diet and health

Discussion in 'Dog Health' started by lonewolf, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. lonewolf Guest

    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.

  2. Jean Cote Administrator

    Thank you for sharing your story with us Lonewolf! It's really sad when you hear that your best friend has cancer, especially when there is no cure for it.

    It makes me angry to see big dog food companies getting rich while selling crap food, I buy a high quality Canadian made kibble for my dogs right now, the price is much higher than the other brands but my dogs seem to be in very good health. The sad thing is to see people buying the cheap brand, I mean; I've seen a huge 45lbs pound bag for like $15 bucks, how good can that food be?

    I personally think the best prevention to ill health is a positive attitude, proper nutrition and plenty of exercise, for dogs and humans! It may not prevent everything but it’s a lot better than those poor overfed and under exercised dogs you see walking with their owners.

    Could you tell me more about that brand of dog food? I’m intrigued and would like to seek a small bag, see what results I get from it. :)
  3. lonewolf Guest

    Hi Jean,
    Sure be happy to. I use wellness. I am not promoting this brand and there are many great whole healthy brands out there. I just stuck with this one because I saw improvements in my dogs and also changing brands is not always the best because dogs tend to get diaria if I keep switching brands. The food is made by a company called http://www.oldmotherhubbard.com. It is a blend of meat ( that is the main ingrediant ) veggies and fruit. Usually the veggies and fruit combo stays the same, (Carrots, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Apples, Blueberries, Flaxseed, ). The food is also loaded with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. They also add vitamins and helpful bacterias too . ( Beta Carotene, Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols (a natural preservative), Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Chicory Root Extract, Garlic, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Green Tea Extract, Lactobacillus Plantarum, Enterococcus Faecium, Lactobacillus Casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus.).
    They do offer a complete nutritional guide to all ingrediants on the site so you can look up each ingrediant. Vitamins ,antioxidents and omega three acids have not been proven to add any benefit to human or pet diets but keep in mind until just a couple of years ago they said the same thing about vitamin C and have now declared it to be an excellent preventative against immune type of diseases. They also offer a calorie count to the food as well ( try getting that from a commercial dog food company ). For example one cup of kibble is 450 calories. As for cost it is more expensive then alpo but the physical and mental changes you see to the pet are remarkable. One 15 pound bag of kibble is 22.00. That lasts me two weeks with both dogs.
    I also add a product called the missing link ( this aids in the process of breaking down the nutrients in processed food and due to the short intenstine of dogs food does not get to much of a chance to absorb as quickly as it does in humans and there is a chance that they may not get all the nutrients the dog food has ), ( yes I am greedy and want to get all I can out of the food I buy them ) Steve Davis a world champion bodybuilder uses missing link so you know it is safe for humans too LOL.I have found it is cheapest on ebay for 9 bucks per one pound bag and it lasts two dogs a month. then to that I add prozyme which is an enzyme which is excellent for taking the absorbed nutrition and guiding it to joints and bones. That is 39.00 and lasts for 365 feedings. I also add a tab of vitamin C once a day and I can get 500 tabs for about 5 bucks so that lasts for a long time. So thats my take, I would also love to hear from others and the type of food they find is helpful to the dogs.
  4. Jean Cote Administrator

    Wow Lonewolf, you really know your stuff!! I’m probably going to have to read that a couple of times before it sinks in, but it’s really awesome that you studied this stuff intensively. Your dogs are lucky to have you!

    I will definitely try a small bag next time I visit my pet store, I’ve looked on their website and a local pet store of mine carries it. I’ve actually tried their treats before and was quite impressed, except for the price of course, lol. But I’m glad that you have brought this up, and I will definitely let you know on how good it works out.

    P.S. You know there is a big key called “ENTER†to space out your posts! :D
  5. l_l_a New Member

    Lonewolf that is an excellent post, thanks for writing this! You have really done your research in pet nutrition. It is shocking when you think about how the cheap commercial dog foods are basically garbage, as you say the cast-away parts that are too contaminated or whatnot for human consumption.

    by the way what do you think of the BARF diet? I have not tried it myself, but I know people who do and pretty much everyone I know who does it, feels it is the best thing they have done for their dogs diet wise, even though it is a lot more involved than simply buying a commercial food. but I have read elsewhere that some of the "better" commercial brands are almost as "good" for the dog as BARF...?
  6. lonewolf Guest

