Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys. I adopted a 10 year old pomeranian from animal control about 3 months ago. They shaved his coat. He looked absolutely ridiculous and I was worried that his hair would grow bad ugly, and it sure is. He's a dark red color, but his shaved areas are this beige color and the hair is super coarse. I was wondering if I used scissors to trim the hair down, if that would help it grow back nicer somehow. I'm really worried he is going to look like this for the rest of his life. Is there anything I can do to help fix his coat? I use a slicker brush on him every few days or so and he does get supplements but is there any special kind of supplement that will really make a difference in his hair? Any special shampoo? Should I use conditioner? Right now I use a medicated shampoo because his skin looked awful when I got him and I don't want it to look like that again. The hair issue isn't really a huge deal, but whenever I take him out anywhere, I feel so embarrassed thinking that people probably look at him and just think I feed him really crap food and that he's just a very unhealthy dog and that's why his coat looks like hell.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,933 Posts
Cutting the coat with anything is going to make it worse. From the sounds of his skin and coat,,a thyroid check is in order asap. A bad thyroid can cause both bad coat regrowth and skin issues. Get him on a good grain free food if he isnt already, add salmon oil and keep up with the regular bathing. Being that he is an old guy, his coat may never come back great, but it might, especially if the thyroid is off. If the thyroid is fine, and after a year or so the coat still looks bad and out of sorts, I would recommend having him trimmed in a teddy bear type look, just for maintenance and looks, since a coat that grows back funky after shaving can be difficult to keep combed out otherwise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Oh god. I'm really glad you responded because he is actually obese as well, and I have been unable to get him to lose weight despite walks and a diet. I had been planning on having his thyroid checked because of that issue but I wasn't really worried about it too much because I'd heard that actual thyroid problems are rare (although it looks like I'm wrong there, or maybe that's true in humans?). We're going through a bag of Rotations New Zealand Lamb right now but next week I was thinking about ordering a bunch of Wysong Epigen. The chicken formula includes a vegetable and/or grain protein- it says, "Vegetable Protein (consisting of one or more of the following: Potato Protein, Rice Protein, Corn Protein, Wheat Protein). I didn't really like the sound of that, but was intrigued by a starch free kibble. Do you think grain proteins without the starch could still be an issue? The venison and fish regular epigen and the chicken epigen 90 formulas do not have any grain protein. Fortunately his skin has looked great since his first bath, but when I adopted him he had horrid dandruff.

I'm really not a fan of the teddy bear look, but he is still really adorable and fluffy and I do love brushing him. Gonna go get that thyroid checked out this Friday when I get paid.

Thanks for the help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,248 Posts
Wysong Epigen is really a gimmick. Sure it contains very little carbohydrate, but it's still got a whole lot of grain in it (with the "starch" part removed) and all those plant proteins make it way higher in protein than a dog food ever needs to be. I don't think it's dangerous or anything, but I personally think Wysong is dishonest in the way they market it, not to mention that it's far overpriced. If you like Wysong, I'd go with the grain-free line.

Otherwise, there are a lot of grain-free foods to choose from: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/dry/5-star/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
hmmm.... Well, they can't be lying about having 60% meat and organs, which is still more than most other foods (though to be fair, most other foods don't say what that percentage is, which is annoying). What about the epigen 90? Claims to have 90% meat and organs. I know the ingredients aren't necessarily the best but I like the idea of a high meat content. The other food I was looking at is the Orijen regional red which claims 75% meat. It's much more expensive than epigen 60- but has 15% more meat, no risk of grain protein, better ingredients, and slightly fewer calories. I also like the meat sources much better. It's just so expensive. I try not to spend more than $2 a pound on kibble.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,933 Posts
hmmm.... Well, they can't be lying about having 60% meat and organs, which is still more than most other foods (though to be fair, most other foods don't say what that percentage is, which is annoying). What about the epigen 90? Claims to have 90% meat and organs. I know the ingredients aren't necessarily the best but I like the idea of a high meat content. The other food I was looking at is the Orijen regional red which claims 75% meat. It's much more expensive than epigen 60- but has 15% more meat, no risk of grain protein, better ingredients, and slightly fewer calories. I also like the meat sources much better. It's just so expensive. I try not to spend more than $2 a pound on kibble.
Orijen is a far better food, but watch those high protein foods on a senior guy like yours. It can be hard on the body. There are many great grain free choices out there, and I too would shy away from anything with grains of any kind or potato. Starch or no starch, dogs don't digest grains well, and it makes a "fake" protein value, since some of the protein comes from the grains, yet is undigestable. Go to www.dogfoodanalysis.com and look at reviews of the foods you are looking into. Just because a bag says its "meat" doesn't mean it really is a good meat or organ. If you really want to feed just meat and organs, just go raw. Easier, cheaper and you know whats REALLY going into your dog's belly. Please DO keep us posted on the results of the thyroid test! And be sure to get the full panel of thryoid, and not just one of the values, so that the results are accurate. Here is a good link to learn a bit about it before going to the vet.
http://siriusdog.com/thyroid-test-dogs-t3-t4.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I've been supplementing with raw meat and I also give him vegetables and eggs since he will eat those (my other dogs won't touch them), but I just don't really have the energy to do it every day. I do have a lovely local farm that supplies me with almost everything I would need, so I certainly can't use that as an excuse. I like the website http://www.dogfoodproject.com/ to use sometimes to look at foods. Well, there aren't too many other starch sources once you cut out grains and potatoes. A lot of the foods I like have peas as the starch. An old favorite is canine caviar's venison and pea. I stopped feeding it when the price kept going up and up. I'm also extremely careful to only use brands that do not do any invasive animal testing. That limits me a bit, because it seems like most of them love testing on dogs in kennels.

