Best Dog Food & Cat Food Options for Your Healthy Pet!

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2 User Reviews
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Posted by Piotr (Dunedin, New Zeland) on 04/11/2012

Hi there, I love the EarthClinic site - I think that it is great that knowledge about natural remedies for people and animals can be shared widely despite the Big Farma's hegemony.

My cat Figaro is an old boy (18/19-years-old) and was diagnosed with the renal failure several months ago. At that time my vet suggested special diet and medication against the possible intestinal ulcers. Figaro was vomiting quite regularly at that time. I went against the vet suggestions and got him on the semi-raw meat diet (the leanest beef mince mixed with canned food). He seemed to improved greatly for several months but recently started vomiting again and has been losing weight. I went to see my vet again and this time I gave in and have put him on the kd renal formula biscuits and wet food. He refuses to eat the wet food but has been eating lots of biscuits but consequently much less of the semi-raw wet food. He also has been losing weight since the change of the diet. I am worried that since he enjoys the biscuits he is less interested in wet food which is probably not that great for a cat with kidney problems.

I also have been rubbing into his neck apple cider vinegar (diluted) every day and adding the Aloe Vera juice to his drinking water (though he is a bit reluctant to drink it). He seems in a better space over the last several days. I am realistic and appreciate that 18/19 years is pretty good re cat's age but I would like to make sure that I have tried everything possible to keep him healthy and comfortable. I would appreciate your suggestions/comments regarding my approach. Best wishes. Piotr

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Posted by Mkepp (Blythewood, Sc) on 03/15/2012

I have an 8 yr old 60 lb shepherd mix that has developed a problem with overeating. She receives 3 cups of a high quality dog food daily and acts likes she is starving all the time. She spends a couple of hours a day searching the backyard for dead bugs, worms, whatever to eat. When she is off of her radio collar she will bring home whatever dead animal she finds in the woods to eat. Vet has ruled out cancer/tumor, blockage, parasites, other major problems. Nothing has changed with her home routine. Her stomach is visibly bloated. Anyone experienced anything like this with their dog?

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Posted by Suzanne (Glace Bay, Nova Scotia (ns)) on 02/05/2012

My name is Susan I live in Cape Breton, N. S. Canada, I adopted a 3 year old full bred Akita she is now 4. I took her off of commercial dog foods & started cooking steak, kidney livers, & just pkg liver with organic baby food veg, fruits, & sweet potato & she loves it but this is day 4 on her new diet & I think I pulled her old food too fast!

Last night she started having what I call explosive diarrhea she only vomited a tiny bit no more then 3 times last night, so the big concern is the diarrhea! (DEHYDRATION) She has never had this before & I am so terrified I am going to lose her! Last night I ran to the grocery store & picked up gatorade, water, & kaopectate, she started eating & drinking water today but still has diarrhea but it has slowed down. Does anyone know what I did wrong? The last thing I gave her before she got so sick was liver that wasn't cooked all the way, & steak that was cooked rare with a tiny bit of garlic powder ( I was told that her food is better if not cooked all the way) with organic baby food peas, carrots, blueberries & apples along with some organic sweet potato over a period of 2 days. Please keep in mind she runs over 80 lbs. PLEASE HELP! DID I GIVE HER TO MUCH TOO SOON & NOT COOKED ENOUGH??. FR: terrified Akita lover in cape breton.

For anyone that has a dog with itchy dry skin use cod liver oil human vitamin it works great with my Akita I also give her omega 3 fish oil vitamins- very inexpensive. Thanks, susan

Replied by Suzanne
(Glace Bay, Nova Scotia (ns), Canada)

Hi, I want to thank you all for the excellent advice for dogs with diarrhea, I tried the white rice with boiled chicken & it worked! I just can't believe it, white rice & boiled chicken! Boiled hamburger will also work for bad diarrhea & vomiting but if nothing works take your fur-sib to the vet. Thanks Akita lover from cape breton

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Posted by Polly (Liverpool, Merseyside) on 09/25/2011

My sons dog pee's on the grass which leaves brown burn patches. His friends all seem to have the some problem. He bought something to add to his food. That's no help so he wants to find something nautral, reading the post on the pet clinic there was something on acid.

