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Need some dog food help...

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  • Need some dog food help...

    Long story short (well, most of it is on the giveaway forum) I "acquired" a couple German Shepard dogs a week or so ago, and am trying to put a little weight on them.

    These are big dogs and a lot to feed, any suggestions for a "decent" food that isn't going to cost $50/week (right now each is getting 6 cups/day of Nutro Max Large Breed)??? My grandmother is 'sponsoring' part of their care but she is on a fixed income and I don't want to ask a fortune from her.

    I'd like to send these two off to a new home in good shape...so any suggestions appreciated.

  • #2
    Originally posted by equusrocks View Post
    Long story short (well, most of it is on the giveaway forum) I "acquired" a couple German Shepard dogs a week or so ago, and am trying to put a little weight on them.

    These are big dogs and a lot to feed, any suggestions for a "decent" food that isn't going to cost $50/week (right now each is getting 6 cups/day of Nutro Max Large Breed)??? My grandmother is 'sponsoring' part of their care but she is on a fixed income and I don't want to ask a fortune from her.

    I'd like to send these two off to a new home in good shape...so any suggestions appreciated.
    Please see this thread: http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum...d.php?t=183751


    FWIW, my 2 70 lb Ridgebacks go through about $50 worth of Innova in 3 or 3.5 weeks, and they are VERY active. One gets 2 c/day and the other gets 3 c/day. The regular green Innova bag has the highest kcal/cup that I've been able to find, which means you feed a whole lot less of it. It's an excellent top quality food.

    Comment


    • #3
      Costco's Dog Food is manufactured by Diamond. Based on its ingredients, it looks pretty good. Only my EPI German Shepherd ate as much food as you are feeding them now. They shouldn't be eating 6 cups of food...even if you want to put some weight on them.

      Do a google search for a recipe for "Satin Balls." They're not meant to be fed as meals, but they help with weight gain.

      Sheppies have a tendency to have barley allergies. If you notice their ears getting a little stinky, rubbing their face after eating, etc. they might have food allergies (just a random Sheppie tidbit).
      If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
      DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
      Originally posted by talkofthetown
      As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.

      Comment


      • #4
        Usually, the higher quality food you feed, the more nutrient dense it is and therefore you feed less (and less poop to clean up!)

        For example, I feed Science Diet Large Breed to my 94# very active lab. I feed 3 C a day. Total. A 35# bag costs me around $26-30 depending on where I get it and lasts me a month or so I believe.

        My friends have a similar size dog, same breed, same activity level. They feed Pedigree and feed 8 C a day.

        Better food is usually cheaper in the long run because A) you don't feed as much and B) good nutrition is a cornerstone of preventative care.
        A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

        Might be a reason, never an excuse...

        Comment


        • #5
          I feed Diamond Extreme Athelete to my Shepherd. It's 32% protein and 28% fat. First two ingredients are chicken meal and chicken. No corn, wheat etc. He's a typical reluctant eater and very active so I needed to find a food that didn't require him to eat large volumes. He's 85 lbs and gets a 1 lb butter tub full twice a day. (I think that's like 1 1/2 cups so total of 3 cups a day). I think the cost is $32 for a 50lb bag. He looks great and although still lean I don't have to worry about appearing on Animal Cops!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
            Usually, the higher quality food you feed, the more nutrient dense it is and therefore you feed less (and less poop to clean up!)

            For example, I feed Science Diet Large Breed to my 94# very active lab. I feed 3 C a day. Total. A 35# bag costs me around $26-30 depending on where I get it and lasts me a month or so I believe.

            Science Diet Large Breed is certainly NOT a high quality food.

            One Star

            Compare to Five Star

            Comment


            • #7
              We feed Natural Balance AMP. It's dog food for highly actve dogs.
              If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
              DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
              Originally posted by talkofthetown
              As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.

              Comment


              • #8
                add carbs to the dog food. Cooked white rice is good, as is cooked pasta. If you add a little canned dog food to it and water, it will help to make it more appetizing.

                I feed Pedigree, used to feed Pro Plan, and for about 5.5 cups (I have 7 dogs) I usually add about 1/8 of a cup of canned food thinned with enough water to make it stick to the food. I can make one large can of Iams or Pro Plan last me about 3 days or 6 meals. It's a very cost effective way to feed

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                • #9
                  Simke, I respectfully disagree. But this whole "anti grains" and "high protein" thing has got lots of people just as wound up as barefoot vs shod and NH or not.

