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I need help with my dog's feeding...VERY problematic...

Pingeree
December 3rd, 2006, 10:27 PM
I'm new to this forum and found it through a google search for dog food. I am having truly terrible problems with my dog's feeding and I need any help I can get. This is going to be really long, so thanks for your patience :-)

I rescued my dog William from a puppy mill when he was nine weeks old. His father was a low-quality purebred Boston Terrier, and his mother a (very large and probably mixed) Brussels Griffon. My vet checked him and he was healthy except for two parasites which were cleared up through many courses of medication. This is the basic background.

I began feeding him Nutro Ultra Holistic Puppy formula (dry), and he ate this for about a month. He was never a good eater and needed coaxing. He began to throw up often, but was still healthy (more vet) and so I suspected he had allergies. I switched foods, but he did not want to eat kibble. He ate some meals of several different kinds, but would then stop eating and I would have to switch again. At one point, he went four days without eating anything, and was taken to the vet again.

He then began to display very odd behavior (which is another huge story that doesn't matter here :-). He went through massive testing, including neurological exams, liver and kidney, bio-digestive, thyroid, and several other things. The end result after three months was that he suffers from nervous anxiety and panic attacks. He is finally on medication now.

As for food, I found only one food that he will eat and he has been on this for two months now. It's called Ziwi Peak from New Zealand, and is a specially dried jerky-type food made of venison and fish. He is still not a big eater, but will eat this. The problem is that it's VERY expensive, and his digestion is not the best on it. It doesn't have enough fiber, but is otherwise sound.

Altogether, I have tried twenty-six different types of kibble in the hopes of finding a balanced food that will help his digestion. I've also tried a freeze-dried food, a cooked "stew" type meal that was hand-prepared (which he didn't like), and at one point I prepared boiled chicken and rice for him (which he did like, alot, but this is not balanced or feasible). He cannot have raw food due to his history of parasites.

Sorry for the verbosity, but I'm at my wits end with this. If anyone knows of a food, has experienced the same type of thing, or has any advice for me, I would be ecstatic!

Thanks so much!

technodoll
December 3rd, 2006, 10:38 PM
first, welcome to the forum and we need to see photos :D

second, you say: He cannot have raw food due to his history of parasites.

i'm sure your vet said this, and unless you are seeing a holistic vet who is not selling Hills or Purina out of his office, this is what they are trained to say and to believe. If your dog is currently healthy, a raw diet is the BEST food you can give him. It's cheap, it's fast, it's what mother nature wants him to have - and by the sounds of it he hates kibble and you're right, balancing a home-cooked diet can be a task of getting things right (but it can be done!), seeing as he's not a big dog he doesn't need huge amounts of food so you could cook once per week and freeze in portions.. but that doesn't allow for a big variety in the diet.

please visit the raw-feeding sub-forum and take a peek, you'll see how easy it actually is and the myth of "parasites" is just that:; a myth :)

mummummum
December 3rd, 2006, 10:40 PM
When you say that you've tried 26 types of kibble ~ have you tried one with just venison or just fish venison and fish as the protein source ? I've been through something similar with two of my gang and we've been using Timberwolf Organics now with success ( on both ends;) )

Just an fyi: because your dog had parasites at one time doesn't necessarily rule out feeding raw as long as your dog has been treated and the parasites have been eliminated. You might want to check out the RAW forum here ~ thre's a great deal of info and support.

rainbow
December 3rd, 2006, 11:56 PM
I rescued my dog William from a puppy mill when he was nine weeks old.

......The end result after three months was that he suffers from nervous anxiety and panic attacks. He is finally on medication now.

.......Altogether, I have tried twenty-six different types of kibble in the hopes of finding a balanced food that will help his digestion.

.......If anyone knows of a food, has experienced the same type of thing, or has any advice for me, I would be ecstatic!

Thanks so much!


So, I presume your puppy is about 6 months or so old.....and you've tried 26 different types of kibble? :eek: :eek:

It's no wonder the poor little guy has problems. :sad: Please pick a premium quality food and switch him gradually.

If you need help choosing a brand please post what is available to you.

coppperbelle
December 4th, 2006, 06:10 AM
One thing I have learned with some dogs that by switching kibbles often it can create a picky eater. A dog will hold out for the better stuff. Eventually you will be doctoring it up with gravies, canned food etc...
Twenty six different kibbles is too much for a dog of this age. A switch should be done over 10 days gradually increasing the amount of new kibble until you are only feeding the new one. Then a dog should be on the new food for at least two weeks to determine if it is agreeing with your dog.
My dogs vomited yellow bile while on Nutro foods so I no longer feed it to them.
I would look for a good holistic food and stick to it for a month or so. For a dog that is a picky eater try putting the food down for 15 minutes each feeding. If he doesn't eat it, pick it up and put it away until the next scheduled feeding. Do the same thing again each and every feeding until he begins to eat. DO NOT give any treats

~michelle~
December 4th, 2006, 09:49 AM
my dogs will eat kibble with a little bit of tripe mixed with it.... i have had to switch kibble to find one they like, but i switch them very very slowly however. also i have a pup who is very very fussy,i found that the tripe help yet sometimes he still refuses a meal, hoping for better stuff. your dog will be ok if he misses a meal of two (are you dividing his meals up during the day, me might not be able to eat his required amount in one or two meals) if this persist longer than a day i take him to the vet, but sometimes he will just refuse to eat, i will offer hm the same meal till he eats (or it continues longer then a day i call the vet). good luck.

