Dog Food Chat banner
21 - 40 of 43 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,780 Posts
I have some nice beef ribs I could make stock with and freeze what I don't use....maybe between that and a bit of wet dog food, that would get the moisture into her diet....Thank you ladies!!
i keep chicken stock and pedialyte and beef stock for that very reason.

when i want them to drink more, i just add it to their water.

thankfully, my kids don't have struvites or urate crystals....so i have nothing else to offer, other than keep them wet, and test, give them appropriate high quality foods. i can't wrap my head around science diet. sorry.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
I agree with pretty much all your saying.

I also think you can achieve the same affect as the SO diet claims to produce by feeding other, better ingredients. Doesn't the SO have certain ingredients/addatives that help to lower or raise the urine pH as well as added salt to get the dog to drink more?
It does have a higher sodium level to encourage water intake, which is fine in a healthy animal. Healthy animals are able to excrete excesses of sodium very effectively, by increasing water intake and increasing urine output (achieving the goal of diluting the urine), it's only when there is a health condition that requires lower sodium levels that you need to be careful. It doesn't have "additives" to change pH etc, but it is formulated to decrease the amount of crystal precursors that are excreted in the urine. The nutrient profile is adjusted through manipulation of ingredients....This is confirmed by RSS (Relative Supersaturation) data, which collects urine over a number of days and looks at specific gravity, pH, mineral content, etc... (it is explained much better in the veterinary product guide if you're interested in learning more about that, I am not great at explaining it because I only need a base understanding in order to do my job as a vet). Depending on the crystal type you're dealing with, other diets may be a viable option, especially dealing with struvite which is associated with infection. But, if you're dealing with something like calcium oxalate, these are stones that the body is constantly trying to form and they are not dissolvable (is that a word...?). In that case, Urinary SO is the most aggressive diet for crystal and stone prevention, and is absolutely my first recommendation in an otherwise healthy animal.
I am thinking this can be accomplished with raising or lowering urine pH naturally by feeding certain fresh foods (or higher quality kibbles) as well as adding things to the water that are healthier for the dog then salt. My dog is an example of this. Our vet wanted Duncan on a prescription Science Diet formula for his entire life. I said no. He is currently eating a BARF diet.....and I know I could achieve the same results with a different, better quality kibble (for those that feed kibble) suited for his needs.
Again, depending on the crystal or stone you're dealing with, but pH is not the only parameter that you need to be concerned about. Lots of 'fresh foods' are high in oxalates, and increase the risk of stone reformation. SO is not a low quality diet, nor are the ingredients low quality. People believe RC diets to be lower quality because of misconceptions being spread on the internet, it doesn't make it true.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,085 Posts
It doesn't have "additives" to change pH etc, but it is formulated to decrease the amount of crystal precursors that are excreted in the urine. The nutrient profile is adjusted through manipulation of ingredients....This is confirmed by RSS (Relative Supersaturation) data, which collects urine over a number of days and looks at specific gravity, pH, mineral content, etc... (it is explained much better in the veterinary product guide if you're interested in learning more about that, I am not great at explaining it because I only need a base understanding in order to do my job as a vet).
I'm curious how the ingredients do this? What ingredient(s) do this? I would like to look into this more....as I'm not sold that the ingredients in these prescription diets are all they are cracked up to be.

Again, depending on the crystal or stone you're dealing with, but pH is not the only parameter that you need to be concerned about. Lots of 'fresh foods' are high in oxalates, and increase the risk of stone reformation. SO is not a low quality diet, nor are the ingredients low quality. People believe RC diets to be lower quality because of misconceptions being spread on the internet, it doesn't make it true.
I am coming from the perspective of urate crystals, which is what my BRT has (hyperuricosuria). I do realize that pH is not the only parameter. Trust me. My BRTs pH at this point is the least of my worries. So, I can't really speak on any other stones or proper diets for those dogs. However, I do know from personal experience that dogs with urate crystals/stones can do just fine on a diet other then a prescription diet. A diet low in purines and high in water intake is key.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
I have been putting the home made beef stock on Dakota's food...that is a big no go for her. She refuses to eat her food with it on there, she was even getting tired of the plain hamburger that we cooked on it but did eat her food more readily than what she is with the stock. Last night, after cleaning out another bowl of untouched food I gave her plain kibble with nothing on it and after about an hour got up and ate all the dry kibble then licked the bowl. She is drinking more and I fill the bowl outside each day with clean water.

