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Dog eating habits

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by DezPaula, Mar 22, 2011.


  1. DezPaula

    DezPaula PetForums Newbie

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    Hi to you all,
    We are new to this forum and would just like to know your ideas on which dog food you buy and why ? .
    Our dog is a 1 yr old BC which we feed twice a day , first in the morning before his 2 hr walk and then early evening after a short walk 30/40 mins.
    Chappie original is his main food , training treats throughout the day and in the evening he eats leftovers. he is eating more than what is recommended but he does seem to be ideal weight. (unlike me).
    While out walking he his constantly looking for food and tries to eat almost anything from , horse & dog poo, sticks,other dogs treats etc. I am dealing with this consistently and hoping he would grow out of this, but the problem is not improving to much at the moment.
    Is this something which young dogs go through and eventually grow out of ,or could his diet be changed gradually to combat this.
    Dez and Paula
     
  2. Lyceum

    Lyceum PetForums VIP

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    Welcome to the forum!

    Do you feed chappie because of stomach problems?

    If not I'd consider changing to a better quality food. Pets at homes own brand wainwrights is £8-ish for 12 trays and it's 70%-ish percent meat.

    Nature diet, natures harvest, natures menu. They're all great, high meat content, quality foods. All can be bought in pets at home.

    TBH, it could just be part of your dogs personality, my youngest staffy x would eat all day if I let him and he constantly acts as though he's never been fed. But unless you feed chappie for a reason (I know some posters do as it's good for sensitive tums), I'd switch.

    As for which food there are MILLIONS of threads. Some pro dry, some pro wet, some pro raw, with every opinion under the sun and many, many discussions about different brands, have a quick dearch for more info. If your dog is used to wet, I'd stick with it.

    Also, I'd check that the left overs you're giving him are all suitable for dogs, there's quite a few things not good for dogs. But in general, left overs are okay. If you're unsure what's okay and what's not, just ask.

    Edit - Thought I'd post some links so you can check out the foods I mentioned.

    http://www.petsathome.com/shop/dog/dog-food-treats/wet-dog-food/?ref1=1|Brand-|Naturediet

    http://www.petsathome.com/shop/dog/dog-food-treats/wet-dog-food/?ref1=1|Brand-|Natures+Harvest

    http://www.petsathome.com/shop/dog/dog-food-treats/wet-dog-food/?ref1=1|Brand-|Natures+Menu

    http://www.petsathome.com/shop/dog/dog-food-treats/wet-dog-food/?ref1=1|Brand-|Wainwrights
     
    #2 Lyceum, Mar 23, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011
  3. lou3

    lou3 PetForums Junior

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    All the BCs I have come across have been notoriously strange eaters, not really fussed about the dinner in their bowl but would take your hand off for a bit of horse poo!

    You need to teach a reliable "leave" command so you can get them to drop anything they pick up, but to do this you are going to need to have something the dog values more than whatever nasty thing they're eating. For a BC I suggest a simple tennis ball.

    As far as food is concerned, chappie is not very good stuff. For wet foods I highly recommend lily's kitchen, nature diet and nature's menu.

    I personally feed a complete dry food as it is more conveniant, cheaper and contains less sugar and a more concentrated nutrition, which results in less poo, less SMELLY poo and (provided there is no wheat or maize content) usually less flatulence as well.

    When deciding which food to feed always look for the following

    * A clear and precise ingredients list - avoid anything with "generic" ingredients like "products of animal origin" that could quite literally be anything. If you couldnt lay it out on a plate with the exact ingredients then dont feed it.
    * NO wheat or maize/corn anywhere on the ingredients list.
    * No soya or other GM ingredients.
    * No artificial additives, flavours or preservatives - in the name of all that is holy do not feed a border collie pedigree chum or bakers complete. The E-numbers in them will mean you never get a moments peace.
    * Where possible the addition of glucosamine, MSM and Chondroitin is beneficial, it is never too early to start thinking about preventative joint care.
    * protein content of around 22-24% for the average pet dog. For puppies and working dogs protein requirement is increased but for pet dogs stick to 24% or less.
    * high meat content, the more grain is in the food the more you will have to feed and the more poo you will end up clearing up, not to mention the adverse effect on the bowels as it passes through.

    With all these things in mind I recommend barking heads, Lily's ktichen and Dicksons. I also feel that James wellbeloved and Burns are acceptable. There is also another one you can get at waitrose that I cant remember the name of off the top of my head that is extremely good.
     
  4. Lyceum

    Lyceum PetForums VIP

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    I don't know about dry containing more concentrated nutrition or producing less waste. Wainwrights wet has over 65% meat content, you'd have to look at the likes of orijen for that in a dry food, and the nice price tag that goes with such a food. My two have smaller poo's on wet than they ever did on dry. But I suppose the wet v dry thing is a matter of opinion. I didn't mention dry as the dog is used to wet, so why change?

