Water — The Most Overlooked Canine Nutrient

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What’s the one nutrient a dog simply cannot live long without?dog-drinking-from-toilet

A nutrient so important and so vital that no dog could survive deprived of it for more than a few days before dying a painful death.

Is it protein?  Fat?  Or maybe some vitamin or mineral?

Well, surprisingly, it’s none of these.

Water — The Forgotten Nutrient

You see, water is probably the most overlooked canine nutrient your dog counts on you to provide.

I know. It’s difficult to think of water as a nutrient.

Yet it is. And compared to the other nutrient “families” — proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals — it’s unquestionably the most urgent.

Dogs need constant access to water. It’s the one nutrient that must be served “ad libitum”.  That is, on demand and instantly available whenever a dog’s natural urge to drink calls for it.

That’s because water is forever being lost through the urine and feces.

Plus, since dogs can’t sweat to stay cool, they lose a lot of moisture through the cooling effect of evaporation as they breathe and pant to control body temperature.

And that brings me to my number one dog feeding pet peeve…

Canine Water Negligence

Water negligence is the dangerous practice of failing to provide adequate, fresh (uncontaminated) drinking water for every dog.

Unfortunately, this problem is far too common.  That’s because most people are simply unaware they’re doing anything wrong.

For example, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taken my family to the beach on a hot day… only to watch (in disbelief) as a dog pants in thirst… while her owner sits under an umbrella… sipping a cold drink!

Or that far more common habit of supplying water that’s been allowed to become dangerously polluted with germs from the dog’s own mouth.

This hazardous situation is caused by using too small a water bowl… or allowing the water volume in any container to become perilously low… thus “concentrating” the germ population to a recklessly high level.

By the way… this problem can be aggravated by forgetting to wipe away that slimy, germ-laden “biofilm” from inside the water bowl… at least once each day.

And tainted water can increase the risk of intestinal disease.

How to Avoid Dehydration and Disaease

So, follow these recommendations to ensure your dog stays adequately (and safely) hydrated at all times…

  1. Use an oversize bowl and fill it with fresh drinking water
  2. Change all water at least twice each day
  3. Wipe away any biofilm from inside the bowl
  4. Keep water bowls as clean as you keep your own dishware
  5. Never separate your dog from her drinking water at any time
  6. Carry fresh water and serving bowls with you when traveling

By the way, we regularly place Bailey’s and Molly’s food and water bowls in the dishwasher for a thorough scrubbing. They come out sparkling clean and ready to serve up a nutritious diet.

Why not give it a try?

  • theBCnut

    Sometimes the commenting software can’t handle really long posts so you have to split them in two.

  • Susan Demchesen

    What happened to the long post I just, finally finished typing?

  • Debbie Powers

    My neighbor has a pit mix that is never walked. The neighbor puts her on a chain about 2 times a day. The dog barks constantly whenever outside. It is tough for me to hear the dog barking, but I try to tune it out. At least the dig has shelter, food, water, home, and love? Would the dog be better off dead? It is heartbreaking for it to go on month after month, year after year, especially when the dog is so young.

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  • Pattyvaughn

    I would say that it depends on your dog. One of mine gets his water dish quite yucky pretty quickly, and I wouldn’t let that go. Another is pretty tidy and never gets the dish messed up, if it was only him, I’d let the dish go.

  • John Fullmer

    I just bought my yellow lab a 4 gallon water replendish waterer from amazon. The water is filtered as it continues to fill his bowl as needed. Is this something I need to change out daily or can I go two days?

  • Pattyvaughn

    It could be that they don’t like the flavor that the filter leaves, it could be the difference in temperature, who knows.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Animals are weird. I give my cats a fresh bowl of bottled water everyday and they still drink out of the toilet or the pool (during the summer). They love the faucet too if they can ever catch it dripping.

  • Lori Leyrer

    My dog has filtered water and yet will go to the shower door with some mold or another container that catches a bad faucet drip. Why?

  • http://www.thegreedypinstripes.com/ BryanV21

    I know that excessive water intake can be a signal of a problem.

    For example, I worked at a vet and we had a german shepherd in daycare (it was like a one-stop shop for dog owners, as it included boarding and grooming too) that was drinking a lot of water. It was panting a lot too, but when we told the doctor she immediately brought him to surgery. Turns out he flipped his stomach, and if he wasn’t operated on right away to fix it he probably would have died.

    I don’t want to scare anybody with this story, just point out that it is important to monitor your pet. Whether that be water intake, food intake, urination, defecation, vomiting, diarrhea, and activity levels.

  • Dawn

    I thought you were suppose to moniter a dogs intake of water. Too much water, equals bloat?

  • Beauti0692000
  • Toxed2loss

    What are you feeding her?

  • Beauti0692000

    i have a 8yr old female who is retaining water we had her drained.. she has loss all of her muscle mass and weigh’s only 47 pounds the vet said there is nothing they can do for her.. i need help soon this is my bestfriend in the whole world she means everything to me.. shes not in pain put i cant seem to find the issue she been tested for everything and all was normal.. they said a inflammed intestint.. please help

  • someperson11111

    i want to come back as one of your dogs, sandy. Lucky dogs! I wish i could afford to raw feed only, or use top shelf kibbles, but, i do the best i can! for now!

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Brothers Complete and some Epigen Fish. Before that Instinct Duck & Turkey for the most part with occasional other brands. Also I use canned foods from Merrick and Addiction and Weruva, and Tripett. There’s lots of variety. I’ve probably used a dozen different kibbles in the last 2-3 years since someone told me about the other food I was using that was not good.  My next goal is to gather some recipes for some homemade raw.  I do have one recipe book.  Just trying to decide on a meat & bone grinder!

  • someperson11111

    thanks for info, Sandy.  If you do feed a kibble now and then, which one do you feed?

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    No, I use commercial raw (Natures Variety, Primal, occasionally other brands) mostly and periodically give them the plain raw. I also feed kibble.

  • someperson11111

    cute pugs!!!  So if you raw feed, do you use a “mix” as well?

  • someperson11111

    LOL!!

  • someperson11111

    thanks!

     mostly, i just keep him wet, from his neck down.  My dog also needs constant praise to be gently hosed down in this way, ha ha,
     but, he now associates getting gently hosed, with WALKS! YESssss!  He adores his walks, so “hose = walks” helps a lot.
      
    I keep gallons of water in my vehicle to keep him wet, too, if we are gone a long time.  So far, keeping him soaking wet helps him in hot weather.  Otherwise, he poops out completely in hot weather.  (he’s mostly black, also, which makes him even hotter).

    but, those cool-coats look neat, too!  I have a  doggie ice collar, too, but, it’s only good for about 30 minutes to 45 minutes.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Yes, I give them raw along with other raw parts – thighs, drumsticks, wings, necks.  As far as the heat, I’ve heard some good reviews on the Cool Coat.

    http://www.pugvillage.com/forum/pug-health-care/116494-cool-coats-really-work.html

  • Toxed2loss

    LOL for the llamas, if I clip openings around the front of the back legs and just behind the front legs, it lets a ton of heat out. I usually end up giving them a “poodle clip” just cause its fun. One of these days I’m going to clip their necks in such a way as to give them “dorsal spikes” like a sea monster, Then gel them so they stand out… Just so I can watch the reactions on the faces of the passers-by. GFETE

    I’ve made plenty of “wowee!!” clips myself!!!

  • someperson11111

    lol! it does seem like it helps, just looking at my dog, and imagining where/how heat is held against him, and picturing wind/breezes/air flow,
    It seems a good idea.I’m completely self trained at this, and i have, in the past, totally botched his spring trims, oh, did i ever!!!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I stupidly once cut short, ALL the fur on the backs of his haunches—TOP HAIRS and all,and wow, did i ever regret that mistake.  It took over a year to even look halfway decent again. See, all his “undercoat” fuzz then was on full display, and it was oddest looking dog you ever saw.~~~~~~~~~~~~~Now, i actually use some hair-clips to hold the gorgeous top hairs out of the way, when i trim out his ‘wind tunnel’ and when  trim his skirt down, ~~~~~~i now have learned the hard way, to leave those top hairs alone.~~~~~~~~~~~Some of his top coat, i do trim/shape a bit here or there, but, i’ll never make mistake again, of trimming his skirt’s top hairs all the way short again.
    ~~~~~~~~~~my poor dog!for entire summer, everyone asked, “what happened to his fur back here?” rofl!

  • Toxed2loss

    “wind tunnel” I like that! Kind of like what I do for the llamas. LOL

  • someperson11111

    and lol, YES, i am, admittedly, obsessive and a bit overly protective of my dogs health.  No doubt at all of it.
    and i learn something new all the time. still learning.

    but, on the bright side, my idea of “spoiling” a dog, is taking him hiking, etc, keeping him busy, or teaching him more and more tricks (which he LOVES LOVES LOVES to do).
    but, yeah, i truly do concern myself quite a bit with his health, fitness, comfort, activity, nutritional status, hydration status, busy-ness, happiness, etc.

    but i just don’t/didn’t know enough about how much fluid my dog DOES need….but, then again, i admittedly do not know how much exactly he IS drinking….

