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Messages - Dottie

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Dog foods / Re: British or Free Range Options
« on: Mar 28, 2020, 18:40 »
I haven’t any direct experience of searching for free range foods and we don’t have a filter for them on the Dog Food Directory. The nearest is the organic filter. We have a filter for British foods. I have just ticked those two plus natural and no red ingredients. It only returned the following results:

Burns Organic (dry)
Nutriment Laverstoke Park Farm Range (raw)
Natural Instinct Country Banquet (raw)
Naturaw Organic Balanced Meals (raw)
Heights Farm Dietary + Plus
Lily’s Kitchen Organic Bake

If you prioritise British made without the organic filter the choice will be greater but I think you may need to contact the individual manufacturers to ask whether their meat comes from free range poultry and animals.

You can make your own dog food, in which case you will know exactly what it contains. However, this takes time and research to provide the correct nutrition. We Cook for Dogs can help you with this. Different Dog and Butternut Box are UK companies that make their own fresh food but it can be a more costly option.

Hello and welcome to the forum Zeldaella. What fresh food do you feed your dog? Would be interested to know, especially if you home cook.

Dog foods / Re: Lost interest in his Markus Muhle
« on: Mar 22, 2020, 09:52 »
Yes, it is good quality and it’s a shame to change if your dog is doing well on it.  Regarding the wet food topper, to create balance, maybe look for one that has low carbohydrate because MM has above average carbs. That’s why I used to enhance with fresh protein containing foods. You can use the Dog Food Directory  to source a suitable product.

For enhancement with fresh food, the Rodney Habib videos that might be useful are as follows:
What to Add To Pet Food To Make It Better!
Dr. Karen Becker & Rodney Habib: Feeding Vegetables to Dogs.
They just give an idea about adding fresh food to give variety.

Dog foods / Re: Lost interest in his Markus Muhle
« on: Mar 21, 2020, 16:18 »
Hello and welcome to the forum. That has to be a first - a picky Labrador. Never seen one - they usually eat anything and everything. LOL  I often think that the problem with dry food is that there is no variety - same thing every day. When I fed cold pressed food to give variety I used to reduce the amount a bit and top up with home cooked food, eg chicken, egg, sardines, cooked mashed vegetables, blueberries. If you go on YouTube and search for Rodney Habib you will see some of his videos about enhancing dry food with fresh. There’s a thread about feeding the fussy dog here.

I understand that field type Labs can be a bit full on. Understandable because they were bred to work. Prescription diets can have their place in certain situations but I share your concern about the nutritional elements and long term use. They sometimes have lower protein and fat and dogs need these for good health and to sate their appetite.

A young, active, healthy dog needs good quality, digestible food. Dogs can digest animal protein better than protein from other sources.  Use the Directory to look for a dry food that is not grain free and has a decent level of protein/fat from animal sources, no red ingredients.

It sounds as if you have a lively Labrador that is going to need some time and effort before he calms down. Hopefully you will get there, particularly as you have already started training.

Hello and welcome to the forum. I am not sure whether diet has a significant impact on behaviour although some additives found in poor quality foods might be problematic to some dogs. With this in mind it is good policy to buy the best quality product that is affordable. 

It would be helpful to use the Dog Food Directory filters because you can tick the box for no red ingredients. Always look for something that has a clear ingredient list and has a named meat source at the top. If you need help using the filters please ask and we will try to assist. There is a thread here  that might be helpful.

Canagan dry food review is here and it has 85% nutritional score. The usual advice is that if the food is suiting the dog there should be no reason to change. However, if you prefer not to use grain free food you can leave that box unticked in the filter section of the Dog Food Directory. Look for products that contain brown rice as it has better nutritional content. Some of the cold pressed foods are based on brown rice (usually about one third of the recipe) and might be worth looking at. We have a thread about these here.

Regarding the behaviour problems, you don’t say what they are or whether your Labrador is field or show type or whether you are a first time owner. I know a little about Labradors and they can be a handful at this age. Sometimes genetics play a part. What they need more than anything is training because it allows them to use their brain and energy. They also need clear boundaries. The more you put into this the better behaved the dog will be. If you haven’t already done so, consulting a behaviourist or attending a training club might be useful. Also, if you can find a Labrador forum on the Internet, the members might be able to advise.

Thank you David - I had suspected that it was, as you say 'pushing the boundaries'. 

Again, thank you O1I1O for bringing this up - I am grateful for having learned a bit more about the pet food industry. 

Hello and welcome to the forum. Thank you for raising the subject. I have to say that I hadn’t noticed this since I have never fed either of those products. The AATU wet food is here and you are right, broth is 30%:

90% Lamb (Includes Lamb 60%, Lamb Broth 30%), Sweet Potato, Carrots, Lucerne, Peas, Chickpeas, Minerals, Tomato, Tapioca, Apple, Pear, Cranberry, Blueberry, Mulberry, Orange, Bilberry, Cowberry, Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Parsley, Peppermint, Spirulina, Seaweed, Oregano, Sage, Marjoram, Thyme, Chamomile, Rosehip, Yucca, Chicory, Aniseed, Stinging Nettle, Marigold, Fenugreek, Cinnamon, MSM.

Barking Heads adult wet food is here.

Fresh Deboned Chicken (60%), Chicken Broth (25%), Peas, Sweet Potato, Carrot, Courgette, Sunflower Oil, Salmon Oil, Seaweed, Lucerne, Parsley, Celery, Chicory Root, Nettle, Turmeric, Aniseed, Minerals.

I have mentioned this to David because it is something that I don’t have the experience and knowledge to answer properly. He is very busy at the moment but hopefully will be able to reply to your query when he has time. Please keep a watch on your question as it might not be an immediate response. 

TBH I don't know the answer to that but I have adult dogs of 7kg and 8kg. I would probably give them about one dessertspoonful once a day and increase as necessary, according to output. It needs to be well cooked. Suitable cooked vegetables are a good source of fibre but they need to be pureed or mashed for the dog to make full use of the nutrients.

Hello and welcome to the forum. We have a thread on feeding the fussy dog here. Dogs are attracted to food by aroma so you are right in the steps you have already taken.

Wet food tends to be more aromatic and fussy dogs sometimes do better on it. With regards to the fat/fibre in such foods they do tend to have a higher fat level (dry weight) than dry food. This shouldn't be a problem as long as the correct amount is given. Also, dogs do need a reasonable amount of fat in their diet, especially young, active ones.  The lower fibre content can easily be rectified by the addition of well cooked brown rice or oatmeal. Cooked, mashed sweet potato is also a good option. For dogs who are full quite quickly a good quality product can be advantageous so it might be helpful to look for something with a high nutritional score. If there is more than one variety in the range, that might be useful.

As your dog is of a good weight then he is probably getting what he needs. Small, more frequent meals may be helpful - perhaps three times a day instead of two. Try to give them at quiet times when he is calm and has nothing better to do. If he doesn't eat up, just remove the bowl and try again later. Try not to get anxious about it because dogs are very quick to pick up on human emotions. 

Just a thought - if he wears a collar in the house, make sure the tag isn't hitting the bowl as he is eating. The noise can irritate some dogs.

Sometimes fussy dogs can be tempted by enhancing the diet with some human, cooked food diet - link. 

Edit: There are now a few fresh foods available but they tend to be more expensive. Freshpet can be bought in some supermarkets. Butternut Box and Different Dog are subscription based - they are delivered frozen. Fussy dogs often do well on such products. We Cook for Dogs is a business that assist the pet owner to home cook for their pet. They sell the necessary supplements and provide suitable recipes. You will find more information on the forum about these by using the search box.

Introductions / Re: Oskar the black Cockapoo Puppy
« on: Mar 09, 2020, 14:33 »
Thank you for returning to this thread. Yes, there is a huge variety of foods these days. Fortunately the Dog Food Directory is enormously useful in assisting us in making a choice.  There is lots of information on this website and we have a thread about the basic principles of selection here.  I feel that good nutrition makes for a healthy, happy dog and it’s well worth putting in effort to secure this, especially right at the beginning when they are puppies. I wish you well with your new companion.

