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Old 11-03-2012, 05:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Making him Eat Good Food?

Right, it now seems to me clearly that Bear my Male 1yo has a Wheat allergy. He was on a wheat free food UltraPet and doing well, no rashes, good coat, and his itching had gone right down to what I would expect of any dog.

Then he lost his taste for the food. He really liked the regular food I had for Fred the Lab, and as he was losing weight due to not eating *anything* I switched him.

There is a warty rash now at his ankles, elbows and chest, and random other places under his fur. He is chewing at his feet and joints, and now it looks like he is losing fur around his eyes. Eating vigorously, but...

I am researching a raw diet, but here in New Zealand it is a lot more difficult to get the ingredients economically. I worry about getting a balanced diet I can afford. The Ultra food is $100 for a 40lb bag, depending on local sources a raw diet would be even more expensive.

A child won't starve themselves and you can talk and reason with one as a bonus. How do I get Bear back on the food that is healthy for him? Tactic one was using the raw chicken (dog food grade) and just pouring the juice from thawing the block on the food so he *should* have had to eat the kibble. He drank the juice and sucked any shreds of meat off the kibble, leaving the kibble.

How do I make him eat the good food and not starve himself? He is not fat to start with, and an active dog. He was getting really thin before I switched to a food he would eat.

I'm at my wit's end and really need help.
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Old 11-03-2012, 06:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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First try feeding both dogs the same wheat free food so Bear can't be holding out for the lab's yummy food. I would try that until the food is used up by one dog or the other. Then if that doesn't work, I would try another kind of wheat free food that Bear may like. If he is still losing weight, I would then try rice with a wheat free canned food mixed in. In the meantime, I would study up on the raw food diet and consider that as a next step. There's a whole forum topic on it.
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Old 11-03-2012, 06:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mary Beth View Post
First try feeding both dogs the same wheat free food so Bear can't be holding out for the lab's yummy food. I would try that until the food is used up by one dog or the other. Then if that doesn't work, I would try another kind of wheat free food that Bear may like. If he is still losing weight, I would then try rice with a wheat free canned food mixed in. In the meantime, I would study up on the raw food diet and consider that as a next step. There's a whole forum topic on it.
I think that sounds like good advice. If he's a picky dog to start with then you don't want to keep switching because that could make him pickier. My female dog has an unknown food allergy. We found a food she did well on but she just didn't like it so we finished the bag and were lucky enough to find another food that she did like and didn't contain the allergen. She isn't normally that fussy so I gave in and found another food.
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well, after a bit of research I have discovered all the wheat free food I can get is at least half again as expensive as the Ultra food he turned his nose up at.

I did however discover a source of ground chicken carcass that is $3 a kilo, cheaper than the Ultra food, which is $5 a kilo. So I have a basis for a raw food diet! The chicken carcass has the livers still in the pelvis when it is ground, so that is terrific. The difference means I have a bit to play with for getting some variety into his diet as long as I am careful about how I do it.

Now, off to the BARF page to see what else we need. I also thought about getting a smaller bag of the Ultra food and grinding it into the chicken. He can't bloody well suck the chicken off powder! That way I can still access all the good added nummies in the Ultra food.

I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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That is a good idea to try grinding the dog food into the chicken - it should cover up the taste. You may want to start with more chicken to less dog food and add (grind it up too) some not too much of the lab's food. Give some to the lab also. When I had cats, I could get my picky Husky to eat by putting the dog food in the cat's bowl and including some bits of the cat's food - then give it to her - she would eat the same food she had turned her nose up at in her dish. A neighbor lady always cooked for her collie - he got rice, meat & broth, chopped lettuce and vegetables. Good luck!
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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So far my cunning plan is working!

I have a kitchen mincer now too, so I can get some other delicacies like green tripe, liver, and kidneys. I plan to mince it up into patties I can freeze with some brown rice as a forming agent. Supplement now and again into the food.

I also had an off the wall idea to go to the manufacturer of the dog food to find out what they do with the dust and fragments left over from the manufacture of the kibble. Should be cheaper and saves crushing the nuggets.

Will let you know how I go.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Great news! You dog must be feeling better and hopefully will start to gain weight. Be interesting to find out if the kibble crumbs are cheaper. Wonder if the kibble is still needed with all the meat and rice?
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I was after the kibble to get the added nutrients. I'll see how he does for a month on this diet and go from there.

It *seems like the rash that developed with the wheat containing kibble is drying up, but I'll be keeping tabs on that as well.
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You could use a seameal powder to provide the nutrients instead of the kibble. The seameal would be good for his bones also.
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Mmmmm, yes. The issue is that a lot of the really cool things you can get in the US we can't get or the price is wildly out of reach.

I can easily expect to pay twice what you do by weight for any given retail product.

That Orijen food people like? $165 a bag from PetSmart, the only place that carries it.
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