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Messages - Dottie

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General discussion / Re: Lentils in poop
« on: Yesterday at 19:55 »
I can't say whether the amount you are giving is too much but from what you describe re the output it would see so. It sounds as if Butternut Box did not suit Rebecca's dog. I had my two on it for a little while and I never saw undigested food in their poo. However, one developed what I suspect is a legume intolerance.  It goes to show that no two dogs are the same.

You are giving two high quality foods and I just think that your dog's digestion cannot handle it, especially as he has been on poor quality food for so long.

As I mentioned before, I think it would be better to stick to one product, whichever you prefer.  If your dog doesn't like kibble on it's own you could maybe add a little cooked, mashed non starchy vegetables. A small amount of suitable fruit can be added.

Another thing that might help is a course of canine specific probiotic eg YuDigest. It often helps when transitioning dogs to a new food.

Dog foods / Re: Mixer advice
« on: Yesterday at 19:41 »
Mixer biscuit is mostly carbohydrate. Years ago pet owners used it with wet dog food such as Winalot to bulk it up and give the dog something to crunch on. Some people still use it with wet food. The Wainwright's complete will have higher than average carbohydrate so it unnecessary to add more in the form of mixer biscuit. Just use the kibble and a wet food topper as described in the previous post and your dog should be alright. Be careful not to overfeed. As you are adding wet food it may be necessary to reduce the kibble a little.

We have a number of threads about obesity and weight loss so I will gather some of the information into this designated thread for easy access. Those threads can be found by using the search box at the top of the Board Index. The term 'weight loss' will bring up relevant ones.

These are just general guidelines, some of which I have found helpful in the past.

Psychological aspects:
It's useful to address why a dog has become obese. Lack of exercise is one aspect. Many pet owners find pleasure in feeding their dog, especially if it enjoys eating. Before dieting a dog it is worth thinking carefully about the health problems that can occur due to obesity. In addition it can shorten it's life.  A quick Internet search will reveal the negative effects of obesity. If the owner can take this on board it will increase motivation and make helping the dog to achieve a healthy weight much easier.  Many dogs scrounge and if yours does this, you may need to develop strategies for dealing with it. At meal times it is kinder to shut the dog in another room rather than be tempted to feed it. If there is someone in the house who is persistently feeding the dog then that has to be tackled.  It is kinder not to be tempted to use the dog as a receptacle for meal leftovers.

How do you know your dog is overweight?
Sometimes it is quite obvious that the dog is overweight but it can be subjective. Regularly using body condition scoring as a tool is helpful; there are many charts and videos about the subject on the Internet. Example 1  and Example 2 I also weigh my dogs from time to time because I know what the correct weight is for them but with mixed breeds it is not always as straightforward.

Weighing food
When starting out on a diet it is essential to weigh food so you know exactly what is going into your dog's mouth. Digital scales will give better accuracy - Example.  Other reasons why weighing is important:
* The owner overestimates the amount of food that the dog actually needs. The owner will not have to judge this if the food is weighed properly.
* If weight loss is not occurring on any given amount of food it is necessary to reduce it by 10%. If it hasn't been weighed in the first place the owner will not be able to do this correctly.
Manufacturers' RDAs (recommended daily allowance) are frequently higher than necessary. When starting out on a diet, it might be helpful to choose the bottom figure for the size and weight of your dog and take off 10%. If the dog does not begin to lose weight, it can be reduced again by 10%. Once the weight starts coming off stick with that quantity but continue to weigh the food.

Aims of dieting
Just as the weight crept on slowly and gradually, the pet owner needs to aim for a slow, steady reduction. Sometimes veterinary surgeries run weight loss clinics and these can be helpful to increase motivation and get advice. Also the dog will be weighed regularly so you know you are going in the right (or wrong) direction. 

Exercise can improve the speed at which weight is lost and improve fitness but it is inadvisable to increase exercise markedly, at least at first. Over exercising, particularly energetic exercise is likely to strain the dog and can lead to other health problems, especially if they are unfit. Continue with moderate, gentle exercise. Giving the correct type and amount of food is better for the dog long term. 

My personal view is that if a dog is getting a good quality diet, treats should not be necessary. In fact regularly giving treats could perhaps increase the dog’s fixation on food. If the owner wishes to continue with treats, reduce the food slightly to take account of this and choose low calorie ones.

