transitioning to grain inclusive

Dog Food Advisor Forums Canine Nutrition transitioning to grain inclusive

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  • #185729 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    My three small dogs’ have been on grain free kibble as a base with various freeze dried and home cooked as toppers. I’m really confused as to what camp to be in. Whether grain free was a marketing gimmick vs dogs’ are carnivores and don’t receive any benefits from grains. Even though the fed grain free has taurine added, I’m still not liking the ingredient splitting with the legumes. How much protein coming from animal protein vs the peas etc. Based on the first few ingredients would like to know opinions on one brand is possibly superior to the other. I won’t give name as to prejudice . If that makes sense. I’m concerned about the type of grain and digestibility. Aimee and Crazy for cats would love your opinions and reasoning also.. Just want to transition slowly and give the grain inclusive a try.
    One brand has ALL source origins on their website. The other I emailed and they were transparent and sent me their sources INCLUDING their supplements/vitamins and supplement pack sources. None from China.
    Cage-Free Chicken Chicken Meal Oatmeal Pearled Barley Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols) Pumpkin Quinoa Chicken Liver Natural Chicken Flavor Chicken Gizzard Flaxseed Salmon Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols) Coconut Flour Salt Pumpkin Seeds Organic Cranberries Organic Spinach Organic Beets Organic Carrots Organic Squash Organic Blueberries Inulin (from Chicory Root) Thyme Sage Rosemary Extract Mixed Tocopherols (preservative) Dried Kelp Potassium Chloride Dicalcium Phosphate Taurine Choline Chloride Zinc Proteinate Iron Proteinate Copper Proteinate Manganese Proteinate Sodium Selenite Vitamin E Supplement Calcium Iodate Thiamine Mononitrate Niacin Supplement D-calcium Pantothenate Riboflavin Supplement Vitamin A Supplement Vitamin D3 Supplement Vitamin B12 Supplement Pyridoxine Hydrochloride Folic Acid Dried Pediococcus Acidilactici fermentation product Dried Lactobacillus

    SECOND BRAND

    INGREDIENT

    Salmon
    United States, Alaska

    Oats
    United States, North Dakota / Canada, Saskatchewan

    Whitefish Meal
    United States, Alaska

    Sorghum
    United States, North Dakota

    Quinoa
    Canada, Saskatchewan

    Coconut Oil
    Indonesia / Philippines

    Herring Meal
    Canada, Newfoundland / Mexico
    Wild Caught in the deep cold Atlantic Ocean, our Herring meal contains high amounts of high quality protein and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

    Natural Flavor
    United States, Missouri / Canada, Quebec

    Millet
    United States, Colorado

    Pumpkin
    United States, Michigan, Missouri

    Salmon Oil
    Canada, New Brunswick

    Apples
    United States, Michigan

    Chia Seed
    Paraguay

    Potassium Chloride
    Canada, Saskatchewan

    Salt
    United States, Kansas

    Chicory Root
    Belgium

    Choline Chloride
    United States, Missouri

    Vitamin E Supplement
    Switzerland / United States

    Calcium Pantothenate
    Scotland

    Niacin Supplement
    Switzerland

    Vitamin A Supplement
    Switzerland / France

    Riboflavin Supplement (B2)
    Germany

    Vitamin D3 Supplement
    United States / France

    Vitamin B12 Supplement
    France

    Thiamine Mononitrate (B1)
    Germany

    Folic Acid
    France
    Folic acid is essential for brain and nervous system function and is needed for protein utilisation and red blood cell formation.

    Zinc Proteinate
    United States

    Calcium Carbonate
    United States
    Calcium carbonate is a supplement that contributes to the total calcium levels that are needed to maintain healthy bones and teeth.

    Iron Proteinate
    United States

    Copper Proteinate
    United States

    Manganese Proteinate
    United States

    Calcium Iodate
    United States / Canada

    Selenium Yeast
    United States

    Taurine
    Japan

    Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative)
    United States, Iowa

    Cinnamon
    Vietnam / Indonesia

    Turmeric
    India
    Formulated to help pets thrive
    Formulated to help pets thrive
    OceanWise® approved wild caught salmon
    A wholesome blend of ancient grains like millet, quinoa, sorghum and chia seeds
    No peas, legumes and potatoes
    No corn, wheat or soy
    No artificial flavors or preservatives

    • This topic was modified 1 year ago by Patricia A.
    #185733 Report Abuse
    crazy4cats
    Participant

    Hi Patricia-
    I’m not as concerned about the origin of the ingredients as I am about the quality of them and how well they all work together to make sure my dogs are getting the appropriate amino acids and nutrients to be a complete and balanced food. Also, the safety protocols the company has in place is important. In addition, as you have mentioned, digestibility. I think feed trials would need to happen to determine this. You really need to know if the company knows what it’s doing with these ingredients that you’ve listed. Happy New Year, by the way! 😊

    #185735 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Hi C4C,
    I figured I’d start with the origins to determine quality. At least with their vitamin packs. So my reasoning was that Susan Thixton had written several times to Stella and Chewy’s asking where their ingredients are sourced. Shouldn’t be anything to hide. They claimed their recipes are USA manufactured. Deceptive if yes MADE here but ingredients source should be listed on their website. So it turns out that eventually they admitted to some vitamins/minerals are from China. They emailed me back stating that this was back in 2011 and they no longer source from China and then gave me all their ingredient sources. I was looking on their website for kibble with grain. So looking at their ingredient list and clicked on Taurine which was highlighted on their sight . So they wrote that they add Taurine since dogs’ cannot synthasize their own. So a company that doesn’t even know that generally dogs DO synthesize their own taurine if given the proper diet. Only cats’ need added Taurine. (Taurine is a sulfur-containing amino acid. Cats deficient in taurine will develop DCM. Nutritional research indicates that taurine is an essential amino acid for cats, but it is generally not considered an essential amino acid for dogs, because dogs are able to synthesize taurine from dietary cysteine and methionine. I say generally not required for dogs because Golden retrievers and American cocker spaniels can develop DCM secondary to taurine deficiency. However, taurine deficiency does not to appear to be the primary cause of the diet-related cardiomyopathy the FDA is investigating)
    I mean at least explain that out of precaution we add Taurine . So cannot trust a company that doesn’t even know why they are adding taurine to their recipe. I mean am I wrong, or is what they wrote ignorant? Thank’s for responding and Happy New Year to you also.

    #185736 Report Abuse
    crazy4cats
    Participant

    Hi Patricia-
    Yes, you are correct, they shouldn’t hide the ingredients origins. But, I still don’t believe that proves their quality. And you are absolutely correct, they should know that dogs can synthesize their own taurine using the sulfur
    Amino acids both methionine and cystine.
    You are now understanding how important it is to check out the company’s knowledge (and truthfulness) on how to formulate a complete and balanced food!

    #185737 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    Hi Patricia,
    Taxonomically dogs are in the order carnivora. The taxonomic order is made up of carnivores, omnivores and herbivores. Dogs are classified as omnivores because of metabolic pathways like the one you mentioned, being able to synthesize taurine. But they have a carnivorous slant, they cannot synthesize Vit D.

    Grain free, grain inclusive etc is all marketing to me. And while some ingredients are better sources of what dogs need than others, have better bioavailability etc. the bottom line is that dogs need specific nutrients not specific ingredients.

    I can give you my thoughts based on the ingredient line up but cannot tell you if one diet is better than the other or if either diet is well formulated.

