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Survey: How Do You Choose What to Feed Your Pets?
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The Rainbow Bridge



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11 January 2013 - 11:03 pm
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Hello Tripawders,

Here’s a survey of the day:

  1. What kind of food(s) do you feed your pets on a regular basis?
  2. How do you pawrents decide what to feed your pets?
  3. Would you say that choosing a good diet is a priority? Why or why not?
  4. What resources, both online and offline, do you use for finding the best food for your pet’s health and your budget?
  5. And finally, do you ever discuss diet with your vet? If so, what is your opinion about the quality of that advice? Are you satisfied with it or does it leave you hungry for more?

Thanks for any answers you wish to share with us!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Portage Lake, Maine
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12 January 2013 - 6:25 am
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Hey there!

I can click on subjects now and comment!  Woohoo!  Not sure if Admin Guy did anything but it’s working again for me!

OK..to answer your questions:

 

1.  Honest Kitchen foods(primarily Embark, Preference, Zeal, Thrive, Love) and Primal Raw Grinds

2.  Low carb foods.

3.  Yes!  Because high carb foods feed cancers.

4.  http://www.dogaware.com

5.  NO!  As a rule, regular vets have no clue about nutrition.

 

Tracy

Maggie was amputated for soft tissue sarcoma 10-20-09

Maggie lost her battle with kidney disease on 8-24-13

http://maggie.t.....t-24-2013/

Milwaukee, WI
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12 January 2013 - 6:52 am
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1/2.   Harley was basically on a diet of dry kibble.  When I adopted him from WAAGR (Wisconsin Adopt A Golden Retriever) they gave me a list of the recommended foods and said they would very much like it if I kept him on one of these.  One of the volunteers who made the home visit said at first you will look at the cost and hesitate but please consider this.  Since two previous goldens had died of cancer I wanted to do all I could to prevent this again.  I ended up going with Fromm’s (Whitefish & Potato and Duck & Sweet Potato) probably because it was manufactured right in Wisconsin.  He never had milk bones etc.  Periodically I would buy raw bones for him from a local Natural Pet store — mainly elk and bison marrow bones.  Summers he would just walk through the vegetable garden and help himself to tomatoes, cukes (within reason) and when I had apple trees that too.  (The apples I would have to pick up quickly because he would have eaten just about every one.)  In his last months He ate orijen fish and fromm’s grain free supplemented with ground turkey and eggs.

 

3.  A priority to me.  It obviously did not prevent cancer, but he was never on the heavy side, very lean and had a beautiful coat.  My other goldens always had extra weight even when I cut back food so those kibbles probably had a lot of filler.

 

4.  I never looked into pricing.  There is a natural pet store about a mile or two from my house, they were recommended by the rescue and that was the only place I bought his food, treats etc for almost 6 years.

 

5.  At one time I asked the surgeon about diet and asked for her opinion on raw vs dry.  She said she did not feel raw was necessarily better.  She said something like possibly, but probably not.  She did say that she could recognize the dogs on cheap kibble.

 

 

 

Harley is an 8 year old Golden Retriever. Amp surgery for an infiltrative lipoma canceled due to two masses in chest. A rescue, he found his forever home on 3/18/07 and left for his eternal home on 1/09/13. His story and medical history are at http://myharley.....pawds.com/

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12 January 2013 - 3:56 pm
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1. One dog gets Diamond Lamb and Rice, Maggie gets Taste of the Wild, Bison and Venison-grain free . Now I feed Maggie her kibble with a cooked concoction of meat and veggies.

2. I came up with Maggie’s food thru process of elimination because she was having GI issues.

3. I think a good diet is very important for people and pets. I think diet is strongly linked to disease.

4. I ask around of people who I know are good pet caretakers what they feed and some sites I have found interesting are http://www.dogf…..roject.com, http://www.dogf…..oddude.com and http://www.dogg…..health.com.

5. I love my vet but they are really clueless when it comes to nutrition. When Maggie was having her Gi issues I felt her diet could have been the problem and my vet said I could try different foods but I don’t think she really thought it was. Then I got her off grain and no more nausea and colitis.

