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Discussion Starter #1
I feed 4health food for the most part. Occasionally I will buy another brand to mix in, or to try with Greta who is an extremely picky eater.

I normally wouldn't care if she was picky, but she is terribly thin. I have tried everything I have heard of, to no avail. She is perfectly healthy. Her vet says she is just so active with a high metabolism, and her lines are all fairly thin. You can see her ribs, hipbones, and occasionally her spine. I have tried some raw, kibble with every imaginable topping, table scraps, canned food, the log rolls, etc. She likes a lot, but only eats a little of anything. I have used additives, weight gain supplements, oils, you name it.

After trying almost every brand of food, her two favorites are bil jack and royal canine. Sigh, lol. So how bad are these?
 

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Of course she likes them, think McDonalds with those foods. Your high quality will be more like gourmet.

More importantly, have you tried freeze dried or raw? I haven't met a dog yet that doesn't like The Honest Kitchen or Grandma Lucy's.

One more question: what breed and age is your dog?
 

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I don't know anything about Bil Jack or Royal Canin. Try looking them up on the dog food analysis site.

That being said, my dog is doing really well on Fromm(the grain free varieties). She has always been very picky, eats like a bird, and you can always see her ribs, hip bones, and spine. She's now a whopping 46.6lbs! This food will be a keeper for her. It might be worth looking into for you too.
 

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IMHO, if that is what she likes and that is what she actually will eat, I'd feed it. Maybe rotate in some healthier options, but if she likes it and is doing well on it, then I would just do it. I know the feeling of trying to feed a dog everything and still having them refuse, and I like a thin dog but I don't want to see spine.

Is there any chance she could be having an issue with her teeth?

And what about making a "gruel"? Hot water and then something really smelly and gross, like tripe? Or what about sardines?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
She is a belgian malinois, almost two. All of my other mals are a good weight.

I have not tried freeze dried. She won't eat raw. I have coaxed her into satin balls, anything else must be at least partially cooked. Even boiled chicken she will only eat so much of.

I have done free feeding, scheduled meals, and fasting. She has recently gained weight, but it is a pita to keep much on her.
 

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Try the freeze dried. Our dogs go crazy, even my finnicky Sibe, Delilah. I was hard pressed to get her to eat a cup a day of kibble. We feed Grandma Lucy's Pureformance Chicken. Don't worry about the sticker shock it makes 51 lbs of food and ends up cheaper than kibble. I swear by it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have tried fromm, I don't recall which flavor. Maybe I shouldn't say she is that picky, as she will eat different things but only for a day or so.

She has been this way since I got her as a pup. Teeth and health is great. I will often tease her with another dog or two, since she will eat more to compete with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Try the freeze dried. Our dogs go crazy, even my finnicky Sibe, Delilah. I was hard pressed to get her to eat a cup a day of kibble. We feed Grandma Lucy's Pureformance Chicken. Don't worry about the sticker shock it makes 51 lbs of food and ends up cheaper than kibble. I swear by it.
Where is this available? So do you soak and then feed?
 

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Not so great in terms of the actual ingredients. Looking at Royal Canin's ingredients... The main ingredient is chicken meal. Meal is fine as a second or third ingredient, but the first ingredient should be unprocessed meat. The next few ingredients are brown rice and oats. Not only is grain not necessary for dogs to eat, it is also toxic to them. Just like it is to humans. The reason cows, horses, elephants and other animals that naturally eat grasses and grains have multiple stomachs is not only because it would be impossible to digest otherwise, but also to chemically bind toxins in grain to neutralize them. Even the natural eaters of grain cannot fully digest its contents, and the food comes out looking relatively the same as it did coming in. Grain isn't a natural part of either dog's or human's diets, but it is highly pressed as a source of fiber by farmers and "nutritionists" because it is the highest grossing agriculture product. Remember, wolves and humans bonded together in the first place because they naturally ate the same foods. The next ingredient after that is chicken fat. Fat is healthy, but not when it's listed as one of the top ingredients. Then there is processed beet pulp. While beets are great for dog's health, beet pulp on the other hand, is mostly sugar and fiber. Following that is corn gluten meal, which is sugar, which is completely poisonous to dogs and should never, ever be a part of any dog food. Natural chicken flavor comes next on the list, and then brewer's yeast, an appetite stimulant commonly put in low-quality dog foods to make them addictive. The rest of the ingredients include added salt, and chemically produced vitamins and minerals. To top it off, this product even contains Mono-Sodium Glutamate. Also called MSG, it is an addictive food additive commonly used to make low quality foods, like Cup of Noodle and Top Ramen, more appealing. This dog food consists almost entirely of processed meat, grain, salt, food additives, and lab-made vitamins and minerals. What's missing here is any form of real meat, and it has absolutely no fruits or vegetables whatsoever. Considering that a dog's natural diet is made up of real meat, fruits, and vegetables, and absolutely no grain whatsoever excluding occasionally grass (which isn't listed here, either), this dog food is highly processed and unnatural. I would consider it unfit for consumption for any animal.
 

