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  • Good Morning,
    I make healthy natural grain free dog treats, and im looking for a service where by i can submit my few ingredients and get a vets opinion and hopefully approval on them - can someone help?
  • Sorry Vets do have any "approval" authority on products so that would be meaningless, and if the product is a "treat" then it need not be nutritionally complete or balanced by a nutritionist.

  • I've done a lot of research on home cooked meals before I started cooking for my 2 dogs and I believe this is a balanced diet but want an approval from a board certified vet nutritionist. This is for two (2) 75 pound dogs. One is a pit bull male and other is a golden retriever male (both are neutered and active dogs). This is just ONE of the meals I make for them and I switch off protein between ground beef (80/20%), chicken breast, salmon, and tilapia.

    Beef stew: Total 24 servings in a pot (both dogs eat breakfast and dinner)
    Ground beef: 7lbs
    Sweet potatoes: 1lb
    Kale : 1/2 pound
    Butternut squash: 2.3 lbs
    Broccoli: 1lb
    Yellow squash: 1.2lbs
    Beef liver: EACH dog gets 5oz per week
    Plain greek yogurt : 1 table spoon per meal
    2 cups of quinoa
    3 cups of peas and carrots.
    2 1/2 teaspoon flaxseed meal a day PER dog
    3 boiled eggs per dog per week

    Stew contain same ingredients and just switching off protein. ONE week beef and next Chicken. Salmon and tilapia every other day. I also switch off greek yogurt for eggshell powder once in a while. I would really like a breakdown in percentage for protein, fat, fiber, and moisture for the above beef stew recipe. If there is a fee associated to obtain this info please let me know.
  • Sorry .... the recipe is not nutritionally complete or balanced as you have described it.
    It is more complicated to make than need be and so more expensive in terms of $ and time while still not meeting their need.
    You could make the recipe and send it off to a lab. The minimum profile you are suggesting costs ~$50 but what about the other 25 required nutrients? The full AAFCO nutrient profile (vitamins, minerals, etc) is $2500 per sample.

    Yes we could recreate it for you using software and show you where the deficiencies, excesses and imbalances are but then do you know how to fix those? We could do that and fix the problems in a Nutrition Consult ($400)
    If your pet has no medical issues, 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 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.

  • I would like to start feeding my dog a homemade recipe but I have some concerns. The recipe (see below) is designed for a diabetic dog and my dog is NOT a diabetic. She's a 7-8lb terrier mix and super active. I heard of this recipe when I was dog sitting for a friend's dog who has diabetes and when I learned of all the healthy natural ingredients I was sold. My concerns are:
    • 28 cups water
    • 1 bag (4 pounds) chana dal
    • 2 bags (1 pound each) brown lentils
    • 2 bags (1 pound each) black-eyed peas
    • 2 bags (1 pound each) green split peas
    • 1 pound pearl barley
    • 5 pounds boneless chicken breasts
    • 1 pound ground turkey
    • 1 can (29 ounces) Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin
    • 2 bags (16 ounces each) frozen broccoli cuts
    • 2 bags (16 ounces each) frozen crinkle cut carrots
    • 2 bags (16 ounces each) frozen green beans
    • 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach
    . Stir in pumpkin.

    -Is this a well-balanced diet for a dog WITHOUT diabetes?
    -Should I substitute anything of the ingredients or add-in brown rice?
    -What would be an ideal serving size?
    -Should she still eat some form of dog food? Dry or wet?
  • -Is this a well-balanced diet for a dog WITHOUT diabetes?  NOT for any dog.
    -Should I substitute anything of the ingredients or add-in brown rice? All of them are not needed, the recipe is nutritionally unbalanced (diabetic or not). It will be very high in fiber - not harmful but not needed by a healthy dog and possibly a small dog would lose weight on this due to gut fill before meeting nutrient needs. Some of these ingredients are associated with causing DCM in dogs. Cooking in 20 qt with high heat will destroy and/or dilute some vitamins. It is a bad recipe as you have described it.
    -What would be an ideal serving size?  One would have to calculate the caloric density first which is not worthwhile because until the recipe was first nutritionally complete or balanced.
    -Should she still eat some form of dog food? Dry or wet? Both or either ... I would advise not feeding this homemade diet.

