Service organizations that feed Raw/quality kibble? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-01-2010, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Service organizations that feed Raw/quality kibble?

Sorry if this is in the wrong place!

I've been trying to gather a bit of information on the feeding requirements of major service dog organizations. More specifically, I'd like to know which ones require/advocate the feeding of raw, or high-quality kibbles.

I know Fidelco requires Abady's Raw line be fed.

Any others?

This isn't limited to guide schools, or even GSDs. If you know of any other service organizations that promote this stuff, including K9/SAR/ect organizations, please post them here (and preferably what exactly it is they feed)!

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-14-2010, 09:46 PM
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My sister's husband has a guide dog from Leader Dogs for the Blind. I know they don't require a specific food to be fed to dogs graduated from their program, but they fed and recommended Pro Plan. So Leader Dogs is definitely NOT one of the ones that feed raw or higher quality stuff.

Luckily I've taught my sister a lot about pet food, and they switched him to a grain free food.


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-15-2010, 09:19 AM
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I talked to someone a while back who as a puppy raiser for, I think, Canine Companions for Independence, and they mentioned they were disappointed at being required to feed a not-so-great food (I believe it was Pro Plan) because it was donated to their organization by the manufacturer.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-16-2010, 05:14 AM
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CCI is supported by Eukanuba and that's what they feed.

I think you won't find many if any programs that feed raw or GF. Keep in mind that the people who end up with these dogs are disabled. While many work or go to school, many live off of some sort of disablity or social security income. It would be nice to raise dogs on raw, but then when they get placed with a handler whose income is very limited, will that dog be willing to eat Pro Plan or Iams? (And the handler will struggle to feed that, but feel that they're feeding good food compared to what's in the grocery stores).

We can have our ideal standards. But life for many PWD is more challenging than you might realize. The cost of the SD itself can be considerable depending on the agency (even with grants and assistance). Even if the PWD has the time and ability to feed raw, the cost can be prohibitive.

With food being donated, that's one expense that CCI doesn't have to absorb. They can get better trainers, provide more dogs. (Eukanuba is currently matching donations to CCI). CCI doesn't charge for dogs AT ALL (Handlers have to provide their own transportation to team training).

I don't like the Iams company. But I give credit where it's due. CCI is a non-profit. If they weren't getting food for free, they would have to buy it. That money would have to come from somewhere else in their budget... fewer dogs to place, less experienced (cheaper) trainers, they'd charge clients for dogs, or some other unfortunate cut....
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2010, 08:54 PM
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When I was a puppy raiser for Leader Dogs years ago they required the feeding of pro plan chicken and rice. The puppies ate the puppy formula, I don't remember it it was "large breed" or not.

Pro Plan is not that bad of a food. Really now, lets be realistic. These organizations can not afford to feed "premium kibble" that might be in excess of $50 - $60 for a 28 - 33 lb bag. Most are feeding a middle of the road food and there is nothing wrong with that.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2010, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Look, I'm not saying they have to feed Orijen here, but quality kibble does NOT cost as much as people seem to be implying.

FIRSTLY, Pro Plan is one of the most BS foods on the market, second only to Science Diet or Eukanuba. For what they charge, the quality is god awful. Now if its being donated for free that's one thing, but when organizations REQUIRE that food be fed, even after the dog has left the program? Absolutely absurd.

You can get a 40lb bag of Diamond Naturals for around $37, minus the corn, the wheat, and the by-products. Better yet, you can get a 40lb bag of Kirkland's line for around $25, same deal as the DN. So lets REALLY be realistic here. People can be doing much, much better, for much less.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2010, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atravis View Post
Look, I'm not saying they have to feed Orijen here, but quality kibble does NOT cost as much as people seem to be implying.

FIRSTLY, Pro Plan is one of the most BS foods on the market, second only to Science Diet or Eukanuba. For what they charge, the quality is god awful. Now if its being donated for free that's one thing, but when organizations REQUIRE that food be fed, even after the dog has left the program? Absolutely absurd.

You can get a 40lb bag of Diamond Naturals for around $37, minus the corn, the wheat, and the by-products. Better yet, you can get a 40lb bag of Kirkland's line for around $25, same deal as the DN. So lets REALLY be realistic here. People can be doing much, much better, for much less.
By require, I meant for puppy raisers. In leader dogs case puppy raisers were responsible for all costs incurred during raising of pup, including food and vet care. Vet care was only covered by them if you drove the dog to their facility in Rochester, MI. The donated food was fed to the dogs at the kennel in training or breeding dogs. People that have the dog after the fact can feed them whatever they prefer I believe.

