View Full Version : Regarding food for my 8 year old rescue cav

30th June 2007, 06:21 AM
He has been fed with Science Diet, don't know for sure which one, but he is overweight. Here are my concerns/questions:

First of all, I do not care to feed Science Diet, the formula contains a lot of corn, which I think is bad.

Second, the person who had him said that they only fed him kibble "for his teeth". Problem is, he has no middle teeth, only front teeth and back molars.
He does seem well enough eating this food, as he is quite plump, but my feeling is that he should have some softer food, and low cal.

What would you feed, of commercial products, to a healthy 8 year old cav, and what would you add.

Right now, he seems to be stealing the Pedigree small breed kibble from the other dogs. And Pedigree was one of the only foods that were not recalled.
But is also has corn as an ingredient. I don't mind it for the mutts, they are thriving on it.

I am actually now not the least bit interested in feeding premium foods, as most of them were in the recall, right along with the lowest priced foods sold at stores like WalMart. The way I see it, we have all been being ripped off, since the same ingredients go into WalMart's Roy....food and Iam's premium, both were recalled.

Royal Canine was not recalled, but my toby simply got to where he wouldn't eat it, and also preferred Pedigree.

What's a caring mom to do? Especially for the 8 year old?

30th June 2007, 06:46 AM
Dogs rarely chew kibble so it doesn't do the teeth any good at all, regardless of what it says on the packet. If you wish to feed him kibble I'd probably go for one of the super high quality ones like Royal Canin (or others that we don't have here in Au). I would not bother with the so-called diet formulas as they are usually just full of rubbishy fillers. Instead I'd get him a regular adult forumula and then add some low calorie vegies & fruit to bulk it out for him.

Weigh him weekly and adjust the quantities accordingly.

If he will not be getting any bones to chew on, try to provide him with some chews that you are happy for him to have, and get a brush & dog-toothpaste to clean his teeth.

I am sure some others will be able to advise you on some good brands of kibble that you can get there in Canada.

Cathy Moon
30th June 2007, 06:57 AM
You might want to try Canidae, since it has good ingredients, small kibbles, and can be found at PetSmart and Pet Supplies Plus. That's what I feed my girls. It's also moderately priced. And it wasn't recalled!

Iams and Eukanuba used to be premium foods in the 1980s, but really they are very mediocre by today's standards, as is Science Diet. The only decent 'grocery store' dog food is Organix, if you can find it.

Another moderately priced dog food with good ingredients is Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul. I don't know if that was recalled during the big scare, though.

30th June 2007, 12:23 PM
Pedigree is a very mediocre quality food so you are right to be thinking of alternatives. Have you looked at the ingredient list? There's more here to be concerned about than corn (which is actually quite a good ingredient for most dogs):

Ground Whole Corn, Meat and Bone Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Animal Fat (preserved with BHA/BHT), Wheat Mill Run, Ground Wheat, Natural Poultry Flavor, Wheat Flour, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Carmel Color, Vegetable Oil (Source of Linoleic Acid), Rice, Wheat Gluten, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, dl-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate [Source of Vitamin E], L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate [Source of Vitamin C*], Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Biotin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement [Vitamin B2], Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide), Added FD&C and Lake Colors (Yellow 6, Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5).

That list of artificial colours alone would make me avoid this one as would the fact that it is almost entirely grain and has the lowest quality protein available to still meet the most minimal animal food requirements. This is a cheap filler-based food with very little protein -- instead, dogs are eating *three* types of filler grain in a single food -- wheat, rice and corn, when only one is really needed to bind the food into kibble -- and what protein is in it is the shoddiest form -- 'meat and bone meal' is the poorest quality and is made up of basically the poorest leftover meat, not even listed by TYPE of meat; the same for the vague 'animal fat' which is the boiled down leftovers of many different types of animal carcasses, the poorest quality fat. This is more likely to cause allergy problems or reactions as you are getting blended ptroteins, not a single source, and far more dogs have problems with, say, beef. Otherwise they would at least say 'poultry meat' which is itself a lower quality than 'chicken', 'turkey' or another specific known form of meat. Same with fat sources. Food colourings are notorious for problems -- closely linked to all sorts of issues with children and hence some colourings are now banned in Europe for children. I wouldn't give them to dogs or cats either -- in pet food it is only there to make the food look rpetty to you and no quality food uses them (hence it is all shades of brown! :lol:). Colourants and mixed proteins are a classic potential source of IBD and allergy problems. Corn is actually only very rarely a problem for dogs and many good manufacturers use it because it is a good source of nutrition. The last thing I'd be worried about on that ingredient list is corn!

