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  1. #1
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    Default Dog food for thought

    The recent death of our boxer coupled with my wife's assertion who is in veterinary medicine, that canine cancer is in such prevalence, many opinions and good sense have come through. Being of simple mind, I have a belief system going that cancer may not be the natural ender of life as we are seeing and that it may be something we are doing to our dogs (and ourselves) that may be causing a very unnatural death. There has been an assertion that after cells replicate so many times, dna goes haywire and cancer takes hold. My question is what makes dna go haywire. Shouldn't things stop living when cells simply no longer have the energy to replicate instead of what we are seeing now where immature cells just take over because replicating has gone crazy? Is death by cancer an inevitable event for our dogs who live beyond 10 years of age? My 13 year old boxer was jumping up on our bed of 30" high and only a month before was running and jumping like he was 2. He had much life left in him until his cancer metastasised so quickly. Theories so far have been foods, medicines, certainly genetics. Can this discussion become endless? I suppose that's true of many discussions on subjects pondered about. None the less, I think its a topic that can go for a little bit more. My personal opinion is we feed too many simple carbohydrates to our buddies, we feed them too much food at a time and where the heck are the assertions not widely published on this alleged war on cancer that's been going on for almost half a century. I may be half baked but there could be a set of simple answers that because there might be several of such, makes it look so overwhelmingly complex. I still wonder how long Bubba or any other dog would have lived if they did not contract this disease.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Dog food for thought

    I know how you feel. I lost my dog Syd to cancer, and it happened very quickly. Two weeks, tops. He's been gone for two years now, but it still hurts. And while he lived until 12, I had hoped for much more. So I did make some changes with my new dog after doing research on food. I had fed Iams for years, thinking it was a good food. Not so. Lots of fillers, and they use meat that is not fit for humans. So I've switched to Eagle Pack. They use three types of protein, little filler, and use only human grade meats. Nothing comes from China, and it's made right here in Indiana. And surprisingly doesn't cost much more.

    I also do not use softened water at all for water, and I feed twice a day. Beyond that, good care by a vet and myself are all I can really do.

    The worst thing you can say about a great dog is that they do not live as long as they should.

    Take care, and I'm sorry about your loss.

    Josh
    Green 4710, 460 FEL, MX6, and many other things on the wish list.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member chh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dog food for thought

    Sorry to hear about the loss of your dog. Good ones never live long enough.

    My wife works for a vet and their theories tend to be that there is way to many dyes and artifical colors in dog foods(to make it pretty for the owners, not the dog). The also such a much greater prevalance of allergies of all types and in skin problems in indoor dogs than in outdoor dogs. Carpet fresh and similar products that are highly perfumed seem to really set off reactions for a lot of dogs. The vet personally avoids dog foods that are highly colored and tries to stay away from as many articial flavors and ect for their dog and for the feed they use at the clinic.
    Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
    Will Rogers

    The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale and pays the freight both ways.
    John F. Kennedy

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Dog food for thought

    It is becoming more wide spread knowledge that most supermarket dog foods are a nutritional disaster. Ya know when they list "animal digest" as an ingredient? What you are feeding your dogs is anything caught in the digestive tract of the animal slaughtered and used in dog foods. It all gets ground up including the feces. Then they add colors for our taste and bht and other preservatives along with corn and corn gluten and corn meal and beet juice. It is the last thing you want to feed your pet but we live in a world of convenience and parents have used the television to babysit their kids so what chance does the family pet have.
    Does your dog lie down on the synthetic wall to wall carpet or couch? These fibers are laced with flame retardants. Better to provide him his own lay blanket to rest on so his absorbtion is minilmalized. There are better ways to treat the house dog.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Dog food for thought

    arrow

    I am sorry about your Boxer. We have owned and bred Boxers since the early 70's and love them. I don't think that you can find a more intelligent and loving dog.

    I agree about the foods available today. We were recently given the opportunity to "rescue" a 5 year old brindle male. His former owner could no longer support 3 Boxers. We had been without a Boxer for a year and when this opportunity presented itself suddenly it took us only a day to decide. I grabbed the first food that presented itself - Purina's Beneful - great piles of poop. Caleb, the Boxer, is 70 lbs and eats 5 cups a day. The current bag of food is about gone and I will get Eukanuba today. We fed it to many of Boxers over the years and had good results with it - and much smaller poop piles.

