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After all my research I believe that non grain kibble is a better food choice and I believe that raw feeding is probably the better choice but where is the proof.

We are very fortunate to have one of the best dedicated vets imaginable. He goes above and beyond what anyone could expect from their vet but how can I get him to proven facts from reputable persons that feeding raw and or grain free is better. He does not discount that organic or grain free is better he just hasn't seen any proof. He is very open minded and is willing to read results but they need to be from a vet or a nutritionist with a PHD. in that field.

When he tells me stories from his 28 years of experience of dogs eating raw and coming to him over and over again with decaying teeth or puppies with kidney issues caused from to much protein, and yes he is an advocate of Science Diet but only because it has proven to work for him .
He has raised 15 year old Dalmataon on SD along with several other dogs of his that lived 13 &14 years. I could go on with all the examples where he put other dogs on SC and it helped but what I really want to say is here on this site many of us answer peoples questions by what worked for us so how can you argue with a quality vet with 28 years of dealing with everything.

Don't say that vet's dont go to school for nutrition or don't know about nutrition because where this guy went to school they had to take all sorts of biology, and nutrition classes.He knows very much about nutrition but I have no ammunition from persons he will believe to change his mind.

He also states that SD was not ever a food that was recalled and maybe corn and grains might not be that good for our dogs but again where is the proof. I found this site and educated myself for my dogs and I feel the need to also see the facts so please help me in my quest.

I tried to inform you about my situation but in a nutshell help me to convey to my vet that either raw or grain free is better for our dogs with research from reputable people.
 

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The better approach would be to ask him to provide scientific evidence that grain is superior to raw or grain-free.

When he points out that no large studies have been done comparing grain-based, raw, and grain free, he's made your point for you.

Grain is in pet food because it gives companies a way to make profit off of what previously would have been waste from the human food industry- not because anything has ever demonstrated it to be superior to a raw diet.
 

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It's very difficult to get people to ignore their own experiences, no matter what kind of evidence you present. Why is it so important to you to change his mind?
 

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I am sure someone will have an answer for you but my question is. Why do you feel such a strong need to prove to your vet about grain free and raw? Is that what you want to feed your dog and he is against it? If that is the case you do what you think is right for your dog.

I have talked to a couple of vets that said Science Diet CD was not as good for kidney dogs as it was for cats. I had a pup with kidney issues, I joined a yahoo support group and you would not find many there that would feed the CD.

I also would question the kidney issues he saw in puppies due to to much protein. How does he know that was the cause? It is more likely that it was genetic or a birth defect since that is the number 1 reason for JRD! And yes no doubt you can raise a dog on any food and they may live a good long life. Look at some of the food people eat, they live but are not as healthy as they could be.
 

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The better approach would be to ask him to provide scientific evidence that grain is superior to raw or grain-free.

When he points out that no large studies have been done comparing grain-based, raw, and grain free, he's made your point for you.

Grain is in pet food because it gives companies a way to make profit off of what previously would have been waste from the human food industry- not because anything has ever demonstrated it to be superior to a raw diet.
That is wrong on two fronts. 1) Some starch has to be in kibble or else it cannot be manufactured. 25% minimum. 2) Whole, human-grade grains are in any pet food I would consider as a quality food. The notion that the grains used are "feed quality" is simply not true. The cost of human grade oats, barley, rice & corn is considerably higher than the cost of potato.

My own experience with grain-free foods has been positive but only with the new Annamaet GF's. This food is a new entry and is actually made in a way where starch converstion is enhanced. So far on some heavily trained young dogs, they have great energy and have not lost weight. Thumbs up.

On others the results were just horrible. Weight loss within a few days.

The most nutritious of the grains is without a doubt whole grain corn, brown rice is good too. Millet is very good for feeding the hard keeper, like corn.

When corn and the other grains are cooked properly, they pretty much are inhaled by the dog's digestive system. When they are not it is poop city.

There is no proof that either raw or GF's are better and I doubt you will ever see a study on it. I would love to see it done.
 

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Starch needn't be derived from grains.

Have you any studies demonstrating grain-based food's superiority to non-grain and/or raw diets?
Starch can come from a variety of plant sources like tapioca & potato but frankly grains are more nutritious, especially when they are whole grains. They are easier on insulin as well.

I really don't know why people are so impressed by potato for a dog over ground whole grain rice and ground whole grain corn. Both rice and corn do not cause allergies despite what is circulated on the internet.

As for GF's vs foods with whole grains, the superiority in foods with some grains is seen very clearly in hunting & sled dogs. You will not find a sled dog food without grain.
 

