Mixing Dog Foods

Discussion in 'Dog Food and Recipes' started by ToscasMom, Nov 15, 2006.

  1. ToscasMom

    ToscasMom Harumph™©®

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    Mixing Dog Foods

    I was thinking about the thread where I mentioned that I mix two types of food for Tosca (Eagle and NB). There was some discussion on whether it could be a bad thing and I took it very seriously because I really see a number of people on this board who have plenty to teach me.

    Once I got past my self-rationalization stage, I started to think about ways in which this can be a problem. For example, could a dog get too much of one nutrient or not enough of another by doing this, as different companies create their foods for balance? So I used different options to do a small calculation.

    First, I add the assumption that no premium foods, or at least the premium foods I am using have nutrients in the bag that are considered detrimental to dogs. With that assumption in mind, here are some examples.

    For example: Omega 3, guaranteed analysis.

    If I were to do a 50-50 mix of two foods (Food A and Food B) and
    Food A in the guaranteed analysis had .06 % and
    Food B in the guaranteed analysis had .05 % then:

    A 50-50 Mixture of Foods A and B would have Tosca mathematically ingesting on average .055% Omega 3.
    This would be less than the guaranteed analysis in Food A
    This would be more than the guaranteed analaysis in Food B.

    Now, if I were to feed strictly Food A, she would not be getting too much Omega 3, if it were in the future determined that too much Omega 3 is bad.

    If however I were to feed strictly Food B, she also would not be getting too little of Omega 3 in her food.


    Next, I started think of food nutrients, such as herbs, fruits, veggies.

    As a small example I will use Alfalfa:

    If Food A lists Alfalfa as the 12th ingredient and
    Food B has no Alfalfa, then :

    A 50-50 mixture of A and B would have Tosca ingesting 50% of the Alfalfa she would be ingesting if she ate strictly Food A. Therefore she could not be "Over Alfalfaed".If I were to feed strictly Food B, she would get no Alfalfa. The same would hold true if I were to substitute things like carrots or potatoes.

    My line of thinking here is a mixture of two premium foods can never yield more than the value or percentage of any nutrient in either of the two foods.

    Please discuss this with me as I am not without the realization that I might be missing something here.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2006
  2. papillon806

    papillon806 New Member

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    I agree completely.

    BTW--I like "Over-alfalfaed" LOL
     
  3. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    Honestly, I don't know the answer. My question would be, did you mix the food as 50% by volume (1/2 cup to 1/2 cup) or by weight? If you did it by volume, that may mess things up as I believe the nutrient's are listed by weight. So...

    If a dog needs, say, eight units of Vitamin A, and Food 1 provides eight units per cup, and food two provides eight units per 1/2 cup (it may be more nutrient dense, and supposed to be fed in smaller amounts). You then mix 1/2 cup and 1/2 cup... and your dog is getting 12 units suddenly.

    I really have no idea. That's just what I was thinking.
     
  4. ToscasMom

    ToscasMom Harumph™©®

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    Whoa. Love your horse.

    Ok, so what if both brands recommend the same feeding amounts e.g 2-4 cups. Do you think that levels out the concern?
     
  5. Mordy

    Mordy Quigleyfied

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    It's not as much about things like essential fatty acids or irrelevant ingredients such as fruits and veggies. It's about minerals and vitamins, which are required by the body in specific amounts and ratios that interact with each other. If these ratios are skewed, you might find yourself dealing with health issues as serious as orthopedic problems.

    Within a specific food these ratios are taken into consideration, depending on the feeding amount, kibble size and density etc.

    Within a certain line of products this is not as much of a concern (e.g. mixing California Natural Chicken & Rice Adult & Puppy food to elevate the level of protein and fat compared to feeding the Adult food only), but I don't see any benefits in mixing different brands of food, especially long-term. Why purposely destroy a carefully planned approach to nutrition by mixing?
     
  6. ToscasMom

    ToscasMom Harumph™©®

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    I used the examples as just examples with the assumption that the same holds true for the vitamin values in two different premium foods. That is, as fed, you cannot exceed the amount per feeding beyond the amount that is in the cat food with the highest amount of that nutrient where the recommended feeding amount of the two foods is otherwise equal. However, the density question is a really good point. It brings me back to the question Boston brought up. Volume vs. weight.
     
  7. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    Thank you:D He's a pretty wonderful guy!

    Now you are broaching on the reason I've been wondering about this topic. Meg is on adult Innova right now; I've wondered about mixing in some Evo to up the protein a bit. So you are saying that within a brand it shouldn't be an issue?
     
  8. Mordy

    Mordy Quigleyfied

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    Volume vs. weight is indeed an important factor. It's always better to compare kibble by nutritional density, in kcal per pound or kilogram.
     
  9. showpug

    showpug New Member

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    I was just thinking about this subject today actually. What if you are mixing two different brands, but one of the brands and foods fed is raw instead of kibble?
     
  10. ToscasMom

    ToscasMom Harumph™©®

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    I don't know. This whole subject is kind of subjective I think. If I could find a study on the mixing of foods I might feel secure in either direction. I suppose since I can't, I should just give up the Eagle Pack fetish I have, but I know Bob will jump on me, but I just don't know for sure if I think Natural Balance by itself is the very BEST I can do for my dog. I can say she loves it though.

    The NB is for her. The Eagle is for me. Can you relate?
     
  11. Bobsk8

    Bobsk8 Guest

    You are exactly right in my opinion and I thought the same thing when I read that too. If you mix 2 foods you are averaging their contents. If one food has too much of something and the 2nd food does not , then if you feed only the first one of them it's too much of that ingredient.... I mean, it's not rocket science.
     
