Feeding Sensitive GSD
I have a question that hopefully you can help me figure this out. I have a GSD puppy with sensitive stomach. I am currently feeding him rice with boiled ground beef lean 90% with pumpkin and few handful of Hills GI diet that was prescribed by the vet. He is doing decent on it but I know its not a desired diet for him and I am trying to figure out what to do. I am considering feeding him raw diet and possibly mixture of a good kibble dog food. What do you suggest and what do you feed your GSD's? If you feed raw do you buy frozen food from a pet store or a human store? What kind of meats do you buy and what kind of kibbles do you feed? I tried my GSD on a Fromm large breed puppy formula but he didn't do well on it at all. He got diarrhea from it so I had to return it. Please help me figure this out. Just keep in mind this puppy has super sensitive stomach and needs something that is not too rich and I prefer grain free.
Thank you in advance,
I've had really good results with Rachael Ray's Zero Grain. I literally have tried every grain free brand out there and this so far has been the best. I supplement it with cooked chicken and veggies.
Please do not worry. GSDs are known as "Diarrhea Dogs". It is normal, and it happens quite frequently, especially among pups.
And yes, you get loose motions every time you transition from one staple food type to another. (Eg. if you are feeding him chicken kibbles from Kirkland brand and switch to kirkland lamb, expect diarrhea for the first few days.)
So your dog might not actually have a "sensitive stomach", it is just that you panic too fast and go back to the "safe food".
I have heard this, but have no personal experience of this, that vets are not the best source for nutrition information for dogs.
I personally prefer going to "www.dogfoodadvisor.com". I did my research and as per my budget, found "Kirkland's supreme" to the best food over all. I feed him 50/50 kibbles and raw chicken every day.
My recommendation : pick a dog food you like, and feed it to the pup. Let him have loose stools for a week or 10 days. Then the stools will firm up.
And yes, pepto bismol works wonders for me to treat my dog's diarrhea. Pumpkin adds fiber to the diet, and helps firm up the stools too.
And congratulations on being a new GSD daddy / mommy. Keep in mind the first few months are very worrying for a new parent. But GSDs are a healthy breed, and often the best thing you can do, is relax and be patient.
Thank you guys for your replies. I am a new GSD mommy and LOVE my pup to pieces. I have owned dogs my entire life and have been very good with picking the right food for my dogs but I seem to struggle with my new puppy. You are right I do panic and put him back on the regular "safe" food. I just want to find something that is safe and good for my puppy. I have no problem cooking for him if I have to but I don't want to keep giving him on rice as that stuff doesn't do well with their tummies and I need to give him more vitamins and stuff that he needs as a puppy. He is already 17 weeks old and I have had him since he just turned 9 weeks. He is growing very fast and my concern if I don't find something good that helps him grow and develop that I am possibly making things worse for him. I bought some raw beef diet made for dogs and am going to start him on that slowly by adding it to his rice and ground beef. I would like to totally get him off of rice and keep him on maybe ground beef, raw beef, and some kibbles that I can find. So I tried Fromm that doesn't work and I hear some GSD just don't do well on Fromm so I am not sure. Although I was also told that Surf and Turf by Fromm is not too bad. I have him on Hills GI diet which is not something I want to keep him on as I don't like commercial food that has all sorts of additive and byproduct in it. So I am looking for advice. What kind of raw do you feed? Do you buy one that is made for the dogs or do you buy it at the grocery stores and feed the human grade raw?
And congrats on your new puppy!
Yes, the hamburger and rice diet does not have the sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals a pup needs and could cause a problem with long term use. So you are wise in wanting to get off of it.
A great and easy way to feed raw (while you are learning) is to use Steve Browns Homemade Dinner Mix and add to your own ground meat! Use very lean meat, like ground round, or "Jennie O" ground turkey 93/7%, as too much fat can cause gut upset if he is sensitive. Steve Brown is a guru at raw feeding and has books out! He created this mix to make it easier for folks who wanted to feed raw, but couldn't mess around with all the raw parts and supplements.
