I have been doing lots of research lately on dog food....the Animal Protection Agency has an interesting article on their website concerning what goes into dog food. I was appaled ! I switched my dogs to Wellness over the last week, and have purchased several books on cooking for your dogs. This concerns me because I am not a nutritionist, but several of the books authors are. Seems to me, that no dog should be on one food his entire life. I'm still researching.... I'll find APA's article and post the link.
About holistic dog food.....I can't say holistic is any 'better' than other food. They are more nutricous, but there are pros and cons to both sides. Generic dog foods are not a bad food to feed. If your dog does well on it, and is getting all of the vitamins and minerals he/she needs, than keep our dog on whatever food you are feeding. Just watch out, there is a lot of false information on the internet. The most important thing is that the food ahs real meat, and if it is cooked in broth, even better. Meat by-products, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives are the worst things you can feed your dog. Please, do not feed a food with these ingredients. Omega fatty acids are great for a healthy skin and coat. Added protein is a plus.
In my opinion the best food out right now is Natural Balance. Its made of human grade chicken, duck, potato, carrot, brown rice, pearled barley, and oatmeal. It comes in canned, rolls, or dry. My dogs love it and it's good for them. check them out http://naturalbalanceinc.com Lachichi
I feed my dogs Chicken Soup for the Pet Lovers Soul. Its a human grade food which includes chicken, turkey, duck, salmon and egg plus much more. Here is their website http://www.chickensoupforthepetloverssoul.com/
I use Innova, but other good ones are Wellness, Solid Gold,Chicken Soup for the Dog Lovers Soul, One Earth, and California Naturals. After expalining what I know from the list below, to my vet, he told me that in vet school they would endorse anyone that would give them a free supply to start up their practice- whether it was puppy Chow or Iams. There is no loyalty or reasoning. If you have a puppy it should get puppy food because it is higher in protien and fat, essential for a dog at that stage and the energy they have. They are a puppy till they are 1. A dog food or puppy food should have omega fatty acids. I personally drive the new pet store crazy since we moved here, by reading all the labels. As new as I am to dogs, I have had other pets (parrots) ,and know definite no- nos copied from the internet on the AllBirdToys site, different animal but same junk.... BHA: A preservative and potentially dangerous for the kidneys. BHT: Used to retard spoilage and more toxic than its cousin BHA. Ethoxyquin: A cancer causing substance. Corn Syrup: Pure sugar. They can get addicted to this taste and will cause The "finicky eater" syndrome. MSG: Flavor enhancer used to disguise inferior food quality. Known to cause brain and eye damage. High percentage of allergic Reactions in pets and peo ple. Proply Gallate: Chemical used to retard spoilage, found to cause liver damage. Propylene Glycol: the chemical used in anti-freeze and a solvent for brake fluids. Used as a preservative and flavor enhancer in foods. Tastes very sweet. Sodium Nitrate: A carcinogenic preservative and color enhancer. Produces mutagenic changes. Sodium Nitrite: Harmful chemical preservative. A source of red coloring. People have died from overdose. The simpler you read of stuff, the better it tends to be for your dog. go to a place that sells cr-p and the good stuff and compair for yourself what is in the foods. You will learn a lot. (You can't buy natural stuff at Walmart or the market.) I hope this helps. Ella's mom PS wish we could make this all one topic. It is 5 and counting now.
Just to chime in, I have looked at what seems like every bag of food both in the "grocery" store and in the pet store. I'm on a budget, so I couldn't be spending $20 for 8lbs of food, but I also want to be giving my animals the best nutrition I can.
I was apalled to see that what are perceived as high quality brands like Pedigree and Eukanuba and even Science Diet have meat by products in them!
I have found that the Wal-Mart Maxximum brand is the best value for the price. At around $8/8lb bag, I have my puppy on it and will keep her on it once she changes to the adult food. It has no by products and no BHT and no artificial colors in it, and the highest protein contents I've seen. I also buy the same brand in cat food for my cats. I used to feed them Purina One, but Maxximum is actually better, and costs less. Win-win.
This thread is from 2004. Maxximum's maker's also make old roy. I'd run. It's full of inspecific ingredients like 'animal fat'. So really it isn't the best choice for price. There is better food for a similarily low price that isn't full of garbage.
seairra - very well said; most people have complete faith in their vets as is to be expected but vets are not saints and a fair few are more interested in the almighty dollar than the welfare of pets and if they were to try and do the right thing by the pets then they would probably be twiddly their thumbs, lol. Most vets, once out of vet. school do not keep up with further studies to expand their knowledge unless absolutely essential and especially when it comes to nutrition and overvaccinating to the detriment of our pets.
Besides which they stock alot of these so-called "premium" dry foods and stand to make a fair amount of welcomed cash so people should keep an open mind and not view their vets as a form of sanctity, lol. Of course there is always the exception to the rule and some vets are avid animal lovers but it's akin to looking for that ever elusive needle in the haystack! lol.
