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Wheat And Pets...
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Got to thinking about how many older dogs and cats I've seen that aren't healthy 'cause dry food and canned with added wheat filler makes up the bulk of their diet.

We now rarely feed our cats dry food, and try to choose canned with as little wheat as possible. We eat tons of chicken (split breast, whole birds, and leg quarters), so we have lots of left-over/carcass to feed them.

I was just wondering how many have fed their animals 'gluten', and have noticed it effecting their health?

GC

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Got to thinking about how many older dogs and cats I've seen that aren't healthy 'cause dry food and canned with added wheat filler makes up the bulk of their diet.

We now rarely feed our cats dry food, and try to choose canned with as little wheat as possible. We eat tons of chicken (split breast, whole birds, and leg quarters), so we have lots of left-over/carcass to feed them.

I was just wondering how many have fed their animals 'gluten', and have noticed it effecting their health?

GC

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Cats have to have an all meat diet - their bodies cannot handle grain. Dogs are a little more flexible on that, but you are right - the right foods for animals does make a difference. When I was (a whole lot) younger, I had a dog that developed skin/hair problems. I took him to the vet, the vet just ran his hand down my dog's back and asked "do you feed him Bow-Wow?" (it was a brand produced locally at the time and was CHEAP). That was my first lesson in fillers for dog food. I switched to a better brand with way more protein and the problems did clear up.

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I read on that DrJ site that Celiac Disease is wiping out some breeds of dogs... like the irish setter.

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There are some brands of dog food that carry no wheat or corn. I feed 'Solid Gold' which is wheat and corn free.

For treats I buy another brand of wheat and corn free food "First Mate' My dog thinks if she doesn't get it in her dish, it must be a treat :lol: She also gets a very small amount of what ever meat we are having.

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Did you know that dogs have been diagnosed with Celiac? TRUE STORY!

go to:

www.dogtorj.com

There's a list of gluten-free dog and cat foods!!!

Got to thinking about how many older dogs and cats I've seen that aren't healthy 'cause dry food and canned with added wheat filler makes up the bulk of their diet.

We now rarely feed our cats dry food, and try to choose canned with as little wheat as possible. We eat tons of chicken (split breast, whole birds, and leg quarters), so we have lots of left-over/carcass to feed them.

I was just wondering how many have fed their animals 'gluten', and have noticed it effecting their health?

GC

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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Oh, I certainly believe that feeding our companion animals foods that are loaded with grains (esp wheat) is damaging for their health.

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away I fed my little darlings.......*gulp*......Purina Beneful. :ph34r: There, I admitted it. They were in terrible shape, but of course I didn't realize it, I had never seen a dog in really good shape because everyone I knew fed their dogs grocery store food. They were itchy, chubby, had chronic ear infections, poor body composition, low energy, smelly (bodies and breath), had dull and flakey coats, and they were poop machines. They also were reluctant to eat, and would sometimes leave their food in the dish for almost the whole day.

Then I learned about ProPlan. It was supposed to be the "best". So I ran right on down to petco and picked some up. They liked it better than the other stuff and I did notice some improvement. Their coats got a little shinier and less flakey, they lost a little fat and gained more muscle, they had less doggie odor. I thought this stuff was the best.

THEN, about 1 1/2 yrs ago, I learned about the *true* premium kibbles available. I also learned a good deal about canine nutrition, and I was shocked and disgusted at the lengths that some companies will go to in order to create the cheapest food they possibly can while at the same time convincing people that it is the healthiest way to feed their beloved pets (and charging an outrageous amount for it). I also learned that most vets know little or nothing about pet nutrition, and what they do know is taught to them by the Big Three pet food producers (every food you can buy at the grocery store is made by one of only 3 companies).

