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Messages - kez_sparky

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Dog foods / Re: Puppy food (2-3 months)
« on: Mar 19, 2016, 17:01 »

Congratulations on your new puppy!  When I got my pup I went through a journey with food starting with James wellbeloved and going through barking heads, barking heads grain free, Aatu and finally Akela which I feed for breakfast then she has raw for tea. 

I feed Akela (all 3 varieties) because it's a really good food and one of the cheapest of this quality (There are some great treats on their website too).  However depending on your budget you could try Aatu - it is quite a bit more expensive than Akela but the 3 varieties are single source protein so you can avoid fish - the varieties are Salmon and Herring, Free run Chicken and Free run duck.  It's not so expensive if you are thinking of mixing with your other food or using it as a bit of a change.

Dog foods / Aatu for cats!
« on: Sep 14, 2015, 21:56 »
Hi everyone,

as we don't have a cat food site I just thought I'd let people know that Aatu now make cat food - it's 85/15.  A little on the pricy side but hey ho!

Dog foods / Re: Help! What do I feed my dogs?
« on: Sep 14, 2015, 21:53 »
I have tried lots of different foods with my spaniel on the road to finding a decent feeding regime (luckily she is not a fussy eater!); like you I had no idea dog foods could be so variable in quality. 

I tend to use Aatu, Akela and Barking Heads (all varieties) and I think they are all great quality - Akela is the least expensive but it does have a variety of protein sources in the original so might not be suitable if your dog is sensitive to particular meats.  Aatu is expensive but it's a really good quality single protein food and actually you don't need that much of it so it's really not a huge cost, and as the others have pointed out it's for all life stages so would be ok for your pup too.

When I first started my dog on 80/20 foods it took a bit to get the amounts right - too much causes runny stools which could be mistaken for a problem with digestion or the food not agreeing with the dog when really it's just too much food for the gut to absorb.  Eventually we got it right but I've never paid so much attention to my dog's stools!

Good luck with whichever you decide!

General dog chat / Re: Soft toys
« on: Jun 04, 2015, 23:02 »

My sprocker also loves soft toys but all the dog toys I have ever bought last no more than a few days - she likes to pull the stuffing out and spread it all over the living room  :o

A solution I have found is to spend more money but on a toy made for kids - you have to be careful not to get one without a hard plastic nose or eyes but I have found they last soooooo much longer.  In fact she's got a bagpuss toy and a Marie (from Aristocats) that she's had since she was a puppy.  They are a bit worn out but in one piece which is a bit of a miracle!

I think they have much stricter quality controls on kids toys...

All about cat food / Re: Poorly cat...
« on: Apr 21, 2015, 09:50 »
Thanks for the advice, I'm definitely considering a full switch to raw but it's going to be really difficult with the other cats so I think I still need to have a good dry food incorporated. Other people have also said their cats have done well on Burns and it definitely has the advantage of knowing exactly what's in it.

I'll let you know how I get on!

All about cat food / Poorly cat...
« on: Apr 18, 2015, 17:15 »

Sadly there is no comparable site like this for cat food so I'm asking a favour of anyone who has any advice about cat food...

My cat is 12 years old and about 18 months ago he lost a lot of weight very fast (2.5kg in 2 months - from 6.5kg to 4kg), he then continued to lose weight but a lot more gradually and levelled off at 3.5kg (he is a big cat so 4-4.5kg is really the weight he should be).  He was vomiting every other day and his stools were very loose.

Obviously I took him to the vet and after extensive testing including x-rays and multiple blood tests which caused my cat (and my bank account) great distress the vet told us that he could find nothing systemic to indicate the problem.
Anyway the vomiting slowed and eventually stopped - his stools were still loose but he was holding his weight. After his annual trip to the vet a couple of months later where he had his boosters as usual - the problem started again.  We have tentatively concluded that he had a reaction to the boosters as when we enquired about this, though the vet was sceptical, he informed us that 2 years ago the booster formulation they use had been changed.

So currently we have a cat who weighs 3.2kg, has intermittent vomiting (a bout of 2 or 3 times every couple of weeks) and frequent loose stools (I know this because Coco my dog thinks it's a delicacy).

We have tried to only feed him wet food so as not to put any extra strain on his kidneys but as I have several cats he does eat the biscuits I put out which I've changed to meowing heads because they were previously on science diet (which is as crap as the dog food as I understand it). He has also had a variety of cooked chicken, tuna, and the new attempt to get him to put on weight is to have some raw chicken mince from natures menu which he loves.

Anyway I was looking for something which is gentle on the digestive system and I came across Burns adult/senior cat biscuits (chicken and brown rice), the ingredients are:

Brown Rice (46%), Chicken Meal (37%), Maize, Chicken Fat, Chicken Livers, Seaweed, Vitamins & Minerals.   