    Hi l l a
    The barf diet (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) was developed due to the small intestinal track in dogs (and I guess cats although I do not know much about cats and diet).
    The problem people found is that dogs would not be able to absorb all the nutrition in processed food. It takes a bit if time for the stomach to break down processed foods. Humans have a much longer intestinal track so we can break them down.
    Basically the proper barf diet is 60 percent meat (40 percent meat and 20 percent organs) and 40 percent veggies and fruit.
    There is a problem though that is occurring and that is most people are not nutritionists and often the diet is lacking when prepared home style. Also the veggies and fruit must be chopped so small (like pepper) or again the dog will not absorb the nutrients. If the veggies and fruit are not chopped very fine you end up loosing the nutrition and that defeats the whole porpose. Juicers are not the answer either because the dog will not get any value just from juice.
    Many vets are seeing dogs that are suffering from malnutrition due to the increase in home diets.
    This all has become really popular due to the fact that there were tainted wheat products in commercial foods that killed so many pets. My boss lost her cat due to that.
    I don't make it because I do not trust myself to be able to prepare a full nutritional meal; I simply do not posses enough knowledge.
    There are companies that sell barf already prepared. It comes frozen in 2 pound plastic packs. One of my dogs eats at least double that amount a day. It is very expensive so it is prohibitive for me. It would cost me about 75.00 a week just to feed my dogs.
    I do use a processed food but I add a substance called the missing link. This is basically a natural enzyme type of formula (it uses allot of omega fats that speed the breakdown of food) and aids in transferring that nutrition to the dog. I also use prozyme which is a real enzyme product. Children born with cystic fibroses do not have the enzymes to break down food so the doctors found that adding enzymes help the child to metabolize the food, hence enzymes for dogs.
    So to sum up, I feel you can use a healthy processed food but you will have to add break down helpers. Missing link can be found on ebay for 9.99 a pack at it will last a 50 pound dog a month, prozyme is 50 bucks ( or around that ) and lasts for 345 feedings and that is about 6 months.
  7. dakotamom421 New Member

    :dogblush:I have been feeding my dog Blue Buffalo brand dog food, http://www.bluebuff.com/ it is susposed to be very healthy it uses no by-products, no artificial preservatives, and the main reason i started feeding it is because it has no corn, wheat, or soy. my 6month old border collie is allergic to these and the vet said he would have to eat science diet for allergies and when i did some research on this it said that it was not good for them to eat for a long period of time so that is how i found this food and with in a week of him getting this food he has not had any diareia which was an everyday thing before, his coat is now very shiny and i always get comments on how soft and shiny it is and his energy level is so much better then before. the only thing i dont like is that in my area they only cary the 15lb bag and have my puppy and my moms 2 older puppies eating it so i go through a bag in like a week and it cost more almost 10 dollars more to buy 2 15lb bags than one 30lb bag but its worth it.
  8. Jean Cote Administrator

    Do you buy this at your local pet store, or do you have to order online? Just wondering as shipping costs usually are too much for me.
  9. dakotamom421 New Member

    I get it at Petsmart it is the only store that has it in my area right now.
  10. Jean Cote Administrator

    Thanks, that is where I buy my food also, so I will check it out next time I go there - hopefully they carry it, Canadian stores don't always carry the same products as the U.S. stores.
  11. gngh New Member

    Outback Diet

    We used to feed our Police Dogs 250gms of steak, 250gms of mutton flap and up to 800 gms of biscuits per day; however, as we lived in an isolated area at the time, it had to be trucked in. Due to transport and refrigeration breakdowns, the meat went off quite frequently and as a consequence the dogs were always getting crook. The local vet suggested we cook them a stew made up of whole pumpkin; cabbage; rice, spaghetti, or noodles; plus biscuits.
    After a month the fat dogs lost weight, the skinny dogs put on weight and one of our overweight handlers complained that his 11 year old dog had so much energy he was wearing him out every night.
    Unfortunately our superiors got wind of our new diet and insisted we go back to feeding them according to the regulations. We did that: the once fat dogs got fat again, the once skinny dogs got skinny again, our overweight handler was over the moon and our dogs started getting crook again on rotten meat.
    The vet concerned based this diet on his lifetime of experience looking after and treating station dogs in the outback. Luckily for the station dogs they were allowed to continue their diet, plus a regular leg bone, and reported similar results as ours.
    There were no problems in getting the dogs to eat the new diet, dogs love cabbage. The only problem we were expecting was teeth problems due to the lack of bones.
    Had we had the time to secure a regular leg bone for them???
    Pencil pushers!!!

