Food Recommendations for 6 Month Belgian Shepherd Cross

(24 Posts)
MyBabyIsAFurBaby Mon 07-Sep-20 10:31:26

My Belgian Shepherd cross has never had the most solid of bowel movements. Just over a month ago, we moved her to an entirely dry food diet, in the hope it would help. It made things 10x worse.

I've started adding some puppy meat back into her diet (not expecting any changes yet, as I know changes of diet can upset their tummies), but I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions for what to feed her.

I expect some will recommend cooking her some chicken and rice, but I would just say I'm a life-long vegetarian and wouldn't have the foggiest idea how to cook chicken without poisoning someone!

She is part whippet, and I've met a whippet the same age as my pup who also had tummy issues. I've also met a one-year-old German Shepherd who has the same issues. Is it just a breed thing?

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moosemama Mon 07-Sep-20 11:30:41

We had a Belgian Terv x Border Collie and have been told that Belgian’s are prone to sensitive digestion.

Despite us being vegetarians, in all honesty, she did best on a raw food diet. Actually it was easier than having to cope with cooking it in the oven we use for our own food. We bought a small chest freezer and fridge for the garage for the dogs’ meat and they were fed outside, so we never had to deal with meat in the house.

You could look at some of the prepared raw food companies like:

Paleo Ridge Raw

[ Bella and Duke]]

Or if raw is a bit much for you as vegetarians yourselves, then something like The Innocent Pet air dried complete/raw.

moosemama Mon 07-Sep-20 11:31:21

Doh! Link fail.

Bella and Duke

moosemama Mon 07-Sep-20 11:33:49

The innocent pet link is shonky as well! Blooming iPad keeps adding in punctuation. Try this:

The Innocent Pet

MyBabyIsAFurBaby Mon 07-Sep-20 11:34:46

@moosemama That is great, thank you. I will definitely look into it. I will do what needs to be done; I just didn't want to make her more ill with my inability to cook meat grin

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moosemama Mon 07-Sep-20 11:46:50

I was the same. I was also terrified to go raw until our trainer talked me through it, but that was years ago and we’re talking picking up bags of raw meaty bones from the butchers, rather than online companies delivering complete meals, with everything you need. They’re all really keen to answer questions and explain how to get started as well.

My current old boy is on kibble, as we moved and no longer have a garage to put the dog freezer in, but we’re planning to go back to raw feeding for the next pup. (Will hopefully have moved house again by then.) Hence me researching the different brands. The above three have all been recommended to me by trainers and behaviourists.

The All About Dog Food website is really good for comparing foods in terms of quality and cost.

If you don’t want to go the raw route, I’ve always found salmon/fish based foods to be better tolerated by my lot. Old boy is on Skinners Salmon and Rice, but Skippers is one I’ve heard good things about recently (77% on All About Dog Food, which isn’t bad.)

MyBabyIsAFurBaby Mon 07-Sep-20 12:27:35

@moosemama Amazing, thank you so much.

The raw food thing sounded a bit daunting, but with all the information you have provided, it sounds like it is worth trying. I will have a proper look a the links you provided; thank you xx

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tabulahrasa Mon 07-Sep-20 13:31:15

The chicken and rice thing btw, it’s just supposed to be a couple of meals till their stomach settles, not something you switch to longterm.

I usually just cut up the chicken and cook it in with the rice tbh, I mean, bland is the point, so... no need to do anything to it.

Longterm, first thing I’d check is whether it’s grain that’s an issue and wean her onto a completely grain free food and see if that helps.

Borderstotheleftofme Mon 07-Sep-20 14:34:16

I have a border collie, she had bad tummy issues for a long time.
I think it may possibly be linked to the gardia she had as a puppy.

She did the best on raw, I was unimpressed with paleo ridge raw when I used them (few years ago admittedly) as a lot of the meat was very dark/oxidised, some of it I binned as the smell was quite strong I was worried it was off.

The best for raw I found were vince the vet and nutriment if they are still going.

She’s not on raw any longer, I tend to feed her butchers now or forthglade or nature’s menu country hunter if I’m feeling spendy

moosemama Mon 07-Sep-20 14:50:10

Nutriment was the other one was I wracking my brains to try and remember this morning.

Surprised to hear that about Paleo Ridge, as I’ve had it recommended to me a few times recently, but then again, I haven’t used it myself.

Not heard of Vince the Vet. Will have to look that one up.

Veterinari Mon 07-Sep-20 14:52:17

Has she been screened for faecal parasite, giardia etc?

Borderstotheleftofme Mon 07-Sep-20 15:01:08

Surprised to hear that about Paleo Ridge, as I’ve had it recommended to me a few times recently, but then again, I haven’t used it myself
To be fair to them, it was a few years ago so they may be better now but certainly at the time I was disappointed.

Another company I’ll recommend, my dog will sound so spoilt blush is a human food company called the Wild Meat Company.
They do whole animals, like whole squirrels, quail etc and mostly whole skinned versions like hares.
My dog refused to eat anything furred but she used to like small whole birds like pigeons.
She has a great time happily ripping all the feathers out...
They may have shot in them but as I only buy her meat from there very very occasionally as a treat and she’s quite a big dog I’ve never really worried about it too much.

