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Old 08-26-2017, 04:06 PM
 
1,706 posts, read 1,222,255 times
Reputation: 4829

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamim View Post
Now I am not criticizing others for utilizing Dog Food Advisor within any manner, but making sure that you blindly don't trust any dog food before discussing it with your vet.
Best of all worlds is for the dog owner to become an educated consumer. Dog Food Advisor is a great starting point in understanding ingredients, but there are many other great resources.

I would not go to my vet for advice on diet or how to choose a good food. With one exception (my holistic/integrative vet), I have yet to find a vet who is able to discuss food, ingredients, or the benefit of one food over another intelligently. If I asked my wonderful traditional vet about the ingredients found in dog food his eyes would roll back in his head. He is an excellent vet, but has no clue about nutrition.

And yet- my holistic vet steadfastly maintains that diet is the single most important aspect in keeping our dogs healthy and preventing disease.

In the movie the C Word there is a study on the effect of diet on rats. There is one rat who has an enormous tumor on its side; through diet alone, the researcher was able to shrink the tumor by more than 85%. Sorry, it has been awhile since I saw the movie, so this could be a little off, but the point is that diet is critical in maintaining our pets' health.

These are a couple of my favorite nutritional resources-

Dr. Jean Dodds:
NutriScan Food Sensitivity and Intolerance Test for Cats and Dogs - Dr. Dodds

Dr. Barbara Royal

Dr. Karen Becker:
Three Major Reasons to Feed Your Pet a Homemade Diet

Pet Nutrition Consulting/Susan Lauten PhD:
pet nutrition services | petnutritionconsulting.com

Pet Food Diva:
Pet Nutrition Consulting Services - Do You Offer Them? - Pet Food Diva
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Old 08-27-2017, 10:41 AM
 
13,677 posts, read 13,575,490 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonHB View Post
Just like any other professional, a vet may have personal preferences or get incentives from food producers to suggest their foods (Science Diet is a common brand). Of course there are formulations intended for specific health problems such as bladder stones, but it is still up to a dog's keeper to read the labels and decide what to offer. No one is forcing anyone to buy this or that. A good vet can alert you to a health problem (through diagnostic testing), they can give recommendations, but they can't force anything. I had had dogs with problems that a specific diet helped with, but I also do my own research to make sure I know what options exist.
Well, a lot of vets don't even understand nutrition. From what I understand it's only brushed upon in vet school. My best friend is a former vet who knows a ton about cat and dog nutrition, but she studied it aggressively from the perspective of a pet owner (and she's also a complete nerd - she reads human and veterinary medical studies for fun in her downtime. I think it's why she drinks so much.)
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Old 08-27-2017, 10:49 AM
 
13,677 posts, read 13,575,490 times
Reputation: 39884
Quote:
Originally Posted by twelvepaw View Post
Best of all worlds is for the dog owner to become an educated consumer. Dog Food Advisor is a great starting point in understanding ingredients, but there are many other great resources.

I would not go to my vet for advice on diet or how to choose a good food. With one exception (my holistic/integrative vet), I have yet to find a vet who is able to discuss food, ingredients, or the benefit of one food over another intelligently. If I asked my wonderful traditional vet about the ingredients found in dog food his eyes would roll back in his head. He is an excellent vet, but has no clue about nutrition.

And yet- my holistic vet steadfastly maintains that diet is the single most important aspect in keeping our dogs healthy and preventing disease.

In the movie the C Word there is a study on the effect of diet on rats. There is one rat who has an enormous tumor on its side; through diet alone, the researcher was able to shrink the tumor by more than 85%. Sorry, it has been awhile since I saw the movie, so this could be a little off, but the point is that diet is critical in maintaining our pets' health.

These are a couple of my favorite nutritional resources-

Dr. Jean Dodds:
NutriScan Food Sensitivity and Intolerance Test for Cats and Dogs - Dr. Dodds

Dr. Barbara Royal

Dr. Karen Becker:
Three Major Reasons to Feed Your Pet a Homemade Diet

Pet Nutrition Consulting/Susan Lauten PhD:
pet nutrition services | petnutritionconsulting.com

Pet Food Diva:
Pet Nutrition Consulting Services - Do You Offer Them? - Pet Food Diva
This is nitpicky (because I basically consider you to be a personal dog guru), but I really think exercise is the key. Diet is important, but let's remember that dogs basically evolved to be garbage trucks. They are omnivorous scavengers. As long as you're not feeding Ol' Roy (a food that once resulted in a trip to veterinary ER when my dogs got into some at a friend's house) and you're sticking with meat as the primary ingredient and keeping ingredients they would not encounter in nature to a minimum, it's gonna be fine, I think. Exercise will pick up the slack in terms of long life.

