Pet Food?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Hound dog, May 3, 2013.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Ok. Someone explain to me what they did to puppy chow.

    Maggie hated it as a puppy. Refused to eat it. So much so I wound up giving away 2/3's of a bag.

    I have Rufus on it only because he was started on it. He eats it just fine..............and surprise surprise Maggie is eating it too. (I would've been surprised if she didn't, it's a dog thing)

    I don't like the stuff.

    I don't know what type of dyes they're using in it but Rufus has multicolored poo that really stains the heck out of the carpet. It doesn't appear he is digesting the dye at all. I know young pups poo a lot..............But omg all he does is poo. Food goes in and poo comes out almost instantly. Normal to some degree for his age. But this isn't one bout of poo it's like 4 or 5......and it is quite a bit each time. At that rate of pooing I'm having a hard time being convinced he's absorbing much from it. Not to mention it makes house training more difficult. (and like I said is staining the heck out of the carpet, thankfully he doesn't go in the livingroom much)

    Rufus is also always hungry. I feed young pups several times a day because they need it. But I don't recall having one that is basically not satisfied ever. I keep the dishes full due to this.

    I'm going to switch him over to the organic I gave Maggie........slowly. It has no dyes. It only made Maggie poo right after eating at this age and it was one poo not 4-5......solid, normal. Stuff turned white and basically dissolved if I didn't get out to clean it up fast enough. It's rained (poured) twice and Rufus' are still ever present looking as if he just did the the point where Maggie will avoid the whole area. ugh Yet not quite solid enough to scoop up. ick

    I know the corn crops didn't do so hot.....and the economy isn't so hot.......but wth are they doing to the dog food? Maggie loved kibbles n bits. Since she was mostly eating homemade food.......I bought her some to nibble on in case it didn't fill her up. It's not the homemade food turning her off of kibble.....she ate table scraps with the kibble, so it wouldn't make a difference. This last bag she stopped eating it cold. Sniffs it and walks away. I think they've changed something in it and she can smell the difference. Also noticed her BMs were looser with it when she did eat it than it had been before. hmm

    Maybe they figure no one will notice...........or care if they bulk the food up with inert ingredients and dyes?

    I used to buy walmart generic without an issue. Uh, no. It's worse. Much worse. It used to be basically the same thing, just a few dollars cheaper. (now you have to really pay attention with size/price because as often as not the name brand is actually cheaper)

    Maggie ran out of the homemade. (my last batch lasted a month) I haven't had time to make her a new batch yet. Will have to make sure I do next week because the puppy chow is doing to her what it's doing to Rufus.......and since I'm the one cleaning up after them I am NOT a happy camper.

    And Bruce? I think maybe they changed 9 Lives again. He's refusing to eat it..........while going after butter, grease, oil like he's starving to death. Outside cats are eating fine, but then they'll eagerly eat dog food. Only thing I've ever had them turn away from is dollar general generic brand. Guess I'll try another one.......Not canned, for certain. Too expensive and it does terrible things to his digestive tract. eww I'd make homemade but to meet his requirements is far more difficult and expensive than a would cost me more to do so, not less. So if they keep messing around with his food or whatever he's going to be out of luck soon.

    by the way if anyone wants to know I found 2 types of doggie treats (made in america) at dollar tree for a buck that Maggie is a bacon type looks like lil bones and another that is soft that has that stuff to help their joints. Maggie is picky when it comes to her treats (as the dogs as the pound will tell you because if she refuses them, they get to have them) so they must taste good. Rufus likes them too.
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    We can't feed Squirrel and Possum anything but indoor formula... And honestly I'm disgusted with even the "organic" food as its SECOND ingredient is corn. I need to make a run to TSC for some of that Taste of the Wild stuff. I hope they have it. I hope we can afford it.

    Bubbles will eat anything, and we haven't had to clean up dog poo in years. I honestly don't know where he goes, I haven't seen any in a LONG time.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    From experience, I learned not to feed my dogs any grocery store brands. We go to the pet store and pay more for the food, but at least we know it's sound. Damian is two and he eats Arcana, and little Chloe has NutroSource Puppy Chow. They love it and eat less of it to get a full tummy so, in a way, we are saving money, and no poop problems, which Damian used to get. The dogs eat better than we do!!!
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Taste of the Wild, huh? I may look and see how costly that is when I pick up Rufus' food.

