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I work for a vet, and recently the Dr. has been into nutrition and is pushing SD on all the clients and is actually doing quite well. Anyways, I refuse to feed SD because of the bad ingredients and currently rotate between Canidae, Taste of the Wild and Innova. Along wish pushing SD, the Dr. also is researching many of the premium food companies out there and figuring out what the parent companies are (Mars, Nestle, Diamond, etc) and since Diamond has all the recalls has said to stay away from all Diamond foods. Along with that she is also figuring out who actually does AAFCO testing and which ones only "formulate" their foods to meet the requirments. She has also said that All Life Stages foods are bad because it is basically just like feeding puppy food and that the foods need to be staged for each stage of life.

So pretty much of the premium foods out there it seems like the Natura brands are one of the only who meet all those requirements. Looks like I'll only be feeding that. I say that because although I don't agree with feeding SD, I do think she has some very good points with everything else she is saying.

I don't really know where I am going with this :confused: maybe just looking for thoughts?!?
 

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I work for a vet too, same scenario for me except I do the absolute worst in her opinion by feeding my dogs raw (well, I think she understands stuff like Ol Roy is worse than raw). Nutrition is just something we don't talk about at work much. The part that gets me so frustrated about her (and most vets out there) not approving raw diets is that she really knows *nothing* about them, except why they are supposedly horrible and unhealthy.

Personally I feel that since vets have a position of respect and authority to educate their clients about all things medical related, they have a responsibility to educate themselves about ALL potential new things, not just nutrition. I also think that it does a great disservice to their business NOT to expand their knowledge/experience as the times change. Medical/nutritional advances are being made daily so it doesn't take long
for knowledge to become obsolete.

Side note: if I didn't feed raw I would probably feed any off the Natura products too. AAFCO doesn't hold the tests themselves, the dog food companies hold them. AFFCO does however sets the rules and regulations (which are NOT even close to being ideal or adequate) for required feeding trials and defines food ingrediets. That's all that they do. "All life stages" formulas ARE basically puppy food since foods labeled this way have to be adequate to sustain a growing puppy. This is the reason that some dogs don't do well on ALS formulas as well.
 

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Nice posts :smile:


Just an FYI....Taste Of The Wild is a Diamond product.
 
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You are both so lucky to be employed with vets! Kudos to you both! Just dealing with them about any food issues where I am is never ever enlightening! Its like me the the client telling them the better foods LOL! My vet where I am which is one of five (I am prett sure its five) where I go I go to two of them in particularly and the one when I asked what food he thought was best he said Beneful. I guess my mouth dropped to the floor and I just had to pick it up with my hand! I was oh really! Well I am glad my vets are knowledgeable on all other areas but mine have no clue whatsoever about nutrition and I just don't ask anymore I figure its depressing when I get answers like that!
But I love Natura also and what about Champion with orijen aren't they a great one also! I think they qualify with Natura products!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, I am aware Taste of the Wild is a Diamond product..that's why I said that the Innova is the only thing I will be feeding from now on. And yes, I've tried the Orijen before but it didn't do well for my dog, it was too rich and made him drink water like crazy. And although I think the Champion brand of products have excellent ingredients, they do not do feeding trials, they only forumulate their products..meaning that it is just a recipe. And the feeding trials are one thing I agree with my vet on, I think they are importrant.

Do you know of any other top brands that actually do feeding trials? I know Wellness does not..but as of any others I am unsure.

Thanks
 

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And the feeding trials are one thing I agree with my vet on, I think they are importrant.
Except that at best, they are bogus. At worst, they are downright deceiving. There has never been such a thing as a true double-blind, purely objective, comparative feeding trial on commercial pet food conducted by a professional, independent, disinterested party.

I mean, c'mon, Purina is touting it's "groundbreaking" 14-year "Life Span Study" as the first of its kind but when you read the study details you discover that it had nothing to do with the type or quality of food fed to the animals, just the amount.

The test was conducted on 48 animals of the same breed, Labrador Retrievers. And guess what? The "lean-fed" animals (the ones fed less of their crap Purina food) lived 1.8 years longer on average. Wow, who would have thought? I couldn't have predicted that in a million years. Thank God they did that study! :wink:

So I guess if I feed one of my dogs a teaspoon of rat poison every day and the other a few drops of rat poison every day and the second one lives longer, that means rat poison is fine as long as it's fed in moderation. :confused:

What an absolute useless load of crap.