    Also protein is dependant on the source, if it's from cereals, yes, stay with lower protein as dogs can't digest it and will convert it to glucose, thus making them hyper. If it's from meat, the dogs digestive system will be able to use it properly. Orijen dry, largely considered the best dry food has over 40% protein, then there's the raw diet, which obviously has higher protein. Yes is known to calm dogs down. It's not about the level, it's about where the protein comes from.

    For the food's you mentioned, I'd not heard of Dicksons, a quick google has left me unimpressed (if I have the right food) as the first ingredient in them all is cereal. I also think burns is stupidly over priced for the 60% rice that's in it. £48 quid for a bag of meat flavoured rice?? Skinners is almost identical ingredients wise (the duck and rice) and is only £20. But if the OP wants to think of dry food thats a different question. Only reason I didn't mention it is the dog is used to wet food.

    The rest I agree with 100%.

    Forgot to mention lily's kitchen, but that's because it's way too expensive for me, I'd end up spending over £10 per day to feed my dogs, but it is without doubt an excellent food. Also Arden Grange partners is an excellent wet food.
     
    #4 Lyceum, Mar 23, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011
  5. lou3

    lou3 PetForums Junior

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    Orijen is indeed a superb food - if you have a working sled husky. For most pet dogs the protein level is too high. Yes to some extent it depends on the balance of amino acids in the proteins available but it does reach the point where it simply is too much and no matter what the percentages of the amino acids in the protein it will still contain enough of the non-essential amino acids that are converted into other things to cause problems.
    Orijen has also been known to cause adverse reactions in a number of dogs (my own dog included - I have half a 50g sample bag still in my cupboard because even a small handful as training treats gives him terrible diarrhoea.). This again is probably due to the extremely high protein content. Its just too rich for a lot of dogs and for that reason I do not recommend it to anyone who does not have a very high-energy demand working dog.

    I did give examples of wet foods I recommended, and honestly ANYTHING is going to give less smelly and less quantity poo than chappie would do. Dry fod SHOULD produce less waste in any case though for the simpel reason that the feeding rates are lower.

    As to why switch? well there's the small amount of evidence that dry is better for their teeth - not something I buy into overly much as good tooth care makes that pretty void but its there nonetheless. There's also the fact that while wet food is more palatable dry food is actually more digestible (provided its of good quality of course). There's also the purely mercenary reason that wet food is a complete rip off. The added weight compared to dry food is predominantly water so with the increased cost of wet vs dry you are pretty much paying for the packaging.

    The dicksons that comes up on google is not the one I am referring to, I dont know where you would find that online, I've only seen it at trade shows - but the ingredients list was very similar to the barking heads, even down to the added glucosamine. I am stumped on that one. I will investigate further.
     
    #5 lou3, Mar 23, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011
  6. lou3

    lou3 PetForums Junior

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    ah ha found it - Dicksons Just Delicious, only launched at crufts this year
    Dicksons Petfood - Home to Dicksons Just Delicious

    In my opinion it is nowhere near as good as barking heads and I wont be switching to it but it is significantly better than most foods on the market.
     
  7. Mum2Heidi

    Mum2Heidi PetForums VIP

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    Hi and welcome.

    Mine dog is a little terrier cross and she has 100% wet food. We tried kibble lots of different brands/variations but she doesnt get on with it.

    I buy Wainwrights wet from P@H and have just started using zooplus online. I like to feed as good as my budget will allow. WW really suits her tum but has a small amount of rice (I'm not so sure that dogs need cereal) - zooplus have cereal free within my budget so I give her both.:D

    Not sure this will help you in any way. Chappie is good and some dogs with tum probs cant cope with anything else but is does have lots of cereals etc and you could find a better quality wet if you wanted to improve their diet.:D
     
  8. lou3

    lou3 PetForums Junior

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    Oh I would also suggest feeding after your walk rather than before, while border collie's are not particularly prone to bloat feeding just before exercise is the number one cause of it and its just that bit safer to feed after exercise rather than before exercise.
     
  9. Lyceum

    Lyceum PetForums VIP

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    There are plenty of pet dogs fed, and doing very well on Orijen.

    Dry food is more digestible? I'm sorry, ask any nutritionist or vet and they'll tell you the exact opposite, dry food is harder to digest than wet. And again, I have to point out, if you want a dry food that isn't at least 60% fillers - you're looking at orijin prices, if you want a wet food that isn't 60% fillers, it'll cost you about 80p a tray. I feed two dogs for £30 on wainwrights, the same high meat content dry would cost me more than double that.

