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Dog Food Dilemma

February 4th, 2006, 09:24 AM
I keep reading so many threads on what foods to feed and health problems from the food and can't help but wonder why there aren't more people doing research on feeding raw. Simply look at the ingredients on ANY dog food bag and the answer should be clear. There's so much cereal, by-products, chemicals and so on that I wouldn't eat it either! Oh yeah, it's really convenient to simply poor it out of a bag but if you love your pets so much, why wouldn't you give them basic whole foods that they were meant to eat? Our pets don't live long enough as it is, and I don't know about you, but I would hate to think that we shortened our dogs life by not feeding it right. There are options out there!!!

February 4th, 2006, 09:47 AM
totally agree, and this is the exact mental exercise we went through before getting our boy two years ago. we did our homework and the answer was pretty clear! unfortunately our dog did not take to the raw diet very well so we did end up having to "supplement" with kibble, i don't like it but better than seeing him all skin and bones. our new puppy, on the other hand, hates kibble and only wants to eat raw! (good girl)

i am happy to see that most people on this forum are open to learning about alternatives to feeding their pets a commercial diet, ultimately everyone will benefit with improved health, reduced vet bills and a sense of "doing good"! :highfive:

February 4th, 2006, 11:10 AM
Thanks Technodoll, for replying to my thread. I was beginning to think nobody out there knew or cared about feeding the raw diet. What, for interests sake, do you feed your dog? Right now I'm feeding chicken necks, veggies done in the food processor, flax seed oil, raw eggs (including shells) and yoghurt. Her recreational bones are usually beef marrow bones. Any suggestions for treats? Keep in mind we still use treats for training so they would have to be portable and small.

February 4th, 2006, 11:22 AM
"Right now I'm feeding chicken necks, veggies done in the food processor, flax seed oil, raw eggs (including shells) and yoghurt."

hmm you definitely need to be feeding more meat, your dog is on a veggie & dairy diet! chicken necks are more than 50% bone, and dogs only need about 15-20% bone max. they are great as snacks but should NOT be the sole source of meat: feed that dog whole chickens cut up in quarters, beef hearts, pork roasts, big chunks of turkey, whole fish, any meats you can get your hands on for cheap and don't forget the organ meat, which should be 10-15% of the overall diet. your dog needs protein, lots of protein, and a good variety of protein in both red and white meats as well as fish (you can do canned fatty fish too). otherwise you will end up with a vitamin-deficient dog down the road.

dogs do not need veggies, it fills them up leaving no room for vital meat (dogs are not like us & don't need the fiber, unless you are feeding too much bone), so feel free to give veggies as treats but i would strongly suggest to reduce the amount you are giving. plus it's alot of work to juice everything up, give yourself a break! hint: if mother nature intended for dogs to need fruits & veggies, she would have given them the necessary digestive enzymes to process them instead of humans having to pulp (= pre-digest) the stuff for them :)

eggs are great, yogurt as a treat is fine but limit the dairy, and replace all vegetable-based oils with Omega-3 rich fish oils.

does this help? LOL :thumbs up

February 5th, 2006, 07:57 AM
I am happy that you are having success with a raw diet and respect your decision to do so. Personally I have many reasons for not feeding this method, one being that I don't know enough about a dogs nutritional needs and have decided to leave that to the professionals. I feed the best quality kibble I have found and can afford and supplement their kibble with other nutritional foods. I am happy with their overall health and looks.
You mention that you are only giving only chicken necks. I have done enough reading on this subject to know that dogs need more than chicken and need a variety of meats while being fed this method of feeding. I urge anyone who decides to try raw that they do their research, read extensively and be in regular contact with someone who has been feeding this method successfully for a long time before starting on such a diet.

I do have other reasons for not feeding raw but don't feel a need to justify my decision. I only wish that others would do the same and respect the decision of those of us who have decided to stay with kibble. I didn't make this decision lightly. I have done a lot of reading, research and have owned dogs all my life. I don't feed kibble because it is the EASY thing to do. I do rescue work and belong to a number of dog groups. While I am not an expert I do consider myself to be an experienced dog person.

