Does anyone feed their dogs a diet of kibble and canned/raw/dehydrated?
I have large breed dogs that I like to supplement their dry when the weather gets cold to keep their weight up.
My real.concern is my puppy. He’s 4 months old. GSD. Approx 30 lbs. I know I have to keep his calcium at 1.5% max. Because of that I am having a problem finding the right food.
He acts like he’s starving to death even though he gets 3 3/4 cups fed over 4 meals. Right now he’s on Wellness Core Grain Free Puppy.
I’m looking for either a food that will satisfy his appetite or something I can supplement/replace some of his kibble with that will allow me to stay within the calcium guidelines.
While I am not opposed to canned, raw or dehydrated, I cannot feed strictly those types of foods.
I would also prefer a NON grain free food. Unless a dog has allergies I know they actually need some grains. Plus it seems that grain free has far more carbs than non grain free.
I appreciate any suggestions.
I do feed a mixture. It can be anything – kibble, dehydrated cooked, freeze dried raw, canned food and frozen raw. I don’t have to watch calcium and phosphorus though. You can try adding some fat calories such as some type of fish oil or coconut oil. There’s also a granular food made by Abady that has rice and it has around 800 calories a cup. Raw food, especially the fattier meats added to his kibble might help keep him satisfied a little longer. There are also canned foods that are high in fat and calories. Have you looked at Core canned foods?
Why do dogs need grains?
Some people like Lisa Arnet (The Great Dane Lady) believe in not feeding grain free foods to LBP’s because the grain free foods have not been feed trial tested yet with LBPs in mind. http://www.greatdanelady.com/articles/criteria_list_of_better_foods.htm
Jenn- Your dog is not starving. One of the worst things you can do for a LBP is over feed them. As far as I know WellnessCORE Puppy is still safe for LBPs. Some great grain inclusive LBP foods are Fromm Gold Large Breed Puppy, Precise Holistic Complete Large&Giant Breed Puppy and Nutrisource Large Breed Puppy.
I personally find great dane lady’s information a bit dated. Her information about honest kitchen is inaccurate and I don’t trust anyone with a website that A. is unpolished as that and B. contains as many typos as that. I’d go with the links linked by hound dog mom which has a lot more up to date information at the beginning of the thread. I’m not avidly against all grains, but grain free very often has a higher protein content, and I don’t agree with long term feeding of some of the protein levels on gdl website
Whole grains like oats, whole wheat, buckwheat, barley and brown rice provide beneficial minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, fiber & protein. While you can always supplement these things, it’s usually best to get nutrients from food.
Dogs are able to digest cooked grains.
I do stay away from corn. I know that has a potential to be very irritating to their digestion.
Thanks for the suggestions. I may try to add oils. I’ve been told that can deplete Vit E (in GSDs anyway) so I’ll have to research that a bit more.
I’ve looked into adding meats, but they also have calcium. I’m trying to avoid doing much math. It is by no means a strong suit of mine.
This particular pup has me worried about future joint issues. I have had about 20 GSDs in my life and never has joint problems. Some of that was luck. Some good breeding. Mostly it’s from experience and effort.
My (not so) little guy shows confirmation of the American Show Lines. Too much angulation. Thats a perfect set up for hip dysplasia. And his mother is 90+ lbs. I assume the “breeder” was trying to breed up like so many do these days. (This was a rescue situation so I don’t have any details on the sire.)
My whole life I have only had GSDs and never have they acted like they were starving. They certainly wouldn’t dive into a bag of dog food. The only dog I have ever seen act like this is a Lab that we inherited.
He literally throws a fit and gets so mad when his bowl is empty. It’s kind of funny to see a puppy with such a temper. But I don’t ever want him to feel hungry. This makes me think he’s either not satisfied with his food or is missing something nutritionally.
Every few months it’s good to switch foods so and I am looking into what to switch him to next. Fromm is on my short list. But if that doesn’t seem to satisfy him, then I want to be prepared to combo feed if I can come up w/ something that won’t exceed the calcium amts.
My other idea is maybe his food is too good and I should try a brand with more fillers. But doing that may cause him to actually lack important nutrients.
