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there is so much out there on what foods are bad for your dogs it gives me a headache. one of my dogs has food allergies we think to wheat and/or corn. we tried blue buffalo and it was too rich or something, she had a terrible reaction to it, her vet put her on a low residue probiotic prescription food and seemed to get better at first, then she had runny stools every day again. i also thought the food our vet prescribed had horrible ingredients, corn and ck meal and whatnot, so i switched her to nutro grain free limited ingredient turkey and potato, she does amazing on it so i've kept her on it, now i mix happy hips chicken and oats with it and she is still doing great on it, poop wise. but i have read reviews that say nutro is garbage and on that thought i've read alot saying blue buffalo is too and i thought that was one of the best foods out there. her vet told me that some dogs need grain but i have read alot more info that says grain free is that way to go. her happy hips has grain but its also corn and wheat free and it has better reviews than the nutro, i really like that the nutro is made with turkey but is it unhealthy? and is it ok that i'm mixing the foods? there is just too much opposing information on the internet.
 

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Lol! Dog food definitely can be very confusing!:)

Personally I prefer grain free foods (3 of my dogs eat Before Grain and Taste of the Wild), but my 4th eats Canidae Single Grain Protein Plus.
I really don't have an issue with a food if it contain a quality grain as long as it still contains plenty of meat!:)

Perhaps check out this website. I have always found its reviews helpful!
Dog Food Reviews | Dog Food Ratings

Edit:
After skimming the review and ingredient list for Nutro, the biggest issue seems to be that it is lower in protein than many people like. The Happy Hips seems to be similar. If your dog is doing well on what you are currently feeding then I would link that you could keep on doing what works. Mixing the foods should be fine!

Of course if you would like foods that contain more protein then we can certainly help you choose. You could aslo just supplement by adding cooked meat to your dog's diet!:)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for the site, the happy hips looked pretty good but the nutro only got 3 stars. should i completely take her off it? and how do you know if its too much protein? someone told me blue buffalo has too much protein in it. my vet pretty much told me if she has normal stools to just keep her on it since she had diarrhea for practically the whole first year of her life.
 

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oh they have always gotten boiled turkey or chicken for a snack. its also great for her training, and now i add the fresh pet selects refrigerated food to their morning meal. and i forgot to mention i give them coconut oil my mom said its great but im afraid its too fattening for my doxie but she has been losing weight with smaller portions so i'm not too worried about that anymore.
 

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thanks for the site i was giving them more because they just seemed to love it but my girl being so sensitive started having softer stools so right now my doxie gets 1/2 a teaspoon twice a day and my big girl gets a teaspoon twice a day. they just gobble theyre food right up too now dinnertime is a major treat and i always know exactly how much they ate and since my doxie is overweight its very important but she has been losing weight since we've been using the oil.

the oil and smaller portions of course. lol
 

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Wow I can't believe royal canin is one of the lowest quality pet food. Sadly, only pet food that received 0 scoops to 1 scoop are sold here in new Zealand.
 

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It also depends on the dog. Keira has always eaten BLue Buff, but Moose Cant. He has the nastiest poops and gas and such. Grains are ok as long as theyre high quality. By-products as long as froma named meat source, (chicken, beef) are ok. Think about, there are alot of nutrients in the unclaimed part of the chicken and people do eat them sometimes. It has to be high quality though. Theyre dogs, do Yoiu think wolves waste parts of their kill?? Nope. Most of this dog food controversy is bananas. It really depends on what works for YOUR INDIVIDUAL DOG! After all, they cant talk so you must be the one to take care of them. Just cause human thinks its "the best" doesnt mean it is for Fido. I am all for high quality foods. i do extensive research as well as working with my dogs to see what works for them. But I have also seen a neighbors dog eat Ol Roy all its life and Live to be 15 with not one single health problem. NO ONE can tell you what is best for your dog besides YOU and your VET. Good luck with your pups. (Keira was raised on Eukanuba and Nutro. Nutro was the ONLY thing she would or could eat for awhile due to her very sensitive skin..NOT a bad food! ) :D
 

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Good points ZggiR. I agree that you have to find something that suits your dog and you can't slavishly follow what someone else does (or even what you do for another dog) if your dog is suffering as a result.