I fed Nutrisca briefly when it first came out- no potatoes! http://www.mrchewy.com/dogswell-nutrisca-lamb-chickpea/dp/35037. Low calories at 370/cup. 30% protein.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,435 Posts
Take a look at Nature's Variety Instinct, which uses tapioca as its starch. The limited ingredient formulas (turkey or lamb) are also lower in protein than the other formulas, which may be better for an older dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I used to be a huge fan of Nature's Variety and I fed it for years and years, but then I inquired about their animal testing policies and was very disappointed. I can't support their company. It's a shame. I did love their food. They test on dogs in kennels in large commercial testing facilities. I have been googling like crazy though and I did find this raw food I like: http://www.wag.com/dog/p/northwest-naturals-raw-frozen-nuggets-417531. I don't think this food is tested on dogs but I sent them a message to ask.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,933 Posts
I used to be a huge fan of Nature's Variety and I fed it for years and years, but then I inquired about their animal testing policies and was very disappointed. I can't support their company. It's a shame. I did love their food. They test on dogs in kennels in large commercial testing facilities. I have been googling like crazy though and I did find this raw food I like: http://www.wag.com/dog/p/northwest-naturals-raw-frozen-nuggets-417531. I don't think this food is tested on dogs but I sent them a message to ask.
Unfortunately, dog foods need to be tested in dogs. Testing it on people wont work. ;-) I think testing a food on dogs is nothing like testing something harmful...its just part of the protocol to test it on dogs first. Least the puppy mill dogs get the chance to eat decent foods I guess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
There are many brands not tested on animals. They can test them for nutrient analysis and other things, they don't need to put dogs in cages for years and give them no attention, no treats, only one kind of dog food. It's cruel and I don't support it. I don't mind the ones who only do it once per formula for the minimum 12 wks or so and that's it, or the ones who do in home tests. I care just as much as how my pet food affects other animals as how it affects my own animals. Well, *almost* as much I suppose, because if I thought it would suit my animals well I'd put them on a vegan diet but that ain't happening! I do lean heavily towards wild caught and grass fed meats.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,933 Posts
So the test dogs are not just puppy mill dogs etc being fed the foods but a specific group of dogs only housed for the food testing? That seems stupid and not cost effective..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Yes, they take dogs and kennel them and feed them the food to test palatability, etc. There are many different ways to test foods on animals. Some do "in home" tests (which are great), some food companies have their own testing facilities, some companies just hire outside companies to do it for them. Remember the whole Iams scandal? There was extensive cruelty and neglect going on and the company knew it and didn't care until they were exposed. It's still bad but they dropped that particular facility I believe.

There would be no way to test food on puppy mill dogs because those dogs were meant to be sold. No one is going to volunteer to not sell any of their dogs so that food can be tested on them. Plus puppy millers hide their dogs from everyone and there is no way a puppy mill is going to sign a contract with a facility and give them access to their dogs. It would be a nice thought to test it on dogs in shelters though, but again, those dogs couldn't be adopted out during the tests. I wondered if some of these places get their dogs from shelters, but none of them have ever told me so, so I suspect they get them from breeders, but I really have no idea.

