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Dog Food Dilemma...advice, help?
03-12-2012, 02:53 PM,
#1
OriJas Offline
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Dog Food Dilemma...advice, help?
Okay, so I'm having a bit of an issue right now. Actually, I've been having it for quite a while, but in all honesty I don't trust the vet's opinion as some dog people here may know...they push brands that fund them such as Science Diet. Mine pushes both Science Diet, and Royal Canin. And frankly, I like the fact my vet praises me for having Ori and Jas are on Royal Canin, but I still feel they do it for business as well...I've been hearing more bad things about it than good. To the point even I'm ashamed to tell others what they're on and I won't even recommend it to others myself.

However, I've been looking at two other brands since, and comparing, but for a number of reasons. Jasmine being 15 months old now, is not growing properly. I've tried asking my vet what in the world is going on, and they keep telling me that because she's on Royal Canin, she's fine. However her head is way too small for her age and breed, while her height is pretty standard and expected, she's not "stocky" like her line is supposed to be as an English Cream.

I don't know how to explain it, and photos really do not help as she looks different in reality than she does on film...but her head is half the size of Ori's and he's of a different bloodline which isn't a "stocky" line. So I just know something is going awry here. I've been thinking of switching her back to the puppy variety just for a few months, as she was switched to "adult" a little earlier than the recommended 15 months of age. However, if I do switch back...I'm thinking of it being to something else. Only that the only "better" and more recommended brands I know and like are almost impossible to find in Australia. Taste of the Wild being one, which is only found in one store in the whole country, and sadly...nowhere near me. The other being Blue Buffalo, which despite searching, doesn't seem to be here at ALL.

There's two holistic brands I've just enquired about, but neither are grain-free (not that Royal Canin is grain-free anyway, but still) and I haven't a clue anything about them, except that one is Canadian and the other is Australian-made. Which I have to say, the latter makes me a little wary because I'll admit, Australia's knowledge on a lot of dog or pet care in general isn't anywhere NEAR where it is in the US from what I've seen. Even most of the vets make me terribly nervous because I honestly don't think they know or care very much. Yes, I'm probably slightly paranoid. Lol. The fact that NONE of the pet supply stores or vets sell grain-free foods should tell just as much, though.

So I need some advice if people could. Should I just stick with Royal Canin and switch Jasmine back to puppy variety for a short while? The woman I spoke to on the phone at the pet supply store did say she could be on the puppy variety for up to 2 years old and that might give her the growth spurt she so desperately needs at her age now. Or should I still keep looking elsewhere?

I'm not entirely sure that it's the food causing the problem but I can just tell something is off, and the vet refuses to listen to any of my concerns. Their excuse is either that she's female, or that she'll be a smaller Golden...but annoyingly her parents aren't as small as her, when Ori was her age he WAS fully grown. I mean, as least he had an endearingly "fat head" when he was hitting the 5 month mark.

Jasmine and Ori are really the only two dogs I've raised from puppies to adult, so I'm still VERY new at this and normally I wouldn't worry if Jasmine wasn't as old as she was now...but she should not be this small at her age. Her parents, grandparents and great grandparents were fully built and proportioned, she comes from champion lines and she was NOT the runt. So what the heck is the deal and how can I boost her up?

Height-wise, she's fine. But her head is small compared to what it should be, her tail still looks like it hasn't "bushed-out" and she's VERY lanky for her more "stocky" supposed-to-be stature. If I didn't know any better (which I do, thankfully) I'd say she was looking like a scrawny mutt or she was still in her 5-month-old awkward stage.

Okay, I'll leave these here so I don't ramble on any more...
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03-12-2012, 10:39 PM,
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Ram Offline
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RE: Dog Food Dilemma...advice, help?
I am not much of a dog person, since I've never owned a dog myself.


I asked around for you, and got a few answers I am not sure if they are helpful.

