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Mutts and Cats

Hi Patricia A. This is a great post that you started. A lot of good discussion.

I misread some of your previous posts here about Stella & Chewy’s. I thought it was just a customer rep who made a bad statement about taurine. The fact that they actually have that on their website is disturbing. Hopefully the geek who designed the website accidentally manipulated facts from the company employees who actually understand dog nutrition, and then they just haven’t gotten around to correcting it.
My understanding of taurine and dogs is as you described. However, I have read from numerous sources that some breeds are predisposed to taurine deficiency, and my dog with health problems is one of those breeds. So I am glad to see manufacturers adding it and I add a little more to his food – just to be safe. I’m pretty darn sure that taurine is one of those things that is not detrimental in excess. However, excesses of some vitamins and minerals in some commercials foods (line Vitamin A and Copper) has become a real concern of mine. But, I had better not digress . . .

Sounds to me like you have made a good decision to make no big changes to your dog’s food right now. Sounds like you have your hands full given the situation with your mother. I hate making changes to my dog’s food because it is disruptive for them and I’ve made many changes in the last few months that haven’t worked out. I’ve pretty much decided that I need to stay with where I have landed now for a while. I feed similar to the way you do. For the dog that has health issues and food allergies, he gets about half of his food as raw meat, plus part of a turkey neck each day. The other dog gets raw meat too, but not as much. For the other half, I feed several different brands of raw frozen and freeze dried. Purposely feeding several brands to average out in case one is not a good product.

After I made the statement I did about Stella & Chewy’s vitamin/mineral data I decided that I should go back and look at it again, since I haven’t in a few months (which is a lifetime for my brain). I have to say that it looks REALLY good to me compared to what I have been encountering with some other companies. It looks professional and I don’t see anomalies in the data. Like big differences between different recipes that can’t be explained by the food ingredients. Makes me want to go back to feeding S&C. The main problem for me is that they add such a variety of vegetables that all of the dog recipes have something my dog is allergic to. But I may need to explore some of the cat foods. I also stopped using S&C when I was going through a phase where I wasn’t comfortable with artificial phosphates, and S&C does use those. But all indications are that they are in very small amounts.
So, for what it’s worth, I still think S&C is one of the better companies out there. Thanks for mentioning your correspondence with them about WSAVA compliance. I feel good about their reply to you. IMO, having a full time certified nutritionist on staff seems unnecessary and only serves to keep smaller companies from competing with the “Big 4”. I don’t like to see that.

I have to admit that I was not really familiar with WSAVA. I had heard of it, but I’m not sure why I never got around to looking into it. Glad you mentioned it, so I googled it, and now I know. I certainly agree with their basic principles for determining a good manufacturer (except the full time nutritionist), but I’m just not sure that I can ever go back to companies like Purina, Iams, and Royal Canine because I associate them with foods that have something like corn or soy as the second ingredient. I exchanged posts with Aimee on my Raw Food Recommendations post on this topic and when she mentioned those companies my jaw actually dropped down. But, I do recognize that she has a great deal of knowledge on dog nutrition, so I am going to try to keep an open mind and see what those brands are offering these days in their premium lines.

I share your frustration about the boutique brands and marketing ploys. I’ve become really frustrated in the last 9 months or so in my quest for a brand that I can trust. Sadly, after all of my efforts I still don’t feel really great about any of the commercial foods I feed. That’s why I feed so much raw meat, and keep track of the vitamin/mineral contents of everything I feed, so I can supplement where needed. I’ve also been through the dilemma of whether brands that mostly don’t use supplements are better than those that do. I’m still back and forth, and had better not get started on that, since this post of mine is probably approaching record breaking length.

How true it is that our dogs are probably eating much healthier than us. In fact lately I pay no attention to my own nutrition. Nice posting with you. M&C