  • someperson11111

    i have only used meat, just boiled it in water, skim off all fat, and save the broth to help increase my dogs’ fluid intake.  

    no salt, no spices, just that water….i kind of worry a lot that my dog does not drink enough water, and he is SOooo lousy at tolerating heat, he just can’t take the heat at all.

    Sandy, do you think i should probably also throw in bones?
    well, wait, come to think of it, there are bones usually, in the meat i boil up…
    now, re the chicken feet, for a dog, they’d have to be raw, right?

  • someperson11111

    He is more a rough coat, but, i’ve recently fell in love with the “SHEDMONSTER” and am doing a good job of helping remove his undercoat.  *seems* to be helping him tolerate heat a lil better.

    I also trim his fur, and cut a “wind tunnel” through his skirt, as well.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    My dog just really can NOT tolerate heat at all.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    For outdoor work/hikes, etc, i douse him with water, from neck down,
    otherwise, my dog can not not not not tolerate the heat at all, not at all.  
    but, if i keep his fur soaking wet, he is fine.

  • Toxed2loss

    Just a thought, but border collie… Rough or smoothe? Heavier coats cause more heat, evaporation, equals greater need for water. With all that activity, I’d expect lots of water consumption n. It flushes the cells of waste materials. :-)

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Do you just make broth with meat or with soup bones?  I was thinking of using the chicken feet I have. Good cartilage in there…I usually just feed it to them.

    http://www.eatmedaily.com/2009/09/offal-of-the-week-chicken-feet/

  • Kaliberknl

     Like you, I’m a tad obsessive over my dogs :-)  Unless your dog has diabetes insipitus or eats a ton of salt, he will probably keep his fluid intake balanced.  The only time I’ve seen dehydrated dogs is when they have protracted vomiting/diarrhea or when they have heat stroke.  (The ER has probably exposed you to lots of cases of human shock and fluid therapy.)  Bodies are quite good at homeostasis :-)  With no other symptoms of an eye problem, red eyes are probably from excitement/ high normal BP.  My yearling will have red eyes by the end of her agility class tonight…which means I will have finally tired her out!

  • someperson11111

    //”I see no reason to give him salty broth”//

    me either, i agree 100%!!  i don’t give him salty broth.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    yes, i have spent my career in E.R./I.C.U. for 30 years now, i know what a liter is! hee heeit just struck me as a lot of fluid per 24 hrs for a 50 lb creature, but, like you said i was not including fluid in his food though.  Plus, with so many bowls of water, just being refilled/refreshed all the time, i truly have no idea how much water my dog drinks in a day!!!!!!!!!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    It just never *seems* very much.  I guess i need to really measure how much fluid per day my dog does drink, cuz he is a pretty active dog, he does agility, canine freestyle dancing, hiking, swimming, tricks training, etc.  Not every day, but several times a week.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  He is a border collie, so we HAVE TO keep him busy, to keep him sane.  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I feel sorry for dogs who spend their days watching tv, i really do.  In my mind, that is almost a form of abuse, even if the dog tolerates it gracefully, what a rip off for the dog.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   Kaliberknl, sometimes, it seems my dog’s eyes get bloodshot on days i think he hasn’t drank enough fluids, is that just my imagination?~~~~~~~~~~~~~~btw, my scrollymarks~~~ are cuz i can’t seem to make paragraphs “last” in this forum today, ends up as one long paragraph.

  • Kaliberknl

     A liter is probably less then you imagine :-)  Don’t forget to include the water in his food.  I see no reason to give him salty broth…

  • someperson11111

    wow, a liter a day for a 50 lb dog? i don’t think my 50 lb dog is drinking a liter per day….and more on days he is super active? wow.  

    Yeah, i don’t restrict his water, i keep tons of fresh water bowls all over the house, and swap it out many times each day.
     i just only restrict his broth, cuz he DOWNS it, in huge amts, if i don’t.  which i imagine can’t be good for him. to drink huge whopping amt of fluid all at once.  I think, if i set out a liter of plain broth, he’d drink it in one sitting, which i think, would not be good.   He won’t do that with water, but he would with broth!!

    I’m not sure if our water is fluoridated/chlorinated.  guess i’d better drag out that water-filter pitcher again, and filter all his water.  i had not thought of that.THANK YOU FOR ALL ADVICE AND TIPS!!

  • Kaliberknl

     Your dog should have free access to fresh, clean water 24/7…never restrict unless directed by your vet.  Average adult dog needs 1 ml/lb/hr…puppies double…about a  liter for your (inactive) dog of 50 lb.

  • Toxed2loss

    Are you offering chlorinated or fluoridated water? Many municipal water treatment pants use both. Discerning animals will avoid consuming that water, as both are neurotoxins. Encouraging the dog to drink it by masking the toxins with meat broth, circumvents your dogs instinctive self protection mechanism. If your not already, try offering filtered or RO water. Then the dog will naturally drink what he needs. Hope that’s helpful. :-}

  • someperson11111

    ANY AND ALL HELP or advice or info, is much appreciated!!  so many really smart ppl here who know so much about dog nutrition, THANK YOU!!

  • someperson11111

    anyone know how much water a dog needs per day?  I’d imagine it is based on heat, activity, and dog size, too.  any charts out there, anyone know?

    also, i’ve begun offering broth, just plain water which i boiled meat in, with all fat skimmed off, and no salt, no spice, etc.
    anyone know of any drawbacks to giving a dog plain, nonspiced, nofat broth to increase their fluid intake on hot days?

    I measure and give him only 1 cup broth, (as well as fresh water, which he is not great at drinking).  I made mistake, and set out big huge bowl of broth, which my 50 lb dog consumed all in one sitting, which freaked me out,
    i did not expect that, so i kept him quiet rest of day, worrying what i’d done.  Luckily, no harm came that i could observe, he just peed really really a lot for many many hours.

    so now i measure it out, and give him 1 cup only.
    ANY IDEAS how to know just how much fluid a dog needs?

  • Bob K

    Its good to know that there are dog food producers that use human grade meats, but what about all the other ingredients used in the kibble?  You say that the plant you use has never had a recall.  That statement means to me that they have decent QC and GMP processes and they caught or managed many of the problems before it reached the consumer.    When Tyson has recalls they behind the scenes are trying to track back to which farmer it come from and try to locate the problem in the food chain.   You trust Tyson to do all the tracking for you as a company.    There are  some recent videos on the mass produced volume farmers that are owned by large vertically integrated companies. Since you do not seem to own the plant your kibble is produced in, you are subject to many of their processes which so far seems to have worked out to your advantage. 

  • http://BrothersComplete.com Richard Darlington

    Bob K

    I realize and am aware of what you are referring to, but simply because there is lots of complexity in the food industry does not mean that in every case it is impossible to know the chain of events. 

    As you say, very few food suppliers are as vertically integrated as Tyson who own and control their chicken farmers – and the processing of their food from cradle to grave. Do you really think it matters which farmer the initial egg comes from or the specific Tyson plant the final product comes from when they exercise such control over every aspect of the process? 

    They are supplying the entire country with high grade chickens – do you think they should attempt this out of one single plant supplied with eggs from one single farmer? Genetic diversity makes for a much healthier option than just one supply I would think.

    The plant we use to make Brothers has never had a food recall and one of the reasons is the care they take to choose and bring in human grade meat from suppliers like Tyson who exercise such control over every aspect of the process.

    Do you purchase only chicken that is completely organic from a local farmer and only that one farmer – no other local organic farmers? I understand the tendency to feel absolute frustration when dealing with the food supply situation in this country for humans, much less dogs, but I think it more useful to attack the discrepancies at the  bottom of the dog food chain rather than cast general dispersions on a supply of meat for dog food that is human grade – and fastidiously processed, even for the human side of the food chain, which is where their product is designed and quality controlled for.

    Given the general quality of “meat” that is served up for dogs in this industry I would have thought you’d be relieved to know that there is a company that goes to a lot of trouble to control every aspect of the food they are serving to humans, more so even than other human food suppliers, and that same quality food is being put into a dog food.

    JP our quality control consultant – on the right testing a new batch of braided Bully sticks just arrived at The Doggy Store – but at the moment just ‘Chillin’ in sunny Fort Lauderdale says, “Wass UP?”

  • Antonio

    Richard, I wasn’t aware that Brothers didn’t source their meals from rendering plants that’s actually new info for me.  Bob K I think I understand what your saying about the entire chain of which farm etc it the one actually producing the meats that supply the human food leftovers that go into dog food.

