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  • in reply to: From where to buy a bed? #189390 Report Abuse

    For large breeds especially, I like Costco. Best deals.

    My favorites are the memory foam, pillow top quilted/tufted, with washable removable covers (especially microsuede), removable enclosed memory foam bed.

    There’s a Canadian brand I like too — will try to recall the name — that makes very well designed, high quality, lasting, comfy deluxe beds. A bit expensive. They are sold in stores, but I’ve gotten best deal going to a pet supplies trade show/event. Or I would look for them on major sale/discount in a store.

    in reply to: Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition #189389 Report Abuse

    Wow, so no one has posted about feeding a large breed puppy in 2 year, 5 mos?

    Are these forums still active? But just no one has had a question or comment about a large breed puppy’s diet?

    OK, well then. Here goes:

    I’m bringing home a large breed young puppy. Has the recommended calcium–phosphorous ratio changed recently??

    I’m used to the recommended ratio of 1:1 to 1.3:1 calcium to phosphorous.

    I’m looking at the FEDIAF (Europe pet food) guidelines and it appears to show a ratio minimum and maximum of 1:1 to 1.6:1 for early growth (under 6 mos).

    p.s. In case anyone refers me to the DFA best foods for large breed puppies, thank you, but I am employing different overall criteria for selecting best foods.

    in reply to: EPI and Diabetes :( #150925 Report Abuse

    Hill’s W/D Dry Ingredients:

    Whole Grain Wheat, Powdered Cellulose, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Fat, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Oats, Chicken Liver Flavor, Dried Beet Pulp, Pork Flavor, Lactic Acid, Soybean Oil, Caramel color, Flaxseed, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Glyceryl Monostearate, Potassium Citrate, Iodized Salt, L-Lysine, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), L-Tryptophan, Calcium Carbonate, DL-Methionine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, L-Carnitine, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Natural Flavors, Beta-Carotene.

    Farmina Light Chicken & Pomegranate w/Ancestral Grains:

    boneless chicken, dehydrated chicken, whole spelt, whole oats, herring, dehydrated herring, dried whole eggs, dried beet pulp, suncured alfalfa meal, chicken fat, herring oil, dried carrot, inulin, fructooligosaccharide, yeast extract, dried pomegranate, dried apple, dried spinach, psyllium seed husk, dried sweet orange, dried blueberry, salt, brewers dried yeast, turmeric, glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin sulfate, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, ascorbic acid, niacin, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, choline chloride, beta-carotene, zinc methionine hydroxy analogue chelate, manganese methionine hydroxy analogue chelate, ferrous glycine, copper methionine hydroxy analogue chelate, selenium yeast, DL-Methionine, taurine, L-Carnitine, aloe vera gel concentrate, green tea extract, rosemary extract, mixed tocopherols (a preservative).

    in reply to: EPI and Diabetes :( #150924 Report Abuse

    Re-Post (Disappeared – System Glitch)

    Comparing the 2 foods, the Farmina Light seems to fit all of your requirements and parameters much better.

    Hill’s W/D Dry, Actual/Typical Analysis
    Meat: Chicken Meal
    Grain-Inclusive: Whole Wheat, Cornmeal, & Oats + Corn Gluten, Cracked Pearled Barley
    +Cellulose, Beet Pulp for Fiber
    Protein: 20.7%
    Fat: 13%
    Fiber: 16%
    Carbs NFE: 45.1%
    Heart Health: Adds Taurine, L-Carnitine
    255 cal/C

    Hill’s also helpfully provides this formula’s total dietary fiber and a breakdown of type: 27.6% total, most of which is insoluble at 25.5% (soluble: 1.9%).

    Farmina Light Chicken & Pomegranate w/Ancestral Grains, GA Analysis
    Meat/Animal Protein: Chicken & Herring (both fresh & dehydrated) + Whole Eggs
    Grain-Inclusive: Whole Spelt & Oats
    +Beet Pulp, Psyllium Seed Husks for Fiber
    Protein: 37.4%
    Fat: 12%
    Fiber: 7% (Max)*
    Carbs NFE: 30.9%
    Heart Health: Adds Taurine, L-Carnitine, DL-Methionine (precursor)
    338 cal/C

    *Veterinary standard of care for diets for EPI dogs is low fiber, low insoluble fiber. Usually when looking bag GAs for comparison, you are looking for <4% Crude Fiber. Here it is 6.4% Max, still higher than ideal for EPI, but much lower than Hill’s W/D. (For the actual/typical fiber & fat, you would need to ask Farmina.)

    *Adding a bit of fresh, homemade should bring down that fiber.

    in reply to: EPI and Diabetes :( #150841 Report Abuse

    Retry (apologies for duplicates, if they pop up):

    LOL! I just saw your post afterward, as I was sending the last one.

    I would love to live in New Hampshire. What an awesome, beautiful state — and such rich history! My dogs & I would love the seasons and colder weather. Unfortunately, I am stuck for a while elsewhere (lol).

    I got excited when I found the Farmina Light formula, as it’s got to be better than what you’re currently using for dry. Then I compared, and I got more excited for you.

    You’re very welcome. We all need a little help sometimes!

    My own girl is doing really well at this point, but food allergies can make finding foods & selecting them challenging, not to mention this whole DCM-diet concern! I feel like no one can make foods without pulses/legumes anymore, esp. not higher protein ones. So frustrating. And foods aren’t very hypoallergenic, food allergy friendly!

    in reply to: EPI and Diabetes :( #150840 Report Abuse

    Ugh. I edit for one thing & quick post back to you poofs! System glitch.

    You’re welcome. Hoping my disappearing post re-appears.

    in reply to: EPI and Diabetes :( #150831 Report Abuse

    Hi Victoria.

    First (so I don’t forget it!), no, you cannot use cooked pancreas for EPI. It *must* be raw for the active enzymes needed. Vets know this — it’s a special exception recommended in otherwise normal, healthy dogs with EPI.

    In your dog’s case, an older dog with cancer, I wouldn’t worry about trying to use pancreas. Just stick with the Enzyme Diane/other prepared enzymes as they are highly effective. For B12, a lot of dogs use WonderLab pills vs the injections.

    I share your vet’s concerns about DCM and the connection to many current grain-free/high legume formulas, your dog’s heart murmur, as well as raw for your dog, and agree with his guidance. (Also, while I am respectful of raw feeding, I prefer gently cooked homemade food as ideal anyway and don’t find a benefit for my dogs in raw.)

    It’s just hard to capture all those criteria — along with low fiber, low insoluble fiber necessary in particular for EPI dogs — in commercial kibbles, especially here in the U.S. at this time.

