V-Dog (Dry)

Share

Rating: ★★½☆☆

V-Dog Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2.5 stars.

The V-Dog product line includes one dry dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.

V-Dog

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 26% | Fat = 10% | Carbs = 57%

Ingredients: Dried peas, brown rice, pea protein concentrate, oats, sorghum, lentils, canola oil, peanuts, sunflower hearts, potato protein, brewers dried yeast, alfalfa meal, flaxseeds, natural vegetable flavor, quinoa, millet, calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate, salt, potassium chloride, vegetable pomace (carrot, celery, beet, parsley, lettuce, watercress & spinach), taurine, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D2 supplement, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid), choline chloride, minerals (zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, sodium selenite & calcium iodate), dl-methionine, l-lysine, l-carnitine, parsley flakes, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), dried cranberries, dried blueberries, preserved with citric acid and mixed tocopherols (form of vitamin E)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.1%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis24%9%NA
Dry Matter Basis26%10%57%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%22%53%

The first ingredient in this dog food is dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber. Dried peas also contain about 27% protein.

The second ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The third ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.

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

The fourth ingredient is oats. Oats are rich in B-vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

The fifth ingredient is sorghum. Sorghum (milo) is a starchy cereal grain with a nutrient profile similar to corn.

Since it is gluten-free and boasts a smoother blood sugar behavior than other grains, sorghum may be considered an acceptable non-meat ingredient.

The sixth ingredient includes lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber. Lentils also contain about 25% protein.

The seventh 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 eighth ingredient is peanuts. Peanuts are not true nuts but rather legumes similar to beans and peas. They are rich in mono-saturated fats and dietary fiber.

The ninth ingredient is sunflower hearts. Sunflower hearts consist of the hulled kernel of the whole seed. They are rich in omega-6 fatty oils, vitamins A and E as well as dietary fiber.

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 two notable exceptions

First, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

And lastly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

V-Dog Dog Food
The Bottom Line

V-Dog is by design a meatless product.

So, although we recognize the need for some dog owners to feed a meat-free diet, we also respect a dog’s natural carnivorous bias.

That said, and before we assign our final rating, it’s still important to compare the amount of plant-based protein present with other dog foods.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 26%, a fat level of 10% and estimated carbohydrates of about 57%.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 38%.

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

Bottom line?

V-Dog is a meatless plant-based dry dog food that uses peas and pea protein concentrate as its main sources of protein, thus earning the brand 2.5 stars.

Not 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.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

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.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

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

01/25/2015 Last Update

  • Bobby dog

    Attempt??? Here’s one early post from when ED began posting again:
    El Doctor on Best Raw Dog Foods “Hi ShawnaWhen it comes to feeding eggs to dogs what is of greatest concern to me is how the egg laying chickens are raised. I have a PhD in animal ethics and my field is canine environmental and food ethics.No animals should have to suffer the way the majority of U.S food animals suffer. Being raised for food should not be a life sentence of torture and misery.”

    You can find the unedited post in the comment history:
    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/comment-history/page/77

    Here’s the edited post:
    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/raw-dog-food/#comment-1963501900

  • DogFoodie

    No anger. No hate. In fact, I didn’t even watch your video.

    Generally, I ignore your posts. I find it offensive that you continually return here with new names and avatars and attempt to deceive everyone with your new identities. Clearly, you have multiple agendas.

  • aquariangt

    I’m going out on a limb and saying most people here have probably seen that video, or something similar. No one is posting because you showed them something they didn’t want to see. DF posted because you’re trolling. 7 month old thread, multiple avatars, when are you going to find a new site to go play around on?

  • JellyCat

    el doctor, some may not care how the chickens are treated as it is not their priority.

  • el doctor

    Thank you for your reply! I’ve been speaking out against the horrendous way we treat our food animals for many years now.

    I’ve learned that whenever someone responds to me with anger or in a hateful manner the way that you did it’s because I’ve touched a nerve.

    It’s that uncomfortable twinge of guilt that a person feels because on some level they realize what I said is true and they don’t like the way that makes them feel. That’s a good sign!!!

    No animal deserves to be treated the way we treat most of our food animals and t’s never too late for someone to take a stand and stop buying and feeding food lot animals to their dogs, themselves, and their families 😉

  • DogFoodie

    That’s a seven month old thread that you last responded to two months ago. Trolling the V-Dog review for pots to stir?

    You sure remind me an awful lot of someone who used to post here, but “left.”

  • el doctor

    Hi Labs

    Your flippant comment exemplifies your denial of the truth.

    This is just the latest in a long line of graphic videos documenting the way most of the chickens you eat as well as feed your family and your dogs are really treated.

    https://youtu.be/-UWcQLtpAKU

  • el doctor

    “What we feed our dogs shouldn’t be a religious argument based on “dogs should get meat”. The decision should be about their health, enjoyment, and the ability of future generations of dogs to survive.”

    Nicely said, I would just expand your statement to include the “health” and “enjoyment” of the animals on BOTH ends of the food bowl :)

  • Shawna

    As stated in a different post, I am aware of the science that suggests MSG is not problematic.

    Interesting about the mice, — this one says the same thing bolded emphasis mine “NATURE AND EXTENT OF BRAIN LESIONS IN MICE RELATED TO INGESTION OF MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE:”

    In the same above paper they note “Comparison of our neuropathological findings with those of others, emphasized the critical aspects of species variation, developmental age, route of administration, time of examination of brain material after dosage and thoroughness of sampling methods.” These factors obviously could be reasons for different results in different studies on different species. http://journals.lww.com/jneuropath/Abstract/1974/01000/NATURE_AND_EXTENT_OF_BRAIN_LESIONS_IN_MICE_RELATED.6.aspx

    The point to be made however is that monosodium glutamate, and other excitotoxic products, are not without consequences.

  • Thea

    Louie D: Great post. And you are not alone. I know several people who have switched their dogs to v-dog or a similar product and find either no change in health or an improvement in health. (I’ve personally never heard of a dog who had a health problem with a properly balanced vegan kibble.) My dog’s health got better when we switched kibbles 5 years ago, and now my dog is outliving the vast majority of other dogs of his breed. I’m convinced that my dog would be dead by now if we had stayed with the high quality meat kibble or switched to a raw diet.

    What we feed our dogs shouldn’t be a religious argument based on “dogs should get meat”. The decision should be about their health, enjoyment, and the ability of future generations of dogs to survive (among other considerations). You’ve hit all three and more. Thanks for sharing.

  • Louie D

    Yeah I figured that dry kibbles are like cereal for dogs. I like my frosted flakes I know even if it’s got all the vitamins and stuff its nothing but crappyl cereal. My guys would be worst off if I tried to figure everything out and make there food at home. For now I’ll stick with vegetarian kibble cause my boys are doing super.

  • aimee

    Hi Shawna,

    This is taken from a review on the topic of “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome”:

    “In subjects who report adverse reactions to MSG, rigorous DBPC challenge studies indicate that large
    doses of MSG given without food may elicit more symptoms than a placebo in individuals who believe that they react adversely to MSG. However, neither persistent nor serious
    effects from MSG ingestion were observed, and the frequency of the responses was low. More importantly, the responses reported were inconsistent and were not reproducible. The responses were not observed when MSG was given with food.”

    http://jn.nutrition.org/content/130/4/1058.long

    I also see it as a huge leap to think that the signs reported as “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” are related to neurotoxicity in the brain if that is what you are suggesting.

    I also found it interesting that while the authors of the study you cited reported “immature neurons are very resistant to MSG damage……. This finding
    might explain why young children, whose brain neurons are
    not fully mature, do not experience
    headaches after MSG intake.” in vivo research showed younger mice more sensitive than older mice.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/663939

  • el doctor

    Hi Louie D

    Welcome to DFA, and thanks for sharing!

    A lot of people, myself included, believe that dogs are meant to eat a diet consisting mostly of prey animals (meat). But kibbles, even the better ones such as Orijen, are so processed that what you’re left with is a food that has lost most, if not all of it’s original attributes.

    That kibble that may have started out sorta, kinda, resembling a dogs natural diet, has now been reduced to a brown nugget devoid of any of the natural goodness it started with.

    Kibble has to have all that goodness that was processed out of it added back in the form of synthetic vitamins and minerals, as well as fats, enzymes. and the list goes on. Then it has to be preserved and bagged and Voila, you now have a food that will sustain life!

    So is feeding a meatless kibble better or worse than feeding a kibble containing meat? According to your real-life experience, it made no difference at all, and you are saving a few lives along the way!

    Sorry for the rant on kibble. In spite of all it’s shortcomings, dogs are better off being fed kibble than eating a diet that is unbalanced, even if it’s made from the finest meats that money can buy!!!

  • Louie D

    I never thought I’d be writing a review for a vegetarian dog food. Anyhow I have 2 bulldogs Brutus and Beefcakes the’re 8. They been on vegetariann dog food for 4 years now. I’m not a vegetarian but 4 years ago my daughter got me to watch food inc. I had no clue what was going on in the meat industry. I never ate alot of meat and now I eat more fish then anything.

    My bullies always ate dry food. orijen, natures variety, wellness, merrick. I wasn’ going to switch them because I know dogs need meat. My daughters avegan and she got me to make her a deal I try a vegetarian dog food for the boys and at the first time something went wrong i would go back to the’re regular dry food.

    Nothing bad happened. They get blood taken and physicals twice a year. Everything is the same as before. I couldnt believe it. 4 YEARS LATER iTHE’RE DOING GREAT KNOCK ON WOOD. If my boys are doing great without meat an I can save lots a animals its like a win win situation.

  • Shawna

    Using Dr. Mills criteria, dogs are, as he states, clearly carnivores. If we are to use his logic to suggest that humans are herbivores then we also have to use his logic and admit that dogs are truly carnivores.

  • Thea

    Pitlove: Really? You still don’t understand even after I explained that very sentence in great deal? OK. I believe you. It’s super-clear to me. I guess we will just have to leave it with the lack of understanding. Have good day.

  • Shawna

    Nope, never said that. I do however know that exogenous exposure has been shown to be an issue — both injection and ingestion.

    International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine
    “Since the report of “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” in 1968, various studies have confirmed the link between MSG intake and its side effects including headaches [4, 5]. In those studies, an oral dose of MSG at 3g or higher reproduced restaurant syndrome within 30 min [5]. A direct intravenous dose of 50 mg also produced similar symptoms”

    Some additional interesting information in the paper.

    “immature neurons are very resistant to MSG damage……. This finding might explain why young children, whose brain neurons are
    not fully mature, do not experience headaches after MSG intake.”

    “taking vitamin C is effective in reducing MSG-induced neuronal injury.” I would note it says “reducing” not preventing though.

    “More interestingly, we demonstrated that pretreatment of neurons with a low dose of MSG can make neurons tolerant to subsequent high doses of MSG…… The finding that pre-exposure of a low dose of MSG can generate
    tolerance may explain why Chinese populations do not experience
    headaches after MSG intake.” Traditionally, it’s my understanding, the Chinese ate the seaweed that contains MSG so would have had long term low grade exposure. Not sure how relevant that is today, or if the Chinese population is still immune to the ills caused by MSG?

    Interestingly, here they suggest low dose MSG causes damage “if incubated for a prolonged period of time. So the suggested dose below is not low enough to cause a protective affect is what I’m picking up from this. And that chronic exposure is problematic even at low doses. “We show here that with a threshold concentration of as low as 3 µM, MSG can induce detectable neuronal injury if incubated for a prolonged period of time. Further studies may determine whether cell injury induced by low doses of MSG share other characteristics with previously reported glutamate toxicity”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2802046/

  • Pitlove

    Yup we are in total agreement haha

  • aimee

    I’m truly puzzled as to why you’d ask this question. You seem to be assuming that all the ills are from exogenous exposure. I don’t see this to be true.