Some companies only test each new formula for the minimum period required by the AAFCO (which I think used to be 12 wks, not sure if that's correct?) and then they are done with it. Canine Caviar is one such company. I have no problem using their foods. I would have a problem with companies that do this if they come out with a new formula every 2 seconds, as many companies do. Others test each formula continuously- forever basically. I don't know why. This is part of my argument w the Nature's Variety folks (who, by the way, are now participating in a voluntarily recall on their beef and barley formulas). The thing is, good dog food companies do nutritional analyses of their foods and so the dog tests are really unnecessary. If they want to test for palatability they should just test it on their own dogs at home. I have noticed that most of the dog foods that get recalled are made by companies that do test on animals. So what good is it doing for our dogs anyway, when the food still ends up being recalled?

This site explains a little more about dog food testing: http://www.iamscruelty.com/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,933 Posts
Very interesting, thank you for sharing your knowledge. I do remember the Iams "scandal" years ago. And I did just see the NV recall today. One of my dogs eats raw, and I would put the other on it exclusively too if I could find more variety accessible and cheap enough. Feeding one large dog is hard and I have a hard time locating cheap enough meat.

I highly doubt most of the dogs used in the studies are from legit breeders. Much too difficult to get thru the screening process and follow ups from real breeders. I think its more likely they are from shelters, free ads, puppy mills etc, tho there may be a few from breeders that get in. I dont use the term breeder lightly tho...there are plenty of idiots out there "breeding" dogs that sell em to anyone with the money. Sad. I was not aware of this testing procedure, and now have another thing to look into. Thanks again for your info and knowledge!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
No problem! Now if I could just fix this dang scraggly hair and obese issue with my little guy! I've got an appt to go in for a thyroid panel tomorrow. I'm nervous!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,933 Posts
Dont worry. If its,thyroid, its simple meds, and can make a huge difference in your dog. Do keep us posted. It should take a few days, as they should be sending the blood out for testing unless you have a really fancy vet. ;-)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,406 Posts
hmmm.... Well, they can't be lying about having 60% meat and organs, which is still more than most other foods (though to be fair, most other foods don't say what that percentage is, which is annoying). What about the epigen 90? Claims to have 90% meat and organs. I know the ingredients aren't necessarily the best but I like the idea of a high meat content. The other food I was looking at is the Orijen regional red which claims 75% meat. It's much more expensive than epigen 60- but has 15% more meat, no risk of grain protein, better ingredients, and slightly fewer calories. I also like the meat sources much better. It's just so expensive. I try not to spend more than $2 a pound on kibble.
Be aware that when you are looking at meat content, meat meal is denser than meat (which is mostly water). Cook out the water and it may not be nearly as much meat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
That brings up a good point because while the Venison and the Fish formulas only contain meat meal, the chicken formulas both contain chicken and chicken meal. I had assumed they meant 90%/60% (epigen 90 and epigen 60, respectively) of the finished product was made from animals, meaning even though there is "chicken" in there, I thought that the 90%/60% figure was the complete figure after everything was cooked down. The venison and fish formulas are priced astronomically high compared to the chicken and I assumed it was because chicken is cheaper, but perhaps the chicken has less total meat in it because some of it is not meal. Hummm...... Do you think a company can put only meat meal in their food but then turn around and claim 90%/60% meat, but instead meaning what the fresh meat content would be before it was turned into a meal? That would be extremely shady, but I guess that is how most manufacturers work. I think I am going to have to email Wysong.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,248 Posts
That brings up a good point because while the Venison and the Fish formulas only contain meat meal, the chicken formulas both contain chicken and chicken meal. I had assumed they meant 90%/60% (epigen 90 and epigen 60, respectively) of the finished product was made from animals, meaning even though there is "chicken" in there, I thought that the 90%/60% figure was the complete figure after everything was cooked down. The venison and fish formulas are priced astronomically high compared to the chicken and I assumed it was because chicken is cheaper, but perhaps the chicken has less total meat in it because some of it is not meal. Hummm...... Do you think a company can put only meat meal in their food but then turn around and claim 90%/60% meat, but instead meaning what the fresh meat content would be before it was turned into a meal? That would be extremely shady, but I guess that is how most manufacturers work. I think I am going to have to email Wysong.
Personally, I don't really go by any advertising claims like this because it's just too difficult to know whether it's a gimmick or not. If you're really concerned about meat content I would look into canned foods or homecooked/raw diets. Any kibble is going to have a pretty decent amount of plant material in it because it's necessary for the manufacturing processes.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top