What do you feed your dog?

Discussion in 'Horn Depot' started by wild_turkey, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. wild_turkey

    wild_turkey 250+ Posts

    I have a golden retriever that's about 18 months old and looks at least as healthy as every other dog I've ever had. We feed him Science Diet lamb and rice dry food for large breed dogs, which is what both of our vets have recommended. We pretty much just leave food in his bowl all day long, and if he finishes it off, we fill it back up. I never worry about over-feeding him because he isn't overweight, but he does get a lot of exercise too, so that probably keeps him in good shape.

    Well my wife has been researching dog nutrition lately, and she's finding out that store-bought dry food is about the worst thing you can feed your dog. I'm not sure if this applies to "healthy" food companies like Science Diet or not, but I'd like to find out. The problem is, who do you trust on this thing? If a vet recommends a food, I have a hard time believing that it's bad for my dog, but the vet obviously sells the product and therefore has something to gain from it. At the same time, I'm hesitant to believe online "experts" that recommend other feeding plans because I don't know their credentials.

    I remember this issue being discussed on hornfans about 6 months ago, but I can't find the thread. I've heard people say that the best option is to make your own dog food, but I'm afraid that will require a lot of extra time and money. I want my dog to be healthy, but I'm not gonna focus more resources on his health than I do my own. Does anyone have a good (and practical) recommendation?
  2. Texas Horn fan

    Texas Horn fan 25+ Posts

    I to am interested in this topic. But dont have any good info to contribute.

    I do however have this email that my vet sent me this morning. She isn't one to send out stuff like this often (first time in 5 years) so I tend to trust her. I thought it was worth putting out for everyone else.

    Just wanted to warn everyone about something that is coming to light
    recently. I have seen a couple of cases of a rare condition and on
    researching it online with other veterinarians around the nation have found
    that others are seeing it also. The problem appears to occur in animals
    that haave eaten chicken jerky treats. They are sold under a lot of
    different brand names and are sold in pet stores, grocery stores, walmart,
    etc. They are Made in China - (who could have guessed). It may or may not
    say made in China on the package. The toxic factor in the treats is unknown
    at this time and they have not been recalled. I have only seen dogs so far
    with the problems. Probably because a lot of cats are not fed chicken jerky
    treats. It damages the kidneys but initially the dog does not appear ill at
    all. The kidneys become unable to reabsorb glucose in the proximal tubules
    so the animal has glucose in the urine like a diabetic would but their blood
    glucose is normal. As it has progressed, some owners have noted that their
    animals were drinking more water and urinating more frequently or having
    accidents in the house. If caught early enough, most animals have
    recovered. Some have died if it has gone on too long. If you have fed any
    chicken jerky treats of any kind, stop feeding it but keep the package. It
    would be best to have a urine sample checked to see if it shows any
    problems. Let me know if you have any concerns.

    This probably belongs in a different area, but I for one think companies should be required by law to disclose on the packaging the origin of any items they sell.
  3. Mike_Tyson

    Mike_Tyson 500+ Posts

    Keep feeding your dog Science Diet. It is not one of the bad dog foods, IIRC Science Diet uses a higher grade of meat than Taco Bell. I fed my dog Science Diet for 13 years and he lived a great life until he came down with cushing disease. When I get my next dog way down the road I will feed that dog Science Diet as well.
  4. midtown

    midtown 1,000+ Posts

    You should feed him a set amount of food at a set time every day. We feed our 100 lb GSD about 4 cups a day. 1 or 2 a day is fine. I feed my dog chicken and rice and then any leftovers that my son throws on the ground. Red meat based foods make your dog smell IMO. We use store brand dog food. If it kills him Ill go out and get another dog.
  5. Big Jake

    Big Jake 100+ Posts

  6. wild_turkey

    wild_turkey 250+ Posts

    Why is it so important to feed your dog a specific amount at set intervals? Our vet told us to just leave food out all the time unless he starts to get fat, which so far hasn't happened. We don't feed people food either, except on rare occasions we'll give him a rib or something.
  7. mihm_rules_mom

    mihm_rules_mom 25+ Posts

    Both of our dogs get Proplan. They seem healthy and energetic. We gave Science Diet to our little dog when we first got him from the Humane Society, but he threw up all the time. Then we tried Nutro, and he did the same thing. When we switched him to Proplan, he was fine. My vet promotes the premium dog foods, and a friend told me dogs poop less on premium foods.
  8. mihm_rules_mom

    mihm_rules_mom 25+ Posts

    I read in a book that it's just easier to keep a dog from getting fat if the amount is specific. Also, it's easy to quantify when the vet asks how much he has or has not eaten if the dog gets sick. I think it's more my neurotic nature that requires my dogs get fed specific amounts at specific times. Or pretty close to specific times.
  9. whickums

    whickums 250+ Posts

    The recommendation not to free feed dogs is two-fold:
    1) You can regulate exactly how much food your dog eats everyday, preventing overfeeding
    2) Providing the food rather than leaving it out all the time reinforces your status as the provider and pack leader, in a way. This isn't important for all dogs but can be helpful.

