We started feeding our Ridgeback and Belgian Shepherd the Raw diet about 3 months ago. We buy the frozen balanced raw food and add our own livers and pilchards each week. The problem I’m having is that the Ridgeback has lost a ton of weight. He’s right up to 1.6kg’s per day of food now but I just can’t seem to get him to keep any weight. I’d class him as semi active as he gets a run everyday for an hr. His rib cage is clearly visible and he’s definitely under. My question is firstly open in terms of what should I do? And then secondly, is it ok to bulk his food with some extra cooked rice/pasta to help try and boost his weight?InkedMarieMember
It makes no sense to add pasta and rice to a raw diet. Add eggs to one meal a few times a week and up his feed.
If you’re in the US and have a free standing freezer, you may want to look at Hare Today, Raw Feeding Miami and My Pet Carnivore. All have complete grinds and maybe cheaper, even with shipping.Spy CarMember
How much does the Ridgeback weigh?
As a rough rule of thumb, raw feeders generally give dogs a daily meal of 2-3% of body weight. Even at 3% rations of 1.6 kg would typically sustain a dog of 53 kg (about 116 lbs). 53 kgs is well above the normal range of Ridgebacks.
One of several things is likely going on.
One. There is an emergent medical issue that coincidentally came along in the same time-frame as the food switch. Least likely, but if weight loss is excessive it would be wise to check with a vet.
Two. The formula you are using is too low fat. Fat is the optimal energy source for dogs. About 30% fat is ideal.
Three. Mostly likely, your Ridgeback is leaning out the way raw fed dogs typically do. Ideally, a Ridgeback will show some ribs. If the dog is maintaining or (more likely) building muscle mass while dropping it fat layer, then you’ve achieved an ideal situation for the dog’s health and well-being.
Raw fed dogs are almost always leaner and more well-muscled than kibble-fed dogs. Most people have gotten used to the look of dogs that carry a lot of fat on their bodies and perceive that as “normal” when, in fact, it is a sign of obesity.
If you are concerned I’d see your vet. But know that raw fed dogs almost always lean out and will drop the fat layer that eating carbohydrates promote. With that comes an increase in vitality and good health that is especially positive in reducing strain on joints.
How do your dog’s stools look like? Has he developed a habit of eating his poop?
Your dog may have EPI, Google says, “Dogs with Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) have a malabsorption and maldigestion condition where the pancreas is no longer producing enough pancreatic enzymes to digest fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Because of this, dogs (and also cats) will often present with unexplained weight loss, diarrhea/cow-patty like yellow/pale stools.” Maybe? The most common symptoms include: Weight loss. Chronic diarrhea (may include foul-smelling, yellowish, greasy stools from cow-pie to watery consistency).
But I think the best thing to do is bring him to the vet and get him tested. Good luck!PucksMomParticipant
Hello! I am new to this forum. I am a mom of a 8 month old boxer who I had to take in for his pancreas . I had now clue what was going on with him and why he was puking. He is very active boxer and loves to and eats everything he can see. So I just thought he may have eaten something he shouldn’t have. Comes out that his enzymes were to high. Not sure how all this works. So looking for lots of help. He is now home and on a special diet. Right now he is only getting very small portions. I can use any help and suggestions you all can give me. This is just day one. Want to make sure I do right for him and keep him healthy and happy. Thank you all for reading.
Hey there, maybe try adding some nutritional food to his ratio?RaNelle SParticipant
OMG!! My 10 year old, male yellow lab started eating his poop, all of a sudden, a little while back (year and a half or two years ago)! I chalked it up to boredom so I have been stalking him and scooping it immediately (he tends to gobble it down even when instructed not too, yikes!).
Well, last May, he started having chronic diarrhea and soft poop sometimes with mucus, sometimes grainy, with a more yellow color. Since he was current on his vaccinations and all the labs were normal, his vet concluded IBD and changes were made to us food (Hill’s Vet Diet low-fat I/D) and added daily probiotic ( Proviable). Needless to say, it returned again this May. So, he saw a specialist who has recommended a limited ingredient, novel protein diet, change in probiotic (Visbiome), and at least a 30 day round of Metronidazole, 500mg per day. I failed to mention the sudden poop eating to the specialist so I am sure glad I saw Katherine J’s post!!
Thank you for sharing your wisdom Katherine J!!! I am going to follow up with his primary vet about EPI on Monday.Patricia AMember
My one Chihuahua used to eat her pooh and my other dogs pooh when left to go in back yard when not walked. I always knew because when on pooh patrol there was none to be found. Also her breath smelled like pooh as well as the vomiting and diarrhea when she indulged. Habit was totally broken by being EXTREMELLY diligent in NEVER EVER letting her have the chance again to eat her or the other dogs pooh. I would stand outside and immediately sternly yell her name and pick up with pooper scooper to pail. Did the same when she would wait patiently for my Loli to pooh to eat and again a stern warning and immediately dispose of the pooh. After a few weeks she gave up trying and now I watch her out back door and she doesn’t recycle hers or lolis’ food . I still pick up after they go of course.
So now your second problem it could be he developed an intolerance to the food. I always stick with low fat foods but NOT prescription. Low fat white meat chicken, lean steak when available. I use freeze dried in the 5* which are lower in fat to top their kibble. Maybe you can introduce VERY slowly to your dogs diet. I use stella Chewy’s kibble and never had a problem with diahrreah or colitis in my dogs. introduce any new food VERY, VERY, VERY slowly.
Just for info any antibiotic takes away good bacteria and effects can happen weeks later. The most common side effect of metronidazole in dogs is vomiting, usually accompanied by diarrhea. Sometimes other veterinary medicine will be prescribed to help with the nauseous feeling.
Also I really hope your vet is up to date on NOT giving vaccinations yearly. It is NOT necessary and will have side effects. My dogs were vaccinated with booster at one year and they only get rabies every 3 years now.
- This reply was modified 3 months ago by Patricia A.
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