Decoding kibble;Nutrish “Real beef with brown rice recipe” menu makeover for dogs

 In the previous entry titled “Decoding kibble:Addiction Salmon Bleu“, I have explained overview on various ways of feeding homemade diet, what terms in the kibble ingredients list means,and showed you some improved diet menu, both raw diet menu and homemade diet menu.

 Then, I wrote that the Japanese dog diet book encourage readers to feed
different menu everyday. I think this was a great advice especially for
those who makes a big batch of one recipe and feed it through, and then
move on to the next recipe; one of popular ways to feed the dogs homemade diet in the states,

 The reason behind the advice in the Japanese homemade diet book was that,if you feed your dogs the same food day in day out,the same food tends to make them more susceptible to develop allergy issue against the food fed often.

Just like we raw feeding people learned, the authors of the book (1 holistic vet and 1 canine nutritionist) wrote that balance is over time.

 Their book says that the most important thing to focus on homemade diet is to feed the
variety of foods/menu over time rather than fixating on trying to feed
cookie cutter menu making sure each nutrient is met to requirement each
day by supplementing synthetic vitamin and mineral pills.

 I think that idea behind the Japanese way’s home made diet is very
similar to ideas behind the mainstream raw diet method popular here in
the states.

 In this entry, we would look another
brand of kibble ingredients list and learn what each term means and
convert the kibble into improved raw diet menu and homemade diet menu.

 This time,with make over homemade diet menu, I would like to try another popular mainstream method in the states: figuring out the kcal you would like to feed your dogs and then, adjust the amount/type of ingredients to their preferable ratio of protein, carbohydrate,fat,carbohydrate percentage; 29% protein, 32% fat, 39% carbohydrate.

 The 29%-32%-39% ratio was what I was recommended by homemade diet mentor when I was looking into feeding Palette homemade diet.

 If you feed kibble, it is good time to think about rotating foods
possibly with different companies rather than the same company with
different protein source because often times, I find that base
ingredients are same,formula is similar and simply protein source is
swapped from one thing to the other.

 Therefore, if you rotate different
companies’ formula, base ingredients/formula will be different, and it
will be more beneficial to your dogs.

 Now and then, I see people asking others if XYZ brand dog food is
better than ABC brand dog food, and often times, so called “good kibble
brand” name comes up as suggested kibbles.It is because they find dog magazine’s approved kibble list published annually, which they are known for.

 Personally, no matter how premium, how high quality kibbles the
companies say they offer, or how pretty packaging it got or maybe
someone famous is having their own line of kibbles, the finished products are still process food.

 Even if there were better brand than the other, what they offer is convenience, not nutrition packed food for furriends.

 If we would like to provide best possible nutrient dense menu to our
furry furriends, I think it should be via fresh food diet;homemade diet
or raw diet.

 Advantage of feeding good homemade diet or raw diet are as followings.

1. You will be able to pick the ingredients goes into your dog’s food.Therefore, ingredients are always fresh and properly stored, and you know where they are coming from.

 Big pet food companies might use ingredients imported from outside the
countries they cannot observe every step away on how they were
grown/raised under different regulations in the countries.

 The countries might not have the same standards in growing/raising food to the states.

2. By observing how dogs do on food you provide, you can tweak the menu if necessary.

 If you feed kibbles, and if your dog did not good on, you cannot change
the company’s formula yourself, and only option is to switch the kibble
companies,meaning, you will buy another brand of kibble, to see if
other formula can fit to your dog’s need.

 That being said, some of you may not be ready to move on to the fresh
food diet yet and,  I thought I would give you the tool to decode the
kibble terms so you know what you are getting and feeding to your dogs
at least.

 Some people may simply be interested in getting better kibble companies
products name from people they know or from dog magazines, but if you
were simply choosing food based on the better kibble brand list
result,then you would never be able to learn how to pick the better food
by yourself.

 If you could understand what to look for, what the terms mean in your
kibble label,you would understand how to pick the better food in

 So here it is. Another entry in the new series titled “Decoding kibble”.

 I will be picking one product at a time and explain what terms in the
kibble ingredients list to understand what exactly are in the food,and
learn what to look for at the same time.

Decoding : Nutrish Real Beef and brown rice recipe

 Ingredients as followings:


Under AAFCO definition, “beef” means clean flesh delivered from slaughtered cattle
2. Chicken Meal

Under AAFCO definition for the term, chicken meal means “chicken has been ground,or reduced in particle size”

3. Ground Rice

Would that be rice flour? It does not specify what type of rice is being ground and you do not know the type of rice.

Also, in the kibble ingredient list, you would want to look for “whole form” of vegetables,grain,and fruits not “ground”.

