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  • How much protein does a dog really need in their diet? I found one site that recommends that 80% of a dog's diet should be protein. The highest amount of protein that I can find in dog food is 26%.
  • IF the protein source has an excellent amino acid profile and is better than 85% digestible, the according to 2006 NRC 10% of the dry matter which is probably close to the actual animal need when the protein source is EXCELLENT. 2017 AAFCO pads in a buffer because sometimes less than excellent proteins are used in the dog food industry so they suggest a minimum of 18%.

    Again as the protein quality decreases, the amount needed in the diet to meet the dog's need has to increase. So it is far from simply reading the GA on a dog food label.
  • I have a 12-year old cat who has a permanently dislocated jaw, and the vet needed to remove all of her teeth because the misalignment was causing her teeth to puncture the soft tissue in her mouth. She is currently on Hill's j/d for her arthritis. She does not like wet food, although she'll eat a tablespoon or so when I give her some at night. Since that isn't enough to sustain her, I'd like to know what I can do to allow her to eat kibble? The j/d kibble is really small, but she tends to vomit if it isn't chewed first. (At least, that was true before she broke her jaw.) What can I do to the kibble to make it easier for a toothless cat to digest? I'm concerned that simply adding water will just make it gel together in a big mess. I don't know if there are additives or other alternatives. Thanks.
  • If this issue is simply particle size of the kibble, you could play with changing the particle size of the kibble such that she likes the flavor and texture but need not chew the food before swallowing.  I would suggest getting a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder (electric). The size of the grind depends on how long you run the grinder .... the longer time in the grinder the smaller the particle size. So you can play around with particle by adjusting the time you run the grinder.

    Hill's j/d product is well designed for older cats. With smaller particle size she may consume too much per meal and then may vomit .... You may have to control the amount of food per meal and feed multiple meals per day in order to control the vomiting.

  • I have a 12 week old Wheaten Terrier. Started off on Bil-Jac. Want to switch foods, not satisfied with Bil-Jac for her. Had several suggestions. Breeders said ONLY feed her salmon based products, but nothing I've read stated that. I know Wheatens have issues with protein, so do I feed her a normal puppy food - salmon based or beef??
  • Yes I would suggest a solid puppy food until a real problem actually materializes instead of jumping through imaginary hoops for no sound medical reason.
  • Is mixing two different brands of dog food a no no? I know each bag is made with different nutrients. So is it bad to mix brands considering they may get more of a specific nutrient which could be bad for their heath. An example of mixing brands would be Fromm four star and instinct raw ultimate protein duck flavor. Thanks!
  • Each bag should not have different nutrients but the same nutrients from different ingredients.
    If both products are claiming to be Nutritionally Complete and Balanced, then there is no issue.
    If one or neither product is Nutritionally Complete and Balanced, now there will be problems eventually.
  • Would like some information from a nutritionist standpoint regarding grain free and higher protein diets. I am currently feeding my 2 year old chocolate Labrador the Nulo line of dry food. This product contains a dry matter protein basis of 33-34%, is advertised as grain free and obtaining 80% or more of their protein from animal sources. The product also utilizes a probiotic. My concern comes from varying responses regarding grain free diets and higher protein diets. I am receiving information that higher protein may cause renal problems after years of exposure. However I have also located information debunking this statement. When it comes to grain free, I have been told by a veterinarian that they have removed more bladder stones in animals that are on grain free diets. That being said, my dog has tolerated the Nulo well and has no issues eating this product. However I would like a non-biased nutritionist standpoint on what is the recommended amount of protein for the diet, are there dangers of higher protein diets over 30%, and are there harmful effects of going grain free such as the statement of urinary PH changes and stone formation. My current veterinarian has recommended we transition to Royal Canin Labrador. I do notice several byproducts and grains in this formula label when compared to the Nulo. Any thoughts or recommendations regarding either of these products would be greatly appreciated as this process is quite confusing and we simply want to provide good nutrition for our dog that will not be harmful later in life. Thank you. Brandon.
  • 1) 'I would like a non-biased nutritionist standpoint on what is the recommended amount of protein for the diet. 'Generally most adult dogs do very well on 20-30% protein DMB diet. NRC and AAFCO recommend at 8% and 18% respectively using a high quality protein source, i.e., excellent amino acid profile. The marketing rhetoric has driven the protein levels in food to extremes which are not environmentally sustainable, so that too will take a 180 degree turn eventually. 

     2) 'are there dangers of higher protein diets over 30%.' None documented to date.

