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Kristina
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Discussion Starter #1
I am new to these forums so hello! I am considering switching my dog over to a raw diet. I am not sure whether it is a good idea or a bad idea and my vet does not seem to want to even talk about it.

My pup is 11 months and not neutered. The vet told us to switch him to an industry approved food at 6 months so he is on Science Diet adult large breed. I have seen Royal Canine for Goldens which has intrigued me, as well as the raw diet.

What do you feed your golden? Do you have any recommendations? Just curious!

Thank you in advance! :laugh:
 

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I personally would not do a raw diet without speaking to a nutritionist before hand. Are you aware of the studies linking DCM in Golden's to taurine deficiency from grain free diets? Are you having issues on the Science Diet? I didn't personally have good luck with the Royal Canine, but many people do. My choices tend to be Purina Pro Plan, Science Diet, Royal Canine, Eukanuba.... I'm sure there's one I've missed.

I've spoken to the nutritionist at Purina, and Royal Canine and found them to be very knowledgeable and helpful if you have specific questions.

There is a FB group Taurine Deficiency in Golden Retrievers that has a ton of information if you would like more.

I know everyone has opinions on what to feed. I have one guy on an RX diet by Purina, and another on the Purina Pro Plan Sport 30/20. My dogs are extremely active hence the Sport 30/20.
 

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Golden Ret Enthusiast
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I do a raw diets with my dog. I actually supplement with it. I do Kibble and I do Nature's Variety Instinct raw. They have Medallions in 1oz and patties in 4oz. It takes 2 patties a meal or I do a patty with kibble or I do kibble with 1 or 2 medallions in it. I have knowledge better than most about canine nutrition and I still would never attempt a raw diet that I would make my own, especially a recipe you get online. I only do commercially prepared diets where I know it's been tested pathogen free and safe to be fed raw and balanced with a guaranteed analysis.



But the benefits or the raw diet are FAR superior then any kibble and any of those refrigerated foods like pet fresh which is pasteurized. You should also never have a taurine deficiency since you're feeding raw meat. Taurine is a meat protein based amino acid that gets destroyed in the cooking process. That is why they have to add it back into kibble. But raw uncooked meat is bursting with available taurine.



Raw diets are infinitely better for kidney health, dental, balancing the gut with good bacteria, and digestion. Plus you get maximum nutrition so you feed less volume which should help guard against bloat/gastric torsion.


Just do some reading on raw diets but I really warn against making your own.
 

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Kristina
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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you, @Maggie'sVoice and @DblTrblGolden2 for the replies!

My golden isn't having any issues on Science Diet, but I have heard of the benefits of raw and wanted to research more. We are very strongly against a grain-free diet per our veterinarian.

I appreciate the advice on the duo of kibbles and raw! I was thinking that if I were to switch my guy over in that direction, I would definitely use a commercially prepared diet. I have seen several of them through instagram and would obviously research further.
 

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Golden Ret Enthusiast
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Thank you, @Maggie'sVoice and @DblTrblGolden2 for the replies!

My golden isn't having any issues on Science Diet, but I have heard of the benefits of raw and wanted to research more. We are very strongly against a grain-free diet per our veterinarian.

I appreciate the advice on the duo of kibbles and raw! I was thinking that if I were to switch my guy over in that direction, I would definitely use a commercially prepared diet. I have seen several of them through instagram and would obviously research further.

Just some info... The guy that formulated Nature's Variety Instinct Raw left Nature's Variety and he's the one that formulated Nature's Logic Raw food. Same guy but different. One has a lot of ingredients and the other , Nature's logic is a more limited number of ingredients.
 

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Kristina
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Discussion Starter #6
thank you! this is really helpful!

My husband and I are kinda in the in-between of why switch if its not broken. I know people who are doing raw say that the benefits are huge, but its hard to find a lot of material to back it up.
 

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Golden Ret Enthusiast
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thank you! this is really helpful!

My husband and I are kinda in the in-between of why switch if its not broken. I know people who are doing raw say that the benefits are huge, but its hard to find a lot of material to back it up.

Some benefits...



One is the natural enzymes on the meat that has not been cooked away. They will break down all the plaque and tartar on teh teeth and get in between teeth too, like flossing. Those same enzymes will travel down to the stomach and help seed the gut with good bacteria (balances the gut. Both help with bad breath as bad breath comes from plaque and tartar build up and a bad gut.


Two... maximum nutrition. when you cook food you destroy a lot of nutrients. This is the reason they add a vitamin and mineral package to the food, to re-balance it. With this being said, certain vitamins can be toxic in excess. Like Vitamin A. to much is toxic, but a raw carrot, the dog will take the beta carotene and create it's own vitamin A as it needs it and discards the rest, no excesses.anything cook is altered and anything synthetic like vitamins forces the body to try to absorb it.



