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Mutts and Cats

Hi Patricia A. Believe me, I’m barely holding my own when discussing dog nutrition. I realize after some exchanges with Aimee that I have some serious gaps in my dog nutrition knowledge. So now I’m trying to remedy that. But I have some pretty firmly ingrained thoughts on some topics (like % protein from meat, and carbs) that go against mainstream dog nutrition, so I’m not sure how that is going to be reconciled in the end.

The info you provided from another forum on Stella & Chewy’s is SOOO DISAPPOINTING. If I understand that post correctly it appears that S&C may be experiencing growing pains, that will probably not end well. I was getting ready to go back to feeding S&C. I used to feed that Wild Red dry product that is mentioned, and my dogs loved it, plus several of the freeze dried recipes. I stopped feeding the dry because there is a chance (probably extremely small, but still a chance) that the rosemary in it could contribute to seizures (in a dog that already has seizures). Then for a while I had other concerns about some of the ingredients in S&C, but have since pretty much let go of those concerns. I have to start letting go of some things. The list of things I’m concerned about has grown to a ridiculous length. I have been surprised that S&C has never made the Thixton Lists – or at least not the years that I bought them. I see in one of your posts that evidently Thixton kind of caught S&C in a lie regarding the source of ingredients. That is unfortunate. Especially since supplements sourced from China are not necessarily a dog food deal breaker in my mind. I think it is pretty hard to find human supplements that don’t come from China. But the fact that S&C lied about it until they knew they were caught is quite troubling.

I’m getting very close to deciding that I will never find a dog food company that I feel good about so I should just start making my own. I say that as though it would be no big deal to just start doing it, but it is a pretty overwhelming thought. Plus, I feel like my dogs need to be accustomed to at least one dry or freeze dried food so I can leave it out if I have to travel. That is what I liked about Vital Essentials mini nibs. I was able to leave it out for free feeding, like I would a dry food. But I’ve decided that I am definitely done with VE.

On the DCM issue, did you see Aimee’s reply in my Raw Food Topic? When someone as well informed as her is uncertain, then there are no answers yet. I’ve done just a little more online research in the last week, and it sounds like there are ongoing studies that point toward diets high in peas, lentils, and potatoes being the problem, but that is hardly a revelation. I want to know why! For now I’m assuming it is mostly peas and lentils (but I am still suspicious of beans too) in high quantities, which results in not enough high quality protein for the dog plus the peas acting as an anti-nutrient or even a toxin. Have you ever read “The Plant Paradox”? He is down on all legumes. I think dog foods that include grains just naturally tend to include less legumes, but in my mind the grains have no protective powers and are not providing lacking nutrients. But then, I really don’t know . . .

The agony you are going through in trying to determine, from order of ingredients and moisture content of ingredients, how much protein is coming from meat vs legumes is why I decided firmly that if a company won’t reveal the percentage of protein from meat (or animal sources is the language some use) then I wouldn’t even consider them. But Aimee brought up a good point about the definition of meat. Companies can play games with that, so I need to make sure I trust the company too. I feel a headache coming on . . .

Thanks for asking about my pup’s health issues. The one who is not doing well is only 6 years old and his issues are illusive. He’s an 80 lb mixed breed – probably boxer and black lab, maybe some pit bull, maybe some great dane. A real mutt. About a year ago (right after I lost a dog to osteosarcoma), he started going downhill. Lack of stamina and not getting around as well as he used to. He has had use of only 3 legs since he was a puppy, but before the downturn he made due pretty well. And his personality started changing and he became a very anxious dog, which at first I thought was a reaction to the other dog’s death. But the anxiety persisted and then he started having seizures. At first the seizures were increasing in frequency, but thankfully now they seem to be going the other way. And his anxiety is much better now, but I go to great lengths to shield him from stress. So, of course I have done a ton of online research on dog seizures and have essentially tried everything that had any potential at all. I didn’t put him on anti-seizure meds (except CBD Oil), but came close a dozen times. If the seizures continue to become less frequent I’m hoping to avoid meds.

One thing I will point out is that (from what I have picked up from your posts) your dogs are healthy and you have a track record of dogs living to ripe old ages. I don’t have such a good record, and it does cause me anxiety when I face that fact. Perhaps, despite my good intentions, I am contributing to that bad record in the way I have fed.
Nice posting with you. Hang in there and be sure to let me know if you have any revelations. M&C