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Old December 9th, 2010, 01:09 PM
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Protein Content of Raw Meats Compared to Grain-Free Kibble

I just thought I'd throw this out there for anyone who was curious about the protein content of raw meat in comparison to grain-free kibble.

There is a misconception that raw meat is high in protein when, in fact, it's quite low compared to many brands of high-quality kibble.

For example (in our case, 1lb of raw would equal 1 cup of kibble), per cup serving, Orijen contains a minimum of 40% protein. Per pound serving, lean beef brisket contains approx. 21.43% protein, chicken breast with skin contains approx. 18.1%, and dark meat turkey contains approx. 20.1% protein.

I was just wondering about what I've read about grain-free kibbles being "biologically appropriate" .
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Old December 9th, 2010, 01:39 PM
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You could only compare on a dry matter basis, so to accurately compare, you would have to know the moisture and protein content of the meat (take out fat, bone, ligament, etc, etc.). To me, that would be very difficult for the average person to calculate accurately.

Why I love raw is because it contains the nutrients in it's natural form and the kitties get a lot of fluid, the way mother nature intended, not the human species.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 01:47 PM
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I was thinking of that, L4H, but tried to calculate approximately how much protein our guys were getting from each method of feeding.

If feeding all three dogs raw, they each get about 1 1/2 lbs (Penny sometimes more) per day. If feeding Orijen, they each get 1 1/2 cups per day. So I calculated how much protein they were consuming with either method and I came to the conclusion that raw ended up being about 1/2 the amount.

Am I making sense ?
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Old December 9th, 2010, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckypenny View Post
I was thinking of that, L4H, but tried to calculate approximately how much protein our guys were getting from each method of feeding.

If feeding all three dogs raw, they each get about 1 1/2 lbs (Penny sometimes more) per day. If feeding Orijen, they each get 1 1/2 cups per day. So I calculated how much protein they were consuming with either method and I came to the conclusion that raw ended up being about 1/2 the amount.

Am I making sense ?
Yes, perfect sense. So are you thinking that dogs are getting too much protein if they are on a kibble diet?
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Old December 9th, 2010, 02:02 PM
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In some cases, yes, that's exactly what I was thinking. Although there isn't much info out there, I did find some studies that suggested there was a correlation between high protein and certain forms of aggression/anxiety/hyperactivity. Not that high protein caused these issues but that it could make worse problems that already exist. I know there are other arguments for and against a high protein diet but aggression was the one that I was concerned about.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 02:04 PM
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Oh, and I came across one dog food manufacturer (including grain-free kibble) that briefly mentioned this on their site as well...I thought it was interesting to see there.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 03:02 PM
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Are these the studies that you read? ....

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8...?dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1...?dopt=Abstract

As far as Orijen, I've been feeding it to both my dogs for over 4 yr and it sure hasn't made them aggressive at all.

I wonder if it would depend on whether you fed high quality meat protein versus cheaper quality protein?
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Old December 9th, 2010, 05:13 PM
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Are these the studies that you read? ....
Yes, these were two of them. The second one was interesting (made me look up tryptophan and it's effects). There's yet another study from the 80's I think but I forgot to bookmark it; I'll look for it later.

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As far as Orijen, I've been feeding it to both my dogs for over 4 yr and it sure hasn't made them aggressive at all.
Yeah, I wasn't thinking at all along the lines that it made a dog aggressive but, perhaps if a dog already has aggressive or reactive tendencies, that it could make it worse. Penny's the reason I started looking into this and it makes a lot of sense in her case from her weird behavior, reactivity, and anxiety to her coat quickly becoming thinner and more dull. We finally realized that when she's fed Orijen over a period of a few weeks, she gets worse. As soon as we switch back to raw, she starts to get back to normal quickly. Coincidence ?


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Originally Posted by rainbow View Post
I wonder if it would depend on whether you fed high quality meat protein versus cheaper quality protein?
The studies don't specify, eh? I'm curious to know what exactly was fed. Fr sure quality protein is better. I also read that soy protein was supposedly one of the worse ingredients for hyperactive dogs as well.
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Old December 12th, 2010, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by luckypenny View Post
In some cases, yes, that's exactly what I was thinking. Although there isn't much info out there, I did find some studies that suggested there was a correlation between high protein and certain forms of aggression/anxiety/hyperactivity. Not that high protein caused these issues but that it could make worse problems that already exist. I know there are other arguments for and against a high protein diet but aggression was the one that I was concerned about.
This is so interesting LP! I've often wondered this myself too about the difference in protein content between raw meat and a kibble such as Orijen. I wonder what the mechanism is that a high protein diet could trigger such issues? Hmmmm...
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Old December 15th, 2010, 09:24 PM
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I wonder what the mechanism is that a high protein diet could trigger such issues? Hmmmm...
One theory is that a diet very high in protein can interfere with the absorption of certain essential amino acids such as tryptophan (one of several not supplied by the body but by food sources). Levels of serotonin, derived from tryptophan, are therefore reduced. Serotonin is one of the brain's neurotransmitters that affect mood, appetite, sensory perception, etc.

