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What food do you feed?

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Hello All,

 

I have been researching some new foods for my dogs and am not sure what to pick. I am looking at grain free formulas and there has to be meat as the first ingredient and at least 2 or 3 other meat sources in the food. I am currently feeding ranch dog food... :rolleyes: We have finally moved from where we only had ranch stores to where we now have access to pet supply stores. :D YAY!!! So anyways... what are you feeding?

 

 

THANKS!

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I am looking at grain free formulas and there has to be meat as the first ingredient and at least 2 or 3 other meat sources in the food. I am currently feeding ranch dog food...

 

The best kibble dog food on the market, in my opinion, and the only kibble I will feed is Orijen or Acana, both made by the same company. They produce all of their own food, in their own factory, have won awards, produce in Canada which has better regulations in place then the US (Diamond, need I say more) and the food has top quality ingredients. They recently had a delay to US distributors because they lost their fish supplier and refused to use lower quality fish. They simply reduced production until they found a supplier they approved of using. Really good company in a world full of crap food and a both brands are really good food.

 

http://www.championpetfoods.com/

 

Jen

 

 

ADCH Enna TM - Silver, SACH, GCH, SCH, JCH, RCH, MX, MXJ - rescued champion

Rising Sun's Hot to the Touch - aka: Fever - retired due to epilepsy

Flute AAD, AX, OAJ, OAC, OGC, NAJ - retired

Ignited's Molten Rush, aka: Lava - BC puppy in training

Kasi EAC,EGC,EJC, OA,OAJ - (1992-2007)

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I feed Honest Kitchen, usually Preference with beef added, but I'm giving Keen (one of the complete rations) a try now as well. I've been very happy with our results and I love that I'm feeding "real" food instead of just plain old kibble. :rolleyes: If I get my meat on sale, then the Preference is waaaay cheaper than many top brands, especially Orijen, which is about $75/30lbs here. I just bought more dog food; 10lbs of Keen is equal to 43lbs of food and costs $49.

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Another website to check out is: www.dogfoodadvisor.com

 

I have fed Wellness and Solid Gold in the past, and am currently feeding Taste of the Wild. I like to change once or twice a year. I would use any of those foods again - or try another one (Origen or Acana).

 

Jovi

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I use a blend of raw grass fed beef organ meat, bone and green tripe from www.greentripe.com It comes in 5lb rolls and I pick it up directly from the processing plant in Hollister, CA

 

Its chock full of good stuff but kind of stinky. Our 4 dogs love it. It received a great review in whole dog journal a while back.

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I suggest feeding the best quality food that *you can afford* and that your individual dog does well on. Not all dogs respond the same way to a particular food, and just because someone else's dog does well on a food doesn't mean yours will. So you'll have to try a few to find the one that works best for you.

 

J.

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We started off with Diamond Naturals, then Brodie stopped eating it, so we fed Primitive Naturals for about six months, then recently when Brodie went "off his feed" again , we switched to Taste of the Wild.

 

I met a lady who works at the local pet food store that sells only holistic grain free foods. She was praising Robin's coat and general health, asking what we feed him so I guess we're doing something right...I didn't see a great deal of difference in terms of nutrition in any of the holistic grain free foods, but Brodie is our picky eater so we go by what he likes to eat. When he goes "off" Taste of the Wild, I'll go back to PN, or try something else...he seems to like to switch about every six months or so....and he's so skinny that a pound or three really makes a difference so I like to keep him happy. She gave us a few more options that her store sells, but I forget the names.

 

Liz

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I feed Petcurean - NOW! Grain Free. I order it online from k9cuisine which has free shipping on orders over $50 I think. I chose this grain free recently because the protein is 26% instead of 30-40% as it is with other foods.

 

So far I have been happy with this food and has high quality controls and is made in Canada.

 

I have fed Inova Evo, Before Grain, Wellness Core and another couple that I don't recall the names. I switch the dog food every few months.

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I feed Orijen and Natures Variety Raw Medallions... but finding what your budget is and then research the foods that fall within that range is best.... the only reason i can afford Orijen is because i have only 1 dog :rolleyes:) most people with multiple dogs would find it very expensive to feed this diet and i know if i had more than 1 dog i would not be feeding it...

