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Discussion Starter #1
Lucy is a Jack/Parson Russel Terrier mix of at least 5 years of age. She is missing her bottom incisor and quite a few top teeth ... and soon to lose some more. She is a rescue with a history of being starved for the last three months.

Being a Terrier are their any softer diets that would be considered well balanced for her? She is advancing in years and I am told Terriers are prone to skin allergies and also flea allergies.

My childhood Terrier mix of a whole 12 pounds lived on human food for 17 healthy years ... never a bowl of dog food in his life! ... not very smart and probably unheard of now days. :)

Watering the food is always an easy way to soften ... but I want to be sure she is eating well. I have started her on 4Health Chicken and Rice Formula. I am debating whether to use anything else yet ... as she is having a wellness check tomorrow at the vets to be sure her hair loss and sores on her tail is indeed from her diet or a flea allergy.

I am not going to ask the vet about food ... as they are not always as expertise in that particular department.

Thank you for taking the time to read and any and all suggestion are welcome. :)
 

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I don't have any direct experience with this, but a relative of mine has an elderly Italian greyhound with only a couple teeth and they feed him this soft Bil-Jac frozen food that looks like ground beef. They microwave it so it's warm (and so smelly, ugh) I think because he isn't that good of an eater and it's more enticing that way.

Anyway, I don't think Bil-Jac is a great food so I'm not recommending it specifically, but maybe some puree style canned food warmed up in the microwave would be both soft for her teeth and enticing to help him put some weight on. Then again, she might just do fine with kibble or wetted down kibble, as I've heard of toothless dogs doing ok on it because many dogs don't really chew, they just gulp it down.

And again, thank you for adopting this girl. I have a soft spot for terriers and her story is just heartbreaking. I'm glad things are going to be better for her from here on out. :)
 

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I used to do a lot of pet sitting--and babysat a pair of elderly wired haired dachsunds regularly--one having very few teeth.

What they did was soak the dry food in the am for night feeding--and at night for morning feeding.

Then right before feeding, add in a tableslespoon of wet food and break up the kibble pieces when mixing it in. Worked well for their dogs. :)

I have a JRT x--and I don't have skin issues with her. Maybe a flea sensitivity, yes--but nothing major that baths and frequent flea meds hasn't kept under control. All of my friends with JRT's don't really have skin issues either--so hopefully Lucy won't either! :)
 

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Because i'm a raw feeder and see even more benefits of raw that i'm slowly weaning my dogs off a 50/50 kibble/raw diet onto %100 raw ( I only feed a small kibble meal a few times week to use up the batch I currently have), I would obviously recommend you try, or consider trying a premade (ground) commercial raw diet that is within your budget or available in your area. There is obviously not a lot of chewing involved, and it would no doubt help to ensure she is getting complete nutrients she needs to get back to optimum health. Just my two cents anyway, BTW congrats on the new adoption, and my deepest sympathy for your recent loss.

Wishing you and yours all the best :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Because i'm a raw feeder and see even more benefits of raw that i'm slowly weaning my dogs off a 50/50 kibble/raw diet onto %100 raw ( I only feed a small kibble meal a few times week to use up the batch I currently have), I would obviously recommend you try, or consider trying a premade (ground) commercial raw diet that is within your budget or available in your area. There is obviously not a lot of chewing involved, and it would no doubt help to ensure she is getting complete nutrients she needs to get back to optimum health. Just my two cents anyway, BTW congrats on the new adoption, and my deepest sympathy for your recent loss.

Wishing you and yours all the best :)
Thank you for the condolences .... I will never be the same. :(

Anyways ... if I should go pre-made raw ... I would gradually switch over just like kibble ... correct?

Also ... since she is so small ... is there a home made raw without bones way to do this ... or is the better pre-made because it would be fortified with vitamins? Or do you need supplements either way?

Sorry so many questions.
 

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There is a way to do raw without whole bones. . .you can supplement with bone meal or eggshell. As long as you get the organ/meat/calcium ratio correct it can be done. A grinder would be helful, but I suppose if the meat was cut up into small chunks it wouldn't be necessary.

The pre-made raw foods are a lot easier though. Check out Nature's Menu (http://www.naturesmenu.com/) --I thought their prices were quite reasonable, even with shipping. Since she's small she should only need 1-2 patties a day, and that's not prohibitive. Probably cheaper than canned. And Nature's Variety has a wide distribution and is usually available somewhere local. The 2-pound chubs are the most economical, but the patties sure are convenient.
 

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Thank you for the condolences .... I will never be the same. :(

Anyways ... if I should go pre-made raw ... I would gradually switch over just like kibble ... correct?

Also ... since she is so small ... is there a home made raw without bones way to do this ... or is the better pre-made because it would be fortified with vitamins? Or do you need supplements either way?

