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Hi all.....yesterday's Oprah was about our favorite subject, dogs.....she had a vet on there who was touting the fact that the best food was raw meat, and that dry food was the worst on his list....saying it was like feeding your dogs nothing but carbs....

After talking to my vet about my 2 picky eaters, Daisy and Speckles, they've been on a dry food w/ chicken as the first ingredient, and they've been doing great on it for over a year....

So are we feeding our labs a bad diet with dry food and now we're supposed to switch to raw or cooked meat? (And btw, my girls gets plenty of fresh veggies for treats.....carrots, green beans, etc.)

Any other opinions on this subject would be greatly appreciated....
 

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riight...

vets have differing opinions just like anyone else. There are many people that believe strongly in feeding "raw".... I don't, personally, I think it's over the top and can be quite dangerous.

If I could feed my dog raw meat that was all natural and had just been killed, no worries about diseases, preservatives or anything, I would do that. But many people that feed raw only have access to the local grocery store.. and that's just so gross and wrong to feed that stuff raw. Also, raw-fed dogs are banned from doing therapy work of any kind in my area, because of the risks that it has been proven to pose.

So I just feed a good, whole-life, holistic kibble, and leave it at that!

(and I don't trust myself to be able to ensure that every single vitamin and mineral needed is being accounted for without a prepared food made especially for a dogs bodily needs)

So that, essentially is the "pro-kibble" argument, I'm sure others will provide examples of a "pro-raw" argument for you.

Ultimately, it's a choice that YOU have to make after weighing the pros and cons.

P.s. - don't listen to everything Oprah tells you......she lies!! (muahhaha) ;D ;D ;D
 

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No. Oprah's show yesterday was BS. They can't just make a blanket statement like that and give no specifics. Raw is good...but it's HARD...it's much more than giving your dog a chicken breast. It's oragans, and other things and making sure there is a good balance.

Commercial food is okay.
 

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They can't just make a blanket statement like that
I agree. It bugs me when certain people say things like "all kibble is bad" and "kibble is unhealthy" as it is simply not true. If it was true then 95% of dogs are unhealthy which as we know is total BS. There is no denying that terrible commercial dog foods don't exist -- they do. But equally there are many high quality commercial dog foods out there.

Feeding raw is fantastic if you want to make the commitment. Otherwise, there is nothing wrong with feeding a high quality kibble. I think raw is more biologically appropriate for a canine but that does not mean to say they cannot thrive on kibble. I think striking a balance is important. If you feed kibble, adding some fresh meaty bones as the occasional treat is a great idea.

If you are happy and your girls are fit, happy and healthy on kibble, stick with it. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". As I said, if you are interested in adding occasional raw meals, do it. Read through the Natural Diets section -- there is tons of information on the subject.
 

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I must say that we are lucky to have good dog foods available. Apollo is currently kibble fed, but I plan to swing him over to a kibble/raw combo at some point in the future.

Unfourtunately with ferrets commerical kibbles SUCK. FAR to many carbs for an obligate carnivore IMO natural diets for them (including whole prey AND raw meaty bones and organs) is the ONLY way to go. I think the most balanced diet for an animal is a whole prey diet, but feeding tiny mice to a ferret is one thing, feeding whole chickens (plucked but not decapitated, feet and all) to a dog in the middle of your living room is another story entirely.
 

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I find her info to be a bit biased, she had a holistic vet on there of course he is going to say natural is better. A good high quality dog food will do just fine.
 

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Thanks, everyone.....I really appreciate the discussion.....

(must be nice to be a semi-billionaire and have people do things for your dogs that most of us have to do ourselves...besides, she's never given ME a car ;D)
 

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Well I've been killing my dogs for years since I'm feeding a Purina product.

I'm still waiting for the scientific info that shows my 16½ year old Lab would have lived to be 20 if fed a raw diet. I figure I must be doing something right to get my dogs into old age. Guess not.
 
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Daisys Dad said:
Hi all.....yesterday's Oprah was about our favorite subject, dogs.....she had a vet on there who was touting the fact that the best food was raw meat, and that dry food was the worst on his list....saying it was like feeding your dogs nothing but carbs....
I have to tell you up front that I've been feeding raw for 12 years after 13 years of feeding kibble to my labs. Didn't see the episode but if you look at the ingredients in kibble, that statement is essentially correct. Kibble is mostly carbs and dogs are carnivores whose digestive system is not designed to process carbs.

