Open Thread

This post is open for any animal related links, questions, comments, etc.

In light of the ongoing pet food recalls, I thought it might be a good time to share what food(s) you are feeding and, if known, the name of the company that manufactures it.  If you feed home prepared foods, maybe provide an example of a meal since homemade feeding can be daunting to owners who haven’t previously fed pets that way.  I know some people are considering it now and would appreciate your sample meal ideas.

27 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. I recently (before the recall) started feeding Fromm’s:

    It’s decently priced for a premium food, and the dry version is made at the company’s own plant in WI with US-sourced ingredients (the canned is made at someone else’s plant in SD, but I don’t feed canned). I do have to buy it at a specialty pet store, but I shop at those stores regularly anyway.

    For a long time I was feeding raw and my dogs were thriving on it, but there are still contamination concerns with that (more dangerous to the human than the dogs–they can handle more stuff than we can). You can often find raw meat & bones for the same price as premium dog foods (sometimes less if you watch sales) so it made financial sense. But I stopped doing that because my dogs are small I spent a lot of time hacking chickens with cleavers and whatnot, and it was wearing me out. I have three of my own and two fosters, and I felt like I was spending more time preparing dog meals than my own!

    So far on Fromm’s they are doing really well.

    Also, can I flog my blog here? It’s very NC-centric, but maybe interesting and relevant to all:

  2. And I thought I’d get to be the first to say I feed Fromm, but actually, I’m glad I’m not. It’s such good food that when I got my last dog as a 4 month-old puppy, I switched her over within 5 days to the Senior Gold I feed my old dogs. She’s been in amazing shape, with sleek fur, great energy level, and decent poop ever since. My old dogs have been doing really well on it for about 5 years now, and I have no plans of changing brands.

  3. My Dog Celie had an encounter with a skunk Sunday night. My entire house smells like rancid burnt coffee. I called my vet to check to see if the encounter was an issue. I was told, by NC State Law.. any contact with wildlife.. by law my dog has to have a booster rabies shot. Celie got the booster shot.

    I have bathed the dog, washed all the bedding, shampooed the carpet. Anyone one got any ideas what to do about her stinky breath.. her breath is un-bearable.

    oh yeah.. the skunk didn’t make it.

  4. I feed the dogs homemade raw, but have kept the “barn* cats” on kibble because they seem to reject anything else (canned cat food, raw meat, canned fish) and I have concerns about food hygiene. I haven’t wanted to have uneaten fresh food sitting out in their bowl in the barn.

    Friday I bought them their usual bag of Costco kibble. It was added to the recall that hour. Monday I returned it and stopped at the specialty pet store — we were now out of cat food, and one of the two had turned his nose up at a meal of sardines already. They were out of Fromm cat kibble, so I got a small bag of Solid Gold and fed them as soon as I got home.

    Solid Gold dog food added to the recall around the time I bought the cat food.

    I think this is a message. Would appreciate advice on transitioning kibble kitties to homemade raw, and on good raw recipes for cats. Dogs are much easier.

    * They are socialized cats, acquired as kittens from a lesson stable full of kids, who live in the barn and are mousers, but have ad lib access to the house if and when they want. They mostly come in when it’s very cold out.

    1. Heather, I just found this and several more of your comments in spam. I moved them out and published them but just wanted you to know. There were some other legit commenters in there too. If anyone notices a comment not showing up within a reasonable amount of time, please feel welcome to let me know.

    2. We transitioned our previous cats to homemade raw, but unfortunately it was too long ago for me to remember the recipe. (Both cats died years ago — not of anything food-related — and despite our efforts, none of our current cats will touch anything except a particular brand of canned and a particular brand of kibble, both thankfully non-recalled.)

      But I do remember grinding up raw chicken necks in our ancient mixer, which had a meat-grinder attachment. This enabled us to portion and saran-wrap the results for freezing. We’d do this in big batches, then thaw each portion overnight in the refrigerator.

      During another phase with those earlier cats, we paid someone at a very modest rate to home-cook for them because we were so swamped for time. (Again, I’m sorry but the recipe has been lost over the years.) As with the raw, this was done in batches about once a month, then the results were portioned, saran-wrapped, and frozen, and we would thaw one portion at a time in the refrigerator.

      The transitioning was super-slow, starting with the tiniest dab of homemade with whatever commercial food they were eating. After a few days of that, a slightly bigger dab. And so on, gradually changing the ratio, until the transition was complete.

    3. Ever try whole prey, Heather? It’s by far the easiest raw to “prepare” and you can just toss it out there in one neat, perfectly balanced little package.

      If you know of any raptor or reptile people, you might be able to bum a few mice or quail off of them to try out. And some cats take to whole prey astonishingly quickly…if they aren’t sure at first, you can rub it with catnip or tuna juice or whatever works.

    4. I’ve had NO luck getting my cats to eat raw, home done or pre-made. I’ve not tried whole prey though, but then they aren’t outside hunting cats. I have had some raw feeders suggest the rabbit meat/bone/organ grind from Hare Today Gone Tomorrow (located in western PA, she has a website but if I toss the link it the comment will get caught) as something that cats seem to like but I’ve not tried it. I have ordered from her though and her prices are reasonable in comparison to what I can get locally.

      I just bought Earthborn for them, they were on TOTW. Unfortunetly my older cat has a compromised immune system so the TOTW had to go. She’s also the pickier eater, but she did snack on the Earthborn I just put down….

      The dogs are almost completely on raw. I keep The Honest Kitchen on hand for emergencies, but I also keep a bag of kibble on hand too….they seem to like the occasional something different. Guess what brand the bag was, TOTW. Sigh. They’ll be doing without their snack for a bit till I decide if I want to mess with kibble any more!

