My red heeler will be a year and a half next week. About 4 months ago he started to shed weight, and the amount of food it took him to maintain a certain weight kept increasing until we got up to 6 1/2 cups a day. At 5 cups I thought “well he is pretty active maybe this is normal” but at 6 I obviously realized he needed a diet change. I had been feeding him Beneful since he was a puppy, but as soon as I read about it I promptly spent my entire check on a bag of the BB Freedom. I’m not sure if I’m in the right forum for this, but has anyone else had this issue? Exactly what kind of food should I be feeding my dog? We live in a suburban setting, he is very active but not herding cattle so his nutritional needs are different from a working dog. Is BB Wilderness to high in protein? I know BB is a good brand I just don’t know if it is best for him or if anyone had any other suggestions for me. The pet store has isles and isles of high quality dog food, so I am lost.theBCnutMember
Your dogs body has no way of knowing what the calorie usage is going towards, so the fact that he isn’t herding cattle doesn’t matter. There is no such thing as too high in protein as long as he is digesting it well. I personally don’t like BB. They have had too many quality control issues lately. A lot of people who are long time feeders of BB have been reporting their dogs getting sick on it lately. See if you can find Earthborn Holistic, they have a better price point than BB, but are every bit as good or better and I haven’t seen complaints about them. Another one to look for is NutriSource, my cattle dogs did great on it. Just to be on the safe side have a fecal check done on your boy, but you won’t believe the difference good food will make.
Have you had him checked for worms or other health conditions? It seems odd that it started after adulthood and that you’re having to feed SO much, I’d do a fecal to be on the safe side.
That said, we have two Cattledog mixes around your dogs age. It is hard to keep weight on them, our vet admitted that he NEVER tells clients their dogs are too skinny, but that both of ours could gain a little. We feed LoJack (a German shorthair cattle dog mix) Merrick chicken and rice dry food, two heaping cups a day. We add a little more if we notice him thinning out too much. Quincy, who we think is a purebred Cattledog, gets 2-3 cans of chicken soup adult (for about 1000 calories). He has some stomach issues and can’t have dry food. They are both around 40lbs and both are around 21 months old. Both are neutered males. We don’t have a large yard, so their exercise is mainly walks and wrestling with each other. They’re both kenneled while we are at work – I imagine they’d need more food if they weren’t. And we haven’t been exercising them as rigorously these past few months, so it’ll have to increase if that changes as well.
I never use the bags recommendations, but instead figured out how many calories I need to get them each day and then figure out the food from there. Some brands is more, some less. Most have the calories per cup or can printed on the label, or on their website.
We’ve used Nurrisource grain free in the past as well with success, and are starting Quincy on Honest Kitchen soon. My moms dog does beautifully on Wellness (he’s not a Cattledog, but its a good food to my knowledge).
Good luck! These crazy herding dogs sure keep us on our toes!
Molzy, which Honest Kitchen are you going to use? I’ve used all except for Verve and Preference. Currently have boxes of Zeal, Thrive and Embark open here.
We are starting with the keen, which seemed the closest to a what he’s been used to, and possibly the easiest on his stomach with the oatmeal. I made my first batch two days ago, and it looks awesome! He loves food, so I can’t really comment on the taste since he would probably eat anything I offered him (and often attempts to eat things I don’t offer, he is a world class counter surfer – his first week home I found him on the kitchen counter drinking my coffee). I’d like to eventually start rotating between a few of their meals, but with his tummy I will probably stick with keen for a little while to make sure it’s working.
Good choice! Mine love the stuff. As an FYI, if you make a thicker bit, put it in a Kong and freeze it!
Great idea Marie! We put kibble and canned pumpkin in our other dogs kong, but had been doing only pumpkin in Quincy’s. I will definitely try that once he is completely switched over.
Someone on the THK fb page mentioned that a few years ago. We have a concert tomorrow night and Cinner will be in there for our neighbor to feed them.RamblinRoseParticipant
Thanks for the replies! So far he is loving the BB. Eating leas and not trying to get into the bag for seconds. Price wise I will definitely be checking into Earthborn. Thanks for the recommendations! He is due for his yearly check up next week so his stool will be checked then.Jamie08Participant
When I first got my heeler (as an adult), he was thin and would not put weight on- he did turn out to have a pretty big load of worms, so I would start there! I have to worm him fairly regularly because he eats squirrels & rabbits that he catches, so I’m guessing ends up with tapeworms from their fleas (because HE doesn’t have fleas).
I’m on a budget but my dogs are on Merrick’s Whole Earth Farms, which I have found to be a great deal for a brand that’s rated 4 stars on here (was on sale at PetCo when I bought it last, 35lbs for $35). My dog is actually a heeler cross and is a little bigger, probably ~50lbs and eats 4 cups/day and looks great! Everybody here has lots of great suggestions, but I would definitely check about worms if he’s eating that much and still thin.Ed RMember
I have a female ACD just over 6 months old. I like to feed her a 50/50 mix of Orijen and Purina Savor both puppy. She is (as you are probably aware) hyper and very active. I have a fenced in yard were i run her daily. She just earned her way out of crate training and upped her activity because of this. She just hit the 28# mark and adding. The dog seems to love the food even the cat takes a piece or two. I picked the Orijen cause its 80% protein and low-glycemic. The Proplan provides more carbs for her energy level and activity increases after feeding. She seems to be doing well…..any suggestions are appreciated.
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