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Safe dog food?

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  • #21
    I just had to switch one of my dogs to a prescription Purina diet due to bladder stones. He was eating the Costco brand food which the rescue recommended and I had had my other dogs on it no problem. I talked to my vet about it and they have seen a significant number of cases at their office with DCM. Some times there are no signs of DCM till there is a significant issue. It is concerning and it's true that they don't know why the grain free foods are causing this. I am now going to switch my other dog over to Purina for now. If you search for dog food named by FDA heart disease, NBC news has a quick list of foods named that are suspected to be causing the DCM. I have it book marked on my phone for reference.
    Question for you raw/human grade food feeders - how do you know your dogs are getting all the correct minerals, vitamin, fat content etc? Is there a supplement you provide with the meals like a vitamin topper? Are you working with a nutritionist? Generally curious, not starting a debate. I want to be better informed in case I need to switch to that some time in the future.

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    • #22
      Originally posted by PonyApocalypse19 View Post
      Question for you raw/human grade food feeders - how do you know your dogs are getting all the correct minerals, vitamin, fat content etc? Is there a supplement you provide with the meals like a vitamin topper? Are you working with a nutritionist? Generally curious, not starting a debate. I want to be better informed in case I need to switch to that some time in the future.
      I'm just going to offer this as food for thought:

      -->How do you know your own body is getting all the correct minerals, vitamin, fat content etc?<--

      Especially considering now they say that taking vitamin supplements contributes to heart disease in people. Oy vey.

      Fat content is fairly well understood though. Feed the dog 85/15. They could eat more fat content but they say it can lead to aggression or irritability. Less fat and they'll get constipated as well as other issues with skin/coat. So 85/15 it is.

      Vitamins/minerals--same as myself. Do my best to have a varied but balanced diet of healthy whole foods. Dog is same, and feed organ meats at 10% the diet when possible. That's where all the good stuff is. Heart, liver. Throw in some fish once in awhile. Variety.
      Power to the People

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      • #23
        Originally posted by PonyApocalypse19 View Post
        I just had to switch one of my dogs to a prescription Purina diet due to bladder stones. He was eating the Costco brand food which the rescue recommended and I had had my other dogs on it no problem. I talked to my vet about it and they have seen a significant number of cases at their office with DCM.
        Question for you raw/human grade food feeders - how do you know your dogs are getting all the correct minerals, vitamin, fat content etc? Is there a supplement you provide with the meals like a vitamin topper? Are you working with a nutritionist? Generally curious, not starting a debate. I want to be better informed in case I need to switch to that some time in the future.
        I feed balanced Raw to NRC standards. Recipes by a nutritionist. I also have formulation software and am able to balance recipes if I need to.

        ~Run and Jump!~

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        • #24
          At the risk of outing myself as lazy, I balance my dog's home made food (she gets 1/2 Sportdog kibble and 1/2 home made, usually) using https://secure.balanceit.com/recipeg...php?rotator=EZ and their supplement. Easy and my dog loves it.

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          • #25
            I feed Answers Raw food. Expensive, but my dog is 6 lbs.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by PonyApocalypse19 View Post
              Question for you raw/human grade food feeders - how do you know your dogs are getting all the correct minerals, vitamin, fat content etc? Is there a supplement you provide with the meals like a vitamin topper? Are you working with a nutritionist? Generally curious, not starting a debate. I want to be better informed in case I need to switch to that some time in the future.
              I include a probiotic/multivitamin to try to fill in any cracks. There is a nutritional analysis for protein and fat content on the packages of the food I use

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              • #27
                Originally posted by tabula rashah View Post

                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."
                Yes, but I'm on a breed-specific FB group and there are as many people that recommend a raw diet for any ailment or "condition" and usually instead of a vet visit....from epilepsy to laryngeal paralysis, to any type of allergy or skin issue. And what some people consider a complete raw diet is definitely not a complete diet.

                If I were a vet, I would probably say the same -- unless you're working with someone that knows what they are doing, feeding a safe, commercial feed is the best choice. I also have a friend who is a bacteriologist - and her answer about raw diet is "heck no."

                Same with horses. It was one of the first things my vet told me when I got my first horse (who was an emaciated rescue situation). He said "well, she's a horse. So feed good hay and you're 98% there. For the other 2%, feed a good, commercial feed." He went on to say - some horses need more/different feeds or supplements, etc., - but *most* do not.



