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Thread: dog food troubles

  1. #21
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    Hi
    Dont feed too many carrots as they have a high sugar content , i am giving more
    brocolli and cabbage and turnip in place of them though I still feed some.
    Brian M

    Poppy the Tri, Daisy the Blen, Rosie the Ruby and Lily the B & T

  2. #22
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    Emma!11,

    You have my sympathies in your efforts to feed your pup! . As you can see from just the posts on your thread, this is one of the more passionately debated topics in dog-dom! The best advice I've gotten is to find a quality food your dog will eat and your checkbook will support, and just feed it without losing sleep over it. Truthfully there are so many more quality dog foods nowadays than 20 or so years ago--it's wonderful but also confusing. But it also means if you do your research (which is what you're doing), in the long run you are giving your dog an excellent chance at a long and healthy life. Good luck!

  3. #23
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    Dry food is not the "junk food" of dog foods, SOME are, but the foods mentioned on here such as wellness, are high quality, healthy foods. Yes, dry dog foods sold at the grocery store are junk food and have nothing good in them, but there are many many healthy dry dog foods available at pet stores.
    It sounds to me like you are on the right track with feeding the right thing. Grain-free is great for dogs (like mine) that show an intolerance for grains, but if your dog(s) seems to be fine with them, they are healthy as long as you choose foods with higher quality grains (no corn or wheat especially); potatoes, oatmeal, barley etc. are perfectly healthy grains.
    I would also be careful with the "vet" foods out there. Vets tend to recommend and sell whatever brand sponsors them, and it's not always as good as they make it out to be. READ the ingredients. We were not impressed with the "vet quality" brand our vet sells. You don't want to see the words "corn" or "by product" for example.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bentley02 View Post
    Dry food is not the "junk food" of dog foods, SOME are, but the foods mentioned on here such as wellness, are high quality, healthy foods. Yes, dry dog foods sold at the grocery store are junk food and have nothing good in them, but there are many many healthy dry dog foods available at pet stores.
    I called dry food "junk food" earlier in this thread. Even the best dry food is the worst form of food for dogs. By its nature -- it is "dry" -- dry food is unnatural and unintended for dogs to have to digest. Most dry dog foods are cooked twice and dehydrated. This extreme processing removes nearly all of the natural moisture of the ingredients, and the food becomes far too dry to be healthful for the dog. The lack of natural moisture in dry food requires the dog’s body to provide sufficient moisture to reconstitute the food in the digestive tract. This unnaturally stresses the kidneys, liver, and metabolic system. This extreme processing also changes the structure of proteins and destroys vitamin A, vitamin E and the B-group vitamins.

    The list of ingredients of dry foods can be very deceptive. Ingredients are listed in the order of their weight before they are processed. If a particular type of meat appears at the top of the ingredient list of a dry food, that is because meat in its pre-processed form is about 70% water and therefore is heavy. But once the meat is cooked twice and dehydrated, then it becomes much lighter in weight than the second, third, fourth, and even fifth ingredients, but the meat remains at the top of the ingredient list because the list was compiled before the ingredients were dehydrated.

    Also, most dry foods made with animal protein contains rendered meat by-products, which are more difficult for pets to digest than human grade meat. Poultry by-products can include beaks, feet, feathers, wattles, combs, and unclean intestinal tracts.
    Rod Russell

  5. #25
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    Personally I do not think kibble makes a whole heck of a lot of difference as to whether a dog gets tooth decay. Regardless of (healthy) diet, I have some cavaliers (ONE!) with really good teeth, one with moderately OK teeth, and three that get gum and tooth problems, regardless of being given at times, kibble, raw bones, good chews, commercial wet, or raw diets.

    Nothing but wet food without any chews, raw bones and/or regular home dental care is going to be a poor choice for teeth, however. But kibble as an effective teeth cleaner? Many dogs barely chew it or not at all -- most don't spend much time chewing it so most of the time, it isn't doing a whole lot of scraping that I can see.

    Any kibble is going to a be a poorer choice than fresh or quality prepared (tinned or raw) food. Kibble is a processed food, no matter how many nice ingredients, how expensive, how well marketed, how 'holistic'. Most of the vitamins and minerals have to be added back in as supplements as they are processed out (exactly like every processed food we buy -- breakfast cereal being a very similar example).

    Not one doctor or nutritionist will tell you to go buy processed foods for your home dinner table. But they will tell you quality tinned and frozen foods are the equal of fresh and sometimes better if the 'fresh' food has actually been on the shelf for a while and is days from when it was harvested (tinned and frozen are packaged very soon after picking). There's also now outstanding evidence that gut flora are critical to our health and a limited diet (ie processed food; a narrow range of fresh) means a far narrower range of gut flora, eliminating some that are very likely key to good health (we now know gut flora may actually activate genes, offer protection against or contribute to disease, all depending on the person, genes and gut environment AND, critically, whether a human, dog, cat or whatever is overweight -- which changes the gut environment and seems to trigger many unwanted conditions and diseases.

