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When I go shopping for food for myself, I can find meat products from animals that were raised, and killed, in a relatively humane manner. I can buy the meat and eggs of free range chickens, for example. But in terms of dog food, I have found little information on this. Since most dog food consists of a large amount of animal protein, I would like to find a brand that uses meat from animals, that were treated decently while they lived, and that were killed in the most humane manner possible. If anyone can make some suggestions on this, I would be grateful. Ahh, as a further problem with this, we have to feed my dog lamb and rice dog food. Our vet said it was most likely because corn, which is the grain component in most dog foods, upsets her stomach. Anyway, I would be most grateful for any advice on this subject.

Cheers,
Dan
 

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Blue Buffalo is availible at Petsmart; they don't use it as a selling point I see per se on the website, but all the bags say "free-range lamb," and (thus) they have a lamb and rice formula you may want to look into.

I'm sure you could call & inquire about specific practices.

There are also the ingredient lists for the different foods they produce listed so you can look through those. The link is to the lamb & rice one.

http://www.bluebuff.com/products/dogs/lp-adult-lamb.shtml

I think several of the premium dog foods (esp the holistic target-audience) will have ingredients like you are looking for.


http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/ is a good starting place when comparing foods; I don't find it the be-all-end-all of comparison analysis, although many people put a *lot* of stock in this website. It's definitely something to take into consideration if you are looking at a brand which is more or less national and listed.
 

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A lamb-based food is generally more "humane" than a beef- or chicken- based food. The reason being that lambs are usually raised on pasture, and are not sent to feedlots to finish. Commercially-raised chickens are raised in cramped, dirty poultry confinements, and cattle, though pastured for most of their lives, finish their last 3 months in a nasty, crowded feedlot. So lamb is best for humane conditions. This is for regular brands of dog food, if you specifically look for a free-range chicken dog food or an organic beef dog food, those would probably be best.
 

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I have this same question / concern. It seems to me there is a market for more products that offer humanely-raised meat in pet food. In fact, I've considered starting a company that offers this due to the fact that I believe it is a major gap in the market. I believe some animal lovers (many who may be pet owners) would be willing to pay for the additional cost of not using factory-farmed product, as they do with their own food.

As a side note, I tried the Humane Society's vegan food for dogs - my dog wouldn't touch it, unfortunately.

Any thoughts on this?
 

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Dogs aren't supposed to be vegan are my thoughts on it. I just dont understand why some vegetarians and vegans (not all obviously) try to impose their nutritional beliefs on animals that NATURALLY eat meat. If they are concerned with the way the animals are treated before slaughter, that is fine, but let your (general you) meat eating critter eat meat....
 

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People say the same about people - and they are wrong. Vegan diets are perfectly healthy for people. I can't speak for animals, and I wasn't speaking to that. I commend the Humane Society for attempting to address a major issue in the pet food market - that virtual all food options (even 'holistic' brands) are made with factory farmed meat.

If I were to do this myself, I would create a free-range, humanely-raised, meat based product for pets. I suspect meat is healthier than a vegan diet for animals and I am interested in supporting small farmers who raise animals humanely. I believe there is a set of pet owners that would also be concerned with the food their pets eat, what it contains (antibiotics and other nasties for factory-farmed meat), and would rather spend their money on a local farmer who treats his animals well than write a big check to Cargill.
 

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Yeah, if you try to feed a cat a vegan diet, all you're going to get is a dead cat x.x

I can't imagine what a bag of food made from free range animal sources would cost. I do know I wouldn't pay for it.
 

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Dogs are not people. They need meat.

You could try Orijen. From their website:

Different from conventional pet food makers, our Biologically Appropriate focus means our foods are formulated to nourish dogs and cats in keeping with their evolutionary and anatomical adaptation to protein-rich diets that include a broad variety of fresh meats.

That means we don’t buy the bulk commodity ingredients found in conventional pet foods.

Instead, we start with fresh, never-frozen meats that are sustainably farmed, fished or ranched within our region by people we know and trust. Considered too expensive by conventional pet food makers, our fresh regional ingredients are unmatched in any other dog or cat food on earth.

From free-run poultry, to wild-caught fish to free-range red meats, our regional ingredients are approved 'fit for human consumption' by the Government of Canada and arrive at our door fresh each day — so they’re preservative free and bursting with goodness to nourish your dog or cat completely.
(Bolding mine.)

I feed my pup Orijen. It's amazing food. His fur is shiny, his stool is small and doesn't smell much at all, and he loves the taste of the food.
 

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Or you could research how to provide your dog with a well-balanced raw or homecooked diet, and feed him the same meat you buy for yourself :) .
 

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Dogs are not people. They need meat.

You could try Orijen. From their website:



(Bolding mine.)

