Author Topic: What's Up With Beneful?  (Read 747 times)

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Offline Moonsong

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What's Up With Beneful?
« on: September 14, 2017, 04:39:39 PM »
I've been feeding my dogs Beneful Originals since...something like February? And we've been feeding them Beneful in general for years before that. We've never had a problem.

My friend just texted me today saying that Beneful foods are basically junk food and can poison or kill dogs. I looked into it, but couldn't find a single reliable source. There were articles claiming that Beneful kills dogs...but all (that I found) were written in a voice that sounded like someone trying to rile up an angry mob; I couldn't find anything that seemed unbiased/provided scientific research to back up their claims. Just people going "I fed Beneful and my dog died so Beneful is evil".

I'm willing to believe it - I'm willing to switch foods. But I'm not going to believe it based off of a few clearly biased sources without any evidence to support it, especially since my dogs have been on it for years without a single problem.
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Offline Ariel

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Re: What's Up With Beneful?
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2017, 04:48:48 PM »
I would not feed Beneful to pet rats. It's absolute junk. I don't care to feed food that has such a predominance of useless filler such as corn, rice, and barley and has so much meat by-product in it. Beyond that, is there really any reason to put food coloring in the food? We know that dyes can have adverse effects on humans in terms of allergies and behavior and animals are no different. The colors and shapes are the reasons crappy cereals are appealing to many people. They catch the eye because they are visually interesting. Visually interesting does not mean more tasty to the dog though and definitely doesn't mean more healthful. If money is a concern I know Kirsten feeds Purina Pro Plan to her dogs and has for many years. You could also do Sam's Club Kirkland dog food and those come in a grain free version as well. For the size of your dogs you could likely go up further to a higher quality food if you cared to and it would still be pretty cost effective.
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Offline Azariah

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Re: What's Up With Beneful?
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2017, 04:56:47 PM »
I've used this source before to evaluate dog foods. Its not perfect but can be a starting point. I might have to switch to a lower cost dog food and Cosmo's breeder recommended the kirkland grain free. For what it is worth.

I linked the beneful and kirkland reviews below.

https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/beneful-dog-food-dry/

https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/kirkland-signature-dog-food/
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Re: What's Up With Beneful?
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2017, 05:32:59 PM »
I also don't want extra fillers/dyes/whatever in my dog's diet.  My puppy is on Fromm and doing very well.


Offline OlgatheGSD

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Re: What's Up With Beneful?
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2017, 06:06:39 PM »
Ariel is on point. I feed diamond natural lamb and rice large breed. It's not perfect, but it's very budget friendly and I like that it has a lot of probiotics. I'd free natural balance duck if I had the money for it since her poop is firm on duck, so right now the duck are her full time treats and half of her morning meal. She seems to be doing really well on that combo.

Corn makes dogs fat and oily, and they almost always have some form of chicken in them with is a huge allergen for dogs. The dogs I've had with hot spots were always from chicken. Switching protein solved the skin issues and no I don't even bother trying a new dog on chicken. The default is lamb then if there's another problem it's moving on to salmon or duck. Filler grains are what makes cheap dog food cheap and why you have to feed so much to keep them healthy. They get calories before nutrients and it should be the other way around.
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Offline Azariah

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Re: What's Up With Beneful?
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2017, 09:29:04 PM »
Serenity and Cosmo eat Earthborn Holistic.

Rio (12 years old) eats Wellness Complete Senior. We tried a few brands to help her lose weight when she had pain from hip dys - this was the one that worked for her.
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Offline Ariel

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Re: What's Up With Beneful?
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2017, 10:38:15 PM »
I also don't want extra fillers/dyes/whatever in my dog's diet.  My puppy is on Fromm and doing very well.