February 5th, 2006, 09:14 AM
We have had a total of 4 different breeds of dogs in our household in the past 30 years. Needless to say each had the kind of food that worked best for them. Rusty had dry kibble and people food. Sam and Charlie had the same but more raw choices. Unfortunately as each of these dogs got older, their stomachs could not take any kind of food other than kibble and special but limited treats. Our 14 year old is on a strict diet of no raw food whatsoever. He is on a special dog food specifically formulated for his liver ailment. I would not change a thing and trust my vet 100% since he has already saved Gweedo from a crippling defect. Why would I? I love my pet as much as anybody can but know that special needs in pets, as in people, should be left to the professionals. Dogs have evolved to the present day and while originally meant to eat raw they have been conditioned over time and altered in the same way as we have. Leave our pets' care to the professionals. They know a lot more than we will ever know. Gweedo, at the age of 1 already had a reputation with Dr. Paul and his staff. His eye is always on the door out but we know what Dr. Paul has done for him.

February 5th, 2006, 10:00 AM
Thanks everyone for your input. That's what I like about this forum - so many interesting and informative comments. She is getting 2 lbs. of chicken necks each day. Is this still not enough? As far as the veggies go, I only put in a teaspoon and mix it in with the meat. The reason for the chicken necks for now is I was able to get a good supply of them from a local butcher. She has had wings (chicken & turkey) as well as legs and backs. She's also had organ meats. One thing I can't get her to eat is fish. I have a whole whitefish in the freezer as well as smelts but she won't go near them. When you mentioned about canned, can she have tuna, salmon or sardines?

February 6th, 2006, 09:20 AM
Oh yeah, it's really convenient to simply poor it out of a bag but if you love your pets so much, why wouldn't you give them basic whole foods that they were meant to eat?

I have to say I think this comment is somewhat incendiary and offensive. I do not have a problem with people who come to this forum with an OPINION, and even more respect for those who come prepared to support/debate that opinion with facts. It is quite another to come here and insinuate that those of us who choose to feed our dogs kibble don't love our pets.

When I first joined this forum, it was with the express purpose of finding the best food for my dog. Some people supported feeding raw, others supported kibble and were able to provide helpful information on good dry foods. I have made the choice to feed kibble, because I'm not entirely sold on feeding raw. Does that make feeding raw wrong, or mean that I don't love my dog? I don't think so.

And really, such a blanket statement does not take into account the fact that some people may want to feed raw, but just can't. Even if I was so inclined to feed Harley raw foods, I really wouldn't be able to. I currently live in an apartment with a single refrigerator, and I'm a single mother working full time with a five year old son to take care of. The storage and time issues would be major constraints.

February 6th, 2006, 11:42 AM
Frankly, I think that feeding kibble actually gives my dogs more variety than I could ever give them. My kibble has ingredients that we would never have in the house, but are so healthy that we should. There are good, holistic kibbles out there that are better than what I could ever eat myself. I'm also a biologist at heart so having raw meat around is not high on my list of priorities.

February 6th, 2006, 12:44 PM
Oh yeah, it's really convenient to simply poor it out of a bag but if you love your pets so much, why wouldn't you give them basic whole foods that they were meant to eat? Our pets don't live long enough as it is, and I don't know about you, but I would hate to think that we shortened our dogs life by not feeding it right. There are options out there!!!

I have to agree with SunGurl372, please don't insinuate that we don't love our pets, we're shorting their lives, or not providing good nutrition by choosing not to feed raw. Options? sure, it MAY be an option for YOU, but not for me, and not for some others who frequent this forum.

it IS convenient for me pour my dog's kibble out of the bag. premium kibble. the best I can afford. for god's sake, I can barely afford meats for the people in the house to eat. pretty soon, we're all going to be eating kibble. :rolleyes:

February 6th, 2006, 12:50 PM
Somebody could also come in here and criticize raw feeders for not feeding organic meat. Do you know how many hormones are in regular meat? Do you know how much they would shorten your dog's life?

There's no limit.

