I Love To Talk Nutrition!!


Hey, if anyone wants to find or talk about foods I'm in. I work in a small pet shop in rural Wisconsin and am totally into good dog foods. Besides stupid Eukanuba, we do not sell a dog food that I would not recommend. I go to a number of pet industry shows that I get to see all the new and weird pet foods out there.


Staff member
We have 3 health food stores for dogs in the city I live near. They're fantastic, and get in so many awesome dog foods. (and none sell eukanuba!) They also sell commercial raw and barf diets, as well as top of the line suppliaments, grooming gear, toys, treats and accessories.

I'm all about feeding top quality foods, and my dogs thank me for it!


Honored Member
this is a good topic!
WHAT YOU FEED A DOG===> effects their HEALTH...Sooner or later.......

It is amazing how few people seem to understand dog nutrition. Ppl, if you are buying your dog food in a grocery store, it is crap. Sorry, but that is the sad truth, pure crapola!!:poop: and it does contain actual crap. ("animal digest")

Grocery store dog "food", no matter how much you paid for it, or even what your vet says-------
is mostly corn(undigestible to dogs, merely a filler, mixed with carcinogenic preservatives that have been banned for human use---but i guess it's okay if our dogs get cancer???
and, "byproducts"----that is like hooves and beaks!!!! soy, wheat, brewer's rice (which is just like peanut shells) or even "animal digest" , they even put actual CARDBOARD:eek: "cellulose" in many grocery store dog foods!!

YOu say---but, the 1st ingredient says "chicken" or whatever, BUT, the ingredients are listed by WEIGHT, and the meat is weighed prior to being dehydrated, when it is 80% WATER.....so once it IS dehydrated, the meat falls wayyyyyy further back in the list. "Meal" is good thing, is partially dehydrated meat. Also, all meats should have specific name, like "turkey", not the word "meat".
THE PROTEIN % ON THE SIDE of the bag, ALSO INCLUDES PLANT PROTEINS, and even leather would have protein, SO DON'T BE MISLED BY THAT NUMBER, and think, geez, must be lots of meat in here.

and once you get to the fat in the dog food ingredient list, after that, most other ingredients listed AFTER the fat, are pretty small amounts/not main ingredients at all.

Back in the day, i did not know any better, and i too, fed my dog grocery store dog food. I cringe about it now,:sick: but, i just did not know any better. I figured, if 1st ingredient is meat, it must be mostly meat, and if it costs a lot and has well known name, well, it's a good dog food! OH I SO REGRET what i fed previous dog...i just didn't know.

I learned a lot when i rescued a "life threateningly" malnourished dog, who was too weak to run, or even stand up more than moments, had fur like dried straw, weak weak weak.......so i studied dog food, and wow, it can be a little overwhelming when you are starting from scratch like i was.

Whenever we raw fed him, he got worms, the kind you get from raw meat. He "seemed" fine, but i do bring in stools for worm tests, and i dislike having to give him more drugs than i have to.
Plus, honestly, we are broke.(n)

I tried several top shelf brands, the grain free kind, but, instead of oats or rice, they tend to put in POTATOES, (nutritionally, potatoes are a starch, almost identical to rice or oats anyway) in much larger amts than my dog can handle, and he always gets gas on the grain free kinds of dog food. I know ppl whose dogs digest all those potatoes just fine, though.

so we settled on "Chicken Soup For the Dog Lover's Soul"--there ARE better dog foods, but, we either can not afford them or give him worms,
*my* dog can not digest them--too many POTATOES in the bag...
We make each meal 1/3 to 1/2 cooked meat (fish, beef, chicken, turkey, pork, whatever we have, he gets some, and 1 egg a week,) He does not just get straight kibble.

Also this dog food is a tad low on fats for a dog as active as mine, so i add in a dab of cannola oil for his coat about every other bowl or a few times a week, depends on what meat he got on the kibble, and occasionally i bust a fish oil capsule into his food.

because it is only about A DOLLAR A POUND!!!

