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Discussion Starter #1
My 4-year old golden retriever was diagnosed with mild hip dysplasia two years ago. I was told to place them on Hills J/D which is a very expensive food. In addition I've giving him Missing Link Plus, a fish oil capsule, and cooked chicken with his food.

So now I'm unemployed, really can't afford the Hill's J/D anymore, and have read many disturbing/negative things about Science Diet dog food.

I'm looking for recommendations on what I can/should be feeding my dog considering my unemployment and his health. I'll do anything I can for my dog but need to find a healthy diet/supplements that I can afford.

Thanks for your help and advice in advance,
R
 

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If I where you, this is what I would try. See if you can find a local store with Taste of the Wild. This is a good quality, grain free food, and at $40-45 for 30 lbs, this is probably close to what you pay for your Hills (plus, as you well know, that Rx stuff is total crap so you feed way more of it per meal then you do TOW). If you can get TOW, I would feed the chicken as a treat since there is plenty of meat in that food. Also, see if you can find a similar fish oil in the pump, as it is probably cheaper then the capsules unless you are getting a good deal. You should come out saving money, plus your dog will likely be better off without those grains and fillers.

Hope this helps.
 

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If you were willing, would you feed raw? I've read quite a few posts here that say feeding raw (not the premade frozen raw) is cheaper than feeding kibble. It just takes a little more preparation. The reason I'm suggesting raw is that it includes bone which naturally contains glucosamine. Plus, if you can find a good meat supplier, you can get meat and bones cheap. Dependning where you are, there may be a raw feeders group who buy meat in bulk and get it really cheap. The challenge with raw is getting the right balance over time of organ, muscle meat and bones and finding the time to plan and prepare it if you buy the meat in bulk. But the results will be worth it. he'll gain more muscle and look great.

And I guess, you may already know, keep his weight in check so as not to add unnecessary stress on his joints.
 

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I've read in a few places that it's better to use fish oil capsules because when the oil is loose (and has contact with the air) it degrades very quickly. So unless you are getting it from a good fresh source and using it all up really fast, it's not so great.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thank you very much for the recommendation. I'm just not sure if I've seen that brand anywhere. Mostly Petco and Petsmarts here in New England.

I can completely appreciate the value of feeding raw and thank you for the suggestion. It's probably difficult right now as I'm trying to keep him healthy but have to spend time looking for work. A good dry food (that I can find) and maybe a couple of supplements might be more manageable right now. I read about a lot of dog foods in this forum and most of the one's mentioned I have never seen in pet stores. I checked out one and it cost $40 (half of what I pay for Hill's J/D) but the shipping was $43 and is not a solution for me.

Thank you, R

I've never seen Taste of the Wild at any stores in New England. I've mostly gone to Petsmart because they carried the prescription Hill's J/D. I just read the ingredients and think I've been paying way too much money for what my dog gets and I'm not sure it's the best way to help him keep his hips healthy. Do you use any supplements? I've been adding some Missing Link Plus, a Glucosamine/Chondroiton pill, and a fish oil capsule to each meal.

Suggestions on foods and supplements are all appreciated.

Thanks for taking time to write, R
 

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This will not be a popular recommendation, but you could do a lot worse than Purina One, which is readily available nearly everywhere, and a glucosimine supplement.
 

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You can get Taste of the Wild shipped from here, shipping to New England on a 30 lbs bag should be under $15

http://www.petfooddirect.com/store/product_detail.asp?pf_id=201107401&dept_id=1&brand_id=1074&Page=

The reason I recommend this food so strongly is that it is a fantastic price point that makes this affordable for a lot of people, its a 6 star food at dog food analysis, and its grain free. A dog with hip problems should ABSOLUTELY NOT be fed a lot of grains. Grains leads to obesity in dogs (at least it can when you have many low quality grains in a dog food, which any variety of Science Diet does) and, as was mentioned above, dogs with hip problems shouldn't be allowed to get fat.

Raw would be a great diet choice too. Just make sure to do plenty of research before you jump right in. There are a number of very knowledgeable people on this forum that can advise you on how to make the transition. And remember, no matter what you switch to you will need to do a gradual transition.

As far as supplements, I would stick with the fish oil (I hadn't heard about the degradation of the oil when it has surface contact with the air, if you have links to studies on that I would be interested in reading them, particularly if you have some hard numbers on the rate of degradation, as we have been using the pump fish oil for a while with great success) and maybe add a general joint support sup, something with glucosamine in it. Beyond that, if you are feeding a high quality food, you don't really need anything else.

