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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm feeding my 7-month-old pomeranian Nature's Variety Rabbit Meal (For all breeds and all life stages) because my veterinarian and I think he's allergic to chicken. He was eating Blue Buffalo Small Breed Puppy and was getting GI upsets constantly.

While he hasn't had any more GI upset with this new food, he doesn't seem to be gaining any weight and in fact, he seems skinnier, hasn't gained any weight since December. We did send a fecal sample to the lab to make sure he was worm free, and he is.

I told my vet I was struggling to feed him 3/4 of a cup a day (divided in 1/4 3x a day), and by struggling I mean that if I feed him that much, his belly would be HUGE and he'd vomit. So I pushed it down to 1/4 of a cup 2x a day and that seemed to be fine (as in, he wasn't vomiting), but I don't think it's enough to make him the weight he should be. Plus? His poop has been VERY smelly on this food!

Why am I running to you and not my vet? Well because the suggestions my vet gave me were food brands that I consider inferior to what I'd like to feed. And while I'm not in the clouds and I do know there's no such thing as a perfect kibble, I just don't like some brands of food. (I chose to not mention these brands because I don't want to offend anyone!). I know full well my veterinarian's nutrition classes were paid by said brands and I don't want to feed him those brands simply because my vet told me so.

You might say, "Why not just feed a food YOU like?" Because they all have chicken :help:

Is the whole "All Life Stages" not true? Can ya'll help me find a puppy food that isn't chicken based?
 

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Is it possible to split that 1/2 cup a day into three feedings, rather than two? Some dogs do better on more meals a day, and if too much is in their system at once they can't process it as well and have larger, softer, stinkier stools and get less nutrition out of it. That's the first step I'd try, but I'm sure other people have suggestions!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Unfortunately no, my schedule only allows me to feed him 2x a day. Once in the morning, and once at night. I used to be able to take him to work with me and feed him there 3x a day, I got him very young so 3x feeding was mandatory, but his refusal to stop pottying inside the kennels made it impossible, I'd have to stop working to clean up his messes and eventually I started getting into trouble for it. He's perfectly potty trained at home, but at work, he figured out that by going in the kennel, he'd get my attention so he'd go.

Edit:
With feeding him twice a day though, he's poop isn't larger or softer, just stinky stinky. The texture of it improved after Blue, but the smell was the only thing that got worse, with Blue it wasn't stinky.
 

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Did your vet say that your dog is underweight? If your vet says that your dog is at a good weight, then he is probably fine.

If your vet agrees that your dog is too skinny, then you could try feeding him a kibble that has more calories rather than more kibble itself. For example Brand A has 200 k/cals per cup and Brand B has 400 k/cals per cup (not an actual measurement, just an example). I don't have any brands to recommend, though. If it helps you at all, I feed my dog Kirkland Nature's Domain Salmon & Sweet Potato. He's a 55 lb. dog and gets 1 cup a day. You can get it at Costco stores.

If his stools are otherwise good, then I wouldn't worry much about the smell. I mean, poop stinks, no way around that one! Certain foods/proteins are going to cause different smells, just like in humans.
 

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Have you tried a food that does have chicken but is not Blue Buffalo? Blue Buffalo is notorious for digestive upsets even in dogs without any specific allergies or intolerances.

All Life Stages means that the nutrient profile meets the AAFCO standards for both "adult maintenance" and for "growth and reproduction", many foods are All Life Stages and as a small breed puppy, he doesn't have any additional specific nutrient profile needs like a giant breed puppy does. So either puppy (growth and reproduction) or ALS foods would work.

You might look for a higher calorie kibble so that the same volume of food would give him more calories but not stuff his tummy. ETA: I checked NV Rabbit and at 451 kcals/cup it is already at the higher side

For chicken-free options, consider Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch (435 kcals/cup; 32% protein) or Meadow Feast (400 kcals/cup; 26% protein) or some of the Fromm 4-Star line
 

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Even feeding him a third meal an hour after meal#2 could work. Overfeeding can cause gas.

