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Our 13 month old GSD is a food nightmare. She is a very picky eater and seems to have problems with her food on a frequent basis. She is eating TOTW and will have loose stool about every third day, also tonight she threw up her entire dinner about 2 hours after eating. She has done this before but does not throw up on a regular basis. Her poop is dark colored and some days is nice and firm. Other days it is loose but still dark colored. She is also underweight and we have a hard time getting her to eat enough to maintain her weight. She is just shy of 60 pounds. Her hip bones can be felt and ribs easily felt but not seen. Just on the verge of poking through. She has also started to shed alot more, and even her guard hairs are easily pulled out in clumps.

Help!!!
 

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I would not feed her grain free, and I would not feed her anything made by Diamond. Grain free will not put the weight on her that you feel she needs, and Diamond tends to make food that has unpredictable quality -- ie, some bags you open and the dog eats just fine, other bags cause a problem with the stool.
 

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has she been checked out by your vet? that food may just not be working for your dog.

60 lbs isnt necessarily underweight for a female. do you have any pics of her?
 

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I agree, the food may be a problem, can you get Wellness? I would transition to that after a vet check and add some digestive enzymes and probiotics to her food. Hopefully you are supplementing with salmon oil/vitamin E and vitamin C daily.
Has she been on antibiotics in her life? She may just need her gut flora balanced out.
 

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I would not feed her grain free, and I would not feed her anything made by Diamond. Grain free will not put the weight on her that you feel she needs, and Diamond tends to make food that has unpredictable quality -- ie, some bags you open and the dog eats just fine, other bags cause a problem with the stool.

Can you explain more what you mean by this? Maybe this is my problem as well, my pup is underweight and is eating Orijen, good stools and energy but a bit under what she should be. Are you saying some grains may help gain weight?
 

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Yes she has been checked by our vet, he thinks she is on the thin side but did not seem to worried about it. I have had her on Acana and Orijen and she did great on Orijen but she hated the taste and I can't really afford it once they raise the price with the new formula. That is why I switched to Acana, her stool was awful and thats when her hair started to fall out. I then moved her to Totw and the shedding is getting better and her stool when good is pretty good. She has been on Met for loose stool, and did get spayed a month ago and was on an antibiotic if I remember right. What digestive aids should I try??? What food would you try that has grain in it???
 

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Can you explain more what you mean by this? Maybe this is my problem as well, my pup is underweight and is eating Orijen, good stools and energy but a bit under what she should be. Are you saying some grains may help gain weight?
I think that maybe only for some dogs, but the grain will add calories and bind the food better, so that more of it actually sticks. Ok, that is not a scientific statement, nor do I have anything to back it up, BUT think of the atkins diet. People LOSE weight on it, eating eggs, bacon, meat, grease, some vegetables, but they take the carbs down to nothing.

Now if you take potatoes and fry them in grease, you will gain a ton. Why, potatoes suck the grease in and it hits the system and stays with you.

I personally, do not believe most grain free diets are as well-balanced as they make themselves out to be. I suppose if they have potatoes or sweet potatoes, they ought to work, but rice and (say it isn't so) corn, actually help dogs gain a little weight.

And I don't do the whole "looks corn-fed" thing either. If corn is too scarey, go with brown rice. It may help.
 

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There are a lot of dogs that do better on foods with carbs. People get freaked out when you say grains, but it doesn't have to be a grain. You can feed potato or some other carb.

My personal guess on this is due to the high fat and low fiber of most grain free foods - most people consider grain free to be carb free too.

My own dogs get potato and sweet potato every day in their diet.
 

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How long are you staying with one food before switching, and how do you transition to a new food? Usually it takes a few weeks to 3 months for a new food to show whether it will work or not, and also a month to switch over slowly. So if your switching foods quickly you may run into loose stools without it being an issue with the actual food.

