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Dog and Cat Foods - Better Choices

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jcrow

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yes, thanks for posting all of this info. i''m taking a harder look at what we feed our yorkie, cosmo. we''ve given him eukanuba since he was able to eat dry food. we moved him through the puppy stages to the adult maintainance formulas. i''ve noticed that he has a sensitive stomach, and i have always been hesitant to change his food, especially the brand. but, i dunno. after reading some of this... maybe it''s just necessary.
 

AmberGretchen

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jcrow - I wouldn''t be too hesitant. Probably good to check in with your vet while you''re doing it, but I bet a lot of the recommended foods have simpler ingredients and fewer additives than Eukanuba and would therefore be less likely to upset Cosmo''s tummy. I''ve heard good things about California Naturals in that respect - that it has a short list of ingredients and so is easier for doggies with sensitive tummies or other conditions like allergies to tolerate. I do think its worth working with your vet and doing your own research to find something better for Cosmo though - I would be if anything, after the adjustment, his sensitive tummy would be happier with higher-quality ingredients and fewer additives. Good luck!
 

jcrow

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yeh... i regret not looking into what i feed cosmo sooner. i just thought i was feeding him the best. cause it was what was recommended by the breeder and vet. and i''m such a researcher. sheesh. why didn''t i research the one thing he eats? and as far as sensitive tummies, i''ve just noticed if he eats a new type of treat, sometimes he either doesn''t like it or gets upset tummy after he eats it. same with other dog food- as in, if he eats SIL''s dog''s food. he''s sneaked a bite a couple of times and both times got sick after. ok- will check with vet. thanks for the reality check!!
 

Mara

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portia has a sensitive stomach for sure and we do the 1/2 1/2 mix thing with old food and new food for a while to help minimize the issues. she still had some transition issues when we moved over from candidae to wellness but now she is firmly on wellness and seems to love it (maybe it''s the steak and chicken from our dinners we sometimes mix in? hehee)... and it''s worked out pretty well. i gave her california natural originally but she didn''t really seem to like it! so we eventually went over to candidae which i liked because it had 4 protein sources and mega omega 3 oils and stuff for her skin. the ones that i have read are pretty good are wellness, candidae, california natural, and then i think innova and solid gold.

a while ago i think i posted the information from the whole dog journal''s study on dog foods...not sure if you can find that info in previous posts but i think it''s out there. or you can google it on the internet, i am sure someone has more info on it too. the JIST i got from reading the article was that the more protein sources the better (as long as there are no food allergies going on), the more oils the better, and you don''t want a food that has TOO MANY fruits and vegetables. wellness has a lot of them so it''s kind of borderline for me, but like the article was saying...they didn''t like it when a food tried to do absolutely EVERYTHING. they called it the ''kitchen sink'' approach and they were like...okay here''s some protein, oils, lets throw in some veggies and how about this random apple and pear.

anyway i think what type of food is right can also depend on the dog, jcrow, your local store might have little sample packs of the diff foods they will give you (ours does) to try out on cosmo for a week or so....then you know more about what he likes, what might upset his stomach etc.
 

chrono

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I am checking out Felidae this week. Are there any other recommendations for wet foods for cats? I''m bypassing Wellness and Innova because they are made at Menu Food''s facilities. Natural Balance looks interesting but no one carries them locally. Has anyone tried Instinctive Choice?

Forget dry food; my cat is so picky and refuses to even touch 1 measly kibble (even though it is the good, natural & expensive stuff). She used to love Wysong, but after 5 cases, I guess she got bored with them even though I rotated the various flavours. Plus I need to make sure the phosphorus and sodium levels of the food is below 1%.
 

