I have a Beagle that is 5 years old and recently ended up with a stomach issues. I Had to him to vets many of times the past few months and they can’t seem to find anything wrong but think he may have a hernia on his right side. For now just to keep an eye on him and they told me to feed him better food and also give him 1 cup of canned food every day. So long story short I started him on Merrick’s Dry Grain Free Dry food and been buying him different 5-star dog foods through out each week. However I use to give him pig ears every once in a blue moon and same with Bully sticks. However, with the recent changes I was curious what others would recommend that would be good chews but would be very easy to digest but also last a long time.
I’ve been using this site for the past year or so and love it and I never signed up but was always on the forums reading things and learning more and more. Thanks!
I so far researched a ton about it and I heard a good amount of recommendations on Elk Horn splits for the bone marrow plus you can always refill them after the marrow is gone. Another one was Himalayan chews, however, aren’t they really hard for them to chew or to digest for that matter?
Are chicken feet any good? or dried trachea’s? I haven’t really heard much about them. Any other recommendations would be greatly appreciative!
I have a large breed dog that is a power chewer so chew toys and other chew things rarely last in my house. Ive used deer/elk antlers since he was little. Never had a problem digesting them, never broken a tooth and his teeth are not worn down. Ive also done the Yak chews. I really liked those as well and they are probably even easier to digest. Also dont ever hesistate to take something like that away from your dog if you feel they are working on it too fast. Deer antlers when he was young used to last for 5+ months. Now the latest one we’ve had so far is a couple weeks and he still has a long way to go on it. I always get one that is extremely oversized for him since he loves to carry it around in his mouth I dont want him accidently choking.
There are some sites ive read that demonise deer/elk antlers, however I’ve never had a single issue with them. My large dog doesnt break off huge chunks and swallow them so I doubt yours would either.
Ill also note that aside from the yak chews and deer antlers the only treats in my house for my cat and dog are freeze dried raw treats. very easy to digest, made with only one ingredient and made in the USA. I use PureBites, however there are many out there. Nature’s Variety makes them for example as well and I know Blue Buffalo just came out with some but I would stay away from Blue products.
- This reply was modified 7 years ago by Pitlove.
Have you ever heard of a Kong, a rubber toy with a hollow center? I occasionally will “stuff” one with wet kibble and pumpkin. Then put it in the freezer. My dogs love them and they do last a while as well, if you freeze them til the contents are completely frozen.
I have heard chicken feet are good also. I have tried tracheas and they seemed a little too greasy and gave my dogs loose stools.
Hello Crazy4cats and Pitlove, very nice too meet you both!
I appreciate the replies and recommendations.
Pitlove may I ask where do you happen to get your oversized antlers? I have only seen ones being sold that are around 7 inches or is that what you’re talking about?
Crazy4cats I have a kong that I used for him and would stuff it full of Ziwipeak kiddles and he enjoyed it for a while. After a week or so he lost all his interest in it and I tried stuffing it with so many different things and he just doesn’t bother with it. Thanks for letting me aware of the Trachea’s though! I’ll maybe have to try chicken feet as I heard they’re very easy to chew and easy on the stomach..
I can only find ones that are really really big at this small family owned pet boutique about a half hour from my house. I would start there. They also carry the yak chews.
Alright, we have a little town pet store I can check out for that. I have searched online everywhere like I said and only seen 7 inches the most for elk antlers. I’ll keep looking though. Thanks for all the help!Jackie BParticipant
I’ve purchased dried chicken feet from an online store known for their bully sticks. Both of my approx. 18 lb poodles love them and they seem easily digestible. They are kind of icky looking, haha. The duck feet are smaller and the dogs seem to like them even better. But the chicken feet are longer-lasting. Green tripe (dried) is also a good snack.
Cow ears would also be worth a try. They are less greasy than pig ears and take hours for my dogs to finish.
Thanks Jackie for the reply and recommendations. I have actually tried Cow and Pig ears both and he loves them but he started chewing small pieces off and choking on them so I stopped buying them. Never heard of the tripe before as I just searched it to see what it was. Very interesting and thanks for mentioning that!
