Every time I start to pick one then I see a recall. I was feeding my dog beneful and he loved it. He was throwing up afterwards. I thought maybe due to him eating so fast so I kept trying. He then was shaking and crying. We took him to the vet and he didn’t know what was causing it so he gave us some pills. Disatisfied with this I started searching and found terrible stories about beneful and how some dogs almost died. My mother-inlaw also fed her dogs this and they were always getting knots on them and I found that quite odd because all 3 dogs had this. Come to find out beneful also caused this. I’ve searched till I’m frustrated because it seems I go to pick one and then find out it’s also been recalled. It seems the ones with grain have the biggest issues due to salmonella. We went to diamond brand but he didn’t like it as well so I was mixing canned food in with it. I did purchase Ideal Balance which he loves but it’s rated a 3 star and I would like something better for him. I’m thinking about Taste of the Wild but I did see it had some recalls too. What does one suggest for an american Lab, 9yrs, 74lb., very muscular. No fat on this dog. Kind of worries me that he doesn’t weigh more.
Hound Dog MomParticipant
Hi DawnieStrohl –
My advice would be to stop looking for the “best food” – there is no best food. All foods have their pros and cons. Dogs, like every living creature, need variety. Feed several difference foods with different protein sources, this will help mitigate the negative aspects of each food. The less processed the food is the better – so raw foods are healthiest, followed by fresh cooked foods, dehydrated and freeze-dried foods, canned foods, then dry foods. Feeding dry food is fine (it’s convenient and budget friendly) but try topping it with some canned food or fresh food at least a few times a week. Some healthy additions to dry food are eggs, lean meat, tinned sardines, cottage cheese, plain yogurt, kefir and cooked low-glycemic vegetables.
The best diet (if your feeding kibble) would be to feed your lab a variety of foods, not just one brand or flavor or form. Rotate foods to maintain a healthy gut and give probiotics and/or digetive enzymes. Commercial kibble will always have some shortcomings. I like and use for kibble Nutrisource grain free, Nature’s Select Grain Free or the Hi-Pro formulas only (made by Mid America Pet Foods), Brothers Complete and sometimes Wysong Epigen and Nutrisca. I foster so I have lots of mouths to feed. I also feed various canned foods from Wellness, Nutrisca, Addiction, Tripett and Weruva. And also give freeze dried foods and raw foods.
You brought up recalls….if you want to try some foods without recalls, look at Fromm, Annamaet, Dr Tim’s, NutriSource as some that haven’t had recalls.
My question is an extension of the “which food is best”. If you feed a variety of 5 star rated dry foods (i.e. they meet the nutritional requirements), is it a good idea to supplement your adult dogs diet with fresh foods (e.g., tomatoes, apples, eggs, salmon oil, carrots, lean cooked meat, yogurt). All these are foods that my 50 lb. golden mix likes. I feed them to him occasionally as treats. However, should I be feeding them on a regular basis as supplements?
Kibble is a processed food, even the best kibble. So yes, adding fresh foods is a great idea. I’m not sure I would add tomato and any vegetable matter needs to be properly prepared for your dog to get the most out of it. I add things that have a lot of antioxidants, micronutrients, probiotics, and protein boosters.
Hound Dog MomParticipant
Just make sure you keep the “extras” to 20% or less of your dog’s meal or else you risk throwing off the nutritional balance of the kibble. If you do add over 20% of the diet in fresh foods it would be wise to follow a balanced recipe.
I think the first step is to leave the big box stores and look for smaller stores that are focused on pet wellness. My personal favorite is Canine Caviar. They have not had a recall on their dried kibble and my Lab THRIVES on it. It’s not cheap, but it has a lot of calories per cup so your portion might be different. I had three dogs in a row who were very sick, back when we used to feed Science Diet, Nutro, Purina Pro Plan and other “popular” brands. I happened across a dog food ranking chart a few years ago and nearly cried at what I learned about mainstream foods. I have made it my mission to learn about nutrition and to never feed my 2 year old lab anything bad.
Oh, and 74 pounds is probably perfect for your lab! Mine weighs that, and he’s of the stocky show variety of labrador…when he hits 80 I get scolded for having a chunky lab. Most labs are way too plump! Just a layer of fat over his ribs is all you need. 🙂
Thanks! I too felt terrible when finding out the food I was using was making my baby sick! He would tremble then look at me with his big brown eyes. He is eating Ideal Balance now and loves it. I don’t know if it’s the best but so far he’s been fine. He’s always been very lean and gets lots of compliments on his lean body. He has no clue he’s a dog because he sleeps in the bed under the covers with his head on the other pillow. I told him one day there is something wrong with this picture and he just laid his head back down and ignored me.
I am completely overwhelmed with all this information, but so grateful to have discovered this website! I HAVE to make a change in my dogs’ food. My 7 year old Husky started having diarrhea last week and vomited one day. I took him to the vet Monday, who said she noticed bad bacteria in his stool and prescribed an antibiotic. Today (Wednesday) I see another recall for Innova (salmonella), which is what my husky eats, so I called the vet to ask is this could have been the cause of his symptoms. She said yes and prescribed another med.