  • Bob K

    Antonio – While there are large companies like Con Agra, Archer Daniel Midland, Tyson, Brakebrush and several others the challenge is tracking and managing from farmer to plate or bag of kibble where the raw ingredients come from.  Ingredients are shipped and repackaged, relabeled, and often resold to other suppliers and distributors which is even a larger problem with smaller kibble producers who do not have contracts with the tier 1 food producers and use smaller suppliers whose sources are constantly changing.  Everyone likes to talk about trust but the reality is we constantly have eColli, Salmonella, etc….. issues on a monthly basis many of which we never hear about.  Due to spoilage and storage issues food products and ingredients do spoil even with the best intent ans trust.  I have been to at least a dozen food processing plants over the years and when you really drill down and ask about suppliers, traceability, sources of ingredients, the story sounds good but the reality is quite different and there are many sources of contamination and adulterization of the product.  Ask which farmers lamb is in your kibble, not who they bought it from since who they bought it from vary from day to day.  They can intermix sources in the warehouse since its all #1 Grade A Chicken breasts.  Those chicken breasts might ususlly come from Tyson but which Tyson plant, WHich batch, which farmer?  Then how was it stored, shipped, warehoused, etc……  Very complex supply chain, logistics and warehouse issues at many levels.

  • Bob K

    Richard – While you may think you know the source, I suspect you may be kidding yourself.  Few food suppliers are as vertically integrated as Tysons who own or control their chicken farmers.  But wait – Which Farmer or Tyson plant it the specific ingredient coming from.  I suspect your ingredients may be purchased from one supplier but come from across the US often depending on availabiity.  Large companies often ship products across the US to fulfill orders so you might think it comes from the Michigan plant – it might actually be from the Minnesota plant.  Large food plants often get their ingredients from several farmers even if they own the plant where the ingredient is processed in,  So which plant, shipper, warehouse etc… has the eColli or Salmonella problem?  Which farmer or shipping company is the real source of the problem meat?  Supply chains are very complex especially for food products that often have seasonality and price fluxuations based on our commodity markets.

  • http://BrothersComplete.com Richard Darlington

    Antonio

    You and I have both been to rendering plants and manufacturing plants but I don’t remember if I ever told you what the output of rendering plants that take in reject human food chain meat is….

    In 2010 it was 5,900,000,000 pounds (that’s 5.9 BILLION pounds) and they are putting that meat into SOMEONE’s dog food – NOT Brothers, but someone is buying that stuff.

  • http://BrothersComplete.com Richard Darlington

    Antonio

    I’ll tell you where we source the chicken we use in Brothers. We use the same chicken you buy at the supermarket if you buy Tyson Chicken. Tyson raises the chicken from eggs to the grown chicken, to maintain quality control, and even renders them in their own rendering facility to make the chicken meal we use in Brothers Complete. 

    Knowing what this level of quality chicken costs us I can assure you that the dog foods that cost under $2.00 a lb are using “something else”

    It’s why “Parker” the white Lhasa Opsa who is 20 years old in this picture and the Little Yorkie to his right who is 19 look so good. “Eat well, Live well” no big secret…right?

  • Antonio

    Also, how many here on the forum beside the known few have ever visited a rendering plant or pet food manufacturing plant?  That would be interesting to know before I even begin trying to explain further?

  • Antonio

    Bob K, I agree the dry meals due change from time to time, due to the bulk pricing, but you better believe those companies are darn sure about who they buy those products from and TRUST me the suppliers are more limited than the general public would like to believe.

  • Bob K

    Antonio  – Large pet food companies usually use the same ingredients in many different formulas and brands they produce.  Few processed food mfgs. for both human and dog food know the actual source of the ingredients other than who they bought it from and even that is suspect since things are often repackaged, reprocessed, warehoused and tracked poorly.  The ingredient suppliers often change from month to month and perhaps batch to batch primarily due to cost management and availability.  Very few processed food mfgs. are good at tracking the ingredients they use from batch to batch and know who supplied the ingredients.  Its too difficult to accurately track ingredient sources back to specific farmers or first level processors.  I would not say its proprietary, they really don’t know as the ingredient sources frequently change.

  • Toxed2loss

    You are keeping me busy tonight DFN. GFETE

    Here’s the skinny, the more processing, the more free glutamic acid, no matter whether it is a meat protein, a plant protein or a carb.

    So yes, if it’s processed, no matter what it started as, it has free glutamic acid. But that isn’t the only variable to consider. While MSG and Aspartic acid are toxins, so are residual drugs like phenobarbitol, and micotoxins, from molds. Then there are pesticide residuals, drug residuals and GMO contaminants.

    I agree with you that grains are inappropriate for dogs, but the reasons are more complex. The statement that free range chicken meal and retired egglayer’s meal are basically the same is incorrect. ALL the toxins present in the tissue previous to processing, aren’t destroyed by processing.

  • Shawna

    It’s probably due to Audrey’s kidney disease but for me protein is the absolute most important..  When I first started here on DFA I posted a research article proving by-products were not as utilizable as meats.  I’ve stated that I prefer meats over meals as well for the same reason.  I will say however that I’m not opposed to quality by-products like clean organs..

    No prob Labs..  I scratched my head and tried to remember when I might have said that..  Hee hee 

    I may have lots and lots of time for posting over the next few days…  I managed to break my foot this morning.  Yep, I’m a klutz……..  Scored great drugs though :) 

  • LabsRawesome

    Sorry Shawna, maybe that is melissa’s dogs that can’t tolerate Diamond products. :)

  • Dog Food Ninja

    Also, and Toxie, this is a question for you, wouldn’t ANY meat meal, regardless of quality, contain processed free glutamic acid?   

  • Dog Food Ninja

    I agree that there can be a big difference between various chicken meals and such.  But for me, it comes down to the binder.  I would rather give my dog a grain free high protein food made with sweet potatoes and peas with chicken by-product meal than a medium protein grain inclusive food that is made from corn and soybeans with chicken meal.  The cheapness of the corn and wheat and rice in the common dog foods is far worse than most named by-product meals.  I mean, once a meat has been rendered into a moisture-free powder, it can only retain so much of it’s original integrity, whether made from organic free range chicken or retired egg laying hen’s intestines.  I think it’s the cheap cereal grains that are poisoning our dogs more than anything.        

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Antonio, I agree with you. I think that a company probably uses the same ingredients in all formulas that they make. Like Diamond for example,they probably use the same chicken meal (and other ingredients)  in every product that they manufacture, from Kirkland to TOTW. That would explain why Shawna’s dogs can’t tolerate any Diamond products, because they use the same ingredients interchangeably.

  • Antonio

    I understand that we really would like to believe that companies are sourcing their meat meals for their economy kibble and their top tier kibble from different sources it’s simply not true.  I know we assume that higher price equals better quality, look i’m not defending Purina or any other Pet food manufacturer, but if you don’t believe what I’m saying, how about you ask any of your favorite pet food company large or small to reveal the information of whom they purchase their dry meals for the kibble I assue you this information will be considered propiertary and they will not reveal that information. 

  • Toxed2loss

    Hi Antonio,
    I can’t agree that there is minimal difference, unless we codify exactly what we’re agreeing to. I watched the video, too. What I noticed is the “premium” that she was testing against we’re foods like Iams, Science diet, Purina Pro, etc. not foods like the 5 star rated ones here. So while I can agree that there isn’t much difference between the grocery store brands and those “marketed as premium” that contain mostly grain based proteins and mystery meat products, I wanted to clarify that her choice of “Premium” foods, does not meet Dr. Mike’s standard.

    I don’t believe that we can take the video as proof of what your claiming unless we take it out of context. Once we do that, it invalidates it as a source. She set up her test to show the marketing deception in that type of food. It is not relevant to a comparison of atypical (to mainstream “premium”) higher quality specialty dog foods.

    It does show that there is marketing deception in those mainstream brands. That was what it was intended to show. She did a good job of that. I believe that her work is a large part of what inspired the higher protein, better sourced specialty pet food market.

  • Shawna

    Richard wrote “I think there is much more of a difference between the different 5 star foods than most realize.”  I would agree with Richard on this. 

    I also believe there is a significant difference between grocery store and 5 star foods.  Protein is the most important nutrient in the diet.  The quality of protein plays a role in how well the body can utilize it.  Five star foods generally have better quality and certainly more overall protein. 

  • http://BrothersComplete.com Richard Darlington

    Antonio – You bring up some very good points in my opinion. 

    It is true that the “ideal diet” for most dogs would be a diet primarily of raw meat that is from animals that are fed with non GMO and pesticide free feed, graze on pesticide free grass, roam free in fields that are free of pesticides and other pollutants, are hormone free and antibiotic free, and a diet of this meat that is designed to be as varied and nutritionally balanced as our resident nutritionist, Shawna, can design them with her incredible depth of nutritional knowledge – along with whatever supplements or digestive enzymes they might need for added support. Of course there are options along these lines that are not the “ideal” but still effective.

