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Definition of "Holistic Dog Food"

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
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Zeus

The ledgend- lives on.
 
 
Barked: Sun Apr 23, '06 6:06pm PST 
Here's a possibly stupid question:

We are in the process of switching Zeus from Science Diet to Innova Large Breed.

When I called the store that carries the Innova, they said they offer $15 off after you buy a certian number of bags of Innova since the "holistic" foods are so much more expensive.

My question is, what exactly is "holistic". How does it differ (Innova) from non-holistic foods, which I'm assuming are brands such as Science Diet (which we still think is a wonderful food, I would just like to see what change brings).

We know there are huge differences, so we don't need to go into the differenes of brands, but what does holistic mean vs. non-holistic? Thanks!
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Brody

The best things- come in little- packages
 
 
Barked: Sun Apr 23, '06 6:25pm PST 
Hmmm...that is kind of an interesting way of putting it.

The way I understand "holistic" is that it considers the "Whole" dog. Food is just one aspect of that. Maybe this person meant that the food you are buying is high quality, and therefore, its one step of the "holistic" equation? I don't know. I try to take a "holistic" approach to Brody's life, but by that I mean, I give him the best food (short of home preparation, unfortunately) that I can afford/capable of giving, I do what I can to prevent future diseases like not exposing him to unnecessary chemicals, I take him on special 'field trip' to do fun stuff so he stays emotionally healthy, I provide the best home life possible, I try to train him so he's obedient and safe (still working on that one), and I try to balance the vitamins and other substances he consumes.

So maybe by "holistic," maybe they meant that is the philosophy the company takes when preparing the food. For example, Innova uses whole ingredients, and tries to make their food as natural as possible. For example, they use apples rather than injecting a synthetic source of fiber.

I guess that's what they meant. Any store that sells Innova is probably going to be more in touch with treating the "whole" dog and I'm assuming that was what she was referring to.
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Zeus

The ledgend- lives on.
 
 
Barked: Sun Apr 23, '06 6:39pm PST 
Thanks!

What threw me off, is the brands that they carry there are Innova/Innova Evo, California Natural, Eukanuba and Science Diet, and I had previously told her that I'm switching from Science Diet.

I just wasn't sure exactly what it meant. I was thinking no preservatives? All 'real' if you will ingredients? I just was/am confused. I understand that SD is a lower quality food, and am not arguing it, I just don't understand what "holistic" dog food means.

But your definition of "whole" makes TONS of sense to me! Thanks!
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Zeus

The ledgend- lives on.
 
 
Barked: Sun Apr 23, '06 6:43pm PST 
Oops!

Edited by author Sun Apr 23, '06 6:59pm PST

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Snowy

A Doggie Scholar
 
 
Barked: Sun Apr 23, '06 8:53pm PST 
yeah.. I always thought the word "holistic" is kind of a buzz word that manufacturers like to use nowadays to give off an impression that their product is superior to mass produced popular brands. To me, both "holistic" and "herbal remedies" belong in that ambiguous definition category.... I don't snub products that carry either of those two descriptions, but I don't blindly assume that they are all equally cool either. The actual products that carry either of those two descriptions (or both) can range from amazing to completely useless in terms of quality, IMO. Some manufacturers exploit the opportunity and mark up completely inferior products... but not to worry, I don't think Innova is one of them wink

Edited by author Sun Apr 23, '06 8:55pm PST

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Dusty

Food is meant to- be shared with- me.
 
 
Barked: Sun Apr 23, '06 10:00pm PST 
A holistic food that helps the whole body. One with named meat sources, whole grains, naturally preserved. Many times these foods do help the dog to be healthier all around because it helps the immune system.

