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Safe dog food?

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  • Safe dog food?

    With all the latest press about dog foods causing heart problems, what brands are thought to be SAFE for them?. I have been using several brands on the questionable list.







  • #2
    The only food I consider safe is that which I would eat myself. Therefore I only feed semi-raw or home cooked food.
    With just one dog I can afford to buy my dog's meat and food at the same supermarket I used for my own food.
    I've just seen too many problems with commercial dog food and there doesn't seem to be much oversight to even know what's in the food.
    "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin

    Comment


    • #3
      I am in the process of switching my guys to a recipe from Dr. Martin Goldstien- or as close as I can get. I know what the ingredients are...LOL. But seriously, I am on board with Marla100. I am steering away from anything off the shelf.
      When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou
      www.americansaddlebredsporthorse.net
      http://www.asbsporthorse.blogspot.com/

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      • #4
        We definitely don't have all the answers. Best working theory is that something associated with high legume content food is blocking taurine absorption as supplementing with taurine doesn't circumvent the issue. Zignature, Acana, and I think Rachel Ray were the most heavily implicated foods. I suspect there is also a genetic vulnerability.

        I have, however, opted not to change what I feed. I have an almost 15 year old who has been gran free for 13 years. Most of the dogs have been on Canidae which has been minimally associated with heart disease. The rest eat commercially available raw. One girl has some allergy issues that there wasn't a whole of commercially available kibble that would work for her. And what works for her isn't a great option for the other food issue dog. Cheaper to feed the corgi raw than the GSP. I have kibble for her if she stays home without me. She's with me 95% plus of the time or if not with me, she's with my friend and agility trainer who feeds raw herself. The two who don't "need" raw made it clear that they prefer raw to kibble and all 3 raw fed dogs look fabulous.

        So, yes, I am a raw feeding veterinarian. Grain inclusive Honest Kitchen would be my other top food choice.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Marshfield View Post
          Grain inclusive Honest Kitchen would be my other top food choice.
          or close anyway... Honest Kitchen Grain Free Limited Edition Duck as a 'top dress' for my picky eater (bummed when HK re-did their duck formula).

          Fromm Gold Small Breed Adult for both my BTs.
          When you start to observe, you become more effective... your movements soften, you see more, you are more available to becoming a team member. Be an Observer first, a Handler second.

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          • #6
            Most of my dog owning friends/breeders are sticking with Purina or Eukanuba. I think there are a couple of other big brands (maybe Science Diet?) that some have fed and continue to feed.

            There are a few smaller brands that have good reviews. But some of the smaller, boutique brands are turning out to be least safe.


            Comment


            • #7
              That article about grain-free foods was rebuked by a number of veterinary researchers as flawed research. They recommend rotating different grain-free brands if you need to feed grain-free (I do b/c my dog has allergies). Basically, the original research showed an association in the population studied but did not show causation.

              Here's the official article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6396252/

              Comment


              • #8
                Count me in. I don't trust any of the pet food companies at all. There isn't much incentive for them to not kill or harm our pets. Conversely, there's huge incentive for them to make a profit. That leaves me cooking and preparing my own food for my dog, as others have said, from the grocery store.

                Human grade food is such because human life has an enormous price tag on it set by court precedent. If a food item kills a person, the company is on the hook for 2.5mil--I think is the going rate on human life, 'X' how ever many people the product kills. Adds up fast. That's a huge incentive for human food to be considered safe aka will not cause direct or correlated death. And if it won't directly kill me, it won't directly kill my dog either.

                Beyond that, it's up to me to determine the balance of ingredients. That's an interesting dance but if you figure dogs evolved to live beside us and be 100% dependent on us for their sustenance for 10's of thousands of years, it's not that difficult.

                Regarding the grain-free scare, I do wonder if the high heat and duration necessary to cook legumes is the problem--degrading Taurine before it can be available to the animal. Just a thought. You have to cook legumes much longer then say, rice, and if it's all thrown into a hopper together (you know it is) the meat is being heated and cooked right along with it. The longer a food item is cooked, the more it degrades the nutrients. That's why we cook food, to make these nutrients more readily available, but also why we don't over cook food. Dog food companies don't care about that so long as the label shows the right %'s. But I could be wildly off the mark too. Just a guess.
                Power to the People

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have been feeding Royal Canin to my three for the last five months or so. All have done very, very well on it. I add healthy toppers for them for some variety but have been very happy with my dogs on RC.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by xQHDQ View Post
                    AWESOME. Thank you for posting this! What a solid overview on why whatever is happening is not nearly as simple as grain-free = bad.

                    I had no idea there was NO requirement for taurine in dog food!



