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Old 10-21-2007, 08:42 PM   #16
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Not feeding your dog or cat meat makes so little sense it boggles my mind.
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Old 10-21-2007, 09:46 PM   #17
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Next thing is people go to Africa to teach lions etc. not to eat antelopes and zebras.
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Old 10-22-2007, 04:57 AM   #18
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And chasing and catching chickens has a very high "woohoo! what fun!" factor for dogs. They run around crazily, squawk, flap their wings -- it's like party time for dogs.

sorry, too hard not to laugh at that! Though, if I caught my doggies chasing and harming chickens, I'd be horrified, even though, it's just a natural instinct.

Well, my kitty is a pescatarian... LOL She refuses to eat any meat except tuna or 'seafood' kitty food. She's got a fantastic shiny coat for it anyway, all those omega 3's
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Old 10-22-2007, 06:42 AM   #19
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IMO, this is true. Foods like Iams, Friskies, Pedigree, even Science Diet - basically whatever is found at Target and other grocery stores really have no business being pet food. [/url]
You put Hills Science Diet, and to an extent, Iams, in the same league as Friskies, et al? Science Diet is a veterinarian recommended brand here. Iams is more an overall better but still general branded food, but Science Diet is a premium cat and dog food which is not available in supermarkets and general pet departments. It's only sold in warehouse pet supplies and from your vet clinic itself over here.
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Old 10-22-2007, 08:49 AM   #20
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You put Hills Science Diet, and to an extent, Iams, in the same league as Friskies, et al? Science Diet is a veterinarian recommended brand here. Iams is more an overall better but still general branded food, but Science Diet is a premium cat and dog food which is not available in supermarkets and general pet departments. It's only sold in warehouse pet supplies and from your vet clinic itself over here.
SD is vet recommended here to as well, however it's not a premium food. It's considerably over priced considering the ingredients. I do not consider anything that contains corn, wheat, or soy to be anywhere near premium. I don't care how many people recommended or how it's priced, a food with these in the first line of ingredients is not premium: "Brewers Rice, Rice Flour, Ground Whole Grain Wheat, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Corn Gluten Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley..." Those are cheap/poor sources of protein at best, unhealthy fillers is more like it. Also, the protein levels are way below what I find acceptable for a performance dog. Out of 6 stars, Dog Food Analysis gives Science Diet 1 star. Generally, 3-4 stars is called premium and 5-6 starts is super premium. Before getting Kenya, I spent some time researching nutrition and getting opinions from some people that specialize in animal nutrition (a vet is not a nutritionist and is often not the best person to consult with specific questions regarding nutrition) and did a total overhaul of all of my pets' diets. My cats cannot go completely grain-free b/c grain-free food is actually TOO nutritious/dense for them and upsets their stomachs. Right now they are on Eagle Pack Holistic, which is cheaper than Science Diet (at least here) and FAR better. The dog is on food rotation to prevent allergies, meaning her food changes every 2-3 months and each new food contains a totally different protein and carb source than the previous (food A is chicken and rice, food B is salmon, beef, and potato, and food C is yet to be decided). Right now she is on a totally grain-free food. The other food in her rotation does contain rice, but has a high protein content and is super-premium food. The stores here do not carry it, but I found one store that carries another type of the same brand and they will order the kind I want whenever I want it. I wanted to switch, but she does best on this particular food (it's what she was eating before I got her).
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:01 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Liesje
I do not consider anything that contains corn, wheat, or soy to be anywhere near premium. I don't care how many people recommended or how it's priced, a food with these in the first line of ingredients is not premium: "Brewers Rice, Rice Flour, Ground Whole Grain Wheat, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Corn Gluten Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley..." Those are cheap/poor sources of protein at best, unhealthy fillers is more like it.
My dog now eats an organic dog food that contains no corn, etc. at all. I've had these concerns myself for a very long time, and I see a substantial change in my dog by switching to a better food.
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:13 AM   #22
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Oh, also, with a premium or super-premium grain-free food the cost evens out b/c you can feed less. The food is more nutritiously dense (higher Kcals). My cats eat less than 1/2 cup a day and the full grown German Shepherd eats 2 cups of food per day.
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Old 10-22-2007, 12:08 PM   #23
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ETA: As far as the research I've done, this site offers the best and most objective analysis and review of dog kibble. I personally do not feed anything that's not 4/6 or better and all of my dog's kibble is supplemented with extra things she needs (yogurt as a probiotic to prevent ear infections, canned sardine for omega-3s to keep her coat in condition, additional meat that I am eating, and raw eggs).
http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/


