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Need Food Advice...

  • Hi Everyone,

    I've been having a hard time deciding what to feed my new Shiba puppy Daisy who will be here on Thursday...

    My other dog, a 9-yr old Pomeranian, has been eating The Honest Kitchen for years now with raw Grassfed Angus Ground Beef added in at every meal. He never tires of it and he's in great, great health, everyone thinks he's a pup still and I credit alot of it to this diet.

     I was thinking of feeding Daisy THK Embark and perhaps adding in the Ground Beef and/or boiling her salmon and other fishes, but now I'm not so sure since I've read recommendations about Orijen or Timberwolf Organics. Also read that Shibas do not take well to beef either, but am not sure, seems to be mixed... Does anyone have any suggestions or experiences to share?

    Also, can anyone recommend a good fish oil to be added into her diet?

    Thanks in advance!

  • It sounds like you have already been feed your pm really good stuff. Your breeder will likely have her eating some other food already, in which case whatever food you decide to feed her, you will likely have to transition her slowly to  whatever you choose to feed her.

    Moto never eats beef. No particular reason. He eats a lot of fish, turkey, and lately I have been feeding him some raw dry bison as a treat. The cats have also moved in on this action. Now when I give him a bison treat, they are sitting right next to him waiting for him to share (which amazingly he does!).

    But, I digress. I am sure some of the other folks here will have some great specific advice. And I am sure Daisy will make it very clear what SHE wants. Shibas are good at that.

    Welcome to being owned by a small but mighty dog.Wink

  • hondruhondru
    Posts: 529

    I don't have much to add other than that my shiba eats beef without any trouble, which is good because I live in Alberta (famous for beef).  Also, I like to just feed fish rather than adding fish oil, assuming your pup wants to eat fish.  My shiba loves whole, raw trout. 

    -Heidi, with Rakka (shikoku) and Sosuke (kai ken)

  • I have an honest question for everybody. When I got my Shiba the breeder was feeding her chicken soup for the puppy lovers soul  and said that if I could not find that to feed her Purnia Pro Plan puppy chow. Then I got my Kai pup a few months later and I started feeding him Purina Pro Plan puppy chow as well . Since then a few weeks ago I switched to Iams puppy chow and my shiba has been very fusy about it and she has been barking at night for random reasons such as in the kitchen and keeping me and my husband up. I am thinking its because she does not like the Iams food and is hugry and has even been trying to eat the cat food and the cat poo. I have noticed that everyone in this forum that has talked about what they feed their dogs has mostly been about raw diets or a special type of food that you cant get at the local petsmart and that is hard to find or more expensive. Since I am semi-new to having dogs, are the brands that you get at the stores all that bad? I know that there was the whole recalled food thing (thank god I didnt have my dogs then) but since I am new to it I am uncertain what to feed them since I have been reading what you all feed yours.

     Please give me some advice and thoughts. Thanks!

    Post edited by jmaxwell at 2007-09-26 10:34:18

  • What I would suggest is first look at the ingredients of the food you are feeding your dogs. If the first ingredient isn't chicken, or salmon, or beef, but some meal or grain you may want to consider switching them. Also if it says "anything" by-product or "meat" but does not specify the animal from which it comes, again you may want to consider switching. 

    The foods that everyone mentions here often, are indeed more expensive than your average foods. However if they are going to promote optimum health for your furry family member, minimize their health issues, and lengthen their lives, obviously it is worth it's price ten fold.

    Dogs especially primitive breeds are not built to digest grain. So many dog foods now are all grain based and therefore nutritionally inadequate.

     For years I was feeding my pets Nutro. I thought I was providing them the best food possible. Then there was the recall. That scared the hell out of me. Then I met a guy at the dog park whose dog was the healthiest looking animal I had ever seen. His coat was radiant! I asked him what he fed his dog. He told me he was a hunter, and often fed him the game he killed, as well as vegetables from his garden. Otherwise he would go to the butcher shop and feed him about $100 a week of fresh raw meat. I said I could never afford to do that. His argument was the same one I give for why I am vegan, that was "It's cheaper than chemo".

