Denver "Yappy Hour" for a Cause Message Board › Pellets vs. Palate

Pellets vs. Palate

A former member
Post #: 174
Since we have a message board, I thought I'd try to initiate info exchange for dog lovers. Having a dog & raising it well is a slippery slope sometimes. There's no manual. I've never had a dog before, so discussion of raising dog tips is helpful to me (& Mishti). Diet & finicky eating habits are common among smaller dogs, and I know for a fact that we have some doggy dietitians in this group.






Mishti (2 yrs old now) is my first dog, as my parents weren't keen on dogs, growin' up. crying So far, my research & good common sense have been pretty successful in bringing her up to be a well-behaved, lovable dog, which was my goal. She doesn't bark, pee, bite, scratch, shred, dig, hump, or anything. And she has 0 sign of aggression. She's actually the best dog in the whole wide world.

OK, I'm a little biased. Technically, there are some seeing-eye dogs who could give her a run for her money. Also, any dog that will bring you buttered rum in a little keg when you're stuck in an avalanche is A-1 in my book! tongue

But I digress. Mishti is, however, a finicky eater. It's her only irritating quality, as she won't eat for a couple days sometimes. I'm concerned that she's not getting the nutrition she needs. She's always been finicky, and I've tried countless methods to get her to eat dry dog food, deemed healthy & necessary by vets & experts that I've talked to. But to no avail.

My final recourse is to mix dry pellets, canned dog food, & bits of human food - whatever I'm eating (chicken & cheese she likes best). In about a 40-40-20 ratio, respectively. She pretty much won't eat unless her food comes in this form.

Don't get me wrong; I have no qualms about whipping up "Goulash du Jour" (as I sarcastically call it). I like cooking, do it 3-4 times a week, & I wouldn't call the effort involved in making her food "work". I guess my question is more a philosophical one, meant for those of you who've had dogs longer, and have seen the effect of diet & nutrition over the course of a dog's life. Or for any of you who may be trainers / dietitians / really smart people.

I've resigned myself to feeding her this goulash every day, which isn't bad as she only eats once a day. But I wonder if I'm doing her a disservice by feeding her a regular diet of human food, controlled as it is.

On the one hand, dogs aren't people, and nature probably didn't intend for a dog to eat summer sausage or Havarti cheese. On the other hand, pets are domesticated, and my experience with Mishti is that she's closer to a human than a wild animal in behavior & taste.

I guess, most importantly, my personal philosophy is to live life to the fullest (one of my six meanings of life). I couldn't imagine a life of eating only dessicated crap pellets that smelled like a cow's @$$. I'd rather live to be 60 and taste life's fruit, than live to be 70 & go without. But is this philosophy applicable for a dog?

I'm interested to hear what you pet lovers think about my "Goulash du Jour" idea. Am I hurting her in the long run? When she's old, will she pay for my decadence with her health? Just wondering...

~ Amit

"Money will buy you a pretty good dog, but it won't buy the wag of his tail." - Mark Twain
A former member
Post #: 1
Hello,

I love how much you love your dog. I am in the dog food business and I can only say that from what you are saying you and your dog would be a great fit for the raw diet. I only feed raw and it is truly the best way to go in my mind. just check out these two different kinds. Nature's Variety.com and this one you get at fine pet shops like Pet outfitters
www.omaspride.com (they will deliver)

your dog will probably never miss an meal and you won't be feeding any more grains . there pop discinagrates like a coyote. It increadable...

hope this helps
Murwill
A former member
Post #: 13
Hi Amit -

I think it's great that you're thinking about this. I agree that some human food (as long as it's not in excess and/or toxic to dogs) is okay. My baby has lupus and we don't know how long she'll be around so we figure life is for living and we want to give her a good life. I think avoiding foods which can be toxic to dogs is very important - I can't remember how I learned of different things you shouldn't feed your dogs (maybe it was posted at a natural foods store?) but we know we have to avoid onions.

I think cooking for your doggie is a wonderful thing to give her (and chicken is a great protein source for our doggies). You want to be careful with cheese (especially a creamy Havarti) just because it could be a bit hard on her digestive system and tummy.

