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Discussion Starter #1
Ok. I'm perplexed. Does anyone have a clue as to why a dog would begin eating grass???

I am feeding Carnovia to my mini-schnauzer. He was just at the Vet for a yearly health check, teeth clean and removal of a cyst. Only small problem is he is a little overweight at 17.6 lbs, normally he is about 14 lb.

His daily ration has been reduced from 1 cup/day, to 3/4 cup, to 5/8 cup, now to 1/2 cup. This reduction began in April. Over the last 2 weeks he has lost 0.2 lb.

The amount of grass consumed is affecting his excrement. Sorry...... his poo "hangs", then I need to remove the dangler. Tonight's movement had a consistency similar to a cow patty. Very difficult to remove, plus he is scrambling around trying to remove the dangler. End result was in a bath to remove the smears.
 

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Well, dogs eat grass for a variety of reasons, but in your situation I'd probably start with the guess that his daily quantity of food has been cut in half recently & he's hungry. ??

I looked up your food (Do you mean Carnivora, by BB?) and it's pretty high-calorie, as well as super high protein & relatively high in fat as well. Perhaps switching to a lower calorie food that would allow you to feed more, quantity-wise, would leave him fuller longer? A little extra fiber in the form of low-calorie toppers can help sometimes, also. Frozen green beans are a big hit in my house.

Also, how old is he? Did they run a full thyroid panel on him? If he's hypothyroid it's going to be darn near impossible to get that extra weight off without seriously under feeding him. Just a thought...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
BK. Yes, thanks, it is Carnivora by BB.

His food reduction has be stretched over 3 months with the 1/2 cup/day in the last 10 days or so. The dog is 4 years old.

Thanks for the suggestion for a lower calorie food. I hadn't thought of that option. Currently, he is consuming about 230 calories/day.

As a mini-schnauzer, who is always hungry, I would think he would be eating any sidewalk treasure he found. His focus is eating grass. We have walked by multiple tasty treats such as dead birds, dead rabbits, dead mice..... he gives a sniff and ignores the treasure..

The Vet did the typical blood panel before the procedures. All return normal.

While I was in China and he was a pup, I fed a raw diet. The diet consisted of skinless chicken and a veggie mix. The veggie mix was comprised of broccoli or cauliflower, snow peas, carrot, green beans and a small bit of oatmeal. He was a tight 14.5 lb. I came back to USA last December. In China, the kibble was insane expensive and frequently spoiled, always low quality. In the USA, raw is insane expensive.
 

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Hmmm... Well, my first thoughts at seeing what he had been fed before starting the weight gain is that the raw diet looks pretty low in fat content (unless you were also supplementing with vitamins/minerals, probably also nutritionally unbalanced, but that's a different topic and not relevant to what's happening now) Since Schnauzers are prone to pancreatitis anyway, I think (if it were me) I'd start by switching to a lower calorie, lower fat kibble with a decent protein level & see if that didn't help. Also, I might add a few low calorie veggie toppers for a bit of extra bulk.

Now please take my suggestions with whatever size grain of salt you want. I'm not by any means an expert in canine nutrition, just an owner who has fed numerous dogs over numerous years & had to do a bit of juggling & educating myself to get the right formula of kibble + toppers for each of my dogs as individuals. (I've never done raw or home cooked)

Edit - my dogs tend to snack on grass occasionally when it's hot out & they're thirsty, but don't have immediate access to water. Just one more random thought that fell out of my head...
 

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My Lily's nickname is Moo-Moo, because she is always eating grass and/or leaves. It's something she's always done, though.

I'd ask the vet to have a full thyroid panel run. It needs to be sent off to an outside lab, as the in-house test doesn't cover all 6 things the full panel does.

Concerning the poop issue, I'd try switching to a lower calorie, lower fat food with a higher fiber content.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I hear you on the Carnivora food. My biggest issue with most dry kibble is the fillers used. Anything is likely to be used, but peas, potatos, tapioca starch......etc is common. The Carnivora has very little of these fillers. It is mainly meat ingredients as the primary recipe.

I will hold on the Thyroid panel until there is more indication this is needed.

Meanwhile, I'll look to increase his bulk with some basic veggies. Perhaps that will ease the cow behavior.

He has had pancreatitis before that was linked to some "treats" that were low quality. Those are off the diet list. This was about 3 years ago.
 

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I will hold on the Thyroid panel until there is more indication this is needed.
Weight gain without increased food and/or decreased exercise, or the inability to lose weight despite lowered food intake and/or increased exercise is a pretty common sign of low thyroid. Skin and coat issues can also be a sign.

Since you didn't say which Carnivora formula you are feeding, I've pulled up the info in these two, as well as the Pro Plan I feed my dogs. Personally, I think that's an awful lot of protein and fat for a dog who isn't doing some fairly significant physical work on a daily basis.

Carnivora Woodland Small breed
CRUDE PROTEIN
44.0% min​
CRUDE FAT
20.0% min​
CRUDE FIBER
4.0% max​

Carnivora Prairie
CRUDE PROTEIN
42.0% min​
CRUDE FAT
20.0% min​
CRUDE FIBER
5.0% max​

Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin and Stomach Salmon and Rice
CRUDE PROTEIN
26.0% min​
CRUDE FAT
16.0% min​
CRUDE FIBER
4.0% min​
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Leo, I've been rotating the 3 Carnivora flavors. Currently he is eating the Coastal variety.

Yesterday, I got a bag of Acana Light & Fit. It maintains a reasonable level of protein, lower fat and calories. I'll be weaning him off the Carnivora over the next few days.

FWIW, the dog is not a couch potato. We are out walking at least 2 1/2-3 hours per day with several off-leash back yard romps and excursions to wooded state parks.
 

