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Question:

Dear Cindy:

I have a 5 year old German Shepherd male who has food allergies. He is allergic to chicken, rice and carrots. We are presently feeding him potato and duck light dog food from Royal Canon. This dog food costs $60.70 per 18 lb bag. We give him duck chips from Smokehouse for treats.

In order to supplement and stretch the expensive food, I tried adding some Alpo prime cuts beef but his stool became loose. The vet said Alpo was the very worst food which I didn't know. The vet gave us Fast Balance - which didn't work - and Sulfasalazine tablets. My husband thought we might have a bad bag of dog food as the color was a little off from normal. We opened a new bag of potato and duck and the diarrhea stopped immediately so it might have been a bad bag of food.

My question is, do you have any dog food without chicken, rice or carrots that our dog might try to see if we can get him good dog food that doesn't cost $60.70 per 18 lb bag? We are retired and any money we can save is helpful.

Mary

Answer:

I have found that many dogs with food allergies respond well to a raw diet, as the food is really changed in the processing. Many times dogs allergic to chicken in commercial kibble have no issues with raw “real” chicken. Read this article on feeding a raw diet. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.

We have a list of natural kibbles that are better than average, but I would make sure you become an expert label reader no matter what brand you go with. For a dog like yours I would probably go with a grain free kibble like Orijen or Innova Evo or Wellness Core. Grains are in many cases the biggest cause of canine food sensitivities and are really hard for dogs to digest and process.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

Make sure your vet doesn’t vaccinate your dog any more, as this will only aggravate your dog’s food sensitivities. We feel that many of the health problems our dogs face today are due to poor quality food (i.e. kibble) and too many vaccinations. For information on vaccinations and the problems they cause please read our vaccinosis article.

I would also recommend these 2 books, Shock to the System and Vaccine Guide for Dogs & Cats.

I hope this helps.

Cindy


Question:

Cindy,

I am reading Raw Meaty Bones from cover to cover. Can you tell me some other good books that you follow on raw diets. We are going to start processing our own beef for the dogs. We are ranchers and are going to butcher a grass fed steer for the purpose of feeding the dogs. Do you recommend grinding the organ meat along with everything else. I thought that would be the way to do it. What is your opinion?

Laura

Answer:

Hi Laura,

What lucky dogs!

I would recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food. We give both of these books to our puppy customers and rarely get feeding questions.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

You can grind the organs if you wish, and for dogs that are a bit “picky” about liver and other organs it makes it a bit easier to mix into the diet. I have a couple of dogs that really don’t like liver and they will leave it unless it’s ground up and mixed in with something they like.

I hope this helps.

Cindy


Question:

Dear Cindy,

I just wanted to thank you for putting information on your web site about raw diet. When I heard that a raw diet was the best for my puppy, I kept searching the web and it was hard to find menu. I found your web site to have the most information and answered my questions. I have found that if you do not give you dog enough RMB, they will have a loose stool. I was also wondering what are good RMB bones to feed to large breed puppies. From what I have found, I think turkey neck, chicken neck, and chicken backs.

I have notice that the Raw Diet dogs that I meet are lean and muscular and full of energy.

Thanks again for putting this information on the web! Whenever someone is interested in starting on a raw diet, I forward them your web site!
I love the pictures of the bowls of what you feed them!

Deanna

Answer:

Hi Deanna,

Thanks for the kind words.

The RMBs we feed are varied. Chicken leg quarters, lamb necks, pork and venison ribs, turkey backs and necks, rabbit quarters, etc.

If you don’t already own these, I would recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

I hope this helps!

Cindy


Question:

Hi Cindy,

I have a four year old gsd. I would like to start him on a raw diet. He has always been on kibble. He has an extremely sensitive stomach. He never has a solid stool and any type of food change causes major diarrhea. Can you suggest how I should start the process and also recommend the best book to start with.He is an athletic dog and loves to jump in the air for frisbees. This activity makes his shoulder sore. I was wondering if changing to raw would help his joints stay healthy or do I need to give him something additional to the raw.

Thank you,
Patti

Answer:

Read this article on feeding a raw diet. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

I try to limit high impact activity like Frisbee, I know several dogs who have ended up really injuring themselves while playing. The jumping in the air is spectacular and fun to watch but it’s really dangerous especially for a longer bodied and heavy dog like a GSD. One of my friends GSDs had a career ending back injury that resulted in multiple surgeries and rehab. There are many other lower impact ways to exercise and play with your dog. If your dog is showing a sore shoulder it is possible that he has some damage already. Diet can help overall health and body condition but it can’t protect a dog from injury and wear and tear.

I would suggest some x-rays of the shoulder and elbow area of the sore leg, to make sure there isn’t any serious injury or arthritis going on there.

Cindy


Question:

Hi Cindy,

I received the books you recommended on feeding raw last thursday. I started my gsd on friday with the chicken backs and necks. I happy to say he's loving it! My question to you is about his poop.

He is only going once or twice a day in very small amounts. Is this normal? I'm not sure if he's constipated. He has always had very loose and large stinky stools, so this is an extreme change. Also, I took him to the vet to check on his sore elbow and shoulder, he embarrassed me. He whined from the time we got in there until the time we left. He was not listening to me, I couldn't get him to down and roll over for the vet to check him. I had him on the prong collar and it seemed to be useless.

What did I do wrong? He's going back for the x-rays next week, I would like to have more control. I really appreciate all of your advice and the promptness of your response.

Patti

Answer:

It sounds like your dog is doing well on the diet, that’s great. What you describe for his stools are normal and one of the many benefits of the raw diet. If you think his stools seem too hard and he’s straining you can add a bit more boneless meat to his meals, or a dollop of plain canned pumpkin (not pie filling, 100% pure pumpkin).

As for the whining at the vet, I would say its because he is anxious and the prong collar just stimulates dogs that are anxious or showing aggression. If you are feeling anxious and frustrated then it just makes HIM feel more upset and it’s a vicious circle.

I would probably try a dominant dog collar and give him calm pressure UP when he whines and acts anxious, as opposed to using the prong. Since you only have a week before he goes back to the vet, it may be that you don’t have time to make a lot of progress on this but try being calm, firm and not “popping” the prong collar because that just pumps the dog up.

I hope this helps.

Cindy


Question:

I have a GSD who is a year and 8 months old, she only weighs 62 pounds, I heard that they continue growing till the age of 3 yrs old is that true?

Also about her weight the vet says she is perfect all blood work normal and he says her weight is just fine but I was always told you should be able to feel the ribs and only be able to see them when they inhale. We had her on Royal Canin for German shepherds but after not seeing a change in her weight in a year I tried the chicken soup for dog lovers, that didn't go over well she didn't like it so after a 2 months we now have her on Eukanuba naturally wild New Zealand venison and potato formula, she gets an egg and fish oil capsules in it and she loves it.The bag says to feed her 3 cups per day but I have been feeding her 5 1/2 cups a day cause she is always hungry and to me she just looks like she's poor pathetic starving dog. There has been no change in her weight, what else can I do, will she hit another growth spurt and fill out or is this just her size? Also tried the raw food but a grocery stores charge an arm and a leg for everything, her food costs $50-$70 a month on the raw food it was like double.

One more question I promise, how much fish oil capsules should she get per day and does it help with shedding? The shedding is getting outta control I'm vacuuming twice a day and using the ferminator deshedding brush twice a day on her.

Thank you,
Diane

Answer:

62 pounds is a perfectly acceptable size for a female GSD. Dogs grow to their genetic potential, and she is what we call a medium size female.

We are not big fans of kibble of any kind, but especially not the brands you list in your email. We have a feeding dogs section on our web site that I suggest you spend some time reading.

Salmon Oil is given at 1000 mg/ 20 pounds of body weight, but make sure you also give vitamin E along with it. Salmon Oil doesn’t help with seasonal shedding but can help with overall coat and skin condition. It’s one supplement we make sure to give every day.

Cindy


Question:

Hi Cindy,

I've had Sheba on Blue Buffalo with limited results. I also supplement with NuvetPlus. Based on your information on raw diets I've decided to switch. However, I have a few questions. You say to only feed chicken for a few weeks and then begin adding other types of meat, etc. Sheba is 62 lbs. so I believe I should feed almost 2 lbs per day. Should I split this in half and feed two times a day or just once? I usually feed 75% at night and the rest in the morning. Next do you see any reason to stop the Nuvet while transitioning Sheba to the raw diet?

