Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
306 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
layla, my 5 month old golden retriever has been fed iams puppy food and/or large breed puppy eukanuba kibble since we've owned her at 8 weeks old. never experiencing any issue outside of loose stools due to a food switch.

today at the dog park, we ran into a woman who had a gorgeous 4 year old golden retriever. as we were talking, she mentioned how goldens are obviously prone to skin cancer etc and her dog overcame it 2 years ago. she then mentioned how her dog was fed iams/eukanuba and the grains in cheaper dog foods actually cause tumors/skin conditions. (?!?!?!!?!?!)

she also said how she's fed her dog orijen brand dog food for the last two years and has not had any problems since.

naturally, this being my first golden and all, this raised some concerns.

i read the thread about orijen and bones which is also alarming. however, what is truely the best food for my golden? i'm not opposed to dropping a little extra cash to ensure health. should i switch to orijen? are there any other alternatives?

thanks a bunch!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,557 Posts
First of all, skin cancer in and of itself is not that common in Goldens. Goldens are more prone to cancer, particularly it seems hemangiosarcoma and lymphoma. And I have NEVER heard of grains actually causing cancer.

For dogs with cancer, many espouse a "cancer starving" diet, which is grain free. The thinking being that carbohydrates provide food for cancer cells to thrive on.

Grains are not necessarily bad, but like any thing, moderation is the key. I would not feed my dog a diet that consisted mainly of grains, but I do feed Canidae, an excellent food which does have some grain.

Some dogs are allergic to some grains, so they should not be fed dog food with those grains in it. My personal preference is for the majority of the first five ingredients in a dog food to be meat, not grain.

I have found that what food is best, can vary greatly depending on the individual dog, its exercise level and its genetic make up. I am fortunate not to have problems with allergies, and my dogs do pretty well on anything from Purina Pro Plan to EVO. I like the Canidae, the dogs do well on it, and so it is what I use.
 

·
I shoot, they fetch.
Joined
·
2,188 Posts
... the dogs do well on it, and so it is what I use.
This is the key. If you are feeding a quality, balanced food, and your dog is doing well on it, (ie a thick glossy coat, no gunky ears or itchies, no excess flatulence or other "stinkiness") then there is no need to fix something that isn't broken! Most of my dogs are on Fromm Salmon because it works for them--corn does not agree with my crew, and it is calorie dense enough to maintain body condition during hunting season without feeding 8 cups a day! But I have one older girl who can gain weight just by looking at food so she is on something different! But the key is that I feed what I found to be effective for my dogs.
 

·
In the Moment
Joined
·
20,515 Posts
There is no one magic food. There are, however, many quality foods out there and, like Linda said, it all depends on what YOUR dog does well on. Personally I rotate among several..... Fromm 4 star, Innova, Acana ( when I can get it). Some dogs need and tolerate grains and some don't. However, make sure that your dog's diet is meat based.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,195 Posts
the "dogs can't/shouldn't eat grains" is a wonderful marketing concept with very little validity to it based in science. But it does sell dog food, so hey, whatever works.
But the other replies so far have given you some very good advice. Different dogs do better on different foods. Some dogs will have an issue with a particular grain, such as corn, but not with other grains, such as rice.
When I had to switch one of my dogs to a potato based food, I asked the specialist if I should switch my other dogs to gluten or grain free foods. He said, "if your next door neighbor was lactose intolerant, would you give up dairy products?".
Your pup is cute!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,831 Posts
One of my dog erupts in hot spots and flaky skin when on a food with grains. My other 2 do not. But I feed grain free and I like it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,164 Posts
My dogs have been eating grain free for years but I've recently decided to add a small amount of grain back into their diet. My reasoning is I just don't think there is enough proof one way or the other on if grains should be fed. This is a little more difficult with Conner, who is allergic to most grains. I think I'm going to try the Quinoa that is used in one of Honest Kitchen's products on him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,195 Posts
can you find a food with potato? most dogs who are allergic to a lot of grains are ok with potato.


My dogs have been eating grain free for years but I've recently decided to add a small amount of grain back into their diet. My reasoning is I just don't think there is enough proof one way or the other on if grains should be fed. This is a little more difficult with Conner, who is allergic to most grains. I think I'm going to try the Quinoa that is used in one of Honest Kitchen's products on him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,164 Posts
can you find a food with potato? most dogs who are allergic to a lot of grains are ok with potato.
Nope, allergic to potato. And rice, oats, barley, yeast, pork, duck, and rabbit.