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You can get it at most specialty places. I just order online. Wag.com has free 2 day. shipping and first order gets 15% off just look for the coupon code on the front webpage. All the grandma lucys are good. If u go to the website you can get specifics on everything. It even has puppy guidelines. Its all life stages and human grade. We mix 1 cup pureformance with 1 cup warm water. Stir let sit a few minutes and then it gets gobbled down.
 

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Have you tried Sojos? It is another kind of raw dog food mix that I hear is quite successful for picky eaters. I am not sure where you are but most "holistic" pet stores will carry it. You could also try to find a distributor through their website.

What about Ziwi Peak? I know they sell trial size bags and you can see if she goes nuts for it or not. IMO, it is too expensive to feed as a whole diet but works well for training. It may do the trick if mixed in with other kibble/raw.

Hey, can we see a picture? I love hearing about your dogs (and I envy your living) but I don't remember ever seeing them.
 

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Not so great in terms of the actual ingredients. Looking at Royal Canin's ingredients... The main ingredient is chicken meal. Meal is fine as a second or third ingredient, but the first ingredient should be unprocessed meat. The next few ingredients are brown rice and oats. Not only is grain not necessary for dogs to eat, it is also toxic to them. Just like it is to humans. The reason cows, horses, elephants and other animals that naturally eat grasses and grains have multiple stomachs is not only because it would be impossible to digest otherwise, but also to chemically bind toxins in grain to neutralize them. Even the natural eaters of grain cannot fully digest its contents, and the food comes out looking relatively the same as it did coming in. Grain isn't a natural part of either dog's or human's diets, but it is highly pressed as a source of fiber by farmers and "nutritionists" because it is the highest grossing agriculture product. Remember, wolves and humans bonded together in the first place because they naturally ate the same foods. The next ingredient after that is chicken fat. Fat is healthy, but not when it's listed as one of the top ingredients. Then there is processed beet pulp. While beets are great for dog's health, beet pulp on the other hand, is mostly sugar and fiber. Following that is corn gluten meal, which is sugar, which is completely poisonous to dogs and should never, ever be a part of any dog food. Natural chicken flavor comes next on the list, and then brewer's yeast, an appetite stimulant commonly put in low-quality dog foods to make them addictive. The rest of the ingredients include added salt, and chemically produced vitamins and minerals. To top it off, this product even contains Mono-Sodium Glutamate. Also called MSG, it is an addictive food additive commonly used to make low quality foods, like Cup of Noodle and Top Ramen, more appealing. This dog food consists almost entirely of processed meat, grain, salt, food additives, and lab-made vitamins and minerals. What's missing here is any form of real meat, and it has absolutely no fruits or vegetables whatsoever. Considering that a dog's natural diet is made up of real meat, fruits, and vegetables, and absolutely no grain whatsoever excluding occasionally grass (which isn't listed here, either), this dog food is highly processed and unnatural. I would consider it unfit for consumption for any animal.
I found this post VERY interesting.When I got my pups,I asumed that Royal canin (breed specific) was the best food out there because of it´s price (at 20€ *$25* for a 3lb bag,its the most expensive on the market) and because it can only be found at veterinary clinics (not in regular stores).
Now that I think about it,the ingredients list is very short and you´re right,it has no vegatables or fruit of any kind.

I recently switched to Acana (puppy small breed),its ALOT cheaper (16€ *$20* for a 5lb bag) yet I´ve read it´s quality is alot better than RC..is that true?
 

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juliemule ,

I think you are doing the right by trying different foods to see what works. I am not a fan of The Royal C or Bil-jac products , however , I do think the 4-Health is a very good base to build on and finding foods to add that Gretta will eat is Key. I had an Irish Setter with the same problem with trying to put weight on her. What worked with her was adding healthy food from our table to her food that did it , even then it was an up hill battle. She liked and meat source foods from our table , we would cook things like beef/pork and turkey that we could find on sale and add to her food from our table. When she saw and smelled that it came from our food she would eat very well. Just keep on trying things and you will find what works.

oldhounddog
 

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Royal Canin and Bil Jack are not good foods, BUT...some dogs can't or won't eat the better kibbles. I have a friend who used to raise German Sheperds, and her dogs got sick, lost weight, and had excessive hair loss on both Blue Buffalo and Taste of the Wild. The only food they did well on is Purina Pro Plan Performance, which is NOT a good food. She still has one of the dogs purely as a pet now, and she continues to feed her this food (she now feeds Sam's version of this food b/c it's cheaper).

