Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★½☆

Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Dog Food earns the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain product line includes four dry dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Nature’s Domain Grain Free Turkey Meal and Sweet Potato
  • Nature’s Domain Grain Free Salmon Meal and Sweet Potato
  • Nature’s Domain Grain Free Organic Chicken and Pea (3 stars)
  • Nature’s Domain Grain Free Beef Meal and Sweet Potato (3 stars)

Nature’s Domain Grain Free Turkey Meal and Sweet Potato was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Kirkland Signature Nature's Domain Grain Free Turkey Meal and Sweet Potato

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 27% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 50%

Ingredients: Turkey meal, sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, canola oil, potato protein, potato fiber, natural flavor, flaxseed, ocean fish meal, salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, Yucca schidigera extract, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis24%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis27%16%50%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%33%44%

The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey meal. Turkey meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh turkey.

The second ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.

The third ingredient is peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The fourth ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fifth ingredient is canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.

Yet others cite the fact canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.

In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.

The sixth ingredient is potato protein, the dry residue remaining after removing the starchy part of a potato.

Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The seventh ingredient is potato fiber, a source of dietary fiber. Fiber in reasonable amounts can help stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce a dog food’s caloric content.

After the natural flavor, we find flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With three notable exceptions

First, we note the use of ocean fish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.

Next, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

And lastly, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain looks like an above-average dry dog food.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 27%, a fat level of 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 50%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 26% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 51% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, potato protein and flaxseed in this recipe and the plant-based protein boosters in the others, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing just a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of various named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.

Recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

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Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

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To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

08/28/2014 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Jane

    Every breeder who requires their puppy buyers to use Life Abundance gets a kickback in free food and $. The same issue with NuVet. In order to buy the product, one needs to use the breeder’s code so the breeder gets free product and money. The breeders post their code all over their website. Even if I wanted to buy NuVet, I would have to use someone else’s code. The breeder is happy anonymous people use the NuVet code because he/she gets credit for all the NuVet that I buy. So, you are incorrect. the company and breeder benefit in this pyramid scheme.

  • Stephanie Ward

    no, A pyramid scheme is when people at the top make all the money and no one down the line makes any money plus pyramid scheme’s are illegal. While I don’t agree breeders should require people to feed a certain food, they must believe in the life’s abundance food if they were to include it in their guarantee. Because the cost of replacing a puppy would definitely outweigh any small amounts they would get from selling a few bags of food.
    And why is it OK for pet companies to market their food all over the TV etc. but it’s not OK for distributors to market a food they believe in?
    It seems that some people are just too cynical and are not open to possibilities outside of TVland

  • Jane

    Absolutely, ridiculous to say Life’s Abundance is the only safe food. I would buy so many other brands before Life’s Abundance. However, anything that is a pyramid scheme…I avoid. Everyone…are you listening.. Stay away from Life’s Abundance.

  • Jane

    The Nature’s Domain is better than any of those other brands you mentioned. Stick with the Salmon…but it also might be good to mix both. Variety is the spice of life!

  • Jane

    I have used Nature’s Domain for many, many years without a problem. I am in Southern California. I usually buy the Salmon..blue bag. With my new Golden Retriever Rescue Puppy, I was going to switch but it is way too expensive with a 25 or 28lb bag.. Right now, I am mixing ND Salmon (usually more) and Orijen Large Puppy. Orijen is ridiculously expensive and I usually put other healthy foods in the dry dog food along with salmon oil, virgin olive oil, cooked egg, brocoli, carrots, apples… I even bought the joint medicine from Costco and just give it to him since he is a rescue. Last week, the small pet store in my town was having discounts on various dog foods, treats for 8 days. I had gone in for some samples of zignature. The next day, I got this email so I bought two large bags. I’ll mix the Nature’s Domain with this dog food. I’ll make the transition slowly but the dog does fine with me introducing different foods I bought the salmon which is rated 4.5 and the other which is the only one rated 5. I will definitely try to give the dog variety with a staple. He gets exercised each day. I have brought him to the dog park and he is doing well. He does lie on the floor by me while I work and is not disruptive. Maybe it is the food LOL! People…don’t go crazy..Just make sound decisions and your dog will be fine. Good Luck everyone.

  • Jane

    It’s called a Pyramid Scheme.

  • Jane

    Life’s Abundance gives a kick back to breeders that recommend it. The same nonsense with the NutraVet, the vitamins. These are basically pyramid schemes. Breeders often say that they won’t give a health guarantee unless the buyers use these products.

  • Jane

    Life’s Abundance gives a kick back to breeders that recommend it. The same nonsense with the NutraVet. These are basically pyramid schemes.

  • Pitlove

    Oh I know. I kinda figured that out after my post when I saw the multiple other posts from “Tammy”. I thought she was serious at first, but then I learned

  • Pitlove

    Yeah they seem to be popping up everywhere I’ve noticed.

  • aquariangt

    Life’s Abundance are individual resell type of people. They are directly tied into their own profits, so they come on here to try and sell, sell, sell! The food is average at best, so it’s interesting how hard they try, but it’s a semi good location from them to jump into

  • Thatcoolguy

    Yay, the cavalry is here!

  • Thatcoolguy

    Yes it is 100% marketing. Just ignore the troll/scammer. You’re obviously doing your homework on your dog’s food since you’re here. Just read the reviews here and make an informed choice about your dog’s food.

  • Pitlove

    Thank you Dr. Mike!!

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    Before posting any further comments on this website, please be sure to read our Commenting Policy which states:

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  • Pitlove

    So you are implying that Life’s Abundance is the only safe food because it does not have a long shelf life? So where is the food stored before it is delivered straight to your door? How long ago was it made before being bagged and delivered? what is the average expiration date on every bag of food? If Lifes Abundance doesn’t use Ethoxyquin to preserve the food what do they use? And if all the companies lie about it being in the ingredient list, why should anyone believe this company is any different?

    I agree that Diamond products have their issues, but implying that no other products besides one are safe is just marketing.

    edit: Oh right this is a troll. gotcha.

  • Tammy

    Go to http://www.naturalandsafepets.com Go to dog food and click where it says compare your dog food. in the drop down window you will see Fromm There is information you should see.

  • Tammy

    Blue Buffalo has been recalled and. Bought out by one of the $billion that could care less about your pet!! http://www.PetLink2Life.com Learn at your leisure, do your due diligence for the safety and health of your pet. No Joke!!!

  • Tammy

    The answer is not any commercial pet foods. ww.PetLink2Like.com

  • Tammy

    See the entire list of recalls and educational videos explaining what to look for and where. commercial brands are dangerous period! http://www.PetLink2Life.com Will set you on the right road with your pets!!!

  • Tammy

    again, use the blog at http://www.naturalandsafepets.com listen to one of the most widely respected and recognized eats in the nation talk about Shedding/ Skin conditions/ Raw Diets etc. 16 years of education here!!!!!

  • Tammy

    Go to website http://www.naturalandsafepets.com and put the subject Raw food diet in. Listen to the most highly respected Holistic vet/Scientist in the nation speak about why Raw or making your own is dangerous for your pet!!!

  • Tammy

    been recalled. don’t be fooled by commercial brands life is too short already for our four legged friends. do yourself a favor and get the best, it’s guaranteed. http://www.PetLink2Life.com

  • Tammy

    Go to the websit http://www.PetLink2Life.com Watch the videos, then scroll down to the Lifesabundance now area look at the Blog. Raw diets are dangerous, put the subject in and see for yourself as the most respected Holistic Vet/Scientist explains why. My Best to you

  • Tammy

    don’t take chances with store bought food for a dozen reasons… Watch informational short videos explaining what is a safe and nutritious pet food. what should you look for and how will you actually know if it’s ingredients are still active? http://www.Petlink2Life.com

  • Tammy

    the Kirkland products have been recalled and will likely continue! see Post above…

  • Tammy

    Nothing made by the Diamond company is safe. You’ll see ongoing recalls all the time. the only safe Pet food in the U.S. Is Lifesabundance which is only delivered to your home and only in the U.S. wish I could give you a store bought safe product. It there are none. they all have extremely long shelf lives therefore require chemicals like Ethoxyqin (rubber stabilizer form Monsanto) to be added before the raw ingredients. there’s the loophole in legally avoiding writing it in the list of ingredients! Very sad but true. Kirkland brands are made by Diamond. see the best and read why, it will help you. http://www.PetLink2Life.com

  • Jaime Vázquez

    Hi, all!
    I have a 1yo Bobtail and we’re just starting to switch from “Puppy Food” to “Adult’s Food”. Here in Mexico we have a good offer of premium & super premium dog food (Eukanuba, Diamond, Hills, Royal Canin, etc) but it’s really expensive and hard to find (sometimes distributors just come and go). I’ve been doing some research about Kirkland’s Natural Domain Line (dry food Salmon & Turkey) and here In Mexico it’s a good option, specially talking about price-benefit-Quality (we can buy it also in Costco), better when we read it’s manufactured by Diamond.

