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Zero Grain Food


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Guest pcotton3

I have been feeding my greyhound a grain-free food since I got her in September. Then recently I saw an article that said this is a bad idea. Can I please get some information from those who can share food ideas?

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FWIW, my opinion is that dogs are not obligate carnivores, like cats are, meaning that, while they *can* eat an all meat diet, they will probably do better on a more omnivorous diet, including veggies, fruits, and some form of carbohydrate. Dogs developed and evolved alongside human beings, and their digestive systems are closely aligned with ours (though not identical). Carbs provide an important source of nutrients in people and they do the same in dogs, but the carbs do not have to come from overly processed sources like common grains and/or corn products.

 

I have no hard data to back this up though.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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IMO "grain free" is the new "I take better care of my dog than you do" buzzword. I remember years ago when Blue Buffalo"s "No corn no wheat no soy" was the mantra. If you go to any greyhound farm in the country I'll bet the pups growing up are being fed a food with corn in it. At the track they usually mix pasta and veggies into the raw meat.

 

I"m of the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" camp so if your dog does fine on whatever grain free you're feeding him then keep on keeping on.

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i agree with the 2 posts above. some people really swear by grain free, some by vegetarian diets (???).

how does your dog's coat, muscle, appearance seem on a diet w/ grains?

are there any noted allergic reactions(hard to tell trees and grasses are pollinating, weepy eyes, itchy paws- usually mold reaction)?

poop wise, some people go non-grain but in my experience it's often the fat content that is setting their poop off.

 

personally, i believe that we as dog owners should NOT go broke feeding our dogs. there are plenty of reasonably priced options out there that won't break your budget. also, unless your dog is running/hunting/tracking daily it does not need super high protein foods. as in our life, everything in moderation....food, drink and everything else.

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Depends on the dog. I would feed a quality food that is mostly meat, but most dogs don't really need grain free. Obviously, there are dogs, just like people, with allergies and such, but don't assume a sensitivity until proven :)

 

This advice comes to you from someone who had an IBS dog who couldn't eat any processed food, but he was the exception.

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I'll pipe in and agree that grain free is a fad and just another way for food manufacturers to raise their bottom line. I always refer to the dog I had growing up: A Boxer who was fed <gulp> Gravy Train. We got her at 9 weeks of age. She lived to be almost 10. I don't know if they even make Gravy Train any more, but the point is, as said above, whatever works. If the weight stays the same, the coat is good, and the poo is good, then don't worry.

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Grain free food isn't "bad" if you and your dog like it. It has become a bit of a fad though, and if you read the ingredients a lot of grain free foods have the same amount of meat as regular foods (they just add peas and potatoes instead of grains). Other brands have a higher meat content, but you really have to read ingredients and not just the buzz words on the bag. I do tend to buy grain free simply because I like the ingredients more, not that I am against feeding any grains at all.

 

I do not believe that higher protein is bad for dogs personally, even less active ones. There have been a few newer studies that have shown that high protein benefits dogs, especially senior ones. So...the higher protein in these foods isn't something I worry about.

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Grain free food isn't "bad" if you and your dog like it. It has become a bit of a fad though, and if you read the ingredients a lot of grain free foods have the same amount of meat as regular foods (they just add peas and potatoes instead of grains). Other brands have a higher meat content, but you really have to read ingredients and not just the buzz words on the bag. I do tend to buy grain free simply because I like the ingredients more, not that I am against feeding any grains at all.

 

I do not believe that higher protein is bad for dogs personally, even less active ones. There have been a few newer studies that have shown that high protein benefits dogs, especially senior ones. So...the higher protein in these foods isn't something I worry about.

 

 

I would generally agree, although there are caveats. The higher the protein in the food, the harder the kidneys have to work to process it. An unecessaryly high protein food *can* contribute to the development of kidney disease. Also, too high of a protein amount can also contribute to the horrific, paint-peeling greyhound gas issue!

 

Bottom line is you have to understand what your dog needs and doesn't need, and be willing to do the work to find out what is best for them at each stage of their life.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Guest Noosh

I am new to the best-food-grain-cereal-free dog food debate.

I am now reading about the evils of supermarket bought kibble; and being told of the problems with cereal fillers in cheaper brands, at the pet store ( where they sell the expensive stuff!) "feeding your dog the supermarket stuff is like giving them McDonalds everyday".

So I did a check of the ingredients, cheaper and more expensive, side by side, of those recommended. Pretty much the same- except the more expensive brand has a ingredient, beet, which apparently is a natural pro-biotic, and makes the actual stools smaller, which I assume is only makes the stools nicer! Different names are given for the same vitamins on each pack, just to confuse the potential purchaser. I can only imagine that there is a large degree of guilt played on by the marketers. I assume if your dog has a sensitive gut, or some allergy- then it's great to have choices, however, I am still quite cynical! We'll try the better brand, and see if it makes a happier pooch, with :hehe:gh_face more elegant poops!

