Saturday, August 21, 2010

Rantings

OK, I have something to say. I didn't post yesterday because I was in a foul mood and it would surely have shown in anything I wrote. If you received an e-mail from me yesterday, I apologize if my mood came thru.

I was doing better today until I read something that set me off again and I'm going to write about it now, get it out of my system and hopefully get back to being my usual cheery, non-controversial self.

I have opinions, as do we all, and I have biases, as do we all. However, I do my homework and lots of research. I don't make outrageous statements based on unfounded rumors. I don't lie and I don't try to frighten someone into agreeing with me.

Why do some people feel it necessary when trying to make a point and convince others to see their point, to make unfounded statements or actual deliberate lies, or to frighten us? I don't like this behavior whether it applies to politics or dog food.

Today it applies to dog food. I know some people swear by feeding their dogs a raw diet. If it works for them, fine. It doesn't work for me and I've heard all the stories about why it's the only healthy way to feed an animal and how I'm killing my dogs by feeding them all sorts of scary things that the dog food companies scrape up off the streets to put in their products.

Now I'm not stupid. I know all dog foods aren't created equal. I know what's in the food I feed my dogs and I know what supplements I give them. So here is what I feed my dogs.


Seven of my dogs eat Science Diet products. The type may differ according to the individual's needs


Three of my dogs eat Blue Buffalo products.


Once a week my dogs each get a Brazil nut shaved on their food. Brazil nuts are the best natural source of selenium.


At least once a week my dogs get fish, usually sardines added to their food.


Their fish source may also be tilapia. They also each get one or two fish oil capsules daily.

Occasionally they get shrimp.


In season they get blueberries daily. If not in season, they get blueberry capsules.


They enjoy snacks of fruit, including apples and melon. Also oranges, strawberries or bananas.


They also snack on veggies rich in beta-carotene such as carrots and sweet potatoes and pumpkin. They also get green beans or peas, especially the dogs on weight control.




I make them a stew of turkey, rice or barley, carrots, green beans, and sweet potatoes. This is spooned over their kibble about once a week.

I am not a veterinarian or a canine dietitian. I discuss my dogs diets and supplements with their veterinarian several times a year. He's the one who suggested the Brazil nuts and blueberries. I read up on canine nutrition and I try to use common sense.

It is my opinion that the raw diet is dangerous. Raw food carries bacteria. A young healthy dog may handle it well, but what if your dog has an immune problem that you might not be aware of. This is especially important to me lately because of Samba's compromised immune system. Consuming certain bacteria, for example salmonella, could make her very sick, or perhaps worse.

Recently The Delta Society, one of the largest organizations of therapy dogs, has stated they will no longer let dogs fed a raw diet work as therapy dogs around hospitals and nursing homes due to cross contamination from the muzzle of the dog to a person with compromised immunity.

There are many articles written by veterinarians available on this subject. Always check with your veterinarian before making a drastic change in your animal's diet.


I see the results in my wave of happy, healthy, active dogs. If you feel you must convince me to change my opinion on feeding my animals, use facts, not nonsense.

26 comments:

Lola said...

Rant away. We don't have any experience with the raw food diet so we can't really comment on it. It's not something I'd eat. I like some cooked food and cheese. Not exactly a wolf diet. I don't really see the logic there. Whatever the benefits of one diet over the other, there is no inherent logic in saying that because wolves only had access to raw meat that means it's the best thing for doggies. Do humans want to eat just what they ate in the Bronze Age? I bet not. Besides, wolves in the wild had no access to cheese and to me, cheese makes life worthwile.

lotsa licks, Lola

Stella said...

Ummm, personally I wouldn't try you to change one thing. However, I might try and get my Mom to change over to that soupy-stew you make, and the nutz too. She said that stew looks good enough for her to eat. I would like for her to get me some sardines too, but she said they are pretty pricey. Sometimes she gets some for herself and lets me have the oil and the dregs! Selfish girl is what she is.

