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Your Questions About Natural Remedies

Richard asks…

What type of dry dog food is good for a papillon puppy?

I want to adopt a papillon puppy and I read that Pedigree, Iams, and Purina are not good to give to dogs because they don’t have the nutrition that both puppies and dogs need. What type of dry dog food is healthy and safe for them?

vti answers:

Feeding your dog holistic (natural) foods is the best choice. These foods are more easily digested and absorbed by the dog, which translates to less food consumed and less poo. After researching extensively on dog foods and trying out a few, I would recommend Wellness or Solid Gold. Buy the dry food for puppies and it’ll work wonders! I wouldn’t feed my new puppy anything else.

Jenny asks…

Gravy train dog food?

i can either get gravy train or purina regular dog food. Witch one is better? i know my dog likes gravy train better, but is purina better?
Also recomend the cheapest GOOD dog food.

vti answers:

Purina is certainly better than Gravy Train, but really? Both are crappy quality dog foods. Sorry, ‘cheap’ and ‘good’ don’t belong in the same sentence. There’s no such thing as a cheap, good dog food.

Not all pet food is made equally. A lot of it is full of corn, by-products, dyes, unhealthy preservatives, filler grains and all sorts of nasty stuff. A lot of pet food companies are perfectly happy to the dump cheap leftovers and things that aren’t safe for human consumption (from human food processing plants) into their foods. Will it kill your dog? No, it has to be nutritionally complete and safe to even be marketed. Is it healthy? Not by a long shot.

Corn is a low quality ingredient you never want to see in your pet food. Corn and low quality grains are two of the biggest culprits when it comes to food allergies in our pets.

Thankfully, there are some excellent dog foods being made these days that include organic, human grade ingredients rather than trash not fit for human consumption.

Examples of low quality foods to avoid: Anything you can find in a grocery store will be low end, Purina, Iams, Eukanuba, Science Diet, Royal Canin, Pedigree, Kibbles n’ Bits, Beneful, Ol’Roy.

Examples of high quality foods to look for: Wellness, Solid Gold, Canidae All Life Stages, Fromm Four Star, Merrick, GO Natural, Nature’s Variety Prairie, Nature’s Logic, Artemis Fresh Mix, Timberwolf Organics.

Although the high quality foods are more expensive, you’re getting what you’re paying for. Less filler material and higher quality ingredients means more concentrated nutrients… This means you typically need to feed far less of the high quality food than you would of the low quality one. Which also means less poop!

Seriously on a budget? Two of the most affordable of the higher quality foods would be Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul and Canidae All Life Stages.

Before following your vet’s food recommendation, keep in mind that vets get /very/ little nutritional training during their schooling. Besides that, what training they /do/ get is usually sponsored or taught by… You guessed it, biased, low end pet food companies! They also often get kickbacks from the companies for pushing their products at their clinics (Science Diet, Royal Canin etc.)

A great option is to go with an entirely grain-free diet. Many of the high quality foods now put out grain-free formulas. Some good grain-free diets include: Wellness CORE, Blue Wilderness, Nature’s Variety Instinct, Orijen, Horizon Legacy, Canidae Grain Free All Life Stages, Fromm Surf & Turf, Now!, Sold Gold Barking At The Moon, Ziwipeak, and Taste of the Wild.

Some pretty decent foods can even be found in common pet stores. Petsmart carries Blue Buffalo products (such as the excellent grain-free diet, Blue Wilderness). Petco carries Wellness, Solid Gold, Natural Balance, Eagle Pack Holistic Select, Blue Buffalo, Castor & Pollux Organix, Pinnacle, and Halo.

If you can’t find a food, most of the high quality dog food brands have websites with store locators on them that will help you find the store closest to you which supplies their products. Simply type the dog food brand’s name into Google, go to their website, and type your zip code into their store locator.

