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Switching Foods On An Old Dog


Robin1017
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So I'm thinking of switching foods....Robin has been on Iams Large Breed for many many years, and he has always done fairly well on it. Until the past year and a half or so. Robin will be 13 in October, and he has been having off and on tummy issues since sometime last year. Rarely long enough or extreme enough to go on medication or really be concerned, as it can mostly be explained by his system is just getting old. But lately I've started to wonder if the "new normal" could be eased a bit. In particular, he gets bouts of cramping and discomfort, followed later by gas (usually, but not always) and often somewhat loose stools. It is all usually better by the next day, but then a couple days later it will happen again. It sometimes happens right after eating, but not always.

 

I'm starting to wonder if the Iams, which "Has always done very well for him and I'm afraid to change it because of that" is no longer agreeing with him as well. Maybe they changed formulas to something that doesn't work as well for Robin (the bag has changed many times in the past year and a half, and my friend who worked for petsmart said that every time they change the bag, they change the formula). Or maybe his system is getting more sensitive and there is something in it that isn't working. I'm not sure, it's just a possibility. But a very real one.

 

So I'm considering switching his food to a salmon-based grain-free (ideally the costco one, but I don't have a costco membership, I have BJs, so if they don't have it, I may try Nature's Recipe, which a friend uses and recommends). He LOVES my mom's dog's salmon-based food and tries to steal it all the time. So it might be worth a go. But there is a big chance that messing with his base food, his kibble that he has been on for at least 10 years, will seriously backfire on me (literally AND figuratively). I'm interested in doing so, but I'm scared to do it. I'm wondering what people have experienced.

1. Is it a good idea to switch a dog's food at nearly 13?

2. Is it possible to do a switch for just a couple of weeks, then change back if it doesn't go well? Would he be likely to get back to normal, so that this is a low-risk venture, or could I completely throw his system out of whack by even attempting this?

 

Also, if anyone knows if you can get the Nature's Domain, or whatever it is, at BJ's, that would be helpful info too.

Thanks!

Cathy

Cathy & Calvin (DOB 9/18/13). Always missing my angel Robin (Abdo Bullard).
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The foods you mention are really rich. He may do fine on them, but they are probably much richer than what his system is used to.

 

Rocket will be 9 this year and I already have him on what is supposed to be a "Senior Kibble" I know some of those terms are just marketing, but he has a crazy stomach at times and always ended up with blowout Big D on those rich foods. We have been using Precise Senior Kibble for about 2 years now. I originally switched to it because the calories were a little lower and less fat than what he was on. He was starting to pack on pounds. Even though he is a few pounds over his ideal weight still (I am a pushover at snack time) his weight has been consistent and he does well on it. http://precisepet.com/dog-formulas/precise/dry/senior/

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Why don't you try a probiotic tablet with his food. You can use a doggie one or human. It may help to settle his digestive issues.

 

My vet recommends doing this. I have placing probiotics with their food for a few years now. I used to use prozyme, but now buy over the counter human tablets.

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Guest WhiteWave

While not a Greyhound, my senior dog who will be 17 in 3 weeks, eats a wild variety of kibbles, can, homecooked, raw. He will not eat the same food day in and day out. He ate a new kibble today- really fishy/stinky Horizon Legacy Salmon and he loved it. Probably won't eat it tomorrow. I think the older dogs like the stinkier kibble because their sense of smell diminishes as they age. If you don't want to switch kibbles maybe adding some can tuna, salmon, and/or mackeral over his kibble will help.

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Interesting thought. I have some probiotic powder, but have never tried it consistently. I just know if I give too much at first his system gets worse....so I have to wean him onto it.

 

I am still interested in the answers to my questions, so feel free to keep them coming! ....but I am realizing that I should do a food and poop journal (fun!) for a bit first before I do anything too drastic. There are so many variables....

 

Thanks to everyone so far! (as I gag on stink at this very moment....)

 

The pattern seems to be panting because of stomach cramps....then he settles down, either on his own, from manuka honey, or with me massaging him...then he falls asleep and proceeds to be super stinky.....then when he finally awakens a few hours later, we go out and he has soft poo that stinks like the farts. Usually he is a bit better after that. Makes me think something specific is getting in him. Or a source of bacteria maybe (making sure I wash his bowls and everything right away and such...).

 

We will see.

Cathy & Calvin (DOB 9/18/13). Always missing my angel Robin (Abdo Bullard).
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There was a thread recently on FB GT, discussing kibble storage. I don't know how you store yours but if you dump the kibble into a plastic container and don't wash it out every time, the oil will go rancid and can make your pup unwell. Some people reported gas and soft poop, clearing up as fast as one day after they cleaned the container and got fresh food. I put the kibble into the container IN the bag, trim off the top (with the codes/dates) and stuff the cut bit down the side along with the receipt. Anyway, just thought I'd mention this in case it may be a factor for you. Good luck and I hope you figure it out fast.

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when you mentioned cramping and gas and loose stools the first thing i thought of is a parasite. dogs are never too old to pick up stuff- their nose is still to the ground when they are sniffing away. some seniors do become fussy, some eat the same thing with the same gusto until the very end. i would have her stools checked then go from there.

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Their needs change as they age. Also their tastes. If he likes the salmon based food and does well on it, feed it to him!

 

Right now Huston is eating (depending on his mood): BilJac senior kibble, Solid Gold Hund N Flocken, Solid Gold Mmellenia and

Annamet Grain Free Lean Reduced Fat Formula (chicken base)

 

All the dogs like the Annamet and I think you can get it up where you are. I have to order it from Amazon

 

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Guest WhiteWave

 

Their needs change as they age. Also their tastes. If he likes the salmon based food and does well on it, feed it to him!

 

Right now Huston is eating (depending on his mood): BilJac senior kibble, Solid Gold Hund N Flocken, Solid Gold Mmellenia and

Annamet Grain Free Lean Reduced Fat Formula (chicken base)

 

All the dogs like the Annamet and I think you can get it up where you are. I have to order it from Amazon

 

 

I got a big bag of Annamaet Lean shipped to me by mistake. I had ordered a different formula but they said to keep it instead of sending it back. So I fed it to Ronon and Rocky and I was surprised by how well they did on it. Great coats and while neither really needed to loose weight, they did seem to loose a bit of fat and look more toned. I just wasn't a big fan of the smell, but they liked it.

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I put the kibble into the container IN the bag, trim off the top (with the codes/dates) and stuff the cut bit down the side along with the receipt.

 

Not to hijack the thread, but what a great idea!

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Guest Greytluv

My Q is 12. I had her allergy tested cuz she was licking all the time.

 

Come to find out she was allergic to eggs, salmon, pork, fish and a bunch of other stuff. Have you ever tried to find a good food w/o egg in it? I switched her to Earth Born Meadow Feast. She loves it and doesn't lick anymore. Should've done it years ago.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Rocket12

Switching foods can be tricky, I know my girl had terrible diarrhea when I tried a different brand (which is ironic because this brand was supposed to be way better for her!).

But try probiotic supplements, they really do help. I chose NOVAnimal probiotics after some research because I loved how informative their site was. It definitly helps, and I feed them to my grey from time to time when I feel she needs a little extra help.

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