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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone. I have an 8 month old GSP/Brittany mix. He is high energy and we exercise him a good bit. Right now he eats Nutro Ultra puppy. It is about $48-52 per big bag and he goes through a bag ever 1.5 months. Due to financial reasons we need to switch to a slightly cheaper dog food. I refuse to feed him corn based food, but it seems like Nutro is one of the more expensive brands.

Does anyone have any experience with some foods that are still high quality and have no preservatives?

Please help.
 

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Do you know what your options are? Meaning, are you limited to PetSmart/PetCo or do you have indie pet stores that carry better brands? Are you willing to order the food online? There are some solid choices that are lower in price than your current food (and there are better quality foods for the same price, for that matter), but it would help to know what your sources are.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Petsmart is close by. I also have a lot of local Feed and Seed stores that carry various types of food. There is also a chain pet store called Saluda River Pet Store that is close by also.
 

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I would recommend going to the Feed store and talking to the staff, bring in the ingredients list of your current food, and then they can compare it to what they have and let you know the price.

A good site is http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com however if you don't know what is available to you, and/or what it costs it will make it hard to compare.

I posted a link as a sticky to a really good food calculator which helps you compare cost per calorie, as calories are what dictates how much you feed your pet.

Depending on cost per/calorie you may actually save money by going to say a $60 bag of food, as it may last 2 months, vs 1.5. This is what happened with me after shopping around, I went from a bag that lasted 1 month at $60, to a bag that lasted 1.3 months for $64. Or now, a bag that lasts the same 1.3 months, but only costs $47. That bag is a 30lb bag of Acana Large Breed Puppy. However, my pricing is Canadian, and it is a Canadian product, so it might be different in your area.

Good luck, I know I spent many hours trying to pick a good food, way too many... but it was worth it.
 

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my dogs have all eaten Purina One for pretty much their whole lives (have tried "better foods that they did crappy on) and they look and act/feel fantastic....i get a 44 lb bag at Sam's Club for about $37 (and some cents)....we recently tried Pro Plan Select and i'm not reall happy w/ their stools and their coats on it so i'm gonna be switching them back to P.O. ....

just for informations sake....
 

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Kirkland food at Costco is cheaper and not that bad.
 

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Canidae (found at feed stores) is cheaper and the dog will need less than Ultra - I used both foods for my dog.

But I don't know if that is enough of a savings for you. Purina One is not a good choice imo because the dog eats more and ends up not saving, and the ingredients (while far better than any other grocery food) are inferior.

To really save, I'd agree with the Kirkland idea. It's pretty good for how cheap it is.
 

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Canidae (found at feed stores) is cheaper and the dog will need less than Ultra - I used both foods for my dog.

But I don't know if that is enough of a savings for you. Purina One is not a good choice imo because the dog eats more and ends up not saving, and the ingredients (while far better than any other grocery food) are inferior.

To really save, I'd agree with the Kirkland idea. It's pretty good for how cheap it is.

i won't/can't agree w/ you on this....Canidae was one of the foods (the hardest one, actually) that i tried to switch my dogs to.....they were on it almost 5 mo and in that time they ate 2x the amount of food; their coats went to h#!! in a handbasket; their energy (even seen in their eyes) was down--and these are Border Collies, we're talking about; they pooped 5-6 x a day rather than 2-3 on P.O.; and my vet chastized me for the 1st time in 12 yrs of going there for the condition of my kids.....everyone kept telling me "give it time, it takes a while for their bodies to adjust to a 'better' food"--well, how long does it take?.....it may work for yours, but it doesn't work for others....and inferior ingredients are not necessarily true--they're one of the few brands recalled during that time.....
 

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you're paying 1.11 per day now. How cheap are you wanting to go, and how much does your dog weigh?
using that dog food calculator will help you alot.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I'd like to spend maybe $35 for a large bag vs. $50. Purina One might be an option for me. I've also been thinking about maybe switching to diamond. Does anyone feed their dog Diamond?

