|Here are links to several websites so you can become better informed about what you are feeding your beloved dogs.
Visit www.dogfoodanalysis.com and www.dogfoodadvisor.com
and for an informative video
|Training With Respect & Understanding
|Tips on Healthy Dog Food
|Quoted From Article
"The Nutrient Your Pet Needs More Of As They Age"
"Dogs and cats need 22 amino acids to be healthy.
Dogs can synthesize (make) 12 of those 22; cats can synthesize 11 of them. The remaining amino
acids must come from the food they eat, which is why they’re called ‘essential’ amino acids.
Pets get amino acids from the protein they eat. And the quality and quantity of protein is extremely
important for carnivores – it’s the very foundation of their health.
Not All Protein is Created Equal
Protein quality is extremely variable. There are highly assimilable and digestible proteins (proteins your
pet’s body can easily absorb and make use of), and there are proteins that are wholly indigestible. For
example beaks, feet, hides, tails and snouts are 100 percent protein, but all 100 percent is indigestible.
All protein has a biologic value, which is its usable amino acid content. Eggs have the highest biologic
value at 100 percent. Fish is a close second at 92 percent. Feathers, as you might guess, have zero
biologic value. They are all protein, but they are neither digestible nor assimilable.
Now there are some foods high in protein that are not species-appropriate for dogs and cats. Soy is a
good example, with a biologic value of 67 percent. Many popular pet foods contain soy as a protein
source, as well as corn. This is an inexpensive way for pet food manufacturers to increase protein
content on the guaranteed analysis printed on the label.
But because soy and corn are not species-appropriate, I don’t recommend you feed pet foods that
Unfortunately, digestion and assimilation are not measured for dog and cat foods, so manufacturers
can include other types of protein that have no biologic value for the species of animal eating it (this is
also why melamine was added to pet foods that killed thousands of animals). You can be fooled into
thinking you’re feeding a higher-protein food, when the reality is the protein isn’t biologically appropriate
for your pet.
Rendered Pet Food – The Worst of the Worst
Asking a dog’s or cat’s liver and kidneys to process low-quality, indigestible protein over a long period
of time is exactly how protein in pet food got a bad rap.
In the 1940s and 1950s, there were really no high quality commercial pet foods on the market.
Formulas at that time contained 100 percent run-off or rendered byproducts from the human food
Pet food companies took all the pieces and parts left over at slaughterhouses, mixed them with
discarded vegetables and grains not fit for human consumption, added a synthetic vitamin-mineral
supplement, and called it pet food.
While there was a fair amount of protein in pet food back then, the quality was just terrible. Because the
protein was so difficult for dogs and cats to digest, kidney and liver function suffered.
That’s why veterinarians around the mid-century mark started recommending lower protein senior pet
foods. Senior formulas came into being because of the terrible quality of dog and cat foods on the
That’s why I strongly recommend if you’re feeding a rendered pet food formula – food that contains
protein that is not digestible or assimilable – that you reduce the amount of protein you’re feeding. Your
pet’s organs can’t process a steady diet of terrible quality protein.
Your Pet’s Protein Requirement Increases with Age
The good news is the quality of pet food has increased dramatically in the last 30 to 40 years.
And in 1992 Dr. Delmar Finco, a veterinary nutritionist, discovered protein requirements actually
increase as pets age. Even in animals with kidney failure, restricting protein didn’t improve their health
In fact, Dr. Finco’s research proved cats on low protein diets developed hypoproteinemia. They had
muscle wasting, became catabolic, and lost weight. The more protein was restricted, the more ill these
kitties became. Fortunately, Dr. Finco discovered it was the level of phosphorus in foods, not
necessarily the amount of protein that exacerbated kidney disease.
Since that research was published, veterinary recommendations have changed. What we’re
recommending for animals struggling with under-functioning kidneys and livers is that you feed really
good quality protein that is highly digestible and assimilable.
We also recommend you restrict phosphorus in the diet, but not necessarily protein.
We know that cats and dogs, as carnivores, require lots of high quality protein not only to maintain
good organ and immune function, but also to maintain healthy muscle mass as they go through life and
the aging process."
|Quoted From Article
"13 Pet Foods – Ranked From Great to
"Food Can Either Heal or Harm
As a proactive veterinarian interested in
sustaining the natural good health of my pet
patients, I always encourage pet owners to
evaluate their animal's diet, because food is the
foundation upon which good or ill health is built.
It's important to understand that food has the
ability to heal or harm your pet, depending on
the type and quality of nutrition you provide.
The first factor you should evaluate is the
species-appropriateness of what your dog or
cat is eating. A species-appropriate diet
contains lots of good quality protein as well as
moisture. The protein is necessary because
both dogs and cats are carnivores.
High moisture content is required in order to
prevent organ dysfunction, including kidney
failure. Dogs and cats are designed to eat food
that is about 70 percent moisture, which is what
a diet of mice and rabbits would provide if your
pet hunted his own food.
