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Hi, does anyone have any tips on food and feeding?
My boy has gone off his food almost completely.. he will sniff it and pick around but he's not interested. He has been wormed and is not unwell at all so I know he just does not like the food.
He is having royal canin maxi junior and tripe (or other meat) I will feel him twice a day, it was three times when he was growing up.
When I have given him a tin of processed meat he will wolf it down but the nutritianal value is not good so I don't want to go down that route. Also I want something that'll keep the weight on and his condition... shiny coat, good teeth etc...
So, what feeds are good? I'm in England.
As Sue says a mixer biscuit isn't a complete food. We use the mixer biscuit made by Pedigree. It does contain some wheat as well as vegetable and meat derivatives so if any gluten or food intolerance problem is suspected then it isn't best to use. But we prefer a diet with “included” moisture such as a canned product or product similar to the mentioned NatureDiet and add the mixer to supplement the base diet.
We have been lucky enough to own IS all of our married life and most of our dogs have been fed on this style of diet without problem. I think the modern day kibble complete food gives a dog's stomach a lot of "work" to do as well as running the danger of expanding in the stomach even when fed wet.
We have also had the problem of dogs not eating. Many reasons and I remember panicking in the early days especially with one bitch we had. She would stop eating properly for 3-4 days at a time and then eat ravenously to catch up in the following week. It never seemed to hurt her and she lived to a ripe old age! Some dogs do “try it on” especially when they realise that if they refuse to eat they might get something a “bit different”. I wouldn’t willingly want to feed any animal Ice Cream etc. because of the sugar content. I think it builds up problems for them in later life. Best to stick to a good quality product and give them continuity of the same. Good for their digestion and good for their psychology.
The length some of you will go to just to feed your dogs..... I can't help but think some of our four-legged friends play us like a violin! Then again, I must be really lucky. Hot day or not Errol will eat like a horse and the cat food on top. He gets breakfast and dinner after a short walk 'round the block' - which will get the digestive juices going, empty the bowels and focus his mind, well somewhat... He'll have his main run during the day so I don't need to worry about having to feed an overheated dog.
He goes mad for playing with and munching ice cubes when it gets really hot. I recently saw a fishy ice lolly, you know bits of sardines etc frozen on stick. I thought it looked rather tasty and since lots of dogs go for oily fish it's a fab idea. Did I dream this up or have I seen it on telly at some point? I really don't remember... Please don't tell me I'm cracking up. :)
Maybe this is what you saw.Hope the link works.
We've tried our best to keep up to date with all the data, much of it conflicting, that concerns food and diets. So far, so good. First, there's at terrific site-- www.dogfoodchat.com --where you can find detailed and (presumably) unbiased reviews of dog food products. The site provides a great deal of information, too, about specific ingredients, what to look for in food, a proper and balanced diet for your dog, etc. Mind you, the food reviews on this site might be more useful for Americans, as we suspect that most of the foods reviewed are available only in the USA. It also has a constantly updated list of food recalls. But you will find a great deal of useful information there no matter where you live. Generally speaking, the site advises that the first five ingredients should ideally be meat (and not meat "by-products, which, if not elaborated probably contain all manner of horrors, from road-kill carcases to animal feathers claws, and even formaldehyde) , and that grains are not a good thing, Barley and oatmeal are OK Corn is bad; dogs cannot digest it. Chicken, salmon, and biso are all excellent sources of protein. Steamed vegetables are better than raw, as dogs find these easier to digest. (Our lab has problems, though, with carrots, for some reason, even when steamed) The top rated kibbles are Orijen, Wellness Core, Merrick,and Blue Buffalo. Predictably, Eukanuba, Pedigree, Purina, Science Diet and other cheap, mass made dog foods were unanimously panned as low quality and even dangerous. We have fed our dogs Holistic Select (formerly Eagle Pack) since they were puppies, and its been fine. Recently we read a very sensible book, "Smarter Than You Think" by Paul Loeb, an animal behaviorist, who offered some very interesting, and in our view, sensible ideas about diet. Among these is the value of adding a high quality wet food to the diet, which helps maintain a healthy, flake free skin, but also diminishes any allergies that human's may experience from their dogs. As one of us was in fact allergic to our setter, erupting constantly with sniffles and runny sinuses, we were amazed to find that Loeb was right; not even a week after feeding your setter wet food, the sniffling vanished. Foods that contain avocados (such as Avoderm) are suspect, no matter what their corporate websites say; we found a scientific study that disputed their claim that only the bark and exteriors of the avocado contain the poison that is deadly to dogs; in fact, the poison is an oil that leaks into the fruit, and no one really knows what the long term effect, no matter what form it is prepared as, might be on dogs. Finally, as per Loeb's advice, and a bit of common sense, too, we include steamed vegetables with our dogs meals, and a few pumps of salmon oil every morning, which really puts a splendid sheen on their coats. Dogs are susceptible to some of the same maladies as we are, including salmonella, so we do NOT feed our dogs raw eggs, ever, in spite of the enthusiastic recommendation of those who do so. With regard to kibble, here's something of interest: cheap kibble, when moistened, swells up to four times its size and weight, carrying within it lots of air, which can have an adverse effect on a dog's health, and in the worst case, can lead to bloat. Holistic Select and other high-quality foods, such as those recommended by dogfoodchat. com, do not expand at all when wet. We just discovered, too, that coffee is qite dangerous for dogs --caffeine is a poison for them -- so be sure to keep your setter far away from your morning coffee (our setter, Justice, was incorrigible when it came to a taste for coffee!) hope this helps!
Thanks John/Mike. I've had a look at dogfoodchat. It's a useful site but maybe less so for people here in the UK (or elsewhere in the world). There is obviously an issue with how and what we feed out pets. However, a dog trainer once gave me the following sound advice (she kept German Shepherds a breed known for their delicate stomachs): “You need to feed your dog what you can reasonably afford. By all means ensure that the food does not contain any fluorescent colourings and has a high meat content but don’t get seduced or made to feel guilty by the pet food lobby.”
Of course if your dog is showing food intolerance and/or requires a special diet fair enough buy the prescribed stuff or prepare it yourself but I think a lot of people have the tendency to go a bit OTT because of peer pressure and advertising. I mean I’d love to eat free-range, no-GM organic all the time but can I afford it?
Also, no disrespect but I was wondering where Bostonians keep their eggs? ;) My family has fed our dogs and cats an egg /week for eternity and we’ve never had a Salmonella problem. In fact the only way to perk up my severely ill cat last year was to coax him back to life on an egg yolk diet… Also I understand that raw or undercooked meat carries the same risk factor for salmonellosis (all you BARF people out there take note) as does overcrowding in dog kennels, contact with faeces of virtually any animal etc etc…
I think the point I’m trying to make is where does common sense end and paranoia begin?