Jubi was on Fromm Puppy and did very well on it. She's now on Open Farm Turkey and Chicken. Rocko and Mochi are on Earthborn Healthy Weight. Both of them have large appetites and I wanted to feed a lower calorie but higher quality food so the Earthborn was a good match for that. Rocko can eat 1.5 cups daily and Mochi can eat 1 cup rather than 3/4c and 1/2c total daily like when they were also eating the Open Farm.
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Offline mommagrizzly

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Re: What's Up With Beneful?
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2017, 09:26:32 AM »
Personally I would never feed Beneful. My mother fed it to our dog growing up, until we found out how awful it really is. Then they switched her food.

I feed Fromm and really like it. It is a good food from a good company at a price I can afford. I have been feeding to my pet dogs for years, and I got permission from my program to feed it to Keturah.
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Offline Summertime.and.Azkaban

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Re: What's Up With Beneful?
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2017, 02:38:33 PM »
We switch brands a lot, we have a few we alternate through.

Diamond naturals, sportmix wholesomes, evolve dog food and pure balance from walmart.

I have two 45lbs dogs and two that are edging on 20lbs-30lbs. We go through a LOT of food here and we live on a very, very tight budget. Our puppy eats three cups a day by herself. If I was just feeding one dog I'd go to higher quality like Acana or Taste of the Wild.

Pure balance is a mediocre dog food that is produced by Walmart. Their budget food is "Ol' Roy" which is also garbage. Pure balance is not a horrible food, comes in grain free and comes in allergy sensitive formulas. I always feed their chicken and rice recipe but they have others.

I can't rave about Sportmix Wholesomes enough. I love their food. Even though it is not top notch I've had a lot of success feeding their food. Sportmix is a brand that has been around and making dog food for many years (since 1926 actually) which to me means they've had a good long time to determine what must be put in their foods to make it sustianable.

Anything lower than their CanineX formulas are going to contain a good bit of corn (second ingredient) which is not what I'm looking for in my low-energy dogs. I'm not opposed to corn in dog food but I don't like to see it high on the ingredients list unless I am feeding hounds that spend a lot of time running, like 20 hours or more a week. It's been a very long time since I've hunted with a dog but when I do hunt dogs they're usually on a performance food and it usually contains corn. It's hard to put enough fat on a dog that's running and burning that much energy without a higher carb concentration. Still, I'd rather feed a performance food that contains less corn like Victor's performance food or Diamond's performance food. Foods high in corn are not sinful if you're feeding a kennel of hunting dogs, especially if you hunt for hobby and not for a living. Corn is a cheap filler (bulks the food and makes it fill the dog faster) that is high in carbs and can make a dog food sustainable while being affordable.   

I also like that Sportmix labels their formulas as they are. They're pretty honest on their bags and instead of labeling it "chicken" or "salmon" they label it "chicken meal" and "salmon meal". A lot of people recoil at the term "meal" but raw chicken is a high moisture protein source. Even if it's at the top of the list on your dog food bag the moisture will cook out of their chicken during processing and the actual amount of chicken in the finished food is indeterminable. The ingredients list is made by listing ingredients by weight. Just because there was forty pound of raw chicken put in the food does not mean that the food contains forty pounds of chicken when finished.

Chicken meal is a DRY protein source made from flesh and skin. It does not contain bone, feathers, feet or entrails. If chicken meal is the first ingredient there's a good chance the food is mostly or substantially comprised of chicken meal. Since it is dry and the amount of chicken meal you put in should be around the same amount that is in the finished food.

Ambiguous "animal meal" or "chicken (beef, lamb, etc.) meal by products" are not quality ingredients. Meals specifically labeled by the animal they are products of are not automatically low quality ingredients in dog food.

My parents fed and my dad still feeds low quality dog food like River Run and Friskies. We fed our smaller dogs Ol' Roy or Gravy Train and the bigger dogs got River Run's lowest quality food. My in laws over feed their cat on Friskies and have a two year old cat still eating Purina Kitten Chow. The cats are all morbidly obese and in terrible health.