Again, hope this helps
 

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Where in New England are you??

I thought that there was only Petco and Petsmart for dog food choices, but I did a search and found about 8 little stores within 10 miles of my house that sold the higher end brands of foods. Mostly they are feed / garden stores but there are a few mom & pop shops as well. The plus is they have excellent customer service, can help you choose a food actually knowing what they are talking about, and they also have bully sticks and treats way cheaper than the big chain stores.

Try doing a search on the dog food manufacturer's website as to where they sell it, you may be surprised. Good luck!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thank you!

You can get Taste of the Wild shipped from here, shipping to New England on a 30 lbs bag should be under $15

http://www.petfooddirect.com/store/product_detail.asp?pf_id=201107401&dept_id=1&brand_id=1074&Page=

The reason I recommend this food so strongly is that it is a fantastic price point that makes this affordable for a lot of people, its a 6 star food at dog food analysis, and its grain free. A dog with hip problems should ABSOLUTELY NOT be fed a lot of grains. Grains leads to obesity in dogs (at least it can when you have many low quality grains in a dog food, which any variety of Science Diet does) and, as was mentioned above, dogs with hip problems shouldn't be allowed to get fat.

Raw would be a great diet choice too. Just make sure to do plenty of research before you jump right in. There are a number of very knowledgeable people on this forum that can advise you on how to make the transition. And remember, no matter what you switch to you will need to do a gradual transition.

As far as supplements, I would stick with the fish oil (I hadn't heard about the degradation of the oil when it has surface contact with the air, if you have links to studies on that I would be interested in reading them, particularly if you have some hard numbers on the rate of degradation, as we have been using the pump fish oil for a while with great success) and maybe add a general joint support sup, something with glucosamine in it. Beyond that, if you are feeding a high quality food, you don't really need anything else.

Again, hope this helps
Thank you very much. I will check the link you included.

Where in New England are you??

I thought that there was only Petco and Petsmart for dog food choices, but I did a search and found about 8 little stores within 10 miles of my house that sold the higher end brands of foods. Mostly they are feed / garden stores but there are a few mom & pop shops as well. The plus is they have excellent customer service, can help you choose a food actually knowing what they are talking about, and they also have bully sticks and treats way cheaper than the big chain stores.

Try doing a search on the dog food manufacturer's website as to where they sell it, you may be surprised. Good luck!!!
I'm in Hull, MA near Hingham and Weymouth
 

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Can you afford this:
http://www.petco.com/product/106434/Wellness-Super5Mix-Complete-Health-Dog-Food.aspx?CoreCat=certona-_-ProductList_Dog_1-_-Wellness Super5Mix Complete Health Dog Food-106434#description

It is a high quality dog food. It contains the joint supplements plus omega fatty acids and is available at Petco. How much glucosamine -chondroitin are you giving?

I agree with RonE and feeding the Purina One for now. I can't tell youhow many dogs have been turned into shelters right now because the families simply can't afford to feed them. If it means the difference of feeding your dog for a longer period of time on less money I would not rule Purina One out. Sometimes economics cannot be helped. I wish you the best of luck in finding a job.
 

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Can you afford this:
http://www.petco.com/product/106434/Wellness-Super5Mix-Complete-Health-Dog-Food.aspx?CoreCat=certona-_-ProductList_Dog_1-_-Wellness Super5Mix Complete Health Dog Food-106434#description

It is a high quality dog food. It contains the joint supplements plus omega fatty acids and is available at Petco. How much glucosamine -chondroitin are you giving?

I agree with RonE and feeding the Purina One for now. I can't tell youhow many dogs have been turned into shelters right now because the families simply can't afford to feed them. If it means the difference of feeding your dog for a longer period of time on less money I would not rule Purina One out. Sometimes economics cannot be helped. I wish you the best of luck in finding a job.
The Wellness dog food is more affordable and Petcos are easy to come by. As far as the amount of gluc/chond he is getting.....is there a limit or too much. I give him a tbsp of Missing Link Plus twice a day and a tablet twice a day of this that I get at Trader Joe's. Is there a difference in the pet vs human dosages and the effect on my dog of a human supplement (they charge much more for the pet version). My dog is an 80 on Golden Retriever.

