Join Date: Sep 2015
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For those that have asked about food...I do think it is a combination of genes, diet, and exercise that has contributed to Liam's longevity.
As to his diet, I used to work for Canine Companions for Independence years ago...before I had Liam. And, what I learned there was invaluable re: nutrition.
Liam joined me when I was just 23 years old and poor. However, I always got him the highest quality food I could afford at the time. Which, while I appreciate Millie'sMom offer of Purina's Bright Mind - Purina food never met my standards (i.e. poultry by product waste). I work in the field of animal protection more broadly - and the way in which we raise animals for food (factory farms/CAFOs) in this country is damaging human health, the environment, our communities, etc. And, feeding our dogs the waste/by products from the slaughterhouses does not do anything for their health (these animals are pumped full of antibiotics, and live a miserable existence).
That said, finding food that met my standards was/is always challenging. There are no laws or requirements around dog food formulas related to nutrition or for companies to label where they source their ingredients. So, I base my comfort level with food on how transparent the company is - do they tell you how they make their food, where they source their ingredients, a study of the recall history, etc.
I have also taken the approach of cycling his food to vary his sources of protein. And, who doesn't like variety! And, buying food from Canada that process their foods in their own facilities (like FirstMate) - as to bypass the processing facilities in the US that process both the low-quality food and the high-quality foods on the same machinery.
There is no magic food bullet - and I think you are doing right by your dog if you educate yourself even a tiny bit as to what exactly is in those bags and where is it sourced. And, do the best you can - it is a tricky industry to navigate.
Right now, Liam is actually eating Royal Canin Hepatic for his liver...And, I am grateful that despite me not loving all the ingredients listed...the food has brought his liver numbers back into the normal range.