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Discussion Starter #1
I don't know if this should be in the health or food section but he's pretty healthy overall besides some chronic health issues so food it is.
I might have one of the pickiest eaters ever. At the shelter three years ago he used to get science diet for large dogs dry and canned mixed together which he loved and gobbled up. He was thin and growing at 63 pounds and 16 months. He also had all kinds of worms and kennel cough, both of which took a long time to clear up, and a rough coat. I got him healthy and shiny. A few months later he got Lyme disease and severe separation anxiety so took meds for both. The Lyme cleared up. I'm gradually weaning him off the antidepressant for separation anxiety now since I don't know what else to do for his weight gain.

A year later he got awful diarrhea and wouldn't eat. I took him to the ER. He had all kinds of testing, an overnight stay and scope. Diagnosed with IBD and food allergies. I had given him two chicken nuggets when I went to McDonald's like I did for eleven years with my old dog with no issues.

No chicken ever I went through several types of limited ingredients prescription diets dog foods. Canned and dry. The dry he'd eat for a day or two, then just refuse. No kangaroo, no rabbit (even though he'll take off like a bat out of heck to chase a rabbit), no duck, no anything. I tried to outstubborn him. He went five days not eating one single thing.
Canned food he'll only eat if it has a lot of gravy. He's on proviable probiotics. I stopped all the other stomach meds as the flagyll after a year was causing chronic diarrhea
He was eating the dry food at doggy daycare which is a limited ingredient. Simply Nourish salmon and sweet potato for large dogs with joint suppliments added. Vet said fine. I gave up and went back to Alpo meat cans in gravy. Beef, turkey and bacon. Bacon and pork treats he can eat no problem. Pureed pumpkin a few spoonfuls a day keeps his stomach happy.
I finally read the ingredients on the Alpo and see the beef cans have chicken by products and meal and are crap.

Interestingly he can eat chicken I cook on the George Foreman grill since it removes the fat and is real and grilled and I give him two bites of my dinner. Any kind of chicken dog food or treats and he gets awful five bouts of liquid diarrhea for two days, then soft poop and won't eat for a week.

A year ago he gained five pounds, stopped playing, was lethargic and slept non-stop. Also cranky and started fighting back any dog who irritated him. Blood work showed hypothyroidism so more meds.

Now he just won't eat unless I nag him, literally feed him and sit with him, praising him for eating. Usually won't eat anything til late at night. He gained five or so pounds so I cut his food a bit he's still three pounds more than he has been.

Vet says he should be under 85 pounds. He's been 88-90 the past year. Past few weeks 93.
He gets 1-2 cups of dry food and one large can a day. Now has very early/mild hip dysplasia on right hip only (both were x rayed) so he gets 3 Cosequin d5 tabs and 4 wild salmon oil treats daily. Plus probiotics pill once a day, two thyroid pulls twice daily and lower dose Zoloft once a day (one pill was one and half, will cut to half a pill a day then none, but very gradually since he was very dangerous to himself with separation anxiety and he's still very clingy).
When I dogsit he always tries to eat the other dogs' food which will make him sick.
He doesn't get sick from steak, turkey or meat if I cook it. Any changes in diet give him diarrhea but he's not eating his diet and I don't want to keep giving him the crap Alpo if that's possibly contributing to him having so many health issues by age four.
I don't know if he wants attention because there's other dogs I've been watching, is stressed or is just sick of his food. He has a bit more energy but not nearly as much energy as my past dogs. That started with the thyroid problems a year ago and his energy never fully came back but his thyroid levels are good now.

I also have a cat with cancer that he's very bonded to. He found cancer in another cat that has since died so I'm pretty sure he can smell it in this cat. He was completely devastated when the other cat died and stopped eating and playing for almost two months. This cat has multiple myeloma and when he has chemotherapy his blood levels are normal. Then he has side effects and I have to stop the chemo and the cancer is back. So I'm not sure if he always has cancer for the dog to smell or not and since it's different from the actual tumors the other cat had, what if anything he can smell. I bring him to the cat appointments and he flips out if they take the cat away for even a five minute blood draw though.

