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Ktgrok

another PSA/Update on dog food and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy

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1 hour ago, Sugarfoot said:

Our vet/dog expenses exceeded $1800 in February, and that won't be our only cost for the year. I would happily spend that on food if I thought it would really benefit their health and increase their longevity. I realize we're fortunate to even be able to consider it, but you're right-there's no way to really know if it would make a difference.

Our older dog is diabetic and needs a specific type of Science Diet plus insulin. We lost one Cavalier in February. She had bladder issues and was on a different type of Science Diet for that. She died of kidney failure rather suddenly. 

Our puppies are currently on NOW brand puppy food which we top with a bit of meat and veggies. A friend who is very much into dog food research chose NOW over the other "better" brands. 

I think it's interesting that, when I was a kid, our dogs needed to see the vet once a year for a rabies vaccination. They ate Ol' Roy (Wal-Mart brand) plus table scraps and lived very long, healthy lives. We did have a diabetic back then, too. Insulin was around $10 and just had to be requested at the pharmacy. Now it's nearly $200. 

I completely understand the willingness to do anything possible to take care of our furry family members. 

 

I’m sorry for your loss. 

How old was she?

Yes.  We had dogs in my childhood live into later teens and one well past 20 on table scraps, Alpo canned food, Kennel Ration or some such...

but I’m not sure that there was as much toxic type junk in even the meat “by-products” then... 

 

I’m going test more foods out even if expensive and see what might seem best for current allergy issues.  Probably he has inner inflammation too and that can’t be good. 

Even at double cost spent on food for him it would still be less than with the 3 larger dogs.  

I’d love him to go into his 20’s.  And in a healthy way.  

I’ll look at NOW too, if it’s the supplement company, I didn’t know they had dog food.  ETA just looked it up and see it’s apparently not related to the supplement company.  Looks like the adult version is another roughly $3 per day (for my dog that is—I looked at feeding guidelines for the various foods based on his weight etc).  Ingredients look quite good...not sure about canola oil, but lots of foods have that.  My dog probably has trouble with chicken (or maybe the corn within the chicken) not sure he is helped by avoiding beef in favor of turkey...

Edited by Pen

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How can there be a comparison?  We are talking about peas that are such a small part of the ingredient list versus corn or wheat which is second?  Right off the manufacturer websites.  In priority order, did not list all stopped after the first 3, 5, etc..  

Purina ProPlan Sport:    Chicken, Corn gluten meal and Rice

Iams Puppy:  Chicken, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Grits, Brewers Rice

Science Diet Puppy:  Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Oats, Whole Grain Sorghum, Corn Gluten Meal

Versus:

Orijen Puppy:  Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, flounder, whole eggs, whole atlantic mackerel, chicken liver, turkey liver, chicken heart, turkey heart, whole atlantic herring, dehydrated chicken, dehydrated turkey, dehydrated mackerel, dehydrated chicken liver, whole dehydrated egg, whole red lentils, whole pinto beans, whole green peas, chicken necks, chicken kidney, lentil fiber

Rawz:  Salmon, dehydrated deboned chicken, dehydrated chicken, whitefish, turkey, turkey liver, peastarch

Acana Puppy (yes, yes, I know!!, rotate!)  (Orijen's cheaper brand):  Deboned turkey, deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, whole red lentils, whole green peas, whole yellow peas, chicken fat, atlantic flounder, pollock oil, chicken giblets

 

I will keep looking at ingredient lists.  I will keep looking at who ultimately owns and makes the food.  I will keep looking at tranparency and who is funding the research.   And I'll rotate my puppy, at this time going back to Orijen every other bag, looking forward to when he finally can eat adult food so he has more Orijen choices.  Stinks being limited to large puppy.  I should be in another season of my life in a few years and then I won't be limited to kibble.  

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11 hours ago, Pen said:

I made some calculations

Assuming I did math right, several (Farmina Pumpkin, First Mate...) came in close to same at around 2-$3 per day.  ZiwiPeak twice that (calculating for one of the less expensive flavors). Dr Marty’s significantly the highest at about $8.    ...looking at it per year the several would be around $900 while ZiwiPeak would be around $1800.  

But either might actually be less because we can get a yearly share of a steer which dog(s) always get part of.   And he gets left overs ... even if it’s grain based such as a grilled cheese sandwich tonight .    Not wolf food, but I guess they have shared people food for thousands of years.  

I think I’ll probably stick with a mixture and toppers...  but if $1800 ish meant long life excellent health low vet bills, and stopping chewing on his feet, that would be worth it to me.   The problem is I don’t know.  Maybe it would be worse.  

It’s easier to consider with only one 65 pound dog at present.   We had had 3 dogs with smallest a 90 pounder awhile back.  I need to keep this in mind as we think about a next dog.  

 

I would have to look at that a little closer.  The main thing I am questioning is the price of the ZiwiPeak.  My 65 pound senior eats 1 3/4 cups a day of the Orijen.  Most important thing to remember is the higher quality of food, the less they eat.  So a large bag lasts her about a month.  Of course, my puppy is eating a LOT right now.  He gets about 4 cups a day.  When I priced the ZiwiPeak it was much higher then 2X.   I've never looked at Dr. Marty's.   I do have a box of Only Natural dehydrated food I plan on using as a topper soon.  Doubt Y will tolerate it but Radar will likely have no trouble.  Just transitioned him in one day with no problem.  

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15 minutes ago, ZiMom said:

 

I would have to look at that a little closer.  The main thing I am questioning is the price of the ZiwiPeak.  My 65 pound senior eats 1 3/4 cups a day of the Orijen.  Most important thing to remember is the higher quality of food, the less they eat.  So a large bag lasts her about a month.  Of course, my puppy is eating a LOT right now.  He gets about 4 cups a day.  When I priced the ZiwiPeak it was much higher then 2X.   I've never looked at Dr. Marty's.   I do have a box of Only Natural dehydrated food I plan on using as a topper soon.  Doubt Y will tolerate it but Radar will likely have no trouble.  Just transitioned him in one day with no problem.  

