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Old 06-12-2011, 09:01 AM
 
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I'd include vegetables and some fruit to the chicken and rice. Meat and rice do not have all nutrients. Overloading nutrients is one thing---a diet that is completely missing key nutrients is another.

My peek-a-poo's, who lived for 22 years, diet was supplemented daily with Cherrios, which is fortified with vitamins and minerals. She also ate lots of healthy people food including fruits, vegetables along with meats and grains. Oh, she loved peanut butter too.

What we ate, she ate. Keep in mind though, we eat healthy. If your personal diet is garbage, it's not good enough for a dog. My girlfriend's dog died at a very young age because they gave lunchmeat for treats. Too much lunchmeat can kill anyone, very unhealthy. Not saying someone here would do that, just trying to explain that the "my dog eats what I eat" only works if what you eat is healthy.

I totally disagree that vitamins and minerals aren't good for dogs. As I said, my peek-a-poo lived for 22 years. My labrador is 16 years old.
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:03 PM
 
Location: S. New Hampshire
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Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
I'd include vegetables and some fruit to the chicken and rice. Meat and rice do not have all nutrients. Overloading nutrients is one thing---a diet that is completely missing key nutrients is another.

My peek-a-poo's, who lived for 22 years, diet was supplemented daily with Cherrios, which is fortified with vitamins and minerals. She also ate lots of healthy people food including fruits, vegetables along with meats and grains. Oh, she loved peanut butter too.

What we ate, she ate. Keep in mind though, we eat healthy. If your personal diet is garbage, it's not good enough for a dog. My girlfriend's dog died at a very young age because they gave lunchmeat for treats. Too much lunchmeat can kill anyone, very unhealthy. Not saying someone here would do that, just trying to explain that the "my dog eats what I eat" only works if what you eat is healthy.

I totally disagree that vitamins and minerals aren't good for dogs. As I said, my peek-a-poo lived for 22 years. My labrador is 16 years old.

Well see, this is where I get lost and decide that buying dog food is easier. Because I am not a dog nutritionist, so I don't *really* know what's best for a dog. We eat fairly healthy, but I think our table food is still too high in sodium for a dog. I do remember looking through a dog book once and seeing pictures of what to feed your dog if you're going to feed them "people" food, but it looked more labor intensive, as in more work that just feeding a family of people. Because you have to watch out for the sodium and fat.

Another thing, slightly off topic, but I'm noticing it more and more. Is that dog ownership reminds me a lot of parenting. There seem to be so many styles. The water thing, for example. Some owners schedule their dog's water, for very good reasons. Others give water freely, and think scheduling is the same as rationing. What is the right way? IS there only one right or best way to do a lot of these things? Doesn't it depend a lot on the dog and the family? Or the dog's purpose, why the owner got the dog in the first place?
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:24 PM
 
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A few weeks ago, I started supplimenting my 16 year old lab's dog food with Cherrios. I didn't cut back his dog food, just providing nutrition suppliment through Cherrios since it kept my peek-a-poo healthy for so many years. His energy has improved greatly. He is very alert. He's even running! Keep in mind, this is a dog that couldn't even walk, I had to literally carry this 85 pound dog for 3 days a few weeks ago. He's doing great now.

I agree that dog ownership is like parenting. I might be more lovey-dovey in my beliefs than you, but I can't relate to people who treat their dogs like children and dress them up, etc. Since I have a proven history of dog care that results in healthy longevity, I'm fairly confident that I do know what I'm doing. It really doesn't matter how you provide your dog water as long as your dog is getting enough water and is healthy. I just happen to think dogs are capable of knowing how much water they need on their own. Some days I'm more thirsty than others. To totally limit water doesn't seem logical or necessary to me for a dog that's purpose is to be a family pet.

I'm mostly concerned that his tiredness is occurring at the same time his water intake went down. I'd definitely be getting mine checked out by the vet. After all, his tiredness concerned you enough to start this thread.
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Old 06-12-2011, 02:13 PM
 
Location: S. New Hampshire
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Originally Posted by Hopes View Post

I'm mostly concerned that his tiredness is occurring at the same time his water intake went down. I'd definitely be getting mine checked out by the vet. After all, his tiredness concerned you enough to start this thread.

Well, when I call the vet, should my mention of those two above factors be enough for them to suggest bringing him in? I can always just say, "I want to bring him in to get looked at," but is that all? I don't think you can tell by looking at him that something's wrong. Would he need bloodwork? I just don't know what I should expect in this type of situation, and I don't want to get unnecessary testing. I can always bring along the obligatory stool sample

BTW, today is much cooler, chilly actually. Shep is much friskier, and he's drinking a lot more again. Go figure!
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Old 06-12-2011, 03:13 PM
 
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That's so weird that he drinks more water when it's cooler. Maybe the heat takes a lot out of him. Maybe he's too worn out from the heat to drink water he should be drinking. If that's the case, that can't be good because he could dehydrate easier.

Only the vet will know. I'd call the vet. The two symptoms together might indicate immediate if there is cause for concern.

(btw, it just occurred to me, restricting water intake to the same amount of water per day has a downside of never knowing if your dog's water consumption increases. You miss out on an opportunity to see a sign of illnesses related to increased water intake, like diabetes, etc.)