    I interface with IAMs company reps at the dog show I work on but have not gotten an answer as to how much they have changed their formula. I don't believe that all of the fad "natural" diets are the answer because they lack some nutrients. My wife and I are going to be researching dog foods again but in the meantime I will feed Eukanuba.

    I do know that in our experience, Boxers don't live much more than 14 years. Our breeding has been show stock and you have to watch the pedigrees carefully to keep a good genetic mix in your breeding. We do not plan on breeding this dog but just keep him as a pet.

    Vernon
    Kubota L3130HST, BL4690B backhoe, LA723 Loader w/QA, 6' BB, 6' Bush Hog, 5' RB, PHD, ATI grapple, Hy-Reach Tree Shear, toothbar, pallet forks, grubbin bucket.

  6. #6
    Elite Member jimmyj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dog food for thought

    I love dogs (and most other animals too). I have worked in the pet supply industry my whole life, well over 20 years. The fact is that there are HUGE differences in the quality of top vs bottom pet foods. I have been on some plant tours that would leave you feeling (and knowing) that you could eat the food off the floor of the factory and I've also seen some pretty ugly stuff. Many good pet foods are made using standards (and ingredients) that are considerably greater than required for human food production.

    Sadly, bottom quality dry sold at Wal Mart is the #1 selling food in America and it's really not very good stuff. The wisest words I ever heard on the subject of nutrition were from an anthropologist who studied some sort of biology and went something like:

    "A organism will best metabolize and most optimally digest the types of foods and nutrient sources that it evolved consuming."

    In that regard it makes sense to consume whole foods where possible.

    This is not to say that science is not very valuable. There are top quality foods out there that use nutrients derived scientifically instead of through whole ingredients. The pet food industry is full of rhetoric and marketing, beware and be educated. Some foods are "way better" than a pet really honestly needs but if you are prepared to pay the price, what the heck. Generally, the products reputed to be "top" are actually so. Cheap price means crummy in general. An animal can live a very long and seemingly vital life on a very crappy food, just like most of us have a 90 year old uncle who drinks and smokes and lives off the catering truck. Genetics has a lot to do with it but we certainly can put ourselves and our beloved companions into a situation where they are most likely to thrive by treating them well and giving them the greatest number of opportunities to thrive.

    The thread about Wal Mart and razor blades raises some very interesting concepts that touch on pet food as well as what we get for ourselves. There are fewer and fewer "huge" sources of certain ingredients now that the global market is so close together. You can't buy rice protein except from the far east as an example. The scandal about malamine in baby and pet foods cites how huge companines that are pressuring for lower and lower prices can create situations where unscrupulous persons can try and cut corners to have the best price. Melamine "tricks" some readings in the lab so you think you are getting X nutrient profile and shazaam, you got poison instead. A top company will actually inspect the places that they source their raw materials from to make sure no monkeying around is taking place.

    There is real value in doing research - read the "whole dog journal" if you want some good tips.

    Sorry to hear about your dog. 13 or 14 is a pretty good age for a large dog all said. I wish they'd live for 3x that long but there is only so much you can do as we all have a fairly predictable lifespan so don't beat yourself up thinking you did not do a good job raising your pal.

    Sorry to ramble, this topic is close to my heart and reminds me of my dear old pal Charlie. May he RIP. (My avitar is of my new best buddy ELMO!)

    Jimmy
    God Bless our brave men, bring them home, safe again.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Dog food for thought

    I lost my two best friends to cancer recently. I lost my mastiff, Mulder, the best dog I've ever known and the best friend I ever had, in October of 2007 and my other best friend, my St. Bernard, Patti, in July of 2008. I've had dogs all of my life, but these two loses were the toughest I ever had. Mulder developed mast cell cancer. He had a tumor removed, and he was on cancer watch for almost a year. It came back and grew quickly. We were prepared to sell almost everything we owned to put him on chemo and radiation therapy, as we had opinions of several vets that this was treatable. But my pal died soon after his first chemo treatment. Patti developed bone cancer 6 months after Mulder died, and I really think her grief had something to do with it. She took his death as hard as I did. We spent a lot of time crying together. I still cry for both of them, and I'm not ashamed of it.

