Our two sweet pups are a medley of health issues. You know the concept of mutts being healthier because of the diverse genetics? Well, our dogs are the one in a million that have (what seems like) every possible issue from the many different breeds that make up their genetics. Both their regular vet and the neurologist theorized this may have been due to trauma in the womb since their mama was malnourished and living on the streets for so long.
A brief rundown of their more major issues include:
1) (Girl -& Boy?-) Severe food allergies with skin reactions and vomiting
2) (Girl) Possible megaesophagus (we have an appointment next month for diagnostics)
3) (Boy) Cerebellar hypoplasia
4) (Boy) Possible degenerative neurological disease (we have to wait and re-test in 6 months for changes)
5) (Boy) Probable mild case of laryngeal paralysis (not officially diagnosed but regular vet is pretty certain and we want to give our boy a break from invasive/sedation testing since he just had an MRI and spinal tap so we aren’t pushing for an official diagnosis at this time)
What I am Trying to Accomplish
With all of these issues going on, I want to make sure their food is as wholesome and non-damaging as possible. Especially since a good diet and exercise therapy can help slow the progression of neurological issues if our boy has a degenerative disease.
Previous Foods/Diets We’ve Used
Blue Buffalo Wilderness
Blue Buffalo Freedom
Taste of the Wild
Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain Free. This seemed to work for a while but the skin issues and vomiting have returned.
Homemade diet. This was a pain in the butt. When they were younger and had their initial digestive issues, I homemade their meals for two weeks as an experiment to see if their issues cleared up. They did really well on this diet- no digestive upset, no skin issues, no vomiting, nothing. The down side was it was really time and labor intensive and the cost was astronomical. Since they were younger and in active growth stages, we spent significant time researching their required nutrition and establishing recipes that met those needs. Especially to mitigate the chances of developing hip dysplasia down the road since they are larger dogs. On top of that, we spent nearly $100 a week because hydrated, fresh food has less concentrated nutrients/calories so the dogs needed larger portions than they had with dry food. I am hesitant to go back to this method since I was making 14 cup batches of food every other day (they get just over 7 cups a day between the two of them) and spending more on their food than ours!
Things I am Considering
1) Outlandishly expensive pre-made food. Such as The Honest Kitchen. It seems to have really good ingredients but at $100 for a 10lb bag that will last between 16-20 days for one 60lb dog (so between 8-10 days for 2 dogs) that seems prohibitively expensive. (http://www.thehonestkitchen.com/marvel)
2) Outlandishly expensive homemade food. See all the notes above about the pros/cons of this.
3) Some other less expensive option I hear about on here? Labor intensive stuff is a pain in the neck since I work full time, but it is more preferable than spending significant sums of money because my husband is currently not really thrilled with the $100/10lb bag of food option.
I would love to hear from anyone who has used pre-made meals with quality ingredients that didn’t cost an arm and a leg, or who have made their pet’s food at home without spending a fortune. All of the websites and forums that I have found almost exclusively feature people with small dogs (under 30lbs) so their efforts are a quarter of what mine would be under the same circumstances with two 60lb dogs.
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