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Diet for four year old Newfoundland

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by purpleisa, Nov 4, 2012.


  1. purpleisa

    purpleisa PetForums Junior

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    Hello all,

    Newbie here to forums and Newfoundlands!! :D

    Just looking for some advice from experienced Newf owners re: diet. We have just brought home a four year old Newf bitch (not spayed) and have been sticking so far to the diet she had from her previous owners. Which doesn't seem right but I didn't want to make any changes until she was settled.

    Boo weighs 43.9kgs (below average for a Newfie but is v small Newf (only 24" ish to the shoulder - sorry she wasn't that co-operative with the measuring lol). The vet seems to think she is a little overweight (no waist and "can't feel her ribs" - which I can :confused:)

    Anyway her "old" diet was described to me as:-

    two feeds per day mid morning then about 7pm. Morning about half a lg (1200g) of Butchers tripe mix mixed in with 3/4 lg bowl of Butchers complete. (However it was Bakers complete they handed over with her :confused:) then in the evening about 250g of cooked chicken again with 3/4 lg bowl of Complete. (Maybe I'm being stupid here but I thought if you were feeding meat along with dry you would use kibble / mixer not complete food:blink:

    Which we have been doing. She didn't eat am feed at all for maybe first couple of days. She had an ordinary poo followed by very scooty poo (sorry if TMI). Then she started eating again but started being sick (yellow foam/bile) mostly in the mornings. Last two or three days she is off her food again. Eating. but only a little. Drinking ok We have cut out the chicken and just put the tinned meat in with the mix. Still just picking at it but having a poo per day (was two or three at first). She seems ok in herself but isn't very active (prev owners said two 15 min walks per day was all she had). We have increased this slighty bit I'm a bit wary of overdoing it in case we cause harm to joints etc by increasing too fast. Puking has settled again today - I'm wondering iif stress maybe a factor too as she has just moved and almost everytime she has been sick has been when we have been out (I'm a stay home Mum but have had to leave her for short periods for supermarket run etc)

    I know her diet is wrong and doesn't seem to be working for her at all. (please don't tell me off I'm working on it!). Also she will eat the meat on its own but turns her nose up at the dry on its own.

    She is a big lazy lump but she is fantastic with the kids, great on the lead and a right sook. We have all fallen completely in love with her!! (Even though I had been going to get a flatcoated retriever! wwhoops)

    Any advice appreciated! Or even pointers in how to work out what's good for them. or good books about newfies and exercise/diet etc Vet says Bakers complete is the dog equivalent of McDonalds! She has recommened Autarky which she gives her otterhounds (she says Mature would be approp as she is a bit on the plump side and we are probably going to have her spayed)

    Sorry about length - just trying to give all the info!!

    Thanks for reading, I'm looking forward to meeting fellow Newf owners too!

    Lx
     
  2. canuckjill

    canuckjill PetForums VIP

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    bumping up as this was waiting for approval for posting...Jill
     
  3. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    Welcome to the forum and to the wonderful world of living with newfies. Firstly, I would say your lady is far too thin. My four year old girl is 60 kg. She is not particularly small, but I think your girl should be bigger than she is. I have heard before that vets often think newfies are overweight just going by the scales, when they obviously are not. You are not supposed to feel the waist on a newfie as far as I am concerned; they need a bit of meat on them.

    Please do not give her Bakers, unless you want to clean her up. Mine have Royal Canin, despite what it says on here. It is the only thing they thrive on though I use RC maxi light as they have both been neutered. I have found that Ferdie, my boy, never did like the giant breed adult, though he was raised on the puppy and junior.

    Be careful taking feeding advice from the vet as they are usually trying to sell you what they stock. Unfortunately, the trial free samples you can get from most dog feed people are not big enough to tell whether they will suit a newfie. You can get smaller bags of most feed but they will be about £15 to £20. I always mix in a half tin of Chappie original with mine as I don't like them to have just dry, though they will eat it without. Sometimes they get meat or sardines with it instead.