Kisses,

Stella

The Rocky Creek Scotties said...

I have no experience with raw diet - and frankly it scares me too. I feed my dogs just about the same diet you do and frankly if we humans ate as healthy as they did, we'd be much better off. When I'm gearing them up for breeding season, I also add some cottage cheese, cooked eggs and yogurt to their diets.

Keep up the good work.

♥I am Holly♥ said...

Same opinion here. I feed Holly and my cats Science Diet dry food. The cats get the sensitive stomach version of it. I see many people on my city's newspaper blog that try and get other people to go stictly natural. It hasn't worked on me. I go by what my vet recommends and I doubt that him or his wife will ever recommend raw meat. Lots of love, Debbie and Holly

The Teacher's Pets said...

I understand why you would be upset when hearing story after story about a dog owners preference towards a raw diet. I hope no one was attacking you for having a personal opinion and if so that is not right. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and no one should try to force their choices on another pet owner. If a pet owner asks for an opinion about nutrition, training, etc, then I give it but I would never criticize a client or a friend if I thought they weren't making the "right" decisions. It's a slippery slope when giving recommendations and offending a pet owner in the process is not good practice.
I appreciate your opinion about the raw diet and I believe that if a pet is happy with their meals and it's not causing health problems because of those meals then so be it! Your dogs look very happy and energetic and healthy!

Nicki said...

Well said!

Bocci said...

Hi!
I don't think you're ranting at all:-)
Folks who are totally in the raw food camp can be very preachy-as if nothing else is a viable option.
I'm not against a raw food diet, but it does seem a lot more difficult.

I agree with you that some commercial dog foods appear to be "better" than others, but I base that opinion on their ingredient list. If it has corn as a first ingredient, I'll pass.
I've recently switched Bocci from Innova to Orijens, simply because I think the ingredient list is superior, and it's made by a fairly small company in Canada, and Innova was recently purchased by P&G
Can you mail me some of that chicken stew-looks fantastic!!!!! :-)

Your buddy,
Bocci and his Parental Unit.

Life with 5 dogs said...

We use a dry food kibble here. We add fresh fruits and Vegetables added to it, along with cheese grated on top. Sometimes we use fresh fish or chicken added in. My feeling on feeding dogs is to do what works for you and your dogs! We hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Lorenza said...

My Vet does not think either that the raw diet is the best. I eat my kibble and some fruits and veggies too.
I know you do what is best for your furkids!
Kisses and hugs
Lorenza

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

Well-stated post. Our diet is mainly a good quality kibble, grainfree for Phantom's sake. We also get blueberries, fish, carrots, and some meat added to our meals. Of course, Phantom doesn't eat most of these things, even his kibble. Mom has resorted to hand feeding and lots of rice and chicken for him. Everyone has to do what works best for him or her, but it is not right to try to intimidate others into thinking they are doing something wrong. Pass the sardines, please:)

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Mango said...

Hey! We eat kind of like you too. Mostly kibbles. We both eat Natures Balance and I also eat special medicine kibble from the vet. But the best part is that we get fruits and veggies and tinned fish just like you to make it extra nommy.

Ya know, momma sometimes eats a raw foodables diet herself to clean out her system, but that is only raw vegetables, not meat. I think doggies and humans should eat whatever works for them, right?

Of course some of those doggie foods in the grocery store are kind of the equivalent of the humans eating at the fast food drive through every day, so one must be careful.

Sometimes I eat one of those frozen Bravo burgers (thawed of course) which is kind of like raw food but no scary bones and whatnot.

Slobbers,
Mango

Sugar the Golden Retriever said...

Woof! Woof! Great Info ... I do understand. Happy BLOG HOP Weekend. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

scotsmad said...

We don't think your raving either and we mainly eat raw food...chicken necks, kangaroo/beef mince, lamb shanks with carrots, green beans, etc. We also have kibble with sardines, cheese, cottage cheese, yoghurt, etc.

