All About Dog Food Forum
Dog food and feeding => Dog foods => Topic started by: deuce22 on Oct 08, 2015, 20:05
For the last 3 years, I have been feeding my Staff a raw diet. However, I am now thinking of changing to a high quality kibble.
He is 9 years old now and up until he was 6 I fed him dry food along with an older dog I had. She died 3 years ago and I was told from the vet that she had issues with her Stomach and Kidneys, which was more than likely due to her diet.
I immediately started to look for better foods for dogs and decided to go the raw food route. My issue now is that he gains weight pretty quickly from raw food and never seems to be satisfied. I can give him his daily amount in one go and within 10 minutes he's searching around for more food.
I'm not 100% sure if raw food is the healthiest food for dogs, but the research seems to make sense. I know that the kibble I used to feed them was nowhere near top quality and I'm wondering if you can actually get a high quality kibble that won't lead to health problems in the future.
Hello and welcome to the forum. Your question is really interesting so thank you for asking it. I too have been feeding a raw diet (although not as long as you) and I have the same doubts about whether it is the healthiest way of feeding a dog. I am not aware of any research which proves that a raw diet is best for dogs but I am happy to be wrong if anyone can provide this.
Like you, I have had weight issues with my dogs and initially found it difficult to control their weight. With my second attempt, (much lower fat) the dogs lost weight and I wound up giving increasing amounts. However, my old dog who has never had her anal glands touched in her life (she is nearly 13 years old), has suddenly started with problems. I have therefore put her back on kibble because it has more fibre and her stools are better. I will know in a month or two if it has worked.
One of my other dogs has a gastric problem which is currently well controlled on a particular brand of kibble but possibly exacerbated by high protein so I took her off raw too. She gains weight very easily so I mix two versions of the same product (adult/weight control) 50/50 to bring the fat level down.
The youngest has been on raw too and I have taken her off it because I am not satisfied with the state of her coat. Having said all this, I know that many people think raw is great and that's fine but it may not be best for every dog.
Personally, I feel that if you choose a decent quality kibble that is appropriate to your dog's needs I see no reason why he shouldn't do well. There are some really good ones around these days and the majority are reviewed on the Dog Food Directory. You have a hungry dog and I know what that is like because mine are just the same (they are terriers too). Weight control is a problem with dogs like these. I read somewhere that it is carbohydrate that puts weight on but I can't remember the source of that information. However, kibble contains carbs and there is not much you can do about it so I tend to go for products in the lower fat range, maybe sub 12%. It allows me to give a bit more in quantity although it is always less than the lower recommended daily allowance. I tend to top up with something like lean cooked chicken or sardines in tomato sauce to add extra protein but without adding too many calories. David, who owns this website suggests adding very well cooked brown rice or oatmeal to help satisfy a hungry dog.
You can use the Directory to search for a good quality kibble and if you need help with that, please ask.
It is difficult to know what food is best, but I formed my own opinion after reading a lot on the subject. Dogs have been around for thousands of years and although they have evolved into what they are today, it's still just a small amount of time. They wouldn't have had access to all the stuff that's available today, they do not need carbs to survive and at they're wildest point, would have survived off eating meats, bone and fruits.
I initially started using 500g packs that were measured in the correct ratio of 80% meat 10% bone and 10% offal. I was then told by somebody that I should be feeding meaty bones instead of pre made packs, so I changed. Within a few weeks he was Scooting and had to take him to have his Anal glands expressed. I changed back to the packs, along with a mix of other things and he hasn't had any problems since.
I give him 2-3 chicken necks in the morning and then a full pack later in the day, sometimes changing this to green tripe chunks. He also has sardines now and again and some wet dog food a couple of times per week.
His weight is 24 kilos, but he is at his best around 20-21 kilos. If we go on holiday I have to put him in kennels and they won't feed raw food. I buy trays of dog food and he has 2 each day. After 10 days he will be 2 kilos lighter. I put him back onto the raw food and within a few weeks he's back up to 24 kilos.
The person I buy the raw food from told me to add lentils to his food to help with fullness and fibre. I may try that and see how he gets on.
I haven't done much reading on dry food, but read something yesterday which has me thinking twice about it now.
I know that what ever people are selling will be promoted be themselves, so you need to read as much as you can and come up with your own conclusion.
This was what I read about dry food.
The Problem with Kibble
Kibble alone is not a suitable diet for a dog for several reasons. First of all, dogs digest moisture through their intestines so even with fresh water available, kibble alone can lead to dehydration and urinary tract problems. Moreover, kibble contains many preservatives and fillers, all of which are unhealthy for your dog's health. A high quality kibble, however, can be a good supplement for a raw food diet or diet incorporating a high quality moist food. Dogs like kibble and it can help keep the teeth and gums healthy. The most natural kibble with whole ingredients and one that is low in grains is the best for your dog.
I don't want to add kibble as a supplement, I would prefer brown rice or lentils.
You and your dog are used to raw food and as you seem to have doubts about kibble it might be best to stick with what you know. I read your quote with some interest and wondered if you could supply the source of it? It is always useful to have scientific research to back up statements like this but often it is sadly lacking. What we have is an awful lot of rhetoric and personal experience. That's OK but when making a decision on what to feed your dog it makes it more difficult. There are no doubt millions of dogs that her kibble fed and perfectly healthy so IMHO it can't be as bad as they make out. Regarding the fluid issue, kibble can quite easily be soaked if that is a matter of concern to the owner. I do this for my dog with the stomach problem and it works very well.
Looking at the problem with your dog's weight, perhaps feeding less might help. Alternatively, try using meat that is lower in fat? Most committed raw feeders would not consider adding lentils or brown rice but if you feel it will help then it might be worth trying. Additional exercise might help too.
Sadly there is a lack of scientifically proven answers in the world of dogfood.
I have read lots of different ideas and theories but ultimately have to take a stance and be guided by that. Personally I try to take a similar approach to feeding my dog as I do myself. I try to stick to foods which are as unprocessed as possible. In her case that means raw, in my case, not so much! As least not with meat anyway. ;D
I do keep kibble in for treats or the occasional meal if the raw is not defrosted. I prefer not to use it often though, even if it has high quality ingredients. Some theories about baking causing carcinogenic changes to food (not necessarily in dog kibble) stuck in my head from years ago.Probably when I was younger and more impressionable but rightly or wrongly, I prefer to avoid large amounts. Before I knew much about raw, In the early days of dog ownership, I used the cold pressed kibble because of my worries about baking. This has pretty much guided my personal choices.
I agree with Tinyplanets. I feed raw because I want my dogs to eat food that has undergone the minimum of processing. I also worry about the carcinagenic issues around foods processed at high heat. David covers this in one of his Nutritional Articles under Acrylamide. I also think variety is important. As well as feeding a variety of raw meats (I use prepared raw not diy) I feed the occasional wet meal and some home cooking, the odd bone and occasional tin ofsardines. On the home cooking front I am not a cook but I put some meat covered in water in my slow cooker and leave it to do its thing, add some grated veg and sometimes rice near the end. Seems to go down a treat.
In the course of my research into dog foods over the last 18 months I have often asked myself having escaped from the marketing machine of the likes of Pedigree have I fallen into another, that of these smaller companies with their foods full of tempting ingredients. Then I remember as a child (a very long time ago) we had a dachshund. He was fed beast cheek (now a delicacy in Waitrose) liver and other bits and pieces. He was never ill and lived to be 18. What these companies do is erode our confidence.
I also think that feeding the same kibble every day must be like groundhog day for the dog. Imagine having the same highly processed meal everyday of your life.