As always thanks for the valuable information that you and Ed have made available to the world. All of our dogs will be a lot better off.

Thanks again,
Sheba and Bill

Answer:

I’m not sure what’s in Nuvet, so I can’t comment on that. Salmon Oil and Vitamin E are the supplements I recommend every day.

Read this article on feeding a raw diet. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food. We give these 2 books to all our puppy customers and rarely get questions on how to feed. I wouldn’t recommend anyone feed a raw diet without these reference materials at hand.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

Good luck!

Cindy


Question:

Hello,

I bred my poodle about 60 days ago. She was a finicky eater so I tried Wal-Mart brand cat food, beef and gravy. I was happy that she really enjoys it, but now reading on the internet, it warns not to feed cat food because it has additional fat and protein. Is that really  a bad thing for a pregnant dog? Her stools have been perfect, but that basically is the only thing she eats, although I mix it in with Purina puppy chow. Sometimes she will eat some of the chow, sometimes not. Do you think I should discontinue it immediately or continue until a few weeks after she has the puppies?

I also started feeding that to my new puppy, but will discontinue that because I read that it can lead to kidney stones with the increased protein.

Thank you so much and as a breeder I ALWAYS refer my customers to your website as part of their homework until the pups are old enough to go to their new homes.  My niece is starting into the breeding business and the first thing I told her was to purchase your video about whelping puppies. FANTASTIC VIDEO!

Nancy

Answer:

I would not advise feeding Wal-Mart brand food or Purina puppy chow to any dog, most especially a pregnant one.  Both of those contain substandard ingredients and fillers, with chemicals and things that your dog does not need in her daily diet.

If you need to feed a commercial food, go for a high quality brand.  Many of the premium foods also make canned diets.  Here is a link to some better quality kibbles.

We feed a raw diet to all of our dogs, but even if you feed kibble adding fresh wholesome ingredients to your dogs diet will help.

Cottage cheese, sugar free plain yogurt, eggs, meat and fish are all good to add.  Pregnancy and lactation are very hard on a female, so feed her the highest quality diet you can afford.

Our feeding dogs section will have articles to help you also.

What we choose to feed our dogs has a dramatic effect on their overall health, fertility and longevity.  Learn about canine nutrition and help your puppy customers choose a quality diet for their new family members.  We have so much information on the website about this.

Best of luck to you!

Cindy


Question:

Hey,

True or false. It is a myth that dog kibble food containing 42% protein can burn up a dogs kidneys? I am feeding my golden retriever conformation show dog Orijen dog food made by Champion Pets out of Canada. (Please see their white paper on their web site) I chose this food because it is grain free, made from quality ingredients, and high in protein. My supposition is that it takes protein to grow the lush coat I am looking for in my 19 month old open bitch.

Thanks Ed,
Bill
Pondview Golden Retrievers

Answer:

Typically, it’s processed low quality protein that is hard on a dog’s kidneys.  I also feel that a dog that gets kidney disease has more issues than eating a high protein food.  The quality and digestive availability of the components of the food are what tax the kidneys and other internal organs of our dogs.

Orijen is known to be one of the better kibbles, but with that said….we don’t feel that kibble is appropriate food for our dogs. I have fed a raw diet since 1994 and would never go back to commercial kibble.  If you must feed kibble then I would supplement with fresh added meat, fish, eggs and plain sugar free yogurt.

You may want to spend some time reading our Feeding dogs section of the website, it’s located on the left hand side under Dog Training Categories.

I hope this helps.

Cindy


Question:

Hi Cindy,

Sure could use some help with some foods. I have German Pinschers and have tried the raw diets, the blood work is  a real mess  on the Pinschers. But I'm looking for a really good food I can feed them. I live in a po-dunk little town, that if you don't feed Ole Roy your in trouble. So I sure could use your help. I do not know about any of the foods you sell at Leerburg, so I'm very interested in what you have to say.

Thanks.
Linda

Answer:

I personally feel the raw diet (when properly formulated) is the best way to go.  I am not sure how you were feeding them raw before but you may want to read this article on feeding a raw diet.  It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there. 

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

Right now we carry The Honest Kitchen food, there is a lot of information on this page.  We feed this in conjunction with the raw diet but many people feed this as the complete diet for their dogs.

If you would like some samples sent to you, send me your mailing address and I can take care of that right away.

I hope this helps.

Cindy


Question:

HI Cindy,

First I just wanted to thank you for your excellent web-site and DVDs.
They have been a god-send for me and my 12 month old GSD (He is a great grandson of Otis).

After reading your web-site, and watching “your puppy 8 weeks to 8 months” and “basic dog obedience” about a million times, I decided to try out the BARF diet and see how my boy does on it. After a few weeks of gradually incorporating it into his diet, he now won’t even look at his Solid Gold kibble! The only problem is, the cost has been much more then I anticipated. I was feeding him Natures Variety raw lamb and chicken mixes, but the cost is just too much. I found your article on Honest Kitchen dehydrated food, but unless my math is off, that will be about $85 a month to feed him that. (he’s now about 75lbs).

My question is, is there ANY dry kibble out there that will give him the adequate nutrition that he needs? I went to a holistic pet food store recently, and they seem to think that there are some grain-free dry foods out there that are pretty good.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Brian

Answer:

I would definitely go grain free if I had to feed kibble.

The brands I have personal experience with are Innova EVO and Orijen. I would probably try a couple of different brands and see how your dog does on them.

I hope this helps.

Cindy


Question:

Hello,

I will get right to the point since I know you are terrible busy.

I have a female GSD that to us, is awesome. Great temperament and drive and a wonderful mother. Here is my problem, she has since a puppy, had bouts of loose stools.
She will go along for a while doing just fine then start in with the runs. Also, she is pretty energetic yes, but I don't think she is overly, so I don't understand why we can not get weight on her. I have had a full blown blood work up done on her, she is in great health, excellent hips, etc. It's just the weight! I know I could try to give her higher fat food like maybe hamburger or chicken skin but I always run the risk of putting her into a full blown watery stool again. Right now, she is nursing a litter, they are doing great, she has a terrific appetite so I am feeding her more than normal, she is just barely having a decent stool, almost formed, but not quite. I am feeding her Bil Jac, rice, carrots, a probiotic designed for optimal digestion and a very small amount of Goat milk.

In the past, I have used Embark (I don't think I have ever tried it with Ana) like on our litters when we were weaning them, I think it was fantastic, their little stools were firm and small so I know they were getting a lot of the nutrition.

So, I guess part of my question is do you think I should try Ana on the Embark? I really need to get some weight on her, she looks like a walking skeleton practically, and she has been this way now for 3 years. She was at our trainers for almost 2 years ( I won't even go there) and I know he loves the dogs and is very knowledgeable but even he could not figure out what to do.

I'm at a loss, do you have any suggestions? I know you promote the raw diet, I'm really worried about that for a couple of reasons, that is why I was using the Embark, I felt better about that and still felt they were getting the nutrition they need.

I hope I haven't kept you too long and you understand my problem.

Thanks so much,
Terry

Answer:

I would say that Bil Jac is NOT a food I would ever consider feeding due to the by products and corn in it. A nursing mother especially needs proper nutrition and she is not getting it from what you are feeding.

This is my recommendation. Discontinue Bil Jac and cut the carrots and rice out of her diet. Dogs don’t need grains in any form and the carrots don’t really give her anything but roughage.

If you can’t switch to raw, then Embark with the addition of raw meat would be the best. Goats milk is fine to give in moderation. Milk can cause loose stools so I would be careful with it.

If you still want to (or have to) feed kibble, then go for something without any grain at all. We are going to start carrying a grain free kibble this week for our customers that want to feed occasional kibble or kibble and a raw diet.

Read this article on feeding a raw diet. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

There is a list of recommended kibbles on the Feeding dogs page.

I hope this helps.

Cindy


Question:

Cindy,

Should I have concern over my GSD's eating chickens that ARE NOT "free range" or "organic" fed chickens? A health food store employee asked me about long-term concerns due to all the hormone injections into grocery store chickens and chickens from a restaurant supplier and that this may cause high estrogen levels in the dogs over long term feeding?