 

 

Did you know they did a study (per a rep for a food company) with Beneful.... for every 100lbs the dog ate, it disposed of 80lbs of stool! i think thats scary!

 

Happy Food Researching!! its actually very interesting and fun to learn i think!

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Daisy was on Natures Variety Instinct until the end of last week. I decided to switch her food because she was constantly constipated even with pumpkin added. I decided to go with The Honest Kitchen Embark formula and so far so good, no more blood and no more long pauses. I have started checking for sales on meat to add in. I think this will make the food go farther as it is expensive, but not freaking out about seeing blood with every bowel movement is worth the money because it gives me peace of mind.

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In my experiences, not all dogs do well on grain free and some need it. I have one of each. Lil miss high metabolism Wick needs carbs with high fat and lil miss overheater Rave needs no grains and fish. I've tried out a lot of foods for them both. Right now I'm feeding Nutrisource and like it: http://www.nutrisourcedogfood.com/ They have a lot of variety including grain free. I've fed their Pure Vita before and liked that as well.

 

I do not recommend Taste of the Wild. I think their quality control is lacking. I've had bags that smell funny, dogs get sick off it and have heard of others with the same issues.

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A specified meat meal as the #1 ingredient would be a better buy than the same fresh meat as the #1 ingredient.

Example: Chicken meal is better than Chicken

 

Reason: Ingredients are listed in order of their weight prior to grinding, cooking (i.e. drying), and forming the kibble. What was fresh chicken becomes chicken meal after making the kibble and in the end is a smaller percentage of the final weight of the kibble than of the ingredients. In buying a food with fresh chicken as the #1 ingredient you're paying for water that is removed before it goes into the bag.

 

There are many ways carbohydrates can be added to kibble: grains (which are cooked during the manufacturing process) and starchy vegetables (i.e. potatoes). Allergies are the biggest issue with the various sources of carbs.

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the only reason i can afford Orijen is because i have only 1 dog :rolleyes:) most people with multiple dogs would find it very expensive to feed this diet and i know if i had more than 1 dog i would not be feeding it...

 

It is expensive. I currently feed raw, just switched the dog who was having some issues several months ago with the variety of a raw diet back to raw and she is doing well. I do give a kibble meal - Orijen, sometimes Acana, once a week because I use kibble when I travel.

 

Dogs are carnivores and do not need carbs. Wild carnivores who do not live on trash from human settlements consume little, if any, carbohydrates. Dogs certainly can consume carbs, but they aren't neccesary and they are not consumed as efficiently as fat and protein.

 

If you are looking for grain fee feeding but Orijen is pricey for you (it is pricey) you can feed a raw diet very cost effectively. If you are uncomfortable with raw you can feed a cooked diet. Orijen is approximately $2 - $2.50 a pound where I purchase it. I feed four dogs.

 

I feed a full prey model raw diet, rich in variety for an average of $1 per pound. I am lucky enough to have a raw feeding co-op in my area, but there are a lot of ways to source inexpensive raw sources on your own.

 

The problem with grain free foods like Taste of the Wild, Evo, Wellness, Merrick, etc. is the fact that they are produced in a mass production plant that produces multiple brands of food. There have been numerous recalls from every one of these plants and, to me, it isn't worth the risk. Evo and Innova were just bought and will soon be mass produced and sold to Petco and PetSmart, a sure sign that a food is mass produced and quality control is risky.

 

Best,

Jen

 

 

ADCH Enna TM - Silver, SACH, GCH, SCH, JCH, RCH, MX, MXJ - rescued champion

Rising Sun's Hot to the Touch - aka: Fever - retired due to epilepsy

Flute AAD, AX, OAJ, OAC, OGC, NAJ - retired

Ignited's Molten Rush, aka: Lava - BC puppy in training

Kasi EAC,EGC,EJC, OA,OAJ - (1992-2007)

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Dogs are carnivores ........

 

That depends upon who you ask. One problem is many people think that the order Carnivora defines the diet of the species which is not the case. The other problem is Canis familiaris has been domesticated for so long that there really aren't wild (feral yes, but not wild) examples of this species to study what Canis familiaris eats in the wild. I suspect that like humans Canis familiaris performs better on diets that are fresh vs. highly processed. Also like individual humans, individual Canis familiaris have different dietary needs.