"Low serotonin levels produce insomnia and depression, aggressive behavior, increased sensitivity to pain, and is associated with obsessive-compulsive eating disorders."

http://www.fi.edu/learn/brain/proteins.html

I did a quick google search and there's more discussion about a high level protein diet's effects on human behavior than there is on dogs. There's also research on the effects of high protein on the behavior of rats:

"These data suggest that consumption of a long-term, high-protein diet leads to hyperactivity, hyper-responsiveness, and anxiolysis in rats."

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...3&searchtype=a

When I have some free time, I'll look into this more and post links to research/articles here.

It's been almost 1 week since we stopped feeding kibble altogether and we've noticed a huge difference in the activity levels of our guys, especially Penny. In addition, she's less hypersensitive, less reactive, and more social. I can't help but think that diet, specifically protein levels, plays a large role in her behavior swings.
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Old December 15th, 2010, 09:30 PM
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This is a great site: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/index.html that was passed on to me from a Raw Pet Food Store that I used to buy from.

Type in your search words example: chicken raw, then under Food Groups choose: Poultry Prouducts. Next page pick the item that matches your search the closest, next page pick a weight amount, click Submit, next page will give you a full breakdown of everything in that item. It does consider bone for example as refuse so that amount wouldn't be included in the breakdown
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Old December 15th, 2010, 10:01 PM
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Excellent site, Growler! It's the one I use .
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Old December 16th, 2010, 08:10 AM
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I feed Orijen but have been thinking of switching in hopes it could reduce some anxious tendencies, SA being the worst.
my confusion is now what to feed. I have given some raw in the past and ended up with poop puddles on my carpet, or a dog with a groaning tummy ache. So I am looking for another quality kibble, preferable with different flavor options that can be alternated like Orijen. I tried dogfoodanalysis but there are so many options...I am also not sure how much I should lower protein level, I read a quote that said putting high protein in a house-dog is like jet fuel in a lawnmower lol... any advises?
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Old December 16th, 2010, 09:33 AM
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Cell, the regular Acana line is lower in protein than Orijen (eg. 29% for the regular adult formula). However, it's still in the mid to high range in comparison to feeding raw or a home-cooked diet. Acana could be an option for you or maybe you can consider home-cooked if raw didn't work out for your dog.

Something else to think about when switching to a lower protein kibble. Commercial kibble with a lower protein content has a higher carbohydrate content and, imo, a diet too high in carbohydrates is not appropriate for dogs either. It would seem the only way to feed less protein is through raw or home-cooking .

Yet something else I was thinking about...when discussing low vs. high protein, that's in relation to kibble only. I would consider that fresh or cooked meats contain the appropriate amount of protein and amino acids because it's fed naturally (whether cooked or raw). In that case, the 20% average protein levels found in this method of feeding is in the normal range, not in the low range. Make sense?
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Old December 16th, 2010, 10:56 AM
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I personally don't think kibble is good for any animal and I think you are on to something, LP. It is super condensed food, that allows animals to overeat easily because of the lack of bulk due to no moisture in the food. It is just not food in its natural form and that to me just isn't good for anybody.

If you think about it, how much more satisfying is it to have a huge plate of fresh fruit and veggies, than to have dried up, over cooked, handful of veggie crackers with vitamins added????
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Old December 16th, 2010, 12:13 PM
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This is interesting LP....something to ponder for sure.
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Old December 16th, 2010, 04:06 PM
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I really like the idea of feeding raw since would waste nothing, but having poo on my carpet is not worth it. Last time Leo had a nice raw bone he ended up getting a 1 week long stomach ache where I had to make rice and chicken for him because normal food made his stomach sore.
I spoke to another dog owner I knew that said the same thing happened to her dog and it was from the gut over producing enzymes in response to the bones that he wasn't use to...
Maybe Acana would be better, it just sucks that the place I get his food now doesn't sell it...
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Old December 17th, 2010, 07:07 AM
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Cell: Not sure if you looked into this, but there are enzymes you can buy to help transition your dogs to raw.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 01:53 PM
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It's a complicated world

There is protein and then there's protein. You can get your protein from a vegetarian diet but then you'd be considered a nut by normal people. Don't argue. It's a fact.

