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Old 10-16-2004, 05:03 AM
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Default Supplements w/kibble?

I'm feeling really overwhelmed right now with trying to make positive changes in diet for my girls! I had read the posts in August on the forum about the euthanasia drug being found in dog foods, and after learning more about the "best" dog foods out there, had decided to get my dogs off of Nutro Lamb & Rice, and at the very least a better kibble.

Just a few weeks later (while still researching about BARF diet vs. home-cooked vs. kibble, and trying to compare all of the kibble options, plus all of the supplement options) our Jack Russell Terrier, Lucy went completely blind with SARDS (but because she had no other symptoms commonly associated with SARDS, the ophthalmologist wrote it up as just *Acute Retinal Degeneration* - Cause Unknown.) The *cause unknown* has been the main reason for my feeling overwhelmed... because I still want answers to why this happened to our Lucy at just a little over 2 1/2 years old!

The only "theories" out there on a cause for this is a combination of diet, over vaccinating, lawn/bug sprays etc. After talking to our regular vet, she told me that Lucy's diet most likely didn't play a part in her blindness (but who knows anymore!) ... and have changed the dogs kibble from Nutro to Canidae, and with so many to pick from... I only chose this one to start with, because I read it works well with dogs that have skin problems/allergies. So far they both love the food and are doing well with it. Lucy has always been very healthy, but has always had itchy skin, and not flea related. It was never bad enough to have hair loss, or serious skin problems (but the reason I had her on a Lamb & Rice food.) She did have a severe reaction to her rabies shot last summer, and lost all of the hair on her hip in a 3 inch circle for almost a year after the rabies shot.

After Lucy went blind I bought a holistic dog book called "The Complete Holistic Dog Book" by Jan Allegretti & Katy Sommers, D.V.M. to get some other ideas (beyond what I was hearing from the regular "traditional" vets we have seen) and in the section on vaccinations learned that JRT's are one of 9 breeds that commonly have problems with vaccinations, and one of the complications is the eyes/blindness. While the book went into the various diets: raw, home-cooked etc. the recommendation if using high-quality kibble was to change from 2-3 different brands... to give a variety... and to not depend on one food to fill all the needs?

So... my question is this... do any of you use several of the different kibble top brands/mixes? I've heard this suggestion in several places, not just this holistic book. What about supplements added to the kibble? I know Linda Arndt recommends a number of quality kibbles, but then recommends Nzymes and First Choice Naturals -4 in 1 - Probiotics as "Required" supplements to the diet? The holistic book that I have goes into all the feeding options, and also recommends adding "human vitamin supplements" to the diet. The reason I decided against the BARF, or home-cooked diet (though I made notes on all the "goodies" I could use to supplement, or or/add to kibble :-) is that I work full-time, plus have had 2 home businesses the past 7 years. My ONLY free time is for my dogs, and while I cook as healthy as possible for myself & hubby, it is not a strong point for me, just not enough time in a day! We eat fairly healthy, but very simple... and take supplements to try to make up for my less than perfect cooking skills!

I don't feel I take the "best" care of us humans with diet... so just think for now, using a "quality" kibble for the girls... and adding to it to make it work will be the best for them (right now) so any suggestions would be welcome as far as what/if I need to add as other supplements!

It has been so easy for me to help Lucy adjust to her blindness (just because she has made it so easy... being her wonderful self!) I just want to help Lucy stay as healthy as possible in all other areas, for the rest of her life!
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Old 10-16-2004, 09:01 AM
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Karen, my inclination is to go with Linda Arndt's recommendations. Other than that, you might want to check out the link to the recipe for something called "Satin Balls" that Serena posted. They look very easy to make in a big batch, freeze, and use as a good supplementary treat.
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Old 10-17-2004, 04:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renee750il
Karen, my inclination is to go with Linda Arndt's recommendations. Other than that, you might want to check out the link to the recipe for something called "Satin Balls" that Serena posted. They look very easy to make in a big batch, freeze, and use as a good supplementary treat.
Thanks for your opinion Renee on following Linda Arndt's advise. This was what I was learning towards, but just hoped to get some other feed-back on the various supplements being used by others feeding kibble. I checked out the "Satin Balls" and they do indead sound yummy??? If I could just get past my "raw meat" shivers, LOL! I had seen another post on a warning about freezing raw meat first, to kill off <something>? so even though I know there is no 100% safe quarantee for feed raw meats, but how safe would this probably be to feed "raw" if the meat were frozen first? Maybe Serena has some idea? I only know I've read that "hamburger" isn't as "safe" as other raw meats, because any contaminates that are on the meat is all ground up and mixed together?
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Old 10-17-2004, 04:33 AM
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I would do just that: Feed a high quality kibble, and add the digestive enzymes as a supplement.
As for switching around... I did that when I fed kibble, and Ripley didn't do particularly well. I found that substituting one meal every couple of days with fresh, raw foods (this was before I started feeding 100% raw) was a good variety, it gave him some of the benefits of a raw diet (nice clean teeth and a bit more of a shiny coat - not as good as it looks now, IMO, but still good) and he loved it.
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Old 10-17-2004, 04:37 AM
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Oh, and yes, freezing the meat does kill something. (I'm too young to be having a 'senior moment' but I can't remember what it is)
The trouble with hamburger that is pre-ground (I grind my own for the dogs) is the large surface area created once the meat is ground. That can be breeding grounds for bad bacteria, especially if there are little warm, moist air pockets in the ground meat.
I fed pre-ground hamburger for a month and didn't have any trouble with it, but I just like the idea of grinding my own a lot better.
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Old 10-17-2004, 07:50 AM
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If you've still got a local grocer, or at least one that has a butcher, or if you're lucky enough to have a butcher shop in your town, you might be able to talk them into selling you the fatty ground beef and grinding it for you "while you wait" at a decent price, packaged in one or two large globs. Pack it in a chilled cooler, take it right home and split it up into manageable parcels and pop it in the freezer.

