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Beneful - Good or Bad?

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your dog's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your pooch!

Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times. Non-informative posts criticizing a particular brand or another poster’s choice of food are not allowed in this Forum. References to any brand of food as "junk," "garbage," or other harsh names will be removed.

  
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♥- Crazy Daisy- ♥

The Craaazy Min- Pin
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 31, '06 12:20pm PST 
I've been hearing lately that many Purina foods aren't that healthy for dogs. Is that true? If so, is the Beneful food also not healthy? I've been hearing a lot of good things about Nutro, but it's more expensive than Beneful. If Beneful isn't that healthy, I'd be willing to switch over, though.

I was just wondering what your opinion is. I've heard Dog Chow is like junk food, but I wasn't sure about Beneful. I want my furbabies to get the healthiest food they can that fits my budget! XD
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Riley

Too smart for my- own good!

moderator
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 31, '06 12:32pm PST 
I will not say Beneful is bad, but you can do a lot better nutritionally. Riley ate Beneful for a long time without too many problems. One thing I did not like was all the dye used... whenever she would vomit it would stain the carpet because off all the dyes in Beneful. One large bag of beneful would cost about $25 and last about a month, she was eating 4 cups a day. I switched Riley to Canidae chicken and rice formula, the largest bag costs $30 and lasts almost two months, she eats 2 cups a day! So, for 5 bucks more a bag it lasts almost a month longer and is actually cheaper than Beneful. Plus Riley's coat, teeth, overall appearance and health has improved since switching. I am very happy that we switched!!
Gio

CD RE (CKC)- RXMCL (CARO) FM- CGN SJATD
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 31, '06 12:37pm PST 
Beneful certainly isn't the best. Neither is Nutro, but Nutro is still better than Beneful. I feed Nutro and have had wonderful success with it, but some dogs don't do all that well on it. Here are the ingredients in Beneful Original as found on their website (http://www.beneful.com/products/original.aspx)

Ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole wheat flour, beef tallow preserved with mixed-tocopherols (source of Vitamin E), rice flour, beef, soy flour, sugar, sorbitol, tricalcium phosphate, water, animal digest, salt, phosphoric acid, potassium chloride, dicalcium phosphate, sorbic acid (a preservative), L-Lysine monohydrochloride, dried peas, dried carrots, calcium carbonate, calcium propionate (a preservative), choline chloride, vitamin supplements (E, A, B-12, D-3), added color (Yellow 5, Red 40, Yellow 6, Blue 2), DL-Methionine, zinc sulfate, glyceryl monostearate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, manganese sulfate, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, biotin, thiamine mononitrate, garlic oil, copper sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), calcium iodate, sodium selenite.

First off, there is lots of corn, which isn't always a good choice of filler. The second ingredient is chicken by-product meal. That basically means the ground up bits of chicken carcass that would normally be thrown in the garbage. Anything that lists a "by-product" is garbage in my books. Remember, that when reading ingredients lists, the ingredients are listed in order of highest mass in which they are found in the food. So the first ingredient will be of greatest abundance, the second ingredient will be the second highest abundance, etc. So corn and chicken by-product meal are not the best choices for highest inclusion rate.

I have been feeding Nutro Ultra for the past few years and Gio has done really well on it. The first few ingredients listed on the bag are: chicken meal, whole brown rice, ground rice, and lamb meal. So already right there I would consider Nutro Ultra a better food than Beneful. The first ingredient in Nutro is at least a meat source. It has no corn and no by-products. Nutro is definately not the highest quality food out there, but it isn't as bad as some other options.