At 7 months he may be nearly done growing and many dogs need less than the amount of food posted on the kibble bag. My sister had a yorkie who needed one tray of Cesar daily but forced 2 down her so dog looked like a long haired piglet.

A given dog may or may not fit a breed standard, he may be undersized. How tall is he compared to the standard, how long are his legs. Both my mutts weigh 13 pounds but one is very leggy at 15" while the other is 12" tall. Put your hands on him. You want to just feel ribs, hip points, shoulder points and chest point and he should have a waist and belly tuck. A youngster hasn't much muscle to pad ribs either.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Did your vet say that your dog is underweight? If your vet says that your dog is at a good weight, then he is probably fine.

If your vet agrees that your dog is too skinny, then you could try feeding him a kibble that has more calories rather than more kibble itself. For example Brand A has 200 k/cals per cup and Brand B has 400 k/cals per cup (not an actual measurement, just an example). I don't have any brands to recommend, though. If it helps you at all, I feed my dog Kirkland Nature's Domain Salmon & Sweet Potato. He's a 55 lb. dog and gets 1 cup a day. You can get it at Costco stores.

If his stools are otherwise good, then I wouldn't worry much about the smell. I mean, poop stinks, no way around that one! Certain foods/proteins are going to cause different smells, just like in humans.
The vet agrees and said he is slightly thin and would like him to gain some weight. His food is 451 k/cal per cup, getting 1/2 a cup a day. And yeah, his poo smells but it definitely is way better than when with Blue!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Have you tried a food that does have chicken but is not Blue Buffalo? Blue Buffalo is notorious for digestive upsets even in dogs without any specific allergies or intolerances.

All Life Stages means that the nutrient profile meets the AAFCO standards for both "adult maintenance" and for "growth and reproduction", many foods are All Life Stages and as a small breed puppy, he doesn't have any additional specific nutrient profile needs like a giant breed puppy does. So either puppy (growth and reproduction) or ALS foods would work.

You might look for a higher calorie kibble so that the same volume of food would give him more calories but not stuff his tummy. ETA: I checked NV Rabbit and at 451 kcals/cup it is already at the higher side

For chicken-free options, consider Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch (435 kcals/cup; 32% protein) or Meadow Feast (400 kcals/cup; 26% protein) or some of the Fromm 4-Star line
I have NOT tried food with chicken from another brand, I guess I just ran away from chicken without thinking that the way Blue processes their ingredients might be the cause and not the protein itself! I complicate myself a lot going for complicated answers instead of the simpler solutions lol

I did read about the AAFCO profiles, which is why when I initially decided on NVI I felt good about my decision. But now I'm second guessing scientific proof right in front of me lol "It SAYS its good for puppies, but my puppy's ribs are showing!"

Thank you for the suggestions! Do you have any suggestions that include chicken? I won't restrict myself to non-chicken when it might just be an intolerance to Blue instead!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Even feeding him a third meal an hour after meal#2 could work. Overfeeding can cause gas.

At 7 months he may be nearly done growing and many dogs need less than the amount of food posted on the kibble bag. My sister had a yorkie who needed one tray of Cesar daily but forced 2 down her so dog looked like a long haired piglet.

A given dog may or may not fit a breed standard, he may be undersized. How tall is he compared to the standard, how long are his legs. Both my mutts weigh 13 pounds but one is very leggy at 15" while the other is 12" tall. Put your hands on him. You want to just feel ribs, hip points, shoulder points and chest point and he should have a waist and belly tuck. A youngster hasn't much muscle to pad ribs either.
I didn't think about feeding a third meal later at night, that could work. I get home at 8pm, so a meal at 10 or even 11pm is doable! I just didn't know if it was too soon. Usually I feed him at 6am in the morning and then at 8pm at night. But I can definitely do 6am, 8pm and 11pm!

And I don't know his measurements nor his weight, we based our "we think he's skinny" decision on how he feels. I can feel all his ribs, not like SUPER underfed, but there is too much rib for it to be healthy. The vet put him on a 3 on the body score chart. So he isn't SUPER omg DYING, but the fact that he's been a 3 for more than a couple of months is worrying me.
 

