Friday, August 26, 2016

Food Friday: Maximum Bully by Elite K9 Nutrition

I was given a sample of Elite K9 Nutrition's Maximum Bully dog food at SuperZoo, and I like their unique design and targeted approach so much that I wanted to tell you about it. Maximum Bully is formulated for multiple breeds in the molosser and bull-and-terrier families, with a couple of stocky guardian breeds thrown in there for good measure. This is a high protein, high fat, performance dog food to help active dogs build and maintain healthy muscle.
Elite K9 Nutrition's Maximum Bully performance dog food

The Company

I got the meet the guys behind Elite K9 Nutrition at SuperZoo, and I appreciate how genuine and down-to-earth they are. Their story is essentially that they wanted to make the best food for their own dogs, and once they found what worked they wanted to share it with other dog owners. 

Lets be clear here, breed-specific dog food is a genius marketing tactic. Royal Canin has used it for years. They like to pretend there's a bunch of science behind it, but it's hard to ignore the fact that their list of "breeds that need special nutrition" is suspiciously similar to the "most popular breeds in America". That said, I'm kind of ok with this. One of my clients has a German shepherd puppy, and knowing that large breed puppies can benefit greatly from large breed puppy food, I asked what they were feeding her. They said they went to the pet store and found Royal Canin's German shepherd puppy food. Win! Are there higher quality foods out there? Sure, but it's world's better than most grocery store brands, plus Royal Canin made it really easy for them to find an appropriate food for their rapidly growing puppy.

So back to Maximum Bully. Elite K9 Nutrition recommends this food for American bulldogs, English bulldogs, Boston terrier, French bulldogs, bull terriers, American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, bullmastiffs, Great Danes, Doberman pinschers, mastiffs, rottweilers, German shepherds, Cane corsos, akitas, boxers, chow chows, and Nuvi bulldogs. Some of those are unusual, I'm not actually sure what a Nuvi bulldog is, but many of them are extremely popular. Based on registration numbers reported by the American Dog Breeders Association, the American pit bull terrier may actually be the most popular breed in the nation.
Maximum Bully performance 32/22 dog food

Like my clients mentioned above, owners of bully breeds can walk into a store, see this food, and make an easy choice. And I'm ok with that, because frankly, this is a good dog food.

The Food

Ok, so lets talk protein/fat percentages. The guaranteed analysis for Maximum Bully states that it contains 32% protein and 22% fat. Despite containing rice, barley, oatmeal, and millet, it also has a below-average carbohydrate content according to the Dog Food Advisor. Unlike us perpetually-dieting-yet-still-fat American humans, dogs need both protein and fat for energy and muscle-building. Highly-active performance dogs really need a high-octane food.

A slightly old-school way of describing a dog food is to just state the protein and fat content. Maximum Bully is a 32/22 food. What's a lower energy food for less active dogs look like? Fromm Classic is a 23/15 food, lower in both protein and fat. Here's a few other foods to compare: Royal Canin's French bulldog diet is a 24/15 food. Purina ProPlan has a 30/20 performance food, and a 28/18 regular food. Original Orijen is a 38/18 kibble, super high in protein but lower in fat than some performance foods.

It's worth noting that the Dog Food Advisor gives Maximum Bully a rating of four out of five stars, but states that they would have rated it higher if the food did not contain a synthetic form of Vitamin K. I'm actually ok with synthetic Vitamin K, but might not be if this was all I planned to feed my dogs for years on end. I really love that the ingredient label reads, "meat meal, meat meal, fat, grains". None of that sneaky, "fresh meat, plant protein, different form of the same plant, meat meal, fat" to make consumers think their food isn't mostly made out of plants. Maximum Bully is definitely a meat-based kibble.

The Verdict

Sisci happily ate the Maximum Bully kibble, and so did Ru. That's pretty impressive. A high-protein, high-fat diet is particularly appropriate for dogs that have trouble maintaining their body weight, so this would be a reasonable choice of food for my chihuahua. I like this company, and I hope they continue to expand and grow by pandering to the legions of bully-breed owners in order to sell them a high-quality dog food. It may not be appropriate for every pit bull, but if your dog is pulling cars around, hunting feral hogs, or swinging from a tree branch by his jaws for fun, by all means get him some Maximum Bully.

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