HI, I’m really looking for some help. I have an older (8 years) chihuahua, neutered, less active dog that is very picky when it comes to taste. And we had gotten a beautiful Bull mastiff mix puppy last year (she’s currently 13 months old) however she’s only about 80 pounds or so and the vet said she’s likely not to get any bigger. And we need to keep her at this ideal weight. My chihuahua has been on a diet to get his weight down which is fine and dandy right now – but we are no longer able to give him all those tasty tidbits of mommas homemade chicken and gravy which he loves, and of course my puppy is a strict dog-food no table scraps kinda girl. I have been racking my brain trying to find a perfect dog food for each of them – especially since once Hutch (chihuahua) is done his diet he’ll need to be on a food he enjoys and is good for him.
I’ve been looking at the grain free or raw diets because of the tastes and the possibility of being able to put both dogs on one food. Most grain-free foods state they are suitable for all life stages. However, I’ve been getting mixed information on whether or not its a good idea for my dogs. One being a small dog, older, lazy, with past liver elevations and the other being a large dog that is still “growing”, also rather lazy. I’m wondering if there is ANYONE out there who has been or is in the same situation as myself and has any information you can give me on this. Thank you all for your help. 🙂
Hi ashylynn –
I suggest putting them both on a high quality grain-free diet – raw is best if you’re willing. There’s no reason two different dogs can’t eat the same food, all dogs (aside from those with serious medical issues) have the same basic nutritional requirements and will generally thrive on a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. The only thing that will differ between the two dogs is their energy requirement (portion size). Your mastiff pup will need more calories and thus require larger portions and your chi will require less calories and thus need smaller portions. I have a 110 lb. 8 year old, a 68 lb. 2 year old and a 75 lb. 10 month old – they all eat the exact same thing.
- This reply was modified 9 years ago by Hound Dog Mom.
Since your dogs have been on commercial dog foods their whole lives I would not just switch them to raw. Dog’s digestive systems adjust to whatever type of food (raw, cooked, kibbled, canned, etc) that they are eating. In your case your dogs may have a hard time with the added bacteria present in raw due to the fact that the pH of their stomachs is not acid enough at the moment. Some dogs also do not like the taste of raw after all those years (or 13 months) of eating cooked foods. Lastly without knowing the state of your dog’s immune systems it can be pretty risky switching from kibble or canned to raw.
A home cooked diet of at least 75% meat and 20 to 25% non-starchy fruits and vegetables would be a great step up for your dogs without the added risks of raw. You could then gradually start cooking their food less and less and see how they do. If everything goes well they could eventually be eating a diet consisting of raw meats and pureed fruits and vegetables.
If you go the homemade route don’t forget to add calcium if they are not consuming raw meaty bones and a good multivitamin to balance out their diet.
Thank you both for your feedback – I’ve had my eye on Nature’s Variety food they offer a “regular” variety, a grain free and a raw diet. I’m not sure if I would want to switch to strictly raw – but the thought of offering it to them sometimes is nice. Do either of you have any feedback on this food variety? Thanks to both! 🙂sohoMember
Natures Variety Instinct line of foods is what I would recommend from Natures Variety.
If you are going to feed dry food I consider Orijen and Wysong Epigen 90 to be top of the line kibbles.
You could also supplement whatever dry food you feed with up to 20% fresh, lightly cooked meats. More than 20% would unbalance the vitamins and minerals in the kibble. For the fresh meat stay within the same meat groups as the kibble you are feeding, ie: add poultry to poultry based kibble, add red meat to red meat based kibble and so on. Eggs are a great protein and you can add a little to any kibble.
Whenever you change or add something new to your dog’s food remember to start slow. It is much better to be overly cautious when introducing new things than to try to undo a bad reaction to the new food or ingredient.
My oldest dog used to eat kibble and Nature’s Variety Instinct kibble was one of the foods I used frequently in his rotation. He did really well on it and I think their kibble is one of the best dry foods available. I use the Nature’s Variety Instinct freeze-dried raw medallions once in awhile for treats. I’ve never fed their frozen raw and I personally wouldn’t because it’s HPP, but due to the fact that it’s HPP it might be a good option for a dog that’s never eaten raw before to help them ease into a less processed diet.
OK thank you both Hound Dog Mom and James! This has been helpful the Natures Variety Instinct line is the food I was looking at.
I’m sorry HDM but I’m not sure what HPP means? Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
Hi ashylynn –
HPP stands for high pressure processing. Some view it as a good thing, others view it as a bad thing – I view it as a bad thing. Foods that are HPP are subjected to very high levels of pressure, the pressure kills bacteria without applying heat so the food can still be sold as “raw.” The downside to HPP (why I don’t like HPP) is that when large amounts of pressure are applied to proteins (such as during HPP) the proteins can denature and the beneficial bacteria is killed along with the “bad” bacteria. For me raw is about feeding a diet as close to a dog’s ancestral diet as possible and minimizing processing. I don’t personally view HPP “raw” as a truly raw product, but it can definitely be beneficial for immune compromised dogs that can’t handle the bacteria load present in real raw food.
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