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A lot of people come to this forum asking about which foods to use for their dogs. It's always the same questions over and over. Why can't we put up a thread which is a sticky indicating which ingredients to avoid and why. I think a lot of dog owners would find it easier to pick out a kibble this way and it's not so overwhelming to read ingredient labels on the bag.

The #1 ingredient that is the worst is corn. It's a filler and it encourages yeast infections in the ears.
 

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Mainly I just refer to http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page=badingredients

There are so MANY ingredients out there to avoid.

If it is a "meal"(Chicken Meal, Fish Meal, By-product Meal) avoid it. If it is a sugar avoid it. Anything that is a Digest avoid. I can't keep up with all the little things like coloring.

It just makes your head spin.
 

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I think it would be a good concept to have a sticky thread about this, but the results here alone show why it would probably be too difficult. There would be too much disagreement on what is "good" or "bad". The meal example above is good - meat meal is actually ok. It is the meat, just in meal form, without the water weight. In fact, ideally a kibble would have both a named meat and named meat meal. This is because the meal is just the meat without the added water weight; whereas if there is just a named meat, it is unlikely to make up a large portion of the kibble, because it is weighed with the water included.

Corn is the other problem. You'll find many users here who like corn in their dog kibble. Personally, it's a middle ground issue for me. I would rather have other ingredients, but I don't see corn in and of itself as being bad per se. Now corn gluten meal I don't want, but that's in a different form. But basically there are people on this board who feel very strongly about issues like corn and I don't think we could ever list it as a bad ingredient per se.

Even by-products, which I think are up there at the top #1 bad ingredient along with animal digest (because they can be made from dead, dying diseased animals) are probably ingredients that some users are ok with (I can't explain why...but probably because they're used in a lot of generic kibbles) - but I don't think we'll get agreement on the board about them. Just a thought.
 

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"If it is a "meal"(Chicken Meal, Fish Meal, By-product Meal) avoid it."


yes, avoid by product meal.

do not avoid a named meat meal. it is the best source of animal protein you will get in a kibble. however, i do avoid things like fish meal or poultry meal since the meat is not specified.
 

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I think you'll find as many opinions about food as there are members. It's hard - some of us have dogs with EPI, SIBO, IBD that require a special diet (one that we wouldn't normally feed), some dogs do great on Petsmart kibbles (like Blue Buffalo or Purina One), some dogs do great on the higher end kibbles (like Innova and Canidae). It would be impossible to say one is definitely better than another - it's all the individual dog. My dog is thriving on absolutely disgusting ingredients because she has SIBO and it's all that has worked for her (we have tried 6-7 different foods, including home cooked). I know I beat myself up over the food for a long time, and still do on occasion so I try a new food and end up making her very sick. She has a shiney coat, is a great size, super activity level and BEST OF ALL happy, bouncing poo!
 

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(I'll start by saying all of this is MY OPINION. I'm not a bio-chemist, a vet, or a nutritionist. It's just MY OPINION. I don't want to argue about whatever I post.)

Wheat and corn tend to be ingredients that a lot of us shy away from, but as noted, not everyone does. The word "meat" makes me cringe. "Meat meal" or "Meat byproduct" is kind of scary. If they can't tell you what meat they're using from week to week, it's worth avoiding.

I prefer specific meat meals (chicken meal, salmon meal, turkey meal) over the meat (chicken, salmon, turkey) any time that there is grain listed as a top ingredient in the food. Otherwise, I'm getting a lot of water in the meat, and the grain is dry, so I may actually be getting more grain (pound for pound) than actual meat. With grain-free food, it doesn't to me as much.

Corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, sucrose, molasses... learn all the names for sugar. If it's in your dog's kibble, you want to avoid it. Yeah, high quality sweet sorghum is supposed to be good for animals in small doses. You don't want your dogs eating it every meal. Sugar in your dog's diet means that they're covering up the fact that the food doesn't taste like it should. Avoid it. Salt (Sodium chloride) for the same reason, especially for seniors. If it's waaaaay down on the ingredients list, I don't stress about it too much, but if it's up there, that's a reason for me to look at other foods.