 

I didn’t run numbers on Origen because what I found was chicken based—which my guy reacts badly to - vet wants me to try to find a raised corn free actual raw chicken and see if he’s actually allergic to chicken vs corn- but in any case, I try to avoid chicken predominated foods.  

Thus I was comparing primarily an adult Farmina, First Mate and ZiwiPeak in Lamb and Mackerel as least expensive (though I just learned that my dog may not eat it willingly without itself having a topper or at least that seems to be case for the plain lamb—he likes the tripe one, but maybe not in full meal quantity).  

For each of Farmina and First Mate he needs roughly 300grams per day.  I used 454 grams per pound to figure roughly how many meals per bag he would get and then based on price per bag I saw on Amazon got a price per meal.  

For Ziwi it was a little more complicated as I didn’t have a clear sense of grams needed, but rather scoops and scoops (there’s a scoop in the bag).   Since I have some Ziwi on hand, I hope to figure out what he actually eats in grams and get a much more accurate cost estimate.

However, as of this morning, the answer is zero.  I put two scoops in his dish, and he sniffed it and walked away.   

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4 minutes ago, Pen said:

However, as of this morning, the answer is zero.  I put two scoops in his dish, and he sniffed it and walked away.   

 

Before putting in something else to make it more appealing I may let the cat get interested-sometimes he will eat if he thinks he’s going to lose out to the cat.  And the cat eats pretty much anything.  Finicky dog, chow hound cat...seems backwards. 🙃

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Meanwhile I discovered there’s an Origen red meat formula. So I lol look at that too.  After dentist...

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1 hour ago, Pen said:

Meanwhile I discovered there’s an Origen red meat formula. So I lol look at that too.  After dentist...

Orijen has many formulas.  Check them out if you are interested.  Again, I'm just limited with Radar since I'm trying to keep him on a large breed puppy formula.  Fortunately, at this time he hasn't seemed sensitive to anything.   It's my old girl that I just can't switch willy nilly.  I would occasionally put my older girl on different Orijen formulas when she was younger, it was just a loooong 2-3 week process to switch her.   Now I just keep her on the senior formula.  She has led a great life and worked hard for my daughter.  

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28 minutes ago, ZiMom said:

Orijen has many formulas.  Check them out if you are interested.  Again, I'm just limited with Radar since I'm trying to keep him on a large breed puppy formula.  Fortunately, at this time he hasn't seemed sensitive to anything.   It's my old girl that I just can't switch willy nilly.  I would occasionally put my older girl on different Orijen formulas when she was younger, it was just a loooong 2-3 week process to switch her.   Now I just keep her on the senior formula.  She has led a great life and worked hard for my daughter.  

Large breed puppy is what led me to Nutrisource. But your brands are probably better. 

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@Ktgrok I am at store- if you are looking for meat and rice, Solid Gold has them. 

I think a lot of grain would be unnatural for wild dogs.  Most dog’s prey eats a variety Of herbaceous food. Green grasses, tree and shoot browsing, fruit when possible only a little as the “grain” seeds of plants. Especially not corn or rice very likely in large quantity aside from human cultivation.  Around here, as grasses go to seed the apples and berries are coming ripe and that’s the choice of deer, elk, etc, not dry brown grass and it’s seeds.  Now, in spring, they are eating young green grass among other things, but young green grass run through a prey animal’s digestion isn’t what’s generally in dog food.   Birds eat some grain seeds in season, but also bugs, worms, fruit...

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2 hours ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Large breed puppy is what led me to Nutrisource. But your brands are probably better. 

 

Beans or peas (are they the same thing? LOL) are high up in the ingredient list but it is a US company and sourced and not owned by the big ones so something I might consider.  They are, however, owned by a larger company that makes a handful of pet foods. That does give me pause and I will dig a little deeper.  

I often forget who owns who, which ones have frequent recalls, etc.    I probably need to make a list, especially since I have started rotating with puppy.  I had completely forgotten that Purina/Nestle owned Merrick.  

 

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While out I ended up getting First Mate (has potato, but should be pretty good for Dalmatian and seemed to be low allergic for him in past) which I hadn’t gotten for awhile due to him rejecting it—but now he’s not had it for awhile so he ate both it and the ZiwiPeak.

And I got an Orijen Red Meat small package to try.  

I think I’m going with the variety idea— which for my dog works since he prefers changes.  Well, actually, he prefers raw meat or part of human family ‘s dinner.  But in dog food he likes variety.

FWIW, the pet food store I went to is owned by a local vet who tries to carry companies she thinks are good.  It had both First Mate and Orijen.  I didn’t see NutriSource but did see one that starts Vita  (VitaPure maybe?) which I think is made by same company as NutriSource.

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23 hours ago, ZiMom said:

 

Why not grain free?  They are dogs.  I don't think dogs/wolves would be eating wheat/grain as the main part of their diet in the wild.  Just like I don't think lions/ tigers would either (so similar for cats).  And yes, that might be way too simple but it makes sense to me.  I think they should be getting mainly meat (good meat, not 'meat' that has been rendered down to nothing, from the scraps of who knows what animals), with just little veggies and fruits.  Homemade would be great but not realistic for our lifestyle.   So I look for companies that use as 'real' meat as possible in as large a % as possible and then fruits and vegetables.  I've yet to find one that doesn't use grains, potatoes or peas AND decent meat.  I've looked!

 

 

Oh, I agree with that for the most part, just don't see why it would be inherently better to have the non meat part be lentils rather than wheat or corn or barley. Especially since some seem to be using the legumes as a protein source as much as a carbohydrate source, and actually reducing the meat. 

21 hours ago, Pen said:

 

It’s easier to consider with only one 65 pound dog at present.   We had had 3 dogs with smallest a 90 pounder awhile back.  I need to keep this in mind as we think about a next dog.  

Yes, we have two 70 pounders plus the two cats plus a foster dog right now. 

11 hours ago, The Accidental Coach said:


I cannot help but think that those here at WTM are people with the time, energy, and desire to research pet food ingredient lists, which companies have nutritionists on staff, which ingredients may cause which ailments, etc. Many of us also have the financial means to feed higher quality food, have regular vet checks, and provide a higher level of care for our pets. What about those who can't? There is a market out there for the less expensive grain-filled dog foods. A large market. Shouldn't every dog, no matter how much money his owners make, be guaranteed a safe diet? One that will not cause illness?

