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Discussion Starter #1
I was feeding a really crappy food because I was being stingy. Although the min. Fat level was good at about 12% (Zeke needs lower fat), the nutrition is just not there.

I did a search on chewy.com for a grain free, low fat, no soy/soybean, and fish protein. (Both dogs have a slight allergy to their current food and wanted to stay away from chicken and beef).

They came up with a few foods, but this one looks great! It’s Nulo Freestyle Cod and Lentils Grain free Trim Adult. Zeke does need to lose a couple if pounds, so that is okay for him. Stella needs to maintain her weight and it’s also good for that.

The Royal Canin low-fat Rx diet has a min crude fat of 4.5% and a max of 8.5%. The Nulo has a min of 7% with a max of 9%. The ingredient list looks very good to me, and even has a superfood or two in there.

I wanted to see what others feel about this food. So when you have time, if you could follow the link and check it out I would appreciate it very much. Honestly, I’ve just never paid a lot of (necessary) attention to what is in the foods I feed, but after these two bouts with pancreatitis am extremely eager to switch to a much healthier diet.

Thanks!

https://www.chewy.com/nulo-freestyle-cod-lentils-recipe/dp/104613


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I would be concerned about the amount of lentils and peas based on this: https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/news-events/fda-investigation-potential-link-between-certain-diets-and-canine-dilated-cardiomyopathy. The research is still ongoing and there is a lot of controversy, but I finally dropped what I was feeding my dogs (Taste of the Wild, which is full of lentils and peas) based on the new release of information.

What is the highest percentage of fat you are allowed to feed?


This is the current brand I am using, but the fat might be too high: https://www.chewy.com/natures-logic-canine-lamb-meal-feast/dp/39411 Many different kinds of protein to choose from, and some lower in calories. Miracle actually lost weight when I started feeding her this food over Taste of the Wild. Jasper is on the canned version, and I will add less than a tablespoon of his flavor to Miracle's meal to keep her interested.

There is also this one: https://www.chewy.com/victor-senior-healthy-weight-dry-dog/dp/120696. Lower in fat, but for seniors.

I used this calculator https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-feeding-tips/dog-food-calculator/ to determine how many calories each dog should be getting per day. If they get treats, I allow them to have a few very tiny training treats for following some sort of command.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok. So i saint know about DCM. So after researching that, the food I mentioned is no longer an option.

I would like suggestions on a good, low fat diet that is non-grain-free with no legumes. The crude fat needs to be 9% max.

It also has to be small kibble as my dogs are smaller. I’ve done so much research today my brain is fried .

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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Dogs4Life... thanks for the recommendations! I’ll check them all out when I can think a little clearer. (I didn’t get any sleep last night). It’ll be good to find a food with fish protein (hopefully it will get rid of the little bit of itchiness) that will be a healthier way for them to eat. I feel an urgent need to switch NOW. Lol.


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Why grain free? Gluten and grain free tends to be a silly trend in people and pet food (unless you have celiacs or a gluten insensitivity where you absolutely must avoid it). Dogs rarely have problems with grain. For example rice is a grain and most vets recommended rice and boiled chicken breast for dogs with digestive issues.

Being grain free might limit your choices.
 

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I have no problems with feeding a dog grains. The treats that I give my dogs have grain in them and they sometimes get some rice or pasta. I agree with Skylar that it can limit your options for dog food.

So I was on Chewy, and I searched for "small breed weight management," and there are not many food that specifically say small breed and are at 8-9% fat.
https://www.chewy.com/nutro-ultra-small-breed-weight/dp/114361 (has 10%).

https://www.chewy.com/purina-pro-plan-savor-adult-shredded/dp/52459; https://www.chewy.com/purina-pro-plan-focus-adult-weight/dp/52405 (both 8%- doesn't mention kibble size).

Others mention peas one time in the ingredient list, but not in addition to lentils, pea starch, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I just feel like grains are more of a filler than a nutrient, and that the food is better served if fruits and vegetables are in there too. The one I mentioned in the first post is also a limited ingredient food, and all the ingredients, except maybe lentil, are very good foods.

I haven’t had great luck with Purina Pro Plan. Most of the dogs I tried it with are not fun nd of the taste and would reluctantly eat, and skip meals too. Also their coats were not super neatly.

All I can say, is from the research I’ve done, the food in the first post is a good one. And that can be supplemented with treats, which do indeed have grains. And I wouldn’t mind mixing in some brown rice sometimes (better for them than white so I understand).


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Canned food is more expensive, but you also might consider switching to this for Zeke. The additional liquid might help with digestion and many of the canned foods have a lower fat percentage.
 

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It is not inexpensive, but we had great success feeding Honest Kitchen Zeal (fish) to our Airedale with pancreatitis. You can look on their site for exact percentages of fat.
 

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I just feel like grains are more of a filler than a nutrient, and that the food is better served if fruits and vegetables are in there too. The one I mentioned in the first post is also a limited ingredient food, and all the ingredients, except maybe lentil, are very good foods.
jojogal001, I don't mean to single you out - but rather to reach those reading this post.


