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Messages - Red_Akita

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Dog foods / Re: Weight gain without increased energy?
« on: Oct 30, 2017, 15:32 »
Thanks for the explanation, I had guessed we were talking about a show dog but I couldn't be sure.
To put it simply, if you feed him more protein, he will put on muscle mass: his chest will get broader and his legs stronger, but he will need to be exercised more. If he's a pulling breed, some exercise with a bungee rope strapped to your waist will be good (and fun) for him.
If instead you're looking to make his waist line a bit wider, perhaps it's best providing him a bit more fat, either by changing food or by adding a little bit of animal fat to his meal... this will make the kibble taste much better so he'll be more inclined to eat, too.
Either way, please bear in mind that changes in diet should be gradual, otherwise it'll make him more harm than good.
Mentality wise, it's hard to say: he's at the stage of life where he's going to start losing his puppy playfulness and large breeds can get lazy when they have a lot of weight to carry around so again, a careful approach is recommended and probably you will have to make tweaks along the way, until you find the perfect balance. Unfortunately there is no universal formula, especially when you take into account that his stomach may simply not agree with some foods (sometimes it happens with very high protein contents) but usually premium brands are reasonably well balanced so any of them will be a good starting point.
Personally, I started with Orijen, then migrated to raw, then moved to cold pressed (Simple and Guru), then Millies... eventually I settled on Aatu about a year ago and so far I'm happy with the results. I like my dog to have a bit of everything and I am on grain free food just by chance (some intolerance issues with several cereals): other people in the forum are strong supporters of cold pressed, others prefer raw, some others will defend grain free foods. Ultimately it will all depend on your personal preference and especially on how your dog reacts to a specific diet!

Dog foods / Re: Weight gain without increased energy?
« on: Oct 30, 2017, 14:29 »
Hi, and welcome to the forum.
There is something I don't quite understand from your post: does your dog look skinny? Is his coat dull?
Weight indications should be just a guideline, as a lot of it will depend on the individual dog, his body fat ratio, whether he is more or less muscular, which in turn will depend on how active he is.
If I were you, I wouldn't focus so much on the figure on the scale, that is what it is. The reason for that is, at 18 months your dog has done a good 90% of his growth (probably more, depending on breed). The weight can only increase by changing his muscle or fat mass: if you increase the muscle mass (i.e. you give him more proteins) he will get more energetic; if you increase his fat mass (i.e. higher calories food) he will become... well, fatter! Which is good if he looks skinny, but you don't want to have an overweight dog just because the breed standard says that you have to aim for a specific number on the scale.
Also, since every dog is different, he may be skinny by nature and the only consequence of a fatter diet will be to have runnier stools.
Please give us some more info and we will try to help you out :)

Dog foods / Re: Help! - Beagle with atopic dermatitis
« on: Oct 24, 2017, 15:36 »
Dermatitis can be a symptom of an endless list of causes unfortunately... in my case was food intolerance, but it could really be anything.
If it's a deficiency of some supplements, Yumega should help you fix it. If not, probably the next sensible step would be an elimination diet. As it's already been pointed out, raw food is the only real option here as it will give you full control on ingredients.
Please don't trust any food that says hypoallergenic: this is just advertising as the only thing they do is to use ingredients that aren't so common for dog diets and then play with the statistics.

Dog foods / Re: Acana Classics
« on: Oct 08, 2017, 20:47 »
Hi, welcome to the forum.
I have fed my dog Acana lamb for some time, and I was happy with it.
As usual, there's no black and white rule with dog food: Acana is the lower protein version of Orijen (they are manufactured by the same company) and it definitely is a premium food, with clear labels and fairly traceable ingredients.
My recommendation Is to buy the smallest size bag, see how your dog goes and take it from there. The score on the website is a guideline and not necessarily a food scoring 4.8 will be better than a 4.2, because it essentially depends on your dog and how his metabolic system works.

Having only one dog of a fairly large size, I have to say this is not a big problem for me.
I'm currently feeding Aatu and the 10kg bag lasts about a month and a half, which isn't a ridiculously long time.
I'd love to support local stores but to be honest the online prices are far too competitive, sometimes £20 cheaper or more!
About the storage, I'd like to point out that Aatu has recently changed their packaging: their bags used to have a ziplock seal, which I found great to keep the product fresh. In the past couple of months they moved to a velcro strip, probably in an attempt to cut costs... I'm not a fan of this change, but most other kibble bags come with no seal at all so this is still better than average.

Just tried both on laptop and mobile (Android) phone. Even with all the filters activated, the slider works alright.

Forum rules / Re: Any advice
« on: Sep 06, 2017, 11:46 »
Hi, welcome to the forum.
In theory, the rough surface of the kibble should help clean the teeth; in practice they require so little chewing that the effect is minimal.
A solution of water and bicarbonate of soda and a cheap supermarket toothbrush on the soft side once a week work just fine... just be careful near the gums: if they bleed the dog will start hating the practice and he'll make it very hard for you! ;)

