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  • #66316 Report Abuse

    Hello, I’m considering whether or not to spay my dog or not. She is a 5 year old 47 lb beagle/german shepherd mix, turning 6 in October and I was wondering what are the pros and cons or spaying this late? When my family and I picked her up from her litter when she was 8 weeks, the woman who was selling the puppies told us that everything had been arranged for her adoption (shots/spaying/house breaking). We took her home, with her medical papers and thought nothing further of it only to find out the following year of having her she was totally not house broken and hadn’t been given the surgery at all. At the time I was only fifteen and my mom called the shots on whether or not to get her spayed since she was basically the breadwinner at the time. I am now twenty and in college, so I send Lulu Earthborn Holistic GF food, Mr. D’s dog packages and Happy Dog boxes every month, but I still feel that I’m not doing the most for her health wise, so I’d really like to know whether it’s smart to invest in spaying her this late and also while I’m not around. How long will her recovery time be? And what can I do to prevent behavioral problems if any do occur? Lastly, have any of you spayed or neutered your dog after puupyhood? What was it like afterwards for them?

    Bonus Question- Dog Boxes, are they a good thing to invest in or do you think it’s something for the main stream to stick with? I’m two months into both of my packages and I’m wondering if they’re worth it to send to her while I’m away from home, rather than Chewy.com haulings.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read all this!

    #66339 Report Abuse

    Older bitch are more prone to pyometra..infected uterous. If she were mine I would spay. 5 is not old.

    #66389 Report Abuse

    I am a huge spay/neuter advocate, not only for medical reasons, but to prevent pet overpopulation. It is more irresponsible people that contribute to overpopulation, and if you are asking this question then you are certainly not irresponsible, but “mistakes” can still happen. I know that some people think otherwise, but I think you should spay your dog, 5 is not too old.

    #66391 Report Abuse

    Oleanderz – I think it is great that you still care so much about your pup’s health, even while away at college. Earthborn Holistic GF are great foods, good choice on that one. You can also have your mom rotate foods and this will allow you to take advantage of online deals for other great foods such as Annamaet, Dr. Tim’s, Victor – all very affordable also.

    As for dog boxes, I have not tried them myself, but they look like a fun thing, full of surprises, and new things she can try! As long as she doesn’t have any food allergies, then dog boxes are a great way to experiment with new treats and toys! I think the BarkBox has allergy-friendly options too.

    #66397 Report Abuse

    Hey Naturella. Thanks for clearing up “dog boxes”. I didn’t know what the OP meant by them. I figured sooner or later someone would mention them.

    Five years old is not too old to spay. I also am a spay/neuter advocate. All my dogs have been spayed. The only male I ever had was neutered at an older age.

    #66436 Report Abuse

    Five is definitely not too old to spay and may help her prevent some health issues that come with age. The only down side is possible metabolism changes due to spaying. She may have issues with that, especially being Beagle. Recovery is about a week to 10 days.

    #66437 Report Abuse

    Melissa- Good idea, I didn’t consider what the negatives were for leaving her unspayed in the long term. Thank you!

    Dog Obsessed- That definitely is another good reason to as well. The reason why I was able to get Luci that easily at my age is because her mother wasn’t spayed and their owners dealt with two litters of puppies beforehand thanks to the tresspassing neighbors’ dogs. They couldn’t keep a majority of her litter, so they just handed the puppies to the SPCA. The last litter was a litter of 7 but they only sold 3 and my Luci was the last one because she was polydactyl –or has an extra dew claw on each back paw.
    Thanks for the facts!

    Naturella- Thanks! Back when I got my first job it was really hard for me to find this brand!! and a good enough one to keep her regulated and energetic. Before Earthborn my mom and I would actually buy her Beneful–cause of the cost. Never again, I fed that to my long since deceased Chow-mix King and it did nothing for him in the long run.
    Thank you for the rotation suggestions!(You’re so thoughtful! Thank you for remaining GF with them too!!) They would all be safe enough to switch out from Earthborn; also how often should they be switched? For the past few years, I’ve been switching between every 28 lb bag for a different flavor of Earthborn. Another question, I don’t see the Victor brand food on Chewy.com, but I fould it on Dogfoodadvisor. Where do you happen to buy it, if you don’t mind me asking?
    Earthborn has the most protein, Annamaet has the most carbs and they’re all relatively similar with the amount of fat. Do you think I should switch to one with a lower protein content since Luci only gets 3 walks a day? Sorry for the barrage of questions! I appreciate any and all help!!
    Yeah, boxes are awesome, I just figured there was some sort of catch to them or something for how cheap I pay for them every month. Also how I found out Luci likes flying Discs. That must be the reason why BarkBox is all over youtube. I’ll check it out!

    Dori- Yeah, it was rather weird for me to wrap my head around the idea of them too. Sounded like an easy way to scam me or harm my dog. Last thing I need.
    Really? Thank goodness, I appreciate the reassurance. How did he feel afterward, like they have to put him to sleep or give him pain medicine? And how long would she have to wear that cone? I really don’t want her to hate me, dislike going to the vet, or be in any sort of discomfort. I don’t know how she’d be without me there if she needed help walking and where I am now I’d be a nervous wreck! Also would I need to put her in a cage afterwards? She’s hasn’t been in one of those since she was boarded during a move at her vet hospital.

    Thanks for all the help!!!

    #66439 Report Abuse

    BC- Metabolism changes? Ok. Can that teeter either way with weight loss/weight gain? Do you think I should change her diet to something lower in calories before the surgery? For some reason she doesn’t like the weight control EB:GF. We tried the 28 lb bag and everything recently and she went through it very slowly. Any suggestions? Naturella suggested that I’d normally rotate something within the Annamaet, Dr. Tim’s, or Victor options. Thank you so much for adding a recovery time! Of course I can ask my vet this info but he’s normally so busy, he’s a very kind man but everytime of walk into the waiting area there’s like 6 different assortments of pets and people rushing him and the other technicians for information. I’ll probably be briefed this same info before the operation but this site is such a relief for my uneasiness. Thank you all!

