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    Im desperate, I really need help with my dog, he is such a good dog, lovely, well behaved, he is the perfect dog, but i dont know what to do with him any more. He pukes all the food that he eats all the time.

    We have taken him to several vets, they have done all possible testing and everything is ok, we have tried all kind of food, human food, rice and chicken, all kind of food that you can imagine, all brands, puppy, senior and nothing works.

    He throws up all the time, it is so hard to live like that because is not his fault but its very annoying to come home and see all the place covered with puke.

    He is a Yellow lab, about 9 years old, he is gorgeous and we love him, but we don’t know what to do with him anymore…

    I really need help, we have been dealing with it for about 2 years but its frustraing and we need help. Do you know where can i go or what to do?

    I really appreciate your help with this

    Paola Velandia
    [email protected]


    Hi I have only recently registered here, but have mooched lots of free advice and support over the past year or so. Hopefully, someone has some specific advice for me.

    I have a recycled teacup Yorkie, Chanel (or rather she has me, but I digress…). She had a pretty rough life before she came to me, very underweight (less than 2 #), which we eventually got up to a stable 3.5 #. She has always been finicky, but I eventually figured out that, at least in part, her finickiness is sometimes due to a tummy ache/ gastric discomfort which resolves within 18/14 hours. Belly ache or not, she has also been very picky about her food. She would eat something well, even greedily, for a few days or a week, then go completely off it. So I would start again with a series of canned or dry food, finding something she would like.

    Mind you, if this munchkin goes more than about 12 hours without eating, than I have to resort to a high calorie supplement (like nutrical), which she HATES. So I do whatever it takes to get her to get some calories on time (at least 3xday). She is otherwise a very healthy senior.

    Anyway, I recently discovered a new pet food “boutique” here in Miami and the owner sold me lots of stuff that I asked for for my next “experiment”, but also highly recommended “Farm Fresh Pet Foods”, fresh, frozen pet foods. At this point, Chanel cannot get enough of the stuff, she jumps, spins, barks at the cats, I have never seen her so excited to eat in 2.5 years. She has been eating it for about 2 months.

    My Concern is that no one I know has ever heard of it, and even this site has not yet reviewed it. It may be that they are a great product (as Chanel believes) and just haven’t done great marketing and distribution … Is there any one with specific knowledge of this product? They have a good website, but I would love to hear of personal experience.

    thanks to all,

    Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Rambo and Fancy –

    The problem is the minimum protein level allowed by the AAFCO for adult maintenance is 18%, so you’re probably not going to find anything lower than 18% (dry matter) unless you go with a prescription food. If your dog can handle 18% protein some options would be Addiction’s dehydrated line (they have a couple formulas that are 18% protein), Solid Gold Holistique Blendz, Flint River Ranch Senior Plus, Verus Weight Management (this formula actually has 17% stated, would be 18% dry matter), First Mate Trim and Light and First Mate Pacific Ocean Fish Senior/Weight Management.

    Here are some links with information about homemade low protein diets for dogs with liver disease if home-cooking is something you’d be interested in:


    (you’ll have to remove the parenthesis around the periods, for some reason whenever I post a link the forum puts my post in the spam folder so I have to disguise the links lol)


    In reply to: Chia Seed (Topic 2)


    Hi Patty,
    The person who did the class said for Gemma’s weight (21lbs) to use 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of chia seed. I may pick some up today. I’ve had many seniors but she is the first one with “slow bowels”


    9 year old 75 pound dog’s lab work showed dilute urine specific gravity (1.007) and slightly high creatinine (1.7 vs. range of 0.5 – 1.6 mg/dL). Other kidney numbers were good. This dog often drinks a lot, leading to lower specific gravity. The vet suggested going to a Senior Food to get a bit less protein, so his kidneys have less work.

    My dog is on Ziwipeak dyhydrated raw food (it’s not raw once dyhydrated) with “quality” protein and no grains etc. It’s pretty much all meat. He get’s 6 scoops per day, with fish oil and some other supplements (Missing Link and Sea Meal). I was focused on the percent protein (36%), but not on the total quantity. Doing the math it seems he’s been getting 122 gm protein per day!!

    I now understand the guideline for older dogs is about 2 gms/ per kg (or about 1 gm/ pound), which is slightly more than for adult dogs. Based on this he should be getting about 75 gms/day.

    I’m thinking rather than going to a commercial senior dog food with grains and other things, why not just give him less Ziwipeak and augment with vegetables? More so, as he seems allergic to meats other than venison. I was thinking of going down to 4 scoops (about 80 gm protein) per day, which is the recommended amount, and giving him vegetables such as pumpkin, sweet potato, or cauliflower or a combination to make sure he gets the same amount of food he is used to (he’s on the skinny side of normal)

    Does that make sense? Other suggestions?

    Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Mary Lou –

    Sorry I accidentally mis-posted the name – that supplement is called “Joint Power Rx,” for some reason I always get mixed up and call it “Joint Care Rx” lol. Anyways, thought I’d clear that up in case you try to order it you’ll know the real name. I think it would definitely be a good supplement to try. The recommended human dose is 4 capsules per day and it recommends 1 or 2 capsules per day for dogs and cats. Because you’ve got a little guy, I’d say start out with 1 capsule per day. If you see a lot of improvement you may be able to decrease that to 1 capsule every other day. I ordered this supplement for my senior awhile back and I gave him 3 capsules per day (he’s 110 lbs.).