    Vegetables & fruit are the least critical part of a dog's diet -- they only need a modest amount of these and get little direct nutrition from them. Definitely give them moderate amounts of fresh fruit and veg -- but I think it is a lot more important for dogs and cats to get good quality fresh/homecooked/prepared raw MEAT or a quality tinned meat diet. Supplement with kibble if wanted (I use kibble for travelling or to add to the occasional meal but I hardly buy any kibble any more.

    My real turning point on this issue was a sick elderly cat -- she had had diarrhea or very soft, very smelly stools for years. Then she started to lose weight and became very listless -- she had the whole panel of tests, nothing definite found, tried this and that; vet felt she had very bad IBD or maybe a tumour and last ditch option was we'd put her on low dose daily prednisone to see if that gave her back some quality of life.

    I decided to try one last thing -- switch Jessie (and therefore all the four cats) from kibble and a daily bit of commercial supermarket tinned food, to a raw diet, including her sister who had begun to go into early stage thyroid disease (a common condition in older cats but only since around the 70s -- the advent of a huge commercial pet food market). Putting Jessie on raw was literally an overnight miracle. The next day she had the first normal stool in years. No horrible stink. She started putting on weight. The vomity-rpone thyroid cat stopped vomiting almost entirely. Jessie started gaining weight again. I brought her into the vet after a month on raw and she'd put on 25% more weight and was nearly back to her normal weight a few years ago. She went from listless to mischievous, playing with toys again instead of sitting facing the wall. My vet was astonished -- and asked for the name of the frozen raw diet she was on (along with a commercial high quality wet food made for dogs -- comes in plastic trays, not tins, has normal meat and veg, not all that weird smelly stuff in much tinned food).

    That and attending a European science forum in Dublin in the summer and hearing research on gut flora just totally changed my view on what to feed animals. Gut health is linked to an extraordinary range of illnesses, researchers are finding -- not just those involving the gut itself. Feeding the equivalent of Wheaties to a dog all its life (which is really what any kibble is --a fortified dried processed food) just cannot be very healthy, and I do think dietary choices we make, and overfeeding them so they are overweight or even worse, obese, can predispose them to a vast range of diseases (turns the genetic or environmental switch on, or eliminates the healthful environment for the good gut flora that is protective).

    Even feeding, say, a prepared frozen raw diet a couple of times a week instead of kibble has got to be a massive improvement in healthful eating. Feeding raw is hardly more difficult than opening a tin or giving kibble, because it is easy to get prepared raw at pet shops or even mail order. Quality prepared frozen raw foods are balanced; most have raw bone ground in giving natural calcium; it's easy to add desired supplements (eg omega 3 or CoQ12). But opt for a quality tinned food if preferred. Or add fresh meats to a meal -- that's more valuable to diet than fruit/veg.

    I do think there are risk elements in feeding fresh raw bones that every person needs to weigh up -- I find the dogs still can eat these in ways that produce bone fragments that could cause risks, while the cats seem to gnaw bones (say, in raw chicken wings) slowly down in a far safer way.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlin View Post
    My real turning point on this issue was a sick elderly cat -- she had had diarrhea or very soft, very smelly stools for years. Then she started to lose weight and became very listless -- she had the whole panel of tests, nothing definite found, tried this and that; vet felt she had very bad IBD or maybe a tumour and last ditch option was we'd put her on low dose daily prednisone to see if that gave her back some quality of life.

    I decided to try one last thing -- switch Jessie (and therefore all the four cats) from kibble and a daily bit of commercial supermarket tinned food, to a raw diet, including her sister who had begun to go into early stage thyroid disease (a common condition in older cats but only since around the 70s -- the advent of a huge commercial pet food market). Putting Jessie on raw was literally an overnight miracle. The next day she had the first normal stool in years. No horrible stink. She started putting on weight. The vomity-rpone thyroid cat stopped vomiting almost entirely. Jessie started gaining weight again. I brought her into the vet after a month on raw and she'd put on 25% more weight and was nearly back to her normal weight a few years ago. She went from listless to mischievous, playing with toys again instead of sitting facing the wall. My vet was astonished -- and asked for the name of the frozen raw diet she was on (along with a commercial high quality wet food made for dogs -- comes in plastic trays, not tins, has normal meat and veg, not all that weird smelly stuff in much tinned food).
    Wow, Karlin. This is compelling. Thanks for sharing it. My sister and I both had elderly Hyperthyroid cats (I think Hyper not hypo ....??). They did the vomiting and everything and we ended up medicating them for years. I wish we'd known that a diet change like this could make a difference.