I saw that CBC documentary where an old boot (a shoe, not the wife) was boiled with a bunch of motor oil (don't have exact recipe so don't ask) with some nails or something to add for essential vitamins or minerals and the dried result sent to a laboratory (stress on "or") passed on inspection as healthy dog meal. Could save a lot of money by making your own chow this way which is probably pretty close to how kibble pushers make their stuff.

If you live in a city (a big one) see if you can't find a Chinese Grocery store that sells meat they butcher on tables behind the till. I get my necks (22¢ each), legs with fingernails (24¢) bones (2$ a bag) from one and the meat looks so clean and lasts a long time (longer than from Safeways) in the fridge before I have to wash it with peroxide prior to turning into soup for the wife and kids.

The dog and I prefer the raw stuff and we both have all our teeth.

Go feed your dog kibble. To each his own. I have higher standards for my loved ones, especially me.

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Old January 5th, 2011, 03:13 PM
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There is protein and then there's protein. You can get your protein from a vegetarian diet but then you'd be considered a nut by normal people. Don't argue. It's a fact....

...Go feed your dog kibble. To each his own. I have higher standards for my loved ones, especially me.
That's not the gist of this thread...we're not discussing low quality kibble here nor people's choices .


A little update. I've sent two emails to Champion Foods asking for some info on protein and amino acid content in terms of grams per cup rather than percentages so I can better compare to raw meats (I'm horrible at Math ). I'm still waiting for a reply.

We haven't supplemented with Orijen in a month now and Penny's behavior/mood continues to improve. She's no longer hiding at all, hasn't had one reactive episode since, no longer needs hours and hours of exercise, and is generally calm. I have added 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan), 12.5mg twice daily to her meals in the last three weeks as well.

I wish there were more studies/research to explain these changes. Other than what's already been mentioned, I can't find anything .
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Old January 5th, 2011, 04:17 PM
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I think you would be hard pressed to find any studies as it would be pet food companies that fund the studies and they don't want people to start feeding their pets quality, human grade, the way nature intended food.

The concentrated protein levels in kibble along with the chemicals could really do a number on some animals, just like junk food full of carbs and sugar are affecting children.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by luckypenny View Post
A little update. I've sent two emails to Champion Foods asking for some info on protein and amino acid content in terms of grams per cup rather than percentages so I can better compare to raw meats (I'm horrible at Math ). I'm still waiting for a reply.

I'm surprised that you haven't had a reply ....I've never had a problem with them not answering my emails.

We haven't supplemented with Orijen in a month now and Penny's behavior/mood continues to improve. She's no longer hiding at all, hasn't had one reactive episode since, no longer needs hours and hours of exercise, and is generally calm. I have added 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan), 12.5mg twice daily to her meals in the last three weeks as well.

I wish there were more studies/research to explain these changes. Other than what's already been mentioned, I can't find anything .
Do you think it's because of not feeding her Orijen or because you are giving her the5-HTP?

And, have you researched that supplement well? The last I read fairly recently was that there was still some concern about its safety.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 10:10 PM
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Concerns over essential proteins

I just re-read the starting post and I don’t think I am too far off the point, though I do plead guilty to jabbering so I’ll try to be more precise.

My point: there are proteins and there are proteins:

There are two kinds of protein conglomerations being compared, I believe. (I made the conglomeration thingi up. I’m not a biologist and don’t know the proper term outside of defining what they are):

1. Complete Protein. Meat protein is a complete protein. Meat includes all eight essential proteins which are necessary if to be used as proteins to humans. (Again don’t know about dogs and cats.)

2. Incomplete Protein. Beans, Legumes and Vegetable lack one or more of the essential proteins. An incomplete protein lacks the amino acid(s) that allow it to function as a protein in the human body. The unavailable proteins would add to the carbohydrate count.

As mentioned in one of your previous posts there are 8 essential amino acids that the human body cannot make from other foods so they must be got from ingestion. (Dunno about dogs and cats.) If even one of the essentials is missing then all the other protein bits act as carbs and are burnt as energy only and can’t be used for protein-only functions such as building cells.

So if your quest is to prove successful and valuable to your goal, then I would suspect that you want the protein count of essential proteins. and not the unessential ones which the human (again don’t know about dogs and cats- they may be able to make more or less than humans) is able to manufacture.

