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  • What ingredients are not suitable for dogs? I have read extendively about by-products, flavorings, corn etc. What are some of the top brands of dog food you recommend? I see names such as Orijen and Taste of the Wild mostly as top notch
  • There are no bad ingredients - there is bad information on the web for sure.
    There are no particularly good or bad ingredients but there are well made and poorly made dog foods.
    There is NO way to rate a dog food based on the ingredients list despite the number of self-proclaimed dog food rating web sites readily doling our advice to anyone who will listen.
    My preference is for Hill’s, Purina and Royal Canin because of their manufacturing techniques, quality control, they employ full time veterinary nutritionists, and they conduct original canine nutrition research in areas of great concern to pet owners. For these reasons, I do not think those companies you suggest would be "top-notch"
  • I understand that you do not recommend a raw diet, however, there is a business in our area that sells raw food and other "natural" products. I am curious as to your thoughts on their recipe they give to customers. Aside from possible parasites or bacterial contamination, is this recipe a balanced diet for all life stages? In particular, does this diet contain proper nutrients for a young puppy?

    20 # ground chicken
    10# other RMB (ground duck, rabbit, beef, lamb, etc)
    4# muscle meat (ground trachea / gullet, heart chunks, gizzard)
    4# organ meat
    4# tripe
    1 doz eggs with shells
    10 # vegetables
    2# blueberries if in season
    2 - 3 TBS minced garlic in the summer
    1 cup organic apple cider vinegar

    For this recipe she sells:

    10 # of Chicken Blend which is: Ground chicken frames with neck, chicken liver, chicken hearts
    20# of Special Blend #3 which is :Ground chicken frames with necks, ground beef, beef organs, beef heart
    4# Ground beef tripe with trachea, & gullet
    2# of Beef organ mix (beef heart, beef liver, beef kidney)
    10# of Northwest Naturals fruit & veggie (broccoli, sweet potato, carrot, romaine lettuce, apple, cranberry, blueberry.

    Mix all together in large plastic tub and freeze in smaller containers. When ready to feed, thaw and add fish oil, EBarf Plus, organic kefir or yogurt, coconut oil, digestive enzymes, goats milk and fermented fish stock.

    Also feed chicken wings & necks, duck & turkey necks, turkey wings, beef chunks, rabbit chunks, lamb breast etc. (It doesn't say how much to feed of this)

    Adult dogs - 2 - 3 % of body weight Puppies - 5 - 7 % of body weight
  • It would take several hours software work to correctly answer your questions.  You should ask the seller if she know the nutrient profile of this recipe as it compares with AAFCO growth requirements. If she gives you ANYHTING other than yes I have had it analyzed or checked by an Animal or Vet Nutritionist, then it is not.  To do so, would take several thousands of dollars to do correctly, and if she had spent that kind of $$$ on her product she would be most willing to tell and show you.

    As I glance through the ingredients .... I highly suspect the recipe is not complete or properly balanced, and so would caution anyone against feeding it until she demonstrated nutritional adequacy.

  • Hi there,

    I've rescued a 2y/o Chiweenie about 3 months ago and I am still going in circles about his diet.
    When we first got him we fed him Acana chicken (maybe 2-3 weeks). He started farting and burping and we soon changed it to Acana pork, (1 and a half months, approx) which worked for a while but then he seemed to not want to eat that anymore. We then switched to Acana lamb and he had straight up diarrhea. He was on the lamb food for 2 days. When we first took him to the vet - 3 months ago, they gave us a little bag of Royal Canin Dental (with chicken). After the 2 day lamb fiasco with the lamb food we gave him the Royal Canin and I kid u not his stool got better within a couple of hours (which I found really strange). We are on day 4 and he started farting again. He also scratches a lot and we found some hot spots that we are now treating with allergy medication (still trying to figure out if it is seasonal)
    Now I know you've heard this a 1000 times before but the reason why I tried Acana is because of the lack of grains and easy to read ingredients. Plus when I went back to the pet store, the ladies were rather aggressive towards Royal Canin - saying that corn makes dogs diabetic, that vets only suggest this food because they make money off of commissions and that it is just overall a not a good kibble.
    Any thoughts? Should I try Royal Canin with a different protein maybe - despite the fact that corn is the first ingredient on the list? Or maybe a different food altogether?
    Is there any good in doing with the kibble with the "easy to read ingredients"?

    I appreciate your help and congrats on the forum! I've read quite a bit already and it was very helpful!
  • Corn is unlikely the problem and does not cause any disease including DM.

    Most often with flatulence, they pet is reacting to (not allergic to) a carb source (usually soybean) and not the protein (meat) source.
    Most OTC food is contaminated with soybean inadvertently and so does not appear on the ingredient list.
    So changing from chicken, pork, lamb within the same manufacturer (obviously) did not change the offending ingredient.

    So to test this .... you will have to trial feed a food with a known guarantee of ingredients such as veterinary therapeutic diet designed for food allergic dogs.
    This way you know the carb source for sure and b/c it is veterinary therapeutic you do not have to worry about cross contamination at least during this food trial.
    Given it is a GI problem, you probably only have to test the food for 1-2 weeks to be certain.
    Given your vet has Royal Canin, try the Venison or Rabbit and Potato canned foods (not dry b/c it contains hydrolyzed soy proteins).