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                • #28
                  I am a small breeder of Australian Shepherds. I have 6 currently. They range in age from 12 years to 3 months. My vet retired this year, so I went to a new practice, brought each dog in for his/her "healthy dog check up". The new vet couldn't believe that none of my dogs needed dentistry, none needed to loose weight, and commented on their coats and fitness.

                  "What brand of dog food are you feeding?" he asked.

                  "Raw and home cooked."

                  I could see the consternation in his face and then he looked at me and said, "it is not something I recommend to clients."

                  I know the reason he sells Royal Canin is because he doesn't know enough about raw or home cooked, and either doesn't have the time or the interest to try raw or home cooked with his own dogs. It's just easier to recommend kibble.

                  I don't think feeding raw or home cooked is difficult, but it does require mindfulness. I get most of my raw from Raw Feeding Miami and Hare Today because they offer a good blend of muscle, bone, fat, and organ meats in their grinds. My company makes meal toppers based on Ayurvedic principles of warming and cooling foods, so one topper is warming and the other is cooling.

                  I rotate proteins constantly, fortunately, none of my dogs have food allergies or sensitivities.

                  And Marshfield, if I lived within 60 miles of you, I would be a client!

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                  • #29
                    I don't think feeding raw or home cooked is complicated, but should be done with some thought. I knew a guy that fed his dog cooked chicken breast. The end. She was also unspayed because he didn't think it was nice to take out "their lady parts" and she got pyo and nearly died. People aren't all brilliant.

                    We have a great alternative therapies vet in our area that works with people to design home prepared diets (raw and/or otherwise) and helps them design them if dogs have health issues. I think with a little effort it's very possible to feed a great diet to each dog; but without any guidance some people might struggle.

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                    • #30
                      Definitely consult a veterinary nutritionist if/when you decide to transition to a raw or homecooked diet.
                      The average person has very little knowledge of their own diet, let alone the diet of their dog. Why do you think so many of our foods are fortified? Not to mention everyone is an individual. I eat a diet that is high in iron, but because I donate blood and am female, I would be anemic without an iron supplement. This is something that I'm aware of because they check when I donate, and because I get basic bloodwork done each year with my physical. I also have a minor in nutrition. Many humans in developed countries are walking around with subclinical deficiencies even though they eat a varied diet.

                      For humans and canines (and equines since this is a horse forum), it's important to remember that the ingredients aren't as important as the nutrients that they supply.

                      I think that many veterinarians and nutritionists are doing the safe and appropriate thing by recommending that most pet owners stick with a commercial food instead of going off on their own and feeding raw. Think about the people you know who own dogs. How many of them feed a grocery store brand of kibble, and handfuls of "Beggin Strips" and "Pupperoni" treats every day? Do you really think those owners could easily transition to an appropriate raw diet without help from a professional? I don't.

                      Personally, I prefer to stick with a commercial kibble for convenience. I supplement that with healthy treats, like fresh eggs from our chickens, or some of the organ meat and cuts that I don't enjoy from the wild game that SO shoots. My 6yo aussie x bernese does great on this. No dental issues, beautiful coat. We just got back from skijoring 4 miles and she isn't even tired.
                      With the money I save I can afford to do more activities with her.

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                      • #31
                        For sake of argument, if someone eats Carnation instant breakfast, Oscar Myer, and Stoffer's dinner every day, no one would advocate that diet as healthy. It being fortified with vitamins and minerals does not make any difference. No doctor would rec' their patients eat that fortified, processed Stoffer's diet rather then fresh, whole foods because the average patient probably isn't with it enough to figure out how to balance their vitamins and minerals much less carbs, fiber, and proteins. Commercial pet food is highly, highly processed, exactly what doctors rec' against consuming in high quantities. Most pets consume nothing but.

                        Thought posed: If kibble is so perfectly balanced, why "supplement" a dog diet with fresh, human grade food? What's the point there?

                        These are honest questions I don't understand about the whole pet food thing. My instinct is these companies are just trying to sell a product and somehow we all decided we absolutely need that product in our lives and I wonder how that occurred. I mean, I know how it occurred, war, shortages, aluminum production, capitalism, et al, but I wonder how we pet owners decided almost as an entire cohesive unit to adopt their business plan into our every single day lives. Was it just Television--?

