I have found an excellent food for my dog, but I don't think you will be able to get it, as I see you are in North Carolina, and I am in the UK. It is made by a UK company, and I don't know if it is available in the US.
Anyway I'll give you the details, as you might be able to find something similar, (with similar ingredients)
This food is formulated mainly for dogs who have allergies (mine doesn't, but I like the food so much I give it to her anyway) It contains nothing artificial, no meat by-products/chemicals/preservatives/colourings, etc. And is a complete food so you don't have to add anything. I do, to give my dog some variety, I add meat, chicken, or fish, and some vegetables occasionally like carrot, peas, etc.
It's called HEALTHY PAWS, and contains: Rabbit, brown rice,oats,fish oils,organic sunflower oil,alfalfa,seaweed,carrot,cranberry,dandelion, cleavers.(no wheat/wheat gluten, no artificial colours/preservatives, no dairy, no added sugar/salt)
(Dandelion and Cleavers are herbs, safe for dogs, which are just added in small amounts, for general condition and health maintenance.)
I feed one of my dogs EVO Reduced Fat Variety. It's the highest protein, lowest carb food I've found (important, as my dog is in remission with cancer). It's expensive, but my dog LOVES it. It's only lightly cooked, so that its supposed to be as close to raw as possible, (containing enzymes of raw meat) but its a dry kibble. I give my giant dog "Taste of the Wild" roasted fowl flavor- which he loves as well- not as high in protein, but still a high-quality kibble. Both are grain free. I also feed my dogs raw bison burgers, (hormone and anti-biotic free) sold frozen in the people section at Walmart. Also give soft boiled eggs several times a week, which is another great protein/vitamin source that dogs love.
I feed my husky Ultra, its a diet with a lot of Stage 6 fatty acids, which make her coat shine (lacetic acid or something). Its either that or pro plan chicken and rice formula. The Ultra is a Chicken Lamb and Rice formula with no corn or gluten so she can stay beautifully shaped.
http://www. naturapet .com/default .asp (with no spaces)
This is an excellent line of dog foods. I have a dog that has had issues with chronic generalized demodex mange, which is an immune deficiency that affects the skin by allowing mange mites to infest. For months I've been trying to find ways to treat him for the problem rather than just the symptoms.
I was feeding him a generic brand of Eukanuba Lamb and Rice, but he was eating four cups a day, his coat was ragged, and his weight was always hovering around 40 lbs (and he's mostly a golden retriever mix, so he should be 50-60 lbs).
Last month, I switched him to California Natural with Herring and Sweet Potato, plus supplement him with the California Natural canned food. In a month, he is up to 55 lbs and looking great, his coat is growing back thick and soft, and he loves the food. I don't know if the food is helping his mange issue (since I'm medicating him at the same time), but I'm definitely keeping him on this food.
The site I recommended has a whole line of foods for specific needs.
When I decided to switch my dog's food, I had gotten an email from a holistic dog food expert, and that ulimately made me change my mind about all commercial brand dog foods, even "the best" (Eukanuba, Science Diet, etc.). I'm going to insert some clips of what this person wrote.
"With so many of our companions suffering from allergies and other food related concerns, it can easily become overwhelming to make the best decisions for them...Most foods have fancy labels, which may or may not be beneficial to your pet. There are foods for different breeds, as if they are not all dogs. There are foods for indoor cats, as if they are not all cats. Truth be told, it is marketing.
Reactions to foods are such a big problem, resulting in millions spent at the vet’s office...If your companion does not have any of these issues – wonderful – let’s keep it that way as best as we can. Lots of animals develop problems later in life and we think that because they have eaten the same food forever with no symptoms that it can’t be the food. It can take a long time, even years, before the body shows outward symptoms to even the slightest intolerances.
When it comes to the allergens corn, wheat, soy, etc, they are not always the culprit. These can be industry buzzwords and fear tactics. In fact, true allergies is not that common. What most of our animals suffer from are intolerances. It is usually the quality of the food item, not the item itself. I have seen "allergy testing" performed and come back with a dog allergic to every known protein source! This simply is almost impossible. Yet our vets will tell us that feeding a cheap food, cortisone injections or pills and giving allergy shots of all these offending items will help "cure". Well, I have not once seen a "cure", simply a temporary relief from symptoms (as long as you are giving the very expensive “treatments”).