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Posted by Jordan (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) on 09/17/2011

Well, the ideology presented by Ted seems rather logical. Despite how it may sound, the argument is not backed by science and actually poses many flaws that will be harmful to your pet. I do agree that the mainstream pet food sold to owners is actually biologically contradictory to their needs, but they are much more balanced and safe than a fish and salt water diet. Felines did not and do not naturally consume sea food of any sort. See a lot of big cats in the ocean? This notion began during the Great Depression, because it was a cheaper alternative. Since cats aren't biologically engendered to eat fish, this results in vitamin deficiencies and a disease caused by an inability to properly break down a form of the fat found in high concentrations. As for salt water, it is the same scenario. Felines have never been salt water consumers during any point of their evolutionary path. It is potentially hazardous for humans and animals. If you're determined to add something to your cats water, add a tsp or half tsp of apple cider vinegar to their water.

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Posted by Jimbob (Toronto, Canada) on 03/27/2011
1 out of 5 stars


STOP feeding your dogs and cats CORN based foods! They are carnivores and require MEAT. Corned filled kibble leads to numerous health issues and endless vet bills.. Why else do you think the leading CORN based food is "Recommened by veterinarians". My suggestion is a raw meat diet mixed with a high quality meat based kibble that does not contain, CORN, or POTATO fillers.

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Posted by James (Garfield Heights, Ohio, USA) on 02/24/2009

Body welts: My dog was wound up after I gave her a bath. It was great to see her acting so cheerful. The next day she was lethargic, she would not eat or even go outside.

I took her to my veteranarian who was perplexed. He thought she was shot with a bb gun. I took her to another veteranarian only to find she suffered from an allergic reaction to dog food. Never use another family's dog food. If your dog enjoys one food I would not suggest a sudden change. My dog is a pedigreed mutt of 5 different terriers. I immediately returned her back to her diet along with taking meds the veteranarian gave her. Use only a good name brand of dog food. Whenever you have someone dog sit for you make sure he or she never changes the food. It may cause a serious problem.

Replied by JB
(Atlanta, gA)

Reply to James Garfield in OH What you said about keeping the same diet is a bunch of hooey. My dogs NEVER eat the same thing twice in a row. Never have any stomach problems. I feed totally raw, organic. My dogs have clean teeth, fresh breath, glossy coats, good skin, clear eyes & ears & tons of energy. All this cooked, processed garbage on the market causes the same diseases in pets & humans, i.e. diabetes, heart conditions. I certainly hope you research & educate yourself on proper nutrition. I feel sorry for your dog being on processed foods & medicene from the vet. I started raw feeding 8 years ago when my Dachshund was chemically poisoned (inhaled) on pretty green grass while traveling. The conventional vets did more damage with a well known perscription diet, lactulose & round after round of antibiotics & surgery. My dog kept going downhill til I researched & changed her diet to raw. Those vets thought I was crazy but could not figure out WHY her skin & ears cleared up & her stomach settled. I think they were sad they were not getting my money anymore. I now only use a homeopatheic/osteopathic vet. My pack is extemely healthy.

Vaccination are another source of potential problems. People, please educate yourself on the host of troubles these can cause. There are tests to see if they are needed, tittering (sp?) Most pets are severly over vaccinated.

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Posted by Elaine (Bettendorf, Iowa) on 08/04/2008
5 out of 5 stars

First thank you for the amazing amounts of help you share. Through the inspiration of your readers I decided to put my Golden Retriever older puppy on a more informed diet than feeding her retail store junk. I give her a natural kibble and she is doing well. In the interest of protecting her joints in old age I have her on a supplement. To take it one step further I give her a teaspoon of flaxseed oil in her meals each day. After six months I noticed that she is not shedding profusely as a former golden did. I do brush her regularly but there is no excessive hair all over the house. Plus I noticed that her pads are very soft. Perhaps this could help a hair challenged pet owner out there? Aside from strengthening her body she has the benefit of a very healthy coat!