    Diet one starts with” cage free chicken” why “cage free” chicken and not just “chicken” ?It puts me on alert that the company may be more of a marketing company and puts a bit more spin on their diets compared to another company. This to me is confirmed by all the list of” feel good” ingredients after salt. I tend to think of oatmeal and barley as high fiber carb sources but honestly, I’d have to look each up on a calorie basis to see if that is true and there can be a lot of variation depending on processing. Ditto for coconut flour.

    Diet 2 Like diet 1, a lot of grain type ingredients that I don’t think have been as well researched in regard to dog food inclusion as more traditional grains. Cinnamon and Tumeric look to be fairy dust and the list of ingredients after natural flavor I suspect are also there more for consumer appeal

    Bottom line. My impression is that both of these options appear to be diets made in response to the announcement of the possible association between diets high in legumes/potatoes and DCM. The concern I’d have is that these options seem to be formulated with ingredients whose dietary impact isn’t fully known

    If the reason you are considering a move to grain inclusive is because of the association of certain diets with DCM I’d suggest that you move to a “traditional” diet known to reverse the condition. Consider options by Purina Royal Canin Hill’s Pet Food Iams/ Eukanuba.

    #185738 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    Hi Patricia,

    Have to agree with you here. Very concerning that a company making dog food writes on their website in regard to taurine “Essential nutrient as dogs cannot synthesize themselves” (accessed on Stella and Chewy website 1/8/2023). Reminds me when the “nutritionist” (the person’s degree as I recall was in marketing), for a company told me not to be concerned that the declared Vit D levels in their diets were below Min because dogs can synthesize their own if given enough sunlight. I was instructed to open my curtains to provide a sunbeam for them to sit in. Unlike taurine Vit D is essential in dogs.

    Once you start seeing these things you just can’t unsee them.

    #185739 Report Abuse
    crazy4cats
    Participant

    Hi Patricia-
    I think Purina has some grain free formulas. If you are absolutely set on feeding one. Give them a try!

    #185741 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Hi Aimee and C4Cats,
    It’s absolutely mind blowing how I’m just now noticing these selling ploys. Someone hired in their company to brainstorm words before each ingredient to send subliminal messages to our brains conjuring up images of superior nutrition if fed to our dogs. It’s the same with our food. I always wondered if I should buy “sweet” corn in the grocery store as opposed to “unsweet”. lol Yes, now I can’t “unsee” as you said Aimee. I did write an email to Stella n Chewy’s regarding that taurine statement and that I will no longer be purchasing .
    Now still leaves me with a full bag and half of another with their grain free chicken kibble . Trouble is all three were doing very well on this as a base and again with home cooked when appropriate, some freeze dried toppings, boiled eggs in morning etc. It just dawned on me that the grain free came out due to deaths related to mold in grain products. So of course that made all us pet owners feel safe with NO grain in dog food. But now of course it’s back to adding grains because of the DCM controversy. I then look at all claiming they are done and going the way of PPP. So many ingredients listed that told me crap for our dogs’ for SO LONG that hard to get that out of my head. Tufts comes out with this statement regarding human grade food is no different then feed grad.
    At the very top of their post Tufts discusses the pet food classification of “Human Grade“. Below is the full quote of this section, Tufts attempting to minimize the significance of human grade pet food.

    “Human grade” is much more about the plant the food is processed in than where the food came from. For instance, chicken, whether for people or cats, comes from the same bird. It’s just that “human grade” chicken is processed in a plant or kitchen licensed to produce food for people, while chicken that gets put into pet food — which could include breast or thighs, but also nutrient-packed internal organs and the parts you pick off to make soup — goes to plants that manufacture pet food. All these ingredients work together to meet your cat’s nutrient needs. Just as important, they are pleasing to cats’ taste buds.
    More to the point, products marketed as “human grade” are not necessarily higher quality nor better options in any other way. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) sets the standards for the levels of nutrients that should be in cat food, and that’s a separate issue from the origin of the food’s ingredients.
    We should note that “human grade” food for cats tends to be relatively expensive compared to regular cat food. There’s no need to purchase it, either for your cat’s health or enjoyment of meals.”
    But Thixton says this: Feed Grade. The FDA allows feed grade pet products (and feed livestock products) to utilize very inferior ingredients, in fact – some ingredients allowed in feed are illegal per federal law but still allowed by FDA. Evidence of this is FDA’s own words – in a response to our (Association for Truth in Pet Food) request of the Agency to stop allowing illegal ingredients in pet foods. The FDA stated: “we do not believe the the use of diseased animals or animals that died otherwise than by slaughter to make animal food poses a safety concern and we intend to continue to exercise enforcement discretion where appropriate.”

    Per the FDA’s own disclosure, feed/feed grade pet foods are allowed to contain diseased animals or animals that died otherwise than by slaughter. All of which – by the way – is a violation of federal food safety laws (illegal, but allowed by all pet food regulatory authorities).

    Human Grade. While feed grade pet foods are allowed to use diseased and non-slaughtered animal material, human grade pet foods are required to:
    So do I feed human grade or unsee that feed grade can be diseased animals in my dogs’ food?
    Also a question about Purina. Do ALL foods manufactured by Purina meet WSAVA standards. And if not why they make a food that they KNOW doesn’t hold the standards of WSAVA and could cause ill health to our pets? I think I mentioned that I”m a caregiver to my mom with Dementia. I’m getting really stressed overtime I look at a dog nutrition forum and read their strong opinions relating to what to feed and then I feel like I’m feeding all wrong even though my dogs’ are doing well with what I’ve been feeding. So should I ignore all that’s wrong with Stella n Chewy’s posts and continue with all the legumes and peas BUT added taurine or should I look for another? Thank you both. Just want to stop over thinking AND this research is causing me more stress.

    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by Patricia A.
    #185743 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Trying to say is that dogs’ got sick with grain inclusive and grain free was the craze so we did not unintentionally kill our dogs . Now back to grain inclusive to stop us from unintentionally killing our dogs. Back and forth. Grains bad grains good etc. Getting lost in all the DCM reports also that are still inconclusive. UHHH