    Maggie I don't worry about as long as I'm making her food. It's really not hard and if I watch for sales on the ingredients it costs far less than bagged I know it's good for her. A cup of homemade fills her up.
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    You are going to have to send me that recipe, Lisa...
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Me too please.... not that we can make it as cheap as you can, but I'd love to compare home-made costs here to dogfood costs here...
  7. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Lisa, you do know that the more corn a pet food has in it, the more poop they will produce, right? Corn is used as a cheap filler in pet foods. Dogs can't even digest corn at all and it goes right through them and out the other end! And because there isn't enough nutrients in their food, they eat more and more food like they were starving, and produce massive amounts of poop! In addition, corn is a very common allergen in dogs and it can show up as skin problems or digestive issues. And the artificial coloring in pet food is to appeal to the human owner. Dogs don't give a darn what color their food is.

    I've found that mine will actually eat less of a higher quality of food because their nutritional needs are being met with a smaller volume of food. And no fillers means a lot less poop! I have to feed mine a high quality food because I have two "problem children". Ragan is allergic to almost everything, especially corn. And my little Trace has a very sensitive stomach - he's a puker! You have to really read the labels and it's almost impossible to find a decent dog food in the grocery store or the Dollar Store. The Tractor Supply stores carry Taste of the Wild and it is an excellent food. It's grain-free, no artificial colors or flavoring, very nutritious. It comes in different flavors, a fish-based variety, poultry, lamb, and one made of bison and venison that mine get. Good nutrition really makes a difference. Mine are all very healthy, have shiny coats, nice breath. My oldest is 14 now, still bright eyed, healthy and active and looks half her age! The price can be a little daunting - TOTW is about $30 for a 15 lb. bag or right at $50 for a 30lb. bag but it all evens out because they will eat much less. I have four dogs and a 30 lb. bag will last them just about a month.

    And you have to be extremely careful about the treats because so many of them have been recalled because of toxins and contaminated ingredients! A lot of these are imported from China. And some brands are sneaky about it ... they will say, "Made in the USA" right on the label but some of the ingredients are imported and can be contaminated. Apparently there are no laws against claiming it's made in the USA, even if the main ingredients are imported! I've made homemade treats for mine too but they are just as happy with a few Cheerios as a fancy biscuit. One brand I do buy for them is the Mother Hubbard treats they have at Tractor Supply. They're made out of good, wholesome ingredients, no corn or other allergens, and come in different flavors like cheese and peanut butter, sweetened with honey. A bag of them is about $7 but if you get the small ones, there's a ton of them in there and a bag will last a long time.
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  8. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    There's a couple things I can contribute if you want to be fussing over it. I don't need to grind, until we add a puppy.

    This grinder is, for the quality, an amazingly good price. If you read the reviews, you'll note a LOT of the buyers got it specifically to make raw dog food.

    (I double grind probably 50 lbs of meat a month on this, it's never quit. Noisy but that's just how it is. )

    WalMart has those chicken leg quarters, 10 lb bags for, what, 6.49? 7.49? Something like that. And the dogs prefer it to when we've gotten Tyson on sale, too! I haven't been the food shopper in a few months, Blacksmith's been handling it. For Marley the lab (about 80ish pounds) she gets a leg quarter a day, some veggie scraps, raw carrots, and all the grass she wants. (I also caught her eating my pea plants, so she's now barred from the vegetable garden.)

    The little dogs, the chihuahua and the schnug, they get theirs whacked with a cleaver into bite sized bits. Plus more of the same scraps and veggies.

    Great teeth, great coats, great poos, you've seen me go on about the too much information stuff. :)

    I'd think the manufacturers are doing more soy and less wheat/corn right now. That I think is what makes the poos nasty and smelly and slimy, and who knows what the phytosteroids are doing to their insides? I'm not goin' there.

    Check the protein percentages to see what's going on. I note that one cat food brand calls one flavor "gourmet - cats like it better!" And that's bogus, because what they have is a lower protein percentage, so the cats eat more to get the same amount of protein. I checked it out with our barn cats, and yep they eat more, because they NEED more. Sneaky.
  9. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Nerf, do you add rice, or just chop the meat up with veggies?

  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I've modified another dog food recipe I found..........and that recipe seemed to be fairly common.

    4 cups cooked rice
    1 bag frozen veggies
    fresh spinach......diced/chopped (whatever you call it but you want the pieces somewhat small)
    whole chicken (keep the innards inside)
    chicken gizzards or livers (cook with the rest of the chicken)

    If I can't find frozen veggies on sale I use fresh or canned in a pinch. I do prefer fresh.......Maggie snacks on them as I'm making her food. lol

    I cook the chicken in the crockpot on high for about 10-12 hrs (you want the bones mushy/soft) separate meat from bones (I tear pieces somewhat smallish but when you mix it will get smaller still). I grind the bones using a mortar/pestle (I don't have a food processor I have to do such things the hard way) it turns into a paste. Watch out for the rib bones though.....I toss those out, they tend to splinter.