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Posted by CSH (Studio City, California) on 03/30/2008

My cat kiki was a little on the chubby side. She was a stray so she is aggressive for food. I ALWAYS fed her MAX cat or Nutro from Petco. in 2006 she began throwing up- i thought Hairballs because Kiki usually doesn't have a problem eating anything. She loves to eat. She began throwing up more and more. I now realize it was the possibility of contaminated DRY food. Thats all she ate. by the beginning of 2007 Kiki lost alot of weight and i didn't know what to do. I took her to the vet and $500 later (their magic number), Nothing of renal disease. It was when kiki was surprised by a neighbors pit bull and was attacked - Broken ribs- and a few more things but she is OK, she is a LUCKY cat! The specialist hospital she was in showed me the Renal Disease low testings on that. She is very affectionate but since she was basically starving, from always throwing up, She would throw up and throw her body down to lay down lethargic and just looked depressed. She would have an upset stomach for 3-4 hours after eating she would lay alone her stomach would be swishing, she would lick her lips alot when she was going to throw up and then throw up volume. Digested food and water. Since renal disease is kidneys and they are for pulling the toxins out I was about giving her the RIGHT food. I finally found her combo a dry food called Nature's Recipe at petco and wet food from Trader Joes. I put peti greens, eggshell calcium, the Digestive Enzymes and a product called RENAL G.O. they have. I have been adding it to her food DAILY in her wet and dry food sprinkled on top. This has now been steady since Oct 2007. Pets Friends makes it and they have helped me have Kiki gain weight I also put 2 drops food grade hydrogen peroxide in her water bowl since 2/08. Her coast is awesome and she used to get little rashes and none since the diet changes and all this. Now I have my loving kitty back feeling full!

I now want to help her joint pain from her Pit Bull Attack. She was in it's mouth it shook her- and no internal bleeding one puncture wound that was only her skin layer and she was in shock when I got to her ( I was at work) but I think I will try a ACV bath with a Hydrogen peroxide rinse.

If anyone knows any more body pain I can help her with that would be great.

She is my best friend Hi have had her since i was 19 she is 13 now. She is a grey Korat.

Thanks Everyone who posts here I hope this helps.

Replied by Katharine
(Charleston, SC)

I have a rescue dog who came to me with torn ACLs in both of her back knees. She could barely walk. I found a product called Traumeel. It is an all natural anti-inflammatory, analgesic that is GREAT for muscle pains, aches, injuries, sprains, bruises, arthritis, muscle inflammation, etc. It has changed my dog's life. She is running around like a puppy until I get the money for her expensive surgeries. I use the liquid form and drop it on her food twice a day. This is perfectly safe for dogs and cats. It is actually a human product but has been successfully been used on animals for years.

Replied by Jamie
(Lake Worth, FL)

I feed my dogs Chicken Soup for the Pet Lovers Soul. It is organic, humans could eat it. The senior type has glucosamen condroiten for joint wellness. My 8 year old big girl runs around like a puppy. They offer feline food as well. The expence is not so great, not nearly as much as a certain type of food that a lot of vets sell. One of my friends had her dog on Nutro Maxx and the dog threw up all the time and had terrible poop problems. I get the canned chicken soup for the pet lovers soul, spoon it on a cookie sheet in table spoon chunks. Bake it for 20 min at 350 it makes cookies for them. I also have an allergy dog, he was on perscription dog food. I took him off and put him back on the Chicken Soup dog food. He has done just fine. Also look for corn, dogs and cats should not hav enay corn in their food. It is just filler.
This food also has had no fatalities. A while ago when we had that awful contaminated pet food scare. This brand was exempt from that. Due to its organic ingrediants.

