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Feeding my pup..?..

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I recently went into our local Petco in hopes t find some good shampoo tat would also be moisturizing. They asked why we were switching and I proceeded to let them know that she was itching a lot and has NO fleas, her skin was a little pink, but shampoo should ix it.?..

They told me that she was probably allergic to corn and I should switch foods instead,

within 24 hours her skin was normal and no more itching.

This is my first dog, I HAD NOT idea that they were so commonly allergic to corn.

Ths is well known?

any suggesstions on new food too?
post #2 of 16
Personally, I feed RAW...but if I fed kibble, it would be a grain free one. Orijen is probably the top of the line...there is also EVO, Taste o the Wild (which is pretty budget friendly) and some others.
post #3 of 16
Yep, grain, corn, - the most common allergens in dogs. Dogs are carnivores. Their bodies are designed to eat meat. So, it's no wonder so many can't tolerate corn or grains. A lot of kibbles use corn or other grains as fillers in the food.

If you don't want to feed raw or aren't comfortable with it - then you need to feed the best quality kibble that you can afford. I feed raw, but when traveling I do Timberwolf Organics. It is super expensive (at least for me), but it's a good brand and I only use about one bag a year since it's only for travel. I also hear Evo is good, and I've heard good things about Solid Gold ... but, I can't vouch for it as I've never looked at the ingredients or fed it.

Your best bet is to go into a pet store, and start reading kibble ingredients. Look for actual meat (as opposed to chicken meal), and look for corn free and grain free (or, at least, as little grain as possible). Sometimes dogs do OK on brown rice in kibble. It really depends on your dog.

Shampoo won't fix her skin if it's an allergy. Bathing the dog too much may actually worsen the problem. You can add some fish oil into her diet - that helps a lot. Give her a daily brushing too (after her skin has returned to normal).
post #4 of 16
Actually, I have heard that you want a meat meal to be first. If just the meat is listed it includes water weight so once its turned into kibble, it would drop down on the ingredient list. You dont want meat by products to be your first ingredients, but meat meal is good.

I could be wrong on that.
post #5 of 16
You might want to check out dogfoodanalysis.com They break down the different kibble formulas.

I am currently feeding two of my dogs Taste of the Wild high prairie formula. The other one gets Natural Balance duck and potato because she has inflammatory bowel disease and it is just about the only kibble she can tolerate.

I tried to feed the two dogs some Pedigree that I got for free. Within hours they were chewing their paws and scratching. Free or cheap isn't always worth it.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmagick View Post
Actually, I have heard that you want a meat meal to be first. If just the meat is listed it includes water weight so once its turned into kibble, it would drop down on the ingredient list. You dont want meat by products to be your first ingredients, but meat meal is good.

I could be wrong on that.
This is correct. 70% of meat is water, and they list ingredients by weight. So, if it says "chicken" as the first ingredient, and say they put in 10 pounds of chicken, what you really get is 3 pounds of chicken, and 7 pounds of water that is cooked off in the kibble making process. This means in a food with ingredients like- Chicken, Rice, Barley... there is likely more rice and barley in the finished product than there is chicken, because they are counting the water weight of the chicken. If, however they use chicken meal, that just means its been processed to lower the water content- normally it is ground and dried. 10 pounds of chicken meal in a food is 10 pounds of actual chicken protein that your dog is getting.

I avoid foods that only list whole meats. Meals are a must. So-
Chicken, Rice, Barely = not much chicken
Chicken meal, rice, barley= more chicken
A common thing to find is foods that go like this-
Chicken, chicken meal, rice, barley - in this case, the chicken is ok because it is immediately followed by a meal


The one thing you want to watch for is to make sure it is a NAMED meal- it should say "chicken meal" or "turkey meal" - Poultry meal is low quality and can contain any number of birds from unsavory sources.
For red meats it should say " beef meal" or "lamb meal" - "meat meal" or "meat and bone meal" are low quality products that can actually contain all sorts of nasty things

Also avoid "animal fat" or "poultry fat" which has the same issue. "Chicken fat" is a good ingredient.

The other thing to look for is by-products- you don't want them. Avoid "animal by products, chicken by products, chicken by product meal etc etc. If it says "by products in any form, you don't want to feed it to your dog.