Sorry so many questions.
Honestly in most cases I think its safer to switch to raw cold turkey, as some would claim it confuses the digestive system to alternate feeding kibble and raw, but honestly, both of my dogs have done just fine on a part kibble/raw diet, My shiba has been on this diet for 6 years without any noticeable issues. Thumper, he's a little different, the only thing I notice with the partial diet is his stools; they are never consistent unless he's on solid raw. I experimented a while back with 1 week solid raw diet and stools were perfect. As soon as he got kibble into his system again, stools were runny, soft, green occasionally - every dog is different. So you COULD try transitioning that way, if you prefer, but I dont believe it is at all neccessary.

When my dogs are fed kibble, they are fed typically less than half of what the recommendations on the bag suggest, and I always have a 12 hr period between feeding kibble and raw, recommend at the minimum 7 hrs.

My 6 year old Shiba has been eating the same premade commercial ground raw diet his whole life and I am proud to say he's not been to a vet other than for vaccinations and neuter, and he's never had any major health concerns. I like to think that its because the ground diet is whole animal carcass including the efficient amounts of muscle meat, bone and organs - which is extremely important when feeding raw, so thats why I suggested that. Its easy, convenient and its nutritionally complete. However, your little girl, regardless of missing some teeth, may be able to crunch up little chicken bones and what not sooner or later, once she regains some strength in her jaw/teeth, etc, being able to chew on some bones would no doubt help out her dental situation and prevent any further dental complications.

Now, I am feeding a variety of raw; although my Shiba is living proof that the premade commercial raw diet has worked wonderfully for him, I DID notice that his teeth were beginning to look.. not so good. It wasn't until I started doing further research that I learned that dogs really NEED to chew/eat bones not only for nutritional reasons, but to keep their teeth in good health too. He was getting the nutrients from the ground bone in the commercial diet, but he wasn't getting the dental benefits, as there really is no chewing involved. I conducted a little experiment a little while back, first I eliminated kibble cold turkey off the menu and put my dogs on a solid raw diet for just over a week to see if I would notice any changes or differences when kibble is out of the equation. So, what I did was source out a bunch of cheap cuts of meat, bone and boneless from grocery stores, etc and I alternated their raw meals. Because the commercial premade raw had sufficient amounts of bone, I tried to balance out the meals accordingly so that they weren't getting TOO much bone, because obviously too much or too less of anything isn't good, but I did the best I could. On the weekday mornings they got the commercial premade because its easy and convenient to feed when i'm rushing to get ready for work, one evening they would get a fairly boney meal, like cornish game hen/chicken/turkey/duck parts (wings, necks, thighs, drumsticks, backs, etc). The next evening they would get a more 'boneless' dinner, like chunks of boneless pork, beef, peice of whole frozen large sardines, chicken gizzards, chicken/beef liver/heart, raw egg, etc..I wasn't too worried about the protein varieties with this stuff, since they were eating whole ground elk, beef, lamb, bison, duck, chicken and rabbit carcass regularily as part of the commercial diet..

Anyway, after that week or so I immediately noticed improvements with Cash's teeth, Thumpers were always fairly pearly white being a puppy, Cash had lots of build up in his teeth but what a significant difference I noticed there just being able to chew up more bone.. wether that was a combination of no kibble and chewing bone.. I dont know, but I was happy either way, his teeth were becomming naturally cleaner, and his breath was much better as well. In that week as well, I noticed really good stools, especially Thumper, his stools were always whacky, and as soon as the kibble is out of the question that was more consistent and normal for him (could have also been the increased bone ingestion firming it up). and I also noticed both dogs itching less, they were never bad for dry/itchy skin, but up here the winters are very dry, but when kibble was off the menu, significant decrease in itching, Thumpers bald spot on his nose grew in immediately, and another small, minor thing I noticed as well is eye goobers that they both occasionally got were gone.

So, although I think my dogs did just fine with kibble included in their diet, I definitely noticed they do even BETTER without it. So that is why I'm gradually getting off kibble for good, it only took a little over a week for me to realize the difference without it and its hard to even continue feeding the kibble I do have, since its all good quality stuff, but its also expensive so I am trying to use it up.

Hopefully others will chime in here about feeding raw - bone and boneless varieties with your situation with a dog missing teeth, but for now I suggested the premade commercialg round raw becuase it would certainly do the trick temporarily until she can start gnawing on some bones.

Regardless, good luck with whatever route you go and I hope you find whatever works good for you new little girl ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you sooo much for all the infrormation ... I know there are other threads on this ... but this is a little different. I spoke to the vet today about diet ... not asking for any real suggestions ... but she said to go slow about anything just yet until we see that the skin issue is indeed a flea allergy. If it is not we will look at allergies first. We have antibiotics for the skin on her tail and end of her rump. She goes back in two weeks for her booster shots and we will see then.

