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My friend on another board, just posted this...I thought it would be appreciated here.

Start with a grade of 100:

1. For every listing of "by-product", subtract 10 points for being sketchy!

2. For every non-specific animal source ("meat" or "poultry", meat, meal or fat) reference, subtract 10 points for being sketchy!

3. If the food contains BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin, subtract 10 points

4. For every grain "mill run" or non-specific grain source,subtract 5 points for being sketchy!

5. If the same grain ingredient is used 2 or more times in the first five ingredients (i.e. "ground brown rice", "brewer's rice", "rice flour" are all the same grain), subtract 5 points

6. If the protein sources are not meat meal and there are less than 2 meats in the top 3 ingredients, subtract 3 points

7. If it contains any artificial colorants, subtract 3 points

8. If it contains ground corn or whole grain corn, subtract 3 points

9. If corn is listed in the top 5 ingredients, subtract 2 more points

10. If the food contains any animal fat other than fish oil,subtract 2 points

11. If lamb is the only animal protein source (unless your dog is allergic to other protein sources), subtract 2 points

12. If it contains soy or soybeans, subtract 2 points
If it contains wheat (unless you know that your dog isn't allergic to wheat), subtract 2 points

13. If it contains beef (unless you know that your dog isn't allergic to beef), subtract 1 point

14. If it contains salt, subtract 1 point


Extra Credit:

1. If any of the meat sources are organic, add 5 points

2. If the food is endorsed by any major breed group or nutritionist, add 5 points

3. If the food is baked not extruded, add 5 points

4. If the food contains probiotics, add 3 points

5. If the food contains fruit, add 3 points

6. If the food contains vegetables (NOT corn or other grains), add 3 points

7. If the animal sources are hormone-free and antibiotic-free, add 2 points

8. If the food contains barley, add 2 points

9. If the food contains flax seed oil (not just the seeds), add 2 points

10. If the food contains oats or oatmeal, add 1 point

11. If the food contains sunflower oil, add 1 point

12. For every different specific animal protein source (other than the first one; count "chicken" and "chicken meal" as only one protein source, but "chicken" and "beef" as 2 different sources), add 1 point

13. If it contains glucosamine and chondroitin, add 1 point

14. If the vegetables have been tested for pesticides and are pesticide-free, add 1 point


Grading:

94-100+ = A
86-93 = B
78-85 = C
70-77 = D
69 = F


Here are some foods that have already been scored.

Dog Food scores:

Alpo Prime Cuts / Score 81 C
Artemis Large/Medium Breed Puppy / Score 114 A+
Authority Harvest Baked / Score 116 A+
Authority Harvest Baked Less Active / Score 93 B
Beowulf Back to Basics / Score 101 A+
Bil-Jac Select / Score 68 F
Blackwood 3000 Lamb and Rice / Score 83 C
Blue Buffalo Chicken and Rice / Score 106 A+
Burns Chicken and Brown Rice / Score 107 A+
Canidae / Score 112 A+
Chicken Soup Senior / Score 115 A+
Diamond Maintenance / Score 64 F
Diamond Lamb Meal & Rice / Score 92 B
Diamond Large Breed 60+ Formula / Score 99 A
Diamond Performance / Score 85 C
Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Ultra Premium / Score 122 A+
Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Venison and Brown Rice / Score 106 A+
Dick Van Patten's Duck and Potato / Score 106 A+
EaglePack Holistic / Score 102 A+
Eukanuba Adult / Score 81 C
Eukanuba Puppy / Score 79 C
Flint River Senior / Score 101 A+
Foundations / Score 106 A+
Hund-n-Flocken Adult Dog (lamb) by Solid Gold / Score 93 B
Iams Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Premium / Score 73 D
Innova Dog / Score 114 A+
Innova Evo / Score 114 A+
Innova Large Breed Puppy / Score 122 A+
Kirkland Signature Chicken, Rice, and Vegetables / Score 110 A+
Member's Mark Chicken and Rice / Score 84 C
Merrick Wilderness Blend / Score 127 A+
Nature's Recipe / Score 100 A
Nature's Recipe Healthy Skin Venison and Rice / Score 116 A+
Nature's Variety Raw Instinct / Score 122 A+
Nutra Nuggets Super Premium Lamb Meal and Rice / Score 81 C
Nutrience Junior Medium Breed Puppy / Score 101 A+
Nutrisource Lamb and Rice / Score 87 B
Nutro Max Adult / Score 93 B
Nutro Natural Choice Lamb and Rice / Score 98 A
Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy / Score 87 B
Nutro Natural Choice Puppy Wheat Free / Score 86 B
Nutro Natural Choice Senior / Score 95 A
Nutro Ultra Adult / Score 104 A+
Pet Gold Adult with Lamb & Rice / Score 23 F
Premium Edge Chicken, Rice and Vegetables Adult Dry / Score 109 A+
Pro Nature Puppy / Score 80 C
Pro Plan Sensitive Stomach / Score 94 A
Purina Benful / Score 17 F
Purina Dog / Score 62 F
Purina Come-n-Get It / Score 16 F
Purina One Large Breed Puppy / Score 62 F
Royal Canin Boxer / Score 103 A+
Royal Canin Bulldog / Score 100 A+
Royal Canin Natural Blend Adult / Score 106 A+
Science Diet Advanced Protein Senior 7+ / Score 63 F
Science Diet for Large Breed Puppies / Score 69 F
Sensible Choice Chicken and Rice / Score 97 A
Solid Gold / Score 99 A
Summit / Score 99 A
Timberwolf Organics Wild & Natural Dry / Score 120 A+
Wellness Super5 Mix Chicken / Score 110 A+
Wolfking Adult Dog (bison) by Solid Gold / Score 97 A
 