    I started doing some research. and asking questions. You will see, Rachael and I both posted discussions similar to yours, asking what and why people fed their dogs.

    I have since switched all my animals to Orijen, and supplement with raw bison, turkey and salmon. Moto eats less now. Poops less now. His poop barely smells. And his eyes stopped oozing green stuff! My vet now teases me that Moto eats better than she feeds her children. He is my child.

    Check these sites


    Innova EVO

    The Honest Kitchen

    K9 Cuisine (they do free shipping too) 

    I hope this helps. I am sure some of the other folks here will have lots of other awesome suggestions as well. I know some people have taken their dogs to veterinary nutritionists with success.

    Best of luck! 

  • You know the funny thing is, I took Keira my shiba to puppy class a few months ago, and I asked the trainer (I went to the puppy class at PetsMart) what she recommended for puppy food. She said "Honestly, if you want to talk dog food I DO NOT RECOMMEND ANYTHING HERE" I was shocked because up until the dog food scare I thought what was in those bags were good enough for them. They seemed legit up until she said she has been doing reseach on dog foods for years and if I wanted to talk dog food to ask her after class because she didnt want to get in trouble with PetsMart because she isnt supposed to suggest brands out of the store. Up until then I had no idea, or herd such of a raw diet for dogs. I thought it was quite funny actually but reading all of your posts about foods it makes sence. If most people are starting to realize that then why are pets stores not selling the brands you guys have menchaned and just use the basic Iams, Pedigree, Purnia? I am realizing now since Keira has been so fussy that maybe the puppy food is all that bad, I mean she is eating cat food and cat poo...eww.

  • Even when I go to the vet, they have Iams, so I thought that maybe Iams was the best choice. Its funny that they even have those type of dog foods there.

  • Dogs like cat food because it is high in fat, and if it is a cheap brand, it has probably been sprayed with rancid fat to make it more delicious for the cats.

    There are a lot of good dog foods out there, they just aren't at petsmart or the grocery store.  Pick up the Whole Dog Journals review for wet and dry foods that they did at the beginning of the year.  That is a great starting point.  They also did a 5 month series on home cooking and raw for your dog.

    I have Nemo on Solid Gold Barking at the Moon at the moment.  I switch between that and Timberwolf Organics Ocean Blue.  Both are grain free formulas and he does well on them.  I'd like to get a third grain free in there, but Nemo does not do well on poultry.  I might check out Inovas EVO Red Meat for his next bag.

    I do not feed raw, sure he gets some raw chunks of food here and there, but for the most part I don't have enough freezer space to buy in the bulk that I would need to make it affordable.  I wish I could lavish him with $100 a week worth of raw meats, but I literally cannot afford that.  I do use supplements with his kibble diet.  I currently have him on three supplements from Standard Process, their whole body support, enteric support and immune system support.  They are great products that were developed in part by a holistic vet I have taken my cat too.  Luckily enough I have an in-law who works there so I score all of these for free, hopefully she works there forever.


  • hondruhondru
    Posts: 529

    In my experience, the bigger chained pet stores don't have very good selection.  My favourite pet stores have always been the smaller, locally-owned chains.  If you check on the websites of any of those foods, they should give you a list of retailers. 

    As far as vets and dog foods - vets get sponsored by dog food companies, so if they have Science Diet posters up all over the place, it really doesn't mean anything other than they're getting money from Science Diet.  The vet schools themselves are also sponsored by pet food manufacturers. 

    -Heidi, with Rakka (shikoku) and Sosuke (kai ken)
  • Boy, do I feel neieve.Undecided I feel like I havent been giving my "kids" the best of the best. Thanks for the advice guys! I am going to throw the Iams away and start them on one of the foods you recommended. Do your dogs like the food? Are they fusy at all when it comes to the organic kinds or the raw foods?
  • hondruhondru
    Posts: 529
    My dogs love Orijen more than anything.  I switched Loki to Orijen when I adopted him from my parents (a few months ago) and now he won't even eat his old stuff, which was Costco brand.  I can't compare Tojo because he has always eaten either RAW, innova, or Orijen.  My brand new adopted shikoku (adopted her on Sunday) is very very thin.  She was beng fed Purina, and only ate when she absolutely had to.  She really seems to like Orijen, though, but it's too early to say if she'll fill out.
    -Heidi, with Rakka (shikoku) and Sosuke (kai ken)

  • I know how tempting it is to just throw the food away. Don't. You will still need to ease them into the change, otherwise they can have all sorts of gas and diarrhea. Start by mixing about 25% of the new food into their regular food. Do that for a day or two. Then mix 50/50 for a couple days. Then 75% new food. Then you can switch completely.

