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Dog food

alm_nin

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I need to switch my dogs' food again. I am feeding them Wellness, but it seems to be giving them bad gas and also (with both me and my husband getting our hours severely cut at work) it is just too expensive. I have just spent several hours researching dog food online and getting very frustrated. Canidae looked pretty good and slightly cheaper, but I found reviews where people claimed it made their dogs sick, and some people also found worms or dead mice in the bags! Innova has too many calories for my dogs (both are a bit chubby), and they wouldn't eat California Natural when I tried it before. I read that Solid Gold recently had some recalls. Natural Balance looked pretty good, but I can't find any calorie information for their foods. Anyone know where to find this info? Blue Buffalo's reduced fat food also looked good, but I'm not sure it would be any cheaper than the Wellness. I fed Eagle products for over a year, and they all seemed to make my dog's allergies worse. Stupid question, but I looked up Purina One Healthy Weight formula and it didn't look THAT horrible. I don't think Purina products were involved in any recalls, it has a decent amount of meat in it, and I don't see any of the known cancer causing preservatives that are in a lot of the grocery store foods (unless I am missing something). I know it is supposed to be a low quality food and it does have corn and by products, but are these necessarily that horrible? Somebody help!
 

Tserisa

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Have you seen Dog Food Analysis?

I feed my dog Wellness, and have for years, and haven't had a problem with it, thankfully. My foster cat is on Innova Evo. These are both super-premium (high quality) foods. The cat was fat when I got her, so I fed her Wellness Healthy Weight for three months, with an exercise regimine, and now she is a perfect weight and I switched her to Innova.

Timberwolf Organics (which is not organic, despite the name) is a good brand. Blue Buffalo is pretty decent.

I would never feed Purina, personally. I do not think it is remotely a good food.

Of course, there are professional athletes out there that eat nothing but McDonald's and overall their health is great. But if they stopped that super-intense exercise schedule, their health would take a serious downturn, and things like salt and sugar will affect health even with high levels of exercise. So keep in mind that lifestyle is also important as well as diet.

How big are your dogs and how much are they eating each day? Do you feed any treats or people food?

Have you considered a raw or homemade diet? If your dogs have sensitive stomachs and a weight problem, it might be a good idea. What kind of exercise schedule do they have?
 

alm_nin

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Have you seen Dog Food Analysis?

How big are your dogs and how much are they eating each day? Do you feed any treats or people food?

Have you considered a raw or homemade diet? If your dogs have sensitive stomachs and a weight problem, it might be a good idea. What kind of exercise schedule do they have?

Yes, I have seen the Dog Food Analysis page, but how do we know that this person is knowledgeable in dog food? I mean (just an example) I could put up a website with all kinds of rediculous claims, and people might believe it.
For the last two years I have done tons of reading on dog food, and so much information contradicts each other that I am scared to feed them anything (which of course isn't an option)! I have looked into the raw or homemade diets, but everything I read contradicts each other so much that I am really scared to try that.
My dogs are both about 55 lbs and each get 1 cup twice a day of Wellness Super5 Lamb, but they are both still gaining weight and they both act like they are starving! I admit, they don't get a lot of exercise right now with it being winter in the midwest. And like I said, money is very tight right now, and it is getting hard to justify dropping $50 a bag on dog food that doesn't seem to be working very well for them anyway.
 

Jenni_Feathers

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I'd try cutting back gradually on the food. 2 cups a day seems like a lot...my 110 lb dog (who needs to loose weight) gets only 3 cups a day.

I feed my dogs Taste of the Wild High Prairie. Its one of the lower priced high quality foods. I get a 30# bag for $40 at my local feed store. Its grain free & rated a "6 star" on dog food analysis...it has 370 calories per cup which was lower than most the other foods of its quality, which was also a factor to why I chose it. My dogs have been on it for a while now and have been doing really well.

Here's the ingrediants.