    #66443 Report Abuse

    Oleanderz. I would not change her diet before surgery unless you are looking for a better food and she can transition and be on the new food for a while before surgery. If you do it too soon before surgery and she starts having issues you won’t know if they are from the change of food, surgery, anesthesia or what. None of my dogs metabolism ever changed after spaying or neutering but if it does, it’s an easy fix. If she starts to gain weight, feed her less. If she starts to lose weight, feed her more. It’s just like people. As to pain meds, etc. and/or antibiotics and cone. She will have to wear the cone at all times until the stitches are removed which is typically 10 days. If you or someone is going to supervise her at meal time, what I have done is remove it while they eat and then put it right back on. BUT SOMEONE MUST BE WITH HER EVERY SINGLE MOMENT WHILE SHE EATS. Some dogs don’t bother too much with their stitches and some are obsessed with them. Initially it’s because they are in a bit of pain and as they heal they start to itch. If you or your mother don’t want to supervise her with the cone off while she eats, then depending on the size of the cone and her height, you will need to feed her on a little bit of a raised platform. Just anything that will raise the bowl off the floor a little so that she can reach the food while wearing the cone. Use a stainless steel bowl for her food in case she or the cone knocks her food bowl over, the bowl doesn’t break. Also make sure she can reach her water in her water bowl while wearing the cone. Some vets will put dogs on antibiotics and pain meds when spayed, some will just do pain meds. Vets appear to be of different mind sets on this. I would definitely have her on pain meds at least initially. Probably the antibiotics also but that’s the vets call. No, she will not hate you or anything afterwards. She will be so thrilled with you when you pick her up after her surgery she will think you are her savior. She will be in discomfort, there is no way around that. It’s a hysterectomy. It’s painful. I don’t think you will need to keep her in a crate or cage but she should be left in maybe the kitchen or bathroom area with a gate at the door so that she can see out. She should not be going up or down any stairs. You don’t want her pulling any of the stitches. There are typically stitches inside (they will dissolve on their own) and outside which will be removed by the vet after approx. 10 days. Since you’ve waited this long to have her spayed, it seems to me that it would make more sense to have her spayed when you are home from college for either a two week break or summer vacation and you have everything scheduled before hand. It will also give you ample time to adjust her diet if you want to switch her food.

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 3 months ago by Dori.
    #66445 Report Abuse

    Dori- Okay, I see your point with the issues with digestion before surgery, I’ll stick with Earthborn then. The way she eats is very strage though. When her food is put down, she doesn’t go to it and finish it off at an even pace. She maybe takes a couple bites of the dry food and then moves onto whatever I’m doing. She’s moreso into treats and wet food. Would it be okay to replace her dry food with the wet food or even mix the wet food and the dry food together if she struggles with weight loss? I don’t want anything to be too heavy for her to eat.
    She already eats from a raised bowl (I wanted to avoid back problems- is this ok? http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B004BUFY8I/ref=ox_sc_act_title_6?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2UDNPGKURPVSY ), or do you mean she has to eat on like a raised flat surface so her tongue can get it? That would be so sad to see that. She has a drinkwell zen too should I just put her water in the bowl next to her food? That would be so sad to see that. I could probably ask my brothers to spoon feed her? I wish I’d be able to moniter her at all times. Oh okay I was typing as I read, my next break from school isn’t for another month and my brothers have school for eight hours and my mom has work for ten. So, she is unfortunately not monitored all of the time. The two days I get coming home on the weekends is nothing compared to her ten days of recovery. So that’s a good idea. That’ll give me enough time to make preparations. Thank you so much Dori!

    #66446 Report Abuse

    No point of the bowl being raised is that while she is wearing the cone her tongue has to be able to reach the food and the water. So the food and water bowl (like in the picture on the site you posted above) would need to be able to fit under the cone when her head is bent down to eat and drink. If the bowls in their stand are wider than then outside diameter of the cone she won’t be able to reach the bowls. She does not need to be spoon fed. You just have to make sure that she cannot reach her stitches.

    A lot of people on this site feed wet (canned) and dry (kibble) mixed together in the same meal.

    #66453 Report Abuse

    Ok so I’d just need to get raised single bowls or something like that so she can fit under it. Alright, that makes sense, I normally feed them seperate but I guess mixing them wouldn’t be any different. Thank you!

    #66463 Report Abuse

    My Gemma was 9 or 10 when spayed. If I had my choice, I would have skipped it but she came from rescue so it was done before we got here.

    #66470 Report Abuse

    And they did it for you without any complications? That’s amazing, I wouldn’t imagine the ASPCA near me to do any type of important surgery like that. I’m thinking I should probably stick with my vet’s hands. It’s the first time I’m having a pet cut, I want her as comfy as possible. I’m feelin’ better about heading into this, thank you Marie!

    #66472 Report Abuse

    Oleanderz, thank you for the kind words! You are such an eager-to-learn doggie mommy, it is awesome! πŸ™‚

    Ok, let me first say that I completely second Dori’s suggestion to NOT start rotating foods before she is well recovered from the surgery and back to normal, stool included. Sometimes stress, or the pain meds, can affect the stool, so if you had just started introducing a new brand of food, you wouldn’t know what’s causing the stool change.

    But, after she has fully recovered from her surgery, you can start introducing and transitioning her to a new food of your choice. I think that no single dog food is perfect, and they do have varying amounts of protein, carbs, and fat, but all 4 brands are high-quality foods and will offer her a variety in the formulas, tastes, vitamins, etc. Like Dori said, if she’s gaining weight, feed her less, exercise her more; if she’s losing weight, feed her more, and still exercise her – she will be gaining muscle mass, which is healthy.