 

Truth. And honestly, the grocery store dog chow brands are adequate for most dogs, and have had no reports of this DCM issue either. They are safe, sound choices. Not ideal but not poison. The longest lived dog I ever knew, a 21 year old chihuahua, ate Old Roy. I've seen tons and tons of old, happy dogs that ate dog chow or pedigree. The main difference seemed to be the coat and skin were not as shiny, as the omega 3 oils added to the higher priced formulas were lacking. But they certainly were not keeling over on it. (I will say that the semi moist stuff is terrible and full of corn syrup) And when we say everyone needs to spend tons of money on dog food we need to acknowledge that would mean dogs not having homes, because a lot of people can't afford that. 

11 hours ago, Sugarfoot said:

 

I think it's interesting that, when I was a kid, our dogs needed to see the vet once a year for a rabies vaccination. They ate Ol' Roy (Wal-Mart brand) plus table scraps and lived very long, healthy lives.

Yup.

9 hours ago, ZiMom said:

How can there be a comparison?  We are talking about peas that are such a small part of the ingredient list versus corn or wheat which is second?  Right off the manufacturer websites.  In priority order, did not list all stopped after the first 3, 5, etc..  

Purina ProPlan Sport:    Chicken, Corn gluten meal and Rice

Iams Puppy:  Chicken, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Grits, Brewers Rice

Science Diet Puppy:  Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Oats, Whole Grain Sorghum, Corn Gluten Meal

Versus:

Orijen Puppy:  Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, flounder, whole eggs, whole atlantic mackerel, chicken liver, turkey liver, chicken heart, turkey heart, whole atlantic herring, dehydrated chicken, dehydrated turkey, dehydrated mackerel, dehydrated chicken liver, whole dehydrated egg, whole red lentils, whole pinto beans, whole green peas, chicken necks, chicken kidney, lentil fiber

Rawz:  Salmon, dehydrated deboned chicken, dehydrated chicken, whitefish, turkey, turkey liver, peastarch

Acana Puppy (yes, yes, I know!!, rotate!)  (Orijen's cheaper brand):  Deboned turkey, deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, whole red lentils, whole green peas, whole yellow peas, chicken fat, atlantic flounder, pollock oil, chicken giblets

 

 

I honestly haven't even looked at those foods as they are not in my price range, or most people's price range. But a quick check shows it is much higher protein, which makes sense. My point wasn't that higher protein was bad, but that why is wheat worse than lentils? Not that a higher carb food was the same as a lower carb food. 

Most people will never be able to pay $93 dollars for a 25lb bag of food.

When you compare foods that are more typical, like they are not taking out wheat and adding meat, they are taking out wheat and adding peas. 

And I don't care how good the ingredients look if it is giving dogs heart failure. 

 

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And today a big bag of Earthborn Holistic Grain Free food showed up for the foster dog, from the rescue. It's awesome they provide the food, but ugh...this is one of the brand with a higher number of reports of DCM. AND weimaraners are more prone to DCM. And she's growing still. I went to the company website to see if they at least had a statement about it, regarding safety, and nothing. Google found nothing either. No press release or whatever. Not only that, but I could find zero info on their website about their research, testing, anything. Just how to buy it and how to recycle their bag. I'll check again when the kids are in bed, but man! On the one hand I was glad it was gluten free, with my son's celiac. But I also am concerned, both by the reports of dogs on that food getting sick and the lack of info on the website. But...technically not my dog, nor my dog food. 

First 4 ingredients: Bison Meal, Peas, Pea Protein, Tapioca, Dried Egg

I'll probably just mix it with my dog's food if I'm worried. I also found recently that Bil Jac was wheat/barley free! My picky one likes that food a lot. 

Edited by Ktgrok

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Quote

why is wheat worse than lentils? Not that a higher carb food was the same as a lower carb food. 

 

 

Honestly, I don’t know if it is, and if we have a grilled cheese sandwich left from dinner it goes to the dog, wheat and all.  OTOH we had tacos tonight and I decreed that leftover inners and sides could go to dog, but no (corn) taco.

This is due to it being thought deardog has specific corn allergies.  

There are certainly issues about inflammation and joint problems associated with grains, but that’s also the case for white potato, which the food I just chose has.  

 I think a good bit of issue has to do with mycotoxins and aflatoxins, which certainly can grow on legumes too, but may be especially a problem if older not quite fit for human consumption (molding) grain is getting passed on to animals.    

 

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13 hours ago, Pen said:

 

I’m sorry for your loss. 

How old was she?

Yes.  We had dogs in my childhood live into later teens and one well past 20 on table scraps, Alpo canned food, Kennel Ration or some such...

but I’m not sure that there was as much toxic type junk in even the meat “by-products” then... 

 

I’m going test more foods out even if expensive and see what might seem best for current allergy issues.  Probably he has inner inflammation too and that can’t be good. 

Even at double cost spent on food for him it would still be less than with the 3 larger dogs.  

I’d love him to go into his 20’s.  And in a healthy way.  

I’ll look at NOW too, if it’s the supplement company, I didn’t know they had dog food.  ETA just looked it up and see it’s apparently not related to the supplement company.  Looks like the adult version is another roughly $3 per day (for my dog that is—I looked at feeding guidelines for the various foods based on his weight etc).  Ingredients look quite good...not sure about canola oil, but lots of foods have that.  My dog probably has trouble with chicken (or maybe the corn within the chicken) not sure he is helped by avoiding beef in favor of turkey...

Thank you. She was almost 12, which honestly seems young to me. I know it's not really, but I'd love it if dogs lived longer lives. We actually lost 3 dogs this past year - a 16-year-old Shih Tzu, a 12-year-old Golden Lab, and the Cavalier. It was a really hard year here. 

Yes, I agree that " by-products" are likely much worse than they used to be. 

