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help with food for German Shep, all very confusing and need some direction please :)

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by loulou87, Apr 5, 2011.


  1. loulou87

    loulou87 PetForums Junior

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    Hello All,

    I get my german shepherd on Saturday, she is 2 years old, full pedigree and currently eating Arden Grange Lamb and Rice. I am happy to keep her on this although its quite expensive so thought about looking at alternatives. I went to the pet shop and they said i should switch her to Wagg dry food but she only explained that it was cheaper!

    Honestly im not bothered about cost (within reason) and want Leah to be happy and healthy so ive been looking around and found a couple of foods that seem decent enough and wondered whether anyone has any expenrience of using them? and what they are like?

    Ive bought 2 15kg bags of arden grange because i know thats what she has at the moment and if im going to change her food i will need to do it gradually.

    Any help would be really appreciated.

    Ive looked at the following:
    Wagg
    Skinners
    James Wellbeloved
    Burns
    and of course Arden Grange.

    Arden grange is around £40 a bag and i know the others (accept waggs) are also around the same so dont know whether it would be best to switch her onto something of the same price or better or whetther thats the best for the price range im in?!

    Very difficult and confusing to make the right decision!! any help would be great :)

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. henry

    henry PetForums VIP

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    Hi - Arden Grange Lamb is an excellent quality food (AG breed German Shepherds themselves).

    I would personally stick with the AG Lamb - look on Berriewoods Wholesale - you can usually get 2 x AG Lamb 15kg bags for around £56 delivered. They are the plain brown Breeder Bags but are exactly the same as the green bags.

    Would definitely NOT change to Wagg - AG is far superior!

    Good luck. Claire
     
  3. henry

    henry PetForums VIP

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    OK - just had a look on Berriewoods for you and they are doing 2 sacks AG Lamb for £52.25 including delivery - BARGAIN!! Claire
     
  4. SixStar

    SixStar Banned

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    I believe Arden Grange can be brought for about £25 per sack online from same places. I don't use it myself but I'm sure I've heard people mention it on here before. Skinners feild & trial (duck, salmon or turkey) has alot of good reports, and is afforable too. Burns is alot of money for something which is over 60% rice! Out of your list the only one I've used is James Wellbeloved, I've been using it over ten years and have no problems with it at all, it's a good food IMO.

    Things like Wagg etc are cheap for a reason- they're full of nasty ingredients, cheap fillers and very little meat. You also have to feed loads more than you would a higher quality food, so they don't always work out cheaper!

    You could also look into the BARF diet, which can work out very cheaply. I feed my dogs part kibble and part BARF (kibble one day, BARF the next) and it works out very cost effective. I only buy about 40% of my BARF, the rest I get free from the butchers and fishmongers. It's great for them, they love it and it makes the kibble last longer. There are plenty of raw threads on here for you to have a look at if you fancy giving it ago :)
     
  5. loulou87

    loulou87 PetForums Junior

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    thanks for getting back to me so quickly.

    With regard to raw feeding i have looked into it but decided against it purely because of the amount of time it takes (i understand that some might think its being lazy!) i need something a little more conveniant so i can concentrate on getting her out and about. I think i will give her a raw chicken carcass once a week as apparently its good to keep her teeth in check? I guess i would have to give her the whole chicken? an organic one with no antibiotics injected etc.

    I think shes a little underweight at the moment so want to build her up. I know its not a case of just feeding extra and someone mentioned that tripe is good if mixed with her food, any thoughts?

    I think ill stick to arden grange because the breeder im getting her from mentioned that she has always used it and her dogs are in great condition. I just wondered whether wagg was too good to be true- but i guess most things have a catch and id rather Leah have good quality and a healthy life. Just want to do the best for her.

    Is it a good idea to give her different flavours? I know the dogs weve had previously have eaten a variety of meats and im not sure with the dried foods whether to keep her on the one? I worry it might get a bit boring for her?

    Thanks
     
  6. henry

    henry PetForums VIP

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    You could change flavours if you wanted every bag or so. What I do is feed some wet food for dinner like Naturediet to bring in different meats.
     
  7. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    I think I'd stick to the Arden Grange if I were you. As has already been said you can get two bags for just over £50 from Berriewoods and other suppliers.

