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recommended dog food for small poodle - currently giving him Orijen

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  • Sep 15th, 2013 1:10 pm
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Deal Fanatic
Mar 12, 2010
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Here we go.

All I can say at the moment is the vet for MANY reasons is not the best resource for nutritional information, especially when brands are involved and they sell it. They have huge monetary incentives to push certain brands (ie the ones they sell. They aren't selling them because they are the best. )
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Dec 27, 2010
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I didn't say anything about brands - there are many perfectly good brands available in grocery stores outside of the vet hospitals. What I said was about the fact that most any commercially available food is a preferable option to a BARF diet. Thinking that the virtual complete condemnation of BARF diets by veterinary associations, universities and government agencies worldwide is due to lobbying and financial incentive from the pet food industry is ludicrous. It's not some massive conspiracy. It's for the good health of your animals.
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Rykusx wrote:
Jan 12th, 2013 12:18 am
I didn't say anything about brands - there are many perfectly good brands available in grocery stores outside of the vet hospitals. What I said was about the fact that most any commercially available food is a preferable option to a BARF diet. Thinking that the virtual complete condemnation of BARF diets by veterinary associations, universities and government agencies worldwide is due to lobbying and financial incentive from the pet food industry is ludicrous. It's not some massive conspiracy. It's for the good health of your animals.
In many ways its the same as doctors and pharmaceuticals vs naturopathic

I have fed some raw in the past but done currently, however there are many benefits I believe in both trains of thought. I believe diversity is more important.
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Rykusx wrote:
Jan 11th, 2013 11:27 pm
That is absolutely, 100% wrong. For several reasons - as you've said, bones are a choking hazard. They can also splinter and break, which can cause stomach and intestinal perforations leading to infection and painful death. They can break teeth, get caught in the mouth or esophagus and cause severe pain and distress. There are several more potential injuries associated with giving bones to dogs in the link below. The take away message - bones can and do kill dogs.

BARF diets are also not complete or balanced diets (unless you go to great lengths in micromanaging them - ie, supplementing deficient vitamins & minerals, etc and regularly sending samples away for nutritional analysis to a lab) in terms of calories, nutrients, vitamins and minerals, leading to long-term chronic illness and debility; in severe cases leading to death.

The more important reason, from a public health standpoint, is the potential spread of zoonotic disease through the feeding of uncooked meat. Uncooked meat is often contaminated with bacteria such as E. coli or Salmonella, and can also harbour parasites. You can take all the preparations in the world but it won't mitigate the risk; significant environmental contamination is going to occur - your dog eats his raw meat out of his dish and 5 minutes later licks your kid's face? No thanks.

There's a reason that every major veterinary association has issued negative position stances on the use of BARF diets. It's not, as some of you naysayers will say, because they stand to make a profit off of selling pet food - it's because it's a health and safety issue.

http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/Consume ... 208365.htm
Raw bones generally do not splinter. They are soft and dogs can and do chew them up quite easily. They are fully digestable, but again, it goes back to taking precautions. Certain bones shouldn't be fed. As for breaking teeth, again, those types of bones shouldn't be fed. Any bone that's hard enough to break teeth is not part of a BARF diet. I have fed my dogs raw bones in the past and I would never give any bone that's hard enough to crack their teeth. The bones I give are crunched up and digested in minutes, they are very soft.

A raw diet is absolutely a complete, healthy and balanced diet if done properly. Sending away samples for a nutritional analysis is unnecessary and ridiculous. Millions of people feed raw/BARF with absolutely no issues, and many vets highly recommend it, especially for dogs with allergy problems or food intolerances. My own vet highly recommends BARF diets to anyone who has done the appropriate amount of research and understands what it takes to feed such a diet. He says he has seen remarkable results from BARF diets in dogs that have not done well on various kibbles. There is nothing in kibble that dogs need that they also can't get from a BARF diet.

As for the salmonella issue, it's something to be aware of, but it's hardly a reason to avoid what many vets consider to be the best diet on the planet for dogs. Feeding a BARF diet requires precautions, such as not allowing a dog to lick your face shortly after eating, not leaving food in its bowl longer than a few minutes, regular and thorough cleaning of the bowl, etc.