I've never had success with Beneful or other lower quality foods. I don't think they're balanced well. I can feed higher quailty foods with corn to my dogs fine (excluding Az as he has a corn allergy) but if I dip into "Iams" territory the dogs start to look bleh. Their coats get duller, they get listless and their poops are not firm. I've had to feed very low quality foods in the past. We had no money and had just had a baby, so the dogs ended up eating Ol' Roy High Performance in an effort to provide them with more protein. It hurt my soul to feed it but it was that or starvation, and following Ellyn Satter's hierarchy of food need I chose to prioritize having enough food over having healthy food.

If a food must contain corn I prefer it be in the form of corn meal. Corn is only as digestible as it is processed. Corn meal is generally more processed than whole grain corn (which still has to be ground before being out into kibble) and is thus more biologically available. If there is anything to be gained from corn it will be gained from a more processed product.

ETA: Feeding a dog a food that is BASED on corn, like Beneful, Ol' Roy, Purina Dog Chow, Joy and other low quality foods is like feeding a bird an all-seed diet. It can keep them alive but it makes them fat and sick over time. It's better than starvation but isn't sustainable in the long-term.



« Last Edit: September 16, 2017, 02:47:14 PM by Summertime.and.Azkaban »
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Offline mommagrizzly

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Re: What's Up With Beneful?
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2017, 02:53:59 PM »
I have heard good things about the Costco's Kirkland dog food, but I have not personal experience with it. They have several options to choose from.
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Offline Moonsong

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Re: What's Up With Beneful?
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2017, 03:14:45 PM »
ETA: Feeding a dog a food that is BASED on corn, like Beneful, Ol' Roy, Purina Dog Chow, Joy and other low quality foods is like feeding a bird an all-seed diet. It can keep them alive but it makes them fat and sick over time. It's better than starvation but isn't sustainable in the long-term.


Thanks for putting this into my language :wink:


We're actually about to run out of Beneful right now, so I'm in a spot where we ought to decide this weekend on what to feed and go pick it up tomorrow or Monday.

I would prefer not to get bulk. It's just an executive functioning thing, though. It's easier for me to feed the dogs when the food is kept in a cereal keeper right on the counter by their bowls. So we buy a few little bags instead of one big bag and fill up the cereal keeper. But if Kirkland dog food is our best choice I'll get over it.

Other than that, though, you guys have given me a lot to sort through! I'm not really sure how to figure out which one we should get. I'll work on it today and probably tomorrow too.
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Offline Summertime.and.Azkaban

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Re: What's Up With Beneful?
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2017, 03:47:28 PM »
I think that Pure Balance comes in like five pound bags and it's super available (literally any Walmart) and not terribly expensive. I hope you find something that works for you and your dogs.
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Offline OlgatheGSD

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Re: What's Up With Beneful?
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2017, 07:47:16 PM »
Kirtsten mentioned in another post that Purina Pro Plan sends you coupons for a product if you list your concerns and interests. I told them Olga has soft stool and is allergic to chicken, and they offered me a bunch of Salmon and Rice coupons. They send them via mail, so I'll most likely have them on Monday or Tueday, then I get to go find a bag. Purina is sold almost everywhere so that could be another option. I'm pretty excited about the new stuff because I like trying out new stuff lol
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Offline Moonsong

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Re: What's Up With Beneful?
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2017, 01:54:17 PM »
Okay, I have a general idea of what I'd like. Kirkland seems to be high quality in ingredients and is easily accessible to me and affordable. But what about feeding trials?

I've tried looking up "Kirkland dog food feeding trials" and couldn't find anything. So I thought maybe I just wasn't searching correctly and tried looking up "Purina ProPlan feeding trials" since I know for a fact that there are feeding trials and still couldn't find anything. How do you find the feeding trials?
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Offline Sheenar

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Re: What's Up With Beneful?
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2017, 02:13:01 PM »
Did you try searching in Google Scholar? That's what I do when looking for research studies.

scholar.google.com
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