Red heelers on Wellness... but thinking about trying/switching to BB wilderness or something else

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your dog's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your pooch!

Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times. Non-informative posts criticizing a particular brand or another poster’s choice of food are not allowed in this Forum. References to any brand of food as "junk," "garbage," or other harsh names will be removed.

(Page 1 of 2: Viewing entries 1 to 10)  
Page Links: 1  2  

Barked: Mon Jul 29, '13 11:32am PST 
I have 2 female red heelers.
Dog 1 is a 1 year old, when I got her as a pup at 6 weeks, she was in horrible condition and lost a # in the first week due to the amount of worms she had. I was given a gallon of what feed they were using, and transitioned her 2 weeks onto Wellness puppy super mix. After 2 weeks of mixing and 2 more weeks of straight wellness, she finally had a normal solid stool. She ate and went less, and it doesn't smell like poop at all!
Dog 2-This past week just rescued another one in a bad shape. A 7 month old that was being beat up by their other older female dog. It has taken her 3 days to not have her ears pinned to her neck. She is doing great, and being accepted nicely. She was on cheap box store food as well, and I wasn’t going to get any food from them. Maybe wrong, but switching from what they were using, and 99% improvement in 2 days. I just put her on the Wellness super5 mix adult. Her coat is thicker than my 1st heeler, even with the cheap dog food. I know different genetics, but she transitioned in 2 days smaller stools and no gas nor smell! She had horrible gas on the 4 hour drive home.

My first heeler has a thin coat, and has never scratched nor chewed at any part of her body as being allergic to her food. I would compare it to the thin belly hair of normal heeler coat. That is the best I can do. She does shed more than normal I think, but she has a very nice coat, and it is thinner, and both her parents had typical heeler coats. I can give her a bath and the next day get two handfuls of hair even after brushing after the bath etc. I give her a bath about every 3 months. The new pup even though being on the box store brand cheapest dog food, has a more intact coat and isn’t itching nor scratching at all either. If she starts shedding more, I will switch for sure.

Right now I'm trying to see what others are feeding with good results to their heelers or other working dogs. Mine are not working dogs, but are exercised for several hours morning and night and are always asleep upside down somewhere once inside. They get absolutely no human food.

Has anyone seen signs of coat improvement going from Wellness to Brand X, or Blue Buffalo??

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Mon Jul 29, '13 1:36pm PST 
Your first dog may be dehydrated? Sassy shed like that when she was dehydrated. Crime scene outlines she left and there was often a cloud of hair around her that year. Float the kibble in some to a lot of water if she is drinking less than about a quart of water a day for a 40 pound dog. Sassy had trouble drinking plain water as she got older but for some reason was able to drink it all at meal times.

I tried to get as much fat into Sassy as I could, never could get more than about 15% in without causing problems however. Fish oil never did a thing for her but do use it if you aren't already doing so.

Wellness super5mix was a kibble I used and trusted for years but it is low fat and low protein. 12% fat is about 24% by calories and less than a human on a diet might eat. You might go to one of the products with more fat and protein the company makes like one of the Core formulas.

tiny...but fast!
Barked: Mon Jul 29, '13 1:54pm PST 
Its possible she is allergic to something in the food. Most dogs with food allergies show signs on their skin instead of diarrhea. You could try a novel protein and grain free diet like salmon and sweet potato an example would be nutri source pure vita salmon and sweet potato. Or u could do a venison and potato or bison and potato food.

Flicka ~ CGC

NO-ONE is going- to sneak up on- my Mummy
Barked: Mon Jul 29, '13 2:14pm PST 
Mine are on Taste Of The Wild .. they get a 1200mg Cod Live Oil cap a day each... and a big tablespoon of plain live yoghurt. I also buy the TOTW canned and make a "gravy" up with (a tablespoon each dog)with water and damp the kibble down so its not dry.

They also get a Milk Thistle cap each a day for liver support.

Thin coat... I would suggest you ask for a thyroid check if it hasnt been done already. If the thyroid is low.. the meds are a very easy fix.. and although usually for life.. they are not expensive , not "toxic" and really do work.

Thankyou for rescuing them... Flicka was in a terrible state too at 16 weeks... beaten and scared.


