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Discussion Starter #1
A few weeks ago I got her Victor Nutra Pro for Active Dogs and Puppies and it seemed like she was eating it, but not very much. She is now really skinny, and I've been giving it to her 4 times a day and leaving it out for 20 minutes then taking it back inside. Two days has passed and she has not had a single bite and will refuse to eat it. A few days ago I gave her some puppy food with tons of fillers to see if she would eat that, and she scarfed it all down, but with this food, nope. The food she won't eat is extremely high on protein, which she needs. Please help me, what do I do? Do I switch the food? I'm thinking about Blue Buffalo.
 

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Also is soft a stool normal? Whenever she goes, it's always soft and sometimes muddy. Sorry tmi. She's a very hyper, active, little girl, she acts healthy, but I just don't like the fact I can see some ribs and I know puppies grow fast, and I'm worried that she is not getting enough protein since she isn't eating :'(
 

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Ok the fact that she ate the other food is good! Soft stool is not good. Victor makes good food. I would not give a large breed GSD puppy a food with 38% protein.

Others can chime in but honestly about 25% protein is spot on for a growing large breed puppy. A lot of folks here (me included) jumped onto Fromm Large Breed Puppy Gold as an EXCELLENT starter food. Once my dog was fully grown we wound up on the Victor Hi Pro which is still only 30% protein.

Blue buffalo has had a lot of problems with recalls.

How old is she? A young puppy can have any number of problems that cause loose stools. Has she been checked for worms and giardia?
 

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Hmmm I have seen a recent picture of your puppy and she is not skinny and has a great coat. Too much food can cause loose stools too. Maybe she is getting enough and is not hungry?
 

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I agree, 25-26% protein is as high as you want to go for growing large-breed puppies. I use Diamond Naturals for puppies and just give the adult chicken and rice. That company has had recalls too, but it works for me.

I think, sometimes dogs have trouble with the highly concentrated foods -- high end dog foods -- 478 kcal/cup and up. You have to feed more when you are feeding 368 kcal/cup, yes, but I think it is easier on some of their systems for some reason.

Dog foods have ingredients that bind poop, like beet pulp. What in the world does a dog need beet pulp for? But I guess the fiber helps to keep them regular and bind the poop. Other ingredients do this as well. However, it is possible that whatever you are feeding has a binder that does not work well for your puppy. If you have a loose stool -- nutrients are probably being passed out of the body rather than being utelized, so check your ingredients, to find out what ought to help bind, and when you choose a different food, make sure the binding ingredient is different.

Dog food is a racket. There are a lot of buzz-words -- grain free -- yeah potatoes and peas are really not that much better than rice, all life stages -- whatever. German Shepherd 24 -- really, GSDs do not need their own catered food to the breed because GSDs are actually very different in energy requirements, size, tolerances, etc. GSDs vary as a breed almost as much as dogs vary as a species. The idea that one food can capture the needs of all GSDs under 24 months is ludicrous.

Even ingredient lists can be manipulated to make the product sound a lot better than it is: Chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, white rice, rice flour, rice gluten, chicken fat -- could be more chicken than rice, could be more rice than chicken. Hard to say. And using several ingredients, like brown rice, oatmeal, pea flour, ground pearled barley -- same deal, a lot more filler than meat.

But not all of us can do a great job of creating our own diet for our dogs, so we are, to a point, at the mercy of dog food companies. Educate yourself as much as possible, by reading through dogfood analysis sites, and then by asking GSD owners what foods they feed their puppies, might as at training classes, if you have someone there that you respect. Pick a few products that make sense, and try them. You can make a great choice that your puppy flat out doesn't like. It can look awesome on paper and not work at all.

Here are a few things to avoid:

Any food that has Molasses in it -- his is a corn-based sweetener, usually in foods that have to pass a feeding test. It is sweet, so it covers the flavor of rancid fat and the lack of meat.

Generic meat/fat sources -- meat and bone meal, animal fat, poultry fat. It should be Chicken/chicken fat, or Lamb, Beef, etc. GSDs have notorious allergy and sensitivities, knowing what kind of meats and fats you are putting into your dog, helps you to eliminate what your dog cannot tolerate.

A meat in the first ingredient is good, only if it is immediately followed by a meat-meal, like lamb meal or chicken meal, not meat and bone meal, or chicken by-product meal. Meat is about 75% water. So chicken in the first ingredient will be much farther down the list after the extrusion process sucks all the liquid out. If it is not followed by chicken meal or lamb meal, then your dog is getting a lot more filler than meat.

