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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I have an 18 month 115# unneutered Rotti named Hulk. We have messed with his diet so often to try and mitigate health issues that I'm now considering raw- but im intimidated. I want to make sure he gets all the nutritional requirements he needs and I don’t want to miss anything.

As of now, he has very soft stools frequently, he gets sores on his head neck and ears from random bacterial skin infections, he shakes his head a ton (no ear infections, I think hes just vaguely itchy) and licks his paws but not constantly. And he smells bad. Its not his teeth or the sores etc- its like a body odor. Hes been to the vet A LOT but mostly we just get antibiotics to treat the skin infections. We have tried him on Pro-plan focus large breed puppy, wellness large breed puppy, orajin, and another that Im forgetting- nothing really resolved the loose stools. The vet suggested W/D rx food which did help a lot with the stools but has done nothing for his skin sores. Im tired of switching to all these kibbles and ready to try raw- but the commercial stuff is $$$ so may as well try it on my own. Here are my questions:

Is there a recipe that hits all the nutritional requirements?

How much do you feed?

How much does it cost you to feed raw?

Does anyone do like a 50/50?

Thanks!
 

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Wow!! It sounds like you have been through so much with your dog! Luckily enough that is one thing I have never had with any of my Rottweilers is allergies. They can be so hard to solve. The first thing I'm thinking is how much are you feeding your boy?? The most common reason for soft stools is overfeeding. Too much food...and they just can't digest it...and it just flows through. He's at an age where most of his growth is done. He will be filling in...but very slowly. Rottweilers are easy keepers...and thrive and survive on not too much food.

As for the itching and licking and head shaking....are you sure it's not environmental allergies?? Pollen , mold, certain grasses, etc? How often do you bathe him? what do you use for shampoo? Has the vet suggested a medicated shampoo??

As far as the raw....there are many prepared raw foods that you can buy. That is probably your best bet...but stick with one protein for a month or two. They can be expensive to feed an adult Rottweiler to though.
I suggest you may want to try the Acana Limited Ingredients food.
https://www.acana.com/en-CA/dogs/dog-food/limited-ingredient Just don't over feed....3 cups total will be more than enough for him each day. Don't give any treats or goodies, or chews...and see if the simple food will help.

As far as feeding 50 raw and 50 kibble. I have done that for years...with no problems. First find out what he is allergic to, and then try to find a solution. I have a feeling he may be sensitive to certain ingredients in the foods you have fed, but he also has environmental allergies. Do a google search on Dr. Dodds -Hemopet She's a veterinarian that specializes in allergies. I believe she has a kit she sends you, that you swab the dog's throat and send it back to her for allergy results. I also think she may ask for a blood draw? Not sure about that.
Good luck and let us know how things are going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the info and the resources!
We free feed him. Hes never been a ravenous, food motivated Rotti. His bowl sits full most of the day, and he eats some when hes hungry.
I think it may be allergies but the vet didnt seem to think so since other than the sores, his skin isnt pink or rashy , no hair loss or constant scratching, and the sores arent in any normal allergy place. (Back top of his head, under his ear, one cheek, on on his chest etc.)
He gets bathed pretty frequently since we hike, go to creeks lakes etc. I thought it was gross water causing issues- but again, the sores are like on the top of his head, he never likes to go more than chest deep. The vet didnt think it was the water either but she gave us a medicated shampoo.
He goes in to get neutered next week and I have a call in to the vet to see if we can just do allergy testing at the same time. I dont know if they feel like its necessary but Id rather do it and rule things out than constantly mess with his diet.
 

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What amount of food goes in his bowl each day?? After his neuter you may really have to start controlling his food amounts. They can gain weight easily once the testosterone levels go down. I've never been a fan of free feeding. Hard to tell when your dog is off of his food and maybe not feeling well. Hard to know when they are going to have bowel movements if they are grazing all day. The most important thing is that when food sits around all day...it becomes not important. When they get excited about their food it helps with training and leadership. I would give it a try. Measure out the food put the bowl down...give him 15 minutes to eat, and then take the bowl up till the p.m. feeding...rinse and repeat till he is excited about eating again.

Also, Rottweilers that are eating a healthy diet, and have no skin problems don't need to be bathed more then twice a year. They should not smell if they get brushed out once in awhile...and not bathed often.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I fill the bowl with 6 cups. He eats 1/2 to all of it in a day, depending on how much we work. He is in the "ideal" body weight category now but you def make great points on the free feeding, that is an easy change I can make.