    Aside from what HaleyCookie pointed out well (Thank you, HaleyCookie!), the starch binding in kibbles, I think companies add to the problem. They just don’t want to spend the money, chance cutting into their profits by including more quality animal protein, which is expensive. Or they don’t think that the public will buy the products at a necessarily higher price — and, here, they might be right.

    I mentioned those particular GF formulas ONLY as something you could potentially do part homemade with, and that other EPI dogs are using with success.

    Another formula currently being re-released and available again, which *might* work for you with some tweaks (you’ll need lower % fiber in an EPI dog; perhaps you can accomplish this diluting it with what you add homemade?):

    Farmina LIGHT Chicken & Pomegranate with Ancestral Grains
    34% Protein/11% Fat (6.4% Fiber)

    I really like Farmina and my German Shepherd is doing very well on their food. I use a different formula, higher in fat and low in fiber (typical of most Farmina formulas).

    A board certified veterinary nutritionist I would recommend is Lisa Weeth, DVM DACVN.

    You can work with her long distance, through your vet. She is very supportive of homemade diets and experienced with them, and is also more open minded, fair, unbiased across a variety of commercial diets and brands imo. I think you would get a better diet from her for the money than from some other prominent services/DACVNs.

    You can get a good feel for what she’s like from her nutrition blog, both her blog and Q&A section (click on “comments” at the top), in that 2nd link. You might ask her some questions there, about a commercial kibble or your current homemade additions; she’s pretty gracious and generous in her answers. (Your questions would tie in to her recent blog entries on DCM & diet, also one on grains.)

    I like Susan Wynn, DVM DACVN, also but she left private practice in nutrition in January 2019 to work for Nature’s Variety.

    I think the expensiveness comes from the pre-diet formulation blood tests & work up you’ll need to submit (costs dependent upon your own vet), but I think they need that to ensure that a major health issue is not present so that when they formulate a custom diet for your dog it is safe and appropriate, does not make an underlying health problem worse. And, as you’ve already seen for yourself, multiple health conditions & diet parameters, not only require review of all your medical file, but presents a diet more challenging, complicated to formulate. In your case, if you have any of those blood panels, etc. already done recently, then you’ve already spent that money. Talk to her assistant & ask about costs, what is included, your concerns. (They were very helpful with me.)

    With Just Food For Dogs, the cheapest by far is doing their DIY — where you buy their recipe + balancing supplement. I just don’t know whether any of those would be appropriate for your dog, with her conditions and the diet parameters. They have good customer service (and knowledgeable veterinary staff) if you want to ask them.

    I was encouraged by — and have considered using a couple of their diets myself — an independent review I read from a guy who broke down his total costs for a large breed dog about mine’s weight, showed the receipts and shopped at Whole Foods no less(!), to feed one of the formulas the DIY route. With this diet, you do feed lower total calories because it is fresh whole foods gently cooked, using highest quality ingredients, and is therefore highly digestible. So, his cost was lower than what I would have assumed for a large dog.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by GSDsForever.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by GSDsForever.
    in reply to: Food Question #150822 Report Abuse


    I agree with the recommendations above for Annamaet and Holistic Select.

    I am sorry to hear about your dog’s diagnosis of DCM. I think it’s wise to have switched to a quality grain inclusive formula, from a reputable company, and 100% support your choice.

    With the Farmina with Ancestral Grains, the FOS (fructooligosaccharides) and inulin, prebiotics, which also increase digestibility and absorption of other nutrients, may have been the culprit. They’re healthy ingredients, but too much/overfeeding of foods with them is known to cause flatulence and bloating in some dogs — especially when their systems are not used to them.

    Is it possible you were feeding too much of the Farmina? While I didn’t experience this with my dog on it, I do know that I needed to reduce the amount of food I was feeding. By calorie basis, not just cups/weight, my dog eats MUCH less of this food to maintain her ideal weight. That might help.

    I’ve fed those both Annamaet and Holistic Select w/good results, including tiny stools (esp. on the Holistic Select). Since I wanted to feed higher protein than offered in the formulas I chose, I added fish — increasing daily protein grams, while not substantially increasing calories/imbalancing the diet.

    Let us know if the HS & Annamaet don’t work for you, and we’ll try to suggest others.

    in reply to: EPI and Diabetes :( #150721 Report Abuse

    These are couple diets some EPI dogs recently have done well on:

    Forza10 Legend Digestion (Actual Fiber ~1.5%)

    Sport Dog Herding Dog Elite

    Both are grain-free. You might try adding both lean protein + low fiber veggies (e.g. zucchini, squash, asparagus tips) and a very very small portion of a carefully chosen whole grain, to lower the percentage fat + carbs (while keeping protein high) AND be grain-inclusive. Mushrooms, are also low fiber, high protein per calories, and varieties like Maitake, Shiitake, Reishi, Enoki, and Turkey Tail/Trametes Versicolor are very good for cancer and the immune system.

    in reply to: EPI and Diabetes :( #150708 Report Abuse

    Olessia’s diet for Izzy, with EPI + diabetes, has been *something* like this (check w/her):

    80% homemade/20% Annamaet Lean

    Fresh, cooked homemade portion: Lean Meat/Fish, Sweet Potatoes, 1/3 Raw Egg, Fat Free Cottage Cheese, Fish Oil
    + Vitamins/Minerals and Bone Meal

    Note: Annamaet Lean is a high protein, low fiber, low fat food, grain-free.
    30% Protein/7% Fat (<3.5% Fiber)
    It does have legumes as primary ingredients, along with the meat (chicken, duck, herring meals), + tapioca & potato. It IS an excellent company.

    You might explore adding a very small amount of grain to this recipe, to be grain inclusive as you & your vet prefer. Using the Annamaet Lean, with its legumes, at 20% of the diet is likely a lower risk (for DCM).

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by GSDsForever.
    in reply to: EPI and Diabetes :( #150700 Report Abuse


    You poor thing and your poor dog! That is certainly a lot to be trying to treat at once & in selecting a food.

    Have you thought about feeding a therapeutic homemade diet, via your vet & you doing a consult with a board certified veterinary nutritionist (DACVN)? I wouldn’t recommend them all equally, but there are some good ones.

    Those are some tough dietary parameters to meet all at once, particularly through a commercial kibble/can and from a quality reputable company, and you might have better luck with feeding homemade.

    You might also look into the Vet Support Diets or a custom therapeutic diet from Just Food For Dogs, via their board certified veterinary nutritionists and other vet specialists.

    Bear in mind that with EPI, the diet should also be low fiber, especially insoluble fiber — per veterinary guidelines. The main keys for the EPI part, are the pancreatic enzymes on the food + B 12 supplementing.

