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  • I have 2 field bred active healthy golden retrievers whom I have been feeding whole raw food from a reputable supplier locally since last May. They are doing well & upon visiting our vet she suggested that their diet may not be balanced & I might find more information here. One does have an elevated ph in her uruine but has had one urine infection prior to feeding raw and had no infection present with the elevated ph level. We treated with a round of antibiotics for precaution which she has just finished today. Do you have suggestions.
  • Simple.
    Ask your reputable local supplier if the diets you are feeding meet the "AAFCO adult maintenance" claim.

    If they say 'yes'  - you are ok to feed the products from a nutritional stand point.

    If they say 'no' or 'no but' or have no idea what you are asking them  ....... . you should be concerned.  

    High meat diets as most raw products are will cause a very low pH highly concentrated urine.

  • Hello I have a dilemma (at least in my mind I do). I have a dog that cannot tolerate poultry in his food. When he eats food containing poultry or poultry by-products, his belly becomes inflamed and rashy, his head develops sores, his muzzle gets red, and then he starts to throw up. Repeatedly until there is blood in it. The vet pinned it as food intolerance/allergy. I discovered that he does very well on fish based food. For a couple years I fed Purina Pro Plan Sensitive with salmon and also Purina One Sensitive with salmon. The dog did great! I didn't even realize how bad his hair and skin had become until it improved. No more vomiting, all was well. Well, about 6 months ago, he decided he no longer liked the Purina. I figured maybe they had changed the formula and set out to find another fish based food. He will not eat any fished based food anymore, regardless of manufacturer, regardless of whether it is salmon or whitefish, or any other. So I have tried lamb, beef, venison foods. You name it. Different companies, different formulas. He might eat a particular brand for a few days or maybe even a week, but then decides no more. Any time I reintroduce a food with poultry in it, he loves it. but then all the problems start again. He loves Pedigree and Purina Dog Chow. But there's poultry. He wants to eat poultry! I have recently discovered he loves Purina Dog Chow Healthy Morsels. He really likes it. There is no poultry in this blend. But here is my dilemma. I have no problem with the corn and wheat and even soy. What I DO have a problem with is the propylene glycol, sugar, and phosphoric acid. Not to mention the fact that there is so little meat in it. I really like Purina products over all, but this one worries me. I have a much larger food budget and really could buy any other food if he would just eat it (except the $80/bag stuff, I do have 4 large dogs). Do you have any other suggestions? Could this food really be healthy for him long term? I feel like this is just so bottom of the barrel when he could be having better. I don't want to go the home made route. I have 4 dogs all between 60-80 lbs and that would just be out of control with regards to both time and cost. Thank you!
  • Understandable ..... and honestly this is my suggestion.

    Call the 800 Purina number and specifically ask the person why "propylene glycol, sugar, and phosphoric acid" are in that food.

    Listen to the answer, ask more questions if the response is lacking in your opinion.


    If the answer is reasonable to you then stick with the food.

    If the answer is not sufficiently reasonable to you in the end then I may be able to help you find another food.


    Do not read/listen to what some self-proclaimed pet-food-guru with a web page said.

    Ask the manufacturer directly why those ingredients are in the food.


  • I was wondering what the nutritional requirements would be for a 3 month old 30 pound Great Dane male puppy. To be more specific I am looking for the recommended percents of protein, fat, fiber, carbohydrates, calcium, vitamins, omegas, phosphorus etc.

    - Thank you
  • You can find the current recommendations in the:L
    1.  2016 AAFCO manual
    2. 2006 NRC Nutrient Requireemnts of Dogs and Cats

    The AAFCO manual is far less expensive than the NRC and probably all you would need if you are familar enough with nutritional terminology and calculations.
  • I expect to get a Cattle dog pup in about 4 weeks. Researching puppy food and after many hours I am totally confused. So much information is contradictory. Breeder has them transition to Purina puppy chow and I wanted to upgrade a bit. Thinking about Royal Canin medium breed puppy food and would appreciate your thoughts.
  • Purina Puppy Chow is a great product but if you think otherwise then at best I should direct you to:
    Royal Canin does make some very good products also.
  • I am looking for a reputable resource for pet safe human foods and the benefits/nutrients they can offer. I know the internet is not a reliable resource for this information in general and I cannot seem to find a consolidated list anywhere. Thank you in advance!
  • Pet is a pretty broad term - I will assume you mean dogs or cats.