See Spot Live Longer™ Homemade Dinner Mixes | Product Catalog
Info on the mix: Healthy Dog Food Dinner Mixes If you do decide to use his product, pm me and I'll give you a chart on how much to feed a puppy.
I've been feeding total raw for 18 years because it gives me control of the quality of our dogs food, but when we vacation, or run out of food, I use The Honest Kitchen, which is the ONLY human grade food on the USA market that the FDA recognizes and allows to use the words "Human Grade" legally on their packaging and advertising. I'd start with Embark (grain free). Here is their site to read about it: All Natural Dog Food - Dehydrated Pet Food | The Honest Kitchen
If you type in your zip code at the site listed below, it will give you a location near you to purchase it as it is not found at typical "pet" stores. Where to Buy Honest Kitchen - Honest Kitchen Stores | The Honest Kitchen It is a dehydrated food so a 10 pound box will cost about $70 but it RE-hydrates to 35 to 40 pounds.;)
Also, adding a digestive enzyme and pro-biotic called Digest All PLUS, to help him assimilate his food better and keep his gut healthy would be a good choice for him. Most of the ingredients are organic and it is human grade. This one contains both in the mix to make it easier: The Wholistic Pet
You can add some canned pumpkin (NO spices) to either mix for a few days to firm up his stool if it is too loose.
A good herbal to keep on hand to sooth an upset tummy or gut is "Slippery Elm" found at a local health food store. You can open one or two cap-fulls on to his meal depending on the severity of the up set.
Hope this helps!
Check out the thread a few posts down from yours:
I had the same issue when my girl was a pup...Proplan Sensitive Stomach and Skin did wonders. I never would have thought Proplan but a bunch of people here had suggested it before so at that point I would have tried anything.
The fact it seems to be more and more common with the GSD is sad and breeders need to take notice and correct!
My last GSD whom we adored and loved to the end had EPI, purely genetic. Breeder did repeat breeding of his parents afterwards and told me he would outgrow this condition, normal for puppies.
Sorry....did not mean to hijack thread. :)
Definitely not normal. Diarrhea always means there is intestinal inflammation. That is not normal.
Do German Shepherds often have sensitive stomachs? Yes.
Should you just not worry if your dog has diarrhea?
You need to find a food that agrees with your dog and makes him have a normal stool.
Let me just make sure I address the diarrhea part. I have that under control right now, however whenever I add/change anything in his diet he gets runny stool. When I first got him he had giardian and caccidia which are no longer an issue. Also when I brought him from the breeder we forgot to get the puppy food he had him on so I had no choice but to give him something new and of course his tummy did not like that. Since I have been trying to get him on Fromm large breed puppy food which he didn't do well at all. I tried it three different times and I introduce him VERY slowly so I know its not how I introduced it to him but the food is too rich. I originally had him on boiled chicken and rice which he did ok but his stool was not as firm as it should so the vet said the chicken might be too rich in protein for him at the moment. So I put him on ground beef and rice with organic pumpkin and a table spoon of yogurt. He is doing good on that BUT I want to get him off of rice and add food that has vitamins and that he can tolerate. I have no problem getting him on raw food as long as his tummy can handle it. This morning I have added one cube of raw beef that I bought for dogs at our local pet shop. I am adding one piece of raw beef with each of his meals today and see how he tolerates it. I know its not a lot but its a start and I don't want to shock his system and do it at snail speed. I feed him 3 times a day and he loves his meals that I cook for him BUT once again I don't think its enough for a puppy. I would love to find a good quality kibbles as well as good source of raw diet for him. The breeder recommended to feed him raw the day I got the puppy but I was not listening because I never fed my dogs raw diet so it was all foreign to me. Now I realize with GSD's that might be the best diet and possibly my solution to his tummy issues.
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