Also, why do you add salmon oil to the food rather than herring oil or other fish oils? Is the fish oil mainly for the coat or "brain food" for the dog? There would be other more balanced ways of providing omega 3, 6 and 9 other than from fish oil, wouldn't there?

Steve
Espanola, Ontario

Answer:

I don’t know about Canada but in the US there are no hormones fed to commercially raised chickens. Organic is always best but if you read the labels on the meat you select for your dogs and avoid excess additives (like the solution that is added to some meat to make the selling weight heavier) your dogs should be fine.

Naturally raised, grass fed meat is the best way to have balanced Omegas but we have found that salmon oil AND vitamin e are the best combination for dogs and cats. Salmon oil is helpful for skin, coat, is a cancer fighter and a natural anti-inflammatory.

Cindy


Question:

We have a 8 1/2 year old Kangal from Turkey. His name is “Yurek,” we have had him since he was 10 weeks old fed him a raw food diet, he weighs 136lbs.. We boil Chickens, have raw meat cut into 1” stew size and he eats around 3lbs per day. He recently has been having some stomach problem is there anything I can give him to settle his stomach down.

Robert

Answer:

Whenever a dog has issues that are not normal for him, then I recommend seeing a vet or health care professional. Make sure your dog is free of parasites and is not dealing with any hidden health issues.

I have had good results using digestive enzymes and probiotics for dogs with stomach issues (as long as the dog is healthy).

You may also want to re-evaluate your diet ingredients. Read this article on feeding a raw diet. It’s a work in progress but there is a lot of good information there.

I would also recommend these books, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats and Raw Dog Food.

You can also go to our Feeding Dogs Page for a list of articles and books that will be helpful to you.

I hope this helps.

Cindy


Question:

Hi:

I have a one year old great Dane. I switched him completely to raw about a month ago.  He is dropping weight, and also pretty short. I am feeding 3 chicken leg quarters and 4 chicken backs and either organ meat, or a can a fish (depending on the day) a day broken in two meals. I have another phone consult with my holistic vet, (there is no vet around here that will agree with raw feeding or no vaccines)  She already thinks he's eating too much. Common sense says he needs more, but what do you think? Also he's only measuring 30 1/2 inches at the shoulder, could this be related.  I spoke to the breeder and he said the Mother is 34 inches and the father is almost 37.  Do you think this is a growing slower because of better food or do I need to get another job and start feeding him more?

Thank you so much for your time,
Katie

Answer:

I think when feeding a raw diet, you feed how much the dog requires to maintain proper growth and body condition.  Many dogs who were kibble fed lose some weight at first, almost like people who remove carbs from their diet.  They will have a more muscular appearance and appear more toned, even without increased or changed exercise.

I don’t know what resources you have available for help with your feeding plan, but many times growing puppies eat a huge amount of food when going through a growth spurt. Sometimes this can be as much as 10% of their body weight.   The amount of food you are feeding is not really that much, depending on the size of the leg quarters.  I don’t go by how many I go by overall weight.  I would also make sure you are feeding more than just chicken.  They need variety.  For increasing the caloric value of the meals, I would be feeding lamb, pork or fatty cuts of beef as well as poultry.

The 2 best books for learning about the raw diet are Raw Dog Food   and Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats. We give both these books to our puppy customers and rarely have questions about the diet. We also have a great section on feeding dogs, I think you’ll find a lot of helpful information there.

At a year old, your dog has a lot of growing left to do.  My Malinois typically grow until 2 ½ to 3 years old and the larger the breed the slower the maturity. I’d start weighing his food, and add more variety.

Cindy


Question:

Hi Cindy,

I am so glad I found your site as I purchased a German Shepherd puppy and will be bringing her home December 15th. Her diet currently consists of Royal Canin and milk replacer. I would like to switch her to a Raw diet and if you have any suggestions on what would be easiest on her? I have a lot of venison available, could I use that at first or should I buy some ground beef? I purchased Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats and Raw Dog Food (just waiting for them to arrive) but would like your advice on changing gradually or cold turkey? Should I incorporate Honest Kitchen?

Thank you for your time!

Alissa

Answer:

We have a Q&A on raw feeding, and the books will help you a lot.

I would probably do a gradual switch with a young puppy, since there is already a lot of stress involved with leaving the litter, going to a new home, etc..

I'd probably wait to incorporate Honest Kitchen until your pup is eating a simple ingredient raw diet successfully.

Cindy


Question:

Hi Cindy,

I've been having a big problem with my German Shepherd's skin.  He seems to have an infection.  He has lost some of his fur and he smells.  I took him to the vet but he has been unable to clear the problem. He prescribed some antibiotics and he gave him a steroid shot but the problem persists. His ears are also affected. He also itches. I have tried different diets but no change. Would you have anything I can buy to help my beloved shepherd.

Thank You

Cindy's Question:

What is this dog's EXACT diet?

Cindy

More Information:

Hi Cindy,

Thank you for responding to my e-mail.  I feed my shepherd 'Nature's Recipe' lamb and rice formula.  I also feed one can a day of  'Nature's Recipe' lamb and rice formula.  Nature's Recipe is suppose to contain no BEEF, CORN, or WHEAT.  I also feed him an egg every other day. 

Thank You

Answer:

I think the diet is the problem.   The food you are feeding is full of substandard ingredients and grains.  Grains are the number one problem for dogs with skin issues.

My recommendation is always to switch to a raw, species appropriate diet

I realize that not everyone can or will feed raw, so if you can’t do that then we also have a great section on feeding dogs, I think you’ll find a lot of helpful information there.

There is a list of better quality kibbles on there and I would go for one with NO grain.  This means no rice, corn, wheat, bran, barley, oatmeal, etc…. I would also be careful about the treats he gets… use grain free only. 

The 2 best books for learning about the raw diet are Raw Dog Food and Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats.  We give both these books to our puppy customers and rarely have questions about the diet

I hope this helps.

Cindy


Question:

Cindy,

I'm hoping you have some good advice on this.  We have been feeding our 135 lb. Boerboel a raw diet for several months now.  I am so glad we switched!!  I am a little confused about one thing, though.  Everything I have read seems to say or imply that raw fish is ok 1-2 times a week.  Is there a risk associated with feeding raw fish more often?  And aside from salmon, are there types of fish that should be avoided?  Are farm-raised fish as good as wild-caught?  Thanks so much for your time.

Shelly

Answer:

We feed fish about once a week.  I suppose if your dog doesn’t have issue with it, you could feed it more often.  Every dog is different and it’s more about balance over time than worrying about each day or week’s menu.

The risks of fish can be swallowed hooks, if you feed fish caught with a hook make sure the hook has been removed from the fish.  I don’t feed farm raised fish at all, nor do I eat it myself.   You can do a google search on farm raised vs. wild caught fish to find out the details

Cindy


Question:

I was hoping you might be kind enough to give me your opinion on a situation I'm having with my rottweiler.

He is a kind and gentle boy who just turned three years old. The problem we have is that when he is in the yard he grazes on grass, mud, sticks, and on occasion his own feces. After doing this he becomes sick to his stomach in the house, or even worse...he has explosive diarrhea. Believe me it's a mess! This has happened on multiple occasions. If I call him, it becomes a game and he runs away eating whatever he's got a hold of.

I try to keep the yard picked up, I supervise when he's out, but he still eats what he can. He's been to the vet and there are no health or parasite issues involved. He is fed Innova adult formula.

In an attempt to control this I keep him on a lease when he is out in the yard and crate him more often in the home. His quality of life I believe is suffering...but I don't want hours of vomit and diarrhea to deal with.

I've thought about a basket muzzle or a shock collar to help modify his behavior. At least with a basket muzzle he could have more fun running and enjoying life without being able to ingest anything.

What course of action do you believe is  best?

This has been very frustrating for me, as I want my dog to have an active, happy life.

Well thank you for your time and your professional opinion.

Sincerely,
Troy

Answer:

I think I would worry less about muzzling him and more about figuring out what kind of food works best for him.  This sounds to me like a health/ digestive issue, not a training issue.  Whenever a dog is eating grass and their own feces I recommend looking at the diet the dog is eating.  He’s trying to make himself feel better and since dogs are reliant on us to feed them, he’s doing the only thing he can which is eating foreign substances to try to meet his body’s nutritional needs.

