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  • 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 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!
  • I have a 1 yo Shih tzu male, neutered, healthy, avg/typical activity level. I'm looking at Honest Kitchen food products for his daily diet, and would like your opinion on whether this line of food would be healthy for him. HK says their foods are FDA approved for human consumption. What is your opinion? Thank you.
  • Feeding foods with ingredients fit for human consumption whihc is thier claim to fame says nothing about the nutritional adequacy, digestibility or safety of the product. 
    In fact it is difficult to find the AFFCO statement on the web site for a product - which would be very helpful to owners. Although you can easily find an article on the limitations of AAFCO. You can also find the nutrient profile for a product but then you have to do the comparison back to AAFCO or NRC – not easy for the majority of pet owners.
    Digestibility estimates cannot be found.
    The product is no more safe than the human food supply itself, and that according to the USDA recall of human foods, is far from perfect. I do not like the pretense that because the ingredients are fit for human consumption that the product is more “wholesome”, nutritionally superior or the products are safe or "safer". food for thought: Hotdogs and many others are byproducts fit for human consumption …. So the marketing dept is playing with word here that I do not find very honest.
    As I see it, they are playing with words and truly not providing information one could use. To me ... feeding a dehydrated food is far from a dog's "natural" diet but it allows them to claim “concentrated nutrition” but then that is just again playing with the numbers. You add water or meat, so then it should be no different than you buying a canned dog food or making your own homemade diet. It does save you on higher shipping costs by lowering the weight.  Bottom line I do not see anything special here.
  • I have 3 dogs. A mini ausie(20lbs), a dachshund blue healer begle minx (30lbs), and an English mastiff puppy (110lbs, 9months old). I would like to feed them homemade dog food, but I want to make sure it has everything that they need in it. I need advice because all the websites out there are contradicting each other.
  • Yes you can and you should obtain a HMD diet recipe from someone specifically trained in veterinary nutrition, or obtain a guarantee that the recipe is nutritionally complete and balanced according to either AAFCO or NRC .....  Preferably you should get a recipe with all 3 criteria.
  • I go to my local pet store and I am told Purina uses byproducts and they try to sell me more expensive dog food for my 7 yr old border collie. She likes the Purina product I buy and is healthy. Does paying more for a dog food really matter? And now I hear that Blue Buffalo, the food that is suppose to be all the rage according to the pet food sales lady uses by-products too!
  • Interesting you should name these 2 particular manufacturers.
    "meat by-products" come in a very wide range of quality and are not all created equal even though they legally bare the same label. Some of it is highly nutritious organ meats and no bone, and some have alot of bone.  It is up to the manufacturer to establish guidelines for their ingredients and then TEST those ingredients each time before accepting them into their plant. Blue Buffalo obviously does not know very much about their ingredients which of course makes all of their product claims now sound hollow. In fact, it was Purina who tested Blue Buffalo's dog food and presented evidence in court that BB was using by-products. Purina knew more about the ingredients used in Blue Buffalo foods than BB knew. Purina apparently also knows more about the supplier of BB ingredients than BB does ….

    There is something very wrong at Blue Buffalo ... the Chairman publically stated “Slap on a good label, come up with a slogan, and off you go.” which sounds more like high priced marketing and far too little product quality control, product development and nutritional research for dogs and cats. In this time where we have thousands of pet food products to choose from, evaluating the manufacturer, and not so much each product, is not only more efficient but perhaps more telling.  
    I have no issues with a pet owner feeding a Purina product as long as the animal is doing well on it. I would pay more attention to what your dog is telling you about Purina foods than what Blue Buffalo is saying about Purina or what the sales clerk trying to sell you the higher commissioned dog food is saying about Purina.