    Now, for the rotation – it really depends on how her tummy’s taking it. Give it at least 10-14 days, adding a little bit of new food to the old at a time, and watching the stool – if stool is good for 2 days or so, add more new food, take more old food out, and so on. If stool is not good, back down the amount of new food, up the old food. When she gets used to rotating, you can switch brands with every big bag (what I do, but with small bags, lol). For now, you can switch to a brand, then exhaust most of the flavors within the brand just so she doesn’t have too many changes at once, then go to another brand. Also, you can add canned plain pumpkin to aid her digestion in the process, or a supplement called Perfect Form from The Honest Kitchen (THK). I swear up and down by it – anytime my Bruno has an upset tummy, it tightens him back up in a snap! But don’t overuse the Perfect Form – use it only as needed, and the amounts to feed are on the package, as well as on THK’s website. Which leads me to…

    … if feeding Perfect Form with kibble, you will need to add some water to it. It will look like a greenish soup of kibble, lol. But, with that said, extra moisture added to dry kibble is always good for the dog. You can add plain lukewarm water, yoghurt/kefir, coconut oil and water, or canned food (and water). Any mix of kibble and canned is fine as long as the dog’s tummy is ok with it. So introduce the canned slowly, and not while transitioning between brands. You can also add dehydrated/freeze-dried/air-dried foods and water to kibble as toppers too, canned sardines (no salt added, in water only), fresh vegetables and meats, some fruits, and the above suggestions. Make sure you add NO onions or any grape products (grapes, raisins), some mushrooms.

    Finally, where to find Victor dog food: sportdogfood.com Victor GF and Farmina N&D GF are the best options, but Farmina is on the pricy side. Victor is pretty affordable.

    Oh, and for the boxes – hope she gets some flying discs in her BarkBox or whatever other boxes she gets! πŸ™‚

    Ok, sorry for the novel… Good luck, keep us posted, and let us know if you have any more questions! πŸ™‚

    #66483 Report Abuse

    @Naturella- Thank you!! ( ; w;) I’m trying to be, I’ll do my best!
    Right, so absolutely wait until recovery time is up. That’ll give me a bit more time to think about it, but I think I have some sort of idea.
    Alright exercise at all times! Of course no food is perfect, that would make things too easy. (T w T )
    That’s the same method I used when I transfered her from Beneful when she was a puppy. Ok good to know a change in flavors matter in diversifying her pallet. I was exicted when I saw that Dr. Tim’s has even larger bags of food than Earthborn on Chewy. The 44-lb bag will last her a while if I keep it stored in the vault! Pumpkin helps with digestion? I never would’ve known. Is that why it’s in all of her fruitables??
    I was just looking up reviews on THK’s GF dehydrated food itself, I was contemplating on adding it to a future rotation, not sure yet, but it looks like it’s produced by a fine company! I’ll pick up some THK perfect form before I start with the rotating process.
    If I mix it with kibble and wet food, would I still have to add water? Dori said that is weight loss becomes a problem I can just mix her Earthborn tubs with the EB:GF.
    She’s used to snacking on Stella & Chewy’s salmon or beef dehydrated bits, it won’t be too much on her belly if I put in the EB:GF, EB tubs, THK:pf and the topper? Maybe I’d have to add in water then. Oh yeah, I’m definitely familiar with fruit scares; one time when she was s puppy, I was playing MK6 with friends and eating a banana. It was like the 2nd lap when she nibbled a chunk off of it. We shared everything she was allowed to eat back then, except bacon. My mom never let her have any. Anyway, she bites my banana and I freak out and throw my controller and try to stop her from swallowing it. I took her up to my room and cried like a baby, but she wasn’t the slightest bit concerned for her well being she just ate EVERYTHING when she was little.
    Thanks for more suggestions! I’m certain I’ll keep Earthborn in her future rotation, but for now I’m considering Dr. Tim’s, Nulo Freestyle(<–I’ve been looking up retainers and reviews all evening) and Victor’s Yukon River or Joint health! I really need to figure something out and how many I can incorporate into a rotation and which ones would be best for my pup. Do you think it would be alright to stick with the Earthborn tubs and continue to mix the food as she transitions or should I stick with the same brands when tranisitioning? Thank you so much for all of your input!!

    #66499 Report Abuse

    Hi Oleanderz. If you are going to wait to have her spayed until the summer when you are home from college then you can start to transition her to a different and better food right away. Just do it slowly as all transitions should be done with a dog that is not accustomed to rotation feeding.

    As to fruits. Many of us routinely feed our dogs fruits (small pieces depending on the size of your dog). Bananas are perfectly fine. I think what Naturella was trying to tell you is that certain fruits and veggies should never been given to a dog such as grapes, raisins, onions. If you are given your dog a fruit make sure not to give any seeds or pits. They can be toxic. For feeding apples, remember no seeds and no peel. Apples are some of the most heavily sprayed fruits of all with pesticides trying to keep worms at bay and then all the wax that is applied to make them look pretty for the consumer so it is always best to peel them. We shouldn’t be eating the peels ourself unless purchasing organic apples from your local farm market. I give my dogs apples, bananas, blueberries, carrots, cucumbers, peaches, pears, all types of melons, broccoli, the list goes on and on. You can google what fruits and vegetables are safe to give your dogs. Or in reverse you can google what fruits and veggies should not be given to your dog.

    I don’t think that weight loss or gain is going to become an issue once she’s spayed. I’ve never had that occur with any dog I’ve had spayed or neutered and all my dogs have been spayed or neutered.

