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Saint Bernard puppy... Recommended food.

RaYne
May 10th, 2005, 09:16 AM
I'm just curious which food you all would recommend for a Saint puppy. Bubba is now 13 weeks old. The breeder was feeding Pro plan large breed puppy, which made him gassy with loose stools. I slowly switched him to Eukanuba large breed puppy and his stool firmed up for a few weeks. Now they are back to being loose. He's been to the vet and has no parasites or bacterial issues going on at all. That was the first thing I ruled out.

I know Solid Gold Wolfcub is an excellent food, but at $67 for a 33lb bag and the fact that I'm feeding a Saint Bernard it may get a tad pricey. I was thinking of trying the Eagle pack large/giant breed puppy food. Any opinions on Eagle Pack or suggestions on another brand?

Thanks

Bearsmom
May 10th, 2005, 09:39 AM
We feed our 13 week old mastiff/rottie mix Nutrience Large Breed Puppy and we pay about $25 Canadian per bag. He also loves it.

kandy
May 10th, 2005, 11:38 AM
Our breeder had requested that we feed Pedigree but I had been doing research on dog food (based on what I had been reading on this site) and asked her if I could feed something else. I have switched to Nutro Large Breed Puppy for our newf. I wanted to go with Solid Gold (the WolfCub puppy) but there are no distributors anywhere close to me. My second choice was Innova, but again, there are no distributors and I worried about the freshness if I ordered it online. I finally found a local feed store that carries the Natural Choice foods and keeps the puppy formula in stock. It's $25 (US) for an 20lb bag - I don't know how much they charge for the 40lb bag as they were out of that size. I have noticed that Hazel's stools are alot firmer. If you google Canine Nutrition, it'll give some good sites that tell you how to read the dog food labels and others that tell you what a puppy needs. Then if you google Dog Food, you can start to look for distributors on whatever food you choose. Since I have owned big dogs most of my life (including a St. Bernard named Bummer), I haven't found that they eat more than any other large breed (GSD, Rott, Dane, etc) - although our new pup may change that opinion since she gets up at 3am to eat!! :D BTW - have you posted pix of the pup?!? I love St. Bernard pups - they are sooo cute and lovable!!!

Katherine
May 10th, 2005, 12:01 PM
Hi Rayne :)

I have a big boy that had similar problems . When we first brought him home he was having a really tough time , very loose stools with lots of straining (and accidents :yuck: ) . We realized he was allergic to chicken so we switched his food but he was still having some of the same issues.

We switched him to the Wellness brand of food and its had an amazing effect on him. Its all we feed him now and hes doing so much better. Hes been gaining weight and only takes a dump once a day now which for me is a huge bonus :thumbs up .

We pay $61 for a huge bag (not sure how many pounds) and it lasts us about a month. Farley is a newf / lab cross and he weighs about 85 lbs.

coppperbelle
May 10th, 2005, 12:47 PM
If you decide to feed a better quality food you will feed less as there are not as many fillers in it. You may pay a bit more for a bag but you will get more for your money.
Eagle Pack is a good food. You can also try Nutro foods, Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance, Wellness and of course Solid Gold. I feed two golden retrievers Solid Gold, Wolf King and I really like the results. It is not easy to find but I do have a few stores that will order it for me when I run out.

Personally I would stay away from Purina and Pedigree foods but that is my opinion. It all comes down to what you can afford and how easily you can find it.

Prin
May 10th, 2005, 03:15 PM
Be sure to ask the breeder about exercise and stuff too, because huge dogs need special consideration while their enormous bones are developing.

I feed Jemma (62 lbs) 2 cups of solid gold wolf king and Boo 2.5 cups a day. He is a bit less active, and he is doing very well on 2.5 cups now. He's 96lbs. Show my one other food whereby 2.5 cups would be enough for a 96lb doggy? Besides the wolf cub has more calories per cup than the wolf king, too. Why not try it out and see? I'm a bit biased here, because I am so impressed with how good my doggies are doing it. We get sooo many comments about their shiny, soft fur now. It's great.