Obviously, I’m done with Innova. I was thinking about switching to Fromm, but I really want to do what is best for my dogs. I recently moved to the middle of nowhere, where the only place to buy dog food is Walmart. No way.
What I’m thinking of doing is ordering Fromm dry food online, and topping it with some canned foods — I can get different flavors to keep them happy and that won’t upset their tummies, right? (I have two dogs – the husky and a shepherd mix approx 50 lbs.) I was also thinking of adding in carrots…should I clean them and feed raw or cook them first? The yogurt sounds like a good idea, too. Would it be better to purchase dehydrated or freeze-dried food and top that with some fresh goodies? I have never heard of being able to purchase dehydrated/freeze-dried food so that’s a totally new concept to me.
Thank you so much for any thoughts or input. I want my dogs to live the longest healthiest life possible.
Freeze dried is GREAT, but really expensive to feed as their sole food. I have multiple dogs so for financial reasons need to feed some kibble, but I add to it to make it better. The reason I replied though was to make sure you are aware that there are several companies that offer free shipping on dog food if you are spending over a certain amount. That’s how I can get a good variety of good foods, because I live in the middle of nowhere. I didn’t think I would like ordering dog food because I’m a label reader and I feel cheated when I can’t, but I LOVE getting dog food delivered to my door. Look for chewy dot com and petflow dot com. I can’t off the top of my head remember if it is dogfooddirect or doggiefooddirect dot com. Someone else should pop up with more.
I do most of my label reading online, then usually buy online!
I real labels online and buy online too, but it’s kind of like a book vs. an ebook, I prefer to have it in my hands. It’s not possible, so I deal with it, but I would like to have it in my hands. I can get Earthborn in a little hole in the wall store a 45 minute drive from me, so I do. Every other food I buy, I have to order. Fortunately the little store with Earthborn is 5 minutes from dog agility, so I happen to be in the vicinity about once a week.
I’m the same way. I have a bookshelf full of unread books lol. I used to read dog food bags but the local store that carried a good selection isn’t carrying much anymore
Nope, not like me then. I have full walls of book shelves stacked 2 deep and I’ve read nearly every one. Every horizontal surface in my house is covered in books and I’ve read all of those. We are reading freaks. I spend hours every day reading. That is my addiction. Well, that and Mountain Dew.
I’ve chosen the Ideal Balance without grain and Hunter (choc lab)loves it! He has filled out and looks great. He always looked anorexic to me but couldn’t find something he likes except the Beneful which I have already posted previously the dangers of it. Instead of sitting in the bowl all day while he nibbles on it his bowl is clean!
Patty, thank you very much for the links! I have spent a lot of time looking over everything and I think I will give Fromm a try….using dry and wet food. Perhaps I can get freeze-dried occasionally to give them some variation. As you said, it is expensive. Thanks again!
Well I was going crazy trying to find a food for my beagle. I fed him Beneful when he was a puppy and he loved it but it put on lots of weight. Have tried Hills Prescription for digestive problems from my vet, and then Chicken Soup for the Dog Lovers Soul, then Natures Variety Chicken flavor. None really agreed and he didn’t lose weight. Had trouble with his anal gland, ears and teeth were so dark but by this time he was 14 yrs old and altho he had his teeth cleaned once, his age was prohibited this time. He also had lipomas. Well after much investigation and discussing options on these forums, I arrived at the solution. I am now making homemade food for him, feeding him ground turkey and rotating with 85/15 hamburg, vegetables, eggs, pumpkin, and soup/marrow bones for snacks. I am happy to say he is losing weight, takes glucosamine and herbs for the lipomas. No more anal problems, ear problems, and his teeth are all white. He loves his bones and when they are all clean we fill and freeze them with pumpkin. It is no more expensive than kibble but I do admit it is a lot of work, but the results are worth it. My 14 year old best friend looks great. The lipomas are getting smaller as well.
Can anyone offer suggestions/experience/advice if vitamin or other supplements are necessary to add to a raw diet and mixed 5 star wet and 5 star kibble for a Vizsla puppy. This will be my 3rd Vizsla – want to start off doing things as best as I can this time now that I have learned more information (scared about what I didn’t know before – its no wonder the first two died of cancer). I’m all for preparing most of the raw diet recipes I’ve seen and then interchanging with some of the higher end 5 star wet and dry mixes but I don’t want to overlook any nutritional supplements that may be inadvertently left out – especially at the puppy phase.
Omega 3s are the one thing that I would definitely add to all of those. Even when a food has enough added in, they are very fragile and degrade easily and quickly.
I also add some kind of algae/seaweed for micronutrients and I like to add some kind of berry or other high antioxidant food. Sometimes I just get a human superfood supplement that has a number of those thing in it.
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