Not all dogs do well on kibble, and not all dogs who can tolerate kibble do well on all brands.  Keep in mind most vets know squat about dog nutrition.

I would recommend re-evaluating his diet and if you feel the need to feed kibble I would go to a completely GRAIN FREE formula like Innova EVO or Wellness Core or Solid Gold Barking at the Moon.  We always recommend a raw diet first but realize not everyone is able to do that.

I would also recommend probiotics and a digestive enzyme no matter what you feed, I would actually recommend you start those right away.

We also have a great section on feeding dogs, I think you’ll find a lot of helpful information there.

I hope this helps.

Cindy


Question:

I was wondering if I can cut a small chicken in half and feed it to my dogs?

Answer:

That depends on the size of your dog

Kind Regards,
Ed Frawley

Another Question:

I have a 70 lb male and a 60 lb female. How many lbs of chicken should I feed them for their meal? I would love to buy your DVDs on feeding, but Ii cannot afford it at the time. Although I do have your pack structure and obedience DVDs. I am glad to share your info with every dog owner that I meet.

Thank you,
Jackie

Answer:

The 2 best books for learning about the raw diet are Raw Dog Food and Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats. We give both these books to our puppy customers and rarely have questions about the diet

We also have a great section on feeding dogs, I think you’ll find a lot of helpful information there.

There are daily diets and menus listed on these pages, to help you make the switch.

Cindy

Final Question:

Hi,

Can you tell me if there would be any problems with feeding my dogs venison in place of beef? Would there be anything that I had to worry about because it is a wild animal, or are the cows we eat dirtier than wild deer?

Thank you,
Jackie

Answer:

We feed venison to our dogs all the time in place of beef.  Our dogs don’t have any problems with it.

Cindy


Question:

Hi Cindy,

I wanted to thank you for all the help on starting with the new raw diet. Caddies itching has reduced by 60% (still some chewing and scratching but not like before) and this is just the first 3 weeks. She has gone from being lethargic to full of energy and personality. When I brought her home (she was a rescue) all she did was sleep and mope around, now it's like someone changed dogs on me and gave me this loving happy active dog. Oh how I love her even more now.

I have a question in regards to the balance and supplements. I am currently feeding 1/2 cup dry THK, variety of RMB (chicken, beef ribs, turkey, hens and organs), three pumps of salmon oil and 400 ui Vitamin E. Should I be adding more supplements to her diet or does THK take care of the requirements.

Thanks for all your help, The web site has been a life saver and a means for answering most of my question.

Thanks,
Kim

Answer:

The supplementation you are currently using is adequate. Salmon oil and vitamin e are the only things I would add to the diet you are feeding.

If the itching continues you may want to try a new supplement we have just started carrying Clear Allergies.

I hope this helps.

Cindy


Question:

Hey Cindy,

I have been feeding my GSD a raw diet ever since visiting your website and I couldn't be happier with the results. Now I'm getting a Lhasa Apso puppy and I'm wondering how to go about feeding such a small dog. He will probably only be about 5 pounds when I get him. Can I give him a small chicken wing or should I wait until he gets his adult teeth before feeding him any RMBs? Any advice on feeding him would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Boyd

Answer:

Hi Boyd,

I’m glad to hear you are having success with the diet.

For a small dog, I feed pretty much the same thing as I do a bigger dog.  Our corgis have been raised on the raw diet from puppyhood and as adults are less than 20 pounds.  Chicken drumsticks are good, or breast quarters or leg quarters from Cornish hens.  If the pup can’t eat the whole thing now, as he grows and his jaws get stronger he’ll be able to eat more and more. Chicken wings are ok occasionally, but they are mostly skin, fat and bone so they aren’t something I give a lot of.

If you don’t have these 2 books, I’d highly recommend them. Raw Dog Food and Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats. We give both these books to our puppy customers and rarely have questions about the diet

I hope this helps.

Cindy


Question:

Hello, Cindy.  I would like to get my dogs off dry kibble, but do not want to go all raw just yet. I have been reading over the information on your website and would like to try Honest Kitchen. However, I am having a hard time deciding which formula to pick. I have a two year old German Shepherd that had pano when he was younger. The vet said to feed a food that contains glucosamine and chondroitin. I have been feeding him Royal Canin. He is a pretty active dog and gets approximately 3 hours of exercise a day. He also seems to have a sensitive stomach and will occasionally throw up for no apparent reason. I was thinking he might benefit from something grain free. He has always been on the slim side so I would like to avoid something that may cause him to lose weight.  My other dog is a pit bull mix. She is a year old and also pretty active, getting the same amount of exercise as the GSD. Is there a specific Honest Kitchen formula you would recommend? Also, is there a joint supplement you would recommend? Thanks very much for your time and sharing your knowledge!

Amanda
Fayetteville, AR

Answer:

I’d recommend Force or Embark for both of your dogs.  For dogs with a sensitive stomach, it may help to add probiotic and digestive enzyme during the switching process.

We have a number of glucosamine supplements, my dogs seem to do best on this one Syn Flex.

I hope this helps.

Cindy


Question:

I have a question for you about my dog's diet (I have a 6 month old GSD. Her name is Molly, she is in India).

My parents are strict vegetarian so Molly is a vegetarian too :) But she does get to eat eggs in winter months. Not these days as its scorching hot.

My mum is feeding her three meals a day, comprising of milk (only a glass full), wholemeal bread, white rice, lots of cooked vegetables, corn flakes and soya chunks. It is quite varied and she puts in a lot of effort to ensure Molly gets a healthy diet. Since it is quite hot, and Molly has thick black hair, my mum feeds her homemade buttermilk in between meals at 11 o'clock - Molly loves it!

I have been told milk isn't good for her, is that right?

Someone suggested a teaspoon of cod liver oil and vegetable oil (uncooked) with her last meal for the day, shall we start that?

I understand if you are busy and unable to respond. I just thought I'll try and get an experts opinion.

Answer:

Feeding a dog a vegetarian diet is not recommended. I understand that humans can choose to be vegetarians, but dogs are carnivores and it’s actually harmful to their internal organs to be fed a vegetarian diet. I can’t stress this enough. Dogs do not have the same enzymes we do and can’t properly digest plant based diets. They may survive on a vegetarian diet but they certainly won’t thrive. I would NEVER raise a puppy on a diet such as your parents are feeding, I would not be surprised for skeletal problems or other health issues to appear.

If they want to do the best for Molly, they need to research what an appropriate diet is for a carnivore. If they do not want to feed her a raw meat diet, then there are commercial foods out there that will be much healthier for her. The 2 best books for learning about the raw diet are Raw Dog Food and Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats.  We give both these books to our puppy customers and rarely have questions about the diet

We also have a great section on feeding dogs, I think you’ll find a lot of helpful information there.  

We don’t recommend milk, but yogurt or kefir is ok.  No cod liver oil or vegetable oil, but fish body oil like Salmon Oil.  When giving Salmon Oil you must also give Vitamin E along with it.

Please consult with your parents about changing Molly to the correct diet.  It’s very important.

Cindy


Question:

Hello,

I was told that if I ask you a question you would answer them to the best of your ability. If I was told incorrect information please accept my apologize. My question is do you have any idea why when I try and put my dogs halter on him to go for walks he freaks out. He is a cocker spaniel and when we try he will run all over the house until we get him cornered and when we do get the harness on him he will try to rub it off. I have checked under his leg for soars and there is none after I get the harness and his lead he is fine it is just the process of trying to get it on him. It is as if he is scared to death of it. We have had him since he was a baby so I know he was never abused or anything. I just want to make sure I am not hurting (like scaring him to death because some times he does shake.) If you have any ideas or your service is a pay service just let me know and I will send you fee.

The second question is about his soft stools. They are formed as a stool just very soft and he always goes during our walk. Is this something I need to talk to our vet about or can we give him some Kaopectate, Imodium AD as stated in one of your article. We have tried pumpkin and he will have nothing to do with it. We feed him a high grade kibble dog food with a few scoops of a can dog food on top. Our dog Shadow is about 1 1/2 years old.