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I have NOT tried food with chicken from another brand, I guess I just ran away from chicken without thinking that the way Blue processes their ingredients might be the cause and not the protein itself! I complicate myself a lot going for complicated answers instead of the simpler solutions lol

I did read about the AAFCO profiles, which is why when I initially decided on NVI I felt good about my decision. But now I'm second guessing scientific proof right in front of me lol "It SAYS its good for puppies, but my puppy's ribs are showing!"

Thank you for the suggestions! Do you have any suggestions that include chicken? I won't restrict myself to non-chicken when it might just be an intolerance to Blue instead!
Another thing to consider is feeding a small bit of regular plain cooked chicken and seeing how that goes. Make sure it isn't the saline enhanced chicken.

I would suggest trying a grain-inclusive food. Might as well try one that has chicken so that you will know more one way or the other if it IS actually a chicken intolerance or it was just Blue Buffalo.

One good option IMO would be Victor Select Nutra Pro for Active Dogs and Puppies. 38% protein, 18% fat, 475 kcals/cup. However, I think this only comes in the BIG bags, so you would need space to freeze it or seal it well in air-tight containers so that it doesn't go bad before you can finish it up.

Here's the ingredient list:
Chicken Meal, Beef Meal, Whole Grain Millet, Blood Meal, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Menhaden Fish Meal (source of DHA-Docosahexaenoic Acid), Pork Meal, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Flax Seed (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acid), Feeding Oat Meal, Yeast Culture, Natural Chicken Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Dried Kelp, Salt, Montmorillonite, Tomato Pomace (source of Lycopene), Dried Carrot, Choline Chloride, Dried Chicory Root, Taurine, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Hydrolyzed Yeast, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Selenium Yeast, L-Carnitine, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin, Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate, Riboavin Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Lecithin, Fructooligosaccharide, Folic Acid, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Citric Acid, Rosemary Extract.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Another thing to consider is feeding a small bit of regular plain cooked chicken and seeing how that goes. Make sure it isn't the saline enhanced chicken.

I would suggest trying a grain-inclusive food. Might as well try one that has chicken so that you will know more one way or the other if it IS actually a chicken intolerance or it was just Blue Buffalo.

One good option IMO would be Victor Select Nutra Pro for Active Dogs and Puppies. 38% protein, 18% fat, 475 kcals/cup. However, I think this only comes in the BIG bags, so you would need space to freeze it or seal it well in air-tight containers so that it doesn't go bad before you can finish it up.

Here's the ingredient list:
Chicken Meal, Beef Meal, Whole Grain Millet, Blood Meal, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Menhaden Fish Meal (source of DHA-Docosahexaenoic Acid), Pork Meal, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Flax Seed (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acid), Feeding Oat Meal, Yeast Culture, Natural Chicken Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Dried Kelp, Salt, Montmorillonite, Tomato Pomace (source of Lycopene), Dried Carrot, Choline Chloride, Dried Chicory Root, Taurine, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Hydrolyzed Yeast, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Selenium Yeast, L-Carnitine, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin, Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate, Riboavin Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Lecithin, Fructooligosaccharide, Folic Acid, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Citric Acid, Rosemary Extract.
Thanks for the suggestion! I'll look it up! :)
 

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The vet agrees and said he is slightly thin and would like him to gain some weight. His food is 451 k/cal per cup, getting 1/2 a cup a day. And yeah, his poo smells but it definitely is way better than when with Blue!
Does he get a stuffed kong or anything when you leave in the morning? That would be another option to get more food into him.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
SO. I foolishly waited too long to buy food for Leo, and went to my local store to get some ASAP since I don't have enough to wait for an online order.

They didnt carry the Nature's Variety Instinct Rabbit Meal, and to be honest I didnt want to stick with the brand. So I got Merrick's Lil' Plates Puppy / Small Breed Real Chicken + Sweet Potato Recipe. Im gonna do the 3 feedings a day, 1/4 each time. Hopefully he isnt allergic to chicken and it was just something in Blue!