Who are the people doing the research?? How are they qualified to rate dog food? I feed Charlie Prescription Diet Z/D because he has SEVERE allergies. I did read the label on his food and thought the chemicals listed were bad but not as bad as they say. Now what do I do? I don't want to feed my dog crap.
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Old 10-22-2007, 12:32 PM   #24
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With allergies and special conditions, it's much trickier. Beckham doesn't have a specific allergy, but a very irritable stomach, and I'm not ashamed to say he ate Science Diet for 2.5 years b/c for whatever reason that was the food he could keep down. Just recently I FINALLY found a good cat food he will keep down (well, the other day he barfed 5 times, but I found dead maple leaves in the barf!!). Kenya's diet is designed mainly to avoid allergies at all costs. That's one of the huge drawbacks of low quality commercial food - you feed it long enough and the dog can easily develop allergies b/c they all use poultry by-products and grain gluten meals. Many people don't realize it's important to rotate the meat and carb sources every few months. There are also many symptoms of allergies people don't notice (itching is not always fleas, ear infections are not always bacteria, a smelly dog doesn't always mean he just needs a bath...).

Do you know which ingredients he is allergic to? Most dogs are allergic to poultry and/or the grains (corn, wheat, gluten meals, etc). An acquaintance of mine had a GSD with such bad allergies she had to have cream baths twice a week and ate a homecooked diet of Ostrich meat and sweet potatoes. I know some people with allergy or IBS dogs like California Natural b/c it is a very simple food, not many ingredients, but you have to find a variety with ingredients the dog is not already allergic to. At the shelter, we feed allergy dogs "duck and potato" food (again, b/c they are almost always allergic to poultry and grain).

I looked at the Z/D and it looks pretty serious, they are right, there is really nothing there for the dog to be allergic to. With a dog that is allergic to pretty much every commercial protein and grain source, this food looks like the most logical step. The trick is if you're not sure exactly what the dog is allergic to and whether you want to try to find out. My worry with the Z/D is that the Kcals are VERY low, so the dog is hardly getting any nutrients or energy from the food. But again, with severe allergies the options are very limited.
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Old 10-22-2007, 01:08 PM   #25
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Charlie is allergic to wheat and dairy. He used to have ear infections, scratched all the time (he couldn't walk across the room to chase a ball without stopping to scratch 5 or 6 times EACH way). It was horrible. We did allergy testing for him and now he's on allergy shots. His itching has stopped, so thats good. We stopped giving him treats, rawhide(that REALLY makes him sick), and people food and his ear infections cleared up. As for food we started him on Eukanuba Kangaroo and that worked really well but he started barfing up foam so we switched to Z/D. Our vet told us we have to keep switching foods because they develop allergies but he talks like we should wait for him to develop the allergy then switch rather than switch before he develops an allergy. I think the vet likes Z/D because the chicken is already broken down and that makes it easier for Charlie to digest.
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:22 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by samralf
ETA: As far as the research I've done, this site offers the best and most objective analysis and review of dog kibble. I personally do not feed anything that's not 4/6 or better and all of my dog's kibble is supplemented with extra things she needs (yogurt as a probiotic to prevent ear infections, canned sardine for omega-3s to keep her coat in condition, additional meat that I am eating, and raw eggs).
http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/


Who are the people doing the research?? How are they qualified to rate dog food? I feed Charlie Prescription Diet Z/D because he has SEVERE allergies. I did read the label on his food and thought the chemicals listed were bad but not as bad as they say. Now what do I do? I don't want to feed my dog crap.
Your questions regarding that website and who does the research and how are they qualified to rate dog food, I think, are very valid.

I had a quick look at the 6 star rating products and had to laugh at the descriptions used for some of the ingredients "fresh caught Northern Whitefish", "Tonic Herbs and Botanticals". I think that a lot of this guff is there to make pet owners feel guilty and quite frankly it is ridiculous as apart from going and watching the process of making that particular dog food, how do you know it is fresh caught Northern Whitefish and not some other fish that was available that day? And blackcurrents? What's with that? Anyone fed their dog blackcurrents lately?

However, if your pet eats that brand of dog food, does well on it and is not reacting to any of the ingredients, why not feed it? After all, isn't that what we want, healthy pets who live comfortably and happily?

Also, someone said that the whole grains were mainly a source of protein in these diets. Whole grains are a carbohydrate source and in most of the diets I have looked at, including the "raw" diets there is good argument for including some carbohydrate.

In the wild carnivores eat primarily herbivores. For a herbivore to provide itself with enough energy, they must eat constantly. So, a carnivore will get a "stomach load" of carbohydrate every time it catches it's dinner and as they have the ability to break these down (just not as efficiently as a herbivore) they are a viable source of energy.

