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Alternative and Home Cooked Diets A forum for people making their own dog food, using alternative methods or different discussions improving the nutrition of your dog.

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Old 12-21-2013, 10:24 AM   #91
krandall
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Originally Posted by RitaandRiley View Post
Hi Karen,
I'm interested in going the "Preference", "Balance-it" route also. I've already sampled the HK but I'm curious about the Balance-it. Does it give info about serving size/calories with varying types and cuts of meat? For example as you mentioned chicken thigh vs.breast vs. different cuts of beef etc. I like to rotate protein sources. Also is it like a powder you sprinkle on or is it more of a mush like the HK? Thanks!
Actually, Balance_it is the MOST specific. They help you develop a recipe (or more than one, whatever you want) specifically for your dog. There are a number of "free" recipes on the site, but you can also, for a reasonable fee, have them specially design a diet for your dog. (to do that, you have to have your vet's approval that your dog is healthy, or if not, what, if any dietary restrictions the dog has) What I like is that the people who design the diets are board certified veterinary nutritionists.

Balance it is available in 3 "flavors"… Carnivore, which contains no starch source, oat blend and potato blend. I bought the potato blend first, but I won't again. I don't like the idea of filling him up on un-needed starch. The next time, I'll get the carnivore blend, and use that in conjunction with HK.

In Balance-It's "free" recipe program, it warns that the carnivore blend + the chosen meat is higher in fat and protein than commercial dog foods. I have no problem with it being higher in protein… we know that isn't a problem for a dog who doesn't have kidney problems. OTOH, especially in a small dog, you DO want to avoid too high fat levels. That's why I chose to use the ground chicken breast rather than generic ground chicken.

Kodi CLEARLY like both WAY better than kibble, but he likes HK (or a blend of HK and Balance-It) better than the Balance-It recipe alone.

I also tried Sojo's, but won't again, after finding that they source some of their vegetable ingredients from China. That said, he liked that too!
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Old 12-21-2013, 05:47 PM   #92
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Tippi eats a brand called Merrick, and the chicken, brown rice and green pea version makes her tail wag. But I've never heard anyone mention that brand on this board, so I'm thinking it must not be so good. My pet store is not one of the big box pet stores, and they think Merrick is good. But I suspect that you guys know more about what's good for a Havanese. Dave posted some brands for me yesterday that I'll investigate.
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:13 PM   #93
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Actually, Balance_it is the MOST specific. They help you develop a recipe (or more than one, whatever you want) specifically for your dog. There are a number of "free" recipes on the site, but you can also, for a reasonable fee, have them specially design a diet for your dog. (to do that, you have to have your vet's approval that your dog is healthy, or if not, what, if any dietary restrictions the dog has) What I like is that the people who design the diets are board certified veterinary nutritionists.

Balance it is available in 3 "flavors"… Carnivore, which contains no starch source, oat blend and potato blend. I bought the potato blend first, but I won't again. I don't like the idea of filling him up on un-needed starch. The next time, I'll get the carnivore blend, and use that in conjunction with HK.

In Balance-It's "free" recipe program, it warns that the carnivore blend + the chosen meat is higher in fat and protein than commercial dog foods. I have no problem with it being higher in protein… we know that isn't a problem for a dog who doesn't have kidney problems. OTOH, especially in a small dog, you DO want to avoid too high fat levels. That's why I chose to use the ground chicken breast rather than generic ground chicken.

Kodi CLEARLY like both WAY better than kibble, but he likes HK (or a blend of HK and Balance-It) better than the Balance-It recipe alone.

I also tried Sojo's, but won't again, after finding that they source some of their vegetable ingredients from China. That said, he liked that too!
Karen the problem with board certified nutritionists is that most are bought by the large dog food companies. They are no different in what they recommend and endorse than many vets do. I think it would be wiser to consult with a non bias nutritionist and get a customized diet than a commercial one size fits all approach . here's an article on BCVN s http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites...cial-food.aspx Well, there's the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition and the American College of Veterinary Nutrition for example. Not many of them exist, and the ones that are around mostly work for large pet food companies, like Hill's or Royal Canin etc. and here's another articke http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com...n-technicians/

