I just wanted to start a topic on dog food and diet and health insurance. I had a beautiful chow chow named Sandy that passed on about 5 weeks ago from cancer. I have had dogs all my life but Sandy was that one dog that went beyond all my dogs and the one that was so deeply ingrained in my heart that when he got cancer I set out to find help to cure him. In doing research I found that 50 percent of all dogs die of cancer. This alarmed me as that is too great of a number. As I went on I found that nutrition is the least studied part of dog health. Most vets schools are funded by commercial dog food companies so the nutrition of a dog is the least studied and the commercial pet food companies push their product to vets as much as possible. In a research study done by science diet around 20 years ago it was discovered that carbohydrates are a major factor in contributing to cancer in dogs. Hills found dogs with cancer on a high carb diet actually induced tumors to grow at a rate of three times faster than dogs on a low carb diet. Commercial dog food is very high on carbs, with wheat by products. This means that the rice and grains in dog food were too sub-par for human consumption and are sold to dog food companies as filler for their product. Meat by products are whatever part of the animal that cannot be sold to humans, think beaks, feet, tails etc. There is a syndrome that seems to happen when you try to save a pet, everyone is on your side, the surgeon, the oncologist, the nutritionist etc. The only problem is all of these doctors cost ten times as much as your regular vet. Dropping 2k at a special animal hospital for one visit is the norm. All of these methods failed Sandy of course ( cancer is not an easy disease to treat in dogs and to the oncologist 3 months of remission before it returns is called a success ) The syndrome though that happens to the pet owner I call the " if onlys". If only I try this or if only I try that. The second problem that occurs is you are dropping 1000's of dollars on a hopeless cause. You only see that after it is all over. So the best way to keep your dog happy and healthy is to study a good diet plan for the animal. At least in most cases fluffy will pass on in his sleep from natural causes from old age rather than developing cancer, kidney failure etc. My last hope was to see a holistic vet. I went there with Sandy and he began to talk about nutrition, the importance of massage, brushing the coat for five minutes daily, brushing the teeth and massaging the gums and so on. As he was telling me all of this I was thinking " this guy is a quack" but I was desperate and willing to try anything. So I did all the things he said and although Sandy did die, his energy level and quality of life increased so much it was incredible. Even my poor old Ebony showed a 30 percent increase in energy and if she is outside in the sun, you would swear I put sparkles on her. That is how shiny her coat has become. I now use a brand called wellness ( I am not promoting it but i urge everyone to look into holistic pet food and try a brand for a month,) I can assure you will see such a mood and physical change that you will not believe your eyes.By the way all holistic brands were not on the recall list when the tainted grain of the commercial dog food was killing pets by the 1000's. What is a holistic pet food? A holistic pet food is a food that has certified organic meat ( not by products ) but real meat that was actually meant for human consumption. It also has certified organic veggies and fruit in it. It contains no white rice or corn or wheat fillers. It is basically a well rounded food that a human could eat and live on the only difference is it a low carb diet ( like the atkins diet for people ). Beside the food I use a also use a product called the missing link and I add an enzyme formula also. Enzymes help break food down and aid the body in faster nutrient absorption. A dogs intestine is so short that if they do not get a quality product they do not absorb many of the nutrients needed and you will see many types of disease develop in later age. ( thats why they can eat raw chicken) because the intestine is so short there is no time for salmonella to stay in the system or multiply.To that I also add one tab of vitamin C and I feed twice a day. I would also recommend health insurance for a pet, it is like 20 bucks a month but if your pet is ever in an accident or gets a serious illness most cover 8 to 10 grand worth of emergency service and that is a big help if your pal ever gets into serious trouble.