With my older doggie having lupus, I've decided to only buy her high quality pet food and have found a brand that has human grade meat (not the non-human grade, which can include cows that might have mad-cow disease, euthanized animals, other animals that are sick, etc) and has a coating on it that keeps it fresh and more pallatable to my dog. Most 'boutique' pet stores will offer samples and you can ask for a variety of samples so that you can try them out with Mishti and see what she likes best. I agree with the last post that a raw food diet is probably a good choice for doggies but it's more expensive. Therefore, I buy a high quality dog food, give my baby the meds for her lupus and supplements to help her out (fish oil is a good one), and give her natural health food treats too (even regular grocery stores and regular pet stores sell these).

One other thought to share ... my brother and sister-in-law have an older dog that won't (and really never has) chew rawhide. She's had teeth extracted numerous times because her teeth are rotting. Rawhide (and other treats designed for dental care) are very important. I give Hannah rawhide on an almost daily basis and the vet says her teeth look great for her being 9 1/2! But stay away from pig ears! I watched an ER Vets show (the one with Alameda East Vets) and the vets said pig ears are not good for doggies and can damage the esophagus and other internal parts.

Anyways, those are my humble opinions - based on my limited research.

Good Luck!

Aleesa
A former member
Post #: 175
...and I can only say that from what you are saying you and your dog would be a great fit for the raw diet. I only feed raw and it is truly the best way to go in my mind.

- Murwill

I've looked into this before, and found the cost to be a deterrent. I'm a single guy & I can't afford the cost that a raw diet entails. Man, I don't eat that well! Is there any way to lessen the cost of this? Any deals you know of?


I think it's great that you're thinking about this. I agree that some human food (as long as it's not in excess and/or toxic to dogs) is okay. My baby has lupus and we don't know how long she'll be around so we figure life is for living and we want to give her a good life.

That's so sad. crying Indeed! Life is for the living! I say let 'em all live it up while they can. Most dogs won't ever see 2 decades of life, even, so let 'em enjoy the years they have! I've known people who feed their dogs dried pellets only, lock them in their "houses" (cages) at night, etc. etc. I wonder if they, themselves, could endure the deprived lives they force on their dogs?

I think avoiding foods which can be toxic to dogs is very important - I can't remember how I learned of different things you shouldn't feed your dogs (maybe it was posted at a natural foods store?) but we know we have to avoid onions.

- Aleesa

Thanks for alerting me to this!! I went to the internet for info, and discovered a long list of things dogs should avoid, food & otherwise. You can read it here:

http://www.peteducati...­

There's another good list here, that has a few items the other list lacks:

http://mooreshaven.co...­

Some of these are easy. I already knew about chocolate, and wouldn't ever dream of giving Mishti coffee or alcohol. Others are more subtle. I know I've given her grapes before. And she's probably gotten onions & mushrooms from time to time. And who'da thunk that apples could be dangerous for a dog?! Mine is still young & healthy. I'm glad I found out about these foods now!

Also, while doing research on this, I discovered multiple news stories about toxic dog food from Diamond Pet Foods. Just in case any of you feed this to your dog, you may wanna read these articles:

http://www.msnbc.msn....­

http://www.news.corne...­

Knowledge is power. Tell your friends.

~ Amit

"A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle." - Kahlil Gibran
A former member
Post #: 2
Amit,

Tell me how much your dog weights? And tell me what you spend now on dog food per month? Then I can tell you what the raw will cost you. If thinking if you have a small dog it won't be as much as you think. I would be happy to help you with this if you would like.
Murwill
A former member
Post #: 176
Amit,

Tell me how much your dog weights? And tell me what you spend now on dog food per month? Then I can tell you what the raw will cost you. If thinking if you have a small dog it won't be as much as you think. I would be happy to help you with this if you would like.
Murwill


OK, I had to weigh her. She's about 20 lbs. It's hard to calculate how much I spend on dog food b/c she eats irregularly, and I'd have to factor in the human food cost, which isn't simple. $50-100, maybe, depending on the month. How much would it cost me to go with a raw diet?

