Now Fresh Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Now Fresh Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Now Fresh product line includes 11 dry dog foods, three claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and eight for adult maintenance.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Now Fresh Grain Free Adult
  • Now Fresh Grain Free Senior
  • Now Fresh Grain Free Fish Adult
  • Now Fresh Grain Free Red Meat Adult
  • Now Fresh Grain Free Puppy (4.5 stars)
  • Now Fresh Grain Free Small Breed Senior
  • Now Fresh Grain Free Large Breed Senior
  • Now Fresh Grain Free Large Breed Puppy (5 stars)
  • Now Fresh Grain Free Large Breed Adult (4.5 stars)
  • Now Fresh Grain Free Small Breed Adult (4.5 stars)
  • Now Fresh Grain Free Small Breed Puppy (4.5 stars)

Now Fresh Grain Free Small Breed Adult was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Now Fresh Grain Free Small Breed Adult

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 30% | Fat = 19% | Carbs = 43%

Ingredients: De-boned turkey, whole dried egg, peas, pea flour, potatoes, potato flour, natural flavour, flaxseed, apples, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), de-boned salmon, de-boned duck, coconut oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate, tomato, alfalfa, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, squash, bananas, blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, pomegranate, papayas, lentils, broccoli, dried chicory root, sodium tripolyphosphate, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, choline chloride, vitamins (vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, inositol, niacin, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (a source of vitamin C), d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, beta-carotene, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), minerals (zinc methionine complex, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, zinc oxide, manganese proteinate, copper sulphate, ferrous sulphate, calcium iodate, manganous oxide, selenium yeast), taurine, dl-methionine, l-lysine, algae extract, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, parsley, peppermint, green tea extract, l-carnitine, dried rosemary

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis27%17%NA
Dry Matter Basis30%19%43%
Calorie Weighted Basis25%39%36%

The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Although it is a quality item, raw turkey contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The second ingredient is whole dried egg, a dehydrated powder made from shell-free eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The third ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The fourth ingredient is pea flour, a powder made from roasted yellow peas. Pea flour contains as much as 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The fifth ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The sixth ingredient is potato flour. Unlike potato starch, potato flour is made from the whole potato (even the skins). This item is considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates with only modest nutritional value.

After the natural flavor, we find flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The ninth ingredient includes apple, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With seven notable exceptions

First, we find canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.

Yet others cite the fact canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.

In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.

Next, this recipe also includes coconut oil. Depending upon the quality of the raw material, coconut oil is rich in medium chain fatty acids.

Coconut oil has been reported to have a beneficial effect on a dog’s skin and coat, improve digestion, and reduce allergic reactions.1

In addition, alfalfa is a flowering member of the pea family. Although alfalfa is high in protein (18%) and fiber, it’s uncommon to see it used in a dog food. This hay-family ingredient is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

Next, we also find lentils in this recipe. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, lentils contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

Next, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

We also note the inclusion of chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

And lastly, this recipe also contains selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.

Now Fresh Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Now Fresh looks like an above-average dry dog food.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 30%, a fat level of 19% and estimated carbohydrates of about 43%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 47% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 55%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea products, flaxseed, alfalfa and lentils, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Now Fresh Dog Food is a plant-based grain free kibble using a moderate amount of turkey, fish, lamb and egg as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every report is directly dependent upon the quality of that data.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

11/18/2014 Last Update

  1. Dr. Bruce Fife, Healthy Ways Newsletter, Vol 4:3
  • M Egan S Horttie

    This is an excellent food, I will tell you why. You don’t need a 5 star brand this I can’t say enough good things about it. when someone I knew found my cat Maxx, he’s not even a year yet . I was on a waiting list for a burmese kitten , my other cat was a burmese mix who passed away last November

    When he happened to fall out of the sky. Because he’s my guardian angel never leaves my side.

    He was pretty dirty whenfound trapped in a wheel well ( He loves baths Ive been bathing him since he was small not so much now every now and then )he was 8-9 weeks old his coat was matted and horrid. (hes long hair) and I noticed a drastic change in his coat when I fed him now,with a bit of Go sensitivity and shine ( i avoided the chicken wet foods and turkey wet foods as it seemed to give him diarehea (I had to cut a phone interview short to clean him up as he knew he had a stinky bum.