Chris, hi. For my Bruno, I use quite a few things – deer or elk antlers (not the split ones as he can power through them pretty quickly), and stuffed and frozen Kongs and Kong-like toys (like C4C said, they do last a while, and you can stuff them with anything you can think of – from canned food, to wet kibble, to canned pumpkin, yoghurt/kefir, peanut butter, or any mix of the above). Right now I stuff mine with canned green tripe. I have used Himalayan chews when he was a puppy, and even more recently, but the most recent ones would splinter and not last him very long. So I may not get him any more of those, unless I buy a Medium or Large ones (he is a small dog, but the small Himalayan chews don’t put up a fight with him). So for long-lasting, digestible, and beneficial chews, I’d go with antlers.
I think hooves are my second favorites, and they are stuffable too! Bully sticks are my third favorite, as well as fish skins (for the skin and coat benefits), but they don’t last as long. However, all of the natural chews and treats seem to be easily digested by Bruno – tracheas, pig, cow, and lamb ears, tendons, etc. Chicken and duck feet work too but he’s really quick with those. They all seem to digest very well. Tripe swirls and freeze-dried chews/treats work well too.
Also, I think Halo has a pumpkin-based “dental” chew that may be easy on the tummy. Good luck!
- This reply was modified 7 years ago by Naturella.
Hello Naturella, Nice too meet you and thanks for the reply!
I’m really interested now in the Elk antlers after searching a good bit on them. Also chicken and duck feet is probably something i’m also going to go a head and try. Fish skins I heard are very good fast treats as well. Hooves, you’re probably the first person I ever heard mention those to me. I had a kong and I stuffed it with so many different things and he did good with it for a while then like lost full interest in it. However, maybe if I start stuffing it with things he really really loves then he might get his interest back. Before I was only stuffing it with canned food, raw kibble, jerky, little easy things. I always thought Peanut butter would clog his rear end up since he already has the stomach issues. I’ll have to try the Canned Tripe and see how he likes that. Thanks again for the recommendations and the reply as I really do appreciate it!
Chris, you are welcome! Anything I can do to help!
Canned green tripe (or raw green tripe for that matter) is infamous for enticing even the pickiest of eaters, so maybe you can try that. Some brands that carry it are Tripett, Petkind, and Solid Gold Green Cow. It is also rich in natural probiotics/enzymes that may help the tummy.
Hooves are pretty cheap and cool, they last Bruno a while, and I would buy the empty ones and stuff them myself. We use cow hooves. They are usually dried, but are also available raw too, I believe.
Fish skins totally helped Bruno shine, literally – I switched him to Blue Buffalo Wilderness back when he was a puppy (before I knew better, but hey, he did great on it) and gave him a fish skin a couple times a week, and a bully stick a couple times a week, and within a month, his skin was much better, his once bare tummy was filling in with hair, and his coat became shiny (I never knew it wasn’t shiny before until it became shiny, lol). So I love the fish skins and he does too.
Try the tripe also for Kongs. It may work. Also, coconut oil mixed with yoghurt or kefir, and/or some plain canned pumpkin puree may be a nice tummy soother and a delicious treat, and coconut oil is super good for humans and pets alike.
Speaking of dog food I was feeding him blue buffalo grain free as well and literally the beginning of this month I switched him to Merrick’s Grain Free. I did a little research on here and it seems to be better and he definitely seems to like it more. Not sure on anyone else opinion on Merrick’s food. I hope I made a good choice as I was going to buy a small bag of there new back country and mix it in with the current bag I have to give him a little different flavors.
Right after you said about the tripe I immediately did research and seen so many people mentioning the Tripett brand on here. So i’ll definitely be trying that especially with it being very good for there stomachs.
Funny you mention about the skin and coat as since I switched my dog to the Merrick’s his coat seems so much smoother, soft, and bright. Good idea on the coconut oil as I actually take that myself and never thought about giving him a little. Geeze I really can’t think you all enough on here for the help! 🙂
Chris- Nice change on the dog food! A lot of us here wont feed BB products due to the company being pretty shady.
I personally have no problem with Merrick, though some on here are not fans of the company for how they have handled recalls in the past. Most people feel that while recalls are often times just a happening of life, its how the company handles the recall that will decide whether they use their products again.
Merrick is one of three brands at work (petco) that i recommend to people that we carry. the other two being Nature’s Variety, and Wellness CORE, so I think you made a good choice. Depending on what your budget is, look at Orijen too or Acana both made by Champion Pet Foods in Canada. The company has a sparkling reputation. The food is expensive but worth every penny IMO.
