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the frightening thing I found in my dog's food

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Old 12-08-2005, 05:05 PM   #1
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Default the frightening thing I found in my dog's food

I'll bet you were afraid to open this thread

I read the ingredient list on her food box and high fructose corn syrup was listed as the second ingredient in the list We know how bad that is for humans, surely it's just as bad for dogs. She eats Purina Moist and Meaty (like squishy little pellets) because she has no teeth and she refuses to eat all canned foods. I worry enough about her health because she's so old and fragile. I bought a dog food cookbook, lol, and am experimenting with recipes, though there's no clear formula to let me know how many servings of vegetables per grains per protein. Someone should publish a food pyramid for animals.

Has anyone else resorted to making homemade pet food in an effort to feed them better?
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Old 12-08-2005, 05:14 PM   #2
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Most vets say it is very difficult to create the proper balance at home (especially since dogs will pick out the parts they don't like, eating around the veggies for example).

My mother-in-law made her sheltie's food for a while, and I know it was so complicated that she made it once a month and froze individual portions (she had a chest freezer, so she had the freezer space).

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Old 12-08-2005, 05:17 PM   #3
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Hi Suzanne

I've never made my own food for my dogs, but I know a lot of people DO do it. If you decide to do it, be sure it's a proven formula (you'll probably find some good recipes on the web). It can get VERY expensive, though, and the shelf-life for homemade food is incredibly short. Also be sure you're not feeding an all-meat diet, as that actually isn't good for the dog (despite what a lot of people and pet food companies want you to think!)

Have you tried putting her on a senior food? Canned or the soft-moist kind? Senior foods are formulated to be VERY yummy, but also lower in calories and fat because older dogs are less active. They're made extra-yummy because a lot of dogs start to lose their sense of taste after age 7 (for large/medium dogs) or 8 (for small dogs).

Please excuse my nerdiness, I'm taking an Animal Nutrition course this semester and studying for my final exam right now . I'm afraid I have dog-food-on-the-brain.

If you decide to stick with a commercial food, I'd be happy to look at the ingredients for you and let you know what I think. That's ALL I've been doing this semester (analyzing ingredients), so I'd be glad to help you out .
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Old 12-08-2005, 05:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzanne 3FC
Someone should publish a food pyramid for animals.
NOT a food pyramid, but some basic guidelines for picking a quality dog food:

1. Canned food should have animal protein as the 1st or 2nd ingredient on the label. Whole meat (e.g. "Chicken") is obviously better than meat meal (e.g. "Chicken Meal) because whole meat is the muscle tissue and therefore has more protein. Meat "meal" is dried/cooked parts of an animal. And I mean ANY part of the animal -- eyes, tail, etc. -- and therefore is not necessarily high in digestible and/or accessible protein.

2. Canned food should include at least one cereal grain in the top 10 ingredients. Like I said before, it should not be an all-meat diet. The best plant protein sources are soy and alfalfa (but corn and wheat are okay, too).

3. Dry food should have an animal protein source in the top 3 ingredients. Meat meals are more "acceptable" in dry foods because whole meats are so difficult to preserve in dry food form. Some dry foods do have whole meats in them, and these are the better quality foods.

4. Dried beet pulp shouldn't be in the top five ingredients because it's basically sugar. It's only in the food to make it more tasty. In puppy food, it's okay for beet pulp to be number 6 or 7 because puppies need more energy.

5. The absolute best 3 animal protein sources are dried milk products, dried egg products, and fish meal. Fish meal (unlike "meat meals") is actually better than *just* fish because the meal includes ground up bones and cartilage that have the perfect ratio of calcium to phosphorus (2:1). Any food with 2 or more of these ingredients is usually excellent.



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Old 12-08-2005, 05:31 PM   #5
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Actually, you can't assume that something that's not healthy for you is a problem for your pet. Dogs and other animals often have systems that handle foods and nutrients differently than we do, so it could actually be no problem for them. I'd check with the vet before jumping to conclusions. It MIGHT be wise to switch, but it might also be unnecessary.
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Old 12-08-2005, 05:34 PM   #6
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Thanks for #4 & 5 Kate, I wasn't aware of that
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Old 12-08-2005, 07:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funniegrrl
Actually, you can't assume that something that's not healthy for you is a problem for your pet. Dogs and other animals often have systems that handle foods and nutrients differently than we do, so it could actually be no problem for them. I'd check with the vet before jumping to conclusions. It MIGHT be wise to switch, but it might also be unnecessary.
Dogs' digestive systems are extremely similar to humans, this is the main reason why they are used for drug studies (like it or not ). It isn't too far off to say that things that are not good for people are not good for dogs either.....especially processed junk not found in nature.
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Old 12-08-2005, 07:22 PM   #8
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High fructose corn syrup is NOT good for dogs. It has basically the same effect on them as it does on us. Dried beet pulp is really the only acceptable form of sugar in a dog food (if you're looking for quality).

