Hi there. I’m new to this site. I rescued a beagle/terrier/mix (maybe Jack Russel in her but must also be something bigger because she’s taller than a beagle and has a greyhound build) a few weeks ago named Sydney. Her foster was feeding her Purina Pro Plan Selects dry food and mixing in a tablespoon or so of wet Alpo canned food so I continued with this. I’ve noticed she scoots alot on the carpet and I see her licking her private area and butt and chews her paws sometimes. Her anal glands were expressed right before I adopted her so I don’t believe that is the issue. I also notice that when she does poo, it’s much more runnier than any dog I’ve had prior. I wouldn’t say it’s diarrhea but it’s mushy and you can’t really “pick it up” when she does it while I’m walking her.
I had a beagle prior to this dog and fed her Iams Healthy Weight dry dog food which I now see on this site is not good. She developed bladder stones later in life. I had to put her down a few months ago as she had cancer. :o( I’ve heard that feeding all dry dog food can cause bladder stones but I’m not sure that is true. I’ve also heard that feeding a dog dry dog food helps keep their teeth clean but I find that hard to believe also, since nobody brushes their teeth with a cookie. ha!
Anyway, sorry to go on and on…… My question is, bearing in mind that I’m not rich but I’m not exactly poor either, what would you all recommend I feed Sydney? I’m thinking of trying a grain-free food but there’s so much information on here I’m confused. I was thinking about Earthborn Holistic grain free but it is quite pricey. And then, I’m wondering, should I mix in some wet food also?
Also, what about better quality treats and bones? My hubby keeps telling me to stop buying the Dingo bones because they are made in China and probably horrible but what else is there?
Please educate me!
Hi Janet –
If you’re sure the “scooting” is not due to anal gland issues I would bring a stool sample to the vet to check for parasites just in case (certain worms – such as tapeworms – can cause “scooting”).
To help with the stools and the transition to a new food I would add a spoonful of plain canned pumpkin to each meal and supplement with probiotics and digestive enzymes (there’s no need to buy a “pet” supplement, something from the health section for at the grocery store with suffice and likely be cheaper). You can continue the pumpkin and supplements permanently if need be.
Grain-free foods are, unfortunately, pricier than grain-inclusive foods. Earthborn is probably one of the most budget-friendly grain-free foods available. Some other options would be Nutrisource, Taste of the Wild, The Source, Victor, Authority and 4Health (note: Taste of the Wild and 4Health are manufactured by Diamond). NutriSource, Taste of the Wild and Source run about the same price as Earthborn while Victor, Authority and 4Health are slightly cheaper. Authority Grain-Free is available exclusively at Petsmart. The Source and 4Health are available exclusively at Tractor Supply. Earthborn, Taste of the Wild and Nutrisource can be found at most high end pet specialty stores and online. Victor will likely be the most difficult food to locate – I haven’t been able to find an online retailer and it’s not sold in my area but if you can find it, it looks like a fantastic food and it a great bargain.
You’re correct that dry food doesn’t really clean teeth, that’s a myth. I wish it wasn’t though – I’d eat potato chips and cookies all day and use the excuse that it’s for my dental health lol. 🙂 Canned food is actually healthier and more species appropriate (higher moisture content and higher protein levels) so if you can afford to occasionally buy some quality canned food (4Health has some grain-free varieties that are a bargain at only $0.99 per can) that would be great for your dog. Healthy “people food” is good to add to kibble too – eggs, tinned sardines, leftover lean meat, plain yogurt, cottage cheese, low glycemic veggies, etc.
I think raw bones are best for dental health. My dogs eat a raw diet and get raw bones daily – beef ribs, pork necks, turkey necks, chicken backs, etc. If you’re going to buy something from the store I’d go for “natural” chews (make sure they’re made in the US) such as dried tracheas, bully sticks and pig ears – these are species-appropriate (high protein, grain-free) and great for dental health. As far as “treats,” I’d go with high protein meaty treats such as jerky (made in the US of course), grain-free biscuits or freeze-dried raw foods. I’m a big fan of Nature’s Variety Instinct dog biscuits, EVO biscuits and Darford Zero-G biscuits (although I’m not sure if the Darford biscuits are being made anymore 🙁 ). I also feed freeze-dried raw (such as NV Instinct and Stella & Chewy’s) as treats.
Thanks for your input HDM!
Just for anyone else reading this, her stool has been tested and it’s fine.
