Today I adopted a 10 month old Black Lab named Elijah from the BCSPCA. They were feeding him Science Diet since that was the food supplied to them, but I heard that it was not the best food to give. Some have suggested Innova or Taste of the Wild or Blue Buffalo, as they have higher meat contents and less grain and filler. I was wondering what you feed your labs and if you think I should slowly wean him off of the Science Diet.
Also do you think 4 cups a day (divided into two separate feedings) is enough for him? He weighs about 70pounds, he is in great shape, very lean but you can still feel a layer of fat over his ribs. Also he eats insanely fast! He ate his dinner portion in I swear less then a minute. I had just put away his dog food bag and he was already done!! Do you think I should put some sort of ball in his dish to slow him down, or feed him using his kong? Or just let him woof it down like he is?
Any information would be greatly appreciated! Thanks
Science Diet is not the best food, particularly if it is the Prescription Diet. My vet had Diesel on that & it was horrible for him, his protein was low, the ingredients are shoddy, he never had a solid poop until I switched him. I gave him Blue Buffalo but then there was a recall, I think too much Vit D or something. So per advice from here I started him on Purina Selects (Adult not puppy... it's ok to switch @ 10mos if you haven't already) & he is doing VERY well. Solid poops all the time. 3-4 cups a day is good.
Labs are notorious for hoovering their food. You should try to slow him down if you can. It may be frustrating for him to be feed his meals via kong, a ball that is about 1/2 the circumference of the dish would slow him down. The special bowls they make for slowing down didn't work for us but I hear it does for others. There is one big concern with Labs hoovering food, a condition called bloat which is really scary. I'd never heard of it before, Dukesdad has this link jake's page with info about bloat.
ETA: Congrats on the new puppy!!! Post pics when you can
Congratulations on your new furkid. I wouldn't worry about inhaling their food. As as long they don't barf it up afterwards, it's a Lab thing. SD is an okay food. I personally only feed my Labs ProPlan. My Labs due the best on that food.
♣ Laura ♣
Contests on the new pup. Many will say (and I personally agree) that ad, exept if dog has a health issue and it is prescribed by vet, isn't THE best food.
But more importantly, keep him in it until he has had time to adapt to his new home. Also see how he does on it - it may work for him. Different dogs do well on different foods -there is no one best food for every dog.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Not sure about the Science Diet as I've never tried it, but it sounds like he's in great shape. If he's not losing weight (or gaining it too quickly), his stools are reliable (not gooey or pale, although if they're white he might have eaten one too many bones) and his eyes and coat are bright and shiny, I can't see a problem. Try other foods if you like, but obviously, wean slowly so he doesn't get an upset stomach (maybe mix it with his original food at first, then gradually increase the proportion of food), but it doesn't sound as if you have to.
Also, it's true about the bolting - a lot of lab owners call it "inhaling" food, and it's a pretty accurate description! It really is a lab thing, although like Diesel Dawg has said, Labs are prone to bloat, which is a condition that can result from eating or drinking too fast and results in the stomach twisting so that excess gases can't escape from the lab's stomach. This can be reversed by vets (they can use a pipe to untwist the stomach) but can and does result in death.
Maybe you could split the portions into a kong, as was suggested earlier, but that will be frustrating. It's up to you. I don't know how common bloat is.
I think you are definetely feeding him the right amount, though - if it isn't broken, don't fix it I was told once that if a dog feeds as if they're starved they need more calories, but I'm beginning to think labs always eat as if they're starved (and scour the kitchen afterwards looking for dessert!)
Re the bloat issue. How often it occurs? No idea. Personally it scared the chit outta me when I read about Dukesdad's Jake as I had absolutely no idea that could even happen so I feel better taking the added precaution of trying to slow Diesel down. Knowledge is power, that's why I shared the bloat info, you decide what is best for your dog & how concerned about prevention you should be.