You could try and add some wet food to the TOTW or home cooked. My GSD is also picky and gets 2 tablespoons of wet with every meal. Right now she gets 4 cups of food total a day and is a beast at 90lbs. with a great coat. However, what works well for one dog may not with another. Most grain free foods offer carbs in the form of peas and potatoes, but if she has no grain allergies you could always switch over to a high quality grain based food. You could also offer more wet food to whatever she's eating now and see if she eats more. How many cups does she eat a day?
 

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Although many people warn against Diamond brands, I have had great success with feeding ToTW--a significant improvement over the food I had been feeding (a Natura brand chicken/rice food)--better coats, better skin, better gloss to the coat, some of my dogs started putting on weight (in good ways).

Also, ToTW is made with carbohydrates--just not grains--which is why it has lower protein than many of the grain-free foods.

But I have one female who does great on the ToTW fish formula and has inconsistent stools on the poultry formula. One difference is that the poultry and bison formulas are 32% protein and the fish and lamb formulas are 25% protein. So maybe she can't tolerate a high protein diet, or maybe she can't tolerate *that* high protein diet, or maybe my female just doesn't do as well on poultry/chicken. I haven't narrowed that down yet--I'm trying her on the bison formula to see how she handles that.

You might consider trying her on the fish formula to see if she handles that better.

I have heard of some people who have success feeding the California Natural herring and sweet potato formula to their dogs with sensitive stomachs. Another person I know swears by ProPlan's Sensitive Skin and Stomach formula for her GSD with a sensitive stomach. It's not ordinarily a food I'd recommend, but I think it might be worth checking out: Sensitive Skin & Stomach Formula - Products - Purina Pro Plan
 

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Just a thought, sometimes after a course of antibiotics the digestive system needs a jump start. You can try a couple of teaspoons of plain yogurt, on the food each feeding. It may take a couple of weeks. It puts back the good bacteria the antibiotics usually wipe out. If things don't improve or the vomiting get worse, I go back to the vet. Also, take a stool sample with you. They can tell a lot from a fresh sample.
 

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Yes she has been checked by our vet, he thinks she is on the thin side but did not seem to worried about it.. She has been on Met for loose stool, and did get spayed a month ago and was on an antibiotic if I remember right. What digestive aids should I try??? What food would you try that has grain in it???
Instead of giving spoonfuls of yogurt, I would get a probiotic/digestive enzyme that you sprinkle over the food. I use Naturvet brand, you can get it at many shops, don't have to order online but here is a link for it: .
NaturVet Enzymes & Probiotics: Pet Digestive, Digestive For Dogs & Cats - 1800PetMeds
Whenever you give antibiotics it is a great idea to give this in between the doses so you are getting the gut flora back to normal...then continue it for a week or two after the anti's are finished
 

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Ugh, grain free is not carb free. In fact, I bet there are a number of "grain free" foods out there that are high in carbs because of the starches. Many of the top foods are grain free and balanced as well as any other kibble, you just have to find the right one for your dog.

I would stay away from any food with corn, sorghum, wheat or by-products it in.

It sounds to me like a combination of the food not right and maybe a bacterial imbalance in the gut.
 

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a dog certainly doesn not "need" grains to gain weight. she needs a food that works for her, whether its grain free or not. i personally feel most of the grain free kibbles are more nutritionally sound. it just sound like its time to dump the TOTW.
 

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I think that maybe only for some dogs, but the grain will add calories and bind the food better, so that more of it actually sticks. Ok, that is not a scientific statement, nor do I have anything to back it up, BUT think of the atkins diet. People LOSE weight on it, eating eggs, bacon, meat, grease, some vegetables, but they take the carbs down to nothing.

Now if you take potatoes and fry them in grease, you will gain a ton. Why, potatoes suck the grease in and it hits the system and stays with you.

I personally, do not believe most grain free diets are as well-balanced as they make themselves out to be. I suppose if they have potatoes or sweet potatoes, they ought to work, but rice and (say it isn't so) corn, actually help dogs gain a little weight.

And I don't do the whole "looks corn-fed" thing either. If corn is too scarey, go with brown rice. It may help.

Makes sense to me, thank you.
 
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