If you feed your pet dry food only, he's getting
only about 12 percent moisture instead of the
70 percent his body demands. This is especially
unhealthy for cats, because they don't
supplement their moisture intake by drinking
large amounts of water like dogs do.
Pets on dry food diets (kibble or pelleted) live in
a state of chronic, mild dehydration that over
time can cause significant stress to their organs.
Species-appropriate nutrition does not contain
much starch, also known as grains or
carbohydrates. Corn, wheat, rice and soy are
found in most commercial processed pet foods,
but your dog or cat has no biological need for
I recommend you follow the laws of nature when
it comes to your pet's diet, which is to feed
everything his body needs and eliminate
ingredients that provide no nourishment.
In addition to the species-appropriateness of
your pet's diet, it also needs to be balanced. By
balanced I mean food that contains all the
vitamins, minerals and other nutrients your dog
or cat needs. This isn't something you can
guess at – it should be guaranteed through
Nutritional balance is vitally important because
deficiencies will develop much faster in your dog
or cat than they will in you. A poorly nourished
puppy or kitten can end up with obvious signs of
skeletal problems and organ degeneration
before she's six months old.
An older animal can develop life-threatening
organ degeneration, among many other not-so-
obvious symptoms, over a one to three year
period of eating an unbalanced, nutrient-
|WHAT’S IN YOUR DOG’S FOOD? There are so many choices of what to feed your dog and many misleading commercials
show such pretty ingredients. Then you read the label of some of the store-bought foods and the total story comes out. The
following either have no place in your dog’s food, are dangerous chemicals or are undigestible:
Wheat, soy, corn, by-products, meat and bone-meal (can include dead pets,) animal digest, artificial flavors, corn syrup, animal fat
which is lard, BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin.
On this web page you will find some helpful links to articles and videos. I have also posted informative articles by various
veterinarians and excerpts from other articles and sources.
Please note, that while I have a vested interest in learning as much as I can for my numerous furry "children", and want to offer you
a central place that contains helpful information, I am not a scientist, veterinarian or medical practitioner. The information on this
page is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical issues with your pets. Please check with your veterinarian.
For a guideline in figuring your dog's calorie requirements: www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-feeding-tips/dog-food-calculator/
|More on the Dog Food Analysis Website - Partial Quote below:
"Why does this site exist?
Because commercial pet food is, historically and on average, so incredibly awful. Really, that is the reality of the commercial pet food industry. We are
bombarded with advertising that conjures up images of plump juicy chickens and garden fresh vegetables, told that the various foods around are
scientifically formulated to provide our pets with every nutritional advantage and meet every need. . .
Many pet foods are made up mostly of grain fragments (the left overs from the human food industry), with a small amount of meat thrown in and the whole
thing coated with recycled used (and frequently carcinogenic) fats to make it palatable to our pets. In most cases, these are things we’d refuse to feed our
pets if we saw them in their raw state. So why would we feed them when they are transformed into dry extruded pellets? Why are we feeding carnivores on
grains anyway? We wouldn’t try to feed fish to a cow, so why try to feed grains to our carnivorous cats and dogs? The answer is simple – it is far cheaper
than feeding meat, and in any case, we can’t make kibble without them (it won’t stick together). But it has nothing whatsoever to do with good or species-
appropriate nutrition for our pets. Neither cats nor dogs have any evolved need of carbohydrates in their diet at all, and these are readily converted to fat.
. . . the intent of this site is to give an assessment of the various commercial foods available, based on the ingredient information given by the
manufacturer. No food can magically be better than the ingredients used to make it, and the information on this site constitutes our opinion of those
ingredients and the overall species-appropriate quality of the food.
The ratings given and comments made about the foods assessed on this site and ingredients listed are the opinion of the Editors, who are a small team of
volunteers each with a long standing interest in dog nutrition. . . .
Every effort has been made to ensure that the ingredients listed for each food is correct at the time of publication. Manufacturers do sometimes make
changes to their formulas however, and you should check that the information given on this site matches that currently given by the food manufacturer
before relying on the assessments made on this site. If you notice any discrepancies, we would be pleased to be advised of it. You can do this by emailing
us via the link on the contact page." From the Dog Food Analysis Website
|Meridian Veterinary Care
Angie Stamm, DVM, CVA
"How should I feed my dog for optimal health?
1. HOW CAN I TELL IF A PET FOOD IS HIGH QUALITY? If a food contains any of the following, it is generally low quality and should be avoided:
Corn/Corn Gluten, Wheat/Wheat Gluten, Soy, Meat By-Products, Preservatives (BHA, BHT, Ethoxyquin), Artificial Coloring, Sugar, Generic Fats (“Animal
Fat”). Look for foods that contain whole food fruits and vegetables.
