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What you feed your dog makes a difference...

MaggieD

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Josh, our German Shepherd, is 13 years and 2 months old. He's alert, happy and thin. Unfortunately, he has problems with the nerves controlling one of his back legs, so he's a hippity-hop boy. But he goes for a 1/2-mile every single day...happy as a clam.

He's my fourth shepherd. The only one who's lived past 11.

Why?? Because, for the first six years of his life, he was kept on a "model's diet." He was skinny as a little bone when we got him. When we drove him home, we had him in the back seat with a 50# bag of dog food. We had to put it in the trunk, because he began chewing it open on the drive home he was so hungry.

Of course, we fed him more -- and he probably gained 15-20#. But he's still thin. We feed him rotisseried chicken broken apart (pre-cooked from Sam's Club) along with 2 cups of high quality dry food. (Twice a day instead of one big meal....1 cup dry food and chicken each meal.)

I just thought I'd pass along what I wish I'd found years ago . . .

If you're buying the "homeless variety dog food," you're doing your loving family member a terrible injustice. (IMO, of course.)
 

Cephus

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That means nothing. I can point to plenty of other cases where pets are fed a generic pet food and live far beyond the average lifespan. I have a friend whose cat, who ran around outside, who ate a garbage diet and lived to be almost 28 years old.
 

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Give me a minute so I can figure out a way to ruin this thread.
 

CanadaJohn

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Josh, our German Shepherd, is 13 years and 2 months old. He's alert, happy and thin. Unfortunately, he has problems with the nerves controlling one of his back legs, so he's a hippity-hop boy. But he goes for a 1/2-mile every single day...happy as a clam.

He's my fourth shepherd. The only one who's lived past 11.

Why?? Because, for the first six years of his life, he was kept on a "model's diet." He was skinny as a little bone when we got him. When we drove him home, we had him in the back seat with a 50# bag of dog food. We had to put it in the trunk, because he began chewing it open on the drive home he was so hungry.

Of course, we fed him more -- and he probably gained 15-20#. But he's still thin. We feed him rotisseried chicken broken apart (pre-cooked from Sam's Club) along with 2 cups of high quality dry food. (Twice a day instead of one big meal....1 cup dry food and chicken each meal.)

I just thought I'd pass along what I wish I'd found years ago . . .

If you're buying the "homeless variety dog food," you're doing your loving family member a terrible injustice. (IMO, of course.)

Congrats Maggie - hope he continues to prosper.

My previous dog, a border collie, lived past 15 years when many/most only survive to about 10-12 - I fed him a calcium enriched cheese slice every day to help protect his bones - I swear by it.

My current dog, an australian shepherd, similar to the border collie as a bread, is just under 12 and she's had weak hindquarters all her life but she's on the cheese treat every day too and it's helped build up her chest and shoulders to help compensate. She does suffer from arthritis too, though, so she gets some glucosimine sulfate every day too now, for the past couple of years, and that's helped her a lot.

And she gets senior's dry food with no corn or cornmeal products - that is the worse thing for dogs ever.
 

MaggieD

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Congrats Maggie - hope he continues to prosper.

My previous dog, a border collie, lived past 15 years when many/most only survive to about 10-12 - I fed him a calcium enriched cheese slice every day to help protect his bones - I swear by it.

My current dog, an australian shepherd, similar to the border collie as a bread, is just under 12 and she's had weak hindquarters all her life but she's on the cheese treat every day too and it's helped build up her chest and shoulders to help compensate. She does suffer from arthritis too, though, so she gets some glucosimine sulfate every day too now, for the past couple of years, and that's helped her a lot.

And she gets senior's dry food with no corn or cornmeal products - that is the worse thing for dogs ever.

Right. That cornmeal / corn dog food is crap. Great idea on the cheese. May they both live long and prosper. ;)
 

CanadaJohn

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That means nothing. I can point to plenty of other cases where pets are fed a generic pet food and live far beyond the average lifespan. I have a friend whose cat, who ran around outside, who ate a garbage diet and lived to be almost 28 years old.

There's some truth to what you say but with a qualifier - in nature, virtually nothing tastes good to a dog/cat that isn't naturally good for them as well. Not so true in the pet food industry. With my current dog, any food with corn or cornmeal products gives her cramps and diarrhea and almost all no-name pet foods are loaded with corn and cornmeal products because it's cheap filler.

If you're going to have a pet in your life at least have some concern for the wellbeing of that pet. Their lives are so relatively short as it is, why make life shorter for them.
 