Ever hear this joke?

Q: "How can you tell if a politician is lying?"

A: "His lips are moving."

Same deal with the pet food manufacturers.
 

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^^^ Couldn't have said it better myself. Feeding trails are nothing but severely uninformative and flawed tools used by the pet food industry to make a product seem better than it really is. They hold no worth in my book. The seminar I went to a few weeks ago had a seminar speaker that works for AAFCO and said that he didn't want to go over the guidelines for an adequate, approved feeding trial, which I found VERY convenient. I think if he had most of the people would have seen how flawed they actually are.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
wow, I was unaware how the trials really were. I was just going on the opinion of my vet, and thought that it made sense when she said that feeding trials were a good thing and that reliable companies would do them.

I am not trying to start anything but am genuinly curious so I can make my own informed decisions about the feeding trials, but how do you know the stuff about the feeding trials? Where is your information coming from? Like i said I am not trying to start anything, just curious, thanks!
 

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In the United States, all pet food is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). It is further regulated at the state level.[11] The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) establishes standards on which states base their feed laws and regulations, but of itself, it has no regulatory authority.

Dog and cat foods labeled as "complete and balanced" must meet standards established by the AAFCO either by meeting a nutrient profile or by passing a feeding trial. Cat and Dog Food Nutrient Profiles were last updated in 1995 by the AAFCO's Feline Nutrition Expert Subcommittee and the Canine Nutrition Expert Subcommittee repectively. The updated profiles replaced the previous recommendations set by the National Research Council (NRC).

Products that are substantiated to be "complete and balanced" by feeding trials will have the statement "animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that (name of product) provides complete and balanced nutrition." The protocol requires that 6 out of 8 animals complete a 26 week feeding trial without showing clinical or pathological signs of nutritional deficiency or excess. The cats' general health is evaluated by a veterinarian before and after the test. Four blood values, hemoglobin, packed cell volume, serum alkaline phosphatase and serum albumin are measured after the trial and the average values of the test subjects must meet minimum levels. No animal is allowed to lose more than 15% of its starting weight.

Products that are formulated with ingredients to meet the established nutrient profile would include the following statement. "(Name of product) is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles." There are two separate nutrient profiles - one for "growth and reproduction" and one for "adult maintenance". The nutritional adequacy statement would include info on which life stages the product is suitable for. A product labeled as "for all life stages" must meet the more stringent nutrient profile for "growth and reproduction". Products labeled as "intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding" do not meet either profiles.

A third method allows a manufacturer to have a product that is "nutritional similar" to another product in the same "family" to adopt the latter's "complete and balanced" statement without itself undergoing any feeding tests. The modified statement would read "(name of product) provides complete and balanced nutrition for (growth and reproduction/adult maintenance) and is comparable in nutritional adequacy to a product which has been substantiated using AAFCO feeding tests."[12]

A manufacturer can choose to not meed AAFCO standards, but must put a disclaimer on the product that states that the pet food is for occasional snack feeding only. This disclaimer is usually in fine print on the can. Such pet food can be usually found as generic pet food in low income neighborhoods at independent or small mom and pop chain stores, since its cheaper than fortified pet food.

Critics of the AAFCO standards argue that such requirements are too lax. Generational studies conducted by researchers at University of California, Davis have shown that some foods that pass AAFCO's feeding trials are still not suitable for long term use and estimated that of 100 foods that pass the nutritional analysis, 10 to 20 would not pass the feeding trials.[13] Although maximum levels of intake of some nutrients have been established because of concerns with overnutrition, many still lack a maximum allowed level and some contains large disparity between maximum and minimum values.[14] The NRC accepts that despite ongoing research, large gaps still exist in the knowledge of quantitative nutritional information for specific nutrients.[15] Some professionals acknowledge the possibilities of phytochemicals and other vital nutrients that have yet to be recognized as essential by nutritional science. With such broad guidelines and loose feeding trial standards, critics argue the term "complete and balanced" to inaccurate and even deceptive. An AAFCO panel expert has stated that "although the AAFCO profiles are better than nothing, they provide false securities. "[16]

Certain manufacturers label their products with terms such as premium, ultra premium, natural and holistic. Such terms currently have no official definitions. The AAFCO is currently looking to define some of the terms.
Pet food

http://www.auntjeni.com/AAFCO_Feeding_Trials.pdf

Above is some quoted text from wikipedia and another website that do a good job at summarizing an AAFCO feeding trial. I went to the AAFCO official website and you have to PAY for their official pubication but that too is just so convenient for them to not have to disclose how feeding trials are implemented.