I'm happy with my food and anybody who has ever met Jemma and Boo know how healthy they are, how shiny their coats are, how clean their teeth are, etc.

February 6th, 2006, 01:18 PM
Thanks Technodoll, for replying to my thread. I was beginning to think nobody out there knew or cared about feeding the raw diet. .

I originally wasn't going to respond to this thread because I was a little insulted by your original post. I resent being accused of not loving my dog because I feed him kibble.
I do think raw is a great diet for dogs, but it has it's controversies and it has to be done right. If you research BARF diet, you'll know that chicken necks aren't enough protein for your dogs. They also need a VARIETY of meats.

Personnaly, I'm a germaphobe, and feeding raw will make my life a living hell -- and I'd rather enjoy my time with my pooch than spend it cleaning like a madwoman!! I know people who feed raw, and I think if done right, it can be wonderfull. But GOOD QUALITY kibble is also a good diet for a pooch. I'm not talking about grocery store kibble, but wellness and Solid Gold and Eagle pack are just a few examples of wonderfull dog foods.

I feed Buster salmon or tuna (or any other fish or meat that's on sale at the butchers) -- cooked -- in the morning, and his kibble (NUTRAM lamb and rice)with a little added canola oil at night. Nutram has alot of rice in it - -which is why I supplement some protein in the morning, plus it gives him the variety of meat that he needs. He's VERY healthy, has healthy teeth (I brush them, plus he gets a raw bone every now and then), healthy stools and a beautifull shiny coat (people comment on it all the time). He's at a perfect weight, and he's quite the happy pooch. I'm happy with my decision to feed kibble, and I'm glad you're happy with yours to feed raw, but don't tell me I'm a bad dog owner for feeding what I do.

February 7th, 2006, 10:11 AM
Well, I guess I deserved that! Sorry for being so adamant about the whole raw feeding issue. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that there are options out there and a steady diet of processed food isn't good for anyone - our pets included. This raw diet thing is new to me too and is as a result of losing our beloved lab from cancer at only 9 yrs. old. I'm trying to give our new pup every advantage in life and if changing her diet will help, then I'm willing to do it. Anyone I know who has made this change, has noticed a difference in their pets overall health, and as for me, I guess only time will tell.:fingerscr

February 7th, 2006, 10:21 AM
What I do it Harley will get a very balanced kibble in the morning, and for extra protein, and a different protein he gets raw at night.
Alot of dogs can not adjust to a raw diet, stomache too weak. It took alot for harley to become ok with this food.
Not everyone will or even should feed a raw diet. If you do not know exactly what they need, you can do alot more damage than good. A high quality kibble will do just fine

February 7th, 2006, 12:38 PM
I guess the point I'm trying to make is that there are options out there and a steady diet of processed food isn't good for anyone - our pets included. I don't get it. How is feeding chicken necks every day more variety?

February 7th, 2006, 12:57 PM
yep, doctors and nutritionists will tell you to avoid processed foods as much as possible and include a variety of whole, natural and fresh foods in your diet for optimal health. this also applies to our furry friends, no doubt about it. sure there are dogs and cats that live to be 15 on cereal pellets but they are the exception, not the rule, and they certainly go down with many health ailments that would have otherwise been prevented had a species-appropriate diet been fed.

having said this, i feed raw as much as i can but with one dog not liking it much, and the other dog not eating enough of it to grow properly, it's a task. i don't like giving them the processed stuff :yuck: but it's only temporary.

whatever people choose to feed their pets, fine. As long as they do it with full knowledge of what they are feeding, the choices are there. Like they say, opinions are like ***holes, everybody's got one, LOL! as long as we respect other's points of view we'll all get along. :)

February 7th, 2006, 02:42 PM
Can't believe the slamming I'm getting on this issue. First off, I'm not an expert on this subject (that's why I joined this forum - to get info), secondly I have done quite a bit of research on the subject and still learning from it. Thirdly, I DON'T just feed chicken necks. The only reason for now is that I have 20lbs. of the little suckers in my freezer and she loves them. And last but not least, I too, love my pup and certainly wouldn't jeopardize her health by feeding this way. Got to go - have to get "the necks" out of the fridge!:D

February 7th, 2006, 05:09 PM
Sorry, it's not slamming. I'm just trying to say that variety to you and bland to you can be completely different things to me. My dogs are so excited to eat their food in the morning. More excited than they are for any human food- even meat.