Penny

krun15
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12 January 2013 - 10:27 pm
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1. The pugs currently eat Honest Kitchen Preference mixed with meat, (currently duck meat and some organ meat) green beans, a bit of canned food and occasionally some kibble, mostly for treats or training. The canned and kibble are both Nature’s Balance Duck and Potato. They also get some leftover meats and chicken, sometimes some fruit as treats. I make up two or three weeks of meals at a time and freeze it in cups. I include the food and supplements. Added benefit- it keeps my Dad from over feeding when he pug-sits.
2. When I first got Maggie more than 13 years ago I started her on a major store brand kibble and canned food, that’s what I learned when I as a kid. A couple years after Tani came along she developed inflammatory bowel disease (Tani that is). The specialist said to change her food and it was most likely a protein issue. Since much of the pugs diet to that point included chicken I had to find a food without any chicken in it. Luckily for the pugs all I could find without chicken was the Nature’s Balance Duck and Potato. We stayed on that and when Maggie got cancer it turned out to be a pretty good cancer diet. The specialist also told me that it would take Tani at least a week to stop throwing up once I changed her food (she had been throwing up daily for 3 weeks). The day I changed her food she stopped throwing up. Cue light bulb!! I don’t think she had a protein issue, I think she was reacting to the fillers in the ‘name brand’ food.
3. Huge priority! I think the combination of quality food and supplements help keep the pugs feeling good, looking good (I always get compliments on their coats) and helps maintain their weight. Tani has lots of health issues, Obie has skin issues, and pugs tend to be overweight. They can have a much higher and more filling volume of food on the current diet than when I was using the kibble/canned combo.
4. I started researching with IBD incident, but I don’t remember where on line. This site provided some good links and several interesting forum discussions. And there was the guy you interviewed when you used to do the radio show, but I’m blanking on his name now. He had lots of good info and got me thinking about making my own food. Tani is seeing a holistic/eastern med vet now and she gave me some ideas on what foods were good for Tani. The budget isn’t a huge concern when feeding two small pugs!!
5. When Maggie developed kidney failure my vet gave me a prescription food for her. Not only did Mag not like it, but it was full of filler stuff. I researched and came up with my own diet. When I change the pugs to HK my vet had not heard of it . My vet is really happy with how they look now, and their weights so she says I’m doing it right. I will say that I love my vet for everything else, including referring us to Tani’s holistic vet. The holistic vet has been great helping me with diet and supplements.

Karen

The Rainbow Bridge



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13 January 2013 - 6:16 am
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Hey guys thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts about this.

Karen, to answer your question, the guy we had on our radio show was the Dog Food Advisor. He’s terrific.

It baffles me that so many pawrents have to take matters into their own hands when it comes to diet, in order to improve their dog’s health. How can there be so much knowledge about animal medicine but so little about what goes inside their bellies? Why aren’t there more vets taking this on? Talk about a need.

I love reading about how people are managing their pet’s diets. If anyone else cares to share, please do so, this is interesting stuff.

 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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13 January 2013 - 1:22 pm
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1.) I currently feed Diamond Lamb & Rice.  My preference is actually Taste of the Wild for kibble, but I’ve been fighting allergy breakouts with Emmi since September, so I changed to the single protein/single carb to see if we could get her skin problem under control.

2.) I feed grain free always. For Trouble to keep her weight under control, I fed a cooked diet.  She loved it and thrived on it.  I tried raw once, but I was a failure at it.  Gave her too much protein and she had a severe allergy break out.

3.) What we feed can contribute to the overall health, that makes it important

4.) My main source of info is http://www.dogf…..visor.com/

5.) I discuss diet with my vet, but like so many others, he tends to push Science Diet and I hate the stuff. 

 