    I slept with Mulder in his dog bed on the floor from when he first was diagnosed until the end, and I did the same with Patti. They deserved no less. I had them on Eukanuba food from when I adopted each of them. They were both rescues, as all of my dogs are. I got Patti when she was about 10 months old and Mulder at 8 weeks old.

    Mulder died at almost exactly 8 years old. And Patti was 10. I know giant breeds have the shortest life spans, but until they got cancer, they appeared to be no older than 3. MY vet, who is outstanding, and has become a close friend to my dogs and my wife and me, used to love to amaze any new vets or vet techs working for her by asking them to evaluate Patti and Mulder and ask their age. Eveyone was always amazed at how healthy they were until they got cancer.

    If there is a dog food that can help lengthen the lives of my best friends, I'll buy it. I have 4 dogs, and have almost always had 4 dogs at a time. Every moment with them is golden, and there is absolutely nothing I won't do for any one of them. So, if anyone knows what the best food is for our pals, please post it. I'm open to anything, but I insist on the best for my pals. I'll be happy to eat macaroni and cheese the rest of my life, if that's what it takes to afford something that will lengthen their lives, and avoid them dying of cancer.
    Rich
    "What a long strange trip it's been."

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Dog food for thought

    Iams is a company that uses ethoxyquin. A known carcinogen. This is used as a preservative for fish meal and is done at the fish processing factory so it does not even have to be listed as a preservative on the packaging. They make Eukanuba along with other foods. Their claim to fame was small terds as a result of how greatly increased their nutritional value was with the dog absorbing more nutrients. Trouble with that is that the food in the intestinal tract has to slow up in order to be more absorbed. Fat does that job wonderfully. My desire would be for the food to go through the intestinal tract as fast or slow as it wants too.

    I think there might be a key in the amount of carbohydrates we give them. Lots of splenic tumors and lymphoma. A dogs bile wasn't made to break down all the sugars that come from assimilated simple carbs such as corn and corn gluten and corn meal and beet juice. I'm giving my remaining boxer foods free of simple carbs and because he is a boxer which is a breed known for mast cell problems, I'm trying a broccoli extract as well. I'm giving him dry food ( Science Diet....Nature's Best brand) but I'm not sure I'm not going to switch him to a quality wet after this batch goes. I'm not sure of any of this stuff but I have to try. There has to be a key in the prevalence of all these cancers some where. I'll start it at the what I'm feeding him. The only thing I do know is that if you have a male dog that you are not breeding, have him neutered so he does not succumb to prostate or testicular cancer.

  9. #9
    Elite Member zzvyb6's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dog food for thought

    A fundamental problem with dogs is the amount of inbreeding between similar familes such that gene flaws are propagated instead of dispersed. That's why I also have gotten mutts. This point was brought up on the last televised National Dog Show that I saw.

    There's quite a bit of foods that dogs must not eat. Some that I didn't even suspect (grapes, raisins, onions, baby food, fish bones, hps(beer), milk, mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes, raw eggs, tobacco, yeast dough ) and I still see people feeding their dogs chocolate.

    My dogs love oatmeal, (no sugar with it, though). They are carnivores, maybe we should bring home some road kill every other day).

    What I really would like to know is how often to feed them their daily rations. I currently feed 3 times a day. Some have told me to feed the same amount 1ce per day. 3 vets gave me 3 different answers.
    There is no "I" in team, but there is a "Me" if you want to jumble it up a bit...

  10. #10
    Veteran Member chh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dog food for thought

    How often to feed a dog is one of those kind of questions that just about everyone has their own opinion and I have really not ever seen a study that says one way is better than another along as the total amount is right. We feed our dogs morning and night. Not too much in the morning or the crows get it(all out dogs are outside dogs). My parents acted like it was a crime to feed a dog more than once a day and they usually fed the dog/dogs right after dinner every evening. The local vet feeds dogs they are boarding twice a day 8 ish in the morning and just before 5 in the afternoon.
    I can't tell that my dogs now do any better or worse than my parents dogs did. The only thing I get from the vet(other than the coloring thing) is about letting them get too fat.
    I saw the same or a similar program on the inbreeding. English Bulldogs have bred so much for that short snout look that they don't even look like the breed did in the 1800's and breathing problems have resulted. Ain't nothin' like a good mutt.
    Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
    Will Rogers

    The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale and pays the freight both ways.
    John F. Kennedy

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