Just take a look at the authors of most small animal nutrition textbooks...
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:36 PM   #94
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Merrick is a good brand.
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Old 12-22-2013, 01:49 AM   #95
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Dave -- I know that a lot of vets and canine nutritionists are in the pockets of the large dog food companies, but I just have to say... I don't think that holistic vets or canine nutritionists are completely immune from a financial incentive. They believe in what they do, but also have an agenda and are interested in attracting a market of "consumers" from whom they can benefit financially. Being fully aware of one's own motives is as difficult as it is for the fish to see the water he swims in. My own opinion is that life is complicated and it's not all black and white. I am weary of the romanticization of "dogs in the wild". The only ones I've known were when I briefly lived in Mexico, and they all seemed skinny and hungry and flea bitten. But maybe that's not a good example. Point being, I think that there are "conventional" vets (my own, for example) who are primarily motivated by their love for animals, are at least interested in learning more about nutrition, are open minded about limiting exposure to chemicals, and are busy enough that they don't have to generate business with unnecessary procedures such as extra vaccinations. I also think that there are some in the holistic movement who are unreasonably dogmatic and extreme, and probably "unconsciously" motivated by wanting to capture a niche. As I'm sure you know, Sabine is not "rabidly" (so to speak) against grains, and says that although they don't need the carbs per se, dogs can benefit from the vitamins, minerals, and fiber found in whole grains. It is true that they are harder for dogs to digest than meat, but can be used to a limited extent to good effect. It strikes me as paradoxical that many of the so called holistic people are so vehemently opposed to grains, but in my opinion it is not very holistic to not factor in the devastating effect that the meat industry is having on the whole freaking planet. Not to mention how animals, with feelings just like our dogs have, are tortured before we and our dogs can eat them. Even if we can afford to use locally and humanely raised, and humanely slaughtered, organic meats (my own goal is to drastically limit my own meat consumption and to use only limited amounts of these very high quality well raised animals), but it is not just about me, or my dog! We, and our dogs, live in an environment, and with China and other developing nations drastically increasing their meat consumption, we are scr**ed if we can't decrease our environmental impact. Though it's probably too late anyway and maybe we should just give up and keep doing what we're doing, but I think we've got to try to figure out this meat thing. Sorry for being a bummer, but it's reality! Just my 2 cents worth -- carry on!
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Old 12-22-2013, 08:47 AM   #96
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Well said emichel.
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:46 AM   #97
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Well said emichel.
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Old 12-22-2013, 03:36 PM   #98
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Dave -- I know that a lot of vets and canine nutritionists are in the pockets of the large dog food companies, but I just have to say... I don't think that holistic vets or canine nutritionists are completely immune from a financial incentive. They believe in what they do, but also have an agenda and are interested in attracting a market of "consumers" from whom they can benefit financially. Being fully aware of one's own motives is as difficult as it is for the fish to see the water he swims in. My own opinion is that life is complicated and it's not all black and white. I am weary of the romanticization of "dogs in the wild". The only ones I've known were when I briefly lived in Mexico, and they all seemed skinny and hungry and flea bitten. But maybe that's not a good example. Point being, I think that there are "conventional" vets (my own, for example) who are primarily motivated by their love for animals, are at least interested in learning more about nutrition, are open minded about limiting exposure to chemicals, and are busy enough that they don't have to generate business with unnecessary procedures such as extra vaccinations. I also think that there are some in the holistic movement who are unreasonably dogmatic and extreme, and probably "unconsciously" motivated by wanting to capture a niche. As I'm sure you know, Sabine is not "rabidly" (so to speak) against grains, and says that although they don't need the carbs per se, dogs can benefit from the vitamins, minerals, and fiber found in whole grains. It is true that they are harder for dogs to digest than meat, but can be used to a limited extent to good effect. It strikes me as paradoxical that many of the so called holistic people are so vehemently opposed to grains, but in my opinion it is not very holistic to not factor in the devastating effect that the meat industry is having on the whole freaking planet. Not to mention how animals, with feelings just like our dogs have, are tortured before we and our dogs can eat them. Even if we can afford to use locally and humanely raised, and humanely slaughtered, organic meats (my own goal is to drastically limit my own meat consumption and to use only limited amounts of these very high quality well raised animals), but it is not just about me, or my dog! We, and our dogs, live in an environment, and with China and other developing nations drastically increasing their meat consumption, we are scr**ed if we can't decrease our environmental impact. Though it's probably too late anyway and maybe we should just give up and keep doing what we're doing, but I think we've got to try to figure out this meat thing. Sorry for being a bummer, but it's reality! Just my 2 cents worth -- carry on!
well said Eileen , the key is to find people who are not biased and will give you honest information. That's why I like people like Sabine, she refuses to associate with any pet food companies and she has had numerous chances to do so , she tells you what she thinks is the best with no ulterior motives or kickbacks. You just have to take the time to research and question the professionals you deal with. People are catching on sort of speak, as the internet points out where we have gone wrong in the past. sorry for the late reply, we have had ice storm across southern Ontario and a lot of power outages . We had power but no internet.
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:31 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by emichel View Post
Dave -- I know that a lot of vets and canine nutritionists are in the pockets of the large dog food companies, but I just have to say... I don't think that holistic vets or canine nutritionists are completely immune from a financial incentive. They believe in what they do, but also have an agenda and are interested in attracting a market of "consumers" from whom they can benefit financially. Being fully aware of one's own motives is as difficult as it is for the fish to see the water he swims in. My own opinion is that life is complicated and it's not all black and white. I am weary of the romanticization of "dogs in the wild". The only ones I've known were when I briefly lived in Mexico, and they all seemed skinny and hungry and flea bitten. But maybe that's not a good example. Point being, I think that there are "conventional" vets (my own, for example) who are primarily motivated by their love for animals, are at least interested in learning more about nutrition, are open minded about limiting exposure to chemicals, and are busy enough that they don't have to generate business with unnecessary procedures such as extra vaccinations. I also think that there are some in the holistic movement who are unreasonably dogmatic and extreme, and probably "unconsciously" motivated by wanting to capture a niche. As I'm sure you know, Sabine is not "rabidly" (so to speak) against grains, and says that although they don't need the carbs per se, dogs can benefit from the vitamins, minerals, and fiber found in whole grains. It is true that they are harder for dogs to digest than meat, but can be used to a limited extent to good effect. It strikes me as paradoxical that many of the so called holistic people are so vehemently opposed to grains, but in my opinion it is not very holistic to not factor in the devastating effect that the meat industry is having on the whole freaking planet. Not to mention how animals, with feelings just like our dogs have, are tortured before we and our dogs can eat them. Even if we can afford to use locally and humanely raised, and humanely slaughtered, organic meats (my own goal is to drastically limit my own meat consumption and to use only limited amounts of these very high quality well raised animals), but it is not just about me, or my dog! We, and our dogs, live in an environment, and with China and other developing nations drastically increasing their meat consumption, we are scr**ed if we can't decrease our environmental impact. Though it's probably too late anyway and maybe we should just give up and keep doing what we're doing, but I think we've got to try to figure out this meat thing. Sorry for being a bummer, but it's reality! Just my 2 cents worth -- carry on!
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