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Discussion Starter #1
I am at my wits end ... I just started my 8 year old on Nutri Source Senior with Chicken and he is itchy so I want to stay away from Chicken. (For those who saw and responded to my post about vomiting... he hasn't vomited since. Thank goodness.)

Vet does not want him on grain free because he has a minor heart murmur...

I have been searching and searching, internet and pet stores all have different opinions, looking for more than 3 people to have the same opinion lol....Please give me suggestions? Raw is last on the list for now due to my work schedule etc.
 

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My senior is eating Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin/Stomach Salmon & Rice. It is grain inclusive, and it's pretty popular among GSD people - lots of dogs do well on it. There's also a lamb formula.

The calories/cup isn't super high, so even though it isn't a dedicated "senior" food I'm keeping her on it.
 

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Why chicken? Was he tested for allergies? I like the Victor brand food. You can go to their site and browse them.
 

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One option to consider is The Honest Kitchen. It's dehydrated food that reconstitutes to porridge. They have grain-in options with Turkey and/or Beef. It's an in-between less-processed step that's not kibble or raw. THK also makes a grain-in base-mix (as does Sojo's -- and Sojo's is a lot cheaper). You add cooked or raw meat to the base mix and have an AAFCO-approved diet. (I feed THK base-mix with Primal Grinds Beef pre-made raw frozen -- because I don't have time to deal with measuring 100 grams of this or that organ and tracking it on a spreadsheet. The combo feeds out VERY well for a severe food allergy senior dog with digestive problems. But it's very expensive.)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok thank you both. Re Chicken... he had been on Nutri Source Turkey and Rice but when I switched him to Chicken the itching got really bad. So just a hunch.

I want to switch him to Senior for ease of digestion and because after 1 mile he starts limping, just want to ensure he's getting everything he needs.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you, yes, I looked into Honest Kitchen and it does look great but the price is prohibitive... looking for other options before I need to get a second job lol
 

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If he limps after only a mile would take him to the vet and see what's going on and what food he advises. I doubt that limping can be cured by diet.
 

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..... and because after 1 mile he starts limping, just want to ensure he's getting everything he needs.
I'm sorry if I missed it in your other post, but have you started looking into the reason for his limp?

Lots of things can be helped or supported with diet & supplements, but if it's an injury he might need vet or chiro intervention.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It's the front right... i think it might be the beginning of arthritis. Vet said as long as he bounces back, but to keep an eye and ensure it doesn't get worse. He's absolutely fine after resting a few hours.
 

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If he limps after only a mile would take him to the vet and see what's going on and what food he advises. I doubt that limping can be cured by diet.
Yes I did, vet wasn't super helpful with the food lol... but did agree with switching him to senior for digestion and joint issues as he ages.
 

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Senior food is kind of a gimmick. I would just go to Chewy.com and use the filters on the left of the screen and pick out the protein you are looking for. There are lots of single source proteins out there that do not include chicken. Regarding the grain inclusive suggestion, I would also look for a food that does not have peas or legumes due to the heart and taurine concerns....Dr. Gary's Best Breed makes a salmon formula that has no chicken and no peas or legumes. It also contains sea mussel and glucosamine. I've had good results with their food: Dr. Gary's Best Breed Holistic Salmon with Vegetables & Herbs Dry Dog Food, 4-lb bag - Chewy.com
 

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If choices are severely limited, I think I would just get him on a good all-life-stages food that works well with his skin/digestion and heart. Diamond Naturals makes a beef and rice food that's very affordable. Victor does too, I think.

I'd stay well away from lamb-and-rice foods with a dog with a heart murmur. As I recall, there's decades-old, but recently largely ignored, literature on that combo having a connection to DCM because of some suspected absorption issue -- while there's been a lot of publicity recently about grain-free foods, 20 years ago, the red flag was lamb and rice. They never fully resolved back then why some dogs were popping up in higher numbers with heart issues on lamb and rice (though it was suspected to be a taurine problem), but I would be as cautious with avoiding lamb-and-rice formulas as your vet wants you to be with grain-free.

"Beginning of arthritis" is the time for intensive intervention -- not just a food change. It's very important to get some good xrays now, as you're going to want to see how this progresses over time and know exactly what's going on. (You also can't assume a limp is arthritis without an xray -- I once had a senior dog with a new limp that we thought was arthritis in his elbow, but when we xrayed, it turned out to be bone cancer.)