Such a pain!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,005 Posts
Been there, done that. Back in 04 or so when we were completely baffled on what to do with Daki's ears, we finally did allergy panels on both he and Comet.

The came back reading like War and Peace. To this day I don't believe half of what was on there, which included just about every Grain on the planet.

But we moved them to California Natural and not only did his ears clear up in 6 weeks (something we had failed to accomplish in 4 years), but they rarely developed hot spots or other skin issues.



Nope, allergic to potato. And rice, oats, barley, yeast, pork, duck, and rabbit.

Such a pain!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,215 Posts
the "dogs can't/shouldn't eat grains" is a wonderful marketing concept with very little validity to it based in science. But it does sell dog food, so hey, whatever works.
It sells $80/bag dog food. ;) And when your product is priced so much higher than most other foods on the market, it stands to reason that the company would have to make some pretty bold claims to sell their product. They have to justify the price.

I'm not saying that Orijen isn't a good food. Many dogs do very well on it. (Mine didn't, but many do.)
As far as the grains in cheaper foods causing cancer... that's a first for me. I drove myself crazy there for a while, researching foods. I came across some pretty wacky claims out there on the 'net, but I've never heard that one. I would be more concerned with some of the chemical preservatives used in cheaper foods, like ethoxyquin, than I would be with the grain itself. And even with ethoxyquin, there seems to be some disagreement as to just how dangerous or carcinogenic it actually is.

I can see where a certain diet could be beneficial to a dog who HAS cancer. That makes sense. But as far as the insinuation that a particular brand of food prevents it... I wouldn't put much stock in that.

The bottom line, I think, is finding a food that your dog does well on. If she's doing well on her current food, why switch? I mean, if you'd feel better switching her to a 'higher quality' food, then by all means, do it. But don't let yourself get scared into doing so.

Personally, my Golden is on a 1/2 and 1/2 mix of California Natural herring and Fromm's 4-star duck. Neither is grain-free, but they're not overloaded with it, either. He's been on this mix for about a month now, I think, and he's never looked better. But go with what works for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,169 Posts
No one food or type of diet causes cancer. There are: hereditary factors, environmental toxins, over vaccinating, etc. that contribute to the likelihood of developing cancer; and it is believed that a diet high in carbohydrates could worsen a dog with cancer, but not cause it. Cancer diets are typically promoted as high protein and high fat - which by default means the % left to carbohydrates is low. So, some people believe that feeding the average dog a kibble low in carbs is stacking the deck in their favor. Currently all the low carb kibbles on the market happen to be grain-free. But I would be eager to try a low carb kibble using quinoa (an ancient grain) as the primary carb source.

My Bentley has an intolerance to many grains; so I have both my dogs on grain-free and low carb (not all grain free is low carb: ie. Natural Balance Sweet Potato and Fish).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
680 Posts
I am very much against grains.
We have had nothing but problems with Cody. He has pretty much been fed everything, from Iams, to a vet prescription, to a holisitc food, all containting grains and all relativly ok foods.
We then put him on wellness which to me is probably one of the best foods you can buy, but it was the super5mix (with grains) He has had so many ear problems it has cost us a small vacation.

He is now eating Acana(same comany as Orijen) Grasslands(lamb and duck)
so far so good.
I highly reccomend Orijen, but because of the high protein levels I would not suggest it until about 7-8 months minimum.
Acana is a cheaper alternative with less protein levels, but still higher then most dog foods. Orijen usualy ranges at 44% and Acana is at 33% protein which is better for puppies imo. I feed my 8 month old lab/cow cross the Grasslands as well.

Cody also always had softish stools on foods with grain, but now that he is on Acana he is finaly having normal stool for the first time in his life.
The switch to grain free(not carb free) was a good one for us. You have to keep in mind that the food still has carbs which come from fruits and veggies and not grains.

