Lucky, lets continue our dog food discussion here.

gardningrandmaAugust 6, 2010

Me and another member of gardenweb started a discussion about dog food in the trees forum. Since it was "hijacking a thread" and majorly off topic, I suggested we continue the subject here.

Just some background for the rest of you. This all started in the post about safe trees for horse pastures that have red fall color. Rather than give a helpful response, one member said to ask the OP's own vet. To which I replied, "I can't even get my vet to suggest a brand of dog food, I can't imagine what they'd say if I asked which trees have a certain fall leaf color."

Coincidentally, there actually was a vet on the board that has in depth knowledge about both trees and animals.

Even though my comment was rhetorical, The forum member, Lucky, who is a veterinarian, replied to me that they feed their dog Purina.

Then I asked why they would feed their dog Purina when it has such low quality ingredients, zero meat (unless you consider poultry by-product meal to be meat), and is mostly a bag of cornmeal with some food coloring- presumably to make the Chinese melamine look more appetizing.

I'm hoping to persuade this vet that goes by the name of Lucky to try some dog food that has higher quality ingredients and some meat in it, less grain or no grain and no food coloring. They feel Purina is adequate feed. I agree it's adequate to just barely keep an animal alive. But if you want this pet to have a healthy coat and have some energy and live a longer healthier life, it doesn't come close.

I have pointed out already that they are probably spending more money on purina because they have to feed more of it to get the sustenance.

Lucky, are you there?

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Could I join in?

I have rasied/owned dogs for over 50 years. Most of my dogs lived past the 'average' age for the type/size they were. Had a chihuahua/terrier mix who was 20 when cancer finally made his life untenable.

I have fed Purina/Pedigree for all that time(to the best of my memory).

I've owned a pure bred Malamute, all manner and sizes of mutts, and currently have a rescued whippet who has to have a lamb and rice diet.

All my dogs have been indoor/outdoor dogs. All get yearly shots(well, bi-yearly rabies now), vet care when necessary, and are weight managed.

When I rescued Molly(the whippet), she was nearly starved to death. The shelter (which feeds Pedigree) was feeding her extra to try and recover her weight. When I found her weight problem was intolerance to beef/chicken, I switched her to Pedigree lamb and rice. I feed once a day and mix dry with canned. In two weeks, she had regained so much weight, I had to reduce her amount to maintain her weight. I also have a GSD/chow mix who has been on Pedigree(dry/mixed) since I rescued him about six years ago.

Pet food companies market to humans. Animals have developed over thousands of years by eating what ever they could find. In the wild, they eat all the things pet food marketers decry as unhealthy or 'fillers'. Such as bones, innards, hair, etc.

50 years of experience with feeding and caring for animals(we have had cats and horses, BTW), tells me the basic diet is just fine. A dog or their body cares less whether the meat they eat is steak or hamburger. Dogs also eat many other things as well.

Oh, plant sugar maples. We had horses that loved the bark.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 11:27AM
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Interesting - I just started a threat on blue wilderness.

We feed Purina One. The first ingredient is salmon. It still has corn in it, but is better quality overall than regular purina. Our dogs went from pooping twice a day to once every day or sometimes once every otherday.

It was worth the somewhat higher price.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 11:56AM
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Other members of the forum are welcome to join in.
I have no problem with differing viewpoints either. I'm used to not getting any backup or support when I start a discussion so I'm ok with that too.

I will say that in my view no kibble is ideal. I admit that I use kibble out of convenience of not having to prepare raw meals.

Using the cheaper kibble is like substituting a person's daily serving of fruit with fruit rollups. You can survive on it and if you're allergic to fruit, you probably won't have any problem with fruit rollups but imagine how much healthier you would be if rather than eating junk, you just substituted the ingredient for another better ingredient?

Here's an example. For years and years I drank mostly pop. When the bottled water craze came about, I vowed to wean myself off of pop. Rather than switching to diet pop or low calorie pop, I switched to water and have been drinking it ever since. I feel healthier, my teeth are healthier and it obviously saves weight. It also saves money and extra dental bills.

Some people smoke like chimneys and live to a ripe old age. They are the exception rather than the rule. I didn't want to take that chance that I wouldn't be one of them so I quit smoking. Talk about feeling healthier. It's not hype, it really makes sense.
Likewise feeding your pets a higher quality food will make them feel healthier. It's not hype.

As for the natural dog food marketers, I think they do an especially poor job of marketing their products. Up until recently they sold exclusively through boutique stores and lacked adequate distribution. It seems like the only way the word gets out about their products are through word of mouth referrals. I think they should use mass media, sponsor special events and use offer larger samples.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 12:34PM
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I have five rescued cats and two rescued dogs all of whom eat nothing but Purina ONE..The dogs chicken w/ rice the cats salmon and tuna. The dogs get the evening meal mixed with a tablespoons of Purina ONE salmon and rice wet food.All foods start with either chicken or salmon in the ingredients and the wet food does as well with chicken and liver also added..along w/ brown rice. I was feeding all animals IAMS dry as well for the morning dinner but all animals in my house prefer the Purina ONE.So I'm stopping the IAMS. I never fed regular Purina. Dogs are 3 and 4, no health problems. Cat are 4-? least two cats in their teens. All have no health problems and very glossy fur. The dogs get a few table scraps like sweet potatoes and pieces of chicken or fish.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 2:20PM
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Did you know bottled water can be much worse than tap water?

