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What do you feed your dog?

(86 Posts)
Molesworth Tue 02-Jun-09 09:57:30

I know this must have been discussed before many times before, but may I ask for opinions on dog food?

We adopted a six year-old Boston Terrier in March and his previous owners had been feeding him Hill's Science Plan. Now, he's not a fussy eater, he doesn't (as far as I know) have allergies, but he does seem to have a sensitive stomach because his poo tends to be on the - ahem - soft side.

I've heard bad things about Hill's and really I'd prefer to give him better quality food. I've tried him with James Wellbeloved, which he likes, but the poo situation was no better. Now I am trying him with Lily's Kitchen 'Proper Dog Food' and I'm seeing a bit of an improvement.

Another dog owner recommended either Naturediet wet food (v expensive!) or home cooking.

Do any of you prepare your dog's food yourselves and, if so, what recipes do you use? Is it a big hassle? Expensive?

Any other tips for producing a happy healthy dog with FIRM POO would be very welcome grin

Tabithacat Tue 02-Jun-09 10:22:30

I've been researching this too - so will look forward to other replies!

As a pup, mine would only eat the bakers meaty chunks, but I was never really happy with this, a) because his poo was soft and b) because there is nothing to sharpen/ clean his teeth on. So after lots of changes over the months and my own preference of not feeding exclusively dried, I have found that Butchers (brand name, not shop!) tripe with Wagg mixer and then some TD (from vets) for his teeth thrown in, has been working well - poos much firmer and he's not as smelly as he was! blush

When looking for food, I looked for a high meat content balanced against price and also about where I can get it from. Hope this helps, but I will be watching for further tips too!

Molesworth Tue 02-Jun-09 10:27:44

Thanks Tabithacat - I get confused because there seems to be so much conflicting advice out there and this makes me nervous about preparing his food myself, in case I get the ratio of protein to carbs wrong, or fail to add essential supplements or something.

Speaking of teeth, I do give him rawhide chews, ham bones (from the pet shop) and raw chicken wings to chew on. He loves the raw chicken wings and they don't upset his stomach at all!

doggiesayswoof Tue 02-Jun-09 10:57:19

New pup is on Eukanuba dry food - breeder was using this and I think we will stick with it, poos are reasonably firm.

Will be watching with interest!

moonmother Tue 02-Jun-09 11:06:32

Had our Border Collie, since a pup, he's now 18 months and he's on Supadog Dried food. He has both the chicken and the beef, and gets on fine with it.

He has a sensitive stomach, and gets an upset tummy if he get's too many treats (not from us may I add- if dp's are looking after him- they spoil him grin)

But after being back on his food for a couple of meals it sorts his tummy out, and his poo's are back to normal again.

He doesn't get many treats here- a small bit of cheese or chicken now and again, and the odd rawhide chew.

Also our vets mentioned Supadog was a good dried food brand.

bella39 Tue 02-Jun-09 13:25:05

I've always used Hills/Royal Canin/James Wellbeloved, depending on the animal. My vet agrees these are the 3 best foods out there.

If he's consistently having soft poos, even on different foods, I would get a stool sample analysed by your vet as he could possibly have a parasite that doesn't repsond to regular worming or an infection.


TwoIfBySea Tue 02-Jun-09 13:28:51

The guide dog pup I had was on Royal Canin (don't know what the next one is on yet) and he didn't have poo issues. It is like having babies, getting obsessed with colour and consistency isn't it!

Like Bella says, having him checked out by the vet would be the best way of finding out what is wrong and would mean you don't have to continually change his diet (which would also upset his tum!)

daisydotandgertie Tue 02-Jun-09 13:29:11

I am a big fan of Burns dog food. It has been fabulous for all the dogs I've had/been involved with. It certainly solved a the very, very delicate stomach of a Golden Retriever I knew.

It also makes for a good, firm poo!

Molesworth Tue 02-Jun-09 15:23:45

Good point - although the soft poo is not a recent development (he's always been the same as far as I know) I think I will get him checked over by the vet (who is a Hills recommender, but only because they have a deal with the manufacturer, I suspect!).

hullygully Tue 02-Jun-09 15:26:27

Burns - v good: big dog, small firm poos!

