So this will be pretty vague, as I'm just taking it from the message she left me on friday. (I'm supposed to call her monday and talk more - I also want to ask about Baloo's new food - So I will update then)
Basically, her major concern with Orijen is that it has not been put through any feeding trials (that she was able to find reference to). She contacted Champion to try to address this, but they have not gotten back to her in 2 weeks. (I also sent an email asking about feeding trials to Champion, they haven't gotten back to me, either... :-\)
So ultimately that would mean that Orijen hit the market without ever actually being fed to a dog.
I mean, we talked about feeding trials and their significance. (Basically, for those that don't know, feeding trials go as follows; sample set of dogs get fed the food being tested, if no more than 20% of them die within the (usually 6 month) trial period, the food has passed the feeding trial.) So how much weight does this really carry? And if it is relatively easy to pass the trial, why not just do it??
She also doesn't think that the high protein is completely used by domestic dogs, and so was a little leary on the over-emphasis of high protein in the food.
Last thing, she mentioned that some studies that she asked other vets about have linked protein to faster growth. She also said that there have been more studies that said that there was no link between protein and faster growth. So which to believe? She is the type that likes to err on the side of caution, and so am I, when it comes down to it.
Having said that, I will keep Peanut and the cats on Orijen, because I still like it, and they're doing really well. If Baloo was doing well on it, I'd probably keep him on it too. I asked the Vet for a critical analysis, and that's what she's giving me. I expected her to look at possible problems and pitfalls, her saying, "looks good to me", wouldn't be as helpful, if you know what I mean.
So I will add any further comments that I recieve on Monday to this thread. And if anyone is interested in what she has to say about Fromm's, feel free to PM me.
I'm just going on what I understand, so someone please correct me if I'm wrong!!
No dog food can hit the market before before being proven to meet minimum nutritional requirements.
Dog food companies can do this by one of two ways:
1. by calculations: estimate amount of nutrients on basis of average nutrient content of its ingredients or by laboratory tests (but not animal feed trials) in which case the bag will read: "formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for (specific life stage)."
2. by feeding trials: in which case the bag will read: "Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that (name of product) provides complete and balanced nutrition for (specific life stage)." This is a 6 month feeding trial on one line of their product only (could by puppy, adult, grain-free etc) with at least 8 animals, of which 20% must survive and not show any significant weight loss or severe health problems.
It is also my understanding that a bag can say that feeding tests were done if a particular product is similar to a food that was actually tested on live animals. For example, ABC Dog Food Company makes puppy and chicken adult food and fish adult food. Say they feed test their chicken adult food but not their fish adult food or their puppy. If the chicken adult food passes the feed test, they could put the same label on their fish adult food and their puppy food, even though there were no feeding tests done on those.
I did a bit of brief research into the grain-frees online...
Evo claims to tested their food using feeding trials.
Orijen, GoNatural!, Nature's Variety Instinct and Wellness are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profile for All Life Stages.
And this is what Solid Gold had to say about their products...I'm not sure how controlled and scientific Solid Gold's "feeding trials" are, if they're using employee pets (and I'm assuming they're still living in employees' homes).Does Solid Gold engage in any animal testing?
The only testing we conduct on animals is in the form of non-invasive feeding trials. The dogs and cats are fed a variety of foods and their preferences are simply monitored and recorded. Feeding trials are the best method of ensuring that our food is palatable for dogs and cats and is very necessary to ensure the best product makes it to the market. All dog food companies must assess the nutritional quality and palatability of their food before it can receive approval to be sold. This is currently done with personal pets owned by the employees and associates of Solid Gold.
Either way, it's a crapshoot, in my own opinion. Nutrient profiles are based on an average dog. What if your dog is a tiny teacup yorkie? Or a great dane? What if your dog is super active? What if your dog is a couch potato? What is an "average" dog?
How do minimum nutrient requirements calculations take into consideration things like the bioavailability of nutrients, individual dog's digestion, etc.?
As far as feeding trials go, are there any long-term feeding trials? Over 6 months? Ones that follow dogs throughout their entire life?
How many dog food companies still do feeding trials (due to expense and time required)?
I'm not trying to defend Orijen, or anything like that... personally, I won't be feeding Henry Orijen much longer. While a great food on paper, and I will continue to stand by the reasons I chose it (which we discussed in another thread), in the two months that he has been eating it, he continues to gain weight, despite being fed less and less. Certainly we must rule out any medical reason for this, but our holistic vet feels that Orijen is just too nutrient dense for Henry. :-\
I'm going to be home-preparing Henry's meals from now on, under the supervision of our holistic and conventional vets.