    Hound Dog Mom

    Hi hassiman –

    Your breeder could not be more incorrect. You can’t feed a dog “too much” protein – excess protein that is not used by the body is passively excreted though the urine causing no stress on the organs. Protein is very important for all dogs and especially growing puppies. I wouldn’t even feed a food with 21% protein to an adult dog, let alone a puppy. I always recommend picking a dry food with at least 30% protein and topping with high quality canned foods, raw foods or healthy “people” food (sardines, eggs, lean meat, etc.) to boost protein further. I have 3 bloodhounds – an 8 month old puppy, a 2 year old adult and a 7 year old senior – that all eat a raw diet with protein levels in the 45-55% range. It is now known that reducing protein levels does nothing to prevent renal failure and that protein levels should only be reduced in the late stages of renal failure. Orijen is a wonderful food (the best dry food available in my opinion) and I think you made a great choice that you should stick with regardless of your breeder’s (incorrect) beliefs. If you go to the “library” on Orijen’s website they have some wonderful articles about the importance of dietary protein and the myths surrounding high levels of dietary protein. I’d highly recommend you read these articles to ease your mind. The three I’d recommend you read are: “Myths of High Protein” which was written by Kenneth C. Bovee, DVM, MMedSc at Penn State’s veterinary school; “Effects of High Protein on Renal Function” by Delmar R. Finco, DVM, PhD for the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the University of Georgia’s school of veterinary medicine; “Pet Food Safety: Dietary Protein” by DP Laflamme, DVM, PhD, Dipl ACVN. To get to the articles from Orijen’s homepage click “FAQ” on the top menu, then click “Library” on the new top menu that appears. You may also want to refer your breeder to these articles before he/she provides any more unknowing puppy buyers with such misguided advice.


    In reply to: Safe Dog Treats


    My brothers dog chipped her tooth on a nylabone. I wouldn’t give them to my dog ever. But like HDM says they can choke on anything.

    I give bully sticks, pigs ears, and the Mercola dental sticks for puppies and senior dogs (makes his breath smell good and it isn’t made of plastic like those nylabones are or whatever junk material they are made of, sorry but I really do dislike them). However my dog is a gulper and hardly chews anything once it’s small enough to fit in his mouth so he must be supervised at all times with his chews. When they get to small I take them and toss them away.

    My puppy gets bored with his chews so I try to change it up and find new things to feed. When I first gave him the Mercola dental sticks he chewed until it was time to take it away. But his interest in them faded as time went on. Same with the bully stick, he chewed on the ends of it for awhile then got bored with it. Pigs ears got boring too because he’ll chew for a bit then leave it be.


    I know guys…I just got the email, too. I could relate due to the weird thing I had happen with the Merrick Pork kibble. @Betsy….what Nature’s Logic do you think I should start with? I have senior dogs and kinda want to get away from chicken. Thanks!


    @Marie…Oh…I guess I didn’t connect the dots. Senior moments happen alot to me lol. I post there, Dogster (but not in awhile), Dogfoodchat, Dogforum and, of course, here! There may be a few other places, but I can’t remember them lol.

    Hound Dog Mom

    Hi DieselJunki –

    Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are important constituents of cartilage and help to maintain joint function. GAG’s and GAG precursors would include glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid. MSM, which is an organic form of the essential mineral sulfur, can be beneficial for joints as well due to the fact that connective tissues require sulfur for maintenance. Cetyl Myristoleate is a supplement that’s recently gained popularity as a joint supplement and has been shown to lubricate joints and maintain function. Whole food supplements that are rich in GAGs are sea cucumber, green lipped mussel, shark cartilage and eggshell membrane. Raw meaty bones are rich in GAGs as well – with trachea, poultry feet and gullet probably being the richest sources. I feel that large/giant breed dogs that are not fed a diet including raw meaty bones on a daily basis should be started on a joint maintenance supplement at a year old (until the dog is a senior or starts to exhibit joint issues the supplement can be given at half the recommended dose). When it comes to joint supplements if you buy supplements made for humans they will be MUCH cheaper per dose. The ingredients used in human supplements are the same as those used in dog supplements so there’s no reason human supplements can’t be used (they’re probably higher quality as well). For a young dog with no joint issues there’s no reason to supplement with every beneficial ingredient under the sun – a capsule of green lipped mussel, shark cartilage, sea cucumber or eggshell membrane or a basic glucosamine/chondroitin supplement will give enough maintenance support to a young dog free of joint issues. For older dogs or dogs that are exhibiting symptoms of arthritis natural anti-inflammatories such as white willow, yucca, boswellia, turmeric/curcumin, tart cherry and supplemental omega 3’s can be beneficial to give in addition to a joint maintenance supplement.

    Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Shihtzumom20 –

    I just checked out Big Country Raw’s website – I’m jealous that you can get this food, the price is great! $2.50/lb. for pre-mixed food is very reasonable. I’m not too far from some of the retailers (I’m on the Canadian border) unfortunately I think a law was passed recently making it illegal to transport pet food across the border.

    I can’t find a statement of nutritional adequacy on the website and it does appear there are a few things missing that you will need to supplement to make the food balanced. First of all, yes you will want to add omega 3’s as there aren’t any added to the food. Follow the dosage chart I posted previously. Second, after reading the ingredients for each of their foods I can tell you that there are inadequate levels of vitamin e and vitamin d. Vitamin e is difficult to supply in adequate quantities through food alone and therefore should be supplemented. It will be especially critical that you supplement with vitamin e once you start adding omega 3’s as consumption of omega 3’s increases the the fat soluble antioxidant requirement. As a general rule supplement about 50 I.U. vitamin e per 20 lbs. If you get capsules with a high dosage (most come in 200 IU or 400 IU) you can just give one whole capsule 2-3 times per week. For the vitamin d, there is some vitamin d in beef liver (about 50 IU per 4 oz.), but not all of the formulas contain beef liver and even for the formulas that do, I doubt that there is enough to fulfill vitamin d requirements. Vitamin d can be added in supplement form or (more preferably) in whole food form. Some foods that are rich in vitamin d: cod liver oil (~400 IU per tsp.), cage free eggs (~30-50 IU per egg), Kefir (~100 IU per cup), oily fish (amount of vitamin d present varies on the type of fish but sardines, mackerel and salmon are generally considered good sources), some varieties of plain yogurt and cottage cheese are supplemented with vitamin d (check the label). Your dog should be getting about 200 IU vitamin D per pound of food consumed. Also, rotate between all their protein sources – don’t rely on one – this will provide him with the greatest balance. You may also want to consider adding another whole food supplement, I see kelp is is added to a few of the varieties. Kelp is great and supplies a lot of trace nutrients but the more variety the better, especially when a dog is deriving all of their nutrition from whole foods and not relying on synthetically added vitamins and minerals. My dogs get kelp and they also get things like spirulina, alfalfa, wheat grass, bee pollen, chlorella, etc. I switch up their supplements frequently. It says they offer a vitamin/mineral supplement but it doesn’t list the ingredients, you could check that out.

