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Safe dog food - is there any?

March 9th, 2011, 12:28 PM
:confused:I know the following is "dated news" but I have been feeding Lucy a mix of this dog food plus "human food" such as liver, chicken, vegetables, rice etc.
What I think has been the most "negative" aspect of having our dog is the food situation.
I have checked, read, checked, read and checked again and it seems just about every purchased dog food has a down side. Frankly, I am finding it very stressful.
Especially since one article will contradict the other.
I'm totally mad about just finding this on Internet ... it was expensive and purchased from a store selling "the best of dog food"...... is anyone else as frustrated as I am over this issue or am I over-reacting - I could just sit down and cry as I don't want to harm my dog!

Food Recal for Taste of the Wild, Canidae, Solid Gold..
by SummerRiot » Fri May 21, 2010 9:24 am
From Permission to cross post.

Please stop using the following till Jan 2011 - read in their newsletter:

o Solid Gold [all except the Holistique Blendz formula]
o Taste of the Wild [kibble and canned food]
o Artemis [kibble and canned food]
o Canidae [all except the Chicken and Lamb formulas]

Story below:

As many of you know, we lost our beloved Bodhi to liver cancer in late
October 2009. Once Christmas passed it gave us an opportunity to do some
additional research into some possible links to liver cancer

We became aware that the FDA requires ALL imported fish-meal to be treated
with the preservative ethoxyquin. Ethoxyquin is also used in jet fuel,
cosmetics and in some human foods. The levels allowed in pet food is
substantially higher than that allowed for human consumption. It is a known
carcinogen that targets the liver and spleen.

While many commercial pet foods use imported fish-meal, many of the holistic

manufacturers have applied for a special exception, allowing them to use
other preservatives like Naturox, which is a natural alternative to

Earlier this month we contacted all of the manufacturing companies that had
fish listed on the ingredient panel to find out:

1) Was it imported fish
2) If imported what preservative was being used

We found that the following brands of food contained fish meal treated with

o Solid Gold [all except the Holistique Blendz formula]
o Taste of the Wild [kibble and canned food]
o Artemis [kibble and canned food]
o Canidae [all except the Chicken and Lamb formulas]

We contacted the manufacturer's representative, and were informed that
approximately 6 months ago they began shelf-testing Naturox, and will finish

with the shelf trial towards the end of this year. Hopefully at that time
all ethoxyquin treated fish meal will be eliminated from the foods listed

While the products only contain trace amounts of this preservative, our
feeling is that a healthy animal might be fine on the food, whereas
genetics, immune compromised states, and other factors could influence
whether an animal develops cancer over time.

If you would like to continue using any of the foods during this internal
recall, we can special order the foods, but we WILL NOT be offering them for

general sale in our store.

As we stated previously, once this ingredient is replaced we will offer
these foods again, but as always, we continue to monitor the products we
sell at The Big Bad Woof®. If you ever have questions about any products in
our store please ask.

We thank you all for being our customers, and we will work with you to find
good alternatives if you were using one of these foods.

March 9th, 2011, 12:57 PM
Acana/Orijen is Canadian made with Canadian sourced product, maybe that is a food to consider feeding Lucy.

March 9th, 2011, 01:35 PM
...thanks reanne
I thought I read somewehre someone complaining about these as well, but will double check as am getting confused...... J.

March 9th, 2011, 02:32 PM
Both of my dogs are on Acana Pacifica and I have never had a problem with it. Whistler was on Orijen before when he was harder to keep weight on and it was great for him. They are both hard to feed (allergies) and a little harder to keep weight on and haven't had issues with this food. I haven't heard anything bad about it, but I could have missed something I'm sure. I think what it comes down to with kibbles is that none of them is really ideal for dogs, but RAW doesn't work for everyone so you do the best you can.

March 9th, 2011, 03:41 PM
This is why I feed raw diet.
I know the QC in handling the meat, I know what is "added" to it as I add it myself, and I know the source of my meats.
Raw/ Homecooked is the way to go if you want to be absolutely certain what you are putting in your dog. (depending on the length you are willing to go to know)

March 9th, 2011, 04:48 PM
Mine are on Acana Pacifica. No problems and great coat!

March 9th, 2011, 05:20 PM
Thanks everyone - I feel more confident now and we'll go to Global on the weekend to buy some of each; although that's where I bought the Taste of the Wild (not staff's fault)
I am going to seriously look into the raw meat diet later.... will give this dry food a try and then find out more about "raw"
I'm so glad I asked this question and appreciate the replies, J.