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I only feed my dogs top quality dog food, it's expensive but I refuse to feed them garbage. Every time we go for a walk they seem to find some dead deer leg and carry it home to chew on the bone and eat the marrow which I think is very good for them. The farts they get on the other hand, not so good.:lol:
 

MaggieD

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That means nothing. I can point to plenty of other cases where pets are fed a generic pet food and live far beyond the average lifespan. I have a friend whose cat, who ran around outside, who ate a garbage diet and lived to be almost 28 years old.

An outdoor cat, aside from the dangers inherent in that lifestyle, is probably eating healthier than most housecats. Still, you're probably right, but like Canada John says, their life spans are sooo short -- and they find such great JOY in wonderful, tasy food -- it seems a shame not to feed it to them.
 

beerftw

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Josh, our German Shepherd, is 13 years and 2 months old. He's alert, happy and thin. Unfortunately, he has problems with the nerves controlling one of his back legs, so he's a hippity-hop boy. But he goes for a 1/2-mile every single day...happy as a clam.

He's my fourth shepherd. The only one who's lived past 11.

Why?? Because, for the first six years of his life, he was kept on a "model's diet." He was skinny as a little bone when we got him. When we drove him home, we had him in the back seat with a 50# bag of dog food. We had to put it in the trunk, because he began chewing it open on the drive home he was so hungry.

Of course, we fed him more -- and he probably gained 15-20#. But he's still thin. We feed him rotisseried chicken broken apart (pre-cooked from Sam's Club) along with 2 cups of high quality dry food. (Twice a day instead of one big meal....1 cup dry food and chicken each meal.)

I just thought I'd pass along what I wish I'd found years ago . . .

If you're buying the "homeless variety dog food," you're doing your loving family member a terrible injustice. (IMO, of course.)

food makes a large difference on a dogs wellbeing,just like it does a humans.

buying them cheap dogfood is like feeding a human mcdonalds every day,sure your fed,but its not healthy.

if you wanted a good dog diet,try buying the cheaper ground beef at stores,then mixing it with different grains and vegetables to see what works.i say experiment because i had a dog in the past who was alergic to both rice and corn,it would cause her hair to fall out,but she was fine with practically anyting else.
 

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food makes a large difference on a dogs wellbeing,just like it does a humans.

buying them cheap dogfood is like feeding a human mcdonalds every day,sure your fed,but its not healthy.

if you wanted a good dog diet,try buying the cheaper ground beef at stores,then mixing it with different grains and vegetables to see what works.i say experiment because i had a dog in the past who was alergic to both rice and corn,it would cause her hair to fall out,but she was fine with practically anyting else.

A man after my own heart. I completely agree with you. Dogs (cats, too, I'm sure) get all sorts of horrible skin conditions from eating crappy, low quality food. And they have to eat SO MUCH of it! They get bloated. They get fat. If we just fed our dogs what we eat . . . veggies, meat, some grains . . . they'd be SUCH happy, healthy critters.

Purina and others would have us believe there's some secret to feeding dogs well. There isn't. They can be happy and healthy eating just as we do.
 

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Cheap pet food is mostly junk. The animal will eats lots of food, makes lots of poop, and there is little protein or nutrition in it.

We rescue a lot of animals, mostly cats, and we feed them pro-plan and initially add half a SMALL can of Fancy Treats for moisture. This due to double treatment for ear mites, worms and fleas - to allow passing the worms easily. The reason she uses pro-plan dry is so homes she finds for them are not hooks for more complicated meals.

Cheap foods are just fillers of worthless value.

For our own pets, they eat better than most people, but would not expect others to do so. That's just how my wife acts.
 

beerftw

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A man after my own heart. I completely agree with you. Dogs (cats, too, I'm sure) get all sorts of horrible skin conditions from eating crappy, low quality food. And they have to eat SO MUCH of it! They get bloated. They get fat. If we just fed our dogs what we eat . . . veggies, meat, some grains . . . they'd be SUCH happy, healthy critters.

Purina and others would have us believe there's some secret to feeding dogs well. There isn't. They can be happy and healthy eating just as we do.

yeah its very important to their coat as well on their food.both cats and dogs are omnivores not carnivres like their wild counterparts,they need certain nutrition.problem ofcourse is cheap fillers,they are mostly gluten and corn.heck your average dogfood is probably made of mostly orse testicles,eyeballs,ground up bone and marrow etc,just leftovers.

ofcourse i also have a belief a dog cant be eaing food more expensive than mine,which is why i reject these top dollar dog food brands,when i can make my own with ingredients i can see,not just dried kibble at premium prices more exppensive than my food.
 

