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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I just happened to get hired at a place that specializes in cagefree grooming and natural pet food. There is a heavy emphasis on raw diets and really great quality food. They are a very passionate, family based company and I am very excited to work with them.

Though, I have a limited knowledge when it comes specifically to canine nutrition. I have a BS in animal sciences so I have a good grasp on general nutrition. For example I can build a swine diet for lactating sows, but I don't think that is going to help me! We focused more on livestock than anything else.

I was wondering if anyone has favorite books, blogs, websites or anything to help me dive in and really be a great asset for this company. (Plus I find nutrition to be fascinating)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys! I will look into all of those. I need stuff that isn't raw too @Grabby so that works out well. They have a lot of kibble that is more natural than the commercial stuff so everything helps! The more I know the better!
 

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Hi TYD--hope both you and Dino are doing well!

I've had a strong interest in dog nutrition, which has also led to an almost obsessive interest in human nutrition, and there are many parallels. I think what you will find is that there is not really any overall consensus about what an ideal diet for a dog would be. Very generally you can divide the opinions in two camps--the raw/ancestral diet camp, and the kibble/conventional diet camp. And there are large disagreements between these two as to the best macronutrient content (protein, fat, carbohydrates) for dogs.

The raw/ancestral diet camp believes that carbohydrates are not necessary for dogs, and that anything beyond a very minimal level in the diet is not healthy. They would also support a higher fat content than the kibble/conventional diet camp. The R/A camp also believes that cooked proteins often induce intolerances and allergies, and are not as nutritious as uncooked proteins for dogs. The R/A camp also feels that many of the "special diets" created for dogs, such as diet food, are very misguided and create more problems than solutions.

The kibble/conventional diet camp believes that carbs are well-tolerated and a necessary part of the diet for most dogs. This is changing as grains are recognized to cause problems for many dogs and novel carbohydrates are substituted. They also prefer to keep the fat level of the diet at a minimum, as most people believe fat makes you fat, and that many dogs don't digest it well. The K/C camp also thinks that cooking is much safer for meat proteins, and that dogs can do well with other proteins such as soy.

The interesting thing is that this divide is paralleled with the divide in human nutrition between the Paleo/Bernstein/Low-carb, moderate-high fat adherents, and the conventional/agragrian/Ancel Keys diet followers. There are also huge disagreements about the appropriate amount of carbs for humans, and whether fat is good or bad above a minimal level. After a TON of reading, I'm firmly in the Paleo/low-carb camp, and I believe a lot of the same metabolic principles apply to dogs as well, in fact even more so. This is a very exciting time in the world of nutrition, with a lot of information being discovered and re-evaluated.

There's lots of info on the web, but I haven't found any dog nutrition books that really lay all the principles out properly (though I could start looking again). If you are at all interested in human nutrition, I can give you a bunch of titles, but nothing for dogs. I think you will find that you learn a lot from just listening to your customers, and being open-minded. Some of the workers at my favorite pet-food store are almost completely responsible for my changing beliefs about dog food, and thus my interest in human nutrition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@Gnostic Dog - Thanks I'll check out there too!
@pappi pup - Hey! I've been doing good. I hope you and your pup are doing good! The last I saw of Dyno was over a month ago but he looked good and was getting exercise and attention. I may try and seem him within the next few weeks but I have to test out the waters with my ex-stepdad.

There is so much interesting stuff out there when it comes to nutrition for all animals. Its really crazy in my opinion, I don't even have a great grasp on it yet. Diet can influence so much in my opinion. Sure dogs and people can thrive on what we eat now, but who knows what influences diseases and health beyond what we already know.

Thank you for all that info though I really appreciate it. I have a few books on the way to give me a better idea of what some people are thinking. I also came home from my first day with a bit of homework! Informational booklets on a few of the brands they have. They seem like a pretty cool place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@zoorun I'm super excited for it!

I sure hope for that too! If things keep looking up like they are, I may be able to start looking by October!
 

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Hi TYD--hope both you and Dino are doing well!

I've had a strong interest in dog nutrition, which has also led to an almost obsessive interest in human nutrition, and there are many parallels. I think what you will find is that there is not really any overall consensus about what an ideal diet for a dog would be. Very generally you can divide the opinions in two camps--the raw/ancestral diet camp, and the kibble/conventional diet camp. And there are large disagreements between these two as to the best macronutrient content (protein, fat, carbohydrates) for dogs.

The raw/ancestral diet camp believes that carbohydrates are not necessary for dogs, and that anything beyond a very minimal level in the diet is not healthy. They would also support a higher fat content than the kibble/conventional diet camp. The R/A camp also believes that cooked proteins often induce intolerances and allergies, and are not as nutritious as uncooked proteins for dogs. The R/A camp also feels that many of the "special diets" created for dogs, such as diet food, are very misguided and create more problems than solutions.

The kibble/conventional diet camp believes that carbs are well-tolerated and a necessary part of the diet for most dogs. This is changing as grains are recognized to cause problems for many dogs and novel carbohydrates are substituted. They also prefer to keep the fat level of the diet at a minimum, as most people believe fat makes you fat, and that many dogs don't digest it well. The K/C camp also thinks that cooking is much safer for meat proteins, and that dogs can do well with other proteins such as soy.

The interesting thing is that this divide is paralleled with the divide in human nutrition between the Paleo/Bernstein/Low-carb, moderate-high fat adherents, and the conventional/agragrian/Ancel Keys diet followers. There are also huge disagreements about the appropriate amount of carbs for humans, and whether fat is good or bad above a minimal level. After a TON of reading, I'm firmly in the Paleo/low-carb camp, and I believe a lot of the same metabolic principles apply to dogs as well, in fact even more so. This is a very exciting time in the world of nutrition, with a lot of information being discovered and re-evaluated.

There's lots of info on the web, but I haven't found any dog nutrition books that really lay all the principles out properly (though I could start looking again). If you are at all interested in human nutrition, I can give you a bunch of titles, but nothing for dogs. I think you will find that you learn a lot from just listening to your customers, and being open-minded. Some of the workers at my favorite pet-food store are almost completely responsible for my changing beliefs about dog food, and thus my interest in human nutrition.
You know what the biggest parallel is? It's the "feel". The raw/natural/biologically appropriate/etc proponents like the paleo proponents seem to base their ideas on gut feeling rather than empirical evidence.
 

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You know what the biggest parallel is? It's the "feel". The raw/natural/biologically appropriate/etc proponents like the paleo proponents seem to base their ideas on gut feeling rather than empirical evidence.
Unless I'm misunderstanding your post, raw isn't a gut feeling. It's what they are designed by nature to eat. They have for thousands of years, well before humans even. Kibble has only been around and in use for less than 100 years. It's cooked, man made, and full of artificial ingredients and preservatives. Dogs didn't evolve over thousands of years eating processed stuff out of a bag. That came from us people, because it's convenient and easy.
 

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Unless I'm misunderstanding your post, raw isn't a gut feeling. It's what they are designed by nature to eat. They have for thousands of years, well before humans even. Kibble has only been around and in use for less than 100 years. It's cooked, man made, and full of artificial ingredients and preservatives. Dogs didn't evolve over thousands of years eating processed stuff out of a bag. That came from us people, because it's convenient and easy.
And that is exactly what I was talking about...
 
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