Pingeree
December 4th, 2006, 03:14 PM
Thanks for all your replies, but I don't think I was as clear as I could be before. William is ten months old now, and all the kibble I bought was not for full meals but as a test to see if he will even smell them (I think he has nasal problems). I have owned dogs for twenty years, so I'm not an amateur feeder. This is not a simple problem of me not switching gradually, etc. He WILL NOT eat kibble, canned foods, gravies, or anything but Ziwi Peak.

He went four (almost five) days without eating anything, and several vets have told me to stay on Ziwi because William can't go that long. Because he has medical problems, it's not just him being picky and controllng.

I hope this clarifies things :-)

TeriM
December 4th, 2006, 05:14 PM
Have you tried any canned foods? They generally have a much stronger smell which can entice the dogs. Once he is used to the canned then you could probably fool him be mixing a little kibble in with the canned to help lower the cost. Another consideration for you might be some quality cat foods as they have a higher protein percentage and fewer grains.

rainbow
December 4th, 2006, 06:56 PM
He WILL NOT eat kibble, canned foods, gravies, or anything but Ziwi Peak.


I know you say he will not eat canned food but have you tried the canned tripe? Michelle had lots of problems with getting her dog to eat kibble and it worked for her. Most dogs go nuts for it and I think it's worth a try.

x.l.r.8
December 4th, 2006, 07:27 PM
My only thought is why not continue to feed a product that he will eat and think about changing later, much later. It is recognised (at least the impression I have), that a good food is what ever your pet thrives on. If you can make that one of the top 5 then great. Failing that do what ever works. I have tried 3 different kibbles and a few sample packs and I wish I had left well alone, we switched from Iams to Nutram to Canadie and it went well, I tried a variation with wellness and only 3 weeks later are things back to normal. I honestly believe if a pet thinks a certain food has made them ill they will stay well away from it. Riley wasn't bothered with food before but when I went to go back onto the Canadie he was wolfing it down, and now is an eager eater, like he knows he can eat without feeling poorly. Possibly you have the same thing, William knows he feels well on Ziwi so continues to eat it. I would get him well established and worry about changing (if needed) later. I was doing a LOT of research into RAW (untill my wife said no :shrug: ) and I found noithing to support your vets theory, unless he was assuming you would be using poor quality meat or he possibly thought that due to his lack of enthuasim for eating something different it may hang around for a while before being eaten. See of you can list the ingredients of Ziwi and let some of our experts pick through it, they may know of an alternitive food thats very similar in nutrition and digestability status that would be a more suitable swap, rather than just offering everything. Other than that I cannot think of anything, :sorry:
Best of luck :fingerscr and while the food may be expensive, if he's eating it at least your saving on vet bills :thumbs up

wdawson
December 4th, 2006, 09:20 PM
try some merricks canned.....they come in a wide variety of flavours.

coppperbelle
December 5th, 2006, 05:38 AM
Have you tried the Dick Van Patten dog food rolls? The ingredients are too bad and most dogs find it very tasty. They have a number of different flavors.

jessi76
December 5th, 2006, 08:06 AM
I'm w/ wdawson on the Merrick's canned. My dog was picky when I was trying to find a food to suit him (Nutro made him puke), and exactly as coppperbelle pointed out, I created a picky puppy. Then I stuck w/ one food and added Merrick's canned to it. My dog LOVES his food now. My bf actually opened a can once, and it smelled so good, was tempted to try it himself. I had to tell him "don't eat the dog food, honey!" lol.

OntarioGreys
December 7th, 2006, 11:04 AM
Since he will eat Ziwi Peak and if the big issue is not enough fiber, buy some canned pure pumpkin and mix in a tbsp to provide fiber, that or add some all bran

Ingredients in ziwi Peak
:: Venison
:: Lamb
:: Beef
:: NZ Mussel
:: Liver, Heart and Kidney
:: Chicory Syrup
:: Lecithin
:: Fish/Hoki Oil
:: Parsley
:: Green Tripe
:: Flaxseed Oil
:: Kelp
:: Vitamins and Minerals


Mostly red meats with no grains

Are you in North America??? The closest food would probably be EVO RM(red Meat formula) which has the beef lamb and venison as well but includes potatoes http://www.naturapet.com/display.php?d=product-detail&pxsl=%2F%2Fproduct%5B@id%3D%271404%27%5D