Saturday, June 5, 2010

Dog food for an active Vizsla

Bailey and Chloe have been eating super premium dog food since they came to live with us as little pups. 

Chloe's breeder had recommended Timberwolf Dog Food.  This is an expensive dog food and we have to order it on line and have it shipped to us. 

To most people this may seem foolish. Safeway brand or other generic dog foods are much less expensive and available just down the street.

We use cooked ground turkey, frozen green beans and Timberwolf kibble.  Chloe is on one Timberwolf formula and Bailey is on another.

During Bailey's last field trial in Derby, the veteran field trial judge called down from his horse about 10 minutes into the brace, "Handler, what do you feed that dog?"  This was Bailey's blue ribbon run.  I thought that for him to ask, we must be doing something right.

My wife and I wanted high-energy, athletic dogs.  That was one of the reasons we got our Vizslas.   Athletes need the best nutrients available. 

Here is a good article on why higher costs can cost you less:

By Nan Weitzman and Ross Becker

The sources and availability of nutrients are the keys to determining the quality of a dog food. Much has been written lately in the general press about all dog foods being alike.

Anyone who believes this just doesn't know the facts.

With dog food, the truth is not that you get what you pay for. You can get less than what you pay for, or more. It depends on the quality of the ingredients, the formula, and the nutritional punch of the food.

We like to delve a little deeper into the mysteries of dog food. We look at various scientific analyses to determine how much energy a dog food will provide. And we analyze cost per feeding.

When we began to look at cost per feeding last year, we discovered an interesting fact:
It costs LESS to feed a Super Premium dog food than an Economy dog food. The secret is in the nutritional power of the food.

A Super-Premium dog food contains much More energy and protein in every kibble than an economy brand.

In one test we ran, we had to feed five times as much of the Economy brand dog food to get the same nutritional benefits of the Super-Premium.

Despite the lower cost per bag of the Econo brand, it costs you more to feed than a Super-Premium, because you use more bags.

How does cost fit in to the dog food picture? We measured the cost of 40 pound bags of various maintenance/adult dog foods and took the manufacturers' suggested feeding instructions. We then calculated the cost of feeding a 40 lb house dog for a day.

The Premium foods studied had an average of 22% crude protein and 10% crude fat. The Super-Premium dog foods examined had an average of 27% crude protein and 15% crude fat. The Economy brands averaged 20% crude protein and 8% crude fat.

The Super-Premium foods suggested feeding an average of 1-3/4 cups of food per day for our 40 lb dog. Premium brands recommended 3-1/4 cups, while the Econo brands instructed feeding 6 cups a day.

It costs an average of:
* 24 cents a day to feed a dog a Super-Premium brand
* 26 cents a day for a Premium brand
* 31 cents a day for an Econo brand!

That's right - the Econo-brand actually costs you 7 cents MORE a day to feed your dog than a Super- Premium does.
In order to give your dog the nutrition he needs, he has to eat 3-1/2 times more of the Econo brand than the Super- Premium food.

Thus, the big difference is in the poop! The seven cents more that you spend on an Economy brand buys you piles more in the yard cleanup department.

Something else interesting turned up in our study. If you have a giant breed, such as an Irish Wolfhound, you would have to feed your dog at least 12 cups of an Econo brand for a cost of 64 cents a day.

On a Super-Premium, he'd eat only 4-3/4 cups of food for a cost of 62 cents a day. That means the top quality food costs two cents less than the low quality food to get the same nutrition.

The bigger the dog, the narrower the margin of savings the Super-Premiums give. However, for my money, I'll take the Super-Premiums any day - can you imagine having to clean up the result of 12 cups of food a day per Wolfhound?? (Feeding a bigger dog on a Premium dog food costs 1/3 of a cent less than the Super-Premium, although you will still be feeding more and would have greater stool volume.)

Working with a kennel of 70 active hunting dogs over the last three years, we tested 10 different brands of dog food ranging from Econo brands to Super-Premiums.

We found that it doesn't pay to feed a cheap-quality dog food.

The better the quality of the food, the LESS it took to feed our dogs.

Even at a higher price per bag, we saved several cents per feeding per dog. The better quality the food, the better the value.

Here's an example in our Foxhound kennel. The typical dog weighs about 70 pounds. It costs an average of 86 cents per dog per day to feed a Super-Premium brand, compared to S1.01 per dog per day for a Premium brand. When we fed a Regular brand, it cost us $1.12 per dog per day. When we fed an Econo brand, our cost soared to $1.35 per dog per day.

