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  • What are the best food ingredients to look for and give to my Cavalier King Charles, 7yrs, spayed female, with chronic UTIs (just this past year) and, with the last culture 2 wks ago, crystals? I have read so many conflicting reports it's mind boggling; i.e., hi protein/low protein, no vegies/well balanced, control levels of magnesium, phosphorus and calcium, canned food/dry food, etc. The specialist we went to 2 wks ago recommended changing her diet to Hills Rx cd Multicare. This is making me crazy because it's TERRIBLE food. I'm one of those owners who totally believes in GOOD dog food. Prior to changing her diet to this crap she was on Primal frozen chicken nuggets (raw). The dog food industry has advanced so much that I can't believe there isn't an alternative to Hills or Royal Canin. This says to me that it's quite possible that her diet DOES NOT need to be changed... which some people do subscribe to. Please help. Thank you.
    p.s. She's also on a cranberry supplement and a probiotic supplement. I also give her raw goats milk with the dry food.
  • IF the crystals are struvite, yes dietary levels of protein, phos and magnesium can help minimize the formation. No diet can prevent UTI's. If the crystals are of a different type, then the nutrients of concern to be changed are a different set.
    You are confusing the veterinary market with the over the counter (otc) dog food market. The otc market has to abide by AAFCO nutrient levels. The veterinary market specializes and it allowed to deviate from those AAFCO minimums in order to manage specific diseases. So the two markets have very different purpose and cannot be compared to each other.
    Contrary to what Blue Buffalo and the DogFoodAdvisor would have you believe, a food CANNOT be properly evaluated by reading the ingredient list. 
  • My 8 yr. old, otherwise very healthy, active, 40 lb. shelter dog is allergic to many foods. We have him on Honest Kitchen Base and home cooked skinless turkey breast and rice. Honest Kitchen states that the base contains 6g crude fat and 337 kcal per 1 cup that is recommended for 30-50 lb. dogs, and we add 2 cups turkey per day with about 1/2 c. of cooked rice. Since the base mix contains coconut and is tolerated, I have added 1 tbs. of shredded coconut per day to increase the fat. This is the first combination of food that doesn't leave him gassy, itchy and uncomfortable. He has been on the base mix over 2 months. The turkey is ongoing for about 2 years. He did not do well with salmon, pork lamb white fish and is extremely allergic to chicken. Here is the problem: He isn't getting enough calories per day and I think not enough fat. I am hoping that you will be able to solve this by better balancing what he is being fed.
  • If the dog is losing weight, then yes I would agree with you.
    Honest Kitchen is not the best food for a highly allergic dog.
    You would be better off with a simple single carb and protein source well balanced with a non-allergenic supplement.
    If the dog has no other medical issues, then you do not need me to individualize that recipe and can use our Homemade diet  recipe module for healthy pets. I would suggest selecting one of the "high calorie" recipe options. There is one using 15% fat turkey.

    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, ect). 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.
  • We are getting a Siberian Husky puppy in 3 weeks and are looking for advice from someone who actually knows what they are talking about. We want to find THE best dry "puppy" food to start him out with. Our last husky was fed Purina Puppy Chow and then Beneful dry dog food and had formed fatty tissue lumps in three places on his body. After researching the problem we found out that it was because of the Beneful dog food. And although they were nothing serious after some more research we switched to Rachel Ray's Nutrish to keep from having more problems later. So, the question is: "What is THE best dry "puppy" food?
  • There is no one BEST dog food for all dogs. Too many individual dog characteristics hence it is not even possible to make ONE BEST dog food as some features are contradictory.
    BTW: no dog food cause benign fatty tumors (lipomas) on dogs.
    At this point, the best suggestion is too feed a large breed growth product that has passed an AAFCO Feeding Trial.
    Rachel Ray's Nutrish (misspelled) would not be appropriate:
    1) does not do AAFCO feeding trials
    2) does not offer a Large breed growth formulation
    3) does not make their own food to be best of my knowledge
    4) does not employ veterinary nutritionist
  • My question is this...since "low carb" worked so well in taming my cat Marlowe's diabetes, wouldn't it also work well in preventing diabetes in my other healthy kitties?
  • Good question and a logically deduction but the answer is  no.
    Feeding a low Carb diet does not prevent diabetes … but feeding a low carb diet does help to manage diabetes.
    Just as eating a high salt diet does not cause heart disease but eating a low salt diet is helpful in managing heart disease.
    The research as shown that overweight cats (the excessive body fat) does increase their risk of diabetes, so to help prevent diabetes, the recommendation is to keep your cats at optimal body weight.
  • I have a 20 week old black lab. What is the best food to feed him?
  • I would suggest a Large breed growth food from either Purina, Hill's or Royal Canin given there are no regulatory requirements for such a food but each of these companies have done and continue to do original research on preventing developmental bone disease in large breed dogs.

  • What is the definition of "premium" or "super premium" dog foods? Are these products more healthy because there sure do cost more? Is the cost justified?
  • “Premium” is defined legally in other countries but not in the USA, so it is a buyer beware market in the USA.