A childhood friend's dog died of stomach cancer at 9 or so - the father of the family refused to stop feeding human food covered in rich sauces to the poor dog. She was fat and less than healthy for most of her life. It was awful.
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Old 08-27-2017, 02:20 PM
 
1,706 posts, read 1,222,255 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JrzDefector View Post
This is nitpicky (because I basically consider you to be a personal dog guru), but I really think exercise is the key. Diet is important, but let's remember that dogs basically evolved to be garbage trucks. They are omnivorous scavengers. As long as you're not feeding Ol' Roy (a food that once resulted in a trip to veterinary ER when my dogs got into some at a friend's house) and you're sticking with meat as the primary ingredient and keeping ingredients they would not encounter in nature to a minimum, it's gonna be fine, I think. Exercise will pick up the slack in terms of long life.

A childhood friend's dog died of stomach cancer at 9 or so - the father of the family refused to stop feeding human food covered in rich sauces to the poor dog. She was fat and less than healthy for most of her life. It was awful.
Not nitpicky at all- a very good point. Diet and exercise go hand in hand.

I absolutely agree that exercise is critical and key to a healthy thriving dog, and it wasn't my intention to imply otherwise. Dogs that get good exercise, run, jump, swim, play, and hunt have bodies that are more stable, leaner, healthier, and have higher levels of the good hormones and endorphins. As well, exercise also aids in digestion, for instance, helps the liver process and flush toxins.

I do think that diet is critical though. The fact that some dogs can thrive on any number of less than optimal diets speaks to the flexibility of their digestive system, especially when it comes to kibble which (even when a high quality) can be difficult for them to digest and can stress the digestive system. I generally agree with your analysis (in bold) as a baseline for choosing a good food, but even within your definition of what is acceptable, there are wide variations on quality.

Yes, dogs evolved to eat whatever was available, but remember for the greater part of their evolutionary history (until about maybe 75 years ago) they were eating unprocessed whole foods on a feast or famine regimen. And- this is not insignificant- when they killed, for instance a rabbit, they ate the entire animal so they got not only the obvious flesh, bone, stomach contents, organ meats, etc. but also the raw micronutrients. Now jump ahead many millennia, and dogs are getting processed food- often a single kind day after day, so no variety in diet, no micro-nutrients (they can't withstand the manufacturing process), and too often, a whole lot of preservatives, additives, and unknown mystery ingredients. As well, we feed our dogs regularly, so unless you fast your dog a couple of times a month, unlike with the evolutionary feast or famine model, the dog's digestive system is never allowed to rest and clean out.

I currently feed 45% Fromm's, 30% Honest Kitchen, and 25% raw. Once I get the wiring fixed in my house so that I can add in a freezer without burning the house down, I will go back to feeding a higher % raw. This works for me.

I know that I get a little bonkers about diet I just read, research, and obsess way too much. I don't think we are too far apart in what we are saying. I respect your point and perspective, and am comfortable agreeing to disagree on the finer bits

Last edited by twelvepaw; 08-27-2017 at 03:14 PM..
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Old 08-28-2017, 04:49 PM
 
1,586 posts, read 814,645 times
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There are some REALLY good replies here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
I don't take internet advice on what to feed my dogs, other than to look up nutrition requirements and nutrition contents of various foods.

I cook for my dogs, becasue that way, I can be sure they don't get any food from China and are very unlikely to get any recalled foods.

My dogs do eat grain. Brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, very rarely wheat or corn, and millet and none of mine have any allergies to grain.

If I wanted to feed kibble I would read ingredients and evaluate by what is in the food, not by a website that may or may not be accepting advertising dollars.

It seems to me that all of the top tier kibbles are good, if someone wants to feed kibble.

If your dog is itchy then doing the elimination diet to see if you can identify an allergy is a good idea. If the dog has no allergy symptoms and looks good, acts good, and feels good, then there are not likely to be allergies. If the dog isn't allergic to the food and it isn't on the toxic list, then the dog can eat that food.
Just plain good common sense there. I cook most of my dogs' food - and they get some raw meaty bones regularly, also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JrzDefector View Post
. . . but I really think exercise is the key. Diet is important, but let's remember that dogs basically evolved to be garbage trucks. They are omnivorous scavengers. . .
Quote:
Originally Posted by twelvepaw View Post
Not nitpicky at all- a very good point. Diet and exercise go hand in hand.

