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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.
I don't intend to get into a battle about this, but I just want to respond to a few of your points in defense of WDJ, and then I'm going to leave this thread alone and let everyone decide for themselves...

1) In the 20+ years I have been a WDJ subscriber I have NEVER seen or heard of any implication that WDJ gets "paid for placements." One of the reasons I trust them is that they do not accept advertising and I have never heard of them getting anything of value from companies in order to give good feedback about their products. If a food "drops off" the list, it's likely that either something changed (e.g., the brand was bought by a company WDJ has reason to distrust) or the food just no longer meets their higher criteria (e.g., the company wouldn't tell them where the food was manufactured or where the ingredients were sourced). If a new food appears, it's likely it's literally a new food since the last time they did their review (or maybe a food that had a limited distribution prior to that year). I really don't think anyone is paying WDJ to put their food on the list!
2) It is NOT a "top 10" list. Their 2018 list (available via Google search if anyone is interested) has over 50 foods/brands on the list, organized by cost per pound. I have never heard them claim that there is a "best" food for every dog... in fact every year the list comes out they strongly encourage their readers to educate themselves about how to read a food label, they admit that just because a food is not on their list does not automatically make it a "bad" food, and basically they say that the "best" food for your dog is the food your dog does best on. They always have at least a brief discussion of what criteria they used to assess which foods make it to their "recommended" list in that given year.
3) I agree that I would like to have seen a caveat on the 2019 list about concerns about the DCM and grain-free foods (though I also know WDJ has published several stories exploring the issue - most are available on line without a subscription if anyone is curious). That said, as I understand it, researchers have not yet definitively determined exactly what the link is between grain-free and DCM (they've determined a potential correlation, but not causation), so a wholesale dumping/trashing of a high-quality kibble based solely on a suspected link (not even knowing exactly what that link is), would also not be a wise thing to do. There are many dogs still eating grain-free foods who have not developed DCM, and there are plenty of foods on WDJ recommended list that include grains, so anyone who is concerned can still find the list of use.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion about this, but I stand by my assertion that the WDJ recommended foods list is an excellent tool for dog owners trying to determine what might be the "best" food or foods to feed their dogs.
 

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Mom to Sonny and Seamus
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I feed my 4 year old Golden Retriever and his 10 year old Corgi brother raw. I purchase a ground raw from a local co-op. It's cheaper that way. I have had my Golden Retriever's taurine tested and it was fine. He has also had an echocardiogram. My boys get slices of chicken hearts (frozen) as treats to keep their taurine levels up.

By the way, my Golden is not neutered. I was planning on getting him a vasectomy at 2 years of age but, since there is no medical reason to do it, and he's never around female dogs, he is intact. Following is information from the Cuyahoga Valley Golden Retriever club regarding this: https://redirect.viglink.com/?format=go&jsonp=vglnk_155611393555813&key=2a632da0ee202a2b25398b9ca60445ed&libId=juva1hkk01000bga000DAbl69xdmk&loc=https://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/golden-retriever-puppy-up-1-year/503790-benefits-not-neuering.html&v=1&opt=true&out=https://cvgrc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Deciding-Whether-When-to-Neuter.pdf&ref=https://www.google.com/&title=Benefits of not Neuering - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums&txt=https://cvgrc.org/wp-content/uploads...-to-Neuter.pdf
 

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I don't intend to get into a battle about this, but I just want to respond to a few of your points in defense of WDJ, and then I'm going to leave this thread alone and let everyone decide for themselves...

1) In the 20+ years I have been a WDJ subscriber I have NEVER seen or heard of any implication that WDJ gets "paid for placements." One of the reasons I trust them is that they do not accept advertising and I have never heard of them getting anything of value from companies in order to give good feedback about their products. If a food "drops off" the list, it's likely that either something changed (e.g., the brand was bought by a company WDJ has reason to distrust) or the food just no longer meets their higher criteria (e.g., the company wouldn't tell them where the food was manufactured or where the ingredients were sourced). If a new food appears, it's likely it's literally a new food since the last time they did their review (or maybe a food that had a limited distribution prior to that year). I really don't think anyone is paying WDJ to put their food on the list!
2) It is NOT a "top 10" list. Their 2018 list (available via Google search if anyone is interested) has over 50 foods/brands on the list, organized by cost per pound. I have never heard them claim that there is a "best" food for every dog... in fact every year the list comes out they strongly encourage their readers to educate themselves about how to read a food label, they admit that just because a food is not on their list does not automatically make it a "bad" food, and basically they say that the "best" food for your dog is the food your dog does best on. They always have at least a brief discussion of what criteria they used to assess which foods make it to their "recommended" list in that given year.
3) I agree that I would like to have seen a caveat on the 2019 list about concerns about the DCM and grain-free foods (though I also know WDJ has published several stories exploring the issue - most are available on line without a subscription if anyone is curious). That said, as I understand it, researchers have not yet definitively determined exactly what the link is between grain-free and DCM (they've determined a potential correlation, but not causation), so a wholesale dumping/trashing of a high-quality kibble based solely on a suspected link (not even knowing exactly what that link is), would also not be a wise thing to do. There are many dogs still eating grain-free foods who have not developed DCM, and there are plenty of foods on WDJ recommended list that include grains, so anyone who is concerned can still find the list of use.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion about this, but I stand by my assertion that the WDJ recommended foods list is an excellent tool for dog owners trying to determine what might be the "best" food or foods to feed their dogs.
I'm not arguing anything, it's called an opinion and info that you can go back a see. The top food list must have changed because it used to be a top 10 list. I can't see the list anymore since I no longer subscribe to that site. You may have never heard of that implication of pay for placement but I have, since at least as far back as 2009 and have heard it a lot and only speculation on my part. Plus there is a bit of anecdotal evidence that leaves it open for speculation. I also never said that was happening, but speculation with how they have ran that list, at least in the past. Again I feel they can be a good resource but their food recommendations, I wouldn't give you a dime for and that is my opinion. Like I said, new past, they've knocked a food and wouldn't recommend it for one thing while letting the same thing go in another food and recommended it. Makes you wonder.