    I don't remember the exact quantities for this diet; however, the diet consisted of:
    Whole pumpkin (seeds, skin, everything) cut up to stewable size,
    Cabbage (again whole cabbage, stalks, leaves, everything) cut to stewable size), and
    Either rice, spaghetti or noodles.
    Place the lot in a saucepan and cook lightly.
    The amount of rice, spaghetti or noodles should be varied according to workload (keeping in mind too much carbohydrate in a dogs diet can be detrimental).
    From memory we also fed them biscuits, but in much reduced quantities from their normal diet.
    Bicuits were added after the stew had cooled, and just prior to feeding, to avoid them coming into contact with moisture. Biscuits swell and lose their teeth cleaning properties when wet. Wet biscuits also tend to harbor bacteria.
    I think the most important part of this meal was the bones. Bones are most important, if only for their teeth cleaning properties. I believe the best bones are leg bones, mutton flap and the like contain too much fat, and like carbs, too much fat is also detrimental. Remember though, dogs should never be fed cooked bones.
    It should also be remembered that this was one Veterinarian's idea of a working dog's diet. It worked wonders for our police dogs in the short term and it certainly worked well in the long term for station dogs.
    Station dogs and police dogs, however, are a world away from our pet dogs: station dogs work from sunup to sundown, 365 days a year, and are very nearly indestructable (although they do have a much reduced life span). Similarly, police dogs, although not indestructable, are extremely robust (read-very, very strong and huge of heart), and their lifespan is also severely reduced due to their workload.
    Station dogs are usually Kelpies and Australian Cattle Dogs.
  12. gngh New Member

    Outback Diet 2

    OK Jean.
    I don't remember the exact quantities for this diet; however, the diet consisted of:
    Whole pumpkin (seeds, skin, everything) cut up to stewable size,
    Cabbage (again whole cabbage, stalks, leaves, everything) cut to stewable size), and
    Either rice, spaghetti or noodles.
    Place the lot in a saucepan and cook lightly.
    The amount of rice, spaghetti or noodles should be varied according to workload (keeping in mind too much carbohydrate in a dogs diet can be detrimental).
    From memory we also fed them biscuits, but in much reduced quantities from their normal diet.
    Bicuits were added after the stew had cooled, and just prior to feeding, to avoid them coming into contact with moisture. Biscuits swell and lose their teeth cleaning properties when wet. Wet biscuits also tend to harbor bacteria.
    I think the most important part of this meal was the bones. Bones are most important, if only for their teeth cleaning properties. I believe the best bones are leg bones, mutton flap and the like contain too much fat, and like carbs, too much fat is also detrimental. Remember though, dogs should never be fed cooked bones.
    It should also be remembered that this was one Veterinarian's idea of a working dog's diet. It worked wonders for our police dogs in the short term and it certainly worked well in the long term for station dogs.
    Station dogs and police dogs, however, are a world away from our pet dogs: station dogs work from sunup to sundown, 365 days a year, and are very nearly indestructable (although they do have a much reduced life span). Similarly, police dogs, although not indestructable, are extremely robust (read-very, very strong and huge of heart), and their lifespan is also severely reduced due to their workload.
    Station dogs are usually Kelpies and Australian Cattle Dogs.
    This fellas name was Chum, my PD at the time, he enjoyed the diet.
  13. bigshowble New Member

    What do you all think about the Innova EVO dog food?
  14. chessiesrule New Member

    Lonewolf, I too have lost my best friends to cancer. I feed a home prepared diet that I got from my holistic vet. I also grow my own chickens and turkey, chemical free, just for them. i will do everything in my power to prevent this last pack of "kids" from getting cancer. My basic diet is 1 part carb, 1 part veg (no root veggies at the staple) and 1 part protein. As well I add lots of other stuff, like brewers yeat, salmon oil, calcium (citrate only) prozyme, vitamin e, kelp, glucosomine, and the list goes on. My big Chessie does agility and I keep him quite lean, my other Chessie has hip dysplasyia so she is treated holistically as well. She gets an Adequin shot every 4 weeks and glucosomine twice a day. You would not know that she has it and she is four years old and her rating is 4 out of 5 so her condition was pretty bad. You would not know it to see her. She does not do agility now but can run and play with the rest of the group. I had a golden that was limping and our vet had put him on Adequin and he ended up fine and continued to run with my husband until he ended up with cancer, hence, the home made diet. I don't believe in the raw chicken bone diet, dealing with chicken parts everyday, there are too many small bone pieces for my comfort zone. I do give them raw chicken with the first meal, then cook the rest and remove all the fat, skin and bones. I use the broth for the brown rice or potatoes. As for treats, they get liver that has been boiled for 5 min then dried in the oven. I cut it into pieces the size of a raison and that is what I use for all their training. They also get a chunk of frozen raw liver the size of a 1" cube in their kong everyday. They do get raw veggies as treats, I have a big garden in the summer and they get everything I grow from peas, beets, kale, broccoli and whatever else I can grow. The pain about the homemade diet is that you can only have 2 days on hand in the fridge unless you freeze it so I try to have my emergency rations frozen for a time that I cannot make it , but it seems I can never get ahead. My "kids" get lots of commercial dog biscuits for Christmas but I donate them to a Collie rescue place because I don't feed anything processed. The golden that we rescued had lyme disease and heartworm and when they have heartworm, they cannot move for two months after treatment so on this diet, he is loosing weight gradually. Now I am just waiting for what our rescue BC is going to have but no matter what,I will do whatever to keep them healthy.
  15. niki New Member