    Yes, RMB’s are a wonderful source of glucosamine and chondroitin. Because he’s young and he’s a small breed not prone to joint issues, RMB’s should provide all the joint support he needs for now. I wouldn’t worry about a joint supplement until he’s a senior.

    Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Shihtzumim20 –

    Krill oil is great because it’s low in contaminants and contains a very potent naturally occuring antioxidant called astaxanthin. If the food already has added omega 3’s (fish oil) use the krill oil sparingly because, yes, you can give your dog too much of a good thing. Here’s a dosage chart for fish/krill oil:

    -250 mg. daily for toy breeds and cats (1 – 14 lbs.)
    -500 mg. daily for small dogs (15 – 29 lbs.)
    -1,000 mg. daily for medium dogs (30 – 49 lbs.)
    -1,500 mg. daily for large dogs (50 – 79 lbs.)
    -2,000 mg. daily for dogs 80+ lbs.

    When your dog is on a raw diet that includes bones and cartilage there won’t be as much of a need for a joint supplement because bones/cartilage are full of naturally occurring glucosamine and chondroitin. If you have a senior dog or a dog with an orthopedic problem, however, a supplement may still be necessary. After heavy activity my senior gets a few capsules of Wysong’s Arthegic (my favorite joint supplement). It’s marketed as a human supplement but great for dogs too. Wysong even includes a dosage chart for dogs on their website. It contains boswellia, sea cucumber, turmeric, ginger, devil’s claw, yucca, red pepper and cetyl myristoleate.

    I personally vaccinate my dogs as puppies (parvo/distemper at 8 weeks, 11 weeks, 14 weeks and a rabies at 16 weeks) and then I vaccinate 1 year after their last puppy booster. I don’t vaccinate again other than rabies every 3 years to comply with law. This is something you need to research yourself and decide what you are comfortable doing with your dog. Some people vaccinate every year, some every 3 years, some like I do, some only do puppy shots and others don’t vaccinate at all. Check out Dr. Becker has some great information and videos on vaccinating.

    Hound Dog Mom

    Hi sp464 –

    I would check out Earthborn – it’s similar in price and rating to TOTW and Canidae but it’s not made by Diamond.

    suztzu had a great suggestion with the canned food. Tripett is one food in particular that dogs love – I’ve never heard of a dog that turned their nose up to green tripe. Tripett is just plain canned green tripe so it’s to be used as a topper only, not a complete food. You can take some and mash it up with warm water to make a gravy and completely coat the kibble.

    There’s also the option of feeding only canned or a fresh cooked food (such as Freshpet or use a Premix – such as THK’s Preference or Sojo’s) and adding your own fresh meat – dogs seem to prefer these types of foods to dry food, however it could get costly with a larger dog like a great dane.

    Are you giving her anything for her joint stiffness? Wysong makes a great supplement called “Arthegic” that has boswellia, sea cucumber, turmeric, ginger, devil’s claw, yucca, red pepper and cetyl myristoleate – all powerful natural anti-inflammatories. I use it occasionally for my senior after he’s had some heavy exercise. You may also want to give her some fish oil daily, the omega 3’s act as a natural inflammatory and seniors can benefit from additional DHA in the diet.

    Hound Dog Mom

    If a 9 month old dog wasn’t hyper I’d be suspicious something was wrong with the dog! Get him on an exercise/play regimen appropriate for his age. Being that he’s not full grown yet you won’t want to do any heavy physical activity, but you could certainly walk him daily, take him swimming, do play dates with other dogs, etc. I have a 7 yo. senior, a 2 yo. adult and a 8 mo. puppy – all have an exercise/play schedule. As long as they get their scheduled exercise and play time they are calm and we can all peacefully coexist in the house. If not, they come close to tearing the house down – they’ll start wrestling in the house, get destructive, etc. My senior generally goes for 2 walks per day (45 min. – 1 hr. per walk). My 2 year old goes for two walks a day as well (I walk them together) and 3 afternoons a week we just go by ourselves (leave the other two) and do a 6 mile jog. My pup goes for 1 walk per day. I have a fenced in yard and all three go outside for a few hours every day late morning – early afternoon and do free play. I try to bring them to the state forest on weekends when it’s not hunting season and they’re allowed to run free.


    I have 3 dogs. All my lil rescues. A pug, a 3 legged havanese and a blind havanese. :o)

    My little blind girl has such intolerance for food. She’s been checked out every time we have an episode of diarrhea.We have to withhold food for 24 hours every time it happens. She is 8, we’ve tried Wellness Senior, Merrick, Innova grain free simple ingredients venison, wellness simple solutions.
    Right now I am making her homemade diet of 3 ingredients + a multivitamin and probiotic
    So for example this week was Turkey /Pumpkin & rice boiled. The other 2 could eat a dead rat out of the yard and be fine. They have iron tummies, Winnie is the exception. She is so sensitive to everything.
    I don’t want a high protein diet because I lost a dog to kidney disease, and I know high protein is tough on kidneys. Any suggestions for something mild?


    I just got home with 6 cans of assorted 5 star foods. I will try that route again. The only reason I switched to the chicken was because they would turn their noses at the dog food and I would end up throwing some away. At nearly 4 dollars a pound (12 oz cans @ $3 each) and chicken at 99 cents I thought I’d try it. If there is some simple additive and other grocery store items like eggs hamburger, ground turkey, I would cook them stuff but I am not going to get as elaborate as some of you folks with a dozen items.