My parents and I have had five dogs, German Shepherd's and Labs. All have lived to middle teens and all have been fed a diet consisting of canned food, dry food, vegetables (two used to go and raid the veggy garden every chance they got), meat scraps, raw bones, rice, chicken, eggs and the odd scoop of icecream (yeah, well we all like a bit of junk food now and again). Personally, I think diet, exercise, comfort and a lot of attention are all just as important and help to keep a dog "young".
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:47 PM   #27
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I had a quick look at the 6 star rating products and had to laugh at the descriptions used for some of the ingredients "fresh caught Northern Whitefish", "Tonic Herbs and Botanticals". I think that a lot of this guff is there to make pet owners feel guilty and quite frankly it is ridiculous as apart from going and watching the process of making that particular dog food, how do you know it is fresh caught Northern Whitefish and not some other fish that was available that day? And blackcurrents? What's with that? Anyone fed their dog blackcurrents lately?
It's not only ingredients that matter (and typically, the first 5 or so ingredients make up 95% of the food, so I don't consider anything beyond that unless I'm looking for something specific that I do or don't want), but the protein levels, Kcals, and presence or lack of certain ingredients that are harmful (certain preservatives). The 6-star foods will have more than twice as much min. protein than the 1 stars. If you have questions about specific ingredients, you can call the company and ask to speak with a rep. If I ever have trouble getting specific questions answered, I move on to the next brand of food. There are some brands that make excellent food that I will not consider b/c their reps are too vague, secretive, or just not helpful at all.

I also prefer foods with a certain level of carbohydrate and also use foods containing rice while some people advocate for entirely grain-free, but I don't find corn gluten meal an acceptable source of carb or protein (gluten IS a source of protein).
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Old 10-22-2007, 10:40 PM   #28
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My parents cook for the dog and they did for the dog before him as well. My Mom is disgusted by all dog food, and Samson gets a lot of fish, meat, olive oil, quinoa and some grains like millet and bulgur mixed in (still need carbs for the brain).
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Old 10-22-2007, 11:38 PM   #29
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If I was wealthy enough to provide them with vegetarian diets -- either custom or commercial -- I would do that, but it isn't an option. Because no one else wanted them virtually all my cats' and many of my dogs' options were: 1) constant hunger, untreated illnesses/injuries, and an early death living as a stray; 2) capture and euthanasia; 3) live with me and get vet care and basic commercial pet food. My critters are generally happy, healthy (essentially -- a couple do have some health issues, but they are elderly and their problems are mostly age related), and long lived.

I can live with that.
I agree with you Indra #3 is just fine. Good for you for taking in those animals.
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Old 10-23-2007, 07:26 AM   #30
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sorry, too hard not to laugh at that! Though, if I caught my doggies chasing and harming chickens, I'd be horrified, even though, it's just a natural instinct.

Well, my kitty is a pescatarian... LOL She refuses to eat any meat except tuna or 'seafood' kitty food. She's got a fantastic shiny coat for it anyway, all those omega 3's
It is funny! I'd be horrified if my dogs ever actually maimed/killed any chickens too, but they haven't.

One day we were at a farm visiting a horse we had just purchased and all of a sudden there was this big commotion in one of the barns and a several chickens came blasting out the door followed by this little black, brown and white streak. Turns out our vet's (the vet was a family friend and the son of the farm owners) partially paralyzed beagle Sally loved to chase chickens and doing just that! Sally couldn't use her hind legs but she could move very quickly for short distances and she made the most of those little bursts. The chickens were never in any danger of being caught, but their reaction sure provide that little dog with quite a rush. She was very proud of herself, and we all had a good laugh.

And most of the cats I feed (mine, several strays, and sometimes my brother's two) all have favourite cat food flavours. There have been times when I will give a cat a variety it doesn't really like and it will look at me with this "I don't really like that flavour. What else do you have?" look. Since I'm usually feeding up to 14 cats I try a different flavour -- I figure someone else will want it! :

Quote:
Originally posted by Butterscotch

I agree with you Indra #3 is just fine. Good for you for taking in those animals.
Thanks. I swear they all know where the suckers live, and my name must be right at the top of the list.



I am surprised by all the pets with allergy issues and/or food sensitivities. I guess part of it is that when the subject comes up the people who's pets have those problems discuss it. I kind of wonder if allergies are more common in purebreds than in mutts. I've had mostly mutts/mixed breeds/purebreds not from "real" breeders, but haven't ever had problems with allergies with any of them. I wonder if the more restricted gene pool of purebreds -- especially those with breeders who are producing a very specific type of dog within the breed -- has anything to do with this. Of course you do the best you can for the animal you have, but I can't help but wonder if a good deal of the allergy problems are genetic rather than food based.
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