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Topic: Dog Food - Any Suggestions?  (Read 5139 times)
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Rhiannon Sarah
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« on: March 21, 2008 07:23:17 PM »


My puppy has lately been turned off tinned food. I used to feed him a brand called "All Natural" (the puppy one), and he wasn't so much a fan. So we got a few adult ones (more variety) and mixed it with the puppy food. He loved that for a few weeks. We've tried mixing the tinned with the dry (pedigree dry, as natural and puppy good as possible), and straight tinned meats, and even warming it up. But lately we've fed him just the tinned meat standard, and he's been throwing up his food on and off (than eating it later - I don't always know he's done it!!)... I will be taking him to the vet if this doesn't clear up within the next few weeks.

But anyway - my partner threw in some tinned tuna the other day with the dry food and some tinned meat, and he loves it! Polished off the bowl, and wanted more. And because his stomach has been so upset lately, we tried switching to another brand, My Dog, which his stomach doesn't like even more. And he won't eat it unless he's really, really, really hungry. So, I've started cooking rice for him, sometimes with Tuna, sometimes with Vegetables, and he loves it! (I boil the rice, add some cooked vegetables, wait for it to cool down, than bon appetite!! And the Tuna is always drained and rinsed.)

So I was curious - although this has been really long winded - if you cook food for your favouritist friend, what do you cook? I'm thinking of changing to food I cook myself, I don't trust most dog food brands (I don't eat from a can!!), and I would like to make sure that what my puppy gets is good for him. And, I can change his diet quickly enough if he doesn't like one or more types of food.

Your thoughts??

(There is so many sites on the internet about one way or the other, it's difficult to sort through. But I will confirm everything with my vet, don't worry!)

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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2008 07:41:19 PM »

Take him to the vet sooner then later.
He could have pancreatic disease, or liver disease, a pyloric stricture, an intestinal issue like an intermittent bloat, reflux, or something else wrong. Even if you switch the diet once a week your dog shouldn't be barfing all the time.
Try feeding him fine-ground very well-boiled lamb or rabbit, and well-cooked plain white rice. Just those 2 items, for at least 8 weeks. No table food, treats, or snacks of any kind. If you ever see him barf it up, get him to a vet within 48 hours.
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2008 08:30:48 PM »

Agreed, better to get him checked out right away than let it get worse.  He's young, he needs his nutrition to grow.  Although I did know a German Shepherd that would only eat rocks and Nutri-cal, and he grew into a fine champion....

Rice is always the best for a dog with an upset tummy.  Then gradually add some veg if they will eat it, and some cooked chicken.

Don't feed him too much, or he will barf it up, puppies do that when their tummies get too full.  Better to feed smaller portions that stay down 2 -4 times a day than one big ol meal that he can't digest!  If he's active and healthy, he will attack a bowl of dry food with as much gusto as any other kind of food!  I would go with less than 1/4 cup for a 5 pound pup, 1/2 cup for up to 25 pounds, and then 1/2 cup 2X a day for up to 50 pounds...

My dog mostly got dry food, and he was fine with that.  For occasional yummys I would put maybe one or two tablespoons of canned mixed into the dry along with some warm water (he was a medium large dog, 50-60 pounds).  That made him dance with glee!  But I never gave him only canned food....

Pedigree dry is a fine food, it has no nasty or fake ingredients, and has good nutrition and is quite affordable! 

So yes, PLEASE take your friend to the vet ASAP to get him checked out.  It could be so many things, and it can really make a difference to your pup!

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Rhiannon Sarah
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2008 06:07:59 PM »

He's stopped throwing up - it happened once or twice, and it seems now that his stomach has definatly settled. And he is looking and acting happy and healthy.

Which is great Smiley

I'm going to look at feeding him more natural foods, rather than tinned. I was wondering if anyone out there has any recipies or ideas for dogs/puppies?? I'm going to start him on chicken wings (raw), and see how he goes.

