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Questions about changing dog food

February 4th, 2007, 12:34 PM
I just recently adopted a beagle/german shepard cross from a shelter and besides being underweight her coat was horrible. I immediately began weaning her off of the grocery store brand that she was being fed and began to feed her Hills Science Diet, which I had been feeding my other dog for over a year. After much research I discovered (to my horror) that what I thought was premium food was no more than expensive fillers. I have since began weaning both my dogs (I also have a purebred Beagle) off the Science Diet and onto Nature's Choice Ultra, which does not contain any fillers. I am noticing now though that both of my dogs have developed dandruff, only mild so far, and my rescue dog has moderate diarrhea. Neither dog has any signs of food allergy or lethargy, which make me think that the diarrhea is due to weaning off the Science Diet too quickly? My question is is the dandruff and diarrhea normal when changing from a filler food to a more premium food? And if so how do I deal with the diarrhea? Does she need to see the vet or can I deal with it at home? Thanks

February 4th, 2007, 12:48 PM
Do you have any of the science diet left? Maybe you switched too quickly, or maybe your dog just can't tolerate the NC. :shrug: If it persists, you definitely have to go to the vet.

How old is this doggy?

Natural choice does have fillers, IMO... A better food with fish in it would definitely help get the coat in better condition.. Food companies like Innova, Solid Gold, Natural Balance, Nature's Variety, etc, all have formulas with fish in them. :)

February 4th, 2007, 06:09 PM
You don't necessarily need a fish based food, but do need to find one that has a better ratio of omego3 and 6, the dry flakey coat complaints I have heard quite often with nutro products so their ratio must be borderline

Changing foods does stress some dogs bodies quite a bit,and they will go thru a period of heavy shedding and flaking before their coat improves

The Right Omega Fatty Acids in the Right Amounts
Your dog needs the proper ratio of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids. The exact ratio hasn’t yet been determined, but most veterinarians believe the ratio is somewhere between 5:1 and 10:1 (omega 6:omega 3). Sometimes even smaller ratios are recommended, as in a dog who has coat or skin problems.

The omega fatty acids 3 & 6 dog food formulas of most quality foods contain at least 2.2% omega 6 fatty acids and 0.3% omega 3 fatty acids.

Caution should be used in supplementing your dog’s diet with omega fatty acids. It is possible to overdose your dog on omega 6 fatty acids. Most commercial dog foods contain plenty of omega 6 fatty acids, so you probably don’t need to add any to your dog’s diet.

It is more likely that your dog needs more omega 3 fatty acids. It is nearly impossible to give your dog too much omega 3 fatty acids, but check any supplement you use for the presence of vitamins A & D. These two vitamins are also found in many sources of omega 3 fatty acids, and it is possible to give your dog too much of them.

Omega 3 fatty acids oxidize rapidly and increase your dog’s requirement for antioxidants. This is supplied in the form of vitamin E. If your dog’s food or supplement doesn’t contain vitamin E, it might be helpful to add it as a separate supplement.

February 4th, 2007, 06:13 PM
:offtopic: so if I was going to buy omega supplement for the dogs , I should get Omega 3 and not the Omega 3-6-9 ? I've been looking into it.

February 4th, 2007, 06:25 PM
It's not unusual for dog's to start shedding and developing dandruff or diarrhea when they move to a better quality food (all those toxins have to come out right ?). But, there may an ingredient in your current food which is causing a reaction. I'm personally not that impressed with Nature's Choice. We've tried every fish-based food available in Toronto and have finally settled on Timberwolf Ocean Blue. So far so good.

I'm also wondering about parasites in your new dog. When Declan "came home" last year, although he also had food sensitivity/ allergy issues it was about oh... I don't know maybe 2 months before all of his parasites were discovered just because of the various cycling and time of sampling.

February 4th, 2007, 06:50 PM
Omega 3 is what you want and not 3-6-9. You can also try Salmon oil capsules.

Did you do a gradual switch of foods? If not, maybe this is why they are not doing well.