February 7th, 2006, 08:01 PM
I wasn't initally going to repond to this thread but after reading all the responses I want to put my $0.02 in for what it's worth.

Bailey is raw feed. The descision to feed raw was made after several months of reseach on my part. It is more work than feeding kibble but I knew that going in.

That being said we have many firends to feed their dogs kibble and I don't feel that they love their dogs less or care about their well being less then I do.

I think most people, regardless of what they feed thir dogs, are ultimately doing what they feel is best for them and I think that's what really matters.

February 7th, 2006, 08:11 PM
I also wanted to add that you should be careful feeding your dog chicken necks. Firstly, they do not have a lot of meat so do not provide a lot of nutritionally value from a raw feeding perspective. You shoud try chicken leg 1/4's, hind quarters or breasts. These would constitute a whole meal, a chicken neck would not.

Secondly, necks can pose a choking hazard to dogs of any size due to their shape. You should be very careful if you insist on feeding these to your dog.

February 7th, 2006, 08:25 PM
I think Raw is a neat idea, but it wouldn't work for a lot of people, specifically those who don't have access to cheap meats or the room to freeze large quantities of meat.

February 7th, 2006, 09:56 PM
Personally if I did not work such ridiculous hours I would feed raw for sure. But it does not work for me unfortunately. I know quite a few dogs on raw and they were all switched over in the last 2 years and they look great and are more active and one dog in particular used to get uti all the time and has not had one since the switch. They have all either maintained their weight or they have lost weight. I think this is the healthiest way to go. It is from what I understand it is no more expensive and can be prepackaged and frozen individually. All of the people I know do add salmon or fish oil and glucosamine and condriton for the Mastiffs that are on it.

February 9th, 2006, 12:00 PM
I would love to feed raw, I hear it's pretty darn expensive though to do it correctly. I have 6 cats and 2 dogs and I work full time and take night classes so it's not an option for me, maybe in the future. For now I swap between Fromm, Innova, Wellness, Solid Gold, Nutro Ultra, Evolve and Canidae/Felidae. Every time I go to my pet store they have a new holistic brand to try so I try and switch things up to give variety to my pets. I also add a bit of canned when I can afford it. For now my cats and dogs get meat treats from our dinner. I always cook them a separate portion with no spices or sauce.

I am just happy they have good quality foods to chose from and that I can educate people to switch from their Iams to something better. People mean well, I have a friend who adores his golden and was paying for what he thought was the best (I think Techni-cal or Eukanuba) and I advised him on getting a better brand and to go to the petstore I deal with. I came over to his house months later and there sits a big bag of Wellness. I think it's great when you can help people understand what options they have to keep their animals healthy and that there are stores out there to buy good dog food besides the grocery store.

Kelsey's papa
February 19th, 2006, 10:01 AM
I have been reading-today for the first time the various quotes from dog lovers out there. I too am a dog lover-and my wife and I have come to the conclusion that the only option left over our dog's allergies is home made food. Yes I have been a bad boy and feed from the table and get the wake up call throughout the night with "Kelsey" licking constantly-found out through a lab report that just about everything I fed her from the table is one of her many allergies. Also found out that even the Hill's Science Diet ZD food we purchased from the Vet has contents that are included in her no no list. We are very pleased with our Vet- Best one we have ever had-really does care.
Kelsey is allergic to all meats except Lamb and Venison (no to Chicken, beef, pork etc.) and is allergic to wheats,RICE, peas,eggs and so on.
We are starting today with a Lamb-(I'll be snacking since I like Lamb), carrots, etc. that are on her OK list so very anxious to see how it works out.
Before registering I read some of the quotes on yeast and the smelly ears. This is a problem to us and I was quite surprise to read those quotes on feeding Yogurt to dogs to stop the yeast infrections. Going to try that as well -in moderation first to see what that does for her ears as well as her armpits. Vet says it -redness-is a yeast infection also. We get Nizozal pills for that when it flares and use a commercial Nizoral shampoo which helps control this. It will be interesting to see the effects of the yogurt on both areas.
Well I tend to be long winded and for this I appoligize- I will try to be brief in the future.
Any input on diets from our stove top would be looked at with hopes for a cure and good nights sleep.

