Earthborn PN changed formula- still my best choice?
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Thread: Earthborn PN changed formula- still my best choice?

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    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Earthborn PN changed formula- still my best choice?

    I really like the Earthborn Primitive Natural for its price point, manufactured nearby in the US, high protein and having HAD 3 named meat meals as the first 3 ingredients.

    But I noticed this recent bag (and I see the last bag too but not before that) has a slightly different order of main ingredients and I'm not sure if its worth searching out another food at this price if the quality change isn't huge. (Only the bulk of the ingredients listed but it looks like they also changed/added some of the lesser ingredients also)

    BEFORE:
    Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Whitefish Meal, Potatoes, Chicken Fat, Dried Egg Product, Tomato Pomace, Apples, Blueberries, Carrots, Peas

    NOW:
    Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Chicken Fat, Whitefish Meal, Dried Egg Product, Tomato Pomace, Peas, Blueberry Fiber, Cranberry Fiber, Apples,

    It looks to me like they are moving peas up to keep the protein the same and dropping whitefish meal down the list (cost maybe?)

    I pay about $50 for a 28 lbs bag and combining specials and a frequent buyer card bring the average bag price down to about $44/28 lbs. This is the max for my budget and I cannot realistically go raw.

    Opinions? Still a good choice for its price?

    I think I can get all the major brands here inc. the high end foods and also know a pet shop that may order special if they get enough people interested in a given brand.

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    Senior Member Jacksons Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Earthborn PN changed formula- still my best choice?

    The only reason I wouldn't feed the PN formula specifically is due to the SUPER high ash. 12% ash is extremely high among dog kibble. The most I'd ideally go up to would be 9% and that's pushing it. A lot of times, the higher the ash, the lower quality the meat. I have a slight feeling most of the protein in this food is not coming from the meat... And high ash does nothing for a dog except be taxing on their kidneys (trying to get rid of something not needed in their body). May or may not harm the dog... but I don't think I'm willing to take a chance. Your paying all that money for a LOT of ash (aka minerals not needed).

    A little info about ash: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/choosi.../dog-food-ash/

    Do you HAVE to stick with grain-free? Fromm Classics and Gold are great lines, from a fantastic company. And actually have more of their protein coming from meat than the current food you're feeding. Ingredient lists can be deceiving. Most of Fromm's foods are all well under 7% ash. You can get a 33lb bag of Fromm Classics Adult for $37.99 or a 15lb bag for about $20. Annamaet has some good grain-frees, but they may be a bit out of your budget.... their grain inclusives are great too though and definitely price friendly. Precise is also a good brand with some budget friendly options. Dr. Tims has a grain-free now too. What about one of the other earthborn formulas?
    Last edited by Jacksons Mom; 01-15-2013 at 06:42 PM.

    Brit & Jackson



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    Senior Member zhaor's Avatar
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    Re: Earthborn PN changed formula- still my best choice?

    Except PN doesn't report 12% ash....Or is it somewhere I haven't seen?
    I'm assuming you got that number by taking the percentages from the guaranteed analysis and their reported carb percentage. If so, it's almost certainly an overestimate.

    Given the protein percentage of the food, it would be expected that ash content be higher anyways. More meat meal means more ash and more protein. Given there's no concentrated plant protein in the ingredients, yes most of the protein would have to come from animal sources.

    Anyways, considering peas is sandwiched between multiple fiber sources, I wouldn't worry too much about the increase in pea content. It doesn't look to be a major change.

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    Senior Member Jacksons Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Earthborn PN changed formula- still my best choice?

    Quote Originally Posted by zhaor View Post
    Except PN doesn't report 12% ash....Or is it somewhere I haven't seen?
    I'm assuming you got that number by taking the percentages from the guaranteed analysis and their reported carb percentage. If so, it's almost certainly an overestimate.

    Given the protein percentage of the food, it would be expected that ash content be higher anyways. More meat meal means more ash and more protein. Given there's no concentrated plant protein in the ingredients, yes most of the protein would have to come from animal sources.

    Anyways, considering peas is sandwiched between multiple fiber sources, I wouldn't worry too much about the increase in pea content. It doesn't look to be a major change.
    Nope, I emailed Earthborn and asked. Here's all their ash levels:
    Primitive Natural is 12
    Great Plains is 9.8
    Coastal Catch is 7.5
    Meadow Feast is 9.1
    Adult Vantage is 6.7
    Ocean Fusion is 8.8
    Small Breed is 8
    Puppy Vantage is 8.1.
    All as fed basis.

