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chilligirl

Dog Food?

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So, as I'm reading and researching, I'm learning how big of an issue cross contamination is. I'm coming to realize that I (and my family) will need to think of gluten in our home the way a family with a life-threatening peanut allergy would think of peanuts.

While it's manageable to keep seperate utensils, clean work areas, and wash the kids hands right after they finish eating their gluteny foods (like bread and breakfast cereal), I just clued in that my 3 dogs are going to be an issue.

They eat a good quality food (Horizon Complete), which contains Rye and Barley. *sigh*

On the one hand, I know I can change dog foods. There are plenty of good dog foods out there that have only potatoes or rice for their carb. However, they're pricey. I like Horizon because it's good food, my dogs do well on it, and it's cheap ($50 for a 35lb bag which lasts my 3 dogs almost a month).

Another option is to keep their dishes put away outside of feeding time, and to wipe their muzzles with a pet wipe after they eat. However, they'll still lick everything and everyone in sight at the first opportunity (darned friendly dogs!). How much of a cross contamination issues would that be?

What do other dog owners do?

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So, as I'm reading and researching, I'm learning how big of an issue cross contamination is. I'm coming to realize that I (and my family) will need to think of gluten in our home the way a family with a life-threatening peanut allergy would think of peanuts.

While it's manageable to keep seperate utensils, clean work areas, and wash the kids hands right after they finish eating their gluteny foods (like bread and breakfast cereal), I just clued in that my 3 dogs are going to be an issue.

They eat a good quality food (Horizon Complete), which contains Rye and Barley. *sigh*

On the one hand, I know I can change dog foods. There are plenty of good dog foods out there that have only potatoes or rice for their carb. However, they're pricey. I like Horizon because it's good food, my dogs do well on it, and it's cheap ($50 for a 35lb bag which lasts my 3 dogs almost a month).

Another option is to keep their dishes put away outside of feeding time, and to wipe their muzzles with a pet wipe after they eat. However, they'll still lick everything and everyone in sight at the first opportunity (darned friendly dogs!). How much of a cross contamination issues would that be?

What do other dog owners do?

I use Eukenuba Puppy formula. No gluten. It's expensive but I try hard to avoid cross contamination that I can control. When he is no longer a puppy not sure what I will feed him. Good luck! I also think there is a thread here if you want to see other thoughts. I asked the same question when I got my puppy.

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I use Eukenuba Puppy formula. No gluten. It's expensive but I try hard to avoid cross contamination that I can control. When he is no longer a puppy not sure what I will feed him. Good luck! I also think there is a thread here if you want to see other thoughts. I asked the same question when I got my puppy.

Well, you know how they always say pets are like their owners?? My two dogs definitely are! I actually noticed with them (before I even got diagnosed) that they always had problems with their stomachs when I would feed them foods with grains in them. They just simply don't do well with grains (ironic, I know!). Anyway, I have them on a grain free dog food -- and the dog food bag actually says GLUTEN FREE on the bag (you wouldn't believe how much the boyfriend laughed when I brought that home from the petstore!!) lol It's a little more expensive -- I think I pay like $32 for a 15 pound bag. I have two german shepherds, so 15 pounds only lasts about 2 weeks. They LOVE it and I don't have to worry about CC. It's called Barking at the Moon by Solid Gold. I actually just get it at my local Petco near my house. I can tell you, though, taking grain out of my dogs diets has been the best thing I've ever done for both of them. Their coats look great, great tummies, and neither one of them has had to go to the vet at all (with the exception of a torn off toenail and vaccines) for about 2 years. I love the dog food though.

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There are a number of grain-free dry dog foods. Dogs do not need any grain as a carb source. (They metabolize protein more efficiently. And while they are scavengers/hunters and do get some grain/carbs in their "wild" diet, it comes from the stomach contents of what they've killed, a bit of grass/leaf played with here and there, and the other odd plant pick-up.)