    #185749 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    There is always risk associated with eating. It becomes confusing because marketing exploits risks to secure sales. All companies do it: ingredient A has problem X so buy food which uses ingredient B, left out is that ingredient B also contains X Applying to aflatoxin, it can be present in grains, aflatoxin producing molds can also affect ingredients commonly used in grain free diets, they are ubiquitous. Aflatoxins are in milk, eggs, meat, you name it they are there. The commodity most commonly affected is corn; peanuts are also commonly affected. I personally do not avoid corn or peanuts in my diet, nor do I avoid them in my dog’s diet. It comes down to company sourcing and quality control. Corn from company A no concern, Corn from company B, nope not buying it.
    It could be that both company A and B tell me they are using food grades 1 and 2 corn, test all incoming batches and test post- production so why do I feel comfortable with company A and not B? I make a decision based on how they respond to my questions, statements they make on their websites, how they responded to recalls, FDA inspection reports, if I feel they show a vested interest in animal health through funding research and employment of veterinary nutritionist… etc. No company is perfect, they all have warts but if I see a pattern of misinformation they are off my list. Years ago, I found information about a company which I found alarming, so I eliminated them. More recently, as I recall it, the company described their meats using word like “kosher” and “human grade”, yet they were found to be apparently sourcing from a dead stock removal service.
    To address “human grade” I’d say both Tuft’s and Thixton are correct. It isn’t that those things Thixton talks about can’t happen or never happen, but in terms of tonnage, there are just not very many diseased, died otherwise than by slaughter animals around to support the amount of product needed by the pet food industry. Large companies have leverage and contracts with slaughterhouse with integrated rendering and can specify their own terms such as no 4D meat. Smaller companies may not enjoy the same. But by far the vast majority of products available to the pet industry are from animals slaughtered for human consumption. Things like milk lines in livers that get them banned from human consumption are not dangerous just unsightly. The real concern is how are the products handled after harvest and this goes back to quality control and company standards. For me that is based on my own assessment of a company not a label claim which may or may not be true.
    Do all Purina foods meet WSAVA. IMO Purina branded products do. Companies that Nestle-Purina owns, I honestly don’t know. They may be operating independently. Mars recently acquired or is the process of acquiring Champion. Does that mean that once the ink on the paper is dry Champion now meets WSAVA. Not in my book. Whether you continue with a legume and pea diet or not is your decision. I find the data linking diets high in peas and legumes to DCM compelling enough that I won’t feed them in any significant quantity. The added taurine is marketing, it doesn’t offset current DCM risk and I find it oft putting. If my dog needed a therapeutic diet that contained those ingredients, I’d screen for DCM every 6 months, especially after this most recent study was published. (To my untrained eye 2 of the 23 look to be in trouble in regard to contractability). But since the problem hasn’t been limited to pea and legume diets, until more is known, I’m sticking with diet types that have been shown to reverse the problem, Currently, the bulk of my dog’s diet is PPP. I have no problem with corn in the diet. If you considering switching and aflatoxin concerns you, consider using a formula without corn. Lots to choose from.

    #185755 Report Abuse
    Ana W
    Participant

    There is always risk associated with eating! And I find it even more terrible with our dogs, because they can’t tell us directly if any of the ingredients in their food are bad for them.

    #185756 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Hi Aimee,
    I get it all and understand those pet owners feeding PPP. Better no harm done. That being said, my Hannah Belle Chihuhua was fed Fromm half of her life that being grain free. Switched to Stella’s kibble grain free when she was I believe about nine . The only freeze dried she LOVED was a treat of origen. I wasn’t at all familiar with ANY freeze dried products at the time. Just know she would be so excited to eat a nugget. At the time Fromm and Orijen were “the very best” kibble to feed. We then got Tia from a breeder who had her two Chihuahuas’. She mated only once. She actually bred Great Danes. Had a very large property with horses also not too far from my home. Her Great Danes were in ads for Pergo flooring. Beautiful dogs’. Well she was feeding Stella n Chewy’s to the Chis’ along with Health Extensions. So when brought home Tia that is what I fed. Noticed Hannah would grab a few kibbles of the Stella’s so I transitioned her also. Hannah passed at over 17 1/2 years. She was extremely active until last few months of her life before putting her to rest. Vet only advised heart meds last few months of her life. She had MVD very common in small breeds. My Tia now is 12 1/2 and has been on Stella’s all her life. Very active and LOVES her added freeze dried to the kibble. I relieved to see that Stella’s as a brand was not called by fDA and not at all one of the foods implicated as being fed in DCM. I’m going to have to stick with what’s working with good stool, energy, no digestive issues and good checkups’ . Vet said don’t change if working. If ANYTHING changes in their checkups I will certainly talk to my vet about PPP.

    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by Patricia A.
    #185776 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    It appears that you have made a decision not to transition based on factors that are important to you and that is fine. Everyone has their own feeding philosophy.

    #185813 Report Abuse
    Mutts and Cats
    Participant

    Hi Patricia A. I’ve been chatting with you on the Raw Food Recommendations post. This post caught my eye, and while I’m afraid that I don’t have time right now to read all of the replies, I just thought I would weigh in on this topic.
    Not long after FDA first released their concerns about the connection between DCM in dogs and grain free food I had a dog die suddenly of DCM. So I jumped in and did a sh** load of reading on the subject. In the end, I concluded that most dog food manufactures were taking advantage of peas and other legumes to boost their protein numbers and increase their profits. And it made me REALLY angry that the fairly expensive brands I had been feeding were doing it too. So after that I refused to buy any dog food that didn’t disclose the percentage of meat ingredients or the percentage of protein from meat (or other animal ingredients).
    As for grains, I’m on the fence. I went back to feeding just a little bit of grains for a while, but now I have a dog with some serious, elusive, health issues and I’m back to no grains. I tend to think that for a healthy dog, some grains may be good – but then again gluten grains are hard on the digestive tract, so . . . I don’t know.
    I’m also a little on the fence about peas/legumes, but have decided in very small quantities they are ok. However, they are high in lectins, which I don’t dismiss as a potential problem for some dogs (and people – “The Plant Paradox”).
    But I will never change my position on the issue of protein from meat. Dogs and cats need to get their protein from MEAT.
    Well, I said that I would quickly weigh in and this got quite long. I will come back when I have more time and read all of the replies, because it looks like there is some good information here.

    #185817 Report Abuse
    Mutts and Cats
    Participant

    I came back to do some more reading.
    Patricia A – you mentioned Stella & Chewy’s and some disappointing interactions with their company reps. I used to feed S&C’s and felt good about them for years. I’ve actually never had a bad experience with their customer service, but mostly stopped feeding it when I started really scrutinizing ingredients about 8 months ago (food allergies, plus some other concerns that may not be valid). I will say that in all of my reviewing of vitamin/mineral data, what I received from S&C looked pretty good. I don’t remember red flags that caused me to think the data couldn’t be trusted (as I found for many other companies). And I don’t remember any glaring AAFCO deficiencies (or excesses).

    I too have gone through the agonizing decision (many times recently) of whether to dump a company due to poor customer service or suspicious vitamin/mineral data or lack of online transparency. In retrospect, I wonder if I was too hasty in some cases, because I’m realizing that my expectations have probably been too high. But, as you commented, once I discover something really concerning, it is hard to let it go.

    I have to say that you and those who have posted replies here are all obviously doing A LOT of research on dog food and are well informed. We are all trying hard to do the best we can for our pups – right?

    #185820 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Hello M&C,
    I was agonizing about switching my three to a grain inclusive food. I believe grain free recipes came about after all those deaths of dogs’ from the contaminated mold of corn.

    (December 2005, a string of pet deaths and illnesses were linked to dog and cat food produced in Diamond’s South Carolina plant. A few different brands of pet food manufactured in the plant, including Diamond, were recalled, but not before the products were shipped out nationally as well as to more than 2 dozen other countries.

    The pet food was thought to be contaminated with aflatoxin, a toxic byproduct of a mold that attacks corn under certain temperature and moisture conditions. Drought, insect damage to crops, and improper storage and handling can all increase the risk of contamination.

    Unfortunately, more than 100 dogs were thought to have died in 2005–2006 as a result of the tainted Diamond pet food. It remains one of the worst pet food recall events in U.S. history. Diamond vowed to reimburse customers for veterinary bills and other costs.

    I discovered a dog food nutrition forum few months ago. Well, I just became so overwhelmed with those advocating that ONLY PPP should be fed if I care about my dogs’ heart health. Then there are those who hate vitamin packs in dog food. So brands such as Carna4 and Natures Logic, has no necessity for added vitamins since their claim is nutritional needs all come about naturally from their quality of ingredients..