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I tried all the better brands back in the dark ages before grain free was a twinkle in any kibble manufacturers eye and what worked for my IBD/Colitis boy was "grocery store food" because of the high beet pulp content. It regulates the water in their intestines...or something to that effect. In years past several GTers have just bought beet pulp to add to their dogs food but the sticky wicket is it's for horses and comes in HUGE bags. Aaron was giving it away free for the cost of postage years ago.

...and of course we can let no mention of beet pulp pass without the squirrel story...

 

 

Beet Pulp Safety Warning

a.k.a. The Famous Squirrel Story
© Susan Evans Garlinghouse

 

People who are into equine nutrition are notorious for spending their time doing the oddest things. While everyone else has normal nightmares about finding themselves riding in the World Equestrian Games stark naked past the press corps, nutrition people fret over whether their carefully thought-out recommendations will make the difference between Muffy the Superhorse winning his next competition in fame and glory, or falling into a dead faint somewhere between being saddled and the starting line. In the end, the finer points of nutrition often make zero difference, however, because you generally find out that:
a) Muffy won't even touch your carefully crafted ration, much preferring to eat his bedding, the vet's fingers and anything from the Taco Bell menu;

B) the moment you finish calculating the Perfect Equine Ration featuring Aunt Tilly's Super Horsey Yums Yums, the feed company goes out of business or is indicted on environmental pollution charges;

c) it's all irrelevant, anyway, because the barn manager's favorite phrase is "Well, we've always fed this way for sixty years and hardly ever lose more than a horse a month to colic", and steadfastly refuses to feed anything at all other than His Very Own Secret Recipe, featuring lawn clippings, glazed doughnuts and something that smells a lot like latex.

However, every now and then, you stumble across a feed that horses actually like (at least, after that initial suspicious, "You're trying to poison me, aren't you?" look), is wonderfully nutritious, inexpensive, and still Obscure and Mysterious enough that people feel like they're really on The Cutting Edge in feeding it to Muffy. Beet pulp is like that, and for a long time I thought the only disadvantage to it was the minor inconvenience of having to soak it before feeding. Some folks skip that part, but others revel in making sure everyone else in the barn knows just how conscientious and detail-minded they are about Muffy's nutritional well-being.

 

However, eventually I knew the true downside to beet pulp would show up, and thought it only fair that I pass it along...

This afternoon I decided to bring some beet pulp pellets into the house to soak, because I wanted to get an idea of exactly how much they expanded in volume during the soaking process. Academic types are like that, pathetically easy to amuse and desperately in need of professional help. I knew they expanded quite a bit, because the first time I'd innocently added water to a five-pound bucket of beet pulp, I'd come back later to find my feed room practically awash in beet pulp, providing a breakfast that every horse within a five mile radius still remembers with fond nostalgia. So in the interest of scientific curiosity, I trundled in a bucket, about three pounds of beet pulp, added in the water and set it in the living room to do its thing. No problem. Research in action.

William, the fox squirrel. Well, in our ongoing quest to turn this house into Noah's Ark, we have not only four horses, three dogs, four neurotic cats, a sulfur-crested cockatoo, a cockatiel and assorted toads, we also have William. William is a fox squirrel who absent-mindedly fell out of his tree as a blind and hairless baby two years ago and whom the vet promptly handed off to the only person he knew silly enough to traipse around with a baby squirrel and a bottle of Esbilac into her bookbag. Actually, the trick wasn't in keeping such a tiny creature warm, fed and clean---it was keeping a straight face and looking as mystified as everyone else when William woke up hungry and started piping for his bottle like a very small, slightly muffled alarm clock. Invariably, this usually occurred while I was standing in line at the post office, picking up a pizza for dinner or on one memorable occasion, taking a final exam in biochemistry. Being no dummy, William knew a sucker when he saw one and has happily been an Urban Squirrel ever since. And for those of you that think A Squirrel's Place is In The Wild, don't think we didn't try that...his first Christmas, we thought we'd give him his first lesson in Being a Wild Squirrel by letting him play in the undecorated Christmas tree. His reaction was to shriek in horror, scutter frantically across the floor and go try to hide underneath the nearest border collie. Since then, the only way he will allow himself to be taken outside is hiding inside Mummy's shirt and peering suspiciously out at the sinister world.

 

So much for the re-make of Born Free in San Dimas. So secure is he about his place in the world that on more than one occasion, I've caught him sitting on his fat, smug little bottom, making faces out the window at our neighborhood (very frustrated) red-tailed hawk---like as not clutching a cashew in one paw and a bit of mango in the other.

