Heart to Heart on Dogfood

Discussion in 'Dog Food and Recipes' started by EliNHunter, May 17, 2005.

  1. EliNHunter

    EliNHunter New Member

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    I am NOT starting this thread to start a dogfood war. It is simply for education for ALL of us (NO BASHING OF ANYONE, PLEASE). Those that feed their dogs only fresh meat and/or vegetables, those that feed their dogs only those premium foods that are hard to find and very expensive, those that feed their dogs the advertised "premium" foods, those that feed their dogs the commercial brands found in grocery stores, and those that feed their dogs generic brands (such as Walmart's "Ole Roy"). I would like to know why you feed what you do and why? I'm in a hurry right now because I must leave to babysit my nephew, but I wanted to start this thread. For instance, I always fed Pedigree (grocery store or PetSmart) to my dogs but found out it was chit. I have since "moved up" (or so I thought) to Science Diet. I have since found out even that is chit (although my current dog's coat is the best of any coat I've had in a dog). Most all my dogs have lived long, healthy lives. So, what gives? Do the lower-wanted-ingredient foods bring on cancer and allergies? I'm really at a loss. Thanks...
     
  2. gaddylovesdogs

    gaddylovesdogs no touchy

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    My three dogs are fed a mixture of raw (vet's recipe) and Bench & Field Holistic Natural Canine Formula. The raw we feed because we want to feed our dogs the most natural food possible, and our vet recommends it. The Bench & Field because it is readily available, and has good ingredients. Soon all three will be eating completely raw.
     
  3. joce

    joce Active Member

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    I feed costco s chicken food now(I think its called kirklands best). I always fed pedigree(small crunchy bites) and other than some excess weight and dandruff they were always healthy. I switched because I felt bad after hearing other people say they only feed whatever because people can eat it to(my dads always eaten the dogs treats or food first :eek: ). So I started looking at all the dog food labels and saw nothing i liked that I could afford or find.I looked into nutro but then heard bad things about it to. I went to costco and saw their food and it looked a hell of a lot better than other things so we got a bag to try and thats what they are getting from now on!

    They eat like a third of what they did the pedigree and there is a lot less poop. My dobe has no where near as much gas anymore and his skin seems so much nicer to me. My corgi has lost her chub and her coat seems a lot better too. SHe used to have an odor to her that has now disappeared. My beagle doesn't seem to be any different no matter what food she eats. My dad fed her the cheap grocery store stuff for years and shes been great and not changed since the switch really. I know that the corgi and the husky don't seem to like it as much as the pedigree though. They used to dig into their food but now they kind of just pick at first.

    I don't think its right for everyone to get so crappy about it though when some one says they feed,whatever brand. Certain food is for certain dogs and no matter how better the ingrediants are its just what the dog does better on. i don't think there was anything wrong with me feeding pedigree because my dogs loved it and they were not in some health danger. I could have put my corgi on a diet with it I just never got around to it :p I think most dogs in the world would live long happy lifes on a cheap brand. i can afford it so I'll pay an extra couple dollars but I now there are people who can't and still love their dogs and I'm not going to say they are bad because of that. I was really shocked to learn that dalmations don't digest the meat the same way. SO I guess it would have been bad to feed them a meat one. I still wonder if thats why my friends dal was sick when we were little. I am wondering if there are any specific feeding needs I've never heard about for my breeds though.Anyone know any? I've heard things for if I actually work the husky but I don't so I've always fed her what the others get.That was looong!
     
  4. Ack

    Ack New Member

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    Costco Super Premium Chicken and Rice. We have 9 dogs that eat about 50 lbs a week. We struggled to find the best food for the best price and at $15 for 40 lbs for a food that has no corn or by products at all, we feel its a steal. We buy 200 lbs at a time.
     
  5. Mordy

    Mordy Quigleyfied

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    i could write a book on the topic, but i'll try to keep it short and sweet.

    while the quality of the diet you feed has a huge impact on the dog's health, it's not the only thing that makes a difference. genetics play a large role too. some dogs can do okay eating a poor quality food all their life, but you'll never know how much better they could have done on a better quality food. others show clear signs of nutritional deficiencies, such as allergies, poor skin and coat, bad breath and body odor, stained, plaque crusted teeth and inflamed gums and so on and so on.

    many of these symptoms are looked upon as "normal for dogs" by the general public. these people are not aware of the fact that their dogs are in fact not doing as well as they possibly could.

    i can't begin to count how often people tell me their dogs are "perfectly healthy and happy", yet when i open the dog's mouth its breath smells absolutely vile, gingivitis is present, you get a smelly, oily residue on your hand when you pet the dog and so on. then people tell you that they have to bathe the dog at least once a week or it stinks, they have crusty eyes in the morning and a host of other problems.

    again, even in the negative genetics plays a large role. some dogs (especially small breeds) can have bad teeth no matter what you do and might need additional cleaning even when fed a raw diet. some are just prone to allergies or have other health issues brought on by bad genes rather than a bad diet.

    all in all it makes more sense to do what you can to support your dog's health by a good diet rather than just feeding a popular food brand regardless of its quality. i'd rather have my dog do well because his food agrees with him as opposed to have a "scientifically designed" kibble mask the symptoms of health issues until they become too severe to be treated with alternative options and vet intervention becomes necessary. :)
     
  6. EliNHunter

    EliNHunter New Member

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    Thanks, Mordy. That was very informative! You brought up signs of where "you could do better by your dog". Things like bad breath, body oil, crusty eyes. That's good info...
     
