I'm pretty opinionated about how to feed your babies, so take what you want and leave the rest!
Rule of thumb:
Never buy any dog food that can be purchased in a grocery store (Purina, Alpo, Pedigree, Iams, etc.), in a department store (Ole Roy, etc.) or in a vet's office (Science Diet, Eukanuba, etc.) and even in a pet department store (royal canin, etc.)
Feeding this poor quality food would be no different than you eating at a "fast food" restaurant every day of your life. Some day your health will catch up with you.
Never feed a puppy "puppy food", the protein content is too high. Puppies need 23% or less protein in their food to help avoid orthopedic problems. Protein will make the muscle grow too fast for their bones and can cause severe crippling (similar to rickets) which IS possible to correct IF caught early enough, too much protein can also contribute to OCD, HOD, Pano. Better to be safe than sorry and make sure the protein content is less than what is found in most commercial puppy food.
Most vets are not enlightened as to the value of good foods yet, some are but some are not. I've been told, by a vet, that their exposure to nutrition, while in school, was a day spent with a low quality pet food representative and Science Diet gives a kickback to the seller for selling their food to the public.
If you had any food issues with yourself your doctor would probably not be the best person to choose to get advice from, a nutritionist would be the better choice, since they're specialized. When I have a question about a drug I've been prescribed it's my pharmacist I ask as he's specialized in drugs. How many times I've been prescribed something that I shouldn't be taking because of another drug I'm taking, the pharmacist is the one to point that out to me.
My first choice would be to feed a raw diet http://www.njboxers.com/faqs.htm#started, not everybody is able to do that so my second choice for feeding any dog would be to find a dog food that has the LEAST amount of ingredients in it, so there is less for your dog to have a reaction to. Avoid too much grain, meat/chicken by-products and CORN, ABSOLUTELY NO CORN. Personally, I do not feed canned food.
California Natural would be the food with the LEAST amount of ingredients. One of my dogs is an extremely fussy eater and wouldn't eat Cal Natural, so I tried a few other quality kibbles.
I use the following for my dogs for joint maintenance and the first three things can actually help repair joint problems, I buy them all at Wal-Mart, give the dogs 1000mg of each 2 times a day and I give them 1 Ascripton per 45lbs of weight twice a day. I put them in some cream cheese and they scoff it up:
MSM http://zptech.net/?OVRAW=MSM&OVKEY=msm&OVMTC=standard Just some of the benefits reported are: vanishing aches and pains inhibits muscle cramps and spasms inhibits muscle, bone and joint inflammation boosts the immune system repairs and balances stomach function, reducing indigestion accelerates the healing of wounds and reduces scar tissue skin softens and becomes more elastic hair thickens and grows faster nails thicken, stop splitting and grow faster inhibits internal parasites increases mental and physical energy brings about mental calm, clarity, focus, concentration
Ascripton (maalox coated aspirin for discomfort)
You can also add a tablespoon of cod liver oil to their food:
Scout1, yes the Merrick canned food is rather expensive but it is excellent food. They recently came out with a dry food line as well. I have toy dogs so I buy the Merrick canned food and mix in one heaping spoonful into their dry food. One can will last me about 2-3 days.
I have one with IBS so I have to be very careful what I feed as he can have nothing with any source of chicken. I like the Merrick foods because they use different/unique protein sources like buffalo, venison, trout, duck, etc. I have not tried their dry food line as I'm very happy with the Wellness Simple Solutions (venison) that I feed to all of mine, except the IBS kid (he gets boiled hamburger/rice), but if I were in the market to switch, I would try one of the Merrick foods first.
I have a friend who feeds the Merrick canned and she put the left over Turducken in a tupperware bowl in the fridge...her babysitter thought it was leftovers, nuked it up & ate it. It truly does look & smell like people food, the turkey/duck/chicken are chunks of meat, not the compressed crap. The Turducken is the hands down favorite here, I just have to monitor it very closely to ensure my IBS boy doesn't get into it.
crestiemom....it does look good and i have seen the cans in the pet store by me but i was more flabbergasted about the dry food prices. the cheapest on e i saw was 17 something for a 5 pound bag. a 5 pound bag would last me maybe 3 days at the most. maybe if i had little dogs it wouldnt be so cost prohibitive. the welness canned is not exactly cheap at 1.50 a can which one can lasts 1 day in my house, but i like it and the dogs like it so they get it.
too funny about your baby sitter. did she get sick agter eating it ?
i want to thank everyone for the dog food advice. i will stick to the royal canin. the feed store that carries it is only five minutes away and my vet and the feed store owners reccomend it over the other food they carry.but the main thing is that my dogs are doing so well on it. i have seen the difference in them myself since i switched them over to it.
scout, I know the prices on Merrick are alittle bit over board...I buy my merrick foor for 1.69 a can, and the can lasts me about a day...for now, while he is still a baby...plus i mix it in with dry food (Extention) which is about $20 something for 10lb bag and chicken and rice that I cook for Logan. Yeah I know its a little pricey, but id rather spend on healthy food then on vet bills, in the future.An extra 100 a month isnt gonna kill me, but the $5000 emergency surgery will. As doctor, I can tell you that you are what you eat. I have so many patients that eat s#$% and then complain of so many illnesses, which could have been easily avoided by eating properly. My philosophy is the same for dogs. My cats eat holistic feed as well. I get them merrick canned and a natural cat dry food.
All that by-product garbage is from the 4D's..as im sure you know. diseased and dying animals cannot be good for your dogs digestive system, or any other part of the body. So even if I was broke, I would still try to get my dog the best food that I can. It all goes back before there was dog food, all the pets ate human food....and statistically lived longer. Now a GSD that lives beyond 10 is considered a miracle, we had a GSD that was very healthy at 16 and got hit by a car. He never ate dog food.....
Dusty, please note that they do NOT mention which LINE of Royal Canin they are naming a "best food". Many brands, like RC- have differing qualities of food. The Max/Mini lines are RC's cheap lines- and NOT a best food. Their Sensible Choice (formerly Natural Blend) line makes it onto many best lists- and I'm positive that's the line they're attempting to reccommend.
I'm happy that your dogs are doing well on that food- but honestly, it's overpriced and NOT the best you can get for the money.
listen, i'm know you are trying to be helpful. but as i have said . it is the best that we have available around here. my husband is disabled ,so i am left to do any driving and i am on L&I awaiting surgery on my feet. its very painful to do very much walking. we live in a very wooded area and its quite a ways even to the mailbox. the price is not an issue as we are not hurting financially , but getting around easily is. luckily we have several feed stores close-by and our vet is only five minutes away. so it is what works for us for now
Dusty, as I've said- I'm HAPPY it works for you. There are much worse foods. :)
But I do feel the need to keep information accurate- and wanted to make sure you understood the fallacy in your last post. it's NOT a "best food"- and shouldn't be recommended as one. If you can get the Natural Balance rolls- I presume that you can get the dry food as well- a better quality food, and probably less expensive. And if the feed store carries Sensible Choice- another "better" choice.
BUT- if you're happy feeding what you're feeding, I'm certainly not going to order you to change. Just pointing out that there probably ARE better options open to you- though I know the more rural areas of the country just don't have as wide of a selection as more developled areas.
It works well for your dogs- you've seen improvement- good stuff. It isn't the best choice for many people, however- the only point I'm trying to make.
i am a new puppy owner and i would like some advice if any one would like to give about food. I have a bullmastiff x and tazz is on SD and i have to force him to eat sometimes would that mine that he does not like it.