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Can anyone tell me about vitamins?

hddlstn02
January 12th, 2005, 11:02 AM
Can anyone tell me about vitamins? Like, do you give your animals vitamins, & if so, which ones & brands?

I'm just curious, should I be giving vitamins?

(Incase this you need to know.) I have an almost 3 yr. old neutered male cat, a 9 month old spayed female cat, and an almost 13 week old St. Bernard.

I just wasn't sure if anyone did this or if I should or... I want to keep my animals as healthy as possible...

Thanks, in advance, for any suggestions! :thumbs up

Lucky Rescue
January 12th, 2005, 11:38 AM
Healthy young cats and dogs who are getting a nutritious and balanced diet should not need any supplements or vitamins.:)

Carina
January 12th, 2005, 12:14 PM
In fact, you can do harm to your Saint by adding any supplement containing calcium. So don't do that. :)

However, there certainly are beneficial things you can add (don't have to, but won't hurt and are very good for them.) Especially bearing in mind most commercial foods are adequate, but not hardly optimum nutrition.

Fish oil - either in liquid, capsule, or canned (not mackerel) - for omega 3 fatty acids. This is excellent for joint development, skin & coat and even touted (by Eukanuba! Based on human trials) for increased cognitive functioning. My dogs get it daily; otherwise they eat a very varied raw diet & I don't believe there's anything else they "need."

If your cats are eating a decent kibble, make sure they also get canned food daily, or cooked/raw meats. An all-dry diet is very bad for cats.

Here is a really, really informative site - relating to dogs, but you can find all sorts of info here:
http://www.bowchow.com/

mastifflover
January 12th, 2005, 12:37 PM
Honestly I don't know much about cats so I will defer to someone who does. I agree no vitamins for your saint he should be on a high quality adult food no crap from the grocery store or the vets because you will pay for in the end with vet bills. Good foods will not include corn or soya these are big allergens and have no nutritional value they will just make your dog fat and they are hard to digest. I would go for a food designated for large or giant breeds they will contain Omega 3's and 6's also glucosamine and condrition. Why is she telling me to put my puppy on adult food?
There are a couple of reasons one being you want your dog to grow slowly so that the bones get dense enough and the joints are strong enought to support the weight of your dog when full grown. Underdeveloped bones will cause many problems down the line. Knee, hip spine problems all very painful and very expensive surgeries. Giant breeds are not fully grown till they are about 3 a lot of them seem finished at 2 but it is more about filling out then height. If you have any questions I could direct you to some good sites about these big dogs.

goldenblaze
January 12th, 2005, 03:06 PM
Just wanted to add that if I were you I would not give my pup adult food. puppy food for large bred is what you should be feeding. Puppy food is now sold for large bred for that reason... has all they need. I have talked to our Vet and many others who agree with feeding LB puppy till close to one yr. Blaze is now 11mths and is on his first bag of LB adult food. Nutro large bred adult, great food and no worries about bones and joints when using the right food for the size of your puppy. I do give a fish oil pill daily our Vet aswell as Luba told me about it.... great for coat and skin. Blaze is 11mths 60lbs Golden Retriever and has been feed lb puppy nutro since 8 weeks, no problems with over growing too fast.... best advice ask your own Vet what they think. :)

mastifflover
January 12th, 2005, 03:22 PM
Goldenblaze for a lab or that size dog I would also stick with puppy food for large breeds. But when you get into giant breeds the protien levels are too high. From the breeders that I spoke to they all feed puppy till 3 months then adult. Ideally I would feed raw but it is out of my budget. The dogs I know on raw diet look incredible and are acting like different dogs as far as energy level and a little bounce in their step.

Carina
January 12th, 2005, 04:38 PM
The dogs I know on raw diet look incredible and are acting like different dogs as far as energy level and a little bounce in their step.

That BowChow site has a section on different foods you can add to a kibble diet - no need to stick with only kibble. Or only one brand of kibble, for that matter. Nothing wrong with mixing & matching.
You can add canned fish, eggs, meat (raw or cooked) - IMHO animal proteins are the best thing to add. Dogs are carnivores; so the more animal protein they get, the better.
Most of the "dog people" (mostly folks who work with their dogs, do activities, compete, show, etc) either feed raw, high end kibble, or kibble + raw. Actually, most feed primarily raw, now that I think about it! :)

mastifflover
January 12th, 2005, 05:07 PM
Since you are a raw feeder what do you think of feeding raw on weekends and kibble during the week. When I am on a show my times are so crazy it would not be fair or wise to feed raw when it is convienent so on weekends I could be consistent. I have a friend with a bullmastiff and she has been feeding raw now for 8 months. I had not seen her in about 2.5 months and ran into her at High Park and did not even recognize her dog she had lost weight (she was over by about 5 lbs.) her stomach was pink like a puppys and it had previously been very dark, she has not had a bladder infection since switching and she had one chronically. She is 8 and acting like a 3 year old. This just amazed me the effects after such a short time her nutrionalist said she would not really see any changes for about 3-4 months till all the toxins were out of her system.

Carina
January 12th, 2005, 06:17 PM
I know someone who feeds raw or kibble, depending on schedule etc. She competes nationally with her dogs in agility & feeds kibble when they're on the road, or when she's on night shift & her husband has to feed the dogs (he doesn't like to deal with the raw.) For her dogs, it's pretty random.

