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Discussion Starter #1
In terms of quality, what do you consider when selecting a dry food? What are the "deal breakers"?
 

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I would have to say that the reliablility of the company comes first for me. What good is feeding a dog food if you can't trust the company that makes the food?

Second would be the actual ingredient list. How much meat does the dog kibble really have? I also like to see grain free.

That being said, I will be switching Lucky from TOTW over to the Champion/Horizon kibbles. Even though she is doing wonderful on TOTW, I just don't feel like I can really trust the company making the food. After some searching I have found that I can find these superior foods about 30 miles from me. I have decided the drive is worth it, and will get 2-3 bags at a time. Our pup will be eating Orijen LBP, so it just makes sence to feed Lucky accordingly. :smile:

ETA: Deal breakers are foods that don't guarantee ethoxyquin free foods, foods that use "corn gluten meal" and other horrible ingredients, companys that are "shady" and have a bad past/reputation when it comes to manufacturing dog kibble.
 

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In terms of quality, what do you consider when selecting a dry food? What are the "deal breakers"?
A book could be written on the deal breakers of kibble ingredients LOL.

First, take into consideration who is producing the food. Reputable companies are few and far between due to pet food recalls. The one I recommend is Champion pet foods who produce Orijen and Acana (only dry kibble
food I recommend). The better companies will also use better ingredients.

Second, look for meat content. There should be several different specific named protein sources in meal form within the first 5-10 ingredients. Look for by-product meal because this will include organ meats, but again make sure it's named.

Third, limited corn, wheat, soy, rice, potatoe or other cereals. These are pretty useless to a dog and should be a minimum. But they are necessary to provide bulk/fiber to the food for normal bowel movements.

There are plenty of other things to avoid but if you pay attention to these three things, you probably won't find the ingredients that are less than ideal.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What are some of the chemicals and preservatives to avoid?
 

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I would stear clear of BHA, BHT, TBHQ, potassium sorbate, propylene glycol, propyl gallate, and ethoxyquin. If I am remembering correctly, these are all synthetic perseratives.
 

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What I look for in a kibble.

1. It must be made in their own facility, by the actual dog food company. This in my opinion is the first step to a reputable company.

2. Ingredients list must read out well with no corn, wheat, gmo's, bha, bht, ethoxiquin, by-products and minimal to no sythentic vitamins. If the food has grains in it, have they been split? Are they in whole form? If it is grain free, is it loaded with potatoes or pea fiber?

3. Food MUST HAVE a FULL nutrient analysis. This helps in determining the amount of each ingredient listed in the ingredients list. Any company that cannot provide a full NA, is either hiding something or lazy....or really has no idea what they are doing in the pet food business. Protein %, Fat % and K/cals per cup, need to make sense. 32% protein, 16% fat and only 360 k/cals per cup, doesn't make sense. 32% protein, 16% fat and 425 or more k/cals per cup, makes sense.

Most (99%) of pet owners have no idea what to look for on an NA, and pet food companies know this.

4. Price must make sense compared to the ingredients list. A 30lb bag of grain free food costing $40 doesn't make sense when all other grain free 30 pounders cost $55 and higher. Something is missing. You get what you pay for.

There are tons of kibble foods on the market...Enough to make your head spin. My favorite kibble...Orijen. I've used in the past: Evo, Canine Caviar, Acana, Merrick, Wellness and Iams (before I knew). Have fun choosing. You will find a wealth of information on this site.
 

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4. Price must make sense compared to the ingredients list. A 30lb bag of grain free food costing $40 doesn't make sense when all other grain free 30 pounders cost $55 and higher. Something is missing. You get what you pay for.
I mostly agree, though there are exceptions: compare the ingredients of Kirkland to Iams, for example.

But in the niche "grain-free" (and mostly meat) segment of the market, I suspect your statement is pretty much true. Given the price point of the quality "grain-free" kibble, I'm not sure how much I'd trust the quality of the ingredients or the quality of production in a $40 bag of 30-pound kibble. At least given the state of that market segment as it is today.
 
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