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Senior cat food?

Mia101
November 24th, 2007, 05:02 PM
It is necessary? I think mine is doing better since putting her back on adult food, but I also went up in quality. She is thin, she doesn't need lower cal or fat, I don't think.

But are there other factors to consider senior varieties?

Somewhere I read something about another factor to consider for seniors, but I can't remember what it is! :wall:

Frenchy
November 24th, 2007, 05:07 PM
If it's like for dog food , no you don't need to buy it. 2 of my 3 dogs are seniors and most of my fosters are also. I never buy that senior stuff. You can just give adult food and cut the amount a bit.

sugarcatmom
November 24th, 2007, 06:05 PM
I would steer clear of any senior cat food. They tend to be higher in carbohydrates and lower in protein, which isn't good for cats at any age.

kiara
November 25th, 2007, 12:41 PM
You are all wrong! I am not an expert on pet food! These different formulas (which are scientifficaly prepared) like kitten or puppy food, senior, etc... have special ingredients in them, which are needed for every stage of the pet's life. I am just a pet lover and owner like you. I think that common sense should be used in this matter. I don't undertand why people on this forum are vet wannabies? Please don't get mad at me!!! A lot of research goes into pet food industry. And that's why pets live longer and healthier lives and also need the vet's care less often. Just my opinion!!!!! I really feel very strongly about this matter.

Frenchy
November 25th, 2007, 02:11 PM
I don't undertand why people on this forum are vet wannabies?

:confused: so everybody's wrong and you're right ? :rolleyes:

mummummum
November 25th, 2007, 02:29 PM
You are all wrong!

Mmmmmmmm...I don't think so. The funny thing about Senior foods is that they are lower in proteins (which animals need and can best absorb) and higher in carbohydrates (which animals need to some extent but don't really need and can't absorb readily, especially those higher in cellulose than others) and the really scary thing in many pet foods period is the amount of SUGAR ~ which animals neither need nor can convert to useable energy.

I am one of those know-nothings about cats but, I do know a little about food. I would STRONGLY recommend that you look to holistic foods for your answer. A less active cat simply needs less food ~ they don't need more starch which has been coated in sugar to make it more palatable.

sugarcatmom
November 25th, 2007, 03:06 PM
I really feel very strongly about this matter.

As do I, enough to research the subject more than most vets. You might be shocked to find out that feline nutrition makes up very little of the average vet student's curriculum. Unless they actively seek out more diverse information sources, what they learn is what pet food companies like Hill's, Purina, Medi-cal etc. teach them in the "seminars" they offer on campus. Oh ya, and the students also get free bags of food while they're going to school: Hill's on Campus (http://www.hillsvet.com/zSkin_2/company_info/company_info_general.jsp?JSESSIONID=HJZycMrE85z6r1 APzIAkU7wQdMC4aKhaysx1OkMEsh8peBkIVdBy!598359213!1 67846923!7005!8005&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302051875&CONTENT%3C%3Ecnt_id=10134198673282059&bmUID=1196022194966)

College Feeding Program
We help nourish the pets you live with and learn from. Hill's donates pet food products at no charge to selected veterinary colleges. We do this for teaching hospitals’ animal patients and for the pets of students and staff. When these schools sell the food we provide, the proceeds go toward student activities and scholarships in many colleges.


How generous of them. :rolleyes:

These different formulas (which are scientifficaly prepared) like kitten or puppy food, senior, etc... have special ingredients in them, which are needed for every stage of the pet's life.

That is so NOT the case. An excerpt from this very excellent book on raising healthy cats: Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life (http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0312358016/ref=sib_dp_pop_fc?ie=UTF8&p=S001#reader-link), by Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins, 2007.

Today, pet food companies spend millions of dollars in marketing each year to convince cat owners that every stage of the cat requires a change to a different formula of their pet foods. ..... Interestingly, the difference in these formulas is little more than increased carbohydrate and fiber levels in the adult and older-cat products.

Adult and senior cats retain the same requirement for high protein, moderate fat, and low carbohydrate of the young cat. Although their calorie requirements may change over time, older cats accommodate this change by consuming smaller amounts of food, not by consuming a different kind of food. .....

As the cat becomes older, its ability to digest and assimilate all of the dietary nutrients in its food decreases gradually. Yet, the older cat that eats a commercial adult or senior cat formula actually receives less nutritional value in its diet, creating significant potential for deficiencies. Lowered protein causes the high-protein requirements of the cat to go unsatisfied, and lowered calories from fat shortchange the skin and coat, and force the cat to eat yet more carbohydrate to get enough calories for energy. In short, the feline nutritional principles behind life-stage formulas are upside-down.

A lot of research goes into pet food industry. And that's why pets live longer and healthier lives and also need the vet's care less often.

You couldn't be further from the truth on this point. From this link:
Rebuttal to Pet Food Industry Response to Hearings Held April 12, 2007 (http://all-about-cats.com/rebuttal.htm). statements in bold by Dr. Hodgkins:

"Question
Are fillers used in pet food?"

"Answer
Every ingredient used in pet food is there for a reason. Decades of research have gone into making pet foods that meet the nutritional needs of dogs and cats. The makers of pet food do not put in anything that's not needed."


