What do you feed your canine friends?

hopeful_in_Brevard(z9b FL)September 14, 2006

This might be a dumb question but Im desperate. My dog hates dog food. I have tried at least 6 different kind, and not the cheap stuff either and he won't eat it. I even spread the dog food on slices of turkey and rolled it up and cut it into pieces, now I am being teased by my daughter. She asked me if it was doggie food breakfact burritos or dog food shushi. He still will not eat it. He wants the cat food so bad we need to feed them up high on the table, he will jump till he snatches a plate (paper) then eats the food and takes the empty plate under the coffee table. (his cave) and tears it up. I know there are a lot of dog mommys and daddys on the garden webb. If you can offer any advice. pleeeeeeeeeeeees

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myfask(9a Jacksonville, Fl)

you can buy doggie "gravy" at petsmart. you might want to try this. If it works then you can gradually put less and less on the dog food till he doesn't realize that he is only eating dog food.
I used that to get mine from having to have ground beef on their food

    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 5:57AM
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hopeful_in_Brevard(z9b FL)

Thanks Karla. My DH suggested putting gravy on his dog food, but I am concerned it would be to salty, fatty etc for a dog. I will check out the doggie gravy at Pet Smart

    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 3:48PM
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gcmastiffs(z10 Florida)

Your dog is very smart, to refuse dog food. It is mostly garbage. Dogs are not meant to eat grain-based, cooked food. They are not meant to eat the same old boring dry food day after day, year in and out.. They are designed to eat other animals- a variety of them, whatever they can get.

Look at a dog's teeth. Do they look like a grain eater? See the plaque from the sugary grains that cause dental disease in 85% of pets?

No creature on earth eats cooked foods, except humans, and the animals we force to do so.

I've been feeding raw to my dogs for over 16 years. Raw meat/bones/eggs/tripe/organ meats and a tiny bit of veggies or fruit if they want some. They all have perfect teeth and skin.

Please consider adding raw foods to your dog's diet, after you research it. If you cannot feed raw, there is one dry food that is grain-free. EVO, by Innova. Or, feed the best quality canned food you can afford. Canned food has much more meat in it than dry versions.

Think about how expensive Lamb or Beef are. Then try to imagine how much quality meat is in a bag of dog food. Very, very little, and not fit for human consumption- meat that is spoiled/old/diseased goes into pet foods. Nothing is wasted, it is all dumped into animal feeds. A good starting place is "Foods Pets Die For" which will open your eyes to what really goes on at pet food companies.

You could also cook good, real food for your dog, if raw scares you. Cooked "quality" food is still better than commercial dry food.

There are many good books out now on feeding raw.

I'll be glad to help you if you need any help.


    Bookmark   September 15, 2006 at 7:29PM
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Hi Hopeful! I am sorry you are having such a hard time getting your pup to eat but my biggest advise to you is to relize you are not alone! Our furry children are the pros when it comes to "training" us as to what they will and will not eat!
First, do your research. Read the labels on the dog food bags. If you look close you will find the "AAFCO STATEMENT". On most commercial foods it will read something like - provides complete nutrition for all stages of life - which means your are basically feeding puppy food to your adult dog. Puppy food is higher in protien and calories than an adult dog will need and often leads to obesity!
Also, it is good to know, that due to a lack of regulation, a manufacturer can change the ingredients of a given food and does not have to change the labeling for up to 6 months. This sometimes leads to a pet having an allergic reaction to a food he has eaten for many months!
As you can see, I do agree with Lisa that most commercial foods are "iffy" at best but I will not reccomend one in particular as I believe you need to decide what is best for you and your pet and stick to it. (Also, I do not want to start a war here as what is "the best" to feed as this can be a VERY touchy subject!) Your pup will sulk and beg and turn his nose up at your offering but he will not starve himself to death. If you are worried about him during his change over take him by your Vet where you can weigh him and moniter his progress. Also remember to change his food slowly so you don't cause diarrhea.
Good Luck in you challenge and remember to be firm and have your family be firm too. Poor nutrition in our pets can lead to all kinds of problems and shorten their lives and their nutrition is completely in our control!

