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WWEFreak666 May 23rd, 2011 01:45 AM

High Protein dog foods a myth?
I've been feeding my almost 9 month old Cocker spaniel Dachshund, Orijen for the past 3-4 months. He seems perfectly healthy, he's got lots of energy (to be expected at his age), has a beautiful coat, clean eyes, a breathe that doesn't stink, good stool (not runny, etc.), wonderful white teeth, and a muscular figure even though he doesn't get the exercise I'd like him to get (due to my time constraints).

When I first got him, I kept him on the brand of dog food his previous owners were feeding him (cheapest brand), and then I switched him to Kibbles N' Bits thinking he was getting a bit of a better meal, simply because it costs like two more dollars than what he was being fed before. And then I started doing some research and decided to switch him to Orijen. First I started him with the "All Life Stages" 6-Fish Formula and I JUST bought a bag of the "All Life Stages" Red Meat Formula.

All of this being said, he's still young. Just like us humans, everything deteriorates, if we don't take care of whatever (our teeth for example will stain yellow and rot if not taken care of -- common sense).

Anyways, he's a small dog, will weigh close to 20lbs, if not more when fully mature. Although, this would be comparing to his mother and father, both of which were fed on very cheap grain-filled no name brand label food. I, on the other hand want to be feed him the best.

Looking on the internet, Orijen has probably the best reputation in the dog food industry and I follow Orijen almost religiously.

I get bothered when people don't care about what they feed their dog and they always opt for the cheapest brand on the market. I realize not every one can afford it, but I make under $20,000 a year and I still am able to afford this. I pay about $30 for a 2.5kg bag of Orijen, expensive, but if it gives him a good and happy long life, I'm fine with it!

But, I also get bothered when people talk about high protein diets in dogs being bad and it can apparently cause the kidneys to fail.

I've also heard stories from people who say the whole high protein diet is bad for dogs is purely myth. Including from Champion Pet Foods (makers of Orijen & Acana) themselves.

Now, I've been bothered by this, because if I'm practically killing my dog's kidneys and I'm paying this much for his food (keeping in mind that the cost doesn't always make it the best brand, but... with the reputation of Orijen, I HAD to get it), I would be very mad.

He's not an overly active dog and I read places that claim that only "hard working active dogs" should be fed Orijen.

Now, with the reputation of Orijen and the amount of people that seem to be feeding their dogs with this brand, does every body have "hard working active dogs"?

I figured most people would be like me, an average dog owner who tries to get their dog a decent amount of exercise to expel a lot of his energy, while also maintaining my own life (aka not being able to focus all my energy and life on my dog -- I love my dog, but it's unrealistic to be purely focused on him).

Also, I even read somewheres that the studies that supposedly proved that high protein diets in dogs caused kidney problems were actually studies done on Rats, NOT dogs. I also read that these "studies" were put out by the companies that produce cheap dog foods that have very low amounts of protein in them just to get a step ahead of the competition (aka the real good dog foods). I even read that apparently these same companies are the ones who started the whole "puppy" and "adult" dog foods, when in reality according to these people on the internet (of course the internet isn't always the most reliable source), a dog can be fed whatever in terms of puppy or adult. They said that these same companies simply put out puppy and adult dog foods to make more money and eventually the real good dog food companies (like Orijen) had to produce "puppy" labeled foods as well, simply to stay competitive. I can say I've read a bunch of things numerous times, but I honestly don't remember where I read these claims (somewhere on the internet).

I found some sites that claim to disprove the whole high protein is bad for dogs including:
[url][/url] (This is probably the most reputable source -- From Champion Pet Foods themselves... Scroll down the PDF, you can see their table of contents at first and then it'll tell you what page is where it talks about high protein diets in dogs being a myth, they also go into amazing detail about the anatomy of the dog and cat and even discuss other animals)

If their food is causing kidney problems in dogs, I'd hope they'd tell us not to feed it to certain dogs, whether not to puppies, or a certain breed or certain levels of exercise, etc. After all, with their reputation, why wouldn't they?

I just wanted to let people know that Orijen also sets guidelines to how much you should feed your dog depending on whether or not they get a lot of exercise or little exercise.

Now, has anybody ever seen any cases where dogs being fed Orijen have actually had kidney problems and can put a correlation between them being fed Orijen and having kidney problems?

I want only the best for my dog. He's not overly active and he's a relatively small dog, but not overly small.

So, once and for all.. Can someone tell me and get this out of my head, because it's kinda scaring me... Is feeding my 9 month old dog Orijen, killing him? And, are high protein diets in dogs REALLY that bad for dogs that don't exercise a whole lot?


