Dog nutrition: what do you feed your pooch?

Tricia

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Another thing Ziggy loved was a good rawhide bone. That was another hard no after being diagnosed with pancreatitis. On his last day we gave him a rawhide bone and let him go to town on it. Its funny how he was having some neurological issues after a seizure, but he knew what to do with that rawhide.
*talking about this made me go look at pictures of him and now I'm tearing up.
IMG_2683.jpeg
 

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We did this for Puma, too. Would also like to know. (can't hurt, right?)
Only works if your dog has an egg deficiency. Which is no dog ever. Eggs are a great source of highly biologically available protein plus fat. My first go-to for skin issues are omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids (and curiously, mega doses can have anti itch and anti inflammatory properties, e.g., for allergies and arthritis). Often I have seen a dog’s skin improve from a random change to a different commercial dog food - my theory is some micronutrient that dog needs is present one but not the other food. And as noted already: Siberians: think Zinc!
 

bbinder

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I like the short answer. Give then whatever makes them happy and excited but doesn't make them sick or give them the squirts.. Any good chew treats, rawhide, bone products that don't give dogs horrible gas?? Serious question..
Short answer is that most dogs will have different responses with respect to gas production. I am told that the ‘Beano’ product for dogs works.
 

Monique

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Another thing Ziggy loved was a good rawhide bone. That was another hard no after being diagnosed with pancreatitis. On his last day we gave him a rawhide bone and let him go to town on it. Its funny how he was having some neurological issues after a seizure, but he knew what to do with that rawhide.
*talking about this made me go look at pictures of him and now I'm tearing up.
View attachment 76876
*hug*

Only works if your dog has an egg deficiency. Which is no dog ever. Eggs are a great source of highly biologically available protein plus fat. My first go-to for skin issues are omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids (and curiously, mega doses can have anti itch and anti inflammatory properties, e.g., for allergies and arthritis).
Eggs are also good for omegas, aren't they? Is there a cheap-ish form of fish oil etc around? I am sure they would love it as oil rather than in a capsule.
 

bbinder

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I talked to my vet about this. Basically, rawhide can lump/swell in their GI system and require surgery. Bones can crack their teeth and require extraction. Choose your poison. I chose bones. Loki did crack a tooth and Cooper had a canine tooth die - both required extraction. They haven't had bones in a while, but that's because Loki is an asshole. He would steal Cooper's bones, and Cooper would just let him. It irritated me too much. I need to find a way to keep them separate while working on bones ... we'll have lots with the coming half a cow (can you tell I'm excited?).

Cooper is an excellent mulcher.
Usually rawhide causes a problem because a dog swallows a chunk and that chunk causes an obstruction. Personally, I do not believe that it swells much in the stomach. Gorilla glue is another issue, but nobody gives that to their dog for fun...
Safe chewing objects is a tough subject. As you noted, bones (and anything harder than their teeth) can cause a fractured tooth - painful, and yet few dogs complain. They just feel and act better when the tooth is treated or extracted. Rawhide has issues, but if monitored most dogs do OK. Unless they are prone to stomach upset from rawhide. Just be careful where the rawhide is sourced. Most come into the country from container ships form Asia. There is a lot of documentation of findings foreign rawhide contaminated with bacteria (E. Coli; Salmonella) or heavy metals such as arsenic or lead. Rawhide that is processed in North America is safer. Be careful with tennis balls - they can be more abrasive than sand paper. I have seen dogs wear their teeth down to nubs from chewing on tennis balls.

Boy, I am sounding like a debby downer.
*hug*



Eggs are also good for omegas, aren't they? Is there a cheap-ish form of fish oil etc around? I am sure they would love it as oil rather than in a capsule.
The beneficial amount is more than you can find in an egg or an OTC preparation. There are prescription products on the human and animal side that can fit the bill (I believe...). A couple of companies make a prescription diet that is hypersupplemented e.g., Hills j/d. I had one severely arthritis patient on j/d that I was able to get off of all other medications, but she was probably an outlier.
 