FireGoddess

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Date: 4/3/2007 2:27:13 PM
Author: Chrono
II''m bypassing Wellness and Innova because they are made at Menu Food''s facilities.
Interesting...I didn''t know that.
 

ellaila

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Date: 4/3/2007 2:28:37 PM
Author: FireGoddess

Date: 4/3/2007 2:27:13 PM
Author: Chrono
II''m bypassing Wellness and Innova because they are made at Menu Food''s facilities.
Interesting...I didn''t know that.
Me neither. Chrono, where did you find that information?
 

chrono

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I accidentally found that out when checking out other wet foods for my kitty. Just Google and you'll find lots of blogs and official statements. A local pet store owner even called up the companies for me (because he couldn't believe it when I told him that) and verified that they BOTH are made at Menu Foods. I'm going to see if I can find the links...

From http://petsitusa.com/blog/?p=210:
Natura Pet Products (verified with company 3/24/07)
* Brands include Innova, Evo, California Natural, Healthwise, Mother Nature, Karma Organic
* Manufacture their own dry food, using their own formulas
* They use only US suppliers - no ingredients come from China or other foreign countries.
* They use no corn or wheat products (including wheat gluten)
* Wet foods made by Menu Foods (S. Dakota plant) but not involved in the recall.

Wellness (verified by company rep 3/26/07)
* “Menu does make some of our canned cat and canned dog foods. They make OUR recipes according to OUR quality standards.”
* “We have procedures in place to clean between each run of food that is produced. We also inspect the plant regularly to audit their procedures. Since we take our quality very seriously we go above and beyond what is expected in the industry. We are happy to tell you that we require our facilities to pass an audit by Cook & Thurber, a HUMAN FOOD auditing firm.”
* Other manufacturers are used besides Menu Foods.
* Products do not contain wheat, corn or soy, artificial preservatives, flavors or colors.
 

chrono

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I found a site that states what is made (or not) by Menu Foods:

QUOTE:


NONE OF THESE FOODS ARE INVOLVED IN THE RECALL,
but some do use Menu Foods - it sure makes me think how little we are told about where things come from.
A few of us have been trying to find out what foods are or aren't made by Menu Foods. Much of the information came from calls to the manufacturers. Here is the list compiled so far.

THESE FOODS ARE NOT PART OF THE RECALL.

[This info is only to inform people of where foods are made, in case they don't want to feed any foods made at Menu Foods. This information was gathered from various sources, including manufacturers themselves, and is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.]


Blue Buffalo: Not made by Menu Foods. Canned foods made by American Nutrition in Utah. Dry foods made at CJ Foods in Kansas.



Breeder's Choice: Wet products made by Menu Foods, but not involved in the recall.



Canidae: No products made by Menu Foods.



Canine Caviar: Not made by Menu Foods. Canned food made by American Nutrition in Utah.



Castor & Pollux: Organix and Natural Ultramix made by Menu Foods but not involved in the recall.



Drs. Foster & Smith: Canned foods made by Menu Foods but not involved in the recall. Refused to say where dry is made.



Eagle Pack: Some products made by Menu Foods but not involved in the recall.



Evangers: No foods made by Menu Foods. They have their own cannery.



Go! Natural (Petcurean) Canned made at Menu Foods, Canada. Dry made at various Canadian mills

Halo, Purely For Pets (Spot's Stew)
Not made at Menu Foods. Foods are made at a USDA kitchen where human foods are made. Nothing less than USDA grade foods can even be brought into the kitchen.


Merrick: No products made by Menu Foods. All Merrick foods, dry, canned and treats are made by their own facility.



Natura (Healthwise, California Naturals, Innova): Has their own plant for dry foods. Canned food is made at the South Dakota Menu Foods plant, which is not one of the plants involved in the recall. They also say they provide all the ingredients themselves.



Natural Balance: Not made by Menu Foods. Dry food is made at their own plant then shipped to the Diamond plant where it is bagged. They have their own people on site all of the time. Canned food is made at their own plant, then shipped to American Nutrition in Utah where it is canned. Natural Balance has their own line at American Nutrition and no other canned foods are run through NB's equipment.



Nature's Variety: Canned food made by Menu Foods but not involved in the recall.



