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Grain free dog food


Ottakee
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We want to try a grain free dog food for our 8-9 year old Australian Shepherd mix. She has had horrible gas and loose stools lately but was better on turkey, rice and pumpkin.

 

Cost is a big issue. What are some that are grain free but not so pricey?

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The thing about most of the grain-free foods is they've just substituted other carbohydrates for grains. Many formulas, like Kirkland's are very low in protein (only 24%) and fat (only 16%).

 

These are marginal diets for dogs.

 

Bill

 

What percentages are recommended? 

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We use Castor & Pollux Grain and Poultry free. We've found it at PetSmart, Whole Foods, and Meijer. Our dog has horrible allergies and takes a daily med in addition to the special food. This is the only one that works well for us. The Tractor Supply mentioned up thread was one of the worst. The problem is finding a brand that makes it properly. Our vet says some of the companies just have a day they process the grain free food but they use the same machines as regular food so it's pointless. 

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What percentages are recommended?

If one is going to feed kibble (I don't any longer) then getting up to (and preferably over) 30% protein and 18-20% fat are generally good minimums. Dogs do much better metabolizing fats as their energy source than they do carbohydrates, so minimizing calories from carbs is a big plus. At 32% protein dogs minimize (virtually eliminate) injuries due to muscle tears, and maximize recovery.

 

So those are general targets I'd seek, or higher. Some dogs don't tolerate high protein and high fat diets, but it is often (usually) due to over feeding. High protein and high fat diets are calorically dense and the nutrients are more bioavailable, so the quantity of food needs to be adjusted downwards. The upside is dogs will produce far less solid waste. When dogs eat less food at a meal, it somewhat makes up for the higher cost per pound that higher protein higher fat foods charge.

Edited by Spy Car
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One thing to watch out for on seafood based diets is UTIs.  Our dog kept getting UTIs and the vet said it was due to an abnormally high urine ph and we should use an acidifier in the food.  After some research, I found that fish-based diets can cause some dogs to have an elevated ph and be prone to UTIs.  We changed food and that problem disappeared.  Our dog ( who can't tolerate grain or chicken) is on Canidae right now and is doing well. 

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I'm not a huge fan of feeding a dog like a wolf, particularly if it isn't living the life of a wolf, aka getting miles of exercise a day. And there is evidence to show that dogs do have genes to break down starch, compared to wolves. That said, generally the amount of gas is from fiber/carbs, the smell of the gas is from the protein. Depending on what issue you are having that may give you a place to start when comparing dog foods. 

 

http://www.nature.com/news/dog-s-dinner-was-key-to-domestication-1.12280

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Trust me, wolves don't eat kibble. Any kibble available doesn't match the diet of wolves in the wild.

 

Dogs have acquired a very unevenly distributed ability to produce the enzyme amylase (necessary to digest starches) in the pancreas, relative to wolves. However, unlike virtually all omnivores, dogs do not produce salivary amylase. The amounts of carbohydrates in kibble are very unnatural in a canine diet. It puts stress on the pancreas, the sugars (which can not be processed due to the lack of amylase) cause plaque and tartar on teeth, many dogs bloat (GVD), most have distended bellies after eating (that we've gotten used to, but is highly unnatural).

 

Dogs fed high carbohydrate diets coats are usually dry, stools are huge and voluminous (due to the non-bioavailable fillers) and they have plenty of other problems as a direct result of eating unnatural amounts of carbohydrates. 

 

The National Research Council, the leading scientific group upon whose research dog food standards are based, says that dogs have no nutritional requirements to consume carbohydrates. None.

 

I've seen the difference in dogs that eat meat, raw bones, fat, fish, and organs first-hand (including my own) and the difference is dramatic. Kibble has been around since 1956. Feeding a diet that was shaped by evolution to be optimal vs a proceesed food product designed to utilize industrial and agricultural waste products just don't compare.

