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What do you feed your dog (or cat)

This is a discussion on What do you feed your dog (or cat) within the Other Pets forums, part of the Life Beyond Horses category

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    10-12-2012, 10:09 PM
I feed my cats Acana dry food. I'm pretty pleased with it, it's mostly meat ingredients, some fruits/veggies, and no grains. They do very well on it. They also almost always get meat table scraps. They love some baked chicken, lol. The other "treat" they get is 100% turkey, chicken or fish, dried. Smells awful but they love it.

I've never fed raw and I probably never will, simply because it was hard enough to get my cat onto better dry food than Purina and she is ridiculously picky. And it's expensive/messy, lol. I know it's got it's benefits but my cats are still healthy, the vet was amazed at how great my girl's teeth are; she's about 7 and has very, very little tartar buildup.
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    10-13-2012, 02:17 PM
Originally Posted by Speed Racer    
Do you actually buy dead mice, Nik?
Yup! They're super expensive from Petco, so I buy from various sites (Rodent Pro, etc.) that sell to snake keepers. I'll admit, it REALLY grossed me out at first but I got used to it.

I also let them outside occasionally for some "self serve" mice. ;)

I don't feed either my dog or barn cats a raw diet (can't afford it), so I'm not sure just what kind of animals are used.
I feed all kinds of meat to my dogs: chicken, turkey, beef, pork, venison, rabbit, etc. Their "staple" is chicken leg quarters, cause they're cheap and convenient. Plus, they contain kidneys so they're getting a portion of organ meat with every quarter. I tend to feed a lot of pork because it's cheaper than beef. I put up ads on Craigslist for free/cheap meat. When people are cleaning out their freezers I get a lot of free stuff... sometimes a hundred pounds at once. Venison is the absolute BEST and I get a lot of that just before deer season, when people are getting rid of last year's kill to make room for this year's kill.

When I get a lot of free meat, it's actually MUCH cheaper to feed raw. When I don't, it's definitely more expensive. A lot of areas have "rawfeeding coops" and then it's much cheaper. Unfortunately, the closest one is several hours away and it just isn't cost effective with the price of gas.

I will feed kibble if I haven't gotten free meat for awhile... grain free Acana, Earthborn, etc.

Originally Posted by CLaPorte432    
Actually, dogs are not carnivores, contrary to what many may think. They can, and will, eat and digest fruits, veggies and grains perfectly fine. Good carbs come from the healthy grains. Wolves are carnivores, domesticated dogs are not. Their digestive tract has evolved to digest other things besides meat and bones.
There's a lot of debate about that... the Yahoo rawfeeding group (20,000+ dogs being fed a raw prey model diet) definitely feels that dogs are NOT ominvores. They are absolutely opportunistic and will eat just about anything put in front of them... my Rottweiler enjoys cardboard.

Cats are definitely obligate carnivores but some will STILL eat anything. One of my cats LOVES hot dog and hamburger buns. He will go through many lengths to get them. He got ahold of a bag once and chewed through it and proceeded to eat FOUR hot dog buns before we caught him. Crazy kitty!
    10-13-2012, 02:40 PM
I'm a fan of prey-model as well, though since I have to have others look after my critters on a regular basis, they eat kibble now. Feeding cats and dogs is similar to feeding horses in that everyone has an opinion on the RIGHT way to do it, but most animals will do very well no matter what they eat. Doesn't mean you should feed them a poor diet, just that they're very adaptable.
    10-13-2012, 02:52 PM
Originally Posted by Sharpie    
most animals will do very well no matter what they eat. Doesn't mean you should feed them a poor diet, just that they're very adaptable.
My friend just had to put her 5-year-old aussie/border collie mix to sleep because of kidney disease, and her 5-year-old aussie/german shepherd mix is battling liver disease. They both became ill within a few weeks of each other, and the aussie/BC barely started showing signs of illness a month ago. Her vet asked her what she was feeding them and when my friend told her it was one of the extremely cheap grocery store brands of dog food, the vet pretty much told her that she'd killed her dog by feeding that. According to the vet, the chemicals and fillers they put into the cheaper/poorer brands of dog (and cat) food can lead to liver disease and kidney failure, more often than not. Kinda scary, actually.
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    10-13-2012, 03:03 PM
Tell that to the 'other half' of my client base that brings me their 14 year old labrador that's been eating Old'Roy for his entire life and the dog looks fabulous. Not saying people should, but I see it in my clients' pets on a daily basis. The there are the dogs that look like crap because they're eating crap like Beneful. Just seems to depend on the dog.

I still hold that most animals will do well on just about anything, though I do certainly recommend that my clients feed better foods whenever possible. My general advise is that if I can buy it at WalMart or the grocery store, it's probably not very high quality and that they should look for something better.

I am sorry for your friend's dogs, but that sounds serious. Serious as in 'report to the FDA to make sure it's not a melamine issue/toxin issue round 2' serious. :(
    10-21-2012, 12:05 AM
I used to feed blue wilderness, but money got tight. Now I mix 4health with cheapo canned food, and they occasionally get chicken quarters when the 10lb bags go on sale. If I could ever find a constant supplier, I would put them on a barf diet for sure. Before I got my husky, and didn't know about nutrition, I fed gravy train to all my dogs, none of them ever had any issues .
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    10-21-2012, 06:05 PM
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I feed raw and only raw. I do not puree vegetables or fruits - the dogs get a chunk of raw meat thrown at them each evening and that is it. They eat a fair amount of horse, sheep and cow poop, so I guess they get what they need from that.