    If your dog drinks a lot of water or at least a normal amount of water that you don’t also have to add water to a wet food. If feeding just dry food than it is always a good idea to add a little warm water to the kibble. Helps break down the kibble sooner thereby with digestion and helping the kibble to break down and move through the system sooner and the more water a dog drinks the healthier their kidneys will be also. Most dogs don’t really drink as much water as they should especially with a dry food. The longer a food sits in their system the more possibility there is for bacteria buildup which is why it’s always advised to make sure a dog always has free access to water. The only exception to that I find is when you have a puppy and you are trying to potty train but that’s a completely different method for another day.

    Another thing if I haven’t mentioned it somewhere along the way is what you say is your dog’s “strange” eating habits. The correct way to feed a dog is to put his/her bowl of food down and leave it there for 20 minutes then pick it up regardless of how much she has eaten. Even if she didn’t eat any of it, pick it up. At her next meal time, not when you think she’s hungry, but at her regularly scheduled p.m. meal, put her food bowl down and again, leave it for 20 minutes. Same routine. Pick it up regardless of what she ate or didn’t it. You may have to initially stay with her in the room while she eats so that she doesn’t decide to follow you around. Once she’s retrained you won’t have to do that. Keep doing this for both her meals every single day. In a few days all dogs figure out that when food appears they must eat it because it’s going to disappear. I’ve never known a single dog that didn’t learn that. Leaving her food down all day for her to pick at it has led to her “strange” eating habits. You just have to teach her that when food is given she is to eat it and if she doesn’t she will have to wait until the next meal time. While you are retraining her you MUST NOT give her any treats during the day and in between meals or she won’t be hungry to eat her food. It’s okay if you give her a little treat later in the evening after her meals have been eaten but while training with the correct way to feed and eat she cannot be given any treats. She’s probably getting so many “treats” that she’s not really all that hungry when food comes along or she prefers her treats and knows she doesn’t really have to eat the food because treats will be coming her way.

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 3 months ago by Dori.
    #66503 Report Abuse

    @Oleanderz, you are on the right track and in good hands with the pros of this forum! πŸ™‚

    So, about exercising – obviously not while she’s recovering from the surgery, but anytime she’s well, appropriate exercise depending on health conditions (joint and bone health, any other underlying conditions, etc.) – usually good long walks/jogs/runs, depending on what Lucille can physically do/endure will be good. Fetch sessions, swims, etc. are other ways to exercise that seem like a game.

    Yes, Dr. Tim’s does have big bags! Unfortunately, only big bags… I really wish he packaged in 4-5 lb bags cause I have fed 15-lb bag of his Kinesis GF, but it lasts a while, and I like to rotate more often. One day when we get another dog in addition to Bruno, I will so get 15-lb bags and be cool with it! πŸ™‚ Victor has 30-lb bags of the GF formulas and 40-lb bags of the grain-inclusive formulas.

    I am very happy with using THK as a topper and would continue to use it! It makes it so easy to make my dog flavorful, nutritious, extra-hydrating “soups”. I probably would do one topper at a time, so either EB’s tub, or some THK, etc. Treats are still ok to be given, but I’ll get to that in a second. I usually still add a tiny bit of water even when I add canned. IDK about the EB tubs’ consistency, but I like pate style canned, so when I add water, it becomes nice and mushy with the kibble. But that’s just me. Like Dori said, you don’t have to ALWAYS add water, I just choose to do so and Bruno doesn’t seem to mind at all. And he still drinks his water from the water bowl too. Also, once you get Lucille accustomed to rotation, you can totally mix brands, for example using Victor or Annamaet kibble with Earthborn tubs, or Nulo canned, etc. Nulo is also pretty good, and if you email/Facebook the company, they will send you coupons for it. Annamaet sent me samples, and so did Dr. Tim’s. At sportdogfood.com you used to be able to purchase Victor samples for 33 cents/piece, and get up to 3 samples per recipe. So you can totally try them out first before buying, but I really think that all of these are high-quality foods.

    Now, I second Dori on everything – free feeding is not a great practice, nor is treat “overloading” while trying to establish good eating habits. So do as she recommends, if you want – cut treats out, pick up food after 20min if not eaten. Try again at the next meal time. I have a feeling though, that once you start rotating and adding toppers, she will be pretty excited to eat her varying meals.

    Also, like Dori said – most fruits and veggies are just fine, EXCEPT for onions, grapes, and raisins. I feed Bruno the same things Dori listed, and more, and he’s doing fine. Again, no seeds or pits cause they may be toxic. If you read the ingredient lists of many of those foods, they include a wide array of fruits and veggies that are safe for doggies to eat. So don’t stress it TOO much, but if you ever decide to add broth instead of water to Lucille’s meals, just make sure it has no onions in it.

    Ok, so below you will find Bruno’s meal setup for the year – food lineup and toppers per meal. I am now out of the Sojo’s for the weekend toppers, but have a few cans laying around, so that will be the topper/meal instead of Sojo’s. We are currently on the second food in the food list – Wysong.

     photo Bruno2014-2015Menu_zps6ccc6e19.jpg

     photo BrunoWeeklyToppers_zpsdfd1a9be.jpg

    #66608 Report Abuse

    Dori- Thank you for the tips! I’ll take them to heart. I really wish I could get my mind together on a balanced rotation though. I don’t want her to get sick or anything without me there noticing. Going away as far as I do every weekend, I rely on my brothers and my mom for weekday care. I kind of need to be smart with timing for her rotation because once I leave back for school, they’d probably go ahead and feed her the new food immediately if I don’t call them in the morning.
    Yes, I know certain plants and fruits are toxic to dogs, I was just really unaware when she was growing up. Dogs can eat yogurt??? Like what kinds just plain? And speaking of what they can eat with do people usually use canned pumpkin or fresh pumpkin for help with digestion? Do you puree those foods or can you just chop it up and add it to their food?
    The first thing she normally attacks is the wet food tubs, she can’t get enough of them. Again another thing I wish I could train her in, but I can’t be there the whole week to watch her eat for twenty minutes. If I do that on the weekends then by the following weekend she’d be back to the old “I’ll eat when I want habits”. Though you are head on with that last part. Between my mom and two brothers we constantly “spoil” her. I’ve added up the snacks between the three kong (treat dispensing) toys, jw balls and trixie puzzle games thats A LOT of meals she’s been replacing with snacks. I’ll have to hold a meeting the next time I’m home. Thanks a bunch Dori! I’ll try and give some of your methods a shot.