Three... You aren't feeding a kibble that is just 10% moisture. Feeding raw food at 65-75% moisture means you will get healthier kidneys. Dry food absorbs a lot of the water your dog drinks. This in turn pulls the water through the colon and not let it pass to the kidneys to help keep them flushes. Your dog will probably drink less and go to the bathroom as much or a little more, this being healthier for the kidneys.


Four... at least up until a couple years ago, at that point there still was no known or reported cases of a raw diet killing dogs whereas with kibble, that certainly can not be said.


I would feed strictly raw if it wasn't going to cost me over $100 a month to feed so I supplement it with a high quality kibble. Though I may try to see if the bank account can handle it over a couple months and go from there.
 

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Kristina
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Discussion Starter #8
Some benefits...



One is the natural enzymes on the meat that has not been cooked away. They will break down all the plaque and tartar on teh teeth and get in between teeth too, like flossing. Those same enzymes will travel down to the stomach and help seed the gut with good bacteria (balances the gut. Both help with bad breath as bad breath comes from plaque and tartar build up and a bad gut.


Two... maximum nutrition. when you cook food you destroy a lot of nutrients. This is the reason they add a vitamin and mineral package to the food, to re-balance it. With this being said, certain vitamins can be toxic in excess. Like Vitamin A. to much is toxic, but a raw carrot, the dog will take the beta carotene and create it's own vitamin A as it needs it and discards the rest, no excesses.anything cook is altered and anything synthetic like vitamins forces the body to try to absorb it.



Three... You aren't feeding a kibble that is just 10% moisture. Feeding raw food at 65-75% moisture means you will get healthier kidneys. Dry food absorbs a lot of the water your dog drinks. This in turn pulls the water through the colon and not let it pass to the kidneys to help keep them flushes. Your dog will probably drink less and go to the bathroom as much or a little more, this being healthier for the kidneys.


Four... at least up until a couple years ago, at that point there still was no known or reported cases of a raw diet killing dogs whereas with kibble, that certainly can not be said.


I would feed strictly raw if it wasn't going to cost me over $100 a month to feed so I supplement it with a high quality kibble. Though I may try to see if the bank account can handle it over a couple months and go from there.

Lots of excellent information there. I will admit I am very new at this and don't know much so all you time is helping me out a lot! Thank you!

This may be a stupid question. If so, I apologize. But, there is a lot of information out there about grain-free diets, taurine, etc. Feeding raw and food like Instinct would be grain-free generally, right? Would you supplement for taurine or am I just not thinking this through clearly.
 

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We just switched our 15 month old golden boy over to 100% raw. We alternate proteins (Turkey, Beef, Chicken and Lamb) between Raw Bistro and Northwest Naturals. He's never done better....great poops, etc. By the way, we did not neuter him, but did a vasectomy as we have an intact young girl Boxer at home. It's worked out great.
 

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Golden Ret Enthusiast
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Lots of excellent information there. I will admit I am very new at this and don't know much so all you time is helping me out a lot! Thank you!

This may be a stupid question. If so, I apologize. But, there is a lot of information out there about grain-free diets, taurine, etc. Feeding raw and food like Instinct would be grain-free generally, right? Would you supplement for taurine or am I just not thinking this through clearly.
It's ok, I'm glad to help.

No the grain free is implicated (and it's not all grain free) because a lot of the formulas use ingredients that aren't in the typical food formulas, they add the legumes and such because if a dog has issues with certain ingredients they use alternate ingredients. That was the original idea or reason they started the grain free fad. The issue is not enough taurine in the dry food and they get to much of their protein from the legumes ausing a deficientcy in taurine. There is plenty of taurine in raw meat. It hasn't been cooked away. The raw I feed Maggie is 95% meat and 5% fruits and veggies with no synthetic vitamins or minerals. So you should not have to supplement taurine with a few meat based food.
 

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Kristina
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Discussion Starter #11
We just switched our 15 month old golden boy over to 100% raw. We alternate proteins (Turkey, Beef, Chicken and Lamb) between Raw Bistro and Northwest Naturals. He's never done better....great poops, etc. By the way, we did not neuter him, but did a vasectomy as we have an intact young girl Boxer at home. It's worked out great.
I am definitely leaning towards switching him over to 100% raw. We are in talks with a nutritionist at the moment, but the owner of our pup's school said that he has been raw feeding his 6 pups for 12 years! I am very interested about the vasectomy as well! Our pup is 11 months and the vet has wanted to neuter him at 6.. we pushed out to 12.. and now I am thinking about pushing out further. Why did you choose it? Thank you so much!
 