What do y'all think of the Purina Pro Plan? Looks like it has a high calorie per cup ratio. Purina One actually has a lot of calories per cup also. If I was to start feeding purino pro plan then I'd actually feed less food than I feed on the Nutro Ultra.
 

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my dogs have all eaten Purina One for pretty much their whole lives (have tried "better foods that they did crappy on) and they look and act/feel fantastic....i get a 44 lb bag at Sam's Club for about $37 (and some cents)....we recently tried Pro Plan Select and i'm not reall happy w/ their stools and their coats on it so i'm gonna be switching them back to P.O. ....

just for informations sake....
Same here...I get a 44 lb bag of Purina One at BJ's (same as sams) for $35, and for 4 dogs it lasts 6 weeks. The dogs look great and poops are good. If I had a Costco around I would try Kirklands dog food...if money is really tight, I also wouldn't feel bad about feeding plain old Dog Chow. It's $26 for 50 lbs at BJ's....being in the south, it's more important to me to keep them on heartworm prevention and flea and tick prevention, so out of all the regular monthly costs, if I have to cut back, food is the place I start.
 

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A brief history of dog food at our house:

My black lab ate Purina One for the ten years that we had him. (Before that, he'd been fed a regional farm-supply brand that costs about $10 for 50 pounds and he was a mess.) He had a healthy and active life until that last few months of his 14 years.

When we got Esther, I started her on Purina One, but decided I could be doing better. I bought a bag of Science Diet, but realized my mistake before I even opened it. I donated it to the local shelter.

I did some homework and bought a bag of Canidae ALS, which was fine for a few years. I got nervous about the formula change and started feeding Solid Gold Wolf King. I was spending $100/month and, after nine months or so, I was still not impressed.

My girls, and the various dog guests we seem to have all the time, are eating Purina One again. They are doing very well, though I'm fully aware that you can't really tell for years. Like tirluc, I believe the proof is in the dog.

I'm feeding the same volume as I was with Solid Gold, but the stools are firmer and much more compact. That doesn't mean everything, but, to me, it means better efficiency. The gusto with which they eat means nothing, since I have dogs that will eat a tree with enthusiasm. I watch their weights, their coats, their energy levels and, yes, their stools.

And, while it wasn't the motivating factor, I'm not at all unhappy about spending half as much on food.

I'm not suggesting everyone feed Purina One. I am suggesting you find a food you can afford that works for your dogs and don't let anyone tell you that you just HAVE to feed something else - just because it works for THEIR dogs.
 

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I can get a 33lb Bag of Solid Gold for $50.00

Or I can buy a 40lb bag of science diet (corn & chicken-byproduct based price) for $40.00

Solid Gold: $1.50 / pound
Science Diet: $1.00 / pound

Now nutro ultras big bag is 30lbs...And it takes you 1.5 months to go through this, That means you'd need 8 30lb bags a year

Solid Gold cost per year: $400
Science Diet cost per year: $264

And you want to feed your dog crap carcass food to save $136 / year why?

There are many ways to cut down your budget and spending, it doesn't look like serving up a bowl of crap to your dog will make a big impact.
 

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i won't/can't agree w/ you on this....Canidae was one of the foods (the hardest one, actually) that i tried to switch my dogs to.....they were on it almost 5 mo and in that time they ate 2x the amount of food; their coats went to h#!! in a handbasket; their energy (even seen in their eyes) was down--and these are Border Collies, we're talking about; they pooped 5-6 x a day rather than 2-3 on P.O.; and my vet chastized me for the 1st time in 12 yrs of going there for the condition of my kids.....everyone kept telling me "give it time, it takes a while for their bodies to adjust to a 'better' food"--well, how long does it take?.....it may work for yours, but it doesn't work for others....and inferior ingredients are not necessarily true--they're one of the few brands recalled during that time.....
My dog would have eaten more if I had let her; she had to adjust to eating less of a food she needed less of. OR it could just be one of those cases where everyone is different!