    I don't personally think one is better than the other either way - one has benefits the other doesn't and vice versa. Anyway, lets not turn this thread into a wet v dry thread, that's not what the OP asked. That and we'll get nowhere.

    I stand by my opinion that the OP should stick to wet food as the dog is used to it, and save buying different dry foods to see which the dog likes, and which suits - stick to wet, which it knows and obviously likes.
     
  10. Jasper's Bloke

    Jasper's Bloke PetForums VIP

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    Other than behaviour, you don't mention the food giving the dog any physical problems, so if he is digesting it OK, has no upsets or loose stools and is maintaining a healthy weight then do you really need to change his food? No, it is not the best quality on the market, nor is it in fact the cheapest meal for meal, but if it is not the root cause of the issue you are trying to resolve, then changing that is not going to fix the problem is it. Normally I would say that the diet is lacking something that the dog is searching for somewhere else, be that a particular nutrient or even be it quantity, but in this case another idea springs to mind.

    Now this might be just a theory, but one problem you might have, especially with a BC, is boredom. Not specifically boredom with what you feed but more to do with how you feed it. (Insert imaginary monotonous tone here) The dog knows it's breakfast time and it know's its Chappie will be there in the bowl and all he has to do is be in the right place at the right time and eat his food and tomorrow his food will be in his bowl and so on and so on and so on.

    That's pretty boring, and for a highly intelligent dog who is constantly driven to work it is super boring. The answer to this is to throw away your feeding bowls and make the dog work for each and every mouthful, make him respond to commands, teach him new commands, hide his food and make him search for it, in general, do anything and everything you can to make it more interesting and fun for him!
     
  11. lou3

    lou3 PetForums Junior

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    I am a nutritionist thank you, and yes dry food IS more digestible provided it is of a good quality, bioavailability is better and any grains that are in there are already partially hydrolysed and therefore cause less irritation to the bowel. £30 for how long? A week? a fortnight? a month? I buy Barking heads and a single 12kg bag lasts my boy about 10 weeks and costs me £26.50 plus VAT wholesale. I believe its around £40 at retail prices. For me its less than 50p a day for one dog, buying retail would be just less than 60p per day. Any wet food costing less than that probably belongs in the bin not in the dog's bowl. Barking heads is 52% meat or fish in the regular adult diets, slightly more in the puppy diet and slightly less in the senior and restricted calorie varieties.

    Contrary to your opinion most nutritionists do not believe orijen is the best dry food out there for pet dogs. Yes many of us fully believe it is the best thing you can feed a working sled dog that works for many hours per day, but I dont know a single person with any qualifications worth mentioning that would recommend feeding it to a pet labrador. It is also not suitable for any dog with a sensitive stomach. My dog is far from an isolated case in it causing severe diarrhoea. Several of my colleagues have reported similar problems, either when testing it on their own dogs or encountering it in client's dogs.

    Switching to a dry food is not going to cause the dog any more difficultly than switching to a different wet food is. Switching is switching and will have the same effect. Most companies will provide samples so you can see which suits the dog.
     
    #11 lou3, Mar 23, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011
  12. Lyceum

    Lyceum PetForums VIP

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    Oh, sorry. I'll inform my vet, and every nutritionist that I've ever spoken to that they are wrong, and wet isn't easier to digest than dry at all. And that Orijen isn't considered a god food. Despite having spoken to about 30 nutritionists in the past year, and numerous vets trying to get my boys tum sorted.

    And I didn't say Orijen would be suitable for all dogs, but I wouldn't say that about any food. I said there are many pet dogs fed on it and doing excellently. Although I'm unsure why you gave it to your dog if you think the protein is too high. I'd not give my dogs something I didn't think suitable.

    £30 for a month the wainwrights cost me, a little more now the price has gone up to £8.50 instead of £7.50.

    Barking heads states the ingredients as 26% fresh meat and 26% dried meat, so I'm sure, being a nutritionist you'll be aware, it wont, in actual fact have 52% meat as the fresh meat will make up much less of the overall meat content when dehydrated.

    Either way, you like dry, that's your choice. I don't really wanna get involved in moving this thread even more off topic. That's no help to the op.
     
    #12 Lyceum, Mar 23, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011
  13. DezPaula

    DezPaula PetForums Newbie

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    Thankyou all for your ideas and your advice is most welcome. It is Chappie original Dry food which we have been using. We will be looking to change to a different food now , taking on board your advice regarding the meat and protein content and other factors. I will also start feeding him after his walks .

    Some great ideas here with the different feeding methods too.
    Most of the basic commands are in place but to get him to release or leave undesirable food is still a problem. At home or in the garden he will leave or drop anything we don't want him to have.