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Posted by krisanne (Birch Run, Michigan) on 03/15/2008

To everyone who has a dog or cat with seizures, I'm sorry for that, it's the worst. I have a seven year old German Shepard that started having them when she turned two. I took her to the vet and they put her on medicine, that "might harm her liver over time" I gave her the pills for three years, with still a few seizures. One day I went into PetSmart and was talking to the salesperson about animals,when it led into my shepard and her problem. She told me that her boxer had them to and that there is an additive in dog food called BHT or BHD that is found to bring on seizures.In amazement and anger I decieded to buy a dog food without this additive in to see if it was true and if it would help. I bought a very expensive bag of food that cost $39.99 a bag, not caring as long as it was true. Long story short, it's true! After that I started searching around for a reasonable priced bag of food because we have a 102lb.not fat just big,Golden Retriever too,and they eat alot! I found a great bag of food at Tractor Supply called Diamond brand food. Just look on the back of your food bag if you see the three letters BHD or BHT,I really can't remember the exact three letters but it starts with a B. If it's in there I would change. Even some of the brands you think would be O.K. are not. Please try this it has been great with her not having seizuers any more. Good Luck I hope it helps.

Replied by Anonymous
(NY, NY)

To: Krisanne from Birch Run, Michigan Diamond Dog Food was one of the recent recalls for tainted dog foods.

Replied by Joe
(Wpb, Fl)

Diamond dog food makes a few other companies dog food including Taste of the Wild, which has a different recipe.

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Posted by Catroina (Astoria, NY) on 03/05/2008

Had to destroy a perfectly healthy belgian,7 years old due to liver failure from a company that refused to acknowledge the "possibility" of either aflatoxicity or garbage purchased from china-poor dog was rescued from idiots abusing him right in our faces,no one claimed him,was a valuable dog---lasted only SIX days after being diagnosed with liver failure...-their wet food WAS on recall,but not their dry....dunno why not as both food types SHARED certain ingred. While going thru the breeders websites,they recommended a certain brand i had never heard of--PHD--and my dogs and cats have been eating it for a year now. A very concentrated food type and they also recommend raw meat with it too. Animals are looking good,ALL TARTAR is gone from their teeth! and they seem years younger. Being this food is very packed with nutrients,you only give a small amount daily,is delivered right to your door and doesn't really cost that much more than sacks of pedigree etc.which do not produce health and wellness.

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Posted by Walker (Calumet MI) on 02/24/2008

me and my partner had 4 dogs that were eating a dog food brand that we thought was good , until the pet food recall! WOW we investigated the pet food industry and was amazed about the deadly stuff they put in dog food even the name brands. WE searched and researched for almost two weeks about the pet food industry, i swear we were very disturbed about what we had been feeding our beloved pets! Now we use a brand of dog food that is holistic and all natural called flint river, we thought so much of it that we became dists, of this food . So if you want a very good food for your pet you might wont to check it out. Thanks Walker

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Posted by Jackie B (Vinings, GA) on 02/05/2008

I recently started to add 1/2 teaspoon of flax seed oil and 1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to my dogs' food (Blackwood + ground turkey or ground beef). After 4 days, their coats are looking AMAZING! Shiny and glossy as can be. Also, they have no doggie smell whatsoever (more time between baths, thankfully) . Their eyes are bright and buzzing with energy. One side effect though is that it sometimes stimulates the anal glands if you know what I mean (e.g., stinky discharge). Too much flax and acv and their stools get loose. They seem to do okay on the 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon range (my 3 dogs all weigh between 45 - 65 pounds). I think I will try adding canned pumpkin to their food as well to firm up the stools. One suggestion -- don't give the flax/acv to your dog for his/her morning meal if they don't have access to the backyard since they may need to go to the bathroom more than once.