Susan, Vet Tech for 20+ years
e mail me if I can be of any more help!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 11:06AM
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A few years back a girlfriend of mine "saved" a dog that was at deaths door. She started to introduce small amounts of ground beef,chicken, turkey to the dog. Once he got interested in food again, She started adding 1 tablespoon of ground up raw veggies and a 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil to the ground meat. This would be like the dog was eatting the stomach of a freshly killed rabbit. If you think about it.......It makes allot of sence. i have watched the dog eat a whole raw thigh bone of a turkey with no trouble. The bone only splinters when they are cooked, and would be part of the dogs natural diet.
Search "barf diet".........very interesting........

    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 12:40PM
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gcmastiffs(z10 Florida)

Be aware that many foods that passed AAFCO requirements were later proven to be deficient. AAFCO feeding trials are short, limited, and do not address long-term results of feeding the same thing day in and day out. The descriptions/definitions of ingredients allowed in pet foods, listed in the AAFCO books, are disgusting.

I'm a vet tech/ER tech, and deal with diseases caused by pet foods, every day. Every day I get blasted in the face by bacteria-laden particles, from cleaning the rotten mouths of pets fed commercial foods. I put IVs in cats dying of renal failure or urinary blockages (directly diet related). Not too many years back, cats were dying of cardiomyopathy, caused by lack of taurine in their food. Cats are obligate carnivores, and must have meat, yet the pet food companies fed them grains and trash veggies. They still do, but now they add taurine. Lots of cats died. Large breed dogs get cardiomyopathy in increasing numbers these days. Guess what- it is because they are not getting enough meat in their diets-the big dogs do not eat enough of the bulky, dry foods to get the required amounts.

It infuriates me!!

Yes, it is a subject people get passionate about.. It bothers me up that so many people believe the dog food ads on TV, think they are doing right by their pets (when in fact they are being lied to), and that most vets hawk such crappy diets.

Animals evolved on raw diets. You never see wolves sitting around a fire with meat on skewers, or hear of them raiding fields of grain.... Most of the health problems of our pets, and ourselves, are directly related to improper diets.

BTW, when you feed a varied diet of raw, or home-made cooked foods, switching foods is no problem. I switch between chicken, pork, beef, turkey and lamb all the time. The upset stomach issue when changing foods is a commercial diet issue.

The slowly switching foods idea is like asking us to add some of the Chinese food we ate last night, to our breakfast cereal, cereal to the Italian sub at lunch, and adding the Italian to the Stew for dinner. Silly!!!

Sorry for the rant...


    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 3:04PM
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gcmastiffs(z10 Florida)

I did not clearly explain why people are cautioned to change pet foods gradually. It is because of the faulty notion that pets should be fed the same thing at every meal. Pets fed a commercial food, sure may have trouble when changed. It is not the fault of the pet!

Think of what would happen if you ate only fortified oatmeal at every meal, every day, for weeks/months/years. Then, you ate some fresh fruit. Fruit is good for you, right? But after being on such a restricted diet, it would cause stomach pain and probably diarrhea. The fruit is not at fault, the fault is the abnormal diet previously. If you ate fruit now and then as a normal part of your diet, you would be fine with it. So, even if you feel you must feed commercial foods, try to add fresh, real food. Non-fatty table scraps are fine. No onions. Raw meat is the best thing you could add. Even small amounts will benefit your pet.

Pet food companies spend $$$$$ to formulate foods using cheap ingredients, that will produce firm stools. They add beet pulp, cellulose and tomato pomace as binders. If they could incorporate a plastic bag for it to arrive neatly wrapped in, they would put it in the food too. And I bet people would buy it!


