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Hi everyone.. So I've been searching and searching through GreyTalk for topics on feeding and though there's a lot of good info I still can't find exactly what I'm looking for. I'd also like more specific advice if anyone wants to chime in. So here's the low down. I have 2 Greyhounds Hound #1, Gambler is a 5yo (will be 6 in February 2016) male. He weighs around 67-69. Coincidentally this was also his racing weight (If I'm reading the charts correctly). I will have had him for 3 years in January. I'm not deliberately trying to keep him at his racing weight, this just seems to be his normal maintenance weight. He usually gets about 3 cups (all together) of Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream dry kibble with a couple tablespoons of TOTW canned Southwest Canyon or High Prairie mixed in since he gets bored with his food. He typically eats a little less than this during summer when he's not exercising as much and a bit more during winter when he exercises and runs more. I was always able to free feed him and he was never one of those dogs that would eat until they pop or when they were already full. HOWEVER... in the past couple months.. his poop isn't very firm anymore (it's never been very firm). He's taking much more time than usual to go. He's normally picky about where he goes, but all the sudden it takes 2-3 times longer for him to find a spot, and he strains more. He doesn't have diarrhea but its more like.. over ripe banana soft. And light green. He was healthy on his recent vet check. I'm inclined to think TOTW changed something. Even if they didn't I'd like to change feed since obviously something isn't agreeing with him. --When I first adopted him, I fed Iams sensitive because I couldn't find anything that would firm up his poo. That worked great for a long time. At least I thought so. --6 or so months ago I started feeding TOTW Pacific Stream and he was much less "snarky", had more energy and was more calm in general. I don't want to go back to Iams for this reason. --I'm on the fence as to whether he's sensitive to chicken. The first months of adoption a chicken based food made him nauseous, as did any pieces of chicken we gave. Chicken was stopped, he was switched to fish based food and I avoided all chicken. However a few months ago he at some chicken jerky at a restaurant and was completely fine after. --I do know he absolutely CANNOT have dairy. No Yogurt, no cheese, nothing. --Pumpkin does nothing but make his diarrhea orange. --Fish oil/ any oil added gives him an upset stomach (even if just a little) Here's a recent pic: Hound #2 is Holly, She just turned 3 on November 1st, weighs about 55lbs and I've had her since.. her birthday on the first this year She was eating Authority Chicken kibble at her foster home (which she was at for about 9 months). And did fine on that. I transitioned her over to TOTW these past few weeks because it's just easier to feed them both the same thing. She eats pretty much the same as Gambler, 3 cups a day. She doesn't get the wet food as much as I don't want to throw too many ingredients in her food yet. She however is a canine vacuum and will eat and eat and eat and always seems hungry. She isn't as sensitive as he is. She definitely has more energy than Gambler. However with the TOTW food, her poops are much softer, a little greenish, and she poops much more. I understand it hasn't been long and she could still be transitioning, but it makes me suspicious if they are both having issues. Here's a pic of her (and me) Their Exercise: I live in an apartment so playing in a yard is not an option yet unfortunately. They get a 30-40 min walk in the morning. 15-20min in the evening, and another 30 or so around 8-9pm. I take them to a baseball field to run until they're tired once a week. Sometimes I can get there twice a week. Ideally I'd like to give them the same food to make it easier, but is there a good chicken (and other bird) free dry food that's good and gentle on the stomach??? I would love to switch them to a raw diet but I'm worried about the cost / chicken element / space ( I live in an apartment). I'm still researching raw but need something they can thrive on in the meantime. Thoughts??
When we moved up north, I slowly switched the hounds from Verus chicken/rice kibble (which is more expensive/scarce up here) to TOTW Pacific Stream. It seemed like a good time to change their protein source since they'd really only had Verus since we got them both (18 months and 12 months respectively). I was reticent to switch before because the Verus worked really, REALLY well for both. [incidentally, I'm a noob over here on the food threads, but there seem to be two schools of thought: 1) switch up the protein source every once in a while vs. 2) if it ain't broke, don't fix it. At least among those who feed kibble as opposed to raw or fresh. Is there any consensus on this?] Anyway, the transition from Verus to TOTW lasted about 12 days as I weaned them off by a half-cup every 4 days or so. They were fine during the transition, and now that they're 100% TOTW, Kali is doing great, maybe even better than before. Brooks, on the other hand, immediately started having to strain much harder as soon as he was 100% TOTW. Over the first 18 months we had him, we were used to light brown, barrel-sized, ripe banana-like poos -- never overly mucousy, appearing very healthy, and a pretty significant daily amount! Since going 100% TOTW about 10 days ago, his first stool after any meal is a bit darker and much more pebbly, about the size and shape of about five or six double-sized almonds. Another difference is that, on a long walk (2.5 or 3 miles every mid-morning), I'm used to him having a second or third (or fourth!) poo that eventually looks like barely-digested breakfast, but it's now rare for him to have more than two stops on a walk and the overall amount pales in comparison to what he used to produce. What's the best way to help Brooks here? He does seem to be straining. I've thought about a few solutions: adding a 1/2 cup of wet TOTW from a can (non-fish based) every fourth meal or so, increasing fish oil, or adding turkey necks to their diet (which, according to the current turkey neck thread on the first page, apparently creates diarrhea for some -- so perhaps on the balance that might lubricate things for Brooks). I could always put him back on Verus or switch up his TOTW to another protein. I'm less inclined to go back to Verus because I actually think he was producing TOO MUCH stool on that food, which wasn't low-ingredient and used chicken meal. I know I should count my blessings that we're not talking about the Big D! But I'm still a little worried.