February 19th, 2006, 05:07 PM
Hi Greg

First I just want to mention that I am no expert. I have like others who frequent this board done a lot of experimenting and reading on the subject of dog nutrition. This thread is about RAW which is different from feeding cooked foods. RAW is basically giving your dog raw meat and bones as well as other things like vegetables. It works for many dogs with allergies.
What you are planning on doing is giving Kelsey cooked food which in itself is good but you will have to be careful that you don't introduce too many things to her diet at once. Basically what you want to try and do is figure out what she can handle without making her sick and then feed only that. It can take weeks to see a difference so you will have to continue feeding her the same thing for a month or so before you see any results, negative or positive. If you see she is doing well then you introduce one more food. If she is not doing well then you will have to eliminate. It is a process of elimination.
On the other hand there are a number of dog food kibbles that do contain ingredients that are often okay for dogs with allergies. For example Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance, Duck and potato. Wellness also has a duck formula. Many dogs with allergies do great on them. One of my dogs has problems with skin infections. I changed her food last year to Solid Gold Wolf King. The meat protein in this food is bison and salmon. I supplement it with seameal and in one year she has only had one small skin infection, no ear infections or even dirty ears.
You will have to be very careful with anything you feed Kelsey. Just one Milkbone dog biscuit can set off an allergy so even dog treats will have to be eliminated completely until you get the food under control.

Hope this helps a bit and doesn't confuse you too much.

February 19th, 2006, 06:30 PM
I also feed Wolf King. One of my dogs has allergies to wheat and corn and the other to chicken, so it works well for me. They also eat lamb and lake trout cookies that are wheat and corn free too.

March 3rd, 2006, 10:57 PM
I feed all of my chihuahuas raw and they are doing very well.
I spent a lot of time putting a website up for my future puppy owners with guidelines for a healthy diet and info on how to feed raw.

I know everone does things differently and I'm only putting this out there in case anyone wants more info on ways to feed raw and maybe some new ideas/ a different perspective. This is just what I've learned from reading different books on raw feeding and talking to lots of other people about how they feed raw. Hope it can help someone.

March 5th, 2006, 04:18 PM
Starsen, I read your website and you certainly have put a lot into it.

I would like to know why you think sunflower oil is the best. It is mostly Omega 6 with very little Omega 3. You mention California Natural as being one of the best kibble foods and its only source of fat is sunflower oil and it has no source of Omega 3 to give a balanced ratio.

Also, you say barley is very bad for dogs. I`ve always read that it is one of the better grain sources so please list some reference for that. :pawprint:

March 5th, 2006, 07:36 PM
Rainbow's gettin' tough! :) Good points though.

March 5th, 2006, 10:05 PM
Yes, very good points!
Barley is a gluten containing grain, just like wheat. That makes it harder to digest and something that should be eliminated from the diets of sensitive dogs. Here's an article on gluten and petfood:

About the sunflower oil:
Omega 6 fatty acids are just as necessary in a dog's diet as the 3's. I feed and recommend a raw diet with fish oil supplementation, so the California natural lamb and rice fits right into my method of feeding- I'm already adding the Omega 3's to balance out the 6's.

The California Natural Chicken and rice contains flax seed, so that would be a better than the lamb formula for someone that wasn't feeding raw/ supplementing with fish oil. For a dog that can't have chicken or has issues with flax, than the lamb and rice formula should be fed with fish oil supplementation.

