Kibble Confusion--What am I feeding my dog??

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I am not a dog nutrition or label reading
expert.
I don’t feed the perfect diet, not by a long
shot, but I do the best I can to educate myself
about what I am feeding them
What I feed depends on how busy I am and
what article I read the night before
Be wary of what you read and hear
This is not an all you need to know…never
stop learning!
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Dry
Canned
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Mostly water so can’t be sole source
Does not cause adverse dental health
Higher amounts of meat, poultry, fish
Can not be sole source for big dogs—you’d be feeding
8 cans a day!
Semi-moist—Do not feed, loaded with
chemicals
Raw
Homemade Diets
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Meat, poultry, seafood, feed grain
By-products
◦ Not fit for human consumption but still must meet
federal standards for safety and nutrition
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Vitamins/Minerals-to complete nutritional
needs
Preservatives-for shipping and to extend
shelf-life
Coloring-to make it pretty
◦ Approved by the U.S. FDA and U.S. Dept of
Agriculture
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FDA (Food and Drug Association)
FTC (Federal Trade Commission)
USDA (United States Department of
Agriculture)
State Government
Pet Food Institute
AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control
Officials)
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Never know the true quality of ingredients
 Predicting recall is impossible
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Ingredient quality can vary daily
Not required to disclose the origin of their
ingredients
Good companies use trusted sources, but
some use brokers, middlemen or even 3rd
party suppliers
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Lots of information!
Consumer driven huge industry
Knowledgeable staff in specialty stores
Don’t trust that fancy artwork or
manufacturer claims, its all marketing hype!
Merrick vs. Proctor and Gamble
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Set standards for animal feeds and pet foods
in the U.S. but have no regulatory authority
◦ Work with FDA
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Must meet “Complete and Balanced”
standards
 Adult Maintenance
 Growth/Reproduction
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Feeding trials and Lab Analysis
 Fed and monitored for six months
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It isn’t perfect, but it’s a good starting place
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Water
Protein-Meat protein better than veggies
Fats
Minerals
Vitamins
Variety
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Dogs have fewer taste buds than we do
Nothing’s perfect so rotate diet
Some pets can’t tolerate changes
No study that says its unhealthy or detrimental to
change food
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Look for this label
The product contains all nutrients known to
be required by a dog or cat
Must contain minimums of nutrients required
by AAFCO
Does not cover treats, snacks or other
products for supplemental feeding
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Depends on
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Medical Condition
Lifestyle (active or couch potato?)
Size
Growth or Maintenance? (puppy or adult?)
 Puppies should be switched from Growth to
Maintenance around 9 months or when they reach 8090% of anticipated weight
 For puppies, should meet “Growth” or “All Life Stages”
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Food that is stored appropriately
 Cool, dry place
 Pour out of the bag
 Canned in the cupboard
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Food high in meat content and free of
plant-based protein boosters
USA registered and manufactured food
Fresh Veggies
www.dogwalkeretc.com
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“Holistic”-no legal definition
“Natural”—assumed synonymous with “good”
“healthy”
Organic?
 No scientific research supporting this but do Mother
Nature a favor
 Raleigh Farmer’s Market
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Probiotics
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Cat Food—too high in
fat/protein
Some Table scraps or bones
 Too fatty, vomiting, diarrhea, obesity
 Bones can get lodged or splintered
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Anything from China
Added supplements
Not adequately researched
Homemade diets
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Labels that say “meat entrée”, “meat dinner”,
“Meat platter” “meat flavor”
Senior or weight loss diets
Supermarket brands
All food in one meal
 Split to at least 2 feedings
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Whole grains and antioxidants
Gluten free
“Green Movement”
Rendering
 Pet Food Institute—made of 98% of commercial pet
foods prohibit rendered ingredients
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“Toxins”
◦ Water
◦ Oxygen
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Ask around
 Look at their dog
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Monitor your own dog
One to three meals a day (average for adults)
◦ Puppies
 < 3 months 4x a day
 3-5 months 3x a day
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No free feeding
 Can cause anorexia
 Most dogs can’t self-regulate
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Gradually change food
◦ Change made over 5-7 days or longer if your pup is
sensitive
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Guaranteed analysis
 This is the minimal amount present
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Ingredient List
 Look for protein sources and carbohydrate sources
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Complete and Balanced
The less processed the better
Protein, protein, protein!
 Deficiencies = Roxanne
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Slow your dog down to prevent Bloat
 Do not elevate bowls
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Homemade
 Usually not well balanced
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Vegetarian
 Dogs are omnivores, Cats are carnivores
 Must be well-balanced and are usually not
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Raw
 Controversial
 Not formulated to meet AAFCO standards
 AAHA, AVMA, and CVMA, discourage raw diet
Good things to look for
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Foods that contain:
◦ Whole Beef, Chicken,
Turkey, Lamb, Pork and
meals made from whole
meats (beef meal, chicken
meal, etc.)
◦ Whole grains, vegetables
and fruits
◦ Foods with as much animal
protein as possible
◦ Identified ingredients
(instead of “liver” should
say “beef liver”)
Do Not Buy
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Foods that contain:
◦ Animal fat, animal digest,
meat meal
◦ Foods with artificial colors
◦ Products without
expiration dates or those
past their expiration
◦ Products containing meat
or bone meal
◦ Foods that are sweetened
◦ Wheat Gluten (“gum”)
◦ Products with protein
derived from meat “byproducts”
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Sometimes, by-products are ok
You eat them! Well I don’t…
◦ Sweetbreads, chitterlings, etc
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Still have to be approved for use and must be
safe and meet nutritional requirements
Make sure they aren’t the main source of
protein
Water sufficient for processing, chicken, wheat gluten,
carrots, liver, peas, meat by-products, corn starch-modified,
wild rice, rice, artificial and natural flavors, calcium
phosphate, salt, soy flour, potassium chloride, added color,
zinc sulfate, choline chloride, Vitamin E supplement, ferrous
sulfate, niacin, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate,
manganese sulfate, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine
hydrochloride, Vitamin B-12 supplement, riboflavin
supplement, Vitamin A supplement, potassium iodide, folic
acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, biotin, sodium selenite.
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Deboned Chicken, Chicken Broth, Dried Egg Product, Natural Chicken
Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Sodium Phosphate,
Vitamins (Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12, dCalcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Vitamin D3
Supplement, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin,
Thiamine Mononitrate), Carrageenan, Cassia Gum, Guar Gum, Minerals
(Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino
Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt
Glucoheptonate, Sodium Selenite), Lecithin.
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Sorry, I won’t recommend Brands of dog food
 You can do it!
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Animall
Phydeaux
Unleashed
Barnes Supply
Pet Pantry
◦ www.feedyourpets.com
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www.dogfoodadvisor.com
www.fda.gov
◦ Go to animal and veterinary
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www.whole-dog-journal.com
www.petfoodinstitute.org
The Healthful Alternative Dog and Cat Diets
 Donald R. Strombeck, DVM, PhD

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