Just wondering if anyone has a vet who recommends Pro Plan or Royal Canin? Does anyone’s vet say that grain is good for dogs in the right type? I feel like the goal is to meet a standard going in but do they also measure what comes out of the dog? The fitness level, body fat, and how much of the food/nutrition is actually used/absorbed? It seems to confuse me and keep my head spinning?
as a trainer I have clients that tell me that Purina is what they feed because the vet recommended it ( or someother garbage food) and that it is good. DON’T believe it.. Vets get a talk from a big dog food company, many times Purina and they give free food away and the vets in general don’t get any education on the differences in food. The better the food is the better the health of your dog do will be. It isn’t rocket science. It is the same for people. Find a food that is human grade and listen to what the cutting edge information about food is. Purina is NOT good food. The fact that the regulations for dog food are so lax helps these companies get by with this trash.Brian OMember
Yeah, I hear your Elaine, the only thing is this vet doesn’t have a regular practice and is a teaching vet at a well known Veterinary School at a large land grant university. He is the head of the small animal clinic for this university. He teaches every student that comes through the program as this is a small animal specialist. He is also a researcher on clinical trials in the school. I asked if he ever did clinical research paid for by a food company and he said he had not and it might not be good research if a company pays for a trial and expects it to say they are good. He feeds ProPlan to his hunting dog during hunting season and a different variety during the rest of the year. It seems like it wouldn’t be rocket science but he gave compelling reasons why grain free isn’t ideal for dogs. The right grains in the right amounts….. Good research on the stuff going in and he said, more importantly what comes out. He mentioned that AAFCO standards are good but they are only telling that what goes in meets a standard. He mentioned there are foods that meet the standard but because of one thing or another, the good nutrients pass through and never get absorbed. He talked about total health and overall fitness. It was interesting to hear it from a vet with no skin in the game and his perspective. It was just really interesting to hear him say the opposite of what I thought he would.
Brian O I have also had a similar discussions with those who know far more than I and are objective. After hearing what they had to say I feel better about some Purina products. Lots of dogs have thrived on Pro Plan. They do more than just meet AAFCO standards. They do a lot of trials that are helpful to dog nutrition. I still wouldn’t buy the grocery store Purina. But wouldn’t lose my mind if I had to feed the big box store varieties.
I reluctantly put my IBD dog on their Fortiflora. She’s actually doing well.
yes, they do studies but they don’t use them. If you would read a book like Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet and there are others.. this book written by a pro who formulated kibble for big companies. You would never feed that stuff. Dog’s lives are so short really.. if you would read it and see how this kibble could not be really good, that your dog could not really do really well.. The problem is that the AAFCO are not that great in terms of meaning the full, thriving kind of needs. They are a base line.. with too much carbs or not enough of the right fats, that the fats in there when cooked lose their potency etc. and are not high enough in protein that is actually good… No I don’t really trust purina.. Many people do studies, it doesn’t mean they make better dog food. Lots of studies have been done on people too to see what they can tolerate.. no. Don’t trust them.
Hi Brian, I wrote this without seeing that you had replied.. and I said some of the same things.. Will a dog die on pro plan probably not… but for me I want to do better by my dogs. It is like us eating the way we do.. will we die… no.. But we will live more flexible, more lean and healthier on better food. I just don’t believe that any processed food is good because so much is lost in the high heat cooking. the bags have already sat somewhere for months before you even buy it. I make organic treats that go to stores and a distributor wanted to represent me.. and my treats had to last 12 – 18 month!!!! I don’t want my treats to last that long. It is the same with dog food. In my humble opinion
It’s true that much is lost in the heat process. There are brands that use less /lower heat in the processing of foods. And most add nutrients after to replace what is lost like probiotics.
Always always always check the date on the food before buying. They are usually dated 1 yr later.
There’s certainly much better & much worse options. Choose a few of the best brands that are within your budget and your dog does well on and rotate every few months. No one food should be fed for the entirety of a dog’s life anyway.
There is no one perfect food/diet that is best for all dogs. Every dog is different. Every family has different means and budgets.
Stay away from the really cheap stuff, do your homework and pay attention to how your dog does on a particular food.
We all just do the best we can.
Elaine C it’s true AAFCO is a baseline. At least it’s a starting point. That’s why you have to read the labels and ask the company what the min & max guaranteed analysis is on a dry matter basis and make sure it’s the right amounts for your dog.
I don’t like or trust Purina the dog food company either as a general rule. I personally wouldn’t feed it, but I know plenty of dogs that do very well on Pro Plan and not as well on the better quality foods. It’s just what works for them right now for whatever reason.
The foods do have a lot of corn and grains, but that’s not necessarily awful. Again, my dogs don’t do well on foods that use a lot of plant-based protein, others seem to have better luck.
As far as I know Purina uses Grade 1 & 2 ingredients which is human grade. And they don’t use feather, hooves, etc as their by-products.
There is certainly much worse choices. If there’s any good about being so big is that they are being watched and they have the money to afford to do feed trials and have excellent facilities.John RMember
We’ve been feeding our 11 month old black lab who we switched over to Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Puppy food when we brought her home at 12 weeks. This past August we transitioned her over to Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Puppy. She is now 11 months old and we are moving each of our Labs (we have 3) away from Blue. They have had more diarrhea since they’ve been eating Blue than at any other time in their lives. I’m not sure what it is about Blue, but it is making our dogs sick. They’ve had multiple recalls through the years – most recent MAY 2016 – and I have lost faith in them.Melodie AMember
Just today, my Vet told me to buy either Purina Pro Plan or Royal Canin. What a timely topic. Neither of those brands are rated ‘recommended’ on this site. Yet when I read the disclaimer on this site and that they don’t actually do any testing, but rely solely on the manufacturer, well that doesn’t give me any confidence either.