She had a birthday on 2/13. I gave her grilled chicken breast & doggy ice cream for dinner. Ever since then she's gotten even more finicky than usual. It's getting annoying. I'd give the raw diet a try if it's financially feasible for me.

I appreciate any information. Thanks.

~ Amit
A former member
Post #: 9
hmmm I'd take pellets... I don't think that Great Danes are able to produce "pellets," more like piles biggrin I haven't ever looked into the raw diet because I just figured it'd be expensive or inconvenient. I feed my cleo about 5 1/2-6 cups of nutro large adult everyday. I also have to add pumpkin for more fiber because her annal glands don't expel properly. darn dogs... the things we do for them!
A former member
Post #: 11
Hi, If you want to read more about dog foods and other things try whole dog journal. They review both dry and wet foods every year and publish lists. Believe me once you read what is in a lot of commercial foods you won't feel good about letting your Mishti near them. My boxer is very food sensitive- he has done the raw diet- he eats less actually when fed raw. Try googling websites that talk about raw- BARF- Biologically appropriate Raw Foods. I have met people who have formed a group that obtains raw food sources for their animals here in the metro area- sorry I cannot remember what they call themselves.
It is good you are willing to learn about what your dog needs- she will probably live longer with fewer medical problems. Unfortunately many vets offices seem into promoting certain brands of food with the main ingredients being corn (virtually indigestible- many dogs are very allergic to any grains). I suppose this is similar to many who work in the medical profession and are given incentive to promote certain drugs. Good Luck and remember every dog is different and has different needs.
smile
A former member
Post #: 1
I've had trouble with my Maltese eating enough and keeping weight on....(wish that were my problem). I've ended up cooking rice and adding cooked chicken about 30% chicken to 70% rice. I dice up the chicken into fairly small pieces to mix in with the rice. It's fairly economical with buying instant rice and I buy chicken breasts in the family pak and make a big batch and freeze the mixture in several containers.

I give my dog about 1/2 cup of this chicken/rice every morning - warmed up. I keep dry dog food out in his bowl - I just switched to Bil-Jac brand which my dog seems to prefer. He eats the dry food the rest of the day. Sometimes I'll add a little bit of canned green beans or he likes carrots to his dry food. Pet Botanics makes a premium dog food (it comes in a plastic tube which you can cut up small pieces as a treat or mix it into the dry food for a change of menu.

Anyway, just a few more tips to try. Good luck!
Deb
user 3778007
Denver, CO
Post #: 2
Nutrition is so important and you're right to put so much emphasis on it! I own Mouthfuls on Tennyson Street and I have spent a ton of time researching dog foods. I agree that the Nature's Variety Raw is a fabulous way to feed, although not all dogs have been able to tolerate this food. It can also be a little pricey if you are feeding a large dog, so some of my customers use it to "top dress" their kibble. Nature's Variety kibble is actually rolled in a freeze-dried raw after cooking so it retains many of the nutrients of the raw. I carry a wide variety of foods in various price ranges. But, what they all have in common is that they are all wonderfully healthy foods that don't include cheap fillers (like corn, wheat & soy), by-products or artificial flavors & colors. Some of the large pet food companies like Iams, Science Diet and Bil Jac spend a huge amount of time researching the palatability of dog food and have no problem adding all kinds on ingredients just to get the dog to eat the rest of their cheap fillers. I have a list of ingredients in the store that are not advisable to use in dog food and ingredient labels for lots of the dog food companies so you can compare these. The more research I do on the large dog food companies, the more appalled I am. It's no wonder we're seeing such a huge increase in cancer, allergies, obesity and poor teeth in our pets!

Basically, you'll need to do a little experimenting with food. Try a great quality food for a month and see how your dog is responding. Is he active and healthy? Is his coat shiny and his eyes clear? Has he stopped scratching uncontrollably? No one food can work for all dogs. It just takes trial and error to find the perfect one for your baby. But once you do, you'll know it. And you'll be so glad you took the time to do so!
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