There is almost no research on any pet food anywhere that can be considered scientific by any genuine scientist. Whether reused vegetable oil and rendered animal scraps and wood cellulose is “needed” by any dog or cat is very highly questionable by intelligent and well trained experts. The cat has absolutely no need for carbohydrates, for example, yet all dry cat food has PLENTY of this cheap ingredient that is required for dry food processing. Further, the acids that pet food companies put into “urinary tract diets” can and do even cause other diseases, proving that those acidifiers are not only not needed, but are even harmful to many cats. Pet food companies absolutely DO put things in pet food that are not needed and that can even cause harm.



"Veterinarians agree that pets are living longer, healthier lives since the use of commercially prepared pet foods became widespread. Decades of research have gone into the development of pet food to make sure the special nutrition needs of pet dogs and cats are met."


Veterinarians DO NOT agree about this, they can’t, it is totally unproven. Evidence about changes in the life span of pets over the past several decades is sparse, and no scientist would dare draw the conclusion that pets today live longer on average than pets 30-40 years ago, for example. What does seem clear is that today’s indoor pets live much longer than those that live outdoors. The evidence for this conclusion is strong.

Those who would give commercial pet food even partial credit for this increase in life expectancy in the indoor pet, however, have absolutely no evidence to back up this conclusion. There are many factors that affect the life span of pet animals under indoor and outdoor circumstances. Indoor pets are more protected from death due to automobiles and predators, they are more protected from exposure to infectious disease and often receive more medial care than outdoor pets, to name just a few of the important differences between these two groups. It is easy to sweep commercial food consumption right along with all of these other factors as contributing to longer life in today’s pets. Unfortunately for this particular factor, there is no reason to believe it has anything to do with the longer life of house pets. Let’s look at an analogy to understand how this might be so.

Humans in the US enjoy longer life expectancy today than they did fifty years ago. During those decades of improving average life span, those same people have consumed ever-increasing amounts of fat-laden, sugary, carbohydrate-rich “fast” food and other types of over-processed “convenience” foods. We are far more obese today than in decades past, and human nutritionists nag us endlessly about changing our diets to include better quality, fresh whole foods. Imagine anyone believing that this increasing consumption of highly processed “fast” foods and increasing obesity is the reason, or even makes a positive contribution to our increasing life spans! We are living longer in spite of our diets, not because of them. Many other factors, such as less tobacco smoking, the use of seatbelts, better prenatal and postnatal care, and astonishing high-tech medical advancements for defeating disease and injury account for our increasing life spans. Our convenience-oriented diets are actually working against longer life, but cannot defeat all of these other strong protective factors in our lives.

So it is with our pets. When they live indoors, they live longer than if they lived outdoors, but commercial foods likely have no part in adding those extra years. Like our own “overprocessed” diets, they may even be depriving our pets of even greater health and longevity. If you hear anyone make the flat statement that pet are living longer BECAUSE of commercial foods, demand to see the scientific data for that statement!

mummummum
November 25th, 2007, 03:15 PM
Sugarcatmom ~ that's alot of information. Could you distill your opinon?

chico2
November 25th, 2007, 03:47 PM
Kiara what you said was totally uncalled for..:frustrated:
Most of us here who have cats,have had cats forever and do our own research as to what is best for our cats,especially now,with the problems from China.
I,ve had cats who lived to be 19yrs old,I never fed any senior cat,senior food,as they grew older they ate a little less on their own.
If it was up to my vet,I would be feeding my 3 male cats,Hills or Sience Diet Dry,an extreemly overpriced food,not much better quality than Purina Cat-Chow:laughing:
What I did not know about cat-food before,I've learned from people here,who have done their research and I am very greatful.

Mia101
November 25th, 2007, 05:28 PM
I have an 'online' friend who is a Vet AND studies nutrition. She did tell me that most 'formulas' are gimmicks. Indoor, hairball, urinary tract, etc.

She did say, however, that puppy food for large breed dogs was not, that is a result of real research. First they thought they needed more carbs, then they figured out it's more protein, not carbs. They want them growing substance before size, or for it to keep pace or something.

She does back up that Hills, etc. does a lot of the research, and that Royal Canin, a brand most of us consider not-so-great, is the only one with therapeutic levels of glucosamine, for joints. All the other foods that say they have it don't have therapeutic levels, or it would have to be considered a drug, and be regulated.

I don't remember how Royal Canin can have it, maybe it's something besides glucosamine it has for joints.

I guess it's not really helpful if I can't remember her words exactly, but what I did take away from it is there is a lot of gimmick, but there are a few things that are trru, and based on Science.

Back to cats and senior food - I took mine off when I discovered it seemed merely lower in fat and protein. My cat's fur was awful, had dandruff. Vet said it was age, she's not grooming. Well, she was grooming, I thought, it's diet.

Sure enough, she has a beautiful coat now, no dandruff. I looked at the senior ingredients vs adult ingredients of what I was feeding her, meat was no longer first. :wall: Can't believe I fed that for years.

Somewhere on about.com though, there is something to do with phosphorous or something else that sounded like if you are feeding a quality food, the senior formula might make sense.

I was hoping someone here would know what I was talking about, since I can't find it.

For now, I'm just going to keep her on adult food. BNO doesn't even offer senior, as many premium foods do not. However, we might be switching to Blue Buffalo.

I know, it's not as good. But she will EAT it. I have to mix BNO with Nutro to get her to eat that. Blue Buffalo by itself has got to better than mixing a premium with a mid-grade,,,,,,,,,I think,,,,,,,lol! It's awful trying to figure all this out.

