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I saw a dog on Craigslist, whom I'm thinking of fostering for a couple of months and then setting up something with another owner to at least get her out of the sistuation she's currently in, but they have her right now on a dollar store branded-food, and she looks a bit underweight. My dogs are all on Kibbles N Bits mixed in with Halos' Spots' Stew Whitefish & Salmon, and well if this dog is only going to be with us for a few months as a foster, I might switch our dogs onto something else - and this dog onto something more affordable.

Pure Balance - is is it too fatty? I've got overweight dogs and I'm looking at the bison recipe, I want to go with that one for all of my dogs including this new puppy I'm considering bringing home. But this dog is a bit underweight so I dont mind feeding her extra... I can't have anything in too high-cal though where it's unresonable.

Is the kibble a good size for smaller breeds? My Chihuahua George is having problems with digesting kibble that's hard, so if it's big and soft then he can chew it it just takes time, but he can eat it ... he'd prefer smaller bits compared to soft and large, but still, this pup is a lab-pit mix. I think she'd be okay with a larger sized kibble.

One more thing, what about the wet food? Can I give her a can of wet food? I never really give my dogs wet food, but since I got a cat they said never give your cat dry food or it causes digestion problems and he DID throw up some of his 'kibble' when my grandma 'stupidly' (though she's 81 years old I cant blame her >_>) gave him some milk, regardless cats are lactoes n tolerant. she said he upchucked his kibble with the milk so that tells me maybe it's not a good idea to give dogs kibble?

Should I feed my dogs only wet food? Im going to start feeding my cat only wet food, and I dont have a problem with it because cat food isnt that expensive compared to dog food and it's not that hard to carry/maintain because a cat doesnt eat as much.

Or should I just feed a mixture of wet & dry food and a bit of water in their food (even in their kibble) to make it softer, regardless of if the food is a small-breed sized kibble, because that might make it easier for Georgie to eat? What do you all think? I could have the wet food as a topper for their meals, and that'll make it more delictable. . .
 

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You can give your dogs wet food, but I wouldn't feed them only wet food. My Chihuahua mix does fine on Pure Balance. I really like the brand.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'll probably use the wet food as a topper and if somehow the kibble isnt soft enough for one of them I'll just pour some water in it or something. What version of the food do you feed your Chihuahua?
 

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Cats need wet food because they don't tend to drink sufficient water separately. A healthy dog will drink enough water as long as clean fresh water is available all the time. So dry food is just fine for a dog and far more affordable for a larger dog. Adding water to soften the food for a small dog works well and costs nothing really. Warm water (like cup of tea temp) seems to make the food smell stronger which dogs like.

For fosters, I preferred not to feed them anything "special" that could potentially turn them into picky eaters or be too hard for an adoptive family to keep up with during a food transition phase. So my go-to has been a basic chicken and rice or chicken and barley type dry food, grain-free seems to only be worth it for some dogs that didn't do as well on the grain-inclusive. I also generally avoid the less common meats like bison so that if a dog develops a food allergy later, there is a novel protein to try with a limited ingredient diet. So I stick mostly with chicken, turkey, fish and beef.

If you have a Tractor Supply Company nearby, a very affordable food from a reputable company is Sportmix Wholesomes. About $28-30 for 40 lbs. Pro Pac is also fairly widely available in pet stores and just under $1/lb usually.

For Wal-Mart or Target-- Pure Balance, Purina ONE, and Iams Healthy Naturals aren't too bad.
 

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Pure Balance is decent. I didn't know they had a bison version though (looked it up. . .a little pricey, not too bad though). If nobody's allergic I'd probably recommend sticking with the chicken or lamb versions. Like Shell said, you might want to save the novel proteins for if someone develops an allergy. Any one of those should be reasonable in calories/fat/etc. Don't worry about feeding more or a higher calorie food to a dog that's underweight---just feed her the normal amount for her size and she'll put the weight on slowly, which is a lot better than loading her up.

Canned food is fine (well, of course depending on brand. Some canned dog foods are BAD), it gets super expensive feeding only canned to large dogs though. They need something like 5-6 cans a day. No way! With a small dog, I might feed all canned, but it's not as important as it is with cats because cats just plain don't drink enough water to prevent them from getting kidney disease and urinary problems. Dogs are usually pretty good at drinking enough. If it's just for the taste, one thing I've found that works for dogs is to mix the kibble, canned (doesn't have to be much, you can split a can between all the dogs), and some warm water together, give it a good mixing to get every kibble coated in flavor, and let it sit a couple minutes. They love that. I usually get the Nature's Domain canned food at Costco because it's only 80 cents a can and smells like something I'd like to eat :D. But if you don't have a membership, Pure Balance is good too.

I agree that you don't want to get a foster dog hooked on something the new owners won't want to do. Pure Balance chicken flavor isn't very expensive and is readily available, so that would be fine, but I wouldn't mix any canned food in unless it's absolutely necessary to get her to eat. And even then I'd be working on weaning her off that; most people don't want to have to buy canned food for their new dog.
 

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Do you think that this bag of Pure Balance is worth more than Sience Diet? I was thinking of suggesting my local humane society to switch over to Pure Balance to save money, as it seemed like a better deal. Quality-wise and money-wise.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/35844191 I dont mind paying for a few bags in the beginning as well to get them started, as I am a volunteer there anyway. Though I wanted your guy's opinions. . .
 

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Many shelters get Science Diet at a huge discount compared to retail, so while Pure Balance or another food might be a good deal for retail and possibly better nutrition by price, it doesn't mean that it will translate for a shelter situation.

If they aren't getting food at a wholesale or major discount price, then there might be another reasonable price for bulk buying.
 

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Shelters get donations from big companies like Purina, Iams, and Hill's. I doubt it's costing them much, if anything. The companies have the shelters hand out samples and brochures about that food and they probably make whatever they donate back in new customers. Plus they might unload imperfect bags that won't sell at retail (bad print job, funny-looking kibble, nothing that affects the quality).
 
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