It's not as simple as just throwing kibble into a bowl and forgetting it, but there are many vets out there who strongly believe that a proper raw diet is the best diet possible for a dog, and there's countless stories out there of dogs having health issues on kibble yet doing great on a raw diet. The results speak for themselves.
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setell wrote:
Jan 4th, 2013 10:53 am
I found Orijen a bit too high on protein level for my dog. He’s a small breed and doesn’t need such a high level of protein so I went with Acana instead, the next best alternative from a well respected manufacturer.
I currently feed my 1.5 yr old small dog (maltese/**** mix) Origen (same one in OP). She doesn't like the dry food on its on, so I mix it each meal with some freshly cooked beef, chicken or turkey.

Is there any real risk of feeding this Origen brand to a small dog in terms of too much protein, or possible long term health effects?? She is super healthy right now, so i'm reluctant to switch to a new brand. Would try a similar Acana brand if needed.
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rob444 wrote:
Jan 15th, 2013 9:10 am
I currently feed my 1.5 yr old small dog (maltese/**** mix) Origen (same one in OP). She doesn't like the dry food on its on, so I mix it each meal with some freshly cooked beef, chicken or turkey.

Is there any real risk of feeding this Origen brand to a small dog in terms of too much protein, or possible long term health effects?? She is super healthy right now, so i'm reluctant to switch to a new brand. Would try a similar Acana brand if needed.
No, there's no risk to your dog.

http://www.orijen.ca/orijen/Myths_of_High_Protein.pdf
http://files.championpetfoods.com/ORIJE ... _Paper.pdf (pages 26 & 27)
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DiploDocus wrote:
Jan 4th, 2013 1:30 am

why switch? again i'd like something cheaper and he doesn't seem to enjoy eating the food and will only eat it if i go up into the room with him and sit there and he'll play with his toys and seem to pump himself up before having to chow down on this smelly stuff

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I can't comment on the price but I would definetely explore other avenues if the dog is not enjoying the food.
Stores like global pet shop have number of high quality kibble, the last brand we were buying was called "now", grain free and what not, dog enjoyed it.
Another thing to make the food better you can mix some gooddies into it, yogurt, raw egg, and what not, should make the dog enjoy the food a bit better.

Don't feel bad about not wanting to switch to raw food, it doesn't make you a bad owner ;-)
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Rykusx wrote:
Jan 11th, 2013 11:27 pm
That is absolutely, 100% wrong. For several reasons - as you've said, bones are a choking hazard. They can also splinter and break, which can cause stomach and intestinal perforations leading to infection and painful death. They can break teeth, get caught in the mouth or esophagus and cause severe pain and distress. There are several more potential injuries associated with giving bones to dogs in the link below. The take away message - bones can and do kill dogs.

BARF diets are also not complete or balanced diets (unless you go to great lengths in micromanaging them - ie, supplementing deficient vitamins & minerals, etc and regularly sending samples away for nutritional analysis to a lab) in terms of calories, nutrients, vitamins and minerals, leading to long-term chronic illness and debility; in severe cases leading to death.

The more important reason, from a public health standpoint, is the potential spread of zoonotic disease through the feeding of uncooked meat. Uncooked meat is often contaminated with bacteria such as E. coli or Salmonella, and can also harbour parasites. You can take all the preparations in the world but it won't mitigate the risk; significant environmental contamination is going to occur - your dog eats his raw meat out of his dish and 5 minutes later licks your kid's face? No thanks.

There's a reason that every major veterinary association has issued negative position stances on the use of BARF diets. It's not, as some of you naysayers will say, because they stand to make a profit off of selling pet food - it's because it's a health and safety issue.

http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/Consume ... 208365.htm
Rykusx wrote:
Jan 11th, 2013 7:37 pm

And for the love of god, never feed a BARF diet. It's downright dangerous for both you and your pet.


Most raw bones are completely safe for dogs and have many benefits.

Not every meal has to be complete and balanced, I wonder how humans are able to consume a burger and live to tell about it, over time giving a dogs meat, bones, veggies, some supplements is just fine. Regular sending samples for nutritional analysis to a lab is a complete joke, isn't it, do humans do it for themselves? Why would anyone do it for dogs?