I picked the California Natural for what it doesn't have- like gluten grains, yeast, dairy, menadione derived vitamin k, canola oil, menhaden fish meal, etc.
It is a truly hypoallergenic diet. I think they left out the fish because some dogs are allergic to fish. They only put flax in one formula because some dogs are allergic to that, too. It's impossible to please everybody!

I don't think I specifically said that sunflower oil is best (correct me if I did!), but it's a whole lot better than canola oil or "animal fat"...
I wouldn't mind seeing grapeseed oil or olive oil in dog food instead, but those are expensive ingredients...

March 5th, 2006, 10:10 PM
Why is it better than canola?

March 5th, 2006, 10:31 PM
Great site starsen,I tend to agree with most of your beliefs.

March 5th, 2006, 10:55 PM
Here's a very unbiased version of the story on canola oil: (scroll down more for the very biased version)

I stay on the safe side- if they can't remove 100% of that erucic acid, I won't feed it to my dogs. Even small amounts of toxic substances are not okay as far as I'm concerned.

This is what Natura says about canola oil:

"Canola oil, although a single-source oil, is lower in the essential linoleic acids which provide a lustrous coat and soft, supple skin.

Instead of canola, Natura uses pure Sunflower Oil which is the most expensive and highest in linoleic acid of all table-quality oils."

March 5th, 2006, 11:01 PM
Yes sunflower oil is high in omega-6, an essential fatty acid, but if you read up on omega-6's, they are so much easier to come by in any diet that there is virtually no need to consciously add it. Too much of it causes so many ailments too. Read some of the links I posted here: They all say to limit your intake of linoleic acid.

March 6th, 2006, 07:18 AM
I have a rescue dog - part poodle and part who knows what- He absolutely refused to eat any type of processed dog food. If I could get him to eat even a small amount he would barf it back up. I started making his food. The vet said the homemade diet contained everything he needed. I cook carrot, beans, pasta, rice and oatmeal. I also add either beef ( lean cut roast) or chicken, turkey, chicken hearts and livers, salmon. He also likes raw fruit, raw carrots, raw red peppers and raw broccoli- Absolutely no onions. I also add a calcium supplement to his cooked food along with egg, cheese and a little olive oil. I cook enough to last 4 days and then make a new batch. It really isnt a lot of work once you get used to doing it. The ratios I use are 1/4 veggie, 1/4 grains (no corn or potatoes) and 1/2 protein.
He seems to like it. I vary the type of meat each time so he gets a variety.

March 6th, 2006, 01:32 PM
"If they have salmon, flaxseed oil or other sources high in omega-3, then they should be ok. If they don't all you have to do is supplement with either omega-3 or flaxseed oil..."
The above is a quote from that thread.

It's not that the omega 6 fatty acids are harmful in any way, just that they need to be balanced out with some omega 3's.

Like I mentioned, The CA Natural chicken has the flaxseed. If someone wants to feed the lamb formula, they just need to supplement with fish oil or another source of omega 3 fatty acids.

For the method of feeding I'm recommending in my website, it doesn't matter, because I use a predominantly raw diet that is supplemented with fish oil and the kibble is a very small portion of their daily diet.

If I fed kibble exclusively, I'd rather add some fish oil to my dog's diet than worry about some cheap, slightly toxic export oil being used in the food.

March 6th, 2006, 01:46 PM
Flaxseed in the food is iffy when it has been cooked at 400 degrees... If that was the only thing to counter the main fat in whatever I was feeding being too high in omega-6's then I'd supplement. You feed raw, so it's not so bad, but somebody feeding this kibble alone is better to supplement it with flaxseed oil or another source of omega 3.

March 6th, 2006, 01:52 PM
I totally agree with you there.

March 6th, 2006, 01:54 PM
Alright then.:D :thumbs up

March 16th, 2006, 04:19 AM
By the way, now that I finally figured out that this is a Canadian website, I'm dying to ask, how do you all feel about canola oil?

My husband told me that people in Canada don't eat canola oil- they export it all. Is that true?
(He doesn't always give me accurate info, so correct me here if this is WAY off!)

March 16th, 2006, 04:52 AM
We eat a lot of canola oil. It's just as advertised here as everywhere else.;)