    My dogs are a Maltese and a half poodle half shih tzu mix. The Maltese weighs about 10 pounds and is the finicky eater. Some times he won’t eat for a couple days. But since i started the chicken he eats every day and has gained a couple pounds for sure. The poodle /shih tzu mix is not nearly as finicky an eater, he weighs about 19-20 pounds. Both dogs are over 10 years old. I bought a senior dog vitamin today too. The poodle mix gobbled his down but the Maltese didn’t. So I may look for a liquid version I can squirt down his throat.


    Melissa: three 4mos old doxies, a litter of 4 week old doxies, two senior doxies (who had nothing to do with the litters so somewhere was at least two mama doxies and one dad), a german shepherd dog and a corgi. Add six cats, the two shelties I met and she talked about other dogs that we never saw. While some can have 8, when you walk into a house and smell it as soon as you walk in, IMO, too many. When we went the first time, I couldn’t wait to take a shower & change clothes. This is an elderly couple who breeds doxies. IMO, it’s a money maker for them and it’s what they do to make ends meet.

    You’re right, i should mention it to the rescue but the head of the rescue went to her house five days before we did, to meet the shelties and take their pictures. She never said anything to me so who knows. Didn’t impress me much


    I’m with Valerie. My last puppy was almost five months old and easy; before that was Boone at 9 weeks. He sort of scared me off of puppies LOL. Give me the seniors any day, thanks!


    Thanks gals! I wrote them all down to run by hubby. Karmella was my hubby’s rescued pygmy goat that recently passed, and Rose we inherited when her owner died-she herself passed this year due to an embolism-she was 16yrs old. Lacey was our 17 yr old schnauzer who passed last year due to heart problems. Love all the other suggestions!

    Valerie-Thanks and a big Thank you to you as well. While my heart goes out to the seniors, we have had other pups recently. The shihtzu in my icon has a heart condition that requires a visit to the cardiologist every 3mths and she is just 22 mths old. I figure we have a few younger ones that will still play with and enjoy a puppy(not the old cranky ones, lol) so its now or never since I can’t see me raising two pups at once again!

    Hound Dog Mom

    Hi crazy4cats –

    When feeding a line of food in which the formulas aren’t labeled “all life stages” (meaning there are separate foods for puppies, adults and seniors) I think any dog, regardless of age, should eat the puppy formula. My mom uses Whole Earth Farm Puppy in her food rotation for her adult dog. You’re paying the same price for a higher quality food (more fat, more protein = more meat). Pet food companies have created this idea in people’s heads that dogs suddenly need a different food when they go from a puppy to an adult or an adult to a senior. As long as the food is high quality and supplies adequate amounts of protein, fat and key nutrients, it’s good for life. If you notice most 5 star foods don’t have puppy, adult and senior formulas and the nutrition statement on the side doesn’t read “growth” or “maintenance” – it reads “all life stages.” “All life stages” foods meet the same requirements as “growth” (puppy) foods. The AAFCO recognizes two nutrient profiles – “maintenance” (more lax – the foods labeled for maintenance are generally lower in protein and fat) and “growth” (more stringent – the food must have more protein, fat and other nutrients). A company that has a food that meets the more stringent “growth” requirements can label that formula for growth or all life stages. Therefore a food labeled for “growth” is an all life stages food and a food labeled for “all life stages” is appropriate for growth. So my recommendation would be to put your dogs on the puppy formula and keep them on the puppy formula – there’s no reason they need to move to a lower protein and fat formula just because they’re adults. I have three dogs – a 7 year old senior, 2 year old adult and 7 month old puppy – they all eat the same food. Animals in the wild don’t suddenly start eating new foods just because they age.


    Hi there.

    I have been reading this forum and pet food reviews for quite some time, and feel like I know some of you quite well.

    I am a dog mom, 48, married to a retired carpenter. We have two labs, Hank, yellow and is 10 1/2…and Dewey, black, who is just over 7 now.
    Hank has always been itchy, required bathing etc fairly regularly. When he turned about 2 he started getting interdigital cysts on his front feet pretty regularly. ( two or three times a year). We did regular bouts of Cepha ( my vet would sell it to us in 500 pill bottles to use as needed. ) at the age of 9 he started having constant anal gland issues on top of the skin stuff. then about a year ago, out of frustration over an episode withnhis feet that just would not heal…I took him to the local
    Holistic vet. We went over everything…diet, vaccines etc. she told me that innova ( the food I had always used) had been bought out and since we did not support P&G…we switched to wellness senior, and Merrill canned. We did laser treatments on his foot, and it finally healed.
    Long story short, then the black dog Dewey started regurgitating his food, and bile. After a few months of this we decided to go back to innova, since Dewey tolerated it. Well!! After a few days Hank starts tearing himself up, licking his butt, and his ears flare up. We had not even noticed that he wasn’t doing that while on wellness. So we have two dogs and no food that they can share. So we decided to switch again…this time to Evo, red meat, despite being a P&G product…and they both did fine. Dewey not harfing it up, Hank not tearing himself apart. ( and no sign of foot blowouts).
    Around this time I started experiment with raw frozen patties…NV lamb, duck etc. they seems to like it, but I did not like the smell. I started reading more, and bought some nice grass fed heart, tongue, etc at we would give them, along with their kibbles and Merrick. And I read…mostly here, and slowly over the last year we have moved further from kibble and more to primal raw frozen (duck, lamb, venison and rabbit), raw ground tripe, local pastured beef , pre and probiotic and hk preference. I still do Evo red meat once a day most week days, because DH prefers to let me do all the raw feeding.
    No foot blow outs in over a year, which is a miracle….both dogs seem to be thriving and I am convinced this is the best for them and us.
    We had one blip in the road last winter, when I decided I was going to go prey model and finally gave the boys their first chicken leg raw. Hank ended up sick the next day with a horrible case of gastritis that had him pretty sick for a few weeks. (holy giant vet bill!). I suspect the fat from the skin may have been the culprit…but I am gun shy now. Dewey was fine.
    So…that is my introduction!!! Lol.
    my question is this….we switched from primal to Darwin’s recently due to cost. Darwin’s product looks lovely, and they seem to like it. I fed the beef first, and then yesterday they had chicken. Today hank has gooey looking stool, not quite diarrhea but mucousy. Dewey’s is fine. We have not had this experience with any of the other foods, and yesterday his stools were fine.
    Have any of you used Darwin’s had a similar experience??