We now have 2 puppies - a Boston Terrier and a Cavoodle (Cavalier/poodle mix) plus the diabetic Cavalier, who is a littler mate to the one we lost. He's been on insulin for 7 years. 

At one point, I fed 3 of the dogs Orijen, but something scared me away from it, and now I can't remember what? I may try it again in rotation with the NOW, which they do really well on. I'd like to look into several others mentioned here, as well.

Our Cavalier is always starving, but the only additional food he can have on top of the Science Diet is green beans. We do give him a few table scraps, too. 

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10 hours ago, Sugarfoot said:

Thank you. She was almost 12, which honestly seems young to me. I know it's not really, but I'd love it if dogs lived longer lives. We actually lost 3 dogs this past year - a 16-year-old Shih Tzu, a 12-year-old Golden Lab, and the Cavalier. It was a really hard year here. 

 

That is hard.  12 for Lab is not too bad—they can be really long lived, but big dogs seem less often to live into upper teens 20s even in “old days” but it also seems young to me for a little dog like cavalier. 

After I had a special only dog die at only 8 years old, I have tried to stagger dogs, but that doesn’t really mean one cannot lose two in one year even if they are several years apart.

I wonder if dogs are affected badly by the loss of a companion dog like your litter mates—if stress would cause a health decline for the survivor. 

Quote

Yes, I agree that " by-products" are likely much worse than they used to be. 

We now have 2 puppies - a Boston Terrier and a Cavoodle (Cavalier/poodle mix) plus the diabetic Cavalier, who is a littler mate to the one we lost. He's been on insulin for 7 years. 

At one point, I fed 3 of the dogs Orijen, but something scared me away from it, and now I can't remember what? I may try it again in rotation with the NOW, which they do really well on. I'd like to look into several others mentioned here, as well.

Our Cavalier is always starving, but the only additional food he can have on top of the Science Diet is green beans. We do give him a few table scraps, too. 

 

If you remember what scared you from Orijen, please let me know since I just got a first small trial bag.  

My dog’s more holistic vet gave us a foods list, which I’m looking for to see what she rated high.  She prefers raw or homemade foods, but understands that it isn’t always manageable.  

“Starving” in sense of wanting more, appetite?   Or actually thin?  Or like maybe some nutritional substance is missing even though there’s plenty of quantity? 

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My medium large dogs have all lived to the higher end of their breed’s lifespan. But none of them have a lifespan that goes into the 20’s. 

Edited by Jean in Newcastle
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2 hours ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

My medium large dogs have all lived to the higher end of their breed’s lifespan. But none of them have a lifespan that goes into the 20’s. 

 

My childhood family very old dogs were relatively small Cocker Spaniels.  And I haven’t had those since childhood — can’t cope with the long fur in my circumstances and also prefer larger dogs — but  Spaniels in families I know seem to be plagued by more chronic health problems now, no longer seem to be the extremely sturdy, hardy, healthy, active sport type dogs they were.  More like what @Sugarfoot seems to be experiencing with their Cavaliers

 

If we’ had records they might have been worth submitting to something like Guinness— but I don’t think it seemed like an uncommon thing then—I had several friends with dogs who saw them through the whole of childhood.  One who had a beagle who was in its 20s.  One a Yorkshire terrier.  

Edited by Pen

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11 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

More info on pet food - this on on levels of toxins found in various foods. Interestingly, the grain free had higher toxin levels, fish had the worst, turkey the best. https://www.cleanlabelproject.org/pet-food/?fbclid=IwAR2qDUlc8LrpNtW-ovCbeYBhI50jA7S12me7GJfwnYbp3ayQkWh-XutpkVA

 

Im wishing I got deardog lamb rather than fish yesterday.  

I should figure out if he reacts to Turkey as he seems to do to chicken.  

The study says grain free has higher toxin levels- but I see it represented in both best and worst 5 foods.  

I see a Canidae in top 5 and that’s easy to get here—one of few dog foods carried at a rural feed and grain in our area.  It likely has nothing to do with it, but I haven’t used Canidae since a beloved dog who ate it died of cancer at only 7 or 8 years old.  

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3 hours ago, Pen said:


That is hard.  12 for Lab is not too bad—they can be really long lived, but big dogs seem less often to live into upper teens 20s even in “old days” but it also seems young to me for a little dog like cavalier. 

A huge majority of Cavaliers tend to have serious heart issues. The breed's lifespan tends to be shorter than similar sized dogs, largely because of the very high incidence of heart disease.

After I had a special only dog die at only 8 years old, I have tried to stagger dogs, but that doesn’t really mean one cannot lose two in one year even if they are several years apart.

I try to stagger our pets, too. It doesn't always work, but I figure it's the best I can do to help avoid losing multiples in the same year. Our last set, though -- we lost the younger one first. She was four years younger than other other dog, but still . . .a very rare disease apparently didn't care.

 

3 hours ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

My medium large dogs have all lived to the higher end of their breed’s lifespan. But none of them have a lifespan that goes into the 20’s. 

I'm not questioning any specific person's recollections, but I don't think it's ever been common by any stretch of the imagination for dogs to live into their 20's, even tiny ones. I'm older than most on here and grew up in a very dog oriented family, and I don't remember any of them living any longer than most dogs do nowadays. The receptionist at my vet office said the oldest dog they know of for sure lived to be 21, but that he was huge exception in what they typically see. And this is a large, busy vet practice that probably has thousands of patients. I've been using that vet practice for over 40 years, and she's been there almost as long. Which I'm guessing more than covers the childhood memory years of most on here. It's a very, very rare dog that has ever made it to see two decades of life.

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Sorry for the wonky quoting. I did it right, but . . the system doesn't think so, apparently.

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My spaniels are springers so definitely bigger than cockers or cavaliers.   Rocky died at the end of year 14 and was mistaken for a puppy up to the end. My disabled springer is coming up on year 14. I am actually surprised that she has made it this long since she is partially paralyzed, has a serious heart problem (not DCM), and has cancer. But she’s still happy and is being treated palliatively.   The cancer is common in springers and is probably breeding based and not food based. 

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Could be incorrect recollections.  Can’t prove otherwise.  