Here is a list of Protein from chickpeas, soybeans and beef. All foods are given in protein grams per 100 grams raw weight.

Soyabean: 36.49g protein per 100 grams weight. (Soybeans are considered by many agencies to be a source of complete protein: see below) But how much “complete protein” is particular to the soya is the question.

Chickpeas (garbanzo beans, bengal gram), mature seeds, raw 19.30g protein per 100 grams.
Chickpeas are incomplete; therefore, their protein would go to waste if not combined with something that fulfils the missing proteins.

Examples of complete proteins from beef sources.

• Beef, variety meats and by-products, brain, raw 10.86g protein per 100 grams (don’t think I would ever feed a dog brains- mad cow disease and all)
• Beef, variety meats and by-products, heart, raw 17.72g protein per 100 grams
• Beef, variety meats and by-products, liver, raw 20.36g protein per 100 grams (my dog use to have the runs when I gave her liver or heart or raw hamburger and the stuff was still blood red so haven't chanced any of this yet)
• Beef, round, outside round, bottom round, steak, separable lean and fat, trimmed to 0" fat, choice, raw 21.24g protein per 100 grams
• Beef, carcass, separable lean and fat, select, raw 17.48g protein per 100 grams
• Beef, ground, 95% lean meat / 5% fat, raw 21.41g protein per 100 grams

From Wikipedia: Soybeans
Together, oil and protein content account for about 60% of dry soybeans by weight; protein at 40% and oil at 20%. The remainder consists of 35% carbohydrate and about 5% ash. Soybean cultivars comprise approximately 8% seed coat or hull, 90% cotyledons and 2% hypocotyl axis or germ.

Soybeans are considered by many agencies to be a source of complete protein. A complete protein is one that contains significant amounts of all the essential amino acids that must be provided to the human body because of the body's inability to synthesize them. For this reason, soy is a good source of protein, amongst many others, for vegetarians and vegans or for people who want to reduce the amount of meat they eat.

How much complete protein is in dry kibble is anyone’s guess. I wouldn’t rely upon the manufacturers numbers as excluding incomplete protein from their count.

Regarding the problem with the dog pooping on the carpet, I wonder if the problem is introduction. I’m only in the 3rd day with my dog on a full BARF diet. Here tummy growled whilst sitting by me but she isn’t passing gas (her usual on a kibble diet).

At night she expects a small treat. I usually give her 3 kibbles and 3 vitamins which she quickly snarfs down. This morning, beginning of 3rd BARF day, I found she had vomited up the night treat and the kibbles where un chewed and undigested. She’s never done this before. So tonight it will be a few pieces of apple and we’ll see how that goes.

I also noticed on day two and three (today) that she pees a lot more often and greater amounts. I let her out at least 8 times yesterday and I am not sure about today because we were out and about shopping. Also, usually when she urinates theres a definite hole, about the side of a looney, in the snow. Now there is a hole but also a huge wet spot the size of a large serving plate and it takes her longer at the task which I think is because she’s emitting more fluid.

I know that when I am on Atkins and limiting my carbs, I do pass more water and more often. Possibly the looser stool is due to this factor and the dog’s system is adjusting. Sadie seemed to have to poop every time I let her out to pee the first few days but today seems more regular.

I’m sticking with the BARF diet but have back on the bones a bit. Tomorrow she will get some salmon with her chicken neck and only one bone in the afternoon.

The point on too much protein has me a little confused. There are three main foods: protein, carbohydrates (sugars) and fat. Cutting back on one means increasing one or both of the others. If you are concerned that the dog is getting too much protein, wouldn’t an alternative be to cut back on the amount of food altogether?

This is a prob I have with any new diet for my dog. How much is enough, not enough or too much. But today has been better with fewer bones and she could gladly suffer a few lost pounds.

Namaste,
mhikl

Last edited by mhikl; January 5th, 2011 at 10:14 PM. Reason: wording changed re: liver, heart etc
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Old January 5th, 2011, 10:12 PM
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Rainbow, the first email I sent was on the 16th of last month. I sent a follow up one yesterday. I'll post here as soon as I get a response.

We noticed a change in Penny's behavior immediately after going back to raw (after nearly a week on Orijen). All the dogs' energy levels had decreased within 24 hours after switching back to raw. I started the 5-HTP supplements about 8-9 days later and we noticed further change in Penny's behavior.

