Archive for the TMI Category

Dog Kibble – My Opinion

Posted in TMI on February 12, 2013 by Red Dawg Lady

I spent some time in January 2013 putting together a list of kcal/cup of commonly fed brands of kibble so I could compare my cost/pound versons kcal/cup to sort of put apples to apples and figure out if I was really saving money. The list at the end of this commentary contains just the dog food brand/variety and the kcal/cup. The kcal/cup was obtained from the manufacturers.

Before anyone feels compelled to extoll the virtues of a raw diet for dogs, let me say that I am not against a raw diet. I actually feed raw a couple days a week to my dogs. But, in the interest of making it easy for my clients to duplicate my feedings, kibble is the way to go. It’s readily available. It’s easy. It’s cheaper than raw.

For years I fed Purina Pro Plan Performance, which is now called Pro Plan Sport 30/20 and had fantastic results. My dogs were not fat, ate a reasonable amount of food, had excellent muscle tone, good teeth, normal CBC results well into their teens, and had no health problems. I raised litters of puppies on it with beautiful results. I would still be feeding it if it weren’t for the ninja switch that Nestle-Purina did with the other Pro Plan formulas.

What is a ninja switch? It’s when a company alters their formula without announcing anything changed. In this case, it was Nestle-Purina adding soy to the Pro Plan foods. And it wasn’t just that they changed the ingredients, it what they added that initially got me torqued. Soy is not a bio-available source of protein for dogs. Yeah, that’s right. A dog food that includes ingredients that will artificially bump up the protein count that is basically not a digestible ingredient. That ticked me off. When I questioned the company about it, they gave me this song-and-dance about how it was formulated by vets and scientifically tested, yadda, yadda. Now they pissed me off.

I am savvy enough to know that if soy was such a fantastic ingredient for dog food, the Nestle-Purina marketing wunderkinds would have been plastering “NOW CONTAINS SOY FOR YOUR DOG’S HEALTH” all over every package of food that contained it. Did they do that? No. Not at all. You found out about it if you happened to spy it on the ingredient list on your dog food bag that had looked the same for 5 years. So what does that tell you? Perhaps that they didn’t want you to notice? It’s what it told me!

Back to the Pro Plan Performance (Sport 32/20) formula. It is still a good food at the moment. I would still be feeding it but for my clients. When my clients go into a pet food retailer, if they can’t get Sport 30/20, they end up grabbing a different formula, like Savor (the old Shredded Blend) which has the soy in it. This poses a real problem for me. I am not going to recommend something that isn’t going to work for the dogs, and that isn’t going to be a problem switching to another formula. Nestle-Purina, you lost my $9,000/year in purchases, plus lost all of my referrals (probably half of my budget).

So what to I feed now? Nature’s Variety Prairie Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Medley is my main kibble. The dogs are doing great on it, and you can readily find it across the country thanks to PetCo picking it up. I feed roughly the same, or less, amount of Prairie as I did Pro Plan Performance. My 60-pounds males get 4 cups/day, and the 45-pound girls get 3 cups or slightly less. Some of the “premium” foods like Canidae forced me to nearly double the amount of food to maintain weight on my dogs, even though it has a higher kcal/cup and when I tried Taste of the Wild on my dogs, within 2 weeks, they appeared starved with hips and ribs prominently displayed, even with double rations. Some of the grain-free foods left my dogs still very hungry and got them too hopped up with nervous energy, like a horse with too much grain.

On the raw feeding days, I alternate between Sojo’s Complete Turkey, Sojo’s Complete Beef, The Honest Kitchen Embark,The Honest Kitchen Thrive, raw chicken frames, veggies, fruits, duck necks, or buffalo necks. Which product I use depends on what I have on-hand. I have seen no problems switching back and forth between kibble or raw.  You can interpret that to mean that poop scooping does not suck.

Anyways, without further adieu, here is the list of kcal/cup:



Acana Grasslands Lamb & Fish  430

Acana Pacifica Salmon, Herring Potato  430

Acana Ranchlands Beef Lamb Herring  460

Acana Wild Prairie Chicken & Fish  425


Blue Buffalo Chicken & Brown Rice  440

Blue Buffalo Puppy Chicken & Rice  452

Blue Buffalo Puppy Lamb & Oatmeal  430


Canidae All Life Stages  468

Canidae Beef & Fish  457

Canidae Chicken & Rice  468

Canidae Lamb & Rice  457

Canidae Platinum  333

Canidae Pure Elements (chicken, turkey, lamb, ocean fish)  498

Canidae Pure Land (bison & lamb)  473

Canidae Pure Sea (salmon)  498

Canidae Pure Sky (duck & turkey)  501

Canidae Single Grain Protein Plus  464


dehyd raw – Sojo’s Complete Beef  333

dehyd raw – Sojo’s Complete Turkey  335

dehyd raw – Sojo’s Grain Free (base)  332

dehyd raw – Sojo’s Original (base)  380


dehyd raw – THK Embark  488

dehyd raw – THK Force  446

dehyd raw – THK Keen  470

dehyd raw – THK Love  514

dehyd raw – THK Preference (base)  333

dehyd raw – THK Thrive  516

dehyd raw – THK Verve  441

dehyd raw – THK Zeal  437


Diamond Naturals Lamb & Rice Adult  337

Diamond Premium Adult  435

Diamond Puppy  438


Eukanuba Natural Puppy  372

Eukanuba Performance 28/18  388

Eukanuba Premium Perfomance 30/20  385

Eukanuba Puppy Growth  419

Eukanuba Puppy Weaning  447


Fromm Gold Adult  394

Fromm Gold Puppy  430


Merrick Puppy Plate  362


NV Instinct Grain Free CHICKEN  490

NV Instinct Grain Free DUCK & TURKEY  464

NV Instinct Grain Free RABBIT  474

NV Instinct Grain Free SALMON  470

NV Prairie Beef & Barley  430

NV Prairie Chicken & Brown Rice  391

NV Prairie Chicken & Brown Rice PUPPY  415


O&M Puppy  441


Pro Plan All Life Stages Chicken & Rice  489

Pro Plan Focus Puppy CHICKEN & RICE  470

Pro Plan Focus Puppy Lamb & Rice  457

Pro Plan Savor Chicken & Rice (Shredded)  382

Pro Plan Savor Lamb & Rice (Shredded)  389

Pro Plan Select Adult Grain Free CHICKEN  475

Pro Plan Select Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach (Salmon)  418

Pro Plan Sport 26/18 All Life Stages  488

Pro Plan Sport 30/20 (Performance)  475


TOTW High Prairie  370

TOTW Pacific Stream  360

TOTW Sierra Mountain  338

TOTW Wetlands  375


Wellness Super 5 Mix Puppy  430

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