March 9th, 2011, 08:24 PM
The raw diet is excellent if it works for your dog! When I first adopted Whistler I switched him to raw to improve his coat, etc etc as he was in very rough shape. It improved his health HUGELY. The only issue was that even though I was feeding him a very well balanced raw diet, even with extra calories he could not gain weight, I'm not sure why. And I was feeding like huge poundage of it and he wouldn't gain. So once he was perfectly healthy I put him on a kibble to bulk him up, and he's been fine ever since. Also, where I live now I don't have the freezer space. When Whistler passes on and I live in a bigger place where I can have a freezer, I would go back to raw diet for the hounds though. It's all about what works and what you're comfortable with! :)

March 13th, 2011, 12:02 PM
I went to buy either Acana or Orijen today; the store said by looking at my dog, it is not that active and that the above foods would be too high in protein for her. So I ended up buying a 6lb (2.72kg) bag of "Now" adult dog formula grain free, turkey/salmon/duck for $23.99 plus HST.
I'll get out my magnifying glass this afternoon and check the ingredients, which appear in six languages and print quite small.
In any case, they did not have any Acana or Orijen there, so will have to wait til I see it elsewhere and also find out about how much protein my dog should have. (I thought Acana and Orijen had different foods for young dogs but couldn't remember while at the store)
I mix the dry food with "our food" (chicken, suitable veggies etc.)
So I am still on the hunt for the perfect dry food for her.
Am still going to investigate raw... later on.
Thanks again for the advice, too bad I couldn't try it today.

March 13th, 2011, 01:43 PM
Here is the ingredients for NOW grain free Adult formula ....


De-boned turkey, potato flour, pea, apple, whole dried egg, pea fibre, tomato, potato, flaxseed, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E) , natural flavor, salmon, de-boned duck, sundried alfalfa, coconut oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), carrots, pumpkin, bananas, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, papaya, pineapple, grapefruit, lentil beans, broccoli, spinach, cottage cheese, alfalfa sprouts, dried kelp, flaxseed, calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate, lecithin, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, vitamins ( vitamin E supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (a source of vitamin C), niacin, inositol, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate, d-calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, beta-carotene, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement) , minerals (zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, iron proteinate, copper sulfate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), taurine, DL-methionine, L-lysine, chicory extract, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Enterococcus faecium, Bifidobacterium thermophilum, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, yeast extract, yucca schidigera extract, marigold extract, L-carnitine, dried rosemary.

And the Guaranteed Analysis ....

Crude Protein (min) 26%
Crude Fat (min) 16%
Crude Fiber (max) 5%
Moisture (max) 10%
Calcium (min) 1.2%
Phosphorus (min) .8%
*Omega 6 Fatty Acids (min) 2.5%
*Omega 3 Fatty Acids (min) .5%

Here are the ingredients for Orijen Adult formula ....

Fresh boneless chicken*, chicken meal, fresh boneless salmon*, turkey meal, herring meal, russet potato, peas, sweet potato, fresh boneless turkey*, fresh whole eggs*, fresh chicken liver*, fresh boneless lake whitefish*, fresh boneless walleye*, sun-cured alfalfa, pea fiber, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), organic kelp, pumpkin, chicory root, carrots, spinach, turnip greens, apples, cranberries, blueberries, licorice root, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile, dandelion, summer savory, rosemary, vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin E, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, d-calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, selenium yeast, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Enterococcus faecium.

And the Guaranteed Analysis ....

Crude protein (min.) 38.0 %
Crude fat (min.) 17.0 %
Crude fiber (max.) 3.0 %
Moisture (max.) 10.0 %
Calcium (min./max.) 1.4 % / 1.6 %
Phosphorus (min./max.) 1.2 % / 1.4 %
Omega-6 (min.) 3.0 %
Omega-3 (min.) 1.1 %
DHA (min.) 0.6 %
EPA (min.) 0.3 %
AA (min.) 0.16 %
Carbohydrate (max.) 25%
Ash (max.) 7.5%
Taurine (min.) 0.35 %
Glucosamine (min.) 1400 mg/kg
Chondroitin (min.) 1000 mg/kg
Microorganisms (min.) 120M cfu/kg
pH 5.5

I disagree with the pet store and the reason Orijen has more protein is because it has more meat in the ingredients which is good imo. If you are adding more meat to the kibble you are increasing the protein level so there is no need to add alot.

Have you read Champion Pet Foods website? There is alot of information there ...their "white paper" is well worth reading and their video is good to watch. You can also click on their store locator to find out where to buy it in your area .....

March 13th, 2011, 02:34 PM
Am still going to investigate raw... later on.