    I only have a question, and just to clarify:

    Reading comments about Ill dogs, seizures, diarreas, etc, seems that it’s all related to “Cans food” (non-dry). Can anyone just confirm? We really love our Cooper and we don’t want to see him Ill.

    Today I just bought one 18kg bag of Nature’s Domain Turkey and Sweet Potato. We get the salmon option, so we can change it.

    I’ll really appreciate your comments and help. Thanks!

    Cheers from Querétaro, Mexico! ✌️

  • LabsRawesome

    An informational video with details on the new probiotics in Kirkland Signature and Nature’s Domain. http://www.kirklandsignaturepetsupplies.com/guaranteed-probiotics

  • LabsRawesome

    Oh, I didn’t notice that the op used a hashtag. Yes, they are useless on DFA. lol.

  • Thatcoolguy

    I’m making fun of his superfluous use of hashtags here, on Dog Food Advisor, where they are #completelyuseless. I think it’s so stupid how people use them everywhere. Just type out what you want to communicate. It’s not hard.

  • LabsRawesome

    Uuummm whats with all the hashtags?

  • Crazy4dogs

    I’ve seen and read a lot on various bacteria, fungal, viral issues. My dogs also eat dirt in the yard that’s loaded with wildlife. What’s the bacteria possibility in that? (Rhetorical question)

  • Crazy4dogs

    I actually buy certified humane, free range eggs.

  • Jane

    Look, I understand that some people feel it is safe to feed dogs raw eggs. I get it that some feel dogs are well equipped to handle the bacteria in raw foods. However, the health of the hen is also important, so it is best to choose eggs from organic, free-range chickens. Now, maybe if you had your own chickens it might be different and you could give your dogs fresh eggs. Anyway, Proper storage and keeping the eggs cool will also go a long way toward keeping the harmful bacteria at a manageable level. You never know how old those eggs really are. Haven’t you ever seen those documentaries about dates on eggs. However, if someone if feeding Nature’s Domain, most likely it is because the cost is lower than many other brands so I doubt that the raw eggs given to the dog are organic. Salmonella poisoning is important since most all (not all) of the recalls are do to salmonella poisoning found in chicken. Why gamble when it comes to your dog?

  • KB Smith

    I started feeding my Aussie’s this food in June-within a couple of days, the 3 year old started exhibiting neurological problems; salivating, dilated pupils, anxiety, vomiting, diarrhea-thought it was exposure to algae in creek that both dogs were swimming in that day. Vets couldn’t isolate the cause but indicated toxicity from unidentified source, kept him in hospital for 2 nights with fluids, charcoal and after about two weeks, he recovered. Wondered about correlation to new food, but thought that was a long shot and unlikely. 2 1/2 year old aussie had gastro symptoms but not neuro symptoms. After reading the posts here, I am thinking it probably was the food. Forest service tested the creek for toxins and were not able to find any.

  • Russ1six3

    He’s been on strictly kibble for the past two months. Seen his coat go from nice to shedding like crazy. So I’m just going to start him back on TOTW Sat-Sun and Raw Mon-Fri

  • Russ1six3

    Thank you. Yeah think I’m just going to continue my old ways and give him Raw Mon-Fri and TOTW Saturday & Sunday.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Dogs digestive tracts, as long as they are healthy, can handle salmonella. We are the ones who can have issues. If you follow with a clean up and disinfect any contaminated areas, there shouldn’t be a problem.

    I do feed my dogs raw whole eggs. If using egg whites only, they need to be gently cooked. I’ve never had any issues.

    Do you ever cook raw eggs for your family? The same hygiene rules would apply. The severe, fatal cases are infrequent and generally only apply to those that are immune compromised.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Raw is a really good way to feed your dogs as long as you’re either using a commercial raw that’s nutritionally complete or are carefully balancing it and following a nutritionally complete raw diet. If not, you might want to supplement to ensure there are no dietary deficiencies as they don’t show up until there are issues.

  • Thatcoolguy

    Yeah that’s a great food. Also a Diamond product but everyone I’ve talked to who has used it really liked it. If you’re willing to do raw, it’s probably best, but that has to get expensive and laborious after a while. Plus I’ve heard it’s easy to miss adequate amounts of micronutrients with a raw diet. It’s difficult to do. I would give Taste of the Wild another try. You can rotate through their different selections every once in a while.

  • Russ1six3

    I was giving him Taste of the Wild before also. Maybe I’ll go back to that. I was giving him raw Mon-Fri and kibble on weekends. That seemed to work fine. I’ll just go back to my day 1 food. Thanks a lot bro. Really appreciate the feed back

  • Thatcoolguy

    You #know there’s a #lot of #different food on the #spectrum between #Kirkland #and feeding your #dog #raw. Kirkland #Nature’s Domain is #probably on the lower #end of good #dog #foods. #Maybe step it up a #notch and try #something higher #quality before #ditching #kibble.

  • Russ1six3

    I’m feeding my American Bully the Turkey Natures Domain and he is shedding way more now. I was feeding him raw before. Thought I’d try something else because of how hard it was to get the raw food. Wrong choice! Will be going back to #PerformanceRawDiet ASAP

  • Jane

    Exposure to salmonella is a risk associated with raw eggs, not only to dogs but also to their humans. The salmonella bacteria can cause fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. In severe cases they can be fatal.

  • Tahoedirt

    Why not- what’s wrong with raw egg ??

    Sent from my iPad

  • Jane

    Why would you use a raw egg?

  • Pitlove

    Yeah, I have read a lot about training them and know they can be very stubborn and domineering so you need to train them and have complete command of them from 8 weeks on. I’ve met 3 so far, 2 adults and one puppy and they were so sweet and statuesque. The first one I met was a blue brindle and the owner said she took 2 seperate advanced training courses with him. He was extremely well behaved.

  • aquariangt

    heh, I’ve worked with one, they’re a handful. Awesome dog though, and I don’t see many of em

  • Pitlove

    Cane Corso :)

  • aquariangt

    Heh, what breed? I’m not planning on straying from my finicky herders anytime soon

  • Pitlove

    rofl. my Bentley would be a lot for you to handle. he licks my face and wants to lay in my lap and takes up the whole bed when he sleeps with us. the next dog we are getting from what i’ve read, if bred correctly has a much less hyper temperment and is more medium to low level energy.

  • aquariangt

    it’s weird, isn’t it? My reasoning for not getting a pit is the exact opposite of why people don’t get them. A dog that feels the need to be everybody’s best friend isn’t right for me, haha.

  • Pitlove

    All pitbull breeds are my absolute favorite dogs. They are so loving and loyal. Very sad that they often get passed up in shelters because of the stereotypes of the breed. Thank you for taking one of those pit mixes :)

  • Tahoedirt

    My McNab has a little pit in her- It’s almost impossible to adopt a dog from a shelter that doesn’t have some pit, but she’s an incredible dog- Thanks

  • Pitlove

    lol thats my pitbull Bentley. our dogs do look very similar

  • Thatcoolguy

    Another great option is Nutrisource. Similarly family-owned, great quality, and their Performance line is a 5* food here on DFA. The price tag is much easier to swallow as well. Available on Chewy and other online dog food stores.

  • Tahoedirt

    That’s amazing- I was wondering how you got a picture of MY dog ?? I’ll check it out- Thanks

  • Pitlove

    Before you switch to BB I’d take a look at the legal trouble they have been in lately. Blue is not the best choice to go to especially for the price tag. Look into Fromm. Never had a recall, family owned and operated company for over 100 years.

