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Messages - shingigz

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No problem..

Yes Lily's Kitchen use carrageenan in their organic ranges, but not in the non-organic varieties - they use other thickeners / gelling agents in those and, so far, my dog has been fine on them.

I asked Forthglade (knowing that they don't have to declare carrageenan on any labels, and knowing how my dog had suffered after his first and only meal of Forthglade) what thickeners / gelling agents they use in their wet dog-food trays, and I gave them a list of examples.  Forthglade replied and said they use only carrageenan.

Pet food companies in the UK don't have to declare carrageenan on their products.

From Lily's Kitchen to me:

"Carrageenan is common in many pet and human foods, though it is not a legal requirement that it is declared. However, we like to be as transparent as possible which is why we include it on our label."

From Forthglade to me:

"The seaweed extract we use is carrageenan, which is a natural product you could whip up at home, but we don't use any of the others."

I was holding off mentioning this until I had heard back from the company FORTHGLADE...

My dog's worst ever episode occurred five months ago, the day after I had given him a new food to try.  I had bought a pack of Forthglade tray foods (duck variety).   I thought I'd try Forthglade because the ingredients looked decent, and because I suspected at the time that the Lily's Kitchen Organic wasn't agreeing with him.  I put his dreadful ensuing symptoms down to introducing the new food (Forthglade) without phasing it in gradually, although I had done this on other occasions without issue.

I wondered if the food was 'off' as it had an unhealthy-looking grey pallor, and my dog didn't wolf it down like he has done with every other food I have ever given him - he looked up at me, and then ate it slowly without enjoyment.  I remember it clearly from five months ago.  I didn't give it to him again as the next day he was ill.

It was only last week after doing a lot of thinking and remembering that I wondered if Forthglade might contain carrageenan.

I emailed the company last week out of curiosity, and I have just checked my email.  They tell me they do use CARRAGEENAN as a thickener / gelling agent. 

It is now three weeks since I removed Lily's Kitchen Organic, containing CARRAGEENAN, from my dog's diet.  He is like a different animal.  His stomach has remained settled and his daily foul gas emissions have ceased.  I have now gone back to feeding him twice a day - first thing in the morning, and again at 7 pm. 

I have noticed other improvements in him:  His breath has improved a lot!  Also he had a slight ear odour before, and that has gone.  His 'doggy smell' has gone.  It is as though this noxious ingredient was affecting every cell in his body and escaping any way it could.

I bathed him seven days ago and he still smells like a freshly-bathed dog.  I combed him last night and the comb slipped through his thick double coat effortlessly (except for his tail which is always the hardest part to comb).  Usually the comb snags throughout his thick, greasy coat, and combing carefully can take some time.  The greasiness of his coat has not built up yet; previously it built up quickly.  His coat is looking and feeling silkier.  Friends have noted that he looks 'perkier' and 'livelier'.

Carrageenan (E 407) is used in lab animals to induce inflammation and inflammatory disease.  As far as I am aware, from all that I have read, the ingredient does have to be declared on pet food labels in the US, but not in Europe.

General discussion / Re: Freezing canned dog food?
« on: Apr 24, 2019, 10:40 »
From Customer Services:  I can advise that our cans and pouches have been gently steam cooked and have not been designed to be frozen so would not know how much nutritional value would be lost by freezing them or how this would affect the quality of the food. Once opened they can be kept in the fridge and used within 48 hours.

General discussion / Re: Freezing canned dog food?
« on: Apr 24, 2019, 10:07 »
Thanks.  I have dropped them a line and will report back what they say.  I just wondered if anyone else did this as there isn't much info on it on the internet.

Thanks.  It's too important not to share!  What helps the most is writing everything down.  It makes me wonder if most dogs and cats that end up at the vets with chronic problems are there due to their diets. 

My cat had eight weeks of diarrhoea at the end of last year and, by writing everything down and analysing ingredients and trying different foods, I found out that it was rosemary extract that caused it.  The diarrhoea stopped the moment I gave her foods without it.  Rosemary and rosemary extract are in so many pet foods.  I avoid it completely for my dog now, too.  He is smaller than my cat and I just don't trust it.

It's not just the major proteins that pets can be intolerant to, but even those ingredients towards the end of the lists.  I am wary of all foods.

Raw feeding / Re: Day 5 of a diet including raw
« on: Apr 23, 2019, 20:02 »
It could be the weather, I suppose.  I'm just making observations at the moment and trying not to make any assumptions.  If I hadn't changed his diet, I would still have been very surprised to see this level of moulting.  He is certainly looking well in every way and somebody commented on this today.  I did bathe him the other day though!

His diet was riddled with carrageenan for a few months, which caused havoc with his digestion, and this ended recently so he is definitely on the up, healthwise.

Raw feeding / Day 5 of a diet including raw
« on: Apr 23, 2019, 12:44 »
Male long-haired Chihuahua, 6 lbs, age 2 years and 8 months.

I have started giving him three Natures Menu Raw nuggets (venison variety) for his middle meal of the day.  I feed him three times a day, six hours apart.  His other two meals are currently Barking Heads wet and Lily's Kitchen wet (NOT the organic variety, which contains carrageenan and has made him suffer  :().