    I add the frozen/fresh/ or canned veggies & spinach to the rice when it is nearly done. Once rice mixture is done I add the shredded meat/bone meal and stir and stir (by the way you need a HUGE bowl...sam's club has great stainless steel ones) I add in the chicken broth from the chicken because it's gonna get sticky.....and you don't want it too sticky, plus it makes it taste better.

    Then I use a 1cup scoop and separate it into sandwich out the air/seal and stack those inside a large freezer bag (flat) and freeze it that way.

    This lasts Maggie a month. One bag a day.

    Whole chicken I can often get on sale for .89 lb. I just picked up a turkey for that not long ago. Since it's like 20 lbs that will stretch for about 4 months......I just quadruple the other ingredients. You can substitute any long as it's about 5 lbs worth. So you can adjust for sales. If it has bones, all the better just cook until bones are soft and you can grind them up into a paste. Some people like to add in beef heart.......I've not yet been able to find it to even price it. You're supposed to also be able to substitute say oats ect for the rice if it's too constipating.....but I've not tried other grains yet, so I can't say how that works. Maggie doesn't have an issue with it. But then she eats lots of raw veggies from the table too. (she loves raw baby spinach)

    **If I don't have sale meat to use.........I tend to use "freezer burnt" meat. Maggie doesn't give a darn. lol (lets me cycle through older meat in the freezer and yet not waste it)

    I'm leery of the raw diet. I don't mind the veggies..........but not so keen on the meat aspect.

    With this, like I said, Maggie has normal dog BM and very little at that. When she's eating her homemade I don't even have to clean up the yard as I can never find it. (it's small and like powderish by 24/48 hrs) I'd feed Rufus this way but I'd be afraid I might not be meeting his nutritional requirements for his growing body.
  11. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Lisa, he will probably get a lot more nutrition from your homemade food than he will the puppy chow. Purina foods aren't that good anyway and they've had a lot of problems, keep changing formulas, etc.
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Compare the nutrient info on your current puppy food, to a commercial adult food you'd consider or Maggie... what does the puppy food have more of? Then, find a way to add those in. Probably there's a few more calories and growing young 'uns need fat to support that, and more calcium, for starters.
  13. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    All the dogs get their dog chicken in the morning, Marley gets most of her carrots from the tops the kids won't eat, the ones the Baby Viking leaves lying around, grass around the front yard, scraps during/after dinner prep. She doesn't need a lot though, those leg quarters have lots of sloppy organ parts attached.

    The little dogs, especially Cowboy the chihuahua, they get a substantial treat of one kind or another around dinnertime. Cowboy doesn't look like your typical chunky minidog - he gets so much exercise running around on the farm he actualy looks like a teeny pocket pitbull (except for the face of course.) He's a deerleg so he's supposed to be skinny, but the muscles on that little guy! Like if GI Joe came with a giant attack dog. :)

    Cedar: No rice. No grains at all for the dogs, I don't see our pups needing it. Marley will eat the scratch if I am soaking it in broth for the chickens (winter treat) , but that's 'cause she's a lab and likes to dig into anything that smells yummy. And then we can tell because she doesn't digest, it just goes right on through. Like crayons. :)

    Marley's been on the raw chicken thing for years now, her coat is rabbit-soft. And the only time we had issues with her and the chickens (since chicken's what she mostly eats) was when we had a dog turn ugly a couple years ago and start attacking anything not human. She was happy to go along with the fun, but now that she's Top Dog she not only leaves them alone, she'll try and dig under the fence of their pen - to get at their mash leavings. :) We had a real problem with that this winter, she put on too much weight from it!

    If your dog's ok with the turkey, that's great - but watch for the cheap mass market frozen turkeys. We were buying them to chop up and use as dog food in season, but Marley started having an allergic reaction - yeast in her ears, itchy toes she'd just lick and lick and lick. The chicken we give them is probably not much better raised, but she's ok with that.

    (And the rabbits - ALL the dogs love the rabbit offal. It's like The Circle of Life! The rabbits eat grass and weeds with their pellets, the chickens clean up after the rabbits, and the dogs would clean up everything left by the chickens if we let 'em. Eeeew. "And some day they will eat us!")
  14. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    My AngelKitten had issues with turkey, and now it turns out, so does my Mom's cat... So, yes, watch out.