    Typically kibbles with more bone content have higher ash. And from what I understand, yes, while higher ash naturally comes along with higher protein, you can find a lot of other GF meat heavy foods with MUCH less ash. There is no benefit to high ash at all. For a dog that you KNOW 100% will have healthy kidneys for it's *whole* life, then you'd be a-okay, but I am pretty sure nobody knows that. So, to me, it's not worth the risk.

    with that said, there is foods like Nature's Variety, that use motrontillate clay which in turns gives them higher ash %'s. Whether that makes it better or not is questionable.

    But I do think it's an important thing to pay attention to.
    Last edited by Jacksons Mom; 01-15-2013 at 08:46 PM.

    Brit & Jackson



  6. #5
    Senior Member zhaor's Avatar
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    Re: Earthborn PN changed formula- still my best choice?

    Hmm... I would say those are a bit higher than I would have expected.

    I generally expect poultry meal to have a ash to protein ratio of about 1/3. Things like lamb meal are supposedly higher in ash. With the normal additional plant protein content in foods, I would tend to expect the average ratio to be closer to 1/4 but there's also additional trace minerals added.

    At the same time, in foods like Fromm that can be higher in plant protein, I would expect ash content to also be relatively lower. It really would be nice for companies to start publishing a complete typical analysis for their foods. Actually if the FDA went as far as to require typical analysis of toxin contents as well, that would be quite enlightening too. Stripping away all that marketing would really be nice.

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    Senior Member Jacksons Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Earthborn PN changed formula- still my best choice?

    Quote Originally Posted by zhaor View Post
    Hmm... I would say those are a bit higher than I would have expected.

    I generally expect poultry meal to have a ash to protein ratio of about 1/3. Things like lamb meal are supposedly higher in ash. With the normal additional plant protein content in foods, I would tend to expect the average ratio to be closer to 1/4 but there's also additional trace minerals added.

    At the same time, in foods like Fromm that can be higher in plant protein, I would expect ash content to also be relatively lower. It really would be nice for companies to start publishing a complete typical analysis for their foods. Actually if the FDA went as far as to require typical analysis of toxin contents as well, that would be quite enlightening too. Stripping away all that marketing would really be nice.
    Absolutely agree!

    It just concerns me is all (12% ash). I wouldn't risk it.

    Most of Fromm's formulas (not their grain-frees) have lots of meat content, and very low ash. They do list the full nutritional info on their site in a PDF. Fromm's grainfrees are low in ash, but the inclusion of pea protein, peas, etc, makes me question just how much protein is coming from the meat too. But still good foods! Even the GF's are under 7%.

    For example, Fromm Adult Gold:
    Duck, Chicken Meal, Chicken, Brown Rice, Pearled Barley, Oatmeal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Lamb, Potato, Tomato Pomace, Whole Egg, Salmon Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Cheese, Flaxseed, Brewers Dried Yeast, Alfalfa Meal, Carrots, Lettuce, Celery, Lecithin, Chicken Cartilage, Monocalcium Phosphate, Salt, Potassium Chloride, DL-Methionine, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bifidobacterium Longum, Lactobacillus Plantarum, Enterococcous Faecium, Vitamin A, D3, E, B12 Supplements, Choline Chloride, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Carbonate, Manganous Oxide, Copper Oxide, Cobalt Carbonate, Calcium Iodate, Sorbic Acid, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite.

    comes in around 6% ash. That food most likely has more meat in it than the EB PN (and better quality meats).
    Last edited by Jacksons Mom; 01-15-2013 at 10:37 PM.

    Brit & Jackson



  8. #7
    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: Earthborn PN changed formula- still my best choice?

    I can't get Fromm's locally and I'd rather not order online. EDIT: I can get "Fromm's Classic" from one store but nothing else of that line.

    I could try the EB Coastal Catch formula but peas and pea protein and potatoes are main ingredients so I'd like to find other options also.

    Chester can't eat pork, although if there were a tiny bit way way down the ingredient list it might be fine. Definitely can't do something like Merrick's Beef formula where pork meal is the second ingredient.

    I would greatly prefer grain-free as the pit bulls seem to have very sensitive stomachs and skin. Chester does best on a high protein food (over 32% at least) but I think he could handle a reasonable amount of grains.

    My local feed shop carries "Nutro Natural Choice, Nutro Ultra, Earthborn, Wellness, Pro Pac, Eagle, Natural Balance, Merrick, Pro Plan, Science Diet, Eukanuba, Iams, Taste of the Wild and Professional, among others" (from their website) so I am going to check out what the "among others" consists of.

    Another shop carries Canidae, Premium Edge, Acana, Orijien, TOTW, Natural Balance LID, and THK
    Last edited by Shell; 01-16-2013 at 07:44 AM.