    Naturella- It feels like I am! You guys are the best!!
    Won’t she have trouble walking? I hope she won’t have problems getting to do her business, she lives in an apartment buliding and it’s two (albeit short) flights of steps.
    They sell 5 lb bags of the Kinesis GF version on Chewy.com I think?
    EB’s tubs are kind of thick, I wouldn’t say the liquified parts seem like soup, it’s more like gravy and lots of meat– depending on the recipe you choose. That’s wonderful, good to hear Nulo is a great brand, Chewy.com sells it and it I can buy I’m bulk for food I’d rather! So should I rotate every Dr. Tim’s 15- Nulo 11- and EB 14 lb bag, or should I stick with every Dr. Tim’s 30- Nulo 24- and EB 28 lb bag? and would this be a decent rotation or should I add another main to it. I haven’t even truly decided on all of her toppers yet. Thank you for the coupons as well! So kind of you (; w ; ) Oh my gosh.
    I can only hope to keep her on a steady routine, wish us luck. Got it no, onions, grapes or raisins.
    Wow, talk about organization. This is amazing, how long did it take you to wind to this list? I’m going to try and make up a schedule too, do you mind if I make one based on this design? Alright so Earthborn GF, Nulo Freestyle and Dr.Tim’s are all on my list so far! Thanks for all of the help!

    #66633 Report Abuse

    Also regarding to the actual topic, Houston we have another problem. Recently she’s begun showing early stages of the estrous cycle, we’ve talked about performing the operation on my next break/multiple days home, but how would they and would they even be able to perform the hysterectomy during her second phase? (<– around the beginning of my break).

    #66686 Report Abuse

    @Oleanderz, I will answer a couple of the questions you had to Dori, if both of you don’t mind – dogs can eat plain yoghurt, plain Greek yoghurt, and plain kefir. None of the fruity stuff – just too much sugar and other additives. Pumpkin doesn’t necessarily help with digestion per se, but it provides a lot of fiber, which helps calm the tummy, balance the stool and the bowel movements, and is overall a pretty good tummy additive when switching foods if problems occur. We tend to use canned plain pumpkin from the grocery store as it is already conveniently cooked and pureed in a can, but if you want to go through the trouble of peeling pumpkin, boiling/baking it, and pureeing/mushing it up, you also can. At the grocery store make sure you get plain (100%) pumpkin (and not pumpkin pie filling) cans.

    Ok, now to my questions, lol:
    When my roommate’s dog had her spaying surgery, he also lived in an apartment and his dog (Casey) was already pretty big, but for the day of the surgery he carried her up and down 3 floors for her to go potty. He didn’t want her stretching and pulling stitches and what not. I don’t know how feasible that will be with Lucille… Or if it’s even necessary, that’s just what he did. You may want to talk to the vet about that and see if she can stay overnight at least for the first day so that she doesn’t have to go up and down steps so much. We also carried Bruno on his surgery day, but he was small (still is), and by the next day he just ran out the door, perky and happy like he didn’t just lose his balls, lol. But talk to the vet about that, or maybe some of the pros will be able to answer. When she is healed, you can exercise her as normal, but not while healing.

    Hm, I will look at chewy.com for small Dr. Tim’s – I have fed Kinesis GF, but I really wanted to try Momentum, Pursuit, and RPM… Haven’t seen them in small bags though.

    Lucille is a German Shepherd, right? I would probably rotate her every large (not medium) bag for now, just to let her tummy get used to switching slowly, i.e. – you do the rotation, then she has a good amount of time to get used to the new food, then you rotate again, time of “rest” from the switch. If in a few bags all rotations go well, just rotate as you prefer – you can start rotating every medium bag, or just keep it at every large bag. It really is up to you how often you want to rotate, and how she’s taking it. I like to switch up every month or so, and luckily, a small bag lasts us just the right amount of time for that. I have, however, used larger bags even for Bruno (yes, that’s him in the picture, my cutie patootie) – 15 lb Dr. Tim’s Kinesis GF and 3 14-lb bags of Earthborn Holistic GF (Coastal Catch, Great Plains Feast, Primitive Natural), but after Coastal Catch, which lasted like 3 months, I decided to half them and put a different food in between them, as you can see from Bruno’s menu list, lol. Your rotation plan sounds good, I would also switch up the protein with every bag, for example:

    EB CC – Dr. Tim’s Momentum – Nulo FS Lamb – Victor High Pro GF –
    EB PN – Dr. Tim’s RPM GF – Nulo FS Turkey – Victor Yukon Salmon GF –
    EB GPF – Dr. Tim’s Pursuit – Nulo FS Trim Cod – Victor Joint Health –
    EB MF – Dr. Tim’s Kinesis GF – Nulo FS Salmon – Victor Ultra Pro – repeat!