                  I'm a rep for SD and I stand behind the research. I also worked in an clinic for nearly 10 years with a veterinarian who had his masters in nutrition. So I guess the information I look at or perhaps the way I look at it is different than yours.

                  But I can appreciate your stance. I hear it a lot.
                  A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                  Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Thanks guys...I was just feeding what was the recommended amount according to the manufacturer...I don't have a Costco anywhere near here, but do have a tractor supply and they carry Diamond and Science diet, along with a bunch of "others". We also have a PetSmart. Our only "independent" petfood company went out of business a few years ago, back when I had dogs of my own.

                    Those are petty much my only options as far as suppliers. These dogs are outside 24/7 and are always playing. The previous "owner" was feeding 3-4 cups/day of cheap stuff and they lost weight pretty quickly. I suppose they need to be dewormed also though...but their vet visit isn't for a couple more weeks.

                    I appreciate all of the feedback guys. I am sort of debating on getting a small dog of my own after these two are gone, so I will hopefully use this info all later.

                    Oh, I checked out the other thread, what a wealth of info. I ignored it because we didn't have a Costco.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by HydroPHILE View Post
                      Costco's Dog Food is manufactured by Diamond. Based on its ingredients, it looks pretty good.
                      My aussies are on this food at the moment. (they were on raw but moving in to my mothers house, she didn't like it) They free feed, but are pretty close to 2 cups for the male and 3 to 4 for my female. They are maintaining weight well with it.
                      Riding the winds of change

                      Heeling NRG Aussies
                      Like us on facebook!

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                      • #12
                        I would agree with the poster that said Science Diet isn't a premium food....it just isn't.

                        Innova is a great food for helping you put weight on a dog...I would start my research there.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by equusrocks View Post
                          Thanks guys...I was just feeding what was the recommended amount according to the manufacturer...I don't have a Costco anywhere near here, but do have a tractor supply and they carry Diamond and Science diet, along with a bunch of "others". We also have a PetSmart. Our only "independent" petfood company went out of business a few years ago, back when I had dogs of my own.

                          Those are petty much my only options as far as suppliers. These dogs are outside 24/7 and are always playing. The previous "owner" was feeding 3-4 cups/day of cheap stuff and they lost weight pretty quickly. I suppose they need to be dewormed also though...but their vet visit isn't for a couple more weeks.

                          I appreciate all of the feedback guys. I am sort of debating on getting a small dog of my own after these two are gone, so I will hopefully use this info all later.

                          Oh, I checked out the other thread, what a wealth of info. I ignored it because we didn't have a Costco.
                          To my thinking the best cheap dog food available at Tractor Supply is the Diamond Natural Chicken and Rice. Last I looked it was about $26 for a 40 lb bag. My dogs did well on it. But I recently decided to switch to Taste of The Wild just because it is much better, albeit much more expensive, food. The Diamond Natural was actually cheaper than the WallyWorld Maxximum, which is no longer available, and the ingredient list is not TOO scary.

                          http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_f...duct=932&cat=5
                          "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                          Thread killer Extraordinaire

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
                            Usually, the higher quality food you feed, the more nutrient dense it is and therefore you feed less (and less poop to clean up!)

                            For example, I feed Science Diet Large Breed to my 94# very active lab. I feed 3 C a day. Total. A 35# bag costs me around $26-30 depending on where I get it and lasts me a month or so I believe.

                            My friends have a similar size dog, same breed, same activity level. They feed Pedigree and feed 8 C a day.

                            Better food is usually cheaper in the long run because A) you don't feed as much and B) good nutrition is a cornerstone of preventative care.
                            I agree that Pedidgree is awful, but so is Science Diet. It's a 1 star food http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/ It's been over-marketed by vets who get free samples up the wazu. Same with Iams. I know way too many dogs who look and feel terrible on Hills products. They are full of empty garbage fillers and grains.

                            I feed Fromm Four Star (a 5 star food), and love it. The only time I had any problem was when one of my dogs was on Science Diet Z/D Ultra for a year, and he looked like he had one foot in the grave. He lost so much hair it looked like he had mange, yeast infections in the ears, impacted anal glands, and overall just stinky and miserable. It was horrible, but vet recommended so I did it. Back to Fromm and all the problems are gone. I feed 3 big dogs, and yes it's expensive but worth it.