    And I learned the hard way that almost all dogs, LOVE cat poop. I consider it additional incentive to keep the litter box really really clean.

    Moto LOVES Orijen 6 Ocean fish formula. 


  • jmaxwell do not feel bad, you are taking the time to learn now.  I was lucky enough to have been instructed early by a great dog owner on what is the truly good stuff of the dog food world.  The money that the large pet food companies put into marketing is so enormus that it can cover up for the fact that their food sucks.
  • Aww boo, I was on Orijens website and they dont list any places in Michigan to get the food. Does anyone know a good website that sells it that I could buy it from?
  • Vets usually have the crappy food like schience diet, Iams and so on because they get kick backs of some sort.  They recomend it but vets virtually have minimal training on food and nutrition in vet school.  I have learned through many trial and error what was bad and very bad!  We had the cat on Iams because of constipation problems and then I found out about thier animal testing.  We not have the cat on Nutro weight management and the dogs on Orijen.  I have never seen my dogs eat so fast and love any food like this before.  Unfortunatly they still are acting starved because they are getting less food.  Our dogs wouldnt eat thier old food at all when we switched!

  • Don't feel na

  • As for fish oil - we give our pups “Grizzly Salmon Oil”, they love it.

  • Well I did it. I ordered some Origin puppy food from K9cuizine. Thanks everyone for helping out.

     What do you guys give your dogs as far as treats and chews go? Do you stay away from the kind at the store or get the kind from that website? Mine love these treats called Goobers which are shaped like a peanut and smell like peanut butter. They absolutely LOVE them. Keira my shiba is starting to get very fusy with treats and her food, and thats the only kind she seemes to like anymore. She even fusses about doggie bisquets. I wonder if its a female shiba thing or a shiba thing all together? Kenji my Kai will eat anything and everything. He wont fuss about anything you give him. lol. He even eats fruit or veggies which she just looks at me like "you cant be serious, i will not eat that" look.Wink

    Post edited by jmaxwell at 2007-09-26 16:05:40
  • Same rules with treats. No grain makes a huge difference. I feed Moto raw dehydrated bison, salmon, and turkey. He loves it! I like Carnivore Kisses. Sometimes I will give him a chunk of sweet potato. But mostly just dehydrated meats.
  • That’s gotta be one of the cutest Shiba pups I have ever seen.
  • hondruhondru
    Posts: 529
    My dogs like Orijen that they will train for just for kibbles.  Once I bought a pig's liver and just cut it up and cooked it.  Dehydrated meat is probably the way to go... I should try that.  How do you do it, Jessica, do you have a dehydrater or just use a stove?
    -Heidi, with Rakka (shikoku) and Sosuke (kai ken)

  • It's expensive but I buy it. Jason and I are vegan, and to be honest the idea of my house smelling like meat kinda freaks me out. It is the thing that holds me back from going completely raw.

    I even make my poor husband feed our snake, it is just too much for me to handle. 

  • I just looked at your little girl! Oh god I wish you were in Providence. She and Moto would make the cutest little black and tan couple!
  • hondruhondru
    Posts: 529
    Jessica, I honestly don't blame you.  I almost hurled cutting up that liver. 
    -Heidi, with Rakka (shikoku) and Sosuke (kai ken)

  • As for treats, Nemo will eat anything, so I can buy whatever, but I try to buy ones that are healthy.  I look for a short ingredient list and ingredients that are real, no "mono this" and "hydrogenated that".  Nutura puts out a treat line called Mother Nature, they are affordable and a nice quality, Nemo likes them a lot.  He also like the Plato Duck Strips (not cheap) and I cut those up into really tiny pieces most of the time, more bang for the buck.  A kong filled with peanut butter is his favorite treat though, but he doesn't get those to often, as it isn't the healthiest.  I also dehydrate sweet potatoes for him and he loves those.  Blue Dog Bakery makes some nice treats and they are big supporters of dog rescue, they always send a boatload of treats for the picnic I run every year.