Thank you for your time,
Richard and Shadow

Answer:

Some dogs have less than ideal temperament and can be fearful, nervous and difficult to handle. Whether this is a genetic issue or not, it can be improved through structure and training. I would say that if one of my own dogs ran from me when I tried to put a harness on them I would take a good look at how I am handling that dog on a daily basis. Sometimes all that is needed is structure and training. If your dog is a bit nervous (which I am guessing he is based on your email) I probably would not recommend a harness for walking a pet dog, unless the dog had a physical problem that made it impossible for him to wear a collar.

I’d start with our Groundwork program and the video that picks up where the article leaves off - Pack Structure for the Family Pet

Basic Dog Obedience

He would wear a collar and leash at all times unless he was in a crate or kennel.  If you have a line on him all the time, he can’t run around and avoid things he doesn’t feel like doing.  Set yourself up for success.

Your dog may need a different food. I would always try to find the solution through food before I give medications.  You say you are feeding a high quality food, but you don’t mention the brand.  If you let me know what you are feeding now, I may be able to make some suggestions. We also have a great section on feeding dogs, I think you’ll find a lot of helpful information there.

Cindy

Thanks:

Thank you very much for your reply. The reason I use a harness is because I was told that it would be better on him then just the collar and leash. I was told that just a collar would crush his wind pipe. Being I am a new and first time dog owner, I figured it sounded good to me. After a few minutes he is fine with the harness on him. He walks fine with both the harness and collar and leash he stops on command and I walk him with a loose grip on leash. The only time I have him in his harness is when we go for a walk.   Shadow is free to roam the back yard and play at will, if he isn't outside he by my side or under my feet. I have never even spanked him I have never had a reason to he is a very mannered dog. The only thing I wish I could do is get him to stop barking when someone goes by the house or come up to the house.

I am sorry I thought I said what I was feeding him. The brand is Hills R/D with chicken and the wet food is canide platinum, I also give him a Science Diet dog bisque for a treat when he lets me know that he needs to go potty  at night. As far as how I handle him on a daily basic he loves it when he goes for his walk we go for about an hr walk a day and then in the evening depending on the temp. out side we will either play out in the back yard or go for another walk and I will get down on the ground and play with him everyday.

Thank you for your help and you have a nice day.

Cindy's Response:

A properly used and fitted collar won’t “crush a dog’s windpipe” unless the dog has a medical condition.  Harnesses promote pulling and give you no way to control the dog to show him what you expect from him-i.e. to teach him that you want him to sit quietly when someone comes to the door.

I’d recommend the article I linked in my other email and the pack structure DVD.  I think that while your dog is well mannered, the issues you have (although mild) will be solved with a little bit of structure and training.

As for the food, any Hill’s or Science Diet product is one of the worst foods you can feed.  I worked for a vet for many years and I know the ingredients of this food. It’s not fit to throw away, really.  No wonder your dog has soft stools.  So many people are misled into believing because a vet sells them something that it must be really good for their dog.  Unfortunately this is not the case. Dogs need real meat and real protein, not fillers and grains.

We also have a great section on feeding dogs, I think you’ll find a lot of helpful information there.

Here are the first few ingredients of RD.

Ground Whole Grain Corn, Powdered Cellulose 15% (source of fiber), Peanut Hulls 11% (source of fiber), Chicken By-Product Meal, Soybean Meal, Soybean Mill Run

Corn is AWFUL for dogs and this is the first ingredient.  Cellulose is basically indigestible (think sawdust, as many times this is what cellulose is) PEANUT HULLS, again indigestible junk that is basically something that should be in the garbage, not in your dog’s food.  Chicken by-product meal….this can be beaks, feathers or any “by product” of chickens… NOT GOOD. I think you get the idea.  Please, for your dog’s sake look into a better quality kibble.  We have a list here: http://leerburg.com/all-natural-kibble.htm

We don’t feed kibble to our own dogs, we feed a raw diet and have for many years but a good quality kibble will be a huge improvement for your dog.  If he is overweight, just feed him less and exercise him more. He’ll thank you for it.

Cindy


Question:

Hi Cindy,

I have some questions for you and thank you in advance:) I am receiving 3 GSD pups for K9 training from 8-10 wee ks...I am a raw feeder, but ran into an issue with my older shepherds recently... e coli, so I am a little hesitant to feed this anymore, but do not want to feed a commercial kibble. So, let me list my questions regarding the pups:

Food issues:

1. What would be the most economical way to feed the dogs, but with the best nutrition?
2. Would Honest Kitchen work it seems very very expensive....600 a month for my 5 dogs?
3. Feeding schedule
4. It has been hard with the raw feeding get the right amount of calories for the dogs, help

Kennel arrangements:

1. At what point do you separate your pups; these are all males?

I think this about covers it.....

Regards,
Curt

Answer:

First off all, there is bacteria on everything-- even kibble... If your dog’s issue was with e coli then it was because he had a compromised immune system.

Playing the bacteria scare card is usually the work of ignorant vets and uninformed people. In over 15 years of feeding countless dogs and litters raw I have never had ONE case of e coli or salmonella. 

I would educate yourself further on raw feeding, and go that route if you want the best nutrition for the pups.

Here is a Q & A section on raw feeding, http://leerburg.com/feedingarawdiet.htm

I would recommend having these 2 books in your library, you’ll use them a lot at first.  Raw Dog Food and Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats. We give both of these books to our puppy customers and we almost never get questions on raw feeding.

All of your questions about schedule and amounts are covered in the resources I sent.

As far as kennel arrangements, my pups are completely separated from each other from 8 weeks of age on.  I would separate them as soon as they arrived.

I hope this helps.


Question:

Cindy -

I first started feeding a raw diet to my black lab based on what I read from your website.

I recently started feeding a raw diet again, and have a question based on what I've seen so far.

I just started and am on the 5th day. What I have been doing is feeding the remaining dry dog food in the morning, and then cut up deer meat in the afternoon. 

The dogs stools are REALLY foul smelling and come out in a big blob of gelatinous looking material. Today, I looked closer, and there is some undigested pieces of deer meat in the stools. (I had cut the meat up to stew meat size, and some pieces looked like you could wash them off and you'd never know the difference). Just a few pieces, but surprising nonetheless. 

Maybe I am feeding too much deer meat and it isn't all getting digested? I have been feeding a pound at a time, I might back that off by half?

I don't remember the stools being so foul when i did this previously. Maybe it will take the dog a little time to adjust?

Thanks,
Dave

Answer:

This really isn’t the way I would go about feeding a raw diet, feeding a pound of boneless meat and then kibble at the next meal are likely too much for his system. 

Here is a Q & A section on raw feeding, http://leerburg.com/feedingarawdiet.htm

I would recommend having these 2 books in your library, you’ll use them a lot at first.  Raw Dog Food and Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats.  We give both of these books to our puppy customers and we almost never get questions on raw feeding.

An incorrect raw diet can actually be dangerous to the dog’s health, so I’d make sure you have all your reference materials on hand before starting again.

Your dog may also need digestive enzymes during the switch to help his system properly digest the raw food.

There is a ton of info on our discussion forum also.

In the meantime, I’d put this dog on a bland diet of some boiled chicken and rice for a few days to let his gut settle down.

Learn to use the search function (located in the left hand corner of every page on our website) Simply type in your search terms or key words and you will be directed to articles, question & answers, free streaming videos and posts on our forum.

Cindy


Question:

Hello Cindy,
 
I feed my female GSD raw: meat & bones only. I started a week ago. But I am not sure if I could mix meat of different animal in one meal. For example I give her chicken quarter & ground beef together. Or chicken thigh, chicken  gizzards & beef liver all together. Could you tell me please if it is OK. She seems fine & very active, but I always doubt my actions when it concerns her health.

I also noticed in your menu that you do not give many bones. I give my girl chicken quarters and 1/2 turkey wings. Your menu lists chicken backs and ground turkey (no bones). Is there any particular reason for it?  

And another thing is eggs - Do you break them (shell included) and just mix with the meat or give them separately?
 
I greatly appreciate your help.
Have a nice day. Ella

Answer:

How much research did you do before you started feeding raw?  Chicken backs are primarily bone, so we add boneless meat to balance out the ratio. It’s no problem to give different protein sources together PROVIDED your dog is ready for such variety.  I only feed one protein source for a couple of weeks when switching a dog over.

I’ll make a couple suggestions for you, your questions have been answered numerous times on our website, forum and in the following books. I would recommend having these 2 books in your library, you’ll use them a lot at first.  Raw Dog Food and Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats.  We give both of these books to our puppy customers and we almost never get questions on raw feeding.

