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Rethinking the diet after losing two dogs.

A Golden Life
February 23rd, 2008, 01:59 PM
Last week we had to put our beloved 9 year old golden down. We were told after Christmas that he had cancer after an xray revealed a very enlarged liver and pancreas. We had further testing done as well. He went blind 3 weeks ago, and started having nosebleeds 2 weeks ago. Through all of that he was still eating and wagging his tail. On his last day with us, he was vomiting blood and unable to get up.
3 years ago, we lost our beloved female, 10 year old Lucy, to almost the same thing. Starting with the enlarged liver and pancreas.
We have a sweet little 2 year old Golden and do not want to see her go this path at all. The dogs were not related and I can't help to think it was the kibble that did this. The older dogs were on Purina for a few years and then Nutro. Laci ( the 2 year old) has only had Nutro. We used to give the dogs table food, years ago, but the vet told us that it was making them fat.
I am going to start feeding Laci real food only. I am reading up on all I can to accomplish this. One thing I am not finding, how much to feed her?? She had been getting 1 1/2 cups of kibble in the am and again in the pm. What are the proportions of grains, meats and vegetables? I don't think I will do raw meat as I am afraid of parasites. I had a friend years ago who died from eating raw chop meat. Also, is there anything wrong with raw veggies?? My pup loves raw carrots and also loves bananas. :dog: My hubby hunts duck and geese, that we usually give away. Can I feed this to the pup? How do you store it? I have a freezer full of deer meat as well.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions!!
Denise..
Mom to Laci and 4 people kids

rainbow
February 23rd, 2008, 02:22 PM
First of all welcome to pets.ca :thumbs up Sorry to hear about the loss of your previous goldens. :grouphug:

There is a sub-forum here for feeding raw or home-made that you can look through and also one for recipes for pets.

Also there is good information at Lew Olsen's b-naturals website:

http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/category/cooked-diet/

And, on Mary Straus's dogaware website there are links near the bottom of the page:

www.dogaware.com

It's okay to feed raw veggies but dogs lack the enzyme to break down the cellulose to digest them properly. You will probably notice when you give raw carrots that there a bits of carrot showing in their poop. I give my dogs raw carrots as treats but when you're adding them to their meals they should be steamed and mashed or else if you want to add them raw then pulverize them in the blender first. Also limit the amount of raw broccoli. Bananas are fine for treats too as are any fruits. Do not give grapes or raisins though as they are toxic.

pitgrrl
February 23rd, 2008, 02:33 PM
A good book for you might be Dr. Pitcairn's Guide to natural health for dogs and cats (or something very close to that, easily found on amazon or the like). I'm not totally a fan of the amount of grains included in his recipes, but it's a really good resource for figuring out how to prepare a balanced, homemade diet.

A Golden Life
February 23rd, 2008, 02:54 PM
Thank You Rainbow and Pitgrrl, So much information!! I just feel so overwhelmed with this urgency to do something quickly! We really thought the Nutro was a good food. After reading the article here by technodoll, on the 10 things dog food co.'s don't want you to know... well it scared me. I always had this nagging in the pit of my stomach that the food is what made my sweet Lucy sick. :cry: She is gone 3 years now and we still miss her terribly. Now with Hunter gone in almost the same way..
Denise..
Mom to Laci and 4 people kids

JanM
February 23rd, 2008, 03:13 PM
Another good book to consider is "Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog" - excellent information in this book with a section of recipes and amounts for various weights.

One of my Goldens gets natural food - he gets organic yams, carrots, brocolli, plus raw peas, raw asparagus - all his veggies are raw except the yams. He has a digestion problem so I cook the yams. His protein is cooked ground beef, cooked ground chicken, cooked wild salmon. I can't begin to suggest amounts because Bobby gets less than half of what Amber (my second Golden) gets. Bobby is very slow and Amber is a dynamo so I feed according to that - not by specific amounts.

A friend of mine lost her 9 yr old Golden to cancer also - and it happened the day I was dog-sitting him! After that she vowed she would never feed a lower grade food again...

Good luck with you feeding!

Frenchy
February 23rd, 2008, 04:14 PM
Please keep in mind that goldens are prone to cancer. I know a few goldens that were on premium food and still died of cancer.

Denise , I'm very sorry for the loss of your friends. :sad:

sugarcatmom
February 23rd, 2008, 05:53 PM
I read some frightening stats a little while ago: 45% of dogs over the age of 10 will die of cancer, and a recent study has shown that 63% of Goldens die of cancer. Yikes. Causes are largely unknown, but there is thought that excessive carbohydrate intake in over-processed dry food diets can play a role in some dogs. Good for you for wanting to provide better nutrition for your pup. You might want to research raw a bit more, it's not as dangerous as you think. Here's some good info: http://rawfed.com/

A Golden Life
February 23rd, 2008, 05:54 PM
Thank You Frenchy and Jan M,
Jan, I have just ordered that book off Amazon, It looks real good.

