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Feeding advice for malinois please


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Hi all,
I'm new to the forum and would really appreciate some feeding advice. Sorry if this is a long post, but I feel I need to provide a bit of background info.
I live in Cyprus and have 3 dogs. One is a approx 20 month old Belgian Malinois. He was about 3 months old when we found him wandering down the road. Probably abandoned (unfortunately common practice here in Cyprus). He became quite ill when he was young with infections and was frequently at the vets for days at a time. He's doing a lot better now, but the biggest problem we still face is soft stools and weight gain. He also suffers from skin allergies. Blood tests have shown that there is nothing medically wrong with him, but I just can't find anything to feed him on that will keep his stools firm and help him put on a bit of weight.
Ideally I would like to Raw Feed him, but I'm not able to source meat cheap enough here to do that, so after he came off the prescription diet I started feeding him Acana Lamb and Apple. The stools improved slightly but some days were worse than others. Somebody advised that the protein levels might be too high for him, so I switched him to James Welbeloved. Things went down hill and so I introduced him slowly back onto the Acana and tried adding pasta or potato to help with the weight gain. Diarrhea and skin got worse, so I stopped that. I tried adding additional fiber to his food, in the hope that this would regulate him better, as we were now starting to have problems with his anal glands. This also hasn't helped. It's not fluid diarrhea that he has, just that his stools are 90% of the time too soft. I just don't know what else I can do to help him, so please. any advice will be greatly appreciated.
James Wellbeloved is what we have used for the last 12 years and it's supposed to be one of the best. Have you tried him on some probiotic tablets to try and bring his stomach back to health?
James Wellbeloved is what we have used for the last 12 years and it's supposed to be one of the best. Have you tried him on some probiotic tablets to try and bring his stomach back to health?
This food isnt a bad food so to speak, but its not one of the best and usually scores 3-3.5 out of 5 on independent food reviews..i think one of the problems is its not gluten free, which can make skill problems worse so it isnt really suitable for all dogs, especially ones who are more sensitive and prone to skin allergies

Things like natural probiotic yogurt added to his food can help with tummy problems, as can swapping him slowly to a grain free diet, Although i dont feed raw to my dogs its very good at sorting out the pet food stores there sell ready prepared raw/frozen raw like they do here?
Thank you for your reply's. I always used to feed my dogs on James Wellbeloved and never had any problems. Unfortunately they have changed the ingredients slightly and the main bulk of the ingredients now are brown and white rice. Also you are right Raven oaktree, its not grain free. The Acana Lamb & Apple that I feed him on now is grain free. In fact its probably one of the best foods I could feed him on. It's a single meat source and apparently mimics a raw diet but in kibble. I'm not able to get the ready prepared raw/frozen here which is a shame. Abattoirs don't sell to the general public, so I would have to get meat from a butcher/supermarket which would work out really expensive. Apart from pork, meat is pretty expensive here. I did try probiotic yogurt before and its difficult to tell if it helped or not, as he was going through a bad patch. I'll try it again and see if it helps, thanks.
Hi Elliem, and welcome to DogForum :)

Unfortunately Belgian and German Shepherds are renowned for their dodgy stomachs, and if it isn't possible to have a properly balanced raw diet where you live then struggling to find anything which will suit your dog is the only way forwards. I know loads of people who have sheps that just aren't well on anything that has been cooked, mine included. She even has diarrhoea on plain cooked beef mince, whereas she can eat it raw with no problems. Sadly if your little one has a gut that only copes with raw food there won't really be a true alternative- we tried every food we could find before ending up trying a raw diet, but then we're lucky that we live within a mile of a really good raw feeding shop.

I'd go with a course of yoghurt on a meal each day for a couple of months to see whether that helps too, and while he's on it do a diary of what is happening every day so you can look back and see whether there were fewer days with a problem. It's not likely to harm him as long as he's not too badly lactose allergic. If he has a problem with it then you could try sheep or goat milk yoghurt, as that usually doesn't trigger the same problems (and should be available in any country that produces feta cheese! I know that Total make a plain goat milk and a mixed goat and sheep milk yoghurt).

Good luck :)
Hi eingana, thank you for the welcome and the good advice :))

I really would love to switch him to Raw, as I do think it would be the best thing for him, but if I start one I know I'll have to feed it to all 3 and I really can't afford that here. One of my other dogs is a Malinois x Dutch Shepherd and I've been really lucky with her. No tummy problems and she can eat anything.

I think I will just have to continue with the Acana and yoghurt for the time being and see how it goes. If he doesn't improve, then I'll have to switch to Raw and feed him separately from the others.

Thanks again

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