Not counting all the "success stories" online with various benefits of feeding raw, I know several people & their dogs personally who have had some amazing turn-arounds in chronic health conditions after going to 100% raw. My "guinea pig" dog (the first one I went to all raw with) was 11/12 years old when I switched. She had a couple of fatty benign tumors - one the size of a tennis ball - that disappeared. (Came back about a year later, but didn't get large.) Her teeth & breath had always been bad; I used to get her teeth scaled every year. Two months after quitting kibble, I took her in for her annual HW check & my vet asked who had cleaned her teeth? :) Her breath never smelled again, she passed at 14/15 years old.
Also two vets told me her kidneys were failing & she needed r/x kibble, or she would get sick & die. She soldiered on for another 4 years after that! I finally helped her pass on :( because her arthritis and joint pain were getting severe - she was a large dog & had always been very active.

Having said that diet isn't a cure-all. But I have seen some pretty interesting changes in dogs once they've been taken off kibble.
And of course many dogs live long healthy lives on cheap commercial food....but since it's so easy to control diet, it's worth feeding the best you can, IMHO. The notion of feeding pellets to dogs just seems so bizarre to me now! :yuck:

hddlstn02
January 13th, 2005, 09:29 AM
OK, so a raw diet is better. What should I give him? I know a buthcher & he has said he would sell/give me the bones & "scraps" of meat. Is there any part of an beef/pig I shouldn't feed him? Also, is tuna OK for dogs? I used to feed my cats tuna as a treat, but many ppl told me this was not good. Does the fish oil have the same effect on cats? Also, if it is OK for dogs (or cats) should I get tuna in water or oil... I would guess oil since you are all saying 'fish oil'.

Thanks for all of your help.... I'm posting another ? on this topic.... Please check it out.

I love this site! There are so many good ppl out there willing to help! Thanks a bunch! :thumbs up :p

mastifflover
January 13th, 2005, 09:44 AM
Carina my concern is that switching food according to when I can do raw and when I cant is that he might end up with the runs. Or do you think if I do it more regimented just weekends his system might accept it more?

happycats
January 13th, 2005, 09:50 AM
Is the Saint the dog you keep outside??
Because I understand, that an outside dog requires a different diet then an inside one.

Carina
January 13th, 2005, 10:06 AM
. What should I give him? I know a buthcher & he has said he would sell/give me the bones & "scraps" of meat. Is there any part of an beef/pig I shouldn't feed him? Also, is tuna OK for dogs? I used to feed my cats tuna as a treat, but many ppl told me this was not good. Does the fish oil have the same effect on cats? Also, if it is OK for dogs (or cats) should I get tuna in water or oil... I would guess oil since you are all saying 'fish oil'.



So many questions so little time. :D
Read through the bowchow site, also check here:
http://www.njboxers.com/faqs.htm

*Pretty much any part of a cow or pig is fine. Feeding all raw if you want to go that route isn't rocket science, but there are some basic guidelines you must be aware of.
I wrote a book about it....check my profile for the site. Sold all over the place, both online & in regular bookstores.
*Tuna isn't the best choice....canned mackerel, sardines, salmon. I buy it at dollar stores, very cheap that way. The oil you want is in the fish....it's canned in soybean oil which isn't particularly useful. Canned in water is just fine.
*Outside dogs don't need a different diet - except maybe more calories in winter to stay warm. (Not that I am advocating owning "outside" dogs here.)

Mastifflover....a dog who gets a normal varied diet doesn't have that unnatural "sensitive stomach" that so many dogs do. So getting the runs isn't really a problem.

mastifflover
January 13th, 2005, 11:40 AM
Thank you that is what I was hoping you might say so I think we will start doing it on weekends and who knows I will see how it goes maybe full time.

Carina
January 13th, 2005, 12:02 PM
If your dogs are used to eating just kibble, start with small raw meals, not too much fat. Until they get used to it...otherwise they may get the runs at first!

Some people like to give probiotics & digestive enzymes when changing the diet (I've never done this.)
The woman who runs this site is a well respected Rottweiler & dog health person:
http://b-naturals.com/default.php
If anyone is looking for very high quality supplements...she also has lots of intelligent & well thought out articles in her archives.
And - I own a friendly, relaxed raw-feeding & diet Yahoo group. I'm not going to post it here, but if anyone wants to join, PM me & I'll give you the address. :)

hddlstn02
January 13th, 2005, 01:35 PM
Is the Saint the dog you keep outside??
Because I understand, that an outside dog requires a different diet then an inside one.

No, it's the Black Lab we keep outside. She was already 2 1/2 yrs. old when whe got her (from some one who could no longer care for her) & she had always been outside... We've tried to bring her in, but when/if we get her in, she's very nervous & sits by the door & cries to go back out, so she is obviously much happier outside... I think it causes too much stress for her when she's inside also... She has a dry warm place to sleep & doesn't seem to mind the cold at all. But, the winters here are probably mild compared to Canada's, she might want to come in if she lived there! :p

The St. Bernard was only about 9/10 wks. old when we got him... He has stayed inside since he was weaned from his mother @ the previous owner's house, so he is much more comfortable inside.

Also, I went to www.bowchow.com... Thanks Carina! It's a great site... I read the answer to my tuna question there...LOL :o I'm definitly going to bookmark that one.

Thanks for everyone's time & thoughts! :thumbs up