While I haven’t seen her website, I haven’t been in agreement with some of her advice/suggestions. Thought maybe it was just because she has extra large breeds and I am only really familiar with large breeds. I know there are some similarities in controlling growth & their nutritional needs, but not sure if both sizes require the same things.
Hound Dog Mom is often informative. I agree she seems to have more utd info.
Didn’t see what Great Dane Lady has to say about The Honest Kitchen. But I will say that I have been in touch with them a lot over the past week and they have been nothing less than prompt, patient and helpful. They have been very open to answering the million questions I’ve asked and as far as I know they have been on top of the quality of their products. Even doing voluntary recalls when they just suspect something may be wrong. And I haven’t found any animals to become ill from their foods.
AGT- I’ve noticed a few recent updates to her site as of late. She actually has it posted now that protein does not effect the growth of large and giant breeds, which is a nice step in the right direction for updating her information. Regardless of her website or the crudness of it, she is a pretty well recognized figure in the Dane community and shes fairly trusted overall. I’ve seen what her top recommended food (Precise) can do and the results speak for themselves. My boyfriends brothers Great Dane has been on it his whole life and hes in great health.
Jenn- Labs are known for being food motivated and food driven. They would also eat themselves to death. One of the regular posters on here, Crazy4Dogs, has labs and she would tell you the same thing. If you don’t control their portions, no matter how much they argue, they would eat until they were very overweight. I don’t know GSD’s well as a breed for how food motivated they are, but I’ve never really heard of them being like labs are. Their food obsession is a huge stereotype of the breed, but its true.
The most important thing for the pup that your concerned about is that he grows slowly as you know. Genetics helps, but more and more research thats being done about LBP nutrition is showing how big a role food plays in the optimal growth of LBPs. Some say it overshadows genetics. I think feeding a quality kibble until they are fully grown is the safest route to go that requires the least amount of math (lol!) to know that your pup is recieving the best nutrition for slow growth.
Personally, I’ve jumped off the grain-free bandwagon. I’m not against GF foods, but I’m not so crazed about only feeding grain-free foods. My dog is eating a grain based food right now and this is the best he’s done yet.
- This reply was modified 4 years ago by Pitlove.
Pitlove, thanks for the input.
GSDs (in my experience) are food motivated when it comes to training. On the other hand they can be equally happy being rewarded with a favorite toy (as is often the case in K-9s).
The Lab is soooo different. Stereotypes exist for a reason. I don’t think she has ever tasted anything she’s ever eaten. I soak & drown her food in the slowest feeder I can find. I’m very careful about her feeding. I see Labs with lumps and they are fat, etc. Lillie is a lean and muscular 60 lbs! No lumps & bumps or excess fat (except a couple lbs in winter or she gets cold)! She acts like a puppy! She’ll be 11 next month.
The dog food is literally locked up in the bathroom in an airtight bin because she’ll think nothing of opening doors and eating til she explodes. I can’t stand the behavior, but haven’t been able to fix it. The thing with the pup is I don’t know if he’s as hungry as he acts or if he’s mimicking her behavior. If he’s so hungry, then I want to find him something to satisfy him. If he’s just picking up bad habits, then I can & am dealing with that.
It’s good to see someone else not fanatical about grain free. Like you I’m not against them. I just think they should be given to dogs who truly need them. I prefer to expose my animals to everything and see what they can tolerate rather than completely avoid something because they might have an issue.
I’ve had a dog that needed to avoid pretty much all grains and some meats. And a dog that could tolerate small amts of grain here & there.
My only real issue with grain free is that they are so high in carbs. Which is ironic. I think that because I don’t feed the girls grain free may be partly why Lillie doesn’t have the lumps. She’s not over loaded w/ carbs.
I’ll probably just end up switching my little guy’s food completely. I do that every few months and it’s been a great thing for my dogs. It’s good for the good bacteria in the gut to have something new.
Thanks again for the help. I’ll check out the Lab lady’s posts. I might learn something.
HAHA on your Lab! Yep, I’ve used slow feeders on my older girl too. My Labs try to convince me that I didn’t feed them, fortunately they’ve been trained to never touch anything that falls to the floor. I don’t feed grained food because my almost 11 yo girl gets ear infections with any grains! I’m curious why you think grain free has more carbs than a grained food. When you subtract the protein and fat away from the food, the balance would be carbohydrates (minus moisture and ash).