There are a lot of quality foods out there. The reality is that you should rotate through all of the ones available in your area. I know this is not the conventional wisdom of our local vets. They, as well as the pet food manufacturers, tell us to feed the same food every day for life. If your pediatrician gave the same advice to you, you would sue or fire them. The reality is our OMNIVOROUS companions need variety. This will help them to not get too much of one thing or too little of another. It also helps to build a strong digestive system. The CAUSE of animals having so many problems with switching foods is NOT switching foods. If you start young, the ideal, by giving a wide variety of foods then they will be able to tolerate changes.
People food (table scraps) is fine for your dog, as long as it's fine for you...fruits and vegetables, pasta (no sauce), grains, meats, and so on. Be sure to subtract the additional food from their daily kibble.
Nutro, Iam’s, Eukanuba, Science Diet or Beneful are not very good choices. They use fractioned ingredients, which are of little use and can be harmful in sensitive pets. What you want to look for are whole ingredients. In animals already known to be sensitive, organic is the best choice. Avoid generic descriptions like "meat meal" "poultry fat"; rather look for "lamb meal" or "chicken fat". Also, avoid any chemical preservatives like ethoxiquin, BHA or BHT to name a few. Avoid foods with the same grain being used in different forms, like "rice", "brewer's rice", "rice gluten", "white rice" and "brown rice" all in the same food. The total weight of the rice is far greater than any other protein source, even if it is first on the label. Peanut hulls are not nutritious, under any circumstances. No salt or sugar should be added.
Now that you have endured some basics here is a list of commercially available foods that have been shown to help sensitive animals and be pretty healthy all the way around. A good rule of thumb is to avoid those that you see:
A) A grocery store
B) A warehouse type store (like Sam's or Costco)
C) Advertised on TV
D) Is really cheap (you get what you pay for)
Certain to avoid are Purina, Pedigree, Diamond, Iams, Eukanuba, Science Diet, Alpo, any Generic, Beneful, Old Roy, Kirkland, etc. You should expect to pay about $1.50 - $2 per pound. Understand it is actually cost effective as you are feeding much less and they are not at the vet’s office as often, especially as senior years approach. It only seems costly at first.
Here are some good ones:
California Natural Innova
Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul Merrick
Solid Gold Canidae
Artemis Bench & Field
Burns Go Natural
Newman’s Own Organics Royal Canin
Versus Eagle Pack & Holistic Blend
Flint River Ranch (online) Great Life (online)
PHD Ultra Mix by Nutro
Natural Balance Organix
Petguard Dr Foster & Smith
Any Natura food Any Castor & Pollux food
You want to be aware that if you have been feeding Beneful or other foods like this and you switch - you will need to feed a lot less actual kibble. The foods I have listed have whole ingredients and therefore the dog gets more from less. NEVER leave the food out all the time. Dogs & cats are not designed to nibble. They ARE designed to gorge and fast. Nibbling a piece of food here & there every day actually causes harm to their system over time, and has been linked to all manner of disease states, not limited to obesity. Feed on a routine (especially for weight and vomiting issues).
For allergies/itchiness you should also not expect relief from itchiness immediately. If this is your issue, expect 2-3 months to visibly see anything. In fact, some dogs get a little (or a lot) worse before they get better. Be patient. The level of healing depends upon the level of intolerances and toxins built up."
I put Bryce on California Natural last month, and bought a 15 lb bag for $25. He eats 2-2½ cups a day, depending if I supplement him with some canned food (also made by CA Natural; each can was $2-3.50). After a month, I'm only halfway through the dry kibble and ¼ of a way through the third can of wet food because I don't have to feed him as much, and he's gained about 5 lbs.
So I'm a believer! I even switched Blackie to a premium diet, but not as expensive.
Okay, the list of good foods didn't come out really well in that post. Let me do this again:
Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul
Newman’s Own Organics
Flint River Ranch (online)
Any Natura food
Bench & Field
Eagle Pack & Holistic Blend
Great Life (online)
Ultra Mix by Nutro
Dr Foster & Smith
Any Castor & Pollux food
Someone just sent me an alarming message saying they heard Iams dog food was linked to mouth cancer in large breed dogs! Does anyone know anything about this?
Is there a better dog food I should feed the puppies?
Check out the list above, and also the link I posted earlier.
In the link I posted for Natura foods, there is a tool on that site that can help you find the nearest location of a retailer that sells those foods. The Natura brands are really high quality foods and I'd highly recommend any of them based on personal experience of using a brand of that food.
I feed "Sojourner Farms". Sojo's for short. I couldn't be happier with it. You add your own protein source. I have been able to get un-needed weight off of all my dogs with this food. I buy online from the company itself. (I can't find it in any store). They offer free shipping and I receive it in 3 days.