Canidae happend to work out very well for my pup so I'm always going to reccommend it as an option, but of course no food is going to be right for every dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
"And you want to feed your dog crap carcass food to save $136 / year why?There are many ways to cut down your budget and spending, it doesn't look like serving up a bowl of crap to your dog will make a big impact."

Boon,

If I wanted to feed my dog crap food I'd buy a bag of Ol'
Roy and be done with it. I'm asking your opinions because I care. Nurto Ultra is the most expensive food I can buy at my Feed and Seed store. So surely there is another good quality food that I can change too for slightly less money. And, I am cutting my budget in other ways.

So don't judge me for trying. I'd like to keep my dogs healthy and free of ticks, worms, and heartworms. That isn't easy living on a budget but I'm trying to make it work.
 

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My dog would have eaten more if I had let her; she had to adjust to eating less of a food she needed less of. OR it could just be one of those cases where everyone is different!

Canidae happend to work out very well for my pup so I'm always going to reccommend it as an option, but of course no food is going to be right for every dog.
it wasn't a question of them wanting to eat more, it was aquestion of how much did i want them to starve....the only good that came out of that trial period was that my oldest girl needed to lose about 10 lbs....well, she lost that alright, in about 3 wks and that was eating 1/2 c more of the Canidae than the P.O. ....along w/ that, the rest of my gang was losing weight as well and they couldn't afford to....Tir went from 2 c of P.O. to 4 1/2 c of Canidae and the other 2 (we only had Tipper, Lacey and Tir at the time) went up by 2 c each just to maintain their weight....and, after switching back, Lacey kept the weight off and i couldn't get any of them to eat the amount of P.O. as they did of Canidae.....my friend continued w/ the rest of the food (Lacey and Tir had won us a yrs supply of Canidae in a contest) and did great on it.....for about 8 mo.....

so, yeah, it may work for some but it doesn't work for all....i don't think i will be switching foods again.....

oh, and on that note, a family that bought one of my pups and is quite well off switched that pup back to P.O. after going thru about 4 different "better", more expensive, foods and having one problem or another w/ them all.....he does great on the P.O. ....

and to boon...i suppose you are one that believes if someone can't afford to feed their dogs "prime rib" they shouldn't own one....i hope you never have to be in the shoes of many of the people in todays economy....unless you know peoples circumstances, don't judge....my dogs will always come b/4 myself and my husband when it comes time for care, and that means vet, food and time....
 

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I don't know about pro-plan, but on the P1 if you try that, just be careful of the formula. some have more meat than others. I was really mad when I bought the salmon and didn't examine the ingredients before opening it. I assummed it would be similar in quality to the chicken but it was not - brewers rice ended up being the main ingredient, basically.

It's not a bad food for the price - I switched from it b/c Canidae was only a few dollars more and eating less it really turned out to be cheaper and better for her.

Ultra is really overpriced for the quality so I feel sure you can find a good food for less. It's been a long time since I studied dog food or I'd have more suggestions for you.

I would say to get on a dog food review site, look at 5 star foods and then look up their prices online. Pick some and then see what your feedstore carries.

I went to my feed store with a list of foods I thought were good from the reviews and picked the cheapest they offered to start out.

http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/showcat.php/cat/4

it wasn't a question of them wanting to eat more, it was aquestion of how much did i want them to starve....the only good that came out of that trial period was that my oldest girl needed to lose about 10 lbs....well, she lost that alright, in about 3 wks and that was eating 1/2 c more of the Canidae than the P.O. ....along w/ that, the rest of my gang was losing weight as well and they couldn't afford to....Tir went from 2 c of P.O. to 4 1/2 c of Canidae and the other 2 (we only had Tipper, Lacey and Tir at the time) went up by 2 c each just to maintain their weight....and, after switching back, Lacey kept the weight off and i couldn't get any of them to eat the amount of P.O. as they did of Canidae.....my friend continued w/ the rest of the food (Lacey and Tir had won us a yrs supply of Canidae in a contest) and did great on it.....for about 8 mo.....

so, yeah, it may work for some but it doesn't work for all....i don't think i will be switching foods again.....

oh, and on that note, a family that bought one of my pups and is quite well off switched that pup back to P.O. after going thru about 4 different "better", more expensive, foods and having one problem or another w/ them all.....he does great on the P.O. ....