Blu Buffalo annoys me because it's like Nutro - it's price is out of line with its quality:mad:

Wish that on-line friend was still online. I trust a person who has become a vet AND studied nutrition extensively.

mummummum
November 25th, 2007, 05:51 PM
To be frank Mia, there is no reason why you or I cannot study and understand nutrition. Having a MD or a DVM is not the bee-all and end-all. It is one path of learning. And above else, it should not ever mean "Well naturally they know more than we do". Every doctor worth their salt I know will welcome learning something new ever day.

Knowing a little something about food, I would disagree with your friend around puppy formula's ~ I think they are too laden with unncessary carbohydrates and fillers, too many bad fats and not enough good proteins.

But that's just my opinion.

Mia101
November 25th, 2007, 06:38 PM
What I am saying is that she makes more than a casual study of nutrition. She is and animal nutritionist in addition to being a Vet.

And the fact that a Vet does go to school and learn more than we know about the animal's body and system is meaningful, or we'd just do away with them altogether.

She was talking specifically about large breed puppies, and you can't say they all this or that because there are so many different kinds. There was more than one long-term study that showed the value in well-made large-breed puppy food.

For other dogs she said it doesn't matter, a good all life stages food is fine. It's fine for the large-breed dogs too, her point was there is a value in the large breed puppy food, it's not a gimmick if made by the right company.

They grow so fast, and doing the right mixture of protein, carbs, and fats helps lower the incidences of hip dysplasia and other things that large-breed dogs are prone to. It helps their bodies develop in a way that aids with that.

She doesn't pay attention to the other 'special formulas' but this one, and the one for joints by Royal Canin.

mummummum
November 25th, 2007, 07:02 PM
Okay...

Let's have a look at the ingredients of the puppy "large breed":

Chicken meal, brown rice, rice, corn gluten meal, chicken fat, chicken, natural chicken flavor, dried beet pulp (sugar removed), anchovy oil (source of DHA), sodium silico aluminate, dried egg product, psyllium seed husk, potassium chloride, salt, fructo-oligosaccharides, dried brewers yeast extract (source of mannan-oligosaccharides), choline chloride, Vitamins [DL-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C*), biotin, D-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, niacin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2) supplement, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], taurine*, DL-methionine, glucosamine hydrochloride*, Trace Minerals [zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, sodium selenite, calcium iodate], chondroitin sulfate*, marigold extract (Calendula officinalis L.), preserved with mixed tocopherols (source of Vitamin E) and citric acid, rosemary extract.

mummummum
November 25th, 2007, 07:46 PM
Here's what I look for ~ four or five out of the first ten ingredients are meat proteins. Preferably the first 2 or 4 will be meal (why meal? more protein than meat). I hate to see rice as a second product and rice products repeated ( husks, gluten) , I also hate to see the word "product ~what exactly is a "chicken meat product"???


I also don't want fillers like rice broken down ten ways (keep it out of the the first three, oh heck say, five ingredients) or ANYTHING like tomato pomace or beet pulp.

Corn is a filler. It has litttle to no nutritional value to the puppy.

Fat is good. But it depends on the kind.

Whole chicken is at this stage not very useful. If it's this low down in the ingredient list list it means there isn't very much of it. As such it still has to be completely dried out.

The first five ingedients are critical, the second five are important.

Mia101
November 25th, 2007, 08:04 PM
Wow. There's only one brand of large breed puppy formula on the planet. I have been educated, thanks! :thumbs up

I will pass this along to the nutritionist, she will be happy to be enlightened as well.:lightbulb:

sugarcatmom
November 25th, 2007, 08:38 PM
Sugarcatmom ~ that's alot of information. Could you distill your opinon?

Yikes, you're right, that was a little convoluted. To summarize:

1). It's a mistake to have blind faith in vets as a source of info regarding your pet's nutrition. Bias notwithstanding, they typically don't have the time or inclination to stay up-to-date on the subject.

2). It is likewise an even bigger mistake to put blind faith in Big Pet Food to provide your pet with optimum nutrition throughout its various "life stages". If they were doing such a good job of it, why are issues like obesity, food allergies, diabetes, kidney disease, even cancer, etc etc practically becoming epidemic? And who's right there, ready to sell you a diet for weight loss, sensitive stomachs, dental health, hairballs, itchy skin, urinary tract conditions, or the fact that your cat is Persian or Siamese? Pet food is a highly competitive, multi-billion dollar industry. The number one priority of these companies is to turn a profit.

3). Regarding cat food: Any so-called "scientific analysis" usually consists of an AAFCO feeding trial lasting no more than 6 months with only 6 of 8 (young and healthy) cats required to finish it. These trials will only pick up severe toxicities or deficiencies, they don't prove that feeding that same food over a lifetime, or even just a few years, isn't harmful. See #2 again. As well, assuming that every ingredient has been analyzed and is of nutritional benefit to your pet is delusional. Many are merely fillers, binders, preservatives or flavour enhancers to get an animal to eat an otherwise unpalatable product.

4). Our pets are not living longer because of commercial pet foods. Whether they collectively live longer or not is debatable, but if they are, it's in spite of commercial pet food. Advances in veterinary diagnostics and treatment, just as in human medicine, has more to do with longevity than any supposed "advances" in the pet food industry. Not to mention the increasingly common practice of keeping cats safer indoors.