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Kristina
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Discussion Starter #12
It's ok, I'm glad to help.

No the grain free is implicated (and it's not all grain free) because a lot of the formulas use ingredients that aren't in the typical food formulas, they add the legumes and such because if a dog has issues with certain ingredients they use alternate ingredients. That was the original idea or reason they started the grain free fad. The issue is not enough taurine in the dry food and they get to much of their protein from the legumes ausing a deficientcy in taurine. There is plenty of taurine in raw meat. It hasn't been cooked away. The raw I feed Maggie is 95% meat and 5% fruits and veggies with no synthetic vitamins or minerals. So you should not have to supplement taurine with a few meat based food.
Thank you so much! I actually contacted a dog nutritionist to help too because raw is so highly recommended and I only really know as much as you've told me and the little bits I've gotten online!
 

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Golden Ret Enthusiast
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Thank you so much! I actually contacted a dog nutritionist to help too because raw is so highly recommended and I only really know as much as you've told me and the little bits I've gotten online!
No problem! Make sure the guy has the correct credentials as a true nutritionist. To many people that think they really know sometime so they call themselves a nutritionist and in the end the dogs are the ones that pay the price.
 

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I am definitely leaning towards switching him over to 100% raw. We are in talks with a nutritionist at the moment, but the owner of our pup's school said that he has been raw feeding his 6 pups for 12 years! I am very interested about the vasectomy as well! Our pup is 11 months and the vet has wanted to neuter him at 6.. we pushed out to 12.. and now I am thinking about pushing out further. Why did you choose it? Thank you so much!
This is probably the quotation from the Parsemus Foundation that had the biggest impact on our decision to do a vasectomy.


"A publication from U.C. Davis (2013) looked at two joint disorders and three cancers– hip dysplasia, cranial cruciate ligament tear, lymphosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma and mast cell tumor– and showed that, for all five diseases analyzed, the disease rates were significantly higher in both males and females that were neutered either early or late compared with intact (non-neutered) dogs. For males, the health pro and cons tip even more strongly in favor of keeping the hormones than in females, since the only health conditions prevented by neuter are benign prostatic hyperplasia in older dogs (which is treatable by neuter), and testicular cancer (which is also a disease of old age and treated by castration, which is usually curative)."


We wanted to give our new boy the best possible chance for good health in life and, since he is very well behaved (no humping, marking, etc) it seemed a great choice. We would probably have just kept him intact but we have a young female Boxer at home too.
 

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Debbie624
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I also supplemented with Instinct raw medallions with Callie. It was 1 of her 3 meals where the other 2 were grain free kibble. Still don't know the cause of her passing last July but the ER vet suspected was blood clot and not heart related. That being said and all the DCM research, I am planning on feeding my new puppy who is 8 weeks old Purina Pro Plan for now and when she is older, will start to supplement with raw but commercial raw as it is treated to avoid bacteria. I also plan to consult a board-certified nutritionist to have a diet made for her bc I don't like the idea of the 4 big food companies that are recommended. That will be down the line though as I want to keep her on what the breeder has recommended. I also add warm water to her kibble to hydrate it as kibble is hard on the kidneys as Maggie's Voice discussed. I add enough to make the food float. If your dog is not used to this, add warm water in small amounts over time increasing it.
 

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My education about pet food started with a subscription to The Whole Dog Journal. I've been subscribing to this monthly magazine for almost 20 years now and, although they have a definite "natural" bent, I've found them to be very balanced and science-based as well, and perfectly open to "traditional" ideas as an option to consider. I highly recommend it if you are just starting down the road of information about raw diets, holistic health care, positive training, etc. They have a yearly "recommended dog foods" issue that many consider the gold standard for quality dog foods (you have to be a subscriber to see the most recent list, but a Google search should bring up past years' lists). I also highly recommend checking out a website called "Dog Aware" - lots of really good health and nutrition information there!

FWIW I've been feeding my guys raw for about 15 years now. Like Eric, I have chosen to spend the money to purchase commercially prepared raw diets (Bravo, Nature's Variety, Stella and Chewy's, and Primal among others) just to be sure they are balanced. When money gets tight, I'll substitute in a good quality, all natural kibble for some of the raw. I used to use one of the many high-quality grain-free foods before the DCM scare, but I'm feeding some Fromm Gold right now (which has grains) until they figure out what's causing the DCM.

If you are just starting out, you can also start by feeding the best quality kibble you can and adding in some healthy people food in moderation (canned mackerel, lean cooked meats, pureed veggies, eggs, etc.). That Dog Aware site I mentioned has an article about adding fresh food to a kibble diet. Every little bit helps!

For now, I'd say just keep reading and educating yourself. If nothing else, learning to read a dog food label, and knowing what ingredients may not be the best choice for your dog, is a great start!
 