I avoid corn, wheat, soy, and various proteins and glutens -- pea protein, rice gluten, corn gluten meal. These are fillers, and might do some binding, but the glutens and proteins can boost your protein values artificially -- boosting protein values with vegetable protein rather than animal protein. I don't like doing that for dogs. It is hard to get a lot of protein out of vegetables anyway, so it is kind of unnatural like Margerine as opposed to butter which is natural. You will never see as much vegatable oil from eating the vegetables in a stick of margarine naturally, like you will in a stick of butter. And dogs are less likely to tolerate vegetable protein or fat/oil than we are.

At some point, you will have to give a little. You have to compare products and price and find the best middle ground. You might have to go with a product whose meat/meal sources are followed by a few grain sources, or fragments of grain sources, within reason. The first five ingredients are what you need to look at. I look at what is there between the first and the fat source. I give less attention to what is between the fat source and salt. Beyond salt? Yeah, I don't worry about it.

I don't feed food with glaucosomine, chondrioton in it. If my dogs need help for their joint, I would rather supplement separately. Nothing wrong with a natural source of chondroiton in the food, but I prefer to know how much of a supplement I am giving for anything like that.

Good luck. I know there is a lot of info to ingest. I hope you find a good (appropriate) food for your pup.
 

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Sounds like she doesn't like her food...

My fussy eater likes Fromm and Nature's Variety Instinct. It took awhile to find something he would eat. Beware of large breed puppy food for the reasons stated above.
 

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Tough one and hope it gets better for you and the pup.

Dogs can be picky as to what they eat. I wouldn't get in the habit of the bad foods, may make it harder to switch. Make sure if you do puppy formula, its large breed puppy food. Mine all got and still get Acana or Orijen. My cat gets Fromms canned.

I use this now for picking foods since I like they rule out food based on some of the companies and the bad history they have had.

http://www.reviews.com/dog-food/

Blue Buffalo, run, very unethical company and they still are having recalls and making dogs sick. Dog Food Recalls | Dog Food Advisor

High protein, never an issue in my house of dogs. I would read up on this topic from studies. The studies since 1991 are pretty consistent as the two articles below show. So many more I saw and didn't post links on.

From everything I read in the past and learned on this forum it was excess calcium that is an issues in large breed puppies. Excess Protein gets peed out if not absorbed. Seems it is only an issue on a pup or animal with organ issues. Quality of protein is important.

Feeding Large Breed Puppies - IVC Journal


Do You Know What to Feed Your Large or Giant Breed Puppy?


https://www.google.com/search?q=Is+high+protein+bad+for+large+breed+puppies
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wow! I just typed a ginormous essay as a reply and then my phone crashed and all got erased! -.- Lol!
I thought the more protein the better? How come not so much? Also, I'm not sure if it's genetics, but Is bone development dependent on genetics or food or something else? I want her to have bigger, strong bones rather than have stick legs lol because I want to go on a lot of walks with her, hiking and stuff like that, daily, when she's older.
 

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Thank you guys so much for the help! I am on my way to the pet store to look at some other options for her and try out some samples to see what she likes- price doesn't matter as much as her nutrition and health does. I want to give my puppy the best, I just can't stand her not eating. :(
 

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There is some structural damage you can do with high protein, and damage you can do with low protein. I have seen pictures of dogs on their hocks, because their pasterns were so weak, and half the people say it is from too much protein and the other half from not enough protein.

What you need is a good balanced diet for a canine.

Once upon a time, someone noticed that we give babies baby-food, but dogs eat one kind of food, all their life. Dog chow. And so they decided to increase the calcium in the food, the protein, and the calories, and the price, and call it Puppy Chow. Other dog foods companies followed suit. Soon we had Cycle 1 for puppies, Cycle 2 for adult dogs, Cycle 3 for oveweight dogs, and Cycle 4 for senior dogs.

Then something happened. Lots of large breed dogs were having serious trouble with their joints. And the reason was the puppy food. So now they removed the calcium and the added protein, reduced the calories, told you to feed more of it, and charged more money for it and put "Large Breed" in front of the puppy food on the label.

That's about it, it is regular dog food for which they charge you more money. Now they are finding they can provide dog food that covers, "All Life Stages." Well, we've gone full circle. Some have gone with breed-specific dog foods, some with life cycle dog foods, some with all stages dog food, some with biologically appropriate grain free, some with limited ingredient, some with fresh, some with frozen, some with rolled in a tube, some with canned, some with kibble. Some are organic. Some are cheap. There is dog food for every type of dog owner out there.