Gosh, I don't know if I have the ability to be concise about this topic. I'd better quit before I start madly quoting other sources again. :D

luckypenny
November 25th, 2007, 08:43 PM
I believe the ingredient list MX3 provided is pretty much the norm for most dog/cat foods (non-holistic, non high-grade) on the market whether it be in pet food supply stores or at the vets. Unfortunately, to those less educated, these are the more popular foods only because the consumer is "convinced" either by the store employees, mass-advertising, or even by their vets. My best advice to anyone, is do your own research and don't take anything as a 'given' just because someone else, or the label, says so. Objectively research each ingredient separately and ask "how does this benefit my pet?"

And I have to admit, I've gratefully learned more about nutrition from several self-educated members of this forum (which in turn optimized my dogs' health) than I have from formally trained vets :shrug:. Just my :2cents: .

want4rain
November 25th, 2007, 09:33 PM
Wow. There's only one brand of large breed puppy formula on the planet. I have been educated, thanks! :thumbs up

I will pass this along to the nutritionist, she will be happy to be enlightened as well.:lightbulb:

you are still comparing Kraft Mac&Cheese to the store brand Mac&Cheese. neither are in the same league as feeding fresh food. to say that large breed puppies are different than other dogs is silly. all other dogs should also be fed a quality food, only large breed puppies cost you more in obvious out of place vet bills than senior dogs do. senior dogs are EXPECTED to fall apart because of a lifetime of a poor diet.

to say this clearly, all dogs should be fed a diet of less carbs and higher meat based protein, not just large breed puppies. all dogs diets should contain glucosimine, not just senior dogs diets.

go as your nutritionist if a commercial kibble diet would even compare to a 'perfectly balanced' fresh food diet. then go ask your cat how its ancestors got here in the first place with out the magic of DRY kibble. :mad:

-ash

want4rain
November 25th, 2007, 09:37 PM
You are all wrong! I am not an expert on pet food! These different formulas (which are scientifficaly prepared) like kitten or puppy food, senior, etc... have special ingredients in them, which are needed for every stage of the pet's life. I am just a pet lover and owner like you. I think that common sense should be used in this matter. I don't undertand why people on this forum are vet wannabies? Please don't get mad at me!!! A lot of research goes into pet food industry. And that's why pets live longer and healthier lives and also need the vet's care less often. Just my opinion!!!!! I really feel very strongly about this matter.

i think you need to give Hills a call. they need a rep just like you. you just SOUND like a Hills commercial chatterbox.

sorry, really not trying to be rude...

-ash

Smiley14
November 26th, 2007, 01:52 AM
You are all wrong! I am not an expert on pet food! These different formulas (which are scientifficaly prepared) like kitten or puppy food, senior, etc... have special ingredients in them, which are needed for every stage of the pet's life. I am just a pet lover and owner like you. I think that common sense should be used in this matter. I don't undertand why people on this forum are vet wannabies? Please don't get mad at me!!! A lot of research goes into pet food industry. And that's why pets live longer and healthier lives and also need the vet's care less often. Just my opinion!!!!! I really feel very strongly about this matter.

With all due respect, I strongly suggest you do a little bit of research before making such a strong statement. As you said, you are not a food expert and neither are we. But many of us have however spent years researching and reading and educating ourselves. Two years ago, I would have thought the same as you. I've since educated myself, which is why I, and many others here, cringe to read your words. It's not arrogance or "wannabie" mentality. It's the simple truth, which is available to anyone who actually takes the time to learn on their own. You've been given some good food for thought (pun intended) already here. I really hope it sparks a motivation in you to research and find the truth for yourself rather than blindly believe what you see marketed to you in pretty packages. There is sadly little regulation in pet food and even in pet food ingredient lists and what you see is NOT what you get when you learn about wet meat vs meal meat, the truth of grains, the source of ingredients for many companies, and the processing of these ingredients. I for one am GRATEFUL to older members here who taught me and started me out in my own research. I have learned so much and have been able to even begin to help others a little bit now as well. I truly hope you'll listen to the advice given here and then beyond taking our word for it, find the truth for yourself. How can you say you feel strongly about a matter unless you can back up what you say? I challenge you to do the research.

Smiley14
November 26th, 2007, 01:59 AM
I believe the ingredient list MX3 provided is pretty much the norm for most dog/cat foods (non-holistic, non high-grade) on the market whether it be in pet food supply stores or at the vets. Unfortunately, to those less educated, these are the more popular foods only because the consumer is "convinced" either by the store employees, mass-advertising, or even by their vets. My best advice to anyone, is do your own research and don't take anything as a 'given' just because someone else, or the label, says so. Objectively research each ingredient separately and ask "how does this benefit my pet?"

And I have to admit, I've gratefully learned more about nutrition from several self-educated members of this forum (which in turn optimized my dogs' health) than I have from formally trained vets :shrug:. Just my :2cents: .

YES!!! Very well said, Luckypenny! And even my own vet has admitted to learning more about nutrition and has started her own research after I challenged her to do so based upon what self-educated members here taught to me. As I said, I am grateful beyond words for this forum and for what I have learned here.