    However, what I think I’m hearing from you is a plea for more information to help those who do use kibble as their main food source for their pets. Our experience in the store over the years is that as much as we try to convince owners to feed raw the vast majority of them feed kibble – for whatever reason, right or wrong doesn’t matter to me because the real issue here is the dog’s health. Since well over 95% of dog owners are going to feed kibble then it seems you’ve made a good point when you address the practical problem of how do we differentiate between kibbles as far as their impact on the health of our animals.

    We actually did do feeding trials but not as AAFCO would have dictated. With thousands of customers to choose from we simply put dogs on different diets and watched them over the years. My feeling is that you should “see” the difference in them and not just that they should still be alive after so many months. 

    I think there is much more of a difference between the different 5 star foods than most realize. It’s all too easy to lump them all together for convenience sake but, but as is the case in much of life, the difference is in the details.

    The feeding trials are VERY expensive and the information is so general as to be useless to anyone like Brothers who really want to excel. They were mostly designed to alleviate any concerns that these commercial concoctions of chemicals might not provide nutrition for dogs sufficient to keep them alive. However, i do think that there is a way to help you discern a difference between kibbles that are all 5 star. Let me think about it and I’ll put something over on the Brothers thread when I put it together.

    Below is Pierre’s rescue – JP who is one of our quality control inspectors at Brothers. Here he is testing the quality of a braided bully stick recently arrived. He does this on the side when he is not running his dog doctor practice.

  • Antonio

    I think we can agree that main difference in most pet foods are how it’s marketed, even the video tauted on the point that there’s minimal nutritional difference between premium and grocery store brands.  I’ve long felt that argument was true.  But I agree rotation diets do help aleviate some of the need of testing I personall feed scraps and leftovers to my dogs b/c it’s something my family always did growing up.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Antonio,

    By the way, I forgot to apologize for the excessive length of that CBC video. I agree, it drags a bit.

    The only reason I suggested watching it was to show you how Purina uses its results out of context when marketing some of its products.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Antonio,

    My main point here is that if you use your dog food as a daily “feed” and if it is the sole source of your dog’s nutrition, then you should give much more credence to testing.

    Yet if you diversify your dog’s diet using a variety of sources and brands, then testing becomes less important.

    Testing does not automatically prove any pet food is superior to others. It only implies the food can be trusted as the sole source of an animal’s nutrition. That is all.

  • Antonio

    Mike,

    Interesting video.. kind of long as well :), but I forced myself thru it.  Most of the things mentioned in the video are pretty much already revealed about pet food since the 2007 recall, I do find it laughable the part about mixing the motor oil, leather boots, etc and passing AAFCO testing, I think this might be a bit overboard for the simple reason AAFCO does mandate that ingredients are listed on the package so that product would have immediately been pulled from production LOL.  But the video does make some interesting opinions.  I think my point is being missed I’m not saying that doing feeding trials are a sure way of resolving the issue, but is it really that expensive to feed a product that a company says is good to a animal to see if it’s really good, and while the Purina Dog Chow test was flawed for lack of a control group eating a different brand other than purina at least they did try some form of testing to prove that dogs can live breed age standard lives plus 1.5 healthy years on their products (in my opinion that beats nothing at all).  I’m still not sure what to make of Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins claims I think there was some truths but I also think some claims she makes sound like the words of a bitter “Former Hills Science Diet Employee”.  I honestly don’t think there is a perfect diet of any kind HUMAN or PET, but I do think with efforts of those demanding better products we will see improvements but that perfect diet may never exist.

  • Shawna

    Veterinarian and breeder Dr. Jeannie Thomason writes–

    “Detoxify means to rid of poisons or the effects of poison. Poison is defined as any substance that has an inherent tendency to destroy life or impair health. Pesticides, chemicals, devitalized food and vaccinations all set up toxic situations in the system. The body must rid itself of these poisons. We see symptoms of detoxification with vomiting, diarrhea, bad breath, itchy skin, draining eyes and ears, and cysts and tumors, to name a few. After your pet start eating fresh foods, their bodies will detoxify because they now have the nutrients to build healthy systems and no longer will have the need to suppress disease.”  http://www.thewholedog.org/artHealingCrisis.html

    Quite often the symptoms we see when switching to a better quality food are not at all a bad thing.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Anthony,

    Unfortunately, the results of Purina’s 14-year study you mention here have been exaggerated by the company and can be quite misleading. For proof, please see this video produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and readily accessible from this website.

    Also, how can one compare two dog foods when one has been through such feeding trials and the other has not?

    Does testing automatically make the tested product superior?

    What if the untested product was the truly better formulation? But because it wasn’t tested (usually due to the extreme costs incurred to conduct field testing), we would have no way of confirming its true superiority.

    The only test that could possibly reveal which product of the two was truly superior would be scientifcally conducted A/B testing the two against each other.

    And nothing else.

    Unfortunately, testing is valuable, but simply overrated. Simply field testing, no matter how elaborate, cannot ever reveal the true superiority of any food product.

  • Antonio

    Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply, but I can’t respond on DFA from work anymore since the addition of Disqus.  But I did notice a few things that are kind of interesting, while we understand that AAFCO doesn’t demand much of it’s feeding trial to label a food as complete and balance, can we assume that all companies use such a low grade of evaluation?  Even Purina Dog Chow brand proudly mentions thier 14 year feed tial study on dogs fed exclusively Dog Chow from birth to death.  I know we all have a stigma against large companies (rightfully so), but can we always assume the worst?  While I agree that he AAFCO feeding trials are not the best example of a true as fed trial, but isn’t it worse that a company isn’t even willing to use such a basic test to provide more proof that their products work as advertised?  If more and more companies are no longer adhering to the basic tests like the AAFCO feeding trial, how can we assume the untested brands are any better than the other brands based purely on ingredients?  Even Richard has stated on here in the past that the reason his Brother’s Complete is so much better than the other 5 star brands is basically b/c of how his feeds are formulated to make the nutrients of the ingredients work together.  I started doing more and more research on nutrition based on those comments, and it does appears to be true with what he says, unless the ingredients are proven to be balanced properly thru some kind of testing then we could possibly be over paying for a pretty label that’s providing minimum nutrition at best to our pets.  Dr. Sagman & Jonathan (Dog Food Ninja) I do agree that there’s no diet better than what nature can provide for a animal, but since  most of us feed kibble, how do we determine which feed is truly better b/c the ingredients alone only tell a partial story.  I know there are many advocates of RAW feeding but personally it’s not something I’m willing to try w/ my Doberman again it didn’t work out well at all (bad experience), and since most would agree that dogs have been domesticated some 10,000 plus years, and the discovery of fire is even older, I would assume that man’s best friend (dogs) have been eating cooked leftovers for a very long time now.

  • Toxed2loss

    Hi DFN and Shawna!

    Yes, I’m having issues with Disqus. When I first set it up I tried to link it to my Toxed2loss page, which I do with every other blog I’m on. They linked it to my private page and spewed all The private business of my friends and family. So i fixed it. Then they unfixed it. Several times. I even removed the “link to Facebook.” Buthere’s re-linked it. So I closed that account, but they still kept making changes that I didn’t want. I’ve been emailing them, and Dr. Mike has been great. Hopefully they’ll have worked it out. Fingers crossed. They say that it’s supposed to revert to my Gravatar, account, but that hasn’t happened yet. When it changes back to the gravatar I started with (masked), we’ll know they fixed it.

    Test three…

  • Shawna

    Looks good so far Toxed!!! :)

  • Dog Food Ninja

    Hey Toxie!  You having some kinda trouble with the new system?  What’s with the tests? 

  • Toxed2loss

    Nice replies on the “feeding trials.” I’d like to add that AAFCO nutritional standards and the trials are designed and controlled by the industries top (volume wise, not quality) manufacturers. They are designed, not with the animals best in mind, but the companies profits. So if a manufacturer also grows a lot of grain,… Well he’s going to fund ‘science’ that proves how beneficial it is to feed grain to all critters and thereby substantiate the ‘validity’ of the specially designed feeding trials.

    Second test…

  • Linette

    I should also mention, I am toying with the idea of feeding raw (at least the dogs) once the GD goes to the dog park in the sky. I don’t think I could manage it right now with three dogs, one of them large.

  • Linette

    Thanks. I am feeding both my dogs and my cats Taste of the Wild–the dogs on High Prairie Canine and my cats are getting both formulas, alternating. I chose these because TOTW gets five stars, and also because I live in a tiny town and it is easily available at the local feed store. They are doing well–my 8 yr old cat just had all her blood work done and it was all perfect, including kidneys and thyroid. I also give the dogs raw meaty bones, but neither cat will touch them, or wet food. They try to bury wet food as if it were poo! I do have some worries about my elderly Great Dane–just started everyone on Prozyme as recommended by the vet, as he is having some issues with keeping weight on and having excessive stool of late. Any advice appreciated!