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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2008 09:36:19 AM »

Hi- I am new to this site, but read your post with interest. I have been cooking for my dogs for several years now, and here are some things to consider:
First you must rule out any physical ailments that may be causing your dog to reject food, or vomit up regular dog food. Once ill health is ruled out, making your own dog food can be beneficial, but also rather costly, once you really realize that you want them to have non-commercial, fresh food.
Dogs need a careful balance of proteins, vegetables, and vitamins and minerals. Unless you're nutritionist, you will have to rely somewhat on GOOD commercial brands to augment what you will cook.
A good publication for information about diets to cook, and good holistic brands is The Whole Dog Journal. It's a newsletter that has a great deal of good information in it. Dr. Pitcarin's book is a great reference for this as well.
As for my four, I use a dry food that is holistic and has all the vitamins and omega 3's they need. To that, I add my own blends of cooked rice or barley, organic poultry, ground flax seed, cooked sweet potatos with the skin, a combination veggies such as peas, carrots, broccoli, zucchini. Sometimes I put in chopped up apples- flesh only, or blueberries, dried cranberries.
Other combinations my guys like are :Scrambled egg & Salmon with a combination of the above, or beef stew without white potato. I make large batches and freeze it, then add to the dry food with warm water or broth.
In the morning I feed them all a large scoop of cottage cheese with a little dry food. Or plain yougurt.
Since I have started this, my dogs have great shiny coats, no more skin allergies or hot spots, shed less and have less health problems.
There are many websites for all of this, and many advocates for "raw diet" feeding~ I think it's an individual decision, but I know that all the brands out there that are the popular ones have so much toxic stuff in them that it's little wonder to me that dogs wind up with diabetes and kidney failure- last year's recall illustrated that, besides the contaminated imported wheat, if you read the other ingredients, you are feeding chicken or beef meal, which is ground up from the parts of the animals not salable for humans ( unless it says so). That means there are chelated metals, anitbiotics, and other unmentionables.
I hope some of this is helpful!
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2008 02:49:06 AM »

Raw chicken bones are safe for dogs? Well knock me over with a feather.....

He's stopped throwing up - it happened once or twice, and it seems now that his stomach has definatly settled. And he is looking and acting happy and healthy.

Which is great Smiley

I'm going to look at feeding him more natural foods, rather than tinned. I was wondering if anyone out there has any recipies or ideas for dogs/puppies?? I'm going to start him on chicken wings (raw), and see how he goes.

I hate to harp on you but you really should see a vet. It's true that switching up foods upsets the stomach and can cause barfing. But on top of that you are trying to get into a raw diet.

You should't try it on your own. Research it on the internet and please do see a vet. It's hard enough for a dog to be switched around so much, even harder when you plan to switch to raw like it's no big deal. If you plan to go all raw you will probably need some kind of supplements, especially with a puppy! A bowl full of chicken wings is not going to do it... and supplements are not cheap. What you spend on meat plus supplements may well cost MORE than it would be to put your dog on a quality kibble. I hope also that you know how to brush your dog's teeth and he allows it, because all canned or all raw diet tends to leave teeth nasty and they need more care than dogs who are fed dry kibble. I just feel you need to put more thought into this.,,

Is that even safe? I know raw chicken bones are NOT safe for dogs. If you COOK chicken for a very long long time the bones may turn to mush and supposedly do not cause a problem. But you're talking about giving your dog raw chicken bones? WHAT?

I know it's cheaper to get info free online and no offense to anyone who posted in this thread, but the truth is they are not vets. Your dog's diet is a big deal and you should treat it as such, especially if you're going raw. See a vet.

In the meantime, I know Rachael Ray is a dog freak and has many dog recipes on her websites (though they are more for treats or occasional meals, not steady diets). But the recipes are still fun and some of them are even good for humans to eat (supposedly).

Final thought: Why are you so against kibble? It's not more unnatural than canned stuff....
« Last Edit: April 16, 2008 02:52:42 AM by bluecat » THIS ROCKS   Logged
Rhiannon Sarah
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2008 10:01:26 PM »

My puppy has stopped with the belly upset - I did see the vet, she said it was the changing of foods. We have him on MyDog now, tinned and a Dr Harry endorsed dry food which has lots of good vitamins and stuff in it, without being too dry. He now has no trouble eating, but he's also a few months older, and I think it was a puppy stage - my dog can get pretty sooky at times. (That's not to say I don't feed him! I always make sure he eats well. But not too much!)

I do give him raw chicken necks every now and again - and I have always been under the impression (from experience with my fathers dog and dog food books written by a vet, can't remember his name) that it is cooked chicken bones that cause problems because they are so brittle. They splinter and cause ouchys. Whereas a raw chicken won't. If you boil the bones to a mush, well no splintering side effects than.