So if they have changed in the last 5 or 6 years then that's great. I no longer subscribe to that site. I can only see what's on their public site and even looking last night, they still are recommending peas as an ingredient you want in your dogs food.
 

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Kristina
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Discussion Starter #24
Thank you all so much for your feedback! We are in the process of getting our ducks in a row and will start our pup on raw next Wednesday. We received our nutrition plan and are in the process of gathering everything! I am excited to see where that leads us! I hope we are doing the best for our guy! I appreciate all your help!
 

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Kristina
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #25
Figured I would circle back from 3 months ago!

We switched our now 14 month old to raw and we couldn't be happier with it. He is happier and healthier. The first thing that we noticed was that he did not struggle to poop anymore and he now poops like a cat. He has dropped from 75 to 66 pounds of muscle and you can tell how much better he feels, especially when he exercises. And of course his coat looks amazing. He goes absolutely bonkers for the food and we are just so happy he is doing so well with it!

Since starting him, we also added a second boy to our family and we decided to feed him Royal Canin and will be switching him to raw around 1 year!

Thanks again for all your help!
 

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I wouldn’t recommend feeding both raw and kibble at the same time. I tried feeding kibble in the morning and raw in the night, but digesting two different consistencies messed with a dogs system. I personally feed Misty a homemade raw diet, but I did tons of research and spoke to an expert about it. I recommend starting with a commercial raw food, my favourite is Tollden Farms. I also switch between commercial and homemade raw.
 

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Zumba Instructor
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Thanks to all for your valuable suggestions, I was also looking for help regarding golden food, whether to give Raw Diet or not.

 

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Regarding raw diets: Don't forget that dogs can get salmonella from raw poultry, just like people. Unless you are a nutritionist, I recommend using a high quality food from an established company like Purina, etc. These companies have experts in nutrition and extensive research labs that have been testing pet foods for many years. I stay away from "boutique" pet food companies that produce foods with ingredients that may sound appetizing to me but are of questionable value to my dogs. Also, it is very difficult to find out if and where some of these companies are doing any research on animal nutrition beyond basic quality control checks of the ingredients they are using. In fact, it is sometimes difficult to determine where exactly some of these foods are being manufactured.
If you are concerned about your dog's diet, I recommend doing your research, starting with your vet, checking out foods from well-established companies who publish their research results in professional journals, and reading the ingredients lists on the packages, and then making your choice. Good luck!
 

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In truth it's hard for dogs to get salmonella from eating raw food. A dogs system is completely the opposite of a persons. They are equipped to eat carron (dead, rooting flesh). Food in a dogs system is in the stomach for 4-5 hours (for people it's maybe an hour on average) so the stomach acids kill the bacteria. The real reason for recalls for salmonella is the risk for people more than the dogs, especially kids and older people.
 

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Dear Maggie's Voice,

According to my vet, dogs are at risk for salmonella from raw poultry. I had a puppy years ago who died from salmonella a couple days after getting her shots. It was a very painful death. The necropsy showed salmonella. She had no other problems that could be detected. The rest of the litter was fine. The vet I took the litter to for shots had a large dead Iguana in the office on one of the exam tables. Also, they had carpeting in the office and exam rooms, which at the time I didn't think could be a very good idea. Did the vet wash his hands before examining my puppies? I don't know, but needless to say, I changed vets.
The risk for getting salmonella from a raw diet may be small, but why take the risk? I think the best source for information on diets and Salmonella in dogs would be a good vet.
 

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Dear Maggie's Voice,

According to my vet, dogs are at risk for salmonella from raw poultry. I had a puppy years ago who died from salmonella a couple days after getting her shots. It was a very painful death. The necropsy showed salmonella. She had no other problems that could be detected. The rest of the litter was fine. The vet I took the litter to for shots had a large dead Iguana in the office on one of the exam tables. Also, they had carpeting in the office and exam rooms, which at the time I didn't think could be a very good idea. Did the vet wash his hands before examining my puppies? I don't know, but needless to say, I changed vets.
The risk for getting salmonella from a raw diet may be small, but why take the risk? I think the best source for information on diets and Salmonella in dogs would be a good vet.