    A local store  here, Bad Dog Frida, has a lot of natural and organic treats that you can order, or get the brand name from.


  • Liver does have a unique smell to it.  Nemo loves that stuff.
  • Check out these baby pictures of her. Oh how I wish they would stay that small.Frown
    Post edited by jmaxwell at 2007-09-26 16:45:23
  • hondruhondru
    Posts: 529

    Shiba puppies are the cutest puppies that exist.

    -Heidi, with Rakka (shikoku) and Sosuke (kai ken)
  • Okay perhaps you could just move to providence!

  • Too bad she wasnt on a spay/neuter contract and I just got her spayed =-( They would have had some cute babies =-)

  • Brandon, are you using store bought peanut butter. Or the one that you just have ground at the store? I am sure you probably use the latter but just confirming.

    I use like a teaspoon of peanut butter (the kind where the only ingredient is peanuts) inside an empty beef bone.

    They don't start empty. When I buy them they have a good deal of marrow in them and Moto can chew on that for days!

    It's disgusting though and I never cease to be amazed at how many cow parts are sitting in the middle of my living room. Me! of all people. 

  • OMG, thank you all so much, it's great to see everyone's responses =) I LOVE IT!!

    My 2 front runners are: THK Embark and Orijen Puppy right now... and I make my Pom's meals fresh twice daily (I have it down to a robotic routine) so hopefully Daisy's meals won't be much more work. The breeder is currently feeding her a brand called Eagle Pack but I'd rather switch her. Thx as well for the fish oil recommendation Brad! I know I'm just being a worrywart and hopefully she will tell me what she prefers once she gets here!

    I can't wait to get pictures up of them 2 together! Here's a pic of Daisy from the breeder.. I know, I know, not too creative on the name but she just looks like a Daisy!


    Post edited by jacpot at 2007-09-26 17:52:02

  • And this is Nos...

     How do you do more than 1 picture at a time??

    NM, I figured it out I think!

    Post edited by jacpot at 2007-09-26 17:51:31

  • I use a natural peanut butter for Nemo.  I prefer Skippy myself.  I am guilty of using more than a teaspoon for Nemo, that's why I had to stop giving it to him everyday, he was getting chunky.  

    Nemo loves knuckle bones but also likes marrow bones too.  I like marrow bones also, roasted bone marrow on toast, now that is a treat. 

  • Do any of you give your dogs pigs ears? Just curious, I have herd that they are bad for their digestive system but my dogs love them even though they can get aggressive if one has one and the other doesnt.



    Post edited by BradA1878 at 2007-09-26 20:14:06

  • Pig ears set Nemo off.  When he has one he protects it with everything he's got, meaning he tries to kill the cats.  So no pig ears for Nemo.

  • NoahNoah
    Posts: 5

    It's a complicated thing. Either people are 1) uneducated, or 2) see their pets as a product designed solely for their own enjoyment, ie, neither care about nor want the best for their dog.

    To be honest, I take a middle ground approach. I feed my dogs Orijen and give them the occassional raw chicken, pork, or beef. I love my pets, but I don't want them to bankrupt me.

    I mean, if you're dogs smell bad, have a lot of goop in their eyes, seem lethargic, have a dull coat, then you probably need to think about switching dog foods. I would say that's just common sense, but, like I said, a lot of people are uneducated on the matter and don't even make the connection.