                        -But- modernization can contribute to a definite quality of life upgrade for those of us fortunate to enjoy it by birthright. Is it foolish to deny it just because we can? Is it the ultimate in first world privilege to feed our house pets as many likely do in the 3rd world? Way too deep for this thread, apologies.
                        Power to the People

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          After coughing up over $600 for a cardiac ultrasound for my DCM cat last year, I wonder how many people have dogs with heart issues that can't afford that kind of diagnostic and feed cheap, non-BEG food.
                          Leap, and the net will appear

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Sswor View Post
                            For sake of argument, if someone eats Carnation instant breakfast, Oscar Myer, and Stoffer's dinner every day, no one would advocate that diet as healthy. It being fortified with vitamins and minerals does not make any difference. No doctor would rec' their patients eat that fortified, processed Stoffer's diet rather then fresh, whole foods because the average patient probably isn't with it enough to figure out how to balance their vitamins and minerals much less carbs, fiber, and proteins. Commercial pet food is highly, highly processed, exactly what doctors rec' against consuming in high quantities. Most pets consume nothing but.

                            Thought posed: If kibble is so perfectly balanced, why "supplement" a dog diet with fresh, human grade food? What's the point there?

                            These are honest questions I don't understand about the whole pet food thing. My instinct is these companies are just trying to sell a product and somehow we all decided we absolutely need that product in our lives and I wonder how that occurred. I mean, I know how it occurred, war, shortages, aluminum production, capitalism, et al, but I wonder how we pet owners decided almost as an entire cohesive unit to adopt their business plan into our every single day lives. Was it just Television--?

                            -But- modernization can contribute to a definite quality of life upgrade for those of us fortunate to enjoy it by birthright. Is it foolish to deny it just because we can? Is it the ultimate in first world privilege to feed our house pets as many likely do in the 3rd world? Way too deep for this thread, apologies.
                            I don't personally think your observations and questions are too deep for this thread.

                            There is a good article on the history of dog food:
                            https://www.thefarmersdog.com/digest...rketing-story/

                            To me, kibble is akin to tv dinners, or I should say microwaveable meals. Easy, fast, relatively inexpensive, convenient. We can live on it, but it is not exactly "healthy".

                            One of my personal pet peeves with kibble is the marketing: that kibble helps keep your dog's teeth clean. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of periodontal disease by the age of 3 (2014).

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                            • #34
                              Originally posted by WNT View Post
                              After coughing up over $600 for a cardiac ultrasound for my DCM cat last year, I wonder how many people have dogs with heart issues that can't afford that kind of diagnostic and feed cheap, non-BEG food.
                              That's an excellent point I haven't seen considered before.
                              Power to the People

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                              • #35
                                But again - the DCM issue was identified by veterinarians seeing a change in prevalence of DCM. It's not being self-diagnosed by pet owners, especially since many dogs have heart damage and no symptoms. I'm sure most vets have (and always have had) a lot of client dogs that eat grocery store dog food. So what changed?

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                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by Sswor View Post

                                  Thought posed: If kibble is so perfectly balanced, why "supplement" a dog diet with fresh, human grade food? What's the point there?
                                  Fair question. The choice of the word "supplement" was poor on my part. But like I said, I feed things like eggs, and organ meat as healthy treats. Some variety. High value for training, etc. And these items are free to me, if SO and I don't eat it, and the dog doesn't eat it, than it would go in the trash.

                                  I also acknowledge that AAFCO is only a minimum requirement, and since every dog is an individual they may use nutrients differently. But I do like that the food gets routinely tested to make sure that it is still meeting those nutrient requirements. I'm willing to bet that most people feeding raw or home cooked are assuming that by feeding a variety of sources at the proper ratio of meat/bone/organ they will meet those minimum requirements.
                                  However, using selenium as an example (since most horse people are familiar). I live in a selenium deficient area. So if I were to go to the local butcher, local farmers, or locally harvested wild game for all of my dogs meat it's likely that much of that meat will be deficient in selenium. So do I start pulling blood at regular intervals? Or start supplementing? Now how many other deficiencies might we encounter?

                                  Just because a cut of meat is "human quality", doesn't mean it isn't deficient in something. Yes, feeding a variety reduces the risk of deficiencies. But if nothing is being tested than you really have no idea if the raw or homecooked diet that you're feeding is more or less complete than the commercial kibble that I'm feeding.