    So I’ve been feeding him duck and salmon rotating them) Maxx wow his coat got darker and glossier (hes a big black fuzzy furball) and has tons of energy. Hell even my fat cat Fin whose 4 was running full speed in the house, after switching from Iams to Summit and weruva ,I think hes lost some weight too . But hes more active and his fur has also improved he doesn’t shed nearly as much and his coat is softer and shinier could be weruva too
    Finigan loves Summit which I top off with Weruva chunky funky Fin fin loves that food. He would eat the entire portion,, where he use to not eat all of it I stopped my sister from free feeding him as I never did with my cat and hes a fantastic weight and my shadow. I am in the process of transitioning my 3 Golden Ivy from Blue Buffalo Freedom to Now, yes more pricy but a 12 pound bag seems to last us a while I also offered to pay my parents for half as its very pricy the big bag. fantastic food would recommend to anyone

  • Dr J

    PhD in Physiology and over 20 years of research experience in small intestinal uptake, cell biology, infectious diseases and cancer. Hope that clarifies it.

  • Guest

    What kind of Doctor are you? Lots of people say they are some sort of doctor just to put a label on themselves that looks good. No credentials though.

  • bonbon

    How can NOW dogfood be the blame for it? I sure it would be recalled if lots of dogs developed digestive issues.

  • bonbon

    my dog’s skin in now not flaky.

  • bonbon

    Pooping that much is still normal. My dog still does too but the stool is now firm, not loose.

  • bonbon

    My dog too always had loose stool from eating a Vet brand dogfood. I found NOW myself and now she has firm stool and no flaky skin either.

  • dls_no5

    Been feeding NOW to my 14 1/2 yr old Siberian Husky for 2 years. I have heard that “good quality dog food is supposed to decrease waste” however, she is still pooping 2-4 times a day. Is this a concern?

  • Samantha Leishman

    My dog Zailey was diagnosed with an allergy to grain about 6 months. Before being diagnosed we had tried so many brands from blue buffalo to ACANA and we did not know what was causing her to have so many loose bowel movements! Our vet told us about NOW Fresh and it instantly fixed our problem! Their high protein food with no grain is wonderful for dogs!

  • GSue

    I have a Yorkie (female about 11 yrs old) that would get something like pimples on her body – several at a time in different locations. I would take her to the Vet, get medicine and it would clear up but come back after the medicine was gone. A friend with the same problem said that she had been told it was a yeast type infection and to try Now dog food. I bought my first bag about two years ago and Lexi has been pimple free ever since.

  • morelhead

    here_fishy:

    Unfortunately pancreatitis is caused by dietary indiscretion, genetic issues, increased fat diets, hormonal imbalance, or specific drug use. Food itself cannot cause an issue without these factors (or others) being present.

  • here_fishy

    My parents dog has been eating this brand for over a year. She recently developed acute pancreatitis. The vet said that several other dogs had developed digestive problems on this food, and they have switched back to Techni-cal.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    Sorry, Vicky, but your reasoning is not correct. On every pet food label, the carbs are the missing “unknown” you are solving for.

    Fiber only accounts for a small fraction of those missing carbs and will be included in the solution.

    To solve for the missing carb value, simply add up all the constituent GA percentages on the label (protein + fat + moisture + ash) and subtract that figure from 100 percent.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Fiber is counted in with carbs, even in human food, even in calorie counts, go figure.

  • losul

    Fiber is included in Mike’s carb count.
    protein+fat + ash + carbs = 100

    30 + 19 + 8 + (4 + 39)=100

    subtract the fiber from the carbs and is approximately 39 net carbs.

  • Vikki

    Otherwise, you cannot call this a true dry matter calculation.

  • Vikki

    Sorry Mike, I meant to say 37% dry matter. Yes, it would be 43% if you are not subtracting the moisture content, but dry matter calculations have to account for moisture. 100-(27+17+4.4+8+10)=34%carbs. The 10 in this calculation is the %moisture remaining in the dry food, given on their GA. Then, you must subtract the moisture because dry food brands vary in this, so that you can have a valid dry matter comparison. So you now subtract the moisture content 100%-10%=90% total dry matter. Then (34/90)x100=37%carbohydrate dry matter content, not 43%

  • Crazy4cats

    Our local feed store had a holiday celebration this weekend. There were hay rides and Santa pictures. Also there was a canopy set up with Petcurean reps there as it is a new food being sold there. The reps were so friendly. They were passing out half pound samples of Go and Now Fresh. I probably left with 5 pounds of kibble to try for my dogs and cats. I haven’t been ale to check out what they gave me yet, but I think there may be a turkey flavor for the dogs that might be interesting. There was also Stella and Chewys freeze dried samples. I can’t believe I hang out at feed stores for fun now. Lol!