    Lisa... Do you WANT a food processor? I have one gathering dust... I use my mixer for everything now. Slide, grate, grind, mix, knead...
  15. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I asked all around and used the to compare foods. I settled on nutrisource it's made in MN and has never had recalls. They sell at pet food stores and have grain free options. It's high quality but not as high or expensive as tow. Since changing from purina one (what they sent him home on) he has had no gas. It was bad before.

    He also gets dehydrated and specialty treats but mostly I give one third of his food in morn,.one third at night and the rest for training treats....on me all day.
    I'd rather cook for them but I barely cook for q and me.
  16. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Here is the purina puppy chow rating, it's only one of five stars. Main ingredients are corn, gluten, and chicken byproducts which is all the bits of a chicken not fit for human food like the left overs from the meaty cuts, beaks etc.

    It says they cant find nutritional info saying how it is better for puppies even on their own site.
    You probably would do better if you asked the vet what to add to the home made food.
  17. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Thanks buddy. :)

    I'll talk to the vet.

    There are veggies I could add for more calcium.........not to mention the bones do that too..........and I can always add ground up egg shells for that as well. (I save them anyway) Not to mention my canines are all taught how to properly devour a bone without they get it that way as well. I could easily add a few boiled eggs to the food too for that matter......the amino acids are great for them.

    That's why I love this recipe so much. You can add/remove a lot of things either due to allergy or variety. There have been times when I added fresh broccoli/cauliflower.......but then Maggie doesn't have a gas issue, so i can get away with it. Molly would've run us out of the house. lol

    I won't do raw meat because I know someone who worked for tyson (Nerfherder there is a reason your dogs don't care for it) and I just won't risk it. It's no skin off my nose to let it sit all day in the crockpot. If I do it in my electric takes 3 hrs tops, but then that thing cooks FAST.

    I'll watch for the yeast with the turkey...........good to know, thanks! Wonder why that is? Actually, I think I'll skip the turkey and use ground beef next time........I'm trying to get rid of yeast, I certainly don't want to chance making it worse again.

    Luckily, I can usually pick up amish chicken for that .89 lb.......which I prefer. I refuse to buy tyson, did long before I got some stories that gave me heebie geebies. Tastes like plastic eww.

    Talked to Nichole and she said when she substituted rolled oats (cooked) for cut the amount down to about half the rice as it comes out much bulkier. She has to switch off once in a while as Baily tends to get constipated after so much rice.

    Step- If you honestly don't want that food processor.......I'd love to have it. Stupid me got rid of the one mother in law gave me ages upon ages ago (because I never used it). Within the last year or so it seems I could certainly use one just about every time I turn around. omg While prepping for the yard sale I'm going to be hunting for the expensive electric knife she gave me too......that I'm sure I put in there because I never used it. Now? It sure would come in handy for doing jerky. sheesh! lol
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    While Taste of the Wild and other truly premium brands that are NOT stuffed with corn do have more of an up front cost, in the long run they are less expensive. When husband bought the cheap cat food (friskies indoor or 9 lives indoor, forget which one - Capn would NOT eat the cheapest stuff in my house because it is soooooo bad and I won't let my kids eat only junk food whether they have fur or not), we bought a bag a week. And often a bag didn't last a week because he was HUNGRY. We also went through more than a Sam's size kitty litter bucket every 2 mos. The amt scooped out was HUGE each day.

    With TOTW, the medication size which would be about 2 small bags, lasts an entire month. We are going through a bucket of litter maybe every 2 mos or 2 1/2. We don't have huge vet bills and we have a more active less grumpy and cantankerous cat. husband tried to buy the cheap stuff and the reaction of the cat was NOT a good thing. husband thought I was persnickety about brands on the few things I have strong feelings over. HA! That cat had an honest to gosh TANTRUM. Would not let husband have a nap and Capn usually BEGS husband to nap so that he can be sure husband is not going to leave. He then came to me and CRIED. I had a hideous migraine and Capn NEVER EVER comes to bug me during them. Well he tattled BIGTIME and he SHOULD.

    husband was surprised that the TOTW is always out, but Capn gets full so he doesn't eat nonstop. Capn isn't passing gas like he was, which is good when the cat likes to sleep on your chest as Capn does with husband, lol. Overall our expenses have dropped by 1/3 by changing to a more expensive cat food. and the cat is HAPPIER, wihich is also important. IT isn't always evident the first month that the cost is lower because there are digestive issues when you change foods. By the 2nd month though, even my husband could NOT hide from the fact that the food was way worth the up front cost.