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here's a grade system that is the best one to use.feed what your dog does the best on and what you can afford. be it Ol'Roy or Purina Pro Plan.
 

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here's a grade system that is the best one to use.feed what your dog does the best on and what you can afford. be it Ol'Roy or Purina Pro Plan.[/b]
Amen brother. Some of the worst food I have feed are those that came with a high rating. Keep in mind all those rating are from reading the outside of the back not any real life test of whats inside. That said I not a real fan of feed 1 brand or one food. What we actual know from human nutrition is not extensive and changes every day. The only sure guideline is a variety of foods is the best weapon against defiecencies. Dog nutrition we know even less about. I rotate between 3-4 different brands with same basic protein/fat/charbohydrate mix that I prefer.
 

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I really agree with all that.

One thing to keep in mind is how much hype goes into the marketing of dog foods. The newest is the organic thing. But if you investigate regulation of organics, the thing is, those standards were lowered several years ago so large commercial farms could get into what they saw as an up and coming market.

It honestly is a matter of what your dogs do best on. With Biscuit, he did best on a homemade diet because of his &^%$ anal glands.

Lady and Yogi, meanwhile, are thriving on Black Gold - their blood tests are great, their coats are simply lovely, their teeth - well, not Lady's, given she doesn't have many of them left - ! - are in great shape, etc etc etc.

Yet who the heck has heard of Black Gold, except me and pinehawk? And I wouldn't have heard of it if pinehawk hadn't mentioned it here. And it probably isn't even for sale in most places. It certainly isn't on any of the lists with a big fat A++++ next to it.

Really, consider how much marketing is going into this stuff before believing all of the claims. And watch how your dog does on the food.
 

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i know some "hard core" houndsmen in Maine,they run hare, coon,fox, coyote,bobcat and bear with their hounds.( some beagles for hare and bigger hounds for the other game.) when they are running hard during the training season and hunting season they feed a different food than the one they use during the off season.so switching back and forth between brands and formula ratio's are ok to do if you want to.there hounds always look good,when i see them.One guide who i always recommend uses Blue Seal Brands.i tried it one time when my normal food at the time(Purina Hi-Pro)was not in stock at the one feed store i went to,well i had to find some Hi-Pro quick because none of the dogs would eat it at all.that was just one experience that i had with a switch of food.i prefer to feed a 30% protein 20% fat,i was feeding Pro Plan Performance Formula,$38 bucks for 37.5lbs,and i could get it 5 miles from home.i now i'm back with Black Gold Super Blend 40lbs (red bag) (same ratio 30%-20%) for 17 bucks less and that includes the $10 bucks in diesel(round trip) it costs me to go the hour and 10 minute ride one way from the house.now the ingredients are almost the same,some differances but for the most part same formula.i may switch to the black bag or maybe even the silver bag of black gold during the off season,but the off season for me would be like 3 bags of food for six weeks and we go back to training again,so it may not be worth it and i just will give them a little less red bag so they don't get fat in the kennel. http://www.blackgolddogfood.com/blends.htm
 

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i prefer to feed a 30% protein 20% fat,i was feeding Pro Plan Performance Formula,$38 bucks for 37.5lbs,and i could get it 5 miles from home.i now i'm back with Black Gold Super Blend 40lbs (red bag) (same ratio 30%-20%) for 17 bucks less and that includes the $10 bucks in diesel(round trip) it costs me to go the hour and 10 minute ride one way from the house.now the ingredients are almost the same,some differances but for the most part same formula.i may switch to the black bag or maybe even the silver bag of black gold during the off season,but the off season for me would be like 3 bags of food for six weeks and we go back to training again,so it may not be worth it and i just will give them a little less red bag so they don't get fat in the kennel. http://www.blackgolddogfood.com/blends.htm[/b]

I feed basical the same hi protein high fat,formula, in the winter I just feed less but they also get less calories from training treats. I just rotate between three different brand. There are slight difference in formulation that may or may not be significant because of our knowledge of nutrition. No one thinks it is health for human to eat the same exact things every day no matter how well balanced it may appears to be. I'm just using the same principal. I never had any problem with gastric upset or anything like that and never us the slowly change protocol of mixing two different food, I just switch. I also consider the treats used in training part of the nutrional package also and they change even more frequently.
 
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