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    Did you remember to include the ash content? We use 8% for ash (our database average) for every carb estimate on this website.

    Protein + fat + carbs + ash = 100%

    30 + 19 + 43 + 8 = 100%

  • Vikki

    I believe that 43% Carbohydrate dry matter is incorrect. It should state 34%.

  • Dr J

    The argument that HFCS is like sugar is valid to a large degree. What is shocking to me is that the government has been subsidizing corn crops so heavily that an entire market for an artificial product exploded and that this stuff is now being but into everything because it is a cheap “filler”….Look at when we started to get fat. Yep it coincides with the introduction of HFCS and the super gulp…..

  • Shawna

    Got it :) Totally agree, HFCS is in everything!!!!

    A year or so ago, I watched an extremely interesting, to me at least, video presentation by Dr. Robert Lustig called “Sugar” The Bitter Truth” (regarding the affects of fructose in excess amounts on the liver). Not sure of the scientific credibility but it was interesting.

  • Dr J

    Ups, I think that is an English term for HFCS or maybe my brain made a German to English translation. Yes it is the same because the syrup is made from the starch.

  • Shawna

    I wanted to clarify my position here…

    You wrote “An interesting point is that he claims that older animals need MORE protein, which is in contrast to other claims that they need less. Personally I do not see a reason for dogs to have a drastic change in protein levels through out their lives.”

    I completely agree with that statement WHEN the dog/cat is being fed “species appropriate” amounts of protein to begin with.

  • Shawna

    Primal venison has bone in it??

    Edit — Oops, just read the “lightly cook” post..

  • Shawna

    I gotta give you props Aimee, you are really really good at dodging questions. Thanks

  • aimee

    You are assuming I think there is one ideal. As I have said before I prefer fresh over kibble, cooked over raw.

  • Shawna

    I really like quinoa and buckwheat. I purchased amaranth but never did anything with it :). Never tried the other three. Might have to do that…

    I gave the dogs quinoa once. Noticed what appeared to be a worm in one’s poo. Deep sigh of relief when I realized it was the quinoa tail.. :) More recently I topped their food with PetKind tripe (and quinoa). Most of them had diarrhea from it…?? They do fine on tripe and the original quinoa feeding didn’t produce diarrhea so not sure what happened but most of mine have fuzzy butts so no more PetKind for them…

  • Dr J

    Sure they can do so, that is why I said “preferential” carnivore. Ours are so flexible they even include horse manure in their diet :)

  • Shawna

    Sorry, disqus is only showing some of the comments from last night. Can’t see many that I know were posted.

    What is the “ideal” feeding practice in your opinion aimee – grains/no grains, high/moderate protein, kibble/fresh?

  • Dr J

    The worst offender is corn starch syrup, because that crap pops up in pretty much any processed food. I love ancient grains such as farro, quinoa (granted this is a seed rather than a grain), amaranth, spelt and kamut. They seem to have a much stronger flavor than their newer cousins.

  • aimee

    I clarified this for losul last night

    “I agree that we don’t have any real evidence as to what is the “right
    number” I think dogs are flexible and can thrive on a variety of feeding
    methodologies.”

  • Shawna

    Sorry, my mistake..

    I agree with you — too many. And to take it a step further, not processed in a fashion that makes them the most nutritious as our ancestors apparently did — such as sprouting.

  • aimee

    Yep…

  • aimee

    I use it but I do cook the non HPP raw.

  • Dr J

    I did not say humans should not eat grains. I said we eat too many processed grains…..

  • Shawna

    I need to clarify aimee, when you say you agree with Dr J’s statement, which part are you agreeing with? The part about dogs, and humans, should not be fed grains?

  • Dr J

    I am an atheist but have no issues with somebody believing in whatever God they prefer to believe in. Science and faith can go hand in hand if one is capable to accept that the world is older than 6000 years…. ;) Just look at the head of the NIH Francis Collins. Yes plenty of people mock him for his faith, but he is still a world class scientist.

