Anyone used Dr Harvey’s Canine Health? I like that it is organic and seems to have alot of great reviews. I make all my own dog food and although often cooked I also use some raw (chicken necks/beef heart/organic organ meat) but sometimes would be nice to have something like this handy. brit
I haven’t used it, but I know 3 people who have. Two use it regularly and it works great for them. One’s dog couldn’t handle something in it so she moved on. I’ll try it some day, like you I like the idea of having something like that on hand, and I’ve been pleased with the others I’ve tried.
I’ve never used the Canine Health and wouldn’t use it because it contains grains. I have used Veg-to-Bowl and Veg-to-Bowl Fine Ground though. The regular Veg-to-Bowl didn’t digest – came out the same way it went in. I liked the Veg-to-Bowl fine ground though, the dogs seemed to digest it okay.
The Veg-to-Bowl Fine Ground is the one I would try.
I like adding my own protein to my dog’s food, and at first I tried Dr. Harveys but learned it may not have enough calcium, so I tried The Honest Kitchen, which has several varieties, and I’m much happier using a grain free, dehydrated food that’s more complete: http://www.thehonestkitchen.com/dog-food
DogFoodAdvisor has reviewed this brand and 3 of the varieties earned 5 stars. Preference requires that you add a protein so you can prepare quality meats and add it to the food for a complete meal. On days I don’t have meat on hand I use one of the varieties that has meat, and I sprinkle a boiled egg or some other goodie. I love it, and it’s not processed so I feel much better about it.
I like the idea of the premix not having enough calcium so I can add raw meaty bones without it throwing off the calcium/phosphorus ratio. I had never heard that about Dr Harvey’s. I’ll have to look into it.
For people feeding raw it may not an issue at all, but the premix ‘Preference’ version of THK that requires a protein is also specifically made for both raw and cooked diets. While Dr. Harvey’s has been reviewed, it hasn’t been reviewed by DogFoodAdvisor that I’ve seen and I like knowing that THK has been rated well, is grain free, has a variety where I can add my own protein, and is balanced in such a way that the other varieties can still have extras added without throwing off the ratios. I think food rotation is so important for a balanced diet and there’s no stomach upset with a food that isn’t so heavily processed. It just happens to be my favorite option and my dog loves it, so for anyone looking for an alternative to Dr. Harvey’s I think this is a good choice. Whichever option is best for you, there’s no doubt that a diet with less processed food helps with overall health such as food intolerances, improved stools, and higher energy to name a few.
Dr. Harveys contains supplemental calcium, they don’t list calcium to phosphorus ratios of the end product for Veg-to-Bowl, but they do list it for the Canine Health Mix as being 1:1.1 C:P which would be slightly low.
I am interested in finding out about Sojos. If anyone out there has used their Original Dog Pre-Mix or Grain-Free, would like to know how your pet responded. I am determined to get my new rescue doggie off kibble with its nuked-nutrients, and prepare his food as much as I can…but have also read that vets are seeing a lot of dogs totally screwed-up by homemade diets that don’t incorporate proper nutrients and ratios for dogs (in other words, you can’t just plop your dinner down on your dog’s plate without knowledge of ratios of protein-fats-carbs, and even THOSE are debatable). On the other hand, there was a recent internet article about a 22-year old dog in the UK who had NEVER eaten dog food in his life! Just whatever the family was eating (I’m thinking that’s one happy dog! Kind of a dog’s favorite dream, don’t you think? Then yet another blob of dried kibble in the dish to choke on). Apparently his favorite dish is Chili!! So I am researching the pre-mixes — some are incredibly expensive, when you factor-in buying good-quality meat and veggies…Am reading Martin Zucker’s excellent book, “The Veterinarian’s Guide to NATURAL REMEDIES for Dogs” with detailed interviews from top holistic vets (published in 1999). There are a lot of great homemade food ideas, and most suggest adding a multivitamin and fresh oil, etc. I also just got Dr. Khalsa’s “NATURAL DOG/A Holistic Guide for Healthier Dogs” with tons of recipes to slog through. In the meantime, I am feeding my baby HALO (never been recalled) SMALL BREED kibble which he loves (new flavor has Pheasant, Duck and Rabbit — long time before he develops sensitivities to those!), and topping it with BLUE Stews = anything as far away from chicken or beef as I can. When I first adopted him, I brought home the Premium organic food the shelter was feeding, for a smooth transition, but it was chicken-based so I was happy to find HALO.
I don’t believe Sojo’s is “complete and balanced” – if that’s what you’re looking for. I generally make my dogs’ food from scratch but do use pre-mixes on occasion when I’m short on time or only have boneless meat on hand. I find Sojo’s comes out the same way it goes in because the vegetables are in larger chunks. Also, due to the fact that it doesn’t appear to be a balanced pre-mix I wouldn’t recommend feeding it long term, although it’d be fine to use intermittently. The pre-mixes I’ve had the best luck with are Urban Wolf, Dr. Harveys Veg-to-Bowl Fine Ground, The Honest Kitchen’s Preference and See Spot Live Longer Dinner Mix. If you’re going to be using only pre-mixes I’d rotate between brands every so often so your dog gets some variety.