    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 5:17PM
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Lisa's rant is exactly why I hesitated to enter this. I am NOT saying AAFCO is the end all or be all of pet food. In fact I was only pointing out the mislabling that goes on in commercial pet foods under the guise of it. In fact, to clarify my point, most animals that are used for AAFCO trials are put to sleep following the trials so long term feeding of any of their "approved" foods is unknown. However, I do believe that a pet that has been eating processed "people food" does need to be slowly changed to a different diet in order to avoid gastric upset and to aid in the acceptance of the new diet. To Lisa and everyone else who feed the raw or BARF diets I believe it is your choice and have seen many, many healthy animals that are fed this way. But then again I have attended the deaths of some animals who were fed this diet too. I do believe that what one feeds their pet is their individual choice and have learned tolerance to their decisions. How can I berate a senior citizen who feeds the single serving wet food due to convienance or the single working mother who feeds the cheapest store brand due to the lower cost or the pet owner who only feeds "people food" due to their pet refusing to eat anything else? Sure, any one of these is not the best of things to be doing but then again at least they are feeding their pets! I would love to see a world where every pet is fed a nutritionally sound diet but then I would settle for a world where every pet is given basic medical and preventive care.

Getting a pet is like buying a car. Would you buy a car if you couldn't afford gas, oil, and tires? You should not be getting a pet if you cannot afford basic care.

What infuriates me is the belief that if you aren't doing it my way then you are doing it wrong!

Just my thoughts nova

    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 5:21PM
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hopeful_in_Brevard(z9b FL)

Lisa, I read past posts you submitted on raw food. I worry about bacteria in uncooked meat. Slaughter houses are not the cleanest places. Can saminola (excuse spelling) etc. be a problem with animals as with people. I expected a reply from you, I know how passionate you are about your dogs. And Nova again Im appalled at mans inhumanity of useing animals for their purpose and then killing them. I do worry about what is put in the cans. It seems they all smell the same, not good. I have been thinking of makeing Frankys food. Im going to research some of the web sites. I was feeding him science diet and it did firm up his BMs and he quit his discusting habit of useing the cats for vending machines, but then he stoped eating it and I was throwing a lot away. Also I was thinking some dry food would be good to help clean his teeth. He attempts to steal the cat food all the time. I know this is bad because of the taurine.
Thanks for all the thautfull information.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 1:09AM
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rose_hip(Z9.5 FL.)

Hi Pat, not an expert(I can assure you) but here's what we have found to work really well for our"Fussy" little eater!
Our groomer has a Doggy healthfood store attached to her shop(called Healthy Pets) where we have found many great pet food alternatives.(and not much,if any, more then Pet Smart prices)Early this Summer we got our selves a new little Doggy(our 16yr old Husky passed last year) our Husky was a really fussy eater his whole life...Really bad!
And the new Doggy, a 2yr old was not happy with any of the name brand food we tried, even with us mixing people food in with.(she just pick out the dog food and then eat the good stuff. So after her first trip to the groomers we went next door and got some great advice and many sample bags(!!) and she really liked most of them(!!) even eating some of the dry foods plain as morning snacks!! So here's what we are using now- Van Pattons/Natural Ballence(the vennison and wild rice, and the potato and duck) and for the can foods(we mix half dry and half can for dinner) Merricks(!!) has real meat in side(Really!) turkey dinner,
grammy chick pot pie, turkey/duck, and a few other. Our little "Sweetie" loves 'um(!!) Not sure where else they are available but I could ask... Hope this helps a little, at least gives you another option,Happy Gardening, Terry.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 7:17AM
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gcmastiffs(z10 Florida)

Pat, yes, there is bacteria on raw meat. There is bacteria on everything. We and our pets are exposed to it constantly. Cat poopies are loaded with bacteria, but most dogs have no trouble eating them.. Yucky to us, but it is perfectly natural for a canine to eat feces. They also like manure from herbivores. Droppings contain good bacteria, as well as some that can cause illnesses. Ever raised a baby calf or horse? The MUST eat their mother's manure to get the needed bacteria to be able to digest roughage. Even human babies will "diaper-dip" and self innoculate themselves. Bacteria is a part of life. Can you keep the cat box behind a baby gate so your dog can't get to it? It won't hurt him, but getting a kiss from him after he indulges won't be pleasant.