I think for now, I will use the kibble the vet suggested and see how she does. If she will eat it dry but drink more water and is healthy and sound, then I think that is the important thing for the moment. I am going into town to get the urine strips, that was a great idea.

I have so enjoyed reading this thread, it has been very educational for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
I'm curious how the ingredients do this? What ingredient(s) do this? I would like to look into this more....as I'm not sold that the ingredients in these prescription diets are all they are cracked up to be.
It’s not one specific ingredient... It’s the combination of ingredients and nutrients that accomplish this. Remember; an ingredient is a vehicle to provide nutrients to the body, example, chicken provides protein, vitamin B3, phosphorus, tryptophan, selenium. Corn provides protein (rich in sulfur amino acids... good for skin and coat), carbohydrates, fibre, vitamin C, vitamin B3, manganese, leutine, zeaxanthine, beta-carotene, etc..... By combining different ingredients, it is possible to produce diets with very specific nutrient profiles, and in this way manage and treat diseases, predispositions, etc......

Basically, researchers know the parameters involved in the formation of common crystals/stones; pH, urine volume, urine specific gravity, sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphate, citrate, ammonium, sulphate, urate, oxalate, magnesium. The formulators create a ‘recipe’ with a desired nutritional profile. They make the diet, to see if it physically ‘works’ (like making a cake recipe... it can look good on paper, but if it doesn’t rise you have to go back and try something new). Once they have a diet that looks good on paper and can be formed into a kibble or can or loaf, then they do testing on it for digestibility, palatability, etc...... Once they’ve done that, they do RSS testing to see if the diet performs as desired that way. If it fails RSS, they go back to the drawing board, adjust the nutrient levels, and try again. Having RSS doesn’t make the diet unnatural or unhealthy, it simply means it’s passed stringent testing to ensure it performs the way it should.

I am coming from the perspective of urate crystals, which is what my BRT has (hyperuricosuria). I do realize that pH is not the only parameter. Trust me. My BRTs pH at this point is the least of my worries. So, I can't really speak on any other stones or proper diets for those dogs. However, I do know from personal experience that dogs with urate crystals/stones can do just fine on a diet other then a prescription diet. A diet low in purines and high in water intake is key.
Urate formers generally have one of two issues: 1) an inborn error in protein (specifically purine) metabolism which leads to excess uric acid in the bladder, or 2) liver failure, which by a different pathway leads to the same thing.
These are metabolic stones which means the body is constantly trying to form them, and will do so regardless of the diet that is fed. A low purine diet decreases the amount uric acid formation as an end product, which decreases the precursor in the urine for stone formation. Combined with increased water intake to dilute the urine (and sometimes the drug allopurinol), this is the best approach to managing this disease. There are very few low purine diets available, but you’re right, they’re not all prescription. The question is, what makes the non-prescription diets higher quality and therefore a better choice than the prescription ones (I’m not saying they’re better or worse.... but if they are better (or worse), I want to know why)? (as an aside, urinary SO would be a completely inappropriate diet option for a urate or other metabolic stone former.... I don’t want to be giving the wrong impression here).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,629 Posts
There is absolutely nothing dogs need in corn or other grains/starches that can't be found in animal products. Carbohydrates aren't necessary nor optimal for dogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
There is absolutely nothing dogs need in corn or other grains/starches that can't be found in animal products. Carbohydrates aren't necessary nor optimal for dogs.
how many antioxidants can you find in animal products? carbohydrates provide energy. you can get energy from carbs, fat or protein, from an energy standpoint, you can use any of them as an energy source, and I personally wouldn't recommend any one source exclusively.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,629 Posts
Oily fish like salmon, mackerel etc has plenty of antioxidants..