  • Dr J

    With “we” I meant the collective on this board, since everybody has their opinion and is not shy in letting the collective “we” know ;)

  • InkedMarie

    Before I had ever seen Darwins, I had tried one little bag of NV medallions and a sleeve of Stella & Chewys. When I opened the Darwins, I immediately realized how little the others looked like meat

  • Hound Dog Mom

    How so? Here’s the entire post:

    “I’m not suggesting science doesn’t help us better understand
    how nutrients work but look at where science has led us as it pertains
    to food – processed pellets for our pets, GMOs, synthetic vitamins and
    minerals, etc.

    Since we’re on a dog food blog let’s take for example the fact that
    the majority of vets would vehemently defend the idea that kibble is
    superior to a balanced (note balanced) diet of whole foods because it’s
    “backed by research”, “contains ideal ratios of nutrients”, etc. etc.
    Yet, I’m not aware of any studies that have actually compared the long
    term health implications of the two. That’s one of the biggest head
    scratchers I’ve ever come across – how such educated individuals as
    veterinarians can support the idea of feeding pets (what is essentially)
    a processed meal replacement, for life because of “science.” No human
    nutritionist or dietician would support a human eating a scientifically
    formulated meal replacement bar at every meal for life, what’s the
    difference?”

    So we’re back to the same conundrum. You’re suggesting that you disagreed with the rest of my post – so there’s the rest. Therefore, you are now saying that you disagree that kibble, GMOs and synthetic nutrients are bad? So are you retracting your prior statements that you dislike processed foods? Or do you agree with my statement that science led us astray with GMOs and kibble, etc.?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    You’re using a non-HPP raw?! I knew that you used S&C but I would have never thought you’d use non-HPP.

  • losul

    what do you simmer it a bit?

  • losul

    I don’t have any huge bias against them either when properly prepared and as long as they aren’t a main, major, or LT component.

  • aimee

    I don’t have any bias against grains

  • aimee

    Not the one I’m using ( venison). The Stella and Chewys raw frozen is and it def. is a different texture

  • losul

    Yes, but I meant the whole statement, as in the part about the grains.

  • losul

    Is the primal HPP?

  • aimee

    I agree that we don’t have any real evidence as to what is the “right number” I think dogs are flexible and can thrive on a variety of feeding methodologies.

  • aimee

    Well it is really no different than what I’ve done in the past. I use it as a topper. I do lightly cook the Primal though.

  • losul

    Wow. just wow. The whole statement?

  • losul

    Oh wow, Aimee, you totally blew my socks off with that. I’m happy for you and your dogs, that is provided you are going to actually feed it, and not just perform some kind of experiment with it. ;-) thumbs up!

  • aimee

    I’m not sure who you mean by “we” are arguing. But I agree with your statement.

  • aimee

    Isn’t he the guy whose book is in our library : )

  • Dr J

    I am an atheist, now that will get me into hot waters, but I have no problems with peoples believes, because that is a personal matter. Who is Francis Collins …..

  • Dr J

    Forget balance in this argument…..None of my vets ever told me to only feed kibble. Several vets were mix it up, but make sure that if you feed raw that bacteria might become an issue.

  • aimee

    Oh gosh… yes I take it all back I never allow my dogs to eat anything other than processed kibble. LOL Too funny! Reminds me of a recent social gathering where my husband was the center of attention because he is a scientist, an evolutionist and a devout Catholic. People somehow thought if you are a scientist that means you can’t/don’t believe in God.

  • aimee

    Do vets recommend kibble over fresh balanced diets? I don’t know that they do. The key being balanced.

  • Dr J

    You cannot do this. We scientific people only feed our dogs scify diets like freeze dried strawberry ice cream….please retract the fact that you even consider feeding your dogs real meat…;)

  • aimee

    I don’t recall HDM mentioning or asking the fat content of the diet and we were discussing protein but the info is there for all to see. You make it sound like I was trying to hide something lol

    So yes dogs like fat… and when offered carb in the form of sugar they ate significant amounts of that too.

  • aimee

    LOL I’ve said that many times in the past. You must have just missed it!

    As long as I’ve already blown your mind tonight I’ll let you know that I have Primal raw in my freezer and Stella and chewy’s freeze dried raw on my shelf : )

  • Dr J

    I am intrigued that we are arguing about X% protein and Y% fat while there is no real evidence that X or Y is the right number. I think dogs should not be feed grains, because that is not part of the original diet, just like humans, we eat too many processed grains.
    I personally would not feed my dogs Purina, but that is a personal choice, because since I changed to grain free our pack has been doing so much better. The old ones have stopped having ear infections and stopped liking their feet. The young ones have never seen a diet including grains and they have done very well, and have beans to fight for hours on end. All of that is only my anecdotal evidence and I would never dare say that this is more than that.
    It is up to every dog parent to know what is best for the pack.