Dogs short digestive system allows them do deal with bacterias much better than we handle it, and to be honest humans do eat raw meat as well (sushi, sashimi, tartar, blue steak, caviar and on and on and on), so what's the big deal? Not feeding raw meat is not going to prevent spreading much if anything (assuming common sense used, surfaces cleaned ...), and knowing that the dog didn't eat raw meat 5 mintues ago but only licked his ***** doesn't want to make me kiss him any more or less.
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Shaner wrote:
Jan 14th, 2013 11:00 am
Raw bones generally do not splinter. They are soft and dogs can and do chew them up quite easily. They are fully digestable, but again, it goes back to taking precautions. Certain bones shouldn't be fed. As for breaking teeth, again, those types of bones shouldn't be fed. Any bone that's hard enough to break teeth is not part of a BARF diet. I have fed my dogs raw bones in the past and I would never give any bone that's hard enough to crack their teeth. The bones I give are crunched up and digested in minutes, they are very soft.

A raw diet is absolutely a complete, healthy and balanced diet if done properly. Sending away samples for a nutritional analysis is unnecessary and ridiculous. Millions of people feed raw/BARF with absolutely no issues, and many vets highly recommend it, especially for dogs with allergy problems or food intolerances. My own vet highly recommends BARF diets to anyone who has done the appropriate amount of research and understands what it takes to feed such a diet. He says he has seen remarkable results from BARF diets in dogs that have not done well on various kibbles. There is nothing in kibble that dogs need that they also can't get from a BARF diet.

As for the salmonella issue, it's something to be aware of, but it's hardly a reason to avoid what many vets consider to be the best diet on the planet for dogs. Feeding a BARF diet requires precautions, such as not allowing a dog to lick your face shortly after eating, not leaving food in its bowl longer than a few minutes, regular and thorough cleaning of the bowl, etc.

It's not as simple as just throwing kibble into a bowl and forgetting it, but there are many vets out there who strongly believe that a proper raw diet is the best diet possible for a dog, and there's countless stories out there of dogs having health issues on kibble yet doing great on a raw diet. The results speak for themselves.
Couldn't agree more. Our previous 2 dogs were on kibble of all sorts, they both had lifelong issues with allergies, all the vets could say was that it's protein related. Our current dog, on RAW and nothing else, and it's working great. We don't have kids so no licking the face issue, we are careful and the food lasts all of about 60 sec in her bowl. I wouldn't do anything but RAW going forward. Our last vet didn't support RAW, so we dropped them. They wouldn't even discuss it. Our new vet, all 6 or so vets at the clinic all feed RAW and say they see great results with it.
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Sep 11, 2009
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Check out Horizon. I fed my dog Acana and Orijen (he's a 120lb Wolfhound mix with various allegies) and he did very well but it was breaking my wallet. Horizon is a lesser known company but is very similar to Acana and Orijen in relation to protein levels and food quality. The only real difference is that they're in Saskatchewan and not Alberta and they use lentils and peas as a carb instead of potatoes which actually seemed to help with my dog. He used to have chronic ear infections but hasn't had one since switching the food. I've read and heard something about potato based carbs potentially causing ear infections because they promote yeast growth but I'm not sure other then it seems to have made a difference.

The main selling point for me? It's just as good quality wise but it's cheaper. The Pulsar is Acana's equivalent and is $50 for the large bag which cost me $65+ with Acana and the Legacy is equivalent to Origen costing $65 for the large bag where the Orijen here is $75+. The only draw back to the Pulsar is that is only comes in chicken flavour and chicken & whitefish. Tried both with my dog but he's on Pulsar right now just based on price.

http://www.horizonpetfood.com/brands
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Dec 27, 2010
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Shaner wrote:
Jan 14th, 2013 11:00 am
Raw bones generally do not splinter. They are soft and dogs can and do chew them up quite easily. They are fully digestable, but again, it goes back to taking precautions. Certain bones shouldn't be fed. As for breaking teeth, again, those types of bones shouldn't be fed. Any bone that's hard enough to break teeth is not part of a BARF diet. I have fed my dogs raw bones in the past and I would never give any bone that's hard enough to crack their teeth. The bones I give are crunched up and digested in minutes, they are very soft.