Saint Bernard adults are not incredibly active either. I would guess that you'd need between 4 and 5 cups of the adult food when he is fully grown (depending on his metabolism and activity of course..) The beauty of the more natural foods is that you can tell if you are feeding too much by the stool firmness.

And by the way, Eukanuba has SUPER stool hardeners in it, so even if your dog is a bit sick, the stool will be firm. Firmness of the stool is not a great indicator of how well a dog is doing on the food, simply because the commercial foods have the harders in them that mask everything... Of course if a dog has diarrhea, then there is a real problem...

Don't forget to switch the food gradually too.

kandy
May 10th, 2005, 05:50 PM
Our breeder (for our newfs) makes us sign an acknowledgement that she has warned us about the dangers of letting a pup less than 18 months of age jump on and off furniture, take more than 20 minute walks and exercise more than 20 minutes at a time or go up and down stairs every day. She said that there has been research done that shows that giant breed dogs have less problems with displaysia and arthitis if their exercise, etc. has been controlled until they are 18 months old. Through my research on dog foods and what giant breed pups should and should not have, I did discover that the amount of calcium they get should be controlled and the lower the phosphorous, the better. Also, foods with some kind of fish are better.

Prin
May 10th, 2005, 05:55 PM
Hey! Salmon Meal is the second ingredient of Wolf Cub... :thumbs up :)

kandy
May 10th, 2005, 06:29 PM
That's one of the reasons that I wanted to feed the Wolfcub. Salmon is the best fish you can feed your dog. At least the nutro large breed puppy has a growth control formula (lower amounts of calcium and phophorous) and doesn't have a bunch of fillers and has the fish meal, etc. Since I can't get the Wolfcub around here, I'll settle for the nutro - and the puppy seems to really like it.

Prin: What did you mean when you said "you can tell if you are feeding too much by the stool firmness"? Hazel's stool is firm, but doesn't look like it's too hard. What should the stool look like if they are getting the right amount? What would it look like if they are getting too much??

Sorry RaYne - didn't mean to hijack your thread but it is pertinent information! :p

RaYne
May 10th, 2005, 06:31 PM
No problem for the hijack.. I'd like to know also. :)

I did not know Eukanuba has stool hardeners in it. :( I really should have known better when I bought it and read on the bag 'made by the Iams company'.

I called Paulmac's where I buy all my pet food and the owner told me a 33lb bag of Solid Gold Wolfcub is 72 dollars and change. The 33lb bag of Eagle pack is 56 dollars and change. So it's really not a huge price difference.

I am leaning towards the Wolfcub.. I'll have to talk it over with my fiance when he gets home from work. In the 4 weeks that we have had Bubba he's only eaten just over a 20 pound bag of food. My fiance was thinking this would increase ten fold and he wanted to make sure we could keep up with the cost. I hope my post didn't sound like we are cheapskates. That wasn't my intention. :(

Bubba isn't active at all, which I didn't expect from a puppy. He'll play for about 5 minutes at a time, then go and have a nap. I've been careful not to overexercise him. Although he does have to go up 10 stairs to go outside. I am careful though and I make sure he takes his time and does not jump.

Another thing I noticed... Since he's been eating the Eukanuba.. is that his hips seem stiff at times, occasionally he'll have a slight limp, mainly after sleeping when he first gets up. Then 10-15 seconds he's fine. Both Bubba's parents were clear for hip dysplasia, and just over 2 weeks ago the vet said his hips felt fine. An x-ray might be in order. But I find it odd none of this started until he started eating the Eukanuba by itself. (I was mixing both the Pro plan and Eukanuba for 3 weeks with no stiff hips/limping). I checked the calcium on the Eukanuba bag and it's rather low. Lower than the Pro plan. I guess it could just be a coincidence. He has another vet visit this week for his last booster and rabies shot, I will mention it to my vet, but I'm curious if anyone has ideas/opinions on this?

