More Confusion About Pet Food (1 Viewer)

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Linda

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We've always had dogs, and in the last 10 years, we've taken in quite a few who needed a home. Several were older and all large. Often there were 2 and for awhile 3 at the same time. With the older ones, there were health problems, and we've been down that road, too. So yes, what I'm trying to say is that I've got some experience.

In those early years, one of the dogs (yellow lab) came to us with a lifetime of ear issues. Despite trying all kinds of treatments, the problems persisted. Knowing allergies all too well, I started looking at the food. What I found floored me. Although we've always purchased top brands, I discovered that some used questionable meat - what is known as "downer cows", which means cattle too sick to even stand. These cattle are not allowed in the human supply chain, but are apparently Ok for pets. (Yeah, I wanted to throw up, too. I'll wait for you to recover.)

This also was around the time that problems with grains polluted with glysophate were becoming more widely known. So, my quest began. I found a couple of brands that met the good meat and no grain test. Low and behold, within about a week, the lab's ear problems cleared up. So we continued on. Interestingly, at that time there was only a small section in our pet food store with this kind of dog food. Now, 10 years later, there is an entire aisle - both sides with the better food, as well as a cold case for fresh food.

During that time, we made a switch to another brand, manufactured in Texas, with better ingredients. Without grains, which dogs don't eat anyway (never understood that one), other vegetables were included, such as peas and potatoes. All the dogs seemed just fine with this type.

Now we are at the current times with a dog having a genetic heart condition. On our last visit to his cardiologist, she talked about new info coming in about dogs developing and succumbing to canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Although our dog does not have that problem, any potential influence on heart health must be considered. She gave me links to lots of info, and I read it all carefully.

Today, our local pet food store sent the following link to an excellent summary from the FDA (US - Food and Drug Administration). I'm sharing it because it represents the info as I understand it. At this point in time, the data is anecdotal but from reliable sources. One thing not mentioned is that one of the researchers does have a long-standing and financial relationship with Purina and Royal Canin ( major US dog food brands). However, this was disclosed in the original study.

Although there is no conclusive evidence, the issues reported identified several dog breeds (especially Golden Retrievers) that were eating dry food that included legumes such as peas. The FDA actually does a good job explaining the situation and sharing data. Basically, no one knows why this is happening. One possibility is that somehow legumes interfere with the absorption of taurine, which is an amino acid that dogs need for heart health. However, at this point no one knows.

So, some people are denigrating these newer and healthier foods as "boutique brands" and suggesting that people return to the old reliable brands. My problem is that those brands are heavy in grains which are known to be produced with or treated with glysophates. No thanks. Continuing along my search, I did find a healthy brand without the veggies or lots of grains. Turns out it is a smaller company in business in this state since the 1950s.

Based on the data collected and analyzed thus far, the agency believes that the potential association between diet and DCM in dogs is a complex scientific issue that may involve multiple factors.
We understand the concern that pet owners have about these reports: the illnesses can be severe, even fatal, and many cases report eating “grain-free” labeled pet food. The FDA is using a range of science-based investigative tools as it strives to learn more about this emergence of DCM and its potential link to certain diets or ingredients.

Yet, this new info gives data that questions the idea that it is grain-free food alone.

Since the July 2018 DCM Update, Vet-LIRN tested both products labeled as "grain-free" and those containing grain for the following:
  • protein, fat, moisture
  • crude fiber, total dietary fiber, soluble fiber, insoluble fiber
  • total starch, resistant starch
  • cystine, methionine, and taurine
The average percent protein, fat, total taurine, total cystine, total methionine, total methionine-cystine, and resistant starch content on a dry matter basis (in other words, after removing all moisture content) were similar for both grain-free labeled and grain-containing products.

I'm sharing the info with you because in so many health issues, it was anecdotal data that alerted the community to potential problems. In the end, we do the best we can.

https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/news-events/fda-investigation-potential-link-between-certain-diets-and-canine-dilated-cardiomyopathy
 

Lila

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This is great info, Linda for pet owners who have unexpected health issues with their dogs or other animals. I still remember when it was normal to give our dogs bones of all kinds; now this is often frowned upon as unhealthy for a variety of reasons.

I'd still rather take a chance with my dog getting a splinter of chicken bone that s/he really enjoys than a chronic health condition that nobody understands from eating food that is made of ingredients that dogs have never eaten before!

Also, I had to laugh when I saw the quote from the FDA, as, with a few changes (in bold) the quote could easily apply to humans:
Based on the data collected and analyzed thus far, the agency believes that the potential association between diet and a variety of health conditions in humans is a complex scientific issue that may involve multiple factors.

We understand the concern that human body owners have about these reports: the illnesses can be severe, even fatal, and many cases report eating “grain-free” (or 'GMO free' or 'gluten free' or 'high fructose corn syrup free' of 'calorie free'..) labeled pet food.
 
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Linda

Linda

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when it was normal to give our dogs bones
Big bones were available before meat started being packaged with select cuts. I've found it impossible to find them these days.
 
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Hailstones Melt

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Thanks for the info. Apart from her staple packaged meat, I have a dog who loves mandarin quadrants, red or green capsicum, sometimes apple and sometimes cucumber. She will run to get the mandarin or capsicum. Do you give anything raw and fresh like this to your dogs? Do they even like it?
 
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Lila

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Big bones were available before meat started being packaged with select cuts. I've found it impossible to find them these days.
Yes, and we humans would use them for our soups.
Often, they were free or at a very reduced price.
I guess they're now being ground up into some sort of bone meal?
 

Alain

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Talking then dogs eat only meat

Good tread in deed for those having thise loyal 4 legs
 
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therium

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These 2 are anecdotes. There are 2 farmers, one farmed pigs the other cows. Both were long-time farmers getting up in their years and both used GMO feed to feed their animals, mainly corn. Both had much higher illness rates in their animals compared to 30 years ago, and both finally realized the trouble started when they started using (cheaper) GMO feed, which contains glyphosate. NOTE: non-GMO feed can also contain glyphosate.

They both stopped using GMO feed and their animals got much better. Studies show that glyphosate irritates the stomach but also binds to many different minerals the body needs, but binds especially well to magnesium. Thus the animals actually did have signs of magnesium deficiency as I recall.

Danish pig farmer was feeding GMO soy to his pigs. http://chuckrblog.blogspot.com/2017/01/danish-study-gm-soy-linked-to-sick-pigs.html

The cow story was actually a video I watched.
 

Lila

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I like the links you made about magnesium deficiency symptoms like depression and how much that has skyrocketed in human populations.
 

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