    I definitely started to doubt my choice in Stella n Chewy’s when I read a statement on their website that they add Taurine because dogs’ can’t synthesize their own taurine. After writing to them about this huge error they corrected on their site. They also had an error with stating their kibble for large breed puppies would not be appropriate since contains not ENOUGH calcium.Even though I never had a large breed puppy, I THOUGHT they needed LESS calcium in a puppy food? The DFA board has been much less active then in years past. However, a member on the board that does frequent and has always given researched, detailed replies when I post questions assured me I was correct in my understand regarding the calcium needs. I was only looking at their recipes and guaranteed analysis for their grain inclusive recipes when I came across these errors.
    Well after much agonizing I made decision to stick with what all three are doing well with. Probably not very scientific but I feel the kibble with the ADDED vitamin pack gives them proper nuitrion while I add the freeze dried with only the meat and organs . Like I wrote I rotate brands in this. However, I am now transition to their Wholesome Grains baked kibble and it is agreeing with all of them.
    If you read my other posts you then know I am caregiver to my mom who now lives with us. I had my two Tia and Loli Chihuahuas’ but now have her Sophie Chihuahua also. She suffers from dementia so I am always rushing my posts so I hope what I write makes sense . I enjoy the time I have reading up on new brands of freeze dried to see if I should add in rotation. But I just can’t do the big change to a new brand of kibble . it’s a small part of their diet along with home cooked when appropriate. So I’m just not looking at the dog nutrition forum anymore to further confuse me and make me doubt my choice. I don’t know if correct but someone wrote this on reddit forum.
    “Anyone have any experience feeding this to their dog? Legume-free, potato-free, corn-free, higher protein, and contains wholesome grains.
    It fits all of the WSAVA guidelines from an ingredient and nutrition standpoint but does not comply with their staffing requirements. I called Stella & Chewy’s to ask about that and the sales rep I spoke to said the only thing keeping them from being considered “compliant” is that they don’t have their own ACVN-certified nutritionist on payroll full time, however, she did say they outsource testing regularly to a third party ACVN-certified lab (which she also added means it’s tested more thoroughly).
    Just a thought for anyone looking to feed WSAVA compliant food but wants to avoid the filler ingredients in the big 4 corporate brands. Brands with grains but without legumes or corn seem tough to come by these days.
    Between boutique brands telling you to feed your dog like a wolf to corporate brands telling you they’re “backed by science”, it’s hard to cut through the marketing BS in the dog food world.”
    Anyways, I do believe our dogs’/cats for you also are eating better then us. At least me since I REALLY do need that Ben n Jerry’s Cookie Dough Icecream to relax me at night. While “the girls” get their string bean and Bixbi treat and when I’m not looking a piece of cheddar from my hubby. lol

    #185822 Report Abuse
    Mutts and Cats
    Participant

    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

    #185826 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Hi M&C,
    I’m laughing because we both share such similar concerns but wrote “better not digress”. EXACTLY my thinking. I keep opening up never ending worm holes .
    ” 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.”That’s what I want to believe also.
    Now what happens if the Small Batch assembly line didn’t mix up the garlic good and I ended up with a bag of the small Turkey freeze dried discs with and overload in it? I just have to just STOP. lol
    All I can say is I’m glad my kids’ are grown because with the internet I’d be one nervous mom. “That analysis found 95% of store-bought baby food contained lead, 73% contained arsenic, 75% contained cadmium and 32% contained mercury. One-fourth of the foods tested that year contained all four heavy metals.” UHHH
    Thank you for posting M&C. We are the best dog/cat mom ever. Because good moms’ always drive themselves nuts with anxiety when it comes to caring for their “fur babies”. lol

    their “fur babies”. lol

    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by Patricia A.
    #185830 Report Abuse
    Mutts and Cats
    Participant

    Hi Patricia A. Thanks for helping me laugh – at myself. Your example of the Small Batch worries is funny, and I can think of dozens of similar things that I have/do worry about. I need to do more laughing at myself to lower this dog nutrition anxiety that I have brought upon myself. And the idea that my dog’s health problems can be cured if I can only find the right food.
    When I look back over the last few years, it’s a never ending cycle of researching some dog/cat nutrition concern – depending on who in my pet family is having health problems. I’m going with your thought that because we care so much we may drive ourselves a little crazy, but we are truly the best dog/cat moms ever. Yea us!
    Don’t lose your sense of humor. M&C

    #185911 Report Abuse
    Mutts and Cats
    Participant

    Hi Patricia A. Just checking in to see how you are doing. I’ve been rereading this Topic of yours because there is some good discussion on dog food selection priorities. My agony continues. I guess I am starting to reevaluate my priorities, but it is hard to let go of things that I had decided were important in the past.

    You had mentioned Susan Thixton’s List. I just bought the 2023 List, but instead of finding revelations I only feel more confused. And exhausted at the thought of starting over with research and inquiries. Hope you are doing better at being content with where you are than I am. I guess what is giving me a sense of urgency is that one of my dogs’ health has been declining. From what I read of your posts it sounds like your dogs are in good health. So you must be doing something right. M&C

    #185941 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Hi M & C,
    I was able to have some time to read some of the posts between you and Aimee. I have to admit my brain is fried already . I couldn’t even chime in to discussion because I don’t even know what questions to ask anymore. I started simple with grain free vs grain inclusive.My three small Chis’ are not inherently at risk for DCM. But doing some research SOME say that even though taurine is added to the food, the legumes could stop the absorption . I also think, as I said in another post that because of the mold from grain that killed a lot of dogs years ago, the grain free craze was the solution. But then of course the ingredient splitting possibly causing some DCM cases. So playing it safe with that and still mixing the grain free with the grain inclusive to transition. Then looking at ingredient second is chicken meal. It is SAID that has more protein since after taking out the water content from first ingredient that being chicken it’s very little. But the chicken meal will stay on top of ingredient list since not a lot of water in that? I know a simplistic understanding for me but
    with the grain free and all the different legumes individually it would be on top of list when added together by weight. So another reason I switched to grain inclusive. Then I researched which grain added would be the best. Stella and Chewy’s recipe uses pearled barley . I would have rather had unshelled or barley groats. Don’t know if correct but the latter is better for micronutrients and fiber. But hoping that is made up with the other ingredients such as oatmeal and quinoa? I did see this question on The Dog food and Canine nutrition forum “Which of these 3 would u choose? I’m looking for the best raw coated, grain free kibble.
    I couldn’t edit it to add pics but
    #1 Stella & chewy wild red raw coated grain & legume free red meat recipe
    #2 merrick backcountry raw infused grain free great plains red recipe
    #3 instinct original grain free rabbit recipe”
    All the posters chose the first recipe she put up with ingredients which turned out to be the Stella and Chewy’s . Got to compare their Wholesome grains vs the Wild Red and see how ingredients differ. For what it’s worth the one I’m currently transitioning to is baked. But at LEAST many agree it’s a good brand.
    My dilemma now is that recently couldn’t find their kibble at my local Pet Supply store. I ordered from online who did have it in stock. So I wrote on that forum and this was a posters reply. ” I work in the pet industry 😬 and unfortunately that’s just the first step for the entire line to go into big box. When a big company like that continues to grow that’s just the next step on the ladder to climb.
    That’s why a large amount of their inventory went on sale for Black Friday to clean house for the move to petco. There was a supply chain issue because they focused on making ONLY the line going into petco because those are massive orders to fill and unfortunately that’s where the big money is and that’s where the focus goes.
    My guess would be their quality and ingredients and company will start to not be as good as it used to be. Just the process of the crazy pet industry”
    So just when I relaxed a little of course this is what happens. Uhhhh
    I’m so sorry to hear about your pups health issues. What breed and age and what’s the problems’ M&C? Don’t think I can be of any help because I think you know far more then I do from nutritional aspect. But after having several dogs’ throughout my life maybe health issue is something I’ve experienced with one.