Dog foods / Re: Downland Country Complete
« on: Mar 09, 2020, 07:16 »
Hello and welcome to the forum. I hadn't heard of this product. The dog food selection is here.  There is no ingredient list on their website so I cannot use the Instant Review Generator to give a nutritional score to any of the products. Clear labelling is very important when choosing a dog food - link. If you wish to score them yourself you will need to write down the ingredient list from the packet and enter it here. 

I have a clearer picture of the problem now. As he is a working dog and getting a lot of exercise I think he might need a product with a higher protein/fat content. I can't comment on Millie's Wolfheart because they have so many products but the nutritional scores can be checked on the Dog Food Directory or the Instant Review Generator.  Their products are classed as working and they tend to score quite highly. Ultima has protein 31.5%, fat 21.7%, calories per 100g 389. The nutritional score is 75%. If it was a struggle to keep weight on with this then presumably you need to be going a bit higher.  If you want to continue with MWH, perhaps have a look at their other products with higher protein/fat levels.

I have just done a search on the Directory ticking the boxes: type-dry, avoid ingredients - all red, protein - minimum 30%, fat - minimum 15%. It returned two pages of high quality foods. Unfortunately I can't reproduce them here. Eden Sporting and Working might be worth looking at because the protein is 45.7%, fat 20.7%, calories 368.  Akela 80/20 is another one with a higher protein and fat content. However, have a look yourself because there some others.

Hello and welcome to the forum. How much food are you giving your dog? Are you weighing it? For an active adult dog you need to be giving 1.2% of the ideal body weight.. Having lost 0.7kg you need to add that on when calculating the amount. I fed this type of food for some time but it was the ones made by Markus Muhle and at that time Cobbydog had not started making it. The fat content is not very much higher so I am not sure whether it would make much difference.

As you are using Markus Muhle food you can contact Beate  Rothon of Gentle Dog Foods for advice if you wish. Her contact details are on the Gentle website or you can post on their Facebook page.

First of all make certain you are feeding the correct amount. Secondly, it might help if you hike up the protein/fat content by providing a topper once a day. Fresh, home cooked foods would meet this criteria eg minced beef, lamb, sardines, chicken, turkey. The first two have higher fat levels. This would also add variety. As mentioned in my last post, if you want to know more about adding homemade food as a topper, check out the YouTube videos made by Rodney Habib.

Edit: You didn’t say how much exercise your dog has. In the past we had a poster who was giving their dog an awful lot of exercise - several miles a day IIRC. It was not surprising that the dog was failing to gain weight. If you feel that this might be the case it might be worth lowering the exercise for a little while. Dogs need to be calm but it’s something that might need to be taught. Using their sensory organs eg smell is also good exercise.

Introductions / Re: Oskar the black Cockapoo Puppy
« on: Mar 08, 2020, 09:32 »
Hello and welcome to the forum. Congratulations on acquiring your first dog. The best thing to do is to keep him on the existing food until he has settled down. This could be for a week or two.

Gentle dog food is a good choice but is quite different to kibble so you are right to be thinking carefully about transitioning. I fed cold pressed food and recall that the recommended daily allowance was 1% to 1.2% of the dog’s ideal body weight but for puppies it is more - IIRC it’s in the region of 2.5%. You can contact the company for more information and I am sure their staff will advise. The Guru website  also has some useful information about the RDA and the transitioning process. They have a ready reckoner on there. Be aware that cold pressed food is dense and compared to kibble the amount required looks small. Don’t be put off by this. You should get into the habit of weighing the food, at least until you are confident with the amount required.

Gentle is a complete food and should meet all the nutritional requirements of the dog. However, some variety is helpful so suitable toppers can be included in the diet if you wish. You would need to reduce the dry food a little to take this into account. I used to top up with home prepared food including fresh chicken, sardines, white fish, scrambled egg, blueberries, suitable cooked, mashed vegetables. Rodney Habib has made some videos about this and they can be found on YouTube.

We have a thread on cold pressed foods here.

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