    Hound Dog Mom

    Hi DieselJunki –

    If you’re expecting your dog to get that large – early training and socialization is CRITICAL. I can’t emphasize that enough. Take it from someone who’s been there. When I got Gus as a puppy I had no idea what I was getting myself into and I soon ended up with what some would consider a 110 lb. monster. I didn’t jump on the training soon enough – I mean he was such a cute and wrinkly little boy, he didn’t need any rules. He was my first bloodhound and I knew they were large dogs, but I couldn’t actually grasp it until he was a 100+ lb. out of control puppy. I also didn’t do enough research beforehand and had no idea that bloodhounds are the most stubborn and difficult to train dogs known to man! Well you live, you lean. He’s calmed down a lot in his old age and is now a well behaved senior but with my most recent two pups (Gertie and Mabel) I laid down the law the second the stepped into the house at 8 weeks old. Wasn’t making that mistake again!

    As far as the vaccines – they must be spaced at least 3 weeks apart or the vaccine won’t be effective. I would strongly advise against vaccinating for bordetella. It’s unfortunate that most kennels and groomers require this unnecessary and potentially dangerous vaccine. The vaccine is useless and not very effective, often don’t prevent dogs from getting kennel cough. And even if your dog does get kennel cough – it’s not deadly, so why risk the side-effects that all vaccines have for a sickness that wouldn’t even be life threatening if your dog were to get it? I generally have my pups vaccinated for distemper/parvo at 8, 12 and 14 weeks and rabies at 16 weeks. I then have distemper/parvo and rabies given 1 year after the last vaccine. I don’t vaccinate again other than rabies every three years to comply with law. And I never vaccinate for anything unnecessary such as lepto, lyme and bordatella. The decision is yours though, but do your research and make informed choices – do what you’re comfortable with.

    Here’s some info:

    A WONDERFUL book that every pet parent should read before vaccinating in order to make an informed decision on what type of vaccine schedule they want their pet on: “Shock to the System” by Catherine M. O’Driscoll.


    I have been using a whole food supplement and my dogs have been doing amazing. There moods are calmer yet they seem to have more energy. The coat looks amazing and my oldest is getting up the stairs easier. I totally recommend it. I use Pedigree maintenance however surviving and thriving are 2 different things all together. My Aunts dog is diabetic and told me that she has been able to cut down on the amount of meds for him so that is a testimony in itself.


    My mixed breed, Lucy Mae, has a “mass” on her bladder. We don’t know yet if it’s malignant….didn’t want to do any biopsy yet (found it on an x-ray) because she’s acting great and kidney/bladder numbers seem okay for now. She’s also turning 12 years old and with her age, we’re in a wait and see mode. Anyway, she is eating Merrick grain free kibble topped with various canned food or freeze dried raw and water added. She is getting Standard Process Renal Support per my holistic vet. She also gets another urinary chew by Naturvet a couple times a week. So far, I have not reduced protein or anything like that and she’s doing fine. I know this may not be the same as your dog, but I still think a higher protein diet is best. Of course, I’m not a vet.

    Hound Dog Mom

    Hi bella5255 –

    If your dog is in the early stages of renal failure he shouldn’t need a reduced-protein diet. You don’t want to reduce the protein levels until the final stages of renal failure (when your dog is uremic – BUN is over 80 mg/dL, creatinine is over 4 mg/dL and the dogs is starting to show clinical symptoms of nitrogen buildup). The high quality protein provided by a homemade diet will not be hard on the kidneys in the way that low quality rendered proteins in most kibbles would be and is fine for dogs that have not yet become uremic – reducing the protein levels during the early stages of kidney failure will do more harm than good. I would just feed a standard balanced homemade diet and use very lean meats. Fish oil has has shown to help with kidney disease – because your dog has pancreatitis though, don’t give too much. Glandular supplements can help – Standard Process makes a great supplement called “Canine Renal Support.” Another supplement that I see recommended frequently for dogs with renal failure is “Vetri-Science Renal Essentials” – it contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids and herbs shown to be beneficial for dogs with renal failure. Here’s a link with some good info: (there’s even some sample homemade diets for dogs with kidney failure here).


    Can anyone suggest a homemade recipe for a dog who has renal issues( low protien) and can not tolerate too much fat ( pancreas issues) It seems to be difficult to fine the right balence for my 13 year old Wheaton who has mild to moderate kidney disease and who just had a pancreatic attack due to the high fat renal food he was eating.

    Help would be greatly appreciated!!

    Hound Dog Mom

    Marie –

    Welly Tails has some good supplements you might want to check out. They have a powdered joint supplement which I have used on my dogs in the past and liked – it has glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, green lipped mussel, hydraulic acid, tart cherry and omega 3’s. They also have another supplement (haven’t used this one) called senior dog vitality which has glucosamine, msm, hydraulic acid, green lipped mussel, omega 3’s, digestive enzymes and 6 strains of probiotics. I’m also a big fan of Wysong’s joint supplements – they’re sold for people but can be used for dogs too and come in powder filled capsules, you can just open it up and sprinkle it on the food. They have one called Arthegic that helps inflammation, it has boswellia, sea cucumber, turmeric, ginger, devil’s claw, yucca, red pepper and cetyl myristoleate. Their other supplement is called Joint Complex and supports the joints, cartilage and connective tissue, it contains proteoglycans, glycosaminoglycans and MSM. I think for a dog with severe arthritis the Arthegic and Joint Complex would be very effective if used together.


