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Messages - gemma

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Dog treats / Re: Healthy dental chews?
« on: Aug 01, 2020, 13:12 »
My dog has air dried beef scalp. It softens very gradually as it's being chewed and, unlike most dental chews, lasts for ages and, of course, much healthier than Dentastix and similar rubbish. I've just bought her some with the hair on, but haven't tried it yet.

Introductions / Re: Feeding guidelines help, please
« on: May 30, 2020, 12:28 »
Yes, I'm just relieved it wasn't anything medical that was the cause. Now that I'm cutting her food down, she looks at me accusingly as if to say "where's the rest, then". There's nothing she likes more than shoveling things down her gob, which she thinks is a dustbin and treats as a receptacle for all manner of non-food items.

Introductions / Re: Feeding guidelines help, please
« on: May 29, 2020, 12:37 »
I've just used your calculator, which is extremely useful & supports what we thought about Gemma's tinned food's RDA being too low. I've been giving her 480g (as opposed to the recommended 240g)  plus a generous serving of oats, and she's gained 500g in 15 days, so now it's a case of trial and error to fine tune the amount. I 'phoned Fresco about their very similar new wet food range (as I'm thinking about buying both brands for variety) and mentioned this anomaly, as their RDA's are very low too, & they just said every dog is different. Perhaps these premium, expensive brands don't want to put people off if they work out the true cost per day. Thanks for all your help - it's much appreciated.

Introductions / Re: Feeding guidelines help, please
« on: May 21, 2020, 17:55 »
Sorry, Dottie - I'm not ignoring you - I replied to your last thread yesterday, but I must have pressed the wrong button, as it doesn't seem to have got posted.

I've already checked with Naturavetal about carrageenan and they confirmed there is none present, and nothing comes from China.

I googled Fresco dog food reviews and the first site to be listed was yours - seems you rate their raw at 98% - but I can well understand why you can't remember every product when there are so many.

I've had a better look at their new range of tinned and that, too, seems excellent. I've emailed them to ask about carrageenan and queried their RDAs too, as they're even lower than Naturavetals. I think the quality is about the same, but they've got a large selection, so I might mix products from the 2 companies, as I like her to have variety. (To those people who say dogs don't mind having the same thing every day, I would ask how they know).

I see We Cook for Dogs offer a 50/50 diet plan (50% home cooked with 50% commercial) which might be something I'll consider, but, at £190, I hope it's bespoke recipes.

Introductions / Re: Feeding guidelines help, please
« on: May 20, 2020, 14:33 »
Yes, a lot of the things he says strike a chord with me and I like the look of his herb blends The trouble is, a lot of the links on his website which I'd like to read don't work for some reason. I'll have to contact him, but, with the current hit and miss availability of ingredients, I'll wait a while - at least until I can hopefully get her weight up.

I think you said earlier that you weren't aware of anything that didn't contain any synthetic vitamins and minerals. I remembered that I'd found a BARF product that made a big thing about not doing so, but couldn't recall the name.  I eventually found it - don't know if you've heard of it, but its Fresco. Anyway, since I last looked, they've introduced a new range of lightly steam cooked wet food, again with nothing synthetic added.  I haven't worked out the carbs/calories, but, as the ingredients are similar to Gemma's Naturavetal, I would imagine there's not much difference.

The thing is, they're only saying 2% of body weight RDA, on average, with perhaps a 50% variation - which is even less than Naturavetal, so I really don't know what's going on.

I know I've been waffling on about how good I think Gemma's food is, but you're the experts, not me, so, if you've any reservations at all about it, I'd be grateful if you'd let me know - in case I don't go down the home cooked route. If you think essential vits/mins, etc. might be lacking without synthetic additives, if I gave her, for example, some of We Cook for Dogs' herb mixtures, could that result in a dangerous excess? Naturavetal list calcium 0.20%, phosphorous 0.14%, so I assume that's an acceptable amount and ratio?

Thanks again for taking the time to help me.