  • My 5 yr old male Scottie has been on Apoquel since he was a few months old due to contact allergies. He was fine with Nature's Recipe Grain free Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin all that time but about 10 mos ago his pH was 8 and the Vet put him on Hill's c/d. Within 2 weeks his itch level went from almost none to extreme. This continued for months with the Vet saying it was his allergies not the food which does have grain. I test him at home and his pH has been averaging 7.0. I researched other food that is grain free and emailed the companies for the target urine pH on their foods. Several are close to what I read Hill's c/d is. Hill's will not correspond with me at all so I could not get their input. But then again, why would they want to recommend anything but their own Vet food? My Scotty has been on Halo Grain Free Turkey, Turkey Liver & Duck dry food for 2 weeks now and his itchiness has decreased dramatically. From what I have read, diets with lower protein content & meats that produce less proteinate are better for him. But I haven't found any list of what type of meat is best. I am just trying to be an advocate for my pup and provide something that addresses keeping the pH level normal without making his itchiness worse.
  • If your Scottie is on Apoquel you are correct he is being treated for contact allergies known as atopy i.e. molds, mildew, etc. things in his environment. The increase in his itching/allergies with the diet change to Hill’s c/d was most likely not due to the grains as dogs are more likely to be allergic to the protein-carbohydrate complexes in the diet. When diet ingredients are processed, we believe the proteins structure may be changes and there can be reactions between proteins and carbohydrates to form antigens called Maillard reaction products or MRPs. Research in human food allergies are looking at this because we see individuals that have say a peanut allergy and they are fine eating an unprocessed peanut with no issues. When the peanut is processed into a cookie, this is problematic, and the person will show signs of food allergies. We are also learning that food and environmental allergies do overlap in human allergies and “may” to some degree in dogs  There are other components in the pet diet that may exacerbate environmental allergies. His allergy response may have been impacted by the type and level of fatty acids, antioxidants, etc., but again, true grain allergies which are common in people are less likely in our dogs. We still agree though, it is important for you to find a diet that at least does not seem to worsen his allergic response.  


    As far as his pH being 8 – urine pH can vary throughout the day. A single urine pH of 8 in a normal healthy, asymptomatic dog would not concern us unless your dog has had some history of urinary tract disease i.e. urinary type stones called uroliths. We would also be surprised to find over the counter diets (OTC) that actually consistently maintain a urine pH because these diets are being fed to healthy dogs and not used to manage disease states such as uroliths. Very low protein diets can cause urine to be more dilute, but again these types of diets are for managing lower urinary disease in patient or other medical conditions. So unless your dog has specific medical issues besides the environmental allergies or atopy, we would recommend finding a diet that does not seem to step up his allergic response, but realize that the ‘grain free’ aspect of the diet is more for marketing to us humans than it is a necessity in most dogs. If for some reason you do have concurrent medical issues i.e. atopy, uroliths, etc. and can't find an appropriate OTC or vet diet that is suitable for your dog we would recommend considering a homemade formulation.  

  • I have a 6 yo German Shepherd (male, neutered, 90lbs). He tore his CCL in January and was advised he was not a good candidate for surgery due to x-rays revealing hip dysplasia in the same leg, in addition to his age. We initially treated with pain/inflammatory meds and CBD oil and now CBD oil only to avoid long term affects of the pain meds. At the same time, he was diagnosed with a UTI and crystals in his urine (drinks plenty H2O and always has access to plenty). After antibiotics and the Hills Rx Science Diet Metabolic + Urinary, Weight + Urinary Care, both conditions are now clear. I consulted with my vet about his diet regarding the Rx diet for the rest of his life vs a home cooked diet. Partially due to the cost at $80/bag per month in addition to the cost of feeding my 60lb English Creme Retriever (4yo) and 50lb Boxer (7yo). But mostly wanting to make sure I'm doing the best I can do to give all 3 what they need for their best health/life possible. In November, I started them all on Nutramax Cosequin Maximum Strength (DS) Plus MSM Chewable Tablets (GS 2/day, others 1/day). In January, I started them all on a cranberry supplement as well (GS 1500mg/day, others 500mg/day, powder in food dissolved w/water). They have always had Coconut Oil with dinner. Prior to the Rx diet, I was feeding them all Victor Chicken Flavor w/grain then switched 6 months ago to the Performance formula for the Glucosamine (it is the best quality/volume for what I am able to afford to my knowledge and review regularly). GS and Retriever get 1 Dentastix per day, Boxer gets 1 OraVet per day (gingival hyperplasia). Their treats are limited, but are usually from Zuke's and Merrick. I used to give Optima 365 daily, but due to financial circumstances, had to cut back on many things. I plan to start that again soon as well. All 3 are healthy, no medical conditions/allergies and are at healthy weight.