A raw diet is absolutely a complete, healthy and balanced diet if done properly. Sending away samples for a nutritional analysis is unnecessary and ridiculous. Millions of people feed raw/BARF with absolutely no issues, and many vets highly recommend it, especially for dogs with allergy problems or food intolerances. My own vet highly recommends BARF diets to anyone who has done the appropriate amount of research and understands what it takes to feed such a diet. He says he has seen remarkable results from BARF diets in dogs that have not done well on various kibbles. There is nothing in kibble that dogs need that they also can't get from a BARF diet.

As for the salmonella issue, it's something to be aware of, but it's hardly a reason to avoid what many vets consider to be the best diet on the planet for dogs. Feeding a BARF diet requires precautions, such as not allowing a dog to lick your face shortly after eating, not leaving food in its bowl longer than a few minutes, regular and thorough cleaning of the bowl, etc.

It's not as simple as just throwing kibble into a bowl and forgetting it, but there are many vets out there who strongly believe that a proper raw diet is the best diet possible for a dog, and there's countless stories out there of dogs having health issues on kibble yet doing great on a raw diet. The results speak for themselves.
Show me a single, peer-reviewed paper that proclaims a BARF diet to be the single best diet for dogs. There aren't any. There is a huge difference between isolated, individual opinions and scientific fact. Just because you haven't had an issue feeding a BARF diet (yet), does not mean they are safe.

"It is possible to achieve the same nutrient balance with a homemade food as with a commerically prepared food. However, this largely depends on the accuracy and competence of the veterinarian or animal nutritionist formulating the food, and on the compliance of the owner. Unfortunately, some homemade recipes are flawed, even when followed exactly and consistently. In one survey, 90% of the homemade elimination food prescribed by 116 veterinarians in North America were not nutritionally adequate for adult canine of feline maintenance. Unlike most commerical foods, many printed homemade recipes are not complete or balanced to fulfill animal requirements. Few of the numerous published homemade food recipes for dogs and cats have been tested to document performance over sustained periods. Additionally, making homemade foods requires knowledge, motivation, additional financial resources and careful, consistent attention to recipe detail to ensure a consistent, balanced intake of nutrients....Formulations for homemade foods should not be assumed to be complete or balanced for any canine or feline lifestage until sufficiently tested (feeding tests, nutrient analysis, etc). Most recipes have been crudely balanced using the average nutrient content of specific food and computer assimilation. The palatability, digestibility and safety of these recipes have not been adequately or scientifically tested. Even formulations that are initially complete and balanced put pets at risk when pet owners make their own food substitutions, omit ingredients because of personal preferences or convenience, or make preparation errors. Therefore, veterinarian and their health care teams should encourage regular dietary histories and patient monitoring for pets that belong to clients who feed homemade foods....Many formulations contain excessive protein, but are deficient in calories, calcium, vitamins and microminerals. Commonly used meat and carbohydrate sources contain more phosphorous than calcium; therefore, homemade foods may have inverse calcium to phosphorous ratios as high as 1:10. Most homemade foods for dogs contain excessive quantities of meat, often far exceeding the animal's protein and phosphorous requirements. Feline foods designed by clients are commonly deficient in fat and energy density or contain and unpalatable fat source (vegetable oil). Homemade foods are rarely balanced for microminerals and vitamins because vitamin-mineral supplements are not complete nor are the nutrients well-balanced within the product. In the United States, no one supplement can be added to homemade foods to adequately meet all the mineral and vitamin requirements of cats and dogs".

Source - Small Animal Clinical Nutrition, 4th ed. Hand, Thatcher, Remillard, Roudeboush.

Unbalanced diets put your animal at risk for poor growth and development, bone disease, urinary issues, thyroid dysfunction, obesity-related illness, diabetes, ocular and neurologic disease, metabolic impairment, liver and kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, immunocompromisation, skin disease, neoplasia, etc. An unbalanced diet (either deficient or in excess) can affect literally every body system.