The Raw diets that are commercially prepared are tested before, during and after the freezing process. This is why I don't go buy raw meats from my local store and feed it raw to my dogs. They are handled properly from raw feeding. The FDA I think expects about 30% of raw chicken to be contaminated with salmonella. They expect that meat to be cooked to a point it kills the bacteria.



You will hear of people driving an hour or 2 to meet a guy with a meat truck to buy raw chicken like feet, backs, breast meat etc just to save money feeding raw. These are the types of things I stay away from (local stores as well) and those are ways to have the food you feed your dogs to have a high level of contamination.


The risk with a commercially prepared raw diet is no greater than feeding a kibble for risk of salmonella. In fact I know as of a couple years ago (haven't checked lately) that there were no reported/confirmed cases of dogs dying from a raw diet but there have been hundreds and thousands of dogs that died from kibble.


The point about food and the vet. Vets only receive about 2 credit hours on nutrition in vet school and it's on farm animals (Horses, pigs, etc) and not on dogs/cats. So unless a vet really takes it upon themselves to learn about dog and cat nutrition after then fact, they are really behind the 8 ball on this. I would never expect a vet to be very up on dog.cat nutrition on a whole. I've seen vets just say all dogs should be fed once a day or a lab needs to eat 4 cups a day no matter what. Well, if 1 food has 350 kcals/cup and another has 550 kcals/cup you cant feed 4 cups to a higher calorie food. They don't even get this type of thing a lot of times. Just like our own Dr's, ask a lot of questions and learn for yourself and you will spot inaccuracies.



You certainly should do what you feel is right for you and your dog. What I do for my dogs isn't what everyone will do and there are things people do with there dogs that I would never do in a thousands years. There is never 1 right way and all else is the wrong way. But Raw foods fed the right way is just as safe as kibble and maybe safer.
 

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Debbie624
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The Raw diets that are commercially prepared are tested before, during and after the freezing process. This is why I don't go buy raw meats from my local store and feed it raw to my dogs. They are handled properly from raw feeding. The FDA I think expects about 30% of raw chicken to be contaminated with salmonella. They expect that meat to be cooked to a point it kills the bacteria.



You will hear of people driving an hour or 2 to meet a guy with a meat truck to buy raw chicken like feet, backs, breast meat etc just to save money feeding raw. These are the types of things I stay away from (local stores as well) and those are ways to have the food you feed your dogs to have a high level of contamination.


The risk with a commercially prepared raw diet is no greater than feeding a kibble for risk of salmonella. In fact I know as of a couple years ago (haven't checked lately) that there were no reported/confirmed cases of dogs dying from a raw diet but there have been hundreds and thousands of dogs that died from kibble.


The point about food and the vet. Vets only receive about 2 credit hours on nutrition in vet school and it's on farm animals (Horses, pigs, etc) and not on dogs/cats. So unless a vet really takes it upon themselves to learn about dog and cat nutrition after then fact, they are really behind the 8 ball on this. I would never expect a vet to be very up on dog.cat nutrition on a whole. I've seen vets just say all dogs should be fed once a day or a lab needs to eat 4 cups a day no matter what. Well, if 1 food has 350 kcals/cup and another has 550 kcals/cup you cant feed 4 cups to a higher calorie food. They don't even get this type of thing a lot of times. Just like our own Dr's, ask a lot of questions and learn for yourself and you will spot inaccuracies.



You certainly should do what you feel is right for you and your dog. What I do for my dogs isn't what everyone will do and there are things people do with there dogs that I would never do in a thousands years. There is never 1 right way and all else is the wrong way. But Raw foods fed the right way is just as safe as kibble and maybe safer.
Eric, or anyone else here, are you familiar with OC Raw Dog? I just bought this for Coco, the pumpkin and sardine one. My pet health food store owner suggested it. I was afraid to give it to Coco though after reading the recall recently with Performance Dog frozen raw pet food with salmonella and listeria, the foood is completely unrelated to what I got Coco. Its a different brand but I got nervous after seeing this and wondered if I should wait to introduce raw to her diet. She is 7 months old now and I am feeding PPP still and have started to add in Farmina. Any thoughts?? And if its ok to feed the kibble and use the raw as a topper considering a concern that another member said here about feeding both kibble and raw.
 

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Golden Ret Enthusiast
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I'm not familiar with that food but I mentioned in a different thread that I'm not a fan of small regional dog food makers like the performance raw food that just had the recall.

The issue with the really small regional companies is the possible lack of quality control for pathogens and imbalances. Hence if you look at the recalls for the raw foods, it's almost always the regional small companies. I get from the FDA every recall notice an any dog food or dog treats and it's virtually all the regional guys. That's why I like the bigger guys like bravo, Nature's Variety it even nature's logic. To a degree.
 
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