  • Dr J

    Houndog, really you are now starting to quote snippets of entire conversations….you are clinging to straws now..

  • Shawna

    Can we assume then that vets and others who recommend kibble over fresh balanced diets either 1. Do not have our pet’s health as their top priority or 2. Are not educated enough in nutrition to know they are recommending an “unnatural form of food”.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    “Kibble is fed for cost and convenience.”

    Never thought I’d see the day. My mind is blown at that statement coming from Aimee.

  • Shawna

    Well there you go!! Thanks!!!!!!

    (PS — interesting that the fat content of those diets didn’t come up in the original conversation – even after HDM mentioned it.)

  • aimee

    Feel free to! As I’ve said kibble is fed for cost and convenience!

  • aimee

    Sure!! I have no problem with fat in the diet as long as the dog isn’t fat intolerant as my dog was). When dogs are allowed to choose level of nutrients they chose something like 27% protein calories 7 % carb and the balance fat. ( from memory) Oddly enough cats chose a higher carb content than dogs! 12 % from memory.

    I chose to meet my dog’s energy needs with carb vs fat as it allows her to eat a higher volume of food.

  • Shawna

    “I wouldn’t say I use science as a reason to feed these products so much
    so that when feeding an unnatural form of food ( kibble) I’d like to
    know that the company making what I’m feeding meet certain criteria”

    I’m bookmarking this statement Aimee….. :)

  • Shawna

    So you think the high fat content of milk, as HDM pointed out in that conversation, is suitable for post weaning as well then?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Now I know you’re the one now following along. :)

    How about checking the post I made 11 hours ago in which I stated “I’m not suggesting science doesn’t help us better understand how nutrients work”

  • Dr J

    That was never the premisses of this discussion, Now how about your thoughts about science as the basis of understanding nutrition.

  • aimee

    Hi Dr. J,

    LOL I’m the “she” that Shawna is referring to. My position is you can’t “reason” science but you should “make reasonable conclusions based on all available data” I look to peer reviewed credible journals for data.

    My hubby’s PhD is in molecular and cell biology. I’ve learned a lot from him but I myself also have a quite a number of credit hours in various fields of science ( off the top of my head 25 credit hours in physiology…. I love physiology !)

    I don’t know that we would think our opinions are vastly different.

    I feed a mixture of homemade and commercial foods. I do feed Purina, along with other companies products.

    I wouldn’t say I use science as a reason to feed these products so much so that when feeding an unnatural form of food ( kibble) I’d like to know that the company making what I’m feeding meet certain criteria.

    P.S. I’m also the person who posted Wannemachers work. I think the context was the OP said AAFCO protein min was the min to sustain life and I said the min to sustain life was much lower. I’ve also recently brought up that bitch’s milk ( even when the bitch is on high protein diet) is around 28% protein calories.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    So you agree with me then. Great! I feel the same way. I don’t each much processed food and neither do my dogs.

  • Dr J

    Whatever.

  • Dr J

    Enough to make up my mind.

  • Dr J

    Oh dear, I am getting tired of this argument. I always maintained that a natural nutrition is beneficial compared to some food generated in a lab, that is why I don’t eat ready meals.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I never said that you need Dr. Becker to make up your mind. However you said that her claims are “pseudoscience” but you feed your dogs based on the same principles she promotes. Therefore (according to what you’ve said) you feed your dogs based on psedoscientific claims. Welcome to the club!

  • Shawna

    How much of her material have you actually read?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    You still didn’t answer my question but yes and I never stated otherwise. However you seemed to take extreme offense when I stated I don’t think foods formulated are something that should be formulated in labs and that feeding should be based on nature vs. science. What I’ve been repeatedly trying to ask is why you disagreed with that statement but you don’t seem to want to answer that (I can only assume because there wasn’t a reason).