I feed my pup Orijen. It's amazing food. His fur is shiny, his stool is small and doesn't smell much at all, and he loves the taste of the food.
You cannot buy better quality commercial pet food than Orijen. They have very strict policies on food sourcing and only using 100% local human grade free range meats. We feed it to our cat and have converted many friends with their dogs who haven't gone raw yet. Our Dog even gets some as a high quality treat perfect for training. It even smells fresh when you open the bags.
 

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I should mention that it's not crazy expensive, either. I pay $19 (Canadian) for a 5.5 pound bag. I pay $15 for a 5-pound bag of Taste of the Wild, another high-quality, grain-free food (although it's not made with all free-range meats like Orijen is). I'm pretty sure I used to pay $18 or so for a smaller bag of Royal Canin (2.5 pounds!), and it's a crap food compared to these two.
 

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The fresh meats that go into Orijen may be local but the company also uses meals produced elsewhere or did. And even the Alberta chickens are old layers who are kept in pretty awful conditions.
https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B-LDrRDG112PZGYxNDgzYmItZDg1MC00OGQ5LTk4ODEtYjkzYjRhNjVmMTky&hl=en
Posted on this page.
http://itchmoforums.com/pet-food-questions-and-researching-foodsingredients/orijen-concerns-about-ingredients-t8948.0.html

Max eats raw, his meats come from a program that keeps food from the dump or rendering plant, Sustainable Selections, and from a meat packer who sells bits that aren't used by people so he is basically eating mostly scraps that would be sent to the dump or renderer. I guess I would love if all those scraps came from hunted or pastured animals but at least he mostly isn't taking meat away from people.
 

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I would say the best way to make sure is to home cook or feed raw , the same humane products you feed yourself...as a PP said. We also only buy from humane sources..my dogs eat blue buffalo which claims to use free range.

As for dogs being vegans... not good. People are Omnivores. Dogs are Carnivores. They NEED meat . While they may not immediately die from a vegan diet it is not healthy for them at all. I find it ironic that animal rights activists think it is being being humane to animals by denying their own pet his biologically natural , necessary , and desired diet. If it really bothers them that much , having meat in their home , then get a herbivore for a pet.
 

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Kathyy? what does "don't get chickens, they need meat mean? We have chickens, we sell eggs...after the hen is old and done we will not eat them we will feed them to the dogs or if one dies the dogs will get it.

I did read the article and they said they don't have regulated sites to get chicken meal from so they buy from USDA reg. plants here...I think that is much better than getting the meal from a nonregulated source.

Our trainer worked for Purdue and all his dead chickens or dying went to the dogs...they were in great shape...these were top trial dogs.
 

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Don't get chickens as pets if you want a vegan pet that's all. Most people think chickens just eat corn and such.

Not talking about appropriate diets for the dogs, talking about humans who want to feed meat that is humanely treated. Many people think caged layer chickens and meat chickens raised in sheds as inhumane.

Your old hens are great food for dogs and humanely treated, right? Perfect. I wish I had chickens and could do the same.
 

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As mentioned above Orijen is all free range and cruelty free, and it's the best quality food available IMO. Even the fish are wild caught. Also, Animals fed GMO should be a concern as well. Orijen contains no meat from animals fed GMO. I read a solid gold story about a scientific trial involving mice fed GMO. The mice fed GMO weren't fertile and the few that got pregnant gave birth to dead babies or lost them before birth. The male mice also became infertile. With Orijen you know what your dog is getting completely, because even what the animals who's meat went into the dog food ate counts tremendously. I'm feeding Orijen regional red and they use fresh wild boar. Cage free completely.
 

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I just looked up Orijen on Amazon. I've seen it around here, but never priced it. A 30 lb bag goes for $64 which seems really steep for me. In contrast a 35 lb back of Science Diet (which I think we would all agree is not a good quality food) goes for $32. So Orijen is literally twice as much as the crap stuff. I'm sure it's good quality, but it looks like you pay a premium for it as well.

I feed my dogs something in the middle. I tried TOTW with them and they ate it with just as much gusto as anything else I've fed them. I didn't notice any difference in their behavior or their coats or anything though. I'm sometimes skeptical about just how good premium dog foods are myself. They don't seem to make any difference to my two, but mine may well be the exception to the rule.
 

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Science Diet is crap. Loaded with corn and grains. Orijen is grain free. There is no comparison.

For more education on this matter please refer to http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/showproduct.php?product=1028&cat=all

The information is out there. We must first be open to receiving it though...


To search the full list - http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/

The sooner we can all move past assumptions that brands like Science Diet, PVD,Medi Cal, Royal Canine, Iams, Pedigree and the like are healthy the sooner we can start educating our selves and making better choices for our dogs.

