• While it is a personal choice what, when, etc to feed…. be sure to note that if you ask your Vet how long during their training was spend learning about food, you would be really shocked... I know that I was....
    And remember many of the better foods have exp dates... therefore they can't keep as much on the shelf... If you read some of the articles in Whole Dog Journal... you might change your mind about what you feed... or the brand... but maybe not... thing that is important is that we all educate ourselves. And while it might not be "bad" for dogs, is it really "good" for them?

  • After several years working in Vet clinics I wanted to add that we did have to learn about the different foods because it was a common question that people asked. I think you should watch generalizing about "all" vets. I personally did not feed Science diet because my animals pooped too much. So I switched to Eukanuba/Iams. We always reccommended Iams, Eukanuba, Science Diet, and Nutro.However, food has also come a long way and their may be better choices but I don't think that makes the older ones "bad".

    I agree that food is a personal preference. If your dog enjoys what he is eating and is not suffering from it via skin, diarrhea whatever than you should not switch. Switching alone can cause digestive upset. You can always add supplements if you are concerned.

    dhenryrmu-glad to hear everything came out ok–pun intended!

  • <>
    Why not? You certainly could! Actually, this is a whole 'nother topic of discussion, but lots of nutritionists will tell you that corn is about one of the least healthy grains you can eat. Way too much glucose, and nowhere near enough fiber.
    Anyhow...on to dogs....what kind of diet a human should eat, is not really applicable to dogs; dogs are carnivores, they are adaptable so they can and have been able to thrive on the grain based food we have been offering them for the last what, 60-70 years? Humans invented grain based food because it is cheaper and easier than feeding real meat, and healthier than feeding scraps.
    Can your dog survive and thrive on the big name brands? absolutely...unless your dog has a corn allergy. There are two brands that are suggested by most vets....both *used to be one of the best food out there for dogs, but in the last twenty years they have cut corners, sold product lines to giant conglomerates who couldn't care less about dog food.
    I could probably survive on twinkies and hot dogs too...maybe for a long time...but I sure wouldn't feel all that great; my work would suffer; and I certainly would feel better if I was eating a healthier diet. As far as shelf space at the store....hmmmm.....is there more shelf space for sugar cereals or granola at the grocery? How about more shelf space for organic milk, or chocolate milk? It is more about consumer demand and advertising than quality.
    Vets do have a least a quarter of nutrional science education (and that is more than I have)...I am more self taught. Most vets are "sponsored" by one of the two major producers. They have contracts with the company that they will only sell their products, and they get discounts and bonuses.
    I advise people to just do a little research, check labels and then decide. As Pat said, I stay away from corn because it makes most dog really itchy. Ingredients are listed with the largest component first on down to the end of the list. I want a meat source as the main ingredient, and I want the grain source to be a whole grain, and I don't want to see "rice" split up into four different kinds of rice "rice gluten", "rice flour", "rice hulls"...so that if you added them together it would be more than the meat source.
    I don't want anything that says "cellulose" in the ingredients...that is traditionally peanut shells ground up to make the food more fiberous. I try to stay away from beet pulp, also as it is put in there to make the stools smaller...I have seen a connection to dogs that have anal gland problems and beet pulp.
    If you really want to feed SD, by all means, go ahead....but don't fool yourself into thinking it is the healthiest food out there, because it just isn't. Just say 'I want to feed SD because my dog does well on it'

  • I think that people should be informed about what they buy for their pets. I would hope if the recent pet food recalls have taught people anything it is to start paying attention to the food labels. The ingredients that have sparked all the recalls are plant based protein sources. As Andrea and Pat have said many companies use grains because they are cheaper and they can use them to boost the protein levels of their food.

    This link was posted in another thread about pet food but I think it is a good link about pet foods and one everyone should take some time to read through.


  • And I don't think I said "all" Vets… Andrea bring up an interesting point about what Vets carry in their office too... the perks that they get.... and as far as corn, not only are many dogs of all breeds allergic to corn, but the other thing is that it raise the body temperature to the touch... especially if allergic to it... Corn is something we used all the time in the winter for the horses (and they use it for cattle too) to raise the body temperature in the cold... and particular attention should be paid to chemicals added to gain shelf life...

    And again as was said, if your dog does well, great... but there are better foods out there.... IMO....