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I also would question the kidney issues he saw in puppies due to to much protein. How does he know that was the cause? It is more likely that it was genetic or a birth defect since that is the number 1 reason for JRD!
I just have to add that was the problem my own puppy had. Not her food, but congenital kidney issues.
Her grain-free food might have actually made it not show til it did. My vet said it could have shown up at 8-9 months, not at almost 15 like it did. I will never know though, I can only speculate.

vat, can I ask what is JRD?
 

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Starch can come from a variety of plant sources like tapioca & potato but frankly grains are more nutritious, especially when they are whole grains. They are easier on insulin as well.

I really don't know why people are so impressed by potato for a dog over ground whole grain rice and ground whole grain corn. Both rice and corn do not cause allergies despite what is circulated on the internet.

As for GF's vs foods with whole grains, the superiority in foods with some grains is seen very clearly in hunting & sled dogs. You will not find a sled dog food without grain.
Are you seriously arguing that rice is more nutritious than a potato? Brown rice provides marginally more protein than a potato, but potatoes provide vastly superior amounts of Vitamin C and Iron.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Thank you for your input and to answer your question as to why I want to change his mind. I don't want to change his mind I want to know for a fact that I am doing the best for my dog. I believe everyone on this form is looking to do the best for their pets and so many people feel that raw a or grain free is best and I understand it is our choice but where is the proof that makes everyone feed this way. Sure I would like very much to have my vet on board. He is very open minded as I said and he agrees their is no scientific proof either way to what is best for our dogs so he can only go off of his 28 years experience. Knowing I am doing the right thing for my pet is why I have asked this question. thanks again

The kidney issue came up yesterday when my daughter took her lab to get spayed and her blood work back back with a high number which I can't remember what it was but it should be between something like 8-12 and hers was 30 which he felt was due to the high protien level in her food. Now perhaps there is an underlying issue but you have to start somewhere I suppose and the protein was what he felt was the problem.
 

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I just have to add that was the problem my own puppy had. Not her food, but congenital kidney issues.
Her grain-free food might have actually made it not show til it did. My vet said it could have shown up at 8-9 months, not at almost 15 like it did. I will never know though, I can only speculate.

vat, can I ask what is JRD?
Juvenile renal disease. We found it in our pup at 8 months only because he was going to get neutered and they did blood work. His kidneys were to small and never fully developed. I switched him to raw after that and he had remarkable energy, I think it bought him time but there was nothing we could do for him. We had to put him down at 14 months. I wish I knew then what I know now, I would never have allowed my vet to give him his shots, how the heck was he supposed to process that??? And then the heartworm meds? It was only weeks after both that he developed severe problems and we had to let him go.
 

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Thank you for your input and to answer your question as to why I want to change his mind. I don't want to change his mind I want to know for a fact that I am doing the best for my dog. I believe everyone on this form is looking to do the best for their pets and so many people feel that raw a or grain free is best and I understand it is our choice but where is the proof that makes everyone feed this way. Sure I would like very much to have my vet on board. He is very open minded as I said and he agrees their is no scientific proof either way to what is best for our dogs so he can only go off of his 28 years experience. Knowing I am doing the right thing for my pet is why I have asked this question. thanks again
This is just IMO.......Lets say your feeding a good grain free kibble and he is doing great, great energy, great coat etc etc, then that is all you need and I bet your vet will say the same thing. I am currently getting my dog OFF of Orijen, is it a great food, ABSOLUTELY, does it work for my dog.....not at all and I need to change to another kibble.
There ARE studies on dogs eating grains and I would need to dig up my old biology books and notes to quote them but the bottom line is, a dog can eat grains and live a very long life. They can also eat a vegitarian diet (no meat at all) and live a long life, they won't thrive but they will live.

We all want the best for our dogs and will feed the best we can but I also think we can get carried away sometime (meaning our dogs will eat a totally raw diet but our cabinets are filled with oreo's, chips and a hole bunch of other crap that us and our children are eating)
 

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Juvenile renal disease. We found it in our pup at 8 months only because he was going to get neutered and they did blood work. His kidneys were to small and never fully developed. I switched him to raw after that and he had remarkable energy, I think it bought him time but there was nothing we could do for him. We had to put him down at 14 months. I wish I knew then what I know now, I would never have allowed my vet to give him his shots, how the heck was he supposed to process that??? And then the heartworm meds? It was only weeks after both that he developed severe problems and we had to let him go.
I'm so very sorry to hear that. Hugs for you. :(

When mine got spayed at 8 months too they only made a basic bloodwork so they didn't see it. I wish I had known sooner, but I can't turn back time.

I want to think the grain-free/raw food did buy them some time. Even if it wasn't enough, it was something. I'm grateful for every single moment with her, no matter how short it was.
 

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Denali Girl....Mind your own business. How did you get in my house to look in my cabinets anyway? Oreos and chips are big on our food pyramid. (Don't even get me started on chocolate.)
 