  • Dog Food Ninja

    There’s nothing out of line with that question!  :-)  actually, Mike has mentioned several times that doing a “catfoodadvisor” is something he’s working on.  But really, I have learned more on this website about cat AND dog nutrition then any other website.  Just take the same lessons you learn here and apply them to cat food.  If you look at the ingredients of, say, Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken for dogs and for cats, they are very similar.  Cat food tends to have (and SHOULD have!) more protein, as cats are OBLIGATE carnivores where are dogs are carnivores with omnivorous abilities. Just read as many of Mike’s articles, reviews, and user comments are you can until you know how to read a pet food ingredient label, then simply apply that to cat foods!  Chances are, if something is a 5-star dog food (like Blue Wilderness) it would also be a 5-star cat food.  

  • Linette

    Dog Food Ninja, sorry, hope I am not out of line, but I was wondering if you know of a similar site to this one for cat food. I read that you have a pet store on another comment and have learned a lot about cat/dog nutrition.

  • Dog Food Ninja

    Antonio, bud, the validity of feed trials is laughable.  Companies like Hill’s that
    use them do so because they can seem like an authority in the industry,
    make their product appeal to misinformed consumers, and concoct ways to
    keep animals alive on cheaper and cheaper ingredients.  While I agree
    that there is a lot of fluffing on the ingredients lists of many
    “premium” dog foods, I still don’t think that feeding a dog corn, wheat, soy,
    and chicken by-products that have the “correct” ratio of nutrients and
    micro-nutrients is somehow healthful, long term.  There are good reasons
    that corn, wheat, and soy are the big “hot-button” ingredients
    semi-informed consumers look to avoid in their pet’s food… all 3 of
    those ingredients are full of anti-nutrients and other harmful
    properties.   

    Like Mike reiterated, it’s food, not rocket science.

    Have a look at this…

    “Let us also look at the actual AAFCO feeding trials
    themselves. Are these really the ‘Golden Seal of Approval’ that pet
    food manufacturers make them out to be? AAFCO feeding trials consist of
    at least eight dogs being fed the same diet for a mere 26 weeks
    (approximately
    six months). During this time, 25% of the dogs (so, two animals) can be
    removed from the test and the dogs eating the food can lose up to 15% of
    their weight and condition; the
    food will still pass the test and be labeled “complete and balanced.”
    But extrapolate these figures to the number of animals eating this food
    for much longer than 26 weeks and you will
    have much more of a problem! If a food caused dogs to start losing
    condition over the 26 week period yet still passed, imagine how many
    animals would fail to thrive in real life while being fed this food for
    years?

    As long as the remaining dogs in the trial appear
    healthy and have acceptable weights and certain blood values, the food
    passes and is considered ‘complete and balanced’ nutrition for whatever
    lifestage for which it was tested (puppy, adult maintenance, geriatric,
    etc.)…..”

    Read more at http://rawfed.com/myths/standards.html

  • Shawna

    Nice reply Dr. Mike!!

    Antionio ~~ in my opinion, no kibbled dog food is ever going to be nutritionally complete.  Look at just one nutrient in particular as a sample for all — vitamin E.  In nature there are eight forms of vitamin E.  In processed foods only four, at the very most, of those original eight are added back in.  Are the remaining four not necessary for optimal health?  Of course they are necessary..  But they are never included.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Antonio,

    Regarding feeding trials, it’s my personal opinion that feeding trials are overrated. They’re more important when you are using dog food as a “feed”. When a particular commercial food is the only product you feed your dog.

    In that case, the manufacturer must be absolutely certain the diet is 100% spot on perfect. The product must be as close as one can get to a nutritional home run.

    But how can any human engineered factory designed food pellet be considered a flawless, 100% nutritionally perfect replacement for any animal natural diet? That’s a pretty lofty assumption.

    I consider perfection in a commercial diet to be elusive. And I prefer to see a pet’s diet varied as it would occur in nature.

    This rotation style of feeding assumes no dog food (whether or not it has undergone feeding trials) can ever be perfect. And it should be considered valuable due to its ability to diversify a dog’s long term menu.

  • Antonio

    Dr. Sagman, it appears the Disqus is blocked by my security filter at work.  Posting from home appears to be fine.  I wanted to post a question on the discussion forum that I asked Dr. Sagman earlier.  I feel this is a good question to post here on the forum.  Most of the time the debate over petfood seems to begin & end with the AAFCO ingredient panel, which is interesting b/c in recent studying I’ve been somewhat enlightened on the understaning of nutrition vs ingredients.  So the question is posed, whcih is more important a beautifully written (Human Appeal) ingredient list, or a food that truly provides superior nutrition?  One other question I’ve come to wonder, why are fewer companies using feeding trials on their products now days?  I understand cost can be a issue, but I certainly think small studies can be conducted before new products are released.  I know we all have our opinions on companies like Hills, Purina, etc..  “I certainly have my opinions of them”, but I have to wonder why they seem to be ahead of the curve on something as simple as feeding their products to a specific animal to determine if the feed REALLY does perform as stated on the packaging and if the dog truly does receive highly digestible nutrition from the product(s).  I believe if more of the smaller companies would conduct similar tests we would be able to prevent a lot of the recalls that we are seeing across the board in todays’ petfood market Amazingly enough with all the recalls that have occured since 2007 I don’t believe the big 2 (Hills & Purina) have been involved.  But the string of recalls also reflect the fact that many manufacturers source the ingredients from the same few places and the biggest difference in most pet foods is simply the marketing behind the product. I think there are some noticeable differences in a 5 star kibble and a 1 star kibble, but if the truth was told there’s probably not much diff in comparing two comprable 5 star kibbles. Anyway I’ve ranted enough in my return, I’d like to hear back from the rest of you on this subject.

  • sandy

    No young ones myself, but I do foster. Maybe surrounding it with something or putting it somewhere somewhat protected (like in a corner) would work. I imagine it would be real heavy. I’ve got time to think about it. Gonna wait till the springtime.

  • melissa

    Sandy-

    Re the fish tank for 12 dogs-I would be concerned that it would get knocked over and broken presenting a cutting hazard-especially if you have younger dogs at all. Have you considered something like the Nelsen automatic dog waterer? Its stainless, the bowl detaches for cleaning, etc. I think they are around $120.

  • sandy

    Sounds like more trouble…glad I asked. Thanks for the input. My hose is unhooked right now ready for the winter freeze. No poopsicles needed or wanted here!

  • melissa

    Sandy-

    I had a Dooley here in NY and loved it over the summer-except of course it had to have water added on a very regular daily basis. If it dries out, your sunk.,.and then over the winter time it froze, making one solid compacted mess for the next spring. No way was I going to chisel it out to get it going again, and no amount of water/enzymes did the trick. I pulled the top of the unit out, tossed it, filled the hole in. Now, I just scoop/bag and throw in the dumpster : )

  • http://www.facebook.com/Toxed2loss Toxed2loss

    Straight up! Marie. Which office do you apply for the poo-permit in Sandy? GFETE

  • Marie

    Poop is serious business.

  • sandy

    Didn’t realize getting rid of poop required a city permit or went against any city ordinances!! He-he!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Toxed2loss Toxed2loss

    Ha, ha, I think it’s only illegal if there’s a smell. Did you know you could cover it with a thin layer of garden lime, and it won’t smell. I don’t think it will attract flies either… that might make it o.k. Check with the city. :-)

  • Marie

    I would just dig a big hole and dump the poop down there and cover it with a thin layer of dirt daily and hit it with the hose, but I have a feeling that’s illegal within city limits. ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/Toxed2loss Toxed2loss

    LOL, all my projects lists keep growing! I live in NE Oregon. It’s considered high desert. Rain here is like light spritzing…

    Get one and see how it works. If you have shallow ground water, it might be o.k. They don’t work unless they’re kept full of water… Then you do still have to police the piles. It just was more daily work for me, than the effort it took to train them to go in a designated area. So we ended filling ours with dirt and gravel.

  • sandy

    What’s a dry climate for you? I’m in the south Dallas/Ft Worth. Pretty wet springs and falls. Maybe I could use them half of the year?? I’ll keep them on the “back burner”. My “dog project” list keeps growing…

  • http://www.facebook.com/Toxed2loss Toxed2loss

    Sandy,
    I tried the doggy dooley’s and didn’t like ‘em. I live in a very dry climate and you have to add water twice a day. It was more trouble than just planting a patch of nitrogen loving ground cover (the plants need to be high enough to cover piles) and training them to use that. I had 5 dogs at one time. Ivy, or cosmos worked great! I’m currently using a weed strip on the far side of the lawn. Before I got sick it was colorful annuals. Jm2¢

  • sandy

    Yes, it would be on the concrete porch 8×8 covered and then 30×6 right next to it. I wonder how many Doggy Dooley Septic Tanks would I need to keep up with a dozen dogs = 2 dozen dog patties a day? Haven’t ever used these before, but thinking about it.

    http://www.petedge.com/product/Home-Kennel/Outdoor-Products/Yards-Waste-Removal/Doggie-Dooley-Pyramid-Tanks/pc/194/c/227/sc/443/56164.uts

  • Marie

    Sandy, for a dozen dogs you could go with a 5 gallon tank. Just remember that it’ll weight a lot when filled and although it’s made of tempered glass, you’ll need to make sure all the tank edges are supported evenly on a smooth surface where ever you put it. :)

  • Marie

    Oh, and you’re welcome of course! :)

  • Marie

    Oh, and I forgot to mention that the bacteria themselves do NOT live in the actual water (floating around), but on actual surface area. So that’s another reason I don’t worry too much about the bacteria.