Arthritis is a progressive, degenerative disease. Once you confirm it's there, waiting to intervene just means irreversible damage. You can buy the dog good years with better quality of life by managing it now.

I strongly believe that as soon as arthritis appears, there should be a vet conversation about putting the dog on Adequan injections. It's 2 shots a week for 4 weeks, than a maintenance dose monthly (or sometimes bi-weekly when they're in bad shape). It's not a pain med -- it moves into the joint and lubricates it, slowing cartilage loss, and sometimes even triggering some cartilage regeneration. It's healing the joint from the inside, delaying degeneration, and preserving quality of life and mobility -- seriously good stuff. Most vets charge around $50/dose if they do the shot. Many will teach you how to do it at home and sell you the vials to bring the cost down (or give you a script to order online from Valley Vet or some other reputable pet pharmacy). Some older vets don't know anything about this therapeutic intervention -- years ago, I fired a vet who didn't know about it and found a younger vet with an interest in orthopedics to get my senior dog better arthritis care.

Supplements can be added to support the Adequan -- we have many great threads on things like NEM, Collagen II, turmeric, MSM, Dasuquin Advanced, etc. However, dogs that just get supplements tend to not do nearly as well as dogs that get supplements AND Adequan.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
All great information, thank you!!!

I am trying him on Fromm pork and applesauce right now (merging the foods) and it's not making a difference just yet. Good to know all life stages IS an option.

I will ask about investigating the limp more and adequan for him.

Thanks! More searching! lol
 

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Here is dog food that may work for you:
Open Farm Salmon and Ancient Grain
  • OceanWise® approved wild caught salmon
  • A wholesome blend of ancient grains like millet, quinoa, sorghum and chia seeds
  • 90% protein from animal sources, 10% from nutritious ancient grains
  • No peas, legumes and potatoes
  • No corn, wheat or soy
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives
  • No poultry or meat by-products
  • No rendered poultry or meat meals
Ingredients: A blend of whole, non-GMO, gluten-free ancient grains, that includes steal-cut oats, sorghum and chia seeds. OceanWise® approved sustainable fishing practices.
  • Salmon
  • Oats
  • Ocean Whitefish Meal
  • Sorghum
  • Quinoa
  • Coconut Oil
  • Herring Meal
  • Natural Flavor
  • Millet
  • Pumpkin
  • Salmon Oil
  • Apples
  • Chia Seed
  • Potassium Chloride
  • Salt
  • Chicory Root
  • Choline Chloride
  • Vitamin E Supplement
  • Calcium Pantothenate
  • Niacin Supplement
  • Vitamin A Supplement
  • Riboflavin Supplement
  • Vitamin D3 Supplement
  • Vitamin B12 Supplement
  • Thiamine Mononitrate
  • Folic Acid
  • Zinc Proteinate
  • Calcium Iodate
  • Taurine
  • Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative)
  • Cinnamon
  • Turmeric
Wild-Caught Salmon & Ancient Grains Dry Dog Food

A little expensive but for a less active dog you feed:

60-802 - 2 3/4

Adequan is great for older dogs!
 

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All great information, thank you!!!

I am trying him on Fromm pork and applesauce right now (merging the foods) and it's not making a difference just yet. Good to know all life stages IS an option.

I will ask about investigating the limp more and adequan for him.

Thanks! More searching! lol
It can take up to 12 weeks on a new food trial to see a difference. Good luck!
 

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We use these products for our 13 year old GSD's comfort instead of drugs. They work fantastic for her ailments!
Herbals By Glacier Peak: "Our 100% organic herbal remedies are handmade in our facility in the mountains of Northwest Montana in small batches. We gently blend our herbs by hand instead of using mechanical processes that generate heat, which can damage the herbs. This ensures the highest potency for our herbal remedies, enabling us to consistently offer the best for your pet."
Inflapotin: comes in a variety of sizes and formulations, in powder and capsules: Inflapotion - Anti-inflammatory
HerbAprin: Comes in tinctures, powder, capsules: herbaprin
Note: These are pretty bitter so if your dog is adverse to this type of thing in their food, get the capsules.

OIL:
Nordic Omega 3 Pet: (derived exclusively from wild anchovies and sardines sustainably sourced from the South Pacific and Atlantic Oceans) *Joint & Heart health!
 
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