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What to look for in a Complete Food

(5 Posts)
Millie1 Tue 14-Jun-11 22:50:23

Am still undecided between a raw food diet and a dry, complete food. I had pretty much decided on Raw until I was discussing our elderly and overweight Lab with a Vet friend and, during our conversation, asked her has she ever fed her dogs a raw diet. She hasn't and said she'd be worried about the effect of it on the liver - I think this comment was in relation to our Lab as she then said that a pup reared on it would be a different matter. Does anyone know of any risks associated with the Raw Diet?

Anyway, to dry, Complete foods. I've read quite a few threads and there seems to be much discussion about the ingredients lists. What is the current thinking on what is or isn't important? For example, I looked at Burns High Oat thinking of our Lab, but it's 56% oats and an unspecified percentage of chicken meal, so would it really be as good a food as the marketing blurb says?

Then there's the pup to come. At the minute, he's fed raw but I think is proabaly having some complete also so as the pups are used to it when they go to their new homes (the breeder sends 2-3 weeks worth of food with them). If we decide to go for a complete food for him, it obviously won't be the same food as the older dog so again, it's a question of what should I look for in the ingredients list? Is it a high meat content, no cereal, is one cereal better than another and what will e best for small, firm and easy-to-poop-scoop poos??

Would be interested in opinions.


Scuttlebutter Tue 14-Jun-11 23:26:01

Millie, I'd be very interested in your vet friend's views on the dangers to the liver, perhaps she could expand further her thinking?

Raw and BARF diets are not homogenous - as you've probably already found, there are probably as many variations as there are dog owners, and there are also many owners like us who eased into it very gently with just a few substitutions to start with then gradually upping the quantity and using up the kibble.

Because of this variety, both between owners, and as owners what we feed to our individual dogs varies also, surely it's hard to say that liver damage would result? The only thing I could think of would be the danger of parasites in raw meat that might potentially damage the liver, for this reason historically raw or undercooked pork was a no-no for humans as well as animals.

I'd be horrified to think I was feeding in a way that could be potentially damaging to my dog's health, and would also be very surprised, given that most wild dogs don't usually forage for kibble grin and prepared, cooked food for dogs is quite a recent innovation.

If any other vets here could shed any light on this, it would be very welcome

walkersmum Wed 15-Jun-11 06:37:57

These site give good independent views and although from the states many fo the foods in the UK are listed. Last one is a good read about foods.


Kingsroadie Wed 15-Jun-11 09:07:27

Millie - I have been investigating this for my puppy and I have posted a few links on new puppy thread and have posted a few times about it - I am NO expert but you might want to have a quick look at those? Am finding it's a bit of a minefield!

Millie1 Wed 15-Jun-11 13:19:50

Thanks foe the links guys. Shall have a read.

Scuttle ... I think what she was saying was firstly that she has no experience of it having not fed it to her dogs but also, we were talking about our elderly lab and my friend knows the dog and her history well, so in reflection I think she would have worried about it in relation to the lab's health and history. She did say that for a pup starting off on it, that she thinks it would be fine. Please don't think I'm questioning what others are feeding, or trying to scare-monger, I've done some googling since and can't find anything negative and I'm still considering it for our pup! smile

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