Daisys Dad said:
After talking to my vet about my 2 picky eaters, Daisy and Speckles, they've been on a dry food w/ chicken as the first ingredient, and they've been doing great on it for over a year....
Regarding the listing of chicken as the first ingredient, this is a common deceptive practice used by pet food companies when they list the ingredients on the label. That "chicken" means chicken weighed when wet. The other products are dry weights. In order to make a fair comparison, all the ingredients should be listed in dry weight equivalents.

Daisys Dad said:
So are we feeding our labs a bad diet with dry food and now we're supposed to switch to raw or cooked meat? (And btw, my girls gets plenty of fresh veggies for treats.....carrots, green beans, etc.)
Of course the choice is yours. You have to do what you think is best for your dogs. There are people with great genes that can eat a poor diet all their lives and live to be 100. But most of us can't do that and get away with it without chronic diet related diseases and a shorter life-span. If there was something simple you could do for your dogs so they would have a better chance to live longer with a higher quality of life, wouldn't you do it?

Daisys Dad said:
Any other opinions on this subject would be greatly appreciated....
A real eye opener on this subject is a list of common practices by pet food companies provided by an insider a few years ago. These are practices that they use to maximize profits to the detriment of our dogs so they would prefer that they not get out to the general public. I can post them under a separate thread if there is any interest.
 

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MUst say that although I don't feed apollo raw YET, I do raw feed my ferrets. I must say when it comes to food I'm down with the biologically appropriate ****. Sorry guys. :-\
 

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Well, I can't say I disagree with what that vet said. Most dry kibbles are very carb heavy with very little meat. Most - not all. Personally, I can't feed a totally raw diet, so here's what I feed:

1) Eagle Pack Holistic Select kibble - a kibble with lots of meat produced by a reputable and responsible company, IMO.
2) A couple of tablespoons of ground up raw veggies - whatever is in season and I have on hand.
3) A boiled chicken liver, or a little bit of meat of some sort.
4) Digestive enzymes
5) Probiotics.

For breakfast my dogs just get kibble and enzymes and probiotics. For supper they get the added veggies and meat. If I'm in a real hurry or traveling them my dogs with get some canned food with their kibble in the evening. On this regimen my dogs look the best they ever have.
 

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Oprah's vet is a very smart guy, he speaks the truth. :) I think with all this tainted commercial dog food that more and more vets will be coming out of the closet. :eek: Raw feeding is not very difficult and i would much rather feed my dogs super market meat than road kill, euthanized animals and other not fit for human consumption products that are in commercial dog food. Dogs are carnivores so it makes sense that feeding a variety of sources of meat, bone and organ would be the best thing to feed them. I know that not everyone agrees but folks all the benefits of rawfeeding clearly out weigh any risk! ;D
 

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Those blanket statements really are made out of ignorance, in my opinion. There are kibbles out there that are just fine, and feeding your dog kibble will not kill your dog. Feeding an unbalanced raw diet is far more detrimental than feeding a high quality kibble. Quite frankly, most dog owners won't do the proper research required to feed a raw diet. Sure, it's not rocket science, but it's also not so simple (as Dani mentioned) as throwing down some meat. For most pet owners that only buy the cheapest grocery store food, I don't think it's reasonable to expect them to buy, read, and follow the guidelines of those books that pertain to raw feeding.

I would agree with that vet on some foods, but he's dead wrong to make a generalization like that, especially in light of the growing number of grain-free foods out there.

Raw feeding is not very difficult and i would much rather feed my dogs super market meat than road kill, euthanized animals and other not fit for human consumption products that are in commercial dog food.
If that were true, it would be a good point. Diamond, Eagle Pack, Natura, and all the premium foods get their meats from the same sources you and I do - they don't peruse the nation's interstates looking for chickens hit by cars (which I'm guessing is a pretty limited source of chicken).
 

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Oh boy....if most Americans can only handle buying processed food for themselves, what makes you think they could properly handle feeding a balanced raw diet? Hell, I am 33 and JUST NOW (in the last 3.5 months) have moved to an all healthy, fresh diet of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and less processed food.

