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  • Can you recommend any reading materials (books, journals, texts) so that I can learn more about canine nutrition? I enjoy being a well informed owner. I don't plan on formulating my own diets or becoming a "nutritionist" from this. Thank you.
  • We have a dog with IBD, food allergies as well as early stage Kidney disease (mostly caused by him having only one kidney). We are going to enlist in your services to create a home made meal plan for him as his response to dry kibble is poor. My question is are there allergy tests he can undergo before we do so. We know some of his food sensitivities but are still trying to figure out others (he sometimes gets secondary ear infections from allergies).
  • There are no accurate food allergy tests (although there are some labs that will gladly take your $$) by which I can formulate a non-reactive diet ... if you know what the dog is reactive to and/or have not fed certain novel proteins, I usually start there.

  • I have been feeding my 9 year old 35 lb. Jack Russell mix Hill's Science Diet Wet Dog Food almost all her life, thinking that it is a quality food. She likes it and does well on it. However, in doing research on the internet, it doesn't seem to get a very high rating among dog foods. Now I'm confused. Your opinion, please. The so-called experts seem to think that higher meat content is better.
  • I disagree completely with the internet experts.   I personally feed a Hill's product and it is often on my recommended list.
  • Can dog eat cooked pork shoulder bone?
  • I would not suggest feeding bones to dogs cooked or raw, pork or any other. The downsides risks do not outweigh any purported advantage.

  • Lately there have been news articles about pet food companies being sued for allegedly killing dogs and cats with their products. Many people on the Net and Facebook have given testimonials stating that they fed Brand X and their dog or cat got sick or died.

    I'm confused. How can a product that has undergone a feeding trial kill a pet? The Pet Food Company is feeding the same exact products as the consumer to their test animals and they're not dying. I do understand that a certain bag of product could become contaminated in shipping or storage, but the basic ingredients/formula can't be poisonous or the test pets would have succumbed to illness also. Am I right? Thank you.



  • If pets were actually dying due to any food product the FDA would be all over it as in the 2007 Pet Food recall.  People often blame the food or water, when they do not have good diagnostics on why their pet died.

    A pet food formulation fed for 6 month may have passed an AAFCO feeding trial but that need only be run once. A problem can occur in the day to day manufacturing of any product. You want to feed pet foods that are made in the manufacturer's own plant ... this increases quality control significantly.
    See http://www.wsava.org/nutrition-toolkit and visit regularly http://www.fda.gov/animalveterinary/safetyhealth/recallswithdrawals.

  • We have been feeding a homemade diet for about 3 years based on a recipe from the book The Whole Pet Diet. We had the diet evaluated by one of our vets, but she is not a veterinary nutritionist. We spend a lot of time making food for our six dogs because we want to keep them as healthy as possible. We are even trying to grow most of the vegetables and fruits we use. Now with everything I've been reading about homemade diets being nutritionally incomplete and harmful to your pets, I'm worried. I would hate to think we were doing our dogs harm. Is there a way to have our diet and supplements analyzed, or would it be better to just tell you what ingredients we like to use and have a new diet created for us? Our dogs are all healthy and in good weight. Size range from 12 lbs to 70 lbs and age range from 3 to 13 1/2 years. One of our dogs has food allergies, that is one of the reasons we started making our own food.
  • Yes unfortunately, if the recipe from that book does not guarantee you that the recipe has been checked, then you should assume it is not. Most HMD diet available to dog owners were found to be lacking in a 2013 Veterinary publication.  You have a couple of choices:

    #1. Computer assimilation of the nutrient profile - where we reconstruct your recipe using the average nutrient profile of each food in our database. We use the USDA and ESHA food databases and Mixit 2+ computer program. There are some foods for which there is no nutrient profile because people do not eat all the food items we feed our dogs (chicken wings or backs for example). If there is no comparable human food, then the nutrient profile of that food item will have to be obtained by sending a sample to the lab. Much of the answer to the balance of your diet will depend on the "supplement" you are using as most do were not designed to specifically complete a homemade diet.
     
