We started this group because of personal experiences with many of the issues that are commonly discussed on dog forums regarding food, and because these experiences have led us to do extensive research in an attempt to obtain FACT-BASED knowledge of these issues, rather than relying on anecdotes, myths, and junk-science, much of it put out there by people who are trying to sell something. The 2007 pet food recalls in which thousands of dogs and cats died or were permanently sickened by foods that contained melamine from China substituted for glutens had a profound effect on some of us, and this group was started as an attempt to help educate others on manufacturing practices and pet nutrition so that they can avoid losing beloved pets because of unacceptable foods made by "Big Dog Food" companies. There are also many issues we would like to explore. We thought it would be helpful to put all of these questions, information, and feedback into one place here on DK where everyone can find it, contribute to it, ask questions, and learn together.  
 You can start a new discussion if you have a question, or you can continue in an existing discussion if you prefer. Please do try to use the search feature before starting a new discussion, though, to help eliminate duplicate discussions on the same topics. You can search through past discussions for a topic by clicking "View All" at the bottom of the Food Group discussion forum, and then entering a word or phrase in the box. You will usually find lots of info and possibly the answer to your question. There is a wealth of information here from many good sources.  

Products on our recommended lists have been screened not just for the ingredients themselves, but also for the sourcing of the ingredients.

Membership in this group is voluntary. Everyone is free to feed their dog whatever they choose, but it is assumed that you are here because you want to learn about better nutritional and commercial food options. All questions are welcome. Proselytizing, however, is not welcome. If you want to feed your dog Beneful or Ol' Roy, that's your right, and if you want to learn why those foods may be dangerous to your pet's health, we're happy to tell you. But recommendations for these, Iams, Purina, Hill's, and other products  that have killed other group members' dogs are not okay here, and may result in your being suspended from the group. Similarly, if you believe that the only proper way to feed a dog is with a prey model raw diet, that all kibbles are harmful, and/or that raw food or "holistic" diets and/or supplements such as coconut oil will cure diseases or health conditions, this is not the right group for you. We are fact based. Anyone recommending raw feeding or any type of holistic diet or supplement as a cure or treatment for allergies or illnesses will be suspended from the group.  

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  • Hi Leigh, thanks for the nice words!
    I think for the time being, your best bet would be to read through all the posts in the Commercial & Homecooking discussions...much of the info you are looking for is there, albeit not in such an organized form as we might like. (I think we will have to wait for Lynne's summer vacation for that, LOL!) The RAW section so far has more questions and concerns than information, and this is an area we also hope to explore further. I think a question and answer section here might be a good idea, although the format of the website makes it a little difficult to keep any particular topic "up top" where everyone can see it...but at least it will be here!
  • I do not know that we could ever put together a 'list' of safe commercial pet foods in this ever changing market. SO much can change and I would never want someone to not realize they are viewing an out of date report ~ if it was safe today and 2 months from now their plant has an issue that is not widely publicized (it happens) it could be tragic. On commercial foods safety lies in the present, we always need to be aware - even about our current selection.
    • You are so right, Dianne; just a few days before you posted the article about the "6-month-period" that the PFI is allowed before having to advise us of changes in formulas, I received an e-mail from a relative who works for one of the major companies, advising me that her company had significantly changed a very popular formula of kibble, but was still putting it in the old bags with the old ingredient labels...and that they had 6 mos. to "use up" the old bags before correcting the labels! (This was also posted in the "Commercial foods" section in this group)
  • Leigh, check out other discussions in this group's main page. Commercial Foods-The G, the B and the U, give websites where you can do your research. and are good places to start. But go read the discussions first.
  • Just joined this group and will spend a lot of time reading through. Thank you for starting such an amazing group. I also want to share with you a website that I found several years ago when my Bouvier started having some very significant issues with allergies and immune system. This woman is an animal nutritionist - based on Guelph, Ontario - for those of you not from Canada, Guelph is our largest Vet college and has well known research facilities. Many specialists reside there and I am fortunate enough to live close enough that I have taken advantage of these specialists in the past. Anyway, Monica Segal's website and newsletters are extremely informative - she also does consulting. Thought I would share with you. I am extremely interested in the homemade foods and will spend some time reading through this part of the site.
    • Hi Teresa, I am thrilled that you have joined our group and are enjoying it! There is indeed a lot to look through, and also a lot of questions that we hope to be able to answer by working together to share our knowledge and particular areas of experience & expertise. There is strength in numbers!
      I did look through the website for which you provided the link above, and I did not see much information that was readily (and FREEly available). My problem with it is that the same person (however educated or knowledgable she may be) who is offering info & advice is also selling the products.In our discussion "Nutrition 101", which admittedly is not as interesting as some others here, lol, I said this:

      When we want to buy a car or an appliance, we do some research to find out what brands and features will be our best option. We don't walk up to the car salesman and ask "Is this a good car?" (Find me one who will say 'no, the dealer across the street's cars are better.') We look to INDEPENDENT sources to find out if the dealer's claims are true. Why, then, when we see advertising for a diet book, a vitamin, a supplement, or even an entire method of feeding our beloved friends, do we believe what the person who stands to make a profit is telling us?

      One of my tenets, and one which I know is shared by Lynne, is that we need to find fact-based, independent information on many of these issues in order to be effective advocates for our dogs, in every area of their lives.
      As for homemade food, you will find a wealth of info right here from the Queen of Canine Cuisine (DK Division, anyway) Lynne NJ. Also check out the Tricks & Treats section where Leslie has posted lots of recipes for great healthy homemade treats! Enjoy yourself, and welcome to The Food Group!
      • You are completely correct on the independent view point! That's why I think this is an excellent forum. Of course everyone has their own perspective so it does take lots of "digesting" LOL - of information. I get a lot of information from Monica's newsletter that she sends out monthly and yes, I did buy her feeding book in which she offers many different options about raw, versus cooked and then of course, adds in what suppliments need to be added. That is where I get confused - the suppliments required to keep the food balanced. As you state, she is selling the suppliments, so what is needed and what isn't? That is what I need to really dig through and understand.
        • Example of detail from her newsletters: "Fact of the Month
          Frozen fruits and vegetables are a healthy choice

          There was a time when fresh produce was truly fresh because it was grown in the soil of our own family-owned farms. If you live in the city and/or in a climate that doesn’t allow for year round farming, chances are that the fruits and vegetables you and your dog eats have been grown several miles away. In fact, they may have traveled thousands of miles before reaching your local store. If they look ripe, it’s usually because they were picked before reaching their full potential. This impacts the quality because nutrient values can be less than hoped for.

          Frozen produce is considered to be lesser-than by many people. I, for one, am not partial to the taste of most frozen vegetables. Fortunately, this type of bias is lost on dogs. The reason it’s a good thing is because frozen fruits and vegetables have, for the most part, been picked when they’re ripened. Their nutritional punch includes some vitamins and phytonutrients. They’re available year round and can cost much less than their “fresh” counterparts. This makes the addition of berries to a diet a possibility even during the winter months. And of all the fruits I like to give a dog, berries hold the number one spot. Their antioxidant properties and phytochemicals are known to fight cancer cells in people. Whether this holds true for dogs is unknown but my bet is that one day this will be proven too. If I’m wrong, nothing was lost. If I’m right, dogs being fed berries are ahead of the pack.

          A 2005 study gleaned from owner questionnaires, suggests strongly that there is a preventive effect against transitional cell carcinoma in dogs consuming green, yellow or orange vegetables three or more times weekly. So don’t forget to add some veggies to your dog’s diet, and don’t be biased against the frozen varieties. They can help to stretch your dollars and can help your dogs in many ways."
          • All of this is true, and it's very basic information on human nutrition...the kind you see in any ladie's, family, or health-oriented magazine. Is there a charge for the newsletter?
            • No - its completely free. She also includes some other notes that she shares on cases she is working on and of course gives some updates on products she is working on. Its interesting reading just as we have on doodlekisses. I guess I am very high on her because I did communicate with her one on one early on in my bouvier's illness - no fee - just some helpful discussion. I don't discount her simply because she is selling something - she is extremely knowledgeable and I guess it comes down to trust. After we do our research on a subject it really does come down to what we think makes sense each of us and what information we end up trusting. Anyway, its available if anyone should want to access it.
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