Newman's Own Organics: Didn't specify which, but said "We contract with an organic- certified manufacturer to make our foods, although we develop the formulations and source the ingredients". Petfoodexpress.com says it's made by Menu Foods but not included in the recall.



Pet Promise: Not made by Menu Foods. Canned foods are made at their own plant in Wisconsin. Dry Foods are made at their own plant in Denver.



Precise: Refuses to say whether or not their foods are made by Menu Foods, but they are not involved in the recall.



Solid Gold: No products made by Menu Foods. Dry food made by Diamond.



Timberwolf Organics: When contacted, they refused to say whether or not their food is made by Menu Foods. Said they can't give out that information.



Wellness/Old Mother Hubbard: Some products made by Menu Foods but not involved in the recall.



Wysong: Most foods are made at their own facility. Their Au Jus line,the Chicken Stew and Gravy, and Beef Stew and Gravy foods are made at Menu Foods but not involved in the recall.



Also, Trader Joe's is not involved in the recall, but is voluntarily removing all canned foods made by Menu Foods, only as a precaution.


END QUOTE

 

musey

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AG--I just wanted to let you know that thanks to the website you posted, we switched Colby to Nature's Variety raw instinct formula almost 2 weeks ago. He's been doing very well on it. He was on Science Diet and had been since he joined our family last June.

It usually takes him only 5-6 days to tire of a new food, but he still loves the Nature's Variety! (This is good because he generally doesn't eat enough.) I feel much better about his nutrition now.

Thanks to AG and everyone else for encouraging us to improve our pets' diets!
 

Mandarine

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I''m late on this thread so I apologize if this was mentioned before. I feed my Min. Schnauzer Innova...he loves it and I think it''s great quality food!. He''s been eating it for a while (he doesn''t eat anything else, no human food)...it has veggies, fruits and a good balance of protein, grain and fat.

It''s hard to find it sometimes and it''s a bit more expensive, but I think it is totally worth it!

M~
 

Finding_Neverland

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Date: 4/3/2007 4:48:53 PM
Author: FireGoddess
Date: 4/3/2007 3:27:35 PM

Author: ellaila

Thanks, Chrono! Yikes, this is so scary
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I just read that Pounce treats as well as a bunch of others have also been recalled -- http://www.delmonte.com/petfoodrecall.html

I just read this. It''s making me angrier and angrier by the minute how many instances of this sort of thing are happening.

The thing that really irritates me is they haven''t publically announced who the Wheat Gluten supplier is. Evidently the Food Companies all know. And they are checking their product formulations to see if any of that supplier''s gluten was used for their products. But the news isn''t reporting the company name publically.

And there is no centralized recall list. You have to go to MenuFoods.com to look at their list. Nestle is "voluntarily" recalling some products. Purina is "voluntarily" recalling some products. You literally have to look at every pet food manufacturer''s website to know if a food you''re feeding is potentially recalled.

I got a link at CNN where there''s an attny in California that has 8 clients who''s pets have died. He''s rolling all his cases into one. The attorney mentioned some regulation over whether a case can move to the Class Action level. But in that attorney''s opinion, this situation has all the makings of a Class Action case.

Seemingly, the poisoning is much more toxic for cats than dogs. While many dogs are getting ill, cats are dieing. The FDA is finding melamine crystals in the kidneys of dead cats they''ve autopsied.

Menu Foods says they''ll reimburse pet owners for Vet expenses if they can "prove" they fed their pet a tainted food. I went thru my receipts a week or so before our Tom got violently ill and tossed a bunch. Grocery receipts and such. Things you know you won''t be returning for a refund. I can''t find a receipt showing purchase of the tainted food. AND, while our Tom was sick, we used up the last of the one recalled food we''d purchased trying to get him to eat. That food was his favorite food. So we don''t have pouches to show either.