Introductions / Re: Feeding guidelines help, please
« on: May 19, 2020, 13:38 »
Me, again! I think I'll contact  We Cook for Dogs, because I like what he says and, on the one recipe listed on Vet Chef, no organ meat is included.

Referring to what I said earlier about Bakers, I remember, a few years ago, there was a TV programme about dog food, featuring a so-called expert canine nutritionalist. Rather than exposing the rubbish brands, he advised against buying expensive food, as all dog food had to meet certain criteria. He held up a tin of Pedigree Chum, clearly showing the ingredients as cereals & M&A derivatives and a bag of Asda smart price kibble as examples of what it was OK to buy. What a missed opportunity to enlighten owners and I dread to think how many dogs suffered, and continue to do so, because of it.

Introductions / Re: Feeding guidelines help, please
« on: May 19, 2020, 12:40 »
I certainly will. I've got a lot to think about - I just hope if I go down the home cooked route that madam approves of my cooking

Introductions / Re: Feeding guidelines help, please
« on: May 19, 2020, 09:36 »
I'll obviously have to do a lot of research, but, from the links, it seems like I might be able to get home cooking right. I'll definitely look into it for her. I had to smile when I read that the PFMA say pet food is highly regulated to ensure that it is of utmost quality, as it made me wonder how on earth Bakers, with their 'might as well boil up an old leather boot' protein sources, are allowed to trade. I could never have found out all this very useful information by myself, so thank you. 

Introductions / Re: Feeding guidelines help, please
« on: May 18, 2020, 19:59 »
Hello Dottie - the link to Honey's is very interesting - not that I can pretend to understand all of it by any means. I'm not brave enough to feed raw and I won't attempt home cooked for exactly the reasons you state - I'm not confident I could produce a balanced diet & would probably mess it up.  Naturavetal guarantee all their food is additive free - "Genuine vitamins and natural minerals provide the best nourishment for the body,  so a natural, biologically appropriate dog food like Canis Plus Complete Dog Food contains only the all-natural vitamins and minerals with no synthetic additives at all".  She loves their wet food and I know it tastes nice because I tried a bit. My only issue with it is her weight loss, but if, as it now seems, that is due to incorrect RDA guidelines, I hope the increased amount, together with the oats you suggested, rectifies that.

Getting back to the vitamins, though, am I correct in assuming the FEDIAF only issue guidelines, as opposed to regulations which it is mandatory for producers to adhere to? I get the impression from the alternatives you've kindly suggested that you perhaps consider it is not possible for a non-raw food to naturally contain everything essential. If this is the case, I'll pester them yet again and ask precisely what tests they've undertaken to ensure consistent nutrient levels.

Thanks again for your help - I must be taking up a lot of your time.

Introductions / Re: Feeding guidelines help, please
« on: May 18, 2020, 13:52 »
Thank you, David - and for the Ohio University link, which, from a quick look, I can see is very useful. I'll read it thoroughly. I too wondered if the RDA was perhaps on the low side because the food is not cheap. I did contact them and they replied: "I wouldn’t worry about the feed quantity; Gemma’s requirement is at the higher end but, like people, some of us need more, some less. As we only use natural ingredients, there will be no nutrient overload, any unrequired excess will be passed out the other end".  They've always been extremely helpful with the numerous other queries I've interrogated them about, but double the amount does seem to me to exceed 'the higher end'.

I'd already read your article about DCM and I can see the logic behind the scare being a red herring. I also totally disagree with the FDA's advice to stick to the market leaders' products, none of which I would even let Gemma sniff, let alone eat.  The only trouble is, as I am paranoid as far as her health is concerned, if there's even the remotest chance diet is contributing to the DCM increase, I don't feel I can risk it.

I'm not sure if I can reply to Dottie's post separately, so, regarding Different Dog, my problem with that is the added synthetic vitamins and minerals.  This is a link to a vet's article and I'd be interested in what you think - if you have time - .

Here's a couple of questions I emailed regarding her current food and their response:-

However, without added vitamins, are the foods tested to ensure they provide all the necessary vitamins, minerals and amino acids?
Absolutely, because we prepare at low temperatures the nutrients survive.