I also would not avoid the many good quality foods are out there because this one wasn't on the recall. There are many good quality foods that WEREN'T on the recall (which at any rate is over and traceable by batch number). Also the food sources have been changed so there's no reason to avoid foods of good nutritional quality in order to feed this stuff.

I also would not feed low calorie foods, as there's no reason to -- these are only low caloried because they use MORE FILLER so you are just paying more for less nutrition. Just get a good quality food and cut back what you are feeding and reduce treats or feed only vegetable/fruit pieces as treats. And get that dog out for more walks. :) Use some decent quality fibre like green beans in the food bowl to bulk out meals if you want. I quite easily had Lily drop from 18lbs to 12.5 lbs over 4 months simply by reducing her intake of food and upping her exercise. She is now a very fit little dog. I never altered what was being fed. Dogs are not fat because they eat too much. Dogs are fat because WE feed them too much and give too many treats and not enough exercise. Some cavaliers need as little as 1/4th cup food daily (my mom's cavalier at 13.5 poiunds and Lily eat only this much daily).

A dog will usually transition pretty easily between foods if you give the dog time but also don;t give it any choice. Royal Canin is a considerably better food than Pedigree and I'd make it a priority to shift the dogs to it or something similar. I'd just start by putting small amounts in the bowl with pedigree and gradually replace it. I can bet you that Toby will not refuse a different food once it is clear that there's only one choice.

If the dogs are able to eat out of each others' bowls then thy need to be crated or separated while being fed. :thmbsup: Enabling dogs to steal from each others' bowl means some are not getting their full meal while some can too easily overeat, and it is lining up a food guarding problem and potential fights, especially with a new dog in the house.

30th June 2007, 12:38 PM
Royal Canine is a great feed, I use their "mini" range as it is aimed at size specific dogs, they do a "light" version which is a diet feed but they also do a "Mature" version which is aimed at the older dogs. What I like about RC is that they give a feeding guide that is not only based on your dogs weight but on it's activity level too! If you can get hold of either of those then give them a try?? Good Luck with this!!

30th June 2007, 02:28 PM
Incidentally this is what a UC Davis vet school expert on food allergies says, summarising research on allergies and food intolerances (UCD has one of the best allergy study programs in the world):

The most common proven allergens in the dog are beef, chicken, milk, eggs, corn, wheat, and soy; in the cat, fish and milk products. Allergies to more than two allergens are uncommon.

So actually, dogs are just as likely to have problems with some very popular ingredients even of goodhomemade or raw diets -- chicken, beef, eggs, milk products like yogurt or cheese -- as to corn or wheat. It is very hard to make dog food without some kind of binder, like corn or wheat, and because so few dogs have problems with it, it is regularly used. But you can find rice or potato based foods if that is preferred.

There's considerable misinformation out and about on food ingredients, whether to feed certain ingredients, and which provide good nutritional value or might cause allergies.

1st July 2007, 05:33 AM
Karlin et al, Thank you so much for all of your information. There is a lot to digest. (no pun intended)

I used to feed only inova to my pets because it was, I think, one of the first without corn. I have seen the results of corn allergy, but more in cats than dogs.

My Cavs refuse any vegs, and I have tried them all. They will eat chicken and any other meats.

Any further suggestions based on that?

I am more than happy to go back to Royal Canine, maybe I can mix it with some canned food at first to get them used to it. As I said, I fed Royal Canine to Toby for months, and suddenly, he simply refused to eat it.

1st July 2007, 05:47 AM
My Cavs refuse any vegs, and I have tried them all. They will eat chicken and any other meats.

Yep, put veg & fruit through a meat mincer/grinder (if you have one) or through a juicer or a blender, then mix this mush into the regular food.

My Boxers would always eat diced up fruit & veg but my Cavaliers turn their little noses up at it. By turning it into a puree they get tricked into eating it. You can enchance the flavour, plus add some great nutrients along the way by mixing in a little brewers yeast (not to be confused with beer yeast) to the mush. :thmbsup: