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Dog food and feeding => Dog foods => Topic started by: Reggie on May 26, 2017, 19:45

Title: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Reggie on May 26, 2017, 19:45
We switched our 7 year old golden retriever on to Nutriment about 5 months ago.  She was on Millie's Wolfheart and doing ok, but there was a lot of paw/nail nibbling, licking bottom and prone to ear issues.  Since being on Nutriment these have pretty much disappeared - however she has put on 2.5kg - we've always fed 2% and have now cut this down a bit more, but the weight is not shifting - is it ok to cut more down or should we be looking at different foods?
Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: COASTER on May 27, 2017, 00:39
It's a working dog food brand & a good one at that.

I feed my 26kg lab 500 mg p/day of the salmon with chicken so just under 2%. 5 days a week he has 50-120 mins per day off lead retrieving &/or swimming for majority of that.  Try cutting down daily amount, increasing the exercise  or maybe try another flavour
Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Meg on May 27, 2017, 02:06
Hello Reggie and welcome to the forum!

If you are happy to keep her on Nutriment, then it may be useful to consider another food in the range that is lower in calories, and you may find that you could continue feeding her 2% (without hopefully any further weight gain).

Nutriment have a raw complete food called "Light Nutriment", which is lower in fat than adult Dinner for dogs (and is lower in fat than adult Nutriment) .

Here is a link to the food in the allaboutdogfood website:
Light Nutriment dog food (https://www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk/dog-food-reviews/1299/nutriment-dinner-for-dogs-light)
Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Reggie on May 27, 2017, 06:33
Thanks for replies. We have started restricting her food to the Turkey and also the Purine one, which are both lower in fat, so will enquire about the Light. We are fortunate to have a nearby pet shop that also stock Natural Instinct so will give their Special Diet a go as well. Having read some of the other posts it looks like cutting down a bit more would be ok (not sure she'll agree!) and also increasing the exercise.
Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Dottie on May 27, 2017, 07:28
Hello Reggie. In the past I fed Nutriment specifically to help with weight control. Light and Low Purine was recommended and initially some weight came off. Was then advised to go to the Working products and that's when we got into trouble.
I fed 2% of ideal body weight (that is the lower end of the RDA) but they piled weight on, particularly the older dog.
I would add that I weigh every morsel that goes into their mouth.   I had to cut down to below 2% but as you point out,  dogs are then not very happy.  I stopped raw and went onto products with dry weight fat at 12% or lower and it works better for my dogs. I am not convinced that exercise shifts the weight as well  as a suitable diet. 