The best food for a dog is one that you make yourself from fresh products; whenever I run into people that have had or still have a healthy and very elderly pet I can't help asking what they feed it and 99.9% of the time they prepare the food themselves from fresh ingredients...a neighbour of mine has a red heeler and a staffy x whippet, they are over 14 years of age and are at the prime of health and I have actually seen what they get fed - boned chicken cooked with rice, pasta and vegetables and they also get 3-4 chicken neck bones (raw) along with the cooked meal.
The key to finding a good dog food is reading labels. Do not buy anything that has chemicals in it. What you have to look for is : the first two ingredients have to be whole meats and meals made of whole meats. They have to contain unprocessed, whole grains, vegetables and fruits.
Avoid foods that have by-products, brewer's yeast, wheat bran, , artificial preservatives, artificial colors, propylene glycol, sweeteners(corn syrup, sucrose, etc...), preservatives like BHA, BHT, Ethoxyquin.
Canned food is superior to kibbles and home made food is always better than any commercial food.
Holistic food has to be better than foods that contain preservatives and chemicals, are made with by-products, etc.... Low quality foods lead to diseases in the long-run.
I recommend you get Dr. Pitcairn's book : "Complete Guide to natural health for dogs and cats".
You can check www.whole-dog-journal. com for good quality brands.
I have fed my dogs raw - my older dog is 9 years old and was fed raw since she was 2 years old, my other dog, 4 years old has been fed raw, home made since we got her at 8 weeks old. There are excellent sources of frozen raw foods.
Propylene Glycol: the chemical used in anti-freeze and a solvent for brake fluids. Used as a preservative and flavor enhancer in foods. Tastes very sweet.
>>>>Not True, Period. Read your radiator fluid ingredients before you freak out. The chemical in antifreeze is called Ethylene Glycol, BIG difference. And no, they are not similar enough to cause the same damage Antifreeze does to all animal's kidneys, including humans. By the way, the reason dogs lick up radiator fluid is the GLYCOL, a sugar, which IS sweet. The ethylene portion is the toxic agent.
Sodium Nitrate: A carcinogenic preservative and color enhancer. Produces mutagenic changes.
>>>>Not True, Period.
Sodium Nitrite: Harmful chemical preservative. A source of red coloring. People have died from overdose. >>>>Not True, Period.
All of these “Not true, Period.” responses are qualified by the fact that your pet will never be exposed to the TOXIC levels of these chemicals. REMEMBER FOLKS: the old adage toxicologists use is, “Everything is toxic, it just depends on the dose”. If all you ever eat is broccoli or a whole lot of it all the time, you will experience ‘toxic’ effects.
The only advantage to raw food is that they are free from additives and/or preservatives, which some dogs (as well as humans) may be sensitive to. The fact that the food is 'raw' being advantageous is not true, and unproven. There are no controlled studies which prove cooking the proteins/enzymes renders them less useful to the body. Everybody out there eat raw hamburger? My point exactly. Dogs and Humans are omnivores, though dogs like a higher percentage of meat, of course.
If you feed raw food, remember this: a recent study (2006) published in the AVMA found that over 50% of raw foods tested had Salmonella in them as well as appreciable amounts of harmful E.Coli. So you say, hey, my dog eats Salmonella and it doesn't hurt him/her!! (First of all, yes it can and it does) But remember, they can pass it on to you or your children or your guests or anyone with a little bit weaker immune system from just your dog sitting on the couch/chair/carpet and leaving a little salmonella or E.Coli behind which was on their anus.
Final point on raw foods: CAN BE GREAT--Just not RAW. Stick them in the microwave for a couple minutes before feeding, pop those bacteria and away you go. The bacterial risk is not worth it.
As for pentobarbital in pet food, Minniyar was correct. BUT, blame the food producers, not the veterinarians. The drug gets into the system via euthanized horses, cattle and possibly pigs. No one is going around collecting up dog & cat carcasses and turning them into Fido-Food.
First, the FDA tested for and proved no cat or dog DNA was in the tainted foods. Second, it is not ECONOMICALLY VIABLE to do so. One cow would equal rounding up 15 dead dogs or 75 dead cats to make the same volume of pet food,--catch my drift? It is an urban legend which seems to keep perpetuating over and over again. (It's always: I knew of a clinic or humane society ... Or I had a friend that saw it...etc. etc.) IT IS NOT AN ECONOMICALLY VIABLE PROTEIN SOURCE!!!! PERIOD.
Lastly, As for the food “Chicken Soup for the Pet Lovers Soul.” Unfortunately, this food is made by DIAMOND pet foods. You remember the company with such poor quality control, they killed a bunch of dogs last year with aflatoxins? (Mold toxins found on corn) I find it a little hard to trust their quality control ever again, although I’m sure they have improved it, hopefully. By the way, some of the preservatives mentioned above actually inactivate these toxins, but don’t let that stop the people afraid of preservatives.
In conclusion, find a food that works for your pet, avoid too many additives if possible, and see your veterinarian regularly.
If you are a hard core RAW food diet advocate, I sure hope YOU are eating raw meat & vegetables, -NO COOKING ALOWED AT ALL- because that’s what we humans used to do as well!!! Practice what you preach.
lol @ minnyar ! i am a coffee freak myself. no telling whats in that, beings the coffee i drink has been processed. if that doesnt do me in, the cream and suger i add to it surely will. i'm a goner for sure.