  • Tahoedirt

    I just read where this food has previously been recalled- I going to BB Wilderness- I’m not taking a chances with my baby for a few bucks !!

  • Tahoedirt

    I’ve been using this food- Both salmon and turkey with my 2 year old McNab, but I supplement with a couple tbsp of olive oil and either a raw egg or tbsp of cottage cheese every other day- She likes it and her coat is great even in this extra dry air in Tahoe.

  • Thatcoolguy

    At least someone has had a problem with every food ever made.

  • Christine Jenkins

    I have a standard poodle( 1 year old) She has been on a diet of C
    Canned Kirkland turkey and pea and Dry Kirkland Turkey and sweet potato. Both are Natures Domain. Has anyone had problems with this food.

  • Mitch22

    Veracifier, user name on this board is obviously a paid troll for Diamond dog food brands… NOBODY has that much time or interest defending garbage food unless they are paid to do so

  • Shary Texeira

    I have a Bull terrier which has skin conditions from mange to flea allergies. I switched to ND salmon grain free and has been doing great. I do include coconut oil and omega oil also. I haven’t visited the vet ever since.

  • N.M.Giles

    Our 10-year-old beagle loves ND salmon sweet potatoes. He had seizures for nine years. And is now seizure free for one year. He loves his new dog food and we are halfway through the first bag. What we did find out, it was chicken that was his trigger and I’ve been told this by other owners of dogs with seizures. Maybe your treats have chicken in them or chewies?

  • Channelle

    Last week weds day we fed our 3 year old Rottweiler Natures Domain salmon and sweet potatoe. He had 2 seizures that night and one in the morning. We took he to the vet where they did all types of blood test and tests and couldn’t find anything wrong with him. The vet told us to just watch him and if he continues to have them will have to put him on Meds for life. We took him home and tried to feed him again natures domain. He didn’t want to eat it at first and I had to force him . About 45 min later he had another seizure. So we figured it must be the dog food. We switched his dog food bag to what we were previously feeding him, a more expensive brand, and he has not had a seizure since. I don’t know what they are putting in that food but obviously it’s not good for them. We were trying to save $30 on a bag of dog food and ended up spending over $500 in Vet bills. It was one of the most scary things I’ve ever experienced . Watching your dog and feeling so helpless and not knowing what to do. If you love your dogs don’t feed them this.

  • Hap Holiday

    80 dollars a month every two weeks?

  • Babslynne

    it it “old dog” vestibular disease??

  • DogFoodie

    Wow, Eric. I’m sorry to hear that. Whatever the cause, I hope it’s temporary.

  • Eric Bartoszak

    Have you gotten the results back from the test. I am having a very similar problem with my 3 year old bullmastiff. Hind legs are all wobbly tongue hanging partially out of his mouth most of the day. Eyes droopy. Did a bunch of X-rays and all is good with bones and and joints so we ruled out any kind of injury or hip- dysplasia let me know asap. I have taken him off food today hopefully he recovers. Email me if you can [email protected]

  • Colleen

    We had problems in Nov/Dec 2014 with this food. We opened a new bag and our dogs weren’t as excited about eating as they usually are. Still are. But within a few days, our large poodle was puking and having diarrhea. After about a week of a bland diet and some Pepcid, our dog was ok. At that point we changed food.

    A month ago, we decided to give the Nature’s Domain another shot. The first bag, no problems. Last Saturday, when I got a new bag, I noticed that the dogs once again didn’t seem real excited about eating. I should have gone with my instinct to return the bag! By Friday AM, my poodle mix was again puking. Tried to get him on a bland diet again but couldn’t get him to eat anything. On Saturday morning, he had a massive amount of bloody diarrhea. Took him to the emergency vet for fluids and anti-inflammatory meds to try and get his insides back to normal.

    I’m pretty sure it’s the food (since I know my dog didn’t have ask to any items that would be toxic.) It’s just not consistent in quality. We fed it for awhile before having the problems last year and had one good bag this time. Just not worth the risk!

  • Thatcoolguy

    au·top·sy (ô′tŏp′sē, ô′təp-)
    n. pl. au·top·sies
    1. Examination of a cadaver to determine or confirm the cause of death. Also called necropsy, postmortem, postmortem examination.

    autopsy (ˈɔːtəpsɪ; ɔːˈtɒp-)
    n, pl -sies
    1. (Pathology) Also called: necropsy or postmortem examination dissection and examination of a dead body to determine the cause of death

  • theBCnut

    Necropsy, the word you’re looking for is necropsy.

  • Thatcoolguy

    Really? Your dog died because of this food? You’re sure? Is that what the autopsy showed? Oh, right, you didn’t get one. I’m sorry for your loss. However, I’ve seen many dogs eat straight cat poop and be just fine. I can hardly believe a food killed your dog. It’s normal to be upset though.

  • Teresa Andre Hopper

    My dog died from this food last week and I also found that lawsuit. Let me know if you find out anything else. I will back you on this.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I just wanted you to know I was up voting your first sentence about figuring it out, not the no one is talking to me part. :)

  • LabsRawesome

    True. But he wants you to do it. That’s all I’m saying.

  • aimee

    I think anyone can learn to do this, that is why I posted how to do it in the post to Shawna. It is a useful skill to learn.

    “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

  • LabsRawesome

    I’m pretty sure from el doctor’s post that he wants you to figure it out for him. But no one is talking to me so I’ll hop off. :)

  • aimee

    Hi el doctor,

    Go ahead and give it a whirl! If you get stuck I’ll help you.

  • el doctor

    Hi aimee

    These figures are from;

    Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation edited by L. David Mech, Luigi Boitani

    Can you please tell me what the % calories of Fat, Protein and Carbohydrate are. I would like to see how they compare to the dog.

    Thank you!

  • aimee

    That depends on how the carb is presented doesn’t it? When presented as a sugar, as would be found in fruit, carb was selected. Both fat and sugar are palatants. Sugar from fruit though only seasonally available.

  • Shawna

    Of importance to me was that the dogs preferred low carb.

  • aimee

    The one thing from this paper I can’t reconcile is the percent of calories from protein. Using their numbers I calculated 23% yet in the paper they report 30% I don’t understand where that number came from.

    The 23% of calories from protein seems to be the correct number as they said dog milk just meets the AAFCO rec of 22% protein calories.

    “dog milk can be calculated to
    contain 131 kcal ME/100 g.”

    This is what I got when I did the calculation in my previous post and of that calculation 23% of calories were fed as protein .

    The authors go on to say

    “Weaned puppies have been estimated by the Subcommittee on Dog Nutrition, NRC(44) to require 22% protein in the dry matter of a diet containing 3.5-4.0 kcal MEper gram dry matter.”

    They continue “Dog milk contains
    about 131 kcal ME/100 g or 5.77 kcal ME per gram dry matter, a value about 50% above the NRC diet. If dog milk is to meet NRC requirements it should contain 1.5x 22 = 33% protein on a dry matter basis.The protein content of dog milk was indeed found to be 33.4% of dry matter”
    From that statement the authors are reporting dog milk as being in line with NRC requirements of ~23 % of calories as protein.

  • Shawna

    So ME is equivalent to calorie weight. Although I do feed my dogs more protein than this, I’m not opposed to this protein levels in dry foods. Nature’s Variety, as an example, is 31% calorie weighted and 39% dry matter. Orijen is 35% calorie weighted and 42% dry matter. If I add a little salmon oil and coconut oil, the fat calories go up and the protein calories go down and could still be in that sweet spot that you discuss. I’m good with that.

  • Shawna

    I would agree that given the parameters of the studies the dogs’ choice of nutrients similar to mother’s milk is interesting – high fat, moderate protein and low sugar.