If you wish to continue with raw, you could perhaps talk to customer services  at Nutriment and also choose meats that are lower in fat. 
Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Reggie on May 27, 2017, 07:48
I think we'll go with that approach for next couple of weeks and if weight is not shifting, then may have to rethink. Increase in exercise - I know in studies that it is diet rather than exercise that has most impact on dogs weight - we shall increase it though. We're reluctant to give up on raw as it has meant a halt to paw nibbling, bottom licking and ear problems - but don't want to exchange that for another set of problems with weight gain - joint problems, out of breath etc.
Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Dottie on May 27, 2017, 08:46
I can see your problem and it does seem that you have very good reason to stick with raw. Wondering if it would help to add low starch vegetables but I am hopeful that the light version might help. The problem I found was that there was/is only one type of light so no variety - don't know if that is still the case. Perhaps you could have a look at other products? The dry weight is displayed clearly on the dials in the Dog Food Directory. I found that Natures Menu helped with weight control but the product I was using has now increased in fat. However, if you look on their website there is a link which is for dogs who are prone to weight gain. It takes you to their products that are suitable for such dogs.
Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Reggie on May 27, 2017, 09:20
I'll check out natures menu website. I have some natural instinct special diet which she'll have next.  If she continues with weight gain then I may have to look at cold pressed options as a next step.
Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Dottie on May 27, 2017, 09:59
That is what I ended up doing albeit with a spell using low fat kibble first.  I'd used cold pressed before (pre raw) and it hadn't quite worked because of the low amount but now I've got it sorted and the dogs hold their weight ok. I give the bottom end of the RDA (1%) or sometimes a little less and top up with cooked lean protein plus vegetables. I divide their daily ration into three meals and usually give at least one if those as wet food i.e. soak the nuggets in water (never use boiling water) to bulk it up.  It is always work in progress because I have one dog who easily gains weight.
That dog has dermatitis but has been in remission for at least six months. I don't know if the food would be ok for your dog's skin though - they are all so different.
Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Dottie on May 27, 2017, 11:18
Reggie - just checked this page (https://www.naturesmenu.co.uk/advice-centre/faqs) on the Natures Menu website and there is a section on helping your dog to lose weight. The types that they recommend to use are: Beef, Country Hunter: Venison, Rabbit, Duck or Salmon. I have fed Country Hunter nuggets in the past (before the new range) and found that weight control was ok. 
Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Tinyplanets on May 27, 2017, 17:47
Hello and welcome to the forum. I had the same problem as my dog has become a little less active. I have reduced the morning portion and add a little oatmeal cooked with water for bulk. I also either add veg to a reduced evening portion or give a lower fat home cooked meal some of the time. It seems to be keeping  the weight stable. I am hoping for a small loss this week as she has done lots of walking on holiday.
Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Reggie on May 27, 2017, 17:53
Reggie - just checked this page (https://www.naturesmenu.co.uk/advice-centre/faqs) on the Natures Menu website and there is a section on helping your dog to lose weight. The types that they recommend to use are: Beef, Country Hunter: Venison, Rabbit, Duck or Salmon. I have fed Country Hunter nuggets in the past (before the new range) and found that weight control was ok.
What % of dog's weight did you give in natures menu nuggets that worked?
Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Reggie on May 27, 2017, 17:56
Hello and welcome to the forum. I had the same problem as my dog has become a little less active. I have reduced the morning portion and add a little oatmeal cooked with water for bulk. I also either add veg to a reduced evening portion or give a lower fat home cooked meal some of the time. It seems to be keeping  the weight stable. I am hoping for a small loss this week as she has done lots of walking on holiday.
Fairly new to the raw feeding - what sort of veg do you fill out with - raw or cooked? She usually has a carrot for snacks. Also oatmeal - as in the fine stuff?
Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Dottie on May 27, 2017, 18:22
TBH I didn't weigh the nuggets but I gave less than their recommended amount. My dogs' ideal weight was circa 8kg and I used to give 11 nuggets per day, divided into three meals. I just used to give or take one or two according to how they were doing weight-wise. Have to say that this was a very convenient way of feeding raw food.

Vegetable wise, Rodney Habib is worth following because he promotes the use of them for health benefits. He has a Facebook page - Planet Paws. (https://www.facebook.com/pg/PlanetPaws.ca/videos/) There are plenty of useful videos. They are also on YouTube. This one (https://www.facebook.com/PlanetPaws.ca/videos/1506943269380550/) explains how to use three vegetables. Dogs digest veg better when it is chopped. If cooked, mash or purée them and don't overcook as nutrients are lost - he mentions that steaming is better.
Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Reggie on Jun 09, 2017, 20:14
The good news is, when I weighed her last week, she had lost 1/2kg - so that's something. I have been giving the nutriment purine which is low fat, their Turkey Chubb and also Natural instinct special diet - each one a few days at a time. Unfortunately I spoke too soon about the nail biting which has returned - so back to the drawing board on that. I did read that kelp tablets could help with weight loss so may look further in to that.
Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Dottie on Jun 09, 2017, 20:36
Thank you very much for the feedback - it is appreciated. Well done on achieving the weight loss. I am sorry about the chewing of nails/feet. I had an elderly rescue dog that used to do it and it was hard work stopping her but we managed it with a lot of care and attention. Regarding the kelp, Dorwest Herbs market the product and they mention that it can help with weight control. Might be worth a try.
Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Reggie on Jun 09, 2017, 20:40
Dorwest is the one I've been looking at. Also reading up on this forum it sounds like the nail chewing could be yeast infection - it's a reddy color and I didn't realize what that meant. I've started giving her apple cider vinegar in her food but maybe a probiotic supplement might be worth looking at also.
Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Dottie on Jun 09, 2017, 21:25
We used to always wash our dog's paws when she came in from a walk. After drying, we applied soothing cream and covered her feet with baby socks made into a kind of harness. (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=E7TTjm4gNIU) We found Dermapaw  to be helpful but other good quality cream or ointment may be useful.  Tea tree is supposed to be good for fungal infections and it can be bought as a cream. Regarding a probiotic, look for a canine  specific one. The one that comes to mind is sold by Pooch and Mutt.
Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Tinyplanets on Jun 09, 2017, 22:07
My dog also tends to get red paws this time of year.Washing them in plain water after a walk seems to help. If she starts to lick them we add a little hibiscrub to the water. I add a capful to her foot wash and it seems to calm things down. Failing that a few days taking lorotadine stops the itch. That is just over the counter hay fever medication. You would need to check dosage depending on your dogs weight.
Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Meg on Jun 10, 2017, 00:25
If there is a possible sensitivity to an ingredient in a dog's diet this can manifest as the dog being itchy, and an overgrowth of yeast levels which would usually be kept in check.

Reggie you mentioned reactions on the previous diet your dog was fed, and also reactions to the more recent diet, which leads me to prompt that it may be wise to look into what the ingredients are in the foods, in case she has a food sensitivity. And by doing so you'd be trying to work out if she may be reacting to a particular ingredient.
  If she is food sensitive then naturally it follows that by eliminating the 'culprit' ingredient(s) from her diet she should be able to lose weight comfortably, without reacting as she currently does.

Looking at Nutriment Low Purine & Phosphorus (food 1) the ingredients are: beef, chicken, salmon oil, wheatgerm, carrots, broccoli, butternut squash, bilberry, coconut oil, sesame seeds, spirulina, kelp.

The ingredients of Nutriment Turkey Chubb (food 2) are the same as Purine except chicken is substituted with turkey.

Natural Instinct Special Diet (food 3) ingredients are: beef, chicken, salmon oil, carrot, apple, butternut squash, spinach, kelp, brewer's yeast

Logically you can see that there are several ingredients common to all the foods, salmon oil for example. There are also ingredients that are specific only to one of the foods eg. brewers yeast is only in food 3, turkey is only in food 2. And there are ingredients that are in two of the foods eg chicken is in foods 1 and 3.

If you wanted to also compare these ingredients with those in her previous diet you may get an even clearer pattern as to which ingredient(s) may be causing her to react as she does.
Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Meg on Jun 10, 2017, 00:51
I did read that kelp tablets could help with weight loss so may look further in to that.

As there is kelp in each of the foods in her current diet I'd want to check directly with each manufacturer as to how much iodine is in their own product before adding a supplemental dose.

  My somewhat cautious approach is due to the high amounts of iodine in supplemental kelp tablets and the effects of excess iodine on the thyroid gland.

Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Dottie on Jun 10, 2017, 08:21
Reggie - have you had any blood tests done on your dog? I only ask because I read that thyroid disease can result in yeast overgrowth and of course it is also associated with weight problems   -  Itchy, Smelly Dog? Yeast Infection May Be the Problem...  by Dr Karen Becker. (http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2011/05/03/eating-these-foods-can-make-your-dog-itch-like-crazy.aspx)   

I've always found medicated baths to be really helpful in treating this kind of condition but for some reason bathing dogs is often frowned upon. Dr Becker doesn't think so and advises bathing as needed. 

Meg's points about the breakdown of the currently fed products could be useful.  I don't have the figures but I have read that intolerance to chicken is not uncommon.  If you want to do more work on determining if your dog has protein intolerance then it is easier using single protein food.  So  many raw products are multi protein but you should be able to find something that suits e.g.
Natures Menu Venison and Blueberry. (https://www.naturesmenu.co.uk/venison-nuggets)
Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Reggie on Jun 10, 2017, 09:22
Thank you for all the info.
The kelp I have been nervous of as I was aware there was some in the nutriment.
I do occasionally wash her feet in hibiscrub, but from reading the article, (what an interesting and informative article)it looks like I need to do that more regularly.
The food is a mystery - she was on Millie's Wolfheart but always had the itchiness; she then had a urine infection and had an awful reaction to antibiotics - could hardly get up and walk, eased off once we stopped.  This is when I started looking at raw as I wanted to help her be as healthy as she could be.  She was great for the first 5 months  on nutriment, but the ears are once again waxy and the paw nibbling has begun. I do wonder whether I should get a blood test done - she had some done at the end of last year after the antibiotic reaction; would any thyroid issues have shown up? I have already ordered some Dorset garlic tablets so will start her on those also. I'm now also considering home cooked meals for her - not confident enough to do the total raw.
Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Dottie on Jun 10, 2017, 10:10
Perhaps understandably  we tend to blame food for this kind of problem. However, it may be genetic or immune related. It could even be environmental.