  • el doctor

    Hi aquariangt

    Please don’t accuse of posting under different names. It’s rude and trollish.

    Thank you

  • el doctor

    Hi aquariangt

    This is the second time you have accused me of being dishonest, please stop harassing me! You’re becoming a troll.

  • Shawna

    Should have clarified, when “carb free” or “low carb” is discussed (by me and many others, including the doctor in the video) it means no grians or starchy vegetables (mostly potatoes). Fruits with more sugar than fiber only in moderation if at all. Example — the doctor’s diet included a muffin for breakfast only the muffin was made with coconut flower instead of wheat. Cauliflower is often used in place of white potatoes. Dessert might include fruit or avocado with cocoa powder and cocoa nibs etc.

    Neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter has a great cookbook filled with recipes that would fit the above. One of his breakfast recipes is “Eggs Benedict with Zucchini Pancakes”.

  • Pitlove

    I agree with no carbs and certainly for dogs and cats which is why I disagree with vegan dog and cat diets. However, I still don’t think someone could completely live off meat alone. I’m not sure if it was because I had never eaten meat so my body doesn’t know how to process it, but I started gaining weight when I began eating red meat. I’m probably the least healthy I’ve ever been right now and I’m trying to keep my meat intake to chicken and turkey mainly

  • Shawna

    Interesting in my opinion, like dogs and cats, humans may have no biological requirement for carbohydrates. Not saying we shouldn’t eat them, just that we may not NEED them.

    I watched an interesting TedTV talk given by a medical doctor titled “Reversing Type 2 diabetes starts with ignoring the guidelines” The recommendation — eliminate carbs and increase healthy fats in the diet. Basically a paleo diet (which doesn’t mean high in meat) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=da1vvigy5tQ

    human carb intake http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/75/5/951.2.full

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    To all involved in the current discussion:

    The Dog Food Advisor community encourages “courteous critiques, polite debate and calm disagreement”.

    Unfortunately, recent remarks here compel me to remind those ignoring this rule to please adhere to Our Commenting Policy.

    We delete comments that exceed the boundaries of courteous behavior. This includes remarks that are rude, profane, mean-spirited, disrespectful, lack good manners or otherwise unrelated to the topic at hand.

    Future comments that violate this policy will be removed.

  • el doctor

    I asked

    “Can you link to any evidence that shows the amount of B-12 in the lower intestine of Humans…is enough to supply the recommended daily amount without additional supplementation?”

    The correct answer is NO.

    I watched the video and it said the intestinal B-12 produced by Humans is “too far down stream to be absorbed” and that the Vegans who were “cured” of their B-12 deficiencies “were fed” a water extract made from a 24 hour sample of their stools :(

  • el doctor

    “Ok now I’m convinced you’re a troll”

    “after that belligerantly ignornant statement I simply can’t take you seriously.”

    That’s how I feel about my personal stalker/troll aquariangt!

  • el doctor

    Hi Thea

    “I’ve already answered those questions multiple times”

    I looked through this thread and I couldn’t find the answers to my questions before I asked you. I also checked your posting history.

    Unfortunately your posting history is private and that’s probably why you wind up being asked the same questions more then once!

    Thanks anyway!

  • Pitlove

    “And if an omnivore is an animal that is capable of eating both plants and animals, and ever does so, then sure, we’re omnivores, but then again, so are cats”

    I’m really not sure how I could have taken that any other way.

  • Thea

    Pitlove: Wow.

    I’m saying the very opposite. No one I know would consider a cat an omnivore. That’s the point. Cats can and do enjoy and digest some grasses. In fact, some people consider it a very healthy thing to provide some grasses for their cat to eat. That doesn’t make cats omnivores, though does it. Cats are biologically carnivores. Using that same logic to understand that cats are biologically carnivores, you can see why your definition of omnivores and applying it to humans (“we can eat meat and we can get some nutrients from it”) makes no sense. Cats digestive systems are not optimized to get nutrients from plants. Cats can and do eat plants. And it is healthy to some tiny degree. But cats are carnivores. Similarly, human digestive systems are not optimized to get nutrients from meat. We can do it, but that doesn’t make us omnivores from a biological perspective. I hope that makes more sense to you.

    That statement above that you are reacting to is not saying cats are omnivores. The opposite. I don’t know how you could read that and come to that conclusion. I’m sorry it was confusing for you though. I’m no troll. I had given up on this thread, but your post had seemed like an honest question, and I realized I had one more try in me.

    I hope you can better understand the point now.

  • Pitlove

    Ok now I’m convinced you’re a troll. You can not seriously be trying to tell us that cats are omnivores…There were points that I could understand that you had, but after that belligerantly ignornant statement I simply can’t take you seriously.

  • Thea

    re: “you’re nit picking” I’m really not. Quite the opposite. I’m trying to communicate as clearly and honestly as possible to address the questions.

    Lots of people believe that even eating 3% of calories from animal products means that the species is an omnivore. I’m trying to explain that that is not a helpful definition. In other words, the only way you could argue that humans are omnivores based on biology is if you wanted to assert that eating a tiny bit of meat a day makes a us omnivores. By that definition, many mammals which are considered herbivores in the textbooks would be considered omnivores instead. Because their diet often includes insects even if accidentally. For the category of ominivore to be meaningful, it has to be based on biology. If you checked out the link I provided above (and now in this post again), you would get a much better definition.

    re: “… we can process [meat] for the most part and it does hold nutritional value…” I don’t think you understand how the categories work. The lay person’s definition that you provided for omnivore is meaningless when it comes to figuring out what is the human diet. Here’s where I agree: Humans *can* get some nutrients from animal products. BUT we are not optimized for it biologically. Our bodies are optimized to get the most nutrition from plants. The following page explains all of this a billion times better than I can in a short post:
    http://michaelbluejay.com/veg/natural.html

    Here is just one tiny quote that might help you to understand:
    ” “Omnivore” doesn’t mean 50% plants and 50% animals. Many consider chimpanzees to be omnivores but 95-99% of their diet is plants, and most of the rest isn’t meat, it’s termites. If humans are omnivores, then the anatomical evidence suggests that we’re the same kind: the kind that eats almost exclusively plant foods. And if an omnivore is an animal that is capable of eating both plants and animals, and ever does so, then sure, we’re omnivores, but then again, so are cats. (See above.) A true omnivore would have a body optimized for eating both plants and animals.”

    For the term, “thrive”, I use it the same way you do. I was just trying to address the belief that some people have that meat based societies have thrived. I would say that is only true if one has a very different version of “thrive” than you and I do.

  • Pitlove

    you’re nit picking just like you are doing with dogs. It does not take a genius to look up the definition of those words and be able to come up with a logical execution of them in real life.

    “thrive

    THrīv/

    verb

    (of a child, animal, or plant) grow or develop well or vigorously.

    “the new baby thrived”

    “om·ni·vore

    ˈämnəˌvôr/

    noun

    an animal or person that eats food of both plant and animal origin.”

    Those are both extremely obvious and basic concepts and you are trying to complicate them to fit your arguement that humans are herbivores. I have never tried to feed a rabbit a piece of meat however I would assume they either wouldn’t eat it or they would not be able to digest it and would get extremely sick. While I agree that we probably could not live off meat alone we can process it for the most part and it does hold nutritional value to humans thus making us omnivorus in nature.

    I do not agree with people who solely eat a meat based diet, just like I don’t agree with dogs being fed only plant based proteins without any meat in their diet. They need balance like we do, not extremes.

    I think you’re also under the assumption that every meat feeder feeds their dogs Kibbles n Bits which none of the people involved in this conversation do. If we have to feed kibble, we feed brands that locally or regionally source meats and use non GMO crops and humanely raised animals. And I’m fairly certain the raw feeders try to do the same.

  • Thea

    el doctor: I’ve already answered those questions multiple times and multiple ways. I’m not inclined to do it again.

    Also: I don’t see why you would care what I do? You have said that you have a completely different approach to figuring out what makes sense to feed your dog. As I have said to other people on this thread, I think this conversation is pretty much over.

  • aquariangt

    not really my point, but like you, I don’t have any desire to expend energy on a tired subject

  • Thea

    :-) Heck no. That’s not what I’m saying at all. (sigh) To be very, very, very clear: I’m definitely not recommending that people eat their own stool. If nothing else, ewwww! Please don’t do that.

    This discussion started out as fun, but now it is getting pretty silly. I feel that I have been quite clear in the posts above. But since your post indicates that I haven’t communicated very well at all, I guess I better stop now. If people really want to understand B12 and human needs for it, you can look at the links I provided. Hopefully that will be more clear than I have been.

  • Thea

    aquariangt: re: “…there is undeniable proof…” I strongly disagree with that.

    re: “…the resources to allow a plant based diet to be succesful…” That statement comes from ignorance about what it takes for a plant based diet to be successful.

    I’m quickly loosing energy for this whole discussion. It’s been civil and sometimes fun, but obviously not productive. So I won’t go into more detail on these points. Getting into the details of how humans have evolved and educating people on what a plant based diet really is is going beyond what can be effectively shared in this format. Or at least beyond what I have energy for at this point.

  • JellyCat

    If I understand you correctly to thrive humans need to collect their own stool and consume it? How much stool one need to consume to satisfy dietary requirements of vitamin B12? Also would there be any side effects associated with coprophagia with stool being a waste product?

  • aquariangt

    eh….http://www.montignac.com/en/the-history-of-man-s-eating-habits/
    I don’t disagree with you on being too meat based (though I disagree about ever feeding a dog a vegan diet) and it’s important to know where your food meat or otherwise is coming from, but, there is undeniable proof about needs being met via meat. And if it weren’t-who knows how mankind would have evolved to even create the resources to allow a plant based diet to be succesful

  • Thea

    el doctor: If you want a nice, but very short article on B12 explaining more about it, here you go:
    http://nutritionfacts.org/2011/08/25/vegan-b12-deficiency-putting-it-into-perspective/

    Here’s a relevant quote: “It’s true, plants don’t make B12. Animals don’t make it either. B12 is made by microbes that blanket the earth. These bacteria grow in the guts of animals, which is why their bodies and products can be a source of this vitamin. Our herbivore primate cousins get all they need ingesting bugs, dirt, and feces, and we may once have gotten all we needed by drinking out of mountain streams or well water. But now we chlorinate our water supply to kill off any bugs. So we don’t get a lot of B12 in our water anymore, but we don’t get a lot of cholera either—that’s a good thing!”

  • Thea

    el doctor: re: “Can you link…”
    Here you go. Watch the 2 minute video and/or click the “Sources Cited” button to the right of the video.
    http://nutritionfacts.org/video/safest-source-of-b12/

    Here a quote from part of the transcript: “Why don’t the bacteria in our colon make B12? They do actually. It’s just too far downstream to be absorbed. In one of the less appetizing but more brilliant experiments in the field, a Dr. Callender delineated that human colon bacteria make large amounts of B12. Although the B12 is not absorbed through the colon, it is active. How do we know? She found some vegan volunteers with B12 deficiency, collected their stools for 24 hours, and then, you guessed it, bon appetit! And it worked! They were cured. Those are some hard-core vegans.”

    Re: “Insects aren’t meat…”
    I think some people would debate that definition since some people consider fish not to be a “meat”. In their minds, insects wouldn’t be meat either. I happen to agree with you. I included that statement about insects because when carnists bring up the B12 argument, they are usually trying to say something along the lines of, “What about B12? Historical humans could not have gotten their B12 from eating only plants. So, it must be that we must eat meat.” Again, I don’t consider the “lets see what our ancestors ate” to be a very good idea. But I can still answer that point in several ways. One of them is to point out that it is common for insects to get caught up in various plant foods (broccoli, cabbage, worms in fruit, etc) and be consumed accidentally. This would just be one more source of B12 in a primarily plant based diet that very early humans could have been eating. — *if* looking at caveman dietary habits is really all that compelling to someone.

