Help Before I Go Crazy!


Experienced Member
OK. This post is going to be quite long, but bare with me as I feel like I need to type out everything.

I've been researching about dogs since I was fourteen years old, so you can say I have some information about canines in my brain, but not necessarily all of it. I don't quit learning. I am going to be seventeen (next week in fact. yay!) and feel as though my parents need to listen to what I think is best for the dogs, because clearly, they don't know what's best for them.

It has been at least 2-3 years where I have been wanting to change the dogs food because I don't want to them eating trash.

See, I'm shy, so when it comes to talking... I can't do it. I freeze up in certain situations and this would be one of those situations. I'll tell you the first memory I had about telling my step mom the food she was feeding the dogs was bad:

Me: You know that's bad for dogs.
Her: What? Why?
Me: (I explained as much as I could in that store as I kept stopping and froze up)

I then went online and emailed her links and informational websites pertaining to the subject. I emailed her about Blue Buffalo too. She replied back after probably being annoyed (and most likely unread information) and said we'd check BB out. She went into Tractor Supply the next time I was with her (I didn't go in. I didn't know she was looking at the food) and when she came back out I don't remember her saying anything. But then she later told me that BB was too expensive. And all conversation on this dog food thing stopped.

I emailed her different links, hoping to accomplish something. Nothing was done. My parents pay at least more than $40 on food a day for us, what about the dogs?

Anyway, so that was that.

In my sophomore year in high school, we had to write a persuasive paper on any topic. I chose commercial dog food. I got an A+ by the way. Hopefully my teacher changed his mind about the food they were feeding their pets. ;) Anyway, I was finishing up the final draft when my step mom and three sisters got back from the vet with the dogs for a check up. I was sitting on the computer with at book on commercial dog food on the desk beside me. My step mom came in and layed down on the bed. She started talking to my dad. I heard...

Her: I told the vet, "My crazy daughter keeps telling us the dog food we're feeding is bad" and then the vet said, "No dog food is bad" Are you kidding me? She recommended Science Diet. OMG.
Me: (I jumped in) Most vets aren't educated on nutrition. Science Diet is probably one of the worst foods out there.
It all says so in my final draft. READ it. Of course you're going to listen to the vet.

I can't remember what my dad said, but I know it made me mad.

They are currently on Diamond Naturals. They were on Ol' Roy since forever... and then my dad found Diamond at Menard's one day and picked it up. After this kibble is gone, they're probably going to back to Ol' Roy because "they love it so much"... if it's up to my parents.

I have a beagle x jack russell terrier who is eight. A beagle x chihuahua who is five. And most of you know, a miniature dachshund, who is two.

Cali (the BeaglexJRT) is constantly itching and scratching. And whenever she does my parents yell at her like she is doing something WRONG. Seriously?

I believe it to be from the food, BUT my step mom tells my sisters to use human shampoo on the dogs... because "it's the exact same thing". I've talked to her about this and sent her links pertaining to the subject of human shampoo versus dog shampoo... and nothing ever gets done. She doesn't care. Actually, my whole family could care less.

And I'm thinking the shampoo can be the cause of the itching too. She doesn't get bathed much, only when necessary.

I have all this information and none of it is getting used because A). my step mom is in denial B). she just doesn't care

Then she goes and humanizes them. Talks to them like they'll talk back. Baby talks and treats them as if they're little tiny human babies 24/7! Bothers them when they're sleeping and they'll give a warning growl, "Don't!" but she thinks it's just the cutest thing in the whole entire world that she does it over and over and over again when the dog is constantly warning her. Oh yeah... she doesn't know what that means. She doesn't know about body language. I could go on and on, but I want to get to the real point, although this subject is tough not to talk about.

I'm planning on paying for the food. Everything from now on for the dogs. My problem is, will things go back to the way they were before when I move out? Probably. Cali will most likely come with me seeing as though I'm the only one in the entire house who knows a thing or two about dogs and can actually take care of one on my own. My step mom has already mentioned that Vassar (beaglexchihuahua) and Rucker are staying with her, even though Rucker is attached to me and follows me everywhere I go, he has to stay with her. Meaning, everything I ever worked on with the dogs will go down the drain and they'll be back to they're normal selves. I can't work on half of the things I want to with them because of my parents. They don't understand dogs. They don't understand that they don't have human brains. UGH.