I have since tried several of the high-end kibbles, and I've found one that I am completely in love with (and so are my babies). My dogs are now shiny, soft, bright-eyed, full of energy, lean, muscular, nice smelling (even their breath), and healthy. They no longer itch or chew their paws, they don't have any more chronic ear problems, they have clean white teeth, they poop a lot less and it doesn't smell nearly so bad.

We have foster dog with us right now, who came to us eating one of the better brands of food (it's better than anything you can get at the grocery store, but it's still loaded with gluten/grains). Since he's been eating the food we serve here, he's shown a huge improvement. Not only is his coat better, but he has filled out with more muscle and is arthritis has improved quite a bit.

Of course, kibble (even the very best kibble) isn't a natural diet for your animal. Doing a carefully researched and planned homecooked or raw diet is the best that you can do. However you need to really know what you are doing in order to properly balance the animal's diet. Personally, I just can't manage feeding 4 dogs a raw or homecooked diet. It's way too much work for me at the present. So they get the best kibble I can get them with add-ins like sardines, mackrel, pumpkin, kefir, cooked veggies, and some meats.

After seeing the changes in my dogs' health, I would never go back to feeding them the way I used to. In fact, I would rather eat gluten myself before I fed them something from the grocery store. These little dogs mean the world to me.

Here are some great websites for anyone who may be interested: :D

http://mordanna.com/dogfood/

http://www.dogaware.com/

http://www.gooddogmagazine.com/dogfoodcosts.htm

*edited to add one more link

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Oh, one more thing that everyone with dogs should be aware of:

Never, EVER give your dog chocolate, onions, grapes/raisins, or cooked bones (raw bones, like soup bones, are fine).

I know that there is a list like this for cats as well, but I don't have cats so I'm not really sure what it is.

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Your talking about giving your dogs raw bones ... and a lot of people agree with you. I give mine a raw chicken neck every morning to keep her teeth clean, and she went from "you gotta get this dogs teeth cleaned .. to the vet saying nice teeth, did you get them cleaned?"

My daughter is into feeding her very large dogs raw beef bones that she gets done especially for pets. She once gave my, relatively small dog a raw beef hoof, with joint to chew on the long drive home. $300 later I find out she has a very serious case of ecoli :o:( We came very close to loosing her. I'm not saying don't feed beef, but be very careful where you get it from. Dogs cannot get samanella from chicken, but they CAN get ecoli! I, as a result, never feed un-cooked beef. The old saying of once burned, twice shy. :rolleyes:

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Your talking about giving your dogs raw bones ... and a lot of people agree with you. I give mine a raw chicken neck every morning to keep her teeth clean, and she went from "you gotta get this dogs teeth cleaned .. to the vet saying nice teeth, did you get them cleaned?"

My daughter is into feeding her very large dogs raw beef bones that she gets done especially for pets. She once gave my, relatively small dog a raw beef hoof, with joint to chew on the long drive home. $300 later I find out she has a very serious case of ecoli  :o  :(  We came very close to loosing her. I'm not saying don't feed beef, but be very careful where you get it from. Dogs cannot get samanella from chicken, but they CAN get ecoli!  I, as a result, never feed un-cooked beef. The old saying of once burned, twice shy.  :rolleyes:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Very good point. While dogs do have a much shorter and more acidic digestive tract that we do, they are not immune to food borne bacteria (they do have a much lower risk than we do though).

If you are going to give your dogs raw anything; you need to buy, store, and handle that meat as though YOU were going to eat it. And don't tell the butcher shop people that it is for your dogs, they will give you things that are older and poor quality. Also be aware that certian cuts of meat will be much more likely to have bacterial contamination. For example, ground beef is much more likely to contain e.coli than a steak, roast, or soup bone.

The age and health of the dog needs to be considered as well. An older dog, or one that might have other illnesses may be at much higher risk.

Feeding a raw diet is not for the faint of heart. Which is exactly the reason that I don't do it. I believe that it is nutritionally the best, but I just can't manage the logistics and knowledge required.

