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We feed grain free. [shrugs] Of course, we began with feeding all of our dogs grain inclusive food (before there was much selection for gf). Then, for a long time we fed some of our dogs gf and some of ours food w/grains. Most of ours did fine with grains and they all do fine gf. If I needed to, I'd feel comfortable moving our dogs to our food company's grain-inclusive lines.

I'm under no illusions that grains are bad or that all dogs need gf or that just because it's gf it is better quality than any food that may have grains.... I know some dogs do terrible on gf and that many dogs thrive with grains. And I've never been under any illusions about what marketing/labels mean--heck, I began my learning as a young teenager and started by learning what/how foods/labels/ingredients were regulated and what terms meant.

This link is a fine one that people should read (mostly for the first section and its definitions IMO), but it is by no means new information. I guess what's "new" (newer anyways) is all the marketing hype on holistic, all natural, etc. and people need reminded that marketing is just that. However, just because a person chooses to feed gf--unless their dog does poorly on it--does not it any worse a choice than feeding any other food.

Just some ramblings, sorry. I'm exhausted....
 

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I think part of the reason grains (corn especially) get such a bad rap is that they feature so prominent on so many of the cheapest foods out there. (you know the ones that are almost all corn and wheat middlings?)

Grain free seems to have been somewhat of a knee-jerk reaction to that. I don't see why potatoes and peas are good and grains are bad. I actually don't feed corn inclusive food (but do feed grain inclusive) but I don't see why corn would be all that bad either in a food containing more than 'wheat middlings'.

But like it or not dogs seem to survive just fine on ol roy and those foods. I am still a little bit skeptical of things like Doggy Bag Dog Food though.

I think a lot of it is people want to show they're a good owner who cares about their dogs' diets. And a lot of time more expensive seems to equal better to us.

I haven't noticed a difference in my dogs on grain free vs grain inclusive but I do stick to the 'internet acceptable brands'.
 

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I think part of the reason grains (corn especially) get such a bad rap is that they feature so prominent on so many of the cheapest foods out there. (you know the ones that are almost all corn and wheat middlings?)

Grain free seems to have been somewhat of a knee-jerk reaction to that. I don't see why potatoes and peas are good and grains are bad. I actually don't feed corn inclusive food (but do feed grain inclusive) but I don't see why corn would be all that bad either in a food containing more than 'wheat middlings'.

But like it or not dogs seem to survive just fine on ol roy and those foods. I am still a little bit skeptical of things like Doggy Bag Dog Food though.

I think a lot of it is people want to show they're a good owner who cares about their dogs' diets. And a lot of time more expensive seems to equal better to us.

I haven't noticed a difference in my dogs on grain free vs grain inclusive but I do stick to the 'internet acceptable brands'.

I agree. I think, everything in moderation. Too much of anything can be a bad thing. For example, Eagle Pack currently has corn in it but it's not the first ingredient and I can't tell you how many dogs(especially Danes it seems), I hear doing well on that food.

Moderation and balance is key!
 

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So I've been home cooking and he was doing great on doggie Atkins (low carb veg plus meat and oils). I added a can of peas to a batch....scratch like crazy. Do a low carb batch, fine. I tried sweet potato..scratching. Tried potato, scratching . My dog seems to even have a carb problem. I guess I will go back to Atkins type veggies and meat. What would cause a dog to itch at peas, potatoes, and sweet potatoes! It could be environment that I'm not putting the connections together but it feels like every carb leads to issues
 

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So I've been home cooking and he was doing great on doggie Atkins (low carb veg plus meat and oils). I added a can of peas to a batch....scratch like crazy. Do a low carb batch, fine. I tried sweet potato..scratching. Tried potato, scratching . My dog seems to even have a carb problem. I guess I will go back to Atkins type veggies and meat. What would cause a dog to itch at peas, potatoes, and sweet potatoes! It could be environment that I'm not putting the connections together but it feels like every carb leads to issues
It could be environmental. I actually was talked to a customer at the pet store today and she tried so many different foods that didn't work for her dog that was itching ALL the time. She ended up getting the allergy tests done...and guess what her dog was allergic to? Dust Mites!!! She now has to freeze the food before she feeds it, can't store it in a storage bin, can't really use dog beds without washing the all the time.

It's crazy what animals and people can be allergic to.
 

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So I've been home cooking and he was doing great on doggie Atkins (low carb veg plus meat and oils). I added a can of peas to a batch....scratch like crazy. Do a low carb batch, fine. I tried sweet potato..scratching. Tried potato, scratching . My dog seems to even have a carb problem. I guess I will go back to Atkins type veggies and meat. What would cause a dog to itch at peas, potatoes, and sweet potatoes! It could be environment that I'm not putting the connections together but it feels like every carb leads to issues
Your dog is so sensitive, I wouldn't even bother trying anything carb-like. That's crazy...
 

