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As you guys know, I am currently volunteering at a vet clinic. In his free time, I had a little chat about premium dog food with the vet. This vet has been in the profession for 20 years.

We talked about raw diets and premium dog foods such as Blue, Orijen, and etc. First, the raw diet.

A summary of what he believes from experience is raw diet isn't better than dry dog food. He says there's not enough studies done to say "Raw is better for your dog than dog food." He also says raw diet is more risky, with there not only being a risk for your dog but for you as well.

A summary of what he believes about premium dog foods is dog food is dog food. You can feed Purina or Orijen, but your dog is still going to have dental problems. Also, dogs can also benefit from Purina, regardless of what others say.

Ever since I started going to dog forums, I've been preached to that premium dog foods or raw is the way to go. But those people who preached that to me are not vets and vets are qualified in this area, especially nutrition vets.

What do you guys think? Let us discuss.
 

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I haven't discussed raw with the vets at my vet practice, but at least 2 of the doctors would strongly disagree with the idea that dog food is dog food. One of the very first things I was told when I brought my oldest dog, Penny, in for her first visit (she was a 5-yr-old failed hunting dog when I rescued her) was that her teeth were in bad shape due to cheap food & they recommended that I switch her to a premium food (which they don't sell BTW, so it wasn't a money-maker for them). They were right - her teeth improved amazingly & so did the quality of her coat. I'd have switched her anyway, since I've always been very careful about what I feed my pets, but it was certainly visible confirmation of the difference between cheap crap & good food. Also, one of the first questions they ask when doing annual check-ups is what food you're giving your pets.
 

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. But those people who preached that to me are not vets and vets are qualified in this area, especially nutrition vets.

What do you guys think? Let us discuss.
What is a nutrition vet. Is he board certified in animal nutrition.

What makes a vet anymore qualified than anyone else? I have a BS degree in biochemistry, have taken feeds and feeding at university, and have a Masters in chemistry. When I worked at the vet school I sat in on some courses and they fly through them as they learn about all species.

Having a letter behind your name and even experience as a general purpose vet does not really make you an expert. I have spoken many times to vets where I took in recent veterinary research studies (from journals THEY would respect) that the had not a clue about.
 

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What is a nutrition vet. Is he board certified in animal nutrition.

What makes a vet anymore qualified than anyone else? I have a BS degree in biochemistry, have taken feeds and feeding at university, and have a Masters in chemistry. When I worked at the vet school I sat in on some courses and they fly through them as they learn about all species.

Having a letter behind your name and even experience as a general purpose vet does not really make you an expert. I have spoken many times to vets where I took in recent veterinary research studies (from journals THEY would respect) that the had not a clue about.
It might be holstic vet, not nutrition. I forgot what it's called.

You know what, I don't know. What I do know is vets know animal health.
 

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What is a nutrition vet. Is he board certified in animal nutrition.

What makes a vet anymore qualified than anyone else? I have a BS degree in biochemistry, have taken feeds and feeding at university, and have a Masters in chemistry. When I worked at the vet school I sat in on some courses and they fly through them as they learn about all species.

Having a letter behind your name and even experience as a general purpose vet does not really make you an expert. I have spoken many times to vets where I took in recent veterinary research studies (from journals THEY would respect) that the had not a clue about.
:thumbup: Couldn't have said it better myself!
 

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Not all vets preach "all dog food is dog food".

My vet is always asking what I'm currently feeding, and specific formulas (right now feeding TOTW high prairie, but will be switching soon). When my dog was having digestive issues, she suggested putting him on Natural Balance LID until his digestive tract recovered.

I'm looking to switch to raw in the summer, I haven't asked her opinion but I don't think it will be as negative as the ones I read on here sometimes.
 

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Knowing for fact how little instruction vets get in nutrition in school, a very short course that has to cram in multiple species, and in many cases is taught by representatives of the big dog food manufacturers (who also produce some of the most crappy foods... Purina, Iams and Hills), I don't put any stock in what a vet says about nutrition. They simply are not well educated in the topic, and much of what they are taught is clearly biased considering the sources from which it comes.

If, and it's a big IF, the vet has taken it upon himself to truly study and research canine nutrition, way beyond what is taught in vet school, and can prove it then his opinion has more value. But most don't. Frankly, unless it is a specific area of interest that they pursue in their own time, most wouldn't be able to if they wanted to.
 