MyBabyIsAFurBaby Mon 07-Sep-20 15:02:09

@tabulahrasa I didn't think it was long term, except I have 'posh' relatives who always seem to be cooking for their dogs so I wasn't sure. Thank you for clarifying.

@Borderstotheleftofme Thank you for your advice. I will add your suggestions to my 'look into' list!

@Veterinari No, she hasn't been screened for anything. I was hoping it was a dietary issue. I will get her to the vet and see what they can do.

Thank you all.

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ChickensMightFly Mon 07-Sep-20 15:03:42

I can't possibly reveal what non-existent helpful advice I might have without a picture which was the only reason I clicked on this grin

tabulahrasa Mon 07-Sep-20 15:23:01

“I didn't think it was long term, except I have 'posh' relatives who always seem to be cooking for their dogs so I wasn't sure. Thank you for clarifying“

I just thought I’d mention it because it did sound a bit like you thought someone might tell you to make her a roast dinner or something, lol

I don’t eat meat either, so I have no clue how tasty or not boiled chicken and rice is, but it’s definitely cooked after it.

moosemama Mon 07-Sep-20 15:34:09

Borders I am just the same. Before we lost my other lad back in June we were spending hundreds every month on top quality human food for him, desperately trying to get him well. He ate better than we did during lockdown. Ironically, we then discovered the only food he could tolerate at all was blooming Chappie Original! Stomach issues resolved overnight once we started him on that. hmm

As for my remaining old boy, I daren’t even begin to tell you how spoiled he’s been since we lost his brother back in June. blush He deserves it though, he’s almost 15 and an absolute sweetheart, so it’s definitely his turn to be completely spoiled and have our undivided attention at this stage of his life.

As Veterinari said, if she hasn’t seen a vet about her digestive issues, obviously she needs to have that done before you start messing with her diet. One of our rescue pups had a nasty case of Campylobacter, which the rescue had completely missed, when he came to us. Everything he ate went straight through him and it took 10 weeks to sort it out.

Shambolical1 Mon 07-Sep-20 17:24:34

Sort of a side comment: if you're worried about cooking for the 'chicken and rice' thing to help short-term tum issues, the small tins of Applaws or Encore food you can buy marked 'chicken in broth' are literally just that: shredded chicken breast and rice in their own broth.

It ain't cheap but in the short term it's handy (but won't help if your dog is allergic to chicken or rice, obviously).

I'm not vegetarian or vegan, just can't cook blush

MyBabyIsAFurBaby Tue 08-Sep-20 11:09:26

@ChickensMightFly This is my beautiful baby. She hates having her picture taken though, so I hardly have any of her face grin

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MyBabyIsAFurBaby Tue 08-Sep-20 11:12:59

@tabulahrasa Haha, I would have been horrified if I was told to make her a roast dinner!

@moosemama I will get her to the vet ASAP

@Shambolical1 That is really helpful to know, thank you! I had to buy someone some chicken once and was stood in the aisle feeling totally overwhelmed. I have no idea what the differences are!

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moosemama Tue 08-Sep-20 13:17:02

@MyBabyIsAFurBaby she’s beautiful. I have a thing for huge upright ears - and sighthounds and their crosses, so I was bound to love her on sight! grin

When we’ve had to do chicken and rice in the past, I’ve always bought boneless and just whacked it in the oven till the juices run clear and there’s no pinkness left. Probably overcooked it, but the dogs have never seemed to mind and I’d rather be safe than sorry.

These days we go for steamed white fish or salmon fillets, rather than chicken, as some dogs can be sensitive to chicken. Tescos do a decent quality bag of frozen white fish fillets pretty cheaply and we always keep a bag of those in the freezer just in case. When my boy was poorly earlier this year, for a while we just microwave steamed one of those fillets according to the instructions and added a microwave pouch of rice to that. Not the cheapest or most eco option, but quick and easy when you have sick dog that needs nursing 24/7.

MyBabyIsAFurBaby Tue 08-Sep-20 14:33:31

@moosemama Thank you! Her ears are ridiculously large, and frequently meet in the middle so she looks like she is wearing a party hat grin

That is really helpful advice, thank you. Didn't even think about microwaveable alternatives! xx

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ChickensMightFly Tue 08-Sep-20 17:02:08


*@ChickensMightFly* This is my beautiful baby. She hates having her picture taken though, so I hardly have any of her face grin

Deep joy! Thank you. smile

That is one gorgeous dog - look at those ears and that nose! Love it. Miss my dog lots, I am getting vicarious enjoyment from others.

Sitdowncupoftea Tue 08-Sep-20 19:55:56

Personally before changing your dogs diet make an appointment at the vets. Regardless of breed you dog may have a parasite. The vets will do a test on a stool sample to rule anything out. If its clear it could be an intolerance to something. One of my dogs has been through this. I was advised chappie after his stool test came out clear. The chappie solved it. I was advised not to feed raw if its a meat intolerance for example beef it will make his tummy far worse. My dog had permanent runny poop. Good old chappie solved it. He was raw fed previously (not by me).

MyBabyIsAFurBaby Thu 10-Sep-20 15:28:50

@ChickensMightFly Thank you! She is a lovely girlie. If she met you in real life she would be all over you; she adores everyone.

@Sitdowncupoftea Thank you for your advice. I am sending her off to the vet for testing.

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