Hi, I have an 8 week old choco Lab that I'm trying to wean off of a cheap puppy chow type food. The people we got our pup from had her on this. They gave us a small bag of it so we could use it to switch over. I've been giving her half cheap stuff and half Medi Cal for about a week now but ran out of the cheap stuff. I've been giving her straight Medi Cal now for the past couple days and she now has diarrhea. I'm unsure of the food the previous owners were feeding her and they have now gone away for over a month so I can't get a hold of them to ask. What would you do in this case? Should I keep feeding her the Medi Cal and the diarrhea will eventually go away or should I make her chicken and rice? Any ideas?
Why Medi-Cal? I did a quick search and it does not look like a worthy choice. As a rule - you want the first listed ingredient to be meat - not a grain. Any food containing corn should be avoided. Medi-Cal looks like maybe it is a specialty food for sick dogs? Never heard of it before.
And - how long have you had this puppy that at 8 weeks you have already put her on a new food?
When changing food on a puppy this young I would take at least a month and do it very, very gradually. No small wonder that you have a puppy with diarreah!
You probably should do chicken and rice for a few days until you have firm poops and then go back to the original food with a small amount of the replacement food mixed in - gradually increasing over a period of time (as I said - a month would not be too long).
FWIW - I would research your choice of replacement food very carefully and look hard at ingredients. Google the Dog Food Project - there is some good info about dog food there. Be sure you are not feeding a food with a high calcium content - this will cause excessive bone growth which is not recommended in a large breed like a Lab. Large breed puppy food is good to controlling growth, which helps to grow healthier joints.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
In addition to what Sharon said (above), what was the original food the breeder had the puppy on? How do you know it wasn't a good food? If the dog thrives on a food, has good poops and a good coat, then it's the right food for that dog - no matter what it is.
Jackie, Champ, and Buddy
Agree with Sharon's opinion of medi-cal. In general, vets really don't know much about nutrition (in the same way your GP doesn't know much about people nutrition - that's a job for the nutritionists. ) so if you're using it because of their recommendation, I'd keep looking. My dog was recently put on medi-cal due to a toxin overdose affecting his kidneys and it gave him wicked diarrhea. As soon as I switched him to better food, no more diarrhea.
There are some good threads on nutrition, as well as other websites like www.dogfoodanalysis.com and www.dogfoodproject.com that provide some good reading material.
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue