little money.

    First of all, my dogs do best on foods that are at least 400 cal/cup. Any lower than that, no matter what the protein/fat content, and I have to feed a toooooon of food. On ToTW, Zeke is getting 2 cups per day, Mud is getting 1 cup per day, and Gypsy is getting 1 1/2 cups per day.

    We tried Chicken Soup for the Soul a year or two ago. I think it's a great food for the price; about $35 for a 35 pound bag. But the cal/cup, protein, and fat is relatively low. Zeke was eating 4-5 cups per day, Mud 3 cups, and Dakota (Weim/GSP that I had at the time) was eating a whopping 9 cups! Other people I know feed this food and their dogs don't eat near this much, but I guess it just wasn't enough for my dogs. It also gave Mud gas.

    I don't know of any other foods that are good but will save me money.
    Anyone have any suggestions?
    tigerlily46514 likes this.

  2. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    holy crap, Buddy eats 1 and half cups per day of Chicken soup,:eek: BUT Buddy does get 1/3 to 1/2 of each meal is pure meat. Maybe that is why Buddy needs so little kibble, not sure.
    and i do titrate his evening meal by how much running he did that day. so sometimes he gets a bit more.
    Buddy also gets about about a half cup or so of tricks training treats on a typical day, too.
    and zero gas, Buddy only gets gas on the way overpriced "grain free" kind,
    which are chockful of too too many potatoes, often the 2nd or 3rd ingredient is POTATOES!! ( potatoes are nutritionally almost identical to rice or oats)
    Yeah, Chick Soup IS a bit low on fats for active dogs like Buddy, so I do embellish Buddy's Chicken Soup with occasional dab of cannola oil, like a teaspoonful, a few times a week,
    both for the fats, which dogs DO need, and for his coat, and to help him absorb the vitamins better. Cannola oil is super cheap, low cholesterol, etc. Even most vets say a dab of cannola oil is GOOD for dogs a few times a week.
    GOOD LUCK TX! I am going to follow this, to learn of any other quality BUT LOWER PRICED dog foods for those of us on a budget, as i do think it might be good to slowly and occasionally swap out kibbles now and then to ensure wide range of nutrients.
  3. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    When they get raw or canned, I cut their kibble portion in half. But now they are only getting raw once a week and canned once a week or once every two weeks. The rest of the time unfortunately it's just kibble. I also cut their kibble intake a bit when we train, which is down to a few times a week. Another reason why I'm looking forward to working less hours. ^^ More time to train!! :D

    My friend is feeding Chicken Soup to his high-energy 50ish pound BC mix, and his medium-energy 60ish pound Pit mix. The BC mix eats 1 3/4 cups per day and the Pit mix eats 2 cups per day. They're doing well on it. He adopted both dogs, and the shelters they came from fed Science Diet. Their coats were AWFUL, they both had terrible gas, so many issues on SD! It was really amazing to see the change with Chicken Soup; they are in much better shape now.
  4. sara Moderator

    I feed several different kinds of food, Merrick Wilderness Blend, Merrick Canned foods (approx 2x per week they have part of a can mixed in with their dry), Acana Pacifica, Acana Ranchland, GO! Natural, and NOW! (same company) Salmon flavour and Duck flavour in the GO! Blue Buffalo Wilderness, Orijen 6 fish, Horizon Legacy, Natural Balance Fish and Sweet Potato and Bison and Sweet Potato, and Taste of the Wild.

    I feed a different kind of food for each meal, some high protein, high fat foods, and some lower protein foods, most are grain-free, though the Merrick and the GO! aren't grain-free. I buy foods only made by companies devoted to dog food, no huge corporations, and foods made entirely within Canada and the US. I try to keep to unique proteins for most of what I feed my dogs.

    Since I started feeding this way, Oliver's dodgy tummy has cleared up, and he can now eat anything but raw meat, Mouse is keeping weight on, and Boo has lost weight and looks as good as Mouse now does. Both Scout and Zoe have lost weight and look great, though I feed them slightly different (they get the Natural Balance as a base food, and get some different food mixed in for each meal... NB is lower in protein, and fat and higher in fiber, so a great weight loss food. Oliver gets 1 1/2 cups a day he's a thin and hyper 35lbs. (He's the closest to your three :) )

    But after all that, I dont think I answered your question :) ToTW is high in protein and fat, Acana is as well, check out that food, it may be a better price. Horizon Legacy is a good food as well, and the Blue Buffalo Wilderness is also high in protein. Orijen is the same price or higher as ToTW
  5. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    I love the Merrick canned foods, they are great. Haven't looked at the dry foods much, wonder if they are any cheaper?