Here are some resources that i personally found helpfull when doing research on raw (i have been feeding raw for about two years now: (Tom Lonsdale)

March 13th, 2011, 04:02 PM
Thanks so much.
I sure am going to try the other two dog foods recommended here (and give thought to raw later).... there is another store which is supposed to sell it in town, and will try and go there through the week. I was also told (by same lady) that these two foods were for dogs that are "work dogs" etc., and not my dog....... well, everyone's entitled to their opinion I suppose. Thanks for all this information, I am going to print it in Word and have a good look at it: if the Orijen and Acana had been on the shelf I would have bought some.

March 14th, 2011, 07:29 AM the way thanks for mentioning adding meat to the kibble increases protein - i hadn't thought of that (duh) although I was decreasing the recommended amount of dry food when I added the meat (cooked ground turkey, etc.)
I hope I get this right soon.... :-)

March 14th, 2011, 11:28 AM
Just make sure u dont add raw meat to kibble only cooked

March 14th, 2011, 01:23 PM
Just make sure u dont add raw meat to kibble only cooked

I've given my dogs raw meat with kibble without any problems. :shrug:

According to Lew Olsen ( she mentions in one of her newsletters that it's not the raw meat but the bone that digests at a different rate than kibble.

March 14th, 2011, 08:32 PM
Also I would be concerned about the yeast in that food although I guess it depends on your dog. Mine do not do well with yeast-makes them itchy! Not sure why a dog food would have yeast in it, but I am no authority so maybe there is a reason?

It doesn't matter if your dog is active or more sedentary, you can feed your dog a smaller volume of food if there is concern about weight gain. Adding veggies or pumpkin puree is good if your dog doesn't seem satisfied with a smaller amount of kibble, and it is an extremely low calorie way to supplement (and so healthy! Mine get pumpkin puree every day just for the nutrition benefits).

Good luck! I certainly appreciate the challenge of finding the right food!

April 27th, 2011, 12:39 PM
Well its been a while and I finally have Lucy eating once or twice a day - a mixture of cooked food. I got another bag of expensive-for-me food with fish in and although she chomped it down the first 2 days then she went off it.
Soooo. I got a big bowl and put in boiled hamburg, rice, bone meal, a small apple sauce, cookd frozen green beans chopped, chopped chicken breast and some chopped up biscuits I made her which she didnt like.... and a few other things. I froze in portion sizes and have since made several more batches using what I have at hand and, if say, an extra piece of vegetable/s put that in too. She is licking the plate clean. I say plate as now she wants her food on the same plate as we use, ha ha ha (yes, I rinse in Javex after).
Of course, i cannot guarantee she is getting all the vitamins she needs but will have to check on computer again - unfortunately, been a very busy month for us.... but I do feel a lot better not having to coax her to eat.
Hope this diet will be ok for her, she's 18 months and 52 lbs.

May 1st, 2011, 12:48 PM
So today I saw 4 chicken backs for $1.52.
Boiled them, removed to cool, and put into the chicken water left:_
1 cup rice, a cup spinach, 1 potato, 1 apple, 1 carrot, 1 large celery stick, 1 egg and one small pkge chicken Bovril & 2 tablespoons bone meal powder.
As there was hardly any chicken on the bones, I added one pound of lean ground beef
Looks a bit sloppy now, but by the time it cools the rice will have grown!
At a quick glance, would you think this is enough nutrition?
Or mix it with dry kibble?
She seems to prefer the soft food to the kibble (but likes hard treats) - am just concerned I am providing enough vitamins etc.
Thanking anyone in advance who has time to respond, J.

May 31st, 2011, 08:42 PM
I thought spinach was bad for dogs? I don't know why but I read somewhere they shouldn't have spinach? Of course, Natures Variety raw has spinach in it.

As for raw, it's great if you can feed it and your dog tolerates it. However, unless you hunt your own meat, can you really be sure that the meat is free of toxins and other bad stuff? Do you buy certified organic meat that is free of hormones, antibiotics and free of chemicals? In addition, I wouldn't feed raw to dogs who have immunity issues.

I just read a study where they fed puppies the BARF diet. All had deficiencies in certain nutrients and all had to be euthanized. It can be dangerous if you are not feeding a well-balanced diet, which, IMHO, takes a lot of research. I don't think you can just put meat in front of your dog and think it's going to live a long time. Our dogs aren't in the wild and don't need to reproduce to survive like they do in the wild. They evolved into today's domestic dogs by scavenging our garbage.

I fed raw until a month ago but I didn't look down upon others who fed other types of food. Feed what you can afford and are willing long as you're dog is healthy and happy...