Thanks, R
 

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So after getting your location, I did some looking around. This looks like a good shop to get a number of good quality dog foods, and it is 6 miles from Hull.

http://weymouthdogshop.com/

I did happen to call and ask about Taste of the Wild, its $42.99 there for a 30 lbs bag, which is much cheaper then the SD. Honestly though, looking at their list of foods they carry, almost anything you pick out there is going to be cheaper and better then that Rx SD.

I agree with the Purina One advice. Its just as good as the SD, and although not as good as a high quality, grain free formula, or raw feeding, you get an awful lot of bang for your buck. I know what its like to be out of work, I just recently went back, so I understand fully the need to cut down on expense. It's great that you are doing so much research to try and make your dog food dollar stretch as far as it can.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You can get Taste of the Wild shipped from here, shipping to New England on a 30 lbs bag should be under $15

http://www.petfooddirect.com/store/product_detail.asp?pf_id=201107401&dept_id=1&brand_id=1074&Page=

The reason I recommend this food so strongly is that it is a fantastic price point that makes this affordable for a lot of people, its a 6 star food at dog food analysis, and its grain free. A dog with hip problems should ABSOLUTELY NOT be fed a lot of grains. Grains leads to obesity in dogs (at least it can when you have many low quality grains in a dog food, which any variety of Science Diet does) and, as was mentioned above, dogs with hip problems shouldn't be allowed to get fat.

Raw would be a great diet choice too. Just make sure to do plenty of research before you jump right in. There are a number of very knowledgeable people on this forum that can advise you on how to make the transition. And remember, no matter what you switch to you will need to do a gradual transition.

As far as supplements, I would stick with the fish oil (I hadn't heard about the degradation of the oil when it has surface contact with the air, if you have links to studies on that I would be interested in reading them, particularly if you have some hard numbers on the rate of degradation, as we have been using the pump fish oil for a while with great success) and maybe add a general joint support sup, something with glucosamine in it. Beyond that, if you are feeding a high quality food, you don't really need anything else.

Again, hope this helps
I did find a store that sells Taste of the Wild and it is only 7 miles away. The price is 42.99 for 30 lbs. Another person left a recommendation to try a Wellness brand. Any opinions on which is best or are both equally good?

I appreciate everyone's response to this!
R
 

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Wellness and Taste of the Wild are both good quality, reasonably priced foods. Some others to look into are Natural Balance and Blue Buffalo. They cost round the same as the other two and Blue Buffalo is available at PetSmart.

Chicken Soup is a good low cost food too, but it didn't work so well for my two.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Wellness and Taste of the Wild are both good quality, reasonably priced foods. Some others to look into are Natural Balance and Blue Buffalo. They cost round the same as the other two and Blue Buffalo is available at PetSmart.

Chicken Soup is a good low cost food too, but it didn't work so well for my two.
I saw Blue Buffalo mentioned somewhere on this forum. The person posting said it was a very good dog food. Thank you, R

This is a great forum! I have received so many good recommendations that will help me cut my dog food costs in half it looks like. I am very thankful to all, R

For me, personally I would go with TOW over Wellness Super 5. TOW has no grain and is less expensive. Honestly though, they are both great foods. Heres what DogFoodAnalysis.com had to say about them

Wellness Super 5 Chicken:

http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/showproduct.php?product=327&cat=3

Taste of the Wild Wetlands Formula:

http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/showproduct.php?product=1287&cat=8
Thank you for the links. I will check them out.
R

So after getting your location, I did some looking around. This looks like a good shop to get a number of good quality dog foods, and it is 6 miles from Hull.

http://weymouthdogshop.com/

I did happen to call and ask about Taste of the Wild, its $42.99 there for a 30 lbs bag, which is much cheaper then the SD. Honestly though, looking at their list of foods they carry, almost anything you pick out there is going to be cheaper and better then that Rx SD.

I agree with the Purina One advice. Its just as good as the SD, and although not as good as a high quality, grain free formula, or raw feeding, you get an awful lot of bang for your buck. I know what its like to be out of work, I just recently went back, so I understand fully the need to cut down on expense. It's great that you are doing so much research to try and make your dog food dollar stretch as far as it can.
I appreciate your time in looking. This store is not that far from me and I plan to go there tomorrow. Many thanks, R
 

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Thank you very much for the recommendation. I'm just not sure if I've seen that brand anywhere. Mostly Petco and Petsmarts here in New England.