    PLEASE be aware that Science Diet and Eukaneuba (esp Science Diet) may have a premium price but they are NOT great for the animals. They depend on corn, esp SD. Around here it is easier to find but more expensive than TOTW. (I will say that my little cousin had wonderful hair during her cat phase as a toddler. Her folks had to fight to keep her out of the cat food long enough for the cats to get any, lol!)
  19. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Do NOT NOT NOT go ask a vet. It is like asking a hairstylist what shampoo to buy at Walmart. They don't have a CLUE. Vets recommend Science diet or Eukaneuba (sp?). Why? They sell it. They get a halfway decent profit from it, and people keep looking for cheap alternatives for medications so they don't make as much off of those. They feed it to their own dogs because they get it wholesale and often they have it go out of date so they feed their own the old stuff. I know LOTS of vets outside of their jobs. They have no clue about whether it is as nutritious as other options. My folks' vet is my folks next door neighbor and she kept insisting that Science Diet was THE BEST on the market period. Even AFTER I asked about MANY articles in vet journals that said the ingr from SD are awful and harmful she told me the research was WRONG and there was no way any food was better.

    Her dogs have awful stinky poos, she had a cocker with the most awful skin problems and NOTHING worked and she had to put it down because it was so painful. Even the other vets in town tried to get her to at least try a food other than the SD and she refused. She could have fixed that five yo cocker but she insisted on the awful food. Well, after that she isnt MY vet anymore.

    The large animal vets at the hospital here have nutrition info in their heads. Very few of the other vets will admit to most people that they don't know much about nutrition. Just like many people docs really don't know that much about nutrition. Heck, my dad and mom see a guy who is over 300 pounds. He keeps telling my dad to lose weight and wehn Dad asks what time they should meet to go walking in the morning, the guy just laughs. They are also friends, but the guy has no clue what good nutrition is. He gave my dad a diet sheet to follow for heart health and O. M. F. W. that was the most awful thing I had seen. Said to cook ALL vegetables until they are soft enough to be cut with a fork or else they had not been cooked enough. This thing is from the fifties and is bad advice even for then. it says that margarine is part of a heart heathy diet. NOT one of the healthy newer margarines, plain regular margarine. It is NUTS and my dad thought it was the funniest thing until he realized the guy was serious. My dad is NOT a healthy eater, but he eats better than that.

    I would say your homemade food is probably good for the puppy. He may need more than Maggie for a while, and maybe a bit of extra fat every few days. Add an egg to it. Scramble a few and toss the egg shells in with the bones for the crockpot and I bet that would be enough. Maybe 3-4 a week. If he cannot eat enough, then he needs more fat and protein. Otherwise, he will be vastly better off.

    The vets do NOT get a lot of nutrition info in vet school. Many of them are not terribly aware of dogs not being able to eat grains. They are taught that premium dog food (science diet again because they pay for a lot of things for vet schools, NOT because they are a good food - it is a marketing thing) are hwat is needed and all other foods will end up hurting the dog.

    For centuries dogs ate what we ate. We fed them the scraps, let them eat off of the waste or whatever after a slaughter. Dog food is NOT something that they need. It is like McDonalds or frozen veggies, a convenience item born of marketing campaigns. We just have had it drummed into us that we cannot meet a dog's nutritional needs with-o it. I doubt anyone really knows how much more a puppy eats but we are all told/sold the idea that they must have special food. Just like they sold women in the sixties and seventies the idea that formula was MUCH better than nursing a baby human. We know now that it was bunk, but a lot of my friends were given formula. Heck, my mother had to protest and refuse to take medications to dry up her supply when bro was born. the doctor didn't even DISCUSS it with her - and most women did not even ask about it. They were told and doctor knows best was the rule of the day. We don't go for that now, and we know for a fact that formula is fine, but there are things in breastmilk that formula cannot offer. I think the same is true for puppy chow.

    Large animal vets know more about nutrition because a big part of their job is dealing with herds being raised for slaughter. they have to know how to get the best meat off of the animal - it is a big part of their job. This isn't a consideration for small animal vets, so there are a heck of a lot fewer studies on nutrition for dogs and cats. All this from growing up in a vet school town with a bunch of geeks who became vets nstead of doctors or lawyers.
  20. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Eggs will give a dog (or anybody, for that matter) a heaping whack of vitamins and minerals... one of the few not found in eggs is vitamin C. So... for a puppy for sure I'd be adding eggs in there somehow. But... be warned, too much egg = (human who gorged on prunes... )