SamIam May 23rd, 2011 11:11 AM

High protein should be avoided for dogs with kidney disease, a family history of kidney disease, or a breed tendency towards kidney disease.
There are many high quality diets with much less protein than Orijen. Certain factors, including more exercise, will make use of the extra protein; in other dogs, the protein is used as an energy source only, and the nitrogen component of the protein is "wasted" and excreted in the urine via the kidneys, but should not cause a problem in a dog with healthy kidneys.
I know several dogs who have had soft stools on Orijen or the related Acana, and protein is not the only factor there. I also know others who are very healthy on it. I know many breeders who promote Purina and Beneful for their new puppies as they are very gentle on puppies' tummies, and many of the richer formulas aren't. There are, however, higher quality foods that are also gentle on new babies.
As your vet will probably confirm, if your food is working for you, stick with it.

Masha May 23rd, 2011 01:45 PM

[QUOTE=SamIam;1011030]As your vet will probably confirm, if your food is working for you, stick with it.[/QUOTE]

Unfortunately, most vet's will push one of the vet recommended brands.... regardless of wether the food a dog is being fed is working or not... (at least that has been my experience here in the Toronto and surrrounding area).. I wouldn't take a vet's advice on food too literally.... every time they ask us to consider switching, i ask "is there something wrong with him?" they say "no"... :rolleyes:

There are many different types of food out there, and just as many opinions and positions on what is the 'right' food, etc. My personal belief is that you should do what YOU think/feel is right for your dog. If you feel that orijen is working for your dog, then stick with it. If you feel that it is not, then switch to something else.

I personally switched our guy to Raw after going through various kinds of kibble unsuccessfully, his stomach just didnt tolerate kibble well... you have to find what works for you.

Good luck!

erykah1310 May 23rd, 2011 02:04 PM

I can't fully dispell it as a myth because I am convinced that most any kibble food is more harmful to our dogs than good.
When kibble is ingested it pulls moisture from the body and causes a mild state of dehydration. Where as feeding a raw diet which one would think is high protien the food is in its natural state and includes a great amount of water.

I have been reading up on kidney function lately for the heck of it since it seems to be a hot topic lately amoung people I know.

Ensuring your dog is getting enough moisture in its diet may just be enough to offset any damage that seems to be being blamed on high protien diets more so than the fact that it is a dry food.
Have you considered adding canned to your dogs kibble? It would increase the moisture content obviously thus not making many organs work that much harder to do their job.

As I said its only something I am just starting to learn about myself, however the more of this stuff I hear the happier I am that it doesn't pertain to my dogs being that they are all raw fed.

erykah1310 May 23rd, 2011 02:07 PM

Look up articles by Dr.Becker, she is very good at explaing things like this. If I can find a few links I will post them, I haven't been bookmarking for reference as I have been reading so much about so many things lately

SamIam May 23rd, 2011 02:09 PM

Good point, Masha. I guess I have just been fortunate to have always had good vets who are open-minded about the options that are not stocked on their own shelves!

sugarcatmom May 23rd, 2011 03:12 PM

[QUOTE=erykah1310;1011066]I can't fully dispell it as a myth because I am convinced that most any kibble food is more harmful to our dogs than good.

:thumbs up

[QUOTE=erykah1310;1011067]Look up articles by Dr.Becker, she is very good at explaing things like this. [/QUOTE]

Love love LOVE Dr. Becker! Here are some links of her videos:



SamIam May 23rd, 2011 03:44 PM

[QUOTE=WWEFreak666;1010988]If their food is causing kidney problems in dogs, I'd hope they'd tell us not to feed it to certain dogs, whether not to puppies, or a certain breed or certain levels of exercise, etc. After all, with their reputation, why wouldn't they?[/QUOTE]

They wouldn't. Voluntarily putting warnings and cautions on your product will lose you business, and Champion, like any dog food company, likes to make sales.

kmoose July 23rd, 2011 03:27 PM

My vet is against it, and my dog does not do well on food over about 30%. Acana is a stretch and fed for too long she gets the runs. She does better on the other food in her rotation - Go!, TLC, and Canidae ALS - which hover between 22-26% and have good grains in them.

Remember every company, pet food or not, believes they make the best product in their category for whatever reason. Check out the Science Diet website - most people who are "into" dog food seem to think SD is not a "good" food, but the company can justify every ingredient in their food as the most nutritious for your dog. Ditto Purina, Iams, etc.

I don't think the high protein diet is good for non working dogs, and my vet (who is in his early 40s) agrees. He said "Orijen is an amazing food, IF your dogs are working dogs". When I showed him their "white paper" he said "yes, and remember the source of the information"...which is Champion...who has a vested interest in selling their products.

flipgirl4 July 28th, 2011 01:35 AM

Our dogs are domestic and not living in the wild so they do not have the survival needs that wild dogs would. They do not need to reproduce quickly to ensure survival so they don't need the high levels of protein that wild dogs do. I don't know if it's harmful but as domestic dogs, their bodies wouldn't process the excess protein and would overexert.the.kidneys as protein metabolism creates various waste materials that are processed in the kidneys. Protein.also dehydrates thebody so water is essential. This is.only my.amateur.theory based on what I've read. I would think that.dogs who are involved in hunting, or sports would require a higher level of protein. And by protein I mean animal protein.

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