Kirkland is available only at Costco as it's costco's house brand, and costco is not readily available in many areas. National service dog agencies typically feed a food EASILY obtainable by pretty much anyone anywhere in the country. Pro plan, eukanuba, science diet, etc are all available at every petstore in the country. Around here diamond naturals is only available at TSC - TSC isn't as common as petsmart, petco, wal-mart, target, etc.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2010, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Rerun View Post
People that have the dog after the fact can feed them whatever they prefer I believe.
You sure about that? I seem to recall there being a big stink about just this with several of the larger service dog organizations (Delta comes to mind), that strictly prohibited the feeding of raw to any dogs involved in the program. Now, I can't remember if that only applied to the therapy dogs, and I don't know how they could possibly police dogs that had already been placed, but they're large enough that when they make a stink about something like that... people listen. And when they come out stating anti-raw sentiments, plugging Pro Plan til they're blue in the face, what's one to think?

I get that companies like Purina fund a lot of these things, I have no issue with that. Yay for them actually doing something productive with all that money they save by sourcing crap ingredients for their foods.

But the venom towards anything else OTHER than the almighty Pro Plan. Its sad.

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Originally Posted by Rerun View Post
Kirkland is available only at Costco as it's costco's house brand, and costco is not readily available in many areas. National service dog agencies typically feed a food EASILY obtainable by pretty much anyone anywhere in the country. Pro plan, eukanuba, science diet, etc are all available at every petstore in the country. Around here diamond naturals is only available at TSC - TSC isn't as common as petsmart, petco, wal-mart, target, etc.
I'll give you this, but lets look at it from a different angle.

Brands like Pro Plan are also not available at Walmart. If one were to want Eukanuba or Pro Plan, they would have to go to a pet specialty store. Pet Supplies Plus, a fairly common store, carries Diamond Naturals, as well as brands like Chicken Soup and Whole Earth Farms. Petco now carries Merick, so they too have WEF. All of the listed are very affordable, good foods (30lb bag of CS is around $35, 34lb bag of WEF I've seen for as low as $35). They also carry brands like Organix, Avoderm, and Nature's Recipe, which while not QUITE as cheap as Pro Plan, are still affordable and available. Not to mention that very basic rule in feeding a quality kibble- the better the food, the less you feed. So honestly, feeding a dog Organix probably comes out to being around the same as feeding Pro Plan, minus all the "junk". So if they can afford that, why NOT something better?

GSDs- Mulder, Ridley, Vega
GSD on the half shell- Rigel

Last edited by atravis; 11-07-2010 at 09:42 PM.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2010, 09:48 PM
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Probably because those companies aren't stepping up to fund the programs. Do you have any idea how much food goes into keeping the kennels running at a large facility like leader dogs? I can't remember how much it was, it's been years since I was involved with them, but it was simply staggering the amount of food. I think they had something like 300 dogs or so in the kennel at any given time, but my memory could be a little off on that.

I'm not debating (though you are) that the price you pay per lb of pro plan could be better used on a better food. I am, however, debating the reasons why these organizations do it.

I'm not familiar with Delta, but therapy dogs aren't service dogs, and as they interact with so many people with weak or failing immune systems I can understand the cause for concern reference feeding raw food. Whether or not it's a VALID concern is another matter entirely.

Last edited by Rerun; 11-07-2010 at 09:51 PM.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2010, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atravis View Post
Brands like Pro Plan are also not available at Walmart.
Yes I'm aware of that...

...which is why I said the following:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rerun View Post
Pro plan, eukanuba, science diet, etc are all available at every petstore in the country.

Around here diamond naturals is only available at TSC - TSC isn't as common as petsmart, petco, wal-mart, target, etc.
My point was that petsmart and petco are the stores most anyone has access to anywhere in the country. Science diet and similar foods are now commonly sold in grocery stores and places like target, which is easy for anyone to get to. You have to remember that many people with disabilities may not drive and may rely on public transportation. They can't be driving two counties out to get dog food. I'm smack in the middle of one of the most populated cities in America and it's a 20 minute drive to one PSP and a half hr to another. There are a TON of petco's and petsmarts, target's, wal-marts, etc within 5 - 10 minute drives.
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