....
Yes, every dog is different. I just saw I may need to change b/c Canidae changedtheir formula slightly and the review site said they've been getting more complaints than they did on the old. How annoying - food trials are so hard.

and to boon...i suppose you are one that believes if someone can't afford to feed their dogs "prime rib" they shouldn't own one....i hope you never have to be in the shoes of many of the people in todays economy....unless you know peoples circumstances, don't judge....my dogs will always come b/4 myself and my husband when it comes time for care, and that means vet, food and time
I mentioned in another thread this is one thing I dislike about pet forums - the judgement.

Every year, I swear I'm getting new floors (mine are over 30 years old and the carpet is totally worn out) but first it was yeast infections in the ears (solved by food) and now it's UTI's (haven't uncovered the reason for those yet) that have taken my floor money.

And I do it gladly! My fubabies eat right and get the care they need, including $80 haircuts for the Persian so she won't vomit hairballs all summer......when I am judged harshly for not doing whatever someone thinks is the ideal it really gets to me.

Now I will get on to someone for feeling ole roy because I don't think they should have a pet if they are going to be that cheap - that's like feeding a kid cheetoes all the time.....and I will point out that buying grocery store food like plain Purina or Alpo is not really saving anything....but beyond that no, everyone can not afford to pay for ultra-premium food AND vet AND heartworm/flea prevention,etc.

It's reasonable to want to save as much as possible on all these items.

Having said that - if there was a food twice as expensive but with proof positive it would extend my dog's healthy years....I would buy it. However, the research is not complete on all that.....to me it looks like once you get to 5 stars there is not a huge difference except in relation to how particular dogs do on them.
 

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So don't judge me for trying. I'd like to keep my dogs healthy and free of ticks, worms, and heartworms. That isn't easy living on a budget but I'm trying to make it work.
and to boon...i suppose you are one that believes if someone can't afford to feed their dogs "prime rib" they shouldn't own one....i hope you never have to be in the shoes of many of the people in todays economy....unless you know peoples circumstances, don't judge....my dogs will always come b/4 myself and my husband when it comes time for care, and that means vet, food and time....
You suppose? Isnt that judgement, My point was to show this young man that its not a big difference in cash between the absolute crap and the very good types of dog food, and if you cant find 30 cents a day to put toward better dog food you're not trying hard enough.

Prime rib? $80 hair cuts? you guys are going wayyy overboard. Just because i think feeding a dog "dry, ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines" as a main source of meat is horrible, doesn't mean I'm some hoidy toidy guy from beverly hills here to say that everyone needs to spend all of their money on their pets! I'm a college student on a very fixed budget, I wanted a hunting dog and a companion for my partner and I to love, and I have no problem giving up small luxuries to make sure im at least feeding my dog food that isnt disgusting.

Anyways i actually came back to this thread to recommend a food....

Chicken soup dog food because its the cheapest above average quality food i have seen, and i was trying to help.
http://www.petfooddirect.com/store/product_detail.asp?pf_id=2014106&dept_id=1&brand_id=630&Page=

Its $1.00 a pound on that website and the main ingredints are as follows:
Chicken, turkey, chicken meal, ocean fish meal, cracked pearled barley, whole grain brown rice, oatmeal, millet, white rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), potatoes, egg product, tomato pomace, duck, salmon, flaxseed, natural chicken flavor,

Which i deem to be completely acceptable.
 
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