OK. To the point... How do I go on telling her about me wanting to switch foods? Email her? I most likely will. I seriously want to make the switch after I get back from vacation this month. There is one problem though... I can drive, but I have a fear of driving. And if I didn't have this fear and was driving, they wouldn't let me drive by myself, meaning one of them would have to come with me. They probably don't want to do that. They have to come with me anyway... lol

And about the shampoo? Maybe I should post a separate topic on the grooming section? I'll just post here for now... I have a 20-25$ giftcard to petsmart that I don't know what to use it on because I'm not much of a petsmart/petco fan. I have a 25$ amazon giftcard that I also don't know what to use it on.

Does petsmart carry any good shampoos/conditioners? If so, what are they? And if they don't, what shampoos/conditioners would you recommend, so I can look on amazon?

Oh yeah, and if I can't get them to take me anywhere for the food... Do you know of any good online dog food places?

I'm really considering Taste of the Wild. I'm not sure what formula because I don't know what's up with Cali yet. I've heard a lot of great things about it and want to try it out. Do you recommend any other high quality brand good for small dogs?

And... I'd LOVE to eat them raw bones to help clean their teeth. Cali has had several fall out already and Vassar is on the verge of being the next. I want pearly whites! :D
My step mom brings up how bad Cali's breath is all the time and I always reply with something about raw bones and she just ignores me! I can't get anything done. :(

Where do you get your raw bones? Are their any specific places where you can order them online too? I know it's probably more expensive online, but the chances of them taking me somewhere to get raw bones for the dogs is slim!

I'd love to feed them RAW, but I need to do a lot more research before I get into that so that's out of the question for now. Plus, my parents wouldn't let me even if I wanted to.

And raw eggs too. I also want to give them one every two weeks or so. My uncle gave his dog a raw egg and my step mom was like, "ewww" and then I told her it was good for them and she just ignored me.

If you made it to the end, thank you! I always gets wrapped up in typing. haha
~ Jordyquint


Well-Known Member
Hi there, oh dear seams you are being ignored when infact you are right! There are not foods that will harm any of our pets but some do have some ingredients in them that are seen as trashy foods, such as Bakers is full of adatives which is basically like giving e-numbers to Kids! Just sends them wappy some people wonder why thier dog is bouncing off the walls, Such as my nighbour was feeding her dog Bakers and I told her what it's like she changed the food and her dogs temperment changed he was less wappy and more focused! But then again every dog is different just like people! As long as they are getting a nice balanced diet and are fit and healthy they will be ok (y) But of course we all love our dogs and want to give them the best!

As for your Dog Who is constantly itching this could be due to the food he is getting some dogs can have allergies to certain foods, but could also be an allergy against human shampoo! That is a big NO NO and definatley not the same! I don't know where people get this idea from!! This is why dogs have seperate shampoo from Humans would they use dog shampoo instead of human shampoo? I doubt it! lol I would take your dog to the vets and get it checked out :)

I would consider trying new foods with them what you believe is good for them as I can tell you have great knowledge of this. I'm not sure on how to put this across to your parents though! As from what iv'e read they are not going to listen to you, you could try buying the food yourself and just swapping it! lol Have a browse on the internet and look around at different brands of dog food see which is the best! lol I don't think I will be able to help you on the store part of it as I live in the UK and I'm guessing you live in America?! LOL But I sure hope you do get your way :D (btw I havent just read up on this info I have a 1st and national diploma in Animal management which included nutrition) lol

Hope this was helpful! xx


Honored Member they sells dehydrated raw dog food... but its really expensive. 60-90$ for 43 pounds of food. But they have info on how much to feed. Since your dog is little the food might last a little more than a month. It ALL depends on the weight


Staff member
Ask your parents if they fed you guys Kraft Dinner and Candy every day when you were small? cuz that's all Ol' Roy is (Fillers, sugar, chemicals and the garbage that humans cant consume) Taste of the Wild is good, so is Acana, Natural Balance, Orijen, Merrick, and Horizon Legacy. They dont need to eat as much, either. My Mini's get 1/3 of a cup of dog food 2x per day. Mouse eats Acana Ranchland, and Boo eats Natural Balance LID Sweet Potato and Fish. Mine also get supplimented with Salmon Oil and a joint suppliment (for their backs).

I went through this with my Mom as well, when I was a teenager... we got into a fight about dog foods. So I got a job and started buying my dog food myself... she couldn't argue with that!


Well-Known Member
And I thought MY mom was difficult to talk to about dogs! When I got my dog two years ago she had no idea about dogs and treated him like a human child (in fact, she insisted I teach him how to get along with cats WITHOUT the cats being present, because apparently I "know how to tell him this"). She is a bit better now, but still refuses to believe he is not Lassie and has his problems. So I definitely know how you feel.O_o But I have to say, she has never doubted me and my knowledge about dogs and is also very committed to provide our animals with best food possible.