Another option, if you can’t find anywhere around you that sells good foods, is to order your pet food online. Here’s an excellent place to do so: http://www.petfooddirect.com/store/

Remember that foods should be switched gradually (mixing the new slowly in with the old over the period of about week or so), especially when switching to a higher quality one, so as not to upset tummies. For example:
Days 1 & 2: 75% old food, 25% new food
Days 3 & 4: 50% old food, 50% new food
Days 5 & 6: 25% old food, 75% new food
Day 7: 0% old food, 100% new food

Another option for feeding dogs is to feed raw. This is something that should be thoroughly researched before being attempted:
http://www.rawfed.com/ (RawFed)
http://www.rawlearning.com/ (Jane Anderson’s Raw Learning Site)
http://rawfeddogs.net/ (Raw Fed Dogs)
http://www.rawmeatybones.com/ (Raw Meaty Bones)
http://rawfed.com/myths/preymodel.html (Raw Prey Model Diet Vs. BARF Diet)
http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/rawfeeding/ (Raw Feeding)
http://www.rawfed.com/myths/index.html (Myths About Raw Feeding)

Also remember that freefeeding (leaving food down) is the fast lane to canine obesity. Make sure to have scheduled feeding times loosely based on the feeding guidelines on your dog’s food. Adult dogs are typically fed two meals a day while puppies are typically fed three or four.

More on dog food:
http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page=main (Learn how to determine the quality of your dog’s food.)
http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/ (Dog food reviews. Four stars is a decent food, five stars is a great food, and six stars is an excellent food.)

Darksong~

Charles asks…

Is Natural Balance Holisitic dog food?

whats the difference between holistic and organic dog food?

vti answers:

Holistic food is the only way to go these days as all the commercial foods are poisoning our dogs . Please go with holistic better for the dog .

Chris asks…

holistic dog food…?

My wife and I just got a husky puppy and I am having a difficult time finding a good brand or food type to feed it. Right now we are giving him store bought dry food, but I want to get him off of it ASAP. I am a scientist and have working knowledge of chemistry, so I know how to read labels and also understand some of the dangers associated with chemicals in dog food. We went to the store and I read the labels of every brand and food type and they all had about 80-90% of the same ingredients, and the difference was usually different types of preserving chemicals as well as different mixtures of lipids. If that wasn’t bad enough, the way in which they process and render dog food ingredients makes the nutritional value of the ingredients decline, and makes the absorption rate far less efficient giving us a product which can promote the creation of free radicals as well as an undernourished diet.
Raw food diet is out of the question, since domesticated animals have lost some of its genetic capacities to 100% inherit the physiological properties that allowed dog ancestors to eat and digest raw food.

So, my question is aimed to any responsible and knowledgeable dog owner out there who has found a good and cost effective way to feed their dog.
What do you feed? How much do you feed? Why do you feed what you feed? What kind of animal do you own?

Thank you, and apologies for the lengthy introduction.
@Giagal: just read the ingredients of pro plan. same as all the other brands and has free form vitamins
@walking lady: Im not saying they can’t digest it, they just can’t digest it as efficiently as their ancestor and there are helth and infection risks associated with raw meat due do genetic variation. Some dogs can’t fight certain kinds of bacteria found in raw meat, and even though the probability is low, and in my opinion bacteria from raw meat is far more deadly than long time exposure to chemicals

vti answers:

I feed my puppy Blue Buffalo puppy food and my adults Blue Wilderness. It doesnt have any by products, corn, wheat, soy, artificial colorings or any of that junk. The wilderness kind has no grains and is mainly a meat based diet so that’s why I use it. How much you feed just depends on age, breed, and size. I love this food ever sense I changed to this brand my dogs have been so healthy, muscular, and have shiney coats. I have German Shepherds and a Chihuahua so it meets the nutritional needs for both. Plus they love it lol.

Thomas asks…

The great dog food debate?

When did it start? Who started it? Why was it started? It seemed to come out of nowhere. I am feeding my dogs a food I have fed for over 25 years and all of the sudden it is ‘crap’ food. And all the other dog foods such as Purina, SD, Iams etc. are now being called crap when there was a time they were considered good dog foods.

So when and who started this? Who said wheat gluten, corn etc was harmful to dogs and how was it proved?

Where can you find an unbiased site? I do not understand the why more than anything else.

I just realized it out of the blue about 2 years ago the dog food I have fed was now considered junk. And I still do not understand who started this. The holistic dog food companies?

I need some intelligent answers.
Edit: So what I am getting so far is education on what a dog needs in a food has become more evident. Do you think the dog food makers such as SDiet really believe their food is good?
I am getting some very informative answers that are making a lot of sense. I had no idea dog food was not regulated. That is my own ignorance. Also, I do believe now when I think back on the diseases I fought with some of my dogs, it could have very well been the food. I cannot punish myself for that but I can certainly use the intelligence and education from other people and make a good change to a better food.