                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sswor View Post
                      Human grade food is such because human life has an enormous price tag on it set by court precedent.
                      The Honest Kitchen's food *is* 100% human grade. They are, IMO, worth a check before ruling their food out... my current heartburn with them is they appear to have jumped on the grain-free bandwagon and their whole grain options are limited now. But, the quality of their food doesn't concern me at all.

                      While Fromm doesn't advertise 100% human grade, they are small batch manufactured in Wisconsin with an extensive testing program. They offer both grain free and grain inclusive foods.

                      Not all purchased pre-made foods are evil ... just sayin'
                      When you start to observe, you become more effective... your movements soften, you see more, you are more available to becoming a team member. Be an Observer first, a Handler second.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        From Tufts Clinical Nutrition Service
                        1. It’s not just grain-free. This does not appear to be just an issue with grain-free diets. I am calling the suspected diets, “BEG” diets – boutique companies, exotic ingredients, or grain-free diets. The apparent link between BEG diets and DCM may be due to ingredients used to replace grains in grain-free diets, such as lentils or chickpeas, but also may be due to other common ingredients commonly found in BEG diets, such as exotic meats, vegetables, and fruits. In addition, not all pet food manufacturers have the same level of nutritional expertise and quality control, and this variability could introduce potential issues with some products.
                        1. Most dogs being diagnosed with DCM do not have low taurine levels. Some owners continue to feed a BEG diet but supplement taurine thinking that this will reduce their risk for heart disease. In our hospital, we currently measure taurine in all dogs with DCM, but more than 90% of our patients with DCM in which taurine has been measured have normal levels (and the majority are eating BEG diets). Yet some of these dogs with DCM and normal taurine levels improve when their diets are changed. This suggests that there’s something else playing a role in most cases – either a deficiency of a different nutrient or even a toxicity that may be associated with BEG diets. Giving taurine is unlikely to prevent DCM unless your dog has taurine deficiency. And given the lack of quality control for dietary supplements, you can introduce new risks to your dog if you give a supplement without evidence that she needs it.
                        1. Raw diets and homemade diets are not safe alternatives. Out of concern, some owners are switching from BEG diets to a raw or home-cooked diet. However, we have diagnosed DCM in dogs eating these diets too. And raw and home-cooked diets increase your dog’s risk for many other health problems. So, forego the raw or home-cooked diets and stick with a commercial pet food made by a well-established manufacturer that contains common ingredients, including grains. If your dog requires a home-prepared diet for a medical condition or you feel strongly about feeding one, I strongly recommend you consult with a Board-Certified Veterinary Nutritionist® (acvn.org). However, because home-cooked diets are not tested for safety and nutritional adequacy like good quality commercial diets, deficiencies could still develop.
                        https://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2018/11/dcm-update/
                        Off Topic Discussion about Life, Interests & Politics
                        http://theotherboard.boards.net/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've heard one of the nutritionists from Tufts speak. Wasn't really impressed at the CE meeting I went to. Found them to be very narrow minded on the range of appropriate diets for dogs. Commercial kibble from Hills, Royal Canin, or Purina is far from the only answer on what's appropriate to feed. I sure as *** don't expect my dogs whom I ask to be elite athletes to eat a corn based diet. I have had far too many patients whose health issues resolved with raw or home cooked diets

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by xQHDQ View Post
                            That article about grain-free foods was rebuked by a number of veterinary researchers as flawed research. They recommend rotating different grain-free brands if you need to feed grain-free (I do b/c my dog has allergies). Basically, the original research showed an association in the population studied but did not show causation.

                            Here's the official article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6396252/
                            Thank you! I can’t believe I hadn’t seen this anywhere yet.

                            I’m another one who feeds grain free because of allergies. I rotate between Purina Pro Plan Sensitive stomach Salmon and Rice, and Authority Sensitive Stomach Fish and Potato.
                            Any other food I’ve tried gives her red eyes and itchy feet.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I am not so concerned about grain-free as the inclusion of corn as 2nd 3rd or 4th ingredients.
                              Another killer of threads

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Marshfield View Post
                                I have had far too many patients whose health issues resolved with raw or home cooked diets
                                Thanks for that! It would be so much easier to just buy and open a bag, but my dog was in and out of the veterinary hospital for severe GI disturbance every third month or so from the age of 7 months until I finally pulled the kibble plug at just over 2 years of age. It was nuts how often that dog was sick, and always mysterious GI problems, no known cause, just treat symptoms. I got to the point that I kept frozen boiled chicken/rice in the freezer so I wouldn't have to whip up a batch after work some night when the dog relapsed *again*. I still have 5 days worth in there lol. It finally occurred to me--dog nursed back to health eating real food...why am I phasing him back on to junk?? Last bout of sickness recovered, I simply phased in veggies and calcium and called it dog food and never looked back.