My Nutrition professor would probably pass out if he heard Purina was using high fructose corn syrup in their food. He's usually (marginally) impressed with them as a "popular label" of dog food.

I suppose HFCS would be okay if your dog was running the Iditerod in Alaska in -30 temps and needed some serious extra calories and energy. I know some sled-dog owners add corn oil to their dog's food for extra cals (not that it's the same thing as HFCS ).
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Old 12-08-2005, 07:54 PM   #9
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I feed The BARF Diet - Biolofically Approved Raw Foods. I'm lucky to have a good source of organic meats, bones and veggies. I mix it up and freeze it in single day packages, balancing the proportion of protein and veggies depending on whether the Girls are supposed to be losing weight or are preggers. So far it's working well and they are very healthy dogs - except on days like today when they raided my baking supplies and ate the chocolate!
They are OK nowe - I always have syrup of ipecac on hand!
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Old 12-08-2005, 09:28 PM   #10
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Kate - what food does your professor generally recommend? I love some of the holistic brands out now, though my cats refuse to eat them. Just out of curiosity what field are you aiming at working in and what's your major? You're classes seem interesting!
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Old 12-08-2005, 10:10 PM   #11
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What an interesting discussion. I can't offer much, my cat is seriously bolemic. She'll binge on cat food she really likes and end up eating too much and it upsets her stomach. I think it's because my father makes comments about her weight all the time. Good thing he doesn't say the same things to me, no wonder she's always throwing up her meals...
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Old 12-08-2005, 10:20 PM   #12
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Hey Bassets, you've really opened a can of worms here! (Of course I'll make sure not to put any of those worms in the cats' bowls...) Could you give us the same diet rules for cats as you've provided for dogs? I'm stumped on how to feed my indoor cats. (A very active 7 month-old kitten, now on kitten chow and canned kitten food. And a voracious slightly overweight 2.5 year-old recently neutered male, previously an outdoor stray, now on tartar control dry food and weight-control tinned food.) I thought I was doing the right thing, but the big guy seems genuinely hungry much of the time, and then I read in an Internet seasrch that weight-control foods have too much carb filler for cats and will actually make them fatter.

Right now I feed them in separate rooms, four times a day. I have no life... Please don't tell me to go catch mice for them!

My apologies for butting in here. The opportunity for accurate info was just too good to pass up.
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Old 12-08-2005, 11:24 PM   #13
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Wow, there's some really great info here, thanks! The book I bought is called Real Food for Dogs: 50 Vet-Approved Recipes to Please the Canine Gastronome. There aren't many recipes that I think she'd eat, though. She's VERY picky and almost died of starvation last year because she refused to eat. I've bought almost every variety of canned dog food on the PetSmart shelves and she absolutely refused to eat it.

I bought organic veggies, free range chicken, and other good ingredients. Nothing but the best for my baby Besides, she only eats about 2 tablespoons of food a day (she weighs 3 pounds).

What I wish I knew was the ratio of protein to carbs to fat (etc). I know which meats and veggies she likes, I just want to make sure her meals are balanced. I'm very confused.
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Old 12-08-2005, 11:37 PM   #14
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Suzanne: Do you think you could soak the dry food in water or chicken stock so it will be softer for your dog's teeth?

I used to work at a vet for a number of years (cats only, no dogs) and saw the effects of poor nutrition on a daily basis. I feed only Science Diet to my cats and they do great on it. They don't eat as much as with the "junk foods" and throw up less, and there's less litterbox waste. As far as dogs, I don't know what's considered good food. I used to feed Pedigree to ours and they seemed to do well.

Great thread.
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Old 12-09-2005, 06:41 AM   #15
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Hubby & I feed our dogs Raw food too. We go to our Healthy Pet store near us and they sell both dry and soft raw foods. We've been doing this for the last couple years and I've noticed a difference in energy. (not that two chihuahua's need more energy!) And they "go" regularly every day. It amazes me.

We've also bought a cookbook for pets so we can make our own food. We make a bunch then freeze it after we separate it in serving size. Our lovable mugglets (my pet names for them) seem to be happy and healthy. And we always get a clean bill of health after their checkups.

Like the thread! Love my pups!
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