    And you raise a great point with the chlorine thing. It does do that, and additionally if the same water circulates enough, it will gas out eventually.

  • sandy

    I’m thinking a 2 gallon fish tank with filter wouldn’t be so bad on the back porch especially when warm weather comes around again. A dozen dogs go through alot of water!! Awesome idea!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Toxed2loss Toxed2loss

    LOL, Marie, I thoroughly appreciate the broad and encompassing explanation! I do it to. :-) and yes, it answers my question. My father installed a fountain in our pond because, he said, it kept algae down and he said, bacteria. I always wondered if it was true. Thanks for the complete answer.

    TIs use charcoal media to filter toxins out of water and air. It traps most VOCs, until the fissures get used up. I think your cats may prefer it because it does take chlorine out. :-)

  • Marie

    Toxed: Actually, whether or not it reduces bacterial load is dependent on if you decide use any filter media in the filter. In aquariums (I promise to get to a point with this; after all, it is for all intents and purposes an aquarium just sans fish) the filter serves three different types of filtration purposes – mechanical, biological, and chemical.

    Mechanical filtration is just that – it physically catches bits of debris that might be circulating in the water and removes it by catching it within the filter media. It’s what most people think of when they think of, say, a pool filter (and that’s main purpose for a filter system in a swimming pool) but in a fish tank, it’s usefulness is somewhat limited. However, if things DO fall in my cat’s little drinking tank, it will be caught by the filter and I can easily remove it without moving the whole thing, which is nice.

    Now we get into the real meat of aquaria keeping – the chemical and biological filtration. These instigate and maintain the nitrogen cycle within a tank, which is critical if you are keeping live fish. Now, in this particular instance, I am not keeping fish, but it still serves a purpose. In most commercial filter pads (and especially in this brand) there is a decent amount of activated carbon. Carbon is what us aquatic nerds rely on for the chemical filtration of the tank. Activated carbon draws out the ammonia from tap water (or, in the case of live fish, the ammonia from their waste,whatever food they didn’t eat, or tankmates that have died that are rotting on the bottom. This is why you never should overfeed nor allow a dead fish to remain for long – it can kill other fish in hours). But for the purposes of a pet water fountain, it works to neutralize any ammonia in tap water. It’s nice to just pour it directly in the tank without having to pre-filter it yourself.

    Now to sort of answer your original question :) – Does it reduce bacterial load? The answer is…not really. The inclusion of the filter media gives the bacteria much-needed surface area to grow on. In aquaria, this is a GOOD thing. The bacteria (biological filtration) enhance the chemical filtration by “eating” the ammonia. I won’t get into too much boring detail about the whole nitrogen cycle, but the presence of ammonia (and nitrates, but that’s a total tangent) is what encourages bacteria to grow. Now, here’s the catch – if the bacteria present and the activated carbon consume all the ammonia in the water, then the bacteria start to die off after a short while because they are being starved. (Please note that I am referring to a particular species of bacteria that is known to be fairly harmless). There are not steady sources of ammonia to feed the bacteria because there are no fish. Now, if pieces of food fall into the tank, or something similar, then perhaps that would be an issue. But bear in mind, the tank is made of glass and holds over two gallons of water – enough, I would think, to dilute most problems.

    Also, I built it because my cats seemed to prefer ‘fish’ tank water to straight tap, and I didn’t want them falling into my larger tanks and drowning because of that craving. So I threw up my hands and said “To hell with it!” and just gave them their own. :)

    I hope that answers your question….but maybe not, LOL! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/Toxed2loss Toxed2loss

    Drat the auto correct! That was supposed to be “aireating.” @@

  • http://www.facebook.com/Toxed2loss Toxed2loss

    Air eating it?! That’s soooo great! I love it!!!! That should reduce bacteria! Does it? I have to know?!! GFETE

  • Marie

    But what you did is a great idea too, especially if they want to play in it! LOL.

  • Marie

    Yeah, it’s like I made them a fountain for $20. I attached a Tetra Whisper filter to the short end of it, and the water constantly moves and gets filtered. I figure if it can keep a fish alive, then it’s more than safe for a cat (or a dog) to drink.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Toxed2loss Toxed2loss

    Oh, good practical idea, Marie! I didn’t think of that. :-) I’m using a stainless bowl that just happens to fit in the old plastic waterer’s base, once I separated the parts. I have one that likes to play in the water bowl and that made it more stable.

  • Marie

    Oh, and a small glass fish tank for their water. :)

  • Marie

    My kitties get stainless steel flat bowls for their food for those very reasons, thanks for the more in-depth explanation why plastic isn’t good though. I didn’t know the specifics.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Toxed2loss Toxed2loss

    Oh dear, I didn’t proof read very well. I meant to say “scum builds up faster…” darn auto correct!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Toxed2loss Toxed2loss

    I’d like to add a couple of environmental concerns… The material of the bowl should be something like metal, glass or ceramic, not plastic or any petroleum based material. Plastics leach a number of toxic substances depending on their composition. Some have recently been in the media, like BPA, others, not so much like phthalates, dioxins and acrylimides.

    Years ago, I used to use one of those water fountains that are made of plastic because we had several dogs. I noticed a couple of things. Scum builds up after and the dogs drank less. I realized after I became chemically hypersensitive it was because they could smell/taste the nasty petroleum/chemical. I could smell it, too. Back then, I didn’t know what I was smelling, but I figured petroleum by-products can’t be good. Running plastic through the dishwasher and harsh detergents makes them breakdown, and therefore leach faster. I switched out to a ‘smaller’ (compared to a couple of gallons) metal bowl, that I rinse and fill several times a day. It’s a little more work, but a lot healthier for the dog. So please consider a large metal, glass or ceramic water dish. :-) (people shouldn’t use plastic with food/drinks either, for the same reasons.)

  • monkey

    The idea behind the big bowl is the germs are less concentrated, more of the water is fresh.

  • Robby

    Great article. I’m one of those owners who just takes giving Water to your Dog for granted.
    Why an oversized water bowl though? All my Dogs bowls are on the small side.
    Might be time to get him a big one lol.

  • Michelle

    Gordon, no, I don’t hate you! (or Jonathan aka dog food ninja) I learned from that debate, that I shouldn’t argue or try to change anyone’s mind, or their beliefs. To each their own, live and let live, whatever trips your trigger.LOL

  • Gordon

    Oh OK Shameless. I didn’t know that. I’ll check it out, thanks.

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Gordon – Funny! No, white tea isn’t “normal tea that you add milk to”. White tea is better than green tea, in most respects.
    White Tea vs. Green Tea
    “White tea is tea leaves that are picked before they open fully, when the buds are still covered in fine, white hairs.” and “studies have shown that the young, white tea leaves retain antioxidants in higher concentrations than green tea does. Studies have shown that white tea has a concentration of antioxidants that is three times higher than in green tea.”
    [Link to malware infected website removed by Moderator]

  • Gordon

    That’s where I heard the name before, Michelle! You’re right, that is where the name originates from, I dare say.

    You’re going to hate me Michelle, but I’m another who believes in Darwin’s theory of evolution. But I don’t want to get into argument here like yous did under another thread between you, DFN, and Antonio, that I intentionally, chose not to participate in, because it is a sensitive subject to many.

  • Michelle

    Hey Gordon, I “borrowed” Trinity from the Bible. It stands for Father, Son, Holy Spirit. 3 in 1.

  • Gordon

    But I’m not regretting drinking green tea either. I do drink white tea sometimes. Actually, you mean normal tea that you add milk to, or another tea, Shameless?

    Green tea has done wonders for my health, as it has for my parents. I can’t ignore anecdotal and empirical experience. I haven’t had the flu since the 90′s and my immune system is as strong as ever. I’m not arguing that it doesn’t have or have fluoride in it, as that’s new news to me. But then I haven’t actually scientifically, researched into it.

  • Gordon

    That’s right! North Carolina is where I heard on the news that Irene was going to hit, and not Florida. DFN might be bunkering down as we speak (write).

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Gordon – Drink WHITE tea! You won’t regret it!
    We attended 8 tea seminars during our 15-day cruise a couple of months ago. I learned more about tea than I ever imagined there was to know!
    “Tea plants accumulate fluoride in their leaves over time, so the oldest leaves contain the most fluoride, while the youngest contain the least. Therefore, white tea (which is made from youngest leaves and buds) is your best bet if you’re trying to take in as little fluoride as possible.”#
    http://www.greentealibrary.com/GT%20&%20Fluoride%20-%20Article.htm

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Gettin kinda personal huh Gordon ? ! –
    Michelle is right, tub or shower :=) I take QUICK showers. Hopefully next year, the fluoridation will cease in our county. FYI – some areas of Florida don’t have water fluoridation.