Here is a Q & A section on raw feeding.

I’d also direct you to the search function in the upper left corner of the website.  It will find posts, articles and Q & A’s that deal with your search terms.  Raw feeding is one of the most popular topics of discussion on our forum.


Question:

Dear Cindy,

I’m very excited  I found your website; it’s so informative and helpful. I have a so-called long-hair  GSD (technically still a puppy, he has just turned 8 months). The only problem that  I’m still trying to solve is feeding. He is not a good eater. We really have to crawl after the dog on all fours around all house and try to hand feed him. He wouldn’t eat from his bowl, it’s a stainless-steel bowl and he is drink his water from exact same one mounted right next to the one with food on the same height. 

Our breeder provides very detailed info as to which foods/brands to feed and which ones s to stay away from. Just like you, she is advocating the raw food diet and actually feeds all her dogs her home-made “meatloaf” recipe.   

We started off with preparing that homemade food ourselves and been feeding it 3 times a day for almost a month. My puppy was very eager eater. Then suddenly, he’d refused eating it at all and this is when we started hand-feeding him and crawling after him all over the house try to feed him.  He  would take a few bytes and that would be eat.

We then went out and bought  Embark and Thrive from Honest Kitchen, but he keeps turning his head away from either food. He doesn’t like dry kibbles either; occasionally, he would eat a few hand-full if we feed him by hand, but would never go to the bowl himself where all the kibbles are.

So we started feeding him boneless raw chicken thighs and breasts and again, he was eating them for about a month and then suddenly refuse.

Now we started feeding him boiled chicken or boiled beef once a day (as you can probably guess by now, he would have to be hand-fed). His last meal would be raw ground beef and some kibbles.

I’m at the loss here. I keep hearing from almost all dog owners that their dogs are eating  no problem whatever you give them. He is being exercised regularly, about two hours a day of walking  plus three times week we have two hour training sessions with a professional dog trainer which are pretty intense; he gets home tired and would lay down for about 2-3 hours resting.

At 8 months he weighs around 72 lbs so I think he is neither under- nor over-weight.

What am I doing wrong? How can I fix his eating issues. Should he only be fed once a day now? May be this will make him hungry?

Thank you very much in advance for any advise,
Anatoliy

Answer:

I would stop trying to hand feed this dog because you are going to create even more issues by doing this.

The first thing is to have a complete check up done, with blood work to make sure he doesn’t have an underlying medical issues If he checks out ok, then I would cut him back on his meal frequency. By doing what you have been, you are creating a picky eater. A healthy dog eats! Like my mom used to tell us “this is not a restaurant.” :)

My dogs are fed once or twice a day in their crate.  If they don’t eat within 10 minutes, the food goes away and they will not be offered anything until their next meal. Don’t leave bowls of kibble sitting out, and do not offer him anything at all until his next meal. 

I would make a wager that if I had your dog for a week, he would be eating all his food when offered. At 8 months old, he doesn’t need 3 meals a day. He would be put on a feeding schedule and I would stick to it. I would feed him once daily and see how that goes.  

By coaxing him to eat and crawling around after him you are doing him a great disservice. You are behaving like a follower, and putting him in the power position as well as diminishing one of the most useful drives our dogs have - FOOD DRIVE. If he doesn’t have food drive, it takes away a great reward we can use for training.


Question:

3 year old GSD with an extremely sensitive stomach ...

We feed him Royal Canin GSD. Often, his stools are somewhat pudding like. No diarrhea, No giardia (he did have it bad when he was young). We are doing chicken and rice right now with some flagil (as recommended by our vet who we trust greatly).  

Are there any supplements that you can recommend which can help rebuild and maintain his system? There's so many... What's your best recommendation?

Thanks so much.

Frank

Answer:

I’m not a fan of any of the Royal Canin products.  I’m not surprised he has loose stools on this, it really isn’t an appropriate food for a dog.

Once you get him settled with the bland diet and meds, I’d recommend looking into a higher quality kibble or a raw diet.   We have a great section on feeding dogs. If you decide to switch kibbles, I would only recommend GRAIN FREE for him.  It’s very likely the high grain levels in the RC is what is aggravating his system. 

Even if you don’t want to feed raw, I’d suggest reading this Q & A section on raw feeding. I believe you’ll learn a lot about what is appropriate to feed your dog, and what to avoid.

For supplements, I’d recommend digestive enzymes and probiotics.

This will help his system acclimate to whatever diet you decide to switch to, and help him get the most out of his food.

If he continues with the loose stools, I might recommend having him tested for EPI (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency). Unfortunately it’s common in GSDs. You can tell your vet that you would like a TLI test. 

You can try using the search function on the website to find the answer to any additional questions.  It is located in the left hand corner of every page on our website. Simply type in your search terms or key words and you will be directed to articles, question & answers, free streaming videos and posts on our forum.

I hope this helps.

Cindy


Question:

Hi Cindy,

Could you tell me how you wean pups to the Honest Kitchen product. I usually wean by using baby rice cereal and goats milk, gradually adding powdered kibble, then a little corser until the pups are eating kibble mixed with warm water.

I have not weaned a litter to Honest Kitchen or a raw diet. Most of my buyers do not understand the raw concept so I have always gone to kibble.

Thanks for help,
Lewie

Answer:

You wean puppies to Honest Kitchen exactly the same way as you have done with kibble. I wouldn’t use baby cereal at all though, that cereal consists of grains that are not necessary in a puppy’s diet. 

We typically wean our puppies onto our goat milk formula first, the recipe is on the bottle feeding page.  We then add ground meat, either beef or turkey. We don’t add HK to their diet until they are eating a raw diet well, because we only use is as a complement to the diet, not as the base.

You can certainly feed it as the base of a feeding program, we just choose to stick with the raw diet program that has worked well for us for the last 10 years or so.

We haven’t had any problems getting our puppy customers to understand how to feed the raw diet, I would recommend having these 2 books -- Raw Dog Food and Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats. We give both of these books to our puppy customers and we almost never get questions on raw feeding.

I hope this helps.

Cindy


Question:

Mr. Frawley,

I want to quickly say that what you have done with your site and eBooks has turned my interest for my dogs into a passion and have steadily increased both my wife and I’s as well as our dogs quality of life, and I thank you for it.

I know that you are not a dog nutritionist, but you have a lot of experience with feeding so I want to ask you what you would do if you were me.

Situation: I have 4 dogs, two females, to males, all rescues, all under the age of 2 years, between 40-65 pounds. 2 are lab/hound mixes (Males), one is a rot/Sheppard mix (Female) and the last is a true mutt with most dominate traits probably from a pit bull (Female). 

They get 40-60 minute walk in the morning> breakfast>4 hrs in crate>1 hr play at lunch>4 hrs crate>60 minutes of work in the evenings (running, walking, rollerblading, etc)>2-3 hrs play outside>dinner>bed.

Question: I am feeding them a “higher” quality kibble that runs $50 for a 27 pound bag (42%protein) that the first several ingredients are:  Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Potato Starch, Turkey Meal, Whitefish Meal, Salmon Meal, Tomato Pomace (natural source of Lycopene), Chicken Fat (preserved with Natural Mixed Tocopherols), Oatmeal, Natural Chicken Flavor

I am looking to take a step up in their diet and go to raw (I believe a lot in this diet, I eat almost all my foods raw).  I only have about $200 a month to feed them with for all 4 dogs. Is it better to by low-end meats like chicken wings from Wal-Mart, leftovers from butchers, that are non-organic, and may contain toxins that organic food doesn’t have etc? Or is it better to stick with the higher-end kibble, in your opinion?

Thanks for your time, and thank you for the inexpensive, but good quality prong collars. I got them 3 weeks ago and my pack of 4 are all walking behind me now!

Matt

Answer:

As long as you are feeding human grade meats, then I’m always going to choose raw over any type of kibble.

Here is a Q & A section on raw feeding.

I would recommend having these 2 books in your library, you’ll use them a lot at first.  Raw Dog Food and Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats. We give both of these books to our puppy customers and we almost never get questions on raw feeding.

You can try using the search function on the website to find the answer to any additional questions.  It is located in the left hand corner of every page on our website. Simply type in your search terms or key words and you will be directed to articles, question & answers, free streaming videos and posts on our forum.