Ingredients:
Bison, venison, lamb meal, chicken meal, egg product, sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, canola oil, roasted bison, roasted venison, natural flavor, tomato pomace, ocean fish meal, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Saccharomyces cerevesiae fermentation solubles, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.
 

guineapigluver1

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Purina is garbage. Pure garbage.
Grain free is best because it causes less problems. If you want cheaper. Make it yourself. It isn't that hard, I make raw for our cats and it is cheaper then buying grain free quality canned food (although we keep some on hand just in case), and yet it is better for them then anything on the market. I don't know of any websites for raw dog food recipes, but if you google Big Dog Porch forums it will come up. They have some good recomended books for feeding raw.
I do not like grain free dry food (or dry food at all) because they make up the bulk of it with vegetables (although Wellness CORE is okay as far grain free dry food goes, but it is expensive).


Since switching our cats to raw (from what was an "alright" dry food) Rocky's skin problem has finally healed up from when we had fleas (been gone a long time but we were fighting to get rid of his dermatitis), and there fur is softer then ever and they have more energy.
 

Tserisa

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Yes, I have seen the Dog Food Analysis page, but how do we know that this person is knowledgeable in dog food? I mean (just an example) I could put up a website with all kinds of rediculous claims, and people might believe it.

It is put together by a large group of knowledgeable, passionate people. May I ask what led you to trust this forum? If you're like me, it's the well researched information and practical advice that makes sense. Why trust anyone? Why ask here? It's a matter of applying critical thinking and analyzing claims for yourself.

The nutrition information on dogfoodanalysis is well researched and based in study and science, not anecdotal evidence. My only beef with it is that it does not including information about overall lifestyle. Exercise of course is very important.

For the last two years I have done tons of reading on dog food, and so much information contradicts each other that I am scared to feed them anything (which of course isn't an option)! I have looked into the raw or homemade diets, but everything I read contradicts each other so much that I am really scared to try that.

Do you have a community college near you? Taking a class in nutrition and physiology (even if it's not dog specific) may help you make sense of the information. I also found that a critical thinking class really helped me sort fact from pseudoscience (which is prevalent in all advertising and many many books).

Other than that, I think it's just a matter of looking to see if information is based on science and well-grounded, or if it's more hysterical, makes extraordinary claims (this diet will cure everything wrong with your dog! or otherwise seems to wild or good to be true), based on "weasel words" and logical fallacies (like advertisements for dog foods like Purina, Beneful, SciDiet, etc.), or is based on one person's experiences rather than a wealth of well-supported evidence.

My dogs are both about 55 lbs and each get 1 cup twice a day of Wellness Super5 Lamb, but they are both still gaining weight and they both act like they are starving! I admit, they don't get a lot of exercise right now with it being winter in the midwest. And like I said, money is very tight right now, and it is getting hard to justify dropping $50 a bag on dog food that doesn't seem to be working very well for them anyway.

I'd say you could easily cut back on that amount of food. Not only will it help your dogs lose weight, it'll help your pocketbook. The proper amount of exercise is of course extremely important. Not only does it burn calories, but it will keep their metabolism sparking and keep them healthy overall.

Dogs, unlike cats, are not true obligate carnivores -- they are carnivores, but their diets are a lot more flexible than a cats'. This makes preparing a diet for them a lot easier, if you want to make it yourself. Grain is generally bad for carnivores because their guts are just not designed to digest it. Many also have allergies or develop allergies to it.
 

guineapigluver1

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Yeah, dogs are more flexible in that they can eat a more vegetables and fruits, but they still shouldn't eat many, and meat should be the main food source if not only (including organs and bones of course, if we are talking raw here). Carnivores do not have the saliva glands to pre-digest grains. As well as cats aren't designed to drink much therefore they need to get a lot of moisture from their food, and they can't get that from dry. As well as (for cats at least) they get the carbohydrates from the wrong sources.
Purina, Beneful, Science Diet, all those companys are garbage (as well as a lot more), I could come up with a ton of websites saying the same thing but I don't have time to do so right now.


Purina is extremely low quality, they put tons of fillers in there food (such as corn, which is awful for dogs and cats), smae with a lot of other companys. That is why it is so cheap.

ETA- Read this link: What Is The Best Dog Food | Homemade Dog Food | Raw Dog Food | Premium Dog Food.

I can only vouch for a few companys myself.
 
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Tserisa

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Yeah, dogs are more flexible in that they can eat a more vegetables and fruits, but they still shouldn't eat many, and meat should be the main food source if not only (including organs and bones of course, if we are talking raw here).