  7. Ash47

    Ash47 Taco Dog

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    What did dogs eat a long time ago when all this information wasn't available? I know you have researched all of this, but this is really just an honest question. What did they eat 20 or 30 years ago? All of my dogs up until now have been raised on Jim Dandy Chunks n Gravy. I had one that was healthy up until he was killed a few years ago by a lightening strike, and that's all he ate. I did post something a few days ago about wanting to start feeding my animals these "natural" foods, but now I just don't think there is anything wrong with animals eating by-product of chickens or anything like that.

    They are animals and have different stomachs than we do. If we ate that stuff, we wouldn't die or even get sick. We may get sick if we actually knew what it was, but I just don't get all the hype about the dog/cat foods. All of my animals have been perfectly healthy eating these "bad" foods, and I am going to stick to them. Roxy Mae eats Pedigree. Precious and Spud eat Purina Meaty Chunx and Jim Dandy. Oreo eats 9Lives.
    I mean, if they can eat poo, let alone other dogs' poo, then why be so picky about their food? I say as long as you keep your pet checked by a vet and you give it all the love you have, then that should be good enough.
    Ok, enough of my vent on the food issue

    PS. I didn't meant to sound ill or anything if I did above
     
  8. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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  9. oriondw

    oriondw user not active

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    Some years ago. About 20-30 actually.

    Either throw dogs a cow leg with meat still on it, or make a big huge bowl of soup made from everything including bread, potatoes, meat, cabbage, etc.

    Then just pour it into the bucket. Ate just fine and lived long healthy lives.
     
  10. Ash47

    Ash47 Taco Dog

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    I do see your point also Renee. I do not think it is ok for animals to be given the euthanasia drug then cut up and used for dog meat.

    My dogs have never had any problems attributed to food... nor our cats. I don't "look down" on people who prefer to feed their dogs different foods. We all have different opinions and can only go so far as to impose our own on someone else. We can't make eachother do what the other does. I personally have no convictions on giving my dogs and cats anything different than what I always have, so I guess it will stay the way it is until some scientific proof comes along that proves to me beyond the shadow of a doubt that my animals' food is causing them harm.

    orion,
    I agree. All dogs I have met so far have been on a whole spectrum of different foods and I honestly can't think of one that has had a problem attributed to food. Except of course for dogs or cats that are only fed table scraps.
     
  11. Mordy

    Mordy Quigleyfied

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    until commercial foods became widely available, dogs ate pretty much the same food as people - table scraps from meals, some cooked grains and potatoes, fresh offal, scrap meat and bones (in other words: byproducts) from the local butcher/slaughterhouse.

    yes, these things were leftovers and parts that were considered not fit for human consumption, but it was all fresh, not collected over a period of time and then transported to rendering facilities where it is processed with all kinds of other junk.

    no, there is nothing wrong at all with dogs eating animal byproducts - when they are fresh and you know where they came from. if you buy chicken necks and beef heart at your grocery store, you know these byproducts have been inspected and approved for human consumption. what ends up at rendering facilities is substandard and barred from use in human foods. according to the federal meat inspection act, any meat not approved for human consumption has to be treated to prevent it from reentering the human food chain. this is commonly accomplished by dousing the meat with chemicals, and the residue of these chemicals is going to be present in the food that your dog ends up eating - the rendering process does not remove them.

    in addition to that, any time you don't have a clearly named species listed in the food ingredient (e.g. "chicken byproducts" vs. "poultry byproducts" or "meat meal"), there is no way of telling what kinds of materials have been rendered. it is legally possible that for example roadkill, grease from restaurant deepfryers, and meats/meat products discarded by grocery stores (because they are past their "sell by" dates) are also used. an interesting fact is that this supermarket refuse is rendered without the styrofoam/plastic trays and plastic wrap removed, since it would be too expensive to have workers going through all these materials. roadkill, and in some cases even euthanized pets from shelters and vet offices, are tossed in the shredder right along with the plastic bags they are wrapped in.

    this "cocktail" of rendered stuff needs massive quantities of preservatives to keep it from decomposing any further, and if they are added by the rendering facility, the food manufacturer does not have to mention them in the ingredient label.

    add to that the poor quality grains and grain byproductrs used in cheap foods and you are a far stretch from "what dogs used to eat".

    yes, they do have different stomachs and can deal with things like for example pathogenic bacteria much better than humans can, but that doesn't mean that they will not be affected by the unhealthy levels of chemicals and additives used in this kind of product.

