Dog Food Chat banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
HI, I introduced my pup in the new member area. He is a 6 month old BC I rescued from the pound. After doing research on dog food and reading tons of forum posts and ingredient lists and dog food theories etc., I started him out on Dr Tim's Kinesis GF. He was doing very well on it, his stools and coat were very nice. After a few months, however, he started limping and the vet said he had pano and that I needed to switch him to something lower in protein and fat. I switched him to Annamaet encore and the pano subsided, however, his coat seemed to be more dry. His stools were still good, a little more loose but slightly smaller than on Kinesis. Since his coat was more dry and 25/14 seems low for a puppy, I decided to switch him to Kinesis ALS to see if it would work out better.

As of now Luke is not extremely active, I take him on a walk every day and play with him. When he is older, however, I plan to run with him a few miles about 3 times a week and go on 6 or so mile hikes probably twice a month. So not extremely active but more so than an average house dog.

Anyway, that's my dog food journey so far. I have some questions I was hoping you all could answer. In my mind the types of quality dog foods available can be categorized, roughly, into two types based on ingredient lists and protein/fat levels. First, there are Annamaet, Dr. Tims, Fromm type foods that seem to be well respected, have lower (as compared to group two) protein levels and use "meal". Second, there are Acana, Oijen, and NV Instinct type foods that are very high in protein and do not use meal.

My questions are First, is there a significant difference between the two approaches. Specifically, is that much protein good or unnecessary in a diet. All these foods seem to be well respected although the protein/fat profiles are very different. Second, what are your opinions within each group. Third, how important are AAFCO feeding trials since Dr. Tim's is the only one of the group that has submitted the food to such trials.

I really appreciate any help. Wading through the plethora of information and divergent opinions has been interesting and a bit confusing but if I'm going to take care of a dog and spend money on food for him I'd like to get the best I can for him (for a reasonable price that is Orijen is a little much, I'm not sure my food cost that much lol). Thanks again.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,271 Posts
I can't really give advice on a brand, as I feed raw not kibble. But do keep in mind, as far as the AAFCO goes, they "approve" everything from Ol'Roy to the high end foods. Once you get some advice on different brands, you may go through several before you find one that works for your dog. Because a food is high end and gets good reviews for others dogs, doesn't necessarily mean it will be great for yours.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,206 Posts
I tell everyone to find a handful of foods that your dog does good on. Do not stick to one brand. Dr Tim's is a great food; if you're on FB, he will answer questions for you. I called the number on the bag once & Tim himself called me back!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
That's interesting. Why should you not stick with one food? Also should you make sure that the foods you switch between have similar protein, fat levels and calories?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
I'd find a new Vet, as there is no evidence that Pano is negatively associated with the high-protein/high-fat diets that dogs thrive on.

While Dr Tim's makes some far better than average kibble formulas, the Kinesis kibble is not one of them. It only clocks in at 26 (protein)/16 (fat).This is a rather poor nutritional analysis. 26% is at the bare minimum level of protein established in the veterinary literature where dogs suffer muscle tears and slow recover from injury due to lack of protein. 16% fat is woefull inadequate. Dr Tim's targets this ration at dogs who are couch pototoes (literally). If you feed this little fat you will de-tune a dog and rob it of its natural vitality and stamina. This is because far too many calories in this type formula come from carbohydrates.

Look at the higher-end Dr Tim's products (like Momentum at 35/25). These (correctly) claim that they improve VO2 Max. What this means is that dogs fed these sorts of high-protein/high-fat (low carb) diets have dramatically higher aerobic capacity. These are not just marketing claims, as dramatically higher VO2 Max scores have been verified in scientific studies.

So ask yourself what's your goal? If you desire a fit, healthy, vibrant dog who has plenty of stamina, then feed a high-protein/high-fat diet. If you want a dog that sleeps all day and is de-tuned, then feed a high-carb diet.

That a Vet told you that an already high-carb formula had too much fat and too much protein and suggested an even lower quality food in contravention of all known veterinary science is most unfortunate.

I feed raw, as I feel it is the best means of eliminating carbs and feeding a natural diet that canines were shaped by evolution to thrive on. Were I feeding a kibble I'd look at ones like Dr Tim's Momentum and Fusion.