The fact he's drinking less water, on hotter days when he should be wanting more water, is very concerning to me.

Here is what I found are reasons for a dog to drink less water:


Quote:
CAUSES OF DRINKING LESS THAN NORMAL (adipsia)

Environmental: Cool weather, off-flavored or stale water.

Behavioral: Stress (due to travel, moving, etc.).

Infectious disease: Periodontal disease, distemper, leptospirosis, rabies, parvovirus and other viral diseases that cause disorientation/brain dysfunction (meningitis, encephalitis etc); or anorexia (lack of appetite), which is usually accompanied by adipsia. Note: Never handle a dog who may have rabies. If possible, without touching the dog, confine him in a room, pen, or yard and call your local animal control for assistance.

Trauma: To the skull (brain), mouth, or teeth.

Foreign bodies: In mouth.

Tumors: In brain or nasal passages (with extension into brain), or tumors elsewhere causing anorexia (usually accompanied by adipsia).

Toxicity: Ethanol (alcohol), ethylene glycol, or anticoagulant rodenticides (warfarin).

Parasites/Parasite-borne diseases: Rocky Mountain spotted fever or Lyme disease, both of which can cause anorexia.

Miscellaneous disorders: Pancreatitis (causing anorexia) or cognitive dysfunction.

Dog Medical Conditions: Change in Dog
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:15 PM
 
Location: S. New Hampshire
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Default Update

Took Shep in to get looked at. He's fine. They did a fecal and it was negative for worms, which was a relief. The vet tech did advise me to keep the water dish filled through the day, esp. since he now appears to be housetrained. But the vet said he looked great. She suggested giving a little yogurt with live cultures to balance out the bacteria in his gut. Some dogs tend to get a little too much of some kind of bacteria in their colon and it can cause soft stool periodically. Since his soft stool is intermittent she's thinking it's likely due to some kind of dietary indiscretion (big surprise ). Now she did say to go ahead and switch him over to adult food because he's already 9 months old, and still looks a bit thin. In this she's in disagreement with the other vet in the practice, who told me to keep Shep on puppy food until 12 months. It's stuff like this that makes me crazy.
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by maestramommy View Post
Now she did say to go ahead and switch him over to adult food because he's already 9 months old, and still looks a bit thin. In this she's in disagreement with the other vet in the practice, who told me to keep Shep on puppy food until 12 months. It's stuff like this that makes me crazy.
That would drive me crazy too because it's doesn't make sense.

I'd increase the amount of puppy food instead of switching to adult dog food.

Just increase it a tiny bit. You don't want to him to gain too much weight.

A small adjustment makes a big difference. For example, we cut our Lab's food by just 1/4 cup for him to lose weight years ago.

A good weight for a dog is being able to just barely see the last rib. Seeing too many ribs is too light and not seeing any is too heavy.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:01 PM
 
Location: S. New Hampshire
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Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
That would drive me crazy too because it's doesn't make sense.

I'd increase the amount of puppy food instead of switching to adult dog food.

Just increase it a tiny bit. You don't want to him to gain too much weight.

A small adjustment makes a big difference. For example, we cut our Lab's food by just 1/4 cup for him to lose weight years ago.

A good weight for a dog is being able to just barely see the last rib. Seeing too many ribs is too light and not seeing any is too heavy.
Right?? She seemed to be saying the adult food has more calories, and I know that is not true. I just cut Shep's food from 4 cups to 3 cups because I was feeding him so much more than the suggested amount on the package. The directions say these are just guidelines, "your dog may need more," but that kind of fuzzy makes me nuts too. Are they for dogs that don't exercise at all? But maybe I'd better not cut, if he's still too thin (you can see most of his ribs, depending on his posture). He has regained all the weight he lost from the mulch eating episode, and a lb more though. So I don't know why he's still looking lean. He must just be getting bigger overall. The vet said dogs tend to hit puberty around 6 months, and by 9-12 months they're done growing. I know Shep's no Dane or mastiff (though who know?), but I thought a lot of dogs can keep growing til 18 months, and there was a thread on here about keeping a dog on puppy food vs. Adult Large breed food until 18 months.
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Old 06-13-2011, 03:18 PM
 
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If you can see all ribs, definitely increase the puppy food. Go by those ribs, not by the package instructions. Looking at the ribs allows for factors like exercise, etc. (It sounds like your dog gets much more exercise compared to most dogs.)

4 cups to 3 cups is a huge cut all at once. Like I said, when my lab needed to get from 120lbs to 90lbs, we only cut his food by 1/4 cup. You want weight gains and losses to be gradual.

Once they reach the weight you want, you don't keep them on the same amount. You readjust to maintain weight. You don't want to keep them on the amount that caused them to lose or gain weight because they'll continue losing or gaining weight. So, increase the food again, once the dog gains weight, adjust back JUST SLIGHTLY to maintain weight.

Keep an eye on those ribs to make sure he's maintaining and not losing again. Always go by the ribs. The ribs never lie.

btw, glad to hear you're going to leave water out 24/7 now.
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Old 06-13-2011, 03:25 PM
 
Location: S. New Hampshire
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Thanks. And thanks for coming back again and again to reply to my posts. I really appreciate it!
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