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Re: Dog Food
 
just_peachy Views: 1,975
Published: 16 years ago
 
This is a reply to # 75,181

Re: Dog Food


Kibbles and Bits is NOT a healthy food. Check the K&B ingredients. Dogs (and cats) cannot digest corn well. Soybean meal is no better for your dog than it is for you. Animal digest is basically what one gets from throwing all the leftover parts into a big vat, cooking out the water and dousing the dried stuff with charcoal. Corn syrup is NOT healthy for dogs. (Your dog may have a bit of a sweet tooth which is why K&B is so "tasty".)

Actually, if you can buy it in a regular grocery store, it is NOT good food for your pet - period.

Most finicky dogs will eat 'premium' foods with no problem. Check into better, premium foods like Nutro (especially their Ultra line,) Innova, Canidae, or similar. Wellness isn't too bad, but they use canola oil, which I won't eat, so I won't give it to my pets, either.

Specialty food stores stock premium foods or you can usually order the food direct from the manufacturer.

While premium foods may *seem* more expensive, they are nutrient dense, so the animal eats less and gets more from what they eat (and backyard cleanup and mess is much less because the food is used, not simply passed through) and ultimately vet bills are MUCH lower due to the animals better overall health. Buying premium food actually *saves* you money in the end.

In researching processed foods, read the bags. What you want to look for is the first ingredient to be some form of specific meat (chicken, lamb, salmon, etc.) meal, not a meat-and-bone meal and definitely NOT a byproduct or "digest." For instance, chicken meal is basically just dehydrated chicken. If the first ingredient is just the meat name, like "chicken" that means it's BEFORE cooking out the water so after cooking "chicken" would have LESS meat in the food than "chicken meal" would.

In fact, there should be NO by-products or 'digest' anywhere in the list. You also want to check that the meat the company uses is the same quality and type of meat *you* would eat. Oh, and some places say to avoid "poultry fat" in favor of "chicken fat" but there are no mills that can guarantee that the only fat coming through is chicken. Many times turkey, quail, and other birds are processed in the same plants. In any case, I don't get all hung up on that particular piece.
(Side note: In weight management foods, often the first ingredient will be the carbohydrate due to lowering protein levels to keep excess or unused protein from being turned into fat. If it's NOT a weight management or senior food, the first ingredient should be a specific meat meal.)

Make sure the carbohydrates are few and come from rice (but not brewers rice) or oatmeal preferably, with wheat and barley and even potato being ok, but not optimal. Dogs simply can't digest corn and sorghum is just absolutely horrible. (Eukanuba is not only an Iam's company, which makes it completely off limits in my book, but both it and the parent Iams use corn, sorghum, and by-products - UGH!) I've even seen *peanut hulls* as a carbohydrate source in some other brands! Yikes!

Even though I thought they were interchangable, corn gluten meal is not the same as corn meal. It's the leftover part once the bran, syrup, and starch have been removed and it is digestable. I *think* it's an antioxidant, but I'm not clear if it's more used as a preservative.(?)

Also check which oil is used. Sunflower is one of the best, while canola and soy are cheap and not healthy for animals. You want a good Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio with a high linoleic acid rate. Other things to look for are taurine for the eyes and heart in dog food (it's mandatory in catfood) and the use of vitamin E as a preservative instead of chemically man made ones like ethoxyquin or BHT/BHA. Just as with our own food, avoid chemicals, artificial colors, and sweeteners.

Check out supplementing with raw food as well. Some people believe in feeding only raw, but with 5 cats, feeding only good quality raw meat is a bit out of my price range, but I do supplement their diet with free-range, antibiotic-free and chemical-free chicken.

Whatever food you decide to use, make sure you give at least a week to adjust your dog's diet. For example, if your Rottie eats 2 cups a day:
On day one use 1 3/4 cup old food w/1/4 cup new food.
On day two, make it 1 1/2 cup old and 1/2 cup new.
Day three, 1 1/4 cup old, 3/4 cup new.
Day four, 1 cup to cup
Day five 1 1/4 cup NEW food to 3/4 cup old food
Day six 1 1/2 cup NEW to 1/2 cup old
Day seven 1 3/4 cup NEW to 1/4 cup old
Day eight and on, all new food.

Moving to a new diet slowly allows the animal's digestion to 'catch up.' Many times people decide they don't like a new food because the animal threw it up, but the reason they got sick was the sudden change, not the new food itself.
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