I do agree with Aquariangt, I used to love The Great Dane Lady but her information seems a bit outdated.
Jenn- I agree 100% with your statement about grains. I see no reason to completely avoid a whole carbohydrate source (since they don’t require carbs anyway) because someone told me my dog is probably allergic to grain. I used to be very gung-ho about grain-free diets and felt that it was the worst thing in the world to feed grain based foods and I’ve then since realized that I had fallen into the trap of a lot of the marketing for grain-free foods. Even at work (small pet store) I always share my feelings about grains and I always make sure to add that its just my opinion and they are still free to feed whatever makes them comfortable.
I was told by someone who at one point I thought had a lot of knowledge about dog food (my old boss), that I should completely avoid chicken because its a common allergen for dogs. I tried to cut all chicken out of his diet and ended up feeding him more beef instead. Turns out hes fine with chicken and has an intolerance to beef! haha. I guess I’ve just learned to take certain things with a grain of salt and allow myself to use my judgement and my knowledge of my dog to make the best decisions for him. As I said, hes eating a grain based food right now and I’m beyond happy with the results.
And it sounds like your lab is in great shape too. Especially for 11! Thats great hear. I’ve seen a lot of overweight labs and dogs in general and it really really annoys me that people think that they are “fat and happy”.
I had a dog (GSD) who also got ear infections from grains. He also has difficulty w/ chicken. That’s way back when grain-free was pretty nonexistent. He had to be fed Hill’s z/d. Eventually he was able to eat Royal Canin German Shepherd and Blue Buffalo. (When they were great foods.) I would regularly clean his ears as a way to be proactive.
Things have come a long way since that guy. Today I could probably give him any meet as long as it didn’t come from certain venders/farms and/or a digestive enzyme.
Labs are such high energy dogs I find it baffling how it’s even possible for them to become overweight. Don’t those pudges ever get out? It’s really quite sad.
It would be nice if people realized that dogs aren’t about quantity. 1 tiny piece of meat makes them as happy as if you fed a whole cow.
Imagine how hard their hearts have to work with all that fat. They’re horizontal. An obese dog is probably much more unhappy than their people think. I bet they’d be more happy if their hearts didn’t have all the weight on it and they could actually move about.
I’m getting so mad now thinking about it.
I get it that grains aren’t part of the dog’s “ancestoral diet” technically, but they kind of are. They’re carnivorous scavengers. What any canine preys on is usually an animal that eats grains & plants. And they eat the whole animal. Including that animal’s digestive system. What would be in their stomach??? Grains & plants.
Granted the contents would be broken down. The canine can digest it because of that. When grain is in kibble it’s been cooked. Thus making it digestible for the pet dog.
I would rather expose my dogs to variety and see what the tolerance is. I wouldn’t avoid giving a child peanut butter because so many kids are allergic and I wouldn’t want to take a chance that mine is. In fact I would likely expose them to nuts early & often to build a natural immunity.
Domestic dogs and wild canines are not exactly the same. I understand that completely. (Which is why I’m not 100% convinced all raw/BARF is the best choice either.) Our pets’ bodies have evolved & changed as they have become more integrated with humans.
The whole chicken allergy dogs seem to be acquiring I was told is because of different companies sourcing their meats from the very same vendors. I remember when California Natuals was bought by P&G. Every dog I’ve known to be fed that food suddenly had reactions. A trainer told me she found out that it’s because of where the ingredients are sources. Despite the fact that the recipe & ingredients remained unchanged. As soon as I told my friends what I had learned they all switched and the dogs stopped being itchy, picky, having upset stomachs.
I know at the end of the day it’s up to me to figure out what’s right for my animals. If that means being unconventional or not following the fads, then so be it. I’m the one who knows them better than anyone else. I’m the one who is obligated to do right by them.
You aren’t the first to warn of obsolete suggestions from Great Dane Lady. I think I’ll just stay clear of her advice all together.
I do appreciate your perspective & experience though.
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