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Old 11-15-2006, 09:28 AM
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Default Mixing Dog Foods

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 by ToscasMom; 11-15-2006 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 11-15-2006, 09:33 AM
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I agree completely.

BTW--I like "Over-alfalfaed" LOL
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Old 11-15-2006, 12:11 PM
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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.
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Old 11-15-2006, 12:17 PM
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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?
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Old 11-15-2006, 03:18 PM
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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?
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Old 11-15-2006, 03:44 PM
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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.
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Old 11-15-2006, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Whoa. Love your horse.
Thank you He's a pretty wonderful guy!

Quote:
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)
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?
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Old 11-15-2006, 05:02 PM
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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.
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Old 11-15-2006, 05:18 PM
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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?
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Old 11-15-2006, 06:08 PM
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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?
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