    Some very good health tips here. I'm very impressed and will look into them. I just wanted to make a comment on cancer in dogs, if someone is unfortunate enough to have a much loved pet diagnosed with it. My sister had her sweet Basset Hound, "Tucker" for about 15 yrs until he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She tried everything to make him feel more comfortable in his pain. She found a product called "pet life" that actually helped him live almost two more years without pain. Although expensive, not as much as chemo treatments and such I'm sure. I believe it's about $150 for a months supply . Most of us know that our pets are like our kids, so it's a small price to pay. I'm not endorsing the product, but only going by how happy my little "nephew" Tucker was to stick around with mom just a few more years, and how much my sis said it helped him. Just throwin that out there to all of you if you want to check it out...they have other products also.
  16. tdavies New Member

    BARF quantities, please

    Our six month and a few days, freshly spayed border collie is a bit heavy. Our trainer commented on it a week ago and the vet who did Trixie's surgery used the "count her ribs" method and found a bit extra at her waist. Her weight is 20.12 kilos.
    Right now she eats the equivalent of half a chicken a day, about a cup and a quarter of rice or oats and the fruit/veggie equivalent of one medium sized banana. The actual diet includes many varied foods ( salmon, beef liver, beef & pork bones, eggs, small amounts of vegetable oil, whole pumpkin, peas, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.), I used the daily intake example with the chicken for discussion purposes. Everything but the animal protein and some of the fruit is cooked.
    The vet suggested we reduce her intake by 10%/day which we're doing and keep everything on hold for two weeks to see if she's just growing in a different direction, for a while.
    I have a friend who lives on the cold Canadian prairie and she feeds her full-grown Polish sheepdog (a PON?) a double elkburger - meat, innards and ground bones - once a day.

    Her health is, in the vet's terms, "above excellent". Her coat's shiny. She's attentive and eager to please and learn. But we are concerned about her bit of extra weight.
    So how much should feed her? Thanks heaven, he finally got the question, eh?
  17. marieke New Member

    I give Guus Royal Canin junior. My boy friend wanted to give him the cheap stuff but I care about what I eat myself: vegetarian, biologic as much as possible, little sugar, little preservatives, the right kind of fat and stuff like that. So why not have high standards for my dog? I don't mind paying more for decent dog food. Although I do understand that some people simply cannot afford the more expensive stuff.

    I haven't fed him meat yet, I heard it makes your dog smell. Does anyone know if that's true?
  18. lurchergirl New Member

    As your story says, diet is extremely important for all sorts of things. Of course, it maintains excellent health if a good diet is fed. But it can also have a major impact on behaviour! Many behaviour problems are caused by poor diet or by food allergies. One of our lurchers has food allergies (to animal protein, so he is on a vegan diet). Before we realised what was going on, he had major behaviour problems which have more or less disappeared since he is on a vegan diet.

    Vera
  19. bsmom New Member

    Lonewolf-

    What form do the missing link and prozyme come in?- powder/liquid/??? Any special handling instructions (do they need to be refrigerated? Only mixed with specific things? Eaten within a certain amount of time after mixing?) My vizsla is turning into something of a picky eater... I'm worried that I may have difficulties with the products

    Any insight you could provide would be very helpful!

    Thanks :)

    "Baccio's Mom"
  20. hockey390 New Member

    When I first got my puppy I asked the breeder what type of food she was giving the litter. She was getting a mixture of dry Iams and also Canned Iams. Seeing how I am a first time dog owner I went with that just so that there was no inconsistency there. I went to the vet for our first few visits and the vet said this food was a great choice (of course this is what my vet recommends... :msnrolleyes:) When Emma got to be about 3 months old she got a terrible case of diarrhea and vomiting. I calmed this down by switching to a home cooked chicken and rice mixture, and then back to the regular food after a week. The diarrhea came back, no vomiting, but still I was not happy of course. So I started my path of research on foods. I decided to go with Wellness because of the ingredients and I just assumed my puppy had a weak digestive system and would need this food for a while as she developed. I am not planning on switching off of Wellness because I am happy with the results, and of course hearing some other input (which seems very knowledgeable) I don't plan on changing anything. I don't really like paying a high price and wish they sold larger bags, but I love my pup too much to not pay the extra for her benefit. Like everyone else, I'm not promoting... I just thought I would share that I am using Wellness and I've been very satisfied.

    As for the "missing link" I think I will probably give that a try.. Any more info on it Lonewolf would be greatly appreciated.

    And just out of curiosity, what food brands or home made meals are being used by all of you?

Share This Page

 
 
 
Real Time Analytics