    Re: dogs, I know first hand what a differnce it makes. My dogs have never done well on commercial kibble - even super premiums, but did great on frozen raw and dehydrated raw (The Honest Kitchen). I personally do the dehydrated because of the convenience factor - the frozen raw can be hard to find and I don't have enough freezer space to stock too much at a time.

    Anyway, after several years on various proteins, my guys are now on Zeal, which is the Honest Kitchen's fish base (and priciest) dehydrated raw formula. they are doing amazing on it. I feed them a high quality baked (not extruded) kibble for occassional treats. Lucky is prone to Diarrhea and he has never done better on any food and I've probably tried most of them.

    Anyway, this is a really interested thread - I've enjoyed hearing people's varying views on diets.
    Lani
    (a.k.a. Lucky's & Sparky's mom!)

  7. #27
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    Hi Lani -- I don't know if raw will resolve the thyroid problem -- am sure it is the same you experienced -- but it sure helped settle her stomach. I ned to have her do the blood tests again to see where she is at. It IS known that a very strict diet can normalise thyroid problem cats. Hill's actually has such a diet now -- clinical trials show it works with some cats -- but it seemed to me that trying a raw diet that limited her iodine intake etc might do the same thing and I didn't want her on just the dry. If her bloods don't improve then I will try the Hill's diet. The thyroid issues are a real hassle -- owners are faced with either medication twice daily or irradiating the cat (really!). She is very early stage with few symptoms. But she used to eat then vomit several times a week -- now it is only very occasionally.

    With Jessie-- the difference was so amazing that I thought if this is what helps with an ill animal then what am I doing feeding anything else to the healthier gang... I've never tried the dehydrated but hear it is quite good. Nicki uses it I know as she has posted before about it. Very handy for travel too. No one carries it in Ireland as far as I know. unfortunately!
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  8. #28
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    Just putting in a quick plug for raw. Oliver eats it and has since I spoke to his breeder, picked him out and told her its what I intended to feed. So since about 8-10weeks old. He's 1 now and is just gorgeous, has absolutely no doggie smell, gorgeous teeth and always looks forward to meal times. I am no expert so feed prepared frozen so I know it's complete. It's ground so he essentially eats wet food and I don't give bones because they make me nervous but his teeth are gorgeous. He does do a lot of chewing on other things though from toys and kongs to antlers.

    my neighbours have brought over their puppy for me to watch without her food when they had a family emergency and I had nothing to feed her so she went right on to the raw. When she came her poos were large liquid puddles every time and they are just now for the first time since I have known her getting solid like they should be.

    I don't know hard facts but what I do know is the difference I see in dogs that eat raw to dogs that eat kibble.
    "He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion".
    Author: Taken from a LO done by Too Scrappy

  9. #29
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    You make some good points, Karlin. I also like Lani's suggestion of deyhdrated raw food. I thought it only came fresh or frozen, and i have practically no freezer space. Even though the girls are doing well on Orijen supplemented with bones and fruits/veg (they have nice teeth, coats and stool consistency), I think I may switch to the honest kitchen once this bag of food runs out and see how that goes. Are there drawbacks to the deyhdrated versions of raw or are they of similar nutritional quality as the fresh/frozen?
    Courtney
    Lady (1.5 year old tricolour) & Gracie (4 year old blenheim)
    "Happiness is a warm puppy" - Charles M. Schulz

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpell009 View Post
    You make some good points, Karlin. I also like Lani's suggestion of deyhdrated raw food. I thought it only came fresh or frozen, and i have practically no freezer space. Even though the girls are doing well on Orijen supplemented with bones and fruits/veg (they have nice teeth, coats and stool consistency), I think I may switch to the honest kitchen once this bag of food runs out and see how that goes. Are there drawbacks to the deyhdrated versions of raw or are they of similar nutritional quality as the fresh/frozen?
    I am computer challenged today (long story ...) so please excuse the brief reply and typos.

    IMO, dehydrated is much better than kibble but not quite as good as frozen raw because in the US it is heated above 118 degrees fahrenheit so it can kill any bacteria (USDA requirement most likely). That said it is not heated MUCH above that so I think some beneficial enzymes and vitamins are destoryed but nothing like with kibble. It's a compromise that works well for me though as my dogs are doing great on it and it is more workable for my life than fresh or frozen raw (especially since I'm a vegetarian!)

    CBS Sunday morning did an article about pet food that people might find interesting. The Honest Kitchen is featured in it:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3445_162...g-to-the-dogs/
    Lani
    (a.k.a. Lucky's & Sparky's mom!)

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