  • el doctor

    Hi Thea

    Can you please tell me what you feed your dog(s) and what is your reasoning for feeding what you feed?

  • Thea

    I think the devil is in the details. What do you mean by thrive and what do you mean by omnivorous? Eating some *small* (mostly for flavoring) amounts meat and thriving on meat past the years of reproduction are two different things. The best info I have seen is that the human societies which have actually thrived have largely been plant-based. These societies were omnivorous (by behavior, not by biological design) only in the sense that a tiny percentage of their diet was meat, dairy and/or eggs. But they were mostly whole food plant based eaters.

    To give you a modern example, one of the longest lived and healthiest people on the planet are the traditional Okinawans. They have so many people live past 100 years, that they do a group parade (where the centarians walk!) because celebrating each person individually would be too much. Here are some features of a traditional Okinawan diet:
    (percentages are based on percent of calories):
    protein: 9
    carbs: 85
    fat: 6

    sweet potato: 69
    grains: 19
    beans: 6

    fish: 1
    other flesh: less than 1
    eggs: less than 1
    dairy: less than 1

    Those are the biggies. There were other foods eaten of course, like sugar, etc. Those amounts were also very small.

    Data derived from analysis of U.S. National Archives, archived food records, 1949 and based on survey of 2279 persons.

    The Diet of the World’s Longest-Lived People and Its Potential Impact on Morbidity and Life Span Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1114: 434–455 (2007).

    Of course, at the other end of the spectrum are populations that exist almost solely on meat. But those people have not been found to be healthy. They just live past the age of reproduction. To me, that’s not the same thing as thriving.

  • el doctor

    Hi Thea

    Can you link to any evidence that shows the amount of B-12 in the lower intestine of Humans or the amount from dirty water and dirty soil that end up on unwashed plant foods is enough to supply the recommended daily amount without additional supplementation?

    Was the diet of the people in the study you mention, meat, dairy and egg free?

    “I believe (though I’m not certain I am remembering correctly off the top
    of my heat) that you can also get a fair amount of B12 from insects.”

    Insects aren’t meat, dairy and egg free :)

  • Pitlove

    I looked at it and at studies from Yale suggesting we can not fully break down meat or chew it because of our dentition. I dont particularly care for meat mainly red meat however humans have existed and thrived for millions of years on an omnivorous diet.

  • Thea

    el doctor: B12 comes from bacteria that live in the lower intestine of animals (hence you can get a lot of B12 in feces, something a feeding study in humans has proven! :-O ). So, dirty water and dirty soil that end up on unwashed plant foods contain B12. I wouldn’t recommend it… And for the same reason I wouldn’t recommend that you get B12 from say chicken. It is not a healthy way to get your B12. (Did you know that a significant percentage of chicken sold in supermarkets has been shown to have feces on it?)

    I believe (though I’m not certain I am remembering correctly off the top of my heat) that you can also get a fair amount of B12 from insects.

  • Thea

    el doctor: re: “Can you please tell me what conclusions you have come to on what is the
    best diet for you dog, based on their current biology and lifetime
    feeding trials?”

    The problem I have with the question is the last part, “… and lifetime
    feeding trials?” While I described the best model for determining what is best for feeding dogs, I’m not aware of a set of such studies that I would consider valid and which supply this information. In other words, as near as I can tell, we have a big gap in the science (independent, lifetime, and wholelistic (not reductionist) feeding trials) that that would help us answer the question. Just because the ideal information may not be available, that doesn’t mean that it makes sense to follow other models that we know are flawed (such as trying to figure out an “ancestral diet”). Instead, I just go with the best info based on what we know of dog biology. It’s not great. It’s better than nothing. And this approach has done my dog a world of good.

    re: “And can you please tell me what the differences are between their
    biology today and their biology when they were eating their ancestral
    diet?”
    One of the main points I was trying to make is that the concept of “ancestral diet” is meaningless and unhelpful. It is full of all the same fatal flaws of logic that surround the “paleo” diet for humans. It is more of a belief system than a science-based approach to figuring out diet.

    We do have some indication of what has changed in dog biology over time. But that information about changes is irrelevant to my concerns. When it comes to what I should feed my dog today, I don’t care what has changed and what is the same. I only care what we have today. What is my dog today? What do we know about dog biology and dog nutritional needs today that will help me figure out the very best diet I can feed my dog? Also an important part of the consideration has to be: What real-world conditions do we have today which affect the choices to be made. (For example: If meat products would be safe to give dogs in an ideal world, do the contaminated meat products we actually have in today’s real world make sense to give to dogs if there are safer alternatives?)

    In sum, figuring out the “ancestral diet” is your interest, not mine. Nor do I think the concept is very helpful in figuring out what one should feed one’s dog. I can understand why it is appealing to you, though. And I hope it works out for you/your 4 legged friends.

  • JellyCat

    I think Thea means that he humans will get vitamin B12 by ingesting bacteria …

  • el doctor

    Hi Thea

    Where would “Humans… who do not generally eat meat, dairy and eggs” get vitamin B-12 in the “Natural World”?”

  • el doctor

    Hi Thea

    I do have a question (or 2) based on your comments;

    “I prefer the model of looking at the biology of today’s dogs, along with lifetime feeding experiments, to figure out what is the best way to feed our dogs.”

    Can you please tell me what conclusions you have come to on what is the best diet for you dog, based on their current biology and lifetime feeding trials?

    And can you please tell me what the differences are between their biology today and their biology when they were eating their ancestral diet?

    Thank you!

  • Thea

    Pitlove: I agree that that is the common understanding. But I don’t agree that that is what the science tells us. I highly recommend a look at that page I linked to above. You may find it interesting if nothing else.

    Here is a lecture from Milton Mills, M.D. which gives some more information, but I think the webpage is the best place to start. Some of the arguments/points in the following lecture are very compelling to me and some are not. Some of the points made in this talk expand on the above webpage, showing more information, but essentially covering the same point.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sH-hs2v-UjI

  • Pitlove

    I thought it was basic information that humans were true omnivores.

  • Thea

    Exactly! Which is why the arguments that say human need for B12 means that humans shouldn’t eat a plant based diet make no sense.

  • JellyCat

    Never mind vitamin B12 and DHA deficiency, but not living in a natural world is a great thing. Because, we are not living in a natural world we are enjoying the benefits of sanitation and great technological advances in a health care, and as a result our life expectancy has substantially increased over that in a natural world.

  • Thea

    To my knowledge, it is uncontested, very basic information about human human biology.

  • Daniel

    That’s a very biased website. Not exactly credible

  • Shawna

    Hi Thea,

    I do agree with you that general Google searches are often unreliable but not always. I did, however, get all those links from Google Scholar and it is the actual research that I have sited not opinions on websites.

    I also agree that it can be very valuable to look to the experts in any field. Not in the above post but my original source (when I first learned of the issues – due to illnesses I was experiencing) was Neurosurgeon Dr. Russell Blaylock. He wrote the book “Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills”. I have and have read the book.

    “Lecture of Dr. Blaylock’s Book “Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills.’ The shocking truth about monosodium glutamate (MSG) and how it destroys the brain and causes shocking brain degeneration, cancer, alzheimer’s, and many other neurological disorders. Excitotoxins are proteins which excite brain cells and cause them to die. Other excitotoxins include aspartame and mercury.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1bYNsSCxjQ

    In the video, Dr. Blaylock talks about how Ralph Nader was so “brow beaten by the industry” for taking on MSG/excitotoxins that he said he would never do it again and warned Dr. Blaylock against doing it. Blaylock IS an expert on the topic however so did not have to deal with the same degree of backlash. He mentions all this in the beginning of the attached video.

  • Thea

    JellyCat: Humans (as well as other herbivores who do not generally eat meat, dairy and eggs) can definitely get B12 from their diet, but not in the modern world where water and veggies are sterilized. The need for B12 supplementation (for many older human omnivores too) is because we do not live in a natural world.

    DHA is available in required amounts for human needs in greens.

  • Thea

    Daniel: By habit, for many no. Biologically, yes. Check out this page for a primer on the topic strictly from a biological perspective.
    http://michaelbluejay.com/veg/natural.html

  • Daniel

    Humans are herbivores? LOL

  • JellyCat

    Plant based diet cannoy be better for humans simply because there is no vitamin B12 in such diet and also no DHA
    Both of these micronutrients are important and beneficial for human health.

  • Pitlove

    You are right Thea for sure, however with logic we can decipher what IS healthy and appropriate for a dog to eat. If we were to start nit picking at every thing a certain species of animal ate we would never be able to come to any conclusion about what a diet should be for said species. We know rabbits to be herbivores because when allowed to be wild they target grasses and grains for their nutrition and we honor that with providing hay and of course those man made pellets that are suppose to contain all their nutrients. We know snakes eat live creatures in the wild and swallow them whole, so MOST (from the people I’ve seen at my work) feed live mice and rats because we understand this is their main source of nutrition and the mouse and rat provide them with everything they need. Bearded Dragons are given live crickets and mealworms. And we honor and respect that.

    It is undeniable that dogs do require some fruits and veggies in their diet, however we can deduct with logic and reasoning that an optimal diet would be mainly animal meat with a smaller amount of their diet coming from fruits and veggies. And we know this based on their “normal” eating patterns in the wild and we ignore their random cravings for sources of nutrition that clearly would be inferior for them like human waste and motor oil.

  • Pitlove

    I’ve said this before, but I’ll state it again that plant based vegan diets are not exempt from the horrors of the commercial dog food industry. Plants are treated with pesticides and we all know about GMO crops.

    Also dogs as we know now are not true omnivores like humans are. Like I’ve also said before their GI tract and denition are closer to a cats than human and they are anatomically better suited to digest meat better than we are.

  • Thea

    Shawna: re: “Sometimes it really is helpful to go to the research.” Agreed on that point. But there is research and then there is research. General Google searches do not often in my experience produce very accurate information.

    For example, I’ve had experience researching microwaves. If I went by the vast majority of websites and the predominant opinions and info repeated over and over, including studies cited, I would end up with an incorrect understanding of the safety of microwaves.

    Getting good information on very complex topics topics is about being an expert yourself or having very good sources/people who are experts. This is why I referred people to the NutritionFacts site. No single source is perfect, but NutritionFacts is extremely well researched by an expert who a) carefully reviews *all* of the English published studies on nutrition – and has been doing so for years, and b) knows how to figure out which studies are valid and which are bogus, and c) has the ability to synthesize all of that information.

  • Thea

    Shawna: I don’t believe that is a relevant question to the topic. The wording is too vague/open. The range of diets that meet the needs of various herbivore species is huge. For example, humans can not survive on eating just bamboo like a panda can, but humans are hind-gut fermented herbivores. Dogs are omnivores, but that just means that dogs can process meat and animal fats along with plant foods. (And that most dogs will drool for a good steak. Though FYI, mine will also drool for sugar snap peas.) It doesn’t tell us what is ideal for dogs to eat in terms of ideal for long term health.

    What I can say is that we know enough about dog’s biology to know that dogs can (and so many do) thrive on diets formulated for dog’s needs and which happen to only include plants. We also know that there are some great advantages to going that route given how contaminated all modern animals (including humans or grass fed, wild, organic, whatever you want to consider) are. Humans have messed up this world pretty badly.

  • Shawna

    I wonder why all this research then when all they have to do is simply quit injecting subjects and all the ills are resolved?

  • aimee

    When I looked “to the research” I found the the route of exposure was key.

    The lesions found after injection were not found with dietary exposure.

