|Nature's Variety Instinct - Beef &Lamb|
Ruled out Solid Gold Barking at the Moon because it is not a true red meat formula because the first ingredient is ocean fish meal (BTW what is the fish species?) followed by beef, potatoes, potato protein etc. Merrick Before Grain Buffalo calories (383 kcal/cup) are lower [than current dry food by plus or minus 50 kcal] and % carbohydrates are higher.
Acana Grasslands is an obvious top contender because the BCs have done so well on Acana Pacifica (fish) but I am worried about the significant about of lamb being too rich for Lucas' gut. The new beef & lamb formula from NV Instinct is a clear winner with beef meal, lamb meal and turkey meal at the top of the ingredient list. The percentages of protein, fat and carbohydrates are closest to what I'm looking for. Calories are on the high end at 494 kcal/cup but my active BCs can use them. Prices for Acana Grasslands and NV Instinct Beef & Lamb are nearly identical but the latter is hard to find!
Local Store Acana Grasslands NV Instinct Beef & Lamb
Incredible Pets $34.99 (15.4 lb) (none)
Pet Department Store (none) $34.99 (15.4 lb)
Trends N Treats (none) $34.99 (15.4 lb)
Western Feed $35.99 (15.4 lb) (none)
Acana Grasslands (1)
Ingredients: Boneless lamb, lamb meal, salmon meal, herring meal, russet potato, peas, chicken fat (naturally preserved with vitamin E), sweet potato, boneless walleye, sun-cured alfalfa, natural lamb flavor, boneless duck, whole eggs, pumpkin, spinach, turnip greens, tomatoes, carrots, apples, organic kelp, cranberries, blueberries, juniper berries, black currants, chicory root, licorice root, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile flowers, lavender flowers, summer savory, rosemary, vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin E, niacin, zinc proteinate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, vitamin B5, iron proteinate, vitamin B6, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12, selenium, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product. Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein (min): 32.0%; Crude Fat (min): 18.0%; Crude Fiber (max): 3.5%; Moisture (max): 10.0% Estimated carbs: 32% (2) [Note: Acana reports 28% carbohydrates] Calories: 430 kcal/cup
Merrick Before Grain Buffalo (1)
Ingredients: Buffalo Deboned, Chicken Meal, Potato Dehydrated, Turkey Meal, Canola Oil, Sweet Potato Dehydrated, (preserved with mixed tocopherols – a source of Natural Vitamin E and Ascorbic Acid, a source of Vitamin C), Yeast Culture, Natural Dried Chicken Liver, Dicalcium Phosphate, Lysine, Guar Gum, Sea Salt, Alfalfa, Salmon Oil, Choline Chloride, Acai Berry Freeze-Dried, Blueberry Dried, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Venison Broth, Zinc Amino Acid Complex,Chondroitin Sulfate, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Natural Venison Flavor, Chicory Root, Marigold Extract, Rosemary Extract, Lactobacillus Plantarum, Enterococcus Faecium, Lactobacillus Casei, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Natural Celery Flavor, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Vitamin E Supplement, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Natural Color (tumeric), Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Complex, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin D3, Niacin, Lecithin, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Cobalt Amino Acid Complex, Folic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate, Sodium Selenite. Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein, min 32.0%; Crude Fat, min 15.0%; Crude Fiber, max 3.0%; Moisture, max 11.0% Estimated carbs: 34% (2) Calories: 383 kcal/cup
Nature's Variety Instinct Beef Meal & Lamb Meal (1)
Ingredients: Beef Meal, Lamb Meal, Turkey Meal, Tapioca, Beef Fat, Pea Starch, Beef Liver, Beef Plasma, Natural Lamb Flavor, Coconut Oil, Sun-Cured Alfalfa Meal, Tomato Pomace, Montmorillonite Clay, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Biotin, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboﬂavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Carotene, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Potassium Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide), Sea Salt, Dried Kelp, Direct-Fed Microorganisms (Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Yeast Culture, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Extract, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract), Taurine, Carrots, Garlic, Apples, Pumpkin, Inulin, Mixed Tocopherols with Citric Acid (a natural preservative), Rosemary Extract, Freeze Dried Beef, Freeze Dried Beef Heart, Freeze Dried Beef Liver, Pumpkinseeds, Ground Beef Bone, Butternut Squash, Ground Flaxseeds, Chicken Eggs, Broccoli, Lettuce, Spinach, Apple Cider Vinegar, Parsley, Honey, Salmon Oil, Olive Oil, Blueberries, Alfalfa Sprouts, Persimmons, Duck Eggs, Pheasant Eggs, Quail Eggs, Rosemary, Sage, Clove. Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein (min): 37.0%; Crude Fat (min): 20.0%; Crude Fiber (max): 3.5%; Moisture (max): 10.0% Estimated carbs: 25% (2) Calories: 494 kcal/cup Note: An email from NV stated that all their Instinct formulas have 15-16% carbohydrates.
Solid Gold Barking at the Moon (1)
Ingredients: Ocean Fish Meal, Beef, Potatoes, Potato Protein, Canola Oil, Tomato Pomace, Natural Flavoring, Salmon Oil (source of DHA), Choline Chloride, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, Parsley Flakes, Pumpkin Meal, Almond Oil, Sesame Oil, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Thyme, Blueberries, Cranberries, Carrots, Broccoli, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Panthothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin), Riboflavin, Vitamin D Supplement, Folic Acid. Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein, min 41%; Crude Fat, min 20%; Crude Fiber, max 4%; Moisture, max 10% Estimated carbs: 21% (2) Calories: 465 kcal/cup
Bottom Line: We'll start with a 15.4 pound bag of NV Instinct Beef & Lamb and transition slowly to red meat. Doing the research helped me make the best decision for my dogs and remind me what is important in a dry food. Also stocked up on Natural Balance canned foods to mix/rotate with dry, dehydrated, cooked and raw foods.
Resources: (1) Ingredients list, guaranteed analysis and calories pulled from manufacturer's websites. (2) Estimated carbohydrates calculated by starting with 100 and subtracting the percentages of protein, fat, moisture and ash (used 8%). This method was provided by dogfoodadvisor.com.
Notes: Revisit two previous posts about carbs: 11/18/20 and 11/19/2010. This post was updated on 2/1/2011. Thanks!