Molesworth Tue 02-Jun-09 15:30:07

That's two votes for Burns then! <goes to google for details>

KingCanuteIAm Tue 02-Jun-09 16:39:26

Burns is supposed to be very good, only 7 ingrediants I think. I was going to try it for my pup but tried Royal Canin GSD Puppy food first (as it is aimed at the right breed) and pup is happy on that so I "stuck" grin

From what I gather Royal Canin is a real love hate food, each dog either eats like they are starved or just turns their nose up. THe company is very good with trial samples and discounts though so you should be able to try it out without spending a fortune!

bella39 Tue 02-Jun-09 17:19:19

Also Royal Canin and James Wellbeloved are the same company wink

Molesworth - what bad things have you heard about Hills?

KingCanuteIAm Tue 02-Jun-09 17:28:44

I was going to ask that too, I have not heard anything bad about Hills but then I don't spend much time researching them as I tend to think other brands can be as good but cheaper IYSWIM.

On the subject of home cooking, my mum did this for her dogs whilst they were young, they have made it very clear they prefer dried biscuits than the meals she lovingly prepared grin
However, there are loads of good books available with diet plans and details of ratios etc. If you are using soft cooked meals you do need to give plenty of good bones etc so they have something for their teeth. If you like I can ask her which she recommends?

clumsymum Tue 02-Jun-09 17:41:39

I've never heard anything bad about Hills Science Plan (I assume you mean the dry one, not the wet food?)

We have used it ever since adopting a Cavalier Spaniel 2 years ago. Altho' we tried to gradually swap her to the sainsburys own brand our other dog had been eating, she got horrible smelly wind, so we started to feed them both the Hills (altho' it's chuffing expensive) and they do very well on it.

In fact opposite to the OP' dog, our adoptee needs a teaspoon of sunflower oil on each feed, just to 'lubricate the way thru' a bit.

Molesworth Tue 02-Jun-09 17:53:04

I have no hard evidence at all about Hill's being bad; just grimaces on the faces of a number of other dog owners when Hill's is mentioned, accompanied by mutterings about it being "shit" and "only recommended because vets get commission on sales" etc etc.

But whether these mutterings are accurate or not, I would definitely prefer to feed him human grade ingredients, and I'm assuming (on the basis of price) that Hill's doesn't fit that bill.

KC, if it's not a hassle, I would be very interested to hear your mum's recommendations, thank you

KingCanuteIAm Tue 02-Jun-09 17:58:17

I do see grimace reactions about it being overpriced, I suppose people could well think it is rubbish as in it is not better than some cheaper foods IYSWIM?

I will ask my Mum which ones she found most helpful and let you know!

Molesworth Tue 02-Jun-09 18:01:20

I live in 'Tricky Woo' territory (i.e. loads of possibly over-precious owners of toy dogs) so perhaps I'm getting an unrepresentative point of view hmm

<tosses filet mignons in direction of dog>

KingCanuteIAm Tue 02-Jun-09 18:03:14

Actually, I have the one she lent me here, it is Give a Dog A Bone by Dr Ian Billinghurst. TBH I don't know much about the area so I don't know if he is any good but I do know that my mum will have done loads of research!

I will let you know anything else after I see her tomorrow.

Molesworth Tue 02-Jun-09 18:06:02

Thanks so much KC - can't see the wood for the trees here so your guidance is much appreciated!

KingCanuteIAm Tue 02-Jun-09 18:08:39

Luckily for me I live in an area where the only small dogs are terriers grin

There is one Papillion but the bloke who owns it is quick to tell everyone that his wife is responsible - every time you see him - repeatedly wink grin

KingCanuteIAm Tue 02-Jun-09 18:09:54

No problem! I am no expert though, I just know someone who has done it so feel free to disagree and/or ask other people etc!

Molesworth Tue 02-Jun-09 18:26:24

The trouble is, everyone tells you something different. I was chatting with a bulldog owner last week and his dog only has home-made food, spring water (hmm) and has his own bedroom with double bed, TV and DVD player (hmm hmm hmm). Anyway, he suppressed a shriek of horror when I mentioned Hill's and put me on to the Naturediet idea. How reliable his advice is remains to be seen on the pavement tomorrow morning

KingCanuteIAm Tue 02-Jun-09 18:41:30

Lol, well, I do have to say that - if you listen to someone who lets their dog have their on room with en-suite loon facilities - then you do have to expect a certain amount of questionable informtation wink grin

Mind you naturediet is not supposed to be a bad one!

fruitshootsandheaves Tue 02-Jun-09 18:43:58

my Springer is on Arden Grange as that is what his breeder used and I've just stuck to it. My Collie is on James Wellbeloved but as soon as the Springer is one and comes off the puppy/junior food I will put them both on Arden Grange.

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