    Vets recommend Science Diet because Hills funds a lot of textbooks and that's all many of them know. Canine nutrition is not something that is taught very well in vet school (so I'm told), so the truth is most vets don't know **** about what a quality food is.

    I personally feed my dogs Timberwolf Organics, though they're in a sort of controversy right now over changing ingredients. In the past I have also fed Merrick, Solid Gold, Fromm 4 star, Wellness, California Naturals, and Innova Evo. Right now I'm thinking about moving my allergy dog to The Honest Kitchen, which is dehydrated raw food. There are a lot of guidelines you could go by to determine what a high quality food is, so I will just reference one of the best links I know to do your research:

    The Dog Food Project
  10. l00p

    l00p 10,000+ Posts

    Science Diet if def. not a bad food. But it's quality is not the same as it was a decade ago for some reason. But their prescription food is amazing and does the job for sure. But it is one of the few non pet store bought foods that is good. You won't do wrong continuing to use it. I would give it a nod over Iam's or Eukanuba.

    Some vets get paid to suggest a food too. Not that this is what prompted our vet to do so, just that some are paid. Now, they would not do so for a food that was not a good one so it is not a bad thing.

    I used to feed my dog Nutro Natural for Large Dogs and was happy with it. But in comparing ingredients, nutritional value and other factors I found that I could do a lot better for my dog in the long run. I did some research and first switched over to the Solid Gold brand. It is considered a premium or super premium brand along with the likes of California, Innova and others.

    But it was too rich for her. Her stool was too soft. So we made a move to the Precise label, which is Texas based, btw. I am very, very satisfied with this brand and she appears to be as well, lol. This coming from a dog that likes to eat toilet paper or napkins.

    This is the line of Precise she eats, Precise Plus. The Link

    This is the specific one she devours. The Link

    The most treasured part of a kill by carnivores and usually goes to the alpha is the part of the stomach digesting veggies in an herbivore. This is a main way for animals to get botanical benefits, vitamins and fiber. What I love about this food is the botanicals included and why they are included.

    When I ran this by my vet I was pleased with her reaction. "Great food, lucky dog". That sealed it.

    When the tainting issue existed with food from China it was nice to not have to worry one second about it.

    Compare your label to that of Precise, Solid Gold,California and Innova type brands. The proof or test is in the first handful of ingredients. If you pass the test, stay with it. If not, love your animal more. The way your animal loves you.
  11. idigTexas

    idigTexas 1,000+ Posts

    We feed our med-large mix Solid Gold Hund-n-Flocken. Our senior Boston gets Solid Gold Holistique Blendz. Both dogs eat at the same time every day and are given specific amounts appropriate for their respective size. We switched to Solid Gold based on a HornFans poster recommendation a couple of years ago. The dogs love it, and they appear to be healthier and more energetic. Neither has a weight problem, though I would expect the mix to eat until he exploded if given the chance (he augments his Hund-n-Flocken with pecans, random floor findings, Polly Pockets, crayons, old lemons, unripe figs, and pretty much anything else he encounters).
  12. Woland

    Woland 500+ Posts

    Nutro Lamb and Rice

    Raw chicken wings once a week to keep their teeth clean
  13. ChazUTX

    ChazUTX 250+ Posts

    I feed our pug Honest Kitchen, a dehydrated dog food that helps tremendously with her allergies, and our Lab either Blue Mountain or Canidae. About the worst dog food on the markets is anything sold at a grocery store. Try to stay away from anything that has the word 'by-product' in the ingredients. Check out this article I read not long ago:

    Dog food article

    Another good article on dog food education:

    Dog food article 2
  14. Wild Bill

    Wild Bill 1,000+ Posts

    I use Pro Plan for my 2 yo border collie mix. In the hot weather I only feed him once about 1 1/2 cup a day to maintain his weight at 35 lbs. In the winter I'll usually feed him twice since he's a lot more active.
  15. ousuxndallas

    ousuxndallas 500+ Posts

    I feed Iams Large Breed right now to my black lab. I'm about to switch to EVO, after extensive research.