                            Fromm Classic (3 star) is a lower end formula, but its still a lot better than anything Hills could manufacture. Sorry Buddy Roo, but the "goodness" of Science Diet and Iams was debunked years ago, regardless of how much vets want to push it.

                            The only other I would want to feed is Innova or CORE but it is hard to get around here for one thing, and I am very happy with Fromm, and have no need to switch anyway. You have to special order those two and Fromm is available locally since its manufactured in my state.

                            Do you ever wonder why horrible cancers are the leading cause of death in dogs??? Look at what we feed them! Good grief. It's common sense, guys. All the byproducts, preservatives, cheap fillers, it's no wonder. And when Hills uses a known carcinogen (in humans) as a preservative in their food, well, run the other way as fast as you can. That's all I'm gonna say because you don't want to hear what I really think! LOL

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have an 80lb *very* active young adult male dog. I feed him Orijen- the blue bag which, according to the link to the reviews, is a 6 star food. I had no idea. What I do know is that he loves it and he eats about 2 cups a day. The best part, his "business" has very little smell and is literally the size of what you'd expect from a 10lb dog!. Another perk to the food is that you buy 9 and the next bag is free.
                              "Sometimes you just have to shut up and color."

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                My dog has food allergies. He does just fine on Diamond Lamb and Rice and he also does just fine on Ole' Roy Lamb and Rice. I think its the same food.

                                He is almost 15 and is just getting his first stiffness in is SI area. Never been sick from his food, never been lame, never has flare-ups of his skin like he did on more $$$$ dog foods, great teeth, No tarter, never had an ear infection and doesn't even get fleas.

                                He is half greyhound and half Pointer. They have a much shorter average life span the 15 years.

                                He does have fatter tumors, but they do not seem to be killing him.

                                If he eats the $$$$$ dog food they sell at the $$$$$ store his farts will knock you over. So I stick with what works and I am happy it is cheap. He eats about #50 a month. His picture is in my blog profile and his is about 12 there. He still had such good eyes he didn't need reading glasses!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  That's a lot of dry stuff. I feed Nutro Lamb and Rice to my big (85 lb) Golden/collie mix, and he gets four cups a day, total (2 in am, 2 in pm). If you're looking to add weight on them, try buying whole-fat cottage cheese or yogurt, or adding a couple of eggs (cooked!) to their food once a day. Eggs are cheap and a fantastic source of healthy protein. You could also look for whatever ground meat is on sale at the store - I can get ground chicken for $2/lb, and sometimes less. Boil it up and add it to their food. I wouldn't try to get weight on them by giving them lots of extra kibble, though.

                                  ETA: You can also add a tablespoon of olive oil or canola oil to their food for some extra healthy calories.
                                  I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    A 'overlooked' nice little dog food that packs some calories in Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul.

                                    I would personally catch wild rabbit with my bare hands before I would feed Science Diet.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      A lot of good recommendations. I'm also going to suggest Wysong. All organic ingredients, which are graded quality for human consumption (not gonna start eating dog food, but it's nice to know that it's safe!). Good luck with the doggies!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Boy, do I agree that dog food topic carries just as many high running emotions & opinions as the barefoot/shod topic.....

                                        I have to say though, I work in a vet clinic as well and work very closely w/ my boss on the nutrition side of things. First I can tell you that my pets eat the Eukanuba & Iams diets and I love them! I also, as one previous poster said, have looked at a lot of the research and just perfer this diet because of the quality control and research that goes into their products. Saying this, I will also tell you that I keep an open mind and also respect other peoples opinions and preferences as well. There are certainly MANY MANY other good diets out there besides Eukanuba/Iams. Myself, I am not a big fan of the Pedigree, Beneful, Kibbles -n-Bits type diets -- lots of fat and calories and not much else.

                                        Oh & to the poster who said that we in the vet world get "free samples by the wazu" to push the sale, I would love to know where they are b/c they are certainly not in the clinic I'm at. We recommend the diets that we recommend, because we believe in the research and the quality and have seen the results, not just simply $$$$ & free samples (which again do not exist in our clinic )
                                        ~Darci~
                                        "We have an obligation. We are their keepers." ~Roy Jackson

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