 

An uncle who is a vet in Europe, now in his 70s, though also has told me that he is seeing less robust long life and more chronic illness in dogs in recent decades both in patient dogs (patients tend to be brought in because sick more than non patients ) , and also declining      Vitality...   in farm dogs of their area 

next time we communicate I’ll ask him about longevity specifically, and also ask if he has recollection of the age of one of the longer lived dogs of my childhood...  he may know.  

Edited by Pen
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1 hour ago, Pen said:

Could be incorrect recollections.  Can’t prove otherwise.  

 

An uncle who is a vet in Europe, now in his 70s, though also has told me that he is seeing less robust long life and more chronic illness in dogs in recent decades both in patient dogs (patients tend to be brought in because sick more than non patients ) , and also declining      Vitality...   in farm dogs of their area 

next time we communicate I’ll ask him about longevity specifically, and also ask if he has recollection of the age of one of the longer lived dogs of my childhood...  he may know.  

I think the studies I've seen say that dog lifespans are longer overall now than in the past. Which does mean there will be more cancer, etc as dogs tend to eventually get cancer if they live long enough, versus humans who tend to have their hearts give out, etc 

I DO think we have more sickly dogs many times, but I think that has more to do with breeding/vet care. In other words, a sickly dog would have died or been put down, now it can be treated and in some cases people will still breed it too. 

Also, when dogs were selected for working characteristics versus "cute" that probably influenced health, and even more importantly, the tendency to go from moderate size/shape/features to extremes has definitely had a negative impact on dog health. Teacup dogs and oversized monster dogs are generally much less healthy than medium sized dogs, and dogs with extremely short muzzles, or warped legs, or odd colors not normally found in the breed all have health issues too. And yet, people want these "rare" dogs and so there is money to be made in breeding them. 

 

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18 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

I think the studies I've seen say that dog lifespans are longer overall now than in the past. Which does mean there will be more cancer, etc as dogs tend to eventually get cancer if they live long enough, versus humans who tend to have their hearts give out, etc 

I DO think we have more sickly dogs many times, but I think that has more to do with breeding/vet care. In other words, a sickly dog would have died or been put down, now it can be treated and in some cases people will still breed it too.

Also, when dogs were selected for working characteristics versus "cute" that probably influenced health, and even more importantly, the tendency to go from moderate size/shape/features to extremes has definitely had a negative impact on dog health. Teacup dogs and oversized monster dogs are generally much less healthy than medium sized dogs, and dogs with extremely short muzzles, or warped legs, or odd colors not normally found in the breed all have health issues too. And yet, people want these "rare" dogs and so there is money to be made in breeding them. 

 

Yup.  Libby was born with congenital problems and in the past would not have lived as long as she has.  In fact, she would have been probably put down by the breeder if they didn't know that I would take her.  (I took all of their 'rejects' for years.)  I take a fairly conservative approach to vet care while still emphasizing good quality of life. 

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Found this, which is basically saying (i think) that legumes/pulses can be a good ingredient if balanced carefully with other ingredients. But that having a LOT of them, especially a single one, can make it harder to balance the diet, and that the increased fiber may decrease the bioavailability of certain nutrients present in the food, including taurine. So the formula on paper may seem to have plenty of taurine or precursors, if the food isn't designed by someone(s) with knowledge of how the fiber and other factors influence the digestion and interaction of the various ingredients those amino acids may not be usable by the dog. 

And that doing something new (increasing the percentage of pulses/legumes) without a lot of knowledge of what will be effected isn't a good idea. (again, I'm as interested in this as I am because due to my son's celiac we need wheat/barley free food, not because I'm out to villinaize what anyone else feeds. 

It also discusses that as people started wanting to avoid animal byproducts, that decreased the taurine and precursors in food, as organ meat is the richest source of those amino acids. ( Bil Jac specifies that their byproduct meal is from organ meat only)

Processing temperature is also a factor in the bioavailability of amino acids. High temperature processing may make them unusable for metabolism. 

""Although the high-protein content in soybean meal and pulses is indicative of higher concentration of AAs compared with grains, it does not imply AA balance. Soybean meal and pulses are high in lysine (mg/g protein) but low in sulfur AAs (mg/g protein), whereas the reverse is true for cereals. Plant-based ingredients tend to have lower ileal digestibility coefficients for protein compared with protein from animal sources (FAO and WHO, 1991). Thus, dog foods that contain substantial amounts of pulses, lower proportions of animal-based ingredients, and do not address AA imbalances through the addition of alternate ingredients or fortification, may risk AA deficiencies. To mitigate this risk across the pet food industry and ensure the final pet diets are nutritionally adequate and balanced, it is prudent that the digestibility coefficients of all final pet food products be calculated."

https://academic.oup.com/jas/article/97/3/983/5279069

Edited by Ktgrok
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I think I've made two really great decisions in the last dozen years.

One was to introduce math to my son using Cuisenaire rods in a "math lab" type approach. 

The other has been to feed my almost 5-year-old Vizsla (April 11) a balance PMR-style (Prey Model Raw) diet since the day we got him (8.5 weeks).

He is the picture of health. Clean white teeth. Clean breath. Lean body, very well muscled (like a supermodel). Glistening fur. Clear eyes. Unlimited energy, while calm and able to settle.

Like most raw fed dogs, he has not "thickened" around the middle. People generally assume he is a puppy. A "developed" puppy. Most people guess 18 months to 2 years old. 

A PMR style diet involves feeding a formula that mimics to a degree the diet they were shaped by evolution to consume naturally.  People feed a ratio of 80% "meat," 10% edible bone, and 10% organs. Half the organs (or 5%) should be liver. The other half kidney and other secreting organs.

A PMR diet has advantages for health. It not only avoids grains, but it eliminates carbohydrates entirely. That is a huge positive. Dog's are not designed to run on carbohydrates.

They can do it (to varying degrees of success depending on the genetics of the dog as mutations that advantage dog vs wolves is unevenly distributed), but do they pay a big price. Teeth almost always rot with kibble fed dogs. 60% have periodontal disease. Burning carbs is very bad for a dog's vitality. It unnaturally provides dogs with only a short burst of energy. Then they flop. Sleep all day. Get fat. Suffer joint pain from the extra weight. Etc.