One of my dogs has a poor coat and used to have dermatitis of unknown origin. Like your dog, she easily gains weight. I've tried numerous foods, including raw with no discernible improvement although her skin problem is in remission on her current food and I am managing to control her weight.  I had her tested several months ago and all was ok but I am really glad that I had the bloods done because now I know that it is just her nature and I need to manage these things. She had thyroid function and full screen for urea/electrolytes and liver function. Possibly your dog's last blood test did not include thyroid so I would ask your vet about it.

From what I read on the subject, dogs excrete toxins via the skin so bathing with a suitable, gentle shampoo may be helpful. It will also help to eliminate pollen from the fur - a real issue at this time of year. I usually use Sebocalm shampoo because it is soapless and hydrates the skin.

Is there anything in the home that might be an irritant? It's difficult to know but worth looking at. We use cushion type beds with cotton covers that can easily be removed. I wash them weekly. We also vaccuum every day and I have stopped using plug in air fresheners. Having said all that, I really don't know for sure why my dog has stopped itching but I am sticking with her current dry food + some home cooked.

On the subject of home cooking, IMO it is a good way of feeding dogs but only if the owner is willing to do some research in order to get it balanced. Importantly, calcium in the correct amount needs to be added. Have a look at our section on home cooking - I have put quite a few links in there. Rodney Habib (Planet Paws) has some good videos on feeding dogs home cooked food.

Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Tinyplanets on Jun 10, 2017, 11:33
Was your dog free of the itching for the first five months of being on nutriment until now? If so I would be inclined to think that it is season related. This is the time of year it generally starts in my dog and when I used to have to seek treatment at the vet, they said that it was fairly common in the warmer months. it may have just been coincidental that it stopped when you changed food.
Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Dottie on Jun 10, 2017, 12:47
I had wondered about that because 5 months takes us back to January and there is no pollen then. I have heard that Apoquel is helpful in such cases but the more common drug used is probably the antihistamine Piriton (Chlorpheniramine). I definitely would advise washing of paws every time he gets home from a walk. Very dilute Hibiscrub is ok or Tea Tree added to the rinse water. I can't remember how many drops of Tea Tree but it won't be many  (check online). This essential oil is anti fungal - link. (http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-113-TEA%20TREE%20OIL.aspx?activeIngredientId=113&activeIngredientName=TEA%20TREE%20OIL)
Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Meg on Jun 10, 2017, 13:16
Reggie if this is a sensitivity to an ingredient in her food it takes time to show. A food allergy will show straight away.

A sensitivity builds over time, so for example a particular ingredient which a dog is fed consistently over time.

Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Meg on Jun 10, 2017, 13:48
I do wonder whether I should get a blood test done - she had some done at the end of last year after the antibiotic reaction; would any thyroid issues have shown up?

Her blood would show thyroid issues if they had tested for the levels of TSH and T4 as well as T3 and Free T4 and Free T3.

Unfortunately, even when a dog has thyroid blood levels tested they usually only test TSH and T4 and will say that the levels of these is a sufficient marker. Yes, when the TSH is elevated sufficiently the result is usually obvious enough to indicate there may be an underactive thyroid issue. In which case medication may be appropriate.

However, dogs are only able to utilise Free T4 and Free T3 and so dogs who may have thyroid issues, yet their TSH and T4 levels are within an 'expected' range could slip through the net.

For this reason if you are going to ask for her thyroid function to be tested then I'd ask for an enhanced thyroid panel of tests of at least the levels of TSH, T4, T3, Free T3, Free T4 and also test for the antibody TgAA.
Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Reggie on Jul 04, 2017, 12:19
Slow but steady progress being made.  We're feeding 500g a day of Nutriment - the lowest fat they do, increasing exercise - she is losing albeit slowly (averaging about 200g per week) so we'll just keep on this path for now.  My vet was not in to ask about what was tested a few months back re thyroid so will find that out too. Food we may have to review to find other raw low fat. 
Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Dottie on Jul 04, 2017, 16:23
Thank you very much for the feedback. Often weight loss is a slow process but maybe it is better that way. Hopefully it won't  be too long before your dog is back to normal weight.
Title: Re: Nutriment raw - positives but weight problem
Post by: Tinyplanets on Jul 05, 2017, 20:28
That sounds like a good steady progress. Thanks for your update.