Does anyone, including Mike if you’re reading this, know the preferred protein-carbs-fats ratio for a 2-yr old Toy dog???? I have read pros and cons about too much protein; I realize commercial brands over-do the carbs, but before I undertake making my dog’s food, I would appreciate some input and the suggestion to alternate pre-mixes (as well as rotating diets), is well-taken.
There is no such as thing as “too much protein” for a healthy dog. Size also has nothing to do with protein requirements – all dogs, regardless of size, have the same basic nutrition requirements. Dogs only require protein and fat, they have no dietary requirement for carbohydrates. Ideally – the diet for a healthy dog with a typical activity level should be high in protein, moderate in fat and low in carbohydrates.
My dogs eat a homemade raw diet that ranges between 45% and 55% protein, 30% and 40% fat and roughly 15% carbohydrates. My dogs are active and have trouble maintaining weight so I keep the fat content of their meals on the high side. For a less active dog or dog with an average activity level you would want to keep the fat level around half the protein level – so if you were feeding 50% protein you’d want fat at about 25%. You want to keep the carbohydrate level of the meal low. I wouldn’t ever recommend less than 30% protein or less than 15% fat for a healthy dog and I believe protein levels above 40% are ideal. It will be easier to achieve proper protein levels if feeding raw, fresh cooked or canned foods – all kibbles are fairly low in protein as they require a certain amount of starch in the formula to act as a binder.
- This reply was modified 7 years, 10 months ago by Hound Dog Mom.
I’ve been using Sojo’s Complete on one of my dogs (14 yr old pug) but I either add in some high protein kibble or some eggs since it’s a little low in meat. I also give digestive enzymes with it and the stool only has a few visible pieces of veggies in it. For my personal pugs I prefer at least 30% protein. If you’re looking to make homemade, “Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats” by Dr Becker/Beth Taylor uses a 75% meat/organ/bone to 25% veggie/fruit mix. I’ve also used The Honest Kitchen Zeal.
- This reply was modified 7 years, 10 months ago by pugmomsandy.
I’ve continued researching the complex subject of amount of protein for my dog; too much protein impacts the kidneys, and puppies need more than adult dogs, so there IS indeed such a thing as “too much protein”. Look at Merck Vet Manual, etc. There are vet nutritionists and I may end up consulting one rather than guesstimating, if I’m going to cook meals for my dog.
Hi wantthebest4myk9 –
I would be very interested in seeing these (non-existant) sources that prove protein causes kidney failure. Could you cite them please? I’m very familiar with the Merck Veterinary Manual, in fact I have a copy in front of me, and I can assure you it says nothing of the sort. The only instances in which high levels of protein can be harmful is if a dog has certain chronic medical conditions – i.e. liver shunts, late stage kidney failure, etc. – high levels of protein do not cause these conditions (there’s a difference).
Here are my sources. If you’d like to see more let me know.
Excerpt from “Small Animal Clinical Nutrition 4th Ed.”:
“Feeding protein above requirements to healthy dogs and cats does not result in toxicity because the excess amino acids from the protein are catabolized and waste nitrogen is excreted.” [this is a passive process that does not stress the kidneys]
This is an excerpt from “Pet Food Safety: Dietary Protein” by D.P. LaFlamme, DVM, PhD, Dipl ACVN:
“The ability of dietary protein to to induce renal pathology was studied in both dogs with chronic kidney failure and older dogs without chronic kidney failure. One study, undertaken to contrast the potential renoprotective benefits of protein restriction or phosphorus restriction, compared four carefully controlled diets. The results showed that protein had no adverse affects, even in dogs with kidney failure, although phosphorus restriction did protect against worsening [pre-existing] kidney failure. Two other studies evaluated older (age 6 to 8 years at the start of study) uninephrectomized dogs that were fed either dry diets containing 18% or 34% protein or canned diets containing 22% or 36% protein. No adverse effects from dietary protein were observed. On the contrary, mortality was slightly higher dogs fed the lower protein diet.”
The summary of LaFlamme’s article states:
“Based on a comprehensive review, there remains no evidence that dietary protein causes kidney damage, or any other adverse effects, in healthy dogs.”
This is an excerpt from “Focusing on Protein in the Diet” by TJ Dunn Jr. DVM:
“Ahhhhhh … I know what you’re thinking! Too much protein! Kidney damage! Well, guess what? The very early research that pointed a finger at protein as being a cause of kidney failure in dogs wasn’t even done on dogs! It was done on rats fed unnatural diets for a rodent — diets high in protein. (Were we tinkering with Nature during these “tests”?) Rats have difficulty excreting excess protein in their diets because they are essentially plant eaters, not meat eaters.