If all is well .. I may try the pre-made raw first. :) The patties sound interesting ... as she is small and will only weigh a litle over 20 pounds if not just at 20 pounds when her weight is correct.

Also ... vet chuckled when she saw Lucy ... she said .. " That's a TALL JRT! " She says Lucy is a Fox Terrier. :)
 

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I would do the pre-made raw if you go raw. Takes the guess work out of all the ratios. There are a lot of products on the market for oral health for dogs. It is based on enzymes. There are additives to add to the drinking water. Pastes and gels to rub on the gums to further help maintain the teeth. The veterinary oral health council is a good website to visit to learn about dental health and approved products that have enzymes in them to help with the tartar. You may not like the dog food recommendations but can buy it and give as a treat. Biotene for dogs is a new product out there. DO NOT buy the biotene products for humans and use it on your dog. The human product contains xylitol and this can be very toxic to your dog. Daily brushing will be the best thing for her. With her bad teeth hard bones may not be the best option. She probably already has cracks in them and can chip her teeth on the bones. This would cause her to lose even more teeth.
 

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hi Abbylynn, I feed Butters Tollden Farms raw dog food and she loves it! It's very soft, and she should easily be able to eat it. The meat looks super fresh and tasty and there's some soft pieces of cartilege in there you can take out if it's hard for her but she should be able to just swallow it. Butters so far tried the Venison, Beef and Vegetable, Chicken bone and meat, and chicken mackerel, and boar & vegetable, and loved them all!
 

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Tollden Farms food looks great! But sadly they only sell in Ontario :(. Which isn't super far from Ohio but still not readily available for U.S. citizens (I wonder what the customs laws are about raw meat?).

http://www.onlynaturalpet.com/search.aspx?avs|Pet+Type=Dogs&avs|Department=Food&avs|Food+Type=Raw has a good selection of pre-made raw foods. But shipping can be crazy. Nature's Menu is the most reasonably priced source I've found. Oh, and www.hare-today.com, but you have to mix the supplement into their food so it's not quite as convenient as pulling a patty out of the freezer.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everybody! You are so helpful! Much much appreciated! :) I am sad the Tollden Farms food is only in Ontario. :(
When I go grocery shopping tomorrow I am going to stop off at the big pet supply store and see what they may offer also. At least I have an idea what to look for now. :)

We have to travel sooo far all the time to get groceries and stuff ... uuggggh! :(

TSC needs to expand their line! Hahaha! :)
 

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I, too, have a dog who is "dentally" challenged and I started feeding my dogs pre-made raw (Primal) with great success. However, premade is really expensive and even feeding 4 small dogs is pretty taxing on the checkbook. I am now changing over to doing my own home-made raw. I just purchased a grinder and will be grinding my own food. I have several resource books on raw feeding in addition to articles from the Whole Dog Journal. Other foods that I use include Honest Kitchen. I use Zeal right now (white fish) and I use Preference (veggie mix) as a base for the raw ground meat. However I have also fed the beef and chicken varieties with a lot of success. I have two rescues who came to me suffering from horrible sarcoptic mange. With the pre-made raw diet, both dogs' fur grew in very nicely. One of these dogs had continual problems with dry skin and flea allergies. I always know when there is a flea flare up when he starts itching. His tail had no hair when he first came to me. Adding some extra virgin olive oil to his food has helped tremendously with the dryness and flakiness.

Good luck with Lucy. She used up all her bad luck with her previous owner. She has nothing but good luck now that she is with you!
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Thank you! Yes ... Lucy's tail is almost bare with the exception of a few tufts here and there. Fleas. She was infested. The rescue girls gave her a capstar. Thanks for reminding me of the olive oil! :) I use only the extra virgin olive oil myself for every day use. It is good for your "good" cholesterol.

Now her nose is running like crazy and she is sneezing ... probably going to turn into kennel cough. I alerted the vet already. They said Robitussin if she begins to cough. She is already on antibiotics for two weeks for her skin. :/ Poor thing.

I go shopping tomorrow ... going to look at options. Thanks everyone! :)
 

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Don't expect a lot of pre-made raw options in the local pet stores.. .I can only find Nature's Variety locally, and that's only at an out-of-the-way small grooming shop (that also sells a lot of specialty foods). It's expensive to ship, requires a freezer purchase and upkeep, doesn't keep as long as dry or canned food, and there's a limited clientele, so most pet stores don't want to make the commitment. But maybe you'll get lucky and find an awesome little boutique shop with every brand available :).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The one store has just put in a freezer ... I want to check out what is in it! Lol! :) I am not buying just yet. I will let you know if and what I may come across. Vet says to wait for the flea allergy to clear before tampering with her diet so we have a place to start. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
How about something as simple as soaking her kibble and throwing it into a blender/magic bullet to make mash? :)
Good idea also ... we have a magic bullet. :)
 
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