Types of food:
There are many types foods that claim to help with weight loss. They are often labelled as 'light' or similar.  If the dog is doing well on it’s current food there should be no reason to change. Simply reducing the amount and not giving anything else should effect weight loss.

A dog that is dieting needs higher levels of good quality, digestible protein so that it does not lose muscle. Fat can be a problem so look for a product that does not have high amounts of fat.

To simplify matters, it can be helpful not to mix foods because it can add calories. If dry food is given then it is alright to enhance it with cooked, low fat protein and non starchy cooked, mashed vegetables but don’t add carbohydrate and reduce the food slightly to take this into account. Link.

Please share experiences if you have successfully dieted your dog.

General discussion / Re: Lentils in poop
« on: Yesterday at 09:01 »
Hello again. It sounds as if you might be inadvertently overfeeding. You are using two high quality products. I have answered your previous query about weight loss and this question confirms my feeling that you need to decide which food to use, rather than feed two types of complete food.  Fresh food is good for dogs and Butternut Box has a high nutritional rating but for now it might be best to stick with just the Essential Contour because it is a  good product, is easily weighed and you can take some out of the daily allowance to use for treats if you wish.  Remember that the recommended daily allowance as described on the packet of food is often more than a dog actually needs so it is best to start right at the bottom and perhaps take off 10%. For instance, if the lower end for your dog's size and weight is 300g, give 270g. Monitor the dog's weight weekly if possible.

Introductions / Re: My new dog - Bramble
« on: Yesterday at 08:49 »
Hello and welcome to the forum. Well done for giving a Bramble a new home. It sounds as if you have made a good start.

There are many health problems that can arise due to obesity so it is good that you are trying to address this. We have quite a few threads on the forum about this and having just searched using the term 'weight loss' I have found the following but there are more:

Obesity and weight loss thread
Weight loss
Need a weight loss food and fast

You can search for additional material using the search box, top right.

Essential Contour is a good quality food and has a nutritional rating of 91% - link. Protein is above average, fat is average and carbohydrate is above average. Butternut Box is also a good quality fresh food and can be fed as the whole diet or part in conjunction with other products. Both are complete foods.   

My personal feeling is that with a dog who needs to lose weight it is best to keep it simple and just feed one type of complete food. If it is weighed properly and the dog is not given anything else it will quickly become apparent if the quantity is correct and you can adjust by 10% as required.  Dry food can be enhanced by using suitable (non starchy) cooked, mashed vegetables and it will help to sate the dog's appetite. More information here.

3kg is a lot to lose so take your time and aim for a steady weight loss. It is absolutely essential to weigh the food accurately so that you can reduce it gradually (by 10%) if weight loss does not occur. Also, only give the dog it's rations and no extras. If you wish to give treats, reduce the food a little.  Don't over exercise your  dog in an attempt to encourage weight loss. It can be too much of a strain on the dog. Just aim for gentle, frequent walks at the moment. Diet will reduce weight better than trying to get it off by over  exercising them, particularly strenuous exercise.

Dog foods / Re: Mixer advice
« on: Yesterday at 08:17 »
Hello and welcome to the forum. Is this the Wainwright's Salmon and Potato that you are currently feeding? If so, I cannot find it in the Dog Food Directory but the Instant Review Generator returns a nutritional rating of 70% with no red ingredients:

Composition: Salmon Meal (26%), Potato Starch (26%), Brown Rice (15%), Whole Grain Barley (14%), Rapeseed Oil (7%), Beet Pulp (6%), Linseed (4%), Alfalfa (1%), Dried Seaweed (0.3%), Minerals, Dried Yucca (0.02%), Dried Marigold (0.005%)

Protein is on the low side at 21%, fat 11%  and it will have an above average carbohydrate content. In these circumstances it would be helpful to look for a wet food that will add balance so it needs to be low in carbohydrate and high in protein. Using these filters in the Dog Food Directory, it returned four pages:

Type of food - wet
Food properties - clearly labelled
Rating - 75% to 100%. I used this because it returns the higher meat content products.
Avoid ingredients - all red, all yellow

You could also use the nutrient level sliders if you wish.   