Mia101
November 26th, 2007, 06:36 AM
you are still comparing Kraft Mac&Cheese to the store brand Mac&Cheese. neither are in the same league as feeding fresh food. to say that large breed puppies are different than other dogs is silly. all other dogs should also be fed a quality food, only large breed puppies cost you more in obvious out of place vet bills than senior dogs do. senior dogs are EXPECTED to fall apart because of a lifetime of a poor diet.

to say this clearly, all dogs should be fed a diet of less carbs and higher meat based protein, not just large breed puppies. all dogs diets should contain glucosimine, not just senior dogs diets.

go as your nutritionist if a commercial kibble diet would even compare to a 'perfectly balanced' fresh food diet. then go ask your cat how its ancestors got here in the first place with out the magic of DRY kibble. :mad:

-ash


I guess you haven't read the research. Oh well, just stick to your current knowledge base then :shrug:

Also, some of y'all are comparing everything to homemade food, as if that's the only acceptable choice.

Some of us are choosing between premium commercial foods, and many educated people here like many of them.

It's apples to oranges to compare any commercial food to homemade.

My comments are confined to commercial food. For the vast majority of people feeding commercial food, there is a benefit to a good large breed puppy formula. Yes, there is a difference.

If your (anyone's) preference is for homemade, that's another topic, can we stick to the one at hand?

I am amazed that an argument over what is best, and telling someone how ignorant they are, always garners more posts than adding to knowledge.

It seems more people are interested in being holier than thou than discussing, educating, and learning.

This is not directed at you, but at the comments in general I see in this thread.

mummummum
November 26th, 2007, 07:33 AM
i think you need to give Hills a call. they need a rep just like you. you just SOUND like a Hills commercial chatterbox.

sorry, really not trying to be rude...

-ash

Ohhhhhhhhhh yessssssss you are :D

But, sometimes an edu-me-cation comes the hard way. :shrug:

Mia101
November 26th, 2007, 07:34 AM
I believe the ingredient list MX3 provided is pretty much the norm for most dog/cat foods (non-holistic, non high-grade) on the market whether it be in pet food supply stores or at the vets.

And what does that have to do with holistic, high-grade? There are large breed puppy formulas for them too. There is no other time the ingredients from one food would be used to base opinions on all foods. Sorry, that makes no sense!

PLUS, there are people who are not going to be convinced to buy high-grade foods. For them, using mid-grade or what have you, the puppy formula for large breeds in their brands may have merit.

Let's not be so narrow-minded. We are here (I thought?) to learn more about pet food, not get into contests every time there is conflicting opinions of the knowledge we already have.

clm
November 26th, 2007, 07:55 AM
I think in the long run everyone needs to research and buy the best food they can afford for their cat or dog.

Cats don't need senior forumla foods, they need a good quality food at all stages of life and as they age, they just tend to eat less of it.

As for the whole large breed puppy thing.....in no way related to senior cat food, but my understanding is that just like any other food, pay attention to the ingredients.....calcium levels in puppy foods are one of the main problems with puppy formulas. They need to be well under 3% or you're going to have problems with bones, whether they be large breed or any breed puppy.
I don't believe a large puppy food is really necessary, I would think any good quality regular food or puppy food would be all that's required.
Some people and breeders become far too preoccupied with how fast or how big a puppy is going to get, some believe the bigger the better, which in my opinion has resulted in some large breed and regular puppy formulas to produce foods that will give that effect and some breeders who breed for size instead of health.


Cindy

mummummum
November 26th, 2007, 08:05 AM
I guess you haven't read the research. Oh well, just stick to your current knowledge base then :shrug:
than adding to knowledge.

I can pretty much guarrantee you that not only has W4R "read the research", she probably understands it and nutrition better than most Vets do.

Also, some of y'all are comparing everything to homemade food, as if that's the only acceptable choice.

Some of us are choosing between premium commercial foods, and many educated people here like many of them.

It's apples to oranges to compare any commercial food to homemade.

To some extent it is apples and oranges but the fact is that the ingredients are the same. When I made raw and home-cooked I certainly never added rice gluten or tomato pomace. Why? Simple, because it's garbage for the composter NOT for my dog.


Some of us are choosing between premium commercial foods, and many educated people here like many of them.

As have I and most of the people in this thread. The difference is we've done the research, swapped notes and compared thoughts. I knew nothing about commercial food until I came here. Before the grrrl's there wasn't "knowledge". Until Declan came along the grrrls ate a raw/homecooked diet. The people on pets.ca have taught me how to read a label, how to interpret an ingredients list and the difference between manufacturer's.

I am amazed that an argument over what is best, and telling someone how ignorant they are, always garners more posts than adding to knowledge.

It seems more people are interested in being holier than thou than discussing, educating, and learning.

This is not directed at you, but at the comments in general I see in this thread.

It's not a matter of being holier-than-thou or for that matter, even being right. It's a matter of putting information out there that will help those who need it. Plain and simple. No hidden agenda's, no oversized ego's.

Unless you see something I don't, I only see "discussing, educating and learning" going on here.

clm
November 26th, 2007, 08:20 AM
I can pretty much guarrantee you that not only has W4R "read the research", she probably understands it and nutrition better than most Vets do.



To some extent it is apples and oranges but the fact is that the ingredients are the same. When I made raw and home-cooked I certainly never added rice gluten or tomato pomace. Why? Simple, because it's garbage for the composter NOT for my dog.



