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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Pet food is a much talked about subject on the board and others that I have posted on.

There is very little education being provided for pet owners to know what is good and what is not good for our pets. There are only a confusing number of choices and an equally confusing "ingredients list" on the side of each package we buy.

I know from my own healthy lifestyle, if you feed your body lots of calories, processed food and excess fat, you will not be as healthy as you could be. And much study that lends to the belief this kind of eating leads to disease and a shorter life.

I can only surmise the same can be said for our pets. What is better for your pet, protein from grains or from meat? What is BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin? What are the most important ingedients on a pet food label?

Until recently, I did not know the answers to these questions. A local TV station did a story on a lady who is in the industry and has studied pet food for 15 years. Her findings are infuriating to me as a pet owner. Much of the meat protein comes from dead, diseased, euthanized animals. Much of the filler in dog food is corn or wheat. Grain protein increases the difficulty of digestion and the risk of ingesting mold and other toxins.

Here is the link to the web site and information about her book and monthly newsletter.

You be the judge of what is best for your pets. But make the decision with as much information as you can find.

By the way here are the answers to the questions posed earlier.
-Protein should come from meat, not a protein by product or meat and bone meal.
-BHA, BHT and ethoxquin are chemical preseratives and have been associated with causing tumors and cancer in dogs.
-The most imprtant ingredients on a pet food label are the first five. These are the ingredients that have the most weight in the food.

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131 Posts
It's hard isn't it. Food has such a big influence on health/moods in humans and animals are the same.
I guess the most important thing with any commercial pet food is that meat ( not meat byproduct etc..) is the number one listed ingredient followed by it not having any artificial colours/flavours/preservatives. Dogs have a short intestinal tract than us so they are not good at digesting grains etc. They are designed to have a predominantly meat based diet with some greens/vegies.
I'm trying to get Snoopy onto at least a partially rawfood diet as this is obviously best for them provided you get the balance right. He does like to chew on raw bones but isn't fussed with raw meat..I'll have to start sneaking little bits in between the kibbles and see if I can wean him over to it.

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1,058 Posts
Very interesting however I don't agree that meat meal and bone are bad for dogs. Everyone has their own opinions about dog food, I know someone who feeds his dog raw which is fine but the dog ONLY gets meat, organs and bones, that's it. To me, that's not a balanced diet for a dog. Everyone seems to have their own opinions but if you can at least make an informed decision, that you will know what to buy and what not to buy.

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Quote:Originally posted by Spencer's Mum:
Very interesting however I don't agree that meat meal and bone are bad for dogs. Everyone has their own opinions about dog food, I know someone who feeds his dog raw which is fine but the dog ONLY gets meat, organs and bones, that's it. To me, that's not a balanced diet for a dog. Everyone seems to have their own opinions but if you can at least make an informed decision, that you will know what to buy and what not to buy.
Meat and bone meal is not a quality ingredient in dog foods. It consists of the combination any meat - pork, beef, poultry - and is also a lower grade than what would go into the production of a specified meat meal such as lamb or chicken meal. Meat & bone meal is basically the scraps leftover from scraps /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif Not quality nutrition in my book. Plus, I have an epileptic whose seizures are triggered by pork, so its vital I know what meats are in his diet. REgardless, I think I have the right to know exactly what's included in the diets of my healthy dogs, as well.

Regarding the raw diet, meat, bones, and organs definitey ARE a balanced meal for a DOG. Not for a human, because we need high levels of fiber from grains and vegetables to keep our digestive tract and bodies healthy. Dogs are carnivores; their digestive tracts are short and quite acidic. Humans are omnivores; our digestive tracts are looong and our digestive juices are moderately acidic. We also are able to crush vegetables with out flattened teeth, and the digestive process begins in our mouth with our saliva. This is not the case with dogs. Their dentition/saliva does not allow for grains or vegetable matter to be predigested in the mouth. Veggies hold very little, if any nutrition for them & my raw fed dogs have had nothing but meat, bones, organs since 2001. They are breeding, hunting, and special needs hounds. Its only lately that I started supplementing about 15-20% of the diet with kibble, but that's for price/convenience reasons as my pack grows. My brood bitches eat meat, bones, organs and are full of milk. Yet I've known hounds on a "complete & balanced" kibble who were having difficulties lactating ...

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1,058 Posts
I think I misunderstood what was being said. It it was to say "meat meal" then ya, I would be questioning what the meat was but if it said Chicken Meal or Salmon meal, I wouldn't be against that.

Being a RAW feeder, do you not have to add bone meal to your dog's diet? I know that some people do so I was just wondering if you don't add it, what do you add?

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292 Posts
I also feed raw, and you do not need to add bone meal, because the dogs are eating the raw bones along with the flesh. I feed mine about 80% meat and bones, the rest consists of ground veggies, raw eggs, organ meat, and table scraps.


When I adopted charlie, they had him on pedagree, not a dog food I would of chosen, however they told me he liked it,

So I kept him on it, but noticed he went poo alot too much in my opinion,

So I decided to change him to a dog food I knew from feeding my Su it for years.

Purina One lamb and rice......His poos became more stable....

I'm assuming this is a better food for him?
as I read on the site somewhere here that the first main ingredients are important.....
Pedegree had crap for the first ingredients.....Purina one looks better....

advice please did i do the right thing P.S HE LIKES HIS NEW DOG FOOD BETTER.