4. Brown Rice

Rice after the kernels were removed

5. Soybean Meal

It is obtained by grinding the flakes which remain after removal of most of the oil from the de-hulled soybean by a solvent extraction process

6. Whole Grain Corn

7. Corn Gluten Meal

Dried residue from dried corn after the removal of the larger part of the starch and germ,and the separation of the bran by process employed in the wet milling manufacturer of corn starch or syrup or by enzymatic treatment of endosperm

8. Poultry Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)

Primarily obtained from the tissue of poultry in the commercial process of rendering or extracting.

If an antioxidant is used, the common
name or names must be indicated, followed by the words “used as a

Therefore, you can find “preserved with Mixed Tocopherols”.

tocopherols are natural vitamin E most likely sourced from soy bean oil.

9. Dried Plain Beet Pulp

Dried residue from sugar beets

10. Dicalcium Phosphate

11. Natural Chicken Flavor

Whether it is for human food or for dog treats/food, “natural flavor” appear in the label quite often.

 I always wondered why they need added flavor when chicken itself in this case has already has enough flavor.

 Palette gets portion cut chicken now and then, and I do not need to add
any kinds of added flavor to make the food interested for her.

 Under FDA’s Code of federal regulations title 21, “natural flavoring
means” the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein
hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or
enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a
spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast,
herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood,
poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose
significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional”

 Artificial flavor includes the substances listed in 172.515(b) and
182.60 of this chapter except where these are derived from natural

 Therefore, I would imagine “Natural Chicken flavor” can be chicken extract or some kind,but I never understand that they must add to flavor up the kibble that already got chicken in it as flavor agent.

 If it had enough chicken in the kibble, it should not need more added chicken to flavor up.

 You can read definition on “Natural flavoring” at FDA website here.

12. Calcium Carbonate

13. Salt

14. Dehydrated Alfalfa

15. Dried Peas

16. Dried Carrots

17. Potassium Chloride

18. Olive Oil

19. Choline Chloride

20. Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E)

21. Iron Oxide (color)

22. Zinc Sulfate

23. Vitamin E Supplement

Meat and eggs are good source for Vitamin E. Vitamin E gets destroyed by the heat.

 You can also give Sardine,
Halibut,Cod,Turkey,Beef liver,Egg etc as source of selenium (form of
anti oxidant) as part of the diet.

24. Ferrous Sulfate

25. L- Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C)

26. Niacin Supplement

27. Manganese Sulfate

28. Copper Sulfate

29.  D-Calcium Pantothenate

30.  Sodium Selenite

31. Biotin

32. Vitamin A Supplement

If you like to provide Vitamin A, organ such as liver and animal heart are good source for this nutrient.

 That being said,Vitamin A from
animal source is fat soluble vitamins and they get stored in the body if
it was not used by the body. Therefore,too much Vitamin A can lead to
toxicity level.

 If you feed Turkey liver,be
careful how much you feed. Turkey liver has more than double amount of
Vitamin A compared to chicken or beef liver.

  As I understand it, optimum Vitamin A amount for dogs is 100 IU-200 IU per kg of body weight.

 Here is conversion website to convert pounds to kilograms,if you need one.

33. Riboflavin Supplement

34. Vitamin D3 Supplement

Vitamin D is one of those vitamins that not many food can deliver the nutrient. However, dogs can get Vitamin D from animal heart, oily fish such as
mackerel, salmon, sardine, and herrings, beef liver, egg, and sun light.

35. Thiamine Mononitrate

36. Pyridoxine Hydrochloride

37. Vitamin B12 Supplement

38.  Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (A Source of Vitamin K Activity)

39. Potassium Iodide

40. Cobalt Sulfate

41. Folic Acid

 As many people know, pet food ingredients are listed by weight.

 1st ingredients weigh more than the latter ingredients.

 When I was attending puppy training class 6 years ago, our trainer had
mini segment that let us learn overall dog things from nail trimming to
food choice etc and,one thing she has mentioned is that, you should read
the label and look for the products that has protein source listed
within top 5 ingredients.

 I think it is a good suggestion.

 Later, I also learned many more things such as..

1. If you are getting kibbles, then, ingredients should be named protein
source not vague ingredients; Not “animal fat” but “chicken fat”,for

2. Find more than 1 animal protein source in the ingredients list close to the top in the ingredient list.

3. Find whole form of vegetables,grain etc and not “ground” form of grain/vegetables

4. Avoid “by- products” in the list

 If you find “chicken by products” for example in the ingredients list
of the kibble, it means by definition “consists of the ground, rendered,
clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet,
undeveloped eggs and intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such
amounts as might occur unavoidable in good processing practice.”

5. Avoid artificial colors,preservatives,and sweeteners etc..

6. Know the splitting system in the pet food market

 “Splitting” is the way to make one ingredient into smaller category.

