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Messages - shingigz

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1
Quote from: shingigz on May 01, 2019, 09:39
"Thanks to the recent upsurge in interest on the matter [carrageenan], Forthglade are now trialling alternative stabilisers so I'd say that's a great result."


It's good to hear this, and it will be a great result if they actually carry through with it.  If thickeners aren't labelled, I will still have to ask the company to check if it contains carrageenan before I give it to my dog.  I have let Lily's Kitchen know about this.  Hopefully they will be feeling the heat, too.
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Just to add I've received this back from Lily's:

>>>"Carrageenan is a natural polysaccharide that is extracted from seaweed. It is widely used in the food industry, for its gelling, thickening, and stabilising properties. It is also commonly used as a vegetarian or vegan alternative to gelatin.
 
While anything could be harmful in excess, we only use a very small amount of undegraded carrageenan in our food.
 
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.
 
We work closely with experts and vets to create all of our recipes, and without the inclusion of carrageenan, our wet food would have a watery consistency, due to the natural moisture content of the ingredients we use. All of our food is made in accordance with the guidelines set out by FEDIAF and the appropriate laws governing the European pet food industry. "<<<

They also said they would pass on my feedback (namely, that I do not wish to feed my dog carrageenan or any other similar 'thickener') to the relevant team.

I had the same reply from them early in March 2019, word-for-word (below).  So they must be used to customers  asking them about their use of carrageenan.

"Carrageenan is a natural polysaccharide that is extracted from seaweed. It is widely used in the food industry, for its gelling, thickening, and stabilising properties. It is also commonly used as a vegetarian or vegan alternative to gelatin.
 
While anything could be harmful in excess, we only use a very small amount of undegraded carrageenan in our food.
 
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.
 
We work closely with experts and vets to create all of our recipes, and without the inclusion of carrageenan, our wet food would have a watery consistency, due to the natural moisture content of the ingredients we use. All of our food is made in accordance with the guidelines set out by FEDIAF and the appropriate laws governing the European pet food industry."

2
Dog foods / Re: New here! Advice please
« on: Jun 10, 2019, 22:20 »
I have been through an elimination diet with both my chihuahua (bad digestive trouble) and my cat (chronic diarrhoea), and found the culprit for both in the end.

I would suggest you try one food with a good percentage score on the Dog Food Directory.  If he has a reaction (and even if he doesn't), write down and keep a list of all the ingredients in this food.  I would stick with one food only, and give no treats or extras.  He probably won't get bored of a good food that he enjoys.  If you give one food only for a while without treats or extras, you will be certain that nothing else is in the equation.

You can introduce a different food later and do the same steps.  Eventually you will have lists of ingredients to compare and if he itches on some of them, you may see a common link in the ingredients of the foods that caused the itching.

If you find a food that agrees with him, there would be no rush or real need or concern to introduce something new, quickly.

He seems to have an allergy, so you will need to keep lists and notes to help you out in the future.

3
General discussion / Re: NEW RATING ALGORITHM... finally!
« on: Jun 09, 2019, 09:33 »
I sometimes feed my nearly-3-year-old 2.75 kg dog Barking Heads wet food pouches.  If he has this exclusively, he has less than half of a 300 g pouch per day, it costs me around 80p per day .  The directory calculates that it would cost £2.50 per day.

I like this dog food as it doesn't contain any thickeners at all, and I wouldn't want people put off it thinking it is more expensive to feed than it is.

Having said this, I am yet to find a 300 g pouch that contains more than 260 g of actual food.  I have weighed the contents of many a dog and cat food, and the weight of the pouches themselves is included in the total, and then some.

 


4
Dog treats / Re: Healthy dental chews?
« on: May 31, 2019, 12:02 »
I buy Lily's Kitchen Woof Brushes.  I have a chihuahua.  Instead of buying a small single Woof Brush at £1.29 each, I buy the large size, and cut them into four pieces and give him one piece a day (after his tooth brushing).  The large are twice the volume of the small.

Packs of 7 are currently 'Buy One Get One Half-Price' at Pets at Home.  With this offer my dog's daily Woof Brush works out at 22p per day and they last for four weeks.

It probably wouldn't do much for a large dog though.

5
General discussion / Re: NEW RATING ALGORITHM... finally!
« on: May 29, 2019, 09:40 »
I like the percentage method of scoring.

I think this directory is becoming much more known about among dog owners.  I hear it mentioned regularly on other websites and forums.  And, I was discussing dog food with a member of staff at Pets at Home last week and she was telling me that one of the foods we were discussing has been awarded 3.8.  I asked if she was referring to the allaboutdogfood directory, and she said yes.

I have found a fairly local supplier of Nutriment, but my tiny dog only needs 100g of raw per day.  Short of investing in an electric saw to portion it out for daily use, I don't see how I can buy a block of it make it usable.  So I continue with Nature's Menu nuggets, which score well.

Thank you for all of your hard work - it is worth it!

6
Thanks, Dottie.  The softly, softly approach is working.  I managed three tiny scrapes of his upper 'canine' teeth yesterday after the brushing; two scrapes the day before.