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Eggs are also good for omegas, aren't they? I
The beneficial amount is more than you can find in an egg or an OTC preparation.
I am a bit of a skeptic, so I have always figured that the expensive Omega 3 eggs are a marketing ploy and that in reality have more Omega 3 than other eggs, but not enough to offer much if any health benefit. Strictly speculation on my part, though.
 
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pete

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We're getting half a cow (I guess actually steer) in August, and I'm excited to be able to feed the dogs beef heart and some of the other "offal." Also excited to be able to choose a ranch with practices that make me feel less morally culpable, and to eat steak as often as I want (this could be a problem).
Should share the beef heart ... beef heart and onions are tasty.

There is a lot of documentation of findings foreign rawhide contaminated with bacteria (E. Coli; Salmonella) or heavy metals such as arsenic or lead. Rawhide that is processed in North America is safer.
I've read various stories on rawhides, noted this more recent one that I'm no expert as to it's contents, however I feel it is honestly written:

https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/care/finding-the-right-rawhide-chew-for-your-dog/
 

Monique

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Should share the beef heart ... beef heart and onions are tasty.
I'll be rolling in steak.

Maybe literally.

I REALLY like steak.
 

Varmintmist

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Stuffed heart :golfclap::golfclap:
Non dog related story.
I was in the service and lived off base. Bought a heart and was going to cook it. Had a guy in the shop that we started his name with "Big" from CA. I remember him asking me to spot him in the gym on an incline bench. About half way through his set I told him not to drop the weight, because there was no way I was going to get that off of him.

I mentioned that I was going to do a heart and he was "thats disgusting/gross" ect ect. Well I cooked the heart, and cubed up some of it and put it in a bowl with some cubed cheese to eat. I started eating it and sur enough he came over and asked what it was. I said meat and cheese. Mentioned it looked pretty good. Kept looking at it and asked for some. So I gave him some. He said "This is really good, what is it?" I said "beef heart" ........

You ever see the Bugs bunny cartoons where the blood drains out of his face in a clear line showing where it is leaving? I saw that as he stopped and took a few breaths. I also moved my chair back in case I had to run. After a few seconds, he asked for more and I lived.

exKong.jpg

This is a Kong for power chewers. 3H 16m from new.

I just found a dog bone last night. It was most of the way through the toilet, jammed up near the cone. One snake that didnt work, a wax ring and new bolts and I can potty all night now.
 

Jenny

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I'll be rolling in steak.

Maybe literally.

I REALLY like steak.
It’s really nice to have all the beef right in the freezer and, yes, you’ll have lots of steak. But what you’ll really be rolling in is ground beef. So much ground beef. We have a lot of the ground beef pre-made into hamburgers, because it is cheap and we are lazy, and we STILL have just pounds and pounds of it in one pound packs.
 
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pete

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pete

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I'll be rolling in steak.

Maybe literally.

I REALLY like steak.
But what you’ll really be rolling in is ground beef. So much ground beef.
hahahhaha, sidetrack subject: we do steak on regular basis ... usually buy on sale or whole loins to avoid all the "other cuts". buying 1/4 or 1/2 might be overall cheaper and give you extras for pooches, but T-bones are $6.88/lb and whole loins run $5.99/lb regular basis. (side side note: if buying a loin, once cut up I will season and then vacuum seal for freezer. One can thaw em quickly in a pot of water .. and the time between freeze and thaw provides the marinate time)
 

Tricia

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Only works if your dog has an egg deficiency. Which is no dog ever. Eggs are a great source of highly biologically available protein plus fat. My first go-to for skin issues are omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids (and curiously, mega doses can have anti itch and anti inflammatory properties, e.g., for allergies and arthritis). Often I have seen a dog’s skin improve from a random change to a different commercial dog food - my theory is some micronutrient that dog needs is present one but not the other food. And as noted already: Siberians: think Zinc!
This is really good information for our next pup.
 

Monique

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And there are few things that people are more dogmatic about than what they think is best for their pets.

