What makes you feel comfortable? Until today I thought I was comfortable with Hills Science Diet, but now there is a problem with the cat food.
Sam, I feed my animals BARF- bones and raw food. My dog has been on this diet since he was 8 months old. He's 7 now and built like a tank.
Cats are harder to switch to raw food so I feed them Innova or Chicken Soup for the Cat lover's soul. I also feed them raw chicken with bones (ground up). You won't find these foods from your local petco, but you can go their websites and put your zipcode and it will tell you where to get them.
Raw, sometimes super premium kibble when traveling or very busy. I wouldn't touch Science Diet with a ten foot pole (even before all these recalls).
That said, apparently the problem has to do with wheat gluten, and only one SD product uses that, the dry cat M/D prescription formula for diabetic cats. If your Science Diet bag says it has corn gluten, it should be safe (or no more dangerous than it was before the recalls, anyway -- dogs were not meant to eat corn gluten either!).
Does make me wonder if I should cook for my dogs. My dogs eat cooked veges and some raw veges. I'm sure there are unwanted ingredients in most bought foods.
This past weekend a whole strawberry cake......
Who would have thought the dog would eat a whole strawberry cake. Obviously, I cannot leave cake rounds to cool on the dining room table from now on.
I've been feeding Felco Beneful Healthy Weight, but am having second thoughts. Felco likes table food way too much - considers dog food emergency rations - like after table scraps AND cat food. Right at the moment, he could lose a bit of weight. I guess I'm going to start reading the label on dry dog foods with more care.
None of the foods I feed the cats were recalled, but I'm back to reading labels on those also. I've never fed the cats anything with gravy, just because I think gravy means overweight cat.
Sammy, someone just sent this to me.
This is a recipe for a meatloaf for dogs. They also have a vegetarian version on the site
Mable's Meat Loaf - meat eater's version
(makes two large loaves - 24 slices)
1 1/2 pounds Ground Beef , Venison, Chicken or Turkey
2 cups cooked & pureed Beans and/or Lentils- I use Pinto Beans
2 cups Corn Masa Harina Flour (corn flour)- Masa Harina is a fortified, fine ground corn flour that has been partially precooked in lime water (which makes it easier to digest). It is usually used for making tortillas and tamales and can be found in the ethnic (Mexican) section of most grocery stores. If you cannot find it, you can substitute regular corn meal.
1 cups Rolled Oats (I buy in bulk)
4 cups cooked rice (I buy in bulk)
1 cup wheat germ (I buy in bulk)
1 - 2 cups liquid (water, milk, whey, stock, etc) - This amount will vary depending on the moisture content of your other ingredients.
2 cups (1 lb.) vegetables, pureed - You can use any vegetable. It's good to vary ingredients because variety in diet contributes to good health. I usually use frozen mixed vegetables, peas or broccoli. I buy them is a really big bags (it's cheaper that way) , thaw, puree in my food processor, divide into 2 Cup portions and refreeze for future use.
3 tsp. garlic (granulated)
3 tsp. Calcium Citrate -OR- 6 tsp. egg shell powder - a source of necessary calcium
1/2 tsp. salt substitute (potassium chloride) - a source of necessary potassium - you can find this in any grocery store where they sell salt.
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup ketchup (optional- not for use with diabetics)
6 tsp. Herbal Nutritional Supplement (optional, but highly recommended)
other optional supplements if necessary such as Arthritis & Joint Support mix, Glucosamine, MSM, Kelp, etc. (Mable got 1 1/2 tsp. of Glucosamine & 1 1/2 tsp. of MSM - Note: reports now suggest not giving glucosamine to diabetics)
It is important that your dog should also receive a good dog multi-vitamin each day (a vitamin formulated specifically for dogs, not humans), either as a powder mixed into this loaf, or a tablet given as a treat.
In a very large bowl. Using your hands, mix all the ingredients together very well. (Since ground meats differ in consistency, you may need to add more liquid). Put into two large loaf pans and spread out evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Cool and store in the refrigerator. Makes 12 slices per loaf.
To serve, slice and cut into bite sized chunks. You can also slice off servings, put in ziplock bags and freeze them for later use.
Measurement of the loaf pans I use:
measurement taken from bottom of pan: 8 1/4' X 4 1/4'
measurement taken from top of pan: 9 1/4' X 5 1/4'
height: 2 3/4'
I bought my pans at Wal-Mart.
You will have to adjust to fit the caloric needs of your own dog. See the Daily Caloric Requirements for Adult Dogs chart.
BARF is the best, but expensive.
I don't think so, Carla. Thanks for sharing.
Beneful is awful. The marketing is great. Read the actual ingredients.
Dogs need little or no grain. The first few ingredients should be meat or meat products. If there is no grain, and no vegetable/grain baesd ingredient for the first 3 or 4 ingredients, it is probably a healthier food.
The link should help with analyzing the quality of your dog's food. I am not a BARF nazi and do feed some kibble, but a lot of what's in the biggest selling kibble is filler or worse.
Here is a link that might be useful: Analyzing dog food
I get a brand that is just sold at a local pet store... good chicken first, and not terribly expensive, which has to matter unfortunately on a strict budget. But it's a lucky find... I'd post the details but the availability isn't good.