                                  I don't equate kibble to a tv dinner. I equate it to a commercial grain for horses, or a meal replacement shake for people. They aren't all created equal. But they are convenient, often cheaper, and they are safer for those will very little knowledge of nutrition.
                                  And yes, the pet food companies are businesses trying to turn a profit. But that also includes The Honest Kitchen, Stella & Chewy's, etc.

                                  I have nothing against a raw or homecooked diet if it's done properly. Consulting a veterinary nutritionist should be step one. Heaven knows most humans should be visiting a nutritionist as well.

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                                  • #37
                                    But one actually has to observe that something is wrong with the dog and take it to see a vet to get it checked out to diagnose DCM. Vets can't diagnose a heart problem in a routine vacc appointment--if these types of owners are even getting their dogs vaccinated. Rabies vaccs are still given in Walmart parking lots at vacc drives in a lot of areas. These kinds of dogs usually live outside and just die quietly at home one day because no one really notices anything is wrong. Vets don't know a lot of these dogs even exist. They're not eating grain free foods. They're still eating Alpo and Ol Roy.

                                    Mid grade owners don't get minor things checked out either. It's not that they don't care, just different priorities.

                                    The kind of person who is going to bother to feed a grain-free food is a fairly concerned, aware, alert pet owner. The kind who has the extra money to spend on a vet check up beyond the basics, to get DCM diagnosed at all. I think that's a very good point.
                                    Power to the People

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      I can't argue with a single thing you said, GoodTimes. It's very easy to get overwhelmed when trying to decide what is the *best* thing to do for a beloved pet. It's a tremendous responsibility, really, to be completely responsible for the life of a separate thinking, feeling being. I don't know how parents do it.
                                      Power to the People

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by S1969 View Post
                                        But again - the DCM issue was identified by veterinarians seeing a change in prevalence of DCM. It's not being self-diagnosed by pet owners, especially since many dogs have heart damage and no symptoms. I'm sure most vets have (and always have had) a lot of client dogs that eat grocery store dog food. So what changed?
                                        I'm still fairly skeptical that much has changed, and I'm not convinced that cases of DCM have actually increased. I think that diagnostics have simply improved and are more accessible.
                                        2D echocardiography has only been around in human medicine since the 70's, and my goodness the pictures were awful. Ultrasound of the heart has always been far more complicated because of the moving parts. It's only been in the last 20-30 years that the images have really been adequate.
                                        Now complicate that further in veterinary medicine by the lack of reference values, less funding, less accessibility, cost to pet owners, etc.

                                        Guess what end stage DCM results in? Congestive heart failure. Fatigue, coughing, respiratory distress. But CHF can be caused by a number of things, so without extensive diagnostics and/or early intervention the vet simply diagnoses CHF.
                                        My theory is that many dogs, and cats were given a cause of death of CHF, actually had undiagnosed DCM.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by Sswor View Post
                                          But one actually has to observe that something is wrong with the dog and take it to see a vet to get it checked out to diagnose DCM. Vets can't diagnose a heart problem in a routine vacc appointment--if these types of owners are even getting their dogs vaccinated. Rabies vaccs are still given in Walmart parking lots at vacc drives in a lot of areas. These kinds of dogs usually live outside and just die quietly at home one day because no one really notices anything is wrong. Vets don't know a lot of these dogs even exist. They're not eating grain free foods. They're still eating Alpo and Ol Roy.

                                          Mid grade owners don't get minor things checked out either. It's not that they don't care, just different priorities.

                                          The kind of person who is going to bother to feed a grain-free food is a fairly concerned, aware, alert pet owner. The kind who has the extra money to spend on a vet check up beyond the basics, to get DCM diagnosed at all. I think that's a very good point.
                                          Vets started seeing young dogs with end stage heart disease. And the common link was diet.

                                          Then people started bringing their dogs for testing and vets found dogs with no symptoms but heart damage. Even dogs that had previously tested normal by echo (I know one of these dog owners).

                                          I am amazed that people seem to think this is a conspiracy theory by vets, or that hundreds of vets around the country are unable to think that differences in diagnostics might be the reason. You know, those poorly educated vets who have never read a study or conducted research.

                                          But I'm glad you guys each have a theory. Me? I'll err on the side of caution with the vets.

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