We were gonna donate our left over foods to the Humane Society, and then we heard the new reports of more foods being recalled. For now, we''re hanging onto what we''ve got just in case. It''s canned. If it''s good stuff, it''ll still be OK.
 

diamondfan

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My vet likes Innova, Verus and Canidae. I got the Canidae and will be switching Maya over. I heard they stopped all shipments from this Chinese supplier, but they are not sure yet, according to the FDA, if the gluten got into the human food supply.
 

chrono

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This just seems to be getting worse. I wish all the recalls (voluntary or not) can be found consolidated on ONE website that is updated regularly. It''s getting harder to keep track of the latest news of who is doing what and what is safe/unsafe now.
 

firebirdgold

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POUNCE?!?!
23.gif
Oh geez! I''m glad I stopped giving my kitties pounce when I changed my food. Seriously pissed off my boy cat, he still howls for it every morning.
 

njc

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Where do you buy some of these other brands of food like Canidae? We usually buy from PetSmart, but I didnt see anything except Blue Buffalo the last time I was in there. Other than the grocery store, I dont know where to buy pet food.
 

diamondfan

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Go to the FDA website for an overall place to see things.

Canidae etc are usually found at boutique type stores. Go to Canidae.com and it should have a tab for locating a retailer near you...
 

Mara

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most of the retailers will have a retailer listing on their websites on where you can get their foods.

we feed portia wellness dry food right now but i feel all paranoid...and am considering switching back to candidae even though the dry foods for wellness are not produced at menu foods. i am going today to get her more treats and chicken strips so i will probably just get a bag of candidae anyway and start mixing in and switching her over, better safe than sorry. though honestly you don''t even know for sure what is really safe...it is very frustrating how they keep finding foods to add to the recall!
 

AmberGretchen

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I''m glad that this information has hopefully been helpful for some people.

njc - I believe Natura Pet (just click the link - it should work) makes a number of the recommended brands and they should have listings of local stores where you can buy those brands. In general, the only "good" brands I''ve seen sold at the big pet stores are Natural Balance and Blue Buffalo, and occasionally Avoderm, which I know less about. If there isn''t any place that sells it convenient to you, you can order it online.
 

njc

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Duh... thanks... I havent been thinking clearly lately...
 

Cehrabehra

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Date: 3/20/2007 9:17:26 PM
Author: bee*
Im a first year veterinary student and when I worked in the veterinary clinic, we sold the hills science plan diet. The prescription diets that they prescribe seem to have a great effect on the outcome of the patient. What my vet used to suggest to clients if they were worried about the nutritional content of the food, was to give them less dried food and add in some ingredients of their own, ie chicken, tuna etc. We used to order in purina and royal canin also, but hills seemed more palatable to cats/dogs. There isnt one particular food that we used to recommend and after researching many for college, I dont think that there is ever going to be a dried pet formula that is 100%. In terms of wet food being better for them, a complete dried food is just as good and it also has added benefits, mainly being dental hygeine. An animal kept on purely wet food, will need far more dentals throughout the years, than an animal kept on dried food. I personally have my three dogs on an organic food-I cant remember the name of it now, but I will check tomorrow. They have been on science plan before and I would keep them on it, only they preferred the taste of the new food.
My aunt (gosh this was 20 years ago) fed her cat and dog, twice a day, a mixture of dry food, boiled chicken, rice, and cottage cheese. I have NO idea if that''s at all a good diet but I remember being both impressed with her dedication and scoffing at her obsession - both LOL She insisted that her dog needed rice for its tummy. Maybe it did. I have a friend here who has her dog on a vegetarian diet because she''s a vegetarian and I just roll my eyes.

I''m going to go get some of that innova stuff... oy, I''ve been assimilated LOL Yesterday one kitten showed some interest in food, today two did. So I''m guessing weaning will come soon though they seem to like to nurse a lot still, mom is losing interest. Earlier someone said to wait until they''re a year for EVO or whatever its called but I''m wondering what to feed a nursing mom.

Do I need to worry about switching them from one food to another and them getting the runs or something?
 