Unfortunately, after researching more on the allergy testing- it appears that the blood, saliva and hair tests are pretty inaccurate at best and react to stuffed animal fur and tap water at worst. I pulled this one from Tufts but there are a lot more. Bummer. Just when you think it could be easy to figure out! lol Research Update: Testing for Food Allergies
The more I read the more it seems like the elimination diet challenge is really the best way to go- but man, its intense.

Well aside from the skin issues (and the diet as healthy as I can make it) he smells, even after a bath and he gets brushed probably every few days. Which is why I think we really are missing something. Im not crazy about dog baths and if hes not gross and doesnt smell, I totally agree. Between the skin issues and summer fun though (ex. muddy creeks and rolling in deer poop on hikes and finding dead fish at the lake etc) hes definately getting cleaned a lot more often.
 

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One of our Rotts used to have skin problems. We put him on Lamb and Rice kibbles and he never had any problems after changing him over.
 

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I have a German shepherd with very similar issues. He cannot have ANY dog foods with chicken in them. I use grain free Canidae formulas that don’t have chicken. But any limited ingredient grain free formula will be the best start. It took 3 months to fully clear him up, but we also had to use a more broad spectrum antibiotic, cephalexin for 2 weeks. I couldn’t personally commit to raw, so these helped completely. I understand if you don’t want to try another food, though. I went through a full year journey with him to eliminate the cause. But, he did much better on grain free limited diets even if they had chicken than any other foods. I also used Taste of the Wild and Blue Wilderness in the past with great success, but the Candiae has been the best and his favorite.
 

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I fill the bowl with 6 cups. He eats 1/2 to all of it in a day, depending on how much we work. He is in the "ideal" body weight category now but you def make great points on the free feeding, that is an easy change I can make.

Unfortunately, after researching more on the allergy testing- it appears that the blood, saliva and hair tests are pretty inaccurate at best and react to stuffed animal fur and tap water at worst. I pulled this one from Tufts but there are a lot more. Bummer. Just when you think it could be easy to figure out! lol Research Update: Testing for Food Allergies
The more I read the more it seems like the elimination diet challenge is really the best way to go- but man, its intense.

Well aside from the skin issues (and the diet as healthy as I can make it) he smells, even after a bath and he gets brushed probably every few days. Which is why I think we really are missing something. Im not crazy about dog baths and if hes not gross and doesnt smell, I totally agree. Between the skin issues and summer fun though (ex. muddy creeks and rolling in deer poop on hikes and finding dead fish at the lake etc) hes definately getting cleaned a lot more often.
Hi, I want to add some ideas for you. I do feed raw, not 100% raw I cook some stuff but everything is human food.
Here are some things you might look into the benefits and see if it will help improve your boy's skin issues besides adding a bit of fresh meat, which I do recommend as well.
  • Brewer's yeast - I don't give my girl a ton of this, just about a T in the morning mixed in the food
  • Baker's yeast - I am looking into giving her this not in addition to but maybe alternate with the brewer's --they seem to be the same thing but studies on baker's show it to be anti-cancer and I am all about anything anti-cancer.
  • Unprocessed coconut oil - this is the one that smells like fresh coconut. I mix this into the yeast and other powdered supplements for the benefits and also so they don't stay stuck in the dish (I also give turmeric 1 t and powdered eggshell 1/2 t) once in the morning, but these address other things not skin.
  • Wild-caught sardines in water no salt added (I but Season brand at Walmart at $1.52 per can that has 4 large sardines in it) I give her one sardine with the evening meal.

The food measures out to be 1-1/2 cups in the morning and evening so she does eat about 3 cups per day but in two meals. I cook it for her fresh when I'm cooking for us.

Once you give him some real food you will see a huge difference in his energy. My girl is over 10 and changing her diet a few years ago really improved her energy and strength.

As far as the cost, I calculated how much this diet is costing each month compared to buying a premium commercial dog food, and what I buy is much less. Of course, it will cost more than the low-quality grocery store brands, but not much when you are feeding a big Rottweiler. I spend on average $87 per month including supplements and that is buying grass-fed beef and free-range chicken, not low quality.

Hope this helps. Even a little change may give you big improvements. :)
 
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