Author Topic: Love for Man's Best Friend  (Read 14140 times)

burly

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Love for Man's Best Friend
« on: October 28, 2012, 06:00:20 PM »
Any recommendations for a healthy, inexpensive dog food? We have two dogs and although they can be deemed non-mustachians, they are part of our family.

They are highly active (border collie & pitbull/greyhound mix) and accompany me on weekend hikes and running during the week.

Any suggestions for an inexpensive & nutritional dog food?


Mactrader

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2012, 06:03:09 PM »
In the process of switching to the Costco brand right now. It's $.77/lb versus $1.77/lb for Wellness and is surprisingly comparable! Dog food reviews list it as the same quality. Someone in another thread posted a link analyzing it all, and I was convinced.

Now if I can get some good quality wet cat food.

Will

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2012, 06:10:57 PM »
+1 on the Kirkland Signature (Costco) dog food.  They even have different varieties, and with the liberal return policy, if your dogs (for some reason) don't like the first kind you pick out, you could always try another! 

Our dogs like the KS Super Premium Adult Dog Chicken, Rice and Vegetables variety.

PJ

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2012, 07:17:50 PM »
Pitty Mix!  Yay! 
 
Seriously though, I'm no help.  I've been feeding my two food from the vet - the dental diet called TD.  My pit was previously on a very expensive skin support formula that almost doubled in price from very to astronomically expensive.  That's when he got switched to TD.  I've just purchased a bag of the Costco brand to mix into my younger dog's food, but I've had too many bad experiences with the results of inexpensive food to go any further than half and half.  And older Taz will stay on the vet food as I'm just not taking any chances with him - he's had too many skin problems as it is. 

Mactrader, if you have a good relationship with your vet, why don't you ask them to name a few brands that they think are ok?  I did that before with my vet, and he basically ruled out anything you can buy at the grocery store but was ok with a couple of brands that you can get at pet food stores.  I can't remember which now because only one of my cats gets wet food and it's a specialty one.

atelierk

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2012, 08:14:49 PM »
I dunno guys. I went to look up the analysis of Kirkland Signature dog food and Google gave me a bunch of results like this:

Kirkland Dog Food Recall

This was back in May but it covers dates through the end of the year and into 2013. This Kirkland stuff is made by Diamond. If memory serves, this is not the first time Diamond's pet food products have been recalled.

Personally, I don't believe there's any such thing as a healthy and cheap pet food. All foods are formulated to meat AAFCO minimums; but there's quite a list of stuff that can go into these foods, many of which would make your hair stand on end. Over time, you'll save money on the food, but you'll spend it at the vet's on a lot of niggly, naggly health issues. As the dog ages, chronic and potentially life threatening (kidney, heart, bladder, etc. etc. etc.) issues will develop. It's impossible to connect these directly to a lifetime of feeding cheap foods, so this topic inevitably turns into a debate and people get all hot under the collar and well...

I can only say that I have studied pet foods/feeding extensively over the years of owning some 15 Golden Retrievers (I used to be into obedience training/showing - an anti-Mustachian hobby if ever there was one. You know what they say: The way to make a small fortune in dogs is to start out with a large one. But I digress...) My gut told me that all the niggly-naggly problems my earlier dogs were having had to do with a grain-based diet (which describes some 95% of pet foods) and I hit the books. I can unequivocally state that the healthiest diet you can feed your dog is a homemade raw one, ala the "BARF" diet. Wendy Volhard's diet (in her book) is popular too though she feeds far more grain than my dogs do well on. The single biggest source of problems in commercial pet foods are the heavy grain content. I'm sure there are other raw/homemade diets out there too; but those where the biggies when I was doing all my research.

If you must feed commercial food, I recommend Innova and/or Bil-Jac. The Bil-Jac "raw" is excellent if you live in the area of the country where it's sold (Ohio and surrounding states). Their dry is good too, but it's chicken based and I think many dogs will do better if they also get some beef. Unfortunately, Innova is now owned by P & G; and quality foods routinely go downhill in the years following their purchase by mega-corp. So it's hard to say how long Innova's reputation will last.

I, of course, have no scientific "proof" that raw diets are superior and I never will have. Pet food nutritional studies and feeding trials are conducted by the pet food industry. What I can tell you is that, since I got my first Golden in 1981, I have never had a dog that needed a prescription diet of any kind. In a breed that's known as the poster dog for veterinary oncology (and skin problems and you name it), I've never lost a dog younger than 9 (many Goldens die of cancer much younger than that); and six made it to at least 15; four of those to 16.

