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Dog Enthusiasts: Grain Inclusive Foods?

MsP

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2004
Messages
663
My dog has been on a revolving mix of Instinct, Core, and Taste of the Wild since I got him (I have a bucket and when my bucket is 1/2 empty, I buy another 13lb bag and mix it in... and I rotate the brands). He also gets steamed veggies, a drizzle of salmon or olive oil, and a little diced up meat in there in the evenings. He's always had very dense, read: hard, stools. I talked to the vet about it and he said not to worry. I have been worrying though, as he strains sometimes. Just a test, I'm switching him over to a grain-inclusive food... my breeder (who primarily shows her dogs...and rarely has a littler) feeds Merrick kibble. I just bought a bag and my dog devours it but I feel guilty that I'm not following this popular "grain free" trend.

Can someone explain why grain free is superior to grain-inclusive? I understand high quality ingredients, and high protein, etc but why grain free? Yes, dogs are carnivores(really, omnivores) but this doesn't mean they were meant to eat potatoes (ala grain free filler).

Anyone?
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
32,060
funny, members on a koi forum been arguing about this very topic. cheap food vs expensive name branded food,any difference?
 

MsP

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2004
Messages
663
Dancing Fire|1306009948|2927401 said:
funny, members on a koi forum been arguing about this very topic. cheap food vs expensive name branded food,any difference?
The grain inclusive Merrick is actually more expensive than the trio of grain free I'd been using...
 

Ara Ann

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
1,204
Can you add more water to the non-grain diet he's been on? Maybe he's not getting enough water in the food as he eats it.

I feed our little guy Blue Buffalo...it has whole grain brown rice in it, but no other fillers...his system can't handle corn or other bi-products. It's a dry food, and he has digestive issues sometimes, so I always moisten it before he eats it...seems to help his tummy issues....works well for him.


Hope you can figure out something for your poochie!
 

MsP

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2004
Messages
663
Ara Ann|1306017785|2927468 said:
Can you add more water to the non-grain diet he's been on? Maybe he's not getting enough water in the food as he eats it.

I feed our little guy Blue Buffalo...it has whole grain brown rice in it, but no other fillers...his system can't handle corn or other bi-products. It's a dry food, and he has digestive issues sometimes, so I always moisten it before he eats it...seems to help his tummy issues....works well for him.


Hope you can figure out something for your poochie!
I already do moisten it...it's quite soupy and he drinks plenty so I doubt it's a water thing. He does like blue buffalos wilderness too...but still the bad poos. Thankfully he's not a picky eater at all.
 

monarch64

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
17,849
Daisy, my 4.5 year old beagle (purebred, allegedly) eats WalMart's Beneful weight something watchers? wet food and a half cup of the same brand dry food ONCE a day. She looks PERFECT. She is also in perfect health, has always been under 22 lbs (the max for her height/breed) and looks awesome!

Perhaps there is something to the super expensive food...I don't know! But I've always had good luck with all my dogs just feeding them national brands vs. more expensive ones.

I have no advice to give you...I hope everything turns out ok. You MIGHT try giving your pup more dry, less wet, less veggies for a more solid stool, on second thought.
 

davi_el_mejor

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2010
Messages
1,947
If your dog does not have an allergy to grains, grain free isn't necessary. However, a dogs system isn't exactly geared to the digestion or processing of grain.

The extremely stiff stool is fine. It is believed to help express anal sacs. These sacs are actually there to help lubricate the entire process (amongst other stinky things). If you're worried about it, you can add high fiber veggies your dog likes as treats. Our dogs love bell peppers. Some other dogs like green beans.

A high quality grain inclusive food (such as Merrick) is fine as long as the nutritional breakdown is balanced and inline with your dogs lifestyle. My advice is to find a food that has one type of grain, preferably rice (it's much easier to digest and lower occurences of allergies), and not in the top 5 or 4 ingredients. Do not use anything with soy or corn. It's extremely hard for dogs to digest and has high occurence of allergies.
 

davi_el_mejor

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2010
Messages
1,947
monarch64|1306052850|2927652 said:
Daisy, my 4.5 year old beagle (purebred, allegedly) eats WalMart's Beneful weight something watchers? wet food and a half cup of the same brand dry food ONCE a day. She looks PERFECT. She is also in perfect health, has always been under 22 lbs (the max for her height/breed) and looks awesome!

Perhaps there is something to the super expensive food...I don't know! But I've always had good luck with all my dogs just feeding them national brands vs. more expensive ones.

I have no advice to give you...I hope everything turns out ok. You MIGHT try giving your pup more dry, less wet, less veggies for a more solid stool, on second thought.
Monarch, sorry if this is unwarranted, and I apologize, but I'd like show you the difference between Beneful Healthy Weight (what I think you're feeding) and the dog food I'm feeding, Wellness Core.