                                He is now 4.5 and had zero problems in two whole calendar years....until I tried to take him off the pre/probiotics and digestive enzymes at the end of last summer. About 3 weeks-30 days off the GI supplements and he started to develop hot spots on his feet and then overnight developed a raging ear infection. Back on the pre/pro/DE 10 days later back to shining health. I'll never try to phase them out again.

                                I really don't want to be a freak owner but I can't ignore that difference. So I keep cooking once/week and, knock on wood, doggie is healthy. And after all that, when doggie is healthy, owner is happy and all is right with the world.
                                Power to the People

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                                  From Tufts Clinical Nutrition Service
                                  1. It’s not just grain-free. This does not appear to be just an issue with grain-free diets. I am calling the suspected diets, “BEG” diets – boutique companies, exotic ingredients, or grain-free diets. The apparent link between BEG diets and DCM may be due to ingredients used to replace grains in grain-free diets, such as lentils or chickpeas, but also may be due to other common ingredients commonly found in BEG diets, such as exotic meats, vegetables, and fruits. In addition, not all pet food manufacturers have the same level of nutritional expertise and quality control, and this variability could introduce potential issues with some products.
                                  1. Most dogs being diagnosed with DCM do not have low taurine levels. Some owners continue to feed a BEG diet but supplement taurine thinking that this will reduce their risk for heart disease. In our hospital, we currently measure taurine in all dogs with DCM, but more than 90% of our patients with DCM in which taurine has been measured have normal levels (and the majority are eating BEG diets). Yet some of these dogs with DCM and normal taurine levels improve when their diets are changed. This suggests that there’s something else playing a role in most cases – either a deficiency of a different nutrient or even a toxicity that may be associated with BEG diets. Giving taurine is unlikely to prevent DCM unless your dog has taurine deficiency. And given the lack of quality control for dietary supplements, you can introduce new risks to your dog if you give a supplement without evidence that she needs it.
                                  1. Raw diets and homemade diets are not safe alternatives. Out of concern, some owners are switching from BEG diets to a raw or home-cooked diet. However, we have diagnosed DCM in dogs eating these diets too. And raw and home-cooked diets increase your dog’s risk for many other health problems. So, forego the raw or home-cooked diets and stick with a commercial pet food made by a well-established manufacturer that contains common ingredients, including grains. If your dog requires a home-prepared diet for a medical condition or you feel strongly about feeding one, I strongly recommend you consult with a Board-Certified Veterinary Nutritionist® (acvn.org). However, because home-cooked diets are not tested for safety and nutritional adequacy like good quality commercial diets, deficiencies could still develop.
                                  https://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2018/11/dcm-update/
                                  Nice canned response, I'm sure sponsored by one of the those three
                                  Wouldst thou like the taste of butter ? A pretty dress? Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I recommend visiting Www.truthaboutpetfood.com to learn a lot of helpful info.
                                    Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by tabula rashah View Post

                                      Nice canned response, I'm sure sponsored by one of the those three
                                      Have you read the link? It's a blog by a Tufts vet/nutritionist. It's not a "study" at all - but her summary of the situation regarding DCM. I don't think it's "sponsored" by anyone.

                                      I'm not sure why people are so skeptical of this situation - the general consensus by vets is that they are unsure of all the connections but presume there is as of yet an unidentified genetic predisposition, as well as the potential for environmental/dietary contribution.

                                      If you like the food your dog is eating and do not want to switch, talk to your vet about the risk(s) and possibly doing a cardio screening. If they have no symptoms and are not affected, changing diets is not necessarily something you need to do or consider.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by S1969 View Post

                                        Have you read the link? It's a blog by a Tufts vet/nutritionist. It's not a "study" at all - but her summary of the situation regarding DCM. I don't think it's "sponsored" by anyone.

                                        I'm not sure why people are so skeptical of this situation - the general consensus by vets is that they are unsure of all the connections but presume there is as of yet an unidentified genetic predisposition, as well as the potential for environmental/dietary contribution.

                                        If you like the food your dog is eating and do not want to switch, talk to your vet about the risk(s) and possibly doing a cardio screening. If they have no symptoms and are not affected, changing diets is not necessarily something you need to do or consider.
                                        Sorry- I saw the Tufts and assumed study.
                                        Here is what I have a problem with - there isn't enough information known/available, etc and the general public has taken it and run rampant. I read a crazy argument on FB the other day with a woman who insisted that her cat had DCM because it was throwing up. And how all cats needed grains.
                                        With the Tufts commentary above this part is what screams I got paid " And raw and home-cooked diets increase your dog’s risk for many other health problems. So, forego the raw or home-cooked diets and stick with a commercial pet food made by a well-established manufacturer that contains common ingredients, including grains."
                                        Wouldst thou like the taste of butter ? A pretty dress? Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?

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