 

Bill

 

 

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Sorry, wasn't saying that processed kibble was ideal either, heck processed food of any kind isn't ideal, for any species. Just wanted to throw out the idea that starch is digestible by dogs, and that looking for a food that mimicks wolf intake isn't always ideal, if you have a couch potato of a dog. Too many calories in vs out :)  A lot of the high end kibblesare VERY energy dense, with very high calorie content. Without the chewing and exercise that comes from eating actual prey, not to mention the running down and hunting the prey. I've seen some dogs gain a LOT of weight from the "grain free" higher protein, higher fat kibbles. 

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Sorry, wasn't saying that processed kibble was ideal either, heck processed food of any kind isn't ideal, for any species. Just wanted to throw out the idea that starch is digestible by dogs, and that looking for a food that mimicks wolf intake isn't always ideal, if you have a couch potato of a dog. Too many calories in vs out :)  A lot of the high end kibblesare VERY energy dense, with very high calorie content. Without the chewing and exercise that comes from eating actual prey, not to mention the running down and hunting the prey. I've seen some dogs gain a LOT of weight from the "grain free" higher protein, higher fat kibbles. 

 

High protein high fat kibbles are calorie dense. That's exactly what I said in an earlier post. Consequently one needs to feed less food. Feeding less food is far better for dog's health, as they are not forced to move mass amounts of fillers. It also means less stool to deal with. Lastly fat is the ideal energy source for dogs. That is scientific fact. When dogs are fed carbohydrates it disrupts their normal fat burning metabolism, and produces bad insulin spikes.

 

Dog, to some degree, can digest process starches. But it is not a diet on which they will thrive. Survive and thrive are very different things.

 

Dogs who eat a species appropriate diet have a very different level of condition that those fed cereal-based meals.

 

Bill 

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Protein and carbs contain the same number of calories per gram, so increasing the ratio doesn't change calories.

Increasing FAT increases calories per gram, which is typical.  But, like Spy Car says, the measured amount is typically smaller because of that.  I ran the calculations years ago to check my cost vs. nutrition before switching my dogs.  Pound for pound, it was more expensive.  Serving size, not so much.

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Protein and carbs contain the same number of calories per gram, so increasing the ratio doesn't change calories.

Increasing FAT increases calories per gram, which is typical.  But, like Spy Car says, the measured amount is typically smaller because of that.  I ran the calculations years ago to check my cost vs. nutrition before switching my dogs.  Pound for pound, it was more expensive.  Serving size, not so much.

 

Right.  Feeding a smaller amount of calorically dense food helps to somewhat even out the price advantage of foods with more fillers that pass through dogs as nutritionally empty waste. 

 

Protein has 4 kcals per gram, as do carbs. For fat it is 9 kcal per gram. The difference between dogs burning fat (which they were shaped by evolution to do extraordinarily well), vs burning carbs (which is not natural for canines) is huge. Dogs are not people. Their metabolism is entirely different.

 

Both calories from proteins and from fats provide dogs it vital nutrients. Carbohydrates add nothing beneficial (at all) to a canine diet, save empty calories. These empty calories replace (by necessity) calories from the items that have real value nutritionally, fats and protein.

 

And eat less volume of food is beneficial to dog's good health. Eating mass amounts of product that contains low levels of nutrition is bad for dog's health.

 

Bill

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High protein high fat kibbles are calorie dense. That's exactly what I said in an earlier post. Consequently one needs to feed less food. Feeding less food is far better for dog's health, as they are not forced to move mass amounts of fillers. It also means less stool to deal with. Lastly fat is the ideal energy source for dogs. That is scientific fact. When dogs are fed carbohydrates it disrupts their normal fat burning metabolism, and produces bad insulin spikes.

 

Dog, to some degree, can digest process starches. But it is not a diet on which they will thrive. Survive and thrive are very different things.

 

Dogs who eat a species appropriate diet have a very different level of condition that those fed cereal-based meals.

 

Bill 

 

 

What do you feed your dog?