  • Thea

    Pitlove: “As for dogs not hunting…” I’m sorry I gave the impression that I thought dogs don’t hunt. That wasn’t my point nor is it what I think.

    re: “Also my dog tries to eat motor oil,…” Thank you for this paragraph! That’s exactly my point!! Noting what any animal (human, dog and otherwise) eats is only the very tip of a hint on what would be healthy or optimal for that animal. You said it very well.

  • aimee

    Well now I’m more confused than ever. My point was simply to report the findings in the context in which they were made. I don’t see why you find that irrelevant.

    Not sure how you got this “You bring up “energy requirements” and protein as if protein leads to weight gain” out of my comment about energy requirements.

    I was simply saying that if a dog now requires fewer calories a greater percentage needs to come from protein to maintain the same intake of protein. For example if as an adult the dog needed 100 kcals to maintain ideal weight and the diet provides 18% calories as protein the dog takes in 18 kcals of protein /3.5 kcals/gram = ~5 grams protein.

    If the dog as a senior has a decreased energy requirement and only needs 80 kcals and you continued to feed the same diet of 18% kcals from protein the dog would only take in ~14.5 kcals as protein or ~4 grams of protein.

    To keep your senior at 5 grams of protein the percent of calories fed as protein needs to increase. You need to feed a diet of about 22.5% protein calories. 80 kcals x .225 = 18 kcals as protein ,~5 grams

    My point was that the statement that “”Older dogs should receive at least 25% of their calories from protein.”.
    is likely based on the assumption that the older dog is eating fewer calories.

  • elle

    Any argument about not feeding your dog/cat a species appropriate diet due to your own personal ethical beliefs is, null and void to me. If your belief system forces you feed your carnivorous animal an all plant diet, then have a different pet- one that’s not a carnivore. But you can’t have it both ways and then claim that the abuse they’re inflicting on their own animal is small in comparison. Are you kidding?? What a laughable argument. But I’m sure the justification makes them feel better.. ugh.

  • Shawna

    You are misunderstanding. How did you get I felt the study was invalid by what I said? I said your points about the study are irrelevant to the current conversation as none of the owners in this conversation, I’m guessing, are feeding their dogs casein and sucrose. Your point about “digestibility” is quite applicable here.

    My original comments are exactly what Purina wanted the general public to know — which is whom (who or whom?) I was talking to.

    My blind, 19 year old four pound Chihuahua had low energy requirements too and did marvelously on 54% protein. If you want to feed the minimum, that is definitely your prerogative.

    We’ve discussed all of this so many times. What are you trying to accomplish by rehashing this with me yet again? You bring up “energy requirements” and protein as if protein leads to weight gain yet you have read both Journal of Nutrition articles showing the exact opposite is true. You post about digestibility as if I’m new to the concept? Our conversations used to be meaningful. Now they are just redundant and often pointless. I simply don’t have time nor to I care to rehash old and tired discussions.

  • aimee

    Hi Shawna,
    You frequently provide references to support your position so I’m surprised that you seem to take offense for being asked for one.

    I’m puzzled as to why you cited a study that you now seem to be saying isn’t valid due to the ingredients used?? I may be misunderstanding here.

    You wrote “This paper has a similar sound to the Purina site”. The reason for that is that the author works for Purina.: ) It is a review and I’d wager that if you read the full text the reference for “Protein requirements actually increase by about 50% in older dogs” goes back to the Wannemacher paper.

    I don’t really know where this number comes from “Older dogs should receive at least 25% of their calories from protein.”. It may a number Purina came up with based on “their energy requirements tend to decrease”

    I know I look for around 25% + calories fed as protein for Brooke as she has low energy requirements.

    Of course digestibility plays a role in all of this as “higher” protein diets may actually have less available protein than ones that appear lower.and even Purina modifies protein calories below 25% in their renal diet.

  • aimee

    Hi Jellycat,

    It is probably best for you to read the study yourself. I know the authors did use tissue biopsies to guide their conclusions.

    NRC reports Min protein as 20 grams/1000kcals which if you use 3.5 kcals/grams is about 7% calories as protein. if you use 4 kcals/grams 8% protein calories.

  • JellyCat

    Hi aimee,
    I’m a bit lazy/busy to read the study, but I’m curious if you remember how they determined that these levels are optimal? What does the optimal mean, does it mean the bare minimum to support life?

  • Shawna

    I didn’t realize it was expected of me to reference every comment I make? This will definitely change how I post on this site as I simply don’t have time for that.

    “Young adults as 12%” and “old dogs as 18%” — “All dogs were fed agar-gel diets (4) which supplied 70% of the calories as varying amounts of casein, sucrose, dextrose and dextrin (carbohydrate sources in a 1:3.75:1.8 ratio, respectively); 30% of the calories as lard;” Yep, that sounds like your average dog’s diet. If we were feeding our dogs a casein and sucrose diet this might be relevant to the average pet owner.

    This paper has a similar sound to the Purina site ” Protein requirements actually increase by about 50% in older dogs, while their energy requirements tend to decrease. When insufficient protein is provided, it can aggravate the age-associated loss of lean body mass and may contribute to earlier mortality. Older dogs should receive at least 25% of their calories from protein.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18656844

    In looking at the calorie weighted versus dry matter on this website, looks like many of the four star foods fit this minimum “at least” amount. The first one I looked at was 4 Health – calorie weighted was 25% while dry matter was 29%. This is the minimum per the above paper that should be fed to seniors.
    I don’t think you really have much room to talk about “meaningful” posts.

  • aimee

    Thanks Pitlove!

  • aimee

    Thanks for the kind words el doctor

  • aimee

    Hi Shawna,

    When you “took that data straight from Purina Veterinary Diets website” you left off the most important part….. the reference!!

    There is no need for me to call Purina because Purina referenced the statement so that anyone could access the data and see what level of protein the statement “50% more” refers to.

    To make your post meaningful you really need to provide the reference, otherwise people may falsely conclude that senior dogs require a lot more protein than what the study reported which was 18% calories fed as protein, the AAFCO min.

    The reference, Wannemacher and McCoy ‘s paper “Determination of Optimal Dietary Protein Requirements of Young and Old Dogs reported optimal dietary protein levels in the young adults as 12 % calories fed as protein and optimal dietary protein in the old dogs as 18% calories fed as protein.

  • aquariangt

    Let’s rewind exactly one day when you accused PitLove of not even being an animal lover. Or the majority of your posts to many users under many screen names here, include Dr. Mike. You of all people have no right to even comment on someone’s “rudeness”

  • Pitlove

    Hey Aimee can dish it out as much as she can take it 😛 however, I will always continue to give her props for ability to back up what she says with knowledge!

  • el doctor

    Hi aimee

    I know that intense scrutiny of one’s comments can result in someone developing bad feelings towards the scrutinizer (I don’t know if that’s a word),

    Therefore, I would like to complement you for staying calm and collected, and always answering the questions asked of you, as you are the most intensely scrutinized poster on DFA!!!

  • Pitlove

    Never thought I’d say this, but Purina actually impressed me right there.

  • el doctor

    Hi Shawna

    “Maybe this makes me a petty person but I now am waiting for the opportunity to use the statement myself.”

    Uh oh!

    I edited my comment to reflect that it was only the first sentence I thought was rude and insulting, thank you for your apology!

  • Shawna

    Maybe this makes me a petty person but I now am waiting for the opportunity to use the statement myself. I can think back on many a time it would have been perfect but was not aware of it — like a conversation with another about enzymes a few years back.
    I don’t particularly think the second sentence was either rude or insulting either but I apologize that you did take it that way.

  • Shawna

    Do you believe the biology of today’s dog suggests an herbivorous diet is best for them?

  • el doctor

    Hi Shawna

    There was no need to be rude and insulting in your reply to me, and you happened to be wrong on both counts :)

    “Wow, I bet you’ve been waiting a while to use that. Too bad you didn’t use it in proper context.”

    “Edit — Okay, after a re-read of the definition I have to say — well played el doctor. You got me… :)”

    Your honesty is refreshing!

  • Crazy4dogs

    No kidding! My lab brings us the baby bunnies and all go crazy chasing the chipmunks & squirrels!

  • Shawna

    I took that data straight from Purina Veterinary Diets website aimee. They have a little diagram that shows 50% more protein, for added emphasis I’m guessing. I suggest you call them to find your answer.

    “Senior dogs and cats have a greater need for protein than young adult pets. 4,5

    Protein requirements actually increase by about 50% in older dogs, while their calorie needs tend to decrease.

    Older cats also need more protein than their younger counterparts.

    Because older pets metabolize protein less efficiently, they can benefit from a diet with ample supplies of high-quality protein.” https://www.purinaveterinarydiets.com/nutrition-myths-facts/senior-pets-and-protein/

  • Shawna

    Wow, I bet you’ve been waiting a while to use that. Too bad you didn’t use it in proper context.

  • Pitlove

    amen to that!

  • aquariangt

    In the last month, my Sheltie has killed 2 rabbits and one of my chickens. Prey Drive is not out of domestic dogs.

  • Pitlove

    Well I had a good answer typed out, but disqus is being screwy. Heres the “short” version.

    First off thanks for the compliment on the name. I love pitbulls and own an AmStaff :)

    Secondly, the reason we want to mimic their natural diet is because for a healthy dog is provides optimal nutrition. Cancer and other terrible diseases are not common if even seen in populations of wild dogs because they are eating a diet that is providing them with the highest quality living and fresh nutrition

    As for dogs not hunting, my boyfriends 14 year old rat terrier wandered out of their yard and was found 2 days later eating a dead rabbit in the middle of the road that he had killed.

    Also my dog tries to eat motor oil, that doesnt mean he’s adapted to do so or I should let him. I don’t know why they eat trash, poop, rat poison etc but it doesn’t mean it should be integrated into their diet or they have evolved to eat those things.

  • el doctor

    Hi Thea

    Thank you for your thoughts, I appreciate your honest feedback and I think it’s worth way more than just 2 cents!!

  • Thea

    Pitlove: (love the name): I agree greatly with parts of your post. For example, I think we do have a relatively good idea of what nutrients make up a healthy diet for dogs. Not because we know what their “ancestral” diet is. More for the reasons you listed. Here’s where I would diverge from your thoughts: “… to mimic that of freshly caught and eaten small game/prey in the wild.”

    Why is that the goal? The latest theories of dog evolution are that dogs evolved eating from human garbage heaps. So that the dogs didn’t have to hunt. Much easier to just eat last night’s say baked potato or rice paddies or tofu. So, while humans may want to help our dogs meet certain nutritional profiles based on studies of anatomy and (hopefully) actual feeding studies, leaping to the idea that we want to make those nutrition profiles match freshly caught game does not follow.

  • Pitlove

    While there might not be a concrete “one diet fits all” model for raw, there are nutritionists who based on the contemporary research of the anatomy of the canine GI tract, dentition and the study of their DNA counterpart, the grey wolf, have figured out what kind of diet they do in fact require to thrive and what vitamins, minerals, antioxidants etc are needed in a man made raw diet to mimic that of freshly caught and eaten small game/prey in the wild.

    Commercial ANYTHING, be it raw diets or canned or kibble based diets are convience if nothing else. A proper raw diet would come from working closely with a nutritionist who has the educational background and in depth understanding of canines dietary needs in their true form and how to balance the diet so that it is not deficient in any source of nutrients. Dogs and humans were meant to eat living foods to thrive and lead healthful long lives. Not overprocessed hormone ladden junk food.