    GSD's tend to have sensitive stomachs and if you start fiddling about with food, it may well cost you a lot more in the long run.
     
  8. Lyceum

    Lyceum PetForums VIP

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  9. SixStar

    SixStar Banned

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    Don't worry, raw feeding isn't for everyone, just like dry food feeding or wet food feeding isn't for everyone. It's all about what suits different dogs and owners. You're right though raw meat and bones are great for keeping teeth clean and healthy- tearing meat from the bone acts like a floss, cleaning between the teeth, and the crunching of the bone helps to remove plaque. If you fancy giving her a little bit of raw, just for the dental care benefits, then a chicken quarter or a few lamb ribs (with meat on) a couple of times a week should do the trick. You can also feed chicken drumsticks, wings and thighs but be careful with a larger dog that they don't just bolt them whole- make sure you hold onto the bone as they chew for the first few times whilst they get the hang of crunching and chewing before swallowing. The chicken (or any meat) needn't be organic, no. That's up to you.

    Feeding little and often is the best way to build up an underweight dog. When I adopted my greyhounds they were very underweight and they had 3 small meals a day, I also gave them lactol, which is a puppy milk- full of calories and nutrients to help put the weight on, and a high calories paste called calopet. Lamb is a very good meat for helping dogs to gain weight- I used to use a bit of lamb Naturediet mixed in their food too.

    In regards to the different flavours, thats completely up to you. Some dogs do better sticking with 1 flavour- for example, my greyhounds can only eat the six fish Orijen, they don't do as well on any of the other flavours, but my other 3 dogs have James Wellbeloved, and I swap flavours everytime I buy a new bag and they love the variety. You can also use things like canned fish, high quality wet food, natural yoghurt, stock, fish oils or raw veg to mix through the kibble, to add a bit of variety.
     
  10. Ducky

    Ducky PetForums VIP

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    id definitely stick with the AG. i use it with my two and htey look fabby on it. really good food.

    as has been said, you can buy it pretty cheap online.
     
  11. ian1969uk

    ian1969uk PetForums Member

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    Arden Grange is an excellent food.

    If you are considering introducing a little wet food as well, you could do much worse than the Wainwright's wet trays from Pets at Home. Their Wainwright's dry is good too, although imo not as good as their Fishmongers dry, which is a really good food and an excellent topper for the wet trays.
     
  12. loulou87

    loulou87 PetForums Junior

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    im not sure how underweight she is so ill get her to the vets when i collect her on saturday (VERY excited!) then i can decide if i need to supplement her food and ill deffo give the puppy milk a try to help her add some weight. 3 times a day feeding will be fine and i can easily fit another meal over my lunchbreak in.
    I looked up on raw feeding cause i thought it would be a good idea but after all the prep and the anmount of time id take finding the meat and chopping it all up i just dont think id have the time. id rather not mess her around and keep chopping and changing and as long as she puts weight on once i get her I hope that she will be happy on arden grange. if not ill be back asking more questions!
    She is a german shepherd so a large breed i guess it might be best to give her something larger to keep her teeth healthy so she doesnt swallow it whole, but i read somewhere that she shouldnt have legs or anything cause they can chip her teeth cause they are so strong. do i have to freeze everything due to bacteria? any feedback on tripe to gain weight? this is what the woman in the pet shop said but after researching apparently it can upset their stomach and should be introduced slowly?

    Sorry for all the questions just dont want to get it wrong!! :)
     
  13. SixStar

    SixStar Banned

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    I've got a Mastiff and a Bernese Mountain Dog, so both much larger than your GSD, and they have wings, drumsticks and thighs, and have lamb and pork ribs too- doesn't matter about the size of the dog, providing they learn to chew the meat and bone properly (thats why holding onto the bone while they chew is recommended for the first little while) :) Any chicken bone is fine, the leg bones you are talking about (weight bearing bones) that shouldn't be given due to teeth cracking are generally considered to be ones from sheep, pigs or cattle- since these are just too hard and dense, because they support so much weight, chicken bones are fine as they are all resonably soft.