    This seems to coincide with what some medical professionals are now considering optimal diets for humans – higher fat, moderate protein and lower carb. Neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter is one of those – “Renowned neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, blows the lid off a topic that’s been buried in medical literature for far too long: carbs are destroying your brain. And not just unhealthy carbs, but even healthy ones like whole grains…. Dr. Perlmutter explains what happens when the brain encounters common ingredients in your daily bread and fruit bowls, why your brain thrives on fat and cholesterol, and how you can spur the growth of new brain cells at any age.” http://www.drperlmutter.com/about/grain-brain-by-david-perlmutter/

    Even Nestle Purina is discovering the benefits of higher fat diets “Cognitive decline is a normal part of ageing in animals and humans and in dogs is associated with behavioural changes similar to dementia in humans. This age-associated decline is closely linked with the decreased ability of the brain cells to utilize glucose. Though glucose is the main source of energy for the brain, brain cells can use ketone bodies as an alternative energy source, which typically occurs during starvation or under the condition of high fat, low carbohydrate diets.” http://www.research.nestle.com/newscenter/news/teachanolddognewtricksnestl%C3%A9scientistsconfirmabeneficialroleofdietarymctsforcognitivefunctioninolderdogs

    If brain cells of the aging dog have a decreased ability to use glucose wouldn’t it make sense that ketones are easier on the body at any age.

  • Germansheppups

    I have a German Shepherd who has food sensitivities to salmon and sweet potatoes (as well as chicken, rice, and lots of other things). Two of my dogs do well on this food, as well as on others, but Miss Allergy Girl is on either the Wegmans Turkey and Pea or California Naturals Venison. I’m thinking of doing raw with her as avoiding some of her triggers can be difficult. She has almost no environmental sensitivities. Hope your pup feels all better.

  • aimee

    Hi Shawna,

    30% ME is equivalent to saying calorie weighted. 30% of the calories come from protein.

    In the numbers you gave to convert to calorie weighted multiply grams protein etc by calories/gram.

    I’m using atwater numbers not the modified ones because I assume high digestibilityso 4 Cal for protein and carb and 9 for fat.

    9.47 grams fat x 9 Cal/ grm = 85.23
    7.53 grms protein x 4Cal/grm=30.12
    3.81 grms carb x 4 Ca/grm =11.7

    Total Cal = 130.6 A bit off from 146 but I” chalking that up to inherent error when measuring such things.

    To determine Calories from protein
    30.12/130.6 = 23%
    Cal from fat 85.23/130.6 = 65%
    Cal from carb 11.7/130.6 = 11.7%

    Milk composition is very variable breed differences and point in lactation. I do have a bookmark on my home computer for a report on effect of changing bitch diet affects milk.. not too much actually. Maybe in the carb dept though I haven’t read it for awhile.

    Referring back to the studies I linked to you see that when allowed to choose dogs do choose a profile not unlike that of milk. Could just be a coincidence but an interesting one just the same.

  • Shawna

    Third paper

    “These foods were formulated based on Mars Inc. commercial recipes with
    the inclusion level of poultry meal, maize gluten, ground rice, wheat
    flour, and beef tallow altered to achieve differences in the
    macronutrient:energy ratios of the foods (Table S1, Supplementary Data).”

    Poultry meal, maize gluten, ground rice, wheat flour and beef tallow are nowhere near what would be eaten in the wild and I don’t think we can extrapolate one to the other.

    Of the dry food diets “It appeared from analysis of Experiment 1 that dogs were selecting a
    diet composition toward the highest possible fat intake and lowest
    possible carbohydrate intake. However, due to the macronutrient profiles
    of the foods provided in that experiment, they were unable to compose a
    diet with less than 22% of energy from carbohydrate or more than 54% of
    energy from fat.”

    Wet food used
    High carb diet — “Chappie Original” – “Moisture 8.5% Fibre 4.0% Protein 20.0% Fat 7.0% Carbohydrate 58% Magnesium 0.18% Sodium 0.45% Calcium 1.38% Phosphorous 0.94%
    ” It is lower fat and appears to be “cereals” and fish.

    High protien diet — “Cesar® chunks in loaf” I picked one as there were a few protein sources “Ingredients Meat and Animal Derivatives (min. 60% including min. 4%
    Turkey, min. 4% Lamb) Minerals Derivatives of Vegetable Origin Nutrient
    Analytical

    ” Did state there was no “sugar” ingredients added.

    High fat diet — “Five Main Ingredients- Ground Whole Corn, Chicken By-product Meal, Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Animal Fat” “11% fat, 27% protein, 3% fiber, 12% moisture”.

    Of THESE three diets, the dogs ate “close to 30% of total energy” from protein. So the researchers “performed a third experiment in which protein was fixed at 30% and the foods differed in their fat:carbohydrate ratio”. Only in this diet they used assumeably quality MEAT “Foods were prepared fresh each day by mixing (using an electric food
    mixer) appropriate amounts of drained skinless chicken breast (steam
    sterilized in cans at Mars Petcare, Verden, Germany), lard (Tesco, UK;
    melted in a microwave), and pregelatinized wheat flour plus vitamins and
    minerals.” FINALLY we get some quality meat but at FIXED amount.

    Not at all impressed aimee.

  • Shawna

    Lactation in the Dog: Milk Composition and Intake by Puppies
    OLAV T. OFTEDAL1
    Division of Nutritional Sciences,
    Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853
    ABSTRACT
    The composition and intake of milk by mother-reared puppies was studied to compare protein and energy intakes of puppies with estimated requirements. Milk samples were obtained from five beagle
    bitches over the period of 7-37 days postpartum. Dog milk contained on average 22.7% dry matter, 9.47% fat, 7.53% protein, 3.81% sugar and 146 kcal gross energy per 100g.”

    Bitches milk is also significantly higher in fat and lower in carbs, why wouldn’t we then expect to see a selection for high fat, moderate protein and low carb in dogs if we are to use mother’s milk as a guide to macronutrient selection of the weaned animal?

    “Five bitches were studied at the long-established beagle research colony”. Would the bitches diet play a role in the nutrient profile of her milk (overall protein, bioavailability of the protein fed etc) — my guess would be yes.

    Math is not my thing as I’ve stated numerous times. How would we convert or figure 30% ME to dry matter or calorie weighted?

  • aimee

    Taking these papers as a whole I conclude that dogs have the ability to select macronutrient profile. As bitch milk is also around 30% ME from protein It doesn’t surprise me to see this same level selected.

    Since dogs can select than I’d think coyotes and jackals and wolves can too.

    I see it as profitable to select and eat fruit a “relatively free” energy source over hunting prey to meet energy need even if prey is available and then hunt prey to meet protein as needed.

    The dogs when given sugar chose it and % calories from protein decreased but they also increased the amount eaten so that the grams protein taken in remained fairly stable.

  • Shawna

    1. first link – “We conclude that when fed equally bland diets, dogs select food to ingest approximately 25% MEp. As a palatability enhancer, sucrose increases food intake and selection of the diet containing the higher sucrose concentration.”

    I think we’ve already established that sugar is addictive and it appears dogs are no exception. However I don’t quite see how showing dogs like sugar can be equated to preferentially selecting lower protein diets when flavor enhancers aren’t a major factor?

    2. “2-year-old female Beagles were allowed self-selection from 2 diets that differed in concentration of protein.” Too little info – what diets were used – were they the same just with different profiles or were they completely different? What protein was used? My dogs will take beef over soy protein any day. If I fed a raw diet with high meat and one with moderate meat content, but otherwise the same, I do believe every one of my dogs would take the high meat protein option.

    3. I started reading this last night but will have to get back as I only got to page 3 of 16 but I already have some thoughts — such as the preferred intake by cats.

  • aimee

    Perhaps plasma amino acid levels???

    There are some comparative trials testing if dogs select a certain macronutrient profile. Its too late for me to read through them all carefully but it seems that they do select protein at about 25%-30% ME

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14608067

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=dog+self+select+protein

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3518205/

  • Shawna

    Do you know when you body has had it’s protein needs met? What signal would our, and animals, bodies give us to let us know that? To some degree cravings could be an indicator but I crave sugar all the time but I highly doubt I have a need for it. I do “need”, due to a known deficiency from the dairy sensitivity, iodine and iron but I don’t necessarily crave iodine and iron rich foods.

  • aimee

    I liked the modification to the optimal foraging theory “net profitability” and I wondered if once protein need is met was it simply more profitable to eat fruit to meet energy needs.

  • Shawna

    This is a much better food than the one I was looking at.. :) The two ingredients that popped out at me in this food are peas and potato/potato protein (but could be anything).