I agree that slaughterhouses are dirty, and they do actually spread bacteria to clean meat, by mixing bad meat in with good, to grind up for burgers. The cleanest meats are big hunks. Then, the outside may be contaminated, but the inside is cleaner. Ground meats are the dirtiest of all. Bits of many different animals are tossed into what looks like a dumpster at the processing plant, then it is all ground together. Read "Slaughterhouse" if you want to know what goes on there. Ugh!

Dry pet food does not clean teeth. If so, I would not be doing dentals on pets every day. Feeding kibble to keep teeth clean is akin to feeding kids hard candy in the hopes that the hardness will keep tartar away. It is the grains (carbs)in pet foods that leave a sugary residue on the teeth.

Taurine in cat food will not harm your dog. Dogs must have taurine too, for a healthy heart. Cat foods contain more meat than dog foods, and are highly flavored, to get cats addicted to having bursts-of-flavor in every bite. That keeps the owners buying the cat's preferred brand-thus more $$$ for the pet food company. The strong flavors smell good to dogs too..

So, yes, raw foods have bacteria. A normal, healthy dog has no trouble with ingested bacteria. My 12lb Jack Russell Terrier buries squirrels under our shed, digs them up and eats them when they are rotten. Doesn't bother her at all- she prefers them "aged!" Many pet foods (cooked) have been recalled after killing pets from toxins contained in mouldy grains. (Do a web search on recalled pet foods) I like to have control over what my pets eat. If I buy commercial food, I have NO control over how it is made, and the quality of the ingredients.

I buy fresh foods for my dogs, that are fit for human consumption. Whole chickens, beef hearts, beef cheeks, turkeys, pork brisket, lamb brisket, fresh eggs and veggies from the garden. For a while I raised our own meat birds, but that broke my heart, so I now buy the best ones I can. The $$$ I spend on food, is saved many times over, by having healthy pets. My dogs routinely live to twice the average age for their breed. They eat raw bones, which keep their teeth in great shape.

The best advice I can give you, is not to trust big business to feed your pets. Use your own judgement and common sense.

It is hard these days, with most food being so heavily processed, packaged, salted and preflavored, to remember that fresher is better for us, and our pets.


Here is a link that might be useful: My Raw Diet page

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 10:32AM
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My 2 cents on bacteria.......
Years ago we had a chicken that was a good "layer". She would sit on her eggs till they rot. One night a critter ripped open the chicken coup had itself a chicken dinner. I thought we had lost the little black hen till I spotted her in the back forty sitting in a black nursery pot in the bushes (high weeds) I walked over to her and she had laid about 60 eggs in the pot and she was keeping them warm. I grabbed her and put back in the coup . I then picked up the pot to throw it away... and then eggs started to explode !!!!!! Rotting nasty slime started to ooze from the bottom holes of the pot. My dogs started growling and snapping at each other, and then ate the putrid mess, The dogs DID NOT SUFFER any stomach ailment of any kind. I was quite shocked. I thought for sure they would get sick. My babies with fur acted like this was a treat for them. YUCK. ( LOL) . In the wild they are hunter / scavengers

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 1:08PM
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hopeful_in_Brevard(z9b FL)

Amazing story D'Ann: I am constantly surprised by the actions of animals. Franky has habits I dislike, but I keep reminding myself he is a dog, and nothing wrong with it. We share space with our animal friends and we agreed to respect and protect them as best we can. I have a lot of information to lead me to an answer and I truly appreciate everyones input. Pat