Cehrabehra

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Date: 3/21/2007 1:10:30 AM
Author: ecf8503

Date: 3/20/2007 5:31:31 PM
Author: FireGoddess

Date: 3/20/2007 4:52:01 PM

Author: FireGoddess

Hey AG I am in the SFBA and would love to get more information from your vet re: the Innova or alternative foods for cats with special needs. I know that some other ones must exist but like I said our pet sells the Hills prescription formula so I''m sure they''re not about to recommend something different. Chloe likes the food and she hasn''t had a urinary tract problem or kidney stone since eating it, which is good. But I want to make sure she''s getting the most nutritious food possible.

oops, I mean our VET.
9.gif

Is that me???????????
35.gif


Sorry - I''m just catching this on my way to bed - no time to write anything meaningful right now, but I promise I will check in on this subject!

Christine (D.V.M.)
omg!! I went to see what she said on this and it is her last post to date!! how ironic - she must be swamped!!
 

FireGoddess

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I talked to multiple vets about this and they all say that Hills is fine. Dunno if that''s because they all sell Hills...
20.gif
.

Sometimes as a treat I give Chloe some Wellness canned food since they''re the only company that specifically mentions having cranberries and blueberries in the food for urinary tract health. I have a feeling her urinary tract issues all came from the crap food I fed her when I was in grad school and didn''t know better. She hasn''t had any issues since the surgery for the stones, and switching to Hills. It''s been 7 years, so it must be working.
 

AmberGretchen

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Sara - make sure you start them on wet food, and soften the dry food with a little broth or water when they are ready to start that. You may need to put a little wet food on their noses to get them started, but they should catch on pretty quickly after that. Plain chicken or turkey baby food (NO ONION - its very TOXIC to cats) is really great when you''re starting them on real food.

Honestly, if they get the runs I would worry more about worms, which are VERY common in young kittens and puppies. Deworming is cheap and quick at the vet though - should be no more than $5-10 per kitten and for mom as well since she''s been living outside.
 

Cehrabehra

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Date: 6/4/2007 8:16:23 PM
Author: AmberGretchen
Sara - make sure you start them on wet food, and soften the dry food with a little broth or water when they are ready to start that. You may need to put a little wet food on their noses to get them started, but they should catch on pretty quickly after that. Plain chicken or turkey baby food (NO ONION - its very TOXIC to cats) is really great when you''re starting them on real food.

Honestly, if they get the runs I would worry more about worms, which are VERY common in young kittens and puppies. Deworming is cheap and quick at the vet though - should be no more than $5-10 per kitten and for mom as well since she''s been living outside.
Okay - what should I be expecting with the EVO because what is coming out of mama cat since the switch is THE most disgusting crap (literally and figuratively) I''ve ever smelled. I can''t live with this no matter how healthy that food is LOL It''s just WRONG WRONG WRONG. We bought flushable litter and get rid of it right away but it is just... lingering. Its horrible. I can''t say it enough.

I''m putting her back on the rest of the meowmix that we have until things are more settled here then we can experiment with different foods. I bought the cheep stuff because she was just a stray that I never knew would come near us. We still have a bag. I think we all need more transition time LOL

My husband thought she wanted out yesterday so he let her and she came back 3 minutes later with a dead mouse. She wanted to bring it in the house for the kits and so he went out and picked her up and was gently shaking her to get her to drop the mouse and she reached up with her paw and shoved it in deeper LOL He was cracking up.... it was horrible LOL I don''t want a mouser!!!! But of course this is how she''s lived.... so he left her out there... door was open but screen shut and light on and after a couple minutes she put it down and I opened the door and she came in.... oh man....
 

FireGoddess

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How about Wellness? No probs with Holly on that (or Chloe, when I sneak her some).
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chrono

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Cehra,
I''ve snooped on a cat forum and read than EVO can be a bit "rich" for some cats and gives them the runs. Wellness gets pretty good reviews and is easy to find locally.
 
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