Major brand pet foods like the ones listed are loaded with byproducts and corn, grain and other fillers. They are the equivalent of feeding your dog McDonalds every day. Sure it will keep him alive, but in no way is it proper nutrition.

People soo much want to believe that a $30 bag of food from the store once a month is all their pet needs. It's much easier this way to pretend. While it's all just pretend. The food most owners buy is shameful. I would venture that most don't read or understand the ingredient list either. In what world should dogs be eating so much corn and rendered animal fats???

/rant


I've copied the ingredients from a bag of Science Diet below-

Ingredients:
Chicken, corn meal, ground grain sorghum, ground wheat, chicken by-product meal, brewers rice, soybean meal, animal fat (preserved with BHA, propyl gallate and citric acid), natural flavor, vegetable oil, dried egg product, flaxseed, preserved with BHT and BHA, beta-carotene, minerals (iodized salt, calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), vitamins (choline chloride, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, ascorbic acid (a source of vitamin C), niacin, thiamine, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement).


This food receives a 1 star rating simply because there is nothing lower.


The first ingredient on the listed is a named meat product, but since this is chicken inclusive of its water content (about 80%) and this ingredient will weigh only about 20% of its wet weight once water is removed (as it must be to make kibble) it is unlikely that this is the true first ingredient in the food and would be more accurately placed much further down the ingredient list. This is the sole named meat product in the food.


The next three ingredients are all low quality grains. Corn is a problematic grain that is difficult for dogs to digest and thought to be the cause of a great many allergy and yeast infection problems. We prefer not to see this used in dog food, yet it is the primary grain in this food. We prefer not to see this used in dog food. Sorghum is a carbohydrate source low in digestibility. We consider it primarily filler.


The fourth ingredient is wheat. The use of wheat is a significant negative: wheat is believed to be the number one cause of allergy problems in dog food. This is another ingredient we prefer not to see used at all in dog food.


The fifth ingredient in the food is by-products. It is impossible to ascertain the quality of by-products and these are usually products that are of such low quality as to be rejected for use in the human food chain, or else are those parts that have so little value that they cannot be used elsewhere in either the human or pet food industries. The AAFCO definition of chicken by-product meal is “a meal consisting of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidable in good processing practice.”


The next ingredient in this food is brewers rice which is a low quality grain and by-product.


The 7th ingredient is soybean meal. Soy is a poor quality source of protein in dog food, and a common cause of allergy problems. Some believe that it is the number 1 cause of food allergies in dogs (outstripping even wheat).


Animal fat is a further low quality ingredient and is impossible to determine the source. Unidentified ingredients are usually very low quality. AAFCO define this as "obtained from the tissues of mammals and/or poultry in the commercial processes of rendering or extracting. It consists predominantly of glyceride esters of fatty acids and contains no additions of free fatty acids. If an antioxidant is used, the common name or names must be indicated, followed by the words "used as a preservative".


This food contains chemical preservatives (BHA, BHT and propyl gallate) that are believed to be carcinogenic.




That was Hills Science Diet... In what world is that good food?

Orijen Dog Food

INGREDIENTS
Fresh deboned wild boar, fresh deboned lamb, lamb meal, russet potato, fresh deboned pork, peas, salmon meal, whitefish meal*, herring meal, fresh deboned bison, fresh whole eggs, potato starch, fresh deboned salmon (a natural source of DHA and EPA), alfalfa, sweet potato, fresh deboned walleye, salmon oil (naturally preserved with vitamin E and citric acid), pea fiber, psyllium, pumpkin, tomatoes, carrots, apples, cranberries, Saskatoon berries, black currants, chicory root, licorice root, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile flowers, dandelion, summer savory, rosemary, organic kelp, vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin E, niacin, zinc proteinate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, vitamin B5, iron proteinate, vitamin B6, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12, selenium, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product.

The first three ingredients in this food are all named meat products, as is the fifth and there are ten meat ingredients overall. We note that the first two of these meat products are meat inclusive of water content. Once that is removed, as it must be to create a dehydrated product, the ingredients will weigh around 20% of their wet weight and may not be the true first ingredients in the food but rather more accurately placed further down the ingredient list. Since the third (and several subsequent) ingredients are meat in meal form, the inclusion of 'wet' meat products does not give us any concern about the overall meat content of the food - which appears to be amongst the highest currently available in a dry dog food.


The starch content of this food comes from potatoes, which is a good quality source of carbohydrate. We appreciate the inclusion of a range of fruits and vegetables in the food and the use of whole eggs. There is a good range of probiotics.


Like other products in this range, Orijen Regional Red is a completely grain free formula. Grains are not a natural foodstuff for canines, and it is good to see manufacturers producing products of a more species-appropriate nature. Overall, this looks to be amongst the best dry dog foods currently on the market.
 
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