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Awesome responses... glad I thought to start this topic, 'cause I've learned alot, and love seeing all the stories/info about our pets!

I took a 55 gallon [food use] barrel, stood it on end, and cut a hole in 'front' and one in the 'top'... I took the cut-out from the front, and put it on hinges to make a door. We use it to grill the very infrequent 'hamburger steak', steak, and fresh fish... and to slow cook/smoke chicken split-breasts, leg-quarters, and whole birds cut in half.

Except for skin, larger bones, and thicker pieces of fat, we feed the cats these left-overs and carcasses. We know it's best to feed raw meats when possible... but we assumed this low temp cooking would be next best. The cats go totally 'ape' for it, so it must be fairly good for 'em. We noticed their eyes, ears, noses, fur, and their stool looks much better. Almost never see them have thin stool, unless they've been roaming the neighborhood eating who-knows-what.

Do any of you also give 'em eggs once-in-awhile?

GC

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I don't feed eggs very often. If we have scrambled eggs, she might get a tablespoon full, without any onions of course. And my Dad spoils her when he's visiting. He has heart problems so never eats the yolks, Sheba gets the yolks when he's here. So she is always over at their travel trailer hoping he's having eggs for breakfast :lol: Sometimes she just gets a little bit of oatmeal, or skim milk though, as he doesn't have eggs often.

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There are some brands of dog food that carry no wheat or corn. I feed 'Solid Gold' which is wheat and corn free.

For treats I buy another brand of wheat and corn free food "First Mate' My dog thinks if she doesn't get it in her dish, it must be a treat  :lol:  She also gets a very small amount of what ever meat we are having.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Any that are store buyable?

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Any that are store buyable?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Natural Balance is a good brand that you can find at Petco. At Petsmart I think Blue Buffalo is the best one that they carry (but we don't have a Petsmart so I don't know). For most of the other brands you would have to go to either a feed store or a non-chain pet store. I order my stuff online.

I posted a link earlier that lists several different brands and also gives their websites. If you go to the websites they have a store locator and you can find where they are sold near you.

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You'll also find that they are more expensive, at least they appear to be. However, they are a higher concentrate and so you don't feed as much.

For instance, something like Kibbles & Bits would tell you to feed a dog Sheba size about 2 to 3 cups a day. With Solid Gold she get 2/3 of a cup a day plus a few tiny treats and a tablespoon full of what ever we are eating twice a day. So it actually works out to be cheaper.

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Is there a list of brands anywhere? We have a locally own petstore that we like. Plus either petsmart or petco I forget which is close. Our dog is 55 pounds and we feed him 3 cups a day of Purina....

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Here is a list of some:

http://www.dogaware.com/dogfeeding.html#TopDry

Each website should have a store locator as well as a nutritional analysis and ingredients list.

My dogs are all around 20#, and with Purina they were getting twice the amount that I feed them now. It's almost unbelievable.

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My bird's food (primarily a specially formulated pellet) has wheat in it, but birds can do grains just fine. Interestingly enough, there is a WIDE variation in the fat and protein needs of various species of pet birds, and a few avian food manufacturers have been catching on over the years and building species specific foods. (Lories, of course, subsist primarily on sugar water. Ok, it's got some vitamins, but it's primarily sugar water.)

Seed mix is definitely NOT a healthy option for making up the bulk of a birds diet, as it is not nutritionally balanced. You can do it with freshly cooked food yourself, but I haven't done the math to figure out the correct bits yet so that his whole diet consists of fresh food. The no-no list for birds is short and sweet (alcohol, chocolate, avocados, fruit seeds/pits), so it's not too difficult to feed them the same food you do, provided you don't put a lot of salt in the cooked food and balance the proportions and variety of what they get.

Ironically, cooked chicken bones are a great treat for birds, and the fact that they can shatter isn't a problem, because the bones are ground away with the beak. It's good exercise, good trimming for the beak, and the bone and marrow provides good nutrition as well. (And one leg bone can last my little conure quite a while!)

