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  • I have a soon to be 6 yo female mixed breed (Rat Terrier and other working dogs). She was diagnosed with Stage 2 CKD. Creatinine was 1.7 in December 2018 and 1.7 in March 2019. In 2015 and through to now, her level rose from 1.2 to the 1.7. Her SDMA was as high as 18 over the last few years and was 15 in December 2018 and 15 in March 2019. All of her other values are normal, except she was also diagnosed with hypothyroidism and is now on Levothyroxine since last week (3/23/19). Her urinalysis in December 2018 was totally normal per the vet and concentration was good. Next urinalysis is 4/10/19. What food would you suggest for her? She's not particularly fond of just dry food. She was on Holistic Select Anchovy and Sardine that I mixed with Natural Planet wet chicken dinner and she ate that. I have read many articles written by various vets and the requirement to feed a low protein diet for dogs with CKD in moderate stage seems all over the map. Some say higher, good quality protein is better as long as you can lower the phosphorus so I am adding some dried crushed egg shells to her food. I was convinced to switch her to raw (Small Batch Turkey just in the last week) for the better quality protein. It does say balanced according AAFCO feeding guidelines. However, after reading your answers to other questions about kidney disease, I think I know what you are going to say, but I'm asking anyway. Any knowledge of Wysong Synorgum as a kidney diet mixed with some kind of wet food? Thanks for reading and hopefully answering my very long questions.
  • There recommended phosphorous level for dogs is less than that required by AAFCO. Sooooooooo, NO over the counter dog food can legally have the phosphorous concentration low enough to help a renal case. You cannot add something to the diet (eggshell) to lower the phosphorous concentration - it does not work like that.

    Protein is a secondary issue that should be adjusted based on other clinical signs associated with the renal disease. There is not one type of CKD, so dietary adjustment should be made based on the specifics the dog is showing and as it progresses. 

  • I have a nearly 3-year-old Lhasa Apso with food allergies. She constantly chews on her paws and now they are red in color. Our vet put her on a prescription diest (Hills) but we have three dogs who all have issues when it comes to mealtime. They like to eat out of each other's bowls and share food. Is there a food I can feed all three of them that will also deal with our dog's food allergy issues. Possibly an over the counter high-quality food? Cost is not an issue if it's the right food.
  • If there is a protein the dog is not allergic to and a commercial maintain dog food is available - yes. For example Rayne Kangaroo and sweet potato is a maintenance dog food, made cleanly without other protein contaminates, to which the one dog may tolerate. The only valid test for food allergy is feeding - not testing blood, hair, saliva or any other body tissue. Most OTC game meat or novel meat dog foods are either not a single protein or are contaminated with other proteins (not to be found on the ingredient list) so you cannot be sure of the protein source consumed by the allergic dog. So you have to select a pet food manufacturer that guarantees the product is clean. This has nothing to do with "quality". It has to do with manufacturing practices and intent to serve the food allergic dog.

  • Hello. Thank you for what you do. With so much hype in the dog food industry I am constantly second guessing myself as to what my dogs should be eating. My Frenchie has a very sensitive stomach and we have already had a formulated home cooked diet which in the end have him bloody diarrhea and vomiting so we went back to kibble. He is allergic to severa things based on allergy test and is on Royal Hydrokyzed kibble and wet food. My other puppy is on Pro Plan. I keep reading how horrible these foods are. I lost my female Frenchie at 4 year old for no reason and it was so horrible. She was always on the high end grain free kibble and now I am starting to believe some of these companies are not as good as they advertise. Any suggestions for brands?
  • It is hard to know who to trust and no one company is perfect all the time - in any sector of the market.
    However, I would have no immediate concerns if feeding a Royal Canin or Purina product.
    I feed several different Purina products to my dogs. I have been to the Royal Canin facilities and manufacturing plants ... and am confident they are doing the very best job possible.
    Not to say mistakes won't happen – the recent Hill’s recall is a very good reminder, that even the best of the best companies can make a mistake. But when they do, they own up to it, try to make it right and fix the problem.
    Small companies, although may be attractive b/c they are small and ‘personal’ are a far greater of a risk in my opinion. 

  • My dog is 9 and is having a large bladder stone removed... what is the best dog food I can use to prevent this from happening again ?
  • It all depends on the type of stone so be sure to have the stone analyzed. 

  • I have a male exotic shorthair. He was blocked at the age of 1 and was treated by flushing and hooking him up to a catheter. I was told he had to go on royal canin urinary s/o dry or wet for a minimum of 6 months. I had him on. Combination of wet and dry and after 6 months his tests were clean. I was advised to keep him on it. Aftee doing extensive research, noting the poor quality of ingredients in the food, I decided to feed him a high quality wet food diet. (Prior to his illness he was mostly on orijen dry with some wet). I also gave him the S/O dry at night.
    After 4 years I eventually decided to drop the S/O dry completely and keep him on wet food in the morning and a different high quality dry at night. Unfortunately, he mildly blocked again after 9 months and now he is back on s/o wet and dry.
    My problem with the food is that even though I measure out a 1/2can of wet in the AM and 1/4cup dry at night- he seems to be overweight. He is also shedding a lot and urinating way more. Is there nothing I can do to maintain his urinary health without feeding him this low quality prescription diet?
  • Your cat apparently needs a diet specifically formulated for FLUTD. Only a few companies do that well and some have lower calorie options. Increased urine output is desirable in preventing blockages - the more often the bladder is emptied, the better for him and you.