Most of the advertising, discussion/promotion of ingredients, promotion of benefits of certain benefits, etc. is aimed at marketing to people. Obviously, dogs do not make decisions on what type of food is purchased for them. Because of this, many trends in pet food and ingredients are based on popular assumptions and not on science. For example: 40 years ago, the main protein source in dog foods was either chicken or beef. When veterinary dermatologists were suspicious of a food allergy or intolerance, they would suggest feeding a protein and carbohydrate source that the dog had not been exposed to previously. Lamb and rice was the usual recommendation, because none of the commercial dog foods had lamb or rice as an ingredient. Then, some dumb-ass decided that they would formulate a commercial pet food with lamb and rice and use the tag line that veterinary dermatologists recommend lamb and rice more than any other ingredients - so it must be better for your dog, right? Gradually, we could no longer use lamb and rice as a hypo-allergenic diet. We had to find other protein sources, and as quickly as we did the commercial pet food companies responded with their own. And the deep, dark secret is that the limited ingredient pet food that you buy in the store that advertises "no chicken (or whatever) used as an ingredient" has enough parts per million of chicken (or whatever) in it to elicit an allergic reaction. So now, we are forced to use very expensive hydrolyzed protein prescription diets to effectively rule out food allergies. (And, by the way, a food allergy trial can take 12 weeks of eating nothing but the prescribed hypoallergenic food - a single bite of something different will invalidate the entire food trial).

So it goes with many ingredients. By-products get a bad rap. Byproducts includes organ meat and all the other things other than muscle. As a whole, byproducts are more digestible and have more nutrition than muscle alone. Grain is not a problem for the average dog to eat. In fact, 10,000 years ago dogs evolved to digest grain better than their wild counterparts. I think that the current trend in grain free dog foods is aimed at the increasing numbers of people that are gluten intolerant (which I think is Monsanto's fault. But that is a whole 'nother can of worms).

There is no documented benefit to feeding a grain free diet to the average dog. Period. The current connection between grain free diets and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is an accidental finding. Yes, the numbers of reported cases is small, and the causative factor is (as yet) unknown; but the fact remains that there has been a disturbing rise in the numbers of these cases over the past few years. This alone is enough to make me tell my clients not to feed grain free until this is sorted out.

SO what should you feed? And why? This is what I tell my clients: There is no one best dog food or way to make dog food. There is little to no regulation on the claims that a pet food manufacturer can make. "Organic" and "natural" are all but meaningless terms when seen on a dog food bag. A company that claims that they have no added "whatever' may be sourcing ingredients from places that add all kind of "whatever" before they ship. The only restriction is that an approval by AAFCO (the American Association of Feed Control Officers) cannot be put on a bag unless the company has gone through actual feeding trials and/or nutrient analysis. (we can get started on the validity of analysis for nutrients, but: 'nother can of worms...). So, there are many good pets foods on the market, few poor ones. I may love Brand A of food because of quality, reputation, etc., but your dog might not do as well on it as Brand B. This doesn't make Brand A "bad'. It means that there is an intangible difference in how your dog processes each food.

I personally like the premium brands because of consistency of ingredients. For example, Purina makes both Dog Chow and Pro Plan. The difference is more than just labeling. With Dog Chow, they use the commodity markets to buy the cheapest ingredients to make each batch of food (while maintaining equal nutritional quality); with Pro Plan, a more consistent recipe is used and is thus more expensive to make. As we seem to hear a lot these days, it is very simple.

Because of the long time in the marketplace, the commitment to nutrition research, and the willingness to own up to errors and make changes based on science, I tend to stick with the big names in the industry when making recommendations. This doesn't mean that I think that the smaller companies are inferior. With the huge numbers of brands on the market these days, there is no way that I can keep up with the relative nutritive quality of all of the foods. And I consider myself an expert compared to my clients. (Of course, many of my clients will disagree with this point, because they read something on the internet that counters my recommendation...)