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We feed Acana Regionals.  I'd love to feed Orjen, but it's just to expensive, so Acana is a nice compromise.  We add extra lean protein depending on which formula we're using (we rotate for variety).  Grain free will take some adjustment if you haven't been feeding this way from the beginning, and many people do tend to overfeed when switching, so be careful when switching and take these things into account.  A hands on evaluation of your dog each week will help determine how much you need to adjust calories and exercise.  This is one food calculator that can give you an idea of the range of servings based on any particular food.

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What do you feed your dog?

 

I feed meat, fat, soft-edible bone, oily fish (like mackerel, anchovies, and sardines), organs like liver, kidney, and pancreas), unprocessed green tripe, and connective tissues. And eggs.

 

All raw. Except the eggs. If I feed many eggs during the week I will fry them in coconut oil until the whites set, as coagulating albumen can bind dietary biotin. Some times I feed a whole raw egg. I always serve the shells.

 

I feed beef, chicken, pork, bison (as available). elk (as available) , ostrich (as available), fish, goat, lamb, turkey, etc.

 

I scored two cases of pig ears today, and some lamb liver and kidneys. Odd bits.

 

Beef heart is a common item.

 

You should see the dog drool at meal time. It is like the Niagara Falls :D

 

Bill 

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Yes, I get that you feed a smaller volume and that would equal it out, but in my experience most people don't. Hence my warning to watch calorie intake if switching to a more energy dense food. I lost track of how many animals I've seen gain large amounts of weight when the owner switched to a more energy dense, lower carbohydrate kibble. When the dog is sedentary most of the day it is very very easy to overfeed with those foods. 

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Yes, I get that you feed a smaller volume and that would equal it out, but in my experience most people don't. Hence my warning to watch calorie intake if switching to a more energy dense food. I lost track of how many animals I've seen gain large amounts of weight when the owner switched to a more energy dense, lower carbohydrate kibble. When the dog is sedentary most of the day it is very very easy to overfeed with those foods. 

I am feeding her less.  She is older so not as active as she once was but she is out with me at the barn 2 or 3 times a day running around and we go for walks most days.  She has the run of 5 acres as well which helps some.

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I am feeding her less.  She is older so not as active as she once was but she is out with me at the barn 2 or 3 times a day running around and we go for walks most days.  She has the run of 5 acres as well which helps some.

 

That definitely helps! I worked in the suburbs, and many dogs were pretty inactive. 

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What people need to understand is that feeding an inactive dog low nutritional food only further undermines that dog's health, rather than supporting it. It means to get adequate levels of fat and protein people will either over feed, and the dog will suffer all the negative consequences associated with obesity (which is almost the standard in contemporary America) or the ratios are cut and the result is the huge proportion of empty carries crowds out the the necessary nutrients dogs require from protein and fat.

 

Somehow we have come to accept a wrong headed notion that more sedentary dogs do better on high carbohydrate diets, and that is exactly the opposite of the case.These dogs would do better on reduced rations of higher protein and higher fat foods, with the amounts calibrated to keep them in good trim.

 

Bill

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What people need to understand is that feeding an inactive dog low nutritional food only further undermines that dog's health, rather than supporting it. It means to get adequate levels of fat and protein people will either over feed, and the dog will suffer all the negative consequences associated with obesity (which is almost the standard in contemporary America) or the ratios are cut and the result is the huge proportion of empty carries crowds out the the necessary nutrients dogs require from protein and fat.

 

Somehow we have come to accept a wrong headed notion that more sedentary dogs do better on high carbohydrate diets, and that is exactly the opposite of the case.These dogs would do better on reduced rations of higher protein and higher fat foods, with the amounts calibrated to keep them in good trim.

 

Bill

 

Yes, but some people are not going to feed such a small volume of food to their dogs. Psychologically, it just seems too little. So yeah, you need to bulk the food up to keep them from overfeeding. A leaner dog with more grain in the diet vs an obese dog with less grain, not sure where the health balance falls there. 

