This little talk was partially inspired by a recent change I've made to The Merle Moron's diet, and my struggle with accepting it. I've felt a bit ashamed, even though there's no reason to, and that's sad. No one should be made to feel like a bad owner for doing what's right for their dog. Hopefully I can help someone else going through a similar issue, or just show that you don't know the other person's side of the story, and you should think before you speak.
Over the course of Nola's four and a half years of life, I've fed practically every form of dog food. Dry kibble, wet food, home cooked, dehydrated, raw (both pre-made and prey model raw), grain inclusive, grain free, novel protein, common protein, sky high end, midrange, you name it, and I've more than likely tried it. I've quiet literally tried every diet form for my dogs, so I feel I'm in a competent position to discuss this topic from all sides. My dogs are all different, but only Nola and Pike have really been troublesome with food, so this post is focusing on them.
We'll start with Nola. I do a rotation style diet, changing out the flavor or brand every bag I feed. She is fed a high protein (28-34%), grain free diet. She has allergies to corn and soy, and is sensitive to pork. She is 4.5 years old, medium-high energy, and 9.5-10lbs. She's been fed everything, but is currently on kibble and is absolutely thriving. Gorgeous coat, clean ears, lots of energy, clear eyes, great muscle tone, no smell, no gas, doesn't act like she's starving, tiny poops, ect.
This is the first time in her life she's ever been absolutely perfect on any type of food.
Home cooked was the closest match to her current condition, but even then she'd had occasional gunky eyes, gas or large/soft poop. She looked and acted atrocious on raw, even though I did it the "correct" way. Wouldn't hold her weight, runny eyes, constipation no matter now little bone I fed, itchy skin, filthy ears, low energy, anal gland issues, shedding, and the list goes on and on. Before a raw feeder cries out "it sounds like detox", this issue lasted the entire near 4 months I fed it. If the "detox" takes longer, that's not something I want in my dog's body.
On dehydrated she was painfully thin, low energy, gunky eyes, shedding, and lots of poop. On wet, her breath stunk and she pooped enough for a beagle sized dog instead of a 9-10lb Dachshund.
|She looks amazing.|
For my girl, a grain free, high protein and higher fat (if she has a low fat and low protein food, she looses so much weigh and her energy plummets. She is 100% healthy, has had blood work done, ect and is normal) kibble is the healthiest choice. This one isn't too bad, since I am feeding her top quality brands like Fromm, Orijen and Acana (with Fromm being the current favorite), but I've still been chastised for not feeding raw. My dog would be sick if I went with what everyone else thought was "best".
Now we have Pike, The Merle Moron. That boy is my special guy, and that carries over with his food. Not only is he insanely picky (oh my god, I can't even describe how picky that boy is when it comes to food...not treats or human food, though. Just food...of course.), has a sensitive stomach, and his coat is finicky as well. He is very, very high energy, and struggles to hold much fat. He's naturally lean, but I try to keep some weight on him.
Pike is 18 months old, 8.5-9lbs, and is on the high end of high energy. He has been fed kibble, raw, wet and dehydrated, grain free and grain inclusive.
Raw made his eyes water constantly, made his coat dull, and he was constantly itchy. He isn't a fan of dehydrated, and barely nibbled it. Wet is hit or miss with him, but gives him huge poop. He also does best on kibble. However, grain free is way too rich for him, even when it's a lower protein/fat formula. It gives him soft poop to flat out canon-butt.
For kibble brands, he's had Wellness (grain inclusive), Wellness CORE (grain free), Orijen (is grain free), Fromm (grain inclusive), Taste of The Wild (is grain free) and Blue Buffalo (grain free and grain inclusive). For each one there's been a big enough problem that I've had to switch.
The latest one has been Fromm Classic, grain inclusive adult dog food. He lost more weight than he's ever lost before (yes, he is completely healthy and has had a full blood panel done), so much that I started feeding him 2-3 raw eggs and scraps in addition to his kibble every day. His coat has also been extremely dry, though I'm not sure if that is because it was very dry here up until a few weeks ago or due to the food. He'd pick at his food, and never had much zest for meal time.
|This isn't even fully wet down. You'd have to have put your hands on him to get the full extent.|
Holy hell, the difference it made in just a week and a half was incredible. His energy has improved by leaps and bounds (literally, haha - that guy has springs for feet!), his coat is thick, glossy and gorgeous again, and he's putting on weight at a perfect rate. He is eager for breakfast and is happy to eat all his food in one go, within 5 minutes. This was unheard of before. He looks and acts so healthy, and is the embodiment of a young, healthy, active 18mo old dog. I do not have a single complaint on this food, for the first time ever with him, and he looks and acts incredible.
He's on Eukanuba Small Breed Adult.
Yeah, I know. I had the same reaction before I saw how Pike did on this. And now? Now, I'm just happy to have my dog looking like he should, and enjoys eating.
Hearsay, trends, and personal experiences have no affect on how my dog will do on a food. Simply because you don't approve of something, or your dog doesn't do well on it, doesn't mean it won't work for someone else. It is not a crime to feed what your dog needs, and it doesn't make you a bad owner.
So that's what's been going on with us in the food department. Lesson of the day is to think before you speak, and to mind your own damn business. ;)
- Dachshund Mommy