    Tripe is great for putting on weight, it can cause runny tums if not introduced properly, but all foods should be slowly introduced anyway. Get yourself a pack of Prize Choice tripe mince for ease, and start off with just a little bit (50g or so) and build up bit by bit- it shouldn't cause tummy upsets that way. Do remember not to feed raw and cooked foods too close together though- if you're going to be giving both in the same day, make sure they are as far apart as you can get them- ie, kibble in morning, raw in evening.

    Only meats that NEED to be frozen are pork and game, and some say beef. Chicken is fine to give as you buy it- straight from the pack to the dog.
     
  14. Malmum

    Malmum PetForums VIP

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    If you're looking for a cheap, healthy way to feed a large dog go with BARF. I can feed six dogs 60-57-43-10-8 & 2kgs for just over £50 per month! And that's just because I buy veg and goats milk which ups the cost by about £10. ;)
     
  15. Lyceum

    Lyceum PetForums VIP

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    About the raw - if prep is the only thing putting you off (it put me off too, so I understand), you can buy pre made raw packs. Natural instinct and darlings are two great sites, they sell pre made complete raw blocks, defrost and put in the bowl, no prep needed.

    But AG is a great food.
     
  16. loulou87

    loulou87 PetForums Junior

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    thanks for all your replies really appreciate it. Its not the prep of the raw food that puts me off, its the amount of time i need to spend sorting it out and making sure she gets everything she needs, like she needs 10% offal, 10% bone and 80% meat and so it uses lots of brain power!! lol
    i think for now ill stick to dry and possibly feed a carcass each week and see how it goes. i really would like to lookinto raw feeding though as i think its probably alot better for her. just need to get the weight onto her before i start.

    I understand raw digests at a different speed to dry so i need to keep them apart so will do so. once i weigh her anf find out what weight she is ill get looking into the cost and see how it will work out. its more the conveineance of dry food i like to be honest but dont want her to be comprimised for my own conveinience either!

    :)
     
  17. Lyceum

    Lyceum PetForums VIP

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    As I said, the likes of natural instinct, it's all done. You buy the blocks, keep them frozen, defrost required amount and put in bowl. It's complete, with the correct amount of offal, bone, meat etc.

    Not trying to push you into raw, just saying it's all done for you by some companies. All you need to do is defrost and dish up. Feed extra to put weight on, less to drop it. There's even a calculator online that you put the dogs current weight in, tell it if you want to drop weight, maintain current or gain, and it tells you how much to feed per day.
     
  18. loulou87

    loulou87 PetForums Junior

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    thanks, i had a look on the natural instinct site yesterday, im feeling i might be converted but its still expensive, say £3 (excluding lamb) for a KG and i feed 700g a day (i guess thats about right). i would need 21KG a month (say 30 days. that would cost £63 a month.
    the breeder im getting Leah from gives her 500g of Arden grange a day which means a bag for say £35 lasts a month so by using dry food i save £28 and shes already used to the AG. But im not sure that the AG amount is enough,. like i said previously she is quite thin but i dont know whether thats the reason.
    Another think with raw food is storing it all. I know a few people on here have seperate freezers for them which might be an option but i think if i could figure it out myself and get the meat for myself it would be much cheaper. just need to get my head around it and make sure i have the time to do it all.
    im deffo going to give her a carcass or bone a week to keep her teeth clean- ill keep an eye on her though so she doesnt choke.
    really appreciate all your help :)
     
  19. lovewhitegermanshepherds

    lovewhitegermanshepherds PetForums Junior

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    hi i have had thoughts about changing from arden grange but have changed my mind i have two shepherds alfie who is 3 is not keen on the lamb and rice so i get him salmon and rice and he is fine on that kia who is 19 weeks is fed on arden grange large puppy and she is also doing fine on it find that shepherds are fussy but you just have to ignore it as they get fussier!! i do add frozen minced dog food to spice it up but i have to cook it they will not touch raw at all :(
     
  20. SmokeyRabbit

    SmokeyRabbit PetForums Member

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    My shephard cross collie has two meals of Butchers tinned food a day plus a couple of handfulls of James Wellbeloved or wagg complete dry with each meal. Does him fine, He also has winalot shapes,pointers liver squares and liver cake as the ocassional treat.
     
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