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Dog only eats human food. Is this ok?(29 Posts)
Our nearly 3 year old Springer x Lurcher has tried lots of different foods in her life, from the standard Iams stuff to special vegan food only found online.
Reson being that she seems to need to poo A LOT. On some foods it was 5-6 times a day.
I did some research and put her on a human food diet. Meat, potatoes, rice, vegetables and some fresh fruit. The pooing has slowed down, her coat is so shiny, she looks and seems so healthy but she has lost weight and looks skinny. Her ribs and spine are slightly visible and very obvious when being stroked. She does do a lot of exercise but I'm concerned that her diet is not enough. I've tried giving her more food but it seems to make no difference. Vet says she is on the thin side but healthy.
Has anyone helped their dog gain weight successfully? And does an all 'real' food diet lead to weight loss?
Thanks so much
My Aunt has a 19.5yo Jack Russell and he has never eaten dog food in his life. I was astonished about this but he is in splendid health.
Not relevant to the weight loss, but what's her calcium source?
My dog refuses to eat dog food. She doesn't think she's a dog. She lives on mainly fresh chicken.
I feed my dog 'complete' foods so that he gets all the essential foods he needs. The food tends to be 70% meat/fish with the rest made up with vegetables and minerals etc.
I imagine that you could replicate that with what you are feeding but you would need to work out all the associated food groups and quantities for yours dogs lifestyle but I would worry about not getting it right.
When I needed to get weight onto my very skinny dog I fed scrambled egg and plain cooked fish in addition to his normal dog food.
There are many potential imbalances in your diet
I’d suggest consulting a canine nutritionist who can help you formulate an appropriate ration
I feed raw which suits very well. When I had a dog that had been very ill and lost a great deal of weight in a short space of time I supplemented his diet with puppy milk and it did the trick.
When you choose to feed something that isn't a "complete" dog food then you need to research carefully to ensure that the dog is getting all that they need from their diet.
Calcium source? She gets cheese although not a lot. Haven't tried a raw diet, no.
On a typical day she will have baked potato with fish (mackerel from a tin), rice with vegetables, apples, carrots or bell peppers as snacks and whatever meat we're having.
Of course dogs can eat human food. I think it is funny that we call it human food it is food
BUT there is a huge difference in feeding "human" food and feeding what we are eating.
Dogs have different nutritional needs to humans so can not be feed the same food on a daily basis. Dogs will need their own meals not what we are having for meals.
From what you have said above there is too much rice and salt and not enough protein but it does depend on what percentage meat they are getting.
Ok. I obviously need specialist advise. Our vet seems a little dismissive. I might request a second opinion.
Thanks so much for the advice
It’s not about weight though. A dog’s diet needs to provide them with all the nutrients they need.
To be honest, that sounds like a really unhealthy diet for a dog. Too much fruit, veg and carbs aren't good for dogs.
I would look into raw. You can buy raw competes so no need to work out what your dog needs, you just defrost and feed the correct weight.
I obviously need specialist advise. Our vet seems a little dismissive. I might request a second opinion.
Just like ‘human’ GPs, vets aren’t specialist dieticians. You need a referral to a veterinary nutritionist
What commercial dog foods have you tried?
I think you are overthinking this OP.
Human food = food. If the dog is underweight feed more or offer calorific treats (chicken wings).
I really do not think you need a canine nutritionist. There is a reason the vet is being a bit dismissive.
As mentioned above check out a raw diet. There is a group on Facebook BARF UK. Very informative. I have a big dog and it was on burns. I didn't know a dog could poo that much! Swapped to raw and now they are much smaller and less frequent.
There are specialist dog nutritionists, seek advice if you are worried and consider a multi vitamin. My dog isn't keen on dog food (just doesn't like it) so he eats what my mum says all of her childhood dogs ate, leftovers! We give a bowl of complete dry at all times in case he fancies it. His favourite is scrambled eggs, not sure how good that is (too much chicken though upsets him interestingly)
My dog does eat dry, but on a Monday he gets the roast leftovers, he wolfs down the chicken and gravy, but takes the roast potatoes back to bed one by one and eats them.
Contact Elmo’s Kitchen. They’re a dog nutritionist company who will produce a fully complete home-cooked meal plan for your dog. I used them when I was home cooking for my previous dog (with a medical condition) and they were brilliant.
You do need to be careful. My dog was diagnosed a few months ago with dilated cardiomyopathy and one of the causes for it is a dietary insufficiency of taurine because not enough meat, fish or egg in the dogs diet. There have been some reports of DCM in breeds that usually rarely suffer from it and a possible connection with raw and grain free diets. We are giving our dog taurine and another amino acid just in case (he eats Orijen which should be good). Getting advice from a canine nutritionist seems like a very good idea.
I think raw might be worth a go if you've not tried it. We buy frozen cubes of meat that have fruit and vegetables in and mix with a grain free mixer. Ours also get left over veggies added and weekly tins of oily fish.
It is worth getting advice to make sure you are feeding her a healthy diet, but tbh she doesn't sound particularly underweight. Most people overfeed their dogs - you should be able to feel their ribs easily, and they should be just about visible.
My border collie is bony.
She is a working type and has quite a petite, sighthoundy build.
That is, she isn’t stocky like a lot of the show bred collies you see.
At a perfect weight (according to vet) the tops of her hips are visible and can be easily felt and you can feel the ribs with a slightly firm stroke aswell.
She is a little chunky right now but some bones are still easily palpable.
It’s her build.
Lurchers tend to be a bony build also, if the vet says she is healthy I wouldn’t worry
Some conflicting advice here. It's hard to know what to do for the best.
The obvious solution is just to try to up her calorie intake and increase the meat and fish. She already seems to eat a lot but she is an active dog and if we're out a lot more a few days running there is a visible difference in her weight. However, she has really well defined muscles and her coat, teeth and eyes look really healthy. The vet said that people are so used to seeing overweight dogs that seeing a very fit active dog can make them think they are underfed.
I'm going to stick with her current diet, up the meat and calories and add a multi vitamin to try to compensate for anything lacking. I'll begin to add some raw too. I'll give it a few weeks and then seek out more specialist advice.
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