    I would strongly encourage you to reach out to EPI4Dogs. Olessia, the lovely owner of that foundation & moderator, in fact has an EPI dog with diabetes that has been well managed on a combination homemade/fresh and Annamaet’s Lean. Dogs with EPI are no longer recommended to to have low fat, but as Olessia’s dog has needed low fat due to the diabetes, she will be able to help. The enzyme preparation that many use there is called Enzyme Diane, which is less costly. Many of the dogs in that group have done very well, and there is a wealth of knowledge and encouragement, hope there.

    I believe most of the EPI dog owners there are feeding grain-free. The issue is with fiber though, as many whole grains found in commercial dog foods are high fiber and much of that fiber is insoluble, which EPI dogs cannot handle. The dogs also notably do not do well with peas, which also happen to be nearly all insoluble fiber. (Ditto for lentils.)

    Among whole grains, a very very small amount of oats (higher in soluble, at ~50%), amaranth, or sorghum would be lowest in both fiber and % insoluble fiber; otherwise, white rice (refined). Lowest fiber grains like brown rice and corn contain almost entirely insoluble fiber. Cassava, white potato, and sweet potato are more balanced in soluble/insoluble fiber than most grains — and the fiber in sweet potatoes reduces to half in canned, vaccuum packed.

    Elizabeth Hershey DVM, DACVIM is an outstanding, nationally known board certified oncologist you might wish to have your local vet reach out to. She is integrative and evidence based, as she is trained in both traditional western medicine and eastern/Traditional Chinese Medicine, includes diet, and typically combines her approaches. She does have success where other oncologists have not.

    If I think of a suitable grain inclusive commercial food from a company that I personally would recommend, I will post it.

    in reply to: has anyone fed Farmina N&D? thoughts? #150689 Report Abuse


    Be well. I am not interested in engaging in the debates you wish to have.

    Perhaps you might wish to open a debate thread for promoting your feeding preferences and beliefs?

    Good luck to you & your dogs! Happy holidays!

    in reply to: Gluten free, grain inclusive food? #150688 Report Abuse

    Just adding: There is also a condition in dogs, paroxysmal dyskinesia, in which the specific kind affecting Border Terriers (CECS — Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome, aka Spike’s Disease) has been found in a small study to be triggered by gluten, and responsive to gluten-elimination in the diet.

    in reply to: Gluten free, grain inclusive food? #150685 Report Abuse


    I hope your German Shepherds are doing well & you were able to find a good food that works for them! How are they?

    Thank you for your kind words above and you’re welcome. I especially love helping w/other GSDs! What an amazing breed we are blessed to have in our lives.

    I was just thinking about our exchange going back a few months, since we were talking specifically about gluten & celiac disease for you. If you are still around or check back here, I’d love to hear your thoughts for my own dog. As it turns out, we’ve recently learned that she may be allergic to wheat. She had a pretty severe allergic flare.

    What I know about this in dogs is really just that: wheat is a common food allergen in food allergic dogs, while gluten intolerance in dogs has only been found as a rare inherited condition in Irish Setters (Gluten Sensitive Enteropathy).

    in reply to: Please Help – Choosing New Dog Food(s) to Try #150684 Report Abuse

    Pat C,

    How is your dog doing?

    You were considering several excellent brands. What foods did you end up trying? How did it go?

    in reply to: has anyone fed Farmina N&D? thoughts? #150681 Report Abuse


    My dog has been doing really well on Farmina and enjoying it. We’ve tried the Cod and Herring formulas, so far.

    Did you have any problems on the Farmina Cod with Ancestral Grains or did you stop feeding it due to your concern about alfalfa?

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by GSDsForever.
    in reply to: Non-Grain Free, Chicken and Beef Free Food #150648 Report Abuse

    If you would like to try a controlled therapeutic hypoallergenic diet (by prescription) first, commercial options, here’s one I think would be worth trying:

    Farmina Vet Life Ultra Hypo

    The single protein is fish and it is grain inclusive.

    It combines using an alternative/novel protein that is not known to be a common allergen in dogs AND is hydrolyzed, breaking the amino acids down thereby making it even less likely for a dog to experience an allergic reaction. It is hydrolyzed to 6,000 daltons.

    This diet has gone through a clinical research trial to establish its efficacy for dogs with food allergies or intolerances. I like the company & its foods, the use of fish as the hydrolyzed protein source, and its simple clean + quality ingredient list. And this is likely to be a very highly digestible diet — making the lower protein (~20% DMB) while doing a food trial less of a worry.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by GSDsForever.
    in reply to: Non-Grain Free, Chicken and Beef Free Food #150646 Report Abuse

    Hi Nikki.

    Two grain-inclusive foods I would recommend are (Eagle Pack) Holistic Select Adult Radiant Sardine, Anchovy, & Salmon, from Wellpet (Wellness brand), and Annamaet’s Option (Wild Salmon).

    I would start with the Holistic Select, and see how your dog does first, as Annamaet also includes lamb. So it would be a step up, introducing 2nd protein, after seeing how your dog does with fish alone.

    Farmina is another excellent European food, made in Italy but available here. But its grain inclusive line does include a cereal grain in the wheat family, a relative of common American wheat, along with oats. Wheat is one of the most common food allergens for dogs, almost as common as chicken. Therefore while I think what Farmina is using is wholesome, a dog allergic to wheat might still react to it.

    I don’t like Taste of the Wild at all — but they do make a grain inclusive line (which I still would not recommend).

    The most common food allergens in dogs are beef, dairy, chicken, wheat, eggs, soy, and corn. Beef is actually more common than chicken as an allergen; I think we just hear more about chicken from pet owners as more foods are chicken based.

    But keep in mind that dogs with food allergies can often continue to react to new foods for quite some time, when they are not *actually* allergic to the new food ingredients. For this reason dogs need 8-12 weeks on a new food for pruritus (itching) and any other symptoms to resolve. Whatever your dog has had before, your dog may still react to, prior to getting symptoms under control — which can, but not always, require a full therapeutic trial on a novel protein (or, alternatively, hydrolyzed) first.

    Has your dog had fish before? It is not a common allergen for dogs and would be a good place to start. If this change in diet doesn’t resolve things, I would recommend doing a formal diet elimination food trial w/a controlled novel protein.

    The other thing to be aware of is that most commercial diets have issues with cross-contamination, which means that ingredients (like chicken or beef or wheat or corn, etc.) can be in the food without being listed on the label.