Don't feel that you are "starting a fight" or something, we are just really passionate about animal health and nutrition. And this really is a great subject that hasn't been touched on much here lately. Thanks for posting up about it!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Danemama, that was very informative. I am suprised to see that the feeding trials are only required to last 26 weeks..I would have thought that they would have been for longer.
 

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JayJayisme that article is very informative! I am still reading but thought I would go ahead and say thanks!
 

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The AAFCO requirements for the trials used to be on thier web site but for some strange reason was removed a few years ago.
•Animals appear healthy and show no clinical signs of nutritional deficiencies or excess.

•Six out of 8 dogs complete the full 26 weeks evaluation period.
(cool. 25% of the dogs can die, and it still passes.)

•No dog loses more than 15% of its starting body weight. (important to note it doesn't matter how much they're fed to maintain this, nor does it matter if they gain a huge amount of weight. As long as they survive, and don't lose too much.)

•Blood testing results fall within the specified range for hemoglobin, packed cell volume, serum alkaline phosphatase and serum albumin.

SOURCE: AAFCO Rules for Dog Food

Also, just to throw in a quote from a book I'm reading:

Most of the research to date has worked to determine minimally acceptable levels of various nutrients, which is not the same as knowing the optimal amounts of given nutrients...
SOURCE: The Dog Breeder's Guide to Successful Breeding and Health Management by Margaret V. Root Kustritz (book)
 

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I know what the requirements are. I was just stating that they are no longer listed on the AAFCO web page. At one time the whole thing was on their page. The stuff you posted was not from their page.
 

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Danemama, that was very informative. I am suprised to see that the feeding trials are only required to last 26 weeks..I would have thought that they would have been for longer.
I'm surprised that it hasn't been increased with the increase in awareness of consumers....I mean it really should be a high priority of EVERY pet owner to know exactly what is going into the products that they give to their dogs. I personally think that the pet food industry is just that...an INDUSTRY. To make money at the lowest expense to the company. Even the higher quality companies charge an arm and a leg to cover the higher quality ingredients in the food. But its still for a profit to the company....I am not saying that the higher quality companies are just as bad as the low quality ones, but they are in business to make money....just by selling diets for dogs and cats. They do understand that higher quality means better health for the animal, which is why I still recommend them to people who are interested in a kibble form diet for their animals.

The AAFCO requirements for the trials used to be on thier web site but for some strange reason was removed a few years ago.
Now...isn't that quite convenient to the consumer? Let me just say that MOST consumers don't even think twice about what they are giving to their dogs, although we are seeing a trend in more and more people questioning where their pet food is coming from and what is in it and why. I think that most people wouldn't pay to know what a feeding trial means...and that is why the company has changed it to a paid "service" recently. Most people are interested enough to do some research, but not willing to pay a fee to find out.
 

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I'm surprised that it hasn't been increased with the increase in awareness of consumers....I mean it really should be a high priority of EVERY pet owner to know exactly what is going into the products that they give to their dogs. I personally think that the pet food industry is just that...an INDUSTRY. To make money at the lowest expense to the company. Even the higher quality companies charge an arm and a leg to cover the higher quality ingredients in the food. But its still for a profit to the company
Now...isn't that quite convenient to the consumer? Let me just say that MOST consumers don't even think twice about what they are giving to their dogs, although we are seeing a trend in more and more people questioning where their pet food is coming from and what is in it and why. I think that most people wouldn't pay to know what a feeding trial means...and that is why the company has changed it to a paid "service" recently. Most people are interested enough to do some research, but not willing to pay a fee to find out.
I am amazed that there are even this many people who check out what their animals eat. After all, have you seen what HUMAN children are eating and look like lately! If people don't care if their own kids are healthy, why should they care what their dogs are eating. Everything out there is an industry and is out to make money or it wouldn't last long. They wouldn't be making Twinkies if someone wasn't buying them and Twinkies sell a lot better then salad apparently. Same goes for Beneful.

I work for a lot of survey companies and they are starting to ask questions about the higher end dog food brands and about organic and healthier items. I have made a lot of suggestions for improvements in their products. I did tell one company that my dogs refused their item and I would never buy it because it was made from garbage! Hopefully all my comments will make an impact.
 
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