    *** EDIT *** – Don’t forget that Dr. Tim’s formulas Momentum and Pursuit are not GF! Everything else is. So you can switch between RPM and Kinesis GF to keep it all GF. Does Lucille have a grain allergy, or do you just like the idea of a food being GF? I used to think GF was better until I learned that dogs/wolves in the wild do consume a bit of the stomach content of the prey they kill, which is, often times, grains, fruits, vegetables, and greens, hence those foods contain those ingredients as well. But it is the meat content that matters most, so I still think that Dr. Tim’s grain-inclusive foods are a really good choice. The grain-inclusive Kinesis is the the only one rated 4 stars, all the rest are 5 stars. But you can use the GF Kinesis instead of the GI one. πŸ™‚

    This schedule provides diverse recipes and protein sources and if you choose to use bags that last Lucille about a month each, she will be set for about 16 months before a single recipe is repeated! Or 12 months, if you don’t use Victor. Feel free to use the above “meal plan” if you want, I hope it helps in giving you an idea of meal rotation and protein diversification. Or, you can switch the list up, or not use it at all, whatever works for your dog. πŸ™‚

    As for my lists, lol, thank you! Feel free to use them as templates anytime, lol, they are NOT proprietary information, lol! I made them for hubby’s ease in feeding Bru when/if I’m gone. And it did take me about an hour to look at all my foods, their expiration dates, and sort them out by dates and also by protein variety, which warranted the freezing of some foods and refrigeration of others… I did scrap some papers in the process, lol, but eventually made it work! So yeah. The toppers were easier to figure out as I only put a bit of each, and they are things I normally have around the house, except for the THK stuff – I mean, I do have it in the house, but it’s not like people-food. Eggs, yoghurt, coconut oil, sardines, and RMBs are though, so yeah.

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 3 months ago by Naturella.
    #66687 Report Abuse

    Just a funny thing I noticed on your last sentence, THK is actually human-grade, sooo… πŸ˜€ lol

    #66689 Report Abuse

    D_O, true, but unless we have a zombie apocalypse or a war situation, I would rather not eat it. Orijen is supposed to be safe for humans too, but still… πŸ˜‰

    #66690 Report Abuse

    Lol ya. I’m also a vegetarian, so I would rather not eat it anyway, except maybe in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Those things generally tend to change normal ways of life. πŸ™‚

    #66691 Report Abuse

    D_O – yep!

    , one more thing – you really need to get all family members on the same page about feeding Lucille food and treats, especially when establishing better habits, and while transitioning. You could make similar lists/charts like me about what food they need to feed, or even pre-package them mixes during transition (I still do it with Bru) like this:

    3 freezer bags of food at 25:75 new food:old food, each packaged to last 2-3 days
    2 freezer bags of food at 50:50 new food:old food, each packaged to last 2-3 days
    2 freezer bags of food at 75:25 new food:old food, each packaged to last 2-3 days
    1 freezer bag of entirely new food.

    So, start the rotation with one freezer bag of 25:75. If all is well, then go to 50:50. If not, go back to the old food. If things are good again, go to 25:75 again. Then to 50:50. If things go bad at 50:50, go back to 25:75 (hence the spare bags). Then if all is good, go back to the 50:50. Then 75:25 and so on. If all goes well from the first bag and transition is complete, you can still feed the spare bags too, she should be fine. Or toss them. But I still feed them to Bru.

    ***EDIT*** – Also, you can make an Excel spreadsheet with Lucille’s meal times for each day of the month and space for whoever feeds her to put their initials, so that everyone knows she has been fed. Bruno’s meal times are 10.00am and 7.30pm. But you can do whatever works for your family. You can also label the transition bags and explain the procedure to your family, write it out even if you have to. Once she’s transitioned, it will be easier… Till next transition. Eventually it may take less and less time to transition her. Within a week, Bru is able to be entirely on new food. So just see how it goes with Lucille.

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 3 months ago by Naturella.
    #66695 Report Abuse

    @Oleanderz, you were right, Dr. Tim’s does come in 5-lb bags at chewy.com!!! Woohoo!!! Happy me! πŸ™‚

    #66696 Report Abuse

    Ok Naturella and D.O, should I start hoarding THK foods for the zombie apocalypse? LMAO!!!! πŸ™‚

    #66733 Report Abuse

    I just want to say you are an amazing person, i just read through your post and had to lift my jaw off my keyboard.
    YOU are the most organized person. Maybe in my next life or if my fur-kids learn to talk & read & start requesting their meals!!

    #66747 Report Abuse

    Cheryl, I literally laughed out loud with true sincerity! πŸ˜€ Thank you so much for the kind words! I am not amazing, lol, but I do try to stay organized. However, I can be flexible too – I would skip a food in a heartbeat if it smells funny, Bruno doesn’t eat it, or it makes him sick. I’ve done it too, with Nature’s Variety Instinct Rabbit. It just did not work out. Oh well.

    Also, 2 of his weekly meals, chosen at random, are just plain kibble eaten from a puzzle toy of some sort, just for entertainment and brain stimulation. Or fed during a training session. I use kibble as treats, and I use samples of various other foods than his main food at the time being to add variety, so sometimes the dry meals are all “treats” (different kibble), some “treats”, some normal food, or all normal food. On Tuesdays I will be trying to use a fish-based kibble as his meal (I used to do it on Saturdays, when he got Sardines anyway, but too much fish in one day is probably not as good as some fish twice/week), so Tuesdays he will be getting a fish-based kibble from my samples stash.

    Dori, hoarding some THK and Orijen (for us kibble-feeders) may not be too bad of an idea. Especially today as we are supposed to be iced-in in GA. I hope we are and I hope schools and Universities are closed tomorrow. I want a day off mid-week-ish. So rebellious! LoL! πŸ˜€

    ***EDIT*** – Oh, and Cheryl – wouldn’t it be nice if they could just tell us what they want to eat on a particular meal from the closet/fridge/freezer? It would be soo much easier on us! πŸ™‚ But, they can’t… So they just get what they can, and we just try to make it as healthy, yummy, and diversified as possible. πŸ™‚

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 3 months ago by Naturella.
    #66754 Report Abuse

    Naturellla.. You rebellious???? Sweetie Pie you seriously crack me up. I don’t want to be snowed in (had enough of that living in the north east), certainly don’t want to be iced in (again, had enough of that living in the north east). But I do hear where you’re coming from. But come on…..having dogs you know what a big pain in the butt it is to have ice, snow and rain. Even though we get to stay in, THEY still have to go out. Having three toy dogs I really wish I had thought to wee wee pad train them. Too too late now! Maybe in my next life I will think about the benefits of wee wee pad training.

