Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Monday Musings on Tuesday: Feeding Our Dogs - Butt The Fuck Out Of Other's Choices

Hey, everyone! Today's post is going to be on food (always a touchy subject, so let's keep it friendly, a'ight?), and the increase I'm seeing all over social media of bashing others for their choices in what they feed their dogs. Mainly kibble bashing, but it goes both ways. You know what, though? At the end of the day, it doesn't matter worth a damn what someone else feeds their dog, or what others think about what you feed yours (within reason; O'l Roy, Kibbles n' Bits, Benefel, ect are just awful foods no mater how you slice it). You know your dog, and you know what works for them. Fuck what anyone else thinks.
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.
He was so thin I could count every rib and vertebrae with the lightest touch, and could see his hip bones through his coat. I read everything I could find on dog related Facebook groups, and finally found an interesting thread on my favorite food one (The Dog Food Nerds of Facebook). Someone had had a similar problem with their dog, and they recommended two specific brands that helped their dog immensely. I knew the stigma attached to those brands, and can even admit to buying into it myself. I wouldn't ever chastise someone for what they feed their dog in 98% of cases, but it was still the thought of "I'd never feed my dog that". However, a few days later I gave Pike a bath, saw how thin he was, swallowed my pride, and went with one of the brands I said I'd never give my dog.
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



10 comments:

  1. I say, you know your dog best! Out of all my blogging furiends, I would go to you first if I was having an issue with my food!!!!! Keep on doing what you know is best fur your dog and crap on all the naysayers!

    ~Higgins

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  2. Its kinda refreshing to read this. We're going through the same thing with Teach. He has been horrible this year. We switched him to a grain free and its just not gotten better. So now we're going to try something else. He use to be on Purina One Sensitive System and was okay on it but not great. We're still searching but I want my health coat/skin dogs back!!

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  3. I was feeding both these guys the Honest Kitchen for a couple of years, then they changed the way they want to do their sponsorship and I said, no thanks, So no more free food from them. I decided to keep Roxy on it because she is the right weight, and healthy. She is 10 now. Torrey went on Taste of the wild and gained 5 pounds. Not good. She should weigh 30 and is at 36. She is getting way less food than what they recommend too. So I think she will have to go back to THK, It's way out of my budget, but I can't let her be overweight, and I can't feed her any less without starving her. You have to do what's best for your own dog, no matter what other yahoos say.

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  4. Love this post!! I'm so very glad you found a food that works so well for Pike. Super awesome looking dog by the way - sounds like such a fun guy! We had to go through lots of different food to finally figure out what works for us. It is amazing how passionate people get over dog food.

    - Steffi

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  5. I sort of adopt the old military policy....Don't Ask, Don't Tell :-) You feed what you want to, I'll feed what I want to, and there's no need to discuss it.

    Corgis being such chowhounds, I could feed them just about anything and they would eat it with gusto :-)

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  6. You tell'm!! BOL my friend feeds her dog kibble from Costco. It's the healthiest dog I know! I have tried every kibble on the market. We switch around too
    Lily (& Edward)

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  7. I hate it so much when people are so mean to other people about what they feed their dogs, as long as it's not pedigree or beneful or some other really shitty brand and even then there's a polite way to have a conversation about it.

    I can't tell you the number of times I've seen people complain about "kibble poop" and how disgusting it is. When my dogs were on full raw their poop was absolutely awful. Pretty much exactly what you described. They either had cannon butt or were constipated. Not to mention the white bone poops. It smelled awful and was not fun to pick up. Not to mention, they were both constantly vomiting. Picking up raw fed vomit is also not fun.

    They are on Canidae (grain in) food right now and they are doing awesome. Small firm poops that don't really smell, great skin, shiny coats and energy to spare! I'm pretty happy with it and it's cost effective without being shitty. No one has thrown up and Zoe specifically only poops once a day. Phoenix still goes twice but they are very small.

    I really wish people would stop judging other people for what they choose to feed. Some dogs do better on kibble, some do better on raw. Some don't. I think it's important to see how the dogs are doing and go by that versus the trends. :)

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  8. OMG, I know how you feel! Maggie is the pickiest eater, plus gets super itchy with so many types of protein, grains, you name it. She & Duke have been eating a grain-free beef kibble formula, but might need to switch as she's losing interest in it. It's so hard to find something she likes that doesn't make her itchy!
    Luckily Duke is a super chunk that does well on pretty much everything. :)

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  9. Pawrents know their fur kids more than anyone else does. And though dog moms might have differing opinions, we all want the same thing: to love and care for our dogs in the best way possible. I wouldn't worry what others have to say about your food choices. Momma always knows best! Much love, The Scottie Mom.

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  10. This is a great post!!! Reading it definitely helped me out right now, because I'm having similar issues with two of the dogs in my life.

    Also, I thought you might appreciate this song - the lyrics are awesome and quite relevant to this post! :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E598KjYyBJI
    "Mind your own biscuits, and life will be gravy."

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