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Posted by Anna (Dothan, AL) on 11/07/2007

aka "The Great Misconception"
They LIE. Major manufacturers of pet foods show you lovely staged commercials with fresh meat, crisp vegetables, happy bouncy animals, all the while telling you this garbage in a bag is good for your pet and 100% complete and balanced.

Complete and balanced is a myth. Here's what Randy Wysong, DVM has to say about a "complete and balanced diet" in his book "Fresh & Whole:Getting Involved In Your Pet's Diet":

"A 100% complete processed diet requires:

1. 100% complete knowledge of food.
2. 100% complete knowledge of nutrition.
3. 100% complete knowledge of #1 & #2 requires 100% complete knowledge of every science.
4. Since #1,2 & 3 are not possible, the 100% complete processed diet is a myth."

Did you know that ingredients are far more important than the "Guaranteed Analysis?" If it has 28% protein, how much of that is from an animal source and how much is from grain? What is the animal source? If it is not labeled, as chicken, turkey, lamb or beef but simply states "Animal Meal", "Meat and Bone Meal" or "Animal Fat", exactly what animals are we talking about here? Scared yet? Here comes your answer.

Any of the above, if not from a named protein source can come from ANY mammalian tissue. That's right. This includes cats, dogs, road kill, horses, 4D animals (Dead, downed, dying and diseased) and any other critter they want to throw in the vat.

"The National Animal Control Association has estimated that animal shelters kill over 13 million household pets a year. Of this total, 30% are buried, 30% are cremated and the remaining 40%, about 5 million pets, are shipped to rendering factories to be recycled and used in pet food." This information has been confirmed in great detail by Ann Martin in her book, Food Pets Die For.

Are you getting it yet? These large multinational companies have no interest in anything but finding a way to turn nutritionally devoid byproducts of the human food and rendering industries into a profit. Do they care about your pets? NO. They care about your bank account.

Pet food only became well known after World War II. Prior to that pets ate what we ate and suffered few diseases. Since that time we have become brainwashed by clever marketing and even our sage vets into thinking that the stuff in the bag is best. This is not the case. What is best for our pets is what it best for us. Wholesome, fresh minimally processed foods.

Here is what Lew Olson, PhD in Natural Health, has to say about the dog food industry in her August 2005 B-Naturals newsletter: "...several marketers of the new dog products were stating that their products were superior, as they were able to utilize waste products such as grain hulls, sweepings and meat unusable for human consumption. Another argument was that fresh meat was just too expensive to feed dogs, and that it actually made them too 'finicky' While it was noted fresh meat and vegetables were superior, they argued that dogs could be fed more economically with these factory waste products, and still do well. ...The sales of dry processed dog foods picked up considerably after World War II. Mill operators and grain dealers were finding a good source for their by-products in the dog industry. Slaughterhouses were also available to sell non-human grade, diseased meats, unusable parts, and meat by-products to pet food manufacturers. This created a market for products that previously had been discarded. Since many of these meat sources were non-human grade, the practice became common to mix these with the grains and cook them together for many hours or days to kill bacteria and disease. The final mix was then formed into pellets that were easily bagged for convenience of feeding."

MMM. Sounds delicious! Is this what you envision when you see a Beneful commercial? Here is further evidence from the same article that shows the beginning of the conspiracy. "In 1969, according to Dr Kronfeld DS PhD DSc MVSc from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine, the pet food industry utilized veterinarians to proclaim that all meat dog foods were incomplete. He reports the editor of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association also agreed with this, and said dog foods needed to be fortified with nutrients, too much protein was harmful and some carbohydrates are necessary for the dog's health. ... The second selling point was developed by a professional marketing campaign. Dog food companies began labeling their dog foods as complete, with no additional foods or supplements being necessary. In fact, they began warning the public that adding table scraps could actually be dangerous to the dog's health. An active campaign was developed in 1964 through the Pet Food Institute, to inform the public of the dangers of table food scraps, and the importance of feeding processed dog food. This was accomplished through press releases to one thousand newspapers, articles in 16 magazines, including Redbook and Good Housekeeping and airing this information on 91 radio stations." Good PR isn't it?