    #66767 Report Abuse

    Hahahaha, Dori… I see your point also, and true, little buddies also do have to go out, but I would rather deal with him and do my research from the warmth of my home than go outside and drive around and take a test (main reason I want the ice/snow, lol)! I have also seriously considered wee wee pads a few times, but it may just be too late for Bruno to be trained with them also, lol.

    #66780 Report Abuse

    Naturella- Ok thank you, you just solved all my confusion with pumpkins in one strong swoop, much appreciated! (^_^ )
    Yeah, it may be a good idea to have her stay overnight, I don’t want her tearing anything, just as long as I can pick her up first thing in the morning it won’t be such a bad option! She’s really not all that big, but I want to play it safe.
    She is a Beagle/German Shepherd mix, I think it’s safe to say she’s she’s medium? She’s a 47 lb amalgamation of soft and sweet itself.
    THANK YOU, YOU ARE HEAVEN SENT FOR THIS SCHEDULE!! I’ve been so worried at how I’d incorporate each flavor, I couldn’t decide on whether I’d want to continue using the brands over the course of the month switching the flavor or to switch the flavor everytime a different brand of food is introduced. Thank you!! Now do you think this is a pretty balanced schedule or should I add another brand into it? Or should I just stick with the four I have on that list?
    No, I don’t think she does, but she did get itchy all the time before I started feeding her EB. One day I just looked it up online and it said that some grains can be associated with skin issues. So I decided to go with EB:GF…. Come to think of it, it might’ve been the brand we bought back then. I’ll look into it with her vet, but would it hurt her at all if I DID included a grain included brand since she’s been of it for so long?
    Cool! Thanks! With eggs. I see a lot of people on this site giving their dog raw eggs?? Can’t dogs get salmonella like that? Can I cook her egg and add it as a topping? Now one last question. Do you buy all the food at the same time? Or do you wait until the rotation is just about up and then order it? I don’t want anything to be rotting by the time we go to eat it. If Lucille’s EB remains gets unsealed I put all of her food inside of a air tight food vault, I usually never buy more than two 28 lb bags at a time.
    Thank you for all of the helpful charts and tips I’m going to get a marker board for Luci’s feeding schedules and food times. I start with the old food to new food ratio plan as well. I’ll also provide some incentive for my brothers to be more proactively engaged with her walks, training and play time too. Hmm, now that you’ve mentioned Excel signatures though, it does seem like a good method, this way I can keep track of who’s goofing off.
    I’ll certainly keep everyone updated on when I start and how it’s progressing! I apprecciate all the help!!! (^w^ )<3
    (Yay for little bags of Dr. Tim’s woohoo!!)

    #66812 Report Abuse

    @Oleanderz, Lucille looks so cute in your pic! πŸ™‚ But the link you posted says I don’t have permission to view it or something…

    Yes, I would probably have her stay overnight. She won’t hate you, I promise. And yeah, I would say she is about medium… I think large breeds are the ones 50+ lbs when adults.

    And awwh, you’re welcome! I hope it helps! I really tried to make it as diverse and balanced at possible. I would say that for a start, 4 brands are fine to rotate between. By the time you finish the suggested schedule, you can decide whether to repeat it or add more to the mix. I personally always add more, cause there are so many foods I want to try on Bruno, but many of the pros here stick to just a few brands and rotate between them and the flavors. I think 4 brands is a good start.

    If Luci doesn’t have a grain allergy, it won’t hurt her to have grains again. It is only 2 formulas with grains anyway, and if you notice her reacting to them, just keep alternating between the Kinesis and RPM GFs.

    Eggs: dogs’ digestive tracts are much shorter than ours, so the probability of them getting salmonella is much lower. They were meant to eat raw food. If it bugs you though, you can totally lightly or fully cook the whole egg and give it to her. You can use coconut or olive oil to cook it in, or no oil if you’re poaching it. It is, in fact, recommended that you lightly cook the egg white, and not cook the yolk at all, because there is an enzyme (I believe) in the egg white that could mess with the dog’s body properly absorbing the biotin in the yolk. If you cook the yolk, some of the biotin goes away too, is my understanding. So cook the egg white lightly. BTW, for Luci, I would probably give her 2 eggs together when I do give eggs, and a whole 3.5-oz can of sardines if I were to give her any. She is 3 times Bruno’s size after all. πŸ™‚

    Now, for food storage and rotation. As long as you keep it in a dark, cool, dry place, as long as you use it up by the BEST BY date, you should be fine. I personally have a bit of a stocking-up (NOT hoarding… Not yet, hopefully not ever!) problem with dog food because of amazing deals, so I basically stocked up enough food to last Bru till the end of this year. Luckily, I will be able to use it by or close to the BEST BY dates. But for the future, I would probably still get 3-4 months’ worth at a time, depending on deals, because in case a food doesn’t work out for him and I have to scrap it, I don’t want him to be foodless till I order or buy the next bag. So, what you can do, is stock up with say, the first line of medium-sized bags of EB, Dr Tim’s, Nulo, and Victor (medium-sized should be good, just so you see how she’s taking it) and start going through them and when you get to the Nulo, order the next line. This way you will always have about 4-5 bags at a time in case something goes wrong. Plus, at all times there will be an EB there if she can’t or won’t eat any of the other foods. But I hope she likes them!

    As for the keeping track – make sure your family doesn’t feel like Big Brother is watching, lol. It is mostly important for feeding to keep track of times, amounts, and toppers, etc., as well as making sure no treats are given till she learns to eat her food quickly when put down. It shouldn’t take her too long. After that, still make sure she’s not getting too many treats to make her skip her next meal. And that’s about it. Exercising with a dog can be fun, so I’m sure someone will do something with daily, it doesn’t have to be super tracked, but you can do it if you want. I probably will track everything one day when we have kids and another dog though, lol! But that’s still far in the future.