I rotate foods at each feeding (not saying that you have to, of course!) and use Wellness Core (usually chicken), Natural Balance (Limited Ingredient Diet line - usually sweet potato and fish), Acana (in various flavors, which is a Canadian brand, and relative of Orijen which is rather high in protein and not as well liked by my dog), Nature's Variety Instinct (puppy particularly likes the rabbit flavor), Taste of the Wild (various flavors), and Before Grain (buffalo). I've also tried a few freeze dried raw foods, and some frozen raw foods, but he's always been lukewarm on that, unless it's a 'fresh from the chicken' wing or neck.

Grain free foods can be more expensive, but in general, you feed less of it. As a 50lb, reasonably active 1-year old, he gets 3 cups of dry food (sometimes adding half a can of wet) split into two meals, in a day. He generally doesn't eat any more than that.

BTW, puppy's don't need special puppy formula food, particularly certain breeds prone to growing too fast. Puppy formula is higher in calories, and tends to cause many dogs to grow (not gain weight, but grow) more quickly than their bodies are really ready for.

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Thanks for the feedback.

I'm actually pretty dog food savvy, as I ran a Pit Bull rescue for over six years and used to work in the pet industry. My dogs were grain-free and raw fed for just over two years, as my middle dog was highly allergic to all grains as a pup (outgrew the allergy/sensitivity). Raw wasn't right for my pooches. My oldest dog had itchy feet, tended to be yeasty, and vomitted quite often, plus had terrible gas. She gets those same yeast-related issue on any food with a high protein level - she just can't handle "hot" foods. My middle dog did the best on raw, but pood a lot (weird for a raw-fed dog, I know), and my third dog just couldn't keep weight on her - she has a really high metabolism and needs carbs.

I switched from raw to a quality kibble (used to feed Canidae, but not since they changed the formula), and haven't looked back.

I was browsing my local pet shop today, and the two foods that stood out to me as being gluten-free, a good fit for my pooches, and the right price were Acana and Taste of the Wild. I love Natural Balance's line, but it's really pricey (we used to feed it to a lot of our allergy and mange dogs taht would come through rescue).

So, likely I'll be taking the plunge and switching dog foods.

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My full sized Yorkie went grain free about 2 months ago. I figured it was a no brainer since I was the one feeding him and giving him treats.

Murphy is 14 and weighs about 15 lbs and has always had skin/itching issues. Within in 2 weeks all the itchingness was gone and he is more calm but now has the attitude and energy of a 2 yo pup.

I am currently using the Wellness brand Complete which is grain free. And his treats are dried chicken breast discs. Since the food is now protien based he eats half as much as he used to. Where he used to eat a cup a day he now only wants to eat about a half a cup a day.

Be careful about buying too big of a bag because if you don't use it up in a timely manner the food can go rancid since it has so much protien. I bought the large bag and then put half of it in a large lastic container and keep it in the garage freezer till needed. I scoup out about a weeks worth at a time and keep it in a sealed container in the Kitchen.

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All the dogs here were already on a gluten free food, and the cats are finishing their last bag of Felidae which has barley in it and will be switching to some sort of gluten free cat food. Raven loves to help feed the zoo so I figured it was the best plan. Now the trick is to find gluten free food for the bunnies! <_<

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OMG!!!! I can't believe what I'm reading!

I just put my dog down for having the skin infections that wouldn't clear up with antibiotics or shampoos. He was constantly eating at his paws too.

The vet said he had allergy ears and that's it - possibly an allergy to a food.....or allergic to flea bites....but nothing else! Just kept treating him with antibiotics and steroids.

I was just diagnosed with a wheat allergy and was told to go on the gluten free diet - but had I known then what I know now about wheat allergies........my dog would NOT have suffered as he did and would be with me now. I'm so bummed!

He ate people food when allowed after he wouldn't eat his dog food. I changed over to canned food too and he started leaving that alone.