As I understand it cats are obligate carnivores so need meat in their diet so I was a bit worried about the rice but then apparently it's good for the digestive system even for cats.  Does anyone know anything about this because I'm totally lost.

Any advice would be really appreciated!

General discussion / Re: Evolution & Natures menu wet food
« on: Mar 25, 2015, 23:05 »
Hi Bexter458,

I sometimes feed my spaniel natures menu country hunter tins and they are not chunks in jelly or gravy they are just the meat - sort of a pate I guess you could call it so your collie might go for it.

Pets at home sell country hunter as single tins so maybe you could try just one tin to see if your dog enjoys it?

Sorry I have no experience of the other food you mentioned.

Hope this helps!   

I give my spaniel 1/4 - 1/2 a whole carrot most days because she just loves them.  I don't peel them, wash them or cut off the ends and have encountered no issues whatsoever!  She eats pretty fast but does crunch them up - I hadn't heard about dental benefits but I guess that's a bonus.  I give her raw beef ribs for the dental benefits though and they seem to work really well! 

Home cooking / Re: Home-cooked dog food recipes
« on: Mar 11, 2015, 11:24 »

Cows milk has much larger fat molecules than goats milk making it more difficult to digest, Cows milk also contain significantly more lactose so can cause problems for dogs (and people!) who have an intolerance to lactose.

Goats milk is actually relatively similar to human breast milk which means people are better equipped to digest it, obviously dogs produce milk which is composed differently (higher concentration of fat and protein) but dogs, like people, are able to digest goats milk far more easily than cows milk.

Having said that, as with all things, some dogs tolerate cows milk with no issues whatsoever - my dog has yoghurt made from cows milk (mixed with mashed ripe banana) now and again and she doesn't seem to have any issues with it (normal stools, no wind, etc).     

Raw feeding / Re: Raw Feeding
« on: Feb 28, 2015, 23:09 »
Apart from on this forum I've stopped telling people I feed my dog a raw (with some cooked veg) diet, I get looked at like I'm bonkers - I've even been told a couple of times that it's totally unnecessary and I'm wasting my time and money  :(
I believe the opposite - I like to know what's going into my dogs food.  I am fairly new to raw but I have been really surprised by the general negativity, I just want for my dog what I want for myself - a decent diet and a healthy life! 

General discussion / Re: Dogs that eat poo help !!!
« on: Feb 23, 2015, 22:43 »

Anecdotally I agree with the theory that dogs are attracted to poop when there is undigested food in it - usually from poor quality foods...

My dog doesn't eat her own poop (I feed Aatu, barking heads grain free and raw) but she will eat my mum's dog's poop - My mum recently switched over to barking heads (golden years in the morning and good hair day with pedigree (yuck) topper in the evening), She used to feed science diet and pedigree.  Since the switch over to barking geads my dog doesn't bother so much - she still does it but the intensity with which she did it before isn't there.

Hope you can persuade your friend to feed her dogs something better even if the habit doesn't subside!  Good luck!

There seems to be some disagreement over whether a single meat source is best or mixed/varied is ok; I'm sure that David has said somewhere on this website that it is better that the meat is from good quality sources (and named obviously) than that it is actually better to have only one meat source.

Just to compare some 5* ranked foods: Aatu has a single meat source (Chicken), Akela and Orijen have 4 meat sources (chicken, herring, salmon and turkey) and Eden has 5 (Chicken, salmon, herring, duck and white fish).

So is it important to have just one meat source or is it the quality that's important (obviously the 2 aren't mutually exclusive!).

General discussion / Re: Disgusting New Habit
« on: Feb 14, 2015, 19:10 »

My spaniel also has this lovely habit - have you experienced the oh so delightful 'poo burp' yet?  She usually manages to do this when she's right near my face, it's uncanny...

Apparently cat food has a higher fat content so their poo smells lovely to dogs, I haven't found a solution yet and I have several cats.  Teaching a really good 'leave it' command is, I've been told, the only real solution but although my dog is generally really well behaved I just can't pry her away when she's found something really tasty!

Good luck finding a solution anyway and let me know if you do  :)

General discussion / Re: Deal of the week
« on: Feb 06, 2015, 16:32 »
Just discovered that Pets at home are stocking Aatu!

They are currently selling Chicken 1.5kg bags for £13.00 (usually £15.00 at Pets at home, £14.90 medic animal) and the duck and fish 1.5kg bags for £15.00 from £16.99.

It's quite expensive but it is a 5* food; not found this size bag any cheaper than this offer, has anyone else?

General dog chat / Re: Cross breed snobbery...
« on: Jan 15, 2015, 17:21 »
I think there are irresponsible breeders and irresponsible dog owners.  Neither people who choose full breeds, cross breeds or mutts of questionable heritage ( ;)) have the monopoly on being reasonable, responsible or even just vaguely sensible...

My point is shouldn't we be encouraging people to think about what kind of dog they are taking on rather than being disparaging either way? 

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