  • el doctor

    Hi Shawna

    Your assertion that because you have yet to find one science based article or research paper linking healthy dietary fats to pancreatitis means that healthy fats don’t cause pancreatitis, is what is known as an argument from ignorance;

    “Argument from ignorance (Latin: argumentum ad ignorantiam), also known as appeal to ignorance (in which ignorance stands for “lack of evidence to the contrary”), is a fallacy in informal logic. It asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false (or vice versa). This represents a type of false dichotomy in that it excludes a third option, which is that there is insufficient investigation and therefore insufficient information to prove the proposition satisfactorily to be either true or false. Nor does it allow the admission that the choices may in fact not be two (true or false), but may be as many as four,”

  • Shawna

    Sometimes it really is helpful to go to the research. MSG and the likes are very very important to the food industry (just like high fructose corn syrup and GMO’s) and they aren’t going down without a fight. Knowledge is power though.

    “Excitotoxic damage is a common pathologic event in a number of neurologic diseases occurring after accumulation of excess
    extracellular glutamate in the CNS and subsequent overstimulation of glutamate receptors.” Journal Neurology http://www.neurology.org/content/61/8/1113.short

    “Molecular mechanisms of glutamate receptor-mediated excitotoxic neuronal cell death

    Excitotoxicity is one of the most extensively studied processes of
    neuronal cell death, and plays an important role in many central nervous
    system (CNS) diseases, including CNS ischemia, trauma, and
    neurodegenerative disorders. First described by Olney, excitotoxicity
    was later characterized as an excessive synaptic release of glutamate,
    which in turn activates postsynaptic glutamate receptors. ” http://link.springer.com/article/10.1385/MN:24:1-3:107

    “Excitotoxic Amino Acids and Neuropsychiatric Disorders” http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.pa.30.040190.000403?journalCode=pharmtox

    “Neuronal injury resulting from glutamate receptor–mediated
    excitotoxicity has been implicated in a wide spectrum of neurological
    disease states, including ischemia, central nervous system trauma, and
    some types of neurodegenerative diseases.” http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ana.410350707/abstract

    That was from a SUPER quick google scholar search. I can find a WHOLE LOT more if I actually had the time.

    Lectins ARE NOT destroyed during cooking. In the below article they discuss treatment possibilities – namely giving the sugar (like mannose, galactagose, glucosamine etc) that the lectin binds with to prevent disease within the person eating the lectin. If cooking was enough, my 4 years old grandson would not react to gluten the way he does as we never fed him raw wheat of any kind.

    “Do dietary lectins cause disease?
    The evidence is suggestive—and raises interesting possibilities for treatment

    Lectins are carbohydrate binding proteins present in most plants,
    especially seeds and tubers like cereals, potatoes, and beans. Until
    recently their main use was as histology and blood transfusion reagents,
    but in the past two decades we have realised that many lectins are (a) toxic, inflammatory, or both; (b) resistant to cooking and digestive enzymes; ” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1115436/

  • Thea

    el doctor: re: “People like myself are very keen on feeding our dogs based on their ancestral diet.”

    I appreciate the thought and think it is very understandable. But I have some thoughts for you: To be able to “feed dogs based on their ancestral diet”: a) there has to be a single ancestral diet that maximized dogs’ health. b) we can figure out what that diet was, c) dogs can not have evolved since then to have different biological needs. I don’t think we know any of these points, with the possible exception of the last one.

    I understand the gut level feeling that a single ancestral diet would be the ideal answer to the question: What is the best diet for my dog? But I don’t think looking back to X geographic region in Y point in time would actually answer the question.

    I prefer the model of looking at the biology of today’s dogs, along with lifetime feeding experiments, to figure out what is the best way to feed our dogs.

    Just my 2 cents. Thanks for your post. I also hope you have great success in feeding your dog(s)!

  • Thea

    Shawna: NutritionFacts.org is one of the most reliable sources for nutrition information that I know. Here’s what Dr. Greger says about MSG in two different years:

    from one video: “Harmful, harmless, or helpful: MSG, found in fast food Chinese and in Bragg’s liquid aminos, a common veggie seasoning. No wonder it makes stuff taste so good. In 1997 there was a consensus meeting of top European scientists which concluded MSG was harmless. They met again last year to review all the latest data on the subject, and how many say they now concluded harmful? How many say they stuck with harmless? Anyone think they found some secret hidden healthy properties? Utterly harmless”

    from a video two years later: “What about, MSG? The scientific consensus has been that MSG is generally harmless, but what’s the latest Monosodium glutamate allergy, menace or myth? Myth. Despite concerns raised in the 1960’s, decades of research have failed to demonstrate a clear and consistent relationship between MSG and the kinds of reactions people typically attribute to it.”

    http://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-msg-bad-for-you/
    http://nutritionfacts.org/video/update-on-msg/

    *************
    Here’s what people need to know about Lectins:

    “[Paleo diet proponents] argue that lectins naturally present in these starchy foods are harmful to human health. Consuming too many lectins can cause significant gastrointestinal distress. However, because legumes and grains are almost always consumed in a cooked form—and lectins are destroyed during cooking—eating beans and grains doesn’t result in lectin overload. ”
    from: http://nutritionfacts.org/2014/09/23/will-the-real-paleo-diet-please-stand-up/

  • el doctor

    Hi Shawna

    I’m sorry you feel that way, but your feelings don’t make my comment untrue, or change the fact that MANY commercial raw diets contain more fat than a dogs ancestral diet.

  • Pitlove

    My point exactly. In order to be considered fit for human consumption the meat, fish, poultry whatever, would have to pass a UDSA inspection to be labeled as such.

    Weruva is an example of a dog and cat food that uses ingredients that are fit for human consumption. Here is section from their F.A.Q talking about their food being manufactured in Thailand—

    “Thailand is recognized as a world leader when it comes to food production for humans. Importantly, the USFDA recognizes the Thai FDA. In a nutshell, if the Thai authorities say our factory is good to go on human standards, the US will accept that. This notion carries over to a similar branch in Thailand called the Department of Livestock Development (DLD). The DLD is similar to our USDA. The DLD sets forth certain processing guidelines. Our chicken, for instance, is DLD certified.”

  • aquariangt

    It’s an odd argument she made for Human Grade, because even though that EXACT wording has no legal meaning, it does say in the law that to use Human Grade, that means that the food is human edible, which does

  • Pitlove

    Hi Wendy- You are very right and a huge selling point for me and others is if a company can make the claim that their meats were USDA inspected and passed as fit for human consumption. There ARE in fact some commerical raw and dry diets on the market that do meet those guidelines. I believe it was Aimee who said that “human grade” has no legal meaning, however I’ve heard the exact opposite and if it has no legal meaning I would assume that all commercial companies in the dog food industry could use it to attract customers, just like they use the terms “urinary tract health” or “dental health” which do in fact have no legal meaning and is only a means of marketing. However, I do not see majority of the household name brands making that claim. I wonder why?

    Everyone on DFA and the editors promote researching the company of any food you choose to feed before feeding. That would include Vegan dog foods as their plant crops could contain GMO ingredients. Vegan dog food is not safe from the horrors of the commercial dog food industry just because it is meat-less. It is still important to know the company and the sourcing of the ingredients be them meat or not.

  • Shawna

    It shows the differences we each value in a food. Fat doesn’t really bother me so much. I even give my dogs EXTRA fat in the form of coconut oil.

    What bothers me about V-dog is that the main protein in the food “pea protein concentrate” is an excitotoxin. Like MSG (monosodium glutamate), I have to assume that in susceptible pets it could cause the same or similar neurological and other issues that it does in humans — heart disease, multiple sclerosis, brain damage and so on. YIKES

    Edit — That doesn’t even begin to address the HUGE number of lectins in this food. Lectins are quite dangerous as they can cause autoimmune diseases and other illnesses.

  • Shawna

    Okay, I’ll rephrase that to make you happy. I stated this in my first post but I guess I’ll have to state it this way in every post.

    There is no research linking dietary fat as a cause of pancreatitis so….. Better? Says the same thing but if you like that wording better I can make it happen.

  • Shawna

    I think that is very narrow minded el doctor as there are many lower (and even low) fat commercial options available if one is wanting them and willing to look.

  • Wendy

    Hi el doctor, that has been my experience also! Seems so many companies have sprung up selling raw commercial dog/cat food now and it’s like everything else — buyer beware! The ONLY two raw food brands I found in my local pet store that I would trust are so cost prohibitive I can’t consider either of them as a steady diet for my 2 large dogs. However, they both make excellent products.

    The others I have researched are heavy on the fat content. And let’s face it, it’s the animals that didn’t make the grade for human consumption that turn up in raw food. Spent dairy cows, etc. and basically the “trim” from animals killed for human consumption. Whether commercial raw or kibble, it’s all human food waste ingredients. Personally, my own ethical reasons aside, I feel much more comfortable with V-Dog’s ingredient panel than other kibbles and most other commercial raw diets out there.

  • el doctor

    Hi Shawna

    Dang it, I was hoping you had some proof that your statement “we know that healthy fats don’t “cause” pancreatitis,” was true.

    Thanks anyway :)

  • Pitlove

    “Pancreatitis is a fairly common disease among cats and dogs,” says Steiner. “There is no way to cure or prevent pancreatitis, and there is no evidence to suggest that pancreatitis is more common among any particular age or breed of pet.”

    http://vetmed.tamu.edu/news/pet-talk/pancreatitis

    Well that doesn’t help…The article mentions restricting fats when the patient has been diagnosed with pancreatitis, however does not mention anything about fats being the cause.

    http://vet.uga.edu/ivcvm/courses/vpat5215/digestive/week03/pancreas/pancreatic_necrosis.htm

    this article mentions fat being the cause, but does not mention what types of fat. Just a high fat and low protein diet.

    this is from an actual experiment that I found the google doc to—

    “- There is some evidence that hypertriglyceridemia might contribute to the pathogenesis of pancreatitis in dogs and low-fat diets are recommend to prevent recurrence of pancreatitis, although there are no prospective studies to support this recommendation and hypertriglyceridemia might not be a contributing factor in all dogs with pancreatitis “

  • LabsRawesome

    You need to learn what the word ridicule means. Popeye’s Chicken is awesome, that is my opinion, not a ridiculing statement.

  • LabsRawesome

    Exactly. :)

  • Shawna

    No, I don’t have research articles saved and I don’t have the time to look it up. I do believe I’ve seen them, thought you were the one that provided them even, but if I am wrong I will most certainly admit it.

    I would assume the way unhealthy (edit – specifically rancid) fats cause pancreatitis (if they in fact do) is due to their pro-inflammatory nature.

  • aimee

    Shawna,
    Will you post the links to the research that rancid fats “cause” pancreatitis? I’ve never seen that

    Specifically, what is the mechanism by which a fat on your unhealthy list will “cause” pancreatitis while a “healthy” fat will not?

  • aimee

    Shawna,
    When you write:
    “senior dogs actually require more protein than their adult counterparts.
    As much as 50% more due to their inability to digest it as
    efficiently.”

    What protein level in an adult dog is the “50% more” you are reporting based on?

    Which is the better deal? Should I buy product X from store A at a cost of $9.99 or from store B at 50% off regular price?

  • Shawna

    “Can you please post links to the studies and/or peer reviewed papers that prove “healthy fats don’t “cause” pancreatitis,””

    Uhm, I don’t believe that’s really how it works el doctor. If it was, they could easily prove that cigarettes don’t cause cancer if they studied 100 smokers and a statistically significant number of those 100 did not develop lung cancer.

    If you doubt that statement however, why don’t you look for studies that show a causal factor — “healthy” fats only though. Up front, you WILL be able to find studies showing a benefit to limiting dietary fats once the disease has developed. I don’t deny that. You WILL be able to find studies showing high triglycerides are implicated (aimee has posted those). I don’t deny that either however they’ve known for a long time that carbs (sugar) contribute to higher triglycerides. This was published in 2000 “It has been known for decades that low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets can increase plasma triglyceride levels” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11082210

  • el doctor

    Hi Wendy and Thea

    I used to think that raw diets were the top of the line in nutrition for our beloved dogs. What I found is there is A LOT of fat in most commercial raw foods.

