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So... over a period of time now I've come to the realization that kibble isn't doing it for Valentino (1 1/2 y/o bc/aussie) He's got SERIOUS gas issues and I've switched him slowly to 5 different kibbles since I got him to try and solve the issue. He came to me on a shelter diet, the vet and trainer recommended natural balance so I switched him to that while I researched kibbles. I then transferred him to Instinct, Canidae, Solid Gold, and now Core. All of which are high quality, no-grain formulas, all of which have slightly improved his gas issue but not greatly. He hates them. He'll only eat his kibble once he's SURE he can't procure better fare.

It has occurred to me that nutrition and diet are the most important parts of MY life. I behave differently when I have low quality foods, and I want to do the absolute best thing I can for my animals (both the pup and my cat) as well as all future animals I might have.

Herein lies the great dilemma. So far everything I've researched has been wrought with opinion, triumphs and horror stories, unclear nutrition requirements and the biggest fear of all: perforated bowels.

Can well experienced people PLEASE assist me?! I wholeheartedly believe in feeding well but the challenge is feeding well without causing a nutritional deficiency or worse. BARF? RMB? Home-Cooked? WTH!?!?!

LOL! I thought I had my work cut out for me with my iguana! Not even CLOSE! it seems that both Canines and Felines are WAYYYYYYYY more complicated than iguanas with WAYYYYYYYYYYYY more opinions out there! I would think that with decades and decades more experience in caring for our furry friends we'd have gotten more solid info! Apparently not!
I wouldn't feed my IGUANA "food pellets" I sure as hell don't think "kibble" is great for Valentino or my kitty who is WAY too young to be developing health issues but seems to be nonetheless, but I'm SUPER confused!

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

-Leiha, Valentino and Dulce
 

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I am going to watch this thread and hopefully piggy back some info off of you. I too get so confused when it comes to dog foods. I had a BC lab cross battle with cushings and I put him on an all natural food and also home cooked. Who's dog does not like ground beef and brown rice? My dog. LOL He was receiving acupuncture from my vet friend and she said that chicken and lamb were things that he needed to stay away from because he had a ying deficiency. to make a long story short.....

I now have a new pup, a mix pound pup. I have him on Iams puppy large breed and will most likely keep him on it for the time being. He is only 3 months old now. I also mix in Natural Balance.

I am thinking about EVO Red Meat or something along that line. what do you guys think?

Please keep in mind that I am a part time college student with limited funds.

Sorry if I hi-jacked
 

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Leiha, I know that many of us feel the same way you do about finding a good food for our pets and it is confusing what to feed and what not. I too wish there was just one correct solution to this chaos.

I am more and more convinced now that all brands of dog/cat/bird/any pet food are trashy and that the best way is to use human grade ingredients and prepare meals for our pets ourselves.

Who knows what really goes into each pet food. It is not regulated by FDA, manufacturers claim that they do not use a certain chemical/preservative, but what happens with those ingredients before they reach the actual manufacturer we do not know and they most likely won't disclose it to us or they would lose their business :(

Each good brand of dog food has its own good and bad qualities and on the top of that, researchers, as far as I know, are not sure what is the best diet for our dogs.

I am pretty sure that very soon I'll start cooking meals for our poodle. He is tiny so it will be easy to cook a batch that will last for several days (rice, ground turkey, ground chicken, barley, some veggies, etc).

 

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when i learned that the dog food i'd been feeding for years contributed to the life span or lack there of...can't prove it, but in my gut, i know it....

i put my dogs on wellness barley/lamb/salmon...thing is...it's a rich food....and my dogs would scarf it down without any enthusiasm....other than the fact they were hungry.

when my malia, my older girl, got giardia...we fed her bland cooked diets....so of course, the bubba pug wanted the same....

i had been reading about raw for a long time and we finally made the switch in march...it is not two months later and i could be the poster child for raw...

i really do believe that cooked or raw is the only way to go these days..

when we did cook...we added supplements....

i still use supplements because they aren't eating enough organs yet....we are still transitioning to organs...the last step....

either way, kibble is like eating fast food every day.
 

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hi, you can check out this site for dog foods, dogfoodanalysis.com. i hope it will be of some help. every dog is different so have patience i'm sure you will find a good food he will tolerate. i feed a rotation of the grain free Acana brands and my dogs do awesome on it. some other good foods you may want to consider are, Orijen, TOTW, and Wellness.
 

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I am not the most experienced person when it comes to raw but I would strongly suggest a raw diet if you want the healthiest food. However it can be a lot of research especially if you want to make sure it is really well balanced. The general rule of thumb is 10% bone, 10% organ, and 80% meat, it should also be 2% or your dogs overall body weight. Lol I love raw, but it is a lot of work too, but for the health f your dog it is a small price. :)

A general meal of mine looks like this:

Chicken Leg Quarter
Chicken Liver

OR

Pork Neck
Pork Meat
Beef Liver/Kidney

I usually supplement with Fish Oil, a raw egg, and I would like to start using Missing Link.
 

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While I personally think raw is the best route, if you're not ready to research or to invest, please don't do it, it can be detrimental to your dogs' health.

dogfoodanalysis.com is a good place to start - stay in the above 4star range. Just like humans, pet don't need anything with preservatives or fillers or chemicals. Keep these things in mind, and it will work out for your pet.
 

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http://www.dogaware.com/
Here you go. I am such a fan of this site and have learned so much.

While I am firmly on the side of feeding raw fresh meat with some bone and organ you and your dog must take your own path. Sick dogs need certain diets, folks in certain living conditions need other diets. My geriatric dog is fed cooked, my senior healthy dog is fed raw. *I* am fortunate to be in a situation where I have the time, money and space to accommodate these choices.

Maxwell eats raw. He rarely gets gas but the time I messed up and gave him a large meal of his very favorite boneless meat he had quite the stinky cloud over his butt. I overfed him. Just for an experiment try feeding less for a few days. Sometimes overfeeding results in malabsorption, gas and loose stool, rather than a fat dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you, thank you, thank you for so many responses. I've been consumed with research and analysis in regards to food for both my dog and my kitty.

Luckily at this stage of the game both are young and healthy (although the kitty is starting to have severe tooth issues and perhaps allergies)

I wholeheartedly, instinctively "know" that kibble isn't the way to go. Over the last few days I've spent all day every day researching, cross-referencing and double checking on raw and cooked diets. I'm ABSOLUTELY going to choose one or the other in favor of kibble, no matter how "high quality" it is.

out of curiosity for the raw and home-cooked feeders out there... what are your opinions on veggies/fruits added to the diet vs. straight up meat and bones? I've read everything on BARF and prey diet as well as many, MANY home-cooked recipes and there's so much debate out there as to whether or not dogs can actually even handle grain/plant matter. I'd love to hear thoughts and experiences on that.
 

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While I personally think raw is the best route, if you're not ready to research or to invest, please don't do it, it can be detrimental to your dogs' health.
No worries, I'm an over-critical analytic when it comes to the health and well being of the creatures entrusted to me :) No question taboo, no stone unturned. I once rescued a neglected, malnourished sugar glider and after getting frustrated with mixed feeding opinion called the actual zoo in Melbourne, Australia to get answers.;)
 
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