I gave him his third chicken wing yesterday morning.  He chewed it for 10 minutes and then left it, mostly uneaten.   

7
Raw feeding / Re: TB
« on: May 17, 2019, 19:25 »
My little dog is weird... I timed him and he took 13 seconds to eat his dinner (Natures Menu venison nuggets), and he is still, 11 minutes later, licking his bowl non-stop.

EDIT: I did say he loves venison nuggets - he has been licking the empty bowl non-stop for over half an hour now.  I never know whether to take it away or not.  When I do, the bowl feels hot with all that licking.

8
Raw feeding / Re: TB
« on: May 16, 2019, 14:56 »
Great... my 6 lb dog eats this, and loves it.  Maybe I should switch to lamb, salmon etc...

9
Thanks.  I've been using Plaque Off for several months, but I don't rate it on tartar unless it is extremely slow to work.  I did notice that his rotten breath improved overnight when I started using it though.  But when I changed his diet and stopped using the Plaque Off for a couple of weeks, his bad breath didn't return.  His previous diet made him very smelly all over, but now he's transformed.

I noticed a few specks of (his) blood on the tea towel this morning after he had finished eating the chicken wing.  I think that maybe he is getting a good dental from them rather than that they may be damaging his teeth. 

10
I gave him his second chicken wing this morning.  It took him 50 minutes to eat it, and I was surprised that he crunched and ate the whole thing.  And again, he kept it on the tea towel.  I left him to it and listened out for any choking noises, and glanced over occasionally, and he was fine.

I have been making good progress with the toothbrush and toothpaste.  He now, in exchange for half of a small Lily's Kitchen Woof Brush, has his teeth brushed every evening.  He doesn't like it, and I can't do a thorough job of it just yet, but I can see signs that he will accept it in time as just another part of the day, and that teeth-cleaning and Woof Brush will come to mean the same thing.

I even managed to very gently and lightly scrape the tiniest bit of tartar from near his canine-tooth gum-line with my tweezers.

His teeth are looking a lot better!


11
I think I would worry more about him having even a one-off anaesthetic and all it entails than giving him a weekly chicken wing (and observing him carefully, but not neurotically).  An anaesthetic, to me, seems like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.  Both are not without risk, I suppose.  Hopefully I will eventually win the 'war on tartar' by other methods.  I think it's better to do a little 'tooth work' every day, and he may come to realise that his treat straight afterwards is worth it.

12
Yes, it's a bit of a worry feeling that something may go wrong (swallowing sharp pieces, blockages, fracturing teeth); and it makes me feel irresponsible that I may be putting him at risk, so I don't know if I will continue with it.  I have read enough from people to quell my fears, but not entirely.  I would much prefer to give him raw carrots, but I feel they may be just as dangerous (for a 6 lb dog), if not more so.

13
Do you trim any fat/skin off them?  They don't seem to have much meat on them.

14
2-years-and-9-months-old 6 lb intact male long-haired chihuahua...  Fed wet food in the morning and raw complete in the evening.

He came to me at 16 months old.  A few weeks later, a vet opened his mouth and exclaimed, "What is it with chihuahuas and teeth?!"  That phrase has never left me...

He was unsocialised, unhousebroken and extremely fearful, and it was several months later after working on these things with him that I could start to turn my attention towards his teeth.  He flat out doesn't cooperate with toothbrush/toothpaste, but every day now I make tiny inroads into desensitising him with this method, plus with wiping them with a damp cloth.  But his jaw is so tiny with all of those impossible-to-reach teeth back there, and he clamps it shut.  His teeth are now somewhat improved with all my efforts, but he still has some tartar build-up.

I tried Tropiclean gel (didn't work), and I have been using Plaque Off for months (hasn't worked).

I gave him a raw chicken wing (skin on) at 9.20 am today, and he was gnawing away very happily for an hour.  He was left with a two-inch piece when he let me know he was done with it.  I placed the chicken wing initially on a clean pot towel and he did keep it on there.  He thoroughly enjoyed the chicken wing.  He growled when I got within seven feet of him, to let me know I wasn't to take it off him!  I managed to build a cage around him (his 4' x 6' pen) to stop him from wandering around with it and dragging it onto the carpeted area.

When done, I put him in the sink in an inch of warm water and cleaned his snout, ruff and feet with a pet wipe and water.

I am thinking of giving him a chicken wing once a week to help with the tartar, and at £2.50 for 12 wings, this is an economical dental method.  I will still be keeping up with my other efforts at cleaning his teeth every day.

If anyone has any concerns about the weekly chicken wing, or any advice, please let me know.

I gave him the chicken wing in place of his breakfast but I'm not sure if it is enough as a meal, which is usually 50 g of wet food.


15
From Barking Heads (Barking Heads, Meowing Heads, AATU) to me:

"I am please to say that all our wet food whether it is cat or dog is free from carrageenan and doesn’t contain any thickening ingredients, the jelly like substance you sometimes see in the pouches is the natural juices from the meat.

We will certainly take on board the request for smaller pouches for possible future changes however did you know the food can keep fresh in the fridge for up to 72 hours?"

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