 Ingredients are listed in order by weights. With this method, even if
rice was main ingredients (more weights than protein source), by
splitting, it can make lamb or any other protein source look like most
weight ingredients.

 For example, with above kibble, I have grouped them up by different colors.

 Blue is protein related ingredients, purple is vegetables, green is grain related ingredient, dark brown is other miscellaneous ingredients.

 You can see that it looks “good” at glance knowing the ingredients list
starts off with protein source, but when you group it up, you can see
that you find more purple and green ingredients than dark blue ingredients and,
they are carbohydrates heavy food.

 Since majority of ingredients are grains and vegetables, you would find only small  amount of meat in them,even though the kibble is advertised saying beef is the number one ingredient.

 If you compare this food ingredients list with previous kibbles decoded in the series “decoding kibbles”, you would find that ingredients can be very
different from one brand to the other.

 Because of that, it becomes very important for you to take time to read the ingredients list, not simply picking up the food by price comparison.

 It also means that you cannot pick up the food just simply read the description of the products on the website or bags.

 I believe that nothing can beat the wholesomeness, full of nutrient content with fresh food.

 When people are looking at more of fresh food on table, not processed food, why not for our furriends too?

 If I convert this “Nutrish:Real beef with brown rice recipe” food into fresh food (raw diet) form, it can be like this.

***  Palette’s raw diet version of “Nutrish:Real beef with brown rice recipe” ***

 Her daily intake amount is 10 oz – 12 oz

 To calculate daily feeding amount, fill the blank below.

 Guideline is to feed 2%-3% adult dog ideal weight.

Dog’s adult ideal weight x 16 x 0.02= daily feeding amount

Dog’s adult ideal weight x 16 x 0.03= daily feeding amount

 I follow 80% meat, 10% bone,10% organ guideline.

Divide the daily feeding amount into 80% meat -10% bone -10% organ

 With that being said, if we use chicken
and beef as it uses in their kibble, her raw
diet menu would look like this.

 AM; portion cut raw bone-in chicken 5 oz, 1 whole egg

 PM; portion cut raw boneless bottom round beef steak 4 oz, raw beef liver 1 oz

 With this menu, Palette will be getting about 588 kcal plus.

 The website itself does not include nutrient/kcal she gets from bones, actual kcal will be a little higher than this.I have used chicken thigh to get estimated kcal for when Palette gets portion cut chicken with drum stick area portion.

 You can see rough estimate of her meal nutrient from one example meal.

 You can see nutrient detail at here.

 Of course, depending on what she is fed, the kcal can be different from one meal to the other and nutrient she gets via form of food can be different as well.

kibble itself contains 41 ingredients with lots of vegetables as ingredients.

 What about Palette‘s?

 4 ingredients, without any added vitamins and minerals etc..

One thing I can say on feeding fresh food to your dogs/cats is that,you know the food source, and you know more about what you are feeding to your dogs.

 If it were kibble, how would you know
where those ingredients were coming from, whether the meat or vegetable
or any other ingredients were handled and refrigerated properly,
and they are sourced from USDA approved domestic meat etc..

 That is the difference between feeding kibble and fresh food.

 You can pick what goes into your dog’s bowl, and you can see the quality of the menu/ingredients.

 If this kibble is going to be converted into homemade diet,
it will have more ingredients than raw diet menu since they use
vegetables too, but less ingredients than kibble ingredients list
without additives, vitamin/mineral spray mix to make up the lost
nutrient during the processing the kibbles.

 If I am going to make something special for Palette, homemade diet style, American way with food kcal based method,then, the makeover menu for Nutrish:Real beef with brown rice recipe would look like this.

 How I did to make the homemade diet dish based on this kibble is as following.

 When you visit the Rachael Ray website here, and click on feeding guide, you can see that Palette’s weight 30lb feeding recommendation is instructed to 2 cups of kibbles a day.

 Then, on the bottom of the page, it says 1 cup worth of kibble is 335kcal,which means, if I were feeding Palette this kibble, Palette will be getting roughly 670 kcal a day

 From there, I used recommended guideline protein  %,Fat %, carbohydrates % ratio guideline and using the ingredients kibble has, I came up with the dish below.

This one recipe makes 669kcal, and half of the amount will have roughly kibble’s 1 cup worth kcal in it.

My makeover dish for Nutrish: Real beef with brown rice is “K9 Chicken and rice with broiled steak”, and one recipe gives 669 kcal with ratio of 33% protein, 31 % fat, 36 % carbohydrate.

 Since already ingredients I could use was limited, it was a little difficult for me to come up with best way for the homemade diet dish but I think,kcal wise, it came pretty close and, still royal to the ingredients in the kibble so, I think I did fine.

