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Dog food question. (Long, sorry)

Hello, long time lurker here with a dog food question. I know there have been tons of questions about dog foods but I have something a little more specific. I've had my dog on grain free Canidae Fish for a while now because she's got allergies and ear infections. She's done great on it other than gaining alot of weight (supposedly grain free makes low energy dogs put on alot of weight?). Now my dog is staying with my mom right now because me and my husband are living in a hotel until we can find a place to rent, and my mom has the sister on my dog. My moms dog was also om Canidae ALS with grains, and she kept getting sick and throwing up, had runny stools with blood in it, so my mom took her to the vet. The vet said that my moms dog had a very sensitive stomach and needs to be put on a dog food with a lower protien, and the vet suggested Science Diet. She's been on Science Diet for about 2 weeks now, and only eats like every 3 days. She doesn't seem to like the food. Anyways, once my husband and I find a place of our own we'll be taking our dog and my moms dog because they get along so well and we'd like to keep them together. So my question is, I need some opinions on food to put both my dog and my moms dog on so that we dont have to feed them two different foods. Plus what I've read from other posts on this board Science Diet isn't a good brand of dog food. And if it makes a difference the dogs are Lab/Husky mixes.
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Re: Dog food question. (Long, sorry)

  • Not knowing your dogs Im going to guess that the problem you are running into is the very sensitive husky stomach. Our husky has done very well on Natural Balance and we are in the process of switching over to Taste of the Wild and she loves that. I know its frustrating but you may just need to try different brands until you find one that works for them both. Also make sure you are making the switch gradual.?
  • If your dog is doing well on the food she's on now, don't change her.  The weight gain is remedied by feeding less.   As for the other dog, what is she have sensitivities to?  It's not a big deal to feed 2 different foods, just feed separatly and don't free feed(if you/they are).

  • How much less of food should I feed? I know every dog is different and it depends on her activity level. She gets two cups a day right now and when she's at her normal healthy weight she weighs between 55-60 pounds. She's about 15 pounds over weight right now and she always acts like she's still hungry even getting the two cups a day, so I'm not sure how much I should cut back? I don't free feed, but my mom likes to, so once we get our own place we won't be free feeding. Also, we tried Taste of the Wild for my mothers dog and she wouldn't eat it, she's become a very picky eater, is there any chance she will get over that?
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  • You can gradually reduce it say 1/4-1/3 of a cup.  To get a better idea of how much to reduce it, how did you decide upon 2 cups, was that how much of an old food she ate or did the bag recomend it?  Thats on the low end(according to the bag info on their website) of recomended for an adult, but many dogs are not as active and need less.   How much excercise is she getting?  Increasing that would most likely help.  How quickly did she gain the weight?  If it happened quickly, did anything else change like excercise being reduced.  Now that you posted details, she's gained 25% of her normal healthy weight, thats alot.  Weight gain quickly can be a medical issue.
  • I decided on the two cups because that was what was on the bag, and yes it was the lower end, I believe it said 2-3 cups. The weight gain did not happen quickly, it wasn't like overnight, it's been just overtime. She's started losing some weight since we've moved because she's alot more active now. I don't walk her everyday (I know, bad dog mom) because it's been so cold here, but my mom has a large dog run in the backyard and the two dogs will run and play out there for an hour or so a day. She is not a very active dog at all, she's very lazy and even when we do go on walks, they are only like 30 minute walks because she's completely exhausted by then. What is normal exercise for a bigger dog? She's still very young, only two, but she'd rather just lounge around the house.
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  • She needs the excercise, probably about an hour of walking daily.  She gets tired as she hasn't been conditioned.  Start with a 1/4 cup reduction and walk her.  To give you some idea, we walk 15-20 miles per week plus the training classes and conditioning/training I do at home.  You want the weight to come of slowly, plus the excercise will be good time for you to spend together.

  • Oh wow, okay, and as for my moms dog, probably best to get her off the Science Diet, correct? We tried the Ocean Fish Taste of the Wild and she wanted nothing to do with it, so maybe we should try Natural Balance like weddinglocator said? I don't have much of a selection of food in the town I live in. My husband lost his job in Cali and so we moved out to Wyoming with family and there is a pet store here that has Canidae and Taste of the Wild, but I'm pretty sure that's it. So I'm not sure what to do food wise for my moms dog to get her away from Science Diet.
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  • TOTW Pacific Stream is grain-free and low protein also. I looked it up, Canidae Fish is 40% protein and TOTW PC is 25%, so that should be low enough. I wouldn't want to eat the SD either. ;) My dogs all love the TOTW PC.

    GL! 

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  • Hm, maybe we should try TOTW again. I have a bag of it here but she's just not interested in it at all. Thanks for all the input! I sure appreciate it. :)
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  • image maymay1106:
    Hm, maybe we should try TOTW again. I have a bag of it here but she's just not interested in it at all. Thanks for all the input! I sure appreciate it. :)

    We have a dog who goes on hunger strikes, and our trainers have always (rightly) told us that a dog who has food available will never starve.  We've accepted that Cal is never going to be an enthusiastic eater like some dogs, but he does eat enough to get by.

    If your dog is always acting hungry, you could add green beans to her food to add bulk but not calories or fat.  It will make her feel more full.  I had an 85-pound foster who needed to be more like 77, and he lost a pound a week with reduced kibble (3 cups instead of 4) and 2/3 of a can of green beans daily.  Oh, and TONS of exercise.  Miles and miles of walking.  To give you an idea, I have a 6-year-old Kelpie who is 60 pounds, and we walk 20+ miles a week, plus we run 25 - 30 miles a week, and he plays in the yard with our foster Lab mix.  At least a 30-minute walk daily is important, and since she has so much weight to lose, I'd say at least an hour.  We walk every day: snow, rain, wind, hail, sleet...we just bundle up and get out there!

  • Ok, good to know! My mom has always free fed and I think that's probably why she doesn't eat when the food goes down. My dog knows that when we put food in her bowl if she's hungry she better eat it or it gets picked up. Hopefully once we take in my moms dog she will learn to eat when its down or she won't get it again until dinner time.

    Also, thanks for the info about the green beans, I'll have to start trying that. I'll have to learn to suck it up and go for a walk regardless of the weather outside. Thanks for all your help. :)

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  • Our husky is a picky eater right now she is loving TOTW Wetlands formula but she has also really liked bison and venison foods before. TOTW makes one with both called High Prairie. ?We would have bought High Prairie but our other dog doesn't seem to like bison so much.?
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