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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, guys! I need some food suggestions for a 7 year old golden retriever that has hip dysplasia and I *believe* hypothyroidism (test came back normal, but that was not the thyroid specific test. Just blood work). She will be going to the vet next week for more testing.

She has insane exercise intolerance, and the most I can get her to walk is .75 miles a day. This is done in a grassy park where she can drag the leash and go at her own pace. She is overweight and her weight keeps getting worse, which I know is bad for her hips. You can see a slight tuck, but cannot feel the ribs without pressing down on her sides. She eats strictly 2 cups a day Taste of the Wild and acts starving with that amount, but I can't give her more or she gains a ton of weight. I am giving her glucosamine and condroitin and a probiotic, with pumpkin every once in a while. I am sure we will be getting pain meds at the vets next week.

Is it safe to feed a 7 year old a senior, low calorie food? Any brand suggestions that would help her get the right amount of nutrients while helping her lose weight?

Thanks!
 

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If you are at all in a position to try her on raw, that is what I would recommend. It will eliminate the heavy carb load of kibble, which should help weight melt off while allowing your girl to feel full. Also, carbs promote inflammation and could be making the arthritis worse. If you cannot do raw, I would next look to ziwipeak. I have no experience feeding a low cal/senior kibble, so I will leave advice related to that to others who have fed them! I’m not anti-kibble, but with your girl’s health issues, I think raw could benefit her greatly.
 

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If you are at all in a position to try her on raw, that is what I would recommend. It will eliminate the heavy carb load of kibble, which should help weight melt off while allowing your girl to feel full. Also, carbs promote inflammation and could be making the arthritis worse. If you cannot do raw, I would next look to ziwipeak. I have no experience feeding a low cal/senior kibble, so I will leave advice related to that to others who have fed them! I’m not anti-kibble, but with your girl’s health issues, I think raw could benefit her greatly.
We would love to try raw. I'm looking into it now. Do you currently feed it to your dogs? The ratio is 80% muscle meat, 10% bone, 10% organs, right?
 

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Are you doing the 3/4 mile all in one walk? If so, and if your schedule will allow, I would break that up into 2 or 3 walks per day. Preferably 1 after breakfast (allow some time first for rest after a meal then walk) and one after dinner. This might help with overall stamina and since the walks are shorter per each, you can probably get more mileage from her per day.

If she has displasia, arthritis could be settling in. Natural eggshell membrane (NEM) is worth a try. You will see results in about 10 days give or take a few days. Bone broth is also great.

My old girl, a Heinz57 mix, was fat and that is what I did for her along with cutting food intake very slowly. It took a while to start seeing results. The several walks a day especially when my boy was a pup was a bit exhausting at times, but she did shave the pounds off, ended up with a beautiful tuck and what I called her bikini figure lol. She was at age 11 when I took the glasses off and realized what had to be done for her. I still smile when I think of her.

Both me and my boy take the NEM. Personally speaking it has just about stopped my morning minor aches and stiffness.

I'm sure others will come on for food suggestions. Much luck to you with this.
 

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I feed two of my dogs raw right now. I pulled my bitch off raw because she wasn’t maintaining weight on it no matter the amount she was fed. I may put her back on homemade raw again in the future, though she is doing well on kibble. My male GSD eats commercial raw because he has IBD and that is all he tolerates, and my puppy is eating (mostly) commercial raw because I’m terrified to mess up his growth. My senior ate homemade raw when she was still with us. She ate roughly an 80/10/5/5 mix of raw meat, plus supplements and leafy greens and other no starch, very low carb veggies to cover all of the macros. She had spondylosis and severe arthritis, and the switch to raw (as well as acupuncture, laser therapy, meds and supplements) did help her. It also allowed her to drop weight. She had always been what I would call an extremely easy keeper on kibble. I was feeding her the lowest amount I could while still covering her nutritional bases, and she was still slightly overweight. She lost all the extra while on raw, and she was able to eat between 2 and 2.5% of her body weight.
 

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Thanks for the thoughts, guys. We will most likely be switching to raw. So many questions come along with that!! I am reading so many threads on this forum.

One question to RAW feeders, how did you find a source for your meat? Local butcher willing to give you a deal? Co-op? Private farm?

I am trying to find any raw feeders near BOULDER, Colorado that can give me some tips on where to go, and any suggestions from the rest of the country. ;)

Maybe a new thread should be started about this?
 

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Thanks for the thoughts, guys. We will most likely be switching to raw. So many questions come along with that!! I am reading so many threads on this forum.

One question to RAW feeders, how did you find a source for your meat? Local butcher willing to give you a deal? Co-op? Private farm?

I am trying to find any raw feeders near BOULDER, Colorado that can give me some tips on where to go, and any suggestions from the rest of the country. ;)

Maybe a new thread should be started about this?
Co-ops can be great. See if there is a local to you raw feeding group on facebook. You can order grinds and whole prey options from Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow. There is also My Pet Carnivore, Raw Feeding Miami... I know there are others, but I believe most of them denature their meat. I haven’t had good luck with my local butchers, but I know people in other areas are able to work out deals with their local butchers.
 
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