Our dogs can easily digest starches. Unlike wolves, and more like humans dogs have more copies of amylase and longer/more effective maltase enzymes so they can digest starches. Starches are not filler - they are important sources of vitamins and minerals and other nutrients not found in the muscles of animals. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2013/01/diet-shaped-dog-domestication



I do agree that there has to be an appropriate balance of sources of nutrients in our pet's food. I have no problems feeding my dog potatoes, oatmeal and other starches - including grains like wheat and rice. I do have a problem when it's not properly balanced so dog's don't get adequate nutrients to support health.
 

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My Dog Max, a poodle shihtzu mix, has had two bouts with pancreatitis. The last one was about 4 years ago. He has remained on a low fat diet since that second attack, and has had no further issues. He is overall a healthy guy except for that.

I feed a lot of different things: home cooked, raw, kibble, and freeze dried. I just watch the fat for Max. All the dogs, including the puppy, adjust easily to rotating different types of foods, and I think it’s good for them.

I always keep kibble in the rotation so they are used to it when we travel. However, it’s only about 20% of their diet. Nothing wrong with feeding all kibble, this is just how I do it. But I’m a crazy person in that I actually like to cook, so cooking for the dogs is a natural extension of that! Probably crazy in other ways too, lol.

That said, I keep the kibble fat at around 10%. Some brands that have low fat or weight management options that have worked well for Max are:

Wellness Core
Adirondack
Nutri Source
Fromm

Nutrisource and Adirondack are the more economical options.

Good luck, hope this helps. Both of Max’s attacks were pretty severe, and he wound up at the emergency vet both times. But the management of the condition has not been bad at all, so take heart in that it can be managed with just a little thought.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
It is not inexpensive, but we had great success feeding Honest Kitchen Zeal (fish) to our Airedale with pancreatitis. You can look on their site for exact percentages of fat.


I will look into that. Thanks!

And Dechi, I never considered canned food, but it doesn’t really matter for him anyway as he gulps his kibble and doesn’t really chew it.


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First, Skylar, it’s ok if you did single me out. I’m learning so much about dog foos that I never knew and it’s all super helpful... thanks!


My Dog Max, a poodle shihtzu mix, has had two bouts with pancreatitis. The last one was about 4 years ago. He has remained on a low fat diet since that second attack, and has had no further issues. He is overall a healthy guy except for that.



I feed a lot of different things: home cooked, raw, kibble, and freeze dried. I just watch the fat for Max. All the dogs, including the puppy, adjust easily to rotating different types of foods, and I think it’s good for them.



I always keep kibble in the rotation so they are used to it when we travel. However, it’s only about 20% of their diet. Nothing wrong with feeding all kibble, this is just how I do it. But I’m a crazy person in that I actually like to cook, so cooking for the dogs is a natural extension of that! Probably crazy in other ways too, lol.



That said, I keep the kibble fat at around 10%. Some brands that have low fat or weight management options that have worked well for Max are:



Wellness Core

Adirondack

Nutri Source

Fromm



Nutrisource and Adirondack are the more economical options.



Good luck, hope this helps. Both of Max’s attacks were pretty severe, and he wound up at the emergency vet both times. But the management of the condition has not been bad at all, so take heart in that it can be managed with just a little thought.

Thanks for the names of the different foods! I can’t really cook anymore, so that is pretty much out, but I will definitely look into these different brands.




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Ok, i warn you.... dumb question:

At what age do you start feeding a senior diet? I have heard, somewhere, at 7 years old. But is that the same for smaller poodles/dogs who have a longer estimated lifespan?
 

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I kind of stumbled across this one. It's a little expensive, but looks good to me. Am I missing something? or would this be a good one to try? Crude fat is 8%

Nature's Logic Sardine Meal Feast

Sardine sounds kind of gross to me, but that's because of the sardines my dad used to eat out of the square tin cans :p
 

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Jojoga, that’s an interesting one, good find. I think it looks like a great food. It is pricey though.

Seven is fine for a senior diet.

I have all three older dogs on the low fat food I feed Max, and Misty is only eight. That way I’m not buying and/ or preparing so many different things.

My puppy of course needs a higher fat diet...I’m looking for one that has a calming and focusing effect as well for her teenage craziness!

ETA: of course your individual dog determines what’s best for a diet, if they tend to be thin you may not want to switch to senior. Not sure which dog you’re asking about.

It’s also important to keep the weight down with pancreatitis.
 
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Skylar, I also have read how grains are important in overall health and the most dogs aren't actually allergic to them. We seem to be learning more and more lately on proper nutrition. There have been so many changes in dog foods in recent years.
 

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Jo I have also been looking at low fat since my cairn terrier has been having digestive issues. The vet has her on science diet canned digestive formula, she loves it and does super well on it, I'd like to get a kibble to add to it. I may just stick with it from my vet and I can get it thru chewy too with a prescription. A friend had a pm/yorkie that had terrible pancreatitis everything would upset him. She finally settled on solid gold Holistique Blendz, with Oatmeal, Pearled Barley & Ocean Fish Meal (for less active senior dogs Potato Free. It is 6% fat. It is the ONLY food he could eat.
 
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