My take home point is to look for the AAFCO label, and don't stress too much. And don't listen to anyone who says that "whatever" food is the best. It simply isn't true. There is nothing magical about Blue Buffalo, and Science Diet does not cause cancer. There may be some validity in changing brands periodically in order to average out any micro nutrients that may be in different foods (just don't try it with my dog - she will get diarrhea and poop all over your house). Home cooking a balanced recipe can work, but studies show that most people become lazy about preparation and ultimately feed an imbalanced diet (I had a patient that was fed on table scraps for years except had no thought to balanced nutrition. At age 12, the dog sneezed and bounced her jaw on the floor causing her mandible to shatter - the xrays showed that her bones were as thin as a piece of paper.)

Prescription diets are a subject unto themselves. There is a lot of documentation that prescription diets for a given condition can lengthen the life of a patient with that condition.

I guess that I didn't need the ibuprofen after all.
It’s really nice to have all the beef right in the freezer and, yes, you’ll have lots of steak. But what you’ll really be rolling in is ground beef. So much ground beef. We have a lot of the ground beef pre-made into hamburgers, because it is cheap and we are lazy, and we STILL have just pounds and pounds of it in one pound packs.
Yeah, they said to expect about 100 pounds of ground. I see a lot of meatloaf in my future (couldn't see paying to have them made into patties). Burgers, too. Ooh. I used to do a mean ground beef stroganoff ... Need to find that recipe ... But yeah, it's a lot. If I were the only cook in the house, I wouldn't have done it, but my boyfriend also cooks a lot, and both of us hate food waste, so I think we'll figure it out.

Back to topic: I think Loki is farting more as I transition their food, but at least it's not stinky. Still early days, though - they're getting a mix of old and new right now.
 

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Not sure if I ever posted this here, but we have a neighbor who had a rescue mastiff mix. Oggie.

He loved to chew on balls, any balls. He also had a kidney issue and was on prescription dog food.
One day we were eating dinner at our house and I noticed a unique ball laying on the ottoman and took a closer look.
It was my 2 inch lead cannon ball. :eek:
Now that's some interesting dog nutrition.
IMG_4735.jpg
 

Monique

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Not sure if I ever posted this here, but we have a neighbor who had a rescue mastiff mix. Oggie.

He loved to chew on balls, any balls. He also had a kidney issue and was on prescription dog food.
One day we were eating dinner at our house and I noticed a unique ball laying on the ottoman and took a closer look.
It was my 2 inch lead cannon ball. :eek:
Now that's some interesting dog nutrition.
View attachment 76901
I knew a German Shepherd who insisted on gnawing on large rocks!
 

oldschoolskier

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All of our dogs have lived between 13 and the low end to 16 at the high end.

Its been primarily Purina (cheapest on sale :rolleyes:) plus some stuff my wife cooks specifically for them (left over rice with chicken or beef stock with some veggies) mixed in on occasion.

Our vet on that last visit asked what do we feed them as they have a shinny coat and extremely healthy. He was surprised what we told him.

I primarily look at the manufacturing location as it IMHO determines quality control (aka liability awareness because of local regulations).

Purina is a big feed manufacturer and making an error like this can cost them business if it spills over to other sectors, so again, I suspect they have quality simply to ensure long term profits.
 

Tricia

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Yeah, they said to expect about 100 pounds of ground. I see a lot of meatloaf in my future (couldn't see paying to have them made into patties). Burgers, too. Ooh. I used to do a mean ground beef stroganoff ... Need to find that recipe ... But yeah, it's a lot. If I were the only cook in the house, I wouldn't have done it, but my boyfriend also cooks a lot, and both of us hate food waste, so I think we'll figure it out.

Back to topic: I think Loki is farting more as I transition their food, but at least it's not stinky. Still early days, though - they're getting a mix of old and new right now.
I used to buy a market steer at the 4H livestock sales. It is a great way to support future farmers and get some amazing quality beef. Don't be surprised if the meat taste different, as in, it will taste more like "beef". Also ask the butcher to make the ground beef to your specs. I used to ask for 90/10
 

Tricia

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rescue .... yea!
Between Phil and I, all of the last 4 dogs have been rescues and the next one will be too.
 
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