    5. Re: “advice on transitioning kibble kitties to homemade raw, and on good raw recipes for cats.”

      See Dr. Lisa Pierson’s non-commercial site,,

      Includes “Tips for Transitioning – Getting dry food addicts to eat canned [or raw] food”

      Another site is – the site for the Feline Nutrition Education Society

      We took in a cat that we had to transition from kibble to canned. We bought a variety of flavors of generic cat food in the small tins and kept presenting it to him at every meal. We would put a bit of filtered water in the same dish but not mix it with the cat food.

      (According to the “JAVMA” article by Dr. Debra Zoran, posted on, cats have a low thirst drive, so eating kibble causes them to be constantly dehydrated.)

      By adding a bit of water to the same dish with the canned food, it may have made it extra enticing. After a month or so we were able to stop feeding him any kibble. After another month or so he was successfully eating the same food as our other cats. We were able to find him a home where the guy has agreed to keep feeding him canned food.

      (That cat liked to pee high in the litter box. When he was eating kibble, his urine had a stronger smell than later when he was only eating canned. Dr. Pierson notes this greater volume of less concentrated urine helps keeps cats’ bladders flushed out and “happy” so they’re less prone to urinary blockages, cystitis, etc.

      That has also been our experience after switching all our cats to a basic canned food.)

      Short of giving IV or subcutaneous fluids, feeding canned or raw food to cats is the only way I know of to safely increase their water intake. A water fountain study showed cats did not consume more water when they were able to drink from a fountain (their urine was not more diluted). Reference:

  5. This is not animal related but a reader asked me to share since many of you are in the greater Memphis area or may have contacts there. The fugitive has kidnapped two little girls. His wife and mother have been charged in connection with the killings of the girls’ older sister and mother (in which he is also a suspect). If you have any information on his whereabouts, please call 1-800-TBI-FIND. There is a $175,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

    There is a FB page set up to help find the little girls:

  6. What’s the big thing about stool size? I would always have thought that a bigger/softer stool, while more unpleasant for me in the case of an accident, is better for the dog- less risk of constipation. Besides which, it seems to just vary with the individual dog, rather than much with the food.

    Can’t believe I’m posting about this.

      1. That’s what I was vaguely thinking- hard stools are easier for the person, so people talk about how that makes a better food. But what are the benefits or disadvantages for the dog?

      2. I think the idea is based on the fact that the less the dog is getting from the food, the more waste. And if the waste is full of artificial dyes, of abnormal consistency and/or unusually stinky, one has to question the quality of the feed. That said, I have little doubt that the pet food companies have included/omitted certain ingredients specifically to produce the compact stools all pet owners are supposed to get so excited about, without regard for nutritional value. As in all things, buyer beware.

    1. Photo of stool from a raw-fed cat, by Lisa Pierson, DVM:

      “Please keep in mind that cats on a homemade diet, such as the one discussed on this webpage, do not pass feces in the same volume, consistency, and frequency that a cat on a dry food diet does.

      I have many people write to me stating that their cat is “constipated” simply because they are not passing stool every day. This is not necessarily a sign of constipation. Cats on a low residue diet will often not pass stool every day. There is very little waste contained in this diet and so the volume of feces will be less. Also, the feces of a cat eating the diet discussed below are often dry and crumbly.”

      Our two grown cats that have been fed canned food since they were kittens have smaller bowel movements than the other cats who were transitioned to canned as adults.

      Bristol Stool Chart and discussion of constipation in cats, by Jean Hofve, DVM,

      Dr. Jean also recommends a balanced homemade raw or canned diet.

  7. I’ve always used Purina One kibble. My cats all love it and it keeps their coats *shiny*. For canned food I use Fancy Feast grilled chicken or turkey…Otherwise known as “Kitty Krack”!!!
    Good thing about these foods, neither have been involved in any recalls. I don’t know, maybe it’s just luck?!?

  8. Since wild ,feral cats are attempting to take over my county, one local spay/neuter clinic is offering a real solution. I thought this was great —

  9. People, PLEASE, when shopping at your local petstores please confirm they are aware that some of the recalls include CAT food, AND that they have the most recent version of the batches being recalled. I’ve been in three stores this week, two privately owned, one chain, and all three didn’t have the updated numbers, and two were un-aware they should be including cat food.

  10. Shirley I know I have been a irregular this passed year but I have had a lot of death in my family . I Started out 2016 with my sister passing away on the 1st of January. She took her own life. My brother had passed just 5 months before that. His wife called me in June to say she could not care for her dogs anymore so I drove to Missouri from Western , NY and brought home her dogs.A boxer /Pit Bull mix Athena not spay at the time. A all black German Shepard not spay and she was 30 lbs over weight. She will get spay when she loses a little more weight. A few days after I got home I get the dreaded middle of the night phone call and my ex was in hosiptal. My ex whom I was with for 30 years and we stayed very good friends I had to take off life support and that just was one of the most awful thing to go through. Two days after his funeral Fran my sister in law whose dogs I went and got passed away. My emotions have been a mess and I have been avoiding a lot that makes me mad, sad and to take action on. Your posts bring theses emotion out and I had to avoid. I always take a look at Weekend Jade as they make me smile. I have not been headstrong as I usually am in trying to fight, speak up for and to educate for animals .I know I will get back there but it will take time. I do sign petitions and write letters but not like I once did. When I heal I will be back. I am happy to leave 2016 behind.

    1. I completely understand. I’m so sorry for your many losses this year. It seems that for many of us, 2016 has been a year of leap frogging from one crisis to another. It takes a toll but when I think about it, we are actually doing better than Prince. Which ain’t nothing. I hope you will be back soon. Thank you for your comment and for helping dogs in need. We could use more of you.

Leave a Reply