  • Hi. I have a 5 year old boxer that has been diagnosed with mast cell tumors. I've been reading a lot about raw food diets and believe this is the healthiest option for her right now since the nutrients have not been depleted due to the cooking process. Do you believe that a balanced raw food diet is superior to a dry dog food diet since it hasn't been cooked? How much nutrients does dry dog food have in it after it's been cooked and processed? Is it tested at all after being cooked to ensure the nutrients are still intact? I'm very confused since there is so much information on the internet. Also I was wandering what your opinion is on synthetic verses natural vitamins. Is one healthier for my dog than the other. Thank you.
  • Do you believe that a balanced raw food diet is superior to a dry dog food diet since it hasn't been cooked?  No .....  often said but never has been demonstrated

    How much nutrients does dry dog food have in it after it's been cooked and processed? The legally binding claim of a food being nutritionally complete and balanced is not only applicable to the day it was made but must also be true on the stated expiration date. So none is the answer.

     Is it tested at all after being cooked to ensure the nutrients are still intact? Yes the better dog foods are FED to adult as the sole food for at least 6 months under a veterinarian's supervision. All those have to be analyzed to prove the claim.

    Synthetic verses natural vitamins. Is one healthier for my dog than the other? No. It has been clearly demonstrate many times over that liver does not care if the vitamins came from a vegetable, fruit or synthetic compound as long as the form of the vitamin is usable. Natural ones are actually more dilute and some are bound up in fiber, which first must be removed before the vitamin is absorbed. So many times more of the natural form must be added to the diet and then the digestibility of the diet should be measured or fed to dogs for 6 months.

  • My daughter has a 5-6 month old Lab puppy. When she got the puppy she was eating dog food but the puppy had worms. Once given the dewormer from the vet, her puppy continued to have loose stool. My daughter has now been giving her puppy cooked rice, cooked chicken, and cooked carrots. In hopes to limit the loose stool. I am very concerned the puppy isn't getting a balanced diet. Her puppy is skinny, I can count the ribs and her fur doesn't look healthy like it did as a puppy. I am having a hard time trying to figure out what to say to her about her puppy & its diet. There is so much information out there about home made diets but it seems like you really need to know what & how much of something to give your puppy to make a balanced diet. Any suggestions on nutrition of a home made diet? Or how to switch the puppy back to dog food? Thank you!
  • There is NO creditable evidence the homemade is better than commercial. I feed my dog a commercially made food. You can feed the puppy a homemade diet but it has to be specifically formulated by a Vet Nutritionist for large breed growth. We can do that work if needed.

    If she wants to feed a good quality large breed growth dry food, then I suggest Hill’s, Purina or Royal Canin. These companies despite the rhetoric on the web, have done the original research work on large breed growing dogs, and have put that knowledge into their foods. Every other company slams them verbally but then copies their formulations.  

    It is confusing out there, because you do not have to be a trained nutritionist to voice an option about what to feed a dog …. So the best advice is to check the credentials of the person before following their advice.
  • Hi, can you please tell me if it is safe to feed my 65-70 pound, 7 year old neutered Weimaraner the following supplements? He has allergies (red, itchy eyes and ears) and hip dysplasia with arthritis. He takes Dasequin and Fish Oil capsules (1200 mg a day).

    Organic Hemp Hearts
    Chia Seeds (soaked in water)
    Turmeric Powder
    Ginger Root - fresh shaved
  • There are not nutiritonal supplements but herbals given for pharmacological reasons.
    Please contact Veterinary Botanical Medicine Assoc
  • What dry dog food do you recommend for my 1 year old (45 pound) goldendoodle?
  • I would suggest you go to: Just Right by Purina.

    You will have several options that are appropriate for your dog.
  • What is your opinion of the new Purina Pro Plan Bright Minds dog food? Is it any better than any other senior food in helping with cognitive dysfunction? And is there any point to feeding the other Bright Minds formula for dogs 1-7 years of age? Are senior formulas in general helpful or are they a gimmick? Thank you.
  • Specifically formulated senior foods like Purina Bright Mind and Hill's b/d do have clinical trials in older dogs put through behavioral and new learning tests. Some of this work as been independently published, but most not to my knowledge.
    In fact Hill’s b/s was formulated with human neurobiologist on the team and won the 2002 Innovation Award. I do not know about any other "senior" foods that have clinical trials demonstrating improved cognitive functions.

    Given there is no "senior" category defined by AAFCO or NRC, the food could therefore be whatever the "manufacturer" thinks a senior dog food should have in it. Some companies have nutritionists, some have vets but a few  innovative companies like HIll's, Purina and Royal Canin have AVMA Boarded Veterinary Nutritionists on staff.

  • I have put a down payment on a Sheltie. The breeder is pushing NuVet vitamins. They are filled with a long list of ingredients which I am wondering are toxic . Among some are: alfalfa, blue green algae, brewers yeast, cats claw,copper, evening primrose,iron, phosphorus,pine bark just to name a few. She says she's giving them to the puppies. My concern is how toxic are they. Based on my own experience with taking human vitamins, I myself have become overcome with toxic symptoms that force me off vitamins.
  • Chances are very good the product contains very low concentrations of nutrients, so probably of very little benefit to the dog.
    Toxicity is a different thing from nutrition. I suggest you go to and look up individual ingredients on their Animal Poison Control web page.

  • I have two female litter mates about a year old. One is normal weight but the other has turned into a ball. I am feeding them 2-1/2 cups of Max Cat Indoor Adult dry food daily and a 3 oz. can of wet food 4 days a week. The "ball" spends a lot of time going back to the dry food. I can't feed them separately, logistically and because I am away one or two nights a week during the summer (I use an auto feeder for dry food). Should I feed less dry food, hoping the normal girl will learn to get her share? Or cut out the wet food?
  • Canned food usually has more fat.
    Considered a timed feeder.
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