I have heard word though that Nutro was recently sold out to a larger company. I'm going to keep an eye on the ingredients list and may be considering a switch if I see things start to go down hill in the near future.
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Mia Bella

Just a little- girl!
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 31, '06 12:50pm PST 
A good website that you can look at that is very informational is www.thedogfoodproject.com. It explains what good and bad things to look for when choosing a dog food.
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Gio

CD RE (CKC)- RXMCL (CARO) FM- CGN SJATD
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 31, '06 12:53pm PST 
Oh Mia, I checked out that link you provided and it took me to some weird site that looked as if it was sponsored by Iams. Are you sure you have the right address?? Just checking big grin
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♥- Crazy Daisy- ♥

The Craaazy Min- Pin
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 31, '06 1:01pm PST 
I got a broken link. :/

Thanks for all your information though, everyone. Mommy had just been hearing some terrible things about Purina lately and so she was getting worried that she was feeding us something really unhealthy. I'd love to get more insight though, since I know everyone has different opinions.
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Mia Bella

Just a little- girl!
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 31, '06 1:07pm PST 
Ooops bol! its http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page=intro
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Gio

CD RE (CKC)- RXMCL (CARO) FM- CGN SJATD
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 31, '06 1:18pm PST 
What is "good" or what is "healthy" is of course going to vary by person to person. Some people only feed organic, some people feed raw, some people avoid certain grains at all cost, the list goes on and on. What every owner needs to do is research into different possible ingredients for dog foods. Find out what those words in the ingredients list mean, and decide whether you are comfortable feeding them to your dog. A food that works well for one dog, may be absolutely horrid for another.

There are also many strategies for feeding. Some people will find a kibble that works for them and stick with it for a long time. Some people like to switch kibbles every few months or even every other day. Some people switch between kibble and raw or homecooked. The list goes on. Everyone has a reason to feed the way they do, and I'm sure nearly everyone would love to try to convince you that their way is the "best" way. You need to weed through the "propoganda" or "scare tactics" and decide for yourself what you are comfortable with and what works well for your dog.

My personal method (and again, this is just the way I do it, not necessarily the way it "should" be done) is to read the labels. Anything with "by-product" is thrown out as an option. I like to have at least two meat ingredients within the first 4 or 5 ingredients listed. Vitamin E is the preservative of choice, anything with ethoxyquin is out as an option. I prefer rice as a grain choice, not corn. I also look for foods with little to no inclusion of "sulfate". (It gives Gio gas.) Those may seem like pretty basic rules, but if you go through the ingredient lists of dog foods at your average pet store, following that method will probably narrow down your choices to 2 or 3 options! I also have some "non-nutritional" aspects that I look for. I want something that is easy to get, sold at more than just specialty stores. I look at price. Sure some of the higher end foods cost less in the long run, but as a grad student with limitted funds, I would rather pay small amounts every few months than a large sum at lesser intervals. It just works in my budget better.
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Meridian

Proud to be a- kitchen wolf!!!
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 31, '06 1:23pm PST 
I was going to suggest the Dog Food project website too. Find it at http://www.dogfoodproject.com/.

Beneful is definitely not the best food out there. You can do better even at the grocery store, though I'd really like to encourage you to go elsewhere for dog food (unless you're feeding a raw diet where you use meat from the human meat department at the grocery store). One really important thing to take into consideration is that though the actual price tag of a better food may be higher, you will have to feed less food and you will be providing superior nutrition which will have long term benefits -- including the effects on the pocketbook!
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Fudge

How can I be- this cute?
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 31, '06 1:32pm PST 
I do not consider Beneful a healthy food. Take a look at the ingredients Gio posted, and then check out the Dog Food Project website to research some of those ingredients. Even without knowing what a lot of those ingredients mean, it's fairly easy to figure out that the quality of the food isn't good. For example, both sugar and salt are very high on the ingredient list--both of these things are not good in excess in any diet. Also, there are artificial colors in the food. Would you be comfortable eating a food with artificial colors every meal of your life? It doesn't seem like a good idea to me.

And that's not even taking into account the fact that the food is very low in meat and very high in grains. Dogs need meat--I would say that even low quality meat is better than no meat.

The other reason I don't like Beneful is because the advertising makes pet owners think that the food really does contain what's pictured on the bag (whole chicken and pretty green veggies). But looking at the ingredients, one can see that the dog isn't getting even close to what the ads make you believe they're getting.
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