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My bird's food (primarily a specially formulated pellet) has wheat in it, but birds can do grains just fine.  Interestingly enough, there is a WIDE variation in the fat and protein needs of various species of pet birds, and a few avian food manufacturers have been catching on over the years and building species specific foods.  (Lories, of course, subsist primarily on sugar water.  Ok, it's got some vitamins, but it's primarily sugar water.)

Seed mix is definitely NOT a healthy option for making up the bulk of a birds diet, as it is not nutritionally balanced.  You can do it with freshly cooked food yourself, but I haven't done the math to figure out the correct bits yet so that his whole diet consists of fresh food.  The no-no list for birds is short and sweet (alcohol, chocolate, avocados, fruit seeds/pits), so it's not too difficult to feed them the same food you do, provided you don't put a lot of salt in the cooked food and balance the proportions and variety of what they get. 

Ironically, cooked chicken bones are a great treat for birds, and the fact that they can shatter isn't a problem, because the bones are ground away with the beak.  It's good exercise, good trimming for the beak, and the bone and marrow provides good nutrition as well.  (And one leg bone can last my little conure quite a while!)

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Brid food I understand, and the one thing about bird food thats commonly over looked, while a peleted diet is great as a BASE, in most cases with most birds you need to suplement with fresh real food, somthing speices apporait of course. Just about all the seed mixes you see in the stores are bascily bad for birds and killing them off well before there time. :(

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Brid food I understand, and the one thing about bird food thats commonly over looked, while a peleted  diet is great as a BASE, in most cases with most birds you need to suplement with fresh real food, somthing speices apporait of course. Just about all the seed mixes you see in the stores are bascily bad for birds and killing them off well before there time. :(

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Wow, I had no idea about that. I've never had birds, but my mom keeps birds and I think that she just feeds them seed mix food from the store (she has finches and parakeets).

Do you guys have any resources about this? I would really like to read up on it, I hate to think of her birds being unhealthy.

Isn't it just sickening how the big companies market these foods as the be-all end-all and best thing for your pet, when in reality it's probably killing them?? Horrid.

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Brid food I understand, and the one thing about bird food thats commonly over looked, while a peleted  diet is great as a BASE, in most cases with most birds you need to suplement with fresh real food, somthing speices apporait of course.

I don't know if oatmeal (my husband's) is considered species specific for conures, but man does my bird love the stuff. ;-) Not only is it important to supplement with fresh food (when I board him, I send a baggie of pellets, and a baggie of nuts/dried fruit/dried veggies), but it's socially important to get some time in with the pet and food's a good way to do that (in part).

Do you guys have any resources about this? I would really like to read up on it, I hate to think of her birds being unhealthy.

Mostly, you'll want to google it. A few sites include: Animal Forum, Pet Care Tips, Norfolk Animal Hospital, It's a Grey World, Parrots Online (good listing of toxic plants).

Birds are not easy pets to keep if you want to keep them happy and healthy. They need a wide variety of healthy foods, lots of social interactions with humans, plenty of time out of their cage, appropriate behavioral teaching, and a healthy house. (That last one is harder to get to than you'd think, and involves not only the bird cage/food/toys, but also the area they are in - no drafts, no high-heat on non-stick pans, no aerosols, no gas/chemical fumes, no leaded wicks in candles, etc.)

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Thanks Tiffany.

My mom LOVES those birds. She actually had a small aviary built for them (in the dining room of all places). I know that she wants to do anything that she can for them.

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No problem! If I'm going to go on and on about one of two things, at any given time, it's likely to either be celiac or birds! ;-)

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No problem!  If I'm going to go on and on about one of two things, at any given time, it's likely to either be celiac or birds! ;-)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Oh gosh yes. I'm like that, only with me it's either celiac or dogs. I'm suprised anyone IRL even talks to me anymore. :P

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