    Iams gets rated extremely low since it has a ton of fillers in it. EVO gets high ratings since it contains zero fillers. But it costs a lot. Apparently, you should look at the K/Cal per cup. It turns out that you can feed 1/2 the amount of EVO compared to Iams to get the same K/cal per feeding.

    There's extensive threads on RetriverTraining.com and Duck Hunting Chat.com. Check them out.
  16. Longhorn Al

    Longhorn Al 500+ Posts

    ham hocks
  17. utexas_61

    utexas_61 500+ Posts

    so is Purina no good?
  18. hullabelew

    hullabelew 1,000+ Posts

    Our obedience trainer suggested we change our dog food to either Canidae or California Natural since they are 21% protein. It seems to have helped with the dog's aggression, a little bit.
  19. HornzUp

    HornzUp < 25 Posts

    We just buy whatever is the cheapest at the store.

    We have a siberian huskie and a golden lab mix and they each get 2 cup at 7am(or whenever the first person wakes up) and then 1 cup at 4pm.
  20. flaco

    flaco 500+ Posts

  21. whickums

    whickums 250+ Posts

    If I could find somewhere to buy cheap meat I would be feeding one of my dogs raw. He LOVES it. My Weimaraner is disgusted by raw meat but loves fruits and veggies.
  22. C-Man

    C-Man 250+ Posts

    IIRC Science Diet isn't that much better than run-of-the-mill Purina dry dog food types. I think the vets have been bought off by SD but I may be wrong. I think it's better than the other **** you buy at the grocery store but not by a whole lot.

    We fed our JRT -- before we "transferred" him to a new home when our first baby was born -- Innova brand dog food. It came highly recommended by the JRTCA (Jack Russell Terrier Club of America). It was one of their Top 10 foods (dry) and it was the highest one I could find at Canine Commissary in Dallas.
  23. ousuxndallas

    ousuxndallas 500+ Posts

    Yes, Innova makes EVO. Actually, Naturapet makes both. And I've heard great things about Canidae.

    Any of these premium brands are great. Just look at the ingredient list and the protein & fat content.

    This site does a good job of analyzing dog foods. They have them rated up to 6 stars.
    The Link
  24. C-Man

    C-Man 250+ Posts

  25. zork

    zork 2,500+ Posts

    Purina One Adult formula, biggest bag I can find is at walmart.

    Here is a great tool to help you figure out fluff from facts:

    The Link

    Scroll down the list till you get to the dog foods.
  26. l00p

    l00p 10,000+ Posts

    I see Purina compares themselves v. Iams and Hill's (non prescription). Two not so good foods but well known names as they used to be decent. Smart move. Baylor looks v. Prairie View and aggy corups christi.
  27. CelisHorn

    CelisHorn 100+ Posts

    My blue heeler is epileptic and we have no idea what triggers the seizures so we give her holistic dog food because sometimes the stuff in the cheaper brands can trigger seizures. She eats Nutro Ultra holistic dog food. It costs a fortune, but perhaps it makes a difference.
  28. B

    B 100+ Posts

    We have an 11 year old yellow lab and a 14 year old husky. I buy the biggest bag od Purina Dog Chow I can find and that's what they get. As the husky got older, her appetite slowed and she wasn't eating as much. So, I now buy her Pedigree canned food in gravy and pour it over her Dog Chow. She licks the bowl clean and her weight is back up.
  29. JohnnyM

    JohnnyM 2,500+ Posts

    We feed all three of ours Innova and it's the only food they don't stop eating after awhile. We have tried others but after some months they just don't want to eat it anymore.

    EVO is highly rated but you can't just do a switch-over to it without some problems, so if you go that route make sure to read about it and phase it in very slowly. And some dogs just don't do well on it.

    We made this switch after researching a lot of foods. It may not be #1, but it's better than most others. I don't understand the mentality of just buying the cheapest food, but maybe that's just me. I figure if I make the decision to have a pet, I should treat it well and not feed it ****. When I have kids I surely won't be feeding them the cheapest food everyday just to save a buck.

    Vets get about as much education about nutrition as MDs do....which is nearly none. It's pretty ridiculous actually, considering that what you put in your body has such huge effects on, well, just about everything.
  30. ChazUTX

    ChazUTX 250+ Posts


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