Anyway, when I set out the bucket of beet pulp, I may have underestimated the lengths that a young and enthusiastic squirrel will go to to stash all available food items in new and unusual hiding spots. I thought letting William out of his cage as usual and giving him a handful of almonds to go happily cram under cushions and into sleeping dog's ears was sufficient entertainment for the afternoon. After all, when I left, he was gleefully chortling and gloating over his pile of treasure, making sure the cockatoo saw them so he could tell her I Have Almonds And You Don't. So much for blind optimism.

 

Apparently when the almond supply ran out, beet pulp pellets became fair game and I can only imagine the little rat finding that great big bucket and swooning with the possibilities of being able to hide away All That Food. The problem isn't quite so much that I now have three pounds of beet pulp pellets cleverly tucked away in every corner of my house, it's that as far as I can tell, the soaking-expanding-and-falling-apart process seems to be kinda like nuclear meltdown. Once the reaction gets started, no force on earth is going to stop it.

So when I come back from the grocery store, not only do I find an exhausted but incredibly Fulfilled squirrel sprawled out snoozing happily up on the cat tree, I find that my house smells a lot like a Jamaican feed mill and virtually every orifice is crammed full of beet pulp. This includes the bathroom sink drain, the fish tank filter, in my undie drawer, in the kitty box (much to their horror) and ALL the pockets of my bookbag. Not to mention that in enthusiastically stuffing beet pulp into the air holes of the little box that hold live crickets for the toad's dinner, William managed to open it up and free several hundred crickets into the living room. It's not that I mind crickets springing to and fro, it's just that it sounds a lot like an Evening in the Amazon Rain Forest in here. The cats, on the other hand, have never had such a marvelous time steeple chasing after stray crickets back and forth over the furniture, crunching up the spoils of the hunt (which wouldn't be so bad if they would just chew with their mouths closed), and barfing up the more indigestible parts onto the rug.

I simply can't WAIT to turn on the furnace and find out what toasting beet pulp smells like.

The good news is that in case of siege, I have enough carbohydrates hidden in my walls and under the furniture to survive for years. The bad news is that as soon as I try to remove any of this stash, I get a hysterical squirrel clinging to my pant leg, tearfully shrieking that I'm ruining all his hard work and now he's going to starve this winter. (This is despite the fact that William is spoiled utterly rotten, knows how to open the macadamia nut can all by himself and has enough of a tummy to have earned him the unfortunate nickname Buddha Belly.)

So in case anyone was losing sleep wondering just how much final product you get after soaking three pounds of beet pulp, the answer is a living room full. I'd write this new data up and submit it as a case study paper to the nutrition and physiology society, but I suspect the practical applications may be limited.

Off to go empty the Shop-Vac. Again.

Copyright Susan Evans Garlinghouse 1997.

Edited by Hubcitypam
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Feisty 49, we had a gorgeous show dog (Engish setter) and he was raised on Puppy Chow and then Dog Chow. Dog was stunning, shiny, soft coat, everything you want in a dog. Given that Purina has survived as long as it has, you KNOW that their food will sustain a dog just fine.

 

It depends on the dog, and also your budget. We shouldn't attempt to shame people who cannot afford $50 for a bag of premium food into not buying what they can afford. As long as it has the AAFCO seal of approval, it's all fine.

 

MOST food allergies have nothing to do with the grain either. MOST of them are protein source allergy. So switching to grain free because you suspect food allergies is a waste of time.


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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There are nasty, cheap low end dog foods (and cat foods) usually sold in supermarkets that might keep your dog alive, but not healthy. However, the majority of commercial dog food these days is perfectly ok, and a little label reading will easily weed out the bad stuff.

 

Dogs and cats have lived for thousands of years on human leftovers. The first commercial dog food in this country was Ken-L Ration, introduced after WWI and made up mostly of horsemeat. :sick Canned cat food (anyone remember Puss N Boots?) and dry dog food (kibble) were introduced in the 1930's

 

So, shop around, find a food your dog likes that fits your budget, and relax!

 

(full disclosure, I feed my dogs a raw diet, because I got used to it with my IBS dog, they like it, I can afford it. I am by no means anti-kibble)

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Interesting. Iams is not on the list.

 

Interesting. Iams is on the list.

 

No clue how the lists were formulated. Feed what works for your dog and your budget. :)

Wendy and The Whole Wherd. American by birth, Southern by choice.
"Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!"
****OxyFresh Vendor ID is 180672239.****

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No clue how the lists were formulated.

That pretty much sums it up, doesn't it? As my sister says "who are 'they' and what makes them experts?"
Actually a "supermarket food" sold at Safeway is one of the highest rated (five stars) ones on the sainted Dog Food Advisor and a Wal Mart product gets 3.5 stars.
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