Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dog Food Review: Innova

This is the eighth of the dog food review series I'm doing.  The formula of this food is changing, so this review will be obsolete once the old formula is no longer being sold.

I forgot to take pictures again, so no photos this time.

Innova Adult Dry Dog Food - Large Bites
Dog Food Advisor rating: ★★★★☆
This food is AAFCO approved for all life stages.

Ingredients: Turkey, Chicken, Chicken Meal, Barley, Brown Rice, Potato, Rice, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols a Source of Vitamin E), Flaxseed, Natural Flavors, Herring, Apple, Carrot, Pumpkin, Egg, Sunflower Oil, Sea Salt, Potassium Chloride, Herring Oil, Cottage Cheese, Alfalfa Sprouts, Vitamins (Betaine Hydrochloride, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Beta Carotene, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin, Folic Acid), Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate), Direct Fed Microbials (Dried Enterococcus faecium, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus, Dried Lactobacilus casei), Lecithin Rosemary Extract 

Items in italics will be discussed later. 

Bag's recommended daily feeding for a dog 80 lbs: 2 3/4 cups
Crude Protein: minimum of 24.0%
Crude Fat: minimum of 14.0%
Crude Fiber: maximum of 2.5%
Moisture: maximum of 10.0%
Calorie content: 504 kcal/cup, 3,694 kcal/kg
Calculated amount to maintain Ebon's ideal weight (82.5 lbs): 3.31 cups or 0.45 kg (0.99 lbs)
 - Innova has its own calculator, which advises 3.125 cups/day
Price per pound when buying the largest bag (30 lbs at $49.99): $1.6663
Estimated cost of feeding Ebon per year on this food: $602.12 (12.045 of the 30 lb bags)
Ebon receives slightly less than the calculated feeding amount to allow for his daily treats
Ebon's overall health on this food: Very good. Shiny coat, poop consistent, energy level moderate to high.

I started transitioning from Ebon's old food on July 2nd, and I started transitioning him off of this food three days ago. The kibble itself is nice and big and triangular in shape. The smell is typically for a food with its sort of formula: a moderately meaty smell. The meat content of this food is significant, considering the fact that the first three ingredients are meats. Some nice things to see in this food: chelated minerals and probiotics. Chelated minerals are believed to be more easily absorbed and used by the body than non-chelated minerals, and probiotics/microorganisms help maintain good gut flora to provide for better digestion.

I would have to say Ebon's experiences with this food were, well, average. There's nothing really remarkable to report, either good or bad. He was pretty typical, everything doing fine. As I mentioned above, his energy level was typical for him, as were his coat and stool consistency. There were no bad traits that I noticed when he was on foods that were of poorer quality or that he didn't respond well to. He gained a bit of weight on this food, but I think that's mostly due to him sneaking some food from the other animals. Siggy and my brother's cats are messy eaters, and Ebon is definitely an opportunistic eater if given the chance. Siggy tends to grab a mouthful and chew with at least a kibble or two falling out of his mouth each time he does so. Ebon will actually stop eating his own food to pick up the dropped kibble, then go back to eating his own food. He got bold enough from doing this that he tried to take Siggy's peanut butter-laced Kong one day, which ended up with a growl that sent Ebon scurrying from the room. He's been respectful ever since, but is still a kibble thief if I don't watch him.

As those who have read these reviews before know, Ebon's stools become soft when he's stressed. It seems like his stress poops were softer than average on this food, but it may seem that way partly due to him being more stressed than average during this trial. Siggy's been visiting and his whines and barks when he's needy seem to stress Ebon out. He's a quiet dog himself and we live rather quiet lives, so any sort of unusually loud atmosphere is unsettling to him if he's not used to it. Luckily, he seems to be getting used to it as his stress behaviors, including the stress poops, were basically gone after about a week. Progress is always good. Ironically, though Ebon seems to find Siggy boisterous, Ebon is by far the more rambunctious of the two dogs. He just isn't very vocal, besides barking at the doorbell.

Will I change foods? We'll see. Next up: California Natural.

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