 

Both the domestic dog Canis familiaris and the domestic catFelis catus are members of the order Carnivora. As its nameimplies, this group includes many species that specialize incarnivory, but this is not an absolute rule for the majority,most of which are omnivores; there are even some herbivoresin this Order, such as the pandas (Ailuridae) and some frugivores,such as the kinkajou Potos flavus (Procyonidae) and the Africanpalm civet Nandinia binotata (Viverridae) (1). The ancestralCarnivora were probably small nonspecialist omnivores, but someof the modern families consist of species that are obligatecarnivores, notably the cats (Felidae) and the seals (Phocidae).Most species within the dog family, Canidae, subsist mainlyon prey, although this can be predominantly invertebrate inspecies such as the fennec Fennecus zerda and the crab-eatingfox Cerdocyon thous. The jackals Canis aureus, C. adustus andC. mesomelas, from the same genus as the domestic dog, are allomnivores, and the coyote C. latrans can subsist on fruit andother plant materials when prey is difficult to find (2). Thediet of the ancestral species of the dog, the wolf Canis lupus,consists predominantly of meat in most habitats in which itis currently found. However, the dentition of the modern wolfis not dissimilar to that of jackals (3), and is consistentwith a more omnivorous diet. Before persecution by humans, wolveswere able to occupy a wider range of habitats than they do today;thus, it is possible that they formerly consumed a more wide-rangingdiet.

 

The Evolutionary Basis for the Feeding Behavior of Domestic Dogs (Canis familiaris) and Cats (Felis catus)1–3,

John W. S. Bradshaw4

The American Society for Nutrition J. Nutr. 136:1927S-1931S, July 2006

 

 

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That depends upon who you ask. The problem is many people think that the order Carnivora defines the diet of the species which is not the case.

 

That's very true. It all depends on who you ask. Ask most conventional vets in practice today and they'll suggest you feed Science Diet or Royal Canin, neither are foods I would ever feed my dogs. The debate over proper diet for dogs is still raging and will be for a long time to come, I am sure.

 

Dogs have been genetically proven to decend from wolves. Wolves, in ideal situations, where game is plentiful and they are able to hunt freely without persecution from man, eat a 100% meat diet. They do not eat the contents of the stomach, they do not forage for other sources of food. David Mech wrote about this after studying grey wolves for many years in his book - Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation, which I have read.

 

The dog's digestive system is identical to that of a wolf, even that of a chihuahua. :rolleyes:

 

I fed a pulped veggie mix for many years when feeding raw. My dogs did fantastic on it. I don't feed veggies now. I have fed kibble that includes grain, grain free kibble, and raw. My dogs did well on all of the diets. I do believe dogs can do quite well on a good kibble supplemented with some natural foods - keifer, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc. I am much more skeptical of the quality of mass produced foods now then I was several years ago and I won't feed them. Orijen or a few others that I feel are superior in their care in the production process and quality, absolutely.

 

However, if considering what constitutes the diet that most accurately reflects what wolves(and therefore dogs) developed in nature to eat, it is a raw, prey model diet. You'll never find a wolf, fox, coyote, jackal or wild dog grazing on wheat or oats or chomping some raw potatoes or grinding their chicken up into meal first. That's for sure.

 

Jen

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I change their food with every bag I buy -- Not necessarily brands between each bags, but always the protein source.

 

At the moment they are eating a bag of Wellness Core. It's the first time I've tried this food and they are all loving it. My most frequent rotations are between Taste of the Wild and Natural Balance (LID, the grain-free line), so it's nice to have another one to throw into the mix.

 

TOTW is the most cost effective for me. I have an agility peer who sells it just above her cost, so I get the largest bag for only $38. NB is about $50 from Petco and the Core was almost $60. Unfortunately I haven't seen my friend since July and won't see her until the end of next month, so we're rotating between the other foods at the moment.

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Never say never. Proselytizing generally won't gain converts, especially when folks can easily produce data to support any side of a discussion. Dogs certainly descended from wolves, but dogs *aren't* wolves and haven't been for a long, long time. Tea has posted photos showing the difference between wolves' teeth and an LGD's teeth to illustrate that wolves have a much greater biting power than the dogs developed to protect against them. I guess that could indicate that dogs aren't meant to kill/eat the same kinds of animals that wolves are.