Obesity is as hard on dog health as human health.

PRM also avoids replacing "grains" with legumes or other plant-based proteins or carbohydrates.

A dog should, in ordinary circumstances, be able to synthesize all its own taurine. It is not an "essential" amino acid (due to them being able to make it). The peas/legumes seem to me to be the likeliest culprit. 

I think there is a logic to feeding dogs a diet that resembles what it was for eons. I've read all the veterinary literature on dog nutrition and especially high-protein high-fat diets vs high-carbohydrate diets. And I've seen it with my own eyes. It is the way dogs would ideally eat. The differences are not subtle.

I can get good prices on chicken and pork here in LA. Beef is tricker, but beef-heart (very rich in taurine) is usually cheap and I have a place where I get beef trim cheap. 

I guess I spend about $60 a month feeding a 60lb high energy Vizsla. I think I'd spend at least that much on a so-called super premium dog kibble.

Neither peas nor wheat nor corn nor rice really belongs in a dog's diet. 

My 2 cents.

Bill

 

 

 

 

 

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I was waiting for bill to jump in 🙂

I will say first that there have been raw fed dogs that developed nutritional DCM but I don't know what or how they fed raw, or if PRM or BARF or commercial or home prepared or what. 

If all else was equal I'd feed raw. 

All else is not equal right now. For various reasons I have stopped for the time being, reasons that I'm not sure when they will change. 

 

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If my dog didn’t have trouble with chicken, I’d feed raw.  He eats part raw as beef, which we can get as a quarter or half steer from a farm in our area...  but  I didn’t get a share at last butchering.  I don’t go all raw because I don’t think I can get him well balanced enough on it.  Also a difficulty is that as a part Dalmatian he is supposed to be kept relatively low purine—organ meats which are an important part of most raw diets are high purine. 

Edited by Pen

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21 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

I was waiting for bill to jump in 🙂

I will say first that there have been raw fed dogs that developed nutritional DCM but I don't know what or how they fed raw, or if PRM or BARF or commercial or home prepared or what. 

If all else was equal I'd feed raw. 

All else is not equal right now. For various reasons I have stopped for the time being, reasons that I'm not sure when they will change. 

 

I learned about raw feeding for the first time here on this forum. I thought it sounded somewhere between intriguing and internet-nutty (leaning toward the latter).

I wish you positive future circumstances. 

Bill

 

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2 minutes ago, Pen said:

If my dog didn’t have trouble with chicken, I’d feed raw.  He eats part raw as beef, which we can get as a quarter or half steer from a farm in our area...  but  I didn’t get a share at last butchering.  I don’t go all raw because I don’t think I can get him well balanced enough on it.  Also a difficulty is that as a part Dalmatian he is supposed to be kept low purine—organ meats which are an important part of most raw diets are high purine. 

Have you tried raw chicken? I ask only because I've anecdotally heard of many people whose dogs were supposedly allergic to chicken in dog food were fine on raw chicken.

Being able to use raw chicken helps keep the costs down and the convenience up. Dalmatian's do have special issues. If one needed to avoid organ meat one could replace it with appropriate vitamin supplements. The organs are vitamin/mineral sources. You could get around that.

Bill 

 

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This is a study on nutritional DCM done on Golden Retrievers. Of the 24 dogs in the study with DCM 15 were eating Acana! I also found it interesting/surprising that when contacted the brands involved could not say how much fiber was in their food. None did feeding trials. (chart of cases/brands is toward the bottom). Also, it is important to note that a large number of dogs being diagnosed have no clinical symptoms, or none that the owner realized were a problem...lots of people are saying on social media that their pet eats XYZ brand and is healthy...but without lab work or echocardiogram that can't really be stated in regards to the current issue. In some breeds effected the first sign tends to be sudden death 😞 (dobermans)

Also, this study is on Goldens but at least 80 breeds have been effected. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6292607/

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7 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

This is a study on nutritional DCM done on Golden Retrievers. Of the 24 dogs in the study with DCM 15 were eating Acana! I also found it interesting/surprising that when contacted the brands involved could not say how much fiber was in their food. None did feeding trials. (chart of cases/brands is toward the bottom). Also, it is important to note that a large number of dogs being diagnosed have no clinical symptoms, or none that the owner realized were a problem...lots of people are saying on social media that their pet eats XYZ brand and is healthy...but without lab work or echocardiogram that can't really be stated in regards to the current issue. In some breeds effected the first sign tends to be sudden death 😞 (dobermans)

Also, this study is on Goldens but at least 80 breeds have been effected. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6292607/

 

Do you a citation for raw fed dogs developing DCM? Seems very unlikely to me.

Bill

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6 minutes ago, Spy Car said:

 

Do you a citation for raw fed dogs developing DCM? Seems very unlikely to me.

Bill

The raw ones I know of are self reported, or reported by veterinarians, in a facebook group I'm part of. Very few were raw fed, but there were a few cases. Again, I don't know and haven't investigated to see if that was commercial or home prepared, or what variety of raw, etc. 

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8 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

The raw ones I know of are self reported, or reported by veterinarians, in a facebook group I'm part of. Very few were raw fed, but there were a few cases. Again, I don't know and haven't investigated to see if that was commercial or home prepared, or what variety of raw, etc. 

OK. Thanks.

Bill

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2 minutes ago, Spy Car said:

OK. Thanks.

Bill

My guess would be someone either not including organ meat, or feeding a commercial formula from some fly by the night company making a buck but not doing quality control. 

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So, I'm not finding any cases linked to Bil-Jac, and thought others might be interested in them as they are not one of the big four companies. They are solely a dog food company, have been around since 1947, manufacture the food in the USA, and do include organ meat (needed for taurine and precursors) and don't process at the high temps used by most companies (to prevent damaging the amino acids). Because of the special process the kibble is very different...it looks like rabbit pellets not dog kibble. Dogs usually love it. 

This is their website, it goes into why they use corn, as well. https://www.bil-jac.com/about.php

I've heard they do feeding trials but cannot find that on their info or bags online, so will be contacting them. 