And it has FOUR meats on top of list, (very hard to find, only Orijen list more on the top) and 2 of those are already in "meal" form.
and it contains NO CORN, (is indigestible to dogs, is only a filler) no poisonous preservatives, no proven carcinogens, no byproducts (that is like, beaks and hooves) no animal digest (you do not want to know what THAT is!) contains no brewer's rice, no soy no wheat, no fillers!! No cardboard either, “cellulose” it’s called on the label.

and does contain quality grains, many fruits and veggies, antioxidants, omega 3s and 6s, flaxseeds, probiotics, etc etc.

~~~~~~~~~~~`IS MADE IN AMERICA,
never gets recalled after you've already fed it to your dog.

SO IF YOU ARE BROKE, or, if your dog can't do lg amts of potatoes,:oops:


If you DO choose to change your dog’s food, SWAP OUT DOG FOOD SLOWLY, only a few kibbles at a time, over one or 2 weeks.
Rapid swap outs of dog food can give some dogs diarrhea and all kinds of problems, but, if done slowly, works out fine.


Well-Known Member
Glad to see this topic as I am really confused.

Our vet and pet store recommended Science Diet. I have been on the "Dog Food Quick list" which is mentioned above, already once and found that this recommended brand only received 2 stars - so what the vet and pet store are telling me is that they make the most profit by selling this brand??? How I HATE this attitude. I'll be shopping for another vet after asking him if he did his homework on dog food !!!

Unfortunately all these good brands are not easily available in Australia so I have decided to mix my own food for the dog in the meantime. I guess anything is better than the kibble that was recommended.

Currently I am feeding the dog 40% raw meat (beef, pork, lamb, chicken), 10% dried liver and 50% cooked meat. Once a week he get's a raw egg, spirulina tablet (fish food) and left-over salmon from the BBQ.
I know that essential vitamins are missing in the current diet and that I should do my homework properly. Can anyone recommend a link to a decent "home made diet" website?
In the meantime I will study the above mentioned sites to see if any recommended dry food brands are available in Australia.
Thanks in advance !


Tigerlily I loved your post! I feel the same way you do about dog food and am constantly trying to tell people this. I would buy the best food for my dogs if I had the money. I would love to feed them the premade frozen food that we carry at the petstore, but just can't afford it. Nor do I have the time with 2 jobs to make up my own with 4 dogs.
I like to try different dog foods, but have certainly tried "Soup" and think it is a very good food. It does have a lot of veggies in it, and if you have a gassy dog, it might not be for you, but it does have a high meat (that is to say muscle meat, not by-product) in it and I have recommended it plenty of times. I try to tell people that you are what you eat, and so are your dogs. If you eat crap, then you will feel like it and your health will be as such. I don't know why people can relate this to themselves and their children, but not to their pets.
Now here is a slightly random subject on this. I have a number of customers that buy good dog food for their dogs, but still buy cat chow or another grocery store brand for their cats. I can never understand this. Unless you have very little dogs, cats eat a lot less. My cat food is twice as expensive per pound as my dog food, but lasts a lot longer. My cat, which is a 12 pound ragdoll, only gets a level coffee scoop of food in the morning and one at night with a tablespoon of watered down wet food. I buy his food in a 12 pound bag and it lasts him for 3 or 4 months.


Honored Member
Staff member
On the comments on foods at grocery stores...
Lol, well what if you have a homemade diet? xD Haha, sorry Jean, just had to. ^^
Also, not arguing, but I have actually noticed that many grocery stores in my area are beginning to carry pretty high end foods! Not the best, but definitely FAR better than the crap that they normally sell. Many grocery store chains are beginning to try to compete with pet specialty stores by carrying better products. Like I said, they still aren't carrying 5 star foods, but I have seen some 4 stars!