    Zyrtec will help if it is a food sensitivity as well — histamine is produced in sensitivities and Zyrtec blocks histamine production.

    For the record I’m not saying it is more likely to be food, just that the immune system in a healthy dog shouldn’t be so sensitive as to mount an assault on something in the environment (that should be innocuous) without first being stressed. In some dogs over vaccinating, it is believed, could contribute to an immune system overreaction. The adjuvants in vaccines are added for that very reason, to stimulate the immune system. So don’t rule out an environmental allergy just yet — but don’t rule out the food as a cause just yet either.

    Whatever the cause, I hope you can easily get to the bottom of it and get your Sierra to supreme health!!!

  • Taylor Harris

    Thanks Shawna. You seem tuned into this stuff.

    Both dogs are on the food that this thread is posted to.

    I was trying to figure out with the vet is the 2 dogs being on the same food had causality or correlation. Sierra (my dog) seems to be responding very well to the daily Zyrtec.

    I am moving to Dallas soon so it will be interesting to see if a changed environment leads to a change in outbreaks. She has only had this happen 2 times so it is hard to nail down.

  • Shawna

    It frustrates me to no end when vets are not educated in the differences between food “allergies” and food intolerances / sensitivities.

    Your vet is very correct, as Dori stated, that food allergies are rare. Food allergies trigger an immunoglobulin E (IgE) reaction in the body. Immunoglobulin A (IgA) and IgM are seen in food sensitivities.

    German Shepherds, per the Merck Vet Manual, have a genetic predisposition to IgA deficiency. This can carry over to mixed breed GSDs and can be a mild deficiency all the way to severe one. Certain foods have proteins in them that bind with IgA. These foods can get into the blood stream and can cause all kinds of symptoms including severe itching and skin rashes.

    A dog could have intermittent symptoms from a food sensitivity. Let’s say dog is young and healthy (besides itching/chewing) and is able to keep up production of IgA most of the time. But then pup picks up a gut infection from bacteria that also bind with IgA. The body is now fighting the bacteria and not able to make enough IgA for the sensitivity and the bacteria. OR around the time the chewing symptoms started pup was given an antibiotic for an ear infection. Antibiotics kill the good bacteria in the gut. Good bacteria help make IgA. It wouldn’t be unrealistic to see symptoms from a mild food sensitivity when a pup was also on antibiotics (or shortly after).

    It very well might be environmental allergies but those most likely stem from a gut issue. Dogs shouldn’t be allergic to dust or pollen or grass or whatever if they are healthy. The immune system has to be out of whack for that type of a reaction to begin in the first place. It might not be the food but I sure wouldn’t rule it out just yet.

    Not sure which Kirklands you are feeding but the “Kirkland Dog Food” line has MANY ingredients that cause food sensitivities — milk is a big one, chicken is a big one, potatoes is a big one, barley (which is a gluten grain) is a big one, peas is another big one.

    Two siblings (especially GSD or mixed GSDs) on the same food with the same symptoms is awfully suspicious in my opinion.

  • Dori

    True food allergies in dogs are, indeed, very rare. What they can suffer from are ingredient intolerance and sensitivities. They can also, of course, have environmental allergies.

  • Taylor Harris

    Hi Dori,

    Thanks for the advice.

    Our vet suggested that since it had been 6 months between outbreaks on the same food that this was unlikely to be the culprit. She also said that food allergies are grossly over diagnosed and are only to blame around 10% of the time. We eliminated a number of other potential causes and isolated it to environmental issues. Her brother having the same issue in another southern state reduced the odds that it was a reaction to fleas or chemicals and the symptoms did not match up with common genetic issues (she’s a mix).

    She took a course of steroids and antibiotics to help with the infections from the self mutilation and is on a single Zyrtec per day for the rest of the allergy season.

    She said they had a lot of dogs on the Kirkland food and she thought it was fine to keep her on it.

    So far so good – she responded quickly to treatment…

  • KJ

    I think that your response, as a professional(?), is argumentative, rude and condescending. While you are obviously right, the website doesn’t have the resources to actually do the testing, this response is in no way helpful or professional. You start off with “…you sound surprised that we do not test every one of the recipes in our database.
    Think about it. How could that even be remotely possible?”

    Did they sound surprised? They don’t sound surprised to me. Just pretty much stating a fact. A fact that seems to offend you. I suppose if they said that you did testing, that would be better? Oh – nope, that would be a lie…
    Then you end with this:
    “Do you have a better idea in mind for how anyone could accomplish the kind of testing feat you suggest?”

    Anyways, is that what you need? Some ideas? Did they suggest that you do testing, or did they just correctly state that people should keep in mind that you do not do testing? How can someone accomplish testing if, like you stated, the federal government can’t even afford it? (Which is a bunch of crap — where did you get this fact?)
    From reading posts on this site and seeing what you chose to respond to, seems like you troll your own website to argue with people who don’t say that you’re the best, most accurate website that conducts thorough testing of all dog foods!
    I thought that consumers (you know the ones who use and donate to your website) are allowed to have opinions. Besides, why would you ever have a public-facing website if you are so insecure that you can’t handle people making any kind of comment about the services you do or do not provide?
    I’m sure that as a moderator, you may delete this post because your insecurity and obvious lack of confidence in your services…
    I just don’t get the angry, combative response to someone just telling the truth… Whatever.

  • aimee

    Crazy4dogs,

    This will be my last post to you on this subject.

    Do I propose that wild canids, coyote, jackals etc always under every circumstance take a large portion of their diet from plants? NO and I ever meant to imply that.

    Do I propose that wild canids, coyotes and jackals etc. take a significant proportion of the diet from plants in certain seasons or environments? YES. The research supports this.

    From the Georgia study “During July-August and September
    October soft mast was the most important food item on both sites,”

    The dental pattern seen in canids is non specialized and is suited for the consumption of plant based material ( presence of flattened grinding molars) and we see this reflected in the diets eaten in nature.

    Somehow the whole purpose of this discussion, which was dentition, has gotten lost.

  • aimee

    Grain and nuts have been reported but minor. I think “Yotes” eat pretty much anything!

    From Chamberlain “corn, cattle, acorns..”

    Reported in Jackals too:
    “Golden jackal likes to consume immature seeds of maize (Zea mays), common oat (Avena sativa) and sunflower (Helianthus annuus)

    Fromhttp://www.agr.unizg.hr/smotra/pdf_78/acs78_41.pdf

    For a real Laundry list check out the jackal diet as reported here:

    https://archive.org/stream/mammalsofsov211998gept/mammalsofsov211998gept_djvu.txt

    You’ll have to scroll down a ways look to start reading at the heading 148 includes sugar cane and plant bulbs and olives, grapes tomatoes watermelon apricots fish insects birds … Like yotes they exploit many food sources!

  • Shawna

    I did not know that. Interesting!!

  • Sylvia

    I have been feeding ND turkey for about a month to my 1 yr old dog. Before that, I used to feed Taste of the Wild for puppy. I switched because I figured they were probably similar enough and ND is much more affordable. For some reason, since about last week, he refuses to eat his kibbles. Nothing is wrong with his health. He still has good appetite. He still likes his Natural Balance canned food that I mix his food with and loves his joint med/treats, bully sticks, etc. But I really have to coax him to eat his kibbles. Today, he didn’t touch his breakfast until past dinner time. Only after I mix some left-over fish and sweet potato in his food, he ate his food. I usually don’t give him any table scraps or human food, which is not to say he never snatched up food falling off kitchen counter top. (I was very strict about it until pretty recently. Could this be part of the problem? ) Should I switch his food? Or is he being just spoiled and stubborn and is it time for a tough love? I am very confused and concerned because I never had a picky eater before. (2 dogs & 2 cats) Thank you for your feedback!

  • theBCnut

    Saw palmettos exude an attractant. They attract ants, bees, wasps, coyotes, bears, sheep, goats, numerous birds, raccoons, and a whole host of other animals. They have a sticky sugary goo on them that some animals find irresistible.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Since you didn’t actually cite the work and send a link, I think I sent the wrong link. Here is the link I believe you are referring to:

    http://www.seafwa.org/resource/dynamic/private/PDF/CHAMBERLAIN-204-219.pdf

    If you actually refer to Table 3 you will find that the Jan-Aug season of 1991 was an anomaly, even noted in the table:

    g. Includes grapes, cherry, muscadine (only identitied during 1991 thus blackberry and persimmon used as category in subsequent years).