Hound Dog Mom – I’ve read your post many times to take it all in but i have a few questions for you. First off, aside from dry dog food being cheaper than wet, is there any other reason to feed a dog dry food? As far as adding a supplement from the health section of the grocery store, do you mean in pill form? And, if so, do you mean opening it up and putting the powder in the dog’s food? And my last question is, you give your dog raw bones? You don’t even boil them? Why do I think this is bad? Am I wrong to think they could harbor bacteria or something? Also, I thought that certain bones can splinter and cause issues? Maybe that’s from cooking them? Please educate me further 🙂
Stool tests don’t always catch tapeworms, so make sure you see her stool as see is going a couple of times. If you see little tapeworm segments moving on the fresh stool then you know she has a pretty big dose of them. They also require a different wormer than other intestinal worms.
Thanks Patty! Another question I have is, why are no wet dog foods labeled as grain-free? At least not on the listing reviews. Are there grain-free wet dog foods or are they all?
There are grain-free and grain inclusive wet foods. Dr. Mike doesn’t have separate lists for grain-free and grain-inclusive wet foods like he does with the dry foods, he just has a 5 star, 4 star, 3 star, 2 star and 1 star list. Most of the 5 star wet foods will be grain-free. There will probably be a few grain-free options on the 3 and 4 star list as well. You’ll just have to check out the review and read the ingredients.pugmomsandyParticipant
You can type in the words “grain free” in the search box and it will bring up grain free dry and wet foods.
Also there’s an article about kibble and clean teeth:
I give the dogs rib bones and marrow bones for their teeth. Raw. If your dog will take a pill, then you can give it that way, if not then open it up and sprinkle it on the food.geboParticipant
I fed many of the 5 star foods to my dogs and was never totally pleased with results I saw. I went against the grain (pun intended) and started feeding Bil-Jac and became amazed at how much my dogs loved it. A lot of advisors will say I am uninformed, ignorant, etc. but I don’t feel that is this case. My puppies and dogs are doing great! There is great advice here in this forum but a lot of it is opinions (just like mine is) so it needs to be taken as such. Mine included!
I am not “rich” either and if I feed some of these 5 Star foods I couldn’t afford to make my car payments. Check out the April issue of Popular Science magazine on “The Science of the Kibble.” You’ll never look at dog food the same again. Very eye opening. Many companies are now making food to appeal to the purchaser, not the consumer. Companies are in business to make money and increase the value of their stock. If we want “grain free” as purchasers, they will make “grain free” irregardless if it is truly better for our dogs. The article states a company is now in the process of developing “vegetarian” cat food!
Understand? Cat’s are carnivores…
Read, study, do some research and think for yourself and your dog(s). God gave us all a brain. We just need to use it 😉Mom2CavsMember
gebo, I’m glad Bil-Jac is working for your dog but I did do my research and don’t want to feed it to mine because of the ingredients. I also remember when I worked at a pet specialty store that carried Bil-Jac it, along with Purina products, were the foods that got “buggy” most often, so that alone will keep me from using it. I’m not saying other foods can’t get bugs in them, of course they can, but this happened often at our store and we were very careful about storing things correctly. Also, you don’t have to be rich to feed a good food. Merrick has Whole Earth Farms that is cheaper than Iams in a lot of places. Tractor Supply, and many feed stores, carries foods that are very budget friendly and have decent ratings and ingredients. I choose to feed Acana (the formulas with oats, so not grain free) and I also choose to use freeze dried raw along with some highly rated canned food. Now these foods are more expensive than alot of others, but thank God I can afford them right now. If that ever changes, I have done research on cheaper foods that are still better quality…you never know in this world what life might bring. My point is, you should feed the best food you can possibly feed within your budget that works for your dog. It is okay to read rating sites and forums for other people’s opinions but you should do your own research in the end.DoggieDoc22Participant
That makes sense, the sad truth however is that most vets are poorly educated when it actually comes to pet nutrition. Most veterinary schools don’t put a large emphasis on it, so the doctors rely largely on what they hear from food manufacturing reps.
Overall, the incidence of food related allergies in dogs is actually very low. Of all allergy cases in dogs, only 10-20% are caused by food, and of those, only about 10% of those cases are related to corn. Basically what this means is that in only 1 or 2% of dogs with allergies, the cause will be corn. Basically only 1 out of every 100 dogs with allergies will be allergic to corn. Factor in that only roughly 1 out of 10 dogs has allergy issues, and we are now saying that only 1 out of every 1000 dogs has a corn allergy.
