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What should I give a senior dog?

Discussion in 'Dog Food and Diet' started by Turpentine, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. Turpentine

    Turpentine New Member Registered

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    Hello, I am fostering a senior german shepherd, and I am not sure about what kind of food is best for him. Since I am a student and I only work weekends, I can't afford good quality food... so I was thinking about buying a cheap one and an expensive one and mixing them, so he gets to eat more. Is it a good idea or is it terrible?
    I have also been giving him chicken feet and other stuff my butcher doesn't sell( he gives it to me for free)
    I started up a gofundme for him, but I don't think I am going to be able to get enough money for food (vet is being paid for the shelter until I can adopt him)
    Could you give me tips? dog food brands? Thank you so much
    This is him by the way. His name is Tsar :)
    [​IMG]
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    He is a handsome lad. Some 'expensive' dog foods actually work out cheaper because you can feed smaller amounts.

    Have a look at www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk

    It is an independent dog food comparison website which scores all types of foods (dry, raw, wet) on a scale of 0 to 5. You can set filters for your dog's weight, age etc and choose to view only the foods scoring, say, 3.5 and above. Then you can show them listed according to daily feeding cost so you can see what gives you best value for money. It has its limitations but it's a decent place to start.

    Also, seniors (humans too!) don't absorb nutrients from their food as efficiently as youngsters so a plant based enzyme as a supplement can help them get more value from what they eat and might be worth looking into.

    If you are feeding raw your butcher will probably have loads of scraps you can give him - @excuseme and @JudyN feed raw and can likely add more (sorry for anyone else I have missed but I'm not sure about some of the others).
     
  3. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    It's possible to feed raw very cheaply (DAF and Albion spring to mind, though I'm not that familiar with them), particularly if you have a friendly butcher, and in many people's opinion it's the best possible diet. You do need to have a reasonable amount of freezer space though unless you can buy locally.

    If you're interested, we can give you all the advice you need on how much you'd have to feed and making sure it's balanced - just ask.
     
  4. Dibbythedog

    Dibbythedog Active Member Registered

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    Is this a rescue foster. The rescue should help.
     
  5. excuseme

    excuseme Well-Known Member Registered

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    Oh what a happy looking chappy, I do love the oldies so much:rolleyes:

    Cheap grain filled food is not very good for our dogs, the grain is a bulking agent and our dogs digestive systems do not process these very easily (resulting in HUGE smelly poo's) and in other cases it can cause a multitude of various health issues.
    Our dogs tummies do not need to be over filled with food and our oldies do not need to carry a lot of weight either. A lean oldie is much healthier and can enjoy an active life a lot easier than one that is heavy.

    You are lucky to have a butcher to help, and the chicken feet are a good start:D
    I too have a very handy butcher who will give me FOC a bin full every week of assorted off cuts and waste/unwanted meat trimmings from animals designated for human consumption.
    Most of my butchers waste is usable, there will be pieces of chicken carcuses and bones, fat, gristle, sometimes pieces of offal, and an assortment of many other animal bone types. all of which are usable and nutritious for our dogs. All of the butchers meats are to be fed raw.
    I sometimes get a lot of fat in my bin which is too much, I chop this up and feed to our wild birds.
    There is no need to worry about "balanced" meals as this variety will naturally balance itself over a period of a few weeks.
    As mentioned by Judy, it is useful if you have a bit of freezer space available for a few days storage.
    There are commercial suppliers of frozen products too, Pets at home usually supply frozen foods.
    There is no reason why you should not feed a kibble and raw product, I have never found this a problem.
    If you wish to "fill" your chap up, use some vegetables, gently steamed for a couple of minutes or better still as raw.

    If you need to use the kibbles, try looking for a "Grain " free type, these may be more expensive but less is needed to be fed!
    Please remember that your chap does not need to eat more:eek: he just needs a good nutritious food product.

    Do take a look at the website mentioned by JoanneF "All about dog food"
    this can be very useful too.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
  6. Turpentine

    Turpentine New Member Registered

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    Thank you,he is lovely indeed !
    Yea I know about that, I'm just worried he won't feel "full" . I started giving my other german shepherd the brand pedigree (375 g a day ) and she just seemed hungry all the time,which I want to avoid...

    Thank you so much! I will have a look at that website.
    I'll also take that into account, thank you :) I give him olive oil and coconut oil when I can buy it (it's so expensive!)

    I'm not sure I am able to give him only a raw diet, my butcher is not big, it's just a small shop so I don't think I'd have enough scraps to be honest? That's why I was thinking about feeding him both raw and dry( separate days, I know it takes different times to digest and all of that)

    Thank you so much!
     
  7. Turpentine

    Turpentine New Member Registered

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    How much do you think it is a month? My butcher is friendly and gives me all scraps he has but I don't think they'd be enough for two german shepherds...that's why I thought about giving them both raw and dry food.
    The freezer space is also a problem , I am living with other people so I only have limited space :I

    But I'd like to know about it anyway, any advice you can give me is really welcome! So please do tell me !
     
