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Which one?

  • Solid Gold Barking at the Moon

    Votes: 6 24.0%
  • Natural Balance

    Votes: 1 4.0%
  • TOTW Pacific Stream

    Votes: 18 72.0%
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Discussion Starter #1
So, I need to get Murph switched over to a food that I can purchase locally. He's halfway through a 15.4lb bag of Acana Grasslands, and it's been great for him, but I can't afford to buy it online.

So I have narrowed it down to these three choices (I think). I'd like to keep him on a grain free food, either fish bashed, or a novel protein source.

What have your experiences been with these foods? Esp for a dog with allergies? I've noticed a slight improvement in him being on Acana for just a few weeks, so I think grain free is really the way to go. Also, what do you feel the differences are in terms of quality?

Solid Gold Barking at the Moon
Ingredients: Ocean Fish Meal, Beef, Potatoes, Potato Protein, Canola Oil, Tomato Pomace, Natural Flavoring, Salmon Oil (source of DHA), Choline Chloride, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, Parsley Flakes, Pumpkin Meal, Almond Oil, Sesame Oil, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Thyme, Blueberries, Cranberries, Carrots, Broccoli, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Panthothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin), Riboflavin, Vitamin D Supplement, Folic Acid

Guaranteed Analysis:
Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein, min 41%
Crude Fat, min 20%
Crude Fiber, max 4%
Moisture, max 10%

465 kcal / cup


Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Bison (chose this one for example, since most are the same)
Ingredients: Sweet Potatoes, Bison, Potato Protein, Canola Oil (preserved with natural mixed tocopherols), Dicalcium Phosphate, Potato Fiber, Natural Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Chloride, Salmon Oil (a source of DHA), Choline Chloride, Taurine, Natural Mixed Tocopherols, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein 20.0% minimum
Crude Fat 10.0% minimum
Crude Fiber 3.0% maximum
Moisture 10.0% maximum
Calcium 1.0% minimum
Phosphorus 0.8% minimum
Omega-3 Fatty Acids 0.3% minimum
Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) 0.01% minimum
Omega-6 Fatty Acids 3.0% minimum


TOTW Pacific Stream Formula
Ingredients: Salmon, ocean fish meal, sweet potatoes, potatoes, canola oil, salmon meal, smoked salmon, potato fiber, natural flavor, salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract, dried fermentation products of Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus plantarum, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.

Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein 25.0% Minimum
Crude Fat 15.0% Minimum
Crude Fiber 3.0% Maximum
Moisture 10.0% Maximum
Zinc 150 mg/kg Minimum
Selenium 0.4 mg/kg Minimum
Vitamin E 150 IU/kg Minimum
Omega-6 Fatty Acids * 2.4% Minimum
Omega-3 Fatty Acids * 0.3% Minimum


I'm also considering Wellness Core Ocean Formula, but that's kinda expensive for the amount you get....but I might put it into a rotation every now and then.
 

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I would throw out Natural balance, it's not even in the same league. But I would and do feed some of TOTW's-wetlands to my dog. It has much more meat in it than these 3. Solid gold has 41% protein and their is no way that much protein comes from those 2 meat ingredients. Solid gold is way more expensive than TOTW in my area. Solid gold also contains Tomato Pomace very high on the list, it's a filler which is only in the food to harden up the dogs stools.

Taste Of The Wild Wetlands Canine Formula Dog Food
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I would throw out Natural balance, it's not even in the same league. But I would and do feed some of TOTW's-wetlands to my dog. It has much more meat in it than these 3. Solid gold has 41% protein and their is no way that much protein comes from those 2 meat ingredients. Solid gold is way more expensive than TOTW in my area. Solid gold also contains Tomato Pomace very high on the list, it's a filler which is only in the food to harden up the dogs stools.

Taste Of The Wild Wetlands Canine Formula Dog Food
I'm hoping to avoid anything with chicken meal high up, cause I worry he may have a chicken allergy as well. Figured a fish or novel protein would be better to go with.
 

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I would throw out Natural balance, it's not even in the same league. But I would and do feed some of TOTW's-wetlands to my dog. It has much more meat in it than these 3. Solid gold has 41% protein and their is no way that much protein comes from those 2 meat ingredients.
Taste Of The Wild Wetlands Canine Formula Dog Food
there is no possible way to know this. having more named meat sources in no way means more meat. the Barking at the Moon may have a very high ratio of the food made up of the first ingredient. you would have to know the ratios...or else Diamond would have to state what % of TOTW is meat product, which they wont do.