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Thoughts--

You are avoiding "filler" in your choice of kibble as much as you can, but your dog is seeking out the equivilent of filler...

I had not heard of that food before but from the above posted ratios, dang, that is like sled dog food percentages almost.

30/20 protein/fat is common puppy or athlete/active formula.

Blur Buffalo brand is notorious for stomach upsets.

I have not met a non-working dog that needed more than 18-20% fat and 28-35% or so protein from a dry food. Including my late male that trained half marathon distances with me.

Some dogs like grass. Why not? My dog like grass along with lettuce and kale and cabbage and other vegetables.
But if the grass eating is sudden and new, I'd look to his health and diet. I would probably slightly lower the calories per cup of food and feed a little more
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I believe BK & LeoRose hit the solution.

Currently, I'm blending 50/50 Carnivora and Acana to feed 3/4 cup/day split into 2 meals. He has stopped eating grass on a consistent basis.

The "filler" that I avoid is the GRAIN fillers. Dogs do not have the ability to process grains. This is a known fact which has been proven by science, biomechanics and ancestry of dogs. I don't mind feeding some fruits and veggies (steamed and chopped) to my dog. Grains are actively screened and minimized.

His excrement has returned to normal without danglers. He also seems a bit more active. Mini-schnauzers don't slow much.

I'm holding off about the thyroid panel. He just doesn't have any symptoms to indicate the need.
 

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The "filler" that I avoid is the GRAIN fillers. Dogs do not have the ability to process grains. This is a known fact which has been proven by science, biomechanics and ancestry of dogs. I don't mind feeding some fruits and veggies (steamed and chopped) to my dog. Grains are actively screened and minimized.
Actually, there is evidence that dogs evolved into dogs instead of staying wolves because they developed the ability to digest grains and other starches. Diet Shaped Dog Domestication
 
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Sorry, I disagree with that assertion.

Yes, the dog will pass the grains as undigested waste.

Dogs do not have the enzymes or gut length to break down and ferment the grains. The teeth and jaw movement do not support "grinding" of grains like omnivores or herbivores.

My dog will occasionally snatch a corn kernel from under a squirrel feeder. I can count on seeing the whole kernel like a bookmark in his excrement about 6-8 hours later. Not digested, only passed.
 

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Source: AKC
There’s also the perception that dogs should be eating a diet similar to their wild ancestors’. When was the last time you saw a wolf nibbling the kernels off a corncob? However, dogs are actually different from wolves in this regard; in fact, scientists believe that one of the physiological changes that helped dogs evolve alongside humans was the ability to digest starch. Dogs have differences in 10 key genes compared to wolves that enable them to better utilize grains than wolves can.

Furthermore, grain-free foods don’t mean plant-free foods. Grains are seeds, like wheat, rice, oats, corn, barley, millet, oatmeal, and quinoa. Grain-free diets use other plant sources such as potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, tapioca, peas, butternut squash, parsnips, carrots, spinach greens, and various fruits. These are also not foods wolves are known to eat. In fact, some of these ingredients provide less nutrition than grains.

Source: McGill University
It’s commonly said that dogs are unable to digest carbohydrates. This is just not true. Dogs have evolved over the 14 000+ years since their domestication to have quite different digestion than their wolf ancestors.

In 2013, researchers compared the genome sequences of 12 wolves with those of 60 dogs and found that the regions selected for since the domestication of dogs fell into two categories: those which alter the nervous system (and therefore potentially behaviour) and those which alter starch digestion.

As humans switched to a predominantly agriculture-based lifestyle, they created more permanent settlements, near which food scraps and waste would be disposed of. An early adaptation allowed wild dogs to digest these starch-rich castoffs and helped them to thrive in this new ecological niche.

However, in all mammals (including humans) carbohydrates are a non-essential nutrient. The glucose required by the body can be synthesized from amino acids and fats through gluconeogenesis. So, it is possible to meet the nutritional requirements of dogs, and yourself, without eating carbohydrates, but it’s not necessary. While dogs do not have amylase in their saliva as humans do, their pancreases produce enough amylase and other enzymes to break down carbs quite well.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Parus, you can post all the "authority articles" you wish. It won't change my mind.

Dog food was invented about 100 years ago by an American who had traveled to London by ship. As he was watching the ship being unloaded, the crew was disposing of the food waste. He noticed dogs were eating everything. He got the idea to make pre-cooked dog biscuits. This is the origin of dog food that we recognize.

Dog's teeth at built for meat. The jaw movement is only vertical. The digestive track is short and fast, so fermentation of grains is not possible.

Omnivores and Herbivores have flat teeth meant to grind. The jaw movement is both vertical and horizontal allowing the grinding action. The digestive track is long and slow to permit the fermentation of grains.

Dogs began separating from wolves roughly 33,0000 years ago. Domestication (selective breeding) began roughly 14,000 years ago. Dogs have been eating "kibble" for about 100 years. Before "kibble", dogs were scavenging or eating the waste from the human table.

I seriously doubt the digestive tract of dogs has evolved much in the last 100 years.
 

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Not digested, only passed.
Dogs, like humans, can't digest cellulose. The outside of a corn kernel is cellulose. Hence humans cooking or grinding corn and other plants to soften them up or turn them into flour. If you swallowed a raw dry corn kernel whole it'd come out the other end, too, but that's not evidence that humans can't digest or get nutrients from corn in general.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you........
Dogs do not have the teeth or jaw movement to grind grains into flour.
 

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Parus, you can post all the "authority articles" you wish. It won't change my mind.
That's cool, you can invent your own facts for yourself if you wish, but other people reading the thread might be interested in real research and biology.
 
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