    If you actually look at the table the only fruit found any other time were blackberry/persimmons which was listed as a low of .3 in 1994 and the highest @ 17.7 also in 1991. For the rest of the seasons & years documented, if you total them all up, the average would be 11.92% including the anomaly of BP 1991 with an actual overall average, not including the 1 season during 1991 would actually be 9.2% plant material.
    It’s ludicrous to take 1 season of 1 year in a 7 year study that included 13 seasons which averages out to plant matter ingested as about 9.2% and tout that as proof that canids eat 35-41% plant matter as part of the dietary norm.

  • Shawna

    This gives a hole laundry list of foods eaten by coyotes including persimmons (which I found on another paper as high in the fall – 60.4%) “and other fruits”. What I find interesting is that in this very long list of foods eaten in different regions and different sited studies, there is not even one grain, seed or vegetable, from a source in nature (link below).

    I thought this was cute ” Excess food is cached by
    burying it in the ground. The coyote in suburban areas
    is adept as exploiting human-made food resourcesand readily consumes pet food.” http://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/pubs/jrnl/2007/nrs_2007_trani_002.pdf

  • Crazy4dogs

    I sent you the link which includes the table.

  • Crazy4dogs

    That’s how I’m reading the chart too. I don’t know how she’s coming up with her figures. My link of 8000 coyotes in 17 states with only 2% vegetation found in the stomach & her own links are showing figures way different from what she’s coming up with. And the study on my link is on a much larger scale.

  • Shawna

    😉

    I don’t feel the “ancestral diet” is the “one” ideal diet either. Even raw feeders can’t agree on that – some say absolutely NO vegetation, I say a small amount of highly nutritious is good and so on. What we all agree on is that 40 to 60% of their diet as vegetation or plant protein isn’t in any way shape or form “ideal” or even healthful.

    I’ve given my kids baby carrots and maybe a small amount was digested buy not very much. They did chew them enough to get them down but not enough to break up the cellulose much. These were given as treats, away from food. There may have been slightly better digestion when digested with other food?

    Thankfully Audrey and Gizmo were discriminate about what they ate/eat. Both came up literally nose to nose on baby bunnies in the nest and looked at me as if to say — help them!!! My little four pound Chihuahua, at age 16 or 17, found a recently deceased baby bunny in the back yard and devoured it. And Mimi and Cleo, as already discussed, have no issue murdering small critters.. :( The neighbors Science Diet fed Dachshunds, however, make my two look like amateurs. They work as a team and are so deadly to wildlife that they neighbor will only take them out on leash now. Even when in the back yard with them the pups are tethered to a long cord. They are absolutely lethal.

    They are still going to have to chase down prey as fruits are going to be an incredibly inadequate source of fats and proteins and I can’t imagine that their requirements for either change drastically from season to season.

  • aimee

    I’m citing from Chamberlain & Leopold, the link crazy4dogs is a completely different study.

  • Shawna

    One column is “frequency of occurrence” and the other is “relative frequency of occurrence”. I don’t think you can combine the two to come up with an accurate percent. Maybe I’m looking at the chart wrong?

    What I found interesting is that the majority of the “fruit” in the scat of the coyote (16.5 of 17.3 total in the relative frequency column) was from “Serenoa repens – also known as saw palmetto – often used medicinally by humans. Could coyotes in this region eat it for medicinal purposes too — kinda like a dog eating grass or dirt?

  • Shawna

    EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Purina, and most other manufacturers, makes food based on manufacturing cost etc not on what is healthiest for the target animal.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Why didn’t you just read the table which shows the frequency of fruit found in the scat to be 17.3 – 24.5?
    Here’s your link which includes the tables:

    http://jmammal.oxfordjournals.org/content/jmammal/85/5/973.full.pdf

  • Crazy4dogs

    The 2nd and 3rd link incude the 7 original authors from the 3rd link and have added a few in the 2nd link. The stomach count and contents are exactly the same in both links. Both are studies of the golden jackal in Eastern Croatia.
    In the 1st link they are stating a percentage of time fruit/plant material was found in the stomachs, not the percentage of fruit/plant material was in the stomach. The percentages of all the items found 186.7%.
    In the 4th link which was a student’s master’s paper the percentage totaled 196.8%. Again, it was citing what percentage of scat had plant material in it, which was 38.6%, meaning 61.4% of the time, no plant material was found in the scat, not that the scat material was made of 38.6% plant material.
    Did you even read these?

  • aimee

    I don’t see how you can say these are the same study: different authors , different years, different parts of world.

    Every study will report differently depending on availability season etc.

    Looking at the “big” picture though supports that wild canids utilize plant sources and sometimes quite extensively.

  • aimee

    I understand the difference between percentage of occurrence and total biomass. The paper supports my premise that wild canids eat a varied diet and is reflected in dentition. Which is how this whole line of discussion all started.

    The Nadeem paper reported 35.1% fruit biomass in the winter for jackals

  • aimee

    I took it from table 3 … % FW and added the fruit categories but I edited as the total was a little higher than what I originally reported.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Aimee, where are you getting that figure from?

  • aimee

    What I’m saying is the canids are physically and metabolically prepared to eat a varied diet and this supports that statement. Compare the coyote data with the bobcat.. a carnivore, living in the same environment. The Bobcat ate fruit rarely, there isn’t even a “fruit” data line on the graph as opposed to the coyote who choose fruit even when prey was abundant.

    Fruit isn’t available all year round nor in all environments but can be a large portion of the diet. In 1991 estimated total fruit biomass was 41% of the diet.

  • Shawna

    Based on the conclusions of the author Crazyfordogs linked to that is not the case, at least in the area he looked at. I posted this a few comments back and then once before that but I’ll post it here again – “are not exclusively opportunistic but, as predicted by the optimal
    foraging theory, prefer highly nourishing, protein-rich food sources
    even in periods of low abundance.”

    Why wouldn’t they prefer the most nourishing (aka protein-rich) food in any season. They may have to settle for less but that is very different than preferring.

    PS — I find “meeting nutritional and energy needs” to be a bit of a cop out answer as it may keep them alive but none here would suggest that merely being alive equates to abundant health.

  • Dori

    The only suggestion that I could make which is the obvious one is for both of you to switch to a different brand. If it’s a food sensitivity or intolerance or true food allergy (those are rare), then try to avoid the same main protein when switching to a different food. If that doesn’t work, which I’m pretty sure just switching the brand will work, then read ingredients and find out which are similar in the old food and new and find a food that doesn’t contain those ingredients. It’s basically an elimination diet of a sort. That’s how I went about find all my dogs food issues. Do you know if the other dog is on the Salmon formula also? It could be an issue with salmon, beef or quite possibly to flax or any other ingredient in the food. Could also be an issue with Canola Oil. If the vet suggests one of the foods that they sell such as Science Diet, Hills, Royal Canin I wouldn’t do it. Those foods are expensive and the nutrition is not particularly good for the long haul and you still won’t know what your dog’s issues were. Is the skin issue in the picture on the belly area the only reaction you are both seeing in your dogs? Nothing else?

  • aimee

    Meeting nutritional and energy needs is what would keep them healthy. What food is preferred to meet those needs may change seasonally.

  • aimee

    Now I feel bad that you feel horrible….

    I think we’ll see a various distribution of what dogs do best on. I do not feel that what is promoted as an ancestral diet is the “one” ideal diet that should be fed.

    And when I consider the ancestral diet of “the dog” has been described as latrine waste.. well I’m just not going there!

    What I’ve noted in regards to chewing behavior with my dogs is that when fed a meal I see little chewing. This could be because the diet is moist and in smallish bits. When fed as individual harder items, a peanut for example, they may match me chomp for chomp.

    My dog’s bunny story ended differently. She came to the door mouth closed but distended, cheeks all poking out in different directions. I opened the door and asked her to “drop it” and she one by one dropped tiny baby bunnies into my hand. I think there were 4 or 5 can’t remember. They weren’t damaged in any visible way so I found the nest, returned them and placed wire around it removing it at night and the little guys all survived their adventure.