Did you know that FiFi, laying their in your living room is actually the same species as the wolf? Until 1993, dogs and wolves were classified as separate species. This change was formalized in the 1993 publication: Mammal Species of the World, A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, edited by D.E.Wilson and D.A.M. Reeder, published by the Smithsonian Institution in association with the American Society of Mammalogists. This reference book is the final authority of the scientific community on mammal classification.

Let me exercise your common sense for a moment. If dogs and wolves are the same species and have the exact same nutritional requirements; Why aren't wolves in the zoo fed dog food? If dog food is the "be all, end all of nutrition", why don't zookeepers dole it out to their captive wolves? Why? Because it isn't species appropriate and they know better, that's why! All commercial dry pet foods contain species inappropriate ingredients. These so called safe ingredients are why we are seeing alarming rates of cancer, diabetes, thyroid disorders, liver and kidney disease, allergies and a host of other ailments in our pets. Here comes question number two. Would you feed steak to a horse? If not, why do you think it is ok to feed your captive wolf a bowl of cereal?

Wolves, like Dogs, are what are described as obligate carnivores, which means they will scavenge for food -any kind of food dead or alive or otherwise - in order to survive. However, this also means that given a natural choice or preference they will choose a meat and bone diet for their optimal health to thrive. Have you ever seen a wolf in a corn field? NO?! Then why is ground corn or any other grain for that matter such a large part of most commercial pet foods? Because it is cheap and the grain proteins inflate the "Guaranteed Analysis" making you think that there is actually some meat in that bag.

Why didn't my vet tell me this?" you ask. Because sadly he does not know any better. Guess who provides the textbooks and other learning materials for his limited nutrition classes in vet school? If you are smart and I know you are, then you got it right. The dog food companies, mainly Hills. Your vet will fight you tooth and nail about raw feeding, or even feeding a homemade cooked diet, but listen to your heart. Try it for one month and see the difference for yourself.

If this makes sense to you, I bet you are wondering what to do next. Do you run to the butcher and buy everything he has? No. You start reading books. Research the internet. Like any nutritional program, you can make mistakes and need to be aware of the basics before starting. Is every meal going to be complete and balanced? Absolutely not. You achieve balance over time by varying the ingredients. Is every meal you eat complete and balanced? Of course not. The same applies to our dogs. Be sure that you have mastered the basics before starting. It's not rocket science and is actually easier than you think. There is a great article on my forum that tells you how I got started and gives step by step instructions. Visit my website and take a look. In addition to that here are a few excellent sites to start with.

If you need help, go to and join the K9Nutrition email list. There are thousands of members on this list and all are seasoned pro's at helping people to create diets that work for them and their pets. Or you can send me an email. I'll try to help as much as I can.

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Posted by D (Atlanta, GA) on 09/08/2007

Many, many thanks to Archie from West Covina, Cal for writing in about molasses for aging/sad dogs. I had just bought organic molasses (regular, not blackstrap) at the grocery store for myself and decided after reading Archie's email that I would also give it to my two dogs. One of my dogs is a 13 years old, 55 pound shepard mutt who has a rough time walking up hills when we go on our daily walks. I added molasses to both dogs meals today (good quality kibble, slightly undercooked ground turkey, and 1/2 teaspoon of molasses that I watered down with hot water) and OMG!! I cannot believe the difference in just one day! On our walk tonight, my elderly dog walked at a fast clip the entire walk, even on the hills. No problem whatsoever. WOW! Molasses should be a must for all aging dogs. I will write in again after they've been on it longer with another update. My dog won't touch apple cider vinegar or any other supplement I try to give him, so this remedy is a God send. My finicky boy dog actually likes the taste of molasses!

P.S. I am slowly going to increase the amount of molasses I give the dogs. I am starting slowly because I don't want them to get the runs!

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