Monday, October 25, 2010

Not Glacier or Roscoe Approved

It seems like in the last two years of having Glacier and Roscoe we have switched their food countless times. Sometimes it was because the food din't agree with the dogs' digestive systems, others because we could no longer access that particular food. Most recently they have been filling up on Fromme's Salmon based food and doing quite well with it. Well, at least Glacier was-Roscoe's ears have been absolutely stinky and gross. They smell yeasty and like they are on the verge of ear infection more often than not. I emailed a dog nutritionist to ask what we could do and she suggested we put him on a grain free diet. The food she recommended was crazy expensive, but we decided to give it a shot. Our philosophy is treat your dogs well and put a bit of money into them now, so they will be healthier guys for longer; hopefully with less vet visits.
The food we switched them to was "Evo." Everything I have read online says it's a good food, but its high protein content and lack of anything else made me a bit nervous. I have been told that dogs don't need carbohydrates to function-I'm not saying they do or they don't, but our boys did horribly on this food. It was 72 dollars for 28 pounds of food and they were going through it in about two weeks.
Not only were they consuming more food with the Evo, but they had other bad side effects. I was feeding them 3 cups a day and whenever I got the food out they acted like they had never eaten. Now, I realise I am saying this about two labs, but this was bad. Glacier started salivating so bad that if I stepped in it, it would drip off the bottom of my foot when I lifted my foot back up. At first we weren't sure if they just liked it or if they were hungry, but the longer we fed them the food, the worse they got. I had to up their food intake because they were both losing weight, which in turn made them go through the very expensive food even faster.
Their coats were disgusting. Roscoe started blowing his entire coat. It was thin and brittle and if you touched him, clumps of fur came flying off in your hand. Glacier was losing fur too. Peeople said that when he shook, you could see fur flying everywhere. Glacier's never been a big shedder. Their coats were no longer glossy and soft, but more coarse and dull. I thought they were dirty so I washed them and it diodn't make a difference.
Not only were their coats undesirably dry, but their breath was horrible. I know dog's breath stinks, but this smelled like their stomachs were rotting. I'm not sure if it was because their stomachs were empty, or if the food just wasn't agreeing with them. When they gave us kisses their salva was particularly thick and gloppy. There was a definite difference.
The worst part about it was that Roscoe's ears continued to be waxy and smell horribly of yeast. So, needless to say, we switched them. The food was supposed to get rid of the the yeast, not make it worse.
There was one nice sie effect though, both boys were becoming incredibly muscular, but we can keep that nice physique up by exercising them.
I'm not saying that Evo is a bad food-each dog is different with varying biological systems-but it definitely was not a good choice for our crazy labradors. We've switched the boys over to Blue Buffalo's Wilderness Salmon and they are both doing much better. It's not the most premium dog food out there, but you look for what works for them. Within three days of the food switch, Roscoe's coat started growing back in and Glacier's glossiness returned. A week and a half later, Glacier's coat is back to its usual thickness and Roscoe is fluffy again. Of course they still have bad dog breath, but it's better than before.
I'm not sure why the yeast infections are happening. I know the food we had them on originally is a pretty decent food-Froome Salmon-but for some reason Roscoe's ears were not happy. I find myself still cleaning out his ears, but they aren't too bad. Hopefully this our last food switch, or else we may create some very spoiled, picky eaters. :)

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