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If I may post something that Chris Wild said that I agree with a lot.......

Is it the food? Or the dog?
Maybe better in the weekly discussion topics section, but I'll post here for now.

For some reason I've been having lots of thoughts on diet and dogs doing well on X and not on Y lately. It seems there are always threads on the board of people looking for help because they've tried foods A, B, C, D, E, F.... with their dog and the dog continues to have problems. Now there is a current thread with people singing the praises of a food that, at least based on the ingredients, would be considered mediocre at best, saying that something in the special formula makes it wonderful, their dogs who always had problems on everything else are doing fine on this food because of the magical ingredients, and making statements about how highly lauded Brand X with the great ingredients is the true crap food because their dogs didn't do well on it.

Thinking back over the 20+ dogs I've shared my life with (mostly GSDs but a few other breeds and mutts mixed in) I can say I've never, ever encountered these sorts of problems. Sure the dogs did better on some than others, but I can't recall any food that caused major issues.

Growing up, we fed the crap grocery store brands. Dog Chow, Come and Get It, Gravy Train, Kibbles and Bits, Bench and Field, etc... Later we moved on to what at the time were the better foods like Diamond, Nutro, Iams, Eukanuba and such that today would be considered mid-range. This was before the age of the super premium dog foods. They didn't exist, or if they did no one knew about them because the local feed stores didn't carry them and Al Gore hadn't yet invented the internet.

Thanks to the 'net and getting heavily involved in the dog world in my adult life we learned about better stuff and used that. Chicken Soup, Canidae, Wellness, Innova, Solid Gold. Then came about the grain free movement and it was TOTW, Core, EVO, Orijen, Instinct.... Finally we switched to raw and will be sticking with that.

I can't really say if the $60 a bag grain free fed dogs really did better than those $10 a bag grocery store fed dogs from decades ago because frankly I can't recall well enough that far back to compare. And those dogs all those years ago were just pets, not competition dogs. But I do know we've never had so much as a single dog do badly on any food. No horrible coats, chronic diarrhea, or any of the other problems we hear about so often. In my experience, doing "better" on one food meant slightly smaller and firmer poops, or an even softer and more glossy coat, not huge variants. And in the last few years that I do remember, and was really conscious to watch for any changes, there's been no major change in energy level or overall health from one food to the next. Overall coat and poop and all other common measures used to determine if a dog is doing well on a food has been fine and any variance very minor, no matter what they were eating.

We've also never done the slow, gradual switch when changing foods. Just switched cold turkey. In the last few years of kibble feeding before going to raw we switched formula and sometimes brand most every bag. And with the number of dogs we have that means most every week. Might be Core fish this week, TOTW prairie the next, EVO the next, etc... And of course on raw, it's something different most every meal. Never had a single issue of digestive upset occur over food switching either.

Now my mother's GSD on the other hand has been one who has had problem after problem with digestive upset and dull brittle coat on most every food my mom has tried over the years. She would tend to feed whatever we were feeding at the time and our dogs did fine and her's didn't, so she'd switch to something else. She's finally moved to raw too and for the first time ever her almost 12yo dog has a nice coat and consistently normal poop. Prior to that there was always some problem or another. And clearly when feeding the same thing and ours are doing fine and her's isn't, it isn't the food. I suppose it's possible there is some other environmental factor different between her place and ours, but really I think it's the dog. Especially since this is a dog who has had various allergy symptoms on and off for years as well, so clearly doesn't have a fully correctly functioning immune system.

This really has me wondering if all these problems we hear about and some people experience are really with the foods themselves. And the more I think about it, the more I seriously doubt that is the case and the 5 or 10 or 15 foods are really bad and the problem is with all those foods. Especially when the common denominator there is the dogs themselves, and not all dogs, but just some dogs. Often closely related dogs.

We see other indications of increased health, and particularly auto-immune problems, in GSDs than existed in years past. And while I do think there are other non-health related factors that tend to skew perspective and can make it appear today's GSDs are less healthy than they really are, I also think there is a legitimate downturn with regards to health that has occurred in the past few decades and that all these food problems speak more to a deterioration in the overall health of the dogs, sometimes entire bloodlines of dogs, that than they do to the foods themselves. The statements to the effect that no one food will work for all dogs and not all dogs will do great on the same food are of course very legitimate. But I think to the degree this sort of thing seems to be happening there is something else going on, and that by blaming the foods or using those statements as excuses we (breeders especially) might be missing some very important signs of things going awry.
 

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There are studies on dogs eating grains, yes.
But are there controlled studies comparing a grain-based diet and a raw one?

OK I read that too fast and posted.....to me, a raw diet would be the most logical answer due to the dogs digestive makeup. But they can live (not thrive) by eating a veg. diet or by eating grains.
 
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