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Best dog food?


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Posted on 21 Jun 2012 12:57:15 BDT
Last edited by the author on 21 Jun 2012 13:09:25 BDT
Lenny says:
I have never once mentioned a BARF diet and don't support feeding a dog in such an unnatural way.

"Where do you see wild dogs eating cheese, yoghurt, milk?". You're bang on there, you don't and they shouldn't be fed such things. Just as you would never ever find a dog taking bits of this animal and bits of that animal, some rice, veg, cereals and goodness knows what else, heating it up to a temperature that destroys all the natural vitamins and minerals then adding some chemical based supplements back in and finally shaping it into little nuggets before they eat it.

The fact that we have such weak gentic lines in dogs now is partly down to diet. Irresponsible breeding obvioulsy contributes as well.

Posted on 27 Jun 2012 12:43:53 BDT
The evangelical approach of some of the RAW proponents is actively putting me off the idea of RAW food.

I've sat here reading through getting gradually more annoyed. How dare people suggest that those who don't feed raw are being selfish and putting their dogs at risk? Whilst simultaneously ignoring or sweeping aside the anecdotal evidence of others here who've seen their dogs physically harmed by RAW diets.

Here's how the conversation looks from an outsider:

A: But what about the danger of chicken bones?
B: Only dangerous of cooked. No danger with uncooked, look at how soft they ....

C: Here are three examples of dogs who were killed or injured by raw chicken bones

B: Well, your dog's too big for chicken wings and anyway.....chicken bones are safe if uncooked

C: Here are some examples of dogs being harmed by non-wing chicken bones and other types of raw bones

B: You're doing it wrong there is no danger from raw chicken bones, and anyway dogs can choke on anything

A: What about the risk of salmonella and ecoli?

B: This is another myth, there is no danger from ecoli and sa;monella won't make them ill

C: Here are some examples of dogs who died or were made ill by ecoli and salmonella

B: There is no danger of ecoli or salmonella

*shakes head*

Posted on 27 Jun 2012 12:52:06 BDT
One other thing:

In response to those who say their dogs couldn't handle a raw diet, someone posited that this is because those dogs have been in-bred to such a degree that their digestive systems are problematic. What percentage of the domestic dog population do we think may be in-bred or over-bred?

I'm guessing pretty high. So, advising people to take on a RAW diet, come what may as some sort of moral duty to their dog's well-being because 'dogs' need natural raw diets seems disengenous. Perhaps you should calibrate your advice to take account of the fact.

Because the answer 'your dog couldnt handle raw food because it is overbred to sensitivity' is singularly unhelpful. If many or most dogs have been so 'overbred' to sensitivity then your advice does not apply to 'dogs' it merely applies to the percentage of dogs whose digestive systems haven't been overbred into sensitivity.

What should the rest of us do with our dogs that are sensitive? Have them put down?

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jun 2012 13:23:12 BDT
Lenny says:
These contradicting comments will always occur in this discussion format.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jun 2012 13:24:43 BDT
Last edited by the author on 27 Jun 2012 13:29:06 BDT
Lenny says:
I don't know of a single breed of dog which cannot handle a raw diet. In fact I would quite happily state that there is no breed of dog which can't handle a raw diet.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jun 2012 13:27:56 BDT
And do you know of individual dogs within those breeds that cannot handle a raw diet?

I'd posit that you do know of such, because several people here have posted examples from their own dogowning experience.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jun 2012 13:30:11 BDT
Last edited by the author on 27 Jun 2012 13:35:32 BDT
Lenny says:
I believe that these people haven't approached raw in the correct way and the mistakes they have made which has caused their dogs problems are completely avoidable with the correct knowledge.

Therefore, no, I don't believe that there are individual dogs within breeds which cannot handle raw (provided it is approached in an appropriate way).

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jun 2012 13:39:03 BDT
True. But I think what I am trying to get at is that whilst most of the people I have seen on here arguing caution regards to a RAW diet, are just doing that: arguing caution. Caution, whilst accepting that there are potential benefits to a RAW diet.

The proponents of RAW feeding however seem not just to dismiss the concerns of people who have had difficulty with RAW diets in their own lives, but rather to utterly disregard those concerns and their anecdotal evidence.