As for boosting protein levels, there is no evidence that this is true. As far as the body is concerned, protein is protein whether it comes from a meat source or a vegetable source. Protein quality is determined by two factors: 1. Amino Acid profile, and 2. digestibility.
Corn, believe it or not, happens to be a good source of protein, it has sufficient levels of nearly every essential amino acid, and corn gluten meal in particular is comprised of 67% protein, which is actually higher than most meat meals, and only slightly lower than byproduct meal (which has a very high protein density). As for digestibility, corn meal is 87% digestible, which is more digestible than most meat protein sources.
If you are interested in where I got my information, there are many research articles on the internet where you can find all of this, this article in particular could be very helpful: https://www.vetlearn.com/_preview?_cms.fe.previewId=9955a990-1205-11e1-a602-0050568d3693
Most of what you posted is accurate, however you’re leaving out a lot of relevant information.
1) 85% of corn grown in the United States is genetically modified.
2) Corn has a very low biologic value, as opposed to ingredients of animal origin.
3) Corn is at a very high risk of developing mycotoxins.
4) Corn does not have sufficient levels of amino acids – it’s deficient in cystine and methionine.
5) Corn has a very unbalanced ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids.
Corn isn’t horrible, per se, granted it’s free of mycotoxins, organic/non-GMO and paired with other appropriate ingredients to create a complete amino acid profile, however it’s a low cost ingredient used to replace meat which is expensive – period. Arguments exist for why corn is acceptable – such as the arguments you presented and they are valid points, however there is no valid argument that can be made to demonstrate that corn is in any way superior to meat. Therefore, the only conclusion that can be made is that, because corn is an inferior product, manufacturers include it merely as a means of keeping costs down. This is fine for those on a budget, but I’m not cutting costs for my dogs. They get meat, not low cost alternatives.geboParticipant
My goodness. We have a a source of actual research. Hear ye, hear ye…..Great and informative read DoggiDoc22!
By the way, from 20 years in the feed milling business, you must have a starch to hold the other ingredients together. Wheat, corn, peas, tapioca, potatoes, etc. You cannot make an extruded or pelletized product without a binder. SOooo, you need to find the most nutritious binder that will still hold your ingredients together. Corn was not used as an inexpensive grain to substitute for meat. Wheat has almost double the protein and is a much better binder than corn. Corn can be abused if used in large quantities of a mix, but it is not in certain brands. If it is the first ingreadient, then I would not feed that food. If it is down the list a ways, no problem.
I’m aware of the fact that starch is necessary to “bind” a kibble – that (along with the fact that it’s overproduced and devoid of moisture and enzymes) is precisely why my dogs don’t eat kibble. For a kibble that actually had corn as a “minor” component, I don’t think it would be a huge deal. However, the majority of corn-inclusive kibbles are too low in protein – meaning too low in meat. Bil Jac is only 27% protein – that is definitely not a food high in meat. My dogs’ meals average about 50% protein and if feeding kibble I wouldn’t even consider a kibble that was under 30% protein and I’d prefer a food with at least 35% protein. If I were to feed a kibble having no budget constraints, I’d go with a grain-free formula as the majority of the highest protein kibbles are grain-free. However, if I were on a budget there are some corn-inclusive foods that I believe are of reasonable price and quality that I wouldn’t hesitate to use. I’ve used Eagle Pack and Pro Pac in the past with good results.cochiseParticipant
I went with orijen. there are different combinations of meat, fish, fruits and vegetables. it’s very nutritious. it is expensive. I started feeding him the 6 fish blend. and saw know real change in his stool. but I thought about the amount I was feeding and decided I was feeding too much. his stools were fine for 90-95%, but the end of his movement, it was soft serve. after I cut the feeding by 25%, he is starting to do a lot better. he still bites and licks his pause and rubs his knows, but i’m not going to give him chemicals. I think it will take more time to affect his allergic reaction. it is also likely the shedding has diminished.
the price range for a bag just under 30lbs is between $70 and $90. 6 fish is$80. if you haven’t checked the website, there is some interesting reading.
Sorry to bring this back from the dead, but I’m having the same exact problems as the original person posted. My beagle mix is now 3 and have yet to find a good food for her. Money is not really a factor for me as long as it’s not outrageous.
Same exact thing: My dog scoots and licks her paws and butt a lot. Sometimes worse than others. Strangely, she seems to scoot and lick more when she needs to go out. Maybe that’s just me thinking too much into it, but it seems to be the case. She’s had her anal glands expressed many times and had her stool sample tested multiple times. Been to many different vets, they all say she’s healthy.
