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Messages - gemma

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Hello Steve - I would like to see small oily fish, such as sardines, included as a source of Omega 3 instead of the usual salmon (which I won't feed because of the high mercury levels in large fish). As far as I know, no-one provides this. Also organic options would be nice - also hard to find.  Personally, I won't feed anything with added synthetic vitamins and minerals, either, although I know this doesn't bother most people.

Feeding dogs with health problems / Re: Wet Food Additives
« on: Oct 05, 2020, 14:31 »
Vivann - re. gelling/thickening agents in wet food, this is one of the many questions I asked about my dog's food, which is carrageenan free. This is their reply "None required they’re just pure meat. We use meat broth which is made from the connective tissue this creates a kind of gelatine. So nothing other than the animal advised, no chemicals no additives".

The thing I like about it is there are no synthetic vitamins or minerals added - it's not cheap though and my dog needs more than the RDA to maintain weight!

Dog foods / Re: Temperature to cook tinned food
« on: Aug 25, 2020, 12:08 »
Thanks for replying, Dottie. I like to know as much as possible about everything she has, but I'm not overly concerned, as I guess it's at a significantly lower temperature than extruded.

Dog foods / Temperature to cook tinned food
« on: Aug 24, 2020, 18:28 »
My dog has 2 very similar brands of tinned food (just for variety). The latest addition, Fresco, claims to be gently steam cooked in the tins.  (Their raw is rated here, but not the tinned). Even though there's very little starch, I'm still curious about the temperatures involved, as I'm wary of high heats. What I find very strange is that this information, is, apparently, a trade secret & cannot be divulged in case competitors copy Fresco! In every other aspect, they've been helpful, so I let it go without making an issue about the lack of transparency.  So, if anyone has an idea of the likely temperature involved to "gently" steam cook, low starch tinned food I'd be grateful to hear.

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.

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