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I am feeding 1.5 cans of Natural Balance Venison and Sweet Potato, and 1 1/3 cups of Sweet Potato and venison dry. 600 calories from canned, 459 from dry. 1059 cal total for a 44 lb dog. The protein is 25% dry matter for the wet, and 21% dry matter for the dry. 23% if you put the two together. I love this food, and the company confirmed to me that they are moving from the Diamond plant and the ingredients are all sourced from the USA with the exception of some of the vitamins due to lack of resources.


Is this enough protein for a 4 year old pit bull? She is healthy, she has good muscle tone and a shiny coat. This is the only dry food she will eat as she is very picky.

Why have I seen a lot of people (not on this forum) who dont like NB?
 

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NB is relatively low on protein. Note dry food guaranteed analysis is with 10% moisture, not completely dry matter. Dry matter percentage would be slightly higher.

Enough is kind of subjective. If you want to talk about minimums, low protein is something like 2-2.2 g of protein /kg of dog. You'll have to use kcal/kg along with the guaranteed analysis to try and figure out the g protein/kcal and then multiply by how many calories you're feeding, then divide by the weight of the dog.

People don't like NB because it's a low meat content food and it had ties to Diamond. Otherwise it's not a bad food and is certainly still suppose to be balanced so you're probably feeding more than the minimum protein. Higher meat content foods are generally considered better and dogs generally would like them more too. It would be advisable to try other quality formulas and brands and different meat sources to see if you can find a list of foods that works that you can rotate.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I got 79 grams of protein from 1059 calories of the ultra formula which is 23% protein, same as my dog's diet. The thing is she will barely eat kibble at all, so I don't want to screw her up by switching. If 25% is considered moderate protein, 23% is probably near moderate as well. The canned food serves two purposes: one, it gets her to eat, and two, it has a lot more meat and adds some extra protein.
 

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25% protein on a dry matter basis is super low for a canned food. Are you sure? I'm going to go find their website. . .brb

Huh, that's correct, wow, it must be mostly potato. Is there a reason she's on the venison? Allergies/sensitivities? I would want something higher in meat content.
 

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Sorry I just had to check the math cause 79 seemed high. That food was reported at 3670kcal/kg right?

23% = 230g/kg
230/3670*1059=66.4 grams

I guess your dog is about 20kg or ~45lb?
66.4g/20kg = 3.32g/kg

In any case that's still well above the minimum requirements. It's a pretty typical protein value for average to below average dog food (purina, pedigree, etc) which explains why people dislike the protein content in NB. NB for all intent and purposes is suppose to be an above average food.

Just to give you some comparisons though, we're looking at 62.7g of protein for 1000kcals.

From Steve Brown's Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet, protein values / 1000kcals are
Ancestral: 123g
Typical dry: 63g
High protein dry: 95g
Typical commercial frozen: 91g

Bottom line? You're meeting the minimum nutritional requirements. However people tend to like the more holistic approach when it comes to nutritional health in dogs. Feeding something closer to their natural diet would mean much higher protein, and probably a bit higher fat too and lower carbs, or more simply, more meat.
 

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I would look at it comparing the dog's weight to protein grams rather than per 1000 calories. Dogs need something like .75-1 grams per pound of dog according to NRC and you are feeding double that amount a 44 pound dog must have. Senior citizen raw fed Max only gets 1.5 grams of protein per pound to maintain his weight. Cooked food fed geriatric ill Sassy got 1.5 grams of protein per each of her 44 pounds in 1000 calories. Each got/gets about 50-60 grams of protein daily but the amount of calories is different. Sassy was burning through 1000 calories a day but Max only needs about 600 calories a day.

I was so impressed in the change in my dog's conditions on more protein I would want to feed more but if you both are happy then it is fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So if I am feeding double the amount that she needs then why isn't that enough? Just asking, I'm not intending to sound hostile but you cant tell over the internet, LOL
 

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More because dogs are carnivores and canines are adapted for meat eating. Getting calories from carbs works but protein and fat calories are what they were designed to use.

My dogs ate ~1 gram protein per pound for most of their lives and their conditions were much improved when I provided more.

The NRC and AAFCO protein requirements are pretty minimal amounts that have been studied over the years to work okay. You can read about how dog food requirements are decided in this book. http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309034965&page=44 Your dog won't die of protein starvation on that amount but most dogs won't be at their best.