Yeah, I have already looked into Orijen before and I just can’t afford that. Merrick was even hard to press but I know it would be better and worth a few more bucks then Blue Buffalo. I wish I could afford it because i’ve been recommended that so many times so I assume it has to be great food and a great company to deal with. However, I see it at least I’m not feeding him junk food or commercial grade food. So I figured Merrick’s was a good choice for him, but doesn’t change the fact also in the future I can always switch if need be.
At my local pet store I seen so many people buy Natures Variety or Natures Balance and they sell out of it pretty fast.
Thanks for the reply and recommendations! 🙂
Chris- I completely understand the budget thing. I feed canned food as well as dry to supplement the lack of moisture in the dry food and I have to go as cheap as I can with the canned without stooping down to Pedigree etc. So I use some 4 and 5 star canned foods from Tractor Supply and Walmart.
Natural Balance is a big seller at my store as well. Personally I dont like the food and I dont like the company now that it was sold to Del Monte. They dont have the greatest track record and I personally feel their food is way to high in carbs and they over use white potato as a main ingredient leaving their protein far too low for my taste.
Being that I feed canned as well I only need a 5 or 6 lb bag of dry food as he only gets 1/2 cup of dry with his can of wet, so even though for some of the Orijen I’ve paid 26$ for it, it didnt really bother me. But i understand that buying their largest bag usually at over 100$ is not something most people can do.
I used to buy Nature’s Variety as well. I really liked the brand but back when I bought large bags I only bought NV because we were getting 40% for the whole year as employees lol!
I bought a 24 pound bag of the Merrick’s Grain Free Lamb and I actually was looking at it the past few days and seen that I’m not going through it as fast as I thought. I actually give him 1/2 cup of dry in the morning and I bought a good amount of wellness core canned food and I give him about quarter of the can with it in the morning. Then in the evening I give him 1 1/2 cups of dry food and doing that it seems to be doing very well with him though most the times he only eats about 1 full cup and the half I throw back in the food container.
So I was thinking I probably could afford Orijen if I did the same as you and just bought a small bag rather then the 24 pounds. As looking at the food container he ate about half the food so roughly 12 pounds of food and in 2 days it will be the end of the month. So basically if I were to just purchase 10-12 pound bag of Orijen it should last him the month. Still obviously more expensive then Merrick’s but probably worth it right?
I might just do that i’ll do some research and look at prices as I speak for around that poundage. Thanks again!
Chris (and pitlove), although I would agree that Orijen is one of the best dry foods out there (personal opinion), it is also not for everyone. It may be too rich for some dogs, so it is good to always just get a small bag, or a few trial sizes at first (for small dogs, but I think for a beagle a small bag will do), and use that for a couple of weeks first to make sure it would work for your dog.
I have fed trial sizes of the more prominent Canadian companies and my Bruno enjoys their products. I would definitely feed Orijen, Acana, GO and NOW! Fresh in rotations, if I continue to feed kibble in the future. Also, NVI Instinct and a few other kibbles. I would try to transition to raw sometime next year though.
But yeah, just keep in mind that even the “best” does not always work for everyone, and what is the best for your dog is what works well for him/her and keeps them happy and healthy.
Nevermind, I recall what I said. I had no idea it was that expensive. 15 pounds @ nearly $60.00 Ouch!
Thanks Naturella! Yeah I was thinking the same thing after I said that. Though still the price is what is making me cringe. It’s hard to afford that at this time, but don’t get me wrong I would love to give that a try. He seems to be doing very well on the Merrick’s, so I might just stay on that and this month just get a bag of there new back country and see if he enjoys that.
- This reply was modified 7 years ago by chris.
Chris, yeah, it is probably the most expensive food out there…
And yeah, stick to Merrick for now, but don’t be too afraid to experiment with other brands and/or flavors within a brand. Variety is the spice of life, and it is important for a dog’s gut (and overall) health in the long run. 🙂
Oh of course, after 2 weeks in with the current lamb flavor of Merrick’s he started slowing down eating it. Acting like he got tired of the flavor, so I threw in 2 packets of Natures Variety grain free sample packs that I had got at my local pet store and he went crazy with that and went back to eating the Merrick’s again regularly. Now today he didn’t touch it till this evening. That’s why I plan on trying the new grain free back country flavors to give him a need flavor to eat. Though i’m also planning on only buying a 12 pound bag that way I can switch flavors every 2 weeks as I think that would probably be best.