I cannot reproduce those four pages here so you will need to do this yourself.  You can then click on the ones you are interested in and check the dials at the bottom.

Some of them can be found in your local pet store but you may have to shop online for others. Click on 'Shop for this food' to find shopping outlets.  Butchers tripe wet is readily available in supermarkets and Freshpet is sold in some of the larger ones. Variety is good for dogs so if there are some wet foods that have more than one flavour that is an advantage. Natures Menu Country Hunter is one such product.

If you are able to cook for your dog, enhancing dry food with fresh cooked can provide balance, extra nutrients and can be cost effective. There is a thread here which may be helpful.

Dog foods / Re: Cockapoo Puppy
« on: Sep 25, 2020, 19:38 »
Yorkshiregirl - I found that my dogs had good firm poos when on cold pressed food. I hope this product is helpful for your dog. Please let us know how you get on.

Dog foods / Re: Marleybones
« on: Sep 25, 2020, 19:32 »
Thank you for the clear description of your dog food.  David intends to contact you to get them listed in the Dog Food Directory. I wish you well with your innovative new products.

Dog foods / Re: Advice wanted re food for three dogs
« on: Sep 21, 2020, 10:58 »
Within each product in the Dog Food Directory there is a shop now link which locates the retailers who stock it.
Gentle  and Guru sell through their own websites. Zooplus and Bitiba sell various types, mostly Markus Muhle. Have a look at the aforementioned cold pressed food thread for more information.

Dog foods / Re: Advice wanted re food for three dogs
« on: Sep 20, 2020, 18:33 »
Amybright - have you looked at cold pressed food? There are a few on the market now and we have a thread on them here. The Markus Muhle varieties include the two UK companies Gentle and Guru. Their staff will be able to advise. Usually the RDA is 1% to 1.2% of the dog’s ideal body weight.

It sounds as if your dogs are quite active so you will probably need 1.2% maintenance but you can increase that if necessary. Eden is an excellent food but maybe your dogs need extra carbohydrate in view of their activity levels. You can enhance with some home cooked food if you want to add variety although they are complete - link.  If you choose protein foods to enhance it should help to increase weight.

General discussion / Re: Enhancement of dry dog food
« on: Sep 20, 2020, 17:38 »
Diversity In The Diet is a blog by a company but I am using it here as it is useful for explaining why giving a dog variety in diet can promote good digestive health.

Dog foods / Re: Marleybones
« on: Sep 19, 2020, 09:54 »
It has a nutritional rating of 91% using the Instant Review Generator.  However, David has had a few enquiries about it and will add it to the Dog Food Directory once he has acquired more information so the final rating might be different.

Dog foods / Re: Advice wanted re food for three dogs
« on: Sep 19, 2020, 09:48 »
Hello and welcome to the forum. I have split your post to make a new thread. Please can you let us know what you have tried and what type of food you require? Do you prefer dry food and are you looking for the same product for all three dogs?  Did they all lose weight on Eden and were you feeding the recommended daily allowance (weighed)?

General dog chat / Re: Bonding and trusting of my Dog?
« on: Sep 18, 2020, 11:14 »
Hello and welcome to the forum. Please can you say why you ask? Also, it would be helpful to have more information about your dog and situation.

Dog foods / Re: Marleybones
« on: Sep 17, 2020, 18:29 »
Thank you for this information Seaweed. I have looked at the website and am a bit confused. It seems like a hybrid of fresh cooked and more traditional wet food. What did you think about it? 

It comes in Tetrapaks so is probably pasteurized which is why it doesn't need freezing and can be stored in cool conditions for up to eighteen months. They say they do not use artificial preservatives. I don't know whether there is any gelling agent but from the photographs it does not appear that it is a pate type food so hopefully not. As is usual with this type of company price isn't mentioned - you have to use the wizard and create an account. 

The recipes are simple which might make them useful for dogs with intolerances. Interestingly, they use quinoa as the carbohydrate source and as few dogs have been exposed to this it could be an advantage - link.   As the owner of a dog who has suspected legume intolerance I am not sure about the use of peas. They allocate 2% to the recipe and they are in all four types so you cannot avoid them.

It seems an interesting enterprise and something a bit different from the norm. Hope that the company does well - nice to see innovation.

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