My Vet said he’s never been keen on Fromm, which is what I have always fed my dog (she is currently on Fromm Gold dry), but I don’t think she has ever loved the food. A recent relocation has caused stress and her appetite is off, causing her to lose 2 pounds which she can ill afford to lose as she’s already on the petite side of her breed.
Would love input……..
dry dog food in general is not the best, if that is what you are looking for. WHY? because it is so cooked that there are no enzymes or other beneficial things that actually help a dog. Have you ever asked yourself, if we are told not to eat processed foods because they are not good for us, WHY would you start a puppy on processed foods and give it to them their whole life?? dry dog food is convenient for YOU that is all.
Not all kibble is created equal. That’s one reason why you should switch brands every few months.
Feeding kibble isn’t always about convenience. Sometimes it’s a food that agrees with a particular dog. Sometimes it’s the affordable option.
You can always add supplements if your pet is lacking something until you find a food that agrees with them and provides all the nutrients.
Have you tried her on a bland diet for a few days? It won’t help with the weight issue, but it will give her belly a chance to reset itself (assuming there’s no other underlying problem).
Then try adding a probiotic and/or Pepcid to her food. And feed small meals throughout the day.
Once she’s feeling better try a food you are comfortable with slowly.
She won’t gain weight if she isn’t keeping her food down or it’s coming out the other end.
Maybe consider something for her head. If she is really stressed she may need some psychopharmacuticals to get her through the anxiety so she can adjust to the changes.
I agree that her tummy needs a rest this is recommended and helps… like miss a meal or two (!) and them start her back on just chicken.. not rice… I agree with Jenn but not about the meds for her head… no med the less the better in my experience. It is a good idea to liberally wet kibble ( I used to add hot water so it would be absorbed) kibble is too dry say the experts and you can add things to it to make it better for your dog… but NOT proplan!!
Go to Dr Mary Straus and see what she says to add to kibble to make it better for you pet.
Good luck! We all want the best for our dogs.. and sometimes throwing more money at the situation is not better…. You can also go to Dr Karen Becker and see what she writes about good nutritrion.. She iand Straus are national known
Not sure if the Mary Straus recommended is the same person from dogaware site. If so just to clarify she is NOT a vet. Which is not to say there isn’t much value in experience, but she doesn’t have any formal education.
Dr Becker is a great resource. But she & Straus love pushing raw. Dr Becker has a lot more product she hocks too.
Jenn it is not.. Mary Straus will havea site where you can find a post about the 5 things you should include if you feed kibble…. like a probiotic yougurt, eggs etc. Remember that kibble doesn’t have anything like enzymes which are very important… raw goats milk is great too.crazy4catsMember
It sounds like the same Mary Straus to me. She is not a vet, but I do think she does share some valuable information on the dogaware site. She does not necessarily recommend digestive enzymes unless the dog has a digestive disorder of some kind. She states they generally can produce enough on their own.
This is taken from http://www.dogaware.com:
Digestive enzyme supplements provide a variety of benefits
Article by Mary Straus, published in the Whole Dog Journal, May 2012
All dogs need digestive enzymes in order to break down their food, making the nutrients available for absorption. In most cases, the pancreas produces ample enzymes and no supplementation is required. Older dogs and dogs with digestive disorders may benefit from enzyme supplementation. Dogs with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI), where the pancreas is no longer able to produce enzymes, require prescription-strength enzymes in order to survive. Digestive enzymes might also help dogs with food allergies and intolerances.
She continues with more information about her opinion of digestive enzymes if anyone is interested in reading more.
I don’t think she has any formal training, but a lot of experience. Here is more about her:Susan WMember
Hi Brian –
My mom’s dog eats Pro Plan & does fairly well. However, the food smells disgusting – it smells like old chicken parts & burned feathers. I feed VeRUS Life Advantage to my 2 dogs. It is because VeRUS DOES NOT stink that I notice how bad Pro Plan smells. (I have noticed before that VeRUS doesn’t stink but it’s REALLY evident now that I have a bag of Pro Plan in the house – ICK!) Mom’s dog poops like 4 times a day. My dogs poop 1 or 2 times a day. I have a rescue that is about the same size as Mom’s dog – I can promise you these it a marked difference in what is coming out of each dog – as much of as difference as what’s going in. VeRUS is 4 star food here. They have never had a recall and they have excellent customer communications. Do a web search for them & check out the website, there’s a lot of great info there.
Go to petmd. (Sorry was unable to add link using phone.)
In the search “Questions Pet Food Manufacturers Should Answer”.
It’s a list of about 10 questions that are approved by AAHA.
If you ask them in order and they fail to answer any, then you won’t need to waste time asking the rest.
Be careful a lot of companies like to give replies that sound good, but don’t actually answer the question.
I will not feed any food before asking these questions. You’d be surprised how many companies don’t use vet nutritionists (even fewer use board certified vet nutritionists), how many don’t do AAFCO feed trials because they are expensive and all the creative ways they don’t avoid giving straight answers and the excuses for doing or not doing certain things. When called out they can get defensive or just ignore you all together.
I hope your dog is feeling better.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Jenn H.
Elaine C there are a few brands that add probios, vitamins& minerals, etc after processing to replace what is lost.
There’s also brands that don’t cook the food at such high temps for the purpose of minimizing nutrients lost therefore they don’t have to replace as much at the end.
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