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UC Davis Study: Alternative Nutrition: Assessing Home Cooked / Raw Diets
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The Rainbow Bridge



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2 February 2009 - 10:21 pm
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From the UC Davis 2008 Canine Medicine Symposium

Introduction

The use of alternatives to traditional commercially available diets for dogs (such as home cooked or raw diets) is an emerging issue in veterinary medicine. This is due in part to consumer distrust of commercially manufactured diets, secondary to several recent food recalls, and to the perception of commercial diets as unhealthy and low quality by some sectors of the population. Certainly this perception has been promoted and exploited by various dog care publications, websites and other information sources for dog owners, including marketing materials from manufacturers of 'niche' commercial dog foods. However, no feeding approach is without potential pitfalls, and it is important to assess the risks and benefits of alternative feeding regimes in dogs with the help of currently available scientific evidence. Veterinarians can benefit from understanding these issues in order to confidently discuss and counsel owners regarding the appropriate diet for a particular animal.

To read the entire article, please click here.

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3 February 2009 - 2:15 am
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This is a good article!  It explains the importance of adequately balancing vitamins and minerals if you cook for your dogs or feed raw.

Pam and Tazzie

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3 February 2009 - 11:15 pm
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I liked it too, we learned even more stuff from that article. Good info there.

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22 February 2009 - 12:36 pm
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Thanks a lot for posting this!

When Sophie first got sick, I got really gung-ho about feeding her a home-cooked diet, and made a froze a gigantic batch of one of the recipes I found on line.  I also made an appointment for us to meet with a nutritionist (same week as the food prep spree).  When we saw the nutritionist, I was really surprised to learn of things like the danger of garlic and onions for dogs, and it made me stop and re-evaluate.  (Four months later, I still have about five pounds of  "burgers" containing beef, sweet potatoes, carrots, brocolli, garlic, and I'm not sure what else in my freezer!  I figure I'm going to start eating them myself soon, once I figure out how to unstick them (the instructions to put saran wrap between the patties does not seem to have been adequate!).

Anyway, it seems really important to find ways to balance our desire to be helpful with knowledge about dog nutrition.  I think there really is a way to do both, but articles like this are helpful towards creating that balance!

Christne & Sophie

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22 February 2009 - 1:16 pm
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sophiesmom said:

When we saw the nutritionist, I was really surprised to learn of things like the danger of garlic and onions for dogs, and it made me stop and re-evaluate.


Hi Christine,

Glad you saw the nutritionist, it's always good to consult with others who have more experience than we do. Our wonderful friend Tazziedog addressed the issues about onion and garlic last November. Here's what she said on this thread;

Just an FYI that garlic as well as onions can cause hemolytic anemia in dogs.  It seems to be an individual reaction, meaning that not all dogs are affected this way.  Grapes and raisins can cause renal failure but not in all dogs. Chocolate is always a no-no as well as macadamia nuts and anything with the sweetener xylitol (that one can cause liver failure or low blood sugar even in small doses).

Low amounts of garlic and onions used in cooking are probably alright, although it may be wise to avoid these during chemo since that is when the bone marrow is most "reactive".

Pam and Tazzie

Your nutritionist is probably taking a better-safe-than-sorry approach. As for me, I ate garlic all the time after Mom saw it in several dog cookbooks, and never had a problem with it. In fact, garlic is highly recommended for helping to alleviate flea issues for dogs, but perhaps garlic is just an issue for dogs with cancer? I don't know.

We are learning all the time here, and that's what so great about pawrents like you who take the time to write here. Thanks!

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22 February 2009 - 2:06 pm
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Christine & Sophie,  I gave one little clove of garlic to Genie every supper since she was 1 year old till she left.  She had no problem whatsover with garlic.  I did not give onions though.  I don't see anything wrong with your "burgers".  Those are all healthy ingredients.

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