    *Some* reputable good companies will take extra precautions to prevent that, knowing that a particular diet is being fed due to food allergies and intolerances — while others, despite being marketed as limited ingredient or alternative protein diets, do a pretty poor job at this, aren’t knowledgeable about it, or don’t care, and do nothing to prevent it.

    in reply to: Trouble Posting (Topic 2) #150374 Report Abuse


    Thank you so much for helping me. And thank you for all that you put into this website. You rock!

    in reply to: Trouble Posting (Topic 2) #150364 Report Abuse

    The post in reply to someone on your article page is stating “pending,” hours later.

    I mention this only because that seems to reflect a problem happening, as posts typically show immediately. I’m just not sure what is *causing* multiple posts to get hung up or to go into some black hole permanently.

    I don’t know whether this is happening to anyone else and we may possibly be missing other posts.

    in reply to: Trouble Posting (Topic 2) #150363 Report Abuse

    Mike, PugsMomSandy, et al.,

    I’m having a lot of difficulty posting, w/posts not showing up both here in forum and on non-forums pages. Could someone please help? I am sorry to bother you, but would appreciate any help.

    With the one in forums, I tried twice and the system seems to recognize that I posted (e.g. 1)telling me that this appears to be a duplicate post, when I try a second time to post it, 2)showing my names as the last poster to the thread) but the post is not visible.

    The second was a reply to someone on Mike’s article about dental health & dry food — also not showing.

    Both contain a link or two, if that may be the cause of the problem today. But normally I can post with links and others seem to be able to do so today.

    Weeks ago I attempted to post on a food review page, and it was filtered out as possible “spam.” Then the system said it was working to fix this, as not spam. Nothing changed. I emailed guest support for help, using the contact us page here, but I either did not receive a reply or somehow did not see one. Still, no post appears on the page. (There is a record of the post on the separate page showing my Disqus replies.)

    in reply to: Water Additives? #150362 Report Abuse

    Posting this again, as it isn’t showing up (maybe a glitch). If it ends up posting twice, I’m sorry!

    Here’s a nice article presenting a summary of our options for good dental health (and nice breath), pros and cons of each, and the scientific research, from a board certified diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College:

    I’m using Tropiclean’s gel toothpaste for daily brushing, along with their water additive for added prevention of bacteria, plaque, tartar between brushing and 24 hr fresh breath.

    I like the company and the actives have some research to support their efficacy for dental health, breath.

    in reply to: Water Additives? #150361 Report Abuse

    Here’s a nice article presenting a summary of our options for good dental health (and nice breath), pros and cons of each, and the scientific research, from a board certified diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College:

    I’m using Tropiclean’s gel toothpaste for daily brushing, along with their water additive for added prevention of bacteria, plaque, tartar between brushing and 24 hr fresh breath.

    I like the company and the actives have some research to support their efficacy for dental health, breath.

    in reply to: Gabapentin Oral Solution #150098 Report Abuse

    I purchase my heartworm prevention pills from a local compounding facility. Lead pharmacist is great, very helpful!

    They compound the active ingredient into veggie caps, precise custom dose to weight, and we couldn’t be happier.

    in reply to: Gabapentin Oral Solution #150096 Report Abuse

    Jennifer, Cathy B, & Joanna M

    Why not just go through a compounding pharmacy?

    Veterinary compounding pharmacists absolutely would not include xylitol (or any additive toxic to dogs).

    They also can offer you a wide range of forms, from tasty chewable treats to doggie flavored liquids (so no bad taste or rejection from your dog!) to hypoallergenic capsules, and methods of giving your dog medicine + tips. With your vet, they create dosages custom to your dog. All of this is their specialty. (And the meds are often cheaper.) Example:

    You can use a national delivery place w/your vet calling/faxing in the prescription. Or you can use a local facility/branch.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by GSDsForever.
    in reply to: French Bulldog puppy food help – loose stool #150008 Report Abuse


    I can understand that feeling scary, especially in both a small/toy breed and a new puppy lasting a few days.

    I absolutely agree with Joanne’s advice above re chicken & white rice, no fat or seasonings. (Great advice, Joanne!)

    1% Cottage cheese & white rice (same proportion as above, more rice) will also work. My very first vet as an adult owner recommended the boiled chicken & white rice or lowfat cottage cheese & white rice as what vets use. For simple digestive upsets, I have recommended it frequently in rescue and as a fellow pet owner. I’ve also used it sporadically over the years. I’ve seen it work miracles!

    It’s really very bland, soothing to the digestive tract/stomach, and highly, highly digestible. Use it for a few days or until the diarrhea stops. Don’t be surprised if your dog doesn’t have a stool for a while (1-2 days), as it is just from being highly digestible. It gives a dog’s system a chance to rest & heal.

    Make sure your puppy is drinking enough water and doesn’t become dehydrated. You can use extra water cooking the rice, cooking longer than for humans, and give the rice water for added nutrients & soothing the system.

    Check with your vet, if you’re worried. It’s okay! A phone call from an anxious new puppy owner is normal. Good luck!



    You might also wish to consider purchasing and using the DIY recipes from Just Food For Dogs, which will also come with the matching complete supplement included, as these have been formulated with veterinary nutritionists, meet AAFCO nutrient profiles, and have passed in home full feeding trials (AAFCO protocols).

    This might be a really easy, quick, and rather low cost way to jump in to homemade feeding for you, particularly given you have a very small dog!


    Hi Nadia.

    Well, I have fed homemade (cooked) and will be again soon. But I have always stuck to the complete and balanced ones from vet specialists. My very first vet referred me to appropriate resources for homemade diets, and loaned me books, for nutrition information and recipes from specialists.

    I don’t believe in most, virtually all, recipes presented online or in books, as they are nearly always from sources without proper nutrition credentials. Also, I do not feed raw.

    Have you inquired with your vet? He may have some appropriate for normal, healthy dogs from veterinary nutritionists. You can also do a consult with a veterinary nutritionist (DACVN) in your area or remotely via your vet.

    Two easy to understand and follow sources you might try to just get started:1) DVM DACVN Susan Wynn’s paleo diet recipe online for normal, healthy dogs, 2)former UC Davis Vet School’s DVM, PhD Donald Strombeck’s book “Home Prepared Dog & Cat Diets” (original edition; do NOT buy the revised by a different author) which includes recipes used for many years with patients at UC Davis, including both healthy small animal recipes and therapeutic diets.


    Just as an aside to all, as I see it mentioned by others above . . .

    There appears to be quite a range across the country in cost for an echocardiogram.

    It starts at ~$550 in my state, for the test alone from a veterinary cardiologist.



    I would work *with* your vet to select a food that your dog will do well on. You need to have open, two way dialogue, and discuss your concerns and questions.