    I don’t deny that dogs have a preference for meat. They are unique in that while they have many omnivore traits they have some distinctly carnivore traits too: insensitivity to salt and need for Vit D.

    I saw the optimal foraging hypothesis but liked the modification better, net profitability. I think it better explains the findings of high plant intake when prey is abundant. The energy cost to meet energy need is low when consuming a fruit in season. Why chase down prey, energy expenditure, to meet an energy need that can be easily met without expending much energy?

  • aimee

    Shawna,
    I’ve never thought that you’ve been rude to me. No need for any apologies.

    We learn from each other : )

  • Taylor Harris

    Our aussie / german shepherd cross has developed a 2nd round of skin issues. Her brother lives in another state and is on the same food and is having the same reaction (kirkland nature’s domain). The first time this popped up she was on the salmon one. This time she is on beef.

    I am off to see the vet this morning but I think it is likely a food allergy.

    I am betting that the majority of the ingredients are the same between the different varieties of this food. Any suggestions on the likely culprit?

  • Shawna

    PS — I know there were a few times in the last several months were I was uncharacteristically (I hope) rude to you and I apologize for that. Please mark it up to me being tired and mourning for Audrey and Cloee.. As I’ve stated before, you frustrate the h-ll out of me sometimes but you also make me a better, more knowledgeable person and that I am thankful for.

  • Shawna

    OH aimee, I REALLY didn’t mean it that way!!! I feel horrible that you took my comment negatively. I actually meant it more like — you are intelligent and force us to step up our games to refute your logic. More of a compliment… Sorry it came off differently!!!

    I don’t see them as that different either. In a previous post I commented that environment etc (region, indigenous people etc) can play a role. The wolf of Alaska evolved very differently than the canid in Africa as an example. But if we try to feed the current day canid in Africa the diet of a current day Alaskan wolf and vice versa, are both animals going to be worse off for it — probably so, at least for quite a few generations?

    I don’t care if you call the dog carnivore, opportunistic carnivore or omnivore, I only care about what is a truly species appropriate diet for the dogs living in my home, bred on US or Candian soil with ancestors eating alongside my ancestors. You know I feel MY ancestors didn’t eat foods like modern day foods are processed so why would I feel their dogs could tolerate these same foods?

    I don’t know that I’ve had any dogs that actually chew their food, unless bones. Kippee, the Papillon, can’t be given anything larger than what she can swallow as we’ve learned several times that she will attempt to swallow it whole and we now have an emergency on our hands. Gizmo, the Pom, has had a close call or two as well. Maybe if I lived in a one or two dog household things would be different.

    I hadn’t shared this yet — A week ago, Mimi uncovered a bunnies nest and I found 7 pound Shih Tzu Cleo dining on a headless baby bunny. :( Dogs, at least most of them, haven’t lost their natural instincts or preference for food. Did you see the article CrazyforDogs posted? Author concluded that Jackals “are not exclusively opportunistic but, as predicted by the optimal foraging theory, prefer highly nourishing, protein-rich food sources even in periods of low abundance.?

  • aimee

    I’m not “playing” you just telling you how I view things. I don’t view dogs and wolves as being all that different from the other canids with whom they are classified. That is why they are classified together isn’t it?

    I agree a dog in rural Idaho would not survive on a vegan or primarily vegan diet without human intervention, but than again neither would I. However, that doesn’t change the fact that I’m an omnivore does it?

    If I eat a barley grain the degree of digestion that would occur would depend on if I disrupted the seed coat and the degree to which I decreased the particle size, same as it would in the dog.

  • aimee

    Thanks Crazy4Dogs. I had no idea that the term “mixed” had a specific medical definition. I’ll edit my post to reflect that.

  • Shawna

    I don’t think anyone is disagreeing with you on this aimee. What we are saying, among what they have available what would be their preferred food source and, more importantly, what would keep them at their healthiest.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Regarding Chamberlain & Leopold, this once again proves that coyotes are not eating 35-50% fruits and vegetables as you are stating.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I’ve replied to other posts, but JIC, you are reading the percentages wrong. They are not finding that the golden jackals are eating 34% plants and vegetables. They are finding plants and vegetables in 34% of the scat. If you add the percentages up, they total 186.7%. That is not the total they found in the scat, that’s just how often they found the material in the scat. The problem is you keep posting incorrectly or reading the part of the paper that you want to establish your point and clip a small part that seems to corroborate your view and that is just completely wrong!

  • Crazy4dogs

    Many of these links are regarding the exact same study, to prove that the jackal was not predating on farm livestock. Here is a clip from one of them, but they are basically the exact same study:

    Seeds of annual crops (maize, sunflower) and of wild and cultivated fruits (grapes, black mulberry, greengage, wild pear), were present seasonally, depending of ripening time, with frequency up to 20%.

    That’s 20% vegetable, not the percentages you like to quote. It is a direct copy and paste from:

    http://bib.irb.hr/prikazi-rad?lang=en&rad=721202

  • Crazy4dogs

    Yeah, you’re probably right, but this is where it started and I’m just so tired of Aimee posting half truths or snippets of obscure findings and making everyone think they are correct that it escalated.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Amiee, do you know how to read percentages? They are not saying that 34% of their food was plant based. They are saying that they found plant based material in 34%(pick your percentage but this was in one of the links you posted) of the scat piles/stomach contents. That’s a completely different story.
    The problem is that you take just a little piece of whatever obsure abstract you find and turn it into gospel. Unfortunately, people believe these findings that you randomly select and incorrectly post only partial pieces and it’s just wrong.

  • Dori

    I’m definitely not getting into this discussion here but I’m wondering and surprised no one has brought it up…Shouldn’t this be an Off Topic Discussion? Anyone looking at this foods reviews has to go through an awful lot of posts to be able to read any. It would also be easier for any of us that want to read the posts on this topic which is interesting by the way. Okay I’ve said my little piece.

  • Crazy4dogs

    This is a “Meet the Coyote” student’s paper, it is not an indepth study of the dietary habits of the coyote. It is a generalized paper about the coyote’s lifestyle, lifespan, distribution, reproduction, etc. There is no biological breakdown of the actual contents found in the scat or stomach of a coyote. Read the acknowledgement.

  • Thatcoolguy

    ***mic drop***

  • aimee

    Chamberlain, M. J., and B. D. Leopold. 1999.
    Dietary patterns of sympatric bobcats and coyotes in central Mississippi.Proceedings of the Annual Conference
    Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

    The biological research studies are listed in the bibliography. If you scroll down you will find them.

    I’ve given you biologic research papers why are you ignoring them?

    http://hrcak.srce.hr/58148

    http://bib.irb.hr/prikazi-rad?lang=en&rad=721202

    Season and locality related changes in the diet of the Asiatic jackal in Potohar Pakistan Nadeem 2012

    http://www.agr.unizg.hr/smotra/pdf_78/acs78_41.pdf

    In which they cite “Research on diet composition of the golden jackal in southwestern part of Hungary indicated that meal consisted of 54% animal and 46% plant food (Lanszki and Heltai 2002)”

    Here is a masters thesis on feeding habits of Coyote in Georgia

    https://getd.libs.uga.edu/pdfs/kelly_james_d_201205_ms.pdf

  • aimee

    The coyote piece is from the Dept of Wildlife and Fisheries and lists all the original sources so you can read them if you desire to.

    I included an original source for jackals (Nadeem) that reported high pant based consumption. . Here is another http://hrcak.srce.hr/58148

    “The highest frequency was found for mammals (50.3%) followed by fruit seeds and vegetables (34.1%)..”

    Here is a paper on coyotes that reports during certain seasons plant material predominated in the diet.
    https://getd.libs.uga.edu/pdfs/kelly_james_d_201205_ms.pdf

    Jackals and coyotes are versatile.

    In regards to Maned Wolves here is a paper to get you started. “The Frugivorous diet of the maned wolf….” http://www.cabdirect.org/abstracts/20023050512.html

  • Crazy4dogs

    Aimee, that is not a study, it’s the same, meet the coyote page you tried to pawn off on me. The first link you sent me WAS an encyclopedia page.
    This is not biological research or an actual study of wild candid eating habits and diet!!!