I forgot to add I had got a can of Ziwipeak Canned food and he went crazy over that. I also searched on there food and geeze like double the price of Orijen.
- This reply was modified 7 years ago by chris.
Chris, sounds like you’re on the right track! Just keep an eye on stool and the dog’s behavior (signs of tummy pain or discomfort), and should none be present, just do what’s working! 🙂
What is your dog’s name btw?
Yeah, long story short on what happen is basically one day I left the house to run into the grocery store and was gone not nearly 30 minutes and when I returned he was super excited as always too see me well I jumped up with his front paws on our kitchen counter. I pointed at him and said get down from there you no better and he started whimpering a ton. He laid down on our floor and couldn’t stand up. I ran him within 5 minutes later to the pet emergency center where I live and they said it was back pain and think he has a little arthritis in his back. That might be but I knew better then that as he is only 5 years old and very active. So I took him to my family vet the next day and they said it could be his hip or back as well. Again I told my family vet I highly doubt that is the case but they suggested to give him steroid meds and give it a week too see what happens. A few days later when he would walk (and only when he would walk) I noticed a lump on his right side by his stomach near his penis. I immediately ran him to the family doctor that night they did an x-ray and said they see nothing wrong other then his stomach was completely filled with bowels and that lump could be a hard piece of bowel pushing out. Something still seemed fishy to me so every night I kept an eye on it and would rub it with my hand to make sure it wasn’t getting hard or larger in size. It stayed squishy and it’s been around a month now and got smaller in size but it’s still there a little. So I did a ton of research and i’m almost certain he has a small stomach hernia. Well I said long story short, sorry got a little carried away hehe.
Anyways ever since I switched his food to Merrick’s and been giving him canned food daily I check his poop everyday as I walk him and it’s completely how it should be. I gave the vets a sample and they said it looks perfect now and he’s been going twice a day. Once in the morning and once in the evening now. He is also back to being very active, running, playing, his normal self.
His name is Sparky though, I call him just Spark or My Boy as he is like my son. After I heard you guys mentioning that the canned Tripe has natural Enzymes and prebiotics that immediately set in my mind that i’m getting a few cans.
- This reply was modified 7 years ago by chris.
I see. I don’t really know what the lump is or what it could be… A small hernia sounds like a good guess, and I don’t think it could be that sudden of an onset of arthritis or back pain (but I am not sure), and obviously it was not a piece of hard stool. At least it is getting smaller and staying soft! Keep it up! My roommate’s dog has a small hernia on her belly that she’s had for a while and it doesn’t seem to bother her at all. He (the roommate) checks on it every once in a while and it seems that it’s still ok.
And yeah, also, just FYI… Canned green tripe, as good as it is, smells (to me) like vomited raw lamb intestines filled with whatever they are supposed to be filled with… So it smells nasty, in a word. But, it is still super good for dogs, and I have heard that they all find it appealing as heck! So Sparky should like it.
And yeah, most of us here totally consider our dogs (and some their cats) our furry children. I call Bruno “my little boy”, and “my dog son”, “my kid”, and so does my husband. I am well aware I didn’t birth him and he is not human, and I have not had any children yet, but I love that dog so much, that I believe I would a small child of mine. Because, to me, he is just that. We also call him Bruno and puppy too, lol.
chris and naturella- Orijen and even merrick arent always for everyone, however with the protein and all being similar I figured it couldn’t hurt to suggest. My dog from the beginning has always eaten a high protein food. I refuse to feed anything under 30% protein on a dry matter basis. I find there are far less carbs when you get into that realm and animal protein and fat is easier to digest than carbs and plant proteins for any healthy dog.
Also Chris, if there is ever a food u want to try but the price is outlandish, you can always get the smallest size bag and add that to the rotation to give him some variety and then next bag can be the cheaper but still good food. i have a 66lb AmStaff (named Bentley since we are sharing lol) and I keep him at his ideal weight with a 13.2oz can of whatever I have of wet food and 1/2 cup of whatever dry food he’s on with a digestive supplement in the morning and kefir at night and Im able to get 5 lb bags and have them last for a month if not a little longer. The Tripe is also an excellent idea, however as it is for supplemental feeding only you would probably find yourself feeding more dry with the Tripe. I have yet to try Tripe but I have heard the same thing Naturella said about the smell!