Dogs are quite able to tolerate diets with protein levels higher than 30 percent on a dry weight basis. Dogs are meat eaters; that’s how Nature made them! Rats are not. So some of the early research on rats was assumed to be true for dogs … and the myth of “too much protein in a dog’s diet causes kidney damage” was started. And just like any seemingly valid rumor or assertion, it derived a life of its own and is only recently being accepted as untrue.”
This is an excerpt from “Kirk’s Veterinary Therapy XIII, Small Animal Practice” by written by Finco, Brown, Barsanti and Bartges:
“…restriction of protein intake does not alter the development of renal lesions nor does it preserve renal function. Considering these (research) findings, the authors do not recommend reduction of dietary protein in dogs with renal disease or reduced renal function in order to achieve renoprotective effects.”
Dr. Kenneth C. Bovée describes using dietary protein as a nutritional management approach in dogs suffering from kidney disease as “a medical myth”. The common belief that moderate and high protein diets cause kidney disease is also unsubstantiated. According to Bovée:
“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.”
While dogs with specific medical issues may be affected by too much protein, by and large recent research suggests that the notion of having too much protein is a myth both for senior dogs as well as for puppies. Dogs thrive on quality protein and it should makes up at least half of your dog’s diet, the remaining ingredients falling into place at various ratios. One of the most important aspects of a dog’s diet is variety. Healthy humans typically follow the same basic idea, and we benefit from rotating the sources of our nutrients by having different meals every day. By following general guidelines about fat intake and activity level we can stay lean and healthy while getting the nutrients we need. I think the biggest mistake we make when feeding our dogs is getting stuck in a pattern of feeding the same foods repeatedly. Vets don’t always have a great handle on nutrition, but speaking to your vet about your dog’s overall health and lifestyle is a good place to start if you’re really concerned about too much protein. Providing all the minerals and vitamins is more of a challenge in home cooking than determining the protein amount, and then you have to decide if you want to use synthetic sources or natural sources. Find a pyramid that makes sense for your dog and switch it up.
Well said satobrinn. My dogs eat 80% – 90% of their diet as animal-based ingredients (meat, organs, bone, eggs, dairy) and 10% – 20% of their diet as vegetables, fruits, sprouted nuts/seeds and nutrient dense superfoods (kelp, alfalfa, bee pollen, spirulina, etc.).
- This reply was modified 7 years, 10 months ago by Hound Dog Mom.
@ Hound Dog Mom – you must have really happy pups, that sounds great! I have a hound mix myself, very high energy and she thrives on high protein as well as higher fat than some dogs.
Hound Dog Mom: Take a chill pill. Your blanket statement is dangerous, and I don’t have to prove a thing to you- quite the contrary. I’m out of here; this is obviously an unsafe Forum in which to attempt to dialogue.
I’m sorry if you feel I created an “unsafe” environment by posting excerpts from articles proving protein does not cause kidney failure. I’m unclear on how posting supportive information on how protein does not cause kidney failure in healthy dogs could be interpreted as a “blanket statement” – I clearly stated that there are certain chronic health conditions in which protein can be harmful, but it’s not harmful for the average healthy dog. You made an untrue statement and all I did was post supporting information for why it is untrue and ask you for your sources (which you couldn’t provide) – this is the point of the community, to learn.
BTW – I was in no way trying to be rude, I just feel very strongly about dogs species-appropriate nutrition for dogs and dislike seeing false information continuously being spread about protein.
I wanted to post this last night but I became too busy…..this is a nice starting point for a dog’s home cooked diet that can be tweaked to a dog’s specific needs. I wouldn’t hesitate to consult with either a vet or dog nutritionist if you have concerns about deficiencies or too much protein. I’m not as familiar with the dietary requirements of a toy dog other than the reality of having to feed them more often to make sure they get an adequate amount of food for proper nutrition. Carbs in general aren’t considered necessary for a healthy canine diet, but again, each dog’s needs are different. Hopefully this can be a helpful starting point and you can feel good about what you feed your dog (other supplements are optional and best discussed with your vet):
Sample daily cooked diet:
8 to 12 ounces lean muscle meat/heart/fish/leftovers
1 to 2 ounces liver or kidney (daily or every other day)
1 to 2 eggs (daily or every other day)
1 to 4 ounces yogurt, kefir or cottage cheese
2 to 8 ounces cooked grains, pasta, or starchy veggies (no more than half the diet, max)
Any amount of green or other non-starchy vegetables
1000 mg calcium (for example, 1/2 tsp ground eggshell, or 1 tsp Animal Essentials Natural Calcium, or 1 tsp bone meal that has 1000 mg calcium per teaspoon)
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