    I think that it’s wise that your vet recommended avoiding high legume/potato foods in light of DCM concerns and ongoing research. My vets recommended similarly. It’s just an unnecessary risk for most dogs at this time.

    Ditto foods with the most unusual/exotic proteins, like kangaroo or rabbit. (Lamb, either lamb & rice or lamb & legumes, especially low meat protein and high ash or fiber, also are riskier.) All of this is especially true in foods from sketchier companies, ones with less safe long term history for their formulas and/or less nutritional expertise in formulating.

    Dogs need nutrients. Dogs DON’T need to eat any *particular* food ingredient, whether legumes (like peas or lentils) or potatoes or a grain like corn or any particular meat. So they lose nothing by ditching one or more of these ingredients and choosing an alternative at this time.

    Yes, you can find a number of foods without chicken, dairy, or eggs. I’ve been feeding grain inclusive and free of all 7 top dog food allergens (which include chicken, dairy, eggs ), following a food allergy diet elimination trial. Currently, I’m feeding fish based foods. You can look through these forums for chicken-free foods, especially under DCM threads, and then check to see if they include eggs. (Dairy is far less common an ingredient in dog foods.)

    How well do you know your vet? I think that if you don’t trust your vet, have confidence in your vet, that’s a problem. In that case, you need to either find a different vet or work on building your relationship with your vet in order to have good discussions, which you then can feel good about, trust in. Talk things through with your vet. Express your concerns. My vet and I discuss everything and reach decisions together.

    On the other hand, I wouldn’t just go see ANY vet or blindly trust what any vet says just because he is a DVM. There are good and bad vets out there, and ones with more and less experience/knowledge and passion.

    p.s. Looking toward the long term, I would talk to your vet about issues you believe your dog to have with chicken, eggs, dairy in foods. Do a strict diet elimination trial and re-challenge at some point, using a prescription food or homemade, to confirm that you must avoid these foods. It will make your life easier.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by GSDsForever.


    I am unfamiliar with the breed/mix you have, from being primarily familiar with AKC (& CKC) recognized breeds. I honestly don’t know what a “Pocket Size American Bully” is.

    Is this an American Bulldog? An American Staffordshire Terrier? Is this a nickname for one of these — and then a variety of it? Or is it a mixed breed of some kind? I’m not aware of there being a recognized or established variety of either of the 2 breeds I listed that is a “Pocket Size.”

    To the point, and the reason I raise the question, is that I am not familiar with what health concerns or predispositions affect the kind of dog you have. That makes it difficult to answer your question.

    Despite there being “large breed dog foods” w/focus on safe orthopedic development in large breeds, some small breeds have the highest rates by breed of hip dysplasia, such as Pugs, French Bulldogs (or the less common Brussels Griffons, Tibetan Spaniels). On the other hand, there are tiny breeds like Italian Greyhounds and Chinese Crested that have virtually no risk of CHD, with no concern needed in choosing a puppy diet with regard to this issue.

    Pugs are actually the #1 breed with over 75% dysplastic, of those tested . . . followed by Olde English Bulldogges and American Bulldogs. Meanwhile, larger dogs such Salukis, Belgian Tervurens, Belgian Sheepdogs, Beaucerons (French Shepherds), and Flat Coated Retrievers have very low to non existent rates of CHD. There are also breed health trends, and breeds that used to not have a particular problem, now in recent years do (and vice versa).

    Please talk to a knowledgeable vet and experienced, knowledgeable experts in your breed/mix. I would not choose a puppy food without consulting both, for my own puppy.



    I would feed any dog, large breed or otherwise, with a significant breed risk of hip or elbow dysplasia (and therefore DJD) a food with the following:

    3.5g Calcium or Lower Per 1000 Calories
    Actual (Typical Analysis) Calcium-Phosphorous Ratio of 1.3 :1 to 1:1

    The guaranteed analysis you have provided above, which refers ONLY to minimum for calcium and phosphorus, does not tell us this. You would need to call the brand for this, unless it is posted on their website.

    I would feed any *large breed* puppy prone to orthopedic structure, growth issues, and injury a food that is additionally suitable for SLOW, controlled growth and I would keep the puppy lean.

    I would feed a *puppy of any breed/mix* a formula that I could verify a FULL nutrient profile and ensure it met safe and optimal levels of all nutrients, from a good and trustworthy company, preferably a formula with some longevity of safely feeding puppies (my own breed included).

    I cannot recommend ANY formula of dog food (for ANY reason) based on just a guaranteed analysis from the bag. No one can (or should). It doesn’t provide enough information, about anything.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by GSDsForever.
    in reply to: FDA DCM clarity #147131 Report Abuse

    For Robert B:

    For your list of 13 Australian Shepherd cases from the FDA’s 560 DCM-Diet case reports, here are the 3 you missed:

    1)Wegmans GF Nature Natural Dog Food Turkey & Pea
    *grocery brand, made for them by Ainsworth Pet Nutrition (now under Smuckers)

    Dried Peas, Tapioca, Pea Protein (Ingredients 3, 4, 5) . . . Pea Fiber (11)
    Also includes legume Alfalfa Meal (14) — + Flaxseed both boosting protein (7)

    2)Pure Balance GF Wild & Free (Unspecified Variety)
    *Walmart brand, made for them by Ainsworth Pet Nutrition (now under Smuckers)

    Formulas E.G. Salmon, Trout, Beef & Boar
    Dried Ground Peas, Tapioca, Pea Protein (Ingredients 3, 4, 5)
    Lentil Powder, Pea Protein . . . Dried Peas, Ground Potato Ingredients 3, 4 . . . 6, 7)
    Pea Starch . . . Chickpeas, Peas (Ingredients 3 . . . 6, 7)

    3)Taste Of the Wild GF High Prairie
    *Diamond’s own brand, manufactured by Diamond

    Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Potatoes . . . Potato Protein, Pea Protein
    (Ingredients 4, 5, 6 . . . 14, 15)

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 12 months ago by GSDsForever.
    in reply to: Golden Retrievers with allergy's #146586 Report Abuse

    Hi Randy.

    Did the vets say what kind of allergies? The most common allergies in dogs are inhalant (like pollen) and environmental allergies (like dust mites, shampoos, their beds, your carpet, household cleaning chemicals), which dogs unlike people show symptoms of through their skin.

    For these types of allergies, a food change won’t help. The best you can do is address the indoor allergies and products you use on or around your dogs/in the home, try to remove outdoor allergens brought inside by you and your dogs, use hypoallergenic wipes and hypoallergenic baths with skin soothing and skin barrier repair ingredients, and make use of drug options as necessary such as Atopica, Apoquel (which you’re using), and Cytopoint. Alternatively, some dogs with outdoor seasonal allergies benefit from a steroid injection alone seasonally, which might be a lower cost for you.

