Author Topic: Upsetting customer service dejection (Eden & MWH)  (Read 5560 times)

Rainmaker

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Hi guys,

I've kept, worked and occasionally bred various dogs for over 20 years now. Working terriers, lurchers, hounds, bulls and mastiffs predominantly. For most of that time I raw fed, and still do where possible. However my own failing health (kidney disease, ME and severe arthritis) are starting to hold me back and I'm waiting for surgery, plus dealing with our fab newborn daughter. As such I've been falling back to high quality dried foods to bridge any gaps.

Eden initially gave my older working terrier bad diarrhoea but I expected that. She was also rather overly energetic! We dialled back the amount (feeding her as a 5KG dog instead of a 7.5KG dog) and she bounced back beautifully. After a week her stool was solid, and she was in the best condition she'd been in for ages. I also tried a couple of other brands (our boerboel did very well on Fishmongers' Finest 60/40 before he died of a brain tumour last year), and this week ordered some Millies Wolfheart Hunter mix to see what it was like.

The reason for my query was because the feeding amounts recommended by the two companies (looking at kCal/day recommendations, not grams of food per day) varied massively. For our (worker to be) Malinois pup the two foods were recommending thus:

Quote
MWH Hunter Mix recommended at 240g: 364 kCal per 100g / 100 * 240 = 873.6 kCal/day
Eden Original recommended at 365g: 368 kCal per 100g / 100 * 365 = 1,343.2 kCal/day

With such a large difference I hit my old textbooks and found the relevant formulae for RER and MER and how it is applied to puppies. For example RER is usually given as ((30 * aKG) + 70) * b.c where b.c is generally 2.5 or 3.0 (for puppies under 16 weeks old); or RER = 70(xKG)3/4 * y. Waltham's formula for MER is given as 132*(xKG)0.75.

Either way I couldn't make much sense from the limited data on the manufacturers' websites as to how they arrived at their respective feeding guidelines. Small differences are to be expected, but with almost double difference between the two, I was worried about choosing the 'right' food for him and wanting to understand the whole process better. Not to say they are wrong in any sense (I'll make that clear!), rather I'm the curious type with an academic background and wanted to understand better how these things were worked out. Given that both foods are 80/20 and have a close kilocalorie content per KG, I emailed both companies to ask for some help, information and clarification.

Eden haven't replied at all (yet?). MWH did reply.

The rest of this message has been redacted as all relevant information is present and the rest isn't worth the hassle. Thanks. :)

Dottie

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Re: Upsetting customer service dejection (Eden & MWH)
« Reply #1 on: Jun 25, 2015, 17:36 »
Hello Rainmaker.  Having read, and re read your post, it seems to me that there are two issues here - one of feeding guidelines and the other regarding communication difficulties, mostly with one company.  I hope that you can understand that I cannot comment about any of your complaints in respect of the latter issue except to say that this particular company produces food specifically labelled for working dogs who presumably have high protein, fat and calorie requirements.   Whether this has a bearing on their recommended daily allowance I do not know.   

I help to administer this site but unfortunately I am not a nutritionist so cannot help on the subject of your calculations.  The only thing that I can say is that  I too have had dogs for many many years but I have never taken any notice of manufacturers' recommended guidelines.  In the past I have contacted various companies, as you have done.  On each and every occasion I was given an absolutely ridiculous figure which, if I had fed my dogs this quantity, would have caused them to rapidly gain weight.   

I prefer to match the food to the dog's needs and whilst high protein and fat dog food is quite popular right now, I find they are not appropriate for my three.  I tend to use the percentage of body weight calculation, as with raw feeding and start at 1%, increasing or decreasing by 10% as required (I weigh them regularly).  I have noticed that some companies are now advising owners to use this method of calculating requirements.  I have also seen advice to the effect that it is not possible to give precise amounts because it is dependent on the dog's needs.   This seems to me to be an honest approach. Of course none of this may be useful to you, particularly as you take a mathematical approach to this issue. 

David Green is a member of this forum who works for Eden and is supportive of this forum.  I hope that he will be along at some point to answer your posts in a more detailed manner than I can.  I hope that you soon get your dogs settled on the right food and the right amount.
Your post and comments may be helpful to others. Please remember to update your thread. Feedback to the forum is appreciated.

Rainmaker

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Re: Upsetting customer service dejection (Eden & MWH)
« Reply #2 on: Jun 25, 2015, 17:47 »
Hi, and thanks so much for taking time to reply. :)  Sorry I couldn't quote you, the forum said I was trying to post external links when I did. I assume the BB code for the 'link' to your message ID set off the filter.

I do hope David can help shed some light on the matter, so I'll look forward to hopefully hearing from him. As you say companies vary massively, and I've been aware of this (and fed 'by eye and condition') for years. However with the Malinois pup being high energy and destined for work and sport use, I wanted to ensure he got the 'right start'. I've only ever weaned and raised puppies on raw before now, which is ironically much easier as you say.

