Q: Can anyone recomend a healthy dry dog and cat food?

July 8, 2008 | By Starduster | 9 answers | Expired: 2759 days ago

I've been feeding my cats and dog Nutro for a long time w/out any issues, untill they changed the packaging. Now my fur babys are vomiting clear liquid and my dog is not acting "normal" so I'm looking to change their food to something healthy. Any suggestions would be greatly welcomed!

Readers' Answers (9)

Jul 09, 2008

Hello! Sorry to hear about your pets' troubles with Nutro. I've been researching foods and animal nutrition for years, so here's my advice:

The main thing to remember about nutrition is the fresher and more pure the ingredients, the better health your dog (and yourself, for that matter) will be in. Your dog was designed to eat raw carcass, and from that it would consume muscle meat, gristle, fats, and fiber and vegetable matter from the stomach contents - hence, a whole meal. The next best thing - providing raw, whole foods from your pantry and butcher - is the ideal choice, but not always feasible in the busy lives we lead. In that case, if you're going to go the route of prepackaged food, be sure to choose something whole and made with care.

Look at the ingredients list on your dog's food. If it's dry food, look at the first 8-12 ingredients, which will show majority of the composition, about 85-90%; everything else is trace amounts, like vitamins/minerals.

Now, if it lists generic things like "meat meal," "meat & bone meal," or "animal fat," get rid of it. The big food conglomerates (Purina, Iams, Pedigree) use ingredients such as these because they are cheap and by technicalities of pet food laws, they can be used. These mystery ingredients are literally scrapings from the bottom of the barrel - meats, fats and oils picked up from rendering plants (which would include leavings from fast food restaurants, roadkill, and even the melted-down remainders of Fido and Fluffy whose time ran out at the shelter.) If you don't believe me, check out "Foods Pets Die For: Shocking Facts About Pet Foods" by Ann Martin. Another good read that is considered less conspiracy-theorist is "The Dog Bible," which has the most comprehensive dog information I've seen yet. Their chapter on nutrition is very sound and insightful.

What you want to see in an ingredient list is a named meat (chicken, duck, lamb, beef) and a named meat meal first in line; ingredients are listed by weight, so if you see a bunch of brewer's rice (not a good source) or corn meal (it's alright, but shouldn't be the bulk, dogs cannot digest corn nearly as well as meat and other fibers) high up on the list, don't bother with it; this means an incomplete protein/fiber source is outweighing the meat. You'll want to see WHOLE wheat and grains other than corn (wheat has only become allergenic because we have stripped it of all nutrition and bleached it, turning it into something it's not supposed to be, causing a reaction). A few vegetables are good for digestion and should be included.

I worked at PETsMART for nearly 2 years and in my time there, after I learned everything I know about nutrition, I NEVER had a single person return the foods I recommended because it didn't help their dogs as I said it would. Skin problems went away, their coat became thick and shiny, their stools improved, stank less and they went to the bathroom less often (because they didn't have to eat as much, as this food is more nutritious) - any number of problems simply went away and they were amazed at the difference in their dog. This is true with ALL whole, well-made food.

Since you have a cat as well, keep in mind that cats are not omnivorous like dogs are - they absolutely NEED meat and fat. Don't bother with a cat food if you see a lot of grains or vegetables - they need only trace amounts, if they need it at all.

Don't let picking a pet food overwhelm you. You could try making your pets' food at home - there are some terrific how-to websites and plenty of ways to pick up healthy food, like farmer's markets.

I will recommend some brands based on glowing reviews of customers and associates, and personal use:

Blue Buffalo - Eagle Pack - Timberwolf Organics - Newman's Own - Solid Gold (Dogs)

I've had the most luck with Eagle Pack Chicken for cats. The cats in my care at the Humane Society (about 65) did the best on this.

Best of luck to you and your pets!

Thumbs Up: 2 | Thumbs up!

Jessica H.

Jul 08, 2008

I will paste what I said to someone asking a similar question:

"Ask 100 people what they recommend and you will get 100 different answers.

The best advice I can give is to do your own research. Learn how to read food labels, do research on the ingredients and find what is right for you.

Also you must keep in mind - what works for one person may not necessarily work for another. So while I can suggest what food I am currently feeding to my dogs, it doesn't mean that will be the best choice for your dogs.

In the end, do your own research, ask questions, and just find out what works for you! :)"

I used to feed nutro myself but left it years ago for my current brand. Though it looks as though I will be shopping for a new brand soon enough as my current pet food company is outsourcing to another food company and will be changing their formula, which I am not a fan of.

However, my biggest piece of advice is to do research and teach yourself what is in dog food, what dogs need, what is good, what is bad, and what you do and don't want to look for in foods, and make a decision based off of that.

And also, just because one person suggests it and has good results DOES NOT mean your pets will have the same results on the same food. Dogs are different... just like people!

Good luck!

Thumbs Up: 1 | Thumbs up!


Jul 14, 2008

Well, if you're sure that she food is causing vomiting, them perhaps they didn't just change the packaging, maybe they added something that your dogs could be allergic to?
But I really don't think it's the dog food....

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

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