I absolutely agree that exercise is critical and key to a healthy thriving dog, and it wasn't my intention to imply otherwise. Dogs that get good exercise, run, jump, swim, play, and hunt have bodies that are more stable, leaner, healthier, and have higher levels of the good hormones and endorphins. As well, exercise also aids in digestion, for instance, helps the liver process and flush toxins.

I do think that diet is critical though. The fact that some dogs can thrive on any number of less than optimal diets speaks to the flexibility of their digestive system, especially when it comes to kibble which (even when a high quality) can be difficult for them to digest and can stress the digestive system. .
. .
Absolutely good sense there. I think exercise is more important. I think diet is very important, but exercise is more important.

Kibble and a lot of human foods take longer to digest in the dog's system. For really active working dogs this is not ideal. In a sled dog, they spend so much time running, the kibble won't always digest, and can act like scouring powder in the intestines - and you can get bloody diarrhea. For most dogs, that isn't a problem - even if the dog runs a few miles a day - they still have plenty of digesting time laying around the rest of the day.

Most dogs in the world today are STILL village dogs, who don't really belong to anybody. They eat out of the garbage and from trash heaps. This is just like it was hundreds and thousands of years ago. They do hang out where they can find food reliably. Might not be what you would serve at home, but they do get by!

I cook my dogs' food, because it awes me how much "quality" kibble and canned food costs. I can buy cheap meat cuts for less! I make sure my dogs get plenty of tendon and cartilage in what I cook, and some innards as well. I'll put in some veggies for a little variety and vitamins - all that. A hundred years ago, "dog food" didn't exist. The market today is there for our convenience - Maw isn't slaving over the hot stove all day any more either. But the dog food market also takes as much advantage as we let them, to sell us the priciest products they can make a profit on. Which turns out to be pretty pricey, and pretty profitable for them.
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Old 08-28-2017, 09:23 PM
 
13,677 posts, read 13,575,490 times
Reputation: 39884
Quote:
Originally Posted by twelvepaw View Post
Not nitpicky at all- a very good point. Diet and exercise go hand in hand.

I absolutely agree that exercise is critical and key to a healthy thriving dog, and it wasn't my intention to imply otherwise. Dogs that get good exercise, run, jump, swim, play, and hunt have bodies that are more stable, leaner, healthier, and have higher levels of the good hormones and endorphins. As well, exercise also aids in digestion, for instance, helps the liver process and flush toxins.

I do think that diet is critical though. The fact that some dogs can thrive on any number of less than optimal diets speaks to the flexibility of their digestive system, especially when it comes to kibble which (even when a high quality) can be difficult for them to digest and can stress the digestive system. I generally agree with your analysis (in bold) as a baseline for choosing a good food, but even within your definition of what is acceptable, there are wide variations on quality.

Yes, dogs evolved to eat whatever was available, but remember for the greater part of their evolutionary history (until about maybe 75 years ago) they were eating unprocessed whole foods on a feast or famine regimen. And- this is not insignificant- when they killed, for instance a rabbit, they ate the entire animal so they got not only the obvious flesh, bone, stomach contents, organ meats, etc. but also the raw micronutrients. Now jump ahead many millennia, and dogs are getting processed food- often a single kind day after day, so no variety in diet, no micro-nutrients (they can't withstand the manufacturing process), and too often, a whole lot of preservatives, additives, and unknown mystery ingredients. As well, we feed our dogs regularly, so unless you fast your dog a couple of times a month, unlike with the evolutionary feast or famine model, the dog's digestive system is never allowed to rest and clean out.

I currently feed 45% Fromm's, 30% Honest Kitchen, and 25% raw. Once I get the wiring fixed in my house so that I can add in a freezer without burning the house down, I will go back to feeding a higher % raw. This works for me.

I know that I get a little bonkers about diet I just read, research, and obsess way too much. I don't think we are too far apart in what we are saying. I respect your point and perspective, and am comfortable agreeing to disagree on the finer bits
No, I totally get it. I try to give my dogs a wide range of foods to supplement their kibble diet. But as long as the poop is firm, their coat is good and they're not farting excessively, I'm calling it good. I'm too lazy and too easily grossed out to do things like raw feeding.

Please keep in mind though, my current dog is eating far better than I do - I am a fast-food junkie who closes each evening out with some ice cream. I'm like the opposite of a health nut, even if my dog is an overly energetic athlete type. Little jerk won't even accept french fries. Spits them out with a look of distress, while I'm sitting there all "don't judge me!" Give him some raw broccoli and he's overjoyed. Le sigh.
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Old 08-30-2017, 03:00 PM
 
Location: New York
743 posts, read 457,292 times
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Interesting topic!