K9 Chicken and rice with broiled steak..

<K9 Chicken and rice with broiled steak>

Ingredients for K9 Chicken and rice with broiled steak:

4 oz cooked bottom round beef, sliced thin
2 oz cooked boneless chicken thigh chopped to 1/4″ dice
4.5 oz peeled,steamed and cut to strip carrots
4 oz steamed green peas
5 oz cooked brown rice

1. In the small sauce pan, add 1/2C brown rice,1C water and let it come to boil. Once it comes to boil, turn the heat down to medium low and cook for 10 minutes and then, cook 10 minutes more on simmer.

** 1/2C brown rice uncooked would yield 7.5 oz rice so, keep 5 oz in the bowl and keep the rest in the small container for later or freeze it for later use for your cooking.

Peel and slice 2 carrot (raw 4.5 oz) to sticks, and steam them for 10 minutes on medium heat and set it aside

3. When carrot got cool enough, weigh the cooked carrot and have cooked 4.5 oz carrots ready, and chop them fine and add it to the brown rice bowl

4. Steam the frozen green peas 4 oz for about 5 minutes,and set it aside

5. Add the steamed green peas 4 oz to mixer and add 6tbs ice cold water and puree them

6. Line the cookie sheet with nonstick foil and put 1 chicken thigh 3.5 oz raw and bottom round beef 5.5 oz raw and set the oven to “broil HI”,and cook the chicken thigh and beef under the broiler for 5 minutes.

7. Take the meat out from the oven and check the temperature and cook it till your preferable temperature.

** I wanted Palette medium/medium rare steak so the color can pop in the plate to show on this blog but you can cook to well done if you wanted.

With chicken, I did not mind the doneness of the chicken since I feed her raw diet, and she eats chicken raw and fine with it, but if you would like to cook the chicken thigh fully, then,cook the thigh till the meat thermometer reads 160F-165F.

If you cook the chicken too long under broiler,it gets drier,tougher. Therefore, I would advise you to cover the chicken thigh once it got brown color on the meat with foil so it would not get dry out,and turn down the oven to 350F and cook the thigh til preferred doneness.

8. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes or so

9. Once meat got cool, slice the beef thin, chop the chicken into 1/4″ dice and measure it to 4 oz cooked beef, 2 oz cooked chicken thigh and add the chopped chicken thigh into brown rice and steamed carrot bits bowl and mix well

10. On the plate, put 3″ diameter biscuits cutter and fill ther ring with mixture of chicken, rice, carrots

11. Then, spoon the green pea puree around the ring

12. Place the sliced beef next to it

13. Remove the biscuits cutter from the plate slowly

** If you pack the rice tightly, it fold the shape well and looks nice on the plate

Makes; 2 cups kcal worth of Nutrish: Real beef and brown rice recipe

 Total kcal per recipe:669kcal 33% protein, 31% fat, 36% carbohydrate

 The K9 chicken and rice with broiled steak total recipe is 669 kcal. Half of this recipe has 1C worth kcal of the kibble Nutrish:real beef with brown rice recipe.

 You can look up nutrition profile at website here.

 Since this recipe does not offer calcium
source, you may want to add ground eggshell as source of calcium source
(1/2 tsp per pound of food served) or feed bones to go with this meal.

 Also, if you look at Omega 3 fatty acid amount recipe can offer, it got more omega6 fatty acids than Omega 3 fatty acids. Therefore, you would want to supplement the recipe with fish body oil.

 If you were going to have this recipe as staple menu,then,please talk to your vet.

 Palette really loved the special menu for her. Then, my husband stole a slice of steak from hers,lol. It is nice to know that the dish is good enough to make human would like to eat.

 Of course, all the ingredients were unseasoned so, it was not tasty steak for my husband,but Palette thought that it was super extra meal and she really loved them.

 Downside of the homemade diet meal is that, since the menu is carbohydrate heavy compared to her regular raw diet menu, she pooped 2 times a day and 3 times more volume of poop at a time.Texture of the poop was different too.

 With raw diet, she poops about 1 time a day,with the length,size of index finger. That is it,and no odor to the poop.

 I can definitely see the difference in poop when I do “decoding kibble;makeover kibble with homemade diet menu project”.

I am waiting,mom..

A little bit of chicken and rice and eat the steak with green pea puree..


Chasing the pea and carrots now..

See? I can clean the plate very well!

you can see,Palette really liked it. I would still prefer to feed
regular raw diet menu but,I think once in a while she can get super special meal like this

 I hope this entry has given you some insight of decoding kibble ingredients, and gave you the tool to understand what are in the food better.

Jul 09, 2013 | 0 | Dog Diet

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