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List of Best & worst dog foods from WDJ (Whole Dog Journal)

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
This is a list complied by the Whole Dog Journal. It then comes down too which food off of the good list works well for your particular dog

Best Dry Dog Food:

Back to Basics
Bench & Field
Blue Buffalo
By Nature Brightlife
California Nautral
Canine Caviar
Chicken Soup for the Pet Lovers Soul
Could Star Kibble
Drs. Foster Smith
Eagle Holistic Select
Evolve Natural
Flint River
Fromm 4 Star Nutritionals
Go! Natural
Hund-n-Flocken (Solid Gold)
Lick Your Chops
Limitied Diets (IVD)
MMillennia (Solid Gold)
Natural Balance
Natural Choice Ultra
Newman's Own
Phd Viand
Praire (Nature's Variety)
Premium Edge
Prime Life
Royal Canin Natural Blend
Showbound Naturals
Timberwolf Organics
Wellness Simple Food Solutions

Worst Dry Dog Foods:

Cycle Adult
Dad's Bite Sized Meal
Diamond Premium Adult Formula
Excel Lamb Meal & Rice
Gravy Train
Happy Tails
HiPro Dog Food
Iams Lamb Meal & Rice
Kibbles & Bits Homestyle Chicken & Vegetable
Max Adult (Nutro)
Maxximum Nutrition
Natural Choice Adult Lamb & Rice (Nutro)
Nature's Recipie "Breed Specific"
Nutra Nuggets Adult Maintenance
Ol' Roy
Purina Dog Chow
Purina One Total Nutrition
Science Diet Adult
Science Diet "Nature's Best With Real Beef..."

Best Canned Dog Foods:

Active Life
Advanced Pet Diets
Boulder Creek Farms
California Nautral
Drs. Foster Smith
Eagle Holistic Select
Evolve Natural
Evanger's For Dogs
Natural Balance
Natural Life
Neura Meats
Newman's Own
Nutro Natural Choice Ultra
Petguard Organic
Prairie (Nature's Variety)
Precise Plus
Sensible Choice
Solid Gold
Spot's Stew

Worst Canned Dog Foods:

Ol' Roy
Science Diet

For the record, My sheltie eats Merrick wilderness blend. She's a picky eater, she has tried Purina one, Canidae and Innova. So far Merrick wilderness blend is the only one she choose. I tried to switch her to other flavour or other brand though so she doesn't get bored with her food and it's better for her health (Imagine eating the same food over and over again)
post #2 of 36
Well that's just great. Of all those brands, not many are available here, and of those, Pixie's two favorite, Nutros (called Nutros here, but I assume it's Nutra since it's called adult maintenence mini) and Hill's Science Diet, are on the worse list.

On the best list, the only available here is Royal Canin. She doesn't like it much.
post #3 of 36
How did they determine the best and worst foods? Did they have a panel of testers taste them?
post #4 of 36
My dog eats better than I do. Science Diet Rules.
post #5 of 36
Heh, my two dogs only ate what I was eating or, at a push, they would accept a couple of tins of Cesar "reluctantly" they loved boiled tripe, chicken and minced beef and there's no way they would have eaten that dried stuff... no way!
post #6 of 36
The dog and both cats eat Eukanuba dry food.
We noticed their fur looks much healthier, they eat less, poop less, and the cats stopped hacking up hairballs. The catbox is way less stinky and easier to clean also.
The cats also seem to be less grumpy.
Costs more, but I think it's worth it.
post #7 of 36
Our dog doesn't do well on any lamb formula food.
We did try Ol Roys and I must agree that is one poor quality dog food. I can't remember the name of what she is eating now. It's not my job to buy dog food.
post #8 of 36
It's interesting that some of the most heavily advertised, and most widely available foods are rated so poorly!
post #9 of 36
I suspect that the rating system is just based on how much "natural" and "organic" content the dog foods have. I looked up the "Whole Dog Journal" on the web and it seems like some kind of "natural" journal for dogs. Chiropractic and acupuncture for dogs???

Every so often I buy those kinds of organic/natural/hippy treats for my schnauzer and to be honest, he seems to prefer just the regular stuff from mainstream brands.
post #10 of 36
Originally Posted by Todd R
The dog and both cats eat Eukanuba dry food.
We noticed their fur looks much healthier, they eat less, poop less, and the cats stopped hacking up hairballs. The catbox is way less stinky and easier to clean also.
The cats also seem to be less grumpy.
Costs more, but I think it's worth it.
Second on the Euk for the springers, although my elder two are on special diets for allergies in one case and chronic liver failure in the other (we're paying twice as much for their Rx chow and they are getting half the nutrition of Euk). Similar observations for Eukanuba on coat, condition, and excretions. Best stuff we've ever tried.
post #11 of 36
My dog eats Purina One and she ain't dead yet.
post #12 of 36
We feed our dogs (German Shepherd and Miniature Schnauzer) Eukanuba and they seem to do very well on it. The problem with most of the "recommended" brands is where do you find them?
post #13 of 36
Originally Posted by kentamcolin
We feed our dogs (German Shepherd and Miniature Schnauzer) Eukanuba and they seem to do very well on it. The problem with most of the "recommended" brands is where do you find them?
i agree. my local store, petco, even online doesn't have those brands easily deliverable to my apt. i mean, the vet has 1 or 2 of those brands as a matter of medical reasons, but it's WAY pricey.
post #14 of 36
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Whole Dog Journal
WDJ’s selection criteria