    I have not lost a dog recently but will start a topic for those I have lost in more recent years:

    Molly, my wonderful smooth fox terrier. She got sick in September 2005 and died in February 2006.
    Emma, our American Foxhound who came to us from rescue. She died in 2007
    Tucker, a gorgeous big blue merle sheltie who got ill in June 2010 and died the following month
    Katie, the obese senior sheltie that we thought would only last a year but we had her for 3.5 years, she
    passed on in 2011

    Not a day goes by that I don’t think of all of them, and the ones that left before them.

    Hound Dog Mom

    Hi DieselJunki –

    Congrats on the new family member! 🙂

    Amierican Bulldogs would be considered a large breed, so you should feed them as such. Nature’s Variety Instinct Rabbit would be a wonderful choice for your new pup – the calcium levels are right where they should be. All three of my dogs now eat a raw diet, but my oldest used to eat kibble and I used Nature’s Variety Instinct in my rotation frequently – he loved the food and did well on it. All of Nature’s Variety Instinct foods are approved for “All Life Stages” meaning that they meet the nutrition requirements of any age dog – puppy right through to senior. Any 4 or 5 star canned food would make a great topper – as long as you’re only using a little canned to mix with the dry you shouldn’t need to worry about calcium levels too much. My only other suggestion would be to pick at least one or two other dry foods to rotate with – rotational feeding is much healthier than feeding the same food continuously and if you get your new pup accustomed to rotational feeding while he is young it will be easier to change foods later on. If you check out the “Diet and Health Issues” forum and go to the sticky “Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition” topic you’ll find a list with other 4 and 5 star grain-free foods that would be a good choice for your pup.


    While I’m not familiar with Canyon Creek’s food (I believe it’s fairly new), I do know that their chicken jerky treats are “accused” of causing illness in pets. SORRY…I do realize that is not the question you have, though I just wanted to let you know. My opinion on food is this…..if a food works, then it’s technically a 5 star for the dog! I do want to clarify a little, though. I personally won’t feed below 3 star, won’t even try it for one of my dogs. I have, and would again if necessary, use a 3 star food if it worked the best. Believe me, I have fed the gamut of foods to my 4 dogs. They are all technically seniors now. Currently, I’m feeding Merrick Classic (“gasp” a grain inclusive food!) and will top it with canned food or freeze dried raw food that is rehydrated. I also use Fromm GF dry, and Simply Nourish (both dry and canned), which is Petsmart’s house brand. I will use Weruva canned and Merrick canned, as well. I have an old Cavalier that only eats the freeze dried raw now. In fact, she is the reason I started with it (just trying to get her to eat again as she has a neurological issue). So sorry for the long rant lol….just remember no food works for all dogs, and your dog is your responsibility and it is your decision on what works, what you can afford, what your dog will eat, etc. I’m thrilled you have educated yourself on dog food, though, and can make an informed choice. You have the best interest of your dog at heart! 🙂


    In reply to: What do dogs need?


    Good morning all and thanks to those who responded. I apologize for taking so long in coming back to my own thread!
    A few questions. Some of you have seen that we have another sheltie coming in the next couple of weeks. She’s in foster care but I don’t have a whole lot of info on her. She is 9 or 10, apparently healthy except for her teeth. She is in desperate need for a dental and after looking at her mouth, she has some extractions coming. She will have the dental and get spayed this week or next, then coming home with me. So, here is the rundown on the dogs:

    Boone-almost 7, allergy and/or yeast issues. He will stay on Darwins in the morn and Brothers in the
    Ginger-2.5yrs old, currently eating THK in the morn (Darwins a couple times a week) and Dr. Tim’s grain
    inclusive (Pursuit) in the afternoon. She has no issues outside of frequent pooping on anything except
    the same regimen as Boone but due to cost, can’t continue with that so that is why we’re trying the

    Gemma-new gal coming. She currently eats Purina ONE chicken & rice senior. Even with her icky mouth
    that must hurt, she eats dry food. I have THK Zeal here and Wellness Core’s salmon topper. Thinking
    I should mix either the THK or canned with Ginger’s kibble. If I see any signs of arthritis or anything,
    I will put her on Brothers since it’s grainfree.

    So, what do you smarter than me DFA friends think I should do for probiotics and enzymes? Should they all get both? Kefir….where do you buy that? Is that something you order? Is it a pill or powder?


    I have made the cheap dog food mistake as well in fact yep Ol’ Roys I lost one of the best dogs I ever had to that garbage ( menadione) Kidney failure. I Started a petition against them on lucky it only effected the one dog that day. We have been on the good food train since I am constantly researching food. At the moment they are on Holistic Blend Grainless they have been on it for about a week and a half. Raw might be the next step. I have to research that next. It’s really sad what these company’s can label food and healthy. when I was talking about 3 legs I meant if I pick up a paw to say trim it she can’t stay in the standing position. she not in pain per say. sometimes days are tougher then others. Omega 3 does seem like a good Idea. it’s so sad we have to sewlf educate ourselves most people think purina and Iams are great.


    Hey Labman,
    You didn’t say what you were feeding, in your post above. Not sure if you’ve posted that somewhere else on the site, but it is important. Your dog’s food is the foundation of her health.

    Back before I knew better, I fed really bad dog food to my beloved pointer cross, Morgan. Ol’ Roy, I’m ashamed to say. I was just flat out ignorant!! When she was 12 she slept most of the time, she barely moved, just like yours. Well, my husband decided he needed a new bird dog, so he went out and bought a highly trained purebred, 3 yr old field registered pointer. The owner had health issues and he made it a condition of the sale to feed “high quality” food. Well, he knew more than us, but not as much as he should of, too. He was feeding Iams lamb & rice. A whole lot better than Ol’ Roy!!! So we put both dogs on the better food. Dang!!!! But after a few weeks that dog got up one day and followed my husband 1/4 mile out to the back fence. He turned around and saw her there, wagging her tail and was so worried he carried her (60 lbs) in his arms all the way back to the house. She was lively and healthier for 2-3 more years.