My current Golden turned 16 last May and is still going strong. She is on only two medications: Metacam for arthritis and a low dose of Proin for a bit of a leaky bladder. Routine bloodwork is spectacularly normal. Like many older girls, she's occasionally prone to UTI's which means a course of anti-biotics. In January she will become my longevity record-holder. This is not to say that I've never lost a dog to cancer; I have - about half have died of the disease, most with hemangiosarcoma. Any vet will testify as to how common that is in Goldens. Even with that, however, it's pretty unusual (so my vet has told me) to have had as many truly old dogs as I have.

In my opinion and experience, cheap foods are far too expensive to bother with. If you're interested in feeding a homemade diet, don't try to formulate one yourself. There are any number of holistic veterinarians and highly knowledgeable "civilians" who have published books that include recipes for homemade diets. The one my dogs did best on was Ian Billinghurst's BARF (Bones and Raw Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet. I don't know if his book is still available; my copy is tattered and torn from constant reference when I first started feeding raw.

Anyway, this is too long so I'll end by saying that when it comes to dog food, you do get what you pay for in the long run. I guess it also comes down to your attitude about your pets as well; as far as I'm concerned, my dog(s) are entitled to the best and longest quality of life I can possibly give them. They're pets, yes. But they're also family.

PS- For those who may question the safety of feeding raw meat, please note that the Kirkland recall was for salmonella contamination.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2012, 08:30:03 PM by atelierk »

Mactrader

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2012, 08:25:33 PM »
I dunno guys. I went to look up the analysis of Kirkland Signature dog food and Google gave me a bunch of results like this:

Kirkland Dog Food Recall

This was back in May but it covers dates through the end of the year and into 2013. This Kirkland stuff is made by Diamond. If memory serves, this is not the first time Diamond's pet food products have been recalled.

Personally, I don't believe there's any such thing as a healthy and cheap pet food. All foods are formulated to meat AAFCO minimums; but there's quite a list of stuff that can go into these foods, many of which would make your hair stand on end. Over time, you'll save money on the food, but you'll spend it at the vet's on a lot of niggly, naggly health issues. As the dog ages, chronic and potentially life threatening (kidney, heart, bladder, etc. etc. etc.) issues will develop. It's impossible to connect these directly to a lifetime of feeding cheap foods, so this topic inevitably turns into a debate and people get all hot under the collar and well...

I can only say that I have studied pet foods/feeding extensively over the years of owning some 15 Golden Retrievers (I used to be into obedience training/showing - an anti-Mustachian hobby if ever there was one. You know what they say: The way to make a small fortune in dogs is to start out with a large one. But I digress...) My gut told me that all the niggly-naggly problems my earlier dogs were having had to do with a grain-based diet (which describes some 95% of pet foods) and I hit the books. I can unequivocally state that the healthiest diet you can feed your dog is a homemade raw one, ala the "BARF" diet. Wendy Volhard's diet (in her book) is popular too though she feeds far more grain than my dogs do well on. The single biggest source of problems in commercial pet foods are the heavy grain content. I'm sure there are other raw/homemade diets out there too; but those where the biggies when I was doing all my research.

If you must feed commercial food, I recommend Innova and/or Bil-Jac. The Bil-Jac "raw" is excellent if you live in the area of the country where it's sold (Ohio and surrounding states). Their dry is good too, but it's chicken based and I think many dogs will do better if they also get some beef. Unfortunately, Innova is now owned by P & G; and quality foods routinely go downhill in the years following their purchase by mega-corp. So it's hard to say how long Innova's reputation will last.

I, of course, have no scientific "proof" that raw diets are superior and I never will have. Pet food nutritional studies and feeding trials are conducted by the pet food industry. What I can tell you is that, since I got my first Golden in 1981, I have never had a dog that needed a prescription diet of any kind. In a breed that's known as the poster dog for veterinary oncology (and skin problems and you name it), I've never lost a dog younger than 9 (many Goldens die of cancer much younger than that); and six made it to at least 15; four of those to 16.

My current Golden turned 16 last May and is still going strong. She is on only two medications: Metacam for arthritis and a low dose of Proin for a bit of a leaky bladder. Routine bloodwork is spectacularly normal. Like many older girls, she's occasionally prone to UTI's which means a course of anti-biotics. In January she will become my longevity record-holder. This is not to say that I've never lost a dog to cancer; I have - about half have died of the disease, most with hemangiosarcoma. Any vet will testify as to how common that is in Goldens.

In my opinion and experience, cheap foods are far too expensive to bother with. If you're interested in feeding a homemade diet, don't try to formulate one yourself. There are any number of holistic veterinarians and highly knowledgeable "civilians" who have published books that include recipes for homemade diets. The one my dogs did best on was Ian Billinghurst's BARF (Bones and Raw Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet. I don't know if his book is still available; my copy is tattered and torn from constant reference when I first started feeding raw.