    15 minutes twice a day for a full grown dog is not enough. You have to be careful when they are growing but at this age she should be able to do more. They are a lazy breed, so take your time building it up, but she is never going to be happy walking or running for miles so don't try. Mine sort of wander about sniffing most of the time, unless there is another dog to chase but they are out for about an hour in the morning.

    You probably already know this but please remember not to exercise them until two hours after a meal or one hour before. They are extremely prone to bloat, something to should read up on so that you can spot the symptoms. All giant breeds are prone to bloat which can kill within an hour in extreme cases and must be seen by a vet immediately. Make sure you have his emergency number to hand at all times.
     
    #3 newfiesmum, Nov 5, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012
  4. SixStar

    SixStar Banned

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    Welcome to the forum! :)

    43 kg does sound very light for a Newfoundland, but if she is of small built, it could well be right. Dogs are FAR better lean than even slightly chubby, especially with a giant breed, you don't want any extra stress on their joints and hips. My lad is pushing 80 kg, but I can still feel his ribs and spine when I run my hands over him, but then I keep my dogs leaner than perhaps some would.

    As for diet, I'd recommend anything green from this list - http://www.petforums.co.uk/dog-health-nutrition/255727-updated-dry-dog-food-index.html Orange listed options are resonable too, but green foods are mostly grain free, and grain free kibbles don't have the tendency to swell up in the stomach like cereal packed foods do, reducing the chance of bloat.

    I would personally avoid Royal Canin and Bakers like the plague - they both contain known cariogenic (cancer causing) additives.

    My Newfie is fed raw and absolutely thriving, so you might also want to look into raw too, very best diet for a dog, IMO.
    http://www.petforums.co.uk/dog-health-nutrition/111437-raw-feeding-everything-you-need-know.html

    In regards to exercise, once they're mature they're more than capable of a moderate exercise - they needn't be lazy dogs at all! My fella gets about two hours daily, with offlead running, swimming and play with my other dogs - we cover about ten miles a day, and he is more than happy to do so! He's a very fit active dog ;)
     
  5. purpleisa

    purpleisa PetForums Junior

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    Thanks both sooo much for the input! Good to meet experienced newfie owners :)

    To be fair to my vet she doesn't stock Autarky (weird since thats what she said she fed hers!). I guess there are lots of diff approaches to feeding as for any dog - but Im def getting her off the Bakers though. Will change it out gradually and see how we go.

    Main thought in my mind is how she will be with next doors fireworks tonight. There were some in the distance last night and she never bothered at all. My mums Flatcoat is TERRIFIED!! Poor Fin - never send anything like it!

    I will let you know how it goes with food :)
    Lx
     
  6. Newfinch

    Newfinch PetForums Junior

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    Hi and welcome. I currently have 4 newfoundlands aged between 11 months and 8 years laying around not taking any notice of all the fireworks going off although your girl might be a little more nervous of them due to all of the upheaval she has gone through recently.
    With regards to feeding, you will probably get a slightly different answer from every newfie person you speak to. I feed ours on Arden Grange with a little tinned, tuna, raw food or cheese etc added to vary the flavour but others may feed raw, barf, fish for dogs etc. I measure mine in mugs with one girl who puts on weight just by looking at food having one mug twice a day while one who never carries any weight having 2 mugs twice a day and the other two are somewhere in the middle.
    Hopefully your girl is only being sick due to all of the changes she has gone through recently. It is bound to be upsetting for her.
    She does appear to be quite a small girl and the weight you stated sounds to be low but you should be able to feel her ribs. The giant breeds should not carry any excess weight even more so than the small breeds due to the extra strain it can put on their joints. Part of the reason she does not appear to be very heavy could easily be down to her bone as a lot of a newfies weight is down to the size of their bone so if she has not much bone she will be a lot lighter than a heavily boned dog. The only way to really tell is to put your hand around her front leg and do the same with another newfie. It can be quite deceiving if they have a lot of feathering and the only way you can really tell is by going 'hands on'.
    She should be having a lot more exercise than 15 minutes twice a day. Mine get about 30 minutes first thing in the morning and then at least an hour later in the day. Some on lead and some free running. This should be every day, whatever the weather, just not during the hot time of the day during the summer months
    Did you get your girl through one of the breed clubs welfare officers? If so, you should go back to them with any questions or problems you have as they are very knowledgable, having many years of experience in the wonderful newfoundland breed
    Good luck with your new furbie, hopefully you should have many years of love and company with her and dont forget, most newfie owners usually end up with more than one dog!!!!
     