It actually varies among the breeds with dogs, as well, unlike with cats, which all need basically the same diet (meat, organs, meat, bones, meat!). Dog breeds have developed in so many different areas and for so many different jobs that some need more vegetables than others, some do better on a fish-based diet, etc. These differences are minor, though, and overall -- dogs need meat, not vegetables, and definitely not grains. Dog diets also vary more from their ancestral wolf diets than cat diets vary from their ancestral wild cat diets.

Carnivores do not have the saliva glands to pre-digest grains.

Yes, also they have shorter intestines, unlike animals designed for a primarily herbivorous diet.

Purina, Beneful, Science Diet, all those companys are garbage (as well as a lot more), I could come up with a ton of websites saying the same thing but I don't have time to do so right now.

My hatred for these foods -- and their advertising campaigns, with so much false information and manipulative language -- can not be put into words.
 

guineapigluver1

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It actually varies among the breeds with dogs, as well, unlike with cats, which all need basically the same diet (meat, organs, meat, bones, meat!). Dog breeds have developed in so many different areas and for so many different jobs that some need more vegetables than others, some do better on a fish-based diet, etc. These differences are minor, though, and overall -- dogs need meat, not vegetables, and definitely not grains. Dog diets also vary more from their ancestral wolf diets than cat diets vary from their ancestral wild cat diets.



Yes, also they have shorter intestines, unlike animals designed for a primarily herbivorous diet.



My hatred for these foods -- and their advertising campaigns, with so much false information and manipulative language -- can not be put into words.


Same here.
 

alm_nin

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What confuses me about the homemade foods is whether they should be cooked or raw because I've read so many positives and negatives about each. Books that support cooking their food say that raw meat can make them sick and kill them from bacteria, salmonella, etc. They also say never to feed bones because dogs can break their teeth on them. Books that support raw feeding say that since animals don't digest food the same way as people, we don't need to worry about these illnesses from raw food. They say to feed raw bones because they are good for teeth. They also say that cooking the food will take out all the nutrients and lead to nutrient definciancy. And of course, pet food companies say that both will kill your pet because the diets might not be complete and balanced like pet food is. So how do you know who to believe?

I am a little scared to try grain free diets because they are all so high in protein, and I've read in a few different places that increased protein can increase aggression in some dogs.

Another question, I was looking at the website for Innova and the Innova Low Fat looked pretty good as far as calories go, but there is only 18 % protein. Then I noticed the Senior Plus formula, which is very similar but has 24% protein. Would it be ok to feed this, even though my dogs aren't seniors?
 

BubuCandyBlue

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. Books that support cooking their food say that raw meat can make them sick and kill them from bacteria, salmonella, etc. They also say never to feed bones because dogs can break their teeth on them. Books that support raw feeding say that since animals don't digest food the same way as people, we don't need to worry about these illnesses from raw food. They say to feed raw bones because they are good for teeth. They also say that cooking the food will take out all the nutrients and lead to nutrient definciancy. And of course, pet food companies say that both will kill your pet because the diets might not be complete and balanced like pet food is. So how do you know who to believe?
Bones, although they are a very good nutrient source for dogs/cats, are prohibited because vet say bones (chicken ones are more dangerous) chips can scratch the intestines and cause serious damage, if not death by bleeding.
As far as what all say, of course it gets confusing. My dog is fed both dog food, and "home made" food. My mom buys meat/bones, mixes them with veggies and stuff. Both my cat and dog hate raw meat. I know people who raise or breed dogs (show dogs) feed them both (home made and special dog food), to keep them healthy, with a shinny coat and all, and fit, something that a dog food by itself can not do.
 

guineapigluver1

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What confuses me about the homemade foods is whether they should be cooked or raw because I've read so many positives and negatives about each. Books that support cooking their food say that raw meat can make them sick and kill them from bacteria, salmonella, etc. They also say never to feed bones because dogs can break their teeth on them. Books that support raw feeding say that since animals don't digest food the same way as people, we don't need to worry about these illnesses from raw food. They say to feed raw bones because they are good for teeth. They also say that cooking the food will take out all the nutrients and lead to nutrient definciancy. And of course, pet food companies say that both will kill your pet because the diets might not be complete and balanced like pet food is. So how do you know who to believe?

I am a little scared to try grain free diets because they are all so high in protein, and I've read in a few different places that increased protein can increase aggression in some dogs.