Yeah like I said I done so much research and it sounds like a small hernia to and feels like one too so that would be my guess. He seems to be not bothered by it anymore and acts back to normal now.
That does not surprise me one bit on the canned tripe. I’m sure he’ll enjoy it!
Yeah most people tend to any animal they own as they would a child. I kind of baby my dog to the point my family looks at me strangely. You can’t help it especially when the dog expresses the love in return. I have never put him in a cage, I made him an actual raised dog bed the level of my bed and he sleeps in that beside me all night. In my avatar picture is what he is laying on and I made him steps going up to it. He’s spoiled rotten haha!
Pitlove- So you mean buy a small 5 pound bag and mix it inside his Merrick’s once in a while? I actually have the Kafir written down as well so I remember to buy some of that as well. What Digestive supplement do you use?
I have went through 11 pounds of the Merrick’s already and I bought that at the beginning of the month. That is giving him 1/2 cup with wet food in the morning and 1-2 cups during the evening.
- This reply was modified 7 years ago by chris.
pitlove – I see. Yeah, I try to feed foods with high animal protein too, and high overall protein levels. I was just trying to make note that those even are not for everyone either. But, I do agree that if a dog is healthy and capable of digesting those foods, then they should be tried, if financially feasible. And yes, tripe stinks!!!
Also, I have noted that one can feed less of the richer, more nutritious/calorie-dense foods. I do add toppers, but Bruno gets 1/2 cup of dry for the whole day, split between 2 feedings, with various toppers at each meal. He is at the healthy and lean 14.5-15lbs. So, Chris, you may even end up feeding a bit less of the Orijen (if you get it) or even Merrick, especially if you add coconut oil and tripe to Sparky’s diet.
And wow, Chris, Sparky sure is living the good life! 😀
If you’re interested in feeding tripe that is balanced Solid Gold Green Cow Beef Tripe is one. I am the odd one out, after reading about how awful tripe smells I expected it to smell like the zombie apocalypse. It didn’t smell that bad to me, and of course Bobby loves it.
I second Bobby Dog, I have fed Solid Gold Green Cow Tripe and it is balanced. Glad you didn’t find it to smell that bad. I don’t gag at it or anything, but still smells nasty to me, lol.
I haven’t fed Solid Gold my pet stores don’t carry it and I don’t want to order a case, but I have fed other brands. Don’t remember if they were balanced, I know one was for supplemental feeding.
Naturella- Yeah I might do that then and buy a 5 pound bag of orijen and see how he likes it first. Question though if I stick to Merrick’s since it’s affordable for myself, would it be okay to just buy a bag of Orijen and other high end foods and throw it in monthly with the Merrick? Do like a mix each month or even every 2 weeks. If not and if he tends to really enjoy Orijen I can probably try to switch to that and see how he does on it.
Yeah, i’ll definitely be throwing in the kafir, coconut oil, tripe into this diet. I appreciate all the help as i’m learning a ton from talking with you guys lol.
Bobby Dog- yeah I took a look at a few brands. Triplet was one I heard good things about as well. Thanks!
Chris, my local pet boutique type stores sell trial sizes of Orijen and Acana for $3.99 per baggie and each one is .75 lbs. So you can buy a couple of these to try them out first.
As for mixing, I used to mix foods before. I have mixed up to 3 brands together in the past. Now I rotate with each small bag, but on occasion feed a meal or 2 per week of a different brand and flavor from samples for diversity. So you can do it either way. I have a friend who still mixes 2 brands and flavors at a time, and feeds that, then changes both brands and flavors, but still mixes them. So you can do either way… The only caveat to that is that if for any reason, now or down the road Sparky gets sick (loose stool, vomiting, etc.) you wouldn’t know which food caused it, unless you feed him more of each individually, or you’d have to toss the whole mix. Sometimes it is just a particular bag or batch that doesn’t work, so I would, for example, feed him Merrick for a month, then Orijen or something else for 2 weeks or however long a small bag lasts, then Merrick or something similar and affordable. And here are some good and affordable brands:
Earthborn Holistic GF, Victor GF, Dr. Tim’s both GF and grain-inclusive, Annamaet GF, and, in some areas, NutriSource GF (although it is pretty pricy here in the Atlanta, GA area). So if cost is a concern, you can try those foods instead of or in addition to Merrick and Orijen – they are pretty good.
