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Old 12-21-2012, 11:52 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by pinkteaji View Post
Do you recommend feeding spoos nutrition supplements early in their years (1 year old) for joint problem prevention? If so, what brand do you recommend?
As far as I know, there are no nutritional supplements that will prevent joint problems. Barring injuries, most joint problems that would affect a poodle would be genetic in nature. Conditions such as hip dysplasia and legg-calve-perthes involve malformation in the joint and supplements cannot change the shape of a joint.

It is also possible to cause joint problems in puppies where none may have occurred. This can happen when a pup is overfed or oversupplemented with vitamins and minerals that impact bone development. As an example, puppies don't have the ability to excrete excess dietary calcium until the age of about 6 months. Since a pup's body can't regulate the calcium level, excess is laid down in growing bones and cartilage and can cause irregularities. This can lead to conditions such as OCD.

When you're dealing with joint conditions, the role of supplements is usually after the fact to help control pain, decrease inflammation and provide nutritional support.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:10 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Okay, I understand now. Thank you so much!


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Old 12-22-2012, 12:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I also give Orijen to my toy poodle (16 weeks old). Well, and some canned food and once or twice a week, a chicken wing. As supplement, I'm using Missing Link, the puppy version. Any comments or suggestions? He is doing fine with all the variety I feed him, no tummy upsets, no problems. He only had some problems (loose stools and a gassy evening) the day he went to the groomer for the first time. The rest, ok.
I also have a bottle of fish oil (Nordic Naturals for pets) but I'm waiting to finish with the Missing Link first.
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Missing Link and fish oil are fed primarily for coat and skin. Omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids are both important for this. As I mentioned previously, most dogs' diets contain more than enough omega 6 so you really don't need to add much more of that.

When it comes to omega 3, the best quality comes from animal, not plant, sources. The omega 3 in Missing Link comes from ground flaxseed, a plant product. The Nordic Naturals supplement is fish-based, so is a better choice.

I talked about ALA and EPA/DHA earlier. A dog's body needs omega 3's in the form of EPA/DHA to use them. They can covert ALA to EPA/DHA but they don't do it very efficiently. If I recall correctly, the conversion is about 10 to 1, in other words, if you wanted to supplement with 1 gram of EPA/DHA you'd need to feed 10 grams of flaxseed to achieve it. It just makes more sense, from the view of the dog and your budget, to feed the form of omega 3 that your dog can use right away.

You didn't mention which fish oil product you had. I think that the omega 3 product would be a better choice than the cod liver oil product. Cod liver oil contains relatively high levels of naturally-occurring Vitamin A and D. It can be an important source of these vitamins in a homemade diet, but you don't really need extra if you're feeding a commercial diet.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:23 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks a lot for your explanation, caroline429. Yes, I'm giving the omega 3 product (I started today). I suspected that fish oil was a better option than the flaxeed, but I wasn't sure so your details have clerared the way. Thanks again.
In Spain it's quite difficult to find good kibble options; I think the best available here is Orijen, and it's what I'm using right now. But I don't like to give only dry food, so I add cans (good quality too) and some raw or cooked, but trying not to unbalance the whole.
A last question: giving a canned sardine or mackerel (canned in olive oil) once or twice a week could be an option for the omega 3?
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:20 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Orijen is a very good choice, I think.

I feed raw. The supplements I use are: probiotics, digestive enzymes, fish/krill oil. I feed whole sardine once or twice a week. When my dog suffers from seasonal allergy and has watery eyes, I add in a little apple cider vinegar to his food for a few days and his watery eyes and itchy skin will get some relief. But that's about it. I try to keep it simple.
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:23 AM   #17 (permalink)
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In Spain it's quite difficult to find good kibble options; I think the best available here is Orijen, and it's what I'm using right now. But I don't like to give only dry food, so I add cans (good quality too) and some raw or cooked, but trying not to unbalance the whole.
A last question: giving a canned sardine or mackerel (canned in olive oil) once or twice a week could be an option for the omega 3?
You can add a small sardine a couple of times a week if you want, just to give the puppy some variety. One small sardine contains, on average, 178 mg of omega 3.

I just went and had a look at the ingredients/analysis of the puppy Orijen. It has a lot of fish in it and contains 1.2% omega 3. This means that one gram of kibble contains 12 mg of omega 3. I'm not sure how much your pup is eating but even at the low end of the recommended daily amount, she's already getting just over 700 mg of omega 3. She probably doesn't even need an omega 3 supplement but since you've already bought the fish oil, use it. Just don't give more than recommended since she's already getting a good amount from her Orijen.

As you can probably tell from my posts, I'm a bit on the anal-retentive side when it comes to dog nutrition. I feed a homemade cooked diet and balance it to the recommended nutrient amounts in the US National Research Council's 2006 report "Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats". My spreadsheets make my head spin! Thank goodness for Excel because I flunked math all the way through school. LOL

I think I've gotten so detail-oriented about it because my previous two dogs, both Rottweilers, had inflammatory bowel disease. Neither could tolerate any kind of commercial food and both had to have extremely low-fat diets of very limited ingredients because of food sensitivities. Because of their dietary limitations, it was not possible to feed a diet based on a percentage of meat, organ meat, etc and hope to give them all the nutrients they needed from food alone. Their diets needed a lot of supplementing and I didn't just want to add vitamins and minerals willy nilly, I needed to know how much the dog needed, how much was coming from the foods and supplement the appropriate amount. It was time-consuming and expensive, but I kept them both off of long-term medication by feeding this way, so it was worth it.

I think a healthy adult dog can do well with a lot of different dietary approaches but I'm always extremely cautious to make sure to feed a properly balanced diet to a growing puppy or to a dog with a health problem.

I've noticed that most new owners really want to add supplements of one kind or another to their pup's food. I understand the impulse, you want to do the best you can. If you're feeding a good quality commercial food like you are though, supplements aren't needed.

If you want to feed anything extra, I always think it's a good idea to offer tiny bits of fruits and vegetables as treats. They don't contain enough vitamins and minerals to affect the balance of the overall diet. They don't have a lot of calories and they do contain some important antioxidants. Cali wouldn't touch a piece of fruit or veggie when I first got her but I kept offering and now she loves little bites of green beans, carrots, apples and bananas.
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