Something that came to my mind though about switching to Innova. Since you have been used to Science diet light, this food has a lot of grains and very high fiber. Innova on the other hand is almost the opposite, it has lots of meats and veggies. So you will probably have to mix him onto the new food very slowly. I mean, a hand full at most everyday of the new food, and a handfull less of the old food. When you do eventually get Zeus mixed over to the Innova, you will be feeding quite a bit less then Science diet, because of the higher calorie content. During this transition time, its a good idea to add some canned pumpkin, maybe a few tablespoons to the food, to help add fiber. Good luck and keep us posted on his progress
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Takiah

197288
 
 
Barked: Mon Apr 24, '06 2:41am PST 
I don`t know if there is an actual `certification` for holistic food, like there is for organic. Like the others said `Holistic` is just a philosophy for treating disease and health. Here are the main differences

Traditional medicine commonly deals with illness by treating the symtoms of it (eg. giving medications). Basically you get sick, and you rely on meds to get rid of the illness.

Holistic means `whole body` as someone else mentioned. So rather than treating the symptoms of disease it builds up the health and immune of the body to prevent health problems (hence `whole body`). That`s why a lot of people say switching foods help allergies. Even if the dog isn`t directly allergic to food, an allergy is basically a minor immune system disorder. The philosophy is basically if you have a healthy lifestyle (food being a main factor) your immune system improves, and therefore your illnesses do. It is a good philosophy to me, butwith everything, it doesn`t always work because we can`t have perfect lifestyles and environments.

I think a mixture between the two philosophies are a good way to go, but people have success on both sides smile

Beware of some holistic foods though. Although they are usually natural, the actual ingredients may not be the best. I know many holistic or organic foods, but the main ingredients are primarily `organic` grains, so you have to be careful. Innova is a good food, I know they use human grade meat, and use a lot of whole foods, no preservatives,etc. So I guess that`s why they call it holistic. smile I hope your switch goes well, it is definitely a richer food!!
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Zeus

The ledgend- lives on.
 
 
Barked: Mon Apr 24, '06 6:04am PST 
Thanks everybody for the responses!

Dusty-
When I was on the Innova site, it said that I would have to feed him about 5 3/4 cups-6 cups a day! (He weighs 140 pounds.) Does this sound like too much to you? This was for the inactive dog also. That is just about the exact amount that we're feeding him now...

We will do on the very very slowly mixing it in. The good thing about Zeus is that he eats such a wide variety of things (his food to rocks, dirt and grass!) that his system is very used to new things coming in and out!
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Brody

The best things- come in little- packages
 
 
Barked: Mon Apr 24, '06 7:06am PST 
If I were you, I'd feed him the recommended amount, and then adjust from there. Brody's Innova Evo says to give him 1/4-3/4 cups of food. He usually just eats the 1/4th, but on some of his more active days, he'll eat up to 3/4th, but that's rare. That's like after we've gone on a hike or something. He eats about half of the amount of food he was eating with his previous brands.
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Sitka

made for the- snow
 
 
Barked: Mon Apr 24, '06 8:00am PST 
Zeus,

Phoebe wrote this simple but pretty darn good definition in the food and nutrition forum about a week ago.

"Holistic foods are usually made with high quality all natural ingredients. They contain no fillers, by-products, chemicals, antibiotics, hormones, heavy metals, 4D ( Dead, dying, downed, disabled ) meats, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives ( like BHA/BHT or Ethoxyquin ), have a variety of fresh fruits and veggies, human grade protein sources, natural herbs, spices, vitamins, minerals and dietary supplements.

They are about the healthiest thing you could feed your pet. They prevent things like kidney & liver disease, skin and coat problems, eye and ear problems, allergies, digestive problems, behavior problems and get rid of nasty things from all those cheap foods like bad breath, doggy odor, teeth and gum problems, huge stools, dull coats, shedding, osteoporosis and hip dysplasia and so many other things. Best of all they keep your pet out of the vet's office and don't cost any more to feed than cheap, low quality foods because they are extremely nutritionally dense and you feed much less so the food lasts 2 to 3 times longer."
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