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I highly recommend that you watch the film Genetic Roulette. It covers not only the massive issues with our food supply here in the US, but also the problem with commercial animal feed. The GMOs (genetically modified organisms) that are in our food are making us sick, which is why people, as well as animals, are experiencing a food allergy epidemic, and as well as a plethora of other health issues that have skyrocketed since the introduction of these frranken-foods.

If you have exposed your dog to commercial kibble mix, he or she has been exposed to GMOs, which sensitizes your dogs not only to the GMO in question (likely corn and/or soy), but also the non-GMO version of that food and similar foods. This allergy will not go away until you (permanently) remove the GMO offenders and allow the body's immune system to return to normal.

Aside from that, whether you believe in the RAW or BARF diet, either way your dog's intake of carbs should be kept to a minimum. In the case of RAW, some carbs will partially digested in the stomach and intestines of the animal your dog is feeding on. With BARF, you should blend the vegetables so that they are broken down and thus easier to digest.

If you feed your dog commercial dog food, take them off ASAP. The USDA food pyramid is all wrong: it claims that grains should make up a majority of the human diet. Study after study, and certainly the health and waist measurements of Americans now-a-days, proves that grains are wreaking havoc on our bodies and should be limited as much as possible in humans (and on top of that should only be eaten when sprouted to remove anti-nutrients that prevent proper digestion of the grain). And dogs in particular have absolutely no business eating grains. Their bodies simply don't know what to do with it. If you consistently feed any human or animal a food that it's body cannot properly digest, inflammation will occur in the gut, which will lead to food allergies and all sorta of illnesses.

My well-meaning but ill-informed vet tried to convince me that commercial dog food is OK, saying that some grain in the diet is actually necessary because it provides fiber that is "needed" to produce good, non-runny stools. If the dog is truly in need of fiber, however, fruits and vegetables can provide that, and they come with a plethora of nutrients and antioxidants as a bonus.

Again, grains should not be part of a dog's diet for optimal biological function. Don't let your vet convince you that it is okay. For one, vets have limited knowledge on proper nutrition because this information and the studies they are based on come from the commercial dog food industry that sponsors veterinary schools. It isn't hard to see that there is a conflict of interest there. On top of that, most vets use dog food sales to help cover the costs of running their practice. Essentially, they blindly become salesmen for the commercial dog food companies whose only interest is taking your money, not the health of your pet.

And grains aren't the only problem with commercial dog food. There's also the GMO ingredients (corn and soy), toxic artificial food colorings, toxic preservatives, the removal of healthy and essential fats (to increase product shelf life), and antibiotic- and hormone-filled meat to be concerned about. Additionally, the simple act of processing food by heating/cooking it destroys what little nutrition was even there to begin with. The same information holds true for processed human food. So sure, the dog food companies can argue that their food may be complete and balanced. But it is NOT AT ALL nutritious, and lack of nutrition leads to biological decline in all species.

Opt for a homemade and mostly (if not completely) raw diet, for both you and your pet.
 

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Not much to do with the article, but I also HATE seeing Soy in the hill's rx foods. Not just because I'm allergic to Soy in all forms, but I've noticed it is a great, cheapo ingredient that is only good as a filler for both human and animals to "up" the protein levels without actually using proteins. It's why they feed corn and soy to chickens to fatten them up.

There is more than one reason to stay away from soy. I have been a vegetarian for 20 years and have eaten a lot of soy in many forms. I recently found out that it is not a healthy choice for humans or animals. It actually prevents the absorption of minerals.

Soybeans are high in phytic acid, present in the bran or hulls of all seeds. It's a substance that can block the uptake of essential minerals - calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc - in the intestinal tract.
Plus about 90% are GMO along with corn so who knows what that will eventually mean to our health.
 

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So I've been home cooking and he was doing great on doggie Atkins (low carb veg plus meat and oils). I added a can of peas to a batch....scratch like crazy. Do a low carb batch, fine. I tried sweet potato..scratching. Tried potato, scratching . My dog seems to even have a carb problem. I guess I will go back to Atkins type veggies and meat. What would cause a dog to itch at peas, potatoes, and sweet potatoes! It could be environment that I'm not putting the connections together but it feels like every carb leads to issues

Those are all items with an easy conversion to sugar, if your dog is prone to fungal/yeast infections then these foods feed the fungus causing the dog to itch.
 

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Not much to do with the article, but I also HATE seeing Soy in the hill's rx foods. Not just because I'm allergic to Soy in all forms, but I've noticed it is a great, cheapo ingredient that is only good as a filler for both human and animals to "up" the protein levels without actually using proteins. It's why they feed corn and soy to chickens to fatten them up.

There is more than one reason to stay away from soy. I have been a vegetarian for 20 years and have eaten a lot of soy in many forms. I recently found out that it is not a healthy choice for humans or animals. It actually prevents the absorption of minerals.