As have I and most of the people in this thread. The difference is we've done the research, swapped notes and compared thoughts. I knew nothing about commercial food until I came here. Before the grrrl's there wasn't "knowledge". Until Declan came along the grrrls ate a raw/homecooked diet. The people on pets.ca have taught me how to read a label, how to interpret an ingredients list and the difference between manufacturer's.



It's not a matter of being holier-than-thou or for that matter, even being right. It's a matter of putting information out there that will help those who need it. Plain and simple. No hidden agenda's, no oversized ego's.

Unless you see something I don't, I only see "discussing, educating and learning" going on here.


I agree totally with everything Mummummum has said here.
Until the whole pet food crisis happened and I came to Pets.ca. I had no idea what were good and bad ingredients on a label. I found great grain free foods for my cats and dogs through this forum from people like Prin, W4R and wonderful people just like them. I now know what ingredients to look for and appreciate all the wonderful help I've gotten. I don't have to worry about corn and rice gluten from China anymore, nor will I ever have to again. I know enough to do my own research and not believe every commercial or vet I talk to. It's been a wonderful ongoing educational experience.

Cindy

mona_b
November 26th, 2007, 08:59 AM
I have never switched any of my seniors(cats or dogs) to senior food.To me there is no need to.

My 11 year old GSD is still fed adult.All my GSD's were switched to adult at 6 months.This being advised by my breeder.I also know of many breeders who skip the puppy food and go straight to adult with their pups.And these are breeders of large dogs.

As I was watching CHCH(hamilton station)..They had an animal nutritionist.His thoughts were the same as most of ours on here.I did't catch his website,and I wish I did.He pointed out many good things.But I did get another website he mentioned.It's by Wendy Volhard

VERY good reading if you ask me.
http://volhard.com/holistic/artbywv.htm#nut

Love4himies
November 26th, 2007, 10:38 AM
I have recently switched my senior cat from a high carb/corn filled kibble to higher quality canned. Sugarcatmom and Growler (I know Growler you haven't commented in this thread, but you helped me so much with cat nutrition in the past) have both proven to be extremely knowledgeable in commercial food and W4R in raw diets. I have done a lot of comparisons of high end food and senior food and have found senior food to be filled with carbs.

I can tell you since changing her food, her gums are much pinker, she is more active, and she seems less depressed and she will now eat real meat. My ultimate goal is get them on a prepared raw diet/meat based diet. I had a cat who passed away from cancer at 14 years old, but was not sick one day in his life, was not overweight and 50% of his diet was human grade meat (both raw and cooked), the other 50% canned, with by-products, but no corn/wheat gluten. I truely believe cats are better off with raw, then homecooked, then high quality, high meat protein canned. Cats digestive tracts do not process carbs very well, they are too short.

In summary, I will not feed my cat senior food. She is not overweight and needs her protein from real meat.

Love4himies
November 26th, 2007, 11:33 AM
Please don't get mad at me!!! A lot of research goes into pet food industry. And that's why pets live longer and healthier lives and also need the vet's care less often. Just my opinion!!!!! I really feel very strongly about this matter.

Here is a link that I found useful when I was doing research on feline nutrition. But if you stop and think about humans, fresh, non process food is best for us, why is it not best for cats? Low quality kibble is like feeding your child twinkies and throwing a vitamin pill in to get nutrition. We as humans need the same nutrition through out our lives, why not cats?

http://www.catinfo.org/#Cats_Need_Plenty_of_Water_With_Their_Food

Mia101
November 30th, 2007, 03:58 AM
I think in the long run everyone needs to research and buy the best food they can afford for their cat or dog.

Cats don't need senior forumla foods, they need a good quality food at all stages of life and as they age, they just tend to eat less of it.

As for the whole large breed puppy thing.....in no way related to senior cat food, but my understanding is that just like any other food, pay attention to the ingredients.....calcium levels in puppy foods are one of the main problems with puppy formulas. They need to be well under 3% or you're going to have problems with bones, whether they be large breed or any breed puppy.
I don't believe a large puppy food is really necessary, I would think any good quality regular food or puppy food would be all that's required.
Some people and breeders become far too preoccupied with how fast or how big a puppy is going to get, some believe the bigger the better, which in my opinion has resulted in some large breed and regular puppy formulas to produce foods that will give that effect and some breeders who breed for size instead of health.


Cindy


The Vet who also makes a study of nutrition endorsed SOME large-breed puppy formulas.

And it addressed what you mentioned, the goal is not simply for them to get to a certain size, but to grow PROPERLY. Building the substance of bones, joints, etc, not just grow bigger.

This is NOT directed at you, but I propose that people who want to dismiss the thought that ANY large-breed puppy formula is crap, read the research before making that decision.

Don't tell me I'm wrong without back-up ;-)

Mia101
November 30th, 2007, 04:33 AM
Unless you see something I don't, I only see "discussing, educating and learning" going on here.

If that were the case, people would be open to an idea put forth by a nutritionist, backed up by research, instead of dismissing it without even looking into it.

What I see, is people with 'x' amount of knowledge, with no desire to hear anything contrary to it, or expand it. Just to tell everyone they are wrong based on the 'x' amount they learned.

luckypenny
November 30th, 2007, 10:42 AM
If that were the case, people would be open to an idea put forth by a nutritionist, backed up by research, instead of dismissing it without even looking into it.