TOTW Pacific Stream is certainly lower in meat content than most grainless foods. like the Barking at the Moon, it uses ocean fish meal as its main protein source, where id always prefer to have a named fish source. if i had to choose between the 3, i guess it would be the SG.

in those price ranges, id much sooner be looking at Canidae Grain Free Salmon, which states what % of its protein comes from meat and does use Salmon meal as its main protein source and tends to be carried in quite a few locations.

at any rate, i find the TOTW formulas to be less of a value than they appear, as they are some of the least calorie dense grainless foods on the market (about 100 calories less per cup than either the Canidae grain free or Barking at the Moon).

the Natural Balance is really designeds for dogs that need limited ingredients and is more potato than meat...i wouldnt even consider it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Question, and I don't mean this to be snarky, just genuinely curious...

in the grand scheme of things, does it really matter what kind of "ocean fish" is used? What is the issue with this? I know I've seen people mention this as a negative for a food before.

I will look into the Canidae as well. I know I've seen their other formulas plenty, but it seems like the grain free salmon is harder to come by. It also seems like a lot of people aren't a big fan of Canidae anymore?
 

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From personal experience I would choose TOTW. My dog has been on both and did far better on TOTW than the Solid Gold Barking at the Moon which at least in my area is quite a bit more expensive.
 

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Question, and I don't mean this to be snarky, just genuinely curious...

in the grand scheme of things, does it really matter what kind of "ocean fish" is used? What is the issue with this? I know I've seen people mention this as a negative for a food before.

I will look into the Canidae as well. I know I've seen their other formulas plenty, but it seems like the grain free salmon is harder to come by. It also seems like a lot of people aren't a big fan of Canidae anymore?
some fish are higher in mercury and/or higher in omega 6. this isnt something id want to feed regularly over time. with ocean fish meal, you wont always know what fish are being used to make up the meal and it can change from time to time depending on supply sources. in some cases a dog may simply have better results with a particular fish protein, so the owner cant seek that out with ocean fish meal.

some owners arent particular about what fish is used, so ocean fish meal isnt a big deal for them.

the bigger issue i have with TOTW Pacific Stream is that at 24% protein, i really cant see how it has anywhere near the meat content of most higher protein grainless foods. it also only has 360 calories per cup, which is amazingly low in comparison to other grainless foods.

with canidae, i think more people were upset with the changes to their grain inclusive formula 2-3 years ago as well as them switching to Diamond as a manufacturer (which isnt an issue in the context of this thread since all of these foods are manufactured by Diamond). on a gsd forum i spend time on, it seems alot of owners are pleased with the grainless canidae formulas.
 

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I never liked solid gold, it seemed mediocre food at best with ridiculously high prices. Their grain free line is a bit iffy, even though its 41% protein, its unknown how much of it comes from meat or potato protein.

I would eliminate NB completely and use it as a last resort for a dog with severe intolerances.

Right now I'm in the process of switching my friends dog from one brand to TOTW pacific stream, he doesent like kibble, but seems to be a bit more interested in fishy ones. I'm not too fond of protein levels in this food, but he has really dry skin and itches constantly, so I think a fish based food in conjuction with fish oil with help, in case its chicken allergy, its also generally higher in omega 3's.


So I vote TOTW, but if your dog isnt allergic to chicken, I'd rather dog with wetlands or prarie formulas.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think I'm gonna keep transitioning him to TOTW Pacific Stream (I've been giving him some of that with his Acana for a week or so now) and try that for a few months, see where that puts me. then I will try some of their other formulas. For all I know, he doesn't have a chicken allergy, but the fishy one seems the safest to try first till I really see some progress from him.
 

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i will reiterate, at the risk of being labeled a TOTW hater, that TOTW Pacific stream just seems like a poor value if the goal is a grainless higher meat content food. the only part they got right was the grainless part. throw in a bunch of potato and not much meat and you get your 24% protein.

for the same reason NB is a poor grainless choice for most (other than those desparate for limited ingredient foods)with its low protein levels and low meat content, TOTW Pacific Stream likewise really pales in comparison to most other grainless foods.

also, here is a list of the fish with lower and higher levels of mercury. folks migh be interested in having their manufacturer specify what they are using to make their ocean fish meal.

http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/mercury/guide.asp
 

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I feed Taste of the Wild High Prairie Formula. I cannot imagine how much $$$ it would cost to feed Orijen or many of the other high end kibbles when I have three large dogs. I know people say that you feed less, but my dog is not going to feel fuller when I put less in his bowl.