I hope this helps! Cindy


Question:

Hi Cindy,

I have three German Shepard which I feed raw diet to and veggies and supplements. Recently I was feeling that my female who is 12 years old is having difficulty with the raw food. She recently had surgery for mammary cancer and is on an Chinese herbal supplementation for it and doing remarkably well. Her eating habits were always on the low side (sometimes eating once every 2 days) and seemed to pick up when being fed tripe, but now she is more picky. If I feed her cooked meats - she tends to get diarrhea but her appetite is much better.

I would like to start the honest kitchen for her - because I think it would be a little easier for her to digest. My question to you is - should I put her on a senior diet - or because she eats 1/3 of what she should I put her on a more caloric diet?

Thanks for your help.

Valerie

Answer:

I would put a dog with a poor appetite on the most nutrient dense, calorie packed diet possible.

Cindy


Question:

Hi Cindy,

I love your website, found you when looking for a muzzle for my rock eating labrador. I started him on the Honest Kitchen(Force) after surgery for rock removal. I have since added chicken quarters and then tried some beef after several weeks of chicken. He has gotten increasingly itchy and I have gone back to just feeding chicken quarters and a small amount of Honest Kitchen(Force). He is still very itchy and I am concerned that maybe something in the Honest Kitchen is making him so itchy. I have added Salmon oil to his diet several weeks ago and he gets a 400 IU capsule of vit E daily, along with 1/4 teas of vit C powder and 1/2 teas of a probiotic with no dairy products. Any suggestions???

Gaylene

Answer:

The only way to know what might be making him itch is to feed only one thing, like chicken (with no supplements or anything). Do this for a period of time and see if the itching goes away. If it does then add one new thing and only feed that for a couple of weeks, and so on.

I’d look at the chicken you are feeding, to make sure there isn’t any added solution. It will be listed on the label. Sometimes there are ingredients injected in to chicken we buy at the store to increase the weight and it may cause sensitivities in some dogs (I happen to own one of those dogs).

Cindy


Question:

Hi Cindy,

I switched to the raw diet and things are going well. However, my wife has some concerns regarding the dog licking the kids and household items after feeding. She is concerned with cross contamination of household items and the kids. I have a one year old and a three year old. Can salmonella and E-Coli be passed through stool as well. I pick up the dog's stool but sometimes I miss a few. She is most worried about the chicken quarters. This may be addressed in the DVD I have coming. Sorry if this is a question you get all the time.

Thanks for your time,
Mark and Family

Answer:

This is addressed on the website, Here is a Q&A section on raw feeding. For the record, there is salmonella and E-Coli in kibble as well as many other places in the environment.

The 2 best books for learning about the raw diet are Raw Dog Food and Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats. We give both these books to our puppy customers and rarely have questions about the diet

I would recommend learning to use our SEARCH function, which is located in the top left corner of every page of the website. If you type in your key words or question it will find you articles, Q&As, free streaming video and links to threads on our discussion forum.

Cindy Rhodes


Question:

Hi Cindy,

I really appreciate your website & articles. I just rec'd a couple of training videos from you and I can't wait to get started on the Michael Ellis Focused Heeling one.  :-) 

I have a raw diet question for you. I have been feeding my pup raw since she was about 5 months old and she is doing great (she's now 2 & a half). 

I read Kymythy Schultze's diet, most (if not all) the articles on your site re: raw diets, and quite a few other articles and books in between. I am very confident in the diet I put together, but I have a couple of questions. I use The Honest Kitchen Preference instead of supplementing with alfalfa, kelp, & fresh pulped veggies.  After comparing the cost & time of doing it myself, I decided Preference was the smart way for me to go. It has alfalfa, kelp and a great variety of veggies, and I don't have to mess around with it. It's all I use for the veggie part of the diet, which is about 15% of her total diet. What is your opinion on using Preference in lieu of separate supplements for alfalfa/kelp/fresh pulped veggies?

I am also curious about using salmon oil. I've been using flaxseed oil for a couple of reasons - one is that I use it too, and two, I just have the one 35lb dog. The wild salmon oil is rather expensive b/c it expires when I'm about half-way through the smallest (8oz) bottle. Do you think the salmon oil offers a significant advantage over the flaxseed?

Thanks for reading. 

Thanks,
Becky

Answer:

Hi Becky,

I think using Preference in lieu of pulped veggies/kelp/alfalfa is fine.

I do believe that salmon oil is better for dogs than flaxseed oil. Dogs are designed to eat animal based food, and while flax is great for us I’ve found that most dogs do better on salmon or fish body oil. I really don’t even feed veggies regularly to our dogs unless they are being bred. Salmon oil is a natural anti-inflammatory and SO along with Vitamin E are the 2 supplements I give to every dog here, every day.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes


Question:

Hi Ed,

I have a question for you we have a German shepherd male dog which is 12 months old and just will not eat we have tried all sorts of things (fresh meat, home made stew, BBQ chicken, Sardines, eggs, 100% natural canned food, dry food, etc) and just can not get him to eat correctly he is in very good heath as we have had him to the vets. please can you give us some Ideas!!!

Thanks,
Colleen

Answer:

We have a great section on feeding dogs on the website.

Have you tried a raw diet for this dog? Do you give him time to eat and then pick up the food? Many owners actually create their own problems by giving the dog too many choices and making feeding time an issue. Find something you know he will eat, offer it to him on a set schedule, give him 15 minutes to eat. If he doesn’t eat, pick it up and offer food the next day. Don’t try new things all the time to tempt him, you will actually be training him to be picky. I suspect from your email that this may be the problem.

If you read some of the Q&As on our site, you’ll find out that a picky dog is usually a people problem (as long as the dog has been deemed healthy by a vet). A healthy dog will eat, he won’t starve himself to death. 

For future questions, you might benefit from learning to use our SEARCH function, which is located in the top left corner of every page of the website. If you type in your key words or question it will find you articles, Q&As, free streaming video and links to threads on our discussion forum.  Our website has over 16,000 pages and it’s very likely you’ll find the information you are looking for.  I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes


Question:

Hi Cindy,

I have written you before and you have helped a great deal. I have a 2 1/2 year old GSD.  We have a lot of children in the house. In order to keep him from taking food from them (and from strangers). He was taught a release command. Unless it was from one of four people he will not take food unless given the release command (this has worked well with my previous dogs). Some how, I am not sure when, something has went wrong.  He will no longer eat anything unless he gets it from me. The problem is when I leave for a trip or on vacation he will go days without food. He is on a raw food diet and will even turn away from raw steak. How do I retrain him to eat from others? I don't want to completely destroy his training but I need to have this sorted out before I have to travel again. I can't leave him like this. I thank you in advance for any help. I have asked my vet as well as a few trainers and no way can give me any ideas. 

Thank You,
Dina

Answer:

I would have someone else feed him from here on and I’d probably use a word that he knows means it’s ok to eat (you would have to choose the word and help him make the association first). A healthy dog won’t starve to death, so you’ll have to play around with this until he’s eating better from others. Maybe only feed him in a crate or out of a specific type of bowl too?

Cindy Rhodes


Question:

Hi Cindy,

I noticed by your newsletters that you all are pretty involved in feeding raw and support certain grain free products etc...Thought you might be able to help me out.  I have a GSD and the best we can narrow it down he is allergic to wheat.  When he was younger he had some strange GI issues...neg EPI tests, did okay on Science Diet I/D (which is mostly corn and chicken as you know) had some antibiotics and has been fine ever since. I have kept him on a fish based grain free diet since and he has thrived.  After a stint out in CA with Michael I thought the logs of dog food cut up for reward seemed handy, held together well and was relatively inexpensive considering the amount I go through. After 2.5 weeks of lots of food reward training we started seeming some real problems. Pulled him off the log and all went back to normal. Best I can come up with was the large amount of wheat?? Anyway... looking for wheat free treat options that I can get (or make) that are soft and chewy but a decent enough bite size. There are lots of little bites like Zukes but they are too small to mean much to this guy.  Thought you might have some suggestions?  Thanks!

Kathleen

Answer:

Cook your own treats, using meat.  I buy cheap pork or beef roasts, boil them and dice them up.  I also use chicken breast.