Over the past 2 years that I’ve owned her, she’s been on Taste of the Wild, Blue Buffalo, Natural Balance Limited Ingredient, Wellness Simple and more. Some are worse than others. She’s been on Natural Balance LID Duck and Potato for the past 9 months or so because she has been the best on that. By best, I mean not scooting so much that she is in obvious discomfort the entire day and her stool is solid.
Also, if she has any people food, she scoots and is more uncomfortable than normal for the following few days. This usually happens around holidays or when we have guests over and stuff falls on the floor.
Any suggestions? This may sound crazy, but should I try her on “regular” food and see how she does? As soon as I got her, I always wanted her on healthy food and I think she’s always been on Grain Free food the whole time. The vets only suggestion was to try allergy testing at this point, since we already tried an elimination diet and everything.
What did you do for an elimination diet?
It probably wasn’t the perfect elimination diet, but I tried 4 different kinds of Natural Balance limited ingredient foods with different proteins. The 4 I tried were Chicken and Sweet Potato, Bison and Sweet Potato, Lamb and Brown Rice, Duck and Potato. Some were worse than others, but none were great.SusanMember
I have a doxie mix with anal gland problems. She needs to stay away from sweet potato and grains. Just recently, thanks to Pattyvaughn, seems tomato pomace is a problem also. If she starts having problems I just give her a tablespoon of pure pumpkin about 3-4 times a week and she does well. She’s doing very good on Earthborn.
She started having severe problems while on BB and for about a year was in the vet’s office every 4-6 weeks. Any big name food, BB, Wellness, Nutro did not work for her.
Yikes! It sounds like you are in the same boat as me and have a dog that may have intolerances to multiple foods. How long was your dog on any of them? Sometimes it takes 6-8 weeks for symptoms to go away. Maybe try one of the fish varieties.
Some of them I only did a couple weeks. When I saw my dog getting progressively worse from some of them, I switched away from it. Some of them gave her very loose stools and some made her throw up, so I switched away from those earlier than the rest.
I’ll keep trying new foods. I just picked up some Wellness Core, so I’ll give this one a shot. On the plus side, she loves when I switch food and can’t wait for meal time.
I would have switched sooner too. Feeding a rotational diet cured my picky eater. He can’t wait for mealtime anymore.Lunsky_ChuckMember
Just seeing how the other two members who were facing this problem are doing now? I am also an owner facing the scoot & licking catastrophe. I feel so bad and I don’t want my pup to be in discomfort. I have had her stool tested for worms and any other issues, and anal glands expressed, and the vet said she was healthy! She is a 1 year 3 month pit mix and I have tried her on a lot of different things.
I am a college student with a second 45 lb dog, an Australian Shepard, so I go through food quickly and don’t think I could afford a pure wet dog food diet.
My pit mix has been on Natural Balance, I have done Sweet Potato and Fish Limited Ingredient Diet, L.I.D. sweet potato and venison, also served with half a container of beneful wet dog food in her puppy days but she always had to poop up to 4-5 times a day and her stool was very soft with both brands. A neighbor also suggested to me that when her dog was on grain free she noticed very soft stools so I tried to stay away from anything grain free. So I did a total 180 and tried some cheap Pure Balance lamb and brown rice and she did well on that brand but my Australian Shepard did not, but wasn’t comfortable with the poor ingredients so I did extensive research on every ingredient and its benefits, and then spent about three hours in a Tractor Supply co. reading every single nutrition label. (I might be forgetting a brand or two I tried in between, Natural Balance and Pure Balance, soo sorry!) I finally decided on Diamond chicken and rice recipe and the ingredients are all high quality and a 40 lb. bag is only about 30 dollars… However not too long after is when she started scooting and licking. I am pretty sure its something in the dog food, I just need some insight that I am probably just over looking on where to go from here. Maybe its the chicken? I suppose its impossible to tell just from this, I was just hoping to see how the other owners with this issue got it resolved.
and a special thanks from an uncomfortable Luna Pup!Mom2CavsMember
It could very well be the chicken. My one Cavalier has scooting, licking problem when she eats poultry. I tend to use fish based kibble. Sometimes I add fish, beef, lamb canned toppers for variety. Perhaps you could try the lamb and rice next, if they have that. Also, I just have to mention this….I understand that Diamond Naturals is a good food for price, but be aware of the recalls and be vigilant when feeding it. 🙂
It could definitely be the food. Try a different protein source and if that doesn’t work then try a different starch source too.
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