  • And yes switching can cause tummy upset, however whenever switching it should be a long process with added the new to the old little by little until the complete switch is complete…

  • My niece is big into the pet food debates, and is always…always telling me that I feed low quality foods to my dogs {I feed Eukanuba and Purina Puppy Chow}. She is forever telling me the food is "crap". She only feeds Canidae.

    I don't see the difference, honestly. My dogs all crap 2 - 3 times a day; hers are about the same. We both have dogs about the same ages, and neither of us see any health problems with our dogs -- except:

    She had a dog the same age as my Gypsy {currently 13, very strong and extremely active; keeps up with 13 week and 2 yr old Basenjis}, but her dog died last Fall after about 3 yrs of really poor aging. She had to stop taking her hiking because it was too hard for her; the dog spent the last yr old her life on pain medications; they had to build her a ramp because she couldn't walk down the stair to get outside; the last few months she could barely move and they had to leave potty pads all over the house because the dog couldn't move w/out urinating.

    Ask me to compare? I'm sticking with my "crap" foods. I've never seen any of my dogs age so poorly, and I've never had a dog that didn't live to a ripe old age -- with one exception, but his death was related to injury.

  • Here is how I see pet foods, with lower quality food, that as per the discussion is called "crap". The first 5 on the list make the bulk of the food. By products are things that are not used for human consuption, ie hooves, feathers, blood, fat, bones etc. Next we come to the lower quality food, the more that is need to feed for tha animals to absorb nutrients, but because of high fat content in these food dogs tend to get over weight if fed more or under weight if feed less.

    Now our pets may be pooping to what seems normal, but with the higher quality food, the body absorbs more, so there is less to come out. And even if we think that our pets are doing great, live long lives, seem perfectly health etc, they can benifit greatly from a healthier diet.

    My dog grew up on Iams for the first almost 3 yrs of his life. He became fat, so I put him on a weight maintence Iams, that didn't help either but just moderate weight loss, also my other dog on Iams also, I couldn't keep weight on her. Then I discovered holistic foods, and transfered them over to Solid Gold Hund-N-Flocken. Reggie went from way over weight to between 70-72lbs, Lili put weight on that she needed and maintained a good weight. They were more active because they had the need energy from their foods. They did not become completely wiped out from exercise, but were a healthy tired and were back to normal the next day instead of taking 2 days to recover from just going to the dog park.

    Another HUGE thing I noticed is that once I took them off of the "crap" food, they did have smaller poops, and also, I discovered that if they got "crap" treats that contained corn or another filler, they had poop that was very grainy like they ate sand, because they're body just pushed it out.

    Now Jazzysmom, you talk about your nieces dog passing because of "poor aging", this doesn't do with the food and IMO only that you are comparing the dogs problems to what was fed. From your description it sounds more like genetics, breeding etc.

    Like I said earlier that very many peoples dogs do well on said "crap food" and live to longer lives. But they say an "average" life span for most dogs are 8-12 or so yrs, and I say average. But with healthier diets and proper exercise dogs that are fed holsitic foods live much longer than their "average" numbers. My father has huskies for sledding, most are retired now, and those that are retired are all in their high teens. A husky's average age is 10-12, and they have two right now that are 16 and still going very strong. They had to put one down last week due to old age of 18, her back legs went out on her.

  • Now Jazzysmom, you talk about your nieces dog passing because of "poor >>aging", this doesn't do with the food and IMO only that you are comparing >>the dogs problems to what was fed. From your description it sounds more >>like genetics, breeding etc.

    My father has huskies for sledding, most are retired now, and those that >>are retired are all in their high teens. A husky's average age is 10-12, and >>they have two right now that are 16 and still going very strong. They had >>to put one down last week due to old age of 18, her back legs went out >>on her.

    That could be equally to genetics and breeding, not necessarily the type of food they are being fed – just as with my niece's dog.
    That's kind of my point. It isn't all about the food.

    exercise dogs that are fed holsitic foods live much longer than >>their "average" numbers.

    My dogs have always -- including the dogs we had in my childhood-- lived longer than their "average" numbers, and never in my life have we fed the specialty or holistic foods.

    Many dogs on "crap" foods do well and out live the average; many dogs on specialty foods do not.

    I think the dogs' health and life span has to do with genetics and breeding as it does food choice.

  • @JazzysMom:

    I think the dogs' health and life span has to do with genetics and breeding as it does food choice.

