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I fed my previous GSD Nutro Natural Choice Lamb and Rice based on a list of recommended "decent" kibbles I found on a GSD site back in 2004. It worked well, and I never had any issues with my decision, but I have some concerns now, and would like input on what to feed our new GSD puppy. (We will be getting one in a few months, we currently don't have any dogs.)

I've always fed my cats off the grocery shelf...why, I have no idea. Because of the research I did on the GSD's food, I should have known better.

About 4-5 months ago, I finally did research on cat diets, and settled on this site: Making Cat Food by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM :: homemade cat food, cat food recipes

Because we are moving in 2 weeks, I didn't want to invest in a grinder and start them on a straight raw diet, because it would be impractical to keep up with during the move, so I did make 2 weeks worth of Dr. Pierson's recipe, and switched my cats to a wet food diet. They weren't enamored with the raw, but I can probably transition them to it once we get settled.

Drawbacks of raw: We're military and still move quite a bit. Raw isn't practical during moves, and (God forbid) we ever have to deal with quarantines some place, impossible there. So...if I go raw, I will have to do a lot of transitioning back and forth.

Hubby hates raw, maybe not so much with a dog, if I don't have to mix up a convoluted recipe like on Dr. Pierson's site, but he'd rather open a can than deal with that recipe. (However, if that's what I decide is best, he's fairly adaptable and will accept it.)

Cost. For the cats, making the switch to canned from kibble was a slight increase, and the raw recipe was a slight increase from that. Maybe $20/month overall from kibble to raw. (We are ecstatic with the results of feeding wet food, didn't anticipate the results we saw nearly as quick as we did, so I am a believer non-traditional (ie no kibble) feeding now.)

So...are dogs the same as cats? Is it better to feed them canned food, if you can't/don't want to do raw?

Are there any easily found kibbles (if canned isn't better)? One of the reasons I picked the Nutro before is because I can get it from the commissary, which is important when we move places that shipping food to is impractical. (We were in Alaska for a long time, it cost almost $100 to ship large bags of dog food from the Lower 48. UPS has added ground shipping to AK now, but it's still pretty expensive)

Anyway, mainly curious about the canned food issue. The vet on the cat site says any wet food is better than kibble for cats, so I'm curious if the same applies to dogs. (Cats, though, don't drink like dogs do, so that may be a big factor in wet food for them.)
 

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Hello!

I can not answer your question directly but can share my dogs diet.

she was a rescue who was on dry food until she was 5 month. When i got her, she always had a red stomach and would get ear infections constantly. after many vet visits and several different foods, I finally went raw. The outcome was amazing, the redness went away in less than a week, we have not had an ear infection in over 2 years, no doggie breath, more energy, constant compliments from the vet about her teeth. They keep saying that i clean them but i dont lol, its the bones she chews.

Going raw was the best decision I ever made.

you dont have to read this part but if you do :) , i feed my shih tzu mix dry food and he is great on it and loves it. the nastiest breath you can ever smell, especially in the mornings when you want to pass out if he breathes next to you. It has a lot to do with how their jaw is structured but i know the food has a lot to do with it as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hello!

I can not answer your question directly but can share my dogs diet.

she was a rescue who was on dry food until she was 5 month. When i got her, she always had a red stomach and would get ear infections constantly. after many vet visits and several different foods, I finally went raw. The outcome was amazing, the redness went away in less than a week, we have not had an ear infection in over 2 years, no doggie breath, more energy, constant compliments from the vet about her teeth. They keep saying that i clean them but i dont lol, its the bones she chews.

Going raw was the best decision I ever made.

you dont have to read this part but if you do :) , i feed my shih tzu mix dry food and he is great on it and loves it. the nastiest breath you can ever smell, especially in the mornings when you want to pass out if he breathes next to you. It has a lot to do with how their jaw is structured but i know the food has a lot to do with it as well.
Thanks for your experience! We had remarkable changes in our cats within days of making the switch from kibble to wet food. Their coats are shinier, our very overweight (started at 19.8lbs) cat has lost 3lbs (was closely monitored, I followed that website's recommendations for how much to let him lose in a week), and best of all...my house no longer smells like a litterbox!

With our GSD, I transitioned him over a week or two from the puppy chow he was weaned on to the Nutro, and never saw any major change, but he was only 8 weeks then. We had a death in the family and had to leave him with a neighbor for a month while we went to take care of things. They ran out of the Nutro while we were gone, and didn't realize it wasn't just garbage food like they fed their dog (we had it in a food container). We DEFINITELY saw a huge difference when we got back...much more poop, HUGE piles, and he ate 2-3 times as much. It was cheaper feeding him Nutro than it was feeding him "cheap" food.

So, I'm a definite believer in quality food (and I realize Nutro may not be quality food now, but in 2004 when I did my research, it was in the top 5 recommended kibbles on the GSD forum I was reading). I'll be looking into what raw entails (ie, do I need supplements, how much to feed, etc) and doing some pricing once we get moved, to see if it's feasible for us right now. (I did some reading on Welcome to the Raw Dog Ranch and I see variety is important, so I have to see how much providing different proteins will run in our new location)

Once hubby retires (Army), most likely all my animals will go raw, as we homestead when we are at our home...chickens, goats, rabbits, cows, pigs, etc, and that will make it pretty simple. But, for now, I'm torn, so I wanted to start doing my research well before we get our new baby, so I'll know what we want to do once s/he arrives.
 
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