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 4:38PM
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Many years ago I worked for a lab that did biological testing on consumer products for many companies, including 2 of the largest pet food corporations. We tested for all the bacteriological contaminants, including salmonella and e.coli. These common bacteria were routinely found in dog and cat food kibble but neither animal is affected by them. Dogs especially can eat almost anything without harm. If it's too nasty for dogs they just throw it up.
The moral of this story is that if you are feeding your dogs commercial kibble - even from the biggest, 'best' company - wash your hands after handling the food!!! And never let your kids handle the dog dishes before you wash them.
Later in life, I handled liability issues dealing with claims of food poisoning for the 'largest fast food chain in the world' (I'm sure you can guess who I'm talking about) and if the family complaining of illness from their burgers had a pet, the claim was instantly denied. And we never had to pay a dime on those claims because there are so many studies available that link family outbreaks of food poisoning to their pet's food.

I'm really intrigued by this raw food issue and thinking of adding more fresh meat to my dogs' menu. They already get veggies and fruit - just try to keep watermelon away from a Sheltie! But my concern has always been the bones, especially from fowl. Haven't we always been taught that dogs will choke on splintered chicken bones?


    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 7:28PM
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msmarion(9aPort St Lucie)

Only if they are cooked.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 5:45PM
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maureen155(9a Citrus FL)

Kate -

Thanks for the information about bacteria on dog kibble. It really grossed me out though. I hope it isn't on Milk Bones because my older dog is addicted to them. Yet another reason to wash my hands 60 times a day, I guess.


    Bookmark   September 20, 2006 at 9:28AM
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Yup - Milk Bones too. (sorry...)

    Bookmark   September 20, 2006 at 10:18PM
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maureen155(9a Citrus FL)

ewwww :(

What the heck is this world coming to? You can't eat spinach, you have to wear gloves to give the dog his cookies... what next?

I don't think I'll worry too much. Willie has been eating these treats for years and I've never been sick from handling them. Actually, I tasted one once because I was curious why he liked them so much. Guess I won't do that again. They taste nasty.


    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 12:17PM
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Yak, even though this thread is old, I felt that I had to comment. My cocker absolutely loves cat food too! But I feed her homemade soup, at least three times a week. Very easy, boil up any chicken bones leftovers or whatever meat leftovers you've got. Add some rice and potatoes until cooked, and then at the very end - a whole bunch of finely chopped carrots, tomatoes, zuccini - whatever is at hand. She likes that stuff the best! I do stay away from raw meat for the dog because of salmonella threats.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 3:51PM
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sillybugs(z10 FL)

I feed my 2 dogs Evangers dry and canned food, but i also give them raw beef,and chicken. i think all dogs need at least a little raw meats for good health. ;)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 4:08PM
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I swear you guys/gals are better than an encyclopedia.

Lisa, I've always fed my cats a commercial diet. Now I'm down to two cats and they are both too fat. Will the raw diet help them lose weight? How will I know how much to feed? Will the raw diet including bones clean their teeth or will I have to have them cleaned first before switching to the raw diet?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 4:21PM
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tropicalfreak(z10b Ft Lauderdale)


What about chicken livers, gizzards? to feed our dogs? When I cook chicken I always chop some up raw for them. They love it!! Hot Dogs are probably as bad as dry dog food???


    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 9:12PM
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A friend pours a little salt-free, low fat chicken broth on her dog's dry food (I forget the brand of the dog food). Her dog loves it.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 12:31AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

We also feed a raw diet to our 3 dogs and 2 cats and have since they were puppies/kittens. It is the best thing you could ever do for your pets. The stool is very tiny, hard and almost odorless. The dogs coats shine like the sun. It isn't cheap and is not easy. Our dogs are fed a combination of chicken necks, beef heart, beef kidneys and rabbit with a small amount of fruit and veggies mostly from our meals. we grind the meat ingredients together about 150lbs at a time and freeze in quart bags.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 8:31AM
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