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Dog Food Advice

MrFireman
May 16th, 2006, 07:15 PM
I need some advice for a good food to feed my 4 year old black lab. Ever since he was a puppy, he has had problems with every food he has ever been given (upset stomach etc.) Our vet suggested we try Medical Fibre Formula approx. 2 years ago and it worked amazing. The problem is the price!! We are looking at about $90 per bag that only lasts him about 2 weeks, and we can't keep it up. My question is, is there any other food out there that is a high fibre somewhat comparable to Medical that I could try?? Or does anyone know of an online store that sells Medical?? I can't believe how much this food is and how much the vet no doubts makes off each bag of this food. Thanks.

satchelp
May 16th, 2006, 07:45 PM
You didn't mention what other dogs foods he had been on that gave him such problems. I understand why you don't want to continue with the Medi-cal. 90 dollars a bag is outrageous and the high fibre version of the food is full of crap (pardon the pun). The fibre content is 14%, which is about 3 times as much fibre as the average dog food, and the way they are accomplishing this is to throw a ton of undigestible junk in their, such as peanut hulls, rice hulls, and corn as well as brewer's rice, which is rice by-products. I would suggest trying a really good high quality dog food (which will cost significantly less than the $90 Medi-cal), and supplement it with extra fibre. If he truly needs this extra fibre, you can give it to him in the form of oat bran. You can mix this with a little plain yogurt with the active bacterial cultures in it, and he would probably eat it with no problem. You can adjust how much of this you give him until he seems to be doing well. I think it's worth a try anyhow. You can look for information in the Dog Food section of this forum and/or, I'm sure you will get some suggestions from others on this forum. Here's the link to the Dog Food section of the forum:

http://www.pets.ca/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=53

PetFriendly
May 16th, 2006, 08:31 PM
I had similar issues with my pup, couldn't find anything that was quite right. There are two lists in the dog food forum that list out the better foods and the first 4 ingredients (I think) in a whole list of foods. I used those lists to get an idea of what to look for, and what to avoid. YOu can usually find a 'less branded' food made the same way as the really expensive stuff.
I'm not sure where you live but I get my pet food at Pet Valu and I find the staff at my local store very knowledgable about the foods they cary and which ones are better for which problems (and they don't work on commission so they really don't care if you buy the $20 bag or the $90 one :thumbs up ).

Your problem might not be fiber so much as corn allergies or something else of that sort. I would see if I could find a holistic food and give that a go as they also come in high fiber and aren't marked up as much.

OntarioGreys
May 16th, 2006, 09:55 PM
Most dog foods run around 4% fiber

Nutro Natural Choice Dental formula is 8% fibre which is a non prescription food, you could try a small bag add a bit into his currrent meals and see if he reacts to it any food change over should be done very gradually mixing in slightly more of the new food in. If you go through a pet store like Ryans or Global they will give refunds on foods that prove not to work for you, check with your local pet store first though as policies may differ from store to store but it may help when trying to find an alternate food that will wok for you.

Some dogs are allergic to the protein source the Medi-cal Fibre formula contains chicken and fish where as in the Nutro dental the meat source is Lamb, so the question would be whether the meat source is what he had problems with in the past. The Medi-Cal contains both rice and corn so those should be safe ingredients for him, if the fiber content is his problem then possibly the Nutro Dental may work for him, if the protien source is his problem you may need to look at foods that contain chicken and or fish as the protein source if you find he stills need the higher fiber you might be able to get away with a 50/50 mix which would still bring down your feeding costs

Prin
May 16th, 2006, 11:41 PM
Why does he need higher fiber? Is he really that constipated? I'd stay away from any foods with stool hardeners in them (they cause constipation to firm up the stool), such as tomato pomace and beet pulp.

There are faster acting fibers (prevent constipation), like oatmeal and bran, that you can look for instead.

So, IMO, the type of fiber is more important than the quantity.

Holistic foods tend not to have stool hardeners, so they might help.

OntarioGreys
May 17th, 2006, 09:58 AM
It may not be because he was constipated but could have been his stool was tooo soft and runny, my guess that the pup had an IBD problem higher up in the digestive tract which causes the soft runny stool and also digestive upsets. Which is why I suggested trying the Nutro Dental that has the high fiber rather than just recommending a highend food

High fiber can be used to firm up or as a laxative

Another thought for a food, is Royal Canin Maxi Lab Retriever 30
it is made by the same company that makes the Medi-Cal fiber is is chicken based and has 5.7% fiber ingredients are similiar, you might still need to mix in the Medi-Cal but in should not create too much conflict with his digestive system as possibly the Nutro dental might cause if he has a sensitivity to lamb http://www.royalcanin.ca/products/hn/breed/labrador_ingredients_en.php

MrFireman
May 17th, 2006, 11:48 AM
It may not be because he was constipated but could have been his stool was tooo soft and runny, my guess that the pup had an IBD problem higher up in the digestive tract which causes the soft runny stool and also digestive upsets. Which is why I suggested trying the Nutro Dental that has the high fiber rather than just recommending a highend food

High fiber can be used to firm up or as a laxative

Another thought for a food, is Royal Canin Maxi Lab Retriever 30
it is made by the same company that makes the Medi-Cal fiber is is chicken based and has 5.7% fiber ingredients are similiar, you might still need to mix in the Medi-Cal but in should not create too much conflict with his digestive system as possibly the Nutro dental might cause if he has a sensitivity to lamb http://www.royalcanin.ca/products/hn/breed/labrador_ingredients_en.php

You are exactly right about the soft/runny stools when he was a pup. We tried many different foods from our local pet store (Iams, Science Diet, can't remember all of them now!!) and the only one that seemed to work for him was the Medical. I will give all the suggestions a shot that were given and report back. Thanks for all the help.

Prin
May 17th, 2006, 01:44 PM
ok, then take the opposite of my advice. Go for foods with little corn or oats (fast acting fibers) and more beet pulp and tomato pomace.;)

Dog Dancer
May 17th, 2006, 02:00 PM
Mr. Fireman, you are lucky here that you have two food guru's giving you great advice. Both OntarioGreys and Prin have extensive knowledge in this area - wish I'd had their help when my lab went through all this. Chicken seemed to be her biggest trigger issue and caused soft stools. Good luck!

Kerrye
May 17th, 2006, 02:08 PM
Hi
Maybe I'm totally off topic but I feed my dog home made food. The price is right and I know exactly what goes in it. The problem I had with my rescue dog was that he would not eat ANY dog food I tried him on. From the most expensive to the vet prescibed - NOTHING - I gave up and started making my own. He gobbles it up. I also add raw vegatable to his diet every day - cucumber, broccolli, coliflour, red peppers (not hot) and carrots - these are along with his home cooked food.