Here is the ingredients list of Beneful Healthy Weight Formula.

Ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, soybean hulls*, whole wheat flour, rice flour, chicken, soy flour, beef tallow preserved with mixed-tocopherols (source of Vitamin E), sugar, animal digest, tricalcium phosphate, sorbitol, water, salt, phosphoric acid, potassium chloride, dicalcium phosphate, sorbic acid (a preservative), L-Lysine monohydrochloride, dried green beans, dried carrots, calcium carbonate, calcium propionate (a preservative), choline chloride, vitamin supplements (E, A, B-12, D-3), zinc sulfate, added color (Yellow 5, Red 40, Yellow 6, Blue 2), DL-Methionine, ferrous sulfate, gyceryl monostearate, manganese sulfate, niacin, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, biotin, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, menadione sodium bisulfate complex (source of Vitamin K activity), calcium iodate, sodium selenite. *14%-a source of fiber

Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude protein (Min) 25%
Moisture (Max) 14%
Crude fiber (Max) 9%
Crude fat (Min) 7%

306 kcal a cup

Italicized are all the grains in the food.
Bold is protein sources
underlined are ingredients that make me cringe and say "really??"

The AAFCO definition of chicken by-product meal is “a meal consisting of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidable in good processing practice.”

AAFCO defines animal digest as "material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue. The animal tissues used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth, hooves and feathers, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice and shall be suitable for animal feed"


What I feed - Wellness Core

Deboned Turkey, Deboned Chicken, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Dried Ground Potato, Tomato Pomace, Natural Chicken Flavor, Canola Oil, Chicken Liver, Salmon Oil, Flaxseed, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Broccoli, Spinach, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Vitamins & Minerals, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum[*], Enterococcus faecium[*], Lactobacillus casei[*], Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Products[*], Rosemary Extract.

Crude Protein min. 34%
Moisture max. 10%
Crude Fat min. 14%
Crude Fiber max. 4%


430 kcal a cup

[*]These are probiotics

The 20 pound dog gets 1 cup a day the 12 pounder gets a little less than 3/4 cup. A 26 pound bag lasts us 6 weeks.
 

Dandi

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 9, 2006
Messages
5,550
Most of my experience with doggie diets is relative to my situation with our foxie we lost last year. 16 months ago when I was feeding and caring for my precious Bubbles who had lymphosarcoma, I thoroughly researched her diet, and the same conclusion was reached by a lot of literature - that evolution spells out that dogs are not made to process grains/starch, as they wouldn't source them in the wild as a significant portion of their diet, and certainly not cooked ones. To a greater extent there are suggestions that there is some correlation between diets with a decent portion of grains involved, and degenerative diseases like cancer (I guess it has to do with metabolism/insulin/fillers replacing essential dietary elements, etc etc) so I steered clear of any food containing grains or fillers. I'm yet to fathom the 'real' science behind that reasoning, but to be confident that I was doing the best job for Bubbles that I knew how, I fed her a grain and filler free kibble as a supplement to her homemade cancer diet, which she loved and kept her coat beautiful. My two current girls eat Innova and are extremely healthy, and gobble it up at a million miles an hour. And as an added bonus they tend to absorb more elements of a grain/filler free diet, so less poos! :bigsmile:

Edited for spelling.
 

maplefemme

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 12, 2011
Messages
874
Kibble has it's pros and cons, I did two years of extensive research into this for my own working dogs. I have a Cane Corso and an Argentine Dogo.
They go through 240lbs of raw meat a month. It's not that I do not think kibble is adequate, but it has it's flaws.
Dogs are not omnivores, their digestive enzymes are very specific for digestion, they cannot digest vegetables and grain. It's included in kibble because there has to be a filler of some sort, the protein level of a pure dehydrated meat would be too high and would not mimic their natural diet - raw meat. Raw meat contains water and bones, organs, muscle meat, intestines (which is where they do eat vegetable matter but not for the matter itself, it's the other enzymes present that are beneficial, eg in tripe) Dogs will eat and enjoy vegetables but they don't have health benefits so they shouldn't be a large part if their diet.
Firm stools are a good thing, it does help express the anal glands, unless there's an issue with constipation it's not a health issue and it's a positive, not a negative.
Salmon oil is great and very beneficial, it's easily digested. They cannot digest olive oil, but it won't harm them.

I do not think everyone should feed raw, I'm not pushing it, it has to be done right or it can cause health issues. My dogs are in excellent health, their bloodwork scores are in the ideal ranges. But their food takes hours at the begining of each month to prep and I don't have children to worry about salmonella (healthy dogs are not affected by salmonella) but it's not for everyone, sometimes kibble is the best option.
So if kibble is your choice then I'd avoid any animal by-products, soy, and those loaded with artifical colors and additives, and a quality meat source should be top of the I ingredient list, fillers should be lower. I'd go potato over grain.
 
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