I am worried about the transition from canned to natural, if just because, like Quahog said, I'm not a dietician or a nutritionist, so I cannot tell what my puppy needs to eat. And Bluecat, I agree, I'm not giving it nearly enough thought as what I should, I feel I should be doing more for him. But, he's healthy, happy, energetic, eats all his food, gets along well with dogs and strangers (loves them to death), and he isn't chubby, he's quite lean (though he's eating what is recommended!!).

I certainly agree that dog food is a touchy subject - if just because they can't talk to us, so we don't know what's wrong (if anything is). As he seems fine at the moment, I'll keep him on canned food, supplementing with dry food and chicken necks on a weekly basis. (He loves those necks!!). I'll let you know which book it was with natural food suggestions, I haven't read it all yet but I'll let you know!

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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2008 03:33:19 PM »

My vet's recommendation for any dog or cat who's belly is troubled has always been plain skinless,  boiled and de-boned chicken......(I usually keep an eye out for skinless breasts that are on sale to freeze......easy to defrost......and meets all the requirements).  I boil it with NO SALT........or any other additives......... Smiley ........and the broth is great to keep in the fridge to heat slightly and add to dry foods for the transition back............ Wink

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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2009 12:57:00 PM »

Dry dog food is better for your dogs teeth esp. if they are still teething.
Try puppy chow mixed with Ol'Roys wet pouches (walmarts brand) they are 50Cents each for 5.5 ounces of meat.
Rice is also good.
I know its hard to do but they will eat when they get hungry enough. make sure they are well hydrated.
Also make sure they are having bowl movements cause not eating is a sign of constapation. If they aren't having a normal amount you may need to massage around their butt hole (WEAR A GLOVE!!). I know this sounds weird but it helps the poop to come out!

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« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2009 01:16:47 PM »

I'm a registered vet tech and a nutrition nazi, so this will be long and rambly.

Whoever said cooked chicken bones are safe is WRONG.  RAW chicken bones are safe for the most part.  I did make my dog sick once with a drumstick....weight bearing bones are to be avoided because they splinter even when raw.  Necks, wings, ribs, etc. Are all fine.  They're soft when raw and don't splinter.

That said, I did a raw diet for my dog for a long time.  It takes a lot of work and careful  balancing.  A raw diet of chicken wings only is a recipe for disaster.  You need a balance of muscle meat, organ meat, and bones.  They should be proportioned similarly to what a dog would get from eating prey animals in the wild.  For this reason, I often found it easiest to order whole frozen rabbits(the kind you buy to feed for snakes) and feed my dog those.

Also, raw or undercooked ground meat should never be fed.  Bacteria tends to live on the outside of meat, and when meat is ground anything that was on the surface is stuffed into the middle, making it impossible to wash the meat to make it safe.

I saw you mentioned Pedigree as a "natural" food....that it is not.  Look at the ingredients in it.  The first two are rice and corn, not needed in a dog's diet and the corn especially is hard to digest.  Then by-product meal, which isn't necessarily bad, but since by-product is a vague term (it can mean organs, heads, feet, whatever is left over) you really don't know how much protein you are getting.  Then Corn Germ - more hard to digest corn that has been over-processed to boot.

FINALLY as the fifth ingredient - Lamb!  Good right?  Not so much....When a meat is  listed "whole" as an ingredient: lamb, chicken, beef, etc, it means that the meat was added fresh to the mixture.  But fresh meat is mostly water, and as the kibble is processed, that water cooks out and you are left with less than 30% of the weight you started with.  So in reality, lamb should be MUCH farther down that list, since ingredients are listed by weight.  Lamb MEAL should ideally be the first ingredient, because that means the water has already been taken out and you aren't getting all the added weight.

For kibble, I like California Natural, Healthwise, Innova, and similar products if you can find them.  Call Natura Pet Products and see if there's a store in your area.  California natural in particular is designed specifically for dogs with sensitive stomachs or food allergies.

OK, one last thing I can't help but say....dry food may be better for your dog's teeth, but canned food is (for most dogs) easier on the system.  All the water in it makes it easier to digest, it's better for the kidneys, and they stay better hydrated because the food has so much water in it.

OK, I'm off my soapbox now, LoL.
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