Anyway, this is too long so I'll end by saying that when it comes to dog food, you do get what you pay for in the long run. I guess it also comes down to your attitude about your pets as well; as far as I'm concerned, my dog(s) are entitled to the best and longest quality of life I can possibly give them. They're pets, yes. But they're also family.

PS- For those who may question the safety of feeding raw meat, please note that the Kirkland recall was for salmonella contamination.

Mind doing a quick write-up on what the raw food diet entails, preferably with a MMM context? I'm not opposed to changing up to something unconventional, provided it doesn't add considerably more to my already over-flowing plate. I can't be spending hours a week preparing dog food, as much as I love my pup.

Will

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2012, 09:26:23 PM »
I dunno guys. I went to look up the analysis of Kirkland Signature dog food and Google gave me a bunch of results like this:

Kirkland Dog Food Recall

This was back in May but it covers dates through the end of the year and into 2013. This Kirkland stuff is made by Diamond. If memory serves, this is not the first time Diamond's pet food products have been recalled.


The same website that you mentioned above also "highly recommends" the KS dog food http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/kirkland-signature-dog-food/, while also again acknowledging the recall.  And as you know, a recall of ANY product is going to be for products with a "best by" or "use by" date, so it isn't like all the dog food was recalled from May until 2013; the recall was in May and some of it had dates extending into 2013.  So it isn't like you can walk into a Costco today and pick up a bag of tainted food since it isn't 2013 yet.

atelierk

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2012, 04:43:26 AM »
I dunno guys. I went to look up the analysis of Kirkland Signature dog food and Google gave me a bunch of results like this:

Kirkland Dog Food Recall

This was back in May but it covers dates through the end of the year and into 2013. This Kirkland stuff is made by Diamond. If memory serves, this is not the first time Diamond's pet food products have been recalled.


The same website that you mentioned above also "highly recommends" the KS dog food http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/kirkland-signature-dog-food/, while also again acknowledging the recall.  And as you know, a recall of ANY product is going to be for products with a "best by" or "use by" date, so it isn't like all the dog food was recalled from May until 2013; the recall was in May and some of it had dates extending into 2013.  So it isn't like you can walk into a Costco today and pick up a bag of tainted food since it isn't 2013 yet.

Dry pet foods often have "use by" date windows of as much as a year. In other words, food that was manufactured in January of this year could have a use by date in or close to 2013. I'm sure that, by now, all the tainted batches have been pulled from store shelves. But that doesn't mean that some frugal owner who bought the largest available bag (lowest unit price) to feed to his chihuahua doesn't still have some of it sitting around.

What should really concern anyone feeding this food is the fact that it's made by Diamond, a company that seems to have a track record of chronic quality control issues. Diamond foods have been recalled in 2005 due to deadly aflatoxin that killed at least 100 dogs, another recall in 2007 for melamine contamination; another in 2009 for cat food formulated with inadequate levels of thiamine (a B vitamin), and now the salmonella contamination this year.

If any dog food advice website is still "highly recommending" any pet food made by this company then I'd take that advice with a grain of salt.

catalana

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2012, 05:11:22 AM »
Personally, I don't believe there's any such thing as a healthy and cheap pet food.
This +1

If you want healthy, nutritious food for your dogs, you need to look at feeding a much more natural diet - i.e. higher protein content.  If you want the convenience of a prepared diet, then it is going to cost you.  Our two large dogs are on a 75% meat 0% grains dry kibble, and it costs about 1,000 per year to feed them.

I believe you can do healthy more cheaply by giving up convenience though.  I've not done it myself, but would imagine that preparing the food yourself should reduce the cost.  You'll probably need a big freezer though, and a good relationship with a local farmer and/or butcher!

atelierk

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2012, 06:03:34 AM »


Mind doing a quick write-up on what the raw food diet entails, preferably with a MMM context? I'm not opposed to changing up to something unconventional, provided it doesn't add considerably more to my already over-flowing plate. I can't be spending hours a week preparing dog food, as much as I love my pup.

There seems to be two basic approaches to homemade diets:

1) duplicating commercial pet food with fresh ingredients. This diet still include lots of grain (though better ones like oatmeal, barley, etc.) instead of corn and wheat. (The Volhard diet is one of these.)

2) Looking at what wild canids eat, and mimicking that with readily available raw ingredients. (BARF diet and similar)

I found the Volhard diet to be much more work than the BARF diet since you don't cook anything in the latter.