- This reply was modified 6 years, 12 months ago by Naturella.
Naturella- Thanks for the info!
That’s very true when mixing them you would have no idea. Good idea on maybe doing it every 2 weeks of giving different foods instead of mixing them. I can afford the orijen 5 pounds easily. I just couldn’t afford the 24-30 pound bags they are really up there compared to Merrick’s. So yeah, that’s definitely something i’ll have to try and see how it goes, so at least he will be getting some high end protein foods into him as well throughout the month. Speaking of which I just looked up the protein percentage in the current bag i’m feeding him and it’s only 30%, not so good! Though It was the lamb and sweet potato mix that I got because I was told at the time it was very good for digestion. They don’t sell any over 38% protein either.
Chris, I too prefer to feed high-protein, especially high animal protein foods, and I too prefer to stay in the 30% + protein levels. But just keep an eye on Sparky and see how he’s doing on those foods. Also, I forgot to mention a few more food options.
Wysong is a good company that I really like and they make high-protein kibbles. Wysong Nurture and a few others are more affordable but the highest in animal protein ones are their Epigen series, which are pretty unique as they use no starchy binders. I have fed Wysong Nurture with Quail and it came with freeze-dried quail bits inside.
Other good foods are Nulo (I have fed the Medal Series Lamb) and Farmina GF. Now, they too are not as affordable (Nulo is not terribly pricy), and Farmina is just under the Orijen level I think (of price), but these, as well as the other brands I mentioned above, you can look into and see if you want to try any. Also, the Castor & Pollux Ultramix GF ones are pretty good. C&P is a sub-company of Merrick.
And, if I am not mistaken, they all sport way above 30% protein and high levels of animal protein. So check them out! 🙂
Sorry for any typos, I am typing from my phone.
- This reply was modified 6 years, 12 months ago by Naturella.
Thank you Naturella thats exactly what i was talking about as an idea for Chris to do! You stated it perfectly. Rather than blending the foods just feed ANY food you find interested that you’d like Sparky to try for a couple weeks or however long it lasts for then switch!
Chris- The supplement I have is made by the Honest Kitchen and its called Perfect Form
i have the 5.5oz jar. I dont follow their instructions for how much to feed. i just do about one pinch on my kittens food and two or three pinches for the dog. i felt it their guildlines where far too much. maybe im wrong but idk this has been working for me. you can feed it however you want. I got the Kefir at walmart for a little over 3$. there are feeding guidelines for that on the internet too. they tell you to cut the number in half when first giving it to get their stomach used to it.
Pitlove, great minds think alike apparently! 🙂
Just one thing – I had posted a while back about feeding Perfect Form continuously and was advised not to because the dog’s stomach can eventually build resistance to the enzymes in it and when it actually needs it, it won’t work for it anymore. You can go to my profile and look at my topics started and find the one on Perfect Form and see what people said. So I just keep it to use as needed for loose stool – works like magic!
Also, I believe that even with probiotics, or any supplements, it is still good to rotate them – for example, do kefir for a while, some good plain yoghurt for a while, and a good probiotic supplement like Swanson’s Soil-Based Organisms for a while, then start over.
- This reply was modified 6 years, 12 months ago by Naturella.
Good thinking! I was not aware that they could build up a resistance to it. Ill definitely cut back on the Perfect Form. If not just eliminate it all together now and save it for when he eats a new food to help with his stomach adjusting.
Should I go through the whole 32oz bottle of kefir first and then switch to another one or can I keep yogurt and kefir on hand and switch them up often?
Also for my kitten, shes on all wet and often eats a different brand of wet food every meal. any suggestions for feeding the Perfect Form to her? she gets it too with breakfast as of now, but I dont wanna over feed it.crazy4catsParticipant
Another thing to note about Perfect Form is the fact that it contains ingredients such as slippery elm that help soothe the digestive tract. Slippery Elm is highly recommended by many to help with loose stools and diarrhea. But, someone on this site mentioned the fact that if used for very long periods of time, it could hinder with some nutrient absorption. After a little research, I found that it could be true. So I now limit my use of Perfect Form and other supplements that contain slippery elm to when my dogs’ are needing it due to who knows what they got in to sometimes!