    Usually it refers to products with uncommon or novel ingredients, e.g., fish oil but the product is not nutritionally different based on what we all know as the basic nutritional needs of dogs and cats, e.g., NRC 2006 or AAFCO 2015. These products may meet the additional requirements of “natural”, “organic” or contain nutraceuticals (glucosamine), probiotics, prebiotics, etc which may be nice to have but are not known to be essential for canine or feline longevity. 

    Do you drive a Jaguar or a ride a bicycle to work - both get your there!

    Yes the price is typically 30% higher. It that justified? Yes because to add these perceived benefits does raise the cost of production. To be labelled “natural” requires certain preservatives, “organic” requires certification, “non-GMO” ingredients are more difficult to obtain. 

    Is the price justified in that the dog or cat food is “more healthy”? This has not been definitively determined. So the premium products contain more “nice to have ingredients” (probiotics, chondroprotectives) that are not known to be essential for life or cater to a particular lifestyle issue (organic, non-GMO).  Basically these added features are called "humanizing" the ingredient list for those who have the dollars to spend.

    I would suggest this article:
    Online pet food reviews: where’s the science? by Debbie Phillips-Donaldson  June 30, 2015.
  • hi - i realize i have asked many questions about dog food and my yorkie/chihuahua but i really need to be set straight on feeding her royal canin - so many people have told me that this food is not very good at all because of the corn and grains in it and she should be fed a grain free food or raw food (which she doesn't like and won't eat) - imo she doesn't need a grain free food. she doesn't have any allergies and grain free foods are high in protein and fat and calories, and she's not active enough to burn off those calories and she ends up gaining weight no matter how less of it i feed her - she does get her 4-20 min walks/day. - i like royal canin because the calories are lower as well as the protein and fat. but people just don't get it when i explain this to them. they go all funny on me because the food has corn in it and she will end up with gastrointestinal issues when she gets older (she's nearly 7 yrs) - one guy accused me of abusing her because i feed royal canin (i wonder what he would have said or done if i told him i also feed purina smartblend for small dogs) - i am really sorry to be a bother to you but i really need to be de-confused. also royal canin is really the only dry food and also the their wet food that she likes and will eat without any fuss
  • I understand it is easy to become confused... however, I see NO reason not to feed Royal Canin ... the flap about grains and corn is physiologically incorrect and it NO reason by which to select a dog food. I have found the people screaming the loudest - know the least, so take a deep breath and feed your dog what she does best on b/c there is NO one best dog food for all dogs.

  • Hello. I have a seven year old labradoodle who has suffered with arthritic joints from a young age. She has recently had a total hip replacement and has her second one due in September. Unfortunately she also has two bad elbows that we will review for treatment once she has recovered from the second hip replacement. I feel it is very important to feed her as good a diet as I can. She is a stable 31kg ( having lost 7kg in the last year) and currently is on Acana light and fit, which is rated 5/5 by "allaboutdogfood". It contains, amongst many other things, chondroitin 900mg/kg fats, 2.5% omega 6 fats and 0.3mg DHA fatty acid. In addition to this she has 3 Yumove advance capsules and 2 Omega 3 capsules (1000mg fish oil, total omega 3 EPA &DHA 300mg, each capsule)daily. My vet and the specialist she sees have both recently suggested the Hills jd reduced calorie diet. Whilst I understand that it will have the correct combination of joint supporting supplements at the correct levels and in the correct ratios, I can't get past the fact that the actual food itself would appear to be rubbish, only scoring 1.7/5. If I were to continue with her current food are there any other supplements I should add to be in the same ball park or is the combination and ratios of supplements so sensitive that in order to work successfully it would be worth putting up with a much poorer overall nutrition? Or have I been overly influenced by the nutritional reviews on 'allaboutdogfod" and the differences it makes to a dogs health is overhyped? Would greatly appreciate your advice. Many thanks
  • Whoever rated Hill's j/d a 1.5/5 clearly does not know how to evaluate pet foods properly. See Simply ignore those who "evaluate" pet foods by the ingredient list - it is a complete waste of time and the “conclusions” are nonsense.

    You cannot add enough supplements to any food to match the EPA and DHA in j/d. Given the independent clinical success of this diet and the stark metabolic changes noted in dog fed this diet, I highly recommend it. Have used it in several clinical cases for weight loss needed due to joint and bone pain. I would not hesitate to put any dog on this diet.

    I would suggest this article:
    Online pet food reviews: where’s the science? by Debbie Phillips-Donaldson  June 30, 2015.


  • Just a quick question. Will it be disruptive to my dog's digestive system to change the recipes around ? Do you recommend sticking with one over time then slowly moving to another...Just want to be sure. Thanks!
  • If your dog has a history of GI upsets then I would use a 10 day period to transition between diets. Disontinue the transition at the first sign of GI discomfort and go back to the old food.
    Day 1,2,3:  25% new food to 75% old food
    Day 4,5,6: 50% to 50%
    Day 7,8,9: 75% to 25%
    Day 10:     100% new food

    If your dog has no history of GI upsets, then you could use the 4 day transition schedule. Disontinue the transition at the first sign of GI discomfort and go back to the old food.

    Day 1: 25% new food to 75% old food
    Day 2: 50% to 50%
    Day 3: 75% to 25%
    Day 4: 100% new food
  • 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.
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