Another route is to check for any custom slaughterhouses in your area. They should be able to direct you to a smaller farmer who raises beef who you can actually buy a beef from and have it custom-butchered at the slaughterhouse. That gives you and your family a much better quality of meat at a HUGE saving per pound, and gives you the ground beef you want for your dog food, since you can tell the slaughterhouse that you need X number of pounds of ground beef (labeled) with the higher fat content that can also utilize some of the tougher parts. And tell him to be sure to package the heart - it's a fantastic, high quality treat for your dogs. I braise beef heart for mine, then freeze the broth to warm up and pour over kibble after a cold winter afternoon romp. With any luck at all, you'll find a beef producer that doesn't do all the injections (growth hormones, antibiotics and steroids). Typically, when you pick up your meat, it will have been deep frozen immediately after processing.
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In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves. ~Buddha

Stupid is the most notoriously incurable and contagious disease known to mankind. If you find yourself in close proximity to someone infected with stupid, walk away as soon as said infection is noted.


There are few things more nauseating than pure obedience. ~ Kvothe

***8206;"silence is the language of god, all else is poor translation."
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  #7  
Old 10-17-2004, 03:01 PM
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Oh, and getting over the shivers handling raw meat - get a box of surgical gloves and keep them under the sink. They're cheap, so you don't feel awful for throwing them away after you've used them, and they're the best for washing dishes, cleaning, etc. If you're going to be handling food (like raw meat), I'd suggest putting them on, then washing your gloved hands well with dishwashing liquid and rinsing thoroughly to make sure there's no powdery residue on the outside before you get into that squishy raw meat.
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In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves. ~Buddha

Stupid is the most notoriously incurable and contagious disease known to mankind. If you find yourself in close proximity to someone infected with stupid, walk away as soon as said infection is noted.


There are few things more nauseating than pure obedience. ~ Kvothe

***8206;"silence is the language of god, all else is poor translation."
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Be a god. Know when to shut up.


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Old 10-18-2004, 04:05 AM
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Thank you Renee & Rip's Girl.... for the additional info on feeding raw meat. After I posted last night I did more research on the raw meat diet(s) and have decided that this all just seems insane to me! The link that Serena posted for the "Satin Balls" mentioned being a most requested recipe on "Wellpet" so I visited that web site. There was a lot of information there to read through, and seems to be a list for raw/natural diets. They also had a list of "better quality" commercial foods, and to my surprise found "Nutro" listed as a better food, but not the Canidae I just switched to! :-(

There was also a story about a woman's Great Dane that almost died from bloat after eating raw chicken thighs and drumsticks. Then there was a message in response to this woman from I believe (can't double check right now... the site is down) but it was: http://www.listservice.net/wellpet/ the author of GIVE YOUR DOG A BONE, Ian Billinghurst stating that HE never intended to say dogs should be fed thighs or drumsticks!

On the site that that posted the "Satin Ball" recipe there were also links to additional information there on the raw diets says chicken legs/thighs CAN be fed:
Source: http://www.njboxers.com/faqs.htm#I'm
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What exactly is the difference between Raw Meaty Bones & recreational bones? Which should I feed?