    While walking off the lead is where the problem is. It turns into a game with me trying to get nasty foods from him . Recall is ignored each time i will empty his mouth and put him back on the lead but the moment i take his lead off again he instantly goes in search of things again. So i came to the conclusion that he either see's this as a game (fun) or perhaps he is not getting all the requirements he needs from his food.

    I don't really want to walk him on the lead longer than necessary and he does enjoy running around and his exercise. He has a great temperament and is good with other dogs and owners. We just need to combat him eating rubbish when he goes off the lead.

    thanks again dez and Paula
     
  14. Lyceum

    Lyceum PetForums VIP

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    Ah, then yes, I'd get him off that ASAP. Chappie wet is good for upset tums, chappie dry is just, well crap. But good on you for checking it out, since you don't know till you ask.

    Dry foods you might want to look at are, Fish4dogs, acana, Orijen, barking heads, Arden Grange (the lamb and rice is great value and an excellent food), Simpsons (they do grain free with a decent meat content), pets at homes wainwrights, skinners (either duck and rice or salmon and rice), CSJ do some good foods, taste of the wild. I always forget some too.
     
  15. WelshOneEmma

    WelshOneEmma PetForums VIP

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    We tried a variety of foods with Piper. She loved the Applaws food, but its very expensive, so I now make her food. I buy a load of meat and veg at the beginning of the month, cook them up with a bit of brown rice (the meat is cooked separately and then shredded) and then portioned up (lamb and veg, beef and veg, chicken and veg and mixed fish). They then get frozen. I spent £35 on meat, veg and fish (admittedly it wasnt value stuff, and the fish were all filleted portions) and made 46 meals. Far cheaper and i know everything that goes in her food. She always licks the bowl clean and is in good condition. 3 hours cooking and i have most of a months meals.

    It may not work for everyone, but it does for us. Piper hated raw food (still has raw bones) so this is what we have come up with.
     
  16. cinnamontoast

    cinnamontoast Sois pas chiant, chéri.

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    My first two puppies went through a stage of being unable to pass horse poo but grew out of that, thank God (sadly, the new pups are exactly the same!)

    Some dogs are hugely food motivated and it may be that your dog is. I imagine the Chappie is not very filling. You're giving him a lot of exercise-possibly a bit much for a dog his age?

    If you want to keep him interested, maybe buy him a Kong toy, stuff it, freeze it, (search his section or stuff you can cram in one) make him work for his food. I find mental games and new experiences wear out my little ones.
     
  17. Jasper's Bloke

    Jasper's Bloke PetForums VIP

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    I would imagine that if he is not fed until after his walk then he would be hungry during the walk, would that not increase his drive to seek out undesirable food whilst off lead? If he is fed before (never directly before or after, risk of bloat) the walk then his hunger should be at least partially satisfied.

    The 'Leave' command is based on a trade. The dog has something you want (as in you don't want him to have it) and so you teach the dog that if he gives it to you then he will get something better. Simple, but effective. The problem is that different things have different values to the dog in different places and what works at home may not necessarily work in the middle of the forest. Try training Leave again with something of higher value to him and then continue this training during walks. When we are out my dog will rarely work for food, but he does love to chase and carry a good stick, there is absolutely nothing of greater value to him, apart from the other stick in my hand that I wave about and throw for him before picking up the original stick and repeating the process. Again, very simple but very effective.

    I think you are right, it is a game, so the way to stop the behaviour is to stop playing the game. Chase me is a rubbish game if no one is chasing you. As above teach him instead that if he gives up what he has then he will get something better. You are also teaching him that when he does recall to you he loses his new treasure anyway and that play time is over because he gets put back on the lead, which is not very good motivation for him to come to you when you tell him.
     
  18. DezPaula

    DezPaula PetForums Newbie

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    Update.
    We have now gradually changed his food to Purina Pro Plan he seems to be enjoying and getting on with this .
    Things are also getting better when he is walking off lead ,as regards to eating anything outside . 6/7 times out of 10 he will leave bad food when told , which is a big improvement . I have started using diversion tactics when he sees dog/horse pooh ,with a ball /toy /stick this seems to be working although not perfect yet i think we are going in the right direction . We also bought a kong toy which we use in the house with small treats.
    thanks dezpaula
     
  19. angelab

    angelab PetForums Newbie

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    Dicksons Just Delcious is Gluten free and has a lot of good stuff in it including a Pro-biotic, Vetoxan which helps the dog's digestive system. I gave a bag to my accountant who has rescued a dog (Lurcher cross) from a homing centre. They were given a bag of Hills and the dog would not it it and refused to eay for days. They then tried the dog on Just Deliicious and he ate the lot. The dog has now settled in to his new home and is in good condition. It is used by a lot of Top Breeders apparently so it is a good food. I understand that the brand used to be called Berrimans but the new Berrminans on the market is made by someone else and I am told is not the same product.
     
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