I now rotate supplements as well.
I also rotate probiotics for my zoo, but if all is going well I don’t add them to their diets. I feel less is more when they are healthy. The times I have used probiotics for Bobby is when he has had skin and fur issues; I know other posters use them for transitions to new foods and other health issues. When those skin & fur issues disappeared I continued probiotics for another month then I slowly stopped. I always have them on hand when/if I need them. At this time all is well and his body appears to be producing the healthy bacteria he needs so I don’t supplement with them.
I do feed Bobby kefir two or three times a month right now. He really loves it so it’s just a healthy treat I give him mixed with blueberries or other fruit. In the summer I freeze kefir cubes with fruit that he can eat outside and in the winter it’s more of a smoothie treat.
Also, I have had success using yogurt with live cultures and kefir, but there are times when you need more cfu’s per serving. I like and have used the Swanson product Naturella mentioned in her post. Right now I use Actipet Ultra Probiotic for my kitty who has Hyper-T and has skin problems. I have played around with not using probiotics or limiting them and he seems to do better with a dose at least three times a week.
Here’s some info on kefir and yogurt:
I agree with C4C (btw, @crazy4cats, Akari said that you have her email, so you can/should email her! And how come I don’t have your email? May I have it? My email is [email protected], so anyone can feel free to shoot me an email too!).
Also, just wanted to throw in there how much I love where I live at the moment as far as dog boutique-type stores are concerned, because we just had a doggie fest of sorts, with all kinds of adoption agencies and dog food reps present, and we got a whole box of samples from all kinds of people – Primal, Stella and Chewy’s, Open Farms, All Provide (1 lb of raw for free!), Weruva (6 cans, 4 pouches), Bixbi, Hi-Tek Naturals, Pro-Pac and Earthborn Holistic, Nature’s Logic, NutriSource and Pure Vita, DoTerra, and so many others. My purse and the freaking box were full! My Bruno is definitely good for a while! I love free samples and with a small dog, those work as full meals and stuff! So yeah. 🙂 I am pretty excited.
So for supplements I wrote down to try:
Swanson’s soil-based Organisms
Canned Green Tripe
I’m going to try each and see how it goes. I read a lot up on it earlier and heard from a good amount that I should start very slow in it to get there stomach use to it. So figured I might give 1/4 cup each time for now.
I’ll definitely be trying those frozen treats Bobby Dog! I have a dairy farm near by that started it’s own home made ice cream straight off the farm. They recently started making there own dog ice cream and I was buying him a container of that here and there the past few weeks.
Naturella- Yeah, my local pet store has boxes of free samples soon as you walk in the front door and he tells us to take as many as we want. There mostly little sample bags of natures variety, natures balance, and canidae, no canned food or treats sadly.
Chris, that sounds like a good lineup! Don’t sweat it too much, just make sure that the unbalanced additives (sauerkraut, yoghurt, kefir, frozen treats and other unbalanced treats, and unbalanced canned green tripe) altogether do not constitute more than 10% of the dog’s diet. For me, I feed about 1tsp or 1tbs (depending on how generous I feel) of unbalanced toppers, but Bruno only gets those at breakfast Monday-Saturday, for dinner he gets balanced canned as a topper so it’s fine. On Sundays he gets a balanced breakfast of kibble and canned and for dinner he has RMB, and now will be getting some AllProvide raw too! 🙂
And farm-made human and doggie ice-cream sounds great! 🙂
And I love me some free dry and canned samples! A lot of the samples I got are lower-protein – in the 20s %, or up to 31%, but that’s fine by me for sporadic surprise meals or treats, which is what I use samples for too.
I grabbed 2 bags of the natures variety grain free sample packs and i gave him little at a time as a treat.
For the past month since I changed his diet completely, I bought a few cans of the wellness core, Ziwipeak, Dogswell Happy Hips. Recommend any others?
He loves the Ziwipeak, but there is no way I can afford that at a constant thing. I don’t like giving him the Dogswell as I heard so many different things about that company.