    People like myself are very keen on feeding our dogs based on their ancestral diet. Unfortunately the raw food manufacturers who market their foods as being similar to a dog’s ancestral diet are falling short in one key area, FAT.

    Instead of a breakdown of approximately 49% Protein, 44% Fat, and 6% carbohydrates on a calorie weighted basis, we are seeing fat at 60% and higher.

    In my opinion this makes high fat raw foods a risky choice for dogs with pancreatitis and also puts a giant question mark on the overall suitability of commercial raw diets for ANY dog.

    I hope you continue to have success in balancing out your dog’s diet

  • el doctor

    Hi Shawna

    “Since we know that healthy fats don’t “cause” pancreatitis, I think we actually can argue that specific point.”

    I really hope this is true!

    Can you please post links to the studies and/or peer reviewed papers that prove “healthy fats don’t “cause” pancreatitis,”

    Thank you

  • Shawna

    Thea,

    Of course we have to make adjustments when a dog is ill but newer research has now shown that senior dogs actually require more protein than their adult counterparts. As much as 50% more due to their inability to digest it as efficiently.

    They also know that high protein actually helps the kidneys and does not in any way harm them.
    “Evidence that high protein diets enhance renal function in normal dogs has led to confusion among
    veterinarians who have been told for
    decades that low protein diets may be beneficial for kidney function.”

    “Results of the 10 experimental studies on dogs have failed to
    provide evidence of the benefit of reduced dietary protein to influence the course of renal failure.” http://www.dogaware.com/files/bovee.pdf

    Edit — Oops, meant to add this. Newer research has also demonstrated that senior dogs are less able to use glucose as fuel for their brains and use fat much more readily. Just so happens the fat is the medium chain triglycerides in foods like coconut oil though.

    The dog in my avatar had kidney disease from birth. She came to me at 9 weeks old already with symptoms. She was officially diagnosed at one year of age and given one more year to live. She lived almost nine years eating a HIGH protein, 45 to 54%, raw diet. She passed away from a tooth infection that went systemic, not from normal progression of kidney disease. She was never medicated for kidney disease either.

  • Shawna

    Since we know that healthy fats don’t “cause” pancreatitis, I think we actually can argue that specific point.

    Everything else you state, I completely agree with. We have to live with the consequences of our decisions and so we each have to do what makes the most sense for us with our pets in our specific situations.

    For the record, although I feed raw, I wasn’t specifically discussing raw diets in my above replies but higher protein in any form fed be it kibble, canned, dehydrated, home cooked or raw.

  • Wendy

    Thanks Shawna. I don’t think my vet was fear mongering, as she never tried to discourage me from feeding a raw diet. She was only telling me her experience within her practice. Research papers aside, I don’t think we can argue with first hand experience.

    I was following Dr. Karen Becker’s diet for quite some time and I truly believed it was the best diet out there. I had also consulted with a holistic vet who feeds her dogs raw and she confided that she had lost two of her previous dogs over the years to various cancers at young ages — all fed raw diets.

    We all want to give our dogs the best chance at a long and happy life. Unfortunately feeding/not feeding meat doesn’t come with guarantees. We have to do what feels right based on our own experiences.

  • Wendy

    Thanks Thea. At no point had my vet ever tried to talk me out of the raw diet, so I don’t think she was fear mongering as Shawna has suggested. The fact your friend’s dog had a pancreatitis attack while on raw certainly adds to my suspicion that it played a part in my beloved dog’s untimely death.

  • Thea

    Wendy: I’m sorry your dog passed. That’s very interesting about the pancreatitis. I have a friend who had been feeding her dog the raw diet too. Her dog also developed pancreatitis. My friend is a full omnivore, but after doing research, she started feeding her elderly dog a vegan diet. (Freshly cooked food as opposed to v-dog, but still a shocking change from the previous diet.) For being a 15 year old medium sized-part golden dog, her dog is doing very well now on this low-fat, low-protein diet. No more symptoms regarding the pancreatitis (or the kidney disease that was also a problem).

    That’s just an anecdote. But it is very interesting to me that your vet said that she/he is starting to see a pattern.

  • Wendy

    Thea, we are on exactly the same page. Right now mine are getting about half their calories from V-Dog, the other half from fresh food. It’s great to hear a success story about this food from someone who has been feeding it long term. Thank you for your input!

  • Pitlove

    Thats not ridiculing someone, its called humor.

  • Thea

    Wendy: re: “To say “most people that feed vegetarian/vegan do it because of their own beliefs” is simply untrue.” Thank you for saying this. I feed v-dog to my dog because after all the research I did, I decided it was the healthiest option for him. My choice in dog food had nothing to do with larger ethical considerations, only those ethical considerations related to my dog’s health. (My dog went vegan before I did. He got so healthy, I just had to follow his good example.)

    V-dog totally ended up being the right food choice for my dog (as well as being the right choice for everyone else I have spoken to who has tried it). After 5+ years on v-dog, my best buddy has already lived past the average lifespan for his breed, and the vet says (along with his bloodwork) that my dog is in fantastic shape!

    It really bothers me when people assume they know my motivations regarding the healthy of my dog.

  • JellyCat

    I think it’s a safe assumption that most dog owners feeding their dogs vegetarian or vegan diet do so based on their believes.
    I’m sure there is a lot of kibble with more harmful ingredients than this one, but it doesn’t make this particular kibble great.

  • el doctor

    “I have never ridiculed a person for not eating meat”

    That’s not entirely true. –

    “why kill another living being to harvest that which can be harvested with no suffering involved?”

    Your reply –

    “Because Popeye’s Chicken is awesome.”

  • Wendy

    Two comments you made in this thread … “chicken is awesome with BBQ sauce” … “because Popeye’s chicken is yum”. To quote one of your comments to Amish Jain … “WTF does that have to do with anything?” Indeed, what did your two comments have to do with dog food? My guess is they were said merely to take a shot at the non-meat-eating readers of this thread, knowing full well it would offend them. To say “most people that feed vegetarian/vegan do it because of their own beliefs” is simply untrue. How do you know who those people are and why they chose those diets? I’m pet sitting a dog right now with thryroid and skin issues. The bag of food he came with has no “meat” except for chicken fat and fish oil. The other ingredients are highly questionable as well. This is the food his vet recommended. I believe V-Dog would be a far better diet for this poor dog than what he is on. For the record I DO feed a fresh, meat-based diet to my own dogs, and supplement with V-Dog. I trust it over any other kibble on the market. No recalls, no rendered meat.

  • el doctor

    “you can’t judge someone’s feelings towards animals purely by whether or not they eat meat”

    Judging peoples feelings by their ACTIONS is a lot more accurate than judging a persons feelings by their WORDS.

    In my humble opinion If you eat or feed meats that were raised in feedlots and/or CAFOS you are contributing to the degradation and cruelty that are thrust upon these innocent creatures for the sake of cheaper meat!

  • el doctor

    Hi Shawna

    Thank you for your thoughts and opinions!

    I can only hope that you show the same respect for other people’s opinions as you would like people to show for yours.

    Thank you

  • LabsRawesome

    I have never ridiculed a person for not eating meat. I do not agree with vegetarian/vegan people that deny their dogs, that have a definite carnivorous bias, meat. In the extremely rare event that a dog is allergic to every single meat protein known to man, then yes they would have to be fed vegetarian food. But that is a rare occurrence. Most people that feed their dogs vegetarian/vegan do it because of their own beliefs, not because the dog requires it.

  • Pitlove

    I’m fairly certain judging by their actions, that my dog and cat deeply care for me and I think I love them a lot given the painstaking effort I’ve made to provide them with the best nutrition I can afford on a tight budget.

    Anyone who has ever met me in real life knows how I feel towards animals. Seeing animals in pain hurts me SO deeply that I’ve moved road kill out of the middle of the road because I can NOT stand it when people continue to run it over after they are dead.

  • Shawna

    I understand why folks opt to feed a vegan diet to their dogs and cats. HOWEVER, a majority of the vegans that post on this page aren’t opposed to just feeding their dogs and cats “feedlot meats”. Rather they are opposed to feeding ANY meat. I’ve never heard a vegan say it’s okay to drink milk from a cow raised naturally on a farm.

    Taking it a step further, when given the reason for feeding their carnivore (in my opinion) the diet of an herbivore is because it’s “healthier” for the dog or cat, I have to say – get a grip on reality. There is NO WAY an extruded, highly synthetically supplemented diet is going to produce optimal health in any being be it dog, cat, cow or human. In a sense, in my opinion, feeding a dog (and especially cat) a food like V-dog is akin to feeding cows gmo corn, soy and candy. Neither were ever meant to eat the diet being forced upon them.

  • aquariangt

    That’s a pretty aggressively arrogant statement, and had it been near the top of the recent comments list, would probably turn off some new people to this site who were trying to better their pets lives. I would also go so far as to say absolutely not true, you can’t judge someone’s feelings towards animals purely by whether or not they eat meat.

  • aquariangt

    Love the point made in your last paragraph. People don’t realize that when they or their dogs are sensitive to something like corn for example, what exactly that does when eating a corn fed animal. While taste wise grass fed beef is certainly lacking, from a nutritional standpoint, the difference it can make it pretty astounding. During my Paleo months (as well as other times, but im less strict on it) and I go to purely grass fed beef-there is absolutely a difference.

  • el doctor

    Hi Shawna, thanks for your comment!

    “The part I disagree on — in my opinion you simply can not get the same quality of nutrients from a supplemented diet let alone one that has been extruded beyond any recognition of its original appearance. I believe it would be quite difficult for the average vegan to feed their dog (and especially cat) a homemade, fresh food vegan diet and have it be properly balanced and have ample variety.”

    Actually, we are in total agreement!

  • el doctor

    Hi Shawna

    “If a person realizes their
    dog is a “carnivore” and yet opts to feed it as if it were an herbivore,
    how is that not a form of animal abuse”

    It is a form of animal abuse!

    People who feed their dogs or cats a meat-less diet for ethical reasons consider the abuse of ALL animals, not just their own.

    When these people add up the animal abuse they would cause by not feeding their dogs meat, versus the animal abuse they would cause by feeding their dogs meat, they come to the following conclusion.

    The amount of animal abuse caused by feeding your dog a meat-less diet pales in comparison to the amount of suffering caused be each and every person who feeds their dog feedlot meats.

  • Pitlove

    Thank you Shawna. Even the sites toting about how cats and dogs can live on a vegan diet say that the diet needs to be so carefully balanced, even MORE so than a raw meat based diet. Seems like the nutritionist would deserve an award for balancing it correctly.

  • Shawna

    “People who do not feed their dog’s meat because they have a deep respect for ALL animals should be applauded and not spoken to as if they don’t realize their dog’s a carnivore.”

    I have a huge problem with that statement. If a person realizes their dog is a “carnivore” and yet opts to feed it as if it were an herbivore, how is that not a form of animal abuse (medical conditions like liver shunt etc aside)?

  • Shawna

    I agree with most everything you say.. There definitely needs to be more awareness on how our food animals are raised and slaughtered. Pigs in gestation crates, veal calves, baby chicks being ground alive and so so so much more pain and suffering just so we can eat cheap meat. It’s truly a disgrace. :(

    The part I disagree on — in my opinion you simply can not get the same quality of nutrients from a supplemented diet let alone one that has been extruded beyond any recognition of its original appearance. I believe it would be quite difficult for the average vegan to feed their dog (and especially cat) a homemade, fresh food vegan diet and have it be properly balanced and with ample variety.

  • Shawna

    I’m so very sorry you had to go through that Wendy!!

    I do believe your vet is doing a bit of fear mongering OR is simply unawares — for two reasons.