I'd very much like to look into this nutritionist's research. Is it his/her own scientific research or something he/she has learned from others? Anything published I can peruse?

want4rain
November 30th, 2007, 10:57 AM
http://www.purinaone.com/products_dog_lrgbreedadult.asp

http://www.royalcanin.us/dogfood/maxiadult.html

http://www.petco.com/product/8717/Hill-s-Science-Diet-Large-Breed-Adult-Canine-Maintenance.aspx

http://us.iams.com/iams/en_US/jsp/IAMS_Page.jsp?pageID=PL&productID=99#4

http://us.eukanuba.com/eukanuba/en_US/jsp/Euk_Page.jsp?pageID=PRDD&PID=41&TAB=IN

of all of them, this one is fairly decent for kibble. which still has only.... 4?? different sources of actual food in it??
http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2750313&cp=2767032.2767072&view=all&parentPage=family&keepsr=1

a senior diet-
http://www.longliveyourdog.com/Products/DogChowSenior7.aspx

here is Canidae Lamb And Rice-
http://www.canidae.com/dogs/lamb-and-rice/dry.html

here is Evo's line-
http://www.evopet.com/products/default.asp?id=1485
and their cat line-
http://www.evopet.com/products/default.asp?id=1500

i think you get the picture. do soem searches to find out what dog foods are out there, do a search for their ingredients lists and do the comparison yourself. if you can find a single large breed or senior dog food thats healthier for your dog than either Canidae or Evo (or any other high quality dog food) please, please bring it to our attention. im so sure that Purina or Science Diet or Iams... whatever has these special bags of dog food hiding somewhere for whatever reason.

all of the knowledge is at your finger tips. look at the ingredients, look at where they are listed, follow the guidelines the AAFCO set for these things.

then look at your own diet. spend a few weeks eating cereal and see how YOU feel after a month. go watch Super Size me and then think abotu what your pet is eating and compare it... really look at these 'large breed' foods. im sure there is some merit to adding extra whatever and taking away whatever to these 'perfectly balanced' foods but would you feed your children this stuff?? if you cant feed a fresh food diet, then feed a HIGH QUALITY food supplemented if ONLY with left overs.


but please, dont tell me i dont know a thing or two about pet food. i dont HAVE to know a thing or two about pet food to know whats garbage and whats not. its so glaringly obvious.

-ashley

Mia101
December 2nd, 2007, 05:28 PM
I'm talking about ratios of protein, fat, carbs, and other nutrients, none of which you touched on at all.

I do understand what you are saying about ingredients, but it's those ratios that were found to play a role in the development of large breed puppies.

And they are comparing to regular puppy formula of the same caliber food. The whole world does not buy premium, and never will.

As to whether a quality food like Canidae is better for all pups, including large breed, I don't know. It is possible, however, that even with better ingredients, the ratios, if they are off, could keep it from being optimum for large breed puppies.

That doesn't mean a dog is better off on Purina large breed, but perhaps if Canidae came out with a large breed puppy formula, THAT would be optimum.

KWIM?

kiara
December 17th, 2007, 07:58 PM
Just another thought came to mind. I maybe a chatterbox, but I am not a Hill's representative. I think that competing pet food companies back stab each other, to make the other one look bad. (That's why we, the public have to be careful as to which food we use!) I trust my vet and have been going to him for many years and he also helps many homeless and abandoned cats and dogs and this tells me that he is not only there to make money. But he is using his expertise for charitable purposes. Therefore losing thousands of dollars in profits. Your negative comments will not convince me, sorry.

sugarcatmom
December 17th, 2007, 10:19 PM
Your negative comments will not convince me, sorry.

Unfortunately it will be your cats that pay the price for your stubborn close-mindedness on this issue. Your vet may very well be a genius in many areas of his profession, but he clearly knows diddly-squat about feline nutrition if he's "prescribing" such an atrocious diet as Hill's W/D in an attempt to get your fat cat to lose weight (how's that working, by the way?). You would be doing him and all of his other clients a big favour if you were to print out this article from the Journal of the American Veterinary Association (http://www.catinfo.org/zorans_article.pdf) for him to read.

woof99
December 21st, 2007, 08:01 PM
Wow, what a thread and it is nice to see how passionate everone gets when it comes to feeding the best to their pets.

Having been in the pet food industry- (used to run pet supply store and am now a vet tech, so I know both sides).

1st off, please do not assume that all vets are the same, each of them have certain strenght and some happen to be passionate about nutrition for pets, the same way you all are. The vet I work for is a walking encyclopedia, she spends hours every week researching the best diets for her patients and she uses blood work, encyclopedias, websites, nutrition publications...

2nd- As the owner of a 15 (almost 16) year old cat I went to her and asked what makes senior diets different- She admits that many companies just drop the protein levels but there is a reason for this. As cats get older their body naturally becomes more acidic, this acidity can lead to free radical damage which leads to cancer. Meat protein naturally makes the body more acidic, which in young cats is important to help prevent struvite crystals (they form in alkaline ph), and protein is very hard on the kidneys and liver, they need to break it down and this can lead to deterioration of these organs quicker. So what "proper" companies will do is increase the quality of the protein by getting protein that has a higher bioavalibility, which means less wear and tear on organs- Costs a lot more though.
She also mentioned that as gets start to get a little kidney/renal disease which we see all the time in senior cats, we need to drop the phosphorus levels- these diets have less phosphorus. I need to learn more about this one.
The other thing is that as cats get older the risk for struvites drop and risk for Calcium Oxalates stones goes up,so these diets form a urinary ph that is a little more alcaline to help prevent these.
Lastly, they have increased water soluble vitamins (for cats that are a little pu/pd (drinking more and urinating more) since they just pee out the vitamins adding a little more will help then absorb them, they also add a larger volume of antioxidants (prevent cancer) and more Omega 3's- good coat quality and helps with stiff joints.

