These options are Not WSAVA recommended, so do your homework.
Check into these brands further to make sure you are comfortable feeding them to your dog.
Contact the manufacturers and ask tough questions. Make sure their answers are solid, not just fluff.
What am I looking for:
- no suspected DCM ingredients (if there are, they are in small amounts)
- no corn wheat, or soy
- no millet – it can interfere with the thyroid
I went through most of the brands, omitted the grain-free and other suspect formulations, then took a hard look at the ingredient lists of what was left. This list is what was left to choose from for food under $50.00.
I am going to point out any problems I see in the ingredient list, but remember, I am human and I can make a mistake (or 3). Double check my work. Don’t just take my word for it. My goal is to point you in a direction that allows you to choose the best you can for you and your dog.
Keep in mind all those wonderful sounding ingredients like fruits, vegetables, and probiotics are pretty much there just for looks. Most of the nutrition and probiotics are rendered useless or even harmful during the process of creating kibble.
My idea? Choose a basic formula that is low in carbs and ticks all the safety boxes. Then add your own fresh foods, fish, probiotics, etc. I will give you my pick, and why I chose it for my dogs, at the end of the last post in this series.
Here We Go
A nice price point for the size bag. You’ll see that my criteria for highlighting changes as I go along. Bear with me. I hope to catch what I missed in the comments.
47% carbs. At least they are under 50%. As you can see, I missed the natural flavor. If you remember from the previous post, natural flavor could mean anything and often contains MSG. This is especially important if you have a dog prone to seizures because MSG can trigger them. A note about Alfalfa meal – it is usually GMO. There is added taurine, an protein, which can mean there isn’t enough of a quality meat source – a lot of protein from plants. Sweet potatoes are listed, but keep in mind that it is well after salt and way down the list, so amounts are really, really small. If you can’t get past having pretty ingredients, this formulation does have some. Keep in mind that they are there for you, not your dog and could potentially be problematic.
The picture on this one kind of cracked me up. Anyone here with a gassy dog?
Looks inexpensive, but keep in mind it is for a 16lb bag.
42% carbs look good, but then you see 3 added amino acids (proteins) – L-lysine, D/L Methionine (the D tells you it is synthetic), and taurine. Take a look at all the rice. Brown rice, rice flour, and rice bran all in the first 5 ingredients. That’s a lot of rice! My dogs don’t handle that much rice very well, but your dog might. Remember to make sure your dog’s coat doesn’t decline and not improve as you go through the bag (sometimes your dogs’ coat will decline, but then improve as the coat fills in). Fish meal and oil – you want to see a specific fish. Generic vegetable oil, which usually isn’t stable (goes rancid quickly). And all the pretty ingredients that are mostly useless.
Almost 5 full stars and 98 reviews. Looks good.
48% carbs. We are still under 50%. You can see that they have had to add taurine. Ignore the potassium chloride. It was a boo-boo. They do give you omega 6 and 3 percentages. Not horrible. Would like to see the numbers a little closer. Vitamin E is just highlighted for you to see. Check out the calories per cup. If your dog is used to eating more calories per cup, you may have to feed a little more of this one.
This one is pushing the $50.00 price limit, but it is a slightly larger bag.
41% carbs look impressive, but then you see those amino acids. L-Lysine and L-Carnitine. You know the meat sources aren’t quite enough. Natural flavors, yuck. Fish oil – no actual fish source named, plus it goes rancid quickly. Unstable sunflower oil. It has a tiny amount of ginger root which makes you think it is good for digestion, but is it really enough? Why not just add your own if you think your dog needs it? Omega 6 and 3 could be a little closer, but not bad.
Okay Nature’s Recipe feeders, there are 2 options that I could find for you. Yay!
Yikes! Right on the line at 50% carbs. Added taurine. Natural flavor. Poultry fat? What kind of poultry? It could actually be any kind of bird mix. Otherwise, not bad for $32.00. A good basic recipe for adding your own fresh foods, fish, probiotics, etc.
Here is another one you can choose. The ingredient list is similar.
I’m adding this for anyone who really wants to feed Rachael Ray brand kibble. Please. If you are feeding any of the other Rachael Ray brands, switch.
Again, right on the line at 50% carbs. Natural pork flavor – a chemical concoction to help your dog’s food taste like pork. Sodium chloride = salt. It’s highlighted so you know where it is on the ingredient list. 2 sources of rice. It’s not bad, but if they are added together, rice is probably the #1 ingredient in this formula. My dogs would not do well with that much rice. Omega 6 and 3 numbers are too far apart.
40lbs for $47.oo makes this a pretty good buy.
44% carbs. Better than 50%. The only real problem is the fish meal because we don’t know what kind of, or the quality of the fish. Otherwise, I almost chose this brand for my dogs to try. It is a nice base recipe that you can add into. Keep in mind it is 516 calories per cup. You may need to adjust the amount you feed your dog. * I almost missed the amino acid methionine because they listed it generically. This means there isn’t enough quality protein, so they had to add in what was missing. Probably synthetic, but they aren’t letting us know one way or the other.
The price is right on this one and look at the stars and reviews.
41% carbs. 3 sources of rice probably push rice into the top ingredient. Way too much for my dogs. We know it is short on meat protein because they had to add in DL-Methionine. I also don’t care for the omega 6 and 3 numbers. They are pretty far apart from each other.
These all have similar formulas. I meant to omit the chickpea formula. We don’t want chickpeas or the potatoes in that formula. They are suspect ingredients.
Almost down to 4 stars on this one, with only 8 reviews.
49% carbs and a lot of problems with this one. Generic fish meal, natural flavors, canola oil which is GMO and not that stable under the heat it takes to make kibble. In the added pretty ingredients after salt are peas, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. That amount of potatoes could push them into the ingredients before salt. And all three (peas and potatoes) make it a bit troubling in light of DCM and the suspect ingredients. It’s iffy whether this one would keep your dog safe.
If you like this brand, this is a similar formula.
Okay. That’s my rundown of lower-priced kibble brands that are not WSAVA approved, but may be okay for your dog. Remember! Make a choice, then follow through to make sure you are satisfied it should be safe for your dog. If nothing seems right, go back to the WSAVA brands and choose one of those. They have a good history of being safe and well tested.
Ready for the mid and high priced options? ==>Click Here<==
Check out the WSAVA brands without corn, wheat, or soy. ==>Click Here<==
Need more DCM info? ==>Click Here<==
Peace and Joy,
P.S. Did you pick a brand from this list? Let us know which one and why in the comments. Your research could help someone else.