Your points about feeding 'rubbish' food and dogs living till a ripe old age doesn't mean the food was good. It's a bit like saying 'My grandma smoked like a trooper and died in her 90s' and using that as a reason to smoke. I'd rather feed my dog the best quality food I can rather than risk that s/he would be the one in a thousand that gets by perfectly well on poor quality food.

I also think that vets are not best placed to help you on what to feed your dog - at least not in the UK. They are not trained in dog nutrition and are often tied into a particular dog food (like Hills).

At the end of the day, as you rightly say, we have a responsibility to our dogs to take the best care we can of them and therefore I also think we have a responsibility to buy the best we can afford and research what 'the best' is whilst always remembering that every dog is different.
 

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It also depends on the dog. Keira has always eaten BLue Buff, but Moose Cant. He has the nastiest poops and gas and such. Grains are ok as long as theyre high quality. By-products as long as froma named meat source, (chicken, beef) are ok. Think about, there are alot of nutrients in the unclaimed part of the chicken and people do eat them sometimes. It has to be high quality though. Theyre dogs, do Yoiu think wolves waste parts of their kill?? Nope. Most of this dog food controversy is bananas. It really depends on what works for YOUR INDIVIDUAL DOG! After all, they cant talk so you must be the one to take care of them. Just cause human thinks its "the best" doesnt mean it is for Fido. I am all for high quality foods. i do extensive research as well as working with my dogs to see what works for them. But I have also seen a neighbors dog eat Ol Roy all its life and Live to be 15 with not one single health problem. NO ONE can tell you what is best for your dog besides YOU and your VET. Good luck with your pups. (Keira was raised on Eukanuba and Nutro. Nutro was the ONLY thing she would or could eat for awhile due to her very sensitive skin..NOT a bad food! ) :D

Well said.
 

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I also think that vets are not best placed to help you on what to feed your dog - at least not in the UK. They are not trained in dog nutrition and are often tied into a particular dog food (like Hills).
In the US, depending on school, there is nutrition training. There are also veterinary nutritionists, who are board certified just like an internist or dermatologist etc. They've spent years doing research on food etc. I consulted some a little while ago regarding this whole controversy (because it is so confusing and annoying) and they basically chalked things up to good marketing on the "quality foods" manufacturers part. A lot of what is considered "garbage" in food is actually useful. They don't consider any food "bad" but some need tweaking or flat out changing depending on the individual dog.

Hills and Purina are mainstays with the vets here too, but often times its for the prescription diets than the regular foods (at least the vets I know).

FWIW *shrug*
 

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I know - it's so confusing isn't it? I did heaps of research on the diet I feed my dogs and decided that as long as I feel it's the best and there is evidence to support it I will go with it. In pretty much every sphere of dog ownership (training is a good example) there are differing opinions all backed up with evidence of why it works. We just have to go with what's best for us I think and not get too bogged down with all the alternatives. Which is not to say we should slavishly follow something believing we're right and everyone else is wrong, but that we should accept there is rarely a system which 100% of people agree with.
 

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In the US, depending on school, there is nutrition training. There are also veterinary nutritionists, who are board certified just like an internist or dermatologist etc.
It does seem like the nutritional training in different schools can vary. Unfortunately I've talked with some vets who have mentioned to me that the nutritional training they received at their school was minimal. I've also heard this mentioned from a couple supposed vets on pet forums. The article "What do vets learn about nutrition?" on the subject supposedly written by Veterinarian Shawn Messonnier does make me curious how much most are receiving and what it entails.
http://www.lukesallnatural.com/images/WhatdoVetslearnaboutnutrition.pdf

I agree, the world of pet nutrition can be confusing to say the least.
 