We tried a good, well-researched kibble for about 6 months but Daisy itched. So we're testing out the raw food again.


We also go by the vets recommendation. Sounds like a varied, balanced diet is what's needed. Other than the itching, none of the dogs (8)ever had any health problems.

We're so happy that so many people are really trying to feed their dogs well. I wince when I see shopping trolleys loaded up with No name dog food.

Does this count as a rave, too?

XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

gMarie said...

I agree completely. Why do people feel the need to bully others into agreeing with them. I have never fed a raw diet (I'm far to lazy), but I do feed a good quality kibble and supplement with plenty of good fruits and veggies. g

Maggie and Mitch said...

There was a lot of drooling going on at our house this morning!
What time is breakie at your house?

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Channon said...

Hrmph. I'm sorry you were attacked, because I know you to be a great resource for canine nutrition information.

As I believe you know, I looked into the raw diet, but with all of Sissy's problems, it's just not a viable option. I have one, trusted doggy friend who does use it, and I'm glad it works for her and her dogs.

Tree Hugger said...

Glad you rant and raved!! When ever I cook, I have always added the juices just so Augie will have something new. He lOVES baby carrotts - didn't know about the blueberries and he ALWAYS gets a couple of shrimp.
Suzan & Augie

Anny said...

You know your dogs best.. and you know what's good for them.. so don't bother about the rest. Trust yourself and your vet. That's all.

Sue.. you are doing a good job with your bunch :) And they sure are a happy bunch :) Have a great weekend with the gang!

the 4 Bs said...

wowweeee, you kiddos eat a lot of good yummy food. we think that your mom is doing a great job on keeping you happy and healthy.

woofs

blogdog said...

Hi Sue! Glad you came to visit. I agree that the "only one way" types are maddening. I've had to take a vacation from Twitter because I was tired of their continual blather. Raw will not work for me. I've offered my dogs raw chicken wings and necks, and they've looked at me like I'd gone insane. You have to do what works best for you, your dogs, and your lifestyle. You're the best judge of that, not some judgmental stranger hiding behind a PC someplace.

Marjie said...

I don't pay attention to what anyone else feeds their dogs, or their kids, or their cars. It's not my business. Whatever works for you is just that - what works for you! Chan's special Sissy diet would make me crazy, I think, but it works for her. And, for a laugh, go reread my Friday personal food rules. We are all a little flaky in our food, but that's what PERSONAL means! I'd be afraid of raw food for my Thor not only because of the germy-ewies in it, but also bones! However, to each his/her own foibles.

Hope you're having a better day today.

Dianne said...

Feel free to vent any time you want - it's your blog, after all! I agree with you on the raw diet. I looked into it 3 years ago when there was that mass recall of dog food, but there are way too many "cons" versus the "pros" for me.

Life With Dogs said...

I've been on the fence about the same topic for some time. And still am. :)

BlogDog said...

How lucky you are to have so many Portuguese water dogs! I love them very much but they are rarely sold in Malaysia! Anyway, I think the way you feed them is wonderful-they get all the nutrients they need to keep healthy! Who says raw diet is always the best? You're doing the right thing :)

parlance said...

I learned a lot from this post, and coincidentally, although we mainly have a raw diet, I've just bought a big bag of the Hills Science Diet for dogs to lose weight (I forget the actual name), so it's good to know you think Hills are good. My vet sells it and I trust him, so that's why I chose that brand to alternate with our raw stuff. I mainly bought it for easy rewards. Healthy, not messy, and small.

I guess my main issue would be that I don't want Penny eating too much grain-based food, and especially not corn.

The brazil nut info was particularly interesting.

Do you think frozen blueberries would be fine?

Kerry said...

Yes! Now could you please help me get my family to STOP doing political rants?

Ed and Reub would love to eat brazil nuts and blueberries; I think I'll start. They each get a whole carrot every night to help with cleaning their teeth.