    Fast forward to what I know now, feeding your dog THE BEST nutrition makes all the difference! (That’s not Iams!) its balanced raw. If you don’t want to, or can’t, feed raw, then a 5 star meat based kibble. Brother’s Complete is my best pick of kibbles. Hound Dog Mom has posted a lot of recipes and information on raw feeding under that thread, and I’d encourage you to check it out if raw is the way you’d like to go. Shawna is the best resource for nutritional information. Mike P & ************** rock for feeding kibble plus toppers! Dogs should be living 20-30 years. They were 80 years ago. But that was when they weren’t being feed corn & wheat based dog food. They also weren’t routinely exposed to toxins from flea & tick pesticides, worm pesticides, heavy metals poisoning in vaccines and being over vaccinated… Reducing the environmental toxins will improve your pups health, too! Supplements are just supplements. They can help a little, but they work best synergistically with optimal nutrition.

    Mike P

    I don’t know how much more you can do when your dog is old.My last Boxer was 12 and I had to help her up stairs,lift her in to the car,and lift her in to our bed for snuggles.She slept a real lot but we charished every day with her.One thing I found was she enjoyed the massage wand we had.We would put her on the bed and massage her shoulders,hind legs,back and she loved it.It seemed to give her short term relief and comfort.My current Boxer (5 yrs old)also loves the wand.She gets a massage about 3 times a week.Indian Turmeric ( is a anti-inflamitory and helps me with my fingers.I give my dog a capsule a day.Might be worth a try.

    Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Lab man –

    I’m so sorry to hear about your dog, it’s not fun watching your best friend be in pain. I’m a little confused about your post though – you say she’s old and can’t stand on three legs, but that she doesn’t have hip dysplasia and isn’t in pain? I’m going to assume you made a typo and are looking for a joint supplement, otherwise I’m not really sure what you’re looking for.

    For a senior dog experiencing arthritis I would recommend a supplement to maintain and rebuild the joints, a pain reliever and an anti-inflammatory.

    I think Wysong has the most well-rounded joint supplements I’ve seen. Their “Joint Complex” has a blend of proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans that will help to maintain joints, cartilage, tendons and connective tissue. Their “Arthegic” has several ingredients designed to moderate inflammation and pain including: boswellia serata, sea cucumber, turmeric, ginger, devil’s claw, yucca, red pepper and cetyl myristoleate. I have used both supplements myself and also on occasion for my senior dog. Personally if one of my dogs was experiencing severe arthritis issues I would put it on these two supplements or find other supplements with similar ingredients. Natural anti-inflammatories are a much safer option than steroids and NSAIDS that vets frequently prescribe – imo. They can be purchased here:

    I feel it would also be a good idea to start to give your dog a fish oil capsule every day – the omega 3’s in fish oil have an anti-inflammatory effect and the fish oil is a rich source of dha which senior dogs have difficulty producing.


    My Chocolate Lab is 12 years old sleeps about 20 hours a day. She’s a Awesome dog really of course I’d love her to stay with me forever. However I know it’s not possible she has the common hip dysplasia and some arthritis and eye site could be better. she is not in pain she can not stand on 3 legs. any advice is welcome.


    In reply to: protein and aggression


    Hi Emtnicki,

    Melissaandcrew gave you excellent advice. There were a few papers published that concluded lower protein diets decreased certain types of aggression. In my opinion there were some problems in how the studies were run and I don’t think the results were really valid. If you want to continue with lower protein foods you may want to take a look at “senior” diets as many companies lower the protein in their foods marketed to that age group.

    In general when working with resource guarders if the item is not dangerous to the dog and not vitally important to you then let the dog keep it. Only remove the item after the dog has abandoned it and it and there is a solid barrier between you and the dog.

    You don’t want the dog to pair getting cheese or hot dog or a walk etc with stealing and possessing an item. This is why Melissa recommended establishing the cue “let’s get cheese” independent of when the dog has something. There should be many “let’s get cheese” cues without needing to recover an item compared to using it to recover an item.

    For professionals to assist you I’d look to see if there are any veterinary behaviorists in your area or Karen Pryor Academy trainers


    In my opinion it is not the total amount of protein in a food but rather the quality of the protein (the bioavailibility — how much is used by the body and how much becomes waste (aka blood urea nitrogen)). Speaking as the owner of a dog born with kidney disease I know that high quality protein creates less nitrogen for her kidneys to have to filter (and thus less in the urine). And my dog with kidney disease actually eats a HIGH protein raw diet — ranging from 45 to 54% protein. In fact, I have 8 dogs all eating high quality kibble with raw and high protein canned toppers or exclusively high protein raw. I don’t have brown spots on my lawn — 8 dogs-high protein-no brown spots.

    Additionally, they know that senior dogs actually need as much as 50% more protein than adult dogs as they are not as efficient at digesting their food.

    I know you don’t want supplements but a trick used by those with dogs with kidney disease (and confirmed by science to work) is feeding probiotics and foods for those probiotics called prebiotics. This causes a “nitrogen trap” and routes some of the nitrogen in the blood through the colon instead of the kidneys. Gets pooped out instead of peed out.


    Currently feeding our two dogs (ages 5 1/2 and 6) a grain free diet rated at 24% protein. We are getting burn spots and I am considering switching to a lower protein (still high quality) brand that might help reduce burning by lowering nitrogen in the urine. Both dogs are in very good health, but are close to the age where we also want to consider moving to a senior formulation in conjunction with low protein (if available).

    Any recommendations on brands or experience with this welcome.

    PS – we do not want to go down the road of supplements. My research indicates no proof they work and no controlled scientific studies otherwise.

