I just want to start off by saying that I am so relieved that I found this forum.
I have a 7 year old male maltese/toy poodle mix (20 lbs) and a 1 year old male shih tzu/yorkie mix (11 lbs). They both are currently eating Natural Balance Venison and Sweet Potato. My 7 year old has always been an itchy dog and cannot tolerate poultry so he’s been on this food for awhile. They both are doing well on the food and have nice, firm stools. No complaints.
However, I’m having a personal problem with Natural Balance still being manufactured by Diamond. Thankfully, we haven’t had any issues with the food, but it’s really bothering me.
I have been on this website daily trying to figure out which food to switch them to. I’ve looked at Fromm, Canine Caviar, Regal, Wellness, Nature’s Variety etc. However, their vet wants them to stay on a food that has protein in the low 20s, which is making my search even harder. The top foods are all very high in protein. They are moderately active and my older boy puts weight on very easily.
I was all ready to switch to Canine Caviar Wilderness Grain Free, but then read on their website that that food is perfect for large and giant breed puppies.
Could someone please help me narrow down food choices? I am getting more and more confused by the day. I know I need to do better for my boys.
Thank you so much!
Hound Dog MomParticipant
First off – do your dogs have a health condition that would require them to be on a low protein diet? There’s a reason that all the “top” dog foods are high in protein – protein in the low 20’s is way too low for a healthy dog. Unless a dog has a health condition requiring a low protein diet, I don’t ever advise feeding a food with less than 30% protein. My dogs eat between 45% and 55% protein at each meal. All dogs, regardless of breed or size, have the same basic nutritional requirements and the majority will thrive on diets high in quality protein, moderate in fat and low in carbohydrates.
Second off – please don’t pick one food and feed it for life, that’s the worst thing you could do for your dogs. Dogs need variety. My dogs eat something completely different at each meal. I’d recommend picking several brands that have good ratings, testing them, and rotating through the varieties your dogs do well on. When feeding kibble it’s also important to add in some less processed species appropriate foods when possible – this could be a quality canned or dehdyrated food, healthy leftovers (lean meat, cooked low glycemic veggies), plain yogurt or kefir, tinned sardines, raw, etc.
Hope that helps!
- This reply was modified 6 years, 5 months ago by Hound Dog Mom.
Wow! That was very helpful.
No, neither dog have any health conditions. My older dog just had his annual exam with complete bloodwork and he’s in perfect health. The only concern with him is his sensitive tummy.
I’m learning so much here. I wonder why the vet told me to keep them on a lower protein food because of their size/activity level. She also recommended Science Diet as a food. :/
I always thought that since I had found a food that agrees with my older one that I should just stick with it. Learning so much on here.
Thank you so much. Any more tips would be greatly appreciated. What brand(s) do you feed your dogs?
Hound Dog MomParticipant
I feed a homemade raw diet. Prior to feeding raw I fed a variety of 4 and 5 star kibbles, canned foods and dehdyrated foods. Some of my favorites were Orijen, Nature’s Logic, Nature’s Variety, ZiwiPeak, Tripett, Addiction, The Honest Kitchen, Merrick, etc. I also added scrambled eggs and tinned sardines for omega 3’s once or twice a week, plain yogurt or kefir for probiotics 2 – 3 times per week and mixed in any leftover lean meat or healthy veggies I had from dinner.
I would recommend checking out the following videos made by Dr. Karen Becker:
How to Choose a Dog Food Part I:
How to Choose a Dog Food Part II:
The Best and Worst Pet Foods:
My dog sitter has a maltiepoo or a maltiepootzu. Something like that. Anyways, HDM gave great advise. As far as kibble goes, my pugs and foster pugs eat a variety of foods (mostly grain free except for the puppy food). The foods also have a varying level of protein and fat and they have no problem going from one food to another. The kibble is also small – Nutrisource grain free, Brothers Complete, Nature’s Select grain free and I still have a few small bags of Epigen fish laying around. They have also eaten Amicus (for toy breeds). Since you only have 2 small dogs you can probably keep 2 or 3 different small bags of food around at once to offer a variety. Or heck, I can just mail you some because I always get big bags since I have at least 9 dogs around at once! Currently I have 4 different flavors open.
If you go to some of the dog foods’ websites, you will see that the toy/small breed foods are generally higher in protein than regular and large breed foods.
There are some days my toy breed dogs just get a piece of chicken leg or whole sardine or just tripe. Just protein and fat, no carbs.
Thank you so much for the excellent advice. I can’t wait to implement some of these changes in my dogs’ diets.
Just wanted to add my pugs’ ages range from 2 to 14 and they all eat the same various things. Good luck on your search for new foods! I’ve probably tried over 2 dozen!
Welcome to the forum! I don’t have anything to add that HDM and Sandy haven’t already said except your vet is wrong about protein & SD. Good luck!
Anyone with any ideas what to feed a small breed dog. I would like a all natural food . #lbs full grown.
I’ve got a Jack Russell/Maltese mix with various food and seasonal allergies. I’ve tried just about every food on the market around here (most of the Innova’s, all the Wellness CORE’s, all the Rachael Ray Nutrish, Nature’s Variety Instinct Beef, and several other random brands with different types of proteins, with and with out different grains), and all he’s done good on were Innova Prime Beef and Lamb, and now, since I’m reluctant to go back to them since the recall, Pure Balance Grain Free Salmon and Pea.
I’m really surprised at how well he is doing on the PB. And its only $16 for 11 pounds (or $6 or $8 for 4 pounds?). His fur is growing back, and he’s itching less. My next step is to try some local honey for his seasonal allergies, and I’d also like to try the new bison flavor PB. I do also want to try him on EVO (despite the recall crap) because I’ve got some coupons and he did so well on the Innova Prime before it was recalled. They’re pretty much the same, just the EVO has much more protein. He really likes red meats. I think he was a wolf in his past life, taking down a rancher’s cattle LOL
Akari 32 mentioned feeding honey, is this safe/acceptable? I only ask because I’ve never heard of it. Also, how much should the dog be given and are there any benefits besides treatment for allergies? Thanks!
Raw honey is supposed to help boost the immune system. I wouldn’t give more than 1/2 teaspoon per 10 lbs.
Don’t mean to repeat what everyone has said so far, just want to comment so I can follow the thread. I have a Rat Terrier mix and he is a little over 1 year old, and has been on 11+ different kibbles so far. Variety is essential so you can look for good quality protein (from meat or meat meal), and good brands, and rotate flavors and brands. I think I’m not doing it quite perfectly, as I choose a brand, then rotate all flavors I am willing to feed within that brand, then I switch brands. I think you should alternate brands and flavors between bags and go back and forth between brands if need be. Mixing kibble with canned and raw is also a great idea. Definitely avoid the Science Diet and low protein. Good affordable kibbles that I have fed are Victor Grain Free, Earthborn Holistic Grain Free, Vets Choice Holistic Health Extension (protein is below 30% though), and Dr. Tim’s. All have manageable kibble size for small dogs (Dr. Tim’s is the biggest of those listed, and Victor is the smallest). Good luck!
Oh, and when transitioning from one kibble to the next, you can add some plain pumpkin puree or yoghurt/kefir, or canned to make the transition easier on their tummies. For canned I currently use Nutro Ultra and Nutro Max.
I have a 4lb 6oz Pom who has an enlarged liver and need a diet low in protinand Fat, Help!!!!
You may want to check with your vet as to what for your dogs situation constitutes “low protein and fat” as it may differ case to case. I would do this before purchasing any OTC foods.
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