My guess would be that the majority of dog foods out there hit the market without ever actually been fed to a dog. :-\So ultimately that would mean that Orijen hit the market without ever actually being fed to a dog.
It's such a crapshoot, eh? So unbelievably frustrating.....  >
I don't trust myself or my knowledge enough to home prepare meals. I hope to one day get to that point, but it won't be for awhile. I can barely prepare meals for myself.  :-[Exactly. Thinking about the variety within the species is mind-boggling. When you really think about it, there is no such thing as an average dog. The average comes from having specimens at both ends of the scale, right?  :-\Originally Posted by henrysmom
I just want a food that my dogs are happy with. A food that is good for them, that leads to bright eyes, healthy coats, good body condition and intestinal harmony. I don't think that's a lot to ask.  >
Fromm has been through feeding trials. Does that make it better? No. Does it make me feel better? Yes.  :-[
As insignificant as the trial may be, it is nice to know that the food I'm feeding (or one very similar to it) was fed to dogs before being sold to pet owners...
Another thing my vet referenced when I was in there last was the fact that there was a study done where they mixed all sorts of awful components together (motor oil, cleaning solution, etc.) and could get a nutritional analysis off of that. (protein levels, etc.) So what does that mean??
I don't know. I just don't know. Why does this all have to be so convoluded?? Sheesh.  : :P
Oh, I feel the frustration. Most definitely.
Henry didn't do well on "regular" kibble.
Henry did do better on raw, but not 100%.
Henry keeps gaining weight on grain-free kibble, despite being fed less and less.
If this home-prepared meals doesn't work either, I'm not sure what I'm going to do.
I just read your other post about Baloo not doing well on the Fish formula either. Much intestinal DISharmony. BUMMER!! I've heard good things about Fromms from those who feed it, though I haven't fed Henry it myself. It sure does sound good though!!!
The only way I'd do home-prepared would be under the strict supervision of our vets. Our holistic one formulates it considering all the vitamins and minerals and nutrients that each individual dog needs, so that everything is balanced. All I have to do is follow the recipe! I'm hoping that it will make me eat better as a result. LOL!
Is home-cooking the way to go? Who knows, but I hope that for Henry it makes a difference. :-\
Me too. I'll be sending good weight-distribution/management thoughts to Henery.Originally Posted by henrysmom
Good luck to everyone on their feedings.
Rhys has gained weight (YEAH) on the Orijen in the three weeks he has been on it. This is what I was hoping for.
Just consider this, as an aside, and I am not saying the Orijen is a miracle cure or anything...Rhys was at MSU on Wednesday, just a follow up, because for a dog that was given three months to live in August, he is (are you ready?) SYMPTOM FREE.
The tumour in the scapula has decreased by 65% and it looks as though the blood supply is nearly completely cut off.
The three lesions which were completely obvious in the lungs at the end of August are nearly non existant. The spots on the rib are the only ones which have slightly increased in size, and by 5%.
The only change we have made? The food.
Melissa, that's awesome!!!!
Yay Rhyser, packing on the pounds!!! BIG YAY Rhyser, kill off those cancers!!! ;D
That's fabulous!!! Anti-cancer diets are ideally high protein/low carbs, which is what Orijen (or any other grain-free) is.
I really do like Orijen as a food... I just wish Henery wasn't gaining weight like crazy on it. He's the heaviest he has ever been, and is close to losing his waist. How's Roo doing on Orijen?
When his new baby sister comes home next year however, I'm going to try the large-breed puppy Orijen on her.
I won't feed a food that wasn't actually fed to dogs. I did it with the Canidae and it was the worst thing I ever did to my dogs. Its all and good to reach the requirements in a laboratory but my dogs are not your guinea pigs. Been there and done that and my dogs suffered for it.
I address this in my dog food article http://www.woodhavenlabs.com/dogfoods.html
This issue is also addressed by a vet LINKY
♣ Laura ♣
I'm still in the "which food to try" dilemma phase. Dee looks good on the food she's been on for awhile, BUT she is always itchy. When I looked back I realized that the "itchies" had increased after I put her on her current food. This may or may not be a coincidence. I've talked to a number of people who seemed pretty knowledgeable on what they were selling. I was thinking of trying Orijen, but they seemed to think it had too many ingredients for a dog with allergies. Three of the stores suggested Go! Natural Salmon and Oatmeat (one protein, one grain), so I thought I might give this a try. Did anyone else consider this one?