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Speaking of vet prescription foods I was wondering, with these foods/diets are there any special ingredients regulated by the FDA or DEA requiring an official prescription, like with prescription medication? If not, why are they prescription needed foods, or are they really not (marketing)? . . . just curious.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
thanks ZggiR. nice to know you feed your baby nutro too, someone on a different dog food forum told me i was "sentencing my dogs to a slow and painful death" by feeding them nutro, she told me blue buffalo is the only dog food worth feeding our dogs, but i have tried alot of other foods including blue buffalo and she likes the nutro, has solid stools for once in her short life, and i've even noticed a fuller coat on my larger girl. i didnt want to take her off of it but i want to give her high quality healthy food that will help keep her close to me for many many more years. i'll stop listening so much to my vet or the internet and just see how my babies do. thanks for all the replies. and my vet also recomends what i would call "crappy" food.. hills. the hills diet she prescribed for my dog had corn as the first ingredient and i'm pretty sure thats what gave her diarhea for so long.
 

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thanks ZggiR. nice to know you feed your baby nutro too, someone on a different dog food forum told me i was "sentencing my dogs to a slow and painful death" by feeding them nutro, she told me blue buffalo is the only dog food worth feeding our dogs, but i have tried alot of other foods including blue buffalo and she likes the nutro, has solid stools for once in her short life, and i've even noticed a fuller coat on my larger girl. i didnt want to take her off of it but i want to give her high quality healthy food that will help keep her close to me for many many more years. i'll stop listening so much to my vet or the internet and just see how my babies do. thanks for all the replies. and my vet also recomends what i would call "crappy" food.. hills. the hills diet she prescribed for my dog had corn as the first ingredient and i'm pretty sure thats what gave her diarhea for so long.
Thats exactly it...i used to be sooo confused as to what to feed..my own judgements were working great but everywhere i turned i read/heard something different. IMO Nutro is NOT that bad of a food. And if she is thriving on it, then let her gave it! We need to remember that all of these Holistic and Natural foods may not work for our domesticated dogs. If the lines have never been fedanything else, then maybe it would be great. But dogs these days are so used to all the ingredients in dog food that giving them nothing but natural just messes em up. Another thing, I agree, Blue Buff is good, but its not the best. its way too rich for some dogs. And Science Diet, is equivalent to Ol Roy. LOL

Your points about feeding 'rubbish' food and dogs living till a ripe old age doesn't mean the food was good. It's a bit like saying 'My grandma smoked like a trooper and died in her 90s' and using that as a reason to smoke. I'd rather feed my dog the best quality food I can rather than risk that s/he would be the one in a thousand that gets by perfectly well on poor quality food.
Very very true. i am sorry I made it sound as if i thought that though. I am not saying that them feeding ol roy was good, Just exemplifying the point that every dog is different and what works for some may not work for others.:D
 

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Speaking of vet prescription foods I was wondering, with these foods/diets are there any special ingredients regulated by the FDA or DEA requiring an official prescription, like with prescription medication? If not, why are they prescription needed foods, or are they really not (marketing)? . . . just curious.
The FDA regulates medicated animal feed. All drugs developed and manufactured as a feed additive are approved based on the specific use and potency levels. According to FDA regulations, "Companies who make medicated animal feed are required to be registered with the FDA as a drug manufacturer and have an approved medicated feed mill license." Standard over-the-counter pet food is also regulated, but to a much-lesser degree.

That's copied from another site. I have two dogs that eat Purina prescription food. Emma eats Purina EN because she has chronic pancreatitis and the EN is suppose to be more easily digested. And, I can say that her stomach isn't as upset on the prescription compared to regular dog food. Lily eats Purina HA. With her disease she has to have very, very low fat. There are no foods on the market with as low of a fat content that is in prescription food. Also, she can only have soy based protein and not animal based protein.
 

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Thanks Emma09, after reading this article on the veterinary information network, I think I found my answer, it seems there are no prescription-label drugs in the prescription vet foods.
Confusion abounds concerning status of therapeutic pet foods - VIN

Sorry to hear your dogs have chronic health problems, but it sounds like you have found foods that are helpful to them. One of my dogs suffered from chronic colitis and digestive issues for 3 years, nothing helped but medication (metronidazole). Frustrated, I eventually tried a homemade raw diet suggested by a vet. She thought the bio availability of the nutrients and enzymes in the raw food would be more helpful with aiding in digestion, and the lack of grains would supposedly put less strain on the pancreas. After two months on raw, her condition really cleared up and soon after she stopped having attacks completely and no longer needed medication. I'm just glad she's no longer experiencing pain, that was horrible to watch her go through.
 
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