  12. Bobsk8

    Bobsk8 Guest

    The same averaging rule would apply whether it was ingredients or minerals and vitamins... If both foods have a normal amount of nutrients , let's say X number of grams of Vitamin E, and you mix them, then a serving of the mix would have X grams of Vitamin E. If one food had 2X grams ( twice the amount of E as "normal" ) and you mixed it with the 1X food, then a serving would have 1 1/2 X. You could never get anymore of a nutrient than either food had by itself. The same would apply to a too low level of nutrient. The mix would always be better than eating the low food by itself........
     
  13. Herschel

    Herschel New Member

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    I agree with Mordy--using n-3 fatty acids as your example is kind of skewed. It would be nearly impossible to get a dog to overdose on long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (especially omega 3) from dog food.

    I'm still not sure about the food mixing things. I can't say that I agree with either ToscasMom's or Bobsk8's arguments, but I don't have one of my own to dispute them.

    http://www.greatdanelady.com/articles/do_not_mix_dog_food_brands.htm
     
  14. papillon806

    papillon806 New Member

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    Again, I agree completely.
     
  15. ToscasMom

    ToscasMom Harumph™©®

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    I'm still trying to work the volume vs. weight thing out in my head. If you consider it, it could be an issue except that if you go on As-Fed (I THINK that's the right term), you have to assume that each day, the dog is getting the guaranteed analysis percentages on the bag. So at least in theory, if both foods recommend 2-4 cups a day, then splitting them fifty fifty can't yield an OD of anything. At least in theory or at least mathematically. The question is, does this translate into practice?
     
  16. ToscasMom

    ToscasMom Harumph™©®

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    I just noticed your link Herschel. Thanks.

    Obviously this lady knows what she's talking about if I take her background into consideration--even if she's an Eagle pusher. lol. The problem I have is I need to know how this can happen. I see opinions but all I really want is some valid facts as to how this could happen, because statistically it doesn't seem to be so. I know I'm being from Missouri here, but I like to see proofs otherwise I am looking at a theory. Kind of like the arguments against evolution. lol I haven't read her Guide yet. Will do. Maybe I can find more there.

    I used Omega 3 because it was easy off the bags. I could have just as easily used something else.

    Ok here's my next question. If you wanted to feed Eagle Pack and your dog wasn't so hot about the taste, kind of ate it but not with much gusto, and

    if your other food in the mix were NB and the dog loved the taste but you weren't too sure it was the best you could do for her at her age, and your dog seems to like Canadae all right, and

    Innova was not an option,

    Would you go with the Canidae or the Natural Balance (ultra premium)?


    Bob I already know your answer. lol.
     
  17. Herschel

    Herschel New Member

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    I'm in a tough spot. We were feeding Canidae and loved the results. But after 4 months of it, our dog decided he wanted a change. We switched to Innova Adult and it killed his coat (rough, dry, and dull) and now he doesn't like the taste of it.

    We're in the process of switching back to Canidae, which he enjoys again, but we're not sure if it's going to last. If he gets picky again, we're going to have to find new ways to add things to his food. He likes the taste of EVO--so sometimes I add a few pieces of it to his food when he is being picky. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

    The ideal situation would be if I could mix foods together, feed one food in the morning and another at breakfast, or alternate between two foods on a daily basis for variety. However, for some reason, all of the pundits say that none of these are optimum for the dog based on the specific formulation of foods.

    I emailed Canidae last night and asked them about it. If I get a reply, I will post it here.
     
  18. ToscasMom

    ToscasMom Harumph™©®

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    Thanks Herschel. I'm dying to know what they say! The thing is they all want you to feed just their food, but hopefully you will get an answer that either confirms what we are reading or doesn't. I really want to feed her Eagle Pack, but she doesn't like it that well so I am placating ME. But for what it's worth with you and your dog, I have found that crumbling a bit of NB Dog Food Roll in with the dry and the dog will eat anything. I just didn't want to have to do that. I figured there is something wrong if a dog doesn't feel good about his food so why disguise it.

    ...sigh..

    I bought some candidae and have hand fed her some of it and she seems to like it. Once I settle this issue about mixing, if I have to go to one food, I will ease her into the canidae and see how it goes. But I still would REALLY prefer to mix.
     
  19. Bobsk8

    Bobsk8 Guest


    Just curious, you said that you fed your dog NB and the dog likes it but you want something better. What is not good about NB?
     
  20. ToscasMom

    ToscasMom Harumph™©®

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    Well it's more subtle than that Bob. Obviously I am not an NB "un" fan, but we have to remember I have a puppy here not an adult dog. For starters, I am not thrilled with the protein level. Now i know you think a few percent doesn't matter, but I think it can for puppies.

    I have to admit I got hooked by the almost carnival way DVP sells his food. I see nothing detrimental in it by comparison to other foods, but I do have a problem with "all breed" food for my puppy to begin with. Maybe it's pyschological. So in my mind, the foods that have the most "Chops" right now tend to make me think they are the best for her. By "Chops" I mean the foods the greatest number of hard core dog people feed.

    Ok The truth is: Tosca looks Great! Her coat is beautiful (as do Smokey's and Hudson's). I have to give at least half that credit to NB as half her food is NB. But Tosca is a kid and I am just maybe a little too paranoid about the food that is best for her and sometimes wonder if I am doing right by her by not using that food which the most people find the greatest result with puppies.

    I am also an Eagle Pack fan for my cats, having consistently had cats live well past average age, in some cases in the twenties, so the fact that Tosca doesn't think it's all that great bothers me, and so I bought NB to mix with it to stimulate her appetite. So NB was an accident so to speak. The fact that she's doing great on it, at least outwardly, is a pleasant side effect, but I am not sure at this stage in her life I want to feed only NB to her. down the Road is important. Maybe if she were an adult, I wouldn't be thinking this way.

    So you see, I am at a crossroad.
     

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