At the moment, he is doing well, and I will update if things change and if I observe anything unusual.  If he continues to do well I will keep him on this regimen.  I don't intend for him to be fully on raw nuggets, as I like him to have a variety of nutrients and foods.

He enjoys the raw food, and has had no adverse reactions.  His poos have changed to: less frequent, firmer, drier, smaller, crumblier and odourless.

I have noticed that he appears tired after his raw meal, and goes off to bed for a nap, but he has only had four days of part-raw so far, so I don't know if there is a link and I am not concerned about it anyway.

I weigh him daily, and he is gaining a bit (now over 6 lbs 3 oz already), so I have cut down on the amount of the other two (wet) meals.

I noticed that after Day 2 he was shedding a lot of hair (for him) on his back end and back legs.  This could be the recent warm weather, but I have had him for 16 months and have not seen this before, even in the long hot summer of 2018.   He has previously shed lightly all year round, but now I am combing out clumps.

General discussion / Freezing canned dog food?
« on: Apr 22, 2019, 21:58 »
My 6 lb dog has three meals a day.  Recently I have been giving him Natures Menu raw frozen nuggets for his middle meal.  For his other two meals, I am thinking of buying a 600 g can of Natures Menu Country Hunter occasionally, which would last him a whole week (including the raw), and save me some money.

I was thinking of buying some freezer tubs and portioning a day's worth of food in each, weighing them out straight after opening, and storing some in the fridge and some in the freezer.

I wonder if the food would freeze and thaw well and still be appetising and fit to eat... and if does anyone else do this?

My 3-y-old 6 lb male Chihuahua started out on Royal Canin dry food for Chihuahuas before I got him at 16 months old.  Since then he has had no grains, no sugars, no ‘meat or animal derivatives’.

I changed him over to Natures Menu Country Hunter wet food pouches, and he continued to do well.

After about six months, I changed him to Lily’s Kitchen wet food trays because these were more readily available to me, and there were no adverse effects (at first).  I would give him a variety of LK trays, including the Organic variety, which I increased to every other day.

He started to get loose, and more frequent, mucousy stools.

I suspected his food was not suiting him.  Maybe the LK Organic was too rich...  I then gave him a half-wet-half-dry diet (the dry was Barking Heads small breed, grain free) so he had LK wet trays in the morning (alternating organic with non-organic trays on different days) and dry in the evening.  After that his stools firmed up, but were often bright yellow, and often normal consistency but marbled brown and yellow. 

I emailed the company and they told me that they had never heard of this problem with their food.  With hindsight, his stools firmed up not because he was eating half dry food, but because it meant he was eating less of the LK Organic.

At some point last year he developed occasional symptoms (about six episodes in total) in the morning which included, but not all at the same time, gurgling stomach, vomiting bile (twice had specks of blood in it), loss of appetite, shaking, gulping, head-bobbing, licking the air, licking the carpet, strange posture, yelping, frantic running, once even eating his Vetbed!  His symptoms would clear up after he had eaten, but he would lose his appetite during the episodes, and he would get worse if he didn't eat.

I took him to two different veterinary practices where he was given an anti-nausea injection and I was told by both to feed him Chappie to settle his stomach and come back next day if he didn’t improve.  He improved as soon as I got home.

I strongly started to suspect it was his food that was the problem and, eventually, specifically CARRAGEENAN in the Lily’s Kitchen Organic.  Carrageenan is an unnecessary and dangerous thickening agent used to make the food look prettier.  It firms up the product to make it loaf-like.

I have recently removed the LK Organic / carrageenan and, so far, he has been right as rain.  He used to also do wicked-smelling farts two to four times a day, and now does none.  His stools are perfect in colour and consistency.

I now keep a very detailed food and symptom diary which includes every single thing he eats, the time he eats it, the amount he eats, and any symptoms at all.  I have eliminated the dry food, too, and feed him three times a day instead of two.

I now email all companies BEFORE I feed my dog (and cat) on a new food to ask them if their food contains carrageenan, and what other thickeners their food contains, because they don't have to declare them on pet food labels.  Please do this if your pet has any of the above symptoms I mentioned.  If a food contains carrageenan, don’t feed it to your pet.  It can cause inflammation (anything with ‘itis’ on the end of it refers to inflammation) and severe digestive upset, and I believe these are the milder, short-term symptoms.

It is hard to find a dog food that contains no thickeners at all (Barking Heads uses none, and Meowing Heads for cats has none).  Some companies use cassia gum, xanthan gum, guar gum, locust bean gum as thickening agents.  After an absolute ton of research, I believe these are less harmful by far than carrageenan, and some or all may not cause harm.

He is still eating some LK non-organic foods that I have in the cupboard, which contain either locust bean gum or cassia gum, and he has been well ever since dropping the organic version which contains carrageenan.

Lily's Kitchen is up front about naming thickeners on its labels, but not all companies are.  It is best to check with them with a simple email before you feed their food to your pet.

Thank you!

Dog food really is a minefield!

Hi everyone.  I have a dog which has in the past had a few episodes of digestive issues, which I believe I am on my way to solving.  I thought I would join the forum and try to help others with my findings, but would like to 'find my feet' first!

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