    1. I have yet to find one science based article or research paper linking “healthy”, “dietary” fats to pancreatitis. Yes, once the pancreas is inflamed (which is pancreatitis) fat needs to be reduced but healthy dietary fat is not the cause. High blood triglycerides can cause pancreatitis but it has been well established through research that carbohydrates (sugar) can raise blood triglycerides. It is also known, through science, that high protein diets help obese dogs lose weight.

    2. There are a number of vets that recommend a higher protein, meat centric diet – I like that :). Not only do they feed their own dogs these diets but they recommend these diets to their patients. IF an increase in pancreatitis was due to high meat protein diets these vets should be the first to see this. But they aren’t seeing it. Vets like Dr. Martin Goldstein, Dr. Karen Becker, Dr. Ian Billinghurst, Dr. Tom Lonsdale, Dr. Amy Nesselrodt, Dr. Peter Dobias and many, many, many more. All easily verifiable online.

    I’m not trying to change your mind about what you feed, but I am trying to get you to consider that maybe it wasn’t a meat centric diet that was the problem but possibly the way the meat was raised — corn fed, antibiotic laden, highly saturated beef. Excess dark meat chicken which is high in omega 6 fatty acids or something completely different.

    Thanks for hearing me out!!!

  • el doctor

    As long as the meats you eat are raised with the same respect, and love you give to your dogs and cats then I would consider you a true animal lover.

    If the meats you eat AND feed to your dog are not treated with that same respect, then you are not IMHO an animal lover.

  • Pitlove

    HA excuse me? I am not an animal lover because I feed meat based diets to my dog and cat? Just WOW! I can’t even begin to tell you how arrogant and down right ignornant that makes you look. Reminds me of the person who told Shawna “too bad you didn’t feed your K/D dog a low phosphorus diet or you would have had her around longer”. Plain EVIL!

    There is no high demand for vegan diets because it is not a popular fad. It’s widely known and excepted that dogs need meat in their diets.

    Cats can eat a meat-less diet?!?!?! LOL Hold the phone. That is the most incorrect information I’ve ever seen in my life. I have read countless stories of cats brought into the critical care unit at the local vet who’s vegan owners were feeding them a vegan diet and they were on the brink of death. The vet even said it was the diet and once they were given a meat based diet started to recover. Cats are OBLIGATE carnivores and you DO NOT under and circumstance mess with a cats diet or eating habits. That is a game of russian roulette that you will not win and will end up with a very sick cat in the process.

    No it’s not an untrue stereotype in fact I don’t think that is a stereotype about vegans at all. It was simply my experience with the hundreds I’ve met in my 28 years of life. My mom was part of many relgious groups like the Hari Krishna many of whom were vegan and vegetarian. I was immerssed in the lifestyle and was not given a choice as to whether or not I wanted to eat meat. I started eating chicken in ’09 and was terrified to tell my mom because I would have been deeply dissapointing her.

    The original poster was talking about dogs so I thought I’d get it back on track from my cat conversation and talk about dogs. This is a dog food rating website after all. Most people honor the dietary needs of their companion animals whether that be feeding live mice/rats to a snake or live feeders to aggressive fish or hay to rabbits. So why can’t a dog and cat eat meat?

  • Pitlove

    DFA reviews any food the editor’s are aware of is out on the market. It has nothing to do with what are most popular or anything else. If there are 16 vegan dog diets they are rated to be fair and so people can see their ratings just like they can see any other dog food on the market.

    We are free to post on here just like you are free to post on any other review of any meat based or non meat based food. Thats the beauty of the internet and the world now a days. As long as you are keeping it within the guidelines Dr.Mike has setting for posting you will not be shushed (banned).

    I checked the comments section up at the top and saw some comments on here that I found were rude and narrow minded and felt like responding. I have the right to do so.

  • el doctor

    Hi Pitlove

    “Sorry but it is as equally narrow minded to put down people who eat meat as it is to put down people who don’t”

    I agree!

    “I respect all animals and I love all animals,”

    The foods you choose to feed your pets tells a different story.

    “Animals are not being saved because vegans are feeding vegan foods to
    their dogs, the food is still sitting on the shelf and someone else is
    going to come along and buy it.”

    They most certainly are. Your statement shows your total lack of understanding of the basic rules of supply and demand.

    If the demand for dog foods with meat goes down, the supply will also go down. Your comment refers ONLY to the foods already on the shelf.

    “Should cats be forced to become that critically ill because of someones ethical views on the slaughter of animals for food?

    What a mis-informed statement!!!
    ALL the dietary requirements of a cat (or dog) can be met with a 100% meat-LESS food!!! ALL of the nutrients that cats (or dogs) require can be added to ANY food, yes, ANY food.

    “Animals in the wild are slaughtering each other because they need to eat”

    I totally agree and have no issues at all with the way animals act in nature. It is a thing of beauty!

    But the way that the overwhelming majority of food animals are treated in captivity is shameful and has nothing to do with nature. It is a testament to “Mans” disregard of nature.

    ” I can tell you that they (Vegetarians) are not respectful of people who do not have their same view points.”

    You have just reduced an entire segment of the population to an untrue stereotype. Good job!

    “Dogs are at our mercy when we bring them into our homes and it is up to
    us to respect their biological needs for their diet as their caregiver
    as much as we respect their needs of maintaining health, excersize, love
    and a caring home.”

    I have expanded your statement to include ALL animals, not just your personal favorites.

    All animals in captivity are at our mercy and it is up to
    us to respect all of these animals biological needs
    as much as we respect their needs of maintaining health, excersize, and love!

  • aquariangt

    If you’re going to use as many Avatars on this site as you do, you should probably not just repost the same thing on the same topic. js

  • Wendy

    No I certainly didn’t say that at all. In fact earlier posters were making statements that people who deny their dogs meat aren’t animal lovers. Respect IS a two way street. Since DFA has reviewed 16 vegetarian dog food formulas there is obviously a population of dog lovers out there who choose this type of food. Whether for ethical reasons or food sensitivities on the dog’s part is irrelevant. I have to wonder why the meat eaters/feeders are going into the vegetarian dog food reviews if not to disrespect those who are looking at it as an option.

  • Pitlove

    Is it ok for someone to say another person isn’t an animal lover because they eat meat? Or is that the same thing as what you think Labs is doing?

    Respect is a two way street as I stated in another post to El Doctor.

  • Wendy

    Thank you for the information, Shawna. One of my Goldens passed away last year, just shy of 11 years. He was fed a raw diet most of his life and I believed I was doing the best I could for him. Pancreatitis took him very suddenly, without warning. The vet said they are seeing more and more cases of pancreatitis in raw fed dogs. I was never comfortable feeding the raw diet and now with my other two dogs I’ve found a balance that I’m comfortable with and my dogs are doing well on. I know 11 years is considered a long life for a Golden but I still question whether I could have kept him healthy longer with a less meat centric diet.

  • Pitlove

    Sorry but it is as equally narrow minded to put down people who eat meat as it is to put down people who don’t. I respect all animals and I love all animals, however I am not going to deny my dog and ESPECIALLY not my cat the diet that is best for them.

    People and animals die every day, it is life. Animals in the wild are slaughtering each other because they need to eat and we as human beings hunted for millions of years before processed foods and grocery stores came around.

    You can not pretend that nature is kind and that death is not a part of life. It is humans who came in and destroyed the natural order of things. It is humans who torture animals and keep them in cages and inject hormones into them to make them so big they can’t support their own body weight. I applaud people who fight against animal abuse and inhumane treatment of animals, but I support local farmers and ranchers who slaughter their meat humanely and the companies that buy humanely raised and slaughtered animals.

    Respect is a two way street and having been raised by a vegetarian mother and around a lot of others who practiced this and around a lot people who were all natural in their lifestyles, I can tell you that they are not respectful of people who do not have their same view points. It is no better to be narrow minded as a vegan as it is to be narrow minded as anything else. Dogs are at our mercy when we bring them into our homes and it is up to us to respect their biological needs for their diet as their caregiver as much as we respect their needs of maintaining health and excersize and love and a caring home.

  • Shawna

    Hi Wendy,

    Your vet is correct that “protein” causes allergies but if you vet left the discussion at that then he/she is not telling you the whole story as grains have protein too. Gliadin, as an example, is a part of the gluten protein in wheat, hordein is in barley and so on. We all know that vegans get their “protein” requirements from plants sources like soy and legumes right.

    I will say though that grains are not common food allergies however food allergies are fairly rare to begin with. Grains, dairy (obviously not vegan), nightshade plants (like potato) and others more commonly cause food sensitivities which are far more common. They can also be very very debilitating to susceptible individuals – they can even cause autoimmune diseases.

    Here’s the definition of a lectin “any of a class of proteins, chiefly of plant origin, that bind specifically to certain sugars and so cause agglutination of particular cell types.”

    I like this article discussing lectins
    “Lectins — A Little Known Trouble Maker

    Whole grains, peanuts, kidney beans, and soybeans are high in lectins. Cow’s milk, nightshade vegetables (like potatoes and tomatoes) and some seafood also contain fairly high amounts of lectin.

    Because the lectins also circulate throughout the bloodstream they can bind to any tissue in the body ­— thyroid, pancreas, collagen in joints, etc.2 This binding can disrupt the function of that tissue and cause white blood cells to attack the lectin-bound tissue, destroying it. This is an autoimmune response. The lectins in wheat for example, are specifically known to be involved in rheumatoid arthritis.” http://www.institutefornaturalhealing.com/2009/07/lectins-a-little-known-trouble-maker/

    Lectins can also cause gut permeability which then allows undigested protein (animal and plant based) into the blood circulation and in this when can actually cause allergies to other foods.
    This vegan kibble could be quite dangerous for dogs, far beyond a simple mild, albeit annoying, allergy.

  • el doctor

    Hi Pitlove

    People who lead Vegan lifestyles because they “respect” food animals as much as they respect their pets are true animal lovers, and ALL of a dogs dietary requirements can be met without sacrificing the life of another animal.

  • Wendy

    No, not because you like meat. Because you ridicule those who choose not to eat meat. There’s no point posting on the V-Dog thread or any of the vegetarian threads when clearly you have no experience with it or intention of feeding it to your dogs. If a dog has allergies to most meat proteins (and my vet has indicated the proteins are the cause of allergies, not grains), then a vegan diet is of great benefit to the dog. But if a person indicates they want to feed that same diet to a dog because of ethical choices … different story.

  • Pitlove

    Hi Vegan Mary-

    I was born and raised vegetarian, however I respect that dogs DO in fact require meat in their diet. Their GI tracts are closer to a cats than a humans and they digest quality animal protein usually in a raw form better than any other source of protein because of the anatomy of their GI tract.

    Also, if you want people to respect your choice to eat vegan, you can not turn around and slander your friends, claiming if you eat meat you are not a true animal lover. That is no less a narrow minded view than people who can’t believe you feed a vegan diet to a carnivore. And it’s downright disrespectful.

    I’m glad your dogs…thrived..on a vegan diet, however your attitude needs an adjustment and until then it will be hard for people to respect your views on veganism and vegan dog diets.

  • Pitlove

    Hi– I understand your point and I was born and raised vegetarian, however if you want people to respect your choice to eat vegan or vegetarian, you also need to be able to respect a dogs biological dietary needs. Unfortunetly that does include meat. Now that there is new research out, we are learning that they are scavenging carnivores and not true omnivores like humans are. They do require meat in their diet, unless a medical condition is present that does not allow them to eat animal based protein sources.

  • LabsRawesome

    I’m a bully because I like meat? 90% of the world is a bully then.

  • Wendy

    LabsRawesome, I used to respect your posts but now I realize you’re a misinformed bully.

  • Polo And Cody

    I get it is not the best food for your dog according to the comments and everything, but really I give V-Dog props. It’s trying to make vegan dog food and imagine if you were a vegan and had to still feed your dog poultry,beef,pork, etc. wouldn’t it break your heart? Plus there aren’t many vegan dog foods out there (the only other one I’m known of is halos vegan canned).