    #2. Laboratory analysis of your recipe - where you take a 1-2 lb frozen sample of your food and send it off to the lab overnight.  In about 10 days, you'll receive a nutrient profile - the more nutrients analyzed the greater the cost. Again we can evaluate and adjust that recipe as needed based on the lab data. You have two choices on lab analysis:
     
    a. Minimum Lab assessment of 14 major nutrients could be assayed for ~ $45 with overnight shipping. We could then calculate 2 other nutrients from the lab data for you for a total of 16 nutrients. We can send you the DHIA Lab Analysis form and you need only complete your name, address and form of payment.  You would then send it to the lab directly with your sample. Our address and fax number will be inserted and we will receive a copy of your results automatically. The is DHIA Lab http://www.dairyone.com
     
    b. Maximum Lab assessment: A full AAFCO nutrient profile of ~40 nutrients costs ~$2400 per sample. Same procedure as above but to a different lab using a different form. http://www.eurofins.com/en.aspx.
     
    A few points for you to consider about lab analysis:
    1. According to the US definitions of the terms "complete and balanced", there are about 43 different nutrients to be estimated, and that none of these assessments (computer or laboratory) will determine diet digestibility or food safety (presence of food borne microbes or parasites).

    One downside to lab analysis is that the nutrient profile is determined on one sample at one point in time and as oppose to the computer assimilation method which uses book averages for foods and may better represent the overall average nutrient composition of your diet over a
    longer period of time.

    #3 If your dogs have no medical issues, we have an automated module for owners to obtain a balanced diet for their healthy petGo to www.petdiets.com. You begin the process by logging into your account or opening an account for you, your pet and link it to your Vet info, then click on 'Services:’ drop down to “Homemade Diet Recipes’. Select the “all options” to see all of our ingredient options or one of several specific diet types. You may select ingredients similar to those you are now feeding. The software will re-balance your diet properly and suggest vitamin & trace mineral supplements. The cost is $25 for the first recipe and $12 for each thereafter purchased at the same time. Recipes are available for immediate download after payment.
     
  • The rescue group that I volunteer for just took in an approximately 10-11 year old dog with very bad -- and very neglected -- yeast infections on his ears, belly, paws, and around his eyes. He has been to a vet and is getting the appropriate treatment, including bi-weekly baths with an anti-yeast shampoo.

    The person fostering the dog has been asking people on Facebook about how to feed the dog. I am not sure what the veterinarian told her but the "experts" are in full force making all the usual sorts of recommendations, In a nutshell, she has been told to avoid chicken, beef, lamb, grains, potatoes, and sugars -- so many things on the "no" list, that I'm not sure what is left to feed him! My question to you is, does diet have any role to play in keeping yeast under control? I always thought it was in the environment and thrived in moisture. I did not think it was diet-related at all.
  • Yeast ear infections can be the secondary consequence of a food allergy or an immuno suppressed (due to malnutrition) patient.  Yeast does tend to take over secondary to scratching. Does the dog ITCH ????? .... if not then the skin disease and secondary yeast infection is not due to food allergy, can you can feed any complete and balanced product.

  • I have a miniature schnauzer/shih tzu with Oxalate Bladder Stones and I want to know if she can have banana chips or dried bananas
  • Fresh bananas are considered low in oxalate. I do not know about dried bananas.
  • My wife feeds our 75# lab moderate scrapes of chicken with his dry food. No bones or skin. Is this ok?
  • One should not add more 10-15% of a single itme food (chicken) to a kibble that is nutritionally complete and balanceed. In general, if more than 15% is added, then the entire diet is no longer balanced.
  • I have a healthy two year old male Havanese. He weighs 11 pounds. I make his food every day it consists of boneless skinless chicken thighs or ground beef, always organic, mixed vegetables, probiotic, multi vitamin, omega 3. I'm concerned that he does not receive enough calcium and maybe other minerals or vitamins I'm not aware of. What do you recommend?
  • It appears that the diet as you have described it is not balanced.
     
    If your pet has no medical issues, we have an automated module for owners to obtain a balanced diet for their healthy pet.
     
    Go to www.petdiets.com. You begin the process by logging into your account or opening an account for you, your pet and link it to your Vet info, then click on 'Services:’ drop down to “Homemade Diet Recipes’. Select the “all options” to see all of our ingredient options or one of several specific diet types.
     
    You may select ingredients similar to those you are now feeding. The software will re-balance your diet properly and suggest vitamin & trace mineral supplements. The cost is $25 for the first recipe and $12 for each thereafter purchased at the same time. Recipes are available for immediate download after payment.
     
    Thank you for visiting PetDIETS.com!
     
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