They DID have Earthborn in there, but the puppy formula had less kcal/cup than Merricks.

Opinions??
 

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Personally, I probably would've tried cooked chicken while on the food that doesn't cause a reaction to test for a chicken allergy.

Also, three of Orijen's formulas (Six Fix, Regional Red, and Tundra) are chicken-free and 449-465 kcal/cup.

For a 7 month old pup - especially a small breed - I wouldn't obsess about feeding a puppy food - ALS would be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Personally, I probably would've tried cooked chicken while on the food that doesn't cause a reaction to test for a chicken allergy.

Also, three of Orijen's formulas (Six Fix, Regional Red, and Tundra) are chicken-free and 449-465 kcal/cup.

For a 7-month-old pup - especially a small breed - I wouldn't obsess about feeding a puppy food - ALS would be fine.
That woulda been a great idea! I'm mad I didn't even think about it lol Sadly I panicked when I saw that I barely had any food left so I just got a new one. The store nearby doesn't have Orijen, their kcal/cup ratio is awesome! I'm hoping that just adding that third meal even if its just a couple of hours after the second meal will help! The kcal/cup for Merrick's is lower than the one I had before.

He's also getting neutered tomorrow, so who knows maybe that'll help!
 

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Neutering does tend to slow the metabolism, so yes, it might make him gain weight on the same calories.

I think most/all of the Earthborn formulas are All Life Stages. They have a good option which is a small bag of around 1 or 2 lbs (sorry, been awhile since I bought that option) which gives a coupon for the same $ amount as it's purchase price towards a larger bag.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Neutering does tend to slow the metabolism, so yes, it might make him gain weight on the same calories.

I think most/all of the Earthborn formulas are All Life Stages. They have a good option which is a small bag of around 1 or 2 lbs (sorry, been awhile since I bought that option) which gives a coupon for the same $ amount as it's purchase price towards a larger bag.
I'll look into it! Just picked him up from the vet, they said he had diarrhea.

I fed him 1/8 of a cup of the new food! 1/8!! Is it because its chicken or a new food? When I changed him to Nature's Variety he didnt have any diarrhea in the transition. With Merrick, day 1, diarrhea :/
 

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I'll look into it! Just picked him up from the vet, they said he had diarrhea.

I fed him 1/8 of a cup of the new food! 1/8!! Is it because its chicken or a new food? When I changed him to Nature's Variety he didnt have any diarrhea in the transition. With Merrick, day 1, diarrhea :/
Hard to say-- new food PLUS the stress of surgery PLUS the general anesthetics means it could be any or all of those things causing digestive upset. And if he is on preventative antibiotics after the neuter, those can mess up digestion also.

Try a small amount of plain canned pumpkin (not the pie filling, just no seasoning pumpkin) if you can find it this time of year or a small amount of plain greek yogurt (no fruits, no flavors, and definitely no artificial sweeteners). By small amount, I mean for a dog that size about half a teaspoon to start with. Nickel sized dollop.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hard to say-- new food PLUS the stress of surgery PLUS the general anesthetics means it could be any or all of those things causing digestive upset. And if he is on preventative antibiotics after the neuter, those can mess up digestion also.

Try a small amount of plain canned pumpkin (not the pie filling, just no seasoning pumpkin) if you can find it this time of year or a small amount of plain greek yogurt (no fruits, no flavors, and definitely no artificial sweeteners). By small amount, I mean for a dog that size about half a teaspoon to start with. Nickel sized dollop.
Diarrhea happened before surgery :(

I have pumpkin stocked up just for him and I mixed it with the Merrick when I started it, but I just went ahead and changed the bag to Earthborn. When I changed him to Nature's Variety Instinct he had no GI upset, even on the first day, and I did it without pumpkin! I don't want to deal with diarrhea messes x.x; When he gets like that he'll go in his kennel and when I get home from work it's a horrible, horrible mess.

I'll just stay away from Chicken lol Today he has been on Earthborn and no diarrhea :) I'll just hope the extra feeding a couple of hours after the 8pm feeding PLUS the neuter help with the weight.
 
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