My heart aches to know that this didn't have to happen.

Thanks for helping me to learn a very important lesson! (Find a New Vet!)

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Awww.... I'm sorry tmbarke. :( Keep in mind though, alot of dogs with allergy issues have more than one, and often food and enviromental allergies go hand and hand. I had a long term foster that was allergic to the world. Everything from a variety of food, to dust mites to grass to pollen to molds, even cat hair! There was not much we could do but try to boost her immune system, eliminate exposure as much as possible, and comfort her symtoms. If your dog was really suffering, you no doubt did the most loving thing you could do, which was free him from his pain. Hugs to you. I know what a difficult choice that is to make as I've been there myself more than once. :(

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Awww.... I'm sorry tmbarke. :( Keep in mind though, alot of dogs with allergy issues have more than one, and often food and enviromental allergies go hand and hand. I had a long term foster that was allergic to the world. Everything from a variety of food, to dust mites to grass to pollen to molds, even cat hair! There was not much we could do but try to boost her immune system, eliminate exposure as much as possible, and comfort her symtoms. If your dog was really suffering, you no doubt did the most loving thing you could do, which was free him from his pain. Hugs to you. I know what a difficult choice that is to make as I've been there myself more than once. :(

Thank You Ravens Mum

I truly was his person....and mom.....he was my child.

He wouldn't heal and the other one went blind (no allergies)

I just chalked it up to bad breeding from a puppy mill

I appreciate your sentiments on this matter. I'm still at a loss and tell myself it was for the best.

They'll always have the biggest place in my heart and if I decide to do that again, I'll be better equipped.

What a terrible loss just the same.

It's never easy - not for anyone......not for me or for you.

But they'll always know the love was there.

Blessings

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Thank You Ravens Mum

I truly was his person....and mom.....he was my child.

He wouldn't heal and the other one went blind (no allergies)

I just chalked it up to bad breeding from a puppy mill

I appreciate your sentiments on this matter. I'm still at a loss and tell myself it was for the best.

They'll always have the biggest place in my heart and if I decide to do that again, I'll be better equipped.

What a terrible loss just the same.

It's never easy - not for anyone......not for me or for you.

But they'll always know the love was there.

Blessings

tmbarke,

I have loved and lost many pets from my childhood and beyond. But the pooch I have now is definitely like my third child. I have never connected with any other animal like him. And unlike my two-legged children, he never rebels, does things he shouldn't... and he won't be leaving home. We are on the verge of becoming empty nesters and I could not imagine losing him right now.

Ironically we just changed to Wellness lo calorie. He is almost ten and could stand to lose a few pounds, and we were having trouble finding his "regular" brand (Wysong - its suddenly not available in many stores).

anyways, I hope when the time is right, another four legged child will find their way into your home and heart.

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tmbarke,

I have loved and lost many pets from my childhood and beyond. But the pooch I have now is definitely like my third child. I have never connected with any other animal like him. And unlike my two-legged children, he never rebels, does things he shouldn't... and he won't be leaving home. We are on the verge of becoming empty nesters and I could not imagine losing him right now.

Ironically we just changed to Wellness lo calorie. He is almost ten and could stand to lose a few pounds, and we were having trouble finding his "regular" brand (Wysong - its suddenly not available in many stores).

anyways, I hope when the time is right, another four legged child will find their way into your home and heart.

It certainly is ironic when an animal is more of a soulmate than a fourlegged friend.

Thank You deeply - I'm feeling empowered with educating myself on something I had no clue about but am finding it slammed in my face hard........and it's a rude awakening.

I'm more sensitive now and always have a big heart for animals - so I'm sure I can do this again as long as I'm not allergic (My first allergy) so a poodle may be my only breed - just like my Earl and TJ.

I deal with that allergy thru meds. But not enough to live with.

Blessing to all that have the big hearts for animals and the owners with loss

I'll use the gluten free dog food for sure next time.

GB

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