So that could be affecting his appetite I suppose. The cat eats fine though, even eats the dog's food.

Any suggestions of better quality canned food that has lots of "gravy" and is limited ingredient for dogs with ibd and food allergies? And picky? And not too expensive? I'm tired of fighting with him or cajoling him to eat every night. And he won't eat til late. I feel like I'm starving him but he's ten pounds overweight.

Should I just try to figure out feeding him people food? How do you figure out quantities and nutritional balances? He likes cucumbers, red peppers, yogurt and carrots as well as any meat that I eat. And loves homemade mashed potatoes that I make with just the red potatoes and a little one percent milk and butter. He very rarely gets that. Nothing I give him that I make ever bothers his stomach but I make it all from scratch and fresh with no sauce or anything added. I'm not leaving raw meat around so would at least lightly cook it to rare.

Any suggestions welcome! My vet just said reduce his food for weight loss and his thyroid is fine. All the websites I've looked up and all the bags say a dog who weighs 80-90 pounds should eat 3-4 cups of dry food a day. If I subtract a cup for the can, he's only eating one or two cups a day plus the can. Maybe two or three spoonfuls of the pumpkin, the joint treats, and two or three little bites of meat that's grilled and no fat.
He eats less than most of the large dogs I've watched.
 

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You could maybe try natural balance? They have a limited ingredient line that might work. Certainly not as expensive as wysong.

If you go for feeding people food/ homemade dog food, try talking to your vet or a pet dietitian as they might be able to help you better figure out the right balance for your pup and his situation :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, I'll look into that and maybe try a small bag and a couple of cans.
He is getting worse with refusing to eat so I spoke to a covering vet on the phone. She thought the Alpo cans could be irritating his ibd since they're not limited ingredients. I'm making an appointment so I'll ask about making his food too, to see how complicated it is.

When I read the labels all the beef flavored cans had chicken as one of the main ingredients. That's irritating.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I took him to the vet yesterday and he had everything checked, blood, fecal, you name it. He's fine, which I'm very glad of. She said he could have nausea and inflammation from getting into the chicken and just be in the habit of being afraid to eat and stress and being sensitive could be adding to it. Also being on the Alpo cans which could have stuff he's allergic to could be causing inflammation and nausea from his IBD and food allergies.
She gave me more antinausea pills and a very highly palatable pork food from Royal Canin.
Also said Tufts does phone consults to make plans to tell me how to cook for him and it's not as complicated as I thought it would be. She said if I cook for myself meat and a carbohydrate like mashed potatoes two or three times a week at add in some fruits or vegetables, which he already loves it could be that and figuring out serving sizes.
He inhaled the Royal Canin pork can with his dry food last night and this morning. The picky shih tzu was even trying to steal it.
But when I read the ingredients it's all by products and meal which I heard isn't good so I don't want to keep him on that forever. It's worse than Alpo and more expensive!
 

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It's me once again. One of my customers was buying "organic" (you never know) frozen food not far away from where she was living. The food was in portions for her pugs. It was frozen. She was buying the full bag and unfroze every day as much as she needed for her dogs, smell so nice- it would make even human hungry;)
That's why the idea of doing it by yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'll do the consult with Tufts on the phone and see how much he would need and figure out how expensive it will be.

I made some mashed potatoes a few nights ago and made three days worth for me. Went to heat up a serving for myself the other day and as I took it out of the microwave it was hotter than I expected so I dropped the whole bowl upside down on the floor. I let him have it. He gobbled down the whole human serving in less than two seconds. He can eat an entire steak or cheeseburger in five seconds I don't think he even chews.
So I'll research it a bit and see how feasible. Cooking for a pug is probably cheaper than for a ninety pound dog. But he never has stomach issues from anything I cook. I eat healthy overall and anything I eat that's not healthy I don't give him, except occasionally small pieces of cold cuts if I'm in a rush.