  • Dr J

    No, I feed them after my personal thoughts. I certainly do not need Dr Becker to make up my mind regarding my feeding practices

  • Shawna

    I agree with you on these points, well mostly…

    Purdue doesn’t have the studies but is one of the sources indicating a senior’s protein needs increase. http://www.ansc.purdue.edu/swineclass/PDF/Companion%20Animal%20Nutrition_2.pdf

    More data from Purina “Senior dogs and cats have a greater need for protein than young adult pets. 4,5″ http://www.purinaveterinarydiets.com/healthandnutrition/myths/detail.aspx?name=SeniorPets

    I’ve seen the data elsewhere as well — Bovee and Kronfeld I believe.

  • Dr J

    Read my response.

    Do you agree that science explains the fundamentals of nutrition, like calorific content, breakdown, uptake, conversion into energy, catalytic effect of enzymes etc?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Dr. Becker’s claims are “pseudoscience”? So then you – as someone who feeds raw – feed your dogs based on pseudoscientific claims?

  • Dr J

    The world is a twisted place, and if somebody is selling overpriced supplements on the back of here pseudo scientific claims, yes then that person is ruthlessly milking people for monetary gain.

    The concept is simple; saw enough doubt that the reader starts feeling guilty that there beloved dog does not get the right nutrition…then say “hey look I have just what you need to soothen your conscience”…and now pay me a premium for the supplement. Kind of twisted….

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Yes, I’ve read yours but it appears that you haven’t read mine. I’ll ask again. :)

    So then you do agree with my statement that a natural approach is best when it comes to nutrition?

    Yes/No.

  • Dr J

    Do you read my comments or do you read them only selectively, or do you try to argue for the arguments sake? I will state it once again. I use science to understand the fundamentals of nutrition, but I try to use as many natural products as possible to feed my family and my dogs.

  • Dr J

    Without having read the study I am reluctant to comment on this. However, my gut feeling is that these levels are way to low for an animal that is a carnivore. Yes one can survive on minimal amounts, but it is it a good idea to run on a minimal diet? I would put the protein requirements at least twice as high. An interesting point is that he claims that older animals need MORE protein, which is in contrast to other claims that they need less. Personally I do not see a reason for dogs to have a drastic change in protein levels through out their lives. Again this is obviously borne out of the parallels one can draw to their ancestral fellows. I am sure that dogs are probably a little better suited to digesting carbs than wolves but in real terms we should not forget that 50’000 years is a rather short evolutionary span, especially since grain cultivation is only going on for about 10’000 years. This gives roughly 1000 generations of dogs, that may have been exposed to more carbs in their diet…..not that much in terms of developing an entire subset of enzymes required for the breakdown of carbs.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    So you – as someone who supports the idea of raw feeding – dislike the idea that Dr. Becker has found a platform in which to communicate the importance of species-appropriate raw feeding to the masses? You think she’s doing it only for monetary gain, not because she’s a veterinarian and wants to help animals? I think she’s so passionate about the importance of species-appropriate diet that that is why she’s gone to the lengths she has. I’m not saying money doesn’t factor in at all (in fact I’m certain that’s why she sells numerous supplements that have hefty markups versus just recommending other products currently on the market) but to believe that she’s just a business woman “ruthlessly” “milking” people for monetary gain is a very twisted way of thinking.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Sorry but I’m completely lost as to what point (if any) you’re trying to make. You were quick to jump in and disagree with my statement that I believe that we should look to Mother Nature when it comes to nutrition (raw feeding) rather than scientifically formulated foods (veterinary recommended kibble products). You then proceeded to state your views concerning canine nutrition which are, essentially, the same as mine. So then you do agree with my statement that a natural approach is best when it comes to nutrition?

  • Shawna

    I actually agree with your points here…

    Out of curiosity, what is your opinion of carbohydrates in a dog’s diet? Can there be too much?

    The below comment was brought up by another poster.

    “Wannemacher’s protein studies demonstrated that by feeding approx. 5% of calories as protein a dog is in protein balance. This is a level considered the minimum to sustain life ( for an adult dog).

    In that study optimum protein stores and function was achieved when
    12% of calories were fed as protein and with seniors at 18%.”

    Any thoughts about optimum protein or 12%?

  • Dr J

    the beauty of science is that it is open to interpretation. It becomes dangerous when people treat it in a dogmatic fashion. Nothing is absolute, because it is process of progressive understanding and learning. Each individual study is only a tiny cogwheel in the grander scheme. Some theories are put forward and gain acceptance through further research, others are an isolated observance and are dismissed through further studies.