Edited by author Mon Jul 29, '13 2:20pm PST


Barked: Mon Jul 29, '13 6:31pm PST 
With just Mae alone, the water dish holds 1 quart and she would drink more than that in a day. That was if she was really active or not. Some winter days were just too cold to exercise or run her down the road. I did soak her food for a while, but as she has aged she went from eating both morning and night to just pick around. I adjusted her food quantity to less to not waste food that she didn't eat after it was soaked. I don't like to free feed, but when she was the only dog it wasn't a big issue either. Even then she would eat sometimes, sometimes nothing in a day this started since I left the house and living in an RV. She isn't leaving a crime scene where shy lays, but I feel it is more than she should be. In the winter time I used 1 tbs olive oil per feed when I used the wood stove. Its so dry over the winter, that was the easiest to pack around if we were going anywhere. I put 3-4 gal of water in the air a day keeping the humidity around 35-40% +/- depending on outside dryness.
I'm now in Vancouver Wa, and the hair issue has been the same since before we left, so it isn't stress on her either. She is somewhat stressed out, because she won't pick up her toys, nor pull my socks off anymore. So, I can't help her any more than I am. I'm with her 99.9% of the time, but we just aren't at home, and as of now I don't know when a house will be coming back into the picture as living quarters. We were on the road 2 weeks, and then have been staying at the same place now for the last 2.5 months or so.

At $80 a bag for the 25# of core is it cheaper to raw feed? I know the sled dogs teams use moose/beef/pork/fish any wild game ground up and heated served in a sloppy soup. At $4 a lb, I don't know how much it is to do a raw meat diet, but that is an option if it is healthier for it.

Also how long of a time did it take for you to notice a difference in your dog after switching? Is there a preference of blood test vs skin test for allergies? Which is better? I've not done research yet on the testing.

It isn't that she is itching, or has rash. She never scratches nor bites like fleas at any areas on her body for itching. She has a beautiful even smooth coat, no patches where she has lost hair more in this area or that area.

Thanks for the responses. I'm worried that it took her so long to adjust to the wellness in the beginning, that it may take her a while to get use to any other trial food. Seemed it took her a bit to transition, but she's never had any gas, or other issues.

Barked: Mon Jul 29, '13 7:36pm PST 
I don't know if you can see the video of mae taking inventory of her toy box. When she is sideways, you can see her coat really well. It isn't laid down and smooth like normal, but she does have some wild tuffs on her hip that go in weird directions and are quite cool. She has the tuff of hair on the back of her hip to knee, like normal, and around her neck it feels like her undercoat is more normal.
I have never had blood work done on her, and never suspected she has had an allergy of any kind. Is there certain tests that I should request, if the vet isn't familiar with this breed? Now I'm feeling bad, I just though maybe she has had a different style coat than the rest, which could still be the case.

With the cod live oil, have you found capsules better than the liquid form? Or just for ease of dosing? Human version vs pet? Just not flavor added for our human palette to not give a bitter face? I don't see anyone mentioning the liquid amount used per dosing...??? Amazon the best place 16 oz/$36 or capsules of which brand? I don't mind buying the products, but I really like to keep as much money as possible that I earn. smile
Flicka ~ CGC

NO-ONE is going- to sneak up on- my Mummy
Barked: Mon Jul 29, '13 8:22pm PST 

Just written you a long pmail..

But.. Cod Liver Oil.. I buy it plain and simple in the Pharmacy..Its where the Vitamins all are and give a 1200mg cap a day its just a capsule.. and I give it to them in some cheese.. some will just take as is !The brand is Natures Bounty .. but there are many others too.

Thyroid could.. or might not be a cause. Dont feel bad.. HECK.. these dogs are so lucky you were able to help them.. as I know you feel lucky they blessed you. The thyroid is just a simple blood test.. but hold off for a little bit.

Take this one step at a time.. try the food change.. plus the CLO...let that all settle for a month or 6 weeks.. as you say.. there is no itch or allergy. So.. one step at a time.

TOTW.. I pay $25 for 15 lb bag in a local family run feed store.. its widely available in many places. That with the few bits added lasts 5-6 weeks.

You should have the pmail by now.,.. and please know many here will help you !

Edited by author Mon Jul 29, '13 8:33pm PST


Akita Pals- Always.
Barked: Tue Jul 30, '13 5:09am PST 
dog walk above the spam.

Edited by author Thu Aug 1, '13 4:02pm PST

Approved by forums moderator

I'm the Bee's- Knees!

Barked: Thu Aug 1, '13 4:02pm PST 
MIKA&KAI are just "bumping" this post up so it gets seen and not buried beneath the pesky spam wink

Barked: Thu Aug 1, '13 5:51pm PST 
Sorry I took it as the other way. I don't know how the spam is or isn't on the forums. I searched for heelers and food and hadn't had any near matches, so I posted. I just was wanting to keep spam down, so I apologize thanks for clarifying and fixing. Just trying to see what others are feeding their heelers/very hyper breeds. Input from everyone is welcome, but what works for an inside dog doesn't always work for these who are active.

They are getting along great, and it takes about 3 45min to 1 hour play sessions for them to tire down. That is what it takes, that is what they get to be happy. Just comparing this to an inside dog, sometimes isn't accurate, even though the food you have them on might be great for them, but not some of other hyper active levels.
Thanks the 2 legged red head not in the pictures.
  (Page 1 of 2: Viewing entries 1 to 10)  
Page Links: 1  2