  • aimee

    Wild canids source from what is available they are opportunistic.

    http://www.cfr.msstate.edu/wildlife/mammals/pdf/Coyote.pdf

  • Crazy4dogs

    Oh c’mon! These are not actual studies. They’re meet the coyote encyclopedia pages.
    Cite the Maned Wolf research page.

  • Crazy4dogs

    From what I read, they chose the fruit as a source of moisture in the desert setting.

  • aimee

    Not sure if this is where I first read it but here is one source. ttp://eol.org/data_objects/31382919

    I really think what they eat depends on what is available in their environment. If it is available it will be eaten.

    In regard to jackals in this survey “Mammals contributed 52.9% of the biomass followed by fruits (35.1%)…” Nadeem et el 2012

    I found this interesting regarding coyotes. When fruit was abundant they choose fruit over other food items leaving the rodent population and deer carrion to increase in the environment.

    http://www.cfr.msstate.edu/wildlife/mammals/pdf/Coyote.pdf

    The Maned Wolf, a canid of different genus but again similar dental patten to the dog eats a diet high in plant matter.

  • Shawna

    QUITE opportunistic but (I only read the first link so far) still prefer animal sources of nutrition. It appears the five different varieties of plant consumed were all “seeds”.

    You, obviously read this, just thought it was worth posting as some prefer not to read the linked material.
    “Our study demonstrates the broad range of potential prey items in the desert environment. It also provides evidence that jackals are not exclusively opportunistic but, as predicted by the optimal foraging theory, prefer highly nourishing, protein-rich food sources even in periods of low abundance (MacArthur & Pianka 1966). Similar results were obtained from coyotes in the Chihuahuan Desert (Hernández et al. 2002).”

  • Crazy4dogs

    Aimee, please cite where you are coming up with a jackal diet as being 50% plant sources. I am not finding this at all. Here are 2 fairly recent studies on Jackal scat from 2 different areas. They do not agree with this.

    Black-backed jackals Namib Dessert:

    http://www.ivb.cz/folia/59/2/2_ms_1473_goldenberg.pdf

    Golden Jackals in Israel:

    http://www.ivb.cz/folia/59/2/2_ms_1473_goldenberg.pdf

  • Crazy4dogs

    This is the diet found in coyotes per Texas agrilife in conjuntion with Texas A&M:

  • el doctor

    Diet Composition of Coyotes in the Cuyahoga
    Valley National Park, Ohio

    RESULTS
    Seventy-six total diet items were found in 50 scat
    samples collected while walking and skiing trails, utility
    rights-of-way, and coyote tracklines. These items were
    categorized into 15 classifications: 9 mammalian, 3 plant,
    2 insect, and 1 avian (Table 1). Diet composition was
    identified by looking at the number of times an item
    was found among all scat samples (frequency of occurrence,
    n = 50) (Table 1).
    Eighty percent of food items were mammalian (n =
    61). The species found most frequently in scat was the
    meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus), which was
    found in 28% of scat samples (n = 14) (Table 1). Eastern
    cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) and white-tailed deer
    were the next most common diet items (20% each).
    Raccoon (Procyon lotor) was identified in 18% of scat
    samples. Diet items classified as beetle, unknown small
    mammal, and unknown large mammal each occurred
    in 12% of scat samples. Plant material was found in 10%
    of scats. Other identified diet items found in less than
    10% of coyote scats collected were: muskrat (Ondatra
    zibethicus), beech nut (Fagus grandifolia), grass seeds
    (Panicum sp.), grasshopper (Caelifera), and woodpecker
    (Picoides sp.). No evidence of domestic pets or livestock
    in the diet of coyotes was found.

  • el doctor

    Hi aimee

    The diet of the golden Jackal;

  • aimee

    Hi Crazy4dogs,

    I look at canids as a whole. The reason coyotes and jackals and dogs and wolves are classified together is because they are very very similar. The dentition is very very similar. The dentition of the jackal which takes ~50% of it diet from plant sources looks very very similar to the dog. The coyote, also an omnivore. has nearly identical teeth structure to the dog. I can not tell them apart.

    What I truly don’t understand is how someone can look at the dentiion of the dog and state it is the dental pattern of a “carnivore” when the exact or nearly exact same dental pattern is seen in the coyote and jackal

  • Shawna

    As always well played aimee but I’m talking about dogs and wolves not all canids. Jackals may very well have a proportionately larger plant diet as compared to US wolves and dogs but I believe the climate and environment probably play a factor in that. Dogs (or wolves) evolving in the same environment might have very well adapted to consume such a diet too but I’m not talking about them, I’m (we are) talking about modern day, current US/Canadian dogs. If my dog eats a barley grain, it comes out the other end. I have to sprout it or cook it etc to make the nutrients within available. I do feel that dogs and wolves can get nutrition from ripe berries or possibly even sprouted grains but these are quite seasonal here in the States and aren’t going to supply a great deal of nutrition year round. Not to mention having to compete with other animals for these food sources.

    Could a dog in rural Idaho survive long term on a vegan, or even primarily vegan, diet without any human intervention?

  • aimee

    Shawna,

    Can you explain this further? “Except, they aren’t well suited for that widely varied diet without human intervention”

    I’m not aware of humans preparing food for all the canids in the wild, many of which eat diets that can be nearly 50% plant matter. Or are you somehow saying that the natural diet of canids is “wrong” and if so on what information are you making claim?

    It is hypothesized that the reason that there are any canids is because they are non specialized which allowed them to adapt to changes in their environment whereas many species of specialized “hypercarnivores” had died out.

  • LabsRawesome

    17 is very old for a dog. We all wish they could live longer. But I don’t think your dog symptoms were dog food related. They were age related. I agree with theBCnut, the dog probably had a brain tumor or some kind of a neurological condition. Sorry for your loss.

  • Crazy4dogs

    This is what “mixed dentition” actually means:

    mixed dentition,

    dentition containing both primary and secondary teeth. It usually occurs between 6 and 13 years of age.Also called transitional dentition.

    Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.

    Link:

    http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/mixed+dentition

  • aimee

    I downloaded a series of pics some time ago Not sure if this is where I originally found it but I searched on key words and found a source:

    http://www.docstoc.com/docs/101290281/Jaws-and-teeth

  • fromperpig

    To Hema: A biopsy could have provided real evidence of possible food poisoning. Instead, you chose to play judge, jury and executioner based on hunch and speculation. Plus, you state your dog’s age had no relevance to his cause of death (In fact, you didn’t even bother to disclose this in your initial post). Yet, the average life of Border Terriers are 12-15 years.

    Food poisoning could very well be the cause of your dear companion’s death. But, just because you say it’s so, doesn’t make it “TRUE”…

    &, that’s a crying shame because, “What if you’re right?”

  • Crazy4dogs

    Absolutely Shawna!!!

  • Crazy4dogs

    Aimee, the dentition of a wolf and a dog are almost identical on the breeds that have not been completely destroyed by man’s tinkering with abnormalities and making them a fashionable new breed. And even with the brachycephalic dogs, the tooth count is the same, just the jaw has become so deformed that the teeth are crowded into the jaw.
    Dogs have a carnivore’s teeth. They do not have the dentition of an herbivore. They do not chew cud, they do not have the flat surfaced molars as ominvores do and I’m tired of hearing this.
    On the issue of thrive, I feel you are using the wrong word altogether. You should be using SURVIVE! Yes, dogs are wonderful adapters and have managed to survive on all kinds of terrible food that the industry has created for them. You seem to be oh so supportive of some really terrible food and are hell bent on destroying foods that are trying to provide a more natural diet to our wonderful canine friends.

  • Shawna

    Except, they aren’t well suited for that widely varied diet without human intervention. Left to their own devices they could not thrive on a higher carbohydrate (even from available fruits and veggies) diet.

    One person’s opinion of thriving can be very different from another. In my opinion, any dog that is subject to a flea infestation if not given monthly pharmaceuticals or even natural preventatives is not truly thriving. I’m not suggesting diet is the only criteria for thriving either — one of my crew sometimes has an issue with fleas at the end of the season while the others are not bothered. All eat the same diet though. Diet is a major factor though, and one we have control over.