    Dogs are probably best described as “preferential” carnivores. They will choose meat every time it is available but can survive for some time on plant based materials if need be.

  • Dr J

    And what is wrong with this statement? How else but through science do you understand nutrition? All the values quoted by Mike on this web-page is based on scientific analysis. Science figured out how much protein is in meat etc, what the recommended daily values are, how proteins are synthesized, how diseases progress. All these are natural processes explained by science.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Then why did you take issue with me stating that I prefer the view points of those like Dr. Mercola that prefer more natural diets despite the fact that they may not be supported by science?

    Me:

    “Science is great and it has its purpose for sure, but some things just shouldn’t be explained by people in white lab coats with test tubes – like nutrition. Nutrition is one of the things in which we should look
    to Mother Nature.”

    Your Response:

    “Why should nutrition not be explained by people who work in a lab and have a profound understanding of physiology?”

  • Shawna

    Although it wasn’t directly stated, I think HDM may be discussing “science” in general not what you do.. There is another on this site that bases her decisions on science and although she does add some fresh foods (mainly veggies I believe) to her kibbled diet, she feeds and supports foods such as Hills, Iams and Purina. She also vehemently argues dogs are omnivores, based on science, not carnivores.

    If she bases her opinions on science and you base yours on science, yet the two opinions are vastly different, does science really have the answers?

    Edit – she uses science as a reason to feed foods such as Hills and Purina (feeding trials etc)

  • Dr J

    Where did I say that…..where? I use science to explain how things happen. I use common sense to decide what I eat and what I feed. Not sure how much science you need to come to the conclusion that carnivores eat meat and that the dogs ancestor was eating it raw. And now for the third time, I feed them a mix of kibble, raw and home cooked foods.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    The contradiction is that you’re saying you use science to back your food choices yet you feed your dogs raw. Provide me with the science backing raw diets for dogs.

  • Dr J

    Where is the contradiction? I use science to explain nature. There is no contradiction in this. I don’t need the Mercola to point out the painfully obvious, that natural produce is better than factory produced ready meals and fast food.

    i support and love raw foods for many reasons, that includes veggies. i eat plenty of raw beets, turnips, carrots, broccoli, cauliflowers, asparagus etc, because I like it and cooking does destroy some of the nutritional benefits (explained by science). I also eat beef tartar, poke, sushi, crevice etc.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I believe that you may need to re-read what I wrote. Nowhere did I make any assumptions as to what foods you prefer to feed your animals, in fact I didn’t even bring you up. I stated that “most vets” prefer processed kibbles that have been “scientifically proven” to homemade diets that utilize whole foods.

    However, now that you mention what you feed your animals I believe that you seem to have contradicted yourself. You disagreed with me when I stated that I feel that nutritious food is not something that can or should be created in a lab and that I agree with Dr. Mercola’s (and other similar) standpoints that a natural diet is best for long term health. This is the exact antithesis of the beliefs held by the majority of the veterinary community. Yet you then follow up with a post stating that you support feeding raw foods – a feeding style that has no scientific evidence to back it. So what is it, science or nature?

  • Dr J

    I am not sure where you got the idea that I prefer the use of processed foods for man or beast over a nature based diet. We eat very rarely food that has been processed. Yes our dogs get kibble, but they always get raw meat with it. Now that we have a lot more space but not yet the capabilities we are seriously thinking of switching them to a raw and home cooked diet.

    What I am defending is the fact that science helps us understand how food uptake works and what the important elements are. Without science there would be little to no understanding of all the diseases that have plagued living creatures.

  • Dr J

    Is that not in line of what I have said to sugar. This is one study from 1999 and I have not seen much to follow on.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I’m not suggesting science doesn’t help us better understand how nutrients work but look at where science has led us as it pertains to food – processed pellets for our pets, GMOs, synthetic vitamins and minerals, etc.

    Since we’re on a dog food blog let’s take for example the fact that the majority of vets would vehemently defend the idea that kibble is superior to a balanced (note balanced) diet of whole foods because it’s “backed by research”, “contains ideal ratios of nutrients”, etc. etc. Yet, I’m not aware of any studies that have actually compared the long term health implications of the two. That’s one of the biggest head scratchers I’ve ever come across – how such educated individuals as veterinarians can support the idea of feeding pets (what is essentially) a processed meal replacement, for life because of “science.”

  • Pattyvaughn

    Night, Johnboy. Night, Mary Ellen.