It doesn't help the RAW food movement (and it does seem to be a 'movement') when they cherry pick the evidence that supports them and then simply ignore the evidence that doesn't.

I haven't seena single person arguing that RAW food is bad for all dogs. I've seen plenty of people, quite contrary to the experience of others categorically stating that RAW is best full stop.

When presented with the examples of dogs who cannot take a RAW diet the answer is either: you're doing it wrong (even when said person had been RAW feeding for years, across many dogs and knew what they were doing - identifying the problem as chicken wings for small dogs when in fact it was a variety of different bone incidents), or that the risk is non-existent (particularly regards ecoli and salmonella, despite having heard specific examples of illness), or that the problem lies in the overbreeding of the dog - which, as I say is singularly unhelpful if the dog in question is sensitive.

I came here looking for information and helpful discussion. Some people have provided that. But the evangelical insistence and the changing goal posts (suited to all dogs, except for those with sensitive digestion through overbreeding - chicken bones are safe, except for the ones that aren't) is seriously off-putting, particularly when coupled with the moralising about other people making a different food choice - despite the fact that, if their dog happens to be one of the vast swathe of domestic dogs who's digestive system has been weakened by breeding theirs is in fact the sensible choice.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jun 2012 13:42:22 BDT
If RAW feeding is so fraught with difficulty then unless one has the time and energy to dedicate to learning every last pitfall maybe it is a risky strategy to employ.

Taken in the round, with the risk of misunderstanding and getting it wrong, and the potentially catastrophic impact of getting it wrong, RAW feeding is less safe than other foods.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jun 2012 13:45:12 BDT
Lenny says:
Just to clear up some points:

A: But what about the danger of chicken bones?
B: Only dangerous of cooked. No danger with uncooked, look at how soft they .... ****there is a certain amount of danger in everything we do, for ourselves and for our dogs. Feeding uncooked chicken bones (appropriately sized and attached to meat) poses no more danger than crossing a road in my opinion****

C: Here are three examples of dogs who were killed or injured by raw chicken bones

B: Well, your dog's too big for chicken wings and anyway.....chicken bones are safe if uncooked ****this is an accurate statement****

C: Here are some examples of dogs being harmed by non-wing chicken bones and other types of raw bones

B: You're doing it wrong there is no danger from raw chicken bones, and anyway dogs can choke on anything ****see above and yes, dogs can choke on anything****

A: What about the risk of salmonella and ecoli?

B: This is another myth, there is no danger from ecoli and sa;monella won't make them ill ****again, there is not "no danger" but the danger is minimal****

C: Here are some examples of dogs who died or were made ill by ecoli and salmonella ****you would probably more easily find a dog that dies of salmonella poisoning who is fed a kibble diet that you would one who is fed a raw diet. This is because raw fed dogs' bodies are in more optimal condition and can easily handle these type of bacteria****

B: There is no danger of ecoli or salmonella ****as above****

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jun 2012 13:49:29 BDT
Last edited by the author on 27 Jun 2012 13:53:58 BDT
Lenny says:
Ms D. S. Coombs. Can I suggest/recommend that you have a look at the Raw Feeding group either on Facebook or Yahoo.

Armed with some very basic knowledge, raw feeding is extremely simple.

Nothing is 100% safe and nobody can ever offer guarantees that something can't go wrong. This is true of whichever way you choose to feed your dog or anything else in life for that matter.

I stand by any comment I have made which says true whole prey model raw feeding is absolutely the most optimal way to feed a dog and I am yet to find anybody who can contest this with any evidence to show otherwise.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jun 2012 13:59:15 BDT
Last edited by the author on 27 Jun 2012 14:02:53 BDT
Being entirely honest, I don't resopnd well to evangelism. I'm not specifically thinking of you here, as much of what ypu've posted has been interesting and balanced. You clearly have a strong view, and you clearly have a complete view, but you havent been nasty about it. But my hackles rise when I see someone posting (in another of the feeding threads) that if you love your dog you'll do this. Or positing that people who use other feeding methods are lazy or selfish.

I suspect having pootled about in these and a few pet forums I would find the RAW food facebook group very frustrating and annoying.