It's actually kind of nice for the average pet owner. I would still go to a pet specialty store, because there are so many other things that I get there. ^^ But nonetheless, it's nice that the average pet owner who is perhaps less educated on pet foods still has a better option when they go to the grocery store.


Honored Member
@ Tx, yes, like i said, there ARE better dog foods,
but i can not afford enough meat to make his food from scratch, nor raw feed, but, who knows? maybe we will be back on our feet sometime soon, and then, we can afford extra meat just for the dog. I'd really enjoy making up his food. I DO MAKE UP ALL HIS 'TREATS' from scratch, only $6 to make almost an entire months worth!!
...........but his meals, maybe if he was small dog, i could afford it. Somedays, we eat weird stuff ourselves right now....ha.

i don't mean to claim Soup is #1 of all...i suspect Orijen is better dog kibble, but, i can't afford Orijen, and the veggie count is the same, (also, if it listed beyond the fat in the ingredient list, is a small item)
but they use potatoes instead of rice or oats.....
..but 'Soup' is free of the drawback of most, and better than many that cost 2x as much. Try to find one that lists FOUR meats on top in a row, and 2 of those are already in meal form(better). Hard to find four meats..on top, in a row. Only Orijen has more meats on top in a row.

I try try try not to feel guilty, i can't afford the better stuff, or to make all his meals, but, i feel content, for the budget we are on, we are doing best we can. Soup is good quality food, plus we do embellish every bowl.

Tx, i am stunned your grocery sells quality dog foods! O_o wow. I've yet to ever see 1 quality dog food in a grocery store, but, maybe my town is behind the times. Ha, wouldn't be the 1st time!! lol!


Honored Member
Staff member
Lol just a funny rebuttal to the "if you're buying your food from a grocery store" comment. Homemade diets can be good, lol! :)
Like I said, the grocery stores don't sell phenomenal, top of the line foods, but still very good considering it's a grocery store. Granted, they also carry a whole bunch of CRAP, but they do have a couple of decent foods. It's a very new thing; within the last month or two maybe.


Honored Member
To Ina, what a great point you make, that your vet recommended Science Diet (which is one of the worst ever).
I believe you, our vet is also either oblivious to dog nutrition, or, is getting some kind of kickback for recommending it???
(i just made that part up, about vets getting kickbacks, :pin fact i have no clue why vets don't know about dog nutrition)

That is why i mentioned, "no matter how much you pay for it, no matter what your vet says...blah blah "

I know many other ppl, who say, "But my vet recommended Purina!":unsure:(or some similarly crappy dog food)

THIS IS SO COMMON!!! I have zero explanation, even our new young vet, who i'd think would have most up to date knowledge, is all about Purina!!! WHAT?
Ina, you are NOT alone, in having a vet who is careless or ignorant about dog food. If you do want to find one who IS knowledgable, unwilling to recommend lousy dog foods, let me know how it worked out!! THOSE are HARD TO FIND!!!

i am going to look at the link from Charmed Wolf, above about home cooked dog foods, and try to calculate the cost...wouldn't that be great if i could make my own? i would in a heartbeat.

Also Ina, i think if you are feeding 100% meat, i think your dog's nutrition IS covered as far as vitamins go.....i think your dog is DARN LUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)


Honored Member
oh TX, i so agree!! I'd imagine, a homemade dog food, would be best of all!!! wouldn't it??? i'd think so!!! no argument from me at all!! but, i just can't afford the extra meat for a dog as big as mine.
Now, if i had a chihuahua, i bet i could though!!!!


Honored Member
also, just in case anyone is reading along, who is feeding Science Diet, or Purina, or some other grocery store dog food, i just want to say, if you reconsider what you feed your dog, and decide to change it, you have to swap out dog food SLOOOOOWLLY only a few kibbles each day, over 1 or 2 weeks.
and also, i sure hope i am not coming off as uppity, cuz, like i said, i just cringe about what i fed our other dogs....(hangs head) I wonder if my old dog knew he was getting crappy dog food alllll those years...i sure hope not...


Honored Member