I did research a raw diet for a while with Rider. I didn't do it because I didn't think I could handle the responsibility of doing it correctly and I didn't want to mess with his health. THat is why I went the EVO route. I still wanted the benefits of going grain free without the stress of everything else.
 

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For most pet owners that only buy the cheapest grocery store food, I don't think it's reasonable to expect them to buy, read, and follow the guidelines of those books that pertain to raw feeding.
I agree. I think more to the point, the average person doesn't care what goes in their dogs food bowl. They want something cheap and easy that involves no fuss. Although I have to say it bugs me no end when I see people stocking up on tinned 'Super Value Dog Meat' at the grocery stores.
 
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Didn't see the show so I wanted to get a few more details of this vet's viewpoint. Here's some interesting info from his website:

Q: What should I feed my pet for best health?

A: Aim for the Ideal

Diet decisions are not a matter of right or wrong. If you understand what is ideal, you can then create a feeding program that will help move your pet closer to the healthiest diet options. In general, the more real food your dogs and cats eat, the healthier they will be.

The chart below outlines how our feeding choices for our pets (companion carnivores) can affect their health. The closer to the upper level choices, the better the chance for optimal health. You will likely be in the middle ranges most of the time. That is fine, as long as you always press toward the ideal.


Ideal - Healthiest

1. Hunted, raw prey (not realistic in modern society)

2. Fresh raw meats, bones, organ meats with very small amounts of fresh vegetables. Include a well-rounded vitamin/mineral mix and omega 3 essential fatty acids (salmon oil). You can prepare your own raw diet using meat/bone pieces and parts, or you can use pre-prepared ground products such as Bravo! and Nature’s Variety.

3. Fresh cooked meats, calcium, organ meat, with very small amounts of fresh vegetables. Include a vitamin/mineral mix, and omega 3 essential fatty acids (salmon oil). There are several books on the market that help you create your own home-cooked diet. It’s best to follow the recipes in these books.

4. Ultra Premium commercial canned foods and augmented with some fresh, raw foods. Canned foods, which are lower in carbohydrates, are much better for your pet than dry kibble. Some of the brands I like are Nature’s Variety, Merrick, and Evanger’s. These products are mostly meat, are usually grain-free, and very low in carbohydrates. The meat they use is human quality and they do not use by-products or chemical preservatives.

5. As in #4 above, but adding fresh cooked foods

6. Ultra Premium canned commercial foods WITHOUT fresh raw or cooked foods added

7. Super Premium canned foods are very much like the brands above, but they use more grains. They still use good quality meats and don't contain by-products. Brand examples: Blue Buffalo, Innova, Pet Promise.

8. Super Premium grain-free dry food (kibble) like Instinct by Nature’s Variety

9. Premium canned foods. These brands use substantially less meat. Water is often the number 1 ingredient (in the Ultra Premium brands meat is the number one ingredient), they use meat by-products (poor quality waste parts) and they usually contain significant amounts of grains and chemical preservatives. Often, if all the grains are added together, they would equal or exceed the meat. The meat quality is OK, but just barely.

10. Super Premium kibble like Innova, Prairie, Canidae, and Timberwolf

11. Grocery store brands – canned or dry. These contain very little meat, are made with substantial amounts of meat by-products, and primarily consist of grain and grain by-products. The rendered meat used in these products came from condemned animals, ie – animals that were deemed unfit for human consumption. These products normally contain artificial colors, flavors and chemical preservatives.

Worst - Unhealthy

©Dr. Marty Goldstein, DVM 2007, All Rights Reserved
 

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I wonder why Innova, Prairie, Canidae and Timberwolf are only 1 step higher than grocery store brands? That seems out of step with his thoughts.
 

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I'm concerned that the good Dr. Marty fails to list "poorly designed" raw or home cooked diets - these could easily fall into 12th place.

Nor does the list take into account the interplay among food, exercise, fresh air, hormones and social interaction. Home feeding can be done very well, but if other aspects of a pet's health are given short shrift, it can't guarantee health.
 
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Dani said:
I wonder why Innova, Prairie, Canidae and Timberwolf are only 1 step higher than grocery store brands? That seems out of step with his thoughts.
Probably because they're still dry food and loaded with carbs.
 
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