I will admit food was not so important to me until Trouble was diagnosed.  That was when I learned to pay attention to the foods I selected for the dogs.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Grandad's Garden
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15 January 2013 - 12:08 pm
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  1. What kind of food(s) do you feed your pets on a regular basis?  Our pack gets a high performance racing kibble (fish-based protein) with added raw meat (beef, fish) and extra fat sources as needed.  (Keep in mind we are working dogs living in a cold winter climate, so our diet needs are drastically different than yours may be.)  We also rotate what we feed so that the dogs can benefit from a variety of sources.  We feed a different diet in the summer (non-working season) than in the winter.
  2. How do you pawrents decide what to feed your pets?  Lots and lots of research.  Online, asking vets, asking other mushers, reading research papers, etc.  Most importantly are the results, and (for the kibble) working with a company that has consistent ingredients and processing procedures.  Know where your kibble is coming from, how it is created, and that the company will not change sources or ingredients on you with no notice.
  3. Would you say that choosing a good diet is a priority? Absolutely.  You get out of a dog what you put into it.  If you feed crap and processed foods, that is all your dog has to work with to create a healthy body.
  4. What resources, both online and offline, do you use for finding the best food for your pet’s health and your budget?  I read pretty much anything that comes my way.  I also contact dog food vendors directly to ask my specific questions.  Dogaware.com is a good source, as are many other sites, but be aware WHO is giving you the info, and be leery of folks who will tell you you will “kill your dog if you do X” – there are trolls everywhere.  Use your brain and good judgement.  Ask the questions.  Do your homework.
  5. And finally, do you ever discuss diet with your vet? If so, what is your opinion about the quality of that advice? Are you satisfied with it or does it leave you hungry for more?  Absolutely I work with my vets (yes, plural).  They need to know what you are feeding your dog (they are giving health care – it is the same as lying to your doctor that no, you NEVER eat cheese, and expecting them to be able to help you with your blood pressure).  Also, they have good resources for your research, and they also have good ideas of where to start when you are feeding “out of the box”.  Our vets are wonderful, and we have worked with them over the years to come up with the best care we can for our dogs.  If you don’t have a vet you can talk to comfortably about nutrition and feeding, get a new one.  They don’t have to have all the answers, but they do need to be able to have discussions with you and help you find the right answers for your animals.
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15 January 2013 - 2:48 pm
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1. We feed Honest Kitchen Preference (at less than recommended amounts because Porter stopped liking it during chemo). We add fresh cooked meat – dark meat chicken, ground grass fed beef – or organic canned salmon or tuna, plus organic quinoa and brown rice (50/50 mix), cottage cheese, and a tablespoon of cooked liver.

2. We formulated our feeding plan with Porter’s acupuncturist after his OSC diagnosis. She also has him on a suite of Chinese supplements and some extra vitamins.

3. Diet wasn’t a big priority before OSC but now it’s huge. It’s the only active thing we can do to feel like we’re fighting the cancer. I think it helps, but perhaps that’s just a placebo effect.

4. We don’t use any particular resources – I did check out the canine cancer e-book but found my acupuncturist to be more helpful in customizing a plan for Porter.

5. Our vet is tremendously supportive. He’s a huge believer in dietary affects & does specific research for me when I ask about different foods. He works in conjunction with the acupuncturist in putting together a plan for Porter.

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15 January 2013 - 2:52 pm
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  1. What kind of food(s) do you feed your pets on a regular basis? We recently switched to Eagle Pack Lamb and rice formula in an attempt to find something all three could eat. Not sure I’m happy with it just yet. Prior to that we fed Orijen and Acana foods. 
  2. How do you pawrents decide what to feed your pets? Quality of ingredients and then process of elimination. Unfortunately the pups have never done well on grain free , but Coda has….they’re happy on lamb and rice, she’s not so much! So we may be back at it again, searching for quality foods that won’t entirely break us :)  
  3. Would you say that choosing a good diet is a priority? Why or why not? Absolutely. Our pups are (ideally) here for a long time and it’s my job to take care of them and fulfill their needs to the best of my ability. Good, nutritious, quality food is part of that. I don’t feed the human kid mcdonalds every day, and sure won’t feed the furkids the doggy food equivalent either! 
  4. What resources, both online and offline, do you use for finding the best food for your pet’s health and your budget? I read a LOT and did a ton of research years ago. I’ve read everything I can get my hands on about quality of ingredients, reading labels, dogs needs, etc. And I’ve made choices from there, based on whats available to us and within what we can afford. We also only shop at local boutique type pet stores that only sell the higher quality foods, so I can feel confident anything we buy from them, even if it’s not what we’d normally get, is of a good quality for the dogs. 
  5. And finally, do you ever discuss diet with your vet? If so, what is your opinion about the quality of that advice? Are you satisfied with it or does it leave you hungry for more?

My current vet is very…whatever, about many things laughing I actually like it that way. As long as the dogs are healthy and happy, his opinion is to just keep doing what we’re doing. I know he’s not a nutritionist, so I like that he doesn’t give out a ton of advice regarding food. The only advice he’s given about food has been to do with some allergy outbreaks we’ve had – and it was to try certain different proteins, etc. But never a push for any brand over another.  I’ve had previous vets insist we switch to, conveniently, the veterinary formulas they sell because our food wasn’t good enough. 