Simply copied and pasted them


Answer #1.
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I have yet to find a clear guideline for canine nutritional needs and this makes it very difficult to come to a decision on dogfood... the guidelines for humans are not even right. I know of two cases of dogs in record books, both ACDs, that lived past age 25, one was on a strictly vegetarian diet and the other was on a raw diet.... so, lol, that doesn't help any! Yes, I do suspect that vets are pushing brands because they are being sponsored by them, much like human doctors prescribing medications from the parmaceutical companies that sponsor them. It just comes down to a lot of research and ruling out any allergies that your dog might have... and making your best judgement and hoping you make the right one. I know many have success with a grain free diet but also that many foods labeled "grain free" just substitute the grain with simple starches... and excessive starches are said to be even worse for the health of a dog. I also think it is a wise choice to not just depend on the food itself for everything a dog needs. Appropriate table scraps and supplements and a daily multivitamin are all great measures to ensure that your pet is getting a broad variety and surplus of nutrients into their body.

Just like with humans, it is important to read the ingredients list and avoid foods that contain man-made chemical dyes or artificial chemicals... those things should not go into any living body.
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Answer #2.
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Dogs' size is not always governed by the size of their parents. (My mom was 5'10" & my dad was 6'2". I'm 5'4"!) It is a good indicator but not an absolute. Your vet is correct- she is probably just going to be a smaller dog.

A large breed dog like a Golden should absolutely be on adult food at that age. The food you feed will not change the size she will be BUT it will help determine how healthy she will be.

The cost of the food is not a good indicator of the quality. Many pricey brands such as Science Diet, Eukanuba & others are junk. Unfortunately, Royal Canin is not one of the better foods. You can do much better for the money.
READ the labels & compare! That's the best way. If you don't know what the ingredient is, it should not be in the food. Corn is not dog food. They do not digest it well.
Most of the foods labeled as Holistic are reasonably good. Chicken Soup is a great food for the price.
http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/
http://www.dogaware.com/

If you choose to switch your dog's food, do it very slowly so as not to cause digestive upset. It should take at least 10 days to make the complete switch.
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Answer #3.
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do NOT feed Beneful. It's utter crap. Don't feed anything with wheat, soy, by-products and corn. Beneful is loaded with the last two, which are also fillers, your dog would get no nutritional value
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03-13-2012, 12:05 AM,
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OriJas Offline
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RE: Dog Food Dilemma...advice, help?
Thank you, very much Ram. Unfortunately, a lot of it basically just says what I'm already aware of and know. Sad My issue isn't with not knowing what to look for, my issue is the right things that I am looking for, aren't in foods that are available here. Sad So I was hoping for maybe another alternative. It wasn't that I was concerned the food was changing her size, but that it was slowing it down too much that it was stunting her growth.

A lot of the premium foods have calcium in them, which aids in "prolonging" the growth rate to avoid damage to the bones in larger breeds, as they're prone to Hip Dysplasia and other bone problems if they develop too fast. Too much calcium can affect the protein/calcium balance and their growth rate can change dramatically. Goldens usually slow down growing at around 12-13 months but they can continue to grow slowly as old as 2-years-old. But she's had a problem with her growth rate for a while, and she stopped progressing equally (or smoothly) around the time she was spayed at 8 months. Then it just basically dropped off and took 5 months for her to grow just under an inch. So I've been a little concerned that the calcium levels are too high for her, which might be slowly down her growth so much that by the time she reaches 2 years old, her growth will stop regardless.

It doesn't really bother me too much if she IS small...it just makes her look a little silly. Lol. Like she's a full-blood Golden and yet she looks to be about 6 months old. It's probably a good thing I'm not planning on conformation showing...she wouldn't even pass for eligibility since her size isn't even considered "standard".
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03-13-2012, 01:11 AM,
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bw Offline
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RE: Dog Food Dilemma...advice, help?
TOTW is a good brand of food. Look at the ingredients lists. Meat (not meal) of some type should be the first ingredient. There should be no corn, wheat or by-products. Innova, Wellness, Orijen & Merrick are a few of the good brands out there. However I don't know what is available in your area. Some others are Blue, Halo, Soup for the Soul, Again, read the ingredients lists! Good for you for knowing MOST vets DO NOT know food! You are right in that they push what they are more or less pain to sell! Also if you see a dog food advertising "VET APPROVED" all that means is they have a PAID vet on staff to approve it.

OriJAs, unless you are planning to show Jasmine or (oh no) breed her, I would not worry so much about the size of her head. The photo you have showing here, they both look great.

While Royal Canin is not the best dog food, it is certainly not the worst one either.
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