I'm changing dog foods

Hi everyone long time since I posted.
So I have an uncastrated male schnauzer and have been feeding gentle dried for probably around 8 months now. He enjoys the food.

I can’t seem to keep a good weight on him. I was feeding 1.2% of his desired body weight of 8kg for a while but his weight fell. I upped his food on advice from gentle but his weight is dropping still. I supplement his diet with healthy treats fruit and veg too.

He’s not been very well over the last few days. One thing with Zeus is he does drink water but I don’t think enough.

I’m thinking of changing him back to a wet food mainly for the moisture content but also to try to get a little weight on him.

I am thinking of wainwrights grain free however it has a fairly high fat level. Do you think this will cause him problems being a miniature schnauzer?im sure I’ve read somewhere to not feed to high a fat diet to them.

He’s currently 7.4kg. He was 8kg a few months ago when I was feeding natures menu. (could go back to that too).

Many thanks

That is quite a bit of weight loss. As you know, the fat content in cold pressed food is modest. You could continue with it though and top up with some raw, cooked meat or wet complete but it all adds to the expense and output. As you have already discussed it with the company and due to the fact that your dog is already at the top of the RDA it might be best to find something else.

Most of the quality wet foods contain higher amounts of fat and might be better for your Schnauzer. Wainwright’s should fit the bill, as would Naturediet. There are so many good wet food products now so it would be useful for you to do a search of the Dog Food Directory before making a choice.

I don’t know anything about the breed so if there is a propensity for digestive problems it might be best to discuss with experienced breeders. Fortunately there is a UK Schnauzer forum here.

You ask about Natures Menu - if it was the nuggets that you used, check out the new range on the Dog Food Directory as the fat level is higher now. Of course this could be good for your dog.

If you are not averse to kibble, maybe something like Canagan may be worth considering. It has a higher protein and fat level than cold pressed but is still in the moderate range. They also have a wet food in cans.

Hi Dottie hope you’re well. Thanks for the reply.
I think he feels boney. He looks in good health but I think he could do with a bit more weight on him.

I used to feed natures menu tinned… The chicken one which he did enjoy.

For him I think a wet food is better as I want him to get the moisture too as he doesn’t drink a lot of water really. The other thing is he goes to doggy day care during for day and whilst they will provide water I just can’t imagine him having much. For example when I get him home he always goes straight to his bowl here for water.

Well I’ve been feeding 108g of gentle a day which is really for a 10kg dog, even at the higher end of the scale. I would prefer to feed one food rather than topping up etc.

I think I will go back to natures menu. I did have a look on the dog food directory and the fibre levels are higher in nm than wainwrights as well.

So he’s not been well the last couple of days as well. I took him to the vet last night and he gave him an anti nausea injection which helped. Today he’s just had some chicken but not a lot.

I think I’ll go back to nm and monitor his weight over the next month or so and see how we get on.

I’ll take a look on schnauzer forum too.

Thanks so much

That is a tricky one as I believe that Zeus may have an increased risk of diabetes due to his breed. Would it be worth having him checked out by a vet given his weight loss. It doesn’t sound like diabetes if he is not drinking or peeing excessively but perhaps that would be something to keep an eye out for. I don’t really know what the advice is RE fat levels in diabetes prevention but I would imagine that it is sensible to keep the carbs at a reasonable level so as not to stress his pancreas. In which case, as Dottie says, some of the higher protein low carb food may suit him.

I did find this which give some advice on the subject

Thanks for that. The vet always seems okay with his weight. It’s probably just me being a feeder thinking he needs to put weight on. However I know him and can tell he’s a bit skinny.

I will see how we get on and if his weight doesn’t Increase a little I will take him to the vet to check about the diabetes situation.

Wet food is a good choice, particularly the NM cans. I can see it being better to have one food rather than topping up. I find that when I change products it takes me a few weeks to get the RDA right. If that’s the case with you, perhaps see how he’s doing at the end of about a month and if still worried, maybe see the vet again. It’s good that he has been checked over by the vet. Please let us know how you get on.

Good plan, I will let you know.
He’s just had some NM which he enjoyed and is now curled up next to me on the sofa. He seems to be on the mend now.
Just for info, I have his pet insurance through Tesco; who offer a vetfone service. I’ve called them a few times over the last 18 months for advice. You speak to a vet nurse and they are very good - always had great service and reassurance from them - would recommend.

Aw - it’s good that he enjoyed the NM. Mine had the pouches for a little while and loved them but it was a bit expensive for three of them, especially when I added in the cost of insurance etc. I hope he gains weight with it.