Soybeans are high in phytic acid, present in the bran or hulls of all seeds. It's a substance that can block the uptake of essential minerals - calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc - in the intestinal tract.
Plus about 90% are GMO along with corn so who knows what that will eventually mean to our health.
To build up on what you said, there are even more reasons why soy is bad. I'll just quote from the Mercola website because it is explained very well there: (The Truth About Soy Foods: Can Soy Damage Your Health?)

"1. 91 percent of soy grown in the US is genetically modified (GM).
The genetic modification is done to impart resistance to the toxic herbicide Roundup. While this is meant to increase farming efficiency and provide you with less expensive soy, the downside is that your soy is loaded with this toxic pesticide. The plants also contain genes from bacteria that produce a protein that has never been part of the human food supply.
GM soy has been linked to an increase in allergies. Disturbingly, the only published human feeding study on GM foods ever conducted verified that the gene inserted into GM soy transfers into the DNA of our gut bacteria and continues to function. This means that years after you stop eating GM soy, you may still have a potentially allergenic protein continuously being produced in your intestines.

Even more frightening is the potential for GM soy to cause infertility in future generations, which has been evidenced by recent Russian research.

2. Soy contains natural toxins known as "anti-nutrients."
Soy foods contain anti-nutritional factors such as saponins, soyatoxin, phytates, protease inhibitors, oxalates, goitrogens and estrogens. Some of these factors interfere with the enzymes you need to digest protein. While a small amount of anti-nutrients would not likely cause a problem, the amount of soy that many Americans are now eating is extremely high.

3. Soy contains hemagglutinin.
Hemagglutinin is a clot-promoting substance that causes your red blood cells to clump together. These clumped cells are unable to properly absorb and distribute oxygen to your tissues.

4. Soy contains goitrogens
Goitrogens are substances that block the synthesis of thyroid hormones and interfere with iodine metabolism, thereby interfering with your thyroid function.

5. Soy contains phytates.
Phytates (phytic acid) bind to metal ions, preventing the absorption of certain minerals, including calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc -- all of which are co-factors for optimal biochemistry in your body. This is particularly problematic for vegetarians, because eating meat reduces the mineral-blocking effects of these phytates (so it is helpful—if you do eat soy—to also eat meat).

6. Soy is loaded with the isoflavones genistein and daidzein.
Isoflavones are a type of phytoestrogen, which is a plant compound resembling human estrogen. These compounds mimic and sometimes block the hormone estrogen, and have been found to have adverse effects on various human tissues. Soy phytoestrogens are known to disrupt endocrine function, may cause infertility, and may promote breast cancer in women.

Drinking even two glasses of soymilk daily for one month provides enough of these compounds to alter your menstrual cycle. Although the FDA regulates estrogen-containing products, no warnings exist on soy.

7. Soy has toxic levels of aluminum and manganese
Soybeans are processed (by acid washing) in aluminum tanks, which can leach high levels of aluminum into the final soy product. Soy formula has up to 80 times higher manganese than is found in human breast milk.

9. Soy infant formula puts your baby's health at risk.
Nearly 20 percent of U.S. infants are now fed soy formula, but the estrogens in soy can irreversibly harm your baby's sexual development and reproductive health. Infants fed soy formula take in an estimated five birth control pills' worth of estrogen every day."

That last sentence is probably the most disturbing. I wouldn't dare take 5 birth control pills in one day, or even 1 for that matter, but a baby? Mind-blowing, huh?

Also, I thought I'd ask you Dawnben, why do you eat a vegetarian diet? There's many issues nutrition-wise with eating a strictly plant-based diet. If it is because you care about the well-being of animals and don't agree with the inhumane ways they are raised on factory farms, I just wanted to let you know that there are other options. There are still many farmers out there that treat their animals right: they let them roam free outside; they feed them their proper, natural diets instead of GMO corn, soy, and alfalfa; they don't use hormones and antibiotics on them; they are not abused or mistreated; and most importantly, the animals live happy, stress-free lives, so their meat is superior in quality to that of their factory farm counterparts.

Unfortunately, this kind of meat is typically only sold in natural grocery stores such as Whole Foods and Earth Fare. And even then, it is still difficult to find and not to mention expensive. But farmer's markets are a great place to find such meat and at a great price. As an added bonus, you're also helping to support your community and the people who have a correct and sustainable approach towards agriculture. Plus, you have the opportunity to talk to the farmers themselves and personally asked them about the treatment of their animals, what their diets are like, ect. You could also go visit the farm and see for yourself. I care a lot about the well-being of animals, which is why I choose this route when feeding myself and my dog. But if you still choose to eat vegetarian, I understand. I just wanted to let you know that there are other options out there for you to eat meat without feeling guilty about animal cruelty :)
 
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