I only emailed the companies to ask for help/advice as the two were so diametrically opposed. I can certainly accept (and normally use) the 'x% of bodyweight' guideline. That said, since this is my first kibble raised pup and of a breed known for fast growth and potentially bad joints, I was confused as to the two recommendations. If one company says he needs around 850 kCal and another says he needs closer to 1,400 kCal/day then it would seem (to my untrained mind) that with one being double the other my pup could potentially end up being under or over fed, which I want to avoid. He's a greedy pup anyway so free feeding or 'feed until satisfied' definitely won't work for him.  ;D

He's a little too ribby atm really. There's nothing wrong with a lean pup, it's how I always grow them, but he's definitely veering 'too lean' at present and only grew 0.05KG in the last two weeks (12 weeks old to 14 weeks old)! Obviously that suggests he needs more calories, but MWH just said I was offensive to wonder about this and that I should stick to their suggestion of 850 because they know what they're doing. I didn't want to wait it out as obviously this is a critical growth period and if I waited another two weeks before asking for help, that'd be a month of almost no growth potentially - which could be damaging.

Dottie

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Re: Upsetting customer service dejection (Eden & MWH)
« Reply #3 on: Jun 25, 2015, 18:38 »
My breed is small and hardy;  when I have had pups feeding them has never been much of a problem.  They have had good food but no special requirements that I can think of.   I don't know the Malinois but I would imagine that as it is a large breed it's dietary needs will be different and there will be a need to protect the joints, particularly as they grow so quickly.

My friend recently bought a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy and was told by the (experienced) breeder not to encourage rapid growth by giving lots of protein.  The food that she recommended was one of the Royal Canin varieties.  My friend's vet agreed with this approach.  I have friends who have Labradors and have bred in the past - they tend to say the same thing.   It may be that MWH advise this amount because of the high quality of their food and because it is specifically made for working breeds.  The issue of potential rapid growth might also be relevant.

However, as you have said, you can judge the dog's dietary needs by looking  and feeling them.  If you feel that your dog is too lean then clearly you have to address that.  It is a difficult one and as you say, your expertise is in raw feeding so this is a little out of your comfort zone by the sound of it.  I wonder if you might be better off going back to raw feeding at least until you have your pup growing as you would like?  It might only be for a few months then you can tackle this kibble feeding issue at a less critical time of his life.
Your post and comments may be helpful to others. Please remember to update your thread. Feedback to the forum is appreciated.

David

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Re: Upsetting customer service dejection (Eden & MWH)
« Reply #4 on: Jun 27, 2015, 12:20 »
Hi Rainmaker and many thanks for posting. I'm really sorry to hear about your troubles in getting information from manufacturers - I come up against the same thing all of the time.

Although most manufacturers base their feeding guidelines on the energy requirements of dogs as suggested by FEDIAF (the European Pet Food Industry Federation) or AAFCO (the Association of American Feed Control Officials), manufacturers are essentially free to come up with their own figures any way they wish. This means that a few companies, especially some of the smaller 'cottage industry' ones, have feeding guides that are quite different from the majority. That is not to say that they are necessarily wrong, but different.

There are a few problems with strict calorific calculations - not all calories in a food can necessarily be digested and those that are can be metabolised at quite different rates. Then there are the dozens of macro and micro nutrients that might also affect how much of a food is best for a dog. As Dottie also mentioned, MWH is specifically aimed at working dogs which would certainly need more food than your average pet dogs.

With all dog foods, no matter how their guides are calculated, feeding by eye is always the best way to ensure that your dog gets the right amount for him or her.

I will give David Green of Eden a nudge to see if he can shed a bit more light on his company's approach.

Rainmaker

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Re: Upsetting customer service dejection (Eden & MWH)
« Reply #5 on: Jun 27, 2015, 12:24 »
Thanks very much. :)

Eden Holistic Pet Foods

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Re: Upsetting customer service dejection (Eden & MWH)
« Reply #6 on: Jun 27, 2015, 16:57 »
Hi all. I am currently on long weekend break in London, so have had limited internet access.



I was made aware of your email to Eden, and did send information to the office in order for them to reply, i may have been a little too late for them to forward that information on. I will put a reply on here later this evening, sorry for the delay

Eden Holistic Pet Foods

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Re: Upsetting customer service dejection (Eden & MWH)
« Reply #7 on: Jun 27, 2015, 17:48 »
I understand your confusion, and I will try and address this for you.

It would be difficult for us to comment on MWH guidelines or claimed
cal/kg since we don't know how they arrived at their results.

Our initial guides 3 years ago were based on "industry standard" guidelines that we were given by the nutritionist at the factory. We found after some research that these were based on guides issued by one if the big 4 manufacturers, and were really based on high grain content foods, this was way too much for dogs on an 80/20 diet, in fact we had to almost halve the amounts. These figures have been set based on customer feedback and the help we have provided when dogs have had some difficulty in the past.

I am confident that, after a few tweaks over the last 3 years that our adult
feed guide is fairly good as a starting point to within about 10% for a dog
with normal activity levels. As you say your own dog is much less active, so
the reduction to the 5kg level does make sense. And should be a good point
to start with some tweaks once fully transitioned. Dogs with greater activity levels will of course need more food, and we have a working dog feeding guide that is more appropriate.