Frenchy, I know that the food may have had nothing to do with the disease, but if changing the diet will help keep my lil' one healthier, then I am all for it. At least I know that I have done the best I could by her. They are so unconditional with their love and affection. They depend wholly on us taking care of them. I just want to know that I am doing the right thing. She seems to have some early signs of skin allergies as well. I guess I am going to have to do a whole lot of research :dog:
Denise..
Mom to Laci and 4 people kids

A Golden Life
February 23rd, 2008, 05:58 PM
63%!!!! Holy Cow!! That is tremendous! The two that I lost were just 10 and 9. Too soon.. way too soon. There must be some reason for these stats.
Denise..
Mom to Laci and 4 people kids

I read some frightening stats a little while ago: 45% of dogs over the age of 10 will die of cancer, and a recent study has shown that 63% of Goldens die of cancer. Yikes. Causes are largely unknown, but there is thought that excessive carbohydrate intake in over-processed dry food diets can play a role in some dogs. Good for you for wanting to provide better nutrition for your pup. You might want to research raw a bit more, it's not as dangerous as you think. Here's some good info: http://rawfed.com/

clm
February 23rd, 2008, 07:25 PM
My 2 previous Keeshonden both died of liver/pancreatic cancers as well. :sad:
9 and 10 years old. Both were fed different foods, though I'm not sure that the food is the culprit. I'm inclined to think that genetics play a huge role as well.
My previous 2 dogs were on the same breed lines. The 2 I have now are on totally different lines and are also eating different foods than the prious 2. I have no idea if there's any cancer in the background of my current pair.

Cindy

hazelrunpack
February 23rd, 2008, 09:01 PM
I'm sorry for the loss of your two babies, A Golden Life. :grouphug:

TeriM
February 24th, 2008, 01:09 AM
Sorry to hear of your loss :grouphug:.

Home cooking is a great option but I found it to be a large undertaking for a big dog. I personally feed a high quality grain-free kibble (orijen) in the morning and feed raw at night and have had great results. I find raw much easier to feed then to try to cook and add the appropriate calcium etc supplements.

A good option and/or first step for you to consider would be to switch to a higher quality kibble and supplement with real foods like lightly cooked meats, fruits and vegetables, yogurt, eggs etc. I would tend to stay away from feeding large amounts of grains especially those with a higher gluten content. Small amounts of things like oatmeal or brown rice are fine to give. This can help to maintain the necessary nutrient balance by using the kibble but still benefiting by adding fresh foods.

crazydays
February 24th, 2008, 06:58 AM
Welcome to A Golden Life!!! Sorry about the loss of your dog. It is a nightmare we all face one day with our beloved canine.
You have great information on this post. Try not to beat yourself up with thinking you are somehow responsible for the death of your golden. I know of one of my friends dogs that lived for 16 years and this dog ate kibbles and bits...not one organic piece of food in its life! Genetics play a huge role. I do believe diet is so important as well.

I tend to agree with TeriM-- consider a high end food and then supplement with foods as a topcoat for the kibble. If we are to believe the manufacturer claims, these diets are well rounded excellent feedings. They claim that they are complete. I think all we can do is our best. I have chosen high end kibble and feel confident they are well nourished. Because they are apparently healthy I have no real reason to switch to a raw diet. I do like to give them a few spoonfuls a day of 95%protein or grainless canned food with meals.
Do your research so you are comfortable with your decision.
Good luck.

A Golden Life
February 24th, 2008, 01:40 PM
Thank You all for your generous advice and support! I am going to look into the higher end kibble to mix with a raw diet. TeriM, You think that the orijen is a good choice? I saw a thread here about the different choices, now to see what is available in my area (Long Island, NY). With all the posts about genetics being a factor, I do feel better than I was... thinking I had somehow failed. Now I will do a ton of research, thankfully my 3 older kids love researching this stuff as well. However they have another motive, they already want another dog because the lil' one is so lonely without her buddy. I haven't seen any threads in this forum on how to help your other pup when one passes. We have just been giving her a lot of extra attention. Luckily her litter mate/sister lives across the street and visits often.

littlesuki
February 24th, 2008, 08:34 PM
:sorry: Pets bring so much to our lives and it's so hard when one of them get's sick. Five yeats ago I lost my cat at 9 and my dog at 10 the two of them were on a very well know brand at the super market. I strongly feal that that pet food shortend my pets life and I will never do that again I have found so much reserch on the internet about what the cheep dog food companies put in there pet food and it will make you sick and it killing our pets. There are great pets foods out there it just takes home work..... My client and I were talking the other day about dog food.... PJ was having bad tummy problems that even the vet could not find out why so her mom took her off store dog food all together and did lots of wook to find out what was good and bad for her little dog well it's been 3 month's and PJ has no more tummy problems. I just don't think that some of these companies are in it for our pet it all about the $$$ I'm so sorry for your loss and I wish you the best of luck with your dogs. :dog: :pawprint:

clm
February 25th, 2008, 07:56 AM
Thank You all for your generous advice and support! I am going to look into the higher end kibble to mix with a raw diet. TeriM, You think that the orijen is a good choice? I saw a thread here about the different choices, now to see what is available in my area (Long Island, NY). With all the posts about genetics being a factor, I do feel better than I was... thinking I had somehow failed. Now I will do a ton of research, thankfully my 3 older kids love researching this stuff as well. However they have another motive, they already want another dog because the lil' one is so lonely without her buddy. I haven't seen any threads in this forum on how to help your other pup when one passes. We have just been giving her a lot of extra attention. Luckily her litter mate/sister lives across the street and visits often.

There are lots of older goldens in rescue and some people on this site are involved and foster them, so if you want to consider an oldie but goodie goldie that needs a loving home for their twilight years, you could help one of them and your current dog could have another buddy whose not too young to drive him crazy.

Cindy

A Golden Life
February 26th, 2008, 05:14 PM
Clm,
Our first Golden was a rescue and she was the love of our lives. As much as we love/loved our other guys to pieces, there will never be another like her. When we are ready, that is the first place will will look. :dog:Thanks!