  • My 9 year old Miniature Schnauzer has been diagnosed with hyper lipidemia and she also is allergic to chicken. Finding a low fat dog food that doesn't contain chicken is proving very difficult. The only other option I've found is fish based which is not desirable from a dog breath / smell on her beard standpoint. Any commercial foods you can reccomend or do I need to consider making her food? Thanks for your help!
  • In most cases of hyperlipidemia, especially in this breed, you will have to use a veterinary therapeutic product that specializes in low fat. There are no OTC foods that will suffice that I know of regardless of the ingredient restriction. One other option is an ultra-low fat homemade diet.  
  • Thank you for reading this question. I would like some advice regarding my dog's diet. My family has a 9 year old Rottweiler/Boxer mix female dog. We have had Buttercup since she was 10 weeks old. This past August (2014), Buttercup became very sick very quickly. She required emergency surgery. She had surgery at Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital and the prep, surgery, and recovery were supervised by my who recommended I contact you regarding pet nutrition. The result of the surgery was the removal of a very large abscess on one of her kidneys. The abscess was not cancerous. The kidney which had the abscess was also removed. It was grossly infected, according to the surgeon, it was just bloody to the touch. Now, Buttercup has just one kidney. She has not been diagnosed with kidney disease, but we continue to monitor all of her kidney values. She pees normally, and drinks a normal amount of water. Our vet and the surgeons recommended a kidney diet after the surgery, so we put her on a kidney diet. She current is eating k/d made by Hill pet foods. I am very dissatisfied with this food product. I feel as if Buttercup is getting what she needs in regards to her kidney, but the rest of the nutritional value in this food is pathetic. Prior to Buttercup going through this surgery in August and her kidney being removed, we fed her top notch food - better than human grade. I am curious to know what your thoughts are on prescription diet foods for your pets. I am wondering if you feel there is a more wholesome food choice that might work for a dog with Buttercup's condition - like the low protein option with Honest Kitchen food brand - Keen. I am very impressed with the company and the food and ingredients. I very much appreciate your response. Thank you.
  • The short answer (without getting into the quagmire over ingredient name calling) is that the Hill’s k/d product has been prolonging the lives of dogs with all types of renal diseases for nearly 75 years. The first of its kind and the first attempt ever at managing any pet disease with nutrition. As more relevant research comes to light, the product has been modified appropriately. It was/is formulated by veterinary nutritionist. Today you have several choices for renal diets in the veterinary therapeutic market, but they all pretty much mimic this product just using different ingredients.
    As for honest kitchen ….. none of their products to the best of my knowledge are appropriate for an older dog with one remaining kidney. No over the counter dog food regardless of what they say about their ingredients would be appropriate. There are several reasons but first most is that they legally cannot lower the phosphorous intake down to where it should be for canine renal disease, and we are coming to realize through research paid for by Hill’s, Purina and Royal Canin, that the level of phosphorous in the diet is indirectly related to the progression rate towards renal failure, i.e., the lower phos intakes, slow the progression of the disease.  Since late 1990’s, publications have repeatedly shown dogs fed a renal diet live longer (dogs on maintenance diet = 188 days; dogs on renal diet = 594 days) than those fed an over the counter dog food.
    Please do not get suck into the never ending marketing rhetoric over the ingredient list. The regulations that govern that list are not/ never were intended to “evaluate” a dog food product despite how much time and effort lay folks put into attempting to decipher it. One simply cannot properly evaluate a dog food by the ingredient list. Some manufacturers, knowing that owners read the list, do manipulate the list to read well. 
    Lastly, I will tell you my own dog has renal disease and was eating k/d canned until a second disease developed that precluded using any product with that level of fat.
    As for whether feeding a commercial vs. homemade diet is “better” for the dog … this has never been directly evaluated. There are several advantages to feeding a properly balanced, consistent, tightly controlled product such as a veterinary therapeutic diet. To be honest, at this point feeding homemade vs. commercial is a life style choice for most pet owners and not a nutritional issue. There are exceptions, but these would not hold in your case at this time.
  • My 16 year old dachshund recently came down with pancreatitis which caused secondary kidney disease. I have found it extremely difficult to adhere to a diet that's good for both pancreatitis AND kidney disease. They seem to be contradictory diets! I understand that my baby is older but I will always want to do the very best for him so any suggestions or information you have that could help with this dilemma would be so very appreciated.
  • Correct ... there are no commercially low fat renal diets and no low fat diets sufficiently low in protein and phosphorous to be used in renal cases. Currently the only option is a low fat, protein and phosphorous homemade diet. We are most willing to formulate such a a HM diet for your dog with both renal disease and pancreatitis. You may begin the consultation process yourself online at any time.
  • i'm sorry but need to vent - i'm really sick and tired of people telling me that there is something wrong with the food i'm feeding my yorkie/chihuahua - when i buy royal canin i'm told that i'm an idiot, have bought acana, that food isn't appropriate for a small dog, has too much protein, this food has vitmains has vitamins sourced from china, or that food has this in it or that food has by-products, corn etc. - i had one lady yesterday tell me that royal canin canned food is simply the worst on the market - my dog likes it!!!! and eats it - i have to feed her something (don't mean feeding garbage stuff) - no wonder i'm so confused, this is driving me crazy.
  • Yes I understand your frustration. People do have opinions and are too quick to "mouth" what they have heard ..... this happens to all kinds of products however, pets bring out the emotion.

    I assure you feeding a Royal Canin product is a very fine product even though the company is NOT catering to current fads, whims, or trending twits about pet food ingredients.

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