Keep in mind that all of the above applies to COOKED homemade diets... raw diets contain all the same inherent problems in addition to posing risks related to foodborne illness. Uncooked meats can produce foodborne infections, such as E coli, Salmonella, Vibriosis, Campylobacter, etc, or foodborne intoxications, such as Clostridium botulinum (botulism), Staphylococcus sp. or mycotoxins. All of these pathogens are zoonotic, meaning that they are capable of infection of both humans and animals and transmissible between them as well. The animals and people most at risk are the immunocompromised or immunonaive - the young, the elderly, the sick. The veterinary profession as a whole condemns the use of raw diets. These pathogens can, and do, kill.

The process of cooking destroys these pathogens. Federal regulations require that approved commercial pet food makers follow specific protocols to ensure the safety of food - via heat destruction, irradiation, and mechanically by extrusion processes. I should point out that, since the advent of these regulations, foodborne infections in small animals have become quite rare. The lone exception being the greyhound racing industry, in which dogs commonly experience foodborne illness, due to a long tradition of feeding raw diets.

So please, for the health of your animal and your family, feed a good quality commercial pet food or, if you are determined and committed to it, a cooked homemade pet food. Good commercial foods can be bought from a grocery store or your vet, I don't care - just buy a decent one. A general rule of thumb - if you can buy 50lbs of it for $8, stay away. Please, please stay away from raw diets. They are dangerous.

I should note that I have no financial incentive or any ties to the pet food industry - I'm just a grad student studying animal nutrition and public health trying to help all of you here make informed decisions. There's a lot of misinformation out there. Do your own research - pay attention to peer-reviewed papers in reputable journals.

PS - to homerhomer - dogs have a much smaller range of gastrointestinal bacterial flora which makes them much more susceptible to GI upset due to dietary variation. They thrive on the same diet being fed every day. To paraphrase one of my professors who always says "cats are not just small dogs", dogs are not small people. Just because we are both mammals doesn't mean we function the same.

PS - to rob444 - if your dog is happy and healthy there should be no issues with feeding a food on the higher end of the protein scale. The paper Shaner linked touches on a controversy within the academic and veterinary field, but the accepted thinking is that there is enough evidence that protein restriction in the face of renal disease / glomerular dysfunction is a valuable therapeutic tool. The kidneys filter and eliminate the toxic by-products of protein metabolism. Small breed dogs are more prone to renal disease, but if yours is healthy I'd have no concern. When your dog hits geriatric age, you should switch him to a senior's diet - they are reduced in protein because renal function decreases with age.

PS - to rc51 - you're absolutely right in that protein allergies are common in dogs, and it is very difficult, time consuming and potentially expensive to run elimination or novel protein diets to isolate which protein(s) are responsible (many dogs are allergic to more than one food protein, or also suffer from inhaled allergies which compound the problem in investigating them). Just because you had two allergic dogs in the past on commercial foods and the current dog has no allergic issues on a raw diet means absolutely nothing though. There's no correlation whatsoever - your current dog most likely is just not allergic. It has nothing to do with the diet.
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Rykusx wrote:
Jan 17th, 2013 8:52 am
Show me a single, peer-reviewed paper that proclaims a BARF diet to be the single best diet for dogs. There aren't any. There is a huge difference between isolated, individual opinions and scientific fact. Just because you haven't had an issue feeding a BARF diet (yet), does not mean they are safe.
... and, just because you vouch for food out a bag doesn't mean it's safe either.

In recent memory there are the unexplained deaths due to dried chicken jerky (see FDA, marketplace, etc), Menu foods and the melamine contamination, diamond (Kirkland) and salmonella. Just because the food is produced for profit doesn't make it better. Although there are some excellent kibbles out there, just like there are excellent BARF diets as well.

Can you post a peer reviewed (non-pet food industry funded study - please) that shows the best commercial kibbles are superior to the best BARF diets? I didn't think so.
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I have fed Orijen for many years to both my dogs and cats. However, for the dogs, I switched to Performatrin (listed as 4 stars on Dog Food Analysis) and they are actually doing better on it despite the ratings. They love the taste, stools are good and zero health issues - my dogs are Maltese and tiny / fragile. The ingredients are fine. Over the years, I have tried every 6 star food and most of the 5 stars ones - didn't want to go lower. Out of all the 6 stars, Orijen is the best for my dogs. Wellness caused all sorts of issues with soft stools, Solid Gold was inedible to them, Eva/Taste of the Wild/Innova had to be force fed. I landed on Performatrin because I got samples and tested it one day to be surprised by how much my dogs loved it.