I know every dog food has something unhealthy in it, but I was surprised to see Royal Canin had so much more bad stuff than Alpo.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
He's been inhaling all his meals since I changed the canned food. He loves the can of pork digestive foot from Royal Canin the vet gave me. If I add a couple of spoonfuls to his dry food and joint suppliments in the morning, he eats that all up in seconds!
Same for dinner now. He wolfs down those cans and his dry food and even takes all his pills in his food. No nagging, no feeding, no cajoling. It's gone fast.

Today he took a while to eat breakfast and it took some encouragement but he did eat it all. Not sure if he's getting bored with the food or didn't feel great or it was because had a high wind advisory all day and night yesterday and today so we only went on a few short bathroom walks and no dog park. No exercise or social time or fun at all for him yesterday. Maybe he wasn't hungry because he wasn't active or was depressed at missing out on his usual fun activities.

Sheeesh I called to arrange the phone consult with the Veterinary nutritionist and it's a few hundred dollars for that then over $400 for her to research and recommend the best home cooking plan for him and another $2-300 for a recommended dog food plan. And my pet insurance said they wouldn't cover any of it even though my vet recommended it as treatment for his covered and approved medical conditions. Crazy!!! I'll try to appeal it with the vet and see if they'll cover at least some of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Does anyone know if Merrick is a good dog food? So far those beef cans are the only ones he really inhales that don't have chicken in them or a lot of lousy ingredients from what I can tell. He'll eat the simply Nourish but of course the limited ingredient duck and potatoes flavor that he really likes they suddenly stopped carrying.
I never heard from the vet nutritionist and I tried a home cooking website my vet recommended but when I entered his favorite foods, it came up "impossible to do balanced diet". Nice.
I saw a news article recently that said raw diets have a kit of dangerous bacteria dangerous to dogs and people to be exposed to, so are not safe to handle, feed or leave out
Not doing that.
 

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It's me again. I've been reading all your posts about your dog's eating problems. The food I represent is Formulated by a Holistic Veterinarian by the name of Dr. Jane Bicks. You can research her. She is on staff and regularly answers our customers questions and concerns for FREE. I'll leave you this link to learn about our company and you can also contact me directly from the website. I can send you samples.
http://bit.ly/2BRbSyI
 

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There may be some info you can use in this informative online article about cooking for your dog. It discusses caloric needs, fats, special diets like IBD, etc.

Some of the recipes include chicken, which I know doesn't work with your dog, but still, there seems to be good info here for you and your doggy.



https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/12_1/features/Homeade-Dog-Food-Recipes_16093-1.html

Excerpt:

Homemade Low-Fat Dog Food Diets

One dog food expert shares 4 low-fat dog food recipes for you to try at home! Plus 5 owners describe their special-needs dogs' diets.....
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Athenalove I'll check it out. He really likes the Merrick cans I tried, but there's only two or three flavors that don't have chicken in them.
I got those and a limited ingredient cheaper canned food so I can alternate since he seems to get sick of the same thing all the time.
Of course he wasn't a fan of the cheaper food. Took three hours yesterday to get him to eat half a can mixed with a cup of dry food.
Then for dinner I just gave him the other half of the can and a few pieces of sliced cucumbers and red peppers. No dry food. Around 3am he ate everything. I gave him a cup of dry food which he left.

I didn't give him breakfast and just went to the dog park. He inhaled the dry food plain and was a pain at the park begging everyone for treats and literally shoving other dogs away from their owners trying to steal their treats and eating random things off the floor. Never take him anywhere when he's hungry he's a pushy pita who eats anything in sight.
After he ate the plain dry food I gave him half a can of the Merrick and some pureed pumpkin. He'll get the other half can a d another half can and another cup of dry food later. He's had occasional diarrhea for a couple of days. Not all the time. I don't know why. The joys of a picky eater with food allergies and IBD.
 

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Maybe you should try some food enhancer, sort of booster type added to can food he can eat but don't want. Some healthy brands carry it and they are usually not cheap but you only need a little bit just sprinkle on the food, so one pack can go for a long time.
 

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The food was in portions for her pugs. It was frozen. She was buying the full bag and unfroze every day as much as she needed for her dogs, smell so nice-
 
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