    • This topic was modified 9 years, 9 months ago by billdoe.
    Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Skippy5761 –

    You should check out the Raw Diet thread. I have three bloodhounds – including a senior – that all eat raw ranging from 45% – 55% protein at each meal. My senior is in excellent health. Senior dogs actually need up to 50% more protein than adult dogs, they just need high quality protein which you would get with a raw diet. Some believe high levels of protein stress the kidneys of older dogs but this isn’t true, low quality protein (like the rendered, high processed proteins in kibble) stress the kidneys.

    Here is an article by Dr. Becker titled “Why 84% of Pet Owners Don’t Know What to Feed Their Aging Pets.”

    Here’s a video from Dr. Becker titled “The Nutrient Your Pets need More of as They Age.”

    Here is an article on the effects of a high protein diet on renal function:

    Hope that helps 🙂


    In reply to: fleas! help!


    Wow, that’s a good question!! ACV won’t hurt the dog — it actually helps with digestion (especially in senior dogs). All of my dogs get ACV, with their food, regularly. BUT, I don’t know if it will momentarily shift the skin ph. My guess is yes it would — a dog’s skin is alkaline and ACV is definitley acidic. But, because it is also antiyeast, antibacterial etc I think the temporary ph shift would be of no concern.. Hopefully others will post if they disagree or have relavant info..

    PS — Toxed is right!!! I use garlic like your mom uses ACV :)…


    In reply to: Puppy dry food


    Hi poochie1059 — I agree with everything Hound Dog Mom wrote. Many better quality foods are appropriate for puppy, adult and senior dogs.

    I wanted to add, MANY of us here on DFA, including Dr. Mike, believe in rotational feeding. We switch our dogs food regularly. Some switch daily, some with each new bag of kibble, some every other month and so on. If you start when the dog is a puppy and feed the same quality of foods you can switch between foods without having to “transition”. Dogs should be able to eat whatever (that is appropriate) you put in front of them. By only feeding one food we actually create sensitive tummies.

    I rotate with every new bag of food and buy the smaller 5 and 6lb bags. I rotate proteins as well as brands. I use a variety of 5 star “all life stage” foods for all the dogs in my home including the foster puppies the adults and the seniors (I have 8 dogs and foster for Boston and Papillon rescue). The foods I use include Acana, Orijen, Brothers Complete, Merrick, Earthborn, Nature’s Variety, Nature’s Logic etc.

    Additionally, many of us put “toppers” on our dogs’ foods. The topper can include canned foods, dehydrated, commercial raw, sardines, raw or lightly cooked egg etc. All these add extra nutrition and variety — sardines as an example are a great source of extra protein and omega 3 fatty acids.

    Good luck with and best of health to your puppy!!!


    Hi Sophia – both of my allergy prone dogs use Nutrisca which is grain and potato free. They both have environmental allergies and one has a potato sensitivity, and one has pancreatitis. Grains and potatoes both aggravate allergies and feed yeast. I have used both the Salmon and Chicken varieties. I also use Orijen for another dog but it may be too rich for your pup – unless it’s the senior formula. Honestly, my girl is 10 and has suffered since she was a puppy and she has done measureably better on Nutrisca – and I have spared no expense trying to find the right food for her – including a home cooked diet.


    In reply to: Heart worm prevention

    Thanks, Labs! I wasn’t surprised at the cases in my area, South La. I’ve seen dogs come in to the Humane Society that I worked – tested positive for HW.
    These dogs were mosty outside dogs and throw aways. Mozart was picked up off the streets, a senior deerhead Chi. Poor thing had rotten teeth, dry skin, a broken shoulder that was healing and heavy heartworms.
    I treated him and he peed on all of our beds and pillows. I don’t think he had EVER been inside a home.
    Oh and badley abused and neglected. Had him 4 yrs. now.

    Sister our Boston mix…I grabbbed her off of a busy road as a puppy. Come to find out she was only fed bread and very neglected. But I got to her before she was able to get heartworms. She would have NEVER been able to been an inside dog…with the idiots that had her! She’s been w/ us 5 yrs. now.

    Have had Honeybee 9 yrs. Since 6 wks. old. And he’s HW free. Like I’ve said…I’m just torn on what to do. Figured I would put back oh HW prevention…but Honeybee has me scared. I think it would do him more harm than good. Mosquitoes are gone right now…so at least that’s giving me some time to think, research more and decide.
    I know first hand the horrors of heartworms in pets…it’s horrible! But then again, what about the side effects of the pill?
    It all has me worried and scared.


    My senior dog developed stomach & skin problems about 3 years ago. Vet put him on Hill RX D/D after ruling out parasites, bugs, dry skin , etc.
    It did seem to do the trick for him. No more itching and no more upset stomach. However, it is very expensive, I can only get it at the vet, and I noticed it had a very low rating. Any suggestions for a replacement food?


    I used Wellness Core’s reduced fat to help a dog we adopted lose weight but it’s above your price range. Good luck.


    I’m very interested about the Solid Gold Seameal. Looked at reviews on Petco…and all 5 stars.
    I’ve read that my Chihuahua needs Glucosamine & Chondroition for his collapsing trachea.
    Right now he’s having a coughing spell and I’ve given him his Albuterol and put him under the misting tent.
    What can I give him that will build up his trachea? Mine are seniors and looking into the product HDM mentioned also.
    Also, why did I have to sign on a different name and not the same one under when I posts on dogfood reviews?


    I’ve also had success with weight loss just by increasing the protein and decreasing the carbs of a grain-inclusive food by mixing it with a higher protein grain free food, ie Merrick Wilderness or Turducken (discontinued formulas) cut with Blue Buffalo Wilderness. For me, at any age, the increased protein and decreased carbs helped the dogs with weight loss. There are some high protein grain-inclusive foods as well, such as Merrick Classic and Acana Classic, and foods designed for puppies generally have a higher protein content as well (but not always) like Nutrisource Large Breed Puppy. I would chose the Nutrisource Performance formula over the large breed puppy formula for weight loss and yes for your senior. It is rated for all lifes stages. You would of course be able to feed a lesser amount.

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