For those that want to rate the food you feed: Go to "Dog Food Analysis".com. Type in your food. They are rated 1-5 star. 1 being the worst to feed. The thing I like about this sight, is under every food, they will offer a explaination as to why you should feed it or not. Valuable info. and reasoning behind their decision. Iams products are rated 1 star because there is nothing lower! Check it out...................Karla
Thank you for the websit "Dog Food Analysis.com" They now have a 6-star rating. I was thrilled to find both my dogs food listed there. Again, any dog that has cancer or is in remission, the EVO reduced fat is great- the dogs love it, even sick dogs want to eat- and its the lowest carb count (cancer feeds on carbs) and highest protein (very important for cancer issues) that I've found on the market. And to my surprise, my Great Pyrennees is also eating 6-star, though significantly less protein. I get his "Taste of the Wild" ($20.00 cheaper than EVO) at a farm supply store, (same price or less than NUTRO, which I used to give, but turns out is basically junk) but the "Taste of the Wild" is grain-free, and now I find out, rated 6 stars as well. I tried all three varieties- the only one my dog likes is the roasted fowl, (also listed as "wetlands canine formula"). He didn't like the other varieties. Fun. Thanks for the website!!!
Your welcome.....I love to go there and just look around...Either, they've just added the 6 star category or I'm brain-dead. Both are possible!!! :) Glad you enjoyed it...I wish more people would take advantage of it & learn from it.....Karla
Natural Balance is an amazing food, they do some very good single protein diets and have a couple of different hypoallergenic formulas. They are one of the few companies (the only one i know of) that actually go through some heavy testing to ensure that they are in fact hypoallergenic diets.
What kind of food would you suggest for a 4 month old Husky puppy in order to keep her lookin lean as well as keeping her energy up and making her coat shine. I have been feeding her Ultra large breed puppy dry food....but i just read that might not be good. I want to spoil her, so any suggestions?
I raw feed as well..You don't need vegetables when you raw feed.
http://******.*****.*****.***/group/rawfeeding/ This FAQ is NOT a bible!
The raw diet, like life, has many different successful routes. I have tried to detail some of the basic questions that you may have which will hopefully get you onto the raw diet track.
People have different ideas about the raw diet and my suggestion if you become confused, is NOT to go back to commercial foods, but start thinking about what is best for your dog (or cat).
Start with the basics - a range of different raw meaty bones, or preferably whole items, such as chicken, quail, fish, eggs. For the majority of raw feeders - chicken is the base of the majority of their dogs meals. However, if chicken is not available readily, use what is available locally - raw meaty - lamb, beef, venison, duck, rabbit, kangaroo, pig, raw whole fish. You get the picture.
Where possible you want to avoid using items that have been raised inappropriately. For example, avoid beef that was raised in feedlots. Preferably the food should be as organic and natural as possible.
Please note: Dogs do not have the digestive system to cope with grains. Grains are one of the biggest sources of allergies in dogs. Grains make up the majority of dog food company food sources. Many people find when they switch to an all natural diet, the allergies their dogs had disappear. This is common.
Not only is feeding raw cheaper to feed than commercial dog foods, but there are enormous savings to be made by not having all those vet visits to fix your dogs' allergies. Are you asking yourself yet, "why hasn't my vet recommended this?" Yes, I would ask that of them too. Unfortunately most vets receive NO education at university on dog diet other than what the commercial dog food company reps tell them! (yes, this is the education they PAY to get - unbelievable. Luckily, some universities are realizing this mistake and are making amends).
A raw diet provides a range of benefits that commercial dog diets can never hope to even closely match.
These benefits include:
no doggy odour naturally cleans teeth - no need for toothbrushes, de-scaling jobs, or gum disease the time it takes for a dog to chew a raw meaty bones give their stomach adequate time to get the acids moving much less stools produced - and they are firm, and turn chalky after a couple of days decreased or non-existant vet bills (your dogs are healthier!) less cost for dog food - commercial dog foods are ludicriously expensive mirrors what a dog would be getting in the wild - and certainly even the modern day dog has a digestive tract exactly the same as a wolf puppies develop at a more appropriate rate - and quick growth spurts are avoided. A GOOD breeder will want to stop fast growth in any pup. the ripping and chewing involved in eating raw meaty bones develops the jaw, neck, and shoulder muscles of the dog. Commercial dog foods will never assist in this important muscle development.
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