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Old 11-03-2004, 01:18 AM
leaughxp leaughxp is offline
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I've been trying to find info on good dog foods. I haven't had a ton of time but have read several articles on what to look for and what to avoid in foods. I ran out of science diet before I decided what to switch to so I went to Petco and got another small bag (hopefully won't have it very long) so I can mix it with whatever new food I get. I did look through all the foods at Petco-no good. I think Pro Plan or Purina One was the best I found. These aren't so good are they? They seemed to have a few ingredients to avoid but less they did have chicken by-products in them so I think they are a no go.
I did look up some of the foods suggested to me in another thread and I have a few questions on them as well. The only ones I can find near me that I was comfortable with are Canidae and Eagle Pack. Any feelings one way or the other? Between the two, I think I'm favoring the Eagle Pack but the Canidae is probably 20 minutes closer to me.

Gunner has a vet appointment tomorrow night so I'll ask the vet about food but I'm not really counting on any helpful advise as he didn't really say anything about the Science Diet I'm feeding now.
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Old 11-03-2004, 03:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leaughxp
I've been trying to find info on good dog foods. The only ones I can find near me that I was comfortable with are Canidae and Eagle Pack. Any feelings one way or the other? Between the two, I think I'm favoring the Eagle Pack but the Canidae is probably 20 minutes closer to me.

Gunner has a vet appointment tomorrow night so I'll ask the vet about food but I'm not really counting on any helpful advise as he didn't really say anything about the Science Diet I'm feeding now.
I just went through what you are going through with choosing a new kibble. I decided to go with Canidae, mainly because we had adopted a Rat Terrier puppy in July that just turned 7 months old. I couldn't keep my adult Jack Russell out of the puppy food, and the puppy out of the adult food, of my old brand. Canidae has the "All Life Stages" Formula, good for both dogs right now.

I don't know if you've been to this web site: http://greatdanelady.com/articles/cr...tter_foods.htm but is often recommended for researching the top kibbles. I've read a number of times that rotating between 2 or 3 high quality kibbles is a good idea, every 3-6 months or so, which is what I'm planning to do. I've will probably try out the Eagle Pack and Innova when I rotate. We have local pet supply here about 10 minutes away that carries all of the "better" brand kibbles... so that helps!

I agree with your "faith" in asking the vet! I asked... and was told the Nutro I was switching off of was just fine... and she looked at me like I just fell off another planet when I asked about adding supplements to their diet!
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Old 11-03-2004, 07:30 AM
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Yep, Karen's right on the money. I'm actually encouraged that your vet didn't push the Science DIEt, since most vets make a tidy profit on it.
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Old 11-03-2004, 01:15 PM
leaughxp leaughxp is offline
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The vet seemwe saw seemed pretty young so probably not out of school very long. Maybe he knows a little about what foods are good, we'll see. Our previous vet did suggest the Science Diet so that is why our other dog was on it his whole life. Does anyone know about the i/d food from the vet. I believe it is made by the same people as the Science diet. Is it any good? Just wondering since that's what they switched him too when he got sick and stopped eating. I think it's just used for sick dogs but was wondering if it was actually any more nutrious. I did look a little at the site mentioned but will look some more. Any idea how much a 20lb bag of the canidae or eagle pack costs?
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Old 11-03-2004, 11:14 PM
leaughxp leaughxp is offline
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Well the vet we saw today wasn't the same as the last one. She was nice though. It's a very large practice with over ten vets on staff. Anyhow I told her I was switching him for Science Diet to probably Canidae or Eagle Pack. She hadn't herd of it before asked if it's at Petco and said as long as it says AAFCO on it, it will be well balanced. Makes me wonder if she even knows all that disgusting stuff that's in most dogfoods. I would just think that they'd teach you that in Vet school. I can't believe they would teach nutrition without bringing up ingredients in the food. Hmm...do you think maybe as my job, I could go around to different schools and teach about dogfoods. I;m sure other peole know tons more about it than me, they should go teach it.
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Old 11-03-2004, 11:16 PM
leaughxp leaughxp is offline
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Well the vet we saw today wasn't the same as the last one. She was nice though. It's a very large practice with over ten vets on staff. Anyhow I told her I was switching him for Science Diet to probably Canidae or Eagle Pack. She hadn't herd of it before asked if it's at Petco and said as long as it says AAFCO on it, it will be well balanced. Makes me wonder if she even knows all that disgusting stuff that's in most dogfoods. I would just think that they'd teach you that in Vet school. I can't believe they would teach nutrition without bringing up ingredients in the food. I think someone should definitely go around teaching vet students what's in the food and why some are better than others.
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Old 11-04-2004, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leaughxp
Makes me wonder if she even knows all that disgusting stuff that's in most dogfoods. I would just think that they'd teach you that in Vet school. I can't believe they would teach nutrition without bringing up ingredients in the food. I think someone should definitely go around teaching vet students what's in the food and why some are better than others.
From what I've heard (a number of times) the pet nutrition classes in the vet schools are funded by pet food companies (the less than desirable ones) and they just don't learn too much in the nutrition area.

On your question on the cost of Canidae or Eagle Pack (I don't know about Eagle Pack) but 20 lbs. of Canidae was around $23.00
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Old 11-04-2004, 02:35 AM
leaughxp leaughxp is offline
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Thanks that doesn't seem too bad, not much more than the Science diet. I will try to go by tomorrow after class and see if I can talk to someone who works there and hope they are somewhat knowlegable.