I have been doing a lot of intermittent research on dog food (including Dog Food Advisor) over the past year with my Golden, due to the wide variety of stomach/intestinal related issues we've encountered. After a bout with puppy giardia and just general recurring issues with stomach problems requiring antibiotics (our vet chalks it up to 'dietary indescretion'), I've kind of found the formula that works for us:

1. Boiled rice with turmeric. This is my staple whenever the digestive problems hit. I sometimes mix it up with boiled chicken breasts and canned pumpkin and it tends to clear things up pretty fast.

2. Plain yogurt. My dog has loved this since he was a puppy. I'm not sure if it actually provides any benefit, but he gets a spoon or two of it a day on top of whatever he's eating.

3. Dry Kibble. I only feed this when he is not having any 'issues' as I have found that it just exacerbates any ongoing problems and is hard to digest. I generally gradually re-introduce it in the morning/afternoon (so it's not the last thing he eats) and then only in small quantities. We use the Royal Canin brand, but I don't really have much to compare it with.

4. Misc boiled veggies/boiled chicken/potato/other 'human food'. I'm trying to mix this up more and more without introducing too much variety (again, sticking with what works). His absolute favorite is boiled chicken.

5. Honest Kitchen - This is another favorite, which I feed about 50% of the time in smaller quantities, often cut with kibble or some other food. It seems to be easy to digest and the ingredient list is less questionable than kibble - I tried it based on the Dog Food Advisor site.

6. Treats - We had to eliminate all rawhide, bully sticks, and even the rawhide free treats as these all caused major stomach disruptions. We stick with the occasional 'bland' treat like a milkbone or toast cut up in small pieces (he likes this for some reason) or a few blueberries. So far so good.
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
8,295 posts, read 6,147,869 times
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I'm somewhat vulnerable to this myself...But I think we put too much energy into solving a problem that doesn't exist.

In the absence of gas, runny stools, skin conditions or other GI problems, most dog food is fine. Purina, Iams, Eukanuba, Nutro, whatever...

IMO, the bigger corporate manufacturers have a bigger target on their back and are probably inspected more often and have to make sure that their food is what they say it is.

Getting all worried about what part of the chicken the protein comes from or being suspicious of a chemical in there because you can't pronounce it is stupid when you think about it critically. My dog wolfed an entire dead rodent last week, and washed it down with a pinecone. So, whether the chicken feed comes form ground chicken beaks or breast meat, isn't causing me much worry.

The food manufacturers aren't conspiring to make your dog sick or allergic. They want to make a food that has specific vitamin and mineral content, and specific nutrient content, that holds together and doesn't go rancid in a hurry.

I roll my eyes when someone comments about "fillers" or "tocopherol." The fillers are there to hold the food together so you don't get chicken protein powder. Tocopherol is there to keep it from turning rancid.

You have to experiment with something for your dog. Just like people, not all dogs stomach's are the same. Some people eat a piece of cheese pizza and get GI distress. Others can't eat much meat. etc..
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Old 09-06-2017, 06:13 PM
 
16,587 posts, read 14,060,224 times
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My stepmom is a vet. A really good surgical vet, and she readily admits they get very little training in nutrition. So I don't necessarily hold that my vet is the best source for diet advice for dogs the same way I would see a nutritionist rather than a gp for nutritional info.

But that being said I think dog food advisor is a good place to start.

I fed primarily a raw diet and have for about 20 years. My vet would scold me at yearly check ups until my one border collie hit 17 and had never needed a dental cleaning. He is now vaguely accepting of it. My 6 yo sheltie cannot handle bones due to dental issues she came out of rescue with, so she also gets a commercial food called Honest kitchen. It is not grain free but it is a high quality product according to dfa and we have been using it for every other meal for about 10 yrs with good results.

Otoh, do I think diet trumps all other health factors? No. Especially not genetics. I think people should pick a well rated diet, and then not worry to much about it.
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Old 09-06-2017, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,081 posts, read 22,914,959 times
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This is what I'm using. I'm feeding regular food (people food), based on the recommendations here:

http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static..._final_fix.pdf


She's looking much better since I took her off kibble. I had been feeding her grain-free food. I now feed her meat twice a day (lean chicken or fish) and beans/rice/veggies for lunch. She often also gets a little fruit when I eat some.

She just looks so much better since i've feeding her "real food," as opposed to mystery kibble -even if it's expensive kibble - it's still dried who-knows-what.
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