4 Health is a decent food at a very good price, especially the Potato and Salmon, which is grain free. My westiepoo seems to be sensitive to potatoes, or I'd feed it! I feed Innova Prime Salmon and Herring, which my dogs love. They also really like Acana grain free - the Pacifica is very strong smelling - maybe your dog would like that! I quit feeding Acana b/c it has potato in it, but it's a great food.
 

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I recently switched to Acana (puppy small breed),its ALOT cheaper (16€ *$20* for a 5lb bag) yet I´ve read it´s quality is alot better than RC..is that true?
IMO, absolutely. Acana is a really nice food. It might be helpful for you to compare the ingredients. Acana. Royal Canin. Just goes to show that more expensive does not always mean better.

Meal is fine as a second or third ingredient, but the first ingredient should be unprocessed meat.
I don't really agree with this. It might be a lofty ideal, but I'd much rather see several named meals than one meal and a whole bunch of fresh meats. IMO the fresh meats are sort of gimmicky because they're mostly water. It's certainly not a bad thing if a food contains fresh meats at the beginning but for me it is far from a requirement.


Anyway, to the OP, I don't think Royal Canin is so bad that I would avoid it if that's really all your dog likes. It contains corn (and corn gluten as a protein booster) and wheat, but if your dog doesn't have an issue with those things it's not so bad. It's certainly overpriced but at least the first ingredient is a meat meal for the formulas I've looked at. It's certainly far better in quality than your average generic or something like Beneful that hardly contains any meat at all.
 

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Have you tried the 15 minute rule? You leave food down for 15 minutes then take away whatever's left and then not feed again until the next feeding time. Also no treats in between, not even chews if she didn't finish her meal. My dog will eat anything if I add salmon oil. I also make him a variety of cooked meats mixed with either homemade gravy, yogurt or organic broth. I freeze them in ice cube trays and melt 1 cube onto his meal.

I also make a huge fuss over him whenever he finishes his meal so that he knows that eating all of his food makes me really happy which makes him really happy. Royal canin isn't a good food.
 

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To answer your question about the 4Health? ...

I use and love 4Health. I have been using it for about a year now. My dogs do great on it. I add other foods like BB and Wellness ... and did add TOTW to it to keep their meals interesting and to keep them from being bored.

In fact I just bought a 35 pound bag of 4Health Chicken and Rice ... and the new Salmon and Potato was on sale at TSC for $4.99 on a 5 lb bag ... so I bought one of those to see if they like it. I am also currently using Wellness Super5 Mix and BB Fish and Sweet Potato. My dogs are fat and sassy! Lol! :) Actually these foods do cause my dogs to gain weight if I am not carefully measuring it out.
 

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I don't think RC is THAT bad. If she does well on it, and it's all she eats... then why change? Yes, I think you could do better, and I think in most places RC is horribly over-priced. But they have good quality control, few recalls, and I admit, a lot of dogs seem to do well on it. My uncle's Shepherd has the prettiest softest coat I've ever seen and it's what she eats.

You can find a few formulas without any corn too, but if your dog does fine with it, I don't think it's, like... awful.
 

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I don't think RC is THAT bad. If she does well on it, and it's all she eats... then why change? Yes, I think you could do better, and I think in most places RC is horribly over-priced. But they have good quality control, few recalls, and I admit, a lot of dogs seem to do well on it. My uncle's Shepherd has the prettiest softest coat I've ever seen and it's what she eats.

You can find a few formulas without any corn too, but if your dog does fine with it, I don't think it's, like... awful.
Oh I dont think it´s terrible.Infact,I have always fed royal canin to my dogs asuming that it´s price meant that I was giving my pets the best food I could give them.They did well on it (meaning they´d eat it with no problems),but my previous yorkies all had AWFUL awful coats,and I had no idea what was causing that at all.It never ocurred to me that it could be the their food,because how can a 3lb bag of kibble that costs $25 not be giving them all they need?
This time around we started on royal canin again,but something told me that I should try another brand..even if it was cheaper.This is why we have switched to Acana...and as for how their coats do on it,well,we´ll see :)

I honestly dont like what I´m reading about royal canin and I do wish that I had done my homework before instead of spending hundreds on vitamins and suppliments for my dogs coats when the problem could have just been their food :( Many dogs do fine on it,I dont doubt that at all :) But I´d rather stear clear of it for now.
 
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