  8. Turpentine

    Turpentine New Member Registered

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    The way this fostering works, they pay for his vet bills ,but I pay for his food,treats,bed,sleash...all that stuff
     
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  9. Turpentine

    Turpentine New Member Registered

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    He is just a happy old man ! So grateful to be in a place where he is loved and cared for.
    That's why I want to buy dry food that's not like. All grains and then like a 4% meat...because I know that that's really bad for them. So I thought about getting Eukanuba (I think it's got like a 30-40%meat)then mixing it with pedigree(has about a 15-20%) And also giving them raw meat any time I have it.
    He is around 36 kg, according to the vet I should maintain his weight like that (although I think he is a little bit fat)
    That's really good you're giving them so much raw meat! I wish my butcher had a bigger shop and more variety.. that's the problem I have, with the amount he gives me, I won't have enough for both dogs :I And I don't think it's fair to give only one of them a raw diet.
    Ohh he loves vegetables! I was quite surprised , because my other german shepherd wont eat anything that's not meat based hahaha
    He really likes carrot and green beans, been giving them to him raw because he likes crunchy stuff! He likes watermelon too, is it toxic? wouldn't want him getting ill..

    Thank you so much!
     
  10. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Let's see... as you think he might be a tad overweight, I'll base it on a weight of 34kg. Dogs usually need 2-3% of their bodyweight in raw food a day. Call it 2.5% and I make that 0.86kg per day. As he's senior, he might need less than that, but I'll go with that anyway. So that's 25.8kg a month.

    I like to feed my dog a daily chicken back, and my supplier (Nurturing by Nature) sells 40 for £10 - I reckon that's around 9kg. MVM (Manifold Valley Meats - Pet Food) sells a mixed box of assorted mince, including bone & offal, at £25 for 10.8kg. So we're up to 19.8kg - if you can get around 6kg a month of goodies from your butcher, you could have a month's worth of food for £35. But that's a fair bit of freezer space - 40 day's worth of raw food for my dog, who is a similar size, fills going on for half a chest freezer so that might be a deal-breaker for you. Do you have any pet shops close enough that you could buy weekly?

    My gut feeling about mixing a high-quality and a low-quality dog food is that you'd be better off getting a mid-quality one. Do check out the allaboutdogfood website recommended above if you haven't already.
     
  11. Dibbythedog

    Dibbythedog Active Member Registered

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    Well done for fostering him. :)
     
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  12. Turpentine

    Turpentine New Member Registered

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    Now that you've explained, it doesn't seem that expensive ! I'm pretty sure he can give me a bit more, maybe around 10kg? Most stuff he gives me is chicken carcasses, are they okay for them? or too much bone?
    offal and guts I've been told are bad by the people from the shelter, do you recommend them?
    I think half a chest I can probably get, I'd just have to freeze less food for myself hahaha
    I do have a few pet shops nearby,but they only sell dry food and cans.
    Is Eukanuba any good? I saw it on the website, I live in Spain atm so many brands from that website are way more expensive here sadly.. I saw they have 15 kg for senior dogs for 37 Euro
    Thank you so much!
     
  13. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Chicken carcasses are great, but on their own they would be too high in bone. What you want to aim for is 80% muscle meat, 10% bone, 5% liver and 5% other offal (offal is fine, and also important in a raw diet). Carcasses (also known as chicken backs) are 44% bone (found here: Bone & Fat Content Percentages in Raw Meaty Bones), so you'd need to add in 'other stuff'.

    I should stress, you don't need to get hung up over the percentage, just as you don't worry about calculating the balance of your own meals - it's fine, IMO, to feed 'plenty of muscle meat, a bit of bone, and a bit of offal'). In general, if your dog's poos are hard and crumbly, you're feeding too much bone and not enough offal, if they're too soft, you're feeding too much offal and not enough bone. Other useful additions can be raw eggs, the occasional tin of sardines, and steamed or pureed veg (according to some sources dogs can absorb more nutrients out of them steamed/pureed than whole & raw).

    A lot will depend, I think, on what suppliers you can find - I've no idea if there's raw food suppliers in Spain. If I were you, I'd have a hunt around and see if you can find somewhere that can supply more of the muscle meat at a doable cost. Or you could even ask your friendly butcher whether they could make a 'dog food mix' from their leftovers!

    Honey's raw dog food company have an excellent booklet on raw feeding that you can download for free - it's well worth a read: Honey's Raw Food for Dogs

    Eukanuba scores around 3 out of 5 depending on variety: The Dog Food Directory - now listing 1926 dog foods!. I'd have thought that combined with chicken carcasses and whatever other raw meat you can get, a little bit of offal, sardines, veg, and the occasional raw egg, that would make a really good diet (bear in mind I'm not a nutritional expert!).

    BTW, when feeding offal, some dogs you can give an 'offal/liver' meal say once a week - in other dogs this would result in an exploding back end, and they need to have it little and often ;)
     
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  14. Biker John

    Biker John Well-Known Member Registered

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    As normal JudyN has given a lot of good info, just one slight point to add, the percentages she quotes are an average. Its perfectly ok to balance it say over a week.
     
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  15. The Dawg Nanny

    The Dawg Nanny New Member Registered

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    The good thing about Eukanuba senior foods are that they contain glucosamine and chondroitin which will be good for the old boy's joints, but you can also find more natural brands out there with these in it as well (Barking Heads, for example).
     

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