I fed raw chicken backs and wings, ground beef, offal (calves' liver, gizzards, heart, etc.), raw eggs with shell in the morning. At night I fed a veggie mix, mostly consisting of blenderized greens but also things like carrot, broccoli, etc. Sometimes I included yogurt for the probiotics. Also a few supplements (C, E, B-complex, etc.), apple cider vinegar (the real kind with the "mother"). Dogs cannot digest plant materials well at all, so these either have to be cooked, or completely ground up into a soupy mix (think herbivore stomach contents) - but they are an essential part of the diet. I never had any trouble getting any of my dogs to eat the veggies, but Goldens generally will eat anything that's not nailed down anyway. Some people did find they had to mix in some ground meat to get their dogs to eat their "soup".

People that choose to duplicate commercial dog food have to cook the grains. If you have several dogs, as I did when I tried Volhard, it meant cooking up a big stock pot of oatmeal several times a week. I just found that to be a real PITA. Having said that however, I'd still encourage anyone interested in feeding raw to learn more about the diet. Wendy was very meticulous in formulating it and you'll learn a lot about the whole homemade diet philosophy as a result. You can find an overview here, but a much more in-depth discussion appears in the book cited at the end.

FWIW, it appears that you can now buy the raw BARF diet in bags (presumably frozen) but in looking at the prices, I can assure you it's much cheaper to make it yourself. Visiting the website, it's hard to tell how this convenience food evolved - I didn't see anything about Ian Billinghurst, the Australian vet that started it all** and the mention of grinding bones in the video is actually diametrically opposed to the original BARF philosophy of "raw meaty bones" for dental health. So, as usual, buyer beware.

One of the most interesting observations my vet and I have made, after having several dogs spend their entire lives on a BARF-type diet is that at some point - usually around the age of 14-15 - at least some dogs start to require more concentrated carbs for energy. IOW, it appears that the mechanism that converts protein and fat to energy starts to become less efficient in elderly dogs and they will start to lose considerable weight unless carbs are added back in to the diet. This does not negate the philosophy of feeding a  paleo-type diet (the same thing might happen to wild canids if they survive the rigors of the wild to such a ripe old age), but would certainly be an interesting topic for further scientific study. However, as I said, the pet food industry does its own studies and has little interest in looking further. Their aim is to formulate their products, not to find the absolute optimal diet for dogs.

(As an aside, if the medical profession decided that you should only eat a diet consisting 100% of a cooked, dried cereal product with a list of ingredients as long as your arm - and nothing else for your entire life - I'm sure you'd consider that to be less than optimal.)

What that means is that my 16 year old now gets a 50/50 mix of Bil-Jac Adult or preferably Large Breed Adult + Innova Adult Dry (Red Meat), plus an assortment of the following: raw eggs (no shell since commercial foods are loaded with calcium), whey (by-product of my homemade Greek yogurt and an excellent source of protein and probiotics), sometimes ricotta cheese. I am toying with adding back small amounts of raw ground beef and the veggie mix because it bothers me that her diet is now mostly dead food.

I never really found the BARF diet to be more work - it necessitates a change in thinking and routine. You have to remember to include the dog's shopping list with your own groceries instead of just picking up a bag of kibble and throwing some in a bowl a couple times a day. Once it becomes habit, however, feeding raw is very little extra work. There is a considerable learning curve, however, since you are taking responsibility for your dog's entire diet instead of leaving it in the hands of some company that sources ingredients from who knows where. (In the case of the melamine contamination mentioned in the other post, the contaminated ingredient came from China if memory serves, and a number of brands were recalled, not just those made by Diamond.)

The pet food industry would have you believe that feed a dog or cat (and cats have some very specific requirements that are different from dogs, so the two diets are not interchangeable) is far beyond the capability of mere mortals. Nothing could be further from the truth, but you do have to do your homework.

**Billinghurst's page on the BARF world site is here.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2012, 06:14:15 AM by atelierk »

SweetTPi

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2012, 07:00:53 AM »
Personally, I don't believe there's any such thing as a healthy and cheap pet food.
This +1

+1 Again.

I don't have much to add as far as dog food (as I have 2 cats), but personally I'd rather spend a little bit more to try to avoid the more unhealthy options.  FWIW, for dry food I feed 'Taste of the Wild' as it is grain free and available at my local farm/ranch store.  I don't know what their dog food is like. 

Jamesqf

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2012, 11:57:00 AM »
Personally, I don't believe there's any such thing as a healthy and cheap pet food.
This +1

+1 Again.

And +1 again.  It's really not that much different from human food.  Cheap and convenient means sacrificing quality.

mindaugas

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2012, 12:13:50 PM »
Personally, I don't believe there's any such thing as a healthy and cheap pet food.
This +1

+1 Again.

And +1 again.  It's really not that much different from human food.  Cheap and convenient means sacrificing quality.