"Here’s how we select which dry foods are worthy of our dogs’ digestion (as well as a spot on our “approved foods” list):

• We look for foods that contain a lot of animal proteins. Extruded food cannot contain more than 50 percent meat; it “gums up” the extruders. We like it when manufacturers tell us the approximate percentage of meat, poultry, or fish proteins in a food, but they rarely do. So we look for foods with lots of animal protein sources at the top of the ingredients list. Two animal proteins in the first three ingredients? Cool! Three in the top five? Right on! Two in the top five? Well, okay . . . Only one in the top five? That food better have a lot of other things going for it. (A good example is Karma, reputedly the first and only dry dog food on the market that is 95-100 percent organic.)

The thing is, we can’t reduce this to a hard and fast rule. When you look at the ingredients at the top of the list, note the relative position of the protein sources, the total amount of protein in the food, and consider your dog’s needs. Is he an elderly couch potato or a lean and active athlete? Keep all of this in mind.

Remember that ingredients are listed on the label by the total weight they contribute to the product. Fresh or frozen whole meats are expensive ingredients for the manufacturer, and tend to be a hallmark of quality. But whole meats also contain lots of water, which is heavy (pushing it toward the top of the ingredient list) but lacks nutrients. Meat meals are nutrient-dense. We have a somewhat baseless affection for foods that contain both whole meat (beef, chicken, fish, etc.) and meat meal (beef meal, chicken meal, fish meal, etc.).

• We reject any food containing meat by-products or poultry by-products. Note: Some of our past selections do contain meat and/or poultry by-products. To winnow down our list to the very best foods possible, we no longer select products that contain meat or poultry by-products.

By-products are not intrinsically bad; in fact, many are highly nutritious. However, by-products are less expensive, and are not always handled as carefully or quickly as more expensive foodstuffs. Poor handling or slow transport of these ingredients can decrease their palatability and nutritional content. Dog owners who are fixated on quality will find it easier to avoid foods that contain by-products than to confirm the quality of the by-products with the food manufacturer.

• We reject foods containing fat or protein not identified by species. “Animal fat” is a euphemism for a low-quality, low-priced mix of fats of uncertain origin. “Meat meal” could be anything. We shudder.

• We look for the use of whole grains and vegetables. That said, some grains and vegetables have valuable constituents that accomplish specific tasks in a dog food formula. So don’t go busting our chops because one of our approved foods has, say, tomato pomace ninth on its ingredients list; tomato pomace is used by some food makers for its contribution to the food’s fiber mix and for its lycopene content. Instead, focus your righteous indignation on a food that contains, say, rice flour, rice bran, and brewer’s rice, all in the top 10 ingredients.

Many dog food ingredients have gotten undeserved poor reputations – casualties of the “premium” foods marketing wars. It really depends how many fractions are used and which positions on the ingredients list they occupy. Look for an upcoming article about the relative value and uses of various vegetable and grain fractions.

• We eliminate all foods with artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives listed on their ingredients panels. Note: Some ingredients – usually fats, and some fish products – arrive at the pet food factory containing artificial preservatives; these do not have to be disclosed on the ingredient list, since the maker did not add them.

• We offer (fictional) bonus points for foods that offer the date of manufacture in addition to the usual “best if used by” date. The fresher the food is, the higher the nutrient content and palatability.

Each food manufacturer formulates their product to deliver adequate nutrition, without spoiling, for a specific length of time – usually, about 12 to 16 months. Factors that affect the functional “shelf life” of a food include the type and amount of preservatives used, the type of bag used, as well as the temperature, humidity, and exposure to light the product is exposed to in transport and storage.

We often recommend that consumers purchase food from outlets that assiduously manage their stock to ensure that the food on the shelves is relatively fresh. This is harder to do without that “born-on” date, but not impossible. If a food label has only a “best if used by” date, check to make sure that it’s as far in the future as possible.

• Organic ingredients bring a product to the front of the class, the more, the better. "

"As with the canned food review we published in December, we tried something new with this installment of our dry food review. We asked most (we missed three) of the companies on our past “Top Food” lists to provide information about their manufacturing operations and ingredients.

First, we asked them to tell us where their foods are made, and we asked them whether they disclose this information to their consumers. As we discussed in “Made in a Secret Location” (January 2003), most pet food companies don’t like revealing anything about their manufacturing operations.

We also asked them to provide us with documentation to substantiate any special claims they make about their ingredients. If they say they use organic ingredients, we wanted to see organic certification documents. If they hint that they use “human grade” ingredients (we’ll discuss that in a second), we asked to see USDA certificates."
They also mentioned (in 2003) that rotating between 3 or 4 top quality foods is better than sticking with just one food for all of your dog's life.

Kentamcolin, you can go to each one of the recommended brands website and try their local dealer or you can order them through the internet. I got merrick from sitstay.com Try Canidae online dealer, most likely they also carried other premium brands. Chicken soup also easily available in your local pet store.

boxerworld forum and dogster forum (especially their food & nutrition or feeding section) are a good place to research. In dogster forum, there's recent discussion of real cost of premium food vs economic food.
post #15 of 36
Re: Whole Dog Journal's "nutritional" guidelines; see my sig.
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