    "low quality" ingredients are not the or a problem in these prescription products. Ingredients in all pet foods are misunderstood by the many. Ingredient list mislabeling is occurring while exaggerating the horrors of competitor’s ingredients …. all in an effort to make the sale.


    How could the ingredients be so bad if your cat has not blocked in years and is gaining weight!

    If you doubt the ingredients, despite what your cat is showing you, then your understanding of the ingredients has come from less knowledgeable, inaccurate or untruthful sources.


    I would be horrified too if I read the junk on the web about pet food ingredients. I know better and empathize with pet owners agonizing over the mass confusion and mound of misinformation the internet has bought us - junk reads better than the reality. We must learn to check the credentials of the author before taking in any source of information.


    Basically you are questioning your food choice based on mountain of misinformation about the ingredients. Yet look at your cat!

  • I need to find a dry dog food for both, food sensitivities and bladder stones. Is this possible?
    I am currently giving her Royal Canin multifunction/ hydrolyzed protein and Urinary support.
    I don't feel Royal Canin is very good quality as the first ingredient is brewers rice, and salt and soy are in the first line, in ingredients list.
    Any advice?
  • That is the only dry dog food that is designed for both conditions. A canned food might be a better option for increased water intake.

    There is no problem with the ingredients (unless you believe the pure bunk on the web) as each ingredient has a specific purpose towards the end goal of preventing stones. Nutrition is not done by "feeling" but by knowing - it is a science and the plethora of bad information is making your choices more difficult than need be.

    You only need be concerned with “is the food nutritionally complete and balance and bioavailable”?
    Yes this food exceeds those expectations. 
  • Does anyone know a canine nutritionist on Long Island that will set up a good diet for my dog?
  • Please see
  • My vet prescribed Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets HA Chicken Flavor dry food for my dog who has occasional gastric problems. I have a problem with the top 3 ingredients being corn starch, hydrolized soy protein isolate, and partially hydrogenated canola oil preserved with TBHQ ( a known carcinogen ), as well as a few others. I have done a lot of online research on these ingredients and I'm not very happy with what I found. My questions are : 1. Is this a good food for dog. 2. Are these ingredients really as bad as they sound.
  • 1.      Is this a good food for dog?  I would have no concerns feeding to my dog if such a food trial was needed.

    2.      Are these ingredients really as bad as they sound? No ... all the ingredients used in the food are FDA and AAFCO compliant. 


    Remember discounting and fear mongering over ingredients by some pet food companies is a marketing ploy. If you cannot attract customers to your product, then dis the competitor’s product to the point of confusion. Then of course, unknowledgeable people repeat what they have read or heard, over and over again on the web, creates mass hysteria and now nobody is thinking for themselves.


  • All of my research says "Talk to your veterinarian regarding kidney diet for your K9". All the veterinarians want me to buy the canned kidney diet formula that they sell at their office. It is so processed and poor quality! Talking to your veterinarian about proper nutrition is like talking to your medical doctor about holistic health and nutrition for yourself.

    My dog is a 15 year old Chihuahua. His weight is normal and he has good dental hygiene. Additionally, he was having digestive issues and intestinal pain. All three veterinary clinics were not able to help me to get him healthy. They actually recommended that I give him Tums. I took matters into my own hands and introduced canine probiotics and digestive enzymes to his diet. In less than one week he had no symptoms and was eating like a champ. He no longer throws up and his stool is normal.

    None of the veterinarians here will help me regarding preparing food for my dog. Every time they recommended the canned formulas he got sicker and sicker. Right now I am giving him omega-3 oil chews, probiotics, Dr. Mercola's digestive enzymes, a multivitamin from the vet's office, grass-fed lamb or beef ( reduced portions), some egg whites with a little yolk, white rice, canned organic pumpkin, steamed zucchini or riced broccoli/ cauliflower, or green beans and collard greens. PLEASE help me with any suggestions!
  • To slow the progression of the renal disease which cannot be stopped, several studies have confirmed that lowering the phosphorous intake is important.
    NO over the counter commercial food is low enough in phosphorous to meet the current renal recommendations.
    Only a product sold through vets can legally be lower in phos; hence why vets carry certain pet foods or write a prescription.
    Please do not think ill of them - they are in fact providing you with a product that you could not otherwise obtain.

    So you should probably NOT be adding all those extra foods and supplements (
    probiotics, Dr. Mercola's  digestive enzymes, a multivitamin) which  add phosphorous and fed a diet appropriately lowered in phosphorous.
    You should determine the phos content of your diets b/c it does not appear to be nutritionally complete or balanced. 

  • I'm looking for someone to help me understand the importance of AAFCO feeding trials. First of all, even if I go to AAFCO's website, I cannot find a document that outlines what the trial entails. Nevertheless, opinions about it abound. The main thing that caught my attention is that it is only a 6 month trial on 8 young, healthy dogs, and only 6 of the 8 have to make it to the end of the trial. How does this translate into an accurate investigation as to whether an ingredient is being under or over-supplemented and whether there will be ill effects from more chronic ingestion of other, potentially toxic, ingredients? Thanks!
  • The full AAFCO feeding trial protocol is available in the AAFCO manual ($150). See
    We do offer phone consults ($300/hr) on such topics.
    Please let me know if you would like to proceed with a consult.
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