Are expensive pet foods really better?

United States
January 13, 2008 12:38pm CST
I've had pets all my life, ranging from cats and dogs to goats and horses, fish and hamsters. I am curious if anyone else has had the same experience as me. For my cats and dogs, I have always bought the Special Kitty and Old Roy dog and cat foods at Wal-Mart. I know people who would not feed their pets these foods. My mom is one of them. She buys nothing but Science Diet. Nearly all of her cats get some type of urinary tract infection. And they all have extremely foul breath. I have fed Special Kitty to my cats forever. My cats never have any health problems. This year, I did have to have my old cat, Boots put to sleep because she was to the point she could not get around, and would potty wherever she was at, including walking across the living room. She was 19 though. She never had any health problems at all until this point. She did have arthritis, and was really starting to be in alot of pain from it. My old red heeler, Grady is currently 15 1/2. He has never ahd anything but Old Roy. He's also never had any health problems other than having got shot last February by a hunter who thought he was a coyote. He was hit with a high power rifle, the bullet entered his left hip and exited under his left front leg. He survived, and is doing fine. At 15 years old!! Now the average life span for a Heeler, (Australian Cattle dog) is 10-12 years old. He's going to be 16 this summer. I'm just wondering, has anyone else had good luck with the cheap pet foods?
3 people like this
6 responses
• United States
14 Jan 08
I dont think it really matters if the food is expensive or not. Like everyone else said, as long as its not full of nasty fillers and what have you, who cares. I have 2 pugs and they used to eat eukanuba as puppies because thats what they had been fed and we didnt want to switch them right away. Now they eat Nutro Ultra weight managment :X b/c my little guys are kinda chubby. But I have noticed that my two have softer silkier coats and that the rate of their nail growth is unbeleivable compared to my friends pug. I'm not sure if it has anything to do with the food, or if they're just totally different dogs.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Jan 08
The price never really has to do with the quality, it is just like chips and such it is about brand names but the cheaper brand might be better quality than an over priced one it really depends what the food contains. I always look at the nutrition info. rather than the prices and what my pets seem to enjoy more, I look more into the ingredients, etc than the price tag.
1 person likes this
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
13 Jan 08
In the 1970's I worked at Gains Dog Food. Gains was part of General Foods Corp. We made both dry and wet (patties) dog food. At this time Gains had a dog food research facility where they kept 70 (more or less) dogs which were used to test new formulas. It was rumored at the time that some poor people bought the patties to suppliment their diets.All the ingredients that went into the dog food were food grade, with the exception of the meat products which were organ parts from the slaughter of Cattle and Pigs. The entire mixture was first run through a hammer-mill and then steam cooked before being extruded and dried in a huge belt drier. At the time I was certain that Gains was second to none, but the company was sold and soon moved away. Gains dog food was middle of the road priced, and my dog liked it and did well on it.
@Galena (9123)
13 Jan 08
it depends. our dogs get a fairly expensive dry food and meat, fish and veg to supplement that. the dry food is one with no nasty chemicals in it. one of the more expensive brands of dog food in this country, Pedigree Chum, you could not pay me to feed my dogs as it's full of pretty unpleasant stuff. horrible chemicals which can have disastrous results on a dogs health. there are a few cheaper brands we will feed when we are unable to get our usual brand, and these do not have the vile chemicals in them, like some of the more expensive ones still do. it appalls me, what it is legal to put in dog food. especially when it's chemicals that in the long term can kill them. we had a dog develop leukemia in a time when we were less aware of the poisons used in dog foods. his immune system collapsed, because of what we, as well meaning, loving owners, fed him. before it was common to know any better.
1 person likes this
@kellys3ps (3728)
• United States
13 Jan 08
I really don't think the expensive foods are better. We have always used the Wal-Mart brands - Special Kitty for our cat and Old Roy for our dog and have always had very healthy pets with no problems. The expensive foods are not worth the extra expense.
1 person likes this
@sedel1027 (17855)
• United States
13 Jan 08
Depends on how you look at what you feed your animal. The higher priced foods for the most part are better, ask any Vet. The Wal-Mart brand is not a balanced diet especially for cats. They are typically full of meat-by-products, too much grains and fillers.Would you be happy eating pig intestines? That is why a lot of that food smells so badly, poor quality meat (we buy Nutro Naturals and that has very little odor to it; we bought Special Kitty once and I almost vomited when I opened the bag due to the stench). Cats especially need a protein based diet with veggies and very small amounts of grain products. Science Diet, although it is higher priced, is not a quality food. My vet carries it and recommends it only for animals that have special needs that the food requires. Feed your animals whatever you want, but read the labels as you would do with your own food. If you eat food filled with animal byproducts, fillers (like ash), and un-natural flavors and colorings, then feed the cheap stuff to your animal. We don't eat that way and I would never feed any animal such horrible food.