Jody, a whole cake? LOL, I just read about the Labor Day Brisket on the ARF coffee-thief thread. Too funny. Oh my Pack would make very fast rations of a cake, for sure. I'm almost embarrassed to say that I HAND-FEED all of mine, but I have to be so strict about what they are allowed to put in their mouths, they think even dinner needs to come directly from my hands!! Ah, well, silly but they don't eat the couch then ;]
Meredith I've got an Aunt in Florida who does the same with her two dogs - while she and my cousin were gone late last year my other cousin had to come take care of the dogs cos they needed to be handfed :o) - I'm paying all kinds of attention to these threads with a new puppy on the way - trying to find out if there is a holistic vet I can take the pup to - we had one for the cats a while back but he retired about a month or so after we found him - we were so bummed.
Aprille, order yourself a copy of Before and After You Get Your Puppy by Ian Dunbar. (Good source: http://dogwise.com). It is the most essential new puppy book. Get it now! And check out Sirius Puppy Training for puppy classes. There should be plenty available in your area. Can't beat it.
My dogs get Innova Evo red meat in the winter since I want a high protien and high fat food. In the summer I will probably switch them back to Flint River Ranch fish and chips. They also get raw bones, chicken, frozen rabbit meat, and any little critters they can find to snack on as suppliments. I will NEVER ever go back to feeding a lower quality food again. It's been several years since I've switched and the dogs are so much healthier.
nickelsmumz - I will check out that book definetely. Sirius is the place that we intend on taking our puppy to - I've heard lots of good feedback about them and most of the rescue organizations around here usually recommend them. Thanks.
Like twohuskies, I feed my dog (and cat) Innova EVO. It is high protein and has no wheat gluten. I just started using it 2 wks ago, when this poison scare started. I will NOT go back to the foods with the wheat filler.
Here are a few more links on NEW recall items.
While I do feed my dogs high quality food they also get treats and biscuits. All this recall stuff is pretty scary. And I feel so bad for all the sick pets and their owners having to deal with it.
For those of you that can't find some of the high quality foods in your area you may want to check out Flint River Ranch (dog & cat) food. I have fed it for quite some time and IMHO it is one of the best foods out there. One big added bonus is that you order the food on the internet and it ships directly to your house from the closest distributor. There are many distributors on the internet selling the food. Just do a search for Flint River Ranch and pick one you would like to buy from. The distributor I buy from (www.safe-t-pet.com) will send out free samples of the food.
The link is: http://www.frrinc.com/freesample.html
I am absolutely in no way affiliated with that company or dog food manufacturer, I am just a satisfied customer passing the info along.
Also, their Dry Water dog food is really good. I know it sounds funny but the first time I made it up I thought it smelled good enough for ME to eat. Smelled a lot like a stew and the dogs went absolutely crazy for it. I used to mix it with the dry food to make it last longer but every time I fed it they acted like it was the best thing in the world..
Twohuskies, thanks for the info on Flint river ranch. I've ordered a sample for my dog and cat and will research their food.
nickelsmumz - I just got the book you mentioned in the mail yesterday and started reading it. It's really interesting and there's a lot of useful information there - Thank you for suggesting it. I got a few books on the raw meat diet and am leaning very heavily toward that with the puppy. the benifits seems huge with this kind of diet. I'm trying to see if I can locate a holistic vet in our area to go to since they might be able to advice more on this approach ... our current vet is really old - and very old school but I'm going to talk to him about it and see what he has to say.
Aprille, glad you liked the book. Dr. Dunbar is the originator of the idea of puppy school, and guess what -- he lives in the Bay Area. :) And he is also the founder of Sirius. You are very lucky to live where you live. Check out http://openpaw.org -- sometimes Dr. Dunbar gives free talks for pet owners in the Bay Area, which is a deal since people all over the world pay lots of money to hear him speak!
Lots of old-school vets want absolutely nothing to do with a raw diet. Since I moved, I have two vets -- one traditional style who is near me -- she does sports with her dogs and doesn't keep telling me my dogs are too thin , and one holistic vet who is farther away but doesn't argue with me about what to feed. I know there are some very well-thought-of holistic vets in the Bay Area, but the ones I was familiar with are pricey and have a long lead time for appointments. Good luck.
What kind of puppy will you be getting?
nickelsmumz - that's wonderful! I did not realize that he lived out here or that he was the founder of Sirius. I will check out the website you recommended and most certainly go if he's speaking out here. Want as much information under my belt before puppy comes home with us.
We are getting a Leonberger - they are a rare giant breed and we found a wonderful breeder who's been very helpful with information and stuff through the breed webpage. any idea's how I'd go about locating a Holistic vet around here? nothing came up in a google search ... someone I met recently said there was one down in Castro Valley that's about 5 miles from us.
Thanks again for all your help.
When I lived in the Bay Area, I took my cat to see Dr. Alan Stewart, an internist who is the best vet I have ever seen, hands down. He has moved his specialty practice to San Francisco and Marin, but it appears there is now a holistic vet (Dr. Rice) on his staff at the San Francisco practice.
I do not know this vet, but I would implicitly trust anyone Dr. Stewart chose to hire.
I have no connection with this practice -- I just found it while googling. There are quite a few other holistic practices in the Bay Area, as you might expect, but as I said I don't know enough to recommend one over the other.
Here is a link that might be useful: SF Vet Specialists
After these recent recalls, I may start cooking my dog food.
My dog's food has not hit a list yet but it makes me wonder about ingredients.