Yep +1. I tried the kirkland kibble but my dog just ended up spewing it from both ends, three days of that all over the carpet before it was out of her system. It sucked taking it away because like a big mac it must have been f'n delicious, she cleaned her bowl. But also like a big mac it cleaned out her. I've also tried science diet with similar results but much slower. She's on blue buffalo now, hardly touches it but at least when she does eat it she doesn't make a mess all over the house. She gets spoiled with my food as well, the unseasoned bits I cook extra for her. Like frying the butt bread end of a gluten free load in left over bacon grease, mmm, we both love bacon bread :)

sideways8

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2012, 12:23:56 PM »
Ugh. I feel bad that I don't have my pets on a home-made diet. My dogs get a grain free dry food with some yummies mixed in (either Evanger's canned food or leftovers/broth/trimmings/egg shells and my cats are on canned food only. I think I'm more picky about their food labels than mine. After watching my childhood cat grow to be an obese, diabetic, athsmatic mess on cheapo grocery food, I just can't bring myself to cut that corner.

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2012, 01:10:31 PM »
We talked with our vet and she also pushed us toward the KS Costco brand dog food. Our little Corgie mutt loves it. We do mix in some green beans with her dinner 1/2 cup, which she loves.

The vet did let us know that dog food is regulated the same as people food in that the ingredients are listed in order of percentage of content, highest to lowest. She said that any dog food whose number one ingredient is probably good, but she did say the Costco brand by name.

CG

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2012, 03:57:17 AM »
My son's miniature schnauzer (age about 5 yrs) had really bad eczema. When I noticed that it had gone completely, he told me that on the vet's advice he's now feeding her kangaroo meat and muesli, plus occasional meaty bones. Now I don't know the proportions or whether by 'muesli' he means oatmeal, but I could find out if anyone is interested.

noob515

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2012, 04:45:10 AM »
I feed my dog and cats very anti-mustachian food, Wellness brand.  I previously bought Iams large breed for my dog, so I'll have to look up the nutritional content for that again... I'll have to do some research and see what else I can buy for him. I may keep the cats on Wellness, since I've tried many other brands, but Wellness seems to be the only one to decrease the amount of hairballs/throwup they have. 

I do get soft food for them all from Costco, Fancy Feast for the cats and Pedigree for the dog.  It's probably not the best nutritionally speaking, but I figure it's balanced out by the premium hard food. 

Matt K

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2012, 01:07:06 PM »
My vet, whom I respect, gave me a good dressing down when I informed her that I had been feeding my dog a fancy organic food. Based on the research she'd done during her vet schooling, the companies that advertise having free range eggs and what-ever-flower-extract spend more money on making sure they have what-ever-flower-extract than health trials.

She said there are four brands, and only four brands, she would recommend: Iams, Eukanuba, Technikal, and Hill's Science Diet. Why those four? Because they make very specialized foods for medical treatments. And if they can make those medical treament foods, they can at least be trusted to not fuck up the basic foods.

Handy thing about walking your dog every day and picking up after him - you know exactly how healthy his digestive system is at all times. And with the three of those foods we've used, picking up has never been an issue. Frankly, droppings are smaller, firmer, and smell less than with cheap food. That alone is reason for use to shell out the money. The other side of it is that proper diet, in both dogs and people, is the first line of health care. We spend money on good food to avoid spending money at the vet. So far we've been very fortunate.

In a perfect world, I would make my own dog's food. It would cost less than what I buy him. However, it isn't, and I don't.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 06:15:53 AM by Matt K »

Uncephalized

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2012, 01:09:51 PM »
My son's miniature schnauzer (age about 5 yrs) had really bad eczema. When I noticed that it had gone completely, he told me that on the vet's advice he's now feeding her kangaroo meat and muesli, plus occasional meaty bones. Now I don't know the proportions or whether by 'muesli' he means oatmeal, but I could find out if anyone is interested.
I wish we had an equivalent to store-bought kangaroo meat in the US. It's super cheap in Oz isn't it? Good eating for people and animals...

Matt K

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2012, 06:28:57 AM »
I wish we had an equivalent to store-bought kangaroo meat in the US. It's super cheap in Oz isn't it? Good eating for people and animals...

Medium or Lean ground beef is pretty similar. When my dog has an upset stomach (which happens when he eats something on the street he shouldn't), we feed him a 50/50 mix of rice and ground beef. Drain as much fat as possible, so that it is easier on the digestive system, but if using as regular food, just leave the fat in (and reduce proportions accordingly). It's not sufficient to be a sole diet for a long period of time (rice & meat lacks various vitamins and minerals), but it does wonders for his coat.

CanuckStache

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2012, 08:23:16 AM »
Taste of the Wild food is AWESOME and so is Solid Gold.

