Underweight, Picky, and Itchy

Dog Food Advisor Forums Diet and Health Underweight, Picky, and Itchy

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  • #118614 Report Abuse

    I recently adopted one handful of a dog.
    She is 6 years old and very underweight, she clearly has not been fed right in the past. Not only that, but she is extremely picky and has awful dry skin. She prefers wet food but Id like to get her on a kibble diet because she has tartar on her teeth. Currently she is 56 pounds and should be probably at least 65. She is getting fed mostly Victor beef meal and rice and was originally on Hills Science Diet Advanced Fitness (which she despises). I usually put a topping on her food like a bit of Natural Balance Sweet Potato and Fish. On top of that I usually soak her kibble in a bit of water to soften it, and incorporate a rotation of eggs, turkey, chicken, and cheese. Im gonna try giving her coconut oil for her dry skin as well. But no matter what I add, she NEVER finishes a good portion of her food. I need her to gain weight as she is not healthy at all right now, any suggestions?

    Before this is asked, she does not get fed treats or table scraps except for a small dentastix and some shredded turkey deli meat so she can take her kennel cough pills. As for the kennel cough, she is no longer showung symptoms so Im sure that is not the cause.

    #118616 Report Abuse

    Does the dog have bad teeth? If so, the first thing I would do is take her to the vet for a professional cleaning.

    It doesn’t matter what food you feed her it won’t undo periodontal disease.

    Hope this helps. http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2013/06/dental-disease-in-dogs-and-cats-does-treatment-improve-health/ excerpt below
    “Dental disease, especially periodontal disease, is very common in dogs and cats. Though affected pets rarely show obvious or severe symptoms, periodontal disease is undoubtedly a source of significant discomfort. The only accurate way to diagnose, characterize, and treat periodontal disease is with a thorough oral examination, dental x-rays, and appropriate cleaning and often extraction or endodontic treatment of infected teeth. This can only be accomplished under general anesthesia”.

    Use the search engine at that site to see more articles.

    Ask her vet if fish oil (approved for veterinary use only) might help the dry skin.
    Try bathing with a gentle shampoo, let’s hope it’s stress related, see what the vet thinks.
    Did you get pet heath insurance? You may want to consider…….
    She may have allergies or some type of skin condition that will need ongoing treatment.

    #118617 Report Abuse

    Hi Sweet Pea,
    Are you feeding 3-4 smaller meals a day instead of 2 larger meals a day?… Her stomach would be small from not eating, she needs smaller meals feed more frequent till her stomach stretches… breakfast lunch dinner every 5 hours 7am 12pm 5pm & I do a 4th small meal at 730-8pm…
    My rescue came to me in very bad condition vet said he was feed a very poor diet if feed at all, I had to strengthen his immune system, vets put him on Protexin probiotic powder, made in bowl 15ml water & he just drank it daily inbetween Breakfast & Lunch, his skin was in very bad condition, he was put on a vet diet for Skin that was high in omega 3, then I learnt he has IBD he couldnt handle the vet diet for skin, this dog was 1 mess & probably why he was dumped at the pound in the first place when owner seen him pooing & weeing blood, it took a good 1-2 yrs to work out his food sensitivities to stop his IBD & Itchy yeasty skin…
    He too was feed a wet can food as he didnt like dry kibble either when I first got him, some of these cheaper wet can foods aren’t balanced properly & cause skin problems,
    Look for a dry kibble that softens in water quickly, within 20mins, “Canidae Pure” & “Canidae All Life Stages” formula’s go soft within 20mins of soaking them in water…also don’t feed diet thats too high in fat as she mighten be use to high fat diet & is probably why she doesnt like the Hills S/D Active Dry formula as its VERY high in fat, 27%-fat, high fat can cause acid reflux…
    My boy gets bad acid reflux aswell, this is when they become fussy when food causes them pain, best if you could cook her meals or 1 of her meals a day for her
    add sweet potato, veggies with some chicken, turkey or pork lean white meats, my boy also does well on a lean beef mince, I make rissoles I add 1 kg =2lb lean pork mince or lean beef mince, I add 1 whisked egg, some chopped fresh parsely, some chopped up broccoli, grate 1 small carrot mix all together & make small rissole balls & bake on a foil lined oven tray in oven 20mins, I then boil some peeled cut up sweet potato cool then freeze the sweet potato & rissoles then take out freezer 1 hr before needed, this will be better then wet can food add 1 Krill Oil capsule to her breakfast meal, make sure her diet has 0mega 3 for her skin…or buy the Omega 3, 6 & 9 oil on pump you add to meal, also
    “Canidea Pure Wild” & “Pure Sky” is really easy to digest & excellent for skin…
    also buy a good shampoo that will put moisture back into her dry skin…. Aloveen shampoo is really good also get some “Paws Dermoscent® Essential 6® spot-on for Dogs” you put the Paws Dermoscent on her skin & it puts moisture back into her dry skin, https://www.blackmores.com.au/products/pet-health/skin-and-coat-health/dermoscent-essential-6-spot-on-for-dogs
    Stick to a Routine & in time she’ll get use to stability & come good again but she might have a few health problems, only time will tell, feed healthy foods, foods you eat are better then any process dog foods….