    • This reply was modified 12 months ago by Patricia A.
    #185951 Report Abuse
    Mutts and Cats
    Participant

    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

    #185987 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Hi M & C,
    I’m sorry to hear of the passing of your pup from cancer. I know a neighbor also had a dog who passed from bone cancer. Her vet assured her that genetics played the role, absolutely nothing contributed in her care, and that most likely others from the litter would most likely succumb to osteosarcoma as well. I believe most common in large breeds.
    The ONLY thing my dogs have in common are they are from breeders with the exception of my one Chloe who passed at 13. I didn’t know any better and purchased from a pet store. She was a Chihuahua. VERY sick when we bought her home. Did not eat and very weak to stand. That store closed down within a few weeks of purchase. Pups’ dying with all kinds of health issues. Yes, I knew nothing at the time of puppy mills where ALL these poor pups came from. Chloe gained her strength and remained healthy. She wasn’t acting herself one day. Just no energy. Tried to take her for short walk in the warmer weather and she just didn’t move. Called vet to bring her in next day appointment. Cough started with breathing difficulties. I just took her right in to vet without begging for appointment. Our usual vet gave chest X-ray and said pneumonia. “just take her home with these antibiotics . Take her in warm shower and tap chest.” “Antibiotics will start working and she’ll be fine.” I TRUSTED him. Woke up early to find her gums blue and gasping. Sped to vets’ who said hurry to the emergency hospital. They did all surgeries etc. She passed on my lap in car. It’s hard for me to write this and still after all these years I’m in mental anguish . Had several calls from head of my vets and my doctor apologizing for his error in judgement that a 13 year old with pneumonia, if it was even that I don’t trust now, should not have been let home. They were so worried about being sued I imagine that just all day long calls of “so sorry’s”. I’ve had many bad experiences at vets’. My Hannah needed knee surgery. Luxating patella common in small breeds. Doc insisted on all the shots before. They took her blood again at the large hospital who does the surgery. Came back extremely low white count. Did a bone marrow test. Diagnosis autoimmune from most likely shots. She went on thought to live 17 1/2 years and blood work eventually came back to normal. I stopped ALL shots for them . Loli who is eight only had her puppy shots and boosters. I don’t give ANY heart worm meds. I give checkups and blood work yearly.
    Sorry rambling. Trying to get my mom to give me a minute. Uhhh. Migraine today so hope all makes sense. I believe your pup with seizures has nothing to do with food or your care. Just genetics M&C. Wondering if possible anyway you can find out if others have same in litter??? As for Thixton, I’m lost with rhyme or reason for which companies make her list. Certainly not ALL human grade or without synthetics I believe. Not ALL that are organic or humanity resourced. Would LOVE to know for instance why Primal was on one year and then not. That would at least give me an example of what she’s looking for. Uhhh Be well M&C. Glad to hear your pup’s anxiety has calmed which is a plus when it comes to seizures.

    #185988 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Hi M & C,
    I’m sorry to hear of the passing of your pup from cancer. I know a neighbor also had a dog who passed from bone cancer. Her vet assured her that genetics played the role, absolutely nothing contributed in her care, and that most likely others from the litter would most likely succumb to osteosarcoma as well. I believe most common in large breeds.
    The ONLY thing my dogs have in common are they are from breeders with the exception of my one Chloe who passed at 13. I didn’t know any better and purchased from a pet store. She was a Chihuahua. VERY sick when we bought her home. Did not eat and very weak to stand. That store closed down within a few weeks of purchase. Pups’ dying with all kinds of health issues. Yes, I knew nothing at the time of puppy mills where ALL these poor pups came from. Chloe gained her strength and remained healthy. She wasn’t acting herself one day. Just no energy. Tried to take her for short walk in the warmer weather and she just didn’t move. Called vet to bring her in next day appointment. Cough started with breathing difficulties. I just took her right in to vet without begging for appointment. Our usual vet gave chest X-ray and said pneumonia. “just take her home with these antibiotics . Take her in warm shower and tap chest.” “Antibiotics will start working and she’ll be fine.” I TRUSTED him. Woke up early to find her gums blue and gasping. Sped to vets’ who said hurry to the emergency hospital. They did all surgeries etc. She passed on my lap in car. It’s hard for me to write this and still after all these years I’m in mental anguish . Had several calls from head of my vets and my doctor apologizing for his error in judgement that a 13 year old with pneumonia, if it was even that I don’t trust now, should not have been let home. They were so worried about being sued I imagine that just all day long calls of “so sorry’s”. I’ve had many bad experiences at vets’. My Hannah needed knee surgery. Luxating patella common in small breeds. Doc insisted on all the shots before. They took her blood again at the large hospital who does the surgery. Came back extremely low white count. Did a bone marrow test. Diagnosis autoimmune from most likely shots. She went on thought to live 17 1/2 years and blood work eventually came back to normal. I stopped ALL shots for them . Loli who is eight only had her puppy shots and boosters. I don’t give ANY heart worm meds. I give checkups and blood work yearly.
    Sorry rambling. Trying to get my mom to give me a minute. Uhhh. Migraine today so hope all makes sense. I believe your pup with seizures has nothing to do with food or your care. Just genetics M&C. Wondering if possible anyway you can find out if others have same in litter??? As for Thixton, I’m lost with rhyme or reason for which companies make her list. Certainly not ALL human grade or without synthetics I believe. Not ALL that are organic or humanity resourced. Would LOVE to know for instance why Primal was on one year and then not. That would at least give me an example of what she’s looking for. Uhhh Be well M&C. Glad to hear your pup’s anxiety has calmed which is a plus when it comes to seizures.

    #185989 Report Abuse
    Mutts and Cats
    Participant

    Hi Patricia A. Thanks for the condolences and supportive words. Sorry to hear about your heart breaking losses. I’ve had many of those too, and the last two were particularly hard as I went into the vet’s office knowing there was something wrong, but no idea that I would be leaving with a dead dog. Like you, I have a hard time even talking/writing about those experiences.

    You mentioned shots, and I’m right there with you. No more shots, except rabies, for the one with seizures. I’m really mad at myself that a few days after the first seizure I let the vet give him a leptospirosis shot. She insisted it was a good idea even though he had just had a seizure. I was in a state of mind where I just desperately wanted to trust my vet.

    My dogs were acquired from the shelter, so I have no idea about their background. The one who has seizures was picked up on the street, at 8 weeks old, by animal control with a REALLY BADLY broken leg. I forget the technical term, but snapped in two, not just fractured. So he went through several surgeries to pin the leg back together, then later to remove the pins. I was fostering dogs and cats at the time so I fostered him. I should have known the minute he came to my house that I was going to adopt him, and of course I did. But his leg was in a splint for so long that the tendon fused to the bone and he can’t straighten it out enough to use it. So he is essentially a tripawd.