They are also both very expensive, relatively speaking. However - I found that because there's no grains and less filler, I can actually feed my dog less. I feed my 75lbs Rhodesian Ridgeback 1 1/4 cups twice a day. So, a 30lbs bag of food costs about $60 and lasts me on average 6 weeks. And she's extremely fit, healthy, and happy on the food.

Taste of the Wild is something my dog also seems to be doing very well on and is similar to the Barking at the Moon (Solid Gold) food, however TOTW is only $45. I'm going through a full bag right now with my dog and she seems good, so we'll see - I might make the switch.

PRO TIP: Order from Amazon or Petco online and setup re-occuring delivery when the food goes on sale. You can lock in the sale price and automatically have the food delivered, in my case, every 6 weeks. Saves time and money.

DOUBLE PRO TIP: Make these treats at home for PENNIES:
http://www.thenoblehound.ca/node/94

My dog goes insane for these. We call it "Puppy Crack". She will not go for any store bought treats anymore. It's amazing...She can be running off, blinders on and then hear me open the zip lock bag of these treats and immediately snap back around and come over. It's pretty amazing.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 08:26:09 AM by CanuckStache »

badassprof

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2012, 09:57:08 AM »
We use solid gold (dry) and Natural Balance (wet).  Perhaps it doesn't make any difference. That being said, we have a 50 pound shepherd/chow/cattle dog mix that is rounding the corner to 16 and still going, if significantly more slowly!

StarswirlTheMustached

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2012, 12:33:35 PM »
We had a Collie-Shepard mix who had to be put down at ~14 when he broke his back (due to a never-noticed malformed vertabrae, probably German Shepard heritage) when took a tumble chasing squirrels across the driveway. All he ever ate was Alpo, which isn't terribly pricy, with a touch of glucosamine supplement for the joints when he started to slow down.   
So when we adopted a dog in February (another shepard mutt) it was Alpo all the way. She came back from the shelter with loose stools and diarrhea, but when we got her on the Alpo it firmed right up. Good enough for me!

That said, I do worry about contaminants and I know she'd love BARF. Do you have a breakdown of what it costs to feed on that regime?

badassprof

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #23 on: November 08, 2012, 12:44:17 PM »
I see dog BARF and poop  all over the place at the dog park:  bet you could feed your dog for free with some creative foraging! My dogs also go crazy for horse clippings, which probably would fill your guy up too. 

SunshineGirl

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2013, 10:17:24 AM »
Taste of the Wild food is AWESOME and so is Solid Gold.

They are also both very expensive, relatively speaking. However - I found that because there's no grains and less filler, I can actually feed my dog less. I feed my 75lbs Rhodesian Ridgeback 1 1/4 cups twice a day. So, a 30lbs bag of food costs about $60 and lasts me on average 6 weeks. And she's extremely fit, healthy, and happy on the food.

Taste of the Wild is something my dog also seems to be doing very well on and is similar to the Barking at the Moon (Solid Gold) food, however TOTW is only $45. I'm going through a full bag right now with my dog and she seems good, so we'll see - I might make the switch.

PRO TIP: Order from Amazon or Petco online and setup re-occuring delivery when the food goes on sale. You can lock in the sale price and automatically have the food delivered, in my case, every 6 weeks. Saves time and money.

DOUBLE PRO TIP: Make these treats at home for PENNIES:
http://www.thenoblehound.ca/node/94

My dog goes insane for these. We call it "Puppy Crack". She will not go for any store bought treats anymore. It's amazing...She can be running off, blinders on and then hear me open the zip lock bag of these treats and immediately snap back around and come over. It's pretty amazing.

Thank you for this! I searched "dog food" on the thread for the specific reason that I have some cans of tuna we're not eating and I wondered if there was a "make your own dog food" thread on the forums. I will make these treats today!

djulian529

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #25 on: September 08, 2013, 10:53:44 AM »
We have 4 dogs at home.  As you can imagine, it gets very costly to feed them all.  We have found that it is cheaper in the long run, and more satisfying if we make our four legged family members food each day.  We purchase the 10lb bag of Shoprite white rice.  We then buy chicken leg quarters when they are on sale really cheap, i.e. $0.77/lb.  We also buy the 2 1/2 dozen Shoprite eggs, and the Shoprite canned veggies when they are on sale. 

We then make a batch of rice and either eggs, rice and chicken and veggies. 

This just takes a little time to get into the nightly routine of making the batch for the next day.  However, it tends to be cheaper, and we know exactly what our beloved dogs are eating.

Hope this helps!

chasesfish

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #26 on: September 08, 2013, 11:46:04 AM »
I'm not a vet, but I do sleep with one on occasion.

Our preferences go as follows:

Iams
Royal Canin
Purina Pro Plan

We get the 50lb bag of Iams from costco for the dog. 