But anyway, let's go back to your problems. What if you suggest her/them to try the new food for, let's say, two months? And during this time you and only you can decide what the dogs will eat (so you can include bones). If it really is the food allergy that causes your dog to scratch so much (in my dog's case it was), he/she should be better by the end of this period. Maybe if your parents would see for themselves, they would finally believe you.
It could also be helpful if you would give them some money for better food, since the better it is the more expensive it is (usually). That way, they wouldn't have to pay much more than they do now.

As for the shampoo, it really is a big difference between human and dog shampoo. But I've heard baby shampoo is also acceptable for dogs, if buying the one meant for them os really such a problem (I'm not sure for USA, but in my country however the dog shampoo really isn't expensive and one bottle lasts for quite a long time).

Good luck with your parents and let us know how the things work out! :)

Here you can find many different brands of dog food, each analyzed and rated depending on quality.


Well-Known Member
Oh geez, you are in a really tough situation jordy. Have you ever heard the saying "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink"?

I can see it from your step mom's point of view though (even though I think you are absolutely correct, hear me out). Many teens go through the I KNOW EVERYTHING stage, and you are going against not only common practice, but also vet advice, (who is an adult WITH a very expensive degree on his wall). Believe a kid, or a degreed "pro". Many adults hate to be told by their well meaning children but it is hard to hear. Also, perhaps she is unaware how much you have researched this idea?

OK, now, I will tell you that I agree with you. I have fed raw for 8 years and am on my second dog on raw (tiny puppy). My Dane did not need ANY dental work her entire life and she was almost 11. I would love to read your paper, especially since I got 100% on a college essay for the same thing not 2 weeks ago LOL!

I think that you are right, even if you start buying their food, it will go back when you leave. I don't really know that even "showing" your step mom will work. She is SURE you are just a dumb kid (pardon the expression) and don't know anything.

Chin up! You are almost of legal age. You really are trying the best that you can and that is all that anyone will ask of you.

PS sometimes feeding raw is CHEAPER than feeding cheap dog food. I fed my Dane raw for free for 2 months once when my hubby was laid off. (during hunting season and it was a lot of work mind you).


Experienced Member
Good news! I get to make the switch. :)

The question is... what food should I try out first? I like the sound of ToTW, but do any of you have any other opinions?
I've been looking at different kibble for days now. haha I want something Grain Free. Let's do $55 or lower.


Well-Known Member
I cannot recommend a brand as I only go to the local grocery store, BUT, I am very happy for you! Good job! Your pets will benefit from a better food. If no one chimes (which I doubt will happen) I will do some research for you.


Honored Member
Staff member
You sound so much like me. I was the kid who told my parents that what we were feeding was crap, that we could go for a better food and feed less of it; I spent so much time on the soap box. Nonetheless, people who don't see the need(or don't want to see the need) for feeding your dogs good food will never accept that a little extra money for the dogs is worth it. Hate to burst your bubble, but my parents still don't think that I should be spending what I spend on food. I've even gotten down to the nitty gritty and physically showed them the differences in ingredients and explained why each is good or bad. Doesn't matter. Their family, way down the line, has never been the type to find the best of the best for their pets. Doesn't mean they are bad pet owners or that they don't care about their pets, just means they don't understand why good food is important and can't see why more expense is worth it.

When I got my first job is when I started feeding my dogs whatever I wanted. You may be in the same boat. You seem to be in a situation much like I was, and in my case, my parents wouldn't budge on the issue. But, you can keep at them in the meantime to try to convince them. :)

Taste of the Wild is a good food for a great price. But, recently(in Texas anyway) the price has gone up, I guess due to its growing popularity. Nonetheless it is a good food.
Don't let the Loyall reps sell you on that crap that some of the Tractor Supplies are starting to sell. Last weekend I was at Tractor Supply and the rep started giving me her spill. I told her I fed Blue Buffalo Wilderness and Taste of the Wild and she had nothing more to say to me. xD Lol.
Chicken Soup for the Soul is a good food that is not expensive. I fed it to my dogs for a while, but I had to feed a lot of it because my dogs couldn't keep weight on, I guess due to their activity level and how much we exercise. It's not a high calorie or high fat food. It also gave Mud gas. But, I know lots of other people who feed it and their dogs are doing great on it.
You might be able to get your parents to compromise on 4Health at Tractor Supply. It is not the best food, and probably not what your pick would be, but it is a thousand times better than Ol' Roy and even Science Diet too. It is a mid-grade food I would say, for a good price. Any of the high end foods with the first 3-4 ingredients being meats, and all the other good ingredients, are going to probably be more than your parents are willing to spend. But 4Health might be a decent compromise for the both of you.