    Natural anti-inflammatories can also help, such as therapeutic level dosing of Omega 3 EPA-DHA, which your vet can prescribe for your dogs.

    Zoetis has added Apoquel recently to its customer rewards/rebate program. So be sure to take advantage of that for a bit of financial relief. And, of course, if you use any of their other products, saving there as well will bring down your overall care costs:

    Honestly, the costs of drugs like these, conditions expensive to treat like cancer (common in Goldens), surgeries, etc. are reasons that I really advocate for high quality pet insurance.

    To diagnose and treat a food allergy, less common than other allergies & conditions, the gold standard protocol is to feed a strictly limited novel protein & ingredient diet (new to your specific dog) for up to 12 weeks, watch for symptoms to resolve, and then add ONE ingredient back at a time for a few days (and then wait up to 2 weeks) to determine what your dog is allergic to. This last part is the challenge test, to confirm a specific food allergy.

    You can do this with your regular vet, via your vet consulting with a boarded veterinary dermatologist (often free), or you can ask for a referral to the veterinary specialist (more costly) to take over the case.

    Constantly switching foods, like you’re doing, will not help and will make things harder, take longer to resolve vs a genuine novel protein diet trial. Grain free is not the answer.

    Food allergies are to a protein and can be ANY protein to which your dog has been exposed. The most common allergies (per the research from boarded specialists) in dogs are beef, chicken, dairy, eggs, wheat, corn, and soy.

    OTC diets are commonly cross contaminated with these common allergen ingredients not listed on the label’s ingredient list, and can cause a reaction in truly food allergic dogs. For this reason, if a food allergy is suspected, you may wish to feed a home prepared very limited novel ingredient diet or a prescription hypoallergenic food, even if just for the trial.

    I wish you good luck and some relief for your precious dogs! Goldens are wonderful, and I love the English ones & cream.

    p.s. Dogs can also be allergic to food storage mites (alive or dead). So you might wish to take steps to prevent and control for this w/their food.



    Here is another set of options for a diet to fit your dog’s nutritional needs and medical conditions, your preferences:

    1)A veterinary therapeutic prescription diet (among others offered), which your vet can consult on & write an order for:
    Turkey, Beef, Eggs — with squash & oats 30% protein/10% Fat

    2)A custom diet just for your dog, to your vet’s and your specifications:

    3)One of their standard diets, if suitable, such as this one:
    Wild Caught Cod & Sweet Potatoes + Veggies — 35% Protein/10% Fat (Min)

    *****Another option (#4) is that you can order the recipe + balancing vitamin/mineral supplement ONLY and make the food yourself. This can be a much cheaper alternative.*****

    If your vet is not familiar with this company, its veterinary therapeutic diets by prescription and regular diets, you can tell him that the company 1)has performed feeding trials that meet AAFCO protocols for its foods and 2)has board certified veterinary nutritionists as well as other veterinarians (including with advanced specialties such as toxicology) on staff involved in formulating and available for consult.

    Of course, you also could pursue a separate route of homemade, via you and/or your vet consulting with a veterinary nutritionist.


    Hi Melissa.

    You do have some options among veterinary therapeutic/prescription diets for your dog’s medical needs. Hills, Purina, and Royal Canin all offer options for pancreatitis and digestive issues, and they differ from one another.

    When you mention Hills prescription diets, encountering all chicken based formulas, did you happen to try this one:

    THIS lowfat formula for pancreatitis is primarily turkey and pork organ meat + egg, along with highly digestible (easy on the GI system) white rice. I can see that there is a bit of “chicken flavor”. . . but honestly, it’s pretty far down the ingredient list at #14, AFTER even the start of minerals & vitamins.

    The protein is about 22-23% dry matter minimum, but remember that it’s the overall amino acids complete profile, high quality ingredients, and high digestibility that’s important vs a crude protein minimum. Those ingredients genuinely do look high quality, and like they could really help your dog, and taste pretty good to him too!

    But if that doesn’t work for you, Royal Canin’s can formula does NOT contain chicken and is 25% protein, lower fat at 4% Min to 10% Max than Hill’s. (Purina’s is 32% Min protein dry matter in the canned, but has chicken.) See below, for therapeutic diet examples:

    As far as OTC diets go, when you start adding multiple specific medical condition needs — lowfat pancreatitis suitable, limited ingredient, good for colitis and sensitive GI system, no chicken — along with additional preferences such as high protein for senior life stage, or let’s say you want only a dry food (vs can), it becomes pretty difficult to impossible to find that “unicorn” OTC food. OTC foods are primarily made for healthy, average dogs without particular medical conditions, let alone multiple.

    But if you want to expand your options to OTC formulas, try asking your vet to give you the fat level he is recommending for pancreatitis, ask him whether he thinks you need to avoid chicken in formulas (and why or why not) and discuss what issues you believe your dog has with eating chicken, and review a product you pick with him.

    For example, the fat minimum and maximum of the Hill’s Lowfat I/D has a pretty big range listed, just under 8% Min. to about 16% Max. Ask about recommended fiber level too. Discuss what your vet thinks you should look for in protein level for your senior and why.

    For example, brands make lowfat foods including higher protein ones, and you may find some that don’t contain chicken. Solid Gold, just for one example, makes a “Fit & Fabulous” very lowfat formula (6%), with ~29% minimum protein on a dry matter basis. Fiber is 9% max. The formula may not be as digestible as the Hills & your vet’s recommendations, or have the right nutrient profile features. Then again, your vet may think it’s worth trying this one or another.

    in reply to: The grain free/DCM issue #146552 Report Abuse


    It isn’t necessary to feed a large breed formula to an adult dog.

    I would look through the latest list of grain inclusive recommendations, since that is what you’re seeking.

    Remember, DFA has a very limited scope. DFA ranks and creates lists on a very limited list of criteria and has never presented these lists of brands/formulas as considering EVERY relevant indicator of quality.

    That’s why, for example, you’ll see brands with 4 or 5 stars that have some serious negative history or a relatively unknown, new and unproven brand. The lists don’t include evaluation of the grades of specific ingredients (ingredients that appear the same of a dog food label vary greatly in quality) and other indicators of ingredient quality, or a formula’s digestibility, or the research and testing that went into creating a particular formula (or the absence of this), or safety screens on finished batches (or lack thereof), and so on.

    I think this is a great site for collection of valuable information on numerous brands and different voices in dialogue. I’m really grateful for all that Mike and DFA do on this site. It represents lot of work. But I think it’s a mistake to get too hung up on trying to just feed a DFA 5 (or 4) star food.

