|See, I have a problem with mighty dog and a lot of other canned, pouched, and bagged food is because when I look at the back and see stuff like soy protein, wheat gluten, barley, beet pulp, barley, brewer's rice, coloring, and "beef flavor" or "chicken flavor" I put it right back on the shelf. Some people have a big beef wih corn, but my dogs are chihuahuas, and chihuahuas were bred in a place where corn was a staple part of a dog's diet in the form of tortillas. Foxxy is allergic to soy. Beet pulp is not very nutritious for dogs even though it is nutritious for cows. wheat gluten might make stuff stick, but gluten is the very ingredient that dogs cannot digest that clogs the lining of their small intestines and prevents nutrients from getting through, which exacerbates allergies, GI problems, and a host of other issues. Barley has the same sort of gluten in it, and it is no easier to digest.
WHen I open a can of mighty dog, and I have fed it to her before, I smell salt. No dog food should smell salty. It smells like spam. Lots of canned dog foods smell too salty. Seriously, one can of mighty dog is enough for two meals for foxxy, even though the can says I should be feeding her the whole thing per day.
Anyway. I have a big gripe about purina products because wheat gluten is one of those things that is a protein so it can be counted into the protein content analysis. It's an artificial inflation, because wheat gluten, it does all dogs more harm than good. Melamine in the dog food is what really drove everyone away from purina to begin with, and mighty dog was high on that list of recalls in 2007 for that issue.
I am tired of seeing lamb flavor meals, and then looking on the label to find out thta it's a combination of liver and chicken with lamb flavoring added. If you are going to advertise lamb flavor, there better be lamb protein in there for pity's sake, or goat.
If I was going to give my dogs a canned or bagged meal, I would like to see canned dog food with no added colors or immitation flavors, with grains like quinoa, amaranth, brown rice or tapioca instead of wheat, barley, rye, or brewer's rice, or even to use tubers for bulk, like potatoes and yams or sweet potatoes, or even use pumpkin for fiber. Also kelp and spirulina. spirulina is an algae that is 60% protein and it is a superfood. I feed it to my dogs and I eat it myself. I also feed from either kombu, wakame, or nori seaweed. Seaweed has very digestible fiber, and dogs actually love the flavor. All of these are kelp, and also have awesome amounts of vitamins and minerals.
my concerns with commercial food chiefly lies with nutritional benefit to serving size. I can't shake the feeling that even though portions might come smaller, the kibble's content is no better than for big dogs. I feed a combination of raw and cooked: raw, bone in chicken, raw beef, salmon, whole raw eggs with the shell crushed in, brown rice, carrots, apples, pears, oranges, seaweed, spirulina, goat cheese, sweet potatoes and russet potatoes, and shi itake mushrooms. I only usually cook the mushrooms, rice, salmon, potatoes and sweet potatoes, but everything else is just washed or hydrated and rinsed. It's a diet that makes pure raw feeders cringe, and it's a diet that has too much raw stuff for a home cooker to feel comfortable, but my dogs thrive on it.
The problem is making sure that they're getting their nutrition. On my home prepared diet Foxxy needs to eat about 2oz per day. Taggert needs about 3.5oz. When you're talking about dogs less than 10 lbs, every ounce counts, both on the dog and in the bowl. canned stuff other than Cesar usually comes in 6oz cans at the smallest. Cat food comes in 3oz sizes, but cats are twice as big as either of my dogs, and many are as big as both of my dogs put together! a cup of food is 8 oz. the back of the label on most kibble says I should be feeding 4-8 ounces per day for both of my dogs, and mighty dog says 1 can per 4-5 lbs, and it's 6oz. My dogs need to weigh 6 lbs and 8 lbs. even on 1.8 oz, Foxxy is only slowly losing weight from a plump 7.8 lbs. She's not going to get 6oz of any food, no matter what the label tells me.
So to sum up I guess I think the best diet for my dogs is a raw-ish version of a homecooked diet, and that I am very finicky about the amount of food they get versus how much nutriton is in it.
Edited by author Mon Aug 2, '10 3:24pm PST