    One last thing that I’m sure you probably know, but I will just throw out there – all the foods in Luci’s future rotation, including EB, are pretty calorie-dense (Especially Dr. Tim’s Momentum). So keep track of how much she is being fed also, because she may just be one of those dogs that can self-regulate and between possibly too much food and too many treats, she is skipping meals. Use the bag feeding guidelines as a guideline only, not as a rule, and just adjust accordingly. She should have a waist when looked at from above, and her ribs should be easily-felt.

    I am happy if I have been able to help with anything. Please do stay around in the forums, keep us posted, and let us know if you have any more questions! πŸ™‚

    #66825 Report Abuse

    Naturella- Curse you Google!! It was working fine last night!! (Tw T ) Luckily I could add the comparison picture to my icon. That is what I was trying to show you.
    I don’t know how to categorize dogs by weight, but maybe I’m a little biased. I’ve had bigger dogs in the past. My previous dog was a big boy 65+ lb Chow Chow/German shep mix. My groomer thought I was crazy when I said Luci was relatively a small beagle mix. I guess we all have out thoughts on big and small.
    Ok, the four bands it is, grains are cool, lightly cook the egg and triple Bruno’s topper serving got it! I may or may not have to go full drill sergeant on them, I promise nothing lol. And will do, this site is truly a blessing. I have no such intentions on leaving! I’m certainly sure there will be more questions in the near future, thanks a million Naturella!!

    #66827 Report Abuse

    @Oleanderz, we have the same dog puzzle at home! Bruno loves it! πŸ˜€ And she is just adorable. She’s not huge, but probably still can be classified as a “large breed”? Idk… Sorry. We got just a small guy, and the roommate’s dog is about 55-60 lbs, but she doesn’t look too big either. I think the medium bags of each food should be lasting her about a month, no? How long does each of the large EB bags last her? Also, on sportdogfood.com all of the GF Victor bags come only in 30-lb bags, just FYI. But it’s still a great food, and even if all the other bags you feed are mediums, it’s fine if the Victor are the large ones.

    Anyway, as for the tripling the toppers – I highly recommend buying this e-book: http://www.dogwise.com/ItemDetails.cfm?ID=DN330EBK – it is just under $3.00 but very informative about adding fresh toppers (such as eggs, canned sardines, raw or cooked meat) and in what proportions based on the dog’s weight. You won’t necessarily have to triple the toppers just because she weighs 3 times more than Bruno – maybe double them, the book will tell you, particularly about the eggs and sardines. But, for example, Bruno used to eat 1/2 of what Casey (our roommate’s dog) eats, and she ate 2 cups of food/day, at 55-60 lbs. He ate 1 cup ever since we got him at under 10 lbs or so,
    and a little pup. When I began introducing toppers, I put him on 3/4 cups of dry/day, and then added toppers and treats, and that was when we were exercising very vigorously in the summer. I think then he was getting a bit more than 1 cup dry calorie-wise, but he was burning it off and his body needed the extra boost. Now he’s at 1/2 cup dry with toppers (we’re not getting as much exercise :/ ), so calorie-wise he’s still at around 3/4-1 cup per day, and then the occasional treat. I watch more his body condition than weight, and speaking of, here is a good link for that too: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=8&ved=0CDMQFjAH&url=http%3A%2F%2Fresearch.unc.edu%2Ffiles%2F2012%2F11%2FCCM3_032387.pdf&ei=M5jjVJCwLYOuggSfnoSwAw&usg=AFQjCNHtVxv9oSG6wDJy-eYgbHFmyKag_Q&sig2=T1KHIfunn_GiCqOKGXYcfg&bvm=bv.85970519,d.eXY 4-5 is ideal, so that’s what we strive to keep Bruno at. That’s what I should strive for myself, lol!

    And lol! Well, whatever works for you, your fam, and Luci! LoL. And good, glad we’ll be having you around! πŸ™‚

    #66958 Report Abuse

    Narutrella- Yeah, those Trixie puzzle games are amazing! We have like two, I believe she has fun with them, either that or she just plays with them to get the snacks. Yeah maybe, according to the sizes that I’ve been buying for K9AII- she’d be in the large breed, I suppose. I’ll go with that! lol.
    The 28-lb bags of EB usually last her about 2 1/2 months, sometimes longer. With the “free feeding” methods that they’ve been unintentionally doing she doesn’t go through food as much. I actually just recently bought a 28-lb bag that we haven’t even touched yet. She seems to really like the half cooked eggs and sardines mixed in with her EB:GP.
    30-lb bags are cool, it’ll just give her more time to get adjusted to the food, I’ll probably try to get her used to that brand over the summer. Thanks for the book, I’ll look it thank you!! I may have to hurry and get her on a better food regimen. She looks to be a 4 almost a 5. I’d like to put a little more muscle on her bones. My vet says she’s completely healthy, but I think Lucille and I both need to begin our new years resolution to start eating better. I appreciate all the helpful links and tips!! (; w ; )<3 Thank you!

    #66969 Report Abuse

    @Oleanderz, Bruno loves his puzzles too, we have that Trixie one and a DogIt one for him, plus little puzzle/treat dispensing toys. He surely loves the food that comes out of them better, lol.

    Ok, so yeah, a medium bag would probably last her about a month, but really it’s up to you how often you want to switch – every big bag or every medium bag. And good for her, for being 4-5! πŸ™‚ Extra muscle would never hurt though. I know she will get there, and I hope she does like all the foods in her new rotation! πŸ™‚

    You are welcome, anytime! Glad we could help! πŸ™‚

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