  • jmaxwelljmaxwell
    Posts: 287

    Well I received the Origin puppy chow in the mail last week and my pups LOVE it! I am so happy!Sealed As soon as I put it in their bowls they practicly engulfed the whole thing. I was worried to spend $60 on dog food not knowing if they would be happy with it. I also only received it after 2 days which was fast for free shipping! So thanks to everyone who persuaded me to get that brand.Smile

    Post edited by BradA1878 at 2007-10-01 23:43:17
  • That is great that they like it!!! They will very likely need less of it then the old food too. Stay close to what they suggest for serving amounts. They may act like they're still hungry, they just really like their food.

  • My two eat Honest Kitchen Embark (it's fine for puppies) & Bravo for dinner, mostly.

    I keep Orijen or EVO RM on hand for morning when I'm in a rush - or I can add canned to it or add kibble to the HK. Pretty versatile.

    I can't stomach raw liver. No way. That's why I just feed them Bravo mixed with HK - I couldn't grind up raw organ meat weekly. It's easier to buy it ready made.

    So, yes, you can feed the new pup Orijen puppy, or Orijen puppy w/ Embark, or just the Embark, or Embark with ground beef or chicken or turkey. Your choice. Once little I'm-too-cute Daisy settles in, you can even switch back and forth between your choices a little.

    Congrats! She's too cute!

    Post edited by BradA1878 at 2007-10-04 20:01:44
  • brandon_wbrandon_w
    Posts: 3433

    A few weeks back I e-mailed my favorite pet supply store, asking why they weren't carrying Orijen yet.  The owner responded and told me that they were having a hard time getting it from his supplier.  Well I guess my e-mail was the prodding that he needed to get on his suppliers case about making trips to Madison.  This store has 3 locations now in Madison so he was able to put in a huge order.  The supplier liked the idea of a big order, so now we are getting Orijen.  I picked up a bag for my cats, but have not started feeding it to them yet.

    Before this all got worked out, I had promised my other favorite pet supply store that I'd order a bag of food through them (too many loyalties) so I stuck to my word.  After this bag of EVO Redmeat I'll be picking up a bag of the Orijen fish version for Nemo.  I really like the ideals of this company, from sourcing ingredients, to manufacturing, to packaging.  The owner of MadCats (whom I e-mailed with) said that he thinks they are the best at sourcing quality ingredients along with Timberwolf and Netura.  He also said that Timberwolf's prices will be going up a good amount, as ingredient prices have gone up, and their food was always unexplainably cheaper than the other premium foods.

  • I just found a pet store here in Providence that special orders Orijen for me. I just email him by friday and he has it for me by Wednesday. He was surprised at how expensive it was, but he was so impressed by the quality of the ingredients. It improved all my pets coats almost instantly. It also helped improve the consistency of my new pups waste almost overnight.

     I love it.

  • hondruhondru
    Posts: 529
    The orijen fish is fabulous.  The dogs really love it and it's wonderful for their coats.  I just wish they would make a cat version with fish because the cats are always pining for the dog food!
    -Heidi, with Rakka (shikoku) and Sosuke (kai ken)
  • Orijen has made such an amazing difference with our dogs!  I love it and swear by it now.
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 2242
    We love it too, we now feed 4 different version - puppy, large breed puppy, regular and the fish one.... it's kinda crazy over here w/ the dog food! lol
  • brandon_wbrandon_w
    Posts: 3433

    The Orijen catfood contains lake whitefish, salmon, salmon meal, salmon and anchovy oils, along with the chicken and turkey.

    I don't think I'll be able to see much difference in Nemo's coat.  With the fish oil I give him everyday it always looks great, he get's a lot of compliments.  He is quite the handsome, in shape dog if I do say so myself. 

  • hondruhondru
    Posts: 529
    I bet the petfood store loves seeing your face!  (unless you order it online - in which case they don't see your face, obviously).
    -Heidi, with Rakka (shikoku) and Sosuke (kai ken)
  • brandon_wbrandon_w
    Posts: 3433

    No, I support locally owned pet supply stores.  I got a bag of cat food, a bag of dog food and 80lbs of cat litter, it was $90.  Just the week before I spent $25 on treats, it's always something.  I'm sure you all know the feeling.

    Luckily my wife's Aunt works for Standard Process, so I get supplements for the animals for free. 

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