  • theBCnut

    There is NOWHERE on this site where Dr. Mike claims that dogs are carnivores. There is a large difference between having a carnivorous bias and being a carnivore.

  • Crazy4dogs

    It says carnivorous bias, meaning they would eat more meat than plant based protein. Many of the prey diets mimic what they would eat in nature: Approx. 80% animal – 20% plant.
    Of course, you are free to feed whatever you choose.

  • Becca Pearson

    There is no way this site will ever be un-biased. Their fundamental premise, that dogs are carnivores, is simply FALSE. I too have seen countless large muscular dogs thrive on V-dog.

  • DogFoodie

    That’s absolutely awful. Do you have no respect for the life of a human child?

  • Esme DeVille

    Next time you to take your dogs around the block go ahead and put a leash on that limp carrot in your refrigerator. Then lets talk.

    Oh, and FIY: Pigs are smarter than dogs AND human toddlers. #eatthekid

  • Esme DeVille

    V-dog is free of corn, wheat and soy.

  • Esme DeVille

    “Meant” is an overstatement. Your dog is as far removed from wild wolves as your cat is to a lion. Over centuries they have become entirely different species with entirely different needs and abilities. Homeless dogs do not survive long outside of cities because there is no human trash to eat. Go to underdeveloped parts of Europe and Asia. All homeless animals live in cities. Dogs survive on human food, not on their wolf-like hunting abilities. Why? Because MOST dogs suck at it. Sure, a dog can go chase down chickens or lamb in captivity, but in the wild? Forget about it.

    Stop thinking of your dachshund or mastiff as a wolf. They’re nowhere close to wolves.

  • Esme DeVille

    And yes, I am vegan for environmental and ethical reasons.

  • Esme DeVille

    Are you kidding?? “there is no pressure on the meat industry”? Are you living under a rock?! Factory farming, pollution, water consumption — all mainstream agendas directly against the meat industry.

  • theBCnut

    We have the teeth of an omnivore. Our front teeth are not flat, and quite frankly, our back teeth aren’t very flat either.

  • franklin

    Interesting. The human digestive tract is long and our teeth are those of an herbivore. We are herbivores with an ego that makes us think that we are carnivore.

  • tartmuffinsmom

    LabsRawesone is obviously not able to have an independent thought so he assumes PETA must do your thinking. The things people feel the need to say to make them feel superior about their poor choices would be close to funny if they had any wit at all. The animals surely appreciate your thoughtful choices.

  • tartmuffinsmom

    Aggressive? By advocating compassion and freedom she is aggressive to you. The would be chicken jokester without any wit.

  • LabsRawesome

    Because Popeye’s Chicken is awesome.

  • A.Outrage

    Good for you. Protein is protein, whether it comes from a dead animal carcass or plant-based. So if one can get the protein from a plant, why kill another living being to harvest that which can be harvested with no suffering involved? It’s a no brainer to me.

  • vegan mary

    Hi A Outrage

    Vegans save the lives of thousands of animals just by living a vegan lifestyle. Vegans who adopt dogs and feed them a vegan diet save the lives of the dogs they adopt and the thousands of animals that they don’t sacrifice for the sake of their dogs

    I have lots of friends who call themselves animal lovers while they continue to eat meat and fish and poultry. They are really specists who only care about some animals while happily eating, wearing and sacrificing thousands of other animals.

    My friends and neighbors can’t believe I feed my dogs vegan. They can’t allow themselves to believe that a dogs can thrive on plants. They must perpetuate the lie that dogs neat meat to thrive, otherwise they might have to admit that they aren’t really animal lovers at all.

  • Shawna

    Thanks Dori,
    I just edited the OP by adding that now Canola is GRAS in infant formula when omega 6 Linoleic Acid is added at a 6:1 to 16:1 ratio.. I thought current recommendations for humans was 1:1 to no higher than 3:1? Maybe it’s different in infants?

  • Dori

    Thank you Shawna. The history of canola oil is fascinating and your explanation made it easy for me to understand.

  • Shawna

    Canola is a tricky one. Canola is now genetically modified in the same way that corn and other crops are but there’s a deeper history to Canola. Canola itself is a genetically altered plant. It’s parent plant is rapeseed but rapeseed is toxic to humans. Some data on rapeseed oil – “Rapeseed oil was a monounsaturated oil that had been used extensively in many parts of the world, notably in China, Japan and India. It contains almost 60 percent monounsaturated fatty acids (compared to about 70 percent in olive oil). Unfortunately, about two-thirds of the mono-unsaturated fatty acids in rapeseed oil are erucic acid, a 22-carbon monounsaturated fatty acid that had been associated with Keshan’s disease, characterized by fibrotic lesions of the heart. In the late 1970s, using a technique of genetic manipulation involving seed splitting,2 Canadian plant breeders came up with a variety of rapeseed that produced a monounsaturated oil low in 22-carbon erucic acid and high in 18-carbon oleic acid.

    Before LEAR oil could be promoted as a healthy alternative to polyunsaturated oils, it needed a new name. Neither “rape” nor “lear” could be expected to invoke a healthy image for the new “Cinderella” crop. In 1978, the industry settled on “canola,” for “Canadian oil,” since most of the new rapeseed at that time was grown in Canada. “Canola” also sounded like “can do” and “payola,” both positive phrases in marketing lingo. However, the new name did not come into widespread use until the early 1990s.”

    Skipping ahead in the linked article to the health benefits of Canola

    “These studies all point in the same direction–that canola oil is definitely not healthy for the cardiovascular system. Like rapeseed oil, its predecessor, canola oil is associated with fibrotic lesions of the heart. It also causes vitamin E deficiency, undesirable changes in the blood platelets and shortened life-span in stroke-prone rats when it was the only oil in the animals’ diet. Furthermore, it seems to retard growth, which is why the FDA does not allow the use of canola oil in infant formula.19” http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/the-great-con-ola/

  • A.Outrage

    Btw, as a man I am mortified by the many comments on that other thread. Quite frankly, it was shocking. It made me ashamed of my gender.

  • A.Outrage

    My absolute pleasure.

  • WhenYoureReady

    Thank you for your comments this morning on the NP article. I know this is an unrelated thread…I don’t want to enter the discussion there (the editor eventually took it off the page because people were so horrible) but wanted you to know how much your words meant. It has been a miserable day, reading all those comments, but yours really helped. Thank you for speaking up.

  • Crazy4cats

    Here is the link that describes his rating system. You can choose to use your own rating system using the information on this site.

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/frequently-asked-questions/rate-dog-food/

  • A.Outrage

    (“Amish J is based in India and has a vested interest in suggest a vegan agenda”) So, one could then argue that you, Bob K, are from the U.S. (or some western jurisdiction based on your avatar name), and thus have a ‘status-quo’ or ‘meat agenda’. What a ridiculous argument to make.

  • A.Outrage

    This is one of the most shameful examples of independent, nutritional analyses I’ve ever read. The author makes repeated references to the fact they do base their assessment on the “meat content” of the food. Furthermore, and I quote: “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.” How can you judge the “meat content” of a vegan product? It’s an oxymoron. Clearly, the author has a ‘meat-bias’ which to any reasonable person reveals a tainted assessment from the get-go. Plus, if this author knew anything, he/she would know that dogs are not obligate carnivores.

    Then this so-called expert goes on to say, “Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.” So let’s carefully look at what he/she says, it has on average the same protein level as other foods (presumably with meat – a good thing), less fat (a good thing), and more carbs (which could be either or depending on the natural energy level of your dog, plus as we all know “carb-ing” is used by endurance athletes to great benefit). So why the “not recommended”?

    Then the author says, “The seventh ingredient is canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because some worry that canola oil is made from rapeseed, a genetically modified (GMO) raw material.” One of the principle marketing messages of V-Dog is that their food “DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY GMO PRODUCTS”. Clearly this author didn’t read the nutritional material provided by the manufacturer, nor did they even read the package in which the food comes in. Nonetheless, the author should have made reasonable efforts to clarify this with the manufacturer and some of the other fallacious claims made in this article.

    Also, the author of this ‘analysis’ makes no mention of Quinoa which is listed early on in the ingredients list (rather than those further down which he/she seems to think are of little import). If this author knew anything they were talking about, they would know that Quinoa is one of the single, best sources of protein on the planet for either human or non-human animal – it contains ALL the essential amino acids one needs (be they human or non) to make their own protein rather than that which immediately begins to decay in the flesh of animals once they are slaughtered. This author skims right over this.

    And lastly, this author say, “So, although we do recognize the need for some dog owners to provide (for whatever reason) a completely meat-free diet, we also respect a dog’s natural carnivorous bias.” So on one hand you recognize the “need” but then make a dismissive comment like “(for whatever reason)” – which is it? Do you recognize it or not?

    And further to the point, has it ever occurred to this author to at least understand why this food is vegan? Does he/she even understand the ethical principles behind veganism? Has it ever occurred to him/her that there might be a well reasoned, moral dilemma with killing a whole group of other species to simply feed one species (canines) that we as humans chose to domesticate thousands of years ago? To a vegan, there is no moral difference between a cow, pig, chicken, turkey, lamb, dog, cat, etc. To propogate, confine, transport and kill one group of species to help feed one lucky, privileged species is indefensible. What morally relevant criteria does a dog possess that makes them more worthy of moral consideration than any other animal? This is the height of speciesism. Has the author ever stopped to examine the environmental degradation associated with animal agriculture? The pollution of ground water, lakes, streams, aqua-firs, etc. due to run-off or the breach of waste lagoons in factory farms? Has he/she ever stopped to think about the massive doses of anti-biotics and rGbh that is used in farmed animals in the U.S.? All of which ends up in not only your food but dog food as well? Plus, is the author aware that meat-protein’s affect on the blood of humans and non-humans is made acidic once consumed and increases the level’s of IGF-1 (a hormone that regulates the discarding of old, dying cells and the regeneration of new ones). An environment that is hospitable to developing cancers in people and dogs. Which also causes the calcium and phosphate in our bones to leach out to counter the acidic balance in our blood much to the detriment of our dogs bone mass and density?

    I have been feeding V-Dog to my Great Danes and Rhodesian Ridgebacks for several years. Their stools are better on V-Dog than meat based diets. They have no skin allergies (which meat-protein’s can cause). They are of perfect weight and well-defined muscle mass and tone. Their endurance and energy level rivals any dog on a meat-based diet. They live no more, no less than other dogs fed meat-based foods. However, I can tell you that while they are alive they have fewer health issues and symptoms than I have experienced when I used to use buy meat-based foods.

  • yidaki_mark

    Uhh, no. The oldest dog was a 29 year old Australian Kelpie named Bluesy. Look it up.
    The Daily Mail reports Britain’s oldest dog was a pedigree papillon called Fred who died at the age of 29 in 2000. The world’s longest-lived dog was an Australian cattle dog, Bluesy, who lived to be just months older than Fred.

  • Esther Grossman

    my vdog is is turning 17

  • Esther Grossman

    My oldest dog i ever had was a 17 year old vdog. youngest was a 10 year old purina dog. The only dog that came close to my 17 year old was a 15 year old blue buffalo lab.

  • Esther Grossman

    This is what I feed my dog, and she is 16 years old, turning 17 January 20th. can’t believe how great she looks. (she is a German shepherd/Dobbie mix) I also have a Pitbul who eats this, who is 2 years old, and is doing awesome. I’ve have a 16 year old lab/bernese mountain dog who ate this…as a matter of fact, the youngest dog that I had die on me was a lab/retriever mix who ate Purina He lived to be 10. My purebred lab ate blue buffalo and lived to 15…good age but not as good as my vdogs That is a stupid rating