One problem with Dr Tim's is the lack of a red meat source. I'd supplement.

Since high-protein/high-fat rations have higher calories per cup than high carb diets you feed less food. Feeding less food (by volume) is kinder to the dog, off-sets (in-part) the higher costs, and results in far less waste that needs to be picked up.

The more you can reduce or eliminate carbohydrates from your pup's diet the better off that dog will be.

Best,

Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks for the advice Bill, I did have him on Kinesis GF before which is higher in protein and fat. That said, his pano did get better after switching to Annamaet Encore so I'm not sure what made it better or if it was a coincidence but something made it better.

So would feeding Luke Momentum (or Orijen etc.) not be too much for him if I'm not working him like an Iditarod Dog?

Also, I am actually looking for another vet but for more reasons than just that. I will ask the next vet about Luke's diet and see if he thinks the Pano was related to the richness of the food.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Thanks for the advice Bill, I did have him on Kinesis GF before which is higher in protein and fat. That said, his pano did get better after switching to Annamaet Encore so I'm not sure what made it better or if it was a coincidence but something made it better.

So would feeding Luke Momentum (or Orijen etc.) not be too much for him if I'm not working him like an Iditarod Dog?
Pano usually self-resolves, so getting better is the normal course of events. There is no support in the veterinary literature for the idea that low-protein /low-fat/high-carb diets cure or ameliorate the effect of pano.

Feeding Luke a food like Momentum (if you don't chose raw) is the best choice you could make. The difference would be that you'd feed far less food (fewer calories) than one would feed to an Iditarod dog.

You will see a difference in stamina and energy. Dogs convert fat into energy with great efficiency and it is sustainable energy. I think many people don't actually desire vital, fit, energetic dogs and unconsciously "drug" their dogs with high-carb rations that cut their dog's energy.

Even Dr Tim's website says of (regular) Kinesis that is is "for the dog that prefers to scale the couch instead of Mount Everest." Left out of that description is that feeding high carb foods is the driver of lethargy. I see that the GF version is 32/18. Better, but I'd like to see fat over 20%, and at 35/25 the calories from carbohydrates would be about as low as one could hope for in a kibble.

My only caution would be that dogs need to be conditioned to burning fat as their primary energy source, and that it would be wise to slowly transition over to such a kibble (as opposed to making an abrupt switch).

With the higher-fat diet you should also see a considerable improvement in coat condition.

Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
That's interesting, and seems to comport with most of the information I have read. I'll have to think about switching him to that. He does already have a ton of energy though so I'm a little concerned he'll have an amount of energy that is unmanageable for me until he is grown and I can run him more.

What would you consider a slow transition? A week?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
That's interesting, and seems to comport with most of the information I have read. I'll have to think about switching him to that. He does already have a ton of energy though so I'm a little concerned he'll have an amount of energy that is unmanageable for me until he is grown and I can run him more.

What would you consider a slow transition? A week?
At six months you can let him run a good deal. On foot it is very difficult for any but extreme atheletes to stress an athletic breed like a Border Collie.

I'd probabally take a transition even slower than that. The reasons are the pancreas needs to get used to producing different balance of enzymes to digest high-fat than high-carb meals and there are even intercellular changes with mitochondria that get activated to deliver sustained glycogen supplies.

The easy answer for the transition to a high-protein/high-fat kibble is to watch the stools. If they get begin to get soft, slow down.

Do keep in mind that fat has 2.25 times the number of calories per gram than either protein or carbohydrates. So as you transition you will also want to significantly reduce the amount you feed. Do not be alarmed if the dog begins to drop weight from a fat layer. This is to be expected along with an increase in muscle mass. It might sound conterintuitive, but a high-fat diet will help sculpt a lean-muscular body.

The results will be somewhat undercut if—as I presume since he coming out a shelter—Luke has been neutered. Still he will likely grow leaner and stronger than typical dogs and you may get questions about him being skinny (assuming you resist over-feeding), but just know that most folks are not used to seeing fit and athletic dogs. Just do watch the amounts fed. Don't be alarmed by the positive changes you will see.

Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Oh wow I would not have considered transitioning that slowly. I'll keep that in mind and watch his stool.

I'll talk with the new vet and see if he think I can start running him more. That would definitely help get some of his energy out. He gets quite nippy when he has excess energy.

Also he is not neutered. I rescued him too young to be neutered. Thy wanted me to neuter him at 5 months but I was uncomfortable doing it that young from the information I had read. I am going to wait until he is 12 months to neuter him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Oh wow I would not have considered transitioning that slowly. I'll keep that in mind and watch his stool.

I'll talk with the new vet and see if he think I can start running him more. That would definitely help get some of his energy out. He gets quite nippy when he has excess energy.

Also he is not neutered. I rescued him too young to be neutered. Thy wanted me to neuter him at 5 months but I was uncomfortable doing it that young from the information I had read. I am going to wait until he is 12 months to neuter him.
Good news on being intact.

Please do yourself (and especially Luke) a favor and look at the 3 major studies on spay/neuter. They are the Rottweiller study, the Golden Retreiver study and the Vizsla study. When you read about the catastrophic negative health consequences (mental, emotional, and physical) I think you will reconsider you plan to neuter Luke.

If circumstances require he be sterilized you might search for a vet who can perform a vascectomy (which spares the critically sex-hormone producing organs). Not many vets are trained to do this simple procedure, so (depending on local conditions) it might take a hunt. But what a blessing it would be for Luke's future health.

There is a crisis brewing inside veterinary medicine as the standard operating procedure of routine spay neuter keeps proving to have major negative health consequences in scientific studies (something those of us knowlegable about dogs knew from experience).

Most "civilians" are not aware of these studies but it is causing growing anguish and concern among informed Veterinarians. Read the studies yourself.

Neutering increases fear and anxiety (the number one cause of behavioral problems, including biting). It drives up cancer rates. It drives up obesity rates. It drives up hip dysplasia rates. And it drives up tears of the Canine Cruciate Ligaments (CCL) that are now epidemic in dogs.

Repairing a CCL runs between 3 and 6 thousand dollars per side (US) and they usually happen in pairs (as a dog that blows one side usually blows the other) and despite surgery the dogs are never the same.

I don't mean to sound alarmist, but you will see a great deal of pro spay/neuter propaganda that fails to inform dog owners of the known risks that are confirmed in the scientific literature.

As to the slow transition to a high fat diet, as I've mentioned it is due significant metabolic changes (restorations) that happen with fat burning vs carb burning. It is more than a change from one typical high carb kibble to another high carb kibble.

Too often one reads of people saying they put their dogs on a high-protein high-fat kibble and that their dogs "couldn't handle it" when the root problems were a lack of transition and overfeeding. So the advice is to set you up for success.

Best,

Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I just read those papers. That's some scary stuff. Since I rescued him from a shelter I may be legally required to neuter him at some point. I'll have to look into that. I'll definitely delay it as long as possible though. And I'll look into the vasectomy. I didn't know that was a possibility for dogs. Thanks again for the help I appreciate it.

I have always had dogs in my family when I was growingg up but this is the first dog that I have ever bought and been responsible for. So I'm trying to learn all I can.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
I just read those papers. That's some scary stuff. Since I rescued him from a shelter I may be legally required to neuter him at some point. I'll have to look into that. I'll definitely delay it as long as possible though. And I'll look into the vasectomy. I didn't know that was a possibility for dogs. Thanks again for the help I appreciate it.

I have always had dogs in my family when I was growingg up but this is the first dog that I have ever bought and been responsible for. So I'm trying to learn all I can.
It is scary stuff. Left out of studies is how much normal sex-hormones contribute to maintaining lean stong bodies (which is vital for good health) and what a great effect they have on dog's emotional well-being. You are very wise to inform yourself and Luke is a lucky dog to have an owner like you!

If the rescue insists on neutering I'd suggest negotiating for a vascectomy instead. That would fill the purpose of ensuring perminent sterization (ending any chance of unwanted reproduction) while protecting Luke's health.

I respect the work of those who work in shelters, but on the issue of requiring the most radical of all solutions to birth control there needs to be push-back from adopters in support of alternatives that don't cause the health risks and diminished physical vigor that is inevitable with castration.