Also, don't be embarassed to be that weird person reading the ingredients of every bag in the store. :) I am that person, lol. Don't read one bag of one brand and write off the whole brand. Some brands have better formulas within the brand--for instance, with some brands you'll find that the salmon formulas have a much better ingredient list than other formulas of the very same brand. I hate ProPlan, such an overrated food, but the Sensitive Skin or whatever it's called is much much much better than the rest of their foods. It's all junk, but that one particular formula is a whole lot better.
I was a Pet Products Manager at Petsmart a few years ago, so I spent a loooot of time reading ingredient lists. :) Don't let reps from ANY brand sell you on anything. Read ingredient lists for yourself. For instance: Bil-Jac. Bil-Jac is JUNK, sorry to anyone that feeds it but I'm just being honest. Read the ingredient list and try to find one thing that disproves that. But the Bil-Jac reps will give you all kinds of reasons why it's the best food ever made and everyone should feed it.

Good luck. :)

Okay, didn't read through all the replies before my spill, lol. CONGRATS! As fas as what Tractor Supply has, Blue Buffalo Wilderness and TOTW is the best they have. BBW also now has a small breed formula, but not a lot of stores have it just yet. As I said before, if you can find somewhere that has Chicken Soup for the Soul, it's a good food for a great price. Think it's around $35 for a 35 pound bag, but look it up and check out the ingredient list. Pretty good bargain I think.


Honored Member
Staff member
On shampoos, I have used the Nature's Miracle shampoos from Petsmart and do like them. I have also used Castile soap, bought at Target or Amazon. Natural and does not contain any fragrances, unless you get one with fragrances--but if you do, best thing is the fragrances are from natural oils. I also used to use one called la Dolce Vita I think....??? I will have to look it up. Haven't been able to find it anywhere for years, but it was GREAT. Completely natural, with natural oils for fragrance, smelled INCREDIBLE, and their coats looked and felt absolutely gorgeous. But like I said, I can't find it anymore. :(


Experienced Member
Good news! I picked up a bag of ToTW (Lamb) and started the switch with the dogs last night. Tomorrow I'm thinking about increasing it to 50% as I'm going to increase a little more (than 25%) tonight. Is that too early? I hope I have enough of the old food...

So far they're enjoying it and keep sniffing the bag. I'll probably rotate between flavors too. :)


Experienced Member
I don't like the cheap brands of dog food, but of them Purina is my favorite. I feel bad for feeding them this food, but I just moved out of my house to go to college and money is tight. When possible, I use some of the old food that my family has (not rotten or anything, just a little old) and them meals out of the the doggie cookbook I got for Christmas. (The Healthy Dog Cookbook: 50 Nutritious and Delicious Recipes Your Dog Will Love by Jonna Anne. It's awesome by the way.) If this is an option for you, it's a good idea. I'm not sure I support the raw diet because of things like salmonella, but I haven't done any research on it.

If your dog continues to scratch, try allergy medicine. You can get it in the pet aisle at Wal-Mart and it gives instructions for dog dosage. I found that one of my Border Collies has allergies, and I really noticed a difference in her scratching when I began allergy medicine. Many dogs are allergic to wheat and corn, which is usually one of the main ingredients in cheaper dog foods.

I completely understand the whole thing with your family not listening because mine was the same way. Despite me researching pretty much everything dog in my spare time, my mom wouldn't listen to me. We live in the country and until I got old enough to do anything about it, our dogs were always untrained, not given their shots or taken to the vet, and left to roam ours and the surrounding properties. I began buying everything for them as soon as I was able to, and told her not to interfere with how I did things. Even though I knew what I was doing, she wouldn't listen. When I began taking them to training, I told my family not to do things I knew would mess up the training, but they did it anyway. The same thing happened when my Australian Shepherd had to get a plate put in her leg. They would let her outside to run around when her leg wasn't fully healed, even though the vet told us to not let that happen when my mom was standing right there.

Even though we are right sometime, our parents are going to listen to us because we are "naive". Just do your best to handle it until you're old enough. I know exactly how it is because I'm 18 and until about 20 days ago, I was going through the exact same thing. From experience, trust me when I say it will get better.

I hope this helps! :)