    I have my own personal criteria for evaluating foods and my own experiences. Don’t you? My selections of what I deem best may or may not appear on DFA’s 4 or 5 star list. And some foods on the 5 star list I would never feed.

    DFA would likely not remove all grain-free or legume heavy (or potato) formulas from high ranking and recommendations without conclusive evidence of DCM in dogs caused by these diets. It’s not that DFA is unaware of the news, FDA notices, commentary from some vet schools and vet specialists working on the research/treating dogs.


    p.s. In addition to preferring grain inclusive/non-legume heavy formulas at this time, I’d recommend avoiding feeding exclusively or frequently lamb & rice formulas, particularly ones low in protein and high in ash, as well as those from a company less experienced and knowledgeable in safe formulating.

    Ditto very high fiber formulas long term, absent a compelling medical need as advised by your vet.

    Both have long been associated with higher risk for DCM, and showed up again in this most recent FDA compilation list of 560 dogs.

    Watch that your dog is eating the expected calories to obtain the amino acids and nutrients needed, and if not (in order to keep lean body condition), look for a formula better suited in caloric & nutrient density for your particular dog.


    Hi Jordan.

    Some additional options for grain inclusive, with NO chicken formulas include these brands:

    Dr. Gary’s Best Breed, First Mate, Eagle Pack’s Holistic Select Line (see e.g. Adult Radiant Sardine, Anchovy, & Salmon), Sport Dog (e.g. Buffalo formulas), Inception, Purina Pro Plan (e.g. Salmon & Rice Sensitive Stomach & Skin), Petcurean Go!, Farmina, Annamaet, Canine Caviar, Verus, Instinct by Nature’s Variety Be Natural Salmon (includes peas #7), Nutrisource (e.g. Trout & Rice — not the large breed one), and (soon) Open Farm’s new grain inclusive line. One of the moderators here, PugMom Sandy, noted a sardine formula from Nature’s Logic also.

    Purina, Hills, & Royal Canin have veterinary therapeutic formulas/prescription diets that exclude chicken as well.

    The above is not an exhaustive list or a recommendation for any listed. And those are just U.S. available foods.

    Your choices will depend upon what you are looking for preferentially in a formula and brand, things that you personally believe to be indicative of “high quality.”

    From experience, I have known many dogs to do well on the Fromm Whitefish grain inclusive formula recommended by another poster above, especially dogs with sensitive digestive systems and needs for low residue, highly digestible. It has a nice mix of whole grains, sweet potatoes, and bland, highly digestible simple carbs.

    I am currently feeding Annamaet’s Option formula (purple bag: Salmon based, w/lamb) and am very pleased with the company and the formula. To it, I daily add canned wild Alaskan salmon with bone, to bring the protein up from ~26-27% protein (dry matter, actual typical) to 30%+ (adjusted for our needs). Last month I added canned sardines.

    Good luck! If you are interested in one of the above formulas/brands, I’d be happy to give you my thoughts on it.

    in reply to: New to raw feeding #144744 Report Abuse


    If you don’t mind the Q, what happened with Royal Canin and your dog? And which formula was it?


    Hi Karen.

    You really do need to see a vet, sooner than over a month from now.

    Pruritus (itching) can make a dog feel utterly miserable and can quickly spiral into bigger problems, whether from injuring the skin from scratching/biting/chewing to soothe itself which can then create secondary skin infection, or an ear hematoma (which I promise you, you do NOT want to have happen) from a hard shake or scratching.

    Did you know that most itching is not from a food allergy? It is more common for a dog to have other things causing the symptoms, like flea bites, mites, fungal/bacterial infection, or environmental & inhalant allergies.

    It’s great that your breeder is involved. Your breeder is right that chicken could be a food allergy for your puppy and food allergies do commonly show up before 1 yr of age. Chicken and beef are top food allergens for dogs with food allergies.

    But did you know that food allergies are actually not very common in dogs? Or that, in a food allergy, symptoms typically can continue for some time after switching over to another food? This is why a novel food must be fed for up to 12 weeks to see results, relief from symptoms. And it must be fed exclusively, without any treats or flavored medicines.

    In the vast majority of cases, a vet will be able to diagnose something OTHER THAN food allergy and be able to help your dog get relief very quickly from itching — whether diagnosing external parasite, fungal, or bacterial infection and treating for that, or providing relief from environmental allergies.

    For the environmental allergies, there are hypoallergenic and skin soothing shampoos and rinses, a cortisone shot, oral antihistamines, even a Cytopoint/CADI injection (a drug that can relieve itching within 24 hours and last up to 1-2 months) which has safe use approved for puppies as well as adults. Some dogs with pollen allergies just need a little extra help seasonally.

    Throwing up in young dogs can be nothing serious and pretty normal or it can be something that really means your vet should be involved and treating. Joanne is right that it matters also when your puppy does this and what it looks like/consists of, even though that may seem gross!

    in reply to: Gluten free, grain inclusive food? #144742 Report Abuse

    First Mate’s grain inclusive formulas — carb base is oatmeal & brown rice — might be an option, for either you Jessica or you Joanne.

    I just have not had much exposure to this brand, and I personally have not done the research & inquiry with the company that I would wish to do before considering feeding one of their formulas. Options are chicken, fish, or lamb formulas, all limited ingredient, relatively simple formulas.

    I appreciate and hate at the same time reading chicken fat as one of the ingredients across formulas, as someone avoiding chicken. Allergy-wise, fat can’t be an allergen, but that chicken fat had better be clarified and tested free of all protein!

    Ash and fiber both look too high to me in these formulas. They claim suitable for large breed puppies, but to any large breed puppy people reading this, please do not feed this unless and until confirming the ACTUAL calcium and phosphorous, vs. the % amounts and ratio expressed as minimums here in the guaranteed analysis.

    in reply to: Gluten free, grain inclusive food? #144739 Report Abuse


    Thank you; you’re very kind to say that. This is rough, isn’t it? This trying to find a high quality, safe food that is grain inclusive . . . while needing to avoid a major common ingredient like chicken (or in Jessica’s case, gluten grains)?

    I know of another line’s formulas that many, many top show people in GSDs have fed for a very long time . . . safely and happily, + dogs doing well and looking great. But it has CHICKEN (and barley, which wouldn’t work for Jessica’s needs either).

    Bummer to hear yours didn’t like the EP/HS. Were you feeding it straight up, no additions?

    Have you tried Annamaet?

