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Posted : 10/25/2007 11:36:48 AM
Our little one, a 25 lb Lab mix, is not happy. After going to the vet for some nasty dry skin, that she proceeded to bite and scratch until it was red & raw, she got put on some meds, 1 for the skin and 1 for some nasty ear gook she had. She also recently had her bed/sleeping area changed drastically (out from underneath the bed, to a different corner of the bedroom. we made the decision after deciding she had become too reclusive under the bed which was part of the reason it took us longer to notice how bad her skin had gotten.) She is already a quirky, timid, shy dog who has always been difficult to feed. She is a Hurricane Katrina rescue who came to us from New Orleans about a month after the hurricane. She's gotten much better, but is still quite scared of sudden movements & noises and certain rooms of the house. She had gotten very regular with eating both breakfast and dinner on time, but ever since all of the changes, she's boycotted meals, refusing to eat for 24 hours sometimes. Like I said, she's always been weird with her food; refusing to eat at times, acting scared of her food bowl even. But has not been this bad for quite some time. We also recently switched their dry food. I don't think she likes the new food at all. last night when she still hadn't eaten, we finally gave her half a can of wet stuff. She gobbled it down, but then threw up everything this morning.
So... I have decided enough is enough... I want to make the switch to healthier food. I know people feed their dogs boiled chicken (among other things) with rice & veggies; I think it's for the better. We have another older dog who is a 50 lb Dalmatian and I want to switch him over, too. We just are not sure how to portion everything. Is there anyone else who feeds their dogs "people" food and if so, how do you determine the right amount?
Posted : 10/25/2007 12:29:21 PM
You can find out how many calories she's getting now from dog food, and give enough chicken & rice to equal that number. Some brands will have that info on the bag or on their websites; others you might have to call or email to find out. I use nutritiondata.com to find out the calorie and nutrient content for "people" foods.
Also, here's a calorie chart for dogs of various sizes and activity levels (there are others, but I find this one the most accurate for the average pet): http://huntersheart.com/nutrition_basics_for_brittanys.html#chris_zink_on_figuring_how_much_to_feed
Posted : 10/25/2007 12:57:44 PM
you can't just feed chicken, rice, and veg. You need some kind of balanced recipe to follow. Dalmations have weird metabolisms and you might want to check out http://hattrick-dals.home.att.net/PreventingUrateStoneFormation.html
Posted : 10/25/2007 1:55:26 PM
Are you sure the other one isn't allergic to chicken? I'm surprised you dal isn't. We have a dal and our daughter had one before her current one, and both have terrible itching,redness,bloodshot eyes. Our dal loves any people food,but I can't give her any of the good stuff. She seems to handle fish the best, but now I just read no chicken,fish,elk venison, she doesn't tolerate beef at all. So now I'm trying Canidie lamb and rice. If the dogs ears are infected,it could be yeast related also or wheat.Our Maizy can't have wheat either. You have to watch with PURINES also,not too high or they can form kidney stones---very painful--I know from. experience. But just seeing the symptoms on your other dog,sounds like allergies.I know one of the mods says to get the thyroid checked,that could also be the problem. Good Luck.
Posted : 10/26/2007 9:05:42 AM
Right now, I am only going to switch the Lab X to raw food, only because she's been so stubborn about not eating. At this point I just want her to eat. Domino has no problem gobbling his food down, never misses a meal, and is actually in the best health since we've had him. Which does say alot because we adopted him at 14 years old, and he came to us with terrible skin (very dry, clumps of hair falling out, bald patches), multiple bladder infections, and extremely anxious/peeing in the house when left alone for 20 minutes/not settling down at night. Now his coat is silky, no nasty constant shedding, healthy urine, and you could set a clock to his routines (breakfast time, napping time, going crazy/playtime, dinner time, evening walk, more playtime, and then sleep.) We joked yesterday that he is the healthiest of all of us.
Anyway, I know there's more than just chicken and rice. I did some research yesterday in the short time that I had. I plan to do some more, also trial and error, to see what will work best. My main concern is getting her to eat regularly and also to make sure she gets the nutrients that she needs. I know everything won't fall into place immediately in the beginning, but I want her to get some normalcy back in her life. God knows the life she had in the first 10 years down in New Orleans.
Another thing to keep in mind is her teeth. They are very bad. Not in the rotten or diseased way, but they are EXTREMELY worn down. I don't want her to be eating things she can barely chew. I always thought this was the reason that she seemed to disdain the dry food, even when it was soaked in water. The vet says it looks like she tried to chew her way out of a cage or some sort of enclosure, which wouldn't surprise me.
If there is anyone who is feeding their dogs "people" food, I would be very interested to hear what types of food you are giving. Other than chicken & fish, I want to know what kinds to avoid and others that are healthy.
Posted : 10/26/2007 9:10:46 AM
Monica Segal sells $6 booklets of recipes of balanced home-cooked meals. Well worth the price.
Posted : 10/26/2007 9:18:27 AM
I know this doesn't answer your question, but what do you feed your dal? Ours is so itchy,nice coat,but itchy and pink.She gets SolidGold. Just wondering, as you say your dal has no problems now. Thanks.