 

Of course ideally the dog would get more exercise and this would be a moot point :)  

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And I do NOT believe high carb diets, for people or dogs, are best. I just was pointing out that you have to be very careful with volume, when feeding something so calorie dense. 

 

As a person, when I eat a lower carb diet I feel more energetic and move more, which allows me to eat more calories. A dog may not have that option if he's home alone all day in an apartment. 

 

And yes, carbs and protein have the same calories per gram, but remember that dog food also has fiber, which is a whole different beast and can bulk up the food without a lot of caloric impact. People often don't realize the huge difference in calories from one brand to another, cup for cup. 

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Yes, but some people are not going to feed such a small volume of food to their dogs. Psychologically, it just seems too little. So yeah, you need to bulk the food up to keep them from overfeeding. A leaner dog with more grain in the diet vs an obese dog with less grain, not sure where the health balance falls there. 

 

Of course ideally the dog would get more exercise and this would be a moot point :)

 

To make the heath of dogs suffer from eating bulked-up nutritionally-vacant meals due to human psychological problems is not a course I can endorse.

 

A lean dog fed a high protein high fat diet is what's optimal. 

 

Bill

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And I do NOT believe high carb diets, for people or dogs, are best. I just was pointing out that you have to be very careful with volume, when feeding something so calorie dense. 

 

As a person, when I eat a lower carb diet I feel more energetic and move more, which allows me to eat more calories. A dog may not have that option if he's home alone all day in an apartment. 

 

And yes, carbs and protein have the same calories per gram, but remember that dog food also has fiber, which is a whole different beast and can bulk up the food without a lot of caloric impact. People often don't realize the huge difference in calories from one brand to another, cup for cup. 

 

We need to remember that humans and canines have very different physiologies. While you might feel better eating a lower carbohydrate diet, it remains that human beings are omnivores who ordinarily burn carbohydrates as their primary energy source. So we, by following a human tendency to anthropomorphize the needs of our pets, often assume they have the same nutritional needs and physiologies that we do. But it is not the case.

 

Humans have become rather fat-phobic. But dogs are shaped by evolution to run on fats. They burn fat as their optimal energy source, and do it with remarkable efficiency. There was a study taking ordinary out-of-shape dogs and doing nothing but shift their diet from a high carb diet to a higher protein/fat diet. As a consequence the VO2 Max scores (with measure the aerobic capacity of athletes) soared into the ranges generally seen only in highly conditioned canines, like sled dogs. The differences based on diet alone were remarkable.

 

Feeding carbohydrates in excess is bad for dog's health and physical condition. This is true for both active and inactive dogs. 

 

Bill

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To make the heath of dogs suffer from eating bulked-up nutritionally-vacant meals due to human psychological problems is not a course I can endorse.

 

A lean dog fed a high protein high fat diet is what's optimal. 

 

Bill

 

You were talking optimal, I was talking what actually happens, from observing hundreds and hundreds of dogs over 20 years in veterinary clinics. I never said it was optimal. Doesn't mean it isn't the truth. Trust me, changing human nature isn't exactly easy. Sometimes solving the psychological issues isn't going to happen, so you do what you have to do. 

 

Optimal is great. Reality is different. 

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I don't think we are disagreeing, Spy car. I think you are just discussing optimal and I'm making observations of the reality around me. Sometimes you have to realize that perfect can be the enemy of the good. 

 

That said, sometimes I do get a kick out of the 20 year old dogs that ate nothing but Old Roy their whole lives...kind of like those 110 year old people that smoke and drank every day. Not a prescription for long life, but fun when it happens I think :)

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And true confessions, although I think my own dogs would do best on raw food and bones, that doesn't happen here. For various reasons. Table scraps plus kibble plus canned. Of course, for the first time in my life I have a dog with a GI issue now. Pancreatitis, thanks to some stolen salami and ham. Nursing her back to health and feeling awful about her pain. (she is on tramadol and cerenia, and improving though, thankfully.)