(and corn and wheat are high in the precursors to taurine, legumes are not)

Edited by Ktgrok

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3 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

My guess would be someone either not including organ meat, or feeding a commercial formula from some fly by the night company making a buck but not doing quality control. 

Hmm. Otherwise, it is difficult for me to imagine that a dog could have this issue on a balanced PRM diet unless this is something other than an exclusively-diet based problem.

 

Bill

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@Spy Car yes.  Raw alas has been a problem.  

Vet  (we have a vet who is pro-raw feeding) thinks it may be from corn the chickens eat, but I cannot find corn free chicken source.

I used to (deliberately) get whole chickens and give him the raw backs, organs, and whatever we were unlikely to eat.  And he ate raw chicken necks often as a puppy.  We have an easy and even reasonably priced source for raw (frozen) chicken necks, backs, etc. locally, so this is very unfortunate, imo. 

At first as puppy to young adult it seemed good and he cleared up what seemed to be allergic symptoms from before when we first got him — but then seemed to become reactive.  

He may be able to rotate eat a raw chicken meal occasionally eventually if he’s off it for awhile.  

Or he may just have developed a chicken problem.  He throws up if he has much egg whether raw or cooked.  The chicken problem is increase itching,  not gastrointestinal. 

I don’t know if turkey is a problem or not.  I have been hesitant to try.  

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The naked spots on his feet are from allergy .

 

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@Spy Car

Quote

He is the picture of health. Clean white teeth. Clean breath. Lean body, very well muscled (like a supermodel). Glistening fur. Clear eyes. Unlimited energy, while calm and able to settle.

Like most raw fed dogs, he has not "thickened" around the middle. People generally assume he is a puppy. A "developed" puppy. Most people guess 18 months to 2 years old. 

 

As a general matter, I do think a (proper) raw diet would be most appropriate and best for dogs.  I’ve done it to some degree, and would do it entirely if I could.

The trainer we worked with, who also bred dogs, switched to raw feeding and I got onto it initially from him as he related that on raw his genetically similar dogs did seem to be doing better than their commercial kibble relatives. 

However, I’m wondering about some of what you are attributing to raw diet.  

Is your dog more trim and fit than his own littermates?

I’ve never seen an overweight Vizsla, Weimaraner, certain other breeds too...  every one I’ve seen, has been slim and athletic.  

To me that seems likely to be breed as much as food.    ????

My dog too is slim, trim, and, except for his allergy reactions , shiny and healthy looking and puppyish acting, very white teeth, and also often taken to be much younger than he is (6.5 years), even by new vets, and even with grey now starting 😥on his muzzle.  

In contrast, some Labrador retrievers I’ve known, especially show rather than field line ones, are first of all naturally more bulky looking, and second don’t seem to have a sense of satiation, a stop eating point.  And seem to have an obesity tendency.  Even on raw.  

Could be this is partly related to where I live, and what I see—we are rural, so if I see a Vizsla or Weimaraner it tends to be because owner wanted a running companion and I see the ones who are out getting exercise.  If there are any at home as fat couch potatoes, I would not see them.  

And then, a lot of what I see while driving and so on,  Great Pyrenees and other livestock guard dogs, are so furry that it’s hard to tell whether the inner dog is fat or thin.  Though whatever they eat, they tend to look like the picture of health in their own way.  

Edited by Pen
Tag due to who quoted not showing
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I've had 4 dogs in my life.

First, cocker spaniel puppy died of parvo. My idiot parents boarded him too soon when we went on vacay and I guess he didn't seroconvert to his Parvo vaccine, or he didn't have the full series. I don't know the whole story because I was in elementary school, but we were devastated when he died.

Second, cocker spaniel lived until my mother finally had him put down at age 18. He was a great dog, but it was time.

Third, cocker spaniel you would have sworn was a puppy right up until he got a tumor at age 14. He was an amazingly athletic dog. Thankfully, the cancer took him quickly. He loved to sail with us, so we buried him at sea.

Fourth, our current cavalier, who is the sweetest, cutest, laziest dog (that doesn't do a lick of dog things) I have ever met. He has acted like a 10 year old dog from the time he was a pup and sleeps like 20 hours/day. He weighs 12 lbs and snores louder than anyone in our house. The only issue with my last cocker was that he was not good with kids, so we needed a dog that was going to be bomb-proof around kids and easily transportable with our life in the RV and on the boat, so we switched to cavaliers. So far, he doesn't have a murmur and neither do his parents. His relatives are all very healthy, but he was the runt of the litter, so I knew I was taking a chance on him.

We used to feed him fresh or frozen raw, but this is the pickiest dog on the planet. He gets bored with whatever I feed him. Currently, he gets a mix of Stella & Chewy's freeze-dried raw chicken patties, Farmina Natural & Delicious Wild Boar Grain Free Kibble, and some Weruva Grandma's Chicken Soup wet to entice him. I don't even want to think about what we spend on his food. Since we mix up his food so much, and buy high quality stuff, I'm not too concerned about deficiencies.

 

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21 minutes ago, SeaConquest said:

. His relatives are all very healthy, but he was the runt of the litter, so I knew I was taking a chance on him.

This is an aside but Libby’s congenital problems came as part of the package of her being the runt. Even before she was hit by a car 8 years ago (due to an improperly fenced dog park) she had more difficulty getting around and her mouth has been messed up since birth. In fact, the ER vet told me that she wouldn’t be paralyzed now if her spine hadn’t been fused from birth. 

Now our Rottweiler/Shepherd is most likely a runt (she’s 3/4 of the size she should be) but she’s perfect in a small (er) package. 

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5 hours ago, Pen said:

@Spy Car

 

As a general matter, I do think a (proper) raw diet would be most appropriate and best for dogs.  I’ve done it to some degree, and would do it entirely if I could.

The trainer we worked with, who also bred dogs, switched to raw feeding and I got onto it initially from him as he related that on raw his genetically similar dogs did seem to be doing better than their commercial kibble relatives. 

However, I’m wondering about some of what you are attributing to raw diet.  

Is your dog more trim and fit than his own littermates?

