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Old 05-06-2009, 15:16   #1
Broylz
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Homemade dogfod meals?

ive been feeding Gunnar, my 2 year old GSD, a mix of alot of different things. beef liver, stew meat, chicken breast, even got left over pot roast the other night. i mix this with peas, cooked rice, cottage cheese, cheese, canned dog food, and ProPac high energy 30% protein and 20% fat. this has all been in an attempt to put some weight back on him. it seems to be working so far. hes eating as much as he can twice a day. over the last month he has put on about 5 pounds. still needs to put on more. his coat looks great and his energy level has picked up which is kind of counterproductive.

obviously i dont feed all ingredients every time but its a decent mix. the only staple is his dry dogfood that gets mixed in. i would like to get him back to a dry dog food only but i havent been able to find one he will eat enough of to keep weight on him. i have also had him fully checked by our vet and he has been wormed. hes not what i would call an overly active dog, but he is definately active. he runs by himself outside for several hours everyday, we go for a 2 mile walk/jog 4-5 times a week, and he plays fetch for about an hour every day with me.

anyway, what other kinds of diets do you put your dogs on? anything im doing wrong? something else that may help?
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Old 05-06-2009, 15:57   #2
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One you start wet food, the dog will never let you forget it.

Generally, human food is not all that good for dogs.

Our dogs got only dry until a few years ago when one got paralyzed, then operated on, then stopped eating. My wife started her on wet food, and now they harrass us in the morning until they get a tiny dollop. Dry food is always available in their bowl. (Free feeding)
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Old 05-06-2009, 16:20   #3
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i tried to do the free feeding thing or his entire two years. at a year old he weighed in at 115lbs and the vet told us he was in perfet shape. over his first hot summer he dropped to 95 lbs and maintained it all year. just figured he was over active. then the last summer he dropped to 80lbs and the vet asked if we starved him. now its getting warm again and i need to get some weight o him. i am trying whatever it takes.
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Old 05-06-2009, 17:00   #4
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I would be very very curious to see some current side and topline photos of your pup, as well as pics if you have them of when he was 115 lbs.

Unless you specifically went to a breeder who breeds oversized GSD's, I'm having a lot of trouble picturing a 115 lb GSD in perfect shape.

Is he having any trouble keep down food? Vomiting, dry heaves, loose stools (at all?), this is going to sound gross - my apologies to the non dog people here - but do his stools have a "mucus'y" appearance to them? As though they are more slimey than they should be? Tinted yellowish? Anything out of the ordinary otherwise?

What other foods have you tried? Corn is the second ingredient in pro pac high performance, I'd ditch that ASAP.
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Old 05-06-2009, 17:16   #5
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his stools were loose for the first day or so when i started feeding him this way. nothing unusual now that i know of. i usually walk the yard every couple days to check. he is a very large shepherd. he is taller and longer like the older style shepherds when they were trying to hybrid them. he is a plush coat, not quite long haired as you can see in my avatar.

his belly has the typical indent. i think he is actually getting close to where he needs to be at the 100 lb mark. i am just able to feel his ribs while peting him, not fatty. his hips and shoulders were very pronounced and sharp but are starting to soften up a bit also. you can also see a noticable body notch in his stomach, base of his rib cage which i know is pretty normal, sorry for the lack of bette words, but hes not square and definately not fat. ill try to take some recent pics of him. i dont think i have any from his prime, ill check.

as for food, ive tried about everything that the local stores carry. science diet, pedigree, purina one, benefuls, eukanuba, and now ProPac. ive been trying to get the highest energy food i could get as he keeps losing weight. i did find a small pet food store but they said the propac was their best. ive never been able to source the royal canin or anything of that nature locally.
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Old 05-06-2009, 17:22   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broylz View Post
his stools were loose for the first day or so when i started feeding him this way. nothing unusual now that i know of. i usually walk the yard every couple days to check. he is a very large shepherd. he is taller and longer like the older style shepherds when they were trying to hybrid them. he is a plush coat, not quite long haired as you can see in my avatar.
Older style shepherds were smaller and more compact than they are today. Much smaller and more compact in fact. Shorter coat as well.

Watch his stools for a little while and check them right after he goes. You aren't going to be able to pick up on this stuff a day or two after the fact. It will look fairly normal unless he's got the runs. The mucus is important to watch for, it can be one of the first signs of SIBO or EPI (google) which are very common in shepherds.

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as for food, ive tried about everything that the local stores carry. science diet, pedigree, purina one, benefuls, eukanuba, and now ProPac. ive been trying to get the highest energy food i could get as he keeps losing weight. i did find a small pet food store but they said the propac was their best. ive never been able to source the royal canin or anything of that nature locally.
Not a single one of those is particularly good....