    Also, I thought I would mention a revived old concern about S&C, plus a new one. My exchanges with Aimee gave me some affirmation on an issue on my long Worry List – copper content. Some foods are quite high in copper content, and many experts out there feel that this could be a factor in liver disease. Usually the beef recipes, probably because they contain a lot of beef liver. S&C is not quite as bad as some companies, but from the data I have there are some recipes that are pretty darn high. For the freeze dried patties, these are the ones that are high (mg/kg or ppm): Surf & Turf 89; Red Meat 79; Pork 62; Beef 51.
    For the Wild Red Raw Blend Kibble, Grain Free I only have data for the Prairie, which is ok at 22 ppm, but I’ll bet the Red Meat recipe is pretty darn high.

    And then, a few months ago when I was getting the data from S&C there was a note on the website under the Guaranteed Analysis tab saying something like “We will have more data here soon – if you need data now email us”. When I corresponded with a rep to get data they told me that they were in the process of the final formatting and review and it would be available online soon. Now I see that there is no data available online and they took away the statement inviting customers to request it by email. So they are definitely moving in an undesirable direction from my perspective. Just wanted to share those thoughts.

    Migraines – I used to get terrible ones that completely incapacitated me, so I really feel for you that you have one plus some mother issues to go with it. Hope you get some relief soon.
    M&C

    #186017 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Hi M&C,
    OH, the dreaded leptospirosis shot. My first dog was a tough little Doxie. Got him when my youngest was four. He would happily sit with my son riding his power wheels in the back yard. Had a pizza party for my daughter with friends. He had short little legs but managed to keep stretching out his neck and grabbed whole pie from picnic table. lol He was a character. My mom would make a lamb and we would give him the leg which had garlic all over it. Never mind the bone splinters from chewing. Now this is going back some 32 years ago. Didn’t know that garlic was toxic. Didn’t think about the splinters from the bone etc. Well the only health issue we ever had with him was that leptospirosis shot. Rushed him into emergency vet in evening after shot with his whole face swelling. We put him to rest past 17 years old after a brief time of kidney failure.
    I never feed beef except when I buy 90% lean and even then after cooking and draining any fat I pat down well to get it as fat free as possible. Then just a little ontop of kibble. They never did well with red meat anything. So I stick to just one protein in the kibble which is chicken. The wild Red has several. I always choice turkey or turkey/sardine in the freeze dried. They all do well with that with no digestion upset for the one more prone. I have to research those copper levels in the Stella’s with the Wholesome grains in chicken. Yes, VERY concerned now about going down hill.
    Just wanted to add M&C to be careful about plug ins with that oil of perfume. Heard it could trigger seizures. Also saw a ton of complaints regarding Hartz Oatmeal shampoo causing all kind of problems including seizures from a chemical they added??
    I have my hands full with my mom . She’ll be 94 and had a bad night last night. So have to give a break with my hobbyturned obsession lol of the “perfect” dog food. Which I know now doesn’t exist. Heads up ..got an email that Dr. Mike has retired and handed over sight to two others who will continue what he started. So maybe will start to see more activity in the way of food rating. Take care M&C .

    #186023 Report Abuse
    Mutts and Cats
    Participant

    Hi Patricia A. Your description of your doxie stealing pizzas is hilarious, but what a frightening experience with his lepto shot. I really can’t believe now that I let my vet give my dog a lepto shot so soon after his first seizure. He didn’t seem to have any immediate reaction to it, but I will never know if it contributed to the seizures that followed. My vet had been pretty persuasive about lepto so I was doing it annually for all of my dogs, but I didn’t last year because I started feeling the risks of reaction outweighed the benefits. I don’t live in an area that should be really high risk. But then a friend told me her dog had recently died of lepto. She doesn’t live in my area, but about 400 miles away, in a similar climate. So of course I freaked out and made an appointment for the shots. My dog had his first seizure 3 days before that appointment so I had not yet come upon the information out there showing a possible link between vaccinations and seizures. I was horrified when I did start reading that afterwards.

    Thanks for the heads up on plug-ins and the Hartz shampoo. I don’t use either, but I’m always eager to consider any suggestions that anyone has for ANYTHING that might help. My approach has been to try to identify things in his environment, or that he is eating, that could possibly be a trigger. To get to the root cause, instead of attempting to control them with anti-seizure meds. Although if they should start to become more frequent, then I will go with meds.

    Sounds like you know what your dogs like and what foods they do and do not do well on. I wish that I could get to a place where I could be more confident about how to feed mine. Mine like fat and both seem to do ok with it, but of course I realize that “seeming to do ok” doesn’t mean that all is well internally. And I’ve been overdoing it lately. My strategy used to be high protein, moderate fat, but then my seizure research caused me to change that strategy for the seizure dog and consequently they have both been eating pretty high fat. But some posting with Aimee definitely has me thinking I should move the other direction again.

    On the copper issue, if you are feeding poultry based foods then it is pretty unlikely that you will see that problem. The S&C poultry foods that I have looked at have very reasonable levels, like around 20 ppm or below. So it sound like that is not something you need to worry about. One less thing!

    Hope things start going a little better for your mother. She is lucky to have a caring daughter like you. My mother is in assisted living, over 1,000 miles away. So I’m always a little on edge that I am going to get a call saying that she is in the hospital, or worse . . .
    You take care too PA. M&C.

    #186030 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Hi M&C,
    Thank you for your kind words. Sometimes I just don’t feel like being caring. Then the guilt. I can relate to that dreaded “phone call”. Lived through that anxiety with my dad when he passed two years ago. I feel I’m at the point to look into assisted living. If not for her but for my husband and me. lol I joke however our health is going down being caregivers and we deserve some peace also in this stage of our lives.
    I discovered REDDITT M&C. Just put in seizures in dogs reddit. Many people sharing what works for them and their experiences. Always help for any topic.

    #186042 Report Abuse
    Mutts and Cats
    Participant

    Hi Patricia A. I certainly understand why you would be considering assisted living for your mother, and if you feel the slightest guilt for thinking about it – you shouldn’t. I have no doubt that being a full time caregiver is taking a toll on your health.

    Thanks for the REDDIT tip. I will explore. I had found a really good forum called Canine Epilepsy Network, but it no longer seems to be active, or at least they are not accepting new registration. But I did get some good information, and encouragement, from reading old posts. I will definitely look into REDDIT.

    My dog had a seizure this morning, and another one 20 minutes later. He has never had a second one like that. I spent the rest of the day sitting right beside him fearing that he would have a third one, but thankfully not.
    Hope you, and your mother, are having a good (or at least not terrible) day. Hang in there. M&C

    #186051 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Hi M&C,
    Begging my mom to help her into shower. Suddenly after her getting very upset she has no strength in legs. She hyperventilates when she doesn’t want to do something. Put her in bed and she’s calling me to help her in bathroom. Legs won’t hold and dead weight. Get portable wheel chair take her into hospital. Hours waiting for test results with her crying she’s fine and wants to go home. Left for awhile to eat, let dogs out. Called to pick her up that all tests came back fine. She’s walking fine. Couldn’t believe it. So happens to be the day of -15% wind chills. Uhh. Clean her whole room from the accidents from “not being able to walk” at 10 at night. So I imagine she talked herself into the weakness as to not shower.
    Oh I’m so sorry about the seizures. I can’t give advice since mine are now taking turns of eating grass and not eating. As I said I have been for weeks transitioning to the grain inclusive. Equal amounts still of the old food. Same exact freeze dried toppers. Not new bags. Yesterday my 12 year old Tia did not want to eat her little boiled portion of egg for breakfast. Went into dinner. She was drinking water. NEVER did Tia not want to eat. So finally coaxed her with a little boiled white rice to start and little pieces of low fat cheddar.. Turned her nose at even her regular kibble. Now she’s eating again but Loli is eating grass and also didn’t want breakfast. Again nothing new at all in diet. My mom’s dog is fine. So now what??? Thought at least i can relax about at least the dogs’ with feeding and no problems. UHHH