Cindy Rhodes


Question:

Hi Cindy,

My 2 dogs are eating Honest Kitchen Embark. Both of them became sick about 1 month ago with diarrhea and some bleeding (1 week apart) and I put them on a bland diet of boiled chicken and rice. After 2 weeks of a bland diet I slowly introduced them back on the Honest Kitchen and they will not eat it. I have tried everything and finally gave up and put them back on fruits and cottage cheese which they loved and now refuse to eat that as well. Every morning and night it's a hassle to get them to eat. I tried some beef last night and they walked away and bananas were their favorite and I have to hand feed them before they will actually start eating. I don't know what to try next. The vet said if they don't eat it pick it up and wait until the next time they eat, but that doesn't seem to bother them.  Please let me know what you think. 

Joyce

Answer:

If the vet gives them a clean bill of health, I think I will agree with his advice.  It sounds like the dogs are now waiting to see what ‘goodies’ they will get if they don’t eat their regular food.  A healthy dog won’t starve and by offering a variety of treats and hand feeding you are actually making this worse.

Offer their food, give them 15 or 20 minutes and if they don’t eat, pick up the food and then wait until their next normal meal time.  No treats, no hand feeding.

If they skip meals for a day or two, don’t worry about it.  If you cave in and give them something special to get them to eat, then you will actually be reinforcing the picky behavior.

They will eat eventually, it just may take a bit of "tough love."

Cindy Rhodes


Question:

Hello Cindy,

I just have a question. Since reading on your website, and doing quite a bit of my own research I have switched my German Shepherd puppy to a raw diet. She is almost 10 months now, and she has been on it for about 4-5 months. I usually give her either organic beef or chicken, a raw egg yolk a day, and supplement with calcium, vitamin c, vitamin e, and the salmon oil from your website. She also off and on gets things like vegetables, pumpkin, etc... She does really well on it, and her coat is nice she just has one problem. She is soooo itchy all the time. I can't figure out what she is missing. She doesn't scratch herself raw or pull out her hair anywhere, she just itches quite frequently all day in various spots. Also she is kept very clean and she doesn't have fleas or any kind of rash either.  Do you have any suggestions for me? I would so appreciate any help I can get.

Thanks,
Daina

Answer:

Sometimes this is a trial and error thing. I‘d eliminate certain things from her diet and see if you notice a change.

If you are giving alfalfa, I would stop that first. Some dogs are sensitive to it.

If that doesn’t do it, try eliminating eggs and chicken.

It may also be a seasonal allergy, something outside that manifests as itching. It could also be a symptom of an imbalance caused by vaccinations.

In that case, I’d try Clear Allergies if modifying her diet doesn’t help.

Cindy Rhodes

Customer Comment:

Hi Cindy - I just read this on today's newsletter.

I would suggest that Daina feed a much wider variety of raw food (my dog has bison, elk, llama, goat and venison and very occasionally, beef) and never feed the same food for more than 2 (or at the most, 3) days running. This advice was given to me by Don Hamilton, a holistic vet in New Mexico. My dog stopped scratching within ten days of me changing her diet. Prior to speaking to Dr. Don, I had been feeding a variety, but would feed the same thing for a week. She has never had an itching problem since I adopted this way of feeding. Since then, I have had other dog owners whose dogs have itching problems, who say that varying their food like this works for them too. Quite a few people have told me their dogs have trouble with beef; it is not a food I would feed more than occasionally if a dog has an itching problem. My dog has auto-immune issues due, we and her vets believe, to vaccination. I don't know if that applies to Daina's dog, but a friend of mine had the same problem with his 8 month old GSD and varying his diet worked - no more itching.

Regards,
Jean

Cindy's Response:

Thanks for writing, I’ll add this to our next newsletter. I have a high degree of respect for Dr. Hamilton, and would certainly try his advice.

Thanks again!

Cindy Rhodes


Question:

Hi Ed,

I've been visiting your site for about a year now, and I recently purchased a trio of DVDs from you. I'm starting from scratch with my 1 1/2 year old Great Dane, he's developed some aggression and other problems, so I'm starting with the Pack Structure DVD, along with the Dominant/aggressive and Basic obedience DVDs.

My question is about his eating habits. For the last 6-8 months he has been acting strangely with his food. He doesn't seem to have much of an appetite, and he will usually nose the food around in his dish, until he either tips the bowl over, or we take the food away. If he succeeds in tipping the food over, he nudges the kibble with his nose all around the floor, almost like he's trying to sweep it into a "pile." I read something on the internet that said a dog will do this if they are not hungry, and they are attempting to "bury" the food to save for later. Do you agree with this analysis? The problem is he doesn't eat much of it, and he's lost weight. So I've taken him to the vet several times over this time period, and first we found he had hookworm. We got that taken care of, and thought that would also take care of the appetite problem. But it didn't. The vet said that it was probably hormones, so I got him neutered this last week. He ate really well the first couple of days, but now he's back to pushing the food around. Now that I've started the pack structure program, the bowl is in his crate, and he's making a big mess in the crate, and outside the crate where the food spills out.

Does he simply not like his food? I have been hesitant to change brands because Danes are notorious for being picky, and if you change food once they'll expect it again when they decide to get "bored" with the new brand. I know you advocate feeding raw, which is something I'd like to do but we can't afford it right now.

One other question--in the groundwork for pack structure, with him being socially isolated, I am concerned that he will develop other problems because of the social isolation--such as aggression towards other people/dogs. Is this something that could potentially become a problem?

I really appreciate your time in reading this and responding.

Thank you,
Natalie

Answer:

What are you feeding him? It may be that he really doesn’t like his food or you may be overfeeding him, so he’s never truly hungry. I wouldn’t allow this. He’d be fed in a crate or kennel and if he didn’t eat in 15 minutes or so, I’d pick up the food until the next day. I also would make sure the hookworms are gone, they are VERY hard to remove from the environment (outside) and it may be worth looking into. If he’s becoming reinfested with hookworms it would explain his lack of appetite. A large percentage of the dog owning public overfeed their dogs though, and you may be feeding him more than he actually needs, so he’s not finishing his meals.

The social isolation part of the groundwork is not for a long enough time period to cause the issues you are concerned about, it’s just for a short time. You wouldn’t want to leave him isolated for months, but for a number of days or a couple weeks it should not affect him long term in regards to people/dogs.

Cindy Rhodes


Question:

Ed,

I have a Great Pyrenees who constantly pushes his dry food out of his bowl all over the floor. Sometimes, he tries to dump the food bowl over. We have no idea why he does this but are seeking a bowl that will not be able to be overturned and will not allow him to push the food out with his nose. Do you know of any such product? 

Many thanks!

Leslie

Answer:

I don’t know of a bowl that fits your criteria but if I had a dog that did this I would purchase a small bucket like this and I would use a snap or clip and attach it to the inside of my dog’s crate. I do the same thing for dogs that spill water bowls.

It’s possible your dog doesn’t like what he’s being fed, my dogs would never spend time dumping their food. The moment I set it down, they eat it… it’s gone within 60-90 seconds.

You may want to reconsider the diet you are feeding your dog. We have a great section on feeding dogs on the website.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes


Question:

Hi there!

I scanned through most of the Q&A and didn't find this one. Maybe I over looked it and if you could just send me the link I'd appreciate it.

Anyway, I have a pup that is now almost 6 months old. She's an American Bulldog/Pointer mix.  She was the last of 12 and a runt.  We crate her during our absences and overnight.

When we first brought her home she'd eat nice and slow, chewing her food. After we upgraded the size of her bowl to accommodate the increase in food she started to inhale it. I've tried taking the bowl away when she is over excited. I've scattered the food along the floor. She's like an unstoppable Hoover! I've also tried the "brake-fast" bowl (a bowl with obstacles). This worked for a day or two until she figured out how to eat around the obstacles. She hasn't made herself vomit yet, but she is going to be a pretty large dog. I worry about things like bloat and the fact that she can choke herself. She eats a cup of food in less than a minute and she lets out a terrific belch after. What can I do to keep her from eating so fast?

Thank you,
Tommi-Ann

Cindy's Response:

I would make sure the food you are feeding is soaked with water for a long time before you feed it. Make it complete mush with a lot of liquid. She will be forced to lick the food up as opposed to inhaling. I would still use the special bowl too.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes



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