Having said all this, I then asked her which diet she would rec and she prefers Medi-Cal mature- I know several people that have cats in their 20's that feed this diet. I am still feeding Medi-Cal dental but have started to add some canned mature since my vet says that all cats should get some canned food since it has better quality protein and more moisture, which is improtant to help flush toxins from the body.

I know a lot of people do not like vet diets, but I really like this company, during the recall they took care of all the pets that were eating their recalled products, blood work, fluids, thousands of dollars- They are the only company that did that. They also do not use by-products, they are naturally prserved and they put omega 3's, high quality proteins, and lot's of antioxidants in all their diets.

As for the retail side, the only one I can honestly say I like is Solid Gold- We just never see sick pets on that diet...unlike many others. The vet looked into it as well and she likes it too.

Those are my 2 cents!
Happy holidays!

sugarcatmom
December 23rd, 2007, 03:24 PM
1st off, please do not assume that all vets are the same,

Oh gosh, I don’t think anyone here is doing that. In fact the 4 people I have utmost respect for when it comes to feline nutrition are vets: Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins (http://www.all-about-cats.com/long-life.htm), Dr. Lisa Pierson (http://www.catinfo.org/), Dr. Jean Hofve (http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?action=library&act=show&item=whycatsneedcannedfood) and Dr. Debra Zoran (http://home.earthlink.net/~jacm2/id1.html). But the fact is that the vast majority of them are just not up to speed on this topic. That doesn’t make them bad vets overall. Like any other profession, whether doctors, lawyers, carpenters or bus drivers, there will be variation in expertise and skill level. The problem is, most pet owners assume a vet should be the ultimate authority on nutrition, when that just isn’t the case.

. . . and protein is very hard on the kidneys and liver, they need to break it down and this can lead to deterioration of these organs quicker.

Hmmm, not exactly. There are newer studies indicating the opposite is true for cats: that a low protein diet actually increases creatinine levels and causes harm to the kidneys. See, cats are obligate carnivores. They need protein, period. If they don’t get it from their diet, they catabolize it from their own muscle tissue. The only case to be made for restricting protein could possibly be in end-stage or acute renal failure, to reduce the symptoms of a uremic crisis. But certainly not just because an otherwise healthy cat is entering its senior years! In fact, it could be argued that seniors need MORE protein in order to prevent muscle wasting. And the quality of that protein is important. Wheat or corn gluten and meat by-products are not quality protein sources, they’re a cheap way for pet food companies to boost the protein quantity, to the cat’s detriment.

As a side-note, here is an interesting article on the Mythology of Protein Restriction for Dogs with Reduced Renal Function (http://www.geocities.com/Vienna/Opera/2167/bovee_protein_RD.pdf) as a reference to how the whole outdated concept of low protein diets came about.

She also mentioned that as gets start to get a little kidney/renal disease which we see all the time in senior cats, we need to drop the phosphorus levels- these diets have less phosphorus. I need to learn more about this one.

Phosphorus is certainly more of an issue, which is why the use of phosphate binders and/or Calcitriol has more of an impact on the wellbeing and longevity of CRF kitties than merely prescribing a low protein diet (especially if that diet is dry:yuck:). But, returning to the original argument of whether senior cat food is necessary: I still say no. There a number of excellent ‘all life stages’ canned foods that are already low in phosphorus and still have decent protein levels. Although phosphorus and protein are linked, there is no need to reduce both in the diet of a healthy senior cat. If someone is concerned about preserving kidney function, ensuring adequate hydration via a wet food diet is the number one priority. This goes for cats of all ages. To expand on this even further, I belong to a feline diabetes and a feline IBD BB, and the overwhelming theme on both boards is how much better the cats do once switched from dry food to a grain-free canned or (even better) raw diet.

Having said all this, I then asked her which diet she would rec and she prefers Medi-Cal mature- I know several people that have cats in their 20's that feed this diet. I am still feeding Medi-Cal dental but have started to add some canned mature since my vet says that all cats should get some canned food since it has better quality protein and more moisture, which is improtant to help flush toxins from the body.

Don’t get me started on ‘dental diets’! I’ll save that for another day :). But good for you for introducing canned food into your cat’s meals, although I’m not so convinced Medi-cal (now owned by Royal Canin) is that great. For the amount you pay for it, you can do much better with something like Wellness or Nature’s Variety.

Those are my 2 cents!
Happy holidays!

Likewise! :D

SARAH
December 23rd, 2007, 04:04 PM
Just a few comments ...

Medi-Cal was what settled Dani's very loose stomach. She is now able to eat toher foods without getting diarhea.

Protein is not hard on liver/kidneys, in humans or animals, as long as they drink enough water! That's where the trouble lies, sufficient water!!

And lastly, cats are carnivorous, why should they not have meat?