MaggieD

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yeah its very important to their coat as well on their food.both cats and dogs are omnivores not carnivres like their wild counterparts,they need certain nutrition.problem ofcourse is cheap fillers,they are mostly gluten and corn.heck your average dogfood is probably made of mostly orse testicles,eyeballs,ground up bone and marrow etc,just leftovers.

ofcourse i also have a belief a dog cant be eaing food more expensive than mine,which is why i reject these top dollar dog food brands,when i can make my own with ingredients i can see,not just dried kibble at premium prices more exppensive than my food.

I just asked Tom how much it cost to feed Josh. Tom said he buys six to eight rotisseried chickens a month for him at $5 each and he eats $20 worth of premium dog food a month -- so that's about $60 a month.

Compared to the $3,000 vet bill we got for him, that's chicken feed! :lol: :lol:
 

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There's some truth to what you say but with a qualifier - in nature, virtually nothing tastes good to a dog/cat that isn't naturally good for them as well. Not so true in the pet food industry. With my current dog, any food with corn or cornmeal products gives her cramps and diarrhea and almost all no-name pet foods are loaded with corn and cornmeal products because it's cheap filler.

If you're going to have a pet in your life at least have some concern for the wellbeing of that pet. Their lives are so relatively short as it is, why make life shorter for them.

While I agree entirely, that's just not the case with most animals. They use corn mean and the like, not only because it's cheap, but because for the overwhelming majority of animals, it's just fine for them to eat. There are a lot of premium pet food companies out there that are only too happy to tell people that it's bad for their animals when there's no evidence to back that up. It's a marketing ploy, nothing more. For every animal that you can find that lived less than the average lifespan on a generic diet, there are animals that lived longer than the average lifespan. For every animal on the expensive stuff that lived a long time, there are animals that died younger.
 

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An outdoor cat, aside from the dangers inherent in that lifestyle, is probably eating healthier than most housecats. Still, you're probably right, but like Canada John says, their life spans are sooo short -- and they find such great JOY in wonderful, tasy food -- it seems a shame not to feed it to them.

This is actually true, sadly.

What's the first thing that comes to everyone's mind when I ask the question "What kills an old cat more often than anything else?"

9 out of 10 people will say "kidneys."

That's not a coincidence. Cats don't have "bad kidneys." They have amazingly efficient kidneys. So why do they go bad so often?

Dry food. Like dogs, cats can't really metabolize starchy crap, and it's likely to make them fat (diabetes and related issues). But there's an even bigger problem.

Cats have basically zero thirst drive. They're dry-weather critters. They won't drink water until they're 3% dehydrated, which is severe dehydration. They are designed to get almost all of their water from their food.

A cat fed nothing but kibble is likely to develop urinary and kidney problems, often requiring surgery and leading to a slow slide into kidney failure, because they've spent their entire lives being chronically dehydrated.

What's worse is that once a cat is on that stuff, it's hard to get them off. The companies do the same thing to pet food that they do to people food: they make it addictive. And cats are famously difficult to sway. You can't starve a cat, even for a couple days, without risking their liver getting fatty build up. So it's very hard to transition a cat.

I feed Pia a completely raw diet. Even though she was young and healthy to begin with, I have notice her coat looks better, her bowels are better, and her breath doesn't smell.

Wet food is good too, as long as you're making sure it doesn't have a high content of "filler." Of the "big name" cat foods, I'd say Fancy Feast pate is the best. There's better, but it's pretty decent and reasonably priced.

There are commercial raw diets available. They include meat, bone (finely ground), and organs. A cat needs all three for a complete raw diet. But they just look like little patties of meat, so it's not tough for me to feed it to her.

As a single person, I just don't have the hours to spend in the kitchen to make a balanced raw diet from scratch, but I like this stuff a lot.

They make them for dogs as well. The dog versions have a higher content of non-meat foods, since dogs are a little bit omnivorous and benefit from that. I really like Nature's Variety and Primal, which pressure treat to kill bacteria.

It costs exactly the same as feeding her all Fancy Feast, so although it's more expensive than dry, it's really not that bad. And it's worth it. She really loves it a lot. I didn't even have to transition her. She took to it right away.

My elder kitty could not eat raw because she had a compromised immune system, but she did eat 100% wet food. She never had kidney problems.

My father's last cat, who was fed all dry food before veterinary medicine realized how bad it can be, died of kidney failure.
 
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molten_dragon

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Josh, our German Shepherd, is 13 years and 2 months old. He's alert, happy and thin. Unfortunately, he has problems with the nerves controlling one of his back legs, so he's a hippity-hop boy. But he goes for a 1/2-mile every single day...happy as a clam.