Another question, I was looking at the website for Innova and the Innova Low Fat looked pretty good as far as calories go, but there is only 18 % protein. Then I noticed the Senior Plus formula, which is very similar but has 24% protein. Would it be ok to feed this, even though my dogs aren't seniors?


I have never, okay never, heard of an animal getting sick because of eating raw. Our cats haven't ever gotten sick and they have been eating it for a while. You grind the bones, not feed them whole. Though the grinder that is good is almost $200.00 so that may be out of the question for you right now.
If your dogs aren't seniors you really don't need to feed it. Okay, I'm not sure if she knows of any good websites, but this lady is a vet and her website is: Feeding Your Cat** Know the Basi
e-mail her and ask her of any good websites or books for dogs for feeding raw, she may know.
I don't know how increased protein would do that to dogs?
Mainly to me, I read the conflicting info and see which makes more sense to me, and to me, the things about them getting sick from eating raw is so stupid. If they weren't domestic they wouldn't be cooking their food, they have to eat it raw, they handle things like that much better then humans can.
It wasn't easy to switch it took a while, but they love raw food now, I always slightly warm it up for them doing double boiler method with glass bowls and boiling water.
I saw this one guy who did a study about cats eating raw and cooked (and pretty much it can go for dogs to), and the cats they ate cooked, as the generations went on they had more and more problems with their health.



ETA-Were you on Innova's EVO website or the regular website?
It is better to put grinded bones in a cats diet (dogs to) because they get the calcium from a real source, not an isolated sourceof calcium.
 
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alm_nin

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Pet Products - Healthy Dog Food, Natural Cat Food, Gourmet Dog Biscuits – Innova Holistic Pet Foodhttp://http://www.innovapet.com/product_line.asp?id=1674
This is what I was looking at. It has less calories than the Wellness I'm feeding them now, and the ingredients look pretty good.
I just hate to cut back on their food from the 2 cups each per day because they already act like they are starving! I have also heard that adding some canned pumpkin to their food can help them feel full, should this be ok?
The Solid Gold Hund N Flocken looked good and also has less than 400 calories per cup, but I heard somewhere that they just had some recalls.
 

guineapigluver1

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What breed are your dogs? Also just how big are they. The rule I like to go by is look at the guideline on the package (if feeding commercial) feed the amount it says for their weight, if they are still looking at you like "Mommy, I'm still hungry!" Give them more. If they leave some give them less (although sometimes they may eat more sometimes less. I never give our cats the same amount), but you can't ever go exactly by what the package says, because every animal eats a different amount. I wouldn't give them senior food, because they formulate them differently to older dogs needs.
If you are considering a brand I would google the name of it then like "Solid Gold pet food recalls (or whatever brand it is) and see when it was, if they had one very recently (within a year or 2) I wouldn't get it.
Pumpkin seeds aren't okay to feed, and pumpkin is only okay to feed occasionally. I have seen people say not to give it to constipated dogs though.
 
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My dogs (pit bull & chihuahua) both eat chicken soup for the dog lovers soul adult dog food. I really like this food. Its great on their systems and has a few grains but they aren't of low quality. I would turn to wellness but the price is to much for me and my small zoo. Chicken soup is high quality and fairly inexpensive. I get it from a locally owned pet store.
 
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pennykit&amanda

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Wait... Science Diet is bad??

I have been feeding that to my dogs and cats for years, thinking it was the best! :ashamed: (Other than raw).

*Sigh*, My parents aren't going to believe me if I tell them.

Edit: One of my dogs is a purebred Lab, 80 lbs. The other is a Jack Russel/Toy Fox X, 12 lbs.
 
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guineapigluver1

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Yes, pretty much all of the popular (come to think of it I think all) are bad. That includes Science Diet, Purina, Nutro (The former owner of Nutro owns Halo so don't feed that either, it's crap as well), and a lot of other ones.
 

pennykit&amanda

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I can't afford to feed raw, so what am I supposed to do?

I hate that feeling when you think your doing good... but your doing the complete opposite.
 

guineapigluver1

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There isn't much you can do. If you can't afford raw then chances are you can't afford Wellness CORE.....hmm...let me do a little bit more research and find the best one that isn't to pricey.
 
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