 

And i've used a range of kibbles, Holistic Select, Innova, California Natural, Evo, the Costco brand one, and a few I can't remember. But I buy pretty cheap canned food, various brands.

 

Now I need to start over, and find a lower fat, but still lower carb high quality kibble, as she's going to need low fat for quite a while. Or start making my own. Which I've also done in the past, but it's a pain in the butt. 

 

But yeah, salami and ham not optimal, for sure :)  At least after seeing how sick the dog got my kids are being good about not leaving food randomly around. 

Edited by ktgrok
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We feed Acana Regionals.  I'd love to feed Orjen, but it's just to expensive, so Acana is a nice compromise.  We add extra lean protein depending on which formula we're using (we rotate for variety).  Grain free will take some adjustment if you haven't been feeding this way from the beginning, and many people do tend to overfeed when switching, so be careful when switching and take these things into account.  A hands on evaluation of your dog each week will help determine how much you need to adjust calories and exercise.  This is one food calculator that can give you an idea of the range of servings based on any particular food.

 

Thank you for mentioning this company! I need to find a lower fat, but still good quality kibble for my dog that came down with pancreatitis and looks like they would be the top choice. Thank you!

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I guess I've seen the difference between feeding optimally, and not. The difference in condition is dramatic. That is not an overstatement.

 

Feeding a higher protein/higher fat kibble is not "optimal," but it is easily do-able and will improve the health and condition of dogs relative to high carbohydrate formulations if people are mindful to feed by condition (and not let dogs become obese). 

 

This is the sound alternative for people who have no interest in less convenient methods. 

 

As to pancreatitis, my inner intelligence (fortified by experience and having read a pretty fair amount of the scientific veterinary literature on the subject) leads me to believe that, while the stealing (or deliberate feeding) of an unusually high-fat meal (think feeding all the grease form a Thanksgiving meal) of cooked fats to a dog accustomed to eating a high carbohydrate diet, is often "the triggering event" for pancreatitis, that this is a symptom of the damage caused by excessive carbohydrates in the first place.

 

The pancreas has two functions: regulating blood sugars and secreting digestive enzymes. When dog are fed unnatural amounts of carbohydrates the pancreas has to work overtime trying to produce the hormones Insulin and Glucagon to modulate the unnatural amounts of carbohydrates/sugars that flow from a high carb diet. The is a cascade of insulin spikes and valleys with fluctuating blood sugar levels are bad for health, and particularly taxing on the pancreas. So the organ is stressed on the endocrine side.

 

Then on the exocrine side (which produces necessary enzymes to digest foods) when dogs are conditioned to release huge amounts of amylase, which despite dogs having more capacity to do than wolves isn't natural, and they instead eat an unusual amount of cooked fats that they are not conditioned to consume, the pancreas spills both amylase and lipase (the enzyme needed to mettles fats). The excessive and badly timed release of digestive enzymes causes the dog's own tissues to be damaged/dissolved by its own digestive enzymes. 

 

The ingestion of unusual amounts of cooked fats by dogs conditioned to survive on carb gets the blame as a triggering event, but the previous assaults to the health of the pancreas seem to be neglected as the underlying root of the problem.

 

Dogs conditioned to burn fat (their natural diet) don't tend to get pancreatitis, and when they do is is generally due to damage caused by steroidal medications, injuries and other causes.

 

For people with dogs conditioned to kibble, don't suddenly start pouring pans full of bacon grease into a dogs bowl. That is very risky. Same for eating ham and salami.

 

Bill

Edited by Spy Car
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I actually blame it more on the processed nature of the meat, she's had fatty meat many many many times...and yes, bacon grease. Of course, she also could have gotten who knows what as well...this is the dog that will steal entire sticks of butter off the counter if you leave them for a minute. Never with even a slight upset stomach. But something she got put her over the edge. The salami and ham are what I KNOW she got. But it could be something she stole from a kid, trash, counter, etc.  This was very salty, very heavily spiced salami, and although supposedly it's the fat that triggers the pancreatitis in my experience spices and seasonings usually go hand and hand with it (in dogs..cats are another story). Ham is the number one food I've seen trigger it, with highly seasoned meats being second. It's USUAlLY not from straight steak, burger, etc except maybe in the toy breeds, who are more sensitive in general. 