    While I totally agree that genetics and breeding has lots to do with a dog's health for sure… food also makes a difference... IMO.. in the long run...

  • I understand and agree. There are many things which affect a dog's health and longevity. Blanket statements that indicate feeding a particular brand or type of food WILL affect health and longevity are misleading and the underlying tone in some that seem to imply that people who choose to feed differently are somehow uninformed or uneducated are inaccurate and unfair.

    May not be the tone intended, but it sure was what I perceived. . . or maybe I'm just touchy because I am so tired of the constant comments from my niece,which sound a lot like what I am hearing here, "Well, if THAT's what YOU want to do…." "Well, it's not as good as this one, but...." "MY dogs are fed better. . . ." "Your dogs will be healthier, if....".

    Gets old. Maybe I'm just cranky today.

  • Well, I guess maybe I am the one who comes across with a tone…and I apologize. I honestly don't care what other people feed their dogs. But I do have to disagree when people purport that there is no difference in dog foods..because there is. I doubt anyone would disagree that a grilled chicken sandwich is healthier than a fried chicken sandwich...it doesn't mean that I won't ever eat a fried chicken sandwich.

    I think it would be healthier for me to feed my dogs raw...or at the very least prepare their food; but I don't want to do it...I don't want to take the time, I don't like to cook for humans, let alone dogs. So I don't do it.

    I think it would be healthier for me to eat organically grown everything, and cut sugar out of my diet...but I don't want to, organic is too expensive, and sugar is too tasty...so I don't do it.

    Everybody does what they feel comfortable with. For you, Jazzysmom, you don't feel the benefits of premium food outweigh the cost...that is fine; in my mind that doesn't change what a great dog owner you are.

    As far as your niece, don't let it get old...if you are happy with what you feed, just tell her 'my dogs look and act great, they are perfectly healthy, and I am happy with what I feed...and I am really tired of talking about this'...you won't change her mind, but maybe you could agree to disagree?

  • I am sure I come across with a "tone too"… so I apologize also... and people will feed themselved and their dogs what is most comfortable. I know that I would be much healthier if I ate as well as I fed my dogs....ggggg.... and as with many things we all can agree to disagree....

  • I agree with dash….We may push whats in the office because we know it is balanced otherwise vets wouldn't carry it. I don't know how much vets spend in school but techs spend at least a full yr on it. for a 2-4 yr program thats a decent amount of time. But I do agree there are many decent diets out there and it tends to be a personal choice. If you're looking for a diet that makes less poop eukanuba low residue works wonders.

  • so, I just read this and my guys were eating grapes yesterday, LOL….I have heard that grape stems are bad....my guys are okay with a little bit of fruit from time to time....they love watermellon

    as far as the vets say science diet is good.....well, it may be the best stuff they sell in the petstore....

    i can tell you first hand from watching beta die and doing research with her foods as she deteriorated, here are some things to think about....

    corporations say a dog should eat the same food all of their life, every day....it sells

    a basenji in the wild doesnt do that....they may eat all kinds of different things to stay alive...

    the doctors told me that when beta was getting ill to remove grains that were not found in the wild such as corn (major filler in pet foods), wheat, and rice...

    the next thing they told me is that when basenjis have sensitive stomachs (IPSID or IBS) it is the intestine becoming allergic to the food....my doctors have said that it is healthiest to change the diet every 4 months to prevent this reaction in an intestinally challenged breed....

    beta could eat anything and have solid poop. then she became ill so fast that there was nothing we could do. she was fed eukanuba performance or premium for 3 years before i ran into her illness.....

    this does not mean switch dog foods without doing a little mixing and weening them off....try to avoid the squirts per se....

    i fully agree with this idea....that is how they would be in the wild....always changing what they eat....

    the changes will help their bodies become stronger immune wise and less likely to have the time to create an allergy to the food.

    I add boiled chicken, fresh garlic, eggs, pumpkin (great fiber to make poop solid) and some natural fruits like watermellon or anything that is pretty bland...

    when beta was at her worst, i used cottage cheese as her main food....it was the only thing she could hold down...

    i dont think you will have to worry unless you feed grapes all day every day...

    everything in moderation...

    Let them eat gwapes!! LOL

    My favorite dog food: Natural Balance Duck and Potatoe and Innova Evo
    I can only find it in a feed store
    less poop, smaller scoops, richer food
    no preservatives, no rice, no corn, no wheat, no soy....

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