    #186093 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Hi M&C
    Well relieved to tell you that the culprit of the digestive disturbance was NOT what I have been feeding nor the transitioning grain include Stella N Chewy’s. It was Sargentto cheddar cheese sticks. Hubby decided to treat them to a “little” bit each. His “little” bit was whole stick divided in three. I know cheddar is less lactose, however I also know that whenever I let Loli have even a tiny bit of vanilla ice-cream I’m eating (puppy dog look of “please can I have a little”) she will inevitably have stomach noises and not eat until I rub her stomach and gas is passed. So I put cooked string beans in tupperware and told hubby If they follow you into kitchen THAT is their snack so YOU feel better. lol
    If you notice the reviews of food are starting again after new owners of site took over. Also glad I didn’t switch to PPP after the recall due to high Vitamin E levels in food. Guess a lot of pet owners who thought trusted brand will be very upset about this of course.
    I myself am still on the fence of their base. Maybe I will alternate with the grain and grain free. Still always looking at options for topper of freeze dried since I do like to rotate those. I find in any brand they do well with the turkey and I believe that is a good protein source.
    Hope to hear your pup is not experiencing any seizures at this time.I hope when you get a chance to go to reddit which seizure in dog questions, someone will relate and be of some help.

    #186094 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Hi M&C
    Well relieved to tell you that the culprit of the digestive disturbance was NOT what I have been feeding nor the transitioning grain include Stella N Chewy’s. It was Sargentto cheddar cheese sticks. Hubby decided to treat them to a “little” bit each. His “little” bit was whole stick divided in three. I know cheddar is less lactose, however I also know that whenever I let Loli have even a tiny bit of vanilla ice-cream I’m eating (puppy dog look of “please can I have a little”) she will inevitably have stomach noises and not eat until I rub her stomach and gas is passed. So I put cooked string beans in tupperware and told hubby If they follow you into kitchen THAT is their snack so YOU feel better. lol
    If you notice the reviews of food are starting again after new owners of site took over. Also glad I didn’t switch to PPP after the recall due to high Vitamin E levels in food. Guess a lot of pet owners who thought trusted brand will be very upset about this of course.
    I myself am still on the fence of their base. Maybe I will alternate with the grain and grain free. Still always looking at options for topper of freeze dried since I do like to rotate those. I find in any brand they do well with the turkey and I believe that is a good protein source.
    Hope to hear your pup is not experiencing any seizures at this time.I hope when you get a chance to go to reddit which seizure in dog questions, someone will relate and be of some help.

    #186123 Report Abuse
    Mutts and Cats
    Participant

    Hi Patricia A. Sorry for the delayed reply. It’s been a really bad week for my seizure dog, so of course a bad week for me too. After the two seizures close together he then had another one 14 hours later, in the middle of the night, and since then is having violent shaking episodes every morning, just like he has right before a seizure, but without the full blown seizure.

    Sounds like you are also having a very bad week with your mother. I can only imagine what you are going through. My father died 12 years ago with a bad case of dementia. It was really hard to see him that way. I did what I could, spending many nights in the hospital with him and then visits to a memory care facility, but his wife and I didn’t get along so I had no control over his care. Having no control was really hard, but I was shielded from much of what you are going through.

    Glad you found your husband to be the culprit and not your new choices of food. A much easier fix.
    I had not heard about the PPP recall. I am supposed to get recall notices from DFA, so I’m surprised I didn’t get that one. Coincidentally, Vitamin E has been my latest dilemma – whether to supplement or not. Since I am feeding so much fresh meat these days, it is something that theoretically I should supplement. But in my perusal of vitamin/mineral data from many, many companies, it is pretty common to see data with an alarmingly high level of Vit E. One company can have many recipes with normal levels then one recipe with really high levels. Particularly companies who are using mixed tocopherols as a preservative. My theory is that it is difficult to get Vitamin E thoroughly blended into a food. So it is hit and miss whether the bag of food a dog is eating has high or low levels of it. Just my guess as to what might be going on. So for now, I’ve decided not to supplement.

    I haven’t explored Reddit yet, but I will. I guess I’m just exhausted, and soooo disappointed, at this point. I had my hopes up that my dog was headed in the right direction and that maybe the changes I had made were working. But those hopes are completely dashed now. After a frustrating week of trying to get my vet to call me back, I finally talked to her on Thurs and started him on an anti-seizure med that evening. The good news is that he is not experiencing the terrible side effects that I feared from AEDs. But still having those “almost seizures”.
    Hope things are going better for you and your mother today. Always good to hear from you. M&C

    #186124 Report Abuse
    crazy4cats
    Participant

    PPP was actually recalled to excessive Vitamin “D” (not E) in one of its prescription diets.

    #186127 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Thank you for correction C4C. Hate that they put out statement “We apologize to pet owners and veterinarians for any concerns or inconvenience this situation has caused. As pet experts and pet owners ourselves, the health and well-being of pets is our top priority.”

    Apparently well being of our pets is NOT their top priority.

    #186133 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    I’ve been watching this recall. It seems very very limited in scope which in general seems atypical for Vit D recalls which historically have been broad and seem to expand over time.

    I wonder what cause would result in only a small amount of food being affected.
    Will have to see how this plays out.

    #186147 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Hi Aimee,
    Wondering if this was a human error of adding too much premix vs. premix formulation itself? Will that ever be know?
    Aimee , every few days I have the chance to read your posts between yourself and M&C. I enjoy reading anything regarding dog food nutrition even though you two make me feel like a kindergartener in a PH.d course. lol But I know a lot more now then I did before . So thank you for being active on this forum.
    I believe you know from my previous posts that I continue to feed a base of the Stella and Chewy’s. I’m aware that the FDA made a statement that will no longer comment with updates on DCM until they research further in a definitive cause. Will this ever be solved? However, I did read that cases were still being reported. What scares me is that effects of the cases that are diet related could be a slow burn and damage being done is not immediately symptomatic until years later. Correct me if I’m not correct in my understanding after reading several reports. I have read a very limited number of cases in small breeds as well for DCM diet related.
    So the questions’ STILL are whether the legumes are blocking taurine. So any amount of taurine added will not help. What if toppers and home cooked are added. Would the taurine also not be available because of the kibble with legumes? Is it the legumes replacing animal protein? With this fear I have been transitioning to grain inclusive. My dilemma is I’m on 1/4 bag of grain and grain inclusive. Still undecided if next bag should be grain inclusive and eliminate the grain free. I’m also concerned about premix vitamin packs now.
    When you have time Aimee, can you possibly give me some info between the two regarding which you would feel better feeding. I know you don’t care for the brand, but my Tia will be 13 and she does so well with it. Loli has the sensitive stomach and this was the only brand when I switched that she did so well with. Also, your take on these new brands with NO vitamin packs added. They CLAIM all the nutrioon from natural sources so does not require added premixes. These are Carna4, ND, Natures Logic.
    I will post the two recipes’ later today. I deeply would appreciate your expertise in deciphering the good, the bad and the ugly between the two .