I have intermittently investigated the benefits and potential risk factors of RAW feeding, dry feeding, tinned wet feeding and home cooked feeding. I have a 6 month old Beardie pup (my last beardie died in December) and so was considering what to feed him, particularly when he reaches adulthood.

Every discussion I have looked at has put my back up :p

Indeed, it was that which propelled me to setup a username and post today.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jun 2012 14:20:33 BDT
Last edited by the author on 27 Jun 2012 14:28:53 BDT
Lenny says:
The problem with things like this is, people do often have very strong opinions and this overshadows their want to educate other people (that sounds condescending but it isn't meant to).

The reason I switched to a raw diet was because of constant dietry problems with my first dog. I just couldn't find a food (kibble) that suited him, he was covered in rashes, constantly itching, runny eyes which stained the hair round his eyes, all the usual symptoms of food allergies. I'd been toying with the idea of raw but to be honest didn't have a clue where to start, there is so much conflicting info out there. I truly didn't know what I was going to do, I'd tried countless types of kibble and really wanted to try raw but was worried about how complicated it would be. I thought I'd be spending countless hours preparing food for the dog. Then I stumbled upon the Raw Feeding Group on Facebook and have never looked back.

The raw diet sorted my dog out perfectly; he doesn't itch anymore, he has no rashes, his eyes don't run, he is in excellent condition body wise i.e. perfect shape, weight.

And I read of similar stories to mine every single day on the raw feeding group.

We got another puppy in April, he was nine weeks old when we got him. The tins of dog food the breeder gave us went straight in the charity box at the supermarket and he has been 100% raw fed since the day he moved into our house.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jun 2012 14:32:19 BDT
Yeah. My last dog had recurring digestive problems. But they were due to a nasty whip worm infection. He'd been born with it. Took lots of vet trips and worry over a very poorly sick pup before the problem was identified and treated properly. The damage done to his digestive system was pretty much permanent though.

I think one reason i am slightly edgy about changing Carrot's food to a different diet type is that he is doing so well on the Royal Canin.

Instinct tells me a natural diet is better, or at least a less processed diet. So I do try to include some home cooking in his food. As well as the odd bit of raw apple or carrot.

I did try at one point shifting him slowly over to naturediet, which is apparently a very good natural ingredient based food with minimal processing. he ended up with dire rears before I'd got past 50-50 between old and new food.

Back onto his Royal Canin, all sorted out poo firm and easy to pick up, dog seemingly happy and healthy.

I am torn between wanting to give him a more natural diet and not wanting to mess around with something that appears to be doing well.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jun 2012 14:44:14 BDT
Last edited by the author on 27 Jun 2012 14:48:56 BDT
Lenny says:
It's a big step to take and I completely understand anyone's reluctance to change something which on the face of it appears to be going well. I was reluctant to change even though things weren't going well on kibble.

I don't give my dogs any fruit or vegetables at all.

Posted on 1 Sep 2013 17:19:13 BDT
scoobydoo says:
It has been 15 years since I've had a dog, then last year we got the kids a puppy. I noticed the runny stools after the first day and she was eating your average supermarket branded kibble that everyone feeds and your even told to feed buy your vet. After a week I noticed blood in the continuous runny stools. I also noticed than when she ate the kibble there was no chewing involved, which to me seemed unnatural. After a trip to the vet I was advised to try cooking chicken and rice to settle her stomach and given a bag of apparently high quality kibble {science plan, if I remember correctly}. for 1 day there was a slight improvement after cooking chicken and rice. Day 2 she had no interest in the rice, so slowly introduced the high quality Hills science plan and for the next 6 weeks we struggled to get her to eat the rice and chicken mixture, and 2 different expensive and high quality kibbles with no improvement in her digestion. the diarrhea and blood in her stools continued and was very worrying. Then i stumbled across a discussion on amazon about raw feeding your dogs, so after doing my own research and discussing it with many people, some of which seemed horrified and repulsed by the the thought of raw meat for your dogs I decided to give the pup a couple of raw chicken wings to start with. Well I dropped the chicken wing on the ground in front of the pup and all I can say is I saw a light bulb go off in the dogs brain, she sniffed it, grabbed it and made off as quick as she could to the back of the garden with the chicken in her mouth and gulped it down in a flash. Back she came excited and wanting more REAL FOOD. Next day her stools were transformed, small, solid, no smell and best of all NO BLOOD. It's been raw all the way, she is now 1 and a half years old, fit, healthy, strong and the fastest dog i've ever seen. She's also a bit mad but maybe that's the raw meet making her crazy LOL.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Sep 2013 16:28:58 BDT
Lenny says:
Although I disagreed with your comment on the other thread, this is a good story :)