    I fed Blue Buffalo Wilderness up until a few weeks ago; I fed just Wilderness for about a year and then a mix of Wilderness and ToTW up until a few weeks ago. Now just ToTW to save money.
    I really like Acana, but there are no dealers in my area. I just found a new pet store(pet store as in place that sells pet stuff, not place that sells animals) that has a fairly good selection of good foods(but too high priced); the owner is very open to suggestions on inventory, I'll see if she's interested in it. I asked her about carrying my raw food(because I HATE the place I've been getting it from) and she ordered it for me and keeps it in stock now.

    Just looked up the Merrick dry foods. Do you feed the 5-star Entrees, Whole Earth, or the Before Grain? I found a dealer here but I am not sure that they have the entire line; I'll have to check tomorrow. It seems very well priced just judging from a Google shopping search. GO! and NOW! are not available here, neither is Natural Balance. We have very limited selection on dog foods here, which is why I'm really happy with this new pet shop I found. She's still building her inventory, but she's getting in some pretty good foods. She has Orijen, Nature's Variety, and a few others that are good. I think she mentioned getting Merrick foods the last time I was there.

    So from your response Sara, looks like I'm checking into Merrick and Acana. Both of those are in my price range. The Merrick foods are really well priced, I'm surprised. I really hope I can find the Before Grain, it looks great and is priced well. I'll send the pet shop an email and see if she has plans of carrying either of those brands.

    Thanks a bunch!
  6. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    YAY! Just found the website for a pet store(again, not animal selling kind, lol) that sells the Merrick foods. They have Before Grain and the 5-star Entrees listed on their website, hopefully they also have it in store. Get to check tomorrow!!!! :D Yay for saving money!
  7. sara Moderator

    I feed the 5 star entree's, I do believe, however the BG will probably be fed before too long :) I just bought 2 new kinds of food, I decided to try the Chicken Soup, and Horizon, crap I forgot the name, not Legacy a new one, starts with an A LOL

    Just so you know, when Oliver was eating straight Acana, he gained weight. He was on Pacifica, which is 33% protein, 18% fat, and 3% fiber.
  8. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    So I found the Before Grain.
    But the store it's at sells it for $45-$50 for a 25 pound bag. I'm paying $50 already for a 30 pound bag of ToTW. Google shopping results showed it at $30-35 a bag; I know that just gives me a ballpark idea and that's not from a small business, but sheesh...that much of a difference?? I'm hoping maybe the price will decrease; the store just started carrying it. I did buy a small bag just to mix with ToTW.
    Also found out that Before Grain is made here in Texas! But unless I find someone that sells it cheaper or that store reduces the price, I won't be switching to it. Too bad; I like it.
    I think we might have someone here that sells Horizon, but I'm not sure.
    Still on the hunt, it seems...
  9. sara Moderator

    Ha Ha. I guess that must be why Oliver likes the Merrick brand foods so much! LOL

    the Acana and Orijen are made right here in Alberta! LOL and the Horizon is made in Saskatchewan, GO! and NOW! are made in BC! LOL I do like local foods :D

    Oliver, Mouse and Boo just had Chicken Soup dry food mixed with Merrick Harvest Leaf'd Overs canned food!
  10. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Learned that Merrick is made actually just a few hours from me!! Geez, no reason why that pet store should be marking it up sooo much. Grr. (n)
  11. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    So, I've finally realized that CHICKEN is what causes Mud's gas. Doesn't matter what brand, if the food is mainly chicken, she has gas. O_o Venison, bison, duck, lamb, salmon, rabbit, no other meats give her gas. Just chicken.
    Still on the search. I've just about decided there is no food out there available to me that is cheaper than what I am feeding now but is not crap.

    Grr why can't the affordable good foods be available somewhere HERE. :mad:

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