     3) 'are there harmful effects of going grain free such as the statement of urinary pH changes and stone formation.' Yes high protein (not necessarily grain free) lower urine pH which turns the grass yellow and IF the dog should catch a UTI or inherently was going to form a stone anyway, then it will form. Low pH does not cause a UTI, does not prevent UTI and does not cause stones if the constituents of the stone are not in the urine.

     4) Despite the blather on the web, there is no substantive reasons to avoid a products from a reputable company (Royal Canin being one) simply b/c it contains a by-product. Some by products are the most nutritious.

     No dog food product can be properly assessed by reading the label - that is not what the label was designed to do. Most self-proclaimed experts and those with made-up pet food rating systems based on the label are delusional and driving the rest of us to tear our hair out because the label information is not the way to evaluate or rate a dog food. Like using an adjustable wrench to take out a screw ... Who does that ????

     Try to differentiate statements made for marketing vs scientific reasons, and if it's too good to be true ... it probably is.

  • I have a 9 year old maltese/yorkie breed.
    During his younger years my dog Louie itched for some reason.He was not tested for allergy but the vet suggested not to feed my dog chicken but feed him lamb or venison which I did. I have been feeding him dry foods which is lamb in the morning and home cooked lamb for dinner. I don't buy canned foods because I don't like how it smell. His food is cooked very well and scoops out the fat just like our home cooked meal. It has mixed vegetables (carrots, sweet potato, 10% of oatmeal or rice, green peas, broccoli or beans, no salt. How do I know if my dog is getting a balanced diet. He is about 16 lbs.
  • The diet as you have described it is not complete or balanced. 
    If your pet has no medical issues other than needing to avoid chicken, 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 “See all ingredient options” to see all of our food options or one of several specific diet types (high or low calorie, etc.). 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!

  • is science diet a good alt. to c/d by hills my dog was just operated on for stones and dr wants her to eat c/d by hills is there something cheaper that i can buy also what type of treats can she eat her name is roxy
  • I would suggest that the Science Diet product is not specifically designed to prevent crystals and/or stones.

    Depending on the stone type, the Prescription Diet line c/d has been specifically designed, tested and has been shown to help prevent crystal formation.

    The additional $$ paid for the food has been shown to decrease your overall medical costs related to dealing with crystals or stones.

    The only question when b/c it is a 'pay me now' or 'pay me later' scenario with stones.

    Again the best web site is

  • My dog just had bladder stones removed and the vet prescribed "prescription food" for urinary health. I have compared the ingredients with regular dog food. Is prescription food better? Also is Raw food any better?
  • Raw is never better for stone prevention.
    Yes the prescription diets that prevent stone formation work in such that reading the label and/or comparing the ingredients DOES NOT tell the whole story:
    Do not waste your time reading the ingredient list. The dog food Advisor may have time on his hands for such a folly - most of do not.

    The type of diet and the features you are looking for all depends on the stone type.
    An excellent web site for canine and feline stones and crystals is
  • We have an 11 month old black lab. A few months back he had giardia and after he completed his treatments & had negative samples still had softer stools especially at night. At the vets recommendation switched his food from Fromm Large Breed puppy to a sensitive skin & stomach (American Natural Premium). His stools are better than before but his gas is enough to clear a room & his stools have a very strong odor. He has had negative stool samples so I'm not concerned about that. His food has always had chicken and am wondering if chicken could be contributing to his loose stools & gas/stool strong odor & if you have any recommendations. Although the American Natural Premium is not a puppy specific formula & he's almost a year do we need to feed him a large breed puppy since I know labs still are still growing after a year. Thank you.
  • At this age you can feed a large breed adult food.
    Odds are very good the current food contains soybean which does give some dogs flatulence.
    If you read the label and there is a soybean product listed, then try a large breed adult food with no soybean noted in the ingredient list
  • I am considering buying whole small Salmon or Arctic Charr fish for my Dogs to eat as occasional snacks as a treat.
    The product is whole fish that was previously frozen and then dehydrated and packaged for sale. I have a few friends that buy these treat for their dogs (and cats) and they find that their animals LOVE it. Would love your opinion. I am focusing on fish for Omega-3 benefits. Humans loves it, my pets should too.

  • Omega 3 fatty acids may not be viable after dehydrating the product, and certainly not at the dose recommended for therapeutic action.

    If fish is fit for human consumption (cooked)  - OK
    If not fit for human consumption (not cooked), you run the risk of giving your pet a salmon parasite.
    Salmon Poisoning Disease is a potentially fatal condition seen in dogs that eat certain types of raw fish.
    Freezing and dehydration may not kill the Salmon parasite called Nanophyetus salmincola.

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