The Rainbow Bridge



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15 January 2013 - 8:47 pm
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Thank you everypawdy, this is really good reading. I’m always curious how people come to the decisions about what their pets will eat. It’s great to know that so many folks are conscientious abut nutrition, but it also seems to be a common occurrence that unless you’re lucky enough to have a holistic vet on your team like Porter, vets just don’t seem to play a major role in our decisions about what to feed. I hope that veterinary nutritionists become a more common thing in the future, there’s definitely a need for them.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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16 January 2013 - 6:21 pm
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After losing Tucker on December 14th, only two weeks after completing chemo, I have been wondering how we go about figuring out a diet when we get another dog. We never had the opportunity to change his diet significantly. How do we find a holistic vet that will support our desire to stray from mainstream foods? I love our vet, but they don’t support other diets ie grain free . They have spoken about trusting “feeding trials” of the big brands, but they were not supportive of us changing Tucker’s diet after we finished chemo. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

The Rainbow Bridge



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16 January 2013 - 8:33 pm
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tuckerdog said
After losing Tucker on December 14th, only two weeks after completing chemo, I have been wondering how we go about figuring out a diet when we get another dog. We never had the opportunity to change his diet significantly. How do we find a holistic vet that will support our desire to stray from mainstream foods? I love our vet, but they don’t support other diets ie grain free . They have spoken about trusting “feeding trials” of the big brands, but they were not supportive of us changing Tucker’s diet after we finished chemo. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

I’m so sorry guys, that’s just so sad. My heart goes out to you.

It’s good that you’re thinking about how you will care for your future pack member, I hope you find this topic helpful. Another post that might give you some insight is:

What do you feed your other dogs that are not tripawds or that don’t have the big “C”?

From what I’ve read, the big defect when it comes to feeding trials, is that those dogs who test the food are given the diets under very controlled, unrealistic circumstances. The trials don’t take into consideration lifestyle factors, pre-existing health conditions, etc. I think I’ve read that they also don’t take into account long-term effects of feeding a certain food. The only companies who can afford to do these trials are the major global companies.

 

 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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20 January 2013 - 2:09 am
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  1. What kind of food(s) do you feed your pets on a regular basis?

Acana + raw.

Acana is chicken + potato and raw is chicken, turkey, beef, and lately pork. I also add eggs, yogurt, olive oil, canned tuna. And some human leftover if they are good for dogs (i.e. soup, meat, pasta etc). On some periods i feed more kibble, and sometimes more raw, but I think it´s basically 50/50

  1. How do you pawrents decide what to feed your pets?

Common sense. Meet and/or quality low/no grain kibble is logical for carnivores.

  1. Would you say that choosing a good diet is a priority? Why or why not?

Ofcourse. You are what you eat. Cheap corn based kibble is unhealthy for dogs. As humans (or every living thing) dogs need a huge list of ingredients that they dont get from cheap kibble, bad human leftovers etc.

  1. What resources, both online and offline, do you use for finding the best food for your pet’s health and your budget?

http://www.dogf…..alysis.com http://www.dogf…..odchat.com

  1. And finally, do you ever discuss diet with your vet? If so, what is your opinion about the quality of that advice? Are you satisfied with it or does it leave you hungry for more?

Not really. He tries to sell me some food sometimes, that I don`t want. I think he secretly likes the idea i feed raw. :)

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20 January 2013 - 8:18 am
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1. Brady eats Taste of the Wild (grain free ) and MC Belle eats Natures Balance (also GF).

2. The owners of the Healthy Pet Store are very knowledgable and have helped us find healthy, good quality food in a price range that we can afford.

3. After Bo and the big C, we decided that we wanted the fur babies to be grain free and eat as healthy as possible.

4. The folks at the Healthy Pet Store here in Tallahassee are wonderful. Actually, prior to that, most of our nutrition research was done through Tripawds. We changed Bo’s diet immediately after reading some of the nutritional posts here.

5. Belle has been having digestion issues, so we’ve discussed her diet with our vet the most. She is on Prescription Diet food as well as the Natures Balance.

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