  7. purpleisa

    purpleisa PetForums Junior

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    Hi

    Fireworks went well - sooo not bothered even during unofficial fireworks going off at our nearest park only 100 yards away for at least an hour!!

    She has not been sick for a good couple of days :D

    I got her direct from her previous owners who I emailled to ask for her vaccination records - with no response. They were very upset at giving her up though so I'm not going to bother them again. Luckily my local vet was doing a vaccination "amnesty" so I got full course for price of booster :001_smile:

    She is very wee for a newf. We met a big boy Newf on a walk last weekend and he was twice her height!! She is just like a hairier golden retriever really.

    We are getting the exercise up too. Up to minimum of two 20min walks per day (including on and off lead). She is soo goood on the lead that I take her on the school run too (plus boy in buggy!!) She LOVES all the attention at the school. We have been to the beach and river but she has never went in any deeper than the tops of her legs (so I'm not even sure she can swim! (As soon as it looked like we were taking her I had visions of lots of swimming outings - with me swimming too in the warmer weather like I used with my Border Collie. I can sometimes get her to run around with me but I have to dash about like a total daftie and out in about 4x the effort she does. She doesn't really seem to bother with toys or sticks. She is super laid back but I do worry about her not having enough fun :( Just need to keep trying :001_smile: She loves the car too. As soon as a door is open she jumps in!!

    I'm already totally in love with her though. Here's some pics (hopefully it works)

    Thanks to all again for your input. Still doing my readiing and down to half a bag of Bakers so will start gradually changing this week x
     

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  8. Sezzastar

    Sezzastar PetForums Senior

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    Most dog owners usually end up with more than one dog :tongue_smilie::crazy:
     
  9. Newfinch

    Newfinch PetForums Junior

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    She looks to be a lovely girl, and your daughter too!!
    Not all newfies like water. none of mine swim. They usually just go in for a paddle and a splash but no swimming.
    With regards to changing her food. Dont just stop one type of food, but do it gradually, reducing the old type while increasing the new one. This will give her system time to adjust to the change over as some dogs can be affected but a sudden change in diet.
     
  10. Newfinch

    Newfinch PetForums Junior

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    Especially newfie owners!!!
     
  11. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    The first time I took Ferdie and Joshua to a country park, they saw the lake and took off, splashed in, but would not go in higher than their knees. There is a video on my website if you are interested. I don't think they were convinced they could actually swim, and I haven't taken Diva yet.

    Mine are not interested in playing except with other dogs. They have no interest in chasing balls, but please be careful with tennis balls as they can get stuck in their throat. You girl is beautiful, bless her heart, and I would just let her find her feet and her place.

    Most newfies are super laid back, it is how they are. I am sure she will let you know if she is bored. Everybody I have met with newfies, or any giant breed for that matter, has two. I got another because Ferdie needed someone his own size to play with.
     
  12. SixStar

    SixStar Banned

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    She's gorgeous!

    My Newfie loves to swim but he is absolutely TERRIBLE at it! You see my Bernese and Westie go elegantly past, barely making the water ripple, and then follows Ozzy - paws everywhere, sending splashes six foot in the air, doing his drowning bear impression! Least he has fun though - bless him!! :D
     
  13. purpleisa

    purpleisa PetForums Junior

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    Will change gradually thanks. Im reassured to hear they don't swim - i thought she was broken! Lol

    Six star - well done on the food index! Must have taken a lot of work - but will be a fantastic resource for so many :) Thank you.

    Well Im getting back to removing all the 10,000 wee sticky burr ball things that she got in her coat today!! See u next week lol
     
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