Carbs do provide energy, but why feed them in such large amounts as with the prescription diets when you can feed a better food (ie, higher protein, higher fat, lower carb) which has much less of an impact on blood sugar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Oily fish like salmon, mackerel etc has plenty of antioxidants..

Carbs do provide energy, but why feed them in such large amounts as with the prescription diets when you can feed a better food (ie, higher protein, higher fat, lower carb) which has much less of an impact on blood sugar.
Fish oils provide some antioxidants like selenium and zinc, but I don't know that I would say it provides plenty. I like my dogs to have a range of antioxidants... including vitamin C, lutein, etc...... you can't get them all from fish oil, and there are different qualities of fish oil out there.... you have to be pretty careful to be sure you get what you think you're getting. Also, fish oil, being a fat, is prone to oxidation... so it actually depletes the amount of vitamin E in the body. Some fish oil supplements actually have vitamin E added to combat this. You know where vitamin E comes from? Grains and vegetables.

Did you know there was a study done to prove that carbs caused diabetes in cats and they couldn't prove it (Slingerland LI, et al. Veterinary Journal, 179: 247-253, 2009)? Blood sugar is affected by the whole diet, including complexity of carbs, protein level, types and amounts of fibre in the diet, etc. And "better food" is a relative term. Some people claim a food is better because the ingredient label looks 'pretty' to them. Others are a lot more picky about what they are willing to call good. Just because 'meat is the first ingredient', doesn't make a food a)better, or b)automatically low in carbs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,632 Posts
I just read the original post, didnt want to read 3 pages, so Im sorry if I repeat some things....

Sadly Im somewhat of an expert in this category because both my cats have suffered with struvite crystals. The most important things are the pH the food produces in the urine, and mineral concentration. I have spoken with several pet food companies about what the urine pH and mineral concentration is in their food. The safe ones that I now feed my cats are Natural Balance, Nature's Variety, and Holistic Select. I would stay away from fish. A small amount maybe a couple times a month would be fine, but I personally stay away from all fish.

Since having them off of vet food and feeding just those three brands of canned food, not a single issue has happened. When they were on the vet food, they would be fine for a while and then they would get sick again. Especially with the Royal Canin Urinary S/O, it made me uncomfortable with how much salt was in it.

Your friend could continue to feed a high quality kibble, of either Natural Balance, Nature's Variety, or Holistic Select, and just mix canned food and some extra water with it.

For atleast a month or two however, I would suggest feeding just canned food, and if she could get her hands on some cranberry capsules, and open the capsule over the food. I like the Organika cranberry capsules because it is just cranberry, while the pills have additives to keep the pill together. Start with a 1/4 of the capsule, then work up. You cant overdose on cranberry, but I would work up to the full capsule over 4 week. Well, thats what I did anyway. And by the end the dog should be getting one capsule a day, divided into two feedings.

Honestly, since doing this myself, with just the high quality canned and cranberry capsules, no vet food, my cats have been free of issues for over a year. It was scary to get them off the vet food cause my vet was warning me they could get worse, but I gave it a shot and it was fine. They just say that to scare you.

Also, I do add a bit of extra water to the canned food to further increase their water intake.

Hope this helps, good luck to your friend!

Edit: I do not trust Blue Buffalo, I know of three dogs who at seperate times got urinary crystals from it when I used to work at Pet Valu.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,780 Posts
i will agree that label reading is a fine art. and it can be deceptive when 'meat' is listed as the first ingredient.

on the other hand, dogs do make vitamin C, unlike humans.

and, just as humans can tax certain organs by eating crappy food because there is a difference between whole grain and processed grain, dogs will also have a problem trying to process what i call processed grains.

the very act of making kibble is a process by its very definition.

there is no way that i will ever accept, either scientifically or anecdotally, that processing is a good thing.

i have seen dog food made.....and let's forget about the other things that manufacturers let slip by. it's not germane.