RMBs are soft enough for the dog to chew up and eat - things like chicken carcasses/backs/necks/wings, lamb necks, oxtails, turkey necks, etc..., which make up an RMB meal. Recreational bones, on the other hand, are larger bones that the dog will chew on but will not eat the whole bone - things like beef marrow bones, femurs, knuckle bones, etc... Weight-bearing bones can also be given (chicken legs/thighs), but they are a bit more difficult to chew (especially for a small animal). When giving chicken legs/thighs, remember to supplement with eggshell powder or bone dust, to even out the calcium/phosphorus ratio.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I just can't trust my dogs health to raw meats. We don't have local "butcher shops" here (all of the grocery stores bring their meat in from somewhere else) so unless I can grind my own hamburger, I would only get what there is.... and the chicken parts normally fed (other than wings) necks, and backs are never seen in the stores here.

I read through the diet section in the holistic dog book I bought, again (written by a Veteranarian & Holistic care specialist) and though they do mention that some people using raw food diets are reporting very successful results, but they also were very clear on the health risks involved. With the popularity of the raw diets, more and more surgeries are being done to remove "raw' bones. Though intestinal damage is rare from raw bones, bone shards, even when raw can lodge in the roof of the mouth or fracture teeth. There are other worries, not just salmonella and E. coli, but other bacterial contaminates causing bouts of diarrhea, or even toxic shock. They recommend at least the "searing" meats to kill bacteria.

From the things I've read that I can feel "fairly" safe about right now... I think I will either alternate with 2-3 "high quality" commerical foods, that my dogs do well with, for some variety... and supplements as recommended by Linda Arndt. I've always saved my broth from the crockpot (from meat/potato/veggies) and freeze it to warm up and add to their kibble. This is so "gourmet" for them... and they will eat every bite of the kibble in the dish by adding this... when they normally are not excited at all about dinner time kibble! At this point I'm thinking even just a little Campbell's "human-grade" vegetable beef soup added would also be a big hit!

I know that ALL of us are only doing what we think is best for our dogs, and I respect the opinions/results of those doing a raw diet... and hope that they never have a problem. I just don't feel this risks involved in the raw diet is something I want to deal with... it would be the same to me as feeling I made a horrible mistake feeding my (now blind dog) Nutro Lamb & Rice for 2 1/2 years, if something else happened to her that could be shown totally related to feeding raw meat.

I just need to make my decision and feel good about it now... before I make myself totally crazy over so many choices!
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  #9  
Old 10-18-2004, 08:17 AM
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I'm amazed, too, that anyone well versed in dog food quality would list Nutro on the "good" side unless there were a commercial tie-in somewhere!

I don't think you can go wrong with Linda Arndt's recommendations. I've quit making myself crazy trying to mentally juggle all the information out there. Now I just rely on what I learned about nutrition during years of bodybuilding, what I've learned form Linda's site, and common sense. That's a recipe I and my dogs can live with!
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In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves. ~Buddha

Stupid is the most notoriously incurable and contagious disease known to mankind. If you find yourself in close proximity to someone infected with stupid, walk away as soon as said infection is noted.


There are few things more nauseating than pure obedience. ~ Kvothe

***8206;"silence is the language of god, all else is poor translation."
— Rumi
Be a god. Know when to shut up.


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  #10  
Old 10-19-2004, 04:20 AM
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Thanks Renee, and Serena for the added information!

I had made up my mind about not doing the raw meat diet, but I AM considering working "towards" at least a partially home-cooked diet at some point. In the research for home-cooking I found more information on feeding the raw meat diets on this site: http://secondchanceranch.org/

Information:
Second Chance Ranch is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, conceived and founded by Katie Merwick, author, behaviorist and recipient of the American Red Cross “2000 Hero of the Year” award. Katie has over 30 years of experience in animal welfare and training. Katie and her husband Mike Ferreira own Ferreira Farms horse boarding and training facility.

There is a section on this web site of the dangers of raw meat diets written by a number of veterinarians at this link:
http://secondchanceranch.org/rawmeat_links.html

This web site also had pros/cons for the barf diet... and additional links to visit:
http://www.workingdogs.com/vcbarf.htm

I just wanted to post these additional resources to anyone else going through the torment of what is the "right" thing for their dog!

Having made up my own mind on not doing a "raw" diet, I did find an email group resource for home-cooked diets at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Totally_Home_Cooking/ and I am planning to read and research some of this information/recipes to possibly feel comfortable enough supplementing and/or someday changing to all home-cooked meals in the future.

This information is only based on making my OWN decisions on what is the best for my dogs... and I do very much appreciate the help and advise all of you had for me! I just pray that all of us have very healthy, and long living dogs... whether on kibble, raw, or home-cooked meals! The only thing I know we will never debate on.... we all LOVE our DOGS!
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