I’ve never seen an overweight Vizsla, Weimaraner, certain other breeds too...  every one I’ve seen, has been slim and athletic.  

To me that seems likely to be breed as much as food.    ????

My dog too is slim, trim, and, except for his allergy reactions , shiny and healthy looking and puppyish acting, very white teeth, and also often taken to be much younger than he is (6.5 years), even by new vets, and even with grey now starting 😥on his muzzle.  

In contrast, some Labrador retrievers I’ve known, especially show rather than field line ones, are first of all naturally more bulky looking, and second don’t seem to have a sense of satiation, a stop eating point.  And seem to have an obesity tendency.  Even on raw.  

Could be this is partly related to where I live, and what I see—we are rural, so if I see a Vizsla or Weimaraner it tends to be because owner wanted a running companion and I see the ones who are out getting exercise.  If there are any at home as fat couch potatoes, I would not see them.  

And then, a lot of what I see while driving and so on,  Great Pyrenees and other livestock guard dogs, are so furry that it’s hard to tell whether the inner dog is fat or thin.  Though whatever they eat, they tend to look like the picture of health in their own way.  

Good point. My weimaraners were often thought to be puppies, even at 9 and 10 years old. My show lines one did end up overweight though, but not from her kibble. She was a houdini and would steal food, break into cabinets, etc. It wasn't her dog food, but the jars of peanut butter she'd chew open and eat, the entire loaves of bread she'd scarf down in one sitting, etc, lol. 

Edited by Ktgrok

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13 hours ago, Pen said:

@Spy Car

 

As a general matter, I do think a (proper) raw diet would be most appropriate and best for dogs.  I’ve done it to some degree, and would do it entirely if I could.

The trainer we worked with, who also bred dogs, switched to raw feeding and I got onto it initially from him as he related that on raw his genetically similar dogs did seem to be doing better than their commercial kibble relatives. 

However, I’m wondering about some of what you are attributing to raw diet.  

Is your dog more trim and fit than his own littermates?

I’ve never seen an overweight Vizsla, Weimaraner, certain other breeds too...  every one I’ve seen, has been slim and athletic.  

To me that seems likely to be breed as much as food.    ????

My dog too is slim, trim, and, except for his allergy reactions , shiny and healthy looking and puppyish acting, very white teeth, and also often taken to be much younger than he is (6.5 years), even by new vets, and even with grey now starting 😥on his muzzle.  

In contrast, some Labrador retrievers I’ve known, especially show rather than field line ones, are first of all naturally more bulky looking, and second don’t seem to have a sense of satiation, a stop eating point.  And seem to have an obesity tendency.  Even on raw.  

Could be this is partly related to where I live, and what I see—we are rural, so if I see a Vizsla or Weimaraner it tends to be because owner wanted a running companion and I see the ones who are out getting exercise.  If there are any at home as fat couch potatoes, I would not see them.  

And then, a lot of what I see while driving and so on,  Great Pyrenees and other livestock guard dogs, are so furry that it’s hard to tell whether the inner dog is fat or thin.  Though whatever they eat, they tend to look like the picture of health in their own way.  

Good points, and ones that (unfortunately) IME raw feeders are all too eager to overlook or try to worm their way out of.

I'm very much a "do what works for the dog you have" person. I've seen dogs thrive and suffer on all sorts of diets. I couldn't begin to count the number of slim, vibrant, bursting with energy, absolutely-the-pictures-of-health looking dogs I've known who had eaten nothing but Dog Chow all their lives. Which to my way of thinking proves nothing other than dogs can thrive on lots of ways of eating. Would I feed Dog Chow because somebody's picture-of-health dog ate it? No. I'm absolutely positive many--probably most--of us who've posted on this thread could say the same about our dogs as Bill says about his, and I bet very few of us feed the same food or type of diet.

Also IME it's the norm for sporting breed dogs to be active (usually super, super active), slim and vibrant well into their teen years. Unless a young Vizsla was really maltreated . .  what Bill describes is exactly what I would expect to see. Our Brittany had more energy when he turned 14 than many dogs have when they're one. He also never needed a teeth cleaning. Ever. Even after kidney and liver disease started taking their toll his fur was still thick and glossy, etc. He wasn't unusual for his breed. 

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On 3/18/2019 at 8:50 PM, ZiMom said:

The other thing that bothers me is the whole 'only these companies have vet nutritionists'...  disclaimer, I joined a facebook group for dog food and 99% (it seemed) pushed Purina pro plan as the be all and end all, so yes this is part of what bugs me..   anyway, yes, I feel like I have researched every dog food out there and there ARE other companies that work with nutritionists.   Do I know that the nutritionist is on staff full time?  of course not, but do they need to be?  

I will continue to feed the best, grain free, meat first ingredient dog food I can afford.  

I also have a FIL that is an animal nutritionist and has weighed about 400 pounds most of his adult life so there is that LOL  

 

That is a really snarky and cruel comment.  I'm guessing you have zero idea about the causes of morbid obesity.  You realize that there is no diet out there that has been proven in any long term study to lead to significant weight loss not only in the morbidly obese, but the obese category?   Weight loss drugs are considered a success if they cause a 10% weight loss... and usually one looks at a 6 month to 12 month period.   Not a lifetime.  Your FIL would be 360 pounds and considered a "success".    The only thing likely to help somebody of that size is a bariatric operation known as the duodenal switch, which can be difficult to get insurance approval for and has its own complications.  The duodenal switch means that he will permanently remove 70-90% of his stomach as well as bypass at least 2/3rds of his small intestine.  

Edited by umsami
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Also, one distinction I found in the study on Golden Retrievers was that all the foods involved were ones where not only were there no feeding trials, but they also came to their "formulated to meet guidelines" standpoint just by looking at the recipe, rather than analyzing the actual food. 

There are companies that do analyze the actual food, even if they don't meet all the WSAVA guidelines. I do think that's a good middle ground and worth asking a company about. Having a lab analyze the food is a better safety measure than hoping the recipe was formulated properly, with no math errors, etc. 

Two I think that do analyze the food are Bil-Jac and Victor. 

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