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Golden Ret Enthusiast
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My education about pet food started with a subscription to The Whole Dog Journal. I've been subscribing to this monthly magazine for almost 20 years now and, although they have a definite "natural" bent, I've found them to be very balanced and science-based as well, and perfectly open to "traditional" ideas as an option to consider. I highly recommend it if you are just starting down the road of information about raw diets, holistic health care, positive training, etc. They have a yearly "recommended dog foods" issue that many consider the gold standard for quality dog foods (you have to be a subscriber to see the most recent list, but a Google search should bring up past years' lists). I also highly recommend checking out a website called "Dog Aware" - lots of really good health and nutrition information there!

FWIW I've been feeding my guys raw for about 15 years now. Like Eric, I have chosen to spend the money to purchase commercially prepared raw diets (Bravo, Nature's Variety, Stella and Chewy's, and Primal among others) just to be sure they are balanced. When money gets tight, I'll substitute in a good quality, all natural kibble for some of the raw. I used to use one of the many high-quality grain-free foods before the DCM scare, but I'm feeding some Fromm Gold right now (which has grains) until they figure out what's causing the DCM.

If you are just starting out, you can also start by feeding the best quality kibble you can and adding in some healthy people food in moderation (canned mackerel, lean cooked meats, pureed veggies, eggs, etc.). That Dog Aware site I mentioned has an article about adding fresh food to a kibble diet. Every little bit helps!

For now, I'd say just keep reading and educating yourself. If nothing else, learning to read a dog food label, and knowing what ingredients may not be the best choice for your dog, is a great start!

All good information but I have found the Whole Dog Journal to be bit political. It seems they are swayed and not sure why!? Nothing will change in formula and list or recommended foods is different from another. I mean some foods that were 1 and 2 would totally missing from the next list with no changes in any of the foods at all. They can have some good source material but I don't know if I'd ever trust their food evaluations.
 

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All good information but I have found the Whole Dog Journal to be bit political. It seems they are swayed and not sure why!? Nothing will change in formula and list or recommended foods is different from another. I mean some foods that were 1 and 2 would totally missing from the next list with no changes in any of the foods at all. They can have some good source material but I don't know if I'd ever trust their food evaluations.
I think it's just that over the years there have gotten to be so many foods that meet their criteria of a "good food" that they've added a few other criteria just to whittle the list down a bit. Things like the company being willing to share where their manufacturing facility is, or where they source their ingredients. It's not that the foods that used to be on the list have suddenly become "bad", WDJ is just holding them to a slightly higher standard. WDJ does not accept advertising, so I believe they are less biased and more balanced in their assessments than many other resources. I still trust their evaluations far more than most similar sites/resources and think it's a great resource for someone who is just starting to learn about what makes a high-quality dog food. It's also a nice, concise way for a newbie to take a list to a pet store or a website and be able to know which of the MANY foods offered might be worth trying.
 

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Golden Ret Enthusiast
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I think it's just that over the years there have gotten to be so many foods that meet their criteria of a "good food" that they've added a few other criteria just to whittle the list down a bit. Things like the company being willing to share where their manufacturing facility is, or where they source their ingredients. It's not that the foods that used to be on the list have suddenly become "bad", WDJ is just holding them to a slightly higher standard. WDJ does not accept advertising, so I believe they are less biased and more balanced in their assessments than many other resources. I still trust their evaluations far more than most similar sites/resources and think it's a great resource for someone who is just starting to learn about what makes a high-quality dog food. It's also a nice, concise way for a newbie to take a list to a pet store or a website and be able to know which of the MANY foods offered might be worth trying.

No I don't think it's about a food becoming bad that leaves a list or moves around. I think they are paid for placements. Maybe I'm wrong but there is no rhyme or reason for this. It makes no sense why the foods drop off the list and others come out of nowhere. And if it is like you say... I wouldn't trust them as they are just changing the list around arbitrarily? They should make a list or recommended foods if that is the case and not a top 10 foods. I don't listen to any sites actually. I feel they all have an agenda at some level. The best thing to do is to learn truly about canine nutrition and learn to to truly evaluate a food and you can make an informed decision. I have actually seen them knock a food for something and another food has the same thing but gets moved up for no reason. again, just not something I've learned to ignore, the websites top 10 foods lists and the like.


As far as lists to take into a store, they were still recommending all the grain free foods that have been implicated in the DCM issue with no cursory note attached to warn of a possible issue. These people aren't being informed to make an informed decision. In fact, they are still recommending foods with legumes in them.
 

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Golden Ret Enthusiast
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I feel that the WDJ can be a good source of information about understanding what certain ingredients are but it just seems they don't know how to decipher their own information properly.
 
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