I tried switching my cats over but one of them hated it .. so they are still on Orijen.
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cliff wrote:
Jan 20th, 2013 12:28 am
... and, just because you vouch for food out a bag doesn't mean it's safe either.
I don't have to vouch for their safety - various governmental agencies and organizations vouch for them. Pet food labels are legal documents attesting to the guaranteed analysis of nutritional information of the food contained within. Compliance and safety are monitored and regulated by various agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) under federal law and state law, as well as other non-governmental organizations such as the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and the National Research Council (NRC).
cliff wrote:
Jan 20th, 2013 12:28 am
In recent memory there are the unexplained deaths due to dried chicken jerky (see FDA, marketplace, etc), Menu foods and the melamine contamination, diamond (Kirkland) and salmonella.
Yes, there have been some problems with commercial pet food. They are quality control issues however, which are the exception to the rule. Errors occur in the manufacture of all products, whether they be pet foods, medicines, automobiles, computers, etc. The regulations laid out by the above agencies and organizations are ultimately designed to produce safe, healthy pet food (via HACCP procedures, employee training, etc) - mistakes sourcing materials, production problems, faulty equipment, improper storage, etc, can and do occur. Some have tragically cost pets their lives. However, it is a overwhelmingly tiny fraction of the overall amount of food produced.
cliff wrote:
Jan 20th, 2013 12:28 am
Can you post a peer reviewed (non-pet food industry funded study - please) that shows the best commercial kibbles are superior to the best BARF diets? I didn't think so.
There are many peer reviewed independent journal articles that find that raw foods are dangerous. There is so much overwhelming evidence that BARF diets are dangerous that the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Food and Drug Administration, the Center for Disease Control, the American College of Veterinary Nutrition and the American Animal Hospital Association, the Public Health Agency of Canada (amongst others) have all published strong negative positions or public health advisories on the topic. Here's just a few peer reviewed, independent journal articles I found on pubmed:

Freeman & Michel. Evaluation of Raw Food Diets for Dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 218:5. 2001
Lejune & Hancock. Public Health Concerns Associated with Feeding Raw Meat Diets to Dogs. Canadian Veterinary Journal, 219:1222. 2001
Joffe & Schlesinger. Raw Food Diets in Companion Animals: A Critical Review. Canadian Veterinary Journal, 43:441. 2002
Stiver et al., Septicemic Salmonellosis in Cats Fed a Raw Meat Diet. Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, 39:538. 2003
Weese et al., Bacteriological Evaluation of Commercial Canine and Feline Raw Diets. Canadian Veterinary Journal, 46:513, 2005.

Here is a link to pretty much anything you want to know about raw food diets from a scientific perspective.https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/FAQs/ ... y-FAQ.aspx
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Rykusx wrote:
Jan 20th, 2013 9:56 am
Freeman & Michel. Evaluation of Raw Food Diets for Dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 218:5. 2001
Lejune & Hancock. Public Health Concerns Associated with Feeding Raw Meat Diets to Dogs. Canadian Veterinary Journal, 219:1222. 2001
Joffe & Schlesinger. Raw Food Diets in Companion Animals: A Critical Review. Canadian Veterinary Journal, 43:441. 2002
Stiver et al., Septicemic Salmonellosis in Cats Fed a Raw Meat Diet. Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, 39:538. 2003
Weese et al., Bacteriological Evaluation of Commercial Canine and Feline Raw Diets. Canadian Veterinary Journal, 46:513, 2005.

Here is a link to pretty much anything you want to know about raw food diets from a scientific perspective.https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/FAQs/ ... y-FAQ.aspx
I realize what you are saying but there seems to be quite a bit of contradictory information floating around and not to mention the 'political' influences that are deep rooted in these industries. No difference than FDA folks having strong ties or serving on the boards of Pharma companies, seems like a conflict of interest no?...the list goes on.

At the end of the day, you have to decide what is working for you and your pet. Our current dog is thriving, she is in better health than both our previous dogs, fluke, possibly, maybe she ended up with better genetics? Only time will tell.

We invest more time on our dog's diet than we do our own.
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