I watched a program on TV(Discovery Channel, I think) about a natural pet food producer in California. They are a small(as in size to Purina/etc.), but have a loyal following. Do you know what the only ingredient---ONLY----is in their food?

Cow stomachs. They really like cow stomachs filled with grass on top of that. They throw all the stomachs into a giant grinder and almost puree them. That's it. Look at what the natural diet purists say about the offal(what they call guts/by products) manufacturers put in pet food.

I just saw an ad for vegetarian dog food. Nothing but fruits and vegetables. How bizzare is that?

My point is still. Pet food manufacturers have a huge customer base. In order to get a share of that customer base, each company has to market in such a way to attract people to their product. Dogs/cats/rabbits/horses/etc. cannot read. So, the advertising is directed at people who need to purchase food for their animals. Very often the actual composition of the actual dog/cat food is not really what the animal needs or can be detrimental(as in feeding dog food to cats)

I owned horses for twenty years. I bought a lot of feed and hay. The feed always had corn in it. Know what too much corn will do to a horse? Can easily cause an upset stomach. Know what usually happens to a horse that has eaten too much corn? It founders or dies unless successfully treated by a vet. Too much alfalfa hay will do the same thing. Too much feed of any kind will do the same thing. Not enough exercise will do the same thing. Being too thin or too fat will do the same thing.

That situation is not as prevelent in dogs/cats, but damage can occur because of incorrect diet. Beef dog food would have eventually killed Molly, due to the symptoms it caused(severe diarreha) which prevented her from maintaining her weight and also dehydrated her. That is the fault of people. People bred her breed improperly, as has happened to numerous other breeds. One side effect was food allergies.

I keep both dogs on the low side of acceptable weight. I feed according to how much exercise they get. When we have days of multiple play/work sessions, they get more food. On very hot days, when they spend most of the day indoors, they get less food. In fact, sometimes when I miscalculate, they do not finish the amount when it is too much.

A dog that weighs 40 pounds is much healthier at 37 pounds than 45 pounds. People need to feed dogs like dogs need to be fed, not the way misinformed people think dogs should be fed.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 12:18AM
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I agree that dogs should be on the leaner side, and I try to do that. I always kept my greyhound lean and would hear comments sometimes..poor skinny dog..But she was at a good weight at 67 pounds. My present dogs weigh 24 pounds each and I try to keep that . We won't talk about the cats. Three of them know what their correct weight is, two cannot pass by the bowl with out stopping. Cracks me up when pet food people color their food with dye or make their kibble into cute little shapes. This is all for the consumer, of course which is why I like Purina One since their food has always been brown.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 1:53AM
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There are some differences between purina One and the cheapest purina.

handymac, you may be talking about the tripe or stomach lining from the cow's 4th stomach for grasses and grains are digested. Some manfacturers that use this in their feed (not the sole ingredient by the way) say that it helps prevent bloat. I haven't read anything to the contrary or anything negative about it but it probably isn't one of the better sources of meat.

Unfortunately the person that I started this thread for and invited to continue our discussion has advised me that they won't be joining us here. Something about swearing off the pets forum a decade ago. They say that they are still reading. So once again I will urge "Lucky" to try a better dog food. You have nothing to lose by trying it. Then make up your own mind.

Because Lucky won't be joining us I probably won't be checking into this thread again. Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 9:55AM
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spedigrees z4VT

I used to feed a variety of brands and types of dog and cat food in the past because what one food lacks, another may supply, and with variety one gets a more balanced diet. Most of my animals lived into extreme old age in good health.

However since 2007 when 40,000 dogs and cats in this country died from Chinese melamine, I have home cooked for my pets. Cat is now 18 and dogs 12 and 14, and all in good health for their ages. I will never feed commercial petfood again, ever!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 6:15PM
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The real travesty is cat food, not dog foods, although cheap dog foods are not good.

Corn meal is #4 on the ingredient list of Purina ONE Sensitive Systems for dogs. Which is acceptable considering a lot of cheap food has it as #1.

The Purina ONE Chicken and Rice cat food I get has it as #3. Cheaper catfood often has corn as #1 and #2 ingredients. This is so sad. Cats are *not* omnivores, like dogs. They do not need, or want, corn, wheat, soy, or any of that. They would do perfectly well on a diet of meat only..they are obligate carnivores. I will be switching to a better catfood once I have a bit more money, I feel bad about feeding the cats something with so much filler. They don't need it.

I'm not *as* concerned about the dogs, after all they are omnivores. Purina ONE is a good compromise to me. Corn is farther down on the list, meat is usually #1 on the list, and my dogs prefer the taste. Also, they poo less than regular food and their coats are shinier, which tells me Purina ONE is an acceptable compromise for the doggies between exorbitant prices and disguisting and unhealthy food.

And, having 2 beagles and a foxhound to feed cost a lot more than 2 cats to begin with!!!!! So no blue wilderness for the pups! I would like to be able to afford my mortgage!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 7:57PM
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