    I know of no such list. There are over 8,789 foods found in the USDA human food database ( with their nutrient content as we currently know it.

    Most (not all) of these can be fed to dogs and cats, but please see animal poison control site for updates on foods that should not be fed.

  • Are there any over-the-counter dry dog foods that help prevent tartar build-up? I know nothing will take the place of regular brushing but if there is an effective OTC product that helps I'd consider using it. My dogs currently eat Pro Plan. My 4 year old is probably going to need to have his teeth cleaned soon and even my 1 year old has traces of tartar on her molars, despite daily brushing.
  • For products independently evaluated to promote oral health, please see the products listed by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) at

  • My daughter's 3 yo Great Pyrenees/Husky mix. He recently had emergency gastric surgery due to intestinal narrowing/blockage. The Vet put him on Royal Cannin prescription diet for the "rest of his life". It has such a poor rating, with questionable ingredients that I would like suggestions for alternatives. She is happy to cook for him and would feel better not using this food.
    Thank you.
  • The rating systems of dog food on the web are bogus/made-up and pretty much useless except to make me laugh & cry at the same time.

    You should not base any important decision about pet foods based on these ratings.... Have you checked the credentials of the people offering those ratings?

    Ingredients have pros and cons - most of the information on the web about individual ingredients is also not true but if you have a specific ingredient in question, I can help you with the legal definition of that ingredient.

  • I am using a homemade diet for my cat containing rice protein powder, among other ingredients. Should I be concerned about arsenic in the rice powder?
  • You will have to contact the manufacturer about the arsenic content in the product you are using ... because the amount varies so widely, only they would know unless you want to have it analyzed yourself.

     Please note: that no official government (FDA, USDA) agency said the levels of arsenic in rice was toxic. In 2013, they simple said yes there is arsenic in rice, like many foods as it comes into the plant from the water and soil, AND we do not know the level at which toxicity should be set. 

     See this FDA article: and stay tuned.

  • I really am glad I have found your website. I find your information refreshing. I never did jump on the "grain free" band wagon, but have found myself starting to be swayed by all the "super foods" and "holistic" hype. I have decided to return to my original (for many years and through many dogs!) belief that the main stream dog food companies know what they're doing. My question is this.... while I definitely appreciate that any dog food that has been formulated to meet AAFCO standards will technically sustain a dog, aren't there still variations in how absolutely healthy a dog food is? Specifically, I wonder about the dog foods that contain sugar and high fructose corn syrup, etc. Isn't it better to feed a food without those things, even though dogs seem to love them? Also those semi moist foods just don't seem like they could be healthy to me. My dog loves the stuff and I can't bring myself to serve it! Thank you!
  • Aren't there still variations in how absolutely healthy a dog food is?

    Yes ... "healthy" is a subjective measure mostly although Vets can certainly measure certain metabolic parameters and for those we have "normal" ranges.

     Isn't it better to feed a food without those things, even though dogs seem to love them?

    There is nothing inherently wrong with corn in moderation so I am not concerned with it.

     If the semi moist product has a "meet or exceeds AAFCO complete and balanced for the adult dog" then nutritionally it is fine .....

    The ingredients are different in an effort to get that diff texture and shelf live, etc.

    Palatability is no measure of nutritional adequacy. 

  • I have a 4 yr old Maltipoo, she had an infection and was found crystals on her urine so the vet gave her some antibiotics and was prescribe to eat Royal Canin So food for life. She has been in this diet for a 1.5 yrs. I want to know if this the right diet for her, and this food has all the supplements that she needs. I read the ingredients and I am not sure about this decision Royal Canin So Uninary. I will really appreciate your help.
  • Yes it is the right diet recommendation.

    Yes it is a nutritionally complete diet.

    No supplements are needed.


    However, struvite crystals in the dog are caused by a bacteria.... the first line of defense is to eliminate and prevent UTIs.

    Diet can help but it is not the final answer .... Prevent UTI's is the most effective treatment.


    If this was a first and only time occurrence of an infection and crystals in a young dog, you may consider discussing other options with your vet.

    If this problem has happened more than 2-3 times, then I would suggest continuing to feed the SO diet.

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