The concern you read about, is that about ESM? I've read about all I could find on it and the cause was traced back to a single manufacturer in Japan in the late 80's. A more recent theory is based on consuming excessive amounts of 5-HTP (ie. in the 1000's of mg). Penny only gets 25mg per day split in two, 1/6 of the human adult dosage. I'm planning on weaning her off in another 3-4 weeks. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 10:31 PM
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You keep this up LP and soon with all of your ever increasing knowledge you will be able to write some wonderful articles. Great job! You have always been very conscientious about your dogs' diets but now you are at home look at what you have accomplished!!! mf.
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We can stick our heads in the sand for only so long before it starts choking us. Face it folks. The pet population is bad ALL OVER THE WORLD!
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Old January 5th, 2011, 10:43 PM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
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Thanks 14+, but it took me all of 30 minutes to get the few lines of my last post written , don't know how I'd manage an article .

We were just trying to figure out what was setting Penny off and what was making Lucky react to her the way he was and why it was happening sporadically. We couldn't find a pattern, ruled out everything that made any sense and all that was left was food...the last thing we ever considered was food because, imo, Orijen is still one of the best dry foods out there. For some reason, just not for Penny and I want to know why.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckypenny View Post
Thanks 14+, but it took me all of 30 minutes to get the few lines of my last post written , don't know how I'd manage an article .

We were just trying to figure out what was setting Penny off and what was making Lucky react to her the way he was and why it was happening sporadically. We couldn't find a pattern, ruled out everything that made any sense and all that was left was food...the last thing we ever considered.
But if you take into consideration the effect red food dyes, MSG and other ingredients added to human foods have on some humans it makes perfect sense that some dogs will/may react differently as well to additives in their food. Or to the food itself. The important thing here is that you took the time to figure out what/how Penny was being affected by what she was eating and did something to change that. Kudos to you.
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Assumptions do nothing but make an ass out of u and me.

We can stick our heads in the sand for only so long before it starts choking us. Face it folks. The pet population is bad ALL OVER THE WORLD!
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Old January 6th, 2011, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by luckypenny View Post
Rainbow, the first email I sent was on the 16th of last month. I sent a follow up one yesterday. I'll post here as soon as I get a response.

We noticed a change in Penny's behavior immediately after going back to raw (after nearly a week on Orijen). All the dogs' energy levels had decreased within 24 hours after switching back to raw. I started the 5-HTP supplements about 8-9 days later and we noticed further change in Penny's behavior.

The concern you read about, is that about ESM? I've read about all I could find on it and the cause was traced back to a single manufacturer in Japan in the late 80's. A more recent theory is based on consuming excessive amounts of 5-HTP (ie. in the 1000's of mg). Penny only gets 25mg per day split in two, 1/6 of the human adult dosage. I'm planning on weaning her off in another 3-4 weeks. I'll let you know how it goes.
LP, I can't remember everything the article said. I was reading stuff about depression and just remember seeing something about safety concerns regarding 5-HTP but they were also talking about human use and probably didn't want people with depression to take more than necessary. I will see if I can find the article again and post it here.

I find it very interesting about the link between a high protein diet and behaviour that you have been researching. Chase is quite hyper and we always thought it's probably because he never got to enjoy his puppyhood with all the operations and activity restrictions he had but now you have me thinking and I might just switch to a lower protein diet to see if there is any change with him.
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Old January 7th, 2011, 12:47 AM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
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I know for people taking prescription medication for anxiety/depression, 5-HTP is contraindicated.

Our guys have always been super active...like really a crazy sort of active but, I always thought it was just the way they were because of their breeds . Dh said of the recent change, "wow, it's like we have normal dogs" .

Let us know what you switch Chase to and if you notice any changes, ok?
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Old January 7th, 2011, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by luckypenny View Post
I know for people taking prescription medication for anxiety/depression, 5-HTP is contraindicated.

Our guys have always been super active...like really a crazy sort of active but, I always thought it was just the way they were because of their breeds . Dh said of the recent change, "wow, it's like we have normal dogs" .

Let us know what you switch Chase to and if you notice any changes, ok?
I couldn't find the article that I read about depression but it could very well have been talking about people already on medication.

I did come across this clinical trial that was done on dogs. It is quite old though and you have probably already seen it ....

http://lib.bioinfo.pl/paper:10863592

Yes, with Chase being a lab, we also presumed that it was his breed with the activity restrictions he had during his puppyhood on top of it.

I will let you know what happens when I switch him. It will probably be to the grain-free Acana first and if I don't notice any difference, I'll reluctantly try the regular one.
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