Super-Premium dog foods are more digestible so more of the nutrients are utilized. This means less poop is produced. Super-Premiums are more nutrient dense and less expensive to feed than Economy, Regular and some Premium brands

Timberwolf in one of dozens of Super-Premium brands.  Look at what they pack into those little kibble bites.

Timberwolf Bison™ Canid Formula

This formula may be used for the feeding of animals that require a lesser amount of protein in their diet. It is also another good choice to help in the management of your pet's weight. It has high levels of omega-3 essential fatty acids.

Dakota Bison is an excellent choice for the maintenance of a healthy skin and coat.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein min. 26%

Crude Fat min. 16%

Crude Fiber max. 3%

Moisture max. 9%

Ash max. 6%

Calcium 1.75%

Phosphorus 1.2%

Copper 16 mg/kg

Vitamin A 22,000 IU/kg

Vitamin D 1,200 IU/kg

Vitamin E 350 IU/kg

*Taurine min. .17%

*Omega-6 Fatty Acids 3.8%

*Omega-3 Fatty Acids 1.4%

*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profile.

Calorie Content (Calculated)

Kcal/kg 3,680

Kcal/cup 522

Ingredients: Bison, Salmon Meal, Ground Millet, Ground Brown Rice, Oat Groats, Chicken Fat, Sweet Potatoes, Salmon Oil, Dried Apples, Dried Cranberries, Dried Figs, Ground Thyme, Ground Anise Seed, Ground Cinnamon, Ground Fenugreek, Dried Garlic, Ground Sunflower Seeds, Ground Sesame Seeds, Dried Kelp, Dehydrated Alfalfa meal, Natural Flavors, Dried Carrots, Dried Celery, Dried Beets, Dried Parsley, Dried Lettuce, Dried Watercress, Dried Spinach, Dried Egg Product, L-Lysine, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Whey Product, Casein, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Lecithin, Taurine, DL-Methionine, Brewer’s Dried Yeast, Dried Saccharomyces cerevisiae Fermentation Solubles, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium thermophilum Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium longum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Choline Chloride, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Vitamin E Supplement, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (a source of vitamin B6), Thiamine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Cobalt Proteinate, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenite, Mixed Tocopherols (a natural preservative), Citric Acid, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Rosemary Extract.


Delilah and Rocket said...

You're right! vizsla's are high energy athletes. That's why we shell out more $$ for the better brands as well as mixing in some raw stuff. We are constantly getting compliments about the shine of the kidz coats and what great teeth they have.

You can fork out the $$ in dog food or you can fork it out in vet bills.

Anonymous said...

It can he so hard to find a really good food that won't break the bank. this article was very interesting, I will have to pass it on to my boss/friend who has hunting dogs and a kennel.

I currently have my Vizsla on a brand called Great Life ( ) It's one of the best foods out there for the money I pay. And she does really well on it, infact it seems to be so well balanced overall that it's hard to really add weight or subtract weight. I occasionally do raw too, but in the past was limited in freezer space. I am going to get more into it now that that problem is gone. Just need to find a supplier.

Thanks for the article. And good luck with your pups, I shall keep an eye on the blog to see how they progress
Anna & Luna

Krazy Kian said...

Thanks for the article on the food, very interesting.
We feed Kian Orijen from up here in Canada, we usually mix it with some tripe wet or hte odd raw bits.
He really enjoys the combination of the two.
Now that he has been bird training he is starting to put on some muscle, but nowhere near Bailey.
Good luck with the hunting.

Ken and Janet said...

Hey Rod - that math only works if you feed what they say in the promo - not if you feed what they need for weight - That said - FEED THAT BOY! I've seen pictures of Starving Ethiopians with more meat on them! :-)))) Plus I want him to get fat and slow so we can win....

Rod Michaelson said...


Bailey the "Ethiopian" weighs in at 56 pounds and is 23.5 inches tall. Muscle weighs more than anything else. Chloe weighs in at 38 pounds and is 22.5 inches tall. Bailey's ribs show, Chloe's don't.
Of course, growing up, my ribs always showed also.

Colon Cancer OC said...

Do you feed platinum or original? we had cooper on platinum, but I am thinking it may be too much protein for him because he's had chronic diarrhea since we brought him home, and we have fed him nothing, but high quality foods with high protein. Maybe less protein?