    #118618 Report Abuse

    We are looking into pet insurance right now and we will be getting her teeth cleaned soon hopefully. I am going to start training her with brushing her teeth as well. And fish oil sounds like a good idea!
    We order some gentle oatmeal shampoo for her, but we just applied her flea tick treatment so we are waiting 48 hours for that 🙂

    #118619 Report Abuse

    Surprisingly veggies arent her thing. I think she is more of a carnivore than an omnivore. We are feeding her twice just to get her more hungry since she really doesnt enjoy eating from what I can see, but I will try rationing out her food a bit more! I really think she would blossom on a raw or homemade diet but I am not confident in my nutrition knowledge to do something like that. I researched a good kibble for a long time before choosing Victor, since it was a good price and a good quality. I really wish I could afford the high end dog food like Canidae but my budget doesn’t allow it sadly. But Victor absorbs water well and it is nutritious so Im not too worried.

    #118620 Report Abuse

    (excerpt below)
    Raw diets are another popular option on the market today. Studies have shown that 20-35% of raw poultry and 80% of raw food dog diets tested contained Salmonella. This poses a health risk for your pet, but also for humans. This is especially true for children or immunocompromised adults, whether exposed to the raw food directly, or the feces of the pet eating the raw food. Additionally, there is increased risk of other bacterial infections and parasitic diseases when feeding raw diets. And the bottom line is there is no reason to believe raw food is healthier than cooked food.
    The numerous dietary choices for your pet can be daunting but if you pick an AAFCO approved food made by a manufacturer with a long track record, odds are good that you will find a suitable food for your pet. Most of the large pet food companies employ full time veterinary nutritionists and have very high quality control standards. That is not to say that a small company cannot produce nutritious and high quality food, but you should check out their website if it’s a company that is not familiar to you. Take the time to research, and ask your veterinarian if you have specific questions or concerns.
    Please understand that this article is meant to provide basic dietary guidelines for healthy pets. If your pet has specific health issues, then your veterinarian may make specific food recommendations, which may include special prescription diets.

    Also: http://skeptvet.com/Blog/category/nutrition/
    Excellent science based articles (nothing is being sold at that site)

    #118621 Report Abuse

    It’s so great that people point out that raw food contains salmonella…but fail to show how many kibbled foods have been recalled for salmonella, or worse.

    #118622 Report Abuse

    Hi Sweet Pea-

    Do you have any history on this dog at all? Knowing some of her history might be helpful in understanding her food issues. How does she behave when shes offered food? Does she seem nervous? Does she seem unsure? Or just sniffs and walks away like she doesn’t care about it because it doesn’t smell good to her?