    #186150 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    Hi Patricia,

    In general, I believe that most additions are all automated so was there a problem with that process? If it was a general remix problem, I’d think the recall would be widespread.

    The other thought I had was there a “clump” of Vit D for lack of a better word in the premix which resulted in a small amount of the premix being of higher Vit D levels.

    So far it appears the company took appropriate action. About 10? years ago, as I recall, there was a company that didn’t recall for months after getting reports and when they did recall implicated the dogs for being overly sensitive to Vit D . That never sat well with me.

    Thanks for the kind feedback I’m glad to know that you have found value in my posts.

    I do not believe legumes are blocking taurine absorption. nor that the problem is due to insufficient animal protein. Based on this most recent update from Tufts, it seems a toxin is suspected. I do not believe supplementing a suspect diet would be helpful. Right now, I think the best course of action is to avoid feeding legumes (soy being the exception) https://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2023/02/diet-associated-dilated-cardiomyopathy-the-cause-is-not-yet-known-but-it-hasnt-gone-away/

    While I understand their appeal, I haven’t yet come across a supplement free diet that I would trust. You hit it on the head when you said they “claim” to meet… based on manufacturer supplied nutritional analysis I’ve consistently found these diets low in some nutrients and excessive in others.

    I’ll be happy to give you my opinion on the recipes you post.

    #186151 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Hi Aimee,
    Please share when and if Purina updates with well what went wrong and what measures they will be taking to avoid this error. Of course, can never be free of human error.
    Yes, I wanted to highlight in caps CLAIMS in the brands don’t use vitamin packs for for reason they tout. Just a bad feeling all around with feeding these. Have you ever did any anylsisi of what is lacking? Don’t think I’m using the right terminology but think you get what I’m asking with my level of simplicity . lol
    A “toxin” suspected. Is there an article you can share please. I haven’t come across that as possible reasoning.
    So these are the two trying to decide on. My concerns are barley for the grain. I know it’s high in fiber but also carbs. But is very good with digestibility.
    The grain free from Stella’s has been changed from old recipe. People steering clear of all the legumes, I now notice only one listed instead of chickpeas etc. So positive change?? OH, just noticed when posting that 3rd ingredient is lentils. Could that mean same amount of legumes but just LOOKS like less since not 4 or 5 different legumes written?
    Cage-Free Chicken Chicken Meal Oatmeal Pearled Barley Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols) Pumpkin Quinoa Chicken Liver Natural Chicken Flavor Chicken Gizzard Flaxseed Salmon Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols) Coconut Flour Salt Pumpkin Seeds Organic Cranberries Organic Spinach Organic Beets Organic Carrots Organic Squash Organic Blueberries Inulin (from Chicory Root) Thyme Sage Rosemary Extract Mixed Tocopherols (preservative) Dried Kelp Potassium Chloride Dicalcium Phosphate Taurine Choline Chloride Zinc Proteinate Iron Proteinate Copper Proteinate Manganese Proteinate Sodium Selenite Vitamin E Supplement Calcium Iodate Thiamine Mononitrate Niacin Supplement D-calcium Pantothenate Riboflavin Supplement Vitamin A Supplement Vitamin D3 Supplement Vitamin B12 Supplement Pyridoxine Hydrochloride Folic Acid Dried Pediococcus Acidilactici fermentation product Dried Lactobacillus Dried Bifidobacterium Longum fermentation product Dried Bacillus Coagulans fermentation product

    Cage-Free Chicken Chicken Meal Lentils Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols) Chicken Liver Chicken heart Natural Chicken Flavor Salmon Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols) Suncured Alfalfa Chicken Gizzard Fenugreek Seed Flaxseed Coconut Flour Pumpkin Seeds Organic Cranberries Organic Spinach Organic Broccoli Organic Beets Organic Carrots Organic Squash Organic Blueberries Pumpkin Inulin (from Chicory Root) Thyme Sage Rosemary Extract Mixed Tocopherols (preservative) Dried Kelp Potassium Chloride Calcium Carbonate Taurine Dicalcium Phosphate Zinc Proteinate Iron Proteinate Copper Proteinate Manganese Proteinate Sodium Selenite Vitamin E Supplement Calcium Iodate Thiamine Mononitrate Niacin Supplement D-calcium Pantothenate Riboflavin Supplement Vitamin A Supplement Vitamin D3 Supplement Vitamin B12 Supplement Pyridoxine Hydrochloride Folic Acid Salt Dried Pediococcus Acidilactici fermentation product Dried Lactobacillus Dried Bifidobacterium Longum fermentation product Dried Bacillus Coagulans fermentation product
    So didn’t get chance to put analysis. But if you could, just the ingredients in view at first is better choice. I’m rushing but I know it’s not just ingredients but which would you pick. thanks so much Aimee. Took over 1/2 hr. to write this in between tending to my mom’s needs. So please overlook errors in writing

    • This reply was modified 11 months, 2 weeks ago by Patricia A.
    #186168 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    Hi Patricia,

    I’ll share anything I learn regarding the recall.

    When looking at foods without supplementation the nutrients I first check, being careful to convert to caloric basis, are Vit E, Vitamin D, and Zinc. One company whose Vit D levels were very low told me it isn’t a problem because dog make Vit D. I just needed to make sure they got enough sun .. Facepalm -Vit D is essential in dogs and the basis for saying that as a species, though overall considered an omnivore, they have a carnivore bias.

    This is taken from the article I inked to ” our current hypothesis is that compounds in these ingredients may have toxic effects on the heart.”

    Because lentils are the third ingredient, I personally would not consider feeding diet 2.

    #186188 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Hi M&C,
    Oh don’t be sorry about later reply. I missed yours also. Bad week for both of us yes. I’m so sorry his seizures necessitated medication. Oh, but such good news that no side effects. Praying meds make a big difference in number of seizures he’s been recently experiencing.
    Going to look at Aimee’s reply to my questions that I just noticed I asked her in a past post. Uhhh …In need of a short vacation 😬

    #186189 Report Abuse
    Patricia A
    Participant

    Hi Aimee,
    Okay then that’s that. I’m laughing with the reply of “get out in the sun.”
    So leaning towards the grain inclusive. Not perfect but better then others?
    Thank Aimee❤️

    #186224 Report Abuse
    aimee
    Participant

    Hi Patricia,

    I don’t think there are any perfect diets. We are left to making the best decisions we can based on the information we have available to us.

    #186300 Report Abuse
    Mutts and Cats
    Participant

    Hi Patricia. Decided we have been at this so long that I could probably drop the A. I hope you got that short vacation you said you needed. Even if it was just a nice half day away from home. I see you are continuing to ponder a food change and are getting some good thoughts from Aimee. I’m watching and learning. I’m continuing to think about it, but in spurts. Most days I just don’t have the energy to do that kind of research. I still feel that I do need to make a change, but now isn’t the time.
    BTW, Steve’s has fallen out of favor with me. I will probably post some more details on that in my Topic if you are interested.

    Unfortunately, my dog continues to have partial seizures nearly every day. But, on the bright side, at least they are not full blown seizures.

    Take care, and keep striking the best balance you can between mother demands, dog food worries, and finding time for yourself. And, count your blessings that your dogs are healthy. M&C

    #186394 Report Abuse
    Mutts and Cats
    Participant

    Hi Patricia. Just checking in to see how things are going. And to make sure you didn’t finally find the PERFECT food and forget to tell me. 🙂 M&C

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