what is germane is taking a product, such as a chicken and breaking it down to a pink slush. it is no longer chicken.

why not feed a dog the whole food, rather than a sum of its parts?

i do not believe we are better off picking and choosing ingredients. i do believe we are better off giving our dogs food that is in its natural form, whether vegetables and whole grains are used or not.

a complex carb is no longer complex once it's processed.

so eat zucchini and leave the zucchini bread behind. and give your dog suitable food. i realise there are people who believe in veggies and fruits and grains and whole proteins...and their dogs seem to do fine. i belong to a balkan forum and dairy products, veggies and fruits are fed, along with raw proteins. they have done this for many generations.

feed a dog a diet suitable for the dog with whole nutrition.....not just that which can be added back in because the extrusion process eliminated any nutrition there might have been.

if nutrients need to go back in ....then the point is missed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,629 Posts
I know that meat as the first ingredient doesn't really mean much. I don't judge a food on one ingredient. I look at the overall food, typical analysis, ingredients and the company history. Since I don't feed dog kibble, I'll use my cat kibble as an example - Innova EVO Turkey & Chicken.

All five of the first ingredients are meats or animal products. The protein % is 50, the fat % is 20... that is a very low carbohydrate food.

Actually my cat was on Urinary food from Science Diet and still had recurring UTIs and crystals. Somehow when I switched him to a better.. yes BETTER.. food- I think it was Acana, EVO and Wellness CORE at the time- he magically got better and hasn't had one since except for the time when my boyfriend got the wrong food for him and he ate a bag of .. Whiska's I think it was. I have been trying to switch him to raw but he is a picky boy.

I would say I am more picky than you may be.. I don't consider a food good based on studies, funded by the company itself. You only have to look as far as prescription medications in humans to see how well that works. Vioxx anyone?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,629 Posts
By the way- astaxanthin in salmon has been touted as the strongest known antioxidant.. also the vitamin A in liver is one also..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
I know that meat as the first ingredient doesn't really mean much. I don't judge a food on one ingredient. I look at the overall food, typical analysis, ingredients and the company history. Since I don't feed dog kibble, I'll use my cat kibble as an example - Innova EVO Turkey & Chicken.

All five of the first ingredients are meats or animal products. The protein % is 50, the fat % is 20... that is a very low carbohydrate food.

Actually my cat was on Urinary food from Science Diet and still had recurring UTIs and crystals. Somehow when I switched him to a better.. yes BETTER.. food- I think it was Acana, EVO and Wellness CORE at the time- he magically got better and hasn't had one since except for the time when my boyfriend got the wrong food for him and he ate a bag of .. Whiska's I think it was. I have been trying to switch him to raw but he is a picky boy.

I would say I am more picky than you may be.. I don't consider a food good based on studies, funded by the company itself. You only have to look as far as prescription medications in humans to see how well that works. Vioxx anyone?
well, I look further than protein and carb amounts, and looking at the first five ingredients is no different than looking at the first one ingredient. The ingredient source doesn't matter. The nutrients it provides do. I look at nutrient parameters, who formulates the diet, clinical trials, quality control measures, and how tailored a diet is to a specific patient's nutritional needs. so let's agree to disagree.

There are lots of externally funded studies, as well as peer reviewed studies, in use by lots of companies that actually care about proving efficacy instead of riding the 'grain free' bandwagon or whatever the fad of the year is. You can make a study say anything you want by 'stacking the deck' for lack of a better analogy, but if it's peer reviewed it gets torn apart.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,629 Posts
I look at all the ingredients.. I was just using that as an example as there is a lot of animal product in the food as you can see by little carb content.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,780 Posts
well, I look further than protein and carb amounts, and looking at the first five ingredients is no different than looking at the first one ingredient. The ingredient source doesn't matter. The nutrients it provides do. I look at nutrient parameters, who formulates the diet, clinical trials, quality control measures, and how tailored a diet is to a specific patient's nutritional needs. so let's agree to disagree.