Our poor dogs got either kibble, canned, or generic gaines burgers. Poor things!

The times they are a changing, and they are a changing back to the all life stages. Some of them.

At the end of the day, does ANYONE know what they are doing with dog food???

98% marketing, and its up to you to make a solid choice. The marketeers are smart and tricksy. Educate yourself! Constant Vigilence!

Good luck.
 

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Read the articles I just posted articles with links about protein they address it

If you have a small independent pet store by you, you hopefully will find better quality food.
 

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Given your parasite problems (flea/tick infestation) in the other thread, I think it might be time for a vet visit. Those things can transmit pretty nasty infections, and it might be a good time for a check-up.
 

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The protein level is a back and forth argument. The calcium level issues is pretty well established (and, BTW both the victor and the Origin have nice low calcium and phosphorus) and the young kidneys are not quite as good at processing bone as older ones.

Everyone does agree though the goal is to keep the puppy lean and limit growth rate. If they are not starved they will reach the size genetics set for them and are less likely to have hip etc problems from growing too fast.

My own reasons for dropping the protein are basically from the working dog people. Protein burns hotter than fat and my dogs are working dogs. 30/20 is a time tested mix for field hunting dogs. And. Blood tests. Protein not used is excreted. But I agree read the article. There is no consensus. High protein plus low calcium and phosphorus generally means higher quality meat sources. One thing that is good is to make sure the puppy is not locked on ONE protein source but that you have a variety of different sources either in the one food or by rotating different foods; this helps with allergies (Fromm has some information on that as well I think). Well got to work. Puppy is darned cute.
 

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Hey guys. So three days ago I started feeding her Nutro Ultra which is a dry puppy food which is supposed to help puppies that are picky eaters. She loved it the first few days, ate it all up, and even wanted more. I fed her three times a day, 1 cup each feeding. This morning she won't even touch it. Situation all over again. I'm really at a loss here, guys. I don't know what to do. She has a vet appointment on Wednesday, but I don't want to have to wait TIL then until she eats. I don't want to switch her food again and then encourage her to continue being a picky eater, but I don't want to starve her either because she will literally not eat if she doesn't like it, no matter what's in it.
 

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I have just tried using peanut butter, treats, different brand of dog food mixed in, she will only pick the stuff out and leave the food she's supposed to eat in the bowl. I can't keep switching her food every 2 days, that is so unhealthy she doesn't even have time to adjust. What am I supposed to do in the meantime waiting for my appointment? How do I get her to eat her dang food someone PLEASE help she is not eating it and I've been trying to get someone to help me.
 

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Is she playful and happy? Just curious, has she taken training treats and, if so how many calories a day? Has she eaten anything? Normally if a dog has an empty tummy for too long they throw up yellow liquid. Has she done that (FWIW that is not a sign anything is wrong just an unhappy tummy from being empty)

Oh I saw your post. She is training you well. I have never had a dog (or a child for that matter) starve itself to death. What is the longest she has gone without actually eating ANY THING.

Also are you hovering over her while she is eating and being nervous? I would put her in her crate and walk away leaving her alone with her food. And yes, she will get thinner as she matures - they go through all kinds of stages. Ever see a teenage boy that looks like a beanpole then you see him again as a 35 year old man?

I think you just need to take a deep breath and slow down. You are seeing the vet on Wednesday and if she is not lethargic or is not throwing up you don't have a lot to worry about. I am really more concerned that you get a solid plan together for treating the fleas and ticks.
 

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If I had a puppy I was seriously concerned about eating until I could get the puppy to the vet, I would buy a bag of this stuff:
https://jet.com/product/detail/98771256434b4468972531a4636d23a6?jcmp=pla:ggl:fresh_cons_cwin_pet_supplies_a3:pet_supplies_dog_supplies_dog_supplies_a3:na:PLA_752941844_40370246555_pla-281837235339:na:na:na:2&code=PLA15&pid=kenshoo_int&c=752941844&is_retargeting=true

Freshpet Vital Grain-Free Chicken, Beef, Salmon & Egg Fresh Dog Food, 5.5 Lb






The ingredients are excellent, it is locally sourced, It smells good, my dogs love it -- I use it for treats actually, but it can be fed as a balanced meal.

And then, when you figure out what is going on with the puppy, you can then wean her from this onto the kibble of your choice.

It isn't cheap, not as a food, but is cheaper than crappy treats.
 

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What type of bowl are you feeding out of? If it's metal, it's possible your pup greatly dislikes the taste of the metal with their food. It's likely not just that simple, but I thought I would mention it just in case.
 
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