Posted on 19 Sep 2013 12:32:42 BDT
Squib says:
Although I endorse what has been said about 'feeding raw' I would add a note of caution as a (retired) livestock farmer. Farmed meat is likely to contain high residue levels of the various antibiotics, wormers etc. and other chemicals we are compelled to force into them! These find their way into the human food chain and thus into us and other animals who eat them! Strange though how my GSD's can dig a long-dead putrefied rabbit out of the muck heap and consume it without any detrimental effect whatsoever! If we tried that we'd end up in hospital - or the mortuary - so maybe dogs constitutions are far more robust than we think! Steve Squires

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Sep 2013 13:01:51 BDT
Lenny says:
You're definitely right that dogs constitutions are far more robust than most people think/give them credit for.

It's also true that obviously farmed meat is pumped with antibiotics, wormers, etc, etc. But, we can only do what we can do. If I'm eating it I'm more than happy for my dogs to eat it. Afterall, this farmed meat which we feed ourselves is still a far better option than the muck they scrape out of the barrells to make kibble from.

Posted on 19 Sep 2013 13:31:33 BDT
I started to feed my 4 dogs Orijen, a mix of Whole Prey Regional Red and Whole Prey Adult. Between the both foods they get bison, pork, beef, lamb, all types of fish, all types of poultry, vegetable and fruit. The food contains no grains, cereals or potatoes (sweet or normal). The food is expensive, but no more expensive when I fed them raw (for about 18 months some years ago) They have more stamina, coats are great and poo could be picked up with sugar tongs!!! If you go to the Orijen website you'll see the food is excellent. I don't think there's such a thing as a "best" food for dogs. If the dog is healthy, has excellent digestion, lots of stamina, good coat etc, then whatever it's eating is the "best" food for that particular dog. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Posted on 19 Sep 2013 14:20:21 BDT
Squib says:
My beautiful 30Kg. Pyrenean Mountain Dog puppy gets what I believe to be the best dog food going: A daily Kg. of Eukanuba puppy biscuits mixed with tinned Pedigree chum supplemented weekly with the meat of a roast chicken (I pick the bones!). However her first trick of the day is to seek out cat poo from the litter boxes plus a choice of Deer and Fox excrement gathered on her morning walk - which she always finds first and consumes with great enthusiasm! The Vet says she'll grow out of it (eventually) but it should do her no harm! Perhaps dogs know something we don't! steve.

Posted on 22 Sep 2013 10:23:59 BDT
Squib says:
Sequel to my post of Sept. 19th. - My vet mentioned that food safety regulations ensure that there should be no drug residues in any meat intended for human consumption. So I asked a nearby high class butcher if they could supply "scraps suitable for a PMD puppy" and they promptly produced their special 'doggie bags' comprising assorted minced raw meat offcuts at only a £1 per Kg! I decided to try a couple of Kg's. which I shared between my two GSD's and PMD pup. Never have I seen dogs eat so fast! Their dishes were polished clean in seconds and every scrap including the added Eukanuba bix. just vanished! Lesson: Dogs normally eat other animals - so any old raw meat will do!

Posted on 22 Sep 2013 19:20:01 BDT
Lenny says:
Next time I'd ask the butcher to not bother mincing it and just let your dogs sort that part out :)

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Oct 2013 14:10:05 BDT
http://www.nutriment.co/
Why not try Nutriment raw food? THey will deliver and have a great reputation

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Nov 2013 21:55:07 GMT
Splodge says:
Well I have. I know of a greyhound who became severly ill from a bacteria caused by the raw meat (the name escapes me) that infected her mucsle tissue and never fully recovered. She was antibiotics for the rest of her life and always had some level of pain. Sadly she had to be put to sleep at 8 years old because of this infection and her foster carers said they would never feed a raw diet again. It seems to work for lots of dogs, but there can be odd ones for whom it doesn't.
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