@ CHARMED WOLF, i don't think i can afford a total raw diet, but, maybe i could give my dog an occasional raw piece of chicken......do you check your dog's stools at the vets for worms, or what?
Charmed, do you think, if i do decide to toss my dog an occasional raw piece of chicken, after he hasn't had any raw in almost 2 years now, do i need to "wean" him over to, starting only small at first?

BY THE WAY, INA, LOOK AT CHARMED'S LINKS!! They mention supplements, that you were asking about.....if dogs are on raw, no supplements are needed is what they say.

ha ha, EDIT---Ina, the one link IS from Australia, and she says, "email me if your vet needs more education about dog nutrition!!" ha ha!! cute.


Staff member
@Tigerlily I get most of my meat from hunters and from BJs and walmart so the price isn't too bad. Being in farm country does have some advantages ;)

I don't check their stool all that much. Maybe when I buy their flee pills and that's about once a year maybe twice. If I think anything is wrong though I can usually figure out what it is before hand. I can honestly say however I haven't had any worms pop up yet (Knock on wood) so maybe the worms are dying before they can lay eggs and such.

I don't think you have to wean him over except maybe with bone but not with the meat unless you think he might have problems. Mine didn't have any digestive problems when we switched protein sources but other dogs do. I personally like giving lamb ribs and beef ribs as the occasional over chicken. It gives them more of a challange I like to think.


Honored Member
THANKS!! Charmed, those links you posted are amazing, i am still wandering through them, VERY comprehensive, sure sounds great....maybe i will try to give Buddy some raw one day a week, then? I can afford that i think. Good tip on the ribs, then.


Honored Member
Staff member
During hunting season, my dogs do get a little raw venison. They love it.
I don't think I have the time or money to feed a homemade diet. As for both raw and homemade, I'm just so paranoid that I would mess portions up(of ingredients) or miss something and I'd be terrified they'd be missing out somewhere. But I'm super picky about kibbles, and they also get canned, raw meats, and Nature's Variety raw on a somewhat random schedule along with kibble. They have a pretty well-rounded diet.
Going to have to check out your links to raw though. I read about a new book called "Going RAWR!", it's a guide to feeding raw. Supposedly it's really good. Haven't downloaded the e-book yet on my new Nook, but planning on it! ^^


Well-Known Member
This topic really stirred me up. Instead of changing the vet I better go an educate him - I love having a good discussion with people until the see things my way <snicker>. This way I not only help my dog, but all the future dogs that get food recommendations from this vet (call me shit stirrer - but always for a good cause)
RAWR makes the most sense. Dogs might be domesticated animals but their tummy is still a dog's tummy. Why would they eat grains?
I learnt a lot about listening to your body when I fell pregnant the first time. Took me over 3 months to figure out that I was pregnant (duh?). Before pregnancy I NEVER drank milk, but all of a sudden I felt like having a glass of milk in the morning. Coffee tasted horrible and I found myself gulping down fruit and veggies instead of chips and burgers. Then I found out that I was pregnant and it all made sense.
Once I read about a study being conducted involving a whole lot of orphaned children. Every day a whole range of foods were made available and the kid could eat what and how much they wanted. Foods included meat, fish, veggies, fruit and lollies. The first day every child just munched down chocolates and sweats. However over a period of one week ALL the children consumed a healthy balance of proteins and vitamins. Not one of them overindulged in any particular food or had too many calories.
I think it's the same with animals. If you give them a choice of foods over a period of time they will automatically pick what their body requires.
Example: Every Saturday I give an egg to my dog. He LOVES it. My mum thought she'd be nice and give him an egg here and there too. But he doesn't eat it. 2 licks and he leaves the bowl. Now that proofs to me that the dog knows it's too much for his system.

Oops .. dinner time .. have to go :-)