Also, a lot also depends on if your dog has allergies, and the only way to know this is to keep an eye on your dog. Most people tend to look at the big ingredients (the proteins especially), but the lesser ingredients are important as well. Some of the healthiest ingredients can cause adverse reactions. Alfalfa, flaxseed, barley, kelp. Often, people (and their vets) assume it's beef or chicken, but it seems to me (with my layperson opinion) that the other ingredients are culprits more often than the protein sources. But these ingredients are GREAT ingredients if your dog tolerates them, so you shouldn't automatically exclude them. Don't assume (as most vets do) that rice or potatoes are safe from allergies either.

As Jen says, dogs with issues need to eat what's best for them, regardless of the food's reputation. My puppy went from eating Innova (highly regarded) to California Natural (a more "basic" food) due to GI issues. What works for your dog is what's "best" for your dog, subject to what's reasonable, of course. I do think there's a basement level that we don't need to go below. There's no reason to buy grocery store dog food or certain brands. It isn't cheaper once you do the price analysis and it isn't "best" for anyone's dog.

Finally, read the label. Read not only the ingredients but also the Guaranteed Analysis. Is this what you intend to feed your dog? Does your overweight dog need 22% fat, just because that particular food (Instinct Turkey/Duck) has the right ingredients and lacks the "bad" ingredients? Perhaps you would be better off with another food that has 16% fat, like California Natural (16%) or Canidae (14.5%).

I'm not directing that last sentence at DHau, of course. I'm just saying: it's not all about ingredients alone. It's all a balancing game.
 

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What is the difference between a chicken and a chicken meal?
Is there more than one level of by-products?
Which does a canine get more protein from? A meat protein or by-products?
 

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by product is crap. Sort of thought of as waste. I think of the sweepings off the floor. No need to be too specific.

If the protein source is named ie. chicken, turkey....then the manufacturer has the obligation to make sure that iis what it is. By product can be anything.... (yikes)
 

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Meat versus Meal on Pet Food Labeling:
What is the difference and what does it mean to your pets and you?

Meat
FACT: Chicken & Lamb are 70% water and only 15% protein
Pet food labels found in grocery and mass marketers like to use Chicken or Lamb to represent real meat. When used without the addition of meat meals, these protein sources contain 70% moisture, much of which is lost during cooking. The label leads the consumer to believe that the product is mostly meat based when it may not be. Chicken or lamb meats are heavier than grains prior to cooking, but not after. Although the inclusion of fresh meats may be beneficial, the moisture contained in the meats (70%) is reduced by two-thirds during the cooking process, possibly leaving the total formula as a grain based food after processing.


Meal
FACT: Chicken Meal and Lamb Meal are dry and 50% to 65% meat protein!
Chicken, Turkey and Lamb meals are nearly dry (10% moisture content) and contain 50% to 65% meat proteins. During cooking, the meat meals do not shrink below the grain weight, producing a true meat based formula for your pets.
 

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Rolxy84 has posted the only real facts I have read in this thread.

Where to any of you have the nutritional education or printed facts to back up whatyou say about what is a good ingredient or not. Just because a food brand or ingredient didn't work for your dog/s doesn't mean its BAD for others.

Chicken by-products are not bad if the manufacture uses "organ meat" only. It is an excellent source of protein and amino acids. Iams back in the day only used "organ meat" in the Chicken by-products meal. Iams chunk was an excelent product.

Corn too is not bad at all if processed properly.

Check out this info as fact and you will see where most of you are wrong in your thinking or your opinion.

http://www.greatdanelady.com/articles/the_corn_myth.htm

http://www.greatdanelady.com/articles/allergies_and_the_corn_myth.htm

http://www.greatdanelady.com/articles/lamb_rice_diets.htm

http://www.greatdanelady.com/articles/the_pork_myth.htm

http://www.greatdanelady.com/articles/whole_meat_vs_meal.htm

Do your own research on the web and you will find a difference of opinion.
 

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Quote: Where to any of you have the nutritional education or printed facts to back up whatyou say about what is a good ingredient or not. Just because a food brand or ingredient didn't work for your dog/s doesn't mean its BAD for others.
Hmmm- I think you may have missed reading all the posts. I saw pretty much everyone stating these are their experiences.

Due to interests, special medical issues, and even income, a lot of people on this board have done extensive research on dog foods. As you are here awhile you will get to know those names and their backgrounds and have some respect for them.