    Consider getting a full vet exam, blood work, x-rays etc at a vet you trust to make sure there is not an underlying medical condition that is causing her to be underweight and picky due to pain or not feeling well. Also see if you can find out how her eating habits were at the shelter/rescue she came from. Could be the stress of a new home, once again.

    You can use websites like BalanceIt.com to create recipes for homecooked meals if that is a route you are interested in. She may enjoy homecooked meals more and it may help with her appetite. Victor is a great kibble, but it doesn’t do much good if she won’t eat it.

    #118623 Report Abuse

    Yes Victor is suppose to be good quality food for the price, I live Australia we dont get Victor we only get Canidae, Wellness, Eagle Pack, Holistic Select etc …

    About the raw diet YES that would be heaps better diet for Sweet Pea better then any dry or wet dog food, but I’d avoid any raw till Sweet Pea digestive tract is strong & healthy & best to feed human raw meat, no Pet Shop raw meats, I like the Dehydrated raw where you add warm water, my boy does really well on an Australian made organic free range raw.. She might prefer the dehydrated dog food, like “Honest Kitchen”, “Kiwi Kitchen” dehydrated & “Canidae” has a new raw coated kibble, I always buy Patches kibbles when on special when there’s 25% off certain dog foods & when the use by date is about to expire & the dog food is 50-75% off, I go to Pet Barn & check out all their use by dates lol then tell staff this use by date is about the expire also I rotate between a few different brands..
    This is why a dog has a short digestive tract so if any raw meat they eat is off it passes thru their stomach to small bowel very quickly so no bacterica can breed & best to feed human grade raw meat, Kibble also has contains Salmonella & we hold it so always wash your hands after touching a dry kibble….
    My cat had tartar on his teeth & my vet recommend I give him raw chicken wings cut in 1/2 x 3 times a week & the raw meaty chicken bones cleaned his teeth, cause he was old his vet didn’t want to risk putting him to sleep to clean his teeth, plus it was very expensive over $450 then another $50 per teeth if removed…

    Yes very good idea before you see a vet GET Dog insurance, that’s 1 big mistake I made & I’ve spent alot of money on Patch with all his health problems.

    #118625 Report Abuse
    Spy Car

    Hey Sweet Pea, unfortunately, this forum has a dedicated anti-raw member who uses scare tactics to dissuade people from feeding the obviously best and most healthful diet for dogs.

    The link to Skeptic Vet is full of easily debunked nonsense. But it gets posted in every thread as spam.

    People get sick from Salmonella as a result of handling kibble all the time. People feeding raw need to follow the same precautions they do when handling raw meat for their families.

    Raw feeding is pretty easy to do DIY. Bu following the prey model (80% meat/5% liver/5% other secreting organs/10 soft-edible bone) all a dog’s nutritional needs get met.

    The difference in condition between a raw fed dog and a kibble fed dog are dramatic. A PRM diet will help clean up the teeth. You probably still need a dental vet check up as 60% of kibble fed dogs develop periodontal disease as a result of a high carb kibble diet. A kibble diet is hell on teeth.

    PMR fed dogs have sparkling white teeth. My 4+ year old Vizsla (raw fed from 8 weeks) has zero tartar or plaque. Typical of PMR dogs.

    Carbohydrates (which all kibbles abound in, but Science Diet takes to an extreme) are junk calories. They provide no essential nutrients.

    You seem to understand intrinsically what your dog needs. Provide it in the right balance and you will see a transformation take place. In contrast, kibble is junk food.

    Go with your intelligence on not marketing and scare tactics.



    #118629 Report Abuse

    PS: @ Sweet Pea the Collie Mix:
    You can also use the search engine at this site to look up various topics.
    I agree with pitlove, find a local vet and have Sweet Pea examined, lab work and all.
    Always rule out medical issues first before assuming it’s the food causing poor appetite.
    Good luck

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by anonymous.
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