    I typically add to dry . . . wet foods (canned or fresh), good oil. I also add warm water most of the year. Do you think that would help yours to eat? I’m currently adding sardines in oil, as I want the protein & fat a bit higher anyway. We’re trying to see if she can handle fish, with her food allergy/allergies.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by GSDsForever.
    in reply to: Gluten free, grain inclusive food? #144738 Report Abuse


    One German Shepherd show kennel that I know of feeds SportMix Chicken & Rice, a pretty simple formula, without legumes (or potatoes) or gluten. And the dogs have been doing well on it.

    It has that very moderate (to moderate high) protein & fat that most GSD show breeders tend to favor, 26/16.

    I don’t know much about the line, other than that it is owned by Midwestern Pet Foods (which itself is owned by an old milling company, Nunn) which makes Earthborn, a brand that seems to have much more visibility and promotion.

    Earthborn Holistic, with its many grain-free formulas, was heavily implicated among the DCM case reports to the FDA, while Sportmix was not.

    in reply to: Gluten free, grain inclusive food? #144735 Report Abuse

    Yep, Eagle Pack/Holistic Select is owned by Berwind, under the Wellpet umbrella.

    But Eagle Pack brand (and its Holistic Select line) was founded and established in 1970 as a separate company, its foods were created and formulated separately, and continue to be manufactured in its own Mishawaka, IN facility.

    Since the merger, ownership acquisition by Berwind 12 years ago, there have been no adverse events involving either Eagle Pack or its line Holistic Select . . . no recalls ever.

    While it’s helpful to be aware of ownership, I think it would be a mistake to conflate the Wellness range of formulas or Wellpet with Eagle Pack/Holistic Select. They have different brand histories.

    in reply to: Gluten free, grain inclusive food? #144726 Report Abuse


    Hi. Cool to hear from another German Shepherd lover. I’m a lifelong owner and really passionate about the breed.

    You might consider Annamaet & Holistic Blend (division of Eagle Pack).

    A few Annamaet grain-inclusive formulas, without gluten grains, that might work for you are the Extra & Ultra. (Along with Small Breed, these don’t include barley.)

    One HS grain inclusive formula that I know, without gluten grains, is Sardine, Anchovy, & Salmon. The carb base is rice (brown & white) & oats for grains, plus pumpkin & flaxseed. No legumes and no potatoes.

    Like you, I’ve been trying to find good, safe foods that are grain inclusive and without peas/lentils/chickpeas/legumes in the top 10 ingredients, also not potato heavy. Lamb & rice formulas have also been linked to DCM, as have high fiber diets.

    While not needing gluten-free in our case, on my exclusion list for now are the top dog food allergens — beef, chicken, dairy, egg, wheat, corn, and soy. I have a food allergy dog and we haven’t entirely worked out what all her allergies include. So you can probably imagine it’s been challenging as well!

    Both Eagle Pack Holistic Blend and Annamaet have long, excellent reputations for high quality foods and safety.

    Annamaet, in particular, has been outstanding in their communication with me verbally & in writing, as they’ve fielded Qs about their feeding trials and testing of their products, their research including published peer reviewed, and their nutritionists who’ve formulated and oversee their formulas. (I would stick to their grain-inclusive for now though.) Their website lists online places to purchase their foods.

    If I think of or come across any other foods that might work for you, I will pass the info on. Good luck!

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by GSDsForever.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by GSDsForever.
    in reply to: Acana dog food & sick dog #144579 Report Abuse


    Glad to hear your dogs are off the Acana and doing better with regard to the symptoms you mentioned (vomiting).

    If you are concerned about the DCM-diet connection, I would still caution to avoid other grain-free/high legumes especially or potatoes formulas in other brands, along with other unusual/more exotic ingredients. It wasn’t just Acana, but many brands implicated including Health Extension’s grain-free formula.

    I agree that Orijen & Acana (Champion Pet Foods) have been heavily over promoted as the most wonderful & perfect foods on the planet — for many recent years. They have great advertising.

    Whatever brand(s) you choose, ask a lot of questions and do your research on the company, manufacturing, and formula — just to be on the safe side.

    in reply to: Blue Picardy Spaniel Puppy #144576 Report Abuse


    I would agree with joanne here, that a vet physical exam appointment w/diet and care consult is your best bet for a prudent approach with your new puppy.

    While not a recognized breed in the U.S. by the AKC — and, as you say, fairly uncommon — I would also seek out information from a reputable international/non-breed club that does recognize the breed.

    Maybe try the FCI or French parent breed club (since Picardy is French origin, like Picardy Shepherds “Berger Picard” that I am more acquainted with as a herding dog person, lol!)?

    Longterm, ethical breeders who show (conformation) or are active (competition/titling) in their breed’s activities/work, are typically a wealth of knowledge for how to care for the puppies, including growing nutritional needs. They will know which health issues are a concern for your breed and the role nutrition plays (along with other care). Contact with top show and working breeders, handlers, and judges in my breed club has always been tremendously helpful.

    Good luck with your puppy!

    in reply to: Omega 6 Oil (Linoleic Acid) #144573 Report Abuse

    Hi anon & crazy4cats.

    I did consult with my vet for Omega 3. That is why I use what I do and in the specified amount. Anon, there are veterinary therapeutic doses and then there are commercial retail product recommendations, which differ: I’m using a veterinary therapeutic dose as prescribed, with a minimum and maximum.

    I’m asking about experiences with use of Omega 6, not Omega 3.

    crazy4cats, the veterinary nutritionist we were scheduled to use has left private practice very recently and is unavailable, as she has joined staff for Nature’s Variety Instinct. That just kinda threw a wrinkle into our plans. I like her a lot.

    I haven’t yet selected a new veterinary nutritionist, but will be working with one sometime in the next several months, as my dog’s nutritional needs are more complex, such that we could use the additional assistance, and are not readily met by a commercial diet that we’ve found. I am fortunate to have insurance that will help pay for this.


    Hi Kimberley. It might be helpful in enabling others to respond better if you could tell us what about a formulation you are looking for, in terms of it being for seniors/reduced activity.

    Among senior dogs, there can be different needs between them for fat, protein, calories, etc. I never fed my last senior dog a specifically labelled “senior” or “reduced activity” formula; neither did my vets direct me to do so. I fed a variety of diets and supplemented based on my dog’s individual needs.

    Since you mentioned reduced activity, are you looking for a food with lower calories per cup so that you can provide more volume? Lowfat? What else?

    Also . . . some formulas that might be a good fit for your senior dogs, in whatever you’re looking for in nutrients, may not necessarily be labelled for senior dogs.

    Re HS, there are grain inclusive & no legumes/potatoes formulas. They make various formulas. Are you referring to one specifically labelled for seniors? For now, I think the most cautious approach does include avoiding GF & legume or potato heavy formulas.

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