You say "without unnecessary additives", which implies there are some additives, so please tell me what they are.

We're just highlighting that additives are unnecessary, we don’t use them in dog food. Some additives are theoretically natural we still don’t use them. If the ingredients are appropriate and carefully prepared then no additives are required. The use of additives of any kind are usually a signal that short cuts have been taken somewhere. 

I must say what an excellent service you are providing for dogs by having this website, but I think you'll probably agree that I ought to change my username from my dog's to "nightmare"!

Introductions / Re: Feeding guidelines help, please
« on: May 17, 2020, 11:05 »
Hello again. I did consider Butternut and Different Dog, as I really like the idea of fresh food and the fact that Butternut say they have natural added vits & minerals is a big plus. The only trouble, for me, is all their recipes are packed with legumes, etc. & the DCM question would concern me. I know both these foods, and Tribal, are vastly superior to the majority, and my dog owning friends get a glazed look in their eyes when I waffle on about the rubbish in most dog food - with probably some justification, they all think I'm bonkers! For now, I'll do as you suggest & add some oats in the hope she gains weight.

Once again, thanks for your help.

Introductions / Re: Feeding guidelines help, please
« on: May 16, 2020, 19:25 »
Hello and thank you so much for taking the trouble to reply in so much detail. It's much appreciated.

I fed my pup Tribal as soon as I weaned her off  the cheap muck the breeder was giving her. Then I read about the potential link of sweet potato with DCM and, as it contains 35%, I wasn't prepared to take the risk. After also reading about the cumulative detrimental effect of feeding the artificial vitamins and minerals contained in virtually every dog food every day, I started searching for an alternative. I soon realized most food contained something on the FDA list and the only product I could find that didn't, and that crucially had no added vitamins and minerals and no carrageenan, was the one she's having now. I realize some reported dangers are just scaremongering (my vet tells me I read too much!) but I worry if I think she's having anything that could even remotely harm her and I need to be 100% happy about her food, which is why I don't want to change to anything else.

I am reassured to hear that you think 240g is a small amount for her and I take your point about the carbs, as this food has only 4.4%  (if I've done the sums correctly).

I'll certainly take your excellent advice and start giving her some rice or oats in the hope that she gains weight, which, if she does, will stop me fretting about any underlying medical cause and I'll let you know next time she's weighed.

Introductions / Feeding guidelines help, please
« on: May 15, 2020, 16:06 »
Hello, I'm a new member and would welcome some advice.

I switched my 14 month cockapoo from cold-pressed to a top quality canned (which doesn't appear here) about 2 months ago. I fed her the recommended amount, but, when weighed prior to being spayed, about a month later, she'd lost about 700-800g. Her previous, ideal weight was about 7.6kg. I gradually increased the amount from the recommended 240g per day to about 420g, but, when she was weighed 2 days ago, she'd gained less than 100g. Her weight was constant on her old food.

The recommended amount on the tin is 3% of body weight. However, I found an online calculator to roughly work out the calories per 100g, which amounted to 97. This also said that a 7.6kg dog needed about 477 calories per day, which, if I've worked it out correctly, is about 490 grams per day.

If the calculator is correct and the feeding guidelines wrong, that's fine; otherwise, I'm a bit concerned as to why she needs so much food. Blood tests are OK and she's wormed regularly. Below is the contents of one of the varieties she has and I'd be grateful for any views:-

    Turkey meat and offal 52% (muscle meat 49%, heart 19%, stomach 14%, throat 9%, liver 9%)
    Turkey meat broth 20%
    Coley 15%
    Parsnip 8%
    Apples 2%
    Hempseed oil 1%
    Eggshell powder 1%
    Watercress 0.5%
    Spirulina algae 0.5%

    raw protein 11.40%
    fat content 4.90%
    raw fibre 0.60%
    raw ash 2.00%
    calcium 0.20%
    phosphorous 0.14%
    moisture content 76.70%
Free of synthetic additives, preservatives, dyes, fillers Gluten free and GM Free

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