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Purina One is better than Pedigree. Here's a "report card" for some common dog foods - and how to grade them. Neither Purina One or Pedigree are scored on here.

Start with a grade of 100:

For every listing of "by-product", subtract 10 points!
For every non-specific animal source ("meat" or "poultry", meat, meal or fat) reference, subtract 10 points!
If the food contains BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin, subtract 10 points
For every grain "mill run" or non-specific grain source,subtract 5 points!
If the same grain ingredient is used 2 or more times in the first five ingredients (i.e. "ground brown rice", "brewer's rice", "rice flour" are all the same grain), subtract 5 points
If the protein sources are not meat meal and there are less than 2 meats in the top 3 ingredients, subtract 3 points
If it contains any artificial colorants, subtract 3 points
If it contains ground corn or whole grain corn, subtract 3 points
If corn is listed in the top 5 ingredients, subtract 2 more points
If the food contains any animal fat other than fish oil,subtract 2 points
If lamb is the only animal protein source (unless your dog is allergic to other protein sources), subtract 2 points
If it contains soy or soybeans, subtract 2 points
If it contains wheat (unless you know that your dog isn't allergic to wheat), subtract 2 points
If it contains beef (unless you know that your dog isn't allergic to beef), subtract 1 point
If it contains salt, subtract 1 point

Extra Credit:

If any of the meat sources are organic, add 5 points
If the food is endorsed by any major breed group or nutritionist, add 5 points
If the food is baked not extruded, add 5 points
If the food contains probiotics, add 3 points
If the food contains fruit, add 3 points
If the food contains vegetables (NOT corn or other grains), add 3 points
If the animal sources are hormone-free and antibiotic-free, add 2 points
If the food contains barley, add 2 points
If the food contains flax seed oil (not just the seeds), add 2 points
If the food contains oats or oatmeal, add 1 point
If the food contains sunflower oil, add 1 point
For every different specific animal protein source (other than the first one; count "chicken" and "chicken meal" as only one protein source, but "chicken" and "beef" as 2 different sources), add 1 point
If it contains glucosamine and chondroitin, add 1 point
If the vegetables have been tested for pesticides and are pesticide-free, add 1 point


94-100+ = A
86-93 = B
78-85 = C
70-77 = D
69 and below = F
Here are some foods that have already been scored.

Dog Food scores:

Authority Harvest Baked / Score 116 A+
Bil-Jac Select / Score 68 F
Canidae / Score 112 A+
Chicken Soup Senior / Score 115 A+
Diamond Maintenance / Score 64 F
Diamond Lamb Meal & Rice / Score 92 B
Diamond Large Breed 60+ Formula / Score 99 A
Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Ultra Premium / Score 122 A+
Dick Van Patten's Duck and Potato / Score 106 A+
Foundations / Score 106 A+
Hund-n-Flocken Adult Dog (lamb) by Solid Gold / Score 93 A
Iams Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Premium / Score 73 D
Innova Dog / Score 114 A+
Innova Evo / Score 114 A+
Kirkland/(that would be from Costco/Price Club) Signature Chicken, Rice, and Vegetables / Score 110 A+
Nutrisource Lamb and Rice / Score 87 B
Nutro Natural Choice Chicken, Rice, and Oatmeal/ Score 94 A
Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy / Score 87 B
Ol Roy Premium Dog Food / Score 53 F
Pet Gold Adult with Lamb & Rice / Score 23 F
ProPlan Natural Turkey & Barley / Score 103 A+
Purina Benful / Score 17 F
Purina Dog / Score 62 F
Purina Come-n-Get It / Score 16 F
Royal Canin Bulldog / Score 100 A+
Royal Canin Natural Blend Adult / Score 106 A+
Sensible Choice Chicken and Rice / Score 97 A
Science Diet Advanced Protein Senior 7+ / Score 63 F
Science Diet for Large Breed Puppies / Score 69 F
Wellness Super5 Mix Chicken / Score 110 A+
Wolfking Adult Dog (bison) by Solid Gold / Score 97 A

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
We just switched to Innova food several months ago. An unexpected benefit to Vinny has been he now has hair on his butt and his coat which has been very thin is now starting to fill out on the sides.

Have now discontinued the thyroid pill which was being blamed for the thin coat. Now,if only the new food would cure the epilepsy.

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Well, we've been doing our own "cooking" for a week now, not as hard or time consuming as I thought. Made brocolli, carrots and mixed vegetables with some beef, or chicken ground up, and some brown rice; Chip seems to love it. OUr biggest problem was how much to give him. So we got a cup measure, and filled that with 2/3 meat, and 1/2 vegetables and rice. It's enough and he's happy.
WOW! I have to recommend a book, here, it's called: Real Food for Dogs, by ARden Moore. They are 50 Vet recommended recipes for everything from treats to casseroles, to desserts to vegie dishes...with hints and ideas through out. The cartoons are pretty cute too. I got mine at Amazon for 48 cents. It's great

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124 Posts
I read the ingredient list for Innova, and having found nothing but enthusiastic praise for it, we will be feeding it to Kioko exclusively once it ships here. Our veterinarian offers special orders of food that we can't buy here, so it's yet another reason I love my vet.

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The wife makes the boys a mixture she mixes in with the kibble. It consists of grits, rice, carrots, celery, and chicken. This makes a nice compliment to the eveing meal. Each one gets 1 tblspn along with the 1/2 cup of kibble.
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