 

Either way, I'm feeling awful, as one way or another it's my fault. 

 

But again, you and I agree on optimal, but disagree on what's practical for most people :)

 

But today, I'm just glad she's improving. I was sure I was going to lose her yesterday. (too many years in vet med had me worried it was a splenic tumor bleeding out.....pancreatitis, although serious, was a MUCH better diagnosis)

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I actually blame it more on the processed nature of the meat, she's had fatty meat many many many times...and yes, bacon grease. Of course, she also could have gotten who knows what as well...this is the dog that will steal entire sticks of butter off the counter if you leave them for a minute. Never with even a slight upset stomach. But something she got put her over the edge. The salami and ham are what I KNOW she got. But it could be something she stole from a kid, trash, counter, etc.  This was very salty, very heavily spiced salami, and although supposedly it's the fat that triggers the pancreatitis in my experience spices and seasonings usually go hand and hand with it (in dogs..cats are another story). Ham is the number one food I've seen trigger it, with highly seasoned meats being second. It's USUAlLY not from straight steak, burger, etc except maybe in the toy breeds, who are more sensitive in general. 

 

Either way, I'm feeling awful, as one way or another it's my fault. 

 

But again, you and I agree on optimal, but disagree on what's practical for most people :)

 

But today, I'm just glad she's improving. I was sure I was going to lose her yesterday. (too many years in vet med had me worried it was a splenic tumor bleeding out.....pancreatitis, although serious, was a MUCH better diagnosis)

 

I know that feeding raw isn't what most people consider practical, but feeding one (better) food out of a bag vs a less good food out of a bag is even in terms of convenience. 

 

I do hope your dog improves and you find the best way to manage the pancreatitis. It is very scary to feel like one could lose a beloved dog. Your nerves must be frayed.

 

All the best.

 

Bill

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I know that feeding raw isn't what most people consider practical, but feeding one (better) food out of a bag vs a less good food out of a bag is even in terms of convenience. 

 

I do hope your dog improves and you find the best way to manage the pancreatitis. It is very scary to feel like one could lose a beloved dog. Your nerves must be frayed.

 

All the best.

 

Bill

 

Totally. Add in that I also had a dermatologist appt yesterday, and had 12 lesions removed in various ways, and it isn't a great week. 

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And, given that I'm emotionally DONE right now (and kind of physically....see thread about autonomic regulation issues somewhere on here...post stress I become a weak ball of cranky/sad for about 24 hours, even good stress), maybe you could tell me what you would feed (not raw, not going there right now, for various reasons) an overweigh, spayed (I know..trust me, I won't do pediatric spays anymore) pit/lab/shepherd/something mix of 10 years of age that now has had a bout of pacreatitis. so I don't have to research right now :)

 

She was a neurotic mess of a puppy (mother was put down for aggression, but her earliest weeks were spent with a mother that growled and attacked humans) from a shelter environment that became a "project dog" for me. She taught me a ton about stress/anxiety/resiliance, and is a great sweetheart of a dog now. Even if she is too plump. (see previous statements about her theiving ways and my children who refuse to put food away...she once ate an entire platter of grassfed hamburgers that were on the counter, the brat.)

 

Looking at this one...among others. http://annamaet.com/products/dogs/grain-free-for-dogs/44-lean-formula

Edited by ktgrok
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And, given that I'm emotionally DONE right now (and kind of physically....see thread about autonomic regulation issues somewhere on here...post stress I become a weak ball of cranky/sad for about 24 hours, even good stress), maybe you could tell me what you would feed (not raw, not going there right now, for various reasons) an overweigh, spayed (I know..trust me, I won't do pediatric spays anymore) pit/lab/shepherd/something mix of 10 years of age that now has had a bout of pacreatitis. so I don't have to research right now :)

 

She was a neurotic mess of a puppy (mother was put down for aggression, but her earliest weeks were spent with a mother that growled and attacked humans) from a shelter environment that became a "project dog" for me. She taught me a ton about stress/anxiety/resiliance, and is a great sweetheart of a dog now. Even if she is too plump. (see previous statements about her theiving ways and my children who refuse to put food away...she once ate an entire platter of grassfed hamburgers that were on the counter, the brat.)