I see. Like I said in another post, the ones I would wholeheartedly recommend are:
Earthborn Holistic GF
Dr. Tim’s GF & GI
Wysong (Nurture and Epigen are their “best” lines, but they have a lot of other good formulas)
Farmina GF (even though I have not used it yet)
As well as the Canadian foods Orijen, Acana, NOW! Fresh and GO!
You can even email the above companies or send them a message on social media and ask for samples! I have gotten samples from Victor, Dr. Tim’s, Wysong, Annamaet, and Nulo sent me coupon books. 😉
As for Dogswell, 2 friends have fed it with no issues, and Bruno is currently on the Dogswell LiveFree Salmon one and is doing just fine, and I have fed Nutrisca Chicken & Chickpea (made by Dogswell) in the past and he did just fine on it too. I also fed Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy with no issues but I know other people have had issues with the brand (don’t know which line of food, or all of them). A friend, my roommate, and an aunt have all fed Blue (the aunt still feeds it) with no issues. Questionable companies – sure. But from my experience, and that of others around me, we have personally had no immediate issues with them.
Are you going to use the same e-mail address now that you graduated?
For budget friendly canned I feed Wal-Mart’s Pure Balance stews ($1/can) and tubs (about 70 cents/tub), Tractor Supply 4Health stews and chic or lamb pates’ (99 cents/can), BJ’s chicken dinner $8.99/6 pack, and Triumph Turkey or Puppy recipes (a little over a $1/can and always on sale). Costco’s Nature’s Domain Turkey & Pea GF is a little over $20 for a case if you have a membership (or know someone who does).
Other foods in my current rotation are Wellness Core & Stews, Innova, Holistic Select, Eagle Pack, Canidae, Red Barn, Weruva, Tiki Dog, and Nutro. I feel like I am forgetting some. lol
If you are looking for something specific like low fat or anything else just post, I might have specific recipes that I have either fed or that you can check out. I have fed many more different brands they just don’t always stay in my rotation for various reasons. I go no higher than 70% fat to protein ratio and mostly try to stay lower. I have only fed one canned food that Bobby didn’t like, it was a vegetarian recipe. I thought what the heck, it was on sale I’ll give it a try, he wasn’t having any parts of it and had to throw it away!
Great to know! Thanks for the recommendations. I have sent Orijen an email last night asking for samples. I can sure try the rest, why not. Yeah, i’ve given him several cans of dogswell now and he has had zero issues. I never tried Blue Buffalo as I had a family member try it and they didn’t care for it and told me not to bother. Thanks again!
-Bobby Dog, Thanks as well for the recommendations! I was just basically looking for some ones that aren’t commercial store bought such as Pedigree etc. Also that have a decent meat content as my dog is very picky and actually doesn’t seem to like “fish or veggies” that much. He’s definitely a meat kind of dog.
Speaking of Canidae as well. What’s your opinion on them? My local pet store told me he was getting Canidae in and said I should give that a try back when I bought Merrick’s. Though for some reason he told me they were a plant based food and here I read it is a meat based mostly.
You’re welcome chris. That list should give you a good place to start then! My budget friendly canned foods are rated 4.5 – 5 stars with the exception of Triumph and BJ’s, they have not been rated yet.
Sure thing, I have checked them all out right after you said them and seen they are all pretty decent. I wrote a few of them down i’m sure he will enjoy and also added a few others that I heard some mention.
I really have learned a lot from talking with you all on here and have actually already passed it along helping my family with there dogs the past 2 days on switching things to benefit there health better. I really couldn’t thank you guys enough!
I agree Canidae kibbles look good, but I am no help in regards to commenting on it. I don’t feed it because they won’t disclose where each recipe is manufactured. They have their own plant for manufacturing, but they also use Diamond. I don’t feed Diamond, or any food Diamond manufactures due to their recall history. I will re-visit Diamond in a few years if they don’t have any issues in the future, as of right now I steer clear of them or any company that uses them to make their kibble.
Of course, never say never. If I found Diamond made a food that my pet needed for whatever reason I would consider it. Sometimes you have to think outside of the box and change your pet food criterion to address specific issues. I believe it is in the best interest of our pets if we don’t get caught up in the latest trends and focus on what they do well on!
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