There are lots of externally funded studies, as well as peer reviewed studies, in use by lots of companies that actually care about proving efficacy instead of riding the 'grain free' bandwagon or whatever the fad of the year is. You can make a study say anything you want by 'stacking the deck' for lack of a better analogy, but if it's peer reviewed it gets torn apart.
which is part of the reason i no longer 'go' by studies. one day coffee is good. next day it's bad. eggs have been vilified and glorified.

a whole egg provides all kinds of nutrients. eggbusters or whatever they are called do not. and, one must add in the either natural or not natural preservatives, which, over time can also do damage.

a whole chicken provides all the nutrients it has.
a whole vegetable provides all the nutrients it has.
a whole grain, same thing.

one does not have to look beyond to see that a dog with a problem needs a different nutritional panel than a dog without the problem.

and it's fairly easy to give said dog the nutrition needed by using whole foods, not the sums of its parts.

i do agree with this statement you're making:
I look at nutrient parameters, who formulates the diet, clinical trials, quality control measures, and how tailored a diet is to a specific patient's nutritional needs
but we shall also have to agree to disagree about which form of food is fed, especially the quality control part.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,085 Posts
It’s not one specific ingredient... It’s the combination of ingredients and nutrients that accomplish this. Remember; an ingredient is a vehicle to provide nutrients to the body, example, chicken provides protein, vitamin B3, phosphorus, tryptophan, selenium. Corn provides protein (rich in sulfur amino acids... good for skin and coat), carbohydrates, fibre, vitamin C, vitamin B3, manganese, leutine, zeaxanthine, beta-carotene, etc..... By combining different ingredients, it is possible to produce diets with very specific nutrient profiles, and in this way manage and treat diseases, predispositions, etc......

Basically, researchers know the parameters involved in the formation of common crystals/stones; pH, urine volume, urine specific gravity, sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphate, citrate, ammonium, sulphate, urate, oxalate, magnesium. The formulators create a ‘recipe’ with a desired nutritional profile. They make the diet, to see if it physically ‘works’ (like making a cake recipe... it can look good on paper, but if it doesn’t rise you have to go back and try something new). Once they have a diet that looks good on paper and can be formed into a kibble or can or loaf, then they do testing on it for digestibility, palatability, etc...... Once they’ve done that, they do RSS testing to see if the diet performs as desired that way. If it fails RSS, they go back to the drawing board, adjust the nutrient levels, and try again. Having RSS doesn’t make the diet unnatural or unhealthy, it simply means it’s passed stringent testing to ensure it performs the way it should.


Urate formers generally have one of two issues: 1) an inborn error in protein (specifically purine) metabolism which leads to excess uric acid in the bladder, or 2) liver failure, which by a different pathway leads to the same thing.
These are metabolic stones which means the body is constantly trying to form them, and will do so regardless of the diet that is fed. A low purine diet decreases the amount uric acid formation as an end product, which decreases the precursor in the urine for stone formation. Combined with increased water intake to dilute the urine (and sometimes the drug allopurinol), this is the best approach to managing this disease. There are very few low purine diets available, but you’re right, they’re not all prescription. The question is, what makes the non-prescription diets higher quality and therefore a better choice than the prescription ones (I’m not saying they’re better or worse.... but if they are better (or worse), I want to know why)? (as an aside, urinary SO would be a completely inappropriate diet option for a urate or other metabolic stone former.... I don’t want to be giving the wrong impression here).
Thank you for taking the time to reply. Very interesting. I understand what your saying, but I'm just not sold yet. Will need to research it a bit more. I still believe that there is no need for corn, fillers, etc. in some of the prescription diets. One of the ingredients in Science Diet is the equivalent of saw dust. How does that play a part in the food besides being a filler to make stools hard? I'd prefer to skip the sawdust and feed my dog whole, fresh foods modified for his specific needs as opposed to processed kibble.