I can completely appreciate the value of feeding raw and thank you for the suggestion. It's probably difficult right now as I'm trying to keep him healthy but have to spend time looking for work. A good dry food (that I can find) and maybe a couple of supplements might be more manageable right now. I read about a lot of dog foods in this forum and most of the one's mentioned I have never seen in pet stores. I checked out one and it cost $40 (half of what I pay for Hill's J/D) but the shipping was $43 and is not a solution for me.

Thank you, R

I've never seen Taste of the Wild at any stores in New England. I've mostly gone to Petsmart because they carried the prescription Hill's J/D. I just read the ingredients and think I've been paying way too much money for what my dog gets and I'm not sure it's the best way to help him keep his hips healthy. Do you use any supplements? I've been adding some Missing Link Plus, a Glucosamine/Chondroiton pill, and a fish oil capsule to each meal.

Suggestions on foods and supplements are all appreciated.

Thanks for taking time to write, R
Look at Natural Choice, or if you're a Costco member their Chicken and rice formula is decent. It's not as high grade as TOTW, but certainly better than anything SD makes. Add some fish body oil capsules for his hips and some gluchosamine chondroitin supplements from Walmart.
 

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Can you afford this:
http://www.petco.com/product/106434/Wellness-Super5Mix-Complete-Health-Dog-Food.aspx?CoreCat=certona-_-ProductList_Dog_1-_-Wellness Super5Mix Complete Health Dog Food-106434#description

It is a high quality dog food. It contains the joint supplements plus omega fatty acids and is available at Petco. How much glucosamine -chondroitin are you giving?

I agree with RonE and feeding the Purina One for now. I can't tell youhow many dogs have been turned into shelters right now because the families simply can't afford to feed them. If it means the difference of feeding your dog for a longer period of time on less money I would not rule Purina One out. Sometimes economics cannot be helped. I wish you the best of luck in finding a job.
I'm glad you asked about how much glucosamine/chondroitin to give. I'm not sure how much is enough. Right now this is what I add to my dog's dry food each day:

3 teaspoons of Missing Link Plus which contain the following:
500mg Glucosamine HCl
1000mg Linolenic Acid (Omega 3)
450mg Linleic Acid (Omega 6)

I also give my dog Glucosamine MSM and Chondroitin dietary supplement (for humans) that I purchase at Trader Joe's. He gets two tablets daily, each containing:
600mg Glucosamien Sulfate (d-glucosamine sulfate potassium chlorida) from shellfish
600mg Methyl-Suffonyl-Methane (MSM)
400mg Chondroitin sulfate (bovine source)
54mg Sodium
80mg Potassium

Is this too much that I'm giving him? With Taste of the Wild or Wellness dry food what would people recommend for supplements to make sure I'm giving him enough for his hip problem?
 

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This will not be a popular recommendation, but you could do a lot worse than Purina One, which is readily available nearly everywhere, and a glucosimine supplement.
i had 2 BC's w/ HD that were fed P.O. pretty much all their lives (tried some of the "better" foods) along w/ being given Gluco (1500)/Chond (1200)/MSM (can't remember) for about 6 of their yrs (money got extremely tight and that, along w/ human supps, had to go)....their activity level was kept in check as much as possible, but being BC's (i think that kinda says it there)....they did great for a long time on that....the pain did get so great for them in the last yr and a half or so, but that was the activity level more than anything, and i think if we could have kept them on the Gluco combo it would have helped....
 

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That's too funny, you are 20 minutes away from me! I actually work in Hingham, so I know the area well.

There is a great shop in Humarock - Pawsitively Natural. Look them up, they are the BEST! The couple that runs the store are very well versed in all the brands. They carry TOTW, Orijen, Innova, etc. They helped me a great deal when I was having food issues with Chloe. They won't push anything on you, and they also carry a bunch of supplements and they are inexpensive compared to Petco. Two of their dogs are older and have their own health issues, so they know what they're talking about.

I can't help with the certain health needs of your dog, but write down what you need and they'll help. They also have free samples of all the foods, and cheap bully sticks and chews.:)

The Weymouth Dog Shop is cool too, but I live closer to Humarock.

Once you settle on a food, go on the manufacturer's website as they will often send you coupons if you sign up to their email list.
 
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