    My question is - 1) Is anything I am giving them likely to cause crystals/stones or other problems for any of them? 2) Is the Rx diet vs home cooked diet better for the GS? and other two? I plan on monitoring the Ph regularly at home. 3) My family raises/processes our own beef. The beef are fed 100% organically, no steroids, etc. and is extremely lean. I never have to drain any fat from the hamburger. If I go with a home cooked diet, will using this hamburger be a problem? 4) Any other suggestions? Anything I am missing? I apologize for the length. My own research just goes round and round. Thank you very much!
  • The GS dog alone is a complicated case and will take some time to sort out, and then you have other dogs to consider.  At this point, I recommend a phone conversation with one of our nutritionists. The goal of this service is to help pet owners determine the most appropriate nutrition plan to meet the needs of their pet or household of pets. There are several dietary options for most nutritional problems. The nutritionist will explain, discuss and help you decide on the next best option for moving foward. We hope this to be a more efficient and cost-effective line of consultations for pet owners.  
  • I have 3 cats 15,8,4 yr old my cat has allergies so hey were on blue buffalo and wet can food fancy feast all their life now I switched them to Fromm a good food grain free surf and turf had salmon and chicken and duck now I see my other two itch and found out my 2 line this food my 8 Yr old liked it now doesn’t I’m getting overwhelmed maybe u shouldn’t of done this but reading ingredients fancy feast is not good either but going back to the Fromm there allergic to something asked my vet took my oldest cat last week said Fromm is a good food cause. He feeds his dog that but with cats I see they can be allergic to chicken and fish what food out there is good grain free I can’t be switching no more aand I have to see if there eating I work 8hrs I need a food that they will like please can you help ?
  • We do offer now a phone conversation with a nutritionist about your cat or cats and, if you would also like a list of commercial options, we can provide you with a written report/list after the phone consult and a review of the pet’s medical record. There are several dietary options for most healthy pets and the nutritionist will explain, discuss and help you decide. The phone conversation service fee is $200 for 30 minutes, and a copy of that commercial product report will be sent to your primary care veterinarian for their medical records.

  • I have 2 cats Tonkiese and they just completd 10 years old. They was eating dry food Royal Canin Rabit and 3 years ago I started to give to them From Rabit and Duck. As can food I was given weruva Chi men and Turkey. One month ago they started to vomit frequently in two weeks 10 times. I took one of them to veterinarium and he said for me to give to them just can food. I started today and I have weruva . But my questian is, is can food enough ? The can food has everything they needed? Is weruva the best can food for cats? Do they have all nutrients they needed? What do you recomend? Thank you.
  • If the can label states the product the' nutritionally complete and balanced for adult cats', then yes.
    If you cannot find this information on the label, then you can all the company or change to another product.
    If the cats continue to vomit regularly, yes we can provide a nutritional recommendation in concert with your veterinarian.
  • I’m at a loss as to why such advice on Raw food. I have had 2 dogs on raw for the past 10 years and have friends doing same for many years and we never had issues with salmonella. Furthermore, why a warning on raw food only when there many (in fact much more) documented recall cases of salmonella with kibble as well as many treats sold. An animal’s stomach is made to handle a certain amount of bacteria from raw foods that humans cannot, and when raw is handled properly I don’t see how any vet can say that raw is a danger to any dog or cat for that matter. In fact barn cats eat mice, no one cooks them! More nutrition and water in a dead mouse then anything kibble can offer! We had many barn cats living on mice and none of them dead from salmonella.
  • You are mixing apples and oranges, and cherry picking the facts to fit your viewpoint.
    Here are 4 unbiased sources of information, i.e, not one of them sell dog food of any kind.

    1.      There is a white paper on the topic in our library.
    2.      See the FDA info at  
    3.      See AVMA info at  
    4.      See AHHA info at  

    "We had many barn cats living on mice and none of them dead from salmonella." 
    You do not understand where the salmonella comes from in our meat supply - true fresh kills are not contaminated. The meat in the grocery is not a fresh kill.
  • 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.

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