What stores do you have near you? Petsmart, petco, pet supplies plus? Do you have a costco you can go to? Propac very well may be their best given the above list. Royal canin isn't that great, don't waste your money. You can do better for that price.
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Old 05-06-2009, 17:24   #7
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i have walmart petsmart and kroger.
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Old 05-06-2009, 17:29   #8
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the symptoms of SIBO dont fit this case. i may talk to my vet about EPI though, thanks.
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Old 05-06-2009, 17:32   #9
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ok, petsmart carries several good brands. They've gotten a bit better in the past year or so with some attemps at holistic foods.

Hit the isle that you find Blue Buffalo in (I think they just call it "Blue" now, but it'll have a buffalo on it somewhere). There should be some other holistic foods to look through as well, they usually keep "like" with "like." I hesitate to recommend nutro for a few reasons, but if you stick with the nutro ultra line you should be ok. I am not a huge fan of Pro Plan (anything purina really), BUT, and this is a very big "but" - I and several people I know have had success with one particular forumla. Pro Plan sensitive skin and stomach. It has better quality ingredients than the other lines, which is (drum roll please) why it's better for the skin and stomach.

If you have a petco anywhere nearby, they have a much better line of available foods. Costco also carries a very good house brand (kirkland) - no corn, wheat, by-products, etc. You will simply not beat the price for the quality of food you'll get.
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Old 05-06-2009, 17:33   #10
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the symptoms of SIBO dont fit this case. i may talk to my vet about EPI though, thanks.
They don't yet, but they may eventually. SIBO usually involves vomiting. But not always initially. EPI usually involves mucus or loose stools to the point of liquid, and often rapid weight loss (10+ lbs in a matter of weeks). However, not all dogs present the same. Some are simply what I'd call "hard keepers" until the symptoms hit full force.
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Old 05-06-2009, 17:37   #11
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i was told that sams club had something with some good ingredients in it that was fairly cheap. never looked into it though. i used to feed natural choice large breed to our last gsd, is this any good? the extra joint suppliments seemed to help him out alot.

if he does still show signs of lose stools and such, what would you recommend doing? its been raining all week so i haven looked in a few days. i am tapering him off the people food stuff and trying to get him onto a good dry food while his weight is back up and see if i can maintain it.
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Old 05-06-2009, 17:39   #12
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They don't yet, but they may eventually. SIBO usually involves vomiting. But not always initially. EPI usually involves mucus or loose stools to the point of liquid, and often rapid weight loss (10+ lbs in a matter of weeks). However, not all dogs present the same. Some are simply what I'd call "hard keepers" until the symptoms hit full force.
i always thought of him as a hard keeper. he has puked in the past but its usually only if he gups his food down then goes out and runs hard. its rare. never noticed any mucus and definately no drastic weight loss. i will just keep a better eye on him.
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Old 05-06-2009, 18:25   #13
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i was told that sams club had something with some good ingredients in it that was fairly cheap. never looked into it though. i used to feed natural choice large breed to our last gsd, is this any good? the extra joint suppliments seemed to help him out alot.

if he does still show signs of lose stools and such, what would you recommend doing? its been raining all week so i haven looked in a few days. i am tapering him off the people food stuff and trying to get him onto a good dry food while his weight is back up and see if i can maintain it.
I have no idea about the sams club food, are they selling kirkland also?

I won't touch nutro anymore other than their ultra line. It has really degraded in quality and reliability in recent years. It's unfortunate because it used to be a pretty good food for the price.

I'd be doing one of two things if he were mine, so given the info you've presented here's what I would do:

1) Get him off all people food. Get him on a high quality dog food. Transition him from the pro pac slowly. 75% old, 25% new for at least a few days, then 50/50, then 25/75, etc.

2) Give him 2 - 3 weeks to see if he's maintaining good stools, doesn't seem to have any new issues crop up, etc. Monitor weight carefully via an actual scale. Pop him into your vet and ask to toss him on the scale. Explain why, they should understand. Find the time to do this weekly.

If after 6 weeks he is not gaining weight, try another high quality food, different protein source (chicken vs lamb vs fish vs duck, etc). A higher fat and protein content isn't always necessarily the answer. For example, EPI dogs can't tolerate high fat content in their diet. And yet they are prone to weight loss. You keep tossing higher fat and protein at them and you'll just get a skinnier and skinner dog.

Give the second food some time to work. Again, keep monitoring weight. Gaining, losing, maintaining? If he gains - you're on the right track. If he maintains or loses I'd take him in for some bloodwork. EPI is a seperate test, the blood test for it alone was $175 IIRC at my vet. It's a gamble, I wouldn't necessarily test for it yet, but I'd tuck it away in the back of my mind and watch for other symptoms.
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Old 05-06-2009, 19:53   #14
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thanks, i am currently mixing the propac with the other stuff. shouldnt be hard to get him to eat just that. we will see how it works out. thanks for all the help.
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Old 05-07-2009, 04:05   #15
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Forgot to add, you can also try just adding digestive enzymes to his food. Even some non EPI dogs do well with additional enzymes to help break down the food for easier digestion, in low quantities. The only possible issue with this is that there is some concern amongst dog keepers that if you begin doing this, the dogs body may cease to produce as many of their own enzymes and begin to rely on the replacements. So you may get trapped into doing this permanently. There are enzymes sold in petstores - they are worthless. If you decide to do this, pm me and I can get you the source straight from the manufacturer. What you will pay at the vet is outragous and it's not prescription.