Protein: 32% Fat: 18%
Calories: 3,719 kcal/kg (370 kcal/cup) Calculated Metabolizable Energy
Available in 5lb, 15lb and 30lb bags.

Ingredients
Bison, lamb meal, chicken meal, egg product, sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, canola oil, roasted bison, roasted venison, natural flavor, tomato pomace, ocean fish meal, salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract, dried fermentation products of Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus plantarum, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
i will reiterate, at the risk of being labeled a TOTW hater, that TOTW Pacific stream just seems like a poor value if the goal is a grainless higher meat content food. the only part they got right was the grainless part. throw in a bunch of potato and not much meat and you get your 24% protein.

for the same reason NB is a poor grainless choice for most (other than those desparate for limited ingredient foods)with its low protein levels and low meat content, TOTW Pacific Stream likewise really pales in comparison to most other grainless foods.

also, here is a list of the fish with lower and higher levels of mercury. folks migh be interested in having their manufacturer specify what they are using to make their ocean fish meal.

NRDC: Mercury Contamination in Fish - Consumer Guide to Mercury in Fish
I completely understand, I just don't know what else to feed. Orijen & Acana are out becuase of availability and price. I'd really like to try Core Ocean formula but it's so EXPENSIVE for 3lbs less than many others.
 

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I completely understand, I just don't know what else to feed. Orijen & Acana are out becuase of availability and price. I'd really like to try Core Ocean formula but it's so EXPENSIVE for 3lbs less than many others.
i can honestly say i have had similar results with canidae grain free salmon as orijen fish and core. (i simply have reservation about diamond, so i dont use it now).

is the canidae grain free salmon accessible to you? i think it does cost a bit more than TOTW but less than orijen/acana, but it also has alot more calories than TOTW.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
i can honestly say i have had similar results with canidae grain free salmon as orijen fish and core. (i simply have reservation about diamond, so i dont use it now).

is the canidae grain free salmon accessible to you? i think it does cost a bit more than TOTW but less than orijen/acana, but it also has alot more calories than TOTW.
there are some places that have it, but they dont have it fully stocked like others. but i could give it a try. one place said they can order it if i need it. do you think they'd charge to do that? i called a few places and it was betwen $36-$39 for the 15lb bag.
 

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with TOTW i feed the SAME amount of food as i did when i fed diamond naturals (sorta grain heavy)
with orjien you wouldnt feed nearly as much.
i am not sure why you need to feed more TOTW than other grain free foods... i know i do, and i know a few others have to as well.

I cant in confidence recommend any of those foods you listed.
 

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i will reiterate, at the risk of being labeled a TOTW hater, that TOTW Pacific stream just seems like a poor value if the goal is a grainless higher meat content food. the only part they got right was the grainless part. throw in a bunch of potato and not much meat and you get your 24% protein.

for the same reason NB is a poor grainless choice for most (other than those desparate for limited ingredient foods)with its low protein levels and low meat content, TOTW Pacific Stream likewise really pales in comparison to most other grainless foods.

also, here is a list of the fish with lower and higher levels of mercury. folks migh be interested in having their manufacturer specify what they are using to make their ocean fish meal.

NRDC: Mercury Contamination in Fish - Consumer Guide to Mercury in Fish
The majority of fish meal or Ocean meal is Menhaden fish. Some company's say so and some don't and if they don't it is most likely Menhaden.
If your gonna worry about certain levels of this or certain levels of that, that's in your dog food, you have a issue. Heck our air is so polluted, how can you tell how much of that pollution goes into the ground and then into your vegges or anything else you grow and eat?? Anyway that's why I and others recommend rotating your dogs food.
The only TOTW product I like is the Wetlands
 

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If your gonna worry about certain levels of this or certain levels of that, that's in your dog food, you have a issue.
so i have an issue because i worry about certain levels of this and certain levels of that in my dogs food...thanks for letting me know.

at any rate, it a matter of wanting a certain fish protein to be a major part of the food, and menhaden and other fish they use isnt one of them.
 

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one place said they can order it if i need it. do you think they'd charge to do that?
I doubt they'd charge any more if they had to order it than if they had it in stock. This was more common when most orders were freight shipped and the weight of your order added to te cost of shipping. but most places now are getting orders on a truck by big time suppliers, with a flat drop rate- I know our order is a $30 fee, whether I order a 5 lb bag of Canidae, or a whole pallet of EVO, it's going to be the same delivery, so there's no need to tack fees onto "special orders."
Never hurts to ask, though.
 
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