Hi All! I have a 150lb. Bullmastiff that will be 2 in October. I have followed this site since we got him at 4mos. and the advice has been sooo helpful. Having said that I wish that I had done what someone said in the past and kept note cards for future reference. Zane has been on various formulas of Acana Regionals and the singles Duck with various toppers like eggs, sardines and kefir. I also use Earthborn Holistic tubs, Natures Logic and Hound and Gatos canned as light toppers. I would like to add some additional brands into his kibble rotation and have a small bag of Farmina chicken to try but here is my question/concern, do i need to be concerned about the fat level in foods and does anyone have suggestions? He is at a good weight but shouldn’t add any and his activity level is pretty low. We live in Florida and with the summer heat I try to get him out for early morning walks and again late in the day but the rest of the time he is happy to sleep and hang out. All input will be considered and appreciated!
Hi Zanes Mom! I live in Central Florida and have a Great Dane. He is 8.5 years old and 145 lbs. He gets walks in the early morning and evening and lays around and sleeps the rest of the time. I am currently feeding half kibble (Brother*s Complete) and half raw. I have fed him some high fat raw for a month or two and his weight kept consistent. He seems to put on weight if eating a high carb food not high fat. He maintains weight well on low carb foods. I am personally not worried about fat content unless it is absurdly high. I would look at some low carb kibbles for more variety. Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural is one I can think of off the top of my head. Max also liked Annamaet Grain-Free and Petcurean’s Go! Fit and Free.
Rescue Dane Mom,
Thanks for the suggestions! I understand what you are saying about the fat vs carbs and it makes sense. I think I will try the Brothers Complete in the near future and will look into the Earthborn too. I really admire everyone that feeds raw as all or part of their program but until recently never considered it. For the first year Zane had issues with diarrhea and we got to know the vet VERY well. Long story but after many tests it was finally determined that he had salmonella. The vet was shocked and of course the first question was did I feed raw. I didn’t but it made me nervous about change. He is thriving now and I recently bought a bag of Stella and Chewys Duck, Duck Goose and plan to try it as a topper – baby steps 🙂
BTW we live on the Gulf north of Tampa.
I completely understand! I was super nervous to try it too. From what I’ve read, it is more likely for dog’s to get salmonella from tainted kibble than raw. But I started with raw slowly myself. I fed Max kibble with toppers like canned and dehydrated/freeze-dried foods for the first 4 years I had him. Then as I learned more about canine nutrition, I started experimenting with adding raw. I started with Stella & Chewy’s as a topper as well. The Duck, Duck, Goose is a favorite of Max’s. From there I started trying other brands and gradually increased his amount of raw and decreased the amount of kibble. A year ago I decided to stop feeding kibble altogether. I was feeding Max a dehydrated food (Honest Kitchen) and raw. I kept that up for about 7-8 months until he got tired of the Honest Kitchen. He was refusing to eat his food even with the raw mixed in. I tried other dehydrated and freeze-dried foods with little success. His system was just not liking them. I made the switch back to half kibble 2.5 weeks ago. He is doing really well on the BC kibble. I would love to do full raw but I just don’t have good enough local sources and I don’t have enough time to do all the prep. I’m a firm believer that some raw is better than no raw so I’m happy with the compromise I made.
Best of luck to you and Zane. Baby steps is the way to go. You can easily figure out what he does well on if you introduce things one at a time.
Dear Ladies, How I share your feelings and fears. But knowing how good raw seems to be I felt that I must give it a try. Here is my experience and it is one of many – but I have learned at DFA Hearing others’ Experience helps. Due to my 15 mos old GSD having terrible problems due to transitioning to a high end food from TOW due to the recalls- we ended up for 6 weeks at the vet (due to diarrhea) who put him on antibiotics and HILLS POISON WD Formula to heal him. He lost 6 pounds over several weeks. A nightmare.
I was scared of raw, but felt I MUST TRY. So I hired a Homeopathic Vet to help me through to raw. (My reg vet is not into nutrition) He recommends raw for dogs. He also recommends two brands of raw which he feeds to his own 6 dogs: Darwin’s and Big Dog Natural. BDN is a air dried -dehydrated raw to which is added TRIPE to every formula and the veggies are fermented. BOTH these aspects support digestion. First I started with our 10 1/2 yr old Golden Retriever. He suggested that I start with the BDN – would probl be easier to digest. I went Cold Turkey. Chris at BDN strongly advised AGAINST mixing raw and kibble. She all but guaranteed cold turnkey would work fine. One morning I held my breath, stopped kibble totally and fed the BDN as directed. It was a piece of cake! Dog did not skip a beat. The vet said it is bec this food is SO EASILY DIGESTED. And my dog licked the bowl for over a 1 1/2 minutes! Loved the food. There was NEVER any diarrhea nor ANY signs of ANY difficulty. It was magic. I am leaving her on this for 1 month and then will start introducing the Darwins WITH BDN 2 oz at a time. I told my neighbor about BDN and she ordered it and today told me she went COLD TURKEY with her THREE dogs and no problems at all. EASY! She’s now into her second large order of the food! So I will start my GSD soon. He just arrived from training and I want to acclimate him to being back home and I too shall go cold turkey with him. Chris at BDN says one of her customers is a GSD Breeder and he LOVES the food and gives it to ALL HIS DOGS! So, hope this helps a smidgen. Good luck to you!
Oh PS — I do not have stock in BDN, I am in NC they are in NJ, I do not know the owners nor do I know ANYONE there. Chris in Cust Serv is very helpful and nice. I never heard of the food until the Homeopath vet told me about it.
It’s interesting that you would say that about the kibble because about the time his problems started the dog food he was on ( not Acana) was suddenly unavailable for a period of time and the reason given was manufacturing issues. Hard to know of course.
When I first visited this site I could never imagine feeding raw but as I learn more I really want it to play a part in Zane’s diet so I appreciate your good wishes. Thank you again for your insight and suggestions.
Nancy C, Hi! Thank you for sharing your experience. I actually followed your quest to go raw, think that might be called lurking lol, and am so impressed at the depth of your study and questioning. I will look into BDN but since they don’t recommend mixing with kibble I will have to get a little/lot more comfortable with raw. I do feel that today Zane has a MUCH stronger immune system but it was scary to see him lose 10lbs. in very short order.
I will be very interested in hearing how your GSD does on the raw because my son has a two year old GSD that has had a lot of itchy issues with kibble. They have him on Merrick Duck right now and things are better but not solved.
One question: I remember when you were researching raw that HHP was something you did not want, could you tell me why? Thanks!
Meant HPP 🙂 From what I understand the concern is that the process kills good bacteria as well as bad.
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