I don't think a person's creds are necessary when they are stating the results of their experiences. As was said more than once, you can't post the all time best food because it depends on the dog eating it.

My dogs have no food allergies - I still prefer to feed foods with no grains. My choice. The food I use doesn't work for every dog, either.

As far as by-products, most manufactures are not going to tell you if that means organ meat or floor waste.

Corn? At best with no allergy issues, it is just cheap filler.

Iams? Years ago when it was a family owned business it was the best food you could get. I fed it for years and years, also. Iams did then what higher end pet food companies today are doing - researching, learning and making the best product possible. Of course that changed when the were bought out. The best ingredients don't make the best profits.

Am I a nutritionist? No. Neither is my vet. It doesn't mean we don't read, research and learn.
 

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At training, we always had clients immediately take their dogs off of foods that contained corn, sorghum, or by-products. Most of those foods then also wouldn't contain the preservatives like BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin.

While some by-products aren't bad (i.e. organ meat), in kibble, it can mean many things that isn't organ meat, and I'm also not sure that I want my dog to have diseased organ meats in their kibble. Even if a website tells you that by-products are organ meats, that is not legally binding.

Corn has a lot of problems, from a bad fatty acid composition, to a serotonin inhibitor. From what I can find, I strongly suspect that a lot of food that ends up in dog food has been genetically modified, and I'm sure some of the starlink corn also ended up in some grade of dog food. (I wouldn't listen to a thing that the Great Dane Lady says about it, as she helped develop the kibble that she promotes, which, of course, contains corn. She also used to tout the fact that she has a higher college degree to back up her claims about the dog food that she is involved with, but she would neglect to tell folks that her degree is in Fine Arts. I find her deceptive, and I've seen her on the internet and on forums for over a decade.)


Other foods that dogs can be sensitive to would include wheat or barley, but those seemed to be individual preferences. Dogs with persistent yeasty ears might also be sensitive to things like brewer's yeast, whereas other dogs aren't.

I know over at the dog food project, they don't like synthetic vitamin K, and some won't feed foods that contain this ingredient.

What to avoid is very subjective, even when there are studies sitting right in front of people. You will never really get a large group to agree. And then, on top of that, there are individual preferences.
 

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Originally Posted By: LisaT (I wouldn't listen to a thing that the Great Dane Lady says about it, as she helped develop the kibble that she promotes, which, of course, contains corn. She also used to tout the fact that she has a higher college degree to back up her claims about the dog food that she is involved with, but she would neglect to tell folks that her degree is in Fine Arts. I find her deceptive, and I've seen her on the internet and on forums for over a decade.)
Linda Arndt *DID NOT* help develop Eagle Pack foods, She just happens to like their foods very much and promotes them as any one does that like a certain product. Linda also promotes many other foods and has a list of them she suggests. Linda is not deceptive at all she has a higher college degree and had to take other classes to get that degree than art classes. She is not "deceptive" and I feel it is very unfair and possibly libelous to malign her on the board in this way in this post. The woman has spent more hours than any of us studying pet foods and she does not deserve to be made to sound like some liar! I feel the moderators should remove this section of this post.

Cherri
 

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The Mods in this forum can edit as they see fit. But several of her links were put on this board, and she does tout herself as an authority. She used to use her advanced degree to help her lend credibility as a dog food expert, until I did a search and found out what it was in, and at least now she acknowledges what it is. I have a full understanding of what it takes to get different types of degrees.

Perhaps you can argue about what the words "help develop" mean, but she has been very closely connected to Eagle Pack. Personally, I would want a canine nutritionist that I consulted to be a bit more independent:

Quote:My preference in a commercial dog food is the Natural/Holistic Eagle Pack line of pet foods, which I have used for 20 years. <u>I been involved in the design of some of the foods and done feed trials on Great Dane puppies with Eagle Natural and Eagle Large and Giant Breed Puppy Foods</u>. These were the most extensive Feed Trials done Giant breeds, by a dog food company in a home environment - real life situation.

http://www.greatdanelady.com/articles/which_eagle_dog_food_do_I_use.htm
Do you still stand by your words Cherri?
 