Dee 72013

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #27 on: September 08, 2013, 06:47:10 PM »
I fed my dog Kirkland brand and he was also spewing out both ends. Tried several different dog foods before switching to a limited ingredient diet dog food made by Nature's balance. My dog has allergies, etc. but this seems to work and he is not throwing up and his stool is solid..
His coat is also looking really good and no more rash.
I ran out of wet Nature's balance dog food one day and in desperation added water to the dry food and blended it up to make wet. He likes a combo of wet mixed with the dry.
It seems that so many dogs have food allergies now that it's hard to find cheap food that doesn't affect their GI tract.
This is one splurge I feel is worth the money.
You could test a brand for 6-8 weeks and see how it affects them and decide from there if it's a fit for your dog.
I've learned that my dog has no tolerance for chicken or dog and he seems to be doing better eating rabbit and rice.
Just really watch the fillers and grains that seems to reek havoc on most dogs and everything we buy now is grain-free. 

cosmie

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #28 on: September 08, 2013, 09:57:31 PM »
After several expensive trials, the only thing I can get my Chihuahua to eat is Purina Moist and Meaty. I knew it probably wasn't good for him; but until I looked up that site, I didn't realize how bad it was. The only treat that gets him excited are Pupperoni's, which aren't much better for him.

I thought giving him pizza scraps was bad, but after reading what's in his food, I think my freshly-made pizza is actually healthier for him. o_O

ace1224

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #29 on: September 09, 2013, 07:57:36 AM »
Personally, I don't believe there's any such thing as a healthy and cheap pet food.
This +1

+1 Again.

And +1 again.  It's really not that much different from human food.  Cheap and convenient means sacrificing quality.

Yep +1. I tried the kirkland kibble but my dog just ended up spewing it from both ends, three days of that all over the carpet before it was out of her system. It sucked taking it away because like a big mac it must have been f'n delicious, she cleaned her bowl. But also like a big mac it cleaned out her. I've also tried science diet with similar results but much slower. She's on blue buffalo now, hardly touches it but at least when she does eat it she doesn't make a mess all over the house. She gets spoiled with my food as well, the unseasoned bits I cook extra for her. Like frying the butt bread end of a gluten free load in left over bacon grease, mmm, we both love bacon bread :)
and +1 again.  my doggies eat better than i do most of the time.  i lovey them.  i have 3 now, a german a chiweenie and a pit.  i make their food with chicken from sams and rice from sams.  cheaper in the long run.  when i'm feeling lazy i buy blue buffalo

SnackDog

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #30 on: September 09, 2013, 08:30:46 AM »
Dogs can survive on darn near anything.  People do all sorts of scientific research on optimum food but I reckon it's all nonsense. You can feed them just about anything and they'll be fine.  They are just dogs, after all.   No fancy expensive dog foods warranted - that is all just advertising for your benefit.  The dog doesn't care! 

starbuck

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #31 on: September 09, 2013, 09:15:20 AM »
Dogs can survive on darn near anything.  People do all sorts of scientific research on optimum food but I reckon it's all nonsense. You can feed them just about anything and they'll be fine.  They are just dogs, after all.   No fancy expensive dog foods warranted - that is all just advertising for your benefit.  The dog doesn't care!

Well, it's not ALL advertising. Our dog started losing her fur and had really dry skin (and frankly smelled really terrible) a few years ago. The vet couldn't figure it out and she was losing weight. We tried food supplements, skin conditioners, and different dog foods for almost a year. Finally got her on a limited ingredient dry dog food and BOOM everything cleared up within two weeks. I still don't know what she's allergic to that's in a lot of the other brands, but the limited ingredient food made SUCH a big difference. She doesn't need any skin & coat supplements or fancy dog shampoos. She's 13 yrs old, has a beautiful shiny coat and doesn't have that 'dog' smell, and sheds a lot less. Now the trick is keeping the cat away from her food because it's goddamn expensive, and he certainly doesn't need it!

I'd say in general I have minimum quality requirements for the food I feed my pets, but the key is learning what's just advertising and what's worth paying for. The cat gets decent food (and mostly canned wet), but not super premium fancy food pureed by the hands of angels.

Dee 72013

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #32 on: September 09, 2013, 02:35:11 PM »
Dogs can survive on darn near anything.  People do all sorts of scientific research on optimum food but I reckon it's all nonsense. You can feed them just about anything and they'll be fine.  They are just dogs, after all.   No fancy expensive dog foods warranted - that is all just advertising for your benefit.  The dog doesn't care!

