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Messages - David

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I visited Markus Mühle last week and it really is a remarkable company. I will give a full write up in the next couple of days but in the meantime there's a brief summary on the facebook page.

General discussion / Re: Dried meat feed
« on: Dec 14, 2017, 08:27 »
Excellent discussion. Just to pick up on a couple of points:

Novadays there seems to be more and more dog food manufacturer that use a "dried meat". This is air (not freeze) dried meat. See Orijen "1/3 of meats are air dried at 90°C from fresh chicken, turkey and fish to create a concentrated source of richly nourishing protein". Have a look how Markus Muhle names its meat contens - "dried meat meal". I would think this dried meat is not the same as meat meal.

In general, the term 'dried meat' refers to meat meal. The terms are used interchangeably. You can find out more about meat meal here. Having said that, the 'dried meat' in Orijen does appear to be something different but I will contact them directly to confirm.

In section there is a specific requirement that if used in a dehydrated form, these are to be listed in order of weight before dehydration.

To clarify, this only applies 'when feed materials are used in concentrated or dehydrated form and are reconstituted at the time of manufacture' - i.e. when dried ingredients are used in wet foods which isn't that common. Otherwise, ingredients are always listed in order of weight at the start of manufacturer (what's called the 'mixing bowl principle').

Sincere apologies for the problems with the firewall. It was installed yesterday on the advice of our host, GoDaddy and has proved to be quite problematic here on the forum. Anyway, the issue should now be resolved but if you do notice any other issues at all, do please let me know

General discussion / Re: 'All life stages' - High Calcium
« on: Dec 11, 2017, 12:57 »
Sadly not yet 4max but we are working on it. Bear with us.

Thanks everyone. I managed to get to the bottom of the error in the end. It was only occurring on the review pages of products with a single variety so was easily missed. Still, all fixed now. Really appreciate everyone's help with this

Site help and suggestions / Re: Country of Origin filter
« on: May 10, 2017, 11:04 »
Thanks Meg, I'll add those to the next round of updates.

Dog foods / Re: "Better Bakers" ???
« on: May 03, 2017, 07:51 »
Many thanks Coaster, I'll certainly look into it

Although I support this study's overall message, it is far from conclusive. It only looked at two groups of dogs - one group fed on "a raw red meat diet (73% beef muscle, 10% beef liver, 5% bone chip, 5% beef tripe, 3.5% beef heart, 3.5% beef kidney, 0.2% mineral pre-mix)" and the other on a "commercially available kibbled diet". No further details are given about the kibble.

Fairly unsurprisingly the first group fared better than the second but whether this is necessarily due to the fact that the first group ate more meat or not is far from clear.

A study to accurately compare the effects of low and high meat intakes would require the two groups of dogs to be fed diets that were identical in every way other than the proportion of meat. That is clearly not the case with this study. The results could be nothing to do with meat intake and instead be an indication that fresh ingredients are better than processed, raw is better than cooked, low carb is better than high carb or even that low fibre diets are better for digestive health in dogs than high fibre diets.

Sadly studies like this tend to serve more to grab headlines and spearhead the marketing campaigns of the companies funding them than to actually further our understanding of canine nutrition.

Great thread and a complex subject so apologies if this turns into a lengthy post.

Personally I have no problem with grains per se and like many of you, I have always found certain forms (especially whole brown rice) to be very beneficial for a lot of dogs.

Other grains like wheat and, to a lesser extent, maize do cause problems for some dogs but from my experience, for dogs without intolerance to these specific grains, they can be fine and (particularly in their whole form) might actually be beneficial.

Regarding the rating algorithm, being grain free does not increase a food's score. The fact that most of the 'best' foods out there are grain free is more to do with manufacturers driving and responding to consumer trends than any proven nutritional benefit. I'll go more into this below but for now back to the algorithm:

Brown rice scores well; Oats, barley etc are more or less neutral; Maize is downgraded slightly; Wheat is downgraded more. This is because the scores are intended to indicate how healthy a food will be for the majority of dogs.

Scores for all ingredients (not just grains) also depend on the percentages present and high levels of any ingredient that could be regarded as a 'filler' reduces a food's score. For example, 5% white rice will score a lot better than 50% white rice and despite brown rice being a 'good' ingredient, a very high percentage will cost points.

So why are all of the top rated foods grain free? Well, in order to be successful a manufacturer has to give its customers what they want and right now most of the people buying the very top end foods are looking specifically for grain free foods. Grain has developed such a bad reputation over the last few years that putting it into a food immediately eliminates a huge section of the market. Even if a high-end producer found that adding grain to their foods would be beneficial to dogs, they just couldn't do it as it would mean virtual commercial suicide.

It is a positive feed back loop that probably started with some clever marketing by the early grain free manufacturers and has now resulted in grain being the bogey man of pet food.

I completely acknowledge that I too play my part in the loop. As you'll all know, one of the five 'at a glance' symbols on the site is whether a food is grain free or not. This wasn't originally the plan but with so many people specifically looking for grain free foods, I added the symbol to make their searches easier. This obviously creates the false impression that grain-free is an important characteristic to look for in a food on a par with natural or clearly labelled but this is not the case at all. Sadly, the balance between giving visitors what they want and what I think they should want is a difficult one.

Site help and suggestions / Re: Country of Origin filter
« on: Mar 17, 2017, 06:23 »
I thought it would be nice in the "type of food" to add a "single protein" option. Users can already (sort-of) do it by leaving only 1 meat source unticked in the "avoid ingredients" filter, but I thought this would be a nice add-on anyway... if it's not too complicated, of course!
This would actually help people who have dogs with food intolerance (even though I wouldn't trust a single protein food for a food allergy... but that's a separate issue).
Excellent idea Red_Akita. It will need a certain amount of programming and/or data collection to identify the single protein foods so it may take a little while but I will add it to the updates list.

Introductions / Re: Hello everyone!
« on: Mar 13, 2017, 09:08 »
I'm very happy to say that Red_Akita is going to be our newest moderator here on the forum as well as helping out with other elements on the site.

As he has mentioned, he has plenty of experience with dealing with doggy dietary problems and has actually decided to make a career change into pet nutrition! I for one can't wait to hear how the journey progresses!

Welcome on board Red_Akita. I'm sure you'll be a huge asset to our amazing community!

Site help and suggestions / Re: Country of Origin filter
« on: Mar 13, 2017, 08:58 »
No problem at all! More updates and features are coming soon but if there's anything else you would like to see added or changed on the site, do let me know.

Site help and suggestions / Re: Country of Origin filter
« on: Mar 10, 2017, 16:08 »
I should say, it's not yet rolled out to the mobile site

Site help and suggestions / Re: Country of Origin filter
« on: Mar 10, 2017, 15:35 »
Hi Meg,

Great ideas as always. The expanded food types filter has actually been on the cards for a while so with your post I decided to knuckle down and get it done. Let me know what you think.

The packaging filter will come later.

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