Posted : 10/26/2007 9:40:25 AM
Boiled chicken and rice isn't raw food Raw food would be raw meat.
It's not hard at all to do homecooked, once you get in the swing of things. You *do* need to balance your recipe, though. That is very important. Calcium and organ meat are pretty necessary.
Posted : 10/26/2007 10:33:20 AM
Yeah i know it's not raw food... but I don't know how else to term it. I don't want to just say "people food". Is there a correct term for this school of thought? That will probably help in my research.
As horrid as this may sound to some, our pups were both eating Purina senior formula. When we adopted Sug almost 2 years ago, they gave us like 15 free coupons for it. I know it's not the best stuff- when growing up we always fed our dogs (a now 15-yr-old Lab & 8 yr old Pit/Ridgeback X) Nutro. But at the moment, we can't afford it. Well, I guess I shouldn't say that. It's true fiancee is out of work (has been for 9 mos now) so I'm the only one working. I wouldn't mind spending the money, but he grew up in a different family than mine- they always had dogs, and always fed them the cheap Shoprite-brand canned stuff. And they all lived long healthy lives. So convincing him to spring for a $35-40 bag is somewhat difficult. This is why I'm trying to go the other route, with the "people" food for lack of a better term. Plus, both dogs are seniors so we make more trips to the vet than some.
Anyway the coupons finally ran out, so we now are on our first bag of Beneful "Healthy Coat" or whatever their version of that is. I don't know if I can give all the credit to the food though. We also sprung for a deep-clean/conditioning at our Petsmart a couple months ago, and now we do "follow-up" baths with shampoo and a moisturizing conditioner maybe every 2 weeks or so along with a brushing if he is shedding more than usual. It sounds pretty easy & cheap - and it is. Maybe Domino's case was not as bad as yours - though it was really gross for a while when you'd pet him and clumps would come out. Our vet said she couldn't believe how soft his coat was especially for his age - she says usually when she sees older Dalmatians, she has to use hand cream afterwards because their coats are so rough. We also don't know how much about his old family cared for him - like I said, he came to us at 14. From what we do know, though, I can't imagine they were springing for super-healthy food or any kind of regular care.
Domino has never had any kind of ear gunk or excessive itching. It's always Sug. They seem to be seasonal allergies that she gets in the spring and fall. Always scratching her ears and licking her paws/legs. The vet advised us to put her on benadryl (we don't because it knocks her out) and if they get really bad she gets a Cortisone shot.
Thanks for all the replies so far - very helpful.
Posted : 10/26/2007 10:38:19 AM
For the ears...use Gentian Violet ear wash and add yogurt to the diet every day. Most houndy people swear by both for avoiding gooky ears/yeasty ears. Fish oil for the skin perhaps.
Posted : 10/26/2007 11:57:04 AM
I can sympathyze with you in that good dog food is awfully expensive, and you shouldn't feel bad if you can't afford it.Our daughter just got a beagle mix and she had a beautiful coat. My daughter started getting cheaper food also because of her husband.I tried to explain that really good food in the long run is better--less trips to the vet,sickness,chemicals,etc. But there is no way her husband would pay $40.00 for dogfood. So they do the best they can and the dog appears to be healthy except her fur is rougher.But years ago,we couldn't afford good dog food either and actually, there wasn't that much emphasis on dogfood. It wasn't until we got a white shepard that we started buying better food. Maybe some dogs can tolerate less expensive foods better.All I know is that our dal has allergies to many things and I won't give her grocery store food. But than again, we are in a much better position financely. Just do the best you can and good luck!
Posted : 10/26/2007 1:51:43 PM
Your Dal is so cute!! Ours has an eye patch too. I used to have a picture of him here, it disappeared somehow. I always liked Dalmatians, never thought I'd own one. We went to so many shelters, looking for the right dog - we were looking for another small, younger dog - go figure we bring home the 14 year old Dalmatian. I just knew he was the one the second I saw him. We had a really hard time with him in the beginning, but he is a fantastic dog. So much personality. Quite a rascal. All I can say is I am so glad I've had the chance to own one, and all dog-lovers should in my opinion... it's a wonderful experience.
Posted : 10/26/2007 6:07:29 PM
Welcome to the forum and bless you for rescuing the Lab mix and the Dal. Mudpuppy is right; Monica Segal has booklets for $6.25. There is a booklet with balanced raw diets and one with balanced cooked diets; http://www.monicasegal.com/
Posted : 10/26/2007 6:34:59 PM
What you want to do is referred to as home-cooking for your dog.
A general guideline is to feed 2 to 3% of the dog's body weight per day as a beginning point.
Here is a very good page on home-cooking for dogs. Lots of very useful info, and sample recipes:
Putting It Together (Cooked)
Posted : 10/26/2007 8:16:51 PM
I don't agree with a statement on the linked page, that dogs don't have a nutritional need for carbohydrates. Their brain, like ours, must have glucose. Of course the body can make glucose from meat sources but it's more readily available from carbohydrates, which is one reason I think including some carbs in a dog's diet is a good idea.
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