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Originally Posted By: LisaT

Do you still stand by your words Cherri?
Yes I do. Linda was involved in very detailed bone growth studies on giant breed dogs, she is a Great Dane breeder. That does not mean she has developed the line of EP foods. You are really twisting this. Linda has been a Godsend to many giant breed owners in helping with nutritional problems those breeds experience that are quite serious. She is not on this board to defend herself and there is no reason for you to malign her as you did, none at all. What have you done Lisa? Have you established feeding programs to help correct OCD, HOD or other bone growth problems?

Here is a list of her articles
http://www.greatdanelady.com/articles.htm
What have you written Lisa?

How come we are not allowed to malign breeders even with truthful experiences or events of someone stealing a photo but you can malign this woman who has done quite a bit for not only giant breed feeding but dog nutrition in general?



Cherri
 

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I personally won't feed corn, wheat, soy, or [any aforementioned]+gluten to my cats or dogs. I want meat or meat meal as the first 2-3 sources. Neither my dogs or cats have done well totally grain free, it seems too rich for them and gives them all terrible diarrhea. I don't mind rice and other carb/grain sources as long as it's at least the third ingredient in the list. I'm not sold either way on by-product ingredients but currently none of the foods I use have them. My dogs do best on Lamb and Rice formulas (Canidae, Natural Balance, Nature's Variety).
 

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Linda Arndt was also an ART Professor at Bell State. Certainly, teaching art is a great thing (I wish more people were learned in the humanities). But she tosses the "Professor Emeritus" title out there (and often) as though it had anything to do with her "canine nutritionist" status.

She's a breeder that has devoted herself to what she thinks is a good path of nutrition for dogs. And, that's great; that she's found a life's work that she finds rewarding and that some people find helpful. But IMO, she's no more expert than some people on this forum. But they don't attempt to sell me product on every page they post on. I'm a cynic. I admit. If you try to sell me something every time you offer me advice, I'll wonder what your motives are. (And if the food is so superior, why all the recommended supplements anyhow?)

I happen to take almost everything she says with a grain of salt when she disabuses the Purdue Bloat Study.

She may disregard all of the results because it's not "research." by which she means, (I assume) the scientific method of segregating dogs into two groups -- one a placebo group, one a control group and intentionally subject the control group to most/all the risk factors. Yeah, that's pure cause and effect "research." Perfect. I'm not going to intentionally subject MY dog to that. And I'd prefer not to subject other animals to it either.

A longitudinal study of a given population isn't research? The NIH, CDC and a lot of other entities are wasting a lot of research money in "non-research" work. Whew. A few more general ed classes for this art professor might have been a good idea.

So, she appears to be a well-intended person. But her Great Bone Study is similar (but we don't know if it's as well controlled) as Purdue's. So while she's busy writing about her own accomplishments and slamming others, I just don't see much evidence that what Professor Arndt says, to me, is necessarily "fact." It's just as much "opinion," (supported by other opinion in some cases) as everything else.

Given the fact that I don't have a Great Dane, that dilutes the value of much of what she offers even more. Her pages on bloat are interesting, and worth reviewing. I'm willing to assume EVERYTHING causes bloat and try to control for it all.

But the rest of it? It's like everything else you read on the internet.

And Cherri, I know she's not here to defend herself. But I think her position is reckless with regard to her advice to pretty much completely disregard the Purdue results.
Quote:
Personally, most breeders ignore what has gone at Purdue... Ask any old-timer and they will tell you Purdue has missed the mark and it is a colossal waste of time and money
This is one of the most respected veterinary colleges around, and and the study was peer-reviewed before it was published in JAVMA. As seen above, people respect the Great Dane Lady. If even half of Purdue's recommendations are useful, she has done her readers a great disservice.

Since you brought up how helpful she has been to many dog owners and how many articles she has written, she should be very aware of the power she holds.

Anyhow, I am WAY off topic.

Sorry DHau.
 

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Cherri, any person who promotes themselves as an expert needs to be able to back up their information with Scientific evidence IMHO. Also when you put up a website you open yourself up to public review and criticism, if they as the old saying goes "you handle the heat then they need to stay out of the kitchen".

I have fed dog foods with corn in them and from what I saw in the past in my dogs is they what appeared to be more FAT on their bodies. That makes sense to me, as when we wanted to fatten animals up for market we put or or put more corn in their food and the gained (fat) weight very quickly.

Val
 
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