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kinda different BUT when I took my cat in for a check up, he has hereditary dental disease, and has had no problems, and vet said its cause I feed premium food, also no crystals in urine, again told its due to what he is fed, and no I don't feed what the vet sells,

Also my dogs eat premium foods and its been commented you can tell the difference in the coat and over all wellness in muscle tone and the raw bones keep their teeth sparkling, and its been remarked about.
 

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Vets go to school for a LONG time. I think it used to be six years AFTER a bachelor's degree.

In those six years, they do not have to just learn what doctors learn -- everything about the workings of a human being. They have to learn about dogs, cats, reptiles, birds, fish, horses, cattle, anything and everything that people use to raise for livestock or keep as pets.

They have to understand vaccinations, immune system, nutrition, orthopedics, digestive system, heath and lung issues, poisons, reproduction, surgery, injury, behavior, geriatrics, blood work, and parasites, as well as all the other things I am not thinking about.

Jack of all trades, master of none.

It means they are stuffed with a broad spectrum of information, and in all those years of vet school, they have something like one class in nutrition, designed by Science Diet or Purina, but they add to their knowledge base a lot of experience. I think they are better than the average Joe when they are determining what dogs should eat.

Add to that, dogs vary more than any other species. Dogs come in 4 pound to 280 pound packages. There are hundreds of different breeds, crosses, and mixes. A vet NEEDS to know that ivermectrin can KILL collies, but do they really know what the effects of barley are on Bichon Fris, or Blueberries on a Puli? (Yeah I did just pull those out of my ...) But you get the picture. Most of them have not STUDIED what foods GSDs seem to have problems with and what they seem to do well on as a breed.

And then you can have dogs from various lines do better or worse on some ingredients.

If you trust your breeder, I would call them first about what to feed. Have a conversation, listen to what they say, ask questions, and then make up your own mind about it.

I agree that there are sites that have completely embraced many marketing lines, be it raw or grain free or breed specific, or various life stages.

Your breeder or any reputable breeder in your area will have found a brand of food that their dogs seem to do well on. I would think that they are a better place to go for dog food advice than a vet. But a vet is better than your average internet surfer.

I sometimes wonder how many of us were sucked in at one time or another because the food had a GSD on the label.
 

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The vet I had at Raven's yearly physical (older man and the only vet at the practice I had never seen) had never even heard of Taste of the Wild. Won't be taking his nutrition advice. Not because I think TOTW is an outstanding food but if he didn't know foods available at Petco, then clearly he isn't up to date on the latest information.

Another one of the vet's (who I love because he is great with my fosters) recommended Beneful as a great food when one of my fosters wouldn't eat. Again, good vet but won't be taking his nutrition advice.

I even tried a holistic vet when I first got Kaiser since they advocated limited vaccines, RAW feeding and grain free foods. They told me Kaiser should be 75lbs. NO way he should be 75lbs. He's a little chunky when gets over 65lbs.

Point is, you're the one that knows your animal best. So educate yourself with the latest nutrition information, take other's advice into consideration and make the best decision you can for your pet.
 

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Dogs have never read any studies , yet they will tell you what works and what does not. The bodies respond . The vast majority of dogs do very well on raw diet . It is up to the owner to do a good job and understand the needs. Sometimes the body needs a bit of preparation by installing good intestional gut flora , particularly after multiple courses of anti biotics or long term use of enzyme robbing "dead" kibble. One error is feeding too much meat , too much phosphorous without calcium or mineral -- the people that feed chunks of meat or hamburg ground meat without any boney material.
At our local , well respected veterinary college , Guelph University , million dollars plus was donated by a major commercial dog food company. Now how is it possible that those vet students coming out of that institute receive an unbiased education on the nutritional needs of dogs when there is a vested interested to push the patron company.

Cats require "premium" because the cheaper brands have too much filler and ash content .

Dogs can eat kibble . What does premium mean - premium price ? brand name recognition ? veterinary endorsement , celebrity endorsement?

Carmen
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Selzer...ME! ME! ME! ( holding hand up)....
When I was a child......my grandmother fed "Strong Heart Canned Dog Food" to our GSD, because it was "made" for the GSD.....don't you know! *It had a GSD on the front of the can*.
 

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GSD Fan:

I respect vets for their training, but when I read "dog food is dog food" in your post, red flags shot up. Did he not live on this planet at the time when the Chinese dog food/cat food story broke the news? That is when very reputable news agencies began doing investigations into different pet food factories and uncovering some pretty ugly facts about how pet food was being made.

People would not have even known that pet foods were importing ingredients from China at the time if dogs and cats had not started to die.