I wish you all the good fortune in the world moving forward. If I can help you further it would be my great pleasure.

Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I will definitely look into that. Thanks Bill I appreciate it. You have been very informative and helpful!

Kyle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Is there not a significant risk of intact male dogs taking off when they smell a bitch in heat? I've never been around an intact dog. Just female cats, and they kind of go crazy.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,271 Posts
They would wander off if they aren't contained in some way, like a fenced yard or leashed. We have an intact male and female together in our house. He is very calm and obedient. Almost gentlemen like. Along with our fenced yard, and alternating outside times, and him not in the bedroom with us at night, it's worked just fine. As long as you are responsible about containment it's fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Is there not a significant risk of intact male dogs taking off when they smell a bitch in heat? I've never been around an intact dog. Just female cats, and they kind of go crazy.

Agreeing with Jenny (above). I've kept intact male dogs since I was a kid (since 1970) and have never had an issue. Granted, my dogs have always been kept in yards with secure fencing and are trained and supervived. Plus relatively few females in the area I live in are kept intact.

An intact male will be interested in a female who is in heat (or is recently post-heat). I have never had a dog go "crazy" in such circumstances, but they are interested and would copulate given the chance.

One has to be realistic about how one keeps dogs. Insecure fencing with lack of supervision in an area with many intact females would very likely lead to roaming. Even if sterilized, a roaming dog is a danger to itself. A fertile dog on the loose that could impregnate females who are also on the loose is intolerable.

But I've never had a dog roam. Not ever.

There is an additional layer of responsibility required of those who keep their dogs intact. But most of those measures are things any responsible dog owner would do in any case. Against that you will maximize a dog's physical and emotional health and stave off the high risks associated with neutering.

A dog may reach full height by 12 months, but the full musculature development can easily take 3 years (more or less).

You sound like an athlete who hopes to run with his dog. All I can tell you is there is a world of difference in the physical condition of dogs who eat high-protein/high-fat meals, are intact, and who get good exercise. Given these advantages Luke will have the look (and actual endurance) of an elite athlete, and won't be a dog that would rather climb the couch that Mt Everest.

Assess your situation realistically.

Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,215 Posts
That's interesting. Why should you not stick with one food? Also should you make sure that the foods you switch between have similar protein, fat levels and calories?
I feed a variety of foods, pretty much any "diet" and "quality" out there. I do this for 2 reasons. One, IMO, feeding a lot of different foods helps prevent a "sensitive stomach" which means I never have to "worry" if I can't get a food. The second is too prevent any nutritional oops (too much/little of anything). I know "recent regulations" are to prevent that but, eh... I don't transition, just feed what I have (which could be a problem if your dog has only eaten 1 kind for a long time, but generally it's soft pops that clear up in a short time). So far this week, my lot has eaten grilled and boiled chicken breasts, raw beef chunks, and 2 different kibbles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Hi Lucas,
As long as you are trying out foods and doing your research, try VeRUS. It's the kind of dog food you can feed throughout your dog's life - changing from formula to formula as needed without worrying about long transition times, etc. These people stay on top of nutritional requirements AND they've never had a recall in almost 30 years. There aren't a whole lot of dog foods that can say that! Another plus is that if you have questions, you can email them and ask & they'll answer you very quickly. Go to their webpage (veruspetfoods.com) look around, and fill out the contact form. They'll email you back, find some stuff out about your dog (like concerns you may have), address them and send you free samples. I'm big on the free samples because no matter how many dollar-off coupons a company sends you, you still end up with a bag of food if it doesn't work out well for your dog. VeRUS doesn't send coupons, they send actual food.
I have a 12 y-o Golden and a 7 y-o mutt that have been eating this food for well over a year and they are happy, healthy, enthusiastic consumers of this dog food. While caring for my mom's dog (mutt of undetermined age), I've see her goopy eyes get better and she poops more efficiently (less often but better poops). It's really good food

Also, on the fixed or not subject - ask your vet about possible consequences of NOT neutering. I've had friends whose dogs developed issues. Also, there's always the risk of unwanted puppies. If you aren't going to breed, there's no reason to not neuter.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top