He's my fourth shepherd. The only one who's lived past 11.

Why?? Because, for the first six years of his life, he was kept on a "model's diet." He was skinny as a little bone when we got him. When we drove him home, we had him in the back seat with a 50# bag of dog food. We had to put it in the trunk, because he began chewing it open on the drive home he was so hungry.

Of course, we fed him more -- and he probably gained 15-20#. But he's still thin. We feed him rotisseried chicken broken apart (pre-cooked from Sam's Club) along with 2 cups of high quality dry food. (Twice a day instead of one big meal....1 cup dry food and chicken each meal.)

I just thought I'd pass along what I wish I'd found years ago . . .

If you're buying the "homeless variety dog food," you're doing your loving family member a terrible injustice. (IMO, of course.)

I'm not sure how much that really counts for. It's a very small statistical sample size. As a counter to it, the dog I had growing up ate purina moist and meaty dog food (which definitely isn't on the real healthy end of the dog food spectrum) and table scraps and lived to almost 18.

Our current dog is eating sam's club brand dog food and is doing great.
 

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I had a golden / chow mix who lived to be almost 15. When we first got her she was a year old and we fed her "Old Roy" brand. Her coat got dry and her skin became itchy and flakey ... After that I always fed her table scraps, Purina canned and Purina dog chow and switched to senior formula with a spoonful of cod liver oil when she got older. We always watched her weight and cut back the portions when she got too "chunky".
When she was about 11 years old she developed arthritis and presented with a bad limp. I started to give her 1500mgs of Glucosamine/chondroitin‎ daily with a hard boiled egg and some butter. Within two months the limping went away and she enjoyed daily walks of at least 1/4 mile up to her dying day.
We are what we eat ..and so are our pets.
Good luck and enjoy your Shepherd Maggie.
They just never live long enough.
 
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CanadaJohn

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food makes a large difference on a dogs wellbeing,just like it does a humans.

buying them cheap dogfood is like feeding a human mcdonalds every day,sure your fed,but its not healthy.

if you wanted a good dog diet,try buying the cheaper ground beef at stores,then mixing it with different grains and vegetables to see what works.i say experiment because i had a dog in the past who was alergic to both rice and corn,it would cause her hair to fall out,but she was fine with practically anyting else.

Hamburger is good, I give it to my dog but only grilled - rice and corn bother her digestively, but potatoes settle her stomach. Dogs can be funny and you have to experiment sometimes to find what helps and what hurts so I agree with you totally.
 

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While I agree entirely, that's just not the case with most animals. They use corn mean and the like, not only because it's cheap, but because for the overwhelming majority of animals, it's just fine for them to eat. There are a lot of premium pet food companies out there that are only too happy to tell people that it's bad for their animals when there's no evidence to back that up. It's a marketing ploy, nothing more. For every animal that you can find that lived less than the average lifespan on a generic diet, there are animals that lived longer than the average lifespan. For every animal on the expensive stuff that lived a long time, there are animals that died younger.

I think this is a little bit like natural medicine.

Are there natural remedies that work? Yes. Your doctor might recommend something like fatty oils for joint/heart health. They might recommend aspirin, which is basically tree bark. They might recommend a steady intake of cranberry if you have UTI problems. There are all kinds of natural things that do work.

But because there are some people who look at natural medicine because they completely distrust synthetic medicine, this leaves room for quacks and con artists to make up a bunch of crazy stuff and sell you crap that doesn't work, because they're selling it to people who will automatically discount ANYTHING modern medicine says.

However, that does not mean that some natural medicine doesn't work.

Same deal here. Are there dishonest companies making extraordinary claims? Yes, absolutely. There is also a fanatical camp within the raw feeding faction that says all commercial pet food is bad, and there is no such thing as animals getting sick from contaminated meat. These people are willfully ignoring reality because they distrust everything science says.

However, there is actual science to support some of the harms that come from low end pet food.

There is actual science that, in cats, an all dry food diet can lead to urinary and kidney problems. There is actual science that for many animals with IBD and other bowel problems, getting them off of starchy food can dramatically improve symptoms. There is actual science that cats and dogs don't metabolize that stuff very well to begin with, which can cause weight gain and related issues, and they can develop allergies with repeated exposure.

There's all kinds of diets you can feed an animal that will be healthful for them, both commercial and not. There are all kinds of diets you can feed an animal that will be terrible for them, but commercial and not.

The trick is not being a fanatic or a sheep. To really look at it objectively.

Would Pia die next year if I suddenly gave her nothing but dry food? No. But by the odds, and by the science, she will live longer if I don't.
 