That's really horrible about the classes. I was reading that many dogs are allergic to their food and the many ingredients that are known or suspevted to be carcinogens or lead to liver and kidney failure. It makes me curious if the Science diet could have contributed to my Westie's death. Vet said most likely liver disease as the ultrasound didn't show a mass. He got sick and died within about three weeks of noticing any symptoms. Poor puppy was just under 9 1/2 years which makes me sad cause I always thought he'd be around a while longer as the average lifespan is 12-14 years. I know things can always go wrong, but learning about how bad the food was we feed him makes me wonder if it had anything to do with it.
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Old 11-04-2004, 05:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leaughxp
Thanks that doesn't seem too bad, not much more than the Science diet. I was reading that many dogs are allergic to their food and the many ingredients that are known or suspevted to be carcinogens or lead to liver and kidney failure. It makes me curious if the Science diet could have contributed to my Westie's death. I know things can always go wrong, but learning about how bad the food was we feed him makes me wonder if it had anything to do with it.
Believe me... I do understand your concerns! Our Jack Russell Terrier, Lucy recently went totally blind (early September) from something called SARD's (Suddenly Acquired Retinal Degeneration) at only a little over 2 1/2 years old! Lucy had always been very healthy, other than having itchy skin (non-flea related)... and mild, as far as she didn't have skin infections, scabs etc. but just seemed to constantly be scratching. We changed her kibble to Nutro Lamb & Rice (recommended by our vet... not the brand... but "a" lamb & rice food) which she had been on since she was about 10 weeks old. The only other thing in Lucy's life that I can pin-point as a health issue would be a reaction to her last rabies vaccination. She lost all of the hair on her hip in a 3 inch circle... and the skin looked very scabby for a long time. The vet said this was a problem most common to small dogs, and that she might not grow hair back (probably a 90% chance she wouldn't!) but after about 1 year she did grow all the hair back in that spot.

So... after Lucy went blind... and learning that the cause of SARD's is "unknown" (and it is not known to be inherited like some other eye problems in specific breeds) I wanted answers to what MIGHT be the cause of this! The only answers I've found are only "guesses" and are poor diet, over-vaccination, yard chemicals, flea treatment chemicals etc., and stressful events. I started with diet, and while I had always "thought" Nutro was just a wonderful food, I learned there were many others that would have been better... and not much more money (as you mentioned) and I know all of us would spend more on our dog foods... if we just KNEW back then... before our dogs had health problems!

Lucy has had all of the "normally" given vaccinations. As far as I "know" the rabies shot was the only reaction Lucy's had, and this vaccine is required by law here, every 3 years. There is something called a "titers test" that is a blood test to check the levels of certain vaccines in the system... and will tell whether dogs need to be re-vaccinated with certain vaccines. I have a name, and am planning to switch Lucy to a holistic vet before she is due for anymore vaccinations. I plan to do the titers test, and will not vaccinate her unless it is needed. She also has been on "Advantage" for fleas off and on, because of her itchy skin. Other than when she came home from the breeder at 8 weeks (she had terrible fleas then!) there has been no sign of fleas... and we used the Advantage (also vet recommended!) as more a... just in case thing!

As far as the other things that might be connected to possibly causing SARD's... we don't use chemicals on the lawn, weeds etc. We have also been with Lucy every day since she was 8 weeks old. There was no stress at all in her life (that we can think of) but was told that when we adopted Holly (our Rat Terrier in July, 1 1/2 months before Lucy went blind) it COULD be a sort of "good" stress! Hmmm... and this could still be considered stressful!

So.... from all of the things I've learned... diet by changing kibble has been my best start! I also went through all the research on feeding a raw diet, home-cooked diet etc. I totally overwhelmed myself with all the information out there! From what I've learned, feeding a raw, or home-cooked diet has risks... worry about choking on bones, bacteria, including the right vitamins/minerals etc. to the diet. After being on several information lists on the pro/cons of these diets.. my own observation was... even dogs on raw, or home cooked meals still have health problems!

Just like humans... we can't explain how a man/woman on what would be considered a "perfect diet" for the most part, plenty of exercise etc. could have been diagnosed with a certain cancer?? We can only do the best we know for ourselves... and there are still no guarantees! This seems to be pretty much the same with our beloved pets... we can do everything we know how to do... and can only hope this will be enough to keep them healthy & happy... and anything else is beyond our control!

Karen
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  #10  
Old 11-06-2004, 11:43 AM
leaughxp leaughxp is offline
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Aww Karen, I hope Lucy will be okay!

I went by the store and picked up some of the Canidae, I figured we'd try it. They also had innova there but since the website had told me there weren't any distributors near me I didn't research it out much so I went with the 5lb bag of Canidae and have started mixing the food. The 20 pound bag is $26 (that orgainc Kharma was $45 holy cow!!! Sorry Gunner, that's just too expensive for a poor college kid) here but I figured it will probably end up being cheaper than the science diet since as he grows, Gunner will eat less of it instead of more like most foods. And of course I couldn't leave without buying some more treats and a nylabone (even though his orbee bone is on is on it's way here).
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