 

The border collie was developed by poor shepherds. It's highly doubtful that the breed, while being created, was fed a strictly meat diet (although one could argue that the dogs could have at times caught their own meals a la a whole prey model, though I would guess that any such whole prey would have been small whole prey: rats and mice, rabbits, etc.). In fact, it's most likely they were fed a mostly grain and some scraps diet. So while one may argue that dogs, based on their ancestry, are meant to be carnivores (though note that no one calls them obligate carnivores, like cats), it's also true that at least some breeds were likely developed on diets that were not strictly meat-based and so may in fact do well on such diets, since dogs who did well on such diets would have been selected (if not deliberately for that reason, but just as an artifact of the way of life) and bred from.

 

And since Sheena (RDM) said I could quote her from another thread, as a long-time raw feeder, she noted that raw feeding is NOT cheap. As someone who actually raises my own meat, I can say that I can get a sheep butchered at a price that comes out to roughly $1 per pound (hanging weight), but that's only if I completely ignore the expense of raising that sheep, not to mention transport to and from the butcher. So I have to wonder about the claims about getting meat for such low costs, unless that meat is factory farmed in such volumes that economies of scale kick in. And then I would have to question just how healthy meat raised and processed in such a way could be. If the point of feeding raw is to avoid all the "contaminants" present in processed foods, then it would make sense to get your raw foods locally, from farmers who are raising naturally or organically, and there's no way you're going to get that for $1/lb.

 

Feed whatever you want, what fits into your budget, and what makes you happy and keeps your dog healthy. Owning a dog shouldn't be the province of only the wealthy, nor should people be made to feel bad because they can't afford the best of the best (in some people's opinion).

 

J.

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I use Taste of the Wild. In the morning I put ~1 Tablespoon of yogurt in their food (regular vanilla, not low or non-fat to avoid artificial sweeteners) to help with some gassiness. I've found that REALLY helps and both dogs eat vanilla, whereas only one would eat the plain (can't blame them - I don't eat plain yogurt either!). We've also started adding some canned food - also TOTW or other brands that are mostly meat. Sometimes it is just leftover chicken or veggies from our dinner. Again, its only a small spoonful to give them some variety. I'd like to mix it up a bit but I've had a really hard time finding a food that both dogs like and doesn't upset their tummies, so I keep the dry food consistent and play around with the additives.

 

Now that I think about it... would a grain-free diet be part of the reason we have a "gas" issue. Sorry if that is too much information!!

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she noted that raw feeding is NOT cheap. As someone who actually raises my own meat, I can say that I can get a sheep butchered at a price that comes out to roughly $1 per pound (hanging weight), but that's only if I completely ignore the expense of raising that sheep, not to mention transport to and from the butcher. So I have to wonder about the claims about getting meat for such low costs, unless that meat is factory farmed in such volumes that economies of scale kick in. And then I would have to question just how healthy meat raised and processed in such a way could be. If the point of feeding raw is to avoid all the "contaminants" present in processed foods, then it would make sense to get your raw foods locally, from farmers who are raising naturally or organically, and there's no way you're going to get that for $1/lb.

 

I guess it depends on where you live and what is available to you.

 

I get venison scraps for less then $1 a pound and I actually have someone scheduled to give me an entire deer this year. I'll pay for processing which will average out to less then $1 a lb actually . We order regularly from Eberly's chicken which is antibiotic, steroid free, free range chicken. I get cornish hen seconds (meaning something got damaged in processing like a wing or drumstick) for $.85 lb, I buy whole grass fed beef tripe for $1.25 a lb, Koch's natural turkey hearts, livers, meat scraps, etc for around $1 a lb, farm raised eggs for $2 a dozen. I also get veal from farmers occasionally for $1.25 a lb and had a chance but no room to buy a half or quarter of a grass fed, non-steroid or antibiotic, farm raised steer for about $1.65 a lb w/ processing last winter. We also order fresh caught fish seconds from a fish market. Buying in bulk through a co-op definitely give us more economical options but anyone can buy for very similar prices from the suppliers that we buy from in this area.