I do like your explanation for urate stone formers. Easy to understand for those who don't know much about urate stones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Thank you for taking the time to reply. Very interesting. I understand what your saying, but I'm just not sold yet. Will need to research it a bit more. I still believe that there is no need for corn, fillers, etc. in some of the prescription diets. One of the ingredients in Science Diet is the equivalent of saw dust. How does that play a part in the food besides being a filler to make stools hard? I'd prefer to skip the sawdust and feed my dog whole, fresh foods modified for his specific needs as opposed to processed kibble.

I do like your explanation for urate stone formers. Easy to understand for those who don't know much about urate stones.
I'm glad it was helpful :)
A filler, by definition, has no nutritional value. Corn is full of beneficial nutrients, and is highly digestible, not a filler.
As for sawdust, I'm assuming you're talking about cellulose. It's true, cellulose comes from a plant cell wall, which may (or may not, depending on the company) include wood, but again, it's not a filler, it's an insoluble fibre broken down into teeny tiny bits. It doesn't supply energy or vitamins or minerals, but insoluble fibre is important for digestive health, someone in another thread was talking about how important it insoluble fibre is for natural exfoliation of intestinal cells, it also promotes peristalsis, and can help 'bulk up' stools if there is fibre responsive colitis, anal gland issues, or if you have an animal on a weight loss program and they're hungry, it can help to make them feel more full. There are lots of different sources of insoluble fibre, cellulose is just one of them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,780 Posts
I'm glad it was helpful :)
A filler, by definition, has no nutritional value. Corn is full of beneficial nutrients, and is highly digestible, not a filler.
As for sawdust, I'm assuming you're talking about cellulose. It's true, cellulose comes from a plant cell wall, which may (or may not, depending on the company) include wood, but again, it's not a filler, it's an insoluble fibre broken down into teeny tiny bits. It doesn't supply energy or vitamins or minerals, but insoluble fibre is important for digestive health, someone in another thread was talking about how important it insoluble fibre is for natural exfoliation of intestinal cells, it also promotes peristalsis, and can help 'bulk up' stools if there is fibre responsive colitis, anal gland issues, or if you have an animal on a weight loss program and they're hungry, it can help to make them feel more full. There are lots of different sources of insoluble fibre, cellulose is just one of them.
i recognise the importance of cellulose for humans....and now that vegetables and whole grains are so expensive, i can now comfortably eat sawdust for fibre. and, i can feed it to my dogs to give their stools bulk and keep that peristalsis going....

you're kidding, right? that was for humour...yes?

please tell me i'm speaking out of context...because if a company uses sawdust and puts it in their foods for animals....i kind of think that proves my statement that processed foods are poorly suitable for man and beast.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
i recognise the importance of cellulose for humans....and now that vegetables and whole grains are so expensive, i can now comfortably eat sawdust for fibre. and, i can feed it to my dogs to give their stools bulk and keep that peristalsis going....

you're kidding, right? that was for humour...yes?

please tell me i'm speaking out of context...because if a company uses sawdust and puts it in their foods for animals....i kind of think that proves my statement that processed foods are poorly suitable for man and beast.
uh, I didn't say you should put sawdust in food. I think you misinterpreted what I said, and looking back at what I wrote maybe I stated it unclearly......cellulose is an insoluble fibre that is sourced from a plant cell wall. Because sawdust comes from wood, the cells that make up sawdust CONTAIN cellulose. Just like the cells of every plant material on the planet. So companies that don't use cellulose started spreading rumors that companies that DO use cellulose are putting sawdust in their food. Using cellulose in a diet is not the same as putting sawdust in a diet.

NEW TRAIN OF THOUGHT: the benefits of insoluble fibre such as cellulose include: aid in the natural exfoliation of intestinal cells, promotes peristalsis, and can help 'bulk up' stools if there is fibre responsive colitis, anal gland issues, or if you have an animal on a weight loss program and they're hungry, it can help to make them feel more full. You cannot substitute fibre for vegetables and whole grains. Fibre is not digestible. Vegetables and whole grains are digestible and provide a plethora of beneficial nutrients to the body.

Is that better?
 
21 - 40 of 43 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top