I too have Tesco insurance and have no complaints except it gets more expensive year on year. This year I reduced the cost by upping the excess to £120. I then calculated the difference between that, and the previous £60 excess policy. The sum was added to the direct debit that I have for my veterinary surgery. This has worked really well because the majority of consultations are for things that never reach the insurance company. I’ve recently take two of the dogs for small issues and had nothing to pay as I was well in credit. :slight_smile:

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I changed my mini schnauzer to lukullus cold pressed. He seemed to slim down too despite feeding recommended amount. He now has nature menu free flow lamb and chicken mince with it which he loves and no more weight loss. The tins of mixed flavours lukullus were on offer at zooplus and he’s had some of those which he likes.

You have to be careful with fat content as schnauzers are prone to pancreatitis.

I don’t think my mini drinks enough either and he won’t drink out of a bowl another dog has like yours, give him a puddle though ;D. He’s very fussy with wet food will only eat the firm type cut in chunks won’t touch the pouch type wet.

That probably explains why when I get him home from doggy day care he has a lot of water.
Good advice will take that on board. He’s not himself still at the moment am hoping tomorrow he’ll have perked up a little

I note you were feeding 1.2% of ideal weight & upped it but yiu dont indicate new percentage.

If dog is active then may need significantly more than 1.2%.

With decent quality dried kibble I have fed 1.6% to an adult lab (active)

If concerned re water then pre-soak or serve in higher water ammount.

Despite this - If serious re feeding raw complete maybe look at other brands that review relatively well.

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Hi there,
I’ve just gone back over my mails to gentle.
let me start again.

So originally I was feeding 90g per day of Gentle, in 2 meals which based on 8kg dog works out at around 1.1% of the body weight. I then increased to 1.3% of body weight 3 months ago (104g per day). In addition, each day he’s been having either a fish skin chew, or a peanut butter chew (good quality ones) and a few dog biscuits.

The last few days he’s been ill - he still is ill. We’re currently back on just chicken breast only and I have some tinned pumpkin coming in a few hours to put a spoon in with his chicken.

He’s had the runs since Saturday morning. I haven’t helped for giving him a bit of natures menu yesterday morning. I know I shouldn’t have done and just stuck to the chicken but just wanted him to eat some more.

So, current plan is going to be to feed chicken breast and a little pumpkin (it’s the pure one), until firm stools and then re-introduce food - I think I’ll be sticking to gentle as the fat content is moderate. I just want to get him back to a stable diet before making any changes as the last few days have been a bit of a nightmare really

I should think that many of us will have been in a similar situation where we have had a poorly dog and thought that if we tried something different it will help matters. I know I have. Trouble is, it is the worst time to make changes so I think you are right to stick with Gentle until this is sorted. It sounds like something is going on in his gut - maybe colitis. This can settle down on its own with either starving the dog or giving a light diet but as it has been going on for a few days, it may be time to see the vet.

The amount of Gentle that you are giving is not out of the way in my view and yes, with the pancreatitis issue then it seems an appropriate fat content. I suspect that some of us cold pressed users top up with protein foods - that is maybe why Gentle introduced Pure. I know you said that you didn’t want to top up but it is perhaps worth a second thought. I’ve found that it works well with my three but I have to give only 1% of (ideal) body weight to two of them. The little one has 1.2% because she does not gain weight so easily.

I do hope he is soon well again. Please let us know. I hate it when the little ones are poorly. :frowning:

I took him out earlier and runs again. I’ve just fed him a small amount of chicken with 1 tbls pumpkin puree. I actually ended up doing an online shop with ocado just to get the pumpkin! (couldn’t find it elsewhere)… Will let you know how we get on. I will look Into pure I have seen it on their site but never really looked at it in detail

I’m also annoyed with myself as I know full well a change in diet will cause issues but I must’ve been desperate that’s all I can think of…i don’t think the natures menu is the complete cause I think something is going on in his little gut

I hope he improves soon. What a worry they are at times. My dog won’t drink from a communal bowl either.

Agree re changing foods making it difficult to settle a very loose stool dog.

I have tried chicken with rice, egg, a little bio yoghurt etc on prior advice.

Yoghurt seemed to help albeit I often find significantly reducing portions of normal food or even skipping a meal in intense looseness best…so long as fresh water available assuming dodgy tum or scavenging related output.

He had no change in diet prior to being unwell. We never give him any table leftovers. He has his fair share of treats but we’re consistent with what we give him. I can’t help but think he had something at doggy day care last Thurs as it was Fri morning he was off his food, which hasn’t happened since he was a pup.

Probably me being paranoid but when someone else if looking after your dog you’ve no idea what’s really going on.

I think I’d starve him for 24-36 hrs while giving him pro-kolin paste and plenty of available fresh water. It will give his gut chance to rest and the pro-kaolin will get the bacteria back in balance. Then introduce small amount of chicken, I use cooked sweet potato instead of pumpkin, or his usual gentle.

I’m going to see how he gets on tomorrow. If there’s no improvement from giving chicken and pumpkin come Wednesday morning then I’m going to take him back to the vet as like I say he’s not drinking a lot of water. Hopefully he is getting some water from the chicken and pumpkin.