Sassy had pretty good muscle mass on 1 gram of protein per pound as a healthy adult dog but Max gained 15% lean muscle mass as a senior dog when I moved him to 1.5 grams of protein a day on a raw diet. He is now stronger at 12 years than he was at 1-8 years old, he can jump off the ground from a sit where he could not before. When Sassy was geriatric and ill she was weak on the minimal amount of protein and she got stronger with more. When she was on her joint supplement she could jump on the 18" window seat at 16 years of age and she was only 21" tall. When she was on less protein at about 13-14 years old her back foot got caught in that ditch some people leave between the sidewalk and lawn and I had to pull it out for her! Senior dogs usually need more protein than adult dogs but stronger on a higher protein diet as a senior than as an adult?
 

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The 1.5 grams per pound of dog is all I can squeeze into my dogs' diets. I wish I could do more. I think since your dog eats so much of the food and is getting all that protein along with carb calories it is a decent diet. If my dog ate that food combination he would only be getting about 1 gram of protein per pound because his energy need is lower than your dog's energy needs. Sassy would have gotten 1.5 grams of protein because her energy needs were huge as she aged.

She is doing well but you don't know, she could do even better with more protein. I didn't know before I started feeding fresh food and now I am sold!

I would be looking around for a higher protein canned food to mix in. It isn't easy to figure out the amount of protein in a canned food though. Not just the proportion of protein to fat to carbohydrate but the amount of water in the can makes a difference as well. You could post the names of canned foods that are at your price point and you know you will get lots of opinions here!
 

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Like I said before, you are meeting the scientific requirements. Beyond that it's hard to really say. I still think trying to find more foods that would work for her is a good idea. Natural Balance isn't exactly that cheap so you can probably find similarly priced foods that have higher meat content. I've never looked at the NB cans but I would imagine it'd be within a comparable price range for cans. It's a good idea to have a rotation of foods anyways.

I think some pet stores allow you to return opened bags of food if the dog doesn't like it. Maybe ask about that or trial sized bags. People here can give plenty of suggestions for brands that are well liked.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
ok, I'm pissed. This is why I cant change her food. When I feed her, I give her the canned dry mixture mentioned above, and she goes through phases where her feeding can last from 20 min to two freakin' hours!!! Right now we are more on the refusing to eat, 2 hour phase. I give her the food on my damn bed and she licks it, slings it everywhere, and slowly works down to where its gone. In the mean time, I will stir it, put water in it, move it around, spoon feed it, ANYTHING to get her to eat. I know I am supposed to take it up and what not but I am afraid that she will never get on schedule of two meals per day, unless I get her to eat myself. This is the only kibble she will eat, and I tried giving her plain kibble and she went 4 days without food! So right now I have her on my floor trying to get her to eat and she could honestly care less about food.
 

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have you tried to add something else to the food? my little one used to be a really bad eater as well and got kind of skinny.
i started to add fish oil and someone (on this forum) told me to add chicken broth. it worked great and now she even eats her food without anything else in it.
i just cooked chicken in water, froze the water in ice cubes and put it in the microwave whenever i needed it. so i was able to soak the kibbles in the chicken broth every day before feeding it.
 

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ok, I'm pissed. This is why I cant change her food. When I feed her, I give her the canned dry mixture mentioned above, and she goes through phases where her feeding can last from 20 min to two freakin' hours!!! Right now we are more on the refusing to eat, 2 hour phase. I give her the food on my damn bed and she licks it, slings it everywhere, and slowly works down to where its gone. In the mean time, I will stir it, put water in it, move it around, spoon feed it, ANYTHING to get her to eat. I know I am supposed to take it up and what not but I am afraid that she will never get on schedule of two meals per day, unless I get her to eat myself. This is the only kibble she will eat, and I tried giving her plain kibble and she went 4 days without food! So right now I have her on my floor trying to get her to eat and she could honestly care less about food.
But that's exactly why you need to put it up after a set period of time. If she knows it's still available later (and maybe it will taste better then! With water added etc) she will not learn that she has to eat when she's first fed. I'm sorry, I don't have any suggestions except to try sticking it out again. Sydney's never held out without ANY food for four days, even at her worst.
 
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