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Hi,
We had our dog sterilized 2 months ago (she is a cross breed with possibly a tolling retriever). She is 2.5yo and she always used to be 9kg. She used to eat by herself(we just filled her cup and she would eat as much as she needed, and this kept her weight stable at 9 kg for 1.5 years). After the operation we changed her feeding habits and now measure 100g of food split into 2 meals/day. The problem is that she gained 1.5 kgs and the vet confirmed she has some fat on her underbelly.

He said I should consider buying a special kind of food from his vet shop which is more concentrated (and extremely more expensive than the food we feed our dog now). We currently feed her Brekkies excel (it says it has chicken, rice and corn in it). It costs us about 7Eur/4kg. The food the vet proposed is called i think proplan and it is about 20Eur/3kg.

One thing that makes me really worried is that the vet said that supermarket food like brekkies, pedigree, vip, are likely to cause the dog longterm liver and kidney problems. What do you think? Is the vet trying to scare me into buying their expensive food, or does he genuinely care for my dog's health.

Just a note: the vet clinic we go to recently changed their vets (!!). The previous vet, unlike the current one, said I should keep on feeding her whatever I was feeding her before the operation. Maybe he was canned because he wouldnt sell the special food..:(
 

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Cheap foods are definitely bad. Dogs survive on them, yes, but I'd never feed it. Personally I have problems with ProPlan. It's overpriced for what it is, and Purina uses questionable sources of protein (as in euthanized shelter animals).

Look for a more natural food like Taste of the Wild, Earthborn, Acana, or others on this list: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/dry/5-star/

Stay away from corn. Corn is fattening. I feed raw now, but when I did kibble I avoided rice, corn, and grain as they are needless fillers that pass right through your dog, and also soy, byproducts, and preservatives.
 

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Proplan isn't even that great. It's better than some supermarket food, but really, it's not very good considering how expensive it is for such cruddy ingredients. I do not know if the lower-quality foods can cause liver or kidney problems, but it would not surprise me if they did. They really are not something that a dog should be eating.

I don't know what other brands you can get since you are not in America (I assume this because you are using kilograms and Euros), so I cannot recommend an alternative because I do not know what is available to you. I will say though, that while two of my dogs were on Pedigree, they were not in the greatest condition. You could say they were "healthy" since they were not showing any medical problems, but since I switched them to a better food, they stopped stinking, their coats weren't greasy anymore, and their teeth cleaned up a bit. They also have better energy and better overall health.

Some dogs need less food after being altered. She might simply need less, but it would probably be better for her long-term health if you switched her to a higher-quality food. Yes it will be more expensive, but I find a good food to be well worth the extra cost.
 

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Also you typically feed less of the better food because it has less filler so the cost is offset a bit that way. My foster dog was on a crappy food when I got him and was eating 6-7 cups a day. On a better food he eats 4 cups a day.
 

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Are you in the UK? I've heard good things about James Wellbeloved on another forum. I don't think it's grainfree, but apparently has decent ingredients. I prefer a grainfree diet myself. What do you have available over there that's grainfree? You probably have some local companies that we don't have over here.
 

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Are you in the UK? I've heard good things about James Wellbeloved on another forum. I don't think it's grainfree, but apparently has decent ingredients. I prefer a grainfree diet myself. What do you have available over there that's grainfree? You probably have some local companies that we don't have over here.
I will have a look at the vet's. In addition to Proplan they have other brands too! I will post a list as soon soon!

I am not in the UK, I am in Cyprus, but I assume that we should have most major brands distributed in other EU countries. Feeding raw is something I will definitely study too.

Thanks a lot all! Great advise! I will definitely go for a better quality food (I will definitely aqvoid manufucturers that use euthanised animals).
 

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Are you in the UK? I've heard good things about James Wellbeloved on another forum. I don't think it's grainfree, but apparently has decent ingredients. I prefer a grainfree diet myself. What do you have available over there that's grainfree? You probably have some local companies that we don't have over here.
Some of the varieties are grain free, some are not. However, it's a much better food than most of the supermarket brands that don't even tell you what's really in them. All of the wet food pouches have rice in them however.
 

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I don't see grain as an issue as long as there is sufficient meat in it. My 5 month old Chesapeake/Lab mix gets Blue Buffalo Puppy Chicken and Brown rice. We constantly have people remarking on her beautiful coat. It's more expensive then Purina or Pedigree, but far from top notch stuff. Her favorite treats are Blue Buffalo too.
 

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You should definitely get her off the Brekkies brand. The ingredients are vague so you can't be really sure what you're getting and "cereals" seem to be the main ingredient in all their product lines. Try to find something with higher meat content, named ingredients (ie. chicken meat or chicken meal instead of just meat or meat meal).
Two of Brekkies products ingredient tables:

Cereals (with corn among others), meat and meat products (min. 6% chicken), products of vegetable origin, oils and fats, vegetable protein extracts, minerals, yeast.
Contains antioxidants.

Cereals (14% rice in the rice croquettes, 4% wheat), meat and animal derivatives (4% beef in the red croquettes, 4% chicken in the beige croquettes, 2% duck in the dark brown croquettes ), vegetable protein extracts, oils and fats, minerals, derivatives of vegetable origin, sugars, vegetables (2% green peas in the green croquettes, 0.6% carrot in the orange croquettes).
 

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Your vet is not giving you the best information or offering the best product although on paper the Proplan is very likely a better made commercial food. Although I am in the US I suspect you are paying somewhat less than you should be prepared to pay for decent mainstream kibble and the vet is certainly charging more than a reasonable amount for the Pro Plan. All vets do. It is an easy way to make money for them and people want to trust their vet. The scare tactics about what you've been feeding were totally inappropriate.

So long story short: here's what I'd do. Find a couple of moderately priced kibbles your dog likes and digests well. A named meat or meat meal should be the first ingredient and not meat by products or a grain like corn or wheat. The key to making the most of cheap food is to rotate. Allergies often come from an inadequate food fed exclusively. *Do* feed small amounts of healthy table scraps as often as possible: non greasy chicken or beef, vegetables without butter or oil, eggs cooked or raw, fruit. To me it is better to feed a less than ideal commercial food *in rotation* supplemented with fresh foods than even the "best" highest protein lowest carb super-premium food exclusively.

Now as to weight loss. The dog needs less food, higher quality food, and more exercise if possible. Google dog food calculator (there is a sticky note in this forum section linking to one). Figure out the calorie requirements for your dog's ideal weight and activity level. Then only feed foods that you can research the calories per cup for. It's usually 300-425 a cup though for most foods. *Never* feed the recommended amount on the bag. It's almost always much too much food and you can't fine tune it. If the calorically correct portion (fed 2x/day) looks like a tiny amount of food to you and you just have to give more, try green beans and carrots. Allow for any commercial (fattening) treats your family or others may want to offer.

It takes a long time to take the weight off. You need to be able to feel the ribs and see a tummy tuck. Benji is now at a good weight: 18 lbs, pretty much where he was when we adopted him. We got as much as 3 extra lbs off him over time. He only eats 1/2 cup of kibble a day with a little canned or freeze dried raw or fresh mixed in. Some weeks in the evening he gets home cooked or a US product called Deli Fresh which is refrigerated.

Keep an eye on that vet and don't be afraid to ask questions.
 
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