Here's a few pics of Bubba when he was 11 weeks. I need to take some new ones. :D I'll just link to them since I'm not sure if they are too large to post here or not.

http://67.18.37.14/95/148/upload/p439973.jpg

http://67.18.37.14/95/148/upload/p439974.jpg

http://67.18.37.14/95/148/upload/p439975.jpg

http://67.18.37.14/95/148/upload/p439976.jpg

Prin
May 10th, 2005, 06:52 PM
Prin: What did you mean when you said "you can tell if you are feeding too much by the stool firmness"? Hazel's stool is firm, but doesn't look like it's too hard. What should the stool look like if they are getting the right amount? What would it look like if they are getting too much?? It's solid, but not compact when you're feeding too much. When you feed just enough, the stool is very compact and hard... (lovely). It's important that the doggy have some really hard stools at least sometimes to empty out the anal glands.

Also check the weight of the doggy. Puppies should be growing obviously but not getting fatter. Adult dogs' weight should be pretty stable.

happycats
May 10th, 2005, 07:01 PM
Who would have thought, that I would spend an evening reading about the consistency of dog poo! :rolleyes:

By the way that is one sweet looking pup Rayne :)

Prin
May 10th, 2005, 07:02 PM
Another thing I noticed... Since he's been eating the Eukanuba.. is that his hips seem stiff at times, occasionally he'll have a slight limp, mainly after sleeping when he first gets up. Then 10-15 seconds he's fine. Both Bubba's parents were clear for hip dysplasia, and just over 2 weeks ago the vet said his hips felt fine. An x-ray might be in order. But I find it odd none of this started until he started eating the Eukanuba by itself. (I was mixing both the Pro plan and Eukanuba for 3 weeks with no stiff hips/limping). I checked the calcium on the Eukanuba bag and it's rather low. Lower than the Pro plan. I guess it could just be a coincidence. He has another vet visit this week for his last booster and rabies shot, I will mention it to my vet, but I'm curious if anyone has ideas/opinions on this?
I missed this so I had to post again... (and the number goes up...) The stiffness is likely to be the food. I say this because a friend of mine spent literally hundreds of dollars trying to figure out why her dog was limping and it was the Eukanuba in the end. Something in it reacts with some dogs and causes symptoms sort of like arthritis. When you change the food, the dog should recover.

I don't think anybody is a cheapo, even if you feed walmart brand, I think you should just do the best you can and know what you are doing. At least know what you are doing. I can't switch because my doggies are really sensitive and they are doing so well on the Wolf King.

Try switching the food first and see if the stiffness disappears (wait like 2 weeks) and then if it's still there, get the xrays.

Very soft cuddly lookin' doggy. :)

RaYne
May 11th, 2005, 08:43 AM
Thanks for the help. Much appreciated. I couldn't wait to speak to my vet so I called him. He's basically told me the same thing you did Prin. :) He also said that he's seen quite a few dogs with what seemed to be hip/joint problems, that turned out to be caused from feeding Eukanuba. He's not too keen on Wellness either. Apparently he's treated some inflamed bowels from it.

We are going to get the Wolfcub. The owner of Paulmac's pet food said she can order it anytime. So that's what we are going to buy. I'll switch it over slowly, I still have about 10 pounds of Eukanuba left. And I ordered a bag of Wolfcub which will be here on Thursday. I'm crossing my fingers that the stiffness disappears.

I forgot to add that I am keeping an eye on his weight. I monitor his food and treat intake. The vet said he's a average size/weight for his age.

kandy
May 11th, 2005, 10:14 AM
Love those pictures!! Such a cute face!! :p

RaYne
May 14th, 2005, 03:17 PM
Got the Wolfcub food. And Bubba loves it!! And he should at $83 something a bag. LOL

Prin
May 14th, 2005, 04:39 PM
At least the bag is pretty, right? LOL Imagine paying that much for food in an orange paper bag? At least you can show this bag to guests... :)

RaYne
May 15th, 2005, 11:33 AM
LOL true. I have to admit that little wolf howling is damn cute. I actually did leave the bag in the kitchen in the open. I thought it was for easy access. But on second thought maybe not.. LOL

But Bubba is crazy over this food. I could never get him to finish each meal and I ended up leaving his food down for most of the day. Since I've been mixing the Wolfcub and Eukanuba half and half he eats each meal as soon as I put it down. :D