Hot Topic - Dog Food - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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Hot Topic - Dog Food

Ok... I know this is a hot topic and everyone has an opinion... but I have relied on a lot of advice from this forum and itís all been very beneficial for my chocolate Havanese. This is the greatest breed and an awesome forum that has helped us immensely.

We have been feeding Merrick Small Breed (pink) bag for a while now. Itís NOT grain free. That was coincidental. Our vet just advised us not to use grain free until more info is available. I really love the site dogfoodadvisor which I discovered via this forum. Most dog food is grain free. For those of you who prefer to NOT use grain free ... which dog food are you using? Our Hava is growing tired of Merrick Small breeed puppy. Looking at Victor...

What are you using for your Havanese?

Chocolate Havanese Puppy Has Arrived. Sheís espresso color and some people confuse her for black in photos. White back feet and some white on the chest and beard. Emerald eyes
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 10:44 PM
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I feed my boy Victor Yukon River. It is grain-free. He loves it for 1 year now but he is not a fussy eater and it seems to agree with him. The only thing he doesn't eat is any kind of medication!
I like the Victor foods because they are easy to find, reasonably priced ($13 for 5 lbs.), several breeders I spoke to feed Victor. I order from Chewy sometimes and it is available at a few stores close by. I did try another one by Victor that was not grainfree. He loved it but he was pooping about 8 times a day. I think it was the grain.
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 02:32 AM
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Iím pretty sure Fromm has formulations with and without grains because I unintentionally bought one with brown rice or barley.

You could also just add a ďtopper.Ē I never really used one that was marketed that way because it was cheaper to buy the freeze dried patties and break them up, but I did buy a bag once to use as treats and our puppy went crazy over the freeze dried fruit in it.

Not contradicting your vet, but I thought something was published recently enough that the vetís recommendation may have changed since your last visit. I only remember because my husband read about it and was teasing me about our dog food budget. Might be worth asking again the next time youíre there if it would increase your food options. It seems like when we first brought home our puppy I always had to check packages for grain free and now thereís more grain free than not, even with the scare.
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 02:41 PM
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 11:30 AM
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 01:50 PM
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Regarding food, there is no one right answer. I am going to give you two professional opinions:

Ricky's Vet - The protocol for professional Vets is a well balanced kibble diet that probably will include some grain as a filler. Kibble diets are relatively inexpensive, easy to administer, and generally relatively well balanced. He generally recommends a kibble diet to most dog owners who don't want to get involved in the science of canine nutrition. In his professional career, he has seen most dogs of all breeds thrive on this type of diet. He has seen some research on grain free diets but these have not been peer reviewed. He cautions that because you read something on the Internet, it should not be taken literally or out of context. He agrees that too much grain in a diet as a filler is not nutritious, but some grain can be beneficial to a dogs health. He is most concerned about raw diets. These can be very tricky. The dog owner who feeds a raw diet must be very careful to include all the additional vitamins and minerals to make the meal well balanced. In his practice he sees to many people feeding a raw diet that have no idea what they are doing. In general, he recommends against a raw diet for that reason. But for someone who knows what they are doing, a raw diet can be just fine.

A Vet from Kentucky - I happened to be randomly seated at dinner last week next to a gentleman who is a Vet from Kentucky for 40 years. The subjects of canine diets and male neutering came up in our informal conversation. He too recommends a well balanced kibble diet which may or may not include grain. He said SIMPLE is the best strategy for most pet owners. Regarding neutering, he recommends that males be neutered between the age of 6 months to 18 months. However.......recent research seems to indicate that LARGE BREED dogs should not be neutered before 12 months to avoid the potential for certain types of canine cancer. So he has changed his personal protocol for large dogs (Rottweilers, German Shepherds, etc.) to 12 to 18 months. He said the problem is that many of his clients have read about this research on the Internet and presume it applies to ALL breeds. He said that is not what is indicated. He has seen no increased incidence of cancer in small breeds like a Havanese related to neutering at a relatively early age, in his career. So for a Havanese, his protocol is still 6 to 18 months for neutering.

Ricky's diet - I feed Ricky Honest Kitchen 'Preference'. This is a dehydrated, human grade base preparation consisting of fruits, vegetables, seeds, vitamins, and mineral to which I add the prescribed amount of protein (usually fresh boiled shredded chicken breast). I add a topper of a little grain based kibble and a tablet of probiotics and one of salmon oil and a half tablet of Benedryll (for his seasonal allergies). Ricky loves his diet and licks his bowl super clean twice a day. Ricky poops on average 3 times a day. His stool is well formed, glossy (indicating sufficient water in his diet) and firm but not hard. Ricky's Vet says he is strong, muscular, perfect weight, alert, and thriving. He says Ricky's diet meets all of his requirements.

So there you have it, clear as mud, right? There is no one right answer. I would suggest you take input from this forum and then discuss with your Vet. The Vet is an integral part of the team (you being the other) to keep your dog happy, healthy, and long lived.

Good Luck and keep us posted on what you decide.

Ricky's Popi
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 02:15 PM
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My vet said dog foods tend to follow what is in vogue with humans. Gluten free is big now with humans so grain free is now popular with dogs. Gravy became popular with humans and then the Gravy Train dog food became popular. He said that domestic dogs and wild canines have always been inclined to eat the rumen sack from a dead ruminant animal. Ruminant animals eat grains and grasses. Therefore, historically, canines have had grains in their natural diets.

Willow gets Honest Kitchen. I give her one that does contain grains and includes the protein, which, in her case, is beef. She loves it and licks the bowl clean twice a day just like Popi said Ricky does. In fact, Popi is the one that turned us on to Honest Kitchen.
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the thoughtful response. Our vet is a wholistic vet. They are exceptional and donít push things. In fact, she wonít recommend a food. She just offers research and she is very educated on nutrition etc. For her to suggest avoiding grain free, was a huge flag as they are a very conservative practice. The info you offered above makes a lot of sense. Looking at Annamaet Encore and Victor but will also consider Honest Kitchen. Thanks for the info,

Chocolate Havanese Puppy Has Arrived. Sheís espresso color and some people confuse her for black in photos. White back feet and some white on the chest and beard. Emerald eyes
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 10:26 AM
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I feed homemade raw. I like the peace of mind of knowing exactly what is in my dogís food, how it was raised, how it was prepared and that it does not contain pesticides, preservatives or any other chemicals. I also do not have to ever worry about a pet food recall.
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 01:57 PM
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I feed Patti - Hill's Science Diet Wet Dog Food, Adult, Small Paws For Small Breeds, 3.5 oz twice a day, morning and evening. 90 calories per feeding. Once a day in the morning along with the Hills Wet Dog food, I give her 1/4 C Instinct Raw Boost Grain Free Recipe with Real Natural Dry Dog Food. 125 calories per feeding. Total about 300 calories. Then she gets treats during the day. I read she needed about 400 calories a day. Patti weights 14 lbs is 11.5 inches tall.

The Hills Science Diet Wet for Small Breeds is Chicken or Beef with vegetables. I buy it by the box which contains 12 individual feedings, 6 chicken & 6 beef.

It was a major Brain Teaser trying to figure out what and how much to feed her. Good Luck! everyone does something different.
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Last edited by Mikki; 04-26-2019 at 07:24 AM.
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