And yes, I do believe SD and Purina have huge advertising budgets and when you really think about how much a 40 lb bag of SD costs and what SD puts in their food they are making massive amounts of money.
Bindi, great info. And you are right. That is what I am looking for. What is bad in the bad food. Very informative.

Chetco: That is what I am changing to. Canidae. I have tried Solid Gold, Wellness and 2 other high quality foods. It was all too rich for my gang. So, the Canidae seems to be working for me and my gang.
Oh my gosh. I have gone into the websites everyone posted. I am completely in shock. I had no idea. Why in the world is there not regulation for dog food? Does anyone thing this is not getting done because, I hate to say this, the less sick dogs we have the less money a vet is going to make?
Thank you Joh. I am getting so many intelligent answers I am copying all of this and putting it together to give out to my friends who feed their dogs garbage and the new dog owners who don’t have a clue. I don’t think I could get better information than from everyone who has contributed on this site.

A bunch of very informed people. Thank you.

vti answers:

This debate goes back nearly 30 years, at least for one veterinarian named Tom Lonsdale. He graduated veterinary school in 1972 and followed “traditional” nutrition practices. But after several years of practice the dangers of processed foods started to be evident.

While advances in veterinary medicine have grown in leaps and bounds, our pets health has gone downhill. That doesn’t make sense does it?

Most of the problems our face such as poor dental health, kidney and liver problems, allergies, and more can be linked back to the wide spread use of kibble. Kibble has been around awhile but has only been in widespread use for about 60 years. Before that dogs ate scraps and hunted for themselves.

Dog food companies are good at marketing, and convincing us that we aren’t qualified to feed our own pets.

Did you know that pets who are fed nothing but dry kibble their whole lives are in a constant state of dehydration? This has a huge impact on the kidneys and liver. They weren’t ment to eat dried pellets.

Cooking foods also changes the proteins in them. You might think the change isn’t that great, but the change made by cooking is so great that dogs allergic to a protein source in its cooked form, do fine with the same protein in its raw form.

But I digress, I don’t think you were asking for a debate between commerical and raw, you were looking for information on high quality vs. Low quality and what makes a food high or low quality.

The thing to remember is that the most common foods, SD, Purina, Iams etc. Have large marketing budgets. They are everywhere. SD teaches nutrition classes to vet students, and has a good number of programs to give perks to vets, vet students, and vet schools. When something is shoved in your face all the time, you tend start believing it.

Also most major dog food companies are owned by companies that produce “human” food. The waste from the human food sections of the company get shipped over the pet food departement. While these companies say they are studying nutrition it appears that they are studying the cheapest ingredients they can throw in a food that won’t make the pet fall over dead, at least not right away. They are basically using our pets as their garbage disposal and we pay them big bucks for it.

We know by looking at the dogs teeth and digestive system that they are carnivores. Why then are most commercial foods comprised mostly of corn and other plant based things?

A quality food is defined by its ingredients. Quality foods contain mostly meat, not corn. Ideally a commercial food should have meat as at least its first three ingredients. All kibbles will have some plant matter in them, its needed to bind the food into those little kibble pieces. But some are better than others, rice and potato are good binding agents. A quality food also will not use chemical preservatives, especially those known to be linked to cancer. These include BHA, BHT, and Ethoxyquin.

Ethoxyquin is probably one of the worst and has been banned for use in human foods, it is also a component in your tires. *Yummy*

Do makers of foods like SD think there food is good? Maybe, but I have heard that some people employed by SD won’t feed it to their own pets. There is also a Purina Pro Plan rep on YA, but I have yet to see her comment on a dog food related question.

I don’t think this whole thing started with the recalls a couple years ago, it was going on long before that. What the recalls did do though was make more people aware of what’s going in their pets.

But Purina foods DID TEST POSITIVE for pento. In the study. Someone else got that confused too. Remember ProPlan is a Purina food, 3 out 4 Proplan foods tested, tested positive.

Purina is owned by Nestle, who also owns Alpo, Mighty Dog, and the entire Purina line of dog foods including Dog Chow, Puppy Chow, Proplan, and Beneful to name a few.

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