Hello so Iím just hoping to get some opinions on taste of the wild dog food and also gather thoughts on whether or not kcals per cup is something to live by. So Iíve always fed my boy 30/20 formulas whether itís been pro plan sport, victor hi pro plus , diamond naturals extreme athlete, 4 health performance all of those formulas range from 400kcal per cup to 475 kcal per cup and he eats 5 cups daily split between 2 feedings so roughly he has always gotten 2000 to 2200 kcal a day but taste of the wild ranges from 360-390ish kcal per cup which at 5 cups a day is 1800 kcal to 1900kcal.
I don't usually do a lot of checking on kcal per cup because I have used ProPlan salmon and rice (that's it's original name--it's on it's 4th name now and the grain isn't rice any more and it's name is ProPlan Focus Sensitive Skin and Stomach and through all of the name and ingredient changes it is now 429 kcal per cup and that's within a few points of what it's been all along. I had one dog who I fed a mix of the Focus and ProPlan Sport during the winter because I really only wanted to add some calories but not have to increase the quantity of food.
And while the foods Iíve fed him have been free from corn wheat and soy Iíve heard some foods that are limited grain like that have empty calories in them versus grain free diets donít have empty calories and Iíve also heard that grain free just subs out barley, sorghum , or Millet for lentils, pea protein, or sweet potatoes which in some of my research people think itís just preference when it gets down to it. I was hoping to gather opinions or observations and please donít recommend feeding raw thatís no currently a good option for me thank you.
The Focus Sensitive Skin and Stomach (grain based) is now barley (salmon is the first ingredient, barley is the second) ground rice, canola meal and oat meal. Over the years although I've tried some of the newer kibbles I've had such consistent good luck with ProPlan's salmon (and whatever grain) that since I've not found anything that my dogs did better on I just stick to it. They like it, eat like they are starving, their coats are glossy, poops are solid and fairly small and in general I don't find that they have a whole lot of gas.
I've got some opinions though. None of my dogs, ever,has been allergic to any food--with the exception of a Dobe back in the late 60's who was allergic to egg whites. Broke out in instant hives--so he got egg yolks and the other dog got all the egg whites and an egg yolk. So I really can't even think why I picked up some grain free kibble to try. I had three dogs at the time--2 Dobes and an Australian Shepherd. I tried two different brands of "grain free" and in both cases 1 Dobe ended up with cow pie poops (different Dobe on different brand)--the Aussie got to finish the grain free--he said "meh--it's OK".
I've been reading the studies as they have come out on the dietary cardio showing up in breeds who do not usually have high numbers of DCM. It isn't so much entirely related to grain free but rather specifically most often showing up in "grain free" kibbles where the substituted carb is a legume--most often either peas or lentils. At least that's what I've gleaned from the stuff I'm reading and recently one of the vets (I work in a vet clinic) went to a nutrition seminar and said that's what the experts who were lecturing said too.
If the limited grain diets are substituting sorghum, Barley or millet they better not be calling it grain free--those are grains. Usually the grain free diets substitute pea, lentil or potato (white potato)--or sweet potato. The legumes are being looked at carefully because most of the cardio dogs from not usually subject to high numbers of cardio are eating diets that have legumes as the substitute carb. I know one dermatologist who routinely takes skin problem dogs off diet that use white potatoes as the substitute carb source. And I know another dermatologist who recommends diets for tested or suspected allergy dogs be put on a diet which uses sweet potato for a sub for grains as a carb source.
Here's an FYI--years ago when lamb was being touted as the thing to feed dogs with food allergies--I tried three different types of kibble--two had rice as the carb and 1 had pea as the carb source. Because after food all of those diets after a couple of weeks all of the Dobes (3 of them) had lost weight and all of their coats looked like trash. The lamb and pea was the worst for coats--I threw that away but I never bought any more lamb and anything--I thought then and still think that lamb as a protein source is missing something that Dobes need.
And a final comment--about taurine--there are studies going on about taurine in a dogs diet--but my sources say that the best sources for tauine are red meat (specifically--poultry is not high in taurine and as far as I know neither are eggs) and heart is very high in taurine. But there are studies about taurine in the diet of most dogs. Dogs make their own taurine (it's kind of like the deal with Vitamin C--everything makes Vitamin C except for guinea pigs, fruit bats and humans). There are cases--and they've been written up and peer reviewed about the value of taurine in a dogs diet as a supplement. There are some breeds (Boxers are the one I remember) who have some dogs who have a genetic failure of the ability to produce taurine on their own. They can tested and if they aren't making their own they would benefit from a supplement. Dobermans don't have DCM because of a taurine deficiency--or at least that would not be a primary cause. Dobes have a type of DCM which is pretty much agreed to be genetic. Cats, on the other hand don't make their own taurine and develop a specific type of cardio if they don't have a source of raw meat or diets that contain taurine as an added supplement. So in the early years of manufactured cat food we were all killing our cats because of the lack of taurine in their diet--they pretty much all died young from cardiomegly.
I've asked every vet cardiologist I've ever talked to about that and links to hypothyroidism and Dobeman DCM. None of the cardiologists seem to think that there is a direct correlation to either.
I didn't intend for this to become a book--I'll get off my soapbox now...