I am feeding 17 dogs every day. 7 terriers, three Labs, 1 Border Collie, 1 GSD and four Foxhound pups. The latter eat more than the others put together!
I spend roughly $50 a month on their food. This is for green tripe from a local abattoir. I also collect flesh from the Hunt Kennels, this is mostly calf meat, often mutton and horse. I collect road kill deer.

I have two freezers for the dog food. I do not think that it is at all messy - less so than tinned or dry food!
I have a bin where I defrost the meat this is n-in the garage. Come evening I just haul out a sack tip it onto the top of a bin where we keep the trash, cut chunks the size for the dog and throw it at them. They know better than to catch someone else's food if their name has not been called.
Three oldies do have their meat cut for them as their teeth are bad - none were raw fed until about 5 years ago with two of them and a couple of years for the eldest (16)

None of the totally raw fed have ever had their teeth cleaned nor ever needed their anal glands emptying. One of the oldies was always having anal problems but he is fine on raw.

I worked it out a while back that between my parents, sister and myself, spanning 60 years, that between us we have owned over 30 dogs, the oldest was my last Border Collie - she was 18.5 when I had her PTS - best part blind and deaf as a post but still alpha to the end. She worked all her life and never had a touch of arthritis in her.
The youngest was only 3 years, a rescue my sister took in - she developed Lymphatic cancer.
The average age ours have lived to, the smallest being a Cocker Spaniel, the largest GSDs, is 15.5 years. All were in comfortable health, non were kept going for human reasons, beyond a good quality of life.

No one can persuade me that dogs are omnivores, their gut is way to short to digest vegetable proteins.

One of the terriers went to ground and met a badger which bit her lengthways. She is tiny.
This injury punctured her lung and broke three ribs. The vet wanted to PTS but I insisted she was given a chance. She was fine after surgery which surprised the vets as she was 14 years.
The dog had refused to eat it in the surgery until I took her in some raw tripe which she polished off.
When she was picked up (4 days at the vets) they gave me some 'convalescent' food which I declined I was then given a lecture from a young vet that raw was bad for them. I pointed out that they had commented on how fit and well the dog looked, how the only time they ever saw our dogs was when they were injured and how if they did go to the surgery their general health was greatly admired!
nikelodeon79 likes this.
    10-21-2012, 06:33 PM
Foxhunter, vets are given a one semester class on animal nutrition and it just covers the bare-bones of the subject. It doesn't help that often these classes are sponsored by Science Diet (not a great food, no matter what anyone says). That young vet was probably just spouting off whatever rhetoric s/he's heard from other vets or people who are anti-raw diet. I wouldn't be too hard on the poor kid.
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    10-22-2012, 05:32 PM
I feed homemade food to my dog, he's allergic to liver, soy, all grains, dairy, food dye. So pretty much anything in dry dog food. There is only one kind of dog food he can eat, and it costs $25 a week.

And I wouldn't feed raw, I know dogs have a rough digestive track, but there is still a chance of getting something from it. It takes a how 1 hour a month to make his food. Cheap cuts of meat 50%, the other half is rice and vegetables (what ever is in season). We've tried higher percent meat but it costs a ton and makes Cruiser sick, goes right through him, don't know why.

I don't agree with people that compare dog to wolves, they are not the same thing, no matter how much you want them to be. While related them have different needs that need to be keep in mind.
    10-22-2012, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by DraftyAiresMum    
Foxhunter, vets are given a one semester class on animal nutrition and it just covers the bare-bones of the subject. It doesn't help that often these classes are sponsored by Science Diet (not a great food, no matter what anyone says). That young vet was probably just spouting off whatever rhetoric s/he's heard from other vets or people who are anti-raw diet. I wouldn't be too hard on the poor kid.

I realise that!

We use two veterinary practices - one for the horses and another for the dogs.
Being a rural area we all see each other on our travels and often I have been able to help with the dog practice when they are TB testing cattle so, I know the older partners fairly well.

I will say what I think and if I take a dog into the vet then I generally know what is wrong with it. Usually one of the seniors will se me but every now and then they will ask if I will be seen by a youngster. This means that they need teaching that although they have the papers they do not have the experience and need teaching.

When my BC got bitten on her leg high up, she wouldn't put it to the ground. It was bleeding a lot from a vein so I bandaged it. In the morning her foot was very swollen and I thought I had put the bandage on to tight but knew I hadn't. The leg had swollen horrendously so I took her to the vet suspecting a break.
The vet said it was an infection. I insisted she was X-rayed and both bones were broken. She could not be plastered because of the swelling so was bandaged and plastered later in the week. The plaster was straight from her elbow to toe. I told him that this was not the way to plaster a dog's leg as A) it was very difficult for them to walk and B) it would slip.

I had to return the next day as it had slipped three inches off her foot.

When I got the bill I refused to pay for the second plastering because it had not been correct in the first place.

I so agree with vets not getting enough education on feeding of animals. I have spoken many times with the horse vet and he has told me that in the UK a great deal of education is missing.
He was surprised when I told him the dogs only ever had raw and now he feeds his dogs raw only.
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