2. WHICH DOGS SHOULD BE FED GRAIN-FREE FOODS? Most dogs do well on grain-free diets as they are more biologically appropriate than those
high in grains. Dogs with allergies, cancer or obesity can especially benefit from a grain-free diet. Keep in mind that these diets are generally higher in
protein and fat and are therefore more “dense” than other types of kibbles. You may feed up to 25% less by volume compared to standard dog kibble.
3. WILL CANNED OR SOFT FOOD MAKE MORE TARTAR ON MY DOGS’ TEETH AS COMPARED TO DRY FOOD? NO. Increased tartar buildup
caused by wet food is, in my experience, a common misconception. I cannot say that I see a significant difference in teeth of animals on canned vs. dry
foods. Because canned foods are less processed than dry kibble, the health benefits far outweigh the “risk” of possible tartar buildup.
4. DO YOU RECOMMEND RAW DIETS? YES, IN MOST CASES. Raw foods have higher levels of enzymes which means that your dog will absorb more
nutrients (vitamins, minerals) from the food. The benefits of raw diets include more energy and vitality, fewer allergies, less tartar build-up, smaller and less
“stinky” stools, easier weight management and healthier skin and coats. I do NOT recommend raw diets for animals under one year of age, geriatric, or
5. ARE RAW DIETS SAFE? As with any raw meat, there is a small risk of bacterial contamination, so safe food handling techniques are recommended.
However, proponents of raw food diets argue that a dog’s digestive tract is better suited to handle higher bacterial loads than a human’s due to a higher
stomach acidity and shorter intestinal length. In my career to date I have not seen any adverse effects or illnesses related to feeding a raw diet. Instinct
Raw Diets now use a “high pressure pasteurization” process to further reduce any risk of bacterial contamination in the diets.
6. IS IT OK TO FEED MY DOG TABLE SCRAPS? YES, IN MOST CASES. Unless your dog has a sensitive stomach and develops diarrhea easily with diet
changes. Supplementing commercial diets with fresh, whole foods is an easy way to increase the quality of your dogs’ diet. Examples of acceptable “table
scraps” include lean, simply cooked meats without sauces or heavy spices, cooked or pureed raw veggies and fruits (AVOID ONIONS, GRAPES, CITRUS
and TOMATO). In general, I do not advocate feeding grains unless specifically discussed on a case-by-case basis.
7. CAN I MAKE MY OWN PET FOOD? YES. Home-cooked diets are a wonderful way to incorporate whole, fresh foods into your pet’s diet. Generally
speaking, dogs should receive up to 1/3 volume grains (optional), 1/3 meat and 1/3 vegetables. If fed over the long-term these diets should be carefully
formulated in order to be balanced. See your veterinarian for more details on balancing a home-made diet with a multivitamin, calcium and essential fats.
8. SHOULD I FEED THE SAME PET FOOD CONTINUALLY? NO. There is no perfect diet for dogs and each animal has unique nutritional needs. If you
feed commercial food, I recommend rotating high quality brands and protein sources (unless otherwise discussed). Many food intolerances and allergies
are caused by overfeeding one particular type of protein.
9. DO YOU RECOMMEND THAT MY PET TAKE VITAMINS? YES. There is no such thing as an optimally balanced diet, whether you are feeding raw,
kibble, dehydrated or home-cooked foods. Furthermore, every animal has unique nutritional needs. Therefore, I strongly recommend that, in addition to a
rotational diet as explained in #7 above, that you supplement your pet’s diet with a whole food vitamin/mineral product.
10. ARE THERE ANY OTHER SUPPLEMENTS MY DOG SHOULD TAKE? POSSIBLY. Depending on your pet’s age, breed environment and current
health status, there may be nutritional supplements that can prevent or improve current health issues.
11. WHY SHOULD I GIVE MY DOG EXTRA OMEGA-3 FATS? These “good” fats are naturally anti-inflammatory and help with allergies, skin problems,
kidney and heart disease, eye and joint health and boost immune function. They also have potent anti-cancer properties. Use only high quality, purified
forms of fish oil for dogs because oil from ocean fish is contaminated with heavy metals and other toxins. Omega 3 fats from flax seed oil is not absorbed
well in dogs. Freshness is also important as these oils become rancid quickly. Keep these refrigerated if in liquid form.
12. WHAT DO JOINT SUPPORT PRODUCTS (GLUCOSAMINE/MSM/CHONDROITIN) DO?
These are substances that nourish and protect the joint cartilage and joint fluid, providing both an anti-inflammatory effect as well as protecting the
cartilage from degradation. They are most beneficial for preventative use or for animals with mild to moderate arthritis. Some commercial pet foods add
glucosamine or chondroitin to the foods, but the amounts are not high enough to be very therapeutic.
13. WHAT ARE SOME EARLY SIGNS OF HEALTH IMBALANCES IN DOGS THAT COULD SIGNAL A NEED FOR INCREASED NUTRITIONAL
DOG NUTRITION HANDOUT