You'd want to talk to your vet before trying this IMHO. It would be a last resort for me if the dog really needs to gain weight and you're not having much luck via any other means and there appears to be no real medical reason why he's not gaining or at least maintaining. Going from 115 to 80 is a big drop.
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Old 05-07-2009, 17:08   #16
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got him weighed today and hes back up to 97lbs. i guess whatever i did worked to get his weight back up. i think he looks better in the 100lb mark. i dont remember what he honestly looked like at 115 but i guess the vet likes the dogs to be a bit on the heavy side. i am gonna try to get him back on the propac by itself and maybe add some meat to it occasionally. see where this gets us. if he loses any weight this summer ill get him in to the vet for some of the options you describe. thanks again.
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Old 05-07-2009, 19:10   #17
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That's good news, glad to hear he's gained some weight back.

I was glancing through a Menards flyer that came in the mail today and was surprised to see that they carry dog food, Diamond Naturals to be exact. The ingredients are actually pretty good and it may be worth checking into if you are still interested in switching and need something convenient and inexpensive.
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Old 05-07-2009, 19:36   #18
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never heard of menards.
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Old 05-07-2009, 22:06   #19
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There are a number of quality dog foods out there. What you need to do is learn to read the ingredient list.

IF you see the word BYPRODUCT with any meat form, put it back on the shelf it is garbage! There are some foods where this is the first ingredient listed, ie you are feeding your dog heads, feet, intestines and other waste products from the slaughter of the animal type listed.

IF you see the word CORN in the first five ingredients, back on the shelf. Corn is a great FILLER. FILLER is a substance that is not very digestible so it comes out the other end. There are some foods where this is the #1 ingredient. This can also be determined by the cups per day feeding. Quality food might say 3 to 4 cups a day. Garbage will recommend 5 to 7 or even 8 cups a day. That is a lot of poop.

Quality food will have MEAT or MEAT MEAL as the #1 ingredient, some have these for the first two ingredients. MEAT is a generic word to cover Chicken, Lamb, Fish, Venison, Bison or any other type of meat. The food I feed has Chicken and Chicken meal as the first two ingredients.

Quality food uses things like barley, oats, oatmeal, as fillers. These are more digestible fillers meaning that it does not all come out the other end as poop. Quality foods will have a mix of fruits and vegetables to help cover the nutritional needs to include natural enzymes to assist in food digestion.

Guess which food is better for your dog:

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal (natural source of Glucosamine), Whole Ground Brown Rice, Whole Ground Barley, Whole Potatoes, Tomato Pomace (natural source of Lycopene), Oatmeal, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Natural Tocopherols), Natural Chicken Flavor, Whole Carrots, Whole Sweet Potatoes, Blueberries, Cranberries, Flaxseed, Barley Grass, Dried Parsley, Alfalfa Meal, Kelp Meal, Taurine, L-Carnitine, L-Lysine, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Green Tea Extract, Turmeric, Garlic, Sunflower Oil (natural source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Herring Oil (natural source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Dried Chicory Root, Black Malted Barley, Oil of Rosemary, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin C, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Beta Carotene, Calcium Ascorbate (source of Vitamin C), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Folic Acid, Biotin, Choline Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex (source of Chelated Zinc), Iron Amino Acid Complex (source of Chelated Iron), Copper Amino Acid Complex (source of Chelated Copper), Manganese Amino Acid Complex (source of Chelated Manganese), Potassium Amino Acid Complex (source of Chelated Potassium), Cobalt Proteinate (source of Chelated Cobalt), Potassium Chloride, Sodium Selenite, Salt, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bacillus subtilis, Bifidobacterium thermophilum, Bifidobacterium longum, Enterococcus faecium.

OR

Ground Whole Corn, Chicken By-product Meal, Rice, Corn Gluten Meal (source of Lutein*), Animal Fat (preserved with BHA/BHT), Wheat, Potassium Chloride, Wheat Flour, Dicalcium Phosphate, Natural Flavor, Salt, Brewers Dried Yeast, Caramel Color, Fish Oil (source of DHA*), Vegetable Oil (source of Linoleic Acid), Calcium Carbonate, Taurine, Vitamins (dl-alpha Tocopherol Acetate [source of Vitamin E], Choline Chloride, L-ascobyl-2-polyphosphate [source of Vitamin C*], Vitamin A Acetate, Thiamine Mononitrate [vitamin B1], D-calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement [Vitamin B2], Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Marigold Meal, Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Potassium Iodide), Added FD&C and Lake Colors (Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Blue 2, Red 40).
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Old 05-07-2009, 22:10   #20
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Food 1 is Blue Buffalo Large Breed Puppy.

Food two is



















































































Pedigree Puppy
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