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    Senior Member Jacksons Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Earthborn PN changed formula- still my best choice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shell View Post
    I can't get Fromm's locally and I'd rather not order online. EDIT: I can get "Fromm's Classic" from one store but nothing else of that line.

    I could try the EB Coastal Catch formula but peas and pea protein and potatoes are main ingredients so I'd like to find other options also.

    Chester can't eat pork, although if there were a tiny bit way way down the ingredient list it might be fine. Definitely can't do something like Merrick's Beef formula where pork meal is the second ingredient.

    I would greatly prefer grain-free as the pit bulls seem to have very sensitive stomachs and skin. Chester does best on a high protein food (over 32% at least) but I think he could handle a reasonable amount of grains.

    My local feed shop carries "Nutro Natural Choice, Nutro Ultra, Earthborn, Wellness, Pro Pac, Eagle, Natural Balance, Merrick, Pro Plan, Science Diet, Eukanuba, Iams, Taste of the Wild and Professional, among others" (from their website) so I am going to check out what the "among others" consists of.

    Another shop carries Canidae, Premium Edge, Acana, Orijien, TOTW, Natural Balance LID, and THK
    Hmmm, well I was just going off your budget, but most dogs do very well on Acana. The only complaint I've heard recently is dogs got itchy on the new formulas (they changed somewhat recently) and I've kinda become iffy with Champion overall but I still think it's a good food. Might be out of your price range though.

    Pro Pac is probably in your budget, it's made by the same people at Earthborn, but I haven't looked at their formulas in a while. Probably has corn in most of them unfortunately.


    I mean, if he's doing well on Earthborn PN, keep him on it... I just think the ash is dangerously high and I'd be worried feeding it long-term.

    Fromm Classics would be my top choice out of all of them and for your budget, but if you want a bit higher protein, etc, it obviously won't fit the bill.

    I order often from Chewy.com and get my order sometimes the very next day! Spend $49 and get free shipping - it's awesome!

    I wish you luck -- the food thing can be a pain sometimes especially when they go changing formulas and stuff on you

    Brit & Jackson



  10. #9
    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: Earthborn PN changed formula- still my best choice?

    It's not the shipping time, it's that I don't really want dog food bags sitting on my front step all day. And if I can get something good at the same price, I do like supporting local businesses.

    I might go ahead and try Fromm Classics and see how they do on it since it's US made and in my price range. I can supplement some raw (or home cooked meat) for a protein boost. I just don't have the freezer space to go 100% raw and for the fosters, I want to keep them on a kibble that would be a realistic option for a local adopter (another reason for choosing a food I can buy here in town).
    The Pro Pac has corn high up on the list so no. Acana is too pricy. I go through about 50-55 lbs of food per month, I think the first month I had the foster that came really skinny I used about 65 lbs of food.

    I'm going to swing by the store on my lunch break and write down the full list of brands they carry, I know there are a few month that aren't listed on their website.

    If I wanted to buy a Diamond brand, they do carry 'Professional" which is grain-inclusive but corn, wheat and soy free and the active dog formula is 30% protein/20% fat which is solid. The price is really good.
    Last edited by Shell; 01-16-2013 at 08:45 AM.

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    Senior Member Daenerys's Avatar
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    Re: Earthborn PN changed formula- still my best choice?

    Ohhh, my dogs eat Earthborn. I wonder if the high ash content is what contributed to Legend forming a bladder stone???

  12. #11
    Senior Member Jacksons Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Earthborn PN changed formula- still my best choice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daenerys View Post
    Ohhh, my dogs eat Earthborn. I wonder if the high ash content is what contributed to Legend forming a bladder stone???
    I don't know much about that, but I believe higher ash (well, and higher protein) = needs to drink more water. Which formula was he on?

    Brit & Jackson



  13. #12
    Senior Member Daenerys's Avatar
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    Re: Earthborn PN changed formula- still my best choice?

    We switched between all of the grain free varieties, bought a different flavor with each bag, but it looks like they all have pretty high ash content...

  14. #13
    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: Earthborn PN changed formula- still my best choice?

    I picked up a bag of Fromm Classic and so far the dogs seem to love it. Mixing 50/50 for the first few days. $38 for 33 lbs is great! Low ash content which is listed on the bag even. Crossing my fingers that it works. The local boutique pet shop I bought it from said they started carrying it after enough people wanted to special order it and that several of the owners had pit bulls with sensitive stomachs and skin who did well on it.

    I also checked out and got a small bag of the Professionals brand because it actually had really good ingredients for the price and I want to see if foster Frankie does fine on it in case I need to recommend a lower cost food to a future adopter.

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