Well, it's not ALL advertising. Our dog started losing her fur and had really dry skin (and frankly smelled really terrible) a few years ago. The vet couldn't figure it out and she was losing weight. We tried food supplements, skin conditioners, and different dog foods for almost a year. Finally got her on a limited ingredient dry dog food and BOOM everything cleared up within two weeks. I still don't know what she's allergic to that's in a lot of the other brands, but the limited ingredient food made SUCH a big difference. She doesn't need any skin & coat supplements or fancy dog shampoos. She's 13 yrs old, has a beautiful shiny coat and doesn't have that 'dog' smell, and sheds a lot less. Now the trick is keeping the cat away from her food because it's goddamn expensive, and he certainly doesn't need it!

I'd say in general I have minimum quality requirements for the food I feed my pets, but the key is learning what's just advertising and what's worth paying for. The cat gets decent food (and mostly canned wet), but not super premium fancy food pureed by the hands of angels.

I had the same problem with my dog, besides being almost hairless and eczema- like skin he was either throwing up or shitting through a screen door. I thought we were going to lose him so we had to put him on a limited ingredient diet and it has made all the difference.
This is our first dog that has had this problem though, the others could eat cheap food and did just fine and we didn't spend the money on them like we have this one.
When I saw that my dog was suffering with the inflamed skin and the GI tract problems I knew I had to  find a solution and after several trials with different food this seems to be the only remedy. The vet told us it was like having a child with peanut allergies, you have to make sure you eliminate anything that can cause flare-ups.  I do feel that if we kept him on cheaper food his life expectancy would have shortened because he was so sickly.

chasesfish

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #33 on: September 09, 2013, 05:19:05 PM »
Dogs can survive on darn near anything.  People do all sorts of scientific research on optimum food but I reckon it's all nonsense. You can feed them just about anything and they'll be fine.  They are just dogs, after all.   No fancy expensive dog foods warranted - that is all just advertising for your benefit.  The dog doesn't care!

My earlier comment meant to point out I'm married to a vet.  Yes, a dog will live on calories, but the food does matter to keep their GI and Skin in order

StarswirlTheMustached

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #34 on: September 19, 2013, 04:23:26 PM »
Dogs can survive on darn near anything.  People do all sorts of scientific research on optimum food but I reckon it's all nonsense. You can feed them just about anything and they'll be fine.  They are just dogs, after all.   No fancy expensive dog foods warranted - that is all just advertising for your benefit.  The dog doesn't care!

My earlier comment meant to point out I'm married to a vet.  Yes, a dog will live on calories, but the food does matter to keep their GI and Skin in order
Yeah, a dog needs essential vitamins and minerals, just like people. Dogs don't get scurvvy (they can synthesize vitamin C in their livers), but they do get rickets (from a lack of vitamin D) in the same way humans do, and can suffer from a good number of other deficiency syndromes (anemia from low iron, low magnesium can cause nerve problems, etc.).
It doesn't take much to make sure the dog gets all that, but! "Just about anything" might not cut it.

Tami1982

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #35 on: September 19, 2013, 06:47:53 PM »
Costco also carries the Nature's Domain brand.  I believe it is $33 for a 35lb bag.  It's a grain free food, never recalled.  They have a salmon base and a turkey base.  I work in a big box petstore and when people sticker shock at Wellness, Innova, or Blue Buffalo, but really have a pet with special needs I direct them to those foods.  Reasonably priced and good ingredient list.

lcg377

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #36 on: September 20, 2013, 04:01:49 PM »
Cheap pet foods are made with cheap ingredients.  Dogs and cats have a shorter digestive tract than we do, so they get very little nutritional value out of foods that are made of corn.  Look for the best-priced food you can that does not include corn or any kind of "byproduct" ingredients.  The meats and fats that make up the food should be identified by name (i.e. chicken fat or ocean fish meal, NOT "animal fat" or "meat meal").  In the upper-midwest, a couple of nice budget brands are NutriSource and American Natural Premium.  They are made by smaller manufacturers who have control over their own ingredients. 

EMP

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #37 on: September 20, 2013, 04:32:39 PM »
My son's miniature schnauzer (age about 5 yrs) had really bad eczema. When I noticed that it had gone completely, he told me that on the vet's advice he's now feeding her kangaroo meat and muesli, plus occasional meaty bones. Now I don't know the proportions or whether by 'muesli' he means oatmeal, but I could find out if anyone is interested.
I wish we had an equivalent to store-bought kangaroo meat in the US. It's super cheap in Oz isn't it? Good eating for people and animals...

Makes you want to go back to the days where you could get horse meat. 

djulian529

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Re: Love for Man's Best Friend
« Reply #38 on: September 22, 2013, 02:21:59 PM »
Again, remember you get what you pay for...you want CHEAP, you will get cheap!  We find it the most cost efficient to make our dog food, it works out cheaper, especially if you grow the veggies yourself that you plan on using.  You also know what your loved ones are really eating, not just what they are telling you they are feeding them