The other nice thing about going grain free is that you feed them less then you would a food with grains. Cody was eating almost 5 cups of the wellness super5mix and he is down to 3.5 cups of the grasslands. He has even gained weight since we put him on the grasslands so I could probably start feeding him less.
Puppies doe need more so go by what it suggests on the bag and adjust as needed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
869 Posts
I think some dogs have problems with grains or any foods with multiple ingredients. It is good there are options for those dogs. I have done a LOT of food research. I do not think all grains are bad, but there are other problems with lower quality foods that may be. Iams & Eukanuba both use corn. Dogs to not digest corn well. They also use wheat gluten which is what came from china when there were all the recalled poisoned foods.

Orijen is suppose to be a better quality food. They did have a problem early this year with bone fragments in one of the fish formulas. The thing I thought was the worst about it was they tried to say it wasn't significant. I saw photos, there were some good size bone pieces. It was at the time I was choosing a food for our new puppy. (I used Iams with my 1st Golden.....she had cancer, went blind & had seizures) I have no way of knowing if any was attributed to the Iams, but I wasn't taking a chance so that is why I did so much research on foods. I eliminated Orijen because of their lack of concern.

I decided on Fromm. It is made by Fromm only, in the US, & not by another manufacture like Orijen & a lot of foods. So even though there are different names on a lot of bags they are being manufactured by only a few manufactures. Fromm makes Fromm. They use good quality human grade ingredients. No wheat gluten, no corn, no equoxiphen (spelling?)
Fromm has a grain free formula if you prefer. Most grain free formulas are HIGH protein which isn't great for large breed puppies.
Fromm isn't much more expensive, if at all, than foods like Iams & because the ingredients are better, you actually feed less.
Good luck, food choices are tough. If I can help let me know, I have some info saved from when I was checking out all kinds of foods. There are several others I though were quality foods but I was impressed by Fromm & they answered my emails when I wrote with questions.
 

·
Cheeky Curmudgeon
Joined
·
1,046 Posts
Orijen and Acana are brands of Champion Petfoods which is made in Morinville, Alberta Canada. They have always chosen local human grade ingredients with the exception of the frozen New Zealand lamb that they have used in their Grasslands formula which has been change to lamb from Alberta and duck from Ontario. This formula change wasn't advertised and a lot of stores didn't seem well informed by their distributor; however, it is hard to overlook that the ingredients that they replaced are from Canada vs importing from another country.

Just today, I had a lady involved in rescue ask me about my pup's glossy black coat at the pet supply store and I fed Acana Grasslands and another lady involved in rescue feeds Acana Wild Prairie (previously Prairie Harvest, they added duck).

I really don't think that carnivores should be eating grains and I minimize it, but food is a very personal choice and I have fed a raw prey model diet in the past as well. If your puppy's current food is causing digestive problems, then I would change the food. If you want to feed a better quality food, change the food. Is Orijen the only brand to consider? No. There is also Fromm's , Innova EVO, Nature's Variety Instinct, Go! Natural, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
306 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
thanks all. responses have all been very helpful and informative.

i walked through petsmart the other day and inspected the ingredients of most shelf dog food and i was unimpressed with the high content of corn and grain fillers. :no:

from what i have read online, i'm the most interested in fromm, blue buff, or arcana. there are vets marketing both in my area and layla is nearly out of food so i will be looking into the matter on monday. considering she's only 5 months old, i don't think i'll go grain free just yet or until i find a food she does well with/a brand i'm impressed with.

all i want are less preservatives and natural ingredients. :no:

economically, would you suggest buying from some specialty online store or at an retailer/vet in my area? doggiefood.com?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
869 Posts
Most dog foods are marked up if sold through a vet. Some of the better ones you can't get at regular pet stores. I buy my Fromm from a dog Bakery that is a local store. Several feed stores in my area also carry it or can get it.

Online is usually more expensive because of shipping but as mentioned some places ship free with minimal certain purchase. Also watch for shipping sales.

If you check with the web site of the food you choose, they usually will list stores in your area that carry the food.
If you decide on Fromm, save the Proof of Purchase UPC code because you get a free bag after so many.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,129 Posts
Dogs to not digest corn well. They also use wheat gluten which is what came from china when there were all the recalled poisoned foods.
I just can't let this go. Ground Corn is just as digestible as ground barley, ground wheat, ground millet, ground whatever...probably more so. The corn these dogs eat aren't "corn on the cob" with the starch incased in a shell. Its been ground and cooked.

Eukanuba and Iams kibble does not have and never has had wheat gluten.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top