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I think this is a little bit like natural medicine.

Are there natural remedies that work? Yes. Your doctor might recommend something like fatty oils for joint/heart health. They might recommend aspirin, which is basically tree bark. They might recommend a steady intake of cranberry if you have UTI problems. There are all kinds of natural things that do work.

But because there are some people who look at natural medicine because they completely distrust synthetic medicine, this leaves room for quacks and con artists to make up a bunch of crazy stuff and sell you crap that doesn't work, because they're selling it to people who will automatically discount ANYTHING modern medicine says.

However, that does not mean that some natural medicine doesn't work.

Same deal here. Are there dishonest companies making extraordinary claims? Yes, absolutely. There is also a fanatical camp within the raw feeding faction that says all commercial pet food is bad, and there is no such thing as animals getting sick from contaminated meat. These people are willfully ignoring reality because they distrust everything science says.

However, there is actual science to support some of the harms that come from low end pet food.

There is actual science that, in cats, an all dry food diet can lead to urinary and kidney problems. There is actual science that for many animals with IBD and other bowel problems, getting them off of starchy food can dramatically improve symptoms. There is actual science that cats and dogs don't metabolize that stuff very well to begin with, which can cause weight gain and related issues, and they can develop allergies with repeated exposure.

There's all kinds of diets you can feed an animal that will be healthful for them, both commercial and not. There are all kinds of diets you can feed an animal that will be terrible for them, but commercial and not.

The trick is not being a fanatic or a sheep. To really look at it objectively.

Would Pia die next year if I suddenly gave her nothing but dry food? No. But by the odds, and by the science, she will live longer if I don't.

You are right, but you're not arguing that the cheap food is bad, but an excess of dry food (generic or premium) is bad in specific circumstances, or that a particular kind of food is bad for an animal with a specific kind of problem. That doesn't say that food is bad, only that in certain circumstances, a different diet is called for. Yet there are a lot of fanatics out there, as you mention, who want to convince people that because rare exceptions exist at all, that *ALL* commercial foods are bad for *ALL* animals and that's just not the case. It's like saying that because there are diabetic humans, all sugary foods ought to be taken off the market for everyone. It's absurd.

If you have a special-needs pet, by all means, treat the special needs, don't assume that those special needs makes the diet a requirement for all animals.
 

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Anyone who knows anything about nutrition for dogs, would know a BARF diet is far,far superior to any dry food. I can't understand why no one hasn't mentioned it :)

http://www.landywoods.co.uk/index.html

Paul
 
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Anyone who knows anything about nutrition for dogs, would know a BARF diet is far,far superior to any dry food. I can't understand why no one hasn't mentioned it :)

Landywood Pet Foods : Home

There are also accounts claiming that a raw diet killed their dog. There is no evidence that it's automatically superior, sorry. It's all emotion.
 

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There are also accounts claiming that a raw diet killed their dog. There is no evidence that it's automatically superior, sorry. It's all emotion.

Yes, there are accounts of dogs choking on a bone, true. Does that make the diet nutritionaly inferior?

As for a decision based on emotion, you could not be further from the truth. As a person who has entered his dogs in 'irondog' competitions for many years, the fuel they take on board is critical to their performance. Logistically BARF is not for everyone, but I would advice anyone so inclined, to give it a go.

Paul
 

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A lot of the dog's lifespan depends on what the breed is. Irish Wolfhounds? Lucky if you get 7 years. Lots of breeds have suffered from their bad manipulation in the past, so many German Shepards got messed up hips wise from irresponsible breeding. I lost my wonderful Irish Terrier last November after 12 years, but before that, I had an epileptic Airedale that lasted 5, and an oorang Airdale before that only lasted 7. Boxers have all kinds of problems, as do Pugs, Dalmatians, etc. If you want a healthy dog, choose a healthy breed.
 

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A lot of the dog's lifespan depends on what the breed is. Irish Wolfhounds? Lucky if you get 7 years. Lots of breeds have suffered from their bad manipulation in the past, so many German Shepards got messed up hips wise from irresponsible breeding. I lost my wonderful Irish Terrier last November after 12 years, but before that, I had an epileptic Airedale that lasted 5, and an oorang Airdale before that only lasted 7. Boxers have all kinds of problems, as do Pugs, Dalmatians, etc. If you want a healthy dog, choose a healthy breed.

Shepards have declined to a point, that in the UK, the MOD has started to phase them out in favour of the Belgian mallinois (spelling?). More affectionally known as 'malligators' due to their fiestyness and ability from about 5 months!

Paul
 
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