    i'm not going to tell you what to feed or what not to feed, but i will tell you that you do not have a basis of comparison for how well your animals would do on a better quality food.

    that's not a valid argument, since poop (regardless if it's their own or from other dogs/animals) is not what they eat in a large enough quantity to sustain life and body functions day in and day out their entire lives.

    the pet food industry is a multi billion business, and the sad thing about it is that it also sponsors most of the research in regards to pet nutrition as well as education in the field for veterinarians. this would be completely unthinkable in regards to humans and you don't have your general practitioner physician making in-depth recommendations for your diet.

    whoever pays for research controls the outcome of it, so do you really think that anything that proves that pet foods are unhealthy would be published and actually make it into the hands of consumers?

    the closest you can get is reading dr. tom lonsdale's book "raw meaty bones", he outlines in great detail how independent research data collected by him and a few others was dismissed by the people who decide what gets published and what doesn't.

    if you are interested in just who exactly is behind major research in regards to pet foods (and publishes the textbooks on nutrition used at vet schools), read ann martin's "food pets die for". even if you don't want to buy it, pick it up at a book store and thumb to chapter seven.

    i could go on and on on this topic, but i really don't have the time.
     
  12. Ash47

    Ash47 Taco Dog

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    Mordy,
    Thank you for answering me so in-depth. I do see yours and other peoples' sides as well. Maybe I will pick a copy of that book. It sounds interesting.
     
  13. juliefurry

    juliefurry Rusty but Trusty

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    Growing up all we fed any of our pets was the generic on sale dog/cat food that was at the grocery store and they lived long and healthy lives. Now that I make the decisions on what I feed my dogs I tried to feed them the best (Eagle Pack) that we could afford but we couldn't afford it. We finally switched to Nutro and our dogs are doing REALLY well. It is the only dog food that we could get all three of our dogs to eat. I HATE feeling like I am cheating my pets out of a long and healthy life, but I also have to realize we have to stay within our means. I mean maybe once we get more stable on our feet we can afford the better food but for right now we feed them the best we can. They do not starve they always have food. I understand how people are concerned about feeding they're dogs the best food available but sometimes people just can't afford "the best" so they buy the best that they can for their dogs.
     
  14. Mordy

    Mordy Quigleyfied

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    i understand what you are talking about, julie - but nutro isn't exactly a cheap food either, and you have to feed more of it than of a good premium food because it's full of fillers.

    i know for example that in my area the nutro natural choice and canidae cost about the same per 40 lb bag, but the bag of canidae lasts longer.

    so if you are looking at cost, don't make the mistake of just comparing the price per bag, but figure out your daily feeding cost and then compare it to other products. :)
     
  15. showpug

    showpug New Member

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    In my eyes, dogs are like children and you give them the best or you don't have them. Dogs are a privilege, not a right. I am sorry, but I am still bitter from my days working in the vet clinic. Every day for 5 years I saw animals that were suffering because their owners fed them junk and had no money to give them proper medical care. It was hard to watch as a sick animal would come in with dry, flakey, and horrifically smelly skin and the owner would say "the dog has always been healthy until now, and I have always fed pedigree." I would just stand in that little room looking down at the sick dog and wonder what in the heck that person saw as "healthy" about that animal. I came to the conclusion that to a lot of per owners the word healthy must just mean "alive" because so many pets are not really that healthy. The outside shows the health of the inside and I will always believe that. Now, I am not saying you need to be a millionaire to deserve a pet, I too have struggled over medical costs at times, but to get a pet and take it to the vet for the first time when it is a puppy or kitten and say "I have no money." What is that all about? We saw it all the time and it was so frusterating because the animal suffers. If you can't even afford basic nutritious food and medical care for your pet, DON'T get one, because what happens when there is a $1500 or more emergency? :confused: Wait until you can afford the care of a pet...there will always be needy animals.
     
  16. juliefurry

    juliefurry Rusty but Trusty

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    I can afford my pets. I afford their food, and they're medical expenses. I am very fortunate that my vet will put me on a payment plan. I know that Nutro isn't exactly cheap but I get a discount on it from my work, that is why I get that. My boss feeds it to her dogs and her dogs are in excellent shape, and have lived well beyond their life expectancy. I find it much cheaper to feed them all the same food than having to chase out to three different pet stores to find all their food. My dog Shelby used to only eat Innova and I had to drive a little over a half hour to get her food for her. Now that they all are eating the same brand (except Shelby doesn't eat the puppy formula she gets adult) I find that we are saving some money. I would like to put them back on the Eagle Pack but right now we are in the process of buying a house and are putting forth A LOT more money than we were expecting so for right now dogs are on Nutro and cats are eating friskies. They'll definetely be switched back though, as soon as we are more stable on our feet. My animals are in perfect health though, we do take really good care of them. I actually think that the Nutro is improving their coats though, Mack had really flaky dandruffy fur and now I notice when I brush him that it is getting a little better.
     

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