Some vets do not do much research about pet nutrition beyong what they were taught in vet school, and this gives them a handicap in understanding the dangers which some foods can pose to our dogs. Right now, I'm dealing with a neighbor whose GSD had all the symptoms of degenerative myelopathy, and all she did was treat it as arthritis, because that's what her vet kept saying it was. She finally took the dog to another vet and tests were run which showed DM.

Vets, like human doctors, can be woefully ignorant of the issues of nutrition.
 

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As far as premium vs. storebrand type:

I've seen two choclate labs. One ate Origen, one ate Pedigree.

The first had the most beautiful coat soft. The second looked like those buffulo you see on the great plains...kinda two toned and coarse.
Confirmation wise, both dogs looked exactly the same...could have come from the same breeder. They both were inside dogs, neither slept outside.

I'm not an expert in nutrition but it was definitely not a "dog food is dog food" experience to me.

That's not even going into the waste or stool texture.
I've learned living in a small place that whatever I put into the dog, I've got to clean up two times a day...and solid and less is much better.
 

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As you guys know, I am currently volunteering at a vet clinic. In his free time, I had a little chat about premium dog food with the vet. This vet has been in the profession for 20 years.

We talked about raw diets and premium dog foods such as Blue, Orijen, and etc. First, the raw diet.

A summary of what he believes from experience is raw diet isn't better than dry dog food. He says there's not enough studies done to say "Raw is better for your dog than dog food." He also says raw diet is more risky, with there not only being a risk for your dog but for you as well.

A summary of what he believes about premium dog foods is dog food is dog food. You can feed Purina or Orijen, but your dog is still going to have dental problems. Also, dogs can also benefit from Purina, regardless of what others say.

Ever since I started going to dog forums, I've been preached to that premium dog foods or raw is the way to go. But those people who preached that to me are not vets and vets are qualified in this area, especially nutrition vets.

What do you guys think? Let us discuss.
This is easy to answer. It is true that Vets do not receive much training on nutrition, they will tell you that. This is only of importance with newly minted Vets. Others, like with 25-30 years experience, find that price and results are not correlated at all. They see the same problems no matter what the food. That is why they often don't object when you are feeding a mid-grade type of food. They don't see any evidence there is a health or longevity benefit to feeding Orijen or Canine Caviar Venison & Split Pea.

Vet's see more trouble with diet when ordinary people start playing nutritionist.

Most of the problems Vet's see are issues with certain breeds (you all know that is true), obesity which is more related to the owner's lifestyle than the diet and early neutering.

The bottom line is that for 99% of the dog's out there, there is no measurable benefit to an expensive food.

That is why Vet's don't care so much about the price-point of foods. They know it is mostly a marketing issue and not a nutritional one.

Even if a Vet does not sell Purina or Iams/Euk, there is better than a 50% chance those are used on his or her dogs. Pro Plan in particular.
 

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I do agree with your vet that in order to feed RAW you do need to educate yourself on the proper balance of organ meats and muscle meats (and all the other aspects of it, I don't know enough about it to describe them). It's not a matter of stocking up on a bunch of chicken breast and cheap steaks and thinking your dog is going to flourish on that diet. But there are enough places to find out that information that if a person decides to feed RAW, there is no reason why they can't do it right.

And it's kind of a stretch to suggest that feeding RAW is a potential danger to you the owner. Sure you are handling raw meat, but it's not rocket science to wash everything properly afterwards. I have never in all my life gotten sick from handling raw meat.
 

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That is why Vet's don't care so much about the price-point of foods. They know it is mostly a marketing issue and not a nutritional one.

Even if a Vet does not sell Purina or Iams/Euk, there is better than a 50% chance those are used on his or her dogs. Pro Plan in particular.[/QUOTE]

xxxx
Yet they aggressively market hyper expensive food $90 per bag , kibble , full of fillers , a marketing issue , not a nutritional one.
The companies you listed contribute funds and scholarships so loyalty bought.
Carmen
Carmspack Working German Shepherd Dogs
 

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I manage to handle raw meat all the time. I actually buy it raw to cook it for myself!
 

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It's not just the name of a dogfood. It's what the results are.
It's also if Purina or Proctor and Gamble (which now own Nutura Products) get so much into showing a profit that processing ingredients in China is more cost effective...I don't want it.
I'll pay more and be comfortable with the food snob label.

Heck, China can't even keep radiator fluid out of their own human baby formulas.
 
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