    As of 2004, per that article by Suzin – “Whole house filtration is necessary if your water supply is fluoridated because there is no shower filter on the market capable of removing fluoride”.

    I have enough cash for Real Food, but … no, I’m not in the wealthy category of having excess funds to purchase a whole house water filtration system, just like I don’t have hurricane shutters, or a house alarm system (dog does that job!)

    Hurricane Irene hit North Carolina (DFN Jonathan?) and is heading north. We have nice breezy weather here on the west coast of Florida. http://www.weather.com/

  • Gordon

    Haha no worries, I know. Yeah, I guess if one is at least vigilant, one can do what they can to avoid fluoride where they can. But hey, I love my green tea with manuka honey of 10+ activity. It’s what I always say, and that is, where ever there’s good, there’s also going to be some bad.

    I like “Trinity” as a name. That’s a cool girl name for a bitch. It’s a nice name obviously for human females as well. It’s unique as well, as I don’t hear it often.

  • Michelle

    Gordon, thought I saw a hand in that pic. Trinity is very well behaved and obedient, thanks for noticing. Yeah, I believe her water is fluoridated.I think limiting exposure, as much as possible is the answer, I don’t think anyone can totally avoid fluoride. Jk about the tub/shower, smart ass, I know.

  • Gordon

    fluridate was meant to be fluoridated.

  • Gordon

    I couldn’t get my JRT to pose for a proper portrait like you have with your Lab, Michelle, so I used my left hand as extra support when prompting her to keep her face straight. Terriers just have “ants in their pants”.

    I know a tub or shower, lol. But doesn’t Florida supply fluridate water. At least, that’s what Shameless stated before. So I was wondering how one would avoid cleaning themselves in it?

    Speaking of Florida, had that cyclone Irene, passed through yet?

  • Michelle

    Gordon, probably a tub or shower. lol . Silly, I know. Btw, cute pic!

  • Gordon

    The problem is, no matter how much you try and avoid fluoride, you’re unfortunately, going to still consume it in one way or another, via different food, skin care, etc products. Not all, but I’d imagine it would be impossible to avoid it entirely, given you just can’t stop manufacturers using not filters in their water supply, as just one example as how you may sill get it.

  • Shawna

    Michelle,

    Too true.. A lot of commercial raw products AND home users feed bone or bone meal though… :( The only way I see to avoid it is to source ALL your, for raw feeders, raw meaty bones from non-fluoridated areas..?? Maybe I’m over thinking it though… Wouldn’t be the first time :)

  • Michelle

    Shawna, another great reason not to use cheap dog foods that contain “bone meal” and “animal by-products”. Not to mention all the other junk they throw in!

  • Gordon

    Wow. So we can’t even drink tea now? Man, what are we ever to do? What do you use to bath or shower in Shameless?

  • Shawna

    Environmental Working Group found high levels in bone meal (and therefore dog foods) too.

    “Dog Food Comparison Shows High Fluoride Levels
    Eight major national brands marketed for both puppies and adults contained fluoride in amounts between 1.6 and 2.5 times higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum legal dose in drinking water, and higher than amounts associated with bone cancer in young boys in a 2006 study by Harvard scientists (Bassin 2006). All 8 brands contain bone meal and animal byproducts, the likely source of the fluoride contamination.” http://www.ewg.org/pets/fluorideindogfood

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Good find Michelle – - Bathing is risky if you live in a water-fluoridated community!
    I know Suzin Stockton, the author of the article you referenced. She was on our anti-fluoridation team in our county in 2003.

    Another problem Suzin describes is fluoride in FOOD:
    “Some foods are naturally high in fluoride. Tea is an example, with one cup of black tea containing 69 ppm and a cup of green tea having 88 ppm: That translates into 17.25mg and 22mg per cup, respectively. This far exceeds the 1mg per day figure cited above. Juices (especially grape, which has been found to contain up to 6.8mg/L), beer, sodas and other canned beverages are also typically high in fluoride.”#

    An interesting side-bar quote:
    “It is well documented that environmental contaminants such as fluorides are absorbed readily both through the skin and by inhalation … Studies by Drs. H.S. Brown, D.R. Bishop and C.A. Rowan in the early 1980s demonstrated that an average of 64% of the total dose of waterborne contaminants, such as fluoride, are absorbed through the skin. (American Journal of Public Health 1984; 74: 479-84) —Fluoride: Drinking Ourselves to Death, Barry Groves, pp. 275-265″#

  • Michelle

    Hi, another concern is that fluoride is absorbed through the skin. So brushing would give it instant access to the bloodstream. http://www.healthcarealternatives.net/removingfluoride.htm

  • Shawna

    OOPS, sorry Shameless, I didn’t watch the video you linked. Just remember seeing it and opened my big mouth…

    Have a great night!!

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Shawna – The 5-minute video link I listed above has a dentist describing the concerns, as well as he also has a demonstration of a pea-size glob of toothpaste:
    http://products.mercola.com/water-fluoridation-dvd/

  • Shawna

    Mercola also has a video discussing fluoride in toothpaste.. He cautions against fluoride in toothpaste too. Says if you do use it to make sure you use the recommended amount only which is (from the demonstration given) smaller then pea sized.

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Michelle – Glad to know this provided some beneficial information for you.

    Topical application of fluoride isn’t as controversial as ingesting fluoride. As stated in the Mercola article “When topically applied (e.g., through the use of toothpaste), pharmaceutical-grade fluoride can help prevent tooth decay. However, fluoride that is ingested provides little to no preventative protection against tooth decay.”

    Toothpaste fluoride is pharmaceutical grade. Fluoride added to municipal water is generally a contaminant byproduct of the phosphate industry.

    Water fluoridation is one of my Pet Peeves, especially because we lost the fight in our county seven years ago. Our county commissioners are currently considering stopping fluoridation. Why? Not because water fluoridation causes harm, but because of budget constraints!

    I notice that a different video is now at the link. It’s about 5 minutes:
    “Is Your Water Loaded with Drugs?”
    http://products.mercola.com/water-fluoridation-dvd/

  • Michelle

    Shameless, Thanks for bringing up the facts about fluoride. I have now switched to “Tom’s Of Maine” fluoride free toothpaste for us as well as our 6 yr old son. And will also take a pass on the dentists recommended fluoride treatments as well. Also I have switched to water from local springs for us and the dogs as well. Luckily, when my son was on formula, spring water was used as well as organic baby food. Always wondered why he seemed more intelligent than kids his age. lol. Probably just me, being a proud mom. So anyway, thanks for the info.

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Most dentists I know (I work for a dental surgeon, my only ‘client’ I kept since retiring – mostly because he’s so nice and so very cool) when you have a heart-to-heart chat with them, they support TOPICAL fluoride application only and admit that fluoride ingestion is not recommended. Of course, few will go public with their views. In our county, it was only a few of the ‘alternative’ holistic dentists who had the courage to speak publicly about the risks and ineffectiveness of water fluoridation.
    Some bottled water companies now put fluoride in some of their water offerings. And most people don’t pay attention!
    My dog doesn’t consent to being drugged via his doggie water bowl!

  • Gordon

    Actually, great idea Shameless! I think Mike should attempt to see whether he could post the video stream as a category fixture to this site. I wonder what Mike’s stand on fluoride is? Is it conventional, or does he keep an open mind on its disadvantages? I know he wrote once (which my own dentist also states) that it is mostly the brushing action/friction that does the most in cleaning off teeth debris than what is in the toothpaste itself.

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Too true Gordon – about government puppets…….
    Our county government was a tad bit embarrassed when they voted to medicate us by adding fluoride to the water supply. It was a 180 degree turn from their decades-long stance on the issue. The problem? They forgot to remove their archived website information touting the risks and ineffectiveness of fluoridation. The archived articles stated the opposite of their new stance. All of a sudden, fluoridation is ‘safe and effective’ when it previously wasn’t.

    Last day to watch the film for FREE: Fluoride Awareness Week
    Professional Perspectives – Fluoride and Medical Ethics
    “… fluoridation is neither safe nor effective.”
    http://products.mercola.com/water-fluoridation-dvd/

    More info – http://www.fluoridealert.org/

    Maybe Mike, being a dentist, can get permission to post the film on DFA?

  • Gordon

    I just watched that video, Shameless, and it correlates with what I suspected, at least regarding the effects on the IQ of babies ingesting fluoridated water.

    It’s incredible just how government can consider a substance in one form, a pollutant, and yet in another form i.e. sold to water authorities to add to the water supply, an acceptable commodity.