 

Best,

 

Jen

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I have to say that you're pretty lucky then Jen. I get venison for free since my housemate hunts, and I guess I could have gotten the latest group of roosters for free (plus the cost of raising them), but didn't have time to butcher myself, so paid the butcher to do it. I didn't add up the weight of all the meat I got back, but it cost me $71 and I'm pretty sure it wasn't 71 pounds of meat, but can't say that for a fact.

 

I still can't wrap my head around a company (Eberly) that can produce free-range poultry and then process them by hand and charge less than what you'd pay at the grocery store, but if what they claim on their website, and what you say you pay for it, is true, then I guess y'all are truly blessed.

 

J.

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Never say never. Proselytizing generally won't gain converts, especially when folks can easily produce data to support any side of a discussion. Dogs certainly descended from wolves, but dogs *aren't* wolves and haven't been for a long, long time. Tea has posted photos showing the difference between wolves' teeth and an LGD's teeth to illustrate that wolves have a much greater biting power than the dogs developed to protect against them. I guess that could indicate that dogs aren't meant to kill/eat the same kinds of animals that wolves are.

 

...

 

Feed whatever you want, what fits into your budget, and what makes you happy and keeps your dog healthy. Owning a dog shouldn't be the province of only the wealthy, nor should people be made to feel bad because they can't afford the best of the best (in some people's opinion).

 

Hear, hear, Julie. I notice people put a lot of faith in the fact that dogs are decended from wolves when this actually may not mean much for diet. What has changed about dogs since evolving into a different species from wolves has in large part to do with their diet. They have co-evolved with humans for 20,000 years or more, living off our scraps, waste food, or even being purposefully fed human-type like bread. Because of this they are both different than wolves (as Tea's teeth example shows very clearly) and more evolutionarily successful, having ridden the coattails of our success. While they are not descended from coyotes, they probably behave more and eat more like a coyote than a wolf, and have for a long time. I agree with Mark that it's likely fresh foods are best, and that different individuals have different needs for carbs, fat, and protein in their optimum diet.

 

I like feeding raw, but even when buying whole-animal prices, it is not anywhere NEAR as cheap as for Jen, and I'd have to work really really hard to make raw as cheap as even the most expensive kibble, lb for lb. That may be one major difference between PA and CA (and other parts of the country).

 

I used to feed Orijen, but when Odin got sick with giardia and then had some sort of intestinal flora imbalance, both Orijen and most raw foods were way too rich for him. So I switched to the NAtural Balance LID diets with a lot more carbs (sweet potatos). After treatment (consisting of several rounds of panacur, met., and probiotics) and a couple months on that food, he is so much better and healthier. I'm supplementing with raw meat, organs, and bones again, and will slowly try switching back to Orijen, but the point is that what's best for a dog may even change over time!

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I still can't wrap my head around a company (Eberly) that can produce free-range poultry and then process them by hand and charge less than what you'd pay at the grocery store.....
That is because the USDA definition of "free range" is so loose that it's essentially meaningless.

 

FREE RANGE or FREE ROAMING:

Producers must demonstrate to the Agency that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside.

The consumer envisions poultry roaming around fields or barnyards feeding where the USDA only requires that the door is left open for some undefined period of time and the birds don't actually have to go outside OR the pen is outside with some shelter at one end and the pen is packed full of birds.

 

In February 2005, I was at a convention in Pennsylvania, and met the owner of Eberly Poultry. I asked him how they are able to raise their free-range chickens in the winter. I was surprised to find that they are raised in conventional chicken houses year round like Perdue or Tyson. The difference is that the chickens have "access to the out of doors". "Access to the outside" fulfills the legal requirement for the use of the term "free-range". Legally, a "free range" chicken does not ever have to go outside, and the outdoor area does not have to have grass.

 

Source: http://www.jehovahjirehfarm.com/chicknohealth.php

 

However, another USDA site lists this for turkeys.

FREE RANGE or FREE ROAMING — In order to use these terms on a label, poultry producers must provide a brief description of the bird's housing conditions with the label when it is submitted for approval. The written description of the housing conditions is evaluated to ensure the birds have continuous, free access to the out-of-doors for over 51% of their lives, i.e., through their normal growing cycle. During the winter months in a northern climate, birds are not "free range," if they stay in coops all winter. Producer testimonials that support the use of the claim must state how the birds are raised in a northern climate in winter in order to conform to the meaning of "free range" during the winter months.

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