I would accept however that our puppy feeding guide is rather over-generous,
and we are currently working on trying to improve these suggested amounts.
It is difficult because we have to factor in age, current weight, adult
weight (often wrongly estimated) activity levels among other factors, so it
isn't as simple as we would like.

What may be more useful to you is that we say approximately 9-10g of Eden is equivalent to 20g raw.

Hope this helps clarify things a little.

I will look through the calculations you provided earlier as that may help us come up with better puppy guides

Eden Holistic Pet Foods

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Re: Upsetting customer service dejection (Eden & MWH)
« Reply #8 on: Jun 27, 2015, 18:01 »
I will only make one comment on the information you were given by MWH, 32 to 41% protein isn't too high, as a raw feeder you are probably already aware that raw ranges from about 40% to 70% protein "by dry matter" (though far less when the water content remains).

Julie Markham

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Re: Upsetting customer service dejection (Eden & MWH)
« Reply #9 on: Jun 27, 2015, 18:08 »
I have also recently emailed MWH and Eden with mixed results.  I am trying to find a food that suits my Border Terriers and firms up their poos - and ideally puts some weight on one that is skinny over his ribs and back but is very muscular on his legs.   I have tried a number of foods including MWH Countryside and Eden Multi Meat but I am concerned that having to reduce the quantity to firm them up is not helping the underweight dog.

I also asked  MWH about calorie content and portion size.  I was looking at their Countryside Mix and Eden.  Both have similar calorie content ((350 and 368 kcal/100g) but varying recommended feeding amount for a 7kg dog.  MWH states 136g and Eden 87g.   Quite a difference.  I asked what the daily calorie content should be.  They did reply suggesting  I give them a call.

 I had tried a small bag of Eden, found all ok so I bought a large bag and now I am finding that their poos are very runny.  I emailed Eden who suggested 1) reducing the quantity, and 2) adding cooked potato or carrot, but this seems to defeat the purpose of a complete food?    I am concerned that feeding them less than 87g will not provide sufficient nutrition when they have long walks, like when we are on holiday.  I am now waiting for a further response from Eden on this.   

I am wondering if my boys would do better on a 60/40 recipe?  rather than the higher protein foods.  Any advice gratefully received.





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Re: Upsetting customer service dejection (Eden & MWH)
« Reply #10 on: Jun 27, 2015, 18:29 »
The reduced feeding amount, or added fibrous vegetables such as sweet potato (not regular potato) or butternut squash is usually only done as a short term assistance to help with the transition, my apologies if that wasn't made clear. The gut flora and enzyme levels need a little time to adjust, some dogs more than others, this is why we suggest spending 2 weeks with a gradual changeover. Some dogs can take a little longer, most can cope with much less time. A pro-biotic such as pro-kolin or Osmond's gut-rite can help as can Dorwest tree-barks powder.

We believe the long term benefits very much worth this initial effort during changeover for those dogs that need it

We do get the occasional dog that has intolerances to one of the ingredients (abut 2% of dogs appear intolerant to chicken) and that is often resolved by using one of our other varieties.

After transition then yes, it may be necessary tomfeed a little more on days of increased exercise, though if that is a regular occurrence then the overall daily amount may be slightly higher and it will average out over the week.

Rainmaker

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Re: Upsetting customer service dejection (Eden & MWH)
« Reply #11 on: Jun 27, 2015, 23:18 »
I will only make one comment on the information you were given by MWH, 32 to 41% protein isn't too high, as a raw feeder you are probably already aware that raw ranges from about 40% to 70% protein "by dry matter" (though far less when the water content remains).

David,

Thanks so much for your replies. I wasn't sure my email had actually arrived at the office, as I sent it from my phone. I really appreciate you taking time to reply in person. :)

You're absolutely right, of course. As someone who enjoys rabbiting as well as ratting etc my dogs have eaten more whole rabbits than I care to remember. Whole rabbits are in the order of >60% protein and are the original 'complete' food in the truest sense. As you said, by its nature a raw food diet (especially a whole foods / prey model type) will be very high in protein as, aside from some fat, minerals and water, animals aren't made of much else!

It was good to hear how you decided your feeding guide, and that you are considering revising the puppy guide a little. Your reply has given me increased confidence in Eden as a company (not that it was low to begin with), and I'll take everything you said into consideration.

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Re: Upsetting customer service dejection (Eden & MWH)
« Reply #12 on: Jun 28, 2015, 12:02 »
Glad the info helped, we always try to be as open as we can.

We essentially have an industry standard set of guides with a non-industry standard food; many of the previous rules and formulae don't apply, so we're having to re-write our own rules.


Dottie

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Re: Upsetting customer service dejection (Eden & MWH)
« Reply #13 on: Jun 28, 2015, 12:23 »
David - thank you very much for your response. As an ordinary pet owner I find these posts interesting and informative particularly as it gives insight into the pet food industry.
Your post and comments may be helpful to others. Please remember to update your thread. Feedback to the forum is appreciated.


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