Introductions / Re: Dry food advice
« on: Sep 04, 2017, 12:54 »
Hi and welcome to the forum.
Unclear ingredients lists should always be treated with suspicion and generic words as "cereals" (what is it? wheat, rice, barley, corn, buckwheat they're all cereals) or "meat derivatives" should raise a few eyebrows. I couldn't find this specific food in the directory so I guess you generated your own review. It's hard to say which food will be good for your dog and much will depend on your budget too.
Also, since your new puppy has been kept on raw food so far, you have a dog used to a protein rich diet, as well as one used to a protein poor diet... finding a food that will be suitable to both will take some trial and error.
Perhaps the best thing you can do is to choose among the best food your pocket can afford (the Dog Food Directory will tell you the daily cost according to the manufacturer's guidelines) and see how both your dogs cope with them. Your elder dog can be switched progressively but the puppy should be switched overnight as he's been on raw food so far.
Air dried Vs cold pressed: air dried is simply dehydrated food, it will require adding some water to be brought back to its original state. Cold pressed is food that is processed at low temperatures (think about it like a slow cooking process... not exactly the same but it gives the idea), compacted and then extruded in pellets; it can be given on its own or soaked in water as it sometimes is hard to chew for some dogs. Both techniques claim to be as close as it gets to "natural" food and "ancestral diet", as the ingredients aren't cooked at high temperatures and therefore keep most of their nutrients and they're as close as it gets to raw food from a chemical point of view... or at least this is how the theory goes. They are both fairly new entries in the pet food industry so real benefits are more based on anecdotal evidence rather than scientific data. My dog was doing great on cold pressed, I eventually had to switch her back to kibble due to a mild intolerance to rice and cold pressed food has to have grains in it.
I hope I haven't flooded you with information! :)

General discussion / Re: Puppy food help!
« on: Aug 30, 2017, 10:14 »
Hello, and welcome to the forum!
It is definitely true that high protein food is not suitable for every dog; on the other hand, from the timeline you provided it may be that you didn't give enough time to your puppy to adapt to the new food. I understand the worries, I get very apprehensive with my dog too at the minimum signal of distress, but sometimes it takes weeks for the stools to settle.
On the other hand, Acana and Orijen are fairly extreme in their protein content: even my Japanese Akita didn't cope very well on them (Orijen 6 fish it was the food the breeder gave her initially).
My recommendation is to stick to one food for 3-4 of weeks, unless you see something VERY wrong of course, and adjust the doses if the stools are still soft after that time. Also, bear in mind that the amounts on the label are purely indicative and every dog is different so it wouldn't be uncommon for you dog to need even 20% less than the recommended amount for his weight.
I'm sure you'll get this sorted very soon, so far you have done all the right things.

Hi, welcome to the forum.
I agree with Tinyplanets, there's no universal fix for diet, the best you can do is getting a high quality food and adjust the feeding amounts to let him gain weight, before getting to the point of loose stools. Much will depend on the energy levels of the dog and how well he can cope with high protein or grain free products but again, the only way to know that is trial and error.
Best recommendation is: don't buy large bags of food for the moment as you'll be likely to switch a few brands before finding the right one.

Raw feeding / Re: Introducing Raw
« on: Jul 28, 2017, 11:45 »
Hi, welcome to the forum!
Lots of great recommendations already, I agree that probably you want to give the puppy a few days to settle in before stressing him with a change of diet.
From my experience, a sudden switch is better when moving from kibble to raw and vice-versa... but all dogs are different, so all you can do is an educated guess based on how strong your puppy's tummy seem to be in the first few days you have him.
One word of warning: don't be alarmed by weird looking stools once you switch: it's absolutely normal as his body will need some time to learn how to digest the food. At the beginning it's typical to see white pieces of undigested bone, for example. Please let us know how you get on!

It broke my heart reading your story, I can't even imagine the pain you have been and probably still are going through.
I have never given my Akita beef trachea, so I can't be of any help.
I did feed her on raw food in the past though, and I did extensive research before taking that step: detractors of raw feeding usually highlight the risk of internal damage, while supporters say it's just scaremongering from food manufacturers. Some professionals argue that there is indeed that risk but it is so low that is statistically insignificant. Unfortunately statistics don't take into account that every dog counts, when is yours.
Unfortunately I read all these info a few years ago so I am not in the positions of giving you any references.

Training and behaviour / Re: Water during the night time
« on: Jul 11, 2017, 08:43 »
Hi, welcome to the forum.
There are different schools on water restriction; personally I think that unless there are underlying medical issues, dogs should have access to fresh water at all time.
I think the best thing you can do is taking him to the vet, if you haven't already done so. This will allow you to exclude things like urinary tract infection, kidney problems or diabetes (sorry, I don't want to alarm you, but better safe than sorry).
He's a young dog so his bladder should be able to hold until morning without a problem. Maybe he just got used to drinking more water with the recent heat wave and he's keeping having the same intake, but it's hard to say until you rule out medical problems.

Hi Lou,
Sorry to hear that your cat is still struggling.
As mentioned previously, blood tests against food intolerances and allergies are far from being reliable so I wouldn't count too much on them.
Also, keeping changing flavours and mixing different foods together is not going to help you as you are trying to find a combination of ingredients your cat isn't allergic to, rather than just 1 ingredient... basically you're halving your chances of success.
From what you've been writing, it seems to me that turkey can be a fairly safe bet, so perhaps you want to stick to it? Pay attention to feed just turkey though, not turkey and chicken. Turkey thigh mince is also fairly cheap in supermarkets so you may try making a broth of it and add some flavour to the cat's meal.

Hi Amanda, welcome to the forum.
Coprophagia (eating stools) is most of the times a behavioural problem, but sometimes it can be related to digestive issues: basically the dogs smells or senses that he hasn't taken all the nutrients out of his food and discharged the useless stuff, so he tries to have a "second pass"... I know it's disgusting, but that's what they do (they do the same with puke, basically for the same reason). If the cause is in the digestive system, it may be related to the body not producing enough enzymes (or not producing them at all); I'm not sure if this can be related to anal gland problems or if it's two separate issues.
As Dottie said, more fibres may help: when you want to keep tight control on what you're feeding your dog, a home cooked or raw diet is always best. If you don't have time to prepare a balanced diet for your dog, try using the filters in the dog food directory to find foods with high fibre content. The directory also has a "natural" filter, I recommend using that too as at this point in time you want to make sure there is as less junk as possible in your kibble, to avoid upsetting an already delicate tummy.

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