 

For the short term you could turn to small meals of boiled chicken breasts (boneless and skinless) and boiled rice. With the aim of keeping fats low (under 10%). Feeding small amounts frequently (like starting with 4 meals a day). This fits standard practice.

 

Over the longer term such a diet would not provide balanced nutrition. What I like about raw isn't so much the raw meat, but that one can feed raw edible bone as a calcium source. It is more difficult to provide calcium and maintain firm stools without feeding bone.

 

I'd advise turning to veterinary professionals you've worked with for their advice. I know what I'd do were I feeding raw. And I think the short term small meals of plain boiled chicken and rice option would be met with approval, but for longer term conventional diets I'm out of my depth. Most of these diets will be high carb, when I'm not sure that isn't a mixed answer to the problem. It is a conundrum.

 

Bill

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And, given that I'm emotionally DONE right now (and kind of physically....see thread about autonomic regulation issues somewhere on here...post stress I become a weak ball of cranky/sad for about 24 hours, even good stress), maybe you could tell me what you would feed (not raw, not going there right now, for various reasons) an overweigh, spayed (I know..trust me, I won't do pediatric spays anymore) pit/lab/shepherd/something mix of 10 years of age that now has had a bout of pacreatitis. so I don't have to research right now :)

 

She was a neurotic mess of a puppy (mother was put down for aggression, but her earliest weeks were spent with a mother that growled and attacked humans) from a shelter environment that became a "project dog" for me. She taught me a ton about stress/anxiety/resiliance, and is a great sweetheart of a dog now. Even if she is too plump. (see previous statements about her theiving ways and my children who refuse to put food away...she once ate an entire platter of grassfed hamburgers that were on the counter, the brat.)

 

Looking at this one...among others. http://annamaet.com/products/dogs/grain-free-for-dogs/44-lean-formula

Some the Acana line are closer to your requirements.  You might choose one and then add additional lean meat to get where you want to be. Senior and Light & Fit are 14% and 11% fat.  The challenge will be getting any of the heritage line depending on where you live.  We can only get the Regional line and Orjen line until spring 2016, when a local store will have access to the entire line.  The benefit of that is that they do a buy 12 get the 13th bag free if purchased off their site or in one of the stores that stock their products.

Edited by melmichigan
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That's pretty much where my thinking was. Maybe gradually moving to pumpkin and some less starchy stuff. Once upon a time I had a book with homemade diets for various issues, I will have to check and see if my clinic has a copy. It included the proper supplementation for long term diets. 

 

I have access to a vet who is experienced in things like chinese medicine, acupuncture, and chiropractic, but she's not that into the nutritional side of things. 

 

For the short term you could turn to small meals of boiled chicken breasts (boneless and skinless) and boiled rice. With the aim of keeping fats low (under 10%). Feeding small amounts frequently (like starting with 4 meals a day). This fits standard practice.

 

Over the longer term such a diet would not provide balanced nutrition. What I like about raw isn't so much the raw meat, but that one can feed raw edible bone as a calcium source. It is more difficult to provide calcium and maintain firm stools without feeding bone.

 

I'd advise turning to veterinary professionals you've worked with for their advice. I know what I'd do were I feeding raw. And I think the short term small meals of plain boiled chicken and rice option would be met with approval, but for longer term conventional diets I'm out of my depth. Most of these diets will be high carb, when I'm not sure that isn't a mixed answer to the problem. It is a conundrum.

 

Bill

 

Edited by ktgrok
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