    Governments are ruled by transnational corporation and world bankers, and are just puppets. For example, the Australian government banned ethanol use in petrol (What yous refer to gas, short for gasoline) (petrol is short for petroleum) in the mid to late 90′s, citing 10% ethanol formulated petrol can cause damage to vehicles, and yet they reintroduced the allowance of ethanol formulation in petrol in around 2006 I think, citing it’s OK and will save on diminishing petrol reserves and increases in petrol prices thanks to western world’s thirst for middle east oil reserves. An amasing about-face.

    Governments are nothing more than puppets to world bankers and transnational corporations.

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    August 13th is the last day for FREE film preview – in celebration of Fluoride Awareness Week
    Professional Perspectives – Fluoride and Medical Ethics
    “… fluoridation is neither safe nor effective.”
    http://products.mercola.com/water-fluoridation-dvd/
    Did you know that no doctor could ever do to you what your local water company is likely doing to you right now?
    That’s because it is illegal and unethical for a doctor to:
    • Prescribe you a drug without your consent…
    • Give you a drug in a non-specific dosage…
    • Fail to monitor the effects of that drug upon you…
    Yet, your water authority can load up your tap water with a “one size fits all” fluctuating dose of a drug – fluoride – and deliver it to you without your consent and without any way of knowing who in your household is drinking it, how much, and how it’s affecting you.

  • Gordon

    Yeah Michelle – I wouldn’t put it past our governments.

    I could tell you something else I believe too, but it may offend some people so I will refrain.

    Oh I forgot about that video Shameless. Going to watch it soon as in the next 20 minutes.

  • http://www.whosyourvet.com Sandi
  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Dogtor J (John B. Symes, D.V.M.) http://dogtorj.com/
    – has a fluoride warning article “Coming Soon to DogtorJ.com”:
    Fluoride – Public Chemical #1 – This paper will hopefully make you run right out and buy a fluoride water filter…at least. It is my hope that it will also make the reader ask deeper questions, such as “Why do most dentists support the fluoridation of our public water?” Now that’s a deep rabbit hole. Oh…and it’s the fluoride in grapes and raisins that is responsible for those canine deaths resulting from “grape poisoning“. #

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/08/07/professional-perspectives-documentary.aspx
    Professional Perspectives – Fluoride and Medical Ethics
    “… fluoridation is neither safe nor effective.”
    FREE film preview through August 13th in celebration of Fluoride Awareness Week (Aug 7 – 13)

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    It appears that the shortcut link to the fluoride video has been deleted, but the video can be accessed through Dr. Mercola’s website:
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/08/07/professional-perspectives-documentary.aspx

    Professional Perspectives – Fluoride and Medical Ethics
    “… fluoridation is neither safe nor effective.”
    FREE film preview through August 13th in celebration of Fluoride Awareness Week (Aug 7 – 13)

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Good question Michelle – “If fluoride is so poisonous, and we shouldn’t swallow it, why does the government put it in our water?”
    This is a question that should be answered honestly and responsibly by government leaders. But most of them consistently lie. Why? Follow the money. . .

    > > Learn to protect your dog from ingesting fluoride in tap water – 4 more days to watch free video:

    Professional Perspectives – Fluoride and Medical Ethics
    “… fluoridation is neither safe nor effective.”
    http://vimeo.com/26777907
    FREE film preview through August 13th in celebration of Fluoride Awareness Week (Aug 7 – 13)

    More info – http://www.fluoridealert.org/

  • Michelle

    Gordon, I agree, dumbing us down would make us easier to control…… I always wondered why it says on fluoride toothpaste DO NOT SWALLOW, “if more than used for brushing is swallowed, call poison control center” or “supervise children under 3 to eliminate swallowing”. If fluoride is so poisonous,and we shouldn’t swallow it, why does the government put it in our water?

  • Gordon

    Our Sydney water supply is fluoridated, Shameless. I’m not sure how much of a level in the H2O, though, compared with other cities, but I think my water is something like 0.000009 of fluoride to water (Not sure of, to what volume), and can’t be bothered looking it up right now. Thanks for the link. I don’t have time now to view it, but will in the next 24 hours.

    One of the long term effects of fluoride in water may cause us to be somewhat dumber. Maybe that’s a method of control collaborated by government conspiracies. Who knows? May not be as far fetched as it sounds.

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Gordon – Is your tap water fluoridated? Did you watch the video?
    Professional Perspectives – Fluoride and Medical Ethics http://vimeo.com/26777907
    FREE to view this week August 7 through 13 – Fluoride Awareness Week
    It’s best to watch the entire 28 minutes, but if you’re short on time, at least watch the last few minutes, from 24:50.

  • Gordon

    I was born 3 years before the official end of the war yous are probably referring to. I give my dog tap water, because I don’t have any other choice at the moment. Personally I use tap water from showering to brushing my teeth to shaving to washing the dishes and of course, the washing machine which uses tap water.

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Hi Richard – A bit young, but not by much. That was my older brother with the STOP WAR signs after my oldest brother enlisted! I’ve participated in my share of war protests since then.

  • http://brotherscomplete.com Richard Darlington

    Shameless

    “During my fluoridation protest days,”

    I thought so…a combination of Mother Earth and Ralph Nadar…did I see you in the anti-war rallies or were you too young? Were you the young girl running around town painting all the STOP signs with the word “WAR” in white just below the STOP?

    The only thing I use tap water for in Florida is washing dishes and taking showers , and I’m not too happy about that.

    Back in Pa., on an emerald green hillside overlooking my pond, I had a well 200 feet deep in solid granite with a natural cistern that collected the water after it filtered through the granite. It was clean, clear and full of tasty and nutritious minerals.

    When I ran a bath for my 8 year old son down here in Florida he took one look at the murky water and said, “You don’t expect me to get in that, do you dad?” to which I just sighed and pulled the drain plug. Like dog food in this country…so many things, supposedly regulated for the better, have degenerated into an unhealthy mess.

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Fluoride Awareness Week – - Has your dog been prescribed fluoride? Probably not! Is your dog ingesting toxic fluoride in tap water every day?
    Ever since my municipal water supply was fluoridated in 2004, we don’t drink the poison tap water.

    Professional Perspectives – Fluoride and Medical Ethics
    “… fluoridation is neither safe nor effective.”
    FREE film preview through August 13th in celebration of Fluoride Awareness Week (Aug 7 – 13):
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/08/07/professional-perspectives-documentary.aspx

    During my fluoridation protest days, I rallied with Paul Connett, PhD and William Hirzy, PhD, who are featured in the film.

    More info – http://www.fluoridealert.org/

  • Meagan

    I bought a 3 gallon auto water for my dogs mainly because my big dog would drink my little dogs water dry out of her bowl but not even finish his own water. well she doesn’t like this auto water. the big one will use it all the time at least.

  • Elisabeth

    I give my dogs a bowl of dry dog with a lots of water in it,
    They have to drink it before eating solids. The solid food does not get soggy as they quickly eat everything up.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Jonathan… Not familiar with that watering dish design. But since you work in a pet store, I’d defer that judgment to you. My only (low tech) recommendation about water is to change it frequently to use the largest water dish you can physically manage.

  • Jonathan

    So I have a 2 gallon gravity fed watering dish for Sadie. That’s no good?

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Candy… Water consumption is important. But usually “automatic” and based upon your pet’s natural urge to drink. Looks like a question for your vet.

  • Candy

    Hi Mike,

    My mini Schnauzer has this problem… she does’t drink water when no one is at home. She’s left alone at home when me & my husband are out for work. Her first meal is in the morning at 7.45am and she’ll drink some water to quench her thirst after meal. This will last her till evening when we both came back, fed her at 7.30pm and she’ll drink water after meal. We knew she didn’t drink because the water level is the same. Another round will be after her daily evening walk and a little bit more before bedtime.
    Normally she sleeps through the day, is it because of zzz… she doesn’t feel thirsty? I really have no idea how to teach her to drink water when we are not at home. Even for peeing, she’ll do once in the morning and the next will only be when we are back at 7pm.

    Candy

  • Michael

    Don’t forget how well pet water fountain’s can work. Good for cat’s with bladder infections and keeping water fresh. I had the Drinkwell (?) Big Dog Fountain. Worked great, clean at least every other week or so. Replaceable filters available making this a good long-term investment for your loved ones.

    Cheers

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Holly… there’s some debate on this issue. Most believe withholding water during nighttime (sleep) hours is a valuable aid when housebreaking a puppy. Others believe denying water to any animal (for any reason) is unhealthy (even cruel). You may want to check with an ethical breeder… or your vet.

  • Holly

    Mike – am I correct in assuming that for a puppy (4 months old) it is ok to not provide water during the overnight sleeping hours (11 pm – 6 am)? Or do you disagree?

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Thanks for your interesting tip, Nadine.

  • http://www.TheHealingArtOfPetParenthood.com Nadine M. Rosin

    Great info and important point! I would also add that it’s best to use a stainless steel or glass bowl. Plastic and ceramic can leach harmful chemicals into the water.