There are a few other things to look for- artificial coloring is to be avoided, as are sugars and syrups near the top of the ingredient list, and two perservatives called "ethoxyquin" and "BHA" or "BHT" which are known carcinogens.

Allergy wise, avoid foods with corn, wheat, soy, and beef for sure. Chicken is a fairly common allergy as well. And I've heard avoiding sorghum is a good idea.
post #7 of 16
huh ... I always thought "_______ meal" was a euphemism for road kill or the horse that the farmer needed to put down, and the kibble company took.

But, that's probably just my weird paranoia! Like I said, I feed raw ... so I'm not a kibble expert. Definitely listen to the other ladies on here in that department.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
huh ... I always thought "_______ meal" was a euphemism for road kill or the horse that the farmer needed to put down, and the kibble company took.

But, that's probably just my weird paranoia! Like I said, I feed raw ... so I'm not a kibble expert. Definitely listen to the other ladies on here in that department.
Thats exactly what I used to think and I too, feed raw so never really gave it much more thought. But the dane forum I am on discussed it pretty often so I picked up some kibble info.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
huh ... I always thought "_______ meal" was a euphemism for road kill or the horse that the farmer needed to put down, and the kibble company took.

But, that's probably just my weird paranoia! Like I said, I feed raw ... so I'm not a kibble expert. Definitely listen to the other ladies on here in that department.
That is true for certain types of meal- Meat meal, Meat and Bone meal, Poultry meal, Animal fat, and Poultry fat all tend to come from rendering plants where everything from roadkill to euthanized pets and farm animals are processed. They are common in grocery brand kibbles. In addition, anything with "by-product meal" or just "by products" contain the parts of slaughtered animals that are not used for human consumption. These are found in grocery brands, but also in midrange kibbles, many of the foods that advertise on TV and in print have these for ingredients.

However, named meals, like "Chicken meal" or "lamb meal" or "ostrich meal" are high quality meat products that have simply had the water content removed, resulting in a concentrated meat-based meal. A meal is merely something that is finely ground up- like corn meal, for instance. If "Chicken" is an acceptable ingredient, "Chicken meal" is merely finely ground chicken thats been dried. By using chicken meal, you get more actual meat per pound. All of the top foods on the market contain named meat meals- Innova, EVO, Canidae, Orijen, Chicken Soup, Taste Of The Wild etc, all of them use named meat meals to provide quality, meat based diets.

Don't worry, its a really common misconception. With so many different kinds of meals, I can see how it would be confusing that some are very desireable, and some you want to absolutely avoid.
post #10 of 16
Dogs are omnivores with the bulk of their natural diets being meat. (Cats are obigate carnivores.) When a buk of it is grain, they can sometimes get a bit sick on it (including dry skin). However not all dogs are going to get sick off of corn-based foods. We feed Purina and our dogs do well on it. But they also get meat treats the offset the corn in the food they eat. Healthy skin and coats for them. Different dogs just thrive on different foods, same as with people.

Personally I'm just not so concerned about things with by-products. It's not like wild dogs are going to eat the steak pieces of animals and then turn away from the guts that we'd consider by-products. They love that stuff. At least it doesn't have the same nasty preservatives as in hot dogs.

I feed what my dogs do well on rather than being concerned about feeding the equivalent of filet mignon. If we were millionaires, we might feed other things because we can, but we're not going to send ourselves to the poorer-house either.

Feed what your dog does well on rather than getting hung up on the brand being this or that.
post #11 of 16
Oh, also there are a fair number of animal-enthusiasts who insist feeding Friskies and even Science Diet is akin to abuse for cats and shortens their lives. I was even told I was killing my cat who recently died and that I was an animal abuser responsible for his death. Aw, and here I was, thinking a cat living to just shy of 24 years old is actualy pretty impressive. I didn't realize I was cutting his life short...I thought I was just feeding him what he personally did best on!

Another 6 weeks and he would have lived to see 24 years old. Seriously. I just took the cues from him to find what food he did best on.
post #12 of 16
Noelle, I'm so sorry someone said that about your kitty - how insensitive and rude!

I do just want to point out that I don't think anyone is talking about feeding your dog filet mignon here - Also I don't think anyone that posted has a problem with their dogs eating guts. In fact, those of us who feed raw make sure to include hearts, kidney, liver, tripe in our dog's diet. I think what people have problems with the lower quality foods is the amount of really nasty crap that's in them - stuff no dog would eat in the wild and certainly isn't in the least bit healthy for them.

I'm NOT saying you are evil or your dog is going to die on Purina - it's not. But for dogs that do have a true allergy and can't tolerate the crap in most grocery brand dog foods, raw or high quality kibble is usually the only option.

And FTR, feeding raw can be very, very cheap. I can tell you our dog does not eat filet mignon - he eats whatever meat I can buy in bulk reduced price at the store - usually chicken thighs, liver and gizzards, pork necks, and whole fish. It's not expensive at all. When I board him I feed Wellness CORE - more expensive than grocery brands, but only by a few dollars and he does very well on it.

I don't think anyone is saying dogs need premium steaks - just that most grocery brands are filled with lots of junk dogs don't need and there are healthy alternatives that won't break the bank.

OP, good luck finding a kibble that works for you - lots of good suggestions here!
post #13 of 16
I'm sorry, but a dog is NOT an omnivore. I may not know much about kibble, but I do know this for certain!! They are classified as carnivores. Not omnivores. I keep hearing people say these things about dogs - classifying them as omnivores. But, I have NEVER seen a vet or biology text book classify them as anything but carnivores.

A dog is a carnivore and thrives on a meat based diet. There is no way around that. Can dogs do OK on Purina, etc.? Absolutely. Most rescues and shelters feed the cheapest there is, and all those dogs do OK. I don't think it's cruel to feed Purina - we all feed what we can afford. Although, feeding raw, can often be cheaper.

But, I think it's safe to say that most people who switch from any kibble to a high quality kibble or to raw see a HUGE difference in their dog's health, energy, teeth, smell, coat, etc. And that's without an allergy. With an allergy, it's absolutely necessary to feed the highest quality possible.

It's just like with humans. We do OK on processed foods. But, we all thrive on whole, healthy foods.
post #14 of 16
Clarification:

Dogs are omnivores in that they can live on diets of only plant or meat. But to THRIVE, they do need meat. To simply live, they don't. Cats, on the other hand, MUST have meat to live. Though some cats are able to live on synthetic taurine, this doesn't make them anything other than obligate-carnivores. Their bodies simply can not naturally live (as in without synthetic supplements) without meat.

As one definition of "carnivore" is simply "a flesh-eating animal," we could qualify. Even the usgs.gov site ( http://www.nwrc.usgs.gov/fringe/glossary.html ) defined a carnivore as "CARNIVORE - any organism that eats other consumers (sometimes referred to as "meat eaters")".

Living and thriving are different matters entirely. To thrive, dogs to need meat in their diet above all else, and to some, this may seem more carnivorous. But they can live on just plants. It's really going to come down to which definition you abide by.

Personally I am annoyed by people who push their moral choices to be vegetarians/vegans onto their animals when dogs (and cats) really need meat in their diets to be at their best and healthiest. Don't even get me started on vegan-cats.


Also, FTR, it's not just dogs and cats who don't digest corn well. Most humans pass corn virtually undigested as well. If it were, in its natural kernel form, a main part of our diets, we probably wouldn't do so well either.
post #15 of 16
Right, but I believe animals are classified by digestive tract. I think that's the more "scientific" way. A dog has the digestive tract of a carnivore. In fact, a dog can't process vegetables at all. A whole carrot will come out whole on the other side, undigested. I'd have to put vegetables in the food processor, to break down their cellular walls, if I wanted my dog to digest them.

So, if my dog were left on his own ... he couldn't live or survive on a plant diet. Simply because he doesn't know how to run the food processor. He'd have to hunt.

Humans have a longer digestive system, so we're definitely able to process both plants and animals. But, dogs can't process vegetables by themselves. In the wild, they get around this by, say, eating the stomach contents of a herbivore (after they're done eating the other parts of said herbivore). But, munching on carrots from the farmer's fields just wouldn't work. It's the hen house they'd be after.

I agree with you, btw, about vegan cats/dogs. When I was a raw